Monday, September 29, 2003

The regularity with which something I read related to the current Bush Administration pisses me off is just unbelievable. Admittedly, I originally thought it was basically every day, but upon further reflection, it's not really everyday, and it's not really all about W. I suspect that part of what is keeping the count low is just that I cut back on the amount of time I spent reading and keeping up with the news. Chalk up a plus on the personal scoreboard for "improved mental state," and a minus for "staying informed."

Anyway, about a week ago, it was this article about the problematic wireless communications network being built in Iraq, which mentions a (yet another) questionable contract award without a formal bidding process, this time to MCI. (we already know about Halliburton, right?) Remember MCI? (That would be MCI/Worldcom.) They're trying to dump the WorldCom name to disassociate themselves with last year's accounting scandal. (Here, pick an article)

When I initially started this post, I was pretty pissed off about something the day before as well, but I'm beginning to think that it wasn't directly related to W. I think it might have been about all companies (besides MCI/Worldcom) changing their name to distance themselves from their historically poor reputations... oh yeah, that's the ticket, just that it centered on AOL/TimeWarner (TimeWarner) and made references to Philip-Morris (Altria) and Andersen Consulting (Accenture). But that's not really about W. It did send me off in some idle musings about Alfred Nobel. I remember someone telling me that he established the Nobel Peace prize because he didn't want to be remembered solely as the inventor of dynamite and its darker contribution to the world. And I wondered, in a 100 years, if the U.S. will be thought of as a country of great ideas and ideals, representing freedom and equality, or if we'll just be "USAria[tm]" or "AmeriCo[tm]." But I digress.

Anyway, the day before that (Wednesday, September 17, by my count), it was W's official statement that there was no proof of a connection between Saddam and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Which, in and of itself, is a good thing considering that apparently almost 70% of the American population thinks that there IS a connection. But the reason? Perhaps because he regularly ties the two together in public addresses, and then there are the comments from other members of his administration (such as Vice President Dick Cheney just a few days prior). I think this article gives a pretty good overview.

...which reminds me of this joke. And gives it a extra little "umph," dontcha think?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I've been locking horns with someone in a discussion group on the Jim's Big Ego homepage of all places. It all stems from Jim's posting of "The White House Resume" which upon first reading I found terribly depressing... and then, as I followed one poster, upsetting.

But, on the plus side, while looking for the exact wording for a quote by Thomas Jefferson, I did find this page, which I found heartening...perhaps like an on-line equivalent to the Phoenix Song in the Harry Potter Lexicon.

Interestingly enough, my search also came up with this site, which I found initially troubling, then amusing. I find this to be a common response when I view this type of site (other examples are and

And I realize that such sites poke fun by pushing their targets' perceived viewpoints and opinions to their logical (or illogical) extremes, but I sometimes wonder whether there are people out there who don't get the joke, or think to themselves "Spot on, you gentlemen have got the right idea." (Or perhaps "Yeah! Let's beat the $#%@ out of those commy-pinko[sic] bastards!")


Monday, September 15, 2003

Well, I was trying to be a good doogie, a fresh start as it were, and got in early ready to get back to work after an enjoyable weekend. But I made the mistake of taking a short break to check out the news online and read an article that got me upset enough that I couldn't get focussed again.

I thought I had a fairly articulate rant about the creeping lines of discrimination and prejudice (Thank you, AG Ashcroft and the Patriot Act), but I've managed to fat-finger delete the thing en toto. So I'll just drop in a link to the article in MSN Money which was original published in the Christian Science Monitor (but which charges a fee to read archived articles)

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

It's the eve of the second anniversary to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I've already seen a few hints of it in the media, most notably the airing of a documentary about the two towers last night. The images still resonate, but thankfully not in the paralyzing way they did two years ago. I still couldn't watch the entire show.

So I'm reading a news article about a speech W gave today, and I'm struck by a quote where he wants to expand capital punishment to cover acts of terror.
"Sabotaging a defense installation or a nuclear facility in a way that takes innocent life does not carry the federal death penalty," Bush said in calling on Congress to make these type of crimes punishable by death. "This kind of technicality should never protect terrorists from the ultimate justice."
And I ask myself, exactly how does capital punishment serve as a deterrent to the type of person that would participate in a suicide attack? And while I'm at it, I was thinking about the latest tape that was released today that was purported to be of Osama bin Laden, and I wondered why our rhetoric couldn't be more about fighting religious extremists and addressing the problem by stamping out ignorance and misinformation rather than chest-thumping and carrying on about how we're going to squash our enemies who are, by definition, "servants of evil" like the bugs that they are?