Time to Mainline the Mainstream

No one is surprised by the GAO report about the FDA’s rejection of “Plan B,” least of all me. Nor am I surprised that Alito is anti-abortion. It is also no shock that the political hack installed at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting abused his position to serve his political masters. And none of this should surprise you either, if you have been paying attention for the last 5 years, let alone the last 5 weeks.

The Republicans, who used to be a pretty savvy group of guys, have had their party stolen by “true believers.” Instead of compromise and coalition, we now have neo-cons and the Religious Right. And they are really screwing the pooch for the mainstream Republicans who happen to believe in things like privacy and fiscal responsibility. I feel sorry for the regular guy Rep because his party has been turned into a mega-church with rape rooms.

Continue reading “Time to Mainline the Mainstream”

So, where the hell were these guys?

Via Jesse at Pandagon, it seems that New Orleans had contracted with a private firm to help with this very thing. Somehow, I don’t see these guys qualifying for that performance bonus.

The IEM team will complete a functional exercise on a catastrophic hurricane strike in Southeast Louisiana and use results to develop a response and recovery plan. A catastrophic event is one that can overwhelm State, local and private capabilities so quickly that communities could be devastated without Federal assistance and multi-agency planning and preparedness. June 3, 2004

Apparently, this crew isn’t very well connected and could pull no weight with the Feds.

You can’t be trusted to choose your lover

First, let me say that there are people who can not pick their own mates without help. However, that is what friends and family are for – to give you the reality check against your hormones, if you will. That is not the job of psychologists and personality tests.

The growth of sites like eHarmony and PerfectMatch is not natural. Love is not a book or a pair of shoes (alright sometimes love can be a pair of shoes but damn, you can’t marry a pair of shoes). Love is a full-time load of constant communication laced with freedom, fear and trust (like I trust that these shoes are not going to give me blisters after 6 hours straight). The idea that I can take a test and my results are going to determine who I fall in love with is just, well, retarded.

What these sites seek to do is to eliminate the risk of finding your partner. Frankly, that is just wrong. There has to be risk. If there is no risk – if you can just go to the next “match” – then where is the motivation to put yourself on the line? Where is the excitement that leads to first date jitters, great sex, your first real fight, great make-up sex, and so on and so on. Without risk, where is the reward?

I don’t want my journey sanitized (OK, I’m married but if I wasn’t the last place I would look for love is a Dianetics wanna be site full of psycho-babble). I risked and I got hurt and I learned a ton about myself in finding the man that I call my partner for life, my husband. It is a great feeling of accomplishment that I earned through the investment of my time, emotion and wardrobe allowance. The only test we had to pass was the one we gave each other and so far we are making the grade.

Aid, Schmaid – How can we get ADM the contract?

OK, I am cynical. I have also read and written about various US foreign aid programs and their deleterious effects upon the very nations they are sent to help. But that anyone is naïve enough to believe that Congress is going to do away with a PR friendly way of accomplishing corporate welfare – well, that’s just “cotton candy clouds” and “sea of lemonade” thinking.

Don’t get me wrong I think Sophia Murphy makes some excellent arguments in her editorial however I do take issue with this one:

“It should transition to cash-based aid”

I don’t think this is such a great idea. Just look at what happened in Iraq with all of the cash accounts they had access to in a time of war and chaos. Do you really think that mobilizing to avoid widespread famine is any less chaotic? Can anyone really believe that money won’t go missing? Just because people are starving and dying doesn’t mean that somewhere there isn’t a person willing to profit from it. Is the cash meant to make it easier to bribe the local authorities?

I do think the US should spend the money directly in the region because the stimulus to the economy would do more good than anything else. However, it will require the agencies to be more transparent with regard to where the money is going and to what end it is meant to serve. It will also require regular audits with defined and enforceable penalties should malfeasance be proven. (ha ha ha…can’t breathe…oh, stop…hee hee)

Now, who is going to convince every Representative and Senator from a significant agricultural region that their corporate constituents should give up these contracts so US tax dollars can be spent in African countries to feed Africans? Although, I suppose Brown & Root could start a new division…