Look at this breaking wave off the shore of Alabama — it's beautiful and exotic.
If you've ever wanted to go swimming in the multi-colored discharge from a toxic chemicals plant, now you know where to plan your vacation.
I thought for the last couple of years that going to Padre Island in south Texas would be fun, lots of great birds and wildlife to photograph - looks like that might not be on the top vacation spots, at least in my lifetime.
Palin Humiliated by Bill O’Reilly. “What Would YOU Do?”
OK, Mudflatters… It’s been a little while since we’ve gone on a group foray into Palin World, but this one I couldn’t resist. This interview was quite something. The “naughty librarian” is nowhere in sight. Palin’s latest incarnation is more like the mean librarian. The one who slams a giant book on the table next to you when she catches you whispering. (Yes, I’m speaking from experience) Tight-lipped, jaw-clenched, death-stare librarian, complete with the Xtra Large helmet shaped bumpit.
Fair warning. You’ll find yourself cheering for Bill O’Reilly.
I meant to post this last night, but frankly after transcribing into the wee hours of the morning, the only reasonable course of action was to become unconscious for a long period of time. So here I am, fresh as a daisy with all my supplies. Too, also, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for our little hike up Crazy Mountain… also.
Pretty bad when you have to cheer for Bill O'Reilly Even he can't stand the stupid anymore
Posted on: June 8, 2010 9:16 AM, by Ed Brayton
President Bush may have admitted to authorizing torture in a casual, glib manner in front of an audience in Grand Rapids last week, but the consequences of that admission are far more serious than he is possibly capable of understanding. Dan Froomkin of the Huffington Post spells out some of those consequences.
And he doesn't quote wild-eyed liberal academics or ACLU types, he quotes military officers with decades of experience in military intelligence.
Waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning, is "unequivocably torture", said retired Brigadier General David R. Irvine, a former strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law for 18 years.
"As a nation, we have historically prosecuted it as such, going back to the time of the Spanish-American War," Irvine said. "Moreover, it cannot be demonstrated that any use of waterboarding by U.S. personnel in recent years has saved a single American life."
Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," Bush told a Grand Rapids audience Wednesday, of the self-professed 9/11 mastermind. "I'd do it again to save lives."
But, Irvine said: "When he decided to do it the first time, he launched the nation down a disastrous road, and we will continue to pay dearly for the damage his decision has caused.
"We are seen by the rest of the world as having abandoned our commitment to international law. We have forfeited enormous amounts of moral leadership as the world's sole remaining superpower. And it puts American troops in greater danger -- and unnecessary danger."
James P. Cullen, a retired brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps, told HuffPost that the net effect of Bush's remarks -- and former Vice President Cheney's before him -- is "to establish a precedent where it will be permissible to our enemies to use waterboarding on our servicemen in future wars.
Cheney famously once agreed with an interviewer that "a dunk in the water" was "no-brainer" if it saves lives.
"This is not the last war we're going to fight," Cullen said. "Americans not yet born are going to be prisoners of war in those conflicts. And our enemies are going to be able to point back to President Bush and Vice President Cheney saying that waterboarding is OK.
"It's just shocking to me how he can be so flip about something that is so serious," Cullen said.
Matthew Alexander, the pseudonymous former Air Force interrogator and author of "How To Break A Terrorist" e-mailed HuffPost that Bush's statement "is de facto approval of the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers in Iraq who were killed by foreign fighters that Al Qaida recruited based on the President's policy of torture and abuse of detainees.
"At least now we know where the blame for those soldiers' deaths squarely belongs. President Bush's decision broke with a military tradition dating back to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War and the consequences are clear: Al Qaida is stronger and our country is less safe."
But as is almost always the case with the right wing, they don't care about actual results. What matters is the very public and ostentatious pose of being tough. Projecting an image is what matters, not whether one's actions actually work.
The problem of politicians exaggerating military achievements continues -- and it's even skipping generations. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently got angry at the comparisons of that states "your papers, please" policy on immigrants to Nazi Germany by invoking her father's martyrdom:
"The Nazi comments . . . they are awful," she said, her voice dropping. "Knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany, that I lost him when I was 11 because of that . . . and then to have them call me Hitler's daughter. It hurts. It's ugliness beyond anything I've ever experienced."
Except that he died in 1955. Of lung disease. Probably never even saw a Nazi.
When we build the "Wall" around Texas and help with their secession, can we include Arizona along with Arkansas, LA and the rest of the wingnut states.
Posted on: June 4, 2010 9:16 AM, by Ed Brayton
Former President George W. Bush, following in the footsteps of his former Vice President Dick Cheney, admitted to authorizing the torture of at least one detainee during an appearance in Grand Rapids. CNN reports:
In some of his most candid comments since leaving the White House, former President George W. Bush said Wednesday he has no regrets about authorizing the controversial waterboarding technique to interrogate terrorist suspects and wouldn't hesitate to do so again.
"Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," the former president said during an appearance at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Michigan, according to the Grand Rapids Press.
There is no question that waterboarding is torture; we have tried and put to death soldiers from other countries for waterboarding our own troops and even convicted and tried and imprisoned American soldiers for doing it as well. And there is no question that torture is illegal in the United States, under both statutory and treaty law.
The UN Convention on Torture, which was pushed through and signed by President Ronald Reagan, could not be more explicit in obligating the United States to prosecute anyone in this country that authorizes or engages in torture. It also could not be more clear that there are no possible circumstances that can be used to justify the use of torture. Article 2 of that convention says:
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
The definition of torture from Article 1 is similarly unambiguous:
1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
President Bush just admitted to violating that convention.
Maybe we could just toss him off the LA coast
Visit the scenic Gulf Coast now, and catch a glimpse of nature!
They're only birds, does it matter that their suffering is immeasurable and their deaths ignominious? Surely not, not when their agony is balanced by the wonderfully elegant plumage of Washington lobbyists and oil company executives. An Armani suit must be far more divine than a feathered wing.