horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Friday, June 17, 2005

My Brother Died for a Ruse

For the last six weeks of his life, Sherwood’s mission was to provide convoy security for the Iraq Survey Group. He was killed in action, providing site security for the group that was looking for weapons of mass destruction. Mounting evidence indicates that the weapons’ non-existence wasn’t a mistake. It was a ruse.

The clouds surrounding Sherwood’s death became even darker recently when I read the contents of a memo from the upper echelons of the British government. The memo reiterates the fact that our administration had every intention of invading Iraq in the summer of 2002. The White House needed only to sell the idea to the American people.

Who could we have substituted for Sherwood, maybe one of the 101st Fighting Chickenhawks: Andrew Sullivan, Brit Hume, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, George Bush, Jerry Falwell, all the commenters over at freeperville, the entire Federalists Society ?

Is Bush insane or just flirting

Molly Ivins makes a pretty compelling case combined with things we know already. We ? I include the Bush apologists who also know deep down, that Bush is not only bonkers, but difficult to figure out in terms of actual conservatism. Bush is a radical, while not a full blown fascist he skirts close to the line. In partnership with his cronies in Congress the America that taught us about in 4th grade history class is hardly recoqnizable. Its officiially the United States of Republican Incompetence and Corruption.

The Definition of Insanity
Zalmay Khalilzad for U.S. ambassador to Iraq? Why not just send Richard Perle? Khalilzad is a second-rank neo-con with all the same credentials as the rest of those bozos -- pre-emptive war, world hegemony, Project for a New American Century... the whole stinking lot of it. Plus, he's been a big booster for Iran's ayatollahs, the Afghani Mujahideen and the Taliban, not to mention an oil company consultant. Isn't that just jim-dandy?

What this tells us is that the administration has learned exactly nothing from the past three years of insurgency in Iraq. The 1,700-dead, $1 billion-a-week mistake will continue to be run in exactly the same way we have already proved doesn't work. We'll keep trying to put out a growing insurgency with too small an army as the country drifts ever-closer to civil war. It's like Ben Franklin's definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

The rest is classic Ivins.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

More evironmental escapades from the AWOL administration

Climate Action
"I'VE ALWAYS SAID it's a serious long-term issue," said President Bush on Tuesday, when asked about his climate change policy. "And my administration isn't waiting around to deal with the issue. We're acting." Clearly, the president's definition of "acting" is different from ours. For the past five years, Mr. Bush has responded to all talk of climate change with demands for more scientific evidence. Now, a former employee of the government office that coordinates climate change research has released documents showing that a White House aide has been doctoring official reports on climate change precisely to avoid "acting" on the scientific evidence. The aide, Philip A. Cooney -- chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality -- is alleged to have made dozens of changes to official reports, inserting qualifiers designed to cast doubt on findings about climate change and to play down the link between climate change and industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

Cooney has gone on to work for Exxon, a company that shares his ability to deny overhelming facts and lie to the public with a straight face.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Poor Policies for those that can least afford

World Bank breaks promises on forests
"community forest management" projects in India, meant to alleviate poverty, have ignored Bank safeguard policies and trampled the rights of indigenous peoples. Communities and NGOs described one project as a "sugar-coated pill which is bitter inside".
IFC projects have threatened forests and forest people, notably for soya expansion in the Brazilian Amazon (see below) and palm oil production in Indonesia;
policy changes to promote industrial logging in the Congo basin have been pushed through with the assistance of the Bank without required public consultation or measures to secure local community rights. Consequently, "the rights and livelihoods of millions of people will be put at risk"; and...

The idea that poor people are poor becuase they choose to be so is prevalent on the net and american culture. Imagine someone discovered oil on your land, disrupted your traditional lifestyle, gave you pennies on the dollar for the value, and exploited you for cheap labor. Is that all your fault? We could take the uber pop psyche view and say there are no victims, but that would be a dangerous lie.
Bush’s Offer of Aid to Africa called a ‘Sham’
''Both Bush and Blair claim a commitment to addressing Africa's challenges, but the sad reality is that their current agenda promotes 'compassionate showmanship' over sea-change in Africa policy,'' said Ann-Louise Colgan, of Africa Action, a Washington-based advocacy group.

The money committed Tuesday will go through the United Nations and some directly to non-governmental organizations providing relief.

While Blair doesn't deserve to be defended based on his lapdog behaviorin the past, he is leading on this issue. Bush just isn't following. Maybe it doesn't fit in with his bizarre approach to the culture of life. Let's do some more imagining, that you want to improve your life, but you're one of 44 million people that need.........
The United Nations estimates that combating root causes of humanitarian problems in Africa would require an additional $3.5 billion in aid. It has appealed for a total of $4.5 billion in resources for humanitarian emergencies in Africa, to help 44 million people obtain basic human requirements of food, water, shelter, health care, and sanitation.

The U.N. Development Program released preliminary data Wednesday showing that if current trends continue, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa would miss the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for poverty reduction, child mortality and education by a wide margin.

Some 4.8 million children in sub-Saharan Africa die before the age of five every year -- nine deaths per minute -- accounting for 45 percent of all child deaths in the world. It is also the only region where the number of child deaths is rising, the U.N. notes.

Hard to pull yourself up by the boot straps when the boots are missing.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Losing Our Country By PAUL KRUGMAN at NYT
But the real reasons to worry about the explosion of inequality since the 1970's have nothing to do with envy. The fact is that working families aren't sharing in the economy's growth, and face growing economic insecurity. And there's good reason to believe that a society in which most people can reasonably be considered middle class is a better society - and more likely to be a functioning democracy - than one in which there are great extremes of wealth and poverty.

Paul doesn't realize or couldn't address it in this column anyway, is that a large chunk of the middle-class is all too glad to sell out their interests and their children's because of the preception that puritanical ideology or lack there of is what's causing the middle class decline. With the combination of the corporate black mailers that keep telling american workers that if they don't let them have their way on free trade ( really greedy free trade ) and environmental regulation that their jobs will continue to go elsewhere. You're with us or else ! The righties have convinced a good part of america that the corporate way, the Bush way is the american way. In the short term it only puts a lot of money in a realtively few pockets, destablizes the economy and democracy. The Bush way is to put it flatly, unamerican.

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