Politics: A Little Activism
Nasty, smirking mug shot from TPM
To start your day off right, here's something you can do.
Write a letter to UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law regarding the employment of torture-justifier John Yoo. As more and more news leaks out about the government's deliberate consideration of torture and ways to justify it and conceal it from a citizenry, you are probably worried. If not, you should be. A government that tortures prisoners can certainly torture YOU.
Bear in mind that the government has decided that it can define who is to be subjected to torture at its sole discretion. If it arbitrarily decides that you, Joe and Jane Average Citizen, meet its definition of "enemy combatant not subject to the protections of the Geneva Convention," whammo, scalammo, off you go to have interesting objects rammed into your various orifices and water poured into your lungs.
In large part, the Gee Dubya Darth Cheney Misadministration got to do this because they found a legal "scholar" who would write them a memo justifying their acts. That "scholar" is none other than John Yoo, current tenured professor at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California in Berkeley.
The University of California is a publicly-funded institution. Boalt Hall School of Law consistently ranks among the top ten law schools in the nation. The taxpayers of California and alumni/alumnae of Boalt must be wondering why they are paying to ensure the employment of a war criminal? At $164,000, Yoo is comfortably off &mdash far more comfortably than most California taxpayers, whose median household income is a mere $54,000, less than one-third of Yoo's single salary.
Given that Yoo's wife, Elsa Arnett, is a writer who has been variously cited as being employed by Knight-Ridder's Washington bureau and the Miami Herald's Washington bureau, we can probably safely assume that she is making more than the median $54,000 per year.
So why exactly are we paying this monster at the public expense? Can't we, the taxpaying citizens, argue that his position as a war criminal nullifies any contract that the university might have negotiated with him?
At any event, the Chancellor, or the Regents of the University of California, whose sole function of late seems to be increasing their annual compensation and creating golden parachutes for themselves, might care to hear from you, the taxpaying public.
Write, email, or call the Chancellor (politely, of course) at:
Dr. Robert J. Birgeneau
Office of the Chancellor
200 California Hall # 1500
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1500
Phone (510) 642-7464
Fax (510) 643-5499
These are the current Regents. Contact information for these individuals may be found here.
Full text of the torture memo available in two parts here and here. Caveat: The memo is in PDF file format. Stumble It!