October 2007 archive

Monks Massacred in Myanmar?

From The Daily Mail


Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed.

The most senior official to defect so far, Hla Win, said: “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand.”

Read the article. Tyranny wins again.

Out There Where the Buses Don’t Run

This feels somewhat unfinished, but this is process writing, not a finished thing for me…. it refers to a conversation I had on MLW.

I wanted a break from daily writing and time to work some of this out, yet I seem unable to work it out without writing it.  So I am putting it out in order to feed the muse, and hope some new kernel of truth will redirect me to the place I am striving to find.

A running dialogue on why the Left cannot seem to become an entity to be reckoned with….
(pesky prepositions)

Not Funding Iraq and Discharge Petitions

Reading the comments in Buhdy’s diary at the Big Orange Satan’s place, this is what passes for rebuttal:

Discharge petition

Get all the Republicans and 18 Democrats to sign on, and it comes up for a vote. Not hard to do. And people would hold the other 210 Democrats personally responsible for 18 Bush Dogs doing it, too.

An interesting theory. Now, it so happens that those of us who argue for the not funding option are aware of the discharge petition, and the more likely avenue, a motion to recommit. We are aware that the Republicans, joined by enough Democrats, can force funding without timelines. It is why we have argued that we need 218 to embrace the not funding without timelines option. And despite saying “it would be easy” to get majority support for a motion to recommit or a discharge petition, saying it does not make it so. But let’s assume it is easy, the benefit of forcing the Republicans do that is it will prove to all of us that the Democrats in Congress have done everything they can to end the war. There is truly nothing more we can ask of Speaker Pelosi. And we do not ask for more than that. But she will not do it. So she has not done everything she can.

You want to make it a Republican war? Make the Republicans pass THEIR bill funding it. Let the Dems who want it to be their war go on the record and vote for it. Why anyone would be opposed to this strategy is beyond me.


This is a meta-diary. Fair warning.

Agendas. Everyone has at least one. Merriam-Webster gives us the following definition:

Main Entry: agen•da
Pronunciation: &-‘jen-d&
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, neuter plural of agendum, gerundive of agere
1 : a list or outline of things to be considered or done (agendas of faculty meetings)
2 : an underlying often ideological plan or program (a political agenda)

Let’s discuss our agenda(s), shall we?

Pelosi Throws In The Towel

Going up on Dkos soon.

Nancy Pelosi admits no legislation passed in the House will end the occupation because the Republican minority in the Senate will block it. Bi-partisanship won’t work.

Nancy Pelosi admits re-deployment is the only answer, but has stopped trying to achieve it. She has stopped trying to send bills to the Presidents desk.

Nancy Pelosi admits she can defund the occupation. But she won’t.

Nancy Pelosi has given up on ending the Iraq War.

h/t Armando.

Pony Party: Procrastination

Light Emitting Pickle here to bring you the most recent open thread. First, a few words about Pickle Pony Parties:

Please do not recommend a Pony Party when you see one.  There will be another along in a few hours.

Money is Made of Electrons and Neurotransmitters

Bonddad over at DKos has got it wrong about not being able to afford a war on Iran.

Money is not something with a physical limit at the hands of the Bush Maladministration, aided and abetted by their stooges, the US Federal Reserve Bank (the latter, answering to no one except “the market”).

Money today is made of electrons in computers, and those electrons are backed up by the thoughts in the heads of billions of people, with neurotransmitters and even more electrons bopping around inside their heads.

(Crossposted at The Orange Maelstrom of Hillarization)

“Tradeoffs For Move On”

Matt Stoller writes:

To party committee leaders like Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel, the money coming through Moveon and Actblue is nice but no longer necessary.  There’s no reason to make any trade-offs to progressives to get it, unlike the period from 2002-2006 when business lobbyists had no reason to give to Democrats. . . .

(Emphasis supplied.) What exactly are Move On and Act Blue pushing for? They have been stunningly quiet on pressing Democrats on Iraq. Oh let me guess, this is about the stupid Move On censure, cuz that is what matters. The Dem Capitulation on Iraq? Not so much.  What a joke.

Pimping POAC… HELP

I really like this site.  Project for the Old American Century

IMO, the best liberal news aggregator on the Tubes.

Today I visited POAC and read this:

Yesterday, thousands of readers were asked to take part in our fall fundraiser. ZERO people made a donation or purchase. Nobody. Out of thousands of readers, not one single person felt that the Project for the Old American Century was worthy of support. Will we still be online in a month? That’s up to you.

Pony Party: Monday NFL Roundup

Houston 16 Atlanta 26
NY Jets 14 Buffalo 17
Baltimore 13 Cleveland 27
St Louis 7 Dallas 35
Chicago 27 Detroit 37
Oakland 35 Miami 17
Green Bay 23 Minnesota 16
Tampa Bay 20 Carolina 7
Seattle 23 San Francisco 3
Pittsburgh 14 Arizona 21
Denver 20 Indiannapolis 38
Kansas City 30 San Diego 16
Philadelphia 3 NY Giants 16

New England @ Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. edt, ESPN

Communist Tortures, American Ideals

I just got back from a speaking tour through New Mexico with Mike Otterman, the author of American Torture and my colleague Tom Moran.

Here is a piece we wrote from the South West that unfortunately it didn’t get picked up by the local press at the time we were out there. Nevertheless we wanted to post it and hear readers thoughts.

by Michael Otterman, Raj Purohit, and Tom Moran

—- —- —-

Thomas Harrison, of Clovis, New Mexico, called it the “water treatment”.

On May 21, 1951, Lieutenant Colonel Harrison’s F-80 was shot down over North Korea. Two years later, Harrison returned home to Clovis a broken man. Harrison recalled:

“After two weeks of talking, they weren’t getting the information they wanted. So one day in November ten of them came into my cell. They used the water treatment. They would bend my head back, put a towel over my face and pour water over the towel. I could not breath. This went on hour after hour, day after day. It was freezing cold. When I would pass out, they would shake me and begin again. They would leave me tied to the chair with the water freezing on and around me.”

Under torture, Harrison signed whatever was put before him. Every man has his breaking point. In a North Korean prison, Harrison had reached his.

Today, the “water treatment” has a different name though the torture is still the same. In 2002, President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to “water-board” al Qaeda suspects captured during the War on Terror. ABC News reports that 9/11 plotter, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, was water-boarded in a secret CIA prison in Poland. KSM was chained to a wooden board, a rag was fixed in his mouth, then cellophane was firmly wrapped over his face. Cold water was then poured over his mouth until he began to gag and lurch. After two and a half minutes, KSM broke. He admitted to an incredulous 31 different plots- nearly every act of terrorism against the United States since the early 1990s.

Last week we learned from ABC News that White House authorization of water-boarding has been rescinded. While we would like to applaud the decision to move away from using this tactic, the fact that no White House or CIA official has confirmed this on shift on-the-record still gives us pause.

In response to the ABC News report, Arizona Senator John McCain stated: “Water-boarding is a form of torture. And I’m convinced that [banning it] will not only help us in our interrogation techniques, but it will also be helpful for our image in the world.”

While we acknowledge that the Senator has been an important voice on the torture issue, we have to express concern with his belief that: a) water-boarding has in fact been ended by the Administration; and b) that an off the record suggestion that the CIA no longer water-boards will do anything to improve the US image across the globe.

The Bush Administration’s refusal to adhere to core international legal norms in the interrogation arena have made it difficult to believe that such a change has in fact happened without some type of public statement. A positive change in US interrogation policy needs to be articulated by those in positions of real power in the Administration both to improve the US standing in the world and, frankly, to reassure ordinary Americans that their country is once again living up to the ideals of its founding. To restore the American image in the world the Administration needs to do the right thing and be seen to do the right thing.

As we tour through the South West discussing the issue of torture, we are finding that the American public understands that methods of torture once used by our Cold War enemies on New Mexicans like Thomas Harrison have no place in America today. It is past time that their elected leaders in Washington, DC begin to grasp this reality is well.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 GM may close 2 more plants under deal
By TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer
1 hour, 1 minute ago

DETROIT – The tentative contract between General Motors Corp. and the United Auto Workers would allow GM to close a plant each in Michigan and Indiana and possibly shut down several other facilities, according to a detailed copy of the agreement.

The moves are the downside of job security pledges that the UAW won in the negotiations, including commitments for new products at 16 plants. About 74,000 hourly GM workers will vote on the pact starting this week, with a final tally to be done by Oct. 10.

Gregg Shotwell, a GM worker and frequent critic of the UAW, posted most of the contract details on the Internet. He said he received the agreement from a local union official who attended a Friday meeting in Detroit. He would not identify the official, but the accuracy of its contents was confirmed for The Associated Press by a union leader who requested anonymity because members have not yet voted on the pact.

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