Thursday, March 10, 2005

Congress Resuming Witch Hunts in Victimless Crimes

Dems and Republicans have nothing better to do than conducting McCarthy-like witch hunts (see Steroids in Baseball) or wasting money on useless "studies" (video games, tv,....the usual "violence is hurting my kids" argument).

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

UK to Kansas: You are Civil Rights Hypocrites

Remember that little affair going in Iraq? Supposedly, the U.S. military excursion has alienated America from the world community.

Now, I suppose people's disenchantment with America might be more specifically aimed at one geographical location (Washington D.C., Texas, California, New York, the South in general, etc.).

Usually we just think of "Mo-Kan" as flying beneath the international radar of ridicule. However, the UK's Guardian Unlimited has taken the time to remind their readership that Kansas is still home to everything that's wrong with America.

In other words: its' the home of Fred Phelps.

The Guardian points out the irony in Phelps's continued crusades against civil (gay) rights, on the same soil (Topeka) where the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation over 50 years ago. The author, Gary Younge, filed the report directly from Topeka (no word yet if he is a US-based correspondent for the publication or was on assignment here temporarily).

David Glass's Legacy: Screw the Workers & Give KC Bad Baseball

The 2005 MLB season promises to introduce us to another awesome edition of David Glass's Wal-Mart Royals. While we here in Kansas City have been indoctrinated with the Glass School of Business Practices and Ethics through the Royals, Wal-Mart employees suffer a far worse fate than those MLB players unfortunate enough to be stuck in this baseball wasteland.

As if sticking it to baseball fans in Kansas City year after year wasn't enough, Glass's penny pinching ways still extends into his other business: using friends in Congress to screw Wal-Mart workers.

Glass, the company's former CEO, still is heavily involved in Wal-Mart's operations. The AP reported today that Wal-Mart is leading the charge amongst a group of retailers hell bent extending truckers workdays to 16 hours.

The bill that Wal-Mart's brass is lobbying before Congress has many other sweet incentives for the cheap skates from Arkansas. Among them: truckers will have to take an UNPAID Two-hour break during these 16 hour shifts.

Glass stepped down as Wal-Mart's CEO in January 2000, at which time he assumed the role of full-time Royals owner. The team has recorded 97 losses or more in three of the last four seasons. The over/under in Vegas right now is some around 100 losses, after the team finished 2004 with a 58-102 record.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Social (In)Security

The government's web page dedicated to informing on the history and (non-)functionality of Social Security is devoting a huge chunk of cyberspace trying to rebut the argument that the program is all one big Ponzi Scheme. Check out this ridiculously clumsy piece of writing (you thought blogs were sloppy?).

It reminds you of Fox News having to tell you over and over again that they really are fair and balanced.

In 1995, Forbes wrote of this "Legal Ponzi Scheme": "If the US government were required to keep its books the way businesses are required to keep theirs, the national debt wouldn't be $5 trillion. It would be $17 trillion, an amount equal to 2½ times the nation's gross domestic product."

Politicians continue to tell us that our 'contributions' to the Social Security go directly into a 'trust fund', where it is invested in government bonds. But....Social Security has ALWAYS paid out benefits from current cash flow rather than paying benefits out of any interest the investment had accumulated. This will only be complicated as people's life expectancy continues to grow (as the Baby Boomers now begin to retire there are only two young workers (and shrinking) contributing to the system for every one retiree).

Bush's plan to 'fix' it is no better. The idea he is floating around actually involves us throwing another huge chunk of change away. Somehow this will correct the system's faults? I thought the idea was to return the money to the people who had been sustaining it all these years.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Police Academy 7: Assignment: Kansas City, Kansas

Now's as good a time as ever to make the transition into a new career path: professional criminal!

The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department is reaching into the Steve Guttenberg school of law enforcement in order to handle routine police functions. The sponsored program, Volunteers in Police Service, is relatively new to the community, but not to Hollywood.

Didn't you see how this thing ends? Next think you know we have criminals running circles around Bubba Smith (or maybe in our case Tim Grunhard). I saw the Fox 4 report that gave us a glimpse of some of these new recruits. Needless to say, the females do not resemble a young Kim Cattrall.

The program is said to enable the actual police officers to spend more time tending to their primary duties. The only problem: police officers have neeeeeeeever tended to putting real criminals behind bars.

Yet this is what improvments to the public law enforcement community have come to: taking cues from B-level Hollywood film franchises. Those private security contractors in Baghdad are looking really nice right about now.