“Seven Blunders of the World”

“Seven Blunders of the World”

1. Wealth without work

2. Pleasure without conscience

3. Knowledge without character

4. Commerce without morality

5. Science without humanity

6. Worship without sacrifice

7. Politics without principle

-Mahatma Gandhi

New Rome?

President Bush has declared that he can continue and escalate conflict without Congressional approval. The repeated rhetoric is “if you knew what I knew”, or what essentially can be summed up as “President knows best”. Repeatedly in the past Congress has restricted Presidential escalation of conflict, often explicitly through the limitation of funds. The present situation would be easily exploited by political pundits to suggest that Congress does not support the troops when the reality is that Congress is not showing a complete disregard for troops’ lives by using them for personal politics. These pundits are also subverting the independence of American opinion by inserting pre-assumed stances on all political issues, making Straw Man positions for opposing viewpoints.

This situation presents some serious problems for America and its conceptual principles. A major premise is that a President is not a temporary king, is accountable to Congress, is accountable for her/his actions(via Congressional oversight and Judicial authority), and is supposed to be the custodian for the will of the people(both directly and through the proxy of Congress). The current President is failing in all of these fronts, and is tempting a Constitutional Crisis. The reason for this is because a President making decisions outside of her/his authority, and explicitly within the authority of Congress, is a conceptual invalidation of the Constitution. If we think of this specifically, that a President can act widely without Congressional approval on actions that are within the purvey of Congress, or countermand Congressional acts, then it is essentially an arbitrary elimination of an entire branch of government. One historical example of when this would be a problem was when Nixon was impeached, as he could have then decided, in contradiction to Congress, that he is not impeached and not subject to Congressional authority; as demonstrated, this means no accountability to the people for an elected President.

Political censorship

In lieu of recent events I feel the need to talk about censorship. Censorship is any intentionally act to inhibit speech that a person otherwise has a right to make. Speech that may be politically damaging is not something to be censored. It may be acceptable to censor in the sake of national security, but minimizing political backlash is not national security; a line is crossed when censorship is used not to protect national security, but to protect a political party in the name of national security.