Friday, November 15, 2002

$11 Theft Gets Man 25 Years To Life

Calling Inspector Javert. Instead of a loaf of bread, this man stole mouthwash, lip balm and wine. I guess these aren't essentials so it is worthy of a third strike. On a related subject, Winona Ryder was convicted of two felonies and she only got community service and probation. If she gets another felony conviction, will that be her third strike?

When teenagers complain that the Scarlet Letter is old fashioned and so they shouldn't have to read it, just point them to the newspaper. It is filled with people being punished out of vengence. The idea that someone has paid for their crime after they are released from prison seems to have escaped the American public. In the city of Seattle, it is difficult to get an apartment if you have ever been convicted of a felony, no matter if it was shoplifting in 1979 or murder in 2002. In Florida you can't vote. All people convicted of felonies are not out there prowling for you, waiting for you to drop your guard so they can jump on you like the big, bad wolf. Some of these people have made mistakes in their past, have paid for them and deserve for us to accept them into our society. All I am really asking for is a little forgiveness.
Gay Linguists Need Not Apply

While fighting the war on terror is all well and good, it's not as important as keeping gays out of the military: Army Dismisses Gay Arab Linguists. This despite a shortage of Arabic speakers in the Army.
Unfreedom of Information Act

Publishers are trying to get the Federal Government to stop releasing information paid for by our tax dollars. The publishers want to sell us the information instead.
Moderate Islam on the run
Khaled Abou El Fadl is a moderate Muslim professor at UCLA. He has been receiving death threats from fellow Muslims. Why? Because he disagrees with the school of Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia, our allies in the war on terror.
Abortion Clinic Bombers Help Defeat Bankrupcy Bill

Sometimes liberals and conservatives really can agree. Liberals were against this bankrupcy bill because it weakened protection for consumers and made it harder for them to declare bankrupcy if they so need. Conservatives were against the bill because there was a clause in there that said someone can not declare bankrupcy if they are saddled with debts from crimes against abortion clinics. Imagine the local abortion clinic bomber who is brought to civil trial for destroying property and found liable in the tune of millions of dollars. Good luck for the clinic bomber because their conservative congressperson is on their side.
US Handing Over Private Data To Felon

In many states, convicted felons are not allowed to vote, but this one is handed a big database with the personal data of each and every US citizen. You might remember John Poindexter from the Iran Contra Affair, but if not I suggest you refresh your memory.
This is so boneheaded, even the British are making fun of us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Earth to Bush - bin Laden is Back

Pay attention. Hey, you promised to do something about him and nothing has happened. I will give you the credit for getting rid of the Taliban, but really, ObL should be taken down. In fact, bin Laden, if you are listening, I challenge you to an old fashioned street fight in Times Square. Just you and me baby.
California To Require Notice Of IT Break-ins

Loopholes abound.
The Nepotism Party

The inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department is a nut. She likes to wave a gun around in her office at work. She also tried to install a loyalty pledge. So how did she get her job? She's Chief Justice William Rehnquist's daughter .
Random Checkpoints To Begin in Detroit

An old federal law allows agents to stop and search anyone within 25 miles of an international border. Now Detroit residents will have to answer questions about their nationality without the benefit of search and seizure laws. Does this not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution?

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Senator Hollings Takes the Hard Stand Against Talking Dog Collars

The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act will regulate devices that could possibly record or distribute pirated music. The RIAA is obviously a big supporter of this bill, but Fritz's Hit List shows that the last person to write legislation regulating technology should be a politician. Read the list, its funny.
Interesting. The Commonweal Institute is a new think-tank dedicated to countering the right-wing think-tank propaganda machine.
Get Your Money's Worth

Republican Maureen O'Conner has just been elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. In her victory speech, she promised the efforts of her financial backers will "pay off".

Trent Lott's Priorities

Trent Lott has vowed to bring legislation banning late term abortions to the floor of the Senate.
Tough on Terror

According to a USA Today / Gallup Poll, 64% of voters think the Republicans are tough enough on terror. Yet a recent audiotape has emerged that provides evidence that Osama bin Laden is still alive. What would constitute not being tough enough on terror? Osama becoming Speaker of the House?
Free Speech Not So Free

In the small town of Virgin, Utah, citizens are charged $25 to speak their mind at town meetings.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Republicans Go Back On Campaign Promises In 6 Days

On the 7th day, they rest. More on the tax cut or lack thereof.
Governor Wins on Confederate Flag Platform, Changes Mind

The new governor of Georgia campaigned on the fact that the incumbent pushed through legislation to change the state flag. Sonny Perdue promised to back a referendum that returned the Georgia flag to the old one - the one containing the Confederate emblem. It seems that the new governor changed his mind. Oh well, they can talk about this again in a few years when he is the incumbent.
Maureen Down reports from Saudi Arabia, our ally in the war on terror.
Global Warming, Yes!

I know that according to the media there are some questions about whether global warming is really happening. And yet, by a strange coincidence, the polar ice caps are melting. Within five to ten years, container ships will be plying the Arctic Ocean.

Once the ice cap melts, it will be hard to spin global warming as questionable science. So I suggest that the Republicans try to rebrand global warming. After all, "global" is a nice fuzzy word, and who doesn't like "warming"? They just need a good slogan, like Global Warming, Yes!.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Over 300,000 Oregonians Vote To Keep Racist Constitution

Measure 14 would remove references such as Negro and Mulatto as well as remove the word white when referring to granted rights. Over 28% of voters desired to leave the state constitution as-is.

One portion to be amended:
No free negro, or mulatto, not residing in this State at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall come, reside, or be within this State, or hold any real estate, or make any contracts, or maintain any suit therein;

US Senator Wants to Follow North Korea's, East Germany's Lead

Trent Lott is encouraging the United States to post troops at the borders. What's next, barbed wire and minefields?