horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I'm not a pyschologist, the deeper reasons for the comtempt that Bush and his supporters have for the United States of America and our natural heritage is beyond me, via Prairie Angel and NYT
Thwarted by the public in its efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, the Bush administration and the oil companies are now quietly turning their attention to the balance of the Arctic region of Alaska, all the way west to the Chukchi Sea, within sight of Siberia. In advance of its efforts, the administration has jettisoned environmental safeguards and is now threatening the traditional-use rights of the Alaska Natives who have hunted caribou and waterfowl along the Arctic slope for thousands of years.

No amount of scientific evidence will sway them and resoughts to moral arguments bounce off right-wing extremists hard little heads; so for their our sake and the sake of our grand-children, BushCo must be shown the door in November.

America the Beautiful - 1913
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

via Atrios and WAPO
Tom White, former secretary of the Army, was at Enron Energy Services, a company that was little more than a sham from the get go.

Ed Gillespie, current head of the Republican National Committee, was an Enron lobbyist.

Marc Racicot, former head of the RNC, was an Enron lobbyist.

Robert Zoellick, current US Trade Representative, worked for Enron as an adviser.

James Baker III, former secretary of state -- and the man who was crucial to Bush's win in Florida -- was an Enron lobbyist.

Robert Bryce: By my count, the Bush campaign used Enron's jets at least a dozen times during the campaign. However, the critical use came during the Florida Recount. According to the campaign's IRS filings, Enron's jets were used 4 different times during the period that covers the recount. That period was crucial because time was of the essence.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

We all know that Bush plays fast and loose with the truth, but he is also the King of Hypocrisy:
from No War Blog
This is being repeated in so many places it's hardly worth commenting on. Nevertheless, it might put some of the more messianic 'morally righteous' statements of the Bushies into perspective.

'Human rights activists and opposition supporters have accused Washington of double standards on Azerbaijan.

Until September 11 2001, the regime's human rights record meant it was under US sanctions and received no military aid. In February this year, the US state department reported that the "police tortured and beat persons in custody" and concluded that the Aliyev government had a "poor" human rights record, protesting at the abuses after October's presidential election, when police in black masks had brutally attacked an unarmed opposition protest, hitting some protesters as they lay unconscious. One man died and Russian television showed a small boy being carried away limp.'

'Opposition officials around the country were rounded up and many were tortured. Natiq Jabiyev, Musavat's elections secretary said the organised crime unit stripped him naked and plunged nails beneath three fingers of his left hand. The US state department said reports of his torture were "credible". Yet sanctions - lifted for reasons of national security - have not been reintroduced, and military aid has been increased. '

This is a fine example of BushCos real-politik. Somehow they think that opening up another oil spicket and being a little less dependent on Saudi oil justifies anything, while a Whitehouse spokesman will almost daily talk about how important it is that democracy be brought to Iraq and how badly they were treated by Saddam. Aliyev+torture is OK with Bush, Saddam+torture is not OK. Torture at Abu Ghraib is OK because Bush, like other authoritarians believe they are above the laws of civilized society. Except for the die hard kool-aid drinkers, most people can see Bush's approach to world affairs as lacking depth, consistancy, and morality.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Just maybe this guy should not be allowed to roam free, much less be the new American ambassador to Iraq.
John Negroponte
As ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, Negroponte played a key role in US aid to the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and shoring up the brutal military dictatorship of General Gustavo Alvarez Martínez in Honduras. Between 1980 and 1994 U.S. military aid to Honduras jumped from $3.9 million to $77.4 million. Much of this went to ensure the Honduran army's loyalty in the battle against popular movements throughout Central America. [7]

“The high-level planning, money and arms for those wars flowed from Washington, but much of the on-the-ground logistics for the deployment of intelligence, arms and soldiers was run out of Honduras … So crammed was the tiny country with U.S. bases and weapons that it was dubbed the USS Honduras, as if it were simply an off-shore staging ground. The captain of this ship, Negroponte was in charge of the U.S. Embassy when, according to a 1995 four-part series in the Baltimore Sun, hundreds of Hondurans were kidnapped, tortured and killed by Battalion 316, a secret army intelligence unit trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency,” Allen wrote. [8]

According to the New York Times, Negroponte was responsible for "carrying out the covert strategy of the Reagan administration to crush the Sandinistas government in Nicaragua." Critics say that during his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic.

Kerry Picks John Edwards as running mate.
Amid newly minted Kerry-Edwards banners and the cheers of flag-waving supporters, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry formally announced Tuesday that he has chosen John Edwards as his running mate, calling the senator from North Carolina "a man who understands and defends the values of America."

On the anti-american ticket will be BushCo and Halliburton.

Ancient Utah artefacts unveiled
Hundreds of almost perfectly preserved artefacts used by native Americans 4,500 years ago have been uncovered in the western US state of Utah.

The rancher wisely kept it a secret, as reported in the article since the existence of site was annouced there has already been some looting of arrowheads. If it was my ranch the looters would be picking some rock salt buck-shot out of their asses.
Also serves as a reminder that Columbus didn't discover squat. We should scrap Columbus Day and replace it with Native Americans Day.
The Fremont and their ancestors are known to have lived in the area as long ago as 2000BC.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Issue: Richard Clarke, Condoleezza Rice, President Bush and 9/11
Argument: Clarke is just trying to sell books – after all, his book came out just as this public testimony began.
Response: Of course his publisher that the timing of the book's release is resulting in healthy sales. But that still does not refute the actual claims made in Clarke's book. And besides, Clarke gave his book to the White House to review for security reasons back in October of 2003, but they took two months to get it back to him. So any delay is largely their fault. And despite having nearly six months to prepare a rebuttal to Clarke, they still have yet to offer a credible refutation of any of Clarke's important points.

Thanks Gadflyer for putting together the facts to win those coffee-break arguments.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

About Independence
People too often get the impression that the only people who use the nation's civil liberties protections are lawbreakers who were not quite guilty of the exact felony they were charged with. Perhaps we should thank the Bush administration for providing so many situations that demonstrate how an unfettered law enforcement system, even one pursuing worthy ends, can destroy the lives of the innocent out of hubris or carelessness.

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