January 12th, 2008

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Van der Lubbe has been pardoned, finally

Kate Connolly writes for the Guardian:

An unemployed Dutch bricklayer who was made a scapegoat for one of the defining moments of 20th-century German history has been pardoned for his crime 75 years later.

Marinus van der Lubbe, 24, was beheaded after being convicted of setting fire to the Reichstag, an event Hitler used as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and establish a dictatorship.

But Van der Lubbe's conviction has been overturned by the federal prosecutor, Monika Harms, after a lawyer in Berlin alerted her to the fact that he had yet to be exonerated under a law passed in 1998. The law allowed pardons for people convicted of crimes under the Nazis, based on the concept that Nazi law "went against the basic ideas of justice"....
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Obama threads the needle

See http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/1/12/231431/542

On a related note: Obama’s almost meaningless patter and the resulting obscurity of his written positions seem to me a form of lying by omission, possibly intentional, even more likely habitual. A person making the assumption that Obama simply does not know how to express his positions is quite generous and forgiving, particularly given the obvious advantages to an intentionally or habitually dishonest politician of lying by omission. This is particularly so given that Obama can use speeches written for him by competent non-liars.

A person can fill in just about anything they want, in Obama’s meaningless word-sound sequences, such as his ‘Yes, we can’. I would be afraid that were exactly the point, except that we have seen already with Randi Rhodes (in an earlier LJ entry) that what gets ‘filled in’ also can be meaningless word-sounds, so that what’s going on is better described as happy-button pushing.