Monday, April 27, 2009

Crazy Love: Not What Van Morrison Sang About, love, love, crazy love....---Van Morrison (Crazy Love)

I just recently finished reading a book titled Crazy Love by Leslie Morgan Steiner. Unlike the lyrics singer Van Morrison evoked of "smitten" love in his classic song of the same title, Steiner writes a book about her own descent into infatuation turned violent. It is an account of her relationship and marriage to an abusive man. I could relate....a little.

Steiner's often brutal account of her relationship then marriage (the guy's name is disguised, but the tale of Steiner's account is all too real) to an abusive person is troubling, but worth reading if only to educate people who don't understand the dynamics of abusive relationships.

While I was in college in my early twenties, I was involved in two abusive relationships. I wasn't stupid, I thought I was in love, and fortunately, I guess, the "abuse" was emotional not physical. It was related to self-esteem issues. A common thread in such relationships I'd find out. Even if you start out "smart," love can change your perspective.

I later worked at an abused women's shelter and saw and heard situations much worse than what I had experienced, even though I had also been stalked for several months in the days before stalking was labeled a crime.

I recommend the book with hesitancy. It is painful to read at times, but if you don't know that much about abusive relationships, it will definitely make you aware of how relationships that seem so "perfect" can be so harmful...and sometimes deadly.

Last word...Steiner obviously survived her abusive situation to write this book as a cautionary tale for others who sometimes are "crazy in love." As the saying goes: "Knowledge is power."

So Much for Civil Discourse...Dealing with "Blowback"

This is from another blog I have through a newspaper I read online. My "alias" there is "Writerleft"

I expected to cause a stir when I posted my previous blog entry. But after over thirty posted comments to my statements (at least I know I'm sometimes being read, even if I don't always use precise grammar) here's what some of you may have overlooked (that's an assumption on my part, and you possibly know what is said about the word "assume.") I did not condemn all forms of interrogation used by the US military and the agencies designed to protect US military or citizens of the US or other nations. I don't know what techniques interrogators use other than the ones I've heard or read about (waterboarding, sleep deprivation, blindfolded drops from different levels, loud continual music, humiliation verified by published photos, personal religious items torn apart and flushed down toilets, etc.) But waterboarding...seeing it on videotape played repeatedly during debates about this, is just horrendous to me. Easy solution? Turn away, turn off the television, stay silent. I cannot. I still view the technique of waterboarding as a form of torture, and I know I'm not alone. I also chose to bring up the topic because of all the coverage it is currently receiving.

Nowhere in my prior post did I suggest that we (i.e. the US government) have the alleged or confirmed terrorists sit around in comfy chairs, "while holding [their] hands," sip tea and eat cookies and say to them "My, what a predicament we have here. Won't you help us and hand over the information, please?"

As we as a nation allow waterboarding (one man reportedly was waterboarded over 100 times, and still hasn't provided really useful information,) we as a nation are alienating ourselves from other nations, and quite possibly helping in the recruitment of others into organizations like Al Qaeda, because of continuing to waterboard. I've also read about and seen videos of the beheading of persons like journalist Daniel Pearl by Islamic extremists, and it sickens me. So I'm not unaware of what is done.

In regard to some of the comments, I found some unnecessary written attacks. One wrote something referencing "beheading" I would probably receive from terrorists if they were here, which I thought odd, considering I was merely expressing an opinion as a citizen of this country which obviously wasn't clearly understood or thought about calmly. All Muslims are not terrorists. I knew when I posted my comments that I was going to touch a nerve in some. I understand the right to disagree with what I've said, but personal attacks are unnecessary. Same in regard to referring to someone as "liberal" like it is something akin to excrement.

As far as my political feelings expressed as a "rant" by one comment, I mentioned that I was aware I was "on a soapbox." The last time I got on a "hot topic soapbox" was pre-Internet, writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper for publication. Because I expressed an opinion on a "hot topic," I received a threat of severe bodily harm, because at the time, all letters to be published had to have both the writer's name and address provided for publication with the letter. The interesting thing was while I had to provide this information, others, like the one who threatened me, could respond anonymously and mail such a letter to my residence. I have no problem with disagreement as long as it doesn't involve a threat or an unnecessary attack. I can respect others who disagree with my views, but expect...or at least hope for...respect, myself.

One writer commented that it is "torture" to stay in uncomfortable places while hunting, fishing, or just plain standing. That's not the same "torture" to which I'm referring. I gave a specific example of an interrogation technique. I was not talking about personal or recreational inconveniences.

Some made comments assuming that all my views must be a "typical liberal" (whatever that is.) I've voted for candidates "on both sides of the aisle" as is the phrase now. Politically, I'm more in the center, hence the double pun "RIGHT OR LEFT" (and I write, sometimes seeing things in a "left" perspective. Sometimes on the political right.) Get it?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I've remarked that it was disrespectful in my view to have a shoe thrown at a US president, even a president I didn't agree with at the time he was in office and that shoe was thrown at him, and I didn't find the endless parodies about the incident that funny. Though I agree with many who think Bush is/was one of the worst presidents in the history of this nation, and for many of his actions while president, he and some members of his staff deserve prosecution.

As for another comment, Yes, I do remember the previous Gulf Wars (if you looked at my profile and did the math, you'd know that) as I've worked with veterans of several wars whom I respect and I remember the tyrant Saddam Hussein and his confirmed atrocities. But there was also a lot of talk after that horrible day in 2001 about capturing Osama bin Laden. What bothers me is that we could find Hussein, but with military power and continued surveillance, we can't locate bin Laden despite information obtained. I always had this feeling that GWB was trying to accomplish something GHWB, his father, could not, by focusing on Hussein and not capturing bin Laden as well. Why? My guess: Iraq has oil. Finding Osama bin Laden is less important.

Waterboarding Sean Hannity

This is from another blog I have online as "Writerleft"

Religion and politics are two volatile subjects I try to stay away from at least in a public forum, but my activist hackles are up more than ever. If I hear or read one more article claiming that waterboarding is NOT a form of torture, I may just go off the deep end (sorry for the pun, as this is really a serious subject. Deadly serious.) I can't even bear to watch the repeated videotape showing this form of "interrogation" being done in the name of this government. Isn't the United States supposed to be THE example of humanity and legal adherence above any other nation on earth? It's a rhetorical question. I know the answer.

Sean Hannity has decided that waterboarding is not a form of torture. Ditto Rush Limbaugh (for Limbaugh devotees, I couldn't resist the use of the word "ditto"--and you know who you are!) Glenn Beck has also refused to see waterboarding as torture. Do I sense that the whole Fox News group thinks waterboarding is like standing under a waterfall? It seems that way. It's either insanity or uber machismo to think waterboarding is a harmless interrogation technique (Rush Limbaugh was on videotape slapping himself in the face proclaiming "I'm torturing myself." But that's Limbaugh theatre again.)

Well, someone has issued Hannity a challenge to his "Waterboard for Charity" idea. Keith Olbermann
of MSNBC is going to pay a charity $1000 for every second of Hannity's nifty little idea that "waterboarding isn't torture" view if Hanity puts his body to the test of waterboarding.

While I'm on my soapbox, I'll admit I'm disappointed that Obama has backed off the idea of immediately seeking prosecution for the former executive branch of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld et al. I do hope he changes his mind. If Bill Clinton can get impeached for an act that unfortunately is common among a lot of politicians, what the heck is the hold up for prosecuting these people who got us into a war under pretense, put thousands of our sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers.. you get the harm's way? Not to mention the casualties and wounded. And I'm talking about OUR troops, not other nations'.

So, Mr. Hannity, I'm waiting to see how harmless you think waterboarding is. Mr. Olbermann, get out your checkbook. Let's see how much charity earns from this.