Sunday, May 04, 2008

Irritation, Balm

Grrr. The fleeting calm I experienced Friday night has left the building. Yesterday I read a blood-boiling article about multiple deaths of military by electrocution, due to faulty wiring in Iraq. You'll never guess who was responsible for the work. Who's our very favorite no-bid contractor in Iraq? Friends of Dick Cheney? Anyone? Oh yes, KBR, formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root, subsidiary of Halliburton.

Turns out, the $30 billion contract to upgrade buildings and electrical work where military stationed in Iraq live, didn't include basic safety, like grounding water pumps--which caused the death of one soldier in the shower.

Problem is, so much work has been outsourced to contractors that oversight agencies couldn't possibly keep up. According to this article, about 60 officers to oversee 18, 000 Iraq KBR employees.

Daily Kos unearthed something even more damning:
KBR's contract, the memo said, "only required KBR to fix the building (plumbing and electricity) as things broke. KBR did an initial survey of the building upon assuming responsibility and noted several safety issues concerning the improper grounding of electrical devices.

"The contract did not cover fixing potential hazards so those issues were never addressed," the memo said.

To start, why the military keeps outsourcing work that has historically been handled by the military is one thing, but the other is, why are they contracting to agencies that do a shitty job and put lives at risk?

I know, I know. Sweetheart deals and the dark, evil heart of the administration is why. So naive. But can you just imagine if you went to the doctor for an x-ray for a sprained ankle, the doctor saw bone cancer and didn't tell you because that's not what the visit was for? Yeah, that's malpractice, a lawsuit and loss of license. This is how deep the corruption runs in Iraq.

There is a balm is Oakland and that is Ciao Bella gelato. I had this for the first time at Jac and Winger's and had to buy some. It's insanely creamy, dense, almost chewy and swoony. It's also stupidly expensive but I found it on sale today for 3.79, which I guess these days passes as a bargain.

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