Bittersweet Birthday

Last Wednesday was by birthday. I had a wonderful day full of friends and fun but, for the last 5 years, my birthday has been bittersweet as it marks the anniversary of the Iraq war.

The total US military causality count is now at 3996. But, if you are counting "military" losses, don't forget to count the causalities of contractors (Private Military Company) The use of contractors today is ten times what it was during the gulf war and for every 4 soldiers that die, a contractor dies. As of May 2007, the total death of contractor life was 917.

But, which life is more valuable: the life of an American? or the the life of an Iraqi or Afghanistani? (Hopefully you will answer that they are equally valuable) Yet, often I think we forget how many non-American's have lost there life as a consequence of the war.

From the different websites I looked at, I found quite a range 80,000 (civilians only) to 400,000 Iraqi causalities as a result of the Iraq war!

Also, I think it is very important to note that medical advances have severely reduced the number of causalities. (Medical Advances Cut Combat Deaths In Iraq And Afghanistan) This article says that "the survival rate is 90% or higher--a significant improvement even since the Gulf War in the early 1990s".

A few sites to check out:
The Toll of War
Iraq Body Count
Contractor Deaths in Iraq Soar to Record

But, I'll end with a little humor...

(Wait till the end (or skip to it...either way, the end is funny)


Boulder County Democratic Party Assembly and Convention

SO, I had a super long day on Saturday as I was a delegate from my neighborhood for Barack Obama for the Boulder County Assembly and Convention. We also got to vote for who would be on the ballot for State Senate, U.S. Senate and U.S. House. It was interesting to see how democracy really works in America.

I tried to run to be a delegate to the next level (the State Democratic Convention) in hopes of becoming a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, but I quickly realized that it would be next to impossible to gain one of the coveted 70 or so spots that Colorado gets to send to the DNC.

Much of the day was spent waiting--waiting to get into the auditorium, waiting to vote, waiting for the votes to be counted, waiting to figure out where to go next. It was a true test of my patience. The only thing that kept me going was realizing that the only reason it was so slow was because of all the first-time participants in the political process. (Like me!)



"When you stand still, you reject the struggle, and you refuse to change and grow. Ultimately, you reject fulfillment, happiness, the dance for joy and everything else that is eternally good."

- Matthew Kelly, classical actor and game show host

Taking the path to personal growth

Action is the only way anything ever gets done. Sitting around and waiting for life to happen to you will only guarantee one thing: that you're not going to end up with a life you love. By waiting, you can react to what's tossed your way and nothing more. It's easy to take a passive approach to life without taking chances. It's easy to fall into a rut and do the same things the same way all the time. Change is sometimes hard, but it's change that will reveal all the wonders that life has to offer. You can break out of your set ways by taking action. Try doing the same thing a different way. Jump in with both feet and learn something new. Ask a friend to teach you a skill they're good at. Grow as a person and your world grows with you.

(Not my words, from SparkPeople)

The Consumer Paradox

Scientists Find that Low Self-Esteem and Materialism Goes Hand in Hand


Graffitti: A Public Menace.

Oh man, I saw this today and could not stop laughing...

Google Analytics and Me

So, today I got all exciting that someone found my blog through a google search.

And then I realized that someone was me...Nope. Not internet famous yet.

Maybe tomorrow

P.S. I thought I made up the term "internet famous", but it's in urban dictionary. Apparently I'm behind the eight ball there too.

A roller coaster of a weekend.

In a particularly low moment during my weekend, this podcast came up on my mp3 player. It made my day:

You can check out more essays at NPR: This I Believe