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2010 January 24 — Why Now?
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Wrong, Just Wrong!!

I don’t know how this got started but I couldn’t believe the BBC reporter in Haiti included in the piece: Haiti’s Cite Soleil still deprived of post-quake help

After all, the US Air Force is dropping pallets of food and water from C-17 transport planes to those isolated by the quake, but this community is just a few miles away from the tonnes of food and supplies that have come into the airport and still have not been distributed.

I talked about the C-17 drops in my post, Things Are Not What They Seem, and they are taking place in a designated drop zone that was set up by the 82nd Airborne at a country club.

There is an excellent reason why they are not dropping pallets to people – you generate very bad press when you crush people with relief supplies.

This stuff does not “float to earth”, to maintain accuracy it comes down fast to minimize the effects of any winds. The pallets are designed to absorb the shock to the load, but if you get caught underneath one, you are a grease spot on the ground. You don’t get up and walk away, like Wiley Coyote.

Unless you have troops on the ground to keep them away from the drop zone, people will rush to where the supplies are landing. The US knows this, because it has happened more than once, and not just to civilians.

The supplies were dropped into the landing zone, then broken down and distributed by helicopter. Perhaps people saw the low level drops in Port au Prince and assumed the US was doing it in other places.

January 24, 2010   4 Comments

A Simple Solution

Kent Greenfield, professor of constitutional law and corporate law at Boston College Law School, has a straight forward solution for the corporate person mess and politics:

Corporations are chartered “for any lawful purpose.” To address the mistake of Citizens United, the only change required would be for charters to include: “except that any entity created by this charter shall not have the power to expend money to influence the outcome of any local, state, or federal election.”

Instead of messing around with the Constitution, just change the corporate law.  This change would not alter lobbying, only elections.

Corporations receive special privileges from their limited liability, so Congress has the power to put restrictions on them. The problem was using the wrong law to impose the restrictions: election law, instead of corporate law.

I think the rollcall on such a change would be a keeper.

Update: I will have a “via” later, as I have forgotten where I first saw it referenced. It was Anthony McCarthy at Echidne’s.

January 24, 2010   Comments Off on A Simple Solution

Welfare States – Part DOH

Julia O’Malley has an opinion piece in The Anchorage Daily News that encapsulates the basic hypocrisy of the majority of Republican pols screaming about the Federal government and deficit spending, as well as people living off of other people’s taxes titled: Hey feds. Alaska doesn’t like your ‘interference’ but please send money.

As I pointed out in my original Welfare States post, the states that do the most complaining are first in line for any available Federal funds.

Based on his stated view of those who receive government hand-outs, the current Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina must think his entire state looks like a scruffy, torn-eared tom cat, instead of just the Governor…bless his heart. [Forgot my Southern for a second there].

January 24, 2010   2 Comments