Wednesday, January 28, 2004Hey, I thought you'd get a kick out of this one. I sent an email to a guy at the local CBS affiliate in Minneapolis, WCCO, about this whole Moveon.org Bush In 30 Seconds Child’s Play Superbowl Commercial issue and said it might make for a good "Reality Check" segment on their nightly news. He got back to me within hours and actually agreed (pretty impressive considering he's owned by CBS). Well, the segment ran tonight on the CBS affiliate in the 15th largest TV market in the USA!
A simple email can go a long ways.
It isn't online yet, but will be soon at:
Tuesday, January 27, 2004Check out The Bill of No Rights. This appears to be written by a person who gets their news from FOX and believes every stereotype Rush Limbaugh espouses (whether they're accurate or not). Let's break it down:
"WE, the sensible people of the United States, . . .
Assumes he's smarter than your average American.
. . . in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, . . .
Restore justice by removing rights? Jailing people without charges? Having parts of the Patriot Act ruled unconstitutional? See the hypocrisy?
. . . avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty, . . .
Debt free? Excuse me, but George W. Bush, along with the Republican controlled House and Senate have run up the biggest debt in the history of the United States. Positive behavior? Such a as using loopholes to name racist federal judges against opposition such as Justice Pickering? Keep our nation safe? By attacking countries that DIDN'T attack us? By not capturing the guy responsible for attacking us? By underfunding homeland security? By not inspecting shipping containers?
. . .to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal, bed wetters.
Without making a single point, the writer has to sink to grade school insults and ridiculous generalizations. Sad.
Article I You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.
How about, "You do not have a right to a government bailout for your failed business investments. It's not the governments responsibility to create an uneven playing field for your corporation. Grow up and start believing in free markets and start competing. It's both unethical and illegal to do business with countries named Rouge States by our country. This means no off-shore subsidiaries in the Caymans and no giving arms to Iran for hostages.
Maybe you're talking about people eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit:
The EITC is available only to low-income tax filing units (individuals or families) with earnings. While the EITC is primarily for parents, there is a small credit for low-income workers who are not parents. For all EITC recipients, the size of the credit initially rises with earnings, reaches a plateau, and then diminishes with each additional dollar earned. The maximum credit for a working family with two children was $3,756 in tax year 1998. Families with two children and incomes between $9,390 and $12,260 could claim this maximum credit and families with two children and incomes up to $30,095 were eligible for some EITC benefit.
That doesn't sound like new car big screen TV crowd to me. And people have to work to receive the credit. Didn't Limbaugh explain this?
Article II You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.
Agreed, so get used to being offended when you're called on the floor for making idiotic statements, racially divisive comments, or taking hypocritical actions.
Article III You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.
Wrong. If companies knowingly make a product that's harmful, they should be held accountable for their actions. This includes former CEOs of companies like Enron. If they destroy people's lives, they need to pay for their behavior. Donating money to political parties should not exempt you from liability.
Article IV You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.
Sounds great, but it's a commonly misunderstood issue by Dittoheads. "The total assets of America's 34,000 foundations (not annual income from their endowments) add up to around 10 percent of the total government expenditures for social welfare and related domestic programs." [Big Lies by Joe Conason p.177] Charities alone don't cut it.
Additionally, corporations do not have a right to tax-free real estate or the right to avoiding paying taxes through accounting loopholes. Avoiding paying your fair share of taxes is an unethical way to create personal wealth.
Article V You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.
Government healthcare seems to be just fine for our elected officials. Why not the rest of us? It could be done for the cost of an unnecessary war in the Middle East. At the very least, we should find a way to provide healthcare to minors. It's far from Christian to hear conservatives rail against providing basic healthcare to children.
Article VI You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.
The death penalty does not prevent crime and costs more than simply throwing someone in jail for the rest of their life. It's also become glaring obvious that there are serious problems with our justice system, where some deathrow inmates have been acquitted of crimes. Do you feel comfortable killing an innocent person?
Additionally, you do not have the right to kill thousands of people including over 500 of our service people in order to capture one man who happened to live above a lot of oil but posed no threat to our country.
Article VII You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
Corporate thievery dwarfs the crimes done by petty thieves. Wake up and start demanding corporate accountability.
Article VIII You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.
Agreed. So why has George W. Bush invaded two countries and has troops in more countries around the world than ever before? I guess George and Dick Cheney need to soothe their cronies aching wallets.
Article IX You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.
Unless you happen to be the son of an influential person. Then you don't need training, just a name. And don't worry about getting into college. Oh, you're not a legacy? Well, if you can't take advantage of Affirmative Action for rich white folks, good luck to you.
Article X You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness - which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.
People are generally happy if they are healthy. Being able to trust they're not being killed by the water they drink and the air they breath doesn't hurt. And having some confidence that their employer (who likely boasts about being a proud patriotic company) isn't trying to export their job wouldn't hurt either.
If you agree, I strongly urge you to forward this to as many people as you can. No, you don't have to, and nothing tragic will befall you should you not forward it. I just think it is about time common sense is allowed to flourish - call it the age of reason revisited.
Or send a link to this rebuttal.
What Bush Really Should Have Said in His State of the Union Address, If He Were Inclined to Tell the Truth for Once - BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
Monday, January 26, 2004Is there anything scarier than hearing the Attorney General of the United States looking for justifications for government action after the fact? Does he apply the same rules to police? Can they arrest anyone at any time without prior justification, then trump up a justification for the arrest after the fact? Hmmm, that sounds a lot like what's happening in Guantanamo Bay at Camp X-Ray right now where hundreds of people are being held without being charged with a crime.
I'd prefer to see this country in the hands of an Attorney General intersted in upholding the constitution rather than trying to dismantle it through the Patriot Act (which thankfully is now starting to be ruled as unconstitutional).
Yahoo! News - Ashcroft: War Justified Even Without WMD:
VIENNA, Austria - Even if weapons of mass destruction are never found in Iraq (news - web sites), the U.S.-led war was justified because it eliminated the threat that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) might again resort to "evil chemistry and evil biology," Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) said Monday.