Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, March 10, 2005
God is Back
After screaming abut Gay Marriage and Petrie Dishes that will never become babies, the Christian Right is finally ready to focus on some REALLY important issues. They are going to tackle poverty and the environment, including "G"lobal "W"arming!
"I don't think God is going to ask us how he created the earth, but he will ask us what we did with what he created."
-Rev. Rich Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals
Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals says he is now passionate about "G"lobal "W"arming because of his scuba diving experiences.
Maybe if we treat Rev. Haggard to a good steak dinner in New York's East Village he will think twice about the rights of gay people.
"Because clean air, pure water and adequate resources are crucial to public health and civic order, government has an obligation to protect its citizens from the effects of environmental degradation."
-Nearly 100 evangelical leaders
How very Liberal of you.
Now imagine what they could have done if they concentrated on what is really important from the get-go.
I guess they realize that it's no use saving the souls of God's Children while God's Earth is being destroyed by polluters and the Administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush.
Something About Bush, Governors and Wool Being
Pulled Over Eyes
When the time came for the governors to ask Bush some questions (mainly about Social Security), the press was shooed out. And no transcript was made available. That's really too bad. Because in the view of at least one governor, it wasn't pretty. (This is a corrected version of this column. An earlier version of this column, then titled "Bush Gets an Earful," incorrectly interpreted the following story to suggest that the governor made his comments directly to Bush.)
-The Washington Post
Peter Wallsten writes in the Los Angeles Times that Montana's new governor "made some sharp comments after Bush tried to promote his Social Security overhaul to a group of governors consumed by other matters.
"A no-nonsense rancher and wheat farmer who took office six weeks ago in a Republican state, Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer likened the president's pitch to a magic show trick featuring a rabbit in a hat.
"He also compared it to a bull auction hawking lousy studs.
" 'I was watching the governors around the room,' said Schweitzer, comparing the group to potential livestock buyers who assess the wares and express their intentions with head-nods or nose-crinkles.
" 'I was seeing more of this,' he said, crinkling his nose as if detecting a foul odor, 'than I was of this,' he said, nodding his head. 'I didn't see a lot of buyers in the room.' "
Regarding Social Security and what the Republican
privatization plan won't do there is one sure thing it will do....increase our
Is this the same party that accuses us of planning to raise taxes at every election day??? Remember the Lipper's daddy? "Read my lips no new taxes.".
Why hasn't the obviously ineffectual PR arm of the party raised this excellent wedge issue?
Lebanon, Syria and "Credit"
There are very strong bonds between Lebanon and Syria. There is essentially an open border policy between them that has created powerful economic relationships. It's good that Syria is withdrawing troops from Lebanon but I don't expect the two nations to be at odds with each other. The troop withdrawal was triggered by the assassination of a popular Lebanese leader.
As far as Mr. Bush goes, the only credit he deserves is the death of 1,500 Americans, 100,000 Iraqi and 200 billion dollars in a needless war. Mr. Bush is now taking credit for every "democratic" advance and associates it with aggression in Iraq. This is the latest White House ploy to justify the war.
Democracy is a natural trend in the world and it sure didn't start with Bush. The only way it can be stopped is by arrogant interference from the neoconservatives.
Does Bush Deserve Any Credit?
Does Mr. Bush deserve any credit? Frankly, not at all. As long as we stay in Iraq, there will be no peace. Mr. Bush led us there on false pretenses costing us dearly in lives and treasure. Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda roams free and have re-fueled their ranks based on CIA estimates.
The Palestinian rebellion is burnt out. Recent developments there are the result of a weary people and Arafat passing away.
Egypt has been democratizing for years. They needed to take the next step and install a two party system.
Saudi Arabia is slowly changing because of pressure from a population with massive unemployment. They have experienced terrorism over the past couple of years as more angry unemployed young men become radicals. The royal family knows that their only hope for survival is to slowly transform their nation.
Lebanon is a mess that goes back twenty years ago. An assassination of a popular Lebanese leader by a group tied to Syria has led to movement to remove their troops.
In the Middle East, there are long term trends playing out. These nations either have to reform peacefully or face civil unrest. They can't block out from their citizens the knowledge that they are far behind the rest of the world. Of course, the counter-reaction to this is the radical terrorists who are clinging to the past. Using American military force won't help, let it run it's own natural course.
More on Less Credit
I do love when Bush utters these little phrases as if they were minor points. Consider the evil of asking your nation to commit to a generation of warfare - 25, 50, 75, 100 years of warfare. I will not make any such commitment. We'll defend ourselves when directly attacked or imminently threatened. We'll pursue terrorists when there is a clear cut opportunity and we'll improve our intelligence to thwart their plans. But, I won't support a commitment to wars of regime change for the rest of my lifetime.
Is there any doubt why the Republicans talk about "national service" for such a large age group - 18 to 28, including men and women, was the last suggestion I heard. There can be only one reason - "endless" war. Besides, the immorality of it, do we really think we can sustain ourselves by engaging unilaterally in war after war. The evidence is in that Iraq has already damaged our economy severely not to mention the loss of life on both sides.
Nope, I don't care how much Mr. Bush claims "freedom is on the march". He'll try to take credit for every move toward democracy in the world. But, we all know that Iraq has nothing to do with it.
Now and then, I tune in Hannity & Colmes to get a Right Wing-Nut perspective. Tonight, Hannity wonders "Are Democrats advocating violence against Ann Coulter?". Gee Sean, why would anyone want to harm a "sweety" such as Ann Coulter. After all, she is the lady who writes about clubbing liberals over the heads with baseball bats. So, why all of the fuss and feathers?
Dan Rather's definition of what is NEWS. He accepts the definition of news attributed to British press baron Lord Northcliffe: "Something somebody somewhere wants suppressed - the rest is advertising."
Innovation is the answer: both to our energy woes and our outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. If we were doing research and development on SOLAR ENERGY devices, they would be useful here and all over the world. Solar collectors on the roof of every building, mall, hotel, and home would provide the power needed to heat, cool and light that building. No longer would mountains be torn down to obtain the coal, the skies blackened by burning that coal, and people going broke paying for energy -- a large portion of which is wasted along the transmission lines. No longer would be endangered by nuclear power plants, (which are a very dangerous terrorist target) or nuclear waste, which will remain dangerous for thousands of years.
These products would find a market all over the world. Another product would be a solar water purifier, which would solve the problem of un-pure water which kills millions. Right now areas are being deforested and polluted by burning wood to boil water to purify it. Solar water purifiers, of varying sizes from a small family to a village or city would be a great development, aiding our economy, and solving pollution and world health problems. PS This invention already exists -- but it needs to be mass produced.
"The bill would also increase the costs of bankruptcy by increasing the amount of paperwork filed and force people in bankruptcy to pay for counseling about the way they use credit. It would also make it more difficult for some people to try to shelter their assets through the purchase of expensive homes in states like Florida and Texas, which have homestead exemptions. To shelter more than $125,000 in assets, homes must have been purchased at least three and a third years before a bankruptcy filing."
is incredibly insulting. Can you imagine hauling in an unfortunate family that
went into debt due to extraordinary medical expenses and LECTURING them about
using credit cards.
Not only are the Republican uncompassionate, in fact, they are the opposite - they are harsh. They literally have disdain for the people of this country. But, the trick is that they have fooled many people by demonizing the Democrats and keeping everyone in a state of fear. These are truly hateful people. My common sense advice to everyone is to punish the credit card companies. Take out that plastic, find your scissors, snip, snip, snip ... toss them in the garbage. Believe me, you will be so much better off AND it's the best way to protest against these vultures. If you don't want to carry cash, and it makes sense not to do that, get a credit card that is directly tied to your bank account. This way you can't accidentally start running balances.
What a Mess
Treasury prices are sharply lower on concerns that the economic expansion is beginning to lift inflation as the Commodity Research Bureau's Index, a measure of commodity prices, hit a fresh 24-year high yesterday. Adding to weakness in Treasuries, the Governor of the People's Bank of China said the central bank has considered pegging the yuan to a basket of currencies according to Bloomberg News. Any change to the current peg against the dollar could potentially boost import prices, fanning inflation concerns and increasing the odds that the Fed may become more aggressive. However, China's finance minister was quoted by Dow Jones News wires as saying that the "yuan's exchange rate is basically in line with the situation of economic development and Important points:
1) Rises in commodity prices are the harbinger of inflation.
2) Continued weakness in US treasuries imply more aggressive Fed rate hikes.
3) China changing how it's currency is valued may cause further import inflation.
1) Bush is irresponsible. But, we all knew that already.
2) Alan Greenspan is a political hack. If was at all responsible, he would come out and say that Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy are unsustainable. Instead, he wants to cut America's Lifeline, Social Security.
3) Someone better step up to the plate soon or we may face a dollar devaluation crisis as the Gipper (Reagan) did in 1986. I doubt the world will be as kind to us as it was then.
What a wonderful market we have - for two months straight stocks and bonds have been faltering at the same time. To think, the Lipper (GW) wants young people to put their social security money in this mess.
Better off keeping your money in a pillow case.
Warren Buffett had it Right
When we add outsourcing to the equation, the picture becomes even more bleak.
The loss of American jobs through outsourcing is causing a loss in US purchasing power, and putting a dent in available taxable income. Additionally, as the US corporations continue to build factories, and train foreign workers, this will in turn allow places like India, China, Indonesia and Thailand to build competitive factories, fill them with American trained personnel and go into direct competition with the US Corporations. This will significantly drop the market share and value of the outsourced manufactured goods and material , which of course would have a significant impact on the US economy.
As a matter of fact this appears to be already happening in China, where the government has free reign to do virtually anything it wishes, and on it's terms. As a matter of fact, there is nothing to stop the Chinese Government from nationalizing ALL foreign assets. It is more expedient for them not to, at this time, but sooner or later there is going to be a showdown because of the increasing trade imbalance and the devaluation of the American dollar.
Building a Better Nation
Whatever happened to President Bush's stern pronouncements against "nation-building"?
I guess that this only applies where there is genuine humanness and no corporate interest involved.
Folks, "you ain't seen nuthin' yet".
There is a major crisis coming to a head in Iraq. The Shiites will never allow the Kurds to have the kind of autonomy that they desire. The Kurds will not budge an inch on this one.
We may see one of the many ironies of politics. The Sunnis, who would never allow the Kurds any autonomy, may end up joining forces against the Shi'a. The Shi'a in Iraq have many Iranian plants among them, and are receiving not so covert "assistance" from Iran.
Once this scenario starts, you will see the Hezbollah there in full force.
Osama Bin-Ladin's followers will continue doing everything in their power to further destabilize Iraq.
Hang on for the ride folks, the main feature will start shortly.
Stupid Quotes of the Day
"The goal in the near term is to make certain that the Lebanese people have a fair opportunity to have free elections and to determine their own political future,"
Hey, Condi... The Syrian-backed government that the Lebanese People threw out was the same Syrian-backed Government voted back in one week later.
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