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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taliban Narco Trafficers

The Poppy may also be a flower, but a Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz knows, they are very potent and fragrant, and are the base root of heroine. The Taliban is now getting involved in heavy drug trafficking, primarily in Pakistan and Iran but expanding. Afghanistan is now the farm belt for a drug financed Taliban. Taliban commanders are using their forces to protect the crops, harvest and transport of drugs across international boarders, acting more like drug lords than a political or religious fighting force. This is shifting US actions from a focus on training camps and military posts to anti-drug interdiction in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Their remains a terrorist element within the Taliban, but the drug industry has led to more traditional military frameworks and defensive rather than offensive actions. The terrorist focus is shifting to home grown recruits from target areas and nations, trained at a broadening base of diverse locations rather than central training camps.

Spring has Sprung!

In case you missed it, today is the first day of Spring.

Public Use Advocate Interior Secretary Udall

Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall dies at 90

Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, who sowed the seeds of the modern environmental movement as secretary during the 1960s, has died at his home in Santa Fe. He was 90.

His family says that after a fall last week, Udall was confined to his bed. The family says he had been in failing health and died Saturday of natural causes.
Under the Kennedy and Johnson administration, Udall's leadership from 1961 through 1968 led to the Interior Department aggressively promoted an expansion of public lands and helped win enactment of major environmental laws, including ones to protect endangered species.

He later became a crusader for victims of radiation exposure from the government's Cold War nuclear programs, including veterans who were in the trenches, residents of Clark Country, Southern Nevada and Utah down-winders.

Udall is the father of Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and uncle of Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
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Update on provisions of health care bill.

An update from NPR on what is in and out of the health care compromise being considered by the state.

The Rhetoric and naming of provisions has caused confusion and deliberate missunderstanding of what they are. NPR explains a few of the key provisions, including the "Lousianna Purchase" and student loan provisions in the bill.

Democrats are still short of the votes needed if they are to complete the Health Care legislation. The New York Times reports on today's last minute juggling, promise making and compromise (all governement is compromise, which most Americans seem to fail to understand). The power plays, rhetoric ad political game playing is hot and heavy on both sides of the issue.

The New York Times reports on how procedure and debate only confuse Americans, who are buying into simplistic slogans or the President's coat tails, without knowing what they are really talking about or the process, which is not an unusual one, being used to pass the bill. (Illustration by Harry Campbell of the New York Times, found on the link above).

For the latest from the White House:

The actual bill revision in the format released Thursday can be found at