Tuesday, December 09, 2003

-An article in the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on the visit to the country of Daniel Cohn-Bendit, famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) for his role in the May 1968 general strike in France. Anyways, "Danny the Red" offered an intriguing idea for the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to him, The United Nations should vote on the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, deploy an international force in the region and make Israel part of NATO.

To me, this seems like reasonable The real question is whether those opposed to a fair resolution (notably Israel's far right and most Arab states, both of whom need scapegoats) will continue to hold sway.

-Since the hasty adoption of the USA PATRIOT act by most Congressmen who didn't even read the bill, the legislation has been under fire from civil liberties groups who question the very constitutionality of many of its provisions. These critics have been derided as 'chicken littles' and 'unwitting terrorist appeasers' by some and as 'decrying phantoms of lost liberty' by the attorney general of the United States. However, the latest 'chicken little' to express concerns about the government's anti-terrorism policy is none other than the chief architect of the Patriot act, a former top assistant to Attorney General John Ashcroft.

- A poll published in October reported that nearly a quarter of those surveyed wanted Ralph Nader to run again for president in 2004. The 23% number is surprising since Nader received only 3% of the vote in the 2000 election. Although it's doubtful all 23% would actually vote for Nader but it suggests that many voters are looking for someone else to vote for besides Democrats and Republicans. The poll also reported that a majority rejected the notion that Nader's 2000 candidacy cost Al Gore the election. 28% of those surveyed said they'd voted for independent or smaller party candidates, thus demonstrating that a notable percentage of voters appreciate having more than two choices.

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