Friday, September 29, 2006


Well, the US is now officially a country of torture.

I think Molly Ivins gets it right when she guesses the bill is about CYA for past Bush Administration torture abuses more than anything else.

Bush is afraid of what might happen if the upcoming election costs him his legislative cover from a Republican majority. Things like this (reported by Ivins) probably concern him somewhat.
The first reported case of death by torture by Americans was in The New York Times in 2003 by Carlotta Gall. The military had announced the prisoner died of a heart attack, but when Gall actually saw the death certificate, written in English and issued by the military, it said the cause of death was homicide. The "heart attack" came after he had been beaten so often on this legs that they had "basically been pulpified," according to the coroner.

The Lippard Blog points out that in Arizona the house vote was right down party lines, republican congressmen voted for the bill, Arizona democrats against. Overall it wasn't a perfect partly line split, but close.

Glenn Greenwald has a good summary of last minute attempts to amend the bill and the final content of the bill.

Here's the final house vote. Seven republicans voted against the bill. Thirty-four democrats voted for it.

It's not clear to me whether or not citizenship even matters with these new rules for secret prisons for political dissent. At least some think much of the bills application to citizens is unconstitutional on its face.

I know we've already changed the rules for naturalized citizens. That's a personal concern for me because my mother has been living here 58 years, a citizen for 53 years, but was born elsewhere so she's subject to deportation on little more than a whim.

If this doesn't make you ashamed to be an American then I don't know what to say. This is really bad stuff.

I'll write more on this later.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Just another raghead

In the waiting room at the VA clinic somebody mentioned that arabs with those turbans kept ceremonial knives in their turbans.

Of course they're confusing arabs with Sikhs from India.

We seem to do that a lot these days. After a bunch of Pakistani's were arrested in England and charged with planning a terrorist attack on some airplanes we read a lot in the US about how we need to step up our security profiling -- watch out for arabs. A bunch of guys who are't Arabs are arrested and American Thinkers take that as evidence that we need to profile for Arabs.

Well, I guess they look like Arabs.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Just say no to unintended consequences

In a blog entry, public defender David Feige quotes a New York Times article about the opium crop in Afghanistan. Record high crop production.

"He said the increase in cultivation was significantly fueled by the resurgence of Taliban rebels".

I thought we were fighting the Iraqi insurgents in Iraq so we didn't have to fight the Taliban in the US. It seems it's so we don't have to fight them in Afghanistan.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

The press in action

The Smoking Gun has published copies of letters various news hereos sent to the UnaBomber (the real one, not the Mr. Tilly one) to try to get him to consent to an interview.

It's pretty disgusting to see these slime bags in action. By slimebag I don't mean the unabomber, I mean the elite of the American Press Corps.

It shows how much the press is willing to compromise any personal principles they might have in order to gain access. Practicing journalism is all about access. Most successfull journalists will do whatever they need to do, and say whatever they need to say, and report whatever they need to report in order to gain and maintain access.

Woodward and Bernstein were not part of the White House Press Corps.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs

Saturday, September 02, 2006

New Travel Restrictions

I ran across a reference to this one at Travel Better, another blog.

It seems that we have new rules for travel overseas. According to an article in the NYT, if you're an American citizen with relatives who've committed a crime you can't enter the US unless you agree to interegation by the FBI about your relatives.

When Martha Stewart was convicted of lying to federal agents we were told she could have just refused to talk to them. It looks like that wouldn't have worked for her if she'd been overseas when they wanted to talk to her.

America. Love it or leave it. But if you leave be careful trying to come back.

Lifestyle and Political Blogs