Friday, June 08, 2007

WAAAH! Saddam Wouldn't Let Us In! WAAAH!!!

this is what absolutely kills me about our politicians, the media and the populace that doesn't read, ask or wonder.
anyone who followed the rush to war with iraq knows that the UN had inspectors in iraq for quite a while and, towards the end, they were being given unfettered access to sites, because saddam realized the serious situation he was in with george bush. when the inspectors "left", they did so because bush told them to get out as he was about to bomb and couldn't guarantee their safety.
for a presidential candidate to say otherwise shows him to either be a liar or a fool. for the media to allow him to get away with it (and, as well, the other presidential candidates to not call him on it) shows it to hold the populace in utter disregard. meaning: the politicians and the media look upon us as a foot does the cockroach.
that we, as a nation, have continued to swallow bush's load of bullshit disgusts me.

one result of all of this is this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

an interview with someone connected to Fair Trade products (and the website) if anyone is so inclined. Fair Trade does business with and sets up co-ops with poor farmers who would normally sell their produce at a very diminished cost to larger corporations. in this manner the farmers reap a larger profit and protect their land for future farming. my mom often sends me Fair Trade tea and i must admit it's okay. maybe not the best, but better than the norm. oddly, though, one quote from the interview caught my eye and made me remember a housemate in seattle who had been on the frontlines in the first iraq war:
"I met one farmer who had his gall bladder removed because of the effects of working with pesticides, and he talked about three waves of physical effects for other farmers, from rashes all the way up to cancer.In fact, almost all the farmers I met had had some sort of physical effect. This damages not only people but also the eco-system and animals."
when bill went to war he was one of the many soldiers told to take certain unnamed pills to protect them from biochemicals that saddam hussein was certain to unleash. he refused (so he said), because he had no idea what they were and his superiors wouldn't or couldn't tell him. in hindsight, it seems to have been the right choice, because as it turns out the military machine had grouped together with the major pharmaceutical companies and agreed to try out unapproved medicines on unsuspecting GIs. medicines that had nothing to do with the possibilities within a war. bill was, however, exposed to Depleted Uranium (DI). DI was and is still used as bullet points for piercing tank armor. DI was a major problem for the military in terms of its long half-life and had no recyclable use up until someone figured out that (because of its extemely high burning temp) it would cut through thick steel like butter. some experts estimate that up to 1000 metric tons of the stuff was left behind in iraq after the first war, most of it in dust form (the estimate for the current war is 10,000). and the only way for it to get into your system is to breathe it unless you wait long enough for it to infiltrate the water table. our GIs breathed it. a UN estimate says that over 500,000 iraqi children have died since the first war of complications due being exposed to DI.
bill breathed it. he came back already complaining of intestinal pains and migraines. he became an extremely mean drunk. he could be found writhing on the living room floor after eating certain types of produce, because his body could no longer break it down enough to pass through the duodenum. eventually, he had to have his gall bladder removed. the military never admitted responsibility nor did it ever admit that DI is radioactive enough to harm humans. at first, they even tried to deny DI was being used (as did the first Bush administration). they called it White Phosphorous. they tried to call it that again during the first stages of the current war, but eventually had to admit it was DI. while denying that it could have any long-term effects on those who breathed it.
anyway, the effect of pesticides on farmers and that of DI on soldiers seems to be similar and that is what got me on this.
i encourage the purchase of Fair Trade products unless you don't like the taste of it. it's one small way in which to help the needy who help themselves and to stick it to conglomerates of the world. although, it most likely helps them financially, too, in some sickpervertedmorallywrong way.
(from P M Carpenter comes this awesome rant about the last Republican Presidential debate. oh, that it were not true...)


First, let's settle any dispute as to the the winner of last night's Republican cluster conference. The victor was, of course, candidate-in-waiting Fred Thompson. There's something about a man running for the nation's highest and most demanding office who advertises his stupendous incompetence right off the bat by avoiding any public test of his abilities. Now there's a man for this hapless century for you.
As for the others' 120 minutes, it seemed to me it was all over after Q&A #1. What followed Wolf Blitzer's question about the advisability of a touch of thermonuclear destruction laid on Iran was a veritable geyser of mindless bellicosity. Excepting Ron Paul, the Republican candidates suited up in brownshirts and armbands and went to work on yet another preemptive catastrophe thrust upon hundreds of thousands of utterly innocent human beings.
Their bloody pandering to the basest of human beings here was a national embarrassment that made me, and, I would hope, millions of others, cringe at the thought of its airing around the world.
I watched every preposterous, flag-waving minute of the "debate." Although there was nothing that topped the tactical nuking episode last night, this morning both the New York Times and Washington Post led their reporting with the immigration issue. Either the GOP itch to launch unprovoked warfare has become a commonplace yawner, or both papers arrived at the debate late, missing its defining moment.
At any rate, my friends, the others, my friends, jumped all over, my friends, John "My Friends" McCain for his compromising and compromised stance on the matter. McCain's only defense was to tie everything -- and I mean everything -- to national security, two little words he uttered with monotonous regularity. I almost felt sorry for him; it was a too-late-to-change-now, desperate display of "I'd rather be right than president," which nobody ever swallows.
The most civilized among them was Ron Paul, as mentioned, and the most articulate was Mike Huckabee, both of whom haven't a prayer. The most laughable were Tommy Thompson and Mitt Romney. Thompson as president, he kids you not, would send the current one around the country to lecture "the youth of America about honesty, integrity, perseverance, passion, and serving the public," while Romney, whose every utterance was backed up by a chorus of angels singing 'God Bless America,' proved he has yet to look up the meaning of "non sequitur."
But when it came to pure, unadulterated rambling, Rudy took the prize. Wolf simply could not shut him up as he, for example, discoursed endlessly about the "very, very important" issue of Scooter Libby's righteous pardon, since "a man's life is at stake." The irony of Rudy's improperly placed concern and compassion was thunderous.
Other than the near-unanimous urge to waste any potential foe who so much as looks at us cross-eyed, the thrust of the debate was that of a tent revival meeting. There is no earthly collectivity that loves God more than these boys, and they let us know that at every opportunity, even the inopportune ones -- invoking His name 24 times.
Whenever I watch another of these tours de force in imbecility, I quake for my country. If these men are the best that democracy has to offer, if they are what democracy calls forth, it's all over.