July 09, 2005

ANNIKA

I've gotten really lazy about posting lately because I assume you can all find the stuff I want to say on other blogs. I see stuff all the time that I want to point out, but I don't have much to add to the conversation; you'd be better off checking out Conservative Grapevine every morning instead of my blog. Hawkins has done a great job of compiling links.

I've also gotten lazy about reading blogs, which is why I missed this bait from Annika. I heard about Ulf Hjertstrom and immediately wanted to meet him and shake his hand. A Swede who wanted to take the fight to the enemy...wow.

And in reading Annika again, I remembered what I've been missing for so long. I love reading Annika. I love reading many blogs, but I've pushed it all aside because lately I just don't have the time or energy to get that involved. Bunker's absence drove me from the blogosphere, and at times it feels useless to return. However, I spent a long time catching up with Annika, laughing at this spot-on assessment of Jack Kerouac and nodding at this discussion of chickenhawks. I need to spend some time getting caught up with everyone; hell, I've even started skipping Bleats.

But first I need to get the dog to stop whining every time I take him upstairs.

I've been apathetic lately, about everything. London shook me up though, and I hope it helps me start feeling again, start thinking bigger thoughts than "indeed" when I read others' posts. I feel myself turning into an instapundit, and I don't like it.

I've been thinking about a project that I'd like to start. Bunker wrote so many posts that I indeed-ed, and I have been thinking of going back and revisiting some of the things that I wish I'd said. I'd like to work on that soon.

If the dog cooperates, that is.

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July 08, 2005

T-SHIRT

I got an email from Mrs. Sims today. She belongs to a support group for OEF and OIF widows. Apparently most of their correspondence deals with anti-war messages they see and hear, things that would have made their husbands cringe. Mrs. Sims was especially appalled by a t-shirt she saw and the accompanying message from its creator:

tshirt.GIF

The background of this image is created by the names of about 1,700 U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq between March 21, 2003 and June 13, 2005. The names are in alphabetical order, with half the names on the front, and the other half on the back. The names are small, but easily read without magnification.

I think of this product as both a scathing indictment of George W. Bush and a memorial to the brave young soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq on behalf of their country. Perhaps someday they will get the memorial they deserve in Washington. Until then, this will have to suffice.

This t-shirt is not a monument to soldiers; if it were, the Bush slur would have been left off. You made this t-shirt for selfish reasons, as you admit later. Don't even try to sugarcoat it.

Bush is most famous for lying about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was this lie that arguably was most responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, not to mention thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.

But Bush has lied in many other areas as well, from denying global warming to boasting about an improving economy that is actually on the skids. His lies are legion, and have spawned a cottage industry of books including The Lies of George W. Bush by David Corn and Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken.

Blah blah blah. If you want to make an anti-Bush shirt, do it. Just leave the fallen soldiers and their families out of it. Putting their names on your shirt implies that they support the message you're peddling for twenty bucks a pop...

I want to acknowledge that a number of relatives of fallen soldiers have contacted me to express their displeasure (or disgust) with the products I sell that bear the names of their loved ones.

Uh, gee, ya think? I know a few of those names, and I'm disgusted; can you guess how disgusted their wives and mothers and brothers are?

I admit that I did not contact the families of soldiers to get their permission. This would have been a monumental exercise, and would no doubt have proved impractical given the differing opinions among various family members.

It would've been too hard and most of them would've said no, so I just went ahead and did what I want regardless.

Of course, this product is not meant to be a statement on behalf of the families or the fallen soldiers. It is a statement on behalf of those who believe that this war was a tragic and terrible mistake -- and not an innocent mistake.

Ah, there's the selfish reason. You didn't make this t-shirt as a monument to the fallen, as you claimed in the beginning of your justification. You made it to prove your own point, using the names of people who don't agree with you and probably would like to punch you in the face if they ever met you. Hope you feel good about that.

I should also like to point out that many of the soldiers who died in Iraq believed that they were fighting for democracy. Democracy is built in large part on freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects these products, and all such similar examples of free speech.

Why does this remind me of the South Park commercial against Harbucks Coffee? ("It's time to stop large corporations. Prop Ten is about children. Vote yes on Prop Ten or else you hate children. You don't hate children, do you?") If you don't like this shirt, well then you must not believe in democracy and free speech and stuff. Oh, and you're disrespecting your husbands because, naturally, they would've fought to the death for my right to make this t-shirt. Isn't that how the saying goes?

Finally, I would like to express my sincere condolences to all of those who have lost loved ones in this war. No matter what they believed, or which side they were on, those who died will be missed.

Dan R. Frazier

In the end, as disgusted as I feel that Mrs. Sims knows her husband's name is on a shirt that makes her sick, I'm sure that the owners of these shirts will someday be ashamed. When Iraq is on her feet, as Germany and Japan are today, these shirts will have been burned or hidden. I'm confident that history will justify CPT Sims, not Dan Frazier.

Nonetheless, I send my condolences to all of the spouses, parents, and siblings of those whose names appear on this nauseating t-shirt. I know this shirt is not in our name.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:52 AM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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UNITED WE STAND

unionjack.jpg

We are all Brits now

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July 06, 2005

HOMEFRONT

I went to our neighbor's change of command today, where he said something that struck me: he thanked the families for their support during OIF and told his soldiers that they can't understand what it was like to be left behind. I remember I got a taste of this when my husband was home on R&R and CPT Sims was killed. My husband was quite taken aback by everything we wives knew about life insurance and death gratuity. He was surprised that I knew things like how long I would be able to stay in quarters, and he was surprised at the string of phone calls we wives began to send. He said that he had never thought about things from the family end; he had never realized the worrying we did, because he always knew if he and his men were safe.

My job during the deployment was significantly different from his. Mine was nowhere near as hard (though I imagine wives who stayed back with three or four kids might think otherwise), but it was something he couldn't quite grasp. And unless you've lived the homefront lifestyle, you just don't quite know what it's like. Soldiers don't know what the homefront feels like.


(I was mulling over what my neighbor said when I realized we're back to the chickenhawk garbage. I think the two thoughts are related. I don't think you have to live through something to have an opinion on it, though I think it helps to know someone who has gone through it so you can talk about it and learn more. But not everyone can live every experience; the chickenhawk argument is bogus.)

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HEH

Our dog is hilarious. He's such a couch potato that when I tried to take him for a walk today, he starting crying and trying to climb up my leg so I would carry him. We barely made it across the street before I gave up on the walk altogether. What a bum!

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July 05, 2005

PROMOTION

One time at a military ball, we sat across from a MAJ Hook. My husband leaned over and whispered, "I bet it was a long seven years as CPT Hook." I nearly spit my wine across the table.

Some names and ranks just go together. And some you just get so used to hearing that it feels weird when they change. But a promotion is a wonderful thing, even if we have to learn a new title. So I guess we'll just have to get used to calling the sweetest woman on the planet MAJ Patti now.

Congrats on your promotion, MAJ Patti!

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July 04, 2005

F YEAH

I forgot what I had written last year, so I checked: last year's Independence Day post was hard for me too. It's like I want to say something profound, but every day is 4th of July when you love your country as much as I do. However, we did celebrate in a significant way: by watching "A Taste of Freedom" and Team America. Twice. And next year, we'll be celebrating Independence Day in our own country. I can't wait.

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July 02, 2005

RETRACTION

Stars and Stripes issues a forthright retraction of incorrect data. The mainstream media should take notice of what a real retraction looks like. Stars and Stripes looks classier every day.

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ABUSE

Look at all the abuse going on at Gitmo! Abuse against the soldiers, that is. And look at the punishments solders get for fighting back against the prisoners: demotion, garnished wages, extra duty, etc. What a gulag...

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July 01, 2005

1890

Here's a Reuters article that really chaps my hide, via LGF:

World’s oldest person celebrates 115th birthday

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch woman who swears by a daily helping of herring for a healthy life celebrated her 115th birthday on Wednesday as the oldest living person on record.

Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, a former needlework teacher, was born in 1890, the year Sioux Indians were massacred by the U.S. military at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

WHAT??? I supposed they're trying to give us some sort of frame of reference for just how old she is, but let's look at what else happened in 1890, events Reuters skipped in order to use Wounded Knee:

Oscar Wilde publishes The Picture of Dorian Gray
Otto von Bismarck dismissed
Idaho is admitted as the 43rd state
Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park established
US stops minting $1 & $3 gold coin & 3¢ piece
Daughters of the American Revolution founded
Ellis Island opens as a US immigration depot

And the list goes on. Heck, Reuters could've said that this woman was born the year before basketball was invented! All of these give us a frame of reference as well; why Wounded Knee?

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