while I’m subjecting…

I guess I’m not watching enough movies lately, as I seem to feel the need to fill this space up with general complaints. Today I picked up the current issue of Street Roots (for non-Portlanders, it is the local “street newspaper” sold by the homeless) and while I was reading the article about how Oregon landlords can refuse tenants solely on the basis of them using Section 8 vouchers (that seems like it should somehow be against the rules), there is a review of a new movie that is another one of those “things you know about, but don’t really want to know too much”. The film is “Taxi to the Dark Side” and it’s by Alex Gibney, who made Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.. This one though is about the subject of Detainees.

The article states that there are 83,000 of these people, which I found to be a surprisingly large number. Probably 10 times what I had assumed. And it also covers the always charming subject of torture. Now, while I doubt that many Americans (though I tend to be proven wrong in these things) support the practice of torture (After all, even convicted felons are “protected” against cruel punishment, so why would people who haven’t been found guilty of doing anything wrong receive cruel punishment). But I wonder how many support the notion of detainees. I tend to assume that the vast majority of the detainees have done nothing wrong, otherwise, why would they need to be secretly and illegally detained with no legal recourse? I realize that most of these folks are “foreign” (though I imagine that some are US citizens) and it reminds me of what I think the low-point tends to be for American administration’s. Yes, we can complain about how bad the president treats the economy or health care or the middle class or the lower class, but the people who really suffer from American presidents are foreigners nationals. It seems like every administration kills (or is involved with “standing by and letting die”) thousands of foreign civilians. Yes, the Republicans tend to kill more (and I doubt that even the well-thought out and highly successful road to riches and power laid out by this 5th term of the Reagan Administration [aka GWB] has killed as many as did Nixon/Kissmyassinger with their “extend the Vietnam war trick), but all the president’s get involved in that dirty business… I guess it’s just part of being the chief of the worlds self-appointed fascist police force. It is funny how it works that even if you aren’t completely fascist in your homeland, you can still get away with being that way in other peoples homelands…

Here is an area where Obama could really show that he is a positive force for change.


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