Monday, September 13, 2004

God, Guns & Gays!

I once heard a liberal say that Republicans were all about "God, Guns & Gays!" I laughed at the time, but it unfortunately is truer than ever. Not to say that I support gay marriages because I don't - but I hate the way the Administration is using this issue to exploit people's values when it has no intention or political clout to ban gay marriages or change the Constitution. However, today our dear President allowed the ten year ban on the sale of assault weapons to expire: the assault weapons ban prohibits, by name, the sale of 19 kinds of semiautomatic weapons that have the features of guns used by the military, and also outlaws magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition (NY Times). Although Bush has paid lip service that he supports the ban, he has done nothing to stop the law from expiring - as you can imagine, his friends at the National Rifle Association are very pleased. The supporters of the lobby group argue that it is "People, not guns that kill people." I'm sorry but I don't agree. People may not succeed in killing people if weapons were not so accessible. My 19-yr-old brother helps sell them at the retail store he works at!! Kerry has criticized the President saying, "George Bush chose to make the job of terrorists easier and make the job of America's police officers harder, and that's just plain wrong." This reminds of me Michael Moore's movie, Bowling for Columbine and his argument that compared to other Western Countries, the United States tends to be very violent. I respect the Bill of Rights, but I doubt the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment to allow the liberal use of guns as it is today. Just as they didn't mean to protect pornography under the First Amendment!

A Newsweek article indicated that about 40% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was connected with the 9/11 attacks. With such ignorance widespread amongst Americans, it is not surprising that most of them still don’t feel like they know the presidential candidates & their issues. The reason? Most of them depend on network TV that don't provide them more than sound bytes & campaign das don't do the job! Check this
article on the Christian Science Monitor (CSM).

Wondering why Florida & the other islands have been hit by so many hurricanes this year? Here's a great
environmental report from the (CSM). "Hurricane Ivan (155 m/hr), has devastated Grenada and Jamaica. According to Red Cross estimates, 60,000 people on Grenada are homeless and 34 people have died. On Jamaica, where an estimated 500,000 people ignored warnings to evacuate, at least 11 were killed. Interestingly "while hurricane activity is more or less readjusting to its long-term averages after a period of relative quiet, more people are placing themselves, their houses, yachts, and office high-rises in storm paths when they move to hurricane-prone states and their geologically fragile shorelines. In 1926, a hurricane struck Florida that - if it were to happen today - would cause $100 billion in damage, notes Roger Pielke Jr., with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder."

Juan Cole has this scary analysis of how Bush's post 11 policies have helped Bin Laden's Vision Becoming Reality. As for Iraq, there has been violent clashes especially in Fallujah: At Least 80 Civilians Die in Iraqi Violence; U.S. Helicopter Fires On Crowd in Baghdad according to this Washington Post article. And if things couldn't go worse, Chalabi (yes, the same Bush Admin darling) is promoting Iraqi-Israeli relations. Many elements in Iraq are interested in diplomatic ties with Israel, according to Mithal al-Alousi, an aide to Ahmed Chalabiand a member of Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress Party. I don't know if I believe that! Most of them probably associate their situation with the Palestinians...