Friday, January 30, 2009

Banning Torture

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order banning torture. This comes none too soon. I recently, through a desire to “blend” with a family activity, sat through a complete showing of “American Idol.” I presume that this will be included in the ban along with the bulk of ABC’s programming.

It will also come as a setback for mediocre cooks who insist that every dish has its measure of cheese. There are some of us who consider this an insult and an affront to our ability to recognize a foodstuff for what it actually is when not disguised by the cheese. This would also apply to pepper, ground and diced chilies, which have become the ubiquitous seasoning of choice in so many kitchens. These chefs have annoyed us long enough by tortuously training our taste buds to only recognize these two distinct flavors. I recently ordered a T-bone at the Olive Garden and requested that the proscribed sauce and garnish be left in the kitchen. In essence, I challenged the chef to demonstrate that he could actually grill a piece of good meat with out using his usual crutches to mask the taste. He could! It was wonderful.

I am not really familiar with the exact definition of “torture” so it is difficult to say whether it includes following a vehicle for sixteen miles of windy road with his left turn signal on. I am certain, however, that it does cover having to endure a tailgater at night with his high beam headlights reflecting their brilliance in your rear vision mirrors.

Will this ukase also extend to the preacher who comes to the pulpit, ill prepared, rife with personal unconnected anecdotes, who drones on and on and does so until about 12:30pm.? Also eligible will be aldermen, school board members, board chairmen, politicians, lawyers, and others who subject us to their brilliance unmercifully. Without a doubt it will include the individual who, when addressed with the question, “How are you?’ responds, not with a summation (“Fine!") but with a litany of medical complaints that would embarrass a hospital chart. If the preceding is not torture, I don’t know what is.

Finally, the torture which would extract state secrets from the most dedicated terrorist is the attendance at a recital of fledgling pianists who play a repetitious repertoire of pieces designed more to demonstrate fingering techniques than to entertain. In extremis it would be violins. God forbid a drum recital.

If this is what our new administration has in mind; then I cry “Huzzah!” If, on the other hand, he is suggesting that our security services not use every tool in the box to insure the safety of every American, then I must disagree. Our Constitution is very clear on this matter in the first sentence of the preamble. “…., insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, …” these are the responsibilities the federal government assumes. There is no restrictive phrasing accompanying these words. If it supports these issues, then do it.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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