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Tharp case still makes me cry

I initially blogged about this case as it unfolded, then re-titled the blog and condensed my comments. As far as I know, nothing has ever ...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Now I get it. Tharp was the victim of an enhanced training technique.

The CIA has given us to understand that forced simulation of drowning - along with a number of other practices - isn't torture. Its "waterboarding." Or better yet, its an "enhanced interrogation technique." I'm glad to know that.

Perhaps this also sheds some light on what happened to Jason Tharp, the teenager who wanted out of the military, then drowned during "training." Forced to tread water, Jason was surrounded by Marine swim instructors as he went under possibly six times, screamed repeatedly to be let out of the pool, finally succumbed to exhaustion and coughed, gagged, or vomitted before bobbing to the surface unresponsive.

Initially, I thought what happened to Jason was a study in sadism. Gang-style savagery, to be exact. Especially that part about the instructor shoving Jason's head deeper into the water. I'll bet some folks even thought it was cold-blooded murder. But after all this talk about enhanced interrogation techniques, I guess Jason was simply the victim of an enhanced training technique. Maybe this explains why the Associated Press and other mainstream media merely summarized Jason's death as "preventable," without bothering to mention all those horrifying details revealed in the investigative report.

America seems rather taken with the semantics - or antics - of euphemistical skullduggery. And I've given a lot of thought lately to George Orwell's 1984, especially the convoluted terminology known as "Newspeak." Frankly, that's been a bit unnerving. 'Cause the next thing you know, I'll be gettin' the sweet land of liberty confused with some kind of Orwellian nightmare...

Only one media outlet revealed the horrifying details contained in the investigative report:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Resort rates no longer published?

Granted, this is a bit more mundane that the topics I'll usually be addressing. Just couldn't resist.

I noticed the trend some time back: Myrtle Beach resorts mailing advertisements that give price ranges for various - and arbitrary - times of the year instead of disclosing seasonal room rates like they used to do. Pretty ridiculous.

I brought this matter to a resort's attention and was curtly told to give the dates I would be coming and then I would be given the cost of the room. Of course, I asked how I was supposed to select the dates if I didn't know the cost.

This seems to be an attempt to prevent consumers from planning trips based on a knowledge of when lower seasonal rates become effective. You can do fairly well by searching a resort's website, but its a shame its come to this. What next?