April 11, 2006

AFGHAN

A woman in Riverrim's knitting club just lost her son to the War on Terror. This woman was making an afghan for her son, one square for every month he was away, and now the afghan will join him in his coffin. This story rips my heart out and the knitter inside me is weeping.

Posted by: Sarah at 02:50 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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THINGS ON THE TV

I really like these new AFN commercials where a talking computer compares military benefits to the civilian world. I've seen ones about pay raises, vacation days, and medical care. I think it's important for soldiers to know how their benefits compare to the outside world because it's easy to gripe about the Army, but another job might not be any better.

But what I don't like on TV is being lectured to, especially by an ex-stripper. My husband and I watched the "Secrets and Flies" episode of CSI last night. The story revolved around an organization that finds mothers for abandoned embryos. The woman who was killed was a single Christian mother who adopted a leftover fertilized egg from a fertility clinic because she believed that every embryo is a baby from the minute it's fertilized in a laboratory dish. And the CSI cast openly rolled their eyes and scoffed at this organization. Catherine, the ex-stripper, pulled out all these quotes about papal precedent to argue with the head of this organization. The beat-us-over-the-head Message on the show was that pro-lifers are complete nutjobs, and all the CSI characters agreed. There was no inter-office discussion of the matter; it was just settled and blatantly woven into the script that this was insane.

Cop dramas have been doing this for a while. I wrote a while back about similar propaganda in Law & Order. I'm tired of shows painting right-wing ideas as looney. I honestly don't think this "embryo adoption" thing is that weird. If a couple is willing to give away their extra embryos and someone is willing to take them, then everybody's happy. But you should've seen these CSIs' faces: they were completely disgusted by the whole thing. I don't understand why.

I'm not 100% sure what my view is on abortion. I struggle with one fundamental paradox: If an unwed teen gets pregnant, then we start talking about "at what day is it actually a baby", but if a happily married couple gets pregnant, it's obviously a baby from day one. I know when I get pregnant that it will be a baby from the beginning, and I don't care what day the heart starts beating or the blood starts circulating. So if it's a baby for me, I should see it as a baby for everyone. But I still can't say that abortion is absolutely murder. My thoughts on the topic are kind of messy, and thank goodness I've never had to really work through them.

That said, I respect people who do think that it's murder, and I admire someone who might consider adopting an embryo to give every baby a chance. I certainly would never roll my eyes at her or argue with her about what the pope said in the 16th century (which is what the CSI did). All other things being equal, I respect the right-wing position on abortion more than I do the left-wing position, even though I fall somewhere in between. So why is it obvious that the message on TV is that the right-wingers are nuts?

Posted by: Sarah at 02:09 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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April 06, 2006

BOOKS

Found this on a knit blog and immediately wanted to do it.

Name 5 of your favorite books:
Alas Babylon
The Cornish Trilogy
Lolita
The Power of One
Contact

What was the last book you bought?:
The First Three Minutes

What were the last 3 books you read?:
War of the Worlds
Just a Couple of Days
Gates of Fire

List 5 books that have been particularly meaningful to you:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Atlas Shrugged
To Kill a Mockingbird
Stranger in a Strange Land
Skinny Legs and All

Name 3 books you've been dying to read but just haven't gotten around to:
Taking Science to the Moon
Up From Slavery
The Soul of Battle

My husband and I did some final unpacking from Iraq last weekend. His tattered, dirty, torn copy of Atlas Shrugged fell out. I had promised it to Erin since Amritas gifted me a nice new copy, but when I saw it and thought of how it had kept my husband company for so many hours out at that stupid bridge over the Tigris, well, I just couldn't part with it. I'm buying Erin her own copy.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:45 AM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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QUILT

When my husband left for Iraq, I started a patchwork quilt. That was two years ago. Sewing it all together was fun and easy, but as soon as it came time to actually quilt it, I thought it was too hard. The quilt sat on a shelf for over a year, but I knew I had to finish it before we moved. I finally finished this week; it really wasn't as hard as I thought, though of course there are all sorts of mistakes that I just whatevered and kept going. I tried to take a photo of the finished product today. Naturally, everything in this house belongs to Charlie, so he grabbed it and ran down the hall with it.

quilt.JPG

Charlie has chewed on some valuable stuff in his lifetime, but this might take the cake. Unless you count the envelope of $300 I wrestled away from him on Monday.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:19 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 03, 2006

MR SMITH

Yesterday I actually sat and watched an entire hour of Al Franken. It wasn't as torturous as I thought it would be. I thought Tim Russert did a great job of keeping Franken honest, and I would love to see Russert interview someone like Ann Coulter the same way.

At one point, Al Franken said that what he'd really like to see is for Bush and Cheney to come clean with the world. He said they should give a "six hour long speech" (wow) in which they delineate everything they did wrong in Iraq. He wants their mea culpa to include everything from inaccurate pre-war intelligence to not stopping the looters after the fall of Baghdad. Franken said that after Bush and Cheney admitted they had been wrong about everything under the sun, then the international community could forgive them and the Democrats would gladly sit down and draft a bipartisan plan for Iraq.

I started thinking about transparency in government. The husband and I have been watching 24 recently. "President David Palmer" is probably close to everyone's ideal president. He went straight to the media when he learned his son might've killed someone. He ratted out his campaign contributors when he figured out they were dirty. And he divorced his wife during the primaries because she became too power hungry. In watching 24, you can't help but think that if all politicians had half of Palmer's integrity, the world would be a better place.

But if everyone wants Mr. Smith to go to Washington, why does it never happen in real life?

There are things that Bush and Cheney could've done differently with Iraq. I'm sure they know this. But I honestly don't think that it's appropriate for anyone to give a six hour apology while the war is still going on. And I honestly believe someone would still find something that Bush left out of his six hour speech to complain about. Lord knows there are times when I wish for more honesty in Washington (Would someone please step to the plate and call Cynthia McKinney a race-baiting bitch?) but I don't expect it to ever happen. Politics is a tricky game, and any one thing you say can haunt you for life (see "Read my lips", "I did not have sex with that woman", and "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.") No matter what Al Franken says, I don't think a big apology would make any of his opponents respect President Bush more, and I guarantee something from his apology speech would become a soundbite in the next election.

I often think I'm too thin-skinned to blog, so I know for sure that thin-skinned people certainly can't get into politics. I lie in bed worrying about how President Bush sleeps at night knowing his face is superimposed over a swastika; I'm sure he must be the type of man who waves it off and keeps going. We need our politicians to be thick-skinned, aggressive, and tough. We need them to play the game at the level that everyone else does, like it or not. Mr. Smith really wouldn't last long.

We may think we want Bobby running Ewing Oil, but in a world of dirty dealers, JR's the man for the job. Sad as that may be.

Posted by: Sarah at 02:29 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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April 02, 2006

LINK

Pericles pointed out an article to Erin that's worth repeating here:
Don't Politicize Our Soldiers

Also, a hearty HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Tim! We miss you!

Posted by: Sarah at 04:44 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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