Monday, May 30, 2005

What are they thinking, part 1

So exactly what was this mom thinking?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A mother faces criminal charges after she hired a stripper to dance at her 16-year-old son's birthday party. "I tried to do something special for my son, Pharris said. It didn't harm him."

About 10 people under the age of 18 were at the birthday party in September, including minors who were not related to the family, authorities said.
Pure stupidity. And it isn't bad enough she decides to take this action for her own son, but she made that decision in place of the family of 10 other kids. I wonder if they were as ok with it?

Did she have a keg too?

I know, let's go the distance next year and get the kid a hooker.....I mean if you're gonna show him the facts of life, you might as well go the distance.

And in my opinion, this really should be looked at further, because unless the stripper was blind, she *had* to know she had teens in her audience and she still took her clothes off and danced. So where are the charges against her? Isn't she just as culpable as the mom is?

It's a bloody epidemic. We have Michael Jackson sleeping with children, with their parents consent and blessings, apparently because innocent Michael would never harm them. No he just lets them look at his porn, and drink wine from soda cans. No harm there, right? The parents defending him just amaze me.

Mary Kay LeTourneau married her former student lover last week, in a million dollar ceremony underwritten by a TV show. She you may recall was the school teacher sentenced to 7 years in prison for child rape for having sex (and two children) with her student, starting at age 13. She was in her 30's, married and had children of her own already. Now, sentence served, she and her now 22 year old lover are the media darlings. How quickly rape becomes matrimony, as the victim marries the offender.

The TV show Nanny 911 shows many examples of parents who cannot parent, and on a TV talk show I once saw an incredibly obese 5 year old boy who's mother could not bear to see him hungry and continued to feed him into ever certain death.

Locally we had a 22 year old mother leave her 9 month old baby alone in a car while she went into an indian casino and gambled and drank, this on the hottest day in Seattle all year. Luckily, a security guard found the infant after he had been there about 90 minutes, so this wasn't a terminal ending.

But what happened next broadened the stupidity spotlight to include the authorities. Having found the crying infant, laying in soiled diapers, trapped in a boiling hot car, the responsible authorities....Just paged the mom in the casino. And after several attempts, she finally comes out and acts like its no big deal.

I can hear it...Will the owner of the child abandoned in the car...

Now this pisses me off. They paged the mom. And then what? Did they turn the kid over the social services? No. They gave him back to mommy. And all she faces is a misdemeanor child abandonment charge.

(Question for the reader...Had this been the childs father, a 22 year old man, would the results have been the same? Discuss....)

The real irony: She would face harsher charges had that been a dog she left in her car.

What happened to common sense? When did we leave it behind?

Lazarus Long said it best:

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Memorial Day

We went to visit Nancy's parents as they lay in rest at Mt Tahoma National Cemetery yesterday. Being Memorial Day Weekend, the place was of course decked out with flags and such.

Now I am not a big fan of cemeteries, but I admit the peaceful settings in this one are fairly awesome. It is set in a very natural environment, each section of plots separated by trees, and it is far enough from the city to be fairly quiet and serene.

Being a National Cemetery, the stones have that Arlington like similarity.(http://www.celtic-wolf.net/mainpages/image/PICT0052cropped.JPG)

The flags on each stone are placed there by a local Middle School. Each year they volunteer to come out, wash the stones off, and place a flag next to each one, as their way of thanking all the Veterans laying in rest here. I think it shows that an old fashioned type of respect still does exist in many places.

It seems that every day we read about some school changing things, removing flags, or portraits of presidents. The idea seems to permeate us that schools devalue military service and patriotism.

A Seattle High School PTSA recently voted to bar military recruiters from campus. Since the vote has no force other then advisory, in effect it had no weight and the district policy to allow recruiters on campus still is in effect, but the fact remains that this PTSA, one member most vocally, has seen fit to decide that military service is not acceptable for their children.

Watching a TV report, I watched as PTSA co-chair Amy Hagopian's (http://tinyurl.com/8ta27) continuously harangued a Marine Corps recruiter, constantly insisting he could just quit and walk away. She apparently has no clue what a military commitment entails.
Despite leading a protest at the local recruiting offices, she claimed on a radio that she has no beef against military and military service, and the majority of her complaints are concerning Iraq, more then the military in general. She focuses on complaints about targeting low income kids, instead of the rich politician's children. She also said:

Our P.T.A. has a mission to promote the welfare of children and youth and to support and speak out on their behalf. That's the mission of P.T.A.s everywhere in America. And we would encourage other P.T.A.s to act on behalf of their mission and also look seriously at the recruitment happening in their schools and the nature of that recruitment, the frequency, the intensity, and the hard pressure tactics.


On a couple points I will agree. First, military recruiters do use the hard sell sometimes, as do colleges and other recruiters. They have to. But illegal tactics should be dealt with and I will join anyone in condemning them. Lying recruiters should be in jail. Period. I also concede that statistically lower income kids are more likely to serve in the military. Its really a no brainer, since upper class kids have more money and more options. The military acts as a way for many kids to find training and a career they would not get elsewhere. But the complaints about war mongering and killing ignore a few facts.

First of all, the military also contributes to peaceful activities. The tsunami in Indonesia for example. I can list dozens humanitarian missions I helped support while active duty Air Force. The military has a wider variety of roles then war, and the 100 thousand plus in Iraq are only a percentage of the couple million active duty, reserve and national guard troops, so it also is not certain and guaranteed that any new enlistee will immediately go fight and die in Iraq. Even so, yes, the military does go to war, and wars kill people. The truth though, is even in times of peace, military people die each year in mishaps, accidents and other tragedies, and at a rate not far from the number of deaths in combat in Iraq.

The question of the rightness of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq is certainly debatable but the military still has a need even in peace.

Which rolls me back to Lester, my departed father in law. He served in the Pacific in World War II. His actions there, his sacrifices were a part of an effort to ensure peace and freedom in our country. It is ironic that that same freedom is now used to denounce the very military he served in.
So we went to Tahoma and placed flowers and a balloon on Lester's grave. Why? Because he earned the respect, the recognition, and the remembrance. And Mary, buried with him in this plot (military members and their spouses are buried together, her inscription is on the back of the stone) also served, working for Boeing in Seattle, not quite a Rosie the Riveter, but working on blueprints and such. To her, this day also belongs, so the flowers encircle the stone.

We did one other thing. The third stone from the right in this picture (http://www.celtic-wolf.net/mainpages/image/PICT0051cropped.JPG) is their's. In the row of ten they are in, only one other grave site had flowers on it. These other 8 people, all serving in various wars and services deserved some respect as well, and we left a flower on them all. If their loved ones come this weekend to place flowers of their own, let the flower we left, as well as the flags from those many children let them know that someone else remembered.

Let us never forget.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Border Patrol told to stand down in Arizona

Ain't this a pisser.... Excerpts from this article.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration.

Another agent said the Naco supervisors "were clear in their intention" to keep new arrests to an "absolute minimum" to offset the effect of the Minuteman vigil, adding that patrols along the border have been severely limited.

Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency's Washington headquarters called the accusations "outright wrong," saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station's 350 agents were being "supported in carrying out" their duties.

But Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.

All I will say is that of all the complaints I have about the present administration, one of the biggest ones I have is their lack of a serious plan to secure out borders.

And pardon me if I don't hold my breath in expectation of a better policy, or a correction to this crap.

Might as well just invite the terrorists in for tea.....most of em already have drivers licenses...

Monday, May 09, 2005

A liberating realization

The exchange with that liberal knee jerk specialist has been continuing, but I don't think I want to post any more about it.

I took a moment to email Goldy, the blog site host and express my apology for letting a group of comments get so out of hand.

Frankly looking at the other posts and comments, I was in a mild debate, by comparison, so I don't feel too bad.

But I also realized that I was finding a lot of value in the liberal blogs I have read, not that I plan to be a bleeding heart liberal any time soon.

What I noticed as I cruised the comments to Goldy's blogs, is that the sentiments expressed by my adversary 'C' were commonly expressed by most of the liberal defenders. The usage of "Wingnut" to label and marginalize the Christian and or conservatives was common. Wacko was another common term.

What I also noticed to my dismay is how many conservatives were also using the same foolish tactics, attacking Goldy for his views and attacking his defenders. Some I admit were eloquent, but most were simply annoying.

I have to retract part of what I said previously. I felt that the Liberals were more likely to resort to this, but sadly I was wrong. Both sides are about the same in that regard, with the only tangible difference being the extent of the insult. I still say liberals are more likely, by a small margin, to be insulting and use profanity, but only by that small margin.

Sadly its happening out in the real world as well. For every knee jerk accusation from one side, comes a counter form the other. Newtons law at work: For every liberal action is an equal and opposite conservative reaction and vice a versa. For every Al Franken and Randi Rhodes is a Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

I suddenly find myself in fairly uncharted territory.

I think I am turning into an independent moderate because the over use of rhetoric on both sides is starting to annoy me.

I find that while my preferences still lean me toward the right, I have to admit that some of the positions the right is taking are also becoming hard to support. So I find while I may support this or that candidate, or this or that issue, I will never be a hard line conservative.

And you know, I don't mind. I think one of the biggest problems with our two party system, is that both parties strategize how to be the opposite. Its a game of extreme polarity. And the trouble is that many of the issues being affected by this are not black and white issues.

I don't know whether this is really that big of a surprise. Its been slowly coming along.

All I know is while I examine what this means to me, and how this affects my world view, I will be renaming my Blog "Leaning Straight Up", as a testimony to the fact that I find myself leaning toward an independent moderate position rather then toward either of the polarized parties.

Dang, all that stationary to change......

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Why are liberals so rude?

Its a question that has bugged me for quite a while. Why do most liberals act so rudely? By rude, I tend to consider it rude when you resort to name calling or abusive language in the course of an otherwise normal discussion.

For example, Sen Reid, the senate Minority leader recently described Bush as "a loser" in a discussion in Las Vegas. Afterwards he apologized, so I suppose that is encouraging, but it again makes me wonder why name calling is appropriate in public discourse in the first place.

Granted, conservatives aren't blameless here, Ann Coulter has crossed that line in my opinion many times, and I would tell her the same thing.

But when so many more liberals resort to this, it makes me wonder. Is it simply that they have no foundation for their arguments, so they resort to a attack to defend type of position? Why do they (and Ann) not understand that any valid arguments get lost in translation, in a sense, when wrapped up in vicious rhetoric.

Another example, personal this time, happened when I posted a comment on a liberal blogger's column in regards to the Microsoft and Gleam issue. The author is a fairly vocal liberal blogger in the Seattle area. He posted his applause to Microsoft's change in positions. I posted a comment about my position that the legislation is less of an issue to me then keeping corporations out of government.

A person commented "Will anti-gay groups in the United States boycott Microsoft now? Probably. But these groups have already decided that they have no interest in being a major player in the 21st century. They’ve already made very clear decisions that teaching faith is more important than teaching science, while the rest of the world is going in the opposite direction and striving to become the world leaders in technology. "

Makes it fairly clear that he felt that most or all of the anti gay groups were fundamentalist christian.

Why he decided to insert evolution/creationism into a debate on gay rights, I dont know, but I fell for the 'lure' and made mention that "As for your complaints which you clearly direct at christians, I think your focus on evolution marks you somewhat. There is also something called intelligent design, and it supports both evolution and creationism. Look it up."

Better I had kept quiet. (Boy if I had a nickel for every time I have said that....)

So enter "c", who could be the original poster for all I know. He jumped in with this: There is also something called intelligent design, and it supports both evolution and creationism.igent design is just another wrapper for putting the Book of Gensis into science classrooms, i.e., killing science. The christian taliban hates science because it discredits their laughable superstition.

Comment by C — 5/7/05

(the missing words are the result of a design flaw in the comment page, not his ignorance...)

Feeling a tad offended by the "Christian Taliban" remark, I countered with this:

C,
Calling people who have a different faith presentation then you do the “christian taliban” is patently unfair.

I personally don’t feel threatened by evolution, since as a concept it is clearly true. The only issue between it and creationism is whether intelligent design caused it or if it was random.

An intelligent evaluation of the two positions is not that hard to do, and when done shows that evolution is not threatened by the concept of intelligent design, whether that intelligence is God or Aliens.

Personally I don’t worry about it. I can teach my children alternate viewpoints at home if I choose.

I do think the fact that children taught thusly are ridiculed in classrooms however, is another example of those demanding tolerance not giving it.

Leave people room to disagree, and find the common grounds. Leave the name calling to Ann Coulter and Michael Moore.

Comment by Karl — 5/7/05


I thought I was being fairly mellow.

Well, today I saw this response from C:

Calling people who have a different faith presentation then you do the "christian taliban" is patently unfair.not a matter of “faith presentation,” whatever that is. We have the christian taliban trying to put science and superstition on an equal plane. I’m calling a spade a spade. These people are bible-thumping wackos.

Calling people who have a different faith presentation then you do the ?christian taliban? is patently unfair.not a matter of “faith presentation,” whatever that is. We have the christian taliban trying to put science and superstition on an equal plane. I’m calling a spade a spade. These people are bible-thumping wackos.

An intelligent evaluation of the two positions is not that hard to do, and when done shows that evolution is not threatened by the concept of intelligent design, whether that intelligence is God or Aliens.led “intelligent design” is nothing more than superstition in new clothing. If you want to go to church and pray to it, fine. But keep your religion out of science classes. It doesn’t belong there.

Personally I don?t worry about it. I can teach my children alternate viewpoints at home if I choose.s right, and I wouldn’t challenge your right to turn your children into bible-thumping idiots if that’s what you want to do. I’m confident that, if you do a good job of it, I will run into them someday in the future. They were be standing behind a counter, wearing a hairnet, asking me if I’d like fries with that Coke. Just keep your superstitions out of the public schools.

I do think the fact that children taught thusly are ridiculed in classrooms however, is another example of those demanding tolerance not giving it.as nothing to do with tolerance. You and your fellow christian wingnut wackos want to inject superstition into the science curriculum. You are no different than the Catholic church in the 16th century.

Comment by C — 5/7/05 11:04 pm


My final comment was:

C,

Thanks for proving my point so effectively.

Why is it liberals must resort to cheap shot arguments? The only reasonable explanation, is that you have no valid position, so you attack as a defense.

At no time in any of this did I resort to any vitriol or name calling, yet you, knowing nothing about me, called me a “christian wingnut wacko”insinuate that I am part of the “Christian Taliban”, insist I want to turn my children into “bible-thumping idiots” the further insult my children’s learning potential by insisting they “will be standing behind a counter, wearing a hairnet, asking me if I’d like fries with that Coke”.

My son is a Freshman at Sacramento State and my daughter is an honor student at her High School, because I taught them to think intelligently by examining all data based on its merits, using logic not stereotypes, and not to respond to honest discussions with ad hominem personal attacks, insults and knee jerk arguments.

Pity they understand what honest debate is and you don’t.

I try to support mutual understanding and moderation, you just want hate and stereotypes. Have fun, you are no longer worth my time to respond to, unless you have some honest issue to discuss. If I want vitriol, I have Al Franken, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore. I don’t need it here.

Between the two of us, its you who is the bigot, not me.


****

I think that makes my feelings fairly clear. This guy feels its ok to insult me, and my children, so he can denounce my 16th century stupidity. And exactly how does he figure this will help anything? Its so stupid and prejudicial.

I admit in the past I have been a hothead, and I credit the more moderate approach I try to use now to the influence of many people I debate with on the DADL-OT list who have shown me by example a better way to exchange ideas.

We still disagree and even argue occasionally, but none of them has felt the need to call my kids losers.

A big difference...and one I am more grateful for everyday.

By the way, it seems to me that The Taliban should be added to Godwins law, as they are effectively the modern Nazi's.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Diversity right now, Dammit Redux.......

Last month I posted Diversity right now, Dammit! , my personal take on controversy surrounding Microsoft's refusal to endorse HB1515, a Washington State legislative bill concerning discrimination of gays.

I noted then that "The company already offers protection for "gender identity and expression" and that "they were one of the first Corporations to extend benefits to same sex domestic partners".

It seemed to me, that Microsoft had proven its position on equality in the workplace quite well.

I was also, I noted, happy to see Microsoft not taking a stand on a social legislative issue. I felt keeping businesses out of the government was a good thing.

Well, Microsoft endured a backlash from all manner of people, mostly because they were accused of caving in to a local congregation led by a nationally anti-gay rights activist. And the backlash apparently worked.

Steve Ballmer announced the following:

"After looking at the question from all sides, I've concluded that diversity in the workplace is such an important issue for our business that it should be included in our legislative agenda. Since our beginning nearly 30 years ago, Microsoft has had a strong business interest in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest and most diverse workforce possible. I'm proud of Microsoft's commitment to non-discrimination in our internal policies and benefits, but our policies can't cover the range of housing, education, financial and similar services that our people and their partners and families need. Therefore, it's appropriate for the company to support legislation that will promote and protect diversity in the workplace."

They caved.

I guess maybe they had to, the gay lobby beat them pretty hard according to articles. In one example:

"In late April, Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, asked Microsoft to return a civil rights award the group had given the company four years ago. "

Maybe that was the kicker, who knows? Can't lose our civil rights awards.

One thing that kills me is all the critics condemned MS for caving to a religious group, and those same groups are rejoicing now that MS has caved in to a social lobby. I guess it just depends on who you cave in to.

But the real issue, which is being swept under the media rug, is Should a business be lobbying for social legislation in the first place?

To me the answer is an obvious no. A corporation should keep its paychecks out of government business. We hear the accusations all the time, Republicans and Big Business, Republicans support Corporate America over the citizen, Corporate lobbyists sway the government...a google search of Republicans and big business got me 205k hits. The liberals love to dance this one around.

Once again the pot calls the kettle black. In this case liberal civil rights groups doesn't mind a big business lobbying the government, because it favors them.

All I know is that I am disappointed. I thought Microsoft had taken a balanced and reasoned approach and made a good choice.

Granted the damage to HB 1515 is done, it failed by one vote. Ironically, the reports that Microsoft "withdrew" its support are false anyway, near as I can tell, aside from two employees testimony, Microsoft never did support it.

And really there isn't much in there I would not support, at least based on a quick look, though I there are a few things that concern me.

But next year, or later this year, it will be back, this time with its corporate big brother. And it will likely pass.

And now that Microsoft has visibly given in to the gay lobby, can we expect Microsoft to lobby for other gay rights, such as Marriage? The lobby has seen its power work. It has a patron and it will try to use it again.

Maybe I am sour graping this to death. Could be.

But honestly, after seeing Microsoft face down the Federal Government and the European Union in their lawsuits, I didn't expect them to flinch when GLEAM got mad.

The squeaky wheel truly does get the grease....

My Bottom Line:

The farther we keep Corporations away from Government, the better I like it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cancer and Answered Prayers II

Yesterday I posted a letter from my brother in law Steve, detailing what the prayers for him as he deals with cancer have meant to him, and how he views his struggle.

Today, I'm sending a letter to Steve, sharing the response to his email. I'll hold back names for privacy sake, and just use initials or something. I hope no one minds.

Why do it? Because this is a chance for people to understand a larger issue here. Its a chance to understand the power of hope, prayer and faith. Its an opportunity to see the benefit of something as small as a prayer. And its a chance to consider how God responds.

And its important to let him know that his thanks were heard, and not only heard, they were inspiring.

The one that really illustrates what I wanted to accomplish was from DT:

Thanks for posting this. It helps. I just found out today that the husband of a really dear friend has bone and kidney cancer. Sometimes you wonder why the hell you pray at all. This helps some.

I think that was exactly what I wanted to show...that there is a benefit for all the prayers we offer, even when we don't see it. And as often as not, it isn't in the form we expect.

If his letter reminds people prayers work, Steve by his simple letter alone will have had a much farther reaching impace then he could imagine.

Not everyone will be spared from cancer or illness simply because of prayer, its a sad fact.

Sometimes the answer is no.

But that does not mean their life ceases to have meaning and value. It does not mean they have to die broken and lifeless.

It does not mean that some value cannot spring from it, particularly if it be a family reunited and unified.

Sometimes the small comforts are all we have.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Cancer and answered prayers.

This blog is a personal one. Those seeking witty political banter, seek elsewhere.

Cancer. I hate the word and I hate the disease. I lost my step mother to cancer, my mother has cancer as does my brother in law Steve. My father in law survived cancer twice, and my mother law once. Both died recently from other issues.

Why is it cancer is so common in our lives. This disease, this wasting hideous affliction pops up in the healthiest people. It follows no rules, and even with all our medical science accomplishments, we can remove it and stop it, but imperfectly. It still kills.

Which leads me to prayer, the real reason I am here. You see, when Steve found out he had lung cancer, I immediately cast a prayer request to my friends and associates on the web. Its a great feeling of comfort to me to know you all were interceding with God on his behalf.

But aside from some kind of unspecific comfort, I had no idea how it affected him.

Today I found out. For all of you who opened your hearts to a faceless cancer patient in Georgia, this is for you, with our thanks.

From Steve:

".....Back to my main point. I was about to retire from Senior Connections at the end of December with a treasure chest full of ideas about a consulting practice and university faculty assignment that I was about to implement. And then I got the news about the lung cancer…sins I was paying for even though I quit smoking 25 years earlier. My first experience was that I was not in control, not even of my own body. I found that I was second guessing every ache and pain and wondering what it meant. Was it a further sign of cancer?

Then two close friends, who were both cancer survivors, reminded me, through their own struggles, that I had forgotten something really important. I could turn around and face the cancer and not let it destroy me. It might kill me, but it was my decision whether or not I would be a victim to it. So I made a decision to fight it without feeling sorry for myself and without it becoming my daemon. I also decided to do as many of the things that I could regarding my new thrust in life.

I can’t lie and say that I succeeded all the time and there were many occasions when I took comfort from a loving and supportive wife. But as word got out about my condition and I heard from friends and family (This is where you come in!) and felt their support and learned of their prayers, I felt called out.

I was not only fighting cancer, but also doing it for all the persons who prayed for me and wished me well. God sometimes answers prayers of intercession in indirect ways. It was now not only important that I not be a victim, but that I also not become a victim for those who were interceding for me.

It struck me that the world, and, in particular, the people in my world, did not need another example of someone destroyed by anger or remorse because the chips did not fall their way. As a result I have taken great comfort in your support and you have helped more than you realize.

So, regardless of the outcome, I have you and many others to thank for reminding me of what really matters in life…isn’t that the cure and God’s answer to your prayers?"

Thanks again and Love,

Steve

Job thoughts and breaking news

How fun is that? You go to work day after day, do your job well and they suddenly, one fine day your job is over....and you knew it was coming the whole time, in fact you knew from the day you got it. And so you leave, and file for unemployment while searching for a new job....but wait! 100 magical days later, you could start the same job all over again...

Well, that's the fun of contract employment at Microsoft...well to be fair, its almost anywhere, not just Microsoft.

Here is how we got in this mess: Back in 1992, Microsoft had what people called "permatemps. temporary employees who worked long term contracts, as in years long term. But since they were paid through a staffing agency, no benefits, no stock options, no stock purchase plan. So a bunch of these people who felt they were being taken advantage of sued. Jump to 2000, and Microsoft settles the lawsuit and changes the rules. Now, among other changes, all Temporary contracts have to be 1 year or less in duration, with a 100 day break in between.

So why is this an issue? Since I left Boeing in 1999 (layoff) I have worked solidly in the computer industry. I have worked in 6 positions.

Of the six, 5 were in vender or contractor positions. Of the six, 5 were at or for Microsoft.

Now I don't blame the industry for using the temp system. It makes financial sense, and they do have stockholders to answer to. The system offers them a quicker and easier way to respond to changing needs. It even offers them a kind of safety net to screen potential new hires without actually hiring them.

Its the way it is up here. While MS is certainly not the only show in town, they are without a doubt the biggest dog in town. When I started my IT roller coaster in 1999, most companies were hiring through staffing agencies, including hospitals, financial organizations and of course, MS and the other software/Dot Com companies.

The "100 days out" is a universally accepted fact. Even at my one non MS position at the University of Washington Medical Center, I was on contract facing either a 100 day out or the end of the contract.

In a few weeks I start what I hope is my last contract position, a 90 temp to hire position with a small company in Kirkland, whose current 300 member staff plans to triple by years end.

The job offers me a chance to get in early on a growing company and perhaps give me more opportunity then any position I have had. The pay and benefits are on par with my current contract position. The work will be a blend of technical investigation and Customer service in support of a billing and contact system. My favorite blend.

The strange irony here is that the contract position I am leaving is now my safety net.

You see, if the 90 probationary period doesn't work out for me, my 100 days out will be done, and my contract employer has made it clear he wants me back after the 100 days, if I am available.

Its a twisted kind of fall back position, but one my present manager is comfortable with. As he put it today when I gave him my early notice, " ya gotta do what ya have to to survive, and take the opportunities the system gives you".

Even so.

So, instead of facing 100 days of unemployment insurance, and no benefits, I will be working at normal pay and benefits, and I will have the chance to prove myself in an environment of fast growth and potential advancement.

But I take nothing for granted here, pride and overconfidence were ever my downfall.

If I fail in this, it will not be for lack of opportunity. It will be because I failed myself.

Yes, indeed I have a safety net....I just hope not to need it.

Either way I am blessed.

Kyrie, Eleison;
Christe, Eleison;
Kyrie, Eleison

Monday, May 02, 2005

Randi Rhodes II - Not her first time?

I caught a blog today by the RadioEqualizer, Brian Maloney, a former Seattle radio host who was fired over his criticism of Dan Rather.

He had this to say about Rhodes and the ad:
Did Randi Rhodes threaten the President again? Was it
real, or another desperate stunt to gain attention for a failing
network?

-snip-

Last year, Rhodes did something similar and while opinions differed on what exactly she said and meant, there's no question she's been crossing the line.
Curious, I found out what she said in 2004:
For those of you who missed it (and I'm sure most of you did), here is Air America's Randi Rhodes, from yesterday's program, comparing George W. Bush to Fredo Corleone. She's openly lamenting that Poppy or Jeb hasn't taken the president on a "fishing" trip, and blown his brains out. Give it a listen. Does this qualify as "hate radio"?
A partial transcript:
"The Fredo of the family is the president of the United States, so why doesn't his father take him, or his brother, one of them, take him out for a little, uh, fishing? You know, let him say some Hail Marys, he loves God so much. Yeah, take him out, you know, 'Hail Mary, full of grace, God is with thee' -- POW! Works for me."
Again not a real tangible threat, but insulting to many, least of all catholics since Bush isnt one but she references Hail Mary's. At the very least she shows a disdain of religious people, and thats not very fair either.

I don't see the benefit of insulting Bush for having faith. Like it or not, a lotof people, liberal and conservative believe in God.

I also wonder, had a conservative host done that bit using the Kennedy's, who are incidentally Catholic, would they be as easily forgiven for 'free speech'?

So maybe my respect for her is not as complete now as it was, since she seems to have a pattern here....

I have to wonder now: was its a calculated, or honest apology she gave last week