Out of the Mouths of Babes… and Evildoers

Bush calls on all nations to end torture

Seriously… he did

I find listening to all this torture talk to be, well, torturous…  sort of like sitting through an entire airing of Fox & Friends in the morning.  The United States does not torture.  Instead, we simply redefine torturethe definition of torture then call it “enhanced interrogation techniques”.  At the same time, the Justice Department hires lawyers with no morals and directs them to provide legal rationale for breaking the law so that we can torture some terrorist into tying Al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein, thereby obtaining “evidence” to justify an unjustifiable war.  Oh, and by the way, interrogation experts agree that torture doesn’t work… unless, of course, your intent is to get the prisoner to confess to whatever you (or The White House) want.

Torture is torture.  Waterboarding is torture.  It was defined as such a long time ago.  In fact, did you know waterboarding used to be a crime in the U.S. during pre-Bush times?  Of course you did, so why ignore the facts now?  According to a Washington Post article, after World War II the U.S. convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war (it was called the water cure by the Japanese).  As far back as the U.S. occupation of the Philippines after the 1898 Spanish-American War, U.S. soldiers were court-martialed for using the “water cure” to question Filipino guerrillas.  In 1983, federal prosecutors charged a Texas sheriff and three of his deputies with violating prisoners’ civil rights by forcing confessions through the use of waterboarding.

Whether you call them enhanced interrogation techniques OR freedom tickles,  it doesn’t matter.  This shouldn’t even enter into the debate, but the Right Wing hawks are doing a good job of keeping it in the forefront.  They specialize in scaring the shit out of the public in order to get what they want.  But the question that needs to be answered is, torture-with-bush11“Did the Bush Administration break the law by using torture?” Unfortunately, I have a feeling the Bush Administration is guilty of far greater crimes than torture. Torture was just a tool in the campaign to falsify and exploit 9/11 so that fearful Americans would be bamboozled into a mission that had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda.  The lying about Iraq remains the original sin from which flows much of the Bush White House’s illegality [quote from Frank Rich New York Times Op-Ed] .  But let’s at least call for further investigation; otherwise, we’re most certainly setting a precedent making lawful what has always been unlawful [from rogerhollander.wordpress.com].

Anyway, I can’t count how many times I recall President G.W. Bush telling the nation and the rest of the world that the United States does not torture.  But his statement on International Day in Support of Torture Victims in 2003 was, in retrospect, disingenuous at best. [re-printed below – source is HERE]

So all you holier-than-thou neo-cons out there who think it’s all of a sudden “ok” to torture “those people” should ask yourself, “Who would Jesus torture?” Interestingly enough, this Pew Research Center poll indicates the Jesus crowd is more than willing to support the use of torture.  Note to self:  Never EVER get picked up by a religious dog-catcher.

WAG THE DOGWe bark… you decide!

(Statement on International Day in Support of Torture Victims)

Bush Calls Torture “an Affront to Human Dignity Everywhere”

President Bush says torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere, and the United States is committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law.

In a statement issued on United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture June 26, the president called on all governments to join in prohibiting, investigating and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment.

Following is the text of Bush’s statement:
(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
June 26, 2003

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Today, on the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the United States declares its strong solidarity with torture victims across the world. Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law.

Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, ratified by the United States and more than 130 other countries since 1984, forbids governments from deliberately inflicting severe physical or mental pain or suffering on those within their custody or control. Yet torture continues to be practiced around the world by rogue regimes whose cruel methods match their determination to crush the human spirit. Beating, burning, rape, and electric shock are some of the grisly tools such regimes use to terrorize their own citizens. These despicable crimes cannot be tolerated by a world committed to justice.

Notorious human rights abusers, including, among others, Burma, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Zimbabwe, have long sought to shield their abuses from the eyes of the world by staging elaborate deceptions and denying access to international human rights monitors. Until recently, Saddam Hussein used similar means to hide the crimes of his regime. With Iraq’s liberation, the world is only now learning the enormity of the dictator’s three decades of victimization of the Iraqi people. Across the country, evidence of Baathist atrocities is mounting, including scores of mass graves containing the remains of thousands of men, women, and children and torture chambers hidden inside palaces and ministries. The most compelling evidence of all lies in the stories told by torture survivors, who are recounting a vast array of sadistic acts perpetrated against the innocent. Their testimony reminds us of their great courage in outlasting one of history’s most brutal regimes, and it reminds us that similar cruelties are taking place behind the closed doors of other prison states.

The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy. I further urge governments to join America and others in supporting torture victims’ treatment centers, contributing to the UN Fund for the Victims of Torture, and supporting the efforts of non-governmental organizations to end torture and assist its victims.

No people, no matter where they reside, should have to live in fear of their own government. Nowhere should the midnight knock foreshadow a nightmare of state-commissioned crime. The suffering of torture victims must end, and the United States calls on all governments to assume this great mission.

(end text)

Sarah Palin: Me Talk Pretty One Day

In true Wag the Dog Blog style, I’m providing my analysis of last Thursday night’s VP debate about four days late.  What can I say?  I’ve been busy… busy watching mindless Right Wing hacks (I believe they call themselves “pundits” and/or “Republican strategists”) try their darndest to convince me that Governor Sarah Palin is qualified to be Vice President of the United States.  Some even say — with a straight face mind you — that she is even more qualified to be president than Senator Barack Obama is.  Seriously?  So you’re saying a person is qualified to be president if their resume includes:  local TV sports anchor, four (4) years on a city council, six (6) years as a mayor of a town of 9,000 residents, and two (2) years as governor of a state of 650,000 people?  Really?  And would you still feel this way if I told you that you just described Jesse Ventura’s experience?  Well, Ventura actually has MORE experience than Palin… you see, instead of “local TV sports anchor” Ventura was “cross-dressing pro wrestler”, he was the mayor of a Minnesota community of approx. 72,000 people for four (4) years before a he was a one-term Governor of Minnesota (population 5M+ residents).   So, I want to see Karl Rove’s treasonous ass on Fox News espousing the virtues of the depth and breadth of Jesse Ventura’s “executive” experience.

Anyway, what intrigues me most is how wildly popular Governor Palin is and how someone could watch the VP debate and actually come away from the experience firmly believing Palin won.  By what standard are these people measuring Palin’s performance?  Sure, for a “hocky mom”, she kicked ass.  And even for a “small town mayor” and city council member, she performed very well.  As a half-term governor of one of the least populated states in the nation, Palin’s performance was at best passable.  But as a candidate for the second highest office in the land, she was horrifyingly bad.  The fact that she didn’t puke all over herself seems to be enough for most of the Right Wing pundits to pronounce the debate a “victory” (sort of like George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” fiasco of 2003).  It’s obvious Palin had her talking points memorized, and she wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of delivering them (not even those pesky questions from moderator, Gwen Ifill). As columnist Bob Herbert wrote, “For Ms. Palin, such things as context, syntax and the proximity of answers to questions have no meaning.” [source]  And I heard today that Governor Palin should be renamed “Governor Palindrome” because her sentences make as much sense backwards as they do forward.  I highly recommend the David Sedaris book, Me Talk Pretty One Day, to Ms. Palin.  It might help her in her career.  In the meantime, enjoy this flowchart I found after the VP debate.

Anyway, my theory for Governor Palin’s popularity did not take much thought.  In fact, I assume most of my readers agree it’s not hard to figure out why she’s able to draw larger crowds than McCain.  Let’s face it – McCain is 72 years old going on 103.  He’s old, dusty and is pastier than the freeze-dried dog turds I find in my backyard after the spring thaw each year (and he’s even less inspiring than those turds).  And in light of the talking points the McCain campaign handed Palin after the VP debate (you know the ones designed to scare the sh!t out of you by linking Obama to terrorism), it’s more accurate to refer to her crowd of admirers as a “lynch mob.”  It seems as though “radical” is the new “N-word” in 2008 because the McCain campaign, with the help of douchebags like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, are trying very hard to convince you that Obama is “too radical” to lead.

Here’s my theory.  Palin supporters can be divided into four (4) general categories:

1) Someone living in what I call “The Mullet Zone”.  The Mullet Zone consists of the entire Bible Belt and extends directly northward from Oklahoma through Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas… then creeps eastward through parts of Minnesota into the Rust Belt… plus, it includes pretty much all of Alaska.  Mostly middle- or working-class folk, these are the very people for whom the Democratic party platform is meant to help.  But while they are apparently not bitter (who would say such a thing, right?), these folk tend to only worry about the government takin’ their guns away… or they vote solely on one issue (that’d be abortion)… and they are deathly afraid of homosexuals (not to mention people of color).  To them, wearing a flag pin, waving a flag, or calling Senator Obama a “terrorist” is way more patriotic than educating themselves on issues of great importance to the future of our country (which is why they’d blindly vote for a ridiculously unprepared person who is “one 72 year old cancer survivor’s heartbeat away from the presidency…”).  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart actually went to Wasilla, Alaska, and interviewed some of these fine folks (no offense to my Alaskan pal, Sir Blue LeDeux and his family… I know y’all don’t live in Wasilla, so I figured it’s alright posting this).

2) Young, low-information voters who are primarily males that think of Palin more as a MILF than they do as a potential VP.  They sit around playing drinking games during the debates (shot-gunning a beer each time Palin or McCain says “maverick” or “victory”).  They high-five each other and say the phrase, “Drill, Baby, Drill!” each time Ms. Palin gives the camera a wink and a nod.  Adding, “I’d hit that!”

3) Men who are similar to #2 above minus the part about the drinking game.  These guys are typically middle-aged or retired, but not in every case… some are simply lonely and all of them are angry.  They all thought Ms. Palin was winking at them during the debate.  It’s likely most of these fellows could have been found last Thursday night sitting in their underwear in front of the TV enjoying a bag of Cheetos while watching the VP debate.  And, you guessed it… their tighty whiteys had a nice orange hue following the airing.  Case in point, National Review columnist Rich Lowry…

LINK TO VIDEO IS HERE

4) Die hard Republicans who will never vote outside their party, even if it means four more years of doom and gloom for them, their children and grandchildren.  Thanks, Grandma…

And to steal a page from the Republican Fear-mongering Handbook, let me show you what’s hanging in the halls of the Minnesota State Capitol building.  Now imagine this is a picture of Sarah Louise Heath Palin hanging in the Oval Office of The White House.  If this doesn’t scare you, then nothing will… but I’ll try to find ya some other reasons to be fearful, and I’ll bring ‘em to ya… “Maverick”.

If you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, then enjoy this Keith Olbermann Special Comment about Governor Palin…

more about “Countdown with Keith OlbermannCountdo…“, posted with vodpod

McCain cries, “What have I done?!?!”

Put a sweater on, Old Man!

I just finished checking the pressure of all the tires on our family vehicles, including Claire’s Jeep brand stroller. Plus, I think Momma has a 50,000 mile tune-up scheduled for her Nazi-wagen Passat, so I think we’re all set. But, I’ve been meaning to blog about Obama’s crazy idea about oil conservation… you know, the one where he says keeping your car tires inflated and engine properly maintained will increase fuel efficiency, thereby helping to lower gas consumption. I mean, where does he get this load of crap and why does he think anyone would actually take personal responsibility to help conserve energy? Someone needs to remind Obama about Jimmy Carter and his cardigan sweater (Google it, folks!). Besides, any educated person – as well as Right Wing lunatics like Newt Gingrich – can tell you that the only way forward is to drill here and drill now! We can drill our way to energy independence in no time, my friends… right after we “win the wars in Iraq… Afghanistan… Iran… Syria…”, give every American a house, kick all the Mexicans out of the country, and teach McCain about the Internets. I actually support domestic drilling (such as on the 68 million untapped acres already permitted to the oil companies), and that’s why I plan to start drilling in our backyard. The feds seems to enjoy handing out billions of dollars in tax credits and other incentives to anyone willing to drill, so I’m on-board with this plan. Plus, there’s a good chance I might find that steak bone I buried out there last spring that has gone missing… probably stolen by a squirrel.

Anyway, I did some research and found more information about Obama’s insane (not to be confused with “McCain”) automotive maintenance tips. Leave it to Stephen Colbert to set the record straight HERE.

Here Comes An American Patriot!

Nope.  It’s actually just a huge douchebag in a golf cart…

WAG THE DOG Quiz of the Day:

What is the best way to show your patriotism for America and support of the troops?

A) Give up golfing (or at least SAY you have given up golf and hope nobody takes your picture while you’re on the tee box with your daddy).

B) Call George W. Bush a “huge douchebag” as often as possible… or just say nothing and let Dubya speak for you.

Bush – Our Credible President

Isn’t that an oxymoron… emphasis on MORON?

dr-evil-bush.jpgI caught an episode of Keith Olbermann’s Countdown last night, and he was showing clips from past shows.  Below is a gem from January 10, 2007.  The clip is just a reminder of what a great president we have in Bush… and what a pathetic group of wussies we have in Congress.  Let me get this straight — Clinton gets impeached for lying to Congress about a blowjob (and no troops were harmed during any sexual escapades between Slick Willy’s willy and the intern).  But Bush lies to Congress, the American public, the U.N. and the world about… oh, let’s just say EVERYTHING… and nothing happens.  Unless you count the shredding of the Constitution, an unbelievable amount of unchecked war profiteering, nonstop corruption within the Executive Branch, and the death of thousands of great American soldiers due to the colossal blunder that is Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL).  But at least I feel safer.  Don’t you? 

Twisted Sister guitarist says ‘I Want Barack’

Band’s anthem ‘I Wanna Rock’ re-recorded to show political allegiance

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Jay Jay French wants to rock. He also wants Barack.

So the Twisted Sister guitarist has re-recorded the heavy metal band’s anthem, “I Wanna Rock,” which has become “I Want Barack.”  Read more HERE.