Friday, January 28, 2005

The lies keep a comin'

Wow. Today's Bushco blunder shouldn't surprise, but it sure doesn't delight. Seems the administration has told employees of the Social Security Administration to parrot the political message about a "crisis" so people will begin clamoring for reform. That's why the Social Security website, customer service lines, and mailings reflect doom and gloom.

According to an article in today's Indianapolis Star, "A pair of Social Security employees told the Democratic Policy Committee they objected to internal agency documents that direct employees to talk about the system's problems and a need for reform." Although the newspaper had a misleading headline, "Democrats Bash Bush on Social Security," they at least told the story.

Bushco runs rampant.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Have they no shame?

The news about Bushco reaches new lows on a daily basis. After reading an article in this morning's Philly paper about how they hung Christie Todd Whitman out to dry when she was head of the Environmental Protection Agency, I intended to write about that. Whitman, a staunch Republican if there ever was one, made this statement in an interview: "The experience was an eye-opening encounter with just how obsessed so many of those in the energy industry and in the Republican Party have become with doing away with environmental regulation." Of course, there's little surprise that Bushco is anti-environment, or that the administration is dominated by oil interests. Whitman's new book is called It's My Party, Too.

* * * * * *

But their disdain for the environment pales in comparison to the way Bushco treats the soldiers they have sent to Iraq to fight their immoral and spinning-out-of-control war. After learning that they just can't seem to find the money to armor all the Humvees (although they can find hundreds of millions of dollars for Halliburton,) now we learn that they're making injured soldiers--those who have lost limbs, become paralyzed, blinded--pay for their meals at Walter Reed Hospital. This atrocity is reported today by Salon.

The Pentagon's excuse is that they're only charging outpatients. "I think it sucks," said a soldier from West Virginia who broke his neck in Iraq after falling off a roof. "I think that people should be able to eat. They get us over there, get us wounded and shot up and then tell us: Fend for yourself. You are all heroes, but here you go."

The Salon article continues, "A veterans' advocate who lost the use of his legs fighting in Vietnam said the meal charges constitute a personal affront to soldiers. 'I don't care what bureaucratic bullshit they come up with, this is an insult,' said Bobby Muller, chairman of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and director of the foundation's Alliance for Security. 'I cannot believe that people are being charged for their meals. This is a showstopper.'

Showstopper, indeed. It's high time for this show to stop. Where is the outrage of Americans, the supposedly moral majority who allegedly voted Bushco back into office?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inauguration by the numbers

Like many others I saw on the streets of Philadelphia this morning, I'm dressed in black today. What futility, but it feels appropriate. I want to send every negative vibration I can to Bushco today.

Here are some interesting numbers I found while reading

• $40 million: Cost of Bush inaugural ball festivities, not counting security costs.
• $20,000: Cost of yellow roses purchased for inaugural festivities by D.C.'s Ritz Carlton.
• 200: Number of Humvees outfitted with top-of-the-line armor for troops in Iraq that could have been purchased with the amount of money blown on the inauguration.
• $10,000: Price of an inaugural package at the Fairmont Hotel, which includes a Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon reception, a chauffeured Rolls Royce and two actors posing as "faux" Secret Service agents, complete with black sunglasses and cufflink walkie-talkies.
• 22 million: Number of children in regions devastated by the tsunami who could have received vaccinations and preventive health care with the amount of money spent on the inauguration.
• 1,160,000: Number of girls who could be sent to school for a year in Afghanistan with the amount of money lavished on the inauguration.
• $15,000: The down payment to rent a fur coat paid by one gala attendee who didn't want the hassle of schlepping her own through the airport.
• 2,500: Number of U.S. troops used to stand guard as President Bush takes his oath of office.
• 26,000: Number of Kevlar vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be purchased for $40 million.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Lazy bloggers

Originally uploaded by michael j nolan.
Taking on a blog is a commitment. There's that nagging feeling when you remember that you haven't posted anything new for days and days. You imagine one of your handful of readers visiting your blog, seeing that there's nothing new there, and leaving--determined never to revisit.

So I'm posting this picture I took of the Delaware Bay. It struck me as a very pretty sight for a winter's day right after Christmas. Our "cottage" is just up the street.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Things we all want

Enough politics for the moment. The new year always makes me want to get my life organized. So I usually spend New Years Day cleaning and throwing things away.

When I got back to work this morning, I started digging through some material from a design conference I attended last fall. In a presentation on branding, someone listed a roster of things people want from products and businesses. I think it's a good list with which to organize a life. You can measure how your life stacks up in each of these areas, and then make changes to achieve more balance. Sounds easy, right?

• Simplicity
• Enlightenment
• Mastery
• Personal expression
• Talent leverage
• Relationships
• Travel
• Entertainment
• Financial Health
• Health & environment
• Political freedom