The Congressional Leadersheep

OK, that headline might be a tad extreme, but given what Bush & Co want, is it? With the Dems wimping out (and Repubs long ago dropping any pretense to their old small, non-intrusive government goals), what do us citizens who don’t want our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms deleted to do?

Terrorism Policies Split Democrats

A growing clamor among rank-and-file Democrats to halt President Bush’s most controversial tactics in the fight against terrorism has exposed deep divisions within the party, with many Democrats angry that they cannot defeat even a weakened president on issues that they believe should be front and center.

The Democrats’ failure to rein in wiretapping without warrants, close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or restore basic legal rights such as habeas corpus for terrorism suspects has opened the party’s leaders to fierce criticism from some of their staunchest allies — on Capitol Hill, among liberal bloggers and at interest groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union is running Internet advertisements depicting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) as sheep.

“Bush wanted more power to eavesdrop on ordinary Americans, and we just followed along. I guess that’s why they call us the Democratic leadersheep,” say the two farm animals in the ad, referring to Congress’s passage of legislation granting Bush a six-month extension and expansion of his warrantless wiretapping program.

“We can do this, but you have to keep in mind Republicans care more about catching Democrats than catching terrorists,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “They have spent years taking Roosevelt’s notion that we have nothing to fear but fear itself and given us nothing but fear.”

  1. TIHZ_HO says:

    #97 “I’m not saying that there have been shortages. But, the surplus, the extra days we have in reserve, is declining. The total world grain production is down. The total world fisheries output is down.”

    Regulated production is often confused with capacity. Agriculture production has adopted lean manufacturing principles – less in stock means less cost.

    Example: Australia is a major wool producer. In the 80’s wool growers were directly regulated. Wool growers sell their wool to the Australian Wool Board at a fixed price based on previous market demands who then exports it. The problem arose when the demand for wool crashed but the wool growers did not adjust production and over a very short period of time if all the sheep in the world died there was still enough wool in warehouses for five years. Regulation of the growers were needed to reduce production to equal demand with a buffer to adjust for variances. This is done with everything.

    China does not have national agriculture production on the same scale as the US or EU. Instead of large corporate growers China has decentralized small private growers supplying their local communities. Supply and demand is regulated by local growers knowing their market well. As I said fish and other seafood are extensively farmed as it plays such as major role in Chinese cuisine. I do not dispute that the world’s ocean stock of fish has declined.

    The point I am making one needs to factor in fish farming which is widespread in China and often not known to people outside of China.

    China is not only able to feed itself but has more than enough to export – quite a feat with such a population.

    I had an interesting conversation with an Australian government agriculturist when I was in Indonesia. One of the causes of Suharto’s demise was with the Asian monetary collapse Indonesia was in dire straits as Indonesia is a net importer of food and many people were going hungry.

    What this agriculturist told me was this was so ironic as Indonesia not only has the potential to be self sufficient with feeding itself but could also be a major food exporter! The Indonesian volcanic soil and great year round growing climate allows for mega production – if only it was developed and it was not. The Suharto government instead wished to develop hi-tech, Automotive and aerospace industries. Well that didn’t work.

    Indonesia is now I believe self sufficient in rice production – if not it is close. There is also a large manufacturing potential in Indonesia. With 1/4 of a billion people in a small group of islands I feel its only a matter of time.

    On a side note: If the US will just stop banging the ‘Muslim hornets nest” from its high moral ground things will settle down. This is obviously not on the US agenda. The US needs an enemy to justify its position as a super power.

    Look at Russia, they fought in Afghanistan for what 20 years? Here is Russia working with Iran with their nuclear power reactors. How stupid is the US? This ought to have been a joint US / Russian project! What is that saying? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

    The US is seen as a big bad bully and not a big brother. If the US moves towards being the big brother the situation changes.

    I was moved by what JFK said in reference to the nuclear test ban treaty in 1963…

    “What kind of peace do we seek? Not a ‘Pax Americana’ enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children, not merely peace for Americans by peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”

    Regardless of political party persuasion this ought to be and must be The United States Mission Statement to inspire the world to follow.

    Shame that is not.


  2. Thomas says:

    RE: Russia and Iran

    Unfortunately, the Russians are not helping the Iranians for altruistic reasons. The Russian economy is not doing well and they long for the days when their influence was felt throughout the world.

    The Iranians simply cannot be trusted with nuclear technology. The Iranian prime minister has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. One of the biggest fears with the Iranians acquiring nuclear weapons is that they provide them to terrorists to get plausible deniablility. It is already well known that the Iranians have provided aid to terrorists both before Iraq and after. Thus, if there is going to be a joint US/Russian operation in regards to Iran, it is going to be to prevent them from acquiring nuclear technology.

  3. Misanthropic Scott says:

    #101 – TIHZ_HO,

    I can only hope you are correct. You’re looking at a few regions though. Even China only, if only is the right term, has 1/6th of the world population. Who’s going to feed the other 5/6ths?

    Also, what about widespread desertification? Last I heard, China recently had a dust storm so large it would cover the continental U.S. and spill into the oceans on both sides.

    Where is the water going to come from for continued farming? We’re depleting our aquifers. Any assessment of global food production must take into account the fact that we are depleting both our water supply and our top soil faster than they are being replenished.

    We are, as I have stated before, quite literally stealing from future generations to feed the current one. This is completely and totally unsustainable.

    Malthus may have overestimated rather than underestimated the population that the planet could sustain. Where he went wrong may have been in underestimating human willingness to starve our children to feed ourselves.

  4. TIHZ_HO says:

    #103 Look at this from another view point.

    What countries cannot feed themselves?

    The US, EU, South Americas, Britain, Russia, Baltic States, Asia and so on can feed themselves.

    Water is a hassle no questions there. Ever been to Dubai? Desalination provides water same as in China is certain areas,

    You are correct about the encroaching desert in China – Beijing will soon be in a desert. Food production is not centred near the desert so this does seem to be a problem there.

    Australia is the driest continent with most of the land is dry as a bone desert. Yet Australia is a prime wheat exporter…and rice…WTF?

    Did I mention that China recycles everything including things best left not recycled?!

    I’ll stick to my take on things.

    #102 “The Iranians simply cannot be trusted with nuclear technology”

    Neither can Pakistan…so WTF? Bomb them while in the neighbourhood?

    Think about the underlying REASONS for Iran ‘not being trusted’…that is what needs correction!!! The US has meddled so much in the middle east that frankly if this happened to Americans I would expect more or a negative response.

    Is that so hard to understand? For Americans, the answer is yes it seems.


  5. Thomas says:

    >> “The Iranians simply cannot be trusted with nuclear technology”
    > Neither can Pakistan…so WTF? Bomb them
    > while in the neighbourhood?

    You are correct that Pakistan is a threat. However, we have a choice right now to prevent Iran from getting nuclear technology. It is already too late for Pakistan. We should not trust Pakistan (or only trust them so far) nor should we trust Iran. Since Pakistan already has nuclear technology, there is no point in attempting to prevent them from acquiring it.

    The middle east, even when left to its own devices, has historically proven itself incapable of maintaining peace. In short, they had their shot to do it on their own, now it is time to try something else.

    The attitude of “Get out of their yard and let them figure it out on their own” is one that could manifest itself in acceptable loss of life without nuclear weapons. However, if a nuclear war starts in the Middle-East, it could be catastrophic for the rest of the world. Yes, it is bad enough with Pakistan and India. We do not need to exasperate the situation with Iran.


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