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Saturday, April 30, 2005

John Bolton

Date: April 26 2005
Published in Boston Globe, April 30th, 2005

State department spokesman Adam Erili claims that Secretary of State Rice and President Bush know John Bolton better than a retired ex-ambassador (Boston Globe, Tuesday April 26, page 11). We should however remember the context: Bolton has been categorized as a person who, in polite terms, "kisses up and kicks down." Rice and Bush have seen the nice side of Bolton; the ex-ambassador saw him kicking. John Bolton is not needed at the UN, where quiet diplomacy is required to bring about constructive change.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Agricultural subsidies

Date: April 27 2005
Sent to but not published by Boston Globe

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns wrote a column (Boston Globe, Ideas Section, April 24th. 2005, page D11) on international trade in Agricultural products without ever mentioning the enormous subsidies give by the Federal Government to our agri-businesses. One of the major barriers to poor countries becoming less poor is the fact that their agricultural produce cannot compete in world markets with subsidized American crops.
Shame on the Secretary for not acknowledging this!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Date: April 26 2005
Sent to but not published by New York Times

The Bush administration seems to want to roll back many of the New Deal and post World War II social programs. Perhaps a solution to the potential energy crisis would be to undo rural electrification. Folks in the hinterland can go back to lighting their houses with beeswax candles and heating their homes with wood burning stoves. That should reduce the demand for electricity and oil and gas quite nicely.
Now if we could only abolish cars as well ...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cheney in Back

April 21th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the New York Times

Your picture of China's President Hu Jintao greeting onlookers (New York Times, April 21, page A1) took me back to the days of the cold war when analysts carefully examined the photographs of the Russian Politburo during the annual May Day Parades. By examining changes in the positions of Politburo members relative to the central figure of the General Secretary, they could infer changes in the power structure of the Soviet government.

I noticed that Dick Cheney was standing four rows back. He was positioned behind an unidentified woman, who stood behind Dr Rice, who in turn was placed behind Secretary Rumsfeld.

Does this mean that there really has been a power shake-up at the White House with Vice-President Cheney being relegated to the benches. It is a pity that Donald Rumsfeld isn't back there with him.

Or is this just wishful thinking and his position merely illustrates the fact that he is still "the power behind the throne."