Saturday, August 26, 2006

Random News & Views Roundup

- Although Venus and Mars are alright tonite, Pluto's been turfed and Neptune may be next. I'm pretty sure this is a sign of the apocalypse...or something.

- The world is abuzz with the news that Iran has announced that it will continue with its plans for a heavy-water reactor with plutonium being one of the by products which is years away from becoming a reality. That, of course, won't deter Bushco from concluding that an iminent military strike is necessary. Will that be the October surprise?

- It sucks to be Bush:

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine, Aug. 26 -- At every wedding, it seems, something happens not according to plan. Expect the unexpected, planners warn. But how many brides and grooms expect a peace protest?

That is what happens when the president shows up for the ceremony in the midst of a polarizing war. About 700 demonstrators marched past the seaside church where President Bush's second cousin was to be married Saturday and then up to the checkpoint guarding the family summer compound to protest the war in Iraq.

The protesters left a few hours before the service so as not to disrupt the event itself, but they took advantage of the president's visit to make their point and showcase their opposition to a war that polls show has lost most of the public's support. Just as Bush found himself trailed to Texas by war opponents last year, now he has been dogged to his parents' getaway on the rocky shores of the Maine coast.
The protesters carried handmade signs with slogans such as "Stop Killing Our Children," "Bring Them Home Now," "We Have Nothing to Fear But Bush Himself," and "Liar, Liar, World's on Fire." In a school field where the group rallied after the march, speakers called for Bush's impeachment and sang specially written songs such as "Where is the Rage?"

Yay, protesters! Oh, and Barbara Bush wore a purple pantsuit to the wedding, in case you were interested.

- An IDF commander lobs some major criticism about the lack of preparedness of Israel's reservists in the Lebanon war:

More than 50 reserve soldiers, mostly married with families and businesses, died in the war. Last week reservists protested outside the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem as anger continued to grow over operational failures.

Some have accused the government and senior military of sending their comrades to unnecessary deaths. Amnon's admissions are particularly controversial as they have serious implications for some senior officers when pressure is growing on the government to conduct a state inquiry. The Israeli government is so worried about the political fallout that its Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, has banned senior military officers from speaking to the media.

Reserve soldiers make up 70 per cent of the Israeli army and, unlike the rest of the army, they are free to speak out. Many have echoed Amnon's concerns.

One, protesting in Jerusalem last week, said: 'Reservists got bad treatment, bad equipment and bad decisions.'

The protests outside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office have been growing daily, with some reservists bringing their families with them. As men, women and children waved protest banners, and chanted 'Olmert resign', Israelis arrived to sign petitions backing calls for the resignations. The war was supported by the majority of Israelis - but many are deeply dismayed by its conduct and outcome.

Olmert has defended his government and military, but is expected to announce some level of inquiry, having initially rejected calls for one.

Sound familiar? See above: Bush, wedding, protests.

And these are the two leaders who think it's a good idea to start a war with Iran?

Update: The Canadian Conservative party has been doing some photoshopping of a pic of Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy to highlight some beer bottles in the photo. Subliminal message, anyone?

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