Trust in the System

Good to know that we can depend upon the American government to round up the Bad People without that silly habeas crappus stuff getting in the way:

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.

Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.

A spokesman for Bush declined comment. An unnamed “former associate to Mr. Rumsfeld” says the charges are untrue. We imagine Liz & Dick will be dropping by Fox for some pushback.

Speaking of which, the Times of London is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Intramural fight, anyone?

George W. Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent’ [Times UK]

As you know, you send to jail the suspects you have, not the suspects who are actually guilty or found guilty via trial at a later time.

this Lawrence Wilkerson guy is making all kinds of trouble.
Dick may just take his ass out.

@Capt Howdy: Wilkerson’s a frequent guest on Countdown, and while he’s been “highly critical”, as the story says, I don’t recall him going this far before. Not that I’m always paying attention.

@nojo: I wonder how such a claim could be proved?

This is true. They kept the innocent incarcerated because they found it delightful and masturbated to the tapes of innocent inmates being tortured with farm implements.

An unnamed “former associate to Mr. Rumsfeld” says the charges are untrue.

BREAKING: New evidence Ratzi blocked defrocking pedophile priests, he said, “for the good of the universal church.”

@SanFranLefty: The letter was typed in Latin!! The Latin word for pederasty is “pæderastia” from the Greek “paiderastes.”

I think you are right. this seems more official. but its clear he is a man wrestling with this conscience. he is not happy with the role he played in this and I have seem him say he is now trying to make up for it.

@Dodgerblue: What’s Latin for “hypocritical asshole”?

@SanFranLefty: This guy was not a really smart pick for them. I wonder if they have anyone lined up who doesn’t have dirty hands.


I have a feeling that the jockying of for position to become a the head of a small, extraordinarily wealthy state with absolute power therein tends to favor the psychopathic and, paradoxically, least religious among them.

I think people forget the dictator part when they talk about the pope.

@Benedick: Let’s look at our options…

1. A memo, probably with security clearance.

2. Conversation with Colin.

3. Shrub, Rummy, or Dick running into his office, shouting “You won’t believe what we just pulled off, dude!”, then running out.

Nothing easily substantiated. But he’s going on the record with it, and he does have a professional reputation to sustain.

@Dodgerblue: He’s infallible, yo, so he’s not going to resign….probably not even if there were photos of him diddling little boys while wearing a swastika arm band.

@SanFranLefty: If I had absolute power, there might be issues with Thai hookers, if anyone found out about it.

This is kinda weird. These guys are known in their parishes for baby rape and he thinks he can keep things coverted? I dunno. Could be that Ratfucker somehow sympathizes with the perps. Or that he’s one of them.

@FlyingChainSaw: But the covert thing worked for years, for decades. Why would he think it would suddenly stop working?

@Dodgerblue: He was convicted in a secular court in California. Like, everyone knew this guy was a twisted predator. There was no way keeping him would neutralize publicity. If he had any real PR smarts, he would have flown to Oakland and plunged a sharpened crucifix through the perp’s heart on TV.

@FlyingChainSaw: And then convicted a decade later for molesting a little girl. I just read the article all the way through. Dude is a registered sex offender and lives in a gated community in Walnut Creek. That takes some major coin.


He is actually infalliable only when speaking ex cathedra, a phrase meaning “out of the church”.

From our friend the Wiki:

Conditions for papal infallibility
Pope Pius XII, who exercised ex cathedra infallibility in 1950 to establish the Marian Dogma of Assumption.

Statements by a pope that exercise papal infallibility are referred to as solemn papal definitions or ex cathedra teachings. These should not be confused with teachings that are infallible because of a solemn definition by an ecumenical council, or with teachings that are infallible in virtue of being taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. For details on these other kinds of infallible teachings, see Infallibility of the Church.

According to the teaching of the First Vatican Council and Catholic tradition, the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are as follows:

1. “the Roman Pontiff”
2. “speaks ex cathedra” (“that is, when in the discharge of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, and by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority….”)
3. “he defines”
4. “that a doctrine concerning faith or morals”
5. “must be held by the whole Church” (Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4)

For a teaching by a pope or ecumenical council to be recognized as infallible, the teaching must make it clear that the Church is to consider it definitive and binding. There is not any specific phrasing required for this, but it is usually indicated by one or both of the following:

* a verbal formula indicating that this teaching is definitive (such as “We declare, decree and define…”), or
* an accompanying anathema stating that anyone who deliberately dissents is outside the Catholic Church.

…For modern-day Church documents, there is no need for speculation as to which are officially ex cathedra, because the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be consulted directly on this question. For example, after Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone) was released in 1994, a few commentators speculated that this might be an exercise of papal infallibility.[11] In response to this confusion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has unambiguously stated, on at least three separate occasions,[12][13][14] that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis although not an ex cathedra teaching (i.e., although not a teaching of the extraordinary magisterium), is indeed infallible, clarifying that the content of this letter has been taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.[15]

The Vatican itself has given no complete list of papal statements considered to be infallible. A 1998 commentary on Ad Tuendam Fidem, written by Cardinals Ratzinger (the later Pope Benedict XVI) and Bertone, the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, listed a number of instances of infallible pronouncements by popes and by ecumenical councils, but explicitly stated (at no. 11) that this was not meant to be a complete list.[14]

The number of infallible pronouncements by ecumenical councils is significantly greater than the number of infallible pronouncements by popes.

So he’s not infallible in his personal life, and even most of the things he says or does as pope aren’t infallible.

Of course, I hold even this limited view of infallibility as complete and utter bullshit, but there it is.

@FlyingChainSaw: Honestly, I don’t think he cares. My assumption is that he was the pick because he’s worked all his life at being the guy they have to pick at some point. This whole rigmarole is really about how he got where he is today. He knows where the bodies are buried; he did favors for those who could help him climb the ladder to popedom and he succeeded so well in burying bodies and knowing the secrets the others wanted to keep out of the public or semi-public eye, they had to pick him when the time came. And like SFL says, he’s now a head of state for life with adherents all over the world. What are they gonna do, Saddam him? I don’t think so. The best we can hope for is some rogue cardinal giving him a taste of his own antifreeze. But dude’s probably got taste testing Swiss to prevent that.


The paranoid might wonder if he was elevated *specifically* to avoid being charged for that mess. But only Dan Brown fans would buy that sort of story.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Yes, likely he has seen the right people at Vatican necrobestial feasts and satanic rites.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: When Benedict was elected I was studying abroad in Germany, where, naturally, there was quite the to-do about it all. The best thing by far, though, was that it inspired some enterprising young fellow to paper our dorm with fliers for a “Habemus Party!” the following Saturday.

If you are going to try to dissect RC church politics, and especially, the politics behind electing a pope, you do have to forget everything you know about our domestic political politics, Church politics is very different. The church, despite having identifiable ideological divides, between “liberal” and “conservative” groups, is not as divided by these things as US politics is, and compromise is more likely. But I think the most obvious thing to remember, is that church politics is slower, less frantic, and there is much more patience. The church is an old old institution, and there is much more taking of a very long view of things. Very long term view of things.

The best example is in choosing popes, the cardinals are more likely, than would ever happen in our political system, to compromise by electing a “placeholder” Pope, an old guy everyone knows will die soon, which by their reckoning of soon, means “in 10 or 20 years.”

When Ratzi was elected, I think there was a faction looking for a radical change, a ‘third world” pope, an african or south american or phillipino, as a measure to further the enormous growth of the church in the third world. The election of a european, a german, was a compromise, he was not Italian, thats significant, but he was not an african. This was probably a greater consideration than his doctrinal conservatism, I think he was intended as a placeholder, to be honest. The politics was, I seem to recall, “he’s a safe european choice, but he’s old, so we can put off this big change idea for a decade.”

But the odd thing is, this was probably a moderate choice, as compared to electing a third world pope, from the doctrinal standpoint, because the most conservative, from the standpoint of doctrine, catholics, are the africans, and the third world spanish colonies, except for the now waning central american marxist faction,which would never be considered.

I applaud this Wilkerson guy, now where is Griag Craig?

/first comment from the new Padonator, typing on this thing is going to take some time to learn/

@Pedonator: Wilkerson has been blowing the whistle for almost 10 years, the mainstream media, now completely controlled by the corporate oligarchy, has just been ignoring him. If this were the 1970s, he would have brought down the Bush administration in 2007, and there would have been indictments and trials based on what he has said years ago.

As for the catholic stuff, well, they’re really no different from repugs in the end, right? No surprise from this atheist quarter, but il papa does have some answering to do, and I don’t mean with his fictional maker.

@Pedonator: You got one, too? Ugh. ::green::

@Promnight: One of the few cogent things I’ve heard from David Brooks was the acknowledgement, today on NPR, that things were less purely idealogical under the Ford administration when he appointed a relatively liberal Supreme with little controversy. I would argue that we aren’t so much ideologically- as partisan- driven now, since there’s very little that gets done that doesn’t serve the bipartisan oligarchy, but it was one of the few such segments worth listening to, if only for that.


That’s okay, honey, we don’t want one anyways, right? We don’t want a shiny, solid-in-the-hands, fascinating toy that holds hundreds of books and can download them in an instant, even your favorite comic books and classics for free and shit like that. We don’t want a magic screen that you can hold up to the sky and there is an app you can get that shows you what the stars are called there and how to locate the constellations. We don’t want any of that. We are above it.

Ima cry now.

@JNOV: Go green! But seriously, I’m not sure how I can justify this wanton capitulation to consumerism. It will take a while, but I’m sure I’ll find a rationalization.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: Wait a minute, there’s an app for that? I thought I didn’t have a camera on this thing, how can it recognize the stars?

P.S. If you show me your app I’ll let you touch my pad.

And contrary to the pad-haters, you can listen to tunes whilst doing other stuff. I’ve been listening to jonsi and love is all whilst Stinquing on the pad.

@Pedonator: The haters are talking about Pandora, which doesn’t stream in the background. The new iPhone OS will change that this summer, with the new stuff coming to StinquePads this fall.

EXCLUSIVE: DWTS Producers Insist Pam Anderson Wear “Bra and Pasties”

I’m reading so much more these days!

@nojo: I like Pandora, but rarely use it. So I’m not so much inconvenienced.

The finger-stabbing thing, though, is something to reckon with. Never got used to it on the phone, but I’m already starting to on this device. Scary. My tenth-grade typing teacher would be appalled.

Sure I will be buying a Bluetooth keyboard soon. Just doing my part to prop up the ‘conofme. Am I a Patriot or what?

@Pedonator: “GoSkyWatch Planetarium”. It uses a faux GPS to figure out where you are. I’m having trouble downloading the free version, however.

@Pedonator: Since I’m typing on my back, there’s not really an optimal position for me. But yes, a lot easier than the iPhone, especially once you stop trying to do it a traditional way.

I was certain I would want a keyboard. Now, I’m not so sure.

And there’s what Giz or Engadget calls the “$1,000 Scrabble App”: The iPad is the board, while your iPhones hold your tiles.

@Tommmcatt Loves The Giant Floating Head: ZOMG! I can learn all the constellations with that thing? STOP! Really? Damn.

@Pedonator: and nojo: GET A ROOM!

@nojo: Back on the mothership (3-year-old laptop, which means ancient), while I’m eating dinner. Just have to adapt at switching between the typing style that was drilled into me as a student, and the nefarious typing styles demanded by these newfangled devices.

Which is scary. We are adapting to the devices.

Also, I have left the “watch where I am” feature disabled so far. That’s what the iPhone is for. Don’t see a need for it on the pad, which is supposed to be just a more convenient netpad with wifi.

That said, enlighten me.

Meanwhile, though I am probably the ideal demographic of the modern major consumerer, I don’t do games. Yet.

@JNOV: This is how debased I am: I went to the store, ready to buy the cheapest model, overheard one of the Geniuses whispering to another that all the 16GB models were gone, so I bought a 32GB. That’s just how sick I am.

@Pedonator: A real keyboard feels like a standup Royal. Closest I’ve come is a 1991 Model M IBM keyboard developed for bank-terminal applications. Fucking thing fucking rocks and still works with an adapter on the PC and the MacBook Pro.

@Pedonator: The fucking geniuses are twits. But they can act like real human beings in a real retail environment. Had the video on the MacBook crap out on me once – even though the laptop was out of warranty. Ran down the street as the gig was in SF and shoved 60 bucks into the genius’ paw and got it back working in 75 minutes. The hardware is variable but they understand what retailing means.

@FlyingChainSaw: If I encounter a sweet Genius I’m not above giving a blowjob for a fix. But you knew that already.

Okay, downloaded the star app and– OH, COOL! THERE’S MARS! Damn, I’d love to steer a rover with this.

@Pedonator: Some will say the Qwerty keyboard is a perversion of nature, so I guess it depends on where you start.

I think you can set the self-spyer to ask before invoking. That’s what the star app did. And then it bitched about the compass.

Yes, the compass. It’s got one of those.

@FlyingChainSaw: Real Men use Royals. We’ve lost the muscular tactility of typing.

That said, the last ADB Apple Pro Keyboard was a sheer pleasure. And the first iMac keyboard made me very, very angry.

@nojo: Always useful to know where True North is.

Big question is, what are the Boy Scouts doing with this potentially nefarious technology? I only hope they’re devising twisted trials for meriting badges, and using their new Powers for Good not Evil.

@nojo: It’s a perversion of nature that most of us were taught to normalize. So it’s hard for typing champions like me to adapt to the new paradigm.

Meanwhile, is there no refresh function on the pad?

@Pedonator: Refresh the page, you mean? That circular arrow in the address bar?

@nojo: Computers come and go, but Model M remains – plus an adapter here or there. Last one cost me nearly 6 bucks but I am retaining the value of the investment in the keyboard I made in 1992. Just really starting to realize the value on the purchase.

@nojo: guess it’s a feature of the rssreader I’m using, just doesn’t seem to have that circular arrow.

In other news, a likely preventable mine accident is responsible for more than twelve times the deaths of a 7.2 earthquake.

@Pedonator: Ah. I could never get into RSS readers. I like the full layout.

@FlyingChainSaw: Not familiar with the model M but I have fond memories of typing on the Selectric.

@FlyingChainSaw: Looks like a Full Metal Jacket XT keyboard. Which I always thought was more useful for hand-to-hand combat than typing.

@FlyingChainSaw: Keyboard is a 1391401 keyboard made in 1994 by Lexmark for IBM.  Similar in construction to most 1993-1995 52G9658 and 82G2383 keyboards with drainage channels but with additional original IBM features of removeable, SDL to ps/2 cable, two-piece key caps and key stems and multi-color printing on key caps (green lettering on Alt keys, secondary gray lettering on numeric keypad keys). 

E-bay treasure?

@Pedonator: Friend of mine once bought a monitor with orange letters. I was so jealous.

@JNOV: It’s pretty sweet. All major planets (Pluto is optional), stars, constellations, and Freaky Distant Objects are plugged in. As you scan the sky by waving the iPad around, you’ll see little pop-up images when you hit one. (There’s also a low-light mode for outdoor use.)

Or you can select your heavenly body of choice from a list, which will then be targeted on the map to help you point in the right direction.

It’s also available for the iPhone. But the larger screen is a treat.

I love that I’m listening to Billie Holiday from the pad. Let’s do it, let’s fall in love!

Because I used the iPad as an excuse to buy a bluetooth headphone set as well. It works pretty much throughout the house, I can see the pad becoming a media server.

Billie at her most elegant, reserved, polite self.

Don’t know how the goddess held it together as long as she did.

Boy there are a lot of guys talking about keyboards and Pads and I just want to drink wine and make pretty pictures.

/ sfl ducks out for 12 hours xoxoxo you geeky boys

@SanFranLefty: If ever there was substantial evidence that male and female brains are just wired differently, I think this is it. Particularly the geeking out over a retro keyboard. I understand it not.

@Pedonator: Drainage channels. I need those because I’ve dumped Diet Coke on more than one keyboard. The keys get sticky. No, it’s not because I’m looking at Stormy.

@flippin eck: @SanFranLefty: Would you chicks be more impressed if we talked about our bitchin’ keyboard hardware while wearing white tees with a pack of Camels rolled up in the sleeves?

@SanFranLefty: I have a very, very big guitar. So big.

@nojo: Ask them if they’d be more impressed if they knew we could type and operate a computer mouse with our prehensile schlongs. Go ahead. I’ll give you a buck.

@nojo: Mine’s refitted for bank terminal deployment – has all the weird ALT commands outlined in green and red on the front forward face of the keys for added badness and retro-industrial cool.

@Pedonator: Bought mine from a former editor of Scientific American, worked directly under Flanagan.

@FlyingChainSaw: Back in high school, our crew was at a traffic light, and some kid pulls up next to us in a muscle car and revs his engine. Without missing a beat, a girl in our car leans out the window and shouts at him in the most haughty sneering voice she can muster:

“Oh god, that turns me on so much, I want you to fuck me!”

I don’t know whether his dick shriveled an inch when she said that, but it should have.

@FlyingChainSaw: When I was a kid, there were giant electro-mechanical adding machines in my mom’s office — more than a hundred small keys, physical odometer number wheels, and a wonderful grind-grind-grind noise as they almost literally crunched numbers.

Years later, I saw one in the campus archivist’s collection of retro office equipment. There’s a good chance I had played with it.

@nojo: I get a stiffie when I hear a big displacement V-8 rev up. Those little Porches etc just can’t measure up.

Fuck, I just had an Avocado/Mustard flashback to the Seventies. I really must find something else to dwell upon.

@Nojo: When I lived in Texas, a ghey friend of mine would regularly yell at the dudes in the souped up pick-ups with monster tires, “Nice truck, shame about your dick!” until I told him that was a good way to get shot. That said, I’ve yelled a variation of it on several occassions at middle aged douchebags in Porsches and the like who treat pedestrians in the Financial District like pins in a bowling lane.

@Dodgerblue: I imagine some new iPad owners are typing with their stiffies and may soon suffer Jobs-sized priapisms. And boils.

I’m not bitter. Ima join Catt on the elliptical and have a good cry.

@JNOV: The important thing is that Jr got the thick envelope! Are you two waiting for other schools to respond?

@SanFranLefty: Nope — this was the only one. He was hamstrung by not having enough time to take the SAT II and application deadlines because he basically woke up one day in December and said he wanted to retake the SAT. I was like, cool, but you’re a little slow on the uptake. It’s okay though, because I want to ease him back into school. We sent the deposits today, sent off for his shot records, the whole nine. Now we wait for Fin Aid to get back to us. Ugh. Maybe he’ll stay, and maybe he’ll transfer. Who knows? But at least we know what he’ll be doing in September. HUZZAH!

@nojo: Hokay — I’m buying it. (The app, not the pad.) Maybe I’ll finally find Kolob.

@JNOV: I imagine some new iPad owners are typing with their stiffies

I was trying to! Um, well, not type exactly. But today I decided to check out Xtube on the pad — doesn’t work! Sends me to some mobile version that wants me to sign up for a service that only seems to have straight porn. Which I didn’t know until I signed up! And of course now having a very difficult time trying to cancel…

OH NOOOOOOES!!! I might have to return the gizmo.

@Pedo: Hahahahaha!

Too much light pollution to see the stars. Boo!

Hey, I’m waiting for the bus and then the train and imma see some local bands. One fuses Zappa with PFunk. That should be innerestin’…

Steve Jobs, release my iPad!

People want porn! Good, wholesome, US American porn! What did you think this device was supposed to be used for, anyway?

@Pedonator: Xtube isn’t HTML5? The nerve of them, not using open standards!

@nojo: Jeebus, when did we get to 5???

You mean, x-tube is all flash?

@Pedonator: If it’s not playing for you, it’s probably Flash or Silverlight.

And we’re kinda sorta in 5 already. Safari and Chrome (and similar WebKit browsers), maybe Firefox, maye IE9. It’s not exactly codified, but Apple’s pushing it hard.

@nojo: It’s not that it isn’t playing, I just can’t get into the site at all.

I know this is really the fault of xtube, but I was hoping to find a setting to tell Safari on the pad to not identify itself as a mobile device.

Then again, I guess frustration is just part of the erotic frisson.

@Pedonator: Ahhhh…

And really, I’m blowing my porn cred by not knowing this.

Yes, some sites overshot their browser ID sorting — whoever programs Stinque Mobile knew to be fine-grained, but some other sites do dump me into the fast-food version, thinking I’m on an iPhone. And since Apple wants this to be simple enough for Grandma to use, you can’t fake the browser string.

I think Xtube proper is Flash, which is why they created the diversion. But it’s been a very long time since I visited there, so I’m working from vaguely remembered hearsay.

@Pedonator: Okay, made me look…

I think you have to download/convert/transfer to your iPad. Which does take the immediacy out of it, but the website player is definitely Flash.

@nojo: Yeah, I wasn’t so lazy I didn’t do a minute or two of googling. Just waiting for someone else to crack the code, or complain to xtube enough that they rethink their marketing plan.

I understand if it’s Flash. I don’t pay attention if it just plays like it’s supposed to. Not gonna bother with downloading/converting/transferring. Who is?

I mean, the entire premise of the intertubes is instant gratification, no?

Meanwhile, I’m watching Zombieland on the pad and it really doesn’t suck.

@Pedonator: So much for having the whole Internet in your lap.

And so much for Adobe coyly suggesting that you’re missing out on Hulu. Yeah, right.

House party my fucking ass! Dude kicked us out at 1 am. WTF?

Do you get red tube on that thing? Oh, and I’m stuck in Crazy Taxi. Not nearly as fun as the game.

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