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Preparing For Garbage Pickup During A Heat Wave
Oops, were those Patriot Act funds that went for air-conditioned garbage trucks in Newark supposed to be for terrorism prevention? Thomas Keane and Lee H. Hamilton, the former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission, argue for a little common sense in fund allocation:

Unfortunately, the original Patriot Act did not require these funds to be allocated on the basis of risk. Billions have been distributed with virtually no risk assessment, and little planning. Nor has the federal government set preparedness standards to help state and local governments use the money wisely. The District of Columbia used part of its grant to buy leather jackets and to send sanitation workers to self-improvement seminars. [snip] Columbus, Ohio, bought body armor for fire department dogs. These are not the priorities of a nation under threat.

The result of this disarray is that taxpayers have no guarantee that these billions have increased our overall level of national preparedness. The response to Hurricane Katrina suggests that we have not come far.

Goverment by the stupid, for the stupid. I guess we deserve the assholes we vote in. Then again, to be fair, we don't often have much choice. Kerry vs. Bush? I writhed in pain as I chose one sell-out C student over another, voting more against the religious right than for the lost, dimwitted Democrats.

Posted by aalkon at December 5, 2005 10:02 AM

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Amy, I'm surprised you don't vote Libertarian! I know, I know - it doesn't do much good, since no one ELSE votes for them. But the fact that people feel they have to vote for a Republican or a Democrat is, I think, precisely the problem.

Republicans were supposed to stand for limited government, but they spend just as big as the Democrats and have been overrun by creepy fundies who think the "Left Behind" series is really going to happen. It's gotten to the point where people are locked into this two-party system and there is no longer a dime's difference between the two. We're just going to get more of the same crap, as long as we keep voting for Democrats or Republicans either one.

At least if a third party - ANY third party - could make an impact, it would break the chokehold our two major parties have on the system.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at December 5, 2005 7:39 AM

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