Is It OK To Call Waterboarding Torture Again?

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So ISIS waterboarded James Foley. A lot of people who supported the use of “enhanced interrogations” are now “outraged” that ISIS did this to an American.

Gee… Didn’t see this coming!

Oh, wait…. Yes I did.

PS. Guess which “news” channel is not covering the story.

Is Suicide “A Choice”, Or The Lack Of A Voice?

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Recently, I have had to deal with the specter of suicide in my life. Obviously, the death of Robin Williams is the hot topic right now. I have had a couple of friends / acquaintances who also took their own lives.

The idea of suicide is not foreign to me.

When I was in high school, there was one guy, a fellow boy scout in my troop, who tried to commit suicide over the break-up of a girlfriend. He took a gun and shot himself in the stomach. He lived and did fine after that. But the recovery from that is said to be very very painful. One of the jocks in high school…. Actually, I’m not keen on describing him quite like that, He was more than a jock…. He was an all around good guy. He was athletic, smart, incredibly good looking… his entire collection of good attributes was unfair really…. I have no idea what happened after high school, but he was the perfect example of a guy who seemed to have everything, kind of a Richard Corey thing, though not that successful later on. In his own head though, I guess he had nothing to live for.

On a personal level, I suffered from severe depression from the time I was a kid to my late 20’s. I was in lots of pain. Some of it was real caused by outside problems – being crosseyed, short and hiding the fact that I’m gay from everyone, and hating myself for even being gay and not normal in the first place… Some internal – poor self image and no self worth… Some imagined – everybody hates me, I will never find love, etc. I had a suicide note written in 8th grade, and I may still have it in a box out in the garage somewhere. I would think about what would be the best way to do it. Shooting myself in the stomach was definitely out of the picture as I saw that that probably wasn’t going to be effective, and that wouldn’t be doable as we didn’t own guns. Slitting wrists???? Nah. Too messy. No one was taking prescription drugs in our household, so that was not an option. Mom did take some pill to control her epilepsy, but those just didn’t seem like they would do much of anything in large doses, except maybe give you a nice headache. But, i did have more opportunities as I grew into my 20’s. I can remember so many times driving on the freeways in San Diego, say, on the elevated portion of the 805, and thinking that if I swerved right now as I drive on this bridge, I could end my pain.

The thing that prevented me from doing so was that little voice in my head, actually, it was almost like an observer laughing at my misery, that persistently told me not to do it cause that would be stupid, I’d probably screw it up and become a vegetable or something. Also, it insisted that I wait around and see if things could get better. It told me “screw the world, you will not be defeated”. It assured me that they had to get better.

I’m not saying that I have severe depression. I never told anyone what I was feeling and going through, so I never got diagnosed with anything. And I don’t get depressed much anymore. Life did indeed get better, just like the voice said it would, though it took long enough!!!!

I always wonder what would have happened if that little voice was no longer there. If your life’s drive becomes focused on that singular act, where that becomes the focus and you crave to fulfill that act like you obsessed about all things sex as a teenager, and that thing in your head that has kept you from doing it before is switched off….. I’m not sure if suicide is a choice at that point.

War And The Innocent. Can We Have One Without Killing The Other????

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Warning – Long political post that’s going to anger a few people.

OK. I’m going to piss off some of my friends right now, but I have to speak my mind.

In the last couple of days, the attention of the worlds had turned back on the good folk of ISIS, ISIL, the Caliphate, or whatever they are to be called. Several videos have surfaced of the radical militants hanging and beheading innocent children, and some people are outraged by it.

What kind of inhuman soulless monsters would kill innocent children????


We do it! Israel does it! Anyone that goes to war does it!!!!!


Even with our wondrous abilities to use drones to launch targeted attacks against our enemies, target specific people we deem as terrorist, innocent children are routinely killed.


Just because we in our Western civilized culture have a nice tidy word for it – collateral damage – and we don’t intend to end up killing innocent children…. But make no mistake, killing innocent children my friends, is the DIRECT result of war!

To our minds and Western sensibilities, we frown upon it…. Of course, that depends on which side is killing children. If we do it, or allies such as Israel do it… Well, it’s sad, but it’s excused because they died fighting the bad guy.

Guess what… To the other side… To the parents or relatives of those beloved innocent corpses…. The don’t give a damned about our noble cause and excuses. Their children are still DEAD. And if their kids are dead because we bombed something trying to get a legitimate target….

Yet, there is not one tear or thought given to those dead innocents by the people who are so outraged by the activities of ISIS.

Thing is, if you go to war, especially in areas where there are civilians around, innocent children ARE GOING TO DIE!!!!

Doesn’t matter if they are physically hanged or if they are blowed up, they are DEAD!!!!

“But Mike”, I can hear some of you say…. “We hardly killed any innocent children in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. This show you who we are and our morals”….


The desire to spare innocent lives only works in warfare when BOTH SIDES specifically agree to those terms and stick to them no matter what. And I’m guessing if I do just a bit of research, I’ll find cases in both those wars where innocents were killed just the same.

But we’re not fighting in a society that has any desire to fight a “fair” war on Western terms. In fact, the war they are fighting in much more historically honest. Wars are brutal things. And it wasn’t too long ago when even Western societies would rape and pillage and kill innocents when they conquered lands.

Are the people who call themselves ISIS revealed to be monsters by doing this???


But at least they are being honest about how they are conducting war.

Our side?

We tightly control the media so that we, the people, never really get to see that war is actually EXTREMELY BRUTAL!!!! We do our damnedest to candy coat what war is, and as a result, we are somehow “shocked” when an enemy soldier disguised as a friendly one, sneaks up behind a major general and shoots him in the back. We make deals with local powers to not kill civilians, and then when the inevitable happens, we are the bad guys.

Wake Up PEOPLE!!!! Sometimes, we ARE the bad guys.


And it’s also how you lose them.

If that doesn’t make sense, here the gist of it all. Lets look at the wars that have been won. World War 2 was won. Why because, even if we don’t like to admit it, we slaughtered whatever was in our path to get to the enemy. We didn’t go so far down that path as we could have, but that is because the Germans, as far as their campaigns fighting against other Western powers were concerned, were playing by similar rules according to Western cultural dictates. They would be brutal, yes, but only to a degree. When fighting the Russians however…. Read up on the absolute slaughter that the Russians were subjected to during the German invasion the called Barbarossa, and you’ll see warfare that is barbaric and much more brutal. And the Russians? They responded in kind, which is part of the reason they would eventually be able to push the Germans back. Weather was a big factor, but it can’t be discounted that the Russians had no problems fighting just as brutally as the Germans did.

They matched their foes and eventually beat them.

Rome vs Carthage. The Punic Wars. The Romans utterly, brutally destroyed the Carthage empire, and that included killing women and children. It was, after three periods of war, probably as close to a genocide as the primitive technologies would allow at the time.

My point is, war is brutal, and if you’re going to fight to win, you’d better damned well be prepared to fight right down to the level of your enemy. And more than that, if you’re going to go to war, you’d better damned well be prepared to completely obliterate anything and everyone that stands in the way, which in the Middle East, appears to be half the population.

Because we were not prepared to be as brutal as the enemy, and send in 10 million troops to conquer ALL of the places where the enemy resided, when we went to war in Afghanistan 12 years ago, we lost before a single foot hit the ground. Same with Iraq. We didn’t fight to win, but that’s because the leaders at the time lived in a Christian dream world, thought that our “kind” war would win hearts and minds, and didn’t have a freaking clue about what they were doing, and were completely ignorant about the peoples they were fighting. We fought a very limited war against an enemy that was much more spread out than just the two countries we occupied, and were not ever going to go in and conquer all the safe havens where the enemy was hiding, such as Pakistan or Iran.

You want to defeat the Islamist terrorist threat with military force? You completely conquer them all.

But that means getting our hands dirty…. Really dirty! The kind of dirty that requires a draft. The kind of dirty where a tremendous amount of our soldiers are going to get slaughtered on the battlefield. The kind of dirty where we attack other countries that are supposed allies but clearly are duplicitous and have the enemy hiding within their borders. The kind of dirty where the gloves are completely off, and nukes are used.The kind of dirty that looks a lot like genocide.

The other side is quite prepared to do whatever it takes to win, which includes killing innocent children.

Anyway, wake up and smell the coffee. We and our allies have done quite a bit of killing of innocent children. So spare me the “outrage” over the other side doing it.

It’s what happens in war.

If we are going back into the Middle East, lets do it right this time and clean up, be as heartless as the enemy, take off the gloves, and destroy them utterly and completely.

If we are truly outrage over the slaughter of innocent children, then don’t go to war.

PS. And don’t blame Obama for the current state of affairs. He did indeed inherit a no-win situation. It wouldn’t have mattered who was elected in 2008. Had John McCain won, we’d still be in the same large boat, only the arrangement of the deck chairs might be different.

Not only did we kill plenty of innocent children in the last 12 years of war, or support other countries who killed plenty of innocent children in other war in the region, our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq completely destabilize the region. It took a while for the fruits of our labors to reveal themselves, but the stability, for what it’s worth, wasn’t built in a day. It’s not unlike the scene in “The Guns Of Navarone” where Sargent Miller plants explosives in the dam, but it doesn’t blow the dam to smithereens as his compatriots expect. The dam still stands and appears to be intact. But the explosions weaken the dam and the water pressure soon causes cracks in the structure, and in short time the dam utterly fails.

Histories mistakes are hands with very long fingers, hearts with very long memories. We are still very much living with the consequences of World War One, and the actions of the Western world in their botched partitioning of lands we knew nothing about, and people we care little about.