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2009 April 23 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Torture – Again

I don’t want to write about torture. Like most Americans I assumed the whole thing was settled by General George Washington’s orders regarding prisoners during the Revolutionary War, and the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” These principles are part and parcel of the Geneva Conventions that the US signed. There is no “gray area”, there is no uncertainty. Torture is illegal, un-Constitutional, and un-American.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed supposedly written by CIA Director General Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey you will find this piece of ignorance: “Interrogation is conducted by using such obvious approaches as asking questions whose correct answers are already known and only when truthful information is provided proceeding to what may not be known.” That isn’t how an interrogation is conducted, that’s how a lawyer questions witnesses at a trial.

If you want to know what military and law enforcement interrogators/interviewers are striving for, watch a Bill Moyers interview. Bill Moyers is the best interrogator I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few.

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April 23, 2009   16 Comments

Wildfire Near Myrtle Beach, SC

FireThe Myrtle Beach Sun News reports that More homes threatened as blaze moves northeast

Firefighters today are continuing to battle a blaze that has destroyed at least 40 homes, damaged 100 more, consumed more than 15,000 acres of land and has left a thick, gray smoke hanging over the area.

Gov. Mark Sanford declared a state of emergency for Horry County this morning.

“This has already proved to be a devastating event for Horry County, and it isn’t over,” Sanford said.

Homes along S.C. 90 and S.C. 22 and areas around Long Branch Road are threatened this afternoon, according to Scott Hawkins of the S.C. Forestry Commission. The south side of S.C. 31 also is threatened.

Most of the homes that were destroyed were in Barefoot Resort. Residents in that area and the Pelican Bay subdivision are among the 2,500 people who have been evacuated from their homes.

This is on the inland side of the Intercoastal Waterway in Myrtle Beach, and affects a lot of the resort areas and their golf courses as well as the wooded areas. Low humidity, lack of rain, and high winds – the conditions associated with most of the recent wildfire incidents.

April 23, 2009   6 Comments

St. George’s Day

Cross of St. George

Saint George is the patron saint of England, Georgia [the country], Bulgaria, Portugal, Catalonia, and the city of Moscow. Orthodox countries tend to celebrate George on November 23rd.

PETA condemns George for his senseless slaughter of dragons. The YWCA condemns the condemnation and wants to know when PETA is going to volunteer to be DragonChow™

It is also the birth and death day of Billy the Bard, who was a great writer in desperate need of a spell checker.

Master Shakespeare gave all of the best lines to villains supplying low humor to those who have read the Folio, e.g. Arlen Specter quoting Iago, reputedly in support of Clarence Thomas.

April 23, 2009   Comments Off on St. George’s Day