Tags: George W Bush
“Wall Street got drunk” said president Bush. I am not sure about that. Just watch the footage and try to figure out yourself who was drunk.
Tags: boris yeltsin, George W Bush
Two presidents, two dances: Boris Yeltsin and George W Bush:
Tags: apec, George W Bush
I think we should give George W Bush a break. It is not such a big deal if he makes a mistake of just one sign. APEC or OPEC, who cares! The man is the president of
UFO USA which, as we know, stands for the Confederated United States of Africa America. How is he supposed to remember the difference between Asia Pacific and Oil Producers?
Tags: George W Bush
Just for a moment I almost bought this. Which says more about George W Bush than about me.
Tags: George W Bush, science
The USSR used to be criticized for ignoring scientific results which did not fit in to their political goals. The same dogmatic approach to science is being demonstrated by the present US administration. Featuring the well known connection between poverty and bad health is not “kosher” to the US government.
The Washington Post reports:
A surgeon general’s report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration’s policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.
The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged the U.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of its foreign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditions in the countries where they operate. A copy of the report was obtained by The Washington Post.
Fortunately, though the scientific analphabet has less than 18 months to serve.
Tags: CIA, George W Bush
I read in the Washington Post that US president George W Bush has signed an executive order saying that the CIA shall respect international law when interrogating so called terrorist suspects:
In an executive order lacking any details about actual interrogation techniques, Bush said the CIA program will now comply with a Geneva Conventions prohibition against “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”
That was something unforeseen. In fact, I happen to think that all governments and parliaments in the World should follow suit. Why not pass a legislation making it illegal to break the law?
Tags: CIA, George W Bush, Michael Hayden
It is not much of a surprise that Iraq is in a chaos and the Iraqi government is incapable of governing the country. Neither is it a surprise that this is not likely to change. But I am somewhat surprised to learn that CIA Director Michael V. Hayden says so, albeit behind closed doors, addressing members of a by-partisan Iraq study group in the White House. Incidentally, he said so just after his boss, President George W. Bush had said the contrary, praising the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and saying that “a constitutional order is emerging”.
The Washington Post quotes Hayden as saying:
“the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible,” adding that he could not “point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around,”
“The government is unable to govern,” Hayden concluded. “We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function.”
Much of the World knows this, of course. Saddam was one of the worse tyrants in the human history but there was one thing you could take for granted during his regime: it was stable. His cruel and evil rule was the only thing keeping the country in one piece, though. It could not have been governed without that tyranny, to be honest, as little as it can be governed now.
It is positive per se that Michael V. Hayden acknowledged this irreversible instability, be it in a closed briefing. However, he did not deliver an answer to the obvious question: what should be done with a country which can not be governed as one country?
Tags: Dick Cheney, George W Bush, I. Lewis Libby
When you are found guilty of a crime by a court of law you take whatever penalty the court will hand you. Unless, of course, you are a friend of the president. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was working for Vice President Dick Cheney when he did what he was sentenced to jail for, so it is safe to assume that he is somewhat of a friend of President Bush.
Now, the president has commuted the jail sentence. He did that without consulting the US Justice Department, as the Washington Post reports. Neither did the president seek nor accept any advise from his friends:
“We were all told to stay away from it,” said an old Bush friend from Texas who is close to Libby and would not speak for attribution. “When we called over there, they said the president is well aware of the situation, so don’t raise it. None of us lobbied him because they told us not to.”
The Post quotes Bush spokesman Tony Fratto as saying:
“Executive clemency is the president’s exclusive power under the Constitution, and there are precedents for exercising that power without going through the pardon attorney process,”
Absolutely right. It is the president’s constitutional privilege to go about a clemency as he sees fit. George W. Bush did nothing wrong, legally speaking. No question about it. It was his call to make.
The big question is, of course, if it was morally right to let Libby off the hook. It certainly does not look so in my eyes. Friends of the president do not deserve to be treated differently from other people breaking the law just because they are his friends. While the president’s decision was all legal, it contradicts against this blog’s understanding of justice.
The Washington Post also quotes anonymously a “senior administration official”:
This source, who demanded anonymity to talk freely about the president’s thinking, said there is “comfort” at the White House that the decision will not hurt him politically despite the Democratic outcry.
Obviously not. The man is a lame duck anyway. He can do what ever he wants to. He is not going to loose votes for whatever he does.
Tags: George W Bush
Now, this blog is not a question and answer column but sometimes you can’t help at least trying to provide an answer to a direct question. Every web site gets its share of visitors from Google search arguments that the site does not cover as such. A moment ago somebody entered this blog googling for:
You ask, I answer: I have no idea, dear.
Tags: australia, George W Bush, qantas
I would not wear the above T-shirt. Not because I would feel sorry for George W Bush but because I do not like T-shirts. The shirt is certainly not polite and whether or not it exeeds the limits of good taste is debatable.
While I would not wear that T-shirt, I would not be offended if I saw somebody else wear it in public. I would find that anybody who wants to wear a shirt like that is whithin their right to express an opinion through a satirical expression. And let us face it, George W Bush has not exactly made a big effort to unjustify that sort of criticism.
Alan Jasson is a 55 year old Australian living in London. He feels strong enough about Bush to refuse to fly home from Melbourne wearing anything other than this particular T-shirt. The Australian air line carrier Qantas would be happy to fly him home wearing anything but that shirt.
Mr. Jasson is quoting his right to an opinion and free speech. He is considering to take legal action against Qantas. In a worse case scenario, he is prepared to loose the 2500 $ air ticket and his residence status in Britain which might happen if he stays out of the country for two consecutive months.
Qantas does not see the shirt as a freedom of speech issue but rather as a security matter or a matter of offending somebody, apparently other passangers. Melbourne Indymedia quotes a Qantas spokesman as saying:
Whether made verbally or on a T-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft will not be tolerated.
Threaten the security? Are they suggesting that a “potentially offended” fellow passenger could assault Mr. Jasson? I wonder who should be regarded as a security risk in such case. Surely not Mr. Jasson, as long as he was doing nothing else than wearing the disputed T-shirt.
And what exactly do Qantas mean with verbal comments? Are members of their cabin crew instructed to ease dropping passengers’ conversations to detect and report back verbal comments “with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft”, as it were? And where would they draw the line in such case?
Would muslim women potentially offend other passengers by wearing a scarf to cover their face? How about christians visibly wearing the crucifix? And while we are talking about T-shirts, what would a Qantas crew do if somebody took off their jacket during a flight and a T-shirt similar to that of Mr. Jasson’s would appear? Would they make an emergency landing to remove the passenger?
I always thought it would be nice to visit Australia just once in my life. I am not so sure any longer that I want to do that. At least I would not want to fly to Australia. This does not seem to be the policy of Qantas alone: Mr. Jasson had the same problem with Virgin Blue as he was flying from Melbourne to Adelaide earlier.
While I would not wear that T-shirt and I am not saying that wearing it is an act of good taste, I agree that this issue has gone beyond the point where Alan Jasson could possibly wear anything else on that flight and it should specifically be a Qantas flight. I hope he gets on board and I hope Qantas do not need a court order to allow him on board. Then again, appealing to their common sense could turn out to be too optimistic.
Tags: e-voting, George W Bush
President George W Bush in Tallinn yesterday, addressing the Estonian prime minister Andrus Ansip:
It’s an amazing country you have here. They’ve got an e-government system that should be the envy of a lot of nations.
Now, that sounds a bit funny, coming expressly from his mouth. I take it that the president is aware that Estonian voters were able to cast their vote through the Internet in the municipal election of 2005 without a single serious complaint against legitimacy of the e-vote. I take it he knows that e-voting is going to be an option in the parliamentary election in March 2007.
So it is sort of funny that the e-government is being praised by a president who was elected back in 2000 under such a controversy regarding the voting system.
The president went on to say:
You’re doing a fine job, Mr. Prime Minister. Proud of you.
I just wonder if Mr. Ansip was proud of George W Bush being proud of him.
Tags: George W Bush
This lengthy (8 minutes and 4 seconds) video is worth watching for anybody planning to visit the Estonian capital Tallinn. It explains in detail what sort of behaviour is advisable in town and especially what you should not be doing. Although it is primarily meant for British tourists, the advice is suggestable for everybody else.
Oh, did I mention that Air Force One with George W Bush and Mrs. Bush onboard is expected to land on Tallinn International Airport within an hour? The president will stay in town till tomorrow. All of the Radisson SAS Hotel is reserved for president Bush and his staff.
Tags: George W Bush
Kristjan has posted what he calls a post modern poem about George Bush. It consists of quite a lot of statements about George Bush.
Just to add my two euro cents, in addition to everything Kristjan says, George Bush is the father of George Bush. George Bush is also the son of George Bush. Now that we have established the father and the son, would somebody please tell us who the hell is the holy ghost of George Bush?
Tags: George W Bush, saddam, Tony Blair
Reading the New York Times tonight (Iraqi Realities Undermine the Pentagons Predictions) reminds me of a letter I wrote for three years ago (July 2003) to my friend Crissy in Kansas. She is a life long republican (but we get along) and as far as I know, she voted for George W Bush both times (but we still get along). With Crissy’s consent, I published our correspondence in my old site.
If you read the letter, please bare in mind what date it was written on. Saddam was still at large and very few people had any knowledge of his whereabouts. I think not many people even knew for sure if he was dead or alive.
What strikes me most, is how little of that letter I would change if I were to write it now when I know things that I did not know then. A couple of points, however, where I admit to have mistaken:
It now seems that the intellegence before the war was inaccurate, to put it politely. There are those who claim that both the British Parliament and US Congress were directly misled. That may be to go a little bit too far, I do not know.
We now know that this was a too optimistic view on transparency within US and UK governments. Not only were the US Congress and the British Parliament misled but they were outright lied to.
In the next paragraph I wrote:
…I would be more than a little bit worried to know that Bush and Blair run their countries knowing as little as I do about the present situation in Iraq!
As it turns out, they do not seem to know much more than I do. And that really makes me worried. Yo Blair!
Other than those two points, I would not change much in the letter today. Except that the analogue TV transmissions are to be discontinued in Finland in 2007 (not 2006) and I practically do not watch TV at all.
Please note that if you want to comment the letter, do not use the e-mail form in my old site. It will not work and I am going to remove the form from my old pages when I get the chance. Any comments are welcome here in the blog.
Tags: George W Bush, joseph lieberman, ned lamont
Early returns from the Democratic primary in Connecticut show a clear lead of Ned Lamont over top ranking senator Joe Lieberman. It is all about the war in Iraq. This very much looks like a referendum on the war.
Andrew Donaldson wrote on Sunday that the Joseph Lieberman who is about to get voted out of the Democratic ticket is not the same Joseph Lieberman who supported Robert Kennedy against Lyndon Johnson because of Vietnam. Andrew points out that the Lieberman of 1968 would have voted for Lamont in 2006. Maybe he would, but that Joe Lieberman is not running for US senate 2006.
It very much looks like neither the Lieberman of 1968 nor the Lieberman of 2006 is going to run. At least not as a democrat. And it looks very much like anybody who wants to run for office as a democrat would be wise to observe the result of this referendum.
As I wrote last Saturday, there are no easy and obvious solutions to the war in Iraq. Having said that, any solution is less likely to be reached as long as the republicans are in charge. The bottom line is that no solution can be reached before George W Bush ends his term in January 2009 but a change in the legislative branch could be a first step.