Evening Post-“Ben Traumatized by Insane Clackamas Mom” Blips (4/19 edition)

April 19th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  1 Comment

» O.k. He wasn’t traumatized, but I’m pretty sure that’s one of the first times he’s ever seen another kid his age get grabbed by her mother and shaken, along with spittle-spraying threats of bathroom spankings and hissed commands to shut up and let her think. His eyes got kind of wide and he got pretty quiet. Then he ate all his dinner in silence, which is weird. He perked up for his cookie, though.

» Advocates Sue Yahoo In Chinese Torture Case:

A human rights group sued Yahoo on Wednesday, accusing the Internet giant of abetting the torture of pro-democracy writers by releasing data that allowed China’s government to identify them.


In a suit against Yahoo, the wife of a Chinese pro-democracy writer says the Internet giant offered data that helped authorities identify and arrest her husband and others.

As they seek a slice of the booming Chinese market, Yahoo and other American companies have sometimes set aside core American values, such as free speech, to comply with the communist government’s laws.

That last sentence needs a rewrite … Let’s see …


Well, I was gonna say “sometimes set aside core American values, such as not serving up people to autocratic regimes for torture,” but I’d be wrong. We don’t have that value anymore. We’ve got extreme rendition, but that’s cool because we developed this new American value that says “all other values are no longer operative in times of panic.”

Besides, now that the Chinese have shown they’re willing to spend a bit out there in the global market, their values don’t matter to us as much because they’re like us (and by us, I mean dotcom billionaires who’ll sign off on giving up pro-democracy dissidents for torture) in all the ways that really matter.

» Slate: Al, the President’s Man:

One of the finest moments comes when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., busts out a big, big chart. Which happens after almost everyone has gone home. The chart compares the Clinton protocol for appropriate contacts between the White House and the DoJ on pending criminal cases with the Bush protocol. According to Whitehouse, the Clinton protocol authorized just four folks at the White House to chat with three folks at Justice. The chart had four boxes talking to three boxes. Out comes the Bush protocol, and now 417 different people at the White House have contacts about pending criminal cases with 30-some people at Justice. You can just see zillions of small boxes nattering back and forth. It seems that just about everyone in the White House, including the guys in the mailroom, had a vote on ongoing criminal matters.

Right. Because the only thing the government is good for to these people is handling the military’s payroll. I would have said “the cops’ and the military’s payroll,” but who are we kidding? They wish the cops were the military.

The rest? Eh. Burn it down, right guys? We blotted out civil government in Iraq, and that place is gonna be an oasis of democracy any day now.

Anyhow … “party of good management” my ass.

Slate has also boosted the Gonzo-Meter to 95 percent. Emily Bazelon’s live chat was sort of interesting, too.

Bonus Blippage!

Found in the process of making a much broader point about today’s Senate hearings that I ultimately snipped out and put in my special “random text sump” file:

The Straight Dope: Did medieval lords have “right of the first night” with the local brides?


  1. gl. says:

    April 21st, 2007 at 1:08 am (#)

    yeesh. poor ben. it even makes me cringe. i wonder what part of his neural network got altered because of that encounter.

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