Slate: What Is Torture? - An interactive primer on American interrogation
What Is Torture?
"An interactive primer on American interrogation.
By Emily Bazelon, Phillip Carter, and Dahlia Lithwick"
Running and thinking in Colorado
What Is Torture?
Front Line reports on the Kidnapping of Brides in Kyrgystan--prominent in the news of late after 500-700 of her citizens were gunned down in cold blood by the authoritarian government.
What a guy: The unauthorized bio of our man who is next in line for the prezidency: Dick Cheney. Dick failed Yale twice, while our prez snuck by with a "C" average. Are these dunces the Best and Brightest our nation has to offer??
My Trip Report on my 77th of the 100 highest peaks in Colorado: French Mountain is now on my North American Outdoors web site.
The seminal article from the May issue of Harpers magazine on the rise of the megachurches is now on line, with a focus on the largest megachurch in America: New Life Church in Colorado Springs. This is a "must read" if you want to understand the fundamentalist mindset.
Thom Hartmann's May 26, 2005 Interview with British MP George Galloway: "[Thom Hartmann] ... with regard to democracy, what do you see the problem with the new laws we're debating, enhancing actually the so-called Patriot Act here in the United States. I know you have these kinds of things going on in the UK, the curtailment of freedoms, the loss of liberties in the wake of 9/11. I'm assuming that you've probably seen the Power of Nightmares, the BBC documentary which nobody in the United States has seen. Do you think that these changes are necessary or useful? What's your, what's your opinion of this?
In a follow-up posted yesterday by Jim Lampley at HuffingtonPost.com, Lampley discusses his original blog item which set off a firestorm when he claimed that Election 2004 was "the biggest crime in the history of the nation".
t r u t h o u t - Sidney Blumenthal | Bush the Despot: "President Bush's drive for absolute power has momentarily stalled. In a single coup, he planned to take over all the institutions of government. By crushing the traditions of the Senate he would pack the courts, especially the Supreme Court, with lock-step ideologues. Sheer force would prevail. But just as his blitzkrieg reached the outskirts of his objective he was struck by a mutiny. Within a span of 24 hours he lost control not only of the Senate but, temporarily, of the House of Representatives, which was supposed to be regimented by unquestioned loyalty. Now he prepares to launch a counterattack -- against the dissident elements of his own party.
What's Wilderness Worth? | Outside Online: "For more than a century, the people who run America's extractive industries—logging, mining, and fossil-fuel drilling—have offered one answer. Conservationists and the environmental movement have offered another. Developers have touted job creation and the connection between industrial exploitation and economic vitality. Environmentalists have grounded their appeals in ecological science and the value of wilderness to the human soul. Always at odds, locked in ideological opposition, the two sides, it seems, have long been speaking different languages.
The Raw Story | Coalition of citizen groups seek formal inquiry into whether Bush acted illegally in push for Iraq war: "A coalition of citizen activist groups running the gamut of social and political issues will ask Congress to file a Resolution of Inquiry, the first necessary legal step to determine whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in misleading the country about his decision to go to war in Iraq."
As I drove home from work yesterday I listened to Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) on C-Span give his statement on the Bush Administration's nominee for Ambassador to the UN, George Bolton. I was impressed to hear him speak plainly about the deterioration of our standing in the world as a result of our highhanded diplomacy or lack thereof since the advent of the Bushevics. He pleaded passionately for the president to send forward a nominee who can work to repair the damage not a "kiss up, kick down" bully like Bolton. At least there are some Republicans who get it and are willing to speak the truth.
Gosh, I love Harper's Index!
FIREFOX USERS: If you bookmark my web site you can turn on RSS feeds and make a “live” Bookmark. (Click on the bottom right hand corner of the browser to activate) When you do that your bookmark becomes “live” and changes as the RSS feed changes. Thus when you click on the Talking Sense bookmark your drop down menu actually shows you what is running without you having to go to the blog. Hopefully there are things of interest, but if not then you can avoid an unnecessary visit. This is a very cool feature of the Firefox browser that not enough people use. The Mozilla site explains it further.
Found this link when I checked Juan Cole's web site this morning. Looks like a detailed analysis of what is driving the resistance in Iraq. Might be a good read for the policy makers. The one's who aren't in a bubble that is.
1. Right View Wisdom
HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher - New Rules: "May 13, 2005
Interview James Carroll: "The Crusades are a religiously justified violent campaign against a whole other civilization ... All of this culminates in the horrible religious wars of the 17th Century, which were the crucible out of which democracy was born. The reaction of Enlightenment figures, to the horrors of these religious wars, was to say religion simply can no longer be the defining note of the state. Thank goodness, there’s this ingenious movement to separate the church from the state, so that states guarantee the religious freedom of individual citizens by remaining religiously neutral themselves."
The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods ...: "With Senate debate on two of President Bush's most controversial judicial nominees beginning May 18, the heated rhetoric over the so-called 'nuclear option' to ban Senate filibusters on judicial nominations has reached its boiling point. The rules of the Senate thus far remain intact, but filibuster opponents have pulled all rhetorical stops, advancing numerous falsehoods and distortions, and, as Media Matters for America documents below, the media have too often perpetuated that misinformation by unskeptically, and sometimes even deliberately, repeating it."
The Political Teen has a very enlightening timeline video feed on how the Newsweek desecrated Koran controversy developed. There is a lot more to the story than the simplified villification of Newsweek that the administration is attempting to put forth.
Media Matters exposes CNN's Lou Dobb's for an idiot as he sputters about his "view" that evolution is "in doubt" and equal to the nutcases espousing "creationism" and "Intelligent Design".
Bet you can't find this in our MSM:
I love this woman! She is MY #1 candidate for president in 2008:
Sunday's NYT Book Review has this pithy review of the state of church and state separation in our "United States": Church vs State
The American Street: Niobrara: "What do you think of when someone mentions the word “Kansas”? Maybe what leaps to your mind is that it is a farming state that is flat as a pancake, or if you’ve been following current events, the recent kangaroo court/monkey trial, or perhaps it is the drab counterpart to marvelous Oz. It isn’t exactly first on the list of glamourous places. I admit that I tend to read different books than most people, so I have a somewhat skewed perspective on Kansas: the first thing I think of is a magic word.
This site has a link to Bill Moyer's hour-long testimony to the good, heartland soul of America, the opposite of the Busheviks who speak to its worst instincts: a culture of death, torture, lies and greed.
"You're probably one of those people who still thinks that getting a blowjob is not an impeachable offense."
The Nation has this feature article: Dr. Hager's Family Values in its May 30th issue. It seems the Bush Administration appointee to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while preaching ethics and morality to others, led an abusive and controlling relationship with his wife of 32 years. From the article:
James Wolcott has the lowdown on the latest revelation about the infamous James Bolton: "Dirk Diggler to the UN?"
Know your enemy:
Long time ago I thought "The Nation" was too far to the left for me. I read it, but just couldn't agree with the articles. About a year ago I took the plunge and came to subscribe to it. I find it refreshing. Naomi Klein is one of their great reporters. Here is her legacy over the last couple of years:
Opinions You Should Have:
National Geographic has a fascinating article on Orcas (Killer Whales) on the North American West Coast in the April 2005 issue: Investigating a Killer. Scientists have been able to study Orcas for more than thirty years in outer San Juan Islands and near Vancouver Island. They have learned that the Orcas live in "pods" or extended families and have their own language. They can't communicate from pod to pod and are very tribal with their own peculiar routines and feeding habits unique to each pod. One matriarch is 72 years old! Imagine the changes she has seen! These are magnificent creatures.
I found this post on the new Huffingtonpost web blog by Jim Lampley on the election fraud via Raw Story. Unfortunately, it is buried in the Huffingtonpost and not a featured post. Indeed there is nary a link to it. Bradblog weighs in with round 2 . After a timid response from Fox News' Brad York, Jim Lampley slams him with a right hook, sends the purveyor of Fake News (Fox News) reeling to the ropes.
Wow. You know he has a point here.... What the hell are we doing? We are in for mega-changes in the next twenty years, but we're going about building our infrastructure like "Business as Usual". Check out the three part series in The New Yorker on Climate Change. Elizabeth Kolbert discusses her three part series in an online interview. The New Yorker has posted the first two parts: The Climate of Man I, The Climate of Man II. It will wake you up to reality and where we are really headed. Brought to you by the Bushevics, who don't give a damn because as Bush says, "History? It don't matter. We'll all be dead."
Found this blog while surfing: Angry Black Bitch. The title might offend, but she definitely makes some good points! Interesting reading.
Niagara Falls Reporter Opinion: "When historians write about our times, they'll shake their heads and wonder how so many people could believe so many lies for so long. They might actually write two parallel books -- one describing the cascading lies and deceptions George W. Bush and the Republicans sold and the other telling the truth.
The Quagmire: " As the Iraq war drags on, it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam.
I emailed the Creation Museum a few questions. This is a link they sent for my question, "What about the dinosaurs?":
More assault on the environment by the Republicans:
Wow, Arianna Huffington has started a blog for "her journalistic friends" to post on: The Huffington Post. Check it out.... It has commentary by Walter Cronkite, Tina Brown and others and a newswire. It looks good so far.
Bush Gets Tough Queries From Youths in Holland: "MAASTRICHT, Netherlands — At home, President Bush regularly travels the nation for 'conversations' with hand-picked audiences who routinely shower him and his policies with praise. But abroad on Sunday, some youths in Holland had a rare, unscripted opportunity to ask questions that some Americans might want to pose if given the chance.
I read an article in this month's National Geographic on the many colors in a coral reef. Found this cool flash movie they put on their web site.
EarthFirst Journal - Feature Story: "Ninety-three new coal plants are being planned for construction throughout the US right now. Demand for coal will increase as these new facilities are completed. When the oil starts to run out and there are no concrete plans for a transition to wind and solar power, coal companies will be well-positioned to capitalize on their growing market.
Six Historic Americans
The Colorado Springs Independent's Cara DeGette sums up another strange week in our little world of bible thumpers and zealots. Pick up a copy of Harper's Magazine to read the articles. You won't find the articles on line for a couple of months or so. Harper's is not good about making their articles available on a timely basis. I read the whole mag on the plane ride back from Delaware last Sunday. Shocking and scary. One of these Sundays I intend to take in a service at the New Life Megachurch. Problem is I would rather do my Sunday morning trail run. It's a dilemma....
One of my heros has died. Army retired Col David Hackworth served honorably in Viet Nam, then spoke out against the war. Disgusted with America he emigrated to Australia where he was a successful businessman. In 1989 he wrote "About Face", a very personal account of his life and times, and why we lost the Viet Nam War. Recently he has worked hard for the troops in Iraq, telling their story, speaking out against the lack of armor and the ill preparation of Pentagon civilian planners. He has a web site for the soldiers: Soldiers for the Truth.
Join the Creationist Museum! Fight the godless evolutionists!!
t r u t h o u t - Bush Bows to Logging, Energy and Mining Interests: "Environmental groups criticized President George Bush Thursday for reopening 60 million acres of federal forests to logging and road building after the administration formally overturned a Clinton-era rule that protected the land from development.
Join me in the march to Stop Global Warming
Cornerstone environmental law, NEPA, under fire in energy bill | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Muckraker | 05 May 2005: "When the energy bill sailed through the House of Representatives late last month, the media reported that it was the same old grotesquely corpulent package that the GOP leadership had previously tried -- and failed -- to pass through Congress four times in the last four years. This is true. But what flew under the radar were a few new provisions snuck in at the 11th hour by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), chair of the House Resources Committee, which have made the bill even more environmentally threatening than previous versions, many Democrats and environmentalists say.
Energistx Shelters: Hard-Sided Yurts, Portable housing, tipis, domes, cabins, metal paneltized and modular housing alternatives, greenhouses: "These hard-sided yurts are a wonderful innovation that merge the aesthetics and fung shui of a circular structure, the durability of high quality modular housing, and the portability of traditional yurts. Create your living space to be as large as you like by conjoining 18ft or 36ft yurt or cabin modules with matching insulated indoor walkways without the need for building permits. Each cabin and yurt arrives with it's own adjustable steel frame flooring structure so yurts can be place on hillsides with ease. Comes fully insullated with mahogany walls and oak veneer floors. Competively priced with canvas yurts because there is no need to build a floor and replace canvas! Read on and we think you'll agree that it's the only modular building that offers both a beautiful unique look, extreme durability, security, and incredible ease of installation at an affordable price."
This is what has Britain in an uproar. Why is it not being covered here in the states? This is the "smoking gun" that shows Bush fixed the facts to justify the war in Iraq. Where is the outrage?
Former right-wing shill, David Brock has created an indispensable resource for exposing the right-wing media's untruths. I check this site often.
I made a web page of my trip this last weekend to Delaware bagging the state highpoint and yet another marathon: Delaware: my 43rd state highpoint and 35th state marathon.
Lots more at the Agonist
Irving Kristol: The Greediest Generation
Dark times are on us--the Bushevics are targeting the last bastion of sanity in our great nation. To say that NPR is "liberal" is a travesty. NPR is truly "fair and balanced" and the voice of reason. Unlike the shouters and screamers of Fox (Fake) News and increasingly the rest of Mainstream Media (MSM). There will be a backlash and it is coming very soon. This backlash will devastate the wing nuts. Trust me.
I run a lot. I get outdoors as much as I can. I read and I think. I love intellectual confrontation. I'm a liberal secular humanist atheist who speaks French (and German). I am the opposite of the "Christian Right".
“There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.”
Robert F. Kennedy (stated in 1968, when Robert was Attorney General, and his brother John had been the President)
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” - Philip K. Dick
“The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell.” Bertrand Russell
"Just as nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight... and it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air--however slight--lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness."
-- William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1939 to 1975
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
"You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy."
-- Charles Manson, serial killer and one-time cult leader
"A very popular error-having the courage of one's convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one's convictions."
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"There are no sects in geometry. One does not speak of a Euclidean, an Archimedean. When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to arise.... Well, to what dogma do all minds agree? To the worship of a God, and to honesty. All the philosophers of the world who have had a religion have said in all ages: "There is a God, and one must be just." There, then, is the universal religion established in all ages and throughout mankind. The point in which they all agree is therefore true, and the systems through which they differ are therefore false."
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-- Albert Einstein
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
-- Bob Dylan, 'Masters of War'
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war . . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
James Madison, April 20, 1795
"In the end the party would announce that 2 plus 2 made 5, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim, sooner or later, the logic of their position demanded it."
-- George Orwell, in 1984
"God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time -- life and death -- stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out. " --€”Richard Feynman
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
"I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise. They have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe."
--Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
"We're all in this alone."
Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
-Joe Hill, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 1911
â€œThe more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party. Thatâ€™s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth.â€�
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasure, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." --Jerome K. Jerome
"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Benjamin Franklin
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." --Aldo Leopold
"Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do." --Jose Ortega y Gasset
"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity...."
"Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."
-- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
"Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level." --Henry David Thoreau
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It's that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive. It's that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly." --Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Mother Night
"I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels."
--Diogenes of Sinope (c. 408-323 B.C.)
"Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these."
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson