Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Who is Gary Jarmin?

Yesterday, I got a weird fund-raising letter from Mr. Jarmin. He knows me so well that he has sent me one of a small number of "Personalized Reply Forms", but he's so respectful he addresses me formally anyway. He knows me so well that he gets my gender wrong. He was praying [I]'d open this letter, but he must've used Microsoft prayer merge...

The letter is weird because it's so vague. Unspecified Washington Insiders are stealing our Social Security Trust Fund. It's weird because it spends more than a whole page flogging its "Personalized Reply Forms". It's weird because its use of capital letters and quotation marks is semi-literate.

So, who is Gary Jarmin?

He's a long-time Moonie! The letter is basically a con. He's seeking money from the credulous and uninformed to do just the opposite from what they are likely to want.

Jarmin's deceptive spin points:

The Seniors Center has become a powerful voice in Washington. But lately, we've been fighting just to tread water.

And the Washington Insiders never stop figuring out new ways to spend our Social Security Trust Fund.

Please don't let the Washington Insiders get away with stealing the money you and I worked all our lives to earn.

If you and I don't stop them, the Washington Insiders will waste every penny of our Social Security Money on their pork-barrel programs.

My friend, if you and I stop fighting them, the Washington Insiders will bankrupt our Social Security Trust Fund.

And that's a terrifying thought.

We know that it's Jarmin's cronies in the Bush White House who are actively stealing the trust fund, but wingnut cultists never let a fact get in the way of a scare story.

On the last page, he's back to his "Personalized Reply Forms" fetish four more times for a total of 21! But then, there's the good news:
[W]ith the number of people who've left us here to fend for ourselves, donations to the Seniors Center have all but dried up.
Please don't water the astroturf!

Originally posted on DailyKos.

Even techies are noticing IOKIYAR

Ed Foster writes:

In medieval days, a peasant could be executed for stealing a crust of bread, while the lord of the manor could abuse every peasant in sight without fear of legal retribution. Does it strike you that we seem to be reverting more and more to a similar society, one in which the punishments no longer fit the crimes?
The wingnuts love zero tolerance. It matches their angry and vengeful God.

But, to serve the limitless greed of Republican crony capitalists, it gets worse.
Even if we were to believe the exaggerated estimates the various copyright industries put forth for how much they lose to piracy each year, is it as much as the Enrons, Worldcoms, Adelphias, etc. cost us the economy? Notice also that while Congress is mandating increasingly severe punishments for the copyright equivalent of petty theft, it can't be bothered to do anything serious about crimes like identity theft that are costing millions of citizens billions of dollars. With powerful lobbying from the RIAA and MPAA, federal law enforcement agencies have no problem getting funding for enforcement of copyright crimes, but individuals who've had their bank accounts cleared out by a clever phishing scam have nowhere to turn.
There are many other examples: the bankruptcy bill, the way drug enforcement imprisons the little fish while it catches and releases those with something to trade, attempts to end overtime, the end of the billionaire playboy tax, tax reductions that prefer investment to labor, the effort to end Social Security, media emphasis on sensational crime over much greedier financial misbehavior, the continued destruction of unions, and on and on.

So, fellow peasants, had enough of droit du seigneur?

Originally posted on DailyKos.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Class warfare

Class warfare is a weapon we never should have surrendered. We won't win again until we're willing to use it.

(Originally here.)