Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, May 05, 2003  

Ah the evanescence of the blog. Eight days I haven't been able to write about the news of the day, and eight (or seven or six or...) days those thoughts have been moldering and growing distant from everyone else's thoughts. So, you don't want to hear week-old thoughts, do you? Ah, sure you do. (Bear with me and I'll try to keep it short.)

Mike Hawash
So there we were, trying to pull together a little support for closer inspection of these anti-constitutional, post-9/11 actions taken by our government, and what happens? It decides to play politics and pre-empt the protest by indicting Mike with "Conspiracy to Levy War on the United States." (Proof that John Ashcroft's America doesn't much like close scrutiny of its actions.)

This pre-emptive strike (a developing US pattern) attempted to obscure the fact that what was being protested was their own anti-constitutional behavior in detaining him. Along with the indictment, they released a picture of Mike with a long beard, an attempt to indict him in the court of public fear and prejudice. (The most obtuse among us did indeed fall for the maneuver.) But whether Mr. Hawash is guilty is a decision for the courts and a jury (today he plead not guilty). And whether he's found guilty or not doesn't change the fact that for five weeks, he was held in a cell in solitary confinement in violation of his constitutional protections.

Mr. Hawash will now have his day in court. Good--he'll be able to answer the charges against him. But the government still has some answering of its own to do--on why it feels that suspending the constitution is necessary on the fight against terror. That's the question we're asking, and will continue to ask as John Ashcroft continues his "war" on terror.

Tax Cut figures
In a report on Saturday, the Times quoted from the Tax Policy Center about the effects of proposed tax cuts by the President and the House. Surprisingly, the House's version was even more of a giveaway to the richies, but both were eye-poppingly obscene. Unfortunately, I couldn't find an easy table to include, so here are just a few of the figures. In fact, they both look pretty much the same, so I'll just include the Bush figures. The larger point isn't whether those in the million-dollar tax bracket make out better under the House plan (they do, by seven grand). It's that they receive back 185 times as much as those in the 40-50k bracket.

$20 to 30k - $199
$40 to 50k - $482
$100-200k - $2,646
$500-1 mil - $18,047
1 mil+ $89,509

These require little analysis. Safe to say they clarify why the Bush is concerned about talk of a class war.

All right, enough for tonight.

posted by Jeff | 8:06 PM |
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