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jjohn (22)

jjohn
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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Monday February 25, 2002
01:05 PM

Give Industrial Polluters a break!

[ #3112 ]

It should surprise no one here that I support President Bush's refusal to tax corporations in order to money the EPA Superfund toxic sites clean-up program. All Americans suffered greatly after September 11, but no one felt the sting of those sinister terrorists more than corporate America. Since 1980, the Superfund has identified and pursued those parties response for massive environmental damage (such as what occurred at Love Canal in 1978). As of 2002, the EPA has put 1222 sites on its National Priorities list. Funding the $8.5 billion Superfund has dwindled in recent years from $860 million in 2001 to $28 million slated for 2003.

Haven't we spent enough money pestering Big Business? Corporations employ our neighbors and often pay taxes! We should be thanking these corporations for exhibiting the American can-do spirit of capitalism, not punishing them for "making the planet unlivable." Yes, there may be higher incidents of "flipper babies" in some parts of country and it's true that a small percent of the population may turn into cannibalistic underground dwellers or quasi-human morlocks -- but that shouldn't impede the wheels of capitalism! Remember, you can't break eggs without making a cake or people will talk!

The cynical among my readers will immediately point to the huge sums of money corporations like General Motors, PECO Energy company and Union Pacific have contributed to the GOP and suggest that Bush's motives are somehow tainted. Others may look at the page cited above and see that both Andersen Consulting and Enron stuffed a lot of money up George Bush's bum. I feel sorry for those desperate folks who see conspiracy in the most harmless of coincidences and I would feel this way even if the GOP wasn't paying me to write this.

Remember: corporations are almost people too.

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
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  • That the deputy administrator of the EPA is Linda Fisher....an executive at...*drumroll please*...Monsanto.

    • Please tell me you are kidding! Am I stoned or is this a clear case of conflict of interest?! And Monsanto is the company on trial in Alabama ( my home state :-) ) for contaminating a whole town w/ PCB's. Hmmm.... how do people get away w/ these type of things?
      --
      "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
      • Nope, I'm totally serious.

      • Well, she WAS an executive at Monsanto. She no longer is, of course. That would be a clear case of conflict of interest, yes. But it isn't any conflict of interest.
        • But still it seems like a potential conflict. Just because she is no longer on Monsanto's payroll doesn't mean she could not be influenced. Surely she must still have friends in high places there...

          I guess what I'm getting at is that we should take a long look at where people come from before they get into important offices like this one. No, she doesn't work for them anymore. But is it likely she will be "friendly" to them? Probably. Could she also make impartial decisions? Probably. But how do we know?

          --
          "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
          • Yes, she could be influenced. So could anyone. Clinton's Chief of Staff -- perhaps the most powerful man in Washington, aside from the President himself, because he runs the White House -- Mack McLarty left the White House to take a job at Enron. This was shortly after Clinton and Ken Lay had gotten together to discuss a few things about energy policy. Was there a conflict of interest there? I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not.

            The point here is twofold; first, the obvious, that this kind of thing happens all
            • You want a real conflict of interest? The HEAD of the EPA used to be governor of NEW
                    JERSEY! :-)

              I very nearly was going to take a crack at that, but I figured: too easy. New Jersey gets a bad rap for Newark (which is a frightening example of urban ruin and decay). Trenton and the coast are very pleasant indeed.

              • I worked next door to Trenton for awhile (in Princeton), and while Princeton is pleasant, I really can't say the same for Trenton. Maybe "tolerable" is better. Actually, I think the nicest parts of New Jersey are inland, the northwest portions, where there's a ton of forest. The worst parts are all adjacent to the turnpike. Too bad that's half the state.
      • How do people get away with these type of things? Easy. They get elected. No, wait...
    • I was not aware -- thanks for the heads up. Although, now I'm more depressed than ever.
      • Well, Kay Cole James, a noted affimative action opponent is the director of the Office of Personnel Management; John Bolton, an opponent of nonproliferation treaties and the UN is now the Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security; J. Steven Giles, an oil and coal lobbyist, is now Deputy Secretary of the Interior [ remember James Watt? ], the Secretary of the Interior is behind opening up national parks for foresting, coal mining and oil and gas drilling....I could go on. Don't get depressed

        • So, assuming affirmative action is the only solution to problems of discrimination in the Office of Personnel Management, it's terrible to have Kay Cole James there.

          Of course, if there are other solutions, then that might not be so bad.

          As an aside, to everyone: when did use Perl; get more political than the Drudge report? :)

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • As an aside, to everyone: when did use Perl; get more political than the Drudge report? :)

            The Drudge Report is political? But he's SO IMPARTIAL! :P

            Seriously, I have avoided any political discussions in life for a long damn time because they had a tendency to become, shall we say, less than interesting. :) I'm glad to find a place where A: The primary focus isn't politics, so the usual junkies aren't attracted and B: the debates don't devolve into utter psychosis.

            It's nice to have an intelligent poli

            --

            ------------------------------
            You are what you think.
            • That's one good thing I'll say for it. I think everything I've seen has been intelligent. Even all of you guys who are wrong. :)

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • Due to lots of loopholes in the tax laws (like how they account for options), companies such as MS & Cisco haven't paid taxes in years. I know there are others, but those two come to mind first. A google search would probably find the article(s) I'm thinking about.

    Particularly in MS' case, they have made huge profits (read billions in cash sitting in the bank) & are not paying a dime in taxes. You'd think all those money grubbing politicians would close these loopholes considering the sums they ar

    --
    "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
  • One of the golden rules is:
    Don't shit where you live
    I do wonder when the good ole US of A is going to work out that it lives in the world.
  • I actually agree that coporations get too many breaks sometimes. I agree they should pay their fair taxes. I agree they get too many special privileges that individuals don't get.

    Yow, where should I surrender my Republican membership card?

    Corporations are fine, but they shouldn't get special treatment. I am for various tax breaks for business expenses, for doing "humanitarian" work, and even for capital gains (which I consider double-taxation). However, we often in this country go far beyond that, suc
    • *blink*

      Pudge, are you feeling all right?

      Your point about the Democrats not being above reproach resonates with me. In fact, I'm uncomfortable being grouped those alcoholic, philandering ass-clowns (although I'd sure like to party with them). However until there's a party governed by perspective and compassion (that also has a reasonable shot at winning seats in Congress or taking the White House), I have to pick the "evil of two lessers." Given the chronic low voter turn out in recent years, is America ge
      • Anyone really familiar with my beliefs wouldn't think I said anything extraordinary; I may be a card-carrying right-wing Christian conservative Republican, but that doesn't mean I have to always think like one!

        I have my own thoughts [perl.org] about the election process, which boil down to the parties and the media conspiring to deprive the people of real democracy, and the people not really caring that it's happening. So yes, we do get the government we deserve, but it's not like they aren't to blame. I certainly

      • I dunno, but I'm sick of getting the government the rest of the country deserves.