At 5:30 p.m. on a Wednesday in June, Thomas James Ball of Holden, Massachusetts (left), drenched himself with gasoline and struck a match. He burned to death at the door of the courthouse in Keene, New Hampshire.
They beat him so badly they broke his bones. They cut him with a razor blade while pouring “hot, stinging liquid” in the wounds, chained him in cells with open sewage, kept him in total darkness for almost two years, and drugged and starved him, among other abuses. Why? Because he was a terrorist. Correction: he knew terrorists. OK, at least he was in the same country as terrorists.
You may not recognize the name John Rapanos, but officials know him well. Some consider him a vile criminal worthy of prison and millions in fines. Did he murder someone? No. Did he steal billions to bail out his buddies in the financial industry, as politicians have from us? No.
When was the last time you opened a book by a contemporary politician — or more accurately, his ghostwriter — to see Lysander Spooner mentioned, much less discussed, and intelligently so? If you crave so exceedingly rare and rarified a pleasure, treat yourself to Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) newest effort, Liberty Defined.
Last month, a consortium of human-rights groups from the University of California at Berkeley released a report entitled Guantanamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees [pdf]. Its 136 pages prove in dispassionate prose allegations that Americans passionately debate: the U.S. government imprisoned mostly innocent men, without trial or criminal charges, at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, abused a great many of them, and tortured some.
Throughout history and around the world, suppliants have groveled to potentates for the most basic of rights and common decency. Whether it was Queen Esther beseeching King Ahasuerus not to murder an entire people or commoners in Rome hankering to wear purple, subjects have always endured atrocities and degradation from their rulers.
No surprises here: “A federal appeals court today declared California’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional … The three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 — a response to an earlier state court decision that legalized gay marriage [sic] — was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.“
Alas, we enter February and another “Black History Month.”
Yep, I'm white, and no, I'm not a racist; rather, I object to propaganda and pandering. And I merely echo black writers when I lament this offensive and downright silly observance. As if we can -- or should -- segregate the history of one race from everyone else's.
The TSA didn’t just “detain” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Monday: it showed us another of the agency’s many uses to Our Rulers. Not only does it teach the serfs their place in the police-state — utter submission, even to sexual assault and irradiation — it’s also a ready weapon against political enemies.
Item: A Chinese woman studying at Hays State University in Kansas tried to board a plane with a stun gun in her purse. The TSA called the cops to arrest her. She later told the AP she hopes to “resolve” the incident with a fine.