I found a quiz on Facebook to determine your "real age," based on lifestyle. I thought I was a grown up at heart, but mine came back as 17 years old! No wonder people think I'm a teen and wish me a birthday that's half what I really am.
I think the quiz just ended up that way because I clicked that I have never smoked.
I don't feel 17 inside. A 17 year old wouldn't be so fretful about the state of the world...
But I do miss my pigtails.
Mary asked for a pupdate, and I must say that there's not much going on in Charlie's life at the moment. But we did kitten-sit over Labor Day weekend. Charlie spent the weekend chasing after a four-pound kitten trying to make friends. He has such a good relationship with Hitler cat, and he thinks all cats should be as receptive to his advances. Luckily this kitten took it like a champ and even let him get close to her a few times. Here they are snuggled together...
But most of the weekend the poor kitten hid under the dresser in the guest bedroom.
In other cat news, the family that dog-sits for me just got a cat who's not so into Charlie. Charlie keeps getting scratched in the face because he just gets too danged boisterous around their cat.
My husband says Charlie is like Lenny from Of Mice and Men...
I've been wanting to blog this all day but kept telling myself that it was not blogworthy. But I can't help myself any longer; I just have to blab it.
My ovaries feel like they're on fire.
No, seriously. I feel like I am burning up from the inside. You know when your laptop is on your legs for too long? That's what it feels like on my stomach. From the inside.
The other day my neighbor's 7-year-old gave me a hug. Her head is belly button height, and she recoiled from the hug saying, "Eww, you're hot."
So...things must be working. I'm apparently producing a lot of energy.
I had my ultrasound today to make sure the meds are doing what they should, and it appears we're good to go at the end of this week. I am not so excited that I have to give myself a shot of HCG on Wednesday. A shot. This was nowhere to be mentioned before today. I nearly freaked out when the nurse told me.
I would not be a good diabetic.
I am scheming to get my neighbor to do it for me.
So then by the weekend we will have done all that can be done, and thus begins The Waiting Game. I need to plan some activities for myself for the beginning of October.
I have made 19 preemie caps in the past week. You think I have nervous energy?
I used to rave about the Stars and Stripes coverage when we lived in Germany, but I don't read it often now that we're home. The Girl clued me back in on it today. Read this article, which is what I think all reporting should be: good points, bad points, positive tone, actual information that's not just regurgitated from Reuters, and the 5 W's right at the beginning. I had forgotten how much I miss that newspaper.
SemperFiWife over at SpouseBuzz found an awesome article: Attitude Is Everything
First, Peter Kirsanow at The Corner on Obama's final thoughts about what a crappy country the US is.
Second, apparently the family of the soldier whose bracelet Obama wears asked him to stop wearing it. Ouch.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I'm not black. Heh. So this kind of stuff weirds me out.
What If Obama Loses?
African-Americans thought he had no chance—then they started to believe. Now they fear defeat.
"The conversation had to change to 'How do we change our futures now that we have someone who might actually care about us in the race?'
So no other president cares about black people. Man, I didn't know Kanye was taken as gospel. Newsflash: the policies that are good for "American" people are good for all people.
The quotes in this article are just depressing to me:
"I've never forgotten that he is a smart, articulate black man with a smart, articulate black wife," says Linda Wright, 34, a nurse's assistant from Houston. "You think white people were just going to turn over the keys to the most important job in the land without a fight?"
"I'm going to be mad, real mad, if he doesn't win," says Daetwon Fisher, 21, a construction worker from Long Beach, Calif. "Because for him to come this far and lose will be just shady and a slap in black people's faces. I know there is already talk about protests and stuff if he loses, and I'm down for that."
Fisher's comment about something vaguely "shady" echoes a common concern that the election will somehow be stolen rather than won. "I know a lot of things can stop Obama from winning, and it's not just lack of votes," says Marilyn Higgins, 36, a mail carrier from Detroit.
I've never thought these things about Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin for being women. Never. I wouldn't have voted for Hillary Clinton even if she was my aunt because of her policies. Gender sure isn't going to sway me.
The comments on the article are interesting and varied. But here's one that confuses, like I wrote a while back, opportunity with results:
Comment: What most white people don't seem to understand is that this country has always said to the world that anybody can be president in the United States, yet the majority of Americans have proven that they don't truly believe that by the way they've voted all through this country's history. This country is made up of people whose ancestry originated from every corner of the globe, yet it's history of presidents has yet to reflect that. How can you go spouting to the world that you're the land of opportunity for everyone and wanting to import your way of life to the entire world when you are illustrating that only white, mostly rich men are allowed to have all of the opportunities.
Translation: How dare you say anyone can be president and then vote for the person you think is best suited instead of the person who matches your color/gender/hometown? I love that last bit: "allowed to have all the opportunities." That seems a gross misunderstanding of the word "opportunity."
I too am nervous that my candidate might not win. It has nothing to do with what color he is. But I won't be out protesting if he loses.
This stuff doesn't make sense to me.
The only point I want to make is this, that in order to make the tough decisions we have to know what our values are and who we're fighting for and our priorities and if we are spending $300 billion on tax cuts for people who don't need them and weren't even asking for them, and we are leaving out health care which is crushing on people all across the country, then I think we have made a bad decision and I want to make sure we're not shortchanging our long term priorities.
Let me also put this in bold so you don't miss it: The government doesn't spend money on tax cuts; they let you keep your own effing money. Money that is yours, that you worked for, and that simply stays in your pocket instead of being whisked away to government.
Spending money on a tax cut. Obama talks like tax revenue belongs to the government and they decide whether to give us some or not! Apparently Obama gets to decide how much of our income we "need," and if we don't specifically "ask" for it back, well, it's government's to keep.
Which brings us, as usual, to The Parable of the Stairs, which is Lileks' finest work after Notes From the Olive Garden. I am copying it here, and I hope Lileks doesn't mind. I'll put in a plug for his books as compensation: go buy one!
A minor political note, if you’re interested in such things. The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn’t know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.
Then came the Parable of the Stairs, of course. My tiresome, shopworn, oft-told tale, a piece of unsupportable meaningless anecdotal drivel about how I turned my tax cut into a nice staircase that replaced a crumbling eyesore, hired a few people and injected money far and wide - from the guys who demolished the old stairs, the guys who built the new one, the family firm that sold the stone, the other firm that rented the Bobcats, the entrepreneur who fabricated the railings in his garage, and the guy who did the landscaping. Also the company that sold him the plants. And the light fixtures. It’s called economic activity. What’s more, home improvements added to the value of this pile, which mean that my assessment would increase, bumping up my property taxes. To say nothing of the general beautification of the neighborhood. Next year, if my taxes didn’t shoot up, I had another project planned. Raise my taxes, and it won’t happen – I won’t hire anyone, and they won’t hire anyone, rent anything, buy anything. You see?
“Well, it’s a philosophical difference,” she sniffed. She had pegged me as a form of life last seen clicking the leash off a dog at Abu Ghraib. “I think the money should have gone straight to those people instead of trickling down.” Those last two words were said with an edge.
“But then I wouldn’t have hired them,” I said. “I wouldn’t have new steps. And they wouldn’t have done anything to get the money.”
“Well, what did you do?” she snapped.
“What do you mean?”
“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”
“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”
That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:
“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”
Then she left.
And walked down the stairs. I let her go without charging a toll. It’s the philanthropist in me.
And that, my friends, was the exact same mindset that Obama showed last night. He sees tax revenue as his money to play with as he will. He doesn't think of it as our money.
So what I want to know is this: If some housewife knitting a sock could catch Obama saying this, why didn't McCain catch it? Why didn't he slam Obama from here to kingdom come on it? He needs to do this soon. Obama gets to prance around with his pretty little "95% of you are getting a tax cut" and he needs to be taken down a peg. McCain needs to point out that those 5% who are getting a tax increase already pay 60% of the taxes our country takes in. They don't deserve to get screwed even harder. And that screwing them even harder means life will be worse for all of us in the US.
But god forbid some person making $40,000 per year doesn't get to take home a few more dollars under an Obama presidency. Remember when that blogger said why she's not a Republican, that she eschewed the libertarian right's "'I got mine' attitude"? Well, there's the flip side, there's your Democrat "I got mine" right there. Am I one of the 95% who gets a tax cut? Well, then here's a middle finger to the top 5%. I got my tax cut, so I'm voting for Obama.
Nevermind that the top 5% of earners are what keep this country afloat and make earning possible for all the rest of us. Nevermind that if the government takes more of their money out of their pockets, they simply won't provide us with more jobs and more robustness in the economy. They won't build any stairs for us to profit from.
It can't go "straight to those people instead of trickling down," you stupid little girl.
And Obama is high if he thinks he can fix the problems the US faces with taxes on the already-overtaxed rich. He just can't. Last week I watched Glenn Beck's "Exposed: America's Broke" series. I recommend it if you want to be depressed. Forgive the screenshot taken from the first installment, but I can't get this out of my head:
We have two serious problems facing us in the future named Social Security and Medicare. What Glenn Beck noted is that spending is projected to go through the roof, but the history of revenues is pretty stable. Under both the most oppressive and the most generous tax rates we've ever had, revenues have stayed roughly around 18% of GDP. When we start doling out social security and Medicare to baby boomers, there's no way to make up the difference in money we need from taxes.
And the Democrats think it's even remotely possible to add national health care to our burden of spending?
Obama cannot tax away our problems, and McCain needs to start calling him on it. If he and Palin really want to be Mavericks, they need to reform Social Security and Medicare, which are a far bigger burden on the US than earmarks. But at the very least they need to stop letting Obama get away with acting like cutting middle class taxes is important for the economy. We need to cut taxes for high earners and businesses first.
And for heaven's sake, I want Obama socked in the gut the next time he calls tax cuts "spending."
Here's what Vodkapundit said:
7:36PM “Spending 300 billion dollars on tax cuts.” That right there explains why I haven’t voted for a Democrat for President since 1992, and would rather not until they beat that sentiment out of themselves. Preferably using ball-peen hammers.
It didn't go as well as I'd hoped.
The first thing that Obama said made me want to throw something at the TV. I cannot stand it when people say that we are fighting two wars. We absolutely are not; we are fighting one war on two fronts. That is a pet peeve of mine that makes me want to tear my hair out when I hear it.
And I didn't fare much better throughout the rest of the debate.
Part of it was this:
Repetition may bore political junkies, but it helps candidates connect with casual voters--as do memorable (if corny) anecdotes.
I didn't learn anything new during the debate, and I thought often I came up with a better argument than McCain did. Though my arguments were decidedly less PC and probably couldn't be repeated on TV without redacting several swear words.
I thought Obama looked better, and since I have no faith in the competence of American voters, I fully expect them to vote for who looks better, so I am disappointed in the debate.
But I did enjoy Obama's closing remarks about how his Kenyan father wouldn't dream of setting foot in 2008 America and would've rather emigrated to France or somewhere less unilateral. That plays real well, so keep that up please, Obama.
But other people around teh internets aren't as pessimistic as I am, so maybe it wasn't that bad.
Read what Varifrank says about RISK.
Also, I love this paragraph of his that he wrote before the debate:
I dont care if McCain walks out begins to channel the ghost of Jim Morrison, drops his pants and takes a big whizz on stage shouts "I AM THE LIZARD KING!!!,because even if he did do that, I'm still voting for him. Quite frankly, if he does do that, I will probably send his campaign money. If he also turns around smacks Jim Lerher to the ground and calls him "a commie punk", I'll fly to Manahttan and wear a "MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT" sandwich board in Times Square and ring a bell and hand out campaign literature to the New Yorkers like those "end is nigh" folks.
If I have to hear the phrase "find bin Laden" one more time, I will flip my lid.
I just saw the preview of the movie W. Yeah, um, I'm not going to go see that. But all I could think of was how Laura Bush must feel. I can't imagine how I would stay composed if anyone made a movie like that about my husband. I would tear Oliver Stone limb from limb. Michael Moore too.
I’m not sure how many people realize how close we were to the wheels coming off at about noon yesterday, as major commercial-paper processing banks like State Street lost 30% – 60% of their value in about 2 hours. Want evidence: When was the last time you heard of the U.S. government identifying a problem, developing a multi-hundred-billion-dollar program and announcing it within about 48 hours?
Does anyone else feel sick to their stomachs? Especially when you read the last line of Cass' post?
If after all this, you are somehow trusting in the rationality of your fellow citizens, may I direct your attention to lemming-like behavior in the face of a non-crisis which nearly brought our entire financial system to its knees and this utterly inexplicable reaction.
Your fellow voters are about to vote you more "affordable housing". It's like deja vu all over again.
I never wrote a wrap-up of the Milblogging Conference this weekend, and I lazily thought I might let it pass by. Until I saw this line on Lileks today:
Heaven is full of neon, at least the American Sector.
So, I like Vegas. It seemed I was the odd man out. I understand that Vegas is not the ideal spot for Milblogs and I support returning the conference to DC next year, but I still enjoy any reason to head to Vegas. I'd rather go there than to most cities in the world.
And I got to arrive at night, which is the best. When I go back, I want to make it a point to arrive at night again and take the shuttle from the airport, stopping at all the hotels along the strip. I stared at the lights and the ads and the glitter, and all I could think of is excess.
But in a good way.
Vegas reminds me of what makes my country great. That we have enough resources to power every square inch of an entire city all night long. That we have enough money to respond to ads for celebrity salons and shows that cost a hundred bucks a pop. That we have enough leisure to while away our hours in casinos and bars.
Vegas is the closest thing we have to Galt's Gulch in this country.
It is capitalism run rampant.
I find it exhilarating.
But in the light of day on Saturday, we were all business at the convention center.
The topic of the first panel was whether milblogs are still relevant. I know bigwigs read Blackfive. They read SpouseBUZZ too. High-level decision makers are peeking in on us. (Not here, for pete's sake. Unless someone at the Pentagon wants to knit a chinook.) In my book, that still makes them relevant. But more important are the non-bigwigs who read the blogs. It's the civilians who begin to understand our lives and can pass on the accurate stories of how we live who are the disseminators of the milblogs' wisdom.
A friend called me a few weeks ago and said that he had seen Generation Kill and was horrified at how the marines were portrayed. I haven't seen the show, but she thought it was very biased and was worried that if this is the only exposure people have to the military... I trust the Pajamas Media review that said that it got better after the first episode, but I recommended watching Gunner Palace or Bad Voodoo's War instead.
And that's how milblogs stay relevant.
The war is different from when Colby Buzzell started writing. It's different from when my husband was there last. I wish he could share stories of the things he's doing these days, because those are the things that are preparing Iraq for her future. But Civil Affairs teams can't talk about any of the good stuff, and the occasional press release can't even name names.
But they're out there and they're working. It's a shame that some of the best stuff out of Iraq can't be blogged. But that's a tradeoff we gladly make.
I spoke on the community panel, which is in many ways the heart of what keeps milblogs relevant. (Not me, for pete's sake. I have done nothing of importance.) When you look at who the attendees are for the conference, it's all community types. It's Soldiers' Angels and wives and our friends like Barb and Code Monkey. The community has grown far beyond the front lines.
I'm a REMF in the milblogging world. Heh.
There was one attendee, and I hate to pick on him, but he kept standing up and asking why there wasn't any top-down organization of veterans' issues. We milbloggers were just kinda bamboozled; who wants top-down structure when you can organize it yourself? When Chuck can say he needs voice-activated software and a charity is born? When Ginger starts sewing for soldiers like she used to sew for her son? That's how it works. Top-down is for suckers.
This community grew because one man wanted to make a tribute to his fallen friend. Another man wanted us to band together. One girl rode a train in Germany to go meet an imaginary friend. Another girl emailed her and said they were soulmates. One of our beloved milbloggers passed away, and three years later this girl cried on the shoulder of another of his biggest fans.
That's how this milblog community grew. It grew up big and bright and strong out of an empty corner of the internet.
Just like Vegas.
Quote of the day, from Varifrank:
How anyone over the age of 12 can vote for a leftist socialist with zero economic experience or so much as a drab of common street sense to be President of the United States is completely beyond my ability to comprehend. You would get more economic common sense if you talked about the 1980's "laffer curve" with a three legged tincan chomping billygoat with a lapshade on its head. The only thing socialists know about markets and economics is how to wreck them and make everyone equally poor.
OK, this is just too much for me.
Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings pointed to Sarah Palin on Wednesday to rally Jews to Obama.
"If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention," said Hastings. "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through."
That is just so egregiously racist I can't believe it. Hunters obviously wish they were killing minorities instead of big game.
And let me take a moment to address the grammar of the line "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks." I had this talk at home when my mom reprimanded my brother for using slang at the dinner table. I said that there's a time and place when slangy grammar is funny, and my brother had used it humorously. But a Congressman speaking this way on the record? Ridiculous.
Asked what the congressman meant, Hastings spokesman David Goldenberg told ABC News that he was trying to argue that Palin is an "extremely conservative woman who is out of touch with mainstream America."
If that ain't some revisionist bullcrap! No you weren't, you were saying that she's the type of person who wants to kill blacks and Jews.
After saying that Palin "don't care too much" about Jews and blacks, Hastings argued that African Americans and Jews should come together behind Obama because there are many issues on which they agree.
"Just like Jews, blacks care about affordable health care, energy independence, and the separation of church and state," said Hastings. "And just like blacks, Jews care about equal pay for equal work, investment in alternative energy, and a woman's right to choose."
Yeah, just like freaking white people care about those things too. What on earth do any of these things have to do with race? Hey, Jews, black people also like bicycles, fishing, and mac and cheese, you should band together to vote!
Asked about the Hastings criticism, Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "We’re taking a pass."
Bwahaha. Check out Rachel Lucas' demotivator.
A certain pinko commie emailed and asked what I think of the bailout. At the risk of making an Obama joke, it's really above my pay grade. I have been watching TV, listening to the radio, and reading articles about it to try to wrap my brain around the situation, but I'm just not so good at thinking in terms of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Here's one thing I do understand: money doesn't grow on trees. Our government doesn't have the money for the things it's already promised, like Medicare and Social Security. Now some want to add health care, and then there's this bailout.
I think we're boned. But I'm a housewife who knits during the Glenn Beck program, so what do I know?
CavX wrote a good summary of the situation, which fits my understanding of the problem. And I've read enough Thomas Sowell to know that there were dire consequences to lending money to people who simply couldn't afford it. Those chickennnnnns came home to roost, at the risk of making a Jeremiah Wright joke.
I heard a guy last night on the radio say that he makes $50,000 a year and bought a $400,000 house on an ARM. And this was touted as a good choice. I guess I just live on a different planet than some of these people, because my husband makes more than that and our house is less than half of this guy's. And we already own a good chunk of it.
But what do I know: I missed the Penthouse Party because I was too cheap to pay the cover charge...
So I have a hot date Friday night for a debate that may not happen. Bummer.
I'm with Powerline on what this may mean.
I have wanted to make socks with Cascade Fixation for a while now, so I was delighted to receive two balls as a gift. I searched for patterns online and came upon this one. I tried a gauge swatch, but it was waaay off. I thought maybe it was because the yarn was stretchy, so I just went up a needle size to be safe and got moving.
While I was working, I thought the sock looked small, but I decided to stay in denial. I knitted the leg, heel, turn, gussets, and decreases before I began to panic. I tried the sock on and found that it was tighter than panty hose. No good.
Ripped out the whole thing.
I had to cast on 52 sts instead of 40 to get a sock that fit. This woman who wrote the pattern must have slender legs and feet! So I started knitting Friday morning and had 17 rows done when I boarded the plane.
A man across from me asked what I was making. Then he said, "OK, we've got four hours to Vegas; I want to see how much you can get done!" So I started working. And I worked and worked and worked. I wanted a break, to read or to nap, but I felt all this pressure from the guy in the seat across from me! It was so silly. He drove me to knit for four hours straight.
At the end of the flight, I held up the work for him and he disappointedly said that I hadn't really gotten that much done.
Yep, knitting is slow.
Five hours of work:
Half a sock. Dark photo taken in our "ghetto fabulous" hotel, as Guard Wife called it.
I came home and finished the sock on Monday and started the second last night.
Three cheers for knitting for myself!
I've mentioned before that I voted for Al Gore in 2000. I knew deep in my bones that I was a Republican, but I just couldn't bring myself to vote for George Bush because I thought he was far less experienced than Al Gore and that mattered to me. Excelsior!
So I got to thinking today...I hope there are Democrat voters out there who think like I did in 2000, because now the tables are turned. I hope there are Democrats who know they are Democrats but can't bring themselves to vote for Barrack Obama because he's far less experienced than John McCain.
Of course, the twist ending to all of this is that I was wrong about George Bush and I think he ended up doing a far better job than Al Gore would've done. I'm not sure I could ever get my brain to believe that Obama could do a better job than McCain, but if Obama is elected, I sure hope he rises to the challenge.
I find myself really hoping that this fertility cycle works, and not just so I get to have a baby or three. I keep thinking, "I can't wait until I have a healthy 12-week-old pregnancy so I can get the heck out of this fertility clinic."
Dealing with these people is theater of the absurd. The doctor has one philosophy and plan of action, while his nurses have another. The doctor is gangbusters, diving right in and slapping bandaids on problems so we can jerry-rig some success. The nurses want to run tests and get to the bottom of things before we do any treatment. The problem is, they haven't worked out their issues among themselves. So I end up having conversations like this:
Nurse: So we need to do a clomid challenge test and day 3 tests.
Sarah: But you told me a week ago that it was OK that I was going to be in Vegas on day 3 and couldn't be here.
Nurse: No, not OK, we have to skip this month.
Sarah: Not acceptable.
Nurse: But we need to make sure you're not already pregnant.
Sarah: My husband is deployed, so I am most certainly not.
Nurse: If your husband is deployed, how are you going to get pregnant?
Nurse: Why are we doing that?
Sarah: Don't you people take notes or anything?
Nurse: (looks at chart) Oh, now I see what the doctor is doing. Well, that's risky but OK...
Sarah: RISKY??? No one said the word "risky" last week; you all acted like this was standard procedure.
Nurse: Well, the doctor doesn't always like the run the tests first, which is a problem.
Oh good lord. I was waiting for her to turn into a rhinoceros.
Ironically, a long time ago my husband and I joked about nicknaming the baby Godot, since we've been waiting for him to show up for quite a while now. I never knew I was inviting absurdity into my life with that harmless joke. But apparently I've jinxed myself into this Who's On First routine with the fertility clinic.
So we're doing a backwards compromise now. We are full steam ahead this month, trying to get pregnant. If it doesn't work this month, we will step back and start running tests to make sure my innards are a go-flight.
Maybe next time I talk to the doctor and nurses, I can get them to peek out of a joke wall à la Laugh In and have them dispense medical information in the form of knock-knock jokes.
Excuse me, does this IUI come with a cream pie to the face?
My husband is deployed right now, so we don't pay a dime of taxes. And even when he's here, as a one-income family, we don't pay that much into the pot. But I, like Morgan Freeberg, try to look at what's best for the entire US and not just my own wallet.
Classic example of gulping the liberal koolaid without knowing you're gulping it: "Oh don't worry, that's a tax on super rich people, not you!"
The pattern is that if it can be categorized as a tax cut for 95% of us, then everyone should be thinking of it as a tax cut for all of us, even if the remaining five percent see their tax liabilities go shootin' so freakin' high that it ends up being a net increase. It all depends on your point of view: In my world, if we all end up paying more, then we all end up paying more.
But I notice if you look at this through the left-wing lens, whether you know you're doing it or not...like factcheck.org and the AP up there...then 95% of us pay less taxes.
We'll just pay more for goods and services, that's all.
Or, as commenter aharris said:
So, I can pay less taxes until those who produce the goods I depend on for my livelihood: gas, food, clothing, etc., start hiking prices to compensate for their increased tax burden. I can look to pay less in taxes and enjoy no impact on my life until my husband's division of the company who has to yearly justify its existence and profitability to its German headquarters can no longer show enough return on its investment vis a vis the tax burden on business in the US and the Germans decide to pick up and re-locate the entire division to Mexico where they already have a small plant in operation. My husband might lose his job, or if he's valuable enough, he might be offered a transfer, and all of a sudden, I am forced to face becoming a citizen of Mexico.
I don't care if my husband would take home more money under an Obama presidency because I am not shortsighted enough to make voting decisions based on what is best for me personally. Shoot, if I did, wouldn't I be anti-war? Bring the troops home and give me a tax cut, future of the US be damned!
And make my knitting for charity tax deductible while you're at it. Heh.
Made it home.
Last night was fun, hanging out with my imaginary friends. AWTM and I were the last ones standing. She is a chatty drunk, stopping numerous times along the way home to tell random passersby to beware of the porn peddlers on the strip. And to tell several casino security guards they look like Reno 911.
Also, note to self: never drink rum & coke, wine, beers, amaretto sour, and gin & tonic all in the same night. And then get on a plane the next morning. After four hours of sleep.
But my drinking days are over, and they sure went out with a bang last night! I start fertility treatments in the morning.
AWTM is doing an excellent job of liveblogging the Milblogs Conference. Head to her site and start scrolling...
Either AWTM has been exaggerating her insomnia, or we've discovered the cure: gin and tonic.
Last night I got into Vegas and, after an annoying mix-up and no one calling me back to let me know where to meet them, I ended up just going to bed. AWTM rolled in in the middle of the night and fell asleep the instant her head hit the pillow.
I, on the other hand, only slept from midnight to 2:00 and then 5:00-7:00. Not good. The time change threw me all off.
As does the fact that I'm in the desert and my lips feel like they're going to shrivel and fall off.
But I'm sitting on a sofa beside Guard Wife, surfing the internet together. Sigh...heaven.
I'm on my way to Vegas today for the Blog World Expo. Don't worry, there will be plenty of internet connection.
I was joking with Guard Wife the other day that my favorite thing about my internet buddies is that I don't have to pretend I'm not glued to my computer all day long. When I hang out with people in the Real World, I have to pretend I'm not jonesing for a trip around the 'sphere. In contrast, when I went to visit AirForceFamily, all three of us adults sat around the kitchen table with three laptops and surfed the internet together.
Course, when I was a kid I used to play marathon games of solitare alongside my brother as well.
Come to think of it, I used to host BYOB parties: bring your own book. My friends and I would literally sit in a room and read together.
Apparently I really like to do solitary activities in a crowd.
Where was I? Right, Vegas. I'm headed to Vegas to surf the internet alongside some of my favorite people on this planet.
This is a week old, but it's too good not to point out. Rachel Lucas was on fire when she saw the silly British article that said that electing McCain is giving the rest of the world the middle finger. She starts with this:
In all seriousness though. I can’t speak for any other Stupid American, but Europe and Rest of World? Wanna know why I don’t give a toss what you think? Because you’re doing it wrong.
You’re doing so many things wrong, in my view, that I want my country to be very different from yours.
And tears it up from there. With plenty of naughty language. Read it all.
Don't you love when commenters rip on everyone else for being stupid...and then reveal their own shortcomings? I was watching a youtube clip of some Obama splices and saw this recent comment:
Hahahahaha. If you believe this clip to show the truth about Obama, chances are good that your IQ is way below average. The sheer amount of cuts mid-sentence in this clip is pretty much proof of that.
Besides, doesn't the US constitution explicitly encourage people to be critical about government and their own country? I guess morons just forgot that little tiny detail.
Maybe I am a moron, but I don't remember that "explicit" part of the constitution. Do you think he means the part of the Declaration of Independence about throwing off the despotism, or is he just running his mouth?
Or maybe he thinks that Thomas Jefferson really said that dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Heh.
For another thing, statistics show that Europeans are not nearly as well traveled in America as Americans are in Europe. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, some 11.4 million Europeans visited the United States in 2007, which is roughly 2.5 percent of the European population. (By contrast, a record 13.3 million Americans visited Europe in 2007, or roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population.) The lack of firsthand knowledge of the United States is arguably the biggest reason why ordinary Europeans cannot discern fact from fiction when it comes to America.
From the comments section: "Some of my most heated conversations were with people who claimed to know everything about the U.S. even though they never came here. For example, did you know the U.S. has 52 states?" Ha, I had the exact same discussion in Sweden. A guy insisted that Puerto Rico was a state and refused to listen to me when I said it is not.
This made me laugh out loud. I remember seeing it on SNL years ago, but I had forgotten how funny it is. Thanks, Oda Mae!
I caught parts of the Obama interview with Bill O'Reilly, but since I already know I'm not going to vote for him, I didn't go out of my way to hear what else he has to say. So I was surprised when Oda Mae sent me this Jacoby article with a quote I didn't hear the first time around.
Well, I guess I'm just not very neighborly.
"If I am sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't, what's the big deal for me to say, I'm going to pay a little bit more? That's neighborliness." If that is Obama's rationale for making the tax code even more steeply progressive than it already is, it's no wonder voters are having second thoughts about his economic aptitude.
"Neighborliness." Perhaps that word has a nonstandard meaning to someone whose home adjoined the property of convicted swindler Tony Rezko, but extracting money by force from someone who earned it in order to give it to someone who didn't is not usually spoken of as neighborly. If Citizen Obama, "sitting pretty," reaches into his own pocket and helps out the waitress with a large tip, he has shown a neighborly spirit. But there is nothing neighborly about using the tax code to compel someone else to pay the waitress that tip.
Taxation is not generosity, it is confiscation at gunpoint. Does Obama not understand the difference?
You know, I used to think people were exaggerating when they wrote that liberalism has broken the modern family by allowing the government to replace the father. I see where they're coming from, but I always thought it was a bit much.
Until it got explicitly spelled out:
In the Boston Globe on Friday, columnist Ellen Goodman frets that Mrs. Palin is a "supermom" whose supporters "think a woman can have it all as long as she can do it all . . . by herself." In fact, Sarah Palin is doing it with the help of her husband Todd, who is currently on leave from his job as an oil worker. But Ms. Goodman's problem is that "she doesn't need anything from anyone outside the family. She isn't lobbying for, say, maternity leave, equal pay, or universal pre-K."
This also galls Katherine Marsh, writing in the latest issue of The New Republic. Mrs. Palin admits to having "an incredible support system -- a husband with flexible jobs rather than a competing career . . . and a host of nearby grandparents, aunts, and uncles." Yet, Ms. Marsh charges, she does not endorse government policies to help less-advantaged working mothers -- for instance, by promoting day-care centers.
When I read the Marsh article, all I could think of is why on earth the government needs to step in and help people fix their luck or choices. Because that's what life boils down to: sometimes you get back luck, and you get cancer or your husband runs away with the maid, and sometimes you make choices in life, like to get divorced or have multiple kids with multiple dads. And sometimes luck and choice blur, like when you get knocked up at 17.
There's nothing we can do about the luck. Luck can hit any of us regardless of whether we're white, black, rich, poor, successful, or downtrodden. It was bad luck that Christopher Reeve was paralyzed, but he had his own resources for extensive rehabilitation and technology. Paralyzed poor people don't have that.
So is it the government's role to step in and save them?
I'm the wrong person to ask: I don't even want to take my government's prenatal vitamins.
A hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, your luck and your choices were your business. Got your arm cut off in the mill? There was no workman's comp or anyone to sue. Got a disease? If you were rich, you could buy some medicines to help prolong your life. If you were poor, you died. I don't think people went shouting to the government to give them free meds. Got pregnant out of wedlock? Your problem. Here's your scarlet A, have a nice life.
I didn't live back then, but I get the sense that people had a more healthy view of luck and choices than we do.
There is bad luck in the world. I can't seem to have a baby: bad luck. Especially since we made choices that would put us in an ideal spot to raise children. You know how people always say that you shouldn't wait to have kids for financial reasons because you'll never have enough money? Yeah, well, we have enough. I specifically didn't get a job when we moved into town so I could stay home and take care of a baby. We made all kinds of choices and now have been tripped up by luck. It sucks.
And I would feel the same way if one of us got cancer. That's bad luck, and you just have to deal with it. And if one of us died from a disease because we ran out of money to prevent it, that's life. It's harsh, but that's the way I see it. I don't want there to be a governmental guarantee that everyone gets to live to be 90.
I have a problem with the government stepping in to fix either luck or choices.
In the Marsh article, I kept thinking about luck and choices. When she said,
Palin is staunchly pro-life, but, beyond this very public position, she has a slender record on issues that affect working moms. She is a member of Feminists for Life, an anti-abortion group that also advocates for equal pay for women, for part-time and telecommuting situations for working moms, and against domestic violence. (The group supported Biden's Violence Against Women Act.) Presumably Palin shares these views. But, despite all her emphasis on being a working mom and breaking the glass ceiling, in her debut and acceptance speeches Palin never once mentioned her support for any of these issues or the legislation designed to address them. And she said nary a word about affordable child care.
Affordable child care is something the market should take care of, not the government. So is "part-time and telecommuting situations for working moms." I don't want Palin to promise to start legislating things specific to single moms.
Remember that blogger who wrote about why she's not a Republican? She's partially right, at least in my case, about the "'I got mine' attitude." I did make good choices in my life: I married the perfect person, scrimped and saved every dollar we made, waited to have children, etc. So I do kinda get mad at the thought of our tax dollars going to "funding for a vocational residential facility that included a child care center for students, as well as the funds for breast-feeding pumps, among other supplies, for a Women, Infants, and Children program for poor women." I'm a little happy Palin line-item vetoed that one.
And I realize that saying all of this probably makes me look like a mean person, but I'm tired of being made to feel mean for being squared away. My husband and I have our shit together, and I get a little tired of putting single moms on a pedestal and saying the government should square life away for them.
And I am really sick of folks ripping down Sarah Palin because she too has her shit together.
Marsh wrote about Palin like it was some giant stroke of luck that she "has a six-figure salary and an incredible support system--a husband with flexible jobs rather than a competing career, a close-knit community, and a host of nearby grandparents, aunts, and uncles to lend a hand on the domestic front." That one ain't luck, it's choices.
But I bet Sarah Palin, like my husband and I, wouldn't start singing a different tune if she all of a sudden were struck with bad luck. Or, say, her daughter's bad choices. I bet Sarah Palin sat her daughter down and said, "This is your lot in life; now you have to deal with it and deal with it well." Somehow I don't see her giving her daughter a list of entitlements she's now eligible for and promising that she'll legislate day care for students.
The title of Marsh's article is "Whine Not," in a sarcastic way. People went berserk when Phil Gramm said we've become a "nation of whiners." But I completely understand what he meant, especially since he prefaced it with, "We've never had more natural advantages than we have today." Because even with all our advantages, we expect more and more from the government. We expect them to save for our retirement, pay for our health care, and lower our price of gas. We expect the government to provide all the basics of life, apparently; they provide the meat and potatoes while it's up to us to work on the gravy.
I reject that entirely. It's the government's role to provide you with the plate; what you put on it is up to you. Some people will have a whole meal with gravy, while others may barely have rice. That's life. Government was never intended to make sure we all get the same stuff in the end.
Marsh ends with this explanation of why feminists reject Sarah Palin:
Feminism is not just about having the opportunity to do it all. It's also about having the support to do as much as you can. This is why, in the end, feminism needs to be tied to not just an identity, but to an ideology that encourages that support. Sarah Palin's free-market feminism fails that mission on almost every count, diminishing the trade-offs and sacrifices that haunt working moms.
And that is why feminists and Democrats will always be intertwined: it's not about the opportunity, it's about having the government provide the means to equalize everyone's lives. It's not enough that everyone can succeed if they make good choices; the government has to guarantee that, despite luck or choices, everyone will end up on equal ground. If you can't come up with the support on your own, as Sarah Palin did, then the government has to provide it for you...out of Sarah Palin's tax dollars, of course.
And as for that last line, how dare you think that Sarah Palin hasn't made trade-offs? You don't think it's a trade-off to make good choices? Think of all the fun my husband and I could've had instead of saving 50% of our income towards retirement and savings.
Listen, Marsh: Everyone makes trade-offs, even successful, rich people. Even people who seem to have it all and make it work. How dare you diminish what Sarah Palin has accomplished because she doesn't need to hold a palm out to the government asking for free breast pumps and WIC food. If more families were like the Palins, we'd be a lot better off in this world.
Because regardless of what luck and choices come their way, they are upbeat, hardworking, and self-sufficient.
It's too bad feminists can't see Sarah Palin for the inspiration she truly is.
For the record, I think McCain looks just fine in this cover photo.
I think he looks way less ridiculous than this cover.
Read Jonah Goldberg's Very Different Visions. Yes, who indeed is speaking for the "indispensable left-handed Samoans living on fixed incomes in the increasingly gay suburbs around Cleveland?" Heh.
Best Mike Huckabee quote ever: "I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich," he proclaimed, "I'm a Republican because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me."
I didn't grow up rich and neither did my husband. We started our marriage with no income for four months and $200 to our name. But every day since we've come a little bit closer to our goal of being fat, rich, white Republicans.
And our vision is the winner vision.
Dang, we lost like eight grand overnight. Stupid Lehman jerks.
I admit that everything I know about economics I learned from Thomas Sowell, but this morning I feel like I know more than some folks on TV. I want to throw stuff at the screen when they start talking about gas price gouging. I just actually heard someone say, "The oil companies are making a profit and it needs to stop." Oh puh-lease. This can't be considered serious commentary.
Here's some basic economics:
What all this boils down to is that prices higher than what observers are used to are called "gouging." In other words, prices under normal conditions are supposed to prevail under abnormal conditions. This completely misunderstands the role of prices.
Why do prices exist at all? To cause things to be produced and made available to the public -- and to cause consumers to limit how much they consume. Why then do prices suddenly shoot up? Because there is either less of a supply available or more of a demand, or both.
And here's more, worded differently:
Prices are not just arbitrary numbers plucked out of the air. Nor are the price levels that you happen to be used to any more special or "fair" than other prices that are higher or lower.
What do prices do? They not only allow sellers to recover their costs, they force buyers to restrict how much they demand. More generally, prices cause goods and the resources that produce goods to flow in one direction through the economy rather than in a different direction.
Plus a breakdown of why price gouging is necessary and helpful:
One hotel whose rooms normally cost $40 a night now charged $109 a night and another hotel whose rooms likewise normally cost $40 a night now charged $160 a night.
What if prices were frozen where they were before all this happened?
Those who got to the hotel first would fill up the rooms and those who got there later would be out of luck -- and perhaps out of doors or out of the community. At higher prices, a family that might have rented one room for the parents and another for the children will now double up in just one room because of the "exorbitant" prices. That leaves another room for someone else.
Someone whose home was damaged, but not destroyed, may decide to stay home and make do in less than ideal conditions, rather than pay the higher prices at the local hotel. That too will leave another room for someone whose home was damaged worse or destroyed.
In short, the new prices make as much economic sense under the new conditions as the old prices made under the old conditions.
Too bad few people on TV have any sort of economic sense.
So people who don't need to gas up their cars this week will wait for next week, leaving the gas for people who really need it right now. Duh, that's how the market works during a crisis. And gas station owners will have to replenish their pumps with more expensive gas, so they have to adjust now.
Really, if I can understand it, it ain't that complicated.
I read this this morning:
Jonathan Haidt, an associate professor of moral psychology at the University of Virginia, argues in an essay this month, “What Makes People Vote Republican?”, that it’s liberals, in fact, who are dangerously blind.
Haidt has conducted research in which liberals and conservatives were asked to project themselves into the minds of their opponents and answer questions about their moral reasoning. Conservatives, he said, prove quite adept at thinking like liberals, but liberals are consistently incapable of understanding the conservative point of view.
Then I read this:
I'm not even getting into the fact that the religious right teaches closed mindedness so it's almost impossible to gain new voters from their pool because people who disagree with them are agents of the devil.
And a comment from the same post:
We remain a country of beer, bubbas, bibles and bigots, who are easily persuaded by a few billionaires to vote in the rich's best interests. It's inescapable.
Like I said, keep 'em coming, Left. Keep 'em coming.
Oh, and since I mentioned this to my mother when I was home and she had never heard of the elitist garbage that Michelle Obama has said, let me point out that she thinks $600 is chump change for buying earrings and that she complained to working women in Ohio that she spends $10,000 a year on her kids' piano and dance.
Honestly, I thought it couldn't get any better than when Teresa Heinz Kerry didn't know what chili was...but apparently it can.
Let's enjoy some liberal condescension, shall we? And fisking thereof.
Hey media, feel free to keep stuff like this coming. It makes average Americans disgusted and happy to vote for the normal mom from Alaska who doesn't feed her kids brie for breakfast or fake a trip to Wendy's.
And by all means, keep helping Obama make fun of McCain for his war injuries. That plays really well too. Anything you can do to keep reminding people that John McCain gave so much for his country that he can't even brush his hair or type on a keyboard.
Yeah, so I drunk snail-mailed my husband tonight.
It's like drunk-dialing, only it won't get to him for two weeks.
I pent up four months of dead babies and deployment and unleashed it all on 9/11 coverage. Not good.
I hadn't mailed the letter yet, so I got up this morning and read it. Ha. Don't worry, I didn't write the letter about depressing stuff; that's just what prompted me to grab a pen. It seems I wrote about T. Boone Pickens and Band of Brothers. It's very rambling and ridiculous.
Oh, and I feel fine this morning, and really...could a super-drunk person have cleared through Level 23 on Dr. Mario? I think not. I can handle my wine.
Yes yes yes yes yes.
Because it's today, or because of the wine, or because of Whittle...I am just embiggened by this article that I missed last week:
Proud of the GOP: For the first time, I feel like we deserve to win more than they deserve to lose.
I tried to log in this morning to put up something about 9/11, but my blog was not cooperating. (And yes, I know that many of you try to comment and have your comments disappear into spam land. I promise to work on that soon.)
The beginning of my day was taken up with mundane chores -- taking the car to the windshield shop, grocery shopping, etc -- and I returned home, turned on the TV while I was waiting to go pick the car back up, and that's when it hit.
I watched a show on the History Channel called The Rise and Fall of the WTC. At the risk of sounding crass, I learned today to mourn the loss of that building along with the loss of the lives inside of it. I learned about Minoru Yamasaki and his innovative new construction. I learned about the technology needed to build such a heavy structure on soggy Manhattan. I learned that Battery Park was built with the land dug from the WTC site. And I learned about the creative minds who helped efficiently move debris once the buildings were felled, and the laser imaging that helped map the site for disaster workers.
In short, I learned about all the brilliant minds that came together to both build and clean up the WTC.
And I got mad, mad at the backward-assed culture that's never created a damn thing, only destroyed.
AWTM called me, wondering if I was OK, wondering why I hadn't blogged yet. Although I had tried earlier in the morning, 9/11 hadn't seeped into my brain yet at that point.
It has now.
We talked about our anger, about the laser beam, about how she had to explain to her children today that evil men flew planes into buildings and that's why daddy has to be away from the family so often.
And then I listened to Todd Beamer's dad on the radio, thanking our troops for continuing the fight. I cried as I put together my meatloaf.
I'm mad. And drunk. And there's a SpouseBUZZ radio show tonight about 9/11, and it ain't gonna be pretty.
So I didn't blog. But it's not because I forgot.
This story made me laugh and cry: Disney motto helped dad, autistic son survive at sea
No matter what gremlins I battle this week, I won't have to tread water for 14 hours and drift away from my child.
There are sure some people out there who endure the worst.
My husband will be proud of his business-savvy wife! I called to get the windshield fixed and got an estimate of $394. The man said that windshield must've been made of solid gold; it's the most expensive one he's ever seen. I called a couple other places, and his was the best price. Then, on a hunch, I called our car insurance company and asked them if they'd cover it. They don't, but they found a place to do it for $318. So I called back the original place to cancel my appointment, and they said they wanted my business and would beat the other offer and do it for $300.
So, I saved a hundred bucks! Funny how I feel excited about spending $300 but saving $100.
One gremlin down...
I thought I'd weigh in on Lipstickgate.
Obama said, "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig." He was referring to how McCain is now also running as the candidate for change. Many folks are upset that Obama seemingly called Palin a pig.
Let me say, I thought it was the funniest, most clever thing to ever come out of Obama's mouth.
I mean, come on: that's a great comeback. I personally don't think it has to be taken as sexist. Palin used lipstick to get a laugh line and a round of applause; Obama turned the tables back at her with a well-known idiom.
I honestly thought it was the funniest thing Obama's ever said. But I'm nutty like that. People really seem to be freaking out about this and saying that it will cost Obama support. Hey, whatever makes people not vote for him...
But you know what's way more offensive than what Obama said? What Juan Cole said: "What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick." That article is just sick.
Today was one of those days...
Over the weekend at SpouseBUZZ Live, Andi asked me if I've had any "deployment gremlins." I couldn't think of any. But I returned home to find that we may have a water leak somewhere on our property and we may have a case of identity fraud. Both are things I'd rather let my husband deal with -- or at least things we could stress out about together -- but he ain't home.
Kim Jong-Il is gravely ill?
It may be time to buy cake ingredients...
Mmmm, schadenfreude cake. My favorite.
Today I pretty much guaranteed that I'm gonna get pregnant soon: I bought $66 worth of booze.
Saturday night after SpouseBUZZ Live, AWTM called me at midnight to check on me. She said she had been thinking about me all day after the panel at SBL and wanted to make sure I was OK. It was so thoughtful of her. But really, I was OK. In fact, I was puzzled at first about why she was checking on me.
I did speak about the miscarriages on our panel, and how frustrating it's been to try to squeeze pregnancy into deployment schedules. And also how depressing it is to miscarry your baby on your wedding anniversary while your husband is deployed. Heh...sigh.
But honestly, pregnancy has been pretty far from my mind lately. I stopped charting -- there was no point with my husband gone -- and I knew there was no chance of getting pregnant, so it became a non-issue for two months. Until I talked about it at SpouseBUZZ, I hadn't thought about it in a long time.
But today I had my first appointment with the fertility doctor. Remember how I said I'm getting back on the horse? Well, I'm hopping on a horse at full gallop. At the end of the month, I will be trying to get pregnant. Sadly, it will be alone in a doctor's office. For all my griping about babymaking, I kinda wish we could do it the old-fashioned way. But that's probably just the four months of deployment talking.
And squeezing it into deployment schedule? We will be lucky if we get pregnant right away, because otherwise there's not much hope for my husband being here for the birth. Funny how I could get pregnant without him and he will still come home and leave again during the pregnancy.
So much for planning out our life, right?
But we're back in the saddle. And I'm off the wagon until I'm not allowed to be anymore.
Why is it reporters who were willing to pursue Bristol Palin, who isn't on the ballot, somehow think it is unseemly to ask Sen. Obama tough questions about his drug use? Oh, that was a long time ago, they'll argue. But a 1986 arrest for driving while impaired by Gov. Palin's husband -- not the candidate -- is somehow worthy of extensive front-page coverage?
The double standard is shocking -- but perhaps not to Sen. Obama. In his memoir, he gives the most telling explanation of how he has gotten away with avoiding discussions of his drug use. It was the same technique he used on his mother when she confronted him in his senior year of high school: "I had given her a reassuring smile and patted her hand and told her not to worry, I wouldn't do anything stupid. It was usually an effective tactic, another of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves."
But she’s not a Democrat, which despite her va-va-va-voom appearance, means she’s not really a woman, which is one of the reasons we’ve spent the past four days since McCain unveiled her trying to tear her limb from limb. Just because she’s the governor of a state sandwiched between two obscure and unimportant countries, Canada and Russia, and spent more time in her first five minutes visiting American troops in Iraq than Evita Barry did during his entire Rainbow Tour, what could she possibly know about foreign policy? It’s not like she’s John Edwards or something.
Bad news. My parents' little doggy has cancer.
Charlie and I are hoping for a full recovery.
I'm just not ready for this conversation;
I do much better on a take-home test...
SpouseBUZZ Live went well this weekend. As usual, I hate everything that comes out of my mouth. But I'm probably just overreacting.
I had fun, I stayed up way too late both nights, and there wasn't nearly enough time.
Oh, and there was a knitter clicking away in the crowd. I almost broke my neck leaping over chairs and bags to run to her.
When John McCain gave his list of things we can do to personally make the country better -- "feed a hungry child, teach an illiterate adult to read, comfort the afflicted" -- I said, "Make chemo caps?"
Cuz that's what I was doing.
I live for meeting up with these friends.
Oh, and I'm wearing my new t-shirt, a gift from AWTM: I heart Nebraska.
I was a Fred Thompson supporter, and I wasn't so keen on McCain.
However, tonight when McCain's video montage began, I admit that I got a little glistening in my eyes. Not because of the video itself but because I felt something that I didn't expect to be feeling.
McCain deserves to be president.
I don't like to put it that way, but that's how I feel tonight. If our citizens look past the man who has spent his entire adult life serving our country and instead choose the man who's been on the scene for 140 days, I will be very disappointed in my fellow Americans.
I believed every word of McCain's speech. I believe he meant every word of it.
He was not my first choice. I don't agree with him on several things. He asked me to do things I don't want to do; I don't usually want to compromise on things I believe to be true. But he's right that we have to compromise if we're going to get anything accomplished.
So I will fight with him.
And while I absolutely cannot compare my life story to his, and France is not quite as bad as North Vietnam, I too never loved my country as much as when I didn't live in it. I understand this love, though probably never to the depth that he feels it.
I believe that anything and everything he does for our country he does because he honestly thinks it's the right decision. That's what I want in a leader.
And the protestors who interrupted him, they showed themselves to be the classless trash that they are. McCain's right: they're static.
It's laser beam time.
I laughed out loud and clapped my hands like a goon when Palin mentioned taking the styrofoam pillars back to the movie set. Ha! And laughed even louder when she said that the best endorsement of McCain is that Harry Reid hates him.
Man, she was on fire.
(She reminds me of a cross between Guard Wife and AWTM. I'm surprised she never called Obama a douchebag.)
My favorite line came from Giuliani: "Change is not a destination just as hope is not a strategy."
Rivaled by Palin's "There are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those like John McCain who use their careers to promote change."
I'm grinnin' here folks.
I was scared in 2004, but I feel pretty good tonight.
And I have this hilarious scene running on a loop through my head from O Brother Where Art Thou:
Junior O'Daniel: Well, he's the reform candidate, Daddy.
Pappy O"Daniel: Yeah.
Junior O'Daniel: A lot of people like that reform. Maybe we should get us some.
Pappy O"Daniel: I'll reform you, you soft-headed sombitch. How we gonna run reform when we're the damn incumbent? Is that the best idea you boys can come up with? Reform?! Weepin' Jesus on the cross. That's it! You may as well start drafting my concession speech right now.
John McCain is the incumbent party, running on reform. And doing a mighty fine job of it.
When AirForceWife sent an appalled email this morning over the double standard shown at this link, I asked her if she'd like to bang out a post on it. The result is hardly "banged out."
I'm delighted to host this guest post from AirForceWife.
The news of Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter didn't surprise me - it was me.
Or, rather, it was me about 17 years ago last month. Seventeen years ago, in August 1991, I discovered that I was pregnant before my senior year in high school ever started. I was an honors student, I was active in multiple clubs and organizations on campus, I volunteered at the local American Legion, I babysat, I even showed horses. I was also the daughter of a City Manager, which is pretty small potatoes compared to the position Bristol Palin finds her family in. But it is enough of a connection that I feel what she is going through as if it is happening to me.
The coverage of Bristol Palin enrages me, and it hurts my heart. There are legitimate issues to discuss about teen pregnancy - the thing is, those issues are only the excuse to uncover sordid and often untrue family rumors and cast aspersions on someone - and their family - who are going through a very difficult time in their lives. I had all of those same charges leveled at me when my seventeen year old self had to go to the grocery store with my enormous belly (I've always had large children) parting the crowds before me like Moses and the Red Sea.
People that I thought were my friends, parents of friends that I respected, suddenly started treating me like a leper. Not because I was sexually active, but because I "got caught". Even though many didn't want to admit it, what I did was no different than what many of their own children did. I was just blessed (or cursed) with fertility to rival anything modern medical science can discover. And I chose to keep my baby.
The injustice of it all still hurts me today. Even now, married for a gazillion years to my soul mate (who, by the way, never stinted to tell people that he never wanted children until push came to shove and children were no longer just a possibility but a reality) it hurts me to think back and remember the people who would see me at the store and pretend they weren't seeing me because they didn't want to talk about it. I heard the whispers behind my back, about how I "should have used protection", about how "that's what she gets for sleeping around." Not a one of them were true - as a Peer Educator, I put more condoms on bananas to demonstrate to giggling sophmores correct birth control usage than I could keep track of. I knew, and I practiced what I preached. But there's a statistic on a condom for a reason - because sometimes they just don't work. And anyone who has ever seen me with my husband can't think that either of us are worried about sowing wild oats, or that he is now one of the most devoted fathers on the planet.
And even more - my family was avowedly liberal. There was no "conservative hypocrisy" going on with us. Many members of my family encouraged me to have an abortion, and were quite upset when I refused. I was ruining my life, you see. It could be "fixed", I was being stubborn.
What happened to me in a smaller town (although bigger than Wasilla!) in California, I see happening to Bristol Palin on a national scale. And in the same vein, I see the very people turning on her who claim that we need to help others. Not a one of my Peer Educator compatriots had anything to do with me after I got pregnant with my first daughter. In fact, I ended up transferring to a continuation school to get my high school diploma. It was strongly encouraged; for my "state of mind", of course.
That is the reality of teen pregnancy that doesn't end in abortion when your family is in politics. People are gleeful, and people are mean. And the very people who accuse others of being hypocrites are often the biggest hypocrites themselves.
There were people who were wonderful. They didn't approve of my situation, but it was there. It had to be dealt with. A wonderful City Council member who was an Evangelical Christian scoured the yard sales at the local base for months to find me a high chair, a car seat, baby clothes, cloth diapers. She would bring these things to me a couple times a month. When my daughter was born, she was known to us as "Grandma Joan."
The Mayor Pro-Tem and his wife, devout Catholics, bought me a beautiful bassinet with a lace covering.
My Godparents - extremely devout Catholics - called every night for two weeks before I delivered and two weeks after to check on me and make sure that I had someone to talk to. They ran a crisis pregnancy center, they weren't about to let me fall apart.
The American Legion, where I volunteered and where my mother was the Commander, pooled together to provide other items a teen mother needs and can't afford.
And my family, my family pulled together to make sure I had a place to live, breastfeeding help, someone to drive me to the hospital. And they endured the rumors, too. It was their fault, of course, according to the conventional wisdom. It was something they had done wrong. I guess it always has to be someone's fault.
Bristol Palin will succeed. What happened to her is not ideal, but she has the support and, quite frankly, the genetics, to tough it out. I did - my husband enlisted in the Army at 17 and we both paid our own way through college. We're doing well now, we're happy and I believe that we've been successful in life. And there's really nothing special or unique about us.
It was hard, but nothing worth having is easy and sometimes life throws curveballs. Bristol Palin can do it, and I'm sure she will. But I'm also sure she will always remember how people treated her when they found out that she was a statistic. She'll remember what it was like to be the topic of an entire nation as though no politician's daughter has ever had premarital sex in the history of the United States.
My first thought this morning was this, "I think I should knit Bristol Palin a baby blanket." Because, as I did, I'm sure she'll remember all the nasty things people said and did. But I'm also sure she'll remember those who treated her with humanity and kindness and tried to help. I'd like to be one of those.
Just don't call me "Grandma AFW."
As Frank J said, "Who would win in a fight between John Wayne and Chuck Norris? Fred Thompson."
Fred tore it up.
I am happy tonight.
There was no doom and gloom at my convention.
A blogger at Reclusive Leftist wrote about Palin and got instalanched. Her comment section is an interesting read. Some Instapundit readers tried to point out to her why Republicans aren't so bad. She replied to one of them with this comment:
“Ideally, the government would leave me alone completely and I’d return the favour. Since that’s not practical..”
Well, there’s the rub right there.
The fact is, there is a strong streak of libertarianism in Americans on the left and the right side of the political divide. It’s part of our heritage, our history. Many of the most radical feminists and leftists I know want above all to be left alone. Americans prize freedom from interference, freedom to live as we choose. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Where we on the left and the right differ is when we come back to real world, where no one is an island. We can’t be left alone, by the government or anyone else. We live in communities, in towns, in cities. We’re a nation of 300 million, not a bunch of isolated Davy Crockets out there in the wilderness.
And when human beings live together in social groups, questions arise that don’t obtain out in the wilderness. Poverty, pollution, interference between the needs of the many and the needs of the few. Your rights end at the tip of my nose, and all that.
The chief difference between liberty-loving leftists and liberty-loving rightists is that the leftists recognize that people who live in communities must be good neighbors. No one is an island. Rightists like to continue to pretend that we’re all Davy Crockets, that we’re all islands, and that no one owes even the slightest thought to anyone else.
The rich white Republican man likes to pretend that everything fortunate in his life is his own doing, that he has created his own reality all by himself, that he is not the beneficiary of being born into the right family and race and class and country.
And he likes to pretend that everything unfortunate in the life of the immigrant slave who sewed his shirt is because of her own doing, not because she was born into poverty or discrimination or urban blight. Why should it matter to him that she works for a dollar a day and is beaten by her employer?
The rich white Republican man thinks he has the right to pollute the river that flows by his factory because, in his mind, he’s not responsible for anybody downstream. He doesn’t even know or care that they exist.
This what the Republican idea of “individual rights” really is: the “right” not to be responsible. The “right” to do as you please no matter how much your actions harm others, and no matter how much you are dependent on others.
The most striking thing about the libertarian right is selfishness. It is the defining characteristic, really, a “f*ck you” to everyone else, an “I got mine” attitude.
So...I just found that interesting. I don't really agree with the underlying assumptions behind it, but I felt like it was at least a reasonable articulation of why she's not a Republican, like I tried to do when I wrote why I'm not a Democrat.
Plus, I thought it was hilarious that she said an instalanche is "like being inside an Ayn Rand novel."
Just try to talk abortion with a woman who was offered the opportunity to kill her Down’s Syndrome baby and passed it up, choosing instead to give the baby life. Just try to talk about health care, the price of groceries and the price of gas with a woman who raised five kids in the wilderness. Just try to talk about unions and labor jobs with a woman married to a union steelworker who does Deadliest Catch style crab fishing. On these issues she’s Rock. Solid.
(Also, go read the whole thing and see why she brilliantly said, "The man who wanted “change,” adopted the Bush mentality on dual Presidency.")
The second link comes from Heather MacDonald, who does not support the Palin pick because it panders to identity politics.
Of course, Democrats have been playing the identity-politics game to the hilt this election cycle; it’s what they do. And it will be amusing to watch them twist themselves into knots to avoid criticizing the Palin pick for what it is: a diversity ploy. As short-term political strategy, the Palin selection has diabolical appeal. Prevented from stating the obvious—Palin was chosen because she was a woman—the Democrats will instead have to seize on her lack of experience. They are right to do so, but then they have to explain why Barack Obama is so much more qualified for the top of the ticket, let alone the number two spot.
It's hard not to be overjoyed that this will work to our advantange, though I understand MacDonald's feeling that "Your enthusiasm for her is driven in large measure by the fact that the McCain camp has beaten the Democrats at their own game, and in so doing, driven Obama’s moment of glory off the wires."