Thursday, August 9, 2007

What is it with the labels?

Article here.

I'm not going to say much on the efficacy of torture. If torture is for you then you ultimately believe that only the strong should flourish and that the only victims are people who can't adequately defend themselves. Really, to you they aren't even victims, they're just weak. So you should just quit your job and stay home to keep the next person with an itch from killing your kids, looting your property, and enslaving your significant other. What do you mean, "How am I supposed to earn a living"? And now you realize that that isn't a theory of society, it's a theory of anarchy.

Hey, it worked for the Mongols, go get yourself a horse.

Nope, the things in the article that I am highlighting are these quotes (my emphasis added):

  • “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.”
  • "The utter isolation of these detainees has been described as essential to America’s national security."
  • “Had that happened, I am confident that we would have obtained none of the information he had in his head about imminent threats against the American people.”
  • “The Proud Murderer of 3,000 Americans.”
  • "Until 2002, when Bush Administration lawyers asserted that waterboarding was a permissible interrogation technique for “enemy combatants,” it was classified as a form of torture, and treated as a serious criminal offense."
  • “I can respect people who oppose aggressive interrogations, but they should admit that their principles may be putting American lives at risk.”
  • "But the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program, Senator Levin said, has undermined the public’s trust in American justice, both here and abroad."
  • "He really believed in American principles."

All of the bolded items mean the same thing. Human. Go ahead, I'll wait, do the substitutions yourself... [Jeopardy think/wait theme music]

...see, told ya.

I guess I'm anti-U. S. A. now because I don't hold our lives as intrinsically more valuable than anyone else's. Hopefully I'll get to skip the C.I.A. world tour because I'm not a high quality asset. I'd probably go directly to Gitmo; do not due process, do not collect habeas entitlement.

It's weird, I could go all Vonnegut on you and talk about false karass, but we all know the various histories of divide and conquer; from the first religions of the multitudinous "chosen peoples", through Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, various inquisitions, the conquistadores (probably also known as "explorers" in you children's text books), and the latest hip, new, old fashioned genocides, to the latest "corporate rewards" programs.

It's like a 'backdoor' some programmer left in our minds. Put in the "T.H.E.M." [*] access code and we'll do whatever you want. [* The Hated External Menace]

It actually might be some left over hard wired proto-simian response to group threats. Well, we can't beat that can we? We'd better. We left behind (and some of us were left behind) or re-purposed other primitive responses that were antithetical to modern living. We just need to get our dumb asses to realize that our group is the human group.

Yeah all of us. I know we aren't some homogeneous blend of person. I don't know about you, but I never met the average guy. Yeah, we're all different and large swaths of humanity have similar traits that make it easy to lump into a broad category. Fine, humans tend to think categorically. Just don't forget the root of your categories. They are categories of PEOPLE. You know, like you, you're a people (yes that was on purpose).

Republicans are people.
U.S.ers are people.
Hockey players are people.
Somalis are people.
Cambodians are people.
Yo momma is people.

You get the damn point.

In this case we are being divided and conquered to empower the military industrial complex. Why do we foot the bill and watch other people benefit more than we do? I don't know about you, but when was the last time you paid someone to not do what you needed them to do?

It's called the military industrial complex, so why don't we make the military, I don't know, industrious and complex?

Oh, right they're not in the business of building nations. Then what the hell is the Army Corps of Engineers all about? Oh, well, um...

Government for the people, by the people, remember? Their job is what we say it is. If I have to be a citizen of The United States, a subsidiary of The People's Republic of China (or Japan, but they don't have the population or military) , I'd at least better have a viable infrastructure, decent, nah, fuck that, good public schools, non-poisonous food, water and air, and fucking dental (actually whole body health care, but 'dental' struck me as funnier). What the fuck are we buying?


P.J. said...

Nice post...of course it some what takes away from something I had planned to say...but to the victor goes the spoils (yeah, that's Cofrancesco style irony).

I can't agree more. It's unfortunate that less than 5% of the population understand what you are saying and sadly fewer than that 5% are reading it. Perhaps there is some sort of aggressive blogging that could occur.

I don't know. In the meantime, nice post. Keep it up.

(and you were is much funnier)

Maxjulian said...

Nice post

showard said...

Nice post. I agree with most of it.

Governments don't see people.

Governments see 2 things, power and money. So I don't fault governments for being bad at seeing people. Governments build roads, schools (sometimes), track down inter-state criminals, and fight wars. Asking for more than that is asking for trouble. (Man do we got trouble!)

Also, I don't think any of this has to do with any hard-wired, primitive instinct. On a person-by-person basis, I firmly believe that 99.9% of us are good, honest people. I just think that the abstraction layer of federal governments allow that 0.1% of dishonest, power hungry people a place to take control.

The trick to real changes will be to truly motivate a significant portion of the 99.9% of good people to take action and correct the obvious wrongs in our world, and prevent future wrongs.

There have been some such leaders. Obvious recent ones include Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Rev. King, Smokey the Bear (Only You can prevent Forest Fires), etc.

In the past, I think a lot of the prophets and religious icons were similarly exceptional at seeing the "human" group. Over time, governments (who don't see people as "humans") got involved in their messages and perverted the sh*t outta them.

Hopefully we can learn to remember good messages of unity in the future, and to preserve them intact.

From this post, I see a solid message of human unity (and not in some fake-ass hippie way).

VinNay said...

Canadians aren't people.

showard said...

Agreed. I amend my earlier statement to exclude Canadians.