S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Saturday, April 19, 2003
MORE OLD WORD'S ON JOE LIEBERMAN AND THE ORIGINS OF SOCIETAL DYSFUNCTION
Lieberman the vice prez seemed like a good idea, he ran as a liberal, you know, for the people over the powerful. The new Joseph Lieberman seems to have a different crusade in mind... Yahoo News reports:
"As a father and now a grandfather, I have taken on the entertainment industry for peddling sex and violence to our children -- and spoken up for parents who feel they are in competition with the popular culture to raise their children and give them the right values," Lieberman said at a Monday morning press conference in Stamford, Conn.
I truly am annoyed about this business of blaming Hollywood for society's problems and for f***ed up youths. Blame Eminem, blame Marilyn Manson, blame Jackass, blame everything but an unfair wage system that forces people to work 16 hours for less than they can live on. Why doesn't Lieberman take on the real problem? Why isn't anybody talking about social justice and broken homes in the inner city, why isn't anybody talking about the fact that 6 out of 10 Hispanic kids do not graduate from high school? I think that a national politics indifferent to the suffering of millions of homeless children, poor people and mentally ill youths is more culpable than a few puny actors and producers for the problems in our society. If 35,000 people are dropped from work by ONE FUCKING COMPANY then why is the entertainment industry responsible when the kids of those jobless people can't eat, can't get medical help, and decide to act out?! What Lieberman does not understand is that the problem is not Hollywood in and of itself, it is a system that keeps parents working while young children are alone, it is a broken foster care system, and broken school systems. I dare any politician to go and talk with just one group of single working mothers and ask them if they have a greater problem with a) an anti-poor tax code in the states, tax cuts for the rich, jobs that don't pay a living wage or give benefits, bad schools, dead beat dads, or b) modern pop culture. This very first speech of Lieberman's disqualifies him from the Presidency in my view, I can already see that he's choosing a scapegoat rather than trying to solve a problem. The thought that the death of pop culture will be a panacea for all of these social problems in American youths is utter and complete nonsense. Lieberman is simply inept.
RESSURECTING AN OLD BLOG ON TAXES, LEST YOU FORGET...
In my home state, the "liberal" Empire State of New York, the lowest 20% of wage earners pay 12.8% of their income to the state, the top 1% pay 6.5% after federal reductions. Here we have a sales tax of over 8% and we pay tolls almost everywhere. Every kid should learn in civics that regressive sales taxes, stamp tax increases and tolls are evil, anti-middle class and evil again. I think my history book showed me that every British tax imposed between 1763 and 1775 was a regressive pro-nobility tax. I don't want to raise taxes, I actually don't want to pay them. I doubt we really need to raise taxes, we just need to collect taxes from corporations, stop bailing out the airline industry, finance industry, steel industry, oil industry and the industry industry. Is anybody pissed about the hit non-rich people take in this country's tax code? Ideally every group would pay taxes proportional to their share of wealth, but of course this doesn't happen. The rain falls on everybody, and state governments across the country think a cotton hoodie is just as good at protecting people from a tax thunder storm as a roof is. Can a government have sense when sensible people don't want anything to do with it?
25% OF HARLEM CHILDREN HAVE ASTHMA
The New York Times:
A study has found that one of every four children in central Harlem has asthma, which is double the rate researchers expected to find and, experts say, is one of the highest rates ever documented for an American neighborhood.
Researchers say the figures, from an effort based at Harlem Hospital Center to test every child in a 24-block area, could indicate that the incidence of asthma is even higher in poor, urban areas than was previously believed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that about 6 percent of all Americans have asthma; the rate is believed to have doubled since 1980, but no one knows why. New York City is thought to have a higher rate than other major cities, but that, too, is something of a mystery. The disease kills 5,000 people nationally each year.
This is a public health crisis IN THE UNITED STATES and the press would have us worry about SARS. This is nuts.
Previous studies have pointed to rates above 10 percent, and as high as the high teens, in the South Bronx, Harlem and a few other New York City neighborhoods where a long list of environmental factors put people at higher risk. Several asthma researchers say they know of no well-documented level above 20 percent in the United States.
Who lives in these neighborhoods? Not George Bush's relatives, we know that much! The South Bronx, Harlem, "a few other New York City neighborhoods" that are definitely not the Upper East Side or Park Slope, this study and the causes of the horrendous public health situation in African American and Latino American communities in this country is further evidence of the utterly neglectful and indifferent attitude most governments in the U.S. have taken toward the issues that affect these communities. Sometimes people wonder why folks like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and even Malcolm X or Marcus Garvey were/are so angry. This is the B.S. they deal with. The government has not gone out of its way to ensure that there is even a remedial health standard in minority communities, and now 25% of chilldren in Harlem are believed to have asthma!! On top of this, there is a movement of people who think its cool to not care if the same kids who live in Harlem can go to a good school or not, they say that the system works in favor of kids who live in Harlem and the South Bronx. When there's a 1 in 4 chance that you're going to get asthma, and a greater chance you'll be unhealthy in general despite the fact that your illness can be prevented how can people say that our nation discriminates in favor of minority kids?!?!?!... There's more to come.
"This is a very poor community where a lot of the families have very troubled lives, with lots of stresses, and that not only makes the problem more severe, it makes it much harder to even identify the problem and treat the problem," said Geoffrey Canada, president of Harlem Children's Zone.
And these are the kids George W. Bush told the Supreme Court are benefiting from "reverse discrimination."
Friday, April 18, 2003
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
BIRTHDAYS ARE WORTH CELEBRATING, ESPECIALLY AFTER WORKING ON AN EXCRUTIATING TERM PAPER THAT CAN BE SEEN HERE:
UNSUCCESSFUL REFORM OF VENEZUELAN DEMOCRACY
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
WAS THE TOPPLING OF THE SADDAM STATUE STAGED?!?!?!
April 6th: Iraqi National Congress founder, Ahmed Chalabi is flown into the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah by the Pentagon. Chalabi, along with 700 fighters of his "Free Iraqi Forces" are airlifted aboard four massive C17 military transport planes. Chalabi and the INC are Washington favorites to head the new Iraqi government. A photograph is taken of Chalabi and members of his Free Iraqi Forces militia as they arrive in Nasiriyah.
The mainstream media tend to be fat, lazy suck-ups, but they sure are clever...
April 9th: One of the "most memorable images of the war" is created when U.S. troops pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Fardus Square. Oddly enough... a photograph is taken of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to one of Chalabi's militia members... he is near Fardus Square to greet the Marines. How many members of the pro-American Free Iraqi Forces were in and around Fardus Square as the statue of Saddam came tumbling down?
The up close action video of the statue being destroyed is broadcast around the world as proof of a massive uprising. Still photos grabbed off of Reuters show a long-shot view of Fardus Square... it's empty save for the U.S. Marines, the International Press, and a small handful of Iraqis. There are no more than 200 people in the square at best. The Marines have the square sealed off and guarded by tanks. A U.S. mechanized vehicle is used to pull the statue of Saddam from it's base. The entire event is being hailed as an equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling... but even a quick glance of the long-shot photo shows something more akin to a carefully constructed media event tailored for the television cameras.
Monday, April 14, 2003
WERE INVESTIGATORS OF CLINTON CAMPAIGN FINANCE CORRUPTION CORRUPTED?
Newsweek Magazine is reporting that a suspected Chinese double agent really got around. She had sexual affairs with two men who were investigating supposed attempts by the Chinese Government to pay many millions of dollars to President Clinton's presidential campaign. Remember this one? Of all the scandals that the Republicans tried to throw at Clinton, this was the one that seemed most probable (and the one that got swept under the rug most quickly). I wonder why... were they paying off the Republicans too? Perhaps the media was doing what they do best-- delightfully snorting the bums of the powerful, government and corporate powerful (sorry guys, this included the Democrats at the time). Here's a picture of the woman:
SHE'S NOT EVEN HOT!!!! SHOULD THE FBI SACRIFICE NATIONAL SECURITY ON A WOMAN WHO'S NOT WORTH THE SALT?!?!?!?! I AM DUMBFOUNDED.
An accused Chinese double agent who was having long-term sexual affairs with two veteran FBI counterintelligence agents was a key source for a special Justice Department campaign-finance task force, NEWSWEEK has learned.
SET UP SIX YEARS ago in part to investigate an alleged Chinese plot to influence U.S. lawmakers, the task force has since disbanded: it was never able to prove the Chinese government was behind millions of dollars in suspect campaign contributions to former president Bill Clinton and members of Congress during the 1990s. But last week’s arrest of Los Angeles businesswoman Katrina Leung—an accused spy whose code name was Parlor Maid—has prompted an intense FBI review to determine if she compromised highly sensitive counterintelligence investigations, including the campaign-finance probe.
Leung, sources say, was the task force’s chief source on prime target Ted Sioeng, a suspected Chinese “agent of influence” whose family and businesses contributed $250,000 to the Democratic Party in 1996 and an additional $100,000 to a California GOP Senate candidate. Leung and Sioeng (who sat next to Al Gore at his Buddhist-temple fund-raiser that year in Los Angeles) were “close friends,” one source says.
Task-force prosecutors hoped to use Leung to lure Sioeng back into the United States in the spring of 1997. But the ruse failed—apparently because Sioeng got suspicious—and the case collapsed. Now FBI officials want to know if Leung sabotaged the probe and was actually protecting Sioeng.
Perhaps the FBI should know how intimate their agents are getting with the old witnesses and informants, if they're going to put forth the money to spy on regular innocent citizens, then maybe they should have the full story on the people who are actually suspicious...