From Pine View Farm

April, 2009 archive

There’s No Pocrisy Like Hypocrisy 0

(Links straightened out)

Brendan makes a phone call and calls out a Republican for boasting about getting pandemic funds pulled from the stimulus package and now trying to run away from her actions.


Evil in Our Names. Again. Still. Or Something. 0

Apologists for torture are fond of invoking the “ticking time bomb”:

“What if [unnamed bad guys] had your [member of family] and you could save [him or her] by encasing said bad guy in an iron maiden? Well, huh, well, what do you say not, smart guy? So there! Nyah nyah nyah.”

(Granted, this example does give their argument a dignity and persuasiveness which it does not actually possess.l

Frank Rich in the Toimes cuts through the crap:

In other words, the ticking time bomb was not another potential Qaeda attack on America but the Bush administration’s ticking timetable for selling a war in Iraq; it wanted to pressure Congress to pass a war resolution before the 2002 midterm elections. Bybee’s memo was written the week after the then-secret (and subsequently leaked) “Downing Street memo,” in which the head of British intelligence informed Tony Blair that the Bush White House was so determined to go to war in Iraq that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” A month after Bybee’s memo, on Sept. 8, 2002, Cheney would make his infamous appearance on “Meet the Press,” hyping both Saddam’s W.M.D.s and the “number of contacts over the years” between Al Qaeda and Iraq. If only 9/11 could somehow be pinned on Iraq, the case for war would be a slamdunk.

But there were no links between 9/11 and Iraq, and the White House knew it. Torture may have been the last hope for coercing such bogus “intelligence” from detainees who would be tempted to say anything to stop the waterboarding.

Ultimately, no sophistry can render evil into good.


Bulls, Bears, and Pigs 0

A pandemic is, at this point, no more than a possibility, though the flu has already spread to Europe. The financial symptoms are already severe.

A deadly swine flu outbreak that originated in Mexico took its toll on airlines and cruise operators across the globe on Monday as traders feared a repeat of the SARS epidemic that ravaged Asia.

Mexico City’s streets were empty Sunday as an estimated 1,614 people in Mexico contracted the swine flu, killing 103 people.


“Given that the virus strain is apparently transmissible from human to human, a feature that none of earlier bird flu outbreaks displayed, there is reason for concern,” said analysts from the Swiss brokerage Sarasin.

Bloomberg reports that the financial and commodities markets are also taking a hit:

. . . the yen, dollar and Treasuries gained as the swine flu outbreak spread. Mexico’s peso fell and grain prices retreated.

Over at ASZ. Steve reminds us that the Republican Party thinks that the Centers for Disease Control is just so much pork. Follow the link for documentation and citations:

They are the ones who ridiculed the beefing up of pandemic preparedness when it was part of the Obama stimulus package. Yes, led by Karl Rove Republicans in the House and Senate went to war over pandemic preparedness measures put forth by congressman David Obey, who now seems prescient compared to these GOP bozos who have threatened our lives, once again, by making sure we are not prepared. (Wasn’t Katrina a big enough warning for them?)

I think this is perhaps because

  • pork is the only policy that Republicans understand and that
  • money expended on the public health does not make the rich richer (except possibly Big Pharma), nor the poor poorer. It is therefore pork that is unacceptable to the Party of Nope.

Disregard their words and look at their actions: Making the rich richer and the poor poorer is the core belief and practice of Republicanism. Anything that does not further that goal is unacceptable.


Evil in Our Names 0

A tortuous path.

I read this last night; I cannot come up with any commentary other than the bumper sticker I saw on Saturday: “If You’re Not Outraged, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention.”

Phillipe Sands in the Guardian–read the whole thing:

The world is watching as America attempts to come to terms with the abuse it unleashed in the aftermath of 9/11 and trying to digest the full implications of last week’s extraordinary events. With a wide-ranging Spanish criminal investigation into torture at Guantánamo threatening to embarrass the US, Barack Obama decided to declassify legal memos sent under the Bush administration in the hope the country would move on. The opposite has happened. Ever more documents set out in meticulous detail the full extent of the cruelty: who was abused by whom, how they did it and what was done. The truth has been revealed in stark detail, from the number of times waterboarding was used to the legal deliberations that led to it.


It was difficult to understand how the senior lawyers involved could have authorised torture. So I spent 18 months trekking around the US, meeting many of the officials involved. For the most part, these were ordinary, decent people. Some spoke openly and – I thought – honestly. Others plainly didn’t. The higher up the political chain I went, the greater the hubris.

Afterthought: The Booman on the apologists for evil.


Glen Miller 0

I’ve stayed in the Hotel Pennsylvania; it’s right across Seventh from Penn Station. The legend is that the girlfriend of one of Glen Miller’s musicians lived there and the musician wrote the song because he called her every night.

Aside: I much prefer Benny Goodman to Glen Miller, but my father was a big Glen Miller fan. Something to do with WWII and France, I think.


Newt: Family Salamandridae, Subfamily Pleurodelinae 0

Once again, what kind of moral creed makes a central tenet of torture?

When Van Susteren asked if waterboarding is torture, Gingrich hemmed and hawed. “I think it’s something we shouldn’t do,” he said, but he qualified his statement, adding, “Lawyers I respect a great deal say it is absolutely within the law. Other lawyers say it
absolutely is not. I mean, this is a debatable area.” When asked if waterboarding violates international law,

Moral Bankruptcy R Us, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

Via Raw Story.


If at First You Don’t Secede . . . 0

. . . apply for the dole. From Delaware Liberal:

. . . Governor Rick Perry of Texas wants his state to secede from the Union. Yet today he wants America’s help.

Have cake.

Eat it too.


Drinking Liberally 1

Tuesday, Triumph Brewing Company, Letitia and Chestnut, Philadelphia, Pa., 6 p. Easy access from everywhere in the Greater Philadelphia Co-ProsperityRidiculosity Sphere.

I won’t be there. In fact, I’m not even here. I am not here nor there.

I am someplace entirely other.


A Computer That Will Never Clog Up 0

Cooled by mineral oil:

Glorioso, a senior at North Carroll High School, is already playing games on his custom computer, which he built entirely out of spare parts he had lying around the house. The only cost he incurred was $94 for a 4.5-gallon bottle of mineral oil to fill the tank.

The oil, which circulates through the system, is a critical component, Glorioso said. The 17-year-old Westminster resident said he came up with the idea when trying to find a way to keep a computer from overheating, which happened frequently when he and his friends played PC games.


Buddy Rich 0


Greater Wingnuttery XIX 0

Click on the image for a larger view.

Tom Tomorrow

Via Noz.


Dustbiters 0

Late on dustbiter watch this weekend:

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance took over American Southern Bank, based in Kennesaw, Ga., while the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation took control of Michigan Heritage Bank, based in Farmington Hills, Mich. First Bank of Idaho, based in Ketchum, was closed by the Office of Thrift Supervision. First Bank of Beverly Hills, based in Calabasas, Calif., was closed by the California Department of Financial Institutions. The FDIC was appointed receiver of all four banks.


Twits on Twitter 0

Keep up with the latest place setting:

When checking in with (Martha–ed.) Stewart, you always pick up news of her latest endeavors: a line of home-cleaning products in development that will be formulated to be safe for kids and pets; her growing number of Twitter followers (more than 364,000 this week); and efforts to find a retailer to replace her Kmart contract for linens and tableware that expires at the end of the year.


Harry James, the Man with Two First Names 0


Do the Crime. Serve the Time. 0

Sign the petition here.


There He Goes Again 0

John Cole, talking sense:

At some point they (Republicans–ed.) are going to figure out that for most of us, we don’t care if the person has a ( R ) or (D) behind their name when they were instituting a policy of torture. That is what is so depressing (to me, at least) about the Ari Fleischer’s and the Thiessen’s of the world. They honestly seem to think this is nothing more than a partisan witch-hunt, the same old Washington gotcha poltics. It isn’t. When you torture people, you have crossed a really clear line. Innocent people are dead. Lives have been ruined. Our international reputation has been destroyed.

The reason Republicans think it’s just politics is because they no longer have any moral core; politics is all they believe in. They sold out their moral core for the politics of hate and fear.


Greater Wingnuttery XVII 0

The Klan in camo.

Via Delaware Liberal, which wonders why these self-dubbed patriots hafeel they must disguise their voices.


Stray Question 0

What kind of moral code has as its central tenet the right to torture?


Evil in Our Names 0

Evil comes in plain wrappers gowned with hypocrisy, not on chariots heralded by thunder and lightning.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
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Follow up story here:

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Spinning (like a Top, not a Flack) 0

Connecticut must be so proud.

Via Atrios.