Words on Wednesday
There are two sides to every issue; often as not, one side is wrong.
Peace through victory - the American way.
After some thought, I've decided to consolidate my online writings into one blog. If you want to keep up with me, go to talesoftheheliosphere.com. It's the blog I used to use for writing on space and space exploration only. I've decided to make it my general blog.
Last night in 24land, Karen Hayes stood by her man. Unfortunately for her husband, CTU chief Bill Buchanan, her man turns out to be the comatose President, not her husband. Enjoy your retirement in the federal pen, Bill.
California's taxpayers are paying millions of dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research. California lawmakers want to make sure whatever cures eventually come out of this taxpayer-funded research are offered at reasonable prices and that royalty payments come back to the state. You might think the embryonic stem cell researchers taking government money would go along. Out of gratitude, if for no other reason. You'd be wrong. (Here.)
Leftie surrender monkeys like to say that the war in Iraq has been counterproductive because it is a training ground for terrorists. Well, it turns out Iraq is teaching somebody else how to fight too: U.S. Marines.
"About 90 percent of these [boot camp] instructors are battle-tested. Many have multiple combat tours under their belts. Some have been wounded; some have received medals for valor. In short, they've been there and done that. ...-tdr
'The field training has changed dramatically since I joined in 1998,' said [Gunnery Sgt. Anthony] Loftus, the Marine Corps drill instructor of the year for 2006 and a two-tour veteran of the Iraq war. 'It is more combat-focused.'
For example, today's recruits are drilled more heavily on close-quarters shooting, which is suited to urban warfare, and on spotting improvised explosive devices, the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.
They also are getting more training in how to make ethical decisions on the battlefield and how to cope with military and civilian casualties. Commanders often mention the importance of junior Marines making the right decisions, particularly amid high-stress urban warfare in Iraq." (Here.)
This Associated Press story describes the findings of a Red Cross report on treatment of terrorists detained and interrogated by the CIA in secret prisons. The terrorists were interviewed by the The Red Cross and given the opportunity to describe their conditions of confinement and the interrogation techniques employed on them.
"The Red Cross said the techniques reported by the 14 prisoners, including sleep deprivation and the use of forced standing and other 'stress positions,' were particularly harsh when used together. The prisoners were transferred from CIA custody to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in September.Notice anything that the detainees did not describe about the treatment they received? That's right, no allegations of real torture techniques, specifically, waterboarding.
The CIA's detention methods were designed to make detainees more likely to talk during interrogation. Human rights organizations say the CIA's extreme detention conditions and its coercive questioning techniques constitute torture.
The report is the first independent accounting of the detainees' allegations against the CIA since its detention and interrogation program began in 2002." (Here.)
"Widely reported interrogation practices included openhanded slapping, induced hypothermia, sleep deprivation and – perhaps most controversially – waterboarding. In that technique, a detainee is made to feel he is drowning."It's impossible to tell from this paragraph whether the detainees claimed these techniques were used against them, or if they are simply techniques that have been widely reported in the media and included in this story as a smear.
Labels: War On Islamism
(1990 - 3/5/2007.)
The delivery time for movies has really gotten bad. I've been a Netflix customer since October 2002. DVDs used to arrive at Netflix the day after I mailed them back and I'd get a new DVD the day after. No longer.
Okay, 24 is now officially a joke.
The new television season is starting up strong.
Of all the ways 24's writers have devised for Jack Bauer to kill bad guys, tonight's Dracula imitation is the funniest. It was laugh out loud funny when Bauer, all tied up, strapped to a chair, and helpless, leaned over, bit a hapless terrorist in the neck, lifted a key from the guard's dead body, and freed himself. Bauer's escape was truly worthy of 24's status as an adult version of the old Saturday morning serial.
According to Al Jazeera unconfirmed reports out of Iraq claim that Saddam Hussein has been executed. (Here.) Sweet! Congratulations to the Iraqi people on doing with their former dictator what a farcical UN tribunal was unable to do with Slobodan Milosevic: mete out swift and appropriate justice.
The San Diego Padres can't get past Tony LaRussa in the playoffs. At the recent season-ticket holder's rally, Padres management implored the fans to withhold judgment for now. Both Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers pointed out that the core players who led the Padres to victory in 2006 didn't join the team in trades and free-agent signings until January.
Daniel Pipes recently blogged about a survey of the attitudes of some American Muslims who attended an Islamic conference. (Here.) The question below and its subparts elicited strong negative answers, as the numbers reveal.
15. Is it justifiable for the U.S. government to do any of the following in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks in America:I would answer "yes" to each subpart, except "h."
a. taking religion and ethnicity into account as one factor when deciding whom to interview and search at airports?
b. monitoring activities at American mosques?
c. listening to phone calls of people in America whom the government claims are connected in some way with Al Qaeda?
d. having an informer pretend to support or encourage violence against America, to see if the targeted Muslims will decide to attack American targets?
e. monitoring Muslim charities in America, in the hopes of preventing funding for possible terrorist attacks?
f. focusing Immigration & Customs Enforcement resources on deporting Muslim illegal aliens, who have not been convicted of terrorism, in the hopes of disrupting possible Al Qaeda attacks?
g. allowing Muslim illegal aliens to stay in America if they agree to work as informants, monitoring the Muslim community for the government?
h. torturing suspected Al Qaeda members to get information about possible planned attacks?
Labels: War On Islamism
The Democratic Party has a survey at DCCC.org that asks voters how they feel about the Dims' plans when they officially take over the Congress. (Here.) The survey has to be seen to be believed.
"Hey, how about supporting pro-active measures in fighting the war on Islamist Jihad. This 9/11 commission stuff is all about being defensive. The only way we can beat these guys is by keeping them off balance by being on the attack. Support aggressive actions in surveillance, in disrupting financing, in undermining regimes that support terrorsts, like Syria's and Iran's and others, support the classification of captured foreign terrorists as illegal enemy combatants triable in special military commissions, stop the focus on getting the troops out of Iraq and change the focus to supporting the mission of the troops and demanding that the administration do whatever it takes to achieve victory. In other words, get serious about fighting our enemy. Do all that, and I could care less what you do on the less important domestic issues."Not holding my breath.