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Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday the Twenty-Seventh

Hooray for Me!

Yesterday marked my six-month anniversary. No cigarettes for six whole months. Half a year. Oddly enough, it's getting easier, though I still have some mighty powerful cravings. The good thing is that the cravings are relatively short. Most of the time if I distract myself for just a few seconds I'm fine.

It's still hard to drink beer, though. Luckily enough, I don't drink beer all that often.


Elections

I was watching the news yesterday as they reported the Palestinians electing Hamas into power. U.S. President George Walker Bush seemed pretty flummoxed by that turn of events. I don't remember the exact quotes, but I heard him say something like, "Democracies don't start wars." Tell that to Iraq. He also said something to the effect of "No government dedicated to the eradication of another nation should be recognized," meaning that the U.S. will not recognize Hamas because of their desire to take over Israel. I guess Bush's own administration didn't really eradicate Iraq, they just took it over and rebuilt it in it's own image...

Something that I found interesting was that there were a bunch of people there watching the elections, making sure everything was fair. Outside observers. We need those. We absolutely, positively need to have outside observers at the polls in our next few elections - especially 2006 and 2008. Most especially 2008. I think the Democratic, Libertarian and Green Parties should get together and make sure there are United Nations people hanging around the polling places. I never thought I'd see the day when the United States of America would need outside observers to make sure our elections are fair, but that day is here. It was already too late in November, 2000. And much too late in 2004.


Common Sense, Ain't It?

We should pay our politicians differently. They should get paid the average salary of their constituency. They should get two weeks' vacation a year in their first term, three weeks vacation in their second. If they take more time off than that, it's unpaid. They should get the same medical benefits (or lack thereof) their constituency gets.

We'll fly them back and forth to Washington D.C. a few times a year for free (coach) - if they need to travel more, well then, they get to take their own vehicle. We'll give them eighteen cents a mile or whatever the going rate is, but they must get the trip okay'd first. Actually, now that I think of it, maybe ALL government travel should be by public transportation or military transport (not the fancy kind - the kind enlisted men and women in uniform use). Maybe that'd make the trains run on time...?

I've worked at the same job for twelve or thirteen years, and I get no retirement package, no 401k, nothing. Why should our politicians? I'm not sure what retirement package (if any) they get now, but I do NOT think working at a job for a mere four years should count for much. Granted, we'll provide ex-presidents with whatever security they need, unless they make more than, say, $250,000 a year on their own. Then they can afford to take part of that responsibility on.

Just a few rather grouchy thoughts on a nice Friday afternoon...

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