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I wonder what colour the sky is in the land of Fox News.  I really do.  The level in inaccuracy and partisan slant censorship present is an obscene injustice against the American people and their right to know what is done in their name.  Certainly we can make fun of our ignorant neighbours down south, but we’re missing the point, we should be ridiculing their fatuous news media for the gross veil of ignorance that twists how Americans see themselves and the world.

Quick! Call the Mounties!

But we won’t.

Complicity in torture and violating international law is the business of other countries, certainly not the U.S.

“Human Rights Watch is urging the Canadian government to “be prepared” to bring criminal charges against former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney when he visits Vancouver on his book tour next week.

The New York-based rights group said Saturday that Canadian law provides for jurisdiction over an individual for torture and other crimes, even for offences committed outside of Canada.

Canada ratified the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture in 1987 and incorporated its provisions into the Canadian criminal code.”

We will of course selectively administer our justice and ethical considerations, because friends that torture are often just misunderstood.

“The right group says it has documented the role of senior officials in the administration of George W. Bush, including Cheney, in authorizing torture of detainees, including waterboarding — a form of simulated drowning involving water being poured into the mouth of a subdued person.

“The U.S. has utterly failed to meet its legal obligation to investigate torture by the Bush administration, but that shouldn’t let other countries off the hook,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, in the release.”

Could you imagine if we did actually arrest Cheney?

And then *poof* we’d all be dead since the US would nuke us.  :)






    The idea that religion is harmless and that it is good for people, is patently false.

The raging torrent of evil shit that religion is responsible for claims more victims every second we allow magical thinking to be acceptable and “OK” in our society.  It is a double header today, two videos for the price of one post.

Magical thinking kills children.  Belief in god kills children.  Christianity when insulated far enough away from the light of reason, kills children.  Here is one instance, this child died surrounded by adults who were praying to god to restore her to health.  She fracking had diabetes.  Diabetes is a treatable condition with access to medical treatment.

But no.  That is a little too sane.  A little too rational.

The father testified in court that he thought “God would heal his daughter…”

The mother, a good ‘christian’ woman was also convicted and could face up to 25 years for her ignorance along with her husband.  Send them away for 100 years, it does not matter as the damage is already done.  The child is dead because her parents were mired in wilful religious ignorance.   They were living in a foolish bronze age delusion that encourages belief in magic and myth at the expense of the real and the rational.

Our tour de force of religious stupidity limps onward.  First on the agenda the book called “To Train up a Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl(their website has ‘mysteriously gone 404, since their book was instrumental in the death and torture of children, go figure).  This ‘child rearing book’ prescription for the torture and abuse of children is an absolute travesty and prima facie evidence for how religion cloaks itself in morality while advocating the exact opposite.

Want to see evil in action?  Let’s grab a review from  (TW for ignorance and sadism)

“I recommend this book to everyone who has children!  (Obviously, because child abuse is not rampant enough, let’s get those numbers going through the roof!  This manual advocates beating your child until they comply.  Not a little ‘swat’ but laying into your child until they are crying and cowering so they know you mean ‘business’.  The second video in this post is about two fine christians who adopted children and then proceeded to beat one of them to death using the tried and true “biblical methods” described in this book.)
We lost the true understanding of discipline, and became so weak minded and selfish that we’ve produced spoiled, winning, uncontrolled “adults.” “Guiding” a child isn’t enough; and you don’t guild a child, you guild an adult. (Ah, so apparently torturing and beatings are will cure behavioural problems straight up.  This gets even more atrocious as this religious fuck-wit cites verse to perversely back up her child abusing ways.)
“The rod is to guide, not hit” is strictly unbiblical.  (Feeling the mercy and compassion of the bible already, I know I am. )

If your a christain the bible clearly instructs us to use the rod, ” Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou BEATEST him with the ROD, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the ROD, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Prov 23:13-14).” “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chastenth him betimes (Prov. 13.24).” “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child let to himself bringeth his mother to shame(Prov. 29:15).” “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child: but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Prov 22:15).” How can you misinterpet that?  (Jesus-fuck, how  indeed could you misinterpret that?  I mean other than using your rationality and moral instincts to identify that the abuse and torture of children is wrong, how could you?)

It’s mind boggling how children act these days.. so unruly, so disrespectful to parents. We need to go back to the old time discipline, (biblical) and STOP listening to people with “degrees.”(Because careful study and observation of behaviour has been a complete write-off.  Yes, let us stop looking to science for answers because the bible knows better, let us get back to beating our kids so they fear us.)
Obviously, how they “think” our child should be raised isn’t working too well. (Back in the real world, the lessons children learn from violence are evident: fear of authority, blind obedience, might makes right.  Definite boons to society no? ) People need to have more children ( you need to have less, you ignorant fool), then they’ll understand. Our children is our future ( Not the ones, trained like yours, to use violence to obtain their goals ).
I am from a family of 9 children. I have 4 children 6years old and under. We read and applied “To Train up a Child” and it worked marvelously ( Violence, coercion and intimidation are always effective in the short term. I’m sure the psychological scarring won’t be too too bad, maybe all of your children won’t turn out to be as abusive as you.) People always commit on how well our children behave! ( As they comment on your ability to write, reflecting your tenious grasp on reality )  They are HAPPY scared shitless and so fun to be around, and we are planning to have more ( Once you get the torture-a-go-go rockn’ you just can’t stop!)!

I will be ordering multi copies because people are always asking where they can get a copy. It’s a short, easy read and straight to the point. (Child abuse is good) This book helps you to understand and apply what the bible teaches. ( how to abuse people and scar them for life, religion the gift that keeps on giving. ) If you want to produce responsible, respectful, obedient, happy, loving children this book is defiently a must!!!” ()
Written by a true believer…  But hey who am I to comment on this?  I am an avowed atheist and perhaps my treatment of this issue has not been charitable.  Lets see this book in action:

They only beat her for 7 hours before she died.

Read that again.  If you’re not feeling a little (or a lot) sick to your stomach by now, you have a problem, because you’re not grasping the enormity of the evil being perpetrated here.  These people, backed by their particular religious nonsense, tortured to death an innocent child.  There is no morality to be found in religion.

I point to QualiaSoup’s assertion on what morality actually is:  “Empathy, Experience, Reason and Knowledge –  When we KNOW better, we can DO better.  It does not get any more straightforward than this.  Religion is a barrier to knowing better and therefore has no place in any rational system of morals.  How many more grievous examples do we need before we can finally say that religion is an (ongoing) atrocity and a putrid stain on humankind that needs to be banished for the good of the species?

The Panopticon come to life.

Prison is not supposed to be a walk in the beach.  I understand that.  People that commit offences need to be consequenced for their transgressions against what society deems to be the proper set of standards.  Consequences should not include psychological torture, self-mutilation and degradation.

“Supermax prisoners’ daily lives are chock full of alienating and undignified experiences, so empty of positive human interaction, thousands are willing to risk death than endure such inhumane conditions. That alone speaks volumes about the reality of life in supermax prisons.   

One of the most humiliating aspects of life for inmates are the frequent strip searches – forced to be naked, ordered to bend over by guards and spread the buttocks apart to have the anus inspected for contraband while coughing. Strip searches are the old normal. The photos of nude prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq shocked the world, but to be stripped naked for hours or even days is standard operating procedure in supermaxes. 

Nelson explained: “Every time you leave your cell you’re strip searched … They do this to degrade and shock you…Sometimes the guards would make ‘homosexual’ comments like: ‘Hey baby, spread your cheeks’. Darrell Cannon, a survivor of a nine-year stretch in Tamms, described the strip search: ‘They tell you to open your mouth, raise your tongue, hold your hands up, they go through your fingers and toes and tell you to turn around and spread your cheeks up against the chuckhole … It’s degrading to have two other human beings looking at you like you’re some kind of specimen. It is extremely degrading.”

Conditions certainly look promising for an orderly transition back into society.

“Prisoners on suicide watch are routinely left naked in their cells. And inmates have been punished by “caging”, they’re held naked or partially clothed in outdoor holding cages in inclement weather. 

There is no pretence of rehabilitation in supermax prisons; the purpose is harsh punishment. Prisoners endure supersized portions of psychological punishment as a result of strict and prolonged solitary confinement. Inmates are confined for 23 to 24 hours a day, every day, in cells that measure 7-by-12 square feet. It is psychological torture.

Supermax prisons are intended to isolate prisoners and to deny human contact. Cannon said: “Everything you do, you do alone … It [supermax] was designed to break you mentally, by not allowing you to have another human being right there with you that you can interact with.”

This extreme environment of sensory deprivation and social seclusion makes men go mad. Supermax prisons are filled with inmates with mental illnesses diagnosed. Laurie “It is a form of insanity to put people in a place that provokes mental illness … Either they went in crazy, or they go crazy once they are there,” said Jo Reynolds, an organiser for the Tamms Ten Year Committee and a Soros Justice Fellow.”

Straight punishment does not fix people.  Remove the authority or system that is enforcing said strict punishment and old behaviours will return.  So much money is being spent on incarceration in the face of all we’ve learned about how human beings work.  We can build the supermax prison but can we build the services and support necessary to transition people back into society?  Hell no, we are just ‘coddling’ criminals then and appearing to be ‘soft’ on crime.


“Prisoners resort to cutting their flesh: A form of self-mutilation that results in thick scarring. Small shavings of concrete, plastic ‘sporks’ or paper clips are used to cut and cause bleeding to arms, legs and genitals. Cannon remembers some prisoners cutting themselves, “just to feel something … they were willing to do anything to get out of their cell and into the infirmary to be around other people”.

Nelson recalled an inmate who continually tightened a piece of string around his finger. It became gangrenous and was amputated. Men who injured themselves told him: “I need the pain, to feel real”.

“Gassing” is also common in supermax prisons. It is a word used to describe prisoners throwing urine and faeces at guards. Gassing is treated as a security threat and is met with excessive force by a tactical team.  

Prison mental health staff label inmates who engage in cutting and gassing as malingering and “acting out”, not as suffering from mental illness. And yet there is decades of indisputable, well-documented evidence that solitary confinement causes mental breakdown and self-injurious behaviour. 

Dr Terry A Kupers, a psychologist who has conducted hundreds of assessments of prisoners in supermax prisons, explained in an article in the Belleville News-Democrat. “Twenty-three hours a day alone in a cell causes many inmates to brutally attack themselves,” he wrote. “In the adult male population of the United States, self-mutilation occurs only in solitary confinement. It’s an epidemic across the country. They’re not faking.”

23 hours a day of solitary confinement?  The line between prison and torture-camp is blurring.

“Supermax prisons are modern, high-tech, taxpayer funded concentration camps. The architecture is a twisted blend of Fascist-Stripped-Classical and Functionalist designed to facilitate the One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest punishment of inmates. They are located in rural areas in small, conservative, majority white towns desperate for jobs. Pelican Bay was built on an abandoned logging site and is completely cut off from its surroundings. Tamms supermax is located in the far corner of Illinois in the village of Tamms, population: 724. The remote location of supermax prisons keeps them hidden and away from public scrutiny and protest. Media are not allowed in.

On the perimeter of supermax prisons loom large and imposing guard towers with gun turrets and floodlights that resemble German Flak towers.

The interior of supermax prisons is built on the architectural principles of isolation, surveillance and über-control. Doors and gates are controlled electronically. A panoptic central guard tower is encircled by prisoner “pods” and closed-circuit TV cameras allow guards to see into every cell. Privacy is nonexistent. Concrete cells contain a poured concrete bed, immovable concrete desk/stool, stainless steel sink, toilet and mirror. Metal wire mesh cell doors have a slot to deliver food and other items. Some doors have Plexiglas covers that insulate cells from sound, air and vision.”

Contemplating or threatening suicide? Well, well just add more restraints and there we have it, problem solved! (NSFW, violence and language)

To reiterate, yes prisons are necessary.  Torture and inhumane treatment is not if we want to honour the claim that we are civilized society.

*April 15th, 2012 Update* – Al Jazeera has continued the series on incarceration in the United States.

Recovering the past for oppressed nations is vitally important in reestablishing their national identity. Chile is renewing efforts to understand what happened during the 1973 coup and how their democratic government was overthrown and replaced by a vicious dictatorship.

Chile is launching its first investigation into the death of President Salvador Allende, 37 years after the socialist leader was found shot through the head during an attack on the presidential palace.

“Allende’s death, during the bloody US-backed coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power on September 11, 1973, had until now been ruled a suicide.

The investigation is part of an investigation into hundreds of complaints of human rights abuses during Pinochet’s 1973-1990 rule.

Beatriz Pedrals, a prosecutor in the appellate court in Santiago, said on Thursday that she had decided to investigate 726 deaths that had never previously been explored, including Allende’s.”

When will our western ‘dirty skeletons’ see the light of day and finally be allowed to make an impression on the mind of the public. Are we not as citizens of a democratic society obliged to know what is done in our name?

“Allende became Chile’s first socialist president when he came to power in 1970 after winning a narrow
election victory. But his ascent to power was not welcomed by all.

Conservatives in Chile and Washington feared his attempts to pave “a Chilean way toward Socialism” – including the nationalisation of US mining interests – would usher in a pro-Soviet communist government.

Henry Kissinger, US secretary of state under then president Richard Nixon, made quite clear what US intentions were after Allende’s election.

The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves … I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people,” Kissinger said at the time.”

This is not unusual, I mean look at the election of Hamas in 2006 in Palestine. Promptly ignored by the western powers because the people of Palestine had chosen, not the candidate backed by the West, but rather a candidate that they thought would better represent their will. This is an important lesson to learn in our history; we talk a great deal about freedom and democracy, but will not abide buy it when it goes against our preferred set of economic and political interests.

Allende was found dead in the presidential palace as soldiers supporting the coup closed in and warplanes bombed the building.

An official autopsy ruled that he had committed suicide, although the results have long been questioned by some politicians and human rights groups.

Osvaldo Andrade, the president of Allende’s Socialist Party, applauded the decision to investigate.
“Truth and justice remains a pending subject in Chile and whatever is done so that the truth comes out will always be well received by us,” Andrade said.

“There remains a deficit of truth and a deficit of justice in Chile and we hope that the deficit becomes ever more small.”
Pinochet governed as a dictator until March 11, 1990, and died in 2006.”

The repression of a society, torture, murder and disappearances in Chile were welcomed by the West. Hopefully this inquest will discover more of the tale so the people of Chile will know the forces that sent their society into a savage tailspin for decades, and more importantly to reinforce who was responsible for such actions.

Like every US president to date, Ronald Reagan is responsible for prosecutable war crimes.  Of course, we being the “good-guys” do not apply the same standards to ourselves that we expect the rest of the world to follow.   It is little wonder you see the ironic smirks in the UN and other international bodies when the US is discussing “law and order” and commitment to human rights, because outside of the memory hole that defines our imperial culture the picture is quite clear cut.  The national interest of the US trumps human rights, justice and law almost every time.  We just do not get to hear about it here in fortress North America.   What we also do not get to easily see is how we sow the seeds of our own discord, as in the case of Afghanistan and the current imperial war taking place there.

Here is what Rasil Basu, UN Developmental Program, senior advisor to the Afghan government for women’s development (1986 – 88) had to say.

“She reported “enormous strides” for women under the Russian occupation:

“Illiteracy declined from 98% to 75%, and they were granted equal rights with men in civil law, and in the Constitution… Unjust patriarchal relations still prevailed in the workplace and in the family with women occupying lower level sex-type jobs.  But the strides [women] took in education and employment were very impressive…  In Kabul I saw great advances in industry, factories, government offices, professions and the media.  With large numbers of men killed or disabled, women shouldered the responsibility of both family and country.  I met a woman who specialized in war medicine with dealt with trauma and reconstructive surgery for the war wounded. This represented empowerment to her.  Another woman was a road engineer.  Roads represented freedom – an escape from the oppressive patriarchal structures.”

By 1988, however, Basu “could see the early warning signals” as Russian troops departed and the fundamentalist Islamist extremists favoured by the Reagan administration took over, brushing aside the more moderate mujahideen groups.  Saudi Arabian and American arms and ammunition “have been vital in giving fundamentalist groups an edge over the moderates,” providing them with military hardware used,” according to Amnesty International, to target unarmed civilians, most of them women and children.”  Then followed much worse horrors as the U.S – Saudi favorites overthrew the Najibullah government.  The suffering of the population was so extreme that the Taliban were welcomed when they drove out Reagan’s freedom fighters.  Another chapter in the triumph of Reaganite reactionary ultranationalism, worshiped today by those dedicated to defaming the honourable term “conservative”.

– Noam Chomsky, Hopes and Prospects pages 245 – 246.

Hardly surprising considering the gross injustices wrought in Central America by Reagan and the United States.  The 1980’s were grim years for Central America plagued by torture, terrorism and death all sponsored by the US.

More people need to educate themselves and do the reading into what exactly their foreign policy entails, because the American populace would certainly not endorse the terror wrought in their name if it was properly publicized and discussed realistically.

The blatant obfuscation and chicanery that were hallmarks of the Bush Era (or any Presidential reign) continues to taint America and her armed forces. More evidence of torture, abuse and human rights violations against the US have been uncovered via Wikileaks.  The mythological barrier that separates “us” and “them” grows ever thinner.  The war mongers hide the facts from the people because they know that the population of the US would not permit these acts to be carried out in their name if they knew about them.

“Americans turned a blind eye to hundreds of reports of abuse, torture and murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to reports in nearly 392,000 documents related to the Iraq war and released Friday by WikiLeaks.

The documents say the detainees were whipped, punched, kicked or subjected to electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee’s apparent death.”

The idea that we have some sort of moral superiority or higher ethical calling will still go on, it always does, but hopefully less people will believe the mendacity that is so kindly spun for them everyday.

“The Times said the reports indicate that while some abuse cases were investigated by the Americans, most were ignored. The reports released by WikiLeaks and dubbed “The Iraq War Logs,” cover the period from Jan. 1, 2004, to Dec. 31, 2009. WikiLeaks said the files detail more than 109,000 deaths in Iraq, including 66,081 civilians. The reports also document the deaths of almost 24,000 people labelled as insurgents, more than 15,000 Iraqi government troops and almost 3,800 coalition forces.”

The death tolls for Iraq civilians were kept.   One of the more egregious ‘oversights’ of the American military during their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.  When humanity is stripped from an enemy, so much easier it is to do horrendous things to them.  For instance:
“In one case, Americans suspected Iraqi army officers of cutting off a detainee’s fingers and burning him with acid, the New York Times reported. Two other cases produced accounts of the executions of bound detainees.”

Embracing torture is yet another important milestone in unravelling of the rule of law and civilized society.  How can we accuse others of gross violations of international law when we (all along) violate those same laws with such impunity?
“The documents, according to the Times, also claim that Americans sometimes used the threat of abuse by Iraqi authorities to get information out of prisoners. For example, one report said an American threatened to send a detainee to the notorious Wolf Brigade if he did not supply information.

But the report also said Americans often intervened when Iraqis were being tortured”

Is there any way to deny culpability now?  The various departments of defense and state are now in their beset PR mode attempting to ameliorate the effects of these rather perverse revelations.

“U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Clinton slammed the release of the files.

“We should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any classified information by individuals and organizations which puts the lives of United States and partner service members and civilians at risk,” she said in Washington, D.C.”

Thanks Hillary.  Nothing said toward what the reports actually say, or the actions of the people we are responsible for.   Just the wagging finger giving us the ‘secrets of the state’ lecture and how this may negatively effect people as a result.  How about standing up for what is right and condemning the apparatus that has allowed such egregious actions to happen in the first place.

No, that would be entirely too much to expect from an elected official as the state as opposed to the people are the interests that count.

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