Reporting a Rumor: Israeli Settlements

     By repeating this rumor, I'm helping fan the flames of aides to Bibi Netanyahu who are spreading the rumor that Netanyahu is going to approve more settlements.  According to the rumor, Netanyahu pretends he is open to a settlement freeze for six to nine months after he approves more settlements.  If true, and I have no insight, either way, this is the worst short term news for the prospect of peace on Earth I can imagine.


I suppose this is pretty cute, if simplistic (UPDATE 1)

UPDATE 1: Add second paragraph

     Are fire insurance and health insurance really that close?  Actually, if your house burns down, and you are a neighbor, it is a risk to my house, so my life, too.  Still, it is not a bad video

     Much better is this, longish interview about Japan's healthcare system


Leaving the Bar: The Draft

     Last evening, I had picked myself up around sunset, placed my glass on the bar, and headed out of the very crowded place.  Someone else was leaving right ahead of me, and so made a path which I could follow.  The only words I picked up amidst all the murmur was "What I hear is All That's Important Is the Draft."


The Morale of the CIA Interrogators

     Many people, but especially the violent extremist Richard Cheney, unindicted Iraq War co-conspirator and former Vice President of the United States, have said that the morale of the CIA could be threatened by investigations of allegations of torture and abuse of people in their custody, and in the custory of the military of the United States.

     I say these people have got it completely backwards.

     Now, to be fair, if you are a criminal, and you are investigated, your morale is going to suffer, but I'm not terribly concerned about that lot, are you?  And, regrettably, since investigations have certainly gone wrong in the past, there will probably people who are innocent, but who have powerful bosses, or scumbag coworkers that will finger them to shift the blame.  Well, these people who were close to all the action, their morale will suffer, too, and, as I said, this is regrettable.  So, yes, the morale of the criminals and the people near them will suffer.

     But I'd like you to put yourselves in the suit of a good CIA interrogator, a decent person, a decent human being.  I'd like you to imagine that you never threatened to have someone's mother raped, that you never attached electrodes to a detainee's gonads, and that you didn't force them to sit in their own shit for 72 hours, or even one day.  If you can't do this, if you can't imagine being a human being, then you'd might as well stop reading this, since the rest of this won't make any sense to you at all.

     Now, from what I've heard, and this is based on the most recent information, there is no evidence whatsoever that serial fabulator Richard Cheney was correct when he said torture led to a stopped terrorist attack.  None, zippo, nada.

     So, you were the good interrogator, the human being, and you got your intelligence according to the rules, and some other interrogator broke the rules, and enjoyed beating people when no one was looking, and torturing people just because they were the enemy, not because there was any good intelligence to be had, and they are getting off scot free

     Well, I ask you, what's that going to do to your morale? 

     Hey, the guy who just beat you in the 50 meter dash is doping, but we are letting him off the hook, because we don't want to look backwards.  Hey, the cop who just arrested you planted evidence, but we wouldn't want to investigate because it might demoralize the police.  Hey, that politician just took Florida knowing full well the intent of 3,000 voters in Palm Beach County was to vote for Gore.  Look forward, not backwards, my son.

     In fact, it doesn't take a supra-genius to see that almost all criminal investigations are an exercise in looking backwards, mostly because we rarely ever prosecute people for murder unless someone has actually, and in the past, been wrongfully deceased.

     But to hear Dick Cheney, a man wanted by some in the NSA for his crimes, you'd think investigating crimes is un-American.

     It's easy to write off Cheney as "evil" or "batshit loony" but there might be a more reasonable explanation. My guess is that he feels very conflicted over his desires to rape people he keeps chained in his backyard.  My guess is that he believes that it is OK when we do it, because we are the good guys, and we'll always be the good guys, even if we have to keep you chained in the backyard and rape you to prove it.


Middle East Peace Beginnings: Still Up In The Air

     Long story short, Miami Casino billionaire Irving Moskowitz's second attempt to move right-wing, ultra-nationalist Israelis into Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem has an administrative decision "pending."  Last time it was 20 units, and apparently sanity won and the permits were denied.  This time it is 200 units.

     Obama administration, do not let brainwashed, Miami casino owners stop your as yet, completely successful attempts to make space for a new Middle East peace by preventing any new settlements.
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