Tag Archives: torture

Bush III: Obama’s deteriorating legacy

Way back in March of 2008, as the campaign was running in high gear, I made clear that while I wasn’t in love with the Democratic frontrunners, the emerging alternative was worse: John McCain represented the third Bush presidency.

I was undoubtedly right. But… You knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?

Poppy. Dubya. And now Barack. I was right – the 2008 election gave us the third installment in the Bush Dynasty.

Perhaps we’ll get to see Colin Powell back in front of the UN again soon…

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Are liberals smarter than conservatives? Our nitwit media strike again…

CNN reported last week on a new study showing that liberalism, atheism and sexual exclusivity in males are linked to higher IQ scores. The findings are intriguing, for all the obvious reasons.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

Reactions have been all over the place, but there’s been strong suspicion of the findings from both “liberal” and “conservative” corners (especially conservative, as you’d expect). Which is good. Continue reading Are liberals smarter than conservatives? Our nitwit media strike again…

Finally, a reasonable argument in favor of torture

It’s been maddening over the last few years listening to the “debate” over torture. On the one side you have your basic horde of patchouli-soaked dirty fucking hippie liberals wringing their hands and screeching over anything that damages a terrorist’s self-esteem, while on the other side you have a well-dressed cadre of chicken-hawks who think that Jack Bauer is a real person.

Seriously, can I get a bipartisan “amen”?

The closest we’ve ever gotten to a conservative breaking ranks on the issue is John McCain, who has paid a lot of lip-service to how torture is bad. Continue reading Finally, a reasonable argument in favor of torture

Ten years on: was Columbine the rule or the exception?

Part two in a series

How did it happen? Why did it happen? There’s simply no way to measure how many hours have devoted to these questions in the ten years and four days since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School, and while we don’t (and never will) have all the answers, we do have some of them. Obviously a good bit of the discussion focuses on the individuals themselves, and other analyses cast a broader net, examining the social factors that shaped the individuals. In a way, the question we’re still debating perhaps boils down to nature vs. nurture. Were Harris and Klebold Natural Born Killers? Or are they better understood as by-products of deeper social trends and dynamics?

The answer is probably “All of the above,” but we can’t simply check C and be on our merry, uncritical way. Continue reading Ten years on: was Columbine the rule or the exception?

Caller clowns Rush, Rush clowns Republicans

In the immortal words of Catbert, I just laughed myself fuzzy. First, you really must listen to this:

(Transcript here, courtesy of Media Matters.)

Rush starts, I think, to suggest that the caller isn’t really who he says he is, and by the end seems to allow that the guy may be a Republican, but not much of one. Continue reading Caller clowns Rush, Rush clowns Republicans

TunesDay: Can music violate the Geneva Conventions (or the 8th Amendment)?

Yow. If you missed the story, US PsyOps personnel are using music as a torture tactic on captives in Iraq. How silly, you say? Torture someone with music? Well, check out the playlist.

  1. “Fuck Your God” – Deicide
  2. “Die MF Die” – Dope
  3. “Take Your Best Shot” – Dope
  4. “White America” – Eminem
  5. “Kim” – Eminem
  6. “Barney Theme Song” – Barney Continue reading TunesDay: Can music violate the Geneva Conventions (or the 8th Amendment)?

George Will can’t stop lying!

I now know why Elvis shot that TV set.

If you missed it, Stephen Colbert’s special guest last night was conservative pundit George Will. I almost typed “addle-headed pathological liar George Will,” but didn’t because I think a cursory look at what he actually said will make that clear enough.

Show, don’t tell, as I always instruct my writing students.

So let’s start by watching the segment.

WARNING: people with above-average intelligence who have eaten a greasy meal in the last couple of hours should grab a barf bag before clicking play. Continue reading George Will can’t stop lying!

The Daily Brushback: a question about waterboarding…

Today’s question is for three of our nation’s prominent leaders: President George W. Bush, Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. John McCain.

Q: Mr. President, Sen. McCain, Sen. Lieberman, you’ve all recently made clear your support for waterboarding as an interrogation technique. Since, in your estimation, waterboarding is a legal, effective and harmless tool, is it therefore your belief that it would be acceptable and appropriate for enemy nations and organizations to waterboard captured American servicemen and women? If so, can you explain how this stance is consistent with your frequently stated “support” for our nation’s troops?