Friday, March 03, 2006


Mike's thrilled that Friday is finally here. He said to "pass on the good news." I'm hoping this is an easier weekend than last. Please make a point to visit Mikey Likes It! for his take on today's news.

"15 Anti-Torture Activists Arrested Outside White House" (Democracy Now!):In Washington, 15 activists were arrested outside the White House Thursday at a protest against torture. The protest was called by Witness Against Torture. In December, the group marched on the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of detainees are being held without charge.
Human rights attorney Jennifer Harbury: "We wore the orange overalls and a gag that said 'torture' and we walked the halls of congress to awaken their conscience. We're trying to haunt their conscience. We're the ghost walkers today. We're here to say no human being can be tortured under any circumstances. My husband was tortured to death by CIA assets or informants in Guatemala 10 years ago, and after many of my hunger strikes that leaked out. What we found out after it was too late to save his life is, like I say, they were all on the CIA payroll. The Senate intelligence committee held a huge panel discussion and investigation of this, and after my testimony they said quote: 'This is a disgrace. No one should ever have to starve to stop torture. It will never happen again.' Really all of us are just calling them on that promise. There can be no more torture by the United States or anyone else."

Torture. Think about that word, "torture." Think about how many of us grew up being told that's what other countries do and comfortable and smug in the fact that "we" never do that. We've done it. Jennifer Harbury's experience, among others, proves that. But now we have an official policy of torture and it seems to me that most people don't realize how amazing that it. Equally amazing, confounding, is the fact that we can talk about it in a blase, jaded manner.

I know we've been conditioned to accept every discussion on the terms set by the Bully Boy. But while acknowleding that, I'm still struck by the realization that, following WWII, just considering these "options" privately would have outraged the nation. These days, a number of us seem to think it's "not that bad." Not everyone thinks that way, but it does shock me how many people have so easily accepted as a "worthy option" something that goes againt the history liberal democracies tell themselves.

Bush Signs Controversial Nuke Deal on India Visit" (Democracy Now!):In India, President Bush has signed a controversial deal to foster nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. Under the agreement, the U.S. would end a decades-long moratorium on sales of nuclear fuel and reactor components to India while allowing the country to substantially step up its nuclear weapons production. India is one of only three countries that has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The deal was criticized by some lawmakers in Washington who said it could lead to the spread of nuclear weapons. House Democrat Ed Markey, co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation called the agreement "a historic failure of this president to tackle the real nuclear threats that we face."

This news didn't surprise me. The reason for that is that posturing, threatening and war are the responses Bully Boy can handle and, pretty much, that's it. For someone who sees war ("long" or short) as the answer to everything, it's not that surprising to me that he would 'wepaonize' India.

I firmly believe we need a nuclear freeze nationally. But I don't see war as the answer to everything.

I received more e-mails on Wednesday's post than on anything I've posted before. I'm still going through them so I'll make some comments on them when I've finished that. On Tuesday, I compared Dick Cheney to Claudine Longet and a number of readers got the joke, but not everyone did.


Originally from France, Claudine Longet was a Las Vegas showgirl when crooner Andy Williams discovered her. In her few TV and film appearances, she was typecast as the innocently foxy mademoiselle. Given a contract by A&M Records, she recorded mostly soft covers of songs by popular rock groups. It wasn't until after she'd left Williams, however, that she really got famous. In 1976 she shot and killed champion skier Vladimir "Spider" Sabich, her long-time boyfriend. After a highly publicized murder trial, Longet was convicted of criminal negligence and sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Now, I want to join C.I. in noting Rebecca's opening paragraph last night:

so the cowards (of both parties) in the senate fell over itself to extend the patriot act. army major general geoffery miller won't testify in the case of army sgt. michael smith who was 'creative' with the use of dogs and prisoners. presumably, miller would have either have had to discuss the actual policy or lied. 'cheney urges americans' should save more but you can only stretch a mcdollar so far, dick. in reply, america urged the administration to create some actual jobs and to raise the minimum wage. and bully boy appears to be confessing that osama was part of team bush in 2004! - wonder if karl rove brought him on board?

That's quite a capsule.

I'm yawning. It's been a long week. It's not even eight p.m. (by any means) yet and I'm already thinking about going to sleep.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Please read Kat's latest musical commentaries:

Kat's Korner: Nina Simone -- Golden"
Kat's Korner: Cat Power's Greatness."

This, by C.I., still makes me laugh: "NYT: The paper sends Linda Lavin to report on the Katrina tapes"