September 11, 2005

STAYING FOCUSED

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How's your laser beam this year?

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September 08, 2005

DILEMMA

I could use some advice on behalf of a reader who contacted me with an perplexing dilemma. This reader was conducting interviews at his job and interviewed an Egyptian man who set off a couple of warning bells. This Egyptian seemed "jittery and anxious" and became agitated when he learned that this particular job would not get him maximum money pronto; the man said that he was only planning on being in the country for a short time and needed to make as much money as possible as fast as he could. This reader couldn't help but shake the feeling of "terrorist" that was creeping in. The reader doesn't want to be "racist" but also doesn't want to be caught wishing he'd done something (like those who met Atta and got a bad feeling). The reader wonders if he should report this, and to whom.

So what do you think? Is it better to be safe than sorry, or is it intrusive to potentially shake up someone's life on nothing better than a hunch? I'd appreciate as much input as any of you can give me as to what you'd honestly do if you were in this reader's shoes. He needs our help.

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LINKS

Interesting discussion on subtle racism at Annika's
Interesting article on "the story that no one is reporting" about Katrina

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PHOTOS

Wanna see some photos of white people cackling and rubbing their hands together as black people drown in New Orleans? Sorry, I don't have any. All I've got are these photos of human beings helping each other.

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WHAT?

I'm not sure I think it's very fair that the New Orleans police worked their butts off for a week and now want paid vacation since the national guard showed up. The guardsmen were brought home early from Iraq, which means they've been working their butts off for a year. And the police get the all-expense paid vacations?

My husband worked every day around the clock for nine months before he was allowed two weeks of R&R, which were deducted from his vacation days. And the police can't work at this pace for one week before they need time off?

Apparently they need some days at home to sift through all the loot they stole from Wal-Mart.

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September 06, 2005

INJURED

This summer, with no job and a puppy to watch, I have done a lot of knitting. I never thought there was such a thing as too much knitting, but apparently there is. I have been having dull pains in my forearms, and both my index fingers are shot: I made a puncture wound in my left index with a 4.0 cm, and I have a rugburn-like callous on my right from holding the yarn. My husband has put me on the disabled list: no knitting for at least two days. And I was gonna start these gloves for my dad, perfect for his two favorite hobbies (cigars and fishing).

What do you do with your free time if you're not knitting?

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ROLE MODELS

It seems at least one commenter thinks I write about President Bush too often. The explanation is quite simple really: the reason I write about him is because I think about him all the time. There are three men who dominate my life, three men whose respect I work hard to earn every day: President Bush, Bunker, and CPT Sims. In every action and every thought, I consistently weigh how these three men would judge me. Am I doing something that would make them slap sense into me, or would they be proud of me? You don't have to understand this, but it's a big part of what keeps me trying to be a better person every day.

So I'll quit glorifying our President when the other half of the world stops vilifying him.

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FIGHT

I bought the husband the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy for his birthday, and we watched the movies again for the first time since the movie theater. As I watched preparations for the battle of Helms Deep, I told my husband that there's no way they would've herded me into the cellar. I couldn't imagine sending my husband and son off to fight while I stayed underground. The only exercise my arms get is knitting, but I would've fought, struggled to lift a sword, even though it surely would've meant death at the hands of an orc. But I would've had to try, had to fight.

Hey, maybe I'm a sheepdog.

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September 05, 2005

NO COMPARISON

Daily Kos said that Hurricane Katrina was worse than 9/11. I believe Charles Johnson is right in saying that some people want nothing more than to downplay what happened to our country that day. There's no comparison between 9/11 and a natural disaster.

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Look into this man's eyes. He flew an airplane into a building in a calculated and deliberate attempt to kill as many Americans as possible. He worked hard, studied hard, and trained to attack the United States and leave death in his wake. He is a monster and a nothing.

To intentionally compare what he did on that infamous September morn to what happened in New Orleans is beyond my comprehension. Deliberate murder is not really the same as dropping the ball during a natural disaster. There will be time yet for a hundred visions and revisions once the chaos of Hurricane Katrina has subsided, but right now people need to focus more on working for the present and future instead of pointing fingers into the past.

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Unfortunately, this poor man is once again being blamed for everything. The way some people are jawing, you'd think President Bush borrowed Halle Berry's white wig and conjured up a big storm to try to kill him some black people. Or that if he'd only signed Kyoto as zee Germans told him he should, the hurricane would've been avoided. News flash: President Bush is not to blame for everything bad that happens in this world.

Varifrank wonders why anyone in his right mind would ever, ever, ever want to be president. President Bush acts pre-emptively and he's blasted for not waiting on the UN. He waits for his advisors on Katrina and he's blasted for not acting quickly enough. Last time he was suppsed to drop My Pet Goat and run into the burning buildings himself. And then sit around and wait for Hans Blix for another few years. And apparently now he should've immediately flown down to Louisiana with "a hundred helicopters dumping concrete blocks, crushed cars, barges, and anything else they could get, into the breach" to save the day.

What happened in New Orleans is terrible: Mother Nature can be a bitch, no doubt. But the only thing that Katrina has in common with 9/11 is that neither of them were President Bush's fault.

As Ben Stein says, Get Off His Back.


MORE TO GROK:

Porretto also said it better than I could:

I applaud Dubya’s election, re-election, and his overall performance in office because I am persuaded, by everything I’ve learned about his conduct, both in full view of the cameras and in less well publicized settings, that he is an honest man. He says what he means, to the best of his ability to express it, and does what he says he’ll do, to the best of his ability to do it. The probability that his successor will be as honest and responsible is vanishingly small; consider the list of candidates for his position and see if you can disagree.

Yet this honest, sincere, remarkably generous and gentle man, who rose against savage opposition to the most powerful, most scrutinized, most pressured office on Earth, is subject to carping from all sides. Some of it is more vicious than any American public figure has ever endured. Some of it is based, not on his actual conduct, efforts, or results, but on his critics’ dislike of his priorities. And some of it, tragically, is emanating from the very persons who claim to hold those priorities themselves.

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September 03, 2005

KNITTING UPDATE

Since all I've done this summer is knit and make sure the dog isn't chewing on the coffee table, I've been fairly productive. The sweater on the left is for the husband, and the other two are for me. I'm nearly done with a fourth, a plain white one. (I hate how photos always make my work look like those Magic Eye posters.)

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Also via Zabibbo is Good, here's a humorous account from a man who lives with a knitter:

Living with a knitter is not easy. To which degree varies based on the knitter's personality as knitters come in all flavors. The sociological kind is common, to which knitting is a crusade, the polarized kind, to which an SKP and a K2TOG are mutually exclusive, the helping type, which needs to help you even when you never asked for help and the guru type, which only lives in Nepal. Some knitters are militant to their partner, which is, they want their mate to be involved. This can develop in requesting for help winding a hank (which can have catastrophic results), help choosing color and design (which turns into masochism easily) and can go as far as outsourcing a design to the mate. The latter, technically called "black hole initiative" is definitely hairy business and can go as far as what is known as "annihilation", don't try it if you are the Romantic type.

I suppose I'm somewhere between sociological and polarized. I have asked my husband for advice, wherein he makes something up and then realizes later that I was serious. I stopped asking. I have offered to teach him, but I think he wants to keep the mystery of knitting a mystery: as he said once, "You know, I have no idea what it is you're doing. You click those sticks together and a sweater comes out."

And SKP is most certainly different from K2TOG.

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QUESTIONS

Found a set of questions via a knit blog, Zibibbo is Good. She's a knitter who reads LGF, and she'd like to make buttons that say Knitters Against Global Jihad but thinks that no one would buy them. Uh, hello? I've got three customers right here in Germany (my two best friends and I) who'd take them in a heartbeat.

10 years ago I was starting my senior year of high school. I thought I knew everything, and I thought that talking on the phone to my boyfriend was more important than calculus. That's why my husband sat down and did a calc problem cold yesterday and I stared at him blankly.

5 years ago I was starting my first year of grad school, dating my husband long distance and realizing that most people, myself included, don't know the first thing about real learning.

1 year ago I was traveling to France with my mother, breaking my vow to never return to that country.

Yesterday I watched "We Interrupt This Program" in From the Earth to the Moon with my husband, and then we had pie and talked about it. "It's just when I see a really good movie I really like to go out and get some pie and talk about it."

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September 01, 2005

PUPDATE

The other day, I noticed something...unusual...in Charlie's poop. I could not figure out what it was or where he had gotten it. Until today. I put it all together five minutes ago when I remembered that in one of his frantic runs down the hall, he knocked over our American flag (we keep it inside during dark and rain). What I saw in his poop was the wing of the eagle that tops our flagpole. Good heavens, that must've hurt on the way out.

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YOWZA

Holy smokes -- our gas just jumped 18 cents overnight.
I thought we were getting oil out of this war...

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STEALING

I once dated a boy with a confusing value system. His philosophy on stealing was that if you don't safeguard your belongings, you deserve to have them stolen. He absolved the thief of wrongdoing and placed the responsibility of ownership squarely on the owner. If a store didn't have security cameras, how could thieves be blamed for taking advantage of such a system? I quickly realized that he and I would never have common ground and that the relationship was doomed to fail. How can you possibly build when mommy says stealing is bad and daddy says it's OK? There was no future in that relationship.

I was reminded of him yesterday as I watched the footage of the looting in New Orleans. I cannot fathom what was going through those people's minds. What made them think that it was acceptable to steal merchandise just because the windows were broken? In whose worldview is it OK to steal during a national tragedy? In a time when all feared for their lives, individuals were cashing in on misery.

CNN currently has a poll up: "Can looting be defended by neccessity?" Right now, the vote is split 45/55% towards No. But the problem is that many people weren't stealing out of necessity. We're not talking Jean Valjean and his loaf of bread here; we're talking cash and jewelery.

Looting broke out in some New Orleans neighborhoods, prompting authorities to send more than 70 additional officers and an armed personnel carrier into the city. One police officer was shot in the head by a looter, but was expected to recover, said Sergeant Paul Accardo, a police spokesman.

On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel gates on clothing and jewelry stores and grabbed merchandise. In Biloxi, Mississippi, people picked through casino slot machines for coins and ransacked other businesses.

Someone shot a policeman in the head over this. That is not necessity; that is greed. That is stealing, justified in someone's warped mind because The Man was too busy saving lives to guard the stores.

That's disgusting.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:37 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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