Saturday, December 13, 2014

Is There Such a Thing as 'Good' Torture vs. 'Bad Torture?'

No, this is not a blog about the torture of sitting through 8-10 hours of a poker tourney...not sure if you're going to maintain that consistent stack you've seemed to keep a grip on all day...or if you're about to be derailed by that 'orbit from hell' where you get hit once, twice, then a third time by 2 and 3-outers to wreck you for good, leaving you wondering why the fuck, exactly, it is that you play tournament poker.

Nope. Not one of those.

Oh, and for the jerkoff who thinks your comments bother me? Yeah, you! The one and only guy..the same guy...every time...dude, honestly? Why do you waste your time? Really? Are you that sad, and lonely, and miserable? Is your blog envy that bad, for real? I hope you know I log on expecting, almost HOPING, you have left another one of your comments for me to laugh at. Thanks for not letting me down tonight...as I haven't posted anything in a while. One time...to prove your something other than a weasel...why don't you leave your name and phone number. I'll call you...we can chat about your issues. It'll be nice. Maybe go get a cup of coffee and talk about your insecurities in life.

When I last left off, I was going up to Baton Rouge to play that MSPT event. It was basically the same approximate field size. Same caliber of players. Another solid crew of dealers...and the MSPT staff were very friendly and accommodating. I sped up there...arrived almost  on time...and proceeded to play until midnight...never really got a ton of chips, but always had a decent number that would have given me a shot. But had two levels of just one calamity after another that left me living in 10-15 BB-Land...and that is the worst. Then I just ran into a better hand and was busted late in Day 1. I didn't come back the next day for the 2nd flight because we couldn't find a babysitter...and frankly, I just didn't feel like making that drive again. The eventual winner was someone I've never heard of before. Good for him.

The past month has really just been spent preparing for Christmas...which includes a LOT of shopping, and a lot of decorating! Also been working out a lot with my trainer, I just completed my 22nd session with her today. Not sure how much weight I've lost...not a lot I don't think, but I feel fantastic. Meanwhile...'The Claw' who has been living with us now for most of the year..and who a lot of people noticed packed on a lot of weight while dating a guy in Baton Rouge last year who kind of encouraged her to 'let it go?' Well she has been a total banshee in the gym...and with her diet...and has lost over 50 lbs since the spring. She looks great...and you can tell her self-esteem is through the roof. I'm happy for her. And I think it's rubbed off on the Squirrel because she joined her 4 days this week at the gym. Some of that has to do,probably, with the fact we are going on a cruise in January for a week. None of us have ever been on a cruise, so we're pretty excited about that.

One bad thing? The National Title game is Monday the 12th! Our cruise is from the 11th to the 18th! Ouch! I got my Sugar Bowl tickets from my buddy in New Orleans, who's dad is a big wig with the Sugar Bowl committee...pretty sure they're almost the same tickets we got last year for that rather meaningless game against Oklahoma...but this year? Oh baby! Ranked #1...and playing Ohio State...my $250 seats are going for $800-$1200 on StubHub! Not that I'd EVER think about selling them. No freaking way! But I sure wish we were playing Florida State...because I was REALLY hoping to see Alabama smash that Winston into the turf and end their winning streak and send them back to Tallahassee in ruins! But maybe they'll play in Dallas. I hate FSU and that QB...but say this about them...they might be winning ugly every week this season...but damned if they figure out a way to win. I think that 9.5 point line against Oregon is WAY too high. As for the 9.5 point line for Bama against Ohio State? Tough to tell. Really kind of hard to know what exactly Ohio State is, now with their 3rd QB.  Did Wisconsin just not get enough time to prepare and scout that guy? You know Saban will! Either way...it's going to be awesome!

Been working a LOT on this Fantasy Draft site...as one of the people at the top of the food chain, I've been able to get a TON of referrals, and if they ever get things working right...I might actually make a decent living off of it. The first official weekend last week was kind of a trainwreck...with their servers running really really slow. But they did the classy move of not only paying EVERYONE that got into the money for their guarantees, but anyone who DIDN'T make the money? They all got refunds. Very cool! I'll just be psyched when things are running smooth and the referral money comes rolling in!

Okay...to address the topic of my subject line. And yeah...this will get a little political, so you've been warned. This past month or two...with the mid-term elections, with the racial tensions, the rioting over police actions...its been a pretty crazy time to be debating with people...and my Facebook has gotten a major workout.

The topic of torture has been pretty hot the last few days, since our Democrat-led House and Senate (until January) decided it would be a wonderful idea to come out with a report they charged us taxpayers $40m to prepare...detailing all of our actions in the clandestine services, those being CIA, NSA, FBI and some branches of the Special Forces. All of them having to do with spying...or the interrogation of prisoners of war.

From one side of the street, we hear the cries of those who think it is NEVER right to use pain and suffering to get to the truth. Ever. From anyone. That its a blatant violation of human rights, and only makes someone just as bad as the person they are questioning. I get that. Fine. And trust me, I wasn't the kid who sat around with a magnifying glass burning ants when I was bored for kicks. I know there are a faction of people who think that to be in the torture business, you have to be a bit of a sick fuck with oddball wiring.

From the other side of the street, we have those who most of the time deem themselves as PATRIOTS...defenders of our nation...at any price. You fuck with us...we will fuck with YOU! You drop our towers, and kill 3000 people, and we catch you...you will suffer all consequences. Period. You know those people, correct?

Where do I fall? I'd like to say, somewhere in between the two. For one...I happen to know for a fact, that the majority of Americans are shielded from a lot of what is really going on in this world. There is a damn good reason why our military and parts of our government don't cue us in on what is going on 24/7/365. For our own damn good!  Parents...who have 15-18 year old girls. Question? You are pretty sure your daughter is having sex right? You know it...in your heart of heart you know it. But do you WANT to know ABOUT IT? Hell no you don't. So you maybe convince yourself that it isn't happening.

Americans are a people living in a world of instant gratification. Few of us struggle for something to keep us entertained or occupied. As long as we can come home from work, turn on Wheel of Fortune, eat our dinner...and catch up on what everyone did at work or school that day....our lives are normal. Then we go to bed, spend a couple hours on Facebook 'catching up' and that's our day. Day after day, after day. Right? 

Then you have people like me. I don't work 9-5 (thank god). I'm lucky. I watch a TON of news. And read a LOT of books, mainly the stuff of authors like Tom Clancy (RIP) Vince Flynn, and David Balducci. A lot of military-based novels, and counter-insurgency novels...with a lot having to do with the current state of affairs in the world as it pertains to terrorism and spies. Most of what I read is fairly dialed in to what is going on in a very real fashion. And one of the things I read a lot about is torture...or as it is being popularly labeled, E.I.T.'s....or Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. I think my favorite of the bunch of techniques is the 'Rectal Re-hydration Therapy.' Huh? Is that what I think it is? Sounds like an enema to me. Now...if you've ever gone tubing behind a boat at high speeds...you are completely aware of how unsettling an enema can be!

We have all been made aware of the pleasantries that waterboarding provides. 'Simulated drowning.' Was this report that Diane Feinstein, a Democrat from California, really something that NEEDED to come out? And god forbid...it was released at the EXACT same time that they happened to be grilling Public Enemy #1 on Capitol Hill? That little ferret Jonathan Gruber...who had the audacity to call Americans stupid (as if most of us didn't already KNOW what Obama and his health insurance cronies were pulling on us) numerous times in speech engagements, only to have it blow up in his face? Yeah...for any of you that are actually paying attention to your nation, and your government, and do not have your face buried in your 'Candy Crush' game while eating your bowl of Coco Puffs, this is all some very infuriating shit that is going on these days!

I used to kind of look up to my Congressional and Senatorial leaders...as well as my Presidents. Not any more. They are probably more immature and pathetic then any 8 year old I've ever met. All the wonderful HOPE I had with Obama coming in...with his youth, his enthusiasm, his great ideas....pffft....those sure turned out to be a joke! Now all I'm doing is counting down the months til we finally get rid of his ass. The only thing I fear is...who the hell is going to take his place? Really? I mean...who is any better? If Hillary somehow gets elected? Fuck it! I quit! 

But back to this Torture thing. I'm going to make my point by using what to me...is a very clear cut example between the two TYPES of torture, as it pertains to who it is being administered to. 

You may have seen John McCain testifying last week about how effective (or ineffective as he claimed it to be) the use of torture is/was in gaining useful intelligence, and then he recounted his own experiences in Vietnam, when he was held as a POW for 5 years. Well,  obviously, as a soldier who was captured the way he was captured (TO READ ABOUT HIS CAPTURE AND TORTURE CLICK HERE: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/01/28/john-mccain-prisoner-of-war-a-first-person-account) after having his plane shot down, and then treated the way he was treated, it would be damn easy for someone like him to come to the conclusion that torture was NOT an effective way to gain whatever it was they were hoping to gain from their prisoners.

The Vietnamese, after all...had been trained in the art of torture from their communist masters, the Soviet Union, whose forms of torture became legendary through the actions of the KGB...and still persist to this day. There is a damn good reason NO SOLDIER ever wanted to be captured by the Russians.

When you are in the US Military, you are programmed to give up nothing but your name, rank, serial number and date of birth if you are captured. Period. But aside from that, any mission that is ever undertaken sees to it that the men performing that mission know almost as little as humanly possible about the mission objective, for that reason alone. You can't talk about that which you know nothing about. So during the Vietnam War...these pilots were getting orders to bomb coordinates without knowing what exactly it was they were bombing...only that they were supposed to bomb there.

So you get shot down. They gather you up. Beat the fuck out of you. Then throw you in a dark, dank prison cell. Feed you like crap. Then once a day some sicko comes in and starts pulling your finger nails from your hand. Or hooking up the jumper cables to a battery and shocking the shit out of you.  Or burning you with cigarettes. Oh...torture in Vietnam was a real picnic. But here's the shit of it. These soldiers? Most of them? They didn't have anything useful to tell those fuckers. Because they didn't KNOW ANYTHING useful! The only reason they kept McCain alive as long as they did...was because his father was a damn Admiral, and was in charge of the whole damn Pacific fleet...otherwise they'd have killed him...as they did so many other POW's who they figured out were useless to them after first torturing for days, weeks and months. See...these VietCong motherfuckers? They weren't very smart. In fact...they were downright stupid as shit.

Fast forward to 2001. We in the United States have professional psychologists who have been employed in the field of interrogation. We also have intelligence professionals who for years did nothing but track terrorists...through their banking records, to their actual activities abroad. When 9/11 happened, it finally brought everything to bore. All rules of engagement as we knew them ENDED that day. The gloves came off. And not that I ever hope it will happen...but I almost expect it to. The day one of these pricks sets off a dirty bomb in one of our major cities? Oh boy....hold on...there will be some brand new glass parking lots popping up over in ISIL Land! Because we Americans? We aren't to be fucked with.

So yeah...torture? The war against terrorism was ON! Dragging these fuckers out of caves. Finding them hiding in spider holes...eventually, one after another we started plucking these fuckers from their hiding places. Or taking them alive in gun battles. Some were taken to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Some were snuck off to 'black houses' throughout Europe, to be questioned for actionable intelligence. What I'm driving at here? Is that of the prisoners we captured? Almost ALL OF THEM knew exactly what the hell they were doing...why they were doing it, and who they were doing it FOR.They weren't an organized army of soldiers who were simply following orders. No..these were nothing but terrorist sworn to carry out acts of death to all infidels, period.

These pricks all KNEW SOMETHING. And since it was always a race against time...there was always the sense of urgency in finding out what was going to be hit next. These guys? They don't hit you with invading forces. They don't commit ground troops, or mobile units...no...they hide in the hills. They sneak explosive devices into the roads. They infiltrate by dressing up as a GOOD guy only to turn a gun on who they consider the BAD guys....us!

When will people in this country wake the fuck up to what ISLAM is truly about? There is NO PEACE with ISLAM. We are not ALLOWED to exist in their way of thinking. You can't reason with that way of thinking. Am I supposed to extend the hand of basic human rights to someone who's only goal in life...their SINGLE SOLITARY REASON FOR LIVING....is to KILL ME and everyone LIKE ME!????  Are you kidding me? For you pacifists who want to talk about how 'shameful' it is to waterboard these assholes? How bout the people on the 90th floor of the World Trade Center who had a decision to make? Stand there and get burned alive...or jump out of a fucking window? If you knew you could prevent an attack like that by twisting this fuckers arm and fingers until he gave you the name of his operative...wouldn't you?

The torture being used by our agents is NOTHING compared to what the Russians employed for the past 100 years, or what they have taught their underlings like the Koreans and the North Vietnamese. 

As a matter of fact...where the shit REALLY hits the fan...and they get an AMPLE warning before we go this route...is when the Sodium Pentothal comes out. Some people refer to this as 'Truth Serum.' Originally designed in the 50's, this chemical has been refined and improved through the years...to the point that it is now practically been weaponized. Large doses on a typical human's brain has been known to leave the subject about 3 quarts short of a full gallon. Yeah...it turns a brain to mush. And these guys KNOW IT. So...it's a pretty easy tactic to pull out the needle, and start letting these guys know that whatever they know better start coming out now if they want their brain to stay intact. And while they could be easily just spouting lousing intel...telling us what we think we want to hear? We have people who are so well trained, that it's become a lot easier to sort out the factual info from the bullshit. Additionally, we will have assets on the ground in certain locations to verify these discoveries made during interrogation. Or to disprove them. 

Was releasing this report harmful? Of course it was. Did releasing it help our nation? Fuck no! Was it a total political ploy engineered by the Obama administration to shed negativity on the previous Republican administration (Bush) and win back some love from the Democratic voters? Looks like it! Some people are screaming TRAITOR at Obama and Feinstein for pulling this shitshow. And it is not too far from the truth. Our buddies in Al Qaeda have already announced their plans to retaliate for the reports details. Granted...it appears as though no actual agents covers have been blown, thank god. Or if they have...we just haven't been made privy to that information. I'm not writing this to express my political views, or what I believe is the correct path of action to take from a position of foreign affairs. My motivation, is to address the use of 'Interrogation techniques' to provide safety and security for our nation!

I think in the 3 or 4 years following 9/11...Americans were completely on board with whatever it took to bring these assholes to justice. Then Iraq 'happened.' Then things just dragged on, there and in Afghanistan. Things at home settled down. There were no acts of terrorism on American soil (for which we should THANK our agencies, instead of castigate them!) and suddenly, Americans were getting into that old...familiar...mode...COMPLACENCY. Time to start worrying about who is offending who with the stupidest shit possible. Am I not right? Have the past two or three years not just seemed like one big cluster fuck of who is feeling the most offended? No one can say anything or do anything without SOMEONE getting their poor feelings hurt, and subsequently, someone gets sued, fired, or their career destroyed. Meanwhile...ISIL is whacking off people's heads because they like being Christian!

So is our BIGGEST PROBLEM some asshole being waterboarded because we want him to tell us what his band of idiots is going to blow up next? I'm getting really sick of this SOFT bunch of politicians we have working in DC. Do they stand for what YOU believe in? For what you WANT out of our military? Out of our national security? They sure as hell aren't hearing ME! Just watch! These mealy-mouth slimeballs in DC are going to get so caught up in their little US vs. THEM battle between the Democrats and Republicans that when they aren't looking? BOOM! They are going to be blindsided by the next attack. And this one? You can bet it will be as bad or WORSE than 9/11 was. And on that day? On that week? During those months? What will they be saying then? Will they regret their actions finally? Will they feel like they let all of us down with their bickering, and posturing and political maneuvering?  Personally....I'm praying like hell that it doesn't come to that. But like any good poker player who has played millions of hands in the past...you just KNOW...in your gut...when something is about to go down. 

I will end there.