Friday, February 24, 2006

One Might Say That Alberto Is Slightly Out Of The Loop As Well

"When you're a law student, they tell you that if you can't argue the law, argue the facts. They also tell you if you can't argue the facts, argue the law. If you can't argue either, apparently, the solution is to go on a public relations offensive and make it a political issue... to say over and over again "it's lawful", and to think that the American people will somehow come to believe this if we say it often enough.

"In light of this, I'm proud of the very civil civil disobedience that was shown here today."- David Cole, Georgetown University Law Professor

but on to different, more melodic things. has anyone listened to the Moldy Peaches? my son got me hooked on one of their albums. i think that threw him a bit. an album of home recordings. you can hear the phone ringing in the background on one track. which adds to its anarchy. beautiful stuff. and totally homespun. i would imagine recording costs were in the hundreds of dollars. plus, the intimacy of the recordings could only add to the sexual/sensual immediacy one would want these two singers to feel. "Anyone Else But You" is about the most romantic ballad i've ever heard.

so, how do you defend yourself when questioned about your professional abilities? this is a real question. when someone(s) come to you and state that your results are not cool and that everyone else is getting different ones and you recheck your method and your equipment and you can find no flaw, how do you respond? do you:
a) request to view how samples are taken in the field;
b) request to view how tests are run in other labs;
c) check for conflict of interest in the outside agencies running the tests;
d) ask for a transfer before the lawsuit hits;
d) all of the above.
just curious. not that it might ever happen to me. assholes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Guess Bush Is No Longer Needed, Either

Bush promised transparency and now...we got it. Bush is not in the loop with his own team and it has never been as obvious as it is now. But that doesn't mean he won't wave the pom poms and lead a good Yale cheer for for his bosses and their shenanigans. I've been sure for a long time that Bush isn't in charge and never was. Cheney and Rove call the shots and the daily morning Presidential briefing consists "Over or under on your eggs today, sir?". Truly, this is Oz and the curtain is flapping open.

President Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Is Orrin Out Of His Mind?

This is choice. Orrin Hatch claims that no one with any brains believes that Saddam Hussein wasn't supporting al-quaeda. Excuse me? bin Laden called Hussein an infidel, because Hussein was secular. Hussein once said that bin laden was insane. Rumsfeld shook Hussein's hand in Baghdad and called him our best friend. Not one indepth independent search for a link between Hussein and bin Laden has produced anything. But here's Orrie spouting off as if truth is a doormat for political gain. One of these days, Norton...

CEDAR CITY - Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, boldly defended President Bush's warrantless surveillance program and the war in Iraq on Saturday at an invitation-only luncheon with Iron County political and business leaders.
While addressing a group of about 50 people, including Cedar City Mayor Gerald R. Sherratt, Enoch Mayor Bob Rasmussen and county commissioners Dennis Stowell and Wayne Smith, Hatch stressed that Bush was acting in the best interests of the country and doing so within the confines of the U.S. Constitution.
"This president is doing everything in his power to help us and everything he can to protect us," said Hatch, who will seek to win his sixth term in the Senate later this year. "I have to tell you, this president has guts and he deserves your support." Hatch spent about an hour answering questions and sharing stories with the crowd gathered inside The Garden House restaurant. Earlier in the day, Hatch met with Washington County officials.
"I always appreciate the senator and his willingness to share with us," Smith said. "It's a good thing when you can meet with him and you leave knowing you're being looked after."
Hatch was joined in Cedar City by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, who announced his candidacy for Utah's 2nd Congressional District this week.
The 52-year-old Christensen is the early Republican frontrunner in the race against Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson.
"It's such a privilege to serve the Utah House of Representatives, and this is just an offer to serve at a greater level," Christensen said. "I'm passionate and I think the Republican difference matters. ... The Republican principles are the right vision for America. It's the map and compass that has guided us.
"Without this map and compass, we'd be wandering."
Following his question-and-answer session, Hatch voiced strong support for Bush, who, in recent weeks, has been widely criticized by Democrats for his eavesdropping program in wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
By order of the president, the National Security Agency was allowed to eavesdrop - without court warrants - on Americans whose international calls and e-mails are believed could be linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network.
"They're moaning and groaning in Congress because he didn't abide by what's called the FISA Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That act is very important, but it was enacted in 1978 and it is not applicable to today's world," Hatch said. "The president is using every methodology that we know ... to try to track down those al-Qaida people or people affiliated with al-Qaida."
In addition, Hatch said Bush is abiding by the fourth amendment of the Constitution, which decries unreasonable search and seizure.
Of the war, Hatch said the U.S. must "hang in there and do what's right." He also praised the Utah soldiers who are fighting for freedom.
"It's about bringing effective changes and establishing principles of democracy," Hatch said following his speech. "If we can be successful (in Iraq), that will put pressure on all of the Arab states. It will be a rise in freedom and a demand for liberty that has never existed in some of those states.
"And, more importantly, we've stopped a mass murderer in Saddam Hussein. Nobody denies that he was supporting al-Qaida."
In a clear attack on Democrats, Hatch added, "Well, I shouldn't say nobody. Nobody with brains."
Originally published February 19, 2006

Is Rummie Out?

QUESTION: Are you confident that any problems with security — from what you know, are you confident that any problems with security would not be greater with a UAE company running this than an American company?
RUMSFELD: I am reluctant to make judgments based on the minimal amount of information I have because I just heard about this over the weekend.

very interesting...but stupid. if you click on the link you'll find that our administration is claiming different.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Skype, Skype Baby

"Skype, the Internet calling service recently acquired by eBay, provides free voice calls and instant messaging between users. Unlike other Internet voice services, Skype calls are encrypted — encoded using complex math operations. That apparently makes them impossible to snoop on, though the company leaves the issue somewhat open to question."

so, all of the code talk lecram and i use is for naught, huh? damn. zucchini is such a fun word to use. not that it meant anything. no, really. we truly do have a deep and abiding affection for long, green vegetables. shut up. can't take you guys anywhere.

well, taxes sure were fun tonight. turbotax was a bust. but taxact asked me lots of neat questions that garnered me many little deductions. i'll actually get a bit more back this year than last. my move was deductible two ways, which was way cool. not only what i spent, but the distance of the move. and i remembered renter's tax this time (always forgot that one before).

today was a cool enough day at work. i got to spend an hour or so at some condominiums being built right on the Puget Sound and watch the progress of the work. i was also told that i'm working too many hours, especially on the weekends and we have to find a way to curtail that. and i know more about asphalt according to my new bosses than i thought i did (in other words, they know very little about mix designs and lab work). i found out that i'm getting an $11,000 asphalt burning oven (burns the oil away from the aggregate). let's see, my calibration subcontractor is coming tomorrow to recalibrate all of my balances, ovens, vacuum pumps and compression machine (max load of 250,000 lbs on that sucker). and i will soon have carte blanche to charge for my extra hours on a time-and-a-half comp ratio for any work i do to move the old competitor's inventory out of his lab.
what i've noticed since my move up here (and i have to thank anonymous in part) is that in the 'No i had a job that was boring. i wasn't learning anything new. i was beyond good at what i did, but i was bored. on the other hand, i had a very rich personal life. i had friends i could trust and i had an acting life and a festival to sustain me. up here, it's the opposite. my personal life would be considered nil to most. i read, i type, i watch movies, i play with the cat, i watch the stars and the inclement weather, but i don't go out. my personal life has become very inward looking. but my job has exploded in terms of what i can learn. while i bitch about my bosses and whatnot, the job has many rewards. i am learning new things on a grand scale. i look forward to going in on the weekends for the sheer pleasure of being able to work alone. i look forward to the next challenge, because it's something i've not experienced for a while. i want to test for another certification as soon as the last one is over with. since i moved back to california and fell into the engineering industry i've not looked upon the job as just a job. it's fun, it's demanding and it almost always surprises.
big fish, little fish. big pond, little pond. those boundaries are not mine. i've never cared to be either. those are for people who define themselves by what surrounds them. not by who they are. all i want is the next challenge.
when i moved back to the 'No i was challenging myself (although i didn't really think of it that way. i just thought it was the logical thing to do). just coming back was a big question mark. was i conceding defeat in that perhaps my move to seattle was a bust? had i burned my bridges on purpose by blowing the whistle to the EPA about my company? it took me a long time to admit to friends i was back in the 'No. even got slapped by shookie.
in the long run, though, i figured out that seattle had not been the place to qualify as my own. in terms of acting it was filled to the gills with hungry. as for friends, the natives tended to be clannish and somewhat xenophobic (and not without reason). i never felt that i fit in as me. but in thinking about coming back to the 'No i wondered if i would be able to fit back in. actually, i wondered if i would be able to fit in for the first time. i never had felt that before i left.
but friends like lecram and nbutlerdidit and jade ed gypsy and zonthar and RP made me feel like the prodigal son must have. welcomed back into the fold as if i'd never left. used and manipulated to be sure, but welcomed and loved nonetheless.
the rogue was a godsend. it was the ultimate challenge. an undertaking of unparalleled proportions. none of us had the expertise, the experience, the maturity to handle anything of this sort. it was a one-off and we didn't know if we'd fall flat on our faces or not. and we had no inkling that it would go beyond one year. i remember the first night. the first shows were set to begin in an hour and no one had bought a ticket yet. it had been raining slightly and we were downtown. some of us were already shaking our heads. it was a wonderful idea and effort. the acts involved didn't expect crowds. in a sense, we had nothing to lose. except our pride. and other peoples' egos.
and then the patrons showed up. it was such a rush and a scare. and we knew we had something. by closing night when we had an audience of almost 200 for the last show we knew. and we knew the next year was going to be even worse. but after each year, the sense of exultation was enormous. the last night party was electric for me. we'd done it. year after year.
unfortunately for me i stopped having fun last year. i'd been in for the first four years and was looking the fifth in its face. i had decided to stop acting while i was the venue manager, because i found myself dropping lines on stage. why? because i couldn't be an actor and a manager at the same time. and i needed to be a manager first, because this was my baby. and i'm on stage skipping whole pages. so, there i was getting ready to be just a manager. not fun. and giving up acting with people like zonthar who makes me laugh more than metamucil on a stick.
but so be it. i had stopped enjoying the anarchy of it. i wasn't seeing the organized chaos of it anymore. i had become walmart.
so, when i was offered a chance to push my job possibilities to a new level in washington i jumped. a new challenge. and this time i know that if i don't like it (or it just doesn't work out) i have friends who i will never lose again.
and, yes, there probably is a therapist reading this and thinking "motherfucker! there goes my kid's retirement fund!".
by the way, did you know this is the only "nudie" picture i have ever been able to find of sandra bullock?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Old Fucker That Really Isn't That Old, Complaining About Being a Small Fish In a Big Pond When He Used to be a Big Fish in a Little Pond

Who here feels sympathy for the White House with regard to Vice President Cheney's "hunting accident" and the media's subsequent dog pack attack on it? Truthfully, now. Did any of you shed a tear or light a candle, because you felt Bush and/or Cheney were being wrongfully harassed?
I ask, because it seems many Republican politicians feel that our fair country does feel something akin to sympathy. I don't know about that. I can't, unlike most of our politicians, speak for the entire country. I can't glean what affects us en masse...other than apathy, narcissism and miopia.
One thing I do think I know is that there are a lot of politicians and lobbyists who are breathing a collective sigh of relief that Cheney chose to misfire on a hunting trip they were not invited to. And I don't mean that they are happy they didn't get shot. They're happy they weren't present and thereby see their names in the papers. Some of these people are probably jealous of Whittington. Talk about instant celebrity.
Here's a few names from a sure-to-be extensive list of hunting companions:
Since becoming vice president in January 2001, Cheney has continued to mix work and pleasure in these trips, at least in his choice of companions. Besides Graham and Chambliss, Cheney has gone hunting with a variety of other politicians, including Republican Sens. John Thune (S.D.), Trent Lott (Miss.) and Jim DeMint (S.C.), South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R), former treasury secretary Nicholas F. Brady and former senators Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) and Zell Miller (D-Ga.).
But enough about that. Want to talk about the (rounded down) million dollars per year that we pay for Cheney's ballistic forays? Same article as above.
So, Cheney goes out akillin' in order to relax and rehumanize himself. Bully for him! While it's not something I would need to do when I've got a local watering hole and a pool table or dart board, I can't fault him for blowing animals away. But enough about that.
Of course, the fact that they can't even get their stories straight is a bit nonplussing. The President was notified within an hour. No, it was two. No, it was an hour and a half.
Katherine Armstrong was an eyewitness. No, she saw it from the truck. No, the first she knew about it was when she saw the Secret Service running towards the Veep and she thought it might be his heart again.
Then, she decided on her own to call the local press. No, she called Cheney first. No, it was Cheney's idea. No, Karl Rove called her and laid it out.
Scott McClellan didn't know until the next morning. Then, Scottie didn't know about the heart attack of the victim even though it was later proven that he DID know.
But enough about that.
I guess what this tawdry little affair boils down to (besides the tittilation of Cheney's maybe having a mistress) for me is that the point is now well and truly made that Cheney doesn't feel the need to notify his boss about anything until he's ready. In other words, no one knew about his vacation and no one knew about his shooting someone until he said it was time. In other words, too much time was spent working the spin on this and not enough on realizing that sometimes the truth is your best defense. It was an accident, it was regrettable, we're getting him the best care we can and we've talked with the local authorities immediately (which they didn't until the next morning. In fact. a local law guy was not allowed access to the ranch that night and when the local sheriff called about it was informed and satisfied with the ranch's response that it had set a meeting the next morning).
But enough about that.
Did you see the trailer for tonight's Desperate Housewives? The redhead passes out drunk on her own front lawn and her son turns the sprinklers on. Hilarity, I tell you. And so socially relevant. It's must-see teevee. If they weren't all so hot I'd turn the channel to something with meat to it like Rick Steves pretending he's straight. Or the Antiques Roadshow as it continues to destroy yardsales everywhere. I mean, when's the last time one of us found a treasure for a steal of a price (other than my moving sales last year)?
But enough about that, too.
By the way, Wallace and Gromit's new movie is very cute, very inventive. But I liked Chicken Run better. And Jodie Foster's Flightplan was intriguing, but I could have done with more of the "she's gotta be crazy" part. I mean, it's Jodie Foster fer crying out loud. Of course, she's not crazy. She's in that movie career moment (which can last an entire career) of being the protective mom who kicks ass eventually (think Panic Room). Strong female role, I like it. But paranoid and delusional would have been more fun. And would have been a first for her (I think). Now, Sahara was fun. Put away your preconditions for a tight plot with no gaping holes and it's a sleighride of the first caliber. Not to mention that Penelope Cruz couldn't look ugly if her body was exhumed 6 months after dying. What a hottie. And next to Matthew McConaughy who's a hottie in his own right. Plus (not hotties), you've got Steve Zahn and William Macy. Good, fun cast who made sure the action zoomed and the repartee sizzled.
So Zonthar, did I get enough politics in and enough ass out?