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The NIE is the National Intelligence Estimate.

And it shows the serious dissents by the State and Energy Departments on the claims of WMDs. From the accompanying article:

The CIA's 25-page unclassified summary of the NIE released in 2002 did not contain the State or Energy Departments' dissent.
See pp 8-9 and 14 of the NIE contained in the following link:

And on the fact that very few congressmen bothered to read it before voting on war:

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Mon May 18, 2015 at 03:25 PM PDT

Every possible unfortunate scenario

by dov12348

With time opening up for me a bit more these days, I'm putting together a list of every possible unfortunate scenario that I will turn into a full project upon my retirement.  Here's the start. Feel free to contribute. (The Onion helped tremendously).

So far...

phone system down;  run in stocking;  nuclear annihilation of planet;  balloon floats away; glass eye falls out during speech; condom breaks;  hairdresser quits;  wolverine attacks child; Jack White releases bad album;  lose $60 at bus stop;  fatal heart attack;  meat goes bad; floor collapses;  tsunami;  train wreck kills hundreds;  computer crashes during lenthy download;  Statue of Liberty falls over;  grain elevator explodes;  comet hits earth;  ammo runs out;  gored by moose;  fan belt breaks on interstate;  sour cream runs out;  gassy;  mother-in-law hates you; hamburger tastes charred;  ignored by waiter;  check gets lost in mail;  $2 winning scratch-off gets washed with pants;  get caught in middle of knife fight;  humidity makes hair frizzy;  cola explodes all over you;  UPS package isn’t for you;  gas grill explodes all over you;  neck breaks while clowning around;  Livestrong bracelet gets caught in revolving door;  everyone finds out you’re a fraud;  leg cramps up in middle of big game;  strikeout with bases loaded;  earth gets thrown off its axis;  plane gets hijacked;  girlfriend’s new friend cuter, funnier;  pen dries out in middle of class;  laptop battery loses charge;  favorite bill gets vetoed;  oversleep on first day of work;  neighborhood goes to seed;  meeting with ambassador postponed; greeting card not a Hallmark;  bite violently down on inside of cheek while eating sloppy joe;  blind date repulsed by toenail clippings on futon;  mother throws out beloved old stuffed hippo;  leg gets amputated by dredger chain;  real mother appears out of nowhere; drunk tattoo artist uses Dremel tool instead of needle;  pants stay unzipped all day;  nosebleed unnoticed for first ten minutes of wedding;  get shortchanged at charity bake sale;  breaking a tooth while comically pretending to bite down on the Great Pyramid of Giza;  tripping on cable and falling to floor with broken ankle while angrily storming off set of 24;  one of your legs grows four inches;  avoided inviting annoying friend to your party, then acquaintance from work brings that friend as a date;  snagging shirt cuff on door latch;  neglecting maintenance of reactor cooling system leading to core meltdown;  accidental light jerk of wrist knocks cup of coffee off counter;  water doesn’t taste like water at all;  building shanty on hillside in anticipation of monsoon season, then getting buried in erosion-triggered mudslide anyway;  get home after meetings all day, notice tie is outside your collar;  cursor won't budge for ten minutes until co-worker tells you you're moving your eyglasses case; stuck in MRI tube with "Welcome to the Jungle" playing nonstop; discover all your home movie videos taped over with "Mystery Science Theater";  end of Thanksgiving table will have to go in walk-in closet; slowly realize 'skip' button on youtube ad never coming; hard pat on back from father-in-law at family gathering knocks out both glass eyes;  therapist just said 'bingo'; spouse throws your home office from balcony;  accidently end business call with 'I love you'; excercise ball all the way over there;          

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Not only do we incarcerate too many people and for far too long, we also have a corrections system that employs, all too frequently and—at times, too casually—the most extreme form of confinement as a routine management strategy; this persists despite decades of evidence pointing to the manifold negative impacts of subjecting people to such conditions.

the experience for the person placed in solitary confinement is the same: confinement to an isolated cell for the overwhelming portion of each day, often 23 hours a day, with limited human interaction and minimal, if any, constructive activity; an experience that all too often leads to harmful outcomes for the person’s mental and physical health and the well-being of the community to which he or she returns.

“…[I]t’s anything but quiet. You’re immersed in a drone of garbled noise—other inmates’ blaring TVs, distant conversations, shouted arguments. I couldn’t make sense of any of it, and was left feeling twitchy and paranoid. I kept waiting for the lights to turn off, to signal the end of the day. But the lights did not shut off. I began to count the small holes carved in the walls. Tiny grooves made by inmates who’d chipped away at the cell as the cell chipped away at them.”

When an incarcerated person is placed in segregated housing, he or she is confined to a cell (either alone or with a cellmate) for 22 to 24 hours a day. The cell is typically six by eight feet, smaller than a standard parking space. It is furnished with a metal toilet, sink, and bed platform. Reading materials are either strictly limited or prohibited altogether. Natural sunlight in the cell is limited to a very small window or does not exist at all, and fluorescent bulbs light the cell, often throughout the night. Recreation is limited to one hour a day, five days per week, which is taken alone in a cage outdoors or an indoor area (sometimes with a barred top).

The most commonly understood justification for segregation is as punishment for a violation of a prison rule. While this practice, known as disciplinary segregation, is used as a response to behavior that is violent or dangerous, Vera’s experience in the field has shown that disruptive behavior—such as talking back, being out of place, failure to obey an order, failing to report to work or school, or refusing to change housing units or cells— frequently lands incarcerated people in disciplinary segregation.26 In some jurisdictions, these “nuisance prisoners” constitute the majority of the people in disciplinary segregation. Before collaborating with Vera, Illinois found that more than 85 percent of the people released from disciplinary segregation during a one-year period had been sent there for relatively minor infractions, such as not standing for a count and using abusive language.

Vera’s review of the data regularly shows that incarcerated people who are not violent or overly disruptive stay in segregated housing for long periods of time, ranging from months to years and even decades.

Suicide rates and incidents of self-harm (such as banging one’s head against the cell wall) are much higher for people in segregation than those in the general prison population.56 For example, in California, where an estimated five percent of the prisoners are placed in segregated housing, 69 percent of the suicides in 2006 occurred in those units.57 In Texas, incarcerated people in segregation are five times more likely to commit suicide than those in the general population.58 In New York, between 1993 and 2003, suicide rates were five times higher among incarcerated people in segregation than among those in the general prison population.

Much of this research affirms the objections expressed by the United States Supreme Court 125 years ago in its landmark case of In re Medley. The court declared that solitary confinement is not “a mere unimportant regulation as to the safe-keeping of the prisoner.…[A] considerable number of the prisoners… f[a]ll, after even a short confinement, into a semi-fatuous condition…[while] others bec[o]me violently insane; others still, [commit] suicide; while those who st[an]d the ordeal better [are] not generally reformed, and in most cases d[o] not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community.”

This of course is torture, but for some bizarre reason has been ignored as such. Some of our children are in this way being tortured, many to suicide -- for years, for an indiscretion as trivial as swearing or unintentionally violating a rule.

Something needs to be done.

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Needs no introduction...


Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 06:32 AM PDT

Blaming the victim

by dov12348

I apologize and retract my recent comments on issues that to some extent were rightly seen as blaming the victim.  I followed them up with some ignorant examples too.

I will try to think through these things more deeply in the future and if I fail please call me on it again.


Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 09:40 AM PDT


by dov12348

In an extraordinary show of unity in Baltimore, rival gangs, the Bloods, Crips and Black Guerrilla Family, came together to ask protesters to stop the violence and help rebuild their community.

Several photos appeared to show gang members standing shoulder to shoulder with the Nation of Islam on the city's streets as they called for peace against a backdrop of protesters' violent clashes with police, looting and buildings set ablaze.

In a video posted by The Baltimore Sun on Monday, Charles Shelley, who belongs to the Crips, put his arm around the shoulders of Jamal, from the Bloods, as rival gangs attended a church meeting.

Shelley said: 'We ain't out here for nobody to get hurt. You got a Crip here, you got a Blood here... we don't want nobody to get hurt.'

Another gang member added: 'We stand as one right now. We are not Bloods, Crips or BGF - we are black men and we are united.'


I'm fuming over this.  Un-fucking-believable.

ESPN has suspended Britt McHenry for one week, effective immediately, after a video surfaced of the Washington D.C.-based reporter berating a woman working for a towing company.

McHenry can be heard repeatedly and mercilessly attacking the employee in what appears to be security footage of the incident. Among the things said:

- “I’m in the news, sweetheart.”
- “I will fucking sue this place.”
- “That’s why I have a degree and you don’t.”
- “I wouldn’t work in a scumbag place like this.”
- “Makes my skin crawl even being here.”
- “Yep, that’s all you care about is just taking people’s money. With no education, no skill set, just wanted to clarify that.”
- “Do you feel good about your job?
- “So I can be a college dropout and do the same thing?”
- “Why? Because I have a brain? And you don’t?”
- “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”
- “‘Cause they [the employee’s teeth] look so stunning … ‘Cause I’m on television and you’re in a fucking trailer, honey.”
- “Lose some weight, baby girl.”

ESPN has suspended Britt McHenry for one week, effective immediately, after a video surfaced of the Washington D.C.-based reporter berating a woman working for a towing company.

Update from ESPN: Britt McHenry has been suspended for 1 week effectively immediately.

— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) April 16, 2015

One week?  ONE FUCKING WEEK?  In other words, just an itty-bitty break -- no disciplinary action at all.  WTF, ESPN!?!?!?  If it was up to me, this sick little person would be fired immediately.  Eeee-fucking-mediately.

New update on the story:


Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 05:55 AM PDT

Some Funny Onion Headlines

by dov12348

From time to time I go through some Onion stuff just to read their headlines.  And that's the way they write - they have to start with a good headline.  Then figure out if they can write a funny article from it.  Here are a few recent headlines that I thought were pretty good:

Ted Cruz’s Wife Shudders After Noticing Twin Beds Pushed Together

Piano Keys Not Involved In ‘The Entertainer’ Noticeably Dustier

Wrinkled Dollar Bill Treated To Full-Body Massage On Edge Of Vending Machine

Breakup Rescheduled To End Of Lease

Office Smelled Like Fire For 3 Hopeful Seconds

Kid Says 'I Pick Dad' 2 Seconds Into Child Custody Hearing

Voice Deepened For Conversation With Hardware Store Worker

Coworker Back From Vacation Chucks Box Of Melted Taffy Into Office Breakroom

That Definitely The Last Thing Jewish Baby Was Expecting

Man Slowly Realizing 'Skip' Button On YouTube Ad Never Coming

Hulk Smash

Hard Pat On Back From Romney Knocks Out Both Of Ryan's Glass Eyes

Pumpkin Seeds Saved, Dried, Roasted, Salted, Offered, Refused, Tossed

Women Are Of Course Just As Capable, But You See What Backtracking Man Trying To Say, Right?

Government-Dependent Southerner Has Brief, Fleeting Thought About Not Voting For Romney, But Nah

Astronaut's Mother Wants Him To Call As Soon As He Gets To International Space Station

Oh, Great, Now Hiccuping Man Has Song Stuck In Head Too

Friend Chuckling At Computer Screen About To Read You Something Not Worth Hearing

Jar Of Change On Dresser Sadly Factoring Into A Number Of Financial Decisions

Biden Minimizes Browser Window Every Time Obama Walks By

Eye Contact Broken During Sex To See Who Carla Yelling At On 'Cheers' Rerun

New Hampshire Residents Convince Incoming GOP Candidates That Maple Syrup Enemas Are State Tradition

Ballpoint Pen Field-Stripped, Reassembled

Dental Hygienist Digs A Little Harder Every Time She Mentions Husband

Coupon Clipper Expires

Woman On TV Gives Birth To Four-Month-Old Baby

Cliffs Notes Skimmed

President Lincoln Sick Of Time Travelers

DRBONG Pulled Over Again

ATM Slapped


Sorry I just saw this and have to go soon.


Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 12:35 PM PDT

Report: Clinton Moves Head

by dov12348

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a featured guest Monday at the Center for American Progress' "Expanding Opportunity in America's Urban Areas" conference in Washington. According to the liberal think tank's website, the event "[brought] together a small group of public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to discuss challenges that our metropolitan regions face, as well as emerging solutions, laying the foundation for a vision of a thriving urban America that supports national prosperity."


Except it was a small thing, at least to Henneberger, who used the better part of her word count to inform readers that Clinton successfully made gestures and said some things, including fairly uncontroversial remarks about how the middle class is good and kids should be able to go to school and stuff. Per Henneberger, Clinton "nodded vigorously" and "took copious notes" and did so "with great enthusiasm." And like, you also had to listen to the notes she wasn't playing: "In a way, the message [Clinton's] body language sent was perfect: I'm here. I'm listening more than I'm talking. And I am even willing to go to school."


Several unconnected instances of Clinton dialogue follow. In a way, the message that Henneberg's report sends is perfect: "I was here. I listened more than I talked. And I did the bare minimum to prove that to my credulous editor."

("Hm. How would Millard Fillmore or even Calvin Coolidge handle this?")
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This is NOT the Onion.

I saw this yesterday and I still can't fucking believe this.  This is real.

(From 2013)

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Wednesday offered legislative language that would "automatically" punish family members of people who violate U.S. sanctions against Iran, levying sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

The provision was introduced as an amendment to the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, which lays out strong penalties for people who violate human rights, engage in censorship, or commit other abuses associated with the Iranian government.

Cotton also seeks to punish any family member of those people, "to include a spouse and any relative to the third degree," including, "parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids," Cotton said.

"There would be no investigation," Cotton said during Wednesday's markup hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "If the prime malefactor of the family is identified as on the list for sanctions, then everyone within their family would automatically come within the sanctions regime as well..."

After some back-and-forth with Grayson and Royce, Cotton relented and withdrew the amendment.

So if your uncle violates this type of crime, YOU could go to prison for 20 years.  Automatically - no investigation.

If this is not the ravings of a lunatic in a suit I don't know what would be.

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Fri Mar 13, 2015 at 06:42 AM PDT

Something In The Air

by dov12348

A rare video of a gorgeous, timeless classic.  The modulation from I believe F# to G# coming out of the piano solo to the last verse is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.  Gave me chills.

About the band, Thunderclap Newman

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