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Bloggingheads 04-24-2009 03:58 PM

The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 

uncle ebeneezer 04-24-2009 05:09 PM

Re: Bill Scher's New Conservative Mantra!!
 
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/192...3:25&out=13:31

popcorn_karate 04-24-2009 05:22 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I am commenting shirtless while twirling my 'stache

and it feels so good!

if only the apollo project were off the ground...

uncle ebeneezer 04-24-2009 05:46 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I'm surprised that Bill didn't ask the obvious follow-up question about the supposed evidence that torture works: ie- if there's all this evidence, why wasn't it released during the Bush administration (especially when it became clear to anyone with even a partially fucntioning brain that that was what was happening under Bush's watch), and why aren't Cheney et al coming out with specific examples now in their weekly Fox appearances?

Shouter 04-24-2009 06:00 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
As part of his interesting project to characterize torture as a historically liberal tactic, Matt asserts that Pat Buchannan and other paleo-cons would have hated the torture policies of the past administration, but that seems to ignore the fact that Buchannan has been vociferously defending the policy on television for the last week, and claiming that the release of the memos is endangering us.

Torturing people as public policy is unique in our history. Other violations of civil rights are well distributed among the parties, but as to torture being liberal in nature, the assertion is, of course, indefensible cant, and the evidence is flatly false.

TwinSwords 04-24-2009 06:41 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Hey Eb, do you know where the links are to the debunking of the claim that waterboarding stopped an attack in LA? I saw you guys talking about it a few days ago but don't remember which thread it was in.

Silver~Guy 04-24-2009 07:30 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Watching these two almost reminds me of watching a small child's show where two friendly characters with different views become great friends. They each have their different views, but everyone wants to be loved!

pampl 04-24-2009 08:11 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I'm really enjoying Lewis' tenure as the conservative blogporter. The torture part was pretty silly but it was sort of a tangent anyways.

piscivorous 04-24-2009 08:31 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
It is classified information and only the current administration is allowed to declassify it. Unlike many who don't believe that national security matters are not to be violated there are still individuals that think it is proper to follow the rules on classified information. If you had been paying attention you will notice that Mr Cheney has filed a FOI for two documents this week and I'm fairly sure that they will be related to showing the efficacy of enhanced interrogation. The question is will the Obama Administration be willing to release this information, or will it continue to selectively release only the side of the picture it wants to show.

bjkeefe 04-24-2009 11:23 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 111380)
Hey Eb, do you know where the links are to the debunking of the claim that waterboarding stopped an attack in LA? I saw you guys talking about it a few days ago but don't remember which thread it was in.

I think what you're looking for is in the "Another Thing Jesus Would Not Do" thread. I quoted the key passage from the article uncle eb linked to in this post.

bjkeefe 04-24-2009 11:26 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 111389)
It is classified information and only the current administration is allowed to declassify it. Unlike many who don't believe that national security matters are not to be violated there are still individuals that think it is proper to follow the rules on classified information. If you had been paying attention you will notice that Mr Cheney ...

(*sound of phonograph needle being dragged across record*)

Oh please. Cheney spent his entire time as VP leaking selected classified documents to Judith Miller and others. He loved the ritual of giving her something juicy, having her run with it, and then going on Fox News the next day and saying, "Even the NY Times has reported that ..."

piscivorous 04-24-2009 11:32 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Actually as one of the top officials in the administration he was one of the officials that could declassified information so a leek, from VP Cheney, technically makes that information declassified. Just as President Obama made the memos declassified. To put the information out there as an ordinary citizen would make it a crime. Which I'm sure Attorney General Holder would be more than happy too prosecute.

bjkeefe 04-24-2009 11:59 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 111407)
Actually as one of the top officials in the administration he was one of the officials that could declassified information so a leek, from VP Cheney, technically makes that information declassified. Just as President Obama made the memos declassified. To put the information out there as an ordinary citizen would make it a crime. Which I'm sure Attorney General Holder would be more than happy too prosecute.

I guess I don't understand your point, then. You started by responding to uncle eb's question (paraphrased): If there is documentation that would support the claim that "torture works," why wasn't this offered to make the case years ago? You'll recall that the Bush/Cheney talking points back then were "we do not torture" morphing into "that was only a few bad apples and no one higher up knew about it" morphing into "'enhanced interrogation is not torture." These were all known to be lies years ago, so the Bush Administration pretty much just stopped talking about the whole issue. Cheney's new talking point, which could have been offered well before he left office, is, "Sure we tortured, but hey, look how well it worked!"

So, he had the chance -- he had years -- to make this case by releasing what was in his man-sized safe. What Cheney is doing now is blowing smoke -- he's using the "private citizen" dodge to say "my hands are tied," and he's asserting without evidence that there is this mountain of documentation that would back him up, if only mean old Obama would release it. It's a lot like asserting unicorns exist and then demanding that those who don't believe you prove that they do not, and then further muddying the waters by telling everyone who's listening, "They have photographs of unicorns. Why won't they release them?"

Let's also not kid ourselves about Cheney as "private citizen." He undoubtedly has plenty of connections to people loyal to him who are still in government, in the intelligence services and military in particular. If he wanted something to be leaked, he could make it happen with one phone call. It is disingenuous to pretend otherwise. And it is beyond disingenuous to pretend that Cheney has this highfalutin respect for "following the rules."

piscivorous 04-25-2009 12:17 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I have never stated that weatherboarding is torture under the relevant statue. I will quote the complete definitions section here
Quote:

As used in this chapter—
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;

(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or
application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures
calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death,
severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application
of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt
profoundly the senses or personality; and
(3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.
Pay attention to item 2 (my highlighting). As I noted in another comment, there a thousands of Americans that have been waterboarded, unless there is good evidence that these Americans are suffering prolonged mental harm it is doubtful that a prosecutable offense has been committed.

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 12:53 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 111414)
I have never stated that weatherboarding is torture under the relevant statue. [...]

Statue or statute, this has nothing to do with Cheney and his recent antics, which was the topic at hand. You are doing what you so often do -- ignoring the content and merit of my response and changing the subject willy-nilly. I'm not interested in playing this game. Sorry.

Or, maybe you just lost track of which thread you were posting your comment in. If so, I have no interest in responding to some cherry-picked dictionary-like definition that you hold up like it's gospel. I don't care what you can find to support your attempts to play legalistic word games. Repeated waterboarding of someone who is in captivity (as opposed to a controlled one-off done by friendlies) is torture by any reasonable human standard. Do not forget that when others did it to American captives, we called it a crime.

And further, what was done to the detainees under official sanction of the Bush Administration was not even close to being limited to waterboarding.

Since you appear unable to acknowledge these two points, and since you are evidently not interested in sticking to the original topic of this thread, we have nothing to discuss.

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 01:32 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Given that Matt Lewis spent large chunks of time talking about how hard it is to clean up a broken light bulb, why the actions of one individual should be used to discredit environmental concerns, why Robert Taft's vote against internment camps seventy years ago means liberals in an imaginary universe would be guilty of torture, his dogs and why he doesn't like the dog the Obamas got, and who can even remember what other inanities, it is remarkable to me that he feels justified in calling Meghan McCain vacuous.

Lyle 04-25-2009 02:08 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I think what Cheney has been doing is brilliant. He's making Obama look like a hypocrite, and saving his legacy all in one fell swoop. They're supposed to be the transparent ones, and they're not really. Dick Cheney has played his hand masterfully. Chicago rules suit Cheney just fine I think.

piscivorous 04-25-2009 02:12 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
As most of your comment was nothing more than your standard speech about the evil Mr Cheney and his ability to pull strings and manipulate the world I thought that showing you one part of the argument that if no crime was committed as no statute was violated there would seem to be no need to release this information. I would think that introducing the actual statute would be relevant but I guess you and I process information differently. To disclose that weatherboarding resulted in such and such would have disclosed the fact that we use it to obtain information. If you believe that that information in it self is not useful to the Jihadists then answer the riddle of why we train certain of our personnel to resist it and if we can do it can't they? As they believed they were acting within the law, as they were dully informed, why should they give that information to the Jihadists.

Wonderment 04-25-2009 04:48 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

I think what Cheney has been doing is brilliant. He's making Obama look like a hypocrite, and saving his legacy all in one fell swoop.
Yes! And that explains precisely why Cheney's popularity ratings are soaring off the charts and why Obama is viewed unfavorably by such an overwhelmingly large proportion of the population.

Kudos also for astutely observing how Cheney is preserving his legacy by confessing to war crimes, torture and wiping his ass with the Constitution.

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 05:50 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I thought this line from Matt was a bit of a clunker, especially given how uptight he gets when other people make jokes.

But maybe he's right. This clip of Al Gore is at least suggestive. It's not quite murder, but Rep. Blackburn did seem to be having trouble breathing by the end of it.

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 07:48 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 111423)
... weatherboarding ...

???

Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 111423)
... dully informed ...

You said it. Not me.

In other news:


Lyle 04-25-2009 09:45 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Except that Cheney can forever claim the United States wasn't attacked after 9/11 in part because of the policy decisions the Bush administration took (the American public's opinion be damned).

Being popular doesn't ever make anyone right or good... just look at JFK (popular in his day... historical legacy says something else).

AemJeff 04-25-2009 10:16 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 111430)
Except that Cheney can forever claim the United States wasn't attacked after 9/11 in part because of the policy decisions the Bush administration took (the American public's opinion be damned).

Being popular doesn't ever make anyone right or good... just look at JFK (popular in his day... historical legacy says something else).

I can make approximately the same claim, with equal logical effect. We weren't attacked on U.S. soil after 9/11 because I wear shoes. It's an equally empty claim, my P.R. just isn't as good.

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 11:18 AM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 111426)
I thought this line from Matt was a bit of a clunker, especially given how uptight he gets when other people make jokes.

But maybe he's right. This clip of Al Gore is at least suggestive. It's not quite murder, but Rep. Blackburn did seem to be having trouble breathing by the end of it.

Oh, and here is Al Gore kicking some more ass (2nd video -- the first one is the same as the above). This time the victim is Joe Barton, who we already know is an ass.

P.S. Here is the NY Times article by Andrew Revkin that Gore mentions in the clip. If you have not already read it, you should. Talk about your smoking guns.

We're gonna need a whole lot more pitchforks.

Lyle 04-25-2009 10:55 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Haha... like the Patriot Act and everything else the Bush administration did had no effect. Haha.

Release the memos!!!

piscivorous 04-25-2009 11:53 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
I saw this interesting email I will quote it for your enlightenment.
Quote:

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the
olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs
is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod
as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 11:53 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lyle (Post 111467)
Release the memos!!!

On that we can all agree.

bjkeefe 04-25-2009 11:59 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 111473)
I saw this interesting email I will quote it for your enlightenment.

That's a cool phenomenon, isn't it?

Don't get too worked up when I tease you about your finger-slips. It is mostly just that: teasing.

The other part is an overdeveloped sensitivity to errors of that nature due to being raised by a newspaper editor who was in turned raised by a copyreader, back when newspapers thought such positions were valuable. I'm sorry, but I just find it irritating when people won't take a moment to proofread things they would like me to read. It strikes me as rude. What you are doing, in a sense, is saying that I should have to do some of your work for you, and that your time is more valuable than mine.

Jelperman 04-27-2009 01:41 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Watching torture apologists make excuses for torture is like watching members of NAMBLA making excuses for pedophilia. There is one key difference, though: Even the most diseased child molesters aren't so intellectually dishonest as to claim that the jury is still out on whether a creep puts his wiener in a 12-year-old is really pedophilia, as torture enthusiasts claim about water torture.

Is torture effective? When it comes to effectiveness, nothing tops genocide. After all, when was the last time we had problems with the Pequots?

Torture has been shown to be effective for only two things:

1) Getting people to swear to things that everyone knows are not true. For example, Johannes Junius, a town elder in 17th Century Bamberg, Germany was tortured until he "confessed" to blighting the town with disease and the countryside with bad weather and failed crops -all through the use of witchcraft and black magic. Abu Zebaydah was tortured until he "confessed" that Iraq and Al-Queda were allies and that Iraq had something to do with the 9-11 attacks.

2) Arousing the loins of sadists and giving them a kinky thrill. During the numerous cases of witch hysteria, the authorities took great delight in examining the bodies of accused witches while searching for a "witches' mark" -a search that almost always focused on the genitals. Compare that with the rape and sexual humiliation at Abu Ghraib.

Right-wingers who condone torture are every bit as vile and loathsome as witch-hunters and pedophiles.

pampl 04-27-2009 05:28 PM

Re: The Week in Blog: Killer Light Bulb Edition (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jelperman (Post 111550)
Watching torture apologists make excuses for torture is like watching members of NAMBLA making excuses for pedophilia. There is one key difference, though: Even the most diseased child molesters aren't so intellectually dishonest as to claim that the jury is still out on whether a creep puts his wiener in a 12-year-old is really pedophilia

It's sort of a tangent, but yeah they are. Go to any web site where a child actress or singer is discussed (digg, wikipedia, whatever) and watch people make very fine grained distinctions about what constitutes pedophilia


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