Here’s a great interview from the Marketplace Morning Report with Chris Farrell, in which he argues for the lifting of trade sanctions against dictatorial and oppressive regimes. He compares the cases of Cuba and China, in which two different strategies have been used, with vastly different results.
Following months of Zimbabwe’s brutal “Drive Out Trash” campaign, pleasantries exchanged between Mugabe and a UN delegation may have made some headway. The UN report on the situation, according to Claudia Rosett, began “with a delicacy over-zealously inappropriate in itself to dealings with the tyrant whose regime has been responsible for wreck of Zimbabwe” by describing Mugabe’s reception of the UN officials with a “warm welcome.”
Let me first digress a bit and place this comment within the larger context of my post. My identification of a position that “words and texts have no meaning in themselves” is really just an aside within the larger and more important question about what measure of authority authorial intent has in the interpretation of documents, specifically public documents like the Constitution.
This aside is essentially a further claim than I need to make to demonstrate the flaws in Fish’s analysis. All that needs to be done to expose Fish’s error is to show that authorial intent or acontextual (deconstructionist?) interpretation are not the only two options. I argued, along with Ramesh Ponnuru and Ann Althouse, that the contemporary corporate understanding of a public document is the most definitive human factor in determining the meaning of a text. One way of putting it would be to say, it isn’t the Sitz im Leben of the author of a public document that norms meaning, it’s the Sitz im Leben of the document’s ratifiers, adherents, affirmers, et alia that is normative (or should I say “more” normative).
Read more on The Hermeneutical Spiral…
On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy spoke these words in a speech at Rice University:
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain. Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
Cigar Jack passes along this story about “faith leaders” soliciting the government to place tobacco regulation under the auspices of the FDA. The proposed legislation, which has twice been left languishing in the U.S. House of Representatives, “would give the FDA authority over the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products.”
That commercial, the one where all the celebrities and guys in collars and habits are talking about raising your “voice” for the world’s poor, has been nominated for an Emmy award for best TV commercial.