Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

"Vague"

by IdiotSavant Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 07:13:39 PM EST

From No Right Turn - New Zealand's liberal blog:

President Bush insists he needs a new law denying basic rights to terrorism suspects and granting American torturers a "get out of jail free" card because the Geneva Conventions are "vague".  Really?  Let's take a look at the section in question, Common Article 3.


This is common to all the Conventions, and the core of it states:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of the armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all cases be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth of wealth, or any other similar criteria.

(Emphasis added)

I think that's fairly clear: people taking no part in combat - which means those rotting in places like Guantanamo Bay or in the US's secret gulags - must be treated humanely. The only possible point of "vagueness" is what constitutes humane treatment - but given that the Bush administration has repeatedly promised humane treatment despite its assertions that its prisoners are not covered by Geneva, you'd think they have some idea. But just as a baseline, you can be sure that it rules out starving, baking or freezing people.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

Again, there's absolutely no vagueness here: you are not allowed to torture people, or subject them to "cruel treatment".  So, no waterboading or strapado, beatings and ERFings...

(b) taking of hostages;

No holding people's kids and threatening them either...

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

No stripping people, forcing them to wear women's underwear, or sticking them on a leash and forcing them to do dog tricks...

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

No kangaroo courts...

2. The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

And no denying medical care (in particular, painkillers) in an effort to get them to talk.

There is no "vagueness" here.  To the contrary, it is perfectly clear: the way the US has been treating prisoners is contrary to its international obligations under the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture, and to its domestic obligations under US law.  And those who have set this policy or ordered or participated in this treatment should be held to account.

Display:
This is all separate from the main point - proved over and over again, and voiced particularly by experienced military experts, that torture does not produce reliable information.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 04:35:45 AM EST
The main aim of torture is fear among those yet to be tortured or yet to be captured.

Fear is the main tool of Bush and his cronies. "You have nothing to fear but Bush himself"

In a vertical and hierarchical organization which depends on wide-ranging information collection and analysis for apt decision-making, the greatest distortion is to introduce fear into the system. Fear produces analysis that falsely provides the answers that the fear inducers want, not the answers dictated by the situation.

This is what we have been seeing for the last few years.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 06:38:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main aim of torture is fear among those yet to be tortured or yet to be captured.

Fear is the main tool of Bush and his cronies. "You have nothing to fear but Bush himself"

Absolutely. The man is a deluded little despot in the mould of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.

Does he even believe his own rhetoric?

In a vertical and hierarchical organization which depends on wide-ranging information collection and analysis for apt decision-making, the greatest distortion is to introduce fear into the system.

True, although this depends on the aims of the organisation. Dysfunctional organisations exist to massage the egos of their leaders, not to deal with problems and opportunities in a reality-based way.

From this point of view introducing fear hasn't been a distortion but a necessity.

The goal of the Warrr on Trrrrr has been to give tinpot Bush the chance to feel important and preznitential and historic. And also to make steaming piles of money for the arms dealers.

Both of these goals thrive on madness and destruction. Unfortnately, they haven't, as yet, been failures.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 10:00:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your qualification of it being a 'necessity' is the same as the 'necessity for distortion' - but let's not get into semantics again ;-)

But the far more important point here is that several ETers seem to be interested in persuing the meaning of dysfunctional organizations and the ends to which they may go to to fufill their agendas. These organizations, for me, include all 'fundamentalist' organizations such as Neocons, Jihadists, the NRA, the Roman Catholic church, Disney or the Sudanese government- among many others. Your list may be different. Everyone's list is different.

I was both pissed off by, and conciliatory toward J's repeat of "but I find the topic tasteless, pointless and mindless" in the Friday thread. I find that comment boorish in the extreme. It is, I assume, related to how it reflects on J personally, and, since it is his website and he is paying fpr it, that he is entitled to set whatever conditions he likes. Including conditions whereby contributors are forced into self-censorship.

But if he expects continuing contributions from people like me under those conditions - then I am out.

Referring to the Friday thread: Manon raised some technical questions about a small aspect of 9/11 based on personal professional knowledge and experience. These questions were debated by others with knowledge of the science, and others with no professional knowledge, except for common sense, and an interest in the discussion. That is how these matters should be handled at ET IMHO.

I feel that J is wrong in this, especially as 2 or 3 gnomes also contributed to the discussion (as did J hímself eventually, possibly sensing his remoteness)

In all other areas, such as culture for example, we have our vigorous discussions conducted from many different worldviews. Many of them are not resolved but evolve into running debates. But in general they are debates without limits.

So I would like a clear statement from the proprietors of this forum. If, as J adamantly maintains, a certain subject has been debunked and is no longer worthy of discussion, why is it that long term members continue to refer to it? It clearly hasn't been debunked at all. It has only been debunked in the mind of the proprietor.

The clear statement I would like to see is as to whether the rules of debate between consenting adults apply - with the ultimate sanction of troll-rating if the debate is intruded upon by one-way unsupported declarations, OR are we only allowed to discuss energy and economics?

Our present governments have lied to us about many things - as they have been doing since the beginning of so-called democracy. ET is a useful forum for discussing those lies, distortions, spins, ignorance and corruption. Economic analysis is a vital tool in exposing all of these things. Scientific analysis is just as important (oops I just made economics non-science). Cultural analysis is also crucial. Cultural analysis is what interests me.

I'd like to know that this forum will continue to support such analysis.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 08:21:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no censorship on ET, and all topics are welcome.

But please let's not call 'analysis' wild unsubstantiated assertions. Several of us waste a full evening trying to bring rational or factual elements in the discourse, which were dismissively rebuked.

I have not seen a single serious argument against that.

But feel free to indulge in all the wacky theories you think need proper consideration, but do not ask me to trat them seriously if they are not actually backed by facts, smart arguments or other reasonable evidence.

I'd be sorry to see you go.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 10:57:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can ignore them. You can make jokes about them. You can, as head gnome, put on every such diary that you dislike, a large caption that says "This is wacky and does not represent the management view"

But don't call them mindless please. That is an insult that I take personally.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 12:41:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the original discussion was between two apparent experts in plane engines and physics, respectively. I thought both relevant. Neither were trying - as I understood it - to promote any wider view of conspiracy or anything else. Simply discussing something that both knew something about.

Now I'm not sure of the timeline here, but in my opinion the level of debate changed after your comment about it being 'mindless'. But I may be wrong, I often am.

What started as a discussion of the professional interpretations of facts or evidence, became something else. However it could well be that our own views rorschach into how we interpret any discussion here.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 12:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, my comment was one of the early ones, coming just after 3 comments by manon which claimed not only that there was no plane hitting the Pentagon, but no plane in Pennsylvania either, and then that the first WTV hit was not a big plane either.

My mindless comment is was started the "debate", and I'm sorry I did.

There was no subtantiation, just doubt that it happened, and then requests for proof from the doubters. I was actually the first to provide any kind of substance which was instantly dismissed without any comment, but with abundant use of low ratings. DoDo provided more input as well, each time to be debunked with unsubstantiated arguments ("what you show me in that photo fits in a suitcase" or "you don't show me the whole plane so it's not enough").

There was one expert provding expertise, and one claiming expertise and saying that everything said by others was not correct or not convincing.

If manon had come up and said, a kerosene fire is such and such temperature, and tests show that such metal used in planes only vaporises at such (higher) temperature, then you'd have a discussion.
Sorry, but "this is not convincing" is not an argument.

You'll note that manon has troll rated me yet again. Yes, it is mindless.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 01:39:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jerome, you doubt my credentials?

You really are too much.

Firstly, I can state whatever I want as my thoughts or my doubts about anything.  I just wanted to share something interesting I had seen and in no way wanted to convince anyone of anything.

It was the reaction I got from people here, supposedly open-minded and intelligent people, that really got my back up.  They asked me to convince them and I really had no intention of doing so, but I became defensive about some thoughts I had shared.

Then, you stated that such thoughts were mindless, yada yada yada

Then I started getting challenged and troll rated by responding to those challenges.

Now, some people here might have degrees in Astrophysics, but I have a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and have worked in the field for over 10 years.  I have been involved in some investigations about engine failures that have resulted in loss of lives.

And, you somehow think that someone with a degree in astrophysics is somehow more qualified than I am in this field?  Tell me, for what reason?

Then, when questioned about my qualifications, I questioned my questioner about his.  It turns out that his understanding of the physical forces and mechanical engineering principles at work is not up to par, not to his discredit, as he is not a mechanical engineer.

Again, you saw fit to throw yourself into the melee and throw gratuituous insults my way, all because your professional reputation might be tarnished by publishing something you consider unserious on your blog.

Meanwhile, two days later, my professional credentials are still being questioned in a sly, underhanded way, while your own consipiracy theories about $100 oil are being discussed seriously for the second year running, I believe.

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 01:55:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your graps of facts is tenuous. Not a single one of YOUR comments has been troll rated, and definitely not by me. I NEVER EVER troll rate someone I'm discussing with. MY comments, including this one again, have been repeatedly trollrated by you.

I don't doubt your credentials, I just say that you have not used them to provide the kinds of arguments that you should be able to muster easily, thus the assertion that your claims are 'unsubtantiated'. With your knowledge, backing what you say with hard facts should be easy enough, and yet you keep on doing it.

I have zero mechanical engineering competence, beyond a decent education in maths and physics. I have provided the kinds of backing for my assertions that I could, i.e. pictures that I googled.

I was the only one to call you mindless; several others encouraged you, so it's not like there's a nasty cabal against you. Yet you chose never to respond with arguments, instead reverting to feeling insulted.

I feel sorry for you.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 02:09:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are extremely ungracious - Sven started a conversation about freedom of speech, and you turn it into an attack against me.  I would have never mentionned it, were it not for your under-handed attacks against me.

I did not explain because frankly, I have no idea what people's levels of understanding are, and a lot of mechanical engineering is intuitive which is not the forte of the people whose background I know - like Migeru.

I once stepped into a test cell and told the mechanics there was something wrong with the running engine.  They had been working with it for weeks.  They scoffed at me.  I had a closer look at the electronic data that had been stored and found that one of the scales on the display  was wrong (off by a factor of 3).  The compressor bearing was vibrating much more heavily than anyone believed, probably because it was cracked and was about to rupture causing the entire compressor to spray compressor blades all over the test cell.  

To this day, I have no idea why I thought that.  There were quite a few engineers and mechanics who were completely amazed.   Maybe it was the sound of the engine?  I don't know but I was right.  And I have been right on many such occasions.  You'll probably say that is bragging.

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 02:22:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm happy that you have real achievements under your belt, and I am perfectly fine with people bragging about real things. (I gave you a '4' in the other thread when you bragged about something real)

The problem I have is that you have dismissed increasing volumes of (apparent) evidence with curt messages and no real arguments beyond authority  ('I know') or spurious stuff ('what you've shown me fits in a suitcase').

There's nothing under-handed about my attacks. They've been addressed to you all along. Sven brought up the topic again, so I responded to him.

Again, you're the one troll rating me all over the place. And yet I'm still arguing here. Which means that I still have hope...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 02:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I did not dismiss them.  I told them dozens of times:  there is no wreckage.  Where are the seats?  Where is the luggage?  Where are the bodies?

They just dismissed me, or showed me wreckage of the air circulation system of the building.  I kept asking:  where is the wreckage?  They showed me a picture of a diffuser case.  It takes much more than a diffuser case to make an engine.

I told them that this was the first case in recorded history that an aircraft was vaporized, and they told me that I had to take angle into account.  When I told them that the angle, when taken into account, had a very small effect, decreasing the 562 mph forward velocity to perhaps 400 mph, they told me about gravity and terminal velocity.  The aircraft hit the building horizontally, not vertically, so gravity had very little effect and even if it did, the terminal velocity of a human being is 120 feet/sec whereas the forward velocity of the aircraft is 762 feet/sec.  This was all discussed, but NOBODY WOULD HEAR ME.

I think this is the real issue here and one that I have encountered many times in engineering with engineers.  They don't listen when women speak, dismiss their credentials and then claim it was the woman's fault.

I believe you and DoDo are guilty of the same thing.

As for troll rating you, I troll rate you and you call my comments stupid and baseless etc and the worst I say is that you are ungracious, which you are.

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 02:38:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh goody, bring in sexism now.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:13:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if the shoe fits ...
by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:36:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you say that no plane has ever vaporised. That's not what I've read, and does not correspond to pictures I've seen of other crashes.

You have not substantiated that assertion in any way (apart from accusing us of not believing you just because you're a woman, and not because you make unproven assertions)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:15:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well if  you have said it or read it, or anybody else has heard of such a thing, it's news to me

please provide a reference so you can educate me.

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
manon, this is not a direct personal reply to you, but to all in this sub-thread who want to continue it -- couldn't it take place in the Open Thread rather than choke up IdiotSavant's diary?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:37:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pourquoi ne pas le dire au responsable, pourquoi a moi?

mais est-ce que les Francais, vous etes tous aussi sexistes?

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I said it was NOT A DIRECT PERSONAL COMMENT BUT ADDRESSED TO ALL IN THE SUBTHREAD!!! Can you read?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
mais il n'y avait qu'un seul nom - le mien.  ou bien ta maitrise de la langue anglaise n'est pas tres bonne  ou bien tu ne te rends meme pas compte de ce que tu fais
by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:49:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. I am not French, manon, I am British. Now you know.

  2. I leeched on to your comment simply because it was the last one in the subthread at that moment.

  3. I spoke to you by your name out of courtesy. I wish you would show some.

Now are you and others going to get the fuck out of here and over to the Open Thread???
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:53:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and I would appreciate the courtesy of not being singled out.  

Firstly, I am not responsible for this discussion on this thread.  Jerome is.  He changed the tone from one of discussion of freedom of speech on this blog to a direct attack on my professional credentials.

Jerome is also the editor of this blog.

If you were to address a single person by name, it would have to be he.

I am only responding to his attacks against me.

I have no idea why you mentionned my name at all, but if you wanted to give me the impression that you were not aiming at me, you did an extremely poor job of it.

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You were not singled out. I explained to you: your comment was at the bottom of the subthread when I wanted to suggest the discussion take place elsewhere, so I used it to address all those who were in the discussion. I said so very clearly in hopes you would not misunderstand. Whatever explanations I give, you still refuse to understand.

So do what you like.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:07:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The thing is, like I said in the last Open Thread, we have no control over the evidence that we have been given. Hence there is no way for us to say, with absolute certainty: "it happened", or "it didn't happen", without making concessions.

When facts/evidence are not 100% consensually accepted, there is no simple conspiracy that's too unreal, and inversely no simple truth that's too unreal. Occam's razor has not been proven yet. In fact Occam's razor applies to Occam's razor, ie. which of the following makes fewer assumptions:

A) Occam's razor is true
B) Occam's razor is either true or false

Just to wink at you Jérôme for the other night, Ségolène's picture on the beach could indeed very well not be one of her. Or could indeed very well be her and the need to question that is then totally silly. I guess it all depends on context, sometimes we are inclined to accept what we are told, sometimes not.

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One last desperate appeal before I go away and shoot myself: this is a huge off-topic subthread which is not fair to IdiotSavant. There's an Open Thread.

What the fuck's going on, anyway? Is there a bad configuration of the moon and Saturn, or is it the equinox, or what?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:12:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pluto's relegation is causing havoc as you can see.
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:14:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's see... Gravity in fact determines the forces that the aircraft engines can generate, and the lift from aurodynamic effects. As long as the structural integrity of the aircraft is not an issu (i.e., at all times before impact) one can assume that there are no sustained accelerations larger than gravity in order of magnitude. Otherwise passenger flights would be so uncomfortable so as to be impractical. Normal lift basically balances gravity, etc.

So, we have the acceleration of gravity (9.8 m/s^2) and the speed of the plane (230 m/s from 762 ft/s). From this I can construct a characteristic length (v^2/g = 5.4 Km) and a characteristic time scale (v/g = 23 s).

Flight 77 was a 757 with a length of 50m, a wingspan of 40m and a tail height of 14m. The Pentagon is 24m tall and each of the outer walls is 280m long. A typical runway will be typically narrower than the pentagon's walls (under 100m) but at least a couple of kilometres long (the relevant dimension to compare with the height of the pentagon).

Terminal velocity is irrelevant: a plane is not spherical, to recall the famous joke about the mathematician and the cow.

This is all before impact, but there was some discussion of the target approach last night. On impact, gravity indeed seems irrelevant again, except that structures such as planes and buildings are, again, designed so that internal stresses at rest balance gravity. So gravity again can give a useful idea of orders of magnitude.

The great Richard Feynman was once giving a lecture about the forces of nature and he says "gravity is incredibly weak", at which point one of the loudspeakers in the lecture hall fell from the wall. Feynman said "weak, but not negligible".

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:39:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since manon accuses me of sexism for having placed a comment on the last comment in the subthread at that moment, let me have a go at a man instead: don't you think it's unfair to IdiotSavant to crud up his diary with this off-topic discussion? There's an Open Thread, and no it isn't a fucking firing range and no it isn't fucking open for business and shape up all of you!!!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 03:50:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will not tolerate obviously misanthropic comments on "my" blog. They're torturing me. Vaguely.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:08:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you really are ungracious
by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, yes, you're right. I posted after reading updated comments, sorry. No need to hijack this diary!
by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
chill
by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:17:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I fucking suggest fucking making the fucking subthread editorial and everyone can fucking repost their fucking comments in the fucking open thread if they fucking feel like it.

I note your comment and my comment were almost simultaneous. If I had read your comment I wouldn't have posted this one. I apologize.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:22:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks very fucking much. I don't know how to make it editorial, I spend all my nights making wooden toys and they haven't sent me to gnome school yet.

The fuckings weren't personal. It's just, as Alex says, that demoting Pluto is causing all kinds of trouble...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:26:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mine weren't personal either, I just felt like making a vice-presidential comment.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:29:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so, a 'cheney moment'...

meaning a brief but all-telling emergence of psychopathology usually embedded in a matrix of normal 'homo neurotico-economicus' behaviour.

a subset of 'dick-brain', subsuset of 'miserable failure' and 'can't shoot straight' socio-cultural vectors

file under 'foulmouthed megalomaniac'!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Sep 18th, 2006 at 05:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oops, i meant to tie he threads together with humour's ribbon:

it's big dick who's behind the torture as much as georgie, i'll brt my viagra on it!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Sep 18th, 2006 at 05:55:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, "disappearing" the subthread might not be the very smartest thing to do...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:29:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People can retrieve it from their own comment lists. I will personally defend the gnomes against accusations of censorship if the thread is hidden.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, no - gravity does not determine the forces that an aircraft engine can generate

there are two ways to address this:

  1.  the lift you can theoretically get from an aircraft wing

  2.  the thrust or torque that an aircraft engine can generate

gravity plays a small part in the lift that you can generate, as a downwards force, but the Bernoulli equation for incompressible fluids (of which air is with a Mach number under .6) is the determining equation here - the lift generated is the result of the pressure differential across a surface (and gravity is taken into account in that equation)

gravity plays no part in the equation of the thrust or the torque that an engine can generate - this is limited by the efficiency of the compressor, which is dictated by its mechanical design and the physical properties of the fluid (air is considered to be a fluid) being used

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's take this to the open thread.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 17th, 2006 at 04:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In your previous diary Some "revolt" you said writes US torturers a big fat "get out of jail free" card. I followed the link to see exactly what you meant and found, among other obscenities such as denying habeas corpus to foreigners under US custody outside the US,
"In any civil action or criminal prosecution against an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States Government who is a United States person, arising out of the officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent's engaging in specific operational practices, that involve detention and interrogation of aliens who the President or his designees have determined are believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity that poses a serious, continuing threat to the United States, its interests, or its allies, and that were officially authorized and determined to be lawful at the time that they were conducted, it shall be a defense that such officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent did not know that the practices were unlawful and a person of ordinary sense and understanding would not know the practices were unlawful. Good faith reliance on advice of counsel should be an important factor, among others, to consider in assessing whether a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the practices to be unlawful."
First of all, it has been a common principle of law at least since the time of the Romans that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Second of all, this recognizes the possibility that "unlawful practices" may be "officially authorised and determined to be lawful at the time they were conducted". My head is about to explode.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 05:50:29 AM EST
Well there are two possible things that you might be vague about, one is what the law is, the other is what Torture is now that is also pretty straightforward  I'll give you

the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity

from unhcr under this, it appears that you are only allowed to have stronger laws than those specified in the convention.

To bring in this change to the law, does the US not have to withdraw from the convention on torture?

the bit that I think should most wory them is Article 2

Article 2

    1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

    2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

    3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

or for even more fun how about Article 8

Article 8

    1. The offences referred to in article 4 shall be deemed to be included as extraditable offences in any extradition treaty existing between States Parties. States Parties undertake to include such offences as extraditable offences in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them.

    2. If a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of such offences. Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested State.

So which country wants to step up to the plate and extradite the whole lot of them?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 09:59:01 AM EST

Persons taking no active part in the hostilities

Does not apply to the new category of "unlawful combatants". So you need to go see the wording in the 4th convention that applies to others than "prisoners of war", as I pointed out in my lastest story on that topic.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 11:53:02 AM EST
The ICRC begs to differ. So does the US Supreme Court.
by IdiotSavant on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 05:24:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Article 4 says the following:
A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

  1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

  2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

  1. Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

  2. Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

  3. Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

  4. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.

B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:

  1. Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

  2. The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties.

C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. — Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 16th, 2006 at 05:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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