There is a discussion today at Avitable about torture. It might be a coincidence that Adolph Hitler is wearing a party hat.
There is a comment by Chamblee54. Torture is like the other moral issues that people love to debate, i.e. war, capital punishment, and abortion. IMO, they should all be allowed, but used very very sparingly.
The circumstances where such strong measures should be used are almost never in effect. I don’t believe in the ticking time bomb, or the easter bunny. And if the ticking time bomb was about to go off, would we have the time to go on the wild goose chase the “terrorist” would send us on? People will say anything to make the pain stop. Also, once this person is captured, the plans are going to change.
Yes, keep the torture stick in the tool box, but be very careful about taking it out.
That was written before going to the dentist. The plan was to replace an old filling. At one point during the procedure, I said “I’ll tell you whatever it is you want to know” So, the Doctor said “who did that filling?” I couldn’t remember the name. This is another problem with torture…if you forget something, torture is not going to help you remember. This includes the name of a dentist who filled a cavity 45 years ago.
So, I am back home now, and the novocaine is slowly fading away. I have been thinking about the ticking time bomb and the easter bunny. I am not a purist. If we determine that the easter bunny is a terrorist, and that one of the eggs he dropped off is a ticking time bomb, then we should torture the easter bunny to save thousands of lives.
There is a saying, “For G-d’s sake”. The usual meaning is that something is really important. An example would be “you need to replace that balding tire, for G-d’s sake”.
There is another meaning which comes to mind after the inauguration. We need…really really need…to get religion out of politics. For G-d’s sake.
Three ministers were prominently featured in the inauguration. Gene Robinson was seen by some as an olive branch to Gays and Lesbians offended by the antics of minister number two ( pun intended). The selection led to a few gratuitous anti gay comments. Then, when it was show time, his prayer was not a part of the telecast. Hmmm.
Minister number two is Rick Warren. Widely seen as an egomaniac and a hatemonger, his selection was praised by some as “building bridges”. He made a prayer that seemed to please few. It should be noted at this point that this reporter did not see the proceedings, but is going from the abundant internet coverage.
And what does all of this say about G-d? To use a prayer by a hatemonger for “building bridges”. Separation of church and state is a good deal for the church. When you use prayer as a decoration in a ceremony, it loses any meaning.
The last of the three ministers was Joseph Lowery. He quoted a rhyme about different colors of people. Some were pleased by this, and others were offended. Here again, what does all of this say about G-d?
In the last few years, religion has been exploited by the right wing politicians. Being a Christian is somehow supposed to make you a conservative. The semantics and Bible justification for all this is rather tiresome to this reporter.
A recent example is a internet thing called “Pray Obama Fails”. (HT to JoemyG-d).What this person does not understand is that if Obama Fails, all of us fail. It is like the war in babylon…many of us were opposed to it, but if our armies lose, then we all lose. The person who prays for Obama to fail is praying for America to fail. And what sort of G-d do you direct a prayer like that to?
Maybe it is time to get prayer for entertainment out of the public arena. For God’s sake.
PG sometimes makes a funny. Other times, he steals them. The following is from JokesFunny. While most other people are blathering about the inauguration, here is a bit of “humor”.
1. THINGY…Female……Any part under a car’s hood…Male…The strap fastener on a woman’s bra.
2. VULNERABLE…Female…..Fully opening up one’s self emotionally to another…Male…Playing football without a cup.
3. COMMUNICATION…Female..The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one’s partner….Male….Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.
4. COMMITMENT… Female…….A desire to get married and raise a family…Male………Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.
5. FLATULENCE …Female……An Embarrassing byproduct of indigestion…Male……..A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.
6. ENTERTAINMENT… Female……A good movie, concert, play or book…Male……..Anything that can be done while drinking beer.
7. MAKING LOVE …Female……The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve…Male……..Call it whatever you want just as long as we do it.
8. REMOTE CONTROL …Female…..A device for changing from one TV channel to another…Male…….A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes.
There have been nine presidential transfers of power in PG’s life. Seven of them were in January. PG typically ignores them. He goes to work/school with Mr. Crook in office, and comes home to President Thief.
The best exception was in August,1974. Richard Nixon was finally undone and forced to resign. After watching Tricky Dick’s next to last television speech , PG got in his Datsun and drove to the Great Southeast Music Hall. The entertainment that night was Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
The Music Hall was the sort of place we don’t seem to have anymore. The auditorium was a bunch of bench backs on ground level, with pillows everywhere. It was a space in a shopping center, occupied by an office depot in later years. To get there from Brookhaven, you drove on a dirt road, where Sidney Marcus Boulevard is today.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk was not modest. He was the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He would play three saxophones at once, getting sounds that you do not get from a single instrument. At one point, the band had been playing for about five minutes, when PG noticed that Kirk had been holding the same note the entire time without stopping to breathe.
Mr. Kirk played two ninety minute sets that night. He talked about twenty minutes out of every set. Of that twenty minutes, maybe thirty seconds would be fit for family broadcasting. Mr. Kirk…who was blind…said he did not want to see us anyway, because we were too ugly. He said that Stevie Wonder wanted to make a lot of money, so he could have an operation and see again.
The next day, Mr. Nixon got in a helicopter and left Washington. The Music Hall stayed open a few more years, and Sidney Marcus Boulevard was paved. Rahsaan Roland Kirk had a stroke in 1975. He struggled to be able to perform again. On December 5, 1977, a second stroke ended his career. He was 41 years old.
PG listened in on a conversation in October 2000. One person didn’t think the upcoming election was important. The other thought it was important to vote for Gore.
PG heard this, and started to think. He had been neutral, leaning towards Gore, but with no enthusiasm. Bush didn’t seem all that bad.
PG lived in Georgia, which everyone knew was going overwhelmingly for Bush. The electoral votes were going for Bush, rendering his opinion meaningless. This was the election where the electoral college system screwed America. In almost every election PG had voted in, this archaic plan had, in effect, stolen his vote. Now, the entire country was put at risk.
In October 2000, the government had a budget surplus. This meant that capital was not scooped up by the government, but went into the private sector. The dot com stock boom was raging, and more than a few thought that the collapse was imminent. America was not at war.
America was not at war.
So George W. Bush became President. The economy started to sputter, which happens from time to time. Then came nine eleven.
PG thought at the time of nine eleven that something was up. A product of the conspiracy happy sixties, PG thought America and the world were in for some bad times. With the new administration in power, we may finally find out what really happened on nine eleven.
There needed to be revenge for nine eleven. We invaded Afghanistan. The example of the Soviet Union was ignored, and we invaded one of the meanest places on earth.
There needed to be revenge for nine eleven. We prepared to invade Iraq. Before we invaded Iraq, the taxes were cut. We went from a surplus, to a half trillion dollar deficit.
There was an election for a second term. Between incompetent Democratic opposition, and the Republican talent for stealing elections, it was never in doubt.
At some point in all this, the banks started to lend money to people who had no business taking it. This went on for a while, until the loans started to not be repaid, and the banks started to fail.
BHO will be sworn in tomorrow. GWB should be sworn out today. The electoral college needs to be eliminated. The wars need to end.
There is a featured blog on the WordPress home today called Pakalert. They posted a feature on January 7 titled “Israel Created Hamas to Split Palestine”. The thesis is that Israel helped to start Hamas as a tool against the PLO and Fatah.
PG does not claim to know everything about Palestine. This bit of revisionism does sound a bit far fetched. But the question does arise, what role did Israel play in the creation of Hamas?
In the six day war, Israel gained control of Gaza. Israel occupied the territory for a while, and has had a great deal of control over it ever since. What did Israel do to prepare the Gazans for self government?
By all accounts, it was not a friendly occupation. Israel established settlements on Gazan territory, taking up twenty percent of the land. This is in one of the most densely populated regions on earth.
Is it suprising that a radical organization like Hamas exists? Would it exist if the Israeli treatment of the Gazans had been better during the occupation? Like many other things, the present state of affairs is a done deal. You cannot go back in time and create a better life for the Gazans…and ultimately, the Israelis.
The news from the Hudson River was good. The plane hit some geese, and the engine quit running. The River was available, and the plane landed. No one was killed, although many nerves were short circuited.
PG saw something similar a few years ago, though much smaller. He was riding his bike on the access road to I85, just before Chamblee Tucker Road. A small airplane was stuck in the fence on the wall between the access road and the ramp leading up.
It seems as though the plane had some issues, and had to make a fast landing. It was a student pilot,possibly a female. The pilot made a text book landing, and no one was hurt.
PG has lived most of his life near Peachtree Dekalb Airport. There is a crash or two just about every year. In 1989, a plane landed in the woods behind PG’s addict attic apartment. Everyone in the neighborhood heard it. The pilot did not survive.
Another time, a plane landed on its nose behind a car dealership. The pilot and his girlfriend died, the adopted asian baby lived.
PG was reading “Outlaw Journalist”. The subtitle was “The life and times of Hunter S. Thompson”. The book belonged to the Dekalb County Public Library. The receipt from the previous reader was still in the plastic slipcover. In addition to “Outlaw Journalist”, library user **********3518 had borrowed “Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader”.
PG is using a receipt from the Cost Plus World Market as a bookmark. There is a CPWM facility on Piedmont Road in Buckhead, on the site formerly occupied by Limelight. The receipt is from store #126 Perimeter, which is not next door to disco Kroger.
If the story is to be believed, HST was where history was being made several times. A fubar Forrest Gump, which is not half an oxymoron. He was a guest on “Who do you trust”, a daytime game show hosted by Johnny Carson. He was a caretaker on an estate at Big Sur, which was being transformed into the Esalen Institute. He lived in San Francisco in the early sixties, and introduced Ken Kesey to the Hells Angels. The first time he took LSD was at a party Mr. Kesey invited the bikers to. And so it goes. Kurt Vonnegut is not in the index.
There is a story on page 229 that inspired PG to write this post. HST had gone to Zaire to cover a boxing match. The match had been postponed, and HST and other celebrities spent six drunken weeks waiting for the main event. Finally, the fight was finally going to happen. HST decided not to attend. He took a pound and a half bag of marijuana and dumped it in the hotel swimming pool. He then dived in, and floated in the slick green residue.
The next day George Plimpton asked HST if the experience had a kick to it. “It’s not the best way to obtain a high, but a very luxurious feeling nonetheless”
Spell Check suggestions for this feature:
fubar- subaru, Mubarak, rhubarb, unbar
Gump- ump, rump, lump, dump,grump, gimp,
Esalen- salesmen, wholesale
Plimpton- Simpleton, Compton, Hampton, Lipton
PG put a pot of water on the stove to boil, and set the timer for five minutes. He decides to write a blog post in that five minutes.
The sky is bright blue out the window, even though the air is cold. Winter is mild in Georgia, usually.
There is a mirror in front of the work station. It reflects a TV, which allows PG to watch while on the computer. The third week of the playoffs are coming up, and the NFL is a mess. Pittsburgh is the only firstweekbye team to make the conference championships.
This is a year of odd things, already, even more than last year. PG is going for the longshot and saying that Arizona wins it all.
The face in the mirror is relentless. PG is harassed for not having a happy face, but he is used to it. It is the rest of the world that has to look. Today, PG does not care.
The screen on the TV is blank. PG …..ding….
Spell check suggestion for this feature:
Atlanta is composed mostly of one-way streets. The only way to get out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over when you reach Greenville, South Carolina … All directions start with, ‘Go down Peachtree’ and include the phrase, ‘When you see the Waffle House’….’Except in Mayretta , where all directions begin with, “Go to the Big Chicken”…’ Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with: Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Place, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Terrace, Peachtree Avenue,Peachtree Battle Road, Peachtree Corners, New Peachtree, Old Peachtree, West Peachtree,or Peachtree Industrial Boulevard… Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions,they will always send you down Peachtree… Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. Coke’s all they drink there so don’t ask for any other soft drink unless it’s made by Coca-Cola.. Even if you want something other than a Coca-Cola, it’s still called Coke…The 8 am rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30 AM… The 5 pm rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:30 PM… Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday afternoon and lasts through 2 am Saturday… Only a native of Atlanta can pronounce Ponce De Leon Avenue, so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. The Atlanta pronunciation is ‘pawntz duh LEE-awn.’… And yes, there is a street named simply, ‘Boulevard.’It becomes Monroe Drive when you cross Ponce de Leon The falling of one raindrop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules… If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days and it’s on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. Overnight, all grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer… I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta, has a posted speed limit of 55 mph (but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over)…It is known as The Perimeter, and the Watermelon 500… In Atlanta you are either ITP ( Inside the Perimeter) or OTP ( Outside the Perimeter). ITP and OTP people are wary of each other… Don’t believe the directional markers on highways: I-285 is marked East and West but you may be going North or South. The locals identify the direction by referring to the ‘Inner Loop’and the ‘Outer Loop. Some call the whole dern thing “The Fruit Loop”… Never buy a ladder or mattress in Atlanta . Just go to one of the interstates and you will soon find one in the middle of the road…The last thing you want to do is give another driver the finger, unless your car is armored, your trigger finger is itchy and your AK-47 has a full clip… Possums sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air… There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Georgia … There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Georgia, plus a couple no one has seen before… If it grows, it sticks… If it crawls, it bites… If you notice a vine trying to wrap itself aroundyour leg, you have about 20 seconds to escape, before you are completely captured and covered with Kudzu…It’s not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy… ‘Fixinto’ is one word (I’m fixinto go to the store)… Sweet Tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you’re 2 years old…’Jeet?’ is actually a phrase meaning ‘Did you eat?’…’Momma-nem’ means: How’s Mother and all of the other children and other members of the family doing.
Two of the bloggers that PG follows…Andrew Sullivan and Jasmine Cannick…were recently on NPR. The theme of the discussion was the role gay marriage should play in the overall gay (civil) rights movement. Joining them was a writer, Michael Sean Winters, and the head of The National Black Justice coalition, Andrew Robinson. The moderator/referee was Michel Martin.
The audio of the conversation is available at Ms. Cannick’s blog. It is an autoplay, so you don’t have to click on the play triangle. Also, PG has a disclaimer. There will be quotes in the text below which might not be totally verbatim. The essence of the message will be there, but the word for word transcription may be a bit off. The audio is available for anyone with any doubts.
The introductions and formalities took up the first two minutes of the 21:48 audio. The first panelist to speak is Mr. Winters. He said that the fight for gay marriage would make the fight for other forms of equality more difficult.
Ms. Cannick was the next to speak. She said “I don’t have a problem with people wanting to move forward on the issue of gay marriage, I think its about balance”.
Mr. Sullivan replied that the number one goal of the HRC has been hate crimes legislation. The moderator said that the head of the HRC, Joe Solomanese, declined an invitation to appear on the panel.
Mr. Robinson said that it was not an either or thing, that hate crimes and hiv could be worked on at the same time at marriage. He also said that the focus on marriage comes less from the organizational leadership, than it does from the grass roots individuals.
There was a break, and another round of introductions. The second part of the discussion was much less polite. At 12:27, Jasmine Cannick raises her voice. She says that it may things may be equal “for people like Andrew” , but that it would not be equal for her. She screams about “driving while black” and “last hired first fired”. The issues of race and class are introduced to the discussion.
At 13:13, Andrew Sullivan says “so its about race”. Ms. Cannick continues to rant.
At 13:50, the hostess said it would be appropriate to let Mr. Sullivan respond. Or, as Ms. Cannick might say, STFU.
Mr. Robinson and Mr. Sullivan make comments. Then, Mr. Sullivan says that the struggle for Gay Marriage was going to be a long and tough one. He mentioned the hundred years between the end of slavery, and the end of anti misegenation laws. Ms. Cannick says something, but is hushed.
At 18:47, Jasmine Cannick starts screaming. She talks about the people who comment on the Black Civil Rights movement without an adequate understanding of this movement. She bemoans that “we have these issues of race and these issues of class in the lgbt community”. The irony is, in this particular discussion, Jasmine Cannick is the one who raised these issues.
And so it goes. It was 22 minutes of entertaining programming for NPR fans. Andrew Robinson made some very good points. And Jasmine Cannick…bless her heart
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
Solomanese- Romanesque, solemnness, womanliness, manganese, saleswoman
Ann Coulter has a new book out.