Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Posts Tagged ‘stupidity

Dahlia Lithwick with a catalog of GOP hypocrisy

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Interesting column if you can stomach it.

Written by Leisureguy

23 March 2009 at 8:54 am

Posted in Congress, Daily life, GOP

Tagged with , ,

“If we fight fires, the terrorists will have won”

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Schneier on Security:

This really pegs the stupid meter:

He explains all the district’s hydrants, including those in Alexander Ranch, have had their water turned off since just after 9/11 — something a trade association spokesman tells us is common practice for rural systems.”These hydrants need to be cut off in a way to prevent vandalism or any kind of terrorist activity, including something in the water lines,” Hodges said.

But Hodges says fire departments know, or should have known, the water valves can be turned back on with a tool.

One, fires are much more common than terrorism — keeping fire hydrants on makes much more sense than turning them off. Two, what sort of terrorism is possible using working fire hydrants? Three, if the water valves can be “turned back on with a tool,” how does turning them off prevent fire-hydrant-related terrorism?

More and more, it seems as if public officials in this country have simply gone insane.

Written by Leisureguy

11 September 2008 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Daily life, Government

Tagged with

What does it take for it to be “terrorism”

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Pipe bombs are not enough:

On Friday, they caught a contract worker trying to bring a pipe bomb into a nuclear power plant located 50 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona.

According to a report in USA Today, bomb squad tests determined that the capped pipe was a credible explosive device. It was the real deal.

But, for some reason, Capt. Paul Chagolla of the local sheriff’s office told the press, “At this point I don’t have any information that would indicate that you have domestic terrorism at hand.”

Wait a minute.

As the article in USA Today explains, “Two elementary schools and a high school in the area were locked down briefly when a plant employee notified the district.”

And the FBI was called in.

Of course they were! There was a pipe bomb at a nuclear plant!

But somehow it’s not terrorism.

So I’m guessing that the suspect here is not of Middle Eastern ancestry. Otherwise, the terror alert level would surely have been elevated to orange (at least), and the suspect would now be on his way to Gitmo.

Sleep well.

Written by Leisureguy

4 November 2007 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Government

Tagged with ,

For Judge Mukasey: helpful info on waterboarding

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You’ll recall that Mukasey doesn’t know whether waterboarding is torture or not. This may help:

George Bush’s nomination of Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general — once thought to be smooth sailing — is experiencing a bit of turbulence. The problem is, Mukasey can’t bring himself to say whether or not waterboarding is torture:

During his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Mukasey said he believes torture violates the Constitution, but he refused to be pinned down on whether he believes specific interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, are constitutional.

“I don’t know what’s involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional,” he said.

But after World War II, the United States government was quite clear about the fact that waterboarding was torture, at least when it was done to U.S. citizens:

[In] 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II,” he sai

Mukasey’s non-answer has raised doubts among Democrats, and even some Republicans, on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

[The] Democrats on the committee signed a joint letter to Mukasey, making sure that he knew what’s involved, and demanded an answer to the question as to whether waterboarding is torture.

Then two days later, the doubts grew louder. Two key Democrats, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) both said publicly that their votes depended on Mukasey’s answer to the waterboarding question.

Then it was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who saw an opening after Rudy Giuliani refused to call waterboarding torture (”It depends on who does it.”). Most certainly it’s torture, McCain said. When pressed, he stopped short of saying that he would oppose Mukasey’s nomination if he didn’t say the same, but he added to the chorus of those who professed to be interested in what Mukasey’s answer to follow-up questions will be.

Yesterday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said that if Mukasey “does not believe that waterboarding is illegal, then that would really put doubts in my own mind.”

Rep. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has also thrown in his lot of doubts and concerns.

Of course, if the past is a guide, Mukasey will easily win nomination, and nearly all these senators who have expressed concern will vote for him.

Waterboarding has become an isssue because the Bush White House signed off on it as an interrogation technique — and thus moved the United States into the company of pariah states that permit torture — after the 9/11 attacks.

Written by Leisureguy

30 October 2007 at 10:45 am

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