Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cheering oneself up

Today I
1. bought two pairs of shoes
2. shared a bowl of microwave popcorn with Nic the cat
3. bought tickets for Albuquerque and investigated flights to Minneapolis

I'm still not exactly chipper, but hey, I have new shoes and I'm leaving town in a few weeks. I realized that when I feel low, I usually head right for Travelocity. I guess it beats surfing porn or online gambling.

Work has actually slightly mellowed in prep for next week's conference. We have all been working like sled dogs and it's coming together. Tonight I left by 6pm(!) I'm starting to get very excited about the conference. I move into the hotel Saturday and leave eight days later. That's a long time to live in a Marriott, but I have my coffee supplies and my bath salts. I've hired the cat sitter and I pick up my dry cleaning Friday. By this time next week, the project I have worked on for five years will have been voted on and we'll be on the downhill for the conference week. Sort of hard to believe.

I'm starting to get genuinely excited.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Don't mistake my silence for lack of outrage

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been promoted here at work to "Director of Communications," which is a very nice way of saying "King of the S*** Pile" it seems. Anyway, that accounts for a great deal of my silence lately. Our biennial conference is next month and it's definitely felt like "there must be a pony" time here for me.

Then of course, there's the travel. In the past few months I've been to Florida, DC, Denmark, Hungary, and Albuquerque.

And as for the personal life, as they say around here "life has shown up."

All of that said, I had to interrupt my radio silence to share my outrage and disgust about the freshly declassified torture memo. You can find parts one and two in .pdf form here and here. (Thank you Chicago Tribune.) I myself have neither the time nor the emotional stamina to read the whole thing. But here are a couple of snippets for you, courtesy of ABC news:

First this stunning logic which basically amounts to "because these people are not subject to standard law, they are not covered by the Constitution." Or put another way, "Having eliminated Habeas Corpus, we are now moving on to use the Bill of Rights as toilet paper.":
"Unlike imprisonment pursuant to a criminal sanction, the detention of enemy combatants involves no sentence judicially imposed or legislatively required," the memo said. "Accordingly the Eighth Amendment has no application here."

And then there's this:
"If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network. In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions."

"This national and international version of the right to self-defense could supplement and bolster the government defendant's individual right to self-defense could supplement and bolster the government defendant's individual right."
National self defense my ass. What a crock.

I swear to god this kind of thing makes me want to drive into oncoming traffic.

Thanks for letting me share. I will now return to the pony search.