Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hello Again

Well, it has been 6 months or more since my last post. I had emergency surgery (hernia and appendectomy) in December, and was out of commission awhile. But the good news is I lost 20 pounds since then. Funny thing is, you eat less, you lose weight. I guess I need to figure out a new topic for this blog. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Finishing out the day

beef stroganoff (safeway brand)
two glasses of australian cabernet

185 here I come

Any of you see Kingdom of Heaven? I'm 40 minutes in and I have to say it is as interesting as watching an infomercial about a product I don't know yet whether I want it, need it, or hate it. Ho hum.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody

Biscuits & Chicken Gravy Diet

I think I found a new diet. I had biscuits and chicken gravy last night for dinner and again today for breakfast. After breakfast, I weighed 209 (1 pound less than yesterday). At this rate, I will be back to my fighting weight of 185 in just 24 days. I will let you know how it goes.

Other items consumed today:

americano with cinnamon
americano with sugar free hazelnut
pork pho (Vietnamese noodle dish)
veggie spring rolls

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What, me torture?

I'm not going to act shocked that we torture. Of course we do. And we have a long history of it. Look at the above picture as proof. Poor, poor Hodini.

But come on, this really takes the cake. A little bit of light late night reading for you:

Director for Torture

Wednesday, November 23, 2005; Page A18

CIA DIRECTOR Porter J. Goss insists that his agency is innocent of torturing the prisoners it is holding in secret detention centers around the world. "This agency does not torture," he said in an interview this week with USA Today. "We use lawful capabilities to collect vital information, and we do it in a variety of unique and innovative ways, all of which are legal and none of which are torture." Mr. Goss didn't describe any of those "innovative" interrogation techniques, nor has his agency allowed its secret prisons to be visited by the International Red Cross or any other monitor. But some of the people who work for him provided a description of six "enhanced interrogation techniques" to ABC News, because they believe "the public needs to know the direction their agency has chosen," the network reported. Thanks to that disclosure, it's possible to compare Mr. Goss's words with reality.

The first three techniques reported by ABC involve shaking or striking detainees in an effort to cause pain and fear. The fourth consists of forcing a prisoner to stand, handcuffed and with shackled feet, for up to 40 hours. Then comes the "cold cell": Detainees are held naked in a cell cooled to 50 degrees, and periodically doused with cold water. Last is "waterboarding," a technique that's already been widely reported. According to the information supplied to ABC: "The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt." ABC quoted its sources as saying that CIA officers who subjected themselves to waterboarding "lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in."

Are these techniques "not torture," as Mr. Goss claims? In fact, several of them have been practiced by repressive regimes around the world, and they once were routinely condemned by the State Department in its annual human rights reports. By insisting that they are not torture, Mr. Goss sets a new standard -- both for the treatment of detainees by other governments and for the handling of captive Americans. If an American pilot is captured in the Middle East, then beaten, held naked in a cold cell and subjected to simulated drowning, will Mr. Goss say that he has not been tortured?

Are the techniques "legal"? In 1994 the Senate ratified the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; in doing so, it defined "cruel, inhuman or degrading" as anything that would violate the Fifth, Eighth, or 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Bush administration has never been clear about whether it considers the CIA's techniques legal by that standard. If it does -- as Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has suggested -- then it has opened the way for the FBI to use cold cells and waterboarding on Americans. But the administration also claims a technical loophole: Since the Constitution doesn't apply to foreigners outside the United States, the administration argues that by the Senate's standard, the CIA can use cruel and inhuman methods on foreign detainees held abroad.

Few legal experts outside the administration agree that this loophole exists. To make sure, senators led by Republican John McCain of Arizona are fighting, by means of amendments to the current defense authorization and appropriations bills, to bar the use of "cruel, inhuman and degrading" methods. But Mr. Goss's statements suggest a deeper problem. Even if the legislation passes -- and Mr. Bush has threatened a veto -- the CIA will be led by an administration that has redefined standard torture techniques as "unique and innovative ways" of collecting information. No one beyond Mr. Goss and a handful of senior officials accepts that spin: not the agencies' professionals, or 90 members of the Senate, or the rest of the democratic world. Yet now that the Bush administration has so loosened and degraded the torture standard, the abuse of detainees will become far harder to prevent -- not only in the CIA's clandestine cells but around the world.

Finishing the day

two glasses of sparkling
two bisquits, chicken gravy, with mashed patoots
half an apple
four mini carrots
some hummus

I know it's no Atkins diet plate, but should I really weigh 210? That's just crazy.

So far today

three pieces of salami, 1 slice of cheddar cheese, yellow mustard, roll
coffee with cinnamon
glass of water
americano with sugar free hazelnut
bottle of water
piece of fancy dark chocolate
bottle of water
lamb tandoori
shrimp tandoori
two gumballs
bottle of water

Martha's Apprentice

Why the bad ratings? I love that show. Martha should lose the polite termination letter she sends at the end of each episode. Other than that, I think it is as good as Donald's version.

What's up with Cheney?

That guy is such a fricking liar. He was on CNN today complaining about how "certain senators" lied when they charged the WH lied about intelligence leading up to the war. What a douche.

The leading senate democrat from the time immediately before the war (forgot his name but he is now at some fancy Harvard institute), responded that the WH didn't lie, they just used "selective intelligence." I love it. Very poetic. The slam not only implies dishonesty, but foolish ignorance. Never heard the guy speak before. I immediately liked what he had to say.