Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas

I’d like to wish each and every one of you a wonderfully merry Christmas and marvelous new year! As I look back on 2007 one of the things I will most remember is the renewing of old friendships, just as others seem to be drifting apart. I hope that 2008 will be a time of restoring bonds with those who make our lives so much fuller and richer simply by being near.

Much love to my partner, parents and friends. And to all, be safe this holiday season.

Full Circle

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When I began this website nearly 4 years ago, I did so in the midst of an 18 month wasteland of unemployment. It was a tough go. The economy was still reeling from 9/11 and the air had been sucked out of Silicon Valley’s sails. Sure there was the odd job here and there, but nothing permanent, or remotely secure.

Now we are hitting the end of 2007 and Christmas is nearly upon us. It is a time of merriment and good cheer, of spending time with family and friends. It also happens to be a popular time to lay people off.

Unfortunately the company I worked at for over two years sent me packing last week. It didn’t completely surprise me… there had been a gradually decreasing amount of work and an uncertain recovery from a failed merger several months before. But I suspect like most people I find that the timing really pisses me off. How about we move the end of the fiscal year til spring? That way any need to compensate for year-end losses will fall long after the holiday season is over. Sounds sensible to me. Who do I call?

In any event the job quest begins anew. For now the wasteland is no where to be seen. But I suspect it sits just over the horizon. Just out of view.

Until next time…

Senator Biden? You Got My Attention!

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After watching the Democratic Debate last week I thought it was Biden who made the most of what little time he was given. His foreign policy remarks were dead on, and considering today’s events in Pakistan, all the more relevant. Below are two clips from the debate regarding Pakistan, followed by the first few paragraphs from a BBC news report on today’s events in Pakistan… Scary.

[flvplayer /video/biden_debate.flv 440 330]

“Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf has declared emergency rule and suspended the country’s constitution.

He defended his actions in a national address, saying he was curbing a rise in extremism in Pakistan.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has been replaced and the Supreme Court surrounded by troops, who also entered state-run TV and radio stations.

The moves come as the Supreme Court was due to rule on the legality of Gen Musharraf’s October election victory.”

More from the BBC…

I’ll have a large popcorn, diet coke, and some propaganda please!

entertainment, politics 4 Comments »

Tonight we saw Michael Clayton, an excellent but mildly predictable drama with great performances by George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson. Check it out before it leaves your local cineplex.

Prior to the movie we got to watch the lovely little piece of propaganda below:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Created as a promotional piece for the National Guard (note the logo in the lower right), this slick, big-budget music video with Hollywood production values is currently playing at movie theaters everywhere, and is obviously targeting those who spend the most time at the movies… teenage males. The piece reeked of MTV and video games, and not in a good way. The video frequently cuts back and forth between natural disasters, the Revolutionary War, and what appears to be Iraq, and throws in a 9/11 reference for good measure. What a surprise that was. Well, not really. I expected to see it 15 seconds in.

For the record I support the troops. I will always support the troops that serve honorably here and abroad. And in part this little diddy pays tribute to those who have served, or at least I think so. But I certainly question the timing, the method of execution and the intentions behind it. War is a dirty business. Not some video game. Not an episode of American Idol. And this war in Irag is made even dirtier by those who were hell bent on going to war since arriving in office. Granted propaganda has been around as long as man has taken up arms. But in a war worth fighting (WW II comes to mind) the propaganda then seems somehow more palatable (if not always pleasant or right).

I hope teens (who I hope are smarter than I sometimes give them credit for) will see this video for what it is. A slick sales pitch designed to glamorize war, and suck them into the quagmire that is Iraq.

Wars are only glamorous (and profitable) to those who wage them, not to those who fight them.