Warning: include(/home/annezook/public_html/sidebar.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/annezook/public_html/archives/001920.php on line 91

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '/home/annezook/public_html/sidebar.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/annezook/public_html/archives/001920.php on line 91
April 08, 2005
No Good News

I'm not in a good mood. Admittedly, I was in a better mood before I read the day's headlines, but that's frequently true.

Have you checked JobWatch.org's April 1 update? The current report is, "Real wages: two years of losses."

By the way, I linked to "Banned In Arkansas" so I figured I'd better link to the follow-up story. (Scroll down to "UPDATE, April 7, 2005" to see Horowitz coming to Corn's defense.) More on Corn's blog.

It appears that we do need a Constitutional amendment. One that makes voting a right.

Black, Dead and Insible is a bigger problem every year. In spite of mealy-mouthed platitudes about "doing something" about the problem, the Bush Administration has imposed severe funding cuts on programs designed to help inner city children. It's not just about money, though. What we lack is a real, long-term solution to the problem, and the determination to see it through.

Remember Dan Rather and Mary Mapes? Sacrificed on the altar of political expedience by a network desperate to get in good with a lying, secretive White House? Peabody Award winners for their Abu Ghraib coverage. So, that's a piece of good news, anyhow.

But, speaking of Bush Administration disasters, take a glimpse inside the probably illegal "hearings" at Guantanamo.

The officers went into a classified session during which they would hear secret evidence.

And the detainee would never know what secret evidence against him existed.

I am so ashamed of us.

Tangent alert!

Okay, so I'm listening to NPR yesterday, around noon, and Iím hearing a discussion about "rendition" and how it's just absolutely necessary that the government be allowed to secretly ship secret prisoners to secret prisons around the world, including in countries where they torture people. (audio file)

As I hoped, the question of exactly what the renderers (sounds like a Stephen King novel) hope to gain came up, based on evidence that torturing people for "intelligence" provides little but lies and cheap thrills for that type of torturer. Scheuer's response? It's unlikely the ghost prisoners will be tortured for intelligence because interrogation was never the point of arresting them.

They're criminals, you see, and it's better for all of us if they're off the streets. But they're not criminals in the sense that they can be charged with a crime under USofA law because we have all these fiddly requirements about evidence and proof and due process. So we send them to a place willing to hold them indefinitely without getting all of those inconvenient laws involved.

Also? It's also unlikely that the ghost prisoners will be tortured because we ask the host countries nicely not to torture and they promise they won't. No, not in writing. But we ask them and they say they won't. At least, that's how I understood it.

I haven't had a chance to go back myself and listen to the entire file, but I intend to do so this evening. I'm hoping to hear something to confirm that these people do, in fact, understand a couple of basic facts. First, that human rights have to apply to everyone or they don't really apply to anyone. Second, if you become your enemy, then he has won.

Tangent Over

The NYTimes gives Bolton's nomination a smackdown. The word "unqualified" appears prominently, along with a suggestion that our Ambassador to the U.N. should have, at a minimum, the belief that the U.N. is a good idea.

An example of the kind of "intelligence" torture produces.

Also, Abu Ghraib offices claim they were scapegoated. Well, duh, but my sympathy only goes so far. For instance, I have no, no patience with someone whose defense is that no one handed them the Geneva Conventions personally. I do agree that those higher-up should not have escaped unscathed, but those whose job it was to "supervise" the prisons...well, I'm at a loss. If they weren't supervising the treatment of detainees, what exactly were they supervising?

Four Children Killed in Baghdad Explosion

Four children collecting trash were killed Friday by a homemade bomb in Baghdad, and masked gunmen killed an Iraqi Army officer in a restaurant in the southern city of Basra, police said.

In case anyone has forgotten, Baghdad is the part of the country we claim to have under control. Just imagine what things must be like in the other areas, the ones we're not hearing news reports from.

At The Nation, Legislative Bomb.

Seventy-four percent of Americans surveyed by CBS News said Congress intervened in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case to advance a political agenda, not because they cared what happened to the Florida woman whose last days took center ring in a grotesque national media circus.

It's not really about Schiavo, though. If it was, I wouldn't link to it. It's about why a filibuster is a tool of democracy and well worth preserving.

For further reading, Creating An Uncivil Society from Engelhardt, with Faking Civil Society from Jonathan Schell.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:42 AM


I keep expecting to wake up and think "Wow... I'm glad all that bullshit was just a dream, otherwise I'd be scared for the future of our country."

Posted by: Kat at April 8, 2005 02:06 PM