Trivia 2C

File this under "Honey, explain to me again why no one seems to vote, anymore?!?" Average amount of air time devoted to the presidential race on the three major networks - NBC came in first with four minutes and forty-five seconds. ABC was a close second at four minutes and twenty seconds with CBS falling way behind at three minutes and twenty-one seconds. ( 1)

Speaking of Tumbleweed (and the evil and mentally challenged little twit is seldom far from my mind), his answer to the question about what parents upset with TV violence should do? "Put the off button on."( 2)

Want a wee peek into John McCain's character? When a reporter kept asking a question that McCain obviously didn't want to answer, McCain shouted at him, "You rat, you stoolie, we're going to get you in the prison locker!" Gosh, neither Gore or Bradley suddenly don't look quite so bad anymore, wouldn't you say? (I meant that in jest, of course.)( 2)

Actually, McCain is the perfect person to be the Senator from Arizona. The state is well known for its mean streak towards and its spiteful punishment of its prison inmates. It is the home of the tent city prisons which sit exposed to the blistering Sonoran desertís sun and the home of the rebirth of chain gangs and humiliating prison uniforms. Now comes word that the hate-filled rulers of these prisons have found yet another way to inflict their insane brand of Republican injustice on the inmates.

HB 2376 is a state measure which, in its most simplistic form, limits a prisonerís access to the Internet. Now, an intelligent person might ask, ďDo the prisoners baking in tents out in the desert have any such access now?Ē That answer would, obviously, be, ďOf course not!Ē

No, what this evil little legislation prohibits is any communication entering or leaving the prison that might have come from or is intended for publication on the Internet. In other words, these jackasses are worried that a prisoner will write a letter to someone which might be posted on an Internet web page or in a chat room or sent to someone else as e-mail. Any such suspected correspondence will be confiscated and destroyed by the prison officials with no legal need to prove that any particular piece of mail falls under the sanctions imposed by HB 2376. In other words, should the officials so decide, every single piece of mail or any package sent to a prisoner currently in disfavor with the masters will simply disappear forever.

That same intelligent person mentioned above might then ask exactly what damage can be caused by an inmate receiving or sending messages through the mail that might be construed as dangerous once sent up to the Internet?!?

The answer is very simple. Prisoners have been detailing the inhumane conditions and the illegal beatings and punishments constantly experienced within Arizonaís tent city prisons through various Internet sites or e-mail associates. In fact, these descriptions have been noted by a few groups such as prisonerís rights organizations and even Amnesty International. These groups have become quite vocal in demanding an end to this cruel and inhuman treatment of Americans and have proven an embarrassment to those elected officials who helped create these horrors as well as the prison officials themselves. It was apparently decided that the best course of action was not to behave like actual human beings (instead of the vermin they have proven themselves to be) but to block all access to prisoners to and from outside groups. Their belief is, apparently, if you donít see it or canít report on it, then the officials can do pretty much as they please to the prisoners.

Gentle readers, in America, hiding evil from the public eye is the usual course of the Rabid Right. If you, as an American, cannot learn about the abuses of the Constitutional rights of the stateís prisoners then, as far as you are concerned, they are not happening.

Keeping the public ignorant of the malignancy that courses through the Republican Party and all of its Rabid Right minions is happily abetted by the media and its conservative owners. You are no longer ignorant, folks! What are you going to do, now? ( 3)

There once was a time that I still thought that Clintonís moral courage could still be detected somewhere deep, deep, deep inside his chubby little carcass. I no longer believe that he has any moral courage nor compassion, whatsoever.

Why? Because of a nasty little statement he made on March 7, when he commemorated the 35th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the day that Alabama State Troopers brutally attacked and beat 600 peaceful civil rights marchers as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Clinton used the opportunity to rightfully rail against the outrages of racial profiling and the verdict in the Diallo trial in which white officers were acquitted of murder in the killing of an unarmed black man by shooting him over forty times. However, Clinton exposed himself to be just another Republican when he finished his speech with, ďAs long as African-Americans and Latinos anywhere in America believe they are unfairly targeted by police because of the color of their skin and police believe that they are unfairly targeted by their communities because of the color of their uniforms, we have another bridge to cross.Ē Only a dweeb and a Republican like Willy Boy could ever get away with comparing the troubles that the nationís police forces face due to their own violent and criminal behavior with that miserable, cowardly attack by the Alabama police on peaceful Americans that March day thirty five years before. ( 4)

Remember the uproar caused when hackers sabotaged the computer systems of Yahoo and CNN and e-bay and Amazon? Well, to be perfectly accurate, a desire not often sought by the conservative media, the systems themselves werenít sabotaged so much as other computer systems were taken over in order to send a continuous stream of information to those affected systems, blocking everyone else from making a connection and sending their orders.

In any event, the FBI leapt into action and the Dept. of Justice suddenly was asking that we relinquish just a couple more Constitutional protections so that they could more easily nab pinko Communist anarchist anti-capitalist criminals like this. After much shouting and running around aimlessly, the FBI arrested a fourteen year old boy in New Hampshire. The FBI isnít even pretending that this boy had anything to do with the so-called cyber-attacks but, instead, obtained a search warrant due to the fact that, first, he used an alias in chat rooms like that of one of the true hackers and, second, during their search of his home and computer they discovered that he did have programs used by hackers residing on the hard disk of his personal computer. For that inane charge, this boy faces up to fifteen years in prison (thatís right, PRISON, since the FBI wants to charge this fourteen year old boy as an adult).

So what do we end up with here? The FBI has arrested a boy for the non-existent crime of possessing a program protected by our First Amendment (it isnít an illegal program unless it is used and the FBI acknowledges that there is no way to ever prove if the boy used it) whose life is about to be destroyed by our government because it is so inept that it canít catch the real culprits. Now, also understand that no actual laws have been broken in any event since no real damage was done to any of the sites attacked. Only those universities and organizations whose computers were used in the attack have any legal right to file charges and not one of them has done so, as of this writing.

Compare this silly little episode to a cyber-attack launched by major financial institutions in Europe which affected billions of dollars in investments from the U.S. Two banks, in particular, although unnamed, sabotaged the system which is used in the trading of over 30% of all government bonds in Europe. The reason that this attack occurred? Because both banks have computer trading program systems they want to sell to the worldís financial community that competes with the EuroMTSís official trading programs.

The method of the attack was simple. The banks simply sent a stream of sale prices for stocks and government bonds that was a fraction of the going rate. This caused a sharp downward spiral in the value of those bonds, even though the banks refused to honor their offers for weeks and even though many insiders within the industry were aware of the fraudulent offers. In other words, even though many high-ranking officials knew that the bids were bogus and the banks were breaking hundreds of laws, nothing was done for nearly a month, all of which resulted in the loss of billions of dollars both in Europe and in the American financial markets.

Were any sanctions ever laid on these criminal enterprises or the executives in charge? Of course not. The prevailing attitude in this instance is that the attack was only a business maneuver and the losses, no matter how staggering, are to be expected when companies and banks play with such high stakes.

As usual, gentle readers, if you kill one person, you are a murderer. If you kill ten, you are a butcher. If you kill millions, you are a god. It works the same in the Global Economy. If you rob a bank, you are a thief but if you are the bank and you steal billions, then itís all just business. ( 5)

Finally, when asked about the current trend of politicians campaigning against President Clinton's conduct in office rather than displaying their positive attributes that supposedly make them fit for whatever office they seek, Clinton offered, "If I were running, I'd do that." ( 2)

I suppose that about sums up government in America, at least in the year 2000.

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