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On a day when the U.S. Senate is busy busy busy legalizing torture and suspending habeas corpus, this story out of Connecticut strikes a particularly dissonant note:

Mural deemed too violent for school

GREENWICH, Conn. --A restored Revolutionary War mural painted in the 1930s will not be returned to an elementary school because it is too violent for children, a neighborhood group decided.

The mural shows Gen. Israel Putnam, a war hero from Greenwich who fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill, half-naked and about to be burned at the stake. He aims a gun at wolves while men around him fight with guns and knives.

The mural was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration in 1935 and painted by James Daugherty of Weston. It was displayed in the gym at Hamilton Avenue school for nearly 60 years until it was removed in 1998 and restored.

Now not seeing the mural in question, I can't judge as a parent whether I would consider it overly graphic or not; that it remained in place for more than 60 years without registering enough objections to merit removal tends to argue against its pernicious effects on the students of Greenwich, Connecticut.

But the fact that an artistic depiction of deemed violence is being dumped on the same day we legalize torture and tyranny points to the huge gap in logic in American society, most explicitly categorized as a dedicated slavishness to honoring form over substance. God forbid our children see violence on TV, in our history books or in fiction. And God forbid we adults be subjected to videos and/or photographs of violence in Iraq, Abu Ghraib or Gitmo. Or even solemn, sanitized photos of our flag-draped coffins of our fallen soldiers. Muzzle the media, please, at all costs.

We airbrush history even as we suspend our most basic rights with a minimum of discussion. Please, torture the presumed guilty in my name, but for God's sake, don't make me look at - or think about, or take responsibility for - the pain, misery and death inflicted in my name with my tax dollars.

Hunter last night offered A Modest Proposal for slowing down the constitutional train wreck unfolding in the Senate today, asking why we can't take the time for more debate and discussion of the issue. The answer, of course, is that if the president were pinned down to graphically explaining specifics of what methods he wants to authorize, the country - even large elements of his base - would rebel. Stalwart, bloodthirsty Republican operatives would expand the ranks of the traitorous by rhetorically damning those who lack courage or will to see this endless War on Terror through. They'd claim the American public doesn't have the stomach for what's needed to be a winner in the game of empire.

And they would be right: The American public does not have the stomach for the reality of what's being authorized here. There is at least a small satisfaction in that, because I do believe the facts will drip their way into the American consciousness eventually, and what's being legalized today will result in a great virulent revulsion against the party that debased this country's underlying principles.

Not having the national stomach for torture is not, as our rights-suspending Republicans would have it, a weakness. Indeed, it may well end up in the long run being our greatest strength as a nation. If a school in Greenwich, Connecticut, can't countenance knives and guns on display in an historical mural that's been in place for six decades, it's hard to see how our national sensibilities about the details of waterboarding can long outlast the Bush reign of terror. That's about the only ray of hope I can offer on this otherwise dismal day.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:45 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ah, re-education begins (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, Easterling, possum, epppie

    it starts small. . .

    "Deliberate cruelty to another human being is the one unforgiveable sin." Blanche DuBois

    by marykk on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:48:19 AM PDT

  •  Amen. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, possum, epppie


    Peace is respect for another's rights. Benito Juarez

    by Ignacio Magaloni on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:48:21 AM PDT

  •  Please think about the children! (7+ / 0-)

    Why would you want to teach them that people sometimes fight for freedom?

    •  And "fight for freedom" for real (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kagro X, Easterling, possum

      What this administration is doing is not fighting for freedom, no matter how many times they spout that talking point. They are destroying it.

      REALLY fighting for freedom is what a bunch of patriots did in the late 18th Century, what millions of Americans and other Allies did in the first half of the 20th.

      This shit, this torture, this illegal war, this murder ... this is not fighting for freedom.

      Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life. (Actual life-changing not a guarantee.)

      by AggieDemocrat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:54:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AggieDemocrat, possum

        And this must be repeated frequently. This administration and the Republicans who support are not fighting for freedom. They are fighting to control others and achieve dominance.

        Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:05:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fight for the Innocent, Democrats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The innocent who won't have a chance to prove their innocence. Who will be tortured to make false confessions to satisfy Cheney and Bush's sick fantasies.

        Be on the side of the innocent, that's 99.99% of us, it's a winning strategy!

        Thom Hartmann or Stephanie Miller for President, screw the wonks and whimps.

        by fairleft on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:08:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know the mom's upset were probably Liberals (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kagro X, marjo, marathon

      The conservatives would only have gotten upset if there was boobie.  

      •  I wonder. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A few years ago, I would have agreed that that was the most likely explanation.

        Now, though, I think we've created a cadre of conservative "concern trolls," who may have no interest in any larger agenda other than what goes on in their schools, but whose mindset prevents them from comprehending the original liberal objection to depictions of graphic violence.

        •  Yes as depression era kids (3+ / 0-)

          like my father would say that these type of people are overprotective, overzealous, overly dramatic, parents. He used to say it is one thing to reasonably protect our children from harm and use common sense. But is ridiculous to shelter them from the world, from culture, from history, and to shield them from experiencing life.
          He had a real issue with " concern trolls" and with those parents who flipped out constantly about something that " could " happen to their kids where the risk was minimal or practically nonexistent.
          But he especially got upset with parents who would not let their kids grow and experience life while educating their children to be kind, thoughtful, and responsible. I think the best thing my father taught me was to be strong while being kind and also to think and reason rationally and for myself.

          God, I miss that wise man who was not well educated but brilliant.  

          Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. - Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:14:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  my Dad too... (0+ / 0-)

            First, the way this diary blends two seemingly different stories and combines them to illustrate a common thread is so very effective.

            Regarding depression era kids, my folks were born in the 20's also. They were very loving parents but not sentimental. They and those like them are sorely needed and missed.

            Also, "these type of people are overprotective, overzealous, overly dramatic, parents" reminds me of a Baldwin quote:

            "Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel; the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty."

            •  then again (0+ / 0-)

              a lot of those conservative concern trolls in the 60s and 70s were Depression Era kids who were flipping out over Kids These Days with their drugs, sex, rock'n'roll and wanted to pretend that the 50s had been perfect and it was all the fault of the Godless Commies and Liberals filling their childrens' heads with this hippie crap...

              My grandparents never figured out that it was their own boozing, violence, cruelty and hypocrisy that drove their kids away.

              "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

              by bellatrys on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:18:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  speaking of teh writing on the wall... (5+ / 0-)

    Why not remove a view of the Revolution against tyrrany while Tyrrany is being reimposed?

    Torture has only one 'legitimate' use: Stiffling domestic dissent.

    This is the sole purpose of the last years worth of effort to legalize torture.

    Once in place, if can be ramped up gradually to the point that anyone opposing the 'Prez' can be declared an enemy combatant and tortured. If that is going to happen to you, personally, you will almost certainly be less reluctant to say it.

    THAT'S the goal: To silence domestic dissent, not root out terrorists.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:49:32 AM PDT

  •  Stomach or not (7+ / 0-)

    The Party of Torture will take our nation down the black hole of moral relativism until we have no light to see by. And average American's will simply be reaching for the Pepto Bismol, hoping it will all just go away so they can get a good night's sleep.

    I wish I could share your ray of hope, but the insanity appears to be running far too deep.

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    What have you done to hurt The Mouse today?

    by Anglico on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:49:54 AM PDT

  •  The American public doesn't KNOW what we're doing (8+ / 0-)

    ...because the corporatized media keeps the general public anesthetized (sp?) from what's really going on in our name.

    The American public does not have the stomach for the reality of what's being authorized here.

    The MSM insults our intelligence (and our stomach) to our nation's peril.

    •  that, and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah, possum

      they're naive enough to buy into the administration's spin.

      Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life. (Actual life-changing not a guarantee.)

      by AggieDemocrat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:52:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's sad--people gravitate to what makes them... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...feel better about themselves and their country, and refuse to look at themselves critically, whether they are examining their own personal decisions (and if/how they've screwed up their lives, relationships, finances, etc.) or their own government's actions.

        That's why Ronald Reagan was such a popular President, because he made us "feel better" about being Americans in the wake of a very long post-Vietnam collective grief. Why we moved from being the "greatest generation" to being the biggest band of self-serving babies two generations later will be one of history's greatest mysteries for sure.

    •  Well our only solace is that the corporate media (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, marjo, boofdah, Fasaha

      will be disappeared with the rest of us.  Maybe if we are lucky we'll get a cell next to one of them so that we can tap out in morse code: "I told you so you pathetic idiot".

      •  I truly believe that (0+ / 0-)

        if we get a majority in either chamber of Congress this November, the first thing on the docket this January will be a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.

        I think the Dems, no matter how in bed with the DLC they may be, know exactly what's going on with the MSM's whitewashing of the Bush Admin's actions.

      •  Though the NYT came out today with a very strong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Palmetto Progressive, possum

        editorial against this today.  Not that our tone-deaf Congress pays any attention one way or the other.  They at least called it right:  Rushing Off a Cliff

        The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time...Terry Tempest Williams

        by Fasaha on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:02:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Too late. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The editorial should have run on Sunday - not on the last day in the last hours of the truncated debate.  They just wanted to look like good guys, but they are just as pathetic as the rest.  I won't feel a damn bit of sorry if any media are singled out as "enemy combatants" now.  If I'm going to have to live under that tyranny, the people who enabled the tyranny to come to be can live under it as I will.

          •  It's never too late. And which would you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            prefer:  Drumbeats in favor (like Judith Miller leading up to Iraq) or this editorial on the morning of a vote?

            I think it's important that we recognize when folks do the right thing.  There are so few who are willing...

            The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time...Terry Tempest Williams

            by Fasaha on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:15:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can only give so much credit for incompetence. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phil S 33

              Their silence when it counted isn't all that different than their unabashed promotion of Judith Miller's lies and deceits.

              •  If what you're saying is that you're mad - I'm (0+ / 0-)

                right with you.  I just consider the NYT as a paper that had gone over to the dark side, and I'm just saying we need to try to coax them back.  Postive reinforcement and all that.

                The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time...Terry Tempest Williams

                by Fasaha on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:31:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (5+ / 0-)

    Ever have one of those moments when you just step back and see things fresh? And you're abhorred?

    Watching a Tivo'd Daily Show last night (one from Monday, I think), I saw the clip of Bush talking about the Geneva Conventions - that part of "what does that even mean? That's vague!"

    And it hit me. Even though I'd seen it numerous times and discussed it and this issue ad nauseum, for some reason I took a mental step back: "Can you believe those words are coming out of the mouth of an American president?" I asked myself.

    I could not.

    The absolute shock of it all hit me all over again. I can't believe we're even CONSIDERING this as an option! What the fuck have we become?

    Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life. (Actual life-changing not a guarantee.)

    by AggieDemocrat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:51:19 AM PDT

    •  Shock and awe. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AggieDemocrat, possum

      That's really what it is.  Hitler used this too.  Each new step is so shocking and creates such a sense of awe, that resistance is disabled.

      And then, when the sky doesn't IMMEDIATELY fall in, blessed relief sets in.  We breath again.  The sun will come up tomorrow and no one we know will have been labelled an "enemy combatant" and dragged off and we will breath easier.  

      Until the next shock and awe moment.  

      a hope that may come close to despair

      by epppie on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:01:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The irony (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, AggieDemocrat, marjo, possum

    The irony of the American ratings system for TV and movies has always been that a naked breast is deemed scarier than a bloody corpse.

    More sex, less violence!

  •  I pretty much think that most Americans are (3+ / 0-)

    vengeful and blood thirsty people who are so personally deluded that they believe that protecting their children from the imagery depicting what is in their cold dark hearts is something they have to do to atone for what is in their cold dark hearts.

    The unfortunate thing is that it doesn't change their cold dark hearts and ultimately when their children are old enough they teach them to fear and to hate just as they do.  Then they show them the violent imagery with pride and blood lust.

    Sorry.  Today I have a very dim view of what is in most Americans' hearts.

    All it took was 19 terrorists with a few box cutters to destroy the goodness in this country.  That must mean there wasn't really as much goodness as I thought there was in the first place.

  •  The mural (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dft, justiceputnam, possum, Greg S

    Is probably about the rescue of Israel Putnam from being burned at the stake by a French officer:

    As the commander of the Connecticut force in 1758, Putnam was sent to relieve Pontiac’s siege of Detroit. He was captured by the Caughnawega Indians during a New York State campaign, and was saved from being roasted alive, after being bound to a tree, only by the last-minute intervention of a French officer.

    Here is one image of that event.  I can't say it was the one in the school.

    Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

    by mini mum on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:52:30 AM PDT

  •  Both Specter and Santorum are dutifully (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    making notes about opposition phone calls, with the clear intent of forwarding them to the trash as soon as they can.  I am so very happy that I can vote to fire Santorum.  I did tell Arlen's minions that he would be establishing a godawful legacy for an otherwise mediocre career.

    The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time...Terry Tempest Williams

    by Fasaha on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:55:28 AM PDT

  •  Who are the un-American Democrats? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AggieDemocrat, possum

    Come on, we did this for the Obama-Coburn anti-secret-pork bill; let's figure out who the eager beaver Democrats who think Bush should have the power to declare anyone - American citizens included - to be an enemy combatant, and that it's not worth fighting for.

    Because maybe the caucus doesn't have the collective stones to stand up against this, but let's find out who's on our side, and who doesn't mind giving Bush the power to send us into oblivion.

    Or, has anyone seen a good list of where our senators stand? (apologies if Bob Geiger (he of the "let's bust the Lieberman-lovers" web site) is already on this...)

    (and no, "hiding behind George W. Bush's skirt" is not the answer I'm looking for, accurate as it may be)

    The message for 2006 is: Republicans are a bunch of fucking crooks, and they're fucking up the country.

    by Christopher on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:55:37 AM PDT

  •  I guess the only silver lining (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of this dark and ominous cloud is that when the truth finally comes out, those who were responsible or complicit will reap what they sewed.  

    Devour to survive. So it is, so it's always been.

    by debel u on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:56:40 AM PDT

  •  There's something attractive about... (0+ / 0-)

    ...invincible stupidity. But only for the first 5 seconds.

  •  This is the other side of the coin. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, possum

    It takes propagandistic fastitidiousness for tolerance to exist for the perpetration of horrors.

    Bush himself is a marvelous example of this, in a way.  Remember the stories about how hot he gets if someone doesn't have their tie on the right way in his office (something like that) - this from the champion workplace farter.

    When a person acknowledges their simple humanity, barbarity becomes harder I think.  

    Today is possibly the darkest day of my political existence.  Some may consider my view paranoid, but I think that a step has been taken that is not very different from the enabling acts.  Powers are now in place for the administration that are far more sweeping than is being acknowledged.  I believe we have just crossed the line into possibly the darkest waters this nation has seen.

    I hope that IS paranoia.  But even if it is not paranoia, the only possible way forward is to keep working for progressive politics and a Dem rise in November and ultimately a reversal.

    a hope that may come close to despair

    by epppie on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:57:08 AM PDT

  •  How many innocent people... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Will die horrible deaths before the conscience of America is pricked?

    God does not bless a nation that tortures.

    by RichM on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:57:38 AM PDT

  •  demo waterboarding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, possum

    the american public will be appalled by what it actually is.

    someone demo it and post it on you tube

    Andre Araujo for Cranston School Committee, Andre For Schools

    by aaraujo on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:58:22 AM PDT

  •  America, the basket-case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    American culture is pathological and cognitively dissonate to its core.

    We never accept the reponsibility of our own actions.  It's about us ALL the time.  And we throw tantrums when we don't get our way -- that unfortunately kill a hundred thousand people.

    Boo hoo.  Baby USA.

    I'm done with it.  Ashamed to be from here.  Ashamed of half of THREE HUNDRED MILLION people from whom there is no real escape it seems.

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

    by m00nchild on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:58:43 AM PDT

  •  The fallout from today's vote: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Will, hopefully, turn into something more postive, when:

    ...the facts will drip their way into the American consciousness eventually, and what's being legalized today will result in a great virulent revulsion against the party that debased this country's underlying principles.

  •  Geek alert (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At the risk of exposing some of my misspent youth, this discussion reminds me of nothing so much as the episode of Star Trek:  TOS, "A Taste of Armageddon."  The idea being that once wars become too sterile and institutionalized, and populations too shielded from the horrors thereof, they become too easy to wage.

    But that couldn't happen in real life, could it?

  •  from the washington post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marjo, possum

    Here's how the vote split out yesterday in the House on the torture bill:

    34 Dems who voted YES:

    Democratic Robert Andrews, John Barrow, Melissa Bean, Sanford Bishop, Dan Boren, Leonard Boswell, Allen Boyd, Sherrod Brown, Ben Chandler, Bud Cramer, Henry Cuellar, Artur Davis, Lincoln Davis, Chet Edwards, Bob Etheridge, Harold Ford, Bart Gordon, Stephanie Herseth, Brian Higgins, Tim Holden, Jim Marshall, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre, Charles Melancon, Michael Michaud, Dennis Moore, Collin Peterson, Earl Pomeroy, Mike Ross, John Salazar, David Scott, John Spratt, John Tanner, Gene Taylor

    160 Dems who voted NO:
    Neil Abercrombie, Gary Ackerman, Thomas Allen, Joe Baca, Brian Baird, Tammy Baldwin, Xavier Becerra, Shelley Berkley, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Timothy Bishop, Earl Blumenauer, Rick Boucher, Robert Brady, Corrine Brown, G.K. Butterfield, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Ben Cardin, Dennis Cardoza, Russ Carnahan, Julia Carson, Ed Case, William Clay, James Clyburn, John Conyers, Jim Cooper, Jim Costa, Jerry Costello, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Susan Davis, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, William Delahunt, Norman Dicks, John Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Michael Doyle, Rahm Emanuel, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Lane Evans, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Barney Frank, Charles Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Raúl Grijalva, Luis Gutiérrez, Jane Harman, Alcee Hastings, Maurice Hinchey, Rubén Hinojosa, Chris Van Hollen, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Darlene Hooley, Steny Hoyer, Jay Inslee, Steve Israel, Jesse Jackson, William Jefferson, Eddie Johnson, Stephanie Jones, Paul Kanjorski, Marcy Kaptur, Patrick Kennedy, Dale Kildee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Ron Kind, Dennis Kucinich, James Langevin, Tom Lantos, Rick Larsen, John Larson, Barbara Lee, Sander Levin, Daniel Lipinski, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Stephen Lynch, Carolyn Maloney, Edward Markey, Doris Matsui, Carolyn McCarthy, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, James McGovern, Cynthia McKinney, Michael McNulty, Kendrick Meek, Gregory Meeks, George Miller, Brad Miller, Alan Mollohan, Gwen Moore, James Moran, John Murtha, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Napolitano, Richard Neal, James Oberstar, David Obey, John Olver, Solomon Ortiz, Major Owens, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Ed Pastor, Donald Payne, Nancy Pelosi, David Price, Nick Rahall, Charles Rangel, Silvestre Reyes, Steven Rothman, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Dutch Ruppersberger, Bobby Rush, Tim Ryan, Martin Sabo, Loretta Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Allyson Schwartz, Robert Scott, José Serrano, Brad Sherman, Ike Skelton, Louise Slaughter, Adam Smith, Vic Snyder, Hilda Solis, Pete Stark, Bart Stupak, Linda Sánchez, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Mike Thompson, John Tierney, Edolphus Towns, Tom Udall, Mark Udall, Nydia Velázquez, Peter Visclosky, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, Melvin Watt, Henry Waxman, Anthony Weiner, Robert Wexler, Lynn Woolsey, David Wu, Al Wynn

    7 Dems who did not vote:
    Emanuel Cleaver, Jim Davis, Sheila Jackson-Lee, John Lewis, Martin Meehan, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Ted Strickland

    Here's the page from WaPowith that info plus more.

    "Let us not be conservative with compassion. Be generous with compassion."

    by ilyana on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:02:21 AM PDT

  •  Christianity shattered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Easterling, possum
    The interesting part about this is that this legislation was voted on and sponsored whole-heartedly by people who believe they embrace and work for Christ with all their hearts. This should tell you all something about how bankrupt Christianity has become as a moral force, and how far it has fallen since it inspired MLK.

    -5.88, -4.21 / Kossacks! Become a Precinct Captain!

    by maxomai on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:05:05 AM PDT

  •  worse yet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yesterday Rawstory linked to a story (sorry, can't find it now) that a teacher's contract was not going to be renewed at a school because she took the class to a museum and somebody saw a naked sculpture!


    Why did the ancient Greeks hate America?

    A member of the demonizing, hating, virulent, character- assassinating left of the Democratic Party...or am I?

    by marjo on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:05:57 AM PDT

    •  That's just ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, possum

      I went to CATHOLIC school, and darn near every school field trip we went on was to one of the Smithsonian museums (I grew up in Maryland, very close to DC).

      Naked pictures and sculptures abounded at those dens of iniquity, and the nuns didn't try to shield us from them. Many of the best works were created by highly religious people -- who didn't let their faith intrude on their ability to produce a beautiful replica of the human form. Don't "they" say we were created "in the image and likeness of God"? Why do they hate God so much?

      This country has become filled with way too many stupid and demented people who are WAY too concerned with everyone else.

  •  The "Columbine syndrome" lives on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Columbine shootings spawned a gross over-reaction on the part of school officials who have cracked down on student speech and dress and arbitrarily enforced brainless "zero-tolerance" policies. The shootings also exacerbated the "security mom" problem: parents who are willing to give up their rights and especially those of others for what they believe is an added measure of safety for their offspring.

    Fear, selfishness, and blind ignorance have long been ingredients in our national stew. And George W. Bush and his administration are masters at stirring them up.

    "I came to the conclusion long ago that all life is six to five against."--Damon Runyon.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:07:11 AM PDT

  •  let me count the ways & Expressionism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been thinking that there is a strong correlation between the projects of the bloggies & the art movement known as Expressionism in the 1920s & 30s particularly in Germany...

    and not only was Hitler a failed artist who took out his frustrations on the population, but w is a failed businessman, failed human being, failed etc. etc. you know this story...
    Degenerate Art- wikipedia

    defined:Degenerate art is the English term for the German entartete Kunst, a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was "un-German" or "Jewish-Bolshevist" in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions. These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art entirely.

    Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in Munich in 1937, consisting of modernist artworks chaotically hung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed to inflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibition subsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria.

    While progressive styles of art were prohibited, the Nazis promoted paintings and sculptures that were narrowly traditional in manner and that exalted the "blood and soil" values of racial purity, militarism, and obedience. They called this style of Romantic realism Heroic art. Similarly, music was expected to be tonal and free of jazz influence; films and plays were censored.

    google images from the Degenerate Art Exhibit

    Hmm, which of the 14 apply here?

    The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

    1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
    1. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
    1. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.


    1. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
    1. Controlled Mass Media- Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
    1. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
    1. Obsession with Crime and Punishment- Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    -p.s. "Do as we day, not as we do."

  •  War is bloody. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trinite, possum

    The revolution was the birth of our nation. While I don't wish to frighten children, they should be aware that blood was spilled to get us the freedoms we have today (I should qualify that to read "at least for the moment still have").

    People need to know that war is a last attempt at a solution.  It should never, ever be thought as of an easy or simplest solution choice.  Sometimes war is necessary, however, when making that decision all involved should realize what they are unleashing.

    I see no reason why these messages should'nt start in school.

  •  Putnam (0+ / 0-)

    killed the last living wolf in CT. His ancestors should be proud.

    •  Your history is wrong... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he didn't kill the last living wolf in CT; he killed one wolf that had killed livestock and had terrorized the countryside for months.

      Many others had tried to stop this wolf and failed. With the eyes you have now, in the comfort of your living room and refrigerated foods, of course killing a wolf seems wrong.

      But at the time, that wolf presented a real danger.

      And yes, as an ancestor of Israel Putnam, I am proud; more so for what he did in the Revolution, of course. But I completely understand the times he lived in.

      Unlike you, who would rather rewrite the history we are discussing here.

      A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude --Pablo Neruda

      by justiceputnam on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:46:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How apt is the Alien and Sedition Acts (0+ / 0-)

    metaphor? The New York Times editorial we are all buzzing about today draws an allusion to the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the Federalist Congress in 1798:

    But Americans of the future won’t remember the pragmatic arguments for caving in to the administration.

    They’ll know that in 2006, Congress passed a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    The best we can hope for is that the people will some day realize the enormity of what is happening this week, and isn't it pathetic that that is the best we can hope for? Where are our leaders?

    But will history follow the same course that it did at the turn of the 19th century? The Acts set off a debate that ended John Adams' presidency and led to the ascendency of Jeffersonianism, with its liberal interpretation of the Bill of Rights, an ascendency that lasted 40 years. It signalled the relatively rapid decline of the Federalist party, which last stood a presidential candidate in 1816.

    Can we hope for the same fate for the Republican party? No; conditions are not the same. But perhaps the people will someday realize that minting a Bush Get Out of Jail Card deserves an outraged response in the 2008-2012 elections. Let us pray.

    "The jaws of power are always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." -John Adams, 1765

    by Vico on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:19:46 AM PDT

  •  Sorry. Meant to post this to the previous (0+ / 0-)

    Front Page entry.

    "The jaws of power are always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." -John Adams, 1765

    by Vico on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:21:14 AM PDT

  •  Yes, it's peculiar. (0+ / 0-)
    Images engender more objections than the acts themselves.  Indeed, the proponents of torturing people by stripping them naked are the same people as those who object to naked pictures of other people's children being displayed on the internet.

    On the other hand, they seem to have no problem with a naked Christ being displayed on the cross.

    by hannah on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

  •  Art is Dangerous - It Makes People Think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, possum

    Evey Hammond: Where did you get all this stuff?
    V: Oh, here and there, mostly from the Ministry of Objectionable Materials.
    Evey Hammond: You stole them?
    V: Oh, heavens, no. Stealing imples ownership. You can't steal from the censor; I merely reclaimed them.
    Evey Hammond: God, if they ever find this place...
    V: I suspect if they do find this place, a few bits of art will be the least of my worries.

    V for Vendetta

    Dana Curtis Kincaid Ad Astra per Aspera! The enemy is not man, the enemy is stupidity.

    by angrytoyrobot on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:27:06 AM PDT

  •  I am a descendent of Israel Putnam (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, marykk

    and these rewritings of history must stop. The famous battle, for instance, thatIsrael Putnam is known for was fought on Breed's Hill, not Bunker Hill. When Breed's Hill was leveled for development, the battle was "conveniently" moved to Bunker Hill in the history books.

    Now a mural that accurately depicts Putnam's torture during the French/Indian War and a nod to his fight with a wolf in which he was nicknamed "Old Wolf Put" is deemed too violent for the kids.

    Could it be that the "body Language" of Old Wolf Put as he was tied to the tree might be too close to those poses we have seen from abu ghraib? from gitmo?

    This is an outrage!

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude --Pablo Neruda

    by justiceputnam on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:40:29 AM PDT

    •  Seems like the objection has come from the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justiceputnam, marykk


      Violence is not something you see at Hamilton Avenue School," said principal Damaris Rau. "And then to have it in the forefront, especially in the lobby, a picture of men hurting each other and killing each other, it really goes against my sense of what children should be exposed to."

      Suddenly, this is unacceptable, after 60 years. I'm sending a letter to the school boardasking for their thoughts.

    •  One of my ancestors (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was George Rogers Clark.  Another was a drummer boy in the Revolution.

      I think that both of them would be by my side if I went to the District now with an army.

      Dana Curtis Kincaid Ad Astra per Aspera! The enemy is not man, the enemy is stupidity.

      by angrytoyrobot on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:44:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The truth is always the best policy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is a vast difference between violence for its own sake in trashy films and reality violence.  This painting could be hung in a place where it's not viewed constantly by the same children, but it should not be hidden.  We all need to know the consequences of our choices, especially when it comes to war.  Even if war is sometimes necessary, we need to know how violent and ugly it is.  It's not all about military music and getting medals.  Maybe if we understood that, we'd look more earnestly for alternatives to achieve the same results.  Reality is a good thing and ignorance is not bliss.

  •  This is positively Orwellian (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, trinite

    but it fits right in with the direction of our country with the so-called leadership of the past 6 years.

    Someone suggested in a comment on another diary that our country was heading toward fascism.

    I disagree. Fascism is already here, and is alive and well and playing itself out in the halls of Congress, the SCOTUS and in the West Wing. God help us all.

    "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush

    by RevJoe on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:53:31 AM PDT

  •  Guernica. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, marykk

    When Colin Powell made his infamous speech justifying war on Iraq, a famous picture hung on the wall just outside the entrance to the Security Council.  It was Picasso's famous painting depicting the consequences of modern warfare and the bombing of civilians, but when Powell spoke, the painting had been conveniently covered up with a large blue drape.  I think we know why, and yes, it's definitely Orwellian and very sick.  I feel very sad for my nation today. Why are these "brave" leaders afraid of a painting?

    •  We know why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Because Guernica, for instance, depicted the same kind of war crime; the wanton killing of civilians by arial bombing that we have done in Iraq. It's too stark of a reminder.

      The mural of Putnam is also a reminder of what could happen to our soldiers without the rule of international law. If not for the intervention of the French officer who respected basic human dignity, a cycle of reprisals over Putnam's torture and murder would have continued against each side.

      Why are the Geneva Conventions important?

      A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude --Pablo Neruda

      by justiceputnam on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:24:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The suppression of the arts (0+ / 0-)

    is always an indicator that something is very, very wrong.

    "Deliberate cruelty to another human being is the one unforgiveable sin." Blanche DuBois

    by marykk on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:58:39 AM PDT

  •  Gee (0+ / 0-)

    wasn't being nailed to a cross a form of torure also?- yet that one is worhshiped.

  •  Someone's got to say this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is not about torturing 'terrorists'. This is about about torturing human beings to determine if they might possibly be terrorists.

    I could easily look the other way if Osama bin laden had his fingernails yanked and was then dipped in boiling oil. Fuck him.
    But that's not what's on the table. What's on the table is protecting people who would torture other human beings, regardless of their guilt, to garner politically expedient 'data' - regardless of it's accuracy.

    By every moral and intellectual compass I possess, this makes us terrorists - in the most awful sense of the word.

    That a single 'leader' would find routine torture to be a debatable issue fills me with shame. What the motherfuck happened to my country?

  •  What if it was a (Bible Scene) Religious Mural? (0+ / 0-)

    The Hollywood Censorship Wars : “This documentary from A&E looks at the film industry's century-long battle with internal and external censorship; eg.,

    In order to head off religious and congressional demands for legislated national censorship, Hollywood instituted self-regulation in 1922 by hiring former postmaster general Will Hays to oversee the content of movies and theoretically insure a sufficiently high moral content. In 1930, under fresh pressures, Hays and the studios instituted the Motion Picture Production Code. Among its strictures:

    "Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races) is forbidden;"

    "Illegal drug traffic must never be presented;" and,

    priests, ministers, etc., "should not be used as comic characters or as villains."

    These and other such rules dominated American movie content until 1966.”

    (it must have been with dripping irony that the major American film studios, populated by (mainly Jewish) powerful intellectuals, proceeded to give the Christian public all the sex, drugs, comic characters and violent villains they craved but were told was too craven ~ by telling Bible Stories ~ writ so large and brazen :)

    Somewhere in that Book of Books there must exist a perfect allegory that depicts, to wit an imperious nitwit ruler and a cabal of self-serving righteous clowns, shown up by a man riding in from stage-left on a donkey: but i'll be damned if i can find it!

    nous sommes celui qui nous feignons pour etre

    by MonsieurGonzo on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 05:54:21 PM PDT

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