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anger management

people have pointed out to me that i can be a little... highly strung. in fairness, as i've aged, i've tried to learn to relax a little and not let things get to me so much.

but sometimes, it just seems like there are things in the world that are worth getting very, very angry about. for instance (thanks to martin for forwarding this to me), the idea that the american government is asking soldiers to repay portions of their signing bonuses when they are unable to complete their minimum required time in iraq because they are severely injured.

the fact that the government backed away from its position is hardly cause for celebration, either. after all, if the story hadn't gotten the attention that it did, there is no evidence there wouldn't be department of defense thugs knocking down doors to demand payment. furthermore, the "we goofed" response is almost as insulting as the original demand.

listen, those of us who have jobs make mistakes. the reason that you have more than one person responsible for important things is to try to limit the possibility that one idiot will screw everything up. unfortunately, what tends to happen, and this is a particularly nauseating example, is that everyone abdicates any form of responsibility whatsoever and any amount of idiocy, no matter how blatant, slips through the bureaucratic mechanism like an eel coated in motor oil.

i can only hope that the drones who let notices like this slip through are visited by "mistakes" themselves.

Comments

David said…
That pissed me off too.

This also pissed me off.

"Merry Christmas from Washington: With Congress balking at continued war funding, the White House says the Defense Department will issue furlough notices to about 100,000 civilian workers at military bases in mid-December."

"The threat of notices is the White House’s way of reminding Congress that it must authorize continued funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

as long as you're here, why not read more?

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…