The Geneva Conventions should modify the rules of war

From Harper’s Weekly Review:

One hundred fifty men wearing lederhosen gathered to finger-wrestle in Bernbeuren, Germany.

Well, maybe they could drop the lederhosen.


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Dear everyone who’s pissed at the New York Times

At least twice a week I see piss-off posts over the New York Times while I scroll down TAFKAT.

A number of greatly intelligent journalists and lawyers — I wouldn’t be following them otherwise — have taken up the righteous cause of…well, what is that cause? I have to think about that for a moment or four. Hm. The cause is protecting news readers from becoming indifferent to our imperiled democracy because the Times doesn’t agitate us in every article about politics.

‘Tis true, alas, that when Michael Gold covered Trump’s “rally” in Wildwood, New Jersey, he failed to quote Trump’s demented ramblings about Hannibel Lecter — as if Lecter were a real person. Or maybe he did in the initial draft and his editor first threw up and then cut the quote.

I won’t hold the omission against Gold, though; I heard the whole Trump Hannibal Lecter reference itself in a TAFKAT video. I can attest that neither not knowing what Trump said or hearing what Trump said changed my mind about democracy and the upcoming election.

Nor did the Wildwood appearance of Lawrence Taylor and Ottis Anderson in Trump’s support change my mind. Got that info also from TAFKAT. Indeed, it’s the Piss-Off crew who is supplying the info and agitation. Why don’t they accept my appreciation for alarming us all with information the Times does not print because agitation is not part of the Times’ purview? And that wasn’t meant sarcastically.

I don’t what the Piss-Off crew is reading, or what their understanding is about the role and purpose of a newspaper. To me, it’s fairly obvious: an event occurs. The event is determined by the paper to be worthy of reportage. Yes, a tornado wiping out US towns is a newsworthy event. New, credible information about climate change and global warming is newsworthy.

Gun massacres are newsworthy. Wars are newsworthy. SCOTUS decisions are newsworthy. Protests can be newsworthy and remain newsworthy, as long as there is new news to report. And police actions, especially when violent, are newsworthy.

Politics are newsworthy. Trials of politicians are newsworthy. Important and new speeches in Congress, votes in Congress: newsworthy. Speeches on the campaign trail are newsworthy — if what is said is new and not only a repeated campaign speech, or repeated rant. (Michael Gold didn’t detail much of what Trump said, but noted it was the same old same old.)

Investigations and reports on the corrupt behavior of Supreme Court justices are newsworthy, as are the utterly insane policies of states like Texas and Florida.

Fury and contempt for all these newsworthy events and situations will be expressed multiple times on TAFKAT, by all sorts of notable people. And — along with the Times op-ed columnists — this is where the agitation should be appearing. And is. It’s why I spend a lot of time scrolling through TAFKAT and reading the Times’ op-eds.

My take on all these outraged Times protesters is simple. They are good, smart people who (and let’s blame this on Trump), have, after nearly a decade, become so desperate, they’ve placed themselves in loco parentis and are determined to guard us all from being anesthesized by headlines and opinions that don’t rail constantly against Trump.

But guys, guys, guys: my own real parents, my teachers, peers and my own brain protected me a long time ago. I appreciate your concern but why try to turn me against a newspaper which gives me the news? And varied opinions about the news? You should have more confidence in your fellow Americans, especially those of us who read the New York Times.

And you should have more confidence in yourselves. You are great at doing the job you excoriate the Times for not doing.

Besides all that, if you want me to stop reading the Times, what newspaper do you suggest I read? Because we agree, don’t we? that news we can trust is given to us in newspapers not TV, not social media which can amplify and opinionize on the news. With a newspaper, I can pause in my reading to think over what I’m being informed about. I can re-read, too.

I can’t force you to peruse “How I Learned The Facts of Life,” my essay on how I learned to read newspapers. But it might help you to feel better about the Times and those of us who read it.


Posted in climate change, Corruption, Culture, Fascism, Guns in the U.S. of A., Indicting Trump, Jan 6, Joe Biden and his people, Journalism, political campaigns, Politics, SCOTUS, The Facts of Life, Trumpism, War, War on Ukraine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dear everyone who’s pissed at the New York Times

Matt Gaetz needs to read this BoP advisory

What? Why?

OK, I’ll explain.

Today, TAFKAT informed me that Matt Gaetz has tried to visit Peter Navarro, currently incarcerated, but the Bureau of Prisons somehow got in his way. He’s frustrated! Thus, as logical consequence, he and other congressional MAGAs have decided to agitate for an investigation of the Bureau of Prisons.

Really, they should talk to me first but hey they won’t. Nevertheless, I’m going to pass on universally available advice from the Bureau of Prisons itself, in particular from the prison where Peter Navarro is residing. Which is Miami FCI.

How did I find this out? By entering the BoP website, clicking on the “Find a Prisoner” button, plugging in Navarro’s name and other known attributes (he’s white and male) and voila! Then I clicked on Miami FCI, specifically on the section regarding prisoner visits.

A short, yet pertinent, detour: yesterday I was on the phone with a cousin who is about to enter the Medicare brigade and is a bit agitated over all sorts of things, including how Medicare works.

“Did you read the booklet they sent you?” I asked him. He erupted in a frenzy of anxiety. “What? That 200 page thing…?” I told him it was beautifully written, easy to read and understand and half of it anyway were tables of plans.

Back from our detour: Whoever writes the Bureau of Prisons guides, well, it’s not the exemplary people from HHS.

So, given that Gaetz presumably did not have the patience to get the info up on his screen, I’ll pluck out key points about how Matt can visit Peter Navarro.

How to Visit An Inmate

  1. Locate the inmate. (I just did that for you. BTW, you may need his inmate number. It is 04370-510. Did you know the last three digits are BoP code for the specific prison? Or maybe not, maybe it’s the code for the district where the inmate was indicted. That makes more sense.)
  2. Get yourself on the inmate’s approved visitors list. (Are you on Peter’s list, Matt? Did you ask him to put you on it? Does he want to see you? Does he actually know you?) (There are a series of steps the inmate must follow in order to get you on his list, but that’s his problem, not yours.)
  3. Be Prepared. (It says exactly that. I’m now tempted to launch myself into Tom Lehrer’s “Be Prepared, It’s The Boy Scouts Marching Song,” but won’t, because I’ve learned the Boy Scouts, while still adhering to Christian (!) principles, will now be called Scouting America. Sounds ominous. Scouting America for what? Crosses? Anyway…)
  4. Plan your trip. (The BofP doesn’t care how you get there, what hotel you’ll be staying at, whether it has a pool, etc. Your plans, however, must involve learning when you can visit Peter. And that is somewhat more complicated than it sounds.)

Now, under the “Be Prepared” instruction, you need to read thoroughly the rules for visiting Peter. I’m doing that for you here:

There is a serious dress code, with a long, long bullet list of things you can’t wear. You’d better read it; I don’t feel like copying and pasting it here.

Duration of visit. This may shock you, Matt, but Peter gets at least four hours of visiting time a month. The prison may give him more, but it may not, depending on how crowded things are. So what you’re going to have to do, Matt, is schedule yourself not on any day and time you choose, but one that slots you in with the BoP’s elaborate charts. Elaborate. I glanced through them and would need an Enigma machine to decode.

And there is a behavior code which will apply to you, Matt. Indeed, it may have been written specifically for you (I only make that suggestion to nuture any paranoid tendencies you may be working on). Here, I’ll copy and paste: “Because many people are usually visiting, it is important visits are quiet, orderly, and dignified. The visiting room officer can require you to leave if either you or the inmate is not acting appropriately.”

“Appropriately.” That may be a Matt Gaetz stumbling block.

Physical Contact: “In most cases, handshakes, hugs, and kisses (in good taste) are allowed at the beginning and end of a visit. Staff may limit contact for security reasons (to prevent people from trying to introduce contraband) and to keep the visiting area orderly. The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not permit conjugal visits.”

Oh yeah, and when you’re making your travel plans, note this warning: “Unfortunately, there is no Government payment or reimbursement for transportation.”




Posted in Corruption, Crime & Punishment, Government, Politics, The Facts of Life, Trumpism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Matt Gaetz needs to read this BoP advisory