April 25, 2009 archive

It’s a public health issue…NOT an open season to attack Latinos!

For crying out loud….some people just make me shake my head and be disgusted.  As many of you know, there is a potential health problem of major proportions going on in Mexico.  Now for logical folks, commonsense says stay cool and find a way to help the less fortunate.  But oh no, you got some on the Right who think “hot damn, I get to bring out the racist in me!”

Oh, FUCK, I Have to Defend David Duke

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

David Duke Detained in Prague On Suspicion of Denying the Holocaust

PRAGUE – Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was detained by police in the Czech Republic on Friday on suspicion of denying the Holocaust.

Police spokesman Jan Mikulovsky said the action was taken because Duke does that in his book “My Awakening,” which is punishable by up to three years in Czech prisons.

Duke traveled to the republic to promote the book’s Czech translation of the book at the invitation of neo-Nazis.

Oh, GOD. I loathe David Duke. I find Holocaust deniers appalling, disgusting, laughable, execrable — I think they should be put in stocks, for chrissakes, so that little children will know that THESE PEOPLE ARE HORRIFYING.

Okay, not so much that last part.

But listen… now I have to reprint an essay I wrote last summer, about just this very thing… and — and — oh, GOD — in defense of DAVID DUKE, of all fucking people. Because, as someone once said: Principles only mean something if you stand up for them when it’s PAINFUL.

And THIS… is painful.

Friday Night at 8: Yang

Wrote an essay a while back entitled Yin.  Definitions:

Yin originally meant “shady, secret, dark, mysterious, cold.”  It thus could mean the shaded, north side of a mountain or the shaded, south bank of a river.

Yang in turn meant “clear, bright, the sun, heat,” the opposite of yin and so the lit, south side of a mountain or the lit, north bank of a river.

From these basic opposites, a complete system of opposites was elaborated.

Yin represents everything about the world that is dark, hidden, passive, receptive, yielding, cool, soft, and feminine.

Yang represents everything about the world that is illuminated, evident, active, aggressive, controlling, hot, hard, and masculine.

Everything in the world can be identified with either yin or yang. Earth is the ultimate yin object. Heaven is the ultimate yang object. Of the two basic Chinese “Ways,” Confucianism is identified with the yang aspect, Taoism with the yin aspect

I think we are now in yang time, hard power, conflict in activity, aggressiveness, and most of all a fight for control.

Control of the narrative, we are seeing that both in the blogs and in the media.  Control of our national priorities.  Control of the moral high ground.

We’re receiving a great wave of information about torture, but that information is also about how power was exercised and control taken in the most brutal fashion.  The information we are receiving illuminates far more than the past eight years.  A lot of chatter has resulted.

Hard power.  Yin and yang are not separate, cannot be separate.   As the image shows:


Creators of SERE called it “torture”

The Washington Post just published a story about yet another memo (pdf) released by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Its from the  Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, who are responsible for the SERE program.

The military agency that helped to devise harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as “torture” in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon’s chief lawyer and warned that it would produce “unreliable information.”<…>

The cautionary attachment was forwarded to the Pentagon’s Office of the General Counsel as the administration finalized the legal underpinnings to a CIA interrogation program that would sanction the use of ten forms of coercion, including waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning. The JPRA material was sent from the Pentagon to the CIA’s acting General Counsel, John Rizzo, and on to the Justice Department, according to testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.<…>

“The requirement to obtain information from an uncooperative source as quickly as possible — in time to prevent, for example, an impending terrorist attack that could result in loss of life — has been forwarded as a compelling argument for the use of torture,” the document said. “In essence, physical and/or psychological duress are viewed as an alternative to the more time-consuming conventional interrogation process. The error inherent in this line of thinking is the assumption that, through torture, the interrogator can extract reliable and accurate information. History and a consideration of human behavior would appear to refute this assumption.”

So the creators of the techniques not only called it “torture,” they warned, as early as July 2002, that it would not produce reliable intelligence.  

Friday Philosophy: the unmaking of a woman

You may have heard about it by now.  Or maybe not.  There haven’t exactly been that many news stories about it.

On Wednesday, April 22, Allen Andrade was convicted of the bias crime murder of Angie Zapata, which occurred in July of last year, as well as the theft of a car and a credit card.  He received the mandatory sentence of life without parole.

I wrote about the trial last week, while it was still going on.  You can read that here if you are so inclined.

I wish I could say I felt some degree of satisfaction about this.  But I don’t.  Surrounding the trial has been so much lack of communication and absence of understanding that I feel like going into my room and never emerging again.

Non-transsexual people are, in some cases, trying to be helpful with what they are trying to share.  Most often what I have read has fallen short of that mark.

Fossil Fuels Industry Climate Change Deniers Refuted By Their Own Scientists

Oh, the charm of the fossil fuels industry. In an effort to prevent public awareness of the growing climate crisis they do so much to create, they concocted an astroturf front with the Orwellian moniker Global Climate Coalition. The purpose of which was, of course, to deny its industry’s role in creating climate change. Thereby exacerbating the problem of climate change. Which does, actually, make it a coalition on global climate. A coalition determined to recklessly play a giant chemistry experiment with the climate, as long as its industry can make massive profits off it.

According to today’s New York Times:

For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.

“The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue

And it should come as no surprise, then, to learn that this astroturf front was so determined to deny its industry’s role in causing climate change that it actually engaged its own scientists. Who engaged in acts of science. And determined that, um, well, the fossil fuels industry does actually contribute to climate change. Oops.

But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

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