The Torture Question tonight on PBS by far, television's most in-depth look at how the controversial interrogation policy evolved after a major power struggle within the Bush administration.
(via Rocky Mountain News)
The problem, of course, is that it's often the things we'd rather not think about that we most need to hear, especially when those things are actions taken in all of our names with an eye toward making us safer. Ellen Gray
Watch a preview here
Oveta Culp Hobby and the Women's Army Corps.
Early in 1941 Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers
of Massachusetts (the first woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives) met with General George C. Marshall
, the Army's Chief of Staff, and informed him that she intended to introduce a bill to establish an Army women's corps, separate and distinct from the existing Army Nurse Corps
. Rogers remembered the female civilians who had worked overseas with the Army under contract and as volunteers during World War I: serving without benefit of official status, they had to obtain their own food and quarters, and they received no legal protection or medical care. Upon their return home they were not entitled to the disability benefits or pensions available to U.S. military veterans. Rogers was determined that if women were to serve again with the Army in a wartime theater they would receive the same legal protection and benefits as their male counterparts. After a long and acrimonious debate, the following year the bill was finally approved by Congress and signed into law by FDR. Oveta Culp Hobby
, chairman of the board of the Houston Post, was appointed as Director
of the WAAC
Are the counter protests today
pro-war or something else? Photos coming into the news wires show a mixture of devout Bush loyalty
, people erecting giant Ten Commandments and traitor paranoia
... and not to forget.. supporting the troops
So is this just a misfire of people who simply hate protestors or do they believe in something besides waving the flag
I didn't know there were POW camps in the US
during World War II, let alone so many of them. The list of camps
is extensive, but not on any list I've seen so far is the former Wright Field
(currently Wright-Patterson Air Force Base). The base is preserving the walls of the former mess hall where German POWs
left a cool set of freaky demonic murals
filled with old germanic folklore. The story behind them
is a interesting read.
$11.5 Trillion Lost In Bermuda Triangle
In case you've ever wondered just how much money the mega rich keep nice and tax free in off shore shelters, it's $11.5 trillion.
Princeton Students and Polticians Stage Filibuster --
Princeton students started a filibuster at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University
to protest the impending unloading of the "nuclear option
" in the United States Senate.
Bill Frist is a Princeton alum and his family donated the building the filibuster is in front of.
It's been going on for a whopping 78 hours already and looks to at least go through the weekend. Congressman Rush Holt
(D-NJ) spoke earlier today, and NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora
was there yesterday. They've even got physicists (one
) and a Nobel Prize winner
I ran into this article
on the The Progressive
website. Upon reading it, I said, "Who is this guy and why haven't I heard of him?" You Vermonters know him. He's your congressman, Bernie Sanders
. Does anyone else (besides the Vermonters, of course) think this guy's got the right ideas?
While the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions, the internal government memos collected in this publication demonstrate that the path to the purgatory that is Guantanamo Bay, or Abu Ghraib, has been paved with decidedly bad intentions. The policies that resulted in rampant abuse of detainees first in Afghanistan, then at Guantanamo Bay, and later in Iraq, were product of three pernicious purposes designed to facilitate the unilateral and unfettered detention, interrogation, abuse, judgment, and punishment of prisoners: (1) the desire to place the detainees beyond the reach of any court or law; (2) the desire to abrogate the Geneva Convention with respect to the treatment of persons seized in the context of armed hostilities; and (3) the desire to absolve those implementing the policies of any liability for war crimes under U.S. and international law.
Regarding the Torture Papers
, which detail Torture's Paper Trail
, and, then there's Hungry for Air
: Learning The Language Of Torture, and, of course, there's ( more inside)
Governors Work to Improve H.S. Education
The nation's governors offered an alarming account of the American high school Saturday, saying only drastic change will keep millions of students from falling short.
"We can't keep explaining to our nation's parents or business leaders or college faculties why these kids can't do the work," said Virginia Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, as the state leaders convened for the first National Education Summit aimed at rallying governors around high school reform.
"The Bush administration intervened to argue that their claims should be dismissed"
I seriously can't believe it. This is Brechtian
. Something has to be missing. This can't be my government.
Some sites have gone black today in protest of black box voting and/or four more years of Bush. But, actually, I haven't seen many. Are people tired of fighting or is this just a poorly-organized effort no one knows about?
Kid Rock To Play Bush Inauguration ...
The Bush Twins have invited Kid Rock
to play their inauguration bash after their father is sworn in to a second term. Rock also played the Republican National Convention. This is a guy who stuck his head through an American flag at the Superbowl and has lyrics that say all women are whores and extol drug and alcohol abuse. (The link has actual lyrics from Rock, so if you are offended by cursing don't follow it.)
A call for Christian lawyers
who have worked for the ACLU
. The ACLU tries to be balanced
, but considering the amount of effort they have put forth to inhibit Christian influence from/to the government, should a Christian lawyer work for them?
LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush
Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
Imminent job openings at CNN...
Open the link and right click the picture of Bush and wife, click "Save Picture/Image" and look at the filename!
In the words of a certain Denis Leary, "He's an asshole, asshole, asshole-e-o-oe-oh".
I suggest someone mirrors this ASAP!
Over 125 voter guides,
sorted by city and written collaboratively by Indyvoter's network of members
are now on-line. This is social software with a purpose - members of the network form voting blocs to swing close elections, from city council members up to the national level.
Endorsement: Kerry for President
Ok. The NY Times endorsed Kerry. And now the Washington Post. But now the Orlando-Sentinel, a paper that has not endorsed a Demcorat in the past 40 years!
"Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound.
This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush.
Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president...."
American teens have spoken, and they want George W. Bush for president. Nearly 1.4 million teens voted in the nation's largest mock election
, and the Republican incumbent wound up with 393 electoral votes and 55 percent of the total votes cast.
Confirming the Obvious: "A Knight Ridder review of the administration's Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country... The Bush administration's failure to plan to win the peace in Iraq was the product of many of the same problems that plagued the administration's case for war, including wishful thinking, bad information from Iraqi exiles who said Iraqis would welcome American troops as liberators and contempt for dissenting opinions."
Just in case anyone you know is still pretending this administration had the slightest idea what it was doing after "Mission Accomplished."
U.S. refuses to join U.N. plan for women
From AP via Yahoo: UNITED NATIONS - The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman's right to education, health care, and choice about having children.
President Bush's administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to "sexual rights."
More than rhetoric...
As the campaign gets more divisive and time grows short incidents of violence are breaking out more and more often. Shots have been fired
on more than one occasion
, swastikas burned
and just plain kicking
. Hopefully it gets better from here, but somehow I don't think so.
By Thai cartoonist Stephane Peray.
Bush and Kerry Hit Road, Trade Blows on Jobs
I can only guess that someone at Reuters has a sense of humor.
Bush's latest accomplishment
may not be one that he's willing to brag about. The Census Bureau
is reporting that an additional 1.3 million Americans are now living in poverty. They also offer a number of pretty graphs
(all in pdf
very fitting quicktime piece (9 meg, NSFW
--offensive language/attitude) concerning the upcoming Republican Convention. Links to RNC Not Welcome, and Counterconvention, but i don't think it's something they created. And a torrent here.
Mail Room Veterans for Bush
Not exactly your Swift Boat Veterans, but staunch defenders of all things holy and honorable and patriotic just the same. Submitted for your Friday fun.
Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer. President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.
The jounalist's name was Mamta Popat. She sure sounds
like a terrorist.
In His Own Words
-- just in time for
Quicktime Friday, Bush's own words, from 2003's State of the Union
matched with more appropriate and now-historic imagery than a man standing behind a teleprompter and podium. (Warning: some graphic stuff inside.) Realplayer version available here. and perhaps because not everything deserves the lighthearted jibjab treatment.
This Land is Your Land
(with apologies to Woody Guthrie). Belated non-partisan Friday Flash Fun. (Saturday Sarcastic Silliness?)
The Green Party rejects Ralph Nader.
On the second ballot at the Green Party nominating convention
held today in Milwaukee, WI, David Cobb defeated Peter Camajo (Nader's running mate) for the Green Party nomination, thereby denying Nader automatic placement onto the ballot in 23 states.
IRC nominates one of their own
to be interim P.M. U.S. supports this even though only one-tenth of one percent of Iraqis believe they should be making this choice, according to CPA poll.
In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq
Bringing democracy to the area...Ladies: do we have some surprises in store for you. Is Iran to be the model? "The United States signaled its readiness to put up with an Islamic theocracy in future sovereign Iraq, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying the US administration "will have to accept" any government created as a result of free and fair elections there. ..."
More Prison abuse.
Inmates were raped, starved and beaten
. Some beaten to death
, forced to perform oral sex on other prisioners
... The list goes on and on. But this didn't happen in Iraq; it happens in America every day. How un-American, indeed.
The Great American Feud. Hatfield - McCoy timeline
and photo gallery
. 2003 VA news report on a truce
between descendants of both families. Also, Congress has appropriated nearly $500,000 to improve feud sites for tourism
. You can even help one of the families win a Reunion Marathon
Staking out the high moral ground, a bill would punish those wearing low-riding jeans.
It seems that Representative Derrick D. T. Shepherd
of Louisiana, a Democrat no less, wants to outlaw low slung pants. Plumbers beware, and stock up on Butt-Crack Caulk
! Really, don't they have anything better to legislate besides fashion or holidays
President on vacation
while Iraq burns
got you down? Feeling loyal to the party, ideas, or repulsed by the Dems? Agonizing over voting Bush to stay true? Sign the petition
, Maybe you won't have to. And Dems, if you can promise to be open minded in November you can sign as well. via Blogging of the President
John Ashcroft's Patriot Games.
An interesting article from last month's Vanity Fair on Ashcroft and his revolution inside the Justice Department. Now the Justice Department wants to wage a war on porn
, and "are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains." [Via Boing Boing and Instapundit.]
Its a vast left wing conspiracy!
It seems that the RNC (Republican national committee) is seeing conspiracy everywhere. There are lots of stand alone groups
that have been trying to get rid of this administration before Kerry showed up on the scene, and now that there is a target they want to hang everything on him. Its almost like flattery.
Of course it reminds me of when SCO claimed IBM was orchestrating all the bad press about them.
Black ships and samurai
In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
Props to the 1st amendment
This election year, the impact of grassroots organizing on the internet
is pricking up some ears in Washington. Here's something to add to the chorus.
SCOTUS rules for seperation of church and state for once.
The court's 7-2 ruling held that the state of Washington was within its rights to deny a taxpayer-funded scholarship to a college student who was studying to be a minister. That holding applies even when money is available to students studying anything else.
"Training someone to lead a congregation is an essentially religious endeavor," Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the court majority. "Indeed, majoring in devotional theology is akin to a religious calling as well as an academic pursuit."
An American in Mongolia. A new breed of American soldier—call him the soldier-diplomat—has come into being since the end of the Cold War. Meet the colonel who was our man in Mongolia, an officer who probably wielded more local influence than many Mongol rulers of yore.
Salon has an interesting two part series on the tensions between antiwar protesters and law enforcement. Part 1: "Outlawing dissent:
Spying on peace meetings, cracking down on protesters, keeping secret files on innocent people -- how Bush's war on terror has become a war on freedom." Part 2: "A thousand J. Edgar Hoovers:
State and local police are taking it upon themselves to investigate antiwar activists -- and in the computer age, the threat to our civil liberties is even greater than it was in Hoover's day." Does Protester = Criminal?
"fleet owners of a tanker companies" = the new evil doers?
what kind of questions do yesterday's discovery of ricin in the capitol
, and the january 9th article ask about our "war on terror"? [ initial link via TPM ]