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January 30th, 2004
Where were they?

Does anybody remember this? It’s an article (with photo) about UN weapons inspectors returning to Iraq in November, 2002. Or how about this? It’s a news story from March, 2003, including the quote: “U.N. weapons inspectors arrived in Baghdad for the first time in four years on Nov. 27, 2002, and resumed inspections two days later. During four months of inspections, arms experts traveled the length of the country hunting for banned weapons of mass destruction.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix has said that during those inspections, inspectors never found any “smoking gun.”"

So, were the president and Sen. Pat Roberts (Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee) living in some alternate reality between November and March that they have forgotten about those UN inspectors? It would seem so.

Roberts on CNN, January 25: “But, in regards to Saddam Hussein, if in fact he didn’t have them, why on earth didn’t he let the U.N. inspectors in and avoid the war? That is a real puzzlement to me. ”

The president made the the same kind of statement (“Saddam Hussein wouldn’t let weapons inspectors in”) to the press this month and also last July. You can find both articles on the White House website, www.whitehouse.gov in the News & Policies section, for January 27 and July 14.

Does the country suffer from some kind of mass amnesia that they can’t remember that four months time, and thus are willing to let total falsehoods like those uttered by the president and the senator stand?

Posted by Claire at 11:16 AM | Politics | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Textbooks

The Oregonian is running a good article about the rising cost of textbooks. I pretty much agree with all the points they make in the article.

I personally believe that faculty bear a lot of responsibility for the rising cost of texts. I think the example of the Spanish department changing texts just because “it was time for a change” is totall bull$hit. If there was nothing wrong with the $86 dollar package the year before, why change to one that is almost twice the price? While the price might be “on par” with other textbook prices, that’s still no excuse. C’mon, foreign language is foreign language. You can’t convince me that there is a whole lot of difference between texts. I’ve been there, done that.

The thing with the bundling is okay AS LONG as the instructors are going to use it. In the French class I’m taking, they do use the materials–a workbook and a CD. If they didn’t I’d be screaming about having to buy it. It also means that nothing bad better happen to your workbook and CD over the course of the year–you can’t buy them separately from the book and the whole thing is $120. I’m photocopying my cat-peed-on workbook because there’s no way I’m going to buy a whole new one.

Last of all, I wasn’t aware that the same books are sold cheaper in other countries. That is also total crap. If it wasn’t profitable to sell books for $61 in the UK, they wouldn’t do it. Which tells me that the extra $61 per book they make off of American students is just pure cream for those people. I don’t think it’s right for pharmaceuticals to skim off of us and it’s not right for publishers either.

I can’t believe anybody in their right mind (publishers, faculty) thinks it’s okay for students to spend upwards of $800 a year on textbooks that become worthless when a new edition comes out.

What a crock. I’m not the only one to have finished a BS degree with an enormous pile of debt–and I went to a state school. It’s wrong to saddle people with that kind of debt so early in their adult lives. The fact that we graduated in lousy economic times also means we can’t afford to pay off said debt until DH finds a decent job.

Posted by Claire at 09:30 AM | Rant | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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Where have You been?

Thanks to Jack B., I found the Travel Guide… This is so gnifty! You can generate a map of what states you’ve visited. The one here is mine.

statemap.gif


create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

If you know me, you know that this map sort of tells the story of my life… I am from the West Coast, I lived for a year in Washington DC and visited some of the surrounding environs, my husband and I like road trips (including the big one that took us as far east as Minnesota, and south to Arizona and New Mexico), and I took a vacation to Florida once with my family.

I’d like to see the upper Northeast, Wisconsin, Michigan, Utah, Alaska, and Hawaii. I’d like to see North Carolina and South Carolina as well.

Posted by Claire at 08:29 AM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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January 28th, 2004
Corvallis Cats

Hey Corvallis residents! Have you been thinking of getting a new pet sometime in the future? Here’s an idea: adopt a cat from the Heartland Humane Society.

According to this article, the shelter has been inundated by some 50+ cats taken from a home in northwest Corvallis. (Fifty cats in one house? Egads!) Apparently the cats are in relatively good health and will be adoptable. In the meantime, they already had fifty cats ready for adoption at the shelter, so they’re pretty overwhelmed at this point.

If you or someone you know has been thinking about getting a pet, I highly recommend a shelter cat. Both our beloved kitties were strays, and they have found a permanent place in our hearts and our home.

If you aren’t in the market for a pet, consider making a small donation to help them out. Heartland is a good organization, worth supporting.

Posted by Claire at 09:00 AM | Activism | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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January 27th, 2004
Girl’s Day Out

My mom, aunt, little sister and I are planning a girl’s weekend in February. I just booked the motel (a cottage, actually) in Lincoln City for us. We’re going to do Spa Night, since I’m the queen of bath and beauty products, lol. It should be fun. My mom is 47, my aunt is 57, my little sister is almost 13, and I’m almost 25. Should be a riot :)

Otherwise, winter drags on here. I’m so sick of it and ready for spring, and except for our little ice and snow madness it’s been a mild winter too. I’m just pathetic and love spring and fall. I’m ambivalent about summer and winter. Also, I actually really miss the market. Or more accurately, I miss my friends at the market. And the money. *grin*

Anyway, the new soap site will unveil very soon now. I need to put up a little more content, and make some changes to Soap Dreams to begin the process of shutting that down, and then the switch will begin. I’m rather excited about it, the new site is beautiful. We’re doing it right this time, not cobbling something together at the last minute.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. I’m tired of this week already….

Posted by Claire at 09:37 PM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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