July 31, 2005

HAIR

I've only donated blood once. I was in college and it was quite an ordeal. First, they said I was borderline anemic, so they had to run some tests to see if they even wanted my blood. Turns out it was OK, so they hooked me up to the bag and started draining my arm. I guess they need the bag and also three little vials of blood; on the third vial, somehow the needle popped out of my arm and blood squirted everywhere. After that unique experience, I was leery about giving blood, and then I started hopping back and forth to Europe every year or so, so it was never an issue. So I don't really donate blood.

But I can donate hair.

When I had been dating my husband for a week, I cut my hair short. Like short short. After the look on his face, I didn't cut my hair again for five years. At first it became a Lord of the Rings joke: I was going to look like an elf. After Return of the King was over, I turned to him and said, "Now what?" I guess I had grown so attached to the hair that it scared me to cut it.

I had always intended to donate my hair, but then it became a quest to donate as much as I could. It grew and grew, and the more it grew, the more annoyed my husband and I grew towards it. It was always in our mouths, getting pulled, clogging the drains and the vacuum, and driving us nuts. In May I decided I was ready for a cut, but I told myself to wait a month and see if I was still ready. A month passed and I got cold feet, so I let another month go by. And I knew I was ready.

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We chopped 18 inches off, and bagged it to send to Locks of Love. I hope some little girl gets a beautiful wig from it.

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm going to start all over again. I don't know; I'm really enjoying the short hair:

1. no more marathon blowdrying
2. no more sitting on the hair
3. no more rolling over in bed and suffocating
4. Charlie was biting and tugging on it when it was long
5. less money spent on Draino

But since my hair grows so fast, maybe I'll get to another wig. We'll see. The husband likes it short, so for now I'm happy.

And now that I've kept you in suspense for long enough...here's the new and improved Sarah. And the getting-too-big-to-cuddle Charlie.

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DISSENT

Smink has a post on his views on women in the military (He's fer it). No one in the comments section brought up the touchy and delicate issue I would like to address. Any candid discussion of women in the military must focus on some key problems.

What about the barracks rooms designated for anonymous sex where females can try to get knocked up so they don't have to deploy? What about the females in Iraq who are running prostitution rings, charging money for sex with the male soldiers? What about the females who are making pornography and posting it on the internet? What about the females who have boasted that their goal is to sleep with every officer on the FOB? What about the females who lure married men to their beds and then threaten to expose their adultery? What about the frightening power a junior enlisted soldier has when she's sleeping with the first sergeant?

All of these scenarios I describe have happened in our brigade. I know of families that have been destroyed because of both real and imagined infidelities during a deployment. I've heard stories about ruthless female soldiers that make me ashamed of my gender. If we are going to discuss the effects of women in combat, we do need to discuss all that Smink brought up: performance, sexual harrassment, etc. But we also need to address the nasty effects of taking thousands of males away from their families and bunking them with a handful of women for a year. Yeah, I bet a lot of times it's the males' fault, but I've heard enough stories to make me wonder if the females haven't brought some of it on themselves.

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July 29, 2005

BRAC

The husband and I watched Vice Chief of Staff Cody's briefing on the Pentagon channel two days ago, and I looked for an article on it yesterday to no avail. But it's out today: Army identifies locations for units in new, brigade-centric force structure. If anyone's interested in base realignment, this graphic is informative. The presence in Germany will be significantly reduced. What an exciting time for the military!

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FATWA

I sat down to write about how North American Muslims are issuing a fatwa against terrorism. It's about time, I say. The article states

Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University in Washington and a member of the Fiqh council, said: "We hear from our fellow Americans very often that Muslims have not spoken aggressively about terrorism, that Muslims have not made their voices very clear. I disagree. Muslims have made their voices very clear from day one. So maybe we needed to do more. The more you do, the more you realize you need to do."

Anyone who's ever read LGF knows that these Muslim voices have never been clear. Hmm, what does LGF have to say about this anyway? Oh: The American Islamic Leaders' "Fatwa" is Bogus. Great.

In fact, the fatwa is bogus. Nowhere does it condemn the Islamic extremism ideology that has spawned Islamic terrorism. It does not renounce nor even acknowledge the existence of an Islamic jihadist culture that has permeated mosques and young Muslims around the world. It does not renounce Jihad let alone admit that it has been used to justify Islamic terrorist acts. It does not condemn by name any Islamic group or leader. In short, it is a fake fatwa designed merely to deceive the American public into believing that these groups are moderate. In fact, officials of both organizations have been directly linked to and associated with Islamic terrorist groups and Islamic extremist organizations. One of them is an unindicted co-conspirator in a current terrorist case; another previous member was a financier to Al-Qaeda.

Where are the moderate Muslim groups? I keep hearing how Muslims are afraid of being branded as extremists, how not all Muslims are terrorists, how Muslims fear for their lives because of the actions of a few...but where are the moderate Muslim voices to stand up and say enough is enough? Kalroy found some of these voices, but like him I too am waiting for the Million Muslim March. We need more of this and we need it to be more publicized. I'm waiting for someone to stand up and say that we won't tolerate this:

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That's an x-ray of one of the bombs from London. Whoever devised this bomb -- loaded with nails to inflict maximum damage on innocent Londoners -- is a monster. Remember the other day when I talked about umbrellas? Moderate Muslims are under an ugly umbrella with terrorists, and I for one would like to see them issue a real fatwa against these atrocities.

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July 28, 2005

FOR YOU

We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it.

Happy Birthday, Amritas...

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FISH TALES

Gnat got fish. When I was her age, I had two fish named Bert and Ernie, and I helped out by feeding them one day. Unfortunately, I fed them an entire can of fishfood on the day my father had just cleaned the aquarium. Whoops.

I've always been interested in pet fish; the husband and I registered for an aquarium when we got married and bought three fish (well, five if you count Milhouse I and Milhouse II, may they rest in peace). Then we bought a plecostomus to help keep things clean, and we noticed that when the shopkeeper scooped him up, we ended up with a snail too. Into the tank he went. A few days later, I did a doubletake when I realized there were two snails. Upon closer inspection, I found we had been visited by the snail stork thirteen times. Note to self: snails reproduce asexually.

The fish are still living with my mom, and we may inherit them back if they live another year. I'm anxious to move back to the US so we can get our aquarium back out of the box and get some more fish. The pet department is where I really find myself homesick lately. Here we have but one shelf in the PX for pet supplies; I'd give anything to go to PetSmart these days.

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July 27, 2005

HAIRCUT

Look what I did today...

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July 26, 2005

LINKS

Mark Steyn: Mugged by reality? (via RWN)
This Will Make You Proud (via my dad)

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July 25, 2005

WHAT???

I agree with Lileks that this is just absurd. The flip-flops were too informal, but John Roberts' family was too formal? What on earth does that mean? Their children looked nice, for pete's sake. My brothers and I used to wear stuff like that regularly when occasion called for it, like church or family photos. I darn sure think my mom would've made us dress up when we went to be on TV at the White House! And the caption under the photo is just plain snarky: "Even the clothes are conservative". What could the children have worn to make them look less right-wing, tie-dye and peace signs? Give me, and the Roberts family, a freaking break.

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July 21, 2005

GRRR

You know what really bugs me? The media bends over backwards to recognize knighthood, but they constantly belittle our president. They make sure to always say Sir Paul McCartney, but I can't even count the times I've heard the media refer to our president as "Bush". His name is President Bush, you clods.

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FLIP FLOPS

I turned to Annika for commentary, for she's the one with the shoe fetish, but no word from her yet on...um...flipflopgate? Apparently some girls wore flip-flops to the White House and it's caused a ruckus for, well, people who are older than the flip flop craze of late. To be honest, until the news pointed it out, I didn't even notice their footwear. Flip-flops have come a long way from being "shower shoes", so I don't think they were that inappropriate. But the ones I saw were classier than the two dollar Walmart bin shoes, so I don't know. I own some cheapo flip-flops myself, which I would never wear with a nice outfit, but I also own some classier flip-flop-like sandals that I would probably not consider disrespectful towards the White House. Your thoughts, Annika?

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July 20, 2005

SUPPORT

It seems Prager's article on the Left's support for the troops caused quite a stir. I thought more about the outrage that article spawned after I read this line from David Horowitz's book, Radical Son:

Hands Off Cuba! and Bring the Troops Home! were slogans designed to consolidate majorities, but also to achieve agendas that would never have been defended by most of the people who eventually supported them.

Horowitz was talking about the Vietnam era, but I was struck by the parallel to today's cries. And it made me start thinking about all of the people who are offended by the suggestion that they don't support the troops.

My father has had little contact with the military. He didn't go to Vietnam, but he had friends who went and didn't return. He recently surprised my mother with a diatribe about how we should bring our boys home. My father votes Republican, so it's not a matter of politics; I assume he simply can't stand the idea of any Americans fighting and dying, especially when his only daughter's husband is involved. I don't think that makes my dad anti-war...and I would hope that he would be horrified to hear of the birds who have flocked together. That's what struck me about Horowitz's statement.

Who can honestly say that they don't want our soldiers and marines to come home? "Bring the Troops Home!" is a huge umbrella statement that covers many points of view, indeed "designed to consolidate majorities". The scary part is when people who fall under that umbrella don't know about the company they're keeping. ANSWER wants us to bring the troops home too, but they're an offshoot of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party, organizing anti-war protests that I'm sure many unsuspecting, good-intentioned people attended. (Hey, if my father went to a protest, maybe some activist could hand him a "Bring Home the Troops" sign, you know, since he's got his hands full with his "Death to Jews" sign anyway.)

Several people emailed or commented to say that they had done X,Y, or Z for friends and family who were deployed. Fabulous. But by being on the Left, you need to be aware of the company you're keeping. Do you know about the reporters such as the one Toby Harnden met?:

Not only had [a well-known journalist] ‘known’ the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the ‘evil’ George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. ‘Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.’

Many mainstream writers and people on the Left are actively hoping for failure in Iraq. So are Daily Kos' readers, and that left-wing blog gets more traffic than any other blog out there. Disgusting characters like Ted Rall and Michael Moore want to bring the troops home, and I wouldn't be caught under any umbrella with them.

Most Americans want the servicemembers to come home safe and sound, but if you google "bring troops home", you get a list of anti-war sites and writings. If you want to bring them home, then admittedly you don't want them to all die (which is more than we can say for some), but it's not the same thing as supporting the troops. Support has to be more than sending a box of deoderant and candy and hoping they don't all die. As Prager said, you have to support their fight too. That's where we argue semantics, and I think it's an important distinction. I wrote about this before, and I stand by my original assertion:

LT Smash points out that we have an all-volunteer military and that "the troops are committed to winning the war. If you don’t share that goal, then you are not, by definition, supporting them." People in his comments section disagree, but Smash points out two different definitions of supporting the troops: "Your definition would appear to be 'wish them good health and hope they come home safe.' My definition of 'support' is a bit more robust than that. In my world, 'supporting the troops' also means letting them know that you appreciate the sacrifices they are making, and believe in the cause they're fighting for."

I tend to think that the first definition should be an understood, that no human would wish that soldiers should be injured or die (though some of the posts on Democratic Underground might suggest otherwise). Therefore, it's not worth broadcasting, just as "I support cancer patients" or "I support the disabled" seem inane.

Not everyone agreed with Smash, as the volume of comments shows, but I do agree with him, as I do with Prager. You don't have to agree with me on the definition of "support" if you don't want to, but just be careful of which umbrellas you're under.

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July 17, 2005

RE-UP

An interesting side note that no one mentions when they talk about military recruiting these days, via this Stars and Stripes article:

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July 15, 2005

SAJAK

Raise your hand if you knew that Pat Sajak is a right-wing nutjob. I sure didn't, but I've had a fun time reading some of his archived articles.

But what's the deal with the new Wheel of Fortune? It was so much simpler when I used to watch it with my grandma; now I can't figure out what's going on a lot of the time. Since when did they get rid of bidding on dog statues and stuff?

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July 14, 2005

TODAY'S READING

Aid to Africa
The Left doesn't support the troops and should admit it

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July 13, 2005

GRRR

Last night my husband and I had a meeting with a financial advisor, and the longer I sat through the meeting, the madder I got. You have a ROTH IRA, you get taxed in the end. You have a regular IRA, you get taxed now. You die with money and you have all these death taxes to pay.

Why, oh why, are people punished for saving their money wisely?

Forget "what would Jesus do"; I find myself often wondering What Would Our Founding Fathers Think? How would they react to knowing that, because my husband and I saved all his deployment money instead of spending it on big screen TVs and cars, we now have to fork over taxes to the government if we want to invest it?

It's our money, dang it.

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I CRY FOR YOU

Charles Johnson posted a link on LGF, with no fanfare or explanation. I almost didn't click on it, but I was intrigued by the poetic name. And as I read But None Ever Cried for Me, I was filled with a sense of horror and shame.

In the words spoken by these politicians I hear affirmation that my child's blood, a Jewish child's blood, is of a different color. I shivered as I heard London's mayor, Livingstone, lamented that this was "mass murder... by terrorists bent on indiscriminate... slaughter... aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners...." and an ugly thought entered my mind.

What of the slaughter of my children, 'ordinary, working-class' brothers and sisters in Haifa and Jerusalem, Ashdod and Ashkelon? What about my working-class Jewish fellow citizens whose simple wants and needs are the same as those in London? Where is the determination to eradicate the vermin who have turned Israeli streets into infernos as they blow up buses, restaurants and malls?

Do those murdering and maiming my children deserve a state of their own from which they can peacefully continue to bathe my country in blood? Why are the snakes in London to be pursued and eradicated, while those who have killed young Jewish mothers, Jewish infants and the unborn are to be rewarded and feted as heroes in every corner of every continent in the universe?

We've let those Islamobarbarians kill in Israel for far longer than we've noticed. In our eyes, the Islamofascist fight started in 2001, but it's been going on for far longer than that. We pretend somehow that they're not the same people killing in Iraq and New York. But they are. They're the same sombitches, and they need to be stopped too.

Israel, I cry for you. I really do.

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July 12, 2005

MEETING

Today I was trying to remember when I first read Bunker Mulligan. I was happy, and tearful, to find that I had documented the occasion:

The sphere grows every day. You write a post. Maybe someone notices it. Oh, look, a comment. And they've left a link to their own blog. And then you go there and realize that you now have yet another blog you'd like to read every day and you're running out of time in the day.

Shoot. That just happened to me.

Mike left a comment, so I went to his blog and found an amazing post on intelligence. There's so much there, but one tidbit is

To truly be "smart," you must have knowledge and experience. And those must both be broad and eclectic. Knowledge can come from books, but experience only comes from doing something other than reading and writing. Unfortunately, many people feel they can get by with one or the other. I've known some very intelligent people with loads of knowledge who cannot judge distance, hammer a nail, or relate an allegory to anything in their lives. I've known people with years of experience doing things who cannot understand theoretical concepts well enough to capitalize on that experience. The "intellectual elite" fall into the former category.


I started reading his site again from the beginning, and I found one bit that made me smile:

Like Twain, I shy away from organized churches. I've found a better relationship with God on my own. My cathedral has 18 holes, bunkers, tee boxes, water hazards, and greens. I'm closer to God on the golf course than I am sitting in a pew surrounded by people who believe almost the way I do.

If there's a heaven, Bunker's playing golf there every day.

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PUP-DATE

Charlie celebrated his three month birthday yesterday...

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July 11, 2005

TOUR DE BLAH

Dear Tour de France,

Riders in the Tour should not be allowed to wear yellow. Sponsors with yellow jerseys make it extremely difficult to find the Maillot Jaune. Because other teams wear yellow, some people drive four and a half hours to see the peloton and can't even find Lance when it comes whizzing by. And that makes some people really irritated and sad.

Sincerely,
Sarah


We drove to Mulhouse yesterday for the finish line, and I was quite disappointed with my Tour experience. We waited for two hours at our spot at about 750 meters from the finish line, and then when Rasmussen finally arrived, this is the photo I got, thanks to the jackass standing next to me.

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That's the winner of the stage, right behind the stupid balloon some guy waved in my face. I managed to get a good photo of Voigt and Moreau as they took second and third, but then the peloton came screaming by and I couldn't even find Lance, but I got to listen to my husband rave about how cool it was to see him. And then it was all over; only the people in the VIP section could see the end ceremonies, so we walked back to the car and that was that.

We discussed how the Americans would run a Tour de France: lots of big screens and food vendors and selling souvenirs and crap; a big stadium area for the end ceremony so everyone could enjoy it. As it was, we felt like no one really cared if spectators came or not. It was kinda weird, and rather disappointing.

I'm glad we went because it was something neat to say we've done, but I'm not sure it was worth nine hours in the car yesterday. I'd rather watch it on OLN.

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