Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ronald Reagan On Torture

Gosh, he thought it was so wrong he signed a treaty against it, making it the law of the land. Who knew Reagan was a weak-kneed liberal?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's About Us, Not Them

We signed the Geneva Conventions. That makes the Geneva Conventions the law of this land. We signed the international treaty against torture. That makes it the law of this land. We are a nation of laws, right?

I keep hearing the argument that "if our boys had been captured by Al Qaeda they could have expected worse." That is completely beside the point. We decided that we were not going to torture. We made it the law and those that violated that law are criminals.

There is also the (mindbogglingly doubtful) idea that we somehow gained useful information by waterboarding a detainee 183 times in a month. That's not interrogation. It's not questioning. It's torture for the sake of torture.

The techniques recently revealed in the "torture memos" so far are the same as those used by the Khmer Rouge to force confessions out of prisoners. We're supposed to be getting "actionable intelligence" out of these people, not forced confessions of guilt. What kind of evil, drooling idiots order this kind of treatment?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Science of Cilantro

Some people love cilantro and some think it is the scat of Satan. Ever wondered why?
Listen to this funny radio piece and find out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

String 'em Up Anyway!

I don't think I'm alone by any means in believing we need war crimes tribunals like the Nuremburg trials for the Bush administration and the people that actually tortured prisoners. The CIA agents and others that tortured prisoners took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. We are supposed to be a land ruled by law, not the whim of a dimwitted Texan and his evil manipulators.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Teabaggin Roundup

Good lord that title sounds like some kind of gay cowboy act. No offense to gay cowboys, it's just that it's not really about gay cowboy scrotum sex.

By the way, the tax "increase" they're protesting means the wealthiest Americans will now pay less in taxes than under Reagan and the rest of us will get a taxcut. If those extra tax dollars from the rich are used for programs that reduce expenses (medical, retirement, etc.) then most of us will have gained at very little expense to few of us.

Here's a really excellent blog post about the "teabagging" and how it connects with domestic terrorism.

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Here's a short video of Anderson Cooper delivering a great straight man line. (No pun intended.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tea Bagging... by Republicans

From the "too good to be true department" and our good friends at Fox "News" comes a movement for "teabagging." Proving once again that they're not even vaguely a journalistic endeavor, Fox Noise is hyping "tea parties" to protest something horrible (I think it's letting the tax rate on the wealthiest people in America go back to 35% which, as we all know, effects most of Fox Noise's viewership) by "tea bagging" politicians. I'm not kidding, the Republicans have come out pro-teabagging. Rachel Maddow can barely get through this segment:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Limbaugh Confronted by Listener on Torture

It's hard to believe this guy got through.

Caller criticizes Limbaugh, Hannity, etal, on torture: "It's like you're all brainwashed"

Published Tue, Apr 7, 2009 4:24pm ET by Media Matters staff

LIMBAUGH: We're going to go to Chicago. This is Charles. Charles, thank you for waiting and for calling. Great to have you here. Hello.

CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Rush, listen, I voted Republican, and I didn't -- really didn't want to see Obama get in office. But, you know, Rush, you're one reason to blame for this election, for the Republicans losing.

First of all, you kept harping about voting for Hillary. The second big issue is the -- was the torture issue. I'm a veteran. We're not supposed to be torturing these people. This is not Nazi Germany, Red China, or North Korea. There's other ways of interrogating people, and you kept harping about it -- "It's OK," or "It's not really torture." And it was just more than waterboarding. Some of these prisoners were killed under torture.

And it just -- it was crazy for you to keep going on and on like Levin and Hannity and Hewitt. It's like you're all brainwashed.

And my last comment is, no matter what Obama does, you will still criticize him because I believe you're brainwashed. You're just -- and I hate to say it -- but I think you're a brainwashed Nazi. Anyone who could believe in torture just has got to be - there's got to be something wrong with them.

LIMBAUGH: You know --

CALLER: And I know Bush wanted to keep us safe and all of that, but we're not supposed to be torturing these people.

LIMBAUGH: Charles, if anybody is admitting that they're brainwashed it would be you.

CALLER: No, no, no, Rush. I don't think so.

LIMBAUGH: Charles. Charles, Charles --

CALLER: You, Hannity, Hewitt, and Levin are all brainwashed and you know it.

LIMBAUGH: -- you said -- you said at the beginning of your phone call --


LIMBAUGH: -- that you didn't want Obama in there --

CALLER: That's right.

LIMBAUGH: -- but you voted for him because of me.

CALLER: I didn't vote for him. I voted for McCain. I voted Republican.

LIMBAUGH: Oh, so --

CALLER: I voted Republican.

LIMBAUGH: -- you're saying I turned people off to --

CALLER: You turned people off with all your -- all this "vote for Hillary" and all this BS, because you must think people are really stupid.

LIMBAUGH: That was Operation Chaos. That was to keep the --

CALLER: You -- no. It didn't work.

LIMBAUGH: -- chaos in the [unintelligible] of the Democrat primaries.

CALLER: It didn't work. And now what we have with you Hannity, Levin, and Hewitt: sour grapes. That's all we have. And believe me, I'm not -- I'm more to the right than I am to the left.

LIMBAUGH: Oh, of course, you are.

CALLER: I am, and that's --

LIMBAUGH: Of course, you are. You wouldn't be calling here with all these sour grapes if you weren't.

CALLER: Well, I'm so tired of listening to you --

LIMBAUGH: Oh, of course, you are.

CALLER: -- go on and on with this -- you've been brainwashed.

LIMBAUGH: I don't know of anybody who died from torture. I do not ever --

CALLER: We are not supposed to torture people.

LIMBAUGH: I do not ever --

CALLER: Do you remember World War II, the Nazis? The Nuremberg Trials?


CALLER: Do you remember the Nuremberg Trials?

LIMBAUGH: Charles --

CALLER: Klaus Barbie?

LIMBAUGH: Charles, let me say --


LIMBAUGH: Barack Obama --

CALLER: What's the matter with you?

LIMBAUGH: Barack --

CALLER: You never even served in a military.

LIMBAUGH: Barack Obama is --

CALLER: I served in the Marine Corps and the Army.

LIMBAUGH: Charles, Barack Obama is president of the United States today because of stupid, ignorant people who think like you do. You pose -- you and your ignorance are the most expensive commodity this country has. You think you know everything. You don't know diddly-squat.

You call me a Nazi? You call me somebody who supports torture and you want credibility on this program? You know, you're just plain embarrassing and ludicrous. But it doesn't surprise me that you're the kind of Republican that our last candidate attracted. Because you're no Republican at all based on what the hell you've said here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Learning from Peru

From Harper's Magazine:

Presidential Accountability

The president ran a vigorous counter-terrorism program. With super-secret clearances, he caused terrorists and their helpers to be “disappeared” and tortured for intelligence value. Several of them died in the process. His assistants succeeded in keeping all of this under wraps for years, but then, after he left office, prosecutors began a painstaking process of establishing the facts. The penalty? Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori sentenced to twenty-five years for crimes essentially identical to those committed by George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney. Former President Bush, behold what the future may hold in store:

The former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was today convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to 25 years in what was described as a landmark ruling for human rights cases in Latin America. A three-judge panel found the 70-year-old guilty of authorising a military death squad during the state’s “dirty war” against Maoist rebels in the 1990s. The 15-month trial, held at a special forces police base just outside the capital, Lima, was the first time a democratically elected Latin American leader had been tried on home soil for human rights abuses.

“This court declares that the four charges against him have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt,” Judge Cesar San Martin told the courtroom.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Killer Angry, Believed Guns Would Be Banned

Thanks, Rush Limbaugh. Thanks, Bill O'Reilly. Thanks, vast right-wing noise machine.

Richard Poplawski, Gunman 'Lying In Wait,' Kills 3 Pittsburgh Police Officers

PITTSBURGH — A gunman wearing a bulletproof vest and "lying in wait" opened fire on officers responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday, killing three of them and turning a quiet Pittsburgh street into a battlefield, police said.

Police Chief Nate Harper said the motive for the shooting isn't clear, but friends said the gunman recently had been upset about losing his job and feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

Richard Poplawski, 23, met officers at the doorway and shot two of them in the head immediately, Harper said. An officer who tried to help the two also was killed.


Wow! Obama to Call For Nuke Free World!

Obama to call for nuclear-free world

PRAGUE (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will call for the elimination of all nuclear weapons across the globe, in remarks on Sunday he hopes will lend credibility to his message in atomic disputes with Iran and North Korea.

Visiting Prague during an eight-day visit to Europe, Obama plans to deliver what his aides have billed as a major speech on weapons proliferation.