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 911. 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.

th Amendment, The TSA, and You — good an"> # 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” ."> 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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