A five-year-old kid from Minnesota
has patented a way of swinging on a child's swing. More proof, if anyone needs it, that the government is veering from an institution of reason to an institution of control. At what point is a sufficient degree of absurdity reached that legitimacy is widely recognized to have been abandoned?
posted by rushmc
on Apr 19, 2002 -
Jeff Gerhardt and Doc Searls are forming a PAC to fight the anti-copy technology that Eisner and Valenti are trying to buy. My question is: why hasn't someone done this earlier? What other geek-oriented lobbying groups are there?
posted by RakDaddy
on Apr 12, 2002 -
A 401(k) is not a Pension!
In a pension plan, your employer invests some money and gives you some of it when you retire. In a 401(k), they, um, don't. Congress seems a little confused
on this issue, however. It turns out that the 401k might be more boondoggle than boon to average people planning to retire before they die.
posted by ilsa
on Apr 11, 2002 -
Anthrax and the Agency
"Now that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has officially put the anthrax investigation on a back burner, it is time for Americans to think the unthinkable: that the FBI has never been keen to identify the perpetrator because that perpetrator may, in fact, be the U.S. Government itself. Evidence is mounting that the source of the anthrax was a top secret U.S. Army laboratory in Maryland and that the perpetrators involve high-level officials in the U.S. military and intelligence infrastructure."
Granted, there's more than a few blips on the radar screen these days, but...whatever happened to this investigation? I'm no conspiracy theorist, but the case laid out in this piece gives me pause. Any other good theories out there?
posted by martk
on Apr 10, 2002 -
isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
posted by the_0ne
on Apr 9, 2002 -
Clean air? We don't need no stink'n clean air.
"The White House firmly defended Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on Tuesday as newly released documents showed he held at least eight private meetings with industry leaders -- but none with environmentalists -- while the administration crafted its energy plan." Is this really a surprise?
posted by aj100
on Mar 26, 2002 -
Religion, Government, and Media
When all three are combined, as in Saudi Arabia, you get interesting newspaper articles. It would seem very strange to have a mainstream paper such as the New York Times having a section like this.
posted by LinemanBear
on Feb 12, 2002 -
Enron? Nader is glad you asked
While Democrats are readily dismissive of Nader's efforts, claiming he wrecked their chnces in the last election, the Demorats and the Republicans seemed incapable of standing up to the corporations and the largesse being handed out.
Could Nader have made a difference? Or, better, can he now make a difference?
posted by Postroad
on Feb 10, 2002 -
The USA Freedom Corps
announced last night during the State of the Union address now has a live website for you to peruse. Is this a long-overdue program, or another feel-good waste of tax dollars? Can you name a better way to serve your country and countrymen?
posted by johnnyace
on Jan 30, 2002 -
George Bush: Union buster.
500 federal employees (including US Attorneys' offices, Interpol's U.S. branch, the Criminal Division, the National Drug Intelligence Center, and the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review) fired because the presence of unionized workers would not be "consistent with national security requirements and considerations." [via bb
posted by mathowie
on Jan 24, 2002 -
The most sensible take I've seen
on Enron and Bush. Once all the fuss has died down—Congress is currently planning ten separate inquiries—two good things will probably have come out of the Enron mess. Companies will no longer be allowed to use their pension programs to treat their employees as an especially loyal and malleable class of shareholder; instead, pension funds will have to be diversified. And accounting firms will no longer be allowed to act as paid consultants to the companies they audit, as Arthur Andersen did with Enron. New Yorker
link, no registration required.
posted by jfuller
on Jan 23, 2002 -
He does return favors,
but how does it affect the workers? Eugene Scalia is President Bush's nominee for Labor Department solicitor. Scalia is one of nine children of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was a driving force behind the court ruling that stopped the counting of disputed presidential votes in Florida last year.
posted by semmi
on Dec 17, 2001 -
Desperate, clueless people scrambling to keep us safe?
Or cynical manipulation of public fear and superstition, keeping the pea hopping from shell to shell while the real machinations go on behind the scenes? Either way, the government seems to be doing their part to see that we don't forget that we're supposed to be terrorized.
posted by rushmc
on Nov 10, 2001 -
"The sky won't fall,
it will probably just trickle down." On whom? (Guess who.) Out here in Washington State voters just approved another in a series of initiatives that, collectively, choke off the state government's primary funding sources. What else are the results of the initiative process around the country? And are The People responsible enough to be trusted with it?
posted by argybarg
on Nov 8, 2001 -
It was now or not for 200 years,
and it was starting to look like it wouldn't be for another 200 years with the initial exploration funding cutbacks by Bush & Co. But reason has prevailed in the house and senate, and a Pluto mission is back in the plan. I never did find out why Bush opposed this mission. Maybe he thought that $30 million was too extravagent for a trip to Disneyland.
posted by holycola
on Nov 8, 2001 -
Berkeley does it again...
The Berkeley City Council is considering condemning the US attacks on Afganistan as acts of terrorism. The best quote: "Berkeley has always been an island of sanity in terms of the war madness that has prevailed in this country," Spring said. "The U.S. is now a terrorist. According to the Taliban these are terrorist attacks."
(Via the WSJ Opinion Page
posted by madreblu
on Oct 10, 2001 -
"First they came..."
Just a friendly reminder for all those folks who think it is somehow acceptable to allow the US government to infringe upon our civil liberties in the name of...[fill in the blank].
posted by mapalm
on Oct 1, 2001 -
Defense of Freedom Medal:
Civilians on government business who were injured or died in the course of 9/11 to be awarded a new Defense of Freedom medal. Interesting, but this will mean little for the thousands of civilians who were in private employment. Link via the online version of Stars and Stripes
posted by DBAPaul
on Sep 30, 2001 -
Taliban leader's ex-bodyguard says "We laughed when we heard the Americans asking Mullah Omar to hand over Osama bin Laden," he said. "The Americans are crazy. It is Osama bin Laden who can hand over Mullah Omar - not the other way round."
Take a look at this insider's personal account of the Taliban that some are so eager to apologize for in the name of cultural relativism.
posted by rushmc
on Sep 29, 2001 -
Potential missile defense system stronger or weaker?
In different days the creation of a cabinet post called "Director of the Office of Homeland Security" would make a lot of people nervous. The choice of Tom Ridge (former Governor of Pennsylvania) could be worse. He served in Vietnam and is known as being "tough on crime". An interesting note is that while in Congress he "led repeated fights against the anti-missile system nicknamed Star Wars." Meanwhile, would you want this guys job?
posted by jeremias
on Sep 22, 2001 -
Where's Uncle Dick?
Unless I've missed something, Dick Cheney has not shown his face since the tragedy. All I've seen is a CNN scroll stating that he is at Camp David. (more inside)
posted by Optamystic
on Sep 15, 2001 -
Under eminent domain,
a federal agency can "condemn" a piece of property and convert it to public use for the benefit of the greater community, while providing monetary compensation to the property owner. In Mississippi, however, officials at the state's economic development agency said they must seize
(NYT link, login readit11, pass readit) 23 acres in the hands of African-American hold-outs to prove to Nissan that they can. What's especially interesting is that the local newspaper has pretty much ignored that aspect of the story
in favor of covering the economic benefits. Is this a case of the rights of the few ceding to the rights of the many, or a case of a local government pushing people around because it can?
posted by headspace
on Sep 10, 2001 -
Unocal seems responsible
for driving up gas prices by taking shameless advantage of regulations and patent law. Why did our government get ambushed by a basic loophole that any first-year lawyer would think of? Maybe it's involved with too many things to do anything right?
posted by marknau
on Aug 29, 2001 -
Local and national governments around the world are legislating in favor of open source, in a challenge to US corporate (read Microsoft) dominance. A liberating movement, or too much government intrusion?
posted by liam
on Aug 29, 2001 -