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2004/05/13

The Teaches of Peaches Is Like Sex on the Beaches

I just got around to watching this week's episode of Subterranean, the show that used to be 120 Minutes before they cut it down to an hour. They've been on a Lost in Translation jag recently -- two weeks ago they had on Air and this week the guest was Peaches. Now all they need is for Bill Murray and Brian Ferry to come on.

Anyways, this was the first time I've ever seen Peaches (well, apart from the crotch shot on the Teaches of Peaches cover, but I'm not sure that's her) and she looks nothing like I expected. I mean, based on her songs I expected a complete skank ho. Instead she looks (though thankfully doesn't sound) like a stereotypical 20-something Brooklyner -- and I'm not talking Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinnie, more like a young Rhea Perlman -- complete with sunglasses that went out of style when Studio 54 closed. She's the most engaging guest the show's had in a while and pretty witty (I loved her explaining the German word for "cool" literally means "horny"), but still I'd need serious beer goggles before I found her even remotely attractive.

Suckin' on my titties like you wanna be callin' all of the time just like blondie

Which really makes songs like "Fuck the Pain Away" even funnier.

2004/05/07

Mi Lai?

I'm watching the House Armed Services Committee hearings, and a Representative just compared the Abu Ghraim torture case to My Lai.

You're thinking, "Typical partisan hyperbole from a Democrat," right?

Well, it's not. This is Heather Wilson, a Republican.

Rumsfeld and hsi staff has been doing a good job today, but when Republicans start bringing up Lt. Calley, you know he's in trouble.
Tom Clancy on Abu Ghraib

    Humiliating helpless people is not the least bit admirable, and those guilty of this violation will be dealt with, probably with a degree of harshness for embarrassing their country.

    But the hysteria in the news media is a little disproportionate. The Arab culture places a higher value on body-modesty than, say, “Hustler” magazine, but what it comes down to is that some Arab prisoners were embarrassed, and gratuitously so. To do that is contemptible, but it is not a major felony under American criminal- or even common-law.

    This humiliation falls short, however, of being murdered, as several American civilian contractors were recently (remember?) then to have their bodies abused in ways that can only be called barbaric.

    The selectivity of outrage over this tawdry incident shows a “blame America first” mind-set that is not morally defensible. I personally have little love for the SecDef, but demanding his resignation for the action of some reserve enlisted personnel is, to put it mildly, absurd, and clearly motivated more by political motives than by any objections based on common morality, which is not to be found in abundance in the United States Congress in any case. The same people who are calling for Rumsfeld’s head said that Clinton ought not to be impeached over a trivial sexual impropriety.

    Politics pollutes everything it touches.

    The soldiers who misbehaved will be court-martialed, and probably dishonorably discharged, with loss of rank and priviliges. Maybe even some brig time. That sort of slap on the wrist leaves broken bones, which is more than what those Iraqis suffered.

    Everyone take a deep breath and think things through, okay?
He has some points -- the congresscritters calling for Rumsfeld's head are just political opprotunists, and some of the things done by the prison guards aren't torture. But some of it is. Here's the Taguba report on what went on in Abu Ghraib.

    6. (S) I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

    a. (S) Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;
This is clearly torture, no matter how you look at it.

    b. (S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;
This might not quite be Torquemada, but it's absolutely unacceptable -- this isn't an Arab thing; it'd be outrageous if this happened in an American prison.

    c. (S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;
And this is even worse.

    d. (S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;
I can see certain circumstances where this would be permissible, provided the prisonders weren't forced to do this in public or put on display by the MPs.

    e. (S) Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;
This also I consider permissible, with the same provisos as above.

    f. (S) Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;
Absolutely inexcusable. This is sexual abuse no matter what culture you belong to.

    g. (S) Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;
Torture and sexual abuse.

    h. (S) Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;
As there's no suggestion that electricity was actually applied, I think this is allowable -- psyching prisoners out with the threat of torture is quite different from torture. These prisoners aren't protected by the Constitution, they don't have Fifth or Sixth Amendment protections, so coercing them into talking is okay in my book.

    i. (S) Writing “I am a Rapest” (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;
The photography crosses the line, but I find the first part acceptable.

    j. (S) Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;
This is completely wrong and the bitch and whoever took the pictures should be shot. Live on Al-Jazeera.

    k. (S) A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;
Even if the women consented, fraternizing with prisoners like that is unacceptable. If the women didn't consent ... shoot the fucker. This isn't the Fifth Century, and we aren't the Huns. Rape should not be tolerated on any level.

    l. (S) Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;
As with h. above, the intimidation is okay, but the biting, if it wasn't an accident, is wrong.

    m. (S) Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.
This is probably a violation of military regs, but I don't know that it's actually wrong -- though it does raise the question of how these prisoners died.

No, the hyperbole involved here is minimal -- this was torture, and heads need to roll.

2004/05/06

The Wit and Wisdom of Ann Coulter

I was channel surfing earlier tonight and came across Our Lady Satan expounding on the torture scandal in Iraq. Her take on it: this is what happens when you let women in the military. For evidence she points to all the women who appear in the photos.

Note to Ann: Get your eyes checked. There's one woman in those photos. She just appars in a lot of them.

But the best part was when she started talking about the "girl general" in charge of the prison and how that's what happens when you have a girl in charge, like the general's some seven year old in pig-tails playing with G.I. Joes, not a highly trained officer who's guilty of negligence in her command.

I think Coulter's problem is that she assumes she's normal, and since she's an evil bitch who'd torture her enemies if given the chance, she believes all women to be equally amoral.

2004/05/03

Nuke the Site from Orbit

Last year I got upset when Pat Robertson advocated blowing up the State Department. After getting this in my inbox today, I take it back:

    From - Mon May 03 03:19:52 2004
    Received: from Acheson-A2.state.gov not authenticated [169.253.4.8] by smtp-send.myrealbox.com with NetMail SMTP Agent $Revision: 3.87 $ on Novell NetWare; Mon, 03 May 2004 01:18:31 -0600
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    Message-ID: <884B1F20BA0AD6118E3E00508BBD4849013C297C @dhakasntsf.dhaka.state.gov>
    From: "Ford, Stephanie L"
    To:
    Subject: State Department's Latest Public Announcement on the GLobal Terrorist Threat
    Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 13:21:51 +0600
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2654.89)
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"


    SUBJECT: PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT - WORLDWIDE CAUTION PUBLICATION DATE: APRIL 29, 2004

    This Public Announcement is being updated to remind U.S. citizens of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and anti-American violence against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated March 23, 2004 and expires on October 23, 2004.

    The Department of State is deeply concerned about the heightened threat of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests abroad. The Department is also concerned about the potential for demonstrations and violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

    The Department of State remains concerned by indications that al-Qaida continues to prepare to strike U.S. interests abroad. Al-Qaida and its associated organizations have most recently struck in the Middle East and in Europe but other geographic locations could also be venues for attacks. Future al-Qaida attacks could possibly involve non-conventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents as well as conventional weapons of terror. We also cannot rule out that al-Qaida will attempt a catastrophic attack within the U.S.

    Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may involve aviation and other transportation and maritime interests, and may also include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. These may include facilities where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels and public areas. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.

    U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

    As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.


Yes, that's right. The government spammed me. Motherfuckers.