No fighting allowed in the war room

While the 1976 book The Final Days focused on the Watergate scandal, a section covers highlights of earlier years in the Nixon White House. Regarding Vietnam:
By the spring of 1970, Nixon, Kissinger and the NSC [National Security Council] staff faced a crisis. Cambodia was being used as a staging area by Communist troops. The possibility of invasion was discussed and an invasion plan was developed. Many of the liberal academics on Kissinger's staff -- among them Morton H. Halperin, Anthony Lake and William Watts -- were strongly opposed. "Don't worry about it," [Alexander] Haig advised them. "The Old Man will never go through with this. I've seen him come up to these decisions and then back away."

But the President did give his approval. Haig was elated. The others weren't. Kissinger called them his "bleeding hearts."

Watts went to Kissinger alone to state his objections.

"Your view represents the cowardice of the Eastern Establishment," Kissinger told him.

Furious, Watts got up out of his chair and moved toward Kissinger. He was going to punch him. Kissinger moved quickly behind his desk. He was not serious, he said. Watts, whose selection as the NSC aide coordinating the Cambodian invasion had just been approved by the President, resigned.

"You've just had an order from your Commander in Chief," Haig said. Watts could not resign.

"Fuck you, Al," Watts said. "I just did."

Kissinger called his staff together in the Executive Office Building to plead for their support of the decision. "We are all the President's men," he said, "and we've got to behave that way."
-- From The Final Days, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Bathroom-telephone protocol

So I'm at Ned's party and there are lots of people standing around having drinks and hors d'oeuvres throughout his place. The phone rings and it's our friend Shelly who moved to North Carolina. She's calling long-distance to apologize to Ned for her lateness in sending a Christmas gift but it's on its way. Ned and Shelly talk for a while and then he passes the cordless phone to me, and I start to catch up on what's new with Shelly.

There's music playing on Ned's stereo and as we chat, I automatically leave the living room to where I'll be able to hear better. I step into the bedroom and then I realize: when Ned remodeled his place he had the whole place wired for sound. The music is playing in every room. I drift through the crowd into the office, but the music is just as loud.

I should've taken the phone into the bathroom and closed the door because it was the one place without the speaker system. Unfortunately, Shelly and I were having so many laughs, I was afraid of having the party hear me whooping it up in the bathroom. I stayed in the office and was able to make do.