mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Friday, November 24, 2006

Things are the way they are for a reason

That's what we often say when we don't understand what is happening. We just have to tell ourselves there's a reason for it.

I recently accepted a different job... Well, ok, I started it back in July when my blogging dropped of to something near non-existent. Maybe that isn't really all that recent.

The new job dramatically changed my life. No more midnights, with a huge promise of training and mentoring and tuition reimbursement, not to mention more time for me to be with someone special. It was quite stressful and I had no time to read or blog but the promise of being able to ultimately qualify for a position I wanted was worth it. At least it seemed like it.

On November 11th, things changed again. Dramatically.

My father had been in the hospital but was to go home Friday. I told him Thursday that I would call him at home on Friday. He was in a really good mood. He said they had found out why his energy level was so low and why his breathing had been so difficult and that it was treatable. In 3 - 6 months he would feel like himself again.

On Friday I headed home from work, eager to phone my dad at home. Instead, his doctor called me and recommended I go to New Mexico. I made quick plans, arrived at the hospital about 2pm Saturday, and got to talk with my dad who was struggling very hard to breathe, but was still quite lucid. We told each other 'I love you'. By 4pm he was sedated and intubated to hopefully give him a chance to rest. By 8pm he was gone.
My father, who was supposed to live forever, was gone. My pillar of strength is gone.

I'm here.

I'm far away from my home. I just 'celebrated' Thanksgiving with my mother.
Although my mother seems to understand that my father is gone, there is very little emotion or sign that she understands the implications. It was very strange sitting at a table with her today, at what is a family event, knowing that both my father and brother are gone. We ate as if it were any other afternoon.

I guess that's a funny thing about Alzheimers. They are the only person in their own world. Other people are there to wait on them.
Other people. Not daughter. I'm the 'other people'. I'm the servant who can be yelled at.

My father opted to be the 'other people' as long as he could. Now it's up to me.

I wonder if I can get unemployment.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, November 10, 2006

This Bugs Me; Is It a Coincidence?

GOP furious about timing of Rumsfeld resignation
By Patrick O'Connor

Donald Rumsfeld's abrupt resignation from the Pentagon the day after Republicans lost both chambers of Congress has infuriated some GOP officials on and off Capitol Hill.

Members and staff still reeling from Tuesday's rout are furious about the administration's decision to dump the controversial defense secretary one day after their historic loss, they said in a series of interviews about the election results.

President Bush announced Rumsfeld's resignation on Wednesday and named Bob Gates, a former CIA chief and president of Texas A&M University, as his replacement...

Gates Hearing in Senate May Have Echoes of 1991

Published: November 10, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 — The accusations lodged against Robert M. Gates the last time he came before the Senate for confirmation, in 1991, sound eerily contemporary in the wake of the debate over skewed prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Mr. Gates, in the words of one Central Intelligence Agency subordinate, Jennifer L. Glaudemans, “politicized intelligence analysis,” insisting on slanted reports that became the basis for “momentous foreign policy decisions.”

The Senate will have to decide whether such claims, which did not prevent the C.I.A. veteran from becoming the agency’s director 15 years ago, have new relevance now that President Bush has named him to succeed Donald H. Rumsfeld as defense secretary.

Senators may revisit assertions that Mr. Gates falsely denied knowledge of the Reagan administration’s secret scheme to sell arms to Iran and use the proceeds to support the Nicaraguan contra rebels, an issue that derailed his first nomination to lead the C.I.A. in 1987...

U.S. seeks better ties by aiding militaries
Updated 11/10/2006 8:09 AM ET

By Barbara Slavin, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Concern about leftist victories in Latin America has prompted President Bush to quietly grant a waiver that allows the United States to resume training militaries from 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The administration hopes the training will forge links with countries in the region and blunt a leftward trend. Daniel Ortega, a nemesis of the United States in the region during the 1980s, was elected president in Nicaragua this week. Bolivians chose another leftist, Evo Morales, last year.

A military training ban was originally designed to pressure countries into exempting U.S. soldiers from war crimes trials.

The 2002 U.S. law bars countries from receiving military aid and training if they refuse to promise immunity from prosecution to U.S. servicemembers who might get hauled before the International Criminal Court. The law allows presidential waivers.

The White House lifted the ban on 21 countries, about half in Latin America or the Caribbean, through a presidential memorandum Oct. 2 to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice...

So we have a CIA chief from the Iran-Contra era brought back to power, Republicans upset about the timing of the personnel move, and news that the USA is stepping up military influence in Latin America.

Maybe these are not connected, but it bugs me that Gates -- who was in the thick of the Iran-Contra mess -- would be brought back into power at the same time that we are stepping up military involvement in Central America. And the timing of the move upset Congressional Republicans. So why would the move be done at this time...a time when everyone is paying attention to something else? Is it hoped that no one will notice the coincidence?

Plus this happens at a time when a lot of money is missing from operations in Iraq? Where did the money go? Who has it, and what are they doing with it?
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Leaker-In-Chief Flubs Again

In 2004, the Bush Administration blew a Pakistani intelligence operation by revealing sensitive intelligence information. In 2005, there was the Libby-Plame Leak. Earlier in 2006, the Bush Administration blew Operation Tiramisu, putting Israeli intelligence operatives at risk.

By then, the phrase "" was gaining currency, and was damaging to the President. Since then, there have been more flub-ups, and the phrase has been abandoned in favor of pithier epithets, such as "idiot."

Now, we learn of yet another.

U.S. Analysts Had Flagged Atomic Data on Web Site
Published: November 4, 2006

Two weeks before the government shut down a Web site holding an archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war, scientists at an American weapons laboratory complained that papers on the site contained sensitive nuclear information, federal officials said yesterday. Two documents were quickly removed.

The Bush administration set up the Web site last March at the urging of Congressional Republicans, who said giving public access to materials from the 48,000 boxes of documents found in Iraq could increase the understanding of the danger posed by Saddam Hussein.

But among the documents posted were roughly a dozen that nuclear weapons experts said constituted a basic guide to building an atom bomb. They were accounts of Mr. Hussein’s nuclear program, which United Nations inspectors dismantled after the 1991 Persian Gulf war...

The Washington Post version of the story is here. They add this important point:

Intelligence officials said the documents do not indicate that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when President Bush ordered U.S. troops to take over the country and depose Saddam Hussein.

This point is particularly salient in light of the following:

Counselor to President uses NY Times story to push 'Iraq had nuke program' meme
Ron Brynaert
Published: Friday November 3, 2006

In an interview on MSNBC earlier this morning, Dan Bartlett, counselor to the President, dismissed concerns about a U.S. government Website shut down because it may have revealed sensitive bomb building data. However, he insisted that the unauthenticated Iraqi documents online did show that "Saddam Hussein had the capability and was working towards a nuclear weapon program," which would bolster Bush's preemptive war arguments, RAW STORY has found...

...MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Bartlett why the documents were put on the Internet without anyone "properly vetting them" and why did President Bush "overrule John Negroponte, his own intelligence director, who clearly did not want this to take place but finally had to give in."...

When will they ever learn?
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Double Your Profit, Lower Your Taxes

Burger King reports higher profits, in part due to the sales of its "stacker", and in part due to a lowering of its tax rate. Neat trick. I wish I could figure out how to do that.

The full story is here.

Burger King net rises on higher sales, lower tax rate

By Josh Fineman
Bloomberg News
Published November 1, 2006, 4:28 PM CST

Burger King Holdings Inc., the second-largest U.S. hamburger chain, said first-quarter profit almost doubled on sales of the BK Stacker bacon-and-cheese sandwich and a reduced tax rate.

Earnings rose more than analysts anticipated, sending the shares up the most since the company went public in May.

Net income for the three months through Sept. 30 rose to $40 million, or 30 cents a share, from $22 million, or 19 cents, a year earlier, Miami-based Burger King said today in a statement...

...Revenue gained 7.5 percent to $546 million from $508 million. The company's effective tax rate decreased more than 10 percentage points to 37 percent from 47.6 percent...

There is no mention of the effect of the subtle drug-culture references in its current advertising campaign; nor is there any mention of the health effects of its "stacker," nor is there any mention of pay raises for its employees.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |


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