May 27, 2009

The March of What Progress?

Modern day liberals would hail a Hispanic tyrant as a sign of progress. "Oh look! All the tyrants in history have been white, from King Louis XIV to Hitler. Now in our day, because of our good instincts and our generosity, we finally have a strongman from another race. Geewhiz, aren't we just great and forward looking?"

Tyrants are like crayons, they come in all colors. But uneducated liberals desire a rainbow of oppressors and they don't make that a secret. They'll probably legislate the composition of a rainbow to include the color pink so that gays too can one day send men off to war.

Just to be clear, there is a long record of marginalization and disfranchisement of minorities in America and that is not what I'm disputing with my objection to Obama and her new judge. I am disputing the belief that Obama and her new judge automatically represent their "peoples" interests just because they look like them. A proper judge represents the law as best as she/he can within her powers. Judges are human, yes, but we give them that title because they represent an impersonal entity who disbands their loyalties. Are they without bias? Hardly. Are they without error? Not in our lifetime, unless we start appointing computer judges. But it isn't right or legal to be an activist judge, pushing a particular agenda that benefits some people--who, in fact, would be better off without the 'help'.

Moreover, if Fred Hampton was the first president of the United States then I'd agree we've made progress but Fred Hampton is not in the White House. And neither is Cesar Chaves in the Supreme court. Obama and her judge do not exhibit in their words or in their actions, the best traditions of their peoples.

Anyways, there is a larger point were missing, which is the fact that there are no different races. We express ourselves in different environments through various languages and cultures but our general genetic make up is the same. This celebration of the first Black Prez, the first Hispanic Judge, etc. just doesn't feel right. First for fist sake; is that something we should be proud of? Is that how low our standards of decency have dropped? It feels like were stuck in a time warp, in the early twentieth century when conversations about the superiority of certain races was accepted in liberal company, when eugenics was gaining popularity amongst the elites, an idea which reached a crescendo in Hitler's Germany.

Defending corporate interests with a brown skin tone is not progress. That is cheap exploitation, and nothing else. I don't care if we have the first 'Black' president, or the first 'Hispanic' Judge. I care about what they believe in, what they stand for, and what kind of decisions they have made in the past. He/she or heshe can be gorilla black or snow white, I don't give a damn about their race, color, gender, or sexuality.

And what kind of progress are we talking about exactly? The people's views, values and tolerance may be progressing in the right direction, towards accepting all people in public life. But is politics progressing? Is the Supreme Court protecting the constitution and maintaining its original jurisdiction? We can't trade one progress for the other and simply accept our fate. Trading in white tyrants for black ones will not change anything.

May 22, 2009

Our Mini-Dark Age

Not-so brief disclaimer: I was inspired to write this sloppy and unedited piece after my recent reading of The Phenomenon of Torture, which is a collection of writings on torture gathered by William F. Schulz. If you don't like reading college papers then I advise you to pass on this one. But there are some hidden jewels in this minefield, and none of them are mine, I assure you. Just skip along and read whatever you find interesting. I have to warn you though, if you choose to go along for the whole ride, you do so at your own peril because this article was written without regulation and in a half-hazard fashion. Also, my citations are not conclusive, some are quotes from famous philosophers that are not sourced and some are quotes from articles in the book that I've forgotten the title of and the page number. But they are all in quotes. Moreover, I want to express my gratitude to the editor of The Phenomenon of Torture which was an endlessly fascinating book, so much so in fact that I skipped two of my classes and stayed in the library to finish the whole book. When I write in the future I'll make sure to take the reader's interests into consideration, and polish up my writing before posting it.

Voltaire proclaimed "Woe unto the nation which, though long civilized is still led by ancient atrocious customs!" He was referring to France in the 18th century but his statement also applies to the United States in the 21st. I don't pretend to be wise and witty like Voltaire, I'm merely a student of history and philosophy but basic fundamental truths can be stated as savagely as possible by the least eloquent amongst us and still arouse our common sympathies. The immorality and destructiveness of torture is one of those truths and that it is debated in Amerika reveals evermore the barbarous path the country has taken in recent decades. Grappling with torture is like facing down a shadow in a cave, and the reason for its appearance will forever escape us unless we turn our gaze from Guantanamo to the private poor houses across the land.

In the Middle Ages punishment was a spectacle, its purpose was both to entertain and strike terror in the hearts of the spectators. In our hyper-advanced technological-totalitarian age, the reversal is true. Evans and Morgan in "Preventing Torture" write:
Torture is not acknowledged. The instruments of torture are hidden and their existence disclaimed. Places of torture are inaccessible, not to increase the terror--though they do of course serve that purpose, and the physical and social isolation of victims is part of the design--but because they may not be known. What is done may not be seen or heard. There must be no spectators, no witnesses. Indeed, the most potent threat in the hands of the contemporary torturer is that: "No one will hear you cry. No one knows that you are here. No one cares whether you live or die. No one will ever know." --a threat that the power of the secretive state can all too often make.(1)
The methods torturers use today are far reaching and include psychological manipulation of a human's inborn fear of powerlessness in a helpless situation. His cultural soft spots are also used to full advantage by the torturer. For modern day scarecrows, anything goes. When torture was held as an acceptable technique and part of jurisprudence prior to the 18th century it was regulated, and different methods were weighed against each other. Unlike secret off shore torture havens today, there was some civility amidst the barbarity in the dark ages since it was public. But not so in modern day Amerika. As Evans and Moran point out, "It is the culture of denial and the absence of debate that makes contemporary as opposed to classical torture the more difficult to combat," (2). Torture as a credible and humane technique for interrogation was abandoned by Western states in the wake of the Enlightenment because it was thought that its savagery was equal to the crime itself.

Those who currently advocate the use of torture on captured terrorist subjects/suspects resort to the ticking time bomb argument that has somehow seeped into the popular imagination. It is not a rational and honest talking point and only put forward by feeble and terror-stricken minds.

The fear people have, regardless that it is manipulated to achieve certain ends by the dominating elite, is not wholly without some basis in reality. We live in a visual age, images stay in people minds longer than facts. Some of these images have been used by propagandists to build a 'terror narrative' in the public mind and in my opinion there are four fundamental images that stick out. 1)the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 2)planes hitting the world trade center, 3)nuclear war heads lying around(Fox News presents this image on a highly-regular basis) and 4)muslims in turbans with AK-47's(of course these are not American made, but brought into their farms by those bloody Russians). Too often these images are assembled together in a straight line, and like factory workers assembling toys the directions are given beforehand, making it an endlessly repeating and mindless task that only slaves can perform.

The worker, or the consumer of news, learns to do this without any objections, questions are deemed counter-productive and unpatriotic or loony. Thus, people put non-related images together into one narrative, however little it makes sense, solely because it has become routine to think that way. Also, people do not unconsciously come up with these narratives, the terrorist/nuclear being one among many, instead, the psychiatric-corporatist state actively push their mythology every chance they get and use every propaganda technique at their disposal (film, news, public speeches, press releases, etc). "Public opinion," George Santayana said, "does not signify merely private opinions prevalent amongst the public, but such opinions when they touch matters in public dispute or are due to contagion, having not been formed spontaneously among the people but imposed on them by eloquence or iteration." Senators and congressmen are also mired in image-based thinking. Harry Reid, for example, recently answered a questioning about releasing prisoners and putting them in prisons inside the U.S by saying "Can’t put them in prison unless you release them," which is a mind boggling statement if your thoughts are fact-based as opposed to image-based. I think Mr. Reid has seen far too many movies.

Anybody who consistently watches the media can't help but pick up this way of thinking and internalize it into their subconscious to the point that they are no longer persuaded by logic and facts. I bring up this point because people who advocate torture have this idea in their mind that as soon as a terrorist gets his hands on a nuclear bomb he will instantly detonate it. Life, they imagine, is like a movie and the good guys have a limited amount of time to reach the terrorist. To them terrorists are irrational actors who only desire to kill, rather than negotiate.

If I was a terrorist and got my hands on a nuclear device, if that is even a possibility which I'm positive that it is not, then I would negotiate with my oppressor rather than invigorate him by using the nuke. But let's clear up a few assumptions first, a)terrorists do not attack without a reason(your freedom and lifestyle do not apply), b)terrorists are political actors, they are striving for a certain conclusion(I'm taking about the queen bees, not the suicidal worker bees), and c)nukes are political tools that will only be in the hands of powerful men with a political agenda, they are not apocalyptic weaponry used by religious minions in the global terror stage.

Moreover, I'm willing to bet that torture may in fact work if it is applied to powerful men who have information like Cheney and with a clear objective in mind so as to ask pointed questions, i.e. did you possess information of an upcoming attack on U.S soil prior to 9/11? I don't think any of these men in charge of the American secret state are suicidal and true believers. Some of them might certainly be, like Cheney, which is very frightening, but I doubt that none of them will speak if they get water boarded.

But it doesn't matter if torture works because it is always used against men who have no real information and are only in custody because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Jackals and bounty hunters captured some Afghan villagers, put a terrorist sticker on their head and presented them to the authorities in exchange for cash. Frankly, I'm surprised at how few Afghans and Iraqis choose to fight back against an immoral and unjust occupier. If it was the other way around, Americans left and right would be blowing themselves up to defeat the enemy. The lack of empathy among the large majority of the American people for foreigners is the most disappointing fact. Can history forgive such a war culture? I'll try to present my own analysis of that question some other time.

Furthermore, proponents of torture stand behind it's usefulness to get the truth out of suspects but torture has never been used to get the truth out. If it was used to get the truth out, I still wouldn't advocate it on a systematic basis because only a few men know the truth. Some argue using torture in private cases, for example, torturing Cheney and other key operators inside the criminal American state. Even in that case I'd oppose torture because I sincerely believe that if the right public environment is created and there is an ongoing serious investigation into the crimes of the past then patriots would step forward and provide important information to help indict the criminals. If there is one thing everyone should get from reading the history of torture it is this: it is not about finding confessions, or keeping the public safe, but about imposing one's will. It's about power, pure and fucking simple. As Arthur Silber writes in his piece on torture in December of 2005:
Governments have always used the excuse of an "emergency" to significantly broaden their powers, and to claim the right to use "extraordinary" means. And those means are always justified by an appeal to "public safety," or an appeal to "saving the lives of our citizens," or something similar.
The claim that by conducting torture the victims will spill their guts (metaphorically speaking of course) is a lie that can easily be blown out of the water. Only psychotics would believe such a monstrous falsehood. Cesare Beccaria, an 18th century Italian economist said this about the defects of torture confessions:
"see the drawbacks of the pretended test of truth--a test, indeed, that is worthy of cannibals; a test which the Romans, barbarous as they too were in many respects, reserved for slaves alone, the victims of their fierce and too highly lauded virtue."
In our day too it is the slaves who conduct torture, and by slaves I mean the men and women of the armed forces and the police state. Cheney who is the biggest defender of torture has probably never been in the presence of a torture session. And Bush? The man considers reading torture so why would he want to get his hands dirty if there are perfectly trained slaves to do the job. I'm not using the word slave rhetorically but as a genuine descriptive term for what torturers are(more on this below).

Terrorists "R" Us: The Torturers, and The Tortured

Mika Haritos-Fatouros, Professor of Psychology at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece interviewed 16 ex-military policeman who had served during the military dictatorship in Greece from 1967-1974 and he outlined four steps crucial to indoctrinating administrators of torture. They are:
  • Overlearning - Values of the greater good and obedience without question had to be drilled into new recruits' skulls.
  • Desensitization- New Recruits have to endure sights of torture on a daily basis so as to conform to their surroundings, and they themselves have undergo torture.
  • Role modelling- Senior officers guiding new recruits, providing example of how a obedient slave is supposed to act, both in torture sessions and in polite company.
  • Reinforcement- Torturers received threats to their own well being, subjects reported that no one trusted each other and each slave spied on the other slave's activities.(3)
In fact, all ex-torturers face being killed by their former peers/slaves. The torturer mantra is the same as the mafia's, once you are in you cannot get out. And it becomes regular business if you have the stomach for it. "To tell the truth," said Franz Stangl, commandant of the two Nazi death camps, "one did become used to it,"(4). And they became used to it not because they were unbalanced human beings with a strong appetite for human blood but because they were doing their job. Amazing, huh? All for a day's paycheck. After a while it gets fun, I'm sure, because well, we all want to have fun at our jobs, don't we?. Torturers are not that different from us. One Brazilian victim of torture couldn't "console himself that the men who applied the wires were depraved. They seemed to practice sexual torture because it was most efficient," (5). In his book At the Mind's Limits Jean Amery, a member of the Belgian resistance during WWII and captured by the Gestapo in 1943, described torturers as "bureaucrats of torture":
I saw it in their serious, tense faces, which were not swelling, let us say, with sexual-sadistic delight, but concentrated in murderous self-realization. WIth heart and soul they went about their business, and the name of it was power, dominion over spirit and Flesh, orgy of unchecked self-expansion. I also have not forgotten that there were moments when I felt a kind of wretched admiration for the agonizing sovereignty they exercised over me. For is not the one who can reduce a person so entirely to a body and a whimpering prey of death a god or, at least, a demigod? (6)
That is precisely what happens when a slave is in a desperate situation and unwilling to face his true masters. . .he pretends to be a god and overpowers other men, as forcefully as possible. Below is a sworn statement by a detainee at Abu Ghraib detention center in Iraq, first reported by the Washington Post:
"They took me to the room and they signalned me to get on the floor. And one of the police he put a part of his stick that he always carries inside my ass and I felt it going inside me about 2 centimeters, approximately. And I started screaming and he pulled it out and he washed it with water insde the room. And the two American girls that were there when they were beating me, they were hitting me with a ball made of sponge on my dick. And she was playing with my dick. I saw inside this facility alot of punishment just like what they did to me and more. And they were taking pictures of me druing all these instances. (7)
Why would torturers commit such inhumane and unforgivable deeds? Psychologist Stanley Milgram in his article called "The Perils of Obedience" said "for a person to feel responsible for his actions, he must sense that the behavior has flowed from 'the self'." Torturers abandon their own selfhood and anybody else in the power system who obey inhumane orders. The essence of obedience is its abdication of personal responsibility. But the torturer doesn't lose sight of his other responsibilities, rather, he becomes more diligent to see them through. "There is a fragmentation of the total human act," says Milgram, "no one is confronted with the consequences of his decisions to carry out the evil fact." It is a slave ethic but not without a sense of purpose. Tortures value good conduct and hard work. They are not mindless drone, but all too conscious of their intentions and 'the greater good.' "The most far-reaching consequence," writes Milgram, "is that the person feels responsible to the authority directing him but feels no responsibility for the content of the actions that the authority prescribes. Morality does not disappear--it acquires a radically different focus, the subordinate person feels shame or pride depending on how adequately he has performed the actions called for by authority." Torturing turns into a supreme virtue, and wielding it on a regular basis becomes a duty.

One lieutenant from the Uruguayan Army revealed that supervisors picked those "who had displayed the most care and zeal in the accomplishment of their duties," (8). And the innocent men lie there hopeless after being subjected to the greatest terror in the world: torture. Most of those who are tortured are indeed innocent, and even the ones who fight back, in my eyes, are innocent because of their inborn rights to protect themselves. Of all the people in the world, Americans should understand innately the rights of self-defense.

Moreover, it is not physical terror that is used against most of these suspects but psychological terror which produces lasting effects, forever putting the tortured into a state of terror well beyond the few seconds of the evil doing. Amery wrote about his experiences in Nazi prison camps and his insights are worth mentioning:
Whoever has succumbed to torture can no longer feel at home in the world. The shame of destruction cannot be erased. Trust in the world, which already collapsed in part at the first blow, but in the end, under torture, fully, will not be regained. That one's fellow man was experienced as at the antiman remains in the tortured person as accumulated horror. It blocks the view into a world in which the principle of hope rules. (9)
Side Antidote: Private and Public Rebels

The world needs more public rebels and less public functionaries, and I don't mean men whose morality is not to serve others but to serve themselves. I mean men who have public, not private, interests in mind. Public rebels are the members of society who serve the public interest the most often. They gain their independence because they stay true to public morality and listen to their inner voice of reason which are one and the same, as opposed following private orders. When the orders of the day are given by psychotics, serving your own self is the highest moral and public duty. The conscious, individual self and the public self are not separate. Torturers, who are human beings that reject selfhood, are not evil but ignorant of their inherent nature that is more powerful than any authority. The deranged men who give the orders to torture are a different matter. They are the scum of the earth. Dr. Allodi who works for the Canadian Center for Victims of Torture described the inner world of torturers thusly:
Crushed into submission in an irrational and unpredictable world, where the only escape is to obey orders blindly, they are introduced to a new ideology and values and a system of rewards for those who conform. (10)
Are Cheney and Bush conformers? Hardly. They don't believe in the public good, they avoided service when they were young, and they look down on society. They are private men who lead private lives, which should disallow them of public office. Cheney and Bush couldn't be torturers because they are both privileged and private rebels, who go against the crowd just for the hell of it. Rebels like them should not be in government. But other rebels, like Hunter S Thompson or Bill Hicks are public rebels. HST famously ran for the sheriff's office in Aspen on the freak power ticket, and Bill Hicks began performing on a public stage as a kid.
Terrorism, Truth, and The Hopeless President

Arthur Silber recently said:
When we consider that the United States government slowly, inexorably transforms itself into institutionalized terrorism both abroad and at home (or not slowly at all, depending on where you are in relation to the bombs, bullets and numerous other instrumentalities of murder and control), we realize that Our Masters, with less than a handful of exceptions, are terrorists themselves.
Remember Waco? The torturers dressed themselves in police uniform and engaged in psychological warfare by blasting loud music and other disturbing sounds at a group of peaceful, though strange, men, women and children. Before blowing them to pieces using balls of fire, the torturers gassed them and when it was all over they destroyed the crime scene. The show of force in Waco established the precedent to stage terror and export the killing spree to Iraq and Afghanistan. Government agents saw that they could go unpunished after dealing death to innocent people on such a massive scale. The only terrorists that matter are government terrorists and they are the helm of Amerika's totalitarian regime. Robert Anton Wilson called it a tsarist government. A tsarist government that disguises its evil as benevolence and treats its citizens as morons who only desire to be fed and kept safe. And they will have their way, as Obama is making clear, because torturers have the power. Nothing else matters. But they are not completely soulless, there is a grand philosophy that motivates their actions. However, they have chosen to keep their philosophy and worldview a secret, unlike the Nazis and other tyrannical regimes that gained steam throughout history. At least the Nazis were honest of their intentions, these criminal bastards don't even have the integrity to show their faces.

If we continue to believe that history is a natural progression towards freedom and liberty then were in for a world of pain. Vigilance, fearlessness and honest assessment of the facts are the key qualities that will help us get out of this crisis. Though the enemies of human liberty and higher consciousness will stop at nothing, their defeat is etched in their behavior. If the King and the Church couldn't stop the Enlightenment then what rational reasons do modern day tyrants have that they can suppress the truths of our day? Maybe because of their unfathomable ignorance these torturers are more merciless than even past tyrants. As Amery said:
The king could be terrible in his wrath, but also kind in his mercy; his autocracy was an exercise of authority. But the power of the torturer, under which the tortured moans, is nothing other than the triumph of the survivor over the one who is plunged from the world into agony and death. (11)
Was there mercy shown at Waco? Was there mercy shown at Guantanamo? No. And. No. The innocent are punished and the guilty are not. What is urgently needed now more than ever in American history is a truth commission. Both the governments of Chile and South Africa created a national commission on truth and reconciliation. Truth commissions can help bring patriots out of the shadows, unravel the dark past, pay respect to innocent victims and prescribe much needed reforms. All truth commissions are marked by four distinctive features:
  • Focused on the past
  • Investigates not a singular event but a record of abuses
  • A temporary body with substantial powers, unlike a court which is permanent
  • Sanctioned by the government and the opposition
  • The above points are taken from The Phenomenon of Torture.
Furthermore, British attorney Philippe Sands recently told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now that if "there was knowledge, it doesn’t matter whether it was Independents or Republicans or Democrats. We need a full investigation. It needs to come out." We need more people like Mr. Sands to start hollering, as loudly as they can, the need for a truth commission. We don't need President Obama's consent, if there is enough opposition at the ground level that will force the Congress and the WH to follow through with our demands then it will be done. Marches, protests, boycotts, anything and everything, the truth needs to come out, about anything and everything committed by the US government in the past six decades. We have to act. We owe it to our society, but even more importantly, to the innocent victims who underwent needless terror. Miguel D'Agostino was one of those individuals who was subjected to needless terror by a government. He is listed under file No. 3901 on the Argentine National Commission on the Disappeared and he describes below very directly how he felt after the traumatic experience of torture. His voice is relevant for seekers of justice today. Here is what he said:
If someone had asked me when I was set free: did they torture you alot? I would have replied: Yes, for the whole of the three months. . .If I were asked that same question today, I would say that I've now lived through seven years of torture. (12)
Got that, everyone? Prolonging justice is torture. The day of reckoning will indeed income, why wait till our hearts are drenched in sweat and souls are emptied of any mercy? A process of healing, at the societal level, not just the individual, should be backed by all the people. Our leaders are not filled with the moral courage to step up, nor are they prepared to do the right thing. As Chomsky says in his most recent article:
Small wonder that President Obama advises us to look forward, not backward -- a convenient doctrine for those who hold the clubs. Those who are beaten by them tend to see the world differently, much to our annoyance.
Obama doesn't have his hands tied behind his back, as some would suggest, his hands are clearly visible for all to see and they are stained. The entire tsarist government is stained; the CIA, FBI, Congress, Senate, not one body of government can prove they have acted constitutionally and humanely in these past decades, stretching back to WWII. Some of these agencies are plain unconstitutional and more importantly, immoral at their core. Some agencies will cite historical emergencies such as the 'communist enemy', the 'increase in crime' or the 'availability of drugs' for their existence, regardless that they help build these public enemies up to increase their control and power.

And the elected representatives will blame the voters, or pretend they didn't know what was going on and some of them maybe right but certain individuals of the governing classes and the larger elite are entirely in the wrong. Facts are facts, and the biggest fact of our lifetime is that the majority of the alphabet agencies, which are supported by both parties, are unconstitutional and have no purpose for existence. Abolishing all of them is the only legitimate punishment, picking and choosing tyrants to hang is gutless, immoral and very stupid. Chris Floyd covers this point clearly:
Faced with prosecution for their admitted deeds, the principals of the Bush Administration would have only one defense: precedent. They would have to show that their actions had been accepted practice in American government for many, many years -- from the very beginning, in fact -- and had never been regarded as prosecutable offenses before. To imprison them now -- or even execute them -- for carrying on the standard policies and practices of bipartisan governance stretching back for generations would surely constitute cruel and unusual punishment. It would be selective prosecution.
Installing a truth commission will put every body of government, every elected leader, and both parties in jeopardy. But let it be so. All of mankind's angels in heaven are calling for a clean sweep, from Thomas Paine to Walt Whitman. Read their words and weep for them.


Unchecked power must be dealt with by the full force of the constitution and it's rightful parents, we the people. Regardless if the whole truth or half of the truth comes out, there needs to be a truth commission set up. Are the elected leaders afraid that if the government goes forward with an investigation into the past the people will blindly revolt and murder them? Do they not see that is precisely what will happen if they don't stand boldly now and call for an investigation? I believe the American people are just, and that only the most criminal and treasonous in the government will be punished, if a truth commission finds them guilty. But if such a commission is not installed then the people will indeed blindly revolt, not without cause, but certainly without aim. The question is can the people handle the truth?

Contemplating Nietzsche's question whether mankind can endure the truth, George Santayana pronounced "some minds, I think, can endure it, but not mankind." He added: "For that very knowledge of man which a scientific knowledge would provide, would show us that the human mind, while it liberates us from the servitude to a narrow routine in a fixed round of impulses and adventures, such as the brutes turn in, deceives us and renders us avid for hearsay." I agree with him, not everybody in America will stand enthusiastically behind a truth commission because some of them, no, a lot of them actively supported these leaders and their policies. They'll search deep down and ask how such evil went over their heads for such a long period of time and simply not accept it. But the Americans who never believed a word coming out of Washington in these past decades will find solace and some peace, which I believe is still possible if the truth is pursued with all our wills combined.

  1. Evans. &, Morgan. (2007). Preventing Torture. In William F. Schulz & Juan E. Méndez (Ed.), The phenomenon of torture: readings and commentary. (pp. 41). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Fatouros, M.H. (2007). ?. In William F. Schulz, W.F, & Juan E. Méndez. (Ed.) The phenomenon of torture. (pp.122). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  4. Stangl, F.. (2007). ?. In William F. Schulz, & Juan E. Méndez. (Ed.) The phenomenon of torture. (pp.102). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  5. The phenomenon of torture. pp. 142
  6. Amery, John. ?. In William F. Schulz, & Juan E. Méndez. (Ed.) The phenomenon of torture. (pp.135). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  7. The phenomenon of torture. pp. 62
  8. The phenomenon of torture. pp 143.
  9. Amery, John. ?. In William F. Schulz, & Juan E. Méndez. (Ed.) The phenomenon of torture. (pp.87). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  10. The pheomenon of torture. pp. 109
  11. Amery, John. ?. In William F. Schulz, & Juan E. Méndez. (Ed.) The phenomenon of torture. (pp.86). Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  12. The phenomenon of torture. pp. 345

May 18, 2009

The Verdict

When it comes to torture, military tribunals, overseas wars, the economy, health care, transparency in government, food policy, gay rights, the drug war, civil liberties, and everything else of major consequence the Obama administration has not acted in the people's interests. I can list the details but you already know them, and if you don't then read Glenn Greenwald, Arthur Silber, Chris Floyd, and other writers. I don't have the energy, capabilities or even the desire to go into describing and documenting all the wrong-headed and criminal deeds done by Obama in a mere four months. I will simply state the verdict, my ruling on the rulers and the ruled.

The verdict is in, ladies and gentleman of the jury: Mr. Obama is nothing more than a money-changer. A whorish president and a swine magnet. Pigs will fly and escape their horror-ish conditions before Obama presides over any meaningful policy shifts in the destined to crumble American empire. The country is done for if men like Obama continue to rise above more moral and fearless men. Washington D.C. can only be saved by Visionary men, Revolutionaries who lead lives outside the beltway. Capitol Hill is littered with compromisers, criminals, and crooked cheats. But Amerika reached the point of no return long before scum like Clinton, Bush, and Obama even made it to the scene. The president of the United States is not the most powerful position in the free world, far from it, and as long as that myth persists this death-dealing system will remain. The last real leader in the WH was Kennedy, and ever since he was assassinated only men with low opinion of the American people have become president. Down the line, from Johnson to Obama, republican and democrat, are all guilty. A monument should be dedicatd to these men with the oppoiste intent and spirit that Mount Rushmore was created. It shall be called Mount Rush, no more, and it shall be located in the Crawford Branch which will be turned into a psychiatric center. And the capstone of the monument will read: "We must all face the fact that our leaders are certifiably insane or worse,"(Burroughs).

But lets forget the leaders. It's the weeping&sleeping followers we have to cocentrate on, the hope worshipers who still have faith in this destructive system and its political class. The unmindful, unread, and unsuspecting slugs who tune into political matters every election season only to upstage each other's stupidity. These people can't clear their names when the ultimate judge presents them with the charges. Ignorance is a shallow grave, I have more respect for evil men like Cheney than ignorant men like Bush. And Obama is both evil and ignorant so I have zero respect for him. Followers of all three, present and past, cannot simply wash off their hands and pretend they never supported them. As Arthur Silber writes:
to continue to believe that Barack Obama represents any kind of "improvement" over the abomination of George W. Bush is not an innocent error. To persist in delusions of this kind requires that one intentionally and deliberately blind oneself to evidence that assaults us every day.
Samuel Johnson wrote:
As we ought not to give way to fear any more than indulgence to hope, because the objects both of fear and hope are yet uncertain, so we ought not to trust the representations of one more than of the other, because they are both equally fallacious.
The conclusion you should get from both of these gentlemen is that you haven't been sold a lie, you bought a lie, as Michael Tsarion likes to say. You own the receipt and you can't throw it out. On the final steps of the pearly gates the seven angels will call those who voted for Bush and Obama to step aside, and those who voted for Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr and Ralph Nader to step forward. I'll nod my head knowing my God is just cause I sure as hell don't want to share heaven with the ignorant and gullible sickos who voted based on their fears and hopes.

I have to share the Earth with these downright morons? I'm starting to glance the world from the elite's perspective, and those bastards got a point. The popular opinion is that there are a few bad men and the rest are just scared but what if the opposite was true? What if the masses are a bad, immoral&degenerate bunch and the elite are just scared, hence their aggressiveness. The masses don't want to believe there are rogues in office? Fine, let them believe whatever they wish, but punishment is due for such cowardice in the face of the enemy. Beliefs have consequences, nobody in America is innocent. The whole country should be tried in court, but that's unlikely to happen so a trial by fire is what's in order. None shall forgive a nation of hypocrites and cowards that commits endless atrocities in far off places. A reckoning is due to such a hopeless land. May the Mexicans take back what they rightfully own. You want to be a nation of the gun? Want to export death to the rest of the world? Okay. But don't squeal when it's done to you. You've dropped bombs on innocent populations, burned their villages, stole their wealth and destroyed their property. Do you honestly think people forget such insane and criminal deeds? Do you believe in karma? Are you truly a Christian nation? Hiding behind the mask of your leaders is no longer acceptable. You've paid for the horror show. You showed no mercy and none will be shown to you.

Obama's supporters, just as Bush supporters, are not appeasers. A more correct term to describe them is appealers. They are appealing the verdict of their master and forestalling punishment, meanwhile, women and children in distant lands are paying the consequences with their lives. How can you appeal to such appealers? They will always plead to inaction.

My message to these appealers, after much deliberation is as follows: you cannot appeal God's laws. Mask and deceive? Ask and you shall receive. Color your horse white all you want but once the rain falls we'll all know what the true color is. You can try to appeal but you will fail, and there will be a final judgment for a nation who chooses to take such a course. If military tribunals are show trials than the court of public opinion are show-me trials. But they don't ask 'show-me the truth', instead, they ask 'show me the money.' 'Please keep me safe, fix my mortgage, and feed me, feeeed me' A nation of jabba the hutts. What a disgrace! Amerika is a dead country, if you ask me. "Only a humanity to whom death has become as indifferent as its members, that has itself died, can inflict it administratively on innumerable people." - Theodore Adorno.

May 15, 2009

Makeshift Days

There's been a crash, but don't worry, you weren't on the plane. You needed a press pass or gazillions of dollars to get on board. But that's what they're telling us, there's been a crash and your paying for it, sucka. Recollect that day when the WH send a plane over New York City and all of you were running scared, pointing above, screaming "it's gonna crash, it's gonna crash!" Well, it didn't. But the plane you weren't made aware of did. It bypassed the skyscrapers and blasted straight through the civilization's juggernaut. If you're wondering what that is I can't tell you cause I just made it up. But that's how the crash went down. Monkeys pretending to be aristocrats crafted their own pilot suits, took a few flying lessons and then began to make shit up. The booming wealth? Made up. World is flat theory? Made up. 9/11 caused by Arab terrorists? All. Made. Up. It was a made up age and now we have to make up for it. While were at it, take off that make up. Yes, I only mean you, men.

If I was an activist this would be the moment where I'd say wake up. But I'm not, so go to sleep. More fun for me. The craziness is about to begin and I want as much of it for myself. The enemies of light are beginning to loom, busy dreaming up a century of doom, turning the earth into a penitentiary, a tomb, and I was send from the womb, fuming, to bring an end to their rule. They are the money masters, and the military generals who are happy campers in a world where they possess all the guns and hammers, going in vain with a hundred raptors after a bummy casper hiding beneath a cave in some backward land known for their sweet honey and tractors. And you're not a factor in this critical chapter of humanity, you just get dealt the fear from the political actors who chant insanity, but with nice words, remember, no profanity allowed, not even for the Hannity crowd. They're cut-throat bosses, that's why they off-load losses. And they're not off the cuff, this hijacking is premeditated so all you New Agers meditate on that. The Banksters busted through the door like Kramer then ran out with disclaimers saying they were innocent like Cramer while the people were too hesitant to reach their hands out. It was planned out. We bought out the gamers when we should have out-thought the framers. Where do we stand now? In doubt, hand to mouth.

We're gunnin' it at red, forgetting civilization's routine traffic stop. All the Signs are telling us to slow down. We either stop now or stop dead. But our so-called leaders with no balls are screaming more! and putting us in debt to their scheming whores. Forget keeping the score, it isn't free market when the elite are playing the winning hand, not an invisible one. The time has come for people to play the game too, the rules; conduct mass protests and disrupt traffic lights, or forever be damned! Enough people now see red, the brave and determined few must begin blocking all the traffic stops leading to Capitol Hill and the Stock Exchange on Wall St. We must put a stop to their engines! These institutions are run by men, not computers. We're not in 2001 yet where computer intelligence determine the decisions. Policy makers behind the scenes and predatory oligarchs are not robots, although their one-eyed vision does make them dangerously similar. Point is, their work involves making decisions in meetings, and what they decide have incredibly serious consequences for the rest of society. If we care about this world, we should stop them from reaching their destination, i.e. their workplace. No harm, no foul. Just a regular routine traffic stop, all civilizations need one.

If you don't think such measures need to be taken, which are far from extreme, then you do not see the peril we are in. As HST said: the fat is in the fire. For America, burning the fat away is no longer just good nutrition advice, it is also revolutionary advice. Don't change your diet, go start a riot. Better yet, do both at once. Exercise your body and rights at the same time. There. I've found the solution to the fat problem. Now on to the fire. I say let it burn the house down. Cities will have to start from scratch, some like Detroit need to end a thirty-year itch. They should do both at once. I've found a new slogan for these evolutionary times: do both at once. Whatever it is you have on your schedule do them both, at once. Want to watch T.V and surf the internet? Do both at once. Want to impeach Obama and prosecute Bush? Do both at once. Want to eat and read? Do both at once. Want to end the wars and save the economy? Do both at once.

Multitasking is the order of the day, and most of us are already used to it. That's a good thing cause we won't have to change our lifestyles, at least not in the near future. When the dust finally settles then you take it slow. But not now. No more time to waste. Some may say these are bad instructions but what do they know? They're baked, high on that stuff that makes you see the larger world but fail to grasp the idea that the larger world is coming down on us right about now, and rather quickly. Besides, we've already expanded our consciousness, maybe not collectively, but certainly individually. In the past forty years the percentage of pot that has been grown and smoked by human beings is 2001% higher than the previous 2000 years. Where did I get that statistic? I made it up. But the point still remains, there has been a great shift in consciousness. We've realized, sometimes through suffering, and sometimes through hallucenigens, our infinite nature, that we are extraordinary beings made up of light and filled with spiritual energy. It's time now for a new drug that makes us get off the couch, or computer chair, or whatever and synchronize on the streets. You won't find the drug in your medicine box or in any drug store though. It's a natural drug, available only during evolutionary times, and lucky for us, new supplies are being shipped in every day. Thank God for that.

May 14, 2009

Midnight Tirade: On the slow train long coming

Nassim N. Taleb and Robert Shiller

The video above illustrates the gap between people 'in the know' as in knowing the shit is about to hit the fan, and people who are still sucking at their thumbs while waiting for mommy to come clean their nose. The tremendous divide in knowledge and understanding of the current societal collapse is astounding. Nassim N. Taleb, who describes himself as a "bottom-up libertarian" is another emergent voice of sanity and is taking a no-nonsense approach to the extreme situation we find ourselves in. He accurately says economics is not a science, echoing H.L Mencken who called it a dismal science. Sitting next to him is Robert Shiller, who can only be characterized as a very meek idiot. By comparing the economy to a game in which the referee is the regulator he reveals the lack of sophistication in his and most economists' thinking about the relation between the 'economy' and society. Showcasing his utter naiveté, he calls Bernanke "the great experimenter" and his hyper inflationary policy at the Fed "well intentioned." Shiller exemplifies exactly the type of morons who fill-up most of America's institutions. In the university, government, banks, basically any institution you name these clueless pinheads are running around making bad shit worse. Ignorance is not just in the peasantry anymore, in America the university elite are just as brain-dead about the role of dominant elites and their greatest instrument, a private central bank, as the slaves without a Ph.D

Shiller actually called the creation of the Fed a sign of economic progress, probably understanding it as an act of reason in a wild capitalist economy that preceded FDR's regulatory policies. Wild capitalism? I think the man has a wild imagination, maybe his brain needs to be regulated for the betterment of society. But Shiller is not a free thinker, he obviously does not understand the role of the Fed, or its structure, or the men who designed the Federal Reserve Act, and or even how it was passed in Congress. I'm not a fan of wild guesses but I'll take a risk of my own and guess Shiller isn't aware that the Federal Reserve Act was written by bankers on an island far from Washington and passed in the dead of night on Christmas Eve. But that's the American educational system for ya! The men with the Ph.D's in this society know less than the cab drivers. Cab drivers will take you down memory lane, while the economists yell go, go, go, stop looking back. Maybe we need to figure out how to better measure intelligence in society cause the current models aren't working. So much for degrees, the higher the ladder you get the more narrow and dumb your mind becomes.

I might seem a little hard on Shiller and men like him, but until they own up to their ignorance and gullibility I will not retract any statement. People, and I include experts with Ph.D's, have no more excuses. We can no longer point to propaganda for blocking our eyes when the facts are staring us in the face. Are we going to be rude and not say hello? Have we forgotten that reality is friendly only if you greet him immediately? We don't want to keep him waiting. The glaring facts about the nature and intentions of our financial rulers on Wall Street are no longer hidden from mainstream society, unlike two years ago. Today, there is all out corruption on display for even the blind to see. Ever since Bush, Paulson & co. decided to bail out the banks with taxpayer money, and then subsequently Obama's team continuing the same policies, America has been on a collision course. Some competent souls are speaking out against the direction the US government has taken in the 'economy' but very few of them hold public office. Most are authors, a few are congressmen, and some are very popular radio show hosts. This has obviously become a political and social crisis. The fraudsters on Wall Street did not merely cause a vast transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, their actions have resulted in the loss of even more confidence in the leaders and institutions of our society. There are no conscience and moral leaders with any power in our society. Social unrest and rioting is only a matter of time in America. Judgment day is at hand for a nation whose arrogance and ignorance has reached unbelievable, even apocalyptic, proportions.

I sincerely believe the people no longer have any excuses, they deserve what is coming to them. We all deserve it. I deserve it. I don't believe in collective punishment, but every once a while a catastrophic event is needed to wake the people up spiritually, enticing them to act in the present moment instead of holding off their instinct to rebel to some future date. We should all be marching tomorrow because of the emergency we are in. Throughout my whole conscious life I've lived with anxiousness and an anxiety about a future cataclysmic crisis. I have to gather my opinions thoughtfully so I can state what I feel more honestly. But I'll say this for now, it's easy to remain calm before the storm but we have to be calm in the eye of it. Men like Mr. Taleb who are currently perceived as crazy and flaky because of their constant warnings will be serene when the final hour arrives while the spineless and spiritless who prize their confidence and falsely believe the worst is over will scream themselves to sleep. The tables will be turned and I won't be surprised to see men like Shiller crawling under one.

May 11, 2009

Alex Jones: Spiritual Warrior

I'm sure as Alex Jones' popularity and influence grows a bucket full of lies will be thrown at Americans about his intentions, affiliations and message by the government and corporate media. They have already started the campaign by labeling Ron Paul supporters as extremists. How little do they know that Ron Paul is not the harbinger of extremism but of a new rebirth of freedom. These sick men acting behind the state will stoop to lower levels because they inhabit a world of shit and they want us to join them. So let us promise ourselves now that we will do everything we can to dispel the fabrications about Alex Jones that will spread like wildfire. The major media establishments will try everything in the book to distort his image along with his message but their heedless attacks cannot match up against a man who has been a vigilant advocate for freedom and a stark defender of the constitution. The propagandists' tsunami of insults and charges that is surely in store for Alex Jones will not pay off in the end. They will only build his legend because you can not destroy a voice speaking for millions.

I've listened to Alex Jones since 2004, after I became aware of his documentary Road to Tyranny. What convinced me that Alex is a honest man documenting on camera what he researches was his warning of doom in July 2001, two months before the attacks. He explicitly stated that the American government will stage a false flag operation and blame it on Muslim extremists, even mentioning Bin Laden as a potential scapegoat. And he was right, the 9/11 attacks were planned beforehand by high government and non-government entities who hid their vision for the world from the public. Does Alex Jones know the exact and full truth of what happened on 9/11? No. Does he espouse the conspiracy like Jesus bringing forth the gospel on the hilltop? No. He and others have merely called for a new independent investigation, what should be normal procedure for a so-called democratic country. All the evidence now suggests that the two towers were destroyed as a result of explosives planted in the buildings. Numerous firefighters and other eye witnesses confessed shockingly that they heard loud explosions. There is also scientific data being gathered by courageous and honest scientists, two of them being physicist Steven Jones and the Danish scientist Niels Harrit who both found nano explosive material in the dust from the World Trade Center. This is not hearsay evidence, there is documented proof in the form of video footage, written interviews, and scientific data. For such a visual culture in which people watch an endless variety of explosions in Hollywood films it was shocking to me at first that the connection between explosives and rubble hadn't been made. I now know the complexity of the situation and that unearthing the truth isn't difficult but changing people's foundational beliefs are. Bad beliefs die hard. The towering struggle is making the truth understood.

If there is one thing I am proud of myself for is my good judge of character. I do not share George Bush's ability to know a man's soul by looking into his eyes but I do possess some talent for judgment. In the five years I've listened to Alex Jones I can say he strikes me as a deeply anguished man whose conscience and knowledge of a worldwide hidden and secretive elite forced him to act, to film, to scream at the top of his lungs in order to wake up a population long induced to sleep. He declared the dangers of the new world order when most men and women were unaware of its existence. Of course, he is not smarter or more perceptive than the rest of us since the foundations for world government were already well established in the 1990's. Nor was he the first man to come into the historical scene proclaiming a loud warning but he has been the most persistent, willful and passionate man to do so. His tireless energy has gotten him to the position he is in today. He followed his instincts and trusted his judgment. He did not hesitate to passionately voice the truth he knew. Do I believe he has made haphazard and ill-established comments during his long run on the radio? Yes. But for the most part what he has said has been backed up by documentation, and he often quotes from the horse's mouth.

These remarks on Alex Jones are not as polished as I like it to be. In the next few weeks I will write down some deeper thoughts on Alex because he has continually inspired a fire in me. I learn by his example, trusting myself to not be afraid to forcefully state what I believe to be true. This is not the time for meek men. This is not the time to speak under our breaths but to voice our truth and convictions so the whole world hears us. I consider myself an intellectual but I possess the same passion Alex has and the same spirit to fight global injustice. To see a trailblazer like him who has a zeal uncommon in modern man is uplifting to say the least. If America ever needed a warrior it is during these difficult times and what a warrior it has in Alex Jones! He has brought back the Zeus energy missing in America and he has brought it back with a vengeance because it is not going away, not anytime soon. At 15 I became conscious of the war, and now at 20 I know it is my war. It is an intellectual, psychological and spiritual war and it must be fought if we believe humans are destined for freedom. I believe in the rhetoric of democracy and so do my friends in the Middle East, America and throughout the whole world. I will always remain non-violent because I sincerely believe what Ghandi preached, that it is our beingness that matters and not our tactics and tools. The propagandists, elitists, and sick men who are at the helm of this world civilization cannot comprehend the spiritual energy in me. Some people refuse to believe in the plans for a new world order, nor can they come to terms with the existence of a man like Alex Jones because they go through life on a different wavelength. If I ever come across such people I will tell them: You are missing history, we are part of the greatest transformation of the species and one of its brightest lights is receiving overdue recognition. Men and women centuries from now will wish they lived during our times because we have been given the opportunity to the give the gift of freedom to our descendants. They will take good care of our planet in ways we can't imagine, they will travel the stars and greet new civilizations in other galaxies but they will never be able to attain the greatest discovery of all: freedom, for they will be born with it.

Below is footage of Alex Jones at 23, from 1997, rightly calling the current state of affairs America is living under a war. This is a war for the hearts and minds of America and the enemy is ignorance.

May 1, 2009

The Revolt of the Asses

Why is the land of the free and home of the brave not resisting as their being stripped naked by the most criminal elite to ever take hold of any government in history? Obviously, a number of things can explain this phenomenon. One is that the American population has invested such a great deal of interest in the Obama administration that they're on a wait-and-see basis. Another thing to remember is the lack of political organizing in the past decades. Lets remember that the only time Americans collectively organize is during electoral campaigns. Across the Atlantic there is far more public anger. The situation in France is so totally different that one has to reflect back on 1968 as the most pivotal year for the two nations in modern history. In one nation, the people effectively amassed their political rights, showcasing them in many concrete examples of collective resistance. In the other nation the people's social and political leaders were brutally assassinated and they haven't recovered since. Many years later, France's tradition and experience of rebellion is serving them well while America is struggling to find its voice. The French are marching in the streets and making demands while Americans who live in a country build on revolution are sitting on their asses.

The good sign is that there is frustration over the lack of political will amongst the masses in America and many individuals continue to express their puzzlement at the political reality. Max Keiser is clearly one of those individuals, he is serving as the global revolutionary agitator. Here is how he concluded his most recent artice:
Thomas Jefferson would be turning over in his grave if he saw that many of his predictions of a banking oligarchy had not only come true but that the population had remained so impotent, scared and silent in the face of it.
But the population is not always impotent, scared and silent, not when a food company falsely advertises a chicken special. They no longer accept the falsely advertised product, they become rightfully indignant and even shout back. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the videos below:

Those people have a right to be angry because they were lied to, a company falsely advertised a product and they did not deliver. Food is the most important thing in human society and this is one clear example of it but let's carry the principle of truth in labeling to the field of politics. Obama advertised himself as a pro-peace candidate who would safeguard civil liberties as president and bring fundamental changes to Washington. But has he delivered? No. Have people shouted back at him? No, at least not by the people who were the targets of the advertising campaign.

I don't want to sound like a pessimist but it seems more and more likely that the second American revolution will only happen once the country runs out of food. For a country running on fast food, its food supply can dwindle just as fast. And that is not a joke. Food is the only thing that entices the American population, mainly the quantity and price of it. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the food system is highly sensitive to a potential flu virus in its factory farms and a few emergencies can cause the supermarkets to run out of chicken, eggs, bread, and everything else in a very short while. Since less than 5% of the population are farmers, most will struggle to find food. It is not a stretch to imagine a starving population looting government buildings, even military ones, for stockpiles of food. Homeland security be damned, the population needs food security.

The availability of food will trigger the second American revolution. Bet on it. But as long as the government feeds the population they don't have to worry about an uprising anytime soon.

Memo to the White House: bailout Popeyes and make sure they don't fuck up like this ever again. Trust me, you're rule depends on it.