June 27, 2004

The burden of the poor

To the Editor, New York Times Magazine:

Barry Bearak ("Poor Man's Burden," June 27) describes Brazil's deep economic inequality, citing that 10% of the population controls 50% of the country's wealth. It is wise to recognize such disparity as sign of a serious problem. If Bearak's figures are correct, it is even worse here in the U.S., where, according to Inequality.org, only 5% of the population accounts for well over 50% of the wealth. Fully one third of the U.S.'s net worth is owned by less than 1% of the population. Where is our Lula?

Sunday news roundup

Front page on the New York Times is the heartwrenching story of Ken Lay, ex-CEO of the fabulously corrupt energy broker Enron. It seems that from once being "worth" over $400 million he now has less than $1 million that he can call his own.

On the campaign page inside is a story about Howard Dean saying that Ralph Nader is the biggest threat to John Kerry. Maybe the biggest threat, Howard, is the perception that the Democratic party is a bunch of spineless Republican wannabes. Maybe the threat is seeing your impassioned anti-war campaign in the primary, Howard, readily locked back into the closet to instead pretend Kerry is the best we can hope. Maybe if Kerry tried stealing some of Nader's issues instead of just Bush's, you wouldn't have to worry so much. In 2000, the general trend was that where Nader did well so did Gore. Which side are you on?

Meanwhile, the Canadian Conservative party is rising with a brilliant political philosophy: more military spending and lower taxes. And they might win! The only way such a ridiculous platform -- one that both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. endorse -- makes sense is that as the government's social services have to be cut off from a lack of funds, the larger and better-equipped military will be needed to keep the increasingly disenfranchised population subdued. I don't think that's how they explain it, though.

Finally, in a story about Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, a viewer is described providing one-word characterizations of the players on screen: Rumsfeld: dangerous. Ridge: idiot. Wolfowitz: traitor. Bush: clueless.

June 26, 2004

White House whines about "disrespectful" RTE interview

'THE White House has lodged a complaint with the Irish Embassy in Washington over RTE [Radio Telefís Éireann] journalist Carole Coleman's interview with US President George Bush.

'And it is believed the President's staff have now withdrawn from an exclusive interview which was to have been given to RTE this morning by First Lady Laura Bush.

'It is understood that both RTE and the Department of Foreign Affairs were aware of the exclusive arrangement, scheduled for 11am today. However, when RTE put Ms Coleman's name forward as interviewer, they were told Mrs Bush would no longer be available.

'The Irish Independent learned last night that the White House told Ms Coleman that she interrupted the president unnecessarily and was disrespectful.

'She also received a call from the White House in which she was admonished for her tone.

'And it emerged last night that presidential staff suggested to Ms Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question on the outfit that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wore to the G8 summit.

Miriam Lord
© Irish Independent

House supports George Bush's support of Ariel Sharon's criminal and stupid policies

By a vote of 407-9 on June 23, the U.S. House of Representatives expressed their support for war criminal Ariel Sharon's "self-defensive" war against the Palestinian people. The resolution was introduced by ex-exterminator Tom Delay, who supports Israel's possession of the West Bank because that is a necessary step in facilitating the second coming of Jesus Christ. It sure helps the cause that debate and opposition are no longer part of our "democracy."

June 25, 2004


By a vote of 95-3, the U.S. Senate confirmed John Negroponte as ambassador to Iraq back on May 6. John Kerry was absent, but the Democrats obviously didn't need his support. Negroponte was sworn in on June 23. Find out more about this war criminal by clicking the title of this post.

June 21, 2004

Down the rabbit hole

Sun Myung Moon was coronated as the messiah on March 23 by several U.S. congress members. At the event, Moon spoke:
"The five great saints and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin, who committed all manner of barbarity and murders on Earth, and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons. Emperors, kings and presidents who enjoyed opulence and power on Earth, and even journalists who had worldwide fame, have now placed themselves at the forefront of the column of the true love revolution. ... They have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."

June 20, 2004


The AP reports:
'... the House by a 229-186 vote approved a bill [see earlier post] that would ease environmental regulations for production of renewable energy, including electricity developed from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower.

'Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., the bill's sponsor, argued it would speed up permit approval for renewable energy facilities. But environmentalists strongly opposed the measure and maintained that it would lead to construction of dams and garbage incinerators without adequate environmental review.

'"This bill is a cynical wolf in sheep's clothing," said Andrew Fahlund of American Rivers, an environmental advocacy group.'
But in the U.K., Friends of the Earth issued a press release calling for an even more drastic stand, automatic approval of renewable energy projects:
'In its submission to the Government's consultation on PPS22, the national planning policy statement on renewable energy, Friends of the Earth says that there must be a presumption in favour of renewable energy sources, such as wind, wave and solar power. This would mean that planning authorities could only reject applications in exceptional circumstances.'