Sunday, April 30, 2006

Working Class Hero

I'm listening to John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", how appropriate. Even if this story isn't true, what would you do? You make the choice! Don't look for a punch line; there isn't one! Read it anyway. My question to all of you is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning disabled children,the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. "I believe,that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes, in the way other people treat that child." Then he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?"

Shay's father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play, not expecting much. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

Shay struggled over to the team's bench put on a team shirt with a broad smile and his Father had a small tear in his eye and warmth in his heart. The boys saw the father's joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible 'cause Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing the other team putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over, but the pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the head of the first baseman, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever ran that far but made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to second base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team, who had a chance to be the hero for his team for the first time. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions and he too intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay"

Shay reached third base, the opposing shortstop ran to help him and turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams and those watching were on their feet were screaming, "Shay, run home! Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the "grand slam" and won the game for his team.

That day, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.

Shay didn't make it to another summer and died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making his Father so happy and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

AND, NOW A LITTLE FOOTNOTE TO THIS STORY: We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people think twice about sharing.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces and families. We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the "natural order of things." So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up that opportunity to brighten the day of those with us the least able, and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

May your day be a Shay Day, sunny today, tomorrow & always!

I know that there are good people in the world, some of you have proved it, but there are over 6 billion others who need to learn that we all survive together, not apart.

The Premiums Were Supposed to Cover Something?

Besides CEO salaries and perks, extra money for shareholders. Shocked, just shocked to find out that they are taking their money and running away to safer ground. And where is that exactly? A place that has perfect weather, no geological faults, no tornadoes and no poor people?
Insurers Retreat From Coasts: "Since Aug. 29 -- when the hurricane made landfall along the Gulf Coast -- Allstate Corp., the industry's second-largest company, has ceased writing homeowners policies in Louisiana, Florida and coastal parts of Texas and New York state. The firm has stopped underwriting earthquake coverage in California and elsewhere. Other firms have pulled back from the Gulf Coast to Cape Cod, notifying Florida of plans to cancel 500,000 policies.

Meanwhile, homeowners are moving to state-backed insurer plans of last resort, which tend to be subsidized by taxpayers, and whose costs are also rising.

As companies raise premiums, shed customers and battle homeowner claims in hurricane-damaged states, an overhaul of the industry is being promoted by an unusual coalition. It includes Allstate and State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. as well as a bipartisan group of state regulators, academic experts and former homeland security officials.

They propose establishing a greater role for the federal government in backing up new state catastrophe funds or private insurance firms when losses exceed a certain level, toughening state and local building codes and increasing premiums to accurately price risks. Some also want to potentially pool the high costs of covering perils such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and even floods into regional or national groups to ease consumer cost, and to use some money to help improve first responders and local preparedness."
Oooh, I know. Let's create another FEMA. That should make us prepared for any eventuality.
Insurers are divided over whether such warnings are more Jeremiah or Chicken Little. As a whole, the industry is coming off some of its best years. It recorded a 12 percent increase in net income after taxes of $43 billion in 2005, despite the storms, according to the Insurance Services Office and Property Casualty Insurers.

What's more, up to half of the Katrina losses -- $38.1 billion -- were borne by overseas firms or reinsurers (insurers for the insurance companies), which say that growing capital markets are shouldering any growing burden.

"Our point is this industry has been very profitable and very resilient in the face of the most significant catastrophic losses -- both terrorist and natural disasters -- ever," said Frank Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America, whose members would be supplanted by federal or state catastrophe funds or reinsurers. "We can't see why there's a case to be made for a government role."
Now where have I heard that story before? Hmmm, it looks like it is back to Grover Norquist's drown government in a bathtub way of thinking.

No wonder the rest of the world believes we have no sense of history.

Welcome Back, Frank

Really missed you, but you seem to have covered all the low points quite adequately.
Bush of a Thousand Days - New York Times: "The demons that keep rising up from the past to grab Mr. Bush are the fictional W.M.D. he wielded to take us into Iraq. They stalk him as relentlessly as Banquo's ghost did Macbeth. From that original sin, all else flows. Mr. Rove wouldn't be in jeopardy if the White House hadn't hatched a clumsy plot to cover up its fictions. Mr. Bush's poll numbers wouldn't be in the toilet if American blood was not being spilled daily because of his fictions. By recruiting a practiced Fox News performer to better spin this history, the White House reveals that it has learned nothing. Made-for-TV propaganda propelled the Bush presidency into its quagmire in the first place. At this late date only the truth, the whole and nothing but, can set it free.

All too fittingly, Tony Snow's appointment was announced just before May Day, a red-letter day twice over in the history of the Iraq war. It was on May 1 three years ago that Mr. Bush did his victory jig on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. It was May 1 last year that The Sunday Times of London published the so-called Downing Street memo. These events bracket all that has gone wrong and will keep going wrong for this president until he comes clean.

To mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion last month, the White House hyped something called Operation Swarmer, 'the largest air assault' since the start of the war, complete with Pentagon-produced video suitable for the evening news. (What the operation actually accomplished as either warfare or P.R. remains a mystery.) It will take nothing less than a replay of D-Day with the original cast to put a happy gloss on tomorrow's anniversary. Looking back at 'Mission Accomplished' now is like playing that childhood game of 'What's wrong with this picture?' It wasn't just the banner or the 'Top Gun' joyride or the declaration of the end of 'major combat operations' that was bogus. Everything was fake except the troops.

'We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools,' Mr. Bush said on that glorious day. Three years later we know, courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers, that our corrupt, Enron-like Iraq reconstruction effort has yielded at most 20 of those 142 promised hospitals. But we did build a palace for ourselves. The only building project on time and on budget, USA Today reported, is a $592 million embassy complex in the Green Zone on acreage the size of 80 football fields. Symbolically enough, it will have its own water-treatment plant and power generator to provide the basic services that we still have not restored to pre-invasion levels for the poor unwashed Iraqis beyond the American bunker."
Shazaam! Don't hold back, tell us what you really think.
At the time, "Mission Accomplished" was cheered by the Beltway establishment. "This fellow's won a war," the dean of the capital's press corps, David Broder, announced on "Meet the Press" after complimenting the president on the "great sense of authority and command" he exhibited in a flight suit. By contrast, the Washington grandees mostly ignored the Downing Street memo when it was first published in Britain, much as they initially underestimated the import of the Valerie Wilson leak investigation.

The Downing Street memo — minutes of a Tony Blair meeting with senior advisers in July 2002, nearly eight months before the war began — has proved as accurate as "Mission Accomplished" was fantasy. Each week brings new confirmation that the White House, as the head of British intelligence put it, was determined to fix "the intelligence and facts" around its predetermined policy of going to war in Iraq. Today Mr. Bush tries to pass the buck on the missing W.M.D. to "faulty intelligence," but his alibi is springing leaks faster than the White House and the C.I.A. can clamp down on them. We now know the president knew that the intelligence he cherry-picked was faulty — and flogged it anyway to sell us the war.

The latest evidence that Mr. Bush knew that "uranium from Africa" was no slam-dunk when he brandished it in his 2003 State of the Union address was uncovered by The Washington Post: the coordinating council for the 15 American intelligence agencies had already informed the White House that the Niger story had no factual basis and should be dropped. Last Sunday "60 Minutes" augmented this storyline and an earlier scoop by Lisa Myers of NBC News by reporting that the White House had deliberately ignored its most highly placed prewar informant, Saddam's final foreign minister, Naji Sabri, once he sent the word that Saddam's nuclear cupboard was bare.
The Great Decider decided that information wasn't neccessary for the unwashed masses of Amurikans. He decides what we need to be protected from...and when.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Not enough going on in the world

So let's investigate anyone for any reason. Why does this sound so familiar?
A Chilling FBI Fishing Expedition: "'Violations of the Espionage Act,' was the response. The Espionage Act dates to 1917 and was used to imprison dissidents who opposed World War I.

Evidently the Justice Department has decided that it wants to prosecute people who whispered national security secrets decades ago to a reporter now dead. The FBI agents asked me if I had seen any classified government documents in the nearly 200 boxes of materials the Anderson family has donated to my university. I replied that I had seen some government documents -- reports, audits, memos -- but didn't know what their classification status was.

'Just because the documents aren't marked 'classified' doesn't mean they're not,' Agent Leslie Martell suggested helpfully. But I was unable to give her the answer that she wanted: that our collection housed classified records.

Later, after I thought about it, I could recall seeing only one set of papers that might once have been classified: the FBI's own documents on Jack Anderson. But our version of those papers was heavily censored, unlike the original FBI file already in their own office.

Ironically, for the past five years the FBI and other federal agencies have refused to turn over such documents to me under the Freedom of Information Act, even though almost all the people named in them are now dead. The government claims it would violate their privacy, jeopardize national security or -- in the most absurd argument of all -- compromise 'ongoing law enforcement investigations.'

I told the FBI that the Anderson papers in our collection were 'ancient history,' literally covered in dust. That didn't matter, the agents replied. They were looking for documents going back to the early 1980s. The agents admitted that the statute of limitations had expired on any possible crimes committed that long ago, but they still wanted to root through our archives because even such old documents might demonstrate a 'pattern and practice' of leaking."
Oh yeah, that would have stopped 9/11. Forward thinking is not a big facet of this administration, but blaming the past and other people for not understanding seems to be the way to go.

And they call themselves grownups. They live in the past and pretend like the future will be rapturous.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Random Ipod Ten

1. Turn Your Love Around - George Benson
2. Hand Me Down World - The Guess Who
3. Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd
4. What Would Happen - Meredith Brooks
5. Gimmee Some Time - Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson
6. Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top
7. Candlelight - Richard Elliot
8. Young Girls - Richard Bradley's Blackwater Surprise
9. You Know You Wrong - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
10. Movin' On - Bad Company

Interesting set.

Another Pretty Picture

But is it true? I wonder if it is a male or female peacock?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Joke of the Day 4/27/06

Sent by a friend. A liberal one.

Medical Terms from the hood

Benign......................... What you be, after you be eight.
Artery......................... The study of paintings.
Bacteria....................... Back door to cafeteria.
Barium......................... What doctors do when patients die.
Cesarean Section............... A neighborhood in Rome.
Catscan........................ Searching for Kitty.
Cauterize...................... Made eye contact with her.
Colic.......................... A sheep dog.
Coma........................... A punctuation mark.
D&C............................ Where Washington is.
Dilate......................... To live long.
Enema.......................... Not a friend.
Fester......................... Quicker than someone else.
Fibula......................... A small lie.
Genital........................ Non-Jewish person.
G.I. Series.................... World Series of military baseball.
Hangnail....................... What you hang your coat on.
Impotent....................... Distinguished, well known.
Labor Pain..................... Getting hurt at work.
Medical Staff.................. A Doctor's cane.
Morbid......................... A higher offer.
Nitrates....................... Cheaper than day rates.
Node........................... I knew it.
Outpatient..................... A person who has fainted.
Pap Smear...................... A fatherhood test.
Pelvis......................... Second cousin to Elvis.
Post Operative................. A letter carrier.
Recovery Room.................. Place to do upholstery.
Rectum......................... Almost near killed him.
Secretion...................... Hiding something.
Seizure........................ Roman emperor.
Tablet......................... A small table.
Terminal Illness............... Getting sick at the airport.
Tumor.......................... One plus one more.
Urine.......................... Opposite of you're out.

More Fun Than One Person Should Have

Just got back from my bone scan, the radioligist made a point of mentioning that she hardly ever does black people, at least not until their 70s or 80s. Pretty cool test, you just lie there, not as confining as a CT scan and it was over in a few minutes.

Then I raced over to Kaiser where the podiatrist said that my foot was jacked, gave me two cortisone shots in the joint of the big foot, now it hurts worse, started talking about surgery and fusion of the big toe. Wants to see me again in three weeks, so I'm off work until at least the end of May. This sucks.

Mom let the people who were supposed to pick up the furniture (he refused after he got here) take the clothes for the battered women's shelter, there is no way I can move this stuff myself even if I could afford a truck and some guys to move the couches.

We found a place to live, I just don't have the deposit and first month's rent for another two weeks, but mom should be happy surrounded by people close to her own age and still be able to work. This is a temporary solution until I get back on my feet. Har, har.

Couldn't they have just tried ASKING POLITELY instead of ordering, controlling and being judgemental? If my relatives had come to me and said we will help you leave, instead of going behind my back and trying to have me solely evicted, this situation would not be so bad. I had a place in Felton with a hot tub and the most beautiful views. If they had helped their mother when SHE asked, this situation would be over in a positive way. But giving orders and treating family members as if they weren't, acting superior when they aren't, just won't and hasn't worked. Never will either.

The lawyer said to declare bankruptcy for both of us, so tomorrow I go to the Federal Court and ask for a fee waiver and can then kiss any chance of a decent rental future goodbye.

Question. Why would you call someone up, express negativity and then start screaming instead of talking? I never pay to get screamed at, it is against my religion.

Just for future reference.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blizzard On The Wqy

From Faux News to a real Snow job. Thicker and deeper than the last five years. As if that was actually possible.
Tony Snow to Be White House Press Secretary: "Outgoing spokesman Scott McClellan, whose tight-lipped style led to strained relations with reporters, announced last week that he is stepping down as part of a White House reorganization being spearheaded by the new chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten. Snow will be the first career journalist to serve in the position since President Gerald R. Ford tapped Ron Nessen, an NBC correspondent, in 1974.

A senior administration official said last night that Bush is aware of the 'perception of disdain for the institution of the media' on the part of the White House and wants a spokesman who will forge 'a good working relationship' with journalists.

The official said the president is also looking for 'a forceful advocate for the type of historical change he's trying to accomplish' and added: 'We believe Tony fits the bill in both areas. He has a lot of experience on the air, which with the evolution of the briefings is something you have to take into consideration.'"
I hope he isn't depending on the respect of his former colleagues, that will last about five minutes and any toes that he has stepped on will be bouncing up and down in anticipation of telling the truth no matter how thick it gets in the Press Room. From stonewalling to obfuscation. Aaah, I love rearranging the deck chairs. This ship is still going down; Snow jobs, icebergs and poor planning on not finding the WMD's will eventually bring down this administration.

No matter how you spin it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

As evidence that very little changes for the better in this country, I refer you to one of my very first posts. In our effort to "solidify" our borders, the children are the ones that always end up paying the price. I love stories where the school from nowhere shows the big boys how to do it. Sort of a David and Goliath type of thing.
Student's Prize Is a Trip Into Immigration Limbo - New York Times: "The project had only one computer and no real work space. Engineering advice came from an elevator mechanic and a machinist's son without a college degree. But in an upset that astonished its sponsors, the rookie team from East Harlem won the regional competition last month, beating rivals from elite schools like Stuyvesant in Manhattan and the Bronx High School of Science for a chance to compete in the national robotics finals in Atlanta that begins tomorrow.

Yet for Amadou, who helps operate the robot the team built, success has come at a price. As the group prepared for the flight to Atlanta today, he was forced to reveal his secret: He is an illegal immigrant from Senegal, with no ID to allow him to board a plane. Left here long ago by his mother, he has no way to attend the college that has accepted him, and only a slim chance to win his two-year court battle against deportation."
It is most important to look at what these kids achieved, rather than the failures of the their parents and a country that refuses to look for workable solutions. They met requirements under circumstances that most others would have found to be the focus of their life.

These kids deserve to be rewarded, not punished.

Sorry for the light posting

But we've been moving for the the last two days, hopefully everything will be done tomorrow and then I will have the leisure time to sit around for hours and read blogs of people I don't like and read all the good ones that I have missed over the past few days.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Heaven Forbid it Should Be the Other Way Around

Kids who have money refuse to help their parents over imagined issues and their chance at power and control. I remember my mom giving my brothers the last change in her purse to pay for the ice cream truck. What she thought was her parental duty in making sure her sons had treats, was unappreciated and worst of all...expected as their due.
The Bank of Mom and Dad - New York Times: "And like many of his peers — educated, employed, urban-dwelling young adults — he receives monthly assistance from his parents, in the form of a $300 check and the payment of his cellphone bill.

This is not the largesse of wealthy families doled out through trust funds. Nor is the money a couple of $20 bills tucked into a card at the holidays. Mr. McGuinness and others like him are the beneficiaries of an increasingly common subsidy arriving regularly from Mom and Dad, something like a family fellowship.

It helps to pay for housing, bills and travel expenses, and the support has been increasing for the past two decades as education is extended, marriage is delayed and young people take the scenic route from adolescence to adulthood.

'Everybody I know is supporting their children in some way,' said Gail Horowitz, Mr. McGuinness's mother, a vice president of the Zlokower Company, a public relations firm in Manhattan. Unlike young adults who 'boomerang' back home to live with their parents — the subject of the recent comedy 'Failure to Launch' — these young people live independently. But they need help to make ends meet, or put another way, to maintain a middle-class way of life."
We would all like to have a middle class way of life, but some children take everything their parents can do for them and then run away in an effort to avoid their own responsibility. Away with tens of thousands of dollars that they never contribute back to their parents, but use for "personal" purposes that have nothing to do with helping to improve or extend the lives of the people who raised them.

I felt pretty bad about my brothers' behavior (left her completely stranded monetarily (no printed checks or ATM card because they canceled her account and since I had just deposited my disability check in her account, left me no way to buy food or gas) in an effort to make her do something their way, even though she told them their demands were unacceptable to her. You are supposed to compromise with your parent, not the other way around. Then I met this guy over the weekend whose own brother screwed him out of over a million and I sort of don't feel so bad about my family's issues. Sort of, but the lack of help as their mother is evicted never ceases to amaze me. I let all my bills lapse, the car payment was due a few days ago and once again I had to let my acupuncture license fall by the wayside
, but between getting help to fix the motorhome and making sure that it is safe, I'm completely tapped out until for another week. And the doctor is now sending me to a podiatrist since I am developing drop foot which might make driving a tad more interesting. The thyroid isssue might be contributing, but I won't know for a few days and a visit to an endincrinolgist.

I'll bet if she had lots of money, they would have lots of time for her. But since they already stole everything of value and ran, why not leave the debris (mom) behind? Baffles me, but I have to solve the problem (nothing new) and then hear about how I would have received help if I had been willing to kiss someone's ass in Macy's window.

Not happening in this lifetime. The battered women's shelters are goingto receive some pretty nice stuff for someone else to get started.

Isn't life fun? The cable was just disconnected in the middle of this post, now I have to rely on phone access to post, bank or communicate. No 24 tonight, bummer. It was just getting good.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Surgery and Thyroid

It seems that there is one more little hitch to go along with my surgery. My thyroid no longer works consistently. One minute it is in manic overdrive, the next I am so cold and can't stay awake.

There is so much work to be done, a lot of planning needs to occur and I can't stay awake long enough to concentrate. No matter how many times this has been explained to the people around me, they continue to act as if I still had full control of my faculties and that if I just try a little harder it will all work out.

I have asked for help with this situation, especially since the doctor called me twice this week and wants to make sure she sees me on Monday. I guess my second series of tests were worse than the first. She wants me to go to an endincrinologist right away. Guess I'll fit that right in on Monday with becoming homeless.

I need another nap, but I also need to load the motorhome. I'm so tired, we sold nothing in the apartment, so I will call some battered women's shelter and see if they need furniture, computer (XP Pro) and clothing.

I just know this isn't what my father wanted for his wife. I'd stake my life on it.

Sort of doing that anyway, aren't I?

Need to sleep. At least the reduction looks beautiful. I really do need some help, thank God for the kindness of strangers.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Vioxx, Viagra, Thalidomide and Antidepressants for Children are OK

But the poor widdle babies couldn't find any positive information on marijuana after 1000's of years of use. Does royalty count anymore? Wonder what Queen Elizabeth I would have said about her cramps and the use of marijuana that helped her?

Couldn't they have released this story yesterday? A little more impact (known as timing), and we all could have had a laugh. Bet they don't even know the significance since these guys are so clueless they shouldn't be allowed to determine if water is healthy and food is clean and edible for consumption. Oh yeah, they've already done that in some parts of the country and been proven wrong. The FDA has approved so many drugs that KILL people by prescription, they shouldn't be allowed to park a car in a warehouse parking lot.
F.D.A. Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana - New York Times: "Susan Bro, an agency spokeswoman, said Thursday's statement resulted from a past combined review by federal drug enforcement, regulatory and research agencies that concluded 'smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment.'

Ms. Bro said the agency issued the statement in response to numerous inquiries from Capitol Hill but would probably do nothing to enforce it.

'Any enforcement based on this finding would need to be by D.E.A. since this falls outside of F.D.A.'s regulatory authority,' she said.

Eleven states have legalized medicinal use of marijuana, but the Drug Enforcement Administration and the director of national drug control policy, John P. Walters, have opposed those laws.

A Supreme Court decision last year allowed the federal government to arrest anyone using marijuana, even for medical purposes and even in states that have legalized its use.

Congressional opponents and supporters of medical marijuana use have each tried to enlist the F.D.A. to support their views. Representative Mark Souder, Republican of Indiana and a fierce opponent of medical marijuana initiatives, proposed legislation two years ago that would have required the food and drug agency to issue an opinion on the medicinal properties of marijuana."
This country is fracturing and the sooner the elder generation dies off, the better chance we have of surviving. After the two drugs they gave me over the last month, both of which had major side effects, actually worse than the symptoms, these guys only approve what they are paid for. If you are a drug company, you pay a doctor to do "research", submit it for review in a journal that has "suspicious" backing and now it is true so the FDA can "approve" it, until the lawsuits start coming in. How much was that Vioxx payout?

Bro, you need to chill and quit listening to paid shills.

Oh and I trust the DEA like I trust Bush, Cheney (didn't he shoot someone in the face under circumstances that involved drugs and or alcohol?) or Rumsfeld. Those guys were smoking something when they concocted the Iraq invasion and have found a stronger version now that they want a nuclear strike on Iran. Maybe the DEA should start a little closer to home and investigate the mind altering substances being used in the White House to justify their every mistake.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Super Christian Nation Comes in Fourth

What a statistic to be proud of. Not.
China, Iran, Saudi, US main executioners: Amnesty - Yahoo! News: "'The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights, because it contravenes the essence of human values, it is often applied in a discriminatory manner, follows unfair trials or is applied for political reasons,' Amnesty International Secretary-General Irene Khan said in a statement.

At least 94 people were executed in Iran, 86 in Saudi Arabia and 60 in the United States.

'As the world continues to turn away from the use of the death penalty, it is a glaring anomaly that China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the U.S. stand out for their extreme use of this form of punishment,' Khan said.

China has carried out executions by shooting or lethal injection, Saudi Arabia by beheading, Iran by hanging or stoning and the United States by electrocution or lethal injection, Amnesty said.

Amnesty said its figures were approximate because of secrecy surrounding the death penalty. China refuses to publish official statistics on executions while Vietnam has classified statistics on the death penalty as a 'state secret,' it said.

But the rights group said with the addition of Mexico and Liberia, 86 countries had now abolished the death penalty for all crimes, compared with 16 countries in 1977, it said.

In China, a person can be executed for as many as 68 crimes, including non-violent crimes such as tax fraud, embezzlement and drug offences, it said.

Amnesty said Iran was the only country it knew of that had executed juvenile offenders last year. The United States outlawed juvenile executions in March 2005."
What a stink that caused in this country. Kill. Kill. Age and lack of mental capacity are not important. We must kill to provide discipline and to prevent their crimes from ever happening again. That theory doesn't seem to work as well they might have hoped. It also doesn't bring "closure". The death penalty should be reserved for pedophilia. A country that would sentence Jeffrey Dahmer to a life term (shortened and enforced by inmates) but actively kill a 75 year old man just to prove a point and make less than ten people feel empowered, has a system that is deeply flawed and Americans should do their best to move themselves off of this list and find another way to solve our problems.

Like that is going to happen. If the Bushies have their way, we will lead China in secret executions in two years or less and the people will cheer. Stupidly not realizing that they are now targets. Welcome to Amurika. Land of the death penalty, maybe they can turn it into a video game and sicker people can hunt "murderers" for sport and feel like they are contributing to society.

Russian society, where you turn on your neighbors to save yourself. As if you are more special than the other 7 billion people who occupy the planet. The Rude Pundit shows just how close we are.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Favorite Duck ala Lame Recipe

Add two parts Bush, one part stupidity, 88 parts arrogance, five parts public stupidity, and four parts Rovian manipulations and you get...
White House Shifts Into Survival Mode: "Whether the changes will bring fundamental change in a troubled administration is another question. One of Bolten's biggest challenges, administration allies say, will be to find ways to open up the Oval Office to new ideas and to the opinions of people who are not longtime Bush confidants.

On that score, many people who know the administration best are privately dubious. Presidents, more than chiefs of staff, determine how White Houses operate, they said, noting that Bush has shown that he prefers a tight circle of advisers and does not welcome the advice of outsiders. As Bush put it on Monday, in asserting that he would not fire Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, 'I'm the decider, and I decide what's best.'

Rove's return to a role that closely mirrors that which he played in Bush's first term demonstrates how much this White House has now shifted to survival mode -- and how far events have pushed the president from the grand ambitions with which he opened his second term just 15 months ago.

Then, with Rove as the animating force, the president sought to engineer Republican political dominance by remaking government with such far-reaching initiatives as his plan to remake the Social Security program. Today, Social Security stands as Exhibit A of what went wrong domestically in 2005.

Public disillusionment over Bush's policies in Iraq have left the country in a sour mood and Bush's presidency at low ebb, threatening the entire Bush-Rove project to create a durable Republican majority. While that goal remains central to those closest to Bush, the focus at the White House for the foreseeable future will be trying to revitalize this presidency quickly enough to avoid crippling GOP losses in November that could thrust Bush into instant lame-duck status."
He is going to be my favorite president at something. Lame duck works perfectly well for me.

Buh Bye, Don't Let The Screen Door Hit You

Well that took less than the two weeks I thought it would, ooh couldn't we just change the Decider for one who can decide correctly and quit replacing the henchman. Where exactly is Baghdad Bob these days, with a new job opening available and he meets all of the qualifications?
McClellan Out as White House Press Secretary: "ppearing with Bush on the White House South Lawn just before the president boarded a helicopter at the start a trip to Alabama, McClellan, who has parried especially fiercefully with reporters on Iraq and on intelligence issues, told Bush: 'I have given it my all sir and I have given you my all sir, and I will continue to do so as we transition to a new press secretary.'

Bush said McClellan had 'a challenging assignment.'

'I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity,' the president said. 'It's going to be hard to replace Scott, but nevertheless he made the decision and I accepted it. One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas and talking about the good old days.'"
Wonder how more "heckuva job" stories we have coming.

Ooh, ooh, Rovian undertones along with it?
Also, a senior administration official revealed another move in the ongoing shakeup of Bush’s staff, saying Rove, the president's longtime confidant and adviser, is giving up oversight of policy development to focus more on politics with the approach of the fall midterm elections.

Just over a year ago, Rove was promoted to deputy chief of staff in charge of most White House policy coordination. That new portfolio came on top of his title as senior adviser and role of chief policy aide to Bush.

But now, the job of deputy chief of staff for policy is being given to Joel Kaplan, now the White House’s deputy budget director, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the president had not yet made the announcement.

The move signals a possibly broad effort to rearrange and reinvigorate Bush’s staff by new chief of staff Joshua Bolten. Bolten moved into his position last week; Kaplan was his No. 2 person at the Office of Management and Budget.
This could be a very interesting month, other than that tax thing and all. Suppose enough people protested paying their taxes? Nah, that couldn't be it. Incompetence and malfeasance spring to mind.

MoDo Derides The Decider's Derider

Definitely wouldn't want to get into a battle of words with a woman this bright. Makes you wonder exactly who or what Judith Miller blew.
The Decider Sticks With the Derider - New York Times: "He flailed and floundered through anecdotes from his first and second stints at the Pentagon, arguing that he drew criticism because he was a change agent, trying to transform the lumbering military bureaucracy.

He talked about things that most people wouldn't understand — how 30 years ago he chose a M-1 battle tank with a 120-millimeter cannon and turbine engine instead of the 105-howitzer and diesel engine the Army had wanted. He babbled on about reforms in the Unified Command Plan, the Defense Logistics System, the Quadrennial Defense Reviews and the National Security Personnel System and about going from 'service-centric war fighting to deconfliction war fighting, to interoperability and now towards interdependence.'

When you yank the military from the 20th-century industrial age to the 21st-century information age, Rummy said, you're bound to cause 'a lot of ruffles.'

Asked why he twice offered to resign during the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal but has not this time, Rummy smiled and replied, 'Oh, just call it idiosyncratic.'

Idiosyncratic, indeed, with Iraq in chaos, the military riven and depleted, the president poleaxed, the Republican fortunes for the midterm elections dwindling, and Republican lawmakers like Chuck Hagel questioning Rummy's leadership and Democratic ones like Dick Durbin proposing a no-confidence vote in the Senate.

The secretary made it sound as if the generals want him to resign because he made reforms. But they really want him to resign because he made gigantic, horrible, arrogant mistakes that will be taught in history classes forever.

He suggested invading Iraq the day after 9/11. He didn't want to invade Iraq because it was connected to 9/11. That was the part his neocon aides at the Pentagon, Wolfie and Doug Feith, had to concoct. Rummy wanted to invade Iraq because he thought it would be easy, compared with Iran or North Korea, or compared with finding Osama. He could do it cheap and show off his vaunted transformation of the military into a sleek, lean fighting force.

Cloistered in a macho monastery with "The Decider" (as W. calls himself), Dick Cheney and Condi Rice, Rummy didn't want to hear dissent, or worries about Iraq, the tribes, the sects, the likelihood of insurgency or civil war, the need for more troops and armor to quell postwar eruptions.

"He didn't worry about the culture in Iraq," said Bernard Trainor, the retired Marine general who is my former colleague and the co-author of "Cobra II." "He just wanted to show them the front end of an M-1 tank. He could have been in Antarctica fighting penguins. He didn't care, as long as he could send the message that you don't mess with Hopalong Cassidy. He wanted to do to Saddam in the Middle East what he did to Shinseki in the Pentagon, make him an example, say, 'I'm in charge, don't mess with me.' "

The stoic Gen. Eric Shinseki finally spoke to Newsweek, conceding he had seen a former classmate wearing a cap emblazoned with "RIC WAS RIGHT" at West Point last fall. He said only that the Pentagon had "a lot of turmoil" before the invasion."
Yep, the wheels are coming off the vehicle and we are riding on the rims.

Never good for the car. I wish MoDo published 3 times a week.

Once Upon A Time

The buck stopped somewhere, obviously that was a Democratic government.
Meet the Secretary of Serenity: "'I kind of would prefer to let a little time walk over it,' he said when asked about the generals' gripes.

A questioner asked about the 'great deal of dissatisfaction' with him in the military. 'There are always differences of opinion,' Rumsfeld answered mildly.

How come he offered to resign in the past but not now? 'Oh,' the secretary said sweetly, 'just call it idiosyncratic.'

CNN's Jamie McIntyre tried harder to provoke Rumsfeld. 'How much do you think this is about your management style?'

'No idea,' the unflappable one replied.

'Well, quick follow-up: To the charge that you're arrogant and autocratic --'

'I said I have no idea,' Rumsfeld interrupted.

'Are you arrogant and autocratic?' McIntyre demanded.

'You know me,' the possum parried.

Rumsfeld could maintain this out-of-character calm ('There are no indispensable men,' he said when asked about a possible resignation) in part because he was standing at the lectern with Peter Pace, who is usually chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff but was moonlighting yesterday as Rumsfeld's PR guy."
They teach that stuff at West Point? No wonder we're losing in Iraq. Strategy, planning, long supply lines and honor don't seem to be on the curriculum anymore, or you have the option to choose to be a figurehead instead of a leader.

A little bit of power goes straight to the head, as we used to say when I was in the Army and unqualified people were promoted one step too many. Does Joss Whedon know about this new title?

Last Words on this subject

I was conversing with several therapists over this situation and their solution was...RUN. My brothers are incapable of changing their minds, determined that only they are right and that conversation with the people who deal with my mom on a daily basis is a waste of time. This time they made the mistake of having witnesses to their behavior and I have more local support than I ever though possible. To those people I say, thank you.

I am so grateful that I never had children. What would possess supposedly grown men (40s) to intimidate their mother, leave her shaking and in tears, switch her checking account, which I had privileges on and also deposited my check into, made no provisions for transferring her Secure Horizons (guess she doesn't need health insurance at her age, dotting I's and crossing T's isn't important when you are focused on revenge), left us stranded with no access to our money, no check card or printed checks and think they are helping? With a few days to go, they actually made the situation worse and wasted a whole day of my time and something that a friend had put together to help us out.

They ganged up on her at breakfast yesterday and just kept hammering her about how I was ruining her life, blah, blah. blah. Not that they have done a thing but control her, no holidays and no fun. After six years they still can't remember her days off and make no effort to be a part of her life, just make her an extension of theirs when needed. I do something nice for my mom EVERY day just because she is my mom, all I ever see them do is criticize (sort of like my dad treated her, old habits die hard), stranding her in the middle of nowhere with no support system but them and then deserting her there. My dad must be spinning in his grave. This is the period in her life when she should be having fun that she determines and not them. What she wants is what she gets. For as long as I can. That is my job until she is gone, just like I promised my dad. I never blow smoke up her skirt just to get her to do what I want, which is for her to be happy.

They want her to quit her job and go into a senior's facility or live with them in Windsor under their dog of her own, no smoking, no two beers a night and turn over her SSN for their disbursement to her, no working. I'm not happy with mom working as a cashier, but it keeps her going. There aren't too many 75 year old women on two meds a day, one for a thyroid that was removed a few years ago and one blood pressure regulator. She has no diabetes and an iron grip, can do more work in a day than most in a week and is the best survivor I know. I control her health through her diet which involves time, thought, and effort on a daily basis, something I gladly provide since I have the knowledge.

My brothers have no idea (nor did they care) that they were trying to force her to make the same choice with her children that the Nazi's used to pull during her youth. Sophie's Choice. I feel so sorry for her, I told her if she went up there that they might take better care of her, but then my baby brother accused me of trying to manipulate her into doing what they wanted. Sheesh! If an asteroid hit the moon, broke off a piece and landed on our apartment, it would be my fault for having lived in the house.

I can't win and I can't get away from them until after mom passes and with their wonderful help, consideration and interference it will probably be sooner rather than later. Those letters I sent from my brother, (yes, I sent them to a retired therapist for his opinion, LOL), brother now is refusing to help me with anything because I didn't do it his way. This involved knowledge that he already has, no money. Whatever. Turned around and walked off like I didn't exist anymore than a bug that must be squashed. Came back later until the argument devolved into the punctuation on my blog. I left and have no plans to ever see them again.

My solution to the situation of being homeless isn't perfect (and anybody that thinks it is needs some kind of mental help), but it is temporary and will allow us to make progress towards some other goals.. They were and are so focused on controlling her that they forgot who she is and what she wanted. I don't know what other of the Ten Commandments they have broken, but honoring thy father and thy mother is a big one and one that my generation seems to have forgotten. They have thrown serious objects (trying to help make it worse) in my way for a job that had big potential, but I have had to waste so much money and time fighting this battle and trying to get ready that I wonder if I want to stay in the area. Way too expensive here and I would rather work with people that need my help instead of being a "designer" acupuncturist.

My recent stay in the hospital has shown me that there are things I can do to help improve recovery time. I hope so because a friend of mine is undergoing serious surgery this morning and I want to do all I can to help him recover quickly, not alone like I did.

While the Republicans worry about the breakdown of the family unit (mustn't be raised by gays, orphanages and judgmental churches are much better) I am living it, and it is my generation not just my family. For some reason as soon as parents can't help you out monetarily, they cease to exist as your parents and become old people that are in your way. When my father first heard "Cats in the cradle" he knew that was what was going to be his relationship with his sons. He wasn't wrong. For my mom it is "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" without the blue hair or presents and for me my brothers would prefer "They are coming to take me away".

This is a sad state of affairs, one that no parent should ever have to put up with. Help should be just that, help. If we wanted organized misery there is always the government to provide it on a daily basis. In uniform.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Too Funny

Wouldn't they actually have to work in order to be fired?

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Thanks for the memories.

My Blog

My blog is for me to post about anything I want, I would prefer to keep personal problems out of it, but certain personalities intervened.

I like politics, cooking, television, space travel and anything that strikes my fancy. I will use punctuation if I so desire. Or not, because it is MINE.

My family doesn't approve of me, I don't approve of them. Even Steven.


Stop reading and leaving it open, you are skewing my sitemeter.


And we all thought he was going to keep it in the family, you know one of the kids or something.
Bush Picks Portman as Budget Director: "Portman, subject to Senate confirmation, will replace Joshua B. Bolten, who started his new post as White House chief of staff on Friday afternoon and used his first full day on the job Monday to signal plans for a broader shakeup of the president's politically wounded operation.

Age: 50 (B. Dec. 19, 1955)

Education: B.A., Anthropology, Dartmouth College, 1979; J.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1984

Career: Appointed U.S. Trade Representative in April 2005. Previously served in the House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, 1993-2005. Associate, Patton Boggs, 1984-1986; Graydon, Head and Ritchey, 1986-1989, and 1991-1993; Official in the first Bush Administration, 1989-1991.

Family: Wife Jane, and three children.

Post Coverage:
Database: Portman's Congressional Voting Record
(Served from 1993-2005)
Transcript: 'Bush Announces Appointment of New Budget Director'
(April 18, 2006)

Archives: 'Rep. Portman Named Next U.S. Trade Representative'
(March 18, 2005)

Portman, who spent 12 years representing Ohio in the House and served in the Republican leadership before Bush appointed him to the trade post last year, will be a popular choice on Capitol Hill, administration officials predicted."
Not one to rock to the boat, eh?
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Monday, April 17, 2006

One Set of Balls on the Court

And there is no telling how long she will last. How can this not be wrong? What if it was you mistakenly in prison and everybody disavowed all knowledge? Soon it will be honest Americans and then if they are rich we might have some sympathy.
ABC News: Guantanamo Men Lose Supreme Court Appeal: "The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from two Chinese Muslims who were mistakenly captured as enemy combatants more than four years ago and are being held at the U.S. prison in Cuba.

The men's plight has posed a dilemma for the Bush administration and courts. Previously, a federal judge said the detention of the ethnic Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay is unlawful, but that there was nothing federal courts could do.

Lawyers for the two contend they should be released, something the Bush administration opposes.

A year ago, the military decided that Abu Bakker Qassim and A'Del Abdu al-Hakim are not 'enemy combatants' as first suspected after their 2001 arrests in Pakistan. They were captured and shipped to Guantanamo Bay along with hundreds of other suspected terrorists."
Now, being innocent is a crime that nobody will protect you from harm. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

Monday morning links

A limerick about the generals who finally found their hardware. By way of Skippy, natch.

The Jolly Roger brings back old memories for us. Not pleasant ones either.

Jill is just being brilliant, as usual. While driftglass reminds us that the Republican party can be described by an old parlor game. And just as accurately.

The WaahPoo has another article about the lack of safety and oversight:
Prewitt was a parts buyer, the third generation of her family to work at the sprawling Boeing factory on the outskirts of Wichita. She believed that pieces going into one of the world's most advanced and popular airliners, the Boeing 737, should fit like a glove.
Which is how I prefer my motorized parts to mesh. Especially thousands of feet in the air. But you know what will happen. Nothing. Unless your are the whistleblowers.
After the whistle-blowers notified federal authorities in 2002, the FAA and the Pentagon looked into their charges. Each said its investigation cleared the airplane parts and found no reports of problems from military or civilian operators of Boeing jets. The Department of Transportation's inspector general also dismissed the charges.

The Post's review, however, found that the FAA did not assess many of the whistle-blowers' key allegations. FAA inspectors examined only a small number of parts in the plants and did not visit any airplanes to inspect the roughly 200 types of parts questioned by the whistle-blowers.
Business as usual, so not a surprise.

Somebody has finally figured out that our Congress likes to do things below the radar.
This one would, as usual, hide the cost of tax cuts that primarily benefit upper-income Americans. But it would accomplish that budgetary smoke and mirrors with a new tax provision, involving retirement savings accounts, that also benefits the well-to-do. And, to top things off, this new tax provision, while masking the cost of the tax cuts by bringing in more revenue in the short term, would in the long run worsen the fiscal situation by piling on more debt. No one who's serious about controlling the deficit -- whatever one's position on extending the tax cuts -- could support this dishonest approach.

The gimmick is intended to get around a Senate rule that requires 60 votes to approve a tax bill if it's going to deepen the deficit more than five years down the road; if it won't have that long-term impact, a simple majority could suffice for passage. Unfortunately for Senate leaders, a two-year extension of the capital gains and dividend tax cuts, now set to expire in 2008, would cost $20 billion over the next five years -- but $30 billion more in the five years after that. Taxpayers will scramble to take advantage of the lower rates now, thereby lessening tax revenue later. So to pass the cuts with only 51 votes, legislators have to find some way to offset that second five-year revenue loss.

Enter the retirement savings gimmick. As it's being discussed behind the scenes, this would let wealthier Americans use savings plans known as Roth IRAs. With traditional IRAs, taxpayers get to deduct the contributions they make from their income for that year; they pay taxes on the savings once they are withdrawn. Roth IRAs flip that arrangement around: Contributors pay taxes on the income they put into the accounts, but their savings then grow tax-free. So letting more people put money into Roth IRAs would increase tax revenue for a while -- offsetting, at least in theory, the cost of the capital gains cuts. But the Roth change would cost money down the road, as revenue once subject to taxation would grow tax-free.
If it wasn't for their constant whining about their mistakes I might start calling them the WaPo again.

And in the good grief department this one takes the cake. Don't they realize they are going to be underwater in a few years? And they think they are using foresight.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

All Righty Then

I now "own" a motorhome that mom and I are slowly moving into. We will be having a "fire sale" of sorts next weekend, anything valuable to ME, I will try and store cheaply, everything else is going to a battered women's shelter or goodwill or any true Katrina victim.

Couches, tvs, coffee and end tables, lamps, computer desk, beautiful dining room table with chairs, queen and double size beds, the rest of the bedroom furniture and anything else I don't find important is on the shopping block.

Then after I have some work done on the vehicle, we are off camping and living the life my father had originally desired for this period in their life.

When one door closes, another opens. Sometimes it is just a small window but you can squeeze thru the other side and make it work for you if you have authority issues. And I have those. Galore.

At least we aren't completely homeless and might have a little fun to go along with it.

No wonder I like Eric Carmen. Wasn't that uplifting?

The king is dead, long live the queen. As usual.

Stop The War

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Pretty soon Americans will ensure that tribal warfare will be that is all that there is left to fight.

Oh wait, isn't that already happening all over the world? Thanks Left I on the News.

Isn't This The Day?

We are supposed to prove our love and devotion to the Lord for the betrayal, mock trial and death of the the Lord's son by dressing in our best clothing so we can watch children hunting funny colored eggs produced and hidden by a special bunny built just for the occaision?

I had problems with this at 6 and 40+ years still hasn't given me a satisfactory or logical answer.

How long has Eveready been in business? Must be right up there with Hallmark and fake holiday sales.

Verizon Sucks The big Weenie

I called them last month, explained I was in the hospital and had to make a lot of emergency phone calls. It also seems that there was a company that I got charged EVERY MINUTE they called even though I never answered. He said not to worry that for one month they could adjust my minutes so I wouldn't go over because my plan was up for renewal in less than 30 days. I have never come close to using my minutes before, now the bill is $200 and they won't budge. I can't even view the breakdown of my bill for another few days.

Unfortunately they say, their is nothing they can do. My contract is up on the 25th and another company willl be getting my business. I was just getting ready to add their broadband to my computer but they can kiss my ass before another dime comes out of my account for this ripoff company. I hope AT&T takes them down. Sprint/Nextel anybody else will have my business before I ever recommend this company to a dying dog. Or anything else.

Verizon sucks and needs to be put out of business. They make no effort to work with you and if I had more computer savvy I would make their life the living hell that they have made mine.

Meanwhile I need computer access on this computer while on the road.

Update: It seems that Verizon has blocked all access to any other providers. That's ok, my feet still work.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Heckuva a job, Rummy

Toast and I think it's burning, or it should be.
Rumsfeld Gets Robust Defense From President - New York Times: "'Secretary Rumsfeld's energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period,' the president's statement read. 'He has my full support and deepest appreciation.'

The statement, issued as Mr. Bush interrupted a family holiday at Camp David, was part of a strong effort by the White House to fend off criticism of the handling of the war that has come from six retired generals, several of whom were involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The generals are weighing in as polls show support for the war waning significantly in an election year.

Mr. Bush's statement was followed hours later by supportive comments from Gen. Richard B. Myers, the retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the retired commander of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both appeared on cable news programs, and General Myers pointedly criticized former colleagues for publicly questioning civilian leadership."
We had this saying. CYA. It means cover your ass.

Guys, you don't have diapers big enough for the mess you made and continue to make.

And then Modo weighed in, in her inimitable fashion.
One rule advises: "Preserve the president's options. He may need them." Others include "It is easier to get into something than to get out of it" and "Try to make original mistakes, rather than needlessly repeating" the mistakes of your predecessors.

History will long dwell on how America made the same bloody errors in Vietnam and Iraq within a generation, trading the arrogant, obtuse, wire-rimmed Robert McNamara for the arrogant, obtuse, wire-rimmed Donald Rumsfeld.

First the public began bailing on supporting the conduct of the Iraq war, and now top military voices are balking. Six prominent retired generals say that Rummy discounted the dangers in Iraq and managed with an intimidating style that left commanders feeling jammed into submission. He promoted sycophants like Richard Myers and Peter Pace, while slapping down truth-tellers like Eric Shinseki. Again, Rumsfeld's rules could have helped. There's one about the "indispensable" and "gracious" art of listening.

W. should have fired Rummy long ago, after the sickening news of Abu Ghraib and torture stories out of Gitmo. He should have fired him as soon as it became clear that the defense secretary who bungled the occupation and insurgency has no idea how to get out of Iraq and stop American kids from getting blown up day after day by homemade bombs.

But W. took a break from a long holiday weekend (is there any other kind for him?) at Camp David to defend Rummy and tamp down the mutiny. The commander in chief is the one who put Rummy in charge of the botched postwar non-plan and hates admitting a mistake as much as his defense chief. He thinks that if he caves to keening generals, he will be seen by his base as weak. His whole presidency, his whole muscle-bound adventurism in Iraq, has been designed to prevent him from being labeled a wimp, as his dad was.

Mr. Bush's pretense — that he was just following the advice of the military when he endorsed Rummy's inadequate troop levels — rings hollow now that the former generals have spoken out about the defense secretary's airless policy of coercion. Convinced Iraq was all but won, Rummy prodded Tommy Franks to cancel the final Army division in the war plan, the First Cavalry Division.

"Rumsfeld just ground Franks down," Tom White, the former Army secretary, told Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor for "Cobra II," their Iraq war history. "The nature of Rumsfeld is that you just get tired of arguing with him."

Veronica Mars

She has the new Macbook already. I am so jealous. It was bad enough when she demo-ed the Tiger widgets the day after they came out officially.

She's better than Barbie. Has all the new toys.

Saturday Morning Shuffle

1. I can love you like that by Pamela Williams (great saxtress)
2. Lord of the low frequency by Stanley Clarke
3. Tuesday Afternoon by the Moody Blues
4. Nobody's Fault but Mine by Paige and Plant (personal fave)
5. Bombay by Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra
6. What's Goin' Down by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
7. While My Heart is Still Beating by Roxy Music
8. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight by R.E.M.
9. This Diamond Ring by Gary Lewis and the Playboys
10. Winelight by Grover Washington, Jr. (alltime favorite candlelight, champagne and caviar bath album)

I was a little too busy to post this yesterday, so it's Saturday music day.

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I found a leaky one that has carburetor and fan problems, with as little money as I could that didn't require the world's oldest trade, hope it makes it from Brisbane to here. I wish I had some other choices, saw a great one, couldn't talk him down on the price or make a payment next month. Bummer. I really do hate making some decisions in haste, but there are a lot of liars on Craigslist and Ebay I can't get across the country to pick one up.

Solutions seem to be hard to come by these days. Too much precipitate keeps falling out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wow. Just wow!

I had forgotten how good this blog really was. This is laid out like the most perfect map I'm surprised that there isn't a hybrid google too go along with it.
Whiskey Bar: Munich: "And so the most promising opportunities for a rational settlement have all passed us by. Instead of a moderate reform president and a group of nervous ayatollahs anxious to cut a deal, America now has Ahmadinejad – and the dawn of what could conceivably become an explicitly fascist regime in Iran, or at least a very close substitute for one.

The good news, such as it is, is that Ahmadinejad's end-times ideology doesn't seem to include any grand territorial ambitions: no 'Greater Iran' (Iran is already a greater Iran), no lebensraum in the east. We also have time – time to see how things shake out, to see if the ayatollahs can hamstring their troublesome protege, to see if the democracy movement can make a political comeback. Time for Ahmadinejad to lose some of his popular shine as Iran's internal problems worsen. Time for our own hardline warmongers to be booted out of power.

But unfortunately, our divinely ordained president may not be prepared to wait (and the last sentence of the preceding paragraph appears to be one of the reasons.) Which means at this point we probably should be worrying less about what happened in Munich in 1938, and more about what happened there in 1972, when the German police moved in and tried to disarm the terrorists."
Like we don't remember that debacle.

Please don't let this get worse, humanity just can't afford it.

I Think I Found One

The roof leaks, but the guy said he will try and fix it before delivery, but I might want to replace the carburetor soon. Every penny we have, but I'm supposed to take delivery on Sunday morning. Something tells me I had better get more mechanically inclined. It's a roof over our heads, I just got my car even but we need to live in a place that is isn't under a bridge and that I can secure from the inside.

Stressful doesn't even begin to cover the day, supposedly I'm the one who doesn't work or accomplish anything in their life. I guess I just make it look easy.

Or, I've had a lot of practice. Probably both.

I am all over eBay this morning

Desperately trying to find a place (motorhome for the summer) to live. It is a good thing I thrive under pressure, but this is one of the few times that I wish for a partner.

This woman will have a warm, safe, roof over her head by the end of the month or I am a failure as a daughter and I can say that that is something I am not. Failure. And especially as a daughter.

This will happen and it will happen correctly.

Could Have Sworn

I did a version of this joke without going to his page.
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Whirl, Splat, Whirl, Splat

The sound that defecation makes when it that in to contact with the rotary oscillator
War Room - "Batiste said that his soldiers were asked to control an area of Iraq as large as West Virginia and never had enough manpower to do so. 'We were forced over time to conduct a series of movements to contact where we only controlled the ground for a moment in time; that's not how you fight an insurgency,' he said. Batiste said that he 'always asked for more troops, within our chain of command.' When those requests were denied, he said, 'we saluted and executed; I had to keep my soldiers alive and focused on the mission at hand.'

George W. Bush has always insisted that he has given commanders in Iraq whatever troop levels they've requested; Batiste's comments suggest either that Bush has been lying or that the military commanders between Bush and men at Batiste's level have failed to pass along the requests for more manpower, knowing that the answer would be no and saving Bush from having to give it."
The lies get thicker, deeper and smellier, sort of like a port-a-potty that has been used daily and cleaned quarterly.

From the NY Times which seems to be leading the charge now that there are a few followers weighed in with an interesting article.
Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, on Thursday became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to call publicly for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster. Also Thursday, another retired Army general, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, joined in the fray.

"We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General Swannack said in a telephone interview. "But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."

Another former Army commander in Iraq, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division, publicly broke ranks with Mr. Rumsfeld on Wednesday. Mr. Rumsfeld long ago became a magnet for political attacks. But the current uproar is significant because Mr. Rumsfeld's critics include generals who were involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq under the defense secretary's leadership.
Not that the American public would have an opinion or any actual say in the matter.

Imagine that. Americans actually running their own country where there representatives represent them and not the deepest pocket or dirtiest secret. Heresy, sheer heresy I tell ya.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Where Can We Move

With less than $800 in San Jose, CA? We have two weeks to find a place and they won't take us to court, but I have no idea where to go or what to do to solve this problem. No agencies have returned our phone calls (wrong zip code) and even if I could load a truck by myself, where do we go?

While I was busy being sick my mom made promises that can't be fulfilled and they have informed us by legal letter. If there was any water left in my system I would cry.

The Hague Would Have Been A Fair Venue

I don't know if anybody has really noticed, but this guy is certifiably nuts.
Moussaoui Lambastes His Lawyers on the Stand: "Testifying shortly after his defense team began presenting its case for sparing his life, Moussaoui also said he had no regrets about the attacks and the grief they caused the victims' families. When asked directly if he had any regrets, he replied: 'None whatsoever.'

Asked why, he said, 'The question is why not? As a person, I find it disgusting that some people will come here to share their grief. I find that disgusting.'

He said another reason he has no regret is that 'we did it for this reason: We wanted to inflict pain on your country. . . . I wish there would be more pain because next week and the week after, the children of Palestine will have more pain. . . . I want you to share the pain.'
I could have told you that.
Asked why he hates America, Moussaoui paused, then said his answer would be long. He went on to describe his resentment of U.S. support for Israel. 'For me, the Jewish state of Palestine is a missing star on the flag of America," he said. "You are the head of the snake for me. If I want to destroy the Jewish state of Palestine, I have to destroy you."

In response to another question, Moussaoui expressed a desire to wipe out American Jews, saying he views them differently than the rest of the U.S. population.

"For the American Jew, we will exterminate them," he said. "For Christians, we have a way to acclimate them if they don't fight us."

Moussaoui also denounced his court-appointed defense lawyers in front of the federal jury, accusing them of conspiring with the prosecution to kill him. He said his attorneys had failed to present two "rational arguments" for sentencing him to prison instead of execution: that life behind bars was "a greater punishment than death," which could mean "martyrdom," and that keeping him alive could "save American lives" if, for example, U.S. authorities needed to use him as a "bargaining chip" for the release of American hostages."
Osama is where again? Let's kill the little henchman because the big guy is too "far" away and just not all that important in the grand scheme of things.

Or in other words: One in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I would have scored higher

But a lot of this depended on money I don't have.
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So Now Our Soldiers Are "Included"

This is going so well that American soldiers don't even count by themselves anymore. Their poor families. Is this really what our military is all about? I thought it was to defend this country from attackers. Poor Bush, he was so hoping for a Grenada outcome with a Noriega ending. What a tool.
Shiites: No Point in Parliament Meeting - Yahoo! News: "In continuing violence, officials reported that at least seven people were killed — including a U.S. soldier — in scattered shootings and bombings, and six bodies were found.

The next session of parliament was called for Monday to push past a long-standing political stalemate over who should be the next prime minister. But members of the dominant Shiite alliance questioned holding the meeting without first designating all top posts.

'If we don't agree on the key posts, then why should we go to parliament?' Khudayer al-Khuzai asked Thursday.

The move indicated the Shiites don't want to be steamrolled into an assembly meeting until they've internally resolved the issue of the prime minister nomination. The alliance has so far stood behind its candidate, current Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, but cracks in support have begun to show. Sunnis and Kurds have refused to accept the nominee."
If only we could have done that in this country things might be different.

Maybe They Can Move To New Orleans

The Pottery Barn rule hasn't applied to this situation from the beginnning and I don't think it is going to apply at the the end of this debacle either.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq unrest forces 65,000 to flee: "And the rate at which Iraqis are being displaced is increasing.

Figures given to the BBC by the Ministry for Displacement and Migration show a doubling in the last two weeks of the number of Iraqis forced to move.

There has been a sharp rise in sectarian violence since the bombing of an important Shia shrine in February.

This triggered the current tensions between the country's majority Shia Muslims and minority Sunni Muslims, and hundreds of people have since been killed.


Reports of people leaving their homes because of violence or intimidation, or simply because they no longer feel safe, are becoming more and more common.

12 April: 25 killed in bombing of Shia mosque
7 April: More than 85 killed in triple suicide attack on Shia mosque
2 April: US military says 1,313 Iraqi civilians died in sectarian violence in March
Discovery of victims of execution-style killings almost daily
Bombs push Iraq towards the abyss

Some of the intimidation is being carried out by mobile phone.

People have been receiving threatening text messages and gruesome videos filmed on mobile phone cameras.

In one, a Sunni Iraqi man who entered a mainly Shia neighbourhood of Baghdad is seen being beaten and killed by men in black clothes."
Somebody warned me about this months before we started this illegal and immoral war. How come so many other people saw this outcome and were dimissed as idiots.

They don't look so stupid now, do they?