Monday, March 08, 2010

God Help Us

Flirtin' with disaster,
Y'all know what I mean.

You know the way we run our lives,

It makes no sense to me

--Flirtin' with Disaster
, Molly Hatchet

But I learned to accept it

Accept it with pride

For you don't count the dead

When God's on your side

--With God on Our Side
, Bob Dylan

Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear;

nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves

and another among Men.

It is a man's part to discern them

--The Hobbit
, J.R.R. Tolkien

Marc Theissen, former speechwriter for George W. Bush, argues that waterboarding is in line with Catholic doctrine in his book, “Courting Disaster: How the C.I.A. Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack”.

Thiessen, a practicing Roman Catholic, says that water-boarding suspected terrorists was "not only useful and desirable, but permitted by the teachings of the Catholic Church.
" Perhaps, if your name is Torquemada and your business is The Inquisition. Otherwise, perhaps we should age-advance 500 years.

"Mr. Thiessen makes two basic arguments. First, he says that waterboarding, the simulated drowning technique used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the professed chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, and others, is not torture.

"Second, he invokes Catholic teaching to defend what he calls 'coercive interrogation'." (Catholic Defender of Waterboarding Gets an earful From Critics.)

Borrowing from the catechism, Thiessen states, "A captured terrorist is an unjust aggressor who retains the power to kill many thousands by withholding information about planned attacks,” and that such a person must be rendered unable to do harm.

How does Thiessen square the concept of being a terrorist with that of being a terror
suspect? The two are not the same. Does God speak to guys like Thiessen and tell him who should be tortured with water-boarding? Moreover, it used to be in the western democratic world we did not torture either suspects or convicted terrorists.

Thiessen writes, “the intent of the interrogator is not to cause harm to the detainee; rather, it is to render
the aggressor unable to cause harm to society.” But if a person is being interrogated (=tortured), how can he be "the aggressor"? At this stage he is rendered immobile, and the aggressor in this case is the one perpetrating the torture.

Further, he excuses the choice to water-board as being made under duress: "We were in the middle of a war ..." But this was and is not WAR, this is terrorism. The two are not synonymous.

In a non-sequitur, Thiessen suggests that since "[t]housands of American soldiers have been willing to undergo water-boarding as part of their resistance training ... it stands to reason that it is not torture." This is an illogical conclusion. Just because it has been deemed routine, does not excuse its irrelevance or barbarity.
Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn't make it the right way.

Why does the U.S. allow water-boarding in its SERE training? If it is illegal to use this method on prisoners, it follows that it should be illegal for use on military personnel. How does the military justify the torture of its elite soldiers?

Is the goal to produce Billy Badasses who will do the same to others without batting an eye?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had some friends once who were all whooped up over the fall of Russia and couldn't think of enough ways to spend the "peace dividends" Couldn't understand my reluctance to join the celebration.
Tried explaining to them, for good or bad, --making no bones about it, mostly bad did come from the cold war--that this country had been restrained somewhat by opposition from the Russkies. Absurd and insane as it was "Mutually Assured Destruction" did result in it taking two hands to work the the nuke triggers.

That didn't cut much ice with those liberals. Nossir, sweet smell of victory was in the air.

Reminded them of Ike's last speech, the one that gets all the play now, much too late, after all these years, regarding the Military-Industrial Complex.
"Those boys (mostly....white, too) are here to stay. Dylan said 'man got a knife, got to cut something.' They'll find an enemy somewhere. Remember US spells us."

Vietnam vet buddy of mine says to me over the phone the other night: "Man, this country wasn't set up about torture." I knew what he meant but responded anyway "Yes,it was."

Lenny Bruce ( God rest his soul) said :
"The truth is what is, not what it should be."

Some Catholics do what Catholics have always done. Shame here is that the goddam thing got published in the first place.

Here's a recommendation that not a waste of good trees:
Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

It may be a screed, but it's my kinda screed

There it is.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 10:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Chris Hedges said it well; as it ever was. Maybe Mr. Hegel was not right about people getting better and better.

But when I get up above it all, I see we haven't had that much time to ply our "reasonableness" tools -- in fact, maybe we have never really been reasonable. Got a big reptilian brain underneath that puny neocortex.

Here's a smaall example of what I'm talkin' about: Got a friend, Ranger, who said yesterday: "Tiger Woods is a hero for most men, for they'd love to have 15 womens." Not him, mind; nope (for Ranger, maybe three would do). Anyway, if his prognostication is true, men aren't very good. Women aren't very good.

People aren't very good.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 11:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Strange to say i agree that most men secretly admire Tiger.Nothing verifiable ,but i got a hunch.
I'll take 3 if offered ,but i'd prefer them to be plump and rollable. Tiger took the skinny little Barbie dolls.Forget that,gimme ones i can roll in flour.You know the rest.
As for Theissen ,it's understandable,he confused waterboarding with baptism.The only difference is that only a priest holds down the little package from God. With waterboarding it takes 3 grown Christians to do the deed.
Both bring us closer to god.
I can give you a freight address for the 3 fillies.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 1:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i learned the opposite of the intended lesson from my brief stay in SERE.

here's how it went down. we were dropped and given the routes to the "safe" zone. if we made it there we were supposed to have passed.

myself, and four other guys from the teams made it to the zone, leaving behind a pretend body count of six SF types. they were used to being hunters and being hunted threw off their game.

we got to the "safe" zone and were "captured" the SF Cpt in charge said "everybody gets caught."

at their "camp" we were singled out as hard cases and given the full route of everything they could legally throw at us, and probably some extras because my impression of the SERE trainers was that they were some sick fucking pissants who got their rocks off by being sadistic motherfuckers.

i was waterboarded to the point of puking. for a brief instant i had a free hand as they were trying to keep me from asperating puke. that hand went to the nutsack of a trainer and hilarity ensued.

rather than learning the way to be a good captive, i resolved at that point to absolute die as expensively as i could before there would be any capture.

SERE was a fucking waste and a joke.

if i were to ever meet any of those cocksuckers on the street there would be sudden, ruthless violence.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 1:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't have opinion about Tiger..or his women.

I keep trying , Lisa , to find the evergrowing good and glorious in people..spent most of my life attempting to parse that lesson to young ones..now I 'm afeared they prolly think I was just another old one out to hustle them on the path to truth.
"Easy getting harder every day."

Jim..speaking from experience, any man thinks he can be of __________________(Choose word here) to more than one good woman at a time is possibly delusional. No, thanks on the freight offer (how did I get in on this one anyhoo?)

Jim & MB..
"what do you know--recall-- about "Taz?"
got a sneaky suspicion it goes well with waterboarding..

now we gettin to it..

There it is..


Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 2:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm gonna do a little bit on SERE and the SF creed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 2:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

God bless you, Deryle. I (we) continue meeting good men who sincerely say they're not down with the 15 women ideal.

It is now 7:2, not in Ranger's favor (the other compliant was in a bar, so there.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 3:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

Tiger's not the problem nor is Thiessen's Bile Religious Excuses for torture...This one is one us folks...If you're spending your days getting your brain hammered and dumbed down with millions of "marketing messages"...Sooner or Later the dominate meme's you subject yourself too will replace your capacity for critical thinking...to think I fucked up my young mind by majoring in Rhetoric, Logic,and Philosophy in school when I could have drank the Kool Aid...It has tragically lead me to a life of rather ordinary folks spitting out SHUT THE FUCK UP! Ha Ha Ha or kicking me out of their Clubs/Websites...Believe you me I did not aspire to be a iconoclast when I started living the Punk Lifestyle.. I would much rather be of love and service and educate folks to use their noggins to learn how to deduce the truth from falsehood but I am competing with Lady GA GA for Fucks Sake! LOL

Tiger did not do anything any other male mammal would do... That is to insure his genes survived by mating with as many females as possible and the woman involved were also part of the same biological imperative... to insure their genes mixed with the best possible mate...Face it Dudes we are just a bunch of horny little goats LOL. Again the fault lies with ethics NOT morality...Tiger and Theissen both became robots of their particular marketing memes Which is why Ol' Hege's book is such a good read...I have another one to add to the list... "That's Hollywood!" Subtitled "How Entertainment has Conquered Reality" by Neal Gabler

Thank God for this site and a few others or I'd be just another jello cube in the brave new world

Time for Bed Sorryz in addvance for da spelling and grammer errozs...I am tuckered out

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 3:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi RangerHazen,

That makes two of us philosophers :)

Marketing is king, and can make a diva of Susan Boyle. And hey, how's Jessica Simpson gonna keep the weight OFF is my question ...

The problem is ethics, yes, but morality, too. Many of the ladies Tiger bedded were probably on birth control (and he was protected if he had a lick of sense.) So what about that biological imperative? I don't don't doubt therein lies our origin, but what about now?

(sorry you tired, my homeboy.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 11:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

Lisa said. "What about now"? Most folks walk asleep unaware of the powerful instincts that bind them... Add jet fuel to that and light a match and it will overwhelm most anybody...It's a perverted version of "The Right Stuff" so to speak...Heck just practicing mindfulness is hard for those folks who wish to wake up. i know allot of Celebs living out here in the Bu and I don't envy most of them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 12:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, dead men walking, hence the effective zombie trope.

What does it take to come awake? Will, for sure; strength of character, I think. Willingness to feel discomfort or downright pain, maybe, without being a masochist.

We come into the world screaming and crying, and maybe life is always an effort to attenuate that fear / anger / resentfulness (?)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 12:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with Ranger on the 3 fillies in my stables at any given time, but don't care for flour rolling.......prefer built for speed...long and lean.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 3:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yeah, but you're talking actual fillies (that is your wife's understanding, right?) :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 4:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Speed is relative and based upon the type of race in which one enters.
Long and lean ain't always the winner.
Remember the old bull dog QH's?

Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 10:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know much about quarter horse racing. Had a QH Arab mix that I barrel raced for a brief period. Did plenty of trail riding and a little wrangling on them, but no racing experience.

Solid beasts in my opinion.

The wife hates them.

But we're talking women here and I like the thoroughbred type...hot blooded and a little crazy and fast for at least a mile and an 8th; cuz that's my distance.


Friday, March 12, 2010 at 7:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know much about quarter horse racing. Had a QH Arab mix that I barrel raced for a brief period. Did plenty of trail riding and a little wrangling on them, but no racing experience.

Solid beasts in my opinion.

The wife hates them.

But we're talking women here and I like the thoroughbred type...hot blooded and a little crazy and fast for at least a mile and an 8th; cuz that's my distance.


Friday, March 12, 2010 at 7:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I don't care what type of mare thqat we are discussing.
My only requirement is that they don't throw their head.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 8:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


"Crazy" sounds good among the boys, but I'll bet that's not the one you marry.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 9:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

"Perhaps, if your name is Torquemada and your business is The Inquisition."

That's it right there.

As far as the women survey.... I'll take all I can get. I've got a lot to make up for. But don't need them around all at once on a permanent basis or anything. And I'll take the hot to trot thoroughbreds too. Don't care if they're high strung either as long as they keep their heads around me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 3:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


"But don't need them around on a permanent basis" -- well, you've found an individual of like-mind in Jim. He uses them on an as-needed basis, per diem.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 4:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Pls disregard Lisa's last comment since she is editor of the blog , but has no right or knowledge to comment on my personal proclivities or lack there of.
Personal comments of this nature are inappropriate since i do not need a publicity officer.

Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 8:58:00 AM GMT-5  

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