Archive for December 2nd, 2009

by jhwygirl

The U.S. has 57,000 troops in Afghanistan, and we’re going to add 30,000 more – many of which will be deployed by Christmas – all for an estimated 100 al Qaeda?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be working on al Qaeda – Lord knows I’ve long made the distinction between the war in Iraq (which I didn’t support) and the war in Afghanistan (which I saw with some purpose) – but they’re down to 100 guys holed up on the border? Considerably neutralized already, lacking buildings or bases?

Obviously, the good news that Americans should feel at least good about in Afghanistan is that the al-Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country. No bases. No buildings to launch attacks on either us or our allies.

Now the problem is, the next step in this is the sanctuaries across the border. But I don’t foresee the return of the Taliban and I want to be very clear that Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling.

That, from Obama’s national security adviser and NATO’s former supreme allied commander in Europe, General James Jones.

A thousand Army Rangers can’t take care of that? Or even 2,000? What about the Marines?

Oh, how government loves the war machine. One big ole’ stimulus package, wrapped up under the guise of patriotism and democracy.

And speaking of democracy – I can’t help but wonder how committed the newly re-elected President Karzai is to democracy. It’s one thing to finish the job, it’s a whole other thing to make pals with someone who doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends – or at least enough to get him elected fair-and-square.

Human rights? Women’s rights? Shouldn’t we expect those things from democracies?

This sure is starting to look like some other country’s war to me. Either that or, like I said, those 100 al Qaeda holed up there in those caves must be some real badasses.


by jhwygirl

In this previous post, there is commentator that apparently thinks that the only factor important in deciding what to do with Otter Creek is how much tax revenue it will generate for a school district. The assumption has a number of flaws, not the least which is drawing out an example based upon two completely different tax-structured states.

There are other factors that have been listed here, and I won’t bore you with a rehashing of them.

What I will offer is a story that is repeated over and over throughout the United States in communities where mining occurs. The story I offer though, is here in Montana.

Montana and the Land Board should not forget the $25 million payout settlement to 57 plaintiffs in Colstrip that had their water poisoned and their wells ruined. By an industry and a corporation that refused to acknowledge its transgression up until the bitter end of a judge’s gavel. By and industry and a corporation that stood by denial because they could and because they knew that they had far more money than the plaintiffs and no matter what it cost them to fight it, it was worth the odds of doing so because they could outgun the plaintiffs (Montana citizens) and hope that they’d either die off of run out of $?

Is Montana for sale to the highest bidder (and that’s not really what we are talking about here given that there is only the adjacent landowner bidding on this coal)? Are Montana’s citizens on their own to deal with the aftermath? Because it doesn’t appear much was done upfront to protect Colstrip from the damage? They had to find their own attorney? What exactly were the criminal penalties for damaging a whole town’s water?

Because that is the question here: How much of Montana is for sale? Our heart and soul? And water and environment? And how little will we sell it off for in an unknown and bloated coal market?

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