Friday, April 17, 2009

United States of Torture

Prosecutions. Now.

250K people protested yesterday that they have to pay tax. Boo hoo.

Where are the 250K who will protest that the filth that thought locking men in boxes with insects was something civilised people do are not being prosecuted?

To be honest, I think that any prosecution would fail, and this is a big reason for not pursuing one. The reason is that while it's obvious that shackling a man to a chair for a week in a position that prevents him from sleeping, or locking him in a box for 18 hours while you bang on it and play him some nice loud Limp Bizkit is torture, it's not torture under the very precise definition in the American statute on it.

Also, it's clear that Obama is not abandoning the "war on terror" or its methods, and that in this, as in many other areas, he talks the talk but does not walk the walk, and he wants the notion that the executive should not be prosecuted for "policy mistakes" to take hold because he intends to be making some "mistakes" of his own.

Even so, we should not just let this pass. Of course, we feel powerless. We read this stuff and wish we could do something about it, but who are we? We are tiny and insignificant.

On our own, this is true. But en masse, we are the greatest source of power there is. 250K people whining about taxes is not scary, even 2 mil marching against the war in the UK was not enough, but this is an issue with a tipping point, I believe, that we could push it past.

Let's not let it lie. If we have the chance, let's fight for our nations, flawed as they are, to be at least not flawed in this way. Let's demand that we show that we won't allow our nations to be made rogue states, the shit on the world's heel, which we now are. We are Syria. We are Egypt. We are Nazi Germany. These are our bedfellows. Let's not be that.

23 Comments:

At 5:32 pm, Blogger nobody said...

"Also, it's clear that Obama is not abandoning the "war on terror" or its methods..."That's why on Apr 16, 2009 his administration released the memos you're so piously pointing at then, because he plans to continue it? No, that doesn't quite make sense, now does it? Bush never released them did he? If that kind of thing was to continue, why release them now?

Shame the ACLU is such a bunch of pussies isn't it. Did you know it's entirely legal to discriminate against tobacco users in the US? And that age discriminiation continues regardless of the law?

Granted being tortured outright is a bit more blatant than being denied employment, but in the US if you're over 50 and you're a smoker, you can kiss the idea of getting a job goodbye in the general case. Go live in your fucking car and eat from the dumpster behind the pizza parlor, right? Better than a few hours of outright torture, far better than scumsucking smokers deserve, right?

There's plenty of wrong shit that has not been redressed, such as the fact that Most Favored Nation status was conferred on China and renewed. This goes across several administrations,

"Despite a strained relationship after China's 1989 crackdown of protestors in Tiananmen Square, China has been granted a MFN waiver every year since 1980."But hey, without China doing the grunt work the US might need to revive its manufacturing capability and hire a few people from within the country, we can't have those unionized bastards cutting into the profits just so they can afford to live, better to hire out the work than to pay American workers enough to fend off the slumlords.

Get the fuck over it Zen, the answer isn't to get a few protestors whining on the White House lawn, not when there's money flowing to the rich and they stand in its way. You stand in the way of enough money and the tanks will roll right fucking over you just like Tiananmen Square, and if you think that's fancied up fabrication look up fucking Kent State.

The location of the turds within the bowl will change a bit here and there, but the water will never be fucking clear until the whole economic structure of the planet is flushed down the toilet and that isn't going to happen as long as greed and power remain two of the three major motivating factors in the world and both are based on the third, fear.

As long as fear dominates the planet you will have this kind of shit going on somewhere whether it comes to light or not.

You want an enemy to hate? There it is: fear.

 
At 5:26 am, Blogger Arleen said...

You want an enemy to hate? There it is: fear.1 John 4:
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
---
It was words such as these that kept me following God for as long as I did, and though God as an actual entity is gone, some of those words still ring very clear in my spirit. (Yeah, yeah, no such thing as spirit, yada, yada. It's a word that most English speakers can relate to in a way that comes close to what I mean when I say it, so I still use the word spirit.)

I think that this is why I am still so willing to believe that what we believe deep down inside about life, and about ourselves, is what we create for ourselves or attract to ourselves. Even when we have to go through suffering, whatever it is that we're made of (think/believe we are) is what can determine the outcome of it all.

Anyway, I wish all those who say they love God would pay attention to verse 20 of the same chapter. We'd have a lot less killing in the world.
---
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
---

As for the tax thing, it would have been a great protest if they were protesting the way our government wastes our taxes to fight senseless wars and bail out large corporations. I think that aside from the dittoheads, there were probably people out there who are fed up with our government's mismanagement of OUR money.

nobody I see your point about nothing changing until we can change the hearts of men, which is exactly what Christians say, which is why they're so damned insufferable about knocking on people's doors trying to make them change by introducing them to God because they believe that only something miraculous like a God can do it, but at least they're hopeful that it CAN be done.

I used to be hopeful, even after doubting God, but then I started hanging around people who don't have my rose-colored glasses and some of that hope vanished. I don't like it that it has vanished. You're essentially saying that there is nothing we can do to change the nature of man, and maybe that's true, but sometimes, when enough of us get together, as Zen suggests, we do manage to change the conditions of man's existence in spite of his nature, don't you think?

 
At 8:28 am, Blogger nobody said...

Arleen said,

"You're essentially saying that there is nothing we can do to change the nature of man, ..."

You are very mistaken if you think I am saying there is nothing we can do to change this world we live in. Read the last paragraph of that referenced post carefully. Leave any defeatist bollocks with which you may have been infected behind before reading it or you risk misunderstanding it again, assuming you read it before.

 
At 9:48 am, Blogger Arleen said...

The difficult part is that in order to change what we perceive into existence we must change our essential natures, the very essence of what we are.Okay, you're not saying there is nothing we can do, but can you really see this happening? I used to think that eventually mankind would evolve to the point at which we would be able to live at peace. I never thought it would be heaven, just that we would figure out what worked best and stop being so stupid. I would get so frustrated with people who would say it isn't possible. I would reply with, "Well, not as long as you believe that way, it isn't. But it must start somewhere!" Which is still the case, really, I do think that if we believe better for ourselves we can change, it's just that I no longer think that people as a whole will ever be able to believe we can be other than what we are right now. Though my thinking is subtly different from an outright disbelief in the possibility, I've basically joined the defeatist camp. HOW will people ever get to a point of believing what they see as impossible?

For awhile I thought it would be a matter of people who thought in terms of possibilities slowly acting as a yeast in the whole and that it might take many thousands of years, but then I began to think of just how far we've come in the thousands of years we've already been around. At some points in our history it seems as though we've gone backward instead of forward.

 
At 7:08 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Arleen wrote,

"Okay, you're not saying there is nothing we can do, but can you really see this happening? I used to think that eventually mankind would evolve..."

You think you've read it and you think you understand it, yet you're still the helpless vassal of this "mankind" thingy, waiting on its pleasure. Go read the entire post again, hon. You're not even beginning to understand what's written there. Take it literally fucksake, that's how it was written.

 
At 7:34 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

You've stopped having comments on your blog? Not surprised. Few preachers like to have a dissenter in the audience. Thought you enjoyed the arselicking from Camel though?

Anyway, the "cosmic order" is an invention by those who cannot accept how chaotic the world is.

 
At 9:27 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Zen mewled,

"You've stopped having comments on your blog?"

No future posts in that blog are planned and comments have been disabled. I've said what I had to say and it's time for me to move on.

"Few preachers like to have a dissenter in the audience."

Yes, I'm sure that's why you've banned me here from time to time, my interfering with your continual sermons of hopelessness must annoy you.

"Thought you enjoyed the arselicking from Camel though?"

Sorry to correct you on language Zen, but the word "thought" is inappropriate in that sentence.

"Anyway, the 'cosmic order' is an invention by those who cannot accept how chaotic the world is."

That's the opinion of someone who doesn't exist, is it? I'm sure it must be quite valuable, considering its lack of source.

You're not far off though, it's a premise of those who, observing the world's chaos, choose to think and act, unlike you lot who simply whine about the confusion you have imposed upon yourselves.

Unfortunately little boy, daddy is going to continue beating you no matter much you cry, so you might as well buck up and accept your lot because if communists weren't a bunch of whining pussies the free market would have been history decades ago. There will be no communist revolution because pussies don't revolt, they just whine.

 
At 2:07 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:09 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

You think you've read it and you think you understand it...Well, I give up then. You're so sure of the way you say things are, and Zen's so sure of the way he says things are, even when you would probably both say you're not sure of anything, and I'm certainly not sure of anything, even when I sound like I am. So are we sure, or not sure?

Here is what I know. Love one another, even when it's hard. Nothing else really makes sense to me.

 
At 6:02 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

I am surer of what isn't than what is, if that helps.

 
At 7:53 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Arleen said,

"Well, I give up then. You're so sure of the way you say things are, and ..."

When I've written that we can change things, and you've concluded that I'm saying we can't, that makes me pretty sure there's some miscommunicatin going on.

"Here is what I know. Love one another, even when it's hard. Nothing else really makes sense to me."

You really don't need to retreat to pablum.

If we could hook an electricity generator up to Jesus as he spins in his grave that alone should supply the world's needs for the forseeable future.

 
At 8:02 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Zen wrote,

"I am surer of what isn't than what is,..."

To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes one way to figure out what is, is to become a collector of what is not.

Just have better sense my friend than to write down your conclusions or people will be saying you told them red is green and yellow is white.

 
At 11:09 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Coming back to the subject of your post Z, have you seen that the UN claims Obama's exemption is illegal?

I find it difficult to imagine him as being so naive that he wouldn't forsee this. I also find it difficult to imagine him being so dense as to openly condemn Bush-administration policies when he could let the legal systems do the heavy lifting in the name of "rule by law", as I suspect he chose to do.

 
At 8:17 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

President Obama is a constitutional lawyer. He doesn't need any lessons in treaty obligations. But who is going to enforce this law?

 
At 11:37 am, Blogger Arleen said...

You really don't need to retreat to pablum.Retreat? Yes, I do. Discussions such as this are best left for another day, another time. Then again, pablum? Maybe we really have nothing to discuss at all.

 
At 7:40 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Arleen wrote,

"Then again, pablum? Maybe we really have nothing to discuss at all."

Now, see how you are when you get like that?

"Love one another, even when it's hard."

I call that pablum, yes. It reflects the views of a milquetoast that Jesus has been made into for fun and profit.

Whatever. If you want to love taking abuse, feel quite free.

There are those who think Jesus (whether he was real or fictional) said to turn the cheek and turn it again and again because he was espousing the concept of being a sop for the world's punishment. I can only think he was saying to turn the cheek repeatedly to be certain of the nature of your attacker before you destroy it utterly.

Regardless, how are you going to come into a state of relative stability when one moment you are la-la-la happily skipping along, and the next moment some moron issues a few words and sets you on your arse?

I'm not making recommendations, it's your arse.

 
At 7:54 pm, Blogger nobody said...

Zen wrote,

"President Obama is a constitutional lawyer. He doesn't need any lessons in treaty obligations."

Exactly.

"But who is going to enforce this law?"

I think Obama was obligated, presuming that he intends to hold onto his "rule of law" direction, to say that if the questionable activities had been declared legal those performing them would not be punished for complying with the law. I can't see that he had any choice if he's to hang onto "rule of law" rather than Bush's executive fiat approach.

As you say he knows something of the law. The idea is that if the law is shown to be damaging it will be changed by the legislature. It's my suspicion that he's in the midst of a dance here. He knew that the UN would declare it illegal because it is.

Keep an eye on what the congress does about it. I'm expecting they'll agree with the UN and they'll do something about it. They'll hem and haw a lot. Then perhaps there might be some changes, or not. Can't know in advance.

What I can say is that Supreme Court Justices, as I understand it, are *appointed*for*life* and that sets them as much outside the rest of the government as the Federal Reserve Board.

There's a lot of heavy lifting to be done. I don't expect that Obama will do it all. I do anticipate a nudge from time to time.

Hell, if the US was to have a President who just forced everything to be "right" wtf ever that is, that would amount to a Bush of a different flavor.

We'll see whether the mechanisms of constitutional government work as perhaps they were intended to work.

If they do not, it will affect consumer confidence and the global downtrend will likely plunge resulting in a state of chaos from which perhaps something better will emerge, or perhaps we'll all be eating fried rats for dinner when we can catch them.

 
At 8:10 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

Whatever. If you want to love taking abuse, feel quite free.
[...]
Regardless, ... few words and sets you on your arse?
What we have here is a failure to communicate, and though I care enough to respond and say we seem to be talking past each other, I don't care enough to make the attempt to try to fix it. Maybe later, 'k?

 
At 8:12 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

Why do all my comments ignore the space I leave between my italicized quotes and what I have to say? It's not happening to any one else.

It's all of a piece. This night is a fucking pain in the ass.

 
At 9:07 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

boots, your reading of Jesus is entirely wrong and I believe Arleen is fundamentally right. Hatred breeds hatred, and even if love does not engender love, it cannot do any harm. Doing no harm is not to be despised, son.

I think that Obama did not have to say that those who were "following orders" would not be charged. It is rather calculated. In fact, the US would be breaching more than one treaty were it to refuse to prosecute the interrogators who tortured. His talk of the rule of law has been very much betrayed by his actions.

Congress? Don't make me laugh.

I believe Obama's weighing of the influences and pressures on him is equally as cynical as yours and he believes he can talk it all away, come out smelling of roses but not make any enemies or infringe on his own powers. A reason he doesn't want to prosecute his predecessor is that he does not know that he will not do similar himself.

I don't expect or want Obama to make everything right. But this, he should. History will in any case judge the brave more kindly than it will the cautious. There are no plodders on Mt Rushmore.

 
At 2:11 am, Blogger nobody said...

Arleen wrote,

"Why do all my comments ignore the space I leave between my italicized quotes and what I have to say?"

It's a blogger bug A, put the quotes outside the italics, that seems to work.

"It's all of a piece. This night is a fucking pain in the ass."

I used to feel that way sometimes. May I suggest a stiff bourbon before bed? <g>

 
At 2:18 am, Blogger nobody said...

Zen wrote,

"... your reading of Jesus is entirely wrong..."

Really, did he tell you that Yer Popeship?

"Hatred breeds hatred, and even if love does not engender love, it cannot do any harm. Doing no harm is not to be despised, son."

You're so fucking out in left field with that that I'm having trouble not laughing out loud, Z. Where did I say a single word about "hatred"? Fucksake man, if you can't dispatch a rapist cleanly and emotionlessly, let him fuck you 'til he's done and goes away.

"Congress? Don't make me laugh."

Yes, well, I fairly much agree with that, so read farther in my post for the obvious conclusion and begin hoarding gold if that suits your sensibilities.

 
At 7:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

here is a truly stupid fuck.

It's okay to torture people as long as they end up telling you what you wanted to know.

Cheney ought to be the second one hanged.

 

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