Saturday, November 06, 2004

Bush Vows to Reach Out to Democrats

Bush Vows to Reach Out to Democrats


WASHINGTON - President Bush is striking twin themes for a second term, vowing to fight hard for his political agenda while reaching across the aisle to Democrats.

"Americans are expecting bipartisan effort and results," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address. "My administration will work with both parties in Congress to achieve those results, and to meet the responsibility we share."

Offering some words of conciliation, he said Republicans and Democrats can agree to aggressively pursue the war on terror, with every citizen having a stake in the outcome.
The challenge to working together, Bush suggested, will come on the domestic front.

"We must confront the junk and frivolous lawsuits that are driving up the cost of health care and hurting doctors and patients," he said. "We must continue to work on education reform to bring high standards and accountability, not just to elementary schools, but to the high schools as well."

Democrats challenge Republican claims that frivolous lawsuits are on the rise and have successfully blocked reforms in Congress. Doctors say ballooning malpractice insurance rates are a problem nationwide, and physicians have staged protests or walkouts in several states.

Lawsuit reform was a major issue in the presidential campaign, with Bush bringing it up daily in his speeches, focusing on the fact that Kerry running mate John Edwards was a trial lawyer who sued doctors.

Bush's proposed education reforms may meet the same criticism that he faced in his first term with the No Child Left Behind Act: a good idea that was insufficiently funded by the administration and Congress.

The president stressed another issue with skepticism at home and abroad, promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Those goals are "the alternatives to tyranny and terror," he said.

Bush also promised to take on the special interest-clogged issue of reforming the tax code, a step he said the nation must take to get rid of needless paperwork and to make the economy more competitive.

He also committed his administration in its second term to altering the Social Security system, which he has said must be addressed by allowing taxpayers to invest part of their Social Security contributions in private accounts if they wish.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Laura's Weekly E-Blast , 11/03/04

Laura's Weekly E-Blast
November 3, 2004

Reagan is Smiling

One of the most absurd theories being peddled to explain the victory of George W. Bush is that John Kerry "didn't have the charisma" needed to sell his vision to the people. Charisma was the least of Kerry's problems. Other Democratic strategists (the same ones who predicted a huge pro-Kerry youth vote) are scratching their heads over the Bush victory. They say they understand that voters think values are important. But, remember, the Kerry/Pelosi/Schumer Democratic Party still thinks their values are squarely in the mainstream!

Let this be clear: this election is a reaffirmation of Ronald Reagan--his hopefulness, his vision, and his adherence to the conservative values that rescued the Republican Party from its political exile. After the celebrating, President Bush must get down to the hard work of achieving conservative goals. Doing this will expand the Republican majority not shrink it. As we beat back the terror threat around the globe, President Bush needs to offer further support for the culture of life, advance meaningful tax reform, and enforce our national borders for cultural and security reasons.

Over the past year, we saw the political left throw everything it had against President Bush--ginned up talk of a military draft, lies about what happened at Tora Bora, phony National Guard documents, even blame for flu shot shortages. The elites in the "old media", academia, Hollywood, the Soros' billionaires club, and the EU were all pushing for John Kerry all the way. With all this, the Democrats still couldn't win. James Carville conceded that "the party needs to reassess where it is....They're going to asking themselves from tough questions."

In Shut Up & Sing, I wrote about the dynamic that we saw play in this election--the elites versus Americans. In the end, the latter will always win out. They find inspiration in Al Franken. We find inspiration in Tommy Franks. They admire Michael Moore. We admire Mel Gibson. We believe in partial privatization of Social Security. They believe in partial birth abortion. They think: "In Kofi we Trust." We think "In God We Trust." They pray for an opening at Spago. We pray for an opening in Heaven.

TIME magazine's "Person of the Year" should be "The Voters." They spoke. Are the elites listening?

Monday, November 01, 2004

Manners & Online Etiquette

Source: Etiquette Ladies

Going where no manners have gone before

By Lewena Bayer & Karen Mallett

Email is not an excuse for ignoring people or avoiding face-to-face conversation.

When it comes to customer service, nothing replaces face-to-face communication. A phone call is most often better than an email. A formal copy, received by mail is most often preferable to a copy sent by fax and a voice mail is still more personal than an email.

The term Netiquette - modern guidelines for communicating effectively on the internet. As always, the etiquette ladies suggest that preparation and knowledge is fundamental to presenting yourself properly. Accordingly, when it comes to cyberspace - you can't fake it! If you expect respect from your cyber peers, make sure you do your homework. If you don't know that a "portal" is a byway website that connects to affiliated and related link sites and you presume that it's an underwater window on a cruise ship, don't be surprised others don't ask your opinion when it comes to discussing broadband applications. Incidentally, broadband applications don't include either the Dixie Chicks or Spice Girl sites.

When it comes to salutations, adhere to the normal guidelines for business correspondence. When in doubt, use formal salutations, typically the sender will let you know if they prefer you address them as Ms. Instead of Miss or by their first name instead of by their formal name. Pay attention to how a sender refers to himself or herself, for example, if they list their title, you might be wise to list their title when you address a note to them.

The key with returning emails is to copy or quote enough of the original message in your reply to reiterate the subject and indicate an understanding of the content.

You should be sure to check your email at least twice a day. At the very least, it makes good sense to check when you arrive at work and when you leave.

If you rely on your website as a marketing tool and you expect to garner new business through visitations, keep it updated. Simply programming the Update calendar date to change automatically will fool a few people some of the time but regular clients will catch on in a hurry.

If you "borrow" information off someone else's page, give them credit for it.

If you're using your email for work purposes, don't open and or read other people's mail if you're networked. Try not to read over their shoulder and keep your web surfing to business related issues. Researching your summer vacation spot on company time may get you an extended holiday.

When choosing email addresses for work purposes, keep the address professional. It's pretty hard to take an investment broker seriously when their email address is loaded@$

If you're sending "Spam" or unsolicited newsletters or any other unrequested information, always give the recipient the option to opt out or go to the site and be taken off your mailing list.

When sending attachments, call ahead and make sure that the recipient's computer is compatible and that the message can be received.

Source: Talk Talk Talk August 2004

What ARE 'Good Manners'?
by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach & Consultant

Interesting question, isn't it? In the Age of Rudeness, we may be losing touch with what etiquette and good manners are all about. In fact there may be those among us who haven't experienced it. According to a recent survey, more than 50% of Americans are concerned about the growing rudeness in the U. S.

We assault each other more all the time with upsetting noises, sights, sounds, smells, and attitude. It's getting to where we need to protect ourselves from one another! Maybe it's getting a little too wild out there.

Good manners are, first of all, civilized behavior. That's as opposed to wild behavior. "He acts like he was raised in a barnyard," my mother would say, about some hapless boy who pulled up in front of my house for a date and just sat in the car and honked.

Whether that was a particular rule in your household, or culture, all cultures have "rules" and they are learned, not innate. It Italy it's good manners for a man to greet another man with an embrace and a kiss on each cheek. Not so in South Texas, where men stand 3 feet apart and at 90 degree angles to converse with one another.

All cultures have rules and if you violate them, you'll be excluded. Excluded from what? Well, what we all want more of now - to be where the polite and pleasant people are. Yes?

Emily Post, the Diva of Etiquette, by virtue of her book of the same name, "Etiquette" ( ) defined this certain set of people as "Best Society."

"Best Society," she wrote, "is not confined to any one place or group, but might be better described as an unlimited brotherhood which spreads over the entire surface of the globe, the members of which are invariably people of cultivation and worldly knowledge, who have not only perfect manners but a perfect manner."

"Cultivated," you see, as opposed to "wild" or "weed-ridden" or "out of control".

"Manners" she says, "are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them." "Manner," on the other hand, "is personality - the outward manifestation of one's innate character and attitude toward life."

Manners must be really ingrained; a matter of who you are, not how you are. The attitude must be without thinking, but the particulars require great thought. It's always easier to revert to the feral state. Ask the cat!

Miss Post suggests that once we've learned it, etiquette becomes - to those of the Best Society - "a matter of instinct rather than of conscious obedience."

There are those among us who still blurt out "thank you," "you're welcome," "excuse me," and "May I?" But there are a lot more among us who don't!

Good manners and etiquette are based on a concept that's somewhat in disfavor today - being selfless. "Unconsciousness of self," says Miss Post, "is the mental ability to extinguish all thought of one's self - exactly as one turns out the light. Hmmm. You mean put the other fellow first occasionally? Now there's a novel idea.

And so "one" - that would be you and I - one does not burp because it feels good, acting as if no one else was there; or elbow through the queue, because WE are in a hurry and WE matter most; or talk about our sex lives on cell phones in restaurants as if others would find it interesting; or shout profanity and throw tantrums because we're entitled to our anger, to indulge it and to "let it all hang out," as if it didn't stress the listener as much as it stresses us. (Second-hand hostility is as dangerous to our health as second-hand smoke!)

No, in fact manners is about letting it all hang IN. Keeping some things inside, quiet, and to oneself, turning down the volume, slowing down the pace, out of consideration for the other. Allowing the other person some comfort, some space, some peace.

"A bore," says Miss Post, "is said to be 'one who talks about himself when you want to talk about yourself!' which is superficially true enough," she adds, "but a bore might more accurately be described as one who is interested in what does not interest you, and insists that you share his enthusiasm, in spite of your disinclination."

Boring others, then, is an act of rudeness (and one of my least favorites), because there is no thought given to the interests or comfort of the other.

"Nearly all the faults or mistakes in conversation," says Miss Post, "are caused by not thinking." Ah hah! Or by thinking only of oneself.

"A first rule for behavior in society," she continues, "is: 'Try to do and say those things only which will be agreeable to others."

How far away from this we have gotten!

So, to have good manners we must learn the actions - the "trivialities of deportment" - and then stop and think when we're with others. Then we can avoid being tactless. ".[Y] ou must not talk about the unattractiveness of old age to the elderly, about the joys of dancing and skating to the lame, or about the advantages of ancestry to the self-made," says Miss Post.

Avoiding being rude, has a lot to do with Emotional Intelligence which, like good manners, can be learned. EQ requires self-awareness and empathy - the ability to understand how your behavior affects others (and their feelings). It requires a strong interface between emotions and thinking.

Blurting out the first thing on your mind ("What an ugly dress!) is rarely the tactful thing to do. To be considerate of others takes Intentionality - intending to treat others well, and exercising the self-discipline to do it. You might lower your voice, you know, steer the subject away from unpleasant things, cover your mouth when you cough ..

It's easier to be rude. If you don't believe this, watch two children at play. They will revert to the lowest level. It's easier to scream, stomp, grab, jabber, be messy and disorderly, and scratch where and when it itches, than to stop and think about what you're doing, take others into consideration, and act accordingly.

It's harder to be polite. Of course you'd rather boom your boom box and enjoy your music regardless of others; have a tantrum when you've been angered; turn the lights on when you come to bed though your spouse is sound asleep; ignore the customer because it's all such a chore, you know, working; or perhaps even hit someone who annoys you. These are the easiest things to do, and the most mindlessly satisfying, because you can indulge yourself with no thought for others.

But what happens when everyone behaves that way? Then we have a rudeness epidemic. And how will we change that? One person at a time! As Mother Teresa said, when the house is dirty don't complain or call a committee, pick up a broom and start sweeping.

~August 2004

Source: WebProNews July 23, 2003

"Rampant Rudeness On The Internet: What Would "Miss Manners" Say?"
Merle | Contributing Writer

Give some people a computer and an Internet connection and they think it's a license for rudeness. What is it about the Internet that causes some folks to take all they learned about basic etiquette and throw it right out the window?

Think about it: Just because your reader can't see you doesn't give you the right to be rude, but there are millions of Net users who feel that it does. I've been called names I'd rather not repeat in polite company and have been replied to in ALL CAPS. I'm not deaf.... THERE'S REALLY NO NEED TO YELL.

I attribute this newfound sense of rudeness to the feeling of invisibility one gets while sitting behind the keyboard. I mean, would you really come up to me face to face and call me a "Jackass" when you can't read simple directions on how to unsubscribe yourself from my ezine? I think not.

In this new digital age it appears we've taken everyday common courtesy and thrown it right out the window. Whatever happened to "please" and "thank you?" My mother, who taught me as a child to call all adults 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' would have cardiac arrest over the emails I receive on a daily basis.

Remember the "Golden Rule?" "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." Translation: before you call someone names, swear at them, report them to Sp#m Cop or do any other annoying gesture, stop and think. Maybe you did subscribe to that ezine and just don't remember. Try giving someone the benefit of the doubt before firing off an ugly email message that a real live breathing human being with feelings is going to read. Computers may not have feelings, but people do and there's a person behind every email address and/ or website.

Here are the 'Top 10 Do's and Don'ts' for online communication:

1) Don't reply to someone in all caps; it's equivalent to screaming at them.

2) If you receive a newsletter and can't figure out how to unsubscribe, before threatening to sue or reporting the publisher for Sp@m, politely ask the publisher to be removed. Any ezine publisher worth his salt will be happy to oblige. We really don't want to hold you captive.

3) Try to reply to all of your email messages within 48 hours. If not, many people get annoyed and will think you're avoiding them.

4) If you publish an ezine make sure you place subscribe and unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of every issue.

5) Don't use foul language in an email; that will get you nowhere. If you're upset about something, please state the problem clearly along with how you'd like to see the problem resolved.

6) If you visit a website and it's not to your liking, don't fire off a nasty email stating what a loser the site owner must be. Remember what your Mom use to say "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

7) Make sure every page of your website contains an email address to contact you. Please don't make me fill out a long form just to ask you a simple question.

8) When replying to an email, keep the original message intact so the person you're replying to knows what you're talking about. Personally I receive over 300 messages a day, so I need to see your message in context -- otherwise, I may not understand it.

9) If you buy or sell products/services online, make sure you're using an online payment service like in order to move money around quickly. Don't make snail mail your only payment option.

10) Pay your bills in a timely fashion. If you owe someone money online don't make them send out 10 emails telling you your payment is overdue. Pay promptly.

So there you have it; my Top 10 rules for being more polite and less rude online. If you incorporate these tips into your daily Internet dealings you'll find the Net a little warmer and a friendlier place to be.

There's enough road rage in the world, so when traveling the information highway please remember that we're all human. Your computer is just a tool used to communicate with others. Please be KIND to them!