Archived entries for Current Events

Depressed Today

Not like that last several years have been happy or anything, but the headlines today really got me down:

  • Senate Votes to Open Alaskan Oil Drilling – a sad day for the environment, and to me signifies that the democrats in congress and just overworked. It’s horrible, but in the scheme of things isn’t not even the worst. Makes me realize that BushCo is slowing numbing us to agenda.
  • House OKs $81.4 Billion on War Spending – ” the fifth emergency spending plan Bush has sent to Congress for wars”…. how many times can you call wolf/emergency? I wish my bank account was as forgiving.
  • Bush Recommends Wolfowitz for World Bank – So now, our peaceful development efforts are headed by our chief war strategist, a raging conservative hawk!? Great, that sends a nice subtle message to the world.

There’s plenty more where those came from, but I can’t bare it anymore right now…

And by the way, not that I’m pro-steroids or anything, but doesn’t the GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTE have anything better to do than get autographs from a bunch of athletes? Even if steroids were the worst thing under the sun, what exactly does it have to do with GOVERNMENT REFORM? It’s not like that don’t have anything to do: Haven’t they heard of DeLay’s illegal and unethical actions, the federal government’s falsification of documents related to the Yucca Mtn Nuclear Waste dump, or that BushCo is prepackaging television news in a blatant propaganda plan? (And then there’s the whole “torture” and “1500 Americans dead” thing…)

May the world forgive us, and accept our apologies.

Take the Edge Off

As Russ says, “Not only is it hysterical, it’s accurate (and we all know it).”

Boondocks is the only comic I read. It’s routinely good. I like it’s hiphopness. My Yahoo! offers it, of course.

Isn’t that their job?

The government is setting up a special monitoring board to keep checking on medicines once they’re on the market, responding to complaints that officials reacted too slowly to reports linking prescription painkillers to heart attack and stroke.

I suppose it might not be fair criticism [1], but I can’t help but make two exclamations when I read the above paragraph (from this AP article today). First, isn’t this their job? Isn’t the FDA already supposed to monitor medicines and safety? Second, this sounds a lot like Big Government. Do we really need another group to do the job of an existing one? Boy, the radical right sure walk a different game than they talk.

[1] Not that “fair” is a threshold the radical right inspires.

Farmers Predictably #ucked by Bush

No, this isn’t an Onion headline. That’s my brother’s gig. This is actually a very sad story: Farmers Shaken by Bush’s Subsidy Plan (AP).

In many farm states that helped re-elect Bush in November after never hearing any campaign talk about cutting their payments, there is a sense of betrayal. “I’m not happy. I voted for George Bush,” said cotton grower John Rife of Ferriday, La. (emphasis mine)

The Radical Right thrives on the support of “normal American’s”, yet year after year, cycle after cycle, election after election , they leave them high and dry. Where’s the values in that?

Why do people elect leaders the are predictably against their best interests? Read the best book of 2004 to find out:

What’s the Matter with Kansas?
How Conservatives Won the Heart of America


by Thomas Frank.

We the People: Women and Men in the United States

I totally love that soooo much data floats around freely these days, thanks to the Web. Even when it doesn’t related to me personally, I like thinking that it’s perfect and crucial for somebody’s interests. Today’s example is a special report on Women from the US Census Bureau (via).

Some Factoids

  • Men outnumber women through age 34; Women outnumber men after age 34, increasing with age.
  • In 1970, 36 percent of women 20 to 24 and 12 percent of women 25 to 29 had not married. By 2000, the proportions rose to 69 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
  • Married-couple households dropped from 69 percent of all households in 1970 to 53 percent in 2000.
  • A greater percentage of women graduate high school. I greater percentage of men graduate college.
  • A greater percentage of men than women are in the workforce.
  • 47% of the workforce was female in 2000, up from 37% in 1970.
  • The % of women in the workforce did not increase for Construction, Extraction, and Maintenance industries.
  • Women continue to earn less than men. [Surprisingly to me,] Black, Hispanic and Other women earn 85% of mens pay, while White women earn only 70%.
  • Poverty: 13.5% of the female population; 11.2% of the male population.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Newsmap

For all the news junkies out there, and for those of you interested in visualizations, check out newsmap if you haven’t seen it before.

  • Notice the legend in the lower right corner. Color = age.
  • The size of the area represents the number of sources.
  • Layout controls are in the lower right corner too. I think I prefer “standard” over “square”.
  • You can select countries across the top. Each country will get a proportional section of the page. Turn on US, NZ and Canada, and notice how different stories are variously prominent.
  • Archive controls are in the lower left. You can examine news from earlier in the day, or earlier in the week.


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