Saturday, April 28, 2007

What's A Few Degrees of Global Warming?

So what if global temperatures rise 2-3 degrees. No big deal right? Actually, 2 degrees is a very big deal and once it increases 3 degrees there might be no stopping disaster. Read about "6 Steps to Hell" in the UK Guardian.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Is Iraq War Lost?

Conservatives are making a big deal out of Sen. Harry Reid's statement that the Iraq War is "lost". The "war" was won a few weeks after we invaded Iraq in 2003. Shortly afterwards Pres. Bush announced "mission accomplished". What was the mission? To prevent Saddam's use of weapons of mass destruction. Oops. No WMD's found in Iraq. Ok, well, we also wanted to depose Saddam and make Iraq into a democracy and a friend of the USA in the Middle East. We helped the Iraqis put into place a democratic form of representative government. But, fundamentalist Shia's are the majority party in Iraq. They don't want a secular democratic representative government. They now see us as an occupying force. Iraq never was a real country to begin with and it didn't take long for tribalism to rear its ugly head. Bush was warned about this possibility by his own State Department.

So, we are still fighting in Iraq. But who are we fighting? Shias? Sunnis? Foreign insurgents? Al Qaeda? Doesn't someone have to surrender in order to "win" a war? Can you even have a war if there isn't someone in power that has the authority to surrender? Sounds more and more like a civil war doesn't it? What exactly is the Bush definition of "winning" the war. It changes from month to month. Just how long is it going to take to "train" those Iraqi security forces?

The sad thing is that maybe the war could have been "won" in the weeks after the USA invasion. But, as in almost everything else, Bush and his cronies were incompetent. Their "it's our way or the highway" didn't work then and it's not working now.

We, and I really mean all of us, screwed up badly 4 years ago. Those in favor of war couldn't be bothered to wait for solid evidence to justify a pre-emptive attack on Iraq (mushroom cloud and all). Some were in favor because it wouldn't have been "patriotic" to be opposed to the war. Afterall, remember 9/11? Those opposed to the war didn't oppose it strongly enough. Maybe because we saw that there really wasn't anyone in goverment ready, willing and able to listen. The media was complicit in promoting the Bush administrations promotion of the war. Most of which we now know really was based on lies.

Next Tue (May 1) is the 4th anniversary of the great "mission accomplished" speech. Maybe the mission was accomplished. But it was accomplished in the same incompetent manner most everything else the government hating GW Bush has touched.

That's my rant and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

George Tenet's Book

I can't wait to read "At the Center of the Storm" which comes out next Monday. It should be quite interesting to read Tenet's version of the run-up to the Iraq War. One not too surprising thing he is saying is that there never was a "serious debate" about whether Sadam posed a threat to the USA.
“There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat,” Mr. Tenet writes in a devastating judgment that is likely to be debated for many years. Nor, he adds, “was there ever a significant discussion” about the possibility of containing Iraq without an invasion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

UK Guardian - USA is Fascist

How do they get to that idea? It's a list of 10 steps to fascism.

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy - Islamic terrorists
  2. Create a gulag - Gitmo
  3. Develop a thug caste - Mercenaries (a bit of a stretch maybe)
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system - Wiretaps
  5. Harass citizens' groups - Watch ordinary US citizen activists
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release - list of passengers targeted for security searches
  7. Target key individuals - purged US attorneys for insufficient political loyalty
  8. Control the press - White House directing a stream of false information
  9. Dissent equals treason - you're either with us or against us
  10. Suspend the rule of law - laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night

Ok, #'s 1, 2, 4, 9 and maybe 10 are definites

A New Habitable Planet

Yes, a discovery of a planet outside of our solar system that appears to have conditions suitable for life. Swiss, French and Portuguese scientists have discovered a new exo-planet that orbits the red dwarf star Gliese 581 in the constellation Libra Gliese 581 is 20.5 light years from Earth.

The exoplanet is estimated to have temperatures that range from 0 to 40 degrees centigrade. Warm enough for liquid water. A year on the new planet is only 13 days and you would weigh 1.5x as much on the surface of the planet. There are at least two other less habitable exoplanets orbiting Gliese 581.


Remember a few years back when the Medicare part D prescription drug bill was passed. That was the bill that the Bush administration "misunderestimated" the costs. It was the 500 page bill that was presented the day before the vote was to be taken. You remember, the vote that took place at 3 AM and was held open for 3 hours. Language in the bill specifically prevented the government from negotiating drug prices with the drug companies.

Congress is now trying to remedy that prohibition against negotiating for lower prices. Can you believe that a large number of congress members are opposed to allowing the government to negotiate for lower prices? That would be interfering with "bidness". Bush has promised to veto the price negotiation act if the Republicans can't prevent the bill from reaching him. The bill has passed the House, but it's having a bit of a problem reaching the floor in the Senate.

BTW, you can track the way your congress member votes on any legislation here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pelosi and Reid Are Traitors Says Tom Delay

Tom Delay knows traitors when he sees them. Delay knows the meaning of treason because he looked it up. It means betrayal of trust according to Delay. Delay is a guy that should know something about betrayal of trust since he made more than his share of "treasonist" statements when Clinton was President.

The hypocrisy of conservatives is really getting out of hand. They want to prosecute Nancy Pelosi for violating the "Logan Act" because of her trip to Syria. Forget that no one in the 200 year history of the "Act" has been prosecuted under it. Rather, ask whether the conservatives were upset about Newt Gingrich and Denny Hastert when they made similar trips overseas when Clinton was President.

Does anyone besides me think this hatred of Nancy Pelosi has anything to do with the fact that she is a woman?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bush FDA Cannot Protect Food Supply

What a surprise. It seems the FDA was aware of contamination problems that resulted in tainted peanut butter and spinach. So why can't the FDA protect our food supply? Simple, people who hate government cannot govern.
"This administration does not like regulation, this administration does not like spending money, and it has a hostility toward government. The poisonous result is that a program like the FDA is going to suffer at every turn of the road," said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the full House committee. Dingell is considering introducing legislation to boost the agency's accountability, regulatory authority and budget.
Just one more example after the Iraq War, Katrina Hurricane, AG scandal, CIA agent outing....
In the peanut butter case, an agency report shows that FDA inspectors checked into complaints about salmonella contamination in a ConAgra Foods factory in Georgia in 2005. But when company managers refused to provide documents the inspectors requested, the inspectors left and did not follow up.
You wouldn't want to interfere with "bidness".

Also, check out this guest editorial by Peter Kovacs titled "It's Not Just Pet Food".
The United States is sitting on powder keg with uncontrolled importation and the distribution of low-quality food ingredients. Before it explodes -- putting more animals and people at risk -- corrective steps must be taken.