Thursday, May 22, 2003

As opposed to the Democratic Party, which exists but has no activity

Tommy Franks orders all members of the Baath party’s top ranks to identify themselves to the US military. He said “There must be no Baath Party activity, because the party no longer exists,” a sentence whose logic would make Mr. Spock grit his teeth and mutter under his breath.

The UN does it, officially dissolves a country, turning over its administration and resources to another country. It’s no longer a United Nations, it’s the Congress of Berlin (oh, look it up). I’m serious, a “UN” that doesn’t respect the sovereignty of nations does not deserve to exist. The resolution includes immunity from lawsuits involving oil. And no deadline for getting the hell out.

Bush accuses Europe of causing starvation in Africa by banning the US’s bioengineered crops from Europe--not from Africa, mind you, but from Europe. The US trade rep has expanded on this in the Wall Street Journal: “some famine-stricken African countries refused U.S. food aid because of fabricated fears -- stoked by irresponsible rhetoric -- about food safety.” So they’re not even allowed to discuss the safety of bio-crops either. Shut up and eat, Europe, there are children starving in Africa. He also proposes that Europe stop its $4b subsidy of agricultural exports, but refuses to discuss the US’s $4b subsidy of agricultural exports. In fact he wants to increase it--as with his AIDS initiative, somehow all money to help Africa winds up being spent in the US, given to agribusiness or pharmaceutical giants.

Bush also said “Our country has been attacked by treachery in our own cities -- and that treachery continues in places like Riyadh and Casablanca.” The word “treachery” is interesting, because by definition it involves betrayal, which is only possible for people who owe you loyalty.

In Aceh, the Indonesian military is carrying out massacres and mass internments and relocations. Journalists are being banned.

Bush’s tax cut is going through, and I think we all need to start referring to it as voodoo economics. Even the Bushies are unable to massage the figures enough to support their claim that this has anything to do with creating jobs. Their most optimistic numbers for job creation have them giving away $500,000 per job.

Later: Marc Cooper in the LA Weekly refers to the tax cut as trickle-on-you economics. That works too.

The Pentagon’s $400 billion budget is larger in real terms than it was during the Cold War. And it seems to have lost $1 trillion. Perhaps it’s behind the couch. Missing items include 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 missile launchers. The budget includes new fighters and bombers, although the one thing Iraq, Afghanistan and Al Qaida had in common was no usable air force. The new F-22 fighter-bomber cost $257 million. That’s each.

The Justice Department has detailed its use of the Patriot Act, including the number of secret detentions, including people held as material witnesses who were never actually called upon to witness to anything. It won’t surprise you to hear that the government is using its shiny new powers for many purposes that have nothing to do with terrorism.

Speaking of terrorism, Texas passed a law requiring doctors to try to terrorize women seeking abortions, including showing them color pictures of fetuses (D’s tried to get rape and incest victims exempted from this, but no go) and telling them that abortion leads to breast cancer, which is not true (Miss. and Minn. also require that this lie be purveyed). Also a waiting period, which is especially obnoxious in a state that is as big as Texans like to brag it is, and in which abortion is only available in 15 out of 254 counties.

Zagreb: For Frane Selak, a music teacher from Petrinja in Central Croatia, defying death is nothing new. He recently survived when the bus he was on plunged into a river in Bosnia, killing everyone on board except him and the driver.

In 1962 he was on a train that plunged into another Bosnian river, killing dozens. The year before, a small aircraft crashed in Croatia, killing 17 passengers and three crew members. Mr Selak was on board when the aircraft took off — but not when it crashed.

“The plane’s rear doors opened and I was sucked out of the plane,” he said. He awoke three days later in hospital, to be told that rescuers had found him unconscious in a haystack. (AFP)

No comments:

Post a Comment