Archive for January, 2006

A Different George Got It

January 30, 2006

First, from President George Washington’s farewell address:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.

If you read the whole speech, you will find more foreshadowing of the ills that have afflicted our nation thoughout its history. But for this moment, let us focus on this part.

President George Washington, who kept this country from slipping into monarchy at its inception, saw the dangers we face today. The whole concept of the unitary executive flies in the face of the principles the United States was founded against. And this man, this leader of men, knew the dangers this country would face and left us this warning across time.

Its not just about Alito. Its the whole concept that the Republicans have based their assault on. They are for party above country, their desires above the Constitution. They are an insurgency in our Republic, a threat to our way of life, to all life. This Administration is only concerned with the accumulation of power for the sake of power.

When will this country wake up and purge this sickness from our land? What horrors must happen, what level of injustice must we witness, before these criminals are locked away for good?

The war being waged against our Republic is not being done with guns, it is being waged by men in suits, claiming to be Patriots, slowly tearing at the seams. When will America wake up and realize the danger we are in? Will it be in time to stop another world war, one where this country is the aggressor?

Let us never forget that this nation’s founders faced the most powerful monarchy of its time, and defeated it with a ragtag bunch held together by a common dream. That dream was freedom from the very tyranny we are facing today. What worth do we have as citizens if we do not have the courage to stand up and defend our Republic?

This is beyond Democrats versus Republicans. This is the citizenry against a government that has turned against the very fabric of sanity. It is a battle to hold on to what it is that is “human” inside us. For if this country goes down, it will undoubtedly take much of the rest of the world down with it.

This Republic is supposed to be a beacon of hope, a shining example to rest of the world of how different people can come together and live in harmony. But instead it is becoming an example of everything that is wrong with civilization; we are losing our chance to learn from history and show that there is a better way. The ideal America can exist, and it can become the ideal global community if we are not afraid to take the next step. But right now we are stepping backwards.

Will we be remembered in the history books as an experiment gone wrong? Will we be eclipsed by our southern neighbors as the bearers of democracy? Only time will tell. But I can tell you this: that this country, this proud nation, is on the verge of going the way of Rome, of becoming a failed Republic turned into a brutal empire. And we all know how that worked out for the Romans.

I believe in the global community. And I believe in the potential of the human race. What I cannot believe is the apathy of the people around me to the insurgancy going on in our government. I cannot for the life of me accept that this country will become the next Nazi Germany. I cannot understand why citizens of this nation are defending methods once seen as the evil ways of communists and fascists.

We are supposed to be better then this. Has our own history taught us nothing? Did the Civil War really happen? Was the fight for civil rights, equal rights, just a dream? Was the Revolution against tyrrany real?

I am afraid for this country. I am afraid for humanity. Remember that the criminals running this nation have nuclear weapons. Remember that the current president believes in the end of times. And remember that only we have the power to stop them.

I do not believe this can be done through the poitical parties. They are weakened by their need for division in order to survive. Only through the combined, united, strength of the citizenry can America be saved. And only through this action can we truly become the beacon of hope our founders envisioned.

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Sunday Morning Thought

January 29, 2006

Which lives are worth the most? Does a person’s value change depending on where they live, which country they were born in?

Double effect or double standards?

…In order to “take the fight to the terrorists”, those who are plotting to attack America must be targeted wherever they are hiding, even it that means bombing whole villages on circumstantial evidence. Those who support such a policy often appeal to what is termed the “theory of double effect” to justify their position.

The theory of double effect seeks to draw a distinction between actions where the primary purpose is to kill, and actions where the primary purpose is not to kill but where the outcome is that people are killed.

An example of this theory in action would be the difference between a fighter pilot bombing a hospital or a school specifically in order to cause the deaths of the people inside, and a fighter pilot bombing a munitions factory filled with workers, in order to destroy the enemy’s capacity to wage war. In both cases, the people inside will die as a result of the attacks.

However, the theory of double effect holds that since the attack on the munitions factory was not directly intended to kill people – though it is the inevitable outcome of such an action – the attack should not be seen as immoral, since the only reason people died is because they happened to be there, not because they were the primary targets. Tragic, but understandable. This is war, after all.

Is this an adequate justification for killing people who are clearly innocent? Though it may seem morally acceptable when fighting terrorists – those whom we are told represent the “ultimate evil” – it is important to explore this philosophy from the other side, when it is our lives that are affected, our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers who are killed, tearing our lives apart.

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Would we accept that the theory of double effect meant that our loved ones were simply collateral damage, dying for no other reason than that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, sitting next to the wrong person?

I think such claims would provide little or no consolation, and our resentment of those who brought death to us all would only grow stronger.

What happened on the 7 July was murder. What happened in Damadola was murder. If 7 July was unjustifiable regardless of the direction of British foreign policy, how is firing missiles at a village without provocation not similarly unjustifiable? In both cases it was innocent people who died, who were brutally killed as they went about their daily lives.

In other words, we cannot hide behind the theory of double effect as a flimsy excuse for pursing policies that rain bombs down on villagers simply because someone informs the military that a terrorist might have been invited to dinner there, any more than the 7 July bombers can hide behind their claims that they are acting in the name of victimised Muslims everywhere.

No one can take the moral high ground if people are killed in our name, whatever ideology we subscribe to, whatever injustices we believe we have suffered, whatever good we believe might come out of it.

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More and more people are increasingly fed up with what are perceived to be our double standards, where the lives of Westerners killed in terrorist attacks are worth far more than the seemingly throwaway casualties of Damadola.

Remember that their lives were worth living too.

Please take the time to read the whole article. I will take it even further. I find it sad that so many US citizens feel that “nuking” the Middle East into oblivion in a justifiable and acceptable action. I have heard too many people say that “they” deserve it, that somehow the events of 9/11 justify the destruction of an entire group of people, an entire area of the planet. How is this sentiment any better then those of the people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center? How is calling for the murder of millions of people morally superior to killing 3000?

The US is filled with a sickness that has blackened the hearts of its citizens. It is a scary reality when citizens of this nation call for the genocide of everyone they see as somehow a threat to their way of life, or who simply seem similiar enough (same religion, or same skin color) to those who commited the acts of terrorism. The only reason this country didn’t round up all “Arab-like” people in 2001 is because enough sane people stood up and screamed Hell No! But as I have said before, we are one terrorist attack away from that happening.

Genocide is what the US is supposed to be against. But our own history is filled with it, think Native Americans. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my fellow citizens would see genocide as justifiable. Our beliefs of freedom and liberty end at our borders, and for that matter we don’t really follow them well inside the country. One look at our prison system and ghettos exposes our deep hypocracies toward the “value” of human life.

Too many people around the world have been murdered in the name of spreading democracy. From South America to Southeast Asia, to the Middle East, blood of the innocents has been spilled in the name of US superiority. How can this country claim to be morally superior to anyone else when its history is filled with the destruction of democracies, the supporting of ruthless dictators, the raping of others resources, and the inability to accept responsiblity for its actions?

An “eye for an eye” is not a moral postion; it is a sign of ignorance and a lack of maturity. It shows the person who promotes this way of thinking to be lacking empathy and understanding. Those that call for blood to avenge a wrong doing are not seeking to understand why it happened, nor are they seeking to make sure the situation never arises again. They are simply acting out emotionally like a child, wanting immediate satisfaction regardless of the long term effects. This immaturity and lack of depth only intensifies the situation and leads to further aggression. And this goes for both sides. Acting out through aggression is never justifiable.

The world as a whole needs to get over what ever reservations it has against the notion that we are a global community, that we are all in this together. We put too much energy into dividing ourselves into religions and nations. We are all we have and we are all we need. There is nothing else out there, no aliens to come save us, no gods to protect us. And even if there were, what have we done to deserve saving?

A great flick

January 26, 2006

Most people have seen “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”, which is a great black comedy. But far fewer have seen another movie that came out a year later on the same subject called “Fail-Safe”. The second flick is far more serious. And I thought it was in some ways better.

The movie is more dramatic then Dr. Strangelove and the ending will get you. I happened to catch it on Turner Movie Classics the other day and had no idea what it was about. All I can say is what a ride. I could not pull myself away from it. Nuclear war is a terrifying enough thing to think about, and this movie does a great job of catching the stress felt by those who would have to fire the missles.

With all the talk from our government about more war and reconstituting the nuclear program, a movie like this, or The Day After, can remind a person of just how serious this shit is.

Scary Stuff (Update)

January 26, 2006

In today’s energy installment, Jerome gives us a somber thought to consider: the dinosaur juice is running out. And as we have yet to figure out a way to replace this energy source, it means we are all in real trouble.

As the oil fields run dry, prices will climb, and governments will be pressured to get more fuel for their countries. Tensions will grow. The world needs to address this as a community now before it gets out of hand. We need to be shifting the resources we waste on military buildup to deal with energy. Because fighting over oil won’t make more oil appear.

On another note, I am wondering if pumping all this oil out will have any effects on the upper crust of our planet. Besides the pollution in the air, does pulling out this substance have other consequences? The planet is a system, and changing one variable changes the whole. Its just a thought, but I still wonder if all this could change how heat is transfered to the surface, or some other effects on the weather maybe. The world we live in today exists because of a long series of gradual changes. Does a sudden change like draining so much oil create enough change to cause a faster reaction that may not be good for us?

I have created a new catogory on the left called “energy” to better reference these energy posts. There is a lot of information in them that I think most people are not as aware of as they should be. Check them out if you haven’t already.

Update- found some effects of drilling in the comments:

1. Subsidence. The shrinking of the rock can result in reduced elevation of the land above, which can lead to long-term flooding problems. This can also happen if too much water is drawn out of an aqifer. Go here for a brilliantly documented example.

2. Geological Fracturing. In carbonate (limestone) reservoirs, the rock is not flexible and can crack. If the well is shallow, the crack too large, or an aqifer is nearby, the ground water can become contaminated. This ususally happens at the site of the well, which forms a weak spot for cracks to start. It can be controlled by propper well abandonment procedures which include filling the well with cement under high (3000 psi) pressures. Of course such procedures are only required in industrialized nations like the USA and UK. Also of course, the requirments are seldom enforced by Texas, and now federal, authorities.

Getting Down To The People

January 26, 2006

I went to my first Town Hall style meeting last night with a City Council person. It was a small gathering of concerned citizens meeting with their city district rep and the new city manager. And I have to say that I loved the experience.

Following national, or even state, politics is so ambiguous and impersonal. Politicians at those levels have so many people to talk to they cannot possibly get to know anyone. And the issues they cover are more abstract at times, less involved with folks’ daily lives. But a city council person, meeting with people that might very well live next door, is a very personal, very daily life kind of thing.

And it was interesting to hear people talk about things like the street in front of their house, or the graffiti on their fence or business. These are the things that most people worry about on a daily basis. These are the real quality of life issues that folks experience every time they walk outside their door.

And the council people have to listen, have to respond, because the pool of voters is much smaller. A neighborhood campaign against them can loose an election. Plus, since they live in the area, many of the things others bring up affect the council member as well.

I will most definitly be going back. I want to get active in politics, but have always found the state and national levels so twisted and distant. Now I see where I fit in, dealing with issues in my neighborhood, on my street. And since I graduated I actually have time. I am going to the next neighborhood crime watch meeting so I can meet the other concerned citizens that live around me. I want my council person to know my face if not my name. This is where politics is most relevent to me.

When I think of what Howard Dean said about the people having the power, I think this is what he meant. Electing presidents is only one small part of the game. Getting active locally is how we are really empowered, how we can all change the system from within.

Because in the end if we don’t go to these meetings, if we don’t voice our opinions, someone else will. And then we have nothing to bitch about because we weren’t there, we didn’t speak up. If every cictizen took the time to do things like this, I feel the country would be better as a whole. We have to pressure our representatives at the most basic levels. These are the folks that have a diect impact on our daily lives.

I said I would

January 25, 2006

And I will continue to link to Jerome’s posts on energy because people need to read these things. Today’s post:

You are not going to escape energy issues in the coming months and years, so you might as well get ready to talk about them.

* Peak Oil. All major oil companies have now acknowledged it.
* Nuclear. It’s making a major come back.
* Carbon emissions & global climate change.
* Geopolitical conflict everywhere. Iraq. Iran. Russia. Venezuela. China.
* Domestic politics

He goes into detail about these topics.

The next world war will be about energy.

From The Man-With Rant

January 24, 2006

Jaun Cole lays out George Bush’s Top 10 Mistakes In Reacting To Al-Qaeda:

1. Bush vastly exaggerates al-Qaeda’s size, sweep and importance, while failing to invest in genuine counterterrorist measures such as port security or security for US nuclear plants.

2. Bush could have eradicated the core al-Qaeda group by putting resources into the effort in 2002. He did not, leaving al-Zawahiri and Bin Laden to taunt us, inspire our enemies and organize for years after the Taliban were defeated. It would be as though Truman had allowed Hitler to broadcast calls for terrorism against the US from some hiding place as late as 1949.

3. Bush opened a second front against Iraq before he had put Afghanistan on a sound footing.

4. Bush gutted the US constitution, tossing out the Fourth Amendment, by assiduously spying on Americans without warrants. None of those spying efforts has been shown to have resulted in any security benefits for the United States. Bush says that he wants to watch anyone who calls the phone numbers associated with al-Qaeda. But some of those phone numbers were for food delivery or laundry. We want a judge to sign off on a wire tap so that innocent Americans are not spied on by the government.

5. Bush attempted to associate the threat from al-Qaeda with Iran and Syria. Iran is a fundamentalist Shiite country that hates al-Qaeda. Syria is a secular Arab nationalist country that hates al-Qaeda. Indeed, Syria tortured al-Qaeda operatives for Bush, until Bush decided to get Syria itself. Bush and Cheney have cynically used a national tragedy to further their aggressive policies of Great Power domination.

6. Bush by invading Iraq pushed the Iraqi Sunni Arabs to desert secular Arab nationalism. Four fifths of the Sunni Arab vote in the recent election went to hard line Sunni fundamentalist parties. This development is unprecedented in Iraqi history. Iraqi Sunni Arabs are nationalists, whether secular or religious, and there is no real danger of most of them joining al-Qaeda. But Bush has spread political Islam and has strengthened its influence.

7. Bush diverted at least one trillion dollars in US security spending from the counter-terrorism struggle against al-Qaeda to the Iraq debacle, at the same time that he has run up half a trillion dollar annual deficits, contributing to a spike in inflation, harming the US economy, and making the US less effective in counterterrorism.

8. Counterterrorism requires friendly allies and close cooperation. The Bush administration alienated France, Germany and Spain, along with many Middle Eastern nations that had long waged struggles of their own against terrorist groups. Bush is widely despised and has left America isolated in the world. Virtually all the publics of all major nations hate US policy. One poll showed that in secular Turkey where Muslim extremism is widely reviled and Bin Laden is generally disliked, the public preferred Bin Laden to Bush. Bush is widely seen as more dangerous than al-Qaeda. This image is bad for US counterterrorism efforts.

9. Bush transported detainees to torture sites in Eastern Europe. Under European Union laws, both torture and involvement in torture are illegal,and European officials can be tried for these crimes. HOw many European counterterrorism officials will want to work closely with the Americans if, for all they know, this association could end in jail time? Indeed, in Washington it is said that a lot of our best CIA officers are leaving, afraid that they are being ordered to do things that are illegal, and for which they could be tried once another administration comes to power in Washington.

10. Bush’s failure to capture Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri allows them to continue to grandstand, to continue to frighten the public, to continue to affect financial markets, and to continue to plot. Al-Zawahiri almost certainly plotted the 7/7 London subway bombings himself, and gloated about it when he issued Muhammad Siddique Khan’s suicide statement. Misplaced Bush priorities are getting our allies hit. The CIA is reduced to firing predators at villages because our counterterrorism efforts have been starved for funds by the Iraq quagmire. If al-Qaeda does pull off another American operation, it may well give Bush and Cheney an opportunity to destroy the US constitution altogether, finally giving Bin Laden his long-sought revenge on Americans for the way he believes they have forced Palestinians and other Muslims to live under lawless foreign domination or local tyranny.

Personally, I think Georgie wants another attack. He needs at least one more, so he can declare martial law, suspend elections, and become in de facto king. Bush will say it is all neccesary in order to protect our freedoms, as he imprisons countless americans, destroys what is left of the media and rips the Constitution to threads. And since this is a neverending war, he will have to stay in power, well, forever.

You have to wonder about the timing of all these tapes that keep coming out. And how ambiguous threats materialize whenever it is convenient for the Repubs. I am starting to wonder if BushCo is in fact working with Bin Laden and crew. Everything happens at just the right time, just when Bush needs things to happen, to change the focus and keep the public on edge. Its like a bad movie where you know something is about to happen because the movie is so formula driven.

And any protests will be violently crushed, because King George and his cronies will say the rest of us are a threat to national security. Get ready for the re-education camps. I wish this were all a joke, but I honestly believe that fucker wants to RULE this country, not just lead it. And we are one attack away from his dream coming true. Just one more on this soil and game over. Because enough of the public has its head so far up its ass that they can’t help but follow along. Its almost as if some people want this to happen too. Then they can “prove” the left wrong and in their self-rightious way tear apart any institutions that BushCo has convinced them are part of the great evil.

The right is so full of anger, so pent up with the need for blood, that Iraq is no longer enough. They need more. They need to feel justified, so there is nothing left to stop them from straight shooting people down in the street. And we are one attack away from that. Just one.

But in the end all this has nothing to do with terrorism. This is just an excuse to go back to the days of lynching, of people “knowing their place”, of witch trials and public executions. The Right wants hatred, feeds on it, to the point that they are the very evil America has supposedly been fighting against for the last 100 years. Go read their sights, listen to what they say. They hate everyone, sometimes even themselves. Because we are ALL sinners afterall, and only the brutal hand of god can crush the evil within us. They are exactly like the Taliban, exactly like the fundies in the Middle East.

Our country is in danger, and it all hangs on one more attack. BushCo has done nothing to really improve security in this country because he wants another attack to happen. He keeps igniting anger all over the world to cause one. He is pushing and pushing, waiting and hoping, for one more attack. Then its all over but the crying. Then no one will be able to stop him from going after the world.

Africa, the forgotten continent

January 23, 2006

With the rise of Socialism in South America, war in the Middle East, and cooperation in Asia gaining momentum, it is hard to pay attention to the continent that needs help the most, Africa. Since the countries in Africa aren’ t players in the international clusterfuck that is our political world, they generally only get mentioned when a bunch of people die. Which brings us to why I am bringing this up myself.

First, in southern Africa:

As the hungry season peaks in Southern Africa, nearly 12 million people face acute food shortages if relief efforts are not rapidly scaled up. An unexpected and severe drought and limited access to fertilizer during the previous planting season has resulted in a food crisis that afflicts millions of households throughout Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. Compounded by the chronic burden of HIV/AIDS and the endemic poverty of the region, the food crisis threatens to evolve into widespread famine without immediate action.

And in the Horn of Africa:

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations issued a special alert on Friday saying people are on the brink of starvation in the Horn of Africa due to recent severe droughts in conjunction with the effects of previous and ongoing conflicts.

In Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia more than 11 million people are estimated to be in need of assistance.

It seems to me that the rest of the world only cares about the diamond trade, oil fields in Sudan and Nigeria and uranium from Niger. The rest of Africa’s people are not important. The world just wants to suck the natural resources out of the continent, leaving the average person to starve.

Now, part of the problem is the corruption of various country’s leaders, who steal aid money for themselves. But what pressures has the west really put on these people?

I read recently that there is infact plenty of water in Africa, but its underground and the technology to build wells is in short supply. I know the rest of the world could go in there and fix this, but are reluctant. Instead, we get stupid concerts that don’t help the African people one bit.

But there has to be a true commitment to do it. And with the world being pushed apart right now, I don’t think it will happen any time soon.

The Next Superpower?

January 23, 2006

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is the next rising power in the world. The organization is basically trying to build economic and security related ties in Asia. And with India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan signed on as observers, with possible membership later, what we have is half the world’s population coming together. This article does a great job of summing up the group as it stands now:

The overall thrust of geopolitics in Central Asia in 2005 is most clearly illustrated by the evolution of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which now includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as members and India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan as observers. The SCO was increasingly active in 2005, leading some analysts to see the emergence of a potentially powerful regional grouping serving the interests of its heavyweight members, China and Russia. A summit of SCO leaders in Kazakhstan in early July appeared to confirm this, issuing a declaration with a call for the U.S.-led antiterrorism coalition to provide a timeframe for withdrawal from military facilities on SCO territory, a thinly veiled reference to the U.S. bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Subsequent events showed that the SCO remains more of a forum than a force, however.

The author sees the group as not completely connected. However, as US foriegn policy continues to spiral downward to more wars, I think the group will grow in strength to counter the west.

Washington is making enemies everyday around the world, and as with South America, other governments are looking to unite against the US. Uzbekistan already kicked the US out, Russia is working to reign in its neighbors, China is looking for superpower status, and Iran needs friends in a bad way right now.

Remember Bush’s trip to Asia recently, the one where he stopped over in Mongolia? It had to do with this. He needs a base of operation in the area.

China is also in this game because they need the oil and gas the smaller countries have. As does India. I wonder if Pakistan and India could overcome their issues and unite in the SCO. Russia wants to be a player internationally again. I think other countries in the area will want to join if things work out between the current members. So far, the SCO is taking it slow, but I still feel a lot depends on future US agression in the region.

From the comments…..

January 21, 2006

From the comment thread for Politics, and how to be a Dork, NLaw says this:

Terri Moore made her reputation by breaking up a large child pornography wing. She made statements to the media about child pornography “feeding the depraved appetites of pedophiles.” However,in 2005 she served on the defense team of one of the most prolific child molesters in Fort Worth history — Wirt Norris! Terri Moore sat close to him in the courtroom, her arm around his shoulders in sympathy and support — comforting him during wrenching pre-trial testimony by 12 men he abused when they were 11 or 12 years old. The price was right for her in this case, so she alligned herself with a serial pedophile. Terri Moore lost a all respect from those who formerly worked with her to prosecute the child abusers in our community. I would not vote for her for dog-catcher after seeing that her ethics are for sale. She overlooked the depraved appetites of a pedophile, since he had plenty of money to pay her a generous retainer fee.

Looked this up in Google, and found a lot of info on this. Here is a Ft. Worth Weekly article. Very interesting development. I will have to ask Terri about this at the next function I see her at. If this is true, she has a lot of explaining to do.