Monday, January 26, 2009

Gitmo Closure

Republicans don't want the prisoners in their respective backyards. The idea that terrorists would attack prisons to break out their compatriots is insane and reflects a fundamental lack of understanding about how al-Qaeda and similar groups work. These people blow themselves up, for cryin' out loud! They don't care about one of their own rotting in jail. With these terrorists, attacks are successful if they kill a lot of people. The more people killed, the better. Using a bomb to stage a prison break at Supermax is a waste of a bomb that could go in a stadium or shopping mall, as far as they're concerned.

This is just another in the continuing series of examples of how only the right understands the threat posed by Islamic terror, and those of us lefties who oppose them only reveal our own ignorance. Giuliani for Governor of New York!

But, of course, Republicans don't want to admit that the Bush-era power grabs they sanctioned were wrong. They want to keep the fear going. That's the only way that they can justify a lot of this garbage. That's why 24 and the "ticking time bomb" scenario exist. The Bush team's spin on that scenario was interesting: though they never had an actual ticking time bomb, they figured that there might well be a ticking time bomb somewhere, so torture was justified to find out if there was something like that going on. The reasoning, of course, is gobbledygook. It's similar to the post hoc case for invading Iraq that some conservatives made, which was that going into Iraq was still the right move because we didn't know if they had WMDs, and now we know for sure there is no danger from that threat. Such thinking is driven by the extreme, gut-level paranoia we've come to expect as standard operating procedure from the conservative movement, and without some sort of standard or burden of proof for taking excessive action to eliminate marginal or nonexistent threats, such measures are bound to be counterproductive. Indeed, they have been incredibly counterproductive, and have made us less safer. Luckily, we now have a president who understands this. There is hope for us yet.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.