Thursday, May 03, 2007


(hello from where this wage earner is realizing that he is doing the majority of the revenue work while others are engaging in "dead legging" and not getting spanked for it)

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning article in the Boston Globe by Charlie Savage:

"Since taking office in 2001, President Bush has issued signing statements on more than 750 new laws, declaring that he has the power to set aside the laws when they conflict with his legal interpretation of the Constitution. The federal government is instructed to follow the statements when it enforces the laws. Here are 10 examples and the dates Bush signed them:

March 9: Justice Department officials must give reports to Congress by certain dates on how the FBI is using the USA Patriot Act to search homes and secretly seize papers.
Bush's signing statement: The president can order Justice Department officials to withhold any information from Congress if he decides it could impair national security or executive branch operations.

Dec. 30, 2005: US interrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.
Bush's signing statement: The president, as commander in chief, can waive the torture ban if he decides that harsh interrogation techniques will assist in preventing terrorist attacks.

Dec. 30: When requested, scientific information ''prepared by government researchers and scientists shall be transmitted [to Congress] uncensored and without delay."
Bush's signing statement: The president can tell researchers to withhold any information from Congress if he decides its disclosure could impair foreign relations, national security, or the workings of the executive branch.

Aug. 8: The Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its contractors may not fire or otherwise punish an employee whistle-blower who tells Congress about possible wrongdoing.
Bush's signing statement: The president or his appointees will determine whether employees of the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can give information to Congress.

Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.
Bush's signing statement: Only the president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ''as advisory in nature."

Dec. 17: The new national intelligence director shall recruit and train women and minorities to be spies, analysts, and translators in order to ensure diversity in the intelligence community.
Bush's signing statement: The executive branch shall construe the law in a manner consistent with a constitutional clause guaranteeing ''equal protection" for all. (In 2003, the Bush administration argued against race-conscious affirmative-action programs in a Supreme Court case. The court rejected Bush's view.)

Oct. 29: Defense Department personnel are prohibited from interfering with the ability of military lawyers to give independent legal advice to their commanders.
Bush's signing statement: All military attorneys are bound to follow legal conclusions reached by the administration's lawyers in the Justice Department and the Pentagon when giving advice to their commanders.

Aug. 5: The military cannot add to its files any illegally gathered intelligence, including information obtained about Americans in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches.
Bush's signing statement: Only the president, as commander in chief, can tell the military whether or not it can use any specific piece of intelligence.

Nov. 6, 2003: US officials in Iraq cannot prevent an inspector general for the Coalition Provisional Authority from carrying out any investigation. The inspector general must tell Congress if officials refuse to cooperate with his inquiries.
Bush's signing statement: The inspector general ''shall refrain" from investigating anything involving sensitive plans, intelligence, national security, or anything already being investigated by the Pentagon. The inspector cannot tell Congress anything if the president decides that disclosing the information would impair foreign relations, national security, or executive branch operations.

Nov. 5, 2002: Creates an Institute of Education Sciences whose director may conduct and publish research ''without the approval of the secretary [of education] or any other office of the department."
Bush's signing statement: The president has the power to control the actions of all executive branch officials, so ''the director of the Institute of Education Sciences shall [be] subject to the supervision and direction of the secretary of education

Congress. Ugh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. I'll say it again. Congress. Ugh!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Your Name Here

wow. this is both odd and revolting. this has to step out of anyone's religious beliefs, regardless of who they are. of course, it does come from the washington times...and the washington times is, how should we put it, freaking conservative! but i wouldn't be surprised if this article speaks true.

the study's in on bill o'reilly. and what it found is: if you can't say something nice...go sit by him. evidently, bill can't keep his bigot in his box.

you ever get one of those automated phone calls over and over again about every two weeks to a month asking you to call a person back, but you're given no information as to to why you should do so? i've been getting one of those ever since i moved into my current place of, about a year now.
the voice was always the same and it stated that it was important that i "contact adam kirtsall" immediately at 1-888-899-6779.
until a week ago i had no idea what it was about and assumed he was a mortgager as i get many of those.
but last week the message was lightly different. the voice, for one, was a different man and the message stated that it was a debt collection agency. i erased that message, then belatedly hoped he would call again.
today he did. i listened and jotted down the phone number. i called that number. i was answered by a real live person. following is the transcript:
"bleeping Collection Service"
"yes, i'd like to speak with adam kirtsall"
"i'm sorry, he's in another department. how can i help you?"
"well, adam kirtsall has been sending me automated messages for almost a year now and i finally understand why he's been doing this. i need to speak with him, please"
"what's your phone number sir?"
"it's --- - ----"
"are you joseph ----?"
"no, i'm not. i'm joel ----"
"so he no longer lives there?"
"as far as i know he's never lived here. i don't know who he is. this place was vacant for a couple of years before i moved in"
"do you know where he is?"
"i just told you i don't know who he is"
"it's a little coincidental that you have the same names, don't you think?"
"what's the same about joseph and joel?"
"well, it's coincidental that your last names are the same"
"yeah, how coincidental is that that i have the same last name as someone else in this fucking country? i need you to put me through to adam kirtsall or take me off of your call list right fucking now"
"you'll need to get in contact with joseph ---- and have him get in contact with us to that, sir"
"how the fuck am i going to do that when i already told you i don't fucking know him, you dumbass piece-"

of course i called back. and my number had been removed from the call list in the 10 seconds it took me to re-engage.
i encourage everyone who reads this to call that number and pretend for a few minutes to be a very confused person owing them money, then blog about it.