Bob Broughton's Blog about British Columbia politics

The Bush Administration embraces Maoism

It says elsewhere on this site (Satan, the War in Iraq, and Richard Land) that "the Bush administration has become the very thing that Bush and his supporters profess to oppose." Another piece of evidence that the Neo-Cons are actually Maoists turned up in the May 18 issue of The Province: Beware what you reveal of your past, written by Lena Sin. (If you don't have a Province subscription, you can read a PDF of the story here.)

Ms. Sin told the story of Andrew Feldmar, who was denied entry to the United States in August, 2006. This happened because an employee of the US Department of Homeland Security (that has a nice 1984 ring to it) Googled "Andrew Feldmar", and came across Entheogens and Psychotherapy, published in Janus Head, a journal “devoted to maintaining an attitude of respect and openness to the various manifestations of truth in human experience”, published in Amherst, NY. Feldmar revealed in this article that he had taken LSD 40 years ago.

This created a big problem for Feldmar; admitted drug users are inadmissible to the United States. (This restriction doesn't apply to President (and cocaine snorter) George W. Bush, because he was conveniently born there.) Feldmar was held up for four hours, had his car searched, was asked to sign a statement verifying that he used drugs (statements of self-criticism are a common practice in Maoist China), and sent home. He is now barred from any future visits to the US, despite the fact that he has two children who live there.

Among the multiple ironies in this is, Feldmar spent his early childhood in Nazi-occupied Hungary, and his parents were sent to Auschwitz. The United States has become yet another regime of bullies, a place where people are told to sign things, “or else”.

An article on this same subject appeared in The Tyee a month earlier: LSD as Therapy? Write about It, Get Barred from US, by Linda Solomon.

The Final Emotion

Will Stewart is the founder of techsideline.com, a resource about Virginia Tech sports (mostly football and basketball) that was one of my inspirations for setting up http://tbirdbaseball.net/.

Will wrote a piece on April 18 that I think is excellent, especially because it comes from somebody on the ground in Blacksburg. Here's the link: The Final Emotion. You'll find a huge difference between the point of view expressed here and the talking-head idiocy that Keith Olbermann drew attention to in "World’s Worst Heartless Wingnuts".

Columbine was eight years ago

VT Yellow Ribbon - 04/16/2007

Prior to being non-elected President, George W. Bush was the governor of Texas for six years. It's legal to carry concealed weapons in Texas, so there's no reason for anyone to expect him to take any position on gun sales that would make the gun lobby unhappy.

Since the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO in 1999, Republicans in Congress have made at least two legislative efforts to make handguns and and semiautomatic weapons easier to obtain. Specifically, they have tried to repeal a District of Columbia law banning handguns and semiautomatic weapons, and they were doing so with full encouragement from the National Rifle Association.

Bush can go to Blacksburg, pray, and offer condolences, but it won't bring any of the 33 dead back to life. The adoption of changes to make events like this less likely will require a wholesale turnover of legislators in Washington. The current bunch obviously failed to learn any lessons from the Columbine High School massacre, and it's time to start placing serious blame. I believe that the public is way ahead of the politicians on this issue.

Bowling for Columbine Wikipedia entry

The bodies weren't even cold yet...

... when the Bush administration felt the need to reassure the gun nuts.

"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed." - White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino.

I went to Virginia Tech a long time ago. I attended many classes in Norris Hall, and visited many friends in Ambler Johnston Hall.

Robert Broughton, class of 1972

Good news about Vancouver-Seattle passenger trains

A brief article from the Seattle Times: Deal for second train from Seattle to Vancouver B.C. announced

A second daily train from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., could begin service next year, following a deal announced Thursday by the provincial government.

A passing track will be added to the BNSF corridor just north of the Canadian border. Currently, there is only one daily Amtrak round trip a day. Buses substitute for the train at other times.

"Hopefully, we can get up to four trains by 2012," said Bruce Agnew of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute's Cascadia Center, a longtime advocate for regional rail connections.

A provincial spokesman, Mike Long, said additional trains aren't planned now, but even a second train would help people reach the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Gordon Campbell and global climate change

How serious is all this talk from Gordon Campbell about addressing climate change? Well, the Throne Speech still included the claim that “The Gateway Project will reduce congestion, improve traffic flow, and reduce emissions from vehicle idling.”

This is silly, and deserves to be identified as such. I'll start taking Campbell's talk of concern for the environment seriously when he announces that the Port Mann Bridge/Freeway Expansion project is being scrapped, and the $1.5 billion allocated for this project will be spent on transit in the Fraser Valley instead.

There's also those two coal-fired power plants in Princeton and Tumbler Ridge, which the government now seems to be backing away from. And what about offshore oil and gas drilling, an idea supported by Energy minister Richard Neufeld? Neufeld is also a champion of coalbed methane, another loosely regulated and environmentally destructive technology.

Talk is cheap, Gordo. Let's see some actual changes.

Is Gateway a goner? Comment from The Republic

Government's coalbed methane spin Comment from Will Horter of the Dogwood Initiative