TortureThe current big news (aside from a an extension for the operating budget of course) is the recent release of the Senate’s report regarding the ‘enhanced’ methods used after 9/11 to gather information.  In another word, and I said it at that time, it is a report on the US government and specifically the CIA using torture. Continue reading “Torture”

Glen Beck, Iraq, & Liberals

Iraq War MapTry as I might to keep out of politics, this one was just too much for me to resist.  Glenn Beck, on his syndicated radio show, said something to the effect today of, “The liberals were right a few years ago, we should have stayed out of Iraq.”  He went on to implore the powers that be of the current government, as broken as the process seems to be, to come together on at least the one issue of not getting involved in Iraq with this current set of dust-ups that has Iraq once again on the verge of an all out civil war. Continue reading “Glen Beck, Iraq, & Liberals”

United States & Democracy

Coat of Arms of EgyptAnyone not heard about what is going on with Egypt right now? A short recap, there are some major protests going on against the current government that is in power there. The person largely in power there at the current time is a fellow by the name of Hosni Mubarak and though there have been some shame elections, he is largely a dictator who has been in charge for about thirty years. The primary aim the loosely organized, largely peaceful protests? The ousting of Mubarak and the corrupt government and policies that are currently holding on to Egypt despite itself. Of course, what does this have to do with the United States and democracy I am sure a few of you are wondering?

First, Mubarak has to a large extent maintained his position through support the of the US government. This support has taken on a couple of forms. That includes arms deals that allow Egypt to be supplied with fairly decent US manufactures arms. It also includes a huge subsidy that has probably been largely responsible for keeping Egypt’s economy moving at several points in the last thirty years. And of course a big hands off policy because of their recognition and peaceful outlook toward Israel.

Continue reading “United States & Democracy”

Tobacco, Jamestown, & Pilgrims – Truth

Pocahontas  & RolfeEveryone knows that the religious group known as the Pilgrims that settled the area known as Plymouth were the first permanent settlement right? We all know that such puritans would not ever dream of starting a fight with Native Americans right? And just what was that motivated so many English and other European Nationals to take the risky two month sea voyage to the colonies? Especially considering that early colonists had an average survival rate well below twenty-five percent. Tobacco was something that the Native Americans taught the settlers how to raise, correct? Here are a few facts of the matter that are often confused, some of it through what we are taught in grade school and other of it just perpetual mis-information that is handed down over and over, despite being largely in correct.

Continue reading “Tobacco, Jamestown, & Pilgrims – Truth”

Vive la France!

My hats off to France! Long live the revolution! Okay, so I don’t even know what number of revolution we are on and I am most times more fond of the history of France in the 1st half of the Hundred Years War, when prior to Joan they were getting their butts kicked by the English armies under Edward, Edward of Woodstock, and Henry. Beyond that I admit a fondness for the romantic imagery and notions, and of course from military history one has to appreciate the years under Bonaparte. The modern France though, well suffice it to say I generally disagree with the leadership there at almost every turn.

However, this week France has surprised, much as Bush did this week too. You see, France was set to pass rules allowing a compromise on the importation, planting and usage of genetically modified corn. The compromise was supposed to be something along the lines of it would be allowed as long as any field having it was clearly marked and so many 100’s of meters away from any open pollinated varieties of corn. It was all but a done deal apparently, just requiring the stamp of approval a vote, if I understood things correctly.

In recent history though, France has been more than a little conservative toward the allowed usage of genetically modified seed of any sort. If I am correct, the only usage allowed is in scientific usage in very controlled environments.

Long story short, but the voted, despite the outcome being anticipated as a passage of and allowance of GM seed in the future under the strict regulations, ended in a tie. Which means it did NOT get enough support to pass. Which of course means that in this one case France can be held up as a bastion of what should be, compared to the United States where just about anything is allowed, including apparently based on testing, including plots close enough to allow cross pollination to have occurred.