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military pay raises

"Hang in there, help is on the way."

The director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., recently asked the Defense Department to lower the 2004 pay raise from its expected 3.7 percent to 2 percent. Daniels also wants future raises tied to inflation, rather than basing boosts on what civilians doing comparable jobs in the private sector might make.

Many of our military families already qualify for welfare and food stamps. Pay raises are out of the question when there's NMD and tax cuts to the wealthy needing funding.
posted by nofundy on Dec 23, 2002 - 7 comments

Election World

PoliSciFilter! Say you really wanted to know how the recent elections in the Seychelles went, or you needed to know the URL for the Turkish Communist Party. Check out Election World, rounding out the trio of recently posted political reference websites with a semi-comprehensive non-partisan database of every national election in every country on earth, including some countries where the results don't mean all that much, and some ominous blank spots where there are no election results worth reporting, plus a massive list of political parties (with weblinks) from virtually all over. Of course, if you want to find out whether these trappings of democracy are actually making a difference in people's lives, it's worth reading the Country Reports in the annual Freedom in the World survey, or just checking out what color country you're in on the PDF Map of Freedom.
posted by sexualchocolate on Dec 21, 2002 - 1 comment

Do the Terrorists Care about Teenage Smoking?

Information deemed useful to terrorists is disappearing from government Web sites. I know this is old news, but this article details some of the specifics of whas has been happening. "The previous presumption, that publicly-funded information is the rightful property of the public until proven otherwise, has been replaced by the presumption that the public has to prove to a suspicious government that it deserves the information." I understand that as a nation we are hypersensitive now to terrorism, but isn't this just what the terrorists want? The loss of our freedoms to information?
posted by archimago on Dec 19, 2002 - 14 comments

give up the logo

"Get some respect, be some patriot." The Department of Homeland Security really, really needs "a piece of identity ware." Adbusters culture-jammers need not apply.
posted by luriete on Dec 16, 2002 - 25 comments

Educate. Prevent. Practice Safer Sex. Demand Needle Exchange Programs. End HIV/AIDS Discrimination.

Educate. Prevent. Practice Safer Sex. Insist On Needle Exchange Programs. End HIV/AIDS Discrimination. Demand Adequate Treatment for Low Income HIV+ Persons. (And fight like hell against those who drag their feet on public health issues for the sake of ideology.)
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Dec 1, 2002 - 2 comments

USG PR

US Government Support for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS is an overview from the State Department of funding and programs directed towards international AIDS prevention and treatment. World AIDS Day was proclaimed by the President. The special CDC site focuses on the stigma and discrimination of AIDS that creates impediments to fighting the disease. The National Institutes of Health launch AIDSInfo on December 2, combining prior resources. USAID notes its own programs and accomplishments. The US Surgeon General notes the impact on persons of color. Housing and Urban Development looks at housing opportunities. And the Department of Veterans Affairs provides more AIDS care than any other single agency. The NIH Drug Abuse office has its own information site, including notes on the perhaps ineptly, perhaps tellingly PSA spot series titled "Jack and Jill".
posted by dhartung on Dec 1, 2002 - 1 comment

Happy Thanksgiving or Is It?

Happy Thanksgiving or Is It? In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt responed to pressure from the National Retail Dry Goods Association to move the official date of Thanksgiving back one week to the next-to-last Thursday of the month. FDR hoped that this would enliven the economy by adding one week to the Christmas shopping season, but he received considerable political flak for tampering with what many viewed as a sacred religious holiday. (Thanksgiving is considered sacred even though it only became a national holiday due to lobbying by the editor of a 19th century woman's magazine.) New Deal-era Republicans were especially bothered by the calendar change and one essayist at the American Enterprise Institute still seems to carry a grudge. Congress later resolved the issue by passing a resolution in 1941 that designated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November.
posted by jonp72 on Nov 26, 2002 - 11 comments

Consumer Ping

Buying on-line? We're from the Government and we're here to help you. [more inside]
posted by dg on Nov 24, 2002 - 2 comments

United States Senate Has New Website

The United States Senate's Website has been redesigned. Checking on today's Senate activities, I was pleasantly surprised to find the redesign. Poking around it is very easy to use, in comparison to other Government websites.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Nov 19, 2002 - 14 comments

Homeland Security

Homeland Security "Goodies". "The bill the president supported was 35 pages long. The bill that I've been asked to vote on on Monday or Tuesday is 484 pages long, filled with special-interest legislation, loaded up by the House Republicans in the last few days," Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) The most egregious, Democrats say, is language to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits over the vaccines they create and their side effects, including wiping out lawsuits already in court.
posted by Espoo2 on Nov 18, 2002 - 39 comments

"if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture"

"if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture" a word from bill moyers via drudge on the party now in control of the US government - and a word from garrison kiellor on one of its newest members complete text here. anyone else uneasy with the direction the county seems to be headed?
posted by specialk420 on Nov 11, 2002 - 66 comments

Let the people decide.

Let the people decide. There's lot's of initiatives trying to push Direct Democracy, like Philadelphia II, as a solution to all of the problems inherent in the political process. A few places like Switzerland, ancient Athens, and some New England towns already have it that way. A lot of them want electronic and phone voting to pave the way. Is it possible, or was Machiavelli right to believe that politics is best left to the politicians. That's what the electoral college is for.
posted by destro on Nov 10, 2002 - 39 comments

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate.

Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
posted by maud on Nov 5, 2002 - 68 comments

Does this story

Does this story about the US govt making someone disappear for no admitted reason scare you as much as it scares me?
posted by lerrup on Oct 21, 2002 - 32 comments

US Dept. of Education to erase website info which "does not reflect the priorities, philosophies, or goals of the present administration."

US Dept. of Education to erase website info which "does not reflect the priorities, philosophies, or goals of the present administration." Can you say 1984? Say it now....OVER and OVER and OVER again so you can GET USED TO IT......a brutal, clever strategy of the Bush Adm.to rewrite reality: erase problematic info and then channel money to people willing to produce the right stuff. Samizdat opportunity -- use a website capture program: WebWhacker costs $, but there are freeware site suckers available too. Orwell is turning in his grave.....Download and archive this stuff before it gets erased. Remember, Information Wants to Be Free!...or does it?
posted by troutfishing on Oct 10, 2002 - 8 comments

"Suppose you're devising a logo for a new wing of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,

"Suppose you're devising a logo for a new wing of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an office charged with developing intelligence tools and integrating the government's existing surveillance networks. Suppose that it has a vaguely sinister name—say, the Information Awareness Office—and that it's to be run by a former Iran-contra conspirator. What would your design be?"
posted by zztzed on Oct 7, 2002 - 17 comments

Do you know what the Second Amendment actually says?

Do you know what the Second Amendment actually says? UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh presents a remarkably clear, educated, and non-inflammatory explanation of the amendment, including plenty of historical references. As with my previous post (about Liberalism and Conservativism), I submit this not to promote a viewpoint, but to (hopefully) educate those who would debate about it.
posted by oissubke on Sep 29, 2002 - 33 comments

TRANSCRIPTS:
A case on Iraq - Rumsfeld's testimony to Senate Armed Services Committee, 9.19.02.
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America.
GAO e-Government Proposal.
Senator Byrd on the Department of Homeland Security.
Today's bumper crop of limited audience government info links. "Maybe only 50,000 people want to know what's going on in Libya, but those 50,000 people are really important. You don't want to have more planes blow up. But maybe six million people want to watch Jerry Springer. Well, who owns the airwaves? Basically we do." Do you think that unprocessed, source texts are getting filtered effectively to the public?
posted by sheauga on Sep 22, 2002 - 7 comments

Germany slips on its jack boots to keep in step with the USA

Germany slips on its jack boots to keep in step with the USA In the wake of september 11th Most supposedly enlightened "western" countries have curtailed or outright forbidden free speech to groups suspected to be sympathetic to "terror". The question in my mind is how long until just being part of a political organization that opposes first use of violence and criticizes government policy (libertarians, Greens, CUSPA) will get you on the FBI "hit" list here at home?
posted by hoopyfrood on Sep 19, 2002 - 27 comments

Paging Winston Smith...

Paging Winston Smith... Not content with mere cynical doublespeak, the Bush Administration is now trying to shape government reports and research to agree with the President's beliefs: an EPA report omits a section on global warming for the first time in six years; the Department of Health and Human Services is being "restructured," eliminating committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views; and at the Department of Education, old studies that contradict the current administration's policies are being removed from the agency's web site. When you add this trend to the administration's "permanent war," I suspect George Orwell is smiling somewhere...
posted by mattpusateri on Sep 18, 2002 - 42 comments

"One nationally renowned academic ... was recently called by an administration official to talk about serving on an HHS [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] advisory committee.... To the candidate's surprise, the official asked for the professor's views on embryo cell research, cloning and physician-assisted suicide. After that, the candidate said, the interviewer told the candidate that the position would have to go to someone else because the candidate's views did not match those of the administration."
The overhaul of the U.S. public health advisory committee system begins with politics and ends with canning those who disagree with George W. Bush. The public interest is somehow left out of the process.
posted by PrinceValium on Sep 17, 2002 - 21 comments

Welcome to the State Department... I mean, the Republican Party.

Welcome to the State Department... I mean, the Republican Party. "For some time, travelers browsing the State Department Web site for helpful tips about Guadalajara, Mexico, found much more than they bargained for when they clicked on a photograph of President Bush. The click transported them to a partisan playground, where they were told how to get involved with the Republican Party and even how to donate money to it." (Why does nytimes.com have all the good stories?- metafilter, metafilter)
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Sep 13, 2002 - 11 comments

Molly Ivins wraps it up nicely and ties a bow on top.

Molly Ivins wraps it up nicely and ties a bow on top. When Dick Cheney was CEO of the oilfield supply firm Halliburton, the company did $23.8 million in business with Saddam Hussein, the evildoer "prepared to share his weapons of mass destruction with terrorists."
posted by pejamo on Sep 4, 2002 - 22 comments

Have you told the powers in Washington what kind of world you want?

Have you told the powers in Washington what kind of world you want? You're busy. You don't have time to be a professional "Congress watcher." So we'll be your eyes and ears. We'll track the debates and compromises and bills that will shape the world.
posted by katy_ on Sep 3, 2002 - 16 comments

Government favors at Auction Prices.

Government favors at Auction Prices. The Bill Simon campaign gets it... they really get it.
posted by mikewas on Aug 30, 2002 - 7 comments

Michael Rivero,

Michael Rivero, formerly an digital effects worker for Final Fantasy and Coneheads has walked onto the scene and stood out when it comes to the conspiracy genre, with his site WhatReallyHappened.com. He has been claiming that 9/11 was the work of the Israelis and the US government to cause a war for Oil in the Middle East, while also making other comments on the War on Terror.

While he seems to boast that his site's Alexa rating is higher than Newsweek's as affirmation that he is popular, no matter how flawed Alexa may be.

Is this what really happened? or merely the posted viewpoints collected by a person who distrusts the Government?
posted by RobbieFal on Aug 29, 2002 - 36 comments

Lobsters, caviar and brandy for MPs at summit on starvation.

Lobsters, caviar and brandy for MPs at summit on starvation. Is this really a scandal? Or typical tabloid pabulum? Yes, it is hypocritical, but is it worse than rich people who don't claim to give a damn about the poor eating caviar and swilling champagne? Matt thinks it's "sick".
posted by goethean on Aug 26, 2002 - 27 comments

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval

Administration Says It Can Attack Iraq without Congressional Approval Not a new story, per se, but this Post article lays out pretty well the arguments behind the administration's case, one being simply Bush's role as commander-in-chief. It's strange how closely this issue reflects earlier attempts by the administration to avoid Congressional and/or public scrutiny (Cheney's Enron meetings, for example). Why this aversion, and why fight so hard? And I have a sneaking fear that Bush will seek Congressional approval only after invading, and he will bully votes by claiming that reps have a patriotic duty to support a president in a time of war.
posted by risenc on Aug 26, 2002 - 65 comments

Don't say nobody told you.

Don't say nobody told you. Here is NARA's Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, showing every comment, every bill signing, every communication, executive order, and interview the president has made: everything that goes into the history books...
posted by swift on Aug 15, 2002 - 6 comments

Buy SBC now.

Buy SBC now. "In order to make sure the economy grows, we must bring the promise of broadband technology to millions of Americans,'' Bush said at a White House-sponsored economic forum. "Government at all levels should remove hurdles that slow the pace of deployment.''

Is the USTA happy about this type of talk? You bet. They would like to see passage of S.2430, also known as the Broadband Regulatory Parity Act of 2002. Others wouldn't. Some have studies (300K PDF) that argue local phone companies are slowing the growth of DSL for anti-competitive reasons.

Also, notice how the President said "bring the promise of broadband technology to millions of Americans", not all Americans? Might have something to do with the fact that rural DSL is really, really expensive to provide.
posted by dglynn on Aug 14, 2002 - 14 comments

Gallery of anti-war propaganda posters remixed from old wartime posters.

Gallery of anti-war propaganda posters remixed from old wartime posters. Some are perhaps over the top, but its very thought provoking work. Some of these posters really drive the point home that we are not that far removed from from the grisly battles of that past regardless of the government spin and all the high-tech military toys. This one is especially moving.
posted by skallas on Aug 14, 2002 - 104 comments

The UK Parliament Site

The UK Parliament Site gets a new design, with live webcasting. They want it better to serve "grazers" as well as "hunters". For comparison, the US House and Senate, and the French Assembly and Senate.
posted by liam on Jul 30, 2002 - 14 comments

"Granted, we're a long way from resembling the kind of authoritarian state Orwell depicted, but some of the similarities are starting to get a bit eerie."
posted by jjg on Jul 28, 2002 - 54 comments

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections

House likely to approve homeland security bill that erodes labor protections "But the Senate, which likely takes up the matter next week, so far has pursued a much different course. On Thursday, the Democratic-led Senate Governmental Affairs Committee crafted legislation that would protect all current civil service protections and make it more difficult for the president to move workers out of unions. Bush and other Republicans said the measure would give the president less authority than he has now."

The House seems to be so much more conservative and extremist than the Senate. Heck they're still working on trying to ban selected types of abortion procedures even when there's a strong chance it won't pass constitutional muster and the Senate isn't likely to support them.

Is it your perception that the House is more conservative? If so, why do you think that's true?
posted by Red58 on Jul 26, 2002 - 19 comments

Non-citizens put on notice to file change in addresses

Non-citizens put on notice to file change in addresses
The Ashcroft Gestapo strikes again!

If a permanent resident doesn't file this change-in-address form, they are talking about penalties up to and including deportion! Note we aren't talking about student visa holders or anything like that .. we are talking about people who have lived in this country for 10 .. 20 .. 30 years or more in many cases.

This country is really turning into a police state the way things are going.
posted by ssheth on Jul 23, 2002 - 44 comments

45 Things That Make You A Commie

45 Things That Make You A Commie A list from 1961, by an FBI guy. Ironies aplenty.
posted by kablam on Jul 22, 2002 - 32 comments

Welcome to Amerika?

Welcome to Amerika? Tom Ridge (with the blessing of George W.) thinks it's time to re-examine the Posse Comitatus Act with an eye toward giving the Armed Forces more power to act in a domestic law enforcement capacity. After having the National Guard here during the Winter Olympics, I'm not so keen on seeing armed soldiers patrolling the streets again.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 21, 2002 - 25 comments

The U.S. Army pays for lapdances.

The U.S. Army pays for lapdances. "In addition to the inappropriate purchases, the GAO said more than 1,200 Army employees wrote bad checks to pay their government credit card bills. Last year alone, that cost taxpayers $3.8 million in higher fees and lost rebates." You mean, the government practices bad accounting? Ron Paul points out that the Congress commits the worst accounting fraud of all. But the most important issue of all is, with the government paying for Strip Club tips, gambling, and wine, does this mean that God will no longer bless America?
posted by insomnyuk on Jul 18, 2002 - 18 comments

You're the king of a small african nation. You have an annual health budget of $15 million. Two-thirds of the people in your nation are HIV positive, and two-thirds are living below the poverty line. What do you do? Why, you buy a $31 million private jet, of course!
posted by Reggie452 on Jul 8, 2002 - 27 comments

Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act?

Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act? The last episode of NOW ran a piece on the FOIA which described how back in 1974 President Ford and his staff, which included Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, opposed Congress' strengthening of the FOIA, and Ford tried unsuccessfully to veto it. Now this new exemption looks like the continuation of a 28 year-old feud. Ridge says it is in order to not "draw a road map of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities," but are complete exemptions really necessary for that? The potential for abuse seems quite dangerous. (Some previous discussions of FOIA revelations here and here).
posted by homunculus on Jul 1, 2002 - 17 comments

Silent Evidence

Silent Evidence - Ronald Bailey insists that Rachel Carson's campaign against DDT in "Silent Spring" is filled with bad science and has resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths due to increased malaria rates. The US Government has also considered removing the ban on DDT, as has Roger Bate in the Wall Street Journal.
posted by Kevs on Jun 27, 2002 - 5 comments

Are national governments about to take over the Internet? Has ICANN done such a terrible job that they should be permitted to?
posted by rushmc on Jun 13, 2002 - 3 comments

Jaw-drop-inducing link of the day

Jaw-drop-inducing link of the day The federal government spent $62 million on a building to store and treat low-level radioactive waste at a California nuclear weapons laboratory, then decided the structure wasn't secure enough. So where is the waste kept now?
... Right outside the new building, under tents.

posted by magullo on Jun 10, 2002 - 11 comments

FindLaw Forum: Could terrorism result in a constitutional dictator?

FindLaw Forum: Could terrorism result in a constitutional dictator? Rather odd that so early into the "game" this sort of speculation by professionals is being considered. Heading for a change in the way we govern or are governed, or just a bump in the road that need not jar us?
posted by Postroad on Jun 7, 2002 - 19 comments

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

Does privacy have a place in society anymore? Or is it incompatible with a crowded and technologically-advanced world? If we must submit to constant surveillance, who should we trust to watch?
posted by rushmc on May 23, 2002 - 21 comments

Cambodian police urge Glitter to leave.

Cambodian police urge Glitter to leave. Not even Cambodia wants anything to do with Gary.
posted by Leonard on May 5, 2002 - 10 comments

Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government. --Thomas Jefferson
posted by rushmc on May 2, 2002 - 25 comments

A five-year-old kid from Minnesota

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 - 21 comments

A small plane has ran into a skyscraper in Milan.

A small plane has ran into a skyscraper in Milan.  CNN is reporting that a small plane has struck the 25th floor of the Pirelli building. The skyscraper apparently houses government offices. Details are still coming in.
posted by bshort on Apr 18, 2002 - 64 comments

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