Friday, April 24, 2009

A Problem with Tortured Logic

If you start with the premise that America is ALWAYS the good guy; always pure, always above board, always moral and ethical, then you have to conclude that everything that is done in the name of the country is good and positive.

"America does not torture" is the only conclusion that one can come to, considering that premise. If America is always good, then it follows that anything that is done in the name of America must also be good. If torture is defined as NOT good, then whatever done in the name of the country must not be torture ... because torture is bad. Therefore "America does not torture" becomes a hard and fast position.

The problem is that in mistaking a conclusion for a premise requires one to either ignore or redefine the evidence to fit the narrative that assumes America is always the good guy.

In real world logic, one first assembles and analyzes the evidence and then, based on the evidence, draws a conclusion.

I think it's important to make clear that, if the US engaged in torture, as the evidence seems to suggest ... the fact, in and of itself, does not make America bad. However, the means and degree to which we address the issues of law and justice involved will constitute evidence, one way or the other.

Monday, April 20, 2009


We used waterboarding a total of 266 times on two terror suspects ...

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

If only we'd waterboarded one of them just one more time ... maybe we could have solved the Lindberg kidnapping or unraveled the Kennedy assassination!

The Pima County Fair 2009

Mondrian on the Midway

Flight of Fancy

At the Ticket Booth

Nathanial and Marina

Wind Power - Not a New Idea, By Any Means

In Our Past

Catalina Highway

On the way to Summerhaven, AZ on the Catalina Highway:

Looking out across the Santa Catalina Mountains and the east side of Tucson, AZ in the Sonoran Desert. Sabino Canyon is right, center in the picture.

Looking down on the Catalina Highway from a "pull off" on the Catalina Highway (taken about 30 yards from the previous shot).

Watch out for the first step. It's a long one.

We've heard it all before

from Mike Lux on HuffPo:

Conservatives know this country is at a historical crossroads, and I suspect that what they fear most is that they are just as much on the wrong side of history as their ideological ancestors were in the 1860s when the end of slavery was being debated, in the early 1900s when women's suffrage was being debated, in the 1930s when social security and the minimum wage were being debated, and in the 1960s when the civil rights were being debated. In every single one of those historical debates, conservatives:

  • labeled their opposition socialists (and worse)
  • called for states' rights instead of a federal solution
  • said that they were the true heirs of the founding fathers, and were the keepers of America's traditions and values
  • warned that the charges being proposed were frighteningly radical, and would destroy the economy
  • that big government would lead to a destruction of all of our most basic liberties

... more after the click.

My comment: Obviously, conservatives gravitate to the party of ideas. Of course, you're aware that conservatives haven't always been Republicans and liberals haven't always been Democrats. Right?

Lincoln was a liberal and a Republican, taking the final step in ending formalized slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. (Rush Limbaugh, titular leader of today's Republican party, recently made an impassioned defense of slavery. According to Rush, it simply wasn't that bad.)

Teddy Roosevelt was a liberal and a Republican. He was also a trust buster, breaking up corporate monopolies and a conservationist, setting aside huge tracts of land for the the National Parks system - two actions that today's Republican conservatives would find an anathema.