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Barry Crimmins

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CrimQuips 12/19/02 Thursday, December 19, 2002

Commentary by Barry Crimmins

Now that Al Gore has made a graceful bow from the presidential arena, let's hope his 2000 running mate behaves as decently. It's imperative for Joe Lieberman to hold to his true beliefs and challenge George W. Bush for the 2004.....Republican presidential nomination.

I'm guessing that another Florida retirement isn't in Al's plans. Although the majority of Floridians would welcome him.

Some were upset that Gore bumped Trent Lout from the headlines. Hey, if it helps Lout survive then it leaves the shiny, bulbous nose on the clown-face of the Republican Party. Good on Al. The GOP now must decide if it needs a person of subtler scumminess to shepherd the drive for yet another tax cut for the super-rich through the Senate.

Lout's appearance on BET was surreal, like seeing Quentin Crisp on Hee-Haw. It was courageous of Lout to break the color line for white bigots at BET. He'll be remembered as the Jackie Robinson of bigotry.

What's BET running next, a remake of The Jolson Story?

Lout's appearance marked the first time they ever used burnt cork in the BET makeup room.

Along with his sudden love for civil rights, Lout's also found environmentalism. He's become very interested in preventing the inevitable extinction of the endangered and dwindling Boll Weevil Bullshit Artist.

The trifecta of Lout, Law and Kissinger has provided a large holiday meal of crow for the Establishment . Trent Lout, bigoted? Henry Kissinger, conflicted of interest? Bernard Law, grossly negligent? This has been a week for people to be shocked by the obvious.

Bill Spain and Tom Duffy send along these Holiday DVD suggestions for the three. Trent Lout - Boys in the Hoods. Henry Kissinger - Boys from Brazil. Bernard Law- Boystown.

Apparently Kissinger just didn't want to have to explain those receipts from Saddam Hussein.

Old war criminals never die, they just slink away.

CrimQuips subscriber Tom Wells chimes in with this great suggestion: Why not name Ralph Nader for chair of the 9/11 committee?

Concerning the sudden and silly debate over whether or not W is a moron, place me squarely in the moron camp. Wait a minute, that didn't come out right!

In any case, just as there are evil geniuses there are evil morons and W falls into the latter category.

The fake "strike" that has failed in Venezuela is becoming more and more a figment of the corporate media's imagination. Why else wouldn't we have heard about the Organization of American State's 32-0 (with two abstentions) vote against US dreams to use it in yet another coup attempt against Hugo Chavez? Once again I remind you to "Remember the Maine!" And remember the media Goliaths who publicized that hoax. They are at it again. For reliable info on Venezuela and the rest of the region that has made distinct strides away from being a collection of US client states, read Narco News.

Conseco Insurance has filed for bankruptcy protection but voiced confidence that its insurance policyholders would not be harmed. Rest assured that if customers are hurt, Conseco will still behave like the rest of the industry and simply deny their claims.

**** True tales of holiday shopping horror... I recently ordered a Baxter State Parka from L.L. Bean as a Christmas gift. I was amazed to find it cost approximately what I paid for the same coat five or so years ago. When it arrived the Made in China tag explained to me how the Yankee retailer had held the line on its price. I hadn't realized that Baxter State Park was in China. The $9 or $10 per hour US employee who made my original parka has been replaced by a 40¢ per hour Chinese worker. When you can reduce labor costs 95% you have one hell of a wedge against inflation. Unfortunately the deflation of the value of workers lives is rarely measured or reported. At least the US Postal Service got a bit of a boon when I returned the coat.

Neither the Chinese garment worker nor the laid-off New England garment worker has a voice in the terms or conditions of their labor or lack thereof. These things are decided at what is called "free trade conferences." They might better be called "free slave trade conferences."

After several torturous trudges through malls, (Did you know there is a store called American Eagle? They sell nothing American there -- except hype.) I found a Carhartt Arctic Coat with a quilted lining that was made in the USA. It took three weeks of research and footwork to get it done. I understand everyone doesn't have that kind of time but I do ask you to remember that if you purchase something made by people who work for poverty wages, you are contributing to the impoverishment of everyone. And this isn't some xenophobic thing --I am thrilled to buy products made anywhere so long as I know there are decent wages and conditions for employees. More on this will appear in my Year in Review essay Unhappily Ever Aftermath the Dec. 27 Boston Phoenix. Happy Holidays!

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2002 Barry Crimmins

updated: 18 years ago