Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tony Blair Becomes Mideast Quartet Envoy

Blair is Mideast envoy for 'quartet'

The whole Palestinian situation has been stuck in gridlock for decades. Could Blair only worsen the situation? Possibly. It's much more likely he will be able to help; his experience with North Ireland and the IRA will be essential.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

House To Spend $2000000 On Their Own Salary

Yes, the House is about to vote to spend nearly $2,000,000 of tax funds on their own salaries. By voting to raise each individual member’s salary by $4400, they will, in total, raise the collective salary by nearly $2,000,000. Knowing that there are 435 Reps:

4400 * 435 = 1914000

$2 million of our own tax money...

Supreme Court Makes Another Stupid Decision

In case you haven't heard: Court strikes racial diversity school programs

Yes, of course ALL organizations should be completely blind to race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. But what was important about this ruling is that before the ruling schools could make sure schools were diverse.

Chris Dodds Corrupt Background

Chris DoddIt's interesting to note that Chris Dodd's father was a Senator from Connecticut. Why is this important? He was censured by the Senate for using campaign funds for personal purposes. He is lucky enough to be one of only 2 Senators ever censured (the other being Joseph McCarthy).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

[CARTOON] The Supreme Court and Bong Hypocrisy

Supreme Court and 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' and campaign ads

This just about sums up the Supreme Court's decision on the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case. Click the picture to see it full sized

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why Autonomous Regions Won't Work

Joe Biden and others have proposed that Iraq be cut up in to 3 regions. Here's why it won't work.

Autonomous regions would only survive temporarily, before they are swept up by surrounding countries. Sunnis+Saudi Arabia and Shiites+Iran. Turkey has threatened to invade Kurdistan if it becomes any more autonomous than it already is.

And how would it be possible to cut up the country? Baghdad is full of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds? The whole plan is unrealistic.

There would be a temporary period of peace before the whole region is engulfed in war.

Other options will work. It will take time and patience, but what Petraeus is doing in Iraq right now will work. We need to give them more time, something the majority of Americans are too impatient to do.

Monday, June 25, 2007

[POLL] Should Guantanamo be Shut Down?

More good news: normal posting will now resume.

Should the Guantanamo Bay Prison be shut down?
No free polls

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No Missile Shield in Azerbaijan

So, Putin decided to make himself look a little nicer than he is; he offered to make a "compromise" on the whole missile shield situation. This paragraph from Stratfor pretty much sums it up.

By rejecting the proposal, Washington would look hostile and uncompromising. Accepting it would mean basing the missiles near the Iranian border, possibly too close to intercept long-range missiles fired from there. Using Russian radar -- which currently is insufficient for U.S. needs -- would make the entire system dependent on Russian cooperation. And pulling the system from Poland would be a signal to Central Europe that military agreements with the United States are subject to negotiation with the Russians. That, of course, is exactly the signal Putin wants sent.

If, and only if, Bush decides to go through with the missile shield, he shouldn't build it in Azerbaijan.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Strange 2008 Presidential Campaign Slogans

There are some strange campaign slogans out there this election season. Are these candidates even serious?! If anybody can find any others, please comment.

Mike Huckabee – “I like Mike”
This slogan is a play on President Eisenhower’s presidential slogans, “I like Ike” and “I still like Ike”. (Mike Huckabee's Position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell")

Mike Gravel – Unknown?
It was possible to vote on his site for his slogan, but not anymore. The choices were: “What The Hell, Why Not Gravel?”, “I Like Mike.”, “Gravel Rocks!”, and “All's Well That Ends Gravel.”

Mike Huckabee's Position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

BONUS ADDITION to Gays in the Military Series:

The Huckabee campaign is the third campaign to respond to the question “What is your position on the “Don't ask, don't tell” policy? Should gays be allowed to serve openly in the military?”
Here is his response:

Thank you for writing me to ask about my position on this policy. I discussed this briefly along with other candidates in the debate, and I am happy to explain my position to you. I believe this policy works, and I don't think now is the time to change it, because our military commanders tell us it serves it's purpose in preventing the disturbances that occur when it is not adhered to. No member of our armed forces is allowed to behave or display personal characteristics in a way that complicates or interferes with unit function and unity. If our commanders say that this policy improves overall force performance by minimizing disturbances at the unit level then we should not change it, especially not in the middle of a war.

Thank you again for your question and for your interest in my campaign. I hope you will visit my website,, to learn more about where I stand on this and other important issues.


Mike Huckabee

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Iranian Sanctions - How? A Kosovo Compromise

The Cafferty File, part of The Situation Room on CNN, poses a question every hour The Situation Room is on. This is today's 7:00 question, and Thoughts on the World's response.
Senator Joe Lieberman says the U.S. should consider attacking Iran. Is he right?

No, Senator Lieberman is not right.  We have to exhaust all diplomatic and peaceful options before attacking Iran. We need to press Russia to allow more sanctions at the U.N. How can we do this? A compromise on Kosovo. Stricter and stricter sanctions should be placed. Iran needs to stop now.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Coming Iranian Hostage Crisis

Reuters: Iran official confirms detention of 4th U.S-Iranian

This is unacceptable. There should be protests around the world, condemning the detention of innocent civilians. More sanctions should be coming from the U.N. Why isn't this happening?

Reuters: Iran may be holding ex-FBI agent, US official says

Iran claims they don't know what happened to the former agent. How can they not? If a former intelligence agent from your archnemesis country visits yours, would you NOT keep an eye on them? Either the Iranian government kidnapped him, or something happened to him they don't want to tell us. Either way, it's not a good situation.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Open Discussion: Immigration

Once again, sorry about the low volume of posting.

So, what do you think about immigration, legal and illegal? Do you think amnesty won't work? Will the current bill not work?

Please respond in the comments section or by email.

For more on illegal immigration:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Turkey to Invade Iraq?

A Turkish invasion is the last thing the region would need. Iraq is destabilized enough; Kurdistan is setting the standard for Iraq. Al-Qaeda would support Turkey and the insurgency would only get worse. Nobody wants a regional conflict.

How do you think Iraq would act? Respond militarily? Unlikely; they're having enough troubles at home. Would the U.S. respond militarily?

There are also many Kurds in Iran. This could get messy .

But here's a scarier thought:
Remember those protests by secularists and the military threatened to intervene?
Would anybody like a COUP of coffee?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

CNN New Hampshire 2008 Republican Debate Notes

You know something's wrong when someone asks you why you are watching the "religion channel".

More to come.

Monday, June 04, 2007

3 Plans for Darfur That Will Work

Beijing Olympics 2008 SymbolFOR A LETTER TO SENATOR KERRY REGARDING DARFUR SEE: Letter to Senator John Kerry on the Situation in Darfur

Some interesting ideas were proposed at the Democratic debate yesterday, not regarding Iraq, but Darfur. Here are three actions that could be taken that have the best chance of stopping the genocide.

1. Boycott the Chinese Olympics until China ends its support for the Sudanese government

China is easily the biggest backer of the Sudanese dictatorship. Taking them out of the equation would make ending the genocide much easier.

2. No fly zone over Sudan

This could be enforced along with trade sanctions. Without any money, Omar al-Bashir would surrender quickly. He can only get so much food for himself, right?

3. Send in troops

Under Chapter 7 of their constitution, the U.N. is allowed to use force if necessary. Sadly, war is likely the only way to stop the violence in Darfur. Both the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide were only ended after war.

Introducing The Blidget

Thoughts on the World now has it's own blidget. A blidget is a blog widget. Get it here:

Sunday, June 03, 2007

CNN New Hampshire 2008 Democratic Debate Notes

There was many differences between the candidates on dealing with Iraq, but besides that, they had very similar ideas.

John Edwards was very interesting in this debate, he was very aggressive. He was also sucking up to Obama.

Political Realm sums it up even better: Frontrunners Excel In Second Democratic Debate

Edwards went on the offensive, specifically against Hillary
Edwards complimenting Obama a lot; vice president?
Clinton says differences between Democrats are small

Gravel only one who thinks English should be the official language

(Basically what the candidates have said before)
Gravel blames Democrats for war
Gravel says anyone who voted for war shouldn't be president

Health Care:
Most agree that health care is needed; details different (all or just children, etc.)

Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
Biden says Peter Pace is "flat wrong."

Gravel/Dodd support carbon tax

Edwards mentions how Iran used to support US, says use carrots (economic incentives) and sticks (economic sanctions if not accept incentives)

War on Terror:
Kucinich wouldn't launch airstrike against Bin Laden if might kill civilians; instead, wants to capture and try

Joe Biden wants to set up no fly zone over Sudan and to use force in Darfur but doesn't want to boycott
Richardson: "Maybe we won't go to the Olympics" if China doesn't stop supporting Sudan

Bill Richardson-Spend Iraq war money on domestics and line item veto and pay as you go constitutional amendment
Kucinich says get out of WTO

Top Priorities First 100 Days:
Edwards-fix what America looks like abroad
Clinton-Bring troops home (applause)
Obama-Bring troops home; healthcare (quickly)
Richardson-education: full day kindergaten, minimum wage for teachers (40,000), preschool for all
Biden-End War in Iraq, fix Korea, fix Iran
Kucinich-"reshape the world for peace", get rid of nukes, cancel NAFTA, cancel WTO, get healthcare
Gravel-? Didn't really say anything
Dodd-Fix constitutional rights (Guantanamo)

Another Look at Nuclear Power: Nuclear Waste

Nuclear WasteA while back, there was a post here at Thoughts on the World about nuclear power. It concluded with this paragraph:

Nuclear power, if used carefully, could power most of the world’s energy needs. Of course, it wouldn’t be able to power all needs (i.e. cars). France can be a role model—80% of energy consumed there is nuclear. In contrast, 20% of energy consumed in the U.S. is nuclear. Nuclear energy, along with other non-fossil fuels could power the future.
Maybe it’s time to take another look at that.

Nuclear power has one big drawback: waste disposal. Producing power at a nuclear facility creates huge amounts of radioactive waste. According to Wikipedia, waste produced from nuclear power plants accounts for 95% of the total radioactivity produced in the process of nuclear electricity generation.

How can you get rid of the waste?

Some countries have tried to recycle this waste and reprocess it, with some success. The United States doesn’t reprocess for security reasons; reprocessed material can be made into nuclear weapons.

Consequently, the U.S. has had to alternative methods. A permanent underground storage facility at Yucca Mountain has been proposed to store all of nation’s spent fuel. Another idea is to bury the fuel in a subduction zone.

Some have proposed that the spent fuel be sent into space. However, the prospect for disaster is very high. Terrorist attacks, failed launches, rocket malfunctions, etc.

Possibly the best approach is known as “Remix and Return”. By mixing the waste with other radioactive objects, it returns the level of radioactivity to the original level of radioactivity of the uranium ore.

Anything else I should know?

Nuclear Power PlantIt’s interesting to note that coal-burning plants put more radioactive waste into the environment than nuclear plants. Still, nuclear plants produce more solid waste.


Nuclear power will be a great power source, once we figure out what to do with the waste.

More Alternative Energy Series:

Top 5 Reasons Geothermal Energy Works
What's So Special About Hydropower / Hydroelectricity?
Another Look at Nuclear Power: Nuclear Waste
The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination

5 Reasons Solar Power Works
Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels
The Temporary Solution: Coal
How Corn Ethanol is Bad

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Post of the Month: May

Sorry for the low volume of posting lately. It's been really busy. Just as a warning, there won't be many posts the next two weeks, but after that normal posting will resume.

Post of the Month for May is...Abraham Lincoln, George Bush and Civil Liberties!
George W. BushA controversial Republican president during a time of war, utilizing controversial new powers. Many, even in his own political party, were outraged when he suspended the right of habeas corpus and imprisoned many without trial. Military tribunals were authorized to try suspects quickly; money was spent without congressional authorization. Who was this president? None other than the great Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln:
• Suspended the writ of habeas corpus. [1]
• Spent money without congressional authorization. [1]
• Imprisoned 18,000 suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial. [1]
• Conducted at least 4,271 trials by military commission. [2]

George W. Bush:
• Defined captured enemies as "enemy combatants". [3]
• Denied "enemy combatants" habeas corpus. [3]
• Tried "enemy combatants" through military tribunals. [3]

No similarities there, right? Of course there could be more added to both presidents, but this list gets the idea across. So what can we learn from this?
• Abraham Lincoln was one of the most popular presidents of all time, if not the most popular.
• President Bush isn't popular.

Abraham LincolnDoes this mean that history will look back at Bush as one of the greats? Maybe, maybe not. The next year and a half will decide that. But looking at the last 6 or so years and comparing it to the President Lincoln's, one could say that it appears Bush will have a nice legacy. But take another look.

In Article I, Section 9, the Constitution states, "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

During Lincoln's time, there was a rebellion going on. One could argue whether "public safety may require it." But if you want to argue about that, adventure into the comments section.