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The Tally Ho

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Dying For Basic Care

Last week The Washington Post writer January W. Payne reported that
More than 886,000 deaths could have been prevented from 1991 to 2000 if African Americans had received the same care as whites, according to an analysis in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The study estimates that technological improvements in medicine -- including better drugs, devices and procedures -- averted only 176,633 deaths during the same period.

That means "five times as many lives can be saved by correcting the disparities [in care between whites and blacks] than in developing new treatments," Steven H. Woolf, lead author and director of research at Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Family Medicine, said in a telephone interview...

...Reduced access to health care doesn't account for all the racial disparity in preventable deaths. Blacks have greater incidence of some diseases; some of this greater morbidity results from education, income level and environment as well as access to health care. The challenge, the authors said, is to deliver the same quality health care to everyone, despite these factors.

One of the Healthy People 2010 goals -- the nation's health priorities for the decade -- is to eliminate such inequities in health care. Satcher said some steps, such as the creation of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health, have already been taken, but more needs to be done.

"Access to care is a big factor. African Americans and Hispanics are much more likely to be uninsured and underinsured and underserved" and may not seek care as often as whites, Satcher said. "So a great part of it is really focusing on how do we get prevention programs, intervention programs [and] treatment programs to people in underserved communities?"

Sadly, I don't see this administration using its "mandate" (cough, hack) to address access to proper health care, the disparity in wealth, or addressing equity in access to services - or expanding services. Their successful war on fiscal responsibility has made so much seemingly impossible politically. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are being left behind.

World Poverty Must be Cut

The Guardian's Charlotte Moore, in her article World poverty must be cut, Blair told, writes
A coalition of British charities, campaign groups, trade unions and celebrities will today demand that Tony Blair makes dramatic changes in government policy to significantly reduce world poverty.

The group will deliver a report called Make Poverty History to the prime minister which calls for changes to trade agreements, the cancellation of developing countries' debts and big increases in aid.

It marks the start of a huge anti-poverty campaign planned for 2005 designed to mobilise popular support for the cause.

The public will be encouraged to wear white armbands to show their support and a demonstration is planned for Edinburgh in July to force the subject high on to the agenda at the G8 meeting of world leaders.

Today's report points out that the government has an exceptional opportunity in 2005 to make a real impact in the battle against poverty because the UK is hosting the G8 gathering and will also be president of the European Union. Steve Tibbett of ActionAid said: "We've had the rhetoric from the government and now we want real action while the UK is in the driving seat this year."

Adrian Lovett from Oxfam said: "We are issuing this challenge to Tony Blair as we believe that he must do more to end global poverty. It is time for the UK government to change key policies and put pressure on other world leaders to do the same."

Before Secretary O'Neill was dismissed by the Bush Administration, I seem to remember him being of the opinion that many loans made to poor countries should be transfered into grants. Many scholars and activists have been critical of the current loan system. I saw Joseph Stiglitz in a panel discussion a few years ago and one of his comments in effect was that "loans go from Washington to Washington." He has been a critic of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Susan Sontag Dies at 71

In case you have not heard, Susan Sontag died today from complications of acute myelogenous leukemia. Margalit Fox writes
Her most recent book, published last year, was "Regarding the Pain of Others," a long essay on the imagery of war and disaster. One of her last published essays, "Regarding the Torture of Others," written in response to the torture of Iraqi prisoners by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison, appeared in The New York Times Magazine of May 23, 2004.

Ms. Sontag's writing marked a radical break with traditional postwar criticism. She advocated a sensualist approach to the study of art, championed aesthetic form over content and - most subversive - gleefully blurred the boundaries between high and low culture. Learned, thoughtful, deeply cerebral, often provocative, her work repeatedly explored the transcendent experience of making, and looking at, contemporary art, with its jagged edges and attendant themes of alienation and despair. She was concerned throughout her career with sensation, in both meanings of the word.

"What Susan did was, she dealt as a literary and philosophical intellectual with the deep problems of human life in our times," Arthur Danto, the Johnsonian professor emeritus of philosophy at Columbia University and an art critic for The Nation, said in a telephone interview today. "She was never a dispassionate or disinterested writer. She always used her own experience as a way of giving meaning to issues that had meaning for everybody."

Unlike most serious intellectuals, Ms. Sontag was also a popular celebrity, partly because of her striking, telegenic appearance, partly because of her outspoken, at times inflammatory, public statements. She was undoubtedly the only writer of her generation to win major literary prizes (among them a National Book Critics' Circle Award, a National Book Award and a MacArthur "genius" grant) and to appear in films by Woody Allen and Andy Warhol; be the subject of rapturous profiles in Rolling Stone and People magazine; and pose for an Absolut Vodka ad. Over the decades, her image - strong features, wide mouth, intense gaze and dark mane crowned in later years by a sweeping streak of white - became an instantly recognizable artifact of 20th-century popular culture...

...Other critics were less enthralled. Some branded Ms. Sontag an unoriginal thinker, a popularizer with a gift for aphorism who could boil down difficult writers for mass consumption. (Irving Howe called her "a publicist able to make brilliant quilts from grandmother's patches.") Some regarded her tendency to revisit her earlier, often controversial, positions as ambivalent. Some saw her scholarly approach to popular art forms as pretentious. (Ms. Sontag once remarked that she could appreciate Patti Smith because she had read Nietzsche.)

how meta

you can indeed destroy the master's house with the master's tools

Monday, December 27, 2004

"The Media Just Doesn't Cover the Good in Iraq"

The above phrase has been repeated so often that I'm sure the right wing automatons have regurgitated that phrase and its many incarnations. However, when almost everyday an article such as the following appears - it is a tough sell even if we are living in 1984. Erik Eckholm writes in his article Blast Kills Up to 15 at Baghdad Political Office
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 27 - A suicide car bomber set off a huge explosion outside the Baghdad headquarters of the nation's largest Shiite political party today, killing 15 party workers and passersby, by some unofficial reports, and wounding dozens more.

The leader of the party, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who has emerged as one of the country's most powerful political figures in the run-up to national elections next month, was inside the building but unhurt in the blast, which rattled buildings across central Baghdad this morning.

Still, the deadly blast underscored the fragility of the electoral process here and also evoked the lurking threat of sectarian strife or even civil war, Iraqi political experts said.

Mr. Hakim's son, in an interview after the explosion, said the attack was the work of die-hard Baathists and Sunni Islamic extremists, who he charged "are trying to undermine the election process."

In another setback for the elections for a Constitutional Assembly, which are scheduled for Jan. 30, the largest of the Sunni parties to have entered the ring with a slate of candidates announced today that it was withdrawing, saying security conditions will not permit fair elections in mainly Sunni regions.

The Sunni group, the Iraqi Islamic Party, said it was not calling for a boycott of the elections, as the more militant Muslim Clerics' Association has, but repeated earlier demands for a six-month delay in voting.

The bomb attack today on the offices of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, one of two huge Shiite parties with a strong religious leaning, follows a series of murders and bombings of Shiite officials.

That campaign, many Iraqis believe, is being waged by former Baathists tied to Saddam Hussein and Sunni Islamists who fear the ascendancy to national power of Shiites, a group that makes up 60 percent of the population but has long been dominated by Sunnis of central Iraq.

Bush's war hasn't went well. But not all tragedy is created by man. The tsunamis caused by a massive earthquake is responsible for over 19,000 deaths and counting.
"I just couldn't believe what was happening before my eyes," Boree Carlsson, 45, of Sweden, told Reuters from a hotel in the Thai resort of Phuket. "As I was standing there, a car actually floated into the lobby and overturned because the current was so strong."

A tsunami - the term is Japanese - is a series of waves generated by underwater seismic disturbances, in this case the interface of the India and Burma tectonic plates. Seismologists with the United States Geological Survey said the ocean west of Sumatra and the island chains to its north was a hot zone for earthquakes because of a nonstop collision occurring there between the India plate, beneath the Indian Ocean seabed, and the Burma plate under the islands and that part of the continent.

The India plate is moving at about two inches a year to the northeast, creating pressure that releases, sporadically, in seismic activity. But this was an especially devastating earthquake, the fourth most powerful in 100 years.

Television images showed bodies floating in muddied waters. Cars went out to sea; boats came onto land. Snorkelers were dragged onto the beach, and sunbathers out to sea, Simon Clark, a photographer who was vacationing on Ngai Island in Thailand, told The Associated Press.

Indonesia reported nearly 4,500 dead, most in the Banda Aceh area of Sumatra, a region that has been the site of a continuing civil war. In Sri Lanka, at least 6,000 were dead. In India, an estimated 2,300 died, with at least 1,700 confirmed dead in Tamil Nadu, the southern state that is home to this coastal city of Madras, officially known as Chennai.

UPDATE: Shankar Vedantam's latest article in The Washington Post titled Tsunamis' Toll Might Have Been Lessened, he writes
The real tragedy, many experts acknowledged yesterday, is that thousands of lives in countries such as Sri Lanka, India and Thailand could have been saved if an early warning system similar to one that exists for the Pacific Ocean had been in place. U.S. officials said that they wanted to warn the countries but that there was no mechanism to do so.

The tsunamis' impact in the hardest-hit countries occurred about two hours after the underwater earthquake: If authorities had had the opportunity to move people even a few hundred yards inland, many people would have been saved, Bernard said.

"The idea is to get yourself high enough or far enough inland that the water is not strong enough to take you back to sea. About waist-deep water is where you lose control," he said.

One reason experts had not pushed hard for a warning system is that the risk along the shores of the Indian Ocean had long been underestimated. Most of the devastating tsunamis in the last century or more have occurred elsewhere.

"We have believed as a community that the Indian Ocean is fairly immune to tsunamis of the kind that took place," said Costas Synolakis, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Southern California. "The last tsunami that affected the Indian Ocean was in 1883. . . . The hazard was underestimated by a factor of 10."

Synolakis said he had opened discussions two weeks ago with officials in Hawaii at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center about expanding the warning system to the Indian Ocean.

Aquatic Life

Unfortunately I can't recommend The Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou as I had hoped. I am a fan of Wes Anderson films, but Aquatic Life lacked something with the characters and story line. The acting was well done as one would expect with a cast that includes Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, and others - and the idea of the film was good, but in the end I do not think it was able to reach the level of Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums. David mentioned he was somewhat bored in parts, and I almost felt as if it was a stale version of what had worked in the past. Perhaps it is the lack of Owen Wilson in writing process, as he has been a major collaborator in the past. Maybe I have to see it a second time or feel differently in the morning... In any case, I am not saying that the movie is bad - just that despite some of the critical acclaim, I don't think this is the best film turned out by this group.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Dana Milbank/Juan Williams

This morning I heard a fantastic On The Media piece with the Washington Post's Dana Milbank. He is leaving the White House press corps, and discussed his last few years. When asked what he will do in the morning now, he replied "start drinking." I am pretty sure he was at TNR and WSJ before the Washington Post.

I just figured out this morning that I can download all of my favorite shows that I missed during the week to my Ipod and listen to them on the subway if I so choose.

Juan Williams has been bashed a bit by those on the center-left over his some of his coverage. Both yesterday on CSPAN and today on Faux, err, Fox News I have watched Juan Williams. In both shows Mr. Williams said that this years biggest losers were neo-Conservatives and that they are losing influence by the day in Washington (this is with Bill Kristol sitting next time him) - and nationally as less than 50% of Americans now believe that Iraq was worth it. While Brit Hume pontificated that the insurgency would fail, Mr. Williams said a civil war was very possible.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

A TMW Xmas

I actually watched about five minutes of O'Reilly's show this week and I honestly thought it was a joke. Apparently it wasn't.

I must be off to my hootenany now...

Christmas Post

Let me just say how happy I am not to travel this holiday season. The last 12 months to the day has been one bad travel experience after another. And honestly, I didn't have enough physical and emotional energy to travel this holiday - not to mention being all congested and dealing with delays and cancellations, hotel rooms, lack of actual relaxation, all stuff I'm not up for. Of course seeing everyone would be fantastic, but not this year.

Baseball: Tweed sent me a great clip (I owe him an email) about New Englanders and what they promised to give up if the Red Sox one. That made me decide to write about baseball. At first I thought the Yankees were set to retake the East from the Red Sox next year. The Yanks improved their starting pitching by signing Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright - and were on the brink of actually trading for a lefty, Randy Johnson, so they have someone to challenge David Ortiz and the rest of the big left handed hitters the Sox have. How good Pavano and Wright will be is yet to be seen, but they are both young - as is Vazquez. The Yankees signed Tony Womack, a true lead off hitter and may land Carlos Beltran. I am not sure if Beltran really would make the Yankees that much better - but he has a long career ahead of him. The Yanks still need lefty relievers...

I was worried about Boston's starting pitching. Losing Pedro, seemingly not being interested in Derek Lowe, losing out on Pavano - Varitek unsigned... but it does seem as if signing Matt Clement, Wade Miller, David Wells, John Halama, and Matt Mantai to go with Schilling, Arroyo, and Wakefield provides the Sox with a lot of depth when it comes to starters and long relievers. This could be huge in the playoffs. Lets face it, how many quality pitchers did the Sox get instead of signing Pedro? Especially if Miller is eventually 100%. The next big move was upgrading shortstop by signing Edgar Renteria. Cabrera provided a lot of energy but Renteria is a consistent gold glover, does not miss games, and is a lifetime .289 hitter. Lastly, and perhaps most important, team captain Jason Varitek will be back to work with the pitching staff.

The Cubs have been rather quiet thus far. Signing Nomar, Walker, and Rusch were no brainers, but there is no replacement for Moises Alou in left and the Cubs still have to move Sammy Sosa. I am sure they are holding out for Beltran, but they can't sit still forever. Alou is an RBI machine and Sosa seems to be more of a problem than a help at this point. But when you have Zambrano, Wood, Prior, Maddux, and Rusch as your starting rotation - not a lot has to be done.

Don't worry about the penguins surviving the massive earthquake. I know this was everyone's primary concern this holiday season.
The quake hit 400km (250 miles) off the Macquarie Islands on Friday, measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale.

Penguins appear to have escaped a major disaster as the quake occurred deep under the sea, far from inhabited land.

There were no tsunamis, or large tidal waves, because the quake moved horizontally rather than vertically.

The tremors were felt in Tasmania, 1000km (600 miles) away, but because the epicentre was 10km underground, few observers noticed the initial quake.

Buildings on the islands shook for 15 seconds, seismologist Cvetan Sinadinovski said.

"If this had happened underneath a population centre it would probably have destroyed a whole city," he said.

The quake was the biggest anywhere on earth since an 8.4-magnitude tremor off the coast of Peru in June 2001. That killed 74 people.


Happy penguins celebrate their safety and security this holiday season



What do you want for Christmas? Is it Prime Minister Tony Blair losing power?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

In Congo War, Even Peacekeepers Add to Horror

First, if you haven't already scanned it, check out the The Human Rights Watch Global Report On Women's Human Rights. I finally got around to clearing out my email boxes and I found this article by Marc Lacey. It is about a week old, but that does not make it any less horrifying.
BUNIA, Congo, Dec. 16 - In the corner of the tent where she says a soldier forced himself on her, Helen, a frail fifth grader with big eyes and skinny legs, remembers seeing a blue helmet.

The United Nations peacekeeper who tore off her clothes had used a cup of milk to lure her close, she said in her high-pitched voice, fidgeting as she spoke. It was her favorite drink, she said, but one her family could rarely afford. "I was so happy," she said.

After she gulped it down, the foreign soldier pulled Helen, a 12-year-old, into bed, she said. About an hour later, he gave her a dollar, put a finger to his lips and pushed her out of his tent, she said.

In this same eastern outpost, another United Nations peacekeeper, unable to communicate with a 13-year-old Swahili-speaking girl who walked past him, held up a cookie and gestured for her to draw near. As the girl, Solange, who recounted the incident with tears in her eyes the other day, reached for the cookie, the soldier reached for her. She, too, said she was raped.

The United Nations said recently that it had uncovered 150 allegations of sexual abuse committed by United Nations peacekeepers stationed in Congo, many of them here in Bunia where the population has already suffered horrendous atrocities committed by local fighters. The raping of women and girls is an all-too-common tactic in the war raging in Congo's eastern jungles involving numerous militia groups. In Bunia, a program run by Unicef has treated 2,000 victims of sexual violence in recent months. But it is not just the militia members who have been preying on the women. So, too, local women say, have some of the soldiers brought in to keep the peace.

The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, said recently that there was "clear evidence that acts of gross misconduct have taken place" in the United Nations mission in Congo, which began in early 2000 and is known by its French acronym, Monuc. Mr. Annan added, "This is a shameful thing for the United Nations to have to say, and I am absolutely outraged by it."

The number of cases may be impossible for United Nations investigators to determine precisely. Helen and Solange said in recent interviews that they had not told their stories even to their parents, never mind to United Nations officials. Rape carries a heavy stigma here, both girls made clear. They told their stories when approached by a reporter.

"I didn't tell my mother because she would beat me," said a grim-faced Solange, starring at the ground. Solange, a sixth-grade dropout, said she had no interest in visiting a health clinic or seeing one of the psychologists that Unicef has paid for to counsel the many rape victims in and around Bunia. If she seeks help, the girl said, her mother might find out.

Helen's mother is dead, and Helen did not dare tell her father for fear of a beating. She said she knew he would blame her for going near the soldiers in the first place and might even throw her out of the house.

Helen did go on her own to a health clinic soon after the assault because she said she hurt between her legs. The health worker gave her something to drink, which she paid for with the same dollar that the soldier had given her, she said.

"I was so afraid when he took my clothes off," Helen said, fidgeting with her dirty T-shirt. "I was quiet. I didn't say anything."

The allegations leveled against United Nations personnel in Congo include sex with underage partners, sex with prostitutes and rape, an internal United Nations investigation has found. Investigators said they found evidence that United Nations peacekeepers and civilian workers paid $1 to $3 for sex or bartered sexual relations for food or promises of employment. A confidential report prepared by Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein, Jordan's ambassador to the United Nations, and dated Nov. 8, says the exploitation "appears to be significant, widespread and ongoing."

I wish I could say that I am shocked to see "peacekeepers" and "rape" in the same sentence, but unforunately I am not. The UN admits similar instances in Bosnia, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa and Uruguay. Also discussed in the article is how common it is for soliders and local girls to have a sexual relationships for money and gifts. HIV was not a concern, for these 15 year olds, until a social worker discussed the dangers with them.

Watch the Amnesty International's Movie to support their campaign to stop violence against women.

--
In faux news, the Onion reports that Nigeria is set to host the 2008 Genocides.
"Nigeria is excited for this chance to follow in the footsteps of Somalia, Rwanda, and Sudan," Obasanjo said. "Much work remains to be done, but all of the building blocks are in place. Nigeria has many contentious ethnic groups, a volatile economy, and a dependence on food imports. We are well on our way to making 2008 a genocidal year to remember in Nigeria!"

Best Holiday Gifts...

are legos.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas with the Waltons

Occasionally, I get action alerts from the American Family Association, a conservative watchdog group that acquired my email address when I voted in their poll on whether gay marriage should be legal. (I guess they didn't check my answer before adding me to their list.) So now every couple weeks they write to tell me what they're up to and to encourage my participation in some grass roots campaigns. This week, they're inviting us all to write Chairman Rob Walton of Wal-Mart fame. There is a pre-written letter thanking him for inviting the red SA bell ringers and matching shoppers' donations between now and Christmas. Now, I have mixed feelings about the Salvation Army and don't plan to follow the suggested boycott of Target, but I welcome the opportunity to email Chairman Rob. You can modify the text of the message in any way you'd like, and his snail mail address is at the bottom of the web page. Y'know, in case you'd like to wish him a Merry Christmas or Happy Solstice or something.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Listening to our so-called "Commander in Chief"

I still can not believe this man is our President. I can't say President Bush and "Commander in Chief" in the same sentence...

President Bush at his Iraq policy, wow!, pep rally...

By the way, did you know that Social Security is a serious issue - but not the only issue? Also, Mr. Bush will not be tricked by the press into "negotiating with himself." Oh, that tricky press corps. I thought you should know this because he is pretty adamant about it.

"I accuse Carl of trying to look like Johnny Damon."

Also, he has sat in the "diplomatic dental chair" and the President has looked into Sec. Rumsfeld's eyes. Underneath that "ruff and gruff exterior" is a man that cares deeply for the military.

Apparently, Carl


Holidays and Dowd

So a few things this holiday season: First, too many people came into town this weekend – and its not fair. I would like to visit with everyone, but it is impossible with holiday parties (Why are people so inconsiderate to live in the suburbs? It makes everything more complicated!), work, and the upcoming stress of the final December holiday. That is why I have decided to start my own traditions and not travel over the holidays. I will be spending my holiday with what relatives are local and the rest of us New York City holiday orphans. Thanksgiving remains the greatest holiday of the year as there are no religious affiliated events, ritual gift exchanges, and no trees with lights (though Snoopy decorations are great). It is just getting together and eating too much.

Second, I joined the post compact disk world. I bought an MP3 player for my holiday gift to myself and will probably never buy another CD again unless it is something that I absolutely want to support. For my next trick I will buy a large external hard drive and swap music with my friends. This way I can check out all kinds of music that I would never spend $18 a disk for at the record store (thus never listen to), have burned CDs lying around taking up space, or worse – dubbed cassette tapes. I bet Sammy has some great African music that I would probably never buy on my own. David use to work at a radio station. And hell, I haven’t listened to a radio station that isn’t web cast in years. I could care less what is on. The downer is that the last time I lost my hard drive I lost a bunch of great music that are on CDs in another state. I really want my Ray Charles collection… this will have to be remedied.

Third, the first real snow of the year was tonight. The housemates and I decided to go for a walk in the cold, cold night. However, you would never know its cold outside because my apartment is a living hell. Last week I turned my heat on for the first time because I got tired of wearing a stocking cap to bed. Now I sleep with the windows wide open and it is 18 degrees. This is completely silly.

Lastly, did you read Maureen Dowd’s column on Sunday titled A Not So Wonderful Life? I will link the whole thing sincethis column won't work well broken up.
EXTERIOR BRIDGE OVER POTOMAC RIVER - NIGHT

CLOSE SHOT - Rummy is standing by the railing, staring morosely into the water. The snow is falling hard. Feeling a tap on his shoulder, he wheels around and wrestles an old man with wings into a headlock.

OLD MAN: Ouch! Tut, tut. When will you learn that force doesn't solve everything?

RUMMY: Who the dickens are you?

OLD MAN: Clarence, Angel First Class. I've been sent down to help you.

RUMMY, squinting: You're off your nut, you old fruitcake. You can't help me. I was a matinee idol in this town, a studmuffin. Now everyone's turned on me - Trent Lott, Chuck Hagel and that dadburn McCain.

CLARENCE: No more self-pity, son. I'm going to show you what the world would have been like if you'd never been born.

Clarence, who can fly now, takes Rummy's hand and they soar over the icy Potomac to the Pentagon. Beneath the glass on the desk of the defense secretary is a list of members of Congress and their phone numbers.

RUMMY: Who put that there?

CLARENCE: Sam Nunn. He's the defense secretary. Sam consults with Congress. Never acts arrogant or misleads them. He didn't banish the generals who challenged him - he promoted 'em. And, of course, he caught Osama back in '01. He threw 100,000 troops into Afghanistan on 9/11 and sealed the borders. Our Special Forces trapped the evildoer and his top lieutenants at Tora Bora. You weren't at that cabinet meeting the day after 9/11, so nobody suggested going after Saddam. No American troops died or were maimed in Iraq. No American soldiers tortured Iraqis in Abu Ghraib. No Iraqi explosives fell into the hands of terrorists. There's no office of disinformation to twist perception abroad. We're not on the cusp of an Iraq run by Muslim clerics tied to Iran. Here's Sam. He's with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

GENERAL SHINSEKI: We got some good news today on the National Guard, sir. Recruiting is up 40 percent. With the money we saved killing that useless missile defense system, we up-armored all our Humvees.

RUMMY, fists and jaw clenched: Grrrrrrr...I want to see Wolfie!

CLARENCE: Sam never hired any of those wacko neocons. Wolfowitz is a woolly headed professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a consultant to Ariel Sharon. Richard Perle was never in charge of the Defense Policy Board, so he was unable to enrich himself through government connections, or help Ahmad Chalabi con the administration. Perle stayed an honest man, running a chain of soufflé shops. His soufflés were so fluffy he became known as the Prince of Lightness. Doug Feith never worked here, either, so he never set up the Office of Special Plans to spin tall tales about W.M.D. and Qaeda ties to Saddam. And he never bungled the occupation because there was no occupation. Without you to swoon over in a book, neocon doyenne Midge Decter became a fallen woman, like Violet.

RUMMY, dyspeptic: Holy mackerel! Take me to Dick!

CLARENCE: Dick and Lynne run a bait, tackle and baton-twirling shop in Casper, Wyo. You didn't exist, so you never gave him those jobs in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and he never ran for Congress or worked for Bush 41 or anointed himself 43's vice president. W. chose Chuck Hagel as his running mate. So without you and Dick there to dominate him, he was guided by his dad and Brent Scowcroft, who kept Condi in line. Colin Powell was never cut off at the knees and the U.N. and allies were never bullied. There was never any crazy fever about Iraq or unilateralism or "Old Europe." Here's Colin now, heading for the Oval Office.

POWELL: Merry Christmas, Mr. President. With the help of our allies around the world, we have won the war on terror. And Saddam has been overthrown. Once Hans Blix exposed the fact that Saddam had no weapons, the tyrant was a goner. No Arab dictator can afford to be humilated by a Swedish disarmament lawyer.

RUMMY: Goodness gracious, I've heard enough now. I'm going home. Unless you're going to tell me my wife is an old maid, because I wasn't around to marry her.

CLARENCE: Oh, no. Joyce lives across the street from your old house on Kalorama Road. She's happily married to the French ambassador.

"Auld Lang Syne" swells as we FADE OUT.

No comment needed.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Ah, wacky fun...

Putting the "AAaaaa!" in Anti-Choice

The Chastity Mask

Last Minute Christmas Gifts from Belarus (thank you, scottscidmore!)

...but don't ask the Defective Yeti about gifts.

Leigh Anne loves the smell of sugar in the morning.

Am I feeling productive today? No.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

One Nation, Under Medication

There were two great pieces in the NYTimes yesterday about our country's love affair with drugs. The first, entitled "This is Your Country on Drugs" by Carl Elliott, compares the most recent doping scandal in baseball with our culture's penchant for performance-enhancing drugs of every flavor.
College students take Ritalin to improve their academic performance. Musicians take beta blockers to improve their onstage performance. Middle-aged men take Viagra to improve their sexual performance. Shy people take Paxil to improve their social performance. The difference is that if athletes want to get performance-enhancing drugs they go to the black market. If the rest of us want performance-enhancing drugs, we go to our family doctors.
...
Perhaps this is the inevitable result of turning our medical system over to the market, where making sick people well is often less profitable than making well people better than well. Procter & Gamble, for example, has decided that the profit margins of its ordinary consumer items like Crest toothpaste and Tide laundry detergent are not nearly as appealing as the enormous profit margins of prescription drugs.


The second, "We Love Them. We Hate Them. We Take Them." by Abigail Zuger, MD, is an account of a doctor's negotiation with her patient around pharmaceuticals, and will sound extraordinarily familiar to anyone who's ever had more than one prescription at a time.
Medical anthropologists have written at length about how medications "commodify" health, fostering the illusion that it is something bought and sold at market. In doctors' offices and in medicine cabinets, though, a reverse process takes place: we all anthropomorphize pills right back from commodities to willful agents of good or evil...


As a woman in my twenties, I have already acquired three long-term prescriptions. One of them (my anti-baby device) I have to explain to any doc who isn't a GYN. They look at me kinda funny, because they want to know why the regular old Ortho Whatever-Cyclen isn't good enough for me. I don't enlighten them. The next one is an anti-malarial pill that I take to control my lupus. Do I need it? Well, no, but it helps my hands stop aching. It improves my performance when knitting and typing and putting on my underwear. It's unclear whether Elliott would consider me a "sick person made well" or a "well person made better than well" by the anti-malarial. The last of my three is an antidepressant that I have never gotten around to weaning myself off of... I've never found a month that I'm willing to give up as I taper off the drug. Elliott probably would have more of a problem with the last one, though it's much more vital to my mental and physical health than the others. So who does get to decide the good drugs from the bad drugs? Obviously, the FDA hasn't been up to the task lately. I don't think Elliott is the one to ask. And Zuger doesn't sound entirely confident about either the drugs or her ability to do without them when caring for her patients.

What about caffeine? If I had to choose, I'd say that the coffee I drink every morning has more of an effect on me than the prescription drugs I'm taking. I know more than one man who changes completely after a pint of beer. So what counts as a "drug" under these analysts' definitions? The jury, I think, is still out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Flashback

This is one of my favorites from This Modern World. I successfully hooked a co-worker on it...

For a larger version click here.

The New England Journal of Medicine Online has a photographic essay by George E. Peoples, M.D., James R. Jezior, M.D., and Craig D. Shriver, M.D. titled "Caring for the Wounded in Iraq — A Photo Essay." Warning, some of these pictures are very graphic, but you probably won't see many of these on your evening news. Visual Culture and the mass media have always been an interest - specifically violent images or images of suffering. But that is for another time.

On a lighter note, I have a suggestion. For those of you struggling to find the perfect gift this holiday season for your ultra right wing reactionary family members, I have the cure. Now is the perfect time for you to make a donation, in their name, to NARAL: Pro-Choice America, National Head Start Association, The American Civil Liberties Union, Sierra Club, National Organization of Women, Big Brothers and Big Sisters... well, you get the point.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I Like my Conservatives Isolationist

So Friday night before I bathed in Chimay I attended a panel discussion that featured Jodi Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity. The part that I found most disturbing was Sen. Frist having to be asked multiple times by George Stephanopoulos to confirm that you will not be infected with AIDS by sweat or tears. He is a doctor, he should know better - so why (other than I think he will be in the 2008 GOP primary)? This has also been covered by Wonkette, at Tom Paine and LiberalOasis. The right wing influence in Washington and in our international agencies are gaining strength. Speaking of which, relating to the title of the post, I like my conservatives isolationist. As Ms. Jacobson said, Bush's AIDS plan which isn't too helpful has giving the administration three things it desires. First, pharmaceutical companies are making a lot of profit. Second, the United States gets to wear the mantle of world AIDS leader despite the problems in their proposals. Third, the Bush Administration is getting to push their ideology throughout international agencies. The latter I find most dangerous. So went for the Belgian smile.

So its the holiday season and shopping for gifts is such a pain. But David and I learned something helpful on Saturday. We know someone who, as rumor has it, apparently likes the white powder.* And here we thought all this person did was sew and bake. It explains a lot, and makes the holiday shopping easier. Mirror $5. Razor blade $.50. Excessive baked goods and mittens, priceless. Then again, we were surrounded by hipsters and playing with a remote control car (white elephant gift) while enjoying several Magic Hats.**
*Our investigators have since disproved this rumor.
**Our investigators have notified us that this may have been the source of the rumor and that no one really wants to read this witless prattle.

Friday, December 10, 2004

My Three Favorite Things

Amazingly I feel better today. This week has been a series of sleepless cold infused days with random goodness mixed in with Eeyore moments. It all started when ABC had some Mitch Albom (see below) made for TV movie on instead of Desperate Housewives. But keeping with the gloomy weather, I present my three favorite Topics at the moment. ANWAR, Wal-Mart, Iraq!

Deadly shipwreck now a major Alaska oil spill
Thousands of gallons of heavy bunker fuel and diesel spilled from a soybean freighter that was ripped clean in half off the shore of Unalaska Island. Near a wildlife refuge 800 miles southwest of Anchorage, the area is home to sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, tanner crabs, halibut and kelp beds.

Kurt Fredriksson, acting commissioner for the Department of Environmental Conservation, said it was not known how much fuel had leaked, but called it a major spill that could take months to clean up.

“You’ve got bunker oil streaming from a ship that’s broken in half,” he said. “We are in winter and in a very difficult Aleutian Island environment that will put everybody to the test.”

If they open up ANWAR, because you know more drilling is the answer to an a non renewable energy source - not to mention that pipelines cannot be defended as seen in Iraq, I can't wait to read about this happening in ANWAR... check out the photo, the ship broke in half! Anyone want to bet on how old the ship is, or the condition prior to breaking in half? When my buddy worked for the Department of the Interior he use to sign his emails "Dispatches from the Department of Oil and Mining."

So yesterday Brian Lehrer had two good pieces. First is titled "Bentonville Comes Calling", and is about how Wal-Mart plans to open a store in Rego Park by 2008. Not just any store, but a 135,000 square foot store. Later on in the show State Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin discussed why it will be bad for Queens. Why in the world would anyone want Wal-Mart in NYC? But this is not surprising considering Home Depot has at least one "urban" store in Manhattan now. Click to watch the PBS Frontline on Wal-Mart. Second piece was titled "Gin Rummy" based on Mr. Rumsfeld being confronted by a few soldiers earlier this week. These pieces can be heard here.

But fear not friends, it is Friday and we have Condi!



Oh yeah, check out Bill in Portland's Cheers and Jeers Anniversary Special

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

'You Go to War With the Army You Have'

...is what Rummie said. The AP's Robert Burns quoted in his article "Rumsfeld Fields Criticism in Rare Rank-and-File Exchange". Burns writes
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Disgruntled U.S. soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about the lack of armor for their vehicles and long deployments, drawing a blunt retort from the Pentagon chief.

"You go to war with the Army you have," he said in a rare public airing of rank-and-file concerns among the troops.

In his prepared remarks earlier, Rumsfeld had urged the troops -- mostly National Guard and Reserve soldiers -- to discount critics of the war in Iraq and to help "win the test of wills" with the insurgents.

Some of soldiers, however, had criticisms of their own -- not of the war itself but of how it is being fought.

Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Wilson asked. A big cheer arose from the approximately 2,300 soldiers in the cavernous hangar who assembled to see and hear the secretary of defense.

Rumsfeld hesitated and asked Wilson to repeat his question.

"We do not have proper armored vehicles to carry with us north," Wilson said after asking again.

Rumsfeld replied that troops should make the best of the conditions they face and said the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.

And, the defense chief added, armor is not always a savior in the kind of combat U.S. troops face in Iraq, where the insurgents' weapon of choice is the roadside bomb, or improvised explosive device that has killed and maimed hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops since the summer of 2003.

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up," Rumsfeld said.

Question: How do you keep a Secretary job within this administration?

Technology Inhibiting Learning?

David passed me on a piece a few days ago that is a great companion to the piece that Trope posted below. G. Jeffrey MacDonald of The Christian Science Monitor latest article "Contrarian finding: Computers are a drag on learning" indicates so. He writes
For all the schools and parents who have together invested billions to give children a learning edge through the latest computer technology, a mammoth new study by German researchers brings some sobering news: Too much exposure to computers might spell trouble for the developing mind.

From a sample of 175,000 15-year-old students in 31 countries, researchers at the University of Munich announced in November that performance in math and reading had suffered significantly among students who have more than one computer at home. And while students seemed to benefit from limited use of computers at school, those who used them several times per week at school saw their academic performance decline significantly as well.

"It seems if you overuse computers and trade them for other [types of] teaching, it actually harms the student," says lead researcher Ludger Woessmann in a telephone interview from Munich. "At least we should be cautious in stating that increasing [access to] computers in the home and school will improve students' math and reading performance."

With the rise of computers in classrooms, has come a glut of conflicting conclusions about the actual value computers bring to timeless tasks of teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. For some in education, these results indicate how thoroughly this field of research has come to resemble that of the conventional wisdom about weight loss, which seems to shift with the tide. Yet others see hopeful signs of a maturing debate, where blind faith in the educational benefits of technology is giving way to greater appreciation for an understanding when computers are useful and when they're not.

My own feeling is that technology can be a valuable aid in learning, but only if the teachers keep up with what their students are exposed to and learn how to us it properly. For example, I can see how blogs can increase an interest in writing and self expression, but unless you are learning how to write at the same time(ie. someone to edit and force rewrites - like those professors that are not afraid to make a thick red line down the whole page), I doubt a significant would be seen. Then there are those of us that love the fact that we can spew poor sentences and paragraphs and not feel bad about it - its only the web! But it is the promise of technology to improve us, is it not?
"The mere availability of computers at home seems to distract students from learning." Computers seem to serve mainly as devices for playing games.

Still, there were a few exceptions: Academic performance rose among those who routinely engaged in writing e-mail or running educational software.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

"Experimental writing devices" and other travesties

HEY U GUYS CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE FROM NYTIMES! DID U KNOW WE CULD TAKE CLASSES 4 THIS!? i NEED 2 DO THIS 4 MON! OK THANKS!
(The last two sentences were quoted from a page I received this week from my boss. Really. E)

What Corporate America Can't Build: A Sentence
By SAM DILLON
Published: December 7, 2004


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - R. Craig Hogan, a former university professor who heads an online school for business writing here, received an anguished e-mail message recently from a prospective student.

"i need help," said the message, which was devoid of punctuation. "i am writing a essay on writing i work for this company and my boss want me to help improve the workers writing skills can yall help me with some information thank you".

Hundreds of inquiries from managers and executives seeking to improve their own or their workers' writing pop into Dr. Hogan's computer in-basket each month, he says, describing a number that has surged as e-mail has replaced the phone for much workplace communication. Millions of employees must write more frequently on the job than previously. And many are making a hash of it.

"E-mail is a party to which English teachers have not been invited," Dr. Hogan said. "It has companies tearing their hair out."

A recent survey of 120 American corporations reached a similar conclusion. The study, by the National Commission on Writing, a panel established by the College Board, concluded that a third of employees in the nation's blue-chip companies wrote poorly and that businesses were spending as much as $3.1 billion annually on remedial training.

The problem shows up not only in e-mail but also in reports and other texts, the commission said. "It's not that companies want to hire Tolstoy," said Susan Traiman, a director at the Business Roundtable, an association of leading chief executives whose corporations were surveyed in the study. "But they need people who can write clearly, and many employees and applicants fall short of that standard."

Millions of inscrutable e-mail messages are clogging corporate computers by setting off requests for clarification, and many of the requests, in turn, are also chaotically written, resulting in whole cycles of confusion.

Here is one from a systems analyst to her supervisor at a high-tech corporation based in Palo Alto, Calif.: "I updated the Status report for the four discrepancies
Lennie forward us via e-mail (they in Barry file).. to make sure my logic was correct It seems we provide Murray with incorrect information ... However after verifying controls on JBL - JBL has the indicator as B ???? - I wanted to make sure with the recent changes - I processed today - before Murray make the changes again on the mainframe to 'C'."

The incoherence of that message persuaded the analyst's employers that she needed remedial training.

"The more electronic and global we get, the less important the spoken word has become, and in e-mail clarity is critical," said Sean Phillips, recruitment director at another Silicon Valley corporation, Applera, a supplier of equipment for life science research, where most employees have advanced degrees. "Considering how highly educated our people are, many can't write clearly in their day-to-day work."


My favorite quotes:
  • "People think that throwing multiple exclamation points into a business letter will make their point forcefully," Ms. Andrews said. "I tell them they're allowed two exclamation points in their whole life."
  • "E-mail has just erupted like a weed, and instead of considering what to say when they write, people now just let thoughts drool out onto the screen," Dr. Hogan said. "It has companies at their wits' end."
Read the whole article--and kindly consider passing it on to others as a service.


OK THX!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Why?

I had my slice of pumpkin pie and a tall glass of merlot ready to aid my hour of Desperate Housewives only to find out that some Mitch Albom movie with exploding things and Jon Voight was in its place. What a bummer. Its not like Sunday night with HBO is really any better now... and the pie was not satisfactory.

I added Liberal Street Fighter under the "Information" links.

I saw two interesting clips from the Sunday morning political shows. The first was John McCain saying that he was disappointed that Sec. Rumsfeld is not being replaced. It also still sounds as if he has presidential hopes for 2008 despite the fact he will be 72 years old. The second was new Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid discussing the SCOTUS. He seemed to think the Justice Scalia's decisions, and re read on Kos to make sure, were based on solid thought despite disagreeing with him on many things - and his relationship with the Vice President as a reason for him to not be CJ. He also called Justice Thomas's decisions weakly written and that he was unsuitable for being CJ. It reminded me of the joke on the Al Frankin Show many months ago... the reason why the Supreme Court doesn't allow a live visual feed is because Justice Thomas would just watch from home - since he doesn't ever have any questions.


Painting of Justice Scalia and Quotes found here. Check out more of Joel Pelletier's work!

Quotes
"This court is riddled with conflicts of interest. Clarence's wife, Ginny, is over at the Heritage Foundation gathering conservatives' résumés for possible appointments in the new administration. My son is a partner at Ted Olson's law firm. Another son just got hired by another law firm working for Bush. But if I had recused myself, there would have been a tie. And then those radicals on the Florida Supreme Court could have been affirmed. And President Gore might have made Ruthie the chief." (12/13/00)

"The Constitution just sets minimums, most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires." (Corroll University, 3/19/03)

All You Need is Hate

My Sunday morning ritual is never complete unless I hear On The Media. One of the stories was titled "All You Need Is Hate." It can be found here. You have to mosey down to the second last story, but it is interesting.
"We don't just entertain racist kids.... We create them." That statement appears on the website of Panzerfaust Records, a white supremacist music label based in Minnesota. This fall, the label launched "Project Schoolyard," an effort to distribute its music to kids through methods like direct mail and bus stop handouts. Minnesota Public Radio reporter Jeff Horwich compiled this profile of Panzerfaust

Transcripts are available every Tuesday or listen now.

Interesting Info Graphic

I found the following while reading through Kos for a few minutes

The evil Northeast has the lowest divorce rates and I guess the lowest teen pregnancy rates too. Perhaps Trope has an idea about the impact of sexual education and pregnancy, and if so, which states are the ones with the least programs. This is the site where the graphic can be found.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Good Stuff from Media Matters

Here are some good pieces from Media Matters

Falwell on NOW: "the National Order of Witches"

Abstinence-only advocates spread falsehoods on cable.

Robertson: Gays and lesbians are "self-absorbed hedonists ..."

Matthews claimed almost 50 percent of Hispanics voted for Bush -- even after NBC revised number down to 40 percent

This is a good site to check in on now and again.

Another Reason to Avoid Fast Food...

... as if you needed another. Jen gives us yet another reason not to pump our bodies full of their garbage.
Choices in Fast Food
The percentages are the Republican donations by their PAC.

Wendy's - 90% in 2004, 92% in 2002
McDonald's - 94% in 2004, 86% in 2002
Burger King - 67% in 2004, 24% in 2002
TacoBell, KFC, PizzaHut - 78% in 2004, 70% in 2002
WaffleHouse - 100% in 2004, 100% in 2000

If it's not listed, I couldn't find anything, which means I can still eat at Arby's and Subway! (And BK, w/o feeling too guilty.)

She has the links on Good Intentions. Check it out.

Yes to Reform, No to US Help

I apologize for not having a link, but a friend sent this to me via email.
Yes to Reform, No to US Help
Dr. James Zogby, jzogby@aaiusa.org

WASHINGTON, 3 December 2004 — Before the Bush administration pushes ahead with plans to promote reform in the Arab world, attention should be given to the results of our latest Arab American Institute/Zogby International (AAI/ZI) poll.

Arabs want reform, but the change they want is more related to quality of life than political issues. And when asked how helpful the United States could be in promoting reform in their countries, they were decidedly cool to US involvement in their internal affairs.

These were two of the findings of a significant new study conducted by ZI in five Arab states. The poll, which surveyed attitudes of 2,600 adult Arabs in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, asked respondents to evaluate the importance of ten different reform issues and then to indicate how helpful they felt the US could be in assisting their countries achieve each of these
reforms.

Overall, the areas viewed as most important, in rank order, included: Expanding employment opportunities, improving health care, and improving the educational system. In the middle of the list were internal matters like fighting extremism and protecting civil rights.

But at the list's bottom were the more political issues, such as expanding democracy, promoting political debate, political reform, and advancing women's rights. It is significant to note, by way of comparison, that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ranked second in importance overall, right after expanding employment and before improving health care.

What these findings demonstrate is that Arab public opinion wants change, but that their most important issues of concern are structural changes that improve daily life and expand opportunities for personal advancement.

The study finds no substantial difference in the rank order given to these issues when the respondents are compared by age, gender, or educational achievement. Men, for example, rank Israel-Palestine as their primary concern followed by employment, health care, and education. Women, on the other hand, rank employment first followed,
in order, by health care, Israel-Palestine, and education.

Both genders also agree that democracy issues, reform, women's rights, and political debate are at the bottom of their list of concerns. Women, not surprisingly, give a somewhat higher score to the issue of expanding women's rights, but still rank it ninth out of ten in overall importance — the same ranking given to this issue by men.
Meanwhile, men give a slightly higher score to civil rights, democracy, and reform, but, like women, agree that these issues rank sixth, seventh, and eighth in overall importance.

When compared by age, older Arabs demonstrate greater intensity of concern for Israel-Palestine and civil rights, while younger Arabs show greater concern for women's rights. Nevertheless, both young and old agree on the overall rank order of all issues. Both age cohorts place resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as second in importance, civil rights in sixth place, and women's rights ninth out of the ten issues covered in the survey.

Only minor differences appear when the attitudes of university educated Arabs are compared with those who have not received a degree. More educated Arabs, for example, showed somewhat greater concern with health care and civil rights, while their less educated compatriots gave higher ratings to improving educational opportunities and women's rights. But, overall, the rank order of issue concerns was virtually the same for both groups.

When asked how helpful the US could be in assisting their countries in advancing each of these ten concerns, there was broad consensus that the most significant role the US could play was in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In Lebanon and Morocco, and to a lesser degree, Jordan, there is support for US assistance in expanding employment, improving health care, and improving educational opportunities. On the other hand, there is near universal rejection of any US role in political reform, protecting civil rights, or advancing democracy or women's rights.

The lessons that can be culled from just a preliminary review of the findings of this AAI/ZI study are that Arabs do want change, but the change they want is different from what is being promoted by the more ambitious plans of Western governments. What this survey of Arab opinion reveals is that the most critical first steps to be taken are to grow Arab economies and improve the quality of life and essential services. Finally, Arab opinion seems to be saying that internal political affairs are just that — internal.

With the apparent rejection of outside interference in internal political matters, it would be more useful for supporters of Arab reform to find ways to assist infrastructure development and the expansion of trade and investment in order to promote economic growth.

It may well be that successful economic and educational development would lead to the political changes sought by reformers without incurring resentment or resistance. Reform, in any case, must be demand-driven and not imposed from outside.

And, it goes without saying that if the US seeks to play a more active role in assisting Arab reform efforts, it should begin by resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is what Arab opinion wants from the US. If the US were to deliver in this area, it just might enhance the US credibility and pave the way for a more active role in being able to advance other reform issues.


— Dr. James J. Zogby is president, Arab American Institute.

Update: Here is the link

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Surprises

Usually when the apartment needs some work done it becomes a long process. I just came home from work to find that they are painting my kitchen.

Sometimes good things do happen without a series of complaints.

BBC on New York's ACS

Wells, have you heard anything about this? There was a BBC report last night on children in NYC foster care being given experimental HIV meds, probably in response to World AIDS day yesterday. The report sounds heavily slanted but the facts are worth investigating. I'm sure the The Administration for Children's Services gets a lot of flak for a lot of topics, but I'd hate to think something like this could go unnoticed for very long.

For more tidbits on reproductive health and other mind dandruff, go visit Fray.

Elwood on dating

Elwood's advice on asking a woman out
Do you like crack, I know great dealer? Only don't use those words.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Changes

I am going to change the link section around in organization and in content. If you have any sites that you would like linked drop a message in the comment section below, ie- casulty count in an Iraq section or a Senate Committee section. I leave you with this: