Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just Too Much to Choose From Today...

Tomorrow's Corn Flake, barring new developments, is going to be a couple weeks old- but you've doubtless heard of him.

For today, though, I'm finding so much relevant news that I just can't pick one story to focus on. This isn't a Cull Day thing- this is just all stuff which I don't want to hold and wait until more stories come out.

For an appetizer, let's start with this story about the United States' carbon emissions dropping in 2006- the first time since 1990 they've dropped, according to preliminary numbers from the US Energy Dept.

Two points to consider, though: (1) Isn't this the same Energy Department run by some guy who used to be an Exxon executive? (2) Isn't it a bit early for George Bush to be crowing about his initiatives (none of which have been enacted that I know of) reducing carbon while emissions continue to rise in Europe... when even his puppet agency claims the reduction is primarily due to lower energy demands caused by a mild winter and summer in 2006? This story, combined with the word "preliminary"- that is, subject to wild and radical change without warning- smells like bullshit to me.

Over to the Levant for the second story: Israel arrests over thirty Hamas leaders, including members of the Palestinian Parliament. Let me get this out on the table now: I support an Israeli state in the Levant. I support its right to exist. I do NOT, however, approve in any way, shape or form of how the government of Israel acts- basically, like a little bully who knows nobody will punish him because his daddy is an even bigger bully. For years now Israel has had it both ways- blame the Palestinian Authority for not enforcing laws against terrorist groups, while at the same time sabotaging every effort the Palestinians make to police their own streets and negotiate with splinter groups to end the ongoing entefada. If Israel isn't going to treat Palestinians as equals, they might as well withdraw recognition of the Palestinian Authority and declare an end to the two-state policy. If, on the other hand, they really do want an independent Palestine, they need to stop doing dumb shit like this crackdown... this crackdown that makes Hamas, people who use Mickey Mouse look-alikes to call for the massacre of everyone who doesn't agree with them, look like the victims.

Back to the USA now: Reports surface showing that George W. Bush was warned- repeatedly- before March 2003 that taking out Saddam would create an incurable quagmire and sectarian civil war in Iraq. The most relevant paragraph: A former intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the decision to go to war had been made months before the 2003 papers were drafted and analysts had no delusions that they were going to head off military action. Rather, the official said, they hoped their warnings would be considered in the planning.

That's right: yet more proof that the decision to go to war in Iraq had been made months, even perhaps years in advance. More proof that George W. Bush had no intention of negotiating in good faith for weapons inspection, sanctions, or international support for ousting Saddam Hussein. Most damaging, more proof that Bush and his cronies had determined to have a war regardless of all other considerations- including the safety of American soldiers and the American people.

This story comes from an anomymous source, but keep your eyes out when the report this info comes from is released either late this week or sometime next week.

Finally, closer to home... Remember my posts about Houston's sex business ordinance, which is a direct attack on the ability of those businesses to operate at all? Well, the state legislature has squeezed through a new sin tax at the last minute before the session ends- a $5 per head tax on everyone who sets foot in a titty bar.

No, I correct myself: strip club. Even places that don't serve booze have to pony up the dough.

Prize-winning quote from the article at the end, from State Senator Dan Patrick- not the one from ESPN, but he also STILL HAS a radio talk show:

"I don't want the fact that the government is making money from them to make them harder to close. I would rather see the businesses close down," he said after the vote. "If we base our budget on a combination of sin taxes, we are kind of supporting the sin."

Mr. Patrick has forgotten the old adage: the power to tax is the power to destroy.

Mr. Patrick is also one of the supporters of efforts in this legislature to severely restrict or outright ban abortion... and to provide tax dollars to pay women to carry their child to term.

Oh- and although Mr. Patrick is a Republican, the author in the Texas House and the bill's sponsor in the Senate are both Democrats. The state House has to vote to approve Senate changes, so I don't know the final vote there, but only one state senator voted against the bill.

With both parties voting to continue the Iraq war in Washington, and both parties voting to tax people for being horny in Houston and Austin...

... does anybody still really believe Libertarians can change anything unless Libertarians get ELECTED?

No comments: