Thursday, March 24, 2011

Westboro Baptist, Terry Jones And The Devil, War On Drugs, Looking Up To Iraq

Dan Balz
Dana Milbank
Paul and Anne Erlich
"We're at war? Again? Don't we already have two? Wars aren't like kids, where you don't have to worry about the youngest one because the other two will take care of it." – Jon Stewart

"And aren’t we out of money? You can’t simultaneously fire teachers and Tomahawk missiles." – Jon Stewart

"Remember when President Obama said we can’t fight two wars and vowed to change our policy? Well, he did. Now we’re fighting three wars." – Jay Leno

Elizabeth Taylor was known for her activism in fighting AIDS. A friend of mine testified to that in a Facebook post: "One day, out of the blue and unsolicited, came a check from Elizabeth Taylor for our HIV work in Bangalore. Hope this helps you get a good part in the Big Screentest... Bijapuri Smackdown" Now, fresh ofrom their Supreme Court decision that allows them to do such odious things, the Westboro Baptist Church is planning on protesting at her funeral... Now would be a good time for all of those who favor carrying concealed firearms to gather and greet them. We could have it filmed by E! and choreographed like Gunfight at the OK Corral. Now, I'm not advocating violence or saying that James O"Keefe should show up in his pimpsuit, but it sure would be fun, living la vida loca...

Speaking of wacko Christian splinter groups, did you know that renegade preacher Terry Jones went ahead and fulfilled his promise to burn a Koran in public? As Dan Amira wrote in his Daily Intel blog for New York Magazine: "A controversial US evangelical preacher oversaw the burning of a copy of the Koran in a small Florida church after finding the Muslim holy book "guilty" of crimes.

The burning was carried out by pastor Wayne Sapp under the supervision of Terry Jones, who last September drew sweeping condemnation over his plan to ignite a pile of Korans on the anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks. Sunday's event was presented as a trial of the book in which the Koran was found "guilty" and "executed." The jury deliberated for about eight minutes. The book, which had been soaking for an hour in kerosene, was put in a metal tray in the center of the church, and Sapp started the fire with a barbecue light."

Before, when Terry merely threatened to burn the book, there was an outcry from all over the world, protests in Pakistan, members of congress speaking out, the Secretary of Defense calling him and asking him politely not to, lots and lots of media attention. When he actually burned the book, there were maybe 30 people in attendance, and no national media was around to document the dastardly deed. O wonder if he feels strangely fulfilled, or depressed that his small flame in the darkness illuminated nothing at all...

“I finally figured out that I’m just an attention-seeking jerkwater idiot.”

Because President Obama vacationed south of the border, the NY Times ran an article on the changing face of drug smuggling in South and Central America, but, geographically, it could be anywhere, sounding right at home in South and Central Los Angeles: "Mexican cartels have taken over from Colombians in recent years, recruiting local gangs to help bolster shipments, increasing consumption by paying with drugs and expanding extortion and kidnapping networks to round out their enterprise.

“This is David versus Goliath,” said Marlon Pascua, Honduras’s defense secretary. “And we are David fighting the giant.”

The issue took center stage when President Obama, during a visit to El Salvador on Tuesday and Wednesday, announced a plan to fight organized crime in the region by strengthening civilian institutions and providing training for local authorities, weapons and equipment.

But such promises have been made before, and many Central American leaders are frustrated by the wait. Of the $1.6 billion in law enforcement support promised under the antidrug Merida initiative announced in 2007, $258 million was assigned to Central America. Yet only $20 million of it had actually been spent by April of last year, according to the Government Accountability Office." and, of the $20 million, less than $5 million actually went to any police agencies, the rest going divided up between the usual graft suspects... The real question is what is happening with the rest of the money?

Everytime I read a news item involving billions of dollars of our government's money - the billions pledged to Afghan charity projects, the billions pledged for Pakistani flood relief, billions pledged for Haitian reconstruction, probably billions will be pledged to Japan, then find out how much of that pledged money has actually been released to that country, I'm convinced that we really are not broke, we're just stingy. Nope, I'd hate to have a needed program that depended on aid from the US, especially a program that mattered in the life or death for some other poor souls, say, feeding starving children or keeping hospitals full of medicine...

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If we ever get past the Middle Eastern countries that like to kill their citizens when they protest, like Libya, of course, but also Yemen, Bahrain, Syrai, and probably Saudi Arabia, the newly democratic ones may look to Iraq for help and inspiration on how to implement this new concept called democracy. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Iraq had democracy forced upon them by some rogue nation that just seems to like to fight, and the fact that Iraq is currently rated by Transparency International as the fourth most corrupt country in the world, ahead of Afghanistan, Myanmar, and North Korea... Then, Iraq is still having that pesky little problem of suicide bombers blowing up its citizens... Good luck, guys...

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