Lunch Links

Monday, June 29th, 2009
  • I wholly endorse this idea. I’ve been taking the 20-minute post-lunch power nap for years, and it does wonders for productivity. Here’s a tip: Drink a cup of coffee (or, if you’re a caffeine fiend, a Five Hour Energy or Monster), then nap for 20-30 minutes. You’ll wake up alert, focused, and rested.
  • I’d like to hear the torture apologists explain what possible benefit we might have gained from, pardon my language, fucking crucifying an Abu Ghraib detainee (see page six). Why in the world would we not pursue charges against the people who did it? Did he provide valuable intelligence after he was dead? Are we worried that prosecuting the people who killed this detainee might make CIA interrogators reluctant to use crucifixion as an interrogation tool in the future? And wouldn’t that sort of be the point?
  • Fun with banner ads.
  • So remember how Obama and all the Very Serious People in Washington kept telling us how the stimulus bill needed to be passed post-haste, and anyone foolish enough to call for restraint, or who suggested that perhaps Congress and the public should be given more than 11 hours to review the bill in its final version before it was voted on were cast off as petty obstructionists? Here’s your pork- and corporate-welfare laden reality. When politicians tell you we don’t have time to be careful, it means they don’t want to give you the time to figure out what they’re actually doing. (Note: Link fixed. Note: No, really this time.)
  • This year’s winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog competition.
  • DHS, DoD clashing over posting National Guard troops at the border for drug interdiction. The DoD’s got this one right. But here’s a pretty typical Obama line from the article: “President Obama has signaled that he is open to the idea, asking Congress for $250 million to deploy the National Guard while also saying he was “not interested in militarizing the border.” Obama has perfected the art of making a firm declaration of principle, just before taking action that directly violates that principle.
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    57 Responses to “Lunch Links”

    1. #1 |  Mattocracy | 

      The two links about the stimulus bill link to the same agitator entry.

    2. #2 |  Marty | 

      ‘When politicians tell you we don’t have time to be careful, it means they don’t want to give you the time to figure out what they’re actually doing.’

      It’s only Monday and we already have a quote of the week winner! I’m looking forward to ordering my coffee cup from the agitator…

    3. #3 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      +10 internets for the banner ad

    4. #4 |  freedomfan | 

      [Both links in the debt stimulus item (fourth one) point to the same thing. I assume the second was supposed to be to a wrap up of just how wasteful the spending has been thus far. And, we're just getting started.]

      Regarding Obama’s statement on militarizing the border for drug interdiction, I think you nailed it. He routinely declares a high-minded principle and then pretends his policy isn’t in conflict with it. We’ve talked on this site before about how Obama has stated a goal of increasing transparency in his administration, and I can’t disagree that he has failed. But, transparent or not, it often seems very clear what he’s up to, even if it’s not what he says. He is the status quo we had better get used to.

    5. #5 |  Steve Verdon | 

      I think the pork and corporate welfare link is broken, it goes back to a Feb. 16th post.

    6. #6 |  flukebucket | 

      Man I just wish I could fall asleep that easily.

      Or is napping just putting your head on your keyboard and closing your eyes?

    7. #7 |  adam s | 

      hell yeah I crawl under my desk for 20-40 minutes and shut my eyes during the lunch hour. speaking of which. . .

    8. #8 |  j00bar | 

      Click on the period at the end of the sentence of “pork- and corporate-welfare laden reality.” to find the proper link.

    9. #9 |  Matt D | 

      Eh, to be fair, having 1,500 troops assisting the border patrol w/ intelligence gathering and logistics and such isn’t exactly militarizing the border. Militarizing the border would involve actually having the military run the border, and nobody is proposing that.

    10. #10 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

      Definitely need some freedom loving people to comment on the DHS / DOD article. The authoritarians are out in full force commentbombing it.

    11. #11 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “When politicians tell you we don’t have time to be careful, it means they don’t want to give you the time to figure out what they’re actually doing.”

      Umm. Aren’t you preaching to the choir? Is there anyone who visits this site that does not already know this?

      Please don’t answer that. I’m not sure I could handle it.

    12. #12 |  Ben | 

      Note: Link fixed.

      Nope, unless you intend to link back to Feb 16th.

    13. #13 |  Sam | 

      Re: crucifixion

      Obviously, if we don’t crucify the terrorists, the terrorists have already won…

      …or something.

    14. #14 |  Edwin Sheldon | 

      I’d like to hear the torture apologists explain what possible benefit we might have gained from, pardon my language, fucking crucifying an Abu Ghraib detainee (see page six).

      I pardon you for not using harsh enough language.

    15. #15 |  BamBam | 

      Remember the King County sheriff that beat the shit out of that girl in the holding cell for her assaulting him with a shoe?

      http://blog.oregonlive.com/nwheadlines/2009/06/todays_headlines_no_deal_for_s.html

    16. #16 |  thorn | 

      Seriously, kids… comments that do nothing but pimp your own blogs are getting a bit tiresome…

    17. #17 |  Big Texan | 

      How can you guys say that the politicians don’t have our best interests at heart. I mean here they are making the best decisions for you and all we do is complain about ‘civil liberties’ and such. If we weren’t doing something wrong we wouldn’t have needed the stimulus. I mean look at how well they have run the postal….errrrr….. what….. postal service is awash in what?

      they’re ummmm closing how many…………

      http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/troubled-us-post-service-looking-to-close-offices

    18. #18 |  Mattocracy | 

      I hope someone does a study comparing Obama apologists to Bush apologists. From what I have read and heard amongst coworkers and such, they sound almost exactly the same. It’s laughable and excruciating all at the same time.

    19. #19 |  Chance | 

      How is guarding or assisting in the guarding of national borders not within the scope of the military?

    20. #20 |  Agent Smith | 

      It’s unbelieveable that this would not be pursued for prosecution. As an appoligist, people don’t die from waterboarding. This isn’t torture it’s murder.

      “an Iraqi prisoner named Manadel al-Jamadi died on November 4, 2003, while being interrogated by the C.I.A. at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad. A forensic examiner found that he had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs. Military pathologists classified the case a homicide”

    21. #21 |  Lee | 

      Page 6? I get it all on one page.

    22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Those responsible for the interrogations and torture should at least have an internal investigation. If they’re not sure how to implement something like that, they could follow any number of examples from local police departments.

    23. #23 |  Mattocracy | 

      Now that the link has been fixed, we learn that Democrats are just as guilty of corporate welfare as Republicans? Oh, say it so!

      As a couple of comments at Reason pointed out, it’s when fear is at it’s highest that congress passes it’s worst legislation. Bush was an excellent teacher in that respect.

    24. #24 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      It is staggering to think of all the blow and hookers Congress must be getting for passing TARP.

      In Durkinland, we elect officials and then send them to an island of free hookers and drugs under the promise they make no laws. It costs only millions and is worth every cent.

      TARP = proof that Americans really are morons.

    25. #25 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      From New Yorker “I don’t think I should penalize people who were doing their duty.”

      Which completely explains why we’ve participated at every opportunity in finding and turning over German WWII concentration camp guards. No, wait, no it doesn’t.

      I guess it is OK as long as we define “duty” as “whatever the fuck they did”. Yay, America!

    26. #26 |  freedomfan | 

      As a couple of comments at Reason pointed out, it’s when fear is at it’s highest that congress passes it’s worst legislation. Bush was an excellent teacher in that respect.

      And Bush himself is hardly a trailblazer in that regard, as that lesson was taught by presidents who came before him. It’s hard to think of any president (of either party) in modern times who didn’t use public agitation about some natural disaster or financial emergency or national security concern or whatever to pass bad legislation and expand government power. Many provisions of FDR’s New Deal were passed as emergency measures. Even Ike’s Interstate Highway System was sold, in part, to enable cross-country military transport during the cold war. One could go on and on.

      The surprise isn’t that Obama is exploiting fear as he has. The surprise is that there were people (many of whom considered themselves sophisticated political observers) who actually believed that Obama would do business any differently.

    27. #27 |  Dave Krueger | 

      The drug war just keeps getting more surreal. The news stories keep sounding like the news of the war between Oceania and Eurasia. After a while it becomes a constant monotonic droning in your ear as you start to realize the war doesn’t exist to accomplish a finite goal of any kind, but rather because the government needs it to go on perpetually.

      In fact, the drug war is as much of an addiction as the drugs are. Reading about it is like reading about some dysfunctional local teenager who seems bent on self destruction, who won’t stop until it kills him. It’s becoming a pattern of how government pursues everything. Out-of-control spending is another example of the same pathological vortex that government can’t escape, and therefore, pretends doesn’t exist.

      Watching it happen fills you with the same kind of sadness and impotence you feel when you see someone dying of cancer.

    28. #28 |  Chris in AL | 

      @27

      Well said Dave

    29. #29 |  Oatwhore | 

      Here’s a tip: Drink a cup of coffee (or, if you’re a caffeine fiend, a Five Hour Energy or Monster), then nap for 20-30 minutes. You’ll wake up alert, focused, and rested.

      No. I won’t.

      It doesn’t work for everyone. Count yourself lucky.

    30. #30 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

      “A forensic examiner found that he had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs”

      Here I thought we were only going back to the Spanish Inquisition for tips on “enhanced interrogation” techniques. Turns out we’ve also been influenced by the Roman Empire. Kind of appropriate, I suppose. Beautiful, just beautiful.

    31. #31 |  ZappaCrappa | 

      Crucifixion – I’m really glad that we (as in the U.S.) have proclaimed ourselves from the beginning, the higher moral authority here.

      I’m ashamed to be a USMC war vet. I disown the U.S. at this point (at least my government). Not my country anymore…I just live here.

      I have flown an american flag in front of my house for close to 20 years….I removed it several months ago. It will remain in a wadded up ball in the corner of my garage collecting spider webs and dust until I move or I decide throw it unceremoniously away…or until we actually get a government that actually believes in the constitution…I won’t hold my breath.

    32. #32 |  ZappaCrappa | 

      My new pledge:

      I pledge allegiance to my family
      who happens to live in the United States of America.
      And not to the morally bankrupt repuplic for which it stands.
      One Nation, that ignores it’s own constitution,
      with limited liberty, and justice for the rich or well connected…sometimes.

    33. #33 |  Dave Krueger | 

      I suspect the reason why they don’t want to prosecute anyone for torture is because of the huge can of worms it would open. Anyone charged with torture is certain to start talking about embarrassing details that are not public. It could snowball if more senior people are implicated and they, in turn, start talking.

      Obama is learning the rules of the game in his new job. And, relative to important stories like little Caylee Anthony, gay marriage, and Michael Jackson’s death, torture is pretty small potatoes for the mainstream media.

    34. #34 |  Frank | 

      #15 “Seriously, kids… comments that do nothing but pimp your own blogs are getting a bit tiresome…”

      It’s called a trackback. Look it up, Moran.

    35. #35 |  JS | 

      Zappa #31 and 32-good posts! I totally agree.

    36. #36 |  Andrew Williams | 

      I fucking don’t have any fucking problem with your fucking language in re the fucking Abu Ghraib crucifixtion. If anything, I fucking agree with Edwin Sheldon that you fucking well could have used harsher fucking language to describe what those fucking fucks did @ Abu Ghraib. To fucking paraquote fucking John McFuckingCain, we do NOT FUCKING TORTURE. Except when we do.

    37. #37 |  Nick T. | 

      “Obama has perfected the art of making a firm declaration of principle, just before taking action that directly violates that principle.”

      I read you every day, Radley. Truest thing you ever wrote.

    38. #38 |  Contracts | 

      re: Crucifixion
      Reading the article, my guess is that the prisoner was chained with his hands above his head, as many/most prisoners at Bagram and Abu Ghraib were (see “Taxi to the Dark Side” for an example). In other words, he wasn’t intentionally “crucified;” he was being restrained in the standard fashion for these facilities.

      Which, of course, makes it all the more horrific.

    39. #39 |  Hamburglar007 | 

      It makes you wonder what other torture pictures are around that the government conveniently decided to suppress. It also makes you wonder what the public reaction would be back in 2004 if we had known about this.

    40. #40 |  Dave Krueger | 

      When I looked up “thought police” on Wikipedia today, I came across a link to a recently aired 60 Minutes story about reading minds. If you watch it to the end, it will change your perspective on what technology will soon be able to do to mine data from your brain.

      Obviously, this has huge potential for law enforcement use (and abuse), but it also makes possible the option to interrogate terrorist suspects without the use of torture techniques. In effect, the “ticking time bomb” justification for torture could be made obsolete.

      Of course, that doesn’t bear on whether we should prosecute people of used torture during the Bush/Cheney years, but it suggests that torture may be made obsolete, in our lifetime, by technology (at least among us civilized nations — haha!).

    41. #41 |  Phelps | 

      First of all, I’m not going to apologize for murder. Prosecute it fully.

      You, on the other hand, have been bamboozled. You’ve let emotion cloud your judgment, and got suckered by weasel words.

      “essentially been crucified” != “been crucified”

      “been crucified” = “been crucified”

      “essentially been crucified” = “hasn’t been crucified”

      If there’s a crime, prosecute it. The fact that they had to resort to misleading, inflammatory language suggests that there is much, much more to the story.

      BTW, by linking to this story, you essentially lied to us all (meaning that you didn’t actually lie, of course.)

    42. #42 |  JohnJ | 

      The New Yorker routinely fabricates stuff. You can’t rely on it for news. Do you really think that the New Yorker is willing to publish a detainee being crucified but the NY Times isn’t interested? You’ve been duped.

    43. #43 |  DaveG | 

      Caffeine fiends, I feel for you. Coffee is tasty and warm and picks you up but caffeine is a jonzer drug. I really dislike the anxiety that seems to come on later.
      Adderall is way smoother, and a little goes a long way, it’s a much cleaner buzz, 10 mg should be all you need. I’m sure it’s way over prescribed and abused these days, but as a responsible adult it sure is nice to have pharmaceutical speed on the shelf. Legal speed would put an end to the Meth hysteria and we could treat drug abuse as a medical issue.

    44. #44 |  Michael Chaney | 

      Re: #15 – why isn’t that officer’s “friend” also being prosecuted?

    45. #45 |  Chance | 

      I was actually asking, but all I got was neg karma. I would think that border defense should be a core function of any military. Is your opposition to this particular proposal, or the idea of the military on the border in general?

    46. #46 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #19 Chance

      How is guarding or assisting in the guarding of national borders not within the scope of the military?

      IMHO, the military is supposed to be used to protect the integrity of the borders from national security threats, not drug interdiction. No one who opposes the drug war (which includes most libertarians) is going to be thrilled at the prospect of anything that makes that militarizes the drug war.

    47. #47 |  Noumenon | 

      Quibble: crucifixion involves a cross. I bought the idea that “arms over head until asphyxiated” = crucifixion, until I checked Wikipedia and found that the common Christian meme that crucifixion kills through asphyxiation is wrong.

      The guy who said “What, the NYT wouldn’t report this?” There are lots of hits for Mr. al-Jamadi’s name at the NYT, but all the accusations are that he was beaten by Navy SEALS. Time Magazine did report the asphyxiation story when the autopsy came out in 2005. So I’d say that checks out. Even the asphyxiation came more from the sandbag over his head than the crucifixion though.

    48. #48 |  Chance | 

      Thanks Dave.

    49. #49 |  JohnJ | 

      Here’s the problem. The guys death was ruled a murder. He was in custody. But that does not mean that the injuries which caused his death occurred while he was in custody. It’s entirely possible that he was tortured by other-than-US forces, then picked up by US forces, and then died from his injuries. Personally, I think that’s more likely and some journalists are using the circumstances to smear US forces than that US forces actually tortured the guy to death.

      Just to be clear, I think we totally agree that the US should not be torturing people. I just need more evidence than this before condemning US forces for acting outside US policy.

    50. #50 |  Noumenon | 

      The Navy Seals contended that they turned the guy over to the CIA in OK condition — “He walked in the door.”

    51. #51 |  JohnJ | 

      Let me tell you what this is not: this is not a complete description of what happened to the guy. Extrapolating from the few sentences about this guy, none of which are are objective attempts to be completely accurate, is an exercise in futility. This article was not intended to be, nor is it, an authoritative account of what happened. It should not be treated as such.

    52. #52 |  Noumenon | 

      I didn’t say we knew everything about his story. I said that the one specific possibility you advanced — that he got beaten somewhere else and died later — is unlikely in view of statements by the Navy Seals. Statements I found in other articles about the case by the New York Times, not in this one paragraph.

      The article might not be authoritative, but it’s probably closer to the truth than your unfounded speculation about what else might have happened.

    53. #53 |  The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Independence 1776. Independence 201x? | 

      [...] Since 2005, the United States Government has engaged in domestic wiretapping programs without judicial oversight, proving that the United States Government can listen in on your phone calls at the discretion of any civil-service bureaucrat who deems it necessary. It has created a terrorist watch-list of over 1,000,000 names, without any clear discussion of who is on that list, why, or how to have your name removed. If you’re on that list, you can expect to be hassled endlessly if you choose to engage in mundane civil activities such as air travel. During that time, it was learned that the United States Government has been engaged in “enhanced interrogation techniques” that — whether they’re technically defined torture or not — curl your hair to think about. Waterboarding is one that likely doesn’t sound as bad as it feels, but I defy anyone to support a government who engages in crucifixion. [...]

    54. #54 |  Independence 1776. Independence 201x? - Grasscity.com Forums | 

      [...] likely doesn

    55. #55 |  Hiding in Plain Site | 

      John, you stated that:
      “Here’s the problem. The guys death was ruled a murder. He was in custody. But that does not mean that the injuries which caused his death occurred while he was in custody. It’s entirely possible that he was tortured by other-than-US forces, then picked up by US forces, and then died from his injuries. Personally, I think that’s more likely and some journalists are using the circumstances to smear US forces than that US forces actually tortured the guy to death.”

      Have you ever had a broken rib? If so, did you find it difficult to breathe normally? I have, and I did. Trust me, it would be bloody apparent to anyone, if that man had walked to the US forces, that he already had some physical impairment !

      While I’m here, thanks a bunch for this website. I think that, having been here, and reading the article from the NewYorker.. that there is now another person/organization responsible for the arson set fire of our home; in which, my husband and myself were supposed to die. You see, some have speculated it might have been a case of mistaken identity, that the arsonist might have thought we were actually the people who lived nearby, who might have been party to a dirty drug deal.
      On reflection, having read this, maybe, just maybe, it had a whole lot more to do with some of the stuff we had on our computers.. the pictures, the proof that 9/11 was not done by terrorists, without the assistance of the US government. That, along with some of the ‘sensitive’ subjects my husband has worked on, would make a whole lot more sense, knowing what we know about that fire.

    56. #56 |  Still Hiding | 

      Re: #38 & 47

      Please check the following urls, then see if your statements still hold. Please also be aware that not always, was a crossbeam used. Many of the early ‘Christians’ were crucified along roads, on simple beams planted into the ground, or balanced. They too, died of asphyxiation, although some took several days to do so.

      http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Crucifixtion
      crucifixion
      Method of capital punishment among the Persians, Seleucids, Jews, Carthaginians, and Romans from about the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. The condemned man was usually whipped and forced to drag the crossbeam to where the upright was standing. His hands were tied or nailed to the crossbeam, which was attached to the upright 9–12 ft (2.5–3.5 m) above the ground, and his feet bound or nailed to the upright. Death was by heart failure or asphyxiation. Political or religious agitators and those without civil rights were crucified. Its overwhelming association today is with Jesus. Crucifixion was abolished by Constantine I in AD 337 after his conversion to Christianity.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion
      Crucifixion is an ancient method of painful execution in which the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross (of various shapes) and left to hang until dead. The term comes from the Latin crucifixio, fixed to a cross, from prefix cruci-, cross, + verb ficere, fix or do.[1]

      For a Doctor’s point of view see:
      http://www.konnections.com/Kcundick/crucifix.html

      #39 Hamburglar007 to answer, in part, your question:

      My husband and I had many articles and pictures of far more than what can be found now. Things we collected from the time before 9/11, from before we went into Iraq, and onward. The 2 hottest areas of the burning of our home were the bedroom, and the computer room.. gee, I wonder why?

      Why, when they mentioned 3 people who died while being *ahem* interrogated, not include the victim who was found in a box of ice, to make it appear he died at a different time than when he truly did? Also, where is John Walker, a US citizen who was tortured while on board a US Navy ship not mentioned at all anymore? Some of you may remember him as the guy shown in a wooden box, wearing only a loincloth and rag over his eyes, otherwise naked and mistreated during the entire voyage.

      I think Obama’s primary draw was that he was relatively new to DC, therefore possibly not involved with much of what Bush and Cheney were. Yet, when he won, he was quickly apprised of what he could and could not do. He’s also still better than Mc(killer)Cain would have been. For those who don’t know anyone who was in the Navy when the ship he was on burned, killing many seamen on the flight line of the carrier. I was, and I had friends on that ship. McCain started his airplane “hot”, which meant there was fuel coming from his plane, which ignited the plane following him off the ship. He was also offered his freedom within months of being ‘captured’ in Vietnam… he turned it down.
      Please understand that ‘we the people’ do NOT put the person we want, into the White House, the House of Representatives (gag) do. Politics will remain the same as always until enough people get smart enough to see the truth, and angry enough to do something to change it.. if they live to do so.

      BTW, IMHO, any use of drugs that does not harm anyone, other than the user, is not a crime.

    57. #57 |  Kevin | 

      Here is a great article on fatigue and caffeine:

      http://www.motorcycletourer.com/Safety/Fatigue.pdf

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