|Issue No 76||03 November 2000|
Welcome World To George's Texan Nightmare
In Texas, ignorance rules. Next week the American electorate could well elect the state's most prominent tool, a loser called George W. Bush to the White House. (Warning: There are no laughs in this week's Toolshed. Just horror.)
George W(anker? easel? oeful?) Bush, plutocrat, failed businessman, son-of-President, archreactionary, coke-snorting, church-going playboy, and biggest black stain of all - Governor of Texas is on the cusp of assuming the world's most powerful job.
Let's consider his CV:
George W Bush managed to go through $4.7 million put up by family friends and wealthy republicans in the oil business in the 1980s. He nearly ran two energy companies into the ground and only turned a profit in 1990 when, on the eve of the Gulf War, a third company in which he was involved won a lucrative oil exploration contract from Bahrein - at the same time his father was President.
Texas is among the ten worst states in terms of the population living below the poverty level. It is in the bottom fourth in social indicators such as the number of physicians, full-time college enrolment and infant mortality.
It now ranks last in terms of state spending per capita.
Texas has little in the way of mass transit, neighbourhood playgrounds or other urban amenities.
It is responsible for more water and air pollution than any other American state. Hundreds of ageing utilities, chemical plants, and oil refineries are exempt from pollution regulations. Houston beat Los Angeles in 1998 as the city with the worst ozone levels in the US. (One of George Bush's top environmental appointees once testified in Washington that ozone is a benign substance.)
Texas incarcerates more people than any state in the US. Although it only has one tenth of the population it has a prison population that is now greater than France, Germany and Italy combined. Texas has 250 county sheriffs, 500 plus municipal police departments and more judges than in the whole of Great Britain.
More than 200 prisoners have been executed since the 1970s.
As A Moron
Here are some of George W.'s contributions to intellectual life:
'Anyway, after we go out and work our hearts out, after you go out and help us turn out the vote, after we're convinced the good Americans to vote, and while they're at it, pull that old George W. lever, if I'm the one when I put my hand on the bible, when I put my hand on the bible, that day when they swear us in, when I put my hand on the bible, I will swear to not - to uphold the laws of the land.' Toledo, Ohio, October 27, 2000
I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question.' - in response to a question about whether he could take back any of his questions in the first debate. Reynoldsberg, Ohio, October 4, 2000.
'I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun.'
'It's going to require numerous IRA agents.' - on Gore's tax plan, Greensboro. N.C., October10, 2000.
It's not just George W. Bush who gives cause for concern. Last week the Herald quoted an American voter in a vox populi:
'I'm going to vote for that George Bush. I thought he did a real good job the last time he was in.'
So next Tuesday, be afraid.
Postscript: Workers Online Studies The Footy Entrails
The result of the Washington Redskins' final home game before a presidential election has accurately predicted the presidential result for the past 15 contests. History has proven that if the Redskins win, the incumbent will stay in the White House; if the Redskins lose, the opposition party gains control in Washington. The Tennessee Titans visited Washington this week, and won 27-21. Bad luck Al!
For those of you who can't get enough horror a lot of the information in this article came from an excellent analysis called 'The Backward State of Texas' by Daniel Lazare of Le Monde Diplomatique and can be found on the web at www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/2000/09/14texas. It's a scary read.
Interview: Withering On The Vine
Cooking shows and 'Bugs fucking to Mozart' may become the staple diet on our ABC as news and current affairs face a war of attrition. Quentin Dempster gives Workers Online an insider's view of our endangered national broadcaster .
US Election: Sugar Candy Politics
Like in everything else, Americans like their politics sugar coated. A Nation in denial, they are happier maintaining the fantasy that the world is a fine and dandy place says Michael Gadiel.
US Election: George W. Bushwhacked by Texas Truth Squad
The Texas Truth Squad are a group of Texan union members travelling the US on a crusade to expose the Republican presidential nominee as a corporate rogue who in his time as Governer proved himself as an enemy of the worker.
History: Federation and the Labour Movement
National celebrations will mark the Centenary of Federation next year. The labour movement's opposition to Federation at the referenda held around the Australian colonies in 1899 will attract less commemoration, although the republicans of 1999 might have benefited from reflection on the causes of working class discontent one hundred years earlier says Stuart Macintyre.
International: Unions Mac Their Day
McDonald's - the biggest employer of young people around the world - is increasingly becoming the target of union recognition campaigns, backed by human rights groups concerned about the fast food chains practices in countries such as Indonesia, China, Russia, Canada and Germany.
Satire: Wiranto’s charity album inspires genocidal maniacs everywhere
Indonesia’s favourite former strongman, General Wiranto, has recently decided to record an album of love songs. Entitled To You My Indonesia, Wiranto’s album has already sold 8,000 copies and is raising money for refugees.
Review: What About the Workers?
A big, gruff bloke in a blue singlet, on strike or just not working, and generally being difficult. That's the trade unionist for you. Barry Cohen's new book What About the Workers? shows this image may have a bit of truth about it, but he would be telling a few good yarns while he was standing about.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005