December 18, 2009

ROAD TO SERFDOM VS ROAD TO HELL

In Copenhagen, Hugo Chavez got a standing ovation when he said this:

“our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that’s the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell....let’s fight against capitalism and make it obey us.”

We're boned.

Read Conrad Black's When Summits Used to Matter.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:06 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 67 words, total size 1 kb.

NO ONE TO FETCH FOR ME

Yesterday I went to my knitting friend's house to relax and hang out. It was great. Her family wouldn't let me lift a finger and took care of me all day: her husband walked my dog in the cold, her boys fetched me things all day, and she kept refilling my water glass. That last one made me especially happy.

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.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:15 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 245 words, total size 1 kb.

December 16, 2009

PAGING HEALTH CZAR STARNES

(Via Bookworm Room)  Zombie has a good post up about why universal health care is bad for us...morally and socially.  His gist: "it turns each of us into a little fascist. A nagging nanny who tells other people what to do and how to live."

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...

Posted by: Sarah at 10:41 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 84 words, total size 1 kb.

GETTING GHEY WITH KIDS

I usually don't buy Girl Scout cookies because, well, I am too cheap to buy such a small box for that price.  And I don't even like Thin Mints.  But I do like those Samoas... 

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.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:17 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 80 words, total size 1 kb.

December 14, 2009

ME BEING SNARKY

Seems Democrats are dumber than I thought!
(For the record, I have never seen a ghost, talked to the dead, believed in a fortuneteller, or done yoga.)

Posted by: Sarah at 09:52 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 30 words, total size 1 kb.

COME HERE WHILE IT'S STILL GOOD

French singer Johnny Hallyday got an operation in France that went wrong, his producer says:

Camus, speaking Friday on French radio, said the American medical team treating Hallyday said the rocker had suffered ill-effects from the operation in France, and that infection "was attacking his bone marrow."

"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?

Posted by: Sarah at 02:02 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 118 words, total size 1 kb.

December 13, 2009

SHE WILL NEVER BE COLD

I finally started having the energy to hold needles for longer than 20 minutes, so I finished three baby sweaters for my very own baby recently.  This is my favorite one:



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.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:37 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 78 words, total size 1 kb.

SYNOVA IS DEAD ON

Althouse has a post about how CNN seems to have a broken English-to-English translator.  In the comments was this gem from Synova.  (I am copying the whole perfect comment because I can never get Althouse's permalinks to jump down to the right comment.)

In Iraq they did not *accidentally* wait until American soldiers were surrounded by Muslim children to attack them. And then, without irony, they *themselves* say that those children would not have died if the Americans were not there.

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.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:11 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 435 words, total size 3 kb.

December 12, 2009

CONGRESS SUCKS

Someone who works in DC on budgeting writes:

Again, this is Congress's *most important function*, and they can't even do this right.  They act surprised by it every year, even though they've been doing it since 1788 or thereabouts.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:19 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 45 words, total size 1 kb.

December 11, 2009

I NEED A SURGE

I was waffling for a while, but I have decided to go with a surge strategy: I shall get down to brass tacks and put out the effort to beat Karl Rove.  So I need to get off the computer and get reading.  Eight books in 20 days...too bad I already read Animal Farm back in February.

I wish the internet counted as a book.  I read that all the time.

Posted by: Sarah at 01:57 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 75 words, total size 1 kb.

December 10, 2009

A PERSONAL UPDATE

Just a little personal note to check in...

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?

Posted by: Sarah at 10:38 AM | Comments (18) | Add Comment
Post contains 225 words, total size 1 kb.

December 09, 2009

SKYNET POSES AS CLIMATE MODEL

And so Judgment Day begins...

In 2100, Fisherman's Wharf would become Fisherman's Bay, the baseball diamond at AT&T Park would flood and two major Bay Area airports would better serve seaplanes under a climate change model unveiled Wednesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Google.
[...]
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!

Posted by: Sarah at 07:08 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 116 words, total size 1 kb.

December 08, 2009

PLANE STUPID INDEED

OK, this ad is gruesome and awful taken at face value, but add the fact that bodies are falling from skyscrapers with noises of jet engines in the background...am I the only one who got creepy 9/11 flashbacks? Oy.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:03 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 42 words, total size 1 kb.

December 07, 2009

NEVER EVEN CROSSED MY MIND

I swear on a stack of Bibles that, throughout this whole boring thing, I never once realized that Tiger Woods only cheats with white ladies.  Not once.  Not until Noah Sheppard pointed out how ticked the black community is about it.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:02 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 46 words, total size 1 kb.

December 06, 2009

WELL, I DON'T BLAME THEM FOR CHOOSING OBAMA

Oy.

More than 50 percent of Americans wrongly attributed the quote “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” to either George Washington, Thomas Paine, or President Barack Obama, when it is in fact a quote from Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto.

This from a study called The American Revolution. Who Cares? via this Powerline post.

Posted by: Sarah at 07:56 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 70 words, total size 1 kb.

POPULISM

Via The Corner:

[Blanche] Lincoln will have another day in the spotlight tomorrow when her own amendment — to cut the tax breaks on the salaries of health-insurance company executives — will come up for a vote. The money saved from her proposal, she says, will go toward Medicare. Her gist: Cut tax breaks for big-bad execs and save Medicare.

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.

Posted by: Sarah at 07:17 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 163 words, total size 1 kb.

December 05, 2009

NOT SETTLED BY A LONG SHOT

Here's a long and detailed article on the Climategate fiasco: Scientists Behaving Badly

One of the striking features of the CRU emails is how much time the CRU circle spent discussing with each other the myriad problems with processing these data and how to display them to a wider world. On the one hand, this is typical of what one might expect of an evolving scientific enterprise. On the other hand, these are the selfsame scientists who have insisted most vehemently that there is a settled consensus adhered to by all researchers of repute and that there is nothing left to debate.

Posted by: Sarah at 08:19 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 108 words, total size 1 kb.

December 04, 2009

STOSSEL BEGINS

FYI: John Stossel's new show begins on the Fox Business Network next Thursday, Dec 10, at 8 PM.  And the first show is on Ayn Rand.  I can't wait!

Posted by: Sarah at 08:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 31 words, total size 1 kb.

HE IS NOT THERE TO "SERVE" THEM

I still don't know what I think is the right move in Afghanistan. I still see an enormous difference in potential between Iraq and Afghanistan, and moves I thought were a good idea in Iraq don't always seem so good in Afghanistan. I personally think that counter-terrorism seems to fit Afghanistan more than COIN does, but I don't know my hat from a hole in the ground, so my opinion doesn't really count for anything.

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:

There are people even within Civil Affairs who think that their tasks are the end-goal. There are people who think that how many goats they vaccinated and how many school supplies they dropped off are their accomplishments. My husband, however, always takes a long-term, big-picture view of the world. The goal is not vaccinated goats but whether helping that goatherd made Special Forces' job easier and thus helped advance the cause of defeating our enemies. The healthy goats are the means, not the end.

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.

Don’t get me wrong, plenty of soldiers have a vested interest in the people they’ve been working with for years now.  Most Americans are compassionate people who want third-worlders to have a better life than they do now; that's why American citizens pull money out of their own pockets and mail school supplies and sneakers overseas.  On a personal level, we all want Afghan girls to go to school and Iraqi businesses to be successful. 

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:

I guess Gen. Petraeus could sum it up better than me, but he sent me an e-mail last year and he had read "Three Cups of Tea," and he said there were three lessons from the book that he wanted to impart to his troops. No. 1, he said, we need to listen more; No. 2, we need to have respect, meaning we are there to serve the good people of Afghanistan; and No. 3, we need to build relationships. "Three Cups of Tea" now is mandatory reading for all senior U.S military commanders, and all special forces deploying to Afghanistan are required to read it.  [emphasis mine]

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.

UPDATE:

Related thoughts from Ralph Peters on TV.  Clip here.  Relevant quote:

In 2001, we didn't go to Afghanistan to turn it into Disneyworld.  We didn't go there to buy retirement homes.  We went there to kill al Qaeda and punish the Taliban for harboring them.  Mission accomplished by late spring of 2002.  Imperfect?  Hey, the world's an imperfect place.  But...we stayed, because we convinced ourselves that -- although we still haven't rebuilt the Twin Towers -- that we were going to build a modern, wonderful Afghanistan.  Ain't gonna happen, ain't worth the effort, even if it worked we get nothing out of it.  Judge, the purpose in 2001 was right: kill al Qaeda wherever they are.

Posted by: Sarah at 01:16 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 1202 words, total size 8 kb.

December 03, 2009

FLOORED BY COINCIDENCE

I am just absolutely reeling right now.  Floored by coincidence.

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.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:30 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 125 words, total size 1 kb.

<< Page 2 of 3 >>
153kb generated in CPU 0.14, elapsed 0.3723 seconds.
67 queries taking 0.2572 seconds, 314 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.