Assorted Links

1. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki Death-Tom Junrod writes for Esquire about President Obama’s “Lethal Presidency” and the new application of presidential power, namely the targeted killing of individuals (largely by drone-strike). He also (correctly, I think) notes that the operation to kill Osama bin Laden was part of this application despite the popular approval of that attack. The issue with the attacks is the lack of public accountability for the operations and that they have been carried out against American citizens abroad, including Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16 year old boy killed by drone-strike who (to the best of our knowledge) was not a member of Al-Qaeda, an inspiration to anti-American groups, or a part of plots against America.

2. The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama – The full article by Tom Junrod.

3. How one man derailed twenty years of democracy in Mali – Some backdrop on the issues in Mali, particularly how there was an accidental coup that overthrew a corrupt, but democratically elected, government and helped enable the Ansar Dine, an Al Qaeda offshoot, take half the country.

4. A National Campaign vs. Voting Rights…Goes National-A new case in the Supreme Court coming out of Texas is attempting to overturn the Voting Rights Amendment (particularly Section 5), which mandates that states with historical patterns of discrimination must obtain clearance from the Department of Justice before changing voting procedures. Several new lawsuits are challenging this requirement as a violation of state’s rights.

5. Batman could fly, but…– a new report published under the title “Trajectory of a Falling Batman” has concluded that Batman could glide long distances with his rigid cape, but would do so at speeds high enough that the landing would cause severe injury if it did not kill him outright. The report does offer some landing solutions, but concludes “clearly, gliding using a bat-cape is not a safe way to travel.”

6. The New Elitists – An op-ed in the New York times about the evolution of elitism, arguing, in particular, that in today’s world “elitism” is about building and discovering oneself and having tastes that are forms of self-expression. In today’s culture, a narrow, exclusive taste is more indicative of lower classes, while in yester-year the closed circles were reserved for the elite.

7. ‘You’re All Going to Fail – an Op-ed about the trend in academia to treat students with contempt.

8. Do Schools Challenge Our Students – Food for thought. A study by the Center for American Progress that argues that public schools have failed students because the students are not involved in rigorous learning activities.

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