Saturday, February 26, 2005

Remember Scott Ritter? 2

In case you don't, he's the former U.N. weapons inspector who screamed loudest that Iraq didn't have WMD. Via Bob Harris:

Scott Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday in Washington State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered to a packed house in Olympia’s Capitol Theater. The ex-Marine turned UNSCOM weapons inspector said that George W. Bush has "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and claimed the U.S. manipulated the results of the recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq.

[. . .]


I'm floored

In a congratulatory post to G.D. Frogsdong (No I'm not kiddin'. That's his name and he's blogging over at Skippy's with Pauly.), Mimus Pauly had some very nice things to say about us:

[. . .]

And I thank the two of you, Gordon and Fixer of The Alternate Brain, very much also. As with Spontaneous Arising, your blog doesn't receive the attention and credit it deserves either. However, I think I see the reason why: The Brain is too up-front, too honest, too unvarnished, and too politically incorrect for too many people. Know what I think? Joke those fluffy bunnies if they can't take a fuck! If they can't handle Gordon's vicious wit or Fixer's righteous rage, they must not be worthy. I'm in your camp, Fixer and Gordon, and I ain't defecting (although I do have one whiny question -- what does it take to get Knox Rover to leave a comment around here?)...

Thanks, Pauly, it means a lot. And I second what you said about Michael Hawkins.

Thought For The Day

I was skiddin' the net (that's what us old motersickle racers do instead of 'surf') and got linked to Scrutiny Hooligans from That Colored Fella. This quote is on their masthead:
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. -- Samuel Adams

Those old guys knew their shit, nez pas?


What the wingnuts don't get and, it seems, neither does the White House, is that opening conflicts in Afghanitstan and Iraq have caused other nations to take a look at their security situations. I commented over at another blog (I forget which; short-term memory thing) on this the other day.

Many nations see the U.S.' conflicts for what they are, essentially a land grab in the heart of Middle East. Nobody but the 51% of us believes this 'spreading democracy' bullshit. They know that Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, and Tajikistan are all jumping off points for the U.S. military to impose Washington's will in the region.

More below the fold . . .

Updated: 15:50

They don't want you to know

So, you're a typical NewsMax reader: out of shape, working a minimum wage job, shunned by women, always getting beat up by street punks and Iraqi terrorists, and generally having a sucky life. And whose fault is it? Obviously, the Left's!

[. . .]

World O'Crap.

Warning: Swallow your coffee first before heading over there.

Erectus reduxus

Gord pointed this out last night, but I had to pin it to the wall here. Excellent cartoon.

Hint to the media and the Retard Right. DARWINISM!!!!!

Saturday Cattle Dog Blogging

Another baby pic, courtesy of Mrs. F.

Friday, February 25, 2005

You Ain't Gonna Believe This...

About five minutes ago, Mrs. G got home with the mail. She said, "Wait'll you see what you got!"

What it was, was an 8x10 copy of a pen-and-ink portrait of George W. Bush, from the Republican National Committee, thanking me for my support of the Chimp and asking for a donation! Boy, did they get their signals crossed! It's a good sign of how screwed up they are, I guess.

I turned the "limited edition" (Ha!) portrait over and wrote 'em a "thank you" note:
I hate that Nazi son of a bitch. I don't know how you got my name, but you got screwed. Good.

Bush is an attention-deficit-disordered, dyslexic dry drunk and a son of privilege with a mean streak, born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

I have been doing everything I can to get that lying sack of crap out of the White House and will continue to do so.

You people in the Retard Right are a bunch of hypocritical, intolerant, ignorant, lying, un-American, corporation-blowing assholes.

Take your phony 'moral values' and shove 'em up your ass. By the way, that was not a request for a date with Mehlman. Maybe JimmyJeff can oblige him.

And I get to send it back to them in a postage-paid envelope.

Maybe it isn't nice of me to send that, knowing that some lady somewhere will open it and see it. Tough shit. It may be the only time I get to do that, and it feels good!

Public Service Announcement

From AlterNet:
Don't miss tonight's NOW!

Looking forward to your internet costs skyrocketing to $100/month? If not, be sure to check out tonight's episode of NOW (airing tonight and again on Sunday) exploring the issue of community internet -- the hottest debate you haven't yet heard about. Then when you're good and pissed go to Free Press to learn more and to take action.

Blogus Erectus

Go see this.

But, What If They Breed...?

Think Progress posts about Sean Hannity's new right-wing dating service.
If you’ve always been curious about romance, right-wing style, here’s what you’ve been missing:

I went and read some of their horny, creepy profiles and some comments. Here's one that made me fall out of my chair:
[All I want from this is to kill deer with Ann Coulter someday]
Well, you’d have to swing her over your head real fast, but I bet you could get up enough speed to bring a deer down with her…

Comment by Tommy

I swear folks, even my demented muse (thanks for helping identify my inner demons, CultureGhost) couldn't make that one up.

Go read. Have fun. Laugh out loud. Keep this in mind: These people are all way repressed. They think you should be repressed too, that it's normal, probably that it makes you a good American. This may be one of the reasons the Retard Right is trying to curb our freedoms. Repression breeds repression.

I wish I were rich. In the interest of their mental health and our Constitutional rights and the future of our Nation, I'd hire 'em all a gal (or guy) with a tight leather suit to go over and spank 'em, or whatever. Make 'em smile. Keep 'em off the streets and out of my shit for a while. I think I'd start with Karl Rove. I Love Karl Rove. Oh, never mind. He's already got JimmyJeff.


Via Laura Rozen:

Fresh intel suggests that Tehran is trying to expand its influence over whatever government emerges in postelection Iraq. According to U.S. officials familiar with the latest intelligence, the Iranian government has been secretly directing its agents inside Iraq to plant themselves in influential positions throughout the Iraqi government-into agencies that handle economic affairs, like the ministries of Oil, Public Works and Finance, as well as departments like the Interior Ministry that handle national security. The Iranians also are directing their agents to infiltrate Iraqi security agencies on the "working level" by taking jobs in regional or local government offices and particularly local police forces. According to the most pessimistic U.S. analysts, the ayatollahs' ultimate goal: "Taking over the government of Iraq." A less pessimistic view is that the latest intel merely shows an ongoing campaign of "classical espionage" by Tehran against Iraq.

[. . .]


I wrote about this yesterday. When the dust settles over there, we'll find that Iran has a great deal of influence in Iraq. We knew this was gonna happen. I'm just waiting to see how it plays here.

Gov' Meathead

Only in California would Archie Bunker's son-in-law, Meathead, be thinking about running for governor against Conan the Barbarian.

Seriously, though, I like Rob Reiner as an actor, a director, and an individual. And while Ahhhnold, as governor, hasn't been bad (for a Republican), his mouth and behavior leave a lot to be desired and are costing him his popularity.

What's the Matter with Kansas?

This is what.

I used to take the intentions of these reich-wing crazies with a grain of salt because I thought there were too many rationally minded people in this country to tolerate such nonsense, especially when it came to privacy and personal liberty. I don't think that anymore. The idea that some lunatic Christian politician could someday (soon) access my medical records for whatever purpose and perhaps make them public scares the hell out of me. It's like living under the SS or the KGB.


Via TCF. You know when I tell you to bitch to your elected representatives? Well, here's a Senate email list. And I went and found one for the House. Bookmark 'em, dammit.


But no question, whether it be in America or anywhere else, the sign of a healthy and vibrant society is one in where there’s an active press corps. Obviously, there has got to be constraints. There’s got to be truth. People have got to tell the truth, and if somebody violates the truth, then those who own a particular newspaper or those who are in charge of particular electronic station need to hold people to account. - (p)resident Dicknose yesterday via Hesiod.

He's got balls, that's for sure.

Update: 13:15:

The Sister's got a good take on this.

Kicking the handicapped

Via Jill at Skippy:

With little fanfare, the Bush administration is proposing to stop financing the construction of new housing for the mentally ill and physically handicapped as part of a 50 percent cut in its housing budget for people with disabilities.

More below the fold . . .

Simple wisdom

From the newest addition to RUFNKM:

[. . .]

Let 'em say what they want. We can't keep up with them, they're sick, awful, miserable robots with nothing beautiful in their lives. Do you think Ann Coulter is happy? Of course not! If she gets what she thinks she wants, she will still be miserable, and then she'll die. It's sad. For her.

Let 'em 'eff up social security and ban abortion. Let 'em pass a constitutional amendment to stop "the gays" from marrying, restrict our speech and tap our phones. Until America tastes the pain "the right" will bring there will be no revolution, there will be no revelations and there will be no peace.

[. . .]

I don't know if I agree with lassez faire opposition, but Klipper has a valid point and the last sentence sums it up. Until 'average Americans' can look back at the Clinton years as 'the good old days', the majority (the 51% of us who voted for Bush like sheep) won't stand up to the assholes running this country. Until they can look back and say "Look what we've lost thanks to these idiots", Bush will continue to do the Devil's work with relative impunity.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Shameless blogflogging

I told you last week about a project a bunch of us were kicking around. Well it's almost done, just a few technical details left behind the scenes. Great thanks to Eponymous for making it work. The Seventh Cross is now reality and my first post is up there. When you take a look at the contributors list, you'll know why I'm honored to be in such great company.

Gonzo From The Grave

There's been a lot of articles about Hunter S. Thompson since he croaked himself last week. I'm a big HST (both of 'em!) fan, so I rounded up a few for you.

More Below The Fold

Rummy TV

Ariana Huffington has a few suggestions for shows on the new Pentagon Channel. Via Working for Change:
So fire up those TiVos, disinformation fans; Rummy TV is coming soon to a flat screen near you. "If you hate the truth, you'll love DoD TV!"

"Pimp My Humvee." Xzibit, Mad Mike, Big Dane and the "Pimp My Ride" crew lend a helping hand to American soldiers forced to scrounge through junk yards in an effort to outfit their vehicles with the armor the military has failed to provide -- hooking our troops up with protective plates, as well as slammin' paint jobs, state-of-the-art sound systems, and spinning tire rims able to detect the roadside explosives responsible for so many U.S. casualties. The Humvees go from wimp to pimp while the soldiers go from sitting ducks to Mac Daddies.

There's more where that came from. Go read.

Now you think about this?

Juan Cole:

Al-Hayat has a long interview with an "informed Iraqi source" who is close to US officials in Iraq. He maintains that the US officials there were astounded that the United Iraqi Alliance did so well, and that they felt helpless and resigned as the process unfolded. He says that they are now asking privately if the US shed so much blood and treasure in Iraq to help fundamentalist Shiite allies of Iran take over Baghdad. [my emphasis]

[. . .]

Tell me who, aside from the Repub true believers, had any doubt this was going to happen? WTF? I knew it as soon as the Chimp started talking about elections. Let's see if it bothers them enough to find the excuse to have new elections. It's more and more apparent that the Bush administration was played for fools, by Chalabi, by Iran, and by the Shi'ites in Iraq. Worst of all, they played themselves, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that could only end in failure. If a theocratic, anti-American/pro-Iran government emerges in Iraq, Bush's 'base' are gonna drag him out the White House and string him up on the Mall.

Hearts and minds

Bush's idea of fence-mending: Cancel the 'town hall' forum scheduled in Mainz, Germany with the local folks. From the King:

During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week? . . . .

The Germans, though, insisted that a free forum should be exactly that. Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany's Ambassador to the United States, explained to the New York Times last week: "We told them, don't get upset with us if they ask angry questions." [my emphasis]

Does the Chimp administration think the Krauts are a bunch of red-staters? They lived through Hitler and they haven't forgotten. There are still ruins all over the place from that war. My aunt's house still has a half-inch wide crack running up one of the walls that was made by an American artillery shell landing in the backyard. They remember the Nazi years and they see something similar coming down the pike in the U.S.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What they said . . .



Shakespeare's Sister:

[. . .]

Bite me, old man.

And when you’re done chomping on my juicy bum, you can get in your popemobile and drive into the twenty-first century, where people who give a shit about other people refuse to be beholden to your culture of fabricated good and evil, delineated by distinctions that are predicated not on whether what one does has an ill effect on others, but whether it undermines the fearmongering upon which you depend to keep your ignorant adherents putting their tithes in your precious baskets every week.

See ya when you get here, you pompous old bigot.

Nuff said.

Liberty Bell

I keep a Farmer's Almanac in a strategic location for (hopefully!) daily perusal. Here's the entry for today:
Liberty Bell developed final irreparable crack after tolling for Washington's birthday celebration, 1846.

I'll be surprised if, during this administration, it doesn't fall all the way apart and disintegrate into sintered metallic powder.

Fish Story

It's funny sometimes how stuff you've been thinking about pops up right in front of you. In Fixer's post, and mine, we discussed health care for illegal immigrants. I was reading this story in the LATimes, heart-warming, maybe a little sad, of a dad taking his kid to Redondo Beach pier to go fishing as a reward for going to the dentist and ran across this:
Pulido, 37, was born in Michoacan, where his mother sold their home to pay for the move to the U.S. In a Tijuana bar she met a man who agreed to ferry them across the San Diego border.

It was 1974, and Pulido was only 6 but still he remembers crying from the loud music until his mother whispered: "Shhh, hijo. In America, they will fix your legs."

In the 'comments' section of my post, I said I didn't think health care was an attraction to illegal immigrants. I think I stand corrected. A mother's love knows no borders.

On a personal note, when I was a kid in L.A. my uncle would take me deep-sea fishing at Redondo Beach. We didn't fish off the pier. We were rich, so we went high-line and paid a buck and a half (each) to ride the boat out to anchored fishing barges. There were three of them, probably a mile or so apart, and you could go from one to the other all day. We caught mostly mackerel and they put up a good tussle for a 12-year-old. My uncle had several orange trees, and he buried the mackerel in a circle around them.

You haven't lived until you've enjoyed a greasy, fish-scale-covered fishing barge cheeseburger eaten with anchovy-smellin' hands! I think of those days even now as some of the best times of my childhood.

Gay Navy

Via Pam:

Five years after Britain lifted its ban on gays in the military, the Royal Navy has begun actively encouraging them to enlist and has pledged to make life easier when they do.

The navy announced Monday that it had asked Stonewall, a group that lobbies for gay rights, to help it develop better strategies for recruiting and retaining gay men and lesbians. It said, too, that one strategy may be to advertise for recruits in gay magazines and newspapers.

[. . .]

This is fantastic. I've served with gays (closeted, of course) and never once felt uncomfortable or put upon. Our unit morale was strong and those guys were excellent troops. There were two in my flight, and I dare any of the freepers to get in their faces, although I'd love to see 'em get their ass handed to 'em by a couple fags.

Many of us were pissed at the 'homosexuality is illegal' rules in force at the time. It also forced many career folks into marriages to 'cover' their orientation, and that produced a whole other set of problems. It's good to see the Brits finally being proactive.

And while we're on the subject of gays and the military, I'm nominating Pam for a Bronze Star for actually heading over to the Free Republic (no link, I refuse) and collecting quotes from these Neanderthals. A yeoman's job, darlin':

"Thus the great Royal Navy morphs into the pink fleet. Osama and the gang must be laughing and tossing turbans in the air now. But hey - let's give three cheers for the great defender of "freedom" Tony Blair, the ruler of Cool Britannia! MTV special coming up!"

"I guess Britain's days of having perhaps the second or third best military in the world are numbered. And I don't mean that the presence of homosexual per say will do it, but rather this whole mindset that deems it necessary to actively recruit them and make them feel comfortable. You'd think the military would have other things on their mind."

"The real damage will be seen in the recruiting effort when mentally healthy men will forego enlisting so they won't have to put up with the pooftas. We are witnessing the ned of England's Navy. They'll never meet a recruitment goal again."

Mentally healthy men will judge the recruits on their ability, not their orientation.

More on Los Mojados

I disagreed with some comments Fixer made in his post on illegal immigration, so I thought I'd jot down down my rebuttal in an awe-inspiring work of fact and logic. As I researched this deal, what turned out to be awe-inspiring was the sheer volume of material on it: There's websites, blogs, books, movies (dramas and comedies both), organizations, opinions pro and con, government and civilian, good and bad, caring and hateful, agreeing with me and disagreeing with me, in English and Spanish. There's even a board game. God only knows what I didn't run across. Absolutely amazing. Anyway, there was so much stuff out there, I decided to go with my carefully thought-out opinions like I was gonna do in the first place.

More Below The Fold

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Reality-based Europeans

While the Republicans will be welcoming their conquering hero home from Europe on his fence-mending mission, the Europeans know you can't polish a turd:

[. . .]

Resistance to Bush's plans to promote democracy abroad was strongest in France, with 84 percent saying the United States should not play that role, according to the polling conducted for the Associated Press by Ipsos, an international polling firm.

About as many Germans took that position, 80 percent, while two-thirds of those in Britain said they didn't think the United States should be exporting democracy. Just over half of those in Spain and Italy felt that way.

"It's hard to believe our allies are indifferent to the spread of democracy," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. "But they obviously don't feel comfortable with George Bush as the self-annointed spreader of democracy."

[. . .]

My old aunt can still remember all the shenanigans I pulled when I spent summers in Germany when I was young. Take it from me, the Euros have far longer memories than the morons in this country. If Chimpy thinks he can spend a few days over there and mouth a few platitudes, and the Europeans will just roll over and forget about Iraq, he's sadly mistaken.

Update 18:00:

Via Blondie:

WHEN JOHAN VANDE LANOTTE, Belgium's Vice Prime Minister, goes to the toilets today, he finds the urinals in the offices of his ministry decorated with stickers. They show an American flag and the head of George W. Bush. "Go ahead. Piss on me," the caption says . . .

Sign here please

Got an email from Rep. Slaughter today. She's the one who's grabbed this Gannongate thing by the horns along with Rep John Conyers. Well, she's got a petition up and is looking for signatures.

The independence of the free press from interference and manipulation on behalf of the government is a sacred check & balance, enshrined in the Constitution to ensure that democracy continues to serve the free people of the United States.

In light of recent revelations about White House "reporter" James Guckert, a.k.a. Jeff Gannon, and a series of Administration policies to promote Republican policies, and numerous instances of what the General Accounting Office has described as "illegal covert propaganda," it appears that this important Constitutional principle is under siege.

Consider the source

Via Dave Johnson. That bloated sack of shit Cal Thomas has some really great sources:

[. . .]

One of the best portrayals of the way a sleeper cell operates is in the hugely popular Fox TV show "24" Monday nights. This season, the show depicts a Muslim family living quietly in a middle-class neighborhood until it is "activated" in a plot to gain access to America's nuclear power plants and stage simultaneous meltdowns.

[. . .]

Hey, if it's on Fox, it must be realistic, right? What a fucking turd.

Private accounts

Kevin Drum talks about real-world experience with them around the country:

[. . .]

When Nebraska's state and county workers were given do-it-yourself accounts, they made so many investment errors that they ended up making less than colleagues with fixed-benefit pensions — and less than what analysts have said is needed for old age. Their poor performance led the Nebraska Legislature two years ago to junk the accounts for new employees.

[. . .]

Charlie Rangel said Chimpy's SSI 'reform' is DOA. Let's hope he's right.

One small step

Since we've been on the subject of illegal immigration over the past few days. Found this via Corrente:

A war of words continued this week between border activists and the United States Border Patrol.

The activists say they are exercising their rights while helping stem the tide of illegal immigration.

"What I don't need is the help from a bunch of folks from all over the country coming down here and spotting," explained Tucson Sector Chief Michael Nicley of the United States Border Patrol, referring to the activists.

[. . .]


This is why I say we need some sort of immigration reform. These 'vigilante' groups are popping up in towns all along our southern border. How long before these people trade in their binocs, NVGs, and UAVs for long rifles? Why do I get the feeling we're just one small step away from seeing bodies floating down the Rio Grande? The Border Patrol can't handle the problem in its current form, undermanned, underfunded, and underequipped, and these yahoos are jumping in to fill the vacuum. How long before we read about skirmishes between them and our Border Patrol?

Innocent people are going to get hurt because of our incoherent policy. Illegals whose only crime is wanting to do better for their family, and American citizens thanks to mistaken identity. Either let them in or not, but do something before this situation gets completely out of hand.

Reich Redux

Go see what I stole from Shakespeare's Sister.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Time to kick grandma

From Josh Marshall:

[. . .]

Over the headline: "The REAL AARP Agenda", the ad has, on the left, a picture of a soldier in desert fatigues with a big 'X' crossing him out and on the right a picture of two men (in tuxes and obviously just married) kissing each other. The gay newlyweds have a big green check mark over them.

[. . .]

See it here.

The folks putting out this ad are the same ones behind the Swift Boat Liars. They're gonna try to mug the old folks because AARP is against (p)resident Dicknose's Social Security bait and switch. It's gonna get ugly.

Coded Winks?

Go read Wolcott on Gannongate. Read your way down to it. It's all Good Stuff.

Also, CBS News raises the possibility of a 'Rove-Gannon Connection'. Those three words produce a disturbing, hilarious visual, but that's just me.

Bush to poor: Drop dead

See if you can discern the subtle pattern in Bush's budget proposal. Will Durst makes it a lot easier for us dense types.
What are we now: The Gorgar People? Let's just cut to the chase. You hit 65, we ship you to the Aleutian Islands and place you on an ice floe with matches and a pointy stick. If you are a Republican, we take away the stick, because it's considered an entitlement.

Thanks Will. I'm beginning to get it.

Immigracion? No! Cheap Labor? Si!

Ever since Fixer's post on immigration, I've been thinking about the subject with an eye towards doing my own. The more I think about the subject, the more complex it becomes and I'm trying to distill my thoughts down to a semblance of coherence. It'll happen forthwith, after this pesky three-day weekend is over. All our readers' comments are very helpful, I would like to add.

In the meantime, read Cynthia Tucker's piece on immigration policy and the lack thereof. This gal has somehow got into my head and used some (but not all) of my best stuff. Via Working For Change.
They're not intended to deal with illegal immigration, either. Not really. To deal effectively with illegal immigration, the GOP would have to crack down on its major patron: business. If a few business executives went to prison for violating federal law, fewer would risk hiring illegal workers. And if Latino workers knew they'd be unlikely to find jobs here, fewer would endanger life and limb trying to get in.

But the fact is that the United States has never had a consistent policy of punishing employers. Indeed, for the past 20 years, the unofficial policy of the federal government has been to accept illegal workers with a wink and a nod.

That's too bad. In addition to national security, there are several good reasons to try to get a handle on illegal immigration. For one thing, illegal immigrants tend to drive down wages for legal laborers. For another, it's exploitative to use undocumented workers for their cheap labor while refusing to give them benefits. It violates America's sense of itself as a land of fair play.

Go read this one.

Stand up!

Oliver Willis:

[. . .]

Ignore the right-wing echo chamber's mindless handwringing about "obstructionists". Even some Republicans don't want the lunatics running the asylum. Stand up for what's right. No to privatizing social security. No to tax evasion laws that saddle our future with debt. Stand the hell up.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Culture of Secrecy, Lying, and Fear

Since we're on the case of media fellating the lying White House and our accelerating slide into Buscism, here's an article by Charles Lewis of The Center for Public Integrity that you really ought to read and print for reference.

"Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." – George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

Sometimes the persuasion becomes less subtle. For example, when the Center for Public Integrity obtained and prepared to publish online the secret, proposed draft sequel to the USA Patriot Act, known as "Patriot II," we got calls from the U.S. Justice Department beseeching us not to publish.

More Below the Fold


Tom Tomorrow:

When I visited the museum at the former Dachau concentration camp, many years ago, there was an exhibit of photographs intended to viscerally illustrate the sheer inhuman brutality of life in the camp. One of these photos showed a prisoner hanging from a tree by his wrists, which were tied or cuffed behind his back--one of the more painful positions into which the human body can be forced, according to the exhibit's accompanying text.

I hadn't thought of that image in several years--until I read this:

An Iraqi whose corpse was photographed with grinning U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib died under CIA (news - web sites) interrogation while in a position condemned by human rights groups as torture — suspended by his wrists, with his hands cuffed behind his back, according to reports reviewed by The Associated Press.

[. . .]

Tell me again how what we're doing to these people is moral?

Another pass

[. . .]

He [(p)resident C-student] refused to answer reporters' questions about his past behavior, he said, even though it might cost him the election. Defending his approach, Mr. Bush said: "I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried."

[. . .]


I guess the Christians are gonna give him a pass on this too.

I'm in a place called Vertigo

[. . .]

So what can Mr. Bush do? Well, he can clear up some confusion about America's basic beliefs. Americans are overtly devout. And yet Europeans, who inhabit a more secular world, give more per capita than Americans to what the Bible calls "the least of these" - the world's poor. The United States is in 22nd place, last in the class of donor nations. (Add private philanthropy and it's up to 15th.) Europeans see the discrepancy, and they smell hypocrisy.

[. . .]

Bono of U2 in the NYT. Link via Melanie.