Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 

Of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations

So let's get this straight - the National Weather Service can give information away to the Weather Channel and AccuWeather, but not to the American public? That's what Rick Santorum wants. Our money pays for the National Weather Service, but according to Santorum, that doesn't mean you or I have any right to see their data. Even though the NWS site is far superior to anything else out there.
Fourteen years ago the NWS took the extra step of carefully delineating the respective roles of the NWS and the commercial weather industry, in addition to pledging its intention not to provide products or services that were or could be provided by the commercial weather industry.

However, the parent agency of the NWS, NOAA, repealed the 1991 non-competition and non-duplication policy in December 2004. Its new policy only promises to “give due consideration” to the abilities of private sector entities. The new policy has enabled NWS and NOAA to expand into areas that are already well served by the commercial weather industry.

“This decision by NOAA to repeal the non-competition and non-duplication policy detracts from NWS’s core missions of maintaining a modern and effective meteorological infrastructure, collecting comprehensive observational data, and issuing warnings and forecasts of severe weather that imperil life and property,” said Senator Santorum.

Senator Santorum’s bill restores the NWS non-competition policy. However, the legislation leaves NWS with complete and unfettered freedom to carry out its critical role of preparing and issuing severe weather warnings and forecasts designed for the protection of life and property of the general public.
Aw. Idn dat nice. "Complete and unfettered freedom" to serve up its information to AccuWeather on a silver platter so that AccuWeather can turn around and sell it to us, the American public. We have "complete and unfettered freedom" to pay for it twice! Yay! Lucky us! Hallelujah!

(Oh, and by the way, did I mention that AccuWeather just happens to be headquartered in - State College, Pennsylvania? As in, the state of Pennsylvania? As in the same state that Rick Santorum represents in the United States Senate? Way to go, Rick! Way to represent your contstituent.)

This is in keeping with the Bush Administration's entire philosophy, which holds that taxpayer dollars spent on - well, on taxpayers - is evil and bad and not very nice, while taxpayer dollars spent on corporations is exactly what the Founders had in mind when they wrote in the Preamble to the Constitution, "to provide for the general welfare." I guess there are a lot of retired generals on the boards of the many corporations George W. Bush is so in love with, so that must be it.

Conservatives hate waste, except when they're wasting it. (Cf, Halliburton.) They hate government spending, except when they're government and they're spending it. (Cf, Halliburton.) They hate bankruptcy and debt, except when they're the ones driving us into bankruptcy and debt. (Cf, Bush's massive deficits.) Government health insurance - bad. Private health insurance - yay! The Lord hath spake and Lo! it is holy! Amtrak - bad. Social Security - bad. Public schools - bad. (Bad public schools! Bad public schools! No biscuit!)

Don't expect the corporatized, consolidated media to pay any attention to this. Don't expect the American people to pay any attention to it, either. They've absorbed the message. Government is bad, even though government is in the hands of the very same people who attack it. They see their money being siphoned into the hands of the wealthy and they believe those very same wealthy people who decry any attention being paid to the siphoning as "class warfare." (As opposed to upper class welfare.)

I almost want those Bush voters to get what they deserve (what they voted for) - a life of utter powerlessness and complete submission to the demands of the corporations. No access to decent health care, a ruined environment, commercialized public institutions, the exact same religious tests the Constitution expressly prohibits, a nation in debt beyonds it eyeballs, and the wealthy elite giggling as they stash another billion in their mattresses. A nation in ruins and receiving the contempt it so rightly deserves from the rest of humanity.

But I didn't vote for that - why do I deserve it?
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