A Profound Cultural Illness

Representatives of the government torture innocent citizens into unconsciousness, on camera, in United States courtrooms with tasers. They use them on prisoners and on motorists and on political protesters and bicycle riders, on mentally ill and handicapped people and on children. And it’s happening with nary a peep of protest.

America’s torture problem is much bigger than Gitmo or the CIA or the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The government is torturing people every day and killing some of them. Then videos of the torture wind up on Youtube where sadists laugh and jeer at the victims. It’s the sign of profound cultural illness.

-Digby, guest blogging for Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com

I read everything Digby posts on Hullabaloo, but her philippics on the rising abuse and misuse of tasers always hit me especially hard. Go read this entire piece at Salon. I can’t guarantee it won’t turn your stomach—in fact, I hope it does—but it’s essential reading for anyone who has even the slightest concern about the creeping authoritarian state.

posted 8/11/09 at 10:13am to Our Doomed Planet, Politics, The stupid, it burns · 0 replies · permalink

"Weaponized Keynesianism"

“These arguments will come from the very people who denied that the economic recovery plan created any jobs. We have a very odd economic philosophy in Washington: It’s called weaponized Keynesianism. It is the view that the government does not create jobs when it funds the building of bridges or important research or retrains workers, but when it builds airplanes that are never going to be used in combat, that is of course economic salvation.”

-Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), responding to the newly-minted fiscal scolds who moan from one side of their mouths that cutting production of new jet fighters–planes that even the Pentagon doesn’t want–will result in job losses, while screaming about “runaway deficits” from the other side.

(via ThinkProgress)

[edit: Digby has a good take on this as well, citing Obama’s first use of a veto threat on this particular issue.]

posted 6/25/09 at 8:27am to Uncategorized · 0 replies · permalink