Bolivian Says He Won't Pay Energy Companies

This kind of thing doesn't even qualify as a bizarre sort of "eminent domain" - it's just theft, pure and simple, with an armed gang (wearing uniforms, in this case) seizing the property of others.

This will insure that there will be no further investment in the disintegrating infrastructure in Bolivia, and I predict the Bolivian economy will tank entirely within a few years. You cannot sustain any economy on the principle of theft - it doesn't work any better when you steal from oil companies than when you rob peasants blind. Robbery is robbery, pure and simple.

President Evo Morales today ruled out any compensation for nationalized oil and gas resources.

(link) [New York Times

18:46 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

USDA Criticized for Helping Industrialize Organic Farming

Next time you consider paying a premium for that food product with the green and white "USDA Certified Organic" label, consider this:

[the standards] currently allow a handful of factory-scale dairy farms in western states to continue bringing into their milk herd new animals raised with antibiotics, hormones, and genetically engineered feed produced with toxic pesticides

It's no wonder the Federal government is loathe to enforce truth in labeling laws: they're among the chief perpetrators of frauds like this upon unsuspecting consumers.

Washington, D.C. - Proposed new federal organic livestock regulations are coming under sharp criticism for failing to close critical loopholes.

(link) [The Prairie Star]

18:25 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Pope attacks gay marriage

Here's a guy who's never been married, never had children, never been emotionally or sexually intimate with another human being. So he's obviously an expert on marriage, family, love and sexuality.

No wonder the Catholic Church believes in miracles.

Reuters - Pope Benedict, speaking out on a topic that Italy's incoming centre-left government will likely have to confront, on Thursday condemned gay marriage and legal recognition of unwed couples.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

12:17 /Asatru | 1 comment | permanent link

Politicians Target Social Sites For Restrictions

If this bill passes, MacRaven would no longer be accessible from schools or libraries. I allow comments, you see, and that qualifies as a "forum" for conversation. And when that fails to stop kids from getting online, I'm sure the Congress will ratchet things up a notch and require me to install an age test for access to my blog from anywhere. We must protect the children, after all, and damn the cost!

The Republicans have moved from being the party of smaller government to the party of government small enough to fit in your bedroom. Or living room. Or anywhere they want agents of the State to intrude on your life.

The full text of the proposed legislation can be found here(PDF).

Politicians are looking for reasons to convince citizens to vote in November, and polls say suburban parents are worried about the internet. Wednesday top House Republicans announced a bill to make 'social' Web sites unreachable from schools and libraries. The bill is intended to go after MySpace, but the actual text of the legislation covers sites that let users 'create profiles' and have a 'forum' for conversations -- which would include Slashdot and many blog sites. House Speaker Dennis Hastert claims it's necessary to stop 'dangerous predators' out here on the Interweb.

(link) [Slashdot]

Update: Dana Blankenhorn has a great post up on this issue.

12:14 /Politics | 1 comment | permanent link

Despite Predictions, Migrating Birds Didn't Carry Deadly Flu

EU Chickens Is this the end of the bird flu scare? Who knows? But it does bode well for us poor chicken farmers in the American Midwest: if migrating birds can't carry it from Africa to Europe, it's probably a safe bet that they can't get it from Asia to the contential US, either. At least let's hope so ...

Health officials feared the disease would spread to Africa during the winter migration then return to Europe with a vengeance.

(link) [New York Times]

09:40 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Bush Backs Brother Jeb for White House

Have the Republicans lost all political sense? Unless they placed a Katherine Harris in every state, "Jeb for Prez" wouldn't stand a chance. It looks like exactly what it is: an attempt at building a family dynasty - a logical extension of an Imperial Presidency. Are they planning on running Jenna and Barbara as a ticket in 2016?

Gag me.

AP - President Bush suggested Wednesday that he'd like to see his family's White House legacy continue, perhaps with his younger brother Jeb as the chief executive.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

09:35 /Politics | 2 comments | permanent link