commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for September, 2004

Senior citizens: a 17% tax hike *just for you*

In a Labor Day present to retired workers, Dubya has handed out a 17% hike in Medicare Part B "premiums" – read mandatory government levies, that is, taxes – to senior citizens.

$139.20 / year

from Americans on fixed incomes.

Guess the vote count is under control in Florida if the Bush adminstration is willing to take the chance to hit 8.5% of the state’s voting-age population1. Pennsylvania, which is considered a tossup between Bush and Kerry, has the second-largest percentage of voting-age people affected by this hike.

Will someone please send the OSCE observers to Pennsylvania and Florida? I think the election may turn on how the votes are counted there…


     1Drawn from the Census Bureau dataset Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Selected Age Groups for the United States and States: July 1, 2003 and April 1, 2000.

Bloomberg and free speech

Hizzonner of New York City, on September 2nd:

“It is true that a handful of people have tried to destroy our city by going up and yelling at visitors here because they don’t agree with their views. Think about what that says. This is America, New York, cradle of liberty, the city for free speech if there ever was one and some people think that we shouldn’t allow people to express themselves. That’s exactly what the terrorists did, if you think about it, on 9/11. Now this is not the same kind of terrorism but there’s no question that these anarchists are afraid to let people speak out.”

Now let’s see:

  • the Republican National Convention was on both network and cable television for several hours;
  • Mayor Bloomberg had the cops lock up people for screaming so they wouldn’t be allowed to express themselves in NYC, let alone on national TV.

So, really, by Hizzonner’s definition of terrorism, he’s a sort of terrorist himself?

He must be studying Mayor Richard Daley Sr.’s tactics from the Democratic National Convention of 1968:

“Gentlemen, get the thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”