Star Witness Yochai Benkler at Bradley Manning’s Defense:
“On the final day of Bradley Manning’s defense’s case, Harvard Law Professor and renowned scholar Yochai Benkler testified about how the Internet has transformed journalism’s function in a democracy and why WikiLeaks should be considered a legitimate news organization that is devoted to exposing corruption.
He testified that since its inception WikiLeaks has played a critical role in investigative journalism and that the leak of the Iraq and Afghan war logs revealed large disparities between civilian casulaties reported by the government those reported from the released documents.
Benkler was extremely critical of the unlawful pretrial abuse Bradley Manning endured and said that such abuse was meant to strike fear into future whistleblowers, and that it threatened investigative journalism as a whole. Further, the charges gainst Manning, if found guilty, would set a dangerous precedent whereby any news organization or journalist covering government corruption could be charged with ‘aiding the enemy’.”
Read more at FREE BRADLEY MANNING
De acordo com o pós-doutor em direito constitucional, Daniel Sarmento, “o Direito brasileiro vem sofrendo mudanças profundas nos últimos tempos, relacionadas à emergência de um novo paradigma tanto na teoria jurídica quanto na prática dos tribunais, que tem sido designado como “neoconstitucionalismo”. Estas mudanças, que se desenvolvem sob a égide da Constituição de 88, envolvem vários fenômenos diferentes, mas reciprocamente implicados, que podem ser assim sintetizados: (a) reconhecimento da força normativa dos princípios jurídicos e valorização da sua importância no processo de aplicação do Direito; (b) rejeição ao formalismo e recurso mais freqüente a métodos ou “estilos” mais abertos de raciocínio jurídico: ponderação, tópica, teorias da argumentação etc.; (c) constitucionalização do Direito, com a irradiação das normas e valores constitucionais, sobretudo os relacionados aos direitos fundamentais, para todos os ramos do ordenamento; (d) reaproximação entre o Direito e a Moral, com a penetração cada vez maior da Filosofia nos debates jurídicos; e (e) judicialização da política e das relações sociais, com um significativo deslocamento de poder da esfera do Legislativo e do Executivo para o Poder Judiciário. Há quem aplauda entusiasticamente estas mudanças, e quem as critique com veemência. Contudo, não há como negar a magnitude das alterações que vêm se desenrolando por debaixo dos nossos olhos.” Leia texto na íntegra em O Neoconstitucionalismo no Brasil: Riscos e possibilidades.
Quanto a reforma política, Daniel diz ser possível uma constituinte para fazer a reforma política. “A solução mais adequada do ponto de vista constitucional seria que a presidente da República encaminhasse uma proposta de emenda constitucional ao próprio Congresso, que por duas votações sucessivas em cada casa no quorum de três quintos poderia autorizar a realização desse plebiscito e, enfim promove-se essa assembleia constituinte parcial”, explica para Agência Brasil.
Daniel Sarmento é Mestre e Doutor em Direito Público na UERJ, com pós-doutorado na Yale Law School, Professor Adjunto de Direito Constitucional da UERJ e Procurador Regional da República.
Very difficult dialogues in an old-fashioned English with a very strong accent, “Lincoln” is not an easy movie but worth watching with astonishing Day-Lewis (Lincoln) and Lee-Jones (Stevens) performances. What is even more impressive is to realize that even after 150 years post the abolition of slavery, we are now discussing the fair opportunity in the exactly way they were discussing if black and whites were equal or not at that time. It is revolting to realize that we have to fight for the fair opportunity, and 150 years from now the fair opportunity is going to be something out of discussion. Moreover, it is always shocking to me that we still live in a world where lots of people think that white is superior and, mostly, inequality is nature.
It is not everybody that is keen of contemporary art but – for sure – everyone is capable of appreciating it. All we need is sensitivity and education. The Black British artist Steve McQueen is only a little more than 40 years old but already acclaimed all over the world. So, today was my birthday and I gave myself a promenade in his exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I caught myself again in love with his art.
The Black British Artist Steve McQueen
“Queen and Country” (2007/2009) is a huge and massive wood drawer with about 100 vertical drawer divided in the two sides (front and back). Steve contacted 115 families, and received the permission to use their deceased family member’s picture in this exhibition. They all died during the recent war in Iraq. The drawer is interactive and invites you to open them and see the 160 facsimile stamp with the picture of the man or the woman who died serving their country – UK. Note that each stamp comes with the silhouette of the Queen, the same one that hasn’t approved the real circulation of these stamps but McQueen intention’s is to produce them all, and it is just a matter of time. We all know that one day it will happen but until there his art is unfinished.
Another installation that was striking for me: Static (2009) (check the link!), an unstable video of the aging Liberty Statue… speechless!
MqQueen is also the director of Shame (2011) and Hunger (2012), and they are both about the absence of freedom. The non freedom inside a British prison (Hunger) and the non freedom inside a “free” body (Shame). Both movies are shocking and disturbing. Hunger talks about the IRA volunteers, prisoners that had never received the status of political prisoners. They were so strong about their cause that they found themselves with no choice but to do a hunger strike. The astonishing performance of Michael Fassbender playing Bobby Sands shows us the decay of a human body in an agonizing and slow road to death because the British government under Margaret Thatcher’s command refused to give them back their status of political activists and political prisoners. Only after 10 deaths, the prisoners regained some rights but never the recognition for their political status. On the other hand, the director shows the other side of the bars, and how miserable some men working with those prisoners were felling, and some of them committed suicide. Hunger makes a dialogue with Steve McQueen’s other movie, Shame, where a man totally officially free lives incarcerated in his body and his compulsion for sex.
“There is no such thing as political murder, political bombing, political violence. There is only criminal murder, criminal bombing, and criminal violence. There will be no political status.”
– By Margaret Thatcher