Blogs > Cliopatria > I'll Spare You the Rant ...

Dec 30, 2004 5:19 am

I'll Spare You the Rant ...

There's a fairly long, angry rant in me about Homeland Security and the Pentagon that's just dying to express itself. But I've got to pull another all-nighter -- like I'm a teen-ager or something – in order to get the copy-edited version of a brilliant article off to the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography. So, consider yourself spared. Just also consider this: if Homeland Security is so all-fired crucial to our national survival, why would George Bush appoint Bernie Kerik to direct it? If Homeland Security is so all-fired important to New Jersey, why would its governor appoint his boyfriend to be his advisor on it? Over at Liberty & Power, Radley Balko has a story about the Inspector General at Homeland Security. He's not being reappointed in Bush's second term because he's told us just how badly it's been managed. Is Homeland Security just another place to store your friends and lovers at big salaries, as long as they don't tell us the truth about Homeland Security?

But I promised you that I wouldn't rant, because I've got to explain to the managing editor at the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography what"double first cousins" are. You know what double first cousins are, don't you? Not that they're that common – maybe with increased mobility they're becoming even less common – but you know what they are, don't you? Doesn't everyone know what double first cousins are?

Anyway, my young friend, Andrew Ackerman, has just done the last part of my rant for me over at The Nation. Go over there and read his"Tim Spicer's World." The Pentagon has handed a $293,000,000 contract to a Brit with a criminal background, no experience in Iraq and no real security experience, to coordinate security operations for American diplomats in Iraq. This is a guy who defended the murder of teenagers by men in his command in Northern Ireland, violated a British embargo of weapons in Sierra Leone, and led a comic book venture in Papua New Guinea. My rant has to do with the paltry $35,000,000 the United States government has coughed up for southeast Asian relief compared with the $293,000,000 we've just given this thug to do difficult work for which he has no experience. But I promised that I wouldn't rant.

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Jonathan Dresner - 12/30/2004

I applaud your restraint on not ranting. I don't have the energy for it right now for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it would just come out as "I told you so" and I'm told that's not very nice....

Jonathan Dresner - 12/30/2004

Funny. We've got a word for that but not a single word that means "nieces and nephews" (which would be very useful if any of the siblings in the double-first-cousins' parents group had another sibling...)

Double First Cousins would be a really neat premise for a family sitcom.....

Ralph E. Luker - 12/30/2004

Yes. If a brother and sister marry people who are also a brother and sister (or two sisters marry two brothers), then their children are double first cousins. No incest involved, of course. I asked my wife if she was familiar with the term and she wasn't. Maybe I know it only because my grandmother had siblings who married siblings -- so there were double first cousins in the family.

Jonathan Dresner - 12/30/2004

If I had to guess, I'd guess your double first cousin was someone who was the child of the marriage of your father's and mother's siblings.

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