El Tormento Del Agua and Godwin’s President

Apparently the Spanish Inquisition used waterboarding, and there are period illustrations of it. Search for “Tormento Del Agua” on this page, to see one. Here’s another one.

So it’s a favorite of the Spanish Inquisition as well as the Khmer Rouge, North Korea, the Nazis, the Viet Cong, Hirohito’s Japan, Stalin’s Russia, and… and the Bush Administration.

Bush is Godwin’s President. You can barely write a truthful sentence about his administration and its actions without finding yourself comparing it to the acts of an infamous dictator.

Kucinich: “In Washington, the truth is an unidentified flying object.”

The Raw Story | Kucinich: Republicans ‘didn’t call my bluff’ on Cheney impeachment:

“There’s really, what, a handful of you who are really interested in this,” Smith added.

But Kucinich said his impeachment resolution had little to do with the lack of support he was receiving from fellow Democrats.

“Harry, you have to remember there are millions of Americans who are part of a national movement to defend the constitution,” said Kucinich. “And they understand that the vice president made a false claim for war and is trying to beat the drums for a war against Iran and they’re calling for action to be done.”

Impeachment, said Kucinich, was a move on his part safeguard the Constitution.

“It’s really abut the American people and their insistence that their government not be lost,” he continued. “People are worried that we’re losing democracy, and they’re demanding that the Constitution be protected. And that’s exactly what yesterday was about.”

Smith later asked the congressman if the impeachment resolution was all part of a publicity stunt in aid of his presidential campaign.

“The nay-sayers, though,” said Smith, “would say ‘Dennis Kucinich this is a way to get your name on — at least on page six of the newspaper and a failing bid to win the Democratic nomination for president.'”

Not so, said Kucinich:

“We have men and women with their lives on the line in Iraq, a war based on lies,” said the former Cleveland mayor. “Over 3,800 soldiers have died, over a million innocent Iraqis have died in this war. This is about our moral caliber here as to whether or not Washington can see the truth.”

“Let me tell you something,” concluded Kucinich. “In Washington, the truth is an unidentified flying object. And it’s time that someone stood for the truth. The American people demand nothing less.”


That was freaking brilliant. It takes the whole “he’s a crazy guy who sees things that aren’t real” and spins it as “in Washington, speaking the simple truth gets you branded as crazy” — which is dead accurate.


Words of Hope and Inspiration… From Charlie Chaplin, as The Great Dictator.

From here, where we read:

This was written and performed as the final scene in his first “talkie” film, called “The Dictator”. Of course, he was skewering Hitler and Mussolini in the film, but at the end, he turns to the audience and gets serious, and makes a speech that is strangely relevant almost 60 years later.

Charlie Chaplin – Amazing Speech – video powered by Metacafe
Plot synopsis from IMDB:

During the last days of the First World War, a clumsy soldier saves the life of devoted military pilot Schultz. Unfortunately, their flight from the advancing enemy ends in a severe crash with the clumsy soldier losing his memories. After quite some years in the hospital, the amnesia patient gets released and reopens his old barber shop in the Jewish ghetto. But times have changed in the country of Tomania: Dictator Adenoid Hynkel, who accidentally looks very similar to the barber, has laid his merciless grip on the country, and the Jewish people are discriminated against. One day, the barber gets in trouble and is brought before a commanding officer, who turns out to be his old comrade Schultz. So, the ghetto enjoys protection from then on. Meanwhile, Dictator Hynkel develops big plans, he wants to become Dictator of the whole world and needs a scapegoat for the public. Soon, Schultz is being arrested for being too Jewish-friendly, and all Jews except those who managed to flee are transported into Concentration Camps. Hynkel is planning to march into Osterlich to show off against Napaloni, Dictator of Bacteria, who already has deployed his troops along the other border of the small country. Meanwhile, Schultz and the barber manage to escape, guised in military uniforms. As luck would have it, Schultz and the barber are picked up by Tomanian forces and the barber is mixed up with Hynkel himself. The small barber now gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to speak to the people of Osterlich and all of Tomania, who listen eagerly on the radio.

OS X and Ubuntu: Waves of Dissatisfaction

Despite Leopard being new and shiny and wonderful, I’m terribly discontent with it. The biggest reason seems to be the huge amount of Macports breakage. I can’t build Haskell to play with it, but that’s fairly trivial. It’s not like that’s anything but an intellectual curiosity thing. But I also can’t build the GIMP, which is actually something I use with some frequency. It’s because MacPorts had finally, during the extra year and a half that the delayed release of Leopard had given them, gotten everything just singing together. Everything built right and correctly and worked together.

Then Leopard arrives and the breakage begins.

It’s like there’s this wave of “works-right-ness” that ebbs and flows. When a new version of OS X comes out, then much of the cool open source software I love gets broken on it, hopelessly, certainly beyond my ability to fix. At this point, (Ubuntu) Linux looks better because a ton of things work there that don’t on OS X. As time goes on, things get fixed and fixed and fixed on OS X until it’s on an equal footing with regards to open source stuff building correctly, and at this point OS X looks better than Linux because of its general professionalism and ease of use and smoothness.

There’s a second wave in there related to Ubuntu releases but because they happen every 6 months instead of every one to two-and-a-half years, it’s a smaller, less disruptive wave.

UPDATE: They fixed Gimp. (Well, they fixed glib2, which was the source of the problems.) Good-o. :)