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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Jigga-What?

Bloomberg reports:
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business lobbying organization, said it will help pay for advertisements suggesting ``dangers'' associated with having trial lawyers aligned with the White House."
On their history web page I read that "on April 12, 1912, President Taft's vision became a reality when a group of 700 delegates from various commercial and trade organizations came together to create a unified body of business interest that today is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce." So I guess following business interests is basically their mission.

But then again, corporations are psychopathic and their impact has risen considerably over the past 100 years.

THE PATHOLOGY OF COMMERCE: CASE HISTORIES
To more precisely assess the “personality“ of the corporate “person,“ a checklist is employed, using actual diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the DSM-IV, the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. The operational principles of the corporation give it a highly anti-social “personality”: It is self-interested, inherently amoral, callous and deceitful; it breaches social and legal standards to get its way; it does not suffer from guilt, yet it can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. Four case studies, drawn from a universe of corporate activity, clearly demonstrate harm to workers, human health, animals and the biosphere. Concluding this point-by-point analysis, a disturbing diagnosis is delivered: the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a “psychopath.”
Hmmm, sounds to me like the trial lawyers could be protecting us all from diagnosed psychopaths. Personally, I love business - old fashioned business. Small, community-oriented, great-way-to-make-a-living-doing-what-you-love business. I'm very sad that the US Chamber of Commerce falls on the psychopathic side.


Friday, August 20, 2004

Workin' Hard for the Money (Hey, Where's My Check?)

"In an unprecedented overhaul of the nation's overtime pay rules, the Bush administration is delivering to its business allies an election-year plum they've sought for decades." - Yahoo News

I don't think I even need to say anthing after that. The new rules take effect on Monday.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Origami Statistics

I've been saying and thinking for awhile that the tax burden went UP for the middle class. But I don't really like the way they are framing their information in this article.

People in the top 20 percent of incomes, averaging $182,700 a year, saw their share of federal taxes decline from 65.3 percent of total payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year, according to the study by congressional budget analysts.

In contrast, middle-class taxpayers — with incomes ranging from $51,500 to $75,600 — bear a greater tax burden. Those making an average of $75,600 had the biggest jump in their share of taxes, from 18.5 percent of all payments in 2001 to 19.5 percent this year.


I mean, how many people make up each group? Are these the same quintiles that the Census uses? How much movement has there been in the income levels of those quintiles?

The study is based on figures in 2001 and assumes no changes in wealth distribution from increases in income, dividends or capital gains.
I would like a more in-depth analysis. But I can't argue with these paragraphs:

Bush-Cheney campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said, "Because of President Bush's policies every American pays less in taxes today than they did before he became president...John Kerry (news - web sites) has promised to raise taxes during the campaign. That is the clear choice Americans will have in the fall elections."

The study found that the effective tax rate for the top 1 percent of taxpayers dropped from 33 percent in 2001 to 26.7 percent this year, a decline of 19 percent. The middle 20 percent of taxpayers saw a decline of 4 percent.

As the old saying goes, we should beware of using statistics like a drunk uses a lightpost. For support instead of illumination. But the numbers presented do lead me to believe that a deep analysis would prove very illuminating.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Go Speed Alert System, Go

Guess they were hoping that "what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas".

Is God Trying to Tell Them Something?

This was a funny article. How often does the whole Bush clan get together and go to church? Once He had them all in one place, He sent them the Very Reverend Martin Luther Agnew. Priceless.

This just in from Jupiter...

What planet is this guy on? History is on Bush's side? "Now that Kerry can't rely on Bush as liar, he will need to come up with a novel new game plan." What??

Please tell me that this was some sort of Onion article.

Too Good Not To Blog

You know, if they didn't act like they were all that, we wouldn't make fun of them when they do stupid stuff like this...

Thursday, August 5, 2004

A Matter of Principle

I certainly hope that people understand why some Dems respect McCain. I may not agree with him on political positions, but when it comes to matters of principle I always respect what he has to say. For instance, today's report that McCain condemned ads that attacked Kerry's military record.
Asked if the White House knew about the ad or helped find financing for it, McCain said, "I hope not, but I don't know. But I think the Bush campaign should specifically condemn the ad."
But methinks this is a silly statement:
Later, McCain said the Bush campaign has denied any involvement and added, "I can't believe the president would pull such a cheap stunt."
Riiight. Karl Rove is just a little snoogie-bear.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

In the Midnight Hour, Give Me More Maher Moore

I was up later than usual tonight and caught most of the Bill Maher show. The panel tonight included Michael Moore, Kim Campbell (former Prime Minister of Canada), ..... and some Republican representative. The back and forth was fascinating, especially the part where the Congressman said something like 'Farenheit 9/11 was a documentary the way that Pravda was a newspaper during the Cold War'. Them's fightin' words. Especially since the guy hadn't seen the movie. Way to go, schmuck boy.

The other interesting point in the show was when they trotted out Nader and both Maher and Moore literally got down on their knees and begged him to stop running for president in 2004.

Honestly, I didn't know that Maher had the pull to get such an interesting assortment of people in the same place at the same time. I guess everyone is making the rounds as the election season heats up.

In a somewhat related item, Bill Clinton was on David Letterman. Although I always enjoy hearing Clinton speak, especially the parts where he can pronounce foreign countries, he said, "I agree with John Kerry" so many times I expect Jon Stewart to have an official count on his show tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Salute to the Archers

As I've pointed out before, John Kerry is a member of that wonderful, intelligent, goofy astrological group - the Sagittarians (the Archers). They have a great sense of wonder, look for the Cosmic Truth in everything they experience, and have minds like steel traps. If I had to sum up the Sagittarian energy in one word it would be: Inspire! Hopefully the whole nation will start to see these colors from Kerry soon, because we all know we need some inspiration.

Meanwhile, I salute the Archers with some great quotes from them:

"We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire...Give us the tools and we will finish the job." -- Sir Winston Churchill, BBC radio broadcast, Feb 9, 1941

"Tomorrow will be better for as long as America keeps alive the ideals of freedom and a better life." —Walt Disney

"Terror is an efficiacious agent only when it doesn't last. In the long run there is more terror in threats than in execution, for when you get used to terror your emotions get dulled." --Mark Twain
"(Terrorists) are planning to disrupt our democratic process. It's scary I know, but we're not going to let al Qaeda tell us what to do. In fact, our government has decided that if al Qaeda attempts to disrupt our democratic process, we are going to respond by disrupting it first." —Jon Stewart

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." -- Sir Winston Churchill
"You don't build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them." —Walt Disney
"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind." --Sir Winston Churchill
"The issue of Kerry's military service has spawned a number of recent news-like events which have led to Republican charges the decorated war hero has something to hide. Because if there is one thing the Bush administration will not tolerate, it is ... other people's secrecy." —Jon Stewart

"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room." -- Sir Winston Churchill (it's like he heard about the joint Bush/Cheney testimony!!

Protect Yourself from Skunky Intel

When I read the AP article "Intel That Sparked Alert Dates to 2000" my first thought was of those silly "Born On Date" ads for beer. I was always under the impression that timing was a very important part of the spy game. You want the right information at the right place at the right time.... right? If a beer would be skunky and a soda would be flat - and both would be 'out of date' - within four years, what up with the intel??

Maybe they found an accompanying memo for "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside United States". Or maybe it was a memo called, "Your Administration is Toast When the Public Realizes What You've Been Doing". Not politically motivated. Right.

Furthermore, if you've had this information in hand FOR YEARS, what have you been DOING about it?? How can it represent a clear and present danger now when a few years ago it was, 'Eh, whatever...'?

It's stuff like this that may jolly well send me around the bend.

Monday, August 2, 2004

God's Sense of Irony

In what I thought was a poignant reminder - the count of American casualties in Iraq on the day John Kerry accepted the Democratic Nomination was 911.

Another soldier died that day. Spc. Joseph F. Herndon, II, 21, of Derby, Kan., died July 29, in Hawijah, Iraq, when he was shot while on guard duty. So at midnight, shortly after Kerry accepted the nomination, the counter went up to 912.