Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A Day Late And A Blog Topic Short

Most mornings, something blogworthy jumps off the webpage at me, screaming to be lamented.

For whatever reason, I just can't get excited about any particular headlines or discussion thread.

I read yesterday that Jan. 24th is the most depressing day of the year.

The formula for the day of misery reads 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA.

Where W is weather, D is debt - minus the money (d) due on January's pay day - and T is the time since Christmas.

Q is the period since the failure to quit a bad habit, M stands for general motivational levels and NA is the need to take action and do something about it.

Maybe I'm a just a day late.

What's really sad is that W and M are the only variables applicable in my life right now. (I sort of hibernate between January and March.)

Of course, the news doesn't help one's mood...

Army Closed Many Abuse Cases Early

Army personnel have admitted to beating or threatening to kill Iraqi detainees and stealing money from Iraqi civilians but have not been charged with criminal conduct, according to newly released Army documents.

Only a handful of the 54 investigations of alleged detainee abuse and other illicit activities detailed in the documents led to recommended penalties as severe as a court-martial or discharge from military service. Most led to administrative fines or simply withered because investigators could not find victims or evidence.

The documents, which date from mid-2003 to mid-2004 and were obtained by five nongovernmental organizations through a joint lawsuit, suggest that the pursuit of military justice in Iraq has been hampered by the investigators' closure of many cases without reaching a determination of likely innocence or guilt. LINK

Sy Hersch is never wrong.

Secret Pentagon spies confirmed

Rumsfeld wants improved intelligence

Senior officials in the US Defense Department have confirmed reports that the Pentagon ran a secret unit to help gather human intelligence.

The Washington Post first revealed on Sunday that the Strategic Support Branch (SSB) was set up on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The Pentagon was re-interpreting US law and trying to bypass the CIA, it said.

But the department denies bending laws, saying the group was set up to provide better support for military forces.

It was in regular touch with the CIA and Congress over its plans, officials say. LINK

Do you know where your tax money goes?

Total Federal Funds (Outlays): $1,926 Billion

Physical Resources, $114B: Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior Dept., Transportation, Environmental Protection, Army Corps Engineers, NSF, FCC, 25% Homeland Security

Grey Days & Fascist Fundies always get me down.

In case you were wondering, that much-touted Republican Rule Of Law meme only applies to Democrats.

Note that George W. swore to uphold the Constitution 3 days before he picked up the phone.

Fascist Fundies take time out of their
health clinic bombing/personal intimidation campaign
to do that arm-swaying prayer thing.

Bush phones in support for abortion protest

Change 'may still be some way away,' he tells marchers

The Associated Press
Updated: 4:29 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2005

WASHINGTON - President Bush told abortion foes on Monday he shared their support for “a culture of life” and claimed progress in passing legislation to protect the vulnerable. LINK

This comes as no shock...

Government still stealing from Native Americans

Casino scandal just one on a long list

For the Los Angeles Times

On long winter nights beside the Knife and Little Big Horn rivers in Montana, tribal elders sit around story fires and tell their grandchildren legends to help them make sense of the world. It's a time-worn custom, as old as silence.

A black man, a white man and an Indian arrived at the Pearly Gates, begins one of their favorite tales. After welcoming them to heaven, St. Peter invites each man to choose the afterlife of his dreams. The black man asks for great music and lots of friends. St. Peter grants his wish and sends him on his way. Up steps the Indian, who asks for beautiful mountain streams, deep forests and plenty of food. "Say no more, chief," says St. Peter, sending him off. Last, he turns to the white man and asks, "What do you want heaven to look like?" And the white man says, "Where did that Indian go?"

Ever since Columbus waded ashore, say the elders beside the Knife and the Little Big Horn, white men in funny hats have been asking, "Where did that Indian go?" In this context, the latest scandal -involving Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, the Republican operatives who allegedly fleeced six casino tribes out of $80 million by promising them, well, a little slice of heaven in Washington, D.C., is an old story come full circle.

Sure, editorial boards at The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others, are right to call for their heads. The practice of mocking tribal leaders as "morons"and "monkeys" while allegedly stealing them blind gives off a foul odor, even in the nation's capital. LINK

Adding insult to injury...

Clint Eastwood (Of Spaghetti Western Fame) obviously has enough clout to make people pretend they think he's talented.

And, yes, dear readers, Fahrenheit 9/11 wasn't nominated.

But I'm Pollyanna Glad that The Snuffing Of Jesus was (appropriately) nominated in the Smoke & Mirrors categories (cinematography and makeup)and the entirely predictable Ben-Hur-Set-The-Standard-For Jesus Music (original score) category.

By the way, if you haven't seen Supersize Me (nominated for Best Documentary), you should rent it today!

Morgan Spurlock has what Michael Moore used to have: anonymity.

My plan for today: start a new novel and take a nap.

Tomorrow is, according to Scarlett, another day.

Truly heavy sigh.


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