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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in It's My Party's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, July 2nd, 2006
10:58 am
[mstical1]
Freedom of the Press and other rants for the 4th of July
No, Dr. Frist. No, Mr. Snow. No, Mr. President. It's not the NY Times that is a threat to American democracy. It's YOU. It's your secret wire-tapping and torture and wanting to rewrite our constitution. It's your idiotic idea that somehow the terrorists are as dumb as you guys and don't know that they are being watched and listened to and that their financial records are being tracked.

The threat to our democracy is coming, not from Baghdad, but from Washington D.C. (and of course, Crawford). This administration has lied and lied and lied, and they have tried their best to scare the American people into believing we have to give up our most precious rights.

While we're on the subject of the Constitution, let me ask you, Mr. President, Mr. Frist and the rest of you who are so adamant about amending that great document, please read the 27 amendments to the constitution. Notice anything about them? Most people capable of rational thought will notice that, for the most part, these amendments expand the rights of Americans and limit the power of the federal government. They don't limit the rights of Americans. Of course, there's the first 10, our precious bill of rights, then there's the 13th, 14th and 15th - expand rights. The 17th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th - expand rights. The only one that limits the rights of Americans is the only one that had to later be repealed.

Can you learn anything from that? Don't you guys have enough "thou shall nots" in those 10 Comandments you like to post everywhere? Please, leave our constitution alone!

Two-hundred thirty years ago, real patriots, like T. Jefferson, B. Franklin, and J. Adams, sent a message to another guy named George. And, those men were accused of treason by that George. We all know how history has judged them. Mr. President, you can only hope that history is a little kinder to you and your ilk.

"The assault on a free press during our own wartime should be recognized for what it is: another desperate ploy by officials trying to hide their own lethal mistakes in the shadows. It's the antithesis of everything we celebrate with the blazing lights of Independence Day."

Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!Collapse )

Current Mood: angry
Thursday, June 22nd, 2006
2:59 pm
[chvytruk]
Hello...
...anybody home?
Friday, March 24th, 2006
6:40 pm
[mstical1]
Texas Alcohol & Beverage Commission Runs Amok
Everyone is talking about the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission overstepping their bounds, going in to bars and arresting people they think are drunk. They claim they are doing this to cut down on drunk driving. But, they are even going into bars located in hotels and arresting people who are guests of the hotel and don't even have access to a car.

So, who is to blame? Who is responsible?

Texans are to blame. Texans are so fearful of any government power at all that they spread the power around between so many different parts of the government, that basically, no one is in charge. I know I bitch about this all the time and people just whine about the mean old government and how we need to keep the plural executive and keep things the way they are or else someone might actually have power and thus have to take responsibility for what happens.

I know exactly why the TABC is doing what they are doing. It's obvious to anyone who is knowledgeable of the workings of Texas government. It is a bit confusing, so see if you can follow along.

The TABC is made up of 16 commissioners appointed by the governor, with approval by the Texas senate. Each commissioner is appointed for 6 year staggered terms. The way they are appointed means that a governor isn't likely to appoint more than 2 or 3 of the commissioners. So, you can't blame the governor for what most of the commissioners are doing, because they were appointed by someone else.

The TABC, like all of the Texas bureaucratic agencies, are created by, given their mission and funded by the Texas legislature. In the 2003 legislative session, TABC asked for and were granted the funds to hire an additional 100+ new agents. These new agents are the ones who now have the time to go around and arrest drunk people in bars. So, in that regard, I guess you could blame the Texas legislators for increasing the budget of the TABC. But, since the lege only meets every other year, it's really kind of hard to get much of anything brought to their attention. We still don't have a way to pay for our schools.

Okay.....are you following along? Texas has "sunset review", every 7 years, every Texas agency is up for review. The Sunset commission reviews what the agency is doing, if they are doing what they are supposed to, if they are still needed, if they need to be eliminated or merged with another agency.

Well, guess what???? TABC is up for sunset review in the next legislative session (it begins Jan. 2007). And, the current Comptroller and candidate for governor has recommened that the TABC be eliminated.

So, looks to me like TABC is trying to prove they are still needed. They are trying to make us believe that they are saving us from hundreds of drunk drivers. On that, I call bullshit. They are trying to save their jobs.

What can we do about the abuses of the TABC? Good question. The lege could vote to remove the commissioners who approved this action. But, they won't be meeting again, in regular session for almost a year. And, it takes a 2/3rd majority in both houses to remove a commissioner, so that's not likely.

The Governor could make a public statement saying he disapproves of the actions of the TABC, big whoop. Other than the bully pulpit the governor has no power here.

So, basically all we can really do is continue to bitch about it, hope the press continues to cover the story and try to use public pressure to get the TABC to stop what they are doing. Because, there is no one in office who actually has the power to stop the TABC from doing whatever the heck they want to do.

Not only is arresting these people an obvious violation of their civil rights, but Texas tax payers are going to end up footing the bill for a lot of law suits resulting from this stupidity!

Texas politics.....gotta love it.

(I think I will introduce a resolution at the district Democratic convention tomorrow recommending that TABC be eliminated. I'm pretty sure that what they do can be done by other law enforcement agencies.)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday, March 13th, 2006
8:57 am
[mstical1]
Gross Neglect
Who pays for the tax cuts to the super rich? Who suffers the consequences of draconian cuts in social services? The children, that's who. While this article is about the sad state of affairs for kids in Mississippi, it won't be long before a lot of other states, including Texas, will be in the same situation. We cannot protect our kids when the powers that be keep taking the funds away from the agencies set up to investigate and help these children.

And, if you look at the budgets for children services, guess which states fall at the very bottom? The red states, the prolife, holier-than-thou, family values red states.

How much longer are we going to allow our children to pay the price for these money grabbing selfish politicians?

States like Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, etc. allocate very little money for abused and neglected children. And, now, federal money has all but dried up. So, just who is going to step up and help these children?

Everyone remembers what Haley Barbour's job was before he was elected governor of Mississippi, right? He was the chairperson of the RNC. So, it should come as no surprise that he's never met a tax cut he didn't like, or a social service he didn't think needed to be eliminated.

The conservatives keep saying that the liberals are "angry". Hell yes, those of us with a brain, who see and understand what is happening are angry. Damn right!! I worry about anyone who can read things like this and not get angry.

"When it comes to providing desperately needed services for children who have been beaten, starved, sexually abused or otherwise mistreated, the state of Mississippi offers what is probably the worst-case scenario."
Kids suffer and may even die without ever coming close to the attention of the authoritiesCollapse )

Current Mood: angry
Sunday, March 12th, 2006
8:47 pm
[dop4]
Sandy Day O'Connor Takes Aim at Fascist Politicians (mostly Texans, of course...)
(Remember this is coming from a conservative Reagan appointee....)

Nina Totenberg: In an unusually forceful and forthright speech, O’Connor said that attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms. O’Connor began by conceding that courts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, as she put it “really, really angry.” But, she continued, if we don’t make them mad some of the time we probably aren’t doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, she said, is premised on the notion that we won’t be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts. The nation’s founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, said O’Connor, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don’t protect judicial independence, people do.
Advertisement

And then she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said O’Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress’ onetime only statute about Schiavo as it was written. Not, said O’Connor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O’Connor, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts.

It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn’t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn’t name him, but it was Texas senator John Cornyn who made that statement, after a Georgia judge was murdered in the courtroom and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge’s home. O’Connor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms, recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges, stripping the courts of jurisdiction and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decisions that political leaders disagree with.

I, said O’Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and former communist countries where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O’Connor said we must be ever-vigilant against those who would strongarm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.

Nina Totenberg, NPR News, Washington.

Current Mood: awake
Friday, March 3rd, 2006
12:21 am
[silnith]
Body Counts
Remember, boys and girls, every time some neocon whack-job tells you that Senator Ted Kennedy killed a girl, you are required to remind them that First Lady Laura Bush killed someone, too. Funny, they were both driving for their respective kills, and both negligent and responsible for the deaths.

Counter that “But Clinton!” with your very own “But Bush!”
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
6:45 pm
[armagh444]
What?!?!
According to reports on Lou Dobbs tonight, President Bush today signed a trade agreement with India, granting that nation access to nuclear plant technology to help with their burgeoning energy needs.

What are we getting in return?

. . .

. . .

. . .

Wait for it

. . .

. . .

. . .

It's worth it, I swear.

. . .

. . .

. . .

We are getting . . .

MANGOES.

I shit you not.

Current Mood: shocked
Saturday, February 25th, 2006
9:22 am
[mstical1]
How Ann Coulter gets away with defaming liberals
Will Coultergeist ever been held accountable for her hate speech? I swear, sometimes I just want to tell her to put down the crack pipe and get some ethics.

"My utterances occasionally spark controversy but I've got nothing on Ann Coulter. The star Republican pundit, who has spewed more racist, offensive and defamatory slurs in a week than Louis Farrakhan and Pat Robertson have in their whole lives combined, has turned slander and threats of violence into a cottage industry."

Threatening the life of a top government official violates federal law but it's just another throwaway line for Coulter.Collapse )
Thursday, February 23rd, 2006
4:41 pm
[mstical1]
Gods save us from these people
This will definitely be in front the SCOTUS before long. And, just how do you think the two new justices will vote? You honestly don't think Bush would have appointed anyone that he wasn't absolutely certain would overturn Roe? You can't be that stupid.

Gods....I fear for the lives of all the young women in this country. I remember what it was like pre-Roe. I had friends that bled to death from trying to give themselves abortions. Of course, just like back then, this won't affect the wealthy, they can afford to travel to civilized countries that aren't trying to return to the 18th Century.

I wonder what medical procedures these right wing whackos will want to put doctors in prison for in the future?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11510472/?GT1=7756

South Dakota Senate passes abortion ban

Bill designed to prompt Roe v. Wade challenge moves toward enactment

PIERRE, S.D. - Legislation meant to prompt a national legal battle targeting Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, was approved Wednesday by the South Dakota Senate, moving the bill a step closer to final passage.

The measure, which would ban nearly all abortions in the state, now returns to the House, which passed a different version earlier. The House must decide whether to accept changes made by the Senate, which passed its version 23-12.

“It is the time for the South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the lives and rights of unborn children,” said Democratic Sen. Julie Bartling, the bill’s main sponsor.

The bill, carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison, would make it a felony for doctors or others to perform abortions.

Bartling and other supporters noted that the recent appointment of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito make the Supreme Court more likely to consider overturning Roe v. Wade.

President Bush, a Republican and an abortion foe, might also have a chance to appoint a third justice in the next few years, they said.

Opponents argued that the measure was too extreme because it would allow abortions only to save the lives of pregnant women. They said abortion should at least be allowed in cases involving rape, incest and a threat to a woman’s health

Planned Parenthood, which operates the only clinic that provides abortions in South Dakota, pledged to challenge the measure in court if it wins final approval from the Legislature and is signed by Gov. Mike Rounds.

Rounds, a Republican and a longtime abortion opponent, has said he would “look favorably” on the abortion ban if it would “save life.”

Other state legislatures are considering similar measures. But South Dakota is the only state so far to pass such an abortion ban, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights organization in New York and Washington, D.C.

Current Mood: worried
Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
5:18 pm
[mstical1]
How about we offer President Bush this deal......
Since Bush seems so positive that turning over port security to the UAE is a good idea, and won't in anyway jeopardize our national security, how about we let him prove just how much faith he has in the UAE.

Let's get rid of all the current secret service that guard Bush, Laura, the twins and the Cheneys. We will replace them with trained security from the UAE.

If they are all still in one piece at the end of 90 days, we will consider this assinine idea.
3:05 pm
[mstical1]
Just like I've been saying - Bizarro World
"The sense of Bizarro-ness permeates this entire administration. F'rinstance, last Friday, everyone's favorite ditzy Grandpa, Donald Rumsfeld fumed over America getting dissed by Muslims. Okay. There's the whole Abu Ghraib prison torture deal, the Gitmo torture deal condemned by the U.N. last week, the revelation that we're paying Iraqi journalists to plant articles favorable to the U.S. in newspapers and on TV stations, the recent Pew survey that stated 14 out of 16 countries have a higher opinion of China than the U.S. (and these countries are all our allies), a recent poll in Korea that revealed most South Korean young people would side with North Korea if there was ever a U.S.-North Korea spat and the "accidental" bombing of Arabic news media headquarters in Iraq by U.S. forces.

So, using Bizarro logic? Who's to blame? The American press for reporting these stories! Damn you, free press! What were you thinking?"

Us am living in Bizarro WorldCollapse )
6:20 am
[mstical1]
A Test for the New Justices
I wonder if the Court will display judicial restraint and honor Congressional intent, or if they will make an activist decision and further jeopardize our enviornment, our health and our future?

What is more important to these people? The safety of our water and preservation of our waterways, or profit.

Why do I have a really bad feeling about this?

"The Supreme Court hears arguments today in a pair of cases that could drastically weaken the protections of the Clean Water Act. These cases are an important test of the legal philosophy of John Roberts Jr., the new chief justice, and Samuel Alito Jr., the new associate justice. If they take a hard-line states' rights stance, it will be a sign that they agree with ultraconservatives who want to restrict Congress's power to regulate critical national matters like environmental protection, public health and workplace safety."

These cases' impact on the environment could be devastating.Collapse )

Current Mood: worried
Monday, February 20th, 2006
3:25 pm
[mstical1]
What it means to be a Republican
"The vice president shoots you in the heart and in the face. Then you apologize for all the trouble it's caused him. That's what it means to be a Republican.

Despite almost hysterical warnings the president stays asleep at the wheel. He does nothing about terrorism and 9/11 happens. He responds by running away to Nebraska. Three days later he makes a supposedly impromptu speech with a bull horn on the rubble of the World Trade Center. He is universally cheered as a hero. That's what it means to be a Republican.

The president puts together false claims to go to war with the wrong country. His party universally supports him.....

What it implies is that Republicans can't be dealt with as if reason and facts will sway them. Because it wont. It's hard for reality based people, regular Democrats and Liberals to understand that.
That's what it means to be a Republican.Collapse )
Saturday, February 18th, 2006
11:39 am
[theoldone]
Another repost from earlier. . . .

What if it went beyond health care?


911 Call Center – Hyderabad India - Early Morning 21 May 2008.

[Ring – Ring]
“Hello! Thank you for calling Atlanta Emergency Services! How May I help you?”
(Male voice) “Send the Fire Department! My house is on Fire!”
“Of course sir. A single-family residence call is $1,000. Do you want to put this on a credit card, or do you have proof of insurance?”
(Male voice) “What? I do have insurance, but I have to pay?”
“Yes sir. All Emergency Service are now fee based . . . Let me link to the Homeland Security Data Base. Am I speaking to Mr. White? It says that you have State Farm. You do have coverage. Your insurance will cover two trucks, but there is a $500 deductible. Will you be putting it on a credit card?”
(Male voice) “Yeah! Whatever, just hurry!”
“May I suggest sir that when you renew that you get the Cardox rider. It will pay to have you appliances and electronics extinguished with Carbon Dioxide to prevent water damage.”
(Male voice) “Can I get that if I pay extra?”
“Yes sir. It’s $250 extra. Just tell the billing officer when the trucks arrive. I’m dispatching them now.”
(Male voice) “Please hurry!”
“Yes sir! We’re also having a customer satisfaction survey. If you hold the line after I hang up, you will automatically transferred to an anonymous survey.”
. . . . .
[Ring – Ring]
“Hello! Thank you for calling Miami Emergency Services! How May I help you?”
(Elderly Female voice) “Oh Lord! Send help! My house is on fire!”
“Of course ma’m. A single-family residence call is $1,000. Do you want to put this on a credit card, or do you have proof of insurance?”
(Elderly Female voice) “Just send the Fire department!”
“Ma’m. All Emergency Service are now fee based . . . Let me link to the Homeland Security Data Base. Am I speaking to Mrs. Smith?
(Elderly Female voice) “Yes! Please help”
“Mrs. Smith, it says here that you have no insurance, and that you have no mortgage. It appears that you and your late husband bought the house in 1947 with his veteran’s benefits. Would you like to apply for a home equity loan to cover the cost of dispatching a fire crew?
(Elderly Female voice) “Yes . . No! I don’t know! Please help”
“I see that you have a tax lien. That will require a 24 hour wait for loan approval. Let me check something. . . . Yes, your late husband’s veteran’s benefits will cover a one time emergency services call. Most retirees save it for a medical emergency. Would you like to use that? It’s being phased out next month, so you might as well use it.”
(Elderly Female voice) “Yes! Please send help”
“It only covers $500, so you’ll need to have a check for the remaining $500 when the fire crew arrives. I see that your bank account balance will cover it.”
(Roaring, crackling noise grows in the background)
(Elderly Female voice) “Yes! Help”
“The truck is on the way. Thanks for calling Ma’m.”
. . . .

[Ring – Ring]
“Hello! Thank you for calling Chicago Emergency Services! How May I help you?”
(Male voice - accented) “Oh Lordy! Send the Fire Department! My house is on Fire!”
“Of course sir. A single-family residence call is $1,000. Do you want to put this on a credit card, or do you have proof of insurance?”
(Male voice - accented) “I don’t have any insurance. My Daddy left me this house!”
”Let me link to the Homeland Security Data Base. Am I speaking to Mr. Johnson?”
(Male voice - accented) “Yes.”
(Roaring, crackling noise grows in the background)
“I see that you have no insurance Mr. Johnson, no credit cards, and your bank balance will not cover the cost of emergency call.”
(Roaring, crackling noise grows louder in the background)
(Male voice - accented) “I need help!”
“Yes sir, can you call one of the faith based fire departments? It says here that you are a Baptist. They don’t have a volunteer fire department. The Methodists however do have a ‘B’ rated department. Perhaps they’ll accept a convert.”
(Male voice - accented) “Send somebody!”
“I’m sorry sir, you can’t expect the government to levy taxes for social services any more. Perhaps next time you’ll. . .
(Loud crashing and the line goes dead).
“Sir? Sir?”
. . . .
[Ring – Ring]
“Hello! Thank you for calling Houston Emergency Services! How May I help you?”
(Male voice) “Send the Police! They’re shooting outside!”
“Of course sir. A neighborhood emergency call is $1,000. Do you want to put this on a credit card, or do you have proof of insurance?”

George Bush’s America! Own it!

Current Mood: melancholy
Friday, February 17th, 2006
2:07 pm
[mstical1]
Remember that "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican"? x-posted
Well, here is a Republican rebuttal, written by supedujour who has graciously given me permission to post it. I'm going to have a little fun picking it apart? Feel free to add your comments. My comments in bold.

Joeann Republican gets up every morning and makes her coffee with water from a filter, because she doesn't trust the over chlorinated water. She is okay the liberals taking credit for every environmental safeguard we have, as if it didn't take the vote of a few Republicans to pass them. She isn't insulted, because people assume Republicans are the great destroyers of the Earth.

Yes, there have been a FEW Republicans (just like it says) that have been concerned with the environment. It was Nixon who created the EPA, and I'm surprised the writer didn't include that. But, as far as current Republicans go - just look at their voting record. No, they don't care about the earth. You've got a Republican vice-president who thinks caring for the environment is a personal "virtue" but nothing anyone should really concern themselves with. And, Ann Coulter actually said in an interview on Hannity and Colmes: " I take the biblical idea. God gave us the earth.
Democratic Strategist Peter Fenn: Oh, OK.
Coulter: We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
Fenn: This is a great idea.
Coulter: God says, "Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours."
Fenn: Terrific. We're Americans, so we should consume as much of the earth's resources...
Coulter: Yes! Yes.
Fenn: ... as fast as we possibly can.
Coulter: As opposed to living like the Indians. "
Hannity and Colmes, June 22, 2001
In addition, with regard to the "overchlorinated water", I wonder if the author is aware of how dental problems in children have increased since the craze of drinking bottled water? (http://www.junkscience.com/nov98/teeth.htm)


She takes her medication that she pays for out of her own pocket. Very few employers offer affordable medical benefits, since liberals and unions ran them broke, never happy with what they had. There was always something else they expected the government or the rich corporations to provide. She wonders what the steel workers are doing these days?

I wonder how she affords her medications since the Republicans have allowed the drug companies to write the laws regulating them. I hope JoeAnn never has high cholesterol because the medication is about $300 a month. Or, if she gets Achilles tendonitis, the meds to control her pain will run her about $500 a month. Health benefits are part of a peron's compensation package. My medical coverage is part of my salary and the benefits provided for my husband - I PAY TAXES ON. I wonder if Joeann would be willing to work over 40 hours a week without overtime pay? Would she be okay with child labor? Because the labor unions also dealt with those. My husband was once union steward at Trailways. Texas is a "right to work" state, so union membership is optional. When the employees still had over 9 months on their contract, management decided they didn't have to honor the contract, because why should they? My husband's pay was cut 45%, with only a week's notice. This led to us losing our home. This was during the Reagan administration when the deficit was at a record breaking high (little did we know what was to come). Our $60,000 home, with a 19% interest rate, meant we paid over $1000 a month. As to the steel workers, the latest reports indicate that the American steel industry is improving. (http://www.purchasing.com/article/CA6305329.html?industryid=2151) Liberals think enforcing strict tariffs on imported steel would benefit the steel workers. But, the president thinks differently. Liberals don’t think we should help the Chinese steel industry as long as China continues to be one of the worst nations with regards to human rights. (http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/trade/2003-12-04-bush-steel_x.htm)

And, it continuesCollapse )
Monday, February 13th, 2006
2:34 pm
[theoldone]
A Parable (reposted)
A Parable . . .

Once upon a time in a village by the sea lived a boy named Adam.
Adam lived with his mother, a widow in a cottage that overlooked the harbor. The people of the village by the sea were fisher folk, and every morning, the fishing boats sailed away from the docks to return in the evening with holds filled with fish to be preserved and taken up-river for sale.
Adam's uncle Frederic was regarded as the best fisherman in the village. His catch was always the best, and his knowledge of the sea was legendary. He was generous with his advice, and to his sister who was Adam's mother.

All his life, Adam had watched the sails set at dawn, and seen the boats return laden with fish. He longed for the day when he could put to sea with his uncle, and put his own bread in his mother's pantry.

On his 12th birthday his dreams were realized, and dressed in his father's old coat and breeches he boarded his Uncle Frederic’s boat, and helped cast off the lines. He felt the boat roll beneath him like a living thing, and he saw his mother's house fade into the morning mist.
As they set their nets, Adam saw that there was water in the bottom of the boat, and he went to his uncle and said, "Uncle Frederic, there's water in the bottom of the boat. I'm worried."
Uncle Frederic replied, "There is always some water in the bottom. It keeps the planks from drying out and the wet wood swells and makes the boat more water tight."
Adam was reassured (for his uncle's knowledge of the sea was vast), and went about his work.
Then he noticed that there was more water in the boat, and he asked his uncle again, "Uncle Frederic, there's more water in the bottom of the boat. This must surely be bad?"
Again Uncle Frederic replied, "This is a good thing. It keeps the deck from cracking, and it cools our feet."
Again Adam ceased his worrying for his uncle was able to understand the ways of the sea.
The water though, grew deeper still, and again Adam asked his uncle,
"Uncle the water grows deeper. Should we not man the pumps?"
And Uncle Frederic replied, "Trust me nephew, the water may seem to be a bad thing, but it preserves the hull, and the weight makes the boat more stable."
Once again, Adam fell silent. Though he knew that his uncle was wiser than he still feared the water that washed about in the hull.
Twice more Adam asked, and twice more Uncle Frederic told him that the water helped.

Then finally, the boat slipped between the waves and sank. Adam and his new crewmates were pulled beneath the waves one at a time and drowned. All that remained was floating debris and fishermen struggling for their lives who slipped beneath the waves one at a time. . . .

And the moral . . .

It doesn't matter how beneficial it may seem at first to send jobs to other countries. The effects accumulate, the damage grows more severe, and the economy founders.

And Uncle Frederic? . . . .
Uncle Frederic was experienced in the ways of the sea, and he was able to lash enough debris together to make a small raft, and so he was able to save himself and two of his crew, who were rescued by a merchantman from the Indies.
The story of Uncle Frederic's exploits grew and people were amazed at his ability to read the sea, for surely his survival said volumes about his knowledge of the waves and the deeps. Many a merchant came to him to ask him to captain their ships, for his knowledge of the sea was vast. . . .


The Parable (Part 2)

Once upon a time in a village by the sea lived a fisherman named
Frederick. Frederic was regarded as the best fisherman in the village. His catch was always the best, and his knowledge of the sea was legendary.
One day disaster struck while Frederick was at sea, and his boat sank and all but two of his crew were drowned. Frederic was experienced in the ways of the sea, and he was able to lash enough debris together to make a small raft, and so he was able to save himself and two of his crew, who were rescued by a merchantman from the Indies.

The story of Uncle Frederic's exploits grew and people were amazed at his ability to read the sea, for surely his survival said volumes about his knowledge of the waves and the deeps. Many a merchant came to him to ask him to captain their ships, but instead, Frederick accepted the offer of a group of wealthy men who wanted him to manage their boat building business.
Frederick sat with the men who designed the boats, and they decided to make new boats that would be faster, stronger and carry more.
The fame of the boats grew, and fishermen and merchants came from far and near to buy them. The investors who owned the company grew more wealthy and they lavished praise and bonuses of Frederick whom by now, everyone called "The Commodore."

Eventually, the Commodore sought ways to increase profits (and his bonuses), and he contacted a maker of ropes in Far Cathay. The Commodore showed the men from Far Cathay how to make the strongest ropes, and began to buy the ropes for his boats from Far Cathay. He told his rope makers that their services were no longer required, and sent them home.
The rope makers cried out in distress, and went to the elders of the village, and the elders went to The Commodore whose advisors told them,
"It is good that we have done this, for the profits that will go up will mean more money for everyone, and the rope makers will learn new trades."
And indeed, some of the rope makers learned to weave sails, and made more money, but some could not, and they became prostitutes and cutpurses or took up bowls and begged in the streets.
After a while, The Commodore returned to the craftsmen of Far Cathay, and showed the smiths how to forge the bands that bound the masts together and the nails and fittings that made the boats so strong. The Commodore bought his ironwork from Far Cathay, and he cast out the smiths that had worked for the yard. Again the workers cried out and the elders came to The Commodore and were told, "This is good, for it has always helped us to lower our prices and increase our profits. It is an ill idea to try to resist trade. "
The elders (who were supported by the wealthy men who owned the yard), listened to The Commodore's advisors.
The smith's sought new jobs and some learned to shape the ribs that made the boats, and some learned to fasten the planks to the ribs, but others filled bags with fish entrails and sold the bags to farmers to spread on their fields, and others abandoned their cottages and moved away.
In time The Commodore began to buy his sails from the craftsmen of Far
Cathay, and then have his ships designed there. He had the ribs shaped there, and the planks cut there.
Each time, the workers cried out, and the elders (who had learned that this was good for the village) told the workers to learn new skills. When the workers asked what skills they should learn, the elders were silent, for they did not know.
As the jobs moved away, so did the fortunes of the village. Beggars filled the streets, and many of the neat white cottages stood empty. The merchants couldn't sell their goods to beggars, and neither could the fishermen sell their catch. Stalls in the market stood empty and unused fishing nets rotted on the beach. Idle men gathered on the village green, and the fishing docks fell into disrepair.

Then one day, a great ship from Far Cathay docked in the village, and its masters began to unload boats for sale. They were well made and cost less than The Commodore's.
The Commodore went to see these new boats, and he found that the ropes were spun by the craftsmen whom he had taught to make rope, and the ironwork was done by the smiths that he had shown how to forge his parts.
The ribs were shaped by the craftsmen who had made his boat's ribs, and the boats were designed by the boatwrights of Far Cathay whom he had taught.

And so The Commodore and the investors went to the village elders and cried out, "We must have relief from these foreign companies who have come here and are trying to steal our markets, for lo, they build for less than we can, and will drive us from business!"

The elders tried in vain to save The Commodore's boatyard, but the boats of Far Cathay were built too well and cost too little. One by one the men of the village took their families away in search of a new livelihood, and one by one the merchants closed their doors and the village fell into ruin.

The Moral: It doesn't matter how beneficial it may seem at first to send jobs to other countries. The effects accumulate, the damage grows more severe, and the economy founders.

And The Commodore? He had lead a very successful operation, and made record profits for his investors for many quarters. As the boatyard fell into ruin he left the village and moved to the capital, where he was hired to run the largest shipyard in the kingdom. For he knew how to reduce costs and increase profits.
Sunday, February 12th, 2006
11:04 am
[mstical1]
Baghdad Burning - The Raid
I know I have provided links to and suggested everyone read Riverbend's blog on a regular basis. My students in the 2302 online Govt. class are required to read it as they keep their own journals about their reactions to news stories.

Her blog is often humorous, often heart breaking but always worth the read.

But they hate us for our freedom.Collapse )

Current Mood: cynical
9:54 am
[mstical1]
Turning the tables - Why do you Bush supporters hate America?
Where is everybody?????
Why so quiet?

I once said that when people say, in regard to the secret wire-taps, "if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't be concerned", they were making one of the most unAmerican statements I've ever heard. And, I still believe that.

How do you claim to love this country, yet support a man who is trying his best to ignore all the principles this nation was founded on?

How do you claim to respect the Constitution, yet continue to support a man who referred to the Constitution as, "just a god damn piece of paper"?

How do you claim to support the military, yet sit silently by as tax cuts for the rich take precedence over taking care of our vets? The lastest budget has a 14% cut in medical benefits for veterans.

How do you claim to respect truth and knowledge, yet allow this administration to wage war against the scientific community?

How do you claim to want America to be safe and secure, yet support a man who was either incapable or uninterested in saving people dying on the Gulf Coast?

How do you claim to be fiscally conservative, yet support a man that has created the largest budget and trade deficit in our history?

How do you claim that your party was going to bring integrity back to the White House when more and more corruption is revealed on a daily basis?

Can anyone answer these questions? I mean answer them using things like facts and not jingoistic drivel.

"we have the shameful spectacle of Americans who call themselves patriots urging a forfeiture of our rights and liberties as U.S. citizens the rights to due process and the protections devised by the founding fathers to guard against abuses of power.

And beyond that, we have breaches of national security in the outing of a CIA agent for no better reason than spite. We have the staffing of all kinds of highly paid and important government jobs with incompetent administration cronies and partners in crime. We have repeated and massive failures of imagination. No one could have imagined a) people flying planes into U.S. skyscrapers, b) a storm of the magnitude of Katrina, or c) a Palestinian militant group like Hamas winning elections in Palestine these being just a few of the things Condoleezza Rice has said the administration couldn't imagine."
Willful ignorance and premeditated stupidityCollapse )

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, February 11th, 2006
7:51 am
[sobriquet42]
Apparently, I missed this 'blogstorm'. Granted, I was very pregnant at the time, but I didn't realize how much I let my radar down. The FEC suggested there was going to be a crackdown on blogging? Popular political blogs might need to register? It's sad that I first heard about this in Alan's closing on Boston Legal. Weird that I get more news from fictional television shows.

Here's the link - http://www.personaldemocracy.com/node/416

Also, Marty Meehan and Feinstein and other congressmen were caught having their underlings change wikipedia bios. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4695376.stm Shameful, but I'm glad wikipedia caught them without having regulation to tell them to. Funny though that the story didn't break besides bbc and a few small affiliates. If it did, it was buried. I learned about it from a blogger. If we regulate the bloggers I'll know about just as much as I knew when I was preggers and just watched the news for awhile. I know all about Britney and Kevin and spring's hottest fashions, but I know nothing about what matters.

And then there is the Craigslist trial - http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/0209internet-craigslist09-ON.html

Should we or shouldn't we have regulation of the internet?
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
6:52 am
[mstical1]
Okay, technically, he didn't lie, but.............
Factcheck.org has anlyzed the SOTU.

WARNING to all Bushites - there are dangerous FACTS included here and at the factcheck.org web site. Enter at your own risk. These nasty FACTS are sure to cause cognitive dissonance among the people who still support this administration. But, don't you think it's time these folks enter the realm of something resembling reality?

Misstatement of the Union
The President burnishes the State of the Union through selective facts and strategic omissions.

February 1, 2006

Summary
The President left out a few things when surveying the State of the Nation:

He proudly spoke of "writing a new chapter in the story of self-government" in Iraq and Afghanistan and said the number of democracies in the world is growing. He failed to mention that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan yet qualify as democracies according to the very group whose statistics he cited.

Bush called for Congress to pass a line-item veto, failing to mention that the Supreme Court struck down a line-item veto as unconstitutional in 1998. Bills now in Congress would propose a Constitutional amendment, but none have shown signs of life.

The President said the economy gained 4.6 million jobs in the past two-and-a-half years, failing to note that it had lost 2.6 million jobs in his first two-and-a-half years in office. The net gain since Bush took office is just a little more than 2 million.

He talked of cutting spending, but only "non-security discretionary spending." Actually, total federal spending has increased 42 percent since Bush took office.

He spoke of being "on track" to cut the federal deficit in half by 2009. But the deficit is increasing this year, and according to the Congressional Budget Office it will decline by considerably less than half even if Bush's tax cuts are allowed to lapse.

Bush spoke of a "goal" of cutting dependence on Middle Eastern oil, failing to mention that US dependence on imported oil and petroleum products increased substantially during his first five years in office, reaching 60 per cent of consumption last year.

Analysis

We found nothing that was factually incorrect in the President's Jan. 31 State of the Union address to Congress and the nation. However, we did note some selective use of statistics. We also found that Bush omitted some relevant facts that tended to make the state of the union look less rosy than he presented.

Read the entire analysis here:
http://www.factcheck.org/
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