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
Thursday, December 11. 2014
Assume that all Santas are perverts
How Victoria’s Secret and its fashion show went primetime — after its founder killed himself
McDonald's Menu Is Completely Out Of Control
Lena and Grace Dunham: Life in the Shame-Free Zone
Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees - Emergency masks, solar blankets to be delivered to every major bank in the U.S.
Whatever Happened to California Republicans? How California has become almost completely blue.
NY Times Reports on Columbia Exam Postponement
Berkeley Prof Offers Students Extension on Homework If They Are Injured at Riots
BERKELEY PROTEST RULES: Let Blacks Beat Non-Blacks, Don’t Photograph Rioting Blacks
College President Criticized for Saying All Lives Matter
Did you know that the topic of cotton is racist?
“You’re Bosnian,” one of the suspects allegedly said. “I should just kill you now.”
He remembers the word "mokita"
For the warmists, a Diesel Powered Gaia
Palestinian Rights Activist Exposes U.N. Duplicity At Relief and Works Agency
Gathering Evangelical support for Israel
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"Whatever happened to California Republicans"?
In California you have the proof of concept that illegal immigration on a massive scale will turn this country blue. You can also see on display the intended consequences; higher and higher taxes to provide the "free stuff" to incentivize voters to vote for Democrats. Increasing crime and violence. The middle class and people with small businesses have been escaping from California for years now to Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Washington toget away from crushing taxes and crazy regulations. Many more middle class Californians are stuck with expensive homes that are impossible to sell for what they owe on them. Without massive subsidies from the federal government California wouldnot be able to provide all the "free stuff" to keep the Democrat voters happy. The California legislature is wholly owned by the Democrats and most of the discussions about voting and policy in the cloakroom are in Spanish. California is a look at the future of America.
Re: Berkeley Protest Rules
The article shows a flyer for the protest entitled "There's More Than One Kind of Pig".
Indeed there is. There's the kind of pig that says that the lives and actions of people with a particular skin color should be excused regardless of what they do. Then there's the kind of pig that will disregard the truth when it conflicts with their agenda. But even a pig can swerve into the truth (from the flyer):
If you don’t act like a pig, you won’t be treated like one.
I guess it all depends on your definition of 'pig'.
"Hinderaker: I don’t know what the Agency did to get on the wrong side of Dianne Feinstein, but the report is, seemingly, an act of revenge. I suspect that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed himself would render a more sympathetic account of the CIA’s interrogation program than we got from Senate Democrats."
The CIA was reading Feinstein's emails and monitoring her telephone calls. They did this to other Senators as well. Feinstein protested when she found out. I think the release of the report is very possibly motivated- at least in part- by revenge. BTW, was Feinstein one of the Senators who blamed that anti-Muslim video for Benghazi?
Re: is cotton racist
The woman who wrote that column (Salon... I should have known) seems to fall into the axiom from the Berkeley protest flyer: "If you don't act like a pig, you won't be treated like one."
Karma is a bitch, isn't it?
I have been told by a close relative who lives in Silicon Valley that all of the immigrants (and we are talking people with degrees and high-paying jobs) read the newspapers and believe every word of what's in them without questioning motives or agenda. Take a peek at what the papers in San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles are saying, and this is what immigrants are learning. They are being indoctrinated into liberal thinking and have no other alternative point of view.
The survival kit item looks odd. Will the G pay the banks a storage fee for the kits? Could they go to the government surplus sales at DOD and buy them, and of course, cui bono.
Suspect the Bosnian is SOL, ever Clinton bombed them (and bravely dodged sniper fire), the party that cares, doesn't.
Santa's a pervert? Ok, preying on insecurities does sell books, magazines, web clicks etc.
You as I say, not as I do in the warming community, inconceivable!
re BERKELEY PROTEST RULES: Let Blacks Beat Non-Blacks, Don’t Photograph Rioting Blacks
I have long thought the sentiment to be true, I was very surprised to see it put in writing.
It is all to the good. People need to see the Left for who they are.
Convention Against Torture: For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity...
Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
Signed by President Reagan, 18 April 1988
Ratified by the U.S. Senate, 21 October 1994
Not very well written, that Convention. "Severe" being so broadly open to interpretation. As, for one example, if water boarding is torture then we do such to hundreds of our military personnel each year who are none the worse after the experience.
I am totally opposed to torture but I think that waterboarding was not torture. I know some on TV have equated the waterboarding that the Japanese used with waterboarding that the CIA used but they would have to either be liars or uninformed to say that. The Japanese waterboarding was used as a method of execution not as the waterboarding that we used which was to demoralize the terrorists so that they would tell us what they knew. There were, I believe, some things that the CIA did other then the three waterboardings that were unacceptable and I don't think that should happen. I have always been opposed to Gitmo and I believe the correct action would have been to simply make sure all terrorists died on the battlefield rather then take prisoners.
XRay: Not very well written, that Convention. "Severe" being so broadly open to interpretation.
It's standard legal language, and found in many places in the legal code.
XRay: As, for one example, if water boarding is torture then we do such to hundreds of our military personnel each year who are none the worse after the experience.
It doesn't meet the definition. It's voluntary, and of limited duration. Compare to someone who is chained to a wall in a cold room with little food, in standing water, who is then threatened with death, then waterboarded repeatedly. Captives of ISIS were glad when they saw their companions come back bloodied, because it meant they weren't waterboarded.
GoneWithTheWind: The Japanese waterboarding was used as a method of execution not as the waterboarding that we used which was to demoralize the terrorists so that they would tell us what they knew.
That is incorrect. The Japanese used waterboarding for extracting information, and to demoralize the POW's. Many were convicted of war crimes for these acts after WWII.,
In any case, the U.S. made a promise to forgo torture, regardless of the circumstances. Does the word of the American people mean anything?
From a declassified army document on Japanese treatment of POWs:
" The victim's stomach is filled with water from a hose placed in the throat. A plank is then placed across the distended stomach, and Japanese, one on each end, then ' see-saw' thus forciing out the water from the stomach. Many of the victims die under this torture."
As you can see the waterboarding that was done by the japanese was not the same as what the CIA did and it was expected to cause death. Also in that report as a supplement to water boarding the Japaese would then beat their prisoners to death if they survived the water boarding. It is a simple fact that the Japanese used a true torturous method of waterboarding and killed their victims using waterboarding. Contrast that with the CIA method that is used on all special forces as training and eagerly used by reporters on TV to demonstrate the method.
I can't account for why you would choose to misrepresent what the Japanese did vis-a-vis what the CIA did unless you relish the propaganda piece that Sen Feinstein put out. What is your motive? Are you even a citizen of this country or could you be a troll from another country intent on doing us harm. Who knows what your affiliations and motives are.
GoneWithTheWind: The victim's stomach is filled with water from a hose placed in the throat...
That's the same technique the U.S. used in the Philippines. However, that was not the only method used by the Japanese. More commonly it included binding or holding down the victim on his back, placing a cloth over his mouth and nose, and pouring water onto the cloth. Nor was it the only method that was considered a war crime.
GoneWithTheWind: What is your motive?
The inescapable fact is that the U.S. tortured as a matter of policy.Waterboarding, stress positions, hot and cold exposure, beatings, are all forms of torture.
We ask again. Does the word of the American people mean anything?
My In-law's uncle was a British POW of the Japanese. He was subjected to the forced water feeding, but, in his case, the Japanese soldiers stomped or jumped feet first on his grotesquely bloated abdomen. He died from these injuries, shortly after arriving back in the UK.
Exasperated: He was subjected to the forced water feeding
Yes, and Japanese soldiers were subject to prosecution for waterboarding, as well as beatings, and murder.
Exasperated: He died from these injuries
Prisoners of the U.S. have died after torture. By the way, does the word of the American people mean anything?
Anyone watching the news during and after 9/11 will remember video inside the WTC prior to it's collapse where loud crashes were heard and the reporter asked the fireman what those noises were. The fireman grimly said that was the sound of those people on the 83 floor jumping out of windows to escape being burned to death and crashing into the lower parts of the building. You would be hard pressed to find any of that video now it has been expunged. The reality of what the 3000 victims of 9/11 went through cannot compare with waterboarding in the presence of a doctor to assure that no harm is done. My only wish is that the CIA had been doing this prior to 9/11 and was able to discover the plot in time to have prevented it.
GoneWithTheWind: The reality of what the 3000 victims of 9/11 went through cannot compare with waterboarding in the presence of a doctor to assure that no harm is done.
We didn't compare them. We asked whether the word of the Americans meant anything.
But that is a stupid question. Prove to me that anyone who promised to not torture actually tortured anyone. Prove to me that those who administered the coerced interrogation promised anything? You do understand that first waterboarding as was practiced here was not torture. And second that everyone whose sensibility was offended about the coerced interrogation didn't have to participate. I absolutely positively am against torture and would welcome a worldwide uprising to oppose torture. I would also waterboard a terrorist gladly to save lives. Noo conflict at all. Only in your mind.
GoneWithTheWind: Prove to me that those who administered the coerced interrogation promised anything?
The U.S. Government, in accordance with their constitution to negotiate and adopt treaties, signed by their elected president, ratified by two-thirds vote of their senate, making it the "supreme law of the land".
Again, does the word of the Americans mean anything?
I think you are wrong zach. I do not believe you can find me any treaty that specifically says that the CIA cannot interrogate terrorists. I think what you are referring to applies to the military and not the CIA. I think you like to conflate things when the evidence isn't on your side.
GoneWithTheWind: I do not believe you can find me any treaty that specifically says that the CIA cannot interrogate terrorists.
The Convention Against Torture applies to any public official intentionally inflicting severe pain and suffering. If your son or daughter were waterboarded, beat, hung from the ceiling, forced to stand naked in a cold room for days, malnourished, would you consider this torture? Of course you would.
Does the word of the Americans mean anything? Do they cower in fear and forget their promises?
Under the Convention, they can interrogate. They can't torture.
You are clueless about what any convention or treaty actually says. So show me the place where it specifically mentions the CIA.
But to your point they did interrogate and they did not torture.
GoneWithTheWind: So show me the place where it specifically mentions the CIA.
The CIA are agents of the U.S. government. There is no reasonable reading of the Treaty that would suggest that the treaty doesn't apply to intelligence agencies of governments.
Now you are punting. I was right you are clueless of what is in any treaty. There is no treaty signed by the U.S. that mentions the CIA.
The CIA are agents of the U.S. government.
Zach your friends/comrades muslim jihadis attacked a school in Peshawar killing over 100 people, most of them young children. But wait! There is good news. They didn't waterboard them.
"It's standard legal language, and found in many places in the legal code."
Which speaks nothing to my original point.
"Captives of ISIS were glad when they saw their companions come back bloodied, because it meant they weren't waterboarded."
Surely you're joking. First off I haven't seen news of ISIS captives coming back, at all. Second you seem to be saying waterboarding is worse than decapitation.
XRay: Which speaks nothing to my original point.
Sure it does. Legal systems have methods for dealing with broad terms, such as "severe", "reasonable", "negligent", "intentional", "excessive", and so on; e.g. "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
XRay: First off I haven't seen news of ISIS captives coming back, at all.
Many have come back.
XRay: Second you seem to be saying waterboarding is worse than decapitation.
Captives have reported the waterboarding was worse than beatings.