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United States

Journal Philip K Dickhead's Journal: America Tortures CHILDREN 35

"As torture became normalized under the Bush administration, it not only corrupted American ideals and political culture, it also passed over to the dark side in sanctioning the unimaginable and unspeakable - the torture of children. While the rise of the torture state has been a subject of intense controversy, too little has been said by intellectuals, academics, artists, writers, parents and politicians about how state violence under the Bush administration set in motion a public pedagogy and political culture that not only legitimated the systemic torture of children, but did so with the complicity of a dominant media that either denied such practices or simply ignored them. The focus on children here is deliberate because young people provide a powerful referent for not only the long-term consequences of social policies, if not the future itself, but also because they offer a crucial index to measure the moral and democratic values of a nation. Children are the heartbeat of politics because they speak to the best of its possibilities and promises and yet they have in the last few years become the vanishing point of moral debate, either irrelevant because of their age, discounted because they are largely viewed as commodities, or scorned because they are considered a threat to adult society..."

9yr-old boy tortured, says former Guantanamo detainee

The Business of Torture

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America Tortures CHILDREN

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  • After all, Bush's supporters always were going around chanting "Think of the children!"

    Of course, this also brings up the question of why we think it's somehow "less wrong" to torture an adult ... it's sort of like trying to compare two infinities ... and yet we do.

    Not that I don't understand - kids are less able to defend themselves, etc., but once you step over a certain absolute line ... and I think most people would agree that torture is on the other side of that line ... except for people guilty o

    • let me get this straight- you are advocating torture of torturers? That would include the torture of children who torture children, obviously.



      • Somehow, I don't think it's likely that an 8-year-old would come up with the concept of waterboarding someone on their own, so that's a non-issue.

        If they're being put up to do it by adults, the adults are the responsible parties.

        For the stuff kids would do on their own, you deal with it like you would any other bullying.

        But for the sake of argument, if some little maniacal psychopath decided on their own to start torturing others by sexually raping them with broken bottles, there's a better solution .

        • Humans above and below the age of reason can do terrible things. I refer you to the web.

          There are no clean solutions, but you apparently would allow killing and torture as a choice. I think that is a terrible thing to ever allow.

          I have said a prayer for you.



          • you apparently would allow killing and torture as a choice.

            I don't think torture is right. However, adults who show no reticence to torture others have already shown that THEY have no problem with torture, so I'm just applying their own standards to them, in the hope that, once they get a taste of their own medicine, maybe they'll see just how wrong it is.

            If they approve of torture, what is wrong giving them a taste of their own medicine? There's no moral or ethical dilemma there.

            I'm also against th

            • Sure, they did it first. Very mature for a kindergartener. Not that I am saying you are a kindergarterner; just if you were, this would be a very mature moral compass.

              I apply a higher moral standard. Two wrongs do not make a right. I learned that in first grade.

              Your truly in cliches,


              • Sure, they did it first. Very mature for a kindergartener. Not that I am saying you are a kindergarterner; just if you were, this would be a very mature moral compass.

                That's not what I said. I said that they APPROVE of torture, by their own actions - how can they then complain if their own techniques are used against them? You know - "karma is a bitch" and all that?

                I apply a higher moral standard. Two wrongs do not make a right. I learned that in first grade.

                3 lefts do :-)

                Seriously, applying someon

                • Sorry for the delay. I notice you post a lot.

                  Have you recently listened to the song "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie?

                  • Dead, burnt baby-bodies. Veins in my teeth.

                  • Listened to it? After hearing it one night (around a campfire) I tracked down the music and lyrics at the local library and taught myself how to play it. I *love* Alice's Restaurant!
                    • You gotta read more JE's!

                      Tom's a Canuck, in the frozen part!

                    • Actually, no, Dickhead, I don't have to read more JEs.

                      But thanks for posting.

                    • From memory:

                      You can get everything you want, at Alice's Restaurant.
                      You can get everything you want, at Alice's Restaurant.
                      Step right in, it's around the back,
                      Just a half a mile from the railway track,
                      Oh, you can get everything you want at Alice's Restauraunt.

                      It's a Vietnam War era protest song. Even the urban dictionary still defines it as such. I was first exposed to it by a couple of American Vietnam era draft dodgers when I was a kid. Proto-typical draft dodgers, in fact. Hairy. Vegetarian

                    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I must say, it leaves me somewhat perplexed, because on the one hand, you seem to be a selective advocate of torture, and on the other hand, you seem to have some insight into when torture is not right.

                      I am confused. Who decides when torture is right, and when torture is wrong? You? pudge? the supremes? congress? George for 8 years? precedence?

                      What are the rules in the handbook of allowable torture?

                      You do seem to know the chorus to "Alice's Restaurant". The chorus is n

                    • Seeing as my JE is the hosting parent to the thread? No, thank YOU!

                    • Maybe a rhetorical position to expose one facet of discussion or expose one set of reasons doesn't require logical and absolute ethical consistency with one's true belief or core values.

                      I actually believe that - unless you are autistic - you are probably clever enough to figure this out yourself. :-) Being obtuse to a statement that communicates the message:

                      "I am so angered by this circumstance, that I am tempted to advocate reprehensible action in the cause of a poetic form of justice"

                      That is suspiciously

                    • You are welcome. Thanks for your hospitality as our host.

                    • I hate trolls.

                      I hate myself.

                      But I am willing to change. Is pudge?

                      This troll brought to you by James Slimmy.

                    • Heh. Well I paste and click - if that's hosting...

                    • Trolls adopt the habit, custom and idiom of the obtuse.

                      Pudge IS actually obtuse.

                    • My less-than-ideal universe (because in an ideal universe, nobody would even consider torturing someone):

                      1. No torture. Its stupid, counter-productive, etc.

                      2. Exception: If you commit torture, then punishment-fits-the-crime torture for you. Yes, it's distasteful, but you would be a hypocrite if you complained about submitting to the same treatment that you imposed on others. Goose, gander, sauce ... Hopefully, this would act as sufficient deterrent in most cases, and as a reminder to avoid recidiv

                    • Thanks for that start to a rule book. I like your first draft.

                      You might like my rule book with respect to torture.

                      1. Do not be evil.
                      a. Do not torture.
                      i. "torture" is defined by carrying out such acts on your self, Mother, Father, sister, brother, all children, stepchildren, (if living before these acts) and 10 other people, and if anyone says it is torture, you have to take their word for it.

                      I find that these rules can be understood by almost all

                    • And here I thought he was acute.

                    • Your last point is exactly the problem - there ARE people who are oblivious to torture, and they tend to be around people who are like them - because who wants to hang around with someone that thinks boiling somebody alive is okay?

                      Just look at how congress, the media, and the general US population bought into the whole "We're going after bin laden so let's invade Iraq because they have WMDs even though others have proof they don't!"

                      On the marine puppy thing, I'm uncomfortable (to put it lightly) with p

                    • Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
                      --Leviticus 19:18

                      "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."
                      --Proverbs 16:24

                      "Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts."
                      --Psalms 28:3

                      "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them whi

                    • Well said, Dickhead. I confirm I couldn't have said it any better myself, or find it said any better on [], especially not by any of the lame programmers on [], like you-know-who.

                      Another one bites my nuts! Another one bites my nuts!

                    • Heh. I agree there are people oblivious to torture. That is scary, more or less.

                      But what really scares me is the people who find some justification for torture, some rationale, some excuse, no matter how tortured.

                      Are they oblivious to torture? No.

                      They are oblivious to humanity. They are oblivious to the miracles of conscience and consciousness.


                      James (sometimes seen looking hard into a mirror...)

                      ps- what really really scares me is the thought of being tortured, on purpose, or by accident...

                      how about

                    • Actually, I think I have a cleaner solution to the puppy-thrower.

                      Since the act was committed in Iraq, and the goal is to establish the rule of law in Iraq, why not just leave him to face an Iraqi court of law, same as if someone commits a crime in the USofA, they have to stand trial in the USofA?

                      It would certainly incentivize people to set a better example - a mix of the old "judge not lest ye be judged" and a rebuttal to "do as I say, not as I do".

                      There are always going to be people who will torture

                    • well, now you are thinking!

                      i see possible benefits and problems with that approach.

                      i do want to encourage people to deal with their own problems, and clean up their own messes. hum, i wonder whose mess this is?

                      and, i do favor the rule of law. hum, i wonder which countries might be better at following the rule of law here? the good old USA, or Iraq? hum, i wonder who follows the letter of the law, and who follows the spirit of the law?

                      but, overarching, is that i do not want to do evil

                      hey, that reminds me

                    • The book I'm reading now is about the rendition program. The flight plans of the planes (the CIA was using a civilian cover, but deep down it's just another Air America) were the tell-tales that led to the interviews, etc. It's pretty disturbing.

                      As for the rule of law and individual countries, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you're in another country, you don't have much right to demand that they respect your laws if you don't respect theirs in return. There are exceptions (there always are - suc

                    • As for the rule of law and individual countries, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

                      You keep coming back to that. I finally figured it out! You are one of those moral relativists, aren't you?

                      Hey, are you old enough to have served in the Nixon administration? You would have felt right at home.

                      Oh, yeah, and good luck with that, with Saint Peter at the perly gates.

                    • Am I a moral relativist? No. I believe that the universe is totally without morals or ethics, except when living things intervene. The only morals or ethics are what observers bring to it. We've observed what we would call moral behaviour in other animals (sharing, sacrifice, etc)., so it's not just limited to a subset of humans :-)

                      If a person believes that torture is okay, they've lost the right to say "torture is an unfit method" when applied to them. If they believe throwing defenseless puppies to

                    • TTFN.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"