osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Random Reactions to Headlines

1) I'm glad to see the tax overhaul start.

2) I wish I could believe we've hit bottom on the recession/stock market, but I just can't. Much of the supposed better than estimates performances are fancy accounting tricks legalized recently. While credit card reform will help ease the continuing default rate, the failure of the Senate to pass bankruptcy reform to prevent further foreclosures means that home foreclosures will remain steady and will continue to keep a glut of homes on the market. If retailers or banks had a lick of sense, they'd push for bankruptcy reform instead of fighting it. At this point, it is the easiest way to get the bad debt off their books and move forward.

3) The remand of the Janet Jackson case is interesting, but it doesn't really make much sense. The issues in the 3rd Circuit were not similar to the issues in the 2nd Circuit. Not sure the 3rd Cir really comes out any different.

4) I just heard the most morally repulsive interview on NPR. Bryce Lefever, a military psychologist who trained U.S. soldiers to resist torture, defends his colleagues and their use of torture. He exactly epitomized for me a wonderful quote from Lois McMaster Bujold in Memory: "Real monsters are generally confused in their thinking. Simon Illyan is one of the least confused men I know." Lefever runs through every stereotypical rationalization and defense, from "those who weren't there can't judge" "we have nothing to be ashamed of" "the techniques we used are even therapy techniques at times" (this in defense of confining a prisoner with a bug phobia in an enclosed space with an insect as comparable to exposure therapy) and, of course, "we serve the greater good, the United States is my client."

Nowhere is there an admission: "I know I used my skill to advise on how to inflict the maximum psychological distress for the purpose of interrogation."

More random neuron fires later, I suppose.

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