Dick Cheney, confronted with the fact of one tortured detainee "chained to the wall of a cell, doused with water, froze to death" in what turned out to be "a case of mistaken identity," responds "But the problem I have was with all of the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield." To which I'd respond: so, by changing the subject, you're conceding the point? And Mr. Cheney has "no problem" with (at least!) a quarter of detainees being innocent? Precisely the opposite of Blackstone's formulation -- "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" -- which is only the basic building block of modern Western jurisprudence. This is why I can't stand Tha Bush Mobb: they were not only willing to sacrifice liberty for security, they were willing to sacrifice civilization for security, and you can't have security without either.
FAIR spots a Cincinnati Enquirer ad for new reporters telling prospective applicants that a major job function would be to "grow and monetize the 25-to-45 audience." Years from now the Enquirer will say, "nobody could have predicted the conflicts of interest that would have created!" Sadly, it's not that much a surprise -- I'm old enough to remember when journalism textbooks advised students to use PR releases to write articles -- but that certainly doesn't make it right. Journalists need to be adversaries of mammon, not votaries. The "liberal" media consistently gets that wrong. It's almost like that's the idea.
Ho hum, Red Cross staffers testify that senior officials told them not to partner with the highly-successful Occupy Sandy effort. The staffers couldn't point to a specific person who gave the order, which may be how the Red Cross wanted it. I shudder to think that the Red Cross brain trust worried about the optics of being associated with dirty hippies. Certainly they could have turned their elite donors' alleged concerns on their head and told them, we should work with anyone who does the right thing well, regardless of their stands on other issues, but we just don't hear that in These Interesting Times.
Surprise, surprise, government data suggests that elementary and secondary schools suspend black girls much more often than they suspend white girls. Also, in a finding I did not honestly suspect, Villanova researchers find these schools suspend dark-skinned girls three times more often than light-skinned girls. The anecdotes the Times offers also suggest that schools looking to get money from kids as a punishment for wrongdoing are going about it all wrong -- if someone doesn't have money, then what?
And here's another odious result of that noxious omnibus spending bill: IRS funding got cut by nearly $350 billion. Don't snicker: taxes pay for things we all need, after all, and every dollar IRS spends going after tax cheats gets us $10 back. Besides which, a lot of people who complain about taxes get money back from the IRS every year, and if we don't fund the IRS properly, they won't get paid as quick. And thank God CTJ points out that the less we fund the IRS, the less well it runs generally -- which spurs complaints from opportunistic politicians that they use to justify funding the IRS even less, which makes the IRS run even less well, ad nauseum.
Finally, two Bay Area residents are suing Comcast for using their home routers as Wifi hotspots! I can't believe a corporation would be that stupid! So stupid, apparently, that the spokeshack who responded to the Consumerist's article didn't seem to read the article beforehand, particularly that part about how the whole "opt-out" function seems to work erratically. Concentrated power: it makes people stupid. Maybe that's the silver lining of These Interesting Times.