I have been off doing my own thing this weekend, so I haven't been online. But there is one article that you simply must read.
Thomas Sowell's Ivan and Boris Again:
It may tell us something painful about many Americans today, when so many people are preoccupied with the pay of corporate CEOs. It is not that the corporate CEOs’ pay affects them so much. If every oil-company executive in America agreed to work for nothing, that would not be enough to lower the price of a gallon of gasoline by a dime. If every General Motors executive agreed to work for nothing, that would not lower the price of a Cadillac or a Chevrolet by one percent.
Too many people are like Ivan, who wanted Boris’s goat to die.
I read blogs for the ideas. Some of them stick with me, for a very long time. I refer to them in conversations in my Real Life. I am thankful for all the ideas out there, and I wanted to express my gratitude.
I am thankful for...
Nelson Ascher's Forget The Idiots Today
Lilek's Notes From the Olive Garden
Den Beste's Cultural Cross-Pollination
Marc Miyake's Pariah Against a Prophet
The Dissident Frogman's Consecration
Bill Whittle's Courage
Varifrank's Thank You For Delaying My Flight
Kim du Toit's The Pussification of the Western Male
Mrs du Toit's Fight or Flee
Greyhawk's On Leaving
AWTM's Trick or Treat
Joan d'Arc's I'll Make It Up To You
Rachel Lucas' You're Decent, But Just Confused and Stupid
CaliValleyGirl's Permanent Party
Crazy Aunt Purl's Fat Girl
I know I have forgotten posts and that there are many more that I am thankful for. But I have been working on this for over two hours, and I just have to let it be.
Please leave links in the comments if you have blog posts you are thankful for.
Read Rush Limbaugh's The Real Story of Thanksgiving. And have a wonderful day.
My husband's response to my post from earlier today: "People are going to be disappointed if they ever meet me." Heh.
I just heard about the attacks in India. It is horrifying.
Something caught my eye in the MSNBC article:
Alex Chamberlain, a British restaurant-goer at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that the attackers singled out Britons and Americans. He said a gunman, who appeared to be in his early 20s, ushered 30 or 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and ordered everyone to put up their hands.
"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?' And he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything — and thank God they didn't," he said.
Perhaps he just meant that they would recognize his accent, but the way I read it was that he would tell them the truth. If that's the right reading, he is very brave.
What would you do? Would you say that you're an American or would you lie and say you're Canadian or fake a French accent?
I think I would tell the truth. I hope I would.
I just heard this story on the radio and wondered what you think of it:
Jeff Russo says the decline of the textile industry left his family business, Greenville Industrial Rubber & Gasket Co. Inc., with about $1.5 million less in annual revenue.
So he can't understand why the federal government is now spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money to bail out financial-services firms and, possibly, domestic auto makers.
Russo was so upset by the government bailouts that he started flying the U.S. flag upside down outside of his business on Poinsett Highway as a protest. Russo said he got no objections for about a month. Then a veteran complained, and a local TV station aired a report about his gesture, and he got a slew of e-mails and voice mails.
Tuesday, Russo said he loves his country and turned the flag upside down -- a sign of distress -- because he's concerned for its future.
"The government never once bailed the textile industry out. You're talking hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in this area, including my company. We lost a million and a half dollars a year," Russo said.
"You know what the government told us? Re-educate yourself. Go after new markets. They didn't give us a bailout. I'm trying to represent every small businessman in the country. We don't get bailouts. We're responsible for our business, our employees. The buck stops here. They never have given us a bailout, never will give us a bailout, and we are the backbone of this country.
"By doing this I think I am a patriot," Russo said. "I love this country, and I don't want to see it go down the tubes."
From The Flag Code:
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
In searching for the article, I found other examples of upside down flags:
And these are all just from this month!
Some veterans have apparently complained in each case, saying it's disrespectful to the flag and not the distress signal that was intended in the flag code.
What do you think?
Personally, if I had heard any of the other three stories I bulletted, I wouldn't have bothered to write this post. But that first story really intrigues me.
I keep having these conversations with people, and then a few days later I read something in Atlas Shrugged and think, "Aw nuts, that's how I should've answered."
Right now I am at the part where Cherryl Taggart realizes that Jim isn't who she thought he was.
"Jim, what is it that you want to be loved for?"
"What a cheap shopkeeper's attitude!"
She did not speak; she looked at him, her eyes stretched by a silent question."
"To be loved for!" he said, his voice grating with mockery and righteousness. "So you think that love is a matter of mathematics, of exchange, of weighing and measuring, like a pound of butter on a grocery counter? I don't want to be loved for anything. I want to be loved for myself -- not for anything I do or have or say or think. For myself -- not for my body or mind or words or works or actions."
"But then...what is yourself?"
"If you loved me, you wouldn't ask it."
Last week, I met a neighbor, one of those people who likes to psychoanalyze everyone. I made a joke in the group about how my husband has never been described as "nice," which is true: my husband has many wonderful qualities, but "nice" doesn't really suit him. The neighbor asked me what quality first drew me to my husband. I sat for a moment, deciding between his intellect and his integrity. As I thought on, I realized I ought to indicate his intellect, since his integrity is something that I have grown to see over the years and not necessarily something I knew right from the beginning.
The neighbor interrupted my thoughts, saying that I was taking too long, that a real answer would come from the gut and not require so much deliberation.
I said, "His intellect." The neighbor looked at me like that was a cheap thing to be loved for.
What I wish I'd answered, what I thought of later that night, is that my love for my husband doesn't come from my gut; it comes from my brain. I love him with my mind, not with my heart. A quick response to that question would be false, because the response has to come from my thought process.
My husband and I were in the same friend group for about six months before we began dating. I remember vividly at one point telling a mutual friend that I could see myself marrying someone like Mr. Grok. I was reminded of that today when I saw who Cherryl thought she was marrying. And I realized that the love that developed for my husband was similar to what Dagny feels for John Galt: she loved him even before she knew he existed. I loved my husband's qualities before I ever had any inkling he would become my husband. In fact, he had declined my suggestion that we date. Weeks later, he came to me with his mind and said that he had made a mistake and we should be together. We figuratively shook on it, and that was that.
Effectively, our love was transacted like a pound of butter on a grocery counter.
My husband earned my love. I too had to earn it from him, and it took him two weeks longer than I to weigh the merits of it. And the moments when I feel the most love for my husband, the moments when it feels like my heart is swelling, it is really my brain swelling. It happens when he has excelled at a task, when he has become frustrated with himself because he didn't live up to his potential, or when he has displayed his sharp wit or keen intellect.
I don't think my neighbor would've understood that.
But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I have been feeling nostalgic for my middle school years lately and have been listening to The Wall often. I checked the wikipedia entry today, just to see what it says. I noticed something interesting:
For "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)", Pink Floyd needed to record a school choir, so they approached music teacher Alun Renshaw of Islington Green School, around the corner from their Britannia Row Studios. The chorus was overdubbed twelve times to give the impression that the choir was larger. The choir were not allowed to hear the rest of the song after singing the chorus. Though the school received a lump sum payment of £1000, there was no contractual arrangement for royalties. Under 1996 UK copyright law, they became eligible, and after choir members were tracked down by royalties agent Peter Rowan of RBL Music, through the website Friends Reunited, they sued. Music industry professionals estimated that each student would be owed around £500.
Does anyone else find this sad? It's not enough to say that you were a kid who got to sing on a Pink Floyd album? Instead, 15 years later, you sue the band to get 700 bucks.
And I love the idea that some "royalties lawyer" went hunting around for these forty year olds to let them know that they could sue.
I think we have collectively lost our everlovin' minds on this planet.
#10 of Victor Davis Hanson's Politically Incorrect Thoughts:
The K-12 public education system is essentially wrecked. No longer can any professor expect an incoming college freshman to know what Okinawa, John Quincy Adams, Shiloh, the Parthenon, the Reformation, John Locke, the Second Amendment, or the Pythagorean Theorem is. An entire American culture, the West itself, its ideas and experiences, have simply vanished on the altar of therapy. This upcoming generation knows instead not to judge anyone by absolute standards (but not why so); to remember to say that its own Western culture is no different from, or indeed far worse than, the alternatives; that race, class, and gender are, well, important in some vague sense; that global warming is manmade and very soon will kill us all; that we must have hope and change of some undefined sort; that AIDs is no more a homosexual- than a heterosexual-prone disease; and that the following things and people for some reason must be bad, or at least must in public company be said to be bad (in no particular order): Wal-Mart, cowboys, the Vietnam War, oil companies, coal plants, nuclear power, George Bush, chemicals, leather, guns, states like Utah and Kansas, Sarah Palin, vans and SUVs.
Read the other nine.
I was just getting ready to leave for work when this email from CaliValleyGirl popped up:
Just wanted to make sure that you didn't slip in the shower or anything...no long email needed, just a sign of life!
I am here, just busy. Worked all day Saturday. Stayed up until 3 AM online with Amritas. Babysat yesterday. Eek. I came home from the experience thinking that there's no way I can be a mother, that I will do a horrible job, that I don't have the patience.
And then I caught my favorite episode of Scrubs ever, and realized that I probably will find the courage.
I got in bed last night and grabbed my Atlas Shrugged. And I remembered something that I hadn't thought of until last night: the men of Galt's Gulch only lived there one month of the year. They weren't allowed to wall themselves off from the reality of life; they had to keep jobs and live amongst the looters. But they returned to the gulch once a year to be with likeminded individuals.
So really, we have this gulch. The gulch is any time we get together, at the Milblogs Conference, at a SpouseBUZZ, at a house in Ohio, or even just typing on the internet until 3 AM.
Seems like we've had our gulch all along.
I sent an email to my husband asking him what his thoughts were on Victory in Iraq Day. He hasn't gotten back to me, so I don't have his opinion on the matter yet.
But Michael Yon's opinion counts for a lot in my book, and the fact that he left Iraq and headed to Afghanistan, saying, "The war is over and we won," well, I think that means something.
So today I quote from Bill Whittle's Victory:
"America bring democracy, whiskey and sexy!" said that unknown Iraqi man. This is not a trivial statement. He is saying that for the first time in thirty years, he will have his own chance for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I thought his English was dead-on.
I hope these people stagger out into the sunlight of real freedom with a willingness to do those two simple things that seem to work so well: work hard, and trust each other. I think they will. They started civilization. They have earned, and well deserve, the chance to enjoy the fruits of it once again.
I hope they will resist the temptation to let oil revenues steer their future. It is not, in fact, a blessing. They are about to start to reap the benefits of the wealth of their nation. I hope they have the wisdom to channel that wealth into their people, into their education, their technical and artistic skill that was once so well represented in the cradle of law and good government. I hope for world-renowned universities in Baghdad and in An-Nasiriyah, producing respected scholars and scientists. I hope for productive farms in the Tigris-Euphrates valley, feeding the millions of the entire region, just as there were thousands of years ago. I hope for high-tech factories in Basra and Tikrit, textile mills in Kirkuk and cell-phone design firms in Mosul. And above all I hope they have the courage to read and study history, and to implement a system that looks something like the ones that allow these daily miracles in the West.
I hope that some day they might be able to forgive us the pain we had to cause them to get rid of that devil, that threat, and his evil toys. Many already do. I hope, and believe, that many more will do so in the years to come. We are still so very, very early in this long and difficult process. But perhaps, some day, they will be able to see that not only Iraqis died for a free Iraq. Americans died. Britons died. Australians and Poles and many others put their lives on the line as well. It would be arrogant and vile to expect gratitude, but I do hope, I deeply hope, that they will be able to understand why we did what we did and how much it cost us, in those poor, shattered homes across America and Great Britain.
And I have one final wish, which I know seems very unlikely, but which I will share anyway.
I fervently hope that someday, perhaps decades from now, Iraq will have a really top-notch soccer team. I hope that one day, they will get to the final round of the World Cup, and when they do, I hope it is Team USA they play for the championship.
I hope that the Americans play a tough, aggressive, masterful game, that they use all of the speed and skill and power at their command. And then I want to sit there watching TV as an old man, and watch the faces on the Iraqi people when the game is over, because I want to see that the most relieved and joyous they can conceive of being, is the day that tiny Iraq got out on that soccer field and kicked our ass.
The best part about living in Germany was that sending mail to Iraq was free. No stamp necessary. And I milked that for all it was worth, sending articles and photos and many letters. 215 of them, to be exact.
This time around, I sent 45. Granted, we had more regular contact via internet, so there was less to say in letters. And he was deployed for half as long. But still...
I think I am proof that people abuse privileges they don't have to pay for.
Am finishing up the Die Hard series and had one of those thoughts, which I promise I would've had even if my house hadn't been man-less for seven months.
Someone actually had this:
and then said, nah, I think I'd rather have this:
I mean, seriously, was she high?
Jonah Goldberg on all the people who are already saying Obama is the next Lincoln:
I think Lincoln was just about the greatest president in American history, but I sure don't want to need another Lincoln. Six hundred thousand Americans died at the hands of other Americans during Lincoln's presidency. Lincoln unified the country at gunpoint and curtailed civil liberties in a way that makes President Bush look like an ACLU zealot. The partisan success of the GOP in the aftermath of the war Obama thinks so highly of was forged in blood.
Yesterday I happened upon a private reading We The Living. I got this indescribable excitement and wanted to grab him and talk his ear off. Of course I didn't. I stared holes into the top of his head, but I couldn't even get him to make eye contact. Still, it kinda made my day.
MaryIndiana requested a post on unfinished knitting projects. Some people won't start a new project until the old one is finished; others constantly start projects and move on to something more exciting before it's finished. I believe I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.
I have knitting ADD. I wasn't always that way; I used to only do one project at a time. But in the past few years, I have needed variety. So I always have a few things going at once. I only have a couple of truly unfinished projects. I started a sweater two years ago that I know will be to small for me. I hate to rip out the entire back of the thing, but I know I can't continue it, so it has sat for two years. I also started another stuffed animal back when I was teaching knitting classes, but with no baby to get excited about, that project petered out too. I started myself a DNA scarf that is about a third finished, and I started a double knitting scarf for my mother that takes more concentration than I would like and has sat there all year. Yeah, it was supposed to be her Christmas present. And I started an Aran sweater that takes even more concentration than mom's scarf: I tried to do a row while watching TV, and I spent 45 minutes knitting and then unknitting the row. Can't talk or watch TV during that project.
OK, that probably sounds like a lot. But by knitter standards, that's not so much. I will finish the scarves and the Aran eventually. Probably the stuffed animal too. One day I will get brave enough to rip out that sweater and start it over.
But I say with pride that I do not have any mate-less socks in this house.
I am not the Sarah who rejected the 99-Cent Dating Experiment. I think it's very funny and cute. If a guy had done that for me, I would've found it endearing. Of course, all of the gifts I can remember in my life had nothing to do with money: the handmade wooden keychain, "I love you" spelled out in pink Starbursts (my favorite flavor), a potted violet my 8th grade boyfriend walked a mile in the rain to buy for me. And my husband didn't have to buy me a thing to get me to fall in love with him: We went to a free production of Man of La Mancha, he baked cookies from a tube of dough, and he wanted to know my thoughts on Sartre.
I'd trade the diamond bracelet for the one made of Reardon Metal any day of the week.
I participated in my very first National Ammo Day today! I headed to the range bright and early...and then realized that ranges don't open bright and early. But I was ready to go as soon as they opened. I bought my 100 rounds and then shot half of them. I am improving -- only a few stray shots, the majority of them clustered around the bullseye -- and I am a lot more relaxed about the whole process.
I talked to my mother today, and we decided to organize a family shooting day the next time I go home. Neither of my brothers has ever been shooting, and it's been decades since my parents have been. I think it will be a fun family outing.
And my mom just laughs that her daughter is now a gun nut.
I finished my first Primavera sock on the plane out to Seattle and started the second.
I am fantastically happy with this project, but the second sock will be put on hold for a while while I start a very fulfilling project to fill a need. Cryptic, I know. But I can't wait to write about it later.
Dr. Helen quoted Ted Nugent (heart) -- "You don't need tough love in America, you need tougher love. " -- in her post about how we need to speak up:
Too many times, we let liberals get away with making fun of Republicans and those of us who do not agree with them politically. This needs to stop and the only way to do it is to speak up in the classrooms, public and at work. Remember that we are 56 million strong--those of us who did not vote for Obama. We are hardly alone.
As you know, I have been reading Atlas Shrugged again. Every time I read it, I remember how empowered it makes me feel. My husband mentioned a small dilemma today, and I said, "Tell them how you really feel; let them have it!" Then I laughed and said, "Sorry, I am being a bit too Reardon, aren't I?"
Reading this book makes me want to speak the truth.
On my flight the other day, while discussing the Obama book with my row-mate, the conversation turned to health care. This man, who was not an Obama supporter, said he agrees with "free" health care and thinks that it's something that the United States can do for its citizens.
I didn't say what I really wanted to say: Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.
And looking back, I kind of wish I had said that. At least the conversation would've turned a different way and perhaps it would've made this man think new thoughts. Instead I took the wimpy way out and reminded him that nothing is "free" in this world. I wish I had been more assertive in the conversation though. He was asking my opinions and I held back, for fear of sounding cold.
As I said in an email to a friend a while back, I wish I were more like an Ayn Rand character. I wish that I didn't worry whether my positions sound nice or not. The Nuge is right: we need tougher love in this country.
I wish I were bold enough to tell a stranger on a plane that I don't believe everyone is entitled to cheap health care. I'm not there yet.
I wonder how many times I'll have to read Atlas Shrugged before I have that confidence...
Over the weekend, I told my fertility journey story at SpouseBUZZ Live. After the event, a handful of wives came to me and thanked me for sharing. They too have had difficult journeys and appreciated my candor. My friend from my real life was shocked; she had no idea that any of this had happened to me in the past six months. And typically, that's why I like sharing, because it's a private thing but people want to know that there's someone out there who groks. We've even had an audience memeber share her journey at a SBL who said she never even told her parents about her miscarriages. But she shared with me.
I wish it were always that simple and touching.
Instead, I also met two ladies who openly scoffed at my woes. They heard my entire story -- dead babies, failed fertility treatment -- and looked at me derisively and said that I just haven't been patient enough. Apparently I am just being silly in thinking that two years is a long time to try and that 31 is getting a late start. Nevermind the fact that they weren't that much older than me and their kids are teenagers. Wait, did I say "kids"? I meant their "whoopsies" pregnancies. Oh good golly, am I pregnant, how did that happen? Whoopsie! They got done telling me about their whoopsies and said that I am just impatient.
And I sat there and took it and then excused myself and left. Because I am polite.
I wish it were possible to type their tone of voice. I'm glad I had a witness to this conversation who assured me later that I wasn't overreacting.
People never cease to amaze me.
But I am trying very hard to be content with the people who were grateful I told my story, instead of dwelling on the naysayers. Guard Wife offered to throw hands for me, but I told her that it's really my problem and that I need to take a deep breath and not let it ruin my night. I kept reminding myself of this:
The first line of the most popular book in Buddhism, The Dhammapata, goes something like this: All that we are is determined by our thoughts. It begins where our thoughts begin, it moves where our thoughts move, it ends where our thoughts end. If we think thoughts like he hurt me, he stole from me, he is my enemy, our life and our destiny will follow that thought as the wheel follows the axle. And if we think thoughts like he cannot hurt me, only I can hurt myself, he cannot steal from me, he cannot be my enemy, only I can be my enemy, then our life and our destiny will follow those thoughts.
There will always be naysayers and boorish people. The only thing I can control is how I let it affect me.
AWTM was impatient for me to upload photos from this weekend. But I had to go to work today and to get ready to start decorating for Valentine's Day. Yeah, I know. I got all the Valentine's decorations and signs in, and they go up the day after Christmas. I died a little inside.
Anyway, here was the view out my hotel window.
And here's AWTM, who is mixing it up, and Guard Wife.
I am not funny.
I sit on the funny panel at SpouseBUZZ Live and hate everything that comes out of my mouth. I am like Chris Farley in those old SNL skits -- "Idiot! I'm so stupid!" -- after everything I say. I don't like being funny. My peeps bring teh funny, not me.
And I don't do impressions. I don't even have a Cartman or a Slingblade. I can't do it.
So who knew that I would crack AWTM up.
With apologies to Rachel Lucas for stealing her line, they need to legalize gay marriage so that Kristen Wiig can be my wife.
This is for you, AWTM.
Every time we go to one of these SBL weekends, someone will ask me what I did. Did you see the Space Needle, Did you see the Alamo? I don't seem to be able to explain that the only thing I care about is being with my friends. In the swank Hotel Murano or the ghetto fabulous Sahara, I just want to be in my gulch.
These people, we grok each other.
Tonight I laughed so hard I think I won't have a voice tomorrow.
I love being here.
As I sat down on my cross-country flight, I noticed my seatmate was reading Change We Can Believe In. I rolled my eyes, thinking it would be a long flight. I then took out my Atlas Shrugged, hoping the vibes off of my book would vanquish the vibes off of his.
A while later, he starts chitchatting, asking me where I hail from. I told him I was originally from Illinois, and he pointed at his Obama book and said, "He must be your man then." I smiled noncommittally. Then he said, "I didn't vote for him; I bought this book so I could figure out what the heck he's planning on doing."
So we had a nice chat the entire trip, laughing and pointing out the inconsistancies in Obama's plan.
Moral of the story: Don't judge a bookholder by its cover.
I am heading out of town to make my way towards SpouseBUZZ Live Tacoma! I will get to see one friend from my real life -- remember LT A, our friend who was severely wounded in that battle that Colby Buzzell immortalized? His wife, whom I haven't seen in over five years -- and several friends from my imaginary life: R1, DeltaSierra, Sig, Leofwende, and Barb. Plus my fellow authors. The hotel will be our gulch this weekend.
I published my previous post and pulled up my blog. Today's date hit me in the gut.
I hate this time of year.
Veterans' Day starts a series of horribly reflective days. And the agonizing part is that I never met any of the men that our post lost in Fallujah. I know what these days in November do to my heart; I can't fathom what they do to the families.
And the 13th is the worst day of all.
All I can say, four years hence, is that I will never forget.
And I will never stop telling Heidi that I haven't forgotten.
I was just sitting here thinking about this upcoming weekend and how I will be hanging out with imaginary friends. I remembered a funny story that I have always meant to blog but never did.
In September at the BlogWorldExpo, I was sitting on a sofa at the expo next to Guard Wife. We both had our laptops out and were messing with our blogs. I saw she was posting something, and I peeked over her shoulder and then joked, "I'll wait and read it when you publish it." Once she published, I pulled it up and saw that she had blogged that she had a headache and wished she had some pain meds. I turned to her and said, "I have some Tylenol right here in my bag." And then we cracked up that we had been sitting side by side for a long time and I only knew what she was thinking because she blogged it.
Now THAT is the blogging lifestyle to the extreme.
Of course, I already told you that I love surfing the web side by side with my friends. My husband bought a laptop in Iraq, and I giddily exclaimed that we could sit in the same room on our computers.
It's the little things that tickle me.
We SpouseBUZZ authors have often mused about how fantastic it would be to all live on the same street. We laugh about it, but under that laugh is the sorrow of knowing it will never be.
Amritas and I were talking about this tonight, after I read AirForceWife's comment over at CaliValleyGirl's site and sighed and said, "I love my imaginary friends."
I think often about Mrs du Toit's post Fight or Flee:
Imagine the country with everyone having all their belongings in a moving truck. Then folks start looking around for a place that has people who are more like them (however folks want to define that), and they talk and share opinions to determine what it is they do want, and then everyone hits the road in their pre-packed moving vans, to move to where they can find camaraderie and fellowship with people of like minds. THAT is America. That is what the Founders gave us, but some folks didn’t get the memo, or haven’t fully grasped what the Founders meant.
Amritas and I got a little giddy, planning our gulch. We want Steven den Beste and the du Toits as neighbors. I want Varifrank on my street. And Baldilocks, and Lileks, and Whittle. I want my virtual neighborhood to become my real one.
Imagine the 4th of July BBQ conversations we'd have!
And, to paraphrase AirForceWife's comment, a community where you share common ground with your neighbors wouldn't be a FAIL.
But it honestly hurts my heart to even write this post.
It hurts to think about how wonderful it would be in our gulch.
CaliValleyGirl's newest post lays a lot of foundation on her position and then asks a meaty question of Democrats at the end. I think I only have like three Democrat readers, but I would be interested in hearing your take on her question.
All those policy plans that Obama put up on his change.gov website have all disappeared, replaced by mealy-mouthed hopenchange.
But there's a reason why he put up the policy goals that he did, and I assume that he still wants to enact that change, even if he's not brave/foolish enough to leave it on his website.
So the gun one, eh? It said this:
[Obama and Biden] also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.
I don't have an assault weapon. I don't plan on buying one. But I still don't like this.
My husband and I were talking about this via IM today. I copied and pasted this part from change.gov, and he took my breath away with this:
and then they came for the assault rifles but I said nothing because I only owned a pistol....
I read this entire Daily Kos thread on the matter, and it was interesting to see the Democrat gun enthusiasts get belittled. Stuff like this:
because you're a democrat that owns/collects guns, no one should fear you?
that makes no sense to me.
guns have only one use, and that is to kill. but that's nothing to be afraid of, by any means, right?
Luckily there were a few people who batted down all the arguments. This line by GTMule was genius:
Liberals (a club of which I am a (usually) proud member) want to have teachers help make education policy, engineers make energy policy, and people who are completely ignorant about guns make ALL gun policy.
Not once did I see anyone explain the 2nd Amendment the way I understand it, though. And strangely enough, several people referred to it as the 4th Amendment.
Interesting peek into the Democrat world though.
We are soldiers.
We are soldiers in the United States Army.
We are trained to be all we can be.
We fight for the freedom of many citizens of the United States.
We are all ready to meet our fates.
We all volunteer to defend the red, white and blue.
Not only the flag, but for the citizens of our great country too.
Since our country's birth for all these years,
we have been trained to be the best on Earth.
Many times we have went to war.
We will be involved in many more.
Generation by generation soldiers continue to enlist.
Some of us will got to war and definitely be missed.
Some soldiers will return and some won't.
Those who do not, we won't forget and we hope you don't.
Many of us are going to Iraq.
Some of us won't be coming back.
We have loved ones we are leaving behind.
They will always be in our prayers, hearts and mind.
If we don't make it home safely at the end of the war,
just remember we died defending the beliefs of those of many more.
---PFC Gunnar Becker, 22 Jan 1985--15 Jan 2005
I bought a Christmas card making kit, filled with scrapbook-type papers and stickers and stuff to make your own cards. There are also little scraps that say "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" and stuff. Plus these three doozies:
Spellcheck didn't catch that one, did it?
I was in a clothing store today and happened by the ladies' undergarments section. There were lots of teenybopper-type underpants on display. I caught sight of one that had cartoon speech bubbles all over it, with phrases like "pizza," "BFF," and "me likey." But there was also a bubble with "2+2=5."
I find it so horrifying that our culture encourages girls to be airheads.
Since I'm a bonafide gun nut now: "Yes We Can . . . Ban Guns"
Via my husband: Show Me The Money
So to everyone overseas I say: thanks for your applause for our new president. I’m glad you all feel that America “is back.” If you want Obama to succeed, though, don’t just show us the love, show us the money. Show us the troops. Show us the diplomatic effort. Show us the economic partnership. Show us something more than a fresh smile. Because freedom is not free and your excuse for doing less than you could is leaving town in January.
It's Whittle, baby.
On Tuesday, the Left – armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months… who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent – that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity…
Yielded a result of 53%
In sock knitting news, I just want to be this girl. She makes beautiful footwear.
An interesting election result, via Powerline:
Obama and the Democrats have assembled a "top and bottom coalition." They carried voters with incomes above $200,000, narrowly, and won decisively among those with incomes under $50,000. Middle-income voters split evenly. I find this interesting in the context of Obama's and Biden's constant invocation of the "middle class" in their campaign speeches. Maybe they knew this was the one group they were in danger of not carrying, or maybe they think it helps to talk about the "middle class" even if you're really appealing to upper or lower income voters.
I wish I had read this yesterday; I might've piped up at the Chinese take-out. Heh.
Last night on TV, Stephen Moore said that Obama is the Democrat's Ronald Reagan. I think that's absolutely right, though it's the first time I've heard anyone say it.
AWTM's keen mind caught a double standard concerning Emanuel and McCain.
I'm at the part in Atlas Shrugged when Mrs. Reardon comes to Hank and asks him to give Philip a job. Hank refuses, and his mother says:
That's your cruelty, that's what's mean and selfish about you. If you loved your brother, you'd give him a job he didn't deserve, precisely because he didn't deserve it -- that would be true love and kindness and brotherhood. Else what's love for? If a man deserves a job, there's no virtue in giving it to him. Virtue is the giving of the undeserved.
Interesting that I read that last night, and then read this Newsbusters article this morning (via Amritas):
Require 100 Hours of Service in College: Obama and Biden will establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that is worth $4000 a year in exchange for 100 of public service a year.
$4,000 in value for 100 hours is $40 an hour, tax-free. For most students, because they pay no federal income tax, this will amount to an annual handout of $4,000 less the value of the service they provide (bravely assuming that it's productive), which would be at most the private-sector equivalent of about $12 an hour with benefits, or $1,200.
Personally, I think that $12 figure is pretty high. But maybe that's because I am in charge of an entire program at my job and I only make $7.70. I should quit my job and start doing community service under Obama! Does my knitting count?
Newsbusters goes on:
Let's estimate that this puts 8 million kids in college at any one time (I think the number is higher, but I can't prove it right now). If they are required to put in the service (that's what the site still says), the program would cost Uncle Sam $32 billion a year (8 million x $4,000).
In the last fiscal year, the entire Department of Education spent $66 billion. This one program would expand the Department's budget by almost 50%, before adding a dime for administration.
There is no job these high schoolers could work at that will give them $40 per hour. Will high schoolers then cease to work, concentrating instead on doing all those community service hours so they can get their undeserved windfall? Why work at a minimum wage job when you can get $40 an hour for volunteering?
Hank Reardon responds to his mother with a classic line:
Mother, you don't know what you're saying. I'm not able ever to despise you enough to believe that you mean it.
I have a feeling that line will be running through my head every time President Obama suggests a new plan.
Overheard tonight at the Chinese take-out: "I voted for Obama. I don't make more than $250,000, so I figured what the hell. It don't affect me none."
And that is why I hate my party. We do a terrible job of explaining how it does indeed affect everyone, even a schlub in line at the take-out. And especially the Chinese lady who owns the chain of take-outs, who says she also voted for Obama.
I haven't put any crafting up in a while because, well, I haven't made anything blogworthy. I have spent most of my time crocheting wheelchair afghans for the VA hospital. But, what the hey, I thought I'd put a photo up.
I also have been working on a Primavera sock since I left for San Antonio. It will travel with me to Seattle this coming weekend for the next SpouseBUZZ live. (Which totally snuck up on me. Yesterday AWTM said, "See you next weekend," and I had no idea what she was talking about.)
Tomorrow I am hosting a Yarn Event at our Michaels, where we make blocks for Warm Up America. I have made several blocks in the past few weeks. Hopefully we'll have good turnout.
Just imagine the squawking we would've heard if Bush had appointed a man who went slasher on a table at a political dinner. Or did even one of the Godfather-esque things in that article. Sigh.
A quote at the NYT from election night:
Indeed, for many who had watched this campaign from afar, there was a sense that the election was not just an American affair but something that touched people around the world, whatever their origin. "I want Obama to win with 99%, like Saddam Hussein," said Hanin Abu Ayash, who works at a television station in Dubai and monitored early returns on his computer.
Sweet merciful Jesus. I mean, that just makes me froth at the mouth and want to smash something.
I found that link via a thought-provoking post at The Volokh Conspiracy:
There are two versions of American exceptionalism. American-American exceptionalism is “we’re richer because we’re better.” European-American exceptionalism is “you’re better because you’re richer.” Both sides agree on exceptionalism, and just see different causes and implications. The Europeans expect us, on account of our wealth, to live up to (their) ideals, while we think that our wealth ought to prove to them that our ideals are better than theirs.
Discuss amongst yourselves.
CaliValleyGirl and I were talking last night about the interesting results out of California. Obama took California 61% to 37%. But Proposition 8 -- the amendment to define marriage as a man and a woman -- passed 52% to 47%.
Forgive my crude tables, but here are the results:
There are 81,986 more votes for Prop 8 than for the presidential race. My guess is that they voted for a third-party candidate; I wonder if anyone showed up to vote on Prop 8 but didn't vote for the president. (Knowing some of the conservatives' opinions about John McCain, it's possible.) Either way, that's less than 1% of the total, so let's just disregard for the purpose of this discussion.
For argument's sake, let's say that every single person who voted for McCain also voted Yes on Prop 8. That means that 1,547,718 extra people also voted for Prop 8. Even if we subtract those 81,986 votes, that's still a heck of a lot of Obama votes voting Yes on Prop 8.
Incidentally, I don't grant the premise that all Republican voters support Prop 8. If I lived in California, I would've voted straight ticket Republican but No on Prop 8. I imagine there are others in this world like me; many of them are bloggers I read.
So what I take from this is that politics is not nearly as cut and dried as it seems. A million and a half Obama voters presumably also voted to amend the state constitution to enshrine marriage as between a man and a woman. Whereas I, an evil Republican, would not have voted for Prop 8.
For fifty years, most American conservatives have stood for three basic propositions: that American foreign policy should seek to end totalitarian regimes; that the domestic functions of government, and especially of the federal government, should be strictly limited; and that the moral precepts traditionally associated with Christianity (sometimes the formulation includes Judaism as well) should be upheld.
These propositions attracted distinct, though overlapping, constituencies to conservatism: defense hawks, libertarians, social conservatives. The coalition thus created has achieved some political success.
I see these three disctinctions, the three legs of the conservative stool (which substitutes "economic conservatives" for "libertarians"), as a Venn diagram. I am a defense hawk and a libertarian/economic conservative. I share little in common with the social conservatives, though I understand where they're coming from and don't begrudge them their say. I think most liberals, on the outside looking in, only see the social conservatives, or at least they overestimate how much weight the social aspect gets on every Republican's Venn diagram.
But the conservative's Venn diagram isn't on a separate piece of paper from the liberal one. Libertarians argue for legalized drugs and prostitution, a position more likely shared by liberals than social conservatives. That's how you got Ron Paul supporters ending up on the Obama side. Many Catholic Hispanics are pro-life but vote Democrat. (Don't even get me started on how I don't understand why Jews vote Democrat.) And apparently 1.5 million Obama voters have an overlapping Venn diagram with social conservatives when it comes to enshrining marriage in the constitution.
Ultimately, I think each voter has to decide what carries the most weight for him. I share two of the three stool legs, and the social stuff is far less important to me than the economic and defense, so I feel I fit comfortably on the right end of the political spectrum. Even when I strenuously object to some of the Republican positions.
If only the Libertarians could get more traction, and not the Ron Paul kind. I need a Libertarian party that is strong on defense. Boortz for President! I'd be on-board in a heartbeat. Hookers and blow for everyone!
Just got on IM with my husband and said that I had just finished a long post on Obama supporters and Prop 8. He goes, "Yeah, lots of people are talking about that today." Imagine me doing the AWTM: Waaa waaa.
Jonah Goldberg: Progressivism's Achilles Heel
In other words, Obama had some major un-progressive coattails. The tidal wave of black and Hispanic voters who came out to support Obama voted in enormous numbers against what most white liberals consider to be the foremost civil rights issue of the day.
Serves me right for thinking I'm original without checking major blogs first. Or thinking I could say anything half as eloquently as Jonah Goldberg.
Leofwende had a link up to a blog I've never seen before. And I'm hooked.
People have not grasped the profound insight of Mises that, in a market economy, in order benefit from privately owned means of production, one does not have to be an owner of the means of production. This is because one benefits from other people’s means of production—every time one buys the products of those means of production.
In contrast, the view of redistributionists, such as Obama, founded in the most complete and utter ignorance, is that the only wealth from which an individual can benefit is his own.[...]The redistribution of wealth is allegedly necessary to enable an individual who does not own the wealth presently owned by others to benefit from that wealth. Only as and when their property passes to him can he benefit from it, the redistributors believe. This is the kind of “largesse” Obama intends to practice. It is taking funds from those most prodigious at accumulating capital, capital that would benefit all, and then giving the funds to others to consume.
Now, it's a very long blog post on economics, so it don't exactly read like Frank J. But this blog post does a good job of explaining why tax cuts for the rich are better than tax cuts for the middle class. I plan to tuck the $1000 example away in my brain in case I ever need to explain it to someone.
Leofwende linked to this post: The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis. I mean, duh, how could I not want to click on that? And after reading it, I finally clearly understand what happened to lead to the bailout.
I will have to keep reading George Reisman's Blog. Get my smart on.
My husband has been deployed for six months today.
In many ways, it has gone quickly. It has been easy. But I also want him to come home Right Now so we can enjoy our time together before he leaves again.
Six months ago, I was pregnant. It seems like an eternity ago. It seems like a dream instead of something that really happened. A year ago, I was at the BlogWorldExpo in Vegas. I was also pregnant then. That doesn't seem possible either.
We have a little over a month until my husband comes home. I have already watched all the Rambos and all the Die Hards. I'm gonna try to squeeze in all the Terminators before he gets home and makes me start watching movies for people with a brain.
And when he gets home, I finally get to read Liberal Fascism.
Ha. When I read this, I couldn't help but think of that Winston Churchill quote: “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart; if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”
Exit polls show 66 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 preferred Obama and 32 percent preferred McMain. The gap closed among those ages 30 to 44 who preferred Obama 52 percent to McCain’s 46 percent. Among those ages 45 to 64, the vote was fairly evenly split between the candidates. Fifty three percent of voters 65 and older leaned toward McCain, compared to 45 percent who supported Obama.
I remember the moment of wonder a few months ago when I realized I am older than The Youth Vote. Three cheers for growing up!
Incidentally, it may be argued that I never had a heart, even though I have voted for a Democrat or two.
You know, this is just absurd: Oprah celebrates that she saw drug addicts voting for Obama. Hahahha, oh it's a big funny joke, Obama won because the dregs of society stumbled across the street from rehab to vote. Hooray for Obama! Jubilant Junkies Say Yes We Can!
To paraphrase John McCain, I'd rather lose an election than champion the crackhead vote.
(Links courtesy of AWTM and Amritas)
Obama was elected president, and the stock market plunged.
I hope that's correlation and not causation.
I recorded SNL from Saturday but hadn't watched it yet. Holy cow, Ben Affleck did a hilarious impersonation of the crazy that is Keith Olbermann. I almost feel sorry for laughing at him when he had a butt for a face. Almost.
And John McCain was quite funny, especially the campaign strategies. He should just show up on SNL periodically; he always makes me laugh on that show.
My husband found a funny headline:
Hard choices and challenges follow triumph
Obama ran on platform of change — now he must spell out exactly how
I think it's funny, because what can we do now but laugh? My husband doesn't find the humor in it though.
That second sentence...holy crap...NOW?
why not the last f**king 6 months
I will be very interested to hear the how.
My brother called earlier and was like, "Let me get this straight: You get higher tax rates if you make more than $250,000 but tax cuts at below $200,000, so what happens to the people in between?" And I laughed and said "At one point, Biden said something about $150,000. I have no idea what they're promising." Neither does anyone else. It's all subject to Change™.
It will be funny to watch teh how unfold.
Amritas says, "Varifrank talks about change I can believe in!"
“A new President has been elected. Well that aught to teach him…”
The Office of the Presidency is a cruel inhumane joke that we invented to trap our most agressive alpha males. They get attracted to the scent of power, and the find themselves trapped in the steel jaws of a governmental system thats designed on purpose to not work.
That's why everyone comes into the office of the President loks like a bright shiny penny and leaves the office looking like a bag of freshly hammered dog crap.
As if today could get any worse...
I love Michael Crichton's work. His thoughts on horseshit remains one of my favorite arguments. The appendix to State of Fear is one of my husband's favorite writings. Airframe is a genius indictment of journalism. And I had hours of enjoyment and mental exercise listening to Next on my last car trip.
To this day, I have an irrational fear of velociraptors.
I would recommend any single one of his books. I am deeply saddened that he won't be around to write any more for us to enjoy.
What a loss.
This man soothes my soul.
I listen to this, and I wish I had been older during his presidency. I wish I had known to cherish him while we had him.
And I hope that somewhere out there is another one just like him. Someone who will be ready to step into the race in 2012.
(Thanks to AWTM for the video. I don't know what she could possibly do to become "a better Friend.")
The other day, Cassandra said:
If we are smart, and if Barack Obama is elected on November 4th, and if the worst of our fears are realized, there could hardly be a better opportunity for conservatives to launch a national conversation about our ideas. There could hardly be a better opportunity for us to make a logical, coherent, principled case for why conservative, free market economics are better for this country than the plans Obama has presented so far.
There could hardly be a better opportunity for us to tell our fellow Americans why we believe people are more productive when they are allowed to keep the fruits of their own labor; to demonstrate empirically how, when taxes are raised on corporations and businesses, that they DO migrate to more friendly environments where the costs of doing business are lower; to ask our fellow Americans why, if Democrats truly believe it is selfish not to want to help the less fortunate, they don't do the right thing voluntarily?
It may well be that conservatives have a very trying period ahead of us. But hard times may be viewed as a burden, or as a challenge which makes us stronger and brings forth our best qualities.
A thought from John Hawkins:
* I've had two separate people who have told me that their first reaction to these election results was to buy more guns. Speaking of which, I am toying with the idea of buying a semi-automatic shotgun myself.
When people start thinking that it's much more likely that they're going to need a gun to protect themselves as a result of your election, I think it's a pretty strong vote of "no-confidence" in your leadership abilities.
Have heard the same thing. An impending Obama presidency was the impetus for me to buy the gun I did get, and I figure we will probably buy more.
I keep having a new feeling every 30 minutes, which means a new blog post. I just re-watched McCain's original campaign ad, and I started to get choked up. When he said, "I owe America more than she has ever owed me," I just got this catch in my heart for him. He deserved to become President, far more than Obama did. I think he sought the office for all the right reasons. I feel sorry for him, and I feel disappointed that 52% of American voters didn't see what seems blatantly obvious to me.
Every blog post I've read today by every blogger I respect has been a variation on this theme:
North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and associated problems in Pakistan, resurgent Russian militarism... all these are problems too serious to take family beliefs outside the election. Obama's our President now, and is going to need the backing of the public to handle these problems. I see the absolute idiocy some people had regarding Bush and Afghanistan, and after that Iraq, and if things blow up in Obama's face, I don't plan on being "that guy" reveling in glee over problems affecting the military and therefore the Presidency. There's a step beyond "military" and "presidency" and that's "country", and regardless of who I voted for, I don't want the country to be harmed or diminished just because it'll demonstrate the President's ineffectualness. So I wish him well, because the consequences of mishandling any of the above problems are enormous, and any "I told you so's" are going to be faint consolations if they are mishandled. I honestly wish Obama well. Because that means I'm wishing America well.
That's the embodiment of McCain's campaign slogan: Country First.
I am proud of my side today. We are nervous and disappointed, but we are not shrill, we are not shrieking, and we are not rude. Hell, if Chuck Z can be civil and congratulatory towards Obama, then my side is classy.
And I am proud of us, proud to be on a gracious losing side.
Proud to put Country First.
For the last seven years we have had the highest corporate profit ever in American history. . . But it hasn't been shared, and that's the problem, because we have been guided by a Republican Administration who believes in the simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it. They have an antipathy toward the means of redistributing wealth. And they may be able to sustain that for a while, but it doesn't work in the long run.
Is it time to be scared yet?
I slept for nine hours and woke up to find that my cold has subsided some. See, President Obamessiah is already performing miracles.
Ugh, I am such a sore loser. Just ask my husband how I pout when he beats me at Scrabble.
OK, Dems, it's yours. Now how ya gonna act? Because an army of keyboardists will be watching you. It's our turn to piss and moan over everything you do.
John Hawkins says:
I don't envy the task Obama has. He has allowed people to think of him as a messiah who will fix all their problems, a man who will unify the country, a man who will lead America into a post-racial world, a man who will make the whole world love us, and a man who will "change" whatever you personally don't happen to like about America.
That's a tall order for any human being to fill -- and it's aside from the challenges he will be faced with: a recession, enormous deficits, more bailouts, international crises, Al-Qaeda, a deeply cynical public, and numerous interest groups, all of which expect Obama to handle their competing interests immediately.
So, good luck, Obama. Let's hope this works out better than I suspect it will.
And den Beste says it's not the end of the world.
We regroup and recoup.
I'm feeling so absolutely conflicted about this result. I want to agree with Samizdata that "Looking back on this period ten to twenty years from now, the Republicans crying into their beer tonight will be saying 'thank Christ it was not us in office then.'" But, on the other hand, I can't shake the feeling that our country is truly boned. I'm just happy that my husband has a job where he cannot get laid off. We need to get ready for stuff like this:
One guy who runs a welding supply company wrote an article saying his accountant had already run the numbers on the scenario where Obama’s plan is put into use, and they’d have to either expand by 13 employees (unlikely in this economic climate) or cut back by 6 to get under the break point. The owner was having trouble deciding who to let go in that case, then he had a brainstorm. He went out to the employee parking lot and found 8 cars with Obama bumperstickers. He noted who they belonged to and put them at the top of the list.
Obama voters think they're getting a tax cut. Imagine the look on their faces when they get laid off instead.
Kim du Toit gives us a list of the change that's a-comin'.
Hang on to your jockey straps...it's gonna be a hell of a ride.
And as Chuck says in his Why I'm OK With Obama post, "Get to work, people on welfare need your money."
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray...
We don't get fooled again
From The Corner:
The Role of Race: It Was Important [Byron York]
The exit polls suggest that race was a factor in a lot of voters' decisions — and that, on balance, it worked to Barack Obama's advantage. In Ohio, for example, six percent of voters said that race was the most important factor in their decision. Among them, Obama won 59-40. Another 13 percent said race was an important factor in their vote, and Obama won among them, 52-46. So nearly one in five voters said race was an important part of their decision, and more of them voted for Obama than McCain.
Beyond that, eight percent said race was a "minor factor" in their decision — and they went for McCain, 56-44. Finally, 71 percent said race played no role at all in their decision — and Obama won among them, 54-45.
I don't want to hear anything about racism anymore. It's a dead issue in the US now. Thank heavens.
History has been made. I agree with Derbyshire though that it's a shame it happened with this guy.
I thought I was going to spend the night drinking away my worries. Instead I am hopped up on cold meds. My head is foggy, I'm breathing through my mouth, and I feel like I've been put through the wringer.
And I don't understand why they call states for a certain candidate when only 12% of the precincts have reported. That makes no sense to me.
Here's my point: They called NC for Obama with only a handful of precincts reporting. Right now, with 84% reporting, McCain is winning by 10,000 votes. Ridiculous that they called it so early and potentially called it wrong.
Who knows when this thing will be over; I have doubts it will be tonight. Since the end is being pushed back, you may still have time to read this absolutely fascinating, really long post called Toast (via Amritas).
This makes me snicker:
As Americans went to the polls Tuesday to chose the next president, Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said that whatever the outcome, the U.S. will continue its commitment to battling Al Qaeda.
"Both candidates have been clear about the priority they place [on the war on terror]. So there is truly bipartisan support for [what] I think can be described as a sustained and substantial commitment to Pakistan and Afghanistan," Petraeus told FOX News.
I have heard many times recently, to include this morning, that maybe my husband won't have to deploy next year if Obama is elected. I keep explaining to people that 1) my husband's job deploys regardless of world events and 2) Obama has never said that he is bringing the troops home, only that he will shift them from Iraq to Afghanistan. I don't think any military family should get too excited about an Obama win. I doubt it will mean more time in garrison for the troops.
Annika reposted this commercial. I had forgotten it, and I wish McCain had continued to run it throughout the campaign.
I don't normally listen to his show, but the other day I heard Sean Hannity say the most perfect thing on the radio. He began his program by saying (I loosely quote), "If you feel nervous, with knots in your stomach, that means that you are alive! Breathe deep and savor it. Let not your heart be troubled."
I can worry about politics today because I live in the greatest country in the world, where few of us have real worries. I have food, clothing, and my health...well, sort of. I came down with a nasty cold yesterday. My husband is safe, my family is fortunate, and my dog is one of the cutest on the planet. The worst thing happening in my life right now is that my presidential candidate might not win. That means my life is good.
I will fret today, and I'm totally doped up on DayQuil, but I will also think about the balls and urns, and hope that there are more red balls than we know about.
Because I have hope. Obama doesn't have a monopoly on it, you know.
My husband's buddy is a politics wonk like me. We watched all the debates together, we went to the rally together, and we frequently get together for dinner to rant at each other. (I think my husband is just glad that I found someone to suffer through election season with besides him; he doesn't have the stomach for election nonsense.) So the culmination of our wonkiness was going to be staying up all night watching election results and biting our fingernails. This is our Super Bowl.
But orders came down, and he deployed this morning instead.
I took him to drop him off, and I was just so bummed. Six months ago, I said goodbye to my husband, and now I had to say goodbye to a friend who's helped me pass the time through the deployment.
I met a girl at the rally last week who said, "I'm a diehard Republican but politics is just so boring."
"Not if you do it right," I muttered under my breath.
It's rare to find someone who likes the ins and outs of politics. Someone who wants to rant about current events. Someone who wants to watch Fox News so long that you see the same show twice. Someone who gets giddy at the mention of Krauthammer. I have all of you in my imaginary world, but I was happy to have someone like that in my Real Life. Someone to rant with in person and not just via email.
It was fun, and I will miss his companionship.
It will be a long six weeks of the rest of my husband's deployment.
But thank heavens Chuck Z is hosting more liveblogging of the election results, so I have a place to fit in tonight.
Annika didn't keep her promise. Whew.
May there be others like her.
Cassy Fiano sums it up:
There are problems that need to be addressed during each and every election season. Obviously, we want the person who can best address those problems and issues, but in this particular election, we have a huge disparity between two candidates. One has fought for America and for freedom, and sacrificed five years of his life for it living in a hell hole being tortured daily. He then dedicated the rest of his life to serving his country. There is no doubt that, in John McCain’s heart, he truly loves the United States and would fight to his last breath to defend her. You can disagree with his policies — and I do disagree with some of them — but there is no doubting his allegiance and love for his country. With Barack Obama, he’s led a largely privileged life, going to private schools and eventually Harvard. He got married, entered politics, and a mere 143 days after becoming a US Senator, became the first African-American to run for President on a major party ticket. Yet all he and his wife can do is criticize the United States, paint a picture of gloom and despair, complain about all he feels we’ve done wrong, and smear Americans as racist if they don’t support him. For God’s sake, the man said he wanted to “free us” from the “restraints” of the Constitution, that it was a blind spot and a major flaw. It’s hard to tell if Obama loves his country or not, because there’s a vast difference between loving America for what she is and what she stands for, and loving America for what he thinks she could be if only he could change everything about her. That’s not love of country.
I'm a wreck. I'm gonna be like Tweak from South Park all day tomorrow.
Victor Davis Hanson: The End of Journalism
AWTM wrote a post last week about a parent at the school who asked if they're supposed to read to their kids every night.
Today I was at work and this lady wanted to buy foam letters. It sounded like she was buying them for her teacher husband to hang in his classroom. She couldn't find the right size. She wanted the big letters of the alphabet, but they were $1 each, and she said, "I don't want to get those; I'd have to spend like $27 or something."
For heaven's sake.
I missed early voting, so I still have to go stand in line on Tuesday. And it's a good thing I haven't voted yet, because I still have time to change my mind and vote for Obama. I had no idea that under his presidency I wouldn't have to pay for gas or my mortgage. How awesome life will be for the next four years.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph...
(Via Cassy Fiano)
An awesome bit of semantics:
I would like to focus on Obama’s phrase “the wealth.”
I understand the use of the word “the” in phrases like “the nation” or “the country” or “the public.” Those are things or abstract concepts or generic groups of people.
Wealth, however, is the savings and equity of each individual. There is no “the wealth.” There is only my wealth and your wealth and Joe the plumber’s wealth and so on. You can spread the SARS virus around or you can spread “the love” around, but when you starting talking about spreading “the wealth” around what you are really talking about is spreading my life savings or someone else’s life savings around.
Via Amritas, of course.
Last night I went to a Halloween party at my friend's house. One of her neighbors asked to see my weapon and asked if it was real and what kind it was. I told her I had borrowed it from a friend. I asked her if she shoots, and she said she used to be a cop.
As the night went on, another neighbor said that she thought my Halloween costume was really clever, especially since Sarah is my name too. She liked my hockey jersey with PALIN on the back.
And the first neighbor, she got this a-ha look on her face and said, "Ohhhh, you're in a costume. You seemed like such a nice girl; I couldn't figure out why you brought that gun to the party."
This lady thought that I just bring assault rifles to neighborhood get-togethers. I nearly peed my pants. She thought the glasses were real and she didn't catch on to the hockey mom concept, and she just thought that I was some nutball who carries an AR-15 to parties.
Good golly, it takes all kinds, don't it?