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11 December 2014


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different clue

EIT is a Luntzian weasel-acronym for a Luntzian weasel-phrase, Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. To destroy the smoke-screening power of the Luntz-phrase EIT, maybe we should all start using the letters EIT pretty often ourselves, and spell it out at every opportunity to read Enhanced Interrogation Tortures.


Third parties aren't really viable under our current sinner-take-all rules. So -- what other rules are possible?

To my mind, there's no single reform, none, that offers a better return than pushing for instant-runoff / ranked-preference voting.

I was going to launch into a long-winded monologue on What's So Great About Instant Runoff Voting. (Among other things, I think it will encourage the formation of enduring third parties. Also, I believe it's feasible -- that's the "good return" part.) Instead, I'll be presumptuous and try another tack:

For the few months or so I've been wondering how one might get a movement for instant-runoff voting started. It'd have to be at the state level. That's an advantage right there, because local organization is essential for healthy politics. Presumably one would have to craft a referendum, and then gather petition signatures to get it on a ballot.

As I understand it, this site aims to be a "Committee of Correspondence", aims to change things. And I gather that at least some participants live in the Mid-Atlantic region (I live in Maryland). So I wonder -- would anybody else here be interested in, say, a Meetup group, to begin to explore some possibilities?

Now, I think Maryland has some advantages for an effort like this: It's geographically compact. It kinda sorta hosts the national capital, so it's more prominent than most states. It borders VA and PA, so success in Maryland could possibly spill over into those larger polities. But of course, I'm not wedded to the idea that it **must** be a Maryland initiative.

Anyway, is there any interest, here?

no one

Sir, Understood on Phoenix. Thank you.

Hopefully not to beat a dead horse too much, but I should have added the MK Ultra project to my list of CIA history of involvement with torture and general lack of morality.


In fact, MK Ultra is probably most relevant. Going back to the 1950s, almost to the beginning of the CIA, they were acting in very Mengele-esque fashion.

The agency needs to be abolished.


no one

MK Ultra was yet another big nothing about as significant as the screwball project to see if goats could be killed by staring at them. that silliness was fostered in the Army in the 70s when various people were trying to understand how we could have lost the VN war. there were all kinds of mind control projects and brain storms, spoon bending, red hot coals walking, goat staring and most seriously a new found respect for internal propaganda operations (IO). That was written up in the "Mind War" thing that was written by a certified mental defective. you shouldn't take a lot of this very seriously. CIA managed to dump the MK Ultra budget item in spite of the howls of a mental defective congressman who loved the thing. He insisted that DIA start funding "sunshine" or Sunstoke" (far reading, etc.) or whatever it was called. It took me a year to kill the beast. http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2005/12/thr_propaganda_.html http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2006/04/mind_war_and_th.html pl

The beaver


wrt Harvard : graduates and A.. professor
Read the story and decide whether to laugh, cry or yell :

Entitlement !!!

William R. Cumming

Many of the most famous Ivies post-wwII are in fact IVY dropouts including Richard Cheney!

William R. Cumming

Thanks Beaver and fun if not so serious as to the collective.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Charles I!

William R. Cumming




"But seriously: Considered realistically what percentage of the larger public has a firm grasp of their civic duties?"

Not satisfied with insulting those who do not have a collegiate credential you now insult everyone in the Republic? You must really hate Americans.

William R. Cumming

ALL: What portions of the National Security State get the greatest credit for no major AQ attacks since 9/11! Personally I credit luck not skill for that fact.

Nineteen [19] Saudis were among the 9/11 Perps soif another attack is that nation-sate a likely source of Perps?

Is it possible that S.A should get major credit for no further AQ attacks on the US?



I only got into the 'giver of orders' class (I haven't read a line like that since picking up some really crappy '60's scifi) until after my second tour. If only I had known all I needed was a degree, something useful though, like underwater basket-weaving.



I have a lot of respect for the veterans of the 21st Century's Wars but there are 58,000 names on the wall. pl


according to FBI documents.

alba etie

My point exactly Secretary of State chose to overlook or ignore the advice of the IR professionals .

alba etie

alba etie
correction to my prior comment - it was Private Lindsey that was one of handful of low ranking soldiers prosecuted for the torture abuse Abu Gharib .

alba etie

Col Lang
I have complete respect for all soldiers that have fought and died for These United States , no matter which century .

different clue


I am just curious for no good reason at all. Are you from New Zealand?

different clue

Charles I,

Sounds like "Brain Salad Sui-surgery".

no one

Sir, it's not the efficacy (or even the sanity) of the program that matters. It's what they were doing to innocent, often unsuspecting "test subjects".

MK Ultra violated professional ethics, laws and basic moral standards of decency. Subjects suffered. Some experienced permanent psychological breakdowns- some died - in what can only be described as torture of US citizens for the purposes of learning how to extract information, exploring brainwashing and generally getting to do some fun (to a sociopath) twisted crap to people that could never otherwise be done sans CIA status.

I repeat that the CIA has historically contained elements that have acted outside of the law since the beginning. Torture/interrogation has always been an area of interest for such elements.

At one point MK Ultra was 6% of the CIA budget; not insignificant.


Fred, why do you think I am talking about America or Americans versus humans generally?

Did I ever give you the impression that my knowledge about Americans is so good. It hardly is. I can only judge Americans from the people I met. Do you have close contact with people you dislike? I tend to not.

All you can deduct from that statement is that I may well be a pessimist, maybe even a moralist at times. But I only notice that when my mother or a sister overdo from my limited perspective. I recognize where they are aiming but I think they loose balance.

Besides: I never insulted anyone without "collegiate credentials", some of my best friends only had one rather late in life, some never including one of my sisters; and I hated nothing more than what I perceived as an empty superiority based on that versus the ones that didn't all my life. i in fact seem to have registered these incidences from early on.

But there clearly are a lot of people that prefer to think and act according to what they are told, because they feel that their higher ups may well know, why they told them to do what they did. Or more generally, at least that was my impression in the workplace, it feels saver.

I met too many empty and full of themselves students, stupid I would say actually, to draw the line there.

But yes, what you suspect as a basic concept I have about humans, or basic prejudice, would be a good core theme for a novel. If I was able to write such a novel you would be surprised. My basic assumption is in every camp there are such and such.


Yes, ironically enough, there is a strong possibility in a world capable of manipulating headlines and three minutes news feeds, to not forget: politics.

But there are also deeper layers. I recently bought Dave Eggers The Circle, along these lines we all may be forced to go transparent, but there is a slight imbalance concerning apparently increasing state secrets and the basis of our leaders decisions:

Glenn Greenwald:


"It simply is noteworthy of comment and cause for concern — though far from conclusive about what Obama will do — that Obama’s transition chief for intelligence policy, John Brennan, was an ardent supporter of torture and one of the most emphatic advocates of FISA expansions and telecom immunity."

Yesterday I downloaded the ebook version of Tom Engelhardt's Shadow Government. Glenn Greenwald, who wrote a rather short foreword, was called an artist/Künstler on Amazon.de. Apparently Glenn is not so well known over here, as one would expect.

But in a way I can understand the authors choice.

Jane Mayer, from Glenn's short article above:

"Without more transparency, the value of the C.I.A.’s interrogation and detention program is impossible to evaluate. Setting aside the moral, ethical, and legal issues, even supporters, such as John Brennan, acknowledge that much of the information that coercion produces is unreliable. As he put it, “All these methods produced useful information, but there was also a lot that was bogus."


Hmm?? Really, BabelFish. I just looked up the history of impeachment in the US. I guess I am too European to understand the moral indignation "created" in that context.

Of course I could also let my imagination fly, and consider that while pleased by Lewinski Clinton told her the most classified information, which she in turn sold to the highest bidder. Versus, I understand, keeping her spoiled dress as some type of trophy?


Babel, "bent vizier"??? I understand the words, but could you elaborate? (hmm in hindsight: Obama the Muslim? ...)

It feels you cannot agree with anything sglover wrote except this:

"Your distaste for Obama is affecting your judgement, here."

But you couldn't possibly agree with that either, it feels. Thus with what do you agree: "Exactly so".


Here is a 2005 thesis from the US Army War College.


"This paper argues that as part of its counterinsurgency effort against this threat, the United States must neutralize the militant Islamic infrastructure (MI2) that enables the insurgency’s global attacks. The paper provides an overview of the Phoenix Program, outlines the nature of the current insurgent threat, and identifies critical strategic lessons from the Vietnam experience that should be applied to a modern day Phoenix Program."

Look Pat, I can see what happened in Cambodia (or before that in China & Russia), but it always felt that the WOT was some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, but also, that obviously no one of us will ever know what would have happened if it wasn't started based on peculiar evidence in the first place? ...

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