Monthly Archives: May 2004

Torture is GOOD?

I haven’t been around much and I won’t be again until tomorrow night, but I wanted to quickly give my take on the “prisoner abuse scandal”. I don’t think people who support either Bush or Kerry or McCain or any of the other politicians behind this war have any right to complain, nor do I think that Congress has any right to object to the torture.

Congress has no right to object because they abdicated that right over a year ago when they allowed the Executive branch to launch a war without Congress approving it, as is Constitutionally required. Congress invalidated themselves with their cowardice and lack of patriotism. They had their chance to stop all of this, and they didn’t. Now it’s out of their hands.

Most of us believed at first that this torture crap was a bunch of reservists losing it in the absence of a command structure. However, now it’s looking like not only elite troops like Delta Force were involved, but that top generals were present and audited some of the torture. Both the Americans and the British are being forced to admit to torture at an increasing number of facilities. So to put it simply, “torture” was the command that came from the top, and an order that was followed fairly universally.

There are two lines of reasoning you can follow to try and figure out “why”. You can either assume that there’s an intelligent reason, or that it’s incompetence. I may not agree with the US military’s actions, but I don’t believe that the command structure is stupid. I believe there is a good reason for torture this wide spread, and I think I know what it is, and while I don’t think it justifies it, it might just explain why it’s necessary (if one accepts the premise that the war will have a good end result).

The Red Cross has said that 80%-90% of the people inside those prisons are falsely accused. The US has not denied those numbers, and in fact, when you look at the way civilians are rounded up, imprisoned, processed, and then largely released, I think it’s clear that those figures are generally accurate. Again, in simple terms, the US knows that most of the people they’re torturing are innocent.

Torture has never been shown to be capable of producing credible factual information. Many of the innocent people released from the prisons that have come forward describe admitting to everything — “I am Osama bin Laden in disguise! I buried Saddam’s weapons on my farm!” — but of course none of it was true. However, there is one thing about torture that is relevant: innocent people “break” differently than guilty people, and spew different kinds of information.

The goal of these torture sessions isn’t to get information out of the insurgents. The goal of these torture sessions is to figure out who the insurgents are and who the civilians are. Breaking them psychologically reveals that fact, and that fact alone. After they’ve figured out who’s who, they can release the ones that are innocent, and take the “real” insurgents to secondary processing facilities if they think they have information, or simply kill them on the spot if they don’t. Point is, this may be the only way to “win” this war, so as long as you support Kerry, Bush, McCain, or any of the other mainstream politicians that support staying in Iraq, this blood is on your hands as well.

It all reminds me a lot of witch tests. That is, since witches float, you can tie a woman up and throw her in a lake, and if she drowns, she was innocent and is in heaven. But if she floats, she’s a witch and can be burned at the stake. Sadly, the end result of universal witch testing is that everyone is dead.

This is fucked up

Computers automatically grading English essays.

What a load of crap. You know what, just shut down public schools. It's obvious that it's a collapsing system that the government has no plans on fixing. This applies to both Canada and the US. Schools at this point appear to be doing more damage than good in many cases. I know there are good teachers out there doing good, but it's an uphill battle, and with money not flowing into the classrooms, it's a losing one.

It's all a part of systematic attacks on the middle class. The goal of the current administration — and the possible Kerry administration that will follow it — is the total decimation of the middle classes. To sustain America's economy, the only way to do so is to have a huge lower class — a slave class (really, how different is “slave” from “financially indentured servitude”?) — and a very small, very wealthy upper class. It is the only way to sustain the current economic model.

I don't believe that anything short of total revolt can stop this process from happening. So I guess you have three choices — accept your slavery with a smile, start stockpiling unregistered weaponry, or make damn sure that you have over $10 million in real assets and can control them. Of course, guns will probably destroy your life (revolution isn't fun), and $10 million in assets is far less than is required to survive the apocalypse (see the entry a couple before this one).

Don't piss off your wife

Or this might happen to you too…

…at least he has a sense of humor about it! 

The undiscovered country

UPDATED: No offense, but what the hell is wrong with US troops in Iraq? Have they gone insane from the stress? Who in their right minds thinks that capturing Reuters reporters, making them stick their finger up their ass and then licking it is a good idea???

In the very near future, technologies will exist for the production of free energy (zero point, cold fusion, whatever). At about the same time, devices will be produced that are extremely advanced versions of current rapid prototyping machines — that is, a machine that can build any other machine (or object). This is an inevitability. Combine these things and everything is free and we can do anything we want.

However, that doesn't mean that all of a sudden we have an egalitarian world and everything is Gene Roddenberry perfect and happy and free. Even though most of us probably want it, we can't all have a private island and a 1000 ft. yacht. The world isn't that large. So we have to ask ourselves, what will happen when the wealthy — the first recipients of this technology — actually receive it? What will they do with infinite assets and infinite power? What will they do when they realize that they have less than a month before nearly everyone on the planet has similar power, and that even in a best case scenario, there will be world war to control the assets of the planet?

It's obvious, isn't it? They will immediately and decisively launch all-out attacks on everyone below them. It is the only way they can survive. Hunter-killer robots, bio-weapons, wholesale nuclear strikes on poor countries. It's the only thing they can do. And even among themselves they'll fight, until only a few dozen are still alive, incredibly powerful, fabulously wealthy, and terribly lonely. They'll tour the continents of the planet in beautiful airships and transform it into a paradise.

The above is utterly unavoidable and it is extremely unlikely for it to play out any other way… And even if the play is slightly different, this is the only logical end to this phase in human evolution. Enjoy every day you have left. If you're going to have your guts ripped out by an android on December 16th, 2006, and there's nothing you can do to stop it, you might as well have fun until then… either that or figure out how to get very rich soon.

Eyelid piercing

Eyelid piercing is like tongue splitting was in early 1996. We'd heard of it, we knew people had done it, but we didn't really know them that well. We knew they claimed it was safe, but we weren't really all that convinced. Anyway, the picture below is fresh, but the wearer has now had it for over two months and swears there are no complications or irritation.

I know of a couple other people who tell me the same (that this is a viable piercing), and even Jon Cobb proposed that small labret studs carefully placed in this tissue could work. If you have tried this, please let me know and if you can, share the pictures. Even if (especially if) it failed.