Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘interrogation

Thursday Night Links: Liars, Scoundrels, Star Trek, and More

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* Transcript from the September 19 meeting of the Cooper Union Board of Trustees. Even putting aside that their short-sighted and obviously bad decisions caused the problem in the first place, the enthusiasm with which these supposed trustees speak about the possibility of closing the school is just unreal.

* All of which brings you back to one central point: if you care about the integrity of elections and people actually being able to vote, the supposed cures for vote fraud are vastly more destructive than the problem. All evidence suggests that vote fraud is a minuscule, minuscule problem. Voter ID and most of the other nostrums are solutions looking for a problem. The people who support these policies are either ignorant of the facts or actually want to cull a certain subsection of the population from democratic participation. There are simply no two ways about it.

* “Since it won’t reform itself, Starfleet needs to be destroyed.” Star Trek into Darkness Hostile to Star Trek, Intelligence.

Remember how Kirk was going to nobly take Khan to Earth to stand trial? Did this actually happen? Is it possible to imagine such a trial ending with a court imposing the punishment of cryogenic stasis? How could a court not demand the other 72 be brought back to life? Wouldn’t such a trial inevitably entail Marcus’s cimes — leading to the exposure of his massive corruption and a public outcry to structurally reform Starfleet?

* Bridge collapse in Washington State, sending vehicles and people into the water. 

* Scenes from the fight over Obama’s judicial appointments. Obama won one battle today.

* The Wisconsin State Legislature is trying to defund United Council, the oldest state student association in the country.

* The best headline ever? The FBI Investigated the Song ‘Louie Louie’ for Two Years.

* Wikipedia’s emergency.

* Diane Kendig’s letter of resignation from her adjunct position at Kent State.

* Senate Accepts Deal to Kick Formerly Incarcerated Off Food Benefits.

* The kids are all right: Teens hate Facebook.

* Historian Helen Fry, who has written a book called The M Room: Secret Listeners who bugged the Nazis, says the information gleaned by the eavesdropping of the German generals was vitally important to the war effort – so much so that it was given an unlimited budget by the government. She believes what was learned by the M room operations was as significant as the code-breaking work being done at Bletchley Park.

* The Boy Scouts inch forward.

* And This Incredible Full Scale Lego X-Wing Is the Largest Model In History. I’ll allow it.


Tuesday Night Links

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* “Don’t talk to the cops” just got a little more complicated. One of the knocks against Sonia Sotomayor was that she’s be too prosecutor-friendly, so it’s good to see her on the right side on this:

Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down. Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak. At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded.

* Justice department to launch criminal investigation of BP. More here. Could the oil spill end BP? If the government chose to prosecute BP under the Clean Water Act, it could fine the company $4,300 per barrel leaked into the Gulf — fines independent of the liability cap. If the government won those damages, BP would currently be on the hook for $116 billion — enough to bankrupt the company immediately. Related: Robert Reich says Obama should put the company in receivership. And it looks as if BP has given up trying to contain the spill before the relief wells are completed this August.

* Peter Jackson being coy about whether he’ll now direct The Hobbit.

* Marvel as Stephen Stromberg makes an important point in a very stupid way.

* Heat wave in Northern India kills hundreds as temperatures approach 120 degrees.

* Six astronauts begin simulating this week a 520-day mission to Mars.

* Behold, the Wikipedia game.

* And you had me at “Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corporation has developed a series of bold architectural plans for the world of tomorrow.” Via Tim.


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Like most junk science that just won’t die (graphology, astrology and homeopathy come to mind), because of the usefulness or profit their practitioners enjoy, the polygraph stays with us.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

Playing Catchup – 2

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More catchup, First 48 Hours of the Obama Administration Edition.

* Obama signed a few executive orders today, including one ordering a reevaluation of interrogation procedures and another ordering the closure of Guantánamo Bay within the year. Glenn Greenwald is pretty happy about it, as are Steve Benen, Ezra Klein, and Spencer Ackerman, who writes:

For all the talk about Obama not governing as a progressive, take a look at his first not-even-48 hours in office. He’s suspended the Guantanamo Bay military commissions, a first step toward shuttering the entire detention complex. He’s assembled his military commanders to discuss troop withdrawals from Iraq. He’s issued a far-reaching order on transparency in his administration that mandates, among other things, a two-year ban on any ex-lobbyists working on issues they lobbied for. And now he’s shutting down the CIA’s off-the-books detention complexes in the war on terrorism.

* Obama has 62% approval in Texas and 60% in Tennessee.

* And the Senate has passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Yes we can?

Written by gerrycanavan

January 23, 2009 at 2:17 am

Three Late-Night Links

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Three quick late-night links:

* At McSweeney’s, the neurotic pick-up artist.

* We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture. The veterans of the Nazi interrogations at Fox Hunt reminisce.

* Via Bookninja, an interview with noted pornographer and genius cartoonist Alan Moore. Given what I posted earlier today it made me happy to see that he had some thoughts of his own about reification:

‘Well, this is something that was very conscious,’ Moore says. ‘It was before Watchmen even, it was when I was writing V for Vendetta [about a freedom fighter who dresses as Guy Fawkes and pits himself against a British dictatorship] and I suddenly realised that unless I was very careful, I was going to end up with a glorious romantic anarchist against a bunch of cartoon Nazis who would all have monocles and University of Heidelberg duelling scars and things like that. I thought that actually the thing about fascism is that these people, the Nazis who were manning the concentration camps, they were butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, somebody’s dad, they were street sweepers, they were just completely ordinary people, they didn’t arrive from Mars; and so I went out of my way to try and give even the unpleasant characters some sort of internal coherence so that you can understand why they’re doing these things.’

This has a lot to do with why the comic version of V for Vendetta is so very good and the film version is more or less just a movie.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 9, 2007 at 6:24 am