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Balladeer
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25 posted 04-26-2009 06:21 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Because there’s a demand for articles about waterboarding and global warming?

Not to my way of thinking, grinch. The press creates the demand and then fills it...that's their specialty. Do you really think the people walking around today looking for work, wondering how to pay the bills, concerned about the future would have waterboarding on their minds as a major topic if it weren't being heralded in newspaper headlines and on the evening news? You should find that as unlikely as I do.

But do we really want to become just like the people who did that to them?

Ron, that is one of the oldest and most used canards bad guys use on the good guys. "I'm going to punch you in the face but, if you punch me back, you're as bad as me." The initiator of the act loses all rights to that argument and it's a shame that otherwise intelligent people, like yourself, buy into it.
Denise
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26 posted 04-26-2009 06:47 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No I don't, Grinch. I don't believe that real torture should ever be used on anybody.

But I don't object to advanced interrogation techniques being used against our sworn enemies, the Islamist terrorists, those who have killed us in the past and have sworn to do so in the future.
Grinch
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27 posted 04-26-2009 07:02 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
You should find that as unlikely as I do.


Sorry Mike but I don’t find it unlikely at all.

I think people are capable of multi tasking when it comes to news items, being interested in global warming, waterboarding, the current outbreak of swine flu and how their local team are playing in the midst of a recession seems quite likely to me. In fact I’d go one step further – I’d say it was an essential human survival trait – concentrating on one issue isn’t, after all, conducive to mental well-being. We’d all go mad if we fixated on one thing to the detriment of everything else.

quote:
No I don't, Grinch. I don't believe that real torture should ever be used on anybody.


You’d let the child die Denise? What about their family, the torture that they have to endure burying their innocent baby?

quote:
But I don't object to advanced interrogation techniques being used against our sworn enemies, the Islamist terrorists, those who have killed us in the past and have sworn to do so in the future.


Should they have access to counsel while they’re being tortured and should torture be used before or after they’re convicted of the crimes they’re charged with?

.
Bob K
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28 posted 04-26-2009 08:10 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           By your logic, if all the new sources were silenced, then things would be better because we wouldn't have the clamor to discus issues that you don't think are important.  Of course, your issues wouldn't be discussed, either, would they?  Unless you meant that the media should only portray your side of the issues, and leave out any other point of view?  You could mean that, couldn't you?

     The point of view you advocate here doesn't make a lot of sense to me at all, frankly, though I can see that it does to you and to Ringo and to Denise.  For the reasons above, it doesn't to me.  We are supposed to have a free press, aren't we?  It can say pretty much what it wants.

     My weakness in the matter is that it should pretty much stick to researchable facts, and that they should be able to back them up, which is why I thanked you for your inclusion of The Sunday Telegraph to my small but growing list of sources that seem to be making an effort to get the facts right.  Simply because the facts reported don't seem to have the slant that you think they should have, doesn't make them wrong facts; not does it make those facts unimportant.  You will be aware that facts on torture and attacks on civil rights have always gotten very high priority with me.  I have also given economics a lot of attention as well, so you see it is possible to have more than one concern at once.  You are interested in poetry and politics at once without too much strain, right?

     As for your complaint that we're talking about torture again, you might look at the first couple of sentences of Denise's opening comments.  They were fairly clear.  I find myself sharing some of the worries she expresses in her first link, and would like to know more about the whole subject.  I didn't like the roll-backs in the civil rights when I saw the FISA courts set up (was it Clinton?), I didn't like the rollbacks that I was vocal about here during the Bush administration (and I warned, as you may recall, that once rights were rolled back under somebody you trusted, that didn't mean that you'd trust the next guy elected; and that the whole idea of these warantless wiretaps and depredations of habeas were simply bad); and I don't like the suggestion of them here any more.  How about some legal proposals?  Hey?

     We need to complain about torture till it stops.  

Sincerely, Bob Kaven    
Ron
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29 posted 04-26-2009 08:16 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron, that is one of the oldest and most used canards bad guys use on the good guys. "I'm going to punch you in the face but, if you punch me back, you're as bad as me." The initiator of the act loses all rights to that argument and it's a shame that otherwise intelligent people, like yourself, buy into it.

Your analogy, Mike, would suggest that punching someone in the nose is morally or ethically repulsive? And I guess in some instances, it probably is. If you've got your four older brothers holding down your attacker, for example, it probably would be a little tough to argue self-defense. At least after the third or fourth punch?

Let's up the ante.

If Bill rapes Steve's young daughter, is it then okay for Steve to return the favor by raping Bill's daughter?

We're not talking self-defense here, and we're not talking about undeserved punishment. We're talking about acts that are, in and of themselves, repulsive and disgusting. Torture ain't right. Period.

Engaging it in lessens all of us, the perpetrators and victims alike.
Denise
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30 posted 04-26-2009 08:55 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

We're not talking about crimes and the criminal justice system, Grinch, we're talking about war. They declared war on us in no uncertain terms on 9/11. And if we aren't vigilant, and if we don't fight to win, then they will win. And then we can tell them that it isn't very nice to behead people. And they will laugh at us and then behead us.

I don't see the advanced interrogation techniques as torture. They were made uncomfortable and afraid, they weren't physically hurt. They are all still alive and well. And most were not even waterboarded. Only 3 were.
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31 posted 04-26-2009 09:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If Bill rapes Steve's young daughter, is it then okay for Steve to return the favor by raping Bill's daughter?

No, Ron. no more than our troops kidnapping people and beheading them on video, which is what the terrorists did. You seem intent on equating our actions on an equal level with the terrorists.....our interrogation tactics which leave no one injured against mass murderers. I ain't buying it.

Grinch and Bob....fine, have it your way. The fact that waterboarding is such a popular issue right now is not because Obama is making a crusade of it, not because the newspapers and news programs are headlining it - it's just ordinary citizens multi-tasking. I won't even attempt to argue with such a line of thought. You are both showing how far you will go to excuse actions you do not want to speak against. No problem...I leave you to your own perceptions of reality.  
Grinch
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32 posted 04-27-2009 01:51 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I won't even attempt to argue with such a line of thought.


You already did Mike.

quote:
Do you really think the people walking around today looking for work, wondering how to pay the bills, concerned about the future would have waterboarding on their minds as a major topic if it weren't being heralded in newspaper headlines and on the evening news?


I just answered your question and pointed out the flaws in your argument, if I’m wrong, fine, explain where and why I’m wrong. If you don’t want to do that then that’s fine by me too, though I have to wonder why you asked the question in the first place if you didn’t want to listen to and discuss the validity of my reply.

Bob K
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33 posted 04-27-2009 07:11 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          Who told you only three people were waterboarded?

     Curiously,

      Bob Kaven
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34 posted 04-27-2009 08:53 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

grinch, you pointed out no flaws in my argument at all. You simply stated your own views. Fine by me...as I said, enjoy whatever reality you prefer.

Your contention is that people are simply multitasking, concentrating on many things at one time. Apparently you feel that it's just coincidence that the fact they are multitasking on waterboarding right after Obama came out his revelations that that there would not be/there would be investigations into interrogation  tactics and right after the press picked it up as a headliner crusade. No problem...it's all yours.

My contention is that they are red herrings to get people's minds off the economy and the fact that it's getting worse, that unemployment filings were much higher than expected last week, that food stamps are through the roof, that unemployment continues to rise, that, despite Obama's claims that, as soon as the stimulus bill was passed, those "shovel-ready" jobs would kick in to provide much needed jobs. They are designed to veer minds away from the fact that nothing Obama has done has provided any relief at all, embarrassing to say the least with his "First 100 Days" report card coming up. Why should someone dwell on the fact that Obama has spent more money than every president in history? Who wants them to dwell on the fact that our future generation will be hopelessly mired in debt? Why should someone think about Obama not having done anything at all as far as self-reliance on energy is concerned when they can be told about the horrors of waterboarding? Why should they dwell on not being able to pay bills when polar bears are in danger of extinction? Clinton, of  course, was the best by bombing an aspirin factory to get the headlines away from the Monica Lewinsky scandal but Obama is catching on quick.

I'll have to admit that it is working to a degree, as you  are living proof. Fortunately I feel that a good portion on the American public is not so easily fooled.

How can I point out where you are wrong when you are simply offering an opinion? People are entitled to any opinion they like....even me.
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35 posted 04-28-2009 03:05 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Mike,

          How long have I been telling you about the economic problems and saying that we needed to do something about them?  A year at least.  The only time that I actually recall you acknowledging that an economic problem existed was when Obama came to office, at which point it was Obama's economic problem, or the Democratic Economic problem.

     It's been the country's economic problem the whole time.  The fact that it hasn't evaporated in 100 days means exactly nothing.  The Obama strategy may not work.  The advantage it has over what we've been doing over the past eight years is that it actually admits that there is an issue that needs to be addressed, and that there is an economic underclass in this country that folks need to help out and that throwing money at the rich isn't really much of a solution.  In part because the Neo-cons who've been running things have been in denial that there's anything wrong,

     There's been loads wrong, and the economic news you mention is certainly part of it.  I hope the Obama program will help.  If you recall, I said that I thought that it might begin to show some sort of results after 18 to 24 months.  I may well have been wrong.  It may well take longer, if it works at all.  The hole was pretty deep.  It remains pretty deep.  Why you would imagine results would show up after 100 days in office is something I can't fathom, given that a lot of that time was spent trying to get some of the legislation through the legislature.  Perhaps you know more than I do about the speed with which things run in Washington.  I'd always thought it was reasonably slowly, but you're apparently telling me that things happen with blitzkrieg speed there that I've never seen any evidence of before.

     As for Torture being a red herring, I've never thought so.  I don't care who's in office.  You've suggested that I talk too much about it before, though I don't think so.  Nor do I think waterboarding is the most serious of the problems around the issue of torture that we have to deal with, though it's certainly bad enough.  You may recall the CIA had some problem losing records of their sessions using such enhanced methods, whoops, so we may have a bit of difficulty ever piecing the details of that together.  We do know that we have sent quite a few people to be questioned in countries that do use torture in the questioning of prisoners.  There's a very good 2005 article in The New Yorker that gives some details, if you can stomach them, with source material.  Whatever you may think of that magazine, their research is impeccable.

     There are those of us who believe that there is more to this country than our concern for our wallets, though that concern should and does run high.  We are also concerned with who we are and what we do and what we stand for, and the notion of being right down there with the bottom feeders of world history doesn't particularly appeal to us.  We like to think that we're more than that and that we don't need to go looking for legal loopholes to get out of acting like decent human beings.  If you haven't read some of these white house papers justifying the use of torture, you haven't seen how far legal language can be stretched to make almost anything sound justifiable.

     If it's not torture unless it's done to the point of organ failure, have you given any thought to exactly what organ failure actually means in terms of hearts and kidneys and bowels and eyes and bladders.  Have you actually thought of what happens when these things fail?

     Of course I keep coming back to this.  The question to my mind is why don't other people?  

     And I'm as upset about the economics as anybody.

     I've already spoken with you about deaths and injuries at Abu Grahib, as well as other places.  I've given you references.  I've spoken about the lack of evidence that has been used to imprison people and to put them into prison conditions.  Imprisoning Iraqis before 2005 for being supporters of Al Qaeda and torturing them for information about it suggests that there was an Al Qaeda presence in Iraq at that time when we know there was not.  All those people were falsely imprisoned and many were tortured.

     What stretch of the imagination can allow you to say against all evidence "our interrogation tactics which leave no one injured against mass murderers."

     Are you volunteering for being waterboarded? or for sleep deprivation or for any of the other methods that were okayed by President Bush?  Are you telling me that Rendition to Egypt or any of the other countries that do allow torture that we engaged in from at least 1998 is something that you think is hunky dory, even when we don't have sufficient evidence to believe that somebody is guilty or, as in some cases, that these prisoners have been aquitted by courts with jurisdiction and apparently kidnapped by U.S. forces?

     As John Stoessel says, "Give me a break."  

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/02/14/050214fa_fact6?currentPage=all


Sincerely, Bob Kaven

  
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36 posted 04-28-2009 06:53 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

How long have I been telling you about the economic problems and saying that we needed to do something about them?  

Ever since the last year of Bush in office, Bob. Actually, his first seven had a robust economy, if you care to recall. After 9/11, which cost the country and the market billions, the economy rebounded with amazing results, like the lowest unemployment rate in decades and other such successful benchmarks. I remember coming to the Alley and goading democrats with statements like, "What about the economy, fellas? Where's the chant of "It's the economy, stupid"? Guess what? I got no responses. You didn't see the economy in the newspapers, either. It was a taboo subject to the democrats. They had to either stay away from it or acknowledge it's robustness. Were you speaking against the economy before then? I can't recall a word. Sure, after Fannie and Freddie and the mortgage bust when everything nosedived, THEN the economy became the democrat war chant, even though people like Clinton, Frank and even Obama with his Acorn tactics had had their share in causing it. Then the chant became "Bush destroys the economy!" and people like you - especially you - kept referring to "the past eight years", as if the first seven didn't really count.

Would I volunteer for waterboarding? Nope, but then I wouldn't volunteer for AlQada, either, nor would I volunteer for terrorist activities or blowing up buildings or train stations full of people. If I WERE captured by being associated with such activities, I would not expect a cushy cell where I could complain about loud music or the quality of the food. If you recall, there was a message sent out by Bin Laden years ago to his troops not to worry about being captured because it would result in nothing more thana clean cell and three meals a day. Is that the message I would want to send out? No, I would want terrorists terrified of being captured, regardless of how well we treated them. I would want them cringing in fear at the thought. I would want them thinking they might have to sit through Al Gore speeches for the next ten years....but, then, I guess I'm old-fashioned that way by thinking people should actually be afraid of getting caught and should expect it not to be pleasant or similar to a stay at a country club.

Aside from all that, the fact still remains that this war cry over CIA interrogation tactics has just recently been revived by Obama and the press....and why, exactly? What possible connection does it have to do with the economy? The connection is to use it to get people's minds OFF the economy, hence the red herring comment. If you can't recognize that, then nothing I say about it will make any difference - as if it could, anyway.
Bob K
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37 posted 04-28-2009 05:32 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Mike,

          The economy has been of interest to me right along.  Alas, I wasn't even on the net until Nov of 2007 or so, so if you can't remember my Democratic little voice in the wilderness pointing to how the deficit was piling up and how the economy was living off its credit card and refinancing houses and a real estate bubble, it's: 1) not because I wasn't saying it; 2) not because it wasn't true; and, 3) not because the environment and the economy weren't being mismanaged because all those derivatives that are killing us now were being sold then, and the government was signing us up for big no bid deals with Drug companies and the banks were being deregulated.  I mention a few of the wonderful things the those years brought us.  Because the tax cuts were being taken on the wrong side of the Leifer curve — Check out my past references to that one from The Economist, I think I quoted from them sometime during Katerina — we were actually losing money with each tax cut rather than making it for the economy and the Treasury.

     So yes, I spoke against the economy in the first seven years.  If I'd been here I would have taken you up on your challenge.  I've given you the outlines of at least a part of the case above.I'd have to go back and look at the unemployment figures.  I'd suggest you look at the figures for wages and income for the same period and stack it against the 1968 figures, for example, and see how things come out in terms of real income adjusted for inflation as opposed to real income adjusted for inflation for the top five percent, then the top two percent.

     I think you'll notice that the jobs that you congratulate yourself on being created by Republicans are jobs that have taken a huge chunk of Americans out of the functional middle class.  A lot of that has been done, I believe, over the past eight years.  I would have made that argument as well.

     Please don't treat me as though this discussion was one sided and a fait accompli, and please don't pretend the Democrats don't have an excellent case here. "People like you" in this context means exactly what?  Enquiring minds would like to know?  

     Does it mean people who don't want to be lumped together with other people in a general halo effect of people who are in some fashion bad, unreasonable or less than?  Because when you use language like that, this is the message you give, and this is not a message that belongs in a reasonable discussion.

     Pardon me, the choice is not waterboarding or a country-club.

     The choice is between waterboarding and other methods of treatment that are torture, and which keep the testimony of people questioned under it from being used in a court of law without distorting the meaning of "court of law" and "legal system" out of recognition for citizen of a free country.  We already have situations where we have gotten information that is untrustworthy through torture.  In another thread I mentioned the 2005 New Yorker article on torture (perhaps this thread) where some of the misinformation given the Security Council by Colin Powell was information obtained by torture.  

     That is, we got the information we were looking for, not the information that was true.

     Once information is gotten in this way, it is almost always inadmissible in a court of law.  We must either keep the prisoner indefinitely without knowing or being able to determine the truth of their innocence or guilt, as we would be able to do with a proper judicial procedure, or we must let them go or go with highly unpalatable options that distort the societal fabric of a democracy.

     Having chosen to release one of the Gitmo detainees to Germany, we were placed in the position of having to refuse to send people to testify about what he had said to them.  Cross examination in front of a German court might have proven extremely embarrassing had questions been asked about the conditions under which the accused's "confessions" had been obtained.

     The function of the law cuts in several directions.  It is to determine guilt, but is is also to protect society.  It protects society by meting out punishment but also by limiting it.  The punishment is supposed to be just.  This means that it will probably be more that the criminal will want, but also that it will probably be less than the victim or his or her family would desire.  This is one of the ways that Justice seeks to differentiate itself from revenge.

     When the choice is defined in terms of country club versus torture, Mike, I would put it to you that we are not talking about Justice here; that we are talking about revenge.  We are not even talking about satisfying revenge, because there, in satisfying revenge, you know exactly who you are punishing, and exactly what you are supposed to do, and here we simply don't.  The whole notion of "Terrorist" is simply too broad, and we lack the political will to avenge ourselves on all of them in the world.  The Chinese feel that some of their Tibetans are terrorists because they want to see Tibet free.  We feel that they have a right to do that, so we don't want to go fight the Tibetans, do we?  Are we for or against the Chechens?  The Somali Pirates may think they're trying to defend their coastal fishing waters.  I don't know how seriously I take this, but some of them may take it very seriously indeed.  Should we go to war with them?  How about wiping out the KKK?

     We don't want to go to war against all terrorists, we don't even agree as to who they are.  Yet the ones that our leaders de jour point out to us we're willing to subject to torture without knowing if they're actually terrorists or not, simply because somebody thinks they may be, and they never get a chance to defend themselves against the charge.  Then we base our actions on whatever they're willing to say to stop the pain or fear.  Sometimes it might have some bearing on reality, but exactly what that might be is impossible to test out, and we have as much chance of damaging our cause as we do of helping it.

     When we damage our cause, we create actual enemies who really do want to hurt us.  The more of this we do, the bigger the problem we create for ourselves.  This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

     I have never thought of torture as a red herring.  I have always thought of torture as torture, and as deserving condemnation in its own right.  I am disturbed that you believe that you don't feel this is true.  You didn't feel this was true when you thought the economy was going great either.  

     You needn't love or hate how well the economy is going to hate torture and to demand that those who do it need to stop.  After all, the last administration didn't feel that it was too busy to manage the economy it's way and to make sure that what it felt was a  justification for torture was in place, and to micromanage it at times when even the CIA was reluctant to continue.  If they can do that with George Bush's hectic vacation schedule, why is it so hard to pay attention to both the economy and the elimination of torture by Americans.  Do you think America isn't up to it?  Of course we are.

Sincerely,

Bob Kaven

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38 posted 04-28-2009 09:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Actually, I'll let Ringo's figures speak for me...which were presented in April 2008.

Let's talk about some economic factors during this presidency (last year's figures):
After-tax personal income has risen 9.6% during the last 6 years. During the 1990's it had grown only 6.7%.
7.2 million new jobs since August 2003.
Unemployment was 4.5% (as opposed to 4.1 during president Clinton's BEST year... not too far apart). This is also below the average for each of the last 4 decades.
Real income rose 1.7% faster than the average income increase during the 1990s.
Student Loan interest rates are at 6.8%, lower than all but 6 of the last 48 years.
Job creation increased almost 50 straight months.
Unemployment fell for all minority groups.
Worker lay offs were only 1.1%, down from 1.3% from the beginning of the current administration.
Annual wage growth was 1.7%... more than  the average of .4% loss from the former administration.
Since the tax cuts went into effect, 7 million new jobs have been created.
US Productivity increased 2.5% in the last 5 years, up from a high of 2.2% during the 90's.
Real growth in manufacturing has increased more than the private sector over the same time period.
Home ownership has risen from around 67% to around 69% (a near record high) since 2001.
Minority home ownership is up.
Minority business ownereship is up.
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001660.html

Your comment to these figures, Bob, was the following..
I ll have to get back to you a little bit at a time on your facts and figures.

Actually, you never did get back to him on them which means you didn't bother checking them out (which is your right) or you did check them out and found them to be valid. What you did was immediately change the subject to the VA, which can be clearly seen in the above thread

If they are indeed valid, then your argument that the Bush eight years were disasterous economically is extremely weak, wouldn't you say? What do I mean like "people like you"? Simple...people who would ignore the above figures and keep speaking about the "past eight years" as an economic tsunami. You are up to 21 times of using that phrase so far, if my count is correct.
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39 posted 04-28-2009 11:27 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The Chinese feel that some of their Tibetans are terrorists because they want to see Tibet free.   If the Tibetans were sending suicide bombers in to blow up women and children, I would agree with the Chinese.

The Somali Pirates may think they're trying to defend their coastal fishing waters.  I don't know how seriously I take this, but some of them may take it very seriously indeed. The fact that you would take that with any degree of seriousness makes me shake my head in wonder, Bob. I;m afraid your comparisons have lost all credibility with me after that, which may not matter to you and that's ok, too.

the question I brought up was not whether torture was effective or not and now whether waterboarding or loud music was torture or not. It was why the sudden reincarnation of it by Obama and the media RIGHT NOW? Have their been any current instances of waterboarding that has caused this to surface anew right at this time? They are going back years to bring up examples and why RIGHT NOW? Visits to the CIA, visits to the FBI, speeches that the US will not condone torture, threats of investigations over past actions....all RIGHT NOW...right now when Obama's first report card is coming up....and you don't see any red herring possibility.

ok...
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40 posted 04-29-2009 01:51 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

           Right Now? is because Obama campaigned on Human Rights and meant it.  This is as quickly as it's hit any headlines, but he's been doing stuff about it from virtually day one, as well he should have. The economic stuff took precedence in the news because it had a more immediate impact and the Republicans tried to fight it or block it.

     I can only speculate why you don't want people to look at human rights violations, since President Obama has been dealing with both the whole time and continues to do so, as have the American people, as have I.  The Republican response has been to these matters, first that there were no human rights violations, then that there were no human rights violations because we'd changed the definition of what constituted torture so that everybody else in the world thought it was torture, and we thought it was torture when it was done to our people which was why we tried to train our people to deal with it, but when we did it to other people it wasn't torture because the President's lawyers had tried to find a way to get around the definition that everybody else in the world used.  Then we said that the Secretary of Defense didn't think it was torture because he stood in stress positions for hours every day, though of course nobody beat him if he didn't do them right and he wasn't shackled into them.  We said that we didn't do those things anyway until pictures started coming out that showed some of the things we did and the military started to talk about some of the things it couldn't stomach, because the military doesn't want to do this sort of thing; they know it's bad soldiering, and that if you do it to others, then it makes the notion of surrendering to you more difficult and they'll actually have to have more soldiers killed in fighting enemies who believe they have nothing to loose by fighting on.  Right?

     The military knows it's bad military policy and it knows that it gets more of our soldiers killed, which the professional military doesn't like at all.  They have read their Sun T'tsu.  The best battles are those the enemy surrenders without having to fight, where you have defeated the enemy's plans, and no men are lost.

     You will always be able to ask "Why Now?" in response to questions about torture.  You have asked them before.
If we do not ask these questions now, when will be the time to ask them?"  Your answer has always been, "Later," or "Some other time."  And if I don't ask these questions, who is going to ask these questions?  I have never seen you bring them up or signal, Yep, this is the time.  

     It is always the time, especially if it is being done in your name.  They have simply changed the language slightly so you can pretend that they aren't dismantling people's souls and bodies and saying you told them to do so.

     I said no such thing.  It hurts our country and it hurts me.

  Yours,
Bob Kaven
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


41 posted 04-29-2009 02:51 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          Did you actually expect I wouldn't go back and check on your reference?  Did you expect I wouldn't reread the thread?

     Before offering the list of things you quote above, Ringo apologizes for going off subject, at that point the military and the VA.  How dare you tell me I was changing the subject!  It's clear from the context I was getting back to it!

     I could find no source for Ringo's data.  It made no sense to me.  He offered no source for it, though I asked him to.  I should have pursued it at the time, but I was trying to be polite.  For trying to be polite, what I get is you using Ringo as a source.  If you want me to accept your data give me the source.  If Ringo wants me to accept his data, Ringo can give me his source.  It's my mistake for not being blunt.  If I run across a statement in a book saying the moon is made of green cheese, I want a reference; I don't expect to research the facts myself.  If you have already presented the facts to me once, with a source, tell me where and when, and that's fine.  Don't send me to somebody who hasn't included a reference.  Ringo is a nice guy, but he's a nice guy who hasn't sourced his material.  You are a nice guy who in that same thread used Lou Dobbs as a source to say that Illegal Aliens raped more women in the United States that year than had been actually raped by the total of everybody put together.  Being nice isn't enough.  Nor for that matter, near as I can tell, is Lou Dobbs.  My references are in that thread.

     The word "democrat" is a noun.  If one uses the adjectival form, that would be "democratic," unless you wish to make a fetish of sounding folksy or illiterate.  I never saw you as the sort of guy who'd fancy sitting down with some hawg jowl and a mess o' greens, and who'd like his chittlin's best with a piece of corn in 'em.  And your poetry isn't illiterate.  Unless you're using the term "Democrat" as an adjective just to be rude, and to make of point of doing so, I'd really rather you wouldn't.  I've mentioned this before, and you were kind enough to drop it for a while.

     "The last eight years" is an apt descriptor.  It is grammatically correct and other ways of talking about that particular period of time seem offhand to me to be more round-about.  If you have any suggestions that you think would be useful for a substitution that cover the same ground as well, I'm interested.  Otherwise, it's the best way I know of speaking about that period of time.  It's not a derogation, such as the use of "Slick Willie" for President Clinton, it's simply a descriptor.  You might as well have kept track of the number of times I used the phrase "the last administration," or "The Bush Administration," though neither term seems quite as exact to me.  "The Bush Administration" is especially awkward, leaving doubt as to which one you're speaking of, Maximus or Minimus.  

     By the way, I do hope you're feeling better.  I get carried away with the content of these conversations sometimes and I almost forget how concerned I am for your health, and with how much fun it is talking to you, as infuriating as it may seem sometimes.  You're a good man, Charlie Brown.

By Best,  Bob Kaven

    
Grinch
Member Elite
since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


42 posted 04-29-2009 01:38 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
the question I brought up was not whether torture was effective or not and now whether waterboarding or loud music was torture or not. It was why the sudden reincarnation of it by Obama and the media RIGHT NOW? Have their been any current instances of waterboarding that has caused this to surface anew right at this time? They are going back years to bring up examples and why RIGHT NOW? Visits to the CIA, visits to the FBI, speeches that the US will not condone torture, threats of investigations over past actions....all RIGHT NOW...right now when Obama's first report card is coming up....and you don't see any red herring possibility.


Why did Obama release the memos and resurrect the torture debate?

Err..

Because he was in receipt of a court order to do so, because he would have been breaking the law if didn’t, because one of his campaign promises was transparency of Government.

What would you have done in his position Mike?

.
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


43 posted 04-30-2009 03:02 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I must again go to upstate New York for a week or so.  Sorry to do so in the middle of an interesting discussion.  I'll be back (I know I've heard that someplace before, but where, where?).  I'll hopefully have a few neurons left to rub against each other, and I'll be able to get back into stuff here and into talk of free verse and free verse exercises with those interested in them.  My best to everybody, Sincerely, Bob Kaven.
 
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