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Nerd Spot

A shout out to the nerdy and proud.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

Lifelong nerd, shameless Constitution-hugger, unreconstructed Democrat and thoroughgoing misanthrope

Friday, May 06, 2005

W.O.W.


So here's my new semi-regular feature: Whackjobs of the Week. I'm calling it such because Whackjobs of the Fortnight or Whackjobs of the Month in Accordance with the Lunar Calendar produce less satisfying acronymic outcomes. Criteria include delightfully insane rants, use of cheesy graphics (unlike the style I bring to my template blog), and aggressive use of font options. LOTS OF CAPS and bold italics always convey a message to your readers. That message being that you're as crazy as a rat in a coffee can. Of course, it helps if there is zealous adherence to some particular cause, and obviously flawed reasoning is always a plus. I realize some of these will be the equivalent of clubbing baby seals, but I'm a mean son-of-a-bitch so that's the way it goes.

For the Whackjobs of the Week, Week of May 2nd, I give you
Citizens for Limited Taxation

CLT is an anti-tax advocacy group in Massachusetts. Motto: Every tax is a pay cut...A tax cut is a pay raise. Now I grant that whipping up support
for "tax relief" in a legislature so overwhelmingly Democratic that if a Republican goes to use the bathroom, they won't have enough votes for a roll call is not an easy task. Still, you might think that if you want to be taken seriously, you should at least pretend not to be hostile. My favorite this week are the titles they chose for their updates. Hit a pothole, thank a teacher is a fair and balanced look at public pensions for teachers (Massachusetts public employees don't pay into Social Security). It's filled with your usual conservative-type language manipulations like
  • "the Boston Globe's out-of-touch editorial board elites would only read their own newspaper they might tumble down out of their ivy tower" (emphasis in original)
  • "over half of that $1.2 BILLION extracted from us taxpayers annually for public employees' platinum parachutes -- $682 million of it every year -- goes directly just to "retired" teachers, much of it to cover this newest scam." (emphasis in original)
  • A reference to the "Education-Industrial Complex" (I admit I laughed at that one).
  • "[R]apacious teachers unions"
  • Poor roadway maintenance inspired the author to suggest " that we need a bumper-stickers of our own that reads: 'Hit a pothole, thank a teacher!'"
The secret ticking time bomb: "public service" pensions, health insurance giveaways is another lovely human interest piece on the the "'public service' gravy train [that] is soon to utterly bury us, especially the younger generations coming up who'll have to pay the staggering bill for government first and foremost taking care of itself as usual."

The public service in quotations certainly is endearing, because we all know that NOBODY could possibly be interested in making a difference in public life or their community. They're all in it for the massive salaries (except for the Mittster who doesn't take one, because he doesn't need one) and the exclusive perks. In fact, last time I checked, Weston's population is 88% teacher. They drive around in Lexuses with low-numbered license plates on their way to the secret yacht club for public employees. Their cars aren't powered with gasoline either. They were specially developed to run on taxpayer dollars. Hundreds, preferably.

In addition, both updates bizarrely and appprovingly reference a Fortune article that bitches about public employees retaining pension benefits when the private sector is junking them with the rest of the social compact. I guess if it's ok for the private sector to screw our parents, government should be doing it, too. Bring back the poor house! The article disingenuously discusses local/state government cost offloading to the federal government under Medicare D when in fact many states, including Massachusetts, will end up picking up more of the cost of care for the elderly and disabled than they already do. Nor is there any mention of looming multi-billion dollar private pension bailouts by and through the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. Savings & Loan ring a bell? It should to Neil Bush.

However, now that the proposition 2 1/2 generation has faded away, CLT is in large part sending their message to a bunch of public servants. Many of these same public servants have children, often in public schools, and happen to like teachers. Because of the nature of their work, they interact with many public employees whom they also tend to like.

But reasonable people can disagree, n'est-ce pas? How about when you call your political opposition evil? I think the Nixonesque enemies list is a nice touch, too.

"How despicably evil is the Gimme Lobby. When it needs to advance their agenda, without hesitation they trot out the sick, the halt and the lame on cue and scare the living bejesus out of the unfortunates in the process.

Yes, evil.

We've seen it in every campaign where an attempt is made to let taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned income ... every time, without exception, unless it's done their way.

Evil incarnate.

Whether it's "cutting school lunches" when it's an increase in spending ("investment" in PC-Speak) that's not as much as the Gimme Lobby demands, "throwing the elderly out into the streets" or the perennial "roads and bridges are crumbling all around us," when they can't get even more of our money -- there's always a prefabricated and timely "dire crisis" that never explains what all our already "invested" money has purchased.

We eternally need to "invest" more, but we never seem to get any return on the "investments" we've already made -- the goal post just gets further and further out of reach the more that's taken from us ... oops! ... "invested."

Yesterday's news release from the governor's office (full text below) is another example. It noted:

"Massachusetts has been nationally recognized for leading the way in providing health insurance for families and for children in particular. Last month, Governor Cellucci and Swift released a report on the uninsured population in Massachusetts. Since 1998, there has been a significant drop in the number of uninsured, from 8.2 percent to 5.9 percent, with an even more dramatic reduction in the number of children without health coverage, from 5.8 percent to 2.8 percent."

The evil Gimme Lobby's response: State Sen. Richard Moore (D-Utopia), at its dog-and-pony show yesterday, observed that "while progress has been made during the economic boom of the last decade, much more remains to shore up a fragile health care system."

Even though the state budget has doubled in just the last dozen years, "much more remains" to be done.

"More Is Never Enough!" (MINE!)

More never will be until they have it all.

And they won't stop until they do.

Barbara reports that Sen. Birmingham threatened yesterday that the promised tax rollback would destroy dental care and even housing for children! She calls it his "teeth and home" scare.

There is no morality too sacred, no compassion for the less fortunate too revered, beyond which the shameless Gimme Lobby will not transgress when its stranglehold on our wallets and its power is threatened.

Drag an unfortunate wheelchair-bound child and his stressed mother, terrified by lies and misinformation, into their news conference as a sympathetic prop to advance their agenda?

Nothing new. They do it all the time and, after all, they did vow to do "whatever we have to do" to defeat Question 4. They do "whatever we have to do" all the time, and there isn't much if anything they won't do.

Remember the elderly seniors around the state they terrified then subpoenaed into a Boston court when they desperately needed to disqualify signatures on our first rollback petition?

Compassion? Caring? Honesty?

Not from that crowd. Not when their power is at risk.

Evil. Selfish, stark and heartless evil."

WOW!

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