Updated: 5/16/2006; 12:41:35 PM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Torture and terror:  From the comments to Pat Lang's earlier piece.  "Torture works! Not as source of information, but as instrument of terror. That's the dirty secret.  It's to scare the general populus and to feed the visceral feeling to hurt people we don't like. That is why eradicating torture is so hard. It's an effective instrument of supression. .."

"The Chinese have a colorful proverb for your "torture one to terrorize another" example:  "Kill the chicken, scare the monkey." " ..

"There's an iraqi folk tale that almost exactly fits your chinese aphorism. ..  A man bought a monkey to weave at his loom. When he got the monkey home he started showing it how the loom worked. But the monkey jumped up into the rafters and laughed at him. So the man brought in a sheep and started teaching the sheep how to weave. The monkey laughed at that too. Sheep have hooves, they can't weave. The man demonstrated it all three times to the sheep but the sheep just went Baa, baa. Then the man got angry. "If you won't weave, why should you live?" and he cut the sheep's throat and cut the head entirely off. And then the monkey stopped laughing and got scared, he jumped down from the rafters and started weaving as fast as he could. And that is where we get the proverb, "Kill the sheep so the monkey will learn.""

  4:45:38 PM  permalink  

Desktop Integration Bounty Hunt: Great idea.  Corporations (primarily Novell and Google now) announce bounties for open source code that integrates open source desktop software in the Linux environment.  "The goal of this contest is to improve the quality and functionality of the Linux desktop. .. Each task listed below has a bounty associated with it. Your job is simple: choose a task, do the work, fill out the claim form, and collect the bounty. "

  4:36:16 PM  permalink  

Canada, carmakers sign tough emissions pact:  Explicit cooperation between blue states and other countries on enviro issues.  "Faced with the threat that Canada would adopt tough, California-style rules on auto emissions, major automakers agreed Tuesday [April 2005] to voluntarily reduce the global-warming emissions of cars and light trucks sold north of the border.  Auto industry watchdogs said the deal, signed Tuesday in Windsor, Ontario, by officials of the Canadian government and the nation's automobile industry, could force automakers to adopt similar stringent emissions rules for vehicles sold throughout the United States.

The agreement follows the lead of regulations adopted last November in California, which U.S. automakers -- the same multinational giants that dominate Canada's auto industry -- are seeking to overturn in court.  Tuesday's pact commits the manufacturers to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions of their vehicles sold in Canada by 5.3 million metric tons -- about 25 percent -- by the end of 2010. In comparison, rules adopted in California oblige automakers to reduce their global-warming emissions by 30 percent, starting in 2009 and culminating in 2016.

Supporters of California's rules praised Tuesday's deal but said it showed the automakers were being two-faced, voluntarily adopting standards in Canada that they oppose south of the border.  .. "But it shows that the steps on global warming that car manufacturers say would wreak havoc in California are eminently doable," said [Tom Dresslar, spokesman for the Calif. attorney general]. "If you look at the history of this industry, whenever there are regulations proposed about safety, consumers and the environment, Detroit comes out with the Chicken Little routine, and that has never turned out to be an accurate prediction of the future."  ..

the new standards will force an unprecedented increase in gas mileage for more than one-third of the vehicles sold in North America.  New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have adopted California's strict emissions targets. With this mass of auto buyers now joined by millions of Canadians, the auto industry is under increasing pressure to adopt the new levels for all its fleets, rather than offering different models for the two different markets.

Canada's voluntary deal may have been set in motion by unprecedented cooperation between California officials and their Canadian counterparts, who have met in recent months to discuss the possibility of Canada's adopting California's air quality rules. .. "California's pressure and the cross-border visits were very instrumental in helping the Canadian government to move forward and get the deal," said John Bennett, senior policy adviser for energy for the Sierra Club of Canada. "

  3:23:11 PM  permalink  


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Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:41:35 PM.