“There’s nothing “normal” about having a middle class. Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it’s a choice we need to make again in this generation, if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation’s middle class. Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens’ novels.”—The Middle Class Is Not ”Normal”
“In my experience, those who make the most theatrical display of demanding “proof” of God are also those least willing to undertake the specific kinds of mental and spiritual discipline that all the great religious traditions say are required to find God. If one is left unsatisfied by the logical arguments for belief in God, and instead insists upon some “experimental” or “empirical” demonstration, then one ought to be willing to attempt the sort of investigations necessary to achieve any sort of real certainty regarding a reality that is nothing less than the infinite coincidence of absolute being, consciousness, and bliss. In short, one must pray: not fitfully, not simply in the manner of a suppliant seeking aid or of a penitent seeking absolution but also according to the disciplines of infused contemplation, with real constancy of will and a patient openness to grace, suffering states of both dereliction and ecstasy with the equanimity of faith, hoping but not presuming, so as to find whether the spiritual journey, when followed in earnest, can disclose its own truthfulness…”—David Bentley Hart
GDP is gross, so makes no allowance for depreciation. If there is a lot of shortlived investment – as in information technology – output is overstated if you include such expenditure as investment (which Americans are inclined to do) and understated if you write it off as incurred (which Europeans tend to do). GDP is measured at constant prices but what do you mean by the constant price of a piece of software? These different conventions matter a lot to the answers you reach.
GDP is domestic, so you measure what is produced within a country’s boundaries regardless of whom it is produced by or for. The combination of gross and domestic means that you include the total value of output, less operating costs incurred in that particular year. So resource producers look richer than they are. The Yes campaign in the run-up to Scotland’s independence referendum has pointed out (correctly) that an appropriate attribution of oil revenues would show that Scotland is today one of the world’s wealthiest countries (measured by GDP per head); but Scots would make a mistake if they thought that calculation showed independence would make them better off.
And national income accounting cannot handle the financial services sector. Reported output of financial services rose dramatically during the 2008 financial crisis. This nonsensical result arises because the measurement of financial services output is strongly influenced by the margin between average bank lending and borrowing rates, which increased sharply. When someone confidently quotes the contribution of financial services to national income, you can be sure they have no understanding of the esoteric concept of “financial services indirectly measured” (don’t ask). Only a few people in the depths of national statistics offices do. This problem casts doubt on the validity of reported growth rates both before and after the crisis.
“While the scapegoat mechanism has been brought into the light, it has not ceased to operate within our societies. The social contagion of the scapegoat mechanism need not terminate in murder or actual violence. The same dynamics can be seen in the ostracization of certain parties within a family or workplace. It is at work in our attitude to outsiders, supporters of opposing political parties, persons of other races, religions, or sexualities, to immigrants, to the extremely rich or to the poor, to liberals or to conservatives. The victims of the scapegoat mechanism need not be innocent: it can be directed against ‘hate figures’ such as paedophiles, who truly are worthy of condemnation. Nevertheless, the guilt of the victim never justifies the frenzy and the violence of the mob.”—The Politics of the Mob—John 19:1-16a
But the land where Bundy’s grazes his cattle, like most of the state of Nevada, doesn’t belong to him but to the American people, all 315 million of us. He owes our government $1 million for his decades of unpaid use of those lands. He has repeatedly and rightly lost in court for a long list of reasons, including the inconvenient truth that the federal government owned the territory before Nevada became a state. And along with the abolition of slavery, the illegitimacy of secession myriad other issues decisively settled by the Civil War is this: states only have residents and only the United States of America has citizens. So, Cliven Bundy is utterly and dangerously wrong when he claims “a citizen of Nevada and not a citizen of the territory of the United States,” or as he triumphantly did this weekend:
"There is no deal here. The citizens of America and Clark County went and took their cattle. There was no negotiations. They took these cattle."
Imagine for a moment that low income minority residents illegally set up a community vegetable garden on a parcel of land in San Francisco’s federally-owned Presidio. Or contemplate Mexican migrant workers running a small farmer’s market on land belonging to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The same militia members now armed to the teeth in Nevada and their right-wing fellow travelers would doubtless be denouncing the “takers” and volunteering to eject the scofflaws by force.
“Cliven Bundy is an anarchist and lawbreaker who should be arrested and thrown in jail. He has been illegally trespassing on federal land with his cattle since the nineties and now he owes over a million dollars to Uncle Sam. He refuses to pay it. He is wrapping himself around the flag, and thanks to FOX News and right wing pundits he has been praised in some circles as a true American patriot. Why? He is no different than the “welfare cheat” who gets food stamps for children that he or she does not have, or who gets cash assistance from the department of welfare while working under the table.”—The lawbreaking Rancher and his anarchist friends.
“The only people who oppose a minimum wage by which people can make a living are people who don’t work at minimum wage jobs. Oklahoma’s Governor is a dreadful person who cares nothing for the working poor. She doesn’t belong to the party of Lincoln or even Reagan. She, and her kind, belong to the party of Nero and Diocletian.”—Well, Oklahoma is Close to Texas… So Maybe That’s Why Their Governor is Wicked
The report is said to describe how “CIA doctors monitored the prisoners’ body temperatures” for hypothermia as they were continuously covered with ice water, ensuring that their temperatures would not drop to the point of death so they could be tortured again. Reportedly, the torture got so bad at a “black site” prison in Thailand that “CIA employees left the agency’s secret prison after becoming disturbed by the brutal measures employed there.”
In January, The Washington Post reported how the CIA delivered a $15 million cash bribe to the Polish intelligence service to open and maintain a secret torture site in Poland. The lengths members of our government went to to abuse and dehumanize prisoners make me ill.
The United States cannot turn back the clock on the international torture regime that was set up in our name after 9/11. We cannot undo the untold damage that was done to our international reputation, to the safety of our troops in the field or to our collective conscience.
We can, however, hope and pray that God forgives us for what our government has done in our name, even though only a handful were ever made aware of the torture as it was being authorized and carried out. We can also act to ensure torture never happens again.
“Those who predict the future tend to overestimate change in the short term and underestimate change in the long term. The Desk Set from 1957 with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy envisioned mainframe-based automation eliminating human staffers in a TV network research department. That has happened to some extent, though it took another 50 years and people are still involved. But the greater technological threat wasn’t to the research department but to the TV network itself. Will there even be television networks in 2029? Will there even be television?”—Big Data is the new Artificial Intelligence
In Bundy’s case, he has been stiffing the federal taxpayers since 1989, using the lands we all own to produce profits that went solely to him. No doubt he also bemoans the federal deficit to which his freeloading has contributed.
Behind all the “patriot” bluster, is a kook and a taker.
His claim to a Mormon ranchstead of the 1880s is also bogus. Nevada’s 1864 state constitution predates it and pledged to “forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.”
The right would love to see a reprise of the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and 1980s. Nevada, where 84 percent of the state is owned by the federal government (in other words, all of us), was a hotbed. The protests helped energize backers of Ronald Reagan, although after he was president there was no massive privatization of public lands, James Watt notwithstanding.
It would surprise me if it happened. For one thing, so much of the West has been exurbanized and defiled, that the old disputes over permits, grazing fees and environmental effects are almost irrelevant. Land swaps, run through Congress with little transparency, helped destroy the empty majesty of such places as the Mogollon Rim.
One thing is clear. The Republicans of today have nothing in common with the conservationist ethic of Theodore Roosevelt and his forester Gifford Pinchot. Also, the enthusiasm for Bundy in “respectable” conservative circles shows how there really is no such thing.
Bundy is advocating armed rebellion against federal officers; his drama has drawn armed allies and has brought anonymous threats against others. Imagine if a left-winger did that? He or she would be in Gitmo faster than you can say “terrorist.” The fringe right has been allowed to run free with extreme violence throughout the Obama years with virtually no censure from their ideological mates.
“If the government gave a company the exclusive right to import a certain amount of a certain good, such as sugar, then the extra return was called a “quota rent.” The acquisition of rights to mine or drill produces a form of rent. So does preferential tax treatment for special interests. In a broad sense, “rent seeking” defines many of the ways by which our current political process helps the rich at the expense of everyone else, including transfers and subsidies from the government, laws that make the marketplace less competitive, laws that allow C.E.O.’s to take a disproportionate share of corporate revenue (though Dodd-Frank has made matters better by requiring a non-binding shareholder vote on compensation at least once every three years), and laws that permit corporations to make profits as they degrade the environment.”—Joseph Stiglitz
“Before this dangerously authoritarian mindset has a chance to take hold of our collective imagination and animate our social institutions, it is crucial that all Americans think critically and ethically about the coercive forces shaping US culture - and focus our energy on what can be done to change them. It will not be enough only to expose the falseness of the propaganda pumped out by the commanding neoliberal cultural apparatuses. We also need to create alternative narratives about what the promise of democracy might be for our children and ourselves. This demands a break from established political parties, the creation of alternative public spheres in which to produce democratic narratives and visions, and a notion of politics that is educative, one that takes seriously how people interpret and mediate the world, how they see themselves in relation to others, and what it might mean to imagine otherwise in order to act otherwise.”—Henry A. Giroux
As to the etymology of the word Nephilim the consensus seems to be that it comes from the root npl (נָפַל) “to fall” suggesting that Nephilim means “the fallen” or “the fallen ones.”
There are many curious things about the Nephilim in Genesis 6, but perhaps the most curious thing has to do with their origins. What’s going on with all this business about “sons of God” having sex with “daughters of men”?
There have been two schools of thought about this: the fallen angel theory and the descendants of Seth theory.
I think most are familiar with the fallen angel theory. In this view the “sons of God” refer to angelic beings who lust after human women and have sex with them. The children of these unions are the Nephilim who seem to be like demigods. This view gains some support from various noncanonical sources like the book of Enoch where we also read about the Watchers.
The second theory has to do with marriage between the descendants of Seth and the descendants of Cain.
In Genesis 5 we begin to transition out of material related to the first family and into the story of Noah and the flood. To mark this transition there are some genealogies given in Genesis 5. One of the things you notice in these genealogies is that it seems that Seth is contrasted with Cain, with Seth being good and Cain being bad. The descendants of Seth are the good bloodline and the descendants of Cain are the bad bloodline.
One sign you get of this has to do with the 7th descendent in each line. The 7th descendant on Seth’s side is Enoch who we are told “walked with God” and who did not die but was “taken away by God.”
By contrast, the 7th descendant on Cain’s side is Lamech who comes across as a general badass, a sort of super-duper Cain as I’ve written about before.
All fine and dandy, but why would human descendants of Seth be called “sons of God”?
“Imagine you are back in high school or college and the prettiest or most handsome person, the one who is intelligent and witty, outgoing, the one everyone wishes they could have as their boyfriend or girlfriend comes to you and says, “I want you to know that I really find you attractive, in fact, I love you. I love you so much, so deeply, it astonishes me. I want to be with you forever, you light up my life, you are the reason I exist.” Wouldn’t that be just amazing? One of the reasons for the popularity of romantic comedies is that the boy/girl is in these circumstances and they end up with the one they so desire. Imagine spending your life with such a person who was absolutely devoted to you, who loved you with an undying love, who cared for you in ways you could not imagine or dream in your wildest dreams. Now before you could respond with a “Yes” or a “Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!!” suppose they went on to say “But I also want you to know that if you will not love me in return I will make your life a living nightmare, a hell on earth. I will spread rumors and lies about you; I will trash your home. I will make it my life’s goal to punish you in every way possible if you won’t accept my love for you.” Wouldn’t you go to the authorities and at a minimum get a restraining order on such a person? Sure you would. Who wants someone this obsessive to ruin their life? Then why is it that Christians tell essentially the same story with regard to the way God loves the world? We say God loves the world but if God’s love is spurned we will be punished with an everlasting punishment. Where can one take out a restraining order on this kind of a God? Job had trouble with this kind of a god and three times in the book of Job he threatens to file a lawsuit against God. Sadly, most of what Christians think and believe about God is exactly the opposite of what Jesus believed and taught about his abba.”—Michael Hardin
More recently, Mr. Sharpton entered an alliance with the former schools chancellor Joel I. Klein to back charter schools. Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the publisher of The Daily News, wrote a column in which he kvelled about this strange new alliance.
Maybe it wasn’t really so strange. A hedge fund backer pumped half a million into the bank accounts of Mr. Sharpton’s nonprofit.
This is a well-practiced move. A couple of years back, Comcast desired a $30 billion merger with NBC. It needed federal approval.
So Comcast, as the reporter Wayne Barrett pointed out, pumped $140,000 into Mr. Sharpton’s coffers. Voilà. Mr. Sharpton supported the merger.
“He’s the real thing,” Mr. de Blasio said last week.
“Making the unemployed miserable arguably increases labor supply, as workers become less choosy and more willing to take whatever job they can find. But the US labor market in 2014 isn’t constrained by supply, it’s constrained by demand: given what firms can sell, they have no need for as many hours of work as workers are willing to give. So make the long-term unemployed more desperate; so what? They can’t do anything to increase the amount of work demanded, and in fact their reduced purchasing power reduces labor demand.”—Supply, Demand, and Unemployment Benefits
Revenues from the sale of video games in the United States will reach $20.5 billion for 2013, with the majority of sales generated digitally and not in stores, according to gaming research firm Newzoo.
In a new report released Thursday, Newzoo said that 65% of all U.S. game revenues, amounting to $13.3 billion, are generated digitally through gaming on consoles, PCs, smartphones and tablets. Approximately 31% of revenues, or $6.4 billion, come from retail sales of new boxed games, and approximately 4% from sales of pre-owned games.
“As the social is devalued along with rationality, ethics, and any vestige of democracy, spectacles of war, violence, and brutality now merge into forms of collective pleasure that constitute an important and new symbiosis between visual pleasure, violence, and suffering. The control/punishing society is now the ultimate form of entertainment as the pain of others, especially those considered disposable and powerless, has become the subject not of compassion but of ridicule and amusement. My emphasis here is on the sadistic impulse and how it merges spectacles of violence and brutality with forms of collective pleasure that often lend support and sway public opinion in favor of social policies and “lawful” practices that create zones of abandonment for youth. No society can make a claim to being a democracy as long as it defines itself through shared fears rather than shared responsibilities, especially in regards to young people. Widespread violence now functions as part of an anti-immune system that turns the economy of genuine pleasure into a mode of sadism that creates the foundation for sapping democracy of any political substance and moral vitality that might counter a politics of disposability more generally.”—Neoliberalism and the Machinery of Disposability
“The bias against science is part of being a pioneer society. You somehow feel the city life is decadent. American history is full of fables of the noble virtuous farmer and the vicious city slicker. The city slicker is an automatic villain. Unfortunately, such stereotypes can do damage. A noble ignoramus is not necessarily what the country needs.”—Isaac Asimov
“There was a scene in the film where Noah was reading the beginnings of Genesis to his family on the Ark as the torrential downpour had just began. As he was reading, there’s an incredible illustration of the world being formed from the beginning – however, the way it’s illustrated is awfully similar to the proto-planetary hypothesis in its display of the big bang and the formation of Earth from resultant rock bits and collisions from asteroids and the later appearance of the ocean and tectonic processes. This scene was so immensely potent because it essentially resolved (IMO) the idea that Genesis and the scientific account can coexist and achieve syncretism – but on a deeper level, for me at least, it revealed the divinity intrinsic in even the most exacting scientific account of the world’s formation. Scientific laws, theorems and properties often have very poetic rings to them – “Energy is neither created nor destroyed” , we call this science- but that’s ART!”—Political Jesus
“Despite its so-called “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in September of 2005, Israel continues to hold effective control of many aspects of Gazans’ lives, including check points and the entrance of basic supplies. This situation imposes on Israel responsibility for the safety and welfare of Gaza’s residents, according to precepts established in The Hague and Geneva Conventions. Because of its control of residents’ lives in Gaza and the curtailment of its movements, Israel seriously breaches Palestinians’ right to optimal medical care inside the Strip and access to medical care outside the area.”—Gaza Corrodes Israel’s Soul
“That is the essence of my lessons from working at Fox News and the idea behind what I call “emotional correctness” – that the key to persuasion, the key to being an effective communicator in general, in any aspect of life, is making authentic, compassionate emotional connections. Emotional correctness is how we say what we say. It’s not only the words or tone we use but the feelings we signal when we communicate. It’s how we show respect for others even if we don’t agree with their opinions.”—What I learned as a liberal talking head on Fox News
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’ Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, ‘Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?’ That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”—"Noah" Screenwriter Ari Handel
Passover in Exodus 12-13 was a family ritual, but in Jesus’ day it had developed into a national pilgrimage holiday centered in Jerusalem. Practices that were found at first in the family had become more institutionalized in Jesus’ day, with priests managing thousands of sacrifices in the Temple. But Josephus mentions the crowds streaming into Jerusalem, and we are left to imagine many men, women, and children making their way into the city from all directions, excited and full of joy at the prospect of worship and sacrifice for eight days, and relieved to reach Jerusalem after a difficult and dangerous journey. So many came that whole villages and towns in Judea were seemingly depopulated. The historian Josephus reports that when the Roman army marched southward on the coast toward Lydda or Diospolis in 66 AD, they found the city virtually deserted because of pilgrimage for the Festival of Booths or Sukkoth (War. 2.19).
Passover itself was understood to be one day, namely the 14th of Nisan. This day was followed by seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the two holidays were thought of as one observance. Every adult, Jewish male was expected to travel to Jerusalem, and sometimes women and children were present as well. Visitors to Jerusalem either lived with relatives or friends in Jerusalem or depended on hospitality offered by citizens of the city or synagogues, as shown by the Theodotus Inscription of the 1st century AD, which mentions amenities for travelers. Some likely lived in temporary shelters or even rented rooms or courtyards. Others simply camped in surrounding villages or places like the Beth Zatha quarter north of the Temple, where archaeologists have found very little in the way of important building remains.
“…traditional interpretations of the crucifixion are criticized for moral failings, especially the picture they paint of God…If a debt is owed to God why can’t God simply forgive it, as Jesus apparently counsels others to do? If God is ransoming us from other powers, why does God have to submit to their terms? If this is God’s wise and compassionate plan for salvation, why does it require such violence? The idea that God sent his Son to be sacrificed for us is indicted here for impugning the moral character of God.”—Mark Heim
Smith’s overarching point was this: taxes were bad only when they undermined the productive use of capital. But taxation should be used to discourage unproductive economic activities. Landlords, for instance, charged tenants large fines for lease renewals, rather than raise the monthly rent. This is usually “the expedient of a spend-thrift, who for a sum of ready money sells a future revenue of much greater value.” It is “hurtful to the landlord,” frequently to the tenant, but always to the community. So it should be taxed at a higher rate. A tax upon house–rents would also “in general fall heaviest upon the rich,” a welcome outcome, since rent was an unproductive expense; when high, it was simply a luxury. And when Smith advocated against a tax, it was for pragmatic reasons, as with taxing capital: capital holdings could never be verified and could always flee the country, so taxing them was counter-productive. But ground-rents should be taxable, as “Nothing can be more reasonable than that a fund which owes its existence to the good government of the state” should be taxed more than in proportion to its benefit.
So who was to blame for bad taxes and bad policies? Smith reveled in showing how “those who live by profit,” namely the merchants and manufacturers, the dealers and bankers, habitually mislead the public, often by imposing higher taxes on the workers—foolishly not realizing that ultimately they would bear the real cost. They were also responsible for convincing gullible parliaments that high wages were bad. Legislators should always beware of the sophistries of employers, who, for instance, blame rising wages, yet “say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.”
Much like many progressive critics of current inequality, like Stiglitz, Krugman, Hacker and Pierson and others, Smith targets rentier practices by the rich and powerful as distorting economic outcomes. And although he strongly criticizes some regulation, I show that it is regulation favoring the rich and powerful that he attacks. The concern with the welfare of the laboring poor is palpable throughout the book. As is the awareness of “the insolent outrage of furious and disappointed monopolists” that endangers anyone willing to thwart them. Progressive concerns are therefore neither a departure nor a distortion of the original classical liberal vision and nor is the latter conservative: in fact, Smith encourages us to ask even more forcefully why inequality is accepted as inevitable, not out of concern with equality, but to secure the economic growth of nations, not just groups.
“For eight years—for every minute of every half-hour of every edition of “The Colbert Report”—“Stephen Colbert” has been the exuberantly prim, indefatigably dim, supremely confident faux-conservative pundit who, brandishing a rippling, man-size American flag, has swooped thrillingly down at us four nights a week. Soon he will be gone. And we, his fans, will be bereft, deprived of the consolations he offers us for, among other afflictions, the existence of Fox News. One’s second reaction is a question. Why Colbert? Why not the other guy?”—The Late Stephen Colbert
First, torture has no identifiable systematic association with decreases in insurgent perpetrated killings.
Second, torture is shown to be robustly associated with increased killings perpetrated by counterinsurgents.
Such evidence should lend pause to those who would consider employing torture, at least within the context of an insurgency. Justifications for torture do not rest on the contention that engaging in torture will reveal information, but on arguments that engaging in torture will allow state agents to somehow stop challengers from engaging in violence. If torture cannot produce discernable effects on insurgent violence then any immediate effects by torture, including the revelation (or non-revelation) of information, are of little consequence.
In this case, not only did torture display no relation to decreases in killings perpetrated by insurgents, but it had a somewhat pathological quality of being strongly associated with increases in other forms of counter-insurgent violence. The evidence suggests that insurgents were able to outmaneuver the forces employing torture, for example by adapting their organizations and strategies in response to torture or by rallying popular support against the use of torture. Subsequent counter-insurgent strategies appear to have been far less variable. The use of torture was strongly associated with increases in killings committed by counterinsurgents in the locality where torture took place as well, in some cases, in surrounding areas.
“Marked by a virulent notion of hardness and aggressive masculinity, a culture of violence has become commonplace in a society in which pain, humiliation and abuse are condensed into digestible spectacles endlessly circulated through extreme sports, reality TV, video games, YouTube postings, and proliferating forms of the new and old media. But the ideology of hardness and the economy of pleasure it justifies are also present in the material relations of power that have intensified across the globe since the 1970s. Conservative and liberal politicians alike now spend millions waging wars around the globe, funding the largest military state in the world, providing huge tax benefits to the ultra-rich and major corporations, and all the while draining public coffers, increasing the scale of human poverty and misery, and eliminating all viable public spheres—whether they be the social state, public schools, public transportation, or any other aspect of a formative culture that addresses the needs of the common good. State violence, particularly the use of torture, abductions, and targeted assassinations are now justified as part of a state of exception that has become normalized. A “political culture of hyper punitiveness” has become normalized and accelerates throughout the social order like a highly charged electric current.”—Henry A. Giroux
“…torture is not an isolated incident. Rather it is an institution, a practice, a collective endeavor that requires planning and organization. Defenders of torture often defend a widespread practice of purely vicious evil by reference to a single imaginary incident in which it would make sense to torture someone. Imagine, they say, that you knew for certain (as of course you would not) that many people were about to be killed unless a particular person revealed something. Imagine you were certain (as of course you would not be) that you had found that person. Imagine that contrary to accumulated wisdom you believed the best way to elicit the information was through torture, and that you were sure (as of course you would not be) that the information would be revealed, that it would be accurate (nobody EVER lies under torture), and that it would prevent the greater tragedy (and not just delay it or move it), with no horrible side-effects or lasting results. Then, in that impossible scenario, wouldn’t you agree to torture the person?”—Torture Is Mainstream Now
“I don’t know what these news organizations fear from calling torture what it is. But I can guarantee it’s not as bad as what was done to those prisoners or to the reputation of the United States of America. If we can’t even call the torture by its real name it’s hard to see why the government won’t see this as just another semantic debate and do the same thing if they feel it’s “necessary.” I guess much of the news business feels it’s immune from that sort of thing but the rest of us should worry. If the US government has officially defined deviancy down to the point where torture is no longer torture, you have to wonder where it might end? After all, the world is full of danger. Who knows who they might think they need to “interrogate” with “enhanced methods” next time?”—Hullabaloo