Through Thick and Thin July 17th
OK, I’ve been a bit remiss here lately, we’ll see if I can’t get back up to speed. I have all sorts of half written posts, but seeing as I have been gone for a bit, I’ll just be lazy today and go over a few headlines and see if I can’t flense a few interesting observations from the news.
Al Qaida likely to attack the USA. You think? Gee, there’s news. This warning comes from the same people who let Al Qaida fly four airliners past our defenses last time, so I suppose it’s a distinct possibility. Dozens, maybe hundreds will die. Of course hundreds of Americans die every day, many from entirely and easily preventable causes. In fact some fourteen million Americans have died since 911, so let’s try to keep things in perspective here. I predict that Al Qaida and it’s offshoots will continue to attack America as long as we have boots on the ground in the Middle East. That’s what they promise, it makes perfect sense, and it’s a damn shame that only one American politician has the balls to say so.
Britain Expels Four Russian Diplomats. Putin refuses to hand a suspect over to Britain in the mysterious case of the Russian dissenter who was murdered with radioactive polonium. The Russians have been baring their teeth all around lately, withdrawing from a major European arms treaty for example. Let’s see, the USA promised them we wouldn’t expand NATO eastward after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We lied, and have expanded NATO up to Russia’s borders. And we are deploying a modern first strike weapons system on their borders, I would feel threatened too. Yes, it’s a “missile defense” system against Iran. Snort. Being conveniently deployed on the Russian border where it would be crucial in shooting down the handful of Russian missiles that survive a US first strike. Nothing defensive about it, in fact it might even trigger a Russian first strike if they think a US attack is imminent. This has always been the biggest lie about missile “defense,” there’s nothing defensive about it, it’s the ultimate first strike weapon system. Feel safer yet?
There’s been a lot of problems in Pakistan with militants. Hard to say how bad it is, the hinterlands of Pakistan have never really been under government control for starters. Bush however in his infinite wisdom has a plan to make the situation far worse. He plans to distribute nearly a billion dollars of aid in the tribal regions of Pakistan to buy their loyalty and alienate the Taliban. We all know how well this plan worked in Somalia and Palestine, people taking the aid were seen as tools of the west and were swept from power, massively increasing the power of radical Islamists in both regions. So the only question is whether Bush and his advisers are trying to trigger an Islamist revolution in Pakistan, or have they simply learnt absolutely nothing from their failures to buy loyalty with cash elsewhere? I can’t think of another possibility. Aside from the old observation that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Lots of bad news on the pollution front, it’s even so bad that it’s seeping through to the news. Terrible news from China, and an “island” of plastic trash in the Pacific bigger than Texas. The environmental movement is under hard times. With a one two punch of cleaning up the worst visible pollution and marginalizing and ridiculing environmentalists in the media, and corporations can continue to destroy the world without anyone being the wiser. I plan to blog on this more in the future, but it’s so depressing I hardly ever have the strength. Intelligent educated people have been hoodwinked into thinking that there is something wrong with being concerned about the environment. The mind reels.
In the good news front, the DOW Jones index is hitting record highs. My stock market guy says that most stocks are actually owned by the corporations themselves, so this just means the rich are getting even richer. OK, so it’s not really good news after all, unless you were already very well off. I know, I can see the cloud behind every silver lining, that’s why I named the blog Doug’s Darkworld.
(The above image of plastic debris on Aldabra Atoll is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and in no way interferes with the distribution of the parent program, the Voyage of the Odyssey. Credit: Chris Johnson. Aldabra Atoll is one of the remotest islands in the Indian Ocean, plastic pollution is a serous world wide problem.)