"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Sweet Baby Cheebus
"A veteran South Tucson police sergeant is under investigation for firing his stun gun to subdue a handcuffed 9-year-old girl.

At the request of Chief Sixto Molina, the Pima County Sheriff's Department is trying to determine if the sergeant committed a crime when he sent a jolt through the child's body.

The police officer used a Taser on the girl at about 5:30 p.m. May 8, Molina said. The nonlethal weapon uses a pulsating electrical charge to immobilize a person for several seconds.

"I'll be the first to admit, you've got a veteran sergeant Tasing a 9-year-old girl, it doesn't look good," said Molina."
I don't know what the big deal is all about. Maybe she was a REALLY BIG handcuffed 9-year-old. Or maybe the sergeant thought she was a high-value prisoner and was trying to soften her up for interrogration.
Link
Via MemeMachineGo! by way of Unknown News

Big Words Scare Hulk
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: The fear of long words.


Crafty
Origami Godzilla
Via JerryKindall.com

I Call Bullshit
I'm constantly seeing (and hearing) this publics service spot with the tagline "Cops write tickets because seatbelts save lives" and it's getting on my nerves. Cops don't write tickets because seatbelts save lives, they write them because it's against the law. It's not that I disapprove of seatbelt wearing, but blatently false statements bug me.

An Eye On Power
"The secrecy today is so thick as to be all but impenetrable. In earlier times there were padlocks for the presses and jail cells for outspoken editors and writers as our governing bodies tried to squelch journalistic freedom with blunt instruments of the law. Now, the classifier's 'top secret' stamp, used indiscriminately, is as potent a silencer as a writ of arrest. It's so bad the president and CEO of the Associated Press, Tom Curley, last week called publicly for a media advocacy center to lobby in Washington for an open government. "You don't need to have your notebook snatched by a policeman," he said, "to know that keeping an eye on government has lately gotten a lot harder."

With little public debate congress gives government agencies the right to search your home, office, telephone logs, e-mails, medical records, restaurant-receipts, even banking and credit card information-without your consent or knowledge. The president signs an executive order postponing thousands of declassified documents that are 25 years old or more. He signs another executive order sending hundreds of millions of tax dollars to religious organizations with no obligation to show us where the money's going or how it's being used. For the first time in history the vice president is given the power to decide what is classified and what is not. Behind closed doors, key environmental protections are shredded and in the middle of the night, without so much as a single fingerprint left in the margin, an anonymous hand inserts into an omnibus bill a loophole providing billions of dollars in subsidies to powerful clients. Secrecy poisons democracy and there is only one antidote. When a student asked the journalist Richard Reeves to define "real news," he answered, "It's the news we need to keep our freedom."
...
We know what happens when robust journalism bites the dust. The Pew report tells of examples like Cumberland, Md., where the police reporter had so many duties piled upon him he no longer had time to go to the police station for the daily reports. But newspaper management had a cost-saving solution: put a fax machine in the police station and let cops send over the news they thought the paper should have. The report by Pew includes a 1999 survey that showed a massive retreat in coverage of key departments and agencies in Washington, including the Supreme Court and the State Department. At the Social Security Administration, whose activities literally affect every American, only The New York Times was maintaining a full-time reporter. At the Interior Department, which controls five to six hundred million acres of public land and looks after everything from the National Park Service to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, there were no full-time reporters around.

That's right here in Washington. Out across the country there is simultaneously a near blackout of local politics by broadcasters. The public interest group Alliance for Better Campaigns studied 45 stations in six cities in one week in October. Out of 7,560 hours of programming analyzed, only 13 were devote to local public affairs-less than one-half of one percent of local programming nationwide.

Meanwhile, as secrecy grows, and media conglomerates put more and more power in fewer and fewer hands, we have witnessed the rise of a new phenomenon-a quasi-official partisan press ideologically linked to an authoritarian administration that is in turn the ally and agent of powerful financial and economic interests that consider transparencies a threat to their hegemony over public opinion. This convergence dominates the marketplace of political ideas in a phenomenon unique in our history. Stretching from the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch's empire to the nattering nabobs of know-nothing radio to a legion of think tanks bought and paid for by corporations circling the honey pots of government, a vast echo chamber resounds with a conformity of opinions, serving a partisan worldview cannot be proven wrong because it admits no evidence to the contrary. When you challenge them with evidence to the contrary-when you try to hold their propaganda to scrutiny-you're likely to wind up in the modern equivalent of a medieval iron maiden, between the covers, that is, of an Ann Coulter tirade, or wake up in an underground cell at FOX News, force fed leftovers from a Roger Ailes snack, and required for 24 hours a day to stare at photographs of Rupert Murdoch on the walls of the cell while listening to a piped-in Bill O'Reilly singing the Hallelujah Chorus in praise of himself."
Link
Via wood's lot

I Have a Question
"President Bush pledged Friday that the U.S.-led coalition will transfer "complete and full sovereignty" to a caretaker government in Iraq, responding to doubts that Washington will yield total control to the new leaders."
I keep having these nitpicky, quasi-legal, concerns about this "War" we seem to be waging in Iraq. I mean, Saddam's been captured, there's no hostile government left to fight, so I keep wondering when this war will officially and legally end. So on June 30th, with a friendly "completely sovereign" Iraqi government in place, will the war be over?
Link


Sovereign: Self-governing; independent
"As Washington prepares to hand over power, U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer and other officials are quietly building institutions that will give the U.S. powerful levers for influencing nearly every important decision the interim government will make.

In a series of edicts issued earlier this spring, Mr. Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority created new commissions that effectively take away virtually all of the powers once held by several ministries. The CPA also established an important new security-adviser position, which will be in charge of training and organizing Iraq's new army and paramilitary forces, and put in place a pair of watchdog institutions that will serve as checks on individual ministries and allow for continued U.S. oversight. Meanwhile, the CPA reiterated that coalition advisers will remain in virtually all remaining ministries after the handover.

In many cases, these U.S. and Iraqi proxies will serve multiyear terms and have significant authority to run criminal investigations, award contracts, direct troops and subpoena citizens. The new Iraqi government will have little control over its armed forces, lack the ability to make or change laws and be unable to make major decisions within specific ministries without tacit U.S. approval, say U.S. officials and others familiar with the plan.

The moves risk exacerbating the two biggest problems bedeviling the U.S. occupation: the reluctance of Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country and the tendency of many Iraqis to blame the country's woes on the U.S. "
Link
Via Metafilter

In America It's Called Kidnapping
" In a little-noticed development amid Iraq's prison abuse scandal, the U.S. military is holding dozens of Iraqis as bargaining chips to put pressure on their wanted relatives to surrender, according to human rights groups. These detainees are not accused of any crimes, and experts say their detention violates the Geneva Conventions and other international laws. The practice also risks associating the United States with the tactics of countries that it has long criticized for arbitrary arrests."
Link
Via By way of Electrolite

Dude, I Got Your Back

Insomuch as I have a Canada,

my canada
Link
Via Boing Boing

DOD Camera Ban Update
Update to this post.
"This morning, I asked a Defense Department spokesperson whether or not the reports of a phonecam ban were true. This spokesperson said that these reports were technically inaccurate -- that the Pentagon is not issuing a new ban on camera phones per se, but that a Directive 8100.2 was issued on April 14 establishing new restrictions on wireless telecommunications equipment in general. The text of this directive is available online here in PDF format: Link. The intent of this April 14 directive, and how commanders in the field will be expected to enforce it, are matters I'll be reporting on in more detail for the NPR program "Day to Day," later this week."
Here's the Googlefied HTML of Directive 8100.2. I've tried to read the damn thing, but I can't understand it before it puts me to sleep. It might be that if applied in the broadest sense it might ban cameraphones, or cameras, or even any digital device that records information-I can't tell.
Link

That's Some Yo-Yo
"The Cold Fusion is made of aircraft-quality aluminum, and features a ball-bearing axle, super rim weight for longer spins, and patented Brake Pads for smooth play and great response. Previous holder of the World Record for Longest Spin Time!"
Only $100 Link
Via DeepFUN

The Big Picture
"This page contains what I believe to be one of the highest resolution, most detailed stitched digital images ever created. It is the view from Bryce Point in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. It consists of 196 separate photographs taken with a 6 megapixel digital camera, and then stitched together into one seamless composite. The final image is 40,784 x 26,800 pixels in size, and contains about 1.09 billion pixels...a little more than one gigapixel. I have been unable to find any record of a higher resolution photographic (i.e. non-scientific) digital image that has been created without resizing a smaller, lower resolution image or using an interpolated image. "
Link
Via dangerousmeta!

Playing Keepaway
I like "Alias". I just wish they could get off the whole "bad guys get mcguffin, good guys steal it-good guys get mcguffin, bad guys steal it" plot device.

DIY
"Among the many curious implications of Linde's theory, one stands out for our present purposes: It doesn't take all that much to create a universe. Resources on a cosmic scale are not required. It might even be possible for someone in a not terribly advanced civilization to cook up a new universe in a laboratory. Which leads to an arresting thought: Could that be how our universe came into being?"
Link
Via Gulfstream

No Evidence, No Problems
Mobile phones fitted with digital cameras have been banned in US army installations in Iraq on orders from Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, The Business newspaper reported today.

Quoting a Pentagon source, the paper said the US Defence Department believes that some of the damning photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were taken with camera phones.

"Digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones with cameras have been prohibited in military compounds in Iraq," it said, adding that a "total ban throughout the US military" is in the works.
Link
Via Metafilter

I Knew It!
Andy Kaufman Returns
Via The BigMoboDaddy

Wonder of Nature
The eye of the mantis shrimp, with its trinocular vision, its multitude of visual pigments, its polarization sensitivity, and its intricate movements, is truly among the most specialized and most sophisticated eye in the animal kingdom. How can we humans possibly know what the mantis shrimp sees and what kind of world it lives in?

Alas, because of widespread variation in human visual pigment genes, we do not even share the same color perception with one another, so we can only imagine what the mantis shrimp sees. The sophisticated eyes of the mantis shrimp should teach us that visual perception is only relative and that our own view of the world is not necessarily the best view.
Link
Via Apothecary's Drawer

Furniture Lust
Big Chaos Bookshelf
Utility Fog want crazy bookshelf
Link
Via World Changing

Predictable
"Star Trek:Enterprise" would be a lot more interesting if instead of casting the reptilian and insectoid Xindi aliens as the villians they had used the arboreals and primates instead.

It's Good for You
My 5-year-old niece Isobel has a CD case. I know this because she pried it loose from the wreckage that is the floor of a small child's room and announced "I have a CD carrier". It's pink and cute, much like Isobel herself. "Do you have any CDs", I asked? "Nope" was the answer. "Well, I'll just have to make you a CD, so you'll have a CD to carry in your cute, pink CD case". Here's the playlist:

Azulito - Mario Bauza
Dinah - King Bennie Nawahi
Over Fire Island - Brian Eno
Desire Develops an Edge - Kip Hanrahan
Blood of Africa - King Tubby
Jeep's Blues - King Ellington
Klaustance - Charlie Parker
Lazy Bones - Esquivel
Pungee - The Meters
Shot in the Dark - John Zorn/Naked City
Skatalites - Ska la Parisienne
Sukkar, Sukkar - Ali Hassan Kuban
Thank You (Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) - Sly & the Family Stone
Tin Tin Deo - Tambo'
Tutti Fruiti - Little Richard

I tried to keep it bright and peppy and free of the annoying semantic complication of lyrics. I'm happy to report that Isobel loves her first CD. And I get a hoot out of watching her bop around to 20's Hawaiian string jazz.

Insecurity
The potential privacy encroachments of an ID card system are far from minor. And the interruptions and delays caused by incessant ID checks could easily proliferate into a persistent traffic jam in office lobbies and airports and hospital waiting rooms and shopping malls.

But my primary objection isn't the totalitarian potential of national IDs, nor the likelihood that they'll create a whole immense new class of social and economic dislocations. Nor is it the opportunities they will create for colossal boondoggles by government contractors. My objection to the national ID card, at least for the purposes of this essay, is much simpler:

It won't work. It won't make us more secure.

In fact, everything I've learned about security over the last 20 years tells me that once it is put in place, a national ID card program will actually make us less secure.
Link
Via The Abusable Technologies Awareness Center

Silence
The Bush administration has refused to answer repeated requests from the Sept. 11 commission about who authorized flights of Saudi Arabian citizens, including members of Osama bin Laden?s family, from the United States immediately after the attacks of 2001.

Former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), vice chairman of the independent, bipartisan commission, disclosed the administration?s refusal to answer questions on the sensitive subject during a recent closed-door meeting with a group of Democratic senators, according to several Democratic sources.
Link
Via Eschaton

Doubtful
I caught the CSI season finale last Thursday. The steely Lt. Brass came across a suspect vacuuming his car at a carwash. After a bit of conversation the suspect drives away and Brass calls in the techs to take away the contents of the vacuum cleaner. Later we see them examining the contents and finding evidence. It occured to me Friday that this is all just so much bullshit-It's a public vacuum cleaner for gawd's sake, there is no way you could say that anything found in it came from the suspect's car.

Speechless
Russian Museum to Exhibit Rasputin?s Penis-with picture!
Via memepool.com

Long Con
The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.

"Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi by furnishing through his Information Collection Program information to provoke the United States into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source Friday who was briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions, which were based on a review of thousands of internal documents.

The Information Collection Program also "kept the Iranians informed about what we were doing" by passing classified U.S. documents and other sensitive information, he said. The program has received millions of dollars from the U.S. government over several years.
Hooboy, somebody bought a bridge, some Florida swampland, and next week's winning lottery numbers. Chumps
Link


Many Thanks
Good Web-karma flows to MemeMachineGo! for kindly pointing out the lack of a link to the 2000 Republican Party platform in this post.

An artist must regulate his life.
Here is a time-table of my daily acts. I rise at 7.18; am inspired from 10.23 to 11.47. I lunch at 12.11 and leave the table at 12.14. A healthy ride on horse-back round my domain follows from 1.19 pm to 2.53 pm. Another bout of inspiration from 3.12 to 4.7 pm. From 5 to 6.47 pm various occupations (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, dexterity, natation, etc.)

Dinner is served at 7.16 and finished at 7.20 pm. From 8.9 to 9.59 pm symphonic readings (out loud). I go to bed regularly at 10.37 pm. Once a week (on Tuesdays) I awake with a start at 3.14 am.

My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coco-nuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin). I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuschia. I have a good appetite but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.

I breathe carefully (a little at a time) and dance very rarely. When walking I hold my ribs and look steadily behind me.

My expression is very serious; when I laugh it is unintentional, and I always apologise very politely.

I sleep with only one eye closed, very profoundly. My bed is round with a hole in it for my head to go through. Every hour a servant takes my temperature and gives me another.
Link
Via wood's lot

Oh The Irony
"The arrogance, inconsistency, and unreliability of the administration's diplomacy have undermined American alliances, alienated friends, and emboldened our adversaries."

"Gerrymandered congressional districts are an affront to democracy and an insult to the voters. We oppose that and any other attempt to rig the electoral process."

"The current administration has casually sent American armed forces on dozens of missions without clear goals, realizable objectives, favorable rules of engagement, or defined exit strategies. Over the past seven years, a shrunken American military has been run ragged by a deployment tempo that has eroded its military readiness. Many units have seen their operational requirements increased four-fold, wearing out both people and equipment."

"The rule of law, the very foundation for a free society, has been under assault, not only by criminals from the ground up, but also from the top down. An administration that lives by evasion, coverup, stonewalling, and duplicity has given us a totally discredited Department of Justice."

"Sending our military on vague, aimless, and endless missions rapidly saps morale. Even the highest morale is eventually undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, inadequate training, and rapidly declining readiness."
Say hello to the eeriely prescient 2000 Republican Party platform
Lifted from Looka!

Just Not Right
Spam Subject Line: make yor speerm goood. veree goood >personify oscillated anemia

Neato
Hundreds of stretches of DNA may be so critical to life's machinery that they have been ?ultra-conserved? throughout hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Researchers have found precisely the same sequences in the genomes of humans, rats, and mice; sequences that are 95 to 99 percent identical to these can be found in the chicken and dog genomes, as well.
Link
Via Metafilter

Oh, Really?
After a meeting with Rumsfeld, military leaders and other top administration officials at the Pentagon, Bush told Rumsfeld, "Thank you for your leadership. You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror."

"You're doing a superb job. You're a strong secretary of defense and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude," Bush said.
The bold parts are the ones that really struck me as I heard GW piously intone again and again and again on the radio today. Let us consider them.

A:"courageously"-For all I know, Rumsfeld wrestles cougars for fun. But really, how courageous does he have to be? He's the Secretary of Defense-he's not exactly putting his ass on the line. The biggest danger he faces is a severe paper cut, or under a Democratic administration an indictment.

B:"You're doing a superb job"-They must not let GW see anything but Spongebob. Here's some of that "superb job":
1: Helps get us into an unnecesary war in Iraq.
2: No planning for postwar looting, including that of nuclear materials.
3: Poor or no planning for a less-than-ecstatic Iraqi response to occupation.
Superb my ass
Link
Via Eschaton

Fraud
I have to love the spam spoof e-mails I get proporting to be from EBay and PayPal. As I am the only person on the Net who hasn't used either, their threats to cancel my accounts don't scare me much. And reporting these asshats couldn't be easier. Both EBay and Paypal have addresses that begin with "spoof" that you can just forward offending material too. I got a fake Citibank warning too, but their reporting system is too much of a pain in the ass.

Interesting
Why does the address http://http:// connect up with www.microsoft.com?

Mysteries
Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers
Via Ask Metafilter

This About Sums It Up
Reaping What You Sow

Both the civilian contractors accused of mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Jose Padilla are United States citizens. The contractors are entitled to the usual protections of the Bill of Rights, including the presumption of innocence, the right to counsel, the right to know the charges against them, and the writ of habeas corpus to test the legality of their detention if they are placed in jail. According to the Bush Administration, however, Jose Padilla, who has never been charged with any crime, is not entitled to any of these protections.

We are likely to see more revelations in the mistreatment of prisoners, in Iraqi, in Afghanistan, and in Guantanamo Bay. Numerous reports of mistreatment have surfaced over the past several months. But until now there have been no pictures to prove these allegations, only the statements of prisoners, which can easily be dismissed because they come from people who are deemed enemies of the state. We have no idea how many more instances of mistreatment and possibly torture have occurred, because the treatment of prisoners has largely been shrouded in that secrecy with which this Administration is so fond.

The Administration, and particularly Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, have been cavalier about American obligations under international law, including the Geneva Convention. International law and transparency, we are told, are unnecessary because, unlike all of the other countries in the world, we are Americans, and we naturally believe in human rights and the rule of law. We need no special incentives to be good. But if history teaches us anything, it is that when governments, no matter how well they think of themselves, decide to free themselves from constraints, they become unconstrained, and when they refuse to make themselves accountable, they abuse their power. The only thing that has been lacking until now has been the proof of what everyone should already have known: that unchecked power leads to hubris, hubris leads to corruption, and corruption leads to violations of human rights.

Americans are proud of their devotion to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. But these cannot exist without institutional preconditions: they cannot exist if government officials insist on complete secrecy, mock international covenants, and refuse to allow their actions to be tested and constrained by law.

This Administration wanted secrecy. It wanted to be free of legal constraint. It wanted to do whatever it wanted whenever it wanted without ever having to be called to account for it.

Now it is reaping what it has sown.
Link
Via Eschaton

We Are So Screwed
U.S. soldiers who detained an elderly Iraqi woman last year placed a harness on her, made her crawl on all fours and rode her like a donkey, Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal human rights envoy to Iraq said Wednesday.

The envoy, legislator Ann Clwyd, said she had investigated the claims of the woman in her 70s and believed they were true.
...
"She was held for about six weeks without charge," the envoy told Wednesday's Evening Standard newspaper. "During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey. A harness was put on her, and an American rode on her back."

Clwyd said the woman has recovered physically but remains traumatized.

"I am satisfied the case has now been resolved satisfactorily," the envoy told British Broadcasting Corp. radio Wednesday. "She got a visit last week from the authorities, and she is about to have her papers and jewelry returned to her."
Unbelievable. Maybe Ann Clwyd should be held prisoner for a month and a half, during which time she's used for donkey rides. As long as she gets her wallet and watch back, do you think she would regard the matter as "satisfactorily resolved"? Enquiring minds want to know.
Link
Via Talking Points Memo

When You Do Stupid, Criminal Acts, Make Sure You Take Photographs
REGARDING PART ONE OF THE INVESTIGATION, I MAKE THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC FINDINGS OF FACT:
...
5. (S) That between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320thMilitary Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF). The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements (ANNEX 26) and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of these photographs and videos, the ongoing CID investigation, and the potential for the criminal prosecution of several suspects, the photographic evidence is not included in the body of my investigation. The pictures and videos are available from the Criminal Investigative Command and the CTJF-7 prosecution team. In addition to the aforementioned crimes, there were also abuses committed by members of the 325th MI Battalion, 205th MI Brigade, and Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center (JIDC). Specifically, on 24 November 2003, SPC Luciana Spencer, 205th MI Brigade, sought to degrade a detainee by having him strip and returned to cell naked. (ANNEXES 26 and 53)

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;

b. (S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. (S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

d. (S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

e. (S) Forcing naked male detainees to wear women?s underwear;

f. (S) Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

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

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;

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;

j. (S) Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee's neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;

k. (S) A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;

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;

m. (S) Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.
...
8. (U) In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses (ANNEX 26):

a. (U) Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;

b. (U) Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;

c. (U) Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

d. (U) Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

e. (U) Threatening male detainees with rape;

f. (U) Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

g. (U) Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

h. (U) Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.
...
CONCLUSION

1. (U) Several US Army Soldiers have committed egregious acts and grave breaches of international law at Abu Ghraib/BCCF and Camp Bucca, Iraq. Furthermore, key senior leaders in both the 800th MP Brigade and the 205th MI Brigade failed to comply with established regulations, policies, and command directives in preventing detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) and at Camp Bucca during the period August 2003 to February 2004.

2. (U) Approval and implementation of the recommendations of this AR 15-6 Investigation and those highlighted in previous assessments are essential to establish the conditions with the resources and personnel required to prevent future occurrences of detainee abuse.
Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba
Via Metafilter

To Do What With?
Microsoft is expected to recommend that the "average" Longhorn PC feature a dual-core CPU running at 4 to 6GHz; a minimum of 2 gigs of RAM; up to a terabyte of storage; a 1 Gbit, built-in, Ethernet-wired port and an 802.11g wireless link; and a graphics processor that runs three times faster than those on the market today.
With those kind of specs it better be able to make me all tingly in my naughty bits
Link
Via Fark

Aha
When activated by a cold virus infection, inflammatory mediators cause dilatation and leakage of blood vessels and mucus gland secretion. Inflammatory mediators also activate sneeze and cough reflexes and stimulate pain nerve fibers. These events are what lead to the symptoms of a cold.

The activity of the inflammatory mediators is not necessary for recovery from cold virus infection. Twenty-five percent of people who acquire cold virus infection do not develop symptoms. People without cold symptoms recover from the infection as well as those who have symptoms.

The individual symptoms of a cold are caused by the action of particular inflammatory mediators, although there is some overlapping. This has important implications for developing and selecting effective cold treatments.
In other words, all your cold symptoms are caused by your bodies lame-ass attempt to combat the cold virus. You wouldn't even know you had a cold if your stupid immune system hadn't freaked out.
Link

Why The Internet Was Invented
Curious about Norwegian manhole covers? Look no further.
Via Incoming Signals

Stunned
Kung Fu Hamster, 'nuff said.
Indirectly Via Boing Boing

Hoot
Mr. O'Reilly is not a smart man. He's like one of those old guys you see on the street ringing a bell and shouting about eternal damnation. He talks to his trousers. You know the type. They let wasps nest in their hair so they can lure weasels, trap 'em and eat 'em slow over the summer.

We were supposed to be discussing American deserters fleeing to Canada; instead, he went off on some wild thing about the mayor of Vancouver injecting people with heroin and unless Canada shapes up, "we" will boycott you and destroy your economy, just like "we" did to France.

I said France seemed to be doing fine. He implied that France now looked like Dresden in 1945. I hadn't heard that.
...
And then he asked me if I was a socialist, and I said, "Certainly," and it was as if I'd said I like donkey semen in my latte instead of milk. He then went into a mad rant about lefties like Mr. Doyle and how I was a typical Globe columnist. I said, no, truthfully, I think I'm regarded as "idiosyncratic" (the first six-syllable word ever spoken on the O'Reilly show), and he erupted again.

It was like talking to a manic child who had eaten 800 cherry Pop Tarts for breakfast. He kept interrupting, so that no point could be made that could win a reply, much less a reasoned response -- not so much a gabble of sound bites as a howling from Bedlam.
Link
Via Eschaton

Woohoo!
A new Iain M. Banks SF book is due out in the UK in October.

Culture
The Czechs have an opera about hockey.
Via GirlHacker's Random Log

Love At First Snurf
My new favorite blog (this week) is Fafblog, courtesy of Electrolite