Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The Face Of Evil

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 2, 2007

Salon.com contributor Peter Kurth lost a laptop while flying from New York to London, and made the mistake of harrassing airline personnel about it. For that crime, he was heaved into prison for five weeks, on the pretext of a nearly-expired (though still legal) passport, and raped nearly non-stop until he was finally freed.

But that’s not what’s evil.

What’s evil are the minds of people who think that this was perfectly OK and that he deserved to be raped and humiliated for five weeks for sassing back to a flight attendant over his lost $1000-plus laptop.  These people would be perfectly at home in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Russia, or Franco’s Spain.

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7 Responses to “The Face Of Evil”

  1. whig said

    It’s not OK what happens in prisons.

  2. No, it’s not OK what happens in prisons. But as I discovered (and wrote) it’s a means of social control — that is, “there is now a permanent class of people, not just `career criminals’ but `professional prisoners’ (my phrase)” — in our own country, we can skip right over the “war on terror” and focus on the “war on drugs” — both of them abject failures — which serve only to lock up millions of people you wouldn’t want to see on the streets at night (or in the galley of the back of an airplane). I don’t know what the solution is to this — I just know that most people in prison don’t need to be there (for their own or anyone else’s “protection”) — whereas SOME of them (a minority) DO need to be there, because they’re very dangerous.

    How is this to be sorted out? No clue, even now. pk

  3. whig said

    Peter, the main professional criminals in our country are in the White House.

    As for the drug war, it needs to be ended and replaced with reasonable regulation. Violence is associated with prohibition and with certain drugs like alcohol which are legal. “Prohibition I” sought to deal with the problems of alcohol by banning it. That did not work. Alcohol regulation is less than perfect and could be improved, but the alternative is not “no alcohol” but illicit alcohol.

    Ending cannabis prohibition would solve most of the problems even before we deal with a larger regulatory scheme for dangerous chemicals. Cannabis is a perfectly natural plant which provides food, medicine, oil, cloth, the basic necessities of a civilization. It has no harmful properties. It is beneficial to health. And it reduces violent tendencies.

  4. Whig — couldn’t agree more. If they’re going to single out one poisonous substance (alcohol) as being virtually exempt from regulation, they could do that will all of them — and apply the same (granted, minimal) restrictions as to their use. But you will never see this happen, because there is too much money to be made on the *illicit* drug trade — far too many people are far too involved in making a killing on the prohibitions. Just ask any farmer in Afghanistan.

    Now, I’m not one of those people who thinks that by “legalizing” drug use somehow this problem will be fixed. I just think — know — that people like to get high. And why wouldn’t they? Every other commercial on TV is about some pill you’re supposed to pop to make you feel better (provided you understand the coy little caveats about the “potential” side effects of these things). As somebody who has to take all kinds of toxic medications just to stay alive, I always want to shout out, “Yeah, that’s right! `Ask Your Doctor!.'”

    Go ahead — ask. If it’s a pill you want to make your life easier, and maybe make you feel a little better, they’ll nix it in a flat second. If it’s something aimed at “disease,” however, no matter how lousy it makes you feel, they’ll hand it out like candy.

    Ooooh — bad news. BAD news. pk

  5. whig said

    Peter, medical cannabis is aimed at disease, and one of the diseases it treats directly is AIDS.

  6. Whig — yes, I know that. And have used it (mj) to counter the effects of the pills I’m on. And if they had a little side-room somwhere at airports where you could toke a little bit, they wouldn’t have any of the problems in flights that they insist they do. They are lying, of course, most of the time — it isn’t “endangering an aircraft” to demand decent treatment.

    As to that — this little thing came over the wires today. I’m sure the guy WAS “an asshole,” but, after all, flight attendants are TRAINED to deal with this kind of thing — at least they used to be — it comes with the job — now you’d imagine they’re just Little Innocents who are only trying to get back home before somebody calls them “a name.” Makes me sick. pk

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18493270/

  7. whig said

    20 years for making out on a plane? That is absurd, I agree.

    Peter, you might also find this article from the Washington Post interesting, regarding the benefit of cannabis for treating AIDS-related nerve pain. This is not just treating side-effects, it’s a direct benefit.

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