mcain may be breaking

It looks like mcain may be reaching an unacceptable compromise with bush regarding exemption language in his amemdment barring inhumane or degrading treatment of prisoners:

Instead, he has offered to include some language, modeled after military standards, under which soldiers can provide a defense if a “reasonable” person could have concluded that he or she was following a lawful order about how to treat prisoners.

Hopefully this is not the case. pace got it right a few days ago:

“It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it,” the general said.
Rumsfeld interjected: “I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it.”
But Pace meant what he said. “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it,” he said, firmly.

This damn well better apply to every human being no matter who they work for.
Following orders is never an excuse for for inhumane behavior. Though it might be possible to consider a slightly less excruciating punishment for a perpetrator following orders than that given to one acting on their own or to the one who gave the orders.
Via Talkleft.

Free Love or Free Sex?

So what was with the sixties? Alina reviews David Allyn’s new book Make Love, Not War and calls it a

must-browse for anyone interested in the social and cultural history of American political movements.

And concludes:

Allyn’s most valuable insight is his strong distinction between free love and free sex. Contemporary culture a la Maxim tends to conflate the two. Liberation from sexual repression is a far cry from a compulsion to “muck around” (to borrow the Aussie term) with the bar-hopefuls.

Read the rest of her review and,yes, I think I’ll at least browse the book.

What Henley Says!

Jim Henley nails this:

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

Heck, if this does nothing more than get us to reread the dusty volumes that have been sitting on the shelf untouched for years it is monumental. That there may be recoverable complete or near complete new works is thick frosting on a tasty cake.

Death and Life

The Talking Dog has found another gem and it is a powerful piece:

Its been too long since I linked to Israeli blogger Imshin, one of the brightest lights of the blog world. But with this piece, she has transcended blogging, frankly, she has transcended everything, with this observation of the universe that is in the traditions of the greatest sages and mystics ever to exist. (I’m blown away by it.)

Near the end of her essay Imshin writes:

Death comes quickly and, more often than not, doesn’t bother to call ahead to say it is on its way and give us a chance to prepare. And even if it does, how does one prepare?

Read Imshin, read The Talking Dog’s response and then as she says:

Take a minute. Look up from your computer screen and look around you.

Please do this regularly.
And realize that, though most ignore it, death does call ahead. The message is there before our eyes throughout our lives. For most the message does not include a date and time but that should not matter as it is widely known that we humans are mortal. Read the message, make sure your affairs are in order, and act out your life to its fullest potential.