Saturday, 25 April 2009

A Moment of Analysis

Lots of time has been spent the past couple of months on the topic of torture. Normally...within the confines of Bama...we don't discuss torture much. It might come up every eight years or so...when some relative or in-law has come to visit and stay more than six weeks.....but typically we Bamaians are not the type to discuss this on the front porch, at the local bar & grill or in a Baptist church.

I paused over all this discussion and did some pondering. There are government guys who say now that there is authorized torture and unauthorized torture. There are government guys who openly profess some knowledge of torture and the various degrees involved....making me wonder where exactly they got this training or if this was some bondage episode at a motel in Topeka with Nurse Bridget. There are news analysts now who want to describe various forms of torture but to be honest...other than staying overnight in a 2-star hotel in Bangkok...they really don't know much about torture.

So I've sat down and drawn up my 14 forms of Bama torture that I believe should be allowed by US government officials. I believe the UN folks, the MSNBC crew, the Baptists, the Wall Street crowd, and anybody associated with QVC....would agree to my Bama methods of torture:

1. Offer up a choice of Tuscaloosa tap water, real buttermilk (not low-fat), or a bottle a day of Jack Daniels. Thats the only things you can drink or sip while in our torture cell. I believe after three sips of Tuscaloosa tap water....you might start weeping over the remaining two choices of drink.

2. Thirty-six of the best episodes of Green Acres.....one after another....for twenty-four hours a day.

3. Fed a steady breakfast diet of low-fat bacon....low-fat biscuits....low-fat scrambled eggs....and low-fat jelly. It'll be defac coffee...from Maxwell House for your drink. It might take a week....but you'll break down sooner or later.

4. Put a die-hard Auburn fan and a die-hard Bama fan in the corner of the room debating every match they've played over forty years.....and let them do this four hours out of each day.

5. Put two guards outside the cell door from Demopolis who sit and chew on a fresh delicious watermellon all afternoon long....while denying you a piece.

6. Put twelve hours of Dolly Parton music on the speaker....at just a notch down from the normal speed. Play it every other day and deny to the prisoner that the speed is off.

7. Play Old Yeller for the prisoner every afternoon....but turn it off ten minutes before the end.

8. Arrange for six ladies to be brought into a adjoining cell with a beauty shop gal....and let them jabber eight hours a day on women-talk while getting their haircut....seven days a week.

9. Make the prisoner watch C-SP*N eighteen hours a day. After a month, allow them one free phone call and see if they try to call C-SP*N rather than their momma in Saudi Arabia.

10. Get yourself two guards. Gus and Randy. Gus gets highly expensive aftershave to wear each day and Randy gets Old Spice. Each has to use half a bottle per day.

11. Give the prisoner his clothing....a t-shirt with a catfish on the front and a pair of overalls.

12. During evening hours....play at a very low level...3,000 top gospel hits of the 1970s. Every third week, bring in a minister who will pretend to heal the guard of something and then leave.

13. For exercise....offer up the choices of (1) change out a septic tank, (2) clean a truckload of catfish, or (3) haul hay for four hours.

14. Offer up a feast every evening of catfish but no hush puppies.

If you are guessing that I'm NOT taking this business serious....you might be right. You end up making yourself look like an idiot....the minute you say that torture is legit. Interrogation is different and no one ever has an issue with that.

If you had simply put a guy in a small sized cell....and gone to a 19-hour day....you would have started taking him down a notch. A simple clock on high speed would have been step one. You could have kept the temperature up around 85 degrees and made them feel slightly uncomfortable but never step onto the idea of torture. You could have offered them greasy foods which would never would have been torture. You could have played bluegrass music twelve hours of the day....and it never would have been torture. You could have played games of dressing guards in poka-dots, repainting the interrogation room every single day a different color, and even wearing a patch over your eye as you interrogated him.

There are various forms of interrogation that would have ok. Torture? Well....you seemed to have crossed a line. And now? Its hard to say what happens next.

A Job?


Last night, I did a job interview. It was a job back in the states....for the Forestry dudes. Yes, the National Forrest Service.

There are several observations here. First, this would be a radical move from the Air Force line of work to the Forestry stuff. Luckily, I wouldn't have to count trees or shrubs. I wouldn't have to fight fires. I wouldn't even have to wear a funny green suit. What they want is a project guy.

So what would manage in this project? Well....this is the humorous thing. If you remember two months ago...back in the dark period when the nation was going down the toilet and the boys rushed up to pass a stimulus package of $750-odd billion? Well...those forestry folks quietly came up and asked for money too. Out in central California....they ended up with a fair amount of money (lets just say...more than $500 million) and leave it at that. They want a dude who will sit there....watch the projects....report status....and keep everyone in the loop.

So in a way, I'm helping them spend an excessive amount of money....on the national forests of California. Me.....spending money? Tears flowed down my tears as the interviewer explained the job. I sat there....hoping that one of the ten questions would be: "Son, can you spend other folk's money....lots of it?" The answer: "Glory be sir.....I can spend like Godzilla kills invaders".

There were ten questions in this interview. The amazing thing....I think I felt confident on eight of the ten, and neutral on two questions. They admitted there are around ten people in the running. I kinda doubt I'll get this job.

There were negatives. Its located in Vallejo, CA.....thirty minutes north of Berkley (heart of liberal America) and around forty minutes north of San Fransisco. Its a GS-13 slot and pays fairly well...but this isn't a cheap area to live.

I'm guessing I won't make it but I'm doubling my efforts on my next possible application: Admin Officer at Glacier Bay, Alaska (it appeared in USA Jobs this week). If you haven't checked the roadmaps around the area there....there are no roads into Glacier Bay. You either fly in or ferry in. Less than 500 people who live there permanently. No Wendys, no McDonalds, and no Wal-Marts. The minute I read this deal....I was stuck on applying. It'll close in ten days.....and in early May....I'm hoping for a 4-star interview with the Park Service on this deal.

So thats it....I might be getting a job in California to spend tons of money.....stimulius money.....on forest stuff. Who would have thought that this might occur?