Today's Note from a Madman

Wednesday, November 16, 2005




In order for corrections to mean something, I try to print them at the top of any Madman. I believe all responsible journals should do the same. -NG

In response to Rhian's, "The us-against-them mentality of the Bush Administration and the French government isn't working. It is only exacerbating an already extreme and precarious situation" . . . etc, Jenny Hanniver writes:

This isn't anything I ever wrote! Someone else, maybe. I don't recall even forwarding it, but maybe so. However, these are not my words. Please make a correction. Thanks.

(The article mentioned by Rhian was written by Victoria Brownworth, as the buy-line stated. Although I did print the original buy-line correctly, I should have noticed the error in the response. My apologies. -Noah Greenberg)

Media Madman in the Lead

"A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

"The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

"In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

"Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that "gave detailed energy policy recommendations" to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force's work; that meeting is not noted in the document."

-The Washington Post

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) will ask the Justice Department to investigate this report. Technically, it's not perjury because, with the help of Senator Stevens (R-AK) (ummm hmmm), the oil execs were not sworn in. But, lying to Congress is still a crime punishable by up to a five year sentence. It's not nice to lie to the people's representatives!

-Robert Scardapane

Out Into the Cold

Isn't this just typical? In two weeks the Katrina evacuees scattered throughout the U.S.--including all over the Northern states--will be evicted from their hotels. With winter coming on. But gol-lee, the evacuees in LA and MS have a whole nuther month and a week until they must start sleeping out under the January stars in 21st century "scalpeens." Isn't that generous?

(A scalpeen is a "home", for lack of a better word, that was constructed out of the remnants of old homes that were destroyed during the Irish Potato Famine. Sometimes they were built from any walls that were left standing. The nearest comparison to "scalpeens" in the United States would be the shanty-towns built during the Great Depression.)

"There are still too many people living in hotel rooms, and we want to help them get into longer-term homes before the holidays. Across the country, there are readily available, longer-term housing solutions for these victims that can give greater privacy and stability than hotel and motel rooms. Those affected by these storms should have the opportunity to become self-reliant again and reclaim some normalcy in their lives,"
-Acting FEMA Director R. David Paulison

Ya' gotta love the Bushies, dont'cha? Only these slimy bastard would throw families with nowhere to go out into the streets in time for winter., and then tell them that its for their own good and their right to privacy, and then call it an opportunity for normalcy.

Can they suck any worse?

Do you remember all of those trailers FEMA was supposed to rent for those left homeless by the hurricane? I guess that idea is out the window. After all, these people don't vote, and if they do, they don't vote for the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party anyway, right?

"We recognize and agree with FEMA's decision to make personal responsibility a part of the hurricane recovery process. However, my great concern is that there is still no long-term housing plan for the hundreds of thousands of Katrina victims who lost everything - including their homes - as a result of the storm, and come March 1 many of them may find themselves with no long-term housing options."
-Texas Governor Rick Perry (R)

Guess what, Rick. All of those people that are going to be thrown out onto the streets in Houston and San Antonio are going to be thrown out onto YOUR streets. Is there a big park somewhere in Houston to build shanty-towns? We can call them Bushvilles, similar to the Hoovervilles built during the great depression.

Vouchers for housing will be paid until as late as March, 2006 to those who can show proof in the form of a lease.

"It's a hell of a time to be telling people that they're kicked out a week after the holiday, The coordination of this has just been horrible, and we're just concerned that a lot of people aren't going to realize the predicament they're in until too late. People are not going to have adequate time to make plans."
-Doug Culkin, executive vice president of the National Apartment Association

So, let's take a deeper look into this. If people who are now living Texas hotels have to sign leases before there is adequate housing in Louisiana, they will cease being residents of Louisiana and become citizens of Texas. Texas, of course, is a Very RED State that could easily absorb a few thousand Democrats, but Louisiana's loss of those same few thousand Democrats might turn the Bayou State RED.

And if that isn't bad enough, FEMA is giving $66 million to the "United Methodist Committee on Relief and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster" who will hire 3,000 social workers to help evacuees. Do you mean to tell me that there aren't any social workers available who aren't affiliated with a religious group? What about that separation of church and state?

Red tape, religious persecution, and homelessness... This is the legacy of President George W. Bush.

-Jenny Hanniver (at the beginning) and Noah Greenberg

A Note About Jobs and Health Care
Taken from a Newsgroup

ED W.: I'm more convinced that the best employee is his own boss, since she/he prospers by the fruits and quality of their labor. A system to have a business efficiency model to take advantage of that creed.

MADMAN: If you want t make it easier for people to own their own businesses, you need to start with some form of Universal Health care (I didn't say single payer).

ED W.: There is some truth to what you say, as health care is probably the biggest cost to the employer. However, most of that is passed on, in every business, to the consumer of that business's goods and services. That seems to be the nature of business. Supply and demand can never be repealed, as much as it may be needed. Maybe there also needs some costs reduction as well as insurance containment regarding UCR (usual, customary and reasonable)

MADMAN: I disagree wholeheartedly

I ran my own small business for 10 years. before that I ran other people's businesses. I can tell you, as my business' managing partner that a worker would go before the price would be raised. That is the way it goes in a competitive market (and none was more competitive than NYC's and LA's garment center).

I will tell you this. Today, my 2 single and never been married brothers still run our business (we started it in 1990) and I went back to school in 1999 to become a network engineer.

yes... I had to fire myself because of health care insurance. From 1994 (when Blue Cross discontinued our policy and I went with Oxford) until 1999, our premiums for a family went from $458 per month to $1104 per month. And the funny thing is, today I pay almost $700 per month as part of my employee contribution to my boss' medical plan.

In economics class, they teach you that you have to pass on the expense. What they don't teach you is what the real world forces you to do. You do with less; you make your employees work longer; you hire employees without children; it is a terrible state for health care.

Until the health care crisis is solved, there will be fewer and fewer small business-people willing to take a chance, unless their spouses have health care coverage.

As for Usual and Customary, until there is the same price for those who need to pay out of pocket and the insurance company, there is no usual and customary. When an MRI costs Oxford or Blue Cross $800 but it costs someone without health insurance $2,500 the usual becomes UNusual and the customary becomes UN customary.


-This is what I have been saying for a long time - health care IS the cure-all. Create a system where everyone is covered and it will create jobs, it will create a greater and more empowered middle class and it will help to get people out of the squalor of poverty by allowing them to work for these new entrepreneurs.

-Noah Greenberg

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Earns His Oil

I could not believe the sorry spectacle I just witnessed. Senators Dodd (D-CT), Baucus (D-MN) and Dorgan (D-SD) offered an amendment on a windfall energy tax. The money is to be used to build new refineries / explore for oil or returned to the taxpayers as a rebate. Orrin Hatch (R-OIL, he must represent OIL given the hysterics I just seen) defended the oil companies profits and blamed radical environmentalists for high gas prices. Give me a break.

The oil companies closed refineries down not because of environmentalists but due to mergers. They even bragged about posting 50% profits while reducing production by 3% - in other words, they purposely cut supply to drive up gas prices. There are more than enough places open to them to drill. In fact, they don't want to drill in difficult areas because of the cost. But, if John Q Taxpayer will give them subsidies, they will be more than happy to drill as long as those pesky environmentalists don't get in the way.

What hypocrisy! Companies that are making record profits asking for subsidies from taxpayers. Even worst, a Senator who would take to the floor to defend them! Hey, send Orrin a case of Castrol GTX, he earned it.

-Robert Scardapane


It's times like this that I hate the fact my name is Noah ORRIN Greenberg. -NG

Camp Casey Is Back
Come to Crawford for Thanksgiving with the Bushes!

"Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather to give thanks and celebrate the years achievements. In this spirit, the family of Camp Casey and the Crawford Peace Movement will reunite in Crawford, Texas this Thanksgiving to celebrate our work, remember those who are no longer with us, and share our stories, our lives, and the wealth of our community."
-Gold Star Families for Peace Call to Action

Mr. Bush, Mr. Bush ... she's back. Now, will you have the guts to answer her questions face to face?

-Robert Scardapane

Talk is Cheap

“If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state, to take money only from our state, I will resign from this body,”
-Stevens, threatening to resign if the "bridges to nowhere" were not funded in Alaska

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) says earmarks for controversial bridges near Anchorage and Ketchikan will be removed from federal law under a proposal agreed to by members of a House-Senate team negotiating a transportation spending bill.


Okay Senator Stevens, time to live up to your promise about quitting ... so, when is the farewell speech?

-Forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

In response to Doug Forrester's loss for the New Jersey governor's seat, and his quote, "I don't think that there's any candidate that has ever received such a pounding," Pat Thompson writes:

The night of his election loss, his wife sure did look a bit angry at spending 18 million dollars of their own money! It helps a little, after Bush stealing two elections.

In response to, "
God Bless America," and "God Bless the World," Pat Thompson writes,

I always wonder whether that is a wish, or a COMMAND, when GWB, or anyone says
GOD BLESS AMERICA. People used to say "may God bless America". It's one earth, one world, and blessings come to all, and so do adversities -- as well demonstrated by the earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.

In response to, "When you put gas in your car and grab a snack at the local convenience market, the Arab Muslim who works there, considers you to be inferior, an enemy, and someone to kill when jihad is called, even though you are a citizen of the US, on your own soil, and they are holding down a job, taking US money, in the country on a visa, maybe expired," Pat Thomson writes:

Many a night I've driven home late from a board meeting and stopped at a gas station with a middle eastern attendant. It's scary. All my life I've tried to never be prejudiced against anyone, black, Asian, whoever. But I do resent these people being here, being our avowed enemy, wanting to kill us all, and being able to freely live and work here. I have never yet had the opportunity to visit France, and maybe I never will, but I had hoped to visit the land of some of my ancestors and see FRENCH people living there. And English people in England, and Swedish people in Sweden. America and Canada and Australia are the melting pots, and that is fine. For some strange reason, I resent having all those Islamic people in France, burning the place up.


And yes, it is definitely the portent of things to come in America. People, enjoy the peace and safety we now have, because it won't be that way for much longer. Before the Bush administration will allow the House and Senate to have Democratic majorities again, who might start investigations of their crimes, and start impeachment proceedings, they will engineer another 9/11 type attack, so that people are so scared, that they will again vote Republican and his poll ratings will go up. It worked before, and they'll do it again.


If you haven't watched Fahrenheit 9/11 in a while, or ever, it is definitely a good thing to watch. Seeing Bush Sr. and Jr. holding hands with Saudi princes, and listening to "Bandar Bush" talk about the Bin Laden family, is very interesting. And Michael Moore weaves together all of the strands for us -- from the Taliban coming to Texas to visit GWB when he was governor, to the pipeline going through Afghanistan.


These people in power care about nothing but their own profit; they are madly greedy and insanely traitorous. Who would sell out their own country, to hold hands with those who vow to kill us, who have killed thousands, to make profits for oil companies? And who led us into war in Iraq, which makes America more hated and much less safe, for the profit of oil companies and Halliburton. These people are truly insane. When greed gets so out of hand, becomes such an obsession. It is a sickness.

In response to Tom DeLay's (on Veterans Day), "So many minority youths had volunteered that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself," Pat Thompson writes:

This is, of course, a bold faced lie. There was a DRAFT, which took many minority youths, but also many other young men, who didn't have a way out, like Bush and Cheney, and DeLay and Quayle. My husband was one of them, and my brother and my cousin, and several young men I went to school with who didn't come home. But there were also the sons of the rich and powerful, the "elite" like Al Gore and John Kerry, who went to Vietnam, who served their country, unlike Cheney who had better things to do, and Bush who had an inside track to the Texas Air National Guard, where they spent a million dollars training him to fly a plane that was obsolete, and would never be used in wartime.

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-Noah Greenberg