"Limbo's Kitten" - (c) 2005 by NNN
by H. Millard (c) 2005
H. Millard index

Flush Limbo's kitten is being held at Abu Ghraib by the District Attorney.
The kitten wasn't wearing a uniform when it attacked U.S. forces after we
bombed its litter box back into the stone age. Damn terrorist. To hell
with the Geneva Convention and to hell with the U.S. Constitution, the
kitten isn't a citizen. We don't have to be decent to it. The D.A.
suspects the kitten knows something about Limbo's pills, and he also wants
it to spill the beans on his medical records. So far, it's refused to
talk. Well, the guards at Abu Ghraib know how to make it talk. "What's
the matter, cat got your tongue, Mr. Puss and Boots? We know how to deal
with your terrorist kind, you hairball. We've got some piperazine adipate
here that'll make you talk."

The mixed up dreams just kept coming. Maybe it was the Holy Basil pill I
took that was trying to help my subconscious sort out the whack world of
post-American America in which we live. Maybe I slipped into an alternate
universe where things are sort of the same, but a little different.
Whatever happened to real conservatives? Whatever happened to the Golden
Rule? Where did all the honorable principled people go?

Suddenly, I'm back at Abu Ghraib. Way down the hall in front of me is a
kid, let's call him Jorge, who is sticking Limbo's kitten's head in a
bucket of water. When I yell for him to stop torturing the kitten, the
kid turns around and says to this other kid, who we'll call Albert, "Is
this okay to do? Do I have the legal right to do this? Can I be prosecuted
for doing this?"

'Si, Jorge, you can do that. Here's a memo on the subject. 'It's not
torture unless it is of an intensity akin to...serious physical injury
such as death or organ failure, and if it's mental abuse, it's only
torture if it causes lasting psychological harm.' You can keep sticking
the kitten's head in the water, or pull its claws out, or do just about
anything you want to do and no one will be able to charge you with

"Hey, what you're doing is just plain wrong," I yelled. "It is torture,
and you know it is."

"That depends on how you define 'torture,' Senor, said Albert. "We don't
define this as torture. Now, if we put a lit cherry bomb in the kitten's
mouth, tied the kitten's legs to four camels, and then had the four camels
run off in four different directions, that might possibly be called
torture, but, then again, maybe not, it depends on how we write a memo
about it. You see, this is the Mexican, ah, 'Merican way of justice. It's
all in how you define terms. Comprende? "What? Oh, yes Senators, I am
against all torture [but I get to define torture, you stupid gringos] and
I will uphold the Mexican, er, 'Merican way of life. As attorney general
I promise to be a strong advocate for civil rights [of illegal aliens, you

Meanwhile, back in his radio studio where he is conducting his three hour
a day Jorge administration infomercial, Flush Limbo, after making fun of
a former president for saying that a legal question depends on the
definition of the word 'is,' begins complaining that the air conditioning
isn't turned up high enough. "Man, this is torture. The thermometer
reads 68 degrees. I can't stand this heat. Albert, is this torture?"

"Yes, Flush, it's torture. I'll prepare a memo defining it that way.
We'll send troops to bring freedom and democracy to the terrorist
building managers to protect you from this inhumane treatment. Then,
we'll strap them to boards and put them under water until they think
they're drowning so they'll understand real freedom."

Back at Abu Ghraib: "Look, what kinda commie pinko left winger are you
anyway?" sneers the kid who is torturing the kitten, as the other kid
nods his head in agreement. "This terrorist came up behind me when I
wasn't looking and it scratched me on my ankle. It has claws of mass
destruction." With that, the kid tied the kitten to a tree and brought in
a couple of big vicious dogs that he tethered so they could get to within
inches of the kitten. The dogs strained hard at their tethers and their
fangs were barred and there was white foam coming from their mouths. The
kitten was frightened beyond belief.

"Don't you understand that what you're doing isn't right?" I asked.

"I told you, this is a terrorist. It doesn't have any rights," said the
kid named Jorge. "Look, when it snuck up on me it wasn't even wearing a
military uniform, so the Geneva Convention doesn't apply, and it's not a
U.S. citizen so it doesn't have any constitutional rights. How many times
I gotta tell you that? Are you against Mexico, ah, 'Merica or something?"

"No uniform?" I asked. "You mean like the Minutemen at Concord who fought
the British?"

"That's it, now I've heard everything," said Jorge. "You are an
anti-Mexican,er, anti-'Merican pinko lefty. How in the world can you
compare terrorist kittens to our heroic Minutemen?"

"Well, for starters," I said, "the Minutemen were fighting to protect the
land where they lived against a foreign army, just like the kittens are
doing. I mean, it is their litter box. And, by the way, did you do
anything to the kittens first, before this one snuck up on you?"

"Not really," said the kid. "I just sent some planes to bomb them so they
could be free to practice democracy. Then I sent my troops to close down
newspapers and give them real freedom. See, these terrorist kittens hate
us because of our freedoms."

"Don't you kids know that what you're doing is wrong?" I asked. "Don't
you believe in the Golden Rule? Don't you believe in doing the right
thing? Why are you even trying to find legal justifications for what
you're doing? Wrong is wrong."

"Look, mister," said the kid, "some kittens did some bad things and they
all deserve this treatment. I have the right to do this. Right, Albert?"

"Right, Jorge."

"Listen, kid," I said, "you may think you have the right to treat other
creatures cruelly and you may have various justifications in your mind
for doing so, but don't you understand that treating other living things
this way, even if you think they deserve it, is just plain wrong and
tells more about you than them? And, don't you understand that you
invaded their land, they didn't invade yours? Furthermore, you have all
sorts of fancy weapons and planes and the kittens don't. They're
fighting you in the only way they can. Why don't you just leave their
litter box and let them practice self-determination?"

"What? Don't you know we have to do this for the safety of Israel, er,
Mexico, ah, 'Merica?"

Just before my dreams turned to the nekked Dixi Chiks, I wondered what
kind of adults these two kids would eventually become. I left them as
they continued to 'not-torture' Limbo's kitten by dunking it in water.
"Hey, it's just like what college kids do or what they do at Skull and
Bones," said the voice on the radio.

My guess is that they'll disappear the kitten into a Mexican,ah, 'Merican
hell hole of a prison for the rest of its life without legal counsel or
due process. That's the post-American way of justice.

#  #  #



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messages of ennui and meaning in post-american america by H. Millard

In Ourselves Alone and Homeless Jack's Religion, H. Millard, the hard to pigeonhole author of The Outsider and Roaming the Wastelands, has put together some of his category bending commentaries on post-American America. The commentaries deal with politics, philosophy, free speech, genocide, religion and other topics in Millard's edgy style and lead up to Homeless Jack's Religion, in which Homeless Jack lays out revelations he found in a dumpster on skid row. Browse Before You Buy ISBN: 0-595-32646-3

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