links that should make the Democrat in everyone cringe…

first, there’s "senator" frist, who defended his effort to strip democrats of their ability to block votes on "president" shrub junior’s court nominees… the filibuster is one of democracy’s last ditch measures to make sure that people aren’t subjected to government which is not by, for, and of the people. the essential criminalisation of things like the filibuster and protection from self-incrimination should make everyone sit up and take notice!

then, when they’re through trying to take away another vestige of the democracy that failed, they decide that you’re not paying enough in taxes, that one fifth, or more, of your income isn’t enough, and they have to have more of your hard earned cash to support the massive war effort waste of environmental resources sweetheart deals with places like enron and halliburton… um… er… things that aren’t evil in one way or another…

i am a terrorist! if something isn’t done to rescue our own people right here at home, from the stupidity of our own government, SOON you’re all going to wish that it had!

Frist Defends Effort to End Filibusters

Sunday, April 24, 2005

By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was telling conservatives on Sunday that judges deserve “respect, not retaliation,” no matter how they rule, and he defended his effort to strip Democrats of their ability to block votes on President Bush’s court nominees.

“I don’t think it’s radical to ask senators to vote. I don’t think it’s radical to expect senators to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities,” said Frist, whom Democrats have accused of engaging in “radical Republican” politics.

A potential candidate for the White House in 2008, the Tennessee Republican made no overt mention of religion in a brief address taped for a rally Sunday evening in Louisville, Ky., according to a text of his remarks released before the event.

Instead, Frist seemed intent on steering clear of the views expressed by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and other conservatives in and out of Congress who have urged investigations and even possible impeachment of judges they describe as activists.

“Our judiciary must be independent, impartial and fair,” Frist said in his taped remarks.

“When we think judicial decisions are outside mainstream American values, we will say so. But we must also be clear that the balance of power among all three branches requires respect — not retaliation. I won’t go along with that,” Frist said.

The event, organized by the conservative Family Research Council, was being held in a church and was to be broadcast around the country. Fliers for “Justice Sunday — Stopping The Filibuster Against People of Faith” said the filibuster, a tactic used by the minority party to stall debate and sometimes scuttle votes on presidential nominees, is “being used against people of faith.”

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate said on Sunday that the Constitution prohibits a religious test for a person to be appointed to a public office.

“What’s happening today with the Family Research Council is wrong,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told “Fox News Sunday.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaking on the same show, said the Family Research Council should not question whether Democrats are people of faith or religious bigots.

“I don’t think that helps the country and I don’t think it’s fair,” Graham said.

For months, Frist has threatened to take action that would shut down the Democrats’ practice of subjecting a small number of judicial appointees to filibusters. Barring a last-minute compromise, a showdown is expected this spring or summer.

While a majority of the Senate is sufficient to confirm a judge, it takes 60 votes under Senate rules to overcome a filibuster and force a final vote.

Rather than change the rules directly, Frist and other Republicans have threatened to seek an internal Senate ruling that would declare that filibusters are not permitted against judicial nominees.

Because such a ruling can be enforced by majority vote, and Republicans have 55 seats in the 100-member Senate, GOP leaders have said they expect to prevail if they put the issue to the test.

Democrats blocked 10 appointments in Bush’s first term. The president has renominated seven of the 10 since he won re-election, and Democrats have threatened to filibuster them again.

Republicans pushed two of the nominees — including Texas Supreme Court Judge Priscilla Owen — from the Senate Judiciary Committee last week on party-line votes.

In his remarks, Frist singled out Owen for praise, possibly indicating she will become the test case for the expected showdown.

“She has received praise from both parties,” he said of Owen, nominated for a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Justice Owen has also been a leader for providing free legal services to the poor. And she has worked to soften the impact of legal proceedings on children of divorcing parents,” Frist said.

Frist said that “even though a majority of senators support her, she has been denied an up-or-down vote on the floor of the Senate. … Justice Owen deserves better. She deserves a vote.”

In his remarks, Frist noted that some Republicans are opposed to ending judicial filibusters, fearing that they may someday want to use the same tactics against appointments made by a Democratic president.

“That may be true. But if what Democrats are doing is wrong today, it won’t be right for Republicans to do the same thing tomorrow,” he said.

Frist also said that the Democrats’ filibuster against Bush’s nominees was the first time ever that “a judicial nominee with majority support had been denied an up-or-down vote.”

Republicans held a Senate majority for six of President Clinton’s eight years in office and frequently prevented votes on his court appointments by bottling them up in the committee, knowing the nominees would be confirmed if allowed to go to a vote by the full Senate.

One nominee, Richard Paez, a district court judge when he was nominated, waited more than four years before being confirmed to the appeals court.

Frist’s comments on the independence of judges follow DeLay’s campaign against the federal courts since judges refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube.

After the death of the brain-damaged Florida woman, despite swift congressional passage of a law giving federal judges jurisdiction to review her case, DeLay said, “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.” He later apologized, saying he had spoken in an “inartful” way.

Commission Says Too Many Tax Breaks Exist

Sunday, April 24, 2005

By MARY DALRYMPLE, AP Tax Writer

WASHINGTON – As taxpayers recover from finishing their annual filing chores, a presidential commission studying the tax laws has reached the conclusion that there are just too many deductions and credits.

Three credits and a deduction help taxpayers cut college costs. Special urban and rural tax zones encourage investment and job creation. Dozens of other tax benefits help families raise children and save for retirement, encourage adoption, nudge drivers toward hybrid cars and push businesses to invest in new equipment.

“We have lost sight of the fact that the fundamental purpose of our tax system is to raise revenues to fund government,” according to President Bush’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform.

The commission’s chairman, former Florida Sen. Connie Mack, said its nine members have been surprised at the number of tax deductions and credits.

“It wasn’t until we really had the opportunity to listen to so many different people talk about so many different aspects of the code that it really sunk in about how much and how often the code is being used these days to either create incentives or disincentives for either investment or behavior,” Mack said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The White House budget office ranks the cost of a deduction for businesses that provide health insurance to employees as the top tax break, worth $126 billion next year. Also high on the list are the popular mortgage interest deduction, a capital gains break for home sales, a deduction for charitable contributions and the child tax credit.

The list includes many tiny tax breaks. Among them are ones that encourage biodiesel fuel, help the elderly and disabled, make interest on educational bonds tax-free and allow teachers to deduct the cost of school supplies.

The problem comes when taxpayers try to decipher the rules that govern those credits and deductions. The tax breaks often overlap and typically come with pages of instructions and qualifications.

“It was clearly stated that the level of complication has become so great that in many cases it ends up deterring the activity that you’re trying to encourage,” Mack said.

Bush has asked the panel to preserve tax breaks that promote homeownership and charitable giving.

Tax breaks started proliferating in the 1990s for two reasons, said Eugene Steuerle, a former Treasury Department official and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

“There’s always been this political reward for claiming to do something new rather than merely cleaning up or slightly expanding something that already exists,” Steuerle said.

Lawmakers want to brand their own education tax breaks, for example, which means there are multiple deductions, credits and special savings accounts instead of one tax break everyone can use.

Tax breaks also provide benefits without creating a government spending program. But the proliferation of tax breaks end up costing the public because they mean lawmakers cannot lower income tax rates, Steuerle said.

“They make it look like smaller government, when in fact it’s actually bigger government,” he said.

The tax breaks amount to billions of dollars.

Tax benefits that provide indirect subsidies to homeowners add up to more than the entire budget of the Housing and Urban Development Department.

The earned income tax credit for low wage workers is bigger than any welfare program, including food stamps.

The tax break for businesses that provide health insurance is growing faster than almost all other domestic programs.

Some critics say no one tracks the tax breaks to find out if they succeed in promoting the behavior lawmakers want to encourage. Limitations often mean that some breaks are not available to wealthier taxpayers or poorer ones.

“It is worth noting that the deductions are of little or no benefit to the 40 percent of taxpayers who don’t owe taxes,” Fred Goldberg Jr., a former Internal Revenue Service commissioner, told the presidential panel.

Would taxpayers give up some of those deductions and credits to make the whole system simpler? Not likely.

“Anytime you’ve got a benefit, wherever it happens to be, whether it’s spending or taxes, people don’t want to give them up,” Mack said.

This summer, the panel plans to recommend ways to make the tax laws simpler and fairer.

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windoesn’t is acting up again. the 1.03 update for firefox is out, but when i ran the update, it stalls out starting just before it loads my “homepage” (which is a html file on my local network): the menus won’t work, although there’s a “double-click to check for updates” button in the wrong place on the toolbar which does work (although, as i expected, it doesn’t find any updates, because there aren’t any) and the only thing that does work is the “X” box in the upper right corner which quits the program. i checked the task manager and there’s only one firefox process, which goes away when i quit (which is what i expect), and i uninstalled, cleaned out the registry of every occurrance of “firefox” and then re-installed 1.02, but it still gave me the same problems when i got 1.02 installed, which leads me to believe that something in the windoesn’t operating system is getting in the way, but not in a way that i’ve been able to figure out. i’ve updated and run 2 different virus/spyware/malware deteciton programs with no results, and linux version of 1.03 works without a problem (which i expect), but it’s kind of irritating when i have to post things on the web before checking their validation, because my validator on windows is dependent on a local version of firefox… 8/

EDIT: it’s fixed, and linux, which broke afer the first posting of this message, is fixed as well. apparently something was not called correctly when i installed my extensions, and starting it up in safe mode, disabling and uninstalling, then re-installing the extensions fixed it for both platforms.

this was borrowed from who borrowed it from : “this is the meme where you throw some lyrics into Babelfish and translate them into Dutch and French and German and Yakian Discordian and then post three hints as to what the song is and people have to guess it.”

i’m actually going to do a number of these, but this one is, in my opinion, terrifically easy if you know my musical tastes at all:

It is a song regarding the vegetable, it is you regularly, it real for and holds effective calls the any vegetable.
The call it the name.
Mention today, if you receive from the course.
Calls are good any vegetable and the chances, which will answer the vegetable at you!

1) it is a song by my favourite artist.
2) it is a song which invokes a deity for which i have an affinity.

jeez, do i really need to post three? okay…

3) it is the song that the Tinite High Priest sings before a special yearly celebration.

from

stone key
You are a stone key, and you unlock old and magical
secrets. What you have to offer is powerful and
difficult for many to understand, but
invaluable to the few who can truly grasp it.
Give the things you have carefully and
wisely, because not everyone will use them for
good.

What sort of key are you and what do you unlock?
brought to you by Quizilla

Exploding toads baffle German experts

BERLIN (AFP) – Hundreds of toads have met a bizarre and sinister end in Germany in recent days, it was reported: they exploded.

According to reports from animal welfare workers and veterinarians as many as a thousand of the amphibians have perished after their bodies swelled to bursting point and their entrails were propelled for up to a metre (three feet).

It is like “a science fiction film”, according to Werner Smolnik of a nature protection society in the northern city of Hamburg, where the phenomenon of the exploding toad has been observed.

“You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding.”

He said the bodies of the toads expanded to three and a half times their normal size.

“I have never seen such a thing,” said veterinarian Otto Horst. So bad has the death toll been that the lake in the Altona district of Hamburg has been dubbed “the pond of death.”

Access to it has been sealed off and every night a biologist visits it between 2:00 and 3:00 am, which appears to be peak time for batrachians to go bang.

Explanations include an unknown virus, a fungus that has infected the water, or crows, which in an echo of the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”, attack the toads, literally scaring them to death.

166

habemas papam… white smoke and a new nazi… benedict XVI, for whatever that’s worth…

also, i’m sure nobody else will remember this (it’s odd what you remember and what you forget as the result of a brain injury), but bob larson’s old talk show line – 1-800-821-TALK (8255) – has turned into a toll-free pornography line. i couldn’t have wished for a more appropriate outcome. by the way, if any of you do know what i’m talking about, ralph ewggleigh (otherwise known as “wraith ugly”, the “witch” who bob ranted at incessantly for the first few years he was on the radio, who then “committed suicide” only to be “resurrected” by the Church of Tina Chopp), can now be reached at ugly at fuckthatshit dot org…

although i am not responsible for what happens if you send him spam…

one of the advantages of cleaning house in preparation for moving
who is she?
does anybody know who this person is?
her picture was amongst a bunch of otherwise tossable paper junk
i just don’t know who it is, or why i’ve got it…

165

Motorola v60i/v60s phones and chargers
Collectible Mother Goose Cookie Jar
Christmas Bear and Gifts Cookie Jar

by the way, that’s stuff i’m selling, not stuff that i want… just to be clear about it.

it’s official… we sold our house today, which means that we are moving at the end of the month. it’s remotely possible that we actually will be moving into the "glorified trailer" near star lake, but we won’t know for sure until monday. meanwhile i made a button that says “IN WALLA WE TRUST” for someone named ariel who lives on mercer island, and i’ve filled three incense orders and i’ve got another one sitting on my desk which i’m going to have to order one of the three items that they ordered, but that should be fairly easy.

How much is enough?!
A Social Justice Quiz
Twenty Questions By BILL QUIGLEY

1. In 1968 the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. How much would the minimum wage be today if it had kept pace with inflation?

2. In 1965, CEOs in major companies made 24 times more than the average worker. In 2003, CEOs earned how many times more than the average worker?

3. The US is composed of 3,066 counties. In how many of the nation’s 3,066 counties can someone who works full-time and earns the federal minimum wage afford to pay rent and utilities on a one-bedroom apartment?

4. How much must the typical US worker must earn per hour hour if they dedicate 30% of their income to housing costs.

5. How many million workers in the US earn poverty-level wages of less than $8.20 an hour?

6. What are Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee?

7. What are Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia?

8. In 2001, the average financial wealth for black householders was about what % of the average for white households?

9. The median financial wealth for blacks is how much of the corresponding figure for whites?

10. Over the entire 28 year history of the Berlin Wall, 287 people perished trying to cross it. In the ten years since the Clinton administration implemented the current U.S. border strategy with Mexico, how many people have died trying to cross?

11. Where does the US rank worldwide in the imprisonment of its citizens?

12. In 2004, the direct reported US military budget was how much for each second of the year?

13. In 2003, the US military budget was how many times larger than the Chinese budget, the second largest spender?

14. In 2003, the US military budget was how many times as large as the combined spending of the seven so-called “rogue” states (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria)?

15. The difference in income per head between the richest nation and the poorest nation in 1750 was about 5 to 1. Today the difference between the richest nation and the poorest nation is what?

16. Of the 6.2 billion people in the world today, how many live on less than $1 per day, and how many live on less than $2 per day?

17. The richest 1% in the world receive as much income as what percentage of the poorest?

18. The Congress under President Bush has been more generous in helping poor countries than under President Clinton. In 2003, the US increased official development assistance to poor countries by one-fifth. Where does the US contribution rank in the top 22 countries in proportion to our economy?

19. Americans give how much per day in government assistance to poor countries?

20. Americans spend how much on soft drinks each day?

ANSWERS

1. The minimum wage would be $8.70 today if it had kept pace with inflation. Brennan Center, NYU Law School, November 3, 2004.

2. In 1965, CEOs in major companies made 24 times more than the average worker. In 2003, CEOs earned 185 times more than the average worker. “Wages” in State of Working America 2004-2005, Economic Policy Institute, www.epinet.org

3. In four of the nation’s 3,066 counties can someone who works full-time and earns the federal minimum wage afford to pay rent and utilities on a one-bedroom apartment. New York Times, “Study Finds Gap in Wages and Housing Costs,” December 25, 2004.

4. In fact, the typical US worker must earn $15.37 an hour if they dedicate 30% of their income to housing costs. New York Times, “Study Finds Gap in Wages and Housing Costs,” December 24, 2004.

5. How many people in the US earn poverty-level wages of less than $8.20 an hour? More than 30 million workers. William Quigley, ENDING POVERTY AS WE KNOW IT: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job at a Living Wage, 24 (Temple 2003).

6. What are Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Tennessee? The total population of these states represents the number of people in the US living below the official poverty line. William Quigley, ENDING POVERTY AS WE KNOW IT: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job at a Living Wage, 23-24 (Temple 2003).

7. What are Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia? The total populations of these state populations must be added to the states above if you count all the people below 125% of the official poverty line, a total of 22 states. William Quigley, ENDING POVERTY AS WE KNOW IT: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job at a Living Wage, 23-24 (Temple 2003).

8. In 2001, the average financial wealth for black householders was about 12% of the average for white households. “Minorities,” in State of Working America 2004-2005, Economic Policy Institute, www.epinet.org

9. The median financial wealth for blacks was $1,100, less than 3% of the corresponding figure for whites. “Minorities,” in State of Working America 2004-2005, Economic Policy Institute, www.epinet.org

10. Over the entire 28 year history of the Berlin Wall, 287 people perished trying to cross it. In the ten years since the Clinton administration implemented the current U.S. border strategy with Mexico, more than 2,500 people have died trying to cross. Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego. Marc Cooper, “On the Border of Hypocrisy,” December 5, 2003, LA Weekly.

11. Where does the US rank worldwide in the imprisonment of its citizens? First. The US imprisons over 700 persons per 100,000. Russia is second with 584. Sentencing Project, Facts About Prisons and Prisoners. www.sentencingproject.org

12. In 2004, the direct reported US military budget was over $399 billion, $12,000 a second. www.globalissues.org

13. In 2003, the US military budget was more than 8 times larger than the Chinese budget, the second largest spender. www.globalissues.org

14. The US military budget was more than 29 times as large as the combined spending of the seven “rogue” states (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria). Even if you add China and Russiaís military spending to that of the seven potential enemies, all nine nations together spent $116.2 billion, 27% of the U.S. military budget. The US military budget is more than the combined spending of the next twenty three nations. www.globalissues.org

15. The difference in income per head between the richest nation and the poorest nation in 1750 was about 5 to 1. Today the difference between the richest nation, Switzerland, and the poorest nation, Mozambique, is about 400 to 1. (David S. Landes, THE WEALTH AND POVERTY OF NATIONS, xx, W.W. Norton 1998).

16. Of the 6.2 billion people in the world today, 1.2 billion live on less than $1 per day, 2.8 billion live on less than $2 per day. 2002 UN Human Development Report.

17. The richest 1% in the world receive as much income as the poorest 57%. 2002 UN Human Development Report.

18. The Congress under President Bush has been more generous in helping poor countries than under President Clinton. In 2003, the US increased official development assistance to poor countries by one-fifth. Where does the US contribution rank in the top 22 countries in proportion to our economy? Last. Nicholas D. Kristof, “Land of Penny Pinchers,” New York Times, January 5, 2005.

19. Americans on average give how much per day in government assistance to poor countries? 15 cents. Nicholas D. Kristof, “Land of Penny Pinchers,” New York Times, January 5, 2005.

20. Americans spend how much on soft drinks each day? 60 cents. Nicholas D. Kristof, “Land of Penny Pinchers,” New York Times, January 5, 2005.

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing” oriented society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” Martin Luther King, Jr., “A Time to Break Silence,” April 4, 1967.

Bill Quigley is a law professor at Loyola University New Orleans. He can be reached at quigley@loyno.edu

Computer-generated gibberish submitted, accepted at scientific conference… hah! they’ve finally created a computer program that generates believable enough gibberish that even scientists are fooled. now it’s about time for people to realise that computers can do a lot more than that, and start thinking about how to change society for the better!
Fresh-air breathing device and method with a twist… don’t say i didn’t warn you!
police in great britain scan license plates from a helicopter… i would say "dude, where’s my country", but it’s not my country… dude, where’s my world!

164

so we’re not going to be living at the end of a gravel road that is off another gravel road near star lake, because of the fact that we can’t get financing for the “trailer” in spite of the fact that the people who are in charge of our current mortgage said they would loan us money… we’ve recinded our offer, and our real estate agent (who should have known that this was going to happen) says he’ll be able to get our earnest money back, but if not we’re going to make him eat it, because he should have known that this was going to happen, but lead us down the garden path anyway. meanwhile, we’ve found another house which looks about right, although we haven’t seen it yet… we’re going to see it tomorrow, so hopefully it will work out. our current house is still in the process… the buyer’s agent was going to meet with the buyers this evening, after they get off work, so we still don’t know anything for sure.

the enlightened rantings of a brain damaged freak