The Elephant Pump

I’™ve written about the subject of water several times. From the destruction of water mains in Baghdad, to the Latin American fights over public/private control of water supplies (spurred on by IMF/World Bank requirements in developing countries), access to water has and always will be used as an economic (and social control) lever to [...]

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I’™ve written about the subject of water several times. From the destruction of water mains in Baghdad, to the Latin American fights over public/private control of water supplies (spurred on by IMF/World Bank requirements in developing countries), access to water has and always will be used as an economic (and social control) lever to subjugate basic human rights.

But what if – what if – someone came up with an idea that could locally bring clean, uncontaminated water, to the poorest areas of developing nations, at a fraction of the price of Halliburton’™s no-bid contracts?

Someone did. Todd Abrams writes on the story of the elephant pump in Africa in the UnCapitalist Journal. Click on the picture to watch the pump in action!

Due to a shortage of firewood, villagers in a rural area in Zimbabwe werenï–¿–½t boiling the drinking water they collected from an unprotected supply. After two small children and an elderly teacher died from dysentery when a snake fell into their water source and decomposed, an Englishman, Ian Thorpe, working as a teacher at the time, along with other villagers, decided it was time for a change and founded the organization Pump Aid to provide safe drinking water for poor rural communities in Africa’¦

Sometimes the solution to the most complex problem is maddeningly simple. That’™s certainly the case with the elephant pump. There’™s a lot more on Thorpe’™s efforts at Pump Aid’™s website. This is one link that is truly worth the click-through.

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Santorum Goes Nuclear on Steph?

As a general rule, I don’™t watch the Sunday morning political yakkers, so didn’™t see the takedown of Rick Santorum on ABC’™s This Week with George Stephanopolous. Sounds like a good one, though. I’™m sure that Crooks and Liars will have the vid up sometime today.

More details: CapitolBuzz: Santorum Freaks Out On ABC’™s [...]

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As a general rule, I don’™t watch the Sunday morning political yakkers, so didn’™t see the takedown of Rick Santorum on ABC’™s This Week with George Stephanopolous. Sounds like a good one, though. I’™m sure that Crooks and Liars will have the vid up sometime today.

More details: CapitolBuzz: Santorum Freaks Out On ABC’™s This Week

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Politics - Pa.

Ambassador Quasimodo

Now that Saudi ambassador Bandar Bush has left the fold and returned to the Kingdom (I wonder if his house next to HST’™s in Colorado is up for sale?), the Saudi’™s have appointed Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of the House of Saud’™s KGB intelligence service, to the post. And the appointment is [...]

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Now that Saudi ambassador Bandar Bush has left the fold and returned to the Kingdom (I wonder if his house next to HST’™s in Colorado is up for sale?), the Saudi’™s have appointed Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of the House of Saud’™s KGB intelligence service, to the post. And the appointment is bringing out the schizophrenic best in the New York Times editorial board:

‘¦As head of Saudi intelligence from 1977 until Aug. 31, 2001, he personally managed Riyadh’™s relations with Osama bin Laden and Mullah Muhammad Omar of the Taliban. Anyone else who had dealings with even a small fraction of the notorious characters the prince has worked with over the years would never make it past the immigration counter at Dulles Airport, let alone to the most exclusive offices in Washington.


‘¦He is a capable, loyal and Westernized member of the Saudi royal family. That makes him the ideal person for the Bush administration to speak frankly with about finally persuading Riyadh to play a less ambiguous role in the global struggle against terror committed in the name of Islam.

In other words, he knows where the bodies are buried.

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Terrorism

$300 Billion and All I Got Was an Iranian Style Theocracy??

Stories regarding the New Iraq’„– government’™s close ties to Tehran have been circulating recently. And, a report earlier this week also described their desire for the U.S. to get the hell out of Baghdad ASAP. I’™m left wondering if this was in the PNAC’™s master plan. Of course, that’™s the way it [...]

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Stories regarding the New Iraq’„– government’™s close ties to Tehran have been circulating recently. And, a report earlier this week also described their desire for the U.S. to get the hell out of Baghdad ASAP. I’™m left wondering if this was in the PNAC’™s master plan. Of course, that’™s the way it will be spun’¦

Islam to Be Basis for Iraq Constitution

George Bush – ushering in 1700′™s since 2001.

Saturday, July 30th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Iraq

Sounds Like Bush’s Kind of Guy

Listen, I know and you know that the U.S. didn’™t want to piss of Uzbekistan’™s government by signing onto an international condemnation of the heavy-handed crackdown on militants last year, where 175 were killed by Uzbeck government forces. You just know that had to eat at the Bush Administration, but they were left with [...]

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Listen, I know and you know that the U.S. didn’™t want to piss of Uzbekistan’™s government by signing onto an international condemnation of the heavy-handed crackdown on militants last year, where 175 were killed by Uzbeck government forces. You just know that had to eat at the Bush Administration, but they were left with two bad choices – sign on, and piss of the Uzbecks, or not sign on, and be seen as endorsing a (for all intents and purposes) tin pot dictator.

And we know how Dubya likes his tin pot dictators:

Uzbekistan’™s president, Islam Karimov, who has ruled for 16 years and tolerates no dissent, has blamed the violence on Islamic militants’¦

Hey, Karimov has a great resume for the Bush administration, if things get a little to hot for Karl.

Oh, yeah, and I forgot – Karimov just kicked the U.S. out of it’™s primary staging base for operations in Afghanistan.

Saturday, July 30th, 2005 by Richard Blair |

Latoyia Figueroa Update

Not a lot of movement to report this morning; here’™s a few links:

Cops, Media Focus on Missing Mom

There was one piece of the story I heard yesterday – why is it 11 days into the event, and now all of a sudden the full resources of the Philadelphia police homicide division are just being brought [...]

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Not a lot of movement to report this morning; here’™s a few links:

Cops, Media Focus on Missing Mom

There was one piece of the story I heard yesterday – why is it 11 days into the event, and now all of a sudden the full resources of the Philadelphia police homicide division are just being brought into the case? The quote, ‘œit’™s about her pregnancy’ bothered me – this wasn’™t an issue 11 days ago?

And this:

‘œThe general media pattern is when bad things happen to people in bad neighborhoods, it isn’™t news,’ said Felix Gutierrez, a longtime professor at the University of Southern California’™s Annenberg School for Communication.


But ‘œthere is a ripple effect in media. Broadcast follows print. This story has all the elements.’ ‘¦

I don’™t think Professor Gutierrez has been following this case very closely. It was actually the other way around. In a Philly Inquirer article yesterday, the paper (the leading print publication in Philadelphia) admitted they didn’™t run their first story on Latoyia until THURSDAY, a full day after it broke on national broadcast media.

And, here’™s a link to an article out of this morning’™s Philadelphia Inquirer. And Google News hits on ‘œLatoyia Figueroa’ have jumped from 2 (day 8, last Tuesday) to 252 (day 12, today).

More later.

Saturday, July 30th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: General

In The Spirit Of Hunter S. Thompson

The past several Friday’™s I’™ve been blogging bits of HST prose, in lieu of the ‘œFriday Cat Blogging’ that some sites are known for. I was going to do the same today as well, but then I happened to click over to Blondesense and ran into one of Anntichrist S. Coulter’™s posts.

My first encounter [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

The past several Friday’™s I’™ve been blogging bits of HST prose, in lieu of the ‘œFriday Cat Blogging’ that some sites are known for. I was going to do the same today as well, but then I happened to click over to Blondesense and ran into one of Anntichrist S. Coulter’™s posts.

My first encounter with Annti happened almost two years ago over at Jesus General‘™s place where she wields her keyboard like a cat o’™ nine leaving no half-wit’™s back unscathed. Tonight, with this post, I think she’™s possessed by the Ghost of Hunter in drag.

Year Of The Dog – 1994

Do you remember where you were in 1994, and what you were doing?


I do.

It was the best year of my life. I was working for my first radio station, slogging away at 5 bucks an hour, up to 80-90 hours a week (only about 35 of that ‘on the clock’™), I was learning radio, I was writing my ass off (okay, granted, most of it was dirty jokes and commercials, but at least it was part of the job description), I was doing things in the production studio that were blowing the minds of quite a few higher-level radio geeks, and I had a circle of friends that felt like family. And yes, we got rather shit-faced on occasion, but it was almost all good. The radio station wasn’™t perfect by a long shot, but it was the best job that I’™d ever had, or ever would have, which tells y’™all a lot about my resume.’™

Go read the rest at Blondesense.

I’™m filing this under ‘œInspirational’ because there are times when it’™s necessary to be hit upside the head with the bleedin’™ bare-assed truth.

Saturday, July 30th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

Laws? We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Laws!

That seems to be the attitude of more and more Republicans these days, at least when it come to THEIR behavior. Tapping opponents phones, it’™s all good. Getting caught? Not so good, but hey, if the Democrats are stupid enough to settle for a monetary settlement over criminal prosecution no harm, no foul.

So when [...]

Commentary By: sukabi

That seems to be the attitude of more and more Republicans these days, at least when it come to THEIR behavior. Tapping opponents phones, it’™s all good. Getting caught? Not so good, but hey, if the Democrats are stupid enough to settle for a monetary settlement over criminal prosecution no harm, no foul.

So when do the Dems start screaming? When the Republicans file a claim with their insurance carrier to cover the costs of the settlement – plus enough for ‘œlegal fees’ after having solicited money from U.S. Sens. John W. Warner and George Allen.

Think I’™m joking? Read this. No wonder Santorum likes Virginia.

Friday, July 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |

G. Gordon Liddy and Tucker Carlson: A Love Story

Upyernoz’™s ‘œPriceless’ article brought this to my attention, and also Nathan Nelson of the Nelson Picayune’™s ‘œDid Liddy Slander Holloway.’

Of course, this is another commentary on what happened last night between myself and Tucker Carlson on The Situation with Tucker Carlson. But really it is about Tucker and Liddy, seemingly a match [...]

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Upyernoz’™s ‘œPriceless‘ article brought this to my attention, and also Nathan Nelson of the Nelson Picayune’™s ‘œDid Liddy Slander Holloway.’

Of course, this is another commentary on what happened last night between myself and Tucker Carlson on The Situation with Tucker Carlson. But really it is about Tucker and Liddy, seemingly a match made in Partisan heaven.

Jeremy of Upyernoz was quick to note that just prior to the lead-in for my segment, Tucker paid convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy a nice little compliment.

CARLSON: You’“ you’™re a great man, G. Gordon Liddy.

What’™s partisanship coming to when the man partly responsible for one of the greatest constitutional crises in U.S. history is labeled a ‘œgreat man?’ Well, that’™s Republican partisanship as usual.

Certainly Carlson wasn’™t going to give little old me anything like the same kind treatment. Indeed, as my friend sukabi notes in some comment on this site, he was snotty about me as soon as we got off the air and I could no longer comment in response. Perhaps that was on purpose?

(more’¦)

Friday, July 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Media

The Weakly Standard in color

Sometimes Eric Cohen and William Kristol are easier to take with a bit of candy:

By not funding stem cell research the Bush administration has remained /White=A Clean Heart/. But along comes the House of Representatives, passing /Dark = Sin/-ful legislation during the /Green=Season after Pentecost/. Even worse, instead of allowing fetal /Green=Growth/, [...]

Commentary By: coeruleus

Sometimes Eric Cohen and William Kristol are easier to take with a bit of candy:

By not funding stem cell research the Bush administration has remained /White=A Clean Heart/. But along comes the House of Representatives, passing /Dark = Sin/-ful legislation during the /Green=Season after Pentecost/. Even worse, instead of allowing fetal /Green=Growth/, places like California already fund stem cell research. Now Senator Bill Frist, who once was assured a place in /Gold=Heaven/, has succumbed to the /Red=Temptation/ of scientific progress. We’™d like to warn him and others like him in the Senate that their only hope for /White=God’™s Forgiveness/ is by accepting /Blue=The Power of God/ and partake of /Red=The Blood of Jesus/.

Friday, July 29th, 2005 by Richard Blair |
Category: Holy War
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