Sunday, August 31, 2008

On Whether One Is Playing : a) The Eye-Candy Card b) The Lightweight Card c) The Vagina Card d) All of the Above

Answer: D.

All of the above.

So I have recently received a virtual "Shut Up, Bitch!" card from a commenter who thinks I, as a female, should shut up about Sarah Palin, as she, too is a female.

And that my asking if Mrs. Palin is running for Vice-President or Vice-Prom Queen is sexist. Or something. (Though when during the primary, I frequently asked whether Barack Obama was running for Prom King I received no similar criticism, as I recall).

Somehow I should be shutting up about Palin because -- what? All of a sudden we don't want to be picking on a gurrrl? But we've been picking on gurrls 4-ever! NOW, you want we should stop? I feel sure that that is just what Karl Rove had in mind with this pick! Using reverse sexism as a Teflon-ing ploy. (He's such a clever dude, is he not?)

Anyhow, to this sub-section of gentle readers: if you think the choice of Sarah Palin as Trophy VEEP is not a hideous insult to all women (and men), then, you know, like, go for it.


Via the New York Times, "Drawing Women's Attention, Maybe Not Allegiance, interviews with some pro-Palinists, and plenty of women who, like me, think this pick a shameless pandering insult.
Via The Sydney Morning Herald, Palin A Better Shot Than Cheney

Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain's Trophy VEEP ChickPick: A Hideous Insult to All Women. Oh & To All Men, Too

So if Karl Rove thought that putting pro-government-forced maternity advocate, mother of five, Rush Limbaugh-appointed "babe," lovely cute oh so charming vagino-American Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on the John McCain ticket was going to win over the heart and mind of this die-hard Clintonista, he's got another think coming. (Oh, and this is for Paul L., "All-Out Battle For Women's Votes.)

I don't mind that they're running a female. I think that's kind of cute. Especially coming from the nappy-headed ho, dumpy-wife-dumping, cunt-calling section of the universe.

But running a national and international experience-free person who would be heartbeat away from the Presidency of the United States, leading a world super-power in an age where conflicts can erupt into wars in which whole countries are at risk?

Because of her gender? Her external appearance?

Her willingness to bear five children? Her charm and gumption? Her hardscrabble rise from PTA mom way up the Alaskan ladder of success? Her ability to moose-hunt/duck-hunt?


I mean, really. What were they thinking?

It's like they've chosen her as Trophy VEEP because of her feel-good teddy-bear vibes:
“[Sarah Palin] wouldn’t have articulated one coherent policy and people would just be fawning all over her,” said Andrew Halcro, a Republican turned independent, who along with Tony Knowles, a Democrat, ran against Ms. Palin for governor in 2006. “Tony and I looked at each other and it was, like, this isn’t about policy or Alaska issues, this is about people’s most basic instincts: ‘I like you, and you make me feel good.’


How cynical is that? How sexist is that?

Answer: very.

Sarah's choice proves Obama's point that John McCain doesn't get it while it has also had the surprising (to me) effect of slingshotting me right into BHO's arms at last. (Hmm.)

The Republicans just don't get it.

Not that we ever thought they did, mind you.

On the upside, it does add humor to an otherwise dull day. I see in the New York Times that Mrs. Palin, while pro-death penalty, stills calls herself "pro-life." Haha.

Even though Mrs. Palin totally opposes reproductive freedom, she claims to be a "feminist." Yo. That's like claiming to be a pro-boiling-beings-in-oil buddhist, is it not?


Oh, and there are those (and you know who you are) who think that this choice is NOT an insult to all women, in particular, not to conservative and independent women.

As recently as last month, Ms. Palin appeared to dismiss the importance of the vice presidency in an interview with Larry Kudlow of CNBC, who asked her about her prospects for the job.

Don't skip the clips!

McCain has picked a woman because she is a woman. A conservative woman. A young, physically-attractive Talibangelical homeschooling anti-science creationist conservative woman. What a great package for a Trophy VEEP. (Ooh! NBFH just coined it!!)

McCain has passed over more experienced, less photogenic conservative and independent women. (And men).

Now, you perhaps think that that is not insulting to all women. (Not to mention all men.)

But I strongly disagree. Looks over competence? Why is that not insulting? Shallow much? We electing a Vice-Prom Queen?

Faux Feminism at Washington Monthly, with more people who find Palin an insulting pick.
Sarah Palin: Sleight of Gender, at Vanity Fair.
Oh. And here's another uppity broad who thinks it's the Palin choice is an insult to women.
Deb della Piana on Who Does John McCain Think He's Fooling?

Blast from the past -- it's not about hillary, it's about us.
Goodbye to All That No. 2, by Robin Morgan.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rove, POW John Pander to POWs -- One Giant Snark-Step Onward for All Vagino-Americans!

I noticed earlier that Karl "Miss Piggy" Rove, unlike his tone-deaf Democratic party counterparts, was oddly attuned and aware of the karma-cause-&-effect thing re: POWs, as in Pissed-Off Women Democrats (a group of which I am, and continue to be, a proud example).

That's why Rove's "Why Not Hillary?" ad was so effective. And, at least to me, unexpected.

As in, oh, what, someone's paying attention?

And that someone would be -- Karl Rove? Ouch!

I think it is a very pleasant thing that John McCain has picked his VP according to her genitalia. I mean, why not?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in various alienated sections of vagino-american blogtopia, a section of blogtopia whose spontaneous-arising I joined in, cheering.

Moi, I think it may actually piss off the people who are already actually and very reasonably pissed off, even more. (And if it doesn't, it should).

But it may surprise Miss Piggy by pissing them off in sort of a different, and perhaps 180 degree anti-pandering direction. Possibly inspiring some deep revulsion. (And don't forget Palin's being a card-carrying Feminist For Government-Forced Maternity [coughchokecough]).

I for one certainly am finding McCain's choice of Sarah Palin particularly, unconscionably, despicably, almost deliciously repellent.

Am I alone in this? I think not.

We shall see.

But from where I am, this pick is vilely sexist, and a hideous insult to all women.

Hat tip to Jesus' General, a little something about what Sarah Palin may be doing in addition to so cleverly possessing the requisite vagina.
Frogette at ragebot with McCain Picks A Chick, hat-tip to Kvatch.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

U-S-A, U-S-A Denver: Leg Shackles, Pepper Spray, Gitmoesque Frigid Air, Sleep Deprivation. Constitution? Just a Piece O' Paper

From the Denver Post, Mobile edition.
Editor's note: The following is a firsthand account from Martin, a young Colorado protester arrested Monday evening when police in riot gear surrounded a group of 100-200 protesters as they marched on 15th Street between Court and Cleveland Place.

"The first thing I really noticed was at Civic Center Park when I was in the 'Food Not Bombs' area. The police seemed to be ready for conflict. They walked through the 'Food Not Bombs' crowd, which was a peaceful group, holding their weapons out and looking at people, really intensely, trying to intimidate everyone. It made us all a little worried.

"I was planning to march with the group that night. We all had different reasons for being there. I was marching to make people aware that they should be worried about our civil rights being stripped systematically right now, and show people that habeas corpus is six feet under. I just think the time we live in has so many deep-rooted problems that I don't understand how people can NOT protest. I'd never been arrested before, and I have no criminal record or significant run-ins with the law.

"The group first gathered outside the City-County building, getting ready to march, but the police blockaded us. I didn't see the pepper spray there, but the whole group decided to retreat because we didn't want to be encircled by the police. So we went to the promenade and crossed onto 15th Street, linking arms, trying to stay as tight as we could and stay together.

"Everything happened really fast. We knew there were police behind us, and that presence was growing larger, with more police, but then suddenly there were police in front of us at the other end of the block. Shortly after that, the police encircled us. A lot of people were able to escape before they closed the circle, but the rest of us were inside, along with a journalist from Brooklyn, and a woman who started writing on her laptop about what was happening, and some photographers. There were many people who weren't protesters, just citizens, who were in the encircled group.

"We moved to the sidewalk - a few people stayed in the street - because we didn't want a confrontation, but it didn't matter.

"People started pleading: 'Let me go,' 'I want to go home.' The police started using the pepper spray. Some of the police on horses were whacking people with their batons. I was told later that the police were telling us to disperse, but I didn't hear them say that. And where would we go? The police were all around us, not letting us leave.

"We asked why we were being detained, but they wouldn't talk to us. They told us to sit down, and we sat down.

"Then they said that anyone with a photo I.D. could show it and be let out of the circle, and anyone without I.D. would be arrested. I saw a handful of people hold up their I.D., and police walked up to them, grabbed them and took them out. I don't know if they were arrested.

"They set up an arrest squad - two police per protester, and talked about who to pick - 'Get this one with the bandana' or 'Get that one in the black.' They were targeting individuals.

"The arrest process was: The two officers picked you up, searched you, took your bag and everything except your money. They put you in blue plastic handcuffs and walked you to a line where you stood in front of a camera, holding a placard with the charges against you, and then there was footage of the officer who'd arrested you. All I can remember is the officer claimed I'd done some things I had not done - said I'd thrown rocks, which I didn't do; I didn't see anyone with rocks. I asked him why he said that when I hadn't done it. His answers were vague, ambiguous.

"Then I was taken to another area, loaded onto a bus that took us to a warehouse in a Denver industrial park. There were Special Operations Response Team police there, who took our pictures again, printed both hands - not just the fingers, but our whole hand rolled onto the ink - and did a medical check. Then they assigned us to different chain-link cages, maybe 15 feet by 15 feet, all chain link, with a padlock. Between 10 and 20 of us were in one of those cages. Females and males were separated.

"They pumped in cold air, in these big white tubes, all night and all day the next day. It was freezing in there. I was lucky; I had a jacket, but other people were in shorts and T-shirts. We asked them to turn off the cold air, but they didn't.

"Eventually they put all of us in metal leg shackles, and re-handcuffed us in pairs, with our right hands together — right hand to right hand - so it was difficult to move. . .

"We were utterly confused. We did not understand why we were being detained. We hadn't been read our Miranda rights. We didn't know what we'd done to merit such a violent response, or why the Special Operations police were needed.

"After they shackled us, they put us in a van with no windows, and took us to the courthouse, where we were supposed to speak with a judge to hear the charges against us. We were still handcuffed, right hand to right hand. They took us in an elevator that went up to a jail cell, and we were told to watch a video of a judge telling us our rights, through the bars. It was surreal, like being in a futuristic movie, like "1984" or "A Clockwork Orange."

"Eventually, at about 2 a.m., we got to see a real judge, who explained our rights to us, and explained the charges. There was a lawyer, an angel, who explained everything in plain language. There were five charges against me: Blocking a public thoroughfare, not abiding an order to disperse, throwing rocks and missiles, loitering, and begging. At times, I had begged them for water, when we were sitting down on 15th Street before going through the arrest process.

"The attorney explained we had three choices: Plead guilty and post a $300 bond ($500 if you were from out of state), or accept a plea bargain that dropped all the charges but one that you had to pay $141 for, or plead not guilty and either post your own bail or wait in jail till your court date. But nobody had given us a court date. So I took the plea bargain, because I didn't have the money for bail.

"Then they walked us out of the courthouse, and we saw another group from the protest walking in. We were the first group to meet with a judge and a lawyer.

"Then they took us back to the warehouse. The only place to sleep was on a chair, if you got one, or on the concrete floor.

"I was really worried because I could not get any responses from the police. We kept asking how long we'd be there, when the bus was coming, and they'd keep saying, 'It's coming.' It felt inhumane, utterly terrifying. If they'd answered some of our questions, I think people would've been less terrified, less frightened, but I think the police were intentionally fatiguing us. They'd keep us for long periods of time in one cage, and then re-handcuff us and move us to another cell, as if something was about to change, but it didn't. It was all psychological.

"In the cells, we talked to each other about where we were from, the places we'd been, and if we'd been in situations before. We reassured each other of our rights, made sure everyone knew the People's Law Project hotline number, and that it was really important to get names and badge numbers. . . .

"I got out on Tuesday around noon. We learned we were the first wave of protesters to make it all the way through the process — 7 p.m. last night to noon today. . . .

Update here at Democracy Now.
Hat tip to anon for update links, top pic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's the Stupidity, Stupid!!

Hoist on his own petard, is our John.

Who is btw a POW.

And he's also old. A little older than Biden. I don't agree with playing the ageist card except oh dear I seem to have just played it, have I not? Guess I'm just a little sensitive on the oldness is inherently badness theme. Oh?

I prefer to make decisions based not on um you know sheer ageism gender bias shapeism racism classism blah blah, but rely more on the stupid/not stupid/adequate/smart/f*cking brilliant policy continuum.

But hey that's just me.


(Hat tip to Jacqueline Gens of poetrymind and Advice from Abu Shri for this fine Robert Greenwald video.

AP Reports on Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech Before She Gives It

Ah, our darling media whore media.

We love them so, do we not?

Department of Possible Light at End of Tunnel, Unity Pony Entebbe Rescue Edition? Hat-tip to anon. ; )

And also, It's Hillary's Night! Hat-tip, again, to anon. ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Send Arthur Silber Money Or I'll Rip The Spangles Off Of Unity Pony and Paste Them On Cindy McCain


Because -- he's waaay leftier than thou.





Just for starters.

And -- because he needs it. And because we needs to support one of our own.

Lost in Translation (or, You Do Not Have to be Hit to be Abused, Sweetie?)

Hello, boys and girls. Let's have some fun with language!

I'm choosing adjectives and nouns from two sources today: Dahlia' Lithwick's piece in Slate, "The Madwoman in the Blogosphere" (nb. that would be me, btw) and Michele Goldberg's "Three A.M. for Feminism," all about "Clinton dead-enders and the crisis in the women's movement."

Keep in mind that this language is coming from two supposedly liberal progressive Democratic women.

Ready to mix and match?


A.------------------------------------------------------------- B.

disgruntled ------------------------------------------------bitch
bitter -----------------------------------------------------madwoman
irrational ----------------------------------------------pyromaniac
hurt ---------------------------------------------------martyr
angry ---------------------------------------------------victim
rejected -------------------------------------------------harridan
unstable -------------------------------------------------hysteric
petulant ----------------------------------------------she-devil
lunatic ---------------------------------------------------dead-ender
self-referential (not THAT!)
irrationally destructive

(Forgive my inability to get the columns lined up right.)


How many combinations were you able to make, boyz and girlz?

"Toxic bitch"? "Middle-aged she-devil"? "Self-referential pyromaniac"?

This is a contest, faithful readers!

The grand prize is -- a bushel basketful of that singularly bitter high-priced vegetable, arugula!



[An important piece from Avedon Carol at Side-show, "this is not an instruction in how to vote" (hat tip to Corrente)]
{Campaign updates at Corrente.}

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Audacity Of Rove

Well, as a big-time hillary harridan I had intended to just STFU like a good little girl & get totally over it (over what?), and keep on privately snivelling in my beer whilst simultaneously whistling and pretending that lalalala nothing is wrong, it's all good, it doesn't matter, out of my hands, nothing to do with me, it is what is is, que sera sera, la-di-da, la-di-da, la-di-da, and utterly totally completely stuffing my feeeeeeelings (oh, would that be stuffing one's feelings as in "numbing & avoidance" one of the three main symptom categories that define PTSD? why yes it would!) and never write another word on the subject ever ever ever ever ever ever ever.

That was my plan.

And then I saw this:

New McCain Ad Hits Obama For Not Picking Hillary As Veep

And I thought to myself, "Ouch."

Then I thought "Wow."

Then I thought, "This must be Rove."

Then I thought, "Wow."

Then I thought, "Ouch," again.

Sez TPM (and do note TPM's swipe at "embittered" Clintonistas, they just can't stop slamming us can they? because it's all our fault/hillary's fault tum-ti-tum-tum so there) here.
John McCain is up with his second spot in two days hitting Obama over his veep choice, this one whacking him for not picking Hilllary:

The spot makes a kind of double-barreled bid for embittered Hillary voters: It fuses criticism of the fact that he "passed over" her with an airing of her attacks on him during the primary, arguing that he didn't choose her because of that criticism."


FEMALE VOICEOVER: She won millions of votes.

But isn't on his ticket.



Round one to you, Karl.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Plus Milosz re: It's Not the End of the World Hillary Harridan Bitchez So Get Over It & btw STFU

Wasn't I talking about the O.J. Simpson verdict just the other day?


Well, anyway.

Must be time for more Milosz.

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

---Czeslaw Milosz, Warsaw, 1944

Your Tax Dollars at Work: Torture At Gitmo

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- An Algerian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay has accused his guards of using [water torture] on him, his lawyer said Friday, marking the first allegation that the harsh interrogation technique was used at the U.S. military base.

A human rights commission of the Organization of American States, after being informed of the alleged abuse, said Friday that it has asked the U.S. State Department to ensure that Djamel Ameziane is not mistreated and receives medical care.

Officials at Guantanamo and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but they have said repeatedly that all Guantanamo detainees are treated humanely.

Ameziane, who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo since February 2002 without being charged with crimes, told his lawyer Wells Dixon that guards at the base placed a water hose between his nose and mouth and ran it for several minutes. Ameziane said they repeated the procedure several times, nearly suffocating him.

"I had the impression that my head was sinking in water," Ameziane, 41, wrote his lawyer. "I still have psychological injuries, up to this day. Simply thinking of it gives me the chills."

According to Ameziane's account, during the same incident the guards applied pepper spray all over his body, hosed him down, and left him shackled and shivering in wet clothes in front of an air conditioner in an interrogation room.

Confessed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and at least two other "high-value" detainees imprisoned at the base in southeast Cuba were waterboarded -- an interrogation tactic that produces the sensation of drowning -- but they were waterboarded at CIA secret prisons before they were transferred to Guantanamo.

Dixon said in a telephone interview the alleged abuse happened early during Ameziane's confinement at Guantanamo.

"He was held down and someone essentially shoved a hose in his face, forcing a stream of water down his nose, mouth and into his lungs I guess," Dixon said.

Lawyers with the Center for Constitutional Rights, a law group that represents scores of Guantanamo detainees, on Aug. 6 filed a petition on behalf of Ameziane with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, asking that it intercede with the U.S. to protect the detainee.

The group said the commission, which is an autonomous organ of the OAS, agreed and issued "urgent precautionary measures" with the U.S. on Wednesday.

An official with the OAS-affiliated group confirmed it has asked the State Department to ensure he is treated humanely, given medical treatment and not transferred to a country where he could be tortured.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is empowered to request that a member state adopt specific "precautionary measures" to prevent human rights abuses, but can also urge the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to order that measures be taken, and can submit cases to the court. The United States is a member of the OAS.

Via Raw Story, link here.

Moving Right Along: Dirty Bush Backs Anti-Choice Rule

New Bush rule: Doctors can refuse to give women abortions

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration on Thursday proposed stronger job protections for doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions because of religious or moral objections. . . .

"Freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree," said Leavitt. "This nation was built on a foundation of free speech. The first principle of free speech is protected conscience."

The proposed rule, which applies to institutions receiving government money, would require as many as 584,000 employers ranging from major hospitals to doctors' offices and nursing homes to certify in writing that they are complying with several federal laws that protect the conscience rights of health care workers. Violations could lead to a loss of government funding and legal action to recoup federal money already paid.

Abortion foes called it a victory for the First Amendment, but abortion rights supporters said they feared the rule could stretch the definition of abortion to include birth control, and served notice that they intend to challenge the administration.

"Women's ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology," Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

Abortion rights groups had complained that earlier drafts contained vague language that might block access to birth control, and they said the latest version has not addressed all of their concerns."

Yes, such a problem these days in America, doctors and nurses being forced at gunpoint to perform abortions against their will. All-pervasive. Unlike child abuse in America. Just ask James Dobson.

More here.

Hope & Fear & Unity Pony DeathWatch

I remember waiting for the O.J. Simpson verdict to be announced.

I remember how I felt after it was announced, too.

Waiting for Obama's VP announcement is triggering traumatic memories of that period of on-tenterhooks waiting.

I'm really worried for my party, and for my country, hoping for the best and fearing the worst.

And I'm not the only one.

I'm not.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Wow! Women Writers CAN Be Total Utter Sexist Pigs! Who Knew?

It's late. I shouldn't be writing this.

But really, one just CAN'T MISS this here article in Slate by Dahlia Lithwick:


To which this here blogger, who is clinging to PUMA Obamism by the very very very very slenderest of threads, a thread made only way way more slender-er by reading articles like this, replies with this historic trifecta:


And the ever-popular: IT'S MY PARTY AND YOU'LL CRY IF I WANT 2 . . .


Because I've said it all before, and (sigh) I guess I'm saying it all again.

("Yo, Dahlia Lithwick. Harridan here. You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well, I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?")

Don't forget the divine Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy on Obamawin's Law.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Blue sky here, not as blue as the deep azure skies of Tibet, but blue enough, nearly cloudless. Walked dog and self to the bayside beach through Crowe's Pasture, got waved at by many oyster-farmers driving through an otherwise quiet meadow. It reminded me of this poem by Czeslaw Milosz.


A day so happy.

Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden.

Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers.

There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess.

I knew no one worth my envying him.

Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot.

To think that I was once the same man did not embarrass me.

In my body I felt no pain.

When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails.

Berkeley, 1971


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chosen One: "Feisty" Sweetie Wrong On FISA, Centrism, Compromise

"You're feisty. And I like that."

So the Chosen One likes a gurrl to be feisty, does he?


Moi, I like not to be patted on the head.

Here's Anglachel, Above Reproach.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bad Mood Post

So watch out, gentle readers, one finds oneself in a baaad mood today.

Started out with that front-page Sunday NY Times article on presumptive nominee Barack Obama, "Seeing Tougher Race, Allies Ask Obama to Make 'Hope' Specific."

Well, maybe it started before that. Never mind.

Follow the linky goodness straight to Lambert at Corrente, The Age of the Anti-Cassandra.

Yep. What he said.

And what VastLeft said.

And here's Obama throwing My Hero Wesley Clark under the bus.

And the divine Anglachel on public policy vs. self-interest:
I know, I sound like a broken record, but this all gets back to the argument I've been making all year about having a philosophy of government and political power that sees a need to use the power of the state to secure and improve the lives of ordinary citizens. If you simply don't believe that it is so, that public policy should be nothing more than artful structuring of choices (and not mandating that X shall be available for all, regardless), then policy as such loses its punch. One is as good as another, and all are mere bargaining chips in the hunt for bipartisan unity.

Obama could be as old as Methuselah, or even John McCain, and all that experience would not do him a bit of good as long as his campaign is . . . not about what he intends to do for the country.

I'll just sit here and stew, thx.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

First, Do No Harm

From the New York Times:
"They have closely studied suspects, looking for mental quirks. They have suggested lines of questioning. They have helped decide when a confrontation is too intense, or when to push harder. More than those in the other healing professions, psychologists have played a central role in the military and C.I.A. interrogation of people suspected of being enemy combatants.

But now the profession, long divided over this role, is considering whether to make any involvement in military interrogations a violation of its code of ethics.

At the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting this week in Boston, prominent members are denouncing such work as unethical by definition, while other key figures — civilian and military — insist that restricting psychologists’ roles would only make interrogations more likely to harm detainees.

Like other professional organizations, the association has little direct authority to restrict members’ ability to practice. But state licensing boards can suspend or revoke a psychologist’s license, and experts note that these boards often take violations of the association’s ethics code into consideration.

The election for the association’s president is widely seen as a referendum on the issue. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International, plan a protest on Saturday afternoon.

And last week, for the first time, lawyers for a detainee at the United States Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, singled out a psychologist as a critical player in documents alleging abusive treatment.

“It’s really a fight for the soul of the profession,” said Brad Olson, a psychologist at Northwestern University, who has circulated a petition among members to place a moratorium on such consulting.

Others strongly disagree. “The vast majority of military psychologists know the ethics code and know exactly what they can and cannot do,” said William J. Strickland, who represents the Society for Military Psychology before the association’s council. “This is a fight about individual psychologists’ behavior, and we should keep it there.”

At the center of the debate are the military’s behavioral science consultation teams, informally known as biscuits, made up of psychologists and others who assist in interrogations. Little is known about these units, including the number of psychologists who take part. Neither the military nor the team members have disclosed many details.

Defenders of that role insist that the teams are crucial in keeping interrogations safe, effective and legal. Critics say their primary purpose is to help break detainees, using methods that might violate international law.

In court documents filed Thursday, lawyers for the Guantánamo detainee Mohammed Jawad asserted that a psychologist’s report helped land Mr. Jawad, a teenager at the time, in a segregation cell, where he became increasingly desperate.

According to the documents, the psychologist, whose name has not been released, completed an assessment of Mr. Jawad after he was seen talking to a poster on his cell wall. [Someone noticed Jawad was having psychotic symptoms] Shortly thereafter, in September 2003, he was isolated from other detainees [a really wrong thing to do with someone you have noticed is having psychotic symptoms] and many of his requests to see an interrogator were ignored. He later attempted suicide [what a surprise] , according to the filing, which asks that the case be dismissed on the ground of abusive treatment.

The Guantánamo court is reviewing the case. Military lawyers have denied that Mr. Jawad suffered any mental health problems from his interrogation [tell it to the Marines]. On Thursday, the psychologist in the case invoked Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the military’s equivalent of the Fifth Amendment.

“This is what it’s come to,” said Steven Reisner, an assistant clinical professor at the New York University School of Medicine and a leading candidate for the presidency of the psychological association. “We have psychologists taking the Fifth.”

Dr. Reisner has based his candidacy on “a principled stance against our nation’s policy of using psychologists to oversee abusive and coercive interrogations” at Guantánamo and the so-called black sites operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The psychological association’s most recent ethics amendments strongly condemn coercive techniques adopted in the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism campaign. But its current guidelines covering practice conclude that “it is consistent with the A.P.A. ethics code for psychologists to serve in consultative roles to interrogation and information-gathering processes for national-security-related purposes,” as long as they do not participate in any of 19 coercive procedures, including waterboarding, the use of hoods and any physical assault."

Yes, yes. Of course.

It's sort of like having a medical doctor present during "interrogations" to revive a torturee so they become awake enough to torture all over again, is it not?

Full story here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pro-Genocide Racist Reds Fake "Ethnic Minority" Kidz

And they must have thought that nobody would ever notice!

Because, um, why would they?

But the children were all from the Han Chinese majority, which makes up more than 90 per cent of the population and is culturally and politically dominant, according to an official with the cultural troupe from which they were selected.

"I assume they think the kids were very natural looking and nice," Yuan Zhifeng, deputy director of the Galaxy Children's Art Troupe said.

Why, of course!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No VP For You, Hilly -- AND It's All Your Fault!!

Oh, lookee, boys and girls!

Here's a great -- and so WELL-TIMED -- hit-piece on Hillary!


It's like Golden Oldies Night, replaying the top ten Obamist anti-Hillary smears!

I have like SUCH nostalgia happening!

Gimme some spin.

You want Hillary for VP? No way!

She's -- RACIST.


She's -- TOXIC.


Just in case you were wondering why presumptive nominee Barack Obama, who is not man enough to run with Hillary, is still not man enough to run with Hillary.

; )

Plus: "If the witch is dead, why is The Atlantic trying to drown her?"

And a reprise: Fucked In The Head

Kudos to Vast LeftWing Conspiracy.

Update: So maybe they'll "let" Hillary be nominated after all? Isn't that the rulez? Or are they just flogging a Dead Unity Pony?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shape-ist Commies Fake Uber-Cute Kid Singer

Here's something fun. It might take your mind off the resurrected Unity Pony Deathwatch. Not to mention taking your mind off the painful Karl-Rove-wet dream internecine warfare within the Democratic party, as Obama continues the audacity of putting a virtual Beretta to its head (for its own good, mind you), forcing it to march off at a spanking pace in a direct anti-progressive direction, while reassuring us all that, just as all animals are equal, all directions are equal, but some are more equal than others, so shut the f*ck up, everyone, k?


The little girl who starred at the Olympic opening ceremony was [LIP-SYNCHING] and only put on stage because the real singer was not considered attractive enough, the show's musical director has revealed.

Pigtailed Lin Miaoke was selected to appear because of her cute appearance and did not sing a note, Chen Qigang, the general music designer of the ceremony, said in an interview with a state broadcaster aired Tuesday.

Photographs of Lin in a bright red party dress were published in newspapers and websites all over the world and the official China Daily hailed her as a rising star on Tuesday.

But Chen said the girl whose voice was actually heard by the 91,000 capacity crowd at the Olympic stadium during the spectacular ceremony was in fact seven-year-old Yang Peiyi, who has a chubby face and uneven teeth.

"The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image, we were thinking about what was best for the nation," Chen said in an interview that appeared briefly on the news website before it was apparently wiped from the Internet in China.

Lin was seen to perform the patriotic song "Ode to the Motherland" as China's national flag was carried into the stadium, a key moment in the three hour ceremony.

"The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression," said Chen, a renowned contemporary composer and French citizen.

"Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects. But in terms of voice, Yang Peiyi is perfect, each member of our team agreed," he said.

He said the final decision to stage the event with Lin lip-synching to another girl's voice was taken after a senior member of China's ruling Communist Party politburo attended a rehearsal.

"He told us there was a problem that we needed to fix it, so we did," he said, without disclosing further details of the order.

Yeah. Like they're doing in Tibet.

It's not genocide. It's culling.
Full link, here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Obama: Just Not Man Enough to Run With Hillary

It's pretty stupid for a presumptive nominee not to run with someone who would pretty much guarantee a Democratic landslide in the fall, don't you think?

So, why is Obama being stupid?

Why is Obama not happily, eagerly, throughtfully, planfully, excitedly, passionately offering Hillary Clinton the VP spot?

It makes no sense, does it?

He doesn't need 18 million votes?

His ego is too fragile?

He's scared that Hillary Clinton might, periodically, both outshine him and outthink him?

And he just doesn't want to be out-shone nor out-thunk? So he's willing to put the outcome of the election at greater risk to prop up his (male?) ego?

That would be a sure sign of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome, sweetie. A troubling thought. Makes him look weak. Makes him look like a Schwartzenegger girlie-man. Makes him look like a total, well --- pussy.

Barack Obama needs to cowboy up for the good of the Democratic Party.

He needs to clean up his act.

Obama's current behavior is completely unacceptable. The pandering to the right, screwing up on FISA, backpedalling on choice, calling the Clintons racists, failing to address his sexism, not backing single payer health care, etc. etc.

Wimping out on naming Hillary VP is the worst of his worst, and this failure alone may cost the Democrats the election.

Look how things are shaping up:
In the two months since Barack Obama captured the Democratic nomination, he has hit a ceiling in public opinion polling, proving unable to make significant gains with any segment of the national electorate.

While Obama still leads in most matchups with John McCain, the Illinois senator’s apparent stall in the polls is a sobering reminder to Democrats intoxicated with his campaign’s promises to expand the electoral map beyond the boundaries that have constrained other recent party nominees.

That gap between expectations and reality comes as Democrats enjoy the most favorable political winds since at least 1976. At least eight in ten Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track. The Republican president is historically unpopular. From stunning Democratic gains in party registration to the high levels of economic anxiety, Obama should have a healthy lead by almost every measure. Yet, in poll after poll, Obama conspicuously fails to cross the 50 percent threshold.

ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer asked, “If everything is so good for Barack Obama, why isn’t everything so good for Barack Obama?”
Will Obama be getting over himself anytime soon?

Will Obama be growing some cojones anytime soon?

And if not, why not?


And here's Big Tent Democrat on Another Reason Why Obama Should Choose Hillary as VP.
Here's VastLeftwingConspiracy on the Huge Unseen Elephant in the Democratic Party Room where Unity Pony was supposed to be.
Here's Alegre on why this race is so close when it shouldn't be.
Here's Anglachel on male privilege and the Edwards story: Yes, it is about the f*cking.
And here's Obama backpedalling on choice. Let's do fill the universe with more unwanted children who can grow up to be miserable and/or criminal and/or murderous like Ted Bundy, Osama, and Dirty Bush, eh?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Authority-Respecting Megachurch Wife Accused of Attacking Stewardess I Mean Flight Attendant

My favorite part of this story is the pastor claiming he would never disrespect authority, in this case, that he would never disrepect the authority of the flight attendant. I like the orange pant-suit part, too. w00t!
HOUSTON, Texas -- The wife of megachurch evangelist Joel Osteen told jurors Friday that she was "dumbfounded" and "shook up" after a flight attendant accused her of assaulting her over a spill on a first-class seat. Victoria Osteen and her husband, Joel Osteen, testified at the trial Friday in Houston, Texas. . .

Continental Airlines flight attendant Sharon Brown claims that Osteen grabbed, elbowed and pushed her before the start of a 2005 flight to Vail, Colorado. Osteen and her husband, who also had been on board and testified earlier Friday, denied that account.

"I love people. I'm guilty of that," Osteen said.

Dressed in an orange pant suit, Osteen was animated while testifying, often moving her hands while she talked. A couple of times during her testimony, she cried.

Joel Osteen called the incident "an unfortunate misunderstanding." He testified that his wife never raised her voice or grabbed the flight attendants, though he said he could not hear his wife's voice from his seat.

"We would never disrespect authority or disrespect" the flight attendant, Joel Osteen said.

The couple are co-pastors of Houston's Lakewood Church, a converted basketball arena that draws about 42,000 people each week. Joel Osteen's weekly television address is broadcast nationally and internationally, and he has written books that have been sold around the globe.

On Thursday, another flight attendant on the plane, Maria Johnson, testified that Victoria Osteen demanded special attention to clean up a half-dollar-sized spill on her armrest.

When Victoria Osteen didn't get her way, Johnson testified, the passenger became verbally and physically abusive to both flight attendants. She said Osteen eventually grabbed Brown by the shoulders, elbowed her in the chest and pushed her out of the way in an attempt to get into the cockpit.

But both Joel and Victoria Osteen, who were called to the witness stand by Brown's attorney, disputed Johnson's testimony.

Victoria Osteen said that when she first told a flight attendant about the spill, she was handed some napkins. She said she responded, " 'It's not my job.' I didn't say it in an ugly tone of voice."

Victoria Osteen denied Johnson's claim that she later grabbed Johnson and pulled her in order to have her see the spill.

Victoria Osteen said she tends to talk with her hands. She said that when she was talking with Brown, she was holding her sunglasses but did not point them at the flight attendant.

Victoria Osteen told jurors that Brown's response was to fling her hands at her and accuse her of pointing and pushing the flight attendant.

"It freaked me out. I asked a simple question," she said.

Brown claims in her lawsuit that after pushing her, Victoria Osteen tried to get into the cockpit. Victoria Osteen denied that, telling jurors she just wanted to get away from the situation.

"I was already freaked out because she was accusing me of stuff I didn't do," she said. "I was dumbfounded."

Victoria Osteen said she told Brown, "If I've done something to offend you, I'm sorry" and then got some napkins and went back and cleaned up the spill.

Reginald McKamie, Brown's attorney, asked Joel Osteen why he said in one of his religious messages that if it wasn't for him, his wife would be in prison.

Osteen said he meant it to be a comical statement about the differences between him and his wife, that he likes routine and considers himself boring while his wife is outgoing and likes to go to new restaurants and new places.

"You don't go to jail because you like different restaurants, do you?" McKamie asked, as the packed courtroom laughed. . .

Via RawStory, here.

And now for something completely different, the divine Vast Leftwing Conspiracy: Man Whose Campaign Destroyed Bill Clinton's Reputation To Allow Him Chance to Repair It.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lock 'Em Up At Gitmo,and Throw Away the Key (Along With the Constitution Which Is Just A Piece of Paper)


Some detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba will likely never be released because of the danger they pose, and those tried and acquitted will still be subject to continued detention as enemy combatants, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, made the remarks as Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni, awaited a verdict in the first war crimes trial to be held under a special regime created for "war on terror" suspects.

Morrell said Hamdan, a former driver of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, could appeal the verdict in US courts.

"But in the near term, at least, we would consider him an enemy combatant and still a danger and would likely still be detained for some period of time thereafter," he said.

Morrell said there were plans for at least 20 more such trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but he said a significant portion of the detainees being held there would neither be tried nor released.

He said efforts were being made to reduce the size of the population through transfers of prisoners to their home countries for incarceration or release.

"But I think, you know, there are still a significant population within Guantanamo who will likely never be released because of the threat they pose to the world, for that matter," he said.

Yes, Hitler's driver, too, was a horrible threat to world peace. As is the whole concept of the um, rule of law.

More here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Official No Blood for Hubris Mental Health Interlude

Some unusually troubling stories lately.

Scroll down if you want a reprise, but I don't recommend it.

As an antidote, let me make an offering of some advice that I first heard at a friend's wedding:

If we rely on ordinary, dualistic mind, we cannot have deep and lasting love either for our equals or for less fortunate beings, because ordinary dualistic mind depends on the uncertainty of temporary circumstances.

If we believe that mind is continuous, our love for others becomes continuous. If we recognize this continuity, we do not trust temporary, tangible circumstances or take them too seriously.

If we believe in the continuity of mind, then love inconspicuously connects us to the ones we love with continuous positive energy, so that even tangible separations between people who love each other do not reduce the intangible power of love. This love is automatically enduring since it is not easily affected by circumstances.

If we can keep from grasping at others with the selfish fear of losing them, or the hope of possessing them through the unawareness of our ordinary, dualistic mind, then the energy of love increases and its quality of giving energy to others opens and expands. The positive habit of continuity is created by not depending on what occurs each moment as if it were the only moment.

By believing in the continuity of mind, we acknowledge the continuity of all circumstances, including our experiences of love, which are not just for one moment or for one life.

(T. Norbu, White Sail)

Monday, August 04, 2008

You Always Hurt the One You Love

I do apologize to my faithful readers for adding yet another dismal real-life story here, but so far it's samsara as usual, perhaps here with a cherry on top.

I dunno. I'm looking for perky stories, really, I'm just not finding them. ;(

Oh wait.

Skip this awful story entirely and proceed at once to General JC Christian, Patriot's McCain Gozer ad.

There now. Isn't that better? ;)


A 31-year-old man killed his girlfriend on the Greek island of Santorini on Sunday, beheaded her, then fled in a patrol car, a local official said.

During the ensuing chase, the suspect was shot five times by police and ran over two women doctors who were riding a motorcycle before he was caught, the official said.

The suspect, Athanassios Arvanitis, a cook at a local restaurant, is undergoing surgery at an island hospital, Chrysanthos Roussos, head of the Santorini district, said.

Neighbours said Arvanitis beheaded his girlfriend's dog with a butcher knife following a heated argument. He then killed and beheaded his girlfriend.

The victim, 25-year-old Adamantia Karkali, worked as a teacher at a local village . . .

Initially, Arvanitis roamed the village of Vourvoulos exhibiting the woman's head, neighbours said. Townspeople said they locked themselves in their homes and called the police.

When a policeman tried to handcuff him, the suspect knifed the officer and flung the victim's head into a patrol car. . . . .

Via the Sydney Morning Herald.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Department of No F*cking Comment: If You Are Easily Triggered, Don't Read This Story Either


Here's a real Philadelphia story, via the Sydney Morning Herald.

Starved Disabled Girl Was Failed At Every Turn.
For days before Danieal Kelly died in a fetid, airless room - made stifling hot by a midsummer heat wave - the bedridden teenager begged for something to drink until she could muster only one word: water.

Unable to help herself because of her cerebral palsy, she wasted away from malnutrition and maggot-infested bedsores that ate her flesh. She died alone on a putrid mattress in her mother's home, the floor covered in feces. She was 14 but weighed just 19.05 kg.

The nightmare of forced starvation and infection that killed Danieal while she was under the protection of the [Philadelphia, PA] city's human services agency is documented in a 258-page grand jury report released this week that charges nine people - her parents, four social workers and three family friends - in her ghastly death.

The report describes a mother, Andrea Kelly, who was embarrassed by her disabled daughter and didn't want to touch her, take her out in public, change her nappies or make sure she had enough fluids. It portrays Daniel Kelly, the father who once had custody of Danieal, as having no interest in raising her.

And it accuses the city Department of Human Services of being "uncaring and incompetent."

"It was this indifference that helped kill Danieal Kelly," an angry District Attorney Lynne Abraham said. "How is it possible for this to have happened?"

The report should "outrage the entire Philadelphia community" and bring about "earth-shattering, cataclysmic changes" at the Department of Human Services, Abraham said.

Andrea Kelly, 39, the only defendant charged with murder, was ordered held today without bail. The social workers - suspected of falsifying home visits and progress reports in the case - face charges ranging from child endangerment to involuntary manslaughter. The family friends are accused of lying to the grand jury about the girl's condition before her death . . .[and the story actually gets worse . . . .]

So, you know, really I just have no f*cking comment.