To continue on the theme of the smoking industry, Dr. C. Everett Koop (the only decent man to have served under Ronald Reagan) stated, "I hope the senators who derailed this bill today lose sleep every night listening to the sound of children taking their first puff and the sound of emphysema and cancer patients gasping for their last breath." Actually, I would like to see those same senators sentenced to one month, 24 hours a day of living among those dying from tobacco related illnesses. Although I imagine that these senators hearts are even smaller than their purchase price and that they would just complain about all of the noise these patients make before dying.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recently publicized its definition of "organically grown food". Oh boy! I just can't wait to get my hands on some of that healthy food grown in land "enriched" with sewage sludge or irradiated or even some of that great bioengineered food. Um boy howdy! It makes my stomach churn just thinking about it! The response from the USDA? USDA Secretary Dan Glickman stated, "If organic farmers and consumers reject our national standards, we have failed." Danny my boy...you have failed miserably!
On a different note, the East coast is much farther along in their ill-advised headlong rush into energy deregulation. After closing hundreds of power plants in order to "improve" efficiency, the citizens and businesses are finding out that there simply isn't enough generation capacity left when it is most needed. In an article in the 6/27/98 LA Times on page A12 a report on the heat wave the area is experiencing included the interesting bit of information that the utilities have forced factories to scale back production or to close altogether and have asked customers to turn down or off their air conditioners.
Folks, I don't care where you live, the idiocy of deregulation in all of its hellish forms are soon coming home to you, personally. You've seen the degradation of safety and service on the deregulated airlines and the increase in accidents directly attributable to the deregulation of the trucking industry. You have seen your phone services go down the toilet as your costs go up. Now you will get the honor of watching your electrical bill soar upwards while you sit in your hot, dark rooms wondering what happened to the "good old days". Well, I'll answer that little question before you have to think too long. The destruction of everything decent and reliable in America began in 1980 and has yet to hit bottom.
The Senate displayed another instance of their inability to see the irony of their actions recently when they proposed to rename the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA after the second least knowledgeable President of the second half of the twentieth century. The call to rename the facility the George Herbert Walker Bush Center for Central Intelligence is as insane as the recent renaming of the National Airport after that hater and destroyer of airline safety and unions, Ronald Reagan. I just wish one day would go by without Congress so openly displaying their base stupidity to the world.
Massachusetts found that most, 56%, of the applicants for the open teaching positions in the state were unable to pass the state's test on basic reading and writing. Their answer wasn't what you might think which should have been to continue testing new applicants until they could fill the positions with qualified teachers. Nope! They just started grading them on a curve which allowed half of all applicants to score above 50% and qualify for the job. Things like this makes me so afraid for our future as a nation.
Finally, the California Supreme Court has decided that U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment stood in the way of the right's deeply loved three strikes laws. They ruled that this amendment, barring double jeopardy and trying an American twice for the same crime, didn't stand in the way of retrying a convict on a crime for which time was already served if that would clear the path for a third strike and life sentence. These low lifes are so adamant that they fill their for-profit prisons that they are happy to ignore any portion of the Constitution which becomes a speed bump in their narrow-minded drive to punish those who use drugs that lawmakers find in opposition to their tobacco and alcohol industry master's desires for profit.
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