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2009 May 15 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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What A Maroon

Mustang Bobby covers the Charles Krauthammer ticking time-bomb scenario, that is supposed to justify the use of torture.

The WaPo’s resident neocon apologist uses the case of the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Nachshon Mordechai Wachsman. While it is true that the Israelis claim to have gotten their suspect to reveal Wachsman’s location, it is also true that Wachsman and another Israeli soldier died in the rescue attempt.

What happened was the equivalent of locating the bomb and having it go off when there was an attempt to defuse it, which is not the desired result. Further, it is quite possible that the terrorists expected the Israelis to locate them, and it was a suicide mission from the beginning. The exchange was three terrorists for two Israeli commandos, which is not a sustainable outcome from the Israeli point of view.

May 15, 2009   4 Comments

Photo Break

CNN has a slide show of Hubble’s greatest hits, and the CBC has a gallery of the Hubble mission and other space news.

The new camera has been installed, the gyros have been replaced, and one of the battery packs has been swapped out. Things haven’t been trouble free, but they are getting done. It’s kind of like working on your car under water while wearing oven mitts.

May 15, 2009   2 Comments

Happy Torture Day

According to the BBC history widget on my sidebar, on this day in 1252 Pope Innocent IV issued the Papal bull, Ad extirpanda, which “explicitly authorized (and defined the appropriate circumstances for) the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.”

In one of the earliest known instances of “plausible deniability”, the members of Church did not, themselves, do the torturing, that was left to the local secular authorities who were reimbursed for their troubles by receiving part of the estates of the “accused”. The property could only be seized if the accused confessed, so nothing has really changed on the torture front.

Senator Lindsey “Grahamcracker” wondered why torture has been used for 500 years if it didn’t work. It is a good deal older than 500 years and it is still effective at eliciting false confessions for show trials which is why sadistic bastards and the governments they support have always used it.

May 15, 2009   2 Comments

Local Media

Apparently having a helicopter make a forced landing in a local parking lot at 8PM isn’t news around here.

The pilot did a good job as the engine sounded like it was eating itself. I have no idea how they are going to get it out of where it landed without taking it apart and loading it on flatbed trailers, but I was more concerned that for a while it looked like it was going to come down on my head, and I had to wait to see which way to run.

May 15, 2009   9 Comments

Someone Did Imagine

If you have an interest in the roots of the financial meltdown and the time to spare, listen to this interview with Gillian Tett on Fresh Air from WHYY, May 14, 2009. She is a reporter for the Financial Times in Britain and has just written a book, Fool’s Gold, about the beginnings of it in the 1990s.

She is a cultural anthropologist by training, and looked at the financial sector the same way she was trained to look at any society. She knew something was wrong in 2004, and was a lonely voice of alarm among financial writers beginning in 2005 for FT. She was one of the few people who were looking at the credit markets.

There’s an excerpt of her book at the link.

May 15, 2009   5 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Pointing the Way?

Friday Cat Blogging

I’m coming.

[Editor: More greeting ritual with Tonto moving to join the Lone Ranger and Young Jack in face rubbing.]

Friday Ark

May 15, 2009   2 Comments