Saturday, February 28, 2009

On Torture

Can torture ever be justified?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights condemns torture in Article 5 – “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (United Nations, 1948)”. The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights condemns torture in Article 7 – “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (United Nations, Dec. 1966)” and Article 4 further stipulates that “no derogation may be made (United Nations, Dec. 1966)...” from Article 7. In the Convention against Torture it is explicit in Article 2 (2) that “(n)o exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. (United Nations, 1984)” The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms condemns torture in Article 3 – “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Council of Europe, 1987)” And under the first Geneva Convention of 1949 it is stated in Article 3 that “In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions: (1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely... To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture (United Nations, 1949)...” Yet even though torture is extensively and universally prohibited by the letter of international law indeed in “… all circumstances, even in cases of national emergency, even in cases that threaten the life of a nation and even in cases of warfare against enemies that don’t obey the laws of war (Martinez, 2006)”, many states, including democracies, continue to practice torture. According to Steiner, Alston and Goodman, some torture is aberrational but most is a result of policy or willful ignorance. That is, while states may wish to lay the blame at the feet of ‘a few bad apples’, it is often the case that the torture was instigated or sanctioned by the state. It is often assumed that those that practice torture are sadists. But torture is often applied by people as an interrogational tactic with the mind-set that they are serving their country by performing these abhorrent acts (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007). And in very rare circumstances they might actually be doing so. However, torture is also routinely used to suppress dissent (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007) and the line where protecting national interest loses out to protecting human dignity is not very easily distinguished. According to the current U.S. administration, the paradigm has shifted in regards to how we need to view the world (Bush, 2001). The threat we face is so novel that we can’t be unduly tied to the mindset of the past. But is this really the case? Torture has been prohibited by legislation as far back as the 1400s (Martinez, 2006) in England. While, across the channel in continental Europe torture was routinely employed, often required even, to extract confessions, England held to a lower threshold of evidence due to its common law and jury system. But the King still retained emergency powers of which would allow him to order the torturing of a suspect in a very serious case (in reality at the whim of the king), in essence allowing him to order torture warrants. But by 1640 the Court of Star Chamber, where the king would make these decisions, was abolished (Martinez, 2006). So this illustrates that four hundred years ago, not only had torture already been outlawed for hundreds of years, but in the interest of civil society it was rejected that the executive of the government be able to retain the right to order torture in cases of national emergency.

In 1863 in the United States, President Lincoln oversaw the passage of the Lieber Code which was the precursor to many international conventions such as the Hague Conventions and Geneva Conventions, in which it was insisted that “military necessity does not admit of cruelty--that is, the infliction of suffering for the sake of suffering or for revenge, nor of maiming or wounding except in fight, nor of torture to extort confessions (Martinez, 2006).” This illustrates that 150 years ago in America during the Civil War when that nation’s existence had never been more imperiled and at a time when the executive had no qualms in breaching constitutional directive for the sake of national security, decided that even in this circumstance torture was to still be prohibited. This ought to deflate the argument that rests on the notion that threats to national security are novel and in extreme circumstances it is necessary to utilize torture. Still, it is an argument that gets made, however un-compelling.

Ticking Bomb Scenario

What is more compelling is the argument that deals with a very specific situation. The ticking bomb scenario essentially states that ‘there is a criminal that has planted a bomb that is about to go off; you have this criminal in custody; you know with 100% certainty that he knows where the bomb is and that it will kill innocent people; he refuses to talk; therefore you must torture.’ Bagaric takes this argument even further:

“Torture is permissible where the evidence suggests that this is the only means, due to the immediacy of the situation, to save the life of an innocent person. The reason that torture in such a case is defensible and necessary is because the justification manifests from the closest thing we have to an inviolable right: the right to self-defence, which of course extends to the defence of another. Given the choice between inflicting a relatively small level of harm on a wrongdoer and saving an innocent person, it is verging on moral indecency to prefer the interests of the wrongdoer … The analogy with self-defence is sharpened by considering the hostage-taking scenario, where a wrongdoer takes a hostage and points a gun to the hostage's head, threatening to kill the hostage unless a certain (unreasonable) demand is met. In such a case it is not only permissible, but desirable for police to shoot (and kill) the wrongdoer if they get a 'clear shot".

This is especially true if it is known that the wrongdoer has a history of serious violence, and hence is more likely to carry out the threat.

There is no logical or moral difference between this scenario and one where there is overwhelming evidence that a wrongdoer has kidnapped an innocent person and informs police that the victim will be killed by a co-offender if certain demands are not met.

In the hostage scenario, it is universally accepted that it is permissible to violate the right to life of the aggressor to save an innocent person. How can it be wrong to violate an even less important right (the right to not be tortured or physical integrity) by torturing the aggressor in order to save a life in the second scenario? (Bagaric, 2005)”

It is acceptable to torture according to the ticking bomb argument, because if you do not torture the culprit then you would bear some of the responsibility for the deaths caused by the danger that you could have presumably prevented. On its face it is a very compelling argument. How can you justify not taking action to save lives? Arguments that range from ‘it is morally wrong’, to ‘it will damage the moral fabric of society’, to ‘it will dehumanize the torturer’, to ‘it is illegal’ don’t seem to have as much weight as the possibility of saving another person’s life. In part, it goes to Bagaric’s second argument, that if we are willing to end criminal’s lives in order to save innocent lives, how can it be wrong to impose an arguably less serious intervention such as torture.

The ticking bomb argument prima facie seems pretty straightforward. You have the culprit in custody, there is no question to his/her culpability, there is no humane way to get the necessary information from the culprit, and torture will definitely get the necessary information. In this explicit situation then it would make no sense not to torture – there would be no excuse. However, this type of case is indeed very rare, and to the explicit degree, may never even exist. You have to be certain you have the right person. How can you glean this certainty? A confession seems like the best argument, but even then there are many circumstances that can lead to a false confession. Some types of surveillance may also lend to this end in which case a good lawyer would question the reliability of those techniques or mechanisms as well. So let us agree that you cannot determine with absolute certainty, in any case, that you have the correct person and therefore cannot determine with absolute certainty that a person can deliver the information that you deem necessary. Next, there is no way of knowing what kind of interrogation or appeals to the person are going to work so you cannot rule out every kind of humane interrogation – you have to accept that there is simply not enough time to go through more humane interrogation techniques and move straight into torture. Finally, torture will produce just about any information you want from anybody, factual and fantastic. The fact is that most people would be compelled to say any information they thought their interrogators would want to hear in order to cease torture. So there is no guarantee that you would get reliable information this way. In addition to that, since you already cannot tell with certainty that you have the correct individual in custody, there is no way of telling whether the culprit is resisting confession or simply does not know the information that is being sought. Even in the case where you have the real culprit there is no guarantee that torture would produce anything other than the shame and anguish of the torturer. This deconstruction rests on the ontological argument that nothing empirical can be determined absolutely. But legally, we determine a threshold of certainty and exercise judgement based on that threshold. It would be entirely appropriate to do here, but in doing so we have to accept that we are no longer dealing with the pristine ticking bomb scenario. And once we get outside the theoretical, many problems follow.

Jeremy Bentham addressed some of these concerns three centuries ago. He wrote that torture is something where pain is afflicted in order to incite action and is ceased upon the completion of the desired action. However, punishment is the infliction of pain for its own sake after the fact of an action and that “Torture considered in itself is in this point of view less liable to exception than punishment is (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007)”. He writes that there are two cases for torture. “The first is where the thing which a Man is required to do being a thing which the public has an interest in his doing, is a thing which for a certainty in his power to do (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007)”. The second case is “...where a Man is required what probably though not certainly it is in his power to do; and for the not doing of which it is possible that he may suffer, although he be innocent; but which the public has so great an interest in his doing that the danger of what may ensue from his not doing it is a greater danger than even that of an innocent person’s suffering the greatest degree of pain (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007).” Bentham lays out rules for each of these cases. For the first case: there has to be proof of the person’s power to perform the action; the proof has to be as strong as it would be to subject him to the worst punishment under law; the threat has to be imminent (“admit of no delay (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007)”; if the threat is not imminent then less severe methods need to be used; even in cases where the threat is immediate, the threat must warrant the worst punishment under law. The rules for the second case are: there has to be an imminent threat; it should not be used unless the safety of the whole state is at risk; the power to torture can only be granted to persons best qualified to judge its necessity, and they are to be accountable for their judgment; and there must be “…as many and as efficacious checks… (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007)” as possible without deterring the efficacy of the coercion. Bentham says defining torture this way is works because it should be used rarely, if ever. He also points out that judges determine death sentences or life sentences both of which are arguably worse in the opinion of the condemned. And he ends with this marvelous line, “There is no approving it (torture) in the lump, without militating against reason and humanity: nor condemning it without falling into absurdities and contradictions”.

So, as has already been argued there can never be an absolute certainty as one alluded to in Bentham’s first case. However there can be a legal certainty which could be decided by a judge or other official with relevant qualifications. The second case gets into even more uncomfortable territory by leaving open ended the question of how it is supposed to be determined that the “...danger of what may ensue from his not doing it (torturing) is a greater danger than even that of an innocent person’s suffering the greatest degree of pain (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007).” How many innocent people is it justifiable to torture in order to avert a car-bombing, an assassination or even a nuclear attack? Is it still justifiable to torture, knowing that it may yield no results? Is it justifiable to torture even one innocent person? As you can see this ticking bomb scenario is nowhere nearly as clear cut as the a priori argument would seem. And are we going to grant the right to judges to decide who to torture? Alan Dershowitz talks about the concept of torture warrants. In his scheme, if there was an extreme case, law enforcement officials could go before a judge with pertinent evidence and if it was compelling enough the judge would grant a warrant to torture. Dershowitz argues similar to those that advocate legalizing drugs, that it is better to bring this frowned-upon but persistent practice into the legal fold to be better able to regulate it. Yet as far back as the 1600s we saw civilized society reject the notion of granting such awesome powers even to their own king. Bentham’s ideas are very interesting and indeed prescient to the arguments of today. But I am not of the mind to trust government to be able to make the kinds of decisions that Bentham was advocating. Jean Bethke Elshtain said that even when dealing with extreme cases we shouldn’t codify the use of torture in order to prevent its normalization. The codifying and normalizing of torture will no doubt lead to abuses of power, and will lead to the justification of torture by other nations whose motives we do not view as pure as our own (Martinez, 2006).

Sanford Levinson argued that torture should have to be proven justified to a jury. This would move the responsibility away from a government official which is an attractive option. But in the extreme cases where torture may be thought necessary, how would there be enough time to properly assemble a jury and present it with sufficient evidence, as well as providing for a defense?

Enhanced Interrogation through Torture

According to the Convention against Torture, torture is strictly prohibited. However, parties are only required to “undertake to prevent cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (United Nations, 1984)”. John Parry argues that this wording grants some leeway to those that would push the boundaries of acceptable forms of punishment. This gets to the argument that torture is not something strictly of a kind but of degrees. Some nations such as the U.K., Israel and the U.S. have attempted to justify actions that would otherwise be known as torture this way.

In the case of Ireland v. U.K. in front of the European Court of Human Rights, Ireland accused the U.K. of employing five tactics that they argued amounted to torture against suspected member of the I.R.A. The tactics were; stress positions, hooding, noise subjection, sleep deprivation and starvation (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007). The court ultimately ruled that they amounted to cruel and inhuman treatment but weren’t so severe as to constitute torture. This is the loophole that Parry cited. The court also noted that it was not done with the intention of torture. And even though the court conceded that there was to be international supervision over derogations of right, it judged that “…national authorities are … in a better position than the international judge to decide … on the nature and scope of derogations necessary to avert (a national security threat) (Lillich et al, 2006)”. This decision was a harrowing precursor to future justification of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

The Public Committee against Torture in Israel brought a case against the Government of Israel that was heard before the Israeli Supreme Court where the Court ruled on Israeli tactics that were argued amounted to torture. The tactics the Israelis employed were shaking suspected terrorists, and subjecting them to the “shabach position (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007)” which was a form of stress positioning in addition to hooding and noise subjection, sleep deprivation, and other physical violence or punishment. The government argued that the acts were excused because of the ‘necessity defence’ – that the acts were necessary for Israeli security. But the court dismissed that notion because the defence was meant to be applied ‘ad hoc’ in extreme cases, and not predeterminately used in administrative policy. All of the coercive tactics were prohibited (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007).

In 2002 the Bybee memo was circulated in Washington D.C. which redefined torture for the Bush administration. In this memo, torture was redefined to include acts causing physical pain so severe as to cause “death, organ failure or impairment of bodily functions.” Also, the mental suffering component was stretched out to only include permanent or long term emotional damage such as a mental disorder like post-traumatic stress disorder. Plus, this outcome had to be the interrogators intent (thanks, European Court of Human Rights). The justification for this new definition was the fact that the CAT arguably left room for exception for cruel and inhuman treatment. In 2004 The Bybee memo was stricken as policy and in 2006 the Military Commission Act was passed that had much more encompassing definitions of torture and cruel and inhuman treatment, however still allowed for the admission of evidence obtained through coercion (Steiner, Alston, Goodman, 2007).
The Convention Against Torture defines torture as “... any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions (United Nations, 1984).” This definition of torture seems pretty explicit and only disingenuous lawyering would lead to the definitions put forward by the U.K., U.S. and Israel. Even though in kind, all of these actions do amount to torture, that doesn’t mean that there are not ‘degrees’ of torture. In viewing torture this way these nations’ ‘enhanced interrogations’ should be seen as a lesser degree of torture than what may come into mind as a popular definition of torture such as thumb-screwing, teeth-pulling or mutilation. This is only an important point to consider if we do find any circumstance which torture would be morally permissible because at that point we may decide that it is only permissible to a lesser degree.
Oren Gross argues that there should be an official ban on torture but that there should be some kind of “official disobedience” in extreme cases such as the ticking bomb scenario. It is necessary to absolutely ban torture in society in order to prevent its normalization and legitimization. Torture cannot be employed wholesale as in the case of the United States in its so called War on Terror. In this instance the United States is pushing the ticking bomb argument much further than can be done reasonably. As has already been discussed, even the purest form of the ticking bomb argument cannot hold up under intense scrutiny and any form of the ticking bomb argument that departs from this original form moves further away from validity. The U.S. has said that while they reserve the right to torture in actual ticking bomb scenarios, they also find it necessary to do so in a number of related scenarios that are not as cut and dry. Maybe it is not one ticking bomb that’s hidden right now, about to blow up, but maybe it is fifty, or a thousand bombs that are in the process of being built for future dissemination. It does not take much to go even further from here on this slippery slope. Maybe it is not the existence of bombs that is the threat, but the propagation of information on how to build bombs. Maybe it is not the propagation of information on how to actually build bombs that is the threat, but maybe it is the propagation of information that might make someone consider wanting to blow up a bomb. Maybe it is not even information about bombs that is the threat but it is fact-based criticism of government actions. And the certainty claim has gone done the same slope. Maybe they are not certain this guy is a terrorist but he probably is one. Maybe it is not probable that he/she is a terrorist but it is possible that this person is a terrorist. Maybe this person was just someone that someone else had a grudge against and turned him into the authorities for a cash reward. How long is it until the administration declares that ‘they all ought to be rounded up just in case?’ These are exactly the conditions that lead to totalitarianism and genocide. I am not accusing the U.S. of either but as you can see they are only steps away. And it has all been done ostensibly with good intentions. We have no reason to believe that Donald Rumsfeld and company are sadists and enjoy torture for its own sake. We have to believe that they truly had their love of country at heart when authorizing these atrocities.

This is why torture cannot be authorized by law. Because it is not sadists that we have to worry about the most (though we do have to worry about them as well), it is those that think they are serving the interests of their country over the interests of humanity. Once we start to put ‘country first’ then there is no boundary to the atrocities that can be committed against ‘foreigners’. Yet we do put ‘country first’. Just as I put my family first before other families. There has to be strict limitations to this notion however. And with strict limitations comes exceptional circumstances. For instance, I am not going to kill anyone to gather resources for my family. I have other avenues. But if my family was on a desert island and my daughter was starving, I may be prepared to do some otherwise unthinkable acts. At the same time I have to face the reality that I am not, have never been, and in all likelihood will never be on a desert island in that exact circumstance, so dwelling on that circumstance is unhelpful - as is dwelling on the ticking bomb scenario. Surely, there is a weighty argument for the justification of torture in a very rare circumstance that almost never happens. That should not be the focus of the debate. The fact remains that torture is one of the most universally reviled human acts and everything possible should be done to minimize its occurrences. In extreme cases torture can be justified. I believe that, as in one of the ideas Bobbitt pointed to, if there is a case resembling a real-life ticking bomb scenario, and the interrogator feels that there is no other option but torture – he/she is certain that this person can halt the murder of an innocent person or of many innocent people, but chooses not to, and will not break under interrogation, and the mortal danger is imminent, then I think that interrogator is morally justified to torture that individual. I do not believe that that person should be legally justified in doing so. In this case as in the Bobbitt case I believe that the interrogator should be held accountable after the fact by a jury of peers (Bobbitt, 2008). Perhaps they will find the interrogator’s actions justifiable also. This will ensure that the consideration of undertaking to torture is never taken lightly and that abuses of authority to commit torture will be punished. Arguments can be made that instead of justification after the fact, it would be more prudent to issue torture warrants as discussed earlier. The key differences between the two methods of justification are that torture warrants place the authority in someone removed from the situation, it removes accountability from the perpetrator of torture and it legitimizes, in some form, the torturing of individuals under law. And we should also note the argument that allowing torture in this circumstance could lead to recognition jus cogens. Although I disagree with this argument, because the strict scenario that torture would be forgiven in would not occur enough for it to become customary in my opinion , does not mean that will certainly be the case. So, can torture ever be justified? Yes. Torture can be justified morally, but never legally.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Good Morning from OYIT [Feb 26]

By Bub
This was Cross Posted at One Year In Texas

Today’s Silent Film Star

Buster Keaton! Buster Aziz Abdul Abdullah Keaton was known for his physical comedy, porkpie hats and overt racism until late in his life when he converted to Islam and switched his views to racial equality and religious bigotry. Mr. Keaton’s family ran the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company growing up, where they would perform vaudeville sketches and sold medicinal syrup made from cocaine, honey and oil extracted from Mohawk Indian Pineal glands. His family’s traveling Medicine Company was known for having employed Harry Houdini for a short time before he managed to escape… Buster Keaton went on to make pioneering comedic masterpieces such as The General and Sherlock Jr. before ruining his legacy with pathetic commercial ploys co-starring Jimmy Durante such as The Passionate Plumber and What? No Beer! The latter was based on Keaton’s religious conversion to Islam.

Today’s Winning Lotto Number


Today’s Fish

Butterfish. Sure, you still have bones in you but you cost 20 cents less than garfish at the local Barnacle Bill’s and taste exactly the same. It makes me feel like a real man to work for that 20 cents by picking out the bones. Also, Barnacle Bill’s, get some f-ing ketchup, or, I’m sorry, Tomato Sauce, not EVERYTHING goes with f-ing tartar sauce. Not even the Tatars believe that.

Today’s Weight Loss Drug

Ephedrine. This drug played a major role in my losing nearly 100 pounds during high school. I would take just enough to make me cry with pleasure but not be able to process pain. This feeling led to several arrests and the regaining of the weight I had lost plus a bowling ball or two. It was quite an enjoyable period of my life, but I can no longer bring a spoon-full of soup to my mouth without spilling it. I call it a draw.

Today’s Weather

Folks from Salem down to Medford will be sad to find out they will be crushed to death by a giant car. It will rain potatoes over the middle third of the state of Oregon and the sun will rise from beneath the top-soil in Oregon’s Northeast corner.

Today’s Football Club

Collingwood. This is Australian Rules Football. Collingwood is the Bobby Brown to decent society’s Whitney Houston. Their star player gets arrested for running down an old lady while drunk and gets a stern reprimand. They deliberately set most of the tragic Victorian bushfires that caused the largest natural disaster in Australian history and they get a bye week to rest up before taking on Geelong. Collingwood is like the asshole I thought it was possible to be when I was in junior high and threw Drano bombs at parked cars and stole cartons of cigarettes from Super-Value. I eventually learned that this was not a sustainable lifestyle. Collingwood continues burning homemade napalm to this day.

Today’s Tasty Treat

Turkish Delight. That guy from Harry Potter likes this shit. SO do Australians. It’s like jello covered in coconut covered in ketchup. No wonder what we consider torture is legal in Turkey. Maybe that explains why water-boarding doesn’t sound so bad to some people after they hear about Dove bars.

Today’s Prediction

You’re going to eat a Dove bar and whine about how it’s not as bad as being water-boarded. Of course it’s not, you’ve never been a TERRORIST! You will cheer Ben Cousins’ triumphant return to AFL against the Collingwood Magpies. This will make you a ‘bloody poof’. After all that Butterfish and Turkish Delight you will accidentally overdose on ephedrine and be posthumously rewarded an Oscar for your role as The Joker in the latest Batman feature film. Your Australian family will accept the award on your behalf and acts surprisingly nonchalant and unaffected by your untimely death. You will haunt them in the fourth installment of the Adams Family series. MC Hammer will rap the plot of the movie over the end credits. Your death and this movie will go unavenged.

Good Morning from OYIT [Feb 25]

By Bub
Cross Posted at One Year In Texas

Good Morning denizens of the autonomous Okrug of One Year In Texas in the administrative Oblast of Kamchatka. For those of you who aren't Russian political geography fans or Risk nerds, good morning to you as well. It appears I have overslept by a little over one hour, as you all are used to receiving your good mornings at 7AM central standard time. My deepest apologies. I have been working with a life coach to try to become a better person, but I didn't have a lot of money so I had to settle for the guy that hangs out in the self-help section of the public library all day. Turns out he's not as reliable as Susan Powter's eternal quest to defeat mental illness, and he forgot to wake me up in time. When I called him at 7:30 AM at the pay phone down at the library he just yelled at me to not harass him at his place of business.

Today's Quote
"It ain’t men roaming the aisles of the grocery store every week…it’s you... Queen of the Aisle, you just gotta get your royal groove on and realize just how power-filled you are, Ms. C.E.O of the food industry!"

The quote is from Susan Powter's least successful book venture, The Politics of Stupid. In this book she apparently writes a satirical portrayal of some very stupid ideas about politics.

Today's Weather

Unfortunately this forecast of post-Soviet Russia was still made with soviet-era icons resulting in only three variations of weather: sunny, behind where it is cloudy; cloudy with clouds dropping balls of sadness; and cloudy with clouds dropping candy-corn made out of blue cabbage.

Today's Daughter
Is Iris who keeps peering around the corner from the kitchen as I write this to see if I am in bed yet so she can sneak into my bedroom and sleep on the floor. Not gonna happen, sister! (Of course it will).

Today's Religious Festival
Trndez - Armenia

Trndez occurs annually and was originally an Armenian pagan festival celebrating through fire-worship the God Myr, who stood for compassion and love. Today it has been easily incorporated into Christian tradition because of similarities between Jesus' and Myr's teachings and in the burning of heretics.

Today's Prediction
Several of you will go to Armenia hoping to enjoy a good Trndez parade or burning at the stake, and will be disappointed to learn that the celebrations ended a week ago. You will be reassured however when you observe how superior your standard of living is to the majority of Armenians. Then you will become depressed when you realize that none of those material advantages make you happy and you will uproot your family and move to Armenia where you can enjoy the simpler joys in life, like walking through fire and hating Azerbaijanis.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Week In Hate: "Petition to get the group "Soldiers are not heroes" off Facebook!"

This week’s edition of ‘This Week in Hate’ involves a little hatin’ of our own! Inspired by the rapid growth of the Facebook Group 'Petition to get the group "Soldiers are not heroes" off Facebook!' I decided to start my own petition group on Facebook. Since this group exclusively refers to ‘Coalition Forces’ in Afghanistan and Iraq, I wanted to expand their breadth of hate of people who question the use of violent force, to cover both sides of these wars. Unfortunately there were no counterparts to the original “Soldiers Are Not Heroes” Group so I had to create my own, in order to petition to have it removed:

The Taliban / Iraqi Insurgents Are Not Heroes!
Basic Info
Type: Common Interest - Politics

Description: The purpose of this group is to decry the violence committed by The Taliban in Afghanistan and Iraqi Insurgents in Iraq. I don't think killing people in the name of their beliefs makes them heroes, do you?
Contact Info

Location: Mean Streets, Americatown USA
Displaying 1 memberSee All

Brandon Henander

There. Now that’s established I can try to get these unpatriotic assholes kicked off of the face of the planet with this group:

Petition To Get The Group "The Taliban... Are Not Heroes!" Off Facebook
Basic Info
Type: Common Interest - Politics

Description: The full name of the traitorous group is 'The Taliban / Iraqi Insurgents Are Not Heroes!' How dare they insult the service and sacrifice of these individuals in the name of their ideals, country and religion.
Contact Info

Location: Mean Streets, Americatown, USA
Displaying 1 memberSee All

Brandon Henander

Let’s get these buggers out of here before they challenge us to think critically about our governments’ military actions worldwide. As our founding fathers would have wanted, let’s shut them the hell up!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Movie Reviews of Movies I Haven't Seen Yet: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Harris lived across the courtyard from Michael Millionaire in an apartment complex in Lucknow, India. Lucknow is in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous sub-national government unit in the world – if it were an independent nation it would be the world’s sixth largest country. That wouldn’t stop Michael from asking Slumdog if she wanted to go sledding with him. It was early winter, 100 years in the future, a time when global warming inexplicably caused it to snow in the immediate sub-tropics during winter, and the hill at the park down the block was a popular sledding destination.

Michael knew he would be heading off to the army the following summer to fight in India’s fifth war against Bhutan over the worlds’ most precious resource, used tires, and he needed to get as much sledding under his belt as possible before heading into battle.

Slumdog adored Michael. Boys in Lucknow 100 years in the future are given family names that reflect their economic status. Apart from being rich, Michael would always ask Slumdog along whenever he would descend a hill on a recreational instrument, be it used tire, toboggan, greased trash-bag, or sled. Also, Slumdog hadn’t met very many men because she had grown up in a strangers’ cellar, held against her will, speaking a made up language of grunts and pops.

Slumdog sounds in English like something sad and diseased, but it actually translates from Hindi very loosely to ‘chickpea and lotus paste used for brushing teeth and hair’. This is in the tradition of naming children after Hindu Gods, whereas Slumdog is the keeper and protector of the aforementioned paste and used tires.

After the narrator ignored him the first time, Michael asked Slumdog to go sledding again. This time she consented. But, she was terrified. The slope on the hill was steep, and her parents were killed in a sledding accident; when a Lear jet crashed into the hillside where her parents were sledding.

Michael mounted the sled and motioned for Slumdog to grab on. She sat between Michael’s legs and wrapped her arms around his biceps as his arms reached forward to grasp the string. Michael nudged his body-weight forward and the sled took off like a used tire rolling down a hill.

Snow shot up into Michael and Slumdog’s faces. Wind whipped their hair into their eyes, cheeks and noses. It was exhilarating. Half-way down the hill Michael leaned forward and whispered to Slumdog, ‘Slumdog, I love you’. He leaned back and remained silent the rest of the decent.

When the noise and excitement died down as they slowly slid to a stop at the bottom of the hill Slumdog was left with the question ‘did Michael just say that he loved me?’ Michael asked her to go down again, and she again agreed. He whispered his love into her ear again, and again, his lack of acknowledgment afterward left Slumdog confused. She began to question whether or not Michael was even the source. Perhaps it was the wind. It did not matter either way at this point; for she yearned that sweet declaration like the world economy yearned used tires.

After the second time down the hill Michael walked her home. He made no mention of any quiet confessions of love. Slumdog had begun questioning her own grasp of reality. Surely what she heard were words of a human. Wind could not declare a love for anyone? How nice would it be though if it could and did? What if it did? What if it was Michael? It would sort of be nice, but it would kind of make him a creep for whispering that into my ear and then pretending like nothing happened. Also, what if I’m schizophrenic?

Michael asked her sledding again the next day. She went expectantly and again she heard those sweet words in her ear. Of course, it was Michael whispering them but Slumdog became less interested in the source and more enamored in the concept. Something loved her. And it was telling her so. Heck, if she discovered the source at this point she would only be left to face some uncomfortable realities like, if it was Michael he would obviously only have been joking or at the very least too weird to date, and if it was the wind, well, that would mean that nature had the power to communicate with her but chose to ignore her for twenty-two years and she didn’t think she was ready to deal with what that would mean. She went sledding with Michael several more times over the course of that winter and had the same experience each time. But she never got up the nerve to ask Michael or the wind what exactly was going on.

The snow melted. Sledders on the hill in the park down the road were replaced with children inside used tires. Slumdog grew lonely. Michael prepared for Army.

Slumdog in her lonely fantasies would imagine that it was indeed Michael that professed his love to her and they would be married and she would become Slumdog Millionaire and how that would be funny to share the name of a movie that won a best picture Oscar 100 years ago. Then she would imagine being married to the wind. In her imagination the wind was surprisingly abusive. But that made her want it even more.

One night, the night before Michael would be shipped off to the trenches of Thimpu, Michael observed Slumdog standing outside in the courtyard. He saw her looking to the sky in a mournful yearning and agitated expectation. She was waiting to hear those words again, from whomever was willing to give them to her. She begun to need them more than air or used tires. It burned a hole in her stomach.

Michael whispered, “Slumdog, I love you,” without revealing his location or his heart. Slumdog’s face lit up then quickly retracted into dignified appreciation. Her heart swelled up to her tonsils. She still didn’t know where the words came from, but she would no longer have to bear the silence. Michael realized in that moment that he did indeed love her.

Michael was killed when he sled into a pile of used tires which was an Armenian neck-tie ambush, where a person is trapped inside a pile of tires and then set alight. Armenia was the last country to join the Coalition of the Grudgingly Consented with Bhutan and all other countries except India, Iraq and Afghanistan. Slumdog married a nobleman, Henry Hundred-Thousand. She may have married for love, she may have married for security, she may have married for the spacious cellar at Henry’s compound. What she knew for certain was that she was never happier than when something whispered it loved her to her and made her confused because she wasn’t sure if it was a person or a natural phenomenon. Sure, she had a husband and children, but when they told her they loved her, they never made her feel crazy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Now that I'm here I can post shamelessly personal content. So enjoy this video of my daughter Iris dancing to her favorite song "Electric Feel" by MGMT.

Love Kills

By Bub

Little Carter would wait up awake in his bed until he heard the noise of a car coming down his gravel driveway. This was usually at 2:30 AM just after the bars closed in town. These were irregular hours for a 5 year old to keep. But he was used to it by now, and he’d do anything to make sure his Mom was safe.

They lived on his grandparents’ farm. It wasn't a commercial farm, most of the animals were pets. But it was in the country and they would always wake up to the smell of sweet dew and cow manure. He was an unwanted pregnancy and after he was born he spent most of his time with his grandparents. His mother’s rejection made him yearn for her even more like when that mean person you know pays a genuine interest in you and somehow it feels like that means more than affection you didn't have to work for. It's not that Carter’s Mom was mean, it’s just that she was young and had a lot of things on her mind. That’s what Carter told himself.

His grandparents got some rabbits to keep him from being so lonely. They lived in the country. Grandpa worked full time at the local tractor factory and Grandma sold real estate. Mom always said she was going to Beauty School because it sounded nice, but most of the time she went to the tavern in town and didn’t come home until Little Carter heard the gravel crack under the tires of the car of a young man he had never met.

Carter watched MTV and played Atari on cloudy days and caught bugs in his bug-net when it was sunny along the fencing of their 3 acres. There were no other children for miles. The nearest one was his best friend Lively Worrell, but he only saw him when Grandpa visited Lively's dad to go metal-detecting.

One rabbit was a male. Carter called him George after George Michael and he called the other one Madonna. He carried a picture of Madonna the pop-star around in his wallet. Whenever a tangentially related subject arose he would take out his wallet and show whoever was around its only content and explain that he was in love and that he had a chance with her because she fell for the little boy in that video where she was a stripper. Most people thought it was cute. Little Carter yearned for Madonna with a throbbing that made his eyes water up whenever he pictured her kissing his cheek. His mom loved Madonna also and she wore the occasional black netting on her forearms. His mom used to tease her hair out like Madonna too. One day she told Carter that she wouldn’t be going to Beauty School anymore and that she’d be catching bugs and playing Atari with him. They did for awhile, she let her hair go and Carter was happy

Grandpa told him Madonna was going to have babies. Carter was ecstatic. He would have friends around close to his age to play with. And they would be cute little bunnies to boot. Carter was so content with the thought of being a foster dad for a crop of bunnies and his Mom being around, that he wrote a postcard to Santa telling him that he didn’t need as many presents this year because he already had most of what he wanted. He attached a revised list with Ghostbusters’ Slimer with real slime, and Moss-Man action figure from the He-Man series crossed out and left Bagpipes and a Daddy remaining.

When the bunnies were born Carter went to greet his new friends. He was horribly disappointed when, instead of being cute little fuzzy bunnies, they were little pink and blue hairless rat-monsters. They were the most repulsive things he had seen up to that point. He tried to assure himself that they would be His bunnies, and that he would love them the way he wanted to be loved, and that made him feel a little better.

The next day Carter woke up early to go see his bunnies. He thought that a transformation might have occurred overnight and that they might be real bunnies by now. Not so. When he went out to the rabbit cage he discovered the grisly aftermath of a bunny massacre. There were bits of pink and blue flesh and white innards and red blood flung about the cage and drooping through the floor made of chicken wire and woodchips. No bunny was left alive. Carter couldn’t comprehend what had happened. He ran inside yelling “Bear! Bear!” until his Grandpa settled him down and asked him to tell what had happened. When it was explained to Carter that the mother had eaten her own children, he felt his first sense of existential angst. At that moment he lost his sense that at least nature was perfect – that there was a natural, even supernatural purpose and it would play out as intended. He didn’t understand it then, but this was why he would never be able to accept the existence of a benevolent God.

Carter withdrew from his family. He spent more and more time in his bedroom playing with Micro-Machines. He began taking his meals alone in the den. When his mother told him she had gotten a hair-cutting job in town Carter began soiling his bedclothes at night. He was a mess, as much as a five year old could be. One day he took off without telling anybody and tried to walk into town to see his Mom at the Beauty Shop. By the time his grandparents realized he was gone, all they could see was a tiny figure prancing across the bridge a mile in the distance. They sped off in their Buick and caught him just as he was turning the corner to the main road into town. Carter got spanked worse than he ever would again.

Carter stopped watching music videos. He began looking at his globe all day. He would pretend that he was in some exotic land where his Mom and Dad were together and they weren’t a burden to his grandparents. He knew most of the world capitals by the time he turned 6 late that summer.

It was an unusually hot day in September; the temperature was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at noon. His grandpa had told him to take the feed out to the pigs. They only had three and they were all sows. They were lying, exhausted from heat, by the barn. Carter felt sorry for them so he fetched a hose from the garden shack and hooked it up by the barn. He sprayed the pigs dutifully, expecting them to slowly rise to their hooves in full force ready to eat. After they each let out a terrible squeal, rolled over once, and became still again Carter began to suspect something was wrong. He turned off the hose. He clasped his hand over one of their wet faces. It wasn’t breathing. He didn’t have to touch the other two, he knew they were dead by the way their chests no longer inflated and contracted. He had killed them all, his grandpa would later explain, by throwing them into shock. All he wanted was to do a good thing.

He looked at things differently after that. When Christmas came around that year for the first time he was not disappointed that he didn’t get bagpipes. He was more than happy with Slimer and Moss-Man. He didn’t get mad when she went out on dates with their Turkish exchange student Hakaan. And he understood that Santa was a human just like the rest of us.

Bub's Public Joke File

By Bub

A priest, a rabbi and a mullah go sky diving. They all use parachutes.

There was this funny bumper sticker – Jesus rides shotgun. When I saw it I laughed. Then I looked in the bus and understood why the black people were all sitting in back.

How many Polish people does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Three – One to screw it in, and two twins to be both head of government and head of state.

A car salesman walks into a bar. He starts a tab and drinks alone in the corner all night.

Two junkies walk into a methadone clinic. One asks the other ‘What do aliens buy coffee with?” The other junkie says, “Starbucks.”

Little Johnny asks Papa, where do babies come from? Papa is too emotionally distant to respond.

What did the Italian do for Kwanzaa?
Took the opportunity to learn about different cultures.

A bank robber walks into a bank. He goes to the teller and says, “This is a hold up, give me all your money!” The teller freezes in fear. The bank robber panics and shoots her and then himself.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Billy Joel.
Billy Joel who?
(agitated) Grammy award winner Billy Joel.
Nope, still doesn’t ring a bell.

There once was a spooky ghost. He scared all the little children in the neighborhood. One night he scared a third grader TO DEATH. The town blamed ‘Jews’ and a pogrom ensued.

One supermarket clerk says to the other supermarket clerk, “My karma ran over your dogma.”

Yogi Bear was a white collar criminal.

What did the serial killer hide under the bed?
A photo album with pictures of his parents who were killed during Franco’s facist regime in Spain.

The old man took a Viagra pill.

Three boy scouts go out on a camping trip. A fourth little boy wanted to go along as well but was excluded because he was gay.

Bill Cosby is driving down the freeway in the suburbs of LA. He sees a Ukrainian man standing next to a broken down car on the side of the road. Cosby reaches for his gun, then composes himself and gives the distressed Eastern European a ride to the next service station.

What did the pedophile say to the little boy?

“I wish I could find a place to live in my home town but the city’s repressive sex-offender laws make it impossible.”

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Elder Boxley, with the Church of Latter Day Saints.
(Door opens) Come in, let’s start with the guy hallucinating in a corn field and end on why people who believe his prophesies more than the screaming homeless guy on 13th street deserve to be married and gays and lesbians don’t.

Social Commentary on the Current Billboard Top 5 (US)

By Bub

I am going to give a pass to Beyonce’s Single Ladies and to a lesser extent Lady Gaga’s Just Dance for being interesting innovative pop songs that communicate actual human situations with a degree of emotional honesty. Beyonce’s tribal call-and-response, with a halting simplicity, juxtaposed robotic synthesizer and melancholic harmonies conveys a depth that frankly I did not think she was capable of. I am going to choose to read too much into Lady Gaga’s Just Dance and view it as a critique of the ‘party scene’ that offers a realistic picture of night life rife with, sloppiness, garbage, ugliness, regretful behavior and willful denial. Plus, Lady Gaga’s Futuristic Funkadelic sensibilities are surprisingly fresh and her voice is so affectless and pure that it makes Alicia Keys seem like the spoiled white chick from the suburbs that grew up with singing lessons and paid-for Hummer.

I am also going to give America credit for Kanye West’s Heartless standing at #2 in the Billboard charts. This is a song that is so emotionally raw, self-aware, and powerful as to already raise the flag of limited mass appeal and then goes on to be so out of character and ‘un-party scene’ that in previous carnations would have gone unnoticed and not even made it onto a b-side. But somehow Kanye, with his vocoder and Cosby Sweater slipped this one past the American Consumption Public. I’ll also give America credit now for electing Barack Obama president and supporting the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

So that leaves only two examples, however glaring, of the decline of America in the Billboard top 5. The first is the current #1 hit by Eminem featuring Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, Crack a Bottle. We’ll begin with the intro:

Ladies and gentlemen. The moment you have all been waiting for. In this corner, weighing in at 175 pounds. With a record of 17 rapes, 400 assaults and 4 murders. The undisputed most diabolical villain in the world. Slim, Shady!!!

That really sums it up quite nice actually. This song is the creative equivalent of rape, the victim of 400 assaults and murderer of four out of the five senses. Slim Shady loses some street credibility right off the bat when he claims to have ‘bitches’ consensually riding around nude with him in his Tahoe waiting to utilize the rubbers he is looking for and then finds in the chorus, after just having bragged about committing more rapes than the Duke LaCrosse team. Which is it Slim Shady? Is the masculine prowess and lack of empathy it takes to over power a woman against her will more admirable or is it merely the physical location of a penis relative to a vagina. If it is the latter, judging you as considerably lazier than a decade ago based solely on the lyrics to this song (“Cuz when I spit the verse the shit gets worse than Worcestershire Sauce”), I would expect to hear A LOT more songs about necrophilia.

Dr. Dre and 50 Cent don’t add much either. If anything Dre detracts and 50 just kind of shows up. Dr. Dre tips his hand of having lost all relevance in the mid 90s with the line “…beats quake like Waco”. He references something he had vaguely heard about back before a decade long opium habit froze his brain in a way that allows him access to memories only in one word slices, which is why he makes the reference in such a puzzling manner, in a way that has no relation to anything that has ever had even slightly to do with Waco.

Crack a bottle let your body waddle
Don’t act like a snobby model you just hit the lotto uh oh
Bitches hoppin’ in my Tahoe got one riding shotgun and no not one of ‘em got clothes
Now where’s the rubbers whose got the rubbers
I notice there’s so many of ‘em and there’s really not that many of us
And ladies love us my posse’s kicking up dust
It’s on till the break of dawn and we’re staring this party at dusk

What could be worse than the 500th Slim Shady self-parody with the most annoying, least creative hook yet? You guessed it, anything by Kelly Clarkson. Her #4 hit ‘My Life Would Suck without You” is an impudent feign at sincerity – in communicating with the Youth Generation – by a group of songwriters called ‘pop-wizards’ who have long lost touch with people that have lives ahead of them, and are scared to death that someone will find this out so they overcompensate by presenting the most cartoonish and juvenile version of young people and ‘relationships’ as can be imagined so as to capture the essence of that inscrutible species Youth as they see it. Because this Young generation, with their legalized sodomy and gay marriages, is obviously no longer interested in the kind of love their grandparents had they must relish emotionally unhealthy relationships, and only in the most vacuous of ways:

I know that I’ve got issues
But you’re pretty messed up too
Anyway, I found out I’m nothing without you

‘Look, I am diagnosed Borderline with Sociopathic symptoms, but you’re a drug addicted AIDS patient. Anyhoo, my life has no intrinsic meaning so I will project meaning onto my causing you to suffer.’

In all it seems that the tables have turned. We are at over 50% of songs that don’t insult us as music listeners in the Billboard top 5. In March of 2003 #1-5 were all that Drowning Pool song about Bodies Hitting the Floor. During the Gingrich revolution Snow had a number one hit and Two Princes was a song. The 80s? Huey fucking Lewis. So yeah, we, or at least Kanye, Lady Gaga and Beyonce are the change we can believe in.

The World Post, Vol. 2

By Bub

Bathroom Casserole – In Barack Obama’s America the homeless are no longer forced to cook mice over a burning trash barrel behind Lowe’s. Now they are forced to live their entire lives in hotel bathrooms.

Kobe Bryant tries to steal the NBA All-Star MVP award from Shaq after mistakenly hearing that it was the Most Unrepentant Rapist award.

Punxsutawney Phil’s cousin, Al, at the less popular Groundhog-Smashing festival moments before meeting his doom.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets with Special US Envoy Richard Holbrooke. Karzai is pictured here asking Holbrooke if the US could install him as president of a better country.

Lee Redmond was known as the record holder of the world’s longest fingernails until they were recently broken in a car accident. She is now known by her other record as grossest old woman that dresses like a fifteen year old.

Ervin Lupoe shot his wife, five children and himself after losing his job as a Medical Technician. Said Dental Assistant and TV/VCR Repairman, “Seriously? It wasn’t that great of a job to begin with.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is pictured here walking the streets of Caracas with both fists extended above his head in triumphant celebration after successfully exploiting and deceiving an impoverished and desperate population. Also he was pretty stoked after his conference call with Lindsey Lohan.

‘You don’t know him like I do. Sure, he fucks dogs, but he is so giving and emotionally open. Plus he got me that heartworm medicine and who am I to complain, I eat other dogs’ poop.’

Croats making the world’s largest sausage… out of Serbs.

Ambassador Beagle testifying before Congress about his involvement in the Oil-for-Hambones corruption scandal.

Lynard Skynard Keyboardist, Billy Powell, died recently prompting music fans everywhere to still hate Lynard Skynard. In case you were wondering Billy is the one wearing black with the smug look of an idiot pretending to understand abstract concepts.

Not pictured, just out of frame is Chris Cornell performing his newest single “Part of Me”.

They’re building the Clubhouse there? But Jews could get in.

The Department of Homeland Security raised the terrorist threat level from orange to red this week. When asked why, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replied cryptically, “Invisible frogs.”

Overheard at the Mall

By Bub
10. I swear this will be the last time. (Man to security guards after being caught humping the waste bin. It wont be)

9. Where is the Dan Brown section? (Swollen-faced middle-aged unemployed woman to clerk at Waldenbooks)

8. If I can whack one more mole God, I wont ask you for anything ever again. (Recently fired Enterprise Rent-a-Car supervisor at Change Takerz Arcade)

7. Do you have this jean in a South Pole? (White faux-gangster putting on airs at Younkers after finding $200 under the cushion of his drug dealer’s couch.)

6. Jesus, you’ve gotta try a Maid Rite. It’s got all the ingredients of a hamburger but without the pretension and convenience of a firm, non-crumbling patty. (Me, to nobody)

5. Where is the section for that devil-worshiper? (Young Earth Creationist PTA member to a clerk at Waldenbooks, researching a list of books to ban, referring to Dan Brown)

4. What do you mean you don’t have acid wash? (Irate member of the Hall and Oates backup band to confused sales clerk at Banana Republic)

3. Damn, girl you look good today (Man in a Dwight Howard basketball jersey and matching Orlando Magic dew rag to swollen-faced middle-aged unemployed woman just outside of Waldenbooks)

2. Where’s the happy ending? (Elderly man in rainbow suspenders sitting in a massage chair)

1. Oh, there it is. (Elderly man in rainbow suspenders sitting in a massage chair)

Catch Me If You Are Able Considering Your Underpriviledged Upbringing And Lack Of A Serious Education

By Bub

“I’ve been on his trail for years, but he was always one step ahead.” Detective Brazavich said to the camera.

“Now that we got him I do feel elated, but I’m just glad he wont be able to deceive anyone else ever again.”

It all started in 2001 when former Rhodes scholar and medical researcher, Karl Landley, walked by a Burger King fast food establishment in Bethesda, Maryland. He was on his way to his biomedical imaging job at the National Institute for Health when a fateful fall would change the course of history. Karl tripped over a Burger King shift manager who was sitting with her legs sticking out across the sidewalk, smoking a marijuana pipe on her hourly break. Karl got up, apologized then realized he never wanted to look at another electroencephalograph again. The next day he was waiting on the sidewalk in front of the Burger King with a marijuana pipe of his own when the shift manager came out for a break. This is when Karl began to spin the most gigantic web of deception ever spun by a non-arachnid.

He allegedly offered the pipe in exchange for a job as a bun-caramelizer. When the shift manager asked of his credentials he presented an extraordinarily elaborate forgery of his permanent record that made no mention of his undergraduate study at Cambridge or his medical degree from Johns Hopkins and in fact purported his highest level of education attained to be a high school diploma equivalency achieved by test.

“Something didn’t seem right straight away. All the buns were coming though toasted to perfection. There were no raw buns making their way though, no fingernails, no melted flip-flops, these are all pretty standard learning-curve mishaps. Karl didn’t have any. And it made the rest of the sandwich line uncomfortable. I mean, they were already working four-hour and forty-five minute days in burnt flip-flops, they didn’t need Rain Man on the bun-burner showing them up.”

Karl was moved to the fryer where he would work more independently and cause less commotion. About three days into this gig his fa├žade began to crumble when he became the first employee in Bethesda Burger King history to make it nearly half a week at the fryer and not suffer a fourth degree burn. They knew he was a fraud. But he knew they knew this before they knew they knew. And he was gone.

After his job at Burger King it became clear to Karl that working at brain-deadening jobs was PCP and he was addicted and punching through hoods of cars in a KFC parking lot. He landed a movie-rental gig at a Hollywood Video on the outskirts of Baltimore under the alias Sean Paul. He spoke in an affected Jamaican accent and wore white-man’s dreadlocks. When customers complained of his stink he was promoted to assistant manager. The jig was up, however, when he accidentally let it slip that Tyler Perry was the worst person in the world. He was chased out of town by an angry mob. He escaped tarred, but not feathered.

The next pit-stop in Karl’s formula one race of destruction was at a Sbarro’s Pizza in the food court at the Concord Mall in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Yeah, this fella that called himself Shaggy Boombastic worked here for about two weeks. Things went sour after we noticed customers stopped complaining about feces being in the food. When I asked if it was him that stopped putting poo in the sausage, he distracted me by flipping the light switch on and off real fast. Next thing I knew, he was gone.”

His final victim was the Gas Works truck-stop chain. He started work at the franchise in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, under the alias ‘Xhibit Pimpmyride’. He conned his way into a job as a counter-clerk by pretending not to be able to read and offering, unsolicited, a failed drug-test. He moved up quickly in the gas-station business. He got a job as supervisor when he was caught stealing cartons of cigarettes. Then, he was promoted to the regional office when he was found unconscious in the walk-in freezer after masturbating while strangling himself with a jumbo-sized Twizzler.

“What you’ve got to remember about these people,” Karl said remorselessly in his video-taped interrogation interview, “is that because they aren't of the priviledged class, they’re functionally retarded. I’m not just talking about the counter-clerks, I mean the supervisors, the managers, even my co-workers at the regional office, they couldn’t perform simple mathematic calculations like multiplication and subtraction. They couldn’t even tell time. If you asked them, they’d just complain that you made them pause the T.I. song that was playing on their ipod.”

Karl’s stint at the regional office didn’t last long. When suddenly several local Gas Works outlets began turning profits the hammer quickly came down on Karl. Luckily it hit the CFO’s thumb instead and Karl again made a sprightly escape.

Karl’s Trail of Tears ended shortly thereafter when he applied for a job at Batteries Plus in Redding, PA. He got lazy and forgot to erase the MacArthur Genius Grant he received from his resume. The Batteries Plus employee who took it from Landley immediately called 911 and Karl was taken in by a S.W.A.T. team in the parking lot.

Karl is now serving a life sentence in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. When asked the million dollar question, “Why on Earth would you do that?” Karl only smiles and says “Git (sic) ‘er done!!!”

Love Letter To My Wife

By Bub

I love you more than The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

You’re more beautiful than any woman I will ever be with sexually, that is to say you’re first in a three (wo)man race.

You’re honest with me about my flaws, even when I don’t ask your opinion on the subject.

I really like it when you color in a coloring book, not with our three year old daughter Iris, but just by yourself for fun. There’s something really sweet about that.

When I was in high school the only thing I knew about you was that Joey Puentes told me you bathed in a tub in your back yard. I thought that was hot.

It makes me feel better when I get agitated after reading too much into an innocent gesture and you pretend to have been malignantly motivated in order for me to save face.

I am glad that you don’t make fun of me for looking at maps in my free time.

I like that when I paint with Iris you tell me my painting is really good even though hers is better.

I am grateful that when I have the temerity to explain to you how you aren’t being rational (even though most of the time you are), you don’t punch me in the face.

I am thankful you pretend to care when I tell you about the fascinating linguistic and cultural diversity of the Caucasus region or which Australian Senator supports the National Plan of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women, or that I learned to read in Arabic but don’t understand any of the words.

I am amazed that you can’t stand fruits and most vegetables and gave birth to a child and remain in great physical shape, when, I became a vegetarian and gained 60 pounds.

I love the fact that in the time it took me to read the short story ‘Ward Six’ you read two full-length novels.

It humbles me that wherever on the planet we go to people gravitate to you and you make lasting friendships while the majority of people I have befriended in the past five years have been homeless, mentally handicapped or illegal immigrants.

I implore the God I don’t believe in every day that she wont let you realize that you’re too good for me - too kind and strong and funny and smart and not obsessed with podcasts, olive oil and Norm MacDonald, though you gracefully indulge me in all three.

As Sonny Bono said while skiing to his death into a tree at South Lake Tahoe, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Movie Reviews of Movies I Haven't Seen Yet: Titanic

By Bub

Titanic is an epic film about the greatest love story ever told – between Jesus and that woman that wrote a book for the Bible that got cut during the editing process. Anyway, Jesus loved her so much, and for our purposes we’ll call her Julie, Jesus loved Julie so much that He wanted to take her for a cruise. Now, I know what you’re saying to yourselves – ‘Couldn’t Jesus just carry her over the water wherever they wanted to go?’ – and to that I say ‘You obviously have never been on a cruise’. Because, that’s not what it’s about. Going on a cruise isn’t all about performing miracles and being the Son of God, if anything it’s an opportunity to get away from all that bullshit.

So Jesus takes Julie on this nice cruise, probably around Alaska or something, and they’re havin’ a great time, they see whales, they see moose, they see that jerk-off from that movie who thinks he’s too good for the middle class and freezes himself in a camper-van, and Sean Penn is there. It’s idyllic. Jesus said He hadn’t felt that good since He was bathin’ all them hookers. Julie got kinda pissed about that and went below deck to the gaming floor to drown her sorrows at the nickel slots. A cocktail waitress comes up and asks Julie if she wants a drink and Julie is all ‘no, my boyfriend’s Jesus and shit’ and the cocktail waitress says, ‘well I don’t see him around here anywhere!’ And Julie is pretty pissed at this point and buys a scotch and soda and plays the maximum thirty-five cents. Neither pays off.

By this time Jesus is distraught. He calls his Mom for advice. She starts naggin’ Him about why He never calls for His father anymore. He’s like ‘I call him all the time’ and she’s like ‘Oh , really, well I bet Joseph would like to hear all about this Mister Big Man with His college degree’, and Jesus tries to explain that college wasn’t invented until fifteen hundred years after His death, but Mary was a wise old Jewess, and she could see right through His fancy party tricks and His manipulative good deeds, down to the bum that didn’t give His real family the time of day. Jesus said that technically they would go to hell since they’d die before the Bible was written, and that He wasn’t telling them to go there, that’s just how the cards would fall, and Mary hung up on Him.

So, by this time Julie had moved onto video poker. She was about to unveil the chest of a buxom screen figure when Leonardo DiCaprio shows up. He’s all ‘yea, I’m a high school basketball star; I do drugs and sleep with strange teenagers from the suburbs’. No woman can resist that. And Julie is not no woman. She falls madly in love with Leo as they hatch a plan to sink the cruise ship just before they make it to Juneau. It has something to do with an iceberg that owes Leo money from his days as a street-Keno hoodlum.

Jesus is beside himself, He’s been looking everywhere for Julie and even with His (Dad’s) omniscience, He can’t find her anywhere. He’s running up to people, telling them to drink his blood, trying to reattach peoples’ limbs that haven’t even fallen off, He’s all kinds of screwed up. But He loves Julie, even though He hit her a few times, He couldn’t help that, it was the way He was raised, and believe Him if He could’ve been raised differently to not grow up to abuse women, He would. But by now He’s just arguing with Himself and looking in every ballroom corner and boiler room on the ship for Julie. Unfortunately He didn’t think to look on the basketball court.

Leo took Julie on his private plane and they took off using the basketball court as an air-strip. The house band on the cruise ship inexplicably jumped over-board while playing their instruments. Leo’s friend the iceberg reneges on the original deal but instead tells the authorities that Jesus had tried to get him to sink the ship. The judge thought he would teach others a lesson and sentenced Him to ninety days in the county jail. During His time there He learned how to make crystal meth. One thing led to another and He ended up getting arrested in Thailand where there were uglier, unmentionable charges in addition to the manufacture and distribution of crystal meth. He was crucified there without ceremony and even Julie didn’t have the stomach to retrieve His body.

This was a powerful film. If anything it teaches you that if you love someone, don’t expect them not to be a meth dealing pervert even if they’re the Son of God. It also teaches you never to relax on a cruise because you never know which Hollywood star will crash his plane into your cruise ship’s twin towers just to do his best Howard Hughes impression. It’s a mad mad mad mad mad mad world out there, and the movie The Titanic makes it make even less sense.

This Week In Hate

By Bub

I was perusing the search referrals to One Year in Texas for another hilarious edition of Top Search Referrals to One Year in Texas when I came across the clear heir to the number one spot, “Show me the antichrist”. Yes, someone had typed those words into Google and wound up at One Year in Texas. This made me curious as to how high on the list a page from OYIT made it in the internet cannon of antichrist dedicated websites (I figured pretty high). So, I typed it in to Google myself to find out. I didn’t see it. I clicked a few more pages – still didn’t see it. I clicked a few more – nothing. I saw dozens of pages talking about how Barack Obama was the antichrist, and almost as many websites that were suspiciously emphatic in their denials of Barack Obama being the antichrist. I went through forty pages of search results before stumbling upon a website that I knew would either let me in on a secret understanding of the world I had heretofore not been privy to, or would be the most racist tract I had ever read. It turned out to be both. The site is Real Jew News and it is the feature in this week’s Week in Racism. What may be sadder than people reading Real Jew News, may be the fact that someone searched even further than that on Google to find whatever OYIT page mentioned the antichrist. You have to imagine that he/she/it visited the 400+ pages prior in search of whatever antichrist information it was searching for and was still left unsatisfied.

The page I was referred to at Real Jew News was entitled “The Antichrist Will Be A Jew!” This page declared that the antichrist will be a Jew and that former US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and US Attorney General Robert Mukasey were the frontrunners with this astounding picture:

I don’t know if you noticed but there is some type of vampire baby in the top right hand corner, and the reader is left to guess whether that will be Chertoff or Mukasey after ascending to the throne of antichrist. The site is shepherded by Brother Nathan who claims to have been ‘raised Jew’ but converted to Christianity in order to warn others of how anti-Christian Jews are trying to destroy Christianity in America. He goes on to explain the Jewish spirit of the antichrist and how it must be defeated by calling on Jew Government Officials and all of their Jew Buddies to resign because “Only Then Can We Begin To See The Subjugation Of The Jewish Spirit Of Antichrist Under Our Christian Feet!” Brother Nathan clearly meant this as metaphor so as not to commit a felony hate crime by inciting violence.

I noticed that the left side of the web page was filled with incredible sounding categories. There were categories such as “Jewification of America”, “3 Goals of the New World Order Jews”, “ACLU Jews Promote Perversion in Schools”, “Sex Peddling Jews”, “Seinfeld and Jewish Propaganda”, “Why The Jews Hate Jesus Christ”, “Will Jew-Owned Fed Reserve Bank Kill Ron Paul?”, “Harvard Jews Loot Russia” and “A Jew 'Rothstein' Controls Homosexual TV In America”.

The first one I clicked on was somewhat disappointing. “Jew News of the Day!” suggested that I visit this page regularly for “titillating commentary on what the Jews are up to with their Jewish agenda,” beginning a date nearly two years past.

Then I looked at pages entitled “Becoming Jew-Wise”, “How Jews Talk” and “How Jews Think” Parts I, II and III, that all offered special insight into the Jewish mind and Jewish motivation. One thing I found peculiar was Brother Nathan’s claim that Jews thought blacks were ‘on the level of the muted animal’ but yet managed to snare Barack Obama as their puppet. I guess the answer is that muted animals aren’t all that smart, so in that way it makes sense.

Brother Nathan’s fixation on Obama is nearly as sincere as his fixation on Jews of the New World Order.

In the post “Obama – Photos of Blasphemy, Sex and Deception”, he presents a picture of Obama that he purports holds a subliminal message: “Obama As A ‘Stud’ Straddling A … Flower Bed With Two White Women, (One With Her Legs Apart), Attracted By The Sexual Lure Of The Obama Stud.”

He comes to this understanding because “Having grown up in Judaism, and being entirely familiar with the manipulative Jewish advertising techniques employed by Madison Avenue, I have a keen eye for underlying messages embedded in photos and photo-op presentations.”

Through this power he is able to draw parallels between Obama and Hitler for both ‘posing for photos’. But Brother Nathan gets a little ahead of himself because he forgot that he likes Hitler and spends the rest of the article defending Hitler’s philosophies and actions.

So, Obama is a puppet to the Jews that secretly control the world. These include the usual suspects in the ‘Jewish’ media – the Rothschilds of London, The ‘Jews’ at the Big three American networks etc. It also includes Rupert Murdoch, because no conspiracy list would be complete without him, but, who would be surprised to learn that he was ‘a Jew’. It also includes officials in government, finance and academia. These folks all make up the New World Order Jews.

Now, apparently there are 3 Goals of the New World Order Jews. Those goals are “A). The invasion of illegals into the US. B). The invasion of Muslims throughout Christian Europe.” And, “C). The invasion of alien cultures throughout the Christian West.”

This is worth dissecting because the only way we will be able prevent New World Order Jews from achieving their goals is by fully understanding them. I can only assume that the illegals that the NWO Jews want to invade America are illegal Jews. Mexicans tend to be Catholic and wouldn’t do much to undermine the Christian Nation that Brother Nathan wishes to achieve and/or preserve. The invasion of Muslims into Christian Europe is a little more convoluted. I am going to guess that because Muslims also don’t believe in Christ as Saviour they technically qualify as Jews. If the Christian West is made of Europe and America and the NWO Jews’ first two goals are that they are invaded by figuratively alien cultures, then we are forced to interpret the third goal of NWO Jews as being that actual outer-space aliens take over America and Europe, at least culturally, after Jews and Muslim-Jews take over these areas first. This seems to set the stage for a third wave of invasion by followers of some new off-shoot of Judaism that recognizes Barack Obama as the prophesized Saviour and who have advanced technologically to the point that they are capable of defeating our alien overlords.

As you can see this would be devastating for our Christian nation. Brother Nathan explains that “The soul of the American nation is built upon the common culture and customs of America. The customs of America which have formed American culture are Christian holy days such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.”

Our culture must be preserved by protecting Christian Holy Days such as Christmas and Thanksgiving in order to bring honor and glory to our Lord and Saviour. Too many elitist Jews today think that the “Jew-promoted ideas of “democracy” & “equality for all men”” are honorable and worthy pursuits of man. What Jews don’t understand is that, “Jesus Christ was so beautiful. He taught us wonderful things like “love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.” But the Jews don’t like this teaching. Jews see all men as their enemies and wish to bomb them into annihilation.” That is why we need to ensure America stays a Christian nation and according to Christian principles “A Christian Nation would make the Jews second-class citizens.” Brother Nathan is here to tell you that the only two ‘rights’ that matter are “freedom of speech in criticizing Jews & freedom of public expression of Christianity”.

Deep down, Brother Nathan only has our best interests at heart. It says so at the bottom of every webpage – “Real Jew News is proudly powered by love and concern for your soul.”

I believe that. Brother Nathan was raised in some kind of dank torture barn ran by his Jewish parents Barack Obama and Rupert Murdoch and they revealed a cruel world stacked against the likes of Brothers Nathan (and Brothers Johnson for that matter). He is doing the only responsible thing in his power, which is to alert the world to this shadow world government that only has Jew interests at heart.

Now, I know that you will say ‘Isn’t he still a Jew ethnically?’ And yes he is. But he chooses not to acknowledge that so as not to benefit from their Jewly gains in order to blow the whistle on their evil deeds to fellow gentiles. Without Brother Nathan we would be left at the mercy of Fake Jew News from the Rothschild’s Economist and Murdoch’s Fox News and every other major news publication in the world. Thankfully, with him, we have Real Jew News.