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Friday, March 11, 2005
Some of the most idiotic stuff I've ever read comes from Daniel Akst, as I've noted years ago. Now he's telling us Wal-Mart really takes from the rich and gives to the poor! Equally astute is his analysis of the situation of Wal-Mart's underpaid workers:It's tempting to say that some of the benefits to shoppers come at the expense of Wal-Mart's roughly 1.2 million employees, but it's a tough case to make. Many Wal-Mart employees presumably can't get better jobs; if they could, they would. By continuing to work at the chain, they are showing that they prefer the jobs they have to no jobs at all. If Wal-Mart vanished, in fact, they would be in big trouble indeed.Reminds me of Larry Elder. I heard Elder telling a caller that workers don't need labor unions because it's in the interests of the corporations to treat them well!
The market-oriented changes that Washington long ago prescribed for Latin America have brought little or no prosperity to the average person, with some lands poorer than before.There's no way by itself growth in these economies can adequately help the average person. There also needs to be a fairer distribution of income, so that the top 1-5% don't hoard most of the wealth while those at the bottom go hungry and die.
'Up in Henry County, there's a mill worker unemployed because of free trade, his wife is working at a Wal-Mart without benefits, his kid is sick,' Saunders said. 'The election comes around and he hears that some judge in Massachusetts says two gay guys can get married, and he goes and votes for George W. Bush.The guy is terminally stupid, and the Democrats are terminally incompetent.
A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical agenda, fighting global warming.I hope this is true. I also hope these evangelicals will now start supporting a real effort to end 11,000,000 children unnecessarily dying every day from hunger and preventable disease -- in other words, for them to truly follow the teachings of their Savior, Jesus Christ, which he spoke in Matthew 25:31-46.
[P]oliticians and news personalities who talk so blithely about war would adopt a different and more cautious tone in their advocacy of killing others were they to know that a degree of risk attaches to themselves and their own kith and kin should war ensue. It would be a more peaceful world if the law read that the children of every elected official and every TV news celebrity would immediately be drafted on the commencement of hostilities.I'll vote for that!
'This looks like another whitewash. Almost a year after the Abu Ghraib pictures, we still haven't had an independent investigation into the widespread prison abuse by someone not appointed by or subordinate to Secretary Rumsfeld,' the organization's special counsel, Reed Brody, said.LOL! Rumsfeld's own subordinates clear him and other higher ups of wrongdoing.
Ritter maintained that in initial election results, the Shia majority won nearly 60 percent of the vote, giving them control of Iraq's National Assembly without having to form a coalition with any other group.This is what I've thought all along. The Shia are 60% of the country, and 20% of the country, Sunnis, basically didn't vote, so the Shia share of the voting population goes to 75%. So how they wound up with only 48% of the vote is something that never made sense.
This is a GREAT idea, to put public pressure on the voting machine companies to themselves institute paper trails and other fair voting measures.
Here's some food for thought:
To the Editor:
[Former I.R.S. commissioner] Charles O. Rossotti... says that the I.R.S.'s enforcement strategy winds up scrutinizing ordinary taxpayers much more than the rich and powerful, who do not depend on wage income. In a new book, "Many Unhappy Returns" (Harvard Business School Press), Mr. Rossotti says the agency is "like a police department that was giving out lots of parking tickets while organized crime was running rampant."As cannot be said often enough, an elementary principle for understanding the world is that systems designed by the wealthy are designed to keep them wealthy and make them more so, not the opposite.
Let's be blunt: A progressive tax is a good thing for the very reason libertarian and conservative ideologues think it is bad: It redistributes income in a way that ever so slightly makes us more equal and minimally protects the weakest among us.I couldn't agree more.
President Bush's State of the Union speech was long on 'the force of human freedom,' which he called 'the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul.' Yet just 600 miles from Florida, that hunger and longing is being met every day with bullets, beatings, arrests and rape by the unelected, unconstitutional government in Haiti. That government's biggest supporter is the administration of George W. Bush.Bush and his whole gang should be tried for war crimes in Iraq, and for mass murder in Haiti.
Chertoff, the Devil and NosferatuI heard Mike Malloy say that new Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff's last name means "devil" in Russian. I checked with a Russian-speaking friend of mine. "Chertoff" does literally mean "of the devil." And Chertoff certainly has the look of a satanic being. However, the first time I saw Chertoff, an even more exact match came to mind, Dracula, as embodied by the actor in the film Nosferatu:
How appropriate that this Bush administration killer so directly resembles a creature who sucks the life out of people.
While US military spokespeople allege that Calipari's car was speeding, unidentified, towards an Army checkpoint, Sgrena's life-partner, Pier Scolari, told Italian media that Calipari's car was a few hundred meters from the airport and already past all US checkpoints when the attack began.Just like we deliberately bombed Al Jazeera offices in Afghanistan (and also in Iraq, if I recall correctly) because we didn't like their reporting, we tried to wipe out this Italian woman because in her stories she accused US troops of committing atrocities. Either that, or the trigger-happy level of US troops has gone completely off the charts.
The Bush administration's secret program to transfer suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogation has been carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency under broad authority that has allowed it to act without case-by-case approval from the White House or the State or Justice Departments, according to current and former government officials.Have you ever heard such bullshit? If we didn't send them over there to be tortured, why the hell did we send them there? Do those countries have more skilled interrogators? Of course not. We sent them there to be tortured. Or else why didn't we send them to a country like Britain, for example?