Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's always about the money

Ok, twice in a week I've had brain fade to do something else, meaning rant about the world. Why the brain fading this week besides spending the last 2-3 weeks learning Google Earth/map applications? Well, after upgrading to Leopard and updating Leopard (strange Apple had an update not too long after its introduction). Anyway, I lost a lot of small things I used to know or knew how they worked under Tiger.

In any event, the software for my Nikon scanner quit working, a problem known by Nikon before the release of Leopard, but they weren't all that quick to fix it, and then they pretty much hid the upgrade to the driver deep in their Website. After finding it and talking with their reps. it's the first and only software I've had to actually unistall and install anew on my Mac. After installing the old driver on Leopard, I had to upgrade to the driver to make things work. It seems Nikon didn't tell folks that and simply upgrading the driver installed under Tiger wouldn't work.

Anyway, that was fixed, and then the HP 2605dn printer utility was changed where I couldn't see the ink levels in the cartridges. I heemed and hawed for months over this thinking it wasn't important until this week when I got tired of trying to know when I need to buy new cartridges (they're like $80 each). Well, wandering around I found it in a new utility. Great, thanks HP.

Anyway, that's why. And the news?

Did you know the Army has been paying, remember it's our tax dollars they're using, contractors for insurance premiums for their work in Iraq, meaning equipment and work, but the companies haven't been buying some or all the insurance required in the contracts? They've been pocketing the money and then charging the government for the costs of insurance. It's called a scam. We're paying, they're profitting, and no one is minding the store.

Now the Army is "looking into it", meaning the appearance of an investigation where they're report the amount of the fraud in millions of dollars and ask the Justice Department to "look into it" for prosecution. It's a double scam, one we pay and two we pay for the farce of one maybe two investigation where no one is charged and no money is reclaimed. And companies, along with the executives, get rich.

And we paid the bills then and now.

when is the truth not the truth?

When missles, likely from US predator drones, hit a village in Pakistan, remember the Pakistan government allowed the US to do this, destroying a house and killing 12 people. The evidence at the scene, reported by Pakistan, says it's missles and not rockets, but the US denies any drones in the area let alone any missle strikes. But locals report seeing drones in the area about that time.

So who are we to believe?

Home buyers are now suing Escrow companies for services charged and not done or overpaying for services. Fraud here again. What? It's buyer beware? About what and who? Who can a first-time buyer trust anymore when buying a home? It's a complicated legal situation and no home buyer can know everything and challenge everyone along the way. The system is rigged against the buyer for the sellers, agents, brokers and others who only see the buyer as a checkbook.

I hope Congress will wake up some day, but I'm not holding my breath anymore with Congress. They're the biggest fraud on the people I've ever seen. They've obfuscated the obligation and responsibility to the people so bad, and for money.

Did you know George, who's threatened a veto over the farm bill, has only vetoed 9 bills in his 7-plus years as President, and 6 of those in this fiscal year? But then he uses signing statement to avoid doing what Congress passed or funded.

Did you know all the money we've given Pakistan in the name of fighting terrorism and terrorists, namely the Taliban and Al Qaeda is for naught? Really. The Pakistani government is negotiating with the Tribes in the areas the Taliban control and base their attacks in Afghanistan to limit the Army's presence and effort to confront and engage them. The Pakistan government says their plans aren't working and costing the military too much, so they're leaving the area except for a minimal presence to protect and secure their borders.

Gee, so much for diplomacy and our money.

This one is good. Michael Chertoff, you know the secretary of Homeland Security, says 9,000 people per day are misidentified on the no-fly lists maintained by HSA and the airlines. The watch list has 900,000 names in it and grows by 20,000 per month. Yes, that's only 1% error, but so far only 15,000 have managed to get their names correctly removed from the list. So, as it stands more errors are made than corrected and more names are added than removed, so the number of mistakes can only go up.

And this is our government at its best too.

Parting jesture? I guess with the disasters in Burma and China, it's hard to be funny in the face of such human tragedy. And there are fires in Florida, tornados in the mid-west, and other disasters around the world. Such is life now. They happen and are news immediately. And in the face of them I wonder what we have learned or have we even thought?

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