November 30, 2004

LESSON

Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize you're a fool?

My co-worker and I had an argument last week, the details of which are tedious and irrelevent. I decided I would suck it up and try to clear the air on Monday, so I walked into the office with a gift in hand and apologized for the misunderstanding. She refused my apology and gift.

I keep thinking about that ending scene in Clerks, where Randal berates Dante for sticking with the status quo simply because it's easier than rocking the boat. I too hate rocking the boat. I keep my mouth shut all the time at work, despite the fact that my co-worker pisses me off a lot, because it's easier than dealing with discord. I have considered quitting my job and looking for something more fitting someone with six years of higher education, but I never wanted to rock the boat. I didn't want to disrupt the office, I didn't want my boss to have to find someone to replace me, and I didn't want my co-worker to dislike me for moving on and leaving her to train someone new.

In short, I have been living for everyone's happiness but my own. I'm an utter fool.

I'm reading Atlas Shrugged for god's sake, and I didn't see what a pushover I've become. I turned down a job I really wanted because I didn't want to upset the status quo at work. I'm so disgusted with myself today that I don't even know what to do.

I learned a valuable lesson this week: Sarah comes first. I've spent the past year trying to make life easier for my co-worker, and this week she proved that she would rather win an argument than save our friendship. No longer will I do what's good for the office and for my employer; I will do what's good for Sarah.

There will be big changes in the near future...stay tuned.

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START

Congress Eyes UN Fund Cut...well, it's a start.

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November 29, 2004

WOW

Wow. Someone with WAY too much time on his hands wrote a long and boring pro-Chomsky rant on one of my really old posts. I imagine this guy googled Chomsky stuff and then bombed everyone who had said anything bad about Chomsky. The funny thing is that the post was only somewhat related to Chomsky. Oh, I could have said bad stuff, since his linguistics is garbage and his politics is hilarious, but I didn't say anything about him in this post. Go ye and be bored silly: Logic and Reasoning: Inside the Mind of an anti-Chomskyite: The Play (Act 1)

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LINK

I have a million articles to read that have been emailed to me, but I need to grade a couple of papers before class. I'll try to get caught up this evening, but in the meantime, read Under Fire (via Oda Mae), an article that compares the Fallujah Marine to Ethics in America, the series I've been raving about for some time now...

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COLA

Imagine Cartman saying "sweet." That's what I said when I read about our new COLA increase! A 31% currency adjustment? My job only gave us 4%. Man, the Army takes care of us.

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VISIT

My trip north turned out nicer than I had imagined it would. Lüneburg is one of the cutest freaking cities in Germany, and the Christmas decorations just made it all the more wow. I also had a very nice time with my friend. I was nervous at first, since she's from Sweden and her German boyfriend is stridently anti-war. In fact, she also said that she was nervous about our introduction. However, he was a very good host; he asked many, many questions about the war and the military, but none of them were rude or demanding. I tried to answer them as best as I could, and hopefully he learned something new or at least got to see another perspective. I was very grateful because he could've been a real jerk. It was a pleasant visit, and now I've driven all over this darn country. The only other direction left is towards Berlin...

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November 26, 2004

TRIP

I'm leaving today for a trip north to Lüneburg to visit an old friend. I'll be back to blogging next week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Give Thanks for These Patriots
Holocaust Survivor Reunites With Rescuer

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November 25, 2004

COWBOY

I'm also thankful for cowboys.

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THANKFUL

I bet most people in my pre-Army life wouldn't trade places with me in a million years. On the surface, my life appears to suck: working two jobs for eight bucks an hour while the husband is off fighting a war for over a year. I'm sure many people feel sorry for me that I have to be alone and fearful.

I don't see it that way. I have so many things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that I get to teach my classes. I don't really care about the money; I do it because I love Soldiers and I want to help them excel. Hearing them hooah or ma'am me is the greatest feeling in the world, and reading a well-formatted essay about how wonderful the military is...well, that just tops it all. I grumble that I'm always grading papers, but I'm so fortunate to have gotten my foot in the teaching door in the first place.

I'm thankful that it doesn't matter that I only make the eight bucks an hour. If deployment brings anything, it's cash flow. We're one check away from paying off our car, the last of our debts or obligations, and it's a thrilling feeling to be financially set. My husband has certainly earned his Hostile Fire Pay, but I'm thankful that he is eager to save that money for a down payment on a house someday instead of wanting to buy video games.

I'm thankful that I have friends to go through this year with me. I'm still a little freaked that news of my blog has leaked out, but it has brought me closer to some people and made for a lot of inside jokes and good conversations. I managed somehow to bring comfort to Mrs. Sims and the Prewitt family, and in turn many people have brought me comfort as well. I'm so thankful that I've met people from all over the world who share common ground.

And, believe it or not, I'm thankful for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Without hesitation I can say that I am thankful that Uday and Qsay are dead, that Saddam is in custody, that al-Qaeda and al-Zarqawi are on the run, and that Iraq will soon have its first election where the result is less than 100%. I'm thankful for nations like Poland, Great Britain, Australia, and all the rest of the coalition of the willing for standing up for what was right even when it meant incurring wrath from the axis of weasels. I'm thankful that President Bush sees the threat of islamobarbarism and has vowed to counter it as long as he is in office, and I am thankful that 59 million Americans helped keep him in office so the fight could continue.

Most importantly, I'm thankful that my husband is fighting a war in 2004. We have the luxury of being able to instant message with each other nearly every day, and when he's involved in something dangerous, I have the ability to track it online. I'm thankful that our brigade was adamant about the 100% R&R policy, something that was impossible even last year. I'm thankful that my husband got to come home for two weeks so he could get much-needed rest and crab rangoon. I hear from him, I know he's safe, and I support him wholeheartedly...but I'm also thankful that we only have four months left!

This year I have so many things to be thankful for. Wars have a way of bringing immediacy to your life, and I'm thankful that I've learned to be grateful for every minute my husband and I have together, as well as every friend who understands why we are thankful we can be part of such important moments in American history.

I have nothing to complain about. I'm thankful.

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November 24, 2004

WOW

Photos from Fallujah.

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QUESTIONS

Election blogging has now been replaced by Marine-shooting-in-Fallujah blogging. Rightwingsparkle asks some interesting questions concerning omniscient reporters.

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November 23, 2004

2-2 INF

My neighbor sent me a gripping article about A-CO 2-2 INF, the company CPT Sims commanded in Fallujah. It features more from SSG Fitts and provides a harrowing picture -- and actual pictures -- from the missions.

Here's something funny though: "Of roughly 400 men and women from Task Force 2-2..." Are there any women in Fallujah? I know there aren't any in 2-2 INF, and I thought I understood that women couldn't even be attached to infantry battalions. Is this just p.c. talk, or are there really women involved?

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RED 6

Got an email from Red 6, the husband's best friend, today. He's back from Fallujah, safe and sound. He's also famous for a day.

MORE TO GROK:

And other Indians have noticed!

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CALLING B.S.

Many people have pointed to Kevin Sites' explanation to the Marines (he's the one who taped the Marine shooting the wounded terrorist). I don't doubt that Sites felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he witness the scene. I also tend to believe him that he wasn't out looking for Woodward/Bernstein-type fame. But here's what I don't like.

In war, as in life, there are plenty of opportunities to see the full spectrum of good and evil that people are capable of. As journalists, it is our job is to report both -- though neither may be fully representative of those people on whom we're reporting. For example, acts of selfless heroism are likely to be as unique to a group as the darker deeds. But our coverage of these unique events, combined with the larger perspective - will allow the truth of that situation, in all of its complexities, to begin to emerge.

When we look back on Operation Iraqi Freedom, what are we going to remember? What are the memories that the Mainstream Media has drilled into our heads? Abu Ghraib. This Marine shooting a wounded terrorist. Jessica Lynch. The lack of WMDs.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't watch news on the TV, so maybe the airwaves are bombarded with hero stories I just haven't heard yet. But I sincerely reject the idea that the Media is balancing "the full spectrum of good and evil that people are capable of" in the daily news. They instead take something like Abu Ghraib and give it flashy banners and expert guests, run the story on a loop every 15 minutes, and drill the "atrocity" into our heads. Did they present the full atrocity of Nick Berg's beheading? Of the children's jails and rape rooms and mass graves uncovered after the war? Did they make a nice flashy banner for the torture chambers and half-dead prisoners that were just found in Fallujah this week?

Where's the flashy banner for CPL Yeager? Where's Pat Tillman's story on a loop over and over? A few clips at the end of your segment pointing out some Hometown Heroes does not a balanced scale make. The Media defends itself by saying, "we have to show the good and the bad." Please, show me when you've given half the airtime to good as you have to bad.

Over the past two years, I have developed a sense of utter revulsion for reporters and journalists. I don't want to feel like that, but they've made their own bed. I don't blame Kevin Sites for shooting the footage, but I blame the Media Monster for the way it's presented and distributed.

John Kerry killed a wounded enemy in Vietnam and got the Silver Star. This Marine killed a wounded enemy in Iraq and will face the death penalty. It's all in how you package and sell it.

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FINAL NAIL

Wretchard puts a final nail in the Bush-is-Hitler meme. I have no idea if readers click on every link I provide, but this is certainly one you want to check out. You also need to click on Wretchard's link to the liberation of Dachau when he compares it to the shooting in Fallujah.

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YEAGER

A story from a Marine in Fallujah:

I will end with a couple of stories of individual heroism that you may not have heard yet. I was told about both of these incidents shortly after they occurred. No doubt some of the facts will change slightly but I am confident that the meat is correct.

The first is a Marine from 3/5. His name is Corporal Yeager (Chuck Yeager's grandson). As the Marines cleared and apartment building, they got to the top floor and the point man kicked in the door. As he did so, an enemy grenade and a burst of gunfire came out. The explosion and enemy fire took off the point man's leg. He was then immediately shot in the arm as he lay in the doorway. Corporal Yeager tossed a grenade in the room and ran into the doorway and into the enemy fire in order to pull his buddy back to cover. As he was dragging the wounded Marine to cover, his own grenade came back through the doorway. Without pausing, he reached down and threw the grenade back through the door while he heaved his buddy to safety. The grenade went off inside the room and Cpl Yeager threw another in. He immediately entered the room following the second explosion. He gunned down three enemy all within three feet of where he stood and then let fly a third grenade as he backed out of the room to complete the evacuation of the wounded Marine. You have to understand that a grenade goes off within 5 seconds of having the pin pulled. Marines usually let them "cook off" for a second or two before tossing them in. Therefore, this entire episode took place in less than 30 seconds.

My grandfather flew with Chuck Yeager during WWII, and they've kept in touch throughout all these years. It makes me smile to know that Yeager's grandson and my grandfather's grandson(in-law) are fighting in the same war today.

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IT'S HERE!

Bill Whittle's long-awaited book, Silent America, is now for sale. I personally have to wait two torturous weeks until it goes on sale through Amazon, because pre-sale orders can't be shipped to APO. But I will be first in line to buy a copy once they're available.

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November 22, 2004

MOVIE

CavX found a parody of Fahrencrap 9/11. It's a lengthy clip, and you get the joke after a couple of minutes, but it's worth checking out. I loved the Wal-Mart scene.

Fellowship 9/11

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WELL SAID

Good Bleat today...

I was a cranky teen too. Now there's nothing I like more than shopping for Christmas decorations with Mom.

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PANIC

I had a strange variation on the going-to-school-naked dream last night: I dreamt I went to a Veteran's Day parade in Class A's, but I had forgotten my beret. Talk about panic! I bolted awake and calmed myself down by reminding myself that I'm not even in the military...

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