Friday, October 26, 2007

Protected My Ass; The Series

Warren v. District of Columbia: In the early morning hours of March 16, 1975, two men broke down the back door of a D.C. townhouse in Northeast and began raping a woman on the second floor. Her two roommates, hiding one floor above, called the police. According to the court’s opinion, a squad car responded, and the officer failed even to exit his car before leaving. The two women, listening to their roommate scream, called the police again. This time, an officer went so far as to knock at the door, but then left without further inspection. The women sued the District of Columbia, which argued that “a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.” The District won the case based on what is actually a long-standing legal principle. David Freddoso, Just Stand There While I Die, The D.C. government has that right, and exercises it frequently, October 10, 2007 6:44 AM

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


"The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures," [highly respected hurricane forecaster] Dr Gray said.

He said his beliefs had made him an outsider in popular science.

"It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong," he said. "But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants."
Gore gets a cold shoulder, Steve Lytte, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 14, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Follow the "leader?" Anti-war Democrats

"We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow," Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting [anti-war] activists for their "passion," [U.S. House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi called it "a waste of time" for them to target Democrats. "They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders." ...It seemed that only the antiwar advocates had the power to wipe the smile off Pelosi's face. Smile, Though Your Head Is Aching, Dana Milbank, Wednesday, October 10, 2007; Page A02

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The GOOD guys?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In December, the United Nations took up a resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for children and young teenagers. The vote was 185 to 1, with the United States the lone dissenter. NYT, Wednesday, Oct 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ticking time bombs and other fairy tales

I've looked at every instance of a ticking time bomb that's been proposed in the war on terror. ...basically there is never a circumstance where you know that a particular prisoner has a particular information and will yield with a particular amount of pressure. In fact, gathering intelligence is a matter of pulling information gradually from a number of sources, who you recruit through rapport building.

One of the fascinating things about the ticking time bomb scenario is that it has elicited bad information, which has sent our troops on dangerous and fatal missions...
--DR. STEVEN MILES, Democracy NOW!, Friday, September 28th, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Are you an extremist?

Moderation in the protection of liberty is no virtue; extremism in the defense of freedom is no vice. --Barry Goldwater

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fear the followers!

Authoritarian followers [who do the violent bidding of Authoritarians] score highly on the Dangerous World scale, and it’s not just because some of the items have a religious context. High RWAs are, in general, more afraid than most people are. They got a “2 for 1 Special Deal” on fear somehow. Maybe they’ve inherited genes that incline them to fret and tremble. Maybe not. But we do know that they were raised by their parents to be afraid of others, because both the parents and their children tell us so. --The Authoritarians, Bob Altemeyer, Associate Professor Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, Copyright ©, 2006 by Bob Altemeyer

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What torturers need - - -

...all of those [torture] survivors would tell you that they would have said anything, anything at all that was wanted of them, eventually, to get the torture to stop. And so, they'll confess, they'll give the information that's fed to them, because the person who most needs a confession is the torturer. Without that confession, the torturer has no justification for what they've done. ...[morale] of their torturers [demands] that a confession emerges. And that's one of the key reasons why truth doesn't emerge from torture. Anything could emerge. --DOUGLAS JOHNSON, Democracy NOW!, Friday, September 28th, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

No two minute warning

On October 4, 2007, Miami Valley Bank, Lakeview, Ohio was closed by the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed. --FDIC.GOV, Bank Closing Information for Miami Valley Bank, Lakeview, Ohio

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Death knell?

He said Mr Venter was creating a "chassis on which you could build almost anything. It could be a contribution to humanity such as new drugs or a huge threat to humanity such as bio-weapons". Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated.--I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer, Ed Pilkington in New York, The Guardian, Saturday October 6 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Are you well un-adjusted?

Insanity: a perfectly rational adjustment to the insane world. --R.D. Laing

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. --Krishnamurti

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why there's a health care crisis: Fascist Pharma 01

Doctors get less nutritional training than a two year dietician. They get all of their ongoing education from pharmaceutical sales types. And you can't patent an herb or a vitamin, so [there's] not a lot of money there. --KATE, 10/4/2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Are you sure?

"I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything..." -- Richard Feynman

Monday, October 1, 2007

The REAL Danger

Alberto Mora, who had been the Navy legal counsel who fought against the torture policy...emphasized that the reason we have the Geneva Accords ...was the notion that if a soldier knows that they will be treated humanely... they have at least the opportunity of surrendering, but if they know they will be treated cruelly... then the total incentive for them is to fight to the last man. ... Americans die from this policy, because we have falsely thought that the creation of fear keeps us safe, rather than endangers us. --DOUGLAS JOHNSON, Democracy NOW!, Friday, September 28th, 2007