A play is made by sensing how the forces in life simulate ignorance-you set free the concealed irony, the deadly joke

Some electrical blackout problems So I'm have to keep today's post short.

I'm not sure whether this is irony or just the fine madness that has griped our nation at the hands of dull conservative minds, Housing Sec. Canceled Contract Because Contractor Criticized Bush, Apparently Violating Law

“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.”

Dislike Bush and you don't get the contract, give taxpayers and the pentagon the shaft no problem, The Ten Worst Corporations of 2005

Try as we might, we couldn’t keep Halliburton off a list of the worst companies two years running.

The company has effectively made a business model of crooked dealings with the U.S. government. Getting caught, over and over, doesn’t seem to affect things much.

Here are the company’s lowlights for the year, via HalliburtonWatch: January 10: Halliburton admitted that it expanded economic relations with Iran despite the Bush administration’s insistence that the nation finances terrorism.

February 8: The U.S. Army agreed to pay Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary nearly $2 billion for work that nobody can prove ever took place. Army auditors determined in 2004 that 43 percent of the $4.5 billion requested by Halliburton under a major contract could not be verified under normal accounting procedures. Despite recommendations to withhold 15 percent of payment from Halliburton, the Pentagon decided to pay the company what it requested. “This is indeed great news for KBR,” said Andy Lane, chief operating officer of Halliburton, in a news release. “The Army and KBR have agreed to continue working closely together to resolve any remaining billing issues.”

March 2: The U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal inquiry into possible bid-rigging on foreign contracts by Halliburton, the company revealed. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said “information has been uncovered” that former employees of KBR “may have engaged in coordinated bidding with one or more competitors on certain foreign construction projects and that such coordination possibly began as early as the mid-1980s.” These bribes involve contracts in Nigeria, and occurred in the 1990s, when Vice President Cheney headed Halliburton.

March 14: Pentagon auditors found another $108 million in overcharges by Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary for provision of oil in Iraq, according to a disclosure by Representative Henry Waxman, D-California.

March 16: The Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will investigate complaints by one of its engineers who said the agency purposely tampered with environmental science in order to shield a lucrative drilling technique, pioneered by Halliburton and known as hydraulic fracturing, from pollution laws.

Having turned their back on just about every traditional American value that I can think of it is no surprise that conservatives have lowered us closer to the level of the largest remaining totalitarian government in the world, Ex-NSA Chief Assails Bush Taps

Former National Security Agency director Bobby Ray Inman lashed out at the Bush administration Monday night over its continued use of warrantless domestic wiretaps, making him one of the highest-ranking former intelligence officials to criticize the program in public, analysts say.

"This activity is not authorized," Inman said, as part of a panel discussion on eavesdropping that was sponsored by The New York Public Library. The Bush administration "need(s) to get away from the idea that they can continue doing it."

and related, As Chinese Students Go Online, Little Sister Is Watching

Part traffic cop, part informer, part discussion moderator — and all without the knowledge of her fellow students — Ms. Hu is a small part of a huge national effort to sanitize the Internet. For years China has had its Internet police, reportedly as many as 50,000 state agents who troll online, blocking Web sites, erasing commentary and arresting people for what is deemed anti-Communist Party or antisocial speech.

Wether they are far left or far right doesn't matter, authuritarians all share the same paranoia and obsession with control.

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom, and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.
W. Somerset Maugham

A play is made by sensing how the forces in life simulate ignorance-you set free the concealed irony, the deadly joke.
Arthur Miller