Democrats & Liberals Archives

April 2005 Archives

April 29, 2005

Governing Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, just got his new government approved. Sort of. Two deputy Prime Minister posts and five ministries including defense and oil are still vacant. And only 185 assembly members out of 275 even showed up to vote. Ugly and unrepresentative as it is, though, they have a freely elected government.

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April 28, 2005

A Rush Job by the ACLU

Recently Team Red was discussing the ACLU, and it's clear that there is a widespread belief that it is a liberal organization. If you think of it as nothing more than an tool of Democratic secular-humanist antireligious hippie freak college-going pacifist tree-hugging America-hating Blue-Teamers like myself, you might be surprised by the following Fox News story titled "ACLU Comes to Rush Limbaugh's Defense".

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Posted by William Cohen at 12:56 PM

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Two

Economies are centered mostly in our heads. Nothing physical or quantum mechanical dictates a price. That is negotiated between two or more brains whose conclusions are a product of any number of factors, some of whom may be particular to that person alone.

But no real world economy functions without having to deal with physical and human realities. Human realities are not just the whim and the will of the people in general, but their health, wealth and general wellbeing. History shows that such attention can pay off.

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part Two"

April 27, 2005

Medals Of Honor

I recently saw a story about a British soldier in Iraq who received the Victoria Cross. That got me wondering why I haven't heard of any American soldiers getting medals. I googled around and found that Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith got a posthumous Medal of Honor for an action on April 4, 2003. Does it really take two years for the Department of Defense to decide whether someone merits the nation's highest military honor? And seriously, one single Medal of Honor for the whole operation?

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April 23, 2005

Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part One

Complexity reigns in our world. In some cases, it's chaos, sensitive dependence on beginning conditions that defeats our ability to predict the future. In some cases, it's emergent phenomena, where simple rules add up to complex behavior not apparent from the laundry list of factors involved. In other cases it's synchronous behavior, where apparently random systems spontaneously develop orderly behaviors. In nature, it is straightforward responses that are the rarity. Human nature is even less straightforward than that. How that affects politics and policy is the focus of this new series of articles.

» Continue reading "Tumblers in the Lock of Time, Part One"

April 22, 2005

GOP To Raise Taxes 85%

The House just passed an energy bill that gave away more of our taxpayer dollars to the energy industry than even President Bush wanted.

I actually like what I hear from President Bush on the subject, and if I believe he's truly interested in solving the country's energy problems rather than lining pockets in the oil industry, then I can only come to the conclusion that he has no idea what the energy bill actually does.

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April 19, 2005

Basra Under Sharia Law

Since the fall of Baghdad, there have been a few isolated efforts to terrorize Iraqi citizens into conformation with Islamic Sharia religious law. Delphine Minoui, reporting for my local paper the Singapore Straits Times, today reports that organized Islamist militias have begun enforcing Sharia law in Basra.

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April 18, 2005

The End Of An Age

Gas prices recently hit a record high, and industry experts say they'll continue to rise. Last Friday, fears over the effect of consistently high oil prices gave the stock market its worst day in two years. OPEC raised output quotas, but it's primarily an accounting adjustment to square official production levels with member nation's overproduction. And even then, with world oil production at maximum capacity, demand is expected to outstrip supply for years to come. Let's face it. The end of cheap, abundant oil has arrived.

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April 17, 2005

The Glaringly Hypocritical GOP Culture of Life

Two of the biggest allegedly principled stances of the GOP these days are limited government and a more nebulous idea they call the "culture of life", after Pope John Paul II. The way they combine them, however, is rather peculiar.

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Posted by Woody Mena at 11:33 AM

April 14, 2005

This is the Bush Doctrine, Flinching

Pointing out contradictions in the Bush Administration's foreign policy could be (and is) a full-time job. Most of them are rhetorical contradictions, however, the most obvious of which being the spreading peace/waging unilateral war contradiction.

But every once in a while we get a doozy - a paradox that cannot be reconciled without significant effort, or evasion (or renouncing the law of non-contradiction).

» Continue reading "This is the Bush Doctrine, Flinching"

Posted by schtaple at 2:58 PM

Cold War II

While campaigning for president in 2000, George W. Bush made it clear that China's relationship with the United States would be as a strategic competitor, and he declared he'd do whatever it took to defend Taiwan. After assuming the presidency, and especially since 9/11, Bush has backpedaled and generally acted as a strategic partner instead. But now that Iraq is on cruise control, President Bush seems to have flip-flopped again back to his original stance on China.

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Stand Up For Liberalism

To say it plainly, Democrats need to stop cooperating in the destruction of liberalism. The excesses of Conservatism are plain to see, people in America are getting sick of it, and yet, we're still willing to play like we're GOP-lite.

I know a number of well-meaning and well-intentioned Conservatives and independents have told me and others that what we need to do is accept the legitimacy of right-wing dominance. I don't blame them. They want to believe their side is right. Maybe we should leave aside their advice, and imitate their faith in their politics.

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April 12, 2005

Let This One Go

Frankly, I agree with John Bolton, President Bush's nominee for United Nations ambassador. I've stated several times here that the UN doesn't accomplish much when it's not led by the United States, and like any large organization, I suspect it could be "right-sized". I had far more of a problem with Bush's first UN ambassador, John Negroponte, the guy who turned a blind eye to CIA-trained death squads in Honduras during the Reagan administration.

» Continue reading "Let This One Go"

April 11, 2005

Republicans And 'The Nuclear Option': 'Git 'R' Done!'

Following the January Iraqi elections, the spike in George Bush's approvals certainly put a spring in his step and spurred a noticeable air of confidence. So, when he insists he's not fazed by the continued slide in confidence the American people have in his job performance, that's one lie from him I have no problem wanting to believe!

» Continue reading "Republicans And 'The Nuclear Option': 'Git 'R' Done!'"

April 10, 2005

A Deadline, Whether We Want It Or Not

Well, friends and neighbors, it finally happened. Somebody gave us a deadline. Two years, and we're out, President Jalal Talibani says. Whether that's realistic or not remains to be seen. But for the first time since we got there, somebody friendly's telling us we're not to be a permanent fixture in Iraq.

This gladdens me, and worries me.

» Continue reading "A Deadline, Whether We Want It Or Not"

April 7, 2005

We're not devious after all - darn it!

Not so long ago, the World of Blogs was buzzing with news of a GOP memo that cynically described Terri Schiavo's case as "a great political issue". At Watchblog we discussed it - was it repugnant, cynical, outrageous, or just politics as usual?

Not too long after that, a new theory was aired: the "GOP memo" was really a fabrication, put out by Dems to make Team Red look cynical!

» Continue reading "We're not devious after all - darn it!"

Posted by William Cohen at 11:07 AM

April 6, 2005

Liberalism and Modern Knowledge

You cannot separate science and technology from Liberalism. Everything that makes Liberalism necessary and popular stems from the accelerating difference of today from yesterday. America is a superpower made by science and technology, but that science and technology makes obsolete the older expressions of our timeless philosophy. To know that is to know why liberalism must act as a force in today's politics.

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April 1, 2005

Poor Judgement

Well, it's official. Again. While the Bush-appointed Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction unsurprisingly cleared President Bush of actively manipulating intelligence in the run up to the Iraq invasion, it makes clear that the White House expected intelligence officials to find evidence of Iraqi WMD whether it was there or not, " is hard to deny the conclusion that intelligence analysts worked in an environment that did not encourage skepticism about the conventional wisdom."

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'A Megaphone For Fraud'

At this point, only a highly sought after Fox News Channel viewer would not have noticed the 'tabloidization' of CNN and MSNBC, as they lurch from the 24/7 coverage of only one sensational story to the next. And, no doubt, those same Fox viewers would be oblivious to the fact that this is all being done for their benefit, as well.

» Continue reading "'A Megaphone For Fraud'"