Calling torture enhanced interrogation is a classic case of semantics. It’s like the president in his executive order referring to “looting” as “undocumented shopping.” No he didn’t do that, but it wouldn’t have been out of character.
I suggest that the CIA, in protest, walk off the job until Congress can decide what the CIA can and cannot do to obtain sensitive information in response to 9/11. That might take a while so be on the guard for possible terrorism.
Just for a liberal interpretation, would President Franklin Roosevelt’s locking up Japanese-Americans in interment camps during World War II be considered a form of torture?
U.S. for wealthy
Recent headlines and news stories show a side of our country we should be ashamed of:
▪ Kansas will face a budget shortfall of $238 million by the end of July 2016, the Legislature's nonpartisan research staff said in a new forecast (because of legislative tax cuts to business).
▪ Kansas governor proposes using pension money to cover budget gaps created by his tax cuts (because of legislative tax cuts to business).
▪ U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas defends measure relaxing banking rules (remember 2008 and 2009? Another sequel?).
▪ Secretive groups ran $25 million in ads for state races; Kansas led the nation (And new rules tied to federal budget financing further relax controls. TV stations rejoice, cable TV for the rest of us).
▪ KCK program sees people travel two hours across the city on a bus for a bag of food (darned welfare recipients).
Yes, Virginia, you can buy an election. And oh, by the way, there is a Santa Clause, if your family is well enough off.
As a nation, we can be better.
Life in prison
Every cause, especially in its more zealous forms, finds justification in its martyrs. Death signals ultimate reverence and devotion to a belief, credibility for its tenets, and a reason for conversion, especially for the vulnerable (12-19, A1, “Death penalty sought”).
It would seem that in our race to placate emotions stemming from acts of terrorism by calling for the death penalty, we give these fanatics a “bully pulpit.” Would it not be better to give them life in isolation allowing them to “stew” alone “in the juices” of their hatreds, taking away both their inflated sense of worth and value to others of their ilk.
Sane gun culture
The National Rifle Association has made this country filled with gun nuts. No other developed country comes close to being saturated with guns as the United States is, as loosely regulated, or has our level of gun deaths and violence.
Police today must face every confrontation with the expectation that the assailant has a weapon and may shoot them with it. The one that gets off the first shot is the most likely to survive so how can we ask police officers to wait when an assailant appears to be pulling a weapon?
This would be avoided if we could keep criminals from obtaining weapons and ordinary citizens would not have to be armed to protect themselves. But we cannot dial back gun ownership as long as the NRA, the gun lobby and Congress block all attempts to enact reasonable gun laws.
Former President George H.W. Bush dropped his NRA membership years ago. Other members should do the same to force the NRA back to its original mission and let this country return to a sane gun culture.
Congress needs to become un-stuck and work on major issues to improve the economy. Lax leadership throughout government and it agencies must be stopped.
It seems that people don’t care about public issues. When I was young we the people felt that we were part of something larger than ourselves.
Where are the young quality voters? The outcome of the general election indicated there are too many un-quality voters.
Voters still have the final say in politics. We didn’t elect qualified politicians. The young and educated are not out fighting for equality or a constitutional amendment on campaign finance.
We need a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era. Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy.
So why isn’t there more of a ruckus? Reform is less risky than revolution, but the longer we wait, the more likely it will be the latter.
The biggest problems we face are corruption, unemployment, stagnant wages, slow growth, educational expense and opportunities and widening inequality not deficits. America needs good paying jobs, adequate safety nets and excellent schools.
No to U.S. torture
Many years ago during World War II, I was with a group of infantrymen when we came upon a prison camp. What I witnessed there still causes me to question the existence of a deity with an interest in human beings.
Today, my country has engaged in the imprisonment and torture of captured people. The officials who defend torture by my government sound much like the defendants at Nuremberg after World War II.
I have been lied to by my government. I ask the question: Is the CIA akin to the KGB or the Gestapo?
Boy, it sure is a good thing that President Barack Obama waited until after the election to prove he has principles with action on Cuba and immigration. Otherwise, the midterms could have been a disaster for the Democrats.
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