Green USPS

22.42.02 - Mark

Last week I learned about an interesting bill called e-Drive [oddly discovered via Hacking Netflix] that was introduced to the national House of Representatives late last December. It's basic pitch is to convert or replace 20,000 US Postal Service's local delivery vehicles into full electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

While it's a little murky having the US government go back to fiscally supporting the USPS to, among other things, help lower the cost of operations, I think that getting this bill passed would further push electric vehicles into our culture, as well as help us learn if it can be practical on a corporate level. Even if it fails at those points, it's helping reduce pollution. I've been told that the USPS uses something like 800 Million Gallons of gasoline each year, which I think translates to about .6% of all the gasoline used in the US. While written out it's not an enormous change, but it's enough to take note. I'm going to think about it some more, but it maybe worth sending a letter to my generally useless congress critter.

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Whereas, I want to beat my head agasint a wall

00.56.50 - Mark

In the midst of the Iraq war, a failing economy, and other national issues, our Congress has found one issue so important that they managed to spare the time to recognize it. That issue is The Importance of Christmas (and Christians).

The fact that this bullshit resolution was not only introduced, but passed with 372 votes is fucking terrifying. I know congress critters aren't big on actually reading the things they vote on but surely they're obligated to read the Constitution a time or two. This thing just barely skirts a 1st amendment violation.

I'd try and argue it on points, but if I've learned one thing this holiday season, Christians get extra irrational at Christmas. Instead I'll just lift a paragraph from John Rodgers (excellent) post on the resolution:

... Christianity's been acting kind of needy lately. Like, "crazy girlfriend who suddenly believes you're thinking about how to pack your shit in ways she won't notice and sneak it out to the car, and so perversely thinks the way to keep you from bolting is to demand you tell her she's super pretty every hour, which, ironically, is what actually prompts you into thinking about packing your shit, even though you weren't before but now ..." needy.

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Smart as a Foxx

18.10.54 - Mark

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

This week, in a report broadcast on WFDD-FM, 5th District Rep. Virginia Foxx said that former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is not facing trial, has not been indicted and certainly does not face criminal charges. She hadn't heard. When informed that DeLay's trial on criminal charges of money-laundering is pending, Foxx concluded, with no further research, that the indictment was a "trumped-up charge."

This somehow seems in keeping with her conclusion last summer that the war in Iraq was going well.

As many times as I've received some boneheaded reply from Foxx about something in Congress, and trust me I have a few, I really don't have anything to add to this.

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Not so alone...

17.20.37 - Mark

I've been digging around in the Gallup Poll archives this afternoon as part of some research I'm doing for a class, and I'm shocked by some of the numbers I'm seeing. Not for the ones tied to my topic (which is presidential approval ratings), but other items, like Congressional approval ratings.

Here I am thining I'm in the minority because I strongly dislike the political positions of my "representatives" when in fact the entire nation has significant problems with Congress. 27% approval rating or lower since the beginning of the year, and under 50% since mid-2003.

This nation just got a little less depressing.

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Congressional Misinformation

18.32.03 - Mark

I got a pretty little letter today, from one of the three congress critters who supposedly represent me (despite the fact that I didn't vote for any of them and they are all almost exact polar opposite of my political opinions). Of the three, Burr is my favorite. The busy politician he is, he makes sure to anwer each and every one of those political action emails I email his way with strait line republicrat bushit

The latest of these recripicated form letters, very thoroughly addressed to Mr. Mark Welker - Mount Airy High School (my home address) was on the subject of civil liberties and electronic surveillance. In this letter Mr. Burr tries to explain to me how need to allow these "new methods and approaches" surveillance because this administration has made it clear that such tools are needed. He also explained to me that we'll never hear of the successes of these programs.

I'm not sure where I want to start with the problems I have with this letter:

The fact that it skirts the fact that fails to address the unwarranted domestic surveillance carried out by government intellengence organizations whose juristiction only covers foreign powers - not domestic.

The not so subtle hints at blindly following the Bush Administration.

The fact that he cites September 11th, 2001 as reason enough to permit these searches - not once, but twice.

The fact that he's trying to reassure me that the government is working with enough accurate infomation to make well informed decisions about its intellengce activities.

BTW, I graduated from high school almost two years ago, I almost never mention it in conversation, and would never put it in my mailing address.

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