Archive for January, 2008

On Waterboarding

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Does anyone really question whether waterboarding is torture? Read this and see what you think and then come back.

This really doesn’t address the question, does it? Waterboarding doesn’t leave a physical mark, it won’t kill a person, and it works effectively. It is coercive. The person feels like he will die and will spill the beans, if he has any, quickly. To me, it’s torture.

The question, though is this: Is torture worth it to prevent further catastrophe? If you caught an operative who knew the placement of a dirty bomb set to go off in a city, would you waterboard him? I would. Without guilt. I’d have some anxiety though.

It becomes a question of how accurate your information is about the dude you’re about to torture. Torture in the hands of the sadistic and paranoid is one person’s pain for another person’s pleasure. That is wrong. And everyone advocating for no torture (which means only America or the Western countries don’t torture, because we know Al Qaeda tortures and waterboarding is the least of their techniques) envisions some sinister government operative pulling out his briefcase of horror, chuckling in delight. This is a worrisome picture, indeed.

An act of torture to prevent the deaths of soldiers or citizens is not immoral. To do nothing, to let people die in the name of a principle is to put the principle–torture is wrong–above life itself. The life a scumbag terrorist is not valued over the lives of scores or hundreds or thousands of free people.

That’s the uncomfortable truth under all the babbling about whether torture is wrong or not. Of course it’s wrong. Mass murder is wrong, too. Those against the use of torture in all cases seem to be willing to detach themselves from the consequences of their actions. Nope, they’re not responsible for the murder, when the murderer is sitting there with the information and they could stop it.

In a free country, we’re all responsible. I think citizens have come to that uncomfortable place. You don’t hear people lamenting a terrorist getting waterboarded to prevent death. Ok, maybe some at the fringes lament it, but most people are pragmatic. We’re at war with an enemy who has no regard for life. So, he can forfeit his, if necessary, to preserve the lives of those who value it. Or, he can just bear the psychological scars inherent in being waterboarded. Add the trauma to the rest of his demented psyche.



"Pull Back From the Noise"–UPDATED

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

This last weekend I went on a retreat of sorts with a girlfriend to a land far, far away (metaphorically speaking). Excised from society was such a relief, I didn’t want to come back. Alas, I came back anyway. Clothes needed washing. Kids needed teaching. Life needed living. Still, it was nice to not be in the midst of the chronic ulcerated state of the political process.

The Florida primaries? Uninterested. Republican debates between …… Oh, wait a minute. I’m painting my nails.

Frankly, Hill and Bill, I don’t give a damn. The Congress, where most of the dirty work happens, is a bloated, corrupt oinker. Sucking power from the people one day at a time for their own pet projects while ignoring looming crises.

The presidential candidates seem the same to me. They’ve all been blandified by focus groups telling them to be less this and less that. It turns out that they all just seem less. Maybe that’s why a bland guy like Obama seems so amazing. He’s different! He’s part black! Whoopee!

The Anchoress says to Pull Back From The Noise. Amen, sister. Her post is worth reading in its entirety. She ends with the idea of grateful prayer. Amen again.

Update: Some people are making da’ noise.



Economy

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Listen, economics is Greek to me, but I’ve learned a lot from my friend and fellow blogger Maxed Out Mama. Her reasoning is sound. She has been blogging up a storm about the latest developments:

A treatment for nagging. Hint: We should turn to Islam.

Why cutting interest rates is a good thing.

The housing market debacle that won’t get better soon.

If you don’t read Maxed Out Mama every day, why not? She is one of the brightest, funniest bloggers I know.



State of the Union

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Does anyone think that we’ll look back some day and pine for George W. Bush? I think we will. Especially when the next president would be putting in place socialist doctrine.



Healthy Weekend

Monday, January 28th, 2008

According to this new research, my girls weekend away was very, very healthy:

“If you don’t want to exercise too much,” asks Dr. Morten Gronbaek, epidemiologist with Denmark’s National Institute of Public Health, “can you trade it for one to two drinks per day and be fine?” A study Gronbaek and colleagues just published in the European Heart Journal suggests the answer just may be yes. That finding, not surprisingly, has proved to be a crowd-pleaser.

Drink up!



Creating Life

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I’m not sure if we should be terrified or excited about this development. The implications of creating life…..



Bill Clinton Throws His Hat In The Ring

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

It was inevitable:

“My fellow Americans, I am sick and tired of not being president,” said Clinton, introducing his wife at a “Hillary ’08” rally. “For seven agonizing years, I have sat idly by as others experienced the joys of campaigning, debating, and interacting with the people of this great nation, and I simply cannot take it anymore. I have to be president again. I have to.”

He continued, “It is with a great sense of relief that I say to all of you today, ‘Screw it. I’m in.'”



Fixing Transplant Rejection

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

This is promising.



Republicans & Pork

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

With the exception of a tiny band of GOP senators led by Tom Coburn, R-OK, and Jim DeMint, R-SC, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, Republican Study Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling and the small caucus of anti-earmark conservatives, the congressional GOP is every bit as addicted to pork-barrel politics as the Democrats, if not even more so. (Porkbusters)

The Republicans just don’t get it. And the Republicans running for President right now don’t get it either. Being a greedy pig, upping taxes and being worse than Democrats gets Democrats elected.

I’ll say it again: Hail, President Clinton.



Young & Dead

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Just want to note here, the loss of Heath Ledger actor. It is a sad day when someone so young ends too soon without fulfilling his potential.