Perhaps if Jesus had been simply killed with a stab to the back, Christianity might never have caught on. Because it appears, according to Andrew Sullivan, that there's a correlation between support of torture and being a professed Christian. Which makes a bit of sense, as all Christian persecutions of others have involved torture and execution that at times seemed to echo that of Christ, to a point of being an attempt at re-creation. Why is this? Why does emotional connection to the story of Jesus not cause the infliction of suffering to appall Christians more than others? Does the story not create empathy for suffering, or: does it provide an inoculation against such empathy?
In any case, it should be a moment of, at least, self-reflection for these so-called Christians, who probably would have been among Jesus' persecutors, not his apostles. Though they might have become Christians later, to get forgiveness so they'd never have to take responsibility. Because that's what today's Christians believe it is--a way to avoid having to take responsibility for their actions. Becoming "born-again," many may not realize, doesn't necessarily mean you lead an upright life later. It just means you believe Jesus is controlling your actions from then on, and therefore sanctions what you do.
This is nothing to do with being a Christian, a position in which you cannot help thinking about the consequences of and responsibility for your choices and actions. But how many think of it that way? Few.
...and switches parties. How will the GOP react this time? Last time someone left the party they let 3,000 Americans die to regain their power.
...they defend torture at the same time as produce best-selling books on the threat of tyranny and fascism. They take to the streets to protest a president who threatens to raise taxes in the future on the successful; but they actually support the right of a president to seize anyone at will, detain them without charges and torture them.
I know how Specter feels. I've never been a Republican but they have come to make me feel sick to my stomach.--Andrew Sullivan
Torture is proven to come from the top. They can't deny it any longer, but this guy tries. And when that doesn't work, he calls any attempt to bring those at the top to justice--guilty or not--a "witch hunt." Why? Because we had an election and that decided things. Um, dude, yeah. We had an election, and you criminals lost(I know you don't understand that losing means losing, but it does. You're now out of power), which means we can treat you like criminals now. My favorite bit is when he's confronted with the fact that both sides in the Senate that both sides agree the torture orders came from the top. Even then, it appears, that doesn't matter. I imagine it would matter a lot to them had a Democratic president done it.
Meanwhile, Cheney's bluff about declassifying all documents is called, as his personal file on detainees is requested. Again, one wonders what he thinks will come of this that will help him, because all he's doing is making his own crucial role in planning and directing torture clearer. I do not understand why he thinks that whether the methods worked(which they didn't) or not is the issue here. I think he really does believe this is no more than a political witch hunt and is playing by those rules, thinking motivating the base and riling them up is all that's necessary to frighten Obama and Holder into making this go away. And thinking it's failure that's perceived as the crime here, not the act of sanctioning and planning torture itself.
At the beginning of this post, click on the word "torture." It will lead you to the specific U.S. law on the subject, both regarding committing it, and planning it. A bright shiny dime to the one who can find in the law whether torture's effectiveness is mentioned one way or another in there. Show me the words, "unless it works" anywhere in the law. I hope Cheney keeps it up, because if he does, he's going to jail.
Liz Cheney Admits Her Father's Planning of Torture
...though she doesn't call it that(but John Boehner did today, as does just about everyone). She says quite clearly what the memos say, which is that this was planned and directed from very high up, her father included. This will all be useful, as will Dick's own nearly identical statements on the matter, to the prosecution. Because their only argument is not whether it occurred but whether it was effective.
But what they're missing is that they wouldn't be held culpable for failure. They're held culpable because the use of torture is a war crime, and one they're admitting proudly they committed every day. But whether or not it was effective is completely besides the point, and the evidence seems to suggest it wasn't of any real use anyway. I think the time has come for their pride to be tested in court. If they believe they've done no wrong, surely they have nothing to fear.
Why do they think these things are decided on TV? Do they not realize they no longer have the power to prevent things from going further? And do they not realize that their statements on video are taped and can be seen as evidence?
"Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed." According to the official report on her death released the following year, she had earlier been "reprimanded" for showing "empathy" for the prisoners. One of the most moving parts of that report is: "She said that she did not know how to be two people; she ... could not be one person in the cage and another outside the wire." Peterson was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. "But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle," the documents disclose. A notebook she had been writing was found next to her body. Its contents were redacted in the official report. The Army talked to some of Peterson's colleagues. Asked to summarize their comments, Elston told me: "The reactions to the suicide were that she was having a difficult time separating her personal feelings from her professional duties. That was the consistent point in the testimonies, that she objected to the interrogation techniques, without describing what those techniques were." Elston said that the documents also refer to a suicide note found on her body, which suggested that she found it ironic that suicide prevention training had taught her how to commit suicide.
Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show exposes the terrifying socialist hellhole. Although this looks a lot like Chicago in March. But in either event, nothing we want America to be anything like! I mean, a free massage at work? That'll just make us soft! thedailyshow.com thedailyshow.com
Which means, as we know, they lied to get us into a war that was only in the interests of Cheney, Halliburton, and a bunch of neocons, and wasted time, money, and lies on this diversion while the ones truly responsible were allowed to run around free because they were useful to scare people into not questioning anything. Had they caught or killed Bin Laden, they would have lost that card. And so they didn't even try to catch him. And over eight years, we let them destroy the country, even though we've known a long time they were liars.
They even destroyed dissenting memos saying this was illegal. If we let them off the hook, the fault becomes ours entirely from now on.
The former administration needs to be prosecuted and put on trial, so that the next one who thinks of trying this will have an incentive not to do so. It was said Nixon was pardoned because otherwise it would tear the country apart. No, what tore the country apart, what always tears us apart, is our habit of kicking these things down the road, where they grow bigger and more monstrous and eventually bite.
These people began and ended as criminals spitting in the face of the American people. They forced their way into office against the will of the people, and when they found they could command no respect or influence in peacetime(go refresh yourself on Bush's success as president till 9/11; he had none and even lost Congress. No incentive to frighten people into shutting up, huh?), they drove the nation to war. If we let them get away with all they did to us and to the rest of the world, it's our fault, and we do not deserve to recover. Resolve this now, Attorney General Eric Holder. Prosecute.
You say Cheney's an old man who won't be alive much longer anyway? Well, I don't see why he should spend that remaining time in comfort. Not with all the deaths and misery on his spotty hands. No, he should spend his remaining time in a place that smells of piss. I imagine that he thinks that because he was president in all but name, somehow he'll be safe. Except that he was VICE president. Dick Cheney, I'd like to introduce you to Spiro Agnew.
Thinking that Obama will continue to protect him from prosecution, Cheney goes on TV again and defends torture. I am not sure if there's any connection, but suddenly Obama, who apparently does listen to the outrage of the people, has today reversed his previous position, and opened the door to prosecution--not of the torturers, but at last(and unlike Abu Ghraib), of the ones who devised and allowed the policy. Cheney may now regret having proudly defended this so many times on TV in the last 100 days. Though he wants all CIA documents on the subject declassified to prove it worked, apparently not realizing the issue is not whether it worked but that it was done at all.
If you poke a bear enough times, Dick, it will bite.
Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan thought it was a good thing that Obama was previously not pursuing this, saying, "Some things should be mysterious." I'm not shocked the lofty, puffy-minded, idealistic Noonan would feel that the distasteful and damning should be "walked away" from. She's spent her whole career trying to rephrase Republican ugliness as something pretty and poetic. But, you know, fuck her.
And if I were Cheney's lawyer, I'd be advising him to withdraw to private life just because there is now public evidence, in a new report from the Senate Armed Services Committee, that torture began well before the war, and in fact in effort of producing information to justify war.
Side thought: I wonder if Kiefer Sutherland has studied what happens to stars who tie themselves too deeply into jingoistic media characters that come from times people want to forget. I suggest he look up "Stallone, Sylvester." And cut himself for every time he helped make torture seem acceptable, the little shit.
A Pensacola man takes the stage at a gathering of Teabaggers, delivering a speech that seems to hit all the notes they reflexively respond to, but then it turns out a criticism of the Republicans, and it leaves them so completely nuts!
After a brief and irritating hiatus of a few months, I've got all four issues to date of This Sickness back up. Buy 'em here before Cafepress gets weird again. This includes, incidentally, the fourth issue from last winter, featuring "October Surprise." (my first published smut, from Eros Comix back in 2004)
The fifth issue, with "Martha," will be coming soon. Keep watching.
There was no one like her, in the class she brought to what she freely chose to do, her completely unapologetic attitude about it, and that she never let herself be used and spat out by it as so many others have. This is sad. I suppose I should also mention that she was a basis of inspiration for a lot of the comics I've drawn, so she counts as an influence. The thing about her in Behind the Green Door and others of her films was her sweet, happy, and slightly goofy grin. Somehow, where many of those films feel icky, she made you feel they weren't. The appeal was watching her, enjoying herself. That's why she's a star that nobody has matched, to the point that she's an icon for a whole American genre, culture, and era. To me, this was the preferable "Marilyn."
And also a rather unusual feminist icon, in that she was not exploited; she owned part of Green Door and other films. This was no Linda Lovelace. Yes, she was having sex on film. And liked it. And profited greatly from it, and looked unquestionably and eternally good doing so. It was her choice, and she was in control.
She was the exception that proved the rule in that largely cannibalistic industry. And she was its first true superstar. You might make an argument that without her it would not exist now as we know it. Mobsters counterfeited Green Door, as copyright was not available for porn then, and the mob didn't like not having control of this film, as they pretty much owned the industry before it. In an effort to get the mob, the FBI, with the cooperation of the Mitchell Brothers, changed this, Green Door was copyrighted, and bootlegging it became a crime. And Green Door, such a strange film, part dream, part porn, part Brakhage homage, itself is that film always mentioned as an exception for people who "don't normally like adult films." And that's because of Marilyn.
At top left is the most beautiful picture I could find of her. There are many. It's hard to choose, but this was my favorite. Yes, it's nude. But not bad taste, as if that was possible where she was involved. That's how she wanted to be seen. You'll just have to deal with that. But as you can see at left, she looked great for 56, too.
This shocker is because of a little-known practice in broadcast syndication called a "barter deal." (Barter deals were briefly mentioned in Michael Wolff's first-rate recent piece on Rush in Vanity Fair).
Here's how a barter deal works: To launch the show, Limbaugh's syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks -- the same folks who syndicate wingnut du jour Glen Beck -- gave Limbaugh's three hours away -- that's right, no cash -- to local radio stations, mostly in medium and smaller markets, back in the early 1990's.
So, a local talk station got Rush's show for zilch. In exchange, Premiere took for itself much of the local station's available advertising time (roughly 15 minutes an hour) and packed the show with national ads it had already pre-sold.
As I said once, I'd like to do an adaptation of Frank Wedekind's Luluplays. Here's some sketches and stuff I've been doing to try to create one. The attempt is to do a more modern version that's very unlike Pabst, and a Lulu very unlike Louise Brooks. I love Brooks, but Guido Crepax had the last word on depicting her.
Two highlights: a rather crazy fellow who, throwing a number of Seig Heil salutes to punctuate his statements, keeps telling us that "Marketing will get us out of this mess."(he's a marketer) And toward the end of the diatribe, the woman holding the camera, quite seriously, says "Burn all the books!"
My goodness, is he suggesting Rush and others like Hannity are dragging the GOP to its own destruction? That their being the most visible face of the party is only repelling people from supporting it? Maybe that's so! But Rush, like other conservatives, knows well that something going badly only means you haven't tried enough times. Remember Glenn Beck, telling us to "Believe something. Even if it's wrong." And Rush knows this. Something that's unpopular, repellent, and provably wrong makes great politics! That way you peel off all those shilly-shallying people in the middle, and your party may end up very small, but that exclusivity only proves its value.
Call me a contrarian, but I think that Rush is right--even if the party only ends up being him and Hannity, he should press on. That sounds crazy? Perhaps. But they called Prince Albert Victor crazy, too. That's how to tell you're truly great, Rush. Don't stop. In fact, get even more hateful--call for violence, revenge, spontaneous uprisings. (There are some great books on Rwandan radio hosts you might check for tips--that was where they really made a difference!) The FCC might take you off the air, if you do but wouldn't it be great to be a martyr?
What is this caller trying to do, diminish Rush's influence over the party, and attempt to reduce his visibility as their public face? Kudos to Limbaugh for not listening to the criticism and attacking his own listeners. Don't let them make you pussy out, Rush. You just keep saying the same stuff you have been, please.
And disloyal people like your caller, who voted for McCain? Who needs 'em? You should only have the most devoted of listeners. the truly loyal will listen even if you insult them. Keep doing it.
Obama Continues Bush Police State? This Is Not Why I Voted For You
Obama continues and expands the NSA's warrantless wiretaps and protects the Bush administration from any lawsuits regarding it. Excuse me, Obama? I'm one of those people who voted for you partly to get rid of that shit.
The latest insanity of Michelle Bachmann--doing good for others is evil! Interesting how only self-professed "Christians" ever see evil in helping the human race.
And meanwhile, the beast that the GOP let loose last fall and will not call back has already been producing violence. One of the recent(increasingly numerous) senseless shootings, for instance, which claimed the lives of three cops, happened because the shooter, Mark Poplawski, believed the collapse was because of a Jewish conspiracy.
I'm sure the Republicans, safe in their gated communities and well-armed, like what this portends just fine. The rest of us, however, have to live here.
Did no newspaper in America take steps toward this transition long ago, when it became apparent this was the future? Not one?
No, it doesn't appear they did. What they did was:
a) Rely upon sentimentality, i.e,. "But I just like the FEEL of the paper in my hand!" or "I can't imagine not having my morning paper--it's a ritual." These are not things to count on, as when taste changes, you go with it. Yet they believed these things would trump ease of use and quickness of access.
b) Guilt your own audience. Basically, "They'll be sorry to see us go," or some other form of judgment on your audience for "allowing" the paper to go, as though we ever had any control of it one way or another. That a person who doesn't support their local paper is a bad person, less concerned about...what? Information through one particular format?
Relying on snob value, sentimentality, things like this? That's all newspapers did. Rather than adapt, they assumed they were special cases. And that worked so very well for the music industry.
And meanwhile, long ago, the papers just became loss leaders for much larger, and very few, corporations a long time ago that didn't give a damn about readership. Let's also consider such things as when the Chicago Tribune broke a distributor's union by using the homeless as pawns to be their paperboys, and not the only paper that did stuff like that.
Justify your existence, newspapers, and adapt, like everyone else has to. I'm sorry you're dying, but didn't you just let it happen? Laid-off reporters should blame the executives who made idiotic decisions, not readers.
So what happens to mortgage brokers, executives, and other people whose job was mainly the projection of charm and comfort to sell things to people when their jobs go away? What profession are they best suited for?
And Biz Stone comes across every inch the smug, self-important asshole that I'd have expected something as obnoxious as Twitter to have come from.
Listen to him when Colbert challenges him on his absolute lack of a business model(and much else). It made me nostalgic, as I lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Dot-Com Boom: he sounds exactly like any number of those other investor-bleeding start-up folks. This is pointed up when he mentions they're based in SF, to which Colbert responds, "So is Pets.com."
This worked once when there was lots of investor money and gullible venture capitalists around, and you could prosper on buzz alone, which is what Stone is talking up here. But during a Depression? Perhaps Stone was born too late...
Also: so Twitter is essentially just a text-messaging thing? (its messages are in 140 characters because text messages are 160 and they wanted to leave a space for usernames) So what's to stop anyone else from coming up with a version of this? It's only a use of a service they didn't create. Hm.
Bears are loathsome, inhuman, murdering scum that deserve everything they get. As long as it's bad.
Bears fucked your mother. And didn't pay her.
Bears often moonlight as cooks. You don't want to know what they put in your burger last night.
Bears love Michael Bay films.
Bears like to befriend mentally disabled people, stringing them along for years and pretending to like them, and after ten years are up and the victim might have even gotten a girlfriend, they spring up and fucking eat him and his girlfriend. And then they laugh and laugh. "Timmy!" they call out mockingly in the Alaska night.
Bears have lots of big guns, thanks to the NRA being confused one afternoon after the bears got them high.
Bears ate me and wrote this, to enrage you enough to go after them, where they will fucking eat you.
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson