Friday, March 30, 2007

Por qué me molestas? or Porky me molestas?

The Sydney Morning Herald notices that after David Hicks showed up overweight at his hearing, the charge that Americans were starving him changed to the accusation that they were making him a 2.5X American.

Prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are offered a diet of up to 5000 calories a day, 2½ times the recommended daily intake for Americans. David Hicks' father, Terry, has criticised the food his son has been given while in captivity.

David Hicks has put on weight while in the prison and at Monday's hearing observers were surprised by his chubby appearance - he looked nothing like the photos that had become familiar to Australians.

The US military on Thursday showed off the selection of meals that it offers the prisoners in an attempt to show how well it treats suspected terrorists. Prisoners could choose regular, vegetarian, vegetarian with fish, bland (with no salt or seasoning), high fibre, or "soft" food meals. There were also fruit juices (but no straw, because of concerns about self harm), fruit and nuts. And to eat these meals they get a plastic "spork".


Afficionados of jailhouse life in the Third World will probably have indelible memories of the catering contractors who provide the prisoners with what must charitably be called food. Several decades ago in the Philippines the contracts for jail food were held by a pair of contractors named Gumangan and Avendano. They provided meals which were colloquially referred to as rantso, from which the Tagalog slang world karantso is derived. In its original meaning it loosely meant "messmate" but people on civvy street think of the term today as meaning your circle of friends.

The prisoners sustained by Mssrs Gumangan and Avendano regularly vied with each other for the dubious crown of the who could tell the most horrifying food story. In truth the food wasn't that bad, compared say to what a person in a slum might eat on the outside. But the contractors by no means provided the inmates of selection of menus like "regular, vegetarian, vegetarian with fish, bland, high fibre, or 'soft' food meals". You got a few buns for breakfast, filled mostly with air. It was the custom of prisoners to save their bread for a week to eat it all on a Sunday in order, as some would say, to "feel full" at least once in seven days. There was meat once a week, usually fatty pork sitting in a bowl of watery stew or some sort of dishwater. On occasion there was seafood.

The seafood, you understand, was typically fried until it was one degree removed from carbonization. This was done in order to make fish which could presented in no other way somewhat edible. Many an elderly prisoner probably has fond memories of his karantsos gnawing on fish done to such a crispness that you could whack it against your bunk (called a tarima, BTW) and get it to break cleanly. But never mind. It was the company, after all, and not the food which made the meal, if your taste in friends ran to the heavily tatooed multiple murderer with shifting, expressionless eyes.

And when the dishes were gathered away, someone might begin a song. The song of someone who knows he is going to be forgotten. That the visits from outsiders would eventually decrease in frequency until finally they stopped; when his whole world, indeed his entire family became the men he shared his Gumangan or Avendano meal with. One ditty went:

Little by little time passes.
And the pages of the calendar fall away.
My dearest love, I can't forget you.
But that you should remember me I cannot ask.

Hicks will be out in a few months, having confessed to the crime of supporting efforts to murder innocent people. Many a prisoner in a Third World jail will die old behind bars for having done less. Pass the bread and pour the coffee.


Blogger Karridine said...

"Those -burp!- cruel Americans gave me 3 square meals a day, and refused to give me ANY reasons to complain! It is the ACME of CRUELTY, I tell you, Judge!"

3/31/2007 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Hicks permits us to prove our "humanity". That millions may die as the result is the cost we must willingly pay to be "humane".

“Whom the gods intend to destroy, they first make mad."

3/31/2007 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

Last week, the King of Saudi Arabia declared jihad against the Western powers in Iraq when he claimed that “holy Iraq” was “illegally occupied.”

The utter failure of the West and its media to recognize this must demonstrate
a) insanity
b) naiveté
c) cupidity
d) all the above

Really, it is that simple.

3/31/2007 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I don't see vegemite on that list!

3/31/2007 06:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen: The utter failure of the West and its media to recognize this must demonstrate
a) insanity
b) naiveté
c) cupidity
d) all the above

Really, it is that simple

Anectdote: Prince Walid invested $2.5 billion AOL which, of course on the dropping of the AOL name in the firm, means Walid's money is in Time Warner, the largest media company in the world.

3/31/2007 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jeha said...

Down with McDonalds! ... burp.

3/31/2007 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Justice and Goldilocks:

Hicks gets 9 months for being an illegal combatant, with better treatment than many cubans outside his compound. This as an example of Western Justice, and I think Goldilocks might find this Justice too cold.

In contrast to the 15 soldiers held hostage by Iran who despite their letters describing the hospitality, might not be enjoying the food as much as Hicks. After they are convicted of being spies by Iranian justice, I'll bet Goldilocks would find this Justice too hot.

Where will she find the Justice just right?

3/31/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Justice juuust right:

Sometimes the bear eats Goldilocks, sometimes Goldilocks eats the bear?

3/31/2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Thanks dude. Glad someone's takin' er easy for the rest of us sinners.

3/31/2007 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Yep, all that bush-league psych-out stuff is laughable, man. Ha ha.

3/31/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Beats your Goldilocks Pornography, Larsen.
Sydney Blacks Out for Global Warming...

3/31/2007 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe."

Thomas Carlyle

So, Sydney city turns off the lights, and Bics flic all over town, setting the city afire, burning down Australia, and making Al Gore weep, "Oh, the carbon, oh, the Huge Manatee".

3/31/2007 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Save AlgoresRhythms,
Buy Carbon Credits.

3/31/2007 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Harrywr2 said...


"The utter failure of the West and its media to recognize this must demonstrate"

as Prince Bandar had only weeks earlier been advocating the US not leave Iraq until it was "uninvited" the Statement of the Saudi King did seem somewhat misplaced...until one notices the Arab League endorsed at least the concept of "Making Peace With Israel"...

Being Dictators 'R Us...the Arab league wanted the Saudis to reaffirm that invading the countries of dictators was "illegal" in exchange for their co-operation in making peace with Israel.

Somehow I don't see congress approving another invasion of a dictator for a while anyway.

3/31/2007 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger JimMtnViewCa said...

And the claims of "starving" changed to "overfeeding" basically overnight. It was almost as if the conclusion ("US is bad") was a forgone and only the path to get there was in doubt...

3/31/2007 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

So, basically, tourist class passengers on a coast to coast flight are treated worse than internees at Gitmo...

So maybe that is why Atta and the others rammed those buildings on 9/11/01?

3/31/2007 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger pauldanish said...

Can anyone think of any example in the history of human conflict of a belligerent complaining that its adversary was feeding its prisoners too much?

This may well be something genuinely new under the sun.

The next thing you know Hicks Sr. will be demanding that Hicks Jr. be placed on a strict diet of bread and water during his stay in the Aussie stir.

3/31/2007 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

See, this is the good thing about the Air Force. It's all foreign policy and no prisoners.

Not that there's anything wrong with prisoners.

3/31/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not so fast my friend:
Pauldanish reminds me that early on the Air Force was dropping food and supplies.

...then there was something about clusterbombletes designed to look like food for the kiddies, or some such.

And, we mustn't forget the CRUSHED AFGHANS when the flyboys acted out our collective EVIL on them by taking AIM.

Gives a whole new meaning to assymetric when our side sits around thinking of more nice things to do, as their side figures how to stick it back up our A....

3/31/2007 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

I can see that Hicks has mastered the Islamic practice of taqiyya and propaganda. And that his gullible Marine JAG*ff lawyer has been a useful tool and grandstanding for this jihadi.

The Australian media are useful tools for the enemy too.

3/31/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

They keep their pathetic minds in top shape evil thinking up new plans like leaving 2 live child decoys in the back seat of a rolling bomb before detonating it.

Kind of like what Roadrunner Movies are like in Hell.

3/31/2007 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt had on Father Fessio ? a week or so ago.
Check back, if you're interested I'll see if he put up a transcript or audio.
(he worked one on one w/Cardinal Ratzinger)

3/31/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Transcript, couldn't find an Audio.

Former Pope Benedict student, Father Joseph Fessio, on three Catholic stories in the news.

3/31/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My favorite answer:

Can the Church get back, can they regain momentum in the United States in their apostolic duties unless and until these scandals are put to rest and resolved, Father Fessio?

Well, yes.
I mean, the thing is they need to be resolved, but you know, if you look at the history of the Church, from the beginning until now, you find that this is a constant factor, that sinfulness pervades every level, you know, from the humblest faithful to the highest levels of the Church.
So we’re not going to get rid of that.

3/31/2007 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Scathing Karzai assessment of Pakistan, re: Taliban

"The Ally of My Ally is My Enemy"

Video, NY Times, FrontPage

3/31/2007 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

It says something about something -- although I'm not quite sure what -- to skim through the comments from Australians here about Hicks' release:

An enormous, overt and seething amount of anti-Semitism, as well as a surprising amount of "mickey the Americans", as if freeing Hicks and putting a trained terrorist right smack in their midst will be worth it if they can piss off the Great Satan.

It also shows that Bush Derangement Syndrome is alive and well outside of the US and the moonbat end of the Democrats. How is it possible for so many people to have the mental acuity of a hormonally challenged 14-year-old male?

4/01/2007 10:38:00 AM  

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