Saturday 16th of November 2019

heads you lose, tails we win .....

‘In theory, in a society that enjoys the "rule of
law," the government is supposed to be subject to the same laws that are
applied to ordinary citizens. In reality, things are quite different. For as
long as human beings have ruled other human beings by force, those who control
governments have used their power to minimize responsibility for their own
incompetence and malice, while maximizing penalties for everyone else. 

In common law countries, this habit of governments not
playing fair is cloaked in the important-sounding phrase "sovereign
immunity" under which governments can only be prosecuted for crimes with
their own consent. In other places, it has other names, but the outcome is
always the same – a government can declare itself immune from legal penalty for
offenses for which a mere private citizen or organization could face serious
penalties indeed.’ 

the UK's creeping authoritarianism .....

‘The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is hardly an
aerodynamic title; it doesn't fly from the lips. People have difficulty
remembering the order of the words and what exactly will be the effect of this
apparently dull piece of lawmaking. 

But in the dusty cradle of
Committee A, a monster has been stirring and will, in due course, take flight
to join the other measures in the government's attack on parliamentary
democracy and the rights of the people. The 'reform' in the title allows
ministers to make laws without the scrutiny of parliament and, in some cases,
to delegate that power to unelected officials. In every word, dot and comma, it
bears the imprint of New Labour's authoritarian paternity. 

but will he remember anything .....

woolwheat

From the ABC ....

we don't do torture .....

 

‘While the publication of the
first Abu Ghraib photos in April 2004 opened the floodgates for former Iraqi
detainees to speak out about their treatment at the hands of occupation forces,
this wasn't the first I'd heard of torture in Iraq. A case I'd documented even
before then was that of 57 year-old Sadiq Zoman

He was held for one month by U.S.
forces before being dropped off in a coma at the general hospital in Tikrit.
The medical report that came with his comatose body, written by U.S. Army medic
Lt. Col. Michael Hodges, listed the reasons for Zoman's state as heat stroke
and heart attack. 

business as usual: changing labels for some .....

from the ABC

Australia's wheat exporter AWB has
some rare good news today after sealing deals overnight to sell 1.4 million
tonnes of wheat to four countries.
AWB is not disclosing the value of the
contracts, which include a 500,000 tonne sale to India and smaller purchases by
Iran, Kuwait and Yemen.
It says these are new markets for Australian wheat
and denies the troubles facing the company have been used to bargain down the
price.
Iraq is now refusing to deal with AWB because of allegations the wheat
exporter paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein and last week was locked out of a
350,000 tonne sale to Iraq.
Despite fears it faced a further backlash, AWB
International's Ian Donges says the new sales show it is business as usual for
the company.
"There's no doubt today's announcement is a very positive story
for the sales program for the '05 pool year," he said.
Meanwhile some
graingrowers are becoming concerned about the true costs of the oil-for-food
inquiry.

Gus stalks:
Sure, stop the enquiry or you
might find the truth...

 

better late than never .....

‘The Church of England's most senior clergyman has today
joined criticism of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, warning that
it's set a dangerous precedent.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, says the United States' disregard
of international law sends the wrong message to tyrants elsewhere in the world.’ 

Archbishop of
Canterbury Speaks Out against Guantanamo Bay
 

the wisdom of harry browne .....

‘It's easy to think sometimes that a new government
program, law, or regulation could cure a pressing social problem. 

Whether it's a desire to end
abortions, keep the wrong people out of the country, make your city drug-free,
stop corporate frauds, crack down on criminals, or make health care more
accessible and less expensive, you can imagine how the right new law could make
everything okay. 

But when you get that kind of
thought, I hope you'll remember the seven principles that apply to all
government programs - not just the ones you oppose.’ 

the ultimate conceit of yet another self-righteous war criminal …..

‘Tony Blair believes
he will be judged by God for his decision to send British troops into Iraq, the
Prime Minister reveals today.
 

In a rare departure from his usual
reticence about discussing his faith in public, Mr Blair talks openly about his
Christianity in a television interview to be broadcast on ITV tonight.’
 

old snake-eyes .....

‘Every generation or so an evil
arises which is so monstrous, so degrading to the human spirit, so morally
bankrupt that even to debate it is a sign of moral corruption. Native American
genocide, slavery, totalitarianism, and Jim Crow laws are evils so unspeakable
that we cannot understand today how anyone with a shred of decency could have
once supported them. Today, torture, a practice far more degrading to us than
to our victims, represents such an evil. 

The issue has become urgent
because Bush has chosen to demand the legal right to torture anyone he wishes.
When torture was revealed at Abu Ghraib, the administration - falsely and
shamelessly - attempted to shift its own responsibility onto foot-soldiers like
Lynndie England. Since then, however, leaks have revealed that the CIA has
tortured terrorist suspects all around the world, using techniques like
"waterboarding." In response, Senator John McCain proposed an
amendment, attached to the 2006 Defense bill, that would ban torture. 

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