We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, November 15. 2011
I have four logical theories on what might have happened:
1. The dog ate the server's hard drive.
2. Bird Dog, ever mindful of the "politically centrist" in the site's banner and the possibility of class action law suits for false advertising, read how many harsh, critical things I'd written about the liberal scum-dog moderators and immediately deleted the post to save the site's reputation. Because, as everybody knows, if there's one thing a politically-centrist site would never, ever, do, it would be to disparage one side without fairly and centristically disparaging the other.
3. The webmaster, never dreaming in his wildest dreams that some demented blogger would actually be writing on a Saturday night when he's supposed to be out there having one of those "life" things I read about did some kind of maintenance routine, or maybe an upgrade didn't work and he hit 'Restore', and that was that.
4. God is a Democrat, and omnipotently seeing that my article was destined to be viewed as the "greatest piece of literature in the history of mankind" and would be read in every language on every continent on earth and play the decisive role in getting Sarah Palin and Chris Christie elected Empress and Vice-Emperor Of The World (Newt Gingrich as Secretary of Earth, Mark Steyn as Chief of Staff), decided He'd better nip it in the bud. "This Palin woman just doesn't know her place," He mumbled. "And what's with that accent!"
There were, however, two telling moments during the debate, so I thought I'd grab the YouTube clips and snip out the scenes for your enjoyment.
Since liberal moderators will be speaking and there might be children present, decorum dictates that we continue below the fold.
To start with, the two moderators were as different as
The second guy, from the Nat'l Journal, raised a verbal finger at the 1-minute mark, then allowed them to conclude their final sentence or two. The audience then had a chance to play its part with any merited applause.
About 50 minutes in, Mr. Stopwatch tells the audience, in so many words, to shut the hell up. I leave it to your fertile imagination just how a mainly conservative audience responded to being told what to do by some liberal jerkastoid.
By my own digital stopwatch, his new rule lasted a good 39.8 seconds. Oh, and not to doubt a professional in the field, but did he say "the applause are lovely"? I didn't know that applause was plural. Maybe it's plural because two hands are involved. Or maybe he said "applauses".
Also, if you happened to spot any headlines the next day noting how Newt 'schooled' one of the moderators, that was that moment.
I would add one other thing about that clip. As a lifelong musician, I have pretty good ears, and audience sounds are readable in their own way. I'd already identified the Paulbot sound, and you'll notice it briefly bursting forth when the moderator starts arguing with Newt and claims American terrorists abroad have legal claim to their American civil rights and shouldn't be zapped with a drone missile, a Ron Paul platform. So, effectively, the new rule lasted about zero seconds, but zealots can't help themselves so I didn't count it, whereas the spontaneous, stopwatch-stopping applause that interrupted Gingrich was heartfelt and genuine, and even more so at the end.
And they continued to applaud whenever they damn well felt like it for the rest of the evening.
Well, So Much For That Meme Dept
When Bush first came to office, the press vilified him for pronouncing the word 'nuclear' as 'nu-ku-ler'. They viewed him as just some dumb country Texas rube who got elected simply because their elite, polished candidate didn't perform as well as expected, much the same way a Ferrari driver might have an off day.
Michael Medved, longtime Townhall bloggersman, visited the Prez one day with a group of conservative bloggers and later reported that Bush used the word three or four times, and never once mispronounced it.
In other words, Bush conned the media into lowering their expectations of him by playing up to the 'dumb hick' stereotype. Today, you'll still see lefty writers refer to the "illiterate" Bush, and that's one of its origins. For what it's worth, he graduated from Yale with a higher GPA than Kerry.
But ever since those days, I've noticed dozens of times over the years an actor mispronouncing it in a movie. A liberal actor, in a liberal Hollywood movie, if you follow me. So, if it was just so damn important when it came to Bush, it's kind of amazing that someone didn't walk up to the director while the scene was being filmed and say, "Uh, boss...?"
As a small side note, I happened to have watched 'Crimson Tide' the other night (about a nuclear sub) and had it handy, so I popped it in, skipped out to some meeting the officers were having and, sure as shit, one guy immediately said "nu-ku-ler". It's all over the place.
And, of course, if you're a prestigious editor working for a liberal rag, then you also get a pass.
For what it's worth, one of the candidates also mispronounced it, but hey, if Tom Hanks and Gene Hackman can mispronounce it, then everybody gets to. Those are the rules.
Biggest hawks of the evening? We'll play multiple choice:
Answer: G; Bachmann and Santorum.
As far as I'm concerned, there were only two important questions; did they define waterboarding as 'torture', and how would they prevent Iran from going nuku-, excuse me, nuclear?
As for the waterboarding, unless I read my guide book wrong, I believe "bleeding-heart conservative" is an oxymoron, so my vote goes to whoever says "Whatever it takes to gain vital information in times of war." I consider this a real litmus test of liberal-conservative values. Anyone who claims waterboarding (aka "the least offensive and dangerous form of torture in the past 10,000 years") is "torture" is playing an ideological mind game in their head. Because as soon as something as lightweight as waterboarding is 'torture', then so in slapping, and so is spanking. People who study torture view waterboarding as the 'beer' of the torture world.
Worse, unlike the previous 10,000 years, the torturee today knows he won't die, thanks to stringent American laws against actually using some form of torture that, gasp, might actually involve death in its extreme. Get it? In our genius, we've invented the first torture in 10,000 years that guarantees you won't die at the end.
So, like the al Queda and Taliban groups in Iraq and Afghanistan patiently waiting for the wars to end on their designated dates, so, too, today's torturee knows he just has to wait out a nasty water bath and he'll be safe and snug back in his cell in no time.
As far as Iran goes,
Overall, and surprisingly, it struck me that Bachmann and Santorum both came across in a 'take no prisoners' sort of way. But
Regarding one of my own ongoing memes, the word Obama was spoken a number of times, an excellent sign. Much like the way the CNBC Attack Machine woke them up last Wednesday night, I think Mr. Stopwatch kind of focused them on who the real enemy was on this night. And they've certainly had enough time for their staffers to tell them to quit goddamn breaking Reagan's 11th Commandment. That was really getting pitiful for a while, but they seem to have gotten it out of their systems.
I'm going to spend part of the day whipping up a little mid-season review for tomorrow and we'll take a fresh look at where we stand.
Election 2012: Des Moines forum wrap-up
This was just as good, maybe even better, than the round table debate. The video is here. There's just something about the candidates sitting at a table that both lends itself to a more relaxed atmosphere, yet makes the whole event
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Nov 21, 12:08
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It amazes me that we have people like McCain (I expect less of Demoncrats, but I probably expect too much from McCain) call waterboarding torture.
I was amazed at the stories of how many times KSM was waterboarded. If true, he was a sniveling wimp. As Doc says, it doesn't kill you and when KSM finally figured that out (or did he?) it should have been a cakewalk. A little discomfort and then, "I'll tell you nothing, infidel!"
For my money, it's too bad KSM didn't die in the last waterboarding session, but that's just me.
The interesting thing about the 'torture' debate is that the very word connotes pain and violence, yet such is far from the truth. Er, no pun intended.
What about truth serum?
Or, my personal fave idea, take the devout terrorist and stick him in a pig sty full of rooting hogs. Let him eat the same slop that comes down the chute for the pigs. Don't show any sign that people are watching or are anywhere around.
A few days of that and he'll either crack or talk. If he talks, thank him for his time when he's finished and give him a copy of the movie 'Babe' on the way out as a token of our appreciation.
A worthy plan, Doc. With the movie, I would suggest a BLT or ham sandwich - after all, he could still be hungry!
For our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon to be Iran) I like a modified Pershing's solution. Make sure that everybody in the Middle East KNOWS that we shoot bullets dipped in pig blood (and really do it). Whenever you bury one of them, do it with a piece of a pig - none of this burial at sea that UBL got.
We're on a roll, dude. Okay, make it a dog sandwich. Or, better yet, write a sign in Arabic saying, "You want to eat? Come and get it!", then let a dog into the yard with a knife strapped to him. Maybe include a book of matches and some kindling so he can cook his fresh kill, just to show we're not completely heartless.
In Clancy's book "Eye of the Tiger', the good guy chases down some terrorist in a mall he's just bombed, pumps a slug into his belly, then, struck by inspiration, runs into a sporting goods store, grabs a pigskin bota bag, runs back to the bad guy before he dies, explains what he's holding and then lays it across the bad guy's horrified face. Clancy, +1!
Clancy was no dummy! I like his style!
However, I like dogs too much to waste one on a terrorist - except maybe a rabid pit bull or something like that. Some people say pigs are as smart as dogs. They can play with them, I'll eat them and play with dogs. I think they (and aforementioned rabid dogs) make wonderful pets for Islamist terrorist, though.
Okay, rabid dogs, then. You big softie, you.
By the way, your idea of bullets dipped in pig blood is actually brilliant when you think it through. In the 300,000 leaflets we drop, not only is there a picture of a factory worker manning the bullet-dipping machine for proof, but a quote from the Koran noting how it's one thing to get a little pig blood splattered on you, but quite another once in enters your body. From that, there is no redemption. You have been tainted by Satan from the inside, and your soul is eternally doomed to Hell's Pig Sty Emporium.
Or, in battle terms, it's one thing to 'take one for the troops' but bravely live to tell the tale, versus being eternally damned just for getting grazed. It could be devastating to morale, not to mention sign-ups.
I can't take credit for the pig bullet idea. Pershing captured a bunch of Muslim terrorists in the Philippines and before they were to be shot, he lined them up, brought in some pigs, shot the pigs in front of the prisoners, had the firing squad dip their bullets in the pig blood - in front of them, of course, and then shot all but one. He let the last one go. He went home and told EVERYBODY what could happen. Pershing had no more trouble with Muslim terrorists after that. That's the way the story goes, anyway.
Now, if they'd just turn this problem over to us... !
Um...there are a lot of misconceptions about waterboarding. For one, it is not "harmless". It can create a condition called "dry drowning" which is similar to what happens when you have a severe coughing fit and you can't catch your breath.
Water boarding creates all the conditions to initiate episodes of dry drowning. An extended gag reflex can create diaphragm paralysis thus an inability to breathe. You can also create a rapid, quick rise in blood pressure which can lead to stroke and, strange as this sounds, blindness.
There is also something called the mammalian dive reflex which can precipitate acute conditions. Under normal circumstances water above 70ºF won't initiate it. Colder water will. If you use cold water around 55/60ºF, it is almost guaranteed to happen with nasty results.
Properly constructed, situated and performed, water boarding can be very effective and "relatively" harmless. However you can very easily create the conditions for something wrong to happen and that is what makes it dangerous.
FYI: There are three levels of SERE training - the really good stuff doesn't happen until Level Three and that is normally reserved for air crews and special ops who operate behind enemy lines.
Is there anything you don't know something (quite a lot) about? I have a good friend like that and it's great fun to talk to him - but sometimes a little humbling! :-)
I don't think anybody said waterboarding was necessarily harmless. You apparently know a lot more about it than I (mostly I know what I've read, seen on TV, and what I've been told by a friend who was waterboarded during the Vietnam war as part of training), so I'll defer to you, but it seems that if it is done properly, the effects fall far short of what I think of torture (and IIRC what the Geneva Convention calls torture). I wouldn't know personally, but I'm sure that some ACLU lawyer would have found out if a terrorist who was waterboarded died or was maimed if it had happened.
Something else I know is that a lot of the anti-waterboarders claim what we did to KSM and his buddies is the same as what the Japanese did to our soldiers during WWII. From what I've read, there is no comparison so the least that can be said is that there are gross exagerations - some maybe on the pro-waterboarding sid, but certainly wild ones on the anti-waterboarding side.
I didn't mean to imply that it shouldn't be used or that it isn't effective. It is when done in properly controlled conditions - the one primitive fear that humans have is drowning and this simulates it almost too perfectly.
The problem when to use techniques like this is usually expressed in terms of the "ticking bomb" scenario - should we water board or not because our intelligence indicates an attack or event in the next 52 hours. Studies have shown that it is never the true situation - most of the time the incidents may be months out, even years. And while you may be looking for specifics, the results almost always produce bits and pieces that need analysis anyway.
And as in all things, you occasionally run into the true zealot who turns into a hard case that you just can't crack this way. But there is a toll to be paid there too - the longer you resist, the more likely that something catastrophic is going to happen.
It is certainly a conundrum and not a choice I would want to make.
It was pleasant to see Bachmann in an area of expertise. She’s the only one with current intel.
I see how Cain’s fallback to asking experts and avoiding definitives turns people off. But if you don’t have Bachmann’s knowledge, isn’t that the prudent course?
Mr. Big Picture is his own panel of experts. That looks good in a debate, but is it good management?
IIRC, only Bachmann and Cain got waterboarding correct. It isn’t torture by historical terms, and I remember Bush pressed to have it classified one way or the other legally. To say “we don’t torture” is a platitude.
I find I have trouble hearing Romney. His delivery is too close to monotony. It’s a soothing hum. So, can somebody tell me what his foreign policy is? I guess I do remember he wants this to be an American century. Isn’t that as vague and worthless as Cain’s panel of experts?
Re: Waterboarding is not torture. If it is, then our military is crazy-cruel, since it is part of our SERE training for those military who are likely to be taken prisoner, and therefore thousands of our pilots, high stakes soldiers of various kinds have endured it as part of their training. I'm sure these facts have been out there for years, yet none of the mainstream media have admitted to knowing this, and none have written about it.
Just doesn't fit the meme, so it never happened.
I know a guy who was waterboarded as part of his training during Vietnam (this is nothing new!). Everybody in his unit was given a secret and they waterboarded everybody to try to get the secret. My buddy was the only guy who didn't talk. Pretty tough guy. He didn't seem to be bothered by it. Who knows what would have happened if guys in black PJs were "administering" the "persuasion", but it clearly didn't maim him in any way.
You're right about the MSM, of course. Clueless and corrupt as usual.
I have understood that there were more journalists who had themselves waterboarded to try to discern the extent to which it was torture, than there were ever terrorists who were waterboarded — 3.
Waterboarding has been so thoroughly discussed that terrorists are probably trained to resist it at this point, and it is thus useless as a technique. Many active duty military are routinely waterboarded as part of their training.
Stupid "gotcha" question anyway.
Waterboarding, shooting next to the prisoner's head and so on is not effective for obtaining accurate information. It only gives a bit of sadistic pleasure to those who like power plays and the prisoner will say anything attempting to save his skin or reduce the time in interrogation.
If you really wanted to torture jihidasts you would play some of America's finest rap music. Rap is only one beat away from noise. Or you could make them watch our sitcoms.
Any candidate thinking that waterboarding is required to extract valuable, accurate information is not qualified to be president.
Wonder what that was the guys were blasting at Noriega's HQ to make him break cover?
The theme track to 'Barney The Dinosaur'. I heard thirteen of his staff committed suicide before he finally gave up. Those were certainly dreadful ti-
No, wait, it was Van Halen. I would have given up, too.