Friday, May 23, 2008

Dick

Cheney

Cheney’s career is notable for having taken place almost entirely within a "dick bubble." He began his career as in intern for Richard Nixon and was campaign manager in 1976 for Gerald Ford -- a campaign that managed to lose a governor of Georgia. Dick was then elected to the House, where he served until 1989. Part of this service included voting against making the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. a holiday, voting against calling on South Africa to release Nelson Mandela, and voting against the creation of the Department of Education -- the kind of congressman that would be produced if George Wallace and Barry Goldwater had a child who inherited the worst of each and then grew up to be a congressman and also lost his hair.

In 1989 Cheney became Secretary of Defense for President George H.W. Bush. In defending the decision not to take Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein at the time, he said:

“I don't think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties...And the question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is, not that damned many.”

This is known as “irony.”

[ Source: Dickipedia - A wiki of dicks ]

Musical Innerlube: Down in a hole - Alice in Chains

unplugged

EU agrees to outlaw 'green' crimes

After eight years of negotiation, the European Parliament has reached an agreement with member states on legislation that will force national governments to apply criminal sanctions to those causing deliberate or negligent damage to the environment.

The agreement will infuriate British Conservatives who have been fighting tooth and nail against what they called an "intrusion" into national criminal law. 

But supporters of EU-wide measures, including the European Commission, have argued they are necessary to prevent offenders from taking advantage of the "scattered and disparate criminal law provisions".

To appease opponents, the agreed directive makes clear that criminal sanctions can only be requested in case of "substantial damage", death or serious injury and limited to areas where the EU has competence, leaving national legislation intact in other areas.

According to the agreed text, the list of punishable crimes will include:

  • Unlawful discharge or emission of substances into the air, soil or water in a way likely to cause "death or serious injury to any person" or "substantial damage" to the environment; 
  • the shipment of waste; 
  • the killing, destruction, possession and trading of specimens of protected fauna or flora species, except when it concerns negligible quantities with little or no impact on the specimen's conservation status;
  • any conduct which causes the significant deterioration of habitats within protected sites, and; 
  • the production, importation, exportation, placing on the market or use of ozone-depleting substances. 

Any inciting or aiding and abetting of such conduct will equally be considered a criminal offence. 

No minimum penalties

The Commission had originally hoped to impose sentences ranging from one to ten years' imprisonment or fines of €300,000 to €1,500,000, depending on the severity of the offence.

However, in the final compromise, which seeks to comply with the European Court of Justice ruling (see background), the level of penalty is left to the discretion of member states. The directive simply asks that they be "effective, proportionate and dissuasive". 

'More ambition' demanded in fight against ship pollution 

In a separate vote on 20 May – designated as the first European Maritime Day – MEPs adopted a report on the Commission's proposals for a new maritime strategy, which criticises its lack of action on cutting pollution from shipping. 

They insist that maritime policy must make a "substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions," notably by incorporating shipping into the EU's emissions trading scheme (ETS), as is being done with the aviation sector (see LinksDossier on Aviation & ETS). 

MEPs also urged the Commission to introduce minimum NOx emission standards for ships using EU ports and to promote better quality marine fuels with reduced sulphur content. To encourage implementation, they propose introducing taxes or charges on all ships sailing within EU waters or stopping at Community ports. 

They further point out that the Commission is so far yet to act on limiting land-based pollution of the sea and call on the EU executive to put forward an action plan. 

Safer ship dismantling 

In another vote on 21 May, MEPs further called on the Commission to take action to prevent EU countries from "dumping" toxic waste on the beaches of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, where the large majority of EU-registered rusting ships are sent to be decommissioned. 

The report calls on the EU to boost its own dismantling capacity and to ensure that all EU ships are pre-cleaned of hazardous waste if they are sent to poorer countries, where the fatal accident rate its much higher than in the EU and one in six workers suffers from asbestos. 

[ Source: Euractiv ]

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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