Saturday, October 06, 2007

saturday reads

In the latest disruption of the Bush administration’s plan to try detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for war crimes, the chief military prosecutor on the project stepped down yesterday after a dispute with a Pentagon official.

Sam's Club is pulling frozen hamburgers made by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. from its stores shelves across the United States as Minnesota health officials investigate four cases of E. coli associated with the burgers

The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.

Iraq Struggles With Cholera Outbreak

WaPo: Fort Hunt's Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII

Geologic time has a different meaning when it comes to Canyon Lake Gorge. You could say it dates to around the end of the Enron era.

Friday, October 05, 2007

friday reads

Naomi Wolf - Blackwater:"Newly Created Thug Caste"

Three months after a fire destroyed the home of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, investigators are treating the blaze as arson, saying it is "very suspicious," in part because a dog detected an accelerant, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said Tuesday.

Paul Krugman - Conservatives Are Such Jokers

All Spin Zone takes a look at the 2008 Republican Convention Logo.

Boing Boing TV - Butt-biting Bug and Vaginads

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma

Free Burma!

Monks join armed resistance

Many monks who escaped arrest in the Burmese junta’s brutal crackdown on mass demonstrations in Rangoon and Mandalay are returning to their home villages in ethnic areas and joining armed resistance groups.

A Shan monk who escaped across the mountainous border into northern Thailand told a Thai television reporter he intended leaving the monastic order and enlisting in the Shan State Army-South, which is fighting the Burmese army in eastern Burma.


I have seen how the Burmese army guns down peaceful monks," said the Mon refugee."We have to hit back."

The UN's attempt to resolve the political crisis in Burma and end the brutal treatment of protesters has not succeeded, the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, admitted last night.

The Sociopathic Bush Administration

NYT: Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations

When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.

The classified opinions, never previously disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr. Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department, where he moved quickly to align it with the White House after a 2004 rebellion by staff lawyers that had thrown policies on surveillance and detention into turmoil.

Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.

"Shame" is a gross understatement.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

wednesday reads

Soldiers announced that they were hunting pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar's largest city Wednesday and the top U.S. diplomat in the country said military police were pulling people out of their homes during the night.

Democracy Now! - Interview with Sy Hersh on the White House's plan to attack Iran.

Tomgram: Having a Carnage Party

Lindsay Beyerstein: America’s deadly dependence on private security contractors in Iraq

Jurors hearing the nation's first illegal pirating civil litigation case brought to trial here Tuesday were confronted with more than just mulling whether to hold a single mother of two liable for copyright infringement.

Fact Check: "Phony Soldiers" and Limbaugh's Revisionist History

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

tuesday reads

An unconfirmed report by the Daily Mail claims that several thousand people have died in Burma in recent days and that the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle. The claim is made by Hla Win, described as a former intelligence officer for Burma's ruling junta.

Deterioration in Darfur

Most Americans oppose fully funding President Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children's health insurance bill he has promised to veto, putting Bush and many congressional Republicans on the wrong side of public opinion on upcoming foreign and domestic policy battles.

TPM: Erik Prince, CEO, Blackwater

In a narrowly crafted ruling, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly invalidated part of President Bush's 2001 executive order, which allowed former presidents and vice presidents to review executive records before they are released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Kirk James Murphy, M.D.: Drop that Patty! (before it drops you)

Since 1990, over 10.4 million Americans have been busted for pot. When will we recognize it's time to stand up to the war on harmless pot smoking?

Harold Myerson: The Rise of the Have-Nots

Stephen Lendman: Greenspan's Dark Legacy Unmasked

Best. Bout. Ever.

Kansas City 89, Rat City 85

Justice Feelgood Marshall has a great recap of the Championship Bout here. More Texas Shootout recaps over at Derby News Network.

Kansas City Star: KC Roller Warriors win national title

Plog: 'Year of the Warrior'

2007 WFTDA Championship Tournament