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[RRND] 09/01 -- Iraq: Death toll passes 800 in bridge disaster; Afghanistan: Afghan, US forces raid Taliban hideout

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  • Terry L Parker
    DistributorInsertion: Flood Relief Added to War Protest Mom s National Bus Tour Start Austin War Protest: 2005.08.31 KEYE CBS Austin affiliate coverage of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2005

      Flood Relief Added to War Protest Mom's National Bus Tour Start

      Austin War Protest: 2005.08.31 KEYE
      CBS Austin affiliate coverage of Cindy Sheehan's national bus tour kick-off

      Austin War Protest: 2005.08.31 KVUE
      ABC Austin affiliate coverage of Cindy Sheehan's national bus tour kick-off

      MoreAt http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TerryLiberty/message/138


      Rational Review News Digest
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      Volume III, Issue #719
      Thursday, September 1, 2005
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      Today's News:

      1) Iraq: Death toll passes 800 in bridge disaster
      2) Afghanistan: Afghan, US forces raid Taliban hideout
      3) Four indicted in alleged US terror plot
      4) Ohio: Officials indicted in '04 recount
      5) Report: 45.8 million lack health insurance
      6) Genome: Man, chimp separated by dab of DNA
      7) Gas prices, Iraq war batter president's approval rating
      8) Poll: 64% favor teaching both creationism, evolution
      9) Superdome refugees boarding buses for Astrodome
      10) CIA report: Review Tenet's dealings with NSA
      11) Guantanamo inmates on new hunger strike
      12) Experts: $4 gas coming soon
      13) Bush releases oil from petroleum reserve
      14) Storm blogs offer Katrina insight
      15) Turkey: Novelist faces jail for "insulting national character"
      16) Robbers post own pictures online
      17) West Virginia: Man not guilty in slaying
      18) New Mexico: Shooting first under concealed carry
      19) New Jersey: Store owner shoots thief in legs
      20) Washington: Watchman fires at car
      21) Anti-war mom glad she didn't meet with Bush
      22) Tennessee: Indicted legislator says it was "business as usual"
      23) Sheehan protest hits the road
      24) Bush compares Iraq to World War II
      25) Toxic Californians?

      Today's Commentary:

      26) The biggest Medicare fraud ever
      27) US Constitution Day 2005
      28) The new census: An all-out assault on your privacy
      29) Gender bias in domestic violence treatment
      30) The mystery of human self-deprecation
      31) Hugo the Horrible
      32) Let them eat HSAs
      33) Sorry, Mr. President, you're no FDR
      34) Here's the funny part
      35) Where the National Guard belongs
      36) A reverence for property over people
      37) Reinventing the good life
      38) Blunders, lies and other historicist habits
      39) State network to collect cross-border sales tax
      40) English language learners left behind
      41) Machiavelli and US politics, part 6
      42) Will the new national ID track your movements?
      43) Ignore rumors; Teflon proven to be safe
      44) The entrepreneurship engine
      45) Kids smarter than some give them credit for
      46) George Bush's original sin
      47) Something smells: Gas tax funding too much pork
      48) Constitutional crisis: The Iraqi charter is illegal and disastrous
      49) TennCare: State has money, Jackson has plan
      50) Panic at the pump

      Today's Movement News and Events:

      51) The economics of fascism
      52) Medicaid and the long-term care crisis

      Today in Political History:

      53) Hitler attacks


      1) Iraq: Death toll passes 800 in bridge disaster
      Guardian [UK]

      "More than 800 people were killed and over 320 injured in Baghdad
      today when Shia pilgrims panicked amid reports that a suicide bomber
      was in their midst. The Iraqi defence minister, Saadoun al-Dulaimi,
      said 841 people had died and 328 were injured in a stampede on a
      bridge over the Tigris river. Mr Dulaimi said the disaster had been
      sparked when someone heard 'a certain scream' that there was a suicide
      bomber on the bridge. 'It caused chaos in the crowd, and the crowd
      reacted and caused this incident to take place,' he said. However, he
      ruled out speculation that the tragedy had been deliberately
      engineered by rival religious groups." (08/31/05)



      2) Afghanistan: Afghan, US forces raid Taliban hideout
      Detroit Free Press

      "Afghan and U.S. ground troops, backed by attack helicopters, raided a
      Taliban camp in the mountains of southern Afghanistan, killing nine
      suspected militants, officials said Wednesday. The camp in Uruzgan
      province had been used as a base by about 80 insurgents from where
      they launched guerrilla-style assaults on Afghan and U.S.-led
      coalition forces in the area, said provincial Gov. Jan Mohammed Khan.
      American helicopters pounded the site with rockets before ground
      forces moved in." (08/31/05)



      3) Four indicted in alleged US terror plot
      Las Vegas Review-Journal

      "The head of a radical Islamic prison gang and three others were
      indicted Wednesday on federal charges of planning terrorist attacks
      against U.S. military facilities, the Israeli Consulate and other Los
      Angeles-area targets. The four conspired to wage war against the U.S.
      government through terrorism, kill armed service members and murder
      foreign officials, among other charges, according to the indictment."



      4) Ohio: Officials indicted in '04 recount
      Cleveland Plain Dealer

      "Two Cuyahoga County elections officials were indicted Tuesday on
      charges of not handling ballots correctly during the recount of the
      2004 presidential election. Kathleen Dreamer, manager of the board's
      ballot department, and the assistant manager, Rosie Grier, were each
      charged with six counts of failing to follow Ohio laws that spell out
      how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount. ... The
      charges stem from a complaint first raised last December by Toledo
      lawyer Richard Kerger, who watched over the recount on behalf of two
      third-party candidates. ... [Prosecutor Kevin J.] Baxter would not
      offer details of his investigation but said he examined allegations
      that officials took 'measures in order to all but assure that there
      would not be a countywide hand count.'" (08/31/05)



      5) Report: 45.8 million lack health insurance
      45.8 million lack health insurance

      "The number of Americans without health insurance rose by 800,000 last
      year, reaching a record high of nearly 46 million, the U.S. Census
      Bureau reported Tuesday. Officials blamed the increase in part on the
      continuing erosion of workplace-sponsored health insurance. A majority
      of Americans still get their coverage by sharing costs with their
      employer, though a smaller and smaller percentage of American jobs are
      now accompanied by medical benefits. The number of Americans with no
      private or public medical coverage increased from 45 million in 2003
      to 45.8 million in 2004, though the percentage of the population
      without insurance held steady at 15.7 percent. Twenty-one million
      full-time workers had no health insurance in 2004, a 0.6 percent
      increase from the previous year, census officials said." [editor's
      note: What's this "record high" stuff? 70 years ago, the percentage of
      Americans without health insurance was nearly 100%; health insurance
      didn't really catch on in America until government drove health care
      costs through the roof with Mediscare and Medicaid - TLK] (08/31/05)



      6) Genome: Man, chimp separated by dab of DNA
      Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

      "Answering a key part of the age-old question of what makes us human,
      scientists on Wednesday unveiled a genetic comparison of people and
      chimps, revealing that changes to a mere sliver of DNA make it
      possible for us to walk upright, compose piano concertos and fall
      victim to cancer. Those changes amount to 200,000 of the 3 billion
      chemical letters that make up the human genetic code that have
      occurred in the 6 million years since Homo sapiens and chimpanzees
      diverged from a common ancestor -- a relative blip in the history of
      life on Earth." (09/01/05)



      7) Gas prices, Iraq war batter president's approval rating
      USA Today

      "President Bush returned to the capital Wednesday after a month-long
      summer vacation with big problems on his agenda -- from record-setting
      gas prices to unrelieved turmoil in Iraq -- and with his standing in
      handling those issues in a slide. A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken
      Sunday through Tuesday shows the toll that casualties abroad and
      economic uncertainty at home have taken on assessments of Bush. He
      gets the lowest ratings of his tenure for the job he's doing on the
      economy and health care. He matches his previous low point in dealing
      with Iraq. Three of four Americans disapprove of his handling of gas
      prices." (08/31/05)



      8) Poll: 64% favor teaching both creationism, evolution
      Houston Chronicle

      "In a finding that is likely to intensify the debate over what to
      teach students about the origins of life, a poll released Tuesday
      found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should
      be taught alongside evolution in public schools. The poll found that
      42 percent of respondents hold strict creationist views, agreeing that
      'living things have existed in their present form since the beginning
      of time.'" (08/31/05)



      9) Superdome refugees boarding buses for Astrodome
      Houston Chronicle

      "As many as 23,000 refugees at the Superdome prepared to board buses
      and head to Houston's Astrodome today even as hundreds of others
      arrived from New Orleans on their own, exhausted and desperate, only
      to find they won't be allowed in. Hurricane refugees trapped in the
      Superdome were expected to begin arriving on over 500 buses as early
      as tonight, but security officers at the Astrodome were turning people
      away this evening, telling them the giant shelter won't be ready to
      open until Thursday -- and then only to Superdome evacuees." (08/31/05)



      10) CIA report: Review Tenet's dealings with NSA

      "As the Bush administration makes plans to commemorate the fourth
      anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a newly delivered report by
      the CIA's inspector general on pre-9/11 intelligence lapses has
      created a series of awkward dilemmas for senior intelligence
      officials. The still-top-secret CIA report goes beyond one released
      last year by the 9/11 Commission in sharply criticizing the agency?s
      performance. It recommends that a number of current and former senior
      officials be held accountable for purported intelligence lapses that
      preceded the attacks." (08/31/05)



      11) Guantanamo inmates on new hunger strike
      Detroit Free Press

      "Scores of detainees have started a new hunger strike at the U.S.
      prison for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, demanding to be
      put on trial or released, human rights lawyers said Wednesday. Many
      have been held more than 3 1/2 years without charge or access to
      lawyers. Most were captured in the Afghanistan war, suspected of ties
      to al-Qaida or the ousted Taliban regime that sheltered the terrorist
      network. The hunger-striking detainees allege the Pentagon reneged on
      promises to bring the detention camp into compliance with Geneva
      Conventions if they ended a hunger strike this summer involving up to
      200 of the 500-plus detained men from some 40 countries, the New
      York-based Center for Constitutional Rights said." (08/31/05)



      12) Experts: $4 gas coming soon

      "Consumers can expect retail gas prices to rise to $4 a gallon soon,
      but whether they stay there depends on the long-term damage to oil
      facilities from Hurricane Katrina, oil and gas analysts said
      Wednesday. 'There's no question gas will hit $4 a gallon,' Ben
      Brockwell, director of pricing at the Oil Price Information Service,
      said. 'The question is how high will it go and how long will it last?'
      OPIS tracks wholesale and retail oil prices and provides pricing
      information for AAA's daily reports on fuel prices." (08/31/05)



      13) Bush releases oil from petroleum reserve
      Cincinnati Enquirer

      "President Bush raised the possibility Wednesday that Hurricane
      Katrina will lead to even higher gasoline prices and shortages in some
      areas, even as his administration moved to release oil from an
      emergency government stockpile and to temporarily ease pollution
      standards on gasoline and diesel fuel. 'Our citizens must understand
      the storm has disrupted the capacity to make gasoline and distribute
      gasoline,' Bush said in a Rose Garden speech after meeting with top
      officials to discuss the crisis." (08/31/05)



      14) Storm blogs offer Katrina insight
      BBC News [UK]

      "The web has once again proved its worth as a news source as blogs
      offered a vivid description of the destruction caused by Hurricane
      Katrina. As the storm carved a path through southern US, weblogs
      provided first-hand accounts of those affected. Mainstream media
      outlets in New Orleans found the web an invaluable asset as their
      offices were flooded. Web tracking firm Technorati reported that seven
      of the top 10 search terms were hurricane-related on Tuesday.
      According to internet measurement firm Keynote Systems, some websites
      were unable to cope with demand for Katrina-related news. Wikipedia,
      the user-generated net encyclopaedia, provided video coverage of the
      hurricane and regularly updated reports on the storms history and
      effects." (08/31/05)



      15) Turkey: Novelist faces jail for "insulting national character"
      Independent [UK]

      "One of Turkey's best-known novelists has been charged with insulting
      the country's national character and could face a prison sentence.
      Orhan Pamuk is scheduled to go on trial on 16 December and could face
      up to three years in prison for comments on Turkey's killing of
      Armenians and Kurds, his publisher, Tugrul Pasaoglu, said yesterday.
      'Thirty thousand Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in these
      lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it,' Pamuk said in an
      interview with a Swiss newspaper in February." (09/01/05)



      16) Robbers post own pictures online
      Ananova [UK]

      "Three robbers were caught after they took pictures of themselves with
      a mobile phone they stole. They also took 20 tonnes of fertilizer from
      Petrobras Energy in Rosario, Argentina. The mobile was set up to send
      every picture taken to a personal webpage. After the pictures were
      posted they were analysed by the police and the robbers identified.
      All three robbers were arrested. A police spokesperson said: 'Little
      did they know that all their pictures were being instantly sent to a
      webpage.'" (08/31/05)



      17) West Virginia: Man not guilty in slaying
      Herald Mail

      "Three years, four months, 18 days and about an hour later, John W.
      Jenkins Jr. lifted his eyes skyward, then closed them after a court
      clerk read aloud these two words: 'Not guilty.' A Berkeley County jury
      of nine women and three men deliberated for less than two hours
      Tuesday before acquitting Jenkins in the shooting death of his second
      cousin, Steven Cole, 37, of Martinsburg, on April 12, 2002. ...
      Jenkins has maintained he shot Cole in self-defense after Cole pulled
      a gun on him and fired one bullet toward him. Jenkins was the first
      and only witness to testify Tuesday -- the fifth day of the trial. He
      testified about his family, violent outbursts from Cole and the
      shooting. ... Jurors had five options -- finding Jenkins innocent or
      finding him guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder,
      voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. They deliberated
      for an hour and 38 minutes." (08/31/05)



      18) New Mexico: Shooting first under concealed carry
      Los Alamos Monitor

      "A fatal shooting at an Albuquerque Wal-Mart last week was the state's
      first by someone with a concealed-carry gun permit, authorities said.
      Police said Felix Vigil was attacking his ex-wife with a knife near
      the store's deli counter where she worked when an armed customer
      intervened and shot him. The woman, Joyce Cordova, was treated for
      multiple stab wounds and later released from an Albuquerque hospital.
      The armed customer, 72-year-old Due Moore, was interviewed after the
      shooting last Thursday and released. Police spokeswoman Officer Trish
      Hoffman said it appeared the shooting was justified. However, it will
      be up to the district attorney to decide whether Moore, a volunteer
      with the police department's cold case unit, will be prosecuted. ...
      Moore's fatal shot was the first fired by someone with a permit,
      according to state Department of Public Safety spokesman Peter Olson.
      The state has issued more than 3,100 permits since the gun law went
      into effect Jan. 1, 2004." (08/31/05)



      19) New Jersey: Store owner shoots thief in legs

      "A township liquor store owner hid inside in the darkness early
      yesterday and confronted a brazen burglar, hitting him with pepper
      spray, then shooting him in the legs. Though the suspect, Patrick
      Falcey, managed to escape from Sherwood Liquor Fair at Spruce Street
      and Arctic Avenue, police later surrounded his house in Trenton and he
      surrendered." (08/31/05)



      20) Washington: Watchman fires at car
      Longview Daily News

      "What was initially reported as a 'drive-by shooting' early Monday
      morning turned out to be a shot fired in a quite different
      circumstance. Longview police were dispatched a few minutes after
      midnight after a young man called from his home in Longview, reporting
      that someone in a brown van shot at his vehicle when he and two
      passengers were driving around in the area of the Mint Farm. 'There
      wasn't any warning,' the 22-year-old driver said Monday evening.
      'There aren't any 'no trespassing' signs out there.' ... Police
      checked out the Mint Farm area and spoke with the night watchman of a
      truck-driving school, Duscha said. The watchman told police that he
      saw a vehicle driving recklessly in the parking lot and cutting
      cookies on the property. He said he thought the vehicle was going to
      run him over, so he fired his handgun, Duscha said. No one was
      injured." (08/30/05)



      21) Anti-war mom glad she didn't meet with Bush

      "A woman who led an anti-war protest for nearly a month near President
      Bush's ranch said Tuesday that she's glad Bush never showed up to
      discuss her son's death in Iraq, saying the president's absence
      'galvanized the peace movement.' Cindy Sheehan's comments came as war
      protesters packed up their campsite near the ranch and prepared to
      leave Tuesday for a three-week bus tour. 'I look back on it, and I am
      very, very, very grateful he did not meet with me, because we have
      sparked and galvanized the peace movement,' Sheehan told The
      Associated Press.'"If he'd met with me, then I would have gone home,
      and it would have ended there.'" (08/31/05)



      22) Tennessee: Indicted legislator says it was "business as usual"

      "State Rep. Chris Newton [R-Cleveland] pleaded guilty in federal court
      yesterday and called for the end of the 'corruptive influence of money
      in politics' -- while a chorus of voices across the state grew louder
      in its calls for Newton to resign from office immediately. [He]
      admitted in federal court here that he was guilty of bribery and
      extortion. ... Facing U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla yesterday,
      Newton explained, 'I considered the money to be a contribution to my
      campaign,' before formally telling the judge, 'Guilty, your honor!'
      After the brief hearing, Newton said he got caught up in 'business as
      usual' on Capitol Hill and, 'I acknowledge and recognize that I was
      part of the problem. It is time for us to acknowledge candidly that
      the legislative process has become saturated with money and special
      interests.'" (08/31/05)



      23) Sheehan protest hits the road
      San Francisco Chronicle

      "Even though Cindy Sheehan is likely to leave Crawford, Texas, this
      morning without having accomplished her goal of meeting with President
      Bush, there's little doubt the Vacaville resident brought renewed
      energy and attention to the anti-war movement through her story of
      grief. But Sheehan's story became a phenomenon in part because she was
      surrounded by a press corps starving for stories outside Bush's ranch
      in the slow news days of August. The next test of the anti-war
      movement's revival -- and Bush's support for the war -- will come over
      the next couple of weeks. That's when three vanloads of Iraq war
      veterans and military parents, including others who have lost children
      in the war, will wend through the nation's politically red states to
      carry on the question that defined Camp Casey: For what cause did
      Sheehan's son Casey and other U.S. troops die in Iraq?" (08/31/05)



      24) Bush compares Iraq to World War II
      Washington Times

      "President Bush yesterday sought to connect the U.S. mission in Iraq
      with World War II, telling Navy sailors and veterans in California
      that America must maintain the same kind of resolve that led to the
      defeat of Japan. At celebrations ahead of the 60th anniversary of
      Japan's surrender, Bush said, 'We are again a nation at war' and 'must
      not forget the lessons of the past. Once again, war came to our shores
      with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood. Once
      again, we face determined enemies who follow a ruthless ideology that
      despises everything America stands for,' [Bush spoke] at the Naval Air
      Station North Island, with a backdrop of the USS Ronald Reagan, the
      Navy's newest aircraft carrier." [editor's note: I .... No, I won't
      say it! Too obvious ... But this attempt at a "meme" must be crushed
      to dust! - SAT] (08/31/05)



      25) Toxic Californians?
      San Francisco Chronicle

      "A film actor, a human rights leader and a university professor joined
      a chemical-testing program to prove a point. And they did. They don't
      work at dangerous jobs or live near toxic-waste dumps. Yet the study
      showed that their bodies contain low levels of industrial chemicals,
      some known to harm the health of humans or laboratory animals. Actor
      Peter Coyote has high levels of mercury, he thinks from eating fresh
      fish. ... Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in
      Oakland has high levels of a flame retardant found in fabric,
      furniture or electronics. Dr. Philip Lee, former UCSF chancellor, has
      products of DDT in his blood at levels more than twice the average. He
      believes he was exposed to DDT while overseas directing the U.S.
      participation in the World Health Organization's malaria-eradication
      program four decades ago." (08/31/05)



      26) The biggest Medicare fraud ever
      by James Bovard

      "The Bush administration admitted in February that its new Medicare
      drug prescription benefit would cost $1.2 trillion over the next
      decade -- not the $400 billion that Bush had promised when he was
      pressuring Congress to enact the bill. His vast expansion of the
      welfare state is wrecking any effort to rein in government spending.
      In order to better understand how this debacle happened, it is
      worthwhile to trace how the party of 'less government' railroaded this
      expansion of Medicare through." (09/01/05)



      27) US Constitution Day 2005
      Liberty For All
      by R. Lee Wrights

      "A few years ago I had the great honor of penning a resolution that
      was sponsored by the Libertarian Party of Forsyth County (North
      Carolina), which was eventually passed and adopted by my hometown's
      Town Council. So, I decided to see if we couldn't get the same
      resolution adopted sponsored by some of our other affiliates. What
      began as a local endeavor quickly grew into a national movement. I am
      proud to report that the US Constitution Resolution has either been
      adopted or [is] being considered for adoption in over half the states
      in the union. Every effort is a local one." (09/01/05)



      28) The new census: An all-out assault on your privacy
      International Society for Individual Liberty
      by Jarret Wollstein

      "The federal government has quietly begun using an incredibly
      intrusive new census form called 'The American Community Survey.' Up
      to 1 million households a year will receive this form. This new
      'census' form is 24-pages long, and demands that you lay bare every
      detail of your life, including how much you earn, what your home is
      worth, details of your health, when you leave for work, previous
      addresses, pregnancies, monies received from government, and on and
      on. I say demand because you can be fined up to $1,000 for each of the
      72 questions you don?t answer or which you answer 'incorrectly.'
      However, so far no one has been fined for not answering, nor are they
      likely to be if public resistance is strong." (08/31/05)



      29) Gender bias in domestic violence treatment
      by Wendy McElroy

      "The oldest battered women's shelter in New England, established in
      1975, is setting precedent and making many feminists nervous in the
      process. Transition House not only launched a 'gender-neutral' search
      for a new executive director but also appointed a man as its interim
      director. Transition House explains that it simply wants to hire the
      best person for the job, and interviewing men doubles the chance of
      success. Feminists of my ilk, who judge individuals on merit rather
      than gender, are applauding. (Admittedly, a muttered 'it's about
      time!' may also be heard.) Feminists who believe that gender must be a
      deciding factor in who addresses domestic violence and how it should
      be addressed, are appalled. They view the very prospect of hiring a
      male director as violating the 'mission' of the shelter movement: to
      assist battered women and children.In short, the 'women-only
      feminists' believe males should be precluded from major employment and
      entry at shelters. Indeed, women's shelters often deny entry to male
      children over 12-years-old. (The legality of doing so at tax-funded
      shelters is dubious, to say the least.)" (08/31/05)



      30) The mystery of human self-deprecation
      Free Market News Network
      by Tibor R. Machan

      "When parents notice their children feeling low and suspect this may
      persist, signaling lack of self-respect, they naturally worry. Why?
      Well, without a solid measure of confidence in oneself, one is not
      likely to set off on difficult journeys, take up tasks that require
      skill and perseverance. Friendship and romantic love, just to mention
      two vital areas of our lives, also call upon us to do well and if we
      see ourselves as inept, they are unlikely to flourish. Yet, although
      children are widely understood to require the development of
      self-confidence, when we become adults and do, finally, feel up to
      things, this is often considered hubris. Indeed, there is now a
      general movement afoot, led by the likes of Bernd Heinrich, Emeritus
      Professor at the University of Vermont, to denigrate us all, to show
      that we aren't anything very special in the living world." (08/31/05)



      31) Hugo the Horrible
      by Julian Sanchez

      "It's been a pretty good week for Hugo Chavez. In the wake of
      televangelist Pat Robertson's ill-conceived call for the Venezuelan
      leader's assassination (or perhaps, on second thought, just
      kidnapping, or a dinner date), Jesse Jackson has flown down to offer
      his support, and at least some of the reports to emerge from the media
      flurry prompted by Robertson's gaffe leave the impression that Chavez
      is, all things considered, not such a bad guy. ... But one need not
      approve of murder as a diplomatic tactic to view Chavez -- who's
      recently said he'd like to govern until 2030 -- with a wary eye.
      Though he came to power thanks to the appeal of a radical
      anti-corruption, anti-poverty platform, Venezuela still ranks near the
      bottom of Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index,
      and poverty has risen under his rule. (As Thor Halvorssen, recent
      founder of the Human Rights Foundation, quipped to me this weekend:
      'Chavez loves the poor so much, he wants to create as many of them as
      he can.')" (08/31/05)



      32) Let them eat HSAs
      Cato Institute
      by Michael F. Cannon

      "With Congress and a federal commission trying to figure out what to
      do about rising costs and poor quality in Medicaid, many Republican
      governors think they have found the answer in vouchers and health
      savings accounts (HSAs). They should think again. Once all the costs
      imposed by Medicaid are taken into account, it becomes clear these
      reforms will not reduce overall Medicaid costs, and could increase
      them. Medicaid has ballooned from an effort to provide medical care to
      the poor into the most likely vehicle for a government take-over of
      the health care system. In 2003, there were 36 million Americans
      living in poverty, but 52 million on Medicaid. The states, which
      administer the program, have seen Medicaid become the largest item in
      their budgets, even larger than elementary and secondary education."



      33) Sorry, Mr. President, you're no FDR
      by Fred Kaplan

      "A little history is a dangerous thing, and George W. Bush has been
      sipping from its well all too skimpily. Last week, in an effort to put
      a positive spin on the breakdown of Iraq's constitutional assembly,
      the president noted that Federalist America went through a decade of
      turbulence before completing its own constitution -- a dreadful
      analogy, in part because the two situations are so radically
      different, but more because, if the comparison were apt, it would
      imply that Iraq will be a cauldron of blood and chaos for many decades
      to come. Now, President Bush is going further -- this time, gulping
      more than anyone should have to swallow -- likening the nature, scope,
      and stakes of America's battle in Iraq to those of World War II."



      34) Here's the funny part
      by William Rivers Pitt

      "Sometimes you just have to laugh when an entire nation takes seeming
      leave of its senses, when the appalling becomes the mundane, when
      normally level-headed people lose the capacity to be shocked. The
      problem, of course, is that there is nothing funny about any of this.
      The top leadership of this nation has gone barking mad, has enwombed
      itself in a fantasy world where dead people don't hit the ground and
      where no plan is the best plan, and that madness has trickled down
      over the rest of us." (08/30/05)



      35) Where the National Guard belongs
      Common Dreams
      by Norman Solomon

      "The men and women of the National Guard shouldn't be killing in Iraq.
      They should be helping in New Orleans and Biloxi. The catastrophic
      hurricane was an act of God. But the U.S. war effort in Iraq is a
      continuing act of the president. And now, that effort is hampering the
      capacity of the National Guard to save lives at home. Before the
      flooding of New Orleans drastically escalated on Tuesday, the White
      House tried to disarm questions that could be politically explosive.
      'To those of you who are concerned about whether or not we're prepared
      to help, don't be, we are,' President Bush said. 'We're in place,
      we've got equipment in place, supplies in place, and once the -- once
      we're able to assess the damage, we'll be able to move in and help
      those good folks in the affected areas.' Echoing the official
      assurances, CBS News reported: 'Even though more than a third of
      Mississippi's and Louisiana's National Guard troops are either in Iraq
      or supporting the war effort, the National Guard says there are more
      than enough at home to do the job.' But after New Orleans levees
      collapsed and the scope of the catastrophe became more clear, such
      reassuring claims lost credibility. ... Let's use the Internet today
      to forward and post this demand so widely that the politicians in
      Washington can no longer ignore it: Bring the National Guard home.
      Immediately." (08/31/05)



      36) A reverence for property over people
      by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

      "Tuesday night, as water rose to 20 feet through most of New Orleans,
      CNN relayed an advisory that food in refrigerators would last only
      four hours, would have to be thrown out. The next news item from CNN
      was an indignant bellow about 'looters' of 7/11s and a Walmart. Making
      no attempt to conceal the racist flavor of the coverage, the press
      openly describes white survivors as 'getting food from a flooded
      store,' while blacks engaged in the same struggle for survival are
      smeared as 'looters.' The reverence for property is now the underlying
      theme of many newscasts, with defense of The Gap being almost the
      first order of duty for the forces of law and order. But the citizens
      looking for clothes to wear and food to eat are made of tougher fiber
      and are more desperate than the polite demonstrators who guarded The
      Gap and kindred chains in Seattle in 1999. The police in New Orleans
      are only patrolling in large armed groups. One spoke of 'meeting some
      resistance,' as if the desperate citizens of New Orleans were Iraqi
      insurgents." (08/31/05)



      37) Reinventing the good life
      Strike the Root
      by David MacGregor

      "Can you REALLY leave the rat race -- quit the system? The answer is a
      resounding YES -- if you have enough motivation, determination and
      resilience." (08/31/05)



      38) Blunders, lies and other historicist habits
      Ludwig von Mises Institute
      by David Gordon

      "John Lukacs, in his own estimation, is much more than an ordinary
      historian. In what he considers his most important book, Historical
      Consciousness (Transaction, 1994), he elaborates 'not a philosophy of
      history but its opposite: a multifaceted statement and exposition of a
      historical philosophy ... it wishes to demonstrate the profound, yet
      considerably unsystematic, historicity of our knowledge' (p. 662).
      When one learns from Conor Cruise O'Brien that Lukacs possesses 'one
      of the most powerful, as well as one the most learned minds of our
      time,' we eagerly await an account of Lukacs's philosophical
      discoveries." (08/31/05)



      39) State network to collect cross-border sales tax
      Heartland Institute
      by Steve Stanek

      "An 18-state network for the voluntary collection of taxes on goods
      sold over the Internet or through the mail has been created by the
      Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), a step project members hope will
      lead to a national sales tax collection program. At a June 30 meeting
      in Chicago, project officials, including state lawmakers and industry
      representatives, decided 11 states would oversee the network and
      provide incentives for retailers to participate voluntarily.
      Incentives would include free software to calculate, collect, and
      remit taxes on Internet sales and a one-year amnesty for companies
      that may owe taxes on past online sales to any of the participating
      states. The software and amnesty would be offered beginning in
      October." (09/01/05)



      40) English language learners left behind
      Frontiers of Freedom
      by Nancy Salvato

      "An English learner is faced with multiple challenges when entering
      the public school system in the United States. The student needs to
      achieve fluency in the English language while at the same time master
      the content required of all students assigned to the same grade level.
      Unfortunately, the instruction offered to English learners doesn't
      always reflect these dual goals and sometimes serves to undermine both
      of them." (08/31/05)



      41) Machiavelli and US politics, part 6
      Future of Freedom Foundation
      by Lawrence M. Ludlow

      "Machiavelli would take great comfort in the 'public choice' theory as
      outlined by economists James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock.
      Public-choice theory tells us that politicians cannot legislate or
      spend taxpayer dollars wisely. Why? Because there simply is no
      incentive to fight powerful interests on behalf of the majority of
      taxpayers. This is how it works. On the one hand, the general public
      remains intentionally unaware of most legislation because keeping
      informed requires too great an investment of time in proportion to the
      benefit gained from the information. Even if individuals become aware
      of harmful legislation, they are unwilling to do anything about it.
      Why?" (08/26/05)



      42) Will the new national ID track your movements?
      Foundation for Economic Education
      by James Plummer

      "By the end of September virtually unaccountable bureaucrats inside
      the Department of Homeland Security will likely have decided whether
      the new de facto national ID card will broadcast your sensitive
      identification information wherever you go -- Minority Report style.
      This comes as a result of the REAL ID Act. REAL ID was signed into law
      in May. As a result of negotiations over the intelligence-reform bill
      passed last December, the law had been attached to the first
      'must-pass' bill of 2005, which turned out to be 'emergency' spending
      for the Iraq war. Thus a vote against this national ID would have been
      spun as a vote 'against the troops' as well." (08/31/05)



      43) Ignore rumors; Teflon proven to be safe
      Competitive Enterprise Institute
      by Henry I. Miller

      "The uncanny ability of President Ronald Reagan to deflect public
      criticism won him the nickname 'The Teflon President.' Ironically, now
      it is Teflon itself that is facing the heat, as anti-chemical groups
      and trial attorneys have joined forces to cook up controversy over a
      product that has become one of America's most trusted consumer icons,
      and an integral part of our language, like Thermos and Kleenex. Like
      many product-safety scares these days, the concerns that have been
      voiced about Teflon are bogus." (08/29/05)



      44) The entrepreneurship engine
      Washington Times
      by James K. Glassman

      "A remarkable new survey by ACNielsen International Research finds
      724,000 Americans use eBay, the online auctioneer and general
      marketplace, for their primary or secondary income. That figure is up
      from 430,000 in a similar 2004 survey. ... So eBay can properly be
      viewed as America's No. 1 generator of, not just businesses, but jobs.
      As David Faber of CNBC said recently, 'If eBay employed the ... people
      who earn an income selling on its site, it would be the nation's No. 2
      private employer, behind Wal-Mart.' But eBay doesn't employ them. They
      employ themselves. Their own cash and reputations are on the line.
      They innovate, they compete, they work hard. What eBay and other
      online sites provide is the platform: a storefront that's electronic,
      not brick and mortar; a market of 157 million registered users
      worldwide; plus help in expediting payments, shipping packages and
      detecting fraud." (08/31/05)



      45) Kids smarter than some give them credit for
      Nashville City Paper
      by staff

      "We've become a nation of busybodies. The latest example is Attorney
      General Paul Summers' admonition to country singer Gretchen Wilson to
      stop displaying a can of smokeless tobacco while singing the song 'Man
      With A Skoal Ring' in concert. Before anyone protests about promoting
      tobacco -- smokeless or otherwise -- it's obvious that all thinking
      people do not want to encourage young people to use the stuff. But
      let's look at the life cycle of students in Tennessee these days. They
      are taught in elementary school and particularly in middle school
      about the dangers of both drugs and tobacco. Most students are
      required to take D.A.R.E. classes. ... We probably don't give
      teenagers enough credit to think that one exposure to a can of
      smokeless tobacco will send them running to the convenience store for
      some smokes." (08/31/05)



      46) George Bush's original sin
      Tom Paine
      by David Corn

      "A few days ago, I was one on of those TV pundit shows, and the host
      ... asked all the panelists whether George W. Bush's recent rah-rah
      speeches about the war in Iraq had done anything to rally popular
      support for Bush's mess in Mesopotamia. I did not surprise anyone by
      saying no. ... USA Today's Susan Page said much the same. But then the
      two conservative chatters -- columnist Linda Chavez and the Weekly
      Standard's Stephen Hayes -- also gave Bush an F. They maintained that
      he had not made a strong case that the war in Iraq is central to the
      effort against terrorism. ... When right, middle and left agree that
      the White House is flailing, Bush might have a problem .... The
      problem these days is not the rhetoric, but the policy. And no matter
      what Bush says before a hand-picked audience, he cannot escape the
      original sin." (08/31/05)



      47) Something smells: Gas tax funding too much pork
      Arizona Republic
      by Laurie Roberts

      "Next time you buy gas, think of Alaska and say, 'You're welcome.'
      With every gallon you pump, you're helping to build a $223 million
      bridge that'll connect the tiny town of Ketchikan to an island where
      50 people live. ... Next time you wonder just why you are shelling out
      18.4 cents in federal taxes for every gallon of gas you buy, just
      think of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. ($1.5 million) and
      the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio ($3 million) and
      Children's Museum in Indianapolis ($12.5 million). You're paying $3
      million for dust control in Arkansas, $2.3 million for landscaping
      along the Ronald Reagan Freeway in California and $100 million for a
      tunnel under New York Harbor." [editor's note: One wonders if her
      outrage would be the same, were the stolen funds only going
      across-state, to Tempe or Flagstaff ... but the outrage is at least
      appropriate here - SAT] (08/31/05)



      48) Constitutional crisis: The Iraqi charter is illegal and disastrous
      The American Prospect
      by Robert Dreyfuss

      "President Bush, whose tattered Iraq policy finally came utterly
      unglued this week, now faces two unpalatable -- and politically deadly
      -- futures in Iraq. With the most recent polls showing approval
      ratings for Bush at 36 percent and dropping, the news from Iraq reads
      like a continuing obituary for his presidency, and the signs from
      Capitol Hill are that the Republicans are rapidly realizing the
      Bush-Cheney White House is a sinking ship. It's going to get a lot
      worse. ... Illegal, I say, because it was delivered past the legal
      deadline, without the full support of the constitutional committee
      designed to write it, and without its Shia and Kurdish authors
      bothering to seek a vote approving the draft in the Iraqi National
      Assembly. So let's consider the two options facing Bush." (08/31/05)



      49) TennCare: State has money, Jackson has plan
      by Tim Chavez

      "In a big way, state Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, has been acting
      more like the governor the past month than the man elected to the
      office. After a town hall meeting with constituents over TennCare cuts
      and weeks of desperate phone calls from many others, Jackson and two
      area representatives called for a special legislative session. 'I hate
      ruining people's lives,' Jackson said. 'Some of the sickest people are
      being swept under by this thing.' ... Since his call for a special
      session, Jackson has also been meeting with hospital administrators to
      discuss his plan to follow Illinois, Oregon, Missouri and a dozen
      other states in bringing in more federal Medicaid dollars through a
      health provider tax. It would not affect ordinary taxpayers. But it
      would be part of a set of alternatives Jackson will unveil this week
      for a special session to mitigate the severity of the governor's
      cuts." (08/31/05)



      50) Panic at the pump
      Washington Times
      by Walter E. Williams

      "In 1950, a gallon of regular gasoline sold for about 30 cents; today,
      it's $2.50. Are today's gasoline prices high compared to 1950? Before
      answering, we have to take into account inflation since 1950. Using my
      trusty inflation calculator (www.westegg.com/inflation), what cost 30
      cents in 1950 costs $2.33 in 2005. In real terms, that means gasoline
      prices today are only slightly higher, about 8 percent, than in 1950.
      Up until the recent spike, gasoline prices have been considerably
      lower than 1950 prices. Some Americans demand the government do
      something about gasoline prices. Let's think back to 1979 when the
      government did something. The Carter administration set up price
      controls. What did we see? Long gasoline lines, if the station hadn't
      run out of gas." (08/31/05)


      Movement News and Events

      51) The economics of fascism
      Ludwig von Mises Institute

      "Join us at the Mises Institute Supporters Summit 2005, October 7-8,
      Auburn, Alabama. The senior and adjunct faculty will discuss the
      history, theory, and contemporary meaning of the fascist temptation,
      and what the Austrian economists are doing to combat it. Sessions
      begin at 1:00pm Central Time on Friday, continue all day Saturday, and
      conclude with dinner on Saturday." Online registration.



      52) Medicaid and the long-term care crisis
      Cato Institute

      Cato policy forum featuring Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for
      Long-Term Care Reform, Inc.; Vincent J. Russo, Certified Elder Law
      Attorney, Past President, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys;
      with comments by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies,
      Cato Institute; and moderated by Ceci Connolly, National Health Policy
      Reporter, Washington Post. Noon, 09/07 at the Cato Institute, 1000
      Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC. Free. Online registration.


      Today in Political History

      53) Hitler attacks

      Details, and the "quote of the day," from Leon's Political Almanac at:


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