May 23, 2005

expect fun, you might learn how it runs


Dylan Thomas by Bill Brandt, 1941

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"Ted Stevens

"Thank God for conservatives and their small-government ways! Praise the Lord for Republicans and their valiant efforts to slash wasteful spending! And three cheers for Ted Stevens of Alaska and his... million dollar bus stop? Yes, it turns out that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Santa Claus) has appropriated a whopping $1.5 million of taxpayer money - that's your money, remember! - to improve a bus stop outside the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

"Expressing some uncertainty about the idea of spending so much money on a bus stop, Anchorage's director of public transportation Tom Wilson said, "We have a senator that gave us that money and I certainly won't want to appear ungrateful ... [But] if it only takes us $500,000 to do it, that's what we will spend." Well that's good to know I guess - I mean, considering that $500,000 is fifty times the usual cost of bus stop renovations in Anchorage and all."

* James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) has recently introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. H.R. 1528, cynically named 'Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act,' would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, and even go undercover and wear a wire if needed. If a person resisted, he or she would face mandatory incarceration. excerpt:

"Here's how the 'spy' section of the legislation works: If you 'witness' certain drug offenses taking place or 'learn' about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide 'full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution' of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.

"Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to police within 24 hours:

-- You find out that your brother, who has children, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife;

-- You discover that your son gave his college roommate a marijuana joint;

-- You learn that your daughter asked her boyfriend to find her some drugs, even though they're both in treatment.

"In each of these cases you would have to report the relative to the police within 24 hours. Taking time to talk to your relative about treatment instead of calling the police immediately could land you in jail.

"In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans in danger by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers.

"Even if the language that forces every American to become a de facto law enforcement agent is taken out, the bill would still impose draconian sentences on college students, mothers, people in drug treatment and others with substance abuse problems. If enacted, this bill will destroy lives, break up families, and waste millions of taxpayer dollars."

* Smog's 'A River Ain't Too Much to Love, and Stephen Malkmus' 'Face the Truth' out tomorrow. In other music news, Bars and Guitars features Hearts Kings Lies, by the cut ups.

* "The mere attempt to examine my own confusion would consume volumes."
-- James Agee

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