Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just don't say "When suddenly..." because this was completely predictable

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Sixty hurt in China balloon blast: "More than 60 students were injured when hundreds of balloons exploded at a school in northwest China's Gansu province, state media reported."

They filled 1,500 balloons with hydrogen to celebrate the opening of a sporting event. Was this some sort of population control measure?

Friday, September 14, 2007

My veteran's disability rating came through

I'm eligible for vocational rehabilitation which will be a huge "leg up" on starting my post-military life.

I don't want to give you the impression I'm badly off because I'm not. I've still got all the parts I had when I joined up in 1981. It's a matter of wear and tear and I consider myself pretty lucky.

The Veteran's Administration is swamped. Paperwork doesn't exactly fly through channels these days and it wasn't particularly fast before. As I said earlier, I'm not the neediest of the applicants and my expectations were not great. Additionally, the doctor who evaluated me is known for his low ratings.

But my package is back and I'm rated high (disabled) enough to receive vocational rehabilitation so that's a huge load off my mind.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I can't tell you why this upsets me so much

Serco Careers: "Job Description Participates as temporary full-time member (Personal Effects Specialist, or Photographer, or Administrative Speciaialist) on a Serco, Inc. team of 96 contract employees working on-site in a fast-paced operational/warehouse environment for the US Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at the Joint Personal Effects Depot (JPED). Receives, inventories, sorts, cleans, photographs, packages, and ships to family members (next of kin) all personal effects belonging to military service members and others, including defense contractors, who are killed or severely injured worldwide, especially incident to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Such a horrifying statement made in such a mundane, dehumanizing way.

First seen on Wonkette.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

E! doesn't get it

Griffin's 'offensive' Emmy speech to be censored - "'Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks will not be part of the E! telecast on Saturday night,' the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said in a statement Monday. In her speech, Griffin said that 'a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.'"

I guess my first question is: When did E! become an arbiter of good taste?

My second question is: Why does the media take Bill Donohue seriously? CNN, who has a reputation to protect, quotes documented nutter Bill Donohue as expressing outrage on behalf of Catholics. Donohue called Griffin's speech "hate speech." This is the Bill Donohue who thinks it's okay to say things like "gay death style." I do not think "hate speech" means what Mr. Donohue thinks it means.

E! screwed up. Mr. Donohue continues to screw up. Kathy Griffin continues to be Kathy Griffin and she's allowed to make jokes about Jesus.

If your belief system is that fragile, maybe there are other problems.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I'm out of sync with my country

Washington - Politics - Senate - House of Representatives - Rumors - Secrets - New York Times: "IN this era of blogosphere gossip, viral e-mail and infinite YouTube video archives, the open secret — unacknowledged by its keeper, theoretically hush-hush but widely suspected or known — arguably should be a thing of the past in public life."

I found this article interesting for its perspective. The author goes through a number of sex scandals and (at least in my opinion) misses the actual misconduct associated with them. This phenomena is not unique to the author, in fact I think I'm probably the one with the problem.

Let's start with Representative Mark Foley. Congressional pages are supposed to be in their Junior year of high school. Minimum age is 16 years old. Most of the pages will be 17 and some will be 18 years old. Sex with minors is a felony in the District of Columbia. The fact that Mark Foley's preference in partners was same-sex is not nearly as relevant as the fact that his preference was for children. If you have sex with children then you go to jail and all this tittering about homosexuality has nothing to do with the fact that the man is a pedophile and a sexual predator.

Another fun one is Jim McGreevey and his "I am a gay American..."speech after he was caught giving a former lover a government job with a 6-digit salary. I could care less about McGreevey's sexuality. His abuse of power at the expense of the taxpayers? That's a big deal. McGreevey's coming out speech was a brilliant "wag the dog" move.

Senator Craig's current situation is in the same category. First off, what he did was a misdemeanor. I find the whole public restroom-gay meeting place thing hugely annoying. I really don't know where America draws the line on public decency but I'm positive that have sex in a public place is below the line.

Interestingly, Craig was voting just the way he said he would. He ran as a conservative Republican and voted accordingly. Sure, he's a hypocrite but he's a consistent hypocrite. Playing with other men's wee-wees in bathroom stalls doesn't change his voting record. Idahoans got what they voted for.

There's one real victim in the Craig case, Mr. Craig's wife. Her husband has been having sex with strangers which places her at increased risk for venereal disease. Her husband took a vow which he's broken. Those are issues for the Craig family to settle within the Craig family.

If the American public is really this easy to distract, we don't need journalists. We can all go to TMZ and read gossip to our heart's content.