IF A THEORY is too ugly to float across the table at a dinner party, it probably doesn’t merit the cover of a respectable magazine. One of the low points in mainstream American journalism was October 31, 1994, when The New Republic decided that it would be a good idea to devote the journal briefly to the promotion of racism.
The decision was to feature a book called The Bell Curve.
Now that candidates can run respectably on a platform of torture, how long before we see a frontrunner advocating slavery? Surely everything’s open for reconsideration. It’s time to retire an inconvenient prejudice: that America’s progress should be in a forward direction.
Of all the candidates at the Republican debates — including that putative beacon of sanity, Mitt Romney — only Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul had the base-level decency to renounce waterboarding: a practice that has been considered a particularly extreme form of torture since the Spanish Inquisition.
THE SANE BURKEAN impulse when it comes to the Occupy movement is nervousness (in anticipation of Terror). If there were the slightest possibility of these protests resulting in actual regime change, believe me: I would be standing at the barricades with the Tea Party, polishing my retro musket. The chances of this, however, are nil. Occupy Wall Street is not going to kindle a revolution.
Inquiring minds want to know precisely how much John Yoo was paid to offer his opinions to the Wall Street Journal. We can assume it was less than his rate at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, where he produced among the most toxic professional opinions in American history.It was John Yoo, of course, who opined that the President was perfectly within his rights to have a child’s testicles crushed in the presence of the father, depending — and here’s where lawyerly nuance comes in — depending upon what the President intended by this act.
It has become impossible not to argue that the mainstream media is conspiring against the right wing. Charlotte Allen’s wondrous piece in the Washington Post — arguing (mostly without irony) that women are “dumb” — clinches it. Most of us should have become aware of this pernicious conspiracy when the New York Times hired Bill Kristol.
Embattled White House spokesman Tony Snow distanced himself today from earlier remarks, by dismissing reports that he was “Tony Snow.” Yesterday, in the growing uproar over the US Attorney General’s widely perceived perjury, Mr. Snow found himself stressing that Alberto Gonzales’ lies were not “lies,” but truths which looked a lot like lies because they dealt with matters of national security that ordinary Americans were not allowed to know about and hence could not understand.
An astonishing piece in the Wall Street Journal (subscription only), offers noted academic Harvey Mansfield casually rejecting — believe it or not — the rule of law. He’s not arguing that we should all be able to act in blissfully lawless ways, of course — simply that the laws of the nation should not be permitted to rule over (and occasionally over-rule) the president.
This is an open letter to Andrew Sullivan:
Sometimes, when a man is consistently correct in his moral thinking, he is forced to change his language. Some words will no longer do. Believe, me, I admire the stance you’ve taken; I’d go so far as to say that I agree with ninety percent of what you say on your blog. You’ve held a merciless mirror to this administration, and it can’t have been boundless fun: you’ve predictably lost a few friends in the process.
From the LA Times:“The son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor was indicted in Miami on U.S. charges of committing torture as chief of a paramilitary unit during his father’s regime…”…The indictment marks the first time a 12-year-old federal anti-torture law has been used, U.S. officials said.
CNN at last has the decency to acknowledge the good work I’ve been doing in Iraq:“War has wiped out about 655,000 Iraqis or more than 500 people a day since the U.S.-led invasion, a new study reports.”Violence including gunfire and bombs caused the majority of deaths but thousands of people died from worsening health and environmental conditions directly related to the conflict that began in 2003, U.S.
The wages of sin are Me. In general, I get too little credit for my contribution to the Fall of Man. Kids, I was there in the garden; I was a major voice in the conference preceding the Apple Incident; I’ve done most of the grunt work when it comes to postlapsarian retribution. Before you get damned, you generally have to die, right? So it should be no surprise to you, especially if you’ve studied depth psychology, that I pretty much came up with the concept of sex.
One of my favorite places in the second half of the twentieth century was a quaint, rustic torture complex in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh: Tuol Sleng Prison. Extinction without torture is like dessert without dinner (I am nothing if not an aesthete); death of the soul should precede – not accompany – death of the body. Let a man know that he is going to die, feel that state move in excruciating stages through his various gates of pain, experience the complete demise of happiness, hope, then dignity; and only then is his removal from this sphere a work of art.
Greetings, mortal Koslings.
I know that this site has some very powerful figures weighing in – senators, congressmen, and the like – but I suspect that I’m the first Eternal Force, Demonic, Ineluctable and Metaphysical, to grace your pages. And yes, I am a Republican, but I hope that you will welcome me nevertheless. (Not that anyone has ever had a choice in this matter.)
I go by many names – including, ironically, “He Who Shall Not Be Named” – but no need for archaic formalities, as I’m convinced that we’re going to be friends: my colleagues just call me Death.
Alito is a menace. Friends, this is no time to invoke the Powell Doctrine. Sometimes you have to enter a battle without overwhelming force and without the assurance of victory: that’s what’s known as “courage.” Conservatives are salivating for a reason: Samuel Alito’s succession to the court would render the Bush era permanent.
If you’re not reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog, you’re not fully aware of what this administration’s doing to untried prisoners in the name of The War Against Other People’s Terrorism. Some technical details:
“TORTURE AND WATER: One of the experts on torture, especially that practised in Iran, professor Darius Rejali of Reed College, emails an exhaustive account of the various techniques involved, including their gruesome nuances:
This specific water torture, often called the “water cure,” admits of several variants:
(a) pumping: filling a stomach with water causes the organs to distend, a sensation compared often with having your organs set on fire from the inside.