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Updated: 02/13/03

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"Daughter of the Queen of Sheba"
by Jacki Lyden



Thursday, 13 February, 2003

Bone-headed Move #1. Yesterday morning I caught a cab to Philly International for my flight to Columbus, Ohio. It's on Useless Air, which means that the check-in lines are hideously long. "Ha-ha," says I, heading for the E-ticket check-in kiosks. I put my credit card in. It says it needs more information: flight number, Dividend Miles number, reservation number. I check my itinerary and enter the flight number. No dice. I pull up my Dividend Miles number and punch it in. Nyet.

OK, NOW I'm getting pissed off. I reach for my ticket jacket with the printed flight info and am just about to call over the ticket agent when I realize . . .

. . . I have a REAL ticket. Oops. I sheepishly take my bags and head up to security, which is where . . .

Bone-headed Move #2 occurs. I remove the jacket, scarf, shoes, laptop, electronic gadgets, cell-phone, and keys, and put everything through the scanner. No problem. I redress and repack and take my stuff to the gate to wait. I brought my bills and outgoing mail with me, figuring I would write checks and such while waiting in the terminal and mail them before I left. As I am doing this, I realize that I have forgotten to tape up a little package for my Mom that I was going to send to her. I had meant to tape it the night before and drop it in the mailbox on my way out the door, but I forgot.

The package? It was a CORKSCREW. And not even the twisty kind, but the one with the BLADE-LIKE PRONGS and the big honking METAL GRIP.

[Wow. I feel so much better now that airport security has been beefed up, what with the Code Orange Alert status we're under.]

Anyway, we made it to Columbus, which has the enviable ability to make Philadelphia feel warm in comparison. I made Andrew promise that he wouldn't let me return to the airport until I had mailed off the terrorist implement to Mom.

I promised the kiddies a souvenir, so here ya go:

Columbus Skyline

Guys, don't be trying to fool me with all that chivalry stuff. Now we KNOW what you really think: (Via Juan Gato)

At a recent meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, (William) Altermatt reported research showing that men who supported chivalry also generally believed that women are not as competent and powerful as men and that their place is in the home.

In one study, 201 college students (66% male) completed questionnaires about their beliefs on chivalry and attitudes toward women.

Responses revealed a clear association between chivalry and sexist beliefs, a link that is based on stereotypes, Altermatt and colleagues found.

Umm, excuse me? You asked 133 male college students what they thought and are now trying to tell us that it means something? Let me highlight the important phrase here:


Ya know, if I were you, I would wait a few years until these guys have a few other things on their minds (aside from the obvious) and then test them again. I have found that the motivations of male college students are nearly always different than actual adults. Then again, maybe I'm wrong, and the men that hold doors open for me are convinced that I am not competent enough to do so on my own.

[In which case . . . keep it up!]

You knew THIS would happen:

Lawsuit Challenges Bush Authority on Iraq

BOSTON - A group of U.S. soldiers, parents of soldiers and six U.S. House members filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday seeking to stop the president from launching a war against Iraq without a declaration of war from Congress.

Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit say a resolution passed by Congress in October did not specifically declare war and unlawfully ceded the decision to Bush.

OK, I actually don't have a real problem with the concept. Fine, file away, it's been done before and it won't do anything because the President went to Congress for authorization and got it.

The comment I don't like is this one:

One of the plaintiffs, Nancy Lessin, said the people planning the war aren't facing the possibility their loved ones will be killed. She said she has 25-year-old twin stepsons, one of whom is in the Marines.

"We'd like to challenge George Bush to send one of his twins to war. Then let's have a discussion about whether or not we should go to war," she said. The president has 21-year-old twin daughters.

Last time I looked, there wasn't a draft going on. Ms. Lessin's stepson is in the Marines because he chooses to be there. And I do believe that the Marines are pretty up front about what they are there to do. Let's check, shall we? Ah yes, here it is - straight off the "About The Marines" page at Marines.com:

Marines are warriors. Comprised of smart, highly adaptable men and women, the Marine Corps serves as the aggressive tip of the U.S. military spear. Ours is a smaller, more dynamic force than any other in the American arsenal, and the only forward-deployed force designed for expeditionary operations by air, land, or sea. It is our size and expertise that allow us to move faster. Working to overcome disadvantage and turn conflict into victory, we accomplish great things, and we do so together.

In the Marine Corps, there is a motto that describes our commitment to each other, our organization, and our country. It is Semper Fidelis or "Semper Fi." Translated from Latin, it means "Always Faithful."

These are the folks that put as one of their core values a 24-hour-a-day dedication to the Corps and country. It doesn't say, "As long as my MOM agrees." It also says zip about dedication to anyone else's country, and it's certainly not written in French and German.

The snippy little suggestion that the President would feel differently if one of his daughters was in the service is, in fact, true. He WOULD feel differently. If he didn't, there would be something really wrong with him. But I wouldn't expect him to ACT differently. If his daughter was in the service, she would be there because she chose to, and because she made a committment to her service and to her country.

~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"Commitment means that it is possible for a man to yield the nerve center of his consent to a purpose or cause, a movement or an ideal, which may be more important to him than whether he lives or dies."

-- Howard Thurman (1900 - 1981) US educator, theologian

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