We go to DC with the Democrats we have, not the ones we wish we had. And the ones we have think that capitulating and caving in to every Republican threat is a sign of "strength", yet standing up for what the American people believe is "being weak".
A majority of Americans consider waterboarding a form of torture, but some of those say it's OK for the U.S. government to use the technique, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Michael Mukasey said waterboarding is repugnant, but he stopped short of saying it was torture.
Asked whether they think waterboarding is a form of torture, more than two-thirds of respondents, or 69 percent, said yes; 29 percent said no.
Asked whether they think the U.S. government should be allowed to use the procedure to try to get information from suspected terrorists, 58 percent said no; 40 percent said yes.
DC is a funny, funny place.
While the prospect of a military incursion into northern Iraq has consumed the biggest part of media coverage on the border tensions, the Turkish National Security Council has been quietly going about discussing plans for psychological, sociological, and economic measures designed to combat the appeal of Kurdish separatists.
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Over at TAP, Justin Logan delivers 20 lashes to the scores of Hitler-invoking hawks who keep demeaning Munich and trivializing Adolph in service of bombing Iran. I sort of think folks miss the point of the Hitler analogies, though: They're...[...]
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Sixty-four percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Bush is doing, and for “the first time in the history of the Gallup Poll, 50% say they ’strongly disapprove’ of the president. Richard Nixon had reached the previous high, 48%, just before an impeachment inquiry was launched in 1974.”
I don't know where you voted, but my voting location was an elementary school cafeteria. While I chose to approve or disapprove propositions that will determine who gets how much for what and when, the room rang with voices.
There is a wall of sound only dozens of seven-year-olds can achieve. And somehow--and this is why I steer clear of them and do as they ask when they spot me--they can eat and shriek simultaneously. It's a sustained pitch, a kind of white noise that I will now and forever associate with the demands of democracy.
"Kids, can you please put all of your trash in the bin at the end of the room, and exit without knocking over any voters...? Kids? KIDS?"
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This is just crazy talk by Rudy:I do know a lot about intensive questioning and intensive questioning techniques. ? Now, intensive questioning works. If I didn?t use intensive questioning, there would be a lot of mafia guys running around New York right now and crime would be a lot higher in New York than [...]
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(by pyrrho for publishing jointly at MLW and DocuDharma)
Philosophy On A Porch
Most of you will know Pythagoras from the Pythagorean Theorum, butPythagoras was not just a mathematician and geometrician. His mathematics wasnot separate from his life and his ideas were not limited to mathematics. Aswith all these ancient philosophies I am covering in this series, Pythagoras'is also has a whole system concerned with how to live... a worldview. Thisworldview is what I am looking at in this series, because these philosophiesserve as archetypes for worldviews, archetypes I seem to encounter daily, andwhich you do to. Archetypes not fundamental, but nevertheless ancient andsoaked into us. The epicurean is looking for a pleasurable life, to find thesmall pleasures and live simply Simply, perhaps, but still nearby thesepleasures. The stoic is more hardened, does not expect pleasure as reward andeven scoffs at it as such, being as indifferent to pleasure as they havechosen to be to pain. The pythagoreans then are those that have their head inabstractions. One imagines the sort that has had no time for epicureanpleasures like meals, having been preoccupied with a logical proof. To thesesort, the sublime superiority of a mathematical pattern was and remains asobvious as the rising sun.
This series is presenting five ancient schools of philosophy asarchetypes. In the interest of honesty I must state my own philosophicalarchetype is skepticism, but skepticism affords me the freedom to see thestrengths of these other archetypes. By no means are these five archetypesmeant to be limiting, according to a relative and skeptical approach anynumber of archetypes can be constructed and used, but these do have theparticular quality of having been developed and infused into our "WesternCulture" over thousands of years, at least.
Their framings still exist, not merely as maxims come to mean otherthings, linguistic ornaments merely, but at conceptual levels, such that onecan recognize a well worn conceptual tool with novel expressions inlanguage.
The archetypes are so far as follow:
Concomitant to this, however, is removal of the self from the materialworld into the world of abstraction and the illusion that abstractions arenot even of this world. The pythagorean spirit, as archetype, might not evenconcern itself with math or geometry, but some other family of abstractions.But abstraction are made from material facts, from astronomy, from counting,from imperfectly drawn lines in the sand, and from deducing concepts that canexplain the facts abstracted all at once. This has proved a practical andrewarding endeavor, but it is a part of the loss of reason to consider anabstraction so fine it's not a part of this world. But now I have begun todescribe Plato... Pythagoras himself might in fact object, thinking the worldof mathematics imbued the world around us all the material reality it had forus to perceive. If I may accept this archetype in such a light, it remains atactile abstractionism, we feel the mathematical world about us always. Weare not imperfect beings separated from this glory, but are abstract beautiesourselves, actually made of it.
It is easy to forget that Pythagoras was not a mathematician, because, infact, geometry and mathematics were to him really the most important things,things which justified the world, and study of which made for a good life. Asfor the specifics of worldly life style of pythagoreans, they were on thevery self disciplined side of living, following traditions of silence andobservance of various taboos, such as prohibition on eating flesh and beans.For those that mistake a love of mathematics and the belief that mathematicsunderpinned the universe for a modern scientific perspective, please considerthat Pythagoras was much more of a mystical and spiritual teacher than that.For example, it was said Pythagoras was able to remember each formerexistence, being as they believed in reincarnation. Further, the form ofreincarnation they believed in was transmigratory, the spirit may come toexist, or have existed, in plant or animal form in addition to humans. That'sa view of reincarnation I personally endorse very strongly in the "if you aregoing to believe it, you should also believe...". To study the world ofmathematics, or, metaphorically, abstractions, had a spiritual valueaccording to Pythagoras, it could free the soul from this cycle ofincarnation and let it rejoin the cosmos as one. This is what combined hisworldview with his philosophy of mathematics and geometry.
Pythagoras and the pythagoreans were prone to numerology, and by extensionmetaphorically any modern pythagorean-types are be prone to mysticism aboutabstractions themselves. Often attributed to him is the view that all thingsare numbers. This is undoubtedly a simplification of his views, but stop andconsider the success of that theory. Viewing things quantitatively, which isto reduce them to numbers, has been very successful in engineering, science,and I think especially, computer science. This love for abstraction isoverboard in pythagoras, I suspect, but it is also somewhat warming and nicefor one to be so driven to seek this kind of beauty, for it is that whichseeks the patterns of the universe... and finds some.
A classic Dr. Evil moment…Froomkin points to a couple of very useful tidbits on Dick Cheney. The most intriguing is from a column last June:…The roots of the crisis go back to the blind bargain Washington made after 9/11 with the regime that[...]
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From the subscription-only Roll Call:
“Last week we saw the latest evidence that our fight to provide health coverage to 10 million children through SCHIP is continuing to resonate with the American people — especially in key Congressional districts,” Van Hollen wrote. “As [DCCC poll] findings confirm, vulnerable Republicans who continue to vote in lock step with George Bush against SCHIP will be held accountable by their constituents.”
Van Hollen cited internal DCCC polling in Michigan’s 9th district, where Democrats are targeting Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R), and in Missouri’s 9th district and Virginia’s 2nd district, held by Reps. Kenny Hulshof (R) and Thelma Drake (R), respectively.
Knollenberg is a major Democratic target this cycle, and Drake’s district is one the DCCC targeted in 2006 but has no challenger for yet. Hulshof’s district gave President Bush 59 percent of the vote in 2004 and has not been considered a major battleground in recent cycles [...]
According to this survey, portions of which were obtained by Roll Call, Knollenberg’s lead over his likely challenger, state Lottery Commissioner Gary Peters (D), was at 7 points — 42 percent to 35 percent — a 5-point drop from the advantage the incumbent held in April.
Knollenberg’s 7-point lead turned into a 7-point deficit after respondents were read both a push question characterizing his position on SCHIP, and the Democratic and Republican arguments for and against the program.
“As you may know, Joe Knollenberg voted AGAINST preserving and expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health care to children in low-income families,” this portion of the poll read.
“Let me read you two statements about this: Democrats say that Knollenberg voted three times against the bipartisan plan to provide 10 million children with access to affordable health care, including 100 thousand children here in Michigan.
“Joe Knollenberg says he supports children’s health insurance, but this plan is socialized medicine which would insure children from families making more than $70,000 per year.”
SCHIP will decimate the GOP in 2008, and for what? Bigger Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, along with a Democratic president, will give us an even better version of SCHIP, covering even more kids and maybe even -- gasp! -- some young adults.
So let them keep vetoing.