(1) Next week, I'll be speaking at several colleges around the country; all events are free and open to the public, so those in these areas are encouraged to attend:
On Monday, November 1, I'll be in Olympia, Washington, speaking about Terrorism and Civil Liberties in the Age of Obama. It will be held at South Puget Sound Community College at 7:00 p.m. Details are here.
On Wednesday, November 3, I'll be at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, giving a speech entitled "Wars Without End: The War on Terror and Against Civil Liberties in the Obama Era," with a substantial Q-and-A session afterward. Details are here and here.
On Friday, November 5, I'll be at NYU School of Law, speaking at the Center on Law and Security's conference entitled "The Constitution and National Security: The First Amendment Under Attack." It will be an excellent event -- the kind I'd attend even if I weren't speaking -- and includes, among others, Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, Marty Lederman, Bart Gellman, Geoffrey Stone, and Burt Neuborne. My section is from 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and concerns "Free Speech and Incitement" in the context of Awlaki, Terrorism "recruitment," the Supreme Court's Humanitarian Law decision, and related topics. Details are here.
Over the past year, I've done more speeches and similar events at colleges than ever before and really enjoy them. I'm currently planning appearances at several more college campuses for early Spring, 2011 -- including in South Florida and Southern California -- so if you're interested in talking about possible events, please email me.
(2) I posted this the other day, but for those who missed it: I participated in a great event in September at Brooklyn Law School regarding the Israeli flotilla attack, along with fellow speakers Fatima Mohammadi, an Iranian-American lawyer who was on the deck of the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked, and Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi. The audio of each of our speeches is here (mine begins at roughly the 17:30 mark). I wish everyone could hear Mohammadi (who spoke first) narrate what actually happened that night, and compare it to what the American media described for the first several days after the attack (based exclusively on the assertions and highly edited video from the IDF) in order to see the vast discrepancies.
(3) Last night, a reader passed along this amazing video of a 1967 appearance by Martin Luther King on The Mike Douglas Show to discuss the Vietnam War; it took place shortly after King had urged Americans to refrain from serving in the war. Some of you may have seen this already, but I hadn't, and it's really quite extraordinary. It particularly underscores how little has changed when it comes to our manipulative war discourse (in a surprisingly substantive and serious discussion, King, among other things, is asked by a clearly hostile Douglas whether King's emphatic anti-war position -- which has now largely been whitewashed from his legacy -- raises questions about the "loyalty" of black Americans generally):
Parts II and III of the interview are here and here. Thanks to Be Scofield for the video, who maintains a website with additional fascinating video links on Dr. King here.
(4) A new poll from The New York Times/CBS News is but the latest to find that "critical parts of the coalition that delivered President Obama to the White House in 2008 and gave Democrats control of Congress in 2006 are switching their allegiance to the Republicans in the final phase of the midterm Congressional elections." Looking at other polling data yesterday, Markos Moulitsas -- while urging Democrats to vote -- wrote: "I'm with those who think progressives are justified in being pissed and demoralized. I don't have the energy to sugarcoat it or pretend otherwise. . . . But if Republicans make their expected massive gains, it won't be because America turned against the Democrats, but because Democrats stayed home." Media stars will predictably announce that the lesson of the 2010 midterm is that Obama must move to the Center/Right, but the real lesson should be that a political party cannot win by continuously alienating and exhibiting scorn for the concerns of its supporters.
(5) In Foreign Policy, Ellen Knickmeyer, The Washington Post's Baghdad Bureau Chief during much of the war, gives the lie to the claim that there was "nothing new" in the WikiLeaks release by elaborating on her excellent Daily Beast article, examining in detail the new documents which prove the extent of the outright lies told by Bush officials about the war.
(6) In his NYT column today, Nicholas Kristof advocates for the legalization of marijuana, arguing -- correctly -- that legal prohibitions do far more damage than marijuana itself, and (like the War on Terror) exacerbate the very problems they're allegedly intended to solve. He includes a citation to my study on the 2001 decriminalization law in Portugal ("there’s some risk that legalization would make such dabbling more common. But that hasn’t been a significant problem in Portugal, which decriminalized drug use in 2001"). In an election which contains very little to be excited about, the prospect that California may legalize marijuana is worth caring about.
(7) The United States of America in one short scene, from Politico:
MILITARY OFFICERS TOUR JPMORGAN -- JPMorgan Chase yesterday hosted about 30 active duty military officers (across all branches and agencies) from the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Va. The officers met with senior executives, toured the trading floor and participated in a trading simulation. They discussed recruitment, operations management, strategic communications and the economy. Aside from employees thanking them for their service as they passed by, they also received a standing ovation on the trading floor. Said one officer after a senior JPM exec thanked him for his service: "We promise to keep you safe if you keep this country strong."
You can sleep tight knowing that JPMorgan Chase is keeping your nation strong, and that military officers view JPMorgan Chase as guardians of the nation's strength.