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Jan 18, 2005 6:57 am

Noted Here and There ...

Seymour Hirsch's"The Coming Wars: What the Pentagon Can Now Do In Secret" in the New Yorker is a must read. Apparently, the Pentagon rather than the CIA is conducting operations in Iran because the administration has little confidence in the CIA which must operate with congressional oversight. See also: Josh Trevino and thanks to Brian Ulrich for the tip.

On Sunday, Wilbert Rideau was released from Louisiana's Angola Prison after serving 44 years for a murder he committed when he was 19. In the interval, he became an important prison journalist and his film documentary was nominated for an Oscar. Here is some of his published work.

David Beito at Liberty & Power has just returned from a conference on civil liberties in war-time. Increasingly, historians like Cliopatria's Greg Robinson have put the record of Franklin Roosevelt's administration during World War II under closer and more critical scrutiny. Beito highlights the Great Sedition Trial of 1944, which attempted to suppress dissent on the Right and anticipated in many ways the post-war suppression of dissent on the Left.

Evan Roberts at Coffee Grounds takes David Brooks to task for his latest column in the NYTimes,"Empty Nests, and Hearts." I disagree with both of them, but on grounds that are potentially treacherous. Whatever Evan claims, society does have an interest in social reproduction, so Brooks's"pro-natalism" isn't merely just so much nostalgia. But, more importantly, the expansion of employment opportunities for women has come at the expense of middle-class households. As corporate executives' (mostly men) compensation has sky-rocketed, middle-class families have become increasingly dependent on two incomes to yield a standard of living commensurate with one a generation or two ago. You tell me who are the primary beneficiaries of these changes: employed women? employed men? corporate America? I'd say the last of these, because it's gained, in effect, the production of two workers for the cost of one. That's not an argument against women's liberation. It's a suggestion that we have to look beneath the surface of things to see what's going on.

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