Thursday, May 05, 2005

Stupid Stupid Stupid

just when I thought the government couldn't get any stupider. okay, i know that it can always get stupider. i know that stupid ISN'T as stupid does. stupid is a disease that grows exponentially. if it wasn't for stupid, we'd have no government.
but today i received a letter from the Child Protective Services. to wit:
we have sent a letter to your employer to make sure that your insurance covers your child. if it doesn't we will make it so.
now, i have spent much time in the past arguing with this state agency about back child support that wasn't supposed to exist. i have sent polite and nasty letters telling them to look through their files and correct multiple mistakes concerning my son's case. i have called them and complained about the lack of effort made on their part to provide me with information. when, finally, they informed me of the little box that my son's mother didn't check as she closed out her account, i thought we had a done deal. i knew how much to pay in order to get out from under the financial cloud the agency had fraudulently placed over me. and they promised to never bother me again unless my son's mother reopened the account (which she hasn't).
But today i get this letter. during all of the years of my son's life (almost 18) i was never once approached by the state to ask if i was covering him with my insurance. but when i had insurance i always covered him anyway. now, one month before his 18th birthday, this STUPID agency has decided to enforce something they never had before. and they do so when i am in my intial probationary period with my new company. and they are sending a letter to my new employer, which i find entirely invasive. do these people look at their records? do these people think for themselves? or do they blindly follow instructions and waste tax money, because it's easier to obey than to research their CLOSED cases?
i tried calling the number given in the letter and the phone rang and rang and rang. no answer, no voicemail, no operator to tell me the office is closed for the day. nothing.
this ain't over by a long shot. these people are going to get a lashing. this case closed in 1999. let's get ready to ruuuuuuuumble.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Making Candles...Oh Yes, I Am A Sensitive Guy

Yeah, I've made 'em.
Anybody got a problem with that?
I met a chick. In Seattle. She made 'em. i wanted to be with her.
So, I learned to make 'em.
And make 'em I did. I got pretty damn good at 'em. I even got a job at the place that made and sold all of the equipment.
(The first time I worked in the retail shop. I worked the cash register, answered questions, sold customers on much more than they needed, restocked and got to test any new substance that came in. I spent most of my time answering questions and making test candles in the back. I was fired after a year.
2 years later, I worked in their metal mold shop and sautered (can't remember the sp.) the molds together. I had a benchmate who was congenially insane. But very ept. We became friends and proceeded to make a mockery of any tissue that moved.)
After a while we fell in love. We couldn't be apart for a day. We needed the touch.
It became a physical ache whenever situations separated us. It may be the most intense relationship I've ever had.
Sometimes I wonder what became of whatshername. But I always thank her for the wax.
Especially now as I undertake to make them again.

A Riddle

Below is a secret (no more) memo describing the inevitability of war in Iraq. It discusses the reasons and justifications put forth by the Bush cartel and the Blair sect. See if you can suss the moments within this missive that cement our president as an actual criminal.

The Sunday Times - Britain
May 01, 2005 The secret Downing Street memo
DAVID MANNING From: Matthew RycroftDate: 23 July 2002S 195 /02
cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell
Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.
This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.
John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
The two broad US options were:
(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).
(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.
The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:
(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.
(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.
(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.
The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.
The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.
On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.
For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.
The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.
John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.
The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.
(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.
(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.
(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.
(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.
He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.
(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.
(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.
(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)
(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Does any of this strike you as odd? The defense in this case is saying that she was handicapped from birth, but was accepted into the military and deemed okay for active combat. But, while in the military, was sufficiently below the other soldiers in intelligence quotient to go along with activities that she knew to be wrong. Granting her the benefit of the doubt, shouldn't she be on a short list to sue the government for the very abuses she has been convicted of participating in?

Defense: England Oxygen-Deprived at Birth
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - Defense lawyers sought leniency for Pfc. Lynndie England at a hearing Tuesday to determine her punishment in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, with a psychologist testifying that the reservist was oxygen-deprived at birth, speech impaired and had trouble learning to read. West Virginia school psychologist Dr. Thomas Denne - the first defense witness - said England's learning disabilities were identified when she was a kindergartner - and though she made progress in school, she continued needing special help. ``I knew I was going to know Lynndie England for the rest of my life,'' West Virginia school psychologist Dr. Thomas Denne said. A military jury of five men and one woman was seated earlier Tuesday to make a sentencing recommendation for England, 22, who pleaded guilty Monday to seven counts of mistreating prisoners. She said she let her comrades talk her into going along with the abuse.
England, from Fort Ashby, W.Va., accepted responsibility for the smiling, thumbs-up poses she struck for photographs taken at Abu Ghraib that made her the face of the prisoner abuse scandal.
In one of the photos, England held a leash looped around the neck of a hooded, naked prisoner. Another showed her next to nude prisoners stacked in a pyramid, while a third depicted England pointing at a prisoner's genitals as a cigarette dangled from her lips.
The charges carry up to 11 years in prison. Prosecutors and the defense reached an agreement that caps the sentence at a lesser punishment; the length was not released. She will get the lesser of the military jury's sentence or the term agreed on in the plea bargain.
Prosecutor Capt. Chris Graveline told jurors in opening statements that England and a half-dozen other soldiers in the 372nd Military Police Company took great pleasure in humiliating the prisoners. The prosecution rested its sentencing case without calling any witnesses.
Graveline said England and Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. - the abuse ringleader and the father of England's child - knew it was wrong to mistreat the detainees and take the photos, ``but they did it anyway for their own amusement.''
Graner is scheduled to testify for the defense Wednesday. He handed out a written statement Tuesday saying that he was unhappy that England opted for a plea deal rather than fight the charges she faced.
``Knowing what happened in Iraq, it was very upsetting to see Lynn plead guilty to her charges,'' wrote Graner. ``I would hope that by doing so she will have a better chance at a good sentence.''
When asked by judge Col. James Pohl whether England knew right from wrong, Denne said she had a compliant personality and tended to listen to authority figures.
On Monday, England told Pohl that she initially resisted taking part in the abuse at the Baghdad prison, but that she succumbed to peer pressure.
``I had a choice, but I chose to do what my friends wanted me to,'' she said.
Rick Hernandez, a defense lawyer, said the pscychologist's testimony helped England by establishing that her ability to reason was lower than that of her comrades.
``She is clearly in a different mental capacity ... than any of the others accused,'' he said.
Graner was convicted in January on abuse charges and is serving a 10-year prison sentence. Four other Abu Ghraib guards and two low-level military intelligence officers have entered guilty pleas in connection with the scandal, with sentences ranging from no time to 8 1/2 years. Spc. Sabrina Harman, a former Abu Ghraib guard, is scheduled to go to trial at Fort Hood next week.
05/03/05 21:39

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Good Weekend All Around

Well, folks, the saga of the overheated pussy is at an end.
This past week started out as an emergency of medical proportions when my cat went into heat. I had been hoping for over a year that she was fixed before I found her and had been rewarded with that much time in which she appeared to be. It seems she was a late bloomer and when she bloomed...ohmygod.
I think that at one point she would have let me do her kitty-style.
She is never much of a talker except when I close the door to the bathroom (she hates being shut out of wherever I am), but last week she became a Supreme chirper. She began rolling all around on the floor and moving her tail out of the way of the servant's door. I couldn't pet her for fear that she would construe it as being, well, petted.
So, Tuesday morning it was to the vet's and in for tubal litigation...or whatever it is that they do. I'll tell you one thing: I never needed to know that I was being charged for bio-waste removal. Can you just picture the poor sanitation worker down in the vet's sewer cleaning that stuff out? Eww...
The upside of it was that I had a week's worth of entertainment as she wore her Elizabethan collar and auditioned for all sorts of Shakespearean characters.
"Romeo, oh Romeo, wherefor art thou- aack!"
"Oh, that this too, too solid flesh- aack!"
"By thee I foreswear- aack!"
"All the world's a stage and all the- aack!- merely players."
So, all in all, I got mine out of it. But the fact remained that I'd had to pay a hefty vet's bill with money I didn't really have. Yes, you guessed it. I paid with fake money. Well, more precisely I paid with theoretical money. To put even a finer point on it, I paid with money never to be printed, but which nevertheless seemed to satisfy the butcher.
And, so, I was caught in a conundrum. I had bequeathed what was essentially a promissory note and was not entirely sure I had the wherewithal to make good on it. What to do? What to do?
And so I had me a yard sale...
Not any yard sale, mind you, where used knickers are up for grabs (so to speak). Where one can find a scis or a betamax. No.
No no. To prove my love to my pussy and my credit report, I placed upon the tables (provided by none other than Lecram) half of my DVD collection, all of my VHS and all of my vinyl records.
Does this not move you to tears? Does this not make you want to reach out and touch me over and over and over and over and over and over and, if you're really good at it, under?
It makes me want to. In fact, hang on a second...thanks for your patience. Now, where was I?
Ah yes. And so I had me a yard sale. And sale I did. It seems that not very many of you have access to quality movies at 50 cents to $2 a pop. it seems that vinyl has not gone out of style at $1 per. It seems that I'm an idiot who could have gotten a lot more than I asked. BUT...not only did I more than recoup for the kitty's cut, I got rid of a lot of things that were hiding a lot of dust bunnies that were multiplying like...Mormons.
So, there you have it. My pussy got hot when I wasn't in the mood. I had her whacked. And I ended up paying for it in the end. A moral play if ever I've heard one.
And now I call her Eunis for obvious reasons.