Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A rocky road to recovery

Article on how campaign finance reform leg. will just make things more complicated and less regulated, surprise surprise, and the role of Alabama in all this.

Bush’s claim that a UN report in 1998 said that Iraq was 6 months away from having nukes was a lie. So was the talk about new buildings. The Christian Science Monitor reminds us that in 1990 the US claimed that there were 250,000 Iraqi troops on the Saudi border, poised to invade, when commercial satellite photos showed that there were in fact, zero troops there (the alleged Pentagon photos proving the build-up are still classified). The man in charge of that disinformation campaign: Dick Cheney. The Monitor story also recalls the old State Dept. Office of Public Diplomacy, which leaked false stories about the Soviets giving Nicaragua chemical weapons, and the classic story of Iraqi troops tearing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators.

On the issue of GM food, both Zimbabwe and Zambia have caved, starved into compromising principles. I forget, why does the world hate us?

Tom Ridge has raised the Color of the Day to orange, so don’t forget to get plenty of vitamin C.

Buzz Aldrin, asked by someone to swear on a Bible that he’d really been to the moon, punches him in the face. To be fair, that’s pretty much the way the US government reacts when asked to prove stuff about Iraq.

The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide.

A good political cartoon I haven’t seen before:

Seems that Jeb Bush’s choice to head Florida’s child welfare services, the one who claimed he didn’t believe the views in a report he’d signed, as I previously reported, has in fact written many things saying that working women are evil, homosexuality is evil, sex ed is evil, that women-headed households are evil because their children all become gay, and therefore evil. He believes welfare should discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate children.

The Jebster’s response: "I am no longer amazed at the anti-Christian feelings in the press."

And to pick on Jeb some more, his daughter just got caught with drugs again. She was at a rehab center, which actually tried to make the police go away and forget about it (she was snitched on by a fellow patient). Staff refused to cooperate by providing statements. Jeb refused to comment, saying that “the road to recovery is a rocky one”. Yes, she was caught with a rock of crack cocaine.

I didn’t properly understand the thing about Israel keeping Gaza MPs away from the Palestinian Legislative Council. It is in fact doing so *selectively*.

Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary groups have promised to give up drug trafficking and massacring people. So that’s ok then.

Stupid criminal trick of the week: Police arrested a 47-year-old would-be robber who told a post office cashier in Halmstad, Sweden, to pay £25 million into his account, the number of which he wrote down.

Another article on Bush’s odd speech patternizationisms.

A piece in the Times on the chances for a UN Security Council resolution on Iraq gives this run-down of the current members. As you read it, see if you don’t conclude that the whole idea and power of the Security Council is ridiculous:

Permanent members:

United States: Main proponent of the need for military force
United Kingdom: Likely to sponsor an Iraq resolution
France: President Chirac proposes a two-step approach, with a first resolution giving Iraq a three- week deadline to readmit inspectors, to be followed by a second resolution, if necessary, authorising military force
Russia: The single most important vote. The United States and Britain must persuade Russia, a firm opponent of military action, not to use its veto to block a resolution
China: Considered likely to abstain because it rarely makes use of its veto power on issues that do not directly involve its national interests. President Bush meets President Jiang Zemin in Texas next month before the latter leaves office and the Chinese may not want to jeopardise that meeting

Non-permanent members:
Bulgaria: A European Union candidate nation that tends to vote with other EU nations
Cameroon: A poor, non-aligned African nation that has succumbed before to US pressure
Colombia: The beneficiary of a large US aid programme, with a newly elected right-wing President, is considered likely to vote with the United States
Guinea: Another African nation that may win promises of US aid in exchange for its vote
Ireland: A traditionally pro-UN nation that is expected to support a UN approach agreed by the five permanent members
Mauritius: An African nation vulnerable to pressure from the United States
Mexico: Likely to back the United States on such a high-stakes vote because of President Fox’s personal friendship with President Bush
Norway: Also likely to vote for a UN approach agreed by the large powers
Singapore: Likely to vote with the majority
Syria: Almost certain to oppose a resolution that could allow US military action, because of Arab solidarity

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