Monday, June 12, 2006

Taking Dictation

I continue to blog with the theme of June as Anti-Torture Month, but I need to pull some threads together which may at first seem off topic. Perhaps even when I’m done, they will still seem off topic – but hey, they don’t call me Crazy Bird for nothing!

First I want to recap a few points made in earlier posts:

  • Mistreatment of people you have under your complete control is torture. All other definitions of torture where you draw lines like “no organ failure” – all definitions of this sort are bullshit on a waffle.
  • Situations where people are incarcerated and cut off from the outside world will always attract goons who like to do a little free-lance torture now and then, but systemic torture occurs because of political will to use torture.
  • As information obtained through torture is notoriously unreliable, the primary reason for the political decision to use torture is obviously not made for gaining information. The political use of torture is basically to terrorize a population or a subset of a population by making people afraid, atomizing the social networks where opposition might arise.
  • Torture dehumanizes its victims. When the humanity of a single human being is injured or destroyed, something in the common humanity we all share is injured or destroyed.

In my post from June 6th we saw how Jamal Palooka was detained and learned that the reason his terrible ordeal was a glitch the MERDE computer systems.

I used to think that the unemployed angel from the Third Galaxy who relates such things to me was more than a little bit off the wall. But then I ran across this that Jesus General posted from the New Scientist telling that NSA is planning how to monitor the social networks of websites and I must say I am most amazed.

The NSA spooks who (illegally) fished through our telephone logs since 9/11 now want to trawl through all internet data (logs, posts, chats, links, etc.) compiling databases on our individual intimacies, quirks and quaints. Their noble purpose is to be able to “connect the dots” – that is if you have a connection with a “bad person”.

It’s a nightmare I had thirty-five years ago when I first lost my mind. It’s not that I think Mr. Bush would ever even dream of abusing the power this could give. But a later president just might! In fact, this is exactly the sort thing that allowed Ronald Rexona to become the Supreme Hole of Arrogance.

If I listed all the people I know, then all the people they know and so on, by the time I get to the sixth level, I can have a connection with anybody, the Queen of England or a master terrorists like Ahsawyah Been-Lately and Boo-Boo Wankerman. From there to being put on a watch list or getting a free vacation like poor Jamal Palooka is just a blip on a computer screen.

One of the problems with citified life is the loss of a public face and the atomization of personal interchanges which lead to rips in the social fabric. The internet is a great tool that could really help to bring the global village together. But now, we’re supposed to be afraid, hide our identity and become even more anonymous than before?

Fug them! Fug them and the boat they came in on!

Anyway, here is another sonnette from the same anonymous poet from the Third Galaxy. That is seems to refer to a song written by a man of the same name in our world can only be a coincidence. Odd, but a coincidence all the same.


Many years ago, Tom Paxton said:

“What will it take to change your mind,

Mr. Blue, a broken heart – a broken head?”

I give you prophecy of a similar kind:

We’ve had a draft-dodging veep, an AWOL chief

And an attorney general who’s a flaming creep!

But don’t you worry – just go back to sleep!

That’s not a boogey or a Tom that peeps

Outside your window – it’s the guy from TIPS,

Who’s checking to see if your email encrypts!

They’ll swear to God that all they want to do

Is make the world safe from people who say “Boo!”

& transform this land into a “Holy Nation”

Of boy scout salutes taking dictation...

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