a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Arthur Silber - Once Upon A Time. . .Gary Farber - The Unbearable Triteness of Whiteness & Why The Term "Political Correctness" Must Die Glenn Greenwald - Bipartisanship Pop Quiz
Jim Miklaszewski - Military. . .denies allegations that Bradley Manning is being mistreated
. . .hopefully positive, set of events. . .more attention has been generated for the conditions of Manning's detention than I expected. . .
The Law Office of David E. Coombs - PFC Bradley Manning Is Not Being Treated Like Every Other Detainee
. . .U.S. Marine and Army officials say Manning is being treated like any other maximum security prisoner at Quantico, Va. He is confined to his single-person cell 23-hours per day, permitted one hour to exercise, permitted reading material and given one hour per day to watch television. . .
ECHIDNE of the snakes - On The Riots In Egypt And Women
Despite the assertion of Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, PFC Bradley Manning is not being treated like every other detainee at the Quantico brig. . .
. . .He is the only detainee being held in Maximum (MAX) custody and under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch. Every other detainee is being held in Medium Detention In (MDI) and without POI watch restrictions. What is the difference? . . .
. . .every other detainee is allowed outside of their cell for the majority of the day. The facility is not locked down when they are walking in the brig. They do not wear hand and leg restraints outside of their cell. They are not escorted by guards when outside of their cell. Every other detainee is assigned to work details during the day. . .
. . .Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST) 1649.9C indicates that “only a small percentage of prisoners shall be classified as maximum.” The reason? Maximum custody is very onerous for the detainee and requires a large commitment of resources from the confinement facility. . .
. . .Due to PFC Manning’s good behavior and demeanor, on August 27, 2010, the brig psychiatrist recommended that PFC Manning be taken off of POI watch and that his confinement classification be changed from MAX to MDI.
Over the course of the following three months, the brig forensic psychiatrist consistently recommended PFC Manning be taken off of POI watch. The only exception to this was on December 10, 2010 when he recommended that PFC Manning remain under POI watch for one week. This was due to a rumor that had spread on Twitter. . .
I have not been following the news on those very closely, but it's not difficult to agree that Egypt needs a different government and that this is a real uprising, not an astro-turf one. The impact of Tunisia's successful protests is also clear.
All this makes the downy hair on my arms rise up. If you know what I mean. We are watching democracy in action! A possible revolution! And then I hope that people don't get killed. . .
. . .This is not intended to discount the importance of what's happening in Egypt or in Tunisia, just to point out that we shouldn't automatically assume that revolutions against a tyrant are going to benefit everyone in the society equally.
Added later because my head works slowly today:
The morale of all this is that women must be involved in the revolution AND in its aftermath and not simply assume that someone else will take care of their rights.
Perhaps a possible outcome would be Gamal Mubarak announcing support for free and fair elections with all major candidates and all major political parties? If he does that, the Mubaraks may still retain something of a legacy.Wes Clark interviewed by Nick Ballasy (2007) (transcribed by plant) - 192 Steps to Disaster Preparedness
Nick Ballasy: With hurricane Katrina . . .Would you have done something totally different? Or. . .
Wes Clark: . . .unless you've run a big organization in a crisis, a disaster like Katrina is a tough.. It's a tough learning experience . . .It's about how you communicate, how you task, how you review, how you follow up, how you set suspenses and deadlines. It's a whole lot of things that somebody in the military, for example, I mean, I've learned it throughout a thirty-four year career. I know how to do that kind of thing. James Lee Witt, down there helping the Governor of Louisiana, he learned it. He was a disaster manager in Arkansas before he ran the Federal Emergency Management Agency. . .
. . .when you get right down to it, to make something like this work you have to do a lot of rehearsal. People have to think through the problem. Somebody has to say "Well, gee we're gonna have eighty thousand people with no transportation. Uh, let's see eighty thousand, now, how many per bus? What's our planning figure per bus? Forty. Forty, if you can get a big bus, forty. Ok, so let's see, forty into eighty thousand. You need two thousand buses? Uh, but, uh, what's the readiness rate on buses? Well, like one in ten won't work. And one in ten might break down, how far they gotta go? I dunno, where we gonna put the refugees?". So then you start, you know, trying to work your way backwards through this thing. Turns out you might need three thousand buses, with three thousand five hundred drivers, with extra tanker trucks, refueling stations because, what if it's the middle of the night and the bus is out in the middle of Louisiana, you know, it gets, drove a hundred and fifty miles down, drove a hundred and fifty miles back, it's got a two hundred mile range. It needs more fuel. So somebody has to think of all this, and to plan it. "Ok, what community, you got twenty buses, you got fifty buses, you got a hundred buses but you're three hundred miles away." So, I mean all that had to have been worked out. Where're they gonna meet the buses? What neighborhood? What roads are gonna be flooded? Somebody has to do all that. None of that was done.
And then, when you ask for the buses, you know you've gotta have a sort of sequence ok. You ask for the buses and then somebody has to call each community. Do you know who to call? Who do you call? School board? Mayor? Chief of Police? Fire Department? "Um, ok but the Mayor's office is closed." Got a home number for the Mayor? And then, how bout the bus driver? How do you get the bus driver at two AM? And what percentage of them no longer have the same phone number that they had when they signed up for work five years ago? You know? Have you ever tried it? So, when you sort of work all through this thing it's like.. It's like doing line dancing. I don't know if.. you ever do line dancing? My wife and I went out one time, this guy says, "Hey you've gotta learn this." He's big into country western music. He says, "You gotta learn this line dancing." My wife got to the ninety second step, and she said, "I quit!" She said, "Any dance that's got ninety-two steps, I'm not doing!" And, to make this kind of stuff work, you gotta go though a hundred and ninety-two steps. And they've gotta be thought out. Somebody's got to be responsible for it, and, as soon as they come back and tell you the, you know, "We tried, we missed ten percent of the buses. Cause we couldn't, you know these were the ones that..". Somebody's got to follow up and say, "Ok, get so and so on the phone, drive from this town to that town. Go to the parking lot for the buses. Get me backup drivers. I want National Guard. Break the padlock. Get into the buses. Start the buses." You know, and, how are you going to do that with people who've never done it before?
Now, one more thing that's worth talking about on Katrina of course, is, the National Guard leadership. Most of them were in Iraq. . .Some of them had already participated in planning for disaster like this. So, somebody would've said, "Oh yeah, the bus problem! Yeah! Ok, remember when we did that in the exercise two years ago? How we.." You know..
But they weren't there.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Glenn Greenwald - America's treatment of detaineesFiredoglake - Statement of Events: Bradley Manning’s Primary Visitor Detained at Quantico
Amnesty International has written a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates objecting to the conditions of Bradley Manning's detention, which was first reported here. . .
. . .The letter follows a report from Manning's lawyer, former Lt. Col. David Coombs, that the conditions of his detention temporarily worsened in the past week, prompting a formal complaint under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. . .
. . .The claim is that Hamsher has only electronic rather than prnted proof of car insurance -- the same proof she's had every other time she brought House there, though without a petition -- and they have thus impounded her car. They also, though, are refusing -- without any explanation -- to let House visit Manning despite his being on the approved visitor list. . .
. . .Jane Hamsher is with David House who is trying to visit Pvt. Bradley Manning at Quantico today while carrying a petition with 42,000 signatures requesting humane treatment for Manning. The military isn’t making it easy at all and detained Jane and David for two hours. . .
. . .UPDATE: At 2:50pm the military released Jane and David, and told David he could go off base and come back on to visit Bradley. But visiting hours end at 3pm, so Bradley won’t get a visit. . .
Tow truck driver says we also have to pay 4 time he had 2 wait for Quantico marines 2 release us: $300.
In a Yahoo article on Manning's conditions, surprised to see some comments of "He's a traitor. Any treatment is too good for him." Don't know how the powers that be have managed to transform "Leaking the lowest level of classified documents with intent to expose abuses and the reality of war" to "Traitor", but apparently they have. Arthur Silber's post on MLK's "A Time To Break Silence" speech on Vietnam warGary Farber's post linking, among other links, to NY Times article on Brazil's Bolsa Familia & Mexico's Oportunidades program