There is no United Nations—John Bolton, Bush’s newly appointed ambassador to the UN.
That’s the same Bolton who wrote, in The Wall Street Journal, that the US is under no legal obligation to abide by international treaties, even signed and ratified ones such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Bush is defying.
Deleting The use of force should be considered as an instrument of last resort is one of 450 changes that the Bush administration is demanding be made to the UN’s action agenda that culminates at this month’s summit.
Not surprising, given the reality that this administration has an “‘invade first, choose your justifications later mode of crisis resolution” (Phyllis Bennis, author of the forthcoming Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the U.N. Defy U.S. Power, as quoted in TomPaine.com’s “A Declaration of War”).
The U.S. proposal package is designed to force the world to accept as its own the U.S. strategy of abandoning impoverished nations and peoples, rejecting international law, privileging ruthless market forces over any attempted regulation, sidelining the role of international institutions except for the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, and weakening, perhaps fatally, the United Nations itself.
(Warning. This entry [obviously] consists of many news excerpts peppered with blatant opinions peppered with a miniscule amount of half-hopeful poetry and an undercurrent of glee about my benign breast lump and more than a little fury about our failure to help hurricane victims.)
So I wonder if all those photos of impoverished people sitting on their car seat chairs in their one-room shacks in New Orleans by their TVs that are sitting on red plastic milk crates will cause enough sustained outrage to force this administration to at least couch their abandonment of impoverished people in pretty talk? Will these images help well-intentioned Americans realize that our policies create impoverishment? Or will this only be news until the next story comes along?
Interestingly, my conservative sister Dee e-mailed me to say that she and her conservative husband are considering letting a hurricane family live with them in their gated golf course community. Of course, their list of qualifications is so long that it’s unlikely that ANY family would qualify for this, um, pleasure.
As for me, I’d be happy to host an honest lesbian who doesn’t need me to entertain her 24/7. FEMA can send her lover along too (which is important to note, since queers are not only losing their homes, but being separated from their lovers by FEMA, which has announced that it doesn’t recognize nonlegal unions when dividing refugees up for dispersement).
(Note to FEMA: you may want to send queer refugees somewhere other than Utah or South Carolina too.)
Bush&Co has given the UN what it believes to be a stark choice: adopt the US changes and acquiesce to becoming an adjunct of Washington and a tool of empire, or reject the changes and be consigned to insignificance. But the UN could choose a third option. It should not be forgotten that the UN itself has some practice in dealing with US threats. President George W. Bush gave the UN these same two choices once before—in September 2002, when he threatened the global body with ‘irrelevance’ if the UN did not embrace his call for war in Iraq. On that occasion, the UN made the third choice—the choice to grow a backbone, to reclaim its charter, and to join with people and governments around the world who were mobilized to say no to war. It was the beginning of eight months of triumph, in which governments and peoples and the UN stood together to defy the US drive toward war and empire, and in doing so created what the New York Times called “the second super-power.” ... This time, as before, the US has threatened and declared war on the UN and the world. As before, it's time for that three-part superpower to rise again, to defend the UN, and to say no to empire. (Bennis again)
Why do I suddenly want to move to Vancouver and disassociate myself from this empire?
So that article about the UN prompted some damn interesting posts, including
to any member of the House of Representatives who might, by small chance, be logging on to this website: Please, PLEASE impeach this maniac before he starts World War III. What are you waiting for??? WHAT??? You've got the evidence, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR???? ... Let me see if I got this straight....Bill Clinton, who in hindsight, let's face it, was not that bad a president, lied about having an affair with a half-witted intern and you impeached him, right? Right? OK. Now, George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction, invaded a country that was a threat to no one but itself, resulting in the deaths of possibly hundreds of thousands of men, women and little children—and what??? I'm sorry but am I missing something here? Please explain yourselves. Explain your hypocracy to the mothers and fathers of the almost two thousand dead American kids who have been killed in this fiasco (and that number will at least double by the time this fucking nightmare of an administration is over—that's a conservative estimate)....—Tom Degan
American citizens of conscience now face the choice that others have faced. Like a white South African during apartheid, or a German citizen during the Third Reich, etc, you are privileged members of a community who's [sic] leaders are committing crimes against humanity in your name. What are you going to do about it? Failure to face your moral quandary implicates you in these crimes, which are multiple, egregious, escalating. Action or inaction, both are choices.—Boris
Why do they want to bring the third world nations up in standard of living while bringing the first world nations down??? So you have a one world low income work force to pick from at a low cost, so you control the water and natural resources of the various nations, so you have an income sufficient in the third world to increase by billions the number of consumers available to purchase your goods and thus increase the wealth of the few. [and it is not lost on me that Bush et al. bypassed the minimum wage for construction workers in the hurricane-stricken areas today] ... It’s not a benign organization. So we have two different issues here. While the average person has an idealistic view of bringing third world poverty to an end and resources sharing to other nations, its not the case with those who control these things. They are simply using the flowery language of idealism to promote their greed agenda as well. - Do not be fooled by either side. The UN is corrupt as is the Bush administration and they are beginning to fight among themselves with us out here being totally ignored. Just ask yourselves ‘why is aids still a blight upon Africa?’ Why hasn't the UN addressed that well before now. It’s been 20 years and nothing is being done? It’s intentional.—Pepper
Then there’s the guy who, somehow, found a tie to marijuana (because someone had to...) and asserts that petroleum would be useless if only people ended cannabis prohibitions:
End Cannabis prohibition. I know it sounds simplistic, but if people were to re-valuate the most useful agricultural resource on Earth, then petroleum would be worthless. If that ever happens, BushCo will lose its economic superiority, which affords political control.
Everything that is made from petroleum can be made better, cheaper, and with less pollution from Cannabis (hemp, 'marijuana' etc.). That is the real reason it is prohibited.
Ending the anti-natural prohibition of the "herb bearing seed" called Cannabis is the fundamental challenge of our time. Among the grave harms being inflicted on humanity by constricting the free market in the world's most useful and potentially most abundant agricultural resource are the following:
1. Induces essential resource scarcity of fuel, food, and shelter for humans, animals and future generations.
2. Institutionalizes a black market economy.
3. Corrupts governments, locally and globally.
4. Creates essential resource disparity, that inevitably leads to wars over energy, water and other essential natural resources.
5. Creates an economic vacuum that has addicted and corrupted our economic system to be dependent on toxic, unevenly distributed and finite resources to provide for our essential needs.
6. Degrades the environment on regional and global levels. "Global Broiling" is the best example of the far reaching effects that mankind's [sic] addiction to chemicals is having.
7. Creates poverty, where abundance could easily exist.
8. Causes malnutrition, illness and death from nutritional deficiencies.
9. Threatens everyone's food security.
10. Perverts human values and social evolution toward violence.
11. Responsible for the rise of GMOs, having created protein shortages.
12. Economically empowers the least conscious [sic] people on the planet.
13. Disrepects Science and spiritual traditions of "Thanksgiving" for the blessings of the harvest.
14. Institutionalizes disrespect for Nature.
15. Inhibits free spiritual evolution.
16. Robs us of our Natural Rights, upon which our government was founded.
17. Robs other creatures, with whom we share this planet, of an unique and essential food resource.
18. Fosters conditions of untruth, and spreads propaganda, which ultimately harms people.
19 Accelerates the spread of HIV/AIDS between infected mothers and nursing infants.
20. Creates a "forbidden fruit" which makes adolescent experimentation with 'marijuana' more likely.
Ending the anti-natural prohibition of the "herb bearing seed" called Cannabis is the fundamental challenge of our time. Yep, that’s what he wrote.
Wars. Famine. Hunger. AIDS. Cancer. Illiteracy. Unfant Mortality. The New Gilded Age. But legalizing cannabis is the challenge of our time. (Just remember. You heard it here first.)
The poet Muriel Rukeyser said the universe is composed of stories, not of atoms—and I’d be fascinated to hear this guy’s story. My hunch is that it doesn’t involve much poverty or illiteracy or random assault.