Monday, July 30, 2007

For Sale: The US Military

You know you had a great weekend when you're beside yourself thrilled that it's finally Monday so you can go to work and clear your head.

It seems my public is demanding a new post. By public, I mean Leslie, my college roommate/favorite photographer/almost oldest friend in the world who somehow seems not to have enough to do in her day despite her insanely busy schedule, household and wifey duties, and the fact that she's expecting a little bambi(no)/peanut/lentil. Did I mention she's my favorite photographer? She's so great, she can even make my Uncle Fester bags under my eyes go away AND make me look 10 pounds thinner. Pretty miraculous stuff.

My current events blogs have kind of tapered over the last couple of weeks because I'm on a news diet. My favorite green eyed man is leaving me for sand and sun - not the bikini kind, the burqa kind - so in the interest of my personal sanity and mental well being, I've decided I don't really need to know about EVERY suicide bomber who finds success in the Middle East. However, despite my best efforts to be an ignorant American, a few ridiculous news stories have managed to seep into my News-Free Zone.

Everyone has their own personal point of view on the war. I'm not getting into that debate this morning. One less divisive topic that has totally enraged me over the weekend is the amount of money private contracting corporations are raking in thanks to this incredibly brutal war. I will be the first to agree that contractors do have a place within our defense department and I firmly believe that contractors should be used to fill certain administrative and support staff positions to take some of the burden off our overworked military. What I don't agree with is war profiteering. Thanks to the greed of the largest military contractors in the United States, exhorbitant amounts of money are being made off the backs of members of our armed forces and civilian contractors who are being put in harm's way in the name of a quick profit.

While contractors who work with the United States government should be allowed to make a measure of profit for their services, their first priority is to provide quality support to our troops, freeing up much needed man power for other tasks. Like fighting a war and coming home to their families in one piece. Basic security precautions, like staggering meal times to allow for varied schedules to avoid planned attacks on large groups of soldiers, were thrown to the wayside by companies like Halliburton because of "cost concerns." Interestingly enough, the same companies complaining about their bottom line seem to have enough money to pay their CEOs millions of dollars in salary and benefits each year. To say we deserve better is an understatement. When our men and women in uniform can't even be guaranteed fresh drinking water, how are they supposed to effectively do their jobs? Even worse, how can we expect them to when we allow our own government to sell their safety and, in turn, our country's safety, for campaign contributions?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fallout Boys

Well, at long last, the drama begins again.

Our famous DC Madam has released her phone records, thanks to an order handed down by the District of Columbia District Court last week. Our first victim? David Vitter, a Republican Senate candidate in the state of Louisiana. He's had enough problems up to this point with accusations regarding his relationship with white supremacist David Duke, who seems to be providing help under the table to the Vitter campaign.

It's going to be a long, hot summer in DC, and it's easy to get bored with the daily grind. We'll have plenty of time to pore over the phone lists in search of number we recognize. I wonder whose boss is next on the chopping block?

In other news, here's reason # 487 being a government employee in the U.S. is better than being a government employee in China. Apparently the wages of getting lazy on the job are death. Can you imagine if we held FEMA to the same standard?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Feeding My Addiction

In honor of one of America's favorite pastimes, I have to give a shout out to my fabulous friend Gansie and the fruits of her successful partnership with friend BS and roommate 80 Proof. They're the founders of and contributors to endless simmer, a rising, epicurean authority on all things edible. Gansie gets extra kudos for actually being able to cook the things they discuss. While my experience with haute cuisine is strictly limited to actual consumption rather than creation, I feel qualified to state that the majority of their blogs will make you so hungry, you'll want to devour your mouse. Check them out. Try your hand at one of their recipes. Then call me so I can help you eat it.