Sunday, April 04, 2004

Spending time with their respective families

Bumper sticker: “Defeat Bush again.”

The NYT casually mentions that Sharon threatened to cut off water and electricity to Gaza if there are attacks after Israel withdraws. I once asked if his plan was to turn Gaza into a bantustan or a free-fire zone; I evidently neglected the alternative: Warsaw ghetto.

By the way, Sharon’s threat to assassinate Arafat was phrased in Jewish-stereotype-speak: he said that Arafat was a “poor insurance risk.”

The Observer says that GlaxoSmithKline and others have been testing AIDS drugs on orphans, including 3-month old babies, black and Hispanic kids in a Catholic aid center in NYC. These are tests of drug toxicity and tolerance, things like, Hey, let’s see what happens if we double the dose. Normally such tests would require parental consent, but the city of NY gave its consent for children under its control to be used as guinea pigs.

The Duma will water down its ban on demonstrations. 2 steps back, 1 forward.

And a similar dance move in China, where they have released 2 mothers and a widow of Tiananmen Square victims.

NYT: “Two Bush administration officials in charge of a widely criticized program that is supposed to help sick nuclear weapons workers are leaving their jobs, the Energy Department said on Friday. ...The two officials took the brunt of criticism from lawmakers this week after it was disclosed that a $74 million program to aid nuclear weapons workers sickened by on-the-job exposure to toxic chemicals had paid out a single claim, $15,000, to one worker. Joe Davis, an Energy Department spokesman, said of the resignations, "The fact of the matter is that they want to spend time with their respective families."”

Bush is trumpeting his first-ever monthly increase in jobs. Looked at a little closer, they’re all part-time jobs, presumably with no benefits.

The former British ambassador to the US says that Bush asked Blair to support an invasion of Iraq 9 days after 9/11.

For whatever it’s worth, when those Russian secret agents go on trial in Qatar, their defense team will include former US attorney general Dick Thornburgh.

The Bush campaign has emailed Republican congressmen telling them what to say about the environment: global warming has not been proved, air quality is 'getting better' and has nothing to do with asthma in children, the world's forests are 'spreading, not deadening', oil reserves are 'increasing, not decreasing', the EPA is lying about water pollution, and the 'world's water is cleaner and reaching more people'.

So that’s all right then.

12 years ago, Slovenia erased the names of all non-ethnic-Slovenes from government records, turning them into Orwell’s famed unpeople. No pensions, no drivers licenses, health care, etc. There was a referendum today to restore their human rights. It failed. Miserably.

Not to be confused with Slovakia, whose elections today were also pretty egregious in their results.

Protests related to the US shutting down that newspaper in Iraq have now resulted in dozens of demonstrators being shot dead. You’ll remember that the reason given for shutting the newspaper was that it had incited violence (for which no evidence was adduced), so, well, whoops. Allegedly people in the crowds attacked British troops with guns and RPGs, which is possible, but no Brit suffered so much as a scratch, so I think we’d all be excused a little agnosticism on the question.

And here’s an AP story suggesting that the propaganda wing of the CPA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bush “re”-election campaign.

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