Saturday, May 26, 2007


Springtime for Bushler

Many of us have long been aware of the Bush regime's Orwellian use of the English language. For example, "Social Security Reform" referred to a privatization scam that would have destroyed Social Security, the "Clear Skies Initiative" allowed power companies to pollute even more, and the "Healthy Forests Initiative" helped logging companies cut down old growth trees.

Well, now the Bush apparatchiks are referring to torture as "enhanced interrogation techniques" -- but it seems that they're not the first government to refer to torture in that manner. One of Andrew Sullivan's readers discovered that back in the good old 1930s and 1940s, the Gestapo's euphemism for torture was "verschaerfte Vernehmung"...which translates into English as, roughly, "enhanced interrogation techniques." (Sullivan checked this out, and I personally googled the phrase as well as ran it through the Alta Vista translator, where it came up as "intesified hearing.")

Given what the Bush regime has been doing the past 6 1/2 years, isn't it long past time for Godwin's Law to be repealed?

And now for something completely...uh, related...:


I Love the 90s!

The always literate and insightful Digby has an interesting take on a thoroughly dishonest but (unfortunately) not disgraced "journalist":

I haven't read the book, so I won't comment on the substance. I have read [Jeff] Gerth's work before, however, and let's just say that after his "investigations" of Whitewater and Wen Ho Lee, he has a teensy tiny credibility problem. Much like his fellow NY Times reporter Judy Miller, he seems to be just a tad gullible when it comes to his wingnut sources. It would appear from early reports about the book that he hasn't learned his lesson.

Yup, that's Gerth's modus operandi: Get a hot tip from a lying, prevaricating right-wingnut, then regurgitate it into print without actually checking it out to see whether it's true or not. Also, be sure to write it up in an opaque, insinuating style that makes your target look guilty as hell without having to go to the trouble of actually providing evidence of that alleged guilt.

In an alternate universe where journalistic ethics still exist, The New York Times fired Gerth for his lack thereof somewhere around the spring or summer of 1992, soon after the first dishonest Whitewater story was written (but never published), and Gerth is now selling tube socks in the Times Square subway station.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Here's a video to commemorate a late friend, Bill B., for whom the highlight of the year in NYC was Fleet Week, which starts on Wednesday:


America Held Hostage: Day #2,313

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on our endless hostage crisis:

There are two ways to describe the confrontation between Congress and the Bush administration over funding for the Iraq surge. You can pretend that it’s a normal political dispute. Or you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders — the troops — if his demands aren’t met.

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