28.4.05

Land of the free (to shut the hell up and take it outside)

Scott McClellan, the presidential Press Secretary's idea of freedom of speech (referring to the "Denver Three" who were kicked out of a taxpayer sponsored event for their bumper sticker)

"There's plenty of opportunity for people to express their views outside the event. That's why areas are set up for that sole purpose."

Yeah, that's just like every "town hall" meeting I've ever seen. You know the kind where one side goes to the meeting with all of the same viewpoints and resolves the issues while all those who do not agree get to dissent from the parking lot. Even in the Soviets (I'm referring to the Bolshevik committees that initially ran the USSR not the state itself) you could disagree INSIDE the meeting before they hauled you out and locked you up...

On Bolton and checks and balances...

The Washington Note, my favorite foreign policy blog, has a outstanding post today concerning the nomination of John Bolton to the post of UN ambassador. If you haven't been following this one you should. As bad a choice for this post as Bolton is, the author makes the correct observation that the White House's 'win at all costs' mentality is even more disturbing. As we have seen with the judicial nominees hung up in the Senate, this administration would rather dismantle our system of checks and balances (and by extension our government) than loose any fight, no matter how inconsequential. Politics used to be about compromise, 'The art of the possible', now it seems to be winner take all. At what point are people willing to say enough?

Enough!

27.4.05

Where have I been...

I just realized that it's been nearly two weeks since I last posted. The cause, my friends, has been the warming trend we seem to experience every year at this time. The past two weekends I've been living it up on some of Colorado's larger rivers, the Colorado and the North Platte. White water rafting is a blast, for those of you who haven't been out yet give me a jingle and we'll arrange a trip. If you'd like to follow my adventures on the water this summer please visit www.hitthepipe.com we should have the site up and running shortly with our videos, stills and trip reports. If you can't live it, live it vicariously.

W might have trouble with his base if this gets out...

14.4.05

The new EPA, E.very P.etroleum industry desire A.pproved...

Well, if you didn't think that the EPA had been completely castrated then read this article. This agency now works for the resource extraction industry, the very people it was created to guard against. How on earth can an organization, that is supposedly charged with protecting the environment, not at least study the pumping of known toxins into the ground near aquifers?

13.4.05

Wake the hell up!

The US House of representatives just passed a very unrepresentative piece of legislation. That's right kids, they passed the repeal of the Estate tax. This tax only effects the wealthiest 2.1% of the population when they die. It doesn't bankrupt their heirs but rather serves to better society by redistributing the wealth of a group of people who no longer need it, the wealthy dead, thus reducing the tax burden on the working living. How could you argue against something like that? Well, I'm glad you asked. First, you need to control the language of the debate, change the word Estate, which almost no one in this country experiences to the word Death, which everyone will experience. Second, and this is the most important part, you need to get your rich supporters elected in the first place. If Joe six-pack realized who he was voting for, he'd never vote for this agenda. Have those champions of the rich clothe themselves in the following rhetoric: Religious, Freedom and just a hint of Racism and you've got it! Note to voters; The Republican party works for the wealthy, not anyone else...

11.4.05

The culture of entertainment...

Frank Rich, NY Times columnist, brings this piece on the recent media circuses surrounding death. While I agree that we, as a culture, have a morbid fascination with death, I think it goes beyond that. We want to be entertained. Watching someone die is the pinnacle of entertainment, after all, how do you think the masses were controlled before the advent of television? Circuses my friend, not the three ring kind, but the Roman, feed the Christians to the lions blockbusters. We enjoy watching others suffer and die and the media, being in the entertainment business, is only too happy to oblige...