Sunday, October 08, 2006

Saw in the Sunday papers

A short list of long articles today.

Project Censored's list of the 25 most under-reported stories of the year. Depressing but vital reading.

When he's not busy using it as a tool to further the war on some drugs, threatening to withhold aid if countries don't comply with failed US tactics, Bush is using foreign relief aid to bolster evangelizing Christians.
President Bush has almost doubled the percentage of US foreign-aid dollars going to faith-based groups such as Food for the Hungry, according to a Globe survey of government data. And in seeking to help such groups obtain more contracts, Bush has systematically eliminated or weakened rules designed to enforce the separation of church and state.

Bush's orders altered the longstanding practice that groups preach religion in one space and run government programs in another. The administration said religious organizations can conduct services in the same space as they hand out government aid, so long as the services don't take place while the aid is being delivered. But the rule allows groups to schedule prayers immediately before or after dispensing taxpayer-funded aid.
Raise your hand if you think the people who attend the church services, get the limited supplies of relief goods first.

And this is quick read, A Soldier's "Secret" Letter from Iraq to his family.

The funniest bits:
Most Surreal Moment — Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. We had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels.

Coolest Insurgent Act — Stealing almost $7 million from the main bank in Ramadi in broad daylight, then, upon exiting, waving to the Marines in the combat outpost right next to the bank, who had no clue of what was going on. The Marines waved back. Too cool.
The most indicative:
Most Profound Man in Iraq — an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied "Yes, you."
The money graf:
Biggest Outrage — Practically anything said by talking heads on TV about the war in Iraq, not that I get to watch much TV. Their thoughts are consistently both grossly simplistic and politically slanted. Biggest Offender: Bill O'Reilly.
Read it all. It's a good snapshot of a soldier's eye view. The author who posted it at TIME seemed to think it was going to dismay the administration's critics, but I don't know why. It looks to me like it makes our points for us.
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Anonymous lester said...

I read that letter at Larry johnsons blog a while ago. how cold hell be any worse.

I think one of the biggest unreported stories is the 25,000 jews that live in iran. and the jewish MP in iranian parliament. ahmadenejad visited a bunch of orthodox jews, of the non zionist variety, when he was in new york recently. for some reason it just doesn't register with people.

2:55:00 PM  
Blogger mikevotes said...

Good catch on the increase in Faith based foreign aid. I hadn't seen that.

And people wonder why the Muslims see us as on a crusade?

I wonder how much of that is going into former Soviet countries? There has been much internal conflict over protestant missionaries and their influence there.


4:35:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I hadn't heard of that Lester. It is interesting that they have that many Jews. I hadn't heard a word about this meeting either.

I was surprised to see just how far Bush has taken this faith based thing myself Mike. I knew he only gives money to groups fighting AIDS that promote abstinence but I didn't realize they were holding revival meetings to pass out medicines and food.

I had no idea there was a problem with in the Soviet countries. Some parts of the world are a mystery to me.

4:45:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

Alot of the world sucks. like was reading this book about Siberia. It's like as big as the rest of the world put together and it's full of drunk hillbillys. I used to read alot of travel books and you realize how good things are here.

the boston globe has had big articles about the faith based foreign aid the last 3 days. It never ends with bush does it.

5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

But Bush does do it Lester. And it's wrong. That's the point.

8:54:00 PM  

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