Sometimes we find so much to be outraged about we can't pick a single topic. As veteran Outrage readers know, that can only mean one thing - Outrage Roundup!
Today's roundup starts with the governors of the United States, who are banding together to support a tax on the sale of goods and services purchased over the Internet. "There appears to be universal Democratic and Republican support for such action" said the Republican governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating. Leave it to the nation's politicians to find a way to kill electronic commerce before it even gets off the ground. (We thought that Republicans were supposed to be opposing taxes, not finding new things to tax?)
Speaking of finding new things to tax, how about a tax on stories about crime? Georgia state legislator Chuck Sims, who happens to be an undertaker by profession, has proposed a "crime stories tax". Sims proposes a 10% tax on the revenue of newspapers and other media, like the Outrage, that is related to publishing "factual accounts about any crime." The legislation is designed to raise money to compensate crime victims. (Our friends at the Positive Press probably think a tax on crime stories is a great idea.)
Speaking of free speech, or the lack thereof, a Vermont lawmaker has proposed an "agricultural disparagement" law that would allow for civil suits against those who make untrue and disparaging comments about perishable food products. We wonder how Oprah feels about this one? We also wonder if the ruling passion of legislators is an insatiable desire to provide business for the legal profession?
Where do all these brilliant legislative ideas come from? Well, many are proposed by attorneys - men like Washington lawyer David Duncan Reynolds. But Mr.Reynolds won't be practicing law for a little while - he's headed to jail. Reynolds has been convicted for drunk driving - not once - not twice - not three times - not four, five, six, or seven times - but eight yes, count 'em eight times. Despite his position as an officer of the court, Reynolds received probation for his first seven convictions.
Where do these Masters of the Universe receive their training? Harvard, of course, is the place where future legislators, lawyers, and aspiring power-mongers learn to rule the lessor beings of the earth (that would be you and me). Despite their rigorous training we're glad to say that students at Harvard still have time to get Outraged over the weightier issues of the world - like making sure they have two-ply toilet paper.
It seems that the issue of one-ply versus two-ply really got dirty, with Harvard Crimson columnist Geoffrey Upton instigating a successful rebellion with comments like "You don't think Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 goes home to one-ply every night do you?" Go boy go! - let the bourgeois ruling class know that you won't stand for oppression!
CORRECTIONS, READER INSPIRATION, ETC.
We had made a disparaging comment some time ago about Hillary Clinton's "right wing conspiracy" explanations about her husband's infidelities. But, lo and behold, there really is a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy