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This news roundup is so last week

April 21, 2009

For fun, Tea Party Protests! Mostly i just want to point out that the right wing has given us the opportunity to hear the term “teabagging” on network television and to legitimately refer to them as teabaggers, and for that i totally thank them.

Now the rant; i’ll try to keep it short. This infuriates me on three counts of fucking stupid (history, politics and fact). “Tea parties” because of the Boston Tea Party, right? Oh, lovely: history! patriotism! the birth of America! And this relates because of “taxation without representation,” right? Because the American colonists had no representatives in the English Parliament, which was taxing them. Having representatives who were democratically (with a little “d”) elected, but with whom you disagree, does not qualify as “without representation.”

you know, theres a time and a place for misspelling...

i'm not really one to talk, but there is a time and a place for misspelling...

On the politics end, i have one little question: do you have any idea what taxes do? Perhaps, for example, pay for the public parks that you are assembling in, or for the police to enforce your Constitutional right to assemble (without, say, my interference). Hmm.

And, fact: 31 states have no grocery tax (and only two states fully tax groceries). I’ll send you back to “history” to ponder that one.

And for very serious, there have been more Bush-era memos released regarding the United States’ use of torture.

Caveat: this is an issue that makes me so sick and angry that i can’t make snide comments, much less smart ones. It is one of the few (only?) issues that i cannot have a friendly political conversation with regard to. In fact, it pretty much reduces me to stuttering and shaking (and you probably think i’m exaggerating).

It’s really very simple to me: it’s fucking inhumane. Honestly, i’d be happy to end it there, but that doesn’t hold water with most people, it seems.

“We don’t torture.”
Ahem NYTimes headline, info direct from these fancy new memos, “2 Suspects Waterboarded 266 Times.”

“It’s not really torture.”
Okay, the official memo actually says that waterboarding “constitutes a threat of imminent death.” And then does some amazing logical gymnastics to conclude that repeated “threat[s] of imminent death” don’t do long-term mental damage. Obviously.

“Torture is necessary.”
Honestly, this might make me more angry than the part where it’s fucking sick. “Fucking sick,” is, i realize, an opinion. So i get that there is a point where we’ll just have to stop arguing about it. “Torture doesn’t work,” however, is a fact. A well-proven, repeatedly studied fact that has been known to, among others, the US military for a very long time (see successful, humane WWII interrogations).

But if you thought, somehow, that it was going to be different this time than all the others, let’s look at current examples of total failure. There was the admission that the one piece of information gleaned from a particular Guantanamo detainee (after torture) led us on a wild goose chase. Not only did we detain and torture someone who, we now know, wasn’t really a terrorist, but the end result was wasting our time, effort and money following lies he made up so it would stop. And i can’t help but think that if it worked we’d have found something out before having to get around to the 266th waterboarding?

P.S. along with not working, torture violates international law, puts our troops in more danger, and completely degrades our moral standing as a country. If you want to argue those points, too bad. I’m fucking tired of it.

Lady Brett

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