Thursday, December 15, 2005

The U.S. Military: sneaky or just plain dumb?

The question raised by the military's new set of classified interrogation techniques is, did the army know what they were doing and think they could get away with it or were they just being dumb. At a time when congress has passed John McCain's anti-torture legislation that the white house seems unable to stop, the army created a ten-page classified addendum to the Army Field Manual that is used to determine what is cruel and inhumane treatment. This looks like an attempt to make an end run about the proposed law. It's hard to say if that's true, because it's hard to believe the military would be dumb enough to think that wouldn't piss off congress. On the other hand, since they weren't aware that adding a secret addendum right now was going to create some controversy it seems that whoever was in charge of this project wasn't thinking straight, so perhaps they really were hoping to screw with the intent of McCain's law. It's one of those things we'll probably never know for sure, but in the white hot glare of publicity I think the field Manual isn't going to be claiming that cattle prods aren't really inhumane.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot bartender. The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, "What's your IQ?"

The man replies "150" and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, quantum physics and spirituallity, biomimicry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, nano-technology, and sexual proclivities.

The customer is very impressed and thinks, "This is really cool." He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink. Again, the robot serves him the perfectlty prepared drink and asks him, "What's your IQ?"

The man responds, "about a 100."

Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time, about football, NASCAR, baseball, supermodels, favorite fast foods, guns, and women's breasts.

Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot one more test. He heads out and returns, the robot serves him and asks, "What'syour IQ?" The man replies, "Er, 50, I think."

And the robot says... real slowly,

"So.... ya gonna vote for Bush again?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

answer the damn question!

I appreciate the reasons the Democrats are playing the Replican game of hammering on talking points while ignoring substantive debate or real discussion, but it disgusts me regardless of which side is doing it. Last night I watched congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, on the Daily Show slip and slide through Jon Stewart's softball questions. Her big point was to mention John Murtha in every sentence. (Murtha, if you don't know, is the hawk turned dove congressman who recently came out in favor of getting out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Murtha was Pelosi's answer to everything. The question of why the Democrats choose the ever drab John Kerry to rebut Bush's latest delusional Iraq speech was answered by noting what a great thing Murtha did. Pretty much every question had a similar answer.

Pelosi is always pretty slippery. Perhaps she's afraid of getting caught with her foot in her mouth Howard Dean style, but I don't see how Democrats can insist that they are the answer when they won't answer any questions.

Eating the decorations

I find it interesting that, outside of myself, no one I know seems to have
ever thought to eat the colorful ears of corn used in Thanksgiving
decorations. They're really very good. I much prefer them to yellow corn,
which I have never especially liked. The colored kind is nutty and chew and
a very different thing altogether. It also takes forever to cook; I'm not
exactly sure how long, as I just put it in boiling water and check it
occasionally until it's edible, but I'd say at least 1/2 an hour.