August 16, 2004

what is peace to the people who work the land and die in wars?

* From the August 2004 edition of Harpers:

-- Number of the 50 airstrikes targeting Iraq's leadership during the invastion last year that hit their target: 0

-- Number of words in the first sentence of Bill Clinton's memoir and in that of George W. Bush, respectively: 49, 5

-- Number of HealthSouth executives charged with conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, or lying since March 2003: 20

-- Number who have pled guilty: 17

-- Number of those now in prison: 0

* American Library Association will focus on giving school children a more balanced view of copyright law. excerpt:

"The ALA sees a need for this because materials offered by groups like the Business Software Alliance and the Motion Picture Association of America are designed to influence kids with one-sided information, said Rick Weingarten, director of information technology policy for the ALA. Topics like 'fair use' -- the right to use copyright material without the owner's permission, a key concept in American law that intellectual-property experts say leads to innovation -- are not adequately addressed.

"'There is certainly concern about the fact that when the content industry talks about copyright and young people in the same sentence, they are either calling them all crooks or they are making claims for copyright that far exceed what copyright is all about,' Weingarten said. 'Any education program that comes from that source is inherently going to be biased.'"

* Last week's top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"1. Alan Keyes: So Fox News contributor and former lunatic presidential candidate Alan Keyes formally accepted the Republican nomination to run for Senate in Illinois last week, and will now go head to head against Barack Obama in November. Despite his name recognition, Keyes is currently slumping despondently in the polls with a mere 28%. Although possibly he's slumping because of his name recognition, we're not sure. Anyway, the funny thing is that the Illinois Republican party is so desperate they had to find someone who doesn't even live in Illinois to represent them. That's right - Alan Keyes lives in Maryland, has never lived in Illinois, and has to move there in order to run. But wait a second, I hear you cry! You can't criticize Alan Keyes for that! What about Hillary Clinton moving to New York to run for a Senate seat in that state? Ah, indeed. You're absolutely right. We can't criticize Alan Keyes' carpetbagging because Hillary did the same thing. However, we can criticize Alan Keyes for straight up talking out of his ass. Because when Hillary ran for Senate in 2000, Mr. Keyes said, 'I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it.' Oh, hypocrisy, thy name is Alan.

9. Dick Cheney: In his recent speech to the UNITY Journalists of Color Convention, John Kerry said, 'I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history.' Sounds pretty sensible. But it didn't take long for Team Bush's top attack dog - uh, I mean, the vice president - Dick Cheney to cherry-pick Kerry's comments. At a campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio, Crashcart told the crowd, 'America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive ... A sensitive war will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans and who seek the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more. The men who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Paul Johnson will not be impressed by our sensitivity.' Nice spin, Dick. Perhaps you should mention some of that to your boss though, because here's Dubya at the UNITY convention the day after John Kerry: 'Now in terms of the balance between running down intelligence and bringing people to justice obviously is - we need to be very sensitive on that.' Whoops! Oh, and here's Dubya at the USS Reagan ceremony in March 2001: 'Precisely because America is powerful, we must be sensitive about expressing our power and influence ... In all our dealings with other nations, we will display the modesty of true confidence and strength.' Oh no! Tsk tsk, Dick will be disappointed that the Boy Blunder just made him look like a total buffoon. No supper for you, Georgie!"

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