Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Friends are Funny!

Heard of the movie "Snakes on a Plane"?

I doesn't actually matter.


Survivors, or Just Sad?

All right, I'm all for a good party. Everyone who knows me knows that. But the whole Mardi Gras thing this year is making me depressed. As much as I'd love to see all the people returned to their homes - their rebuilt homes, and the city restored to it's full glory, this article speaks to the simple, confounding nature of things:

New Orleans revelry closes post-Katrina Mardi Gras
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of costumed revelers shouted for beads and danced in the streets on Tuesday as New Orleans bid the blues goodbye, at least for a day, to close the first Mardi Gras season after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
Hey, a flood destroyed our livelihoods, but I still wanna see boobs!
"We're letting people know that we can poke fun at ourselves. Everybody's trying to deal with this and get their lives together. Vodka cures everything," said reveler Barry Rush, sipping from his drink.
No further comment necessary.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Because I'm Evil, Tammy NYP

Yes, much in the same vein as when I wrote a post called "Ratzinger, Nazi", so I have now written a post with the words "Tammy NYP" in the title. Seems like the poor girl had her cell phone stolen and a sex video of she and her boyfriend is now published on the internet.

I feel kind of bad for her, but not as bad as I would if she wasn't a Tami pretender.

Sorry, kid. Thanks for the traffic, though.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

OK, a Serious Question

The U.S. supports Israel, right?

And now it's obvious that relations with the UAE are a lot closer than I would have thought:
Dubai Port's top American executive, chief operating officer Edward H. Bilkey, said the company will do whatever the Bush administration asks to enhance shipping security and ensure the sale goes through. Bilkey said Wednesday he will work in Washington to persuade skeptical lawmakers they should endorse the deal; Senate oversight hearings already are scheduled.

"We're disappointed," Bilkey told the AP in an interview. "We're going to do our best to persuade them that they jumped the gun. The UAE is a very solid friend, as President Bush has said."
Can one country truly be allies with two places that are diametrically opposed? Because everyone in the lefty blogosphere and their uncle has been pointing out that the UAE doesn't even *recognize* Israel.

So I'm walking around, wondering if we're living out the plot of some book where all of the characters in it are too stupid to see that the villains are going to take over and kill all the stupid trusting Americans, just like in "Mars Attacks", and feeling crazier and crazier because of it, and then, I run across this article in Tikun Olam:
Everyone who'’s been screaming about how much of a security risk Dubai Ports World is should consider that if we entrust U.S. Navy ships to DPW, especially in the aftermath of the Cole bombing, then they must be trustworthy (and fully vetted for potential security weaknesses).
Great, just great. Nothing like something that actually looks reasonable to make me feel even more stupid.

So here's my serious question - is this whole deal as bad as it looks, or are we all just panicking without any real reason? Maybe this isn't so much a serious security risk as it is just a deal between really rich people who like to make each other even more rich. I can no longer tell.

I did mention over on skippy, though, that the thing that really surprises me is that DPW isn't Haliburton.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pull the Other One

Last night I was watching the news for a few minutes, and the story came on about more members of Congress protesting the sale of the company that controls the security of several US ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates. There was the usual setup, some pictures of docks, someone talking in news-anchor-calm tones about what ports were involved, and then the cut to a clip of Michael Chertoff actually saying "you just have to trust us". Now, I'd read those words around the blogosphere, but I didn't realize that they were a direct quote.

Why in the world would I trust them? Because I elected them? No one I know elected Michael Certoff, and almost no one I know elected George Bush. Didn't 49% of the people in the U.S. who voted vote for someone who wasn't Bush? And you know what? That's no matter. People are people, and we make mistakes and do things with unpure motivations, like greed and vanity.

I don't have to trust anybody, especially not a group of men who think that having a UAE-owned company run security on U.S. ports is a good idea.

Update: Today on the radio I heard the annoucer specifically say that the UAE-owned company would not be in charge of port security, but I still don't care. I see myself heading into wingnut territory here, btu I cannot make myself believe anything other than this: The United Arab Emirates are NOT our friends, whther they "play by the rules" or not. They're waiting to strike when we're not looking. Again.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Already Been Said

I haven't chimed in about the Cheney hunting accident at all, and really why should I? Other people say it perfectly well, and let's face it, you're already reading them.

If, by chance, you are not reading Shakespeare's Sister for her take on this, I shall quote some good parts for you.
"I thought the vice president handled the issue just fine," the president said in his first public comments on Saturday's accident. "I thought his explanation yesterday was a powerful explanation."
A powerful explanation? A powerful explanation is when Felicity Huffman is asked why she took the role of a transsexual in Transamerica and movingly describes her intention to honor the courage of those who risk being ostracized or discriminated against, or bravely live life on societyÂ’s margins, all in pursuit of realizing their true selves. Dick CheneyÂ’s guttural intonations about how he shot a dude in the face in the middle of a canned hunt thatÂ’s essentially skeet shooting with the added benefit of actually murdering living things is not powerful. ItÂ’s pathetic.
Bush said it was "a deeply traumatic moment for him and obviously it was a tragic moment for Harry Whittington." He said that the shooting "profoundly affected the vice president."
Profoundly affected him in that he was woefully inconvenienced and actually had to admit doing something wrong.

OK, that's most of it, but the whole thing's a good part. She's right on the money, here - the way that this administration talks when they have to explain bad things sucks major eggs. No, I'm not in favor of the kind of hunting that these men were doing. Doesn't matter. Yes, I think when you accidentally shoot someone and you're the Vice President, you should get on TV, and say, "This was a terrible accident, and I am profoundly sorry". That matters! The statement took a long time, and that made it weird.

And yes, I think that the whole reason so many hours went by before the police talked to Cheney was indeed to make sure he didn't have any alcohol left in his system. It's just too obvious to not be true. Saying that someone on a recreational hunting trip had been drinking is not nearly in the same class as saying that some corporation is just a front for a cabal that's trying to destroy the world and then sell fallout shelter supplies to the survivors.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Suddenly, I Remembered the Environment

I don't know about you, but I personally feel like we should have just a wee bit of respect for the land we live on. I don't mean Earth ceremonies or anything, where we all dance in a circle around hard boiled eggs while waving palm fronds, though, don't worry.

No, I just mean that perhaps it's in our best interest as humans to support groups that watch over what our government is doing, ecology wise, and deals with issues through legal channels, just like we all said that we would when we took Civics class in the 8th grade.

Don't know any like that, you say? Let me point you at the Western Watersheds Project, then, as they've recently been pointed out to me.
The mission of Western Watersheds Project is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.
See, I understand that everyone has a life, and that we can't all be out there fighting every battle every day, it's just not possible. It is possible, though, to support other people who are fighting fights you approve of, in ways you approve of.

It's downright reasonable, isn't it?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Unsolicited Opinion

U.S. Says "No Plot" for Hamas Ouster

(Ouster? Someone thought that was the best word to use?)
"The United States, which claims herself to be the mother of democracy, must respect the election results and the will of the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said
Sounds like Hamas is whining to me. Look "Palestinian Authority", whine all you want, the U.S. is allied with Israel and no matter how many votes you take, as long as Hamas remains a group committed to DESTROYING a U.S. ally through destructive violence, things are gonna be a little strained, OK?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cop Out

With many important things going on around the world, I'm going to abstain from commenting on the lot of them and just mention this one thing that's pretty cool, today:

Fossett Flies for Non-Stop Record
Adventurer Steve Fossett has broken the record for the longest non-stop flight in aviation history, landing in dramatic fashion after power failure.

Fossett, 61, took the record as he flew over Shannon in Ireland. In total he has flown 26,389.3 miles around the globe since lift-off on Wednesday.
It's true that it's my not-so-secret ambition to change my title from "Senior Systems Analyst" to "Adventurer".

Friday, February 10, 2006

Useless Headline of the Day

(cross-post city)

Let's see if I can come up with some useless cliche's to go with it: "You're not really paranoid if they really are out to get you". Yeah, that's a nice one.

W.House knew of flooding night of Katrina: documents

No kidding. Seriously, I'm not a full-blown conspiracy theorist at this point, but our government seems to be slowly but surely turning me in to one.

Is there anyone reading this blog who didn't already believe that government officials knew exactly how bad things were and just wanted to pretend that it wasn't happening?

The fact that people were saying that conditions were terrible in New Orleans and that the information was falling on deaf ears is not news.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Thought for the Day, Feb 9, 2006 Edition

If you put up the money to build it right in the first place, you seldom have to spend millions more in a desperate scramble to fix all the holes, afterwards.

This applies to government, as well as roofing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

I'm Not Pushing You Away

Never think that I don't love you for visiting me here on my girly red blog, but today I put something up over at Blanton's and Ashton's. Feel free to click through and read it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Don't Know Why I Came Here Tonight

I wanted to blog yesterday, but it was all just too much for my little brain. What was I going to talk about? Could I coherently explain that if people in my government are breaking the law on purpose by listening in on phone conversations without warrants, that I think they should be arrested, no matter who the hell they are?

Was I going to try to put two sentences together about Hamas forming a government and expecting other nations to deal with them as an actual respectable country? Good luck re-training people willing to die for a cause into people willing to clean sewers for a cause, Hamas. The worst part about it, to my way of thinking, is that I cannot comprehend how the U.S. can not deal with them considering their complete enmeshed status with the countries that control our oil supplies. What are we supposed to do in order to make them feel threatened by us, rearrange every job in the U.S. so that people can only work somewhere they can walk or bike to?

And what about uncontrolled, unmitigated, unreasonable violence - over a cartoon. Someone tells a joke in very poor taste, a joke, that in my opinion, shouldn't have really been made, and people DIE? That actually is insanity, in case you've been thinking otherwise. Sure, I think it was in poor taste to publish those cartoons, it's insulting an entire faith, but worthy of fatal violence? There's just no sense of perspective, there.

So no, I couldn't figure out what I could possibly say about these things, so I kept my fingers still and my mouth shut. Until I couldn't any more, of course.

Friday, February 3, 2006

We Keep Saying that the World is Mad at Us

(cross posted at Running Scared)

We keep saying that the world is mad at us, and now the world is starting to show it in really obvious, ten million dollar ways.

In Turkish movie, Americans kill innocents

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- In the most expensive Turkish movie ever made, American soldiers in Iraq crash a wedding and pump a little boy full of lead in front of his mother.

They kill dozens of innocent people with random machine gun fire, shoot the groom in the head, and drag those left alive to Abu Ghraib prison - where a Jewish doctor cuts out their organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.
Billy Zane plays the American military commander "gone bad", and Gary Busey plays the specifically mentioned "Jewish" doctor. (what persecution complex? Me?)

"The scenario is great," Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas told The Associated Press after the film was shown at a posh opening gala Tuesday night. "It was very successful. ... a soldier's honor must never be damaged."

But Topbas and other Turks at the premiere weren't too concerned about how the movie would be perceived in the United States.

"There isn't going to be a war over this," said Nefise Karatay, a Turkish model lounging on a sofa after the premiere. "Everyone knows that Americans have a good side. That's not what this is about."
Sure. Everyone knows. That makes me feel much better.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

I Only Hear What I Want to?

Our president is on a 3-state tour to promote his "competitiveness agenda"
The president argues America needs to give its high school kids the skills the global economy is demanding.
i don't know about you, but i always get much more nervous when Bush starts saying things I've said out loud. It's pretty much like "opposite day" where everything you say means the exact reverse, the kind of thing 8-year-olds do to annoy parents.

America does indeed need to give its high school kids the skills that the global economy demands. The sticky wicket here is that actually doing it involves funding the programs used to educate these kids. The whole reality/money thing can be such a buzzkill.

A completely unimportant side note: the "tour" is starting out at the 3M company headquarters outside St. Paul. When I was 12, I did a report on 3M, and now every time I see the company name, I think, "I know that stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Odd".

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Because Israelis Don't Have Enough Outside Enemies

Sometimes they just have to fight each other.

Israeli Troops Finish Clearing Settlement
AMONA, West Bank - Israeli riot police wielding clubs and water cannons cleared out part of this illegal Jewish settlement outpost Wednesday, as resisters fought back with sticks, stones, bricks and paint. More than 200 were injured, one-quarter of them officers.

In anguished scenes reminiscent of last summer's Gaza withdrawal, the security forces dragged hundreds of protesters from rooftops barricaded in barbed wire and flattened empty homes with bulldozers and heavy machinery. The military said 32 people were arrested at the scene along with "dozens of other rioters" in the area.

The fierce battle was a likely harbinger of what lies ahead if Israel decides to leave other parts of the West Bank. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the front-runner in the March 28 Israeli elections, is widely expected to withdraw from more areas of the territory and dismantle additional Jewish settlements if he wins.
There you go, something really depressing, just in case you weren't already down from the "I put on a good front" SOTU and the Alito nomination. OK, that's really just one guy who reads me. Bet you feel special now, eh?