Pope rocks for debt relief

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The Pope and the lead singer of the band U2 hope that rich nations will give themselves away to poor nations in debt … with or without full payment of loans. Pope John Paul II met Thursday with representatives, including Bono, from a coalition of economists, artists, and campaigners called Jubilee 2000, as reported in THE GUARDIAN (UK).

The coalition is dedicated to convincing rich nations to cancel poor nations’ debts. During the meeting, the Pope criticized delays in negotiations, saying it “is the poor that pay the cost of indecision and delay,” and “The law of profit alone cannot be applied to that which is essential for the fight against hunger, disease, and poverty.” REUTERS also reports that the Pope tried on Bono’s wrap-around shades.

According to a Jubilee 2000 report, cancelling the debt of the 52 poorest nations would cost taxpayers of wealthy nations an annual average of $4 apiece. Rich nations, however, have been reluctant to carry out debt-elimination initiatives. Some nations, like Tanzania, must spend up to 40 percent of their national budgets simply on interest on their debts, while education and health budgets get slashed.

Given the political power that debt affords rich nations over poor nations, to get the U.S. to cancel its loans to poor countries, the Pope may have to move in some very mysterious ways.



Texas executes dying killer

Sept. 22

In a strange twist marrying the issues of assisted suicide and state-sponsored executions, a convicted murderer in Texas dropped his appeals for clemency in order to assure that he would die by lethal injection, rather than from the deadly hepatitis C that was slowly killing him, according to APBNEWS.COM.

Richard Smith had been convicted of murdering a convenience store clerk in Houston in 1992. Smith was the 25th person executed in Texas this year and the fourth this month.



Rush says liberals staged Texas shooting

Sept. 21

The little known but highly insightful and incisive AMERICAN POLITICS JOURNAL noted today that Rush Limbaugh, on his Sept. 16 show, implied quite without subtlety that the Democratic Party intentionally arranged for the Texas church shootings last week to create a national mood supportive of its gun-control aspirations.

AMPOL’s Dave “Doctor” Gonzo quotes from Rush’s Sept. 16 show:

“Voila! Automatically we’ve got another mass shooting. The minute Congress gets back and starts to work on new gun legislation … guess what? I’m drawing no conclusion. I’m just telling you. It’s very, very strange. ‘Well, gee, Rush, it sounds very sinister.’ It may be. Look. I don’t doubt for a minute that Democrats are capable of staging any kind of event whatsoever … in order to gain advantage in the causes they support. I’ve said it before. It’s nothing new.”

If that’s not evidence of a drug problem in America, I don’t know what is.



Barr loses D.C. pot battle

Sept. 20

Congressman Bob Barr’s crusade against the use of “medical marijuana” in Washington D.C. was dealt a blow last week. A federal judge ruled Congress could no longer stop District officials from releasing the election results from District Initiative 59, which D.C residents voted on last November. If approved, the Initiative would allow D.C. residents to smoke pot as long as it was a treatment for serious illness recommended by a doctor.

Up until now, the election results have been tied up by a bizarre legal obstacle made possible by D.C.’s unique status as a protectorate of the US Congress. Two weeks before the election, Barr, a Republican from Georgia, managed to undermine the local referendum by attaching an amendment to the District appropriations bill strictly forbidding the Congressional Colony to spend one thin dime on any ballot initiative which would legalize or reduce the penalties for possessing or distributing illegal drugs.

As the ballots had already been printed before the amendment was passed, D.C. voters went ahead and voted on the Initiative, and a computer automatically recorded the results. However, in light of the new legislation, the DC elections board decided that they did not have the right to tally the results. The ACLU sued in protest. Now they have won. DC officials said the results will be released within the next few days.

For great coverage of the original story check out Your Vote Doesn’t Count in D.C., published on the MoJo Wire last March.




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