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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fare Thee Well...HazPas!

After a semi-successful test-run, wrought with the problems inherent in learning a new medium, I am pleased to announce the launch of my new blog: Pondering in Purple.

I will still cover autism and politics, however I will be adding elements of “life as I know it,” a stronger emphasis on my field(s) of choice (business, writing, science fiction and fantasy, ect.), with more variety, more regularity, and more fun. I’m still going to take blogging seriously, but I endeavor to demonstrate in my blog this pursuit I have of a more balanced and more fulfilling life. After all, "a life that isn't multi-faceted, like a fine jewel, isn't complete. A life that isn't complete won't be joyful and fulfilling."

“Pondering the myriad layers of life through my own purple lens,” is my theme. I hope you come calling and I hope you enjoy what you find.

Until then, here's a farewell gift:

BTW, for now I intend to keep HazPas for archival purposes. However, if in the future such a one finds this blog and desires this address, please let me know. If such a one comes along, I'd be willing to delete this blog to free up the space.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

People Pushes

Why? to push the wall
when the wall won't move
People move, play and laugh
try again and share
people are everywhere
Why? to push the wall
when the wall won't move
Walls to scale, walls to climb
walls to knock, knock about
walls won't keep me out
Why? to push the wall
when the wall won't move
People, a friend for me to have
to play and to push
to love and to squish
Why? to push the wall
when the wall won't move
To build a door through
to the people, I see
I prefer the people, please.

Okay, so poetry isn't really my thing. I dabble, but have never learned enough of the rules to do very well at it. Yet, when emotions bubble over with nowhere to go... I guess it doesn't really matter how well you do, as long as you do.

This particular poem, of course, takes context to make sense. And, to make it worse, the context is at least two-fold. Wall pushes are a therapy tool to help individuals with special sensory needs get the hard input they need. My son, Willy, never really liked wall pushes. He prefers people pushes, because he's actually interacting with someone as he gets this special form of input. Much better all the way around (though not nearly as independent). That's the simple layer. The other layer is, of course, frustration. Frustration with people erecting barriers for children with autism that serve no purpose other than to insulate them (the erectors) from their own fears. And...well, there's more to it than that, but I forebear. Obviously a poem can't be very good if you feel the need to explain it.

However, this post serves another function. After me initial bout of explosive frustration I felt the need to let those who might care know that I'm going to find another blog host. That seems the best solution to me. Ideally, I'd like to find one that can suck this blog dry and carry the posts to the other one. However, that may not be possible. We'll see.

But, after all, I'm not exactly the quitting sort. I'm far too stubborn. But, nor am I the sort to put up with needless frustrations. It's all a process. I guess I'll just have to see where it leads me... and how many readers are willing to follow.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bad Blogger

Sorry, folks. I tried fixing...or at least reporting the problem, and I couldn't even do that. Just a myriad of circles that didn't even touch on this particular problem with no means of reporting their screw-up.

Blogging without an identity seems completely pointless to me. I'm going to mull over the decision for a week, look for a fix, but if nothing comes of it I will delete my blog March 4th.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Psychological Reflections, Part 1

In Conflict

Back when my baby (now 4) was born, I had some serious bouts with gall stones. It was very painful...worse than labor because it came back. Anything, anything to avoid surgery, I took a draught of sarsaparilla as a homeopathic remedy. And it worked. Unfortunately, the best source of sarsaparilla I could find was a liquid extract that's combined with burdock. The flavor is a nasty bit of bitterness. Nasty to the point of postponing dosages until the pain of the gall stone attack is severe. Nasty, nasty.

The psychology course I just took was much like that sarsaparilla/burdock concotion. Good for me, yes, but nasty going down. First things first, I earned my A. I was doiling for a while there (meaning I was hovering around a low A-, which is dangerous territory), but I hunkered down and brought it up to a low A. Yay me. No, really, I'm enthused.


Perhaps it's just the timing. At home, we were having struggles on a different psychological front. The boys' autism therapy is an intensive in-home behavioral therapy, with a psychologist as the lead. To say the least, we do not see eye to eye...on so many things. One of those things is Ben. Ben, my baby, is not yet in therapy. Thus, he roams about the house playing as he pleases...as kids do. For some, this is a problem. Ben likes to play with therapy toys, he likes to scribble with pens that are left in his reach, and *gasp* he likes to climb on furniture and counters. So, our own therapists call CPS.

Each time, the accusation is unsubstantiated. But...I'm on first-name-basis with the CPS social worker. Good: I can go to her when we need bureaucratic help; she's on "our" side, meaning that she's aware of our struggles, our efforts, and is rootin' for our success because we're NOT neglectful or abusive. Bad: We're being accused of criminal neglect by therapists who are working with our boys in our own home. This started full-swing when the lead psychologist was changed to the current individual. Coincidence? Hmm. And...the last straw was when one of these therapists (against regulations?) called the cops. Nobody is quite sure why. The cops weren't even sure. But they came, they saw, they noted, and they left. The cops were fine, and we've got nothing to hide, but that's going too far.

Now, I just want to take a break and point out that I don't have a problem with either CPS or the cops. They both have an unfortunately necessary job. However, aside from the invasiveness of it all -- which again, we've got nothing to hide so it doesn't bother me -- there's the citizenry aspects. These people are paid by my property taxes. They do have a job to do. That job is to help those children (and for the cops, everyone) who needs it. If they're coming here, how many other unnecessary tasks are they doing? They both have limited resources, how much of those resources are being wasted because someone's either vindictive or covering their butt? This worries me a great deal. Did some little child not get the help he or she needed, because CPS had to come to my house? Did some family lack help, because the cops were over here? I see this waste of resources as a problem.


So, I admit my mind wasn't happy-go-lucky on the side of psychology during this course. I've had more bad run-ins with psychologists than I've had good. Now, the good ones have been outstandingly wonderful, but still... I admit there's the possibility that I wasn't as open-minded as I should have been. However, I would also say, in my defense, that I try to look at each area of interest through a critically thinking mind. This means, I try to remain open to the possibility, but I also reserve my right to skepticism. This is all well and good when applied to psuedopsychology, but apply it to the real thing... It's strange that some people seem to see critical thinking as a challenge to their authority, especially when a (small) portion of their class is about the ideal of using critical thinking. Then again, that my teacher felt I challenged her authority was my perception; I grant it may not have been accurate.

Anywho...we didn't get off on the right foot. And my asking questions (in class) and getting, "That is beyond the scope of this class" in return didn't help. Damn, those words annoy me. The response on the tip of my tongue, which my respect for authority refuses to let loose, is, "So? Answer the question anyway." Besides, I mentioned neurodiversity and, with some few exceptions, that builds a barrier between psychologists and myself.

Despite this wrong-footed-ness, I did learn quite a bit. My previous psychology class was all Freudian and limited and gross, and most of my personal experience and knowledge of psychology pertains to "abnormal" psychology. (Just a side-note: Considering the statistics of how prevalent "abnormal" psychology is, can it really be that "ab"normal? Hmm.) So, there was definitely room for the gaining of knowledge, which I usually enjoy.

One of the things I learned about psychology is that the level of agreement I thought there was on the validity of certain psychological claims (perceived due to my own limited experience) was much over-stated. Freudian psychology, behavioral psychology, and medicinal psychology are NOT perceived as 100% on the dot right even by other psychologists. Color me shocked! (Perhaps a grayish shade of purple with some orangey tones?)

To quote Psychology Wiki:

In terms of modern science, we have also passed through many different perspectives in the brief history of Psychology. Psychoanalysis, Behaviourism, Humanism, Cognitive Psychology and now Biopsychology and Imaging paradigms have often replaced one another as the dominant viewpoint. Whilst they often compliment one another, it cannot be denied that there is sometimes considerable conflict between the opposing viewpoints, and they certainly compete, in terms of funding if not in terms of content.

Genuine surprise. The front that behavioral, biopsychological, and psychoanalytical psychologists put up seems so...united, insurmountable, and damned-sure. By rejecting that surety (and thus aspects of those disciplines), I do not have to reject psychology altogether. Whodathunkit?

Amongst the theories, possibilities, and differences, I found myself a psychological life-boat. And tomorrow, I'll tell you what it is...

*this is Stephanie, not Mark*
:-P to Blogger

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Cottonelle, Stress, and Blogger

Public Service Announcement: Do NOT use Cottonelle toilet paper!!! Especially if it has ripples.

The stuff backed up both our toilets, cost us $60 in drain cleaning supplies, and one of our toilets is still unusable. Worse thing...when I went into the hardware store the second time in the same day to buy the really heavy-duty acidic drain cleaner (the stuff I use for the floor drain for my washer) the helper named the toilet paper brand. Obviously, it's not merely our toilets that are fussy.

This has merely added to our stress. Therapy has been a problem, but we're working on that. Classes, of course. And life in general. I swear, I have no immune system left to fight off this lovely sinus infection I'm getting.

And...to top it off, Blogger Beta is now the only blogger available, and since I didn't want yet another e-mail account :-P, I tried to sign in under Mark's account. Now I'm gone, erased, vanished, assimilated into Mark's identity. Ironic that marriage didn't do that, but Blogger could. Still waiting on a fix. But...if you're wondering...it's still me. Mark wouldn't complain so publicly.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Guard the Borders Blogburst



By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

All audio files pertaining to this Border Patrol update are archived at Euphoric Reality. They are interviews with Congressman Ted Poe and investigative journalist Dr. Jerome Corsi as conducted by Houston & Dallas radio talk show hosts Edd Hendee and Pat Gray for KSEV and KVEC radio.

Quite a lot has been developing over the past two weeks, since GTB published a list of highly suspicious inconsistencies in the prosecution's case against Border Patrol agents Compean and Ramos. Namely, the prosecution's case is unraveling. And none too soon, since both agents have been incarcerated in federal prisons since the first week of January, one in Ohio and the other in Mississippi, far from loved ones.

Before we get into the details of new evidence recently come to light, I need to submit a correction to my previous coverage, and an update.

CORRECTION: First, I cited the irregularity of the court being unable to finish the transcripts for the case in the six months since the trial. (Usually, transcripts are completed within a matter of days.) In fact, it has not been six months since the trial, but six months since the sentencing. It has actually been 11 months since the trial was completed in March of 2006. During that time frame, the court's reason for the unfinished court transcripts has been that "the court transcriptionist has been sick." I submit to you that after 11 months of "illness" - so ill as to make moving one's fingers feebly across a keyboard impossible - someone needs to get that poor transcriptionist a doctor!

UPDATE: I had previously reported that Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations, had failed to subpoena documents concerning the case, and refused to hold a hearing to review the case, which was within his purview. I noted that Michael McCaul is a former employee of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton. Since then, McCaul has made public statements in Houston, TX, that under the auspices of his position as Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations he repeatedly (four times) requested to review the documents concerning the case, and for months, he was stonewalled. He said he trusted his fellow Republicans, including the DHS-IG Richard Skinner and the DHS chief Michael Chertoff when they gave him every assurance that he would be provided with the trial documentation. He admits he made a mistake to trust them, when he sent letters instead of issuing a subpoena.

Unfortunately, now that McCaul is no longer chairman of that committee it is too late. After the Democrats took control in January, he’s been told by Richard Skinner, the Inspector General: “You’re not the chairman anymore. You’re in the minority. You’ll have to get the information through an FOIA request.”

Meanwhile, the feds have continued to stonewall a group of concerned U.S. Congressmen who have repeatedly requested the documentation surrounding the case. Below is audio of Congressman Ted Poe, citing the delay tactics and the unprecedented behavior of US Attorney Johnny Sutton. As well, Poe has already submitted an emergency FOIA request.

Poe expressed concern that he is not sure the jury in the Ramos and Compean case got all the information the government had concerning the relevant facts of the case.

"When the government does backroom deals with criminals, like this habitual drug offender from Mexico, the public, and especially the defendants, have an absolute right to know what the deal was and how it came about," he said. "Maybe the jury heard it, and maybe the jury didn't hear it, but we will find out."

Many of the factual aspects of the case are now being disputed by investigators, including the ballistics investigation into the weapons fired and the round subsequently extracted from the left buttocks and right groin of the drug smuggler by a U.S. Army doctor.

"For all we know," Poe commented, "the drug smuggler seemed to be pointing back at the Border Patrol agents with what could have been something in his hand based on the ballistics reports I am seeing. U.S. Attorney (Johnny) Sutton says the guy was shot in the buttocks. Well, now we find out that that isn't exactly accurate. The guy was shot from 'cheek-to-cheek,' or maybe from the side of his left buttocks to his right groin. There's a big difference in those two statements. You don't have to be a ballistics expert to understand that the body was turned if the bullet went from one cheek to the other cheek, or from the left cheek to the right groin."

Poe repeated that his office was determined to get to the bottom of these investigative questions. "In the big scheme of things, let's assume that the Border Patrol agents violated policy. Assume they didn't file a report even though the law says that they were only required to file an oral report to the supervisor," he asked. "There was no requirement in this instance that they file a written report. Okay, let's discipline the Border Patrol agents, you bet. Let's give them three-day's suspension like the rules call for."

Poe questioned the judgment of U.S. Attorney Sutton, asking "why does the federal government here have a choice to prosecute a guy bringing in a million dollars worth of drugs or prosecute Border Patrol agents who were doing their job, yet the government chose to prosecute the Border Patrol? "Why is the federal government spending so many federal taxpayer resources prosecuting federal Border Patrol agents trying to stop drug smugglers, especially when it means making deals with drug offenders?" he continued. "That's the bigger question in my mind."

Poe agreed the prosecution would put a chilling effect on other Border Patrol agents.

"That's a war zone on the Texas-Mexico border," he said. "It's an undeclared war that's taking place. You have aggressive Border Patrol agents like Ramos and Compean, who are protecting the country, and yet they are vilified and prosecuted by our own government. The next time you have a similar situation with a different Border Patrol agent, the Border Patrol agent will hesitate before they put their life or their career in danger."

Poe called the Ramos and Compean case "the best news drug dealers have ever heard."

Additionally, it is noted that White House press secretary Tony Snow has repeatedly dismissed questions surrounding the Border Patrol case and has said several times that if one were to "read the transcripts", one would see that the agents were properly charged and convicted. According to Tony Snow (read The White House), the Border Patrol agents were "the bad guys". However, since then, it has become obvious that Tony Snow has himself not read the court transcripts for one very simple reason - they do not exist! Tony Snow was bluffing!

Furthermore, Tony Snow and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) have both said that the "legal system has worked" in this case, as will the appellate process. That's all well and good, except that the process is broken! Did you know that the defense attorneys cannot file an appeal until they have all the facts of the case in hand? That includes the non-existent court transcripts. The Border Patrol agents, currently incarcerated, are being denied their right to an appeal, because the Western Texas court refuses to complete the court transcripts!

Below I list seven major inconsistencies (in addition to the ones already documented in our previous coverage) in the tainted case U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton crafted against the Border Patrol agents. Dr. Jerome Corsi, the author of Unfit For Command, has done some deep investigative work on this case and has presented his factual findings in a series of articles published by World Net Daily. I understand that some readers typically dismiss WND coverage as being "too conservative", but I challenge anyone to read the findings and try to find holes in Corsi's investigation. I haven't found any yet.

Audio of a local radio interview with Dr. Jerome Corsi is included in an .mp3 file below.

1. Johnny Sutton has claimed over and over, both in public statements and in his infamous fact sheet, that the drug smuggler was unarmed. Sutton has failed to prove that, yet continues to assert it as a fact of the case. It is NOT! Nor is it reasonable to believe a life-long criminal over two law enforcement officers, especially when the criminal is contradicted by statements from his own family, and by the known behavior of smugglers in the area. It is not reasonable.

2. Sutton has claimed that the drug smuggler, Aldrete-Davila, could not be tied to the van full of $1 million worth of dope. He also has said that the BP agents were unable to identify him.

Sutton told WND "there was no way we could prosecute" Aldrete-Davila.

"Ramos and Compean could not identify him," he said. "We found no fingerprints on the van, and he managed to escape, even though he had been shot in the behind by the agents."

Nevertheless, Sutton's office was able to track down Aldrete-Davila in Mexico and convince him to return to the U.S. to testify against Ramos and Compean. The bullet was removed from the smuggler's buttocks by a military physician in the U.S. so it could be introduced as evidence in the agents' trial.

How then, was Sutton able to later locate Aldrete-Davila in Mexico to offer him an immunity deal? If the drug smuggler could not be tied to the crime of smuggling drugs, how then could he be tied to the shooting incident with the BP agents?

3. Sutton claimed in court that BP agent Ramos was guilty of shooting Aldrete-Davila in the buttock. However, the ballistics analysis has been flagged as inconclusive, and contrary to Sutton's statements does not prove that the bullet came from Ramos' weapon.

WND: So, Compean shot 14 times and missed everybody, but Ramos shot one time and hit the drug dealer in the buttocks?

Sutton: That's correct.

WND: Is Ramos that much better a shot than Compean?

Sutton: Ramos is a marksman.

The results of the ballistics tests were reported in a letter written by Joseph J. J. Correa, a Criminalist IV with the Texas DPS El Paso Laboratory, March 18, 2005, and addressed to Brian D. Carter of DHS in El Paso.

The letter states Correa examined one fired copper-jacketed bullet presented to him by Carter on March 17, 2005. The letter identifies the victim shot by the bullet as "Osvaldo Aldrete."

In the letter, Correa notes that he was asked to determine the manufacture of the firearm that fired the submitted bullet.

Correa could not positively identify Ramos's weapon as the one that fired the submitted bullet. His report concludes:

The copper-jacketed bullet was fired from a barrel having six lands and grooves inclined to the right. The manufacturer of the firearm that fired the copper-jacketed bullet is unknown, but could include commonly encountered models of .40 S&W caliber FN/Browning, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, and Ruger pistols.

Despite the impossibility of identifying the weapon the bullet was fired from - it could've been any number of pistols from FOUR major arms manufacturers - DHS agent Christopher Sanchez lied under oath in an affidavit filed by DHS March 15, 2005, with the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas. Special agent Christopher R. Sanchez swore the following:

Ballistics testing confirms a government-issued weapon belonging to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos, a 96D Beretta .40 caliber automatic pistol, serial number BER067069M, fired a bullet (a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson jacketed hollow point) which hit the victim in the left buttocks while he was attempting to flee to Mexico.

4. Sutton repeatedly has said there was no evidence at the scene that would have permitted his office to investigate, find, and prosecute Aldrete-Davila. He has also repeatedly claimed that no fingerprints were found inside the van. I noted in our previous coverage that that was highly unlikely - even impossible. Now, a DHS memo reveals that eleven fingerprints were found inside the van. The memo also documents that no fingerprint search was conducted on the vehicle until a full month after the Feb. 17, 2005, incident! That indicates no serious effort on Sutton's part to identify the driver of the van (thus identifying the criminal) and as well, highlights egregious mishandling of the chain of evidence.

5. Sutton cannot keep his own lies straight. He has recently stated that a Mexican lawyer brought Aldrete-Davila forward, without revealing the drug smuggler's identity, but would not cooperate until immunity had been granted. However, according to Sutton's own previous statements, Aldrete-Davila was identified by his family and life-long friend BP agent Rene Sanchez.

DHS investigative memos make clear that Border Patrol agent Rene Sanchez in Wilcox, Ariz., identified Aldrete-Davila only days after the Feb. 17, 2005 incident, obtaining his information through family connections. Sanchez grew up with Aldrete-Davila in Mexico.

The information about Aldrete-Davila's identity was then passed on by Sanchez to DHS special agent Christopher Sanchez, who went to Mexico and found Aldrete-Davila.

This Christopher Sanchez is the same DHS special agent the DHS memo on the fingerprints says received the videotape of the El Paso Police Department fingerprint search on the drug smuggler's abandoned vehicle.

6. Sutton has claimed that Compean and Ramos attempted to "cover-up" the fact that they discharged their weapons and has made a big deal out of the fact that they policed their spent shell casings and filed fraudulent paperwork. However, that is not true. There were at least five BP agents on the scene that day, and all of them knew of the shooting. As well, Compean and Ramos made a verbal report to their supervisor. They did not file a written report.

7. The latest reports coming out of West Texas are that the agents actually present during the shooting incident do not match the agents presented by Sutton to the court as witnesses. I will update this allegation further as more information becomes available.

Finally, this week, despite the total lack of a court transcript, some long-awaited incident reports regarding the case were delivered to Congress but have been classified secret from the general public. The Congressional Homeland Security Subcommittee on Management, Investment and Oversight obtained the report after submitting an emergency Freedom of Information Act request for the documents.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said he will not review the classified documents until they are made available to the public. Poe expects a redacted version will be made available.

Lastly, if you are touched by the plight of these agents and would like to do something to help, a labor union, the National Border Patrol Council, is soliciting donations on its website.

All donations that are designated for Agents Ramos and Compean will be used to fund their legal defense and assist their families in their hour of need. Donations to the fund can be made by check payable to 'BPA Legal Defense & Relief Fund.' Checks should be mailed to: BPA Legal Defense & Relief Fund, P.O. Box 47208, Tampa, FL 33647.

This has been a production of the Guard the Borders syndicate. It was started by Euphoric Reality to educate the public about the vulnerabilities of our open borders during an age of global terrorism and the resultant threat to our national security and sovereignty. If you are concerned about the lapses in our national security and the socio-economic burden of unchecked illegal immigration, join our blog syndicate. Send an email with your blog name and url to admin at guardtheborders dot com.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Not Up to Much

While I've been trying to figure a way to streamline my study process while retaining my grades, thus freeing up some time for other activities during those terms (like this one) that I'm taking two excelerated classes, I haven't been doing much else. Which is why I haven't thought of anything worth posting on, at least nothing that's not homework related.

However, I do occasionally need some down-time, and video games fill that need. It's got to be simple and easy to leave (which doesn't include the compulsive factor), so I can get in and out between assignments/tasks/annoying paragraphs. After besting my own time a dozen or so times on Minesweeper, I decided to try the site my kids are loving.

And I found this...

***Sorry, the annoying game is gone. There is a link below. As to the why, I recommend this site for a clue.***

A bigger (accurately sized) version is available here. There's lots more games there, and they're all free. Maybe they decided to fill the spot Yahoo! charged itself out of. :-p

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Psst. There's a WAR Going on...

A bi-partisan study group recommends we talk to Iran and Syria -- make them our friends, garner their cooperation. And yet, we find our own already-established allegiances questionable and unsure in this unstable region.

Is Pakistan our friend?

Perhaps this is a major victory for our soldiers in Afghanistan. Perhaps some real enemies have been stopped, eliminated, before they could wreak more havoc. But, as the tenuous situation unfolds, I have to ask: Can we trust the Pakistani government? Or, are they harboring the Taliban?

All governments are made of individuals. If the Pakistani government is harboring the Taliban, I suspect it is a matter of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing...or however that cliche goes. I doubt the entire Pakistani government is intentionally deceiving both us and the Afghani government. And yet... I find it hard to believe that the entire government is innocent here, either.

I'll put it to you this way. Our government doesn't necessary work cooperatively with the drug lords on our southern border, but they do give them a bit of a thumbs up when they tell our troops they cannot fire on invaders in our own backyard. Our government is responsible for the militant infiltrators, whether they work cooperatively with them or not. In this same sense, the Pakistani government is responsible for the Taliban infiltrators, whether they work cooperatively with them or not.

With that parallel in mind, I would say that Karzai's frustration and accusations are completely understandable. I'm none too happy with our own government's near-cooperative lack-of-effort; having your neighbor and supposed friend making empty promises when you're in the middle of an acknowledged war has got to be all that and more.

More disturbing still is the lack of national attention this is getting. Mostly, I just skim head-lines. As frequent readers know, I'm neither a newshound, nor someone with an excess of time on my hands. So, I find it incredibly frustrating that I have to search around and hunt for news about an on-going war we're in. I mean, really...that's just idiotic. (Maybe one of these days I'll have to figure out that whole RS thing...or whatever it is...the news line services.)

So, while Rice and Gates are supporting the President in his futile bid to build up to nothing in Iraq, we have a major battle in Afghanistan that's apparently too unimportant for their time. So, I've got to ask...shouldn't supporting the troops, which our President claims to do, mean supporting the troops in both wars?

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Political gas?

Probably. But still, Bush actually apologized!!! No, wait. That's an exaggeration. He took responsibility, that's it. I'm thinking, "DUH!!!"

"Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me," Bush said.

Yeah, well, we knew that. Thank you, so much, for the clarification. *rolls eyes*

He said that "to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi
government, tear that country apart and result in mass killings on an
unimaginable scale."

Yeah, and I agree with that. However, I wonder if he realizes that many people don't care any more. Now, that doesn't say much for American empathy/apathy...but, again, we pretty much knew that.

The only encouraging thing about all this...

But he offered a concession to Congress — the establishment of a bipartisan working group to formalize regular consultations on Iraq. He said he was open to future exchanges and better ideas.

Now, does he mean it? Will it work? I don't know. And, I doubt it. Frankly, I don't trust the new Congress any more than I trust the old Congress, or the President for that matter. Their all smarmy, schmucky, and corrupted by their own affluence-at-the-expense-of-our-nation thinking.

Mostly, it's just politics as usual. Bored now.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Classes Starting

Though the official start date for my classes this term isn't until tomorrow, I've already started working on my assignments. Ah, the luxury of on-line learning!

What I've discovered is that, while I may be more motivated to learn the material in my business class, the work-load there is significantly lighter than for my psychology class. The good news, however, is that the material for my current psychology is almost completely different from the material I studied in my previous college psychology class (back when I was in high school). I'm glad I won't be bored.

Still, I wish the business class was the 4 credit class and psychology was the 3 credit class, but I don't control that, obviously. Still, it's not that I'm not interested in psychology (okay, so Freud and Jung make me want to pull out my hair, but really...psychology is way more than them), it's just that business is my major and I'm a little tired of all the general education classes that keep repeating the same material over and over again -- here's how you study, here's how you think critically, here's how you research... On and on it goes. I've "learned" critical thinking three times, already, with a fourth on the way, just in this degree program, and I haven't even taken my Critical Thinking class yet. Granted, critical thinking is important; I know and respect that. But, is all this repetition really necessary?

Anyway, I'm actually learning aspects of psychology that I didn't know...like that Maslow was a humanist, and that it wasn't (from the way the textbook describes it) intended to be an alternative to religion/spirituality. Interesting stuff. But, even though school has started, I haven't forgotten my resolutions, and blogging is on there. And that's somewhere between Love/Belonging and Self-Actualization.