Just make up your mind, man!

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So, with all the talk from the Bush camp about flip-flopping, we should remind everyone about the biggest flip-flop of all. This is a flip-flop that has so far resulted in well over 10,000 deaths, cost the US taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, and drastically increased the level of animosity towards the US around the world. That’s right, the topic is Nation building In Iraq.

dailykos.com put it well today, check it out at http://dailykos.com/story/2004/8/30/2013/69172

In summary Bush has said:
pre 9-11-2001: the US should not be in the business of nation building
post 9-11-2001: the US should be in the business of nation building in Iraq because they are a threat and Iraqis want their freedom.
lately: “Can we win?” the war on terror, Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it.

Also, one of the funniest (but also possibly the most sad and frightening) clips to watch from the Daily Show is when he has Gov. Bush debating President Bush. It’s only funny because Bush has changed his mind on everything, especially in Iraq. I just hope the American public is smart enough to not buy this crap on Kerry being a “flip-flopper” because Bush is much worse on that front (well, on every front, but that’s the currently hypocritical one.)

Bush vs. Bush

Politics gone crazy

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It’s about that time again. Months before an election and I’m already getting antsy. I need to stop watching coverage of the election. I know the election won’t be decided until the few weeks leading up to it, so why do we care so early? A comentator on PBS put it well when she said “It’s months before the election, and nobody cares but us. (the commentators)”

Why do we care so early? Probably because there’s a bit of drama to it. It’s like an actually “real” reality show. But in this case it’s not some idiot winning a million dollars. The future of the world is at stake. The US is on the brink of going down the path of Rome, and evidently Bush thinks he’s set to play the part of Ceasar. It really boggles my mind that more people don’t realize this. Well, half the country does. The other half seems to think it’s OK to kill a Middle Eastern person every time they need to drive to the mall to get their Starbucks drink.

Lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps it’s too late for the US in the near term. It has become too militarized and nothing but military power will desuade it. It will become interesting, but I sure hope not bloody, when China and India achieve the same thirst for oil that the US has. That’s why it also blows my mind that politicians here in the US don’t want to seriously persue alternative energy sources. They’re right there for the taking. The outcome is completely positive except for one part: the politicians friends in the oil companies. Why wouldn’t the US want to sit back 20 years from now and say “You suckers can fight it out over all that remaining oil. We have limitless energy right here.” This is corruption at it’s most dangerous.

Another interesting comment I read was “I’d like to see Bush win the election because then the entire world will finally see that ‘Supply-Side Economics” doesn’t work – when he has to clean up the mess from another 4 years.” I’d like to see that goal as well, but I’d rather see the world saved from sure disaster than a few rich do-nothing power-mongers getting a smaller tax return. We need to prioritize. Getting rid of Bush is priority number one. This isn’t a “partisan” issue for me. Being fairly liberal, neither party reflects my ideals. However, Bush is honestly the worst thing to happen to the US in a long time. The Nixon scandals look like chump change compared to Bush, and the media’s complicity in them is disgusting.

There’s at least a glimmer of hope if Bush loses. Let’s all hope for that.

Iraqs soccer team: a symbol of freedom? Apparently not.

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This hits the nail right on the head. With all of the talk in the media about “there are 2 more free countries at this Olympics,” here’s what the coach of the Iraqi soccer team had to say:

http://www.reuters.com/printerFriendlyPopup.jhtml?type=sportsNews&storyID=6044318

In summary, he says “We’re not a symbol of freedom, we’re an occupied country. That’s not freedom.”

Now, of course, he’s free to say that so someone will argue that he’s more free than he was. However, people are still being threatened, murdered, and tortured by the “government” so while it’s a small step forward in that once sense, there have been some big backward steps or none at all in most areas. Not to mention that there still is no such thing as “free speech” in the country since the government closes down the doors of any publication critical of it.

Anyways, props to the coach.

Religion and War

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Ran into this semi-interesting article while searching for stuff on War and Religion

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0524-07.htm

I’m 100% opposed to the mixing of state and religion, as the founders of the US were, however Bush & Co. seem to think it’s not a problem to throw us back into the middle ages. I would have thought that over the past few thousand years humankind would have learned the lessons of history that religion and government don’t mix.

So, this gets us to the main topic covered in the article: whether the current war in Iraq is religious. I think that it is, but only partially. When Bush says he prayed and his god told him he should attack Iraq, that’s definitely religious. It’s unclear whether he thinks his god told him that because the people who live there are not christians. I’ve given up trying to decypher what’s going on in Bushs head, as I’m usually torn between fanatic self-righteousness and stupidity.

But this also leads me to a question for which I’d really like to get an answer: How can someone claiming to be religious (christian in this case) claim to be in favour of any war? I’ve posed this question before, but haven’t gotten an answer. Maybe this time will be different.

What does a religious person, who thinks it’s OK to go invade a country and kill tens of thousands of people, think that their god would think about that? If their god loves all of it’s children, wouldn’t it be pretty mad that you just killed a bunch of them? The fact that they’re not christian aside, they’re still “gods children” and could potentially still convert to christianity. Jesus was supposed to be all-forgiving, so wouldn’t he forgive those people for their “sins”?

The only logical answer that I can think could be put forward is that the christian god is OK with killing “sometimes.” This sounds pretty vengeful, not-all-forgiving, and calous of a “higher being.” This is also one of the main reasons I find the religion so disturbing, although to be fair it’s not the religion saying it’s OK to kill, it’s the misguided people misinterpreting it.

Anyways, I hope some people will post some insight, and if I’m missing something in my interpretation of the teachings of the bible, let me know.

Wow. You know it’s rough when the Anarchists vote…

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Anarchists considering voting

Also, if you haven’t already seen it check out http://whitehousewest.com/. If Will Farrel can’t convince you, I don’t know who can… :)

Some progress on renewable fuels?

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Found these interesting articles about progress on the use of Ethanol as a direct fuel and as a cheap and efficient source of hydrogen for fuel cells. The interesting part in the article on it’s use as a direct fuel is that it’s the non-food portion of the grains, so you get both from the same plant.

The article on the fuel cells doesn’t go into enough detail to understand how efficient the extraction process is in terms of input electricity to run the conversion. But perhaps there’s hope for fuel cells yet.

http://www.iogen.ca/ (Click on the June 1 press release)
http://physicsweb.org/article/news/8/2/6

Also a recent study on the depletion of oil. According to this, we’re about to hit the peak of world-wide production and “with terminal decline setting in and becoming self-evident by about 2010.”

http://www.peakoil.net/uhdsg/Default.htm

Hiroshima

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As reminded today by Danny Schechter’s daily mail (from MediaChannel) today is the anniversary of the US dropping the first atomic bomb on Japan.

Interesing quote from Danny’s email:

WAS ITS USE NECESSARY?

The debate over the necessity of using the bomb continues. Many historians say it was aimed more at the Russians in asserting post war supremacy. Many in the US military thought it should not have been used—including leaders like General and then President Eisenhower who said way after the fact “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.” (Ike on Ike, Newsweek, 11/11/63).

Admiral William Leahy: “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

“The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

So, whether you agree with it or not, let’s all remember the first country to use a WMD.

Speaking of Nuclear Weapons, it always has suprised me how the nuclear-armed countries have tried to enforce a treaty saying all other countries should not produce such weapons. Seems kind of hypocritical, no? I’m not saying I want to see more nuclear weapons in the world – far from it. However, I’m totally not suprised that other countries are giving the “screw-you” attitude to the nuclear-club, and trying to get their own. By definition, creating an “elite” group of countries creates a circle of power. Other countries are obviously going to want to get into that circle.

To those people who might say “Are you saying you’d want to see Kim Jong-Il with nukes?” Of course not, but that thought doesn’t scare me more than that of W. Bush with nukes. I’d bet Bush is already responsible for more deaths than Kim Jong-Il, and that’s only in four years. And then of couse someone will say “Kim Jong-Il is totally unstable.” That may be true, but I haven’t seen him invade any countries lately and kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians. The argument gets very simple once you rid yourself of the delusional notion that the US is on some sort of moral high-ground.

Also keep in mind, that while Bush is supposedly trying to stop nuclear proliferation (except by Pakistan… Oh wait, was I not supposed to mention that?) he has also stepped up efforts to start building more nuclear weapons here http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/05/11/MN16775.DTL

Puzzled by Pat Buchanan

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Over the last few years I had always heard of Pat as a ultra-conservative. One day, a while ago, I looked him up for some reason and most of the websites I encountered declared that he was an ultra-conservative, semi-fascist, racist bigot (like http://www.realchange.org/buchanan.htm)

Then one day, while tuning into the The McLaughlin Group on PBS I noticed that Pat was a panelist, and my interest was piqued. The topic that day was the 9/11 Commission report. The issue posed was “What was the biggest unanswered question in the report?” When they got to Pat, his was comment was along the lines of “They never asked why they hated us so much? It’s clearly not because they hate our values, as the Administration said.”

I was shocked. I’ve never heard a conservative politician/speaker say anything close to this. The typical line, as Pat said, is “They hate our values.” This line is total garbage, especially proven by the stated goal of Al Qaeda to “remove US troops from Saudi Arabia.”

The next week, when the topic was the Democratic convention, Pats comment about Kerry was “I’d vote for him, except he isn’t Republican.” To me this showed a remarkable level of unbiased-ness to both admit his feelings and his affiliations.

So, my question is, what’s the deal with Pat? I’m really very interested and haven’t been able to find too much credible-sounding information on the web so far. Is he really an ultra-conservative fascist? Is he just moderating himself while on the McLaughlin Group to appear more centered? My gut feeling is that the answer to both those questions is yes, but would like more information. Please comment if you have any.