Saturday, July 23, 2005

John Gibson's Moral Values

John Gibson
FOX News

Dear John:
In your July 22 column you said this about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in a London subway.

“Not my style, but okay, fine — as long as they get the five in the noggin of the right bomber boy. They do that and I'm fine.”

Well they didn’t get the right guy. He is unconnected to the incident. Are you still fine with his death? You said that there will be hell to pay if they get the wrong guy. My questions is, should you as a commentator, have to pay for your praising and encouraging of this tactic that led to his death? Are you still in favor of subjecting people to lethal force if they run from the police?

Here’s the thing John, I find your gleeful enjoyment of this killing and your cute way of describing it as “five in the noggin” sickening.
Now I’d like to determine what your comments and behavior say about your moral values. I would like to know if your religion encourages this gleeful killing of innocents. Are you a Christian? Where do you attend church? Frankly I can’t imagine a Christian being so pro-death. This doesn’t sound like you are participating in the culture of life.

If you aren’t a Christian, then could you please tell me your religion and list some of your moral values, spiritual leaders and texts you read? From reading your columns so far it appears to me that your religion is pro-torture and pro “five in the noggin” of innocents. I’d like to know what religion you are so I can write your pastor and see if he approves of your comments. If you don’t have a religion I’d like you to state that as well. Are you an atheist? As I’m sure you know, this President is pushing very hard to put Christian values into the constitution. I’m sure your viewers would like to know what faith you are so they can either join it or, in my case, avoid it.

Next time you are so callow when talking about killing someone ask yourself, “Is life valued in my spiritual tradition? Am I being morally consistent in my views on life and killing?”


A Concerned Reader

Shot man not connected to bombing
Jean Charles de Menezes (far right), pictured with friends
A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday's London attacks was a Brazilian electrician unconnected to the incidents.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

God Speed Mr. Scott

James Doohan passed away today on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing July 20, 1969.

If Kirk, Spock and Bones represented man's will, intellect and emotion, Scotty represented man as tool maker and user.

He showed pride in understanding how things worked and the pleasure in making and running machines to carry out man's will. I loved how in ST:TNG he talked about how he would overestimate the time it took to do something so that he would appear as a miracle worker to the captain. My favorite episode of The original series was when he found love, for it allowed Doohan to act all goofy and then show his pain when he lost her. I also was impressed in one of the movies when he held the bloody body of a young dead engineer and almost cried as he said the boy was his sister's son and how "he stayed at his post when the others ran"

I work with a lot of engineers and I just want to say that my appreciation for Scotty the engineer reflects my appreciate of real engineers. I honor and appreciate their talent just as I honor and appreciate the acting talents of Doohan.

(and thanks to the most wonderful Sarah Grimke and GradeSchoolTeach for the news)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Geek humor. Notice the counters

Geeks. My people! I get a kick out of a company that is brave enough to be FUNNY when selling products! What a concept!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Will Bush Fire Karl Rove?

Would the Kermit Puppet fire the hand?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Evil Genius? Good Christian? Karl Rove

People praise Karl Rove as a Genius. Some times they call him an Evil Genius, but is he a good Christian?

Isn't the big promise of this Administration, their morals? Without going into anything to do with Wilson and Plame and just looking at the actions that Rove has claimed credit for, are these the acts of a moral Christian man? I've already said that Bush is a crappy Christian and frankly it is an affront to all good Christians when Bush wears that label.

But what of his closest adviser? Even if you believe that Bush is a GOOD Christian, what does it say about a Bush that he listens to a man like Rove?

I suppose it can be considered a kind of genius to unleash people's basest emotions and deepest fears in a quest for power, but it is more a sick intelligence than genius. Genius with no moral guiding principle serving the needs of political power first and foremost is tragic and should be exposed and rooted out for the good of America. This kind of "genius" is bad for America.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I Respond to a Wingnut: What kind of twisted revenge logic is this?

The wingnuts got all bent out of shape when Dick Durbin made a comparison across time and cultures. The guy in the letter below from the Omaha World Herald goes all the way back to the Vietnam War to find some rationalization for his approval of torture. This misplaced focus must have been learned from President Bush’s pursuit of one guy (Saddam) at the expense of pursuing another guy (Osama bin Laden) who is really more relevant.

So let’s unpack this letter. As always, wingnut in black. Spocko in Blue

‘Terrorist abuse'?
After reading several Pulse letters about prisoner abuse at Guantánamo Bay and other military prisons, I felt it was time to reply to all those bleeding hearts who say our fine and dignified soldiers are mistreating the poor, pitiful terrorists.

Note how he doesn’t name a specific letter? Typical Rush Limbaugh wingnut generalization. Because when you complain about “several letters” you don’t have to cite a specific letter where you can be proved wrong in your characterization of it.

Listen up, America. Have you forgotten the Vietnam War? Do you have any idea what American prisoners of war were subjected to?

No I haven’t forgotten the Vietnam War. Why? Have the Vietnamese been flying to Iraq to teach torture techniques to our soldiers?”

They suffered horrors at the hands of their captors - day in, day out, year after year. And people have the nerve to write letters saying how terrible the terrorists are being treated. What a joke.

Again, what does this have to do with the current torture in Iraq? He wants acts of torture from a previous war to enrage people so much that they torture people who have nothing to do with THAT war and most likely have nothing to do with THIS ONE. What kind of twisted revenge logic is that?

As a Vietnam-era veteran, I was proud to serve. Any abuse the Viet Cong received was well-earned. And as for the laughable idea of "abused terrorist prisoners," I say to the U.S. military: Do whatever it takes, by whatever means, even turning a blind eye when you have to, to do the job you are there for. And pay no attention to what whiny Americans say about "terrorist abuse."

James W. Boles, Omaha

Note how he calls himself a Vietnam-era veteran. He didn’t say where he served, what he did or why he was discharged. Maybe a friend died in prison like one of the 28 who died at the hands of Americans in Abu Ghraib. (This data is from the Army’s Schlesinger report). Or maybe he spent the war sitting in the Texas National Guard in Bush’s Champagne unit. “Any abuse the Viet Cong received was well-earned.” I’m sure that ALL the Viet Cong who were caught and abused were guilty. I hope that the American soldiers in Vietnam had better information about the guilt of their captives BEFORE they abused them, than we do on the people in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib. What, you say you didn’t read about the people wrongly accused who were in Gitmo because some war lord wanted the bounty for turning them over to the Americans? That the International Red Cross said that 70-90 percent of the people in Abu Ghraib didn’t belong there? What about the people who have been released? When someone from the Army finally admits these people were wrongfully imprisioned and tortured, do you now say that their abuse was “well-earned?”

He says to the military: Do whatever it takes, by whatever means, even turning a blind eye when you have to, to do the job you are there for

Now, first of all, which job are you referring to? Finding Osama Bin Laden? Finding WMDs? Helping the Iraq people govern themselves? Securing the ammo dumps?

Now I could talk about the failure of torture from a moral perspective. But clearly he is fine with any kind of abuse of people who may or may not have ANYTHING to DO with terrorism. To him that is just the price that people pay for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (BTW, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that this guy calls himself a Christian.) If we don’t want to go the moral route we can look at the negative POLITICAL effects of the world finding out we abuse and torture people. Mark Danner has pointed out in his book “Torture and Truth” that the revelation that America is torturing people means we get LESS information from other countries about potential terrorists. I also heard a gentleman stand up at a Danner book reading and talk about being tortured. “After the first week I told them anything. I just made up stuff to get them to stop.” Perhaps if James W. Boles is truly concerned with torture of American soldiers in Vietnam he should work to STOP it happening to others rather than ENCOURAGING Americans to torture.

Finally, he talks about wanting the U.S. military to do the job they are there for. I’m guessing he wants them to be successful. Yet he wants them to use techniques that have been proven ineffective, immoral and politically unwise for the success of “their job”. And, if I may be so bold, he is also asking them to defy his President who said we don’t do that. If I can’t appeal to any kind of moral sense or political insight, I’ll just appeal to his desire for the military to be successful. Torture is not the most effective technique for the Army to do use.

[A quick howdy to the most wonderful GradeSchoolTeach. Hope you have a great week free from "The Hungry Roamers"!]

Saturday, July 09, 2005

When Stern Parents Treaten

Blame Rory Blyth
And just because I have to get my political dig in, Think George Lakoff and the GOP as the party of the "Stern Parent".
They will lie to crank up the fear. Any kind of fear will do.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Ben Stein you Dick!

Janeane really doesn't like Ben Stein.

Listen to my favorite part of her rant against him. I'll post the whole segment later in context.

Ben Stein you DICK! A quote from Janeane Garofalo of The Majority Report

There IS a context for this. I'll post the whole clip later.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Please Vote in this Meaningless Poll

When you click you will be taken to the real poll I haven't figured out how to embed the javascript yet. Prehaps Mr. Future or Mr. Radio or Mr. F (HamMan) would know how to do this.

Tip o' the hat to Mr. Baseball for the idea.
Vote NOW! Non-scientific! Meaningless! Your click doesn't count! Just like all the other non-scientific meaningless polls run by Fox!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

OUCH! What hit me?

That's what the comet would have said if it was a sentient being.

Science RULES!

I'm proud of ya guys!

The Wisdom of Children

This is from the child of a friend of mine. I find the expressed view fascinating.