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January 16, 2005

We've all blogged the media's failures. Eric Alterman can always be counted on to keep up the pressure on the mainstream media, pointing out how the deluge of hysterical right-wing inmates has taken over the asylum.

Tsunami victims. Looks like aid pledges from Western countries are already proving to be smoke and mirrors. But there's a lot to consider when you think about foreign aid.

(And, speaking of money, how about those proposed Defense budget "cuts", anyhow?)

(And, speaking of money, what about that Bush Administration plan to create 5.5 million jobs by giving tax cuts to rich people, by the end of 2004? How's that working for you? If you look at the article, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that making the Bush Administration's rich friends richer has slowed down economic recovery in the USofA pretty substantially.)

Kyoto. Is it about how to decrease pollution or a way of keeping technologically underdeveloped countries underdeveloped? Signs are...murky.

NEW DELHI, December 7, 2004 — Late last year, officials at the World Bank decided it was time to practice what they had been preaching about reducing carbon emissions. NEW DELHI, December 7, 2004 — Late last year, officials at the World Bank decided it was time to practice what they had been preaching about reducing carbon emissions. In the ironically named village of Powerguda, the villagers had recently begun to collect and sell to a local mill the seeds of a native tree called the Pongamia pinnata. The seeds produce a natural oil that can be used as an alternative to diesel fuel. And unlike diesel and other fossil fuels, pongamia oil produces little carbon emissions when burned. By providing the raw material for an alternative to relatively dirty diesel, Powerguda was effectively reducing the overall carbon load in the atmosphere—at least in the eyes of the World Bank. And it was this theoretical tiny reduction in worldwide carbon emissions that the Bank decided to buy to offset the carbon emissions resulting from its conference. The price tag to the World Bank: $645. For that the bank got the village's entire potential carbon emission savings for the next 10 years.

Torture. Don't ever believe the Bush White House is against it. Also, in the U.K., they're starting an investigation over whether their government had to "buy" the freedom of British Gunatanamo detainees from the USofA.

(If you read all the way down, you'll see that he's to be extradited to Alabama. The article has this to say about Alabama:

June 1995: Chain gangs are re-introduced to the Alabama penal system after a 30-year gap.

Charming country we live in, isn't it?)

I talked about Mark (son of Margaret) Thatcher's arrest on suspicion that he was involved in an plot that centered around a violent overthrow of the government in Equatorial Guinea. He's had his trial and it's pretty clear he was guilty from the plea-bargain deal. (As I recall, I talked about him in context of the corrupt sons of world leaders. It's not too difficult to picture the son of another world leader having been arrested on similar charges if an election or two had gone differently, is it? When you read about Mark Thatcher's history, it bears a striking resemblance to the behavior of the scions of a rather well-known USofA family.)

Which, for some odd reason, reminds me that I recently read a gossipy story speculating that GWBush is "grooming" brother Neil for the presidency some day...and I look in disbelief at the Silverado mess and wonder just how crazy people really are.

And, last but not least another entry into the What Oughta The Democrats Be Doing Sweepstakes.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:26 PM