2005.04.05

Steroids vs Falsification of Nuclear Documents

A couple weeks ago I ranted about the Government Reform Committee's investigation of steroids in baseball.

[N]ot 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 Mountain 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...)

Well, I feel a little better today after reading that the House Government Reform subcommittee held hearings today into the falsification of Yucca Mountain documents by government scientists.

"The fact that data may have been intentionally fabricated in service of shoring up predetermined and politically driven conclusions calls into question the very legitimacy of this entire program," [Nevada Governor Kenny] Guinn said.

At least the Government Reform committee is in the right ballpark again.

Posted by Nate Koechley on April 5, 2005 at 04:51 PM in News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.16

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.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 16, 2005 at 12:26 PM in My life..., News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

2005.03.03

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.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 3, 2005 at 09:45 AM in Humor, Idea, Politics, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.02.15

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.

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 15, 2005 at 04:50 PM in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.02.11

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.

Posted by Nate Koechley on February 11, 2005 at 06:03 PM in Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.01.28

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.

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 28, 2005 at 11:11 AM in Idea, News, Other, Politics, Pop Culture, References | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2004.12.31

Republicans Are Criminals. House Lowering Ethical Standards.

Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives "are considering a change in House ethics rules that could make it harder to discipline lawmakers".

This according to the Associated Press, Washington Post, CNN, and others.

I believe that our elected representatives should be held to the highest ethical standard, not the lowest. Criminal and unethical behavior in the line of duty should be incomprehensible. It is shameful and ugly to squirm for some fuzzy gray area. I refuse to be represented by anyone of questionable character.

"It would lower the standard of official conduct, and if that's the case, it would be the first time that it has been done since 1968, and it would be done on a completely partisan basis," said Jennifer Crider, spokeswoman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (search | wiki).

"If House Republican leaders are allowed to prevail, they will have gutted the single most important ethics standard in the House and turned House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's multiple ethics transgressions into acceptable conduct for all House members,"

If my open community-edited Wikipedia encyclopedia entry ever has a section devoted to proven ethical shortcomings, I'll be forced to consider Seppuku. He has no such shame. The House Ethics Committee has found him guilty. Judicial Watch, a right-leaning watch group, has called for him to resign from his Majority Leader post. He is the focus of a current grand jury probe into his campaign finance practice: Here, here, here, and here.

"We think this sends a message that there are no consequences for unethical behavior,"

said Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, part of a coalition fighting the proposals.

I refuse to send that message. Write your personal elected Representative and choose to refuse.

Posted by Nate Koechley on December 31, 2004 at 07:32 PM in My life..., News, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2004.12.10

Responsible Fish, Responsible Shopping

Even though the Monterey bay Aquarium is within driving distance of my Bay Area home, their wonderful Seafood Watch cards are known across the country. One of my friends just got back from a few months in Florida, and she had acquired one of the handy cards down there. The convenient wallet-size cards tell you which fish and seafood is caught and farmed in ways that are healthy for you and for the environment.

Staying with the theme of "Information is Power" comes the Blue Christmas campaign. Did you know that the Hyatt hotel chain game 87% of it's political donations to Democrats, while Marriott gave 76% of theirs to Republicans? Jet Blue Airlines gives to Democrats; Southwest gives to Republicans? Nordstroms gives to Democrats; Mays gives to Republicans. Bed Bath & Beyond gives to Democrats; Bath & Body Works gives to Republicans.

Educate yourself. Understand the effects of your actions. Be mindful. Make informed decisions.

Posted by Nate Koechley on December 10, 2004 at 10:36 AM in My life..., Other, Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2004.11.16

Event - Film Screening: See The Elephant!

SEE THE ELEPHANT! - A Political Video Installation about the 2004 Republican National Convention
Created by Ryan Junell - Music by Lesser

About the movie:

"See the Elephant!" is an immerse four-screen video installation with surround sound audio that features convergent viewpoints during the 2004 Republican National Convention. The four video trajectories take place inside the RNC, outside the venue with the authorities, in the streets with the demonstrators, and at arms-length with mass media. Content for the projected piece includes natural sound, impromptu interviews, and overlapping content.

After touring with the video through the swing states in the weeks before the recent election, creator Ryan Junell brings this hour long political experience to his homebase of San Francisco. Proceeds from the screenings go directly to the creation of the interactive dvd of the installation. "See the Elephant!" dvds will be available for pre-order. See http://www.seetheelephant.org for more details about the installation.

Details:

Friday, November 26th
Saturday, November 27th

Seatings at 8pm and 9:30pm
$5 or $10 w/drink or $20 w/dvd
(tho the broke are warmly welcomed)

Studio 1-2-3
401 Alabama Street (@ 17th)
San Francisco

http://www.seetheelephant.org

If you'd like to attend any of these showings, please RSVP in the comments sections below.

In ryan's email to me, he included the following quote

I know revisiting political stuff right now is kinda sensitive... but f%#k it. We witnessed so much crazy stuff that the mass media just didn't want to describe. Half a million people showed up in the streets of NYC to protest the policies of the president and his administration. The Republican machine used their power of authority to suppress political dissent by arresting thousands of demonstrators. Meanwhile, oil men, fundamentalists, and actors took the stage inside Madison Square Garden to rally the conservative base on a platform of fear and war. This event is worth remembering.
ryan junell

Posted by Nate Koechley on November 16, 2004 at 10:33 AM in Events, Location: San Francisco, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2004.11.05

Poo Sticks

madeyouthink.org

San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods. The Haight, The Mission, North Beach, Bernal Heights, SoMa (South of Market).

SoMa's great, I lived and worked there for the first couple San Francisco years. It's where all the internet companies are (were?), a landscape of warehouses and lofts, machine shops and furniture stores, artist studios and galleries, and diverse overall.

But a thing about SoMa is that there's an amazing amount of feces laying around. While some people may think that any amount amazing -- and I'd be one of these people -- there really is a substantial quantity laying around.

Human feces mostly, but that presence seems to encourage dog owners to be slightly more lackadaisical with their collection duties.

I'm not exactly sure why that is. There are lots of homeless people in SoMa, so that obviously contributes. (It's a flat neighborhood, and probably gets more sun - less fog - than any other area of The City.). In addition to the homeless population, there's also a lot of drug users and druggie services like rehab clinics and probation offices. I'm not sure if folks that do hard drugs at the end of back alleys also like to shit on the sidewalk, but I wouldn't put it past 'em.

Well, at least it's being put to good use now: madeyouthink.org

My friend Brian from 1000 Journals sent me this link. Thanks Brian!

Posted by Nate Koechley on November 5, 2004 at 11:50 AM in Humor, Location: San Francisco, Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack