succumbing to peer pressure

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Random Weekly Wrap-Up

So I post a lot less often these days, and I think that's probably a good thing. I guess that means I'm spending more time talking to actual people instead of myself or the cat. Anyway, item number one on today's wrap-up list is scary electronic voting machines. I recently learned that it's probably too late to get paper records on my local machines here in GA, so it's probably too late most other places that lack printers too. But the least we can do is stay informed about how fucked up and terrifying this could turn out to be. To that end, there's a pretty cool lady out in California doing some research and crusading. She sounds pretty shrill, but hey, these are desperate times. Do you want to wake up on November 3 to discover they needed to do a recount in several states, but without a permanent record there was no way to do that, so Bush just got elected again?

And speaking of scary things related to this administration, we have this little tidbit from the times:

An internal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that the top Medicare official threatened to fire the program's chief actuary if he told Congress that drug benefits would probably cost much more than the White House acknowledged.

In security news, I have lots of mixed feelings about the new frequent traveler quickie pass through security. On the one hand, I already work for the man, so he already has all that info on me and then some. On the other hand, I'm not very comfortable with the idea of a database sitting around somewhere collecting all that information.

And to cleanse the palate, this is just too damn funny. Do people actually believe that a filing cabinet with a blinking light on top might be a legitimate security device?

And back to the depressing news - a new report by the NEA found that only 57% of all adults in America read a single book during 2002. One single book over the course of an entire year! I can't even wrap my brain around that.

To harp on my latest book just a little more - the Houston Voice reported yesterday that among the CDC-authored papers cut from the Bangkok AIDS conference were seven studies about homosexual men. Good grief, it's like I don't even need to read "And the Band Played On" because I'm fucking living it!

If this were actually a joke, I'd be laughing. Far as I can tell, it's real.


So I went home last weekend for the first time in way too long, and it was lovely, as home always is. Spent quality time with the parents, did some shopping, slept, ate, helped them clean up the basement, listened to Mom play cute hippy songs on her new guitar, and managed to squeeze in an evening with Jennings and Kelly, continuing our tradition of terrible Vin Diesel movies by catching a late showing of The Chronicles of Riddick. So bad. So funny. Best line of the night - "It's been a long time since I smelled beautiful." Though Jennings is partial to "29.4 kilometers" but I figure that loses a little something without the accompanying context.
Also, turns out Bush decided to visit WV over the Fourth of July holiday. Dad suggested we make signs and stand in the median outside the church where he was rumored to attend services on Sunday morning. I guess it's probably a good thing we slept in instead:

A worker with the Federal Emergency Management Agency who wore an anti-Bush T-shirt at the president’s July Fourth rally in Charleston has been sent home to Texas.

Nicole Rank, who was working for FEMA in West Virginia, and her husband, Jeff, were removed from the Capitol grounds in handcuffs shortly before Bush’s speech. The pair wore T-shirts with the message “Love America, Hate Bush.”

Aight, that's enough for today. T-minus 5.5 hours until April and Scott's big summer shindig (The Too Drunk to Drive Party) and I have way too many things on my to do list for the rest of the afternoon.


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