Another collection of links and such:
- “The gloves are coming off gentlemen regarding these detainees” — “Col. Boltz has made it clear that we want these individuals broken.” These quotes from a memo “sent by the intelligence staff of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who was then commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, to all concerned military intelligence personnel in Iraq.”
- “A pork-hungry Congress has long been with us, of course, but , with our armed forces engaged on two major fronts, Congress has pushed the pork in the defense budget to an all-time high, totaling $8.9 billion.”
- Rusting museum of our attempted suicide survives in the desert — Jon Else revisits the nuclear weapons test site at Frenchman Flat: “An enormous Mosler bank vault sits abandoned and forgotten on the dry lake bed of Frenchman Flat, Nev. It is ugly and rusting, a big cookie jar from hell — yet it now exists as one of America’s greatest monuments to clear thinking. ¶ That giant safe is a relic of an Atomic Energy Commission experiment in (“Response of Protective Vaults to Blast Loading”). Filled with stocks and bonds, cash and insurance policies, it confirmed that our official valuables, contracts and financial instruments could survive nuclear war.… ¶ Today, as we sweat over whether North Korea has four bombs or six, or whether Iran has any at all, remember that in , only 12 years after the Trinity test — the first nuclear explosion in history took place at Alamogordo, N.M., on — the United States was manufacturing 10 nuclear bombs per day, 3,000 fission and fusion bombs every year. The largest deployable weapon in our arsenal was the 5-megaton Mark 21, powerful enough to flatten 400 Hiroshimas (or Fallujahs or Oaklands) at a pop. ¶ Filling that Mosler vault with stocks and bonds in now seems a surreal gesture of hope. Imagine the bomb’s survivors — a hairless, sterilized post-nuclear Adam and Eve, dry heaving (like the radioactive feral dogs that roamed the deserted streets of Chernobyl) — crawling toward the bank vault in their bloody rags, trying to remember the combination, praying for their Chrysler stock, or Grandpa’s gold watch, or their Prudential personal liability policies.”
- Perhaps you’ve heard that some libertarian-minded sorts are hoping to gather the faithful and make their Gulch in New Hampshire. They may be joined by the town of Killington, which wants to secede from their current state and become a little island of New Hampshire deep inside Vermont. What’s triggering the revolt? Taxes, of course.
- The Christian Science Monitor profiles four Americans who dug themselves huge pits with their credit cards and then dug themselves back out. A companion article gives some advice on how to get out of debt. If you need to get out of the red before you can get below the tax line, you might want to give these articles a look.