Is There A Doctor In The Madhouse?

Feisty firebrand and defender of the defenseless Chris Hedges wrote in his column on Truthdig.com last week that ISIS now controls an area the size of Texas.  I’ve read that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the Eight Wonders of the World, is also as big as Texas.  So why don’t we just give ISIS sovereignty over the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?  Maybe they’ll take all the plastic and use it to erect a gigantic statue of Osama bin Laden.  Then non-Islamic terrorists could hijack jets and fly them into the monument, suicide-wise, melting the plastic and returning it to its original aquatic home.

Solving all the problems in the world, one crisis at a time.

My condolences to the loved ones of those two cops shot in Brooklyn the other day.  While I can understand to some extent (even though I’m a white guy who’s never been choked or shot to death by a white cop–hey, my life’s not over yet, and a man can always dream) the rage a lot of Americans feel towards the police these days, murdering them is not a solution.  Besides, the shooter murdered a Latino and a Chinese guy, not a Klansman in blue.  Duh, Shmuckarino.

According to one story I read yesterday on Alternet.org, the New York police department has decided to get tough in response, proving that nobody ever learns anything from whatever happens these days (myself included:  my wife and I still waste precious energy arguing about trifles even though we’ve been together for either ten years or four thousand centuries–I forget which).

Why don’t we get the NYPD, who’s now “declaring war” on peaceful protesters, to don military garb, fly to Iraq and Syria, and face off against ISIS?  Let the worst man lose.

I also read an article on Alternet with the provocative title “Put the Bastards on Trial,” referring to the mindless masterminds behind the Bush-Cheney torture program.  I’ve read a lot about the torture scandal over the years, including Jane Mayer’s excellent expose, The Dark Side.  Since I’ve gotten into the bad habit of bookmarking articles to read later, then failing to get around to them before my wife deletes the record, I’ve yet to peruse the one about how America has always tortured people.  And I still haven’t read the book I bought years ago by William Blum on the CIA entitled Killing Hope (although I did read his Rogue State, and it’s a doozy).

Call me Mr. Mutilated Attention Span.

One thing I was appalled by in the torture piece I read yesterday was that the interrogated suspects who were kept awake for 180 hours at a stretch, subjected to blaring heavy metal music, force-fed liquefied hummus up their assholes or through their nostrils, greeted by snarling German shepherds, made to shit in a bucket or stay in a brightly-lit room for days on end, thrown in a bath of freezing water, and much, much more at the glorious Guantanamo theme park, were often forced to give answers to questions the interrogators’ bosses knew were lies.

For example, “Is there a link between bin Laden and Saddam?”  “Does Saddam have weapons of mass destruction?”

This was all part of the propaganda campaign to sell the ever-so-constructive Iraq War to the American public, a majority of whom apparently now considers torture a legitimate practice in certain circumstances.  (Even Hitler’s rolling over in his grave.  Awful as they were to their Jewish captives, at least the Nazis never tortured their prisoners of war.)

To me, that’s the height of absolutely cynical evil, which means it must have sprung from the tightly coiled serpentine brain of Sir Dicholas Cheney.  (Did you catch Jon Stewart’s recent Cheney slam?  Priceless.)  Thanks, Dick!  I know we can always count on you to lower the bar in the limbo dance of depravity.

On the entertainment front, sad to see Stephen Colbert’s idiot-savant alter ego go, but I guess he couldn’t turn down the money he’ll be getting for replacing David Letterman, whom I’ll also miss (even though I don’t even know either of these guys personally).  Who’ll go head to head with the dislikable likes of Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbergher, or Sean Hannity now?  I guess Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Bill Maher are on their own.

Did you see the closing number on The Colbert Report, with the all-star gathering singing “We’ll Meet Again”?  It was funny to see Randy Newman, George Lucas, Tom Friedman, Matt Taibbi (He’s an outspoken critic of Friedman’s prose and impenetrably obtuse “thought” processes), James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan, and. . .

Henry Kissinger?. . .

all sharing the same stage.

Just one question.  Where were all the women?

They certainly weren’t with me.

Nothing new there.

If you see them, tell them I said hi.

Thanks.

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