Hartsongs <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mock Outrage 

Do as I say, not as I do.

We ask every nation to join us.
We will ask and we will need the help of police forces, intelligence service and banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded with sympathy and with support -- nations from Latin America to Asia to Africa to Europe to the Islamic world.
gwb 2001

I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America.
gwb January 2006
We are untangling the complex financing network that funds terrorist activity, finding the wealthy patrons of terrorism and freezing their assets. And in the effort, we have found great support in every part of world. Different nations will be helping out in different ways as we go along.
dick cheney 2001
"FinCEN is on the front lines every day, tracking down those who attempt to use the U.S. and global financial system to plot, fund, and perpetrate acts of terrorism around the world. By proposing to substantially increase FinCEN's resources, President Bush has reaffirmed the administration's commitment to aggressively fight terrorism on every front."
Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow.
The two major policy strategies utilized by the Administration in the terror finance area are: freezing the assets of terrorist financiers and using information about terrorist financiers to disrupt the terrorist networks themselves. As terrorists largely operate internationally, a key component of the fight is to build international cooperation.

E. Anthony Wayne
Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs July 2005

Friday, June 23, 2006

C'mon Take The Money And Run... 

Currently, even in the best neighbourhoods of Baghdad there is only twelve hours of electricity per day, and this only intermittently. Most areas of the city have between six and eight hours of power per 24 hours...

In addition to sabotage of gas and transmission lines in Iraq, as well a shortage of supplies, the reconstruction problems in Iraq have been underscored by the mass exodus of foreign contractors.

"Bechtel is responsible for the rehabilitation here," Omair explained. "The companies they subcontracted to, Siemens and Babcock, have pulled out their engineers. Without their presence, the Iraqi companies Al-Marjal and United Company, have been unable to do as much work."

Companies that were working on many of the electricity projects include U.S.-based Seimens-Westinghouse, Bechtel, and General Electric, along with two Russian companies, Tekhnopromexport and Inter Energo Servis (IES), according to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity.

Yet, according to Al-Haris, the acting electricity minister, many of these companies began departing Iraq prior to the invasion in March, 2003 -- well before the most recent round of exits caused by the deteriorating security situation under the U.S. occupation.

Most residents in Kabul unable to afford diesel generators and buy fuel have no more than five hours' power every other night. A one-kilowatt generator costs at least $80 and diesel fuel goes for about $4 per gallon. As winter temperatures plunge below zero, family members huddle around wood stores and fires trying to stay warm. Cold-related illnesses are rampant. The unlucky ones die from the cold. Sahib Jamal, 60, says two already died this winter. At night she warms her calloused, blackened hands and her eight children on a fire. During the day, her eight children scavenge in the streets of Kabul for empty soda cans -- 60 cans bring in 40 cents. She said, "that's enough to buy three pieces of bread." A street boy, Cho Cha, instead of going to school washes cars to support his family, observing, "Life hasn't changed...I earn more money now than I did under the Taliban, but things are more expensive."
Afghans are widely reported to being increasingly disenchanted with the U.S.-led reconstruction program. Projects languish unfinished, and project quality leaves much to be desired. For example the U.S.A.I.D. in 2004 budgeted to build or renovate 289 schools, but U.S. contractors built only eight and refurbished 77, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Likewise, the U.S.A.I.D. budgeted to build or rehabilitate 253 health clinics in Afghanistan; eight were built and none were rehabilitated. The GAO pointed to poor contractor performance (and security problems, inconsistent financing, staff shortages, lack of oversight). Other reports echo the concern over the poor quality of work undertaken. For example, in a village close to the U.S. occupation forces' main base at Bagram, a mud-brick school built in 2003 compliments of American taxpayers is now in utter disrepair -- its walls crumbling and its roof pitted by termites chewing into untreated wooden beams. Moreover, the project costs of official U.S.-sponsored projects are often much higher than by a private NGO. For example, CARE International built 40 schools in 2004, which in most cases cost $10,000 - $20,000 less than U.S-sponsored projects.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

These Senators Want People Living In Poverty. I Challenge them 

to live on only minimum wage ($5.15/hour @ no more that 40 hours/week, minus taxes) for one year. No savings or other assets may be used. The remainder of their salaries must be donated to charity or placed back into the budget to fund education or social services.

NAYs ---51
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Not Voting - 2
Corzine (D-NJ)
Inouye (D-HI)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"We are laying the foundations of peace 

for generations to come." gwb speaking to the troops in Iraq

Caution: very graphic

Ran across an old poem... 

I have come far to celebrate
the coming of the year,
And I'm far from the family
who is yet near and dear.

I have wandered the countryside
searching for my home--
Wondering if I'll find it,
when I feel alone.

Perhaps there is a tomorrow
that brings a little wealth,
Easing up the burden
all too often felt

By lack of means for extras
beyond the daily dues;
Wonder what it's like
to buy clothes that are not used?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Urban Transport 

Man, can they play!

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

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com Blogroll Me!
Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign
Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign!

sheet music online logo