Aug 27 2010
BAT. SHIT. FUCKING. CRAZY!!!!!!!!
We’ve seen some pretty wild phone advertisements in our time, but this latest from Verizon seems to be a bit odd. The Motorola Droid X ad itself doesn’t seem to make much sense, but what’s worse is that it bears some similarity to the Abu Ghraib torture images we saw a few years ago. Is this just some slip up on Verizon’s part, or did the carrier’s marketing and advertising team decide to stir up a little controversy? Or did they just go through with the ad and watch the final product and say, “This looks so familiar, but why?”
hat tip to CommonDreams.org
Aug 27 2010
Bless her soul, Mom would’a been 96 had she lived this long. It never occurred to me that she must’ve been age six when women got the vote. I just never thought about it I guess. Anyway. She was a lifelong Democrat of the FDR / Kennedy persuasion (she grew up in the Berkshires) and an avid political junkie before there really was such a thing.
She was also…. how shall I say this…? hell on wheels if you crossed her. There was a down side to that, if you were her kid, heh, but…. man… she would have LOVED this letter (full text after the leap). It’s so …. her style. lol
Aug 21 2010
So sorry to harsh anybody’s Friday night buzz but here’s a doozey of a buzzkill for ya. My apologies. I’m just sick and in tears … This ruling was official a couple of weeks ago but only made publicly available [9 page PDF] this morning, and of course Carol Rosenberg is on it.
An Army interrogator’s tale of gang rape in an American prison didn’t coerce Canadian captive Omar Khadr to confess to anything while he was held as a teen terror suspect in Afghanistan, a military commissions judge said in a Guantánamo war court ruling made public Friday.
Army Col. Patrick Parrish, the judge, also found “no credible evidence” of torture in the U.S. military’s interrogations of the Toronto-born Khadr, who was nearly dead when captured in a Special Forces raid on a suspected al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan in 2002.
“While the accused was 15 years old at the time he was captured, he was not immature for his age,” Parrish wrote in a nine-page ruling dated Tuesday.
In it, the judge rejected a defense request to exclude Khadr’s confessions to U.S. interrogators from his war crimes trial on grounds of coercion and torture.
“There is no credible evidence that the accused was ever tortured,” the judge wrote, “even using a liberal interpretation considering the accused’s age.”
BY CAROL ROSENBERG (Miami Herald)
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/201…
EDIT: Just saw that emptywheel has a fresh piece up at FDL
So the guy running the Kangaroo Court for this child soldier has decided that rape threats do not constitute a threat of severe pain or suffering.
Aug 17 2010
Oh brother. This is just … embarrassing.
from Raw Story:
Senator Levin was on the receiving end of a thrown pie during a question-and-answer session on Monday.
The accused pie thrower is Ahlam Mohsen, a 23-year-old senior at Michigan State University and antiwar activist. She was arrested after the incident while attempting to flee and is charged with assault and battery.
Update: Pie thrower facing felony charge for ‘stalking’ senator
An antiwar activist who hit Senator Levin in the face with a dutch apple pie on Monday is facing a felony charge of stalking in addition to misdemeanor charges of battery and assault.
Aug 13 2010
I want to point you to this very nicely written piece by HRW’s G’mo attendee, Andrea Prasow:
It’s not very long and she neatly recaps the back story for you, then touches on a couple of key points as well. Go read it. I’ll wait. Okay, here’s a teaser:
Khadr’s trial was about to begin in January 2009, when the newly-inaugurated President Barack Obama ordered a stay of all military commission proceedings. Many believed that Obama would scrap the military commission system altogether, but that May, he announced his plan to revive an improved version of them. The resulting legislation did have better rules limiting the admission of hearsay and evidence obtained through coercion. So Khadr was charged yet again — this time with murder, attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying. A military judge ruled this week that almost all of the statements Khadr made to interrogators were reliable, including those made following a threat of rape, and would be admissible at trial.
Aug 12 2010
Gibbs re-affirms today that this WH is at war with The Left. He didn’t ‘misspeak’, it wasn’t a faux pas or a moment of frustration. The man is a professional wordsmith, message-crafter and spin master. He meant it, every word. No apologies, no remorse, no walking it back. No shame.
I get it. I get the message loud and clear.
“I don’t think [liberal voters won’t show up],” he said, “because I think what’s at stake in November is too important to do that.”
Aug 09 2010
UPDATE: Presser at 1:30pm EST (now-ish) SFGate live blog HERE.
UPDATE #2: okay it’s over, Ill look for analysis I guess…. I have no idea what they said. ;-/ There’s a very long joint statement here.
UPDATE #3: Okay, kids, the Orwellian spin machine is set to … spin. Here ya go: Google, Verizon CEOs announce pact for no wireless net neutrality rules, some paid prioritization [more at WaPo]
Summary: Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg announced a joint agreement on how traffic can be controlled on the Internet. Here’s the joint policy statement on Google and Verizon’s Web sites.
In short: what you’ve read about so far about the deal is true:
1) no net neutrality rules for mobile networks, except for a “transparency” requirement that makes public how traffic is managed.
2) greenlight on “managed services” that would allow for special priority for some content on other parts of the pipe, but not the public internet.
This is not going to be a popular announcement among advocates of net neutrality, particularly public interest groups. Google said it doesn’t want to play in the sandbox of managed service. “We like the public Internet,” Schmidt said in the call. But some say this will give an unfair advantage to companies that are able to pay for priority access (imagine a Netflix channel on FiOs offered at better quality).
“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.” ~ Robert M. Hutchins
So after the dumbing down, which they’ve had pretty good success with so far, next up is the shutting down. They learned. They don’t have to gun us down, like in the 60’s and 70’s. No. This (lockdown) is way more effective. Because they know…
“Anger is more useful than despair.” T-101, Terminator 3
Despair = apathy and indifference. And that “undernourishment” …. sigh … man, I’m hungry.
Josh Silver is angry (sign a petition via that link).
Al Franken is angry.
If we learned that the government was planning to limit our First Amendment rights, we’d be outraged. After all, our right to be heard is fundamental to our democracy.
Well, our free speech rights are under assault — not from the government but from corporations seeking to control the flow of information in America.
If that scares you as much as it scares me, then you need to care about net neutrality.
A ha! This just in: mcjoan is angry. Phew. Saved. I’m sure if we all call the White House Hotline, it’ll all be okay.
He that lives upon hope will die fasting. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Aug 06 2010
Today is sixty five years since the bombing of Hiroshima.
In October 1939, just after the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt received a letter from physicist Albert Einstein and his Hungarian colleague Leo Szilard, calling to his attention the prospect that a bomb of unprecedented power could be made by tapping the forces of nuclear fission. The two scientists, who had fled from Europe in order to escape Nazism, feared that Hitler-Germany was already working on the problem. Should the Germans be the first to develop the envisaged “atomic bomb,” Hitler would have a weapon at his disposal that would make it possible for him to destroy his enemies and rule the world.
To avoid this nightmare, Einstein and Szilard urged the government of the United States to join the race for the atomic bomb. Roosevelt agreed, and for the next four and half years a vast, utterly secret effort was launched in cooperation with the United Kingdom. Code-named “The Manhattan Project,” the effort eventually employed more than 200,000 workers and several thousands scientists and engineers, many of European background. Finally, on July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was tested in the midst of the Alamogordo desert in New Mexico. Its power astonished even the men and women who had constructed it. As he witnessed the spectacular explosion, Robert Oppenheimer, the physicist who had directed the scientific work on the bomb, remembered a line from the Vedic religious text Bhagavad-Gita: “I am become death, the shatterer of worlds.”
By the time of the Alamogordo test, Germany had already surrendered. This meant that the potential threat of a Nazi atomic bomb no longer existed. But the war in the Pacific was still raging, and the President of the United States Harry S. Truman decided to use the atomic bomb in order to force the Japanese leadership to surrender as quickly as possible. Thus, on August 6 an atomic bomb with an explosive yield equivalent to 12.5 kilotons of the explosives TNT (trinitrotoluene) was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, instantly killing some 70,000 of its inhabitants, with another 70,000 deaths registered by the end of 1945. Meanwhile, on August 9, a second bomb was used against the city of Nagasaki. This explosion had a higher yield (equivalent to 22 kilotons of TNT) but caused fewer instant deaths. However, many of the survivors suffered from heavy burns, radiation sickness, etc., and the death toll continued to rise. By the end of the year more than 70,000 of Nagasaki’s citizens had lost their lives. Five years later, as many as 340,000 people, or 54 percent of the original population, had died from the two explosions.