April 15 looms larger every day. Federal taxes get most of the press, but the tax bite is downright rabid in many states. A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities lists those states that impose income taxes even on families below the official poverty line. In 16 states, even a single parent with two children, living below the poverty line, is liable for income tax. Dude, that is harsh.
Archive for February, 2006
Don’t get me wrong, this blogging stuff is fun and all, but my true loyalty is to newspapers.
Reporters, friends, countrymen: we have this on hearsay. Don’t know if it’s an urban legend, but here it is… Whispers inside the Beltway say the WaPo is sitting on the story that not only was Cheney drunk when he shot his pal (in the face), but that everyone involved waited so long to report the incident because they needed time to hussle Cheney’s mistress back into hiding.
That’s all we got. Go to it.
Ever wonder about the fact that many of the abusive guards at Abu Ghraib were reservists whose normal day jobs were as prison guards back home? Some apples turn bad on their own, but I’ve got a feeling that there’s something inherent in the prison system that turns otherwise regular ole people into bad apples.
I like Cholene‘s comment enough to bring it up front and center:
I liked your point about the port deal; namely that it’s pretty embarrassing that we can hand our ports, data management (contracted to the usual defense contractors and then they outsource without oversight to other nations) and other government functions over to the lowest bidder, but all of the sudden an Arab nation pops up and all hell breaks lose.I also think it’s sort of ironic that Bush has basically cashed in on America’s anti-Arab sentiment in order to be able to perpetrate the human rights civil liberties violations in the “war on terror” without mainstream backlash, (e.g.
Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, AG, Extraordinary Rendition, Wiretap…), and now he’s crying “discrimination.” Unfortunately, “discrimination” is what gives this administration its moral authority to randomly detain and kill innocents in the name of “the war on terror.” If we believe Arabs to be “less than,” others, we justify treating them less than human.
I guess you could say our nation puts the fun back in dysfunction:)
Harking back to the issue of a United Arab Emirates company assuming control of several U.S. shipping ports: folks, just cuz it is possible to use widespread anti-Arabism among the American public to create negative PR for the Bush administration does not mean that we ought to do so. Some means, at least, are not justified by their ends (I leave open the philosophical question of whether any means can be so justified). Taking advantage and fanning the flames of racism makes for a piss-poor version of Progressivism. Real progressives (and honest conservatives) have got to tone down the adrenaline-drenched rhetoric on this one.
U.S.-based mining giant Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. has a heart as bloodless and stingy as a lump of cold metal. Papuans are protesting the company’s policy (enforced via Indonesian military lackeys) of preventing poverty stricken locals from panning for gold residues in tailing piles that have already been abandoned by mine operations.
If you want to tell Freeport McMoRan’s Chair of the Board James R. Moffat and President/CEO Richard C. Adkerson what you think, click away.
Three mega gigantic cheers for Diane Wilson, back home in Seadrift after a soul killing stint in Victoria County jail. Diane, your liberty is a breath fresh air for us all.
For lots of people, the only concious environmental action they take is recycling. As easy as it can be, some folks need an extra nudge to keep at it. A couple years ago, Patrick FitzGerald and Ron Gonen started RecycleBank to use a touch of economic incentive to encourage folks to do the right thing. It’s been working well, according to the NYTimes, and their business is growing.
The NYTimes has a couple stories today that are worth shaking one’s head at. On the one hand we’ve got another glimpse at Bush’s Big Brotherhood:
In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians.
God forbid that anyone might discover the U.S. was once involved in the Korean War!
Then on the other hand we’ve got a lot of people from both major parties showing some dangerous signs of racism in their opposition to the purchase of some shipping ports by an Arab company:
Critics in both parties argue that a takeover by Dubai Ports World warranted special scrutiny. The company is controlled by the government of the United Arab Emirates, an ally of the United States that has also been home to terrorists,
and its newly acquired P & O subsidiary operates major terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.
Okay, so they might be right that this company didn’t get thoroughly vetted by the administration before their port acquisition was approved. Still, ain’t no way the volume of their brouhaha is unrelated to anti-Arabism.