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July 31, 2003
News and Views, A-F

If you're wondering why no one seems to be taking any action in Liberia, I guess you should follow the money.

(One thing is for sure, we can't afford to pay for it. Between reports that we're offering to pay other countries to station troops in Iraq and the massive tax cuts given to Bush Family & Friends, we're tapped out. And that's without, as we all know any kind of planning for the cost of keeping our own troops in Iraq over the next year.)

It isn't that other countries aren't willing. Nigeria has offered to take the lead but the widespread problems in Liberia ("perhaps up to 1000 people killed in the past week - cholera, looting and the collapse of civil order") require the efforts of more than one country.

But not everyone is starving. According to this, quite a few people here in the USofA are doing very nicely, thank you.

Before you get too excited, consider that the appallingly low numbers from Kansas are more a reflection of how marginal profits are for family farms and the communities that support them than anything else. While I agree that the income differential in this country is appalling, the only way to close this gap from the bottom up is for food to get more expensive. Which will, not surprisingly, hurt the people on the bottom of the pyramid the most.

Still, the article's wealth-charting project is an interesting concept. It would take someone who has actually driven the distances he's citing to really grasp the vast income gap he's describing, but it's interesting.

Here's an unusual and interesting sort of blog concept. Dedicated to, as the title says, hating the so-called Patriot Act. Contains reports of government actions under the Act and of challenges and responses.

More fussing by those left-wing greenies about a few minor alterations in the EPA's 'state of the environment' report. Those people need to get lives. What difference can correcting a few minor "redundancies" or "inaccuracies" make?

According to EPA officials, details changed or removed include:

Climate change "has global consequences for human health and the environment" changed to "may have potentially profound consequences"

Graphic showing sharp rise in global temperatures during the 1990s replaced by a study, partly sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, disputing that finding

Finding that recent warming was unusual and probably due to human activity removed, despite being included in a report commissioned by the White House

See what I mean? Trivialities. Silly liberals. Always whining about that unproven "global warming" nonsense, aren't they? I mean, it's not like Alaskan temperature averages have risen five degrees in the last 40 years or anything.

On the other hand, never believe this government isn't serious about prosecuting a war on terror. In spite of the INS's reported little booboo of issuing " a visa to Mohammad Atta, the lead hijacker, six months after 9-11" (probably a clerical error. After all, he was dead at the time), Bush has given his solemn word to get the INS updated so that our antiquated and unworkable visa system can be improved. And, by gosh, when he says a thing, he means it!

In the wake of the attacks, the Bush administration promised to increase funding for the INS, to get the agency fully computerized with modern computers and generally up to speed. All that has happened since is that INS funding has been cut.
Ooops...We don't know how that last sentence got in there!

Heh. Anyhow. I always enjoy Molly Ivins's writing. Read the rest of the column, which is very informative.

Maureen Dowd, on the other hand, is just a little bit mean-spirited.

There is no more delightful way to pass a summer's day in Washington than going up to Capitol Hill to watch senators jump ugly on Wolfie.
Naughty Maureen! No lima beans for you! Do go read her account of the Senate's attempt to grill Wolfowitz.

Remember when I said, earlier today, that we all know the USofA has offered to pay other countries to help us out in Iraq? Looks like even that distasteful of an arrangement wasn't quite enough. No, now we're going to buy guns from Cheney's defense industry buddies and use them to pay for soldiers. (And, of course, cash payments.)

Guns and bibles. That's what this Administration is all about. Cheney and Bush. Guns and bibles. Death and repression.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that no one seems to like us?

In Japan, there was quite a fuss over the idea of Japan sending troops to Iraq to help us out. (No direct story link, but the photo can be found here and the short text that accompanies it reads, " Japanese lawmakers in the upper house got into a shoving match July 25 over a bill that would send Japanese troops to help with the reconstruction of Iraq."

And the Financial Times discusses just how Gulf II: The Iraqi Invasion might spawn Gulf III: The Iraqis Strike Back.

Really, you just have to wonder how this could happen, don't you?

Utility workers in Cape Coral admit hooking four homes up to the city's dual irrigation system, containing treated wastewater instead of its purified drinking water.
Fortunately no one got sick. (What I really liked about the article was the reference to using "reverse osmosis" to treat drinking water. I don't know why, but the phrase struck me as humorous.)

Anyhow. that's as far as I got down my reading list today. 'F' for 'Financial Times'

Posted by AnneZook at 11:32 AM


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