More often than not, the job of the Missoula City Council revolves around subdivisions and sewers. But occasionally the council gets to debate some heady philosophical issues—like the nature of patriotism. (Remember that wacky, irreverent council meeting a year ago when City Council members were called cowards and traitors for not making the Pledge of Allegiance mandatory at meetings?)
In February, the Council got a chance to dispense with zoning and potholes long enough to debate and agree upon a resolution supporting the Bill of Rights (really just a jab at the nonsense that is the Patriot Act). Sponsored by city councilman and all around civil liberties fan John Torma, the measure was the 49th resolution in a string of similar revolutions…ur, sorry, resolutions around the country.
Always on the cusp of hip, flashy, fun lawmaking, Missoula helped set a trend that continues around the country. Last week, Broward County, Fla., became the 100th community to toss its hat into the piss-off-I-won’t-do-what-you-tell-me ring. (Side Note: Why the hell did Rage Against the Machine have its heyday during the Clinton Era and break up when we needed their irreverent politico bashing most?) And the momentum continues to flow and shows no signs of slowing.
“When I did the March newsletter we were at 53,” says Nancy Talanian of the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, which tracks all the resolutions. “I just did the May newsletter and we’re at 103…so we’ve doubled in two months.”
And we’re not just talking about hippie havens like Missoula and Berkeley. From Crestone, Colo. (population 70) to the Motor City, everyone’s catching the fever. For God sake’s G.W., the entire state of Hawaii got together to throw the smack down on your civil-rights abridging, pork-laden piece of crud.
Next up for Missoula’s Council: A resolution on why Bush’s tax-relief package is a bunch of hooey.
I think you ought to sit down for this one. Ok, ready? I know it’s shocking, but the United States was once buddy-buddy with Saddam. In fact, we even sold him some nasty technology that he may have used against his own people! Yeah, it’s crazy, but it’s true. The United States also sold weapons to the Taliban in the years leading up to our invasion of Afghanistan. But don’t worry, obviously it’s not a problem because neither Iraq nor Afghanistan could parlay the technology into much and we still kicked their asses.
But could things turn out different with North Korea?
In the latest shocker, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sat on the board of a company that sold two nuclear reactors to the latest member of the axis of evil, according to The Guardian.. Rumsfeld was a “non-executive director” of ABB, a European company, from 1990 to 2001, where he earned about $190,000 a year. In 2000, ABB received a $200 million contract to provide key components for the reactors. The Guardian also reported that weapons-grade material could be culled from these reactors.
But once again, there’s no need for alarm. It’s not like U.S./North Korean relations are strained. When Bush told the Washington Post last year that he loathes North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, he was just making witty banter. Just like when Kim Jong-il responded by saying he wasn’t going to give up on manufacturing nukes.
Why is it that every time the United States wants a regime change, it has to be in a country that we helped arm to the teeth?