Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Overhead Projector, my Ass

John McCain, Mister straight talk:

While we were working to eliminate these pork barrel earmarks he [Senator Obama] voted for nearly $1 billion in pork barrel earmark projects. Including $3 million for an overhead projector at a planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. My friends, do we need to spend that kind of money?

Overhead Projector?  Overhead Projector?

This is an overhead projector, John.

An overhead projector.  Not worth three million dollars

An overhead projector. Not worth three million dollars

And here’s what the planetarium needs:

The Zeiss Universarium Mark IX

The Zeiss Universarium Mark IX. Worth a lot more than three million dollars.

I don’t for a minute think John McCain believes the Adler wanted to get $3M for the upper thing, so they could get one at Office Depot and spend the rest on hookers and blow.  Surely he knows what a planetarium is, and what planetarium projectors are.  The only reason to refer to that amazing apparatus as an overhead projector is to imply (by which I mean “lie”) that Obama will spend money just for the sake of spending.

Man, I used to think Arizona had some decent senators.  I always had a soft spot for Barry Goldwater, and McCain used to at least appear honest.  Maybe he was, and running for Prez has rotted his brain.  Or maybe it was all an illusion to start with.  But this is ridiculous.

You can make the argument that planetaria ought to be funded by, say, peer review at NSF, rather than earmarks, and I’d be right there with you.  But pretending that the earmark was for an overhead projector just makes me wish Al Franken were still on the radio.

Oh, I forgot to link to Phil’s post on this, which is what got me going in the first place.

Why the ACLU Really Sucks

Much as I’d like to support the ACLU, being a fan of civil rights for all, I can’t support an organization that lies in order to get support.

I joined back in ’01, when the current re-marking-up of the Constitution began, but after a year of multiple mailings all asking for more money, and a series of ever-more-desperate emails warning me that my membership was expiring, I decided I preferred to spend my support elsewhere.  It’s now been 6 years since I was a member, and I continue to get mail, both postal and e-, asking me to re-up.  But okay, if they find it’s worth the postage then whatever.

The problem is that these mailings have a strong tendency to state things in such a way as to imply that my membership is about to expire, and I need to send money right away to keep that from happening.  They never come right out and say it, but it’s sleazy nonetheless.

Here’s what I got today: Your ACLU Membership Has Expired

Uh, yeah. Six years ago.   Hey, Anthony Romero, wait wait, don’t lie to me.  That subject line is not what you say to someone who hasn’t been a member of your organization for six years.  It’s exactly the kind of political double-speak I’m against.  Sure, technically it’s true, but it’s meant to mislead.  It’s no better than the series of postcards I got from Petro when I moved in, addressed to me, telling me my oil contract needed to be renewed.  Well no, since I never had one before.  Which you know, since you clearly got my name from the database of existing home sales.   Mr. Romero, you are doing the same thing; trying to trick me into “renewing” my non-existent membership in your organization.  Well, keep fighting the good fight, just not with my money.

Here’s a thing:  How many letters per year do you think I get from the EFF?  Try “one”.  A nice letter thanking me for my support and letting me know how to send them more money if I want to renew.  When I stopped giving to them for a few years, for fiscal reasons, they didn’t bug me once.  How ’bout that?  Guess where my money is going now?