Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Another Sign Of Numbness

We have gotten to the point that a woman accusing Trump of sexual assault doesn’t even make it to the Sunday shows and the victim who comes forth is seen as just another statistic.

And of course the perpetrator can dismiss all the allegations with the rapist’s ultimate denial: She’s not worth raping.

Trump on Monday said New York-based writer E. Jean Carroll was “totally lying” when she accused him of sexually assaulting her more than two decades ago, adding that Carroll is “not my type.”

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” Trump told the Hill newspaper in an interview.

The sign of psychopathy: “great respect.”

We knew that he was like this and voted for him anyway.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

All You Have Left Are Ashes

Donald Trump wants to do to evil-doers what evil-doers do.

So we can’t do waterboarding but they can do chopping off heads, drowning people in steel cages. They can do whatever they want to do. They eat dinner like us. Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads. They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire.

And the crowd chanted “USA! USA!”

It’s easy to say that we should do what the terrorists do.  But all that does is make us terrorists.  And when you fight fire with fire, all you have left are ashes.

If you want to live in a country that lives by that credo, I’m sure there’s plenty of good cheap housing and work to be had in North Korea, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia.  Write when you get work.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Off The Table

Texas executed a murderer last night, and now they’re down to just one dose of the drugs used to inflict capital punishment.

Officials say they are trying to obtain more of the drug, but a recent court decision that says the names of suppliers must be public could make that difficult. States around the country are facing drug shortages because manufacturers refuse to sell their chemicals for capital punishment.

Here’s an idea: ban capital punishment, like most of the rest of the civilized world.  Problem solved.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In Our Name

The executive summary of the CIA torture report from the Senate Intelligence Committee will hit the streets this morning, but the reaction to it is already hitting the fan.

Various senators of both parties are worried that our enemies will use it as justification for attacks against American embassies around the world.  The Obama administration has already put them on heightened alert, which is a prudent thing to do, but it’s not as if we don’t already know what’s in the report and if anyone was going to hit back at us for doing what we did, they would have done it already.

It is right to be concerned about the response.  We already know that some very bad people will exploit the report for their own ends or use it to justify attacks on the administration.  And I don’t mean just Dick Cheney and the GOP; I’m talking about ISIS and their ilk.  But, to echo Paul Waldman, acknowledging the horrors done in our name should make us accountable for what was done.

The darkest chapters in our history and the most outrageous government decisions and programs eventually move from a place of contestation to a place of consensus in public debate. Outside of a few fringe extremists, no one today holds the position that slavery, the Trail of Tears, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, Jim Crow, or the witch hunts of McCarthyism were the right and proper thing for America to do. The Bush torture program may not be even remotely close in scale to those atrocities. But just as there is now consensus that all of those things are moral blots on the country’s history, if the full truth about torture comes out, a consensus could eventually emerge that this, too, is an unambiguous stain.

The cynicism necessary to attempt to blame the blowback from their torture program on those who want it exposed is truly a wonder. On one hand, they insist that they did nothing wrong and the program was humane, professional, and legal. On the other they implicitly accept that the truth is so ghastly that if it is released there will be an explosive backlash against America. Then the same officials who said “Freedom isn’t free!” as they sent other people’s children to fight in needless wars claim that the risk of violence against American embassies is too high a price to pay, so the details of what they did must be kept hidden.

The world already knows what we did.  We already know who ordered it and who should be held responsible for what happened then.  But like they say in every rehab program, the first and most vital step is admitting we have a problem.  The rest is recovery.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disturbing On Every Level

My interest in professional football is now limited to occasionally watching a game on Sunday, less so since the stories about concussions came forward in the last few years.  Until the story broke last winter about Baltimore Raven Ray Rice being suspended for assaulting his fiance, I’d never heard of him.

The story originated with a grainy video showing Mr. Rice dragging the body of his unconscious fiance, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator after he allegedly struck her and knocked her out.  He was suspended for two games and given a stern talking-to by the NFL.

Now we’re all hearing more about the story.  Yesterday a video came out that showed the actual act.  It’s brutal, and while I’m not a lawyer or a police officer, they’d probably call it assault and battery, which is a felony.

But what’s more disturbing is the reaction by all quarters on this: the NFL, the sports community, and the fans have all been outraged, which of course they should be, but it seems like the only reason they are is because we now have the video that shows the actual act instead of the original video that showed the aftermath.  So the two-game suspension was based on the theory that it’s not nice to drag an unconscious person face-down out of an elevator, but how she got in that condition… well, that’s not relevant.

It’s also disturbing that the whole discussion seems to be about Mr. Rice and his actions, but Ms. Palmer, now his wife, is being ignored and in some quarters being vilified as the cause of all of this.  I don’t even want to get into that dark corner, but yes, there are those who are saying that she bears some responsibility for his actions.

And finally the whole idea of domestic violence somehow being a private matter between the parties and it’s none of our business; let them work it out.  No, hell no.  There are too many people who are damaged and destroyed by domestic violence to let it be something behind closed doors.  It goes far beyond a “women issue” and “men’s rights.”  It is a scourge and symptom of indifference in a society that should be looking out for the abused and the deprived.

The only good thing that comes out of this is that it’s out in the open.  The sad news is that like school shootings and police brutality, it will soon be wiped off the front pages by some other distraction until it happens yet again.  The cycle will repeat, the victims will still be suffering, and we’re basically back to where we started.