Telephone Etiquette

 Posted by at 20:37  General
Jan 302005
 

Our telephone rang a few minutes ago. I answered…

“Hello?”

Child’s voice on other end: “May I please speak with my daddy?”

“Who’s your daddy? Um… I think you have the wrong number.”

I cannot believe I actually said “Who’s your daddy?”

I’ll not be living this one down for a long, long time.

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Celebration in Iraq

 Posted by at 12:07  Politics
Jan 302005
 

The right is celebrating. Early reports indicate that as many as 72% (update: they’re now saying about 60%) of the registered voters in Iraq showed up at the polls today. Only 44 people were killed. George W. Bush was vindicated… he was right all along.

I don’t want to put a damper on anybody’s celebration. It has been a hard-fought battle to this point with many sacrifices (mainly by our soldiers, their families and the people of Iraq). A day of celebration was earned and is well deserved.

We have to remember, however, that this is a beginning and not an end. Mr. Bush and his supporters must resist the temptation to declare “Mission Accomplished.” Our kids are going to be in Iraq for many years to come. Many will yet come home in body bags.

I am trying in my own mind to not share the gloom of Armando (writing in Daily Kos)…

This Election is simply, in my estimation, an exercise in pretty pictures. Why? Because Elections are to choose governments, not to celebrate the day. Are the people elected capable of governing Iraq at this time? Without 150,000 U.S. soldiers? Or even with them? I have been accused of gloating by people right HERE because of my focus on the continuing violence. But my focus has been on the realities of governing a land in chaos, in the midst of civil war, with 150,000 U.S. soldiers the only force with the ability to provide security. And this is 2 years after the invasion.

I hope I’m wrong on this. I think I am not.

I, too, hope he is wrong. But I fear he may not be.

Frank Rich’s column in today’s New York Times is a must-read, no matter which side of the political spectrum you may inhabit…

Forget Armor. All You Need Is Love

JAN. 30 is here at last, and the light is at the end of the tunnel, again. By my estimate, Iraq’s election day is the fifth time that American troops have been almost on their way home from an about-to-be pacified Iraq. The four other incipient V-I days were the liberation of Baghdad (April 9, 2003), President Bush’s declaration that “major combat operations have ended” (May 1, 2003), the arrest of Saddam Hussein (Dec. 14, 2003) and the handover of sovereignty to our puppet of choice, Ayad Allawi (June 28, 2004). And this isn’t even counting the two “decisive” battles for our nouveau Tet, Falluja. Iraq is Vietnam on speed – the false endings of that tragic decade re-enacted and compressed in jump cuts, a quagmire retooled for the MTV attention span.

But in at least one way we are not back in Vietnam. Iraq hawks, like Vietnam hawks before them, often take the line that to criticize America’s mission in Iraq is to attack the troops. That paradigm just doesn’t hold. Americans, including those opposed to the war, love the troops (Lynndie England always excepted). Not even the most unhinged Bush hater is calling our all-volunteer army “baby killers.” This time, paradoxically enough, it is often those who claim to love the troops the most – and who have the political power to help alleviate their sacrifice – who turn out to be the troops’ false friends.

Click on the headline to read the entire column. It’ll give you something to talk about in the break room tomorrow.

Update: Wow. This fellow thinks that any voter turnout over 50% and fewer than a hundred people murdered spells success. Is this to be the new standard for democratic elections?

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Good Luck, Iraq!

 Posted by at 03:06  Politics
Jan 302005
 

The polls are now open in Iraq.

Now I know that I am one of those “crazy lefties” who is supposed to be hoping for us to fail in Iraq and for George W. Bush to fall flat on his butt (I think the latter will happen with no help from me), but I whole-heartedly agree with DarkSyd:

Despite my personal misgivings about the wisdom of this conflict, I freely profess pride, and extend my best wishes to the hundreds of thousands of US Service People and Iraqi Citizens, whose sacrifice made this day possible. A sacrifice all too frequently paid for in the currency of cherished blood and unimaginable grief. UTI is hopeful for the best, even while bracing for the worst.

I’d like to ask a favor: Regardless of one’s political inclination, irrespective of your confidence in the electoral process employed, or the decision to invade and occupy Iraq, no matter what the outcome, let us all stand united in our admiration for those courageous Iraqi’s who will brave gunfire, RPGs, bombs, and reprisal, to determine their own fate? For they choose to do so in bold defiance of promised violence and certain intimidation.

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Colors? Numbers?

 Posted by at 02:59  Weblogging
Jan 302005
 

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So, which do you prefer… the colors

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or the numbers?

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Clicking contest

 Posted by at 23:31  Weblogging
Jan 292005
 

It seems that I am currently in sixth place in a contest that I did not even know existed. I need to start paying more attention to these things!

BlogClicker is having a contest to see who can click on the most blogs. It started on January 25 and runs through February 2. There are prizes for the top three clickers, with the first prize being 200 credits, 200 banner impressions and $5.

BlogClicker is very generous with their credits. The fact is that I have more credits there than I know what to do with. I wish I could transfer credits from BlogClicker to Blog Explosion or BlogAzoo. I keep clicking because A) it’s fun and B) I enjoy reading what others have to say.

I sure could use the five bucks, though!

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Embassy hit

 Posted by at 12:29  Politics
Jan 292005
 

U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Hit; Two Killed

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A rocket or mortar hit the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad late Saturday on the eve of Iraq’s landmark elections, killing two people and wounding four, a U.S. Embassy official said.

One round fell into the Embassy’s compound in the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. military said an explosion at the site was being investigated.

Embassy spokesman Bob Callahan confirmed the embassy had been hit in an attack and said there appeared to have been casualties, but could give no details.

The second official then confirmed that two had been killed and four injured.

They said things were going to get rough before the election. I guess they weren’t fooling around.

Included in the $80 billion Bush is about to ask for to continue this war is $1.5 billion to build a new embassy in Baghdad. That amount of money will build one heck of an embassy (provided Halliburton doesn’t get the contract). They shouldn’t be bombing any of our embassies, but if they bomb our new $1.5 billion embassy I think I’ll really get pissed.

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Employee rights

 Posted by at 05:04  Lifestyle
Jan 292005
 

I have always been of the opinion that what an employee does outside of work hours is none of the employer’s business. However, this article from The Los Angeles Times does raise some interesting questions…

Costs Make Employers See Smokers as a Drag

Employers have recently tried every carrot they can think of ? including cash incentives and iPods ? to persuade employees to quit smoking. Now some are trying the stick.

Pointing to rising health costs and the oversized proportion of insurance claims attributed to smokers, some employers in California and around the country are refusing to hire applicants who smoke and, sometimes, firing employees who refuse to quit.

These are not good times for smokers. Already, if you do want to smoke at work, you are forced out into the cold of winter or the heat of summer before you can light up. Now employers are saying you are not allowed to smoke even in your own home on your own time.

I can’t decide which side of this issue I should come down on.

What do you think? Is it right for employers to fire their employees who smoke or refuse to hire applicants who smoke? If employers are allowed to regulate this behavior, what behavior will be next on the list? Overweight people are also health risks. Will companies begin to fire and refuse to hire people who are more than five pounds over their ideal weight? Will it be right if they do?

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BlogAzoo update

 Posted by at 01:19  Weblogging
Jan 292005
 

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From an e-mail received from BlogAzoo admin:

I must say, this has been an AWESOME 36 hours! Over 300 new members in BlogAzoo thus far, with no sign of slowing down!

I want to be the first to say thank you to each and every one of you. Without your assistance and participation, none of this would be
possible. All of us here at BlogAzoo are impressed with the level of support you have offered us.

Ok, is everyone ready to start reading some exciting new Blogs? I hope so, as the surfing option will be LIVE within the next 2 hours.
Probably much sooner, as we only have a couple things to give the final once over prior to release.

If you haven’t signed up yet, now would be the time. I have a feeling this is going to be big.

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