:: eyedot ::: images information ideation ::

:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

[::..archive..::]
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
September 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
[::..political..::]
:: media matters ::
:: watchblog ::
:: cost of war clock ::
:: doctors w/o borders ::
:: hungersite ::
:: second harvest ::
:: working assets ::
:: democracy now! ::
:: common cause ::
:: ACTIVISM LINKS ::
:: daily mojo ::
:: gary hart ::
:: this modern world ::
:: people tree ::

[::..comix..::]
:: get your war on ::
:: scary go round ::
:: get fuzzy ::
:: explodingdog ::
:: penny arcade ::
:: homestarrunner ::
:: dieselsweeties ::
:: orneryboy ::
:: perry bible fellowship ::
:: butternutsquash ::
:: this modern world ::

[::..music..::]
:: WFMU streaming radio ::
:: accuradio ::
:: 20minuteloop ::
:: bjork ::
:: onelovehiphop ::
:: erp ::

[::..random + cool..::]
:: boingboing ::
:: fark ::
:: mit ocw ::
:: abebooks ::
:: ursula k leguin ::
:: jon cornforth photos ::
:: sylvia ::
:: lucas krech blog ::
:: noodlebox ::
:: lot47films ::
:: nakd ::
:: lynn fox ::
:: nooflat ::
:: jeff bridges blog ::
:: novica ::
:: ugly dolls ::
:: gama-go ::
:: presstube ::


:: 4.30.2004 ::  



Funny for Friday

I hope this link remains available for a while. Thanks for the laugh, Zach - I needed it after today.

Happy weekend, everyone!

:: Deb 7:13 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The four Americans horrifically killed last week by a mob in Fallujah, Iraq, worked for Blackwater USA, a private military contracting company profiled by Barry Yeoman in the May 2003 issue of Mother Jones. These were mercenaries, not guys who were laying new sewer pipes or building schools. There's more here in the New York Observer, link c/o Tom Tomorrow.

And that's not all:
A military report into the Abu Ghraib case - parts of which were made available to the Guardian - makes it clear that private contractors were supervising interrogations in the prison, which was notorious for torture and executions under Saddam Hussein.

One civilian contractor was accused of raping a young male prisoner but has not been charged because military law has no jurisdiction over him.

Hired guns from a wide array of private security firms are playing a central role in the US-led occupation of Iraq.
Scary scary scary scary....

:: Deb 6:18 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Speaking of the adverse effect of media monopolies on public discourse...

Remember my post from Wednesday about tonight's "Nightline"? Well, you've probably heard about this already:
Maryland-based Sinclair, whose holdings include 62 TV stations, made $65,434 in 2004 political donations - 98 percent of that to Republicans and 2 percent to Democrats - according to the Web site opensecrets.org, which tracks contributions.

Sinclair announced Thursday it would pre-empt "Nightline" on its ABC affiliates, including stations in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Louis, Mo. It said the program "appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq."
Again with the pot calling the kettle black. Imagine if Sinclair owned ABC, instead of only a portion of its affiliates - no one would have a chance to see what sounds to me like a very moving, multimedia memorial to 700 (or so) men and women who have sacrificed themselves on our behalf.

Here's what John McCain, a former POW, had to say about it: "There is no valid reason for Sinclair to shirk its responsibility in what I assume is a very misguided attempt to prevent your viewers from completely appreciating the extraordinary sacrifices made on their behalf by Americans serving in Iraq." Hear, hear.

:: Deb 4:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Exposed CIA Agent's Husband Points Finger At Cheney Aide

Yep, now former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, husband of Valerie Plame, has written a book. Everyone's doing it! My favorite quote from this article:
Last October, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said his conversations with Rove, Libby and Abrams have ruled out their involvement.

On Thursday, McClellan said: "Mr. Wilson has publicly stated his primary objective is a political agenda to defeat the president in this election, and I don't intend to do a book review."
Yeah, Scott, YOU on the other hand are a completely objective, uninterested party in this case.

An interesting side note: 65% of respondents to the survey included in the article said they believed a top level official was guilty of the leak. Not exactly a vote of confidence in the administration, wouldn't you say?

Farked again.

:: Deb 10:26 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Then over here we have...

I have a hard time deciding if the people in the current administration are incompetent or really really horrible. This doesn't help.

And this is just disgusting. Army spokesman Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt: "If we can't hold ourselves up as an example of how to treat people with dignity and respect, we can't ask that other nations do that to our soldiers." You said it, man. More of the same here.

Thanks to Jason for the first two links, Fark for the third.

:: Deb 10:12 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



re: Chuck Hagel and the draft...

I'm fairly sure I heard him say in an interview a few days ago that he thought every US citizen should be required to give, say, two years of service to our country - service which could include time in the military. I think this is a FANTASTIC IDEA. It worked very well during the first two world wars, I believe. I also have noticed upsetting trends towards political apathy, social fragmentation, loss of respect for community leaders and those who provide necessary services (teachers, police, nurses etc), and a general lack of community involvment in this country - and I think if everyone was strongly encouraged or required to contribute in some way to their country (think JFK's very moving speech) it would go a long way towards reversing that.

:: Deb 10:11 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.29.2004 ::  



Bush's approval rating hit an all-time low in a NYTimes/CBS poll Wednesday

However, it also found that "If ... Nader is included on the ballot in November and the election were held today, 41 percent of voters would vote for Kerry; 43 percent would vote for Bush. Nader would draw 5 percent of the vote, mostly at the expense of Kerry, who holds a two-point edge in the two-way contest."

Hear that Naderites? Do you really want four more years of this sh*t? Check out this site (thanks, Jason) and you may change your mind.

:: Deb 3:58 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Farmed salmon = wild salmon, according to the Feds

F***ing outrageous.
Six of the world's leading experts on salmon ecology complained last month in the journal Science that fish produced in hatcheries cannot be counted on to save wild salmon. The scientists had been asked by the federal government to comment on its salmon-recovery program but said they were later told that some of their conclusions about hatchery fish were inappropriate for official government reports. [emphasis added]
The US government recently decided to count hatchery salmon (4 out of 5 salmon in West Coast rivers are farmed) when determining protections for wild salmon. Oh, Fark.

:: Deb 3:45 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



On media monopolies

Anyone who doubts that media monopolies have an adverse effect on public discourse needs only to read this bio of Rupert Murdoch; and I quote: "During the buildup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, all 175 Murdoch-owned newspapers worldwide editorialized in favor of the war." So much for that supposed "liberal media." Yep, that's from Fark again.

:: Deb 3:40 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.28.2004 ::  



Anti-ads

Some of these - like the spoofs on "Army of One" - are pretty good. Link courtesy of Bushflash, which has a lot of other interesting video+animation stuff (including the one I linked to below, and a great, prophetic clip of General Schwartzkopf explaining why international support was so important for the Gulf War). WARNING: some of these, particularly "Kodak", contain graphic images.

:: Deb 3:33 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



News flash - Gore donating more than $6 million to Democratic groups

He has also pledged to support Kerry in his run against "the outrageous and misleading campaign being waged by the Bush-Cheney campaign."

:: Deb 2:59 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



One thing you can say about George W. is "that man's got class"

NOT.

Thanks to Serena, c/o Matthew, for the link.

:: Deb 2:41 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Ted Koppel to read names of Iraq KIA's on Nightline Friday

The show, titled "The Fallen," will be dedicated to the serivcemen and women who have died since the inception of the Iraq war. As Ted reads each name, a photograph of the person will appear on the screen. More here.

:: Deb 1:06 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



This is kind of fun

The Brain Usage Test. My results:
Auditory : 50%
Visual : 50%
Left : 50%
Right : 50%

Deb, you are one of those rare individuals who are perfectly "balanced" in both your hemispheric tendencies and your sensory learning preferences. However, there is both good news and bad news.

A problem with hemispheric balance is that you will tend to feel more conflict than someone who has a clearly established dominance. At times the conflict will be between what you feel and what you think but will also involve how you attack problems and how you perceive information. Details which will seem important to the right hemisphere will be discounted by the left and vice versa, which can present a hindrance to learning efficiently.

In the same vein, you may have a problem with organization. You might organize your time and/or space only to feel the need to reorganize five to ten weeks later.

On the positive side, you bring resources to problem-solving that others may not have. You can perceive the "big picture" and the essential details simultaneously and maintain the cognitive perspective required. You possess sufficient verbal skills to translate your intuition into a form which can be understood by others while still being able to access ideas and concepts which do not lend themselves to language.

Your balanced nature might lead you to second-guess yourself in artistic endeavors, losing some of the fluidity, spontaneity and creativity that otherwise would be yours.

With your balanced sensory styles, you process data alternately, at times visually and other times auditorially. This usage of separate memories may cause you to require more time to integrate information or re-access it. When presented with situations which force purely visual or purely auditory learning, increased anxiety is likely and your learning efficiency will decrease.

Your greatest benefit is that you can succeed in multiple fields due to the great plasticity and flexibility you possess.
This actually seems pretty accurate to me. What'd you get?

:: Deb 11:45 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.27.2004 ::  



I just had to lift this entire article, wholesale

From Scientific American:
Bush-League Lysenkoism
The White House bends science to its will
By The Editors

STANDING UP for science--or stepping on it?
Starting in the 1930s, the Soviets spurned genetics in favor of Lysenkoism, a fraudulent theory of heredity inspired by Communist ideology. Doing so crippled agriculture in the U.S.S.R. for decades. You would think that bad precedent would have taught President George W. Bush something. But perhaps he is no better at history than at science. [D: ya think?]

In February his White House received failing marks in a statement signed by 62 leading scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, 19 recipients of the National Medal of Science, and advisers to the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations. It begins, "Successful application of science has played a large part in the policies that have made the United States of America the world's most powerful nation and its citizens increasingly prosperous and healthy. Although scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should always be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective to avoid perilous consequences.... The administration of George W. Bush has, however, disregarded this principle."

Doubters of that judgment should read the report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) that accompanies the statement, "Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making" (available at www.ucsusa.org). Among the affronts that it details: The administration misrepresented the findings of the National Academy of Sciences and other experts on climate change. It meddled with the discussion of climate change in an Environmental Protection Agency report until the EPA eliminated that section. It suppressed another EPA study that showed that the administration's proposed Clear Skies Act would do less than current law to reduce air pollution and mercury contamination of fish. It even dropped independent scientists from advisory committees on lead poisoning and drug abuse in favor of ones with ties to industry.

Let us offer more examples of our own. The Department of Health and Human Services deleted information from its Web sites that runs contrary to the president's preference for "abstinence only" sex education programs. The Office of Foreign Assets Control made it much more difficult for anyone from "hostile nations" to be published in the U.S., so some scientific journals will no longer consider submissions from them. The Office of Management and Budget has proposed overhauling peer review for funding of science that bears on environmental and health regulations--in effect, industry scientists would get to approve what research is conducted by the EPA.

None of those criticisms fazes the president, though. Less than two weeks after the UCS statement was released, Bush unceremoniously replaced two advocates of human embryonic stem cell research on his advisory Council on Bioethics with individuals more likely to give him a hallelujah chorus of opposition to it.

Blind loyalists to the president will dismiss the UCS report because that organization often tilts left--never mind that some of those signatories are conservatives. They may brush off this magazine's reproofs the same way, as well as the regular salvos launched by California Representative Henry A. Waxman of the House Government Reform Committee and maybe even Arizona Senator John McCain's scrutiny for the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. But it is increasingly impossible to ignore that this White House disdains research that inconveniences it.

[emphases added]
Wowsers. c/o Fark.

:: Deb 3:16 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Three cool news stories

British scientists have developed "living bandages," made from a patient's own cells, which speed healing for burns and diabetes sufferers.

A vaccine using just four genes can protect monkeys against monkeypox and, in principle, its much more deadly cousin smallpox, U.S. government researchers said on Tuesday.

Several state employee pension funds, which blame poor corporate management for hurting investments, are challenging the election of directors, introducing shareholder resolutions to curb executive pay and pushing other changes to make some companies more accountable.

All courtesy of YahooNews.

:: Deb 12:31 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Yes, the pic of the day is all about the "awwwwww" factor. This is my friend Leslie and her 11-week-old son, Gabriel.



I believe Ed (Leslie's husband) gets the credit for this sweet photo...

:: Deb 11:01 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Funny for today

Check out This Modern World.

:: Deb 10:53 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.22.2004 ::  



ATTENTION ALL SOUL COUGHING FANS

You can buy CDs of five live shows here at Kufala Recordings for $86.60, including tax and shipping. It's 10 CDs total, and according to the various Doughty and Soul Coughing BBS's I checked out they're quite good (I just ordered mine, so I can't give you a first-hand review).


Followup

Bonus - the CDs arrived super-fast! So far they sound great :) I am sad that they are no longer playing together... ah well.

A killer live show that's coming up: Yo La Tengo at the Fillmore for 3 nights at the end of May. Highly recommended - they rock!

:: Deb 4:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



CA e-voting a disaster for two biggest counties

As heard on the news two nights ago, after getting a heads-up from my friend Kristina: Alameda county had a 24% failure rate, while San Diego had one of 48%. Wow. Makes me want to sign everyone up for absentee ballots... If you haven't yet signed Working Assets' petition against "Florida-tion", please do.


Followup

Thanks to Dave's heads-up, I went looking for a story about CA dropping Diebold. I found this story in the SF Chronicle:
But by an 8-0 vote Thursday, the state's Voting Systems and Procedures Panel recommended that Secretary of State Kevin Shelley cease the use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold has performed poorly in California and its machines malfunctioned in the state's March 2 primary election, turning away many voters in San Diego County.

:: Deb 4:20 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.21.2004 ::  



Funny for today

Thanks to Toshi for this humorous and humbling look at the peculiarities of cultures across the world.

:: Deb 5:00 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Kind of a foodie day today

Not in terms of quality food, really. I've just been reading a lot of sites today that have to do with food. I started out looking through the "Gallery of Regrettable Food," then revisited this gem of a site that I actually discovered a while ago, and which can still make me laugh out loud.

Then I went over to Fark, as I often do when I'm waiting for a render to finish at work, and saw a posting titled "What food do you find so disgusting you refuse to try it?" So of course I spent some time going through that... Here is a great quote from it:
The strangest thing I ever ate was from a cookbook. It was a sandwich made with French bread, peanut butter, jalapeos, butter and bacon. It actually tasted good. But I knew once was enough because of the calories.

Okay, laugh at me.

There's very little food that I wouldn't try once. There are foods I would not try again, such as barnacles (in Spain), and there are foods that certainly give me pause (insects, for instance). And well, I haven't eaten veal since sometime in junior high when I was told how it's raised.

:: Deb 4:01 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.20.2004 ::  



7 years later, GM soya no longer a miracle in Argentina

a) Soya is such a big cash crop that big farmers are planting it exclusively, driving 150,000 small farmers off their land
b) Soya is so successful that it grows even where it's not wanted; farmers have to use large amounts of powerful herbicides to control it, since it is designed to be resistant to Roundup
c) Difficult weeds such as horsetail are developing resistance to Roundup as well, raising the spectre (as enviros have predicted ed for years) of so-called "superweeds"
d) Soya is being grown at the expense of staples like milk, rice, maize, potatoes and lentils

Check out the whole story in the Guardian UK, c/o Grist Magazine.

:: Deb 11:12 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Hoo-ray for Tom Tomorrow!

:: Deb 10:21 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.19.2004 ::  



Funny for Monday

Classic horror-movie take on Condi Rice's testimony. Thanks Serena!

:: Deb 2:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.14.2004 ::  



Cool things

A new chemical concocted by scientists at the Tyco's Fire and Security Division looks and acts just like water except for one thing... it doesn't get things wet.

Owners of hybrid vehicles would be allowed to use carpool lanes -- even when cruising the California freeways alone -- under a bill that passed a key Assembly committee on Monday.

Oh, Fark!


Also, this site, Newsmap, is a cool new way to get yer headlines. It's updated throughout the day; headlines are brighter when new, larger when hot (i.e. getting lots of hits), and color-coded by category. Thanks to Ty for this one.

:: Deb 11:38 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.12.2004 ::  



We just saw Dragonslayer again on Friday. And you know, it's actually a pretty decent, and surprisingly subversive, movie. The dragon still looks good even tho this is from 1981 - especially the stop-motion animation (done by Phil Tippett); the women are strong, courageous, smart and principled - more so than the men around them, in fact; the Christian priests are fools who take advantage of the fears of other fools; the king is a corrupt politician who makes a bargain with a monster and takes bribes; the military man spends his time killing those who are willing to take on the dragon, rather than doing anything about the dragon himself... and this was a Disney co-production? Weird.

Oh, and Zack (at work) just reminded me of the best part - at then end, when the dragon is finally dead (hope I didn't give anything away there :), the king shows up with his retinue, sticks a ceremonial sword in the dragon's carcass, and strikes a pose while his herald declares "Behold, Casiodorus Rex, Dragonslayer!" In other words, they held a photo op. Sound like anyone we know?

:: Deb 9:46 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.10.2004 ::  



Biomass conversion followup

Here's an article about a smaller machine than the one I mentioned Monday, that converts about 80% of the stored energy in scrap wood to electricity. Cool!

:: Deb 10:18 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.09.2004 ::  



Slate was not impressed by Condi's testimony, either

Mark Kleinman has a few damning quotes, like this one from the piece by Fred Kaplan:
One clear inference can be drawn from Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission this morning: She has been a bad national security adviser—passive, sluggish, and either unable or unwilling to tie the loose strands of the bureaucracy into a sensible vision or policy. In short, she has not done what national security advisers are supposed to do.
Oh, but there's more, much more. Ouch.

:: Deb 5:36 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Quote of the day
"I don't like what the little shrub is doing on Iraq," she said. "If the Supreme Court doesn't select Bush this time, then Kerry will get in."

- Amerilis Patillo, a 75-year-old Chicago Democrat.
Found in a YahooNews article about Bush and Kerry's neck-and-neck standings in the polls.

:: Deb 3:14 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Hey Scalia: actions speak louder than words
Two reporters were ordered Wednesday to erase their tape recordings of a speech by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a Mississippi high school.

Scalia has long barred television cameras from his speeches, but does not always forbid newspaper photographers and tape recorders. On Wednesday, he did not warn the audience at the high school that recording devices would be forbidden.
...
Last year, Scalia was criticized for refusing to allow television and radio coverage of an event in Ohio in which he received an award for supporting free speech.

Scalia, who was appointed to the bench by President Reagan in 1986, told students that the Constitution's true meaning must always be protected.

[empahasis added]
Full story in the SF Chronicle, c/o Fark.

:: Deb 12:29 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



It is NOT going well in Iraq. More kidnappings today.

:: Deb 12:07 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Health Tip for the Day:

Drink a Guinness! It has "less alcohol, fewer calories, fewer carbohydrates and, to top it off, protection against heart attacks, blindness and maybe even impotence". Plus it's yummy. Bottoms up :) Thanks again, Fark!

:: Deb 11:06 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Condi gets a reality check

On Alternet. Thanks to Kevin for the link.

Can't say I was impressed by her testimony.

:: Deb 10:47 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.06.2004 ::  



Some doctors switching to cash-only payments

Benefits for the doctor: less paperwork, lower overhead, more control over practice
Benefits for the patient: more time with the doctor, possible lower costs

The downside is that not everyone can afford a regular $50 visit to the doctor; and you would still need insurance to cover emergencies, anyway. But the doctors that have switched away from managed care plans have by and large found that their patients span the economic spectrum. Interesting article, on CNN.

:: Deb 3:13 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Anyone who used to play D&D will appreciate today's Diesel Sweeties.

:: Deb 10:38 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.05.2004 ::  



So cool, and so necessary:

A biomass plant that can convert any kind of waste into pure oils, gases, minerals and water - with nothing left over. It even runs on the gases produced by the process! More from Newsday:
Appel acknowledges that producing a barrel of oil through thermal conversion costs about 50 percent more than doing it by conventional refining. But he said costs are falling as the technology improves and that the Missouri plant is currently operating at a "small profit" because it's selling the oil and fertilizer it produces. If the price of oil keeps rising, he said, so will profits. Plus, he said, ConAgra no longer has to pay anyone to take away its turkey waste, which had been used as an ingredient in animal feed until the new waste-to-oil plant opened.
Thanks to the Daily Grist for the link!

:: Deb 8:13 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.02.2004 ::  



Words to Inspire
"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value."

- Theodore Roosevelt
Found in The Wilderness Society newsletter.

:: Deb 3:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Funny for Friday

David Letterman has some fun at Bush's expense. Shows video of kid standing behind Bush during a fundraising speech, yawning and fidgeting. The White House (via CNN) sez it's a fake. Letterman sez, "Um actually, nope. He was there, doing exactly that."

Thanks to Michael at work for the forward!

:: Deb 2:53 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



More info on Kerry's economic plan

Found on YahooNews:
Domestic employment at Intel Corp. slipped by more than 3,300 people last year, but it grew by more than 4,300 abroad. By the end of 2003, the company had $7 billion in cumulative foreign earnings, $700 million more than it had sheltered in 2002, according to SEC filings. The semiconductor powerhouse stated that it "intends to reinvest these earnings indefinitely in operations outside the U.S."

The Kerry campaign said U.S.-based multinational corporations are deferring taxation on $12 billion in foreign earnings each year, a figure that may be low, corporate tax experts say. Corporate tax revenue in 2003 fell for the third straight year, to its lowest in a decade. As a percentage of the economy, business taxes last year reached the second-lowest level since the Great Depression. Few doubt that tax avoidance has been a reason for meager corporate tax collections, and the deferral of taxes on foreign earnings may be one of the biggest factors.
...
Under Kerry's plan, U.S.-based companies would have to pay taxes immediately on virtually all foreign profits that are not taxed by another country. Firms could still defer taxation on profits from subsidiaries set up abroad to serve local markets, but if a U.S. company sets up overseas to ship goods back home, taxes would be due in full.

The $12 billion in additional taxes would be used to lower the corporate tax rate to 33.25 percent, from 35 percent. By closing a major loophole used by only the largest multinationals, the plan would bestow a tax cut on more than 99 percent of U.S. companies, Kerry advisers say. Kerry would also try to lure an estimated $639 billion in untaxed foreign earnings back home with a "tax holiday" that would lower the rate on repatriated earnings to 10 percent for one year.

[emphasis added]
I can't believe it's a big coincidence that the drop in corporate tax revenue as a result of tax avoidance started the year Bush took office. There is, of course, some disagreement around whether Kerry's plan would actually fix our very broken corporate tax structure. Sounds like a good start, tho.

:: Deb 12:12 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 4.01.2004 ::  



Bush signs so-called "Unborn Victims of Violence" Act into law

It is SO obvious that this is a play towards banning abortions completely: "Nowhere in this legislation is the harm to or violence against the woman mentioned. In fact, when the sponsors of this bill were given the opportunity to vote for a substitute that had similar criminal penalties, but that recognized that the pregnant woman is the victim of the crime, they voted against it." That's a quote from Planned Parenthood's email today; you can read their press release here. You can also read more about the struggle in this op-ed piece Senator Diane Feinstein sent to the SF Chronicle; Sen. Feinstein proposed just such an amendment, which failed 49-50.

Followup

More from YahooNews: "Abortion opponents welcome it as a step toward more sweeping protections for the unborn, while abortion-rights proponents say the measure represents the first recognition in federal law of an embryo or fetus as a separate person." Sounds like they agree on the possible uses of this law, actually. The difference of opinion is on whether it's a good idea.

:: Deb 5:39 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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