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Since this didn't end up appearing on Patrick McIlheran's blog, I thought I would share it with you to ensure you understand the difference between BAD government and GOOD government. In a recent post, Patrick uses the the bad policies of governments in pseudo-communist China and Africa (read: dictatorships, to varying degrees) as a reason why governments in general are "bad." Patrick relies on a story in The Spectator, which just so happens to be--surprise!--an extreme right-wing newspaper. The article in question, which you can read here, talks about a recent visit to Cameroon where the journalist went through multiple roadblocks, which can have horrible effects on food transportation.
Cameroon? Really? Boy, who could have thought that there might be flaws in the Cameroon government? This is one of McIlheran's favorite ways to play people against the U.S. government, and it's extremely effective. Despite the fact that the governments in question are hardly an example of democracy, especially not the kind we have here in the United States, McIlheran argues them as typical examples. And yet, if I were to list the multiple ways in which the Free Market hampers the production and distribution of food, McIlheran would most likely argue: "No, that's not the fault of the Free Market. And those are markets in other countries."
Special thanks to our representative, Gwen Moore, for suporting the call by House Representative Dennis Kucinich's to impeach President Bush. Kucinich introduced 35(!) articles of impeachment against the president and Representative Robert Wexler called for judiciary committee hearings on the issue. Very few democrats in the House--17 total--have supported it thus far, despite the fact that our president has committed crimes, along with our vice president.
Click here to download and read all 35 articles of impeachment.
Best to leave the weekend homework to a minimum this week, but you still have an assignment: try to donate a little bit or even volunteer a few hours to help out everyone who's been sucked into this disaster. Here's a handful of links with more info and ideas. I'm passing these along to help get you started:
I thought I'd share this from ClimateProgress, which happened to find a rather humorous quote from the Competitive Enterprise Institute's newsletter, which attempted to demonize global warming in its typical fashion. In the newsletter, the CEI said:
"A scientist who says that the atmosphere is warming, and cites certain physical processes, is still a scientist. A scientist who argues that people must take certain acts to avoid disaster has become a priest."
The House passed a bill today that provides retroactive immunity for all telecommunications companies involved in President Bush's domestic spying program. You know why they need retroactive immunity? BECAUSE THEY BROKE THE LAW. The Bush administration, with the help of multiple telecoms, spied on Americans WITHOUT A COURT WARRANT. And now, the House has finally given in and decided to side with the most unpopular president in American history.
And where are the conservatives during all this? Where are the true conservatives who favor PRIVACY among all else, the ones who HATE it when government eschews the law in order to pry in on the lives of individual citizens? Why, they're all backing telecom immunity, too! That hardly surprises me, given that the conservative movement has grown so limp in the face of the neoconservative minority that few if any have the backbone necessary to actually stand up for their original values. Why follow any laws when they can use the "Terrorist Bogeyman" to do anything they want?
Republican House Representative Jim Sensenbrenner has been going out of his way to somehow blame Democrats for the current economic woes. It doesn't make much sense, since Republicans were running things for six years, but hey, what does that matter? The GOP is desperate, and Sensenbrenner is notorious for proudly displaying his delusions.
But let's take a look at one of the most fervent movements still taking place in the conservative movement: corporate taxes. I was listening to a debate between anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist and progressive writer David Sirota, and the talking points for Norquist were pretty much what he's been saying for decades:
In response to the recent court decision ruling against D.C.'s handgun ban, I think it's important to tie this up with the recent vote to provide immunity to telecoms who spied on American citizens--at the behest of the Bush administration--WITHOUT A COURT WARRANT. Why are these two important? Because the very same conservatives who seem to have no problem with what Bush is doing are the very same who--thus far in our recent posts--have been unwilling to say they would give up their right to own a gun to fight terrorism. Hypocrisy? Of course. Let me say first off that I don't oppose the right to own a gun, although I've been more than happy to support restrictions in certain senses. Regardless, I don't see any reason why responsible people can't own firearms. And so here's the question you need to ask yourself now:
How many rights are you willing to give up in order to fight terrorism?