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March 24, 2005
Counting To Five

1. Administration Kept Mum About Unapproved Modified Corn Sold

"The whole GMO (genetically modified organism) controversy surrounds a lack of transparency on both (the part of) the companies and regulatory agencies," said Lamkey, who served on a National Academy of Sciences panel in 2002 on the environmental impact of genetically modified crops. "There's too much secrecy."

That could be said about the entire Federal government these days. Too much secrecy. It's just like my rant yesterday about Administration officials who insist upon anonymity with the media, even if they're not saying anything. Sometimes they keep secrets just to keep secrets and that's childish and worrying. (What else don't we know about?)

Still. The article does point out that it's the corporation that either didn't find its mistake or didn't report it for most of the three-year period. According to this, the Feds were only told in December. Which only goes to say, again, that corporations make mistakes and sometimes run their own cover-ups and that's why we need government oversight...to help identify honest mistakes and to investigate cover-ups and fraud.

2. Buck Up, The World Hates Us More Than Ever

As far as I'm concerned, Bush deserves to be impeached for lying to his employers--us--about Iraq's WMDs. He should face prosecution at a war crimes tribunal for the murder of the 100,000-plus Iraqis he ordered killed by U.S. troops. He deserves life in prison for ordering the torture, and allowing the murder under torture, of countless innocent Afghans and Iraqis. Nothing, not even if the Iraq war sparked the transformation of the entire Muslim world into peaceful and prosperous Athenian-style democracies, could retroactively justify such murderous perfidy. I'm not convinced a Riyadh spring is about to bloom. It will take a lot more than male-only Saudi municipal elections held in half the country, in which six of the seven winners were illegally promoted by the kingdom's extremist Wahabbi religious establishment.

It's extreme, but I agree. We either follow the rule of law or we don't. We either go to war when there's no other choice, or we go to war whenever someone in power has a secret agenda for doing so. Like this time. Over 100,000 people have died because of lies we were told by an Administration that was reportedly determined to wage this war long before any pretext to do so presented itself.

3. The illegality of invading Iraq is still being debated in the U.K.. I could only wish we were doing that here. (No, it is not a fait accompli that we need to just accept. A precedent is being set and we need to all understand that. And debate wither or not we agree with it.)

4. Oh, you have got to be kidding? With all of the established voter-protection groups out there, it's this bunch that gets to go before Congress?

Warning: Reading this takes some work. I recommend copying the text and pasting it to a Word document, but it's worth reading.

(Note: The design of this blog is a perfect example of the kind of thing that does not inspire me with any desire to return and read again. Yellow on black, in 6 point type? Sheesh.)

And, while we're talking about voting, how about those provisional ballot counts?

Provisional voting "was a success in many ways in terms of what happened in 2000 when people were turned away and had no fail-safe way of voting," said Elizabeth Schneider, one of the authors of the study. "With provisional balloting in place, a majority of the people were not turned away; they were given a chance to vote."

No, Elizabeth, it was not a "success in many ways." The right to vote is a combination of casting a ballot and having that ballot counted. Unless someone is prepared to argue that up to 1/3 of such ballots are attempts at fraud, I don't find the number counted that encouraging. (And what's up with Delaware? They counted 6% of the provisional ballots cast?)

5. I haven't noticed a dearth of "conservative" books on the shelves have you? On the contrary, since the 90s, when the wingnut Right became absolutely obsessed with Clinton's bits and pieces, it seems to me that there's been a constant flood of books from the Right. (Arguably, the wingnuts aren't real "conservatives" in the same way that many of us don't consider the DLC to be L or even really D, but then Mary Matalin is hardly an "old-style" conservative.) Anyhow Matalin has a new job.

Matalin said she is already working on acquisitions for the new imprint and expects to announce some titles "within weeks." She will not be editing books "line by line," but will provide "conceptual editing" suggestions on how to express ideas and broader concepts.

Why? To make sure every book toes the neocon party line and pitches the same concepts in the same ways?

These people really are trying to tighten their stranglehold in the future, aren't they?

She does not expect to end her political involvement, saying she will "continue to help whenever she is needed to help."

I suppose that means she can call the White House and ask Rove whenever she's not sure if an "author" is pitching some concept in the right way. Cause she's not giving up her access. In fact, she's saying quite clearly that she's willing to trade favors.

Okay, you know, I don't have any reason to believe that's all part of some deep plot, so I went a little crazy there, but still. The point is that if they saturate the market much more than they already have, they're going to succeed in making their perspective the "average" one.

I'm growing increasingly annoyed about the Democratic Party. They need to be taking big steps, now, on all the major issues, along with starting to set the terms of the debate for '08. Where are the ideas people? Those of us out here in the sticks can see what needs to be done. There must be something in the rarified atmosphere of D.C. that's clouding the brains and warping the common sense of the people there.

Come on, people. Pick a battle. Battles aren't difficult to locate.

Okay, I'm aggravated now. I was going to count to ten, but I think I'll go do some work.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:11 AM