Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
Lately, this country has been evenly split on the subject of torture. One side feels that, under certain circumstances, torture is perfectly acceptable
; the other side would prefer it if Muslim terrorists were overrunning the country
, killing our children and slapping burkas on our supermodels. Both sides have valid points. But, the latter forgets that we have never
had an enemy as fanatically dedicated as the Islamic terrorist. Certainly, we've never encountered a group of people so willing to commit suicide to inflict American casualties... with the exception of the Vietcong, the Japanese, the American Indians, the Germans and the Filipinos....
Let's face it: When you need information fast
, torture is the way to get it. Conventional questioning will only yield a maximum of 100% of what a subject knows; however, under torture, a subject will tell everything that he knows plus
whatever he thinks the questioner wants to hear. That can be a yield of up to 800%
of what the subject knows! The more information interrogators get, the fewer people they have to question. As techniques improve, I can foresee a day when we can torture all the information out of a single person chosen completely at random
What might be torture to some, might not be to others. Is a red-hot steel knitting needle thrust through the scrotum torture? Or is it, as so many west coast universities contend, "hazing" (Author's Note: never
pledge a fraternity at UCLA)? If getting bitten by vicious dogs is "torture", why isn't their food considered "tortured" instead of eaten? Can being crushed by weights be considered torture when the same mass in naked female acrobats can be placed on a subject's chest with nary a complaint? It all seems arbitrary and laughable.
The ultimate argument of those who want to put Kate Moss in a personalized circus tent is this: If we torture prisoners, we lose the moral high ground. How absurd! Why would we want
the moral high ground? To look down
on the people that we are saving with our hazing? Sounds like colonialism
to me. Better to start off just as bad as the enemy, then, as you elevate yourself, you pull the enemy up
with you. Alcoholics Anonymous doesn't use people who have never had a drink. How can we counsel nations against torture unless we've overcome the same thing?
Actually, that provides us with a middle ground in this debate. We will stop torturing... in twelve steps:
1. Admit that we're powerless over torture. Especially that guy from Mississippi who doesn't talk to anyone and cuts the heads off of photographs from the newspaper.
2. Believe that a higher power will keep us from torturing as soon as they develop nukes
3. Turn to God, as we see him... unless it is Amkok, the Mesopotamian god of torture.
4. Make a moral inventory of ourselves. If anything is missing from this moral inventory, someone is stealing morals from you. A little torture will get to the bottom of this. (Go to step 1.)
5. Confess the exact nature of our wrongs, especially those already immortalized in jpeg's on the Internet.
6. Ask God to remove all defects of our character. If he has time, ask if he can give us a little more hair on top
7. Be humble. Except for Henry Winkler, cool people do not impress God.
8. Make a list of all the people that we've tortured. Be prepared to make amends to the living ones.
9. Make amends. This may take the form of an oral apology, a written apology, or branding with a coat hanger.
10. Continue the personal inventory. This should be easier since torturing the moral inventory thief.
11. Get closer to God. Maybe, if we work on him long enough, we can persuade him that torture is okay in some instances.
12. Tell other torturers that torture is bad... except the ones that we outsource our torture to.
Pay particular attention to step twelve. Our intelligence agencies have been sending suspects to nations that openly allow torture
; not surprisingly, these people were tortured. Do we, as a nation, want to lose another sector of the job market? We lost textiles and steel. Do we also want to lose high-paying jobs in water-boarding
, brutalizing, and mauling?
Let's protect our way of life with the inhumane treatment of suspects. Without brutality, without the sadistic implementation of unendurable pain, how will the rest of the world distinguish us from the Europeans?
: Giants 19, Redskins 7: Victory not cure all for Big Blue
For the Giants, all things considered, a win is a win, and they'll take it. Still, too many penalties, too many mental mistakes, and only one touchdown against an average Washington defense is not good enough to declare the Giants "back in the race." Take a look at their schedule
and you'll see it doesn't get any easier.
At least the receiving corps has one classy individual to root for in Amani Toomer, lost among Plaxico "Alligator Arms" Burress
and Jeremy "size 12 skirt" Shockey. Does anyone else think there's even 1% of a chance that Shockey took the offensive pass interference because he wasn't going to score that touchdown?
: Jaguars 41, Jets 0: This just in... Jacksonville has scored again!
We figured the Jets would struggle this week against the angry Jaguars, but not this badly. The J-ville defense was embarrassed last week in Washington, and you could only hope the Jets would find a way to keep it close. One way to have done that would have been to figure out how to stop the run up the middle, which they haven't been able to stop all year.
At least they can get back to .500 next week by hosting a Miami team that cannot get out of its own way. P.S. - Hey Jet fans, have you noticed that Herm Edwards is getting the Chiefs to play some defense and win some games?
: Zebras need full time attention
The NFL is a billion dollar industry, through licensing
and marketing and player salaries. Teams spend millions of dollars scouting teams and players. So when does it become time for the NFL to finally hire full-time officials? How can these guys ever get better if they don't spend every day during the week studying film and attempting to improve?
The Jets had their asses handed to them, but the officials piled on with two horrendous personal fouls calls that killed any momentum swings they tried to grab onto. Officials in every sport work at it full-time, and there's always going to be missed calls. But it's time to fix this, enough is enough.
: Extra points
Very quietly and efficiently, the Chicago Bears
are 5-0, and are averaging over 31 points per game thanks to Rex Grossman, a.k.a. "The New
Brett Favre"... Never mind the undefeated teams; perhaps it's time to let the '76 Buccaneers
know that this year's Oakland Raiders may be joining them as season-long winless teams, in pursuit of the imperfect
season... This week's reason to tell Terrell Owens to leave us all alone – his antics forced me to actually root for the Eagles! Next thing you'll be telling me is that Barbra Streisand and Madonna think President Bush is the best leader we've ever had...