Magna Carta Trashed

by Belle Waring on November 12, 2005

Hilzoy and Katherine’s new posts at Obsidian Wings (just keep scrolling) on Lindsey Graham’s despicable move to strip non-citizens of habeas corpus rights are must reads. I warn you, though, they will turn your stomach. The details of the allegedly frivolous malpractice suits brought by Guantanamo detainees are sickening.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds asks “Has the senate suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus?” Yes, it has! Thanks for asking!

Glenn on Rieff

by Henry on November 12, 2005

David Glenn has written an entertaining and interesting piece of “intellectual history”:http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i12/12a01501.htm on sociologist Philip Rieff, perhaps best known these days for having once being married to Susan Sontag. While Rieff hasn’t had a lasting impact on his field, he’s inspired the fierce loyalty of a coterie of former students, and appeared as a supporting character in various “works of fiction”:http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i12/12a01601.htm. It appears that he’s returning to the field after thirty years away, with no fewer than four books on the verge of being published. It’s unclear whether these will be important and influential works or intellectual curiosities.

Rieff sounds to be full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; still he seems to be a very interesting and sympathetic character, and an academic type that’s vanishing rare these days. Once upon a time, sociologists and political theorists used to be able to get away with speaking to literary types on their own terms; while they produced a lot of guff, they also sometimes drew some very interesting connections. Rieff’s a sort of academic Rip van Winkle, emerging from a long sleep over decades during which the world has changed. It’ll be interesting to see whether he’s able to reconnect.