Odds and Enders for March 5

~ The Guantanamo File: a shameful legacy of the Bush presidency

It speaks for itself.

I also hope that it provides a compelling explanation of how that same government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, established a prison in which the overwhelming majority of those held – at least 93 percent of the 779 men and boys imprisoned in total – were either completely innocent people, seized as a result of dubious intelligence or sold for bounty payments, or Taliban foot soldiers, recruited to fight an inter-Muslim civil war that began long before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, or international terrorism.

~ Thomas Woods, intellectual bodyguard

His new book is already a New York Times bestseller — without any major media publicity.

We are learning what it is like to live in an Orwell novel. Our television screens are filled with people offering choices between idiotic and suicidal option A and idiotic and suicidal option B. We are being told that we must at least partially nationalize our banks, prop up zombie companies, lower interest rates to zero, and pass stimulus packages in order to escape the fate of Japan – which, um, partially nationalized its banks, propped up zombie companies, lowered interest rates to zero, and passed eight stimulus packages. We have a president who tells us we cannot rely on the free market to get us out of this mess because the free market is what got us here, as if the Federal Reserve and its bubble-inducing monetary policy never existed.

~ Pa. schools sells trailer for $1

Noticeably absent from the article is what disciplinary action is being taken against the person responsible for costing the school at least $5000 in revenue. Might that be because it would cost the taxpayers even more to fire the person responsible?

The East Stroudsburg School District was attempting to sell seven used classroom trailers, but an error in its ad on the online auction site allowed someone to bid and buy one trailer for only a dollar. The district had purchased the trailers three years ago for about $46,000 each. With transportation and setup costs, the total came to around $60,000. Officials were expecting to get around $5,000 to $10,000 per trailer on eBay.

~ It’s not the whole Internet, but it’s a start

Former vice president Al Gore submitted a proposal for a new top-level Web domain, .eco.

And Gore, who never actually quite claimed to have invented the Internet, though he did have some hand in getting it up and running, can claim to have partially invented a domain.

~ Pure Ownage: Thomas Friedman’s Five Worst Predictions

Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, a staple of The New York Times, and a bestselling author, and thus this prediction should be taken very seriously—in some alternate universe where the news media is a meritocracy and Thomas Friedman is a competent observer of the world and its workings. The rest of us can probably relax.

The highlight for me:

Then, a month into the Afghanistan conflict, Friedman complained that “the hand-wringing has already begun over how long this might last” and advised readers to “take a deep breath,” noting that Afghanistan is “far away.” Besides, Friedman had “no doubt, for now, that the Bush team has a military strategy for winning a long war.” A month later, he noted in passing that “America has won the war in Afghanistan” and that “the Taliban are gone,” though he did express some concern about “all the nonsense written in the press about the concern for ‘civilian casualties’,” a term he took to using with scare quotes. Seven years later, civilian casualties remain a major item of concern for Afghan’s in the non-won war against the non-gone Taliban.

~ The war on drugs, the war on guns

The worst elements of the drug war are now taking precedent in the war on guns, according to the Cato Institute.