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The Administration Pumps Itself Up with the Torture Act

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"Where's the victim, officer?" The paramedic slowed his truck to a stop. A dozen patrol cars were circled like wagons against an attack.

"Right there," the cop pointed and let him through. He rolled his truck forward a few yards to a motionless body on the asphalt. After killing the lights, he still had to squint in the blinding glare of all the red, white and blue police flashers.

A young woman walked up to him and said, "You're too late. I just called the coroner."

"And you are?"

"His niece. I'm the one who called in the 9-11."

"I see. I'm sorry for your loss, ma'am." She nodded and then the paramedic cast a glance at the man on the ground. "And your uncle, his name is?"

"Sam. My uncle's name is Sam." She corrected herself, "Was Sam."

"Wow, was he a body builder or something? He's humongous." he said

She looked at the paramedic sadly, "Yep. That's what 'roids will do to you."

"I must say I've never seen anyone this bulked up in my life. And I've seen quite a few." He sighed, "It's kinda hard to tell looking at him now, but he must've been a good looking guy once upon a time."

"Yes he was. And talented too. Arts and sciences. Sports. You name it. And beloved by all."

"So sad," the paramedic shook his head slowly. He looked up past the patrol cars and suddenly his expression changed to one of disbelief, "Holy cow, what the heck happened to the neighborhood? Looks like a war zone!"

"'Roid rage. After he got blindsided by some Middle Eastern fellows -- those guys standing over there talking to the cops." She pointed. "Cut him over the eye. Drew blood. Bad scene." She paused thoughtfully. "They said they were pissed off because he'd so often barge into their homes and not leave without a fight. But he said they attacked him without provocation. I don't know what exactly happened. At any rate, he got totally freaked out. Getting cut like that scared him out of his wits."

"He was scared of those guys? They're no match for old King Kong here! - Sorry, I mean, your uncle. I mean to say, he looks so powerful. Why was he so afraid of them?"

"Steroid induced psychosis. He's been pumping himself up for years - said it was to make sure no one could ever hurt him. But the 'roids made him even more paranoid and he'd get to pushing people around -- pre-emptively, you know -- and they'd fight back, he'd freak out, and he'd take more 'roids and get even more pumped than before. And more paranoid. And to top it off, he was dealing. To support his habit, you know. A big vicious circle, you know."

She brushed back her long brown hair and sighed. "Anyway, after this latest attack, he just went nuts, went on a total rampage. Tore up everything in sight. I didn't know one human being could do so much damage. The Middle Easterners freaked out and organized their friends and came after him."

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Bruce Toien is a database designer/developer in the Portland, Oregon area, with an interest in the interaction between technology, society and a sustainable economy. Over the years, Bruce has published numerous opinion pieces relating to these (more...)
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