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Current Topic: Current Events

Boston Men Cleared in Slayings Sue Gov't - New York Times
Topic: Current Events 12:30 pm EST, Nov 17, 2006

Two Boston men who spent 30 years in prison for an underworld slaying they did not commit are suing the federal government after the FBI withheld evidence that would have cleared them to protect an informant.

They were sentenced to death.

Boston Men Cleared in Slayings Sue Gov't - New York Times


Brown's emails during Katrina (PDF)
Topic: Current Events 11:06 pm EST, Nov  8, 2006

This is why the Republican's lost the election. When the exit polls said corruption they weren't talking about Jack Abramoff. Anything else that anyone else says is pure spin.

Monday, August 29th 2006:

I ama fashion god.

Brown's emails during Katrina (PDF)


The Republican Party is mentally ill. Yes, I mean it.
Topic: Current Events 8:47 pm EST, Oct 31, 2006

Have you ever had an argument with someone because they misinterpreted something you said about them. You tell a joke, and they read it the wrong way and get hurt. I'm sure this has happened to everyone. Its human.

Usually, if the person is reasonable, and you explain to them that they misinterpreted you and that you didn't mean what they thought you meant, you can work things out, and everything will be OK.

Sometimes, however, those people will insist that you did mean things the way that they chose to interpret them. They will refuse to accept your clarification and they will continue to be hurt. This sort of behavior is often associated with clinical depression. People who want to feel hurt will insist on an interpretation of events that allows them to feel that way, even if that interpretation isn't rational. Sometimes this is simply a matter of maturity.

I live in Atlanta. I listen to right wing talk radio. I don't really like right wing talk radio. I wish that I could turn on the radio while driving home from work and listen to a sane person tell me the news. I don't have that choice. Its either bad pop music, art music that I'm usually not in the mood for after work, sports, or right wing talk radio. There used to be a left wing talk radio station, but they were just as bad as the right wing talk radio stations, and they don't seem to be on the air anymore. I really ought to start downloading podcasts onto my ipod, but I've been too lazy.

I almost never agree with anything I hear on talk radio, be it right or left. Talk radio usually consists of angry people making bad arguments for bad ideas, and often they are downright hateful to boot.

Today's installment of right wing talk radio consisted of a riot over the following statement made by John Kerry:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

It seems obvious to me that this is a snipe at the Bush Administration's Iraq Policy. Kerry is calling the administration's Iraq policy stupid. I think its funny. I actually laughed out loud when I heard the soundbite, in particular because it was framed on right wing talk radio by so much vitrol.

Of course, the right wing has misinterpreted this statement to imply that service in the armed forces is what happens to people who don't go to school. This hurts their feelings.

Its obvious that Kerry did not mean that. Kerry served in Vietnam. I'm sure that as a Senator Kerry knows many well educated career military people. The idea that he would want to offend the service of hundreds of thousands of people in the military is nonsentical.

But, thats what the right wing thinks. And their feelings are hurt.

So, Kerry clarifies:

If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes se... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]

The Republican Party is mentally ill. Yes, I mean it.


Aircraft crashes into New York building - CNN.com
Topic: Current Events 3:19 pm EDT, Oct 11, 2006

Police say an aircraft has crashed into a building on Manhattan's Upper East Side at 72nd Street and York Avenue. It is near Rockefeller Center.

I assume this was an accident, but of course thats what I did last time.

Aircraft crashes into New York building - CNN.com


ArmsControlWonk: So, like, why didn't it work?
Topic: Current Events 3:52 pm EDT, Oct 10, 2006

This is another excellent post from the ArmsControlWonk about the (likely) failure of the DPRK nuke test. The entire post is suggested reading, but I must single out this snip as the most funny thing I've heard so far today:

The United States has built a missile defense that does not work, to defend against a North Korean missile that does not work, that would carry a nuclear warhead that does not work.

This is all very postmodern.

Hahahaha!!

ArmsControlWonk: So, like, why didn't it work?


The reason NK made a bomb...
Topic: Current Events 1:16 pm EDT, Oct  9, 2006

The Bush administration sees diplomacy as something to be engaged in with another country as a reward for that country's good behavior. They seem not to see diplomacy as a tool to be used with antagonistic countries or parties, that might bring about an improvement in the behaviour of such entities, and a resolution to the issues that trouble us. Thus we do not talk to Iran, Syria, Hizballah or North Korea. We only talk to our friends -- a huge mistake.

I haven't seen the right wing spin on last nights events yet. I'm not sure its out. But the left wing has jumped on this, and their message, frankly, strikes a nerve. We've been avoiding talks with these people for years. If we're not willing to take the casualties associated with war there, and we're not (which is why we provided aid during their famine), then we need to engage in dialog.

Think of NK as the world's biggest hostage situation. We need to talk them down, and reunification of the country is a carrot that we can use in that discussion. We're not doing that, which means we're doing fuck all except being jerks. Had I bothered to really think about NK prior to this event, this conclusion would have been obvious. The problem is now we've made being jerks a matter of will, and so in the wake of this event a shift in our policy is capitualtion. We need a forgein policy with a more nuanced understanding of international relations than "you're either with us or against us."

The reason NK made a bomb...


Air Pressure Change
Topic: Current Events 10:03 pm EDT, Oct  5, 2006

So, lets say you start a project, and from the outset, this project is controversial. Unfortunately, you set unrealistic expectations for this project, and, eventually, you conclude that you cannot succeed. If you conceed defeat, it will be perceived as weakness, and all of your naysayers will claim they were right. Shuting down the project will also create a festering mess that you will be held responsible for. What you do in this situation is stick to your guns, but behave just incompetantly enough to get yourself fired. You get replaced with one of your naysayers, who shuts down the project, causing the inevitable mess. You then get to claim, from the sidelines, that your naysayers were wrong, that the project should have continued, and the mess is the naysayer's fault. You live to fight another day.

md5: fbe31631a14cfb3187f3b696bc9020cb


Police to Start Inspecting Bags on Boston Subway
Topic: Current Events 5:58 pm EDT, Oct  5, 2006

In addition, behavior-recognition teams will be dispatched throughout the subway and bus system as part of the program. Those officers will be authorized to search a person’s bag if they believe it is warranted.

I don't buy the arguement that this is constitutional. It doesn't fit the parameters of the NYC system. Specifically "behavioral teams" are looking for anyone who might be nervous. This is targeted, not random, and doesn't rise to probable cause.

Police to Start Inspecting Bags on Boston Subway


Clinton PWNS Chris Wallace on Fox News - Clinton Interviewed on Fox News Sunday - Google Video
Topic: Current Events 11:19 am EDT, Sep 26, 2006

Clinton is obviously very agitated. I think he over-reacted to the question. At the same time, I have no respect for efforts to blame him for not doing enough. Conservative commentators have been busy pointing out after this rant that NRO and other sources supported his missle strikes, but at the same time, I don't really know who the fuck these people think they are fooling when they say that mainstream Republicans weren't accusing him of "wagging the dog." Its infuriating to me that people claim an actual military conflict was an attempt to draw attention away from something that was transparently intended to draw attention away from something. Dumb.

Clinton PWNS Chris Wallace on Fox News - Clinton Interviewed on Fox News Sunday - Google Video


Tom Malinowski - Call Cruelty What It Is - washingtonpost.com
Topic: Current Events 3:48 pm EDT, Sep 18, 2006

The Soviets understood that these methods were cruel. They were also honest with themselves about the purpose of such cruelty -- to brutalize their enemies and to extract false confessions, rather than truthful intelligence. By denying this, President Bush is not just misleading us. He appears to be deceiving himself.

How do you motivate a high level operative that you've captured? Carrots or sticks. Sometimes you don't have any carrots. You are ultimately going to seek a death sentence against your captive. Its unlikely that the administration is employing these methods for the ends described in this article. However, the reason you have these rules is that its impossible to tell. Laws aren't impossible to break. Its just hard, and for a reason.

Tom Malinowski - Call Cruelty What It Is - washingtonpost.com


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