Americans have a long-standing disavowal of “cruel punishment or at least we have such on paper. When the enlightenment’s leaders began to announce that torture by a government or other seat of power to obtain a confession was in poor form, part of the message immigrated to the new world.
As does any message handed down a long chain or people, the output doesn’t always equal the input. While it became generally understood that hanging, drawing, and quartering was a rather ineffective means of obtaining a confession, it remained an approved penalty in some nations.
What became acceptable as legal and justifiable procedures often overlapped between interrogation and punishment. Various devices designed to inflict greater or lesser amounts of discomfort and humiliation were acceptable as punishment for civil and social violations. Stocks and other forms of confinement short of jail were widely used. Flogging remained legal in Delaware until finally banned in 1972.
The cruel nature of punishment need not be physical. Of late, the efficacy of loud, repetitive noise, and ceaseless propaganda broadcasts designed to break down the ability of a human to determine good from bad, truth from lie, has become widely used. The GOP/teavangelists have become widely enamored of such malevolent means of utilizing torture to remove the intellect from its voter base. Remarkably, the voter base never realizes it is being stripped of intellect or choice of candidates.
I was exposed to such a plan today. I had an ophthalmology appointment at VA today. For nearly a quarter of an hour, I was subjected to two televisions blaring Fox New into my ears. Perhaps my hearing deficit saved my higher mental abilities.
In all honesty, I asked an ophthalmology technician why the department chose to run Fox News all day. She told me that they had chosen it to prevent physical fights between patients. Patients who watched it at home objected vigorously, vehemently, to CNN. Need any further proof that Fox News is dumbing down its viewers?