Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dr Seuss on Torture, Colorado Crazy




Kathleen Parker
Maureen Dowd
Boris Nemtsov


Dr Seus - ing out the situation
I was reading an article about how every detail in the CIA interrogations was controlled down to the last detail by the doctors, lawyers, and administrators in Washington, as reported in the NY Times; how surreal it all became and the lengths gone to justify it: "But defenders of the program say the tight rules show the government’s attempt to keep the program within the law. Elaborate care went into figuring out the precise gradations of coercion,” said David B. Rivkin Jr., a lawyer who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. “Yes, it’s jarring. But it shows how both the lawyers and the nonlawyers tried to do the right thing...

n June 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners who were members of Al Qaeda were entitled to the Geneva Conventions’ protections against humiliating and degrading treatment, and “outrages on personal dignity.” John A. Rizzo, the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, asked the Justice Department whether treatment at the agency’s secret prisons passed that test.

Mr. Bradbury of the Office of Legal Counsel wrote a 14-page response, assuring the agency that none of the conditions — the blindfolding and shackling, the involuntary shaving and the white noise — violated the Geneva Conventions’ standards.“These are not conditions that humans strive for,” Mr. Bradbury wrote. “But they do reflect the realities of detention, realities that the Geneva Conventions accommodate, where persons will have to sacrifice some measure of privacy and liberty while under detention.”

It reminds me of being caught up in some juvenile fantasy:

Would you put a prisoner in a box
Beat his feet, bloody his socks?

Or strip him naked to prance all day
Not let him sleep, or kneel to pray


Oh, I don't like these interrogators said Sam
For they make me eat green eggs and ham


That there is a lot of conflicting opinion over this subject is pretty obvious, here is a sampling of pundit's opinions, click on the author's name:
Bush and Cheney's Tragic Response to 9/11 - Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic
Obama Proving Incapable of Terror Fight - Mark Davis, Dallas Mng News
Crimes Were Committed on Bush's Watch - Anthony Romero, USA Today
Prosecuting Those Who Stopped the Next Attack - Marc Thiessen, WSJ
Small Steps Toward Justice For Bush's Torturers - Dan Froomkin , Huff Post
Obama Targets CIA, Not The Enemy - Monica Crowley, Washington Times

RIP...
It looks like we will get a break on the health care reform debates for the next few days,
as the country focuses on the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. I may not agree with all of his politics, but he was consistent in the things he believed in, and remained compassionate for those less fortunate. He overcame great personal tragedy and the loss of his two brothers to become an effective Senator. No doubt he will be missed, and brain cancer is an incredibly painful way to die. At least he had good healthcare... the morbid part is how every news station and internet site has had such a backlog of stories that they had prepared, waiting for the poor man to die. They have been like vultures, quietly circling overhead...

Part of me is glad that there are no more Kennedy's trying to get into politics, just like I'm glad we won't have any more Bushes. Family dynasties should stay in business and with inbred royalty, not played out in a democratic country, because it invokes conspiracy theories and lives of guilded privilege...

Politics for clunkers...
I don't know why the GOP has to resort to personally attacking Obama on such a hideous level, and they keep coming up with such stupid arguments against any kind of health care reform. All they have to say is good luck in getting a check from the government on time. Look at how they haven't paid car dealerships for the cash for clunkers program. FEMA hasn't even paid the ambulance companies they contracted during the last two hurricanes yet. New Orleans hasn't even been rebuilt after Katrina, and we are going to trust that help for hospital procedures will be paid on time? To be fair, the current insurance companies really suck at paying, too. They are more interested in ripping us off, ripping off doctors, and ripping off hospital
s, than actually providing an efficient system based on the needs of the patient. The right wingers are too busy trying to make everything that Obama is trying to accomplish fail that they have lost sight of what they really have been elected to do: to serve the needs of their constituents and help improve the quality of life.

Something in the water...
I moved from the idyllic, coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, where life is pleasantly locked into a timewarp of hippie politics and Silicon Valley spillover, to Colorado, where there are a lot of seriously disturbed people. Every time we make the national news, it's embarrassing, like this story in Talking Points Memo: "Remember the disturbed young John McCain volunteer, who, in the closing days of last year's presidential campaign, carved a B into her face and pretended she'd been attacked by an African-American Obama supporter? Well, could we have a similar case on our hands -- only in reverse?

To explain:Two men were arrested yesterday after an attack on the Colorado Democratic Party headquarters in Denver, in which 11 windows, displaying posters supporting health-care reform, were smashed.


It looked like a case of conservative rage boiling over. State party chair Pat Waak thought so, declaring, in comments eagerly picked up by Think Progress: "Clearly there's been an effort on the other side to stir up hate. I think this is the consequence of it."

But wait. "
Oh, it gets weirder and worse and isn't over yet, because the only explanation is that the two people who did the vandalism are fringdwellers of a differnt kind: "Schwenkler was also reportedly arrested for unlawful assembly at the 2008 GOP convention in Minneapolis.

And according to WestWord, the Denver alternative weekly, Schwenkler's address is the former location of the Derailer Bicycle Collective, a "radical, free bike fix-it shop". The current owner of the house is a well-known progressive activist who was once the U.S. coordinator for "Potters For Peace"

What about the other attacker? Details are sketchy, but an anarchist news site, for what its worth, is reporting that a person named Ariel Attack, a "Denver-based anarchist," has been arrested in connection with the incident. A supporter writes: "At this moment, we do not know Ariel's status within the jail, especially regarding her gender classification."
I used to say these things happen only in Santa Cruz, but I'm constantly being proved wrong, and the drinking water here tastes so good...

late night jokes:

"But have you seen these town hall meetings about the health care? People are screaming. And I'll tell you, because if there's one thing Americans hate, it's comprehensive health coverage." --David Letterman

"People are always saying to me, 'Well, Dave, are you worried?' No, I'm not worried about health care, and I'll tell you why. Because I'm with CBS. ... They have a tremendous health care plan. And here's what it is. Simply, when I die, I get to appear on a 'CSI' show as a corpse." --David Letterman

"I'll tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, if I want to see a death panel, I'll turn into a George Stephanopoulos roundtable." --David Letterman

"Dick Cheney has a brand new book. It's a memoir about his life and times, and I believe the title of it is called, 'Too Fat to Waterboard.'" --David Letterman

"I didn't know this, but according to the book, there was a time when President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney weren't speaking. They got into a fight and they weren't speaking. It really got so bad that earlier today, President Obama invited them both to the White House for a beer." --David Letterman

"And Cheney said that President Bush, there was a point during the second term, that he stopped listening to the vice president. George Bush stopped listening to his vice president. And I said to myself, 'Whoa. Well, maybe this guy wasn't as dumb as we thought.'" --David Letterman

"Polls now are showing that people are actually believing the right-wing corporate-inspired myths about health care, and that's why this is going down the tubes. Forty-five percent of the people in this country believe that the government will now get to decide to pull the plug on grandma. Fifty-five percent think that the health care overhaul will give coverage to illegal immigrants. And the same number think Obama is an illegal immigrant. Fifty-five percent think it will cover abortions." --Bill Maher

"And then there's the people who come to the town hall meetings about health care and think that Obama is going to do the same thing that Hitler did. I mean, what can't you tell these people that they won't believe? I could start a rumor right now. I could say, you know what? Under Obama's health care plan, when you bring your child to a pediatrician, from now on, when he's done, instead of giving him a balloon, he's going to give the kid a condom. Stupid is a preexisting condition, yes." --Bill Maher

"And apparently, it's now no longer enough to be screaming as they've been doing at the town hall meetings. They're now bringing guns. I would say these people are armed to the teeth, but they have no teeth." --Bill Maher

"That's what American democracy has come down to at these town hall meetings: old people and gun nuts, which is a terrible combination. I heard somebody yell 'AK-47!' and a lady yelled, 'Bingo!'" --Bill Maher

"And they're also bringing guns to events with the president of the United States. Did you see these people with the assault rifles? There was a guy -- and it was a black guy -- holding a big assault rifle, which is terrible news for white people. I mean, first we lose our dominance over music, then sports, then golf, then the presidency. Now, black people are taking over the gun-toting redneck industry." --Bill Maher

"But the president, he always stays cool. He's starting his vacation and going to Martha's Vineyard on Sunday with the family, renting an estate that costs $30,000 a week. Republicans are saying that makes him seem aloof and uncaring. And that is their job!" --Bill Maher

"But it's his first week-long vacation that he's had since he became president, which is quite a contrast with George Bush. Because George Bush, during his first eight years in office, he was on vacation a grand total of eight years." --Bill Maher

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