The Lady Speaks

This is what Honor and Integrity look like

Every now and again, you come across someone who typifies the words "honor and integrity". Someone who stands as a symbol of the phrase, "speaking truth to power".

Professor Steve Almond is just such a person, giving up a five-year position with Boston College after Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was selectedto give the commencement speech to the Class of 2006.

From the Boston Globe, via sans-culotte:

An open letter to William P. Leahy, SJ, president of Boston College.

DEAR Father Leahy,

I am writing to resign my post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College.

I am doing so — after five years at BC, and with tremendous regret — as a direct result of your decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation.

Many members of the faculty and student body already have voiced their objection to the invitation, arguing that Rice's actions as secretary of state are inconsistent with the broader humanistic values of the university and the Catholic and Jesuit traditions from which those values derive.

But I am not writing this letter simply because of an objection to the war against Iraq. My concern is more fundamental. Simply put, Rice is a liar.

She has lied to the American people knowingly, repeatedly, often extravagantly over the past five years, in an effort to justify a pathologically misguided foreign policy.


Like the president whom she serves so faithfully, she refuses to recognize her errors or the tragic consequences of those errors to the young soldiers and civilians dying in Iraq. She is a diplomat whose central allegiance is not to the democratic cause of this nation, but absolute power.

This is the woman to whom you will be bestowing an honorary degree, along with the privilege of addressing the graduating class of 2006.

It is this last notion I find most reprehensible: that Boston College would entrust to Rice the role of moral exemplar.


It is the content of one's character that matters here — the reverence for truth and knowledge that Boston College purports to champion.

Rice does not personify these values; she repudiates them. Whatever inspiring rhetoric she might present to the graduating class, her actions as a citizen and politician tell a different story.

Honestly, Father Leahy, what lessons do you expect her to impart to impressionable seniors?

That hard work in the corporate sector might gain them a spot on the board of Chevron? That they, too, might someday have an oil tanker named after them? That it is acceptable to lie to the American people for political gain?

Read the full letter here.


May 15, 2006 Posted by | Boston College, Condoleeza Rice, Culture of Corruption, Government, Politics, Protest, Republicans, White House | 3 Comments

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Pennsylvanians head to the polls tomorrow, so I will not be posting – I'm the minority inspector of elections for my voting district (I even have a very pretty letter on real stationery that says so!) so I'll be heading out at 5:45am.

I'll spend the day working the polls, and then – once they close at 8pm – will ride with the Judge of Elections to deliver our district's votes to the county Election Bureau. I should be home sometime around 10pm…maybe.

As much as I'm looking forward to this, I'm also dreading it. Not only will this be a LONG day – about 16 hours altogether – assuming nothing goes wrong – it's going to be a smoke-free one for me. *shudder* Poll workers must remain in calling (voice, not phone) distance of the polling site, and while we will get restroom breaks, smoking privileges do not come with the job! *sigh*

On the good side, I get paid for this! I think it's only $60, but still – how cool!! But…since I'm not a Republican, I can't abuse my position and accept cash bribes and expensive gifts. Darn!

May 15, 2006 Posted by | Democrats, Government, Pennsylvania, Voting | 4 Comments

Source tells ABC News: Gov’t tracking your calls

Is it time yet? Can we finally give up all pretense of this being America, home of the free?

When the US government is using whatever technology, whatever program, to see who the press is calling…. There's a word for it – dictatorship.

From the ABC News blog, the Blotter: [all emphasis mine]

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.


Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers.

The official who warned ABC News said there was no indication our phones were being tapped so the content of the conversation could be recorded.

A pattern of phone calls from a reporter, however, could provide valuable clues for leak investigators.

Perhaps someone needs to take a copy of the Constitution over to the White House, and ask His Imperial Highness….El Commandante…..the President to re-read the First Amendment.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Oh, have him read this one, too:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And this one as well:

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

May 15, 2006 Posted by | Bush, Constitution, Culture of Corruption, Domestic Spying, First Amendment, Government, Media, White House | Leave a comment