November 29, 2007

THE YOUTUBE DEBATE

I watched part of the second half of the YouTube debate last night, and I came away from it feeling quite confused. I wondered if I was the only one who thought the questions were caricatures of Republicans. I mean, really, what else can you make of questions about What Would Jesus Do about capital punishment and "would you put women who got abortions in jail?" All the questions I heard sounded like Democrats asking Republicans about their stupid, weird views. Questions about what you think about the Confederate flag or a Muslim asking how to get the rest of the world to like us again? Really? I thought all the questions sounded like Democrats trying to play gotcha with the candidates. Do you believe every single word in the Bible? Puh-lease. That's political debate?

But I thought maybe it was just me. I only saw the social conservative questions, and that's not really my bag. I prefer the tax and terrorism stuff. I thought the questions were dumb, the cartoon Cheney was offensive, and the whole thing was weird.

I turned on the radio on the way home from my knitting class this morning, and I was actually surprised to hear that Rush Limbaugh also thought the questions were stupid. He made an astute point: people submitted their YouTube questions to CNN and CNN picked the ones to use. Since everyone at CNN is a Democrat, of course they picked questions that I think are stupid. They think my views are weird and laughable, so naturally they picked the questions that made the Republicans look kooky.

But seriously, the Confederate flag? That's just plain condescending and offensive towards my worldview.

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November 28, 2007

HOUSE PARTY

I've been busy getting ready for this...

SBL-Bragg.gif

Andi gets here in a couple of hours, which means I have lasagna to make and a house to keep cleaning. Oh, and a dog to brush. Heather (from Hand-Crafted Comfort) and Ginger (from Sew Much Comfort) show up for dinner tomorrow. Then a friend from Germany and CaliValleyGirl arrive Friday. It's a hen party in the Grok house this weekend!

SpouseBUZZ Live should be great, as always. And if you can't make it to the live event, a very generous and cool company called Syncronicity Live is going to livestream the day. You can watch along from home! What a gift they've given us.

And so I'm off, to finish making the house look presentable and start dinner. Blogging might be limited, since my online friends will all be in my living room this weekend!

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SELFLESS

Here's another funny quip about that woman who got herself sterilized:

“Having children is selfish, “ says Vernelli, “it’s all about maintaining your own genetic line at the expense of the planet.”

I couldn’t agree more. Every really selfish person I know has like twelve kids.

Why just the other day, as I was sitting, unbathed and exhausted, in the kitchen selfishly riding herd on three screaming children, all of whom were simultaneously demanding that I continue my genetic line by providing them with juice boxes, goldfish crackers, hairbows, wardrobe changes, sno-cones, candy, lunch, water, DVDs, computer assistance, reading assistance, diaper changes, judicial intervention, and “milkey, he-a-uh” (milk, heated up), I thought to myself, “Man, am I selfish!”

I had a discussion a little while ago with CaliValleyGirl over whether having children is selfish or selfless. I completely believe that it's selfless, that the point of having children is to raise adults who will provide benefit to society, not just to have a little version of me to cuddle. And raising upstanding members of society is hard. How much easier would my life be to just keep merrily knitting along in between vacations and spending money on myself? That seems like the selfish choice to me. I think instead that I have a duty to my society to breed at no less than replacement rate and breed well, so that my progeny make our country a better place.

But who knows, maybe I'm crazy. I did read America Alone while I was trying to get pregnant, so that may have screwed with my head.

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November 27, 2007

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Thomas Sowell:

Among corporate CEOs, those who cash in stock options that they have accumulated over the years get a big spike in income the year that they cash them in. This lets critics quote inflated incomes of the top-paid CEOs for that year. Some of these incomes are almost as large as those of big-time entertainers -- who are never accused of "greed," by the way.

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R&R

I am loving Butterfly Wife's R&R posts. Just loving them. They make me remember my own R&R and smile. If you've ever had an R&R, I highly recommend heading to her blog and just scrolling. I am sure it will sound familiar.

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POTPOURRI

-- I always find stuff like this, Shiver Me Timbers: 'Tree Man' Revealed, so sad. This man's life has been ruined, he's been mocked and has resorted to working in a freak show, all over something Americans doctors could fix with doses of Vitamin A. My heart always breaks when someone in another country suffers a horrible, debilitating illness that can be cured with simple medicine.

-- I have a really low tolerance for Mormon bashing. And this article, Enough Cliches About Faith: Mitt's Mormonism Matters, got under my skin today.

Those contradictory statements won't cut it. And they don't sidestep the plain fact that Mormonism, like the other faiths I mentioned, is not a Christian religion.
...
Mormons, it turns out, believe human souls have existed for all eternity, temporarily inhabit physical bodies and can eventually evolve into gods. They also believe the Garden of Eden was in Missouri and that tribes from Israel traveled to what is now America, built ancient cities and fought epic battles.

Needless to say, there's no physical evidence of the cities or the thousands killed in the ancient wars of the Mormon holy books, and DNA evidence rules out American Indians as descendants of ancient Israel.

DNA evidence also rules out Noah's Ark, and there's no archaeological evidence of the Exodus. So let's throw out the Old Testament while we're belittling religions. There go Judaism and Christianity. Oh well. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

-- And my #1 pet peeve of all: our military installations in Germany. Mark Steyn opines on the Defense Welfare Queens:

But hundreds of thousands of U.S. personnel should not be living permanently in Europe, for reasons I go into in America Alone. The problem is nicely encapsulated in a remark by Karl Peter Bruch, the then Interior Minister for Rhineland-Palatinate. When Rummy first mooted reducing the American presence and the Germans started lobbying Washington to change their minds, Herr Bruch said:


We realised that our installations are in grave danger. And then came the question, what can we do to make us more attractive?

"Our" installations? Who's this "our," kemosabe? These bases are built, maintained and staffed by the United States - and paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Yet Herr Bruch regards them as a permanent feature of the German landscape, like the Black Forest.

Amen, brother. I once asked a German co-worker what happens to the buildings and land when we close down an American installation, do we sell the buildings to the Germans or just leave? She indignantly replied that, of course the Germans don't buy anything; we Americans "stole" the land in the first place. And what was perhaps the only time in Sarah's life that she managed a zinger, I fired back with, "Um, you really don't want to get in a measuring contest of who stole more land in the 30s and 40s, do you?"

The Continentals are so insulated from reality they don't even value the U.S. presence in strategic terms. German politicians speak of U.S. military bases mainly as an economic issue — all those German supermarkets and German restaurants that depend on American custom.

And that sums it up. All you ever hear about is how all the poor restaurant owners will go out of business when American soldiers stop eating out every night of the damn week. Cry me a river. Bring all those soldiers back to the US to patronize American restaurant owners.

US out of Germany now! No more blood for schnitzel.

(All links via Conservative Grapevine)

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November 26, 2007

FULL-THROATED ENDORSEMENT

My husband pointed out the article yesterday about the lady who got herself sterilized because breeding leads to global warming. My immediate reaction? Excellent. Almost with a Mr. Burns accent. If she honestly thinks that, then I don't want her breeding either. So it's a win-win.

Lileks nails it:

She expresses frustration that other people are unable to accept her decision. I suspect she means “my mum” by “other people,” and I suspect she confuses “acceptance” with “full-throated endorsement."

Of course I accept these people’s decisions not to have children. What am I supposed to do, break into their homes, duct-tape them together into the double-backed beast and play whacka-chicka 70s porn soundtracks until they’re in the mood? But “acceptance” is part of the usual recipe: first we must tolerate, which no decent person should have any problem doing. Then we are asked to accept, which for most means slump-shouldered acquiescence. Eventually it’s not the norm, but it’s standing alongside it on stage, nudging its way into the spotlight.

As Mr. Garrison eloquently said, "Look, just because you have to tolerate something doesn't mean you have to approve of it! ... "Tolerate" means you're just putting up with it! You tolerate a crying child sitting next to you on the airplane or, or you tolerate a bad cold. It can still piss you off! Jesus Tapdancing Christ!"

And Lileks has more. Much more. Plus funny reviews of Redacted and Die Hardest.

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November 25, 2007

I GOT NOTHIN'

I keep sitting at the computer, waiting for inspiration to strike. It doesn't. But I can give you links.

Steyn's GOP looks like the party of diverse ideas
Reynolds' Loving Monsters

And here's a good RWN post called 2/3 of Americans Polled are Idiots. I swear, I don't want to compare life to that movie Idiocracy, but sometimes I just can't help it. Sometimes a silly movie about how morons outbreed smart people and turn the world to crap doesn't seem so far off.

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November 21, 2007

THANK HEAVENS I DON'T HAVE, LIKE, A JOB TO GET IN THE WAY

I am finally well enough to be able to be able to lift my arms more than four inches off the sofa. Which means knitting again! But I look around me, just from my vantage point on the sofa, and see ten projects on needles. I have so much knitting I want to do, and only two hands to do it with. How often have I wished I were a Hindu god...

And the queen of stuffed animals over at k2sc1 is raising the bar yet again with a fantastic knitted elephant. I want one! But I seriously can't cast on my eleventh project.

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OUR DOCUMENT

I had a discussion with my husband a while back about the Constitution. And how perfect it is. And how strange that seems, since it was written by mere men. And how I don't think I would willingly sumbit myself to any document written by mere men today, but have no qualms about accepting every sacred word that was written 220 years ago. And how odd that is. And yet how perfect I still think that document is.

My brain runs in circles.

But as I was reading The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms (via Instapundit) this morning, I was struck by one paragraph that reminds me again how beautiful our Constitution is:

There is, to be sure, in the Second Amendment, an express reference to the security of a "free State." It is not a reference to the security of THE STATE. There are doubtless certain national constitutions that put a privileged emphasis on the security of "the state," but such as they are, they are all unlike our Constitution and the provisions they have respecting their security do not appear in a similarly phrased Bill of Rights. Accordingly, such constitutions make no reference to any right of the people to keep and bear arms, apart from state service. And why do they not do so? Because, in contrast with the premises of constitutional government in this country, they reflect the belief that recognition of any such right "in the people" might well pose a threat to the security of "the state." In the view of these different constitutions, it is commonplace to find that no one within the state other than its own authorized personnel has any right to keep and bear arms--a view emphatically rejected, rather than embraced, however, by the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. [emphasis mine]

The perfection of our Constitution lies in the fact that the people of the United States are more important than the government. Obviously this is common knowledge for anyone who knows a darn thing about the founding of our country, but it bears repeating, lest we forget just what a unique and wonderful experiment our country is.

I am just so happy to have been born here. It sure saved me the time and energy of having to get here.

And I really miss Bunker right at this moment. That man knew the value of the Constitution and would've loved that I was having these thoughts. I sure miss his attagirl comments.

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November 20, 2007

CRAPPY NEWS NETWORK

Woah. McQ from Q and O busts out CNN bigtime. He was watching a program on John Cena and steroid use and thought Cena's answer was evasive. Then he saw the entire tape. He asks, "If CNN can so cavalierly edit an answer in a relatively peripheral story about professional wresting, what are they doing with really important stories."

You have to go watch these two videos. It's unreal how sneaky CNN was. And, yes, Cena definitely deserves an apology.

Every time I see something like this, it makes me distrust the news even more. What else are they clipping and cutting?

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November 19, 2007

NOT QUITE WHAT I ENVISIONED

My latest Thanksgiving preemie hat. Or, as I like to call it, the Loch Ness monster with balloons on his back.

thanksgivinghat.jpg

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November 17, 2007

OBSERVING RACE RELATIONS

I saw two very interesting and related events today that made me start thinking about race relations.

First, I was in the dollar store and a white dad and his white son were oohing and aahing over these "bling bling" toys. They were plastic necklaces shaped like dollar signs and stuff like rappers would wear. The white dad was using his outdoor voice to tell the kid how cool the bling was. And there were a whole lot of black people in the store who didn't bat an eye or seem to think this was at all weird.

Secondly, I later heard two middle-aged women at Michaels talking about beading and jewelery making. The white one told the black one that a certain type of magnetic clasp was "the bomb." And the black lady agreed.

Now I don't know exactly what each of these exchanges means on a grander scale. But it seemed to me today that elements of black culture are seeping into white culture, and the black people I observed today didn't seem to notice or mind. I thought it was pretty fascinating that in no way did the white people feel like they should watch what they said lest they appear to be co-opting someone else's culture or sound condescending, and the black people took it as fairly normal that a white lady would say "the bomb" or a white kid would want some 50 Cent style necklace.

I just thought it was cool. And I hope it does say something grander about our society.

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November 16, 2007

HEH

Quote of the day, by John Hawkins:

We will never go back to the America that the Founding Fathers envisioned. We're talking about people who were profoundly distrustful of the federal government and believed in keeping it extremely weak and starved of funds. They wouldn't support Social Security, Medicare, or even the income tax. The Founders made the nerdiest Big L Libertarian you'll ever run into today seem like Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in comparison.

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BABIES EVERYWHERE

I've been fascinated by websites like this that chronicle my baby's growth. I can't believe he/she already has toes and fingers and fingerprints! Better not commit any crimes or Grissom'll get ya, baby.

But as amazed as I am about this wiggling baby inside me that I haven't yet seen or heard, I was blown away at the pictures on Erin's blog. She and her husband are adopting, and their baby gave them a perfect first photo.

I am so excited for them.

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NO POWER

Last night we lost power for over an hour. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a major tragedy, but it's so easy to forget how much we rely on electricity to do everything. What do you do when the sun's already gone down and there's no internet, no TV, no phone, no radio, and no heat? Most people make a baby, but we're already ahead of that game. It's amazing how life slows to a snail's pace when the power goes out.

But my husband said the silver lining was that we didn't give a dime to any Saudis during that hour.

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November 15, 2007

I HEART BEN STEIN

Ben Stein was awesome today. If you missed it, you can always listen to the archives to hear how he got so danged pro-military, his financial advice, and what his favorite breakfast cereal is. He was great fun to talk to.

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IT'S A CHAMPAGNE JAM!

Break out the Jim Beam, honey, it's party time!

A few drinks during pregnancy might be OK
Occasional binge may not harm fetus; more study needed, researchers say

I'm kidding, before anyone freaks out. I don't think the occasional drink while you're pregnant is going to harm the baby -- no one ever told my mom not to drink while she was pregnant, so she had margaritas with dinner on occasion -- but I also have been trying to only do what's absolutely necessary in terms of medicine and stuff, especially during these first three months. And since I honestly have lost the craving for alcohol, it's not much of a sacrifice to not drink. Especially to not binge. Geez, who needs five drinks in one sitting while pregnant?

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YARDWORK

Guess what my husband is doing at work today? Yardwork. Ha. They have all the captains and majors doing yardwork today. My husband told his Major buddy that he should refuse to do it and sit in the hot box while they all whistle for him à la Bridge on the River Kwai. We had a good laugh at that last night.

But I love what my husband said next: "But I am not going to complain about doing yardwork because there are people who are deployed right now, getting injured and killed. Yardwork is nothing compared to that."

I am so proud of my husband's perspective.

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INTERVIEWING BEN STEIN

Today on SpouseBUZZ radio we will be talking about Ben Stein's book The Real Stars and doing a short interview with the man himself. You can read more about Mr. Stein and the book at SpouseBUZZ. If you can join us live at 1430 EST, you can listen in here at Blog Talk Radio. Otherwise, all our shows are archived on the same page.

I want to put in a short plug for Blog Talk Radio. They provide a free service that has allowed us at SpouseBUZZ to do radio shows with some exciting guests. And by "us," I mean Andi, AWTM, and AirForceWife. I usually don't participate because talking on the radio makes me want to throw up. I remember having this conversation with Mary Katherine Ham at the Milblogs Conference when she asked if she could video interview me; I said, "I'm a blogger, I started blogging so I could write about things, not talk about them." She seemed to think that was pretty funny. I know a lot of people have moved on to radio, podcasts, and YouTube, but I'll stick with my printed word, thankyouverymuch.

But how often does the chance arise to talk to Ben Stein? I had to go for it. I mean, he's one of my two favorite Steins (er, Steyns).

Keep your fingers crossed that I don't say something dumb. And listen in on an interview with a man who totally groks.

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