Monthly Archives: May 2007

Did You Know…

There is a great shortage of butlers in England? Anyone interested in guaranteed work? Some salaries range up to $75,000 a year.

ACLU Sues Boeing

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a unit of Boeing. It charges that Boeing colluded with the CIA in overtly abducting foreigners and flying them overseas to prisons where they were tortured. The European Union estimates that over the past four years 1,245 such flights were flown over European land.
Information from Sydney Morning Herald

Saudi Prisoner Commits Suicide at Guantanamo

The fourth inmate to commit suicide was a Saudi Arabian prisoner. He was pronounced dead early this morning.

German Environment Minister Furious at US

The Environment Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel is angry at the American refusal to enter into binding agreements about emission reductions. Germany has been attempting for months to get Bush to agree on the need for emission controls, but the president obviously is concerned that such action might upset some of his wealthy backers. The United States has refused to enter into any binding agreement. As Gabriel asks: “If the industrialized nations don’t take responsibility, then why should developing countries do so?”

Perhaps I am being too harsh in blaming Bush for concern about the economic impact upon wealthy corporations. Perhaps it is simply that the president really doesn’t believe in global warming. I guess when he sees pictures of melting glaciers he simply enjoys the scenery or he gets excited that if glaciers melt it opens new possibilities for finding oil in northern areas. The man is the most inept president in our nation’s history, but this refusal to work on global warming has incredible consequences for our children.
Information from Der Spiegel

Bahrain Votes to Ban US Raids

The government of Bahrain has taken a stand about being involved in any crazy American idea to use its territory to launch air attacks on Iran. Let’s hope the Bush people are not that crazy.
Information from Saudi Gazette

Turkish Army Moves to Border of Iraq

If you think we have trouble now in Iraq, there is additional trouble looming on the horizon. The Turkish army is becoming increasingly irritated at Kurds crossing the border. Large numbers of troops and tanks have been moved to the border of Iraq. There is the potentiality for an attack by Turkish forces on Kurdish areas of Iraq.

If such action does occur it would transform the nightmare of Iraq into a worse case scenario. What would Bush have American forces do? Defend the Iraqi army against a Turkish attack?
Information from Gulf Times

Brawling in Turkish Parliament

Turkey is facing a grave constitutional crisis that threatens the foundation of the secular nature of their society. The dominant AHP headed by Prime Minister Erdogan is pushing through a constitutional change that would allow a majority vote to elect the president, which would replace the current system of election by Parliament. If it succeeds, the majority Muslim Party will elect their man as president.

The brawl in Parliament was between those advocating continuation of Turkey’s secular model, and supporters of a Muslim religious model (80% of Turks are Muslims). In the heat of the arguments a few voices urged their Muslim colleagues to consider the entire nation and hold off on making a constitutional change. It appears as though Erdogan will not back off. This increases the possibility of an Army coup d’état since, if a Muslim supporter of AKP takes power, he will have authority over the army and appointing top military leaders. The military is completely committed to a secular society and they may well feel compelled to seize power. That would end this venture in democracy for Turkey.

I realize George Bush speaks about the benefits of democracy, but democracy at this time in Middle Eastern history may well mean assumption of leadership by those seeking to impose a religious model of government that would stifle those believing in a secular life.
Information from Turkish Daily News

Violation of Human Rights In Iraq by England

The Attorney General of England, Lord Goldsmith, is facing accusations that he told the Army its soldiers were not bound by the Human Rights Act when arresting, detaining, and interrogating Iraqi prisoners. He told them to adopt a “pragmatic” approach and not be concerned about the “high standards” of the Human Rights Act.

It appears as early as March, 2003, the Red Cross had begun investigating complaints of possible war crimes by British soldiers such as beatings and hoodings of prisoners. A Colonel Mercer objected to these practices and was told that perhaps he should put himself up for the job of the next attorney general.

In my fantasy world, I somehow always regarded the British government as among the leading proponents and defenders of human rights. I find incredible the fact that America’s Attorney General and England’s Attorney General both were uninterested in the military abiding by international law. This must be a statement about the nature of legal education in the modern world. I would assume at some point budding lawyers are given a course which deals with such topics as the Nuremburg Trials or the Geneva Convention, in case they wind up serving in a government and have to advise political leaders about the laws of nations. Do you ever get the feeling that going to law school results in people learning how to make money, not how to be ethically correct?
Information from The Independent

Giuliani/Gingrich for Prez?

What is the meaning of a “Fitness Express?” Actually, I’d rather not know.

How do pebbles get in your shoe? And, why must I walk for two blocks before deciding to halt and get rid of the darn thing?

I firmly believe the 11th Commandment says that I must first put my socks on both feet before placing a shoe on a foot. And, I must always put on the left sock before the right sock.

Why is it we can send things into space with brilliant accuracy but can not figure out a health plan that will take care of all people in this nation?

I think Dick Cheney lives vicariously through the heroism of young people in service. It is as though he believes if some insurgents are killed, somehow he is the architect of their deaths.

I have never figured out how a pilot can drop a bomb and know for certainty he “killed x number of terrorists.” I guess they have Superman X-Ray vision in those planes.

I wonder who would be a candidate for president of the United States if no one were allowed to raise money and all candidates had equal time on TV?

The 2007 version of the New York Yankees proves conclusively that talent always wins over money. And, by the way, Joe Torre is the most over-rated manager in baseball.

Most barbers have short first names like Joe or Ray or Paul, but never Mike. I wonder why? Have you ever met a barber named Mike?

I expect Sarkozy, the new president of France, to appear any day dressed in a cowboy outfit like his hero John Wayne.

The French government is preparing a plan to pay immigrants to go home. I’d like to grab some of that money, but I don’t know where home is. My mother was born in the Polish part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and my father was born in the Ukraine in Russia, which is now an independent nation. So, Sarky boy, where am I being sent back to?

Just imagine a Giuliani/Gingrich ticket – how will you fit all the names of their wives on it? I guess they will run on a program to foster family values. Many families and many values, that is.

Iraqi Prostitution Flourishes in Syria

The New York Times reported yesterday that hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqi females who were forced to flee are now reduced to becoming prostitutes in order for their family survival. I’m certain these young women will not stand up and cheer when told by George Bush he came to liberate them from tyranny and now they can enjoy the benefits of democracy. It is obvious many middle class females, including those with education, have no alternative but participating in the world’s oldest profession.

Every time I read another story in publication supporting Bush’s War I want to puke, because few of them ever deal with the lives of ordinary men and women in Iraq. Frankly, I doubt if most of Bush supporters devote a minute of their time reflecting how their actions have destroyed the lives of thousands of innocent people.
Information from New York Times