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Canadian Monitors "Discover" Torture in Afghanistan

by FPS Doug Fri Jan 25th, 2008 at 03:27:39 AM EST

According to the New York Times, Canadian monitors have discovered evidence that the Afghan Army tortured detainees.

In one report, the monitors said one prisoner told them he had been beaten with cables and wires and received electrical shocks. "He showed us a number of scars on his legs which he said were caused by the beating," they wrote.  Another detainee told the diplomatic visitors to look under a chair in the room in which they were meeting. "Under the chair we found a large piece of braided electrical cable as well as a rubber hose," the report said.

Some unanswered questions:

How long were the Canadian monitors in the room without noticing a large piece of braided electrical cable and a rubber hose under a chair?

Was one of the Canadian monitors actually sitting on the chair?


 
Canadian monitors are still searching for evidence of sheep and mountains in Afghanistan.

 

Comments >> (2 comments)

Democrats Google Mohammed Hagi Fiz

by FPS Doug Fri Jan 18th, 2008 at 10:32:06 AM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

Sometimes I wonder why Congressional Democrats and the leading Presidential contenders never mention Mohammed Hagi Fiz, who was arrested on the basis of an "al Qaeda card" that turned out to be a bus pass for Oraguz, tortured for 8 months in Guantanamo, and released without being charged with any crime.


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A simple Google image search for "Mohammed Hagi Fiz" reveals the answer to this puzzle. Democrats aren't indifferent, they're just confused.

Some Democrats went directly to page 3 of Google image results for Mohammed Hagi Fiz, and discovered that Mr. Fiz is actually Mike Tyson!


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It's hard to summon up much righteous indignation about Guantanamo if you think it's full of ear-biting ex-boxers!

Democrats who skipped directly to page 4 of the image results learned that Mohammed Hagi Fiz looks a lot like Mickey Mantle.


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Anyone who thinks the United States is torturing Hall-of-Fame centerfielders in Guantanamo is obviously insane, so why worry?

Happiest of all were the few Democrats who followed Google's suggestion (Did you mean Mohammed Haji Fiz?) and discovered that Mohammed Haji Fiz is just another avatar of Fidel Castro.


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Fidel totally knows how to have a good time anywhere, so I guess it's okay for all of us good Democrats to forget about Guantanamo and go back to business as usual: following the polls, and fighting with each other.

GOP to Gitmo!

by FPS Doug Thu Jan 17th, 2008 at 07:17:40 PM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

Now that the GOP (prounounced "gopp," rhymes with "stop," sounds like General Petraeus swallowing a huge booger) has had their fun with Guantanamo, torturing old men like Mohammed Hagi Fiz...


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(Fiz was arrested on the basis of an "al Qaeda card" that turned out to be a bus-pass for Oruzgan... You think I could make this shit up?... tortured for 8 months, and released without being charged with any crime.)

Now it's our turn to have some fun with Gitmo!

January 20, 2009, a Democratic President is (probably) going to be inaugurated, and we maniacs of the Militant Revenge Wing of the Democratic Party are ready to slam every Republican in Washington directly into chain-link micro-cells on Guantanamo Bay!

I'm not saying we know exactly what to charge them with, but how long can it take to beat confessions out of a bunch of chickenshit warmongers who never saw a war they didn't want somebody else to fight?

Best of all, the Non-Militant Rollover Wing of the Democratic Party can pretend that none of it is happening, just like they pretend that none of it is happening right now!

Comments >> (5 comments)

Uncoupling Shock and Awe

by FPS Doug Sat Jan 12th, 2008 at 09:03:18 AM EST

Homer made mistakes, Shakespeare made mistakes, Abraham Lincoln made mistakes, and every time I suddenly recognize yet another mistake in the otherwise beautiful and self-evident flow of one of my essays, I still hope against hope that it's the sort of mistake Homer or Shakespeare or Lincoln could have made.

Please, God, don't let me make exactly the same mistake as a gang of imbeciles like George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Doug Feith!

But there it is, all over diary after diary! Shock and Awe, almost to the letter! So what if I can allege a tiny variation? In the glare of reality, shock and re-evalution is just as stupid as the stupidest brain-fart that ever passed for an idea between the ears of our demented President.

The U.S. Air Force shocked Iraq for sure, and of course it never occurred to the arrogant morons in the Pentagon and White House that rage is an enormously more likely reaction to a brutal beating than awe, which is something like a sublime form of the virtue of humility, a state of mind even more alien to Bush, Feith, and Rumsfeld than whatever passes for metaphysics in the mind of a lobster.

So the day after Americans marched into Baghdad, instead of contemplating the infinite depth of the heavens and all the stealth bombers whizzing around in them with awe, the Iraqis erupted in an orgy of looting and general destruction of all undefended property both public and private.

Meanwhile I was busy writing diaries and emails and essays in every conceivable form, with the pervasive modus operandi of knocking one fixed idea or another slightly askew, assuming against all evidence that a little re-evaluation would follow every little shock.

Imagine my surprise when a hail-storm of flames, insults, and troll-ratings poured down on my pointy little head, instead of the gentle rain of insight I expected, and of course I responded in kind. I shock you, you shock me, and so on forever.

I can shock you and you can shock me, but we can't shock each other into awe or humility or insight, and every time we yield to the human and all-too-human temptation to believe we can beat or brutalize each other into whatever virtue may serve our momentary convenience, we inevitably turn ourselves into something just as stupid as the stupidest sons-of-bitches on the face of the earth.


Editor's note: FPS Doug is obviously depressed by the unfortunate response to his essays, and mistakenly identifies with the typical mob of bloggers who have no interest in any discussion beyond confirmation of their own fixed ideas. This re-evaluative essay contradicts its own thesis that re-evaluation never follows shock, and demonstrates instead that if you offer truth-seekers like FPS Doug a choice between self-annihilation and the paralysis of fixed ideas, they inevitably choose suicide.

Comments >> (2 comments)

Obamarama

by FPS Doug Fri Jan 11th, 2008 at 01:57:13 PM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

Isn't Obama more like a theme park than a candidate?

Visit the Garden of Hope in the world-famous Obamarama! Welcome to the Pavillion of Audacity!

The lion lies down with the lamb in the bi-partisan Zoo of Obamarama, and religious divisions also disappear in a Fog of Blandiloquence, as Jesus and Mohammed merge seamlessly into Oprah, the Prophetess of Pop Psychology!

Tell your Mom and Dad you don't want to vacation in Republican Goonland ever again. Forget about Corporate Hillarydale!

All the hip kids are headed for Obamarama!

Comments >> (1 comment)

All the Candidates Deserve a Beating Instead of a Vote

by FPS Doug Thu Jan 10th, 2008 at 01:34:44 PM EST

Our world is burning, and the leading candidates of both major political parties in the United States just keep blathering platitudes...

Democrats want to help children. Republicans want to defend the nation.

Hurrah. Whatever.

Our world is burning, and it's time to draft everybody into one big fire brigade, but the candidates just keep blathering platitudes from Oprah or the New Deal or Morning in America.

Our world is burning, and it's too late for pitiful New Year's resolutions about not playing with fire.

It's too late for imbecile macho posturing from Giuliani and Romney and McCain, and it's too late for Hillary and Barack trying to act even more macho than those macho imbeciles.

It's too late for the dishwater populism of Edwards and Huckabee. A bigger slice of the pie won't do the average Joe much good if it all burns up in the door of the oven.

All the candidates deserve a beating instead of a vote.

And even if Dennis Kucinich doesn't deserve the same beating as the rest of them, he still needs to remmber that a bigger slice of the pie won't do the average Joe much good if it all burns up in the door of the oven.

Comments >> (5 comments)

Oil and Whores: From OPEC to OWEC

by FPS Doug Wed Jan 9th, 2008 at 11:41:40 AM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

Wouldn't it be pleasant to have a term for every entity that makes money from oil? "OPEC" leaves out Exxon, and "Big Oil" leaves out Iran. Maybe we should just call them "the lucky few"...

But actually most of the population of OPEC has no luck at all. The sweetest oil in the world comes from Nigeria, where the typical village is a shanty town built around a leak in a pipeline, and in spite of the record profits of GazProm, the most characteristic export of Russia and the rest of the old Soviet Union is whores. The latest international slang-word for whore is "Natasha," familiar to room service from London to Singapore: "Send us up a magnum of champagne and a couple of Natashas."

Now that Iran has moved up in the ranks of whore-exporters, it may be time to change the relevant acronym from OPEC to OWEC (the Organization of Whore Exporting Countries).

It would add a little reality to the next group photograph of all those oil ministers in their beautiful suits.


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Update, 12 hours after posting: Since this diary only attracted 3 comments on Daily Kos, all of them objecting to the word "whore," a much more serious issue for the "progressive" American bourgeoisie than the international traffic of brutalized and enslaved women, and I don't expect much more concern from bourgeois commenters in Europe, it's obviously up to the diarist to supply a few obvious questions about why oil-producing countries are such prolific suppliers of prostitutes for the foreign market. After all, there are much poorer countries than Iran and Russia.

The collapse of local economies is the main contributor to the flourishing export market in prostitution out of the oil-producing sheikdoms, dictatorships, and semi-dictatorships of OPEC. When the "lucky few" who control essentially all the money can afford beautiful pomodori imported by airmail from Italy, what business do they have with humble local tomatoes? Village economies collapse, excess female labor accumulates in the metropole, and predators appear.
In the oil-producing zones, these predators have access to sums of money that pitiful wannabee pimps in countries like Mongolia can't match, and however much the prostitutes of tomorrow may be brutalized in transit, their handlers still have to deliver them to London alive. You just can't smuggle a prostitute in the wheel-well of a car like a kilo of heroin. Oil money provides for all the little extra expenses involved in transporting human cargo, in one of the few instances where the "trickle-down" economics of Ronald Reagan and his friends actually operates as advertised.

Comments >> (3 comments)

An Extra $1,800,000,000,000 Per Year for Oil

by FPS Doug Tue Jan 8th, 2008 at 01:06:48 PM EST

(from the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

In March 2002, when Mr. Bush began his excellent adventure in Iraq, oil was selling for $20 per barrel. Oil prices briefly touched $100 per barrel this year, and the Department of Energy expects the price of oil to stabilize above $80 for the rest of 2008; about a $60 increase since we shocked and awed Iraq.

The United States consumes about 20,000,000 barrels of oil per day, so the $60 per barrel Bush dividend to OPEC is costing us $1,200,000,000 per day, $8,400,000,000 per week, $420,000,000,000 per year.

Is that really a lot of money? The typical price of an employer health plan covering a family of four in the United States is around $12,000, so instead of a Big Payoff for Big Oil, $420,000,000,000 would buy health insurance for 140,000,000 Americans.

You may think the price of oil naturally rises, and maybe the invasion of Iraq only caused a small fraction of the price increase between 2002 and 2008. But between 1990 and 2001 the price of oil went from $23 to $23 per barrel, essentially nowhere, with dips as low as $12 per barrel for 1998.

Demand in China and India grew from 1990 to 2001, the First Gulf War came and went, and there was always enough news to fill the newspapers, but the price of oil went nowhere. Then we put 150,000 soldiers in Iraq and killed 1,200,000 Muslims, and the price of oil went somewhere. Maybe it's just a coincidence.

That $420,000,000,000 per year payoff only counts US consumption. That's just the tab for Joe Budweiser. What about the rest of the world?

World-wide oil consumption is running at about 86,000,000 barrels per day. Repeating the previous calculations,  the Bush dividend for OPEC increases from $420,000,000,000 per year to a respectable $1,800,000,000,000 per year for our friends in Iran, Russia, Texas, and Saudi Arabia. That an extra $1.8 trillion per year payoff.

It's a very thrilling number!  

Comments >> (4 comments)

Countdown to $200 Oil and Nickel Heroin (Update)

by FPS Doug Sat Jan 5th, 2008 at 12:04:45 PM EST

$200 oil will be very bad news for the bourgeoisie (insert dozens of links), but every cloud has a silver lining (or similar proverb), and although the Youth of Tomorrow may never see a decent wage in the crashing economy, he, she, or it can look forward to cheaper and cheaper thrills from our allies in Afghanistan.    

According to the DEA, Afghani heroin is now selling in Los Angeles at $90 for a highly pure gram. That works out to about a dime per pure milligram (compared to $2.50 in 1975, equivalent to about $10 in today's money). Five milligrams is a hefty dose for a naive user. So a first heroin experience is now available for less than the price of a candy bar.

Fifty cents for a ride on the White Dragon!

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (Forty miles of bad road/ If the Bible is right, the world will explode), and honest valedictorians of the Class of 2008 will forget about promoting traditional virtues to their unfortunate classmates.  

Your pension will be annulled! Inflation will zero out your pitiful savings! Your children will beg in the streets! Your world will dry up and burn down!

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

That's your future, riding a 100 mph Santa Ana wind across the sky!

You can't stop it, you can't even slow it down, but you don't have to feel a thing, thanks to our friends and allies in Afghanistan.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Fifty cents for a ride on the White Dragon



Update: The Arithmetic of Heroin Tourism

For junkies who love to travel, France is the destination of choice.

The price of a gram of heroin in France is $28 to $42, and has been stable for two or three years.
With a fairly good connection, and a 5-grams-per-diem monkey on your back, your round-trip trans-Atlantic airfare will pay for itself on a three-day weekend: 3 x 5 x $28 = $420, compared to 3 x 5 x $90 = $1350, for a savings of $930.

Ask your travel agent for details.

Comments >> (3 comments)

Countdown to $200 Oil and Nickel Heroin

by FPS Doug Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 10:23:13 AM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

$200 oil will be very bad news for the bourgeoisie (insert dozens of links), but every cloud has a silver lining (or similar proverb), and although the Youth of Tomorrow may never see a decent wage in the crashing economy, he, she, or it can look forward to cheaper and cheaper thrills from our allies in Afghanistan.    

According to the DEA, Afghani heroin is now selling in Los Angeles at $90 for a highly pure gram. That works out to about a dime per pure milligram (compared to $2.50 in 1975, equivalent to about $10 in today's money). Five milligrams is a hefty dose for a naive user. So a first heroin experience is now available for less than the price of a candy bar.

Fifty cents for a ride on the White Dragon!

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (Forty miles of bad road/ If the Bible is right, the world will explode), and honest valedictorians of the Class of 2008 will forget about promoting traditional virtues to their unfortunate classmates.  

Your pension will be annulled! Inflation will zero out your pitiful savings! Your children will beg in the streets! Your world will dry up and burn down!

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

That's your future, riding a 100 mph Santa Ana wind across the sky!

You can't stop it, you can't even slow it down, but you don't have to feel a thing, thanks to our friends and allies in Afghanistan.

Free Image Hosting at allyoucanupload.com

Fifty cents for a ride on the White Dragon!

 

Comments >> (133 comments)

Hypocrisy in Congress and 'Democracy' in Pakistan

by FPS Doug Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 03:40:33 PM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

The same Nancy Pelosi who has led Democratic investigations of nothing in the year since she became Speaker of the House now threatens to cut off aid to Pakistan unless they conduct an investigation of the assasination of Benazir Bhutto that meets the high standards of the do-nothing rollover Democratic Congress!

"There must be an international investigation of this despicable crime."

The genius part of Pelosi's suggestion is the international aspect of the investigation. Maybe the US should set a good example of putting international investigators in charge of prosecuting our own political crimes! A team of detectives from the Arab League investigates Guantanamo! Another team from Iran investigates 9/11... with full power to serve warrants, make arrests, and execute criminals!

Dick Cheney, watch out! The Iraqi police are coming to getcha!

So let's forget about the despicable crime perpetrated on Jose Padilla! Forget about the despicable criminal establishment at Guantanamo Bay! Forget about impeaching the murderer in the White House, and let's hold Musharraf to a high standard that the gutless Democrats never even approached on the best day they ever had since the people voted them into the majority.

If the Democrats had any real interest in stablizing Pakistan, they would cut off funding for the idiotic occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and take away the main tool for recruiting suicide bombers from Madrid to Jakarta, and if they had any real understanding of politics anywhere outside the Beltway, they wouldn't be making a heroine out of Benazir Bhutto, who presided over one of the most monstrously corrupt regimes in the monstrously corrupt history of "democracy" in Pakistan, as documented in John Burns' excellent article for the Times in 1998. At least $100 million was extracted from the starving population by Benazir and the same charming husband who now refuses to allow an autopsy of his assassinated partner in crime, because an autopsy would make it so much harder to accuse Musharraf of a cover-up.

The corruption of Benazir's administration isn't a hanging offense in our particular system of "justice," which forgives all crimes at the top, but corruption was part of the hodge-podge of charges that hanged her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979. That whole freak show, which saw the Supreme Court of Pakistan adjourned by the Chief Justice to avoid a reversal of Zulfikar's death sentence, should serve as yet another reminder that the concept of "democracy" in Pakistan is just a sad joke.

 

Comments >> (12 comments)

Aaron Sorkin Steals a Great Role From Julia Roberts

by FPS Doug Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 05:04:50 PM EST

Charlie Wilson's War should have belonged to Julia Roberts, playing Joanne Herring, the Texas socialite who made Charlie Wilson dance like a horny little puppet for her friends in Pakistan. Instead we get Tom Hanks in yet another role that he turns into something likeable in the same way that everybody likes oatmeal.

In this case the oatmeal is Charlie Wilson, a Congressman with nothing remarkable about him except a taste for militant Christian babes and cocaine, which would make him a dead ringer for Aaron Sorkin and his little thing for coke and Kristen Chenowith, except that instead of a third-tier TV star, Charlie Wilson hooked up with a fanatical aristocratic adventuress who should have been the basis for one of the greatest roles ever played by a mature American actress, and Julia Roberts was perfect for it!  

If Aaron Sorkin had written Erin Brockovich he would have named it Ed Masry, after the old lawyer played by Albert Finney, and Albert Finney would have been the star. Whatever it takes to keep women just slightly out of the spotlight!

Mainstream critics like Roger Ebert are so embedded in the sexist Hollywood paradigm that they totally buy into Sorkin's version of Joanne Herring as a bit player in the story of Charlie Wilson:

Charlie Wilson's War is said to be based on fact, and I have no reason to doubt that. It stars Tom Hanks as Rep. Charles Wilson, a swinging, hard-drinking, coke-using liberal Democrat from Texas who more or less single-handedly defeated the Russians in Afghanistan.

As dim as his review may be, Ebert still mentions the odd little fact that it was Joanne Herring who dreamed up the only really brilliant ploy in the whole crazy operation:

Problem was, the United States couldn't afford to have American-made weapons found in Afghanistan. Herring's solution: The Israelis had lots of shoulder-mounted Soviet-made anti-aircraft weapons, which they could supply to the Afghans through the back channel of Pakistan? What? asks Charlie. Pakistan and Israel working together? Herring arranges for Wilson to meet her personal friend General Zia, the military dictator of Pakistan, who hates the Russians as much as she does.

Yeah, Roger, Pakistan and Israel working together, and neither you or Charlie Wilson or Aaron Sorkin could have imagined it or made it happen in a million years!

But you can't really expect a middle-brow movie reviewer like Roger Ebert to understand the back story. That was Aaron Sorkin's responsibility, and instead he rubber-stamped the whole project with his testosterone world-view, where men are the center of everything, and women help.

Would somebody please throw this sexist, burned-out old coke-rummy Aaron Sorkin out of Hollywood before he vomits all over another screen near me!

Comments >> (4 comments)

MIT Study Finds Tin Foil Hats Assist CIA Trackers

by FPS Doug Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 08:45:36 PM EST

(From the notebooks of "Jacob Freeze")

So there I was, crouching in a sub-basement in my tin foil hat, thinking the CIA couldn't locate me with the chip they implanted in my brain at birth. I was so wrong!

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In research conducted at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, originally published in 2005 but completely suppressed by the mainstream media, Ali Rahimi, Ben Recht, Jason Taylor, and Noah Vawter discovered that instead of attenuating all radio signals, tin foil hats actually amplify exactly the same waveband used by GPS trackers!

Rahimi, Recht, Taylor, and Vawter conclude that the urban legend about the efficacity of tin foil hats was most likely promulgated by the FCC to assist other government agencies (OGA) tasked with tracking down "subversives."

They know where we are!

Editor's note:  The study reported here and the absurd skit by "Jacob Freeze" that presents it were rescued from an otherwise well-deserved obscurity because of the mysterious convergence between predator and prey which persuaded paranoids intent on escaping electronic surveillance by the CIA to select exactly the right material for revealing their location to imaginary persecutors, a situation strangely reminiscent of the convergence in particle physics between a newly created positron and the electron that inevitably appears out of nowhere on exactly the right track to intersect and merge with the positron in mutual annihilation.

So analogously with basic physics we can predict that the CIA will eventually intersect and merge with the community of paranoids so completely that the Agency will be laughed out of existence because all its resources will be devoted to surveillance of tin foil hats.

Comments >> (12 comments)

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