Aug/08
2005
Remember this name: Bunnatine Greenhouse, and I'll tell you why. Because this woman represents all that's right with our government. Of course she's about to get fired for it, but this woman has all the balls that our current administration doesn't. Here's the story: "Bunny" is the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting for the Army. She has an excellent resume for someone raised in a segregated America with 3 masters degrees and 20 years experience in supervising contracting. Until just recently her performance reviews have been "outstanding", she was (and continues to be) the model of what someone supervising the spending of billions of dollars should be: morally strong and with a consience of steel. But this is not what the Bush Jr. governement is about - and therein lies the rub. Lets cut to the chase, what did she do to warrant being fired (as she's about to be?): She blew the wistle on the Halliburton contracts. To be precise she raised questions on the following issues: - KBR being awarded three multibillion-dollar war-related contracts, two of them without competitive bidding. ($20 bill if you're really intersted) - "Out of control" costs by KBR to supply our troops in Bosnia - "Why is Halliburton -- a giant Texas firm that holds more than 50 percent of all rebuilding efforts in Iraq -- getting billions in contracts without competitive bidding? Do the durations of those contracts make sense? Have there been violations of federal laws regulating how the government can spend its money? "(AP) In fact it's gotten so bad that her supervisors have gone around her back, on a day she was out of the office, to issue an emergency waiver to allow KBR (Halliborton) to ignore demands from DoD auditors for information regarding a $61 million overcharge for fuel in Iraq. Now this 60 year old black woman has suddenly become the target of the institution she's worked for. Her reviews were just as suddenly negative "difficult to work with, no one likes her" and she's on 3 months probation. Further, they've tried to humiliate her by demoting her, reducing her staff, and now her bosses make note of every word she says during meetings. Facts are facts - Bunny has stood up for truth and honesty as her job defines it and higher. She's questioned the fact that KBR has been allowed into government meetings for defining the contracts they were ultimately awarded with no competition.... and she's going to be crucified for doing her job. Bunny G > *. You rock woman, don't let them get you down.
Aug/06
2005

Don't say it if...

...you don't mean it. I, and all my colleagues work a rotating shift. Which means every two weeks, we work all night. One of my coworkers has consistently fallen asleep at night. He even does it occasionally during the days even. HE has been written up repeatedly and human resources finally put him on FINAL NOTICE™ along with a recommendation that he see a doctor to determine if he has a sleeping disorder. So, he broke down and did it. And low and behold, he has a sleeping disorder that causes him to sleep poorly, and to be unable to prevent himself from falling asleep at odd hours. The doctor wrote a work order that prevents him from working night shifts. Naturally, this presents a problem for him working a rotating shift. HR can't have someone with a disorder working against doctor's orders. So, they reworked the schedule on a temporary basis so that he could get help. The doctor has now confirmed that there is nothing they can do. The only way to counteract it is to work a steady day shift. Which he has done and it’s helped. However, HR and our management have issues a new decree. If he can’t work nights, he’s going to be laid off. He has three weeks to “get better or get out”. Even worse, he can't just agree to go back on nights. He has to get the doctor to approve it. Which the doctor won't do because the diagnoses is clear. Now, if you tell someone to get tested, don’t you have to deal with the results? I dunno. I don’t like the guy that much. Just seems wrong to me. Don't tell him to do something, then tell him too bad anyway.
Aug/06
2005
An anti-gay group has taken to picketing military funerals. Here are just a few choice quotes... "The first sin was being a part of this military. If this young man had a clue and any fear of God, he would have run, and not walked, from this military," said protester Shirley Phelps-Roper. "Who would serve a nation that is godless and has flipped off, defiantly defied, defiantly flipped off, the Lord their God?" And then there's this... One protester had an American flag tied to his belt that draped to the ground. He was holding a sign that read, "Thank God For IEDs," which are explosive devices used by insurgents to blow up military convoys. Protesters said America has ignored the word of God, and those who defend the nation must pay a price. Wow. http://news.yahoo.com/s/kmbc/20050805/lo_kmbc/2866367
Aug/05
2005
Poll: Fewer Americans Think Bush Is Honest 10:49 p.m. ET WASHINGTON (AP) -- Less than half of Americans now say they think President Bush is honest.. My only comment? Wtf took you people so long? And why didn't you have this figured out last year?
Aug/04
2005
So, let's say you were a manager at a company. One with lots of financial and personal information of it's cliental. As a manager you hire a contractor to fill a temporary void in your staffing. Call it a 3 month contract deal. Now, your company has very strict rules about access restrictions, due to the information that is available. As a manager, which of the following seems appropriate: A: Follow the guidelines and file a request for access for the contractor. That process could take over a month. B: Allow the contractor to use a terminal you log in and maintain careful supervision of him while he works. C: Give your login information to the contractor to allow him to access what he wants at his whim. If you answered C, don't be surprised when it comes back to haunt you. As it did recently in a case I had to deal with. You see, said contractor was arrested for a number of really serious while collar crimes associated with his previous employment. So now the happy manager is in the middle of a huge investigation that will result in his termination. That's already been decided, though I doubt he knows it. So, lesson to the masses... those procedures, while often asinine and annoying, are generally there for a reason. Just a friendly piece of advice from your neighborhood guy that has to deal with this crap. I don't enjoy it when police need my testimony, k?
Aug/03
2005
Yeah once again our great leader (W. Personal Slogan: "Do as I say not as I do") is on vacation. This time for 33 days straight. Nice eh? Most of us get 2 weeks a year IF we're lucky and very often way less because we're forced to burn it for personal issues (buying a house, having a kid, death of an Aunt or Uncle). I think it's just awesome that he's managed to break the record for the longest presidental "retreat" in history. It's also fucking impressive that for the president of the nation he's spent over 20% of his tenure back at his ranch, as opposed to say - in Washington where the work gets done. Our boy also doesn't work nights or weekends, aaand he takes a 2-hour workout break every day, again unlike so much of America. It must be fucking nice to be Da Prez. Maybe someone can get him a T-Shirt.. "Who Me Work?"
Aug/03
2005
Why should the relatives of a bunch of illegal aliens get money from the truck company that was used to smuggle them into the US? I dunno, but I'm supposing their attitude is that it doesn't hurt to try.... "VICTORIA, Texas (AP) -- Relatives of seven people who died in the nation's deadliest immigrant smuggling attempt have sued the maker of a trailer, a trucking company and the driver." So here's the dope. Your cousin decides to sneak into the US. Ok stop right there - that IS against our laws. That's a crime. You don't "sneak" into a country - you need permission, a passport, a ticket. Lets say your cousin dies in the process of sneaking in. Now you say, "hey! great time to try and grub some free cash..." I can see perhaps suing the driver, because even though he was paid for the crime it was his fault they died. Long shot there. Should you sue someone for failing to hold up their end of a crime? Especially when you're the one hiring him for the deed? Hard to say really. What about the maker of the trailer? I mean fuck, they should have foreseen that their product was going to be used for transportation of foreigners who want to sneak into the US... naturally, of course. They should have put in air vents, fold down seats, maybe even installed a convenience. And of course there's the trucking company - from whom the truck was leased. Now of course the relatives want to make some green off their deceased - whom if they had really cared about while they were alive might have sponsored or invited or paid for them to travel legally. But no, now it's time to waste man-hours of the justice system of the country their relatives tried to rip off. The suits range from product liability to wrongful death and negligence, and these assholes want millions of dollars. My solution? Cut the knot. If these relatives are in the US - deport them. If they're not - heave the charges on the basis of "how stupid do you think we are"? Filing a lawsuit based on the failure of an illegal act should result in the formal ass-kicking of the plaintiff off US soil. Adios. And don't come back.
Aug/02
2005
So we're allied with Pakistan yes? They don't sponsor terrorists right? Neither do they allow foreigners to come to Pakistan for religous indoctrination in hate-techniques (as we've just witnessed in the UK). They are modern thinking, on the edge of womens rights? ROFL. Ok, ok, before a serious case of Pinnochio syndrome sets in here's yet another case of the fucked up third world mentality that the US supports: Meet Dr. Shazia Kahlid. This woman was raped by an Army Captain of their national forces. Now it's quite commmon in this back-assward nation to expect the woman to roll over and die. Quite literally. She's now "stained" and this "stain" can be applied to her family so she needs to be killed. That's right - amazing isn't it? She's the victim and yet she needs to die and her attacker can go have a soda. Well she stood up, and worse her husband stood up for her. The result? - They (the Pakistan government) drugged her and put her in a mental institution - They put her and her husband under house arrest - They spread rumors she was a prostitute - Finally they were threatened by the government with death, basically "stay and we'll kill you", and put her and her husband on a plane -without- her son, and shoved her off to the UK. First they had her make a video about how wonderful Pakistan was, and how helpful they were. WHAT THE FUCK. His grandfather even demanded she be killed and started to call people to get a mob together to enforce it. Outstanding. Now they have family in Canada, and when they got to the UK and applied to Canada for asylum they were DENIED. Why? Because Canada said "Oh well you're in the UK". Now they're stuck in the UK, with no money, no family, nothing. In the original article from the Times the author asks for help for this couple - I'll reprint it here: "You can suggest that by writing to Joseph Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1, Canada. You can send e-mail to Minister@cic.gc.ca. If Canada gives Dr. Shazia asylum, this love story can still end well; otherwise, I'm afraid it'll be one more tragedy." I've already sent a short email, please help - Pakistan is one fucked up country. Help this woman get a place in a country where she can at least have a family that was taken from her. (Full NY Times article here)
Aug/01
2005
You know what I hate? It's dickless fuckheads who posture for public attention by misusing their authority. I know it happens a lot, but in this case I'm referring to first Romney and now Pataki. In both cases these bastards are playing to the conservative audience that does NOT, repeat NOT represent their state or even the people that elected them. Massachusetts and New York are both states with strong sentiment regarding womens rights. And in both case they know damn well they'll be overruled by their legislation. So why? Simple. These days fashionable religous conservatism has created a mystique , albiet a bullshit one, that if you pander to the extremists it will get you elected (Gods I can't wait for that balloon to pop). In both cases their veto to prevent emergency contraception to women who have been rape victims is pure political greed. I would honestly doubt that either "man" has ever been in an emergency room to council a women who has just been raped. I would give up a tooth to have either of them actually sit and explain to the woman who has just been physically and emotionally devastated their reasons for piling yet another emotional wound onto their pain. "Yes, it's my belief that you really DO need to have the baby of the man that just raped you... don't worry you have 9 months to think about it". These bastards only, ONLY have their interests at heart (gee, will this garner more press? will it make the conservatives invite me to expensive fund-rasing dinners?) and has no compassion or understanding of the realities of the situation. It's a pipe dream, but I hope their nieces will come up to them tomorrow "Hey Uncle, I heard you decided to use your authority to deny women like me emergency contraception... I hope you rot in hell...".
Jul/30
2005

Being an only child

When someone tells me I must be spoiled if I since I am an only child, I want to kick them in the shin. OK maybe I got more attention and stuff in my direction, but it isn't necessarily worth it. Lets examine this. I my be spoiled if: 1. Fighting for every ounce of autonomy is spoiled, then OK I’m spoiled. 2. Being the main focus of two over bearing people is spoiled, then I’m spoiled. 3. Having your parents do something for you that you may or may not wanted done and being called ungrateful cause you didn’t promptly do x, y and z to say thank you is spoiled, then I’m spoiled. 4. Having your parents “help you” by inserting themselves in every intimate aspect of you life is spoiled, then I am spoiled. 5. Having parents that assume there are no boundaries between you and them is spoiled, then I’m spoiled. 6. When you set boundaries you get told how ungrateful / rotten / spoiled you are is being spoiled, then I’m spoiled. Why do I write this? My parents were at my house for an extended stay. I have learned to stuff a lot of feeling for the sake of keeping peace. Well, my mother decided to “help” me by going through some of my paperwork (bills, correspondence, catalogs, etc.) and I lost it. Then my father started with a tirade about how I am ungrateful and horrible and spoiled. As if it is unreasonable to think that something in my life should be private.
Jul/30
2005

Inside voice! INSIDE VOICE!!!!

I don't understand why this concept isn't grasped by people at a young age. Maybe my mother was just better at instilling lessons such as this. When you're inside, particularly in work environment, you don't actually need to project your voice like an opera singer. If you're talking to your coworker five feet away, I really don't need to hear you enunciate every syllable when I'm fifty feet away. Honest. The hum of discussion is fine. And even the occasional moment with raised voices is fine. I don't care about your problems, your commentary on your sex life, or your weekend plans. Nor does your work particularly interest me. If I wanted to be enthuses by your mindlessly boring job, I'm certain I could teach myself how to change users to 'backupstaff' and type the complex command string './backup -t'. Just because you do it one hundred times doesn't mean it's hard. Nor does it mean I want to HEAR you talking about it every fucking time you type it. Pipe down already.
Jul/28
2005
Owning a home is the typical definition of the American Dream. In fact owning a home as an investment on the way to a bigger and better home is my definition. In case you hadn't noticed recently, the current administration has found a way to ensure that dream is now a Lazarian myth. Property values are such that salaries (which have not kept pace) deny what might be 'affordable' about 6 years ago. Yes 6 years, no coincidence there. Without dropping into the typical piece on why the Bush administration wants to keep the rich richer, poor poorer and the middleclass dead, I would recommend (for those of you who might disagree) that you google any popular economic site and read up. Those tax breaks did NOT go to us... anyway moving right along... What if you already own a home, you think you're making out right? I mean look at the profit you just made in the last 3 years alone, pretty awesome huh? Well yes, that is if you plan on your next home being in some back-water slum or another country. The point being that even if you sell your home and make a whopping profit, so would everyone else down the street. The grail of moving out and up is no longer feasible. When in the past a family could move up to a home that was over 60% more expensive, today they can only afford 44% (I'm not making this up). The point is pretty clear, unless you're filthy fucking rich, under the current policies you are NOT going to get any better off, homeowner or no. And the only direction you'll be allowed to go in... is down.
Jul/27
2005
Remember way way back in a 'Fish Called Wanda' Kevin Klein plays an American in the UK who's always driving on the wrong side of their roads and yelling "Asshole!" out the window when he cuts them off? Well that's what the topic means... and this goes out to all the assholes who ever saw a "lane ends merge right/left" sign and chose to ignore it until the fucking cones were right in their face. Ok you mental midgets, I want you to die. Horribly. Those 3 signs they posted mile back, half mile, 500ft were to tell you to MEREGE WHILE THERE WAS STILL ROOM. Wanna know WHY there isn't any room and we're all backed up now? Because you fucktards are too goddamn retareded (yeah, yeah, I can get ahead of just ONE more car that makes my DICK BIGGER) to comprehend (ooo big word) that by waiting till the last second you force everyone in the lane you're merging into to stop, thus backing EVERYFUCKINGBODYELSE up behind them. Bombs. TNT solves problems right? Why leave it to the terrorists? Lets have some of our own fun - I want mines that shoot ballbearings staight up into the undercarridge of the car when they're still in the lane being closed about 250 before the cones. Maybe the smouldering heap of the idiot in front of them will encourage them to merge sooner. Barring that I'll take the old tire-shredding spikes. Anything to get the snarling fuckass who's trying to cram in at the last second believing that I should of course give them space. I THINK NOT ASSHOLE. *snarl*
Jul/25
2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fact that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' wife does free legal work for an anti-abortion group should not be relevant to his confirmation hearing, a Senate Republican leader said Monday. Oh come off it ffs. How stupid do you have to be to even try and buy a line of bullshit like that. You date someone you have similar values with. You choose to marry someone whom you trust and believe feels enough like you to spend the rest of your life with. Even, if you want to go way the fuck out on a limb, and say that this is their only difference - the fact is when he goes home at night who do you think has his ear for the next 12 hours? Who has a hotline right to the decisionmaker? Who could be telling him there's divorce, family tension, "I'm taking the kids and teaching them to hate you for the rest of your life" capability? The wife has always had not just -the- most influence on her husband (on par, in some few cases, with his Mom) but she demonstrates another side of their relationship. What she does, he must justify in some manner as acceptable - and visa versa. Bullshit. This stinks, but then what more could we expect from a narrow minded, idiot for a president.
Jul/23
2005

T4x0ring teh Internets

Link: http://9news.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=40f1979a-0abe-421a-013e-74d3948125db&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf

This is the part of day where I write another in my long running series of governmental bullshit. Today’s topic is ‘Why the Government Should Give Up on Taxing the Internet”. So, if you follow the title link you’ll find a story of a Senator who thinks he has found a way to make the internet profitable for the government, impose a tax for moral values, and protect our children all at the same time. He’s a special kind of guy with a special purpose. What he wants is a 25% tax on adult content on the internet. So, if you pay $5 a month now, you would have to fork an extra dollar over to good ol’ Uncle Sam. He’s got a bunch of reasons for this concept. You can tell he’s really thought long and hard about this. First, he wants to help fill up the government coffers (really help pay off the massive debt so they can spend more), so they can spend it on $40K rolls of toilet paper. A noble goal if you like that sort of thing I guess. Secondly, because he focuses exclusively on pr0n sites, he wants to impose a moral value on the patrons of those sites. Namely that if you subscribe to pr0n sites, you’re a sinner and should pay for your sins. I really don’t think I need to elaborate on the number of ways that is idiotic. Finally, he wants to ‘protect our children’. He has blended this law with a requirement that stiffens rules regarding age verification to prevent underage people from joining /viewing pr0n sites. The purpose is twofold here: 1) make it harder for those sites to meet requirements and thus risk prosecution / closing and 2) make it impossible to vote against his bill. The second part there is the neato part. You see, if anyone steps up to state how unfair and idiotic the rest of this bill is, he can smack them down with “Sen. Whomever voted to let 5 year old kids have access to pornography!” Bullshit politics at it’s best. Now, beyond the stupidity of his concepts is the underlying idiocy about how the internet actually functions. You see, the internet is wonderfully open medium with wild ranges of mobility. It has no national borders and respects no one nation’s laws. One of the largest and most profitable sections of the internet is pr0n. It accounts for a huge sum of money both in direct subscriptions and advertising fees. Most of these sites are currently based in the US. They generate large sums of tax revenue, particularly in California. But they don’t HAVE to be here. With a few quick clicks of a button and few legal documents, any web site can easily move to Mexico, Canada, or Peru. It becomes an international company with a headquarters (aka mail drop) and *boom* no more tax problem. The internet makes this easy. On top of that, let us look at enforcement. Right now, you are required to pay local sales tax on every item you purchase online. They don’t automatically calculate it in, but you’re still liable for it. Most states even have a separate little form for you to submit. That makes nearly everyone that has bought something online guilty of tax evasion. Not me because we don’t have sales tax here, but most people. Now, as a government with huge resources, if we haven’t been able to collect from your average Amazon buyer, what the hell makes us think we’re going to get our 25% out of adult sites? Hell, the RIAA can’t even effectively stop sites from giving out illegal music. Why not? Because our legal system and government do not adequately understand the problems they are facing. Without massive changes to the structure of control and business on the internet, this idea is just another harebrained example of how much our leaders don’t understand the things they try to legislate.
Jul/22
2005

ph33r.

There's not much in life I'm afraid off. I grew up in a writhing metropolis that exposed you at once, from birth, to the best and worst of human nature. I've heard muggings, I had an upstairs neighbor turn up dead in Riverside park after going missing for 2 weeks (and his checkbook used during that time). I've seen people slip and fall in the street only to barely survive the crush of help that fell like a tsunami upon them, picking them up, dusting them off, reaching attentively for possessions that spilled. I've been spat on my pathological cases in the dark ends of subway platforms, sandwiched between tracks and stood my ground and stared them down (hence getting spat on as they backed off). Or crushed into a mob of Tokyo-esque packed train cars only to find that our (me and my friend who is all of 5' and well below the knots of most of the ties on the VanHeusens around her) giggling was infectious and soon the whole car disembarked packed with laughter and tears. No, humans I don't fear. Nor is there anything in the animal world that strikes a chord of terror in my heart. Not cats, dogs, rats... (There was one time ages ago in college when several girls came bursting out of the common cooking area screaming about rats. Excited by the prospect of a rat in the dorm I charged right back in after coaxing the location of the "rat" from one of the petrified. Staring back at me from the corner between the stove and the wall was this beady eyed, potato shaped fur ball, none other than the obese hamster from the room on the other side of the kitchen wall. I was very gravely disappointed, scooping the wayward rodent into my shirt and returning him to his green-litter home.) Not bats... (The one time a bat did find it's self lost in my house, my spouse going into fits over being bitten and rabies, I walked over, tossed a towel over the little guy then released him to the great outside after inspecting him up close holding him gently in the towel. They're pretty neat little critters. Upon describing the encounter at lunch the next day a co-worker, who had resorted to a tennis racket and a bucket, was convinced I was next on the nosferatu list.) It's not to say I don't have an extremely healthy respect for creatures who can do me harm, poisonous, carnivorous, wolves - should I encounter one other than at the zoo, bears, deadly snakes (had a little garter snake as a pet as a kid), scorpions (such as the one in the sink at the hotel we decided NOT to stay at in the Grand Canyon). Indeed you can add to that class of healthy-respect-for flora as well, poison ivy for one, mushroom puff-balls that spurt noxious yellow spores when you step on them, etc. Sure there are lots of plants, animals, machines, locations that I respect for their deadliness in some aspect or another. But my Achilles heel is insects. Nothing will send me into a dervish in uncontrolled firing of synapses like the sudden, unwanted discovery of some exoskeleton member of the vermin family. Somehow the Gods knew my weakness and decided to play /prey upon this for a cornucopia of cosmic mirth last night. Now we're camping. And I'm frenetic with enforcing the fully zippered, virtual vapor lock on the entrance to the tent, thus I usually slumber in only semi-discomfort (due only to the shifting of the pressure on the airmatress from the actions of the other occupant, lights of returning cars, caterwauling of neighboring children, etc.). But not last night... last night I was assaulted by the insect version of Freddy Krueger, whom I'm certain laid in wait for me to finally reach at least a basic, shallow REM. This nocturnal nemesis launched its self onto my ear, which when I brushed it off and discovered the ridged carapace sent me into a human pinwheel of death. My spouse woke, expecting cannibals, or maybe at least a troupe of fraternity pledges had invaded.... and derided me with "please don't knock my teeth out next time you spaz, Ok?" I went back to sleep bunkered beneath the sheet, pillow defensively covering my head for the next attack with only the smallest breathing hole. I tried to doze. It savaged me again, this time mauling a foot. More spazing. I contemplated bringing a full bee-keeper suit for the next camping endeavor. The only redeeming moment is when my companion was attacked, bringing a certain smug yet still fearful validity... "Did you crush it?" "No, but it's pretty damn big." I burrowed further. I would prefer to asphyxiate than be further masticated. At some point morning came, and my determination to enforce the superiority of my species culminated in the demise of several spiders, 2 beetles and one of nondescript smush that may or may not have been hamburger bun remnants. But evening is upon us once again, and I wonder what horrors the antennaed minions of evil have in mind for me tonight.... This entry posted on the faintest wiff of an internet connection....