Friday, March 30, 2007

Pets, Martians And Marginalization

The pet food recall has been a tragedy for many families and my heart goes out to them. Shai Shai has been on a no wheat, corn, soy, chicken or beef (except bones that I boil) for many years due to a skin condition, but she eats very well, better than your average dog or cat. My friend L decided to switch to a higher quality cat food for his two ladies. He started with the wet food and was planning to switch the dry food soon. This might help him go a little faster. Makes you wonder if a recall would help improve the quality of pet food. Something has to change.

Why doesn't the Department of Defense have one computer system that works? Why are the troops forced to endure bureaucracy for every, little thing? Why, after almost six years of constant warfare, is there not a unified system for medical records?
The Defense Department’s inability to get all hospitals to use the system has routinely forced thousands of wounded soldiers to endure long waits for treatment, the officials said, and exposed others to needless testing.
Inability or incompetence? Given the track record of the crew without a clue, it isn't hard to believe that it's incompetence, and willful at that. Supporting the troops has never been a high priority with this administration. Bush has yet to attend a funeral, but he will visit Walter Reed. To explain his side of the story because the buck never stops there.

Charles Krauthammer wants to bring in an objective observer, a Martian, to help us understand why Iraq is more important than Afghanistan in the war on terror while completely missing the point that WE started the battle in Iraq. No one else. Not even that Osama bin Forgotten guy that he was so hot for teacher for six years ago.
Thought experiment: Bring in a completely neutral observer -- a Martian -- and point out to him that the United States is involved in two hot wars against radical Islamic insurgents. One is in Afghanistan, a geographically marginal backwater with no resources and no industrial or technological infrastructure. The other is in Iraq, one of the three principal Arab states, with untold oil wealth, an educated population, an advanced military and technological infrastructure that, though suffering decay in the later years of Saddam Hussein's rule, could easily be revived if it falls into the right (i.e., wrong) hands. Add to that the fact that its strategic location would give its rulers inordinate influence over the entire Persian Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states. Then ask your Martian: Which is the more important battle? He would not even understand why you are asking the question.
Probably because if this mythical creature were to suddenly appear, it wouldn't be a war against terror anymore, it would be the Earth against the Martians as Reagan so helpfully pointed out in the eighties. On the other hand, our military is so worn and depleted that we might have a little difficulty contributing to the world effort. You regard it as abandoning Iraq. No we abandoned New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We actively screwed up Iraq and every day we make it worse. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, and we should use our discretion to try and return the country to what's left of their rightful owners.

It's nice that colleges are teaching financial literacy classes, but they should be taught in high school, before all that debt is incurred.

Cool, a new tactic to force people into a lower wage bracket. Fire them for making too much money and then offer them their old job at half the rate. I worked at Universal when they went to a two tiered pay system. Within months they had laid off most of the top tier and a few months later, they slowly rehired us. You get what you pay for. If you let your more experienced workers go and your company is dependent on service ...well, the repercussions could be painful. And executives are never overpaid. Nope, no hypocrisy there.

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