Lifes Little Annoyances

True tales of people who just can’t take it anymore: “For some of us, it’s the automated voice that answers the phone when we’d rather talk to a real person. For others, it’s the fact that Starbucks insists on calling its smallest sized coffee “tall.” Or perhaps it’s those pesky subscription cards that fall out of magazines. Whatever it is, each of us finds some aspect of everyday life to be particularly maddening, and we often long to lash out at these stubborn irritants of modern life.

In Lifes’s Little Annoyances, Ian Urbina chronicles the lengths to which some people will go when they have endured their pet peeves long enough and are not going to take it any more.”

Face it, America. You’ve been punk’d

“It is now quite clear that the outing of Valerie Plame was part of a broader White House effort to mislead and manipulate U.S. public opinion as part of an orchestrated effort to take us to war. The unraveling of the Valerie Plame affair has exposed their scam—and it extends well beyond compromising the identity of a CIA officer. In short, the Bush administration organized and executed a classic “covert action” program against the citizens of the United States.” — Larry Johnson , former CIA intelligence analyst and State Department counter-terrorism official, now a member of the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) (tompaine.com)

‘Cheney cabal hijacked US foreign policy’

“Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government’s foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.

In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”” (Financial Times)