Land Rover Freelander SE3. 2004.
Rutland Red. Last night.
Added links on March 14, 2011
(Symons) The crunch issue is, “If we knew then what we know now, would the decision over what we did in Iraq be the same?” and the answer to that is “Yes.” Because as the Butler Report makes clear, Saddam had had chemical and biological weapons, he had had a nuclear weapons program, he had concealed them, he had used these weapons in the past.[Online program ends here.]
(BBC Interviewer) If we’d known that there were no stockpiles, no weapons of mass destruction, we’d have invaded anyway?
(Symons) I think that the threat that was posed to us at the time was a threat that we could not have simply passed by. Because the fact is that at the time, we were getting all these reports, not only about the belief that Saddam could be building up these stockpiles, but of course, as well, it was the coming together, as the Prime Minister made very clear in his statement, of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the terrorist threat.
I need to downgrade the above recommendation somewhat after my trip to Dallas this past weekend. I realized as well that I used Travelocity for my hotel on a trip to Las Vegas back in June, and I’ve used them now and again in the past just for airfare, and that helped establish a pattern.Updated on March 4, 2011
Both of my airplane seats on this last trip were “E” seats — middle of the right side — and my memory says that this is a pattern. That is, as a bulk seller of airline seats, they put you in the less desirable middle seats (or perhaps those are the ones made readily available to them; can’t put all the blame on them without knowing all the details). On both legs of my Dallas trip, the plane was packed to the gills (even on a mid-afternoon flight out of the hub on a Monday!) and there was no availability to change seats.
Worse, though, is that they do the same thing (perhaps) with hotel space. When I got to the Sheraton in Dallas, I was greeted by “I see you’ve requested a Smoking Room.” I most certainly did not: with my asthma, it’s bad enough going to bars and dating a smoker, I sure don’t want to breathe leftover smoke all weekend while I sleep. I had the same situation with the hotel in Vegas; I don’t recall about Houston last October. Fortunately, I’ve been able to change to a non-smoking room each time, but it was no sure thing in Vegas.
Again, it’s impossible to say whether this is an intentional thing, that the hotel partners offer up smoking rooms because they are less able to fill them, or if it’s just a bad web interface which doesn’t ask about smoking preference and the lack of info gets pushed through to the hotel as a default preference for Smoking.
Whatever the intent, caveat emptor: you can get a better deal this way, but there may be hidden bits of undesirability.
I no longer use this mechanism when I’m going to events where I plan to stay at the host hotel. The hotel sometimes isn’t able to retroactively apply your externally done reservation to the room block, and getting those rooms sold is often vital to the host club. (They are on the hook for unsold rooms if they don’t meet a certain percentage. It is really bad form for you to save $60 over the course of three nights but cost the organizing group 3 x $129 in the process.)
My current recommendation for travel is Kayak, for their combination of aggregating from multiple airlines along with their decent UI experience. But I do still go to other sites before making the purchase, just to be sure I’m seeing all the options (often I’m not).
Domestic Partner CoverageI’m pleased to say that, after diligent research, Human Resources has agreed to the bulk of our requests on the subject. (Aside: There was an article in The Advocate in March (online archives only go back to 2008 currently, so no link to the article) indicating that some companies were making changes like this, but without naming any of them. Well, here’s one to be named!)
Adobe extends coverage under Personal Selections (PS) to qualified domestic partners, same and opposite sex, and their eligible dependent child(ren). Domestic partner coverage applies to the coverages—medical, dental, vision, dependent life insurance and long-term care—in which spouses and children may be enrolled.
To be eligible for domestic partner coverage:
Roommates and relatives are not considered domestic partners. You must also wait 12 months before re-enrolling a different domestic partner. If you are in a domestic partnership and your 12-month anniversary falls at a time outside of the Open Enrollment period, this will be treated as a qualified change in status, and you may apply for domestic partner coverage at that time.
- You and your partner must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must be in a committed, exclusive relationship.
- You must have lived together for at least 12 months.
- You must be jointly responsible for living expenses.
- Your domestic partner’s child(ren) must satisfy the same criteria applied to an employee’s child(ren). (See “Who Is Eligible” earlier in this section.)
Domestic Partner CoverageThat is, whether or not they have lived together for 12 months, the presence of a government-recognized and registered relationship is sufficient for Adobe Systems to accept that it is a genuine domestic partnership.
Throughout the year, Adobe periodically reviews our benefit plans and policies. Due to our review and recent legislation, the following changes have been made to our Domestic Partner policy:
Domestic partner eligibility requirements
- Official government registration of an employee’s domestic partnership can be submitted in lieu of Adobe’s Domestic Partner Declaration (Affidavit).
An employee and their domestic partner must be:
A domestic partner relationship must:
- At least 18 years of age
- In a committed, exclusive relationship AND
- Jointly responsible for living expenses.
- A domestic partner’s child(ren) must satisfy the same eligibility criteria applied to the child(ren) of an employee.
- Exist for at least 12 consecutive months AND during this time, maintain the same principal residence with the intent to do so indefinitely.
- The domestic partner relationship must be recorded, certified, and/or registered by a national, state, city or regional U.S. government authority.
In Nina Shapiro’s article, she glosses over the higher divorce rate amongst same-sex couples versus heterosexual couples in some studies from Europe, positing a couple answers (lack of kids, lack of obstacles to leaving relationships).
Let me put forward another reason: Marriage (and marriagelike options) may genuinely not be the right answer for some couples at some times. Same-sex civil marriage (and such) is new for us, and we don’t have the benefit of centuries of learning about how it should be done. As a result, a lot of same-sex couples may think it’s the right thing and later find out otherwise. Give it a couple decades, and the rates of divorce should fall close to heterosexual levels.
This is one of the strengths that today’s society is reluctant to embrace just yet: the idea that “one size fits all” doesn’t. Career dad, stay-at-home mom, 2.4 kids, and a golden retriever is a scenario that we can’t all force ourselves into, but a lot of people try. Civil unions, same-sex civil marriage, communal living, wife swapping, polygamy, open relationships, and just plain shacking up are all variations on a theme enabling us all to find the relationship model that works right for us, rather than trying (and failing) to wedge ourselves into the same one as everyone else.