Monthly Archives: November 2007

Merry Christmas, Staff Sergeant

I completely and bitterly oppose the war in Iraq.

I completely and warmly admire and respect the soldiers who serve there.

A former coworker’s son is currently leading a platoon of 30 guys in Iraq. She’s a single mom, and he’s her only child. She hasn’t seen him in, I think, nearly two years; they communicate whenever possible by email. This soldier’s mom opposes the war but, needless to say, supports any and all efforts to lend comfort and support to those who serve. She’s taken it upon herself to organize regular mailings of snacks, magazines, and other goodies to her son’s platoon members, some of whom receive no mail otherwise.

With Christmas approaching, she learned that some of the soldiers also receive no gifts, cards, or any other recognition of the holiday. And, of course, it’s a difficult day for the entire platoon, so far from home and family. So, she asked her friends to consider providing a Christmas box for a platoon member, to ensure that all the guys would experience some holiday cheer.

In the best and most magical of all worlds, I’d love to be able to transport the entire platoon here to my house and cook them Christmas dinner. I can’t begin to describe how much I’d enjoy having a house full of big, hungry guys who haven’t had home-cooked food in many months — I do so love to provide people with happiness and support in the form of food. Transport technology not being up to speed yet, I was delighted to temporarily adopt a soldier for the Christmas mailing. He’s 28, a Staff Sergeant, and the platoon artillery expert. That’s all I know.

My friend asked that we include for each soldier a $10 iTunes card, a pocket knife, a 6″ Mag flashlight, snacks, and a personal gift from us. The US Postal Service provides flat-rate boxes that you can stuff with whatever will fit and mail in the US or to soldiers for $8.95. The box measured 13.625″ x 11.875″ x 3.375. Fortunately I love to shop and to hunt for items that meet a specific purpose, and I’m also a past master at fitting a whole lot into a small space thanks to years of filling Christmas stockings. I had a wonderful time shopping for my soldier and then putting together the packing puzzle. When my box was full, it weighed 9-1/2 pounds. Here’s what was in it:

https://i2.wp.com/farm3.static.flickr.com/2181/2033659481_2b50f92613.jpg

(Actually, not all the items from all the snack boxes at the back fit, but I managed to squeeze in some of each.)

I also got a funny Christmas card, printed out some pictures of my family and our pets, and wrote the Staff Sergeant about who we are and where we live. I tried to express to him our respect and appreciation for all he’s doing. I hope he’ll write back.

Too many soldiers in Iraq and other places receive no mail and will get nothing for Christmas. If you know someone serving in harm’s way, you may be able to get the name of someone you could mail to, and thereby make a big difference in that soldier’s life. Or, you can go to sites like AnySoldier.com and TreatAnySoldier.com to find soldiers who need our support; the sites describe in detail what the soldiers want and need, and how/when/where you can send care packages and letters.

Merry Christmas, Staff Sergeant. Stay safe. I hope you and your comrades come home soon.

Advertisements

no surprise here

Whattya know? I’m a member of the liberal elite! 🙂

 

 

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Take the quiz at
www.FightConservatives.com

 

I found this quiz via Thud. Unlike some such quizzes, this one came up with a startlingly accurate result — plus it included a question about bumper stickers, which is always a plus in my book…

icky beyond all belief

I heard about this on the BBC world news on NPR this morning, and sure enough, it appears to be the real thing. Sometimes there isn’t much to say besides “Ewwwwwww!”

https://i2.wp.com/www.solarnavigator.net/music/music_images/Paris_Hilton_hairband_earrings.jpgUsed condoms that have been reprocessed into rubber bands and hair ties have been sold in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, raising concerns about public health.

In addition to being sold at local bazaars, the recycled condoms have been found at local beauty salons in the prosperous Pearl River Delta city, according to Guangzhou-based New Express Daily.

“These cheap and colorful rubber bands and hair ties sell well in the city, threatening the health of local people and tourists,” the paper said.

Local doctors have warned that using these rubber bands could lead to the spread of AIDS, genital warts and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“There are a lot of bacteria and viruses on the rubber bands and hair ties made from used condoms,” a dermatologist at the Guangzhou Hospital of Armed Police, who asked to be identified by his surname Dong, said.

“People could be infected with AIDS, warts or other diseases if they hold the rubber bands or strings in their mouths while weaving their hair into plaits or buns,” Dong was quoted as saying by the paper.

Chen Wenlan, a resident of Dongguan, said she was disgusted when she discovered that the rubber bands a local beauty salon had given her last week were made of recycled condoms.

Chen, a local white-collar worker, is a frequent customer of local beauty salons.

“Many of my friends have not yet heard the news. And it is really terrible,” Chen said.

A bag of 10 recycled hair ties costs only 25 fen at local markets, which is much less than the normal rate for such products, the paper said.

Many sellers have refused to reveal where they got their products and whether they had been made from recycled condoms, saying it was commercial secret.

But insiders said some of the rubber bands and hair ties could have been made from imported overseas rubbish. Local entertainment venues were also said to have contributed condoms.

The recycled goods have also been found in bazaars in Guangzhou’s Baiyun and Panyu districts, according to New Express Daily.

An official from the Guangzhou administration of industry and commerce said it was against the law to make or sell goods made from used condoms.

The administration will punish those who have broken the rules.

(China Daily November 13, 2007)

that’s what I like to see

Courtesy of the fine folks at Gallup, a graph depicting a president who is totally tanking in the popularity and effectiveness departments:

https://i2.wp.com/media.gallup.com/poll/graphs/20071106_Bush_Approval_Chart_1rev.gif

Oooh, wait, this one’s even better!

https://i0.wp.com/media.gallup.com/poll/graphs/20071106_Bush_Approval_Chart_2rev.gif

Here’s Gallup’s bottom line on their poll results (bold mine):

President Bush has maintained a relatively high degree of support among members of his own party, but among the large group comprising the almost two-thirds of Americans who disapprove of his performance as president, attitudes are intensely negative. Half of all Americans, and 78% of those who disapprove of Bush’s performance as president, say they “strongly” disapprove.

I heard him on the radio yesterday talking about Pakistan, and I swear he sounded like a second-grader trying to imitate a grown-up. No words of more than two syllables, spoken in his squeaky, no-ending-consonants, I-skipped-the-Toastmasters-course-and anyway-I’m-confused-because-nobody-likes-me-any-more style.

Pardon me while I shake my head in disgust and say “I told you so…”

worth the cost? not even remotely close.

From the American Friends Service Committee’s Wage Peace campaign.

https://i1.wp.com/www.afsc.org/cost/images/money.jpg https://i1.wp.com/www.afsc.org/cost/images/schools.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/www.afsc.org/cost/images/teachers.jpg https://i1.wp.com/www.afsc.org/cost/images/headstart.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/www.afsc.org/cost/images/healthcare.gif https://i2.wp.com/www.afsc.org/cost/images/healthcarekids.jpg