Friday, May 06, 2005

BuzzFlash's GOP Hypocrite of the Week, topito on Mexican legislators, Patrick Cockburn on Iraq, Baghdad Burning

BuzzFlash's GOP Hypocrite of the Week is Elaine L. Chao:

The slogan you'll find on the home page of our Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, would be enough -- in and of itself -- to make her our Hypocrite of the Week. It reads, "Getting people back to work is what this Department does. Giving people hope in their future is our job."
Yeah, right!
The Bush administration has the worst job creation record since Herbert Hoover, yet Chao marches on like some Soviet poster extolling a worker's paradise.
In addition to her cynical cliche duties, Chao is also another lackey shoveling the Bush daily pile of hypocrisy. For instance, this week, her department
warned unions not to use pension funds to oppose Bush's social "insecurity" plans. The unions were also warned not to "hire or fire service providers primarily on the basis of their positions on Social Security legislation."
Are you finished laughing yet?

(Please note, besides reading the text, you can also listen online -- text and audio is offered.)

From IMC, we'll note topito's "Mexican legislators open the door to genetic privatisation:"

During the media screen generated by the presidential succesion, on the 27th of April the Mexican Senator opened the door to the privatisation of genetic resources by means of the unanimous approval of the "Initiative of federal law for access and exploitation of biological and genetic resources", which will no doubt gravely affect, amongst other things, the food sovereignty of Mexico, as in the case of corn which has already been contaminated from its center of origin. This is a legal proposal originally presented by senator Jorge Nordhausen of the far-right and governing Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) party in 2001 and was suspended in 2004. Amongst his "motives" Nordhausen put forward that: (...) For living beings and their derivatives to be transformed into resources with economic and social value, the constant contribution of relevant knowledge is necessary. This initiative was approved at the "last minute", as is common for mexican legislators before the end of their legislative period.

From The Independent, we'll note Patrick Cockburn's "Suicide bomber kills 58 as tensions rise in Baghdad:"

A suicide car-bomber killed at least 58 people in the mostly Shia town of Suwayra, near Baghdad. The attack increases the risk of sectarian warfare between Shias and Sunnis.
The bomber detonated the explosives in the vegetable market of the town, 25 miles south of the capital, yesterday, leaving no doubt that he intended to cause maximum civilian casualties. The Shia, 60 per cent of the Iraqi population, won the election in January which the Sunni boycotted and are forming a government. So far, they have not retaliated.
Earlier, at least a dozen bodies were found in a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Baghdad. Some of the dead had been blindfolded and shot in the head. They were found by scavengers searching the rubbish for items to sell.

We'll note Riverbend/Girl Blogger who has a new post up this week at Baghdad Burning:

These last few days have been explosive- quite literally. It started about 4 days ago and it hasn't let up since. They say there were around 14 car bombs in Baghdad alone a couple of days ago- although we only heard 6 from our area. Cars are making me very nervous lately. All cars look suspicious- small ones and large ones. Old cars and new cars. Cars with drivers and cars parked in front of restaurants and shops. They all have a sinister look to them these days. The worst day for us was the day before yesterday.
We were sitting in the living room with an aunt and her 16-year-old son and listening patiently as she scolded the household for *still* having our rugs spread. In Iraq, people don't keep their carpeting all year round. We begin removing the carpeting around April and it doesn't come back until around October. We don't have wall to wall carpeting here like abroad. Instead, we have lovely rugs that we usually spread in the middle of the room. The best kinds are made in Iran, specifically in Tabriz or Kashan. They are often large, heavy and intricately designed. Tabriz and Kashan rugs are very expensive and few families actually have them any more. Most people who do have Tabriz rugs in Baghdad got them through an inheritance.
[. . .]
Back in the house, E. and I decided he'd go back and see if he could help. We gathered up some gauze, medical tape, antiseptic and a couple of bottles of cold water. I turned back to my cousin after E. had left. He was excited and tense, eyes wide with disbelief. His voice was shaking slightly as he spoke and his lower lip trembled.
"I was just going to cross the street but I remembered I should buy the carrots" He spoke rapidly, "So I stopped by that guy who sells vegetables and just as I was buying them- a big BOOM and a car exploded and the one next to it began to burn... If I hadn't stopped for the carrots..." The cousin began waving his arms around in the air and I leaned back to avoid one in the face.
My aunt gasped, stopping in the living room, "The carrots saved you!" She cried out, holding a hand to her heart. My cousin looked at her incredulously and the color slowly began to return to his face. "Carrots." He murmured, throwing himself down on the sofa and grabbing one of the cushions, "Carrots saved me."

Reminder Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog From Iraq is available as a BuzzFlash premium.

[Note: For anyone new to this site who's scratching their jaw and narrowing their eyes, yes, BuzzFlash did link to Ruth's Morning Edition Report today. There was no trade off. I've been accused of pimping for BuzzFlash since day five of this site. If you check the archives, you'll see that on the second day of this site, November 20, 2004, links were offered to BuzzFlash premiums. We provide those links because we support independent media and because, as I've stated here before, I am a BuzzFlash reader and my place is full of BuzzFlash premiums. Looking over to the TV set, I see two DVDs out of five -- all should be on the DVD rack -- that came via BuzzFlash, on the table behind me are ten books and three were purchased as BuzzFlash premiums. They'll go back to the bookshelves later tonight but the place is a mess tonight, for anyone wondering.]

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