February 23, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Sunny and stormy simultaneously

I just realized I hadn’t actually posted this – just written it!

Okay, how’s this for more evidence of our administration’s incompetence? At Congressional hearings recently, there are over EIGHT BILLION dollars IN CASH that was flown to Iraq that’s unaccounted for out of the TWELVE BILLION IN CASH sent over.

How did they send it over, do you ask? They packed it in bricks, mostly made up of $100 bills, each brick worth $400,000, loaded it onto palettes, and fork-lifted it onto planes headed for Iraq. It was approximately 363 TONS of CASH.

For which they can’t account.

I’ll tell you where it’s gone – funding the people who are killing our troops every day. Who are now using chlorine gas to kill children.

Meanwhile, at Building 18 of Walter Reed Medical Center, the injured vets are living in conditions worse than slumlords keep in urban areas. And the Pentagon “doesn’t know about it”. Yeah, right. And whose pocketing that cash, I’d like to know?

They can’t rebuild New Orleans – they can’t even distribute the money regular citizens contributed to help after Hurricane Katrina – but they can airlift 363 tons of CASH to Iraq and lose two thirds of it, while leaving troops in a military hospital on American soil in sub-human conditions, while allowing credit agencies to repossess the veterans’ houses, cars, etc.

Completely unacceptable.

You don’t believe me? CNN and The Times UK both have articles on this debacle. Brian Williams of NBC News has followed the Walter Reed story all week, and there have been dozens of stories over the past months about veterans losing everything because they came back injured and the government is CHARGING them for their medical care and then turning everything over to collection agencies that seize their homes and belongings. This kind of treatment after they’ve fought for the US. Those stories inspired my short story “Not My Vote”, which is currently making the rounds.

Prince Harry of the UK is going to fight in Iraq. The Bush twins –and every other child of age belonging to anyone in Congress – should have to go over there as well. It was correctly spoken a few weeks ago in that Congressional hearing – the majority of the people making the decisions about troops have no personal stake in it – none of their loved ones are going. If they believe so much in this war, their children should have to go and fight in it.

Worked on The Project for a bit, and on Changeling, and on some notes for a few other things, but I’m not really in a creative groove. I’m terrified I’ll lose what little ground I gain this week by being on the show full-time for nearly three weeks. I just have to tackle it one day at a time, and not worry so much. Bit by bit, word by word, right?

Read the Coward diaries, which, from a craft standpoint, are really fascinating. When I’d originally read them, back in the 1980’s, it was from a backstage standpoint, because working backstage was the focus of my life. Now, with the shift to the writing, I’m noticing both his process and his productivity, which are fascinating.

The Fred Stone lithograph of John Henry arrived (an early birthday present) and it’s beautiful! I’m so glad to have it. And the three books I ordered from Strand for The Project – I think they’ll make good train and backstage reading, even though I’ll have to take notes sometimes.

Of course, I’ve come up with another few I need from them.

I started the books I’m set to review, and, thankfully, they’re good. That’s always a concern – that someone asks you to read something and review it and then you don’t like it.

Had a phone meeting with a potential client on the coast far too late in the day for me, which meant my head was spinning with ideas and I couldn’t get to sleep. That’ll teach me!

Had a slow start this morning, although I hauled myself out of bed at a reasonable hour. Had plenty of errands to run – banking; post office (always a chore, since it’s only open at random hours now); bill paying; driving over to Larchmont to a store to get some shirts; hitting Pier 1 for a particular china pattern they no longer carry; getting on I-95 and driving 30 minutes to CT to the Staples there because the one a mere mile from my house never has anything I need; stopping at Greenwich Library to find some Large Print mysteries on the discard shelves that I can send to my grandmother (I found five); the pet store to get apple bitter for a friend and dry food for my little bossy ones; back home, unpacking everything; putting together Chaz’s package to go to Newcastle and two packages of books for my grandmother; going BACK to the post office and getting them all out; going to the drug store to pick up some essentials; finally coming home and saying, “enough already!”

I want to finish reading the books I’m reviewing, work on The Project some more, and get started on a proposal for the potential client. And I haven’t even checked the job boards yet.

Not to mention the fact that zero creative work was done today. So I’ll have to make up for that tomorrow. First thing.

I have to do my creative writing first thing in the morning. Anything else, and I’m ruined for the day.

I have an idea for a new play babbling around my brain, and a completely weird newspaper article about murdered clowns is starting something else percolating. We’ll see.

Today’s house-hunting trip was postponed because of predicted bad weather. Of course, the weather was barely spitting snow down here, but, from reports, it’s pretty bad up near the Cape, so I’m glad I didn’t head out. I have a feeling I won’t be able to do any house-hunting until my next three-week stint at the show is over.

Oxford sent their weekly letter about what else they’re cutting from the health plan. I swear, they’re beyond inadequate; they’re practically non-existent. It’s a health plan in name only.

I’m going to have a cup of tea and read a bit before getting back to work.

Have a great weekend, everybody!



  1. devon, most in Congress these days haven’t seved in the Militay, unlike many generations before. I am very distressed to learn of the conditions at Walter Reed, and the ensuing CHARGES for veterans medical. That’s just outrageous and disgusting!
    As for the house-hunt, sorry it has to be postponed, it will be spring before you know it and will make traipsing through houses a bit easier. *g*
    Have a good weekend, and i have to say, you’ve peaked my interest with the article on clown killings!!

  2. AGH, meant to capitalize your name, sorry. DEVON.

  3. DAMN. I’ve lost $100 bucks before. And I was very upset.

    What is the DEAL??? That is an awful lot of money.

    I think Prince Harry isn’t being very smart going off to Iraq. I don’t think he knows what he’s getting into. Seriously. He’ll get his ass bombed or blown-up somehow and it will be tragic. But that’s what men are doing every day there. I can’t wait until this is all over.

  4. Prince Harry is a Second Lieutenant in the British Army and it’s his regiment that is being deployed to Iraq. He said he would serve with his men wherever they are sent. It’s just too bad they are going to be sent there at all.

  5. The Walter Reed story is absolutely unacceptable. I have been following it for some time and am glad it’s finally gotten widespread coverage. When a soldier has to PAY for his own uniform to replace the one cut off him when he was wounded in order to attend his medal ceremony, there is something fundamentally wrong.

    As for Prince Harry, glad to see he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He’ll make a good leader one day.

    Sorry to hear the weather’s not playing nice. Hope it clears up in the next 10 days!! =)

  6. I remember reading about the conditions at Walter Reed Hospital. Deplorable that our dollars are being used elsewhere instead of to help our recuperating soldiers get back on their feet. You are absolutely right, this is unacceptable.

    Sorry you weren’t able to go house-hunting. I was told that best time to go house-hunting is in bad weather, to see how the grounds are taken care of; during the evening, to hear the people outdoors; in the Spring, to see how the neighborhood looks.

    Have a good weekend.

  7. For all the rhetoric about “helping the troops,” the way we actually have treated those who fought in this war is disgusting.
    And the amounts of money lost are stunning – I heard about that too.
    The level of incompetence running this country…Unreal.

  8. Devon,

    I’ve always wanted to see some exquisite street theatre done at the gates of the White House. People dressed in black with white masks over their faces. A drum beat in the background and a sign saying that they have come for the twins. That Barbara and Jenna are needed for the tribute.

    It is reminiscent of Theseus deciding to go to Crete in the place of another Athenian youth.

    There have been far too many people who have sacrificed their lives, their health, their sanity to this insane war. Americans, Iraqis and people of other countries as well.

    The brutality of this war and the incompetence demonstrated by those who prosecuted this war is staggering.

    I do not think that the announcements of Prince Harry going to Iraq and Britain withdrawing its troops is coincidence. I don’t think that the British people would stand it if a member of their royal family were to perish for naught.

    However, I do miss on one level the idea of kings actually leading their armies in battle. It would have been seen as cowardice to simply stay in their castle whilst a war was going on.

    Maybe that’s due to my immersion in all things Charlemagne for my novel.

    I do wish that the current administration’s leaders weren’t such irresponsible chicken hawks who have no real skin in the game, but do their best to question the patriotism of those who dare to point out incompetence, negligence and war profiteering.

    ‘Tis maddening.


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