Happy New Year!

Happy New Year’s Eve to all of our blog family. We will be spending New Year’s Eve at home this year — preparing for our annual New Year’s party on January 1st. I will be toasting to everyone on our extended blog family.

Tonight Leslie and I will share our traditional bottle of Schramsberg Sparkling wine. This is my wedding anniversary. Thirteen years ago, Leslie and I eloped on New Year’s Eve after eight years years of dating. (There is an ongoing dispute over calculating the event, I insist that this is our 22nd anniversary but Leslie insists on not counting the eight years of dating). We always celebrate with a bottle of Schramsberg. This was the bottle I bought after we got hitched at Alexandria City Hall. I used my house school ring to seal the deal.

The kids made it to midnight and watched the painful display of Anderson Cooper trying to restrain Kathy Griffin. It turns out the Mayan Apocalypse merely predicted Griffin’s appearance on New Year’s Eve. This included her attempt to throw cash into the crowd – a moronic idea that had to be physically stopped by Anderson to avert a disaster. If this was Griffin’s idea of a joke, it came across as an unhinged, unfunny person trying to fill time. The kids insisted that we turn to NBC instead.

We are expecting 200 friends to share in Wasabi Bloody Marys) and our traditional soup: The Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson Soup. I have smoked two turkeys to put into the soup. I also have enough Wasabi to light up Tokyo.

Everyone drive carefully and have fun. I will be giving a toast to our entire blog family tonight (and, of course, my marriage).

308 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year Jonathan, Leslie and the children. Many, many more new years. Sounds like a great party, enjoy!

    To all of you whom come here too…….Thank you for making this blog such an interesting place to be and giving me a place to hang out in my dotage.

  2. Happy Anniversary to you, Jonathan and Leslie, and Happy New Year to all of Clan Turley (including Molly)!

    May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.
    May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

  3. Happy Anniversary to you, Jonathan and Leslie. I often watch you on MSNBC with your insightful comments. It started with Keith and then, I happened to find this great blog.

    Talking about anniversaries, we all become butterflies from larvae, and this metamorphosis rests on the magic of our better halves.

    Happy New Year to your family.

  4. Happy new year Professor and we of the blogosphere.

    And happy 13th Anniversary. Our 13th is coming up in a week.

    Good spirits will come to your both.

  5. Happy New Year to the owner of my favorite blog, and to all the people who contribute here………..

  6. I just wanted to let you guys know that when I awoke and wandered up to the beach from the marina dogpac house there was a cliff there above the beach that had not been there before. I looked up the cliff and there was an upside down dollar sign painted like graffiti next to a Mitt campaign sign. None of this geography had been here before. There was a crashed truck at the base of the cliff and a thousand footprints which wandered off onto the road whence they were no longer visible but they looked like the walkers had been unsteady on their feet.

    The best that I can ordain from the terrain is that we fell off a Fiscal Cliff.

    I just thought that inquiring minds would want to know. Last nigth when the dogpac went to bed the tv was blaring with Anderson Cooper at Times Square with a bunch of fliashing billboard size tv screens (bad backdrop by the way) touting in the New Year. When I wake up I find this.

    Fleas Navidog.

  7. I did not know what the humanoids were talking about lately with this Fiscal Cliff thing. Before we were on a level playi8ng field. Now we are at the bottom of a heap. With no jeep.

  8. There is a cave or tunnel with train tracks leading out of the base of the cliff but no light at the end of the tunnel.

  9. I said a prayer at the breakfast dogpac congregation an hour ago, passed the plate and it came back empty. We’re broke.

  10. I woke up and went for a stroll on the beach and there are Rubio 2016 campaign signs all over the place. There is a smaller Rubio sign that says “No Means Yes To AmeriKa”, whatever that means. Footprints everywhere.

  11. I looked out in the ocean and there is a boat out there sinking. It is called The Boehner. No one is coming to its aid.

  12. There are many things to be thankful for, 8 years or 21, if you’re with the one that sparks the good in you, then you have many things to be thankful for. Life is too short to be surrounded with the nasty s of the world in any form. Salute!

  13. Jonathan and Leslie,
    Eloping is the only way to go. Letha and I eloped and it worked out pretty well for 55 years. You guys are just beginners, and have a long way to go, so here is wishing you well and far more happiness than sadness in the coming decades.

    And best wishes for our blog family for the coming year, especially to those I have come to know personally and fondly. For better or worse, we are all joined at the hip, even across the miles.

    For New Year’s, how about Auld Lang Syne as Robert Burns originally intended it to be performed, and not the smarmy overproduced Guy Lombardo stuff. Heck, Lombardo was not even a Scot. This is Scottish folk singer, Kev Thompson with just his acoustic guitar. No doubt this is what Rabbie Burns had in mind. Imagine Hogmany in a crofter’s cottage in the Highlands, short on cash but long on love, sitting by the hearth as the new year is welcomed in.

  14. Happy New Year to everyone that is part of one of the best places on the InterTubes.
    Two paths lie ahead of us; one leads to utter despair and the other to extinction. May we have the wisdom to choose wisely.

  15. Happy Anniversity and Happy New Year Jonathan and Leslie.
    Sharing your travels and travails has given us an opportunity to know you. (Moon Pies as emergency rations when stranded in a blizzard!)

    For those missing dear ones, we can jointly offer condolence and comfort..

    And a culinary tip: Do a small test with wasabi exchanged with Sichuan pepper.
    The savor might be better, but nothing clears up the nasal passages like wasabi or horseradish.

    You can tell your guests (and provoke some) by saying you bought it
    at Walmart’s and that it is called “Chun Wang’s Wife’s Slave Shop Special”

    Some might feel attacked by the origin and name, so perhaps not a good idea. But the pepper alternative might be a pleasamt idea.

  16. Buono anno a tutti.

    Thank you, Jonathan for this exceptional site. Thank you also for providing a forum for the weekend Guest Bloggers and to those who’ve contributed as those Guest Bloggers. Mike, Gene, Elaine M and the all the others bring us fresh and diverse topics and perspectives, excellent research and writing.

    Happy New Year to all!

  17. Kit Carson Wife Soup is intriquing, I’ll be researching that. I knew little about Kit Carson but have learned a bit from my stops in Taos, NM. Having a birthday anniversary on 12/31 I understand the conflict when it’s on a Holiday. It seems you have worked that out except for the number of years. I find it interesting you go w/ the number including unwed years. An attorney w/ romance more than rigid rules. I like that. I appreciate and thank you for this blog. May you and your bride enjoy many more New Years Eves. We share some common values and I have come to see you’re a generous person, not a common trait in your profession. However, I sense you may be shrewd in making the Bloody Mary’s w/ wasabi. NOBODY could chug those bad boys down!

  18. I had planned on making Hopping John today. A wicked mix of black-eyed peas. onion, ham hock, a bit of rice and some secret Cajun spices. I have made it every New Years Day for the past many years. It is supposed to bring good luck to have black-eyed peas on New Years Day. I had a conversation with my youngest when she got off work last night and she pointed out that if that was supposed to bring good luck, she would hate to see bad luck. Every year since 2007 has seen some horrible disaster befall us.

    I am going to have cold pizza today.

  19. Last night was Django Unchained and Chinese. The flick is really Tarantino Unchained. Obviously Harvey Weinstein gave Tarantino carte blanche. The movie is 170 minutes. It should have been 140. And, it seems Tarantino feels a need to top himself w/ bood spatter every film. That said, the movie is quite good. I was surprised @ the number of women in the audience. I reckon it was the shrewd casting of Leo to draw them. But, Leo plays a superb evil plantation owner. The performances are all good to spectacular. What always draws me to a Tarantino film is his remarkable ear for dialogue. I rate him just slightly behind the Cohen Bros. and slightly ahead of Aaron Sorkin.

  20. Happy New Year!!!! Not seeing Django, nick. Saw the previews. Too bloody for me…… The next movie I see will probably be the German movie, “Barbara”.

  21. SWM, My wife doesn’t like violence but she said there was only one scene that made her cringe. Saw several women applauding @ the end. However, you are a woman who knows herself. I’ll read up on Barbara. Saw a trailer for Promised Land w/ Matt Damon and Frances McDormand[my favorite female actor]. It looks good.

  22. Two paths lie ahead of us; one leads to utter despair and the other to extinction. May we have the wisdom to choose wisely.~Frankly
    ——-
    Absolutely no better reason to cut a new path and safe the road….
    Blessings, Peace, Wonder and Merry Joy in 2013 to All!

  23. “I rate him just slightly behind the Cohen Bros. and slightly ahead of Aaron Sorkin.”

    A fair assessment, Smom. It’s hard to beat the Joel and Etan Cohen on dialog. “Miller’s Crossing” makes me smile every time I watch it and I find “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” one of the funniest movies ever made.

  24. Gene, That’s nick’s assessment. I probably would rank them a little differently but I have to think about it.

  25. Speaking of movies. I wonder if people are planning to see “Zero Dark Thirty”. I think I will boycott it.

  26. My bad, Smom. Too little coffee this morning and too much wine last night. Considering the buzz I’ve heard about ZDT portraying torture as a valid and valuable intelligence gathering method, I’m going to boycott that one myself.

  27. SWM, The trailer for the flick looks good. Does the flick “portray torture as valid” or just that it produced good intelligence? The latter is confirmed by many including Leon Panetta. And the director is certainly not an evil “right winger”. But, I abide boycott as a good way to protest. However, when Italian groups made a fuss about The Godfather I, and the vast majority of Italians saw it as stupid. Like Zero, The Godfather was directed by a righteous director who made one of the greatest flicks ever. However, “to each their own.”

  28. Nick, The movie is the most highly rated movie of the year. I did see Bigelow’s other movie “Hurt Locker”.

  29. Let’s see . . . believe Leon Panetta or hordes of neurobiologists and psychologists?

    As neurobiologist Shane O’Mara of Trinity College Dublin says, “To briefly summarize a vast, complex literature: prolonged and extreme stress inhibits the biological processes believed to support memory in the brain. Coercive interrogations involving extreme stress are unlikely, given our current cognitive neurobiological knowledge, to facilitate the release of veridical information from long-term memory.” In other words, torture tends to make the information provided less reliable. That’s the science.

    Panetta’s primary interest is in covering the crimes of the previous and current administration in violating the 8th Amendment and Federal law.

    I wouldn’t buy a used care from Panetta let alone his assertions that torture is a valid and valuable intelligence gathering method.

  30. BarkinDog, HumpinDog, itchinBayDog, BlueDog, ChiliDog, HotDog, BadDog, OldDogNewTricks-

    “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Are there no dog catchers?”

    Happy New Year, and may the Milk-Bone be with you.

  31. Smom,

    “Hurt Locker” was excellent. ZDT may be technically a great film, but if that’s indeed what it says about torture, explicitly or implicitly, it’s simply propaganda for our internal bad guys and should be labelled as such. Leni Riefenstahl was a great director. That doesn’t make her films any less propaganda for the bad guys.

  32. Panetta did not say it is valid or valuable. He did say it produced good intelligence in this case. Big difference. By the way, I do not abide torture but I am not inclined to take the theoretical over reality.

    Gene, Unlike probably few if any people here I read the book, Hard Measures by Jose’ Rodriquez. He handled the interrogations. It wasn’t a good book. I am skeptical about a lot of what he said, but NOT ALL. I think he is lying about the videotapes but he is adamant he was given permissiom to destroy them. Rodriquez was smart enough to hire Bob Bennett as his barrister. I will give the theoriticians their props that this is not an effective or reliable way to gather intelligence. And, as stated previously, I do not abide torture on a moral level. But this got us the courier that led us to Bin laden. I don’t like how it was done. But being a lover of history, I don’t want to see the facts changed to comport w/ ideology.

  33. Otteray Scribe Contributed:
    For New Year’s, how about Auld Lang Syne as Robert Burns originally intended it to be performed,
    ~+~
    That video was a delight. It does sound more true to form. The folk singer’s version seems more honest and true to Robert Burns than the dramatic by comparison one we hear today.

    If in hearing both the folk singer’s song and what we saw played on TV last night, which would sound more like the manner of the man who wrote this poem?

    “…
    As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
    So deep in luve am I:
    And I will luve thee still, my dear,
    Till a’ the seas gang dry:

    Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
    And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
    I will luve thee still, my dear,
    While the sands o’ life shall run….”

    I would think in the mind of a person who would write these two stanzas the folk singer’s rendition would be more of his intention.

    The meter to the above is the same as Auld Lang Syne so one could actually sing it to that song.

    Robert Burns, if my memory serves me correctly, made a point during his lifetime to reconstitute Scottish folk songs, poems etc in his desire to preserve some of its heritage. It does lend some evidence to believe a more accurate rendition of what Burns had intended would resemble more closely the folk songs prior to when he wrote his works.

  34. nick,

    First of all, you keep it civil and you have nothing to worry about. As I’ve told you before, you act like an ass and I’ll treat you like one. That’s how the Ethic of Reciprocity works. Whether I pounce on you or not is entirely up to you.

    Secondly, “Panetta did not say it is valid or valuable. He did say it produced good intelligence in this case. Big difference.” No, it’s not a big difference. It’s no difference at all. By definition, good intelligence is both valid and valuable and if he says torture produced good intelligence then he’s endorsing the technique of torture to obtain it despite the science to the contrary. Torturing someone will make them say something. Whether that something is true is less likely than getting them to say something by other means. There is nothing “theoretical” about that. That’s hard science.

    There is also nothing ideological about the fact that torture is flatly unconstitutional and illegal under Federal law. That’s a legal fact.

  35. Otteray Scribe:

    twice heated pizza is the best, the crust gets nice and crisp and the flavors have been enhanced by the overnight in the fridge.

    I would recommend placing the pizza directly on the rack with a drip pan on the rack below to catch the cheese drippings.

    May day old pizza bring you a happier 2013.

  36. Don’t get between guys arguing, you only get shit. My nnnnnth violation of that rule.

    NIckS,
    I must go with GeneH’s arguments on the productivity of torture.
    Besides, I have read reports by “soft approach=win confidence first” interrogators who make stats on output from same prisoner and parallel evalution separate cohorts. Hard cop vs soft cop. Soft wins handsdown

    But ask TonyC and Mark E. They might join you.

    GeneH,
    Your base exceeds mine, and your reasoning is congruent with mine. Tortured people learn what the interrogator wants to hear and feeds that just to stop the torture. Having fooled you, he keeps his secrets to himself.

  37. Gene, If we review our civil and uncivil discussions it is often the case that we sometimes agree substantially. That’s the case here I believe. I doubt any scientist would say torture would NEVER work. I’m sure they will say it can work but as a policy it is both unreliable an ineffective. Then, as stated previously, there are the moral implications. The intelligence obtained from Khalid Sheik Mohammed via waterboarding and corroborated by other sources produced the courier and the courier led us directly to bin Laden. It was wrong to do it but you can’t unring that bell. I see you being emotional about this. You hatred of torture prevents you from admitting what is factual in that it did produce valuable intelligence in this case.

    What started this discussion was the movie, ZDT. NONE OF US HAVE SEEN IT. I learned as a college student when thee Godfather was being boycotted beforew it’s release just how ludicrous that can be. It’s happened w/ many other flicks since. I don’t prejudge movies. Here’s my hope. The movie shows valuable intelligence was obtained but it left a black mark in our history. Because that’s the truth.

  38. Here is a recipe for Hoppin’ John.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/hoppin-john-recipe/index.html

    Wish I knew what secret spices OS uses. Anybody leaking? OS?
    The holy trinity is there. But the spicing sounds very USA standard to me.

    Cajun recipe books and spices disappeared ´many years ago. Didn’t catch on. Not enough whore houses and boygirls as in Thailand?
    Zydeco (haricot) music was great. The black bands playing there had had the soul squeezed out of them years ago.

    Tonight it will frozen pizza with add-ons of red bell peppar, anchovies, and parmigiano cheese. I won’t eat it cold!!!!!

  39. ID, WE ALL AGREE on conventional interrogations being better both factually and morally. I should say I believe tactics like sleep deprivation are legit and effective. I would need to know if we agree on that. At my age..I would talk if you kept me up past midnight!

  40. Coming out of my hidey hole — torture requires a moral stance, not to mention a legal one as opposed to twisted neologisms.

    I’m total accord with those, like Gene (and all to follow), who see Panetta as motivated to lie about torture and it’s product from one end of the day to the next. And I totally reject the subjective characterization of .” the theoretical over reality.” where the basis for opining is mere conjecture. Working backwards from an applauded result (get bin Laden) to an approval (even implied) of the alleged method — no matter how tainted — adds not one whit of credibility where there is no probative evidence. The tapes having mysteriously disappeared for one damning factor.

  41. Nick, sleep deprivation is among the least credible sources of reliable information. Please read up on it’s effects if you haven’t. If you have, you’re sources are not reliable. Why you throw that in here, since whether it’s called torture or not, it not only violates human dignity but produces unreliable results, is beyond me.

    I’ve got to go do something productive.

  42. Darren, thank you so much. Kev Thompson is a treasure. In keeping with the occasion of a certain anniversary as well as the new year, here is Kev doing another one of Robert Burn’s memorable love songs. The occasion shown in the video is when Kev Thompson’s beautiful daughter got married about three years ago. My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.

    This one is especially for Jonathan and Leslie, as well as anyone else here who has loved deeply:

  43. From my point of view, the reason we make things illegal and punishable is because they work, but we believe it is wrong to allow gain in that manner.

    Theft and fraud both work as a means of gaining wealth. Murder works as a means of gaining dominance or eliminating competition or commanding fear and obedience. Slavery works as a means of reducing labor cost. Unsafe workplaces work as a means of reducing production costs.

    If some practice doesn’t “work,” we generally do not have to outlaw it.

    We outlaw torture because we do not care if it works, it is a violation of human rights. Just like other things we have outlawed, like vigilante justice, there is the chance that the threat of punishment will occasionally deter action and thereby cause more harm than good, but we have collectively chosen to set a rule without exception and live with any negative consequences that occur because we believe the rule overall prevents more harm than it causes.

    The excuse that torture can often produce valid intelligence is not in any way a reason to allow it, just like the excuse that summarily lynching a horse thief can often prevent future horse thievery is not a valid argument to dispense with evidence, defense and a trial.

    We could simply imprison or execute everybody charged with a crime, and that would certainly cut down on crime. But we do not want to live in that world, so we demand proof of guilt. That demand means, as every lawyer knows, that some guilty people go free to commit new crimes and harm other people, but that harm, including deaths, rapes and thefts, is the unfortunate price we must pay to live in a world where guilt must be proven.

    The same principle applies to torture. We may be pretty certain there is intelligence to be had from a suspect that would save lives and prevent harm. But we must work to obtain that intelligence by other means, or work to prevent catastrophe by other means, and if we fail, that is the unfortunate price we must pay to to live in a world where humans have rights and torture is not used.

    All of us, men, women and children, must be soldiers in this sense, that we must endure the greater risk to our lives and property that is caused by letting the guilty go unpunished and commit further crimes and harm, in order to preserve our own human rights, Constitutional rights and liberty.

  44. “Because that’s the truth”. Nick, that’s just downright provocative, unless you are talking about the tiny little truth encompassed in the universe defined by your interpretation of the movie you viewed.Allowing yourself a verbal escape hatch as it were, or cause for further verbalizing.

    You sure seem to lack communication skills, as I think I’ve mentioned before in the context of incredible presumption. Certainly not an encouragement for me to engage.

  45. Nick, I ain’t engaging in the “it would be helpful to me” game because I’m just not that interested in adding fuel to your particular current distraction. I don’t mean to be insulting. I just do respond to that sort of discussion or discussants. I’m might tend to get chary ;-)

  46. NickS,

    I still believe that torture does not produce as A RULE reliable truthful and valuable intelligence.

    We have not had a loyal and honest DCIA since its inception. They see only to their own advantages or at best the organization’s, which means greater independence from central control via WH.

    An obvious CIA scandal is HW Bush using his time there to establish official contacts with DCIA in Saudi, his counterpart. He offered more than intelligence cooperation. He also established channels to the Royal Family via the bin Laden family head, and Mahfous the head of the private bank who took care of private royal money. He was a master user of other people and organizations.

    This was before Carter, who kicked out HW Bush.

    I am personally convinced that the CIA with JCS and and with both the candidates Reagan and Bush advice and consent were instigator of the failure in the rescue mission in the desert. Such a simple measure to have reserve helicopters and even Hercs in support. How do you get so many people out as were held as hostages. A mission intended to fail. The most effective politically.

    See Bay of Pigs for further ex. The CIA and JCS had thought to put JFK in a corner, he said hell no to expanding it to include Ámerican forces when the exile forces failed.

  47. And, DonS, I wrote in caps that nobody here has viewed the movie..it has NOT been released. Your condescension apparently masks dyslexia.

  48. Dyslexia notwithstanding: “Here’s my hope. The movie shows valuable intelligence was obtained but it left a black mark in our history. Because that’s the truth.” You said it; you endorsed the hope. It’s all yours, unless you don’t think that signals your approval.

  49. DonS, In regards to wanting to do something productive, why don’t you read up un the specifics of this interrogation. Not the scientific theoretical, not the moral or political, the actual facts on this case. I’ve read extensively and I know a lot about interrogations. I believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, these interrogations were critical in finding bin Laden. We probably agree on most everything else.

  50. nick,

    There is nothing emotional about hard science and legal fact nor is there anything emotional about wanting criminals who violate the Constitution and Federal law – no matter the outcome or their rationale for doing so – to be held accountable for their crimes. There is no mitigation that make torture okay or legal.

  51. “(CNN) — On Wednesday, three senior U.S. senators sent Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony Pictures, a letter about “Zero Dark Thirty,” the much-discussed new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, which described the film as “grossly inaccurate and misleading.”

    In the letter, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, expressed their “deep disappointment” in the movie’s depiction of CIA officers torturing prisoners, which “credits these detainees with providing critical lead information” about the courier who led the CIA to bin Laden’s hiding place in northern Pakistan.

    The senators point out that the filmmakers of “Zero Dark Thirty” open the movie with the words that it is “based on first-hand accounts of actual events.” The film then goes on, the senators say, to give the clear implication “that the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques were effective in eliciting important information related to a courier for Usama Bin Laden.”

    The senators write that this is not supported by the facts: “We have reviewed CIA records and know that this is incorrect.”

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to sign off on the findings of its three-year study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, during the course of which the committee’s staff reviewed more than 6 million pages of records about the program.

    Based on the findings of that review, Sens. Feinstein and Levin had released a statement eight months ago that said, “The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the Usama Bin Laden courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier’s identity from detainees subjected to coercive techniques. … Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.”

    In their letter to Sony, the three senators write, “(W)ith the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. … We believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Usama Bin Laden is not based on the facts.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/20/opinion/bergen-senators-torture-film/index.html

  52. On the topic of eloping. HumpinDog elopes about twice a week, always with a different dog. Always comes back with his tail between his legs.

  53. Gene, How many times do I need to agree w/ you on the illegality, unreliability and immorality of torture?

    Again, The book Hard Measures explains the parsed statement from the 3 esteemed US Senators. They got from the Sheik and others the fact that this unnamed man whom they knew about was the courier. It did tie in w/ prior intelligence and then was developed further subsequent intelligence. But what they got from the Sheik was the key. Now..Rodriquez has a vested interest[he really comes across as a bureaucrat] as do the Senators. But, if you read the book, and I read it skeptically, and then read other accounts, it all ties together. To think that any report coming from US Senators is pure is naive. And, we all know how emotional a topic this is w/ McCain. And, I DEEPLY respect that. Folks opposed to torture are afraid the fact that in this case it helped are rightly concerned it lends validation. Although I am a member of those opposed to torture, I am not fearful of the truth. And, as stated previously, I believe beyond a reasonable doubt, this produced critical intelligence. God rest our souls!

  54. NickS,

    Stop insulting, it weakens your capability to think and argue.

    Further, Nick and others.

    We, ie CIA, have known where bin Laden was since we, yes we, our private ex officio decision team (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush) decided we would need a reason to war on terrorism and war to get Iraq’s oil secured.
    It gave us the Patriot Act, the first 181 law changes needed to persecute as needed the American people. And all of Congress voted aye after at best two hours to read the bill after distribution. There were two nays or abstentions.

    CIA knew where bin Laden was when he was in the caves. That is why a standdown order was given to our hunt teams when we got too close to him.

    The move to Pakistan had major reason in his kidney sickness so dialysis was needed, available there at a hospital, and eventually a kidney transplant from a relative (if we made humane decisions re donors.!).

    Why have we not taken him earlier? He was OUR operative from before the first call for Al Qaeda, and we needed him to point to as the bogey man; and in turn his influence to convict Saddam falsely, as it turned out for WMDs and nuke ambitions.

    Nebulous, dispersed missions, the great sin of 9/11 was put on his back, with the aid of Saudi Arabia in team recruitment for 9/11, and support here in the States..

    SO FORGET THE SEARCH FOR BIN LADEN AS BEING AN INTELLIGENCE BREAKTHROUGH. WE KNEW WHERE HE WAS AND WHAT HE WAS PLANNING. OUR LOSSES? DID WE APPROVE THEM?
    YOU DAMN RIGHT WE DID, EXPENDABLE PAWNS IN A GREAT WAR.
    ASK ANY GENERAL WHAT HE DOES ROUTINELY. Commit men to certain death. LBJ knew that when he asked for and got the Bay of Tonkin incident. Read Daniel Ellsberg’s book for the true story on that one.
    Ther all lied, full of contempt for the press, the public, and the Congress.

    TORTURE? SAVE IT FOR OUR OWN TRAITORS. YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

  55. HumpinDog and I just got a job offer from the nearby state prison to be guide dogs for two blind inmates. The Governor was gonna pardon the two inmates because they are difficult to take care of but then she heard of HumpinDog and our dogpac blind guy services and hired us instead. The Governor’s term is up. So, ring in the new year in a joint forty hours a week with no over time. I will report back as to how it is in there.

  56. “And, as stated previously, I believe beyond a reasonable doubt, this produced critical intelligence.”

    Belief.

    “Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.”

    Fact.

  57. NickS,

    What is one man’s analysis ot the whole, which includes position taking on a multitude of forces and factors when we compare the 6,000 pages of CIA documents anallyzed by Senate Int. comm. resources, et al.

    No question. Why? Because of the documents and analysis was greater when done by Congress with our savviset intelligence oversight people chiefing the job Torture or not is essentialll a neutral question except to those who support it.

    To call Senators for liars on this evaluation and public opinions is foolish I believe.

    Congressional investigations, like those of commissions, are prone to major discrepancies, hiding of factss, polishing of tartnished reputations. etc.

    So I would at least like to see a couple more books and articles before I decide to support this committee report. But the deniers ie senators. are not protecting, only the latest bit of CIA propaganda. Can’t upi smell the odor. Cooked propaganda. Time for a re-read of the propaganda series.

  58. “Fact” from politicians. When did you drink the kool-aid? I’ve seen you rant often about lying politicians[righteously], is this some parallel universe where pols are noble and truthful. Or..do you “believe” them when their “facts” comport w/ your “beliefs?” Again, until you folks have read the book by the guy man who ran these interrogations we’re not dealing w/ the same info. And..didn’t some of these pols sign off on these interrogations? Or, are you going to quote the Nancy Pelosi/Professor Irwin Corey explanation on why she signed off on them? That’s a classic..remember it?

  59. NickS,

    Good points all, I made my reservations and stand by them for the while.
    Trust a pol? Never, but I so hope that at least one true patriots in the analysis group would dare to contact the press.

    But why should we trust the man who DID the torture interrogations? What polsition did he sit in? What was his function? Was he interrogator, analysist? Commander/Chief. It all is relevant. I am sure that you can answer.

    As for signing off. that and a lot of other things are relevant to evaluating and judging the report and the press release and letter to CEO. If you got facts, then give’m to us. Opinions obviously won’t do.

  60. ID, If you read what I have said we should not trust anyone, but we should read everything, and then make or own assessments. Both intelligence people and politicians lie for a living. That’s what makes “facts” as elusive as bin Laden was.

  61. nick,

    The statement isn’t valid simply because it came from pols. It’s valid because it came from pols without a vested interest in protecting their own turf and keeping their own out of prison and based upon the CIA’s own reports to the Senate Intelligence Sub-committee regarding what led to OBL’s capture (old-fashioned OTG human intelligence and signal intelligence).

    Of course Rodriguez is going to say that not only what he did worked but that it wasn’t torture because it was “authorized” – his crooked ass would be going to prison otherwise. Strange about how he claims it wasn’t torture, it was key to catching OBL and yet he destroyed the videotape evidence (in direct contradiction of express orders from his boss Porter Goss) and contradicts the CIA own telling of what actually led to OBL’s capture. Which wasn’t the detention and interrogation program.

    I suppose you believe that Nixon’s tapes magically edited themselves too.

    And take your kool-aid comment and stick it. You whine about civility and yet appear to be perfectly incapable of not using ad hominem when the facts don’t fit what you want to believe – which clearly is some form of “torture works”. Jose Rodriquez isn’t a hero. He isn’t a trustworthy source for information. He’s a war criminal. But you believe him if you like. It’s not against the law to be stupid.

  62. nick:

    Marines are tortured using waterboarding as part of their training to know what it is like to be captured and held as a POW.

    I asked my wife to put a towel over my face and pour water on me. It isnt very pleasant and I gave up pretty fast. I am not even sure that is how you waterboard.

    Although I will say I think I would find electrodes clipped to my gonads much more unpleasant. And I wont experiment with that.

    We, as a country, should not engage in torture. That is what our enemies do. Just kill the enemy on the battlefield and be done with it. Winning quickly and overwhelmingly is the best thing to prevent military casualties, torture, civilian death and excessive property damage.

  63. I see you’ve choose to believe a war criminal with a vested interest in avoiding prison instead of the CIA’s own contradictory account as relayed by pols without a vested interest in avoiding prison for their role in said torture.

  64. Bron
    1, January 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm
    I asked my wife to put a towel over my face and pour water on me. It isnt very pleasant and I gave up pretty fast.
    =======================================================

    aaaah yeah
    tmi bron, tmi

  65. pete:

    you arent curious about waterboarding as torture? I was, people were hotly debating it so I did it. I didnt like it, so I will assume KSM didnt much care for it either. Especially when he couldnt say stop.

  66. NickS,

    Did I miss your blanket excuse: “Don’t trust nobody.” ;-) Just evaluate!!
    I thought is what we are doing. I, mostly by posing counterclaims, which are only referenced in Russ Baker’s book, and other places forgotten now.

    And we should all understand that the documents released by the CIA to the committee were not complete in ref to the list asked for. And they were in many cases heavily redacted under the usual cover excuses.

    So the full and complete truth will never come from the CIA.

  67. Bron, PLEASE read what I’ve said @ least 3 times about torture. A straw man has been erected by an intellectually dishonest commenter who constantly accuses others of erecting them. I’m thinking of an Alanis Morrisette tune.

    Bron, Also, if you read trhe book by Rodriquez you’ll see saavy terrorists like KSM learned how long they needed to last until the water stopped. He would count the seconds on his hand.

  68. “pols w/o a vested interest” is a recurring theme here. I need to bookmark this thread for future discussions.

  69. “A vested interest in avoiding prison.” Vegas has no line on that bet because it ain’t going to happen, and only a stupid person would.

  70. No straw man here, nick. And the only dishonesty here is your own.

    You want to say torture is bad and yet somehow responsible for a good thing – the capture of OBL – based on the report of one of the torturers instead of the CIA’s own account of what led to his capture which was human intelligence and signal intelligence, not torture.

    You’re saying torture works. According to experts, it doesn’t. According to the CIA, it didn’t lead to OBL’s capture either.

    Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    If you want to believe the fairy tale that torture is a good technique and led to OBL’s capture?

    Knock yourself out.

    Just don’t expect rational fact based beings to agree with you.

  71. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was singing like a canary to the investigators questioning him. That is, until Biggus Dickus and his henchmen decided that he needed to be waterboarded…..165 or so times. After the first time they used torture, he clammed up and they got absolutely no intelligence at all from him after that. It was out of frustration that Dick Cheney and the thug wing of the CIA waterboarded him so many times. The suspect would not have told them what year it was after they started that $hit.

    I probably have extracted more confessions and intelligence from suspects than anyone on this site. In forty years, I doubt I even raised my voice more than a half dozen times. I know some of the psychologists who created this monstrosity, and calling them to account is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall.

  72. Ah rhetorical jujitsu. Works both ways doesn’t it?

    Just wanted to note, I said much earlier on the thread that I wished for kindness in the New Year. I’m just noting that by way of nothing more that to say we fallible humans don’t remember very well. I’m well aware of my own mote-in-th-eye. That’s just the way we humans seem to be made.

    And it has nothing to do with anything else. Carry on l-)

  73. Gene, We may be arguing over a single letter. However, I doubt it matters to an idealogue. I’m saying torture “worke[d] as opposed to work[s]. I am quite certain the scientist you revere would agree that it can “work” but there are better techniques. WE AGREE ON THAT. This is quite insane and incredibly personal on your behalf. Please, I implore you, to let this go. You’ll live longer to fight the good fight if you don’t exert your energy over trivia. We agree on ~90%. Only a control freak needs 100%. So there’s that.

  74. History is going to look back on the last decade as one of the bleakest in US history I think. and not because a cadre of terrorists took down the twin towers. The things the US has said it stands for, domestically and abroad, have been shown to be a hollow sham, betrayed at a whim by executive connivance and chicanery, abetted and cheered on by a recumbent legislature in a manner befitting the Roman circus.

  75. You can try to wiggle out of what you said however you like, nick.

    Your assertion to “it worked” is belied by the CIA stipulated fact that it didn’t and you’re basing your assertion that it did on the word of a war criminal. I doubt that matters to the wilfully ignorant.

    The rest of your ad hominem bullshit? You keep it up. There will eventually be consequences. Your buddy id707 learned and changed his ways. He’s urged you to do the same more than once. You should listen to him. You’re about all out of charity here.

  76. I came out for that empathy (false) and a soft contact seeking voice is the best way to go. That is based on reading one report by a former CIA interrogator.

    I am naturally glad that OS avails us of his years of experience.

    It is simple as hell, offer the perp what he sees as a way out and you encourage his belief in that and his better half, then he will spill what you want just to get salvation of the guilt that even he feels, as we all do.

    It is used daily by the sweettalkers of the world, so watch for it and catch it next chance you get. You won’t have to wait a whole day IMHO.

    Not sure if you have to be a psychopath to be skilled at it, but maybe that helps. 10,000 hours of practice would make you perfect say some. Even the talented require that, And being awake and in contact for 8 hours a day should suffice counting from childhood, as the psychopath constantly practices. .

  77. DonS,

    Good comment, although a bleak one.

    I am not trying to top you, only inspired by you, I predict that the next decade will be worse. They are doing so well at setting us up, from all points of the compass and all entities.

    It does at least that we do the same mistakes in not correcting WS et al.
    And the surveillance and repression seems to be increasing.

    Thanks for the loan of your springboard.

  78. From Russ Baker:

    FDR, a traitor to his class who chose his way so as to avoid revolution and bloodshed, launched the NewDeal in 1932(?).

    Accdg to Baker, Grandpa Bush, a senator from CT(?), made his vow to kill it, HW could in his circles proclaim his victories, and Dubja could say that he dealt the “socialist dragon” a mortal wound. With SS up for discussion, while we are still being drained from well-known quarters, it would seem that he succeeded.

    And with Obama fumbling enablement. Bad negotiations are worse than none. A war on “IT” should have been declared long ago.

  79. “However, I doubt it matters to an idealogue. I’m saying torture “worke[d] as opposed to work[s]. I am quite certain the scientist you revere would agree that it can “work” but there are better techniques. WE AGREE ON THAT. This is quite insane and incredibly personal on your behalf. Please, I implore you, to let this go. You’ll live longer to fight the good fight if you don’t exert your energy over trivia.”

    My pompous ass has stayed out of this developing thread all day, but I would like to point out one thing that Nick does and that I really think he’s not aware of. due to the lack of awareness he thinks he is always being attacked, but never admits to being an attacker. In that one paragraph above he disparages Gene by calling him an “ideologue, engaging in insane and incredibly personal attacks and then is condescending.

    Nick,

    Your problems here aren’t that you’re being excluded from being a “regular” when you already are, but that you are blithely unaware of the fact that your whole manner is one of attack…..minor withdrawal….accusing others incivility…..and then finally playing victim. It really devolves upon your inability to perceive the consequences of your own verbal actions…..Now make yourself feel better and call me some more names…..Happy New Year.

  80. You may well be right about the next decade ID707. There doesn’t seem much indication that forces are working on behalf of a return to sanity and basic values, IMO.

    Politics is a reality that shapes our external lives to a considerable degree. Taking that seriously, and speaking out when possible, without fear, is a necessary challenge. Finding some path or way to separate and recognize the very limited moral/ethical/spiritual sphere in which politics wields its influence is also, to me, a necessary challenge.

    In some respect the challenge is ‘life’. And, in that game, politics is pretty small potatoes.

  81. Sermon from Mount Pompous. You should have remained on the outside because your comment is predictable and stale. Read the transcript and see who threw out “stupid” and “stick it”. Oh..that would be Curly @ 5:19. Don’t let the transcript get the way of the truth, Moe!

    You hear that ID, “Boss Gene got your mind right” Well Gene..”are you the man w/ no eyes” Are you “goin’ to get my mind right.” And what are the “consequences” Gene, are you threatening me boss man?

    rafflaw, You’re simply irrelevent. You should make a resolution to not say, “I agree w/..”. You’ll have a LOT more time to spend on substantive matters. Read what I said about McCain for chrissake. I’m sure you really revere him. How many times have you belittled him in the past 4 years??

    “Three blind mice..see how they run..”

  82. OS, Can we agree that when you interrogate people you assess them. Some will flip if you stomp your foot and others will tell you to shit in your hat no matter what technique you use. I respect what I’ve heard about you. But I’m no ham n’ egger. I know I’m tangling w/ your buddies but lets separate that horseshit from our discussion. If you can.

  83. nick:

    you are right, you did say you were against torture and that Leon Panetta said it worked.

    But you did insult Gene a couple of times as Mike pointed out.

    Like this one: “Only a control freak needs 100%. So there’s that.”

    It is probably just better to leave the ad hominem at home, it doesnt really add anything to the conversation.

  84. Bron, Thanks. I’ll take your advice under advisement. But, I refer you to his 5:19 comment and ask for your counsel in light of that.

  85. nick, all interrogations are a process of assessment. I do not discuss my success rate with anyone. I find I can get more with gentle nudging than by any other method. The late Dr. Ray Birdwhistell found that about 90% of all human communication is non verbal. It is true. Sometimes something as subtle as shallow breathing or eye pupils changing give me what I want. My granddaughter says that watching Lt. Joe Kenda is spooky, because she says it is like listening to me. She plans to get a combined PhD, JD and wants to specialize in forensic science.

  86. OS, I agree 100%. Whether the folks here believe it or not, I’m a charmer in person. That’s my 1st and 2nd tactic because that’s my personality. But..sometimes you have to brush them back..and then charm. I’m sure we’re on the same page. Good luck to your granddaughter. I know she has a great mentor. She’ll learn more from you than a professor.

  87. NickS,

    I am a special case and my experiences are offered for consideration. I would not dare, as I previously have done, give you advice. Your adult merits far exceed mine.

    But here is what I came upon here after a similar warning from GeneH.

    To use an analogy that applies to me:

    I found the truth in the old saying that honey draws more flies than vinegar.

    I also found that there was essentially no one to fear here, so relax (first time in mixed company ;-) )

    I found that opinions or anecdotal stories or essentially limited experience without scientific merit´; should not be called proven fact.
    To do so here or on a scientific blog is to be asking to be laughed at, if they are generous (for a while) or to be crucified.

    Lawyers training or jobs I don’t know skit about. But I can imagine that they are always asked to produce proof: starting from some solid basis and laying stone by stone to it, hoping that is will be favored or not toppled.
    Coming here with anything else is asking to be hopped upon, by one or several.

    So how do I get by? By learning to limit my opinions effective radii by calling them that, or other restrictive designations. If people agree, they will either offer supporting facts or own opinions. If not, you get arguments just as I did today from Tony C.

    But by not being fearful, testerone driven, and fearful of turf or status, I was more relaxed and found it easier to use my limited resources, and to couched them less arbitrarily, assertively, aggressively or snarky simply.

    So thanks for standing by me, this last year was one of being forced to learn, and if you’ve always faced peoples’ backs, then it is not easy to learn. If you go the way i did, you get lots of attention from which I learned .

    I have ceased in competing in the sense of how am I doing compared to others. I measure myself against myself the day before.

    I will still argue with the best, biggest and smartest here and that includes those whose soul power exceeds mine. But hopefully in terms they will accept, but no easy victories are to be found. And´ certainly no clear ones.

    Picking at others scabs and disturbing their allergies is not a good habit either. I choose my fights carefully. And watching my tongue was also necessary for me.

    And if I must for a principal spoil the party, I will not always do it. Go from there is better for me, if I can not join in.

    So now you and others have heard more of my struggles. Good luck.
    I won’t abandon you, but I will agree/disagree as necessary.

    And now some humor mixed with seriousness. Don’t push your luck with GeneH. He might just be JTs alter ego, although I don’t believe so.
    Do it for your own sake. Who knows it might even help as it has mine, IRL.

    You have a warm personality. Use it.

    PS Did you notice? The ladies go somewhere else when we fight.
    I think it is because they think we are silly. You have charmed several.
    So forget the fight and make the guys jealous. Said half-jokingly. Your choice on which half.

  88. It took me over an hour, from 7:38 until 8:40 to put the above comment together it was written without seeing the comments in between. Just so you know.

    Talk about limited resources! Speed in conception and writing it and taking away many grammatical errors etc takes time for me.

    Of course I could write shorter comments, but that would not be appropriate when telling my story to NickS.

  89. You’re promising what, Gene. What are the “consequences” of which you speak. I do like to be spanked..but only by women. Well, you might do.

  90. id707,

    I’m sorry, but I just had to laugh at the idea that I might be JT’s alter-ego.

    He’s a much nicer guy than I am and I’m allergic to soup made with Kit Carson (or any American frontiersman and Indian fighter).

  91. nick,
    If you are stating that I am irrelevant, I will take that as a compliment since you are wrong so often. It doesn’t matter what I think of McCain’s politics. He is someone who has experienced what torture does to a prisoner. He also knows first hand what torture does not produce for the interrogator/torturer. Besides, it is illegal.

  92. raff,

    Not only are you relevant, Mrs. raff tells us you smell like fresh baked cookies. I say that’s a win-win. :mrgreen:

  93. Nick,

    I’m sure among your small circle of friends your bullyboy manner is quite the thing. Here it isn’t about swagger, it is about rhetorical ability and logical thought. I remained on the outside laughing at your silly argument being demolished to the point of your virtually pleading to the jury for understanding, while harshly denouncing all who dared disagree with you not with valid argument, but with invective. Nick you’re a lightweight in a heavyweight division and too clueless to know it. I actually feel bad for you simply because you don’t get how weak your argument is here and unlike you who sheds crocadile tears of compassion I actually feel it. I take no pleasure in ripping you, save for the fact that ripping people has been your M.O. here. Your biggest problem Nick is you want to play alpha here, but you lack the chops. Finally, I stayed outside because I was certain you’d attack ànyone who disagreed with you even if their manner was civil. That’s what you do sadly.

  94. Nick,

    Also by the way check out any comment I’ve made to you, I always use your name and am critical of your behavior. You on the other hand are quite fond of “nick naming ” people you attack like “pompous ” for me and “Boss” for Gene. Sadly, nasty nicknames are the trademark of those lacking argumentation skills and a hallmark of a bully. George W. Bush loved to give denigrating nicnames to everybody and it seems so do you.

  95. Looks like it is heating up already.

    But there is to be hope for this new year. From the deep recesses of times forgotten, two kindred lion spirits have come to us today, taking our anger and contentions with each other and bringing that which divides us into their own hearts. These spirit lions will then be the ones to will fight our battles, absolving and relieving us of our burden to rage against each other.

    To the passionate men of the blogosphere: Like the Worry Doll is to the solace of the anxious, The Lions of Contention will be such for your discord. No longer must you be bound by honor to defeat your opponent, The Lions of Contention will indemnify you and your opponent, giving you peace in the new year and from that a tranquility for our great republic.

  96. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL!

    I HAD A GREAT DAY, and if I told you all about it you would just get jealous. So, you only get the highlights.

    My family gave me dvd copies of my favorite movies and instead of football on TV, we had

    “Babette’s Feast,” followed by “Saving Grace” with Tom Conti; next was Emilio Estevez’s “The Way” with father Martin Sheen, and then my most favorite movie of all time: “The Milagro Beanfield War,” even though the book is better,

    Then I come over here, and its Robert Burns’ songs! Oh rapturous glory! In my 7th grade English class, I passionately recited “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose” while staring at the girl who occupied my dreams. At recess, I got my first full on the lips kiss from the cross-eyed girl who sat behind my bonnie lass.

    In keeping with the spirit of the day, I present one of Burns’ tavern songs, “John Barleycorn”:

    There was three kings into the east,
    Three kings both great and high,
    And they hae sworn a solemn oath
    John Barleycorn should die.

    They took a plough and plough’d him down,
    Put clods upon his head,
    And they hae sworn a solemn oath
    John Barleycorn was dead.

    But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
    And show’rs began to fall;
    John Barleycorn got up again,
    And sore surpris’d them all.

    The sultry suns of Summer came,
    And he grew thick and strong;
    His head weel arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
    That no one should him wrong.

    The sober Autumn enter’d mild,
    When he grew wan and pale;
    His bending joints and drooping head
    Show’d he began to fail.

    His colour sicken’d more and more,
    He faded into age;
    And then his enemies began
    To show their deadly rage.

    They’ve taen a weapon, long and sharp,
    And cut him by the knee;
    Then tied him fast upon a cart,
    Like a rogue for forgerie.

    They laid him down upon his back,
    And cudgell’d him full sore;
    They hung him up before the storm,
    And turn’d him o’er and o’er.

    They laid him out upon the floor,
    To work him further woe;
    And still, as signs of life appear’d,
    They toss’d him to and fro.

    They wasted, o’er a scorching flame,
    The marrow of his bones;
    But a miller us’d him worst of all,
    For he crush’d him between two stones.

    And they hae taen his very heart’s blood,
    And drank it round and round;
    And still the more and more they drank,
    Their joy did more abound.

    John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
    Of noble enterprise;
    For if you do but taste his blood,
    ‘Twill make your courage rise.

    ‘Twill make a man forget his woe;
    ‘Twill heighten all his joy;
    ‘Twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
    Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

    Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
    Each man a glass in hand;
    And may his great posterity
    Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

    Salud, amigos, y buenos noche!

  97. Interesting discussion … I’m with Tony’s presentation of a civil society.

    Now it is time to put the beans to soak as tomorrow is soup making day. The ham bone and turkey carcass left from the New Years Eve buffet will become bean soup (add a bit of beer to the finished soup to bring up the bean taste) and turkey noodle soup, respectively.

    All in all, an excellent holiday season.

  98. Which way will the DOW go later today when the markets open? If they crash, I am buying, if the go up then I am selling because an upswing now means a dive later. I say that Congress has created the cliff, whether physical or fiscal, and we have landed on the beach side. The water would have been a better landing but the tide was out.

  99. Barkin’ Dog,

    Appreciate that you attempt to give us humor, but can’t find any humor in oppression just now
    Do you win much by being countervailing?

    I could have made a million krowns (minus 30 percent tax) on a one time deal.
    The wife said; “What do you need the money for” (Was she afraid I would leave her? I was barely getting by otherwise, paid my share but not more.)

    So did not sell them. They dropped from 210 kr/share to 17 kr/share oven the two following years. So now I am poverty stricken (an exaggeration),

    But the shares are still lagging although the company has seen its chief rivals die and have bought the remains worth it. Philips, Lucent. etc.

    Gravely OT, but it seemed to belong the season of regrets and new resolutions.

  100. We were earlier discussing the zero dark and dirty film, and the merits of claims and dementis, particularly the reports and statements by Senator Feinstein et al.

    Here shows what reading a link from here can give. The CIA has come out and says the film is BS. (my paraphrase :-)

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/20/opinion/bergen-senators-torture-film/index.html
    ==========================

    ´From CNN specialist Statement by acting CIA director:

    “Acting CIA director Michael Morell, in a letter to CIA employees on Friday, took strong exception to this portrayal of how bin Laden was found:”

    “”The film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. ”

    “Zero Dark Thirty” opened Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and will open nationwide in the second week in January.

    Let’s hope that the attention that “Zero Dark Thirty” has directed to the issue of what kind of intelligence was derived from the CIA’s coercive interrogations will help to put pressure on the White House and the CIA to release to the public as much as possible of the presently classified 6,000-page report by the Senate Intelligence Committee that examines this issue”
    ========================================

    Let us all hope the same, I said that. Ie me too.

  101. Don’t mean to minimize or make fun of anyone’s misfortunes in their investments but last year I made a supremely good deal in the currency market. I turned 11 dollars into 10 trillion dollars!

    Yes, it happened. I found a Zimbabwe 10 Trillion Dollar Bill on the market (eBay that is) and for an $11 investment I became a trillionaire. :)

    Here’s a picture:

    Now that I got that socialized need to be someone special out of my system, I don’t have to burden myself by keeping up with the Jones Family next door, being a trillionaire means that you don’t have to prove anything; money is no longer important.

    I thought about donating my 10 trillion to the US Government to pay 2/3rds of the national debt. I thought of no better way to serve my country than to give so much but my accountant said something this 10 trillion dollar bill wouldn’t pay for 1 Planck Time Unit of gov’t spending. Wow, I thought, the problem must be worse than I thought.

    Maybe I could go in to philanthropy, like buying off all the $cientologist leadership, releasing all their followers from their Indentured Servitude to the church. I did not realize until late in life that church goers of $cientology had to, like folks from the 1700’s who signed Indentures to pay for passage accross the Atlantic, sign ones to secure passage to the Kingdom of Heaven. I would take such joy in allowing people into heaven without the financial burden.

    Maybe I could go into politics, I could buy all the votes in the USA and corner the market. Once I got into office, I could save the lobbyists and special interests a lot of money since they would not have to pay me any money to support their interests. I could just pay for my own re-election campaign. Then I could also give a few trillion dollars to all the elected officials in our federal government, bringing the end game to a head. Having satisfied their need for money, I am sure they would now have the country’s best interests in mind and be benevolent. But, again my accountant tells me a few trillion wouldn’t wouldn’t matter one Planck Hill of Beans.

    So I guess I am going to have to just sit back and be contented with the gifts the world has given me. Being a trillionaire does have its advantages, but I would give it all away for a little peace in the world. My accountant insists this would be a very small price to pay. I hope he is right.

  102. Oh, and I almost forgot, I must give credit to where credit is due.

    I would like to thank Zimbabwe’s president, The Right Honourable Robert Mugabe, for providing me all this immense wealth with this 10 Trillion Dollar bill. If he was so generous to provide me this, I cannot imagine the fortune he must have given to all his citizens over there. I am sure everyone one of them is a trillionaire many times over and live a peaceful and tranquil life under his leadership.

  103. “Yes, it happened. I found a Zimbabwe 10 Trillion Dollar Bill on the market (eBay that is) and for an $11 investment I became a trillionaire. ” Darren
    —–
    that is so cool! and that funny looking icon in the lower right corner of the bill… isn’t that international sign language? you know, the sign adopted by truckers and angry drivers everywhere for use when they get behind you and you’re not going fast enough??? :)

  104. Darren:

    so which one is Nick and which one is Gene?

    I know which one Nick thinks is Gene based on a previous comment.

    Also how do you know that isnt some sort of mating call?

  105. On New Year’s while we were commenting, the oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell which Obama pushed into the Arctic to drill baby drill, ran aground.

    The 18 member crew abandoned ship without loss of life in large waves and strong winds.

    The vessel is aground on Sitkadiliak Island, just off Kodiak Island.

  106. Dredd:

    thanks for the memories, I saw that rig when it was new up in Alaska, Dutch Harbor, I think. The rig has a concave hull to allow ice to break on it. Ice isnt very strong in tension so it breaks when it rolls up on the hull.

    Stuff happens but that doesnt mean you dont press on and overcome. Look what your microbes ended up doing.

  107. MikeS, I feel so ashamed. I know I’m not worthy to be in the presence of a man imbued w/ so much knowledge as you. Thank you for your true compassion and tolerance. I now realize it isn’t sanctimony or condescension but the love and wisdom from an Ivy Leaguer. May I have some more pudding, sir?

  108. NickS,

    Cut it the skit out.

    You won’t go to pieces by modifying your techniques, just a little ego, and every day a little of that is whittled away anyway by the RL.
    WTF are you gaining. Not fans now. Leave your ego at the door when entering here.

  109. Woosty,

    Truckers sign? Yeah. And Bron was observant too.

    Here comes besserwisser:
    It is a mini-replica of the stone pile in the middle of the bill.
    It shows the stone age which Mugabe wishes to return to.
    Actually perhaps a part of their pre-European culture time when they built a city which is largely standing today. More trivial later.

  110. OS, I have Gene telling me there will be “consequences”. I have you telling me “I’m pushing my luck.” Well, OS where were you when I had a nice conversation w/ SWM about my deceased sister and our love of Mexican food and out of the f@ckn’ blue I get, “And Hitler loved his dog.” What the hell have I said here that even comes close to that? Please tell me. I know you guys are friends so I have little hope for an objective response but maybe you’ll surprise me.

    ID, Lets get to the substance. “Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation.” THAT’S what I have said. We are talking about percentages, not that NOTHING came out of it as some here believe. ID, I know I’m out of my league but here’s my pedestrian analysis. I am obviously the only person here who read the book by the man in charge of these techniques. I have seen MikeS and Gene discredit books w/o even having read them, in this instance and others. I refer to the transcript here that shows my thoughts on these techniques. WE ARE IN AGREEMENT. I’ve been told by a man who is supposedly the smartest guy here that the Senators who released their study[just a couple weeks prior to this flick!!] had “no vested interest.” Well, that’s preposterous on its face. But let’s be specific. I believe their intention is noble. However, we all know w/ what the road to hell is paved. Polls show that 50-54% of Americans support these techniques. And, which way do you think those polls will go if we get hit w/ a chemical weapon, dirty bomb, etc. Hell, most people will abide cutting off fingers and toes. I’m thinking of the last poignant scene in the flick, Three Days of the Condor. In that regard, we know the power of film. And, if Americans see these techniques helped w/ the killing of bin Laden..no matter how much, those polls will go up. That’s the fear of these, in this case, noble Senators and the current administration’s CIA guy. I HAVE THAT SAME FEAR. However, I will never abide rewriting history to abate it. This was a dark moment in our history. We have had much darker. However, the motives of these Senators shows how our politics have devolved. In a way they are trying to preemptively control the pols. If they were truly noble the polls would be irrellevant. You swear to uphold the Constitution. Some will be doing that next week. In a perfect world, the polls should not matter. We know this world is less than perfect.

  111. Ooo. A material misrepresentation of the facts about your manufactured outrage over your sister again, nick. Appeal to emotion much? That’s a logical fallacy that won’t help you when the time comes around here. We’re an evidence and logic based sort of folk.

    Keep it up though.

    Simply more evidence.

  112. Wootsy, Great clip. I’ve never even heard of this flick but I like the 2 “Italian” actors. Have you seen the flick and what’s your review? And, I do get the message via humor.

  113. W=^..^

    I saw it a couple of months ago on one of the movie channels. You’ll like it.

    P.S. Check your e-mail. It’s about WWF.

  114. nick,
    The regular commenters here on this site have an unspoken “Don’t be a dick” rule.

    Irony, debate, logical challenges and dark humor are all different from sarcasm and general bad manners.

  115. “Some 3,000 people were kidnapped and killed during Pinochet’s 1973-1990 rule. Another 28,000 people were tortured during military rule, among them former President Michelle Bachelet.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/02/world/americas/02reuters-chile-jara.html?hp

    Former Chilean Military Officials Held in Singer’s 1973 Slaying

    By REUTERS
    Published: January 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM ET

    SANTIAGO (Reuters) – At least four former military officials were detained in Chile on Wednesday for their alleged role in the slaying of singer-songwriter Victor Jara during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

    Jara was killed days after the coup that ousted left-leaning President Salvador Allende, and his death became a symbol of the political violence and human rights abuses that ravaged Latin America in the 1970s.

    Chilean prosecutors have accused two former lieutenants, Hugo Sanchez and Pedro Barrientos, of fatally shooting Jara and named six others as accomplices in the 1973 case.

    Sanchez was detained on Wednesday after surrendering to police, the judge in the case said. An extradition request will be made for Barrientos, who lives in the United States.

    Three other men, accused of being accomplices in Jara’s killing, also were being held at a military base after turning themselves in. Another suspect was expected to hand himself over to police, his lawyers said.

    Jara, author of well-known songs such as “Te Recuerdo Amanda” (“I Remember You Amanda”) and “El Derecho a Vivir en Paz” (“The Right to Live in Peace”), was arrested along with students and teachers at the State Technical University.

    He was taken to the Chile Stadium, a sports venue that was used as a torture center in the days after the September 11, 1973, coup and is now named after Jara.

    According to witnesses, he was tortured for several days – his hands battered with the butt of a revolver – before he was shot dead on September 16. His bullet-riddled body was found dumped near a cemetery three days later.

    Jara’s family has welcomed the eight arrest orders and hope progress in the case can spur advances in investigations of other dictatorship-era crimes.

    “If Victor’s case serves as an example, we’re pushing forward in demanding justice for Victor with the hope that justice will follow for everyone,” Jara’s widow, Joan Jara, told reporters.

    Jara’s case has been closed several times but the investigation was revived in 2003 by Judge Juan Guzman, who also investigated Pinochet over human rights abuses.

    Some 3,000 people were kidnapped and killed during Pinochet’s 1973-1990 rule. Another 28,000 people were tortured during military rule, among them former President Michelle Bachelet.

    (Reporting by Chile newsroom; Writing by Helen Popper; Editing by Bill Trott)

    And what Tony C. said.

  116. nick:

    You (and me for that matter) might want to adopt more of a honey approach and eschew the vinegar. You and the other commenters have a lot of interesting things to say but they get lost in the snappy –and sometimes acerbic –repartee’. As an offender myself, I can tell you it does no one any credit as my family reminds me on occasion. Plus, it disrupts the good dialog and makes people wonder if all us are here to lash out or learn.

    Just an observation. Make of it what you will.

  117. Rafflaw asked:
    So Darren,
    Are you buying the first round now that you are rolling in dough??

    ~+~
    Certainly ! As many of you know, I have a large stock of booze and booze accessories. But unfortunately getting the post office to deliver alcohol is the problem. :)

    In the spirit of this blog, a bottle of Five Wives Vodka to you all !

  118. Elaine,

    I would like to but the ATF and the FDA wouldn’t allow it due to alcoholism concerns. The notion of Five Husbands would drive any woman to drink heavily. :)

  119. “The notion of Five Husbands would drive any woman to drink heavily.”

    Not to mention the increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

  120. OS and mespo, I respect both of you. The intellectual honesty is one of the qualities I always seek. You two are righteous veterans and while we have disagreed I don’t think there is any animous. I know there is none on my part.While I accept my responsibility on this thread it seems I am the only one ever called out for “being a dick.” Hell..I know I can be a dick. The transcript shows I feared this before is devolved because I know the pathology of fellow “dicks”. What pisses me off is how we got off the substance. However, when I have purported intellectuals saying they refuse to read a book by a “war criminal”[apparently already charged, tried and convicted in a secret tribunal] and refuse to see a movie I say WTF!! I will repeat for the 5th time, there is hardly any disagreement on substance. My last substantive comment @ 11:13 gave a synopsis of my views on this. I want you two to tell me if they are stupid, or if I am stupid. Because that’s what I’ve been called numerous times, along w/ “out of my league.” Thanks.

  121. SWM, You’re killing me! When I get to San Diego that is always my first lunch. I go to LaPlaya, a small taco stand, obviously on the beach, owned by a nice Mexican family. The owner gives me a big grin when I walk in and asks, “Posole, Nick”? Do you make it? I’ve never tried.

  122. Darren-

    I am sorry to have to tell you this, but you must find out sometime. Now that you have exposed yourself as America’s newest trillionaire, your mailbox will be filled with solicitations to join the Republican Party and run for United States Senator from one of the unrepentant Confederate States. You will also receive solicitations from numerous “consultants” offering you seminars on how to screw your employees out of their overtime, their paid holidays, their vacations, their health insurance, and their children if you happen to own a cotton mill. You will also receive invitations to $50,000 a plate dinners where you will be forced to sit with Donald Trump, three grade school drop-outs named Walton, and at least four members of the Bush family. And, just wait until you start dating one of the Kardashians!

    It’s not all gravy, Darren.

  123. My oh my!

    NickS, we do agree in part, but one man’s voice I can not accept unless time has proven´him correct. Examples: Ellsberg, Russ Baker, and Ishmael Jones. So I’ll waít for other studies which confirms his assertions.

    Gene and Nick, What a couple of “dicks” you are. (Tongue is out now, but not the finger.) ;-)

    Gene, enjoying your sadistic strain now? Read him the rule on geniality, no it was something about not being abusive. Yourself being excluded.
    And would you get pissed if your sob story was kicked in the testicles with “and hitler loved his dog”? That is not civility. Did anybody trace that puppet?

    OS You are not Emily Post. Keep to the defined rules please.

    Messpo,
    The most generous comment on this thread. Congratulations from me.
    Particularly like people who can take advice from their families. I never had one.

    NickS in re the shit you are getting now. All I could do was use myself as a template for adaption. Worked for me. WTF are you protecting? Integrity.? Where did you buy that? Prestige? Accorded after free will, assuming GeneH is not big brother.
    I told you most don’t like brawls.
    Change. Even if Obama could and can not, I could. And have more fun and no fear as a consequence.

    I vacate my pulpit for the next orator.

  124. Learn to read.

    “When did you drink the kool-aid?” – ad hominem by nick directed at me.

    Cause.

    “It’s not against the law to be stupid.”

    Effect.

    I’ve told you time and again if you act like an ass I’ll treat you like one, nick.

    Apparently that lesson is too hard for you to learn.

    You really don’t want to make this an evidentiary issue, nick. It starts with the interaction on the Tarantino thread where I pointed out that her “not being mother of the year” was irrelevant to the circumstances and legality of her road side search to which you responded with a long litany of unprompted ad hominem. This way of “arguing” on your part is simply part of the same pattern Mike S. noted above. When the facts or logic don’t fit what you want, your first course of action is to attack the speaker. And you whine like a little girl when attacked back and play victim.

    I told you before you need to learn to argue better and that civility towards you rests in how you treat others (Ethic of Reciprocity). Me? I’m as nice to people as they let me be and until their actions demand otherwise. I am, however, no one’s doormat.

    No one else here is your doormat either.

    Learn to attack arguments and not people and you’d have no problem here. Win? Lose? Agree? Disagree? It doesn’t matter. That is up to the audience to decide.

    Continue to act like you do – which by your own admission is like a dick?

    There will be consequences.

    You don’t get to endlessly and without provocation break the civility rule (and then complain about civility) without there being consequences.

    You should take your buddy Id707’s advice.

    We have very few rules here but you are perpetually pushing the limits and it will not be allowed to continue indefinitely. Whether or not you respect anyone here or not is irrelevant to the fact you are expected to respect the forum and what rules we do have.

  125. “It’s not all gravy, Darren.”

    On the other hand, HenMan, a trillion dollars buys a lot of rubber chicken.

  126. nick:

    No animus at all. I just enjoy reading your thoughts and it distracts me with all the diatribe. Frankly, I’ve got just a few minutes on most days to read through and it is a real pain to parse through the venom to get to the good parts. I think you make a valuable contribution to the blawg with your substantive stuff which I agree with a lot of the time. That said, you do get into a lot of sidetracking which invokes the wrath of some. Justifiably too –sometimes — but still you seem to get more than your share of negative feedback. Bottom line is that you’ve got too good a mind for this trifling.

    Mark

    PS: I can’t take credit for the last line. That came from my wife and was spoken quite pointedly about someone she knows pretty well.

  127. AP,

    Thanks for the recipe. Sound delicious. Like I said, our poor don’t eat as well nor soundly as the mexican cuisine provides. You lucky American residents.

  128. ID:

    “Messpo,
    The most generous comment on this thread. Congratulations from me.
    Particularly like people who can take advice from their families. I never had one.”

    ***********************

    That’s sad, but you’ve joined this little ruckus quite nicely.

  129. nick,

    FWIW, I agree with Mark when he says “I think you make a valuable contribution to the blawg with your substantive stuff which I agree with a lot of the time. That said, you do get into a lot of sidetracking which invokes the wrath of some. Justifiably too –sometimes — but still you seem to get more than your share of negative feedback.”

    When you stick to substance, you’re fine. When you sidetrack by attacking speakers? As Mark, Mike and myself have noted, that is when you invite discord.

    You have no enemies here other than yourself.

  130. GeneH,

    You are alway so GeneH like. I love you for it.

    Were you counting on my paranoia, to fill the space your unspecificness left, to heighten my worry? Never mind it is mostly at rest now.

    There I am again making assumptions, mostly negative.

    The general problem is learning to tolerate perceived failings by others. Hard to change that.

    Rule nr nnnnn. Do not criticize based on assumption as to others motivations. Ad hominems, even witty ones, can hurt. I learn how to do them when I was 6. Time to change, Keep on trying. Words to myself.

  131. “Were you counting on my paranoia, to fill the space your unspecificness left, to heighten my worry?”

    Neither. An observation is not necessarily an objection (which is what the colloquial “take exception” means). Don’t fall victim to your own assumptions. It was an observation. Nothing more.

  132. Mark,

    Yeah, well I do feel part of the family since my attempted conversion the last days. It is a nice feeling. Guess that was why I came here.

    Your and GeneH’s latest to Nick are what maybe can dispell his fear.

    To be less than perfect and told of it is terrible to the one dependent for their value on their knowledge. Speaking for myself only.

    Your disclosure of where the last line came from was big-hearted.
    No more drone attacks from me!!!! Promise. New Years resolution. Don’t laugh,. We make so many that fail.

  133. “I thought it was “Thank you, sir. May i have another?””

    Mark,

    It was a direct quote so I was dealing in substance.

  134. “Mike,
    But what if he eats his meat?”

    Gene,

    You pre-suppose something that that might not be borne out by the evidence. One has to understand the nature of one’s actions to be able to decide what to do about them, if anything.

  135. A little conjecture never hurts, Mike. Well. Almost never. I remember one time that the question “I wonder what would happen if I hit on that hot red head?” didn’t work out so well. :mrgreen: Once bitten, forever smitten.

  136. mespo, Thanks. I value what you say and will take note. When you suggest I need to take a breath I will always take note, I may not agree but I will pause and reflect. Maybe one or two other men here have the integrity to make me take heed. A few more women do also. I’m a very good judge of people. It’s tougher in this forum. This is a good blog, as I’ve said many times. However, it is insular in many respects. I have said numerous times we need more diversity here. And, I’m making efforts in that regard. However, whenever I bring up that topic it is a thread killer! Just go to the post following this one for evidence. I think some folks are very comfortable w/ a small club. I grew up in a big family and believe “the more the merrier.” I sense we have a few “only children” here who find more people, and more diversity, a threat. I know Mr. Turley would like more. I’m certain you do also.

  137. anonymous, Now you’re killing me too! I just came back from my 5 mile walk, something a few here should consider, and I would love a bowl of posole/pozole[I see it spelled both ways].

  138. Insight, Insight, insight above all.

    An example: One of my favorite heroes, was one when on the commission for the Challenger crash, he used his mind to make a graphic demonstrable point, Details another time. He was a Nobel prize winner in physics.

    He also wrote candid books about himself.
    One was titlled using the question his tragicallly deceased fiancée said to him: “Why/What? do you care what other people think?
    Many like myself would reply with a litany of misdeeds dealt me.

    I wonder if he realized the true import? The question really asks “Why do you need their approval in order to regard yourself well?”

    No finger pointing here. An observation made since I set the heat under my potatoes. Will continue fixing my food. Posole anyone? Maybe next time.

  139. Straw man, nick.

    Diversity is encouraged by the open door and free speech policies. Anyone can comment here and state their case for their opinions. They can even do so anonymously. No one is checked at the door for their race, nationality, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, education, religion (or lack thereof) or politics. We don’t censor on substantive content. We try to avoid banning people whenever possible and go to great lengths to avoid doing so as evidenced by how few people have ever gotten banned (it’s less than 10 in many years of operation and many thousands of unique visitors). Your opinions are yours and you are entitled to them and to express them. We let someone advocate bestiality without censor, for Pasta’s sake. Anyone can say what they like about substantive matters. You have free speech here. Freer than any place I’ve seen on the Web. Most blogs would have given you an unceremonious boot to the curb for violating their rules once let alone multiple times while presenting multiple chances for you to change your ways. However and consequently, speakers can and will be challenged on what they say as a matter of both logic and evidence. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. Faulty logic is equally open for challenge. People will be able back up their opinions and statements when challenged or they won’t. Agreement is not required. You are not free from having your statements challenged. That is at the core of the Right to Free Speech. That is how critical thought and debate interact in public discourse. That is how the marketplace of ideas works.

    Posters cannot, however, willy nilly ignore the rules and attack speakers personally when they are losing an argument. Even in court, ad hominem has a very narrow, limited acceptable application. If that’s your preferred method of dealing with challenge? Then maybe this isn’t the forum for you. If you seek simple unchallenged confirmation that you are always right? I’m sure there is some site out there where you can get that and if not you can always create your own blog. If you just like attacking people instead of arguments based on substance? Huff Po, FOXNews, and Drudge Report are open 24/7/365.

    Insular is your perception, not the reality, and diversity is welcome. Your attempt to change the subject is a distraction from the real issue: your persistent ad hominem attacks when what you say is challenged. Sometimes even when it isn’t. In short, your inability and/or unwillingness to follow the rules. Again, your actual respect or disrespect of anyone here is irrelevant to you being expected to follow the few rules we do have and respecting both the forum and rules.

    That’s the issue at hand. Not diversity.

    Evasion and straw men will not change that.

  140. HenMan warned:
    Now that you have exposed yourself as America’s newest trillionaire,… just wait until you start dating one of the Kardashians!
    ~+~
    Oh no! That was something truly unforseen, yikes. Maybe this vast wealth I now have is going to corrupt even me. Being married to a Kardashian gal, that would mean two weeks in hell before she would call it off. Wait, I am safe, I’m already married. Wow, that was a close one.

  141. “America does not debate when genocide is acceptable. We do not debate whether racism is useful. No civilized country should be having a debate about whether, much less when, it is appropriate to torture.”
    -Vincent Warren, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

    Does Torture Work? Wrong Question!

    by Vincent Warren

    Posted: 12/21/2012 11:27 am

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-warren/zero-dark-thirty-torture_b_2340967.html

    “Our reaction to the torture depicted in Zero Dark Thirty, regardless of whether the film accurately portrays what resulted from the torture, should be one of national shame and a firm commitment never to repeat the horrors depicted there. The focus on whether or not torture was key to killing bin Laden is a symptom of America having lost its moral compass. The 20th century saw great advances in the understanding of universal human rights, largely in reaction to — and revulsion against — the horrors of the WWII era, and the United States played an important and commendable leadership role in those developments. But we have gone from being a human rights leader to a human rights laggard.

    Not only is our past use of torture a “stain on our national conscience,” as Feinstein, Levin, and McCain note, but we have yet to atone for these atrocities. It is not enough to “look forward.” Legal prohibitions without accountability for their violations are meaningless. I am proud to say that… the Center for Constitutional Rights has been dogged and relentless in its efforts to hold torturers accountable for exactly that reason. From the six years we spent trying to get justice for Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen sent by the U.S. to Syria to be tortured, to the first-ever settlement in a case of private military contractors torturing Iraqi civilians at Abu Ghraib, to our efforts in Spain, Canada and Switzerland to have Bush officials prosecuted — we have used every legal avenue available to demand accountability from those who shackled, maimed, brutalized and tormented their fellow human being, those who ordered them to do so and those who wrote the policies implementing such euphemistically named “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

    America does not debate when genocide is acceptable. We do not debate whether racism is useful. No civilized country should be having a debate about whether, much less when, it is appropriate to torture.”

  142. “I wonder what would happen if I hit on that hot red head?”

    Gene,

    Asked myself that same question and here I am 32 years later. Luck of the draw.

  143. “Maybe one or two other men here have the integrity to make me take heed. A few more women do also.”

    For some the ego elevating insult must always be there, overtly or covertly. So much so, that it is so automatic that the person is unconscious of it. I simply note the psychology as is my wont.

  144. “Agreement is not required. You are not free from having your statements challenged. That is at the core of the Right to Free Speech. That is how critical thought and debate interact in public discourse.”

    Gene,

    True, but sadly a waste of breath. He simply doesn’t get that he gets attacked because he leads by insult and because he never responds to points made with anything other than anecdotal subjectivity. His first ever comment on the blog was the equivalent of walking into a strange bar with a swagger and saying “I can lick any man in the house”. Someone really capable of doing that of course never announces it, not having to prove anything.

  145. “Wait, I am safe, I’m already married.”

    Are you sure, Darren? Have you seen the show? With that lot? Ehhhh, maybe, maybe not. :mrgreen:

  146. “Wait, I am safe, I’m already married.”

    Darren,

    The difference is you’re married with integrity, that’s what makes you safe. :)

  147. “And it’s not Darren’s integrity I’m worried about, Mike. Those gals are scary.”

    Gene,

    Yes they are scary and I’ve found there are always a few women attracted to men specifically because they are married, probably especially so if they’re rich. My single years taught me to be aware of the overt packaging though in that the most tempting package, often bore the most bitter fruit. Darren will do the right thing I’m sure, but also his Trillion$ can buy him some great security, since with wealth comes avarice and envy………..i’m just “sayin”.

  148. OS,

    It seems many of us regulars have the same predilection.

    If there is a God, I think red heads are proof he wants to drive guys crazy. :D

  149. FYI, the second pic was taken thirty years after the first one. Celtic lassies do not get older, they get better.

  150. I only skimmed so if I come in ignorant, forgive me. But when the question is “does torture work?” or even, “did torture work this time?” my opinion has to be that the wrong question was asked.

    Here’s what I think would work: If somebody is bad, kill them before they can do some harm. THAT would REALLY work.

    On the other hand, let’s figure out what we would defend ourselves FROM as a nation. Would we defend ourselves from some foreign government that came in here and tried to take over and tried to, say: (a) Torture people if they had information about really bad stuff that could be stopped if they would divulge what they knew; and (b) arrange that someone can freely sexually abuse up to one/tenth of our children; and (c) keep big secrets about how the highest officials in our courts were deciding what to do with cases brought before them?

    How hard would we fight to resist such a government?

    Well, we have such a government. Get over it. We probably have no need to ever go to war again.

  151. AP, I absolutely agree that the Constitution should not be held hostage to polls. But, politicians are obsessed w/ polls and pander to them. Again, 50-54% of Americans have no problem w/ waterboarding. That % goes up 10-20 points if we’re hit w/ chemical or nuclear by terrorists. “Noble” politicains[Feinstein, McCain, etc.] are trying to do everything they can to have those %’s not go up by any means neccesary, including but not limited to pressuring Hollywood movie makers. That’s because these “noble” politicians will sell out the Constitution in a NY minute if the the number hits the mid 60’s. Maybe not McCain, he has absolute integrity on this. Their “nobility” is really cowardice w/ a noble veneer.Thanks for some substance.

  152. Winning Message? ‘If You Love Waterboarding, Vote For Romney’
    New polling shows that more Americans support torture in 2012 than they did under Bush
    – Common Dreams staff
    10/2/12
    https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/02-3

    Excerpt:
    In a little noticed story in The New York Times last week, it was reported that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, if elected, would reverse the Obama executive order which put an end to the use of torture practices—euphemized by many as “enhanced interrogation” practices—employed by the US military and CIA during the presidency of George W. Bush.

    If recent polling is reflective of the wider US electorate, Mitt Romney may just have a winning torture platform that would make George W. Bush and his legal advisers sigh with envy. (AP) On Tuesday, Politico reports that the Romney campaign has tapped former legal advisers to President Bush to join their legal team, including Steven Bradbury, “who led the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel from 2005 to 2009 and signed three 2005 memos reassuring the CIA and the DOJ that techniques like waterboarding were legal.”

    To re-constitute a government torture program may not seem like an especially winning policy position to woo prospective voters. Unless, according to new polling data, the voters one is trying to win over happen to be American.

    Commissioned by national security analyst Amy Zegart and conducted by the polling research company YouGov in August, the poll found that 41 percent of respondents said “the United States should torture prisoners captured in the fight against terrorism” while only only 34 percent said it should not.

    Using the same questions as were asked in polls during the Bush presidency in 2005, those supporting torture are now 14 percentage points more prevalent under President Obama. What was more troubling, according to Zegart was that Americans are very specific in the kind of torture they like.

    In her recent article for Foreign Policy, Torture Creep, Zegart explains that:

    Respondents in 2012 are more pro-waterboarding, pro-threatening prisoners with dogs, pro-religious humiliation, and pro-forcing-prisoners-to-remain-naked-and-chained-in-uncomfortable-positions-in-cold-rooms. In 2005, 18 percent said they believed the naked chaining approach was OK, while 79 percent thought it was wrong. In 2012, 30 percent of Americans thought this technique was right, an increase of 12 points, while just 51 percent thought it was wrong, a drop of 28 points. In 2005, only 16 percent approved of waterboarding suspected terrorists, while an overwhelming majority (82 percent) thought it was wrong to strap people on boards and force their heads underwater to simulate drowning. Now, 25 percent of Americans believe in waterboarding terrorists, and only 55 percent think it’s wrong.

  153. “The CIA Weighs In: Torture Did Not Help Find Bin Laden
    By Josh Bell, ACLU at 5:09pm

    Since the killing of Osama bin Laden, there has been much debate over whether the torture of detainees in U.S. custody helped American intelligence find the terror leader. It would be hard to find a better authority on where the truth lies than CIA Director Leon Panetta. Now the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent has released part of a letter from Panetta to torture opponent Sen. John McCain — and the contents leave little doubt that torture played no role in locating the courier who eventually led to bin Laden. Panetta wrote:

    In the end, no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.

    The most high-profile back-and-forth over the issue has been between Sen. McCain and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who has been doing some backpedalling on his initial claim that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed put U.S. intelligence on the courier’s trail after being waterboarded. Sen. McCain wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last week about how torture does not work because it only gets victims to say something — not necessarily the truth.

    That point is backed up by former military interrogators such as Matthew Alexander, who helped track down al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Alexander told the Huffington Post last week:

    I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden… they gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us.

    Torture supporters like former senator and current presidential candidate Rick Santorum (who made some ludicrous statements Tuesday about Sen. McCain’s torture argument) have argued that lies from detainees helped in the bin Laden hunt because it showed that they were protecting important information. But of course, the same holds true whether the prisoners were tortured or not.

    It’s not surprising that the proponents of torture would try to use the killing of bin Laden to support these illegal methods — unfortunately for them, their argument that torture works is false. But even if some shred of evidence were gained through torture, it would prove nothing, because the same or better information could have been obtained humanely. What we can do now is hold those responsible for this country’s use of torture accountable.”

    http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/cia-weighs-torture-did-not-help-find-bin-laden

  154. NickS,

    Still using insults. Good luck with that. “Thanks for substance” Don’t you understand what you are saying to the others here by that?
    If that is your pleasure. Do what you want.

    I could take up waltzing the ladies in your absence, but don’t think they are interested in old cranks. :-)

    Take a timeout, IMHO you might need it.

    MikeS and GeneH sell a good line. Believe it, try it and call their bluff after six months trial. Got nothing else to suggest.

    No more pulpit sermons from me.

    Write me at fallingpetals@hushmail.com from wherever you land, so we can continue discussing food, etc.

  155. ID, Just trying to keep it positive. It was a good link and I gave it kudos w/ a bit of humor. What’s wrong w/ that?

  156. Gene’s post made me think about the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, called the worst pain known to man.
    I had a neurosurgeon say he would do one surgery (that had stopped my pain 99.9% the year before – it came back 3 mths later) only to tell me a doctor I neither liked nor trusted should do a procedure I did not want and had already had in a somewhat different manner (lidocaine instead of heat) with no benefit.
    I fought against this, repeatedly saying “No.” until the pain took over and told me to say “Yes.”
    Pain can make people do and say things they would otherwise not. Whether in an outright torture situation they would lie or hold out longer, or forever, I dont know. Just felt there was an anology to be made. (:

  157. leej, You have sympathy from me. I’ve suffered from chronic pain since a bad accident in 2007. I take OTC pain meds along w/ gabapentin, opiates, etc. I’ve done alternative medicine of energy massage and acupuncture, the latter being the more effective. My acupuncturist is from China and she is a hoot. Having had my share of physical and emotional pain I prefer the former, but it’s a shitty choice!

  158. (Nick, I am sorry you have chronic pain also. I too am on gabapentin and low level opiate. The alternativse dont help me but I am glad you are having benefit(s) from it. Enjoying your acupuncturist is a nice perk. (:
    I don’t know, for me emotional pain I can get over (at some point). This, unless my brain stimulator starts working again, chances very, very slim.)

  159. How Zero Dark Thirty Sanitizes Torture
    For torture victims, it’s the psychological wounds, not the physical ones, that never really heal.
    —By Peter Van Buren
    | Wed Jan. 2, 2013
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/how-zero-dark-thirty-sanitizes-torture

    Excerpt:
    This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.

    If you look backward you see a nightmare. If you look forward you become the nightmare.

    There’s one particular nightmare that Americans need to face: in the first decade of the twenty-first century we tortured people as national policy. One day, we’re going to have to confront the reality of what that meant, of what effect it had on its victims and on us, too, we who condoned, supported, or at least allowed it to happen, either passively or with guilty (or guiltless) gusto. If not, torture won’t go away. It can’t be disappeared like the body of a political prisoner, or conveniently deep-sixed simply by wishing it elsewhere or pretending it never happened or closing our bureaucratic eyes. After the fact, torture can only be dealt with by staring directly into the nightmare that changed us—that, like it or not, helped make us who we now are.

    The president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has made it clear that no further investigations or inquiries will be made into America’s decade of torture. His Justice Department failed to prosecute a single torturer or any of those who helped cover up evidence of the torture practices. But it did deliver a jail sentence to one ex-CIA officer who refused to be trained to torture and was among the first at the CIA to publicly admit that the torture program was real.

    At what passes for trials at our prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, disclosure of the details of torture is forbidden, effectively preventing anyone from learning anything about what the CIA did with its victims. We are encouraged to do what’s best for America and, as Barack Obama put it, “look forward, not backward,” with the same zeal as, after 9/11, we were encouraged to save America by going shopping.

    Looking into the Eyes of the Tortured

    Torture does not leave its victims, nor does it leave a nation that condones it. As an act, it is all about pain, but even more about degradation and humiliation. It destroys its victims, but also demeans those who perpetrate it. I know, because in the course of my 24 years as a State Department officer, I spoke with two men who had been tortured, both by allies of the United States and with at least the tacit approval of Washington. While these men were tortured, Americans in a position to know chose to look the other way for reasons of politics. These men were not movie characters, but complex flesh-and-blood human beings. Meet just one of them once and, I assure you, you’ll never follow the president’s guidance and move forward trying to forget.

  160. I do have to say (folloiwing my comment about emotional being treatable whereas my physical pain probably not at this point) that, for those of you who may not know trigeminal neuralgia – all it takes is for a wisp of hair or the lightest breeze against the area of our face involved and the pain is torturous, there is no other word for it.
    Thankfully I stopped having that part of the pain in 1998 yet not a day goes by despite my complete belief the pain will not return that apart of me still retains the fear.

  161. “The president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has made it clear that no further investigations or inquiries will be made into America’s decade of torture. His Justice Department failed to prosecute a single torturer or any of those who helped cover up evidence of the torture practices. But it did deliver a jail sentence to one ex-CIA officer who refused to be trained to torture and was among the first at the CIA to publicly admit that the torture program was real.”

    Which is one of the reasons – along with the extra-judicial “kill list” program – I wouldn’t vote for the man again under any circumstances. He violated he oath to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. That he was “better than the other guy” (a point I will not argue) does not vitiate the facts of his own betrayal of his office, his oath, the Constitution and the American people. Next time around? I’ll vote for the guy willing to investigate and prosecute members of both the previous and current administrations for their crimes. I don’t care if I’m waiting 16 years for it. I don’t care if they are prosecuting Dick Cheney’s zombie corpse and Bush, Bybee, Yoo, Ashcroft, Gonazles, Feith and the rest of those clowns have to be wheeled into court hooked up to life support. They can be propped up next to Obama and Holder. Let the trials begin! I want some justice for all. I already know how history is going to judge them. I want some jail time for them. All of them. Here is better, but the Hague would work too. War criminals are war criminals.

    Our country will never recover domestically or internationally until the torturers and destroyers of civil rights are brought to justice.

  162. leej, I do know a bit about it. I know a woman w/ MS and she suffers from trigeminal neuralgia. She talks about the dark cloud lurking. You folks got it much tougher than I. As you know, gabapentin does effect cognitive abilities. It was tough when I was getting the dosage correct. Hell, I couldn’t remember basic stuff and I have a good memory. Now it’s fairly well managed.

  163. nick:

    “This is a good blog, as I’ve said many times. However, it is insular in many respects.”

    ************************

    Insular thinking is like the blind-spot in front of your eyes. You may know it is there intellectually but it’s hard to see it for yourself. Good blogs are always welcoming folks. We have typically been loathe to suffer trolls and ideologues at all. As a result we have very few and like Ol’ Blue Eyes said, “too few to mention.” Your observations are not trollish and good for the blog. On rare occasion the guest bloggers get very protective of this little cyberpub that we’ve come to enjoy on a daily basis. It’s just human nature to protect what you like.

    In 2008 when I found the blog, there were four regular commenters — Deeply Worried, Rafflaw, Patty C, and me. The typical numer of comments were between 6-10. If you get the chance you can read some of those erudite discussions. The only plodding wheel was me. We had wonderful dialogues and daily interaction. It was fun but when the blog grew it got better with different perspectives. To keep thriving you’ve got to have new blood and that’s why we welcome all opinions so long as they are willing to face a little scrutiny. It’s a small price to pay for the intellectual stimulation and the gratifying displays of human decency I read most every day.

    Professor Turley has created something special here. It’s gets better with age and growth.

  164. nick,

    I think you missed the point of my posting an excerpt from that Common Dreams article earlier. You had said that “50-54% of Americans have no problem w/ waterboarding.”

    Here’s an excerpt from that excerpt which you probably missed:

    “In 2005, only 16 percent approved of waterboarding suspected terrorists, while an overwhelming majority (82 percent) thought it was wrong to strap people on boards and force their heads underwater to simulate drowning. Now, 25 percent of Americans believe in waterboarding terrorists, and only 55 percent think it’s wrong.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/02-3

    I wouldn’t say that 25% is anywhere close to 50-54%…would you? Do you still think it was a “Good substantive link” that I provided?

  165. mespo, I’ve seen a few folks leave here who in my estimation didn’t commit the mortal sins you state. You could almost hear them saying, “F@ck this..I don’t need this bombardment.” You don’t pounce so maybe you don’t see it, I don’t know. But what I find most stifling is the lilly whiteness of the commenters. If you really want diversity it is evidenced by actions, one needs to be proactive. I just don’t see it here.

  166. (Nick, sadly it can go along with MS (mine is from a birth defect, no MS thank goodness). The neurontin does sometimes cause me to not be able to find my words but I have been on it for probably decades by now and I too have it pretty well managed.) (Sry all for the OT specifics )

  167. Elaine, Thanks for the heads up. I was just so happy to see SOMETHING substantive I didn’t see it was Mother Jones. I’ll go w/ Gallup poll in Nov. 2011 that had 50% of Americans supporting the use of waterboarding. The breakdown was Dems 44% Independents 44% and Rep 69%. CNN had 54% approving but I didn’t see a party affiliation breakdown. But thanks for the effort @ least.

  168. Otteray Scribe, I hope you enjoyed your pizza and I wish you a reversal of bad luck for the next 100 years. (But you’re allowed to eat black-eyed peas on every OTHER day of the year, right?)

    When my kid was little I hosted a “worst pizza” contest for him and his friends. The top ten “worst pizzas” were:

    10. Chicken Liver and pine nut pizza
    9. Mashed sardines and grapefruit pizza
    8. Salted Herring and squishy tofu pizza
    7. Lima bean and blue cheese pizza
    6. Pigs feet and plantain pizza
    5. Tripe and chitlins pizza
    4. Diced okra and coffee bean pizza
    3. Scrapple and horseradish pizza
    2. Fried locust and bitter chocolate pizza
    1 Raw krill and cabbage pizza

    But I hope yours for New Years was tomato sauce and cheese pizza!

  169. Elaine, No one has identified themselves as black or Hispanic here in the 5-6 months I’ve been here. Do you know any? Have there ever been any to your knowledge? I would think my laments over several posts would have brought them out if there were. Maybe there are 1 or 2 and they don’t feel welcomed. Based on the lack of concern expressed by anyone else, could you blame them? Wait..ID did express some concern.

  170. nick,

    It wasn’t a Mother Jones article. It was written by the Common Dreams staff. You’ve got the two different articles that I posted excerpts from and links to confused. Check them both out.

  171. Nick, Eniobob and Erica posted regularly at one time. Both of them self identified as African Americans. She left the blog, and eniobob rarely posts these days.

  172. “You don’t pounce so maybe you don’t see it, I don’t know.”

    Ah, but alas mespo does pounce on illogical statements and bad or distorted facts. It’s one of his more endearing traits. He does not suffer fools gladly – a common trait among the guest bloggers and quite a few of the regulars. That is the nature of free speech. It’s part of what keeps the numbers of pure trolls and ideologues down too. Some people can’t take having their assertions put to scrutiny, others can, some relish it. It’s not a sport for the timid or those uncomfortable with challenge. Many people are challenge averse. Many are not. Both types come and go. Some come back, some don’t. A few stay for long periods. It is the ebb and flow of the tide. It is simply the way of things in a free speech forum.

    And what Elaine said. You have no way of knowing the race of any commenter here unless they reveal it by choice. Neither do we GB’s and we have editorial access. For example, I’ve talked to Tony C. hundreds of times. I have no idea what color he is. He’s never said to my recollection. Nor do I care. It’s not relevant to material discussions, debates, or arguments.

  173. nick,

    Just because no people commenting on this blog have identified themselves as black or Hispanic during the time you have been a regular here doesn’t prove that none of the regulars are black or Hispanic.

    I’d add that no one is preventing anyone who wants to comment on this blog from commenting on this blog.

  174. Elaine, As I mentioned previously, in order to achieve diversity an organization, company, blog, often need to be proactive. That’s not happening. I’ve been trying, but the more indifference and zero effort I see the more trepidations I have about bringing someone into this forum.

  175. Smom,

    Don’t forget bdaman. He self-identified as mixed heritage (I don’t recall what he said the specifics were).

    The bottom line is most people don’t say. No one discourages them from doing so. No one encourages them to do so. I think that’s fair and in line with the anonymity policy: people are allowed to control how much they reveal about themselves.

    And I have it on good authority that eniobob does a fair amount of lurking these days for reasons of his own related to simply having outside priorities. I sure do wish he’d get back to commenting more though. He’s a good dude. Erica just vanished though. Too bad too. She was a good contributor.

  176. Elaine, The stats I gave were a CNN poll. Gallup has 55% of Americans believing the waterboarding WAS justified and 51% still believing it should be used. As I have told you and others. I gave up doing links when I did one a couple years back that I believed legit and it was not, many folks got a nasty virus and I felt HORRIBLE! I was taught to never make the same mistake twice.

  177. nick,

    Good excuse. All of the links that I’ve posted on this blog have been “legit.” I haven’t had any problems. I would think you could post a link to that Gallup poll on waterboarding. I doubt there would be a problem.

  178. Funny. I don’t find any CNN Gallup polls on the matter of waterboarding but I do find a CNN/ORC poll on the matter from Nov. 18-20, 2011. It’s the latest date found.

    The questions are followed by summary totals:

    “In a procedure known as ‘waterboarding,’ interrogators produce the sensation of drowning by either dunking a restrained prisoner in water or pouring water over the prisoner’s face. Do you consider this procedure to be a form of torture, or not?”

    Torture: 68%
    Not Torture: 31%
    Unsure: 1%

    “In a procedure known as ‘waterboarding,’ interrogators produce the sensation of drowning by either dunking a restrained prisoner in water or pouring water over the prisoner’s face. Do you think the U.S. government should or should not be allowed to use this procedure to attempt to get information from suspected terrorists?”

    Should be allowed: 50%
    Should not be allowed: 49%
    Unsure: 2%

    The full break down (and other polling) can be found here: http://www.pollingreport.com/terror.htm

    A Google search and searches of CNN and Gallup did not reveal any relevant results other than the above (all older data).

  179. It should be noted that in the second question, neither side has a statistical significance due to margin of error, i.e. 50/50 would be an acceptable reading of that data.

  180. Elaine, I went through this same dance w/ you a month or 2 prior. I said I don’t do links, you huffed “I only give legit links.” I feel like I’m watching Groundhog Day! Please bookmark this thread for future reference. And, pease read very carefully what I wrote @ 9:43p. I Did not say you did anything wrong I said I DID a couple years back. As you see from my dear friend Gene’s comment and link, the #’s are what I gave @ 9:14p but I had CNN and Gallup backwards which I corrected @ 9:43p. Gene didn’t break it down by political party like I did @ 9:14p, but if you click on his link you’ll see that also. The aforementioned Gallup was from 2009 where 55% approved the waterboarding conducted and 51% still abide waterboarding as an interrogation technique. Can you now give me your response to these polls vis a’ vis your poll.

  181. SWM, You are a breath of fresh air from Austin. Thanks for the helpful info. I’ll keep an eye out for Eniobob.

  182. I do not trust polls of the general public on almost anything. Especially whether something is torture or not. This is the same general public for whom a huge percentage do not believe in evolution, and that our President is a secret Muslim Kenyan. Ask people who know, like former POWs or psychologists who are not on the CIA payroll. Then look at the percentages. That poll has not been done yet.

  183. LeeJ,

    The analogy between the terrible pain you suffer and torture is apt. From some of the pain of ailment I’ve been through (given your description nothing to compare to yours) I know that I would have done anything for relief and would have said anything if I felt that would relieve me. Torture it would seem is a failure given the many fine treatises contributed on this thread and that makes sense. It is a failure though because it seems to ensure ubreliable information rather than retrieve the facts.

  184. ap,
    I second the kudos on the Van Buren article. It amazes me that we are still discussing an illegal interrogation tactic. We have prosecuted American soldiers for waterboarding, as well as Japanese soldiers. The rule of law should control.
    Mespo,
    I had forgotten that we have been commenting since at least 2008! I am getting old!

  185. Mark,

    I especially miss DW and Patty C., add in Bob esq. and those were the mainstays when I came aboard. Remember though why, and how Patty was driven off. As I remember it someone kept complaining that Patty was victimizing her, where from my perspective, at least, it was the other way around.

  186. nick,

    Unfortunately, 1) the poll found is newer, 2) it does not say what you claimed (“CNN had 54% approving but I didn’t see a party affiliation breakdown. But thanks for the effort @ least.” The data says 50% don’t think torture is should be allowed.), 3) it’s from a different polling company than Gallup, 4) there is no record of the CNN Gallup poll you cite. I tried many variations on searches looking for that data above (I can make Google dance btw), including “gallup 55% approve waterboarding”.

    The closest match was from a 2009 Gallup poll stating that 55% of Americans believe in retrospect that the use of the interrogation techniques was justified (which does not mean it is legal, only that 55% of Americans don’t understand the science behind interrogation, are bent on revenge, or are sadists). It was not done in conjunction with CNN but rather a straight poll for Gallup, by Gallup. That’s reversible error, we can let that slide. That older data, however, does not comport with the newer CNN/ORC data. It also doesn’t correlate to newer data from a CBS poll asking a similar question to the Gallup poll.

    The question asked by Gallup in 2009 was “Based on what you know or have read, do you think the use of harsh interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects were justified or not justified?”

    Justified: 55%
    Unjustified: 35%

    A CBS poll from Nov. 6-10, 2011 is at the pollingreport.com site referenced above. In response to the question “Do you think it is sometimes justified to use waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation tactics to get information from a suspected terrorist, or are these tactics never justified?” the answers were:

    Sometimes justified: 45%
    Never justified: 40%
    Depends (vol.): 6%
    Unsure: 9%

    This paints a statistically significant downward trend in those who think torture is justified matched by a nearly identical upward trend in those who think it is not justified, depends or are unsure.

    You may have been right right four years ago, but you are off base on the latest polling data I could find which is only a little over a year old. In other words, you are wrong absent proof of newer polling data that indicates a 55% approval.

    Using outdated data is either 1) a mistake or 2) cherry picking your data – which is a logical fallacy and bad scientific and statistical practice. In this case, I’m voting mistake. You thought your old data was good, but newer data changed the picture and you were simply unaware of it. It happens. Not a big deal in this context.

    Memory is no substitute for proof. It is fallible for a variety of reasons. For that reason, most lawyers hate having to rely solely upon eyewitness testimony if they can use forensic evidence (which includes documents and electronic records like video). This is why technical professions cite and why you cite specific claims in debate if they are not common knowledge such as “the sky is blue” or “the atomic weight of hydrogen is 1”. If you aren’t willing to use links to data you claim is valid, you must expect people to accept what you say as true without proof when your claim is challenged.

    Good luck with that. That’s a kite no one can fly.

    Don’t worry about other people’s computer security. Provide cites. If you are unsure about the validity of the site you’ve linked to? Say so. Any link to some place like CNN or Gallup is 99.9% going to be okay. If you’re linking to “Vladimir’s Mobile Statistic Emporium and Russian Porn Hut” or some other way off the path place? Use your discretion, but at least tell people where you got the information with some specificity so they can find it on their own. Most peoples virus scanners and firewalls will catch the majority of malicious content. If they don’t? It’s their fault for not having them configured properly and up to date on their virus definitions. The Askimet software used in the spam filter for WordPress will catch a fair amount of bad sites on its own (in which case your post with the link simply won’t post and automatically go into the spam filter). If a bad link does get through here (and I’ve seen it happen before) someone will chime in pretty quick as a general rule and say the link is hinky, stay away.

  187. Mike,

    Bob is still around, just not as active. He’s had a lot going on in his life recently so I suspect lurking because of it, but I’ve had recent (yesterday) contact with him. He’s still Bob. :D

  188. Gene,

    I know he’s still around, but back the it was daily.
    I still remember being new here and trying to figure out what his signature closing : SIYOM meant. “Stay in your own movie”.

  189. In and out. On the way to clinic for blood thinner check.

    NickS….Best I can say is go back and read your comments again on this thread. Can’t say that I have checked so don’t know if there is material to work with. But it was a method I used on many stages of my adaptation over the last year. With lots of encouragement (iron). Try a new years resolution if you find anything worth working with.. Fear does do things to me, as does pain as you and LJC have discussed.

    Speaking for my own experiences of course. And it is pain that I feel when wounded emotionally by what I perceive as unfairness. The pain lies there unhelped in the background, tensing me, making walk with eyes alert for attack. Every word, particularly from some may be an attack. Hell for me living like that.

    Glad you were in contact with a good acupuncturist. Helped me, more later with chronic inflammation in shoulder on one side. More later.
    Stick around, just relax, take a deep breath if you feel attacked, back up a few comments and read again until you find the ignition point. What do you feel then. Now I sound like a gestalt therapist, Mine, not here.

    Mark says your have been a valuable person. Good.
    But examine yourself first.
    I’ve been at fault for most of my life, so it is not a new practice.

    Most have only wished you luck with your task as they see it. Lilywhite. No one is who has spoken to you.

    But spinnnig on, exclusive clubs, regardless of race, usually are taken from the same neighborhood. They mostly share the same cultural formagtive process. So bring on board some mexican-american lawyers. But will they talk posole with ús. Or only the injustice of Nafta. We need both.

    More later so stick around.

    More later to all when have read the other comments. Hej då, /swedish).

  190. I would like to take a moment to remember one of my fellow LEOs from the sheriff’s office who passed away three years ago today.

    http://www.odmp.org/officer/20206-deputy-sheriff-john-mark-bernard

    John Bernard died in a car accident while on duty, the exact cause was never fully determined. John’s son followed in his footsteps and was also a deputy with Grant County. We are all very lucky to have known him. He was very dedicated to his work and a friend to everyone who knew him.

    We all miss you John, but we know you are in a better place. Hope to see you again when our time has come also.

    Stay Safe Pal

  191. nick,

    You need to read my comments more carefully. I didn’t say that you had accused me of anything. I was attempting to make the point that one wouldn’t likely have a problem when linking to CNN and Gallup sites.

    On what post did I “huff” two months ago that I only give “legit” links? Should I “Goggle” that?

  192. nick,

    Here’s more information on the torture poll that was referenced in the Common Dreams article:

    Torture Creep
    Why are more Americans accepting Bush-era policies than ever before?
    BY AMY ZEGART | SEPTEMBER 25, 2012
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/25/torture_creep

    Excerpt:
    A quarter of all Americans are willing to use nuclear weapons to kill terrorists. No joke. This was among many surprising findings in a new national poll that YouGov recently ran for me on hot-button intelligence issues. (The poll, conducted between Aug. 24 and 30, 2012, surveyed 1,000 people and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points).

    To be honest, I threw in the nuclear bomb question on a lark, not expecting to find much. Boy, was I wrong. Aside from learning that 25 percent of Americans would stop the next terrorist plot with a several-hundred-kiloton atomic bomb, the poll numbers suggest that Americans have become more hawkish on counterterrorism policy since Barack Obama became president.

    Consider this: In an October 2007 Rasmussen poll, 27 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should torture prisoners captured in the fight against terrorism, while 53 percent said it should not. In my YouGov poll, 41 percent said they would be willing to use torture — a gain of 14 points — while 34 percent would not, a decline of 19 points.

    Sure, the devil is in the details. Poll responses are highly susceptible to question wording. So I had the pollsters ask some of the exact same questions in the exact same way that appeared in a January 2005 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, the most detailed pre-Obama poll on interrogation techniques that I could find. It turns out that Americans don’t just like the general idea of torture more now. They like specific torture techniques more too.

    Respondents in 2012 are more pro-waterboarding, pro-threatening prisoners with dogs, pro-religious humiliation, and pro-forcing-prisoners-to-remain-naked-and-chained-in-uncomfortable-positions-in-cold-rooms. In 2005, 18 percent said they believed the naked chaining approach was OK, while 79 percent thought it was wrong. In 2012, 30 percent of Americans thought this technique was right, an increase of 12 points, while just 51 percent thought it was wrong, a drop of 28 points. In 2005, only 16 percent approved of waterboarding suspected terrorists, while an overwhelming majority (82 percent) thought it was wrong to strap people on boards and force their heads underwater to simulate drowning. Now, 25 percent of Americans believe in waterboarding terrorists, and only 55 percent think it’s wrong. The only specific interrogation technique that is less popular now than in 2005, strangely enough, is prolonged sleep deprivation.

  193. Elaine, You objection to my link policy is duly noted on the record and denied. You are the only person I’ve encountered in 2 years on this and other blogs who has expressed a problem w/ my policy. Several have expressed empathy @ my guilt feeling of having other peoples computers crash because of something I’ve done, and on that basis alone abide my actions.

  194. nick,

    I only asked for proof of the percentages you claimed. I don’t believe everything that everyone tells me. Why should I? Some people who comment on blogs make stuff up. I have no way of knowing what you say is true or correct in a case like this unless you can provide information on the subject from a reliable source.

    One might think that someone who is an experienced PI like you should have known better and have been more careful about the sites that he provided links to on blogs.

  195. I learned from teaching and coaching the connection we all make when we are empathetic. I also learned, that while you can teach respect, you can’t teach empathy. I confessed to you I made a mistake. I told you how bad and guilty I felt. And from you I got a lecture. And..I got no respect from you that the info I gave you was reported accurately, and that is what being a PI is about, Elaine. I reckon you’ve never made a stupid mistake. Wow!!

  196. (Nick, I have been mispresumed a lot, given that my name is gender neutral and I have never divulged anything about my ethnicity so it may well be the same for many others here. I dont know how you go about trying to force diversity when it may already be here. I don;t recall how I first found out about this blog but it just came up, most probably, when I was googling some fact or story and I came out of curiousity. I did not come because I went to a white search, black search, man, woman, lgtb, native american etc search. )

  197. “You objection to my link policy is duly noted on the record and denied.”

    A translation from the language of Nick:

    “The smoke I blow from my ass, that serves as argument does not need verification, because if you don’t accept it as smelling sweet, then you are a terrible person attacking me unfairly”.

    A corollary from the language of Nick:

    “My facts are what I say they are, your facts are not only wrong but vicious attacks”.

    And finally:

    “If I say it, it is true because I know better than you. Any rebuttal of my truth is an unfair attack and therefore arrogance on your part.”

  198. ID I hope the results of the blood test were good and Darren, I am sorry for your loss and that was a lovely tribute.

  199. nick,

    My last comment was a lecture? It thought it was an explanation. I provided you with more information on the poll that you had requested. You didn’t do the same for me.

    I’m sorry that I didn’t say how sorry I felt for you because you felt so bad about that past mistake you had made. My bad. I guess we can’t all be as empathic as you.

    Something I learned from my years of teaching both elementary and university students: You always check the sources/to see if there are sources when students write informational reports.

  200. leej, I respect you and take your comment as honest. The only difference I would say is I in no way wish to “force diversity” I merely would like to see it encouraged. Otherwise we’re in agreement.

  201. Elaine, More evidence that you confuse me w/ being your student, something you have empahtically denied in the past. That’s how you got the moniker, “School Marm”. First rule for being in a hole..stop digging. And, if you read my staterment about empathy, I was not speaking of my empathy but that of others.

  202. nick,

    You brought up teaching and what you learned from it–yet, somehow, I’m castigated for doing the same thing. I wonder why that is? I guess there are different rules for different folks in the “World According to Nick.”

    I guess I’d be a good PI. I report things accurately. I even provide proof!

  203. “That’s how you got the moniker, “School Marm””

    Who exactly calls Elaine “School Marm” and why is the term being used pejoratively?

  204. mike spindell:

    your post at 11:45 am today is an indictment of the entire human race not just of one man.

    Our own truth is as sweet as a June breeze gently blowing through the honeysuckle.

  205. Bron,

    Considering how many times you’ve been pummelled with evidence after making a specious or cherry picked claim, it’s not surprising you’d feel that way.

  206. Mike S.,

    Elizabeth Warren said she didn’t take offense when Senator Brown kept referring to her as “Professor Warren” pejoratively during his debates with her last fall. It didn’t work out too well for Brown. I don’t take offense at being called “School Marm.” I take pride in my former profession. I loved working with young children and young adults. It was a rewarding and successful career for me. Nick didn’t have the long career that I had in education. Now he denigrates teachers and the profession every chance he gets. His attempts at insulting this little ole school marm roll off me like water off a duck’s back.

  207. Bron,

    That you’ve lost almost every argument you’ve ever lost (which is quite a few) being due to having crap for evidence is simply common knowledge among the regulars.

  208. Gene H:

    there you go again proving my point. You have your opinion and I have mine.

    By the way, as usual, your logic is impeccable. I have lost every argument I’ve ever lost.

  209. rafflaw:

    “Mespo,
    I had forgotten that we have been commenting since at least 2008! I am getting old!”

    *******************

    You mean “refined,” my good man. Refined! :D

  210. Darren:

    Let me second rafflaw. You find good people where ever you go and your friend sounds like an exceptional one. Please accept my condolences.

  211. Gene H:

    “That arguments are lost by bad evidence and bad logic isn’t an opinion. It’s a fact.”

    There you go with your impeccable logic again. Right you are.

    Do you need some reinforcement?

  212. Gene H:

    “Just like it’s a fact you’ve lost a lot of arguments.”

    That is an opinion. A subjective one I might add. Based on political orientation. And the vociferous proclamations of the opponent.

  213. Bron,

    Then prove you’ve won more arguments than you’ve lost.

    (btw, you are sooooooo easy, you really can’t tell when your chain is being pulled, can you?) :D

    The main point is that what Mike said isn’t a generalization applicable universally. It applies only to those who don’t argue properly or well. Some people argue quite well. Some people are professionally trained to argue. It’s a skill like any other skill. Some people can design a water treatment plant (also a skill) and some people can argue a rock into gravel. No one is good at everything although some are better at more things than others. Created equal is not the same as equally created. But you shouldn’t be upset because you loose more than you win (and I’m talking as a purely objective statistical matter based on evidence of your past applications of evidence and logic). It’s not what you are trained to do. I’ll say it again . . . winning and losing isn’t important in the marketplace of ideas, Bron. It’s the game that counts. You get an A for effort.

  214. mespo, No, we’re all getting old, one of the undeniable truths. We adapt and move forward. Or, we become curmudgeonly old men flatulent and unshaven..scaring young children. I’m visualizing Aqualung!

  215. ‘US government is not protecting its citizens’ civil liberties’

    http://rt.com/usa/news/court-law-obama-citizen-343/ (interview with Kevin Gosztola)

    KG: It’s fair to say that the United States should probably not be lecturing other countries about how they protect human rights or how they protect civil liberties, especially when many policies in the United States are not really good policies of their own. They are not protecting the civil liberties of US citizens, and they are not protecting the human rights of US citizens.

  216. Happy New Year.

    The ‘war on terror’ – by design – can never end

    As the Pentagon’s former top lawyer urges that the war be viewed as finite, the US moves in the opposite direction

    by Glenn Greenwald

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/04/war-on-terror-endless-johnson

    “If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.

    Just this week, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration need not respond to the New York Times and the ACLU’s mere request to disclose the government’s legal rationale for why the President believes he can target US citizens for assassination without due process. Even while recognizing how perverse her own ruling was – “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me” and it imposes “a veritable Catch-22” – the federal judge nonetheless explained that federal courts have constructed such a protective shield around the US government in the name of terrorism that it amounts to an unfettered license to violate even the most basic rights: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret” (emphasis added).

    Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called “the war on terror”? Johnson is right that there must be an end to this war imminently, and Maddow is right that the failure to do so will render all the due-process-free and lawless killing and imprisoning and invading and bombing morally indefensible and historically unforgivable.

    But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.”

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