Saturday, January 01, 2005

what a way to start a year

So last night, I tried to shuttle between first night, Olympus Cove in the driving snow with rear-wheel drive, and back again in 30 minutes. And I almost made it. I was at 200 E and 300 S when the fireworks started. But we were all a bit sad that cell phones on vibrate didn't buzz and that the hill to the girl's house was so steep. But, we all made it safely into the New Year.

It's a big year for me: my wedding, my father's 60th, my sister's 30th and who knows what else. So to make up for the grumpyness that comes with plans gone awry, today was made pleasurable.

First, we went to Sage Cafe and ate with all the well-to-do Vegans. Next, we had the state's best hot chocolate; it was like a melted chocolate bar at the Coco Cafe. After that, it was off to Park City where it was snowing while it was a nice clear day down in the valley. We looked at consignment stores, art galaries, resturants and the like down Historic Main Street, slipping along the slushy sidewalks. My toes are still a bit damp but it was fun.

The Utes play in the first (and perhaps last) BCS bowl game tonight in 40 minutes. I am looking forward to them destorying Pitt. Hope everyone enjoyed their journey into 2005.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

While you were distracted...

Another CIA head honcho was purged by ex-GOP Rep. Porter Goss. Jami A. Miscik, the head of the CIA's analytic division told her staff Tuesday that she was resigning effective February 4th. Having filled every other department with Yes Men and Women, Bush is now having his henchmen do the same at the CIA. Even though it would be in there best long-term interest to have an impartial agency which could give them an honest assessment of intelligence, the Bush Administration is a reality-shapping, not a reality-based, community. They wanted a rubber stamp on their plans to invade Iraq, and the damned Agency had the gall to ask questions and doubt the existance of a nuclear, let alone a biological weapons program.

"Every [director of central intelligence] has a desire to have his own team in place to implement his vision and to offer him counsel," Miscik said in the e-mail. "This is a natural evolution of the leadership of our intelligence profession." Very diplomatic of you.

Personally, I think there are a few agencies which should be beyond the President's reach: the Justice Department and the Intelligence Agencies. There is too much room for the political needs of a White House to interfere and ruin sound policy. Like how Gore wanted to handle Elan Gonzalez differently, or how Bush wants the CIA to invent facts for his wars.

I think the US Attorney General should be elected on his or her own like they are in most states. This way, it could be a grooming ground for politicans who want to run for president but happen to annoyingly be in Congress (which always kills a White House run since 1960). Also, this would ensure that the AG would be independent from the President as they should be. That way, when the White House does something questionable, there will be no need for a "independent council" and there will be no appearances of impropriety.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

77,000 115,000 reasons

While America slumbers along this week, wallowing in the afterglow of a buying frenzy known as Christmas, tens of thousands of people are missing family members. George W. Bush is among them, riding his bicylce and clearing his beloved brush in that hot hell known as Waco Texas. Meanwhile, 43 is out consoling South Asians and being the statesman.

The Bush administration added $20 million to the paltry $15 Million in aid to the region, while they spent billions on a handful of people in the all important swing state of Flordia this winter.

The White House spinmachine said: "The president wanted to be fully briefed on our efforts. He didn't want to make a symbolic statement about 'We feel your pain.' "

Nice try in slamming Clinton "Actions speak louder than words," a top Bush aide said, describing the president's view of his appropriate role. Indeed they do, and his actions were not to go to the largest muslim country in the world and Al-Qeada hotspot Indonesia, but to clear brush and ride his bicycle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

sore all over

I went skiing with my future brother-in-law today, and while we didn't talk much, there was a good level of understanding. Per my calculations, it has been at least 2 years since the last time I skied, what with a trip to Coasta Rica and generally being a snow snob. Usually it has to have snowed, then be warm and sunny, but not too hot to make the snow slushy. But 80 inches at Alta were enough for me this time. In the morning I got a few Blacks under my belt and then had lunch after he finished with his lesson.

The Afternoon we skied down bright greens and I tried to instruct what has become somewhat second-nature to me as I have been skiing since I was six. Sore all over, we left at 4:30 and joined the malstrom down the canyon and went to dinner at my parents house with my Uncle Aunt and cousins in from Washington DC. It was pretty fun and I got fudge out of it.

Here is my quote of the day: "While you're watching it, you don't realize how confused you are, because it either makes sense from moment to moment or, when it doesn't, you're distracted by the sex. Life is like that." -Roger Ebert on Bad Education.

Monday, December 27, 2004

On the flip side

I hope you all had a nice weekend. Mine was great but I am excited to go back to my regular life of living on my own with my fiancee. Staying at my parents house makes me feel like a child, especially with my sister here to boss me around.

Her and my mom are trying out the bridesmaid dresses that my fiancee has picked out at David's Bridal, the perfect place when each bridesmaid is in another state. My groomsmen will do the male equivalent- Men's Warehouse.

Amidst the news blackout, a real story surfaced: the terrible Tsunami in South Asia and how preventable many of the 24,000 deaths were. If India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia (another other poorer neighboring nations like Bangladesh) had the same system for the Indian Ocean that they have in the Pacific where these things are more frequent, they would have had 15 minutes to evacuate the coasts.

The countries that bore the brunt of Sunday's tsunami had no notice of what was coming but the earthquake, the largest for 40 years, had been monitored by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Honolulu.

"We don't have contacts in our address book for anybody in that part of the world," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration director Charles McCreery said.

The other story that is important is that Democracy triumphed over Cronyism and Corruption in the Ukraine with the Yushenko victory. Of course, there will be court challenges. Everyone wants to be like the Americans these days in some ways.

In Hollywood liberal news, Michael Moore is aiming his camera at Big Pharma after his unsuccessful attempt to dethrone Bush. "At least six drug companies have releases internal communications telling their employees to be ware of the scruffy baseball cap wearing filmmaker." AKA don't talk to him or you are fired. Like Jon Stewart and co., I never get why people go on camera with Moore who oppose his views. When was the last time they came off well?

As Jon Stewart says, "They like to be on the TeeVee."