Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bad government, the Republican goal ...

From the Arizona Geology Blog: Don't eliminate Mines & Mineral Resources [Comments between brackets are mine.]
Arizona legislators are reportedly considering a proposal by the Goldwater Institute to eliminate the Arizona Dept. of Mines and Mineral Resources, in expectation of saving $500,000. That's a bad idea. [No doubt]

The Goldwater folks say the mining industry can take care of itself. [The Thugs oft-repeated slogan] But that's not the point. ADMMR works with the Arizona Corporation Commission to provide them with solid engineering and economic evaluations on the issuance and sale of mining securities. Selling phony mining stock has been a favorite of scammers and con artists for years. [Perhaps the Thugs would like to explore this option themselves.] Eliminate ADMMR and the ACC will just have to hire that expertise elsewhere. [Or not, if they follow BushCos example they will just let crooks and Thugs alike do as they please.]

ADMMR's customers are also other state and federal agencies, who need reliable information about mining projects across the state to understand the economic, planning, and environmental impacts that need to be dealt with. [I'm sure that wealthy mining interests would gleefully supply whatever information the mining interests think the state needs.]

Thirdly, it's not the giant multinational mining companies that pour through ADMMR's vast archives of maps and reports and draw on their expertise. It's the small and independent exploration companies who don't have the private libraries and files like the big guys. ADMMR helps level the playing field, makes sure everyone has access to the data, and keeps the cost of doing business in Arizona low by providing services open to all, instead of everyone having to duplicate them over and over again. [Now here may be the real objective. Since when do Thugs want a level playing field. That's been the whole point of the Bush years to get the US further and further away from a just and fair society with wars blasted across our TV screen to delude, desensitize and enthrall the populace. What do such groups care about level playing fields? Such concepts, except as marketing slogans, are anathema to them.]

And lastly, the postulated savings seem unrealistic. The museum would be transferred to the Historical Society to run. But most of ADMMR's budget goes to pay the rent on the huge museum building. Eliminating all the staff salary money with the expectation the museum will somehow run itself is a nice soundbite, but unrealistic fiscal policy.

Today's QUOTES:

AE: Will Obama get rolled by the torture crowd? Digby says ... But I would suggest that Obama contemplate one little thing before he decides to try to find "middle ground" on torture. It is a trap. If he continues to torture in any way or even tacitly agrees to allow it in certain circumstances, the intelligence community will make sure it is leaked. They want protection from both parties and there is no better way to do it than to implicate Obama. And the result of that will be to destroy his foreign policy.
--Establishment Dicks by digby, Hullabaloo

The war strategy which Friedman is heralding -- what he explicitly describes with euphemism-free candor as "exacting enough pain on civilians" in order to teach them a lesson -- is about as definitive of a war crime as it gets. It also happens to be the classic, textbook definition of "terrorism." ...
--Tom Friedman offers a perfect definition of "terrorism" by Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

I'm glad Susan Crawford has finally admitted that we tortured Qahtani and because of that he can't be charged. But will she have the courage (and the clearance) to admit that about Abu Zubaydah, too?
--What about Abu Zubaydah? by emptywheel, Firedoglake.com

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