December 18, 2009
Read Conrad Black's When Summits Used to Matter.
The other night, I decided I was thirsty and that I should get up and go downstairs to get some water. And before I could get up, the baby started "playing." She was being very bouncy and was punching the top of my uterus with her little fist. I started pushing back at her, and she'd punch again. It was like we were playing a game. And I loved sitting there playing with her, but I desperately wanted that glass of water too. I knew that if I stood up and walked downstairs, she'd move positions and the game would be over.
And in that moment, I hated being in this house alone. I just wanted to look over at my husband and ask him to go get me some water and then come back to the sofa and keep playing with us. I wanted to have it both ways, the water and the game, and that's not possible when I'm alone.
I just desperately wanted someone to run grab that water for me. And I had no one.
December 16, 2009
The fictionalized version of his post is the tale of the Twentieth Century Motor Company, of course.
And someday, someone in our new American health care system is gonna smash in Millie Bush's teeth too...
I saw this video today and have been looking for outside confirmation of what these Scouts at Copenhagen say. If it is true, I can pass on the Samoas too.
I did find info on goofy new-age and "girltopia" lessons. Bleh.
December 14, 2009
(For the record, I have never seen a ghost, talked to the dead, believed in a fortuneteller, or done yoga.)
"If what I'm being told in the United States is true, this operation was a massacre," he said on RTL radio. On France-Info, Camus said: "It seems the Americans fixed things that they found that were very badly done."
So now he's in L.A. recovering in an induced coma.
Hmm, where will rich and famous people go for medical treatment once our system is crap too?
December 13, 2009
And I know I swore that I wasn't going to do any knitting for anyone else's babies once I was concentrating on my own, but I can't stick with that and have a few things up my sleeve for two other gals.
Then someone like Wright explains that the violence would not have happened if the Americans were not there.
Here's a clue.
The enemy knows what they are doing.
They are not simple or child-like brown people who don't know better or who are being tossed, to and fro, by events that are beyond them.
They may or may not believe their own propaganda, but they do understand psychological warfare and engineer the massacre of children with the explicit knowledge and understanding of just *how* they can jerk *our* chains.
So... "We are sorry that there are dead Muslims, that we shot into a crowd of them, that we planted IED's, that we blew up that Mosque, that we were forced to go through your village and dispense justice and left the bodies in the street to be found."
And the thing is... America and the West has NOTHING to combat this with because we simply refuse to do so. We have no one who's job it is to broadcast our side of the story, to put the information out there over and over that by far the most Muslims killed are not killed by us but are killed by those we are fighting. And it's the truth! It's the truth, so why doesn't our media push it voluntarily? Why don't they make certain that every person knows the atrocities committed by Muslims on other Muslims. Why don't they?
When we have found and documented rooms with shackles and blood on the walls...
The response to a dead and *gutted* woman in Iraq who had spent her life working to help people there was an insipid "oh, dear" followed by... "but they made a prisoner at Gitmo look at pornography."
The response to butchered and defiled Americans was "screw them". The response to defiled, dismembered and tortured to *death* American soldiers was "OMGAWD we poured water on someone's FACE!"
Someone is enabling this sort of thing, abetting, and participating.
And AQ is *sorry* that Muslims asked for it, oh well... lets blow up more Muslim kids and blame it on America.
December 12, 2009
Read the whole thing.
December 11, 2009
I wish the internet counted as a book. I read that all the time.
December 10, 2009
I am doing well these days. I just started my third trimester. I finally started feeling chipper and relatively pain-free, and now all pregnancy info says "Welcome to the third trimester; it's gonna start sucking again!" I'm not ready for that; I just started enjoying myself.
Last night I felt a foot for the first time. Baby was kicking and then she had one looooong pushing kick, and I put my fingers there and pushed back, and I could feel her body parts through my belly. That was a milestone I have especially enjoyed.
My husband is confident that he will be home two or three days before my due date. As long as baby stays put until then, he should be here for the delivery. Let's just hope she doesn't want to show up early.
Oh, and my husband finally has better access to computers...only all blogs are blocked from viewing. We just can't win.
And I have eight more books to read before the end of the month if I want to beat Karl Rove. I am not sure I can make that happen, which makes me mad that I didn't read more books in September. I may start cheating and reading Encyclopedia Browns or something.
Can you believe it's almost Christmas?
December 09, 2009
The California Energy Commission spent $150,000 in partnership with Google to develop a new Google Earth application that shows sea level changes in the Bay Area, as well as increased wildfire risks and snowpack reductions throughout the state. The energy commission also maintains a climate change research unit on which it spent $2.4 million in 2007.
Don't fall for it, California! It's Skynet! Schwarzenegger is building Skynet!
December 08, 2009
December 07, 2009
December 06, 2009
This from a study called The American Revolution. Who Cares? via this Powerline post.
How dare she? I mean, really that's all I can muster on this one.
This is a prime example of why we need a flat or Fair tax. So Congress can't fiddle with who pays taxes and who doesn't based on their own personal agenda or who it's popular to hate at the moment. Just because it's fashionable to hate insurance companies right now doesn't mean that their bosses should have to pay more taxes than the bosses of, say, Google, which we've already seen makes more profit than health insurance companies.
Of all the nerve. Really. This blatant populism makes me sick.
December 05, 2009
December 04, 2009
But I can't help but keep thinking about firebombing Dresden vs vaccinating goats. It's such a different tactic. And I fear that we're starting to mistake the hearts-and-minds missions as being the end, not the means.
I wrote earlier this year about my husband's career field:
It's a fascinating way to look at his job, and sadly it takes a confident person to accept that role. Civil Affairs as a branch doesn't want to see itself as just a tool for Special Forces. Some in the branch look askance at my husband when his briefings show the Civil Affairs work as Phase 2 and what SF built out of their work as Phase 3. They want to feel like their role is important. It certainly is, but only if it helps get us closer to the bad guy.
Happy, healthy goats in Afghanistan shouldn't be our goal; winning should.
The reason we are in this war is to stop terrorists from killing Americans. The point is to prevent another 9/11, to cut off the funding for and state-sponsorship of terrorism, and to kill as many al Qaeda and terrorists as possible. We vaccinate the goats because hopefully that will help nice Afghans and Iraqis point out where the bad guys are, or take up arms and help us fight them. We don’t vaccinate the goats because we want to do charity work for them.
But that’s not the military goal. We have to remember that that is a means to an end: a better educated and more economically sound populace should lead to less people joining al Qaeda out of desperation, or becoming a suicide bomber for the money. I want Iraqis and Afghans to flourish, but I have an ulterior motive for that desire. I am not just blindly altruistic in my support for these missions and programs. They have to advance the cause of the US military, otherwise they're missing the point.
So when I read this interview with author Greg Mortenson this morning, I got my feathers all ruffled:
And I see that right there as an epic FAIL.
My husband is not there to "serve" the people of Afghanistan. He is there to creatively find ways to do compassionate missions, with the end goal always tucked away in the back of his mind that it only makes sense to run the mission if it will somehow benefit the American military agenda. If he wanted to build schools for needy people, he could've just joined Habitat For Humanity.
The Mortenson advice is all well and good if you are an NGO or just an kindhearted fella who wants to open schools in Afghanistan. His goal is to help those people; he "serves" them. The military doesn't; the military serves the interests of the United States. The American military is not one big money tree that Afghans can keep coming to to get "served." Or at least it shouldn't be. But every soldier working in Iraq and Afghanistan has a horror story of following Mortenson's Rule #1 and asking the local people what they need...and then getting an earful of upgrades. "We need power restored to the entire remote village." Well, have you ever had power before? Did you have power back when Saddam ran the country? No? Then how, pray tell, do you expect us to "restore" it? My husband visited a school last year and asked them what they could use; they gave him plans for a state-of-the-art kitchen they wanted installed in the cafeteria. Scale it back a bit, folks; Uncle Sugar isn't going to turn your hot plate into Paula Deen's kitchen. Especially not if it's not going to get us anything in return. I want to be assured of quid pro quo before we vaccinate anybody's goats, or at least have a pretty good idea that we'll get something for our effort.
The US military is not one big charity organization trying to fix Afghanistan. Let the Gates Foundation do stuff like that. Our missions need to have purpose and need to be grounded in some sense of how this helps the overall goals of our fighting force: If I vaccinate this goat or build this school, will ol' Farzad in the village let us know is he hears rumors of the next planned attack? If not, then Farzad can find his own damn vaccination.
We are not there to "serve" him.
Related thoughts from Ralph Peters on TV. Clip here. Relevant quote:
December 03, 2009
I have a friend in my knitting group whose husband died as a contractor in Iraq. She has never been forthcoming with details, and I certainly have never wanted to pry. But last week she let me know that an episode of Battlefield Diaries would be on the Military Channel, and that it was the attack her husband was killed in.
I had no idea he was killed in the convoy where Matt Maupin was captured. Nor did I have any idea that I knew the lieutenant who led that convoy; Matt Brown and I were in youth group together in high school.
I am just stunned by the coincidence right now.
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