Friday, January 21, 2011

America the torture state and More Vile Vitriol From Tea Party and its Media Echo Chamber

UPDATE: 2:03 PM & 2:55 PM, Jan 21, 2011.

* America's culture of violence
* Bush/Cheney legacy to America a complete disregard for human rights especially for        POWs/detainees and all criminals held in American prisons
*Acts of violence and abuse and vile vitriol of the right
* America the torture state- thousands of prisoners in federal jails in the USA are being tortured and abused
* Alan Grayson on the right and tea Party Republicans inciting violence
* Glenn Beck's conspiracy theory about George Soros, liberals and progressives
* Bill Moyers commentary on Rupert Murdoch and his media Empire-

Ed Schultz Show:Rep. Grayson: "Inciting Violence Is Unacceptable In Any Civilized Society"

Media Matters Criticism of violent rhetoric leads to violenc- Sarah Palin the real victim of Tucson Shooting WTF???

10,000 American Jews to Fox News: 'Fire Glenn Beck' | Jewish Funds for Justice Action @ Fox

When those in the most powerful positions in the United States abandon the rule of law and show disdain for human rights and of the rights of those incarcerated whether as POWs or as criminals in the USA then this attitude can have unintended (?) consequences. And now it appears that torture and abuse of prisoners in the federal or state prisons has now become common place. In the last few years stories about prisoner abuse have become all too common from Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona to the prisons in Texas and Chicago etc.

We could debate whether this is the result of the Bush administration and the Uberconservatives who made torture legal and acceptable in America or are there other factors involved such as TV and movies romanticizing or showing such ultra-violence as being necessary as in "24" without any concern for legal or heaven forbid moral reasons.

America is one of the most religious nations in the world and yet their notions about their religion that is what I have referred to as Americanized -Christianity have little interest in such moral questions.

These Uberconservative Evangelical Christian religious zealots are not really much different than their ancestors such as the Pilgrims and other religious cults which inhabited the British colonies in America which were all about modesty and who saw sex as a necessary sin made religion mandatory; and would hang those accused of witchcraft or heresy; and would imprison adulterers and homosexuals and put people in the stocks for crimes such as blasphemy or breaching the Sabbath Laws .

Their attitude is that anyone who breaks the laws of the state no matter how arbitrary some of the laws may be that the individual is considered to be a malicious evil doer in other words a sinner and therefore not worthy of life or of being treated without any sense of decency or respect to which all persons have a right to. Many of these Evangelical Christians would prefer to have life sentences or the death penalty for most crimes.

Americans Face Guantanamo-Like Torture Everyday in a Super-Max Prison Near You, Jan. 18, 2010

To little public outcry, tens of thousands of citizens are being held in horrific conditions in super-harsh, super-maximum security, solitary-confinement prisons

“They beat the shit out of you,” Mike James said, hunched near the smeared plexiglass separating us. He was talking about the cell “extractions” he’d endured at the hands of the supermax-unit guards at the Maine State Prison.

“They push you, knee you, poke you,” he said, his voice faint but ardent through the speaker. “They slam your head against the wall and drop you on the floor while you’re cuffed.” He lifted his manacled hands to a scar on his chin. “They split it wide open. They’re yelling ‘Stop resisting! Stop resisting!’ when you’re not even moving.”

When you meet Mike James you notice first his deep-set eyes and the many scars on his shaved head, including a deep, horizontal gash. He got that by scraping his head on the cell door slot, which guards use to pass in food trays

“They were messing with me,” he explained, referring to the guards who taunted him. “I couldn’t stand it no more.” He added, “I’ve knocked myself out by running full force into the wall.”

James, who is in his twenties, has been beaten all his life, first by family members: “I was punched, kicked, slapped, bitten, thrown against the wall.” He began seeing mental-health workers at four and taking psychiatric medication at seven. He said he was bipolar and had many other disorders. When a doctor took him off his meds at age eighteen, he got into “selling drugs, robbing people, fighting, burglaries.” He received a twelve-year sentence for robbery. Of the four years James had been in prison when I met him, he had spent all but five months in solitary confinement. The isolation is “mental torture, even for people who are able to control themselves,” he said. It included periods alone in a cell “with no blankets, no clothes, butt-naked, mace covering me.” Everything James told me was confirmed by other inmates and prison employees.

James’s story illustrates an irony in the negative reaction of many Americans to the mistreatment of “war on terrorism” prisoners at Guantánamo. To little public outcry, tens of thousands of American citizens are being held in equivalent or worse conditions in this country’s super-harsh, super-maximum security, solitary-confinement prisons, or in comparable units of traditional prisons The Obama administration— somewhat unsteadily—plans to shut down the Guantánamo detention center and ship its inmates to one or more supermaxes in the United States, as though this would mark a substantive change. In the supermaxes inmates suffer weeks, months, years, or even decades of mind-destroying isolation, usually without meaningful recourse to challenge the conditions of their captivity. Prisoners may be regularly beaten in cell extractions, and they receive meager health services. The isolation frequently leads to insane behavior including self-injury and suicide attempts.

n 2004, state-run supermaxes in 44 states held about 25,000 people, according to Daniel Mears, a Florida State University criminologist who has done the most careful count. Mears told me his number was conservative. In addition the federal system has a big supermax in Colorado, ADX Florence, and a total of about 11,000 inmates in solitary in all its lockups, according to the Bureau of Prisons. Some researchers peg the state and federal supermax total as high as a hundred thousand; their studies sometimes include more broadly defined “control units”—for example, those in which men spend all day in a cell with another prisoner. (Nationally, 91 percent of prison and jail inmates are men, so overwhelmingly men fill the supermaxes. Women also are kept in supermax conditions, but apparently no one has estimated how many.) Then there are the county and city jails, the most sizable of which have large solitary-confinement sections. Although the roughness in what prisoners call “the hole” varies from prison to prison and jail to jail, isolation is the overwhelming, defining punishment in this vast network of what critics have begun to call mass torture.

James experienced frequent cell extractions—on one occasion, five of them in a single day. In this procedure, five hollering guards wearing helmets and body armor charge into the cell. The point man smashes a big shield into the prisoner. The others spray mace into his face, push him onto the bed, and twist his arms behind his back to handcuff him, connecting the cuffs by a chain to leg irons. As they continue to mace him, the guards carry him screaming to an observation room, where they bind him to a special chair. He remains there for hours.

For all their talk of law and order and the rule of law these right wingers, Tea Party Republicans , uberconservatives and the religious right have a cavalier attitude towards their own speech.

Over and over again they claim that mere speech is not enough to incite others to violent actions.

And yet they including Glenn Beck et al argue that the spoken words and the written words of the founding fathers of America were enough to get the people in the 13 Colonies to rise up against the British government in their bid to achieve independence. So they believe words do matter except when it comes to their own vile vitriolic violent speech.

George Soros, liberals and progressives have become one of Beck's popular targets and another Bogeyman like the Commies hiding in your closet or under your bed. These malevolent liberals and progressives who talk in terms of human rights and Social Justice Beck insists have infiltrated many mainstream churches with their belief in "Social Justice", human rights and in his view other nonsense such as being your brothers keeper in order to undermine and destroy what Beck considers to be the authentic view of Christianity.

Glenn Beck's view of Christianity is that of personal salvation and so is in favor of faith over works- taken to its logical conclusion having faith wipes out any wrong doing of the individual.

Violent rhetoric along with acts of violence have become acceptable to a large minority of Americans who identify themselves at members of the Tea Party and as avid fans of Fox News and Glenn Beck.

New Study: Tea Partiers Three Times More Likely to Say Violence Is Warranted. Exhibit A: Glenn Beck
When a survivor of the Tucson shooting told a Tea Party leader, "You're dead," he was arrested and committed. Why is Glenn Beck any different? by mark Howard January 19, 2011

I have documented numerous examples of right-wing advocacy of violence, as have many others. But nobody crosses further over the line, or more often, than Glenn Beck. And here is the ultimate display of deliberate hostile intent. It is an overt call for violence and an instruction to viewers:

“Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government.

------ I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don’t. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep’s clothing — change the pose. You will get the ends.

You’ve been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.

They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind.” ~ Fox News, June 10, 2010

This cannot possibly be justified as acceptable political discourse. This is not merely an expression of opinion. It is not metaphorical. It is a call to arms. And Beck’s audience is listening. They have heard him say that “The country will be washed with blood.” They have heard him warn that he may have to speak in code:

“I fear that there will come a time when I cannot say things that I am currently saying. I fear that it will come to television and to radio, and I will stop saying these things. Understand me clearly. Hear me now. If I ever stop saying these things, you will know why. Because I will have made a choice that I can only say certain things, and I haven’t lost all of the rights. But know that these things are true. And if you hear me stop saying these things, it’s because I can no longer say them to you. But hear them between the sentences. Hear them, please. I will be screaming them to you.“

One of those to whom Beck was screaming was Byron Williams who was apprehended following a police shootout as he was on his way to San Francisco to kill people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. In a prison interview he said…

“Beck is gonna deny everything about violent approach and deny everything about conspiracies, but he’ll give you every reason to believe it. He’s protecting himself, and you can’t blame him for that. So, I understand what he’s doing.”

That’s right, Byron understands what Beck is doing, and so do I. A new poll by Public Policy Polling reports that 13 percent of Tea Partiers say the that violence against the current American government is justifiable. While that may sound like a small percentage, there are two things to keep in mind: 1) It’s more than three times the percentage of non-Tea Partiers who say violence is justifiable. And 2) It only takes one lone nut to wreak havoc. One lone nut like Byron Williams or, perhaps, Jared Loughner, as we learned in Tucson a week ago.

Let me be crystal clear. I am not associating Loughner to Glenn Beck. There has been no evidence (yet) to link the two. However, there have been other lone gunmen in addition to Williams who were indisputably linked to Beck

Glenn Beck is demonizing not just George Soros but all liberals, progressives in the same way anti-semites demonize all Jews. The similarities are disturbing .
How can there be any sort of reasonable discourse in America when the air waves on TV and Radio etc. are filled with such hateful and violent  rhetoric being spewed by professional agent provocateurs such as Glenn beck , Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin and Fox News and the Tea party Repiublicans and their religious right fellow travelers .

Rupert Murdoch's Protocols- Glenn Beck borrows rhetoric from the notorious anti-semitic  forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" to criticize George Soros and by extension all liberals or democrats including President Obama .
For instance Beck and his fellow travelers say that it was the liberals and progressives ideology based upon the works of Freud, Darwin and Marx which led to the rise of Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc. Any evil that has occurred since the late 19th century on were the result of these malevolent liberals and progressives who were and are in his view conspiring to end America's traditions and values . So he claims these malevolent forces are through notions of Social Justice, human rights, diversity etc. are out to destroy Christianity .

But after they spew forth their insane rhetoric, lies and hate mongering if any violence occurs committed by one of their audience members they claim they are 100% innocent of fueling hate and violence.
For example what would happen if a character like Glenn Beck came on tv night after night preaching hatred of all Jews how would the public, the Jewish community, the government respond. And wouldn't there be a reasonable fear that some of the listeners might take this stuff seriously and commit acts of violence against the Jewish community.
The rhetoric used by Fox News and others is more akin to the speech and propaganda of a white supremacist organization such as the KKK.. And yet these hate mongers hide behind the right to Freedom of Speech.

But surely some  vitriolic and extremist or bigoted
speech goes beyond what is acceptable . Or at least it should be debated and not just left hanging in the air as if it were reasonable or even truthful.

Americans foster this notion that they are an honorable people as typified by George Washington who could not tell a lie according to an American Urban myth similar to the notion that all of the founding fathers were pious, paragons of virtue and God Fearing who believed that America was fulfilling its Biblical destiny. Such beliefs about the Founding Fathers have become an article of faith in America's civil religion.

The Founding documents are treated by these uberpatriots as being as holy as the Bible itself. ( This to me just sounds like a form of idolatry that is if we are to take the Bible and the teachings of Jesus seriously )

On the other hand is Rupert Murdoch and Glenn Beck merely projecting onto to progressives and Soros their own sins and how they believe power should be used-that is not for truth and justice but to make more money and to further one's own political and social agenda by manipulating in their view the naive citizenry of America. No matter what the likes of Glenn Beck say they in their speech and actions are out to "educate" the ignorant masses of America.
So they create their own bogus history of America which they then spoon feed to their audience. As others have argued that Americans in general have become dumbed down over the last few decades people such as Glenn Beck and Rupert Murdoch are all too willing and eager to take advantage of this fact and so spew the most outrageous revisionist views of American history and of contemporary America. So who are the true "Puppet Masters".

Bill Moyers on Rupert Murdoch 2007- and since then things have just gotten worse.
Obama and Biden , Gates, the Clintons etc. are either afraid to take on Rupert Murdoch or Fox News or they have sold out to Murdoch.
Its difficult for these members of the elite to criticize in a substantive manner other members of the elite.

For Obama or other members of his administration to make glib criticisms of Glenn Beck and Fox News is one thing but it is quite another to use whatever legal means available to take on and possibly if necessary to shut down Fox News or any other part of Murdoch's Media Empire. Murdoch after all is said and done is one of their own. So those who work for Murdoch are to a great extent untouchable.

How many more so called lone gun man need to spill blood before those in power take on the Media giants and Tea party republicans who foster such hate , lies and propaganda which lead others to commit acts of violence.

and so it goes,

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