10.05.2005

Phil is shifty

As odd as it seems, george (sic) the lesser and his handlers actually showed wisdom in not stirring up a hornet's nest when the approval ratings are in the crapper. Could've guessed at the approval ratings, but not at this level of restraint.

Scotus status quo. Who'd've guessed?

5.16.2005

Busting Phil

I may be slow, but I just figured out what's behind the neoreps and their assault on the filibuster.

SCOTUS.

Since Rove and crew know full well that they wage a better PR war than the Dems, why not try to kill the last resort of the hapless Dems with a media campaign. I see their logic:

1. Put wacky rightwingers up for nomination in various, moderately important federal posts.
2. Cry fowl when the Dems say "No way, bubba".
3. See if you can kill the filibuster by mustering the religions right's troops to portray said busters as an assault on god.
4. After the dust settles, put as many wacky rightwingers wherever you like. SCOTUS, here they come.

Seems as though common sense will beat Frist and his legion of short sighters.

But you never know.

CPR

4.21.2005


My wife and son. Posted by Hello

4.18.2005

More Primer

Information freedom:

The only way a democracy can function is by the educated vote of the populace.

Wait, the US is not a democracy. Not at all. Some local and state laws and initiatives are voted in a democratic way, but the United States of America is a constitutional republic.

Let's say that again. Constitutional Republic. Sounds more serious doesn't it? It is. The constitution is the foundation of our nation. All our institutions should spring from it. The military is subject to the constitution before all else, including the commander in chief. We all are. The buck stops there.

Our voice in our republic is our vote. We vote for people to do the thinking for us on issue of law creation and enforcement. These representatives do the dirty work of governing that we don't have time to do.

So, making the determination on who can do this job the best is our role in the society. The only way to perform this duty is to have accurate and plentiful information about the candidates and their views, positions, and character. Currently, I believe that there is bountiful information about the candidates and their actions in and out of office. What we are lacking is the accurate information. The culpable major media outlets are good at passing along spin and waging theatric war firmly within the narrow bounds of the two major party platforms. Few and far between are accurate and attemptingly unbiased analyses of the current and former actions of those in power and their cohorts.

What I am calling for is simply, the courage to call a duck a duck if it is in fact a duck. One need not include the "I swear it's a chicken" commentary of of the opposing party (which is often not the opposition) only to make a pretense of fairness. John Stewart was clear on this point on crossfire. One should point out that there is less and less of a need for big media, as the smaller media break most of the important stories anyhow.

In order for the media (big or small) to make an accurate determination of a candidate, information about them and their methodologies must be made public. The public own all of that information regardless. Every memo, every email, every visitor log in every office of our federal government should be public. Transparency of government is the only weapon we have against corruption, negligence and abuses of power. FOIA denials should be punished by jail time. Worse punishment should be had on those who would obscure and hold information which is already viewed to be necessarily public.

There is only one reason for secrecy: your actions would be received poorly upon review. That is exactly what needs to be removed from our public offices. Now, this mostly talks about the day to day information that is not subject to national security (if that phrase doesn't curdle your blood, it should). It is true that there is a line to be drawn in the sand and Jane Q. Public probably shouldn't have access to every NSA security briefing. Still, information and copyright law and classification is a major abuse of the federal government on the governed.

Classification is a blanket that catches the %99 of the innocuous with the %1 of the semi-perilous. Not only is the government unable to use it's own technology, requiring much of it to be redeveloped, this technology is not allowed to those who paid for it. That is wrong. The solution to this problem is that the burden of classification should be on those who wish to hold it. The reclassification or classification renewal process must be involved and time limits must be applied. In addition, all moneys spent must be accountable to our elected officials. Especially those funding the most secret projects. There must be oversight at some level.

Copyright law is more simply a cripple to innovation and development of society. Anyone who says you can't have access to an idea, is hurting you and your nation and is not to be trusted. It is too close to thought policing. 1984 still holds pertinent warnings.

The information is ours and we must demand access.

CPR

And for those of you who think that a democratic system necessarily shields people (and protects itself) from the abuses of those in power, think again.

4.15.2005

Primer Cont

Boy, all that and I didn't even get into corporate handouts. Well that's more of a general politics problem than something that is specific to the neoreps. Though they are more conspicuous with the obvious payouts e.g. the new bankruptcy bill. The fact that there was no fury in the traditional media about a bill that helps only Citibank et alii at the expense of (mostly poorer) citizens shows that the 4th estate is officially bought off/controlled if not dead.

Oil:

First and foremost, Iraq was about oil. WMD was a ruse (which should have been obvious to all from the beginning). There may be a little personal revenge thrown in for good measure, but for the most part, the goal of the war in Iraq is to get output of oil above 6 million barrels per day (from the prewar 1.1 Mbpd). Though I have seen other estimates for the production goal, the powers that be think it'll help domestic prices. That is probably true.

But what is the root of the problem? 7 G$. That's the problem. The oil and energy industries make 7 trillion dollars per year. That's a lot of momentum (and influence and control) to resist. The point is that whether or not other technologies exist now or will soon exist that will curb the appetite for oil, those companies will protect their interests at all costs. As you would expect from any corporate entity. The result is that the oil industry will ride the oil wave until it breaks (or breaks us all). The Iraq war shows that they will maintain the status quo (that includes coal and traditional electrics as well) regardless of global socio-political fall out or obviously, environmental health. That's bad for America. The Dems purport to want energy independence, and that is a good goal, but I don't think they are genuine in that goal. A good example is that the clean coal initiative is funded roughly on the same level as the fuel cell initiative. Fuel cells are purported to be our future, though I doubt it. What I don't understand is that the DOE gets billions per year for advanced energy research, yet our power infrastructure is roughly the same as it was in the 50's or earlier for that matter. Either it's wasted money and an example of a federal department that should get rebooted, or they are purposefully spinning their wheels. I guarantee I could get us off of oil in a couple of years for a billion in research funds. Ain't gonna happen that way though.

Information freedom is next.

4.14.2005

Primer

Let me start by giving a breakdown of my current observations:

1. The Republicans are out of control.

2. An oil driven economy is bad.

3. Freedoms must include that of ideas and information.

Now I'll rant:

I remember when I used to actually dig some of the republican rhetoric. Small government ... good. Fiscal conservativism ... good. Responsibility ... good. Morals ... good.

Then something happened. We came under the rule of a one party government. Oh, boy, did we ever. As soon as the Dems didn't have the clout to get in the way, all pretense of decorum was tossed aside with a gleeful giggle. The neo-cons found their manchurian figurehead and while the party was figuring out what to do with its new found power, the party was given a hard crank to the right. You know that spot way over there to the right where it's almost left again. The rest of the repubs didn't notice or care that much as long as they could put through their favorite flavor of pork. And so here we sit.

The government is growing way to big, we cut taxes while increasing spending, Delay and the whitehouse cast aside all accountability, and given the indicators lately it seems that several of the "moral" causes are fueled by closeted self-loathers.

The Schiavo case show this viral ends-justify-the-means-and-any-means-at-that mentality where, as Reid put it, any amount of rule changing, rule breaking, intimidation, lying, cheating, and misrepresenting is ok as long as you are an evangelical christian.

Put simply, there are certain pet causes for the "new repulicans" (neoreps) and there is absolutely no weight given to the rule of law, ethics, morals, or anything as long as their goal is met.

If repub ideals would hold fast and true regardless of circumstances, I would be able to get on board. But unfortunately, they only pay those ideals lip service.

I'll save oil and information freedom for later posts.

Welcome

I am finally joining the blogspace. I'll get something good up in a bit.