Supreme Court Wrong on Title IX

Whistleblowers can sue under Title IX,” Associated Press, 30 March 2005, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7326283/ (from Supreme Irony).

A terrible decision from the sometimes Global Roadsters

The Supreme Court expanded the scope of the landmark gender equity law Title IX, ruling Tuesday that it shields whistleblowers who accuse academic institutions of discrimination based on sex.

On its face it is a minor but important set-back. Title IX should be weakened, and I am happy Bush is doing so. Clearly SCOTUS’s decision is a strengthening. But it gets worse. In other laws, Congress has to say whistleblowers are protected. Here, the Court just made it up.

Whistleblowers shouldn’t be given protection unless Congress explicitly says so, said Thomas and three other justices who voted no. They noted that other civil rights laws have specific provisions addressing retaliation.

“Jackson’s retaliation claim lacks the connection to actual sex discrimination that the statute requires,” Thomas wrote. “The question before us is only whether Title XI prohibits retaliation, not whether prohibiting it is good policy.”

Instead of interpreting the laws, the majority of the Court is making policy. It is ignoring its duty as interpreter of the laws as well as the will of the people as shown through Congress and the state Legislatures.

These sorts of rulings must be stopped. Continued control of the Congress and White House should give the Republicans enough time to restore respect to the judiciary.

No Human Rights for Sexy Librarians at Harvard

Librarian loses ‘pretty girl’ lawsuit against Harvard,” CNN, 4 April 2005, http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/04/librarian.suit.ap/index.html (from Democratic Underground).

Perhaps not as inflammatory as No Human Rights for Arabs in Israel, but still good hyperbole

Harvard University did not discriminate against a library assistant who claimed she was repeatedly turned down for promotions because school officials saw her as “a pretty girl” whose attire was too “sexy,” a federal jury found Monday.

medium_desiree_goodwin.jpg

Goodwin, who has worked as a library assistant at Harvard since 1994, claimed in the lawsuit that she had been rejected for seven promotions at the library since 1999.

She said she was shocked when, in late 2001, her supervisor told her she would never be promoted at Harvard. In court documents, Goodwin said her supervisor told her she was “a joke” at the university’s main library, where she “was seen merely as a pretty girl who wore sexy outfits, low cut blouses, and tight pants.”

I don’t know the facts of the case. It is symbolic, though, of the wrong state of American law. Since the Warren Court the United States have pushed laws to reorder society. These attempts at creating a New Style Man and New Style Woman have succeeding in increasing misery. Instead of informal dress codes that tilt one way, we now have formal dress codes that tilt the other.

No progress has been made, or could be made. Earl Warren’s legacy is made of painful lawsuits and cruel injustice.

Muslim Brothers Want to Run

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood slams Baathists,” AFP, 5 April 2005, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=13996 (from Liberals Against Terrorism).

Those famous democrats, the Muslim Brothers, want elections now

The Muslim Brotherhood, banned in Syria on pain of death since 1980, called on Monday for an end to the ruling Baath party’s 42-year grip on power and for the organization of free and fair elections. The movement, which was behind an armed uprising in the 1980s that marked the biggest challenge to the Damascus regime to date, called for a national congress of all political parties to ward off what it said was a “threat of invasion,” an allusion to growing U.S. pressure on the government.

The Muslim Brotherhood urges the organization of an inclusive national congress that would represent all political tendencies and religious and ethnic groups, whether based inside Syria or in exile, to form a national force capable of facing the challenges,” the group said in a statement

Bush has invented Baghdad Rules — government change through free and fair elections in the Arab countries.

Baby Assad’s father invented another type of rules — Hama Rules. After Daddy Assad was almost assassinated by the Muslim Brothers, he destroyed the fourth largest city of his own country to root them out.

Of course, if Baghdad Rules don’t work — the Muslim Brothers can play that game, too

The Baath party, which has led the country for 42 years, bears the sole responsibility for the destruction it will cause if it insists on continuing its policies and ignoring honest appeals.” The group said it was acting “not out of fear that the regime might fall but out of concern for the losses to the country if it slides into anarchy.” Washington has stepped up its pressure for democracy in Syria in recent weeks, receiving a small U.S.-based opposition group at the State Department and calling for democratic reforms.

Praktike says this is a threat disguised as a warning. Praktike’s right.

Mao’s 3 Stages of 4GW (Now with Tractors?)

The Vietnamese Modification,” by Thomas X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone, p 59, 12 September 2004.

Second Attack on Iraq Prison in 48 Hours Wounds 5 Iraqis,” by Robert F. Worth, New York Times, 5 April 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/05/international/middleeast/05iraq.html (from Informed Comment).

Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) is a style of fighting inventing by Mao Zedong in which a small but determined force can defeat a militarily overwhelming opponent. The only problem is that it can take decades.

The same tactics were used by America’s enemies in the Vietnam War. When asked how they would defeat us, answered

In February 1951, Ho Chi Minh described how he would defeat the French

Our Party and Government foresaw that our Resistance War has three stages. In the first stage.. all we did was to preserve and increase our main forces. In the second stage, we have actively contended with the enemy and prepared for the general counteroffensive. The third stage is the general counteroffensive.”

In other words

  1. Destabilize the enemy while building up a fighting force. Assassinations, bombings, and the like.
  2. Attempt to control areas where the enemy is weak while building up a fighting force. However, do not fight regular battles.
  3. Use your fighting force to conquer the enemy in regular battles.

In the Summer of 2004, almost all of Iraq was in at least Stage One of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GWS1). No place was safe from terrorism. Much of it, especially Anbar province, was in Stage 2. In these areas citizens knew that when the Americans weren’t on patrols, insurgents would be around. Some of it was in Stage 3. Fallujah, for example, was a defended military installation under the Black Banner.

Bush’s November invasion of Fallujah, combined with the Iraqi elections, altered the correlation of forces in Iraq. Which makes news like this

A suicide bomber driving a tractor blew himself up Monday near the gates of Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad, wounding five Iraqi civilians in the second attack on the prison in 48 hours, officials said.

In the first attack on Abu Ghraib, on Saturday, a force of between 40 and 60 insurgents began a coordinated assault on the prison using suicide car bombs, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. No American service members were killed in the attack, which lasted two hours, but 23 were wounded, 16 of them slightly, military officials said Sunday. Thirteen detainees at the prison were also wounded in the assault, which appears to have been an effort to break the prisoners out.

Over all, the number of insurgent attacks has dropped over the past two months. Last week, the number of recorded attacks per day dropped to below 30 for the first time in a year, an American military official said.

However, the attack on Saturday was the second in recent weeks involving a large body of insurgents, and it was carefully planned. That has led some commanders to wonder whether insurgents may be changing their tactics or husbanding their strength for larger attacks, the official said.

all the more surprising.

Fighting fixed battles is the last stage of 4GW. Fixed should happen when an insurgent force has a rational belief it can win. Current anti-Iraqi behavior is thrice problematic, as

  • Catastrophic defeats, such as the first attack on Abu Ghraib, reveal the poor state of the 4GWS3 warriors
  • Such defeats also lesson insurgent prestige, hampering efforts to claim disputed areas in 4GWS2
  • As the article mentioned, insurgent attacks [total or just on Coalition forces? – tdaxp] overall are down. Using 4GWS1 capital to fight 4GWS3 is like eatin seed corn – it just makes things harder next year

So does the insurgency see a hidden strength? Or is this a last desperate gamble?

Time will tell.

Update: Glittering Eye points to The Fourth Rail, where Bill Roggio notes

[Zarqawi’s] Al Qaeda [in Iraq] obviously believes it will gain some psychological advantage in attacking American and Iraqi bases, but it may want to weight the psychological effects on their own troops after repeated failures. The assault on the prison was a military failure. Al Qaeda in Iraq states ten of the attackers were killed in the raid. They also claim to have breached the walls and overtaken a guard tower, but the US military disputes this account. The US military estimates the attacking force suffered over fifty casualties out of an estimated sixty attackers. Continued military defeats and high casualty rates will sap the will of al Qaeda’s cannon fodder over time.

Bill is right to stress the anti-Iraqi psychological failure above the military failure. It is possible that al Qaeda in Iraq is using 4GWS3 tactics for 4GWS1 purposes, but it seems foolish. It is very expensive in all senses. Bill also links to Rantingprof, who says

Why (tactically) do groups choose terrorism? Because they can’t compete at a tactical level against their opponent. If their big new strategy is to come out and fight in conventional style attacks against the American Army and the United States Marines then this thing is just over.

Good point. However, 4GW insurgents have survived terrible set-backs. The Viet Cong were destroyed in 1968, and the North Vietnamese Army significantly weakened in 1972, but American spinelessness still lost Indochina. If some on the Left (or far Right) gain influence, the same thing may still happen in Iraq. We must prevent that from happening.

Canadian Hypocracy in Censoring Blogs in Adscam

Gomery Testimony Available to All Canadians,” Globe and Mail, 4 April 2005, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050404.wgomery-blog05/BNStory/National/?page=rss&id=wgomery-blog05 (from Captain’s Quarters).

Feds bid to plug Gomery leaks,” by Stephanie Rubec, Toranto Star, 5 April 2005, http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/News/2005/04/05/983036-sun.html (from Max’s Mewsings).

I heard about Adscam, finally figured it out, and now am astounded again. Canada is pondering criminal sanctions against bloggers who publish public information Bloggers may be fined or go to jail for reporting news that was already on television.

Once more, possible criminal penalties

Canada’s attorney general is probing possible breaches of a publication ban set up to protect explosive testimony at the AdScam inquiry. Justice spokesman Patrick Charette said federal lawyers are looking into the Internet sites reproducing excerpts of Montreal ad exec Jean Brault’s testimony and providing a link to a U.S. blog featuring more extensive coverage of the hearing.

“We have to decide what the best course of action is,” Charette said, adding federal lawyers could charge Canadian bloggers and website owners with contempt of court or suggest AdScam Justice John Gomery issue warning letters.

For testimony from public hearings

His contact could be anyone as the commission hearings are open to the public. Indeed, the Brault testimony is an open secret in political Ottawa. Ask any political staffer or MP and they seem to know some, if not all, of the details of the testimony. The television feed from the commission can be picked up in some Ottawa newsrooms, and other information is being passed through e-mails, transcripts and phone calls.

But suddenly, it becomes obvious…

Political leaders are being kept abreast of the story, with the exception of Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe who asked his staff not to tell him anything for fear he will divulge information and run afoul of the ban.

Canadian political leaders can read about public hearings. But regular Canadians can’t. Welcome to freedom in the Great White North.