Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The illiteracy level of our children are appalling

In news of the American justice system, a kid sentenced to life without parole at the age 13 (12 when he killed a 6-year old imitating tv wrestlers) has been released at 16 (although to a year of house arrest and then 10 with an electronic tag). And a 92-year old recidivist (unarmed) bank robber, who robbed his first bank at 80, has been sentenced to 12 years.

Bush: “The illiteracy level of our children are appalling.” Yes it am.

BBC story on fat-farms in Mauritania, that is, places where girls are force fed until they are really obese and, hence, attractive.

Tony Blair, who staked his career on his policy of screwing college students and increasing social inequality, has won in Parliament, barely, by a margin of 5 votes, down from 161.

Nat Hentoff explains McCain-Feingold’s obvious unconstitutionality.

The Justice Department has thoroughly examined its use of the Patriot Act and found not a single abuse of power. Not one. Really. House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.-fatter than me), said that finding by JOD exonerating itself should undercut "those who are intent on skewering the Patriot Act with misinformation."

Finally, some important research out of the University of Colorado.

From the Miami Herald: “White criminal offenders in Florida are nearly 50 percent more likely than blacks to get a ''withhold of adjudication,'' a plea deal that blocks their felony convictions even though they plead to the crime. White Hispanics are 31 percent more likely than blacks to get a withhold. The disparity in outcomes has cost thousands of black offenders their civil rights, including the right to vote, serve on juries, hold public office, own a firearm. And the convictions carry an economic penalty: Felons can't be hired for many government jobs, and they can't apply for some student loans.”

Fortunately, lots of black people being disfranchised in Florida can’t possibly have any wider implications.

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show predicts the outcome of the 2004 elections: “It ends with Howard Dean in a white Bronco being chased down the Santa Monica Freeway.”

“Bush 2004 Campaign Pledges To Restore Honor And Dignity To White House.”

The exit poll used in New Hampshire by the consortium feeding the 3 networks, CNN, Fox & AP asked not just the usual questions--who voted for, age, sex, etc--but also “Regardless of how you voted today, do you think Howard Dean has the temperament to serve effectively as president?” No questions about any other candidate. The Columbia Journalism School’s site says “Simply by tossing that stink bomb into the official exit poll, the networks and their consortium have blatantly inserted themselves as players, rather than reporters”. Yeah, enough already. I think Dean should only give interviews in the future to Fox, because no one who works with Bill O’Reilly could possibly raise questions about anybody else being “angry.”

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