Monday, November 26, 2007

Great news from Mississippi

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You will not believe this

I know, I've said it before.

You're running the military, you are wondering about how to treat your military personnel who are unable to complete their tour of duty because they've had a leg blown off, say.

Here are your choices:

A. Provide them the best medical care available, support them generously with pension and retraining benefits, and honor sacrifice;
B. Keep giving them their military pay, then provide them a generous pension and benefits;
C. Demand that they cough up the piddly bonus you paid them for signing up in the first place.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Big Brother lives

You've undoubtedly read 1984, although it was probably a long time ago, and you undoubtedly remember Newspeak, the 1984 lexicon in which war was redefined as peace, and so forth.

Guess what, it's still happening. It shouldn't be surprising that a regime that is dedicated to wiping out dissent by making independent thought impossible would use the perversion of the English language ("oldspeak") to carry out its aims.

For example, under the Bush administration we have PATRIOT, a law dedicated to wiping out the American values of liberty, privacy, and dissent.

Here's the latest: Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.

Yes, I'm not kidding. Privacy means that the government is carefully monitoring everything you do and say, and guarding that information.

If you don't like it, go talk to the Minstry of Truth.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ronald Reagan's racist appeals

No matter what the Republican candidates for president disagree on, there is one thing they agree on: Ronald Reagan was a great president, a paragon of morality and American values, and just this side of the second coming of Christ.

Therefore, it's worth reading Paul Krugman's column from yesterday's Times:

Innocent mistakes

So there’s a campaign on to exonerate Ronald Reagan from the charge that he deliberately made use of Nixon’s Southern strategy. When he went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1980, the town where the civil rights workers had been murdered, and declared that “I believe in states’ rights,” he didn’t mean to signal support for white racists. It was all just an innocent mistake.

So if you happen across a Republican, and he starts talking about Reagan, ask him about this.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rudy's new best friend

Does this make sense to you?

Rudolph W. Giuliani is a supporter of gay and abortion rights who is building his Republican primary campaign around his response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Pat Robertson, the Christian conservative broadcaster, once said permissiveness toward homosexuality and abortion led to God’s “lifting his protection” to allow those attacks.

JERRY FALWELL: And I agree totally with you that the Lord has protected us so wonderfully these 225 years. And since 1812, this is the first time that we've been attacked on our soil and by far the worst results. And I fear, as Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, said yesterday, that this is only the beginning. And with biological warfare available to these monsters -- the Husseins, the Bin Ladens, the Arafats -- what we saw on Tuesday, as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact -- if, in fact -- God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.

PAT ROBERTSON: Jerry, that's my feeling. I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population.

JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this.


JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we're responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system..

JERRY FALWELL: Pat, did you notice yesterday the ACLU and all the Christ-haters, People For the American Way, NOW, etc. were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress as they went out on the steps and called out on to God in prayer and sang "God Bless America" and said "let the ACLU be hanged". In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time - calling upon God. ~~~


Now correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you think that a successful candidate would want to distance himself from this kind of fanaticism? Especially someone who's running to be president of 9/11?

That's what I would think, anyway. But what do I know? Unlike Giuliani's new buddy, I don't think the 2001 terrorist attacks were justified.

Friday, November 02, 2007

More corruption in Bush's Washington

I just posted the other day about the crook who is running the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Rational Resistance: It's not just the big things Actually, it wasn't that clear that she's crooked, it was just clear at the time that she is opposed to the very mission of the agency she heads, and she demonstrates that by opposing legislation that would make her agency more effective, expand its budget and staff, and thereby make American consumers safer.
Just a day later, and what do we find out? Of course she's crooked, we just didn't know it yet. Now we do. A story in today's Post shows that the CPSC people have been going crazy taking junkets paid for by the industries they're supposed to be regulating:
The chief of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and her predecessor have taken dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance and children's furniture industries and others they regulate, according to internal records obtained by The Washington Post. Some of the trips were sponsored by lobbying groups and lawyers representing the makers of products linked to consumer hazards.

The records document nearly 30 trips since 2002 by the agency's acting chairman, Nancy Nord, and the previous chairman, Hal Stratton, that were paid for in full or in part by trade associations or manufacturers of products ranging from space heaters to disinfectants. The airfares, hotels and meals totaled nearly $60,000, and the destinations included China, Spain, San Francisco, New Orleans and a golf resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

How can you justify this? Obviously, you can't, which isn't to say she doesn't try. Nancy Nord was on McNeil-Lehrer tonight, and they interviewed her about this scandal, and she tried to justify it, partly because it's entirely within the proper realm of the agency to be communicating with the industry they regulate, and these junkets were the way to do that. Naturally, one giant hole in that argument is that she's also arguing against giving her agency more money, and if she thinks there are things the agency should be doing, that somebody else needs to be paying for it, then maybe they should really be getting an adequate budget.

Of course, it's worse than that. With these guys it's always worse than it looks at first, right?
Take a look at what she said about addressing industry groups: But at this point, our agency needs to be talking to our constituencies to make sure that they understand their obligations under the law.
"Our constituencies."
The people the CPSC works for, at least in the eyes of Nancy Nord, are the people who make dangerous products, toys made with lead, and other products that poison or kill American consumers.
She's right, of course, but this is just one more sign of what's so vicious about the Republicans.