horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Friday, August 20, 2004

Administration Ignores Terrorist Potential in Its Own Backyard
The Bush administration, which has ventured thousands of miles away to pursue still unsubstantiated reports of weapons of mass destruction, continues to thwart efforts to eliminate the very real danger of catastrophic terrorist attacks right in the nation's own backyard.

The threat consists of chemical-laden railroad tank cars-- lethal cargoes which the US Department of Transportation characterizes as potential "Weapons of Mass Destruction."

A hair-raising photo taken last September shows the Capitol dome in the background with a loaded, clearly identified, extremely dangerous chlorine tank car passing in the foreground, on tracks just blocks away (dangerous cargoes carry this identification to assist firemen and emergency personnel responding to an accident).

"This photo is an indictment of non-homeland security," says Dr. Fred Millar, a rail security specialist who served as a consultant to Friends of the Earth on the issue of terrorism and dangerous rail cargoes. "The blindness on this is stunning," Millar told Bushgreenwatch.

Why is this being shoved aside in favor of the renewed Star-Wars no-defense missle defense? Because building a missle defense system that will not work accomplishes two things,1. It puts billions in the pockets of defense contractors that have made huge contributions to Bush and Republicans, 2. Is grandstanding, its a big show that Bush can put to and say that he's strong on defense; in other words more wagging the dog. The truth is that we're in far more danger from improvised attacks using tanks cars and suit case bombs then we are from cold-war like missle attacks. And let's face it, big nuclear missiles have never been about defense per se as much as they've been about the mutual destruction of both sides in an attack. Prevention is far better then killing millions because still other millions have been killed. The Bush defense policies are the nightmare of intractable minds wrapped in a web of corruption and delusion.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Famed film composer Elmer Bernstein dies
Elmer Bernstein, the versatile, Oscar-winning composer who scored such movie classics as "The Ten Commandments," "The Magnificent Seven," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Great Escape" and "True Grit," died Wednesday. He was 82.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" presented Bernstein quite a challenge in seeking to do that. For six weeks he could find no way to approach the story, which concerned racism and the Depression in a small Southern town.

"Then I realized that the film was about these issues but seen through the eyes of children," he once recalled. The simple score was played by a small ensemble, at times employing single piano notes, much like a child picking out a tune.

Mockingbird was , still is a great film. Required viewing for anyone that wonders why liberals feel so strongly about the injustice of racism, ultimately it diminishes us all. Lets start a campaign to have Mr Bernstein on the ten dollar bill, he deserves it..

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Retiring GOP congressman breaks ranks on Iraq
"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action, especially without a broad and engaged international coalition," Bereuter wrote in a four-page letter to his constituents.

"The cost in casualties is already large and growing, and the immediate and long-term financial costs are incredible."

and is their tradition with anyone who breaks ranks with the standard neocon propaganda, the attacks on Rep. Doug Bereuter began immediately.
Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Illinois, a member of the intelligence committee, described Bereuter as "very bitter" for having been passed over in recent years to head both the intelligence and international relations committees. He suggested Bereuter's comments were a parting shot to House GOP leaders and President Bush.

So Bereuter couldn't possibility have spoken out of conscience. What Bereuter is saying is what John Kerry has said in so many words, that given the authority to use force if it became necessary, Bush f*cked up. Only its not a game, there are no redos. Over 900 americans have been killed that would still be alive if Bush had been more cautious and deliberate in his use of force. Does american want a president that still needs training wheels to conduct foreign policy or should we put an adult in charge to clean up the mess.

Monday, August 16, 2004

'Data Quality' Law Is Nemesis Of Regulation
Hormone disruption, it read, cannot be considered a "legitimate regulatory endpoint at this time" -- that is, it is not an acceptable reason to restrict a chemical's use -- because the government had not settled on an officially accepted test for measuring such disruption.

Those words, which effectively rendered moot hundreds of pages of scientific evidence, were adopted by the EPA as a result of a petition filed by a Washington consultant working with atrazine's primary manufacturer, Syngenta Crop Protection. The petition was filed under the Data Quality Act, a little-known piece of legislation that, under President Bush's Office of Management and Budget, has become a potent tool for companies seeking to beat back regulation

Of course disruption of the millions of daily interactions of hormones in the human body is meaningless to the supposed family values crowd. Hey lets not talk about another Shrub attack on our families, lets talk about John Kerry and Cambodia.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Mark Kleiman makes a good point about MoveOn.
I'm behind the times. MoveOn is trying to air some "convert" ads. But they're mostly preaching to the choir about Iraq, rather than complaining about the betrayal of conservative values. (This one's an exception.) And they're way too mod and multi-culti for the voters who can actually be reached by this sort of pitch, who are mostly older, white, and culturally conservative. I say this as someone who's had a full beard since 1970: Lose the facial hair, guys. Let's get the Scattergoods on camera

While at least some of the MoveOn ads I saw from a few months ago could viewed as an across the spectrum appeal to anyone cocerned about the truthfulness of BushCo and the reason's for attacking Iraq, I'd like to see them appeal to those that feel on some level that the neocons are betraying what were traditional conservatives values: balanced budgets, looking out for veterans, fair tax structure, war only when all other options had been exhausted, and being fully preapared win the war and the peace. I think that while most conservatives are willing to cut corners on ethics to win, most are uneasy with the petty vindictiveness of Bush-Rove against anyone that disagrees with them. The Busies environmental policies are not exactly front page and they should be. Its as though they have declared war on the public health; if the plan was to loosen environmental safeguards in order to create jobs, its obvious thats not working. MoveOn is doing a great job, they just need to address these issues in a way that culturally conservative Main Street can relate to them. I live around quite a few folks that are avid bass fisherman, and even while a slight majority vote Repub., they are disturbed by bass that have cancerous sores caused by pollution. And if the lakes/rivers are doing that to the fish, they sure don't want their kids swimming in it.

My Ecosystem Details