Friday, February 8, 2008

End of the week thoughts

Ok, it's Friday. And the Super Bowl and Super Tuesday are history, with all the pundits talking about what they think they said and didn't and what they think will happen now. Or so they think. And the weather has been rainy and windy all week with more for the weekend. Such is life in paradise, except the candidates are making their appearances here for the caucauses and primary over the next two weeks. Like we need to hear more of the same campaign rhetoric.

And the other news I saw, read or heard?

Well, we all heard about the President and his senior advisors and Cabinet Secretaries say they don't have "secret" prisons anywhere in the world. The EU investigation found no creditable proof any exist in their provinces, except they didn't say they didn't exist, only their evidence wasn't sufficiently complete to say there were prisons, meaning, it's likely there are but no one is saying for the record.

But now we hear about one at Guantananmo, Camp 7. And sure enough they admit it exists and holds about 15 known Al Qaeda prisoners. Gee, what will we believe next?

Ok, the CIA Director says waterboarding is not legal. The FBI has long said it's not legal and more than not, not effective or productive to get information, but the White House says it is and had the Justice Department, remember our trusty Attorney Generals, verify it is. So, who's right? Try the Geneva Convention which banned it.

Somehow this all seems surreal to me. All these people trying to justify something long banned as legal and effective in the face of experience to show it's quite the opposite. What don't they understand about the integrity of the United States in the world view? How can we use the most inhumane torture methods and demand our soldiers and citizens be treated fairly? And then take suspected terrorists, many - in fact most - not captured on the battlefield but in other countries, and send them to nations known for the worst terrorist methods imaginable.

What have we done in the name of what? And we're no better now than then, and no better than our enemy, who by the way also has God on their side too. So, what's been gained? Or lost?

This one is interesting. Ok, you have to listen to the interview with Fred Kaplan. And you still think they had a plan for the occupation? And all the blood has been spilled, in the name of what, self-glorification of some unrealistic ideal?

This one I love. Not really but as a sign of the entrenched isolation mentality of the White House. Congress passed a law with the President's signature to create a position of Ombudsman to mediate disclosure disputes for public information requests for documents and information. We know the history of the White House's record to secure several times more documents as non-public than previous Presidents combined.

So, they agreed to the Ombudsman to resolve issues and disputes, to be in the National Archives where all the official government documents are housed in perpeturity. Bush agreed except afterward he switched the position to the Justice Department. If there disputes about public disclosure, the requester can sue in court, except now they'll face the same Department who denied the mediation in the first place.

What's that about the fox guarding the henhouse?

Ok, enough Bush basing. But he's so gullible to it. He's either extremely brillant to appear stupid or he's so stupid not to know how stupid he really is. But he has his faith that God tells him he's not stupid. I don't know, but I do know my God wouldn't tell someone to do the things Bush tells him his God says is ok. We must have different Gods.

Ok, other notes.

Polaroid Corporation is getting out of the film business, noted by the Boston Globe. To most folks, it's a huh, but to large format photographers, they make some great film. They plan to sell the rights so we may see a new company start production, but it's unlikely. Agfa tried this with little success, but there are some small positive signs film may just become a small line product of bigger companies or main line product of small companies like vinyl records and other older technology products.

Hey, we can all hope.

This one is frightening. TSA can and will confiscate your electronic devices, eg. cell phones, laptops, palmpilots, etc., if they feel you are a suspect or they feel the device has information in the fight against terrorists. No, you say? Read this story and ask yourself if you trust your government.

Talk about violating privacy righs.

Ok, back to Bush. The government is holding a real estate fire sale, see story. It seems during the last year of his presidency they plan to ransack the government resources, regulations and laws for the corporations and others for profit. Somehow they're acting like overdue renters who destroy the house just before skipping out, leaving you the bills and cleanup.

Me thinks it's only the tip of the iceberg as we have another 10+ months of this in the name of something. What I don't know, but it sure smells bad to me.

Ok, enough of this. We're having huge snow problems. Passes are closed for avalanches or just too much snow. And it's rainy and windy. Did I mention winter weather here in paradise? Well, it's beats tornadoes. I'm sorry for the loss of life and property in the four states hit recently with record intensity storms and tornadoes. Many in rural areas with inadequate insurance. So where's FEMA now?

Take care, have a good weekend, and stay warm and dry. Parting jesture. They found the photograph of Ernie Pyle, reporter killed in WW II. If you don't know him, do your homework.

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