Thursday, February 23, 2012

America Tortures 20,000 People a Day (at least)

In the Hole by BILL QUIGLEY

John McCain said his two years in solitary confinement were torture. “It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance effectively than any other form of mistreatment.” The reaction of McCain and many other victims of isolation torture were described in an excellent 2009 New Yorker article on isolation by Atul Gawande. Gawande concluded that prolonged isolation is objectively horrifying, intrinsically cruel, and more widespread in the U.S. than any country in the world.

and ...

One of the most outrageous parts of the treatment of Bradley Manning is that the US kept him in illegal and torturous solitary confinement conditions for months at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia. Keeping Manning in solitary confinement sparked challenges from many groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the ACLU and the New York Times.

Human rights’ advocates rightly point out that solitary confinement is designed to break down people mentally. Because of that, prolonged solitary confinement is internationally recognized as a form of torture. The conditions and practices of isolation are in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention against Torture, and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination.

and ...

It is important to realize that tens of thousands of other people besides Manning are held in solitary confinement in the US today and every day. Experts estimate a minimum of 20,000 people are held in solitary in supermax prisons alone, not counting thousands of others in state and local prisons who are also held in solitary confinement. And solitary confinement is often forced on Muslim prisoners, even pre-trial people who are assumed innocent, under federal Special Administrative Measures.

In 1995, the U.N. Human Rights Committee stated that isolation conditions in certain U.S. maximum security prisons were incompatible with international standards. In 1996, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture reported on cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in U.S. supermax prisons. In 2000, the U.N. Committee on Torture roundly condemned the United States for its treatment of prisoners, citing supermax prisons. In May 2006, the same committee concluded that the United States should “review the regimen imposed on detainees in supermax prisons, in particular, the practice of prolonged isolation.”

America tortures 20,000 people a day by this single method. This doesn't include beatings by police or prison guards or interrogation procedures. Its almost a certainty that none of these people know of the location of a ticking time bomb. Solitary confinement is a slow motion form of torture over weeks and months. Which means its completely useless for the sorts of scenarios used to justify torture by claiming that getting vital information fast will save other lives. No, this is a slow form of torture used for vindictive punishments.

Welcome to America.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama's Plan to Crash the Economy - $5 a gallon gas.

The dots are never connected. Our foreign policy towards Iran is always presented as being completely separate from economic issues. But, what happens if our attempts to start a war with Iran over Iran's mythical nuclear weapons program causes the price of gas to spike upwards? Everything then costs more. Everyone then has less to spend. And the current jobless, money-less, illusionary 'recovery' goes bye-bye.

US wants SWIFT war on Iran by Pepe Escobar

Iran supplies 500,000 barrels of oil a day to the EU. The mere threat of an Iranian embargo has already provoked an oil price spike.

And anyone who's ever done business with an oil company knows those spikes in the price of oil will soon be seen at gas pumps. In our global markets, it doesn't matter if the embargo is aimed at Europe, or even if the embargo is real or fictional. But you can count on increases in the price of oil being passed along to the consumers at the gas pump.

Add this to demand crashing in Europe because of Obama's banker backers demanding their pound of flesh in "austerity measures", and US policies that put those "austerity measures" (known as "deficit reduction" in America) into place here, also pushing down the already weak demand of the world economy, and the future does not look very bright. Under these policies, if you see our economic future wearing shades, its to cover up its black eye.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Keep on Turning

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?
Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?

-The Wheel, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter