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RB Holbrook

Minneapolis, MN
Commenter for
4 years 20 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 12/19/14 at 04:52 pm in response to GOP boots DFL environmental leader from House committee

I know elections have consequences (a phrase accepted by Republicans only when they win), but why does either party get to decide whom the other party places on a committee?

Senator Warren is an effective voice in the Senate. She is able to finance on the financial and economic areas of her expertise. As a Senator, she has a platform from which she can--at the very least--continue to draw attention to issues like rising inequality, or the recklessness of the financial sector.

A President has to be presidential. She could not focus on the areas of greatest concern but would have to involve herself in foreign and defense affairs, often to the exclusion...

Can I be outraged at both? Is it legitimate to feel a different kind of outrage when one crime was supposedly done on my behalf?

I suggest you read the definition of torture in the UN Convention: "[A]ny act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having...

Were you strapped down? Were you being interrogated? There is a big difference between waterboarding and "having cold water splashed in your face," as the Bluenose ritual was described by one prominent commentator.

How about some of the other hi-jinks Mr. Cheney blustered through? Were you chained to the floor? Intentionally deprived of sleep for days on end? Hydrated rectally?

As opposed to water poured onto a water-saturated cloth that covers your mouth and nose, with your head held back, so that you can't breathe or keep the water out of your lungs. The pouring continues for up to 40 seconds.

No, what you went through was not the equivalent of waterboarding.

Here is what a former master instructor and chief of training at the U.S. Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School said about it:

"It has been reported that both the Army and Navy SERE school's interrogation manuals were used to form the interrogation techniques employed by the Army and the CIA for its terror suspects. What is less frequently reported is that our training was designed to show how an evil totalitarian enemy would use torture at the slightest whim.


Why are drone strikes worse than manned airstrikes? Or, for that matter, sending soldiers into combat on false pretenses?

After the Second World War, the United States insisted on open trials for war criminals, with due process protections for the accused. It was considered a moral, as well as a legalistic, imperative.

It was the Soviet Union--an unquestionably evil regime--that advocated "victor's justice" of bullets in the back of the head.

Economics--A Very Short Introduction (on the reading list for economics students at Cambridge)

A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, by Gregory Clark

Debt: The First 5,000 Years, by David Graeber

Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States, by Michael Lind

Minnesota's most prominent contribution to the social sciences will never be out of date.