Jan 31st, 2004 by Ken Hagler

BARELY A SCIENCE, “IF IT IS A SCIENCE AT ALL”. If you think that psychiatry and psychology are “hard” sciences, I strongly suggest you take the time to read this illuminating and disturbing two-part article by psychologist Lauren Slater.

She begins by recounting a now-famous experiment, a “trick” if you will, that took place 30 years ago:

In 1972, David Rosenhan, a newly minted psychologist with a joint degree in law, called eight friends and said something like, “Are you busy next month? Would you have… [The Light of Reason]

A very interesting post on the validity (or lack thereof) of psychiatry.

Jan 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

NOT SO SILLY, AFTER ALL. My, my. How convenient:

The U.S. military is “sure” it will catch Osama bin Laden this year, a spokesman said Thursday, but he declined to comment on where the al-Qaida leader may be hiding.

Bin Laden, chief suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that sparked the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, is widely believed to be holed up somewhere along the mountainous Pakistani-Afghan border with former Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Following last month’s capture of ousted… [The Light of Reason]

bq. In fact, I know several very intelligent people who have been saying for quite a while that they think the administration has had bin Laden for some time — and is just waiting for the “best political moment” to announce it. And many of you have probably had similar thoughts.

I wouldn’t be surprised, but I’ll be that if the Feds did pull something like this that it would come out pretty quickly. Remember, it only took a few days before the story started to come out that Saddam Hussein was actually caught by the Kurds.

Jan 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

“DOMINATE. INTIMIDATE. CONTROL.”. Believe it or not, that’s the motto at the headquarters of the Transportation Security Administration air marshal training center.

I’ve discussed James Bovard and his invaluable work before, here, here, and here. (And here, too, in connection with a wonderful panel on which he appeared.) Now he documents in painful detail the unparalleled incompetence of the TSA. At the outset of this unbelievably depressing and sobering piece, Bovard states:

But before the agency was even a year… [The Light of Reason]

I can believe it; that’s a very appropriate motto. I always think of “TSA” as an acronym for Terrorist Safety Administration, because this more accurately reflects its purpose. They do nothing to protect airline passengers against terrorists–on the contrary, their domination, intimidation, and control of those passengers is aimed at demoralizing them and leaving them helpless and unprepared in the face of any terrorist attack.

The official story is that the TSA was created to prevent another 9/11. That’s only partially true. It would be more accurate and more precise to state that the TSA exists to prevent another occurence of Flight 93, where the passengers fought back and successfully prevented the terrorists from completing their mission.

Blind Justice .
Jan 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Blind Justice. The judge in Martha Stewart’s trial has told her lawyers they may not point out the weirdness of the charges against her.

As Michael McMenamin noted in the October issue of Reason, the “securities fraud” charge against Stewart is “based on the fact that she denied to the press, personally and through her lawyers, that she had engaged in insider trading….In other words, her crime is claiming to be innocent of a crime with which she was never charged.”

The Justice Department does allege insider trading in a related civil suit. But as McMenamin observed, “Before suing Stewart, the SEC had never gone after the customer of a broker who offered his knowledge of what another customer had done as a reason to make a trade.”

Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum has ruled that such points are matters of law beyond the purview of the jury, which must stick to the facts of the case. Apparently, those do not include whether Stewart did anything she had reason to know would be considered a crime. [Hit & Run]

Gee, I wonder what the outcome of this case will be? Personally I don’t see how, in a fraud case, the allegedly fraudulent statements are not “facts of the case.” But then I’m not a judge.

Jan 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

FIRE THE BASTARD. So in his usual “hyping” manner, Drudge is announcing this at the top of his site:

BUSH TO SEEK BIG BUDGET INCREASE FOR NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS… Laura Bush plans to announce the request — for the largest increase in two decades — on Thursday… Developing..In red, no less. Well, this time red is more than appropriate.

All I can do at this point is laugh. Otherwise, I’d collapse in hysterical sobbing. Can we all agree now? Bush is really a liberal, and he has… [The Light of Reason]

Indeed, this was obvious to me even before he was elected.

# GeekWithA.45 – The 4th Amendment, The TSA, and You – good an
Jan 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

GeekWithA.45 –

The 4th Amendment, The TSA, and You
– good analysis of why
preflight searches, for anything but explosives, are unconstitutional
and entirely evil. [geekwitha.45] [End the War on Freedom]

Jan 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

KICKING THE BUSH HABIT: JUST TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME. I suspect that a fair number of people are feeling this way these days — and this writer has the integrity to deal with it honestly and openly:

I start on a personal note. I would like for the record to show that, today, I formally disavow the Republican Party as well as my past support for the Second Gulf War.

Now, let me be frank: This is something I didn’t see coming a year ago. I only saw things through a prism of GOP allegiance back then. I’m a year older now — a year wiser,… [The Light of Reason]

I think this columnist is on his way to becoming a libertarian.

Nader, the conservative choice? .
Jan 28th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Nader, the conservative choice?. I have heard Nader say that if he runs he will reach out to disgruntled conservatives by talking about how Bush has betrayed conservative principles by abridging individual rights while promoting corporate welfare and crony capitalism…. [ Blog]

While he’s right, I don’t see how he expects to get any votes out of it. “Bush betrayed you, so vote for me–I’m honest about being your enemy!” Not the best campaign slogan…

Bad Advice .
Jan 27th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Bad Advice. A federal judge has overturned a provision of the PATRIOT Act that makes it a crime to give “expert advice or assistance” to a group identified by the government as a a terrorist organization. U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins concluded that the provision is unconstitutionally broad and vague: “It could be construed to include unequivocally pure speech and advocacy protected by the First Amendment.”
[Hit & Run]

This is good news, but only in a limited way. It won’t do anything to restrain the Feds’ spying, for example (assuming that the Feds even bother to honor the ruling). Still, it’s a tiny step in the right direction. We can look forward to much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Crusaders about how the judge is “siding with terrorists.”

“A Crock of Shit” .
Jan 27th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

“A Crock of Shit”. That’s what reports that Saddam Hussein could deploy WMDs in 45 minutes actually were, or so says a lobbyist for the Iraqi exile group which made the claim.

It is becoming increasingly clear what happened in late 2002 in the run up to war. The intelligence services of both Britain and the U.S. could not nail down evidence of WMDs in Iraq, so the paid flacks of Iraqi exile groups stepped up with dubious tales of super-weapons. Pro-war officials, particularly in the Bush administration, then seized upon these tales to press the case for invasion and occupation.

They knew better. Now you do too. [Hit & Run]

Actually I knew better all along, as did anyone who wasn’t actively wanting to be fooled.

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