Monday, October 29, 2007

Torture and the Governor

On September 26 of this year, I wrote about a group called "Consistent Life". They take the position that all human life is sacred, and should not be ended by another human being. At the time, I suggested some other areas of attention for this group, and today am going to suggest another...torture.
Now, I tend to take a practical view of things, and leave the moral posturing for the fundraisers and radio whiners among us. This is my main objection to torture, especially when practiced by our armed forces as part of the "War on Terror". I suspect that more often than not, the prisoners will say something to make the torture stop, and this is often not the truth, or useful information.
I am open to the possibility that sometimes a man will have useful information that we can "beat out of him". Maybe we should keep the water board handy, but use it as seldom as possible.
The cliche whatif that keeps getting used in torture discussions involves a nuclear device about to go off in a major city. You have a person in custody that knows the location, but is unwilling to share this information. Is it ok to torture this tightlipped individual?
Oh my, the hypothetical question. Once I was privy to a discussion between then Governor "Zig Zag" Zell Miller, and a reporter. The occasion was a rally for a certain Democratic Presidential hopeful during the Georgia primary in February 1992. The reporter was asking Governor Zigzag what would happen if the candidate...I think his name was Clinton...were to lose the upcoming Georgia Primary. After being assured by Governor Zigzag that this was not going to happen, the reporter persisted, and said, how about a hypothetical situation where the candidate (who had been introduced by Governor Zigzag at the rally) were to lose the primary.
" Well that would be a hypothetical situation. A hypothetical situation is like, if my uncle was a woman then he would be my aunt"
Back to torture, and the ticking a bomb about to destroy Manhattan. (Do atom bombs tick? Wouldn't we be better off without Manhattan?) Now, if the terrorists found out that someone who knew the location of this device had been captured, they probably would change the location of the weapon. This is how warriors usually do things...when someone who knows the plan is captured, the plans change.
Also, this scenario is really about as likely as Former Governor Zigzag's Uncle...who is probably pushing 100 by this time...having gender reassignment surgery.
There are all sorts of other practical reasons not to use "extraordinary interrogation". The results would not be admissible in a US court of law. It makes the use of torture on captured American troops more probable. And then there are the moral considerations.
The simple truth is, when we use torture, we lower ourselves to the moral level of the terrorists. I know this line gets mighty blurry in time of war, and that we have done some really nasty things in most of the wars we have fought. Still, it is good to know that America stands for something other than invading Babylon to make sure American Companies pump the oil out.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
Zig- zing, zip big
zag- sag, zap
Zell- sell, zeal, ell, fell, hell

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dearly Beloved

The shotgun wedding of Rigamorta Flappenheimer and Chicago Nicotino could not be put off any longer. The pregnancy was advancing day by day, and common decency demanded an immediate union. The fact that both the bride and groom were deceased did not lessen the urgency.
Serving wenches were recruited from the local peasants, and instructed in the customs of a corpse wedding.
Blue Face, and his partner Danger, graciously agreed to host. The hilltop house was decorated as though for a halloween party.
Batman let the Joker loose, and he was in attendance.
Satan sent a representative from Hades, or maybe it was Decatur. He spent most of the evening on the couch in the living room.
Several togas were seen. Apparently, the corpse bride is a tradition in some semi primitive societies.
Chicago Nicotino was very nervous. He spent most of the evening on the deck smoking cigarette after cigarette. Surely only the presence of a shotgun kept him from fleeing, and going back to the grave to avoid doing his duty to the fetching Rigamorta.
The evening went on, and much merriment was displayed. Somehow the union of Rigamorta and Chicago was forgotten, and the shotgun quietly put away. Or perhaps someone realized that a shotgun would have no effect on a corpse, except to make the clean up more difficult. Chicago was reported heading to a fetish party, while Rigamorta went back to the mausoleum.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Did anyone else notice that Genarlow Wilson's attorney is named B.J. Bernstein?
First he goes to jail because of a BJ, then he gets out of jail because of a B.J.

When a forest is in a drought, it goes on. Maybe a few plants die, the trees don't grow as much, maybe it gets too dry and catches on fire, but that is nature.
When you replace that forest with a subdivision, you create a need for canned water. All those commodes, dishwashers, and landscaped yards use a lot more municipal water than a forest. Multiply this scenario by about a thousand and you have a water shortage waiting to happen.

I had another thought about Laura Ingraham, FreedomFromReligion, and abortion.
FFR posts about services which work with pregnant women to try to persuade them not to get an abortion.
Ms. Ingraham wants to use the government.
If a big government solution to the problem is liberal, then Ms. Ingraham is a LIberal.
Ditto for anyone who wants to send 160,000 troops eight time zones away...that person is a big government loving liberal.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007


Your life is a manifestation of what you think of G-d
That was on a church signboard that I passed this morning. While these messages frequently spark a case of platitude fatigue, this one caught my eye. It had the ring of truth, about the people who value belief over performance. A vivid illustration was not long in coming.
On the Laura Ingraham show, there was a debate about Jesus Worship. The players were Dinesh D'Souza and Dan Barker. Mr. D'Souza is an author, who recently wrote a best selling pro Jesus Worship book . Mr. Barker is a radio whiner on Air America, and is affiliated with Freedom From After a civil opening exchange, the affair got nasty. Mr. D’Souza was interrupting his opponent, asking a lot of questions that had little relevance to what he was saying, and generally showing no respect or courtesy. This is consistent with my experience with Jesus Worshippers...that many are rude, love to argue, and show little respect for those with whom they disagree.
Your life is a manifestation of what you think of G-d
It gets better. Mr. D' Souza was grilling Mr. Barker on where he gets some of his ideas, and Ms. Ingraham jumped in with both feet. "Why do liberals always support abortion?" And she was off, and nothing was going to stop her from a grossout description of late term abortion. Never mind that Freedom From Religion lists counseling services that try to stop abortion. Never mind that Ms. Ingraham is an enthusiastic supporter of the killing in Babylon. If a pregnant woman in Babylon is killed by a cruise missile, does that count as abortion?
Your life is a manifestation of what you think of G-d

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the last day of the games

Afganistan stays in the news. A major source of opiates, Afganistan is one of the wildest places on earth. Guarding the historic trade routes between Europe and India, The Hindu Kush is home to some of the fiercest soldiers on the planet.
In 1979, the Soviet Union decided that it wanted a war with Afganistan. This conflict lasted ten years, and the Mighty Soviets lost. This was during the Cold War,and the United States wanted to do everything it could to hurt the Soviets, whom it considered an enemy. The Afgani forces fighting the Soviets recieved much aid from the United States, which was very helpful in its ultimate success.
The defeat in Afganistan was a factor in the dismantling of the Soviet Union that happened soon after. Soon, the rebel factions began to fight each other for the right to rule the country, using the weapons given them by the United States. Eventually the Taliban won, and set up shop.
On September 11, 2001, The United States was attacked. Credit for the attack was given to Al Queda, which was based in Afganistan. To avenge this attack, Afganistan was invaded by the United States. We are still there.

Now, this feature is not about the wisdom of attacking a fiece people, for the purposes of revenge. It is not about the future of our occupation there, or in neighboring Iraq. It is about the Olympics.
In 1996 Atlanta hosted the Olympics. On the last day of the games, the Men's Marathon was run.
The Marathon course went out Peachtree from downtown, and turned around near the end of the 23 Oglethorpe busline, in front of the funeral home. It then turned right, and went down Lanier Drive beside Oglethorpe University. It went down the street a couple of blocks, turned around in front of Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church( a former employer of mine), and came back to Peachtree. The runners turned right, went down to the Olympic Stadium south of downtown.
Now, being the slack person that I am, I had not gotten tickets to any Olympic events. The Marathon was a free event, and was walking distance from my residence. This was my last chance.
When I got there, I was amazed at the instant community that had assembled along the course. This remarkable event was almost over, and this was all I was going to see of it! The fact that it is more than many others saw was little comfort.
I walked alongside the course, and crossed Lanier Drive. This is important to the rest of the story.
The runners were a bit of an anticlimax. A pack of men in track uniforms, with the leaders in a bunch at the start. They ran past, went to the end of the course, down Lanier Drive, and hustled down Peachtree to the end of the race.
After the second appearance of the bulk of the runners, I was ready to go. However, there was a glitch. One runner was way behind the rest of the pack, and I could not cross Lanier Drive until he had gone by, and the course was opened for pedestrian traffic.
The last runner was from Afganistan.
After a few minutes, he appeared. He had a large bandage on one leg, which apparently had been injured.
He finished the race.
Now, I could not run 26 miles if I was 100 percent. The Afgan ran the marathon with an injured leg, albeit 20 minutes behind the rest of the pack.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

The N word

letitburndowntothegroundThe good thing about not having a big audience is the freedom to discuss touchy subjects. I can say more or less anything I want, and since very few are reading, there is no problem.
With that in mind, I approach the subject for today’s lesson...the "N- word". It doesn't get much touchier.
Now, we all know what that word is. It has six letters, rhymes with trigger, and makes the brains of some people turn into jello. It is a derogatory phrase for people of African origin, and is familiar to a white southern person like myself.
I try to avoid using this term. There are four main reasons for this. If I ever get paid for doing this I will come up with a top ten list.
1- The N word hurts people's feelings. I have known many fine Black people, and my life is much richer as a result. I do not want to say anything that will hurt these people. As for the not so fine Black People that I have known, they are G-d's children just like me. My fellow human beings no not deserve to be insulted just for who they are. The fact that this courtesy is often not returned is beside the point.
2- Being heard saying the N word can cause all sorts of problems. This can include physical retribution; loss of employment, lawsuits, and having to listen to enough loud angry words to make you wish you had never learned how to talk.
3- It is not a fair fight. There is no equivalent phrase for a Black Person to say to a white person. I do not wish to give that power to another group of people, to turn me into a mass of incoherent rage just for hearing a six letter word.
The closest thing to this is "Cracker", which I only recently found out was an insult. This is odd, because when I was a boy, we had a minor league baseball team called the Atlanta Crackers. There was even a team in the Negro League called the Black Crackers.
Maybe we could try redneck.
4- The use of the N word demeans the user. When you say an insulting word about another human being, you make yourself look bad.
When you hate someone, you hate yourself worse than the person you hate. And frankly, a lot of these people are not worth it.
Now, if the N word demeans a paleface like myself, what does it say about a black person who uses it?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Is there a Guinness entry for longest non Russian word with only one vowel?
Leaving the job in Marietta at 530, I made it to the BBQ facility at about 630. The plan was to take the camera down to L5P until the event starts at 7.
I did make it down to a bar to use the restroom, and observed the trendiness around me.
After wandering around, and getting lots of images, I made my way down Josephine Street back to the BBQ joint. When I arrived, I saw a table with a sign..."APWBWGTTD b*****s". I knew it was the place.
After a few minutes, there were more arrivals, and a decision was made to put two tables together. Now, round tables do not add together smoothly. The first table that was brought over had a top coming loose from the base, with a lit candle on top. Soon another round table was brought out, and the thing resembled Mickey Mouse .
The server informed us that the Mac and Cheese was "tainted". This was a great disappointment to some of the pixel people. She did bring out a bowl later, which was passed around to allow those who wanted a sample. There are no reports of fatalities.
The folks I met were nice, and well behaved. There was a consensus that a different spot every month was better than Manual’s Tavern. It is also easier to attend events when someone tells you about it.

A few days ago at Pyrowhoopee....a jesus worship blog I am banned from...they had a picture of an Ad from the Universalist Unitarian Church. The headline of the ad read " Does G-d Keep You from Coming to Church". The pyro gaggle made fun of it, and moved on to the next subject.
This did get me to thinking. The obvious comeback was " Does Church Keep you from coming to G-d". Or, more to the point, does Jesus keep you from knowing G-d?
There is a time and a place for theological discussion, hopefully with an adult show of manners, listening, and courtesy. (That might be asking for too much) The subject of this lunch hour rantette is Platitude Fatigue.
Does anyone else get tired of the cleverness of others? Especially some well compensated copywriter in a New York office. We are bombarded with thousands of messages a day, whether we are interested or not. Just because the thought was cleverly worded does not make it more appealing.
Also, there is the idea that you trivialize religion with this sort of flackery.
Of course, if you think G-d is something external, that you need to come to...that she is not already in your heart, regardless of what the bible thumpers say...then maybe.... something. I don't have words suitable for all occasions, except "These things too shall pass away". Just keep that Persian king from getting the bomb.
Spell check suggestions:
b*****s- B.Arch's, babbles, babes, babies, baboons, bloggers
Manuels- Manuals, manilas, mantels, mangles, mantles
Universalist- Universalistic, Universals, Universalize
pyro- pry, pro, pyre, pier, Pierre
flackery- flicker


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Into the Wild

Before I get started on the dispatch for today, there is a small matter.
I tuned in the Rush Limbaugh show today, and the first thing I heard him say…”If I was a black voter”

Before last night, I could not remember the last time I had paid full ticket price to see a movie. Last nights adventure cost $8.50, or enough to buy a shoebox full of yard sale videos. Of course, I would not have the bonding experience, nor had someone hear me groan when I saw William Hurt’s name in the opening credits.
I saw Herr Hurt in this same theatre a few years ago, in some travesty about being an Accidental Tourist. A couple of weeks later, the late Lewis Grizzard wrote about this alleged movie, and said that Mr. Hurt had the charisma of a slice of Velveeta cheese. You know that something is up when I agree with Lewis Grizzard. Of course, the character Mr. Hurt played here had the charisma of a slice of velveeta cheese. He was also an evil poopyhead whoruined his son's life.
The movie in question is “Into The Wild”. I had heard about it the day before, and the men I was with agreed to meet the next evening and see the thing. I was under the impression that it was a small budget film, until I saw that it was directed by Sean Penn, formerly known as Mr. Madonna.
The film was about Alexander Supertramp, who destroyed his identity after graduating from Emory and disappeared into the American West. He had some excellent adventures, before he went to Alaska,killed a moose, ate some poisonous weeds, and died. There was a lot of philosophical talk about freedom, which somehow seemed to miss the point.
When I was 26, I took a greyhound bus to points west, and wound up in a hostel in Seattle. I worked through various temp agencies and day labor things, and somehow managed to keep myself fed. One day, I was outside this grungy building on the Alaska Highway waiting for someone to come by with work, and I had a Supertramp-like insight. Yes, I was free here, free to starve if I didn’t get busy and find a job. Before long, this car came by and asked me if I wanted to work. The driver asked if I had been drinking, and I noticed he had on a priest’s collar. I went to a house overlooking Lake Washington and dug up some weeds for this lady who told be to go all the way to the roowuts.
Back to Alexander Supertramp, which was quite a story, if a bit depressing. He met some neat people, and some not so neat, like the railroad “bull” who beat him up. He was a bit on the glib side, and generally had a bad case of being 22 years old. The problem is that he took his youthful folly a bit too far, and did not make it to 25.
This was all gloriously photographed and soundtracked, and showed what a neat place the American west is. He was in and out of tight spots for much of the movie, just like the last yardsale video I saw, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
At one point I felt a connection to his wonderful words. He was talking to a benefactor, played (unconvincingly) by Hal Holbrook. He climbed up a hill, and shouted for the old man to follow him up. Alex said that life is what happens when you step outside your shell and do something you are not used to doing. (He was a lot more poetic than that, but that is the general idea) Mark Twain followed him up the hill, and agreed that it was a splendid view.
Now, this could have been a typical Monday night. Go home, eat leftovers, take a walk, play with the computer, and go to bed. The Falcons were playing on Monday Night Football, and I WAS SO GLAD I MISSED SEEING THAT. Instead of the typical night, I drove directly into town from Mayretta, and saw a movie with a group of friends. I don’t know if that is real life, but it was a pleasant change. And I didn’t have to kill a moose.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Social Disease

10/13/2007 9:51:12 AM
Why do people hate on Friday the thirteenth so much, when Saturday the thirteenth is just as evil?
Waking up with no where to go, I decided to update the blogroll. This is a long overdue chore...long overdue, and requires no creative juices, just the ability to highlight, copy, highlight, paste, backspace, and on to the next.
The background for this exercise is "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Sir Elton. The love is still bleeding in his hands. Bless his heart.
9:59:28 AM "Bennie and the Jets" If only Elton had continued down that road.
The blogosphere is not fair. Some can talk about a tummy ache and get a hundred comments. I am doing good to get one a month.
Still, I decide to give Recovering Baptist a spot on the roll, because he left a comment here. I was raised in that nasty cult, and remain scarred by it.
10:08:53 AM "Cried for the darkness to come down on me"
It is time for the of the blogroll. ( And I struggle so to keep profanity out of this blog)
The first step is to dump the obsolete entries. America Blog, Anti War, and the Blue Heron nature preserve don't make the cut. I consider dumping Church of the Subgenius, but I am too slack to do so. Digital Blasphemy and the Hillbilly Atheist go bye bye, but the Farsi laden home of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remains, as does Overheard in New York.
No I am not going to splice links in this thing. That is what the blogroll is for.
While Elton talks about Jamaica, I find a section of Jesus Worship blogs. Purgatorio is regrettably shut down, do it gets the boot. Even though I am banned from commenting at PyroPooPoo, I am going to be forgiving and list it. I will even list Pyromite Centuri0n, who at least occasionally answers my emails.
10:19:35 AM I have seen this movie too. I even have the soundtrack cd.
I am including the site for my cousins B&B in Wilmington, and another cousin's antiwar site. I hope the servers can handle the traffic. To make room, Wonkette and Undo Jesus are going to be ex'd. What would Jesus Undo?
There is no chore that cannot be made more complicated by writing about it.
10:33:26 AM "tell the world, you're a dirty little girl"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ladies in PInk

Driving from Alpharetta to Norcross, I saw the traffic backing up and a sidewalk full of women wearing pink.
It was another charity walk, this time for breast cancer.
There are some mixed feelings here. I didn't enjoy waiting in traffic, and the policemen escorting the walkers could be doing other things.
There is also a bit of cynicism about the whole idea of charity walks. It seems like the organizations would get more money if the walkers just raised donations without the gimmick to justify it. The expenses of such an affair take up a good bit of the take, as AIDS walkers found a few years ago.
But, moving on to the good side, many many events are justified by fundraising. Yes the expenses eat up a good bit of what the goodworks could be getting, but rich people need to party.
We can also consider the good side of this. The women (and a few men) who were walking shared a powerful experience. The event does raise consciousness about a dreadful disease.
I used to not take breast cancer seriously. That was before a friend of mine found a lump on her breast, and was buried about a year later. When that lump spreads into the rest of the body, you have problems.
Besides, pink is a great color.