We are leaving Army Early tomorrow morning for our trip westward. My husband's parents don't have a computer, so I will be completely out of the loop for a week. If you see something really good online that I shouldn't miss, leave me the link in the comments so I can catch up next weekend.
If you were wondering what kind of anti-war movies are store for us, wonder no longer. There are plenty to choose from! You could see such gems as
“In the Valley of Elah,” a drama inspired by the Davis murder, written and directed by Paul Haggis, whose “Crash” won the Academy Award for best picture in 2006. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones as a retired veteran who defies Army bureaucrats and local officials in a search for his son’s killers. In one of the movie’s defining images, the American flag is flown upside down in the heartland, the signal of extreme distress.
Other coming films also use the damaged Iraq veteran to raise questions about a continuing war. In “Grace Is Gone,” directed by James C. Strouse and due in October from the Weinstein Company, John Cusack and two daughters struggle with the loss of a wife and mother who is killed on duty. Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss,” set for release in March by Paramount, meanwhile, casts Ryan Phillippe as a veteran who defies an order that would send him back to Iraq.
Or how about
Brian De Palma’s “Redacted,” focusing on an Army squad that persecutes an Iraqi family, is to be released in December by Magnolia Pictures.
Oh boy, I just can't wait. You remember how much I loved Crash, right? This should be even better.
Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little.
I just bought a new wireless mouse this morning because ours crapped out yesterday. I love the translations in these instructions, such as "Automatically sleeping and manpower taking off dual functions, the battery life be prolonged" and "The Steps of Install Battery: 1. Please prepare for two AAA chargeable batteries." Whew, I really had to prepare myself for those batteries. And I'm so glad to know that "there is no interference even many mice being used at the same time." But wait, uh oh, "You would better use the mouse on the white desk. In this way the batteries can be used for a long time." Curse my tan desk! Heh.
You wanna know the key to a happy marriage? When the only disagreement you've had in weeks is whether Kurt Russell's greatest role was Jack Burton or Captain Ron.
Oh yes, we went there. And we both meant it.
I blogged over at SpouseBUZZ about how we suddenly got our leave yanked away from us. I spent the past two weeks on pins and needles, waiting to hear if we really would get to make this trek back to the Midwest. And in the end, it was those danged baseball tickets that saved our hide. The unit decided that since we'd made a financial obligation, we could go on leave. Thanks a heap, especially since the husband has a week of use-or-lose vacation that would've been lost if we couldn't go.
My husband should be eternally grateful that my knitting excursion is the only reason he gets a two-week break. I deserve to buy more yarn.
So I guess I'd better pack a suitcase or something. We leave in three days on a 17-hour car ride.
You know, I talk a good talk about our family's role in the GWOT, but I know we haven't even begun to sacrifice. My husband's been gone once, over two years ago. I had no one to worry about but myself, and I lived on the most supportive post in the military. My husband is almost certainly guaranteed to get a piece of the action in his new unit, but for a long time now I really have been a chairborne war cheerleader.
I'm a few days late in noticing this news, but Butterfly Wife's husband has volunteered to stay for another rotation in Iraq. Without coming home in between. I don't even know how his sanity can handle that, but I guess his pseudonym isn't Jack Bauer for nothin'.
Many days I feel like the country has gone completely bonkers, but then I remember that there really are people of such high caliber around me. What can we even say to this butterfly family except thank you...and you rule.
This from Jules Crittenden struck me:
I realized with all this examination of post-traumatic stress and how much of it there is, and whether its normal or not, I didn’t describe what a mild, walking combat reaction case is like.
It’s like this. Being totally wired for months upon years. Like crank, so that you don’t fall asleep as much as pass out and you don’t wake up as much as become alert. Thinking about different aspects of combat the way some people think about sex, compulsively, repeatedly in the course of the day, while going about your business, holding down a job, acting relatively normal but still freaking people out when you talk about it. Small flashbacks-lite, triggered by various events. In my case, accelerating up the highway, like going on an armored assault, with all the emotions, thoughts and memories, on my way to the various places that took me. More adrenaline then, and other adrenaline bursts at odd times. Thinking about the dead, at least once a day, in a number of different ways, when alone. Seeing their faces, and studying a face to catch the moment when life exited it. Choking up or sometimes sobbing at both expected and unexpected times, and learning to control that. Wishing you were back there. Preferring the company of people who know what that is like. Recognizing in a glance or a word that you both know the same secret, without having to say much about it.
I never had nightmares like some friends did, and in fact have never once dreamt of it. It didn’t haunt me, not even the dead, not even when I felt the need to ask some of them their forgiveness. I was fortunate that way, in part maybe because I wrote about it, had plenty of opportunities to talk about it, because that is part of what I do. Over the third and fourth year, most of it significantly subsided, though parts can and do periodically come up. I never felt traumatized as much as I felt I had a great deal to think about, not least the startling discovery that I had enjoyed myself, and also that I had been fundamentally rewired, and had somewhat different perspectives and focus in various matters. As one friend put it, there was life before, and life after. Not good or bad, just different.
And there you have it.
This sounds familiar to me. Especially the "thinking about combat" thing. Sometimes when my husband's quiet, I'll ask what he's thinking about. Usually it will be trivial, but on a couple of occasions he's launched into a thought about how if they'd only turned his tank right instead of going straight on that day back in April, he'd've been more useful to the battle. Three years after the event, he still replays it in his mind and thinks of ways he could've done more.
I have been crankin' out preemie caps for my Fairy Godmothers group for the past two weeks. They are so fun to make because they're quick and you can play with different colors. I think I might freak some of the ladies out with my hot pink and lime green, but I think some hip young wife will like it.
I also have to do job-related knitting: Michaels is redesigning the front of the store and so we have to have season-themed projects on display. I copied The Girl's first baby project and made the baby pumpkin hat.
I also started knitting this spider last night, but I hate him. He looks more like a fly than a spider. I am going to finish him and then maybe try to make this variation of the spider pattern and see if it turns out any better. But I have to turn my seasonal knitting in by the end of the week, so I may get desperate and have to turn in the fly spider after all.
OK, he doesn't look so bad now that he has legs...
Last night I asked my husband what the "key to marriage" was. He guessed people's first two responses but didn't guess that dishwashing was so important. We tried to put into words what we'd answer if someone asked us this question. The most concise wording I could come up with was "Treating your spouse better than you yourself would like to be treated." My husband summarized that as Respect, which is a pretty good answer.
We talked about the #1 answer too and why "fidelity" ranks so high. My husband joked that looking for Fidelity in a mate is like looking for Not Being a Child Molester in a babysitter: it should just be a given. Fidelity isn't the key to a good marriage; if you have a good marriage, you don't even have to think about fidelity. Never once in the entire seven years have I ever thought about my husband cheating on me.
This tied in nicely with this week's Army Wives, where the episode was cheating cheating cheating. One spouse did and one spouse resisted. Last week a SpouseBUZZ commenter said that in her circle of military couples, 9 out of 10 of them have had infidelity issues. I say she needs to find some new friends! My husband and I struggled to come up with instances of cheating we heard of at all during his deployment, from anyone we could think of on post. We barely came up with five, and one of them was from a gross "swinger" couple, so that hardly even counts. I know it happens, but 9 out of 10? Ouch.
So what would you say is really the "key to marriage"? And would fidelity poll that high for you?
A fascinating story via Amritas
Terrorist Hunter: By day, Shannen Rossmiller is a Montana mother of three. At night, she takes down America’s enemies. It’s a compulsion even she can’t explain.
I do all of the dishes all of the time. I can't think of the last time my husband washed dishes. He doesn't even do them when I'm out of town; he just leaves a lovely little pile. Regardless, we have one of the best marriages I know of. How could that possibly be? /eye rolling
And don't even get me started on "great sex." I can't believe it polls that high. If that's the most important thing that's keeping your marriage together, I feel sorry for you.
Should people with no kids pay more taxes to cover the slack for those who can't afford their own kids? Good thing I'm not the only one who was horrified at the suggestion: this comments section was reassuring.
A friend of mine from high school was stationed here, and the husband and I went to his going-away picnic before he deployed. His parents were there, and his father paraded me around the unit, telling anyone who would listen about what an upstanding young lady I am. He insisted on telling everyone about what good kids we were in high school and how we never got in trouble and never were involved in any "hanky panky." I'm sure by the end of the night the entire unit was laughing about what dorks we were. But his dad was right; we really were good wholesome kids.
AWTM writes about her first love...and how it ended. I used to think I had a standard adolescence, but the more people I talk to, the more I realize that maybe I didn't. My early boyfriends were perfect. And no one ever asked me to have sex until I got to college. How quant: I never experienced pressure to have sex until I was 20 years old. I never thought much about it growing up, but now I look back and realize what lovely people I associated with as a teen.
My friend's father was right to be proud of us. We were good kids.
I have a pro-Walmart story I thought I'd share since all we usually hear is bad stuff about them.
A few weeks ago I noticed my car was leaking oil. I had gotten my last oil change done at Walmart, but it had almost been three months since, so I didn't think that was the source of the problem. I took the car in to the dealership, and they deduced that Walmart had destroyed the oil filter housing. It cost us $80 to sort it all out.
We went to Walmart and explained what had happened, and they asked us why we hadn't brought the car back to them when we noticed the oil leak. We explained that the car was new and still under warranty, and that we hadn't put 2-and-2 together because the oil change had been done so long ago. But they took care of it anyway and gave us the full amount we'd paid at the dealership. In cash, without filing any forms or waiting for a check to show up.
This is the second time a Walmart manager has handed me cash. The first time was a few years ago when an incompetent employee sold me the wrong fishing license and got me saddled with a $100 conservation fine. (I still can't believe the conservation officers didn't let me off with a warning. I had to go to court and argue my case to the judge; I made for a funny sight, sitting there in a little plaid dress next to a bunch of men in orange jumpsuits.) Anyway, Walmart listened to my sob story about how their guy never asked me what state I was from when he sold me the license, then and split the difference for the blame and handed me half of the money.
Walmart sure keeps me happy with their handing-out-cash policy.
Two teasers to make you think and hopefully get you to read the blog posts to which they belong.
We have an angry voting public. About 71% are mad at the war and the President. But just what are they angry about? I’ve researched the polls and no poll that I can find goes beyond a simplistic, “Are you for or agin the war?” Are those polled just angry at a bullheaded (or principled, depending on your view) President? Are they frustrated by continued fighting in a war that may already be lost?
Second: Neptunus Lex's Us and Them Part I
It’s also popular to say that the people are “war weary,” but - apart from the very small percentage of those who are actually deployed, or their families - what do they have to be weary of? We live lives of ease, prosperity and entitlement our own parents could not have imagined, we shop at the mall, are very nearly fully employed, the economy is on solid footing, the stock market is through the roof and yet we go to the watercoolers with worried looks and tell ourselves that the country is very much on the wrong track, tut-tut.
I really go back and forth on what I think "education" should be. Sometimes I think it should lean more towards teaching people a trade. Other times, like when I read The Closing of the American Mind, I think it should lean more towards teaching people to think. Unfortunately I think it leans towards neither right now: we seem to produce grads who can neither balance a checkbook nor recognize a syllogism. I don't know what the answer is.
But I sure know it's not this:
British secondary schools will drop Winston Churchill from a list of figures to be mentioned in history teaching. Also dropped: Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin and Martin Luther King. The schools will now be emphasizing "lessons on debt management, the environment and healthy eating."
The article's accompanying graph is chock full of frightening tidbits like "Less on electricity and magnetism, more on IVF, stem cells, vivisection and nuclear energy." Look, I hated figuring out resistance of circuits as much as the next person, but you have to work on hard things in school. It's not all debates on stem cell research. That's what your blog is for.
The more I think about this, the stupider I think it is. It's like they're replacing tried-and-true schooling with whatever's in vogue. Science knows a heck of a lot more how electricity and magnetism work than how stem cells do. How are they going to pin down what to teach about stem cells when we're not positive how they work? The same goes for teaching how to make "healthy meals"; aren't we always hearing new studies that something that was once good/bad for us is now the opposite? Butter, margarine, eggs, chocolate, wine, how many times have we scratched our heads over new evidence on what we should eat?
Why are they abandoning the basics of education for stuff that's so subjective?
Guard Wife gives it to Ted Rall with both barrels. She uses phrases like "Left-wing cuckoobird who draws junior-high level cartoons for a living" and hands him his hat. Nicely done.
And this comments section at Standing By is fascinating. Go be a fly on the wall.
Who knew that I was accidentally saving the planet? I wanted to have one baby and have instead had zero. Hooray for me! Via Steyn:
So how far are the ecochondriacs prepared to take things? In London last week, the Optimum Population Trust called for Britons to have "one child less" because the United Kingdom's "high birth rate is a major factor in the current level of climate change, which can only be combated if families voluntarily limit the number of children they have."
Thank heavens Steyn goes on to point out that the birthrate is not even at replacement rate in the UK, but whatever. Less babies means less global warming. Actually, it probably just means less environmentalists, because the only nimrods who will consider this are the hardcore greens.
I know, let's just all get in a big gay pile, à la South Park, and prevent the future from ever happening! Then there won't be global warming for sure! Derp!
And I love the word "ecochondriacs."
I got tagged by Anwyn to do 8 facts about me. I already did 13 of them a while back, and 100 when I started blogging, so I'm gonna twist this meme into something I've been wanting to do for a while: a Piece of Crap list. I first saw this on Right Wing News, and now whenever something is driving me nuts, my first thought is that it would definitely go on my Piece of Crap list. So 8 things that I hate:
1) Krispy Kreme donuts
They have too much glaze for me, but mostly I just hate how people keel over with ecstasy whenever you mention them. I love donuts more than the next person, but I hate name-brand donut worship.
2) Dave Matthews Band
There's no real good reason why, but I don't like any of their songs except for "Satellite." I think their music is grating, and they were so ridiculously popular when I was in college that it made me hate them even more.
3) Jay Wolfe Nissan of Kansas City
When we bought our first car, we decided to buy an extended warranty. We specifically told the dealership that we were moving to Germany soon and that we'd never live in Kansas City in our lives. Naturally, we came to find out that they sold us a warranty that was specific to their dealership and that has a $150 deductible at any other Nissan dealer. Oh, and it didn't work at all in Germany, even though they told us it would. So it was a huge waste of money, and I'm extra mad because it's not like we moved unexpectedly and just had bad luck: we told them all of this up front and they intentionally sold us something that wouldn't work for us. Piece of crap dealership.
Everyone thinks dolphins are these beautiful, peaceful creatures, but they're not. Just because they have a cute face and look like they're smiling doesn't mean they're nice. Dolphins rape their females and kill their babies. Not so cute after all. I've seen enough Discovery Channel to completely get over any ideas that dolphins are magical.
5) baja sauce
As you well know, I'm an enormous Taco Bell fan, but one thing I can't stand is this sauce they put on certain items. I call it baja sauce because the first time I encountered it was on a baja chalupa, but there is no official name for it -- with which I could ask they leave it off of my order -- and they sneak it on to many new items. I can handle most foods, but this sauce turns my stomach and ruins anything it touches. Thus it's hard to try new things at The Bell; every new item could contain the dreaded sauce. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me sick.
Perhaps it is because my brother used to think it was funny to lock me in the bathroom while we were playing with glow-in-the-dark legos, but something caused me to be extremely disturbed by anything that glows in the dark. Whenever I would get glowing keyrings or toys as a kid, I'd always have to make sure they were completely covered up before bedtime. And don't even get me started on those stupid stickers people put on their ceilings. To this day, I can't sleep if something is phosphorescing in the bedroom. Creeps me out.
This one barely needs any explanation, but I'll give the short version. I lived there for a year. I was constantly mocked, had trash thrown at me, got cussed out, threatened with rape, grabbed on the street, and chased by a guy on a moped so I had to crawl under a car to hide and escape from him. I don't really feel like returning to France anytime soon.
8) Harry Potter
This one might ruffle some feathers, but I just don't get the Harry Potter craze. They're kids' books. I'm glad kids are enjoying reading in this video game age, but I don't get all the hype the adults have built up. When I homeschooled a boy five years ago, he read a few chapters of one of the books out loud to me. It's a book for children and it reads like a book for children; I don't understand why adults are going bananas for them. I understand if you want to read the book so you can discuss it with your kids, but really getting into it and fighting over who gets to read it first? My parents never flipped out and bought three copies of Ramona Quimby. Because it was a kids' book and they didn't care. I just don't get why adults are reading Harry Potter; don't they have grown-up books to read?
Anybody else want to do a Piece of Crap List? If so, consider yourself invited. Or add one piece of crap in the comments.
My husband and I found out we're not "cruise people" when he got back from Iraq. We hated it, and we don't really plan to do it again. But there's something so darned alluring about those right-wing nutjob cruises, you know, the ones with D'Souza and Steyn and Davis freaking Hanson. Now that I might like to do someday.
So I had a good chuckle at Venomous Kate's fisking of a reporter who "infiltrated" the nutjob cruise. I felt this reporter's pain on our cruise, where our dinner partners were much more interested in discussing the evils of our tablemate's pharmaceutical job than the evils my husband had just fought in Iraq. Poor thing didn't fit in, but at least her shipmates were nice to her; ours just accused us of lying.
One thing I've noticed since I've started trying to have a baby is how absolutely unfair the process seems at times. There are couples out there who have tried for years to have babies and would give anything for a child. And then there's these monsters:
A couple authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.
Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” series, to give their children proper care.
“They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games,” Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Police said hospital staff had to shave the head of the girl because her hair was matted with cat urine. The 10-pound girl also had a mouth infection, dry skin and severe dehydration.
Her brother had to be treated for starvation and a genital infection. His lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking, investigators said.
I'm so mad I can't even think of anything else to say.
VDH takes The Times to task.
Critics called for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, a change in command in Iraq and at Centcom, new strategies, and more troops. But now that we have a new secretary, a new command in Iraq and at Centcom, new strategies, and more troops, suddenly we have a renewed demand for withdrawal before the agreed-upon September accounting—suggesting that the only constant in such harping was the assumption that Iraq was either hopeless or not worth the effort.
Amen to that. I had a discussion back in 2003 with a German friend who said we were wrong to go to Iraq without support from countries like France. I pointed out that the problem is that there was actually no possibility of getting France's support, that Chirac said they would not vote for war no matter what. They had already made their decision, no matter what we said or did. Same with the anti-OIF types at The Times: there's absolutely nothing we could do to ever get them to admit that Iraq is not a lost cause. So what's the point?
The brother visit is going swimmingly. He just graduated college and is looking for a Big Boy Job, so he's content to sit around all day with me watching South Park and eating trail mix. Easy entertainment.
My husband was supposed to jump this morning, so the brother and I were going to head out to the St. Mere Eglise Drop Zone to watch. (Do they really not see how disturbing that name is? Talk about inauspicious. Husband and I were trying to come up with other examples: Omaha Beach Water Park, etc.) Anyway, I thought watching the jump would be the coolest thing you can do in this town, but naturally the Army didn't cooperate with my tourist plans. The husband got up at 3:30 for a 9:00 jump -- let's hear it for Hurry Up And Wait -- and then called shortly after 8:00 to say they'd run out of parachutes so he wasn't jumping today. So there goes my good idea.
Looks like more South Park for us.
Some morning links before I head to the airport:
According to a report in the British Medical Journal, white males comprise 43.5 percent of the population but now account for less than a quarter of students at UK medical schools. In other words, being a doctor is no longer an attractive middle-class career proposition. That's quite a monument to six decades of Michael Moore-style socialist health care.
Incidentally, that was the exact same argument I tried to make at our office Christmas party in Germany.
John Stossel: Government is all about force
Government has nothing it hasn't first expropriated from some productive person. In contrast, the private sector – whether nonprofit or a greedy business – must work through persuasion and consent. No matter how rich Bill Gates gets, he cannot force us to buy his software. Outside government, actions are voluntary, and voluntary is better because it reflects the free judgment of creative, productive people.
And a great Mark Steyn quote from The Corner:
I want to bequeath the wonders of this earth to the next generation, but I worry that my grandchildren will never know the feeling that you've totally demonstrated your tremendous concern and commitment to taking action just by going to a concert and staying until halfway through the George Michael set when he started doing stuff from the new album.
My baby brother shows up today for a visit. And by baby, I mean he's 25. But in our family, he'll always be the baby.
This will be the first time we've really spent any time together since I got married. I have him all to myself for a week.
Last night's episode of Army Wives was much better, in my opinion. It really reminded me of military life and hit on several issues that Army families have to deal with, from the wife fixing a clog in the sink to the tug in a soldier's heart between his job and his family. I wrote about my experiences with a soldier's heart over at SpouseBUZZ.
Mary Katharine Ham has lots of jokes about an article on the French eating at McDonald's.
"We hate it and go to it. It's our paradox," a journalist for the French magazine Challenges, Alice Mérieux, said. "We're very anti-American in principle, but individually, if you're going to the movies and have to eat in 10 minutes, you go to McDonald's."
Yep, I saw this in action. When I was in my French language class, a Hungarian, a Czech, and I did an expose on McDonald's. We went around our French town and interviewed folks about their thoughts on McDonald's. Naturally, they all thought it was a despicable place with disgusting food. And naturally there was always a line out the door and onto the sidewalk.
What I thought was especially interesting was that the Hungarian and the Czech didn't really get the concept of the difference between fast food and restaurant food. I had to explain to them that Americans do indeed eat at McDonald's, but we don't consider it Fine Dining. We actually do have sit-down restaurants that we eat at. For them in their home countries, the price of McDonald's was the same as the price at a sit-down place, so the distinction was lost on them. They thought we considered McDonald's the same thing as a fancy restaurant. So at least I can say that I dispelled one misconception during my year in France: I taught a Hungarian and a Czech that McDonald's is not classy.
Of course, this is coming from the girl who ate at Steak n Shake for her senior prom...
Via Tim: Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature: Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive
This is hilarious:
Found at Chic[k]pilot
A stinging quote from Matt Sanchez:
When Time magazine interviewed a bombmaker claiming to be responsible for “rising American casualties,” they forgot to ask the “sophisticated and tenacious enemy” the tough questions like, “What’s your exit strategy?” or “How broken is the insurgency?” “Could you define victory?” or even the most basic, “Why are you doing this?” The fact that the press demands accountability from one side and offers servility to the other is a very cunning strategy to win an asymmetrical war.
Yes, yes, sweet, awesome, holy crap.
We just bought tickets to attend Stitch N Pitch at Busch Stadium. That's right, knitting and baseball acting like they're peanut butter and jelly. Too cool. We'll be going with my friend and her mom, the awesome lady who taught me to knit ten years ago, and a girl I met through my knitting class here whose husband is deployed. She's flying from Montana; we're coming from both coasts to converge on the StL for the best idea to hit baseball since the hot dog.
Best idea we've had for a vacation since we followed Feasting on Asphalt.
Last night I finished reading Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives. It was a fascinating book and a very compelling story. I now understand where a lot of the material for the TV show Army Wives is coming from, and I got a lot out of the book. But I can't help but feel that the title is a misnomer. Even the new title -- Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage -- doesn't quite fix the problem.
The book traces the lives of different Army couples from right before 9/11 to the start of OIF. It centers heavily on the five murders at Fort Bragg in the summer of 2002. In this sense, it's more like Fayetteville's In Cold Blood than just a book about Army wives. It's the story of gruesome murder, with information and insight on the military intertwined.
I came away from the book with the same feeling as when I read While They're At War. There may be some valuable insight into the military in the book, but the stories themselves are quite atypical. The average Army wife isn't an active anti-war protestor, nor does she get stabbed and burned alive by her husband. The average Army wife just takes care of her kids and her household while her husband is away. Most of what she overcomes is molehills, but it's a minefield of molehills spread out over years. But I guess that doesn't sell books. These fantastical stories are a vehicle to give people a peek at military life, but it seems a bit dangerous to me to name a book about murder, adultery, and horror as the "code of military marriage."
I liked the book, don't get me wrong. But just like Truman Capote's tome shouldn't be used as a guidebook to visiting Kansas, neither should this book be all you know about military life.
Interesting article on Scooter Libby, sent by Oda Mae: Bush Got It Right... Unlike Mr. Clinton
Frank J's Brief History of the United States of America is worth a chuckle.
Watch out, Vera Bradley; I'm quilting my own bags now.
I love my new sewing machine.
I kept wanting to watch the movie United 93, and my husband kept coming up with excuses why he didn't feel like seeing it. He wanted to watch something funny, he didn't feel like a movie tonight, there wasn't enough time before bed. Finally I flat-out asked him why he obviously didn't want to see the movie. He replied that he just didn't want to see anything made by Oliver Stone. Ah-ha. Mix up, honey, Stone didn't make this one; he made the other one. Problem solved, and we watched the movie a few days ago.
I don't blame him. I read the book Case Closed a few weeks ago, and all I could think of the whole time was that I spent money in the theater to see JFK when I was 13, and I actually thought it was true. I was just an idiot kid, and it was all up there on the big screen, for pete's sake, so how was I to know that Stone based that load of crap on "evidence" that had been debunked years earlier? The man is just dishonest to the core. I can't believe I wasted any brain cells thinking there was a JFK conspiracy.
So I love it that, even though Stone can twist and turn a story into anything but the truth, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad still won't let him make a documentary about him. Because
"It is right that this person is considered part of the opposition in the U.S., but opposition in the U.S. is a part of the Great Satan," Mehdi Kalhor, media adviser to the president told the Fars news agency.
Even folks who hate the US are still considered enemies with respect to jihad. Nice. It's a shame that lesson will likely go right over everyone's heads.
Looks like Oliver Stone will have to find some other story to twist up into bullcrap.
Lileks posted for the 4th of July. I wanted to excerpt it, but 1) I can't even pick one part that's better than another and 2) if I excerpt it, you might not go read the whole thing.
Trust me, you're gonna want to read it twice.
Neal Boortz hates the 4th of July.
Trust me, you don't want me to work on the 4th of July. I'll just go into one of my insensitive rants about how Americans .. most Americans anyway .. no longer have any real love of freedom. Security is the word today, not independence. Oh, to be sure ... we want to be free to chose where we work (as long as we don't have to negotiate our own salary), where we live, where we worship and what's for dinner. Beyond that ... all too many of us want to government to step in and relieve us of the responsibilities and consequences of choice.
Reading assignment? Sure .. I have one for you. Go buy the book "1776" and read it. Read how American patriots in 1776 marched across frozen ground without shoes --- leaving a trail of blood --- just to fight for independence from Great Britain. Today? See how many people you can find today who would make that sacrifice for freedom.
Will get the book. And will think about what freedom really means today.
But 4th of July for patriots is like Valentine's Day for soulmates: superfluous.
Must read Michael Yon: Bless the Beasts and Children
Over the weekend, we were very optimistic about taking a pregnancy test. We thought the fifth month just might be the charm. But if our pregnancy test had been an election ballot, we would've been looking at a dimpled chad.
That photo is not staged; that's my husband trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. One line means no, two lines means yes, but what does one dark line and one line that's barely perceptible to the naked eye mean? We wanted to find out if we were having a baby or not, and instead we got "Pat Buchanan."
Incidentally, if something is advertised as 99% effective, why does it need to be sold in two packs?
Another test and two more days later, and we're pretty sure we're not pregnant. I was on the phone with my mother, sniveling about how every month that passes brings more likelihood that my husband will deploy before this baby ever shows up, and my mother said the most perfect thing she could've said in this situation: She said that she would obviously do whatever she could to help me if my husband is gone when this baby comes, but that she wanted us to know how proud she is of us, that we've chosen a very difficult lifestyle and that she admires and respects us for making this family sacrifice for our country.
I thought about what she said later in the day, and I thought about the book report I wrote for SpouseBUZZ that morning, and I realized that she's right. We've chosen this life, and we can un-choose it any time we wish. But what we can't do is stick with this choice and then complain about it. Would I want to get out of the Army in order to have my husband here next year? No. So that's our choice. It's important to us to be in the Army, so it has to be important enough to stop complaining about the situation.
So if he's here, he's here, and if he's not, he's not. That's the way it has to be, and there's no sense in talking about it or dwelling on our so-called bad luck.
But can we at least get some better luck in reading those danged home tests?