Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Torturers

Goddamn fuckers.

Yes, I am culpable too. If you are an American, or one of our "allies" who facilitated this, then you are culpable, too. I should have done more. I didn't know exactly what to do. I did squeak my little pipsqueak voice out into the uncaring void. I did contribute to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. I didn't do enough. I have let the petty distractions of life stand in the way of a moral duty. I am sorry.

I mention and link to some of my stuff on torture below, not because I want "credit" for anything, but because I don't feel like repeating myself. Again.

Yes, prosecute them. Nothing less is really acceptable. If our chickenshit system won't do it because of political cravenness, maybe some of them might forget themselves and go to Europe, or Canada, or somewhere else, where maybe they'd get snatched up and held to account there. A boy can dream, anyway.

Goddamn fuckers.

(If you are someone who believes that the torture that happened under Bush can be defended, this is a rare opportunity to say whatever you want to me without response. I will not respond to or engage with any arguments of that sort, at this point.)

Some of my old stuff, if you care...

12/31/05 - Outlaw Administration My very first blog post ever. Summary: the Bush administration was an outlaw administration, and not in the cool Waylon and Willie sense, but in the need-to-go-to-jail sense. Torture is featured.

1/24/06 - Outlaw Outsourcing. Summary: No smoking guns, at that time, to directly link Rumsfeld, Cheney, & Bush to Abu Ghraib, but not really necessary. Aside from the semantic games they loved to play about waterboarding and such, it had just been documented how we used dictatorial or authoritarian governments nominally "aligned" with us to torture on our behalf.

12/30/06 - One Year On, and the Outlaw Administration Rolls On... An anniversary piece, of sorts, for my blog. Summary: Includes a handy recap of some of the known facts about our torture practices, including legal documentation of the torture of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen.

1/27/07 - Thatcher on "gitmo." Summary: Margaret Thatcher shamefully and dishonestly compared her treatment of certain IRA prisoners--which, whether you liked her decisions or not, were conducted according to the rule of law--with the Bush administration's practices at Guantanamo Bay, where Bush asserted unchecked executive power beyond the rule of law (and was eventually overruled). An excerpt (not quite on the main topic of the post): for "rendition," i.e. the outsourcing of torture to unscrupulous foreign governments, one would hope such a practice would be considered despicable in its own right, but the fact that completely innocent people have been tortured at our behest should shame even the most hard-core Bush defender. Should, but apparently doesn't. Disgusting. It shames me as an American, even though I didn't vote for Bush.
I had a "mini-series" on waterboarding, and the confirmation hearings for Mukasey as attorney general, in November 2007. Here, here, and here.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why the Teabaggers Really Were Full of It (and I Don't Mean Tea)

**Special note to any of my GOP-minded friends that might happen by here. I do, in fact, call some of your partisans "twits" and "pinheads" below. But I am sure I didn't mean you, and I do stand by my characterizations of those who did and said the specific things discussed.**

In the midst of a good, friendly debate over at the DinkZone blog, my bud Heath (tongue-in-cheek) said he hoped I "had fun teabagging" on Wednesday. While far too much has already been made of this whole dismal spectacle, I feel the need to take a moment to distance myself from this particular "protest." If you told me, in abstract terms, about some people who legitimately believed that our government was excessive in size, and who decided to take April 15 as a day to stage a peaceful, respectful, and principled demonstration in favor of reducing said wasteful government, then, yes, I would confess that it sounds like something I might endorse, or hell, in which I might even participate.

Of course, the "tea parties" that took place on Wednesday were nothing of the sort. Yes, the twin facts that various entities and individuals within the GOP establishment, including Fox News, organized and promoted it heavily, even while Fox simultaneously hyped the parties as "spontaneous citizen protests" would have been funny, had it not been so insulting to our collective intelligence. But beyond that, the blatant hypocrisy of so many of the twits that showed up at these events was truly hard to stomach. After sitting by and watching 8 years of astounding fiscal irresponsibility and the biggest expansion of federal spending since at least LBJ, now is the time to get outraged at excessive government spending!?!? Anybody who really meant a damn word of their "I believe in small government" speechifying, would have to admit that the Bush administration has trounced all others in recent memory in expanding spending, executive power, and secrecy. To pick this moment, and this (still very new) administration as your target is ridiculously and transparently partisan and oxymoronic (or perhaps just moronic), even if the provenance of this "movement" had not already made that clear.

Please don't associate me with any of these pinheads. All of this was really enough to put yours truly, a genuine believer in limited government, off his lunch. Nearly as much as feeling obligated to finally go look up "teabagging" at the Urban Dictionary. Now there is something I really did not need to know.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Alex at the Water

My nephew, Alex, loves the beach as much as anyone I have yet seen. To witness such pure delight is to touch something timeless. It is impossible to not be moved, in the face of such pure joy, unmediated and unfiltered.

Then take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time,
Far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees,
Out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea,
Circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow. the jingle jangle morning, I'll come following you.

-Bob Dylan