Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Return of the Human Lampshade

I mean, after all, being forced to listen to music is essentially the same as murdering someone in cold blood, using a knife to remove their dead, lifeless, yet still bleeding skin, stretching it out, curing it with salt, suspending it to air dry, immersing it for at least a week in hydrated lime and then in lactic or acetic acid, and then cutting it and shaping it to fit your furniture of choice. Yes! That procedure there, making lamp shades out of the skin of what used to be your grandmother, your brother, maybe your husband or wife, or your son or daughter -- for the heinous crime of having an -itz at the end of their name! -- is equated by Dick Durbin with forcing someone intent on killing you and your family to listen to rap music.


This worthless excuse for a senator refuses to apologize. Anyone surprised? I hardly think an apology is appropriate anyway. This boor needs to be censured, removed from office, arrested for sedition, and spend a few years with a federal penitentiary. This behavior is inexcusable! Completely, totally, 100 percent inexcusable. The Republicans need to repeat these claims over and over and over again. Durbin should not be allowed to live down these horrible statements, ever. He should be able to be forced out of his so-called leadership position fairly easily and out of the Senate just as easily. Any Republican or Democrat should be able to beat him, even in Chicago, by reminding the people of these claims he made.

Letterman said it best last night: some of the terrorists locked up in Gitmo have experienced "mild, non-injurious physical contact." Quoth letterman: "It's just like going six rounds with Mike Tyson!"


At 5:34 PM, June 16, 2005 , Anonymous Scott said...

Here's the text of what he actually said.

It's probably not the best to start off your complaints based on an edited version by Rush Limbaugh. It'll be biased.
I'm neither a Republican or a Democrat, and I am living in Chicago. I agree with the Senator's statements and I applaud his steadfastness in not apologizing. Who is he supposed to apologize to anyway?

If our country is supposed to be the moral superiors of our enemies - enough so that we can spread our manner and methods of living by force throughout the world - then we need to live by those higher standards. There's no way we can bring any human rights complaints against other countries again if we can't treat our citizens and those in our custody with complete respect.
Not only is the Senator's behavior excusable, but it's warranted by his conscience, and those of the people he's representing.

At 6:09 PM, June 16, 2005 , Blogger Vernunft said...

The use of moral equivalence and any other number of logical fallacies will simply turn intelligent people off to whatever you have to say. You could be right, just saying - use of fallacies = I stop listening.

Same thing with basic spelling errors, grammatical errors, what have you. The person making such errors could be right, but considering there are some standards of form in reasoned discourse, I'll just ignore content when the form is shitty.

Thanks for the link that proved yourself wrong, though. Uh...

Yeah, this is getting bizarre.

At 6:18 PM, June 16, 2005 , Blogger Auskunft, the Lion Hearted said...

Wow whooops on you!

Thanks for the link, which reads:

...On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor."
Durbin says: If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime--Pol Pot or others--that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."

So, ummm, yeah. You are quite wrong, and you proved it. Thanks for saving me any legwork.


At 8:14 PM, June 16, 2005 , Anonymous Scott said...

Since you both have told me that I've proven myself wrong, I've reread everything I wrote, and what I linked to, but still cannot find said proof.

If you think my fallacy lies in mentioning the aspect of morals within this context, then I'd like to understand why you think the Senator decided to say what he did. I thought he was bringing the issue up because treating detainees in that manner isn't how the USA should be. The basis for this reasoning comes from morals. Let me know what you think.

At 10:10 PM, June 16, 2005 , Blogger Vernunft said...

The senator compared U.S. servicemen to Nazis in a way totally contrary to the facts. It was blatant demagoguery. You might as well scream "Hitler!" at everyone you don't like. There was no intellectual argument made by him at all - it was merely a phony comparison that anyone with common sense can see is bullshit, designed to evoke an attitude of disgust for U.S. troops, and implicitly of pity for terrorists.

Moral equivalence is the fallacy of claiming that two moral crimes are equally as heinous, and characterizing the perpetrators of those crimes as equally reprehensible. In this case, Nazis = Americans. Obviously quite full of it.

At 7:02 AM, June 17, 2005 , Anonymous Scott said...

The senator compared conditions at a US military prison to conditions in war prisons run by Nazis in a way assumably based on the facts.

It was blatant demagoguery. That's true. But your comment about screaming, "Hitler!" is also just hyperbole. He never mentioned anything of the sort. The arguement made isn't necessarily phony, either. Notice the replaced sections of the statement above. I'm afraid that most people have jumped to the same conclusions you have about what he was referring.

It was designed to evoke an attitude of disgust for why we can't treat people with respect, and implicitly of pity for the detainees at our facilities.

I agree with you about the fallacy of using moral equivalency in any arguement. Not that it doesn't make sense, but that's it is extremely difficult to weigh things against each other - especially when dealing with Nazis. This is why I think the Senator's comments have fallen on angry ears.

At 10:43 AM, June 17, 2005 , Blogger Auskunft, the Lion Hearted said...

Yep, you couldn't be more right, Scott. My parents ran a gulag too, becuase when I was being punished for doing something wrong, I wasn't allowed TV or music. The horror! If only I had known at the time they this made them war criminals in some people's minds.

I mean, hell, we never had an air conditioner as I was growing up, and the summer months could become quite uncomfortable. I don't know if I will ever recover from such abuse.

At 5:43 PM, June 17, 2005 , Blogger Suenteus Po said...

"If our country is supposed to be the moral superiors of our enemies - enough so that we can spread our manner and methods of living by force throughout the world - then we need to live by those higher standards."

Us: Prisoners are made to sit in uncomfortable (but not dangerous) temperatures, listen to bad pop music.

Them: Civilians are murdered at a whim.

Gee, that looks like a higher standard of morals.

Also, good job on trying to claim that there's an important distinction between soldiers and conditions at the place that soldiers do their job. Yeah that matters a lot, since the accusations against the condition of the place are somehow *not* against the actions of the soldiers who work there. I guess the prison just runs itself.


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