zen.org Communal Weblog

May 10, 2006

The Bush Administration at Work

Filed under: — alice @ 15:56 GMT

This story from today’s The Washington Post is a perfect illustration of way George W. Bush’s corrupt Administration operates:

Costly Words: ‘I Don’t Like President Bush’
By Al Kamen
Wednesday, May 10, 2006; A23
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson was back home in Dallas on April 28 giving a speech to minority real estate folks and offering a most interesting take on how business is done in Washington.

Jackson, former head of the Dallas Housing Authority, recounted a conversation he had in the nation’s capital with a minority publisher.

“He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years,” Jackson said of the bidder, according to an account of the speech in the Dallas Business Journal. “He made a heck of a proposal and was on the GSA [General Services Administration] list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him.

“Then he said something. . . . He said, ‘I have a problem with your president.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘I don’t like President Bush. ‘ I thought to myself, ‘Brother, you have a disconnect — the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn’t be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don’t tell the secretary.’ “He didn’t get the contract,” Jackson continued. “Why should I reward someone who doesn’t like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don’t get the contract. That’s the way I believe.”

Dallas Business Journal reporter Christine Perez asked HUD spokeswoman Dustee Tucker , who attended the speech, about the value of the yanked advertising contract. Perez was told that could not be provided.

“Because it was not awarded per what the secretary said, we don’t have any record of it,” Tucker said. “It was probably all verbal at that point.” Tucker didn’t return calls yesterday. But Democrats, led by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), called for Jackson’s head.

Aside from violating the Constitution’s prohibitions on government retaliation for speech, we’re told Jackson’s peculiar view may violate federal procurement law, which requires “complete impartiality and . . . preferential treatment for none.”

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The wonders of human memory

Filed under: — brendan @ 15:52 GMT

While doing some work, I was listening to “Homeward” by The Sundays. The open window behind my monitor shows a bright sunny day in Ireland, a gentle breeze ruffling the (far too many) sheets of paper on my desk. My mind quickly left the code I was trying to debug on the screen, and put me driving on Highway 17 in the hot summer of 1993.  I was on my way home to Santa Cruz on a Saturday afternoon from work. (I was single, hacked obsessively, it was Silicon Valley, of course I was working on the weekend.) There I was in my second-hand 1990 Hyundai Excel, working my way up to the summit where the temperature would drop by 10 degrees and I’d start my downward spiral on the curvy roads to get home. In the tape deck is a cassette (which I still own) with a copy of The Sundays’ Static & Silence album, playing for the 100th time.  The song finished, I left the image of the car twisting and turning its way along the many curves and came back to reality.  It’s truly remarkable how much is unconsciously saved in the depths of your mind.

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Mallard Mating

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:54 GMT

Being reminded by a recent comment by a Ms. Colleen of Tomahowk, WA to a a post I made about Wood Ducks, I was reminded of a happening last Sunday. Zoë and I where walking along the Delaware Cannel, we spent about an half hour just looking at one of the old locks, being soothed by the sound of the water gushing though. On the way back I was looking for wood ducks, but spotted three male mallards slowly swimming by.

“Look Zoë,” said I, “three ducks, mallards.” Zoë looked, and pointed and said “duck.” The first one swam over to the side, and out from under a rock hanging over the water he poked a female mallard out, and all three of them jumped on her back and starded duck humping! While one of the males quickly gave up and swam away the other two where rentless to this poor duck maiden. Quacks, water splashing, most of the time the lass was totally submerged. Zoë and I stared, am I to hide a nearly two year old of such things?

Everything worked out in the end. On of remaining two male ducks left, and the now consummated couple seemed very happy together. In all it took two or three minutes. Given the homosexual necrophilia tendencies of the male mallard, maybe such other actions should not be surprising.

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