Friday, February 09, 2007

Diaper-free, Anna-free edition

The media is simply so fixated on human foible this week that I am forced to turn it off. Here is some news that really matters:

-- A young woman died and you won't hear about her on your teevee. But you ought to. Update: Make that two young women.

-- An interrogator of Iraqis gets paid back with his nightmares:

The lead interrogator at the (division interrogation facility) had given me specific instructions: I was to deprive the detainee of sleep during my 12-hour shift by opening his cell every hour, forcing him to stand in a corner and stripping him of his clothes. Three years later the tables have turned. It is rare that I sleep through the night without a visit from this man. His memory harasses me as I once harassed him.

Despite my best efforts, I cannot ignore the mistakes I made at the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man who could not defend himself. I compromised my values. I will never forgive myself.

This fellow's war wounds are about the best a veteran could hope for.

-- Dick Cheney was expected to testify for the defense in the trial of Scooter Libby, but now it is believed that he won't, because a cross-examination by Patrick Fitzgerald would likely damage their case beyond repair. Following Tim Russert's testimony an old report surfaced with this quote: "Integrity is for paupers."

This case has revealed the worst about the lies of this administration and the corporate media that protects them.

-- Both the House Sergeant-at-Arms and the White House press secretary have refuted Republican whining about the airplane Speaker Pelosi is to use. Yet they still whine.

-- Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to fight in Bush's War, got a mistrial this week. Apparently the judge panicked. And the case will be argued as double jeopardy if a re-trial proceeds as planned.

-- New Orleans residents (the middle class Caucasian ones this time) are bailing out.

-- Ellen Goodman reminds us that global warming may not be able to change the Washington political climate:

I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future. ...

The folks at the Pew Research Center clocking public attitudes show that global warming remains 20th on the annual list of 23 policy priorities. Below terrorism, of course, but also below tax cuts, crime, morality, and illegal immigration. ...

This great divide comes from the science-be-damned-and-debunked attitude of the Bush administration and its favorite media outlets. The day of the report, Big Oil Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma actually described it as "a shining example of the corruption of science for political gain." Speaking of corruption of science, the American Enterprise Institute, which has gotten $1.6 million over the years from Exxon Mobil, offered $10,000 last summer to scientists who would counter the IPCC report. ...

Whatever we do today, we face long-range global problems with a short-term local attention span. We're no happier looking at this global thermostat than we are looking at the nuclear doomsday clock.

Can we change from debating global warming to preparing? Can we define the issue in ways that turn denial into action? In America what matters now isn't environmental science, but political science.

We are still waiting for the time when an election hinges on a candidate's plans for a changing climate.

--and something to laugh at: Cheney and Rumsfeld combined means two heads, but still one giant asshole.

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