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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Bush Nominates Tom DeLay for Pope

It could happen. The US gets what it wants, for the most part, and Bush has got the balls, obviously, to nominate any knucklehead no matter his or her background.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Why Does Jebbo Hate Democracy?

Life is tough in Shrub's shadow, I'm sure, but Jebbo is working on being just like big brother. He wants to have a special election this September in which voters will be asked to overturn an amendment lowering public school class sizes. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and for good reason, but Bush and many lawmakers oppose the plan because it means less money for them to dole out to the special interests that put them there.

Thanks to Blogwood for the details.

He Has One?

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger undergoes a heart procedure.

I ask because he hasn’t shown a lot of heart in his life.

The Pope Just Farted

Can the media's race for ratings get any uglier? Wait, don't answer that question – I want to sleep tonight.

Why are people so interested in the specifics of the pope's declining health that the media feels it must report every detailed medical change, even when most Americans have no idea what these things mean? Come on, define "gradual worsening arterial hypotension" for me. How about "renal insufficiency"?

His decline toward death should not be treated like an election return. We know how this story ends. There's no miracle, no angels swooping down to save his life. He dies. A new pope is chosen. Eventually he dies, too.

Between Terri Schiavo and the Pope, there has been almost no other news, apparently. A blistering report that describes how the Bush administration cajoled the intelligence agencies into twisting its findings to support the predetermined invasion of Iraq got almost no coverage.

The one person happiest about the media's obsession with these stories -- Michael Jackson.

Quadruple Standard

The Gainesville Sun opines today that the Alachua County Commission has set a double standard by making it difficult for Gainesville to annex county land while letting the other small cities do it with "a wink and a nod".

What is not mentioned in this editorial is the differing nature of these two types of annexation.

In Gainesville's case, the city wants to annex urban areas just outside its boundaries that logically fit within the boundary of urban services that Gainesville is best suited to provide. The county opposes these annexations because they involve properties that provide a lot of tax revenue to the county. Haile Plantation is a good example.

In the case of towns like Alachua and Newberry, annexations are almost entirely giant land grabs of undeveloped lands that development-friendly town councils want to make available for development. The County Commission winks and nods at such annexations because most county commissioners are in the pocket of the local real estate development community.

There is also a political difference at work – Gainesville's commission, when compared to those in the other cities in Alachua County, are far more likely to be concerned about growth management and its many related issues. In towns like Alachua, where I was the deputy city clerk for a year, such concerns are not merely ignored, they are denounced as a communist plot.

The confluence of pro-development politicians, anti-regulation rhetoric, money and voter ignorance make for a scary world when it comes to growth management. At least three of the five county commissioners feed off this confluence.

Here is the future in Alachua County: Alachua and Newberry will continue to recklessly approve any and all development proposals without paying attention to the impacts on our road system, on existing residential developments, or our environment. The land areas of those two towns are each as large as Gainesville, except that for the most part they are farmlands ripe for development. With state lawmakers eager to find grants to help these communities build the water and sewer infrastructure needed to grow, and with town councils treating any growth management proposal as sin, these towns will soon be sprawling messes of residential, commercial and industrial development that connect to Gainesville on its west and north ends.

You never read editorials in The Sun opposing this, because the newspaper is as much a part of this problem as anything. The paper consistently opposes politicians who want to regulate growth or make it pay its own way, and it always supports politicians who say they will put economic development first.

Unless The Sun decides to support sound land planning, then its complaints about double standards are hypocrisy.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Say What?

Reacting to the news of Terri Schiavo's passing, President Bush said: “The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak,” he added. “In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in favor of life.”

Guess he's had a change of heart, considering:

As governor of Texas, Bush signed a law that required doctors to remove feeding tubes when the patient had no chance of recovery and the insurance money ran out.

Bush signed death warrants in cases involving mentally retarded individuals and people with somewhat questionable convictions. He opposed any efforts to try to prove the innocent of such people.

Bush consistently decimates environmental regulations, cuts back important social programs that help the medically needy and refuses to act on one of the major health issues of our time – the lack of health coverage for tens of millions of poor Americans. Bush also pulled the US out of the Kyoto protocols, which are worldwide agreements to reduce global greenhouse emissions that threaten the entire planet.

And, of course…

Bush invaded Iraq based on flimsy and non-existent evidence and over the objections of many WMD and terrorism experts in the US and around the world. The invasion has killed more than 100,000 innocent civilians, destabilized an entire region of the globe, spurred anti-American hatred to new heights and made terrorism a greater threat than before 9-11 happened.

Excuse me while I consume mass quantities of mind-numbing substances. The utter hypocrisy and insanity is too much.

The Satellite is Online

Well, it only took a couple of years, but The Satellite has finally joined the digital age and started a web site. And a fine one it is. Well done, easy to navigate, pleasing to the eye. Handy way to keep entertainment listings when your paper copy of the mag has been converted to other uses. There are also forums on which you can vent your spleen. Check it out.

Thug Blog

The good folks at know how to make the Internet fun by translating web pages into the foshizzle language of Snoop Dogg. Click here to see my blog translated as such.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

There's a Difference?

A protester arrested outside of Terri Schiavo's hospice today -- the 48th such person arrested there since her feeding tube was removed. -- shouted at police: “You don’t know God from Godzilla!”

Note to unbelievers: there is a difference, as demonstrated by the theology/giant lizard experts at Maxim magazine, which compared the strengths of the two fictional creatures in a 1998 article.

Note to believers: God won the head-to-head match-up.