Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Sunday, February 10, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Human cloning recommendations

Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Reproductive Cloning, National Research Council report, is available online in PDF or OpenBook formats. [via Scout Report]

Policing the pipeline, your taxdollars at work

Part of Bush's budget allocation for anti-drug activities in Columbia is $98 million dollars slated to equip and train the Columbian military to protect the Caņo-Limon oil pipeline. Undersecretary of State Mark Grossman gave this reason in a press conference in Columbia:

As the Foreign Minister and I were speaking before, that pipeline was closed 266 days last year. Colombia loses probably 40 million dollars a month in revenues. For those of you who are interested in the environment, over the last 15 years the attacks to that pipeline has put out into the Colombian soil almost two million of barrels of oil. That equals eight "Exxon-Valdez" spills in Alaska.

That's not the whole reason of course. As the budget summary mentions, "Colombia was the source of about two percent of U.S. oil imports, creating a mutual interest in protecting this economic asset." So, it's not just good for Columbia, it's good for America. Good. But it's not just good for America, it's good for Occidental Petroleum, which gets the oil from the pipeline. According to their 2000 annual report, production through that pipeline was down about 25%, a drop of 32,000 barrels a day, from the previous year due in part to "insurgent activity" and in the 4th quarter of last year, production from that pipeline dropped from the previous quarter by over 2% due to outages. At current prices, the 2000 drop corresponds to rougly $236 million, if I'm doing the math right. What a deal, taxpayers are putting out $98 million to protect a couple of hundred million dollars in oil company profits. Oh, but I forgot - it's good for Columbia and America too.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch and other organizations have reported that Columbia has failed to meet conditions set forth in the Foreign Appropriations Act passed early this year which are required before funding can be continued. In particular, ties between the Columbian military and the paramilitary groups that some of the funding is intended to combat have not been cut. [via Ethel The Blog]

Format tweaks

I've been tweaking the layout just a tad the last few days. Any complaints, please let me know.

Creative misspellings

It's sometimes amazing what happens when you have to key a URL by hand because Mozilla's location bar has gotten messed up. This is not President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo website. Who would have thought there was a Korean Mushroom Growers Association? I wonder how many of the 20 hits they've gotten so far today were intended versus people looking for Gloria?

Philippine military angered over Rumsfeld leak

US troops now in Basilan

Military and civilian officials here and Basilan island expressed alarm yesterday over US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's admission that 200 American troops are already in a jungle training camp, despite unresolved issues in the Balikatan war games' Terms of Reference (TOR).

Even more alarming was the same official's claim that exercises would be expanding to Jolo, Sulu and "other parts of Mindanao island."

A top ranking Southern Command official, who requested anonymity, expressed anger at Rumsfeld's remarks at a Pentagon press briefing.

"We have been under orders to keep all US troop movements strictly confidential. That is for their (US troops') security. I am surprised that the US defense secretary would admit what we are supposed to keep secret," the official said.

Isn't Rumsfeld the one who got so torqued about a troop presence leak?

The Philippines have their own Ashcroft

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is getting criticism for her Ashcroft-like remarks regarding support for joint U.S. and Philippine military exercises and action against Abu Sayyaf.

President vows: I won't stop until last Abu falls

Making her strongest defense yet of the controversial Philippine-US Balikatan 02-1 military exercise in Mindanao, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared Friday that anyone opposed to the presence of American forces here to train local troops to fight the Abu Sayyaf Muslim bandit group was "not a Filipino".

Speaking at her weekly press conference in Malacaņang, Ms Macapagal said: "If you are not a Filipino, then who are you? A protector of terrorists, a cohort of murderers, an Abu Sayyaf lover.

"You care more for terrorists than for your own soldier who defends you. You care more for bandits and the camp of Osama bin Laden than your country, which seeks to help you."

Macapagal slammed over remarks against US foes

"No President of the Philippines, and we have had 13 of them, had ever dared say that any Filipino who happens to disagree with the President is not a Filipino," Sen. Joker Arroyo of the ruling Lakas said in a three-paragraph statement in his own handwriting.

"Not even (the late strongman Ferdinand) Marcos denied any of his opponents their birthright," Arroyo said.

"Is this the measure of the President's IQ or that of her advisers?"

Terrorist talk

Why President Macapagal is suddenly talking like this is puzzling. She is an intelligent person, and it does not require great intelligence to know that there may be Filipinos who are opposed to the American military engagement in Mindanao precisely because they care for their country and the welfare of the Filipino soldier. What they oppose is not the campaign to terminate the Abu Sayyaf, but the use of means that are contrary to law and are likely to produce greater injury to the nation.


Tells: on how we give ourselves away. [via Arts & Letters Daily]

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley