The conflict in Darfur has been driven by climate change and environmental degradation, which threaten to trigger a succession of new wars across Africa unless more is done to contain the damage, according to a UN report published yesterday.
"Darfur ... holds grim lessons for other countries at risk," an 18-month study of Sudan by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) concludes.
With rainfall down by up to 30% over 40 years and the Sahara advancing by well over a mile every year, tensions between farmers and herders over disappearing pasture and evaporating water holes threaten to reignite the half-century war between north and south Sudan, held at bay by a precarious 2005 peace accord.
wow, that's tragic.....glad it's happening over there.
Experts across the city concur that the conditions are ripe in southern California for the "perfect drought". Los Angeles has recorded just 8.15cm (3.21in ) of rain in the year ending June 30, making it the driest year on record since 1877. According to the National Drought Mitigation Centre, southern California faces "extreme drought" this year, with no rain forecast before September. One climatologist referred to the temperatures in Los Angeles as "Death Valley numbers".
The Sierra Nevada mountains, which typically provide Los Angeles with 50% of its water, have provided just 20% of their normal volume this year, and the snowpack is at its lowest for 20 years. Pumping from an aquifer in the San Fernando Valley was stopped this month because it was contaminated with chromium 6.
While the waters dry up, demand for the scarce resource increases. Not only has southern California seen a growth in its population of two-to-four times the national average in the past 50 years, but neighbouring states such as Nevada and Arizona are also experiencing population booms. And they all claim water from the same source, the Colorado River.
whodathunkit? Guess words like Bush and Dick no longer count.
* Wouldn't a true "constitutional scholar" try to avoid the appearance even of attempting to skirt the law?
* How many innocents must die in our arbitrary wars on stuff?
* War, it's just for profit, ain't it? Hey, Cheney... how's your "blind trust" doing?
* How much could be accomplished if the wingnuts focused their energies on finding creative solutions for piss poor healthcare instead of dedicating themselves to whether or not everyone should marry?
* God loves the unbelievers too... he just doesn't want them in charge of heaven.
* How much longer can we last throe before we have no one left to toss?
* When your partner in the GWOT graduates recruits from the nation's #1 enemy, do they still qualify as a partner?
* Lying, it's not just for the administration any more... (h/t Adam)
* Conspiracy or not... when you boil it down, the bin Laden family got preferential treatment on 9/11 while Americans were grounded and told to shop.
Just in from the Department of Overwhelming Hubris (D'OH for short)
WASHINGTON — The White House said Friday that, like Vice President Dick Cheney's office, President Bush's office is not allowing an independent federal watchdog to oversee its handling of classified national security information.
An executive order that Bush issued in March 2003 — amending an existing order — requires all government agencies that are part of the executive branch to submit to oversight. Although it doesn't specifically say so, Bush's order was not meant to apply to the vice president's office or the president's office, a White House spokesman said.
The issue flared Thursday when Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) criticized Cheney for refusing to file annual reports with the federal National Archives and Records Administration, for refusing to spell out how his office handles classified documents, and for refusing to submit to an inspection by the archives' Information Security Oversight Office.
The archives administration has been pressing the vice president's office to cooperate with oversight for the last several years, contending that by not doing so, Cheney and his staff have created a potential national security risk.
Bush amended the oversight directive in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to help ensure that national secrets would not be mishandled, made public or improperly declassified.
The order aimed to create a uniform system for classifying, declassifying and otherwise safeguarding national security information. It gave the archives' oversight unit responsibility for evaluating the effectiveness of each agency's classification programs. It applied to the executive branch of government, mostly agencies led by Bush administration appointees — not to legislative offices such as Congress or to judicial offices such as the courts.
"Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their government," the executive order said.
But from the start, Bush considered his office and Cheney's exempt from the reporting requirements, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in an interview Friday.
Next up, the Ministry of Vice, the Department of Hush-Hush and Homeland Monitoring. Putin's going to be jealous.
... and further more, America, you're still number one to me.
The United States Government is *NOT* in the business of saving lives. Just ask the Iraqis, New Orleans residents, cancer patients with access to medicinal marijuana... and those hoping for cures
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Wednesday will veto legislation to expand federally funded embryonic stem cell research, aides said, triggering an uphill battle in the Democratic-led Congress to override him.
Two-thirds majority votes would be needed in the Senate and House of Representatives to overcome Bush's opposition and make the bill law, and backers conceded at this point they are short of support.
In addition to vetoing such legislation for the second time in two years, Bush will issue an executive order to encourage scientists to work with the federal government to derive new methods to obtain stem cells without harming human embryos, aides said, adding he would announce no new funding.
Now, go enjoy your debilitation, but don't ask for any assistance.
I do NOT breath through this mouth and these knuckles do NOT drag!
...and it is my job to rally the base. I'm a base rallyer. You feel rallied, y'all? I want you rallied around my war rally.
First let me talk about the fact that this nation is at war. I wish I could report to you we were not at war, but we are. And the most important job of this government is to protect the United States from further attack. (Applause.)
My thinking about the world changed on September the 11th, 2001. After the enemy attacked us and killed nearly 3,000 innocent civilians, I vowed that for however long I was President, I would rally this nation and use our resources to protect you. And that's exactly what we have done. (Applause.)
My point to you is we got a solid record when it comes to protecting the United States of America, and we got a solid record when it comes to growing this economy. And in most elections, you can win elections based upon strong national defense and good economic policy. And that's precisely what we're going to bring to the voters in 2008. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, it's an interesting comment about Congress, isn't it, that, on the one hand, they say that a good general shouldn't be reconfirmed, and on the other hand, they say that my Attorney General shouldn't stay. And I find it interesting. I guess it reflects the political atmosphere of Washington. And they can try to have their votes of no confidence, but it's not going to determine -- make the determination who serves in my government.
Pete Pace was going to go up for confirmation. That's the difference. I have -- I had confidence in Pete Pace. But people view this as an opportunity to make statements, and upon the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Gates, I agreed to send up another nominee.
And as to how Gonzales -- first of all, this process has been drug out a long time, which says to me it's political. There's no wrongdoing. You know, he -- they haven't said, here's -- you've done something wrong, Attorney General Gonzales. And therefore, I ascribe this lengthy series of news stories and hearings as political. And I'll make the determination if I think he's effective, or not, not those who are using an opportunity to make a political statement on a meaningless resolution.
With all due respect sir, it's OUR government and your continued support for Gonzales proves how much we need to retake OUR government. Investigations, by the way, take a long time. They're not solved over a beer and a napkin like all your other plans.
Where's God in the liberal moral equation? Nowhere to be found -- and with good reason. The American left now stands for the wholesale displacement of traditional religious morality and the utter rejection of the Divine. "We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion," atheistic commentator Christopher Hitchens writes in his new best seller, "God Is Not Great." Hitchens, consciously or unconsciously, speaks for the liberal movement.
It was neither democracy nor capitalism Reagan foresaw bringing down the wall. It was Christianity.
And the wall did fall -- at the foot of the cross.
The thing you always need to remember when Democrat politicians talk is that they're lying.
(How's that for open-minded dialogue?)
Edwards, Obama, Hillary, and Wallis. Yes. Some Americans may have learned a lot about these Christians this past week.
Others of us knew what we needed to know long ago.
Remember, today’s Democrats always want to be generous with your money—whether they’re Christians or not. Economically, they’re socialists.
That’s why this cast of candidates are the new Socialist Christocrats.
skritch skritch / wikki wikki / skritch skritch.
Yearning yet, for the days when politicians and pundits were more concerned about the welfare of the nation than the spirituality of their opponents?