What You Say?!?
March 18, 2005 8:02 am
The craziness at work continues! I've lost one of my devs for 2 weeks, which is a huge deal
when you've only got 2 full-time programmers. So not only is it
stressful now, but the weeks proceeding her vacation were incredibly insane. It's amazing how
much we do around here. It defies description.
On a good note, we won a major contract in PA. There are
a few online articles regarding this, but basically we are handling the
tax collection operations of the
Tax Claim Bureau. Reactions have been mixed; everything seems to boil
down to two viewpoints: (1) outsourcing government functions to private companies
theoretically saves taxpayer dollars and (2) outsourcing government functions to private
companies is bad in principle, even if it's cheaper. It all depends on whether you
trust a corporation to perform
public functions efficiently, without corruption or ulterior motives. I think we'll do a
fantastic job and will ultimately save the County money without any loss of service. But of
course, I have a biased opinion. Certainly there are government contracts that
stink, robbing revenue and trapping officials in bad deals. But I think our track record
speaks for itself. If we can shave
$100K off the County's costs, then we'll do everything in our power to make it happen.
On a not-so-good note, what the hell is up with China? Passing a
says "The state stands for the achievement of peaceful reunification," then says
"In the event...that possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely
exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures" is pretty
much bullshit. Any mention of "peace and stability"
is rebuked by claiming "The state shall never allow the 'Taiwan independence' secessionist
forces to make Taiwan secede from China." Grow up, China. Pick up the shambles
of your pride, suck it in, and move on. Taiwan doesn't need you to protect their "rights and
interests...in accordance with law." What "law?" Are you referring to your laws of
controlled media, religious persecution, human rights abuses,
government bribery, state corruption, taxation without representation, and unregulated
business operations? No law of yours should ever replace the laws of democracy and freedom
that Taiwan has in place. Fuck your "protection" - all you have ever protected is
wealth and power being funneled into government at the expense of your citizens.
And while I'm ranting, the reaction of the world to this news is disappointing, especially in the
U.S., where the idea of "spreading democracy" has been used to justify hundreds of
deaths. Imagine if a group of people in Iran or Congo or
Saudi Arabia or even Cuba stood before the world and proclaimed: "Hello! We have broken
away from an oppressive dictatorship and established a democracy by the people, for the
people. We grant full freedom of speech
and religion; we do not discriminate, treating all equally before the law. We grant
due process, habeas
corpus, and full individual rights to property ownership, basic education, and free
trade. Our people's standard of living is first world and our policies evolve to fit
global needs, including environmental protection and sci-tech investments. We have
proven that our electoral process, while not perfect, is fair and just. Please
allow us membership in the UN, WTO, and WHO as a sovereign state, so that we may enjoy
the benefits of any other free nation on the planet. Please acknowledge our
right to rule ourselves: only those that we elect to lead us should be able to do
so." Isn't this what the U.S. is advocating? Isn't this part of Bush's grand
scheme for a better world? Don't we support democratic revolution and the
right to elect leaders and take part in civic action? Aren't we hoping all societies will
eventually grant such freedoms?
This is exactly what
Taiwan has done. And
yet, nobody, not even the U.S., has the balls to stick
up for them. China has bullied the whole world into ignoring Taiwan. The U.S.
preaches empty ideology - we only fight for democracy if it means money in our pockets. And while
I favor selfish foreign policy (after all, I don't want to piss
off a country with nuclear capabilities), I absolutely can not and will
not condone hypocrisy in that policy. If the U.S. is willing
to sacrifice lives in the name of "democracy," if the U.S. is willing to pour billions
into building democratic capitalist regimes, then the U.S. should also be willing
to sacrifice lives and spend billions in defense of Taiwan. But it's not. Why? Because we're not
sending soldiers to war and spending tax revenue to uphold the principles of freedom. We're
doing it because we want in when trade springs up in the Middle
East. We're not fighting for some higher moral ground, we're fighting because we want to
invest, open the market, and increase our own commerce. It's not a bad idea, but it
shouldn't be hidden behind a veil of "freedom" and
"human rights" and "democracy." The real truth is that since we already have
free trade with Taiwan, it doesn't matter a horse's ass to us whether Taiwan is struggling
for democratic independence. We should make it clear: we're not supporting Taiwan's request
for independent recognition because we're pussies afraid of China's retaliation. We actually
don't give a shit about democracy, if that democracy doesn't increase the bulge in our
And that is why listening to the garbage spewing from our President and his Cabinet makes
me want to scream (and briefly entertain the idea of moving to Canada). We could care less about
freedom and democracy, and our consistent refusal to recognize Taiwan is incontrovertible
proof of this mindset. We're just too cowardly to admit it.
See archived entries for February 2005.
See archived entries for January 2005.
See archived entries for December 2004.
See archived entries for October 2004.
See archived entries for September 2004.
See archived entries for August 2004.
See archived entries for July 2004.
See archived entries for June 2004.
See archived entries for May 2004.
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