Life During Wartime: Politics Afghan style, justice Scotland style, and more! | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Life During Wartime: Politics Afghan style, justice Scotland style, and more!

The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from Brooklyn, where only the


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The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from Brooklyn, where only the dead know, on assignment for and The Source Weekly.

Fraud in Afghanistan? You're High!

Based on over 2,000 complaints and growing evidence of fraud, Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission (located beside the Opium Poppy Ministry of Defense) has ordered a partial recount of the disputed August 20th presidential/puppet-to-be election. Bush's best buddy, Hamid Karzai, can't get re-elected without a coup of his own government, so his awesomely named challenger, Abdullah Abdullah may have a chance. One polling station reported (without naming the ballot box stuffer) nearly 100% of votes cast for a single candidate. Sounds like Florida in 2000, or Ohio in 2004, don't it? One other note: Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother to the current president of Afghanistan, is chairman of the provincial council in the Kandahar region, which is the most productive - and profitable - opium poppy producer in the world. Note #2: In August, British troops seized several tons of raw opium from a farm owned by Karzai, which Karzai quickly denied. Note #3: Two more U.S. troops were killed in a bombing in Kabul; we now have a record level 62,000 troops in Afghanistan, with the Pentagon set to ask for more, and Britain readying to pull out.

Don't Be Educatin' Us!

An 18-minute speech President Obama was to deliver to kids going back to school has drawn the ire of conservatives and other high school dropouts. "No matter what you want to do with your life, I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it," says Obama in the transcript, who obviously doesn't listen to rap music or watch professional sports. Decried as Socialism (seriously, the GOP needs a dictionary) for disrupting the first day of class to listen to an elected, educated leader, these kids shouldn't be learnin' history or math or science, either. As of press time, Sarah Palin couldn't be reached for comment because she was caring for her snowmobile-racing husband and unwed teen-mom daughter.

Other News and Notes

Thinking they were mowing illegal marijuana plants supposedly worth $6.45 million, Dutch police actually ruined a giant government-sanctioned study of harmless hemp; Amsterdam had better get its act together or Americans will stop visiting to sample the local cafes. Somewhere, senior citizens on Social Security and Medicaid are voicing concern about a potential government-run health care program; nearby, a financial planner is also concerned about a government-run health care program for fear the bureaucrats will limit his/her access to doctors, much like his/her insurance company already goes to great lengths to do, or outright rejects.

About that Bomber...

His name was Steven Boland, a smart college student spending a semester abroad from Syracuse University. Along with 35 other students, Steve was flying back, having just been elected President of Delta Tau Delta, eager for Christmas at home. But Abdelbaset al-Megrahi (and many others, still not convicted) had other plans. On Wednesday, December 21, 1988, Pan Am flight 103 exploded above Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people total. Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 for the bombing and sentenced to life, while Libya took responsibility and paid $2.7 billion to settle claims; a U.S. Federal Court also found Pan Am guilty of willful misconduct due to lax screening. Guilt and life are vague notions in politics, though, especially involving Libya, everyone's new pal due to their oil reserves. On August 20, 2009, the Scottish Government released Al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds because he was suffering from prostate cancer. Doctors who said this bomber has three months to live are now known to have no expertise in this area - three months are highly subjective - and their astute exams were paid for by the Libyan government. Obama protested, Libyans held a hero's parade, and another suspect in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Muammar Qaddafi's kinder-gentler government. Whatever you think of our - and our "Allies'" - foreign policies or capital punishment, let's just make sure Al-Megrahi isn't alive in a few months. And, please, remember that these people had names. Steve Boland never saw his 21st birthday, and his family deserves the truth. He was a friend to many, like his killers have suddenly become.

WTF: Obama's School Speech Critics

In a time-honored tradition students across America migrated back into the classroom this week after two and a half months of uninterrupted work on their family farms where their extra labor is absolutely crucial to the American economy during the busy summer months.

..Wait, what's that? They sat around and played video games, emptied the parents' cupboards and their brains of all the previous nine months worth of learning?!

Sounds like our educational system is as backwards as our health care system. Regardless, these students are our best and only hope for the future. And maybe that's what President Obama had in mind when he announced that he'd be making a Welcome Back To School Address this week to the nation's students. But that's not what some conservative lawmakers and commentators saw when they got wind of Obama's planned speech.

Instead they saw yet another attempt by Obama to indoctrinate our country in his dangerous brand of socialism wherein no one is permitted to lose their life savings in failed banks and everyone has access to some form of health care. Dangerous concepts indeed.

But honestly, did these pundits really believe that the President of United Freakin' States - the Commander in Chief - doesn't have the right to speak the students whose education is entirely subsidized by taxpayers?

Obviously there's a lot of hard feelings over health care reform, the federal bailout/stimulus package, and the fact we have a Black Democrat in the White House, but some folks on the right have crossed over from reasonable skeptics to certifiable. But here's what I don't understand: Why do these folks even care what happens down the street at Thomas Jefferson elementary, it's not like their kids are there in that bastion of liberalism that is our nation's public schools.

If they don't want Obama talking to their kids all they had to do was turn off the TV in their living room - where they're no doubt exercising their American right to teach their kids in their own homes without the interference of things like, you know, books and teachers.

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