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January 06, 2004
War and stuff

Apparently we promised to pay a lot of Iraq soldiers and then we didn't and that led to shooting. Another of those things I don't understand. What happened to the $87 billion?

Remember that Iraq, oil, Halliburton, alleged over-charging thing?

The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had granted Halliburton a waiver to bring fuel into Iraq via a no-bid deal with a Kuwaiti supplier despite a draft Pentagon audit that found evidence of overcharging for fuel.

Yep. They've decided Halliburton doesn't have to provide "cost and pricing data" because there's no one else in the world they can get fuel from (in spite of news stories about the prices charged by other importers).

Peace talks between India and Pakistan are good. Let's hope peace comes to Kashmir, the squabbling ground for these two countries for many years. (Anyhow, countries with nukes and decades-long enmities worry me.)

Twelve people died in Afghanistan.

Also, the jury, it seems, is still out on the subject of just how good the new Afghan constitution is or isn't.

Speaking of war, I'm embarrassed to admit that I have a lot of trouble figuring out exactly why all of those local wars are taking place in Africa.

This story puts it very politely, that story we've all already heard about how the army is desperate to keep the enlisted troops in service. Those who were planning to retire or leave in the next few months will now have to remain with their unit. I'm not sure what that means. If someone's period of enlistment is over and they don't choose to re-enlist, can they be forced to stay in a war zone? Apparently so. They even have a name for it, a "stop loss order" so it seems to be something they've used before. Strikes me as a bit of a wrong way to deal with a volunteer army, but I ain't passing judgment on it. I don't know enough.

David Pratt has a point. Why isn't the So-Called Liberal Media making huge political hay out of the Bush Administration's fiasco over the capture of Hussein? (Well, that's because the SCLM is a myth, but we all know that.) I mean, the part where he was captured by Kurdish troops and we staged a cheesy Jessica-Lynch-style "operation" to dramatically "capture" him for the television cameras? Why doesn't anyone care when it's revealed that this Administration does stupid things like that? The news media just looks embarrassed and shuffles out of the room and when they come back, they've changed the subject.

I still think it's wrong to ban headscarves on Muslim women.

And, if anyone cares, here's a story about the investigation of those letter-bombs.

Hey, lookee here! I said (somewhere, maybe in the comments section, but I said it) that the DLC might be a bunch of Republican plants trying to undermine the Democratic Party from "inside" and now Harley Sorensen is saying it. Also, I was wondering who in the heck the DLC was and this column tells me.

The government's right to hold people in secret on the grounds that they're "terrorists" (in advance of formal charges, a trial, or even any evidence) is going before the Supreme Court and now we find out that the government wants to keep their excuses secret as well. All of their excuses. Apparently there's not a word they can say in their own defense that isn't Highly Classified Information and too dangerous for we the people to hear.

"The idea that there is nothing that could be filed publicly is really ridiculous," [Lucy A. Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press] said. "It just emphasizes our point that we're living in frightening times. People can be arrested, thrown in jail and have secret court proceedings, and we know absolutely nothing about it."

She's right. It's ridiculous.

Anyhow, elsewhere, we read that the Supreme Court might broaden their area of investigation on the topic of whether or not the Bush Administration is acting unconstitutionally in regard to "terrorism" detainees, and that's good news for those of us who like transparent government. Let's hope they decide to make a full investigation.

(I can't help it. I really am wondering today if they're regretting handing over the country to Bush/Cheney in 2000? If they're not just a little bit sorry for that bit of blatant idiocy?)

Economically, let's consider whether or not we're having the best recovery money can buy. And while we're at it, let's continue to puzzle over Bush announcing that he wants a "strong dollar" while we learn that a weak dollar, while it sucks if you're an individual, is a fabulous bonus for multinational corporations. (Why do I persist in trying to believe that this Administration means what it says?) Anyhow, even if us peepul might be headed for disaster, the corporations will have a nice time while they slide to the edge of the pit.

If you want, you can take a look at how the Bush Administration deals with science.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:24 AM


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