Stupid religious right

This morning, on the radio station Enrico characterizes as the home of the right-wing wackos (As in “Bert, what d’ya fancy, the right wing wackos, or the left wing wackos?), the hosts, Pat Gray and Edd Hendee (what is UPP with the two “d”s in “Edd”??) on KSEV had a fine old time with a prolonged rant to the effect that Johnny Sutton, the US attorney for the Western District of Texas, the nemesis of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, the Federal Border Agents who have been imprisoned for various alleged offenses in connection with the shooting of a drug smuggling suspect, is GAY.

That’s a long, confusing sentence.  Please allow Enrico to get right to the point:  Edd Hendee and Pat Gray were mocking Johnny Sutton with the allegation that he is a fudge packer.

Enrico is in a morally dubious position with regard to his disdain for Edd  “Double D” Hendee and Pat Gray, because Enrico, too, has mocked people with whom he disagrees for their choice of combinations of orifices and genders and genitalia, notably the fudge packer Barney Fag.

But Enrico devoutly hopes that he has been quite clear that his disdain for Barney Fag has nothing to do with his genital-orifice-gender choices, but rather has everything to do with the fact that Barney Fag is a lying corrupt sack of shit, a set of characteristics which is not, as far as Enrico knows, correlated with genital-orifice-gender selection.

Enrico doesn’t know whether Johnny Sutton is a fudge packer.  Edd “Double D” Hendee and Pat Gray seem to be pretty confident that they know that he is.  Enrico wonders how they can be so certain, unless they have witnessed fudge packing, or participated in fudge packing with Johnny Sutton.  Barney Fag has stated he that he is a fudge packer, and Enrico thinks that Johnny Sutton has not so stated.

Enrico was revulsed by Edd “Double D” Hendee and Pat Gray.  They lacked skillz in their mockery, and Enrico detects the whiff of right wing religious bigotry in their mockery of Johnny Sutton.  Right wing religious bigots are stupid, and Enrico wants these idiots to join the idiot ratsocrats, so they can all be idiots together.

For what it’s worth, Enrico thinks that Ramos and Compean seriously misbehaved.  They lied about their actions, they shot a man in the back, and even such a biased, stupid, emotional wreck as George Bush ’43 declined to pardon them.  They are a poor choice for a poster child for whatever cause Edd “Double D” Hendee and Pat Gray imagine they are advancing.

Told ya

The Chicoms are buying the crap out of gold.  Enrico remains uncertain that gold or any metal will turn out to be the commodity into which a major nation makes its currency convertible, but he is more certain than ever that one of the major economies will take the step of currency convertibility to a tangible asset within the next decade.  Enrico supposes that China is also uncertain about the selection of a commodity or commodities, but in the business of hedging one’s bets, how could one ignore the most popular value storage commodity of choice in human history?

What will happen when the first major economy takes this step?  Enrico sees two possibilities, possibly not exclusive:  war, and a domino effect of other major economies following suit.

Using chirality to detect alien life

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is researching this cool technique for detecting alien life by exploiting the handedness of organic molecules.

Many organic molecules such as amino acids and sugars have two versions which are symmetrical, have the same basic atomic composition, but have structures which are mirror images of each other, referred to as right-handed or left-handed.  Only one of the mirror images can play its role in organic processes.  A preponderance of the right-handed or left-handed version of a given molecule is a marker of organic activity.

An aggregation of organic matter reflects light differently based on the proportion of right-handed or left-handed molecules.

This is pretty exciting, if in fact this signature can be detected at galactic scale.  It sounds as though, so far, this is a lab trick at very short distances.

Torture Debate: The Vacuum Imploder

Enrico has been playing Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 quite a bit lately.  He finds the game’s cold war era inspired Soviet army somehow reassuring.  Things were so much simpler when the US had a foe with a visible standing army and a somewhat visible economy.

The Soviets in the game have a superweapon, the Vacuum Imploder.  When it is fired at a set of enemy structures, they collapse on themselves and explode gloriously.

The debate over torture and the potential criminal prosecution of former government officials over torture could be the Vacuum Imploder of the Obama administration.

Enrico thinks the ratsocrats have already lost the debate, by framing it thusly:  torture is immoral and illegal, and anyway, it doesn’t work.

Who cares whether it works or not, if it is immoral and illegal??

There seems to be pretty convincing evidence that a succession of directors of the CIA believed strongly that waterboarding the muslim extremists has in fact worked, producing intelligence which has helped the US to thwart planned terror attacks.

It has been conventional wisdom throughout the 20th century that torture works.  Intelligence services have routinely equipped clandestine agents with means to kill themselves if captured, recognizing that no one can be expected to withstand torture without giving up everyone  and everything he knows.

During the Korean War and the Vietnam War, American military personnel routinely caved in to torture.  During World War II, all sides used varying degrees of “coercive” techniques, and it certainly did work, if the term is defined to mean the techniques compelled the disclosure of information that otherwise would not have been disclosed.

What is the basis for arguing that it doesn’t work?  This argument is absurd on its face.

The argument about morality and legality is a proper argument.  Obviously, facts do not obtain in the argument over morality.  And, it seems pretty clear that the entirety of the Federal Government apparatus was properly deployed to declare the techniques legal.  So, only by retroactively changing the rules, or by appealing to foreign law, can the actions of the previous Administration be declared illegal.  The former is what banana republics do, and the latter is not what Americans should do.

But there is a third leg to this debate.  If the Obama administration goes down the road of prosecuting the former administration over torture, ALL of its other legislative agenda is permanently dead.  The Vacuum Imploder!

Coleman should appeal to the ICJ

Stu Smalley appears to have won the Minnesota Senate election.  But Enrico urges Norm Coleman to continue his efforts to thwart Stu Smalley.  If Coleman’s appeal to the SCOTUS fails, Coleman should appeal to the International Court of Justice.  He should cite the obvious anti-semitism of Smalley’s campaign, the rampant anti-Jew bias of the Minnesota courts, and simply the fact that Smalley is a raving scumbag asshole.  He’s probably committed genocide at some point in his disgusting career.  It is obvious that Coleman’s defeat is a vast ratsocrat anti-semitic conspiracy.

The ratsocrats deserve none of the normal niceties of civilized disputes.  They have demonstrated over and over again that they have no respect for the rule of law, so they are certainly not entitled to the benefits of deference to the law.

So, Norm!  Break their teeth!  Scorch the earth!  Lay waste!  Insist that whatever lying scumbag won Ted Stevens’ seat resign!  Insist that Tom DeLay be awarded his old Congressional seat!

These idiots are making me THIRSTY

Back when Enrico was working for a certain legendary IT consultancy, he heard a story from a colleague about the time he was assigned to herd cats in the quant shop of an investment bank peopled exclusively with PhD computer / exotic math wizards.  My colleague, Chuck, gave his introductory spiel to the PhDs in which he briefly outlined what he understood to be the mission, obstacles and resources of the group, and the course of action he proposed to herd them towards.

After he finished, there was a crashing silence.  Then, after a few minutes, one of the PhDs raised his hand.  Chuck gaily called upon him.  The PhD said “I’m trying to decide if you’re a liar or just an idiot.”

Enrico often these days finds himself in the same dilemma.  I think there’s a typo in my heading for this post:  these idots are making me ANGRY.

Tax cheat Tim Geithner is the idiot currently making me angry, with his proposal to auction off toxic assets in a manner which is GUARANTEED to cause maximum losses for the Treasury.  Enrico shakes his head in dispair, and grimly buys more commodities.