SUMMARY OF NY TIMES 11/23/05 FRONT PAGE NEWS - Fun photos are missing this morning, but you will find stimulating discussion of President Bush's red door escapades in the Op-Ed section today on p. 26-27. For a chuckle, read the letters to the editor under the heading, Those Photos of Bush. NY Times website is www.nytimes.com .
Also in the editorial section is a good follow-up to the 11/21 story on the President's trip to China. We aren't supposed to do much direct quoting on this website, but it will be necessary in order to make a connection between this editorial and something published yesterday at www.commondreams.org. The Times editorial states, "One thing still reliably Communist about the Chinese Communist Party is its Stalinist repression of all political dissent." Absolutely true. Point well taken. The United States of America is certainly no Communist country. Why, then, is political dissent currently being repressed here?
This is the question being asked by three individuals in Denver, who have recently built a website to further the cause for freedom of speech. Visit their website at www.denverthree.org to find out more about the federal lawsuit being brought by the€LU against a White House staffer posing as a secret service agent who actually threw the three out of a March 21 event with President Bush because they have a bumper sticker on their car which reads NO MORE BLOOD FOR OIL. If you visit, be sure to click on all the tabs at the top of the page.
In what the President of the National Institute for Military Justice called a game of musical courtrooms, George W. Bush signed an order last Sunday, moving Jose Padilla's three and a half year old case into the criminial court system, apparently in order to avoid facing the earlier ruling made by a federal judge in South Carolina, who said that the President had overstepped his authority in detaining Padilla without proving just cause.
The Jose Padilla story raises an important question which, theoretically, should not even need to be asked in a free society: are all citizens guilty until proven innocent, or are we innocent until proven guilty? If our legal system was built on the principle that we are innocent until proven guilty, then why is the system not working that way? Perhaps because of the way certain people are able to work the system...
While Jose Padilla is clearly not an innocent man, it seems that once this administration decides to charge someone with terrorism, it simply changes the rules (or ignores them) in order to justify stripping the individual of all legal rights. When did suspicion become justification? Did this happen when our government justified the invasion of a sovereign nation on the suspicion that it might be a threat?
The news analysis piece just below the main article states that we have no consistent method in this country for dealing with terrorist suspects. Does the president have the power to seize American citizens in civilian settings on American soil and subject them to indefinite military detention without criminal charge or trial? This question is asked but never answered. Will the next question (how to prove that someone is an actual terrorist) be avoided as well? A good civil rights question for all of us.
In other news, it is reported that New York's Medicaid program, the largest in the nation, spends far more than other states do on prescription drugs. New York's Medicaid spending went from $1.7 billion in 1999 to $3.8 billion in 2004, and has quadrupled over the past 10 years. The radical difference between New York's and other states' spending on Medicaid is due to pharmaceutical industry lobbying in Albany. This article takes a very long (if extremely informative) route to the simple answer: like California and other states, New York state needs to establish a preferred drug list, which includes only the (reasonably priced) drugs that Medicaid will pay for. Period.
The Vatican's declaration tsexual men may not become Priests was published yesterday on an Italian Catholic website, www.AdistaOnline.it . (author's note: the preceeding sentence has been corrected by me at least twice. If it contains errors, they are being made by this website's editing program.)
The official document will be published on Nov 29.
Other NY Times front page headlines:
Bare-Knuckle Democracy In Iraq Rebel Territory - an article about the continuing struggle for democracy in Iraq
Freed By DNA, Now Charged In New Crime - a story about Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man once wrongfully convicted of a sex crime, freed, now facing murder charges
note: Great story on p. B-1 (Metro Section) entitled: Staying Connected With The Internet At Bay: Orthodox Jews Grapple With The Web. Thought it might appeal to shvoong readers. Peace.