Saturday, May 8, 2010

Socialist Agenda, Land Mines, Releasing The Somali Pirate

Warren Christopher
Gail Collins

Can they not use self control? Or must they sink to the level of the beasts?”  - Anthony Comstock

We begin with a bit of gossip from Foreign Policy magazine and a badly Photoshopped photo at the left. According to them, our former President, George W Bush has a fear of horses: "Bush's Western attire and penchant for clearing brush on his Texas ranch helped him cultivate a Reaganesque cowboy image. But Dubya's Texas lifestyle didn't extend to horseback riding. In his memoirs, former Mexican President Vicente Fox recalls offering Bush a ride on his beloved horse Dos de Julio and being surprised when Bush "demurred, backing away from the big palomino." Fox suspected Bush was reluctant to climb "aboard an animal that ... doesn't necessarily stop when you put on the brakes," and later labeled the U.S. president no more than a "windshield cowboy." Hey, not every guy from Texas can ride a horse and rope a calf, just as not every Republican is a virile stud made in the John Wayne movie mold. Not even poor old George, or as the saying goes " all hat, no horse..." Vicente Fox also described George W as "... the cockiest guy I ever met."

The is an amendment that will probably pass next week, a proposed audit of the Fed: "... require the federal General Accountability Office conduct a “one-time audit of all loans and other financial assistance provided during the period beginning on December 1, 2007 and ending on the date of enactment of this Act by the Board of Governors” under a number of programs that responded to the near-collapse of the financial system. The Fed would also be required, for the first time, to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion in assistance from the Fed during the economic crisis." This is a variant of Ron Paul's proposal to audit it every year, and the Fed has been kicking and screaming every inch of the way. Do you think that making the Fed tell us where the money went during the bailout is a good thing? So do a lot of our legislators, both Democrat and Republican. The amendment that will pass was proposed by an Independent, Bernie Sanders. Bernie describes himself as a Socialist. So, if you like the idea of openness and transparency, then you favor a Socialist agenda. Hmmmm, maybe some of those other talking points from the right are misinformed, too...

A lot of attention has recently been paid to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which is a good thing. But for many years the US has resisted signing a ban on the use of another deadly weapon, land mines. Its called the Ottawa Treaty, created in 1997. Even though we haven't used land mines since 1991, the Bush administration refused to sign it. They were used extensively during the Vietnam War, and there are still a few countries that have used them, especially if you consider the rampant use of them in Iraq and Afghanistan, maybe even consider that a suicide bomber is a walking land mine or a car bomb is a moving land mine...

Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are still searching for and safely detonating and disposing the old land mines that we planted there. Farmers and children are still losing arms and legs, or their lives from the explosions. More important than signing a dated document, would be taking responsibility for finding all of the old ones we used. IN Vietnam's case,they would refuse to let us even if we ever asked. But the idea is for the top brass in the Pentagon to start becoming responsible for the mess they make in other countries. Maybe we should enact a law that if you have the rank of a General, you must spend one month per year cleaning up after your military. More than having them decommissioning latrines, they can deliver medical supplies to the hospitals and be made to sit and care for some of the foreign casualties of war. Everyone with the rank below a General must then spend at least one month per year helping a veteran...

So Russia rescued one of their oil tankers that had been hijacked by Somali pirates, captured 10 of the pirates and dragged them bak to Russia to punish them. Except after keeping them for two days, they decided to release them. Yep, they put them back on their boat and set them free. I don't know if they gave them a paddle or not... Of course, we still have the ones we caught, languishing in some New York jail.
“It is much easier to catch pirates than to decide what to do with them,” said Gen. Nikolai Y. Makarov,
It seems that Russian law doesn't have any provisions about capturing pirates, and if they released them back to their home countries, they could accuse Mother of human rights violations. They chose the simpler, more elegant solution - see ya later, don't let the door hit you on the butt on your way out. Of course, they have to go all the way back to Somalia in that little boat... Or as Dmitri Medvedev said:
“Maybe we should go back to the idea of creating an international court and other legal instruments. So long as that doesn’t exist, we will have to act like our ancestors did when they met pirates. You know exactly how. That way...”

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