The Friends of California Libre...

03 March 2002

The Return of the Screed

Greetings, friends!
I'm back and fully operational, blazing along at 1.13 Ghz. If my old computer was like a Volkswagen, this one is more like a bratty child. I can even read bedtime stories to it. I've finally gotten my e-mail back, with my address book, yay!

It's a beautiful day in Los Angeles, just back from a hike (thanks Ronna), I'm sitting in the dark listening to James Taylor, thanks Vicki for being such a good influence on me. I'm mourning my first weekend without any of my friends at the MAK Center, who all went back to Europe, but for those of you reading this over the waters, we took Bruno out last night and got good and d***k.

I've been told how much you missed my long, pointless collections of trivia and political posturing. Rest assured I will try to write more personal missives, but sorry. Having a full time job, trying to revise a 900 page novel and juggling my alcoholic pals doesn't leave me the time to write like I used to. If it wasn't for e-mail, we might never hear from each other again, yow. So reply in kind, even if it's just to say STOP.

P.S. This might be the last screed anyway, since I've got bigger fish to fry. There's global warming and war and all that jazz, so to hell with stupid human tricks.

Okay, let's begin with an ancient piece of e-mail spam. This yarn has been going around for years, but I still like it and here it is for anybody who hasn't seen it before. It's time to vote for your next President! Here are the candidates:
> * Candidate A: Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologers. He's had two mistresses. He also chainsmokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.
> * Candidate B: He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.
> * Candidate C: He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and hasn't had any extramarital affairs.
> Which of these candidates would be your choice? Their real names are at the end of the message.

If anyone is keeping track, more and more articles are appearing that seem to indicate that Osama bin Laden fled through Iran while we were bombing the other side of Afghanistan. Here's the story of a man who claims to be bin Laden's cook!

Does anyone really care at this point? The Old war is the New war again. Who the hell is selling these people guns? Oh, oops.

Thanks to upgraded e-mail software, I don't need to cut and paste the silly Yahoo news items any more. I'll just insert the weblinks, and you can visit them at your pleasure. (With a brief smart comment, of course.)

First, here's the best news I've heard from a feminist in years,
Pot: A Women's Issue?

Then, suppose you really, really needed to talk to your psychiatrist?
Man Drives Home Cry for Psychiatric Help

More proof that Germans are not as orderly as you think,
Germans Warned Over Wild Carnival Urination

And neither are we,
81-Year-Old Charged with Ecstasy Smuggling

Incredible but true, a tennis player takes out a bird with his serve,
Bird Dropping Casts Pall Over Tennis Tournament

And just around the corner, some street justice,
Aborigine Asks Court to Spear Policeman to Death

Finally, here's a long screed about George Bush courtesy of an angry Iranian. Sic 'em, boys...and I hope I hear from my friends soon. Have a good one.
> In George W. Bush's first year in office he:
> 1. Significantly eased field-testing controls of genetically engineered crops. > 2. Cut federal spending on libraries by $39 million.
> 3. Cut $35 million in funding for doctors to get advanced pediatric training.
> 4. Cut by 50% funding for research into renewable energy sources.
> 5. Revoked rules that reduced the acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water.
> 6. Blocked rules that would require federal agencies to offer bilingual assistance to non-English speaking persons. This, from a candidate who would readily fire-up his Spanish-speaking skills in front of would-be Hispanic voters.
> 7. Proposed to eliminate new marine protections for the Channel Islands off Los Angeles and the coral reefs of northwest Hawaii (San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 2001).
> 8. Cut funding by 28% for research into cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks.
> 9. Suspended rules that would have strengthened the government's ability to deny contracts to companies that violated workplace safety, environmental and other federal laws.
> 10. OK'd Interior Department appointee Gale Norton to send out letters to state officials soliciting suggestions for opening up national monuments for oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and foresting.
> 11. Appointed John Negroponte - an un-indicted high-level Iran Contra figure - to the post of United Nations Ambassador.
> 12. Abandoned a campaign pledge to invest $100 million for rain forest conservation.
> 13. Reduced by 86% the Community Access Program for public hospitals, clinics and providers of care for people without insurance.
> 14. Rescinded a proposal to increase public access to information about the potential consequences resulting from chemical plant accidents.
> 15. Suspended rules that would require hardrock miners to clean up sites on Western public lands.
> 16. Cut $60 million from a Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America program for public housing.
> 17. Proposed to eliminate a federal program, designed and successfully used in Seattle, to help communities prepare for natural disasters.
> 18. Pulled out of the 1997 Kyoto Treaty global warming agreement.
> 19. Cut $200 million of work force training for dislocated workers.
> 20. Eliminated funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program, which encourages farmers to maintain wetlands habitat on their property.
> 21. Cut program to provide child care to low-income families as they move from welfare to work.
> 22. Cut a program that provided prescription contraceptive coverage to federal employees (though it still pays for Viagra).
> 23. Cut $700 million in capital funds for repairs in public housing.
> 24. Appointed Otto Reich - an un-indicted high-level Iran Contra figure - to Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs.
> 25. Cut Environmental Protection Agency budget by $500 million.
> 26. Proposed to curtail the ability of groups to sue in order to get an animal placed on the Endangered Species List.
> 27. Rescinded the rule that mandated increased energy-saving efficiency regulations for central air conditioners and heat pumps.
> 28. Repealed workplace ergonomic rules designed to improve worker health and safety.
> 29. Abandoned campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide, the waste gas that contributes to global warming.
> 30. Banned federal aid to international family planning programs that offer abortion counseling with other independent funds.
> 31. Closed White House Office for Women's Health Initiatives and Outreach.
> 32. Nominated David Lauriski - ex-mining company executive - to post of Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
> 33. OK'd Interior Secretary Gale Norton to go forth with a controversial plan to auction oil and gas development tracts off the coast of eastern Florida.
> 34. Announced intention to open up Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest to oil and drilling.
> 35. Proposes to re-draw boundaries of nation's monuments, which would technically allow oil and gas drilling "outside" of national monuments.
> 36. Gutted White House AIDS Office.
> 37. Renegotiating free trade agreement with Jordan to eliminate worker's rights and safeguards for the environment.
> 38. Will no longer seek guidance from The American Bar Association in recommendations for the federal judiciary appointments.
> 39. Appointed recycling foe Lynn Scarlett as Undersecretary of the Interior.
> 40. Took steps to abolish the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
> 41. Cut the Community Oriented Policing Services program.
> 42. Allowed Interior Secretary Gale Norton to shelve citizen-led grizzly bear re-introduction plan scheduled for Idaho and Montana wilderness.
> 43. Continues to hold up federal funding for stem cell research projects.
> 44. Makes sure convicted misdemeanor drug users cannot get financial aid for college, though convicted murderers can.
> 45. Refused to fund continued cleanup of uranium-slag heap in Utah.
> 46. Refused to fund continued litigation of the government's tobacco company lawsuit.
> 47. Proposed a $2 trillion tax cut, of which 43% will go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
> 48. Signed a bill making it harder for poor and middle-class Americans to file for bankruptcy, even in the case of daunting medical bills.
> 49. Chose a Vice President quoted as saying "If you want to do something about carbon dioxide emissions, then you ought to build nuclear power plants." (Vice President Dick Cheney on "Meet the Press.")
> 50. Appointed Diana "There is no gender gap in pay" Roth to the Council of Economic Advisers. (Boston Globe, March 28, 2001.)
> 51. Appointed Kay Cole James - an opponent of affirmative action - to direct the Office of Personnel Management.
> 52. Cut $15.7 million earmarked for states to investigate cases of child abuse and neglect.
> 53. Helped kill a law designed to make it tougher for teenagers to get credit cards.
> 54. Proposed elimination of the "Reading is Fundamental" program that gives free books to poor children.
> 55. Is pushing for development of small nuclear arms to attack deeply buried targets and weapons, which would violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
> 56. Proposes to nominate Jeffrey Sutton - attorney responsible for the recent case weakening the Americans with Disabilities Act - to federal appeals court judgeship.
> 57. Proposes to reverse regulation protecting 60 million acres of national forest from logging and road building.
> 58. Eliminated funding for the "We the People" education program which taught School children about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and citizenship.
> 59. Appointed John Bolton - who opposes nonproliferation treaties and the U.N. - to Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
> 60. Nominated Linda Fisher - an executive with Monsanto - for the number-two job at the Environmental Protection Agency.
> 61. Nominated Michael McConnell - leading critic of the separation of church and state - to a federal judgeship.
> 62. Nominated Terrence Boyle - ardent opponent of civil rights - to a federal judgeship.
> 63. Canceled 2004 deadline for automakers to develop prototype high mileage cars.
> 64. Nominated Harvey Pitts - lawyer for teen sex video distributor - to head SEC.
> 65. Nominated John Walters - strong opponent of prison drug treatment programs - for Drug Czar. (Washington Post, May 16, 2001.)
> 66. Nominated J. Steven Giles - an oil and coal lobbyist - for Deputy Secretary of the Interior.
> 67. Nominated Bennett Raley - who advocates repealing the Endangered Species Act - for Assistant Secretary for Water and Science.
> 68. Is seeking the dismissal of class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. against Japan by Asian women forced to work as sex slaves during WWII.
> 69. Earmarked $4 million in new federal grant money for HIV and drug abuse prevention programs to go only to religious groups and not secular equivalents.
> 70. Reduced by 40% the Low Income Home Assistance Program for low-income individuals who need assistance paying energy bills.
> 71. Nominated Ted Olson - who has repeatedly lied about his involvement with the Scaiffe-funded "Arkansas Project" to bring down Bill Clinton - for Solicitor General.
> 72. Nominated Terrance Boyle - foe of civil rights - to a federal judgeship.
> 73. Proposes to ease permit process - including environmental considerations - for refinery, nuclear and hydroelectric dam construction. (Washington Post, May 18, 2001.)
> 74. Proposes to give government the authority to take private property through eminent domain for power lines.
> 75. Proposes that $1.2 billion in funding for alternative renewable energy come from selling oil and gas lease tracts in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve.
> 76. Plans on serving genetically engineered foods at all official government functions.
> 77. Forced out Forest Service chief Mike Dombeck and appointed a timber industry lobbyist.

P.P.S. And if you think George Bush is bad, here are the three candidates you could have voted for at the beginning of this screed:
> Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt.
> Candidate B is Winston Churchill.
> Candidate C is Adolf Hitler.

See you up in heaven,

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