Saturday, December 13, 2003
UN Debate On Human Cloning Postponed.
All member nations agree on a treaty to prohibit cloning of human beings, but the United States leads a push to extend the ban to include therapeutic cloning of stem cells. Therapeutic cloning is regarded as a promising approach to research on treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer's. The U.S. position is opposed by our most important allies and almost the entire world scientific community. It is backed by Costa Rica and the Catholic Church. At home, the Bush administration is at odds with 40 Nobel Prize winners, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, many scientific societies the AAAS.
Once again, we're [nearly] all alone trying to defend an indefensible position.
The Minimum Wage.
This post at Freespace drove me fucking crazy. I love Tim's Libertarian ass too death -- he's a good writer and has many intelligent posts on legal issues -- but daaaaaaamn!!!
I mean, come on, Milton Friedman is a fucking tool. How can anyone take him seriously when he says the minimum wage "[prevents workers] from offering to work for low wages as a means of inducing employers to give them on-the-job training"?
If anything, the minimum wage induces employers to train their workers because they'll get more for their money. You don't see a lot of sweatshop owners dispensing with much on-the-job training for their 30 cent an hour workforce, do ya? There's a reason for this, they don't need too. When you can pay someone slave-wages you don't need them to be skilled. Or healthy. Or safe. Or happy.
Then there's the ever maddening "[a store] will be forced to raise their prices to cover the increased costs of employing people." What a crock of shit. I've worked in a convenience store before, quite recently (and will probably be going back soon, I might add. I've also worked in skilled jobs -- telecommunications installation and engineering technician.) I had to deal with customers complaining about the fucking price hikes, but they always bought the fucking product. Stores raise their prices all the time for many different reasons, the lest of which is employee paychecks.
And Let me tell you, I was thankful that my nameless employer (big corporate fucker) was forced by law to pay me at least something close to a living wage (although I still ended up losing my apartment and having to move back into my family's house.)
See, people have to work, and employers will pay their employees as little as possible. Now, being a clerk may not be all that complicated, but you go work there for a year -- 40-60 hours a week, day in and day out, cleaning and stocking and waiting on people who think your scum for working there -- you do that and come back here and tell me you deserve no more than $15,000 a year at best. Work there your entire life and tell me that anyone who does isn't good enough for fifteen thousand dollars a year. Oh yeah, real advancement opportunities too, my manager worked for 7-11 her whole fucking life and made a couple grand more than me.
Not everyone can go to college and be lawyers and Nobel Prize winning economists. We deserve better than what we get for carrying the rest of you on our backs.
One last thing: Charities can't provide for the needy. All those charities that sprang up during the 19th century failed to do so. Failed miserably. Many people suffered. Many people died. Government welfare isn't all bread and roses, but it's better than the Starvation Army.
Speaking Of The "Hollywood Liberal Elite."
Where are these fuckers? If they have so much damn power, how come they don't hold powerful positions in the government? Why isn't the new Hollywood Governor of California a Liberal? Why was Actor turned President Ronald Reagan a Republican? How exactly do they excercise their power?
Now, I've read a lot of shit about the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and how it operates. Hip bone connected to the money bone connected to the propoganda bone type o' stuff. Have any conservatives documented the same kinds of structures on the left. (Well, I guess the ANSWER thing counts, but wasn't that brought out by a Liberal?) Have they shown how the "liberal elite" controls its empire? Do they have anything to back up their claims?
I Get Letters!
I can't tell if you're one of those antiAmerican
And my [lengthy] reply:
UPDATE! - A Reply.
All I can say is, if it weren't for corporations
And my reply:
UPDATE 2! - Oh, yet again. MS writes:
and I just saw Elvis walking down the street with
And I thought I was pretty clear in my e-mail. Oh, well. Anyway, here's my oh-so witty reply:
I think they have medications for your sort of condition.
Take Control Of Your Workplace!
Also via LMB (although I would have found it eventually,) we find this article from Infoshop reporting on the reconstruction of Iraqi oil facilities.... By the workers themselves!
Occupation Watch visited SOC workers in the North Rumeilla crude oil pumping station, drilling and gas company and discovered that workers had been carrying out reconstruction work independently, using their own worn tools, canibalised spare parts from old equipment and parts purchased form the local market. Ali Mohammad Jowad, an engineer working in the water injection section of the station told OW, 'We haven't seen any KBR [Haliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root] employee do any repair work whatsoever. They are not involved in any reconstruction in any way. KBR came and checked our equipment and promised to repair looted equipment but until this moment, nothing is repaired'.
Power to the people.
Oh! This Looks Like Fun!
RIAA Information Awareness Activism
UK House Of Commons Debates The US Raid On The IFTU.
From the UK Parliament website (via Labour Start.)
Mr. Harry Barnes (North-East Derbyshire) (Lab): Has my right hon. Friend seen early-day motion 250,
As I reported earlier, all 8 men detained by the US in the raid on the IFTU were released the next day. No weapons were found. Why is Mr. Hain trying to link these incidents?
Only 20 MPs signed motion 250.
Friday, December 12, 2003
thoughts on the eve of the apocalypse
Lots of interesting things over there today.
The Fight To Save Overtime Goes On.
Shrub's omnibus spending bill failed to pass in the Senate due to its lack of overtime protections. More Info.
There Aren't Words For This.....
Actually, there are two words for this -- War Crimes. Big words. Capital letters.
Thanks to Iggi at Genfoods for pointing this one out.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Schwarzedumbass Talks About Breaking His Biggest Campaign Promise.
From The San Diego Union-Tribune:
In what may prove a dramatic reversal of a key campaign promise, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he is considering suspending Proposition 98, the landmark school funding guarantee.
Okay, so the guys a lying bastard -- this is not surprising to anyone with half a brain who wasn't brainwashed by the corporate media blitz.
I wonder when they're gonna start the next recall campaign. And will Schwarzedumbass endorse it? Haha.
(Link via Uggabugga.)
A readable column by Andrew Sullivan! And in the Washington Post no less. Kee-riced. The end times are near.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, it's about Gay Marriage -- which is probably why my head didn't explode.
Marxism Vs. Anarchism.
An interesting read. Lengthy though.
You have to be pretty dumb not to notice that the countries that were praised in Bush's speech for their progress towards democracy [Algeria, Morocco, Yemen] were the ones that are following orders and the ones that were condemned were the ones that aren't following orders. This is completely independent of any steps towards democracy, human rights and so on.
Love 'im or hate 'im: The man is right about a whole lot o' things.
UPDATE! - Jeff of Speedkill points out this recent Chomsky interview. Thanks, Jeff.
Oppression In A Nutshell.
On Saturday, Dec 6th, dozens of US troops raided the headquarters of the IFTU in Baghdad. Eight leaders of the IFTU were arrested. Documents were seized. Windows were broken. Banners were torn down. Property was destroyed.
"So, what is the IFTU?" you ask. "Is this a dangerous terrorist organization or a Ba'athist resistence group?"
I.F.T.U. The Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions.
The eight people arrested were later released unharmed. Some of the posters that were torn down, it's worth noting, were anti-terrorist in nature.
This kind of intimidation is uncalled for. It goes against the very [second] reason we are supposedly in Iraq. Send pResident McDictator a message.
Sunday, December 07, 2003
You Should Keep That Holiday Cheer In Check.
How much is your kids smile worth to you?
Workers at Kin Ki Industrial, a leading Chinese toy maker, make a decent salary, rarely work nights or weekends and often "hang out along the street, play Ping-Pong and watch TV."
According to the US Government, 80% of toys sold in America are made in China.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Harsh, But True.
"Civil unions aren't equality, any more than separate water fountains are equality." -- Ampersand
The idea of "Marriage and Civil Unions" really is just a rehash of "Seperate But Equal." I'm surprised the anti-Gay Rights people didn't come up with this one themselves.
The War Is Over, Yet Children Still Die.
News reports from places occupied by the US are sounding more and more like news reports coming out of the territories occupied by Israel:
9 children and their uncle were killed by US bombs today. They were shooting at one guy. They missed.
"The boys were playing marbles," said one man, thrusting forward a gnarled hand with three chipped glass marbles he had picked up the from the dust. Seven boys, ages 8 to 12, were playing marbles in front of a house, and two girls ages 9 and 10 were fetching water from the stream alongside when the planes struck at 10:45 a.m.
They target one guy and kill 10 innocent people instead. The safety of civilians is obviously of great concern.