Monthly Archives: April 2009

CIA Propagandized in U.S. About Torture

Follow this link to the New York Times story headlined How ’07 ABC Interview Tilted a Torture Debate.

They don’t say it in the article, but I would bet that the CIA pueposely had this person lie to us to in order to poison the debate on this subject.  If true, I believe this would be a violation of the CIA’s charter.  It would not be the first time they violated this charter.

I have not checked these out, but here are a few references I found at Journalism and the CIA: The Mighty Wurlitzer by Daniel Brandt From NameBase NewsLine, No. 17, April-June 1997

John M. Crewdson and Joseph B. Treaster, “The CIA’s 3-Decade Effort to Mold the World’s Views,” New York Times, 25 December 1977, pp. 1, 12; Terrence Smith, “CIA Contacts With Reporters,” New York Times, p. 13; Crewdson and Treaster, “Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the CIA,” New York Times, 26 December 1977, pp. 1, 37; Crewdson and Treaster, “CIA Established Many Links to Journalists in U.S. and Abroad,” New York Times, 27 December 1977, pp. 1, 40-41.

Newt Gingrich Comments on Torture

On October 30, 1997 House Speaker Newt Gingrich released the following statement after his meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

As I said in China this spring, there is no place for abuse in what must be considered the family of man. There is no place for torture and arbitrary detention. There is no place for forced confessions. There is no place for intolerance of dissent.

While we walked through the Rotunda. I explained to President Jiang how the roots of American rule of law go back more than 700 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta. The foundation of American values, therefore, is not a passing priority or a temporary trend.

Follow this link to see my source for this item.

How To Be Happier: Stay Connected To Your Past

Follow this link to the article by Gretchen Rubin.

She is working on her Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

I see by the comments posted along with her article that many of the readers of Gretchen’s article missed an important paragraph.

Of course, this resolution applies to aspects of your past that actually were happy. You might well choose deliberately to disengage with unhappy parts of your past.

Gretchen has a couple of interesting one minute movies.

Common Salt – The Most Deadly Poison in Nature

Follow this link to the Associated Press article that breaks this startling news.

The headline is “NYC takes lead in setting next food target _ salt”.  In this article by Stephanie Nano of the Associated Press I find the following statement:

A recent analysis showed that for every gram of salt cut, as many as 250,000 cases of heart disease and 200,000 deaths could be prevented over a decade.

As I said in the title to this post, this must make common table salt the most deadly poison in nature.  Imagine a gram of salt causing 250,000 cases of heart disease and 200,000 deaths. If the 1 gram of salt can be ingested over an entire decade and still cause this effect, you have to wonder what the 1100 milligrams of salt in a single serving of canned soup can do to you.  How does anyone survive?

You have to wonder who edits or fact checks these articles.

I don’t know whether this falls under Greenberg’s Law of the Media or not.  This statement is so blantantly ridiculous that it cannot really be misleading.  It just makes you want to laugh at the author and her editors.

The Economics of a Career in Piracy (Peterson Institute)

On 15 April 2009, Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute wrote The Economics of a Career in Piracy. The current benefits to the pirates far outweigh the current costs to the pirates.

Kirkegaard then concludes:

In the end, the only way to reduce the expected rate of return from piracy is to increase the punishment meted out to captured pirates. As in all instances of limited government resources, the law must rely on deterrence. It is not a coincidence that piracy was historically a capital offence, and that the corpses of executed pirates were frequently displayed in harbors as a warning.

Less draconian punishments are surely warranted today. But swift, predictable, and sizable sanctioning for acts of piracy will nonetheless be required for careers in piracy to no longer make economic sense. The option to simply return to your pirate career even after capture must be ended.

The same economic logic suggests that any international legal framework for trying and sanctioning captured pirates must be complemented by armed rescue operations in which at least some pirates are killed rather than captured. President Obama’s order to use force if given the opportunity, followed by the swift execution of that order, made economic sense while serving the cause of justice and the interests of the hostages.