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Current Topic: Politics and Law

Topic: Politics and Law 7:11 pm EST, Jan  9, 2004

Once upon a time, the government created the Labor Department because there seemed to be an issue with employers taking advantage of their workers (see notes on the Pullman riots, or read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair for a little idea on how this used to work). So the Labor Department came into being to make sure that some pretty basic guidelines were followed. You know, little things like, no 12 year olds working 14 hours a day in sweatshops. The kind of thing we hear about Nike doing in Asia and moan about until we go buy the latest version of AirJordans, although I guess they're LeBron's now, sort of like LeCars except not French.

Now if you've ever looked at things I write, it's pretty obvious I don't think much of the current shrub that lost the last election but ended up running the country anyway, but if you look at the last few links on my list, you'll see, the Labor Deapartment putting out a list of ways to SHAFT labor, and a note about changes to the immigration policy.

Now either this is a really unfortunate piece of timing, or the Shrub Administration just explained HOW TO BUILD A THIRD WORLD SWEATSHOP IN THE US FOR FUN AND PROFIT. Hence the title of this. Let's take a job that pays nothing, and has extremely long hours and is already designed with overtime costs built in for the employees to work like dogs and not have anything at the end of the day. How do we do that? Immigrant labor of course.

The highlight of America is that we have gotten ahead not because we had any built in advantage, it was because we worked harder and better and more creatively than the next guy. Collectively we did that better than the next country too.

Now we've decided that smarter isn't good enough, we have to copy how they do things in the worst parts of the world. We grew out of that 100 years ago.

There was a big joke in the 2000 Presidential campaign about "building a bridge to the future." Instead the joke is on us because this President wants to drag the 19th century back into daily life. Life in the middle ages was nasty brutish and short. It was better but still bad in the 19th, and call me an elitist snob, but I like running water.

Yahoo! News - School Apologizes for Nazi Display by Band
Topic: Politics and Law 12:10 pm EDT, Oct  1, 2003

Way to celebrate WWII guys. Let's wave the swastika on Rosh Hashana. Am I the only one not surprised that this is the state that elected the shrub as governor?

Yahoo! News - School Apologizes for Nazi Display by Band

Yahoo! News - Kennedy Says Case for Iraq War Was Fraud
Topic: Politics and Law 4:46 pm EDT, Sep 18, 2003

] "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas,
] announced in January to the Republican leadership that
] war was going to take place and was going to be good
] politically. This whole thing was a fraud," Kennedy said.

I think Ted is a little pissed off. Being right doesn't hurt. Go Ted!

Yahoo! News - Kennedy Says Case for Iraq War Was Fraud

Yahoo! News - Bush to Double Iraq Spending
Topic: Politics and Law 12:42 pm EDT, Sep  8, 2003

] President Bush, addressing the nation
] about the unexpectedly violent Iraq
] occupation,

Has there really been an unexpectedly PEACEFUL occupation in someplace we didn't kill a few hundred thousand people?

Yahoo! News - Bush to Double Iraq Spending

Yahoo! News - EPA Exempts Plants From Clean-Air Rule
Topic: Politics and Law 3:27 pm EDT, Aug 27, 2003

Cool! The EPA isn't doing "Protection" part of it's title. Can we rename them the "Fuck the Environment Agency" or is that acronym already in use?

] In a major new revision to its air pollution rules, the
] Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) will
] allow up to 20 percent of the costs of replacing each
] plant's production system to be considered "routine
] maintenance" that doesn't require costly antipollution
] controls

Yahoo! News - EPA Exempts Plants From Clean-Air Rule

Fiscal Responsibilty
Topic: Politics and Law 1:14 pm EDT, Jul 15, 2003

Well the White House finally released their budget numbers today and confirmed what everyone else had been saying all along. King George the Second managed to foul up the budget to an even greater level than King George the First.

In all fairness to George the first, much of that disaster he inherited from the Reagan administration and putting that house in order was a task of Herculean proportions. George the First was not afraid to call what Reagan wanted to do "Voodoo Economics," and while he wasn't entirely sucessful in making things better, at least he managed to not make things much worse.

People can rail at Bill Clinton for being a lecherous philanderer all they want, but when it came to the actual job of making the government run, it came in under budget. That's quite an achievement. In fact, if you look at the federal budget since there was a deficit, you'll find something startling.

The deficit was formally created by FDR. Acting like a good Keynesian economist, he was of the opinion that doing something was better than doing nothing, and so created the CCC, WPA, funded the TVA (this is the acronym potion of the story) and then went on to fight WWII. These are good reasons to run a deficit.

Harry Truman steps in, starts the Cold War, fights an active war in Korea, and the defecit remains largely unchaged during his tenure.

Ike becomes president, and the deficit spikes. Why is not something very clear, he's still fighting the cold war, but doesn't have a hot war to contend with except maybe the civil rights one, so why the deficit goes up in this period is odd, but points to something later on.

Kennedy is next up and in his 1000 days, the deficits run at roughly the same level as Ike's before him. With LBJ we see that same pattern, and not only is the cold war still in full swing, it's gone hot in Vietnam, and he's bankrolling Apollo, one of the most expensive programs in the history of the planet, and does all of that without making the deficit jump all that much.

Nixon is next, and like the man, his budgets are all over the place. One year he's running double LBJ's defecits, the next he's in the black, then he's back up in the red again. Nixon was a bit paranoid and schizophrenic and his budgets reflect that.

Gerry Ford, nice guy, but lets face it, he IS the accidental president.

Carter comes in, looking at a 50 billion dollar deficit and walks out looking at a 50 billion dollar deficit. Unchanged.

Reagan comes in and here is where the disaster begins. Hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars flushed away.

That takes us full circle. What can we take from this? Far from being the party of fiscal responsibilty, the Republican party has been running the country like an 18 year old spoiled child with Daddy's credit card on sale day at the mall.

When Jimmy Carter left office in January of 1981, the national debt was roughly a TRILLION dollars. That's a lot of money. That's now about 1/7th of the total. And no blaming Clinton for this one, he was actually running the country in the black with the deficit decreasing every year he was in office until it went into the black, and then the surplus increasing every year as well!

With that bit of history in mind, who do you trust with your money? Those "tax and spend liberals," or the "hey, my lunch is free because I'm going to make your kids pay for it" conservatives?

Topic: Politics and Law 2:37 am EDT, Jul  3, 2003

I don't recommend this because it's good, I added this as proof of extraterrestial life (not intelligence, that would be something different) because she's obviously not from the same planet as the rest of us.

] The myth of "McCarthyism" is the greatest Orwellian fraud
] of our times. Liberals are fanatical liars, then as now.
] The portrayal of Sen. Joe McCarthy as a wild-eyed
] demagogue destroying innocent lives is sheer liberal
] hobgoblinism.

Yahoo! News - I DARE CALL IT TREASON - Jury finds 'windshield death' defendant guilty - Jun. 26, 2003
Topic: Politics and Law 1:34 pm EDT, Jun 26, 2003

] Jurors delivered two guilty verdicts Thursday against a
] former nurse's aide who hit a homeless man with her car,
] driving home with his mangled body lodged in the
] windshield and leaving him to die in her garage.

I'm not sure I understand this one... she hits the guy and then WITH THE GUY STICKING OUT THE FRONT OF HER CAR, drives home, parks and then heads inside LIKE THERE ISN'T A GUY STICKING OUT THE FRONT OF HER CAR??? - Jury finds 'windshield death' defendant guilty - Jun. 26, 2003

Yahoo! News - Report by the E.P.A. Leaves Out Data on Climate Change
Topic: Politics and Law 12:05 pm EDT, Jun 19, 2003

Thanks guys, could the next Surgeon General's report on smoking be based on data from the Tobacco Institute?

] Among the deletions were conclusions about the likely
] human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on
] climate by the National Research Council (news - web
] sites) that the White House had commissioned and that
] President Bush had endorsed in speeches that year. White
] House officials also deleted a reference to a 1999 study
] showing that global temperatures had risen sharply in the
] previous decade compared with the last 1,000 years. In
] its place, administration officials added a reference to
] a new study, partly financed by the American Petroleum
] Institute, questioning that conclusion.

See my quotes to the right for what the White House thinks about real science (evolution) as opposed to random crap (intelligent design, creationism, etc).

Yahoo! News - Report by the E.P.A. Leaves Out Data on Climate Change

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