Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Across the Board Today

With newspaper in hand, here I go:

  • Pacific Graft and Electric execs have now given themselves $172 million in bonuses this year alone.  This must be for holding California PG & E customers hostage, dragging the state's economy straight into the toilet in 2001, and for being rewarded by the state's Republicans who struck down any sort of plan to re-regulate the power industry. 
  • Haliburton abused its contracts in Iraq.  Haliburton overcharged taxpayers because it could.  Haliburton did not need to competitively bid for these contracts.  Haliburton charged the government (taxpayers) $189 million in meals that it did not serve employees in Iraq.  Dick Cheney still receives financial dividends from this company.  Am I the only one who notices the conflict of interest that's killing us?
  • The Peterson trial should be congratulated for turning itself into the media circus that it was destined to become.  Lawyers acting as court jesters, evidence that apparently contradicts itself, and the underlying sadness that this case is only generating press because the victim in this tragedy (RIP Laci) happened to be a white, pretty woman.  Change the demographics, this would have disappeared from the newspapers shortly after the victim.
  • In order for a single parent to raise two children in the Bay Area and just be able to pay for the bare necessities of life - rent, food, clothing - that person would need to generate $55,162 a year (in Contra Costa County).  In order to live in San Francisco, $69,867.  In Santa Clara County, $72,578.  This is just to be poor.  I'm glad to know that as soon as my wife takes time off to raise our child in September, I, too, qualify to be poor.  Two adults with a combined total of fourteen years of post-secondary education and we're poor.  And that's in the most inexpensive of the Bay Area counties west of Brentwood.
  • Thank you, Olympians, for tarnishing the United States' image again as we approach another summer games.  Now no one will believe that our track and field (and who knows what other events) medal winners truly deserve to keep their medals. 
  • Mick LaSalle gave Catwoman a good review.  I wish I got paid well to give people my opinion.  Maybe Fox News is hiring.
  • The lame SF Chron article on Bruce's music in politics that I was so looking forward to reading.  Trite, dumb, surfacy article that I could have written here in about ten minutes.  Campaign music struggles because rock song messages don't match up with candidates' platforms.  Tell us something that we care about.  I don't know about you, but what I look for in the people who I want to run the most powerful country on Earth is the ability to properly choose the right song from Darkness On the Edge Of Town as their campaign song.  If you picked "The Promised Land," that's it, your reputation in history will be forever tarnished, and I as a history teacher will let generations of students know that.  Lie to the American people and force them into a disasterous war, wreck the economy, strip us of our civil rights and liberties but play Lee Greenwood at your convention, you're a uniter, not a divider.
  • U.C. doesn't know its rear from a hole in the ground in Los Alamos, NM.  I thought that the only joke about that place is that the employees glow at night.
  • The White House and the Pentagon create policy of indefinite detention of prisoners of war and establish the detestable policy of torture and yet the Army's report of abuses in Afghanistan and Iraq  states that abuses are an "aberration."  I can smell the report clear in California. 
  • The GOP is still pushing to create the first and only constititutional amendment DENYING Americans civil rights and freedoms.  I don't know how anyone really feels about gay marriage, but what we see is the government attempting to legislate private behavior based on the fact that gay marriage is sinful.  Just in using that label, what is happening is the formation of a theocracy in this country.
  • Illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank are sprouting up at a rapid rate though the government has promised to stop them from growing.  So Jews can take Palestinian land but Palestinians can't have access to their own land (see yesterday's rant)?
  • The 9/11 commission has stirred up all of the feelings of pain, despair, and sadness that I vividly experienced nearly three years ago.  I just pray that  no matter what, we as a country can dedicate our efforts to protect ourselves and live freely as a memorial to the thousands of innocent people killed that day.  PDB's and intelligence that told us to blow up Iraq aside, 9/11 replaces Pearl Harbor as "The Day We Slept."

I'm getting desperate now.  Would you be so kind as to leave a comment so I know that you read this?  My ego's taking a beating!