Tuesday, May 29, 2007

O Rly? Valerie Plame a Covert Agent

"At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson's employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

So sayeth Exhibit A of the "Unclassified Summary of Valerie Wilson's CIA Employment and Cover History." More at MSNBC.com.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Surviving Cancer

Photos by Jason Schmidt

New York Magazine gets a lot of flack* about its format and seeming lack of content, but as a subscriber, I find the magazine fun and informative (though sometimes the reviews make me wanna gag). One of the reasons I enjoy the magazine is because of articles like the one in this week's issue called, "The Survivor Monologues."

My dad, whose 77th birthday would have occurred earlier this week, died of cancer in August. His battle was pretty short and way painful. The monologues in this week's New York Magazine brought home to me how much he went through in the last five months of his life. The words of the survivors (and one lady moving to a hospice to die) are all in all very moving and encouraging, despite what every one of them faced and continues to face, whether in remission or in the middle of treatment. Godspeed to all of those who appear in this issue, and to everyone who suffers through the agony of cancer.

*who cares whether John McCain spells it with a c or not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Li'l G for 9/11


What more can really be said about the man? Oh wait, he's nutso.
Even the resident Republican at work said so.

h/t Daily Dish

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cyberwar!

Of all the things that could happen right now, this happens!

From the Guardian UK:
Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar to disable Estonia

· Russia accused of unleashing cyberwar
· Parliament, ministries, banks, media targeted
· Nato experts sent in to strengthen defences


Ian Traynor in Brussels
Thursday May 17, 2007
The Guardian


A three-week wave of massive cyber-attacks on the small Baltic country of Estonia, the first known incidence of such an assault on a state, is causing alarm across the western alliance, with Nato urgently examining the offensive and its implications.

While Russia and Estonia are embroiled in their worst dispute since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a row that erupted at the end of last month over the Estonians' removal of the Bronze Soldier Soviet war memorial in central Tallinn, the country has been subjected to a barrage of cyber warfare, disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers, banks, and companies.

[snip]

If it were established that Russia is behind the attacks, it would be the first known case of one state targeting another by cyber-warfare.



Russia opens up an unexpected front. Round and round we go. Where it stops, goodness only knows.

Modern Estonia is known for its cyber network and as a hub of technology for Europe. Having constant "Denial of Service" disruptions would wreck havoc on the economy. The country, traditionally tied to Russia and the Soviet Union as a satellite state, entered the European Union in 2004.

Hopefully the dispute between the two countries will resolve itself without escalation. What's the next step in a cyberwar, I wonder?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell, 1933 - 2007

Jerry Falwell, preacher, founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University, head of the PTL Club after the fall of Jim Bakker, opposer of the abolishment of aparthied in South Africa, and cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, died today at his office at Liberty University.

I heard Falwell one too many times while growing up. He's one of the prime reasons that I am no longer a somewhat devoted churchgoer. My mother would make me watch him when I was younger. I'm still scarred from the experience of growing up in the Evangelical / Pentacostal Church in America. When I was growing up, I went to an Apostolic church, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, in Detroit, MI. What is the Apostolic Church? Well, take the most rigid teachings of evangelicalism and triple them. That would pretty much sum up the church of my childhood. At least the choir was always good.

It's so sad cause I really wanted to believe in God.

I cannot mourn Falwell's death. As far as I'm concerned, he's one of the forces in the United States that have made us not united, but grabbing for each other's throats. Political power and religion do not mix. I will stay out of your church if you stay out of my life, is my basic premise. Falwell couldn't honor that. He demanded that I attend his church and he insisted on telling me that my life was wrong, perverse, wicked and demented. Let me tell you, I haven't even been kissed since 2001. I'm as chaste as the driven snow. I'm also straight, but happen to believe in gay rights. Oh boy, I'm a baaaadddd girrrlll.

So, while I say to his family and friends that I am sorry for your personal loss, I can say for myself that I cannot mourn him and will not miss him. If you think that is harsh, just remember, it's people like Jerry Falwell who helped me become the person I am today.

On top of it all, Falwell said these words after September 11, 2001 struck the city in which I live and it is these words that forever closed the door to religion for me:
"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'" (a sentiment with which Pat Robertson concurred). [29]
I believe it's people like Falwell, who "know" that we are all going to hell and deserve it, who are the real culprits. If God is anything like I was told by the likes of Falwell (and my own mother), I have no need of God. And I have no need need of Jerry Falwell. Though I think I'll keep my mom.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I Has a Secret!

What? I'm adopted? Sheesh, that hasn't been a secret since I was 33! No, the secret is: I'm back! And yes, you might not have even known that I was gone!

Anyhoo, a quick update on what's been up:

Last year, I went to Halifax for a conference, Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS). Woohoo. I just got back from that conference again, but this time it took place in lovely Montreal with a short jaunt to Quebec City. I have some pictures of the trip, but haven't arranged them into a comprehensible set of images yet. I'll let you know when I do.

I've fallen completely headz over heelz with the website "I Can Has Cheezburger?," with its great photos of kittehs speaking kitteh. I laughz and laughz! Who can't laugh when they see the 'word' harbls? Hmmm???

As usual, my head explodes with the political scene. But what else is new, eh?

I suffered a bit of a mental hiccup after coming back from Quebec. May 23 is my dad's b-day. It will be the first birthday after his passing, so it's a little difficult. When I got back, I got a call from the cemetery to tell me that his Veterans Administration grave marker finally came in and will be installed as soon as the granite base is delivered. Needless to say, these first events after someone passes are the most difficult. sigh.

Lastly, I quit smoking! Again! Yes, I had been very successful with the laser acupunture for quitting smoking, but after dad died, I started again. Now, I'm trying Chantix by Pfizer and so far, so good.

And speaking of what's new, what's happening with YOU these days? Let me know! Speak with you soon.