November 15, 2009
And also nervous:
Reading Rand always reminds me of this Daniel Quinn quote: "We know that the pious don't go to church every Sunday because they've forgotten that Jesus loves them but rather because they've not forgotten that Jesus loves them. They want to hear it again and again and again and again. [...] there are truths, of a different human order, that must be enunciated again and again and again -- in the same words and in different words: again and again and again."
I like to be reminded that someone like Rand lived, and wrote, and thought.
November 14, 2009
I'm home. I missed a call from my husband today while I was on my flight. Two weeks and counting since we had a four-minute phone call. Oy. I am not a fan of this particular deployment.
November 12, 2009
I also talked briefly on the phone to a veteran: my husband's brother. He's out of the Army now but he was deployed to Iraq in 2004 at the same time my husband was.
And I will eat dinner with another veteran tonight. Time spent with Chuck Z is always appreciated.
I did not get to hear from my favorite veteran of all yesterday...but hopefully soon.
November 09, 2009
Since this will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family, I wanted to let my husband's parents get to be a part of the joys of pregnancy and grandparenthood too. They deserve to get to feel tummy kicks just like my mom did.
And my husband's grandmother will be a first time great-grandma too. Exciting milestones for everyone. It will be a fun trip.
So no blogging for the rest of the week. But since I'm apparently down to a mere 49 readers -- oy -- I guess it's not that big of a deal.
Have fun without me.
November 08, 2009
Now the Army's largest base has suffered a devastating attack by a deranged Islamist. And how does our Commander in Chief respond? He gives a "shout out" to Joe Medicine Crow, "that noted Congressional Medal of Honor winner".
Tell me something: in a moment of national tragedy, is it really too much to expect that the President of the United States not give "shout outs"? Is it too much ask that he understand the difference between the Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Honor? What we require from our leaders at times like this is not much. They don't have to actually care. What we want is precisely the kind of thing that comes easily to Barack Obama: honeyed words and a show of empathy from a man who thinks that quality is the most important attribute a Supreme Court judge can possess. But somehow, asking the Commander in Chief of our armed forces to to give the appearance of empathy even if the actual feeling was not there - was too much.
Americans expect something more from leaders in times of trouble. Grace. Empathy. Inspiration. A sense of gravity. When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded killing 7 astronauts, Ronald Reagan postponed the State of the Union report to address and assuage the nation's shock and mourning.
And an absolute must-read from JR Salzman about true PTSD:
And here too:
Incredible, especially when you consider that the only Muslims killed in the USA on 9/11 and in Britain on 7/7 were killed by Muslims.
Muslims may have as much to fear from radical Muslims as any other American, Briton or Canadian... I'm rather sick of the MSM interrupting our grieving to tell us that, to add Muslims' insults to a Muslim's murderous injury, they suspect us of wanting to attack their mosques now, even though we didn't the last ten times a Muslim killed innocent people in the name of Islam. What are they scared of? Grafitti?
That first sentence is worth bearing in mind when mendacious lobby groups such as CAIR trot out their "fears" for Muslim safety. Muslims died in the World Trade Center, the London Underground, the Bali nightclub attacks, the Istanbul bank bombings, in Iraqi shopping markets targeted by insurgents. The death toll of Muslims killed by Muslims in any one year is staggering. Jihadists are very indifferent to murdering their coreligionists and have been since the Grand Mufti staged his uprising in Mandatory Palestine and wound up slaughtering more Muslims than Jews or Britons.
After my comparative body count in my "fear for Muslims" post last night - non-Muslims 13, Muslims 0 - a snotty liberal wrote to wonder sneeringly how I knew the dead at Fort Hood were all non-Muslims. He thinks he's refuting my point but in fact he's making it for me: The soi-disant "moderate Muslim" has far more to fear from a coreligionist boarding the subway train yelling "Allahu akbar!" than he does from the allegedly "Islamophobic" Americans forever on the brink of "backlash". That our media cannot see what the commenter above sees is, even in a relativist age, a very advanced stage of decadence.
It's hard to know what to make of this, apart from the fact that the world is a weird place, and getting weirder all the time. I'm fine with resettling the Uighurs, but is it really necessary for U.S. taxpayers to fund "spotless hardwood floors, a fresh coat of paint, new furniture and appliances, and a sweeping view of the ocean"? Not to mention housing, job training, food, and all other living expenses, including air conditioning, cable television and high-speed internet, which is a "rarity" in Palau. If the administration is looking for volunteers to live at government expense in an island paradise, count me in.
No doubt these expenses are a drop in the bucket compared to the trillions that the Obama administration is wasting here at home. But could it be any clearer that we are living under a government that treats our tax money--which is to say, our work; our time; our lives--with contempt?
A triumphant Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.
"It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans. It offers everyone, regardless of health or income, the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will have access to affordable health care when they need it," said Rep. John Dingell
November 07, 2009
Her sneering at the question makes me so mad I could scream.
A comment at youtube:
From an online interview with a former JAG officer:
[Question from] Rockville, Md.: Dear Mr. Kenniff, As the wife of a former military officer, it strikes me as odd that the shooter, who was a major in the Army, claimed that he was being harassed for his religious beliefs. While some types of harassment and teasing (which could be serious or not) are surely not uncommon among enlisted men and women, it is harder to envision it happening in the officer ranks. Enlisted soldiers would know not to harass an officer and it is difficult to envision this individual being "made fun of" (the term I saw in the newspaper) by other officers. This seems inconsistent with the norms in that professional context. What is your sense of this claim? Thanks.
My experience with this is limited, but it runs counter to these two people's experiences. I think perhaps it might have to do with the fact that JAG and the medical corps are a little different from, say, combat arms. I imagine there's less foul-mouthed insults being hurled in the hospital than there are in my husband's corridor.
Yes, I very seriously doubt that some PFC walked up to MAJ Hasan in the hospital and started ragging on him for being a Muslim. Not likely. But to say that officers are above teasing and making fun of folks? My husband apparently doesn't live on the same planet as this lady's husband did.
Officers are human beings. Human beings, in an in-group setting, tease each other. Especially males. About anything and everything that can be used for fodder. Off the top of my head, I know my husband has been made fun of for a variety of things: his beard, his car, his larger-than-average head, his use of big vocabulary words, his lack of tattoos, his never-heard-of-it alma mater, and yes, even just the mere fact of being an officer is grounds for teasing at times (because officers go home and roll around in their big money piles like Scrooge McDuck, you know). And in his current career field, where no one uses rank and everyone gets called by first names, the enlisted soldiers get plenty of cracks in at him. No one is exempt, not the First Sergeant, not the commander, no one. (And Lord help you if you are a female in this career field. You have to have very thick skin.)
I've seen officers tease on ethnicity. A few years ago, my husband invited some other lieutenants over to the house and then told a Chinese-American lieutenant, "But you can't come, you'll oppress my Tibetan dog." The guy laughed and thought that was pretty clever, saying that he usually just gets accused of wanting to eat people's dogs.
I really doubt that Hasan was directly teased about being a Muslim. He might've been if he had gotten close enough to other guys in his unit where they felt comfortable ribbing him, but my guess is that enough people felt Hasan was a bit off and didn't think it'd be wise to poke fun at him. My husband served with one such Muslim before, and everyone was careful to give this guy some space.
I think what's more likely is that Hasan heard indirect comments against Muslims in general and took it personally. In treating soldiers' mental states, he might've heard them say generic things about how they don't get Islam, or they don't like haji, or whatever. And Hasan took it personally. I would bet that a closeted homosexual deals with the same thing in the military. Same as a non-vocal atheist. They would be surrounded by casual conversation against their lifestyle, and I'm sure that's not easy to swallow over and over. I am guessing that's what Hasan meant by saying he felt harassed or made fun of. He heard anti-Muslim comments just by being in the military and took them to heart. Understandable, but quite different from being openly mocked for being a Muslim himself.
I think all this shock that an officer killed these people is a bit ridiculous. Officers are people too. Some of them are jerks. Some of them are ignorant or immature. Some of them are malicious and messed up in the head. They're not somehow above murder just because of their rank.
And they're not above joking and teasing either.
Come on, you really think Chuck Z conducts himself at all times like a complete gentleman? I bet he can let an off-color insult rip like no one's business...
November 06, 2009
Read about the origins of Valour-IT, as written by Chuck Z's wife.
Pick a service branch and donate towards their team.
Enjoy the inter-service demotivators!
My favorite of all time applies to all branches:
November 05, 2009
It makes me sick.
I have long been confused by the irony that military installations are gun-free zones. Every person in that readiness center could've shot back. Every soldier is trained, and I'd bet many of their wives are decent marksmen too. And yet Hasan was the only one with a gun.
Guns. And time to reload.
And a mental health specialist. Unfathomable.
It sounds like he's still alive. Good. He doesn't deserve to die before facing the horror he inflicted. Try him, and then fry him.
And I hope it hurts his feelings that he was shot by a girl.
Related thoughts at The Corner.
Jim Vicevich at the link thinks that Obama has a core set of principles that run to the hard Left, but has kept them hidden thus far. Why? Jim argues that Obama couldnâ€™t get elected on those principles, and so he has kept them hidden while pushing them through his legislative agenda.
Actually, I think Todd is closer to it. Obama wanted to be President, not to lead, but just to win. Now that he has won, he has no core set of governing principles other than what impacts Barack Obama. He has offered no leadership on any part of his agenda all year long, content to have Nancy Pelosi run it for him. His foreign policy thus far consists entirely of making himself personally popular with the world. On Afghanistan, Obama has thus far allowed Robert Gates and David Petraeus to make his decisions, only balking at the moment because the McChrystal strategy puts him at odds with his base, which could erode his popularity.Does Barack Obama have deeply-held principles that he wanted to apply to the country, or did he just want to be president?
November 04, 2009
Tonight proved conclusively that we're not going to turn out just because you have a (D) next to your name, or because Obama tells us to. We'll turn out if we feel it's worth our time and effort to vote, and we'll work hard to make sure others turn out if you inspire us with bold and decisive action.
Read the whole thing. I promise I am not being snarky. I think this is great. I want both parties to say what they mean and mean what they say. I hate how everyone runs as a moderate and tries to tweak their message so it doesn't offend anyone. Or conversely, when they pretend to have principles and then get in office and abandon all their promises. I want both parties to stand for different principles and then voters can decide which one they align with, not this election trickery where they all try to out-center each other.
I am 100% certain that I don't agree with Markos on any of the issues that he brings up: "health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform." But he wants a candidate who represents his views and doesn't just pretend to represent them in order to get elected. I completely agree with this.
Wouldn't it be nice if both parties stopped hiding who they really are and started standing for principles?
Imagine if we really had two distinct choices on election day...
I mean, a good number of these people in Virginia had to have voted for Pres Obama and then now voted for the Republican governor. That does not make sense.
I don't get it.
I think Krauthammer makes a good point about the 2008 election:
I just don't understand voting on charisma, period. Vote your principles.
It tells you that '08 was a charisma election, a one-shot deal, and all this talk about realignment, about a new era, of the death of Republicanism or conservatism is utter nonsense.
It was an unusual election last year. All the stars were aligned Democratic, charismatic candidate. Still only a seven point victory. The return to the norm is happening now, and we're going to see it tomorrow night.
November 02, 2009
The essential elements of the agreement had largely been worked out months ago by other Latin American leaders. If Congress agrees, Mr. Zelaya will serve out the remaining three months of his term, and the presidential election scheduled for Nov. 29 will be recognized by all sides.
Mr. Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti, both members of the Liberal Party, are not candidates.
Some significant obstacles remain, not least of which is the approval of the nationâ€™s Congress, which voted overwhelmingly to strip Mr. Zelaya of power four months ago and now has to decide whether to reinstate him.
I hope the Honduran Congress sticks to their guns.
Can you imagine if in 2000, European countries had gotten together and decided that, despite the constitutionality of Bush's victory, Al Gore should've been the rightful president? And cut off aid and visas to Americans? (OK, aid doesn't really work as well, but for argument's sake.) I mean really, can you imagine if the rest of the world told us that, our Constitution be damned, we had to do what they all said?
I love this sentence, about the immediate aftermath of Zelaya's booting:
Yes, I'm sure they did. Places like Venezuela would definitely be concerned about the precedent of following the rule of law.
Really, I think this is the most disgusting thing the Obama administration has done.
From the comments:
November 01, 2009
Clinton's blunt remarks came during a pow-wow with half-dozen combative senior Pakistani journalists who harried her about US policy in the region.
"Al-Qaida has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002," she finally asserted when challenged about Washingtonâ€™s tough prescriptions for Islamabad. "I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn't get them if they really wanted to."
After having publicly doubted the bona fides of her hosts, she added, as an afterthought: "Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable...I don't know. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan." At one point during the exchanges, when a journalist spoke about all the services rendered by Pakistan for the US, Mrs Clinton snapped, "We have also given you billions."
It's about time somebody told it like it is.
But I also giggled at Mark Steyn's take:
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