Trivia 111

Let's begin with a "Hee Hee" moment, shall we?

In a truly wonderful illustration of the ancient notion of Karma, one of the Religious Right's groups who are the driving forces behind the anti-First Amendment scheme currently slithering through Congress (meant to force internet providers to install the poorly designed and programmed "Internet Filters" or "Net Nannies") has found just how precise these silly programs are. The AFA (American Family Association), a politically active far right religious group, has found itself blocked by Cyber Patrol, a filter from Microsystems Software. The offense that activated the filter? According to Sept./Oct. issue of the American Prospect, it was their nasty statements made against gays and lesbians which fills the site that triggered Cyber Patrol's filter due to the program's guidelines against "intolerance". After whining that their vicious attacks are a "Scripture-based stand AFA takes against homosexuality", they then found themselves the recipient of an offer from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to join GLAAD in fighting internet censorship in all of its hideous forms and to "oppose all policies requiring its use by schools and libraries". So far, sad to say, the offer has not been accepted by the AFA.

According to a study by the Justice Policy Institute in San Francisco, which will be published in the Sept. 98 issue of "Western Criminology Review", the conservative movement's fascination with enacting stricter curfew laws every time a crime is committed by a juvenile has been shown to be the abject failure most intelligent researchers have described them as. In fact, while the study shows that curfews did not lower juvenile crime whatsoever by blacks or Latinos, crimes by Asian and white youths showed a considerable rise. Another of the Right's "solutions" to combat only a problem's symptoms fails miserably.

I have long been an ardent believer in keeping a very close eye on everything our sneaky government is up to. The last time I allowed the government to create havoc without my knowledge, I found myself 11,000 miles away killing people I had absolutely no argument with while watching some of the finest examples of American boys die horrible deaths so that the idiots in Washington and at the Pentagon could repay Corporate America's political support. Now I learn that the Pew Research Center has done a study which shows that the percentage of Americans who follow even domestic policy news "very closely" or even "fairly closely" has dropped from 62% to 51% in just the last four years. While primarily explaining how the horrors of the so-called "Republican Revolution" could have been inflicted on the rest of America, it might also explain the public's apparent craving for such asinine news as who the President is having sex with since such silliness takes absolutely no thought or knowledge.

Here's an interesting idea. As everyone with a mailing address knows, the credit card industry has been offering credit cards to even the poorest of credit risks for years now. Now that all of those poor risks are finding all of this free credit impossible to repay, is the industry rethinking its ridiculous fetish with trying to give everyone in America another couple cards? Are they rethinking just who should even receive this type of credit with the intention of tightening up on their controls? Of course not! They are having their property in Congress pass legislation to make it nearly impossible to afford to file for bankruptcy by inventing many new fees and penalties before the action can even be filed and then, should their "customers" find a way to get into court, they are demanding that the courts force filers to repay their debts over the next five to seven years with payments decided strictly by a formula devised by the industry. The most horrific part of their attacks on the consumer is that they are demanding that the payments made to the industry be considered as more important than even child support payments. Now, consider this lunacy...the credit card industry wants to retain the privilege of providing far more credit than most Americans could ever hope to repay then they want America's children to be punished so that the industry can regain their billions in extra profit. Does anyone else out there find this a very sick joke from Corporate America and their Congressional property?

Finally, another example of just how little America's conservatives actually care about America's poorest children. The National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University's School of Public Health has produced a study clearly showing a dramatic increase in children under six living in poverty, from one in five to one in four over the last two decades (think Reagan Revolution followed by the Republican Revolution). The hated "Welfare Reform" from the right required that states experiencing more than a 5% increase in the number of children in poverty that can be attributed to the destruction of Welfare must produce a plan to alleviate the situation. The requirement is largely being completely ignored in states like California where the number of children doubled, of course, through the foul fact that Congress refuses to fund such studies leading to even more draconian cuts in state welfare assistance since no proof of damage to our nation's children can be shown. Can anyone explain how people like this can sleep at night and gorge themselves with food knowing that they are directly responsible for millions of America's most defenseless children going hungry? Can anyone explain how those who vote for these miserable morons can look themselves in the face in the mirror?

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Copyright 9/5/98