The Dartmouth Observer

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Saturday, February 04, 2006
Sneak Preview

Here's a sneak preview on what I'm planning over the next few months.

The main attraction is a two-part answer to the question "Should Wire-tapping Be Illegal?" In the first post, I want to sketch out the strongest arguments for wire-tapping, paying particular concern as to why its advocates want to engage in such behavior. In order to construct the strongest possible case for wire-tapping, I will draw on the argument of Judge Richard Posner whose recent writings have encouraged Congress to enable this measure. In the following post, I want to forward that in order to maintain a liberal constitutional government, the executive's power to spy, monitor, and otherwise control the lives of its citizen must be limited as a matter of principle, which should remain inviolate outside a clear existential threat. In that post, I want to refute Posner's argument and forward that for liberal governments civil liberties do not obsolesce during times of war. However, I need a little time to do so because I want to quickly read the late Chief Justice's book All the Laws But One: Civil Liberties during Wartime, published in 1998, and largely written during 1997. Justice Rehnquist was a very intelligent person, and though I don't often agree with him, he has a formidable legal mind. Learning his arguments and perspectives can only strengthen my case.

Moreover, given that next week is a vacation week for me, I want to answer three questions that my readers have left me that I have not yet addressed. The first question concerns the need for United States military bases around the world; I will address that in a post entitled "Does America Need Its Worldwide Network of Military Bases?" The second query concerns what the restrictions on ex-convicts ought to be; I will address that in a post entitled "Do Convicted Criminals Ever Stop Being Guilty?" The third unaddressed claim concerns the relationship between universalism and parochialism; I have not yet thought of a question to address that claim.

Lastly, since February is "Black History Month" I will try to devote a series of posts to my view on the race question, domestically, internationally, and across time. I already have two concerns on the table to think about the issue of race. The first line of inquiry emerges in the wake of the deaths of Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks, and asks the question: "Does America Need Another (Great) Civil Rights Leaders?" The second line of inquiry involves my response to two articles in the latest issue of the Dartmouth Review, one on the relationship of King's Christian beliefs to his civil rights mission, and the other on Dartmouth's admissions policies toward minorities as that evolved over the years.