Friday, August 02, 2002

Dangerous Propoganda

Apparently the Bush Admin is so desperate to build support for a war against Iraq, that they are willing to use very questionable propaganda, regardless of hard evidence according to this story which says "Despite deep doubts by the CIA and FBI, the White House is now backing claims that suspected Sept. 11 skyjacker Mohammed Atta secretly met five months earlier with an Iraqi agent "

There have already been claims that this didn't happen, but instead of waiting to find out the truth, this admin is willing to spread a possible lie in order to get the American people behind the Shrub and his much needed war. Dubya's poll numbers are dropping and the Republicans are in full panic mode with the upcoming elections. This is really disturbing, that they would take such an approach. As an average citizen, I realize the possible threat that Iraq poses, especially to his neigboring countries. And I can see where in the future they might obtain long range nuclear capabilities. But I really don't think that Sadam would unleash a nuke on another country, or at us, knowing that they would be instantly annihilated. Same as the cold war with Russia, the deterrent effect of knowing that the US would respond to any type of nuclear attack in kind, and with much greater force would prevent Iraq from actually using any nukes.

But here is what I think is really happening here. Dubya wants to finish his father's war, it's personal with the Bushies. It's also political, because in wartime, patriotism outweighs good sensibilities, and therefore shores up the public support behind whoever the president is. And Dubya fears that if Iraq acquires nuclear weapons, we wouldn't be able to just waltz in there any time we feel like it ( the deterrent effect of nukes goes both ways you know ) and that is the real fear. Not that they would use them against us, but that it would prevent us from attacking them. Once Sadam has nuclear capability, if we were to strike first, there is no doubt in my mind that Sadam would use whatever means necessary, from nukes to biological weapons of mass destruction. But I don't really think that he would use them unprovoked, they would just be a way for him to secure his power, much like the many other countries that have nukes.

So I guess for me, in order for me to support an all out pre-emptive strike against Iraq, and putting hundreds of thousands of our men into harm's way, I would need to know what threat does Sadam pose aside from aspiring to have a strong defense, and insuring his dictatorship. I am not saying there isn't a good reason, but I haven't heard one, because all this admin talks about is that they are trying to acquire these weapons. That can't be our only basis for going after them, there has to be real convincing evidence that their goal is to try to destroy the US and allies at any cost, a suicide mission in effect. And I don't see Sadam as a suicide bomber, like we see with a lot of these terrorist, who are willing to do so, because they have nothing to lose.

We also must think about the consequences of toppling Sadam. What happens after we do so? Do we install a government of our liking? Or do we turn it over to their people, and let them choose their own leader since we believe in democracy? If we do, I'm sure that they will elect leaders who are as anti-American, if not more, than Sadam. Will it fuel even more hate towards the US in surrounding arab countries? These are things we must consider, because that is where the real threat lies. Terrorists are born out of hate, and despair. And the more despair we reign down on these countries, the more terror will be reigned down on the rest of the world. We are afraid to face cold hard facts, it's easier just to use our muscle, and try to force these countries to like us, than to use our brains and figure out what truly needs to be done to eliminate terrorism. I don't think we can simply just wipe all terrorists off of the face of the earth by killing or incarcerating them. Sure, we'd get rid of a lot of them, but as quickly as we do, more will be born to carry on where the others left off.

I don't have all the answers, and I realize that we do have to use force sometimes in this battle against terrorism. But I would feel much better, if someone was willing to really think about the cause and effect here, and start working towards a real solution. It's isn't an easy thing to do, we need leaders who are not simple minded and only know one way (war). We need leaders who really understand foreign policy, and the depth of the situation in the middle east and around the world. It's not as simple as good and evil. Dubya seems to think it is, and that's why I think he is going to lead us on a dangerous path, and if we continue in this bull-headed direction, our future will be in jeopardy.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Much Ado About Nothing

From CNNFN:

"Aug. 14 is the day by which the Securities and Exchange Commission is requiring the senior executives of 947 companies with 2001 revenues of at least $1.2 billion to take an oath certifying that their financial statements are correct"

"Companies simply are aping what the SEC told them to say -- to the best of their knowledge. "

So as anyone can see, this is basically a farce. It would change nothing, since the same defense they would currently use, which is to simply say they weren't aware of what some people in the company were doing, would be used even if they sign this supposed iron clad guarantee of responsibility at the top.

Click Here for full story.
Bush And Cheney Unpatriotic

Bush and Cheney both worked for companies that used tax havens via offshore subsidiaries to avoid paying taxes, denying our military of much needed funding according to this article. Bush flat out said yesterday, that he did not approve of the Harken subsidiary, while Ari Fleisher defended the Harken subsidiary saying it "was not designed to avoid paying U.S. taxes". So why would Ari defend the Harken subsidiary, if Dubya says he didn't approve it? Sounds like they haven't had time to "get the story straight" as has happened numerous times with this administration. This will probably turn out to be a flat out lie as well.

Does Cheney Have Anything To Hide?

Jeff Gerth and Richard W. Stevenson have an article in the NY Times, going into more detail about Cheney's tenure, and subsequent problems at Halliburton.

ANWaR

Well, the battle over drilling for oil in ANWR is about to heat up again according to this article in the Washington Times. The Republicans need a bone to throw at their financial supporters, since they have been forced to support a crack down on the corrupt accounting practices, which will hit many corporate donors in the pocket book. This will be a last ditch effort to put more money in the pockets of oil companies, so that they can continue contributing the millions of dollars to the Republican party.


Wednesday, July 31, 2002

What's taking so long?

I heard that some indictments of Worldcom CEOs was possibly coming soon, and I'm wondering, what about Enron? If they can find enough to indict the Worldcom guys this fast, then I guess nothing wrong happened at Enron, if they haven't found anything by now. We all know that the pResident doesn't want his buddies going to jail, and the only reason we are now getting the Corporate Fraud bill, is because now they have someone else to pick on. You watch, a bunch of guys will be rounded up and hauled off in cuffs, but Ken Lay will not be one of them.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Screw college, just get your ass to work

I can hardly contain myself at this quote from Dubya, who thinks that a college education won't help people get off of welfare:

"Under the way they're kind of writing it right now out of the Senate Finance Committee, some people could spend their entire five years — there's a five-year work requirement — on welfare going to college, Now, that's not my view of helping people become independent" Bush said.

What the .... I guess this is to be expected, when the village idiot is the pResident


Sunday, July 28, 2002

YACS (Yet Another Corporate Scandal)

Qwest admits that they used improper accounting practices to the tune of $1.16 Billion and will restate earnings for 1999-2001.

But this beats all I've ever seen, the Department of Justice recommended Qwest for long distance service just 3 days ago, even though they were under investigation by the SEC.

Arianna Moving Her Column To Bermuda

Arianna Huffington's latest article explains how to get all of the benefits of living and doing business in the US, all for free! My favorite line in this article is:

"Despite the billions being lost to these offshore tax havens, however, the Bush administration has shown little ardor for closing the loopholes. On the other hand, if you’re receiving the traditional sort of welfare, the meager check that arrives once a month for needy individuals, the president is determined to wean you from your bad habits."

Are you better off today than a year ago?

A recent poll shows that many Americans say NO



Thursday, July 25, 2002

My posts are going to be scarce this week due to some other commitments that are demanding my time this week. But be sure and click on the links to the left to some other great blogs.

Also, be sure to tune into the latest Joey Joe Joe Show, your alternative to conservative talk radio. These guys are great, they tell it like it is, and throw in some humour resulting in a very professionally done radio show, that is both entertaining and informative. If you don't listen, you are really missing out. This is a refreshing change from the right wing mumble jumble of the likes of Rush Limbaugh et al. But you can't really compare the two, because these guys give honest, common sense views of the issues of today, with in depth discussions which are backed up with facts and historic background.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Dubya's Corporate Crackdown

SatireWire released a story the other day that was very funny that you should read. Funny, that is, except for the fact that it is largely true. In the story, they say Dubya "promised to strengthen accounting laws, impose long prison terms for executives guilty of fraud, and punish any acts of corporate corruption that didn't happen in 1990" and "Also, it doesn't count if a person's last name begins with the letter 'B".

Gun Nut News

A wacko in Williamsburg Virginia opened fire with an assault rifle on a helicopter trying to land to pick up a businessman who lived nearby. Thinking it was a helicopter with terrorists, the man said it was just a natural reaction. I don't know about you, but it's scary to think that there are people like this roaming the streets and even worse, carrying guns. Read Story




Market Mayhem

The DOW has lost more than 1200 points in the past 2 weeks, so today has everyone on edge, wondering if the free fall will continue, or if we'll get a bit of a bounce that often follows heavy selling, even if it's short lived. But the Worldcom bankruptcy announcement is setting the stage for a lower opening. Right now about the only thing that can offset all of the bad news, is that there may be a sense that some of these beaten down stocks are now at bargain prices. More earnings come out this week, which could add to the pain, or maybe some surprise results will give a glimmer of hope.

One rule to always remember when it comes to stocks, and trying to guess the bottom, is "never try to catch a falling knife". If you aren't in, you may want to think about waiting for the market to stabilize before jumping in and doing some bargain hunting. For those already in, it's a tough call, if you sell now, you lock in your losses. But if you stay in, there could be more substantial downside. In any case, today will certainly be another interesting day on Wall Street.

There was no there, there

Last year a shareholder lawsuit against Worldcom for allegedly cooking the books was thrown out by a Reagan appointed judge who basically declared that there was no there, there (remind you of another story?). We now know different, but it goes to show how corporate and political ties can even corrupt the judges who oversee these cases.