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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.


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?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…