How Do You Say ‘Sotomayor’?
She was raised in the projects, humble and poor;
Among her own people she’s Sotomayor.
But Barack Obama has raised her higher,
And most will now call her Sotomayor.
PAUL J. PICKETT
(with a tip of the hat to Calvin Trillin)
Torture by Any Other Name
Mount Dora, Fla.
It did my heart good to read Katha Pollitt’s May 18 “Subject to Debate,” with its mention of the Japanese use of the “water treatment”–as we called it during my two and a half years of torture, starvation and beatings, from April 1943 to September 1945. Since all the fuss about the recent US torture programs, nobody seems to refer to the Japanese use of this useless type of interrogation or how it was adjudicated at the war crimes trials in Tokyo in 1946, at which my skipper testified about our treatment at various camps (including the illegal navy camp at Ofuna).
At the trials one, perhaps more, of our guards was sentenced to hang and several more were given prison sentences. All this serves to support the prosecution of American leaders like Bush, Cheney, Addington, Yoo, etc., who planned and carried out the torture programs of the past several years.
One wonders just how long these law enforcement officials spent poring over the allegedly pornographic photographs of teens [JoAnn Wypijewski, “Through a Lens Starkly,” May 18]. Did it take a minute, or maybe multiple viewings over the course of a few days, until they felt able to carefully discern whether they, the adults, felt titillated by the photos? That seems to be the standard being imposed.
Where is the line beyond which these arbiters of decency become the consumers of the (alleged) child porn? And were the laws involved really written so that children should be charged by the authorities for viewing pictures of other children? I feel confident in stating that we are alone in this practice in the Western world.
I am disturbed by the increasing number of ways our criminal justice system is finding to prosecute our children.
Foreclosures Are Rolling Along
Kai Wright, in “More Mortgage Madness” [May 18], hit the nail on the head! This system is broken. The government wants the loans modified, the public certainly wants to see the loans modified and the attorneys and loan modification companies can facilitate the modification; yet an almost impenetrable wall has been erected at the servicers’ headquarters. Consumers should not give up hope–there are a lot of great modifications happening. But in most cases the modifications happen despite the servicers’ inadequacies. This problem is fixable but not while inexperienced, entry-level customer service representatives of the servicers are working with inexperienced, entry-level nonprofit counselors for the borrowers.