"Legalizing the Jose Padilla treatment"

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: The legalization of torture and permanent detention:
There really is no other way to put it. Issues of torture to the side (a grotesque qualification, I know), we are legalizing tyranny in the United States. Period. Primary responsibility for this fact lies with the authoritarian Bush administration and its sickeningly submissive loyalists in Congress. That is true enough. But there is no point in trying to obscure the fact that it's happening with the cowardly collusion of the Senate Democratic leadership, which quite likely could have stopped this travesty via filibuster if it chose to (it certainly could have tried).

Making progress in Iraq.

Iraqi Journalists Add Laws to List of Dangers - New York Times:
Under a broad new set of laws criminalizing speech that ridicules the government or its officials, some resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein’s penal code, roughly a dozen Iraqi journalists have been charged with offending public officials in the past year.

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Happy birthday, Lynn!

And just one candle. Ain't it amazing what you can do with math?

OK, so sue me.

(Ooops, this is the internet. The "sue me" thing is a joke.)

I don't know how that last post - "Lessons" - got on the blog three times, except it was all Blogger's fault. I just hadn't recovered fully enough from my traveling to catch it. So sue Blogger, then.

Busy day, the kind of busy that happens when you're busy doing not much of anything but having fun at it. Some pictures, a few of which will no doubt appear in time. Lynn's birthday! Graeter's ice cream! No Cincinnati chili yet, but we'll work on that.



There are a finite number of positions one can sit in, especially in a narrow bus seat. After 12 or 14 hours the best strategy is to pick the one that hurts least and stay with it as long as possible.

Those little booster things that claim to extend iPod shuffle battery life with AAA batteries do. And very well.

A bus is not an ideal place for listening to books. Best bet - pick a book with a straight-line narrative. I am reorganizing my plan for the return trip to begin with a book I've already read, albeit many years ago - Robert Penn Warren's "All the King's Men."

Once you get past central Pennsylvania the land begins to flatten and by the time you get to Ohio the sky goes from one edge of the world to the other, as opposed to New England, where the sky is just a large chunk of blue, or New York City, where the sky is just what's straight up. On the flatter land, everything spreads out.
this is an audio post - click to play


this is an audio post - click to play

There's no place like

Homes Post Price Drop for August - New York Times:
Home prices fell in August compared with a year earlier, the first such decline in more than a decade.
It's houses, not homes, NYT, no matter what your realtor may say. It's house prices that fell. Home prices are another thing entirely.

Without irony...

USATODAY.com - Liquids not as risky as first feared:
"The total ban is no longer needed from a security point of view," Hawley said. "It doesn't make sense to have our (screeners) fishing out lip gloss and mascara."
...TSA chief Kip (Kip!) Hawley tells USA Today terrorist lipstick is not as scary as we thought it was. Well, OK, as we were supposed to think it was.
Testing by the FBI and at government labs showed that small containers of liquids "don't pose a real threat," Hawley said.
And never did. So it's not that the ban is "no longer" needed - it was never needed.

Raise your hand if you didn't know that already.

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Too opinionated for what?

The Raw Story | ABC yankss, replaces story in which Republican says Clinton impeachment linked to Nixon's fall, citing editorializing:
ABC News in Chicago has yanked and replaced a story in which retiring Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) indicated that the attempt to impeach President Clinton came in retaliation for the move to impeach President Nixon because they felt the story was too opinionated, RAW STORY has learned.
Or whom?

Terrorist teddy bear blamed for New Hampshire carnage.

AP Wire | 09/25/2006 | Killer teddy bear leaves 2,500 fish dead:
The deaths prompted Fawcett to release a written warning: "RELEASE OF ANY TEDDY BEARS into the fish hatchery water IS NOT PERMITTED."

Hot on the trail.

FBI Is Casting A Wider Net in Anthrax Attacks - washingtonpost.com:
"I'm not telling you that right now the bureau is focused on someone or not focused on someone," Chertoff said. "There are in my experience a lot of instances where we might know or have a good reason to believe who committed a criminal act, but we may not be able to prove it. So when you say something is not solved, you should not assume from the fact that there is no criminal prosecution we don't have a good idea of what we think happened."
That "someone" he's talking about is the now nearly-forgotten anthrax guy, remember him? The one who killed (or so it's believed) five people five years ago by sending anthrax through the mail?
The [FBI] has assigned fresh leadership to the case -- Special Agent Ed Montooth -- and retains a full-time investigative force of 17 agents and 10 postal inspectors. "There is confidence the case will be solved," said Joseph Persichini Jr., acting assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office.
Exactly. J. Edgar Hoover used the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list to hype the reputation of the bureau by, once the capture of an especially notorious criminal was imminent, putting the guy on the top of the list before the arrest was made. Think that's what might be going on here?

If they're going to get any mileage out of nailing the guy they'll first have to remind people who he is.

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Memo to Senate.

The Raw Story | Generals to blast 'incompetent' Rumsfeld before Senate hearing:
"Donald Rumsfeld is not a competent wartime leader. He knows everything, except 'how to win.’ He surrounds himself with like-minded and compliant subordinates who do not grasp the importance of the principles of war, the complexities of Iraq, or the human dimension of warfare. Secretary Rumsfeld ignored 12 years of U.S. Central Command deliberate planning and strategy, dismissed honest dissent, and browbeat subordinates to build 'his plan,' which did not address the hard work to crush the insurgency, secure a post-Saddam Iraq, build the peace, and set Iraq up for self-reliance."
Now that you ask.

Pentagon running short of hay.

Army Warns Rumsfeld It's Billions Short | Chicago Tribune
"It's kind of like the old rancher saying: 'I'm going to size the herd to the amount of hay that I have,' " said Lt. Gen. Jerry L. Sinn, the Army's top budget official. "[Schoomaker] can't size the herd to the size of the amount of hay that he has because he's got to maintain the herd to meet the current operating environment."
Needs billions! More! Surprise!

Considering this guy's flair for the language, maybe coma is what he meant.

Battle Breaks Out in Media Over Bleak NIE Iraq Assessment
... I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is -- my point is, there’s a strong will for democracy.
Either way, I'm sure the widows of war will find it a comfort. Speaking of which...

Independent Online Edition > Media:
The editor of Glamour magazine has apologised after a reporter issued an appeal for "photogenic" modern war widows.

Does your cat sneeze?

ITV News - Sneeze-free cats go on sale:
US biotech firm Allerca said it has managed to selectively breed them by reducing a certain type of protein that triggers allergic reactions.

Gold mine.

The Associated Press:
He said that most liquids and gels that air travelers purchase in secure areas of airports will now be allowed on planes. He called the new procedures a "common sense" approach that would maintain a high level of security at airports but ease conditions for passengers.
Not to mention a high level of profits.

These guys have never heard of inflation, I guess.

My Way News:
HELSINKI (Reuters) - A fee of 25,500 euros ($32,000) is way too much for a woman to charge a man for fondling her bosom, a Finnish district court ruled.
Meanwhile Google's inestimable ad service pops up a "Meet Finnish Woman" link on the page.



The Phobia List:
Walloonphobia- Fear of the Walloons.
French-speaking Belgians from Wallonia. Or, if you're not being fussy, French-speaking Belgians from anywhere at all (Anywoonphobia).

This list is so great I added it to the blogroll. Which is, of course, where all great things reside.

Time flogs "too liberal" meme.

TIME.com: The Netroots Hit Their Limits -- Oct. 2, 2006 -- Page 1:
Moderate Democrats say it with remorse, conservatives with glee, but the conventional wisdom is bipartisan: progressive bloggers are pushing the Democratic Party so far to the left that it will have no chance of capturing the presidency in 2008.
How a bunch of bloggers can push a party one way or another is way beyond me, but if the Ds think the way to get elected is become Rs they can count me out. Oh, wait. They already have. But I'm just saying here.

We have too many Rs as it is. Last thing we need is more.

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Mostly depends on who you kiss, I guess.

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town:
Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, said that the stewardess’s injunction to the men was reasonable, and would have been made whether the couple was gay or straight. “Our passengers need to recognize that they are in an environment with all ages, backgrounds, creeds, and races. We have an obligation to make as many of them feel as comfortable as possible,” he said. (He added, “Our understanding is that the level of affection was more than a quick peck on the cheek.”) But a customer-service representative named Terri, reached last week on the telephone, offered the opinion that kissing on airplanes is indeed permissible. “Oh, yeah! Sure. I’ve seen couples who are on honeymoons,” she said. “They just don’t want you to go into the bathroom together.”

This really is the problem, isn't it?

I put my screwdrivers someplace else where they'd be easier to get at and now I have not one freakin' clue where they are. They're around here someplace. They didn't just get up and walk away by themselves.

Yeah, yeah. I know.

Seattle: notoriously loud.

For N.F.L., Crowd Noise Has Become a Headache - New York Times:
The noise issue came to the forefront as the Giants prepared for today’s game against the Seahawks at Qwest Field, the notoriously loud stadium in Seattle. When the teams played there last November, the Giants were called for 11 false-start penalties, the kind often caused by a failure to communicate. The Giants had 16 penalties over all, the highest number for the franchise since 1949, and lost in overtime, 24-21.
Go figure. The league is considering letting visiting teams use walky-talkies. Giants have sensitive ears. Poor Giants.

White House Intelligence Committee too optimistic?

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat - New York Times:
The classified National Intelligence Estimate attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.
What are the odds?

And BTW, isn't "White House intelligence" another one of those moron things? The oxy kind?
this is an audio post - click to play

Many fear?

Officials Wary of Electronic Voting Machines - New York Times:
Paperless touch-screen machines have been the biggest source of consternation, and with about 40 percent of registered voters nationally expected to cast their ballots on these machines in the midterm elections, many local officials fear that the lack of a paper trail will leave no way to verify votes in case of fraud or computer failure.
Let's get with it, NYT. Of freakin' course there's no way to verify. What's with the "many fear"?

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