Minutiae
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"So. Our ancestors clawed their way out of the caves, fought behemoths with their bare hands; survived earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, meteor showers and plagues, all so their descendents could sit on the road and wail."
- Pundita

Friday, March 14, 2003
Good. He did the
right thing, (or was forced to do the right thing.)

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
This is a response to a comment left over on
Dan's blog.

Regarding religion:
Yes John Ashcroft is creepy. Yes his leading prayers everyday is a bad idea. I think the faith-based initiative is a bad idea, but it doesn’t have anything to do with Bush’s flavor of Christianity. The idea was to fund any religion. I’m sure he’d turn purple if a bunch of Wiccans got funding but it’d be allowed. Hell they have pagan chaplains in the military now.

Regarding Gays:
Bush actually renewed the ban on sexual orientation discrimination for federal jobs. Dick Cheney’s daughter is gay and was very active in the campaign. Yes he opposes gay marriage. I think that’s stupid. Yes he opposes hate crime legislation. I agree with him. What is the point? Beating or killing someone is already illegal. Do you think Bubba is going to think “Well I sure would like to go mess up that fag but I might get an extra year added to my sentence so I guess I won’t?”

Regarding the roll backs in choice for women:
I disagree with the pro-life position but I am sympathetic to it. Imagine if you really believed that abortion was murder. Not in a cynical attempt to enslave women but as a real moral conviction. Wouldn’t you have a hard time standing by and saying that it’s between the killer and her conscience?

Regarding oil prices:
Three things influence gas prices. The price of crude oil, seasonality in the gasoline supply/demand balance, and any unusual events or trends affecting the supply/demand balance. Historically it is not unusual for gas prices to spike in the spring time. The Energy Information Administration put out a report on 3-12 addressing the concerns about “price gouging.” Unless you’re willing to venture very very deep into conspiracyville, that is objective supply/demand data. Inventories are down and the price of crude is up we’re also going into the driving season, so yes gas is expensive but it’s not the work of Bush or his buddies. In fact, prices that spike this fast are bad for gas companies, as Lileks has commented. As the granddaughter of 2 gas-station owners I can tell you he’s right.

Regarding Enron/Tyco/WorldCom:
The abuses that led to all that began before Bush was in office. The accounting rules were not written by Bush. There are plenty of Democrats with financial ties to those same companies. (Beyond that I’m not willing to go do the research to document why Bush is not Satan.)

ANWAR:
I’ve been to Alaska. I’ve spoken to Alaskan natives. I’ve seen the pipeline. Logging does waaaay more ecological damage than drilling ever will. The actual impact of drilling in ANWAR will be minimal.

War with Iraq:
There have been 19 reasons to do so in the past 12 years.

It may feel really good to demonize someone but it’s not terribly productive. He's certainly got flaws but Bush does not torture children before their parents’ eyes. On the other hand I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that Saddam does. You want to talk about tangible decisions someone has made? Don't even start me on Saddam's history, or Schroder's, or Chirac's, or Putin's for that matter.

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
Yet more about Iraqi
oiiiiiiil.

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
Uh huh...
So we can't do anything on our own to deal with Iraq but dealing with North Korea is our job alone? We must go through the UN to deal with Iraq but we must not go through the UN to deal with North Korea?

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
Just when you thought they couldn't sink any
lower...

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
Snurffle. It was the one-armed man!

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
I don't know why my weather pixie has suddenly turned into dominatrix pixie.

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
Froggi you might get off on
this. The First Circuit tells the folks suing Bush over Iraq to take a hike.

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
A very simple
list of the economic ties between various countries and Iraq. Some choice tidbits:
*According to the CIA World Factbook, France controls over 22.5 percent of Iraq’s imports. French total trade with Iraq under the oil-for-food program is the third largest, totaling $3.1 billion since 1996, according to the United Nations. In 2001 France became Iraq’s largest European trading partner.

*The former Soviet Union was the premier supplier of Iraqi arms. From 1981 to 2001, Russia supplied Iraq with 50 percent of its arms.

*According to a report from SIPRI, from 1981 to 2001, China was the second largest supplier of weapons and arms to Iraq, supplying over 18 percent of Iraq’s weapons imports.

*A future $40 billion Iraqi–Russian economic agreement, reportedly signed in 2002, would allow for extensive oil exploration opportunities throughout western Iraq. The proposal calls for 67 new projects, over a 10-year time frame, to explore and further develop fields in southern Iraq and the Western Desert, including the Suba, Luhais, West Qurna, and Rumaila projects. Additional projects added to the deal include second-phase construction of a pipeline running from southern to northern Iraq, and extensive drilling and gas projects. Work on these projects would commence upon cancellation of sanctions.

That last one is my favorite. Especially in light of all the "We're only going into Afghanistan for an oil pipeline!" shrieking. Maybe the opposition to war is "All about oiiiiiil!"

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
. . .
Yesss! Finally. It's so interesting to see the moves and counter moves in the game of intrusive advertising. I read somewhere that US companies lose billions of dollars in wasted productivity from people deleting spam. So I expect that the law will catch up with that in a few years. In the meanwhile blockers and filters and advertisers are locked in a duel. Don't you just shudder to think what'll come next?

posted by Rachel 3/14/2003
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