Five Stupid Government Tricks

They send people to die in war, but don’t send enough to ensure that even more die:

Colin Powell, former US secretary of state, advised President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, before the onset of war that the administration was not deploying enough troops to Iraq.
Mr Powell, joining a chorus of critics who have singled out Mr Rumsfeld’s handling of the war and the question of whether the US invaded Iraq with a sufficient number of troops on the ground, said in an interview on the UK’s ITV that the White House did not follow his recommendation.
“The president’s military advisers felt that the size of the force was adequate, they may still feel that years later. Some of us don’t, I don’t,” Mr Powell said. “At the time the president was listening to those who were supposed to be providing him with military advice. They were anticipating a different kind of aftermath of the fall in Baghdad, it turned out to be not exactly as they had anticipated”.

They try to shut down what people need to do to make a below-poverty-scale living and don’t expect people to get upset about it:

It is being billed as The Great American Boycott 2006. Tomorrow, international labour day in the US, thousands or perhaps millions of people are expected to join in a nationwide boycott to protest against proposals that would toughen existing immigration laws.
Under the slogan “No work, no school, no sales, no buying”, the boycott will be accompanied by marches and protests across the country. Organisers hope that it will build on the unexpected scale of the anti-immigration reform protest held at the end of March, which saw around half a million people take to the streets of Los Angeles and helped push the immigration debate to the top of the political agenda.

They shut down virtual skin peddlers:

Internet police in China’s capital have shut down six pornographic websites to prevent their “˜negative’ influence on society.
The six websites, including “˜www.ysdm.com’ and “˜www.xf13.net’, contained what was determined to be “˜unhealthy content’ and were shut down on Friday, ‘Beijing News’ reported.
Operators of two other websites were given a deadline to clean up contents on their websites after an investigation, the paper said.

They talk about freedom, but

The government of President Hosni Mubarak extended a 25-year-old emergency law by two years Sunday, despite his promise that it would be canceled and replaced with specific anti-terrorism measures.
No potential reform measure had been more anticipated than cancellation of the emergency law, which permits indefinite detention without trial and hearings of civilians by military courts, prohibits gatherings of more than five people, and limits speech and association.
Last year, President Bush demanded that Egypt take steps toward developing freedom of speech and organization as part of a U.S. drive to democratize the Middle East. Egypt, a staunch U.S. ally, receives $2 billion in aid annually from the United States.

They get upset when we get upset about all the bullshit — then they try to shut us down:

In early April, the advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit against telecommunications behemoth AT&T, alleging that the company has actively aided the US government’s covert surveillance program carried on by the National Security Agency. In a “Statement of Interest” filed with the US District Court of Northern California, the Department of Justice is requesting that the judge throw out the lawsuit because of what the government describes as a high possibility of classified information being made public.
In its filing, the DoJ said that the current administration would “assert the military and state secrets privilege” in its attempt to have the case thrown out of court. It also said that filing should not be interpreted as affirming or denying the allegations made by the EFF. In addition, AT&T also filed two separate motions seeking dismissal of the case.

Let’s hope this government thing is more like 5-Card Stud than 5-Card Draw.