:: i love you ::

Friday, October 28, 2005

UN: Oil-for-Food program

UN Investigation Details Kickbacks Paid for Iraq's Oil.
Paul Volcker presenting the results found by the Independent Inquiry Committee investigating the United Nations oil-for-food program.

There was a pretty meaningful article on the front page of the New York Times today. I won't post all of it... But you can view it here.

UN Investigation Details Kickbacks Paid for Iraq's Oil.

More than 4,700 companies took part in the United Nations oil-for-food program and more than half of them paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein.
The country with the most companies involved in the program was Russia, followed by France...
"Even though we are looking at it from the outside, it kind of screams out at you, 'Why didn't somebody blow a whistle?' The central point is that it all adds up to the same story. You need some pretty thoroughgoing reforms at the U.N."
Mr. Hussein received $1.8 billion in illicit income from surcharges and kickbacks on the sales of oil and humanitarian goods during 1996-2003.
Earlier Volcker committee reports summarizing the year and a half of inquiries have examined the activities of the United Nations, finding the institution's management inept and corrupt, and providing evidence that the program's former director, Benon V. Sevan, received kickbacks. He has denied any wrongdoing.
Mr. Volcker noted that in the years immediately preceding the program, smuggling of Iraqi oil in much larger amounts had been going on for years to the benefit of the economies of American allies, including Jordan and Turkey. In his last report, Mr. Volcker said this smuggling amounted to $10.99 billion.
All the companies named have been notified, and many have replied... ..."The responses range from absolute denial to complete admittance,"

Yesterday in the NY Times, they had a "Roster of the Dead." It had thumbnail sized images of all the fallen American servicemen since the start of the Iraqi conflict. The reason they focused on it is because over the weekend we eclisped over 2,000 dead. I was going to post about it yesterday... But if all I ever post about is the news... Then... I get depressed. The roster was 4 full pages in the actual paper.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I don't mind being a puppet man.

"You never answered my question, Don." Paul breaks the silence.

"What's that?"

"A woman. What are you looking for in a woman?"

"Your guess is as good as mine." My mind returns slowly to our previous train of thought. "I like to read, so maybe she will too. I don't know exactly. My guess is, I can't imagine her. I mean this system, you know, this crazy system, these chemicals that jolt through our brains and make us love another human, they are a complete mystery, and we can't say what kind of girl we are going to be attracted to, the chemicals decide that, and nobody has figured out the science yet. Who knows what it is? Maybe it is brown hair that makes my chemicals start, or squinty eyes or small breasts or big breasts or her voice or her smell; we just don't know. It makes no sense, you know, and yet we all live by it, and we ask these questions, and we just live within these presuppositions without ever asking where the presuppositions came from. We're just puppets, you know, because of the chemicals."
"Puppets," Paul repeats in a hush. He nods his head a bit and looks into the rearview mirror and adjusts it. "Puppets," he repeats.
"Puppets," I say as Paul comforts himself in his chair and nods his head some more.

"I have to tell you though," he says. "It doesn't bother me."

"What doesn't bother you?" I ask.

"Being a puppet. Girls. Being a puppet man who is attracted to puppet girls. Doesn't bother me for a bit."

I think about it for a second. "Doesn't bother me either, I suppose," I say, smiling.

"Nice puppet girl with a big puppet smile and a dress and that puppet girl smell."

"Those big puppet eyelashes," I add.

"Puppet lots of things," He says with a smirk.

Taken from: A Painted Desert: Light, God and Beauty on the Open Road by Don Miller.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hot Linking

19 Things That It Took Me 50 Years To Learn

by Dave Barry

1) Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2) If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3) There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4) People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5) And when God, who created the entire universe with all of its glories, decides to deliver a message to humanity, He WILL NOT use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.

6) You should not confuse your career with your life.

7) No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.

8) When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

9) Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

10) Never lick a steak knife.

11) Take out the fortune before you eat the cookie.

12) The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.

13) You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

14) You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

15) There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

16) The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

17) The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.

18) A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

19) Your friends love you anyway.

hotlinked from Donna's Blog.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not much to say...


I just haven't had much to say here lately... I have had a lot to say, but, just not here.

I read an interesting article about real estate in China, and how the boom of that market is adding to the heightened global energy market (read: higher gas/oil prices). It was in today's New York Times. Yes, I am a nerd.

Over 54,000 dead in Pakistan and Kashmir. It's also hard to follow a post like that.

I have been trying to send out an update on my fundraising status to everyone, but I am so slow at those things. I have a couple of days off of work this week, and I am going to try and hammer it out then. If you would like to be added to my mailing list, or my email update list, please send me an email here.

I'm on my lunch at Starbucks.

Hi Stacy!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


map of the affected region

**UPDATED 09 Oct 05**

**According to The Arizona Daily Star, which I think was running an AP article that cited the General Commander of the Pakistani Army... the death toll could be as high as 18,000, the quake triggered mud slides and many people are believed to have died in Pakistani Kashmir.**

I just read about this earthquake... Already there are about 1200 confirmed dead, with some people predicting thousands more in the coming days.

Pray for Pakistan, Kashmir and the Middle East.

Americans, I do not mean to sound cold hearted, please know that I speak in compassion and love, but I think we need a reminder that destruction, devastation, and death happens more frequently outside our borders then within.

I just picked up Donald Millers old/new book/biography. I am enjoying it so far, only about a chapter and a half in and I am already thinking overtime. Thanks Don for making me think, and encouraging me to live.

Article here from cnn.com,also,thanks to Acquiesce for posting this on the Cafe over at planetwisdom.com.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Really Good Day

... so yeah, how was your Tuesday?

Mine pretty much rocked.

I didn't have to be in at SB until 9:15am, so it was nice to sleep in a little for a freakin change. 8 hours of pure, almost unadulterated fun. Did a bunch of coffee tastings, I was wired, and the crew was superfun.

Would you like some caramel on your bottom?

After that I chilled at home long enough to stop the pain in my sides from laughing all day at work, then went to class, and really learned quite a bit. Total reinforcement of some stuff I was slipping on, and some new stuff mixed in at the end for some fun.

Dinner and drinks at Olive Garden with Ken, never ending pasta bowl... that they offer breadsticks and soup/salad with free of charge. "You gave me a potato soup! Its a freakin scam!"

Hung out with some people from work, and ran into everyone that I know (except you) at the Fox and Hound for $2 Tues.

AND I am off tomorrow. Yesssssss

Oh, and SBGF1, if you read this... there better be a reward for the coverage of a certain opening shift on Thursday.

wow. a normal blog entry. what I am to do with myself?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Russia May Refuse to Return U.S. Astronaut to Earth Free of Charge

Gregory Olsen / Photo from http://www.spaceadventures.com/

Gregory Olsen / Photo from http://www.spaceadventures.com/

This article is very funny to me... Expedition 12 just left for the International Space Station less then 24 hours ago, even carrying a Space Tourist (or as he prefers, a Space Traveller) and Russia decided to wait until now to tell us this? Haha...

Beginning from the next space expedition Russia will deliver U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station only on commercial basis. William McArthur who has just left for ISS can stay in orbit until the American side pays for his return, RIA Novosti reported.

“Russia has met all the engagements on transferring NASA employees to the ISS. Formally, we even do not have to return McArthur to the Earth,” Russia’s space agency Roskosmos senior official Alexey Krasnov said.

After NASA grounded its shuttle fleet in July, having failed to fix a technical problem that killed seven astronauts in 2003, only Russian Soyuz spacecraft bear the responsibility for ferrying people and supplies to the $100-billion station.

The snag is that trade sanctions linked to U.S. fears that Russian technology and know-how could help Iran develop nuclear weapons mean NASA cannot pay Roskosmos.

U.S. lawmakers are considering lifting the ban. Nobody expects McArthur to spin round space forever.

Article taken from Mosnews.com