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This is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, July 6, 2006
QUESTION: What's the new name for "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party health care plan?
As in "YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN."
Eddie's Stupid Quote of the Day
"You're a great guy."
-Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) to Fox News' Sean Hannity
You Have to Hate Them or Admire Them
New Jersey has a budget, at least tentatively. The New Jersey Senate, Assembly and Governor Corzine, all led by the Democratic party have ironed out their differences and will be opening the doors of the Garden State once again. Casinos will be opening their doors and the state's beaches will have lifeguards and be open as well. Although this system needs to be fixed for future years, this is good news.
"We have much more to do in the coming months and years to fix our state's public finances,"
What happened was simple: Governor Jon Corzine stuck to his guns. His battle was more with Assembly Speaker John J. Roberts, Jr. of Camden, which is in the southern part of the state. When the casinos closed down, so did a major revenue source in his area. Roberts had no choice. Former acting Governor, and Senate President Dick Codey of North Jersey's Essex County was seemingly already on the governor's side in the budget battle.
The new budget will include a sales tax increase of "one-penny", as they are terming it. It's actually a one percentage point raise from the state's low six percent to seven percent. Part of the increase will go towards real estate tax relief for the state with the highest real estate taxes in the nation. It will also reduce the deficit to make sure we New Jersians don't spend more money than we make, something the administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush should take note of.
"I honestly think that in the end with the agreement that we have reached, our state and more importantly our citizens are all emerging as winners,"
-Senate President Codey
The New Jersey State "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party are licking their collective chops at, what they will term, a Democrat tax on the people. They'll bring back the term "tax and spend liberal" even though New Jersey's Constitution specifically states that a balanced budget is required. They will attempt to take advantage of the Democrat's fiscal responsibility forgetting that the budget lost its balance by a fiscally irresponsible Governor Christine Todd Whitman and, mostly, a Republican-led legislature. In order to get elected they, too, took advantage of then Governor Jim Florio's balancing his budget prior to losing the state house to Whitman.
The Senate, Assembly and Governor's office found ways to cut and save as much as they could to get the deficit reduced from $4.5 billion to $1.1 billion. The rest had to come from somewhere, and the small increase was the least painful way. If it were up to the Republicans, we, no doubt, would have had another round of their same schemes and gimmicks which put us in trouble in the first place. The GOP balanced budget would look like a mini-Bush United States budget: a lie which excludes expenditures and unrealistic projections which makes things seem better than they really are. (Remember the federal budget didn't include spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, instead we finance them with "emergency funding" bills. And if your representative doesn't vote for that bill, according to the Bushites, they're not supporting our troops - But that's for another Madman.)
Real solutions (NJ Democrats) vs. schemes and gimmicks (NJ Republicans). I guess we really did need a money man to fix New Jersey after all.
"The New York Times are "the ones who gave Fidel Castro his job in Cuba.,"
-Rep. Peter King (R-NY) from Fox News Sunday, June 26, 2006
Who says the New York Times Sunday Job Market section doesn't work?
CHRIS WALLACE: (To Rep. Peter King - R-NY) You are quoted in The Washington Post today as saying our polling shows that it's definitely to our advantage to oppose the Bush (immigration amnesty) plan.
REP. KING: Well, that was in answer to a question about whether or not I thought we were hurting ourselves by doing this. I'm saying if we are going to look at the polls, the polling is on our side.
You gotta love this guy, Peter King. Talking out of two sides of their mouths has become a "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party art form. There's no longer anything more important to the Republican party, and people like Rep. King than just being able to stay in office. It doesn't matter whether they are right or wrong, or whether the issue is good or bad, it's all about the polls and CYA.
And the worst thing about this was that I had to look at the Fox News website to see it for my own eyes!
Rep. King and the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party representatives will do only what keeps them in office. No more, no less. they can't take a chance on doing what's right if the "polls" don't tell them to. They no longer even to appear to have a grasp of what's wrong or right, only what will get them another two years.
Imagine where the civil rights movement in the sixties would have gone had LBJ and the Democrats not supported it. They knew it was going to lose them the South for generations to come, yet they did what was right, not what was expedient or what the polls told them to do.
This brand of poll-loving Republicans simply don't have the best interests of us regular Americans at heart. We can't afford them.
It's Not Really Slavery, But...
Well isn't it nice to see the ways of the old south aren't done with just quite yet. Dixie's brimming with the stars and bars pride that make free men and women want to choke on their Yankee Doodle Dandies all over the rest of the land when we hear stories like this: Slavery is back in business in Louisiana.
Yes, yes, boys and girls. You too can own, or at least rent, your very own convict in Louisiana's East Carroll Parish where ten percent of the population are inmates willing to work for next to nothing, at the Sheriff's request, of course.
How awful decent of them.
East Carroll Parish is as far north and east as you can get in Louisiana, nestled in a corner bordering both Arkansas and Mississippi. How proud the magnolia state must be to allow the practice of near-slavery in this parish.
You see, it's legal for the Sheriff of East Carroll Parish to "rent out" his parish's convicts for any purpose whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the people of the parish say they couldn't get along without their orange-clad "rent-a-cons", as they so jokingly call them.
You just call up the sheriff, and presto, inmates are headed your way. "They bring me warm bodies, 10 warm bodies in the morning. They do anything you ask them to do."
-Grady Brown, owner of the Panola Pepper Corporation
Some of the men actually get paid minimum wage, half of which the sheriff makes them fork over for room and board. By the way, the rental fee is almost $23 per day, per con. It's a win-win-win proposition: The business owner gets cheap labor; the sheriff gets to make a buck or two; and the convict gets to repay his debt to society. What could be better, right?
"There's something offensive about that. It's almost like a form of slavery."
-Michael Brewer, a lawyer and former public defender in Alexandria, LA
Almost like slavery? One wonders what the alternative is for the convicts.
"if one of (the convicts) were to refuse, you can imagine the repercussions,"
No one knows how much the parish's sheriffs make on the renting of their convicts. They have ways of obscuring that. And as far as President Bush's "Jobs that Americans won't do"... well... East Carroll Parish doesn't even know what that means.
According to the New York Times, this parish is the poorest in Louisiana. (Wow... That's really saying something!) While the citizen population has been decreasing, the convict population has been increasing. There are now 8,700 residents of East Carroll Parish, ten percent of which live in the jails run by the parish's sheriffs.
A private school, The Briarfield Academy, was allowed "free" use of the prisoners to work on the school's athletic fields.
"They did an excellent job. We try to provide their lunch for them."
-Principal Morris Richardson
Why, that's mighty white of you there Principal Richardson. At least you're trying.
Just how many meals are these fellows eating anyway?
"It's not only used at this private school, it's used parish-wide. Since it's used for everyone who needs it, I don't see where there would be a problem with it."
-Brandon Wiltcher, an investigator for Sheriff Mark Shumate
Isn't that like saying, "Well, everybody else is doing it, so it must be okay."
Churches also get to use the inmates free of charge.
"They sent me prisoners for a month... All completely free."
-Reynold Minsky of the First Baptist Church
I wonder how the good people at the church justify that one?
It can get cold in Louisiana's East Carroll Parish. What do they do with these guys during those cold times?
"Good thing about it, wintertime, you can lock them up — put them in cold storage. I call it deep freeze."
-Billy Travis, a police juror (similar to a county commissioner)
Good thing, too. But don't they get freezer burn? No matter, you can just arrest a brand new batch come springtime.
It's embarrassing and appalling that human beings in the United States in the year 2006 are being treated like cattle. My fear is that, with those in charge of our nation right now, other counties or parishes will see fit to do what East Carroll Parish is doing. But my real fear is that somehow, I will be driving through East Carroll Parrish, get stopped by Billy Travis, Brandon Wiltcher or Sheriff Shumate and become one of their orange-clad workers. After all, you never know when they might need a network engineer.
BUSH: Osama Who? Never Heard of Him
As you may know, Dumbya shut down the CIA's Bin Laden unit. That's right the unit that was tracking Bin Laden is no more. Senator Kerry has some thoughts for Dumbya on this issue:
Moreover, disbanding the bin Laden unit sends the message to the terrorists that they can kill thousands of Americans without being held to account. Given that Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was quoted this week as saying that "nobody has any idea" where bin Laden is, it is especially important that we send a clear message now that we have not given up the hunt. Reconstituting the bin Laden unit now would make it clear that we will never rest until he has been brought to justice.
Past failures to eliminate bin Laden at Tora Bora and in the nearly five years since 9/11 are no excuse for failing to do everything possible to find him now. The CIA's bin Laden unit can play an important part of our effort to win the war on terror, and I urge you to revive and strengthen it as soon as possible.
GW Vs. The Declaration of Independence
Dumbya is exactly like King George III of England; a man who has limitless power and wants to control the lives of all citizens. George "Dumbo" Bush mimmicks everything that the Declaration of Independence said was wrong with England's George III and why we declared our independence.
The Declaration said that we should not tolerate a government like England's and we should get rid of their rule over us. That described a monarchy. Well, in 2006, Dubya is that government and is everything that the Declaration of Independence is not. GW is against its entire concept of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He has tried taking away all of our liberties and tried to run our lives by putting us in a war which we don't belong. He has made almost all of our nation unhappy with his tax cuts for the "haves and have mores". And he is destroying the middle class and ignoring the poor.
All these things that Dumbya has done has gone against that Declaration 230 years ago. He is a powerful monster who must be stopped. GW is the type of undesirable that the Declaration said we simply shouldn't tolerate.
THE AUTOMATED PAYMENT - TRANSACTION TAX
This is the simplest, least burdensome, and most productive tax reform proposal you've ever heard of. (See APTTax.com, proposed by University of Wisconsin economist Edgar L. Feige.) When fully in place, the APTTax will completely replace the Federal income tax.
I call this a three-fer solution because while the APTTax is introduced in stages, starting with the stock markets where the collection mechanism is already in place, the surpluses generated will be lock-boxed and applied to paying back the $3.7 trillion the politicians looted from our Security Fund. That done, the income from the APTTax will be applied to reducing the National Debt, which is now over $8 trillion. Which will free more reve-nues for useful purposes as the cost of "servicing" this debt, i.e., paying interest, is reduced.
This teeny weeny little tax of, say, .25% (one penny for ever four dollars) will be collected auto-matically by computer from every financial transaction of every nature whatsoever.
Like little drops of rain -- pennies from heaven -- this stream of revenue will turn into a mighty river that will make all other forms of taxation unneces-sary. What you earn at the end of the day will be what you take home. It will be yours to spend or save, invest or gamble, as you like. It's your money. You worked for it. End of story.
If the politicians can't do their job on that stream of revenue, then they are brain dead; to hell with them. They can get out of politics and work for a living -- for a change. We'll find better men and women to represent us.
This is not a tax on people or corporations, which the Democrats like because, so they used to think, it allows them so soak the rich. Which didn't happen because the rich fought back and seized power by buying the politicians. Nor is it a tax on consumer goods, which the Republicans like., because it exempts from taxation all the money games they like to play: stock market and over- the-counter trades, casino and internet gambling, arbitraging, money laundering, commodities speculations, money lending -- you name it -- none of which is taxed today even though they are sales transactions in every sense of the term.
Rather the APTTax is a tax upon the flow of money as is circulates through the economy. Just like giving blood for the blood bank, only in much smaller drops.
Oh, the big money boys will cry their eyes out making believe they will be hurt. But that ain't so because the percentage taken by the APTTax in any given instance is far too small, just a fraction of a stock broker's commission for example.
But just the same, the lobbyists and the lawyers, the tax accountants and the "think tank" propa-gandists will complain and produce an endless litany of learned "studies" and "reasons" why it can't work. But don't believe a word of it. They have vested interests in your money; the present system made them rich; they love it like a baby loves his mother. And don't feel sorry for them either; they are smart people and will either retire on their present wealth or find other ways to make money.
The APTTax doesn't tax people or corporations, and it doesn't exempt the rich and powerful from taxation either -- if they don't want to spend or invest or gamble their money, they can keep every nickel. But of course that isn't going to happen because what's the point in being rich if you can't spend it?
The APTTax just takes a small percentage out of every financial transaction whatsoever, the same for everyone -- perfect equality. And it does it all by computer, just like the SEC for the past half century has financed its stock market oversight activities.
When the economists get through with their calcu-lations, the exact percentage will depend upon (a) the government's need for money and (b) the effect of the tax on the economy. But, for starters, .25% on each side of a transaction will work out fine and will pay off a lot of debt.
In the last analysis, the government's need for money is your responsibility. You gotta stop electing irresponsible big spenders and you gotta keep a sharp eye on them no matter who you elect. Remember our motto: In God We Trust. And only God. All others cash.
The second limit on the amount of the APTTax is practicality. Because if the tax is too high, parti-cular economic activities may become prohibitively expensive -- which is fine for such bad practices as money laundering and international currency arbi-traging, but otherwise can be counter-productive if it discourages legitimate economic activity.
So the upper limits of this tax --unlike the income tax -- don't depend on the avarice of the politicians. If the tax is too high, the market will give the answer: the activity will simply stop. So the message to the politicians is: You don't want to kill the cow -- gotta keep old Bossie happy if you want her to keep giving milk.
As matters now stand with our feckless represen-tatives, any real tax reform will be resisted by rich people and business interests who are quite content with the present system. Sure, it costs them lots of money to pay off all those lobbyists and congressmen, and to maintain the propaganda mills which they call "think tanks."
It took them many years to set up the present income tax system, and to fend off the few elected representatives who protested their depredations, such as Democrat Representative Henry Gonzales of Texas, and, belatedly, Democrat Senator Daniel Moynihan of New York. Democrat Representative Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois gave the big money boys trouble for awhile, but he ended up in jail. Which makes you wonder if it pays to tangle with the financial elites, the real power behind or D.C. throne.
Do any of you remember the "good old days" when the politicians from President on down increased the Social Security tax even as they were cutting the taxes on the rich and famous? Which created the huge surpluses that used to be in the Social Security Fund. Which the same sticky-fingered politicians spent and replaced with government IOUs. Which George Bush now wants to get rid of altogether by "reforming" Social Security, by knocking it in the head.
Do you remember the Savings and Loan debacle which ended up making a mint for the commercial banks and the money lenders at large? The same people who have now squeezed every bit of equity out of the American Dream -- our own little home, the hedge against old age? Which our local tax collectors are again squeezing for whatever juice remains. Or the good old days of Jimmy Carter when the lid went off of interest rates and we had double digit inflation? But you probably don't remember when there generally was a 10% cap on interest rates -- usury, you know.
Maybe Jesus had it right when he drove the money lenders out of the Temple. But of course, it got him killed in the end.
Whatever, remember this: If you want to get rid of the Income Tax, you have to keep each and every politician in your eye because they are a pack of scallywags, owned body and soul by the big money interests who really run this country.
Note: The preceding was published "as is" without any editing by Madman Comments will be appreciated. -NG
STACLU pogrom is a resounding success
Director, Stop the ACLU Coalition
Dear Mr. Kareiva,
Please allow me to be the first to thank you and the staff of Stop The ACLU for all you did to make the Indian River Pogrom such a resounding success. It isn't easy to run a Jewish family out of town in these politically correct times. Usually, they just hunker down, hiding behind antiquated interpretations of the Constitution and the good will of those who wrongly believe that non-Christians are entitled to all of the benefits of citizenship.
But this time, the family fled, and I think you deserve partial credit for making that happen. After all, you did publish their name, address, and phone number on your web site (see screen cap below) as part of your "Expose ACLU Plaintiffs" project. It certainly wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that such information gave people the tools they needed to drive the Dobrich family from their home.
Of course, you didn't do it all by yourself. The good god-fearing Christians of the Indian River School District deserve most of the credit. They took to the task of ethnic cleansing with a vengeance , not sparing anyone discomfort, not even the Dobrich children:
"A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The religion (if any) of a second family in the lawsuit is not known, because they're suing as Jane and John Doe; they also fear retaliation. Both families are asking relief from "state-sponsored religion." [...]
"On the evening in August 2004 when the board was to announce its new policy, hundreds of people turned out for the meeitng. The Dobrich family and Jane Doe felt intimidated and asked a state trooper to escort them.
"The complaint recounts a raucous crowd that applauded the board's opening prayer and then, when sixth-grader Alexander Dobrich stood up to read a statement, yelled at him "take your yarmulke off!" His statement, read by Samantha, confided "I feel bad when kids in my class call me Jew boy." [...]
"A former board member suggested that Mona Dobrich might "disappear" like Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the atheist whose Supreme Court case resulted in ending organized school prayer. She disappeared in 1995 and her dismembered body was found six years later.
"The crowd booed an ACLU speaker and told her to "go back up north."
"In the days after the meeting the community poured venom on the Dobriches. Callers to the local radio station said the family they should convert or leave the area. Someone called them and said the Ku Klux Klan was nearby.
"Sinclair Lewis: 'When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.'"
Congratulations again for the success of your pogrom. I'm sure it's only the first of many more to come as we retake our great nation in Jesus' name.
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
[Address and phone number blurred by my inner Frenchman]
Update: Nedd Replies
Pogrom? I'm not sure I want to call it that. That is not an appropriate term, however, I am pleased that we had an effect in this case. We have others we want to put up on the site to shame them but have not gotten around to it. And I'm not so sure I can take credit for it. However, if an ACLU speaker was booed, that's music to my ears.
I would appreciate it if you would sign your actual name rather than JC Christian.
Nedd Kareiva, Director
Director, Stop the ACLU Coalition
Don't be so modest. The Dobrich family was driven from their home in much the same way my wife's family was driven from their shtetl 100 years ago. Sure, there wasn't the widespread rape and murder associated with old school pogroms, but we're all kind of new at this.
Accept it for what it is and rejoice. After all, you said you were pleased with the effect you had in this case. Who could ask for anything more than that?
As for my name, it's a good name, a righteous name, a god-fearing name, and I'm better known by it than any other.
Gen. JC Christian, patriot
-From various sources, forwarded by Victoria Brownworth and Robert Scardapane
Copied from a newsletter from T-Shirt Hell. The most tasteless shirts in existence
(Some text has been omitted because it's just too tasteless)
Ban Gay Marriage, Flag Burning and Macaroni Art
There are a lot of things I find immoral, and a lot more things I just plain don't like, and every single one of them should be banned. The government has done a lot to support my cause. They have introduced bills to ban gay marriage and flag burning all in an effort to support and protect my personal feelings. They may not have successfully passed these bills, but at least they are opening up public debate. You know the kind of debate I'm talking about. The kind where one side is absolutely right and there's no room for a differing opinion. Now that's what I call a democracy.
But despite all of the government's efforts to ban a few things I don't like, I can't help but be disappointed by the fact that they're not trying to ban EVERYTHING I don't like. Maybe they just aren't aware of everything I disapprove of. If that's the case, I'll help them out by mentioning a few things I don't like and explaining why they should be banned. The first thing that's got to go is macaroni art. It may seem harmless, but I find it to be a waste of food.
So, just like with gay marriage and flag burning, I'm asking the government to step in and turn my opinion into law. Let's go, you Washington fat-cats. Get off your lazy asses and ban macaroni art.
The next thing to go has to be cabbage. I'm sure someone out there eats cabbage, but I don't, so why keep it around? Cabbage is just lettuce's retarded cousin. And before people are all up in arms about cabbage farmers, let me say something. I like onions. You can just grow onions in place of cabbages and you'll do just fine. We all like onions. By which I mean I like onions and that's all that matters.
And while banning the burning of the American flag is a great idea, it simply doesn't go far enough. Not only should it be illegal to burn the American flag, but U.S. citizens should be required by law to burn the flags of other countries. Anyone can just sit there and not burn the American flag, but it takes real chutzpah to force your citizens to burn the flags of other nations. (By the way, I'm also trying to ban use of the word "chutzpah," I just figured I'd use it while I still can.)
Similarly, straight marriage should be made mandatory. Sure, gay marriage is an abomination, but allowing perfectly good straight people to go to waste by remaining single is just as immoral. Couples will be matched by age and proximity. If, by some crazy chance, this means a 40-year-old man marries an eight-year-old girl, then so be it. As long as the combination is male/female it is perfectly moral. And while we're on the subject, divorce will no longer be granted. Even if your spouse dies, in the eyes of the law you will still be married to his or her lifeless body. This may seem unfair, but today you want to divorce a corpse, tomorrow some woman wants to divorce her husband because he beats her. It's a slippery slope.
Those are just a few ways I think the government should make everyone be as much like me as possible, but I have so many more ideas. Here's a brief rundown of bans, mandates and whatever else I feel should be a law. 1 - Red grapes will no longer be allowed. If you can't handle green or purple you can go (tasteless expletive deleted) yourself. 2 - Fjords. In fact, all things that contain a soft j have to go. 3 - Shadows. I'm not sure how we could go about banning shadows, but seriously, it's been long enough. 4 - Silent prayer. If you don't have the balls to pray out loud you shouldn't have the right to do it at all. 5 - Nieces and nephews. Babies aren't aware of the fact that they've just become a niece or nephew, but that's no excuse. They must be destroyed the very moment they are born.
I have plenty more, but I think we should get started on this list before I go any farther. Thanks for your time. Now be sure to do all that is in your power to make this the country that I, and I alone, want it to be.
-Forwarded by Sean (Mr. Blue-Sky)
In response to "Gore is a very Green candidate, but how much did we hear about that in 2000?" Robert Scardapane writes:
Al Gore was not allowed to be Al Gore
Gore's political consultants made him stay away from the issue that he is passionate about - Global Warming. They thought it was a losing issue in 2000. They also made him stay away from Bill Clinton until the very end.
Funny, that's when Gore recovered lost ground.
Strangely, John Kerry hired many of the people who worked on Gore's campaign. These experts advised him not to respond to the Swift Boat slander. That is how Bush took the lead away in 2004.
I say it's time to jettison Paul Begala, James Carville and the professional losers at the DLC.
In response to Ken "Kenny-Boy" Lay's death, Sean (Mr. Blue-Sky) writes:
I'm still thinking we got cheated by Ken Lays death.
So did some guy name "Meat" who was waiting to share a cell with him.
I think that the devil couldn't wait to get him down there. -NG
In response to, "'timely' deaths (for Republicans, that is) of the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN)", Dorothy Schwartz writes:
Don't forget about (Mel) Carnahan in Missouri (D). As they say, if you're running against the PNAC folks, don't fly in a small airplane.
In response to "Same-sex marriage certainly threatens children that become part of such unions. I believe that universal common sense wisdom tells us that children have a right to have a mother and a father. If you don't believe that God designed this plan for the creation and the good of children then at least respect the highest wisdom and experience of humanity and sociology. Why is everyone only looking out for their own pleasure? The truth is that the greatest joy on earth is to be found in serving others," Victoria Brownworth writes:
In response to John Kleinwachter, Victoria Brownworth (who has been in hospital and thus belatedly) notes: According to the most recent U.S. Census, only 24 percent of American families include a married heterosexual couple. If Kleinwachter is so concerned about American families and the need for heterosexual couples to head them, then perhaps he should be urging a constitutional amendment banning DIVORCE as 64% of American marriages end in divorce. What's more, in terms of sexual and physical abuse of children, men--spouse, woman's boyfriend, male relative--are responsible for that abuse more than 85% of the time.
So much for the "traditional" "God-given" family.
Kleinwachter also seems to forget that a good third of lesbian couples and a fourth of gay male couples also have children and their children should not have to suffer from the segregationist and homophobic views of Kleinwachter and his ilk just because Kleinwachter thinks his viewpoint is superior.
Families and marriage are not about "pleasure," they are about commitment. If more MEN were committed to their responsibilities as fathers and as husbands, two-thirds of the children born to HETEROSEXUAL couples wouldn't be living in single-parent homes headed by women.
Gays and lesbians who want to be married and have the same benefits of responsibility and commitment that heterosexuals routinely shirk should not be penalized.
And people who live in glass houses shouldn't be bigots.
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