succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, February 18, 2005

So I'm lying in bed this morning, listening to the tail end of one of those awful morning news programs, when after a commercial break they do a teaser for the nightly news. After mentioning that a certain cartoon is going to tackle the topic of gay marriage (duh, the Simpsons) the announcer says, "Is this funny or just another case of Hollywood not getting it?" Wh-what? I'm sorry, not getting what? Not getting that everyone is entitled to the same legal rights in the United States? Not getting that this administration has been fueling a mean, hateful tirade against homosexuals? Did a mainstream news program seriously just imply that gay marriage is wrong? Damn that liberal media!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Just another reason to love Alan Cumming.

More well-documented lies

Once again, the Bush administration runs smack dab into that pesky thing called reality and yet, no one seems to care. In any other field employees who were either this blatantly deceitful or wildly incompetent would be fired. Too bad this sort of performance gets you promoted in government work. The Peter Principle would be funny if it weren't so sadly true. From Bob Harris:
It's no longer a matter of what Richard Clarke said vs. Condi's version -- we can all now easily read the internal memo in question. Download the memo in .pdf form and see for yourself.
Does the new memo reveal Rice as a perjurer? Actually, there were a ton of falsehoods immediately detected, many of which you can find here. But just looking at what's new thanks to this memo... let's review her sworn testimony attempting to dismiss the urgency of Richard Clarke's warnings:

In the memorandum that Dick Clarke sent me on January 25th, he mentions sleeper cells. There is no mention or recommendation of anything that needs to be done about them.

I actually can't find a damn thing in this memo about sleeper cells; maybe I'm just blind, or maybe Rice's memory understandably merged a separate verbal discussion with the memo. That's pretty normal. OK. But as to her clear implication of a lack of urgency... um, the entire second half of the memo is under the heading:

Pending Time Sensitive Decisions

... the discussion of which was precisely the reason the very top of Clarke's memo was screaming, in italics and underline, for a high-level meeting.

One might consider this a "mention or recommendation of anything that needs to be done."

Or, one might put off the Principals meeting for over six months, including a month-long vacation.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Should I just pay the fine?

The story - In December I got a notice that it was time to renew my car registration in the state of GA. So I dutifully sent in my check and got a letter back from the tax commissioner's office right before I left town for xmas saying that there was no record of me having car insurance, despite the fact that I have been insured in GA for over a year and a half and that my insurance company already had to call and convince them of this fact over the summer when I initially registered the car. Nevermind, I called my insurance company again, they laughed at the incompetence of the tax commissioner's office, and promised to take care of everything. The next day they called me back, said I was all set, but I should call the tax commissioner's office just in case. So I did, they also said I was all set, and I left for FL, foolishly believing that I was, in fact, all set. So I return and it's January and my sticker has expired but I have not yet been sent a new one. I don't worry about it too much, I figure one must be on it's way to me. Then, on the roughly 1-2 mile drive over to the boys' place, I get pulled over for having an expired registration sticker and, once again, no record of my car or insurance on file. The cop is actually pretty nice about it but gives me a ticket anyway and says I can just appear in court once the sticker arrives and not have to pay the fine. Thus begins a round robin of phone calls to the tax commissioner's office, yelling at them to hurry the hell up and send me my sticker, and the county court to find out when my court date is. Turns out it's on a Thursday, the one day when I have six hours of class and really can't afford to miss any of them. So I fax a change of date request (which includes a rather humiliating request to my chair that he sign the letter saying I have class and can't come to court that day) and find out today that a) my fine is over $100 and b) my new court date is also on a Thursday (most likely because that's the only day the cop is available). So. At this point I'm totally frustrated, but also overwhelmed by the semester and thinking that no matter how this turns out, the people at fault (the tax commissioner's office) aren't going to have to pay anything. Either I will be out money or the cop, the court, and I will all be out time. So do I file another request to change my court date because it's the principle of the thing or do I just suck it up and accept that I'm out over $100?