Trivia 3I

Some interesting facts and figures to think about.

The FBI has created a system called “Carnivore” that can tap into any Internet Provider’s e-mail system and copy every single message going in or out. It can do this even if the court issues an order allowing them to intercept only the mail coming or going from just one e-mail account because there are no controls built into either the Carnivore system or the current level of court orders which still address only the technology of phone taps.

The FBI claims that all other messages that are copied to Carnivore are “safe” because the FBI will only winnow out the messages that it wants but, I believe that we can all agree, the FBI isn’t exactly an agency that can be trusted to do what’s legal.

How will the FBI devise a way to make their new toy more palatable for the American people? They’re going to rename it something less menacing. Don’t we all feel better, now? ( 1 )

For you Republicans out there who fear a Gore administration, there has been only one vice president since 1836 who was elected to the presidency.

For you Democrats out there who fear a Bush administration, there has been no Republican governors elected to the presidency since 1898.

In other words, the odds are that neither will be elected.

For those who refuse to believe that they are being constantly manipulated by your government in order to convince you to support causes that will only benefit the extremely wealthy:

Sixty percent of Americans state that they are in favor of repealing the estate tax. Two percent of wealthy Americans deceased last year paid the tax.

What this 60% is saying, in effect, is that they see no problem with the wealthy receiving massive tax cuts which will have to be either replaced by higher taxes on the middle-class and poor or the government must drastically reduce services to this same level of taxpayers. Either way, once again the wealthy win and the ignorant masses happily accept self-inflicted defeat.

Sixty-eight percent of all death-penalty trials since 1976 have been found by appeals court to include “serious, reversible errors”.

Percentage of all execution in the United States since 1976 that have occurred in Texas - 33%. ( 2 )

Finally, a truly sensible “waiting period” law. In Ohio, a new law went into effect imposing a five-day waiting period for a person to buy five or kegs of beer at once. ( 3 )

Actual quote during an interview of the pseudo wrestler know as The Rock by Sam (I’m not a liberal but I play one on TV) Donaldson;
The Rock, “If the worst thing you see on TV is The Rock saying “Poontang Pie” - then you don’t watch much TV.”
Sam, “I watch Jim Lerher and Peter Jennings.”
The Rock, “And they all love poontang pie! Ha ha!” ( 4 )

Has anybody else noticed that Lieberman means “Loverboy” in German? Does this have anything at all to do with getting our minds off the Lewinski mess? ( 5 )

Amount Motorola spent on television ads explaining to the huddled masses why the recent Permanent Most Favored Nation trade bill with China was going to create more jobs in America and increase exports to China - $2,000,000.00. Number of months after the bill was passed that Motorola laid off its entire Phoenix, Arizona factory and moved it to China - 3 months. It might also interest you to know that Motorola is exporting the technology to make silicon chips to China by establishing Motorola University near Beijing. Here, it trains Chinese engineers to design and manufacture faster and better chips that can be used in nearly every electronic device that it will then export back to you and I. One method that the Chinese will now have the technological capability to export these chips will be by including them in their guidance systems for long range nuclear missiles. Gee, it’s just like WW II when we sent Japan millions of tons of scrap metal and they returned it in the form of bombs and torpedoes and warships and bullets and the like. Deja vu all over again and for the exact same filthy little reason; because Corporate America saw a way to earn a dirty little dollar and saw no reason to care just what danger they were putting this nation into in the process. Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s just Motorola parts raining down on our nation and killing hundreds of millions of Americans! Who care about the dead? They’re mostly the poor, anyway. What’s important is how will this affect Motorola’s stock price? ( 6 )

Have you ever had the pleasure of smelling the pesticides that are sprayed on lawns and yards? Really stinky, aren’t they? Even if the toxic chemicals don’t make you sick, the smell does, doesn’t it?

Well, a Canadian organization, the Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario, has developed a way to help. No, they haven’t decreased or removed the vile and deadly chemical mix that they spray everywhere (in fact, more pesticides are sprayed on lawns and yards than on all agricultural fields in America). Instead, the kind and wise folks of this association have developed what they lovingly term “Masker-Aid Odour Concentrate”. This little chemical brew is to be used to cover up the horrendous smell of the pesticides, meaning that we can breathe easier in our comfortable suburban homes, right?!?

But wait! (There’s always a “but wait” in these tales, isn’t there?) The two fragrances that are being used smell like cherry and bubble gum!!!! That’s right, gentle readers, now your children will find themselves attracted to these chemically treated areas because they smell exactly like the sort of candy flavors and bouquets that are in the candy they eat every day. Aren’t you so relieved with the knowledge that the chemical industries are looking out for your kids? In fact, even the Canadian regulatory agency responsible for this little gem of a product are as ignorant and clueless as any of ours in that they defend this product as no worse than adding a lemon scent to bleach.

Of course, the idiocy of adding lemon scent to bleach will have to wait for another day. In fact, the idiocy of adding any attractive smell to any lethal and dangerous chemical only shows just how insane and out of control we have allowed our nation’s regulatory agencies to become. We’ll address that at another time. ( 7 )

As an excellent example of just what a great Republican administration the Clinton years have been, consider this:
Between 1980 to 1992, the Reagan/Bush years, 85,064 corporate mergers valued at $3.5 trillion dollars occurred.
Between 1992 and 1999, the Clinton years, 166,310 corporate mergers occurred that were valued at $9.8 trillion dollars. ( 8 )

These last wee facts lead us to the following manifestation of pure confusion: Who presents himself as a moderate but admits that he once opposed abortion rights and gun control, voted alongside Jesse Helms to defeat a bill protecting HIV patients from discrimination, sided with Helms in the Mapplethorpe controversy, once described homosexuality as “abnormal sexual behavior”, voted to undermine the endangered species act in the case of the snail darter, fought to have a nuclear reactor built in his home state, pushed for a free trade agreement on timber with no conservation measures, was an outspoken supporter of the Gulf War and, during his career, voted for the neutron bomb, the B-2 bomber, the Trident II, MX and Midgetman missiles and backed Star Wars?

This vile, despicable and thoroughly Republican creep? Al Gore. ( 9)

File this under the heading of “Needs to read the Constitution a bit more closely!”

The Family Research Group, a major conservative group that is more interested in destroying the separation of church and state than they are about any family issues, recently complained when Congress opened a session with a prayer by a Hindu priest. These anti-American boobs stated, “Our founders expected that Christianity - and no other religion - would receive support from the government as long as that support does not violate people’s consciences and their right to worship.”

Exactly where in the phrase, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, is it stated that “Our founders expected that Christianity - and no other religion - would receive support from the government”?

Folks, we have a long way to go before we can finally convince those who favor myth, magic, and miracles over common sense, intelligence and free thinking to stay out of politics and, if they desire to believe a certain myth, to do so in the privacy of their own homes? Life, gentle readers, is hard enough without having to keep the next Inquisition or Crusades at bay in this nation.

So, what have we learned today, class? We’ve learned that the power of the government to spy on us is growing more dangerous every day. We’ve learned that the rich will just keep getting richer through the simple act of manipulating the average boob tube addled American. We’ve learned that the expression “poontang pie” is somehow related to Democratic politics. We’ve learned that free trade means “Bye bye, America” in Corporatese. We’ve learned that even the Canadians are stupid enough to poison their children if Corporate Canadian businesses want you too. We’ve learned that the term moderate Democrat means the best Republicans the Democratic Party can offer. And, lastly, we’ve learned that there are still some folks who are so uninformed as to think that the word “separation” means “enforced upon”.

Taken all together, it’s really pretty sad.

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