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GOP Culture of Corruption hits Chicopee

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Massachusetts Progressive Politics and other news of the world

 

JPAC's Mission


There is some misinformation going around about Howard Dean's brother Charlie and the repatriation ceremony in Oahu. Read about the great work JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) does here. Take note of the following facts:
  1. JPAC was "activated on October 1, 2003" -- therefore any comparison to what used to be done for civilians is immaterial
  2. JPAC "is committed and dedicated to bringing home the nation’s service members and civilians who made the ultimate sacrifice."
  3. "Repatriation ceremonies are conducted to honor the sacrifice made by those individuals whose remains have been recovered. As a sign of respect, the remains are placed into an aluminum transfer case and draped with a U.S. flag"
 

Getting Under Your Skin


I hate the idea of using biometrics for payment or identification. I really don't want to give any incentive to a thief to chop off bits of my body. Wired reports on a whole new angle: RFID tag implants.
A Florida company has announced plans to develop a service that would allow consumers to pay for merchandise using microchips implanted under their skin.

Applied Digital Solutions CEO Scott Silverman said he believes the company's VeriChip -- a subdermal microchip that uses radio frequency signals to broadcast an identification number to a scanner -- could someday replace credit cards. Under Silverman's plan, rather than swiping a bank card to make purchases, micro-chipped customers would scan themselves using special readers.
Predictably, there's always somebody against progress:
Meanwhile, Applied Digital has attracted scorn from some fundamentalist Christians, who believe that VeriChip is the fabled "mark of the beast" of biblical lore. According to the book of Revelation, Satan will someday force people to "receive a mark" on their hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell.

"This is a gigantic step toward the mark of the beast," said Gary Wohlscheid, whose website, These Last Days Ministries, keeps tabs on what many Christians believe are the signs of a coming religious Armageddon. His site is one of dozens that link VeriChip to the apocalyptic prophecy.

Applied Digital officials say such concern is unfounded because people are chipped voluntarily.
Hmmm, that sounds suspiciously like what I'd expect The Beast to say.
 

Gay Marriage News Roundup


FMA is introduced into the Senate. The article also reminds conservatives of their love of State's Rights. If FMA is passed, it would be only the second time a constitutional amendment was used to take away rights from citizens (prohibition being the first). Hastert said that he won't move for an amendment until DOMA is tested in the courts
That act, authored by former Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, was passed in 1996 to prevent homosexual couples from receiving federal benefits. In the event that an individual state allows same-sex "marriage," the federal law would not require other states to recognize that union.

Mr. Barr said last week the law never was intended to tell states how to legislate on the issue and does not prohibit same-sex "marriage" at the state level.
The Advocate has a nice piece on talking about gay marriage with your friends and family over Thanksgiving. My personal experience is that when I talk to someone who is against gay marriage, the reason is almost always because they don't want their church to have to perform or recognize gay marriages. I remind them that the church I was brought up in (Catholic) doesn't recognized many straight marriages (e.g. marriages after divorce) and has other marriage rules (e.g. Priests cannot marry), and that compelling a church to recognize a marriage is a clear violation of the free expression clause. I suspect, however, that the pink elephant in the room is gay adoption.
 

Dvorak on Blog Abandonment


John Dvorak has always hated blogging. In this blog entry, er, column he cites a study on blog abandonment:
The most obvious reason for abandonment is simple boredom. Writing is tiresome. Why anyone would do it voluntarily on a blog mystifies a lot of professional writers. This is compounded by a lack of feedback, positive or otherwise. Perseus thinks that most blogs have an audience of about 12 readers. Leaflets posted on the corkboard at Albertsons attract a larger readership than many blogs.
Damn, that's harsh John. If you're in Northampton, expect to see printouts of my blog over at Main Street Cleaners -- I need to get my readership up.
 

Bush Pardons Turkey


As is Thanksgiving tradition, Bush pardoned a turkey. I wonder if he taunted the alternate turkey with an impersonation of it begging for its life, ala Carla Faye Tucker.
 

Watergate II


A GOP Senate staffer is accused of stealing Democratic memos from their servers -- (see Josh Marshall for more). Atrios thinks it's Watergate II.

I hope that how ever The Hill got that memo outling the GOP/FOX strategy for covering the filibuster was on the up and up. If so, we've got a live one here.
 

Bush vs. The Sex Trade


In this speech to the UN, President Bush said
There's another humanitarian crisis spreading, yet hidden from view. Each year, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the world's borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade. This commerce in human life generates billions of dollars each year -- much of which is used to finance organized crime.

There's a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims of sex trade see little of life before they see the very worst of life -- an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery.

But then his brother Neil has to admit this in a divorce proceeding (via Atrios)
The Bush divorce, completed in April, was prompted in part by Bush's relationship with another woman. He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and engaged in sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.
I wonder if these two events are related?