As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another. And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery.… Seguir leyendo »
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Tonight, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska will meet in the one and only vice presidential debate of the 2008 campaign. The Op-Ed editors asked people with knowledge of the vice presidency, the candidates and their records to suggest questions they’d like to hear answered from the stage at Washington University in St. Louis this evening.
It is 9 a.m., and the president is traveling abroad. A terrorist attack on the United States occurs. You have 10 minutes to prepare to move to the now famous bunker at the White House to deal with the incident.… Seguir leyendo »
Twelve countries ban HIV-positive visitors, nonimmigrants and immigrants from their territory: Armenia, Brunei, Iraq, Libya, Moldova, Oman, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan and . . . the United States. China recently acted to remove its ban on HIV-positive visitors because it feared embarrassment ahead of the Olympics. But America’s ban remains.
It seems unthinkable that the country that has been the most generous in helping people with HIV should legally ban all non-Americans who are HIV-positive. But it’s true: The leading center of public and private HIV research discriminates against those with HIV.
HIV is the only medical condition permanently designated in law — in the Immigration and Nationality Act — as grounds for inadmissibility to the United States.… Seguir leyendo »