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follow the leaders?

in the wake of the latest photos from abu ghraib (WARNING- this may not be something you want to open at work or in the presence of children), you would think that the american government would finally be putting it's seriously sorry face on, at least for the cameras.

instead, the sorry press attache/ flack who drew the short stick that morning went out to answer questions armed with this response: it's unfortunate that the photos (which were taken in the same time period as the original photos of prisoners at the prison facility in iraq) are now being circulated.

no, it isn't. there are many words to describe the latest round of photos and "unfortunate" isn't anywhere on the list. repulsive. nauseating. profoundly depressing. "unfortunate" doesn't cut it. and it certainly doesn't cut it when what you're saying is that it's unfortunate that people are seeing the photos, implying that it's more a problem that the acts are known than that they happened in the first place.

it would be nice to think that the people who say they want to rid the world of tyranny could hold themselves to a higher standard than the tyrants they are decrying.

i'm sure someone will swing for this, too, and i'm sure it won't be anyone in a position of actual authority (as per usual). someone needs to explain to the american government (a very different animal than the american people, i would like to point out) that leadership does not come so much from imposing one's will as from setting an example and taking responsibility for the consequences of one's actions.

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dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

given the ubiquitousness of racial disparities in the united states, there's no reason why we should be surprised that they exist in mental health care. unlike a lot of other areas, the people in power have acknowledged the problem for decades. but the situation isn't getting any better. 
the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…