IRONY IRONY IRONY
This winter's rise in heating oil prices caused one or two oil exporting countries to come to the aid of America's poorest citizens (since Bush didn't do it). It came from Citgo Petroleum, controlled by the Venezuelan government and its president, fierce Bush administration adversary Hugo Chavez, who promised $10 million in discounts to low-income northeastern heating oil customers. He and his citizens must be getting a few laughs at America's expense. (from US News, Dec 12, 2005)
STERN MAKES A SIRIUS CAREER MOVE
As some of you may know, Howard Stern has gone over to pay radio, but this snippet is about how stupid censorship gets:
"His [Howard Stern] diatribes against the thought police on both the right and the left come spilling out like soliloquies and are often backed up with evidence—like the time he wanted to play a tape of Oprah talking about sexual acts, only to be told that not only could he not say the same words Oprah did, he couldn't even play her on tape saying them. 'Talk about censorship,' Stern says. 'I will go to my grave thinking this was all politically motivated, and I'm not a conspiracy theorist.' " (from Newsweek, Dec. 12, 2005)
It is a conspiracy, Howard, and not just against you, but against all of us who value freedom.
BUSH LINES THEM UP AGAINST US WITHOUT EVEN TRYING
"China has used soft power only in the sense that it has exercised its power softly. It does this consciously to show that it is not a bully, unlike guess who. And it works. America remains unpopular among the peoples of Asia, even in countries like Japan, where the government is friendly with Washington. In most Asian elections in the last two years, being pro American was a political liability." (from Newsweek, Dec. 12, 2005)
And, if you're paying any attention, Bush is getting a lot of anti-American presidents elected in South America too. You got Chavez in Venezuela, and the current Colombian election may swing to the left because Bush has made enemies there too.
FLOGGING THE DEAD HORSE
I know that I keep bringing up this one obvious point, but what I'm trying to show is that it does come up more often than most would realize. The Bible belt South is a poor dumb place to live. The point really being, that if you're not well educated and live in the South, you can be conned by political conservatives into undermining your own well-being. In an article about the after effects of Katrina, Newsweek reports, "Even before the storm, the Southeastern states (nickname: 'the stroke belt') were cursed with a toxic mix of poor health and poverty. In a survey taken of evacuees in Houston after Katrina, half said they had no health insurance; 41 percent reported suffering from chronic conditions, like heart disease, hypertension, asthma, diabetes and cancer. 'We're the poster children for poor health in terms of chronic disease,' says Elizabeth Fontham, dean of the School of Public Health at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. 'Hurricane Katrina was no cure for those problems and they're likely to be exacerbated.' They're also likely to linger—for months, if not years, to come." (Dec. 12, 2005, p.66)