Web www.theriverman.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Last Iraq Prediction

Alright, this is my last shot at calling the war on Iraq. I see it coming in the first week in March. This fits in with the new moon and the plans for 2 more weeks of "intense" something or other. So...there ya go.


Thursday, February 13, 2003

N. Korea prepared for missile engine test in Jan.

Oh yes, this will be helpful to the situation.

IDF confirms anti-aircraft reservists called for pre-war training

Well, Israel is getting ready for war. I can only hope that they are not attacked, and if they are, that they do not retaliate. Because if they do...you know what will happen.

"IDF Spokeswoman confirmed Thursday night that call-up notices are being sent out to hundreds of Israeli reservists in anti-aircraft units in preparation for an imminent US-led attack on Iraq. However, Brigadier-General Ruth Yaron said, only a small number of reservists have received call-ups. The spokeswoman confirmed that they were reservists in anti-aircraft missile units, and that they are to be trained in the use of interceptor rockets. The troops called up belong to crews that operate the Patriot interceptor and Hawk missiles, which Israel would use to prevent an Iraqi missile attack.

Speaking to Channel One News Thursday evening, Yaron said call-ups were issued following intelligence suggesting the attack on Iraq could take place "in the next few weeks." Asked, then, whether Israelis should begin preparing for the war on their own (i.e. buy the supplies suggested by the government against chemical and biological warfare), Yaron said it was not yet the time. Announcement will be made when it is, she added.

In the 1991 Gulf War, 39 Scud missiles were fired at Israel. Most of them struck the Tel Aviv area. "

Russia can use Iran's uranium deposits for Bushehr project:

I don't even know what to say about this.Russia helping Iran to mine uranium. A nuclear Iran, is this really necessary?

Three good stories from the BBC
Iraqi missile find raises tensions

Man held in Gatwick grenade alert

Enron 'bribed tax officials'

Mugabe hires China to farm seized land

Now there's a match made in hell. Two of the great human rights violators of our time joining together in a farming project. They murdered the European farmers to bring in Chinese farmers. Sure, makes sense to me.......

Schröder: "The chief duty of international politics is to prevent war"

Hmm...interesting take on the subject. I suppose, though, given Germany's history, one can understand her aversion to war. Personally, I've never thought about the actual point of "international politics". I can't completely disagree.


Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Rocket Launchers Put up in D.C.

Yep, you read correctly. Read the full story here.


Saturday, February 08, 2003

Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act

As if the first strike wasn't bad enough, they bring this out. Read the .pdf linked from the article for the full text of the proposition. I remember when I used to respect John Ashcroft........


Thursday, February 06, 2003

Bush's dirty little budget secret: $10 in new spending
for every dollar in tax cuts

WASHINGTON, DC -- If you think President Bush's tax cuts will save you
money, guess again, Libertarians say, because the long-term spending
increases in his new budget outnumber tax cuts by a ratio of 10 to 1.

"Showing gratitude for Bush's tax cuts is like thanking a pickpocket
for returning $10 of the $100 he just stole," said Libertarian Party
Chair Geoffrey Neale. "This budget proves that Bush and his Republican
colleagues are nothing more than political pickpockets – and that the
American people are their unwitting victims."

Bush presented Congress on Monday with a $2.23 trillion budget for
fiscal 2004 that boosts federal spending by 4.2 percent overall while
setting a record deficit and providing targeted tax cuts.

But Libertarians are warning Americans not to be distracted by Bush's
tiny tax cuts – because they will be dwarfed by a massive increase in
government spending over the next several years.

According to a budget analysis by the Cato Institute, Bush plans to
increase federal outlays by $89 billion in 2004, $114 billion in 2005,
and more than $100 billion in succeeding years, Neale noted.

"The bottom line is that federal spending would be $571 billion per
year higher in 2008 than in 2003," he said. "By that point, Bush's tax
cuts would be reducing federal revenue by just $50 billion annually –
meaning long-term spending increases outnumber tax cuts 10 to 1.

"In plain English, something that is 'cut' is supposed to get smaller.
But in Republicanese, 'tax cut' really means 'spending increase.'
While some Americans will indeed get a small tax reduction now, they're
going to pay for Bush's big-government agenda tomorrow, either through
future tax hikes, more government borrowing, or both."

In fact, Bush's spending plans are so extravagant that he makes former
President Bill Clinton look frugal by comparison, Neale noted.

"Clinton's 2000 budget called for spending $335 billion in fiscal 2004
on non-defense discretionary programs (excluding "entitlement"
programs such as Medicare and Social Security)," he said. "But Bush is
now calling for nearly $100 billion more than that: $429 billion."

The comparison gets even more stark when Bush's first three years in
office are compared to Clinton's first three years, Neale pointed out.

"According to the Cato study, Bush has already expanded such domestic
programs more than twice as much as Clinton did: 18 percent vs. 8.2
percent," he said. "It seems there really is a difference between
Democrats and Republicans: Democrats brag about their big-government
instincts, while Republicans lie about theirs."

But the budget trickery doesn't end with tax-cut shenanigans,
Libertarians note.

"Remember how the president promised to 'save money' by consolidating
dozens of federal agencies into one new, streamlined Department of
Homeland Security?" Neale asked. "Bush's new budget provides a
whopping $36.2 billion for the new bureaucracy, which is 7 percent more
than had been spent on the agencies that were combined to create it."

Unfortunately for taxpayers, that's not all.

"Bush's projected budget deficit excludes hundreds of billions of
dollars in unfunded liabilities, such as Social Security payments," he
said. "The military budget is scheduled to grow by $15.3 billion – but
mysteriously excludes money for the impending war on Iraq. And Bush's
'solution' to runaway Medicare spending involves squandering another
$400 billion on it."

Maybe it's time for the American people to deliver their own budget
message, Neale suggested: "Mr. President, please stop saving us so
much money. We just can't afford it."

Justice Department's actions in Martha Stewart case
reveal double standard, Libertarians say

WASHINGTON, DC – Reports that federal investigators may file criminal
charges against celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart raise a troubling
question, Libertarians say: Why aren't Dick Cheney and Terry McAuliffe
facing criminal charges as well?

After all, both the vice president and the head of the Democratic
National Committee have been accused of selling millions of dollars in
stock before its value plummeted and ordinary investors lost their life

"Is there one standard of justice for television celebrities and
another for political celebrities?" asked Geoffrey Neale, national
chair of the Libertarian Party. "It's fair to ask whether Cheney and
McAuliffe have been given political immunity by their friends in the
federal government."

Sources inside the Justice Department confided to reporters on Thursday
that they have "a solid criminal case against Martha Stewart," who is
accused of insider trading and obstruction of justice after dumping
4,000 shares of ImClone stock last year. Stewart's action came one day
before the Food and Drug Administration rejected the firm's cancer drug
– an action that caused the company's stock to plummet.

But the investigation of Stewart has created a troubling double
standard, Libertarians point out, because politicians such as Cheney
and McAuliffe have gotten rich doing the exact same thing.

* Cheney, former CEO of Halliburton Co., made $18.5 million in August
2000 when he sold his shares of company stock for $52 each. Shortly
thereafter, the stock plunged to $13, and many ordinary investors lost
their life savings. But instead of being referred to federal
prosecutors, Cheney's case was quietly referred to the Securities and
Exchange Commission, where it has languished for months.

* McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee and
former chief fund-raiser for President Bill Clinton, reaped an $18
million profit in 1999 on an investment of $100,000 in
telecommunications company Global Crossing. Though the company has
since gone bankrupt and many investors are holding worthless stock,
McAuliffe has escaped a criminal inquiry.

"Why isn't Martha Stewart's case sitting on a shelf right next to
Cheney's over at the Securities and Exchange Commission?" Neale asked.
"And why aren't federal prosecutors threatening to slap handcuffs on
Cheney and McAuliffe?

"The answer is obvious: The Justice Department has a habit of engaging
in selective prosecution – and if you're a powerful federal official
you're probably not going to be selected.

"But if you're an ordinary American – or a TV celebrity who can be
exploited to benefit someone's career – you'd better abide by the law
or risk having your life turned upside-down by zealous federal

Neale emphasized that Libertarians don't know whether the specific
accusations against Stewart, Cheney or McAuliffe are true – only that
their cases are being handled very differently by government

The result, he said, is that "many people will wonder if justice is a
game in America – in which certain individuals can lose their freedom
and others always seem to win a get-out-of-jail free card."


Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Bills, Bills, Bills

I encourage all of you to use the THOMAS Search Engine on the US
Congress's Home Page to find and read the following bills:

The USA PATRIOT Act - H.R.2975 RH ( I couldn't find the Enrolled version)

The "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001"- HR 1 ENR

Homeland Security Act of 2002 - HR 5005 ENR

Post-Post-Modern Ethics

The human need for an ethical or moral standard is apparent in everything one sees in life. Especially now in these terribly “amoral” times we live in. The questions I would like to raise are, to what do we owe this need, and is it possible for this need to be overcome. By overcome, I do not necessarily mean through discipline or some such self motivated effort. On the contrary, I would suggest that it can be bred out of the species, and moreover, that similar social evolutions are currently taking place. But from whence has this come? That is the more intriguing question. At what point in human development did we find need for a system of right and wrong? For the sake of this writing, I will be dismissing any Adam-and-Eve notions of divine guidance. If that is the reality of it all, these questions are fruitless. And if so, so be it. But given god’s lack of hopping forward to help his dwindling creation, that idea can be very nearly put to rest.

First, let us examine the social systems near the development of the first ethicist: small tribes, hunter-gatherers just learning the magic of agriculture. The development of social systems themselves is an incredible topic as well, but we will not delve into it here. We are assuming now that the people are just entering what could be called a pre-moral social organization. Now, somewhere between there and Caesar, humanity developed ethics. We must consider a few options here:

1. A moral system developed on its own out of an innate human need for guidance.
2. A few people in power wanted to stop the crime of the day.
3. We are, and have always been ethical creatures.

I believe the 3rd option may be taken off the table for its sheer absurdity. To this day and throughout history, one can see that people are not basically good and must have a structure of good forced, or at least gently nudged, onto them. The proposition that a system of ethics developed itself is intriguing. However, such a complex system is highly unlikely to completely develop itself. One might argue that civilization, in its basest form, developed on its on. However, upon viewing the evidence we have concerning the development of civilizations, it becomes obvious that such early gatherings of people arose out of a common need. Be it food, protection, or simply companionship, there was a need to be filled. I propose that ethical systems developed for the same reason. A need had to be met. That need, was control. The people in power at the time must have been having a difficult time controlling the growing numbers of people in their tribes. You can see today how hard it is to get someone to do something just because you tell them to. Threats work, but they can damage one’s image and create a mutinous atmosphere. How much easier it is to get someone to do something because they should? Because it is the right thing to do? This was the beginning of ethics, as we know them today. Specifically, Judeo-Christian ethics. The Hebrew people were nomadic and fractured, the development of their ethics brought them together and holds them together until this very day. I cannot fault the designers of this plan; they have accomplished more than they could have dreamed. I do not wish to besmirch them, only to expose them. The issue I leave to you, however, is this: Do humans now crave simply morals, or to be controlled?

Now, to my second question, can (or should) such a need be bred out of our species. As I have stated, I believe it can. Also, I think that a process much like that has already begun. I believe what the right-wing sees as the fall of morality, is not quite that. It is simply a mutation of morality. Morality is not being erased. The need for it screams forth from nearly every person on TV, regardless of the degree of each’s atheism or agnosticism. The experiment is not one to attempt to erase the need, but to exploit it, to corrupt it even further. Is it not nobler, then, to retreat from the force? To attempt to circumvent the control? One must realize that a single system, no matter how well planned or implemented, cannot function well in ANY given scenario. It is each persons right, dare I say responsibility, to accept only that which commonsense can allow. For many, this may be a well-established system of political or religious beliefs. And who am I to question a man’s judgment? But there are people who do not respond to random and arbitrary stimuli, be it positive or negative, people whose lives do not mesh with a given system. These must reconcile in themselves a plan, a system to disembark the need and accept what they are, a judge with no law.

United Nations Security Council Resolutions Currently Being Violated by Countries Other than Iraq

We must invade Iraq. Look at them, they're violating security council resolutions. We have to attack anyone who is....wait....what...oh...ok....nevermind. Ummm................ATTACK!!!!!!!


Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Music YOU Should Be Listening To

(in no particular order)

Jim White

The Streets

Elliot Smith




Swearing at Motorists

Tom Waits

Uncle Tupelo

More Fire Crew



Badly Drawn Boy

Nick Drake



Saturday, February 01, 2003

Ok, another mistake

Yep, you're right. I missed the date on the Iraq thing. But the date made sense, and I was hoping for a new news story. Oh well. That's how it goes. You get some right, and some you don't. But trust me, it will come. And when it does it will be long and dirty. Other countries will become involved. Countries which we are trying to keep out of this. This whole matter just seems bad....very bad.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Is my Blog HOT or NOT?