Friday, February 17, 2006

"I can make peace on earth with my own two hands"

Friday evening, finally. I wasn't sure by mid-day if it would ever get here. Before noting anything in the news, I want to suggest a CD. You'll laugh, but it's the Curious George soundtrack (subtitled Sing-A-Long and Lullabies for the film Curious George) and it's credited to Jack Johnson and Friends. If you're lucky, you can find it on sale. (Kat tipped me off to that on the phone today, thank you Kat.) I ended up getting mine on sale for $9.99. I am a Jack Johnson fan and wasn't aware, until I posted that, how hated he was by the right wing. I didn't see him as very political. I just enjoyed his voice and his guitar. But I got about six e-mails bashing Johnson and bashing me. Johnson's just another "hippie" ran the e-mails.

I know nothing about Johnson. But if he is a hippie, what's wrong with that? The world could use a lot more hippies and a lot less bullies. (I'd suggest you listen to Ben Harper's "With My Own Two Hands" on the CD, by the way.) But it's a nice album and I put it on as soon as I walked through the door. Well, as soon as I got the plastic wrapping and the plastic title sticker off. In some countries, not only do they not use that plastic title sticker, they don't shrink wrap. Here's another thought on wasting, if they stood the CDs up on their sides, they wouldn't know the plastic title stickers since the label is on the side. If the cover being sideways bothered them, they could flip the cover. I hate the wrappings on the CDs and on DVDs. I can never get all three of those title stickers off of plastic encased box (as opposed to the cardboard ones) without scratching up the plastic. Seems like we're wasting quite a lot and in some countries, such as England, they don't do that.

So that's my environmental gripe tonight. Seriously, think how much plastic is wasted each year.

"Kofi Annan Calls for U.S. To Close Guantanamo" (Democracy Now!):
The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan is urging the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp "as soon as is possible." His comments came in response to a new report by UN investigators calling for U.S. to close the camp. Kofi Annan said the Bush administration could not hold hundreds of prisoners in jail without charges in perpetuity. "Charges have to be brought against them, and (they) be given a chance to explain themselves, and prosecuted, charged, or released, I think is something that is, common under any legal system," Annan said. "And I think sooner or later, there will be a need to close the Guantanamo and I think, it will be up to the government to decide, hopefully to do it as soon as is possible." White House spokesperson Scott McClellan dismissed the new UN report. "The United Nations should be making serious investigations across the world, and there are many instances when they do, when it comes to human rights. This was not one of them," said McClellan. "And I think it's a discredit to the U.N. when a team like this goes about rushing to report something when they haven't even looked into the facts. All they have done is look at the allegations."

This follows the call by UN investigators to close Guantanamo. If you missed that, Rebecca noted the headline on it from Democracy Now! yesterday and also gave her thoughts on that. Thank you, by the way, to Rebecca for that. That was and is an important story to me and I didn't see how I'd be able to blog on it last night -- so I phoned Rebecca and asked her if she could catch it? She was kind enough to do so.

"cowboy junkies and guantanamo prisoners" (Rebecca, Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude):
this is something you'll have to answer for. children in a generation or 2 will ask you, 'how were you able to just stay silent and look the other way?' so if that's your plan to keep on ignoring this, you might use that looking away time to come up with a good excuse. this is a sad thing, this is a tragedy.

It is a tragedy for everyone. But for the medical profession, it's much worse than a tragedy.

"Professor McCoy Exposes the History of CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror" (Democracy Now!):
ALFRED McCOY: Now, another thing we see is those photographs is the psychological techniques, but the initial research basically developed techniques for attacking universal human sensory receptors: sight, sound, heat, cold, sense of time. That's why all of the detainees describe being put in dark rooms, being subjected to strobe lights, loud music, okay? That’s sensory deprivation or sensory assault. Okay, that was sort of the phase one of the C.I.A. research. But the paradigm has proved to be quite adaptable.
Now, one of the things that Donald Rumsfeld did, right at the start of the war of terror, in late 2002, he appointed General Geoffrey Miller to be chief at Guantanamo, alright, because the previous commanders at Guantanamo were too soft on the detainees, and General Miller turned Guantanamo into a de facto behavioral research laboratory, a kind of torture research laboratory. And under General Miller at Guantanamo, they perfected the C.I.A. torture paradigm. They added two key techniques. They went beyond the universal sensory receptors of the original research. They added to it an attack on cultural sensitivity, particularly Arab male sensitivity to issues of gender and sexual identity.
And then they went further still. Under General Miller, they created these things called "Biscuit" teams, behavioral science consultation teams, and they actually had qualified military psychologists participating in the ongoing interrogation, and these psychologists would identify individual phobias, like fear of dark or attachment to mother, and by the time we're done, by 2003, under General Miller, Guantanamo had perfected the C.I.A. paradigm, and it had a three-fold total assault on the human psyche: sensory receptors, self-inflicted pain, cultural sensitivity, and individual fears and phobia.

That's not healing, that's being a tool of torture and people can kid and claim they're serving some larger purpose; however, you are serving the patient, that's the subject of the oath you take. For medical professions, this is worse than a tragedy, it's a travesty and it's unethical.

"Senate Republicans Block Investigation Into NSA Spying" (Democracy Now!):
This update on the controversy over President Bush's warrant-less domestic spying program - on Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans have blocked a proposed investigation into the operation. On Thursday, Republican Senator Pat Roberts, chair of the Intelligence Committee said, his panel decided not to conduct an investigation. Roberts said he reached an agreement with the White House to consider legislation and provide more information to Congress on the eavesdropping program. The ranking Democrat on the committee -- Sen. John Rockefeller -- said "Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee once again abdicated its responsibility to oversee the intelligence activities of the United States."

On this topic, Mike asked if I'd read C.I.'s "NYT: The paper, like the Congress, can't wait to wear the 'Kick Me!' sign" and I had. In fact, that might have been what got my morning off to such an awful start. That's not a complaint about C.I., that is a complaint about a Congress that wants to avoid doing it's job.

To answer a question, it was white carpet. I'm not sure if I wrote about the man who spilled a glass of red wine on my brand new white wall-to-wall carpet here or if I wrote about it while filling in for Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. Claude e-mailed about C.I.'s
"And the war goes on . . . (Indymedia Roundup" where C.I. mentioned that last night. Claude also points out that I don't have a link in that entry. First off, I think all community members know who I am. (Long before I filled in for Rebecca, I shared comments and excerpts at The Common Ills the way all members do.) Second of all, that entry was a nightmare. I called C.I. after it went up, I hadn't read it and wasn't calling about it, just checking in. There have been problems all week. C.I. can't log into the Blogger/Blogspot program half the time and, when in it, the "Compose" feature that you use to write your entry doesn't work. C.I.'s only been able to get things up by either dictating entries all week or using a "backdoor" solution that the UK Computer Gurus came up with. C.I. was using the backdoor solution last night and it was nonstop problems. I doubt C.I. knows that there is no link to my site because everything else was a headache. But it doesn't matter because members knew C.I. was speaking about me, Claude. It's a great entry and I'd suggest everyone read it.

Also please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's take on today's news. Visit Cedric's Big Mix to read "You drop the Trash at the curb and let it go." Another suggestion would be to read Joan Mellen's "HOW THE FAILURE TO IDENTIFY, PROSECUTE AND CONVICT PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S ASSASSINS HAS LED TO TODAY'S CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY." You could follow that with a trip to The Daily Jot and let Wally's humor put you in a good frame of mind.

"Peace Quote" ("With My Own Two Hands" written by Ben Harper):
I can make peace on earth
With my own two hands
I can clean up the earth
With my own two hands
I can reach out to you
With my own two hands