February 28, 2009


I spent the day with some of my favorite people: I watched the Conversations With History interviews of Mark Steyn, Christopher Hitchens, and Victor Davis Hanson.

And I totally snorted when I saw at the end of the video that the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of University of California, Berkeley. Heh. No joke.

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I'm going to post short reviews of all the books I'm reading for my George Bush 2009 Reading Challenge. I thought I'd break it up and do ten books at a time. And I've just finished my tenth.


10) Economics In One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt)
I got this book because it was mentioned in the article Why The New Deal Failed. It was originally written in 1946, which makes its lesson even more frustrating than when I read Milton Friedman. 63 years ago he warned us of everything that President Obama and Congress are doing right now. And the most depressing part was the last page, when he talks about hope for the future:

In addition, there are marked signs of a shift in the intellectual winds of doctrine. Keynesians and New Dealers seem to be in slow retreat.

Thank heavens Henry Hazlitt has passed away, for I would hate for him to see what has become of his Hope.

9) Animal Farm (George Orwell)
I told you I was gonna read this book! And it only took one day. I hadn't read it since high school, so it was nice to revisit it.

8) Good Omens (Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett)
AirForceWife lent this book to me, and it was pretty funny. I read I, Lucifer last year, and it was funny to read another book of the same genre. My absolute favorite part was when four bikers wanted to be additional Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That part had me laughing out loud.

7) The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery (Massad Ayoob)
A Christmas present from CaliValleyGirl, in lieu of another knitting book. I learned a lot of interesting facts from this book, such as why most policemen carry Glocks, and I was reminded of other things, like the racist origin of gun control laws. My only complaint is that it's not exactly written for true beginners. Ayoob doesn't define his terms at all. For example, in the chapter Point Shooting vs Aimed Fire, I didn't know the difference between the two and had to read the entire chapter and use a little deductive reasoning to figure out what the heck each one of those terms means based on how they were contrasted with each other. A one-line definition at the beginning of the chapter would've been much appreciated. But overall it was an interesting and helpful book.

6) The Bookseller of Kabul (Åsne Seierstad)
My husband gave me this book for Christmas. I recommend this book and also The Places In Between for a look at Afghanistan. But it's bleak. I just found myself so thankful throughout this book that I was not born a woman in the Middle East.


4) A Personal Odyssey (Thomas Sowell)
I got this book as a Christmas present from Amritas. I had no idea Sowell was so old! It was fascinating to read about his life in the 30s and 40s. And you'd never know by reading him today that he used to be a Marxist! Very good autobiography. I basically read the whole book while waiting at the emergency room.

3) You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation (Deborah Tannen)
I always enjoy Tannen's books, and when I saw this one, I bought it for my mother but wanted to read it before I gave it to her. I really enjoyed it and learned two things: 1) My mother and I get along better than I thought we did and 2) maybe having a girl wouldn't be so bad...

2) The Night of the Hunter (Davis Grubb)
Everyone knows the image of the prisoner with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his hands, but I never knew where this image came from. Boy, that Preacher was one scary villain! Worse than Bruce Dern in The Cowboys.

1) Liberal Fascism (Jonah Goldberg)
I learned a lot about WWI-era politics. I also knew very little about Mussolini and Woodrow Wilson before this book. Quite worthwhile.

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Remember the gender-less baby I was knitting for? The sweater and blanket got finished and delivered.


The buttons are little puppy faces. I think it turned out really cute.

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Christopher Hitchens is one crazy sonofagun, but I was downright impressed when I read Michael Totten's account of their run-in in Syria.

“The SSNP,” I said, “is the last party you want to mess with in Lebanon. I’m sorry I didn’t warn you properly. This is partly my fault.”

“I appreciate that,” Christopher said. “But I would have done it anyway. One must take a stand. One simply must.”

Would you have had the guts to deface a Syrian Social Nationalist Party sign in Beirut? I think Hitchens is nuts, but I have to respect him for this.

I think a swastika poster is partly fair game and partly an obligation. You don't really have the right to leave one alone.


He's probably lucky to be alive.

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February 27, 2009


When I saw this last night, I was floored. I completely recommend watching it:

Thank you, Glenn Beck, for doing this research and laying it out so succinctly.

Posted by Sarah at 10:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


OK, so I love my husband a little less right now.

I need something on his laptop. It is turned off. It is password protected.

I figured I could guess it. My husband is the only person in the world who could know my password based on the prompt question, but he would know it instantly.

My husband's prompt question is absurd. I have no idea what the answer is.

I can't get into his computer until he gets home.

Posted by Sarah at 09:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


A good article about left-wing symbols like Che Guevara shirts:

These T-shirts send a message, which effectively boils down to this: I have vague left-wing sympathies but don't read history. I am educated enough to want nonconformity but not intelligent enough to avoid conformity.

Posted by Sarah at 08:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Last night I dreamt I ran into my husband on post. Not very likely or realistic during SERE school, but OK. We stood there and talked for a few moments before we had to say goodbye. And a voice in my head was saying, "Tell him you're pregnant! Tell him!"

I didn't.

As I walked away from him, I had the urge to turn around and blurt the news to him. It would be so easy, to just tell him. But I held myself back for two very practical reasons: 1) he needs to focus on SERE and not be distracted and 2) I am not at all confident that the pregnancy will last and I hate to get his hopes up.

As bad as it got last night -- and it was bad, and painful, and confidence-shattering -- I know it's not nearly as bad as my husband has it right now. I can bear this burden alone while he bears his. I wouldn't tell him right now even if I could.

That's how much I love my husband.

I wonder how he's doing...he should be heading into the nasty part...

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February 26, 2009


I met my first blogger in 2004 when I took the train to meet Tim. It was such a big deal back then. I wrote:

The butterflies are gathering in my tummy. Will I recognize Tim? When we see each other, will it feel like we've known each other for years instead of five minutes on the phone and seven months of peering into each other's lives from the blog window?

There was nothing to be nervous about in the end, and we've gotten along swimmingly all four times that we've gotten together.

Used to be, I had this mental divide between my Real Life and my Imaginary Life. I thought that meeting a blog friend was different from meeting a regular old friend. Over the past five years, I have gotten to meet so many of you and you've all become such a part of my life that I don't make that mental distinction anymore. Imaginary friends are just my friends, and I have way more of you than of people in my Real Life.

Now you guys are just normal to me. So normal that you're barely blogworthy, heh. I didn't even write about my weekend visiting CaliValleyGirl, or how we went to meet Allison, or how funny it seemed when someone was shocked that CVG and I had met (gasp) on the internet.

I didn't blog about going to SpouseBUZZ Live last November and meeting DeltaSierra (who at the time didn't have a photo of herself on her site and looked WAY younger than I expected), or Sig (who was exactly what I expected), or Leofwende (who was super nice), or seeing Barb again (who is always a joy to see).

And I didn't blog about meeting R1 either, but I should have. Truth is I've been too embarrassed to apologize to him for how goofy our meeting went down. We were both flustered because a girl had just shared some (ahem) personal TMI with the group. I was happy to see him, because he's been reading my site and emailing me for the entire time I've been writing, and in my excitement and flusteredness I hugged him, which is completely out of character and immediately seemed like the weird thing to do. And he was a bit out-of-sorts, being a man in a sea of milwives, so we didn't get to meet each other until optimal conditions. And I hate that, and have felt guilty about it for months. I also never thanked him for the great gift that he brought me.

I ought to have blogged about all these things, but I don't...because they are my Real Life now. They're just normal.

They're just my friends.

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A link from my friend BigD:
Sales of “Atlas Shrugged” Soar in the Face of Economic Crisis

It's coincidental that she sent me this today, because my jaw hit the floor when I read this article this morning:

Tens of thousands of boxcars are sitting idle all over the country, parked indefinitely by railroads whose freight volumes have plummeted along with the economy.
The nation's five largest railroads have put more than 30% of their boxcars -- 206,000 in all -- into storage, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Now if that doesn't make you think life is imitating art, I don't know what will.

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In dog news, Charlie has decided that he wants to be Charlie Bronson and make a Great Escape.

Our backyard is a disaster, with dirt on one side and sand on the other. It's like a spectrum running from Mildly Crappy to Completely Worthless. Charlie recently discovered that sand is easy to dig and wriggle through. Thus, he keeps escaping. I bought those cheapy wire garden dividers, and I even strategically placed an old flowerpot so he couldn't get out again.

He still managed to escape.

To put things in Rachel Lucas terms:


He can still manage to squeeze out of that space. This means he can't have unsupervised backyard time, which is a real pain in the neck.


Very annoying. I will have to go steal some dirt from the construction site in our neighborhood to put on top of that sand to keep the danged dog in the yard.


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I figured I should give you a small update re: baby.

So here's the deal: You take women who are extremely freaked out about miscarriage and you give them a medicine which prevents miscarriage but which also has the absurd side effect of irritating your cervix and making you bleed.

(I'm reminded of the scene in Futurama when Fry says he can't swallow a pill that size, and the professor says "Well then good news!" because you don't swallow it. Ahem. Oh, and they're refrigerated.)


So basically now it's just a waiting game until I go for my ultrasound in two weeks. I won't know anything until then, but even then I won't feel great: the last time, you'll remember, we managed to become one of the 5% of people whose baby has a heartbeat and then subsequently dies.

I may be a while before I feel confident. Please don't try to convince me I should get that way right now. I won't breathe easily until I make it to a milestone that I haven't reached in the past. Like seeing a doctor. I've never even done that yet.

So we wait it out.

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February 25, 2009


An awesome tagline found in a comments section:

Should be a convenience store
NOT a Government Agency

Posted by Sarah at 05:21 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I'll admit that I've been watching too much Glenn Beck lately, but I have worked myself up pretty good this afternoon over the future of my country and the world. Hugo Chavez cancelled Valentine's Day, China said flat-out that they hate us, and Iran and Russia are testing nukes together.

We're boned.

Posted by Sarah at 05:08 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 24, 2009


This is the most realistic tattoo I have ever seen. Wow.

And I love Cracked. Srsly. 5 Ways People Are Trying to Save the World (That Don't Work)

And this makes my heart swell: Eleven States Declare Sovereignty Over Obama’s Action. Go, States, go! It's about time somebody gave a crap about the 10th Amendment.

[All links via CG.]

Posted by Sarah at 08:48 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 22, 2009


I had a little bleeding today, which sufficiently destroyed my enthusiasm and optimism.
I won't be blogging about it anymore for quite a while, at least not until I know something one way or the other.
I am OK, but I would prefer not to talk about it, so no need to phone.

Posted by Sarah at 06:50 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

February 20, 2009


From the latest cartoon hubbub:

"Just the fact that they put a monkey with gunshot wounds in his chest, it gives the idea of an assassination," said Peter Aviles, 48, a building superintendent.

I sure hope Peter Aviles was sufficiently outraged when Death Of a President came out. You know, the movie about assassinating George Bush, not just a drawing of a monkey that some people think was meant to be Obama. (Which I think was a lame cartoon, but not a depiction of Pres. Obama.)

Give me a break.

I like Powerline's take:

If the President is a Republican, it's fine to call him a "chimp." In fact, it's morally superior. But if the President is a Democrat, you can't call a chimpanzee a chimp lest someone think you might have been referring to the President.

It all makes perfect sense.

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February 19, 2009


Before my husband left for SERE, I took a negative pregnancy test. We started discussing our options: I talked to my friend about her IVF experience and I talked to Guard Wife about the adoption process. We also talked about giving up, about accepting that things weren't working for us and tossing in the towel. It was depressing.

But now, it's déjà vu all over again: just like last May, once my husband's gone and incommunicado, I take another test. Negative. Or...wait... At about three minutes, a faint second line begins to appear. I squint one eye, then the other, looking at the thing like it's a Magic Eye poster. Is the line really there or am I crazy?

And then I just start to shake. I don't know if it's excitement or nerves, but I can barely calm down. And I have an immediate urge to run and tell everyone, which is reassuring. I was afraid I'd be afraid this time. But I feel pretty good, and we'll deal with disaster if we need to later on. Heck, I'm good at disaster at this point.

So I probably ought to announce the news as "I've taken a positive pregnancy test" instead of "We're having a baby!", but surprisingly enough, I don't really care to make that distinction. Either phrase works fine for me.


I probably have taken a postmodern indulgence with the story behind this song, but it has always felt like my story. I don't know what Richard Shindell meant when he wrote it, but I have always imagined that the two parts of the song are about the same couple, first finding out their baby is dead and riding home in the taxi in agony, and then being picked up at the hospital in the future with their new baby. It has hurt my heart a little every time I've listened to this song -- especially the day I heard it when I was driving to the hospital to arrange my D&C -- but it has also given me hope, hope that we too will catch green lights all the way this time around.

My husband won't be home for another 15 days. I can't wait to tell him the news. (And I know he won't mind that I told all of you first.) I just sincerely hope there's still news to tell him...

Green lights, baby. Green lights.

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February 18, 2009


Some links from Conservative Grapevine before I hit the road:

5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won't)
It has everything: naughty language, cute animals, Cristal snowcones...

Breaking News: Late-night comedy shows make fun of Pres. Obama
The clip of The Daily Show is funny, but isn't it interesting how Jon Stewart makes fun of Obama for being slow and boring and then makes fun of O'Reilly for saying that Obama is slow and boring?

Posted by Sarah at 09:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 17, 2009


Real life superseded blogging life today and will continue to do so for a few days as I make my way to visit CaliValleyGirl. I will try to throw up a link or two if I can, but I will be out of the loop for a bit.

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February 16, 2009


I dropped my husband off for SERE school this morning. I was cold just sitting in the car for 30 minutes; I shudder to think how cold it will be for them outside during the escape and evade parts.

Yesterday, a friend asked me what in the heck SERE even is. There was a CNN Presents about it some years back. From the article:

What goes on at the school is three weeks of "stress inoculation" via a course the Army calls Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE. The school provides a realistic setting for soldiers to learn how to live off the land if they are cut off from friendly forces. Students also learn how to evade the enemy and escape if hunted down and finally how to resist if captured, imprisoned and tortured.
Much of the school's training is classified. But Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant credits the training for helping him survive 10 days in captivity in 1993 when the Black Hawk helicopter he was piloting was shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia.
To prepare commandos who are at high risk of capture, the course includes sleep deprivation and food deprivation -- severe enough that, over the course of survival school, a student typically drops 15 pounds.

The article has photos of guys eating worms and being taken prisoner. The last photo breaks my heart.

I can hardly bear the thought of someone hurting my husband, even in training. This is going to be a long three weeks for my heart...and his poor body.

He got out of the car and loaded himself up with at least 50 lbs of gear. And as I looked at him, "three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: 'You're so cool. You're so cool. You're so cool.'"

It was harder for me to let him go this morning than it was last year when he deployed.

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February 15, 2009


Yesterday I had to work at a demonstration of various science kits you can buy at the store. I was kinda dreading it because it was going to be a huge mess, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Most kids just wanted to get their hands dirty and sticky. But one family made it totally worthwhile.

A mother and two sons showed up specifically for the science demonstration. I was just getting to the end of mixing "quicksand": cornstarch and water. I filled the pan and showed the older boy (probably 9 years old) how your hand sinks in and it's hard to pull out. The boy looked at me and said, "Well, that's neat, but what's the science behind it?" Awesome. So I pulled out the paperwork that came with the kit, and we had a discussion of non-Newtonian fluids and the Law of Viscosity. And then we demonstrated together how the viscosity could be changed by applying pressure. He learned some science, and heck, so did I!

When I start to despair for the world, I am going to remember that kid and how I am sure there are others like him out there, kids who will be the pillars of our society in the future.

I needed to meet that boy. I'm glad I did.

And I am also glad that I have a monkey's job where I get to learn about non-Newtonian fluids.

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Last night the husband and I watched the movie Baby Mama. We had thought about seeing it for a long time but we weren't sure if it would make us laugh or make us depressed. It turns out that it made me laugh until about the last ten minutes. Then I hated it, choked back tears, and wanted to strangle someone.

Spoiler alert: I am gonna talk about the end of this movie.

So here's how I thought the movie should end: Tina Fey meets Greg Kinnear's 12-year-old daughter and realizes that she can be happy just being a mother figure to this young girl, while also being in Stefani's life (ha, hilarious name choice, by the way.)

Instead, they made her have a whoopsie pregnancy.

Oh hey look, infertility is all about happy endings! She was trying so hard to have the surrogate baby that she didn't realize she'd gotten pregnant by the man of her dreams. And no miscarriage or nothin', she just had smooth sailing and the fairy tale ending of her own.

I hated that ending. God, I hated it.

After the movie, the husband and I were talking about the folk wisdom that once you adopt/give up/relax, you'll have a baby. Everyone has a story about someone they know who had that miracle pregnancy after they had exhausted all hope. Well, you know what? I know a couple, friends of my parents. Here's their story: They tried and tried and did every fertility test and treatment known to man, and then they gave up and relaxed...and never ever had a baby in their entire lives. No one ever tells that story, do they? No one ever says: I know this couple, they adopted a girl from China, and they never ever got pregnant with a child of their own, isn't that wild?

But Tina Fey got her one-in-a-million baby in the end. I think that makes a mockery of people's real struggles to have children.

I liked so much about this movie, but the end soured it for me. I much prefer the end of Raising Arizona. It makes me cry too, but in a much better way.

It reminds me to try to hang on to hope...when I have been feeling pretty hopeless lately.

Posted by Sarah at 11:22 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

February 14, 2009


I can't believe it's been five years since my husband left for Iraq the first time. What a Valentine's Day that was.

We're not much for celebrating the 14th, but there are two things we do every year.

One, we sing this.
Two, we watch this.

Happy Valentine's Day, husband. I still choo-choo-choose you.


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February 13, 2009


You know that 1% retail gain in January? I think that was my husband and I. Since my husband is having two deployment years in a row, and since the stock market is in the toilet, there's no sense in hiding money in Roths or TSP. So we've been spending it like it's going out of style. My husband got a bunch of stuff that he needs for SERE and for the next deployment (He's an "operator" now, which apparently means he needs a bunch of stuff that the Army won't provide.) I decided to live in the now by doing two things I've wanted to do for a while: I bought an elliptical machine to make good on my promise to start exercising, and I bought a plane ticket to go visit CaliValleyGirl and finally meet her baby.

Spending is kinda fun; no wonder other people do it so often.


I said to my husband, "Oh, I also should've put that we paid off our car." And he joked in a cartoonish announcer voice, "Freeing up capital for someone else!" Heh. We're doing what we can to help the ecominy.

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Sis B wrote a great post about not opening Dover up to the press. She wrote it after having an email discussion with Dave, in which he said:

But with respect to you and to the father (whose piece I did read), I think we have gone far too far in making war "yours" and not far enough in showing how it is "ours." Soldiers in uniform fight and sacrifice for all of us, and when they die, they have died for all of us. They have died for us whether we're honest enough to face it or not.

This can't be allowed to be exclusively a burden for the friends and families directly affected. Down that road lives the casual, lazy, flag-waving, yellow-ribbon-on-the-SUV form of war, the kind of war that's always someone else's problem and abstracted from most people's daily life, as if it's a cable channel we can choose to watch or ignore.

In her blog post, Sis B followed Dave's thoughts with this:

I would love for the burden of these wars to not be carried by us and us alone. I get pissed at the yellow magnet status symbols attached to the bumpers of cars owned by people who forget what Memorial Day means. I'm just really not sure how to bring the realities of all of this home to those who don't care. [...]

I suppose I would feel differently about the coffin photos if the general American public truly cared about our servicemembers and our families the rest of the time. If they paid attention to the news. If they could locate Iraq or Afghanistan or Iran or in some cases, the United States, on a map. But most of them can't and they don't, and quite frankly, I don't want to be made to share with them something as sacred as our fallen warriors coming home.

Sis B did a 180 on her feelings about whether or not the public should have access to the coffins. In reading this exchange, I was reminded that I have done a 180 in how I want the rest of the country to feel about us being at war.

Though I have never been as fervent as many of my fellow milspouses, I too used to lament that the rest of the country isn't behind the war effort. I thought it sure would be nice to live in the time of war bonds and rubber drives and maximum societal giving-a-crap. I wanted a new Why We Fight. I wanted people to care more about Iraq than American Idol, and I rued the fact that people didn't ask my husband about his deployment and that I often had to field asinine questions. I thought the grass was greener when everyone thought of the war as "ours."

Until I read Liberal Fascism.

The most shocking and heart-stopping chapter of this book, for me, was the chapter on Woodrow Wilson, specifically the section "Wilson's Fascist Police State" (pg 106). That changed everything for me, truly. I saw what happened when giving-a-crap became a top-down effort instead of a grassroots one. And I saw that most of what I had thought was sincere patriotism and caring about the war was actually manipulation and fearmongering by the Wilson administration and government agencies.

Sorry for the extensive quoting, but there are too many fascinating things in this chapter. Quotes such as:

More important than socializing industry was nationalizing the people for the war effort. "Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way, " Wilson threatened in June 1917. Harking back to his belief that "leaders of men" must manipulate the passions of the masses, he approved and supervised one of the first truly Orwellian propaganda efforts in Western history (109).

One of [George Creel, the head of the Committee on Public Information]'s greatest ideas [...] was the creation of an army of nearly a hundred thousand "Four Minute Men." Each was equipped and trained by the CPI to deliver a four-minute speech at town meetings, in restaurants, in theaters -- anyplace they could get an audience -- to spread the word that the "very future of democracy" was at stake (110).

[Clarence Darrow said], "Any man who refuses to back the President in this crisis is worse than a traitor." Darrow's expert legal opinion, it may surprise modern liberals to know, was that once Congress had decided on war, the right to question that decision evaporated entirely [...]. Once the bullets fly, citizens lose the right to even discuss the issue, publicly or privately; "acquiescence on the part of the citizen becomes a duty" (111).

But nothing that happened under the mad reign of Joe McCarthy remotely compares with what Wilson and his fellow progressives foisted on America. Under the Espionage Act of June 1917 and the Sedition Act of May 1918, any criticism of the government, even in your own home, could earn you a prison sentence [...]. In Wisconsin a state official got two and a half years for criticizing a Red Cross fund-raising drive. A Hollywood producer received a ten year stint in jail for making a film that depicted British troops committing atrocities during the American Revolution. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn't want to buy Liberty Bonds (114).

Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but it has been estimated that some 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another. All were punished, many went to jail (117).

In 1919, at a Victory Loan pageant, a man refused to stand for the national anthem. When "The Star-Spangled Banner" ended, a furious sailor shot the "disloyal" man three times in the back. When the man fell, the Washington Post reported, "the crowd burst into cheering and handclapping." Another man who refused to rise for the national anthem at a baseball game was beaten by the fans in the bleachers. In February 1919 a jury in Hammond, Indiana, took two minutes to acquit a man who had murdered an immigrant for yelling, "To Hell with the United States" (116).

The rationing and price-fixing of the "economic dictatorship" required Americans to make great sacrifices, including the various "meatless" and "wheatless" days common to all of the industrialized war economies in the first half of the twentieth century. [...] Americans were deluged with patriotic volunteers knocking on their doors to sign this pledge or that oath not only to be patriotic but to abstain from this or that "luxury." [...] "Supper, " [Herbert Hoover] complained, "is one of the worst pieces of extravagance that we have in this country."

And I could go on and on. That chapter blew my mind. The things that were done in the name of patriotism or supporting the war effort were incredible and, yes, fascistic. People cared about WWI at the point of a gun or under fear of retribution from their neighbors or government. I simply do not want to live in that kind of society.

After having read that book, I have completely changed my mind about how I previously faulted President Bush for not making the case to get the public behind the war effort. I am proud to live in a country where you're allowed to not give a hoot about the war. I'm glad there aren't organized men checking to make sure we all have that yellow ribbon on our SUVs, because then it loses all meaning. I'd rather have some airheaded people casually slap on on their own car than make it a question of your patriotism not to have one. Or get beaten at a baseball game for not having one.

I asked my husband about this, and he said that he doesn't want any tickertape parades or any recognition of any kind. If anything, he said, he'd simply like for Americans to recognize the progress that Iraq has made, not anything he's done.

I no longer worry one ounce whether other Americans think about the troops; I just relish the fact that they have the right and the freedom to not give a darn. And I think of the American Revolution and how a few men stood together and changed the entire course of human history, while everyone around them thought it would be easier to just stay British.

Let Americans watch their Rock of Love; my husband will do his job regardless. And if that means his death, he would give his life for his principles and his country whether anyone noticed or not.

Posted by Sarah at 11:35 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack


At least we're doing something. What a hollow statement. We don't have any idea if it will work, but at least we look like we care about the problem.

Seriously, everything coming out of DC these days sounds like it could've been dialogue from Atlas Shrugged.

And the Wesley Mouches of the world waste our money...

(via David)

Posted by Sarah at 05:16 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Yes, the timestamp on this entry is correct. I've developed a terrible new habit: I wake up every night around 4 AM to fret. I have been awake for an hour now, so stressed out that I don't know whether to cry or throw up.

My husband leaves for SERE school on Monday. A few days later, I will find out whether I am pregnant. If I am, I won't be able to tell him for two and a half weeks. But the more likely scenario, obviously, is that I am not, in which case I will have to do the next fertility round by myself a day or two before he gets home. Thus, I will have to pick up my husband from SERE and drive him straight home for babymaking. The thought of forcing the situation the day he finishes being beaten and starved makes me sick to my stomach...but so does the thought of skipping a cycle when we have precious few left.

So I lie in bed fretting and stressing every single night. I'm back at the Choose Your Own Adventure stage.

Posted by Sarah at 04:49 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 12, 2009


I am going to do short book reviews on everything I read this year during The George Bush 2009 Reading Challenge, but I couldn't wait to discuss this one. I read the book Infertility Sucks, and it is hilarious. Even though I haven't had to do IVF (yet), I could relate to everything in this book. And I have to quote you my favorite part:

Mr. and Mrs. Lifesabich, this is obviously not working out for you. Have you tried prenatal vitamins, valerian root, baby aspirin, changing doctors, standing on your head after sex, standing on your head during sex, exercising, not exercising, praying, having sex on Friday nights, trying a doctor in New York, trying a doctor in Colorado, increasing your medication doses and wearing boxer shorts?
Good, very good. Keep up the good work. Stay optimistic. Keep communicating with each other. Keep up on the latest research. Get to the pharmacy on time. Make sure your health insurance is up to date. Don't miss any doctor's appointments, even on the weekends. Make sure you've had all the necessary tests. Try not to miss too much work; you need to save up those parental leave days, just in case. And above all, don't forget to relax. That's very important.


And in googling for the book link, I came across a funny list of what not to say. I was just thinking about this yesterday when I remembered that I forgot to mention someone on my post of people I'm grateful to have in my infertile life. A girl I know here in town went through fertility treatments unsuccessfully a few years ago. She always asks how I'm doing and listens to me talk, and she never comments. Nothing optimistic, nothing pessimistic. She just says, "I know, girl, I know." Once she explained that she purposely doesn't say anything because she hated every single thing that every other person said to her during the process. So she just says nothing. I respect and appreciate that.

There's some decent advice in the comments on this blog post for what to say if you have a friend who's struggling to have a baby. But I recommend buying this book! As long as your friend is a little irreverent, she will love this book.

And I thank my dear friend for recommending it to me.

Posted by Sarah at 03:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 11, 2009


A friend sent me this article -- U.S., France discuss Afghan war, avoid troops issue -- and told me to pay special attention to the last paragraph.

I dare you not to laugh when you read it.

[French Defense Minister] Morin has repeatedly said there are no plans to add to France's 2,800 soldiers [in Afghanistan], which make it the fourth-largest contributor to the operation after the United States, Britain and Germany.

"France's effort counts for more than just the number of men on the ground, first of all because they are better than the others," Morin said at a joint news conference with Petraeus after their meeting.


Now is the time to quote Jed Babbin:

Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind.

OMG, how absolutely French is that?

I sure as shootin' hope he didn't include American soldiers in the "others" that the French are better than.

Hahaha. Oh France, you make my sides hurt.

Posted by Sarah at 04:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

February 10, 2009


The fun thing about knitting for bloggers is that you have these inside jokes based on their blogs that you can incorporate into the project.

Thus Sis B's Crush got this little sweater, based on her armadillo post.


And Green's baby got this blanket because...well, her blog name is Green.


But I do have a knitting complaint to air. It is problematic for us knitters when you pregnant people don't find out the sex of your babies! I have a friend who is pregnant right now, and they don't plan to find out if it's a boy or a girl. I was working on something for them the other day when my husband said, "Um, I hope they have a girl." I thought I had picked colors that would go both ways, but my husband assured me that I had not. I had to start all over.

A couple years ago, I took my chances and made a blue sweater for a friend. In the end, she had a girl. Whoops.

We knitters need some direction. It's hard knitting for a question-mark baby.

Posted by Sarah at 11:26 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


Amritas pointed me in the direction of the latest Newsweek cover.


And the corresponding article:

We Are All Socialists Now:
In many ways our economy already resembles a European one. As boomers age and spending grows, we will become even more French.

Sweet Jesus. We're doooooomed.

The article blames the whole thing on George Bush, and trust me, I think he deserves some blame here for his obscene spending problems. But the article was a little too triumphant about laying the blame at Bush's feet and washing Obama's hands of any culpability.

Nestled in this article is a little gem:

Polls show that Americans don't trust government and still don't want big government. They do, however, want what government delivers, like health care and national defense and, now, protections from banking and housing failure.

Oy. We're boned.

Posted by Sarah at 08:38 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 09, 2009


As I was working today, I thought back to another quote from that Wal-Mart article that resonated with me:

As I patrolled the aisles, repositioning misplaced items and filling gaps in the shelves, I realized that Wal-Mart "guests" really are like guests. They are visitors who move things around and create a mess before they go home. Cleaning up after them was not very different from doing housework.

I've never been one to shove items where they don't belong, but now that it's my job to un-shove, I am even more diligent about it while shopping at other stores. I make sure to take unwanted items right back where I found them.

I spend a lot of my time putting stuff where it belongs. It never ceases to amaze me that I can almost hear a shopper's inner monologue: "I want to buy this purple yarn...(walks around the corner)...No, wait, I want this purple yarn...I'll just shove the three balls of other purple here, whatever." I am constantly pulling purple out of green and green out of orange, all day long. And taking cake decorating and beading supplies back to their own parts of the store.

It's ridiculous how many people just drop stuff wherever they are in the store.

Oh, and also how I spent two hours of my Christmas Eve making a pirate ship that was manhandled and destroyed within days of putting it on the shelf.

Posted by Sarah at 05:13 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Charles Platt Goes Undercover At Wal-Mart

Interesting article about working at Wal-Mart. And this paragraph:

[An employee] was invited to corporate HQ as a guest at a management conference. "It was totally different from what I expected," he told us. "I thought it would be these fatcats talking about money, but no one even mentioned money. All they cared about was finding new ways to satisfy customers. I met everyone including the chairman of the company."

reminded me of this quote from the movie Sabrina, which I blogged about some months ago:

What's money got to do with it? If making money were all there was to business, it'd hardly be worthwhile going to the office. Money is a by-product.

And this thought bears repeating:

To my mind, the real scandal is not that a large corporation doesn't pay people more. The scandal is that so many people have so little economic value. Despite (or because of) a free public school system, millions of teenagers enter the work force without marketable skills.

(Thanks, David.)


David Foster wanted to post a comment, but neither of us can figure out why it's getting rejected. So I'm just gonna stick it here:

I agree that there should be more emphasis on vocational education...but we need to be realistic that as things are, people without college degrees may do very well for a while but are eventually likely to see their progress halted by lack of the piece of paper. For instance, someone might learn to operate and program CNC machine tools and make a very good living doing so. He might even be promoted to department foreman. BUT, when it comes time to pick a new plant General Manager, the job will almost certainly go to someone with a college degree.

The education cartel exercises such a dominant influence on our society that it is hard to see how we can ever force it to relax its grip.

Posted by Sarah at 08:17 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

February 07, 2009


I didn't see Jay Nordlinger's My Kingdom For a Safe Zone when it came out, but I just saw that Varifrank linked to it. The stories are all too familiar, but the very last one is just abominable.

My personal philosophy is to always assume that I'm surrounded by Democrats. I never assume that someone agrees with me until I have it 100% confirmed, on his initiative. And even then, I am quite reluctant to go the full nine yards.

Only once have I heard a conservative make me uncomfortable in public like this. I was at my knitting group and a woman stopped by to see what we were doing. We told her we knit for preemies, and she remarked that she couldn't believe how tiny the little caps are. And then she said, "These babies can be born so small and still survive, and that's why I am pro-life." She continued talking for several seconds about abortion, and my eyes were like saucers. I am screaming in my head, "What are you doing, lady? Why do you assume that people want to have this conversation in the middle of a yarn store? Don't you realize you're being confrontational and controversial?" I found it horrifying, in the exact same way as when random tourists on the Vegas monorail blab on about Bush.

Despite the fact that I was sitting with a group of elderly women who knit for charity, I have never assumed that they are conservative or pro-life. I always assume that they disagree with me and that I should keep my mouth shut.

Sadly, these clods Nordlinger's readers wrote about haven't gotten the hint.

Posted by Sarah at 09:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

February 06, 2009


Tom Coburn was on fire this week:

We are going to spend $448 million to build the Department of Homeland Security a new building. We have $1.3 trillion worth of empty buildings right now, and because it has been blocked in Congress we can't sell them, we can't raze them, we can't do anything, but we are going to spend money on a new building here in Washington. We are going to spend another $248 million for new furniture for that building; a quarter of a billion dollars for new furniture. What about the furniture the Department of Homeland Security has now? These are tough times. Should we be buying new furniture? How about using what we have? That is what a family would do. They would use what they have. They wouldn't go out and spend $248 million on furniture.

He rants about all the stupid crap that's in the stimulus bill. Another little funny line:

We have $75 million for smoking cessation activities, which probably is a great idea, but we just passed a bill—the SCHIP bill—that we need to get 21 million more Americans smoking to be able to pay for that bill. That doesn't make sense.

Seriously, read the whole thing. And feel your head explode.


See also 50 De-Stimulating Facts.

Posted by Sarah at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


I grew up in a state that didn't require vehicle inspections. This is a new and highly annoying process for me. I just sat for an hour and a half so they could tell me that my three year old car isn't a safety or environmental hazard. What a surprise. And I got to pay $30 for the pleasure...and I go back on Monday with our other car.

All that waiting was giving me flashbacks to the emergency room last Friday. There was one story I haven't yet told from that night.

I decided to go to the emergency room because it was a Friday night. If it had been any other day of the week, I would've waited it out and called the next day for advice. But since I already had the procedure booked and needed to know if I should continue with the meds or stop, and since I know someone who nearly died from Clomid complications, I decided to play it safe.

It's darn near impossible not to eavesdrop on other people in the emergency room. All that separates you is a curtain, so all night long my husband and I were also privy to the medical business of the patient next to us. I am not going to reveal any details, but their presence was baffling and a tad infuriating.

The gist is that the daughter had a chronic problem that had been happening for months. The parents were separated and the mother was "too lazy" to make the kid an appointment. The dad said that he works here in the hospital and had asked colleagues about his daughter's problem, but since it persisted, they wanted to have it checked out.

On a Friday night. In the ER.

There was no emergency, no sudden change in her condition that made them feel that treatment was necessary, nothing like that. This dad just brought his three kids in to spend the night in the ER. My husband and I were there for eight hours, until 5 AM, and this family had arrived before us and was still there when we left.

That is not an emergency.

This family was clogging up the ER and making me and, more importantly, other people with more pressing problems wait longer. They were sapping resources. If you work in the hospital, can't you find the time to make an appointment for your daughter? Why are you taking care of a child's chronic health problem in the middle of the night on a Friday?

Because you don't have to pay anything either way, that's why.

Why make a regular doctor's appointment during the week, and have to ask for time off work and take the kid out of school, when you could just bring everyone to camp out in the ER all night. There is no cost difference, so it's just easier to do it off hours.

No wonder it took me so long to be seen. And I feel even worse for the guy with the gall stones; he really would've liked to have been treated faster.

I am sure that this family isn't the only one of its kind. They bog down the system for all of us. A problem that's been going on for three months is not something that requires ER care on a weekend. Make a normal appointment and free up that ER doctor for someone who really needs him.

Posted by Sarah at 12:03 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 05, 2009


My buddy at Daily Koan found an awesome aerial photo of Obama's inauguration.

Posted by Sarah at 04:49 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


I was joking with Amritas and David the other day that I have found the secret to workplace productivity: Hire people who don't need the money and then tell them that they can go home when they finish all their work.

My managers wanted me to stay on at the store so badly that they offered me whatever I want...except money. I said I would stay on if I could work one day a week and only do things that are fun. Amazingly, they agreed.

There were some parts of my job that I really liked, like organizing the yarn section. I love doing that; I would do it for free. I like to see how quickly I can do it. On Monday, I shelved all the new yarn in 24 minutes. I was sweating and puffing by the end.

And, absurdly enough, I have grown fond of making those foam houses. Now that I have several of them under my belt, I automatically know what will and won't work, and I just glue-gun the hell out of it and go to town. (I made an Easter castle today, and I was just thrilled that it didn't have any butterflies on it. They are the worst.)

So I am staying on to work one day a week, sorting yarn and doing crafts. And I go home when I'm done with my tasks. I'm cool with that.

Posted by Sarah at 01:43 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


David from Rishon Rishon sent me a link to a Michael Totten post called A Minority Report From the West Bank and Gaza. I thought the most interesting part was the Q&A session. Excerpt:

General Tom McInerney, Fox News Military Analyst: Is there a solution to this problem?

Khaled Abu Toameh: You Americans are always asking us that. Why are Americans always asking me if there is a solution? A solution to what?

Michael J. Totten: The whole thing.

Khaled Abu Toameh: What is the whole thing?

Anthony Cordesman: Is there anything useful that could be done this year?

Khaled Abu Toameh: Listen. Look. We must stop dreaming about the New Middle East and coexistence and harmony and turning this area into Hong Kong and Singapore. If anyone thinks a Palestinian will wake up in the morning and sing the Israeli national anthem, that's not going to happen. If anyone thinks an Israeli Jew will go back to doing his shopping in downtown Ramallah or to see his dentist in Bethlehem or eat fish in Gaza City, that's not going to happen. There has been a total divorce between Jews and Palestinians. We don't want to see each other.

I think that's good. Separation is good. Separation doesn't need harmony and coexistence. Forget about that. That's not going to happen. Let's focus on managing the conflict. Instead of talking about real peace, let's first of all try to stop the violence, reduce the level of bloodshed, and maybe that will pave the way for future peace. The only solution now is total separation between these two communities. Israel should not be involved in the internal affairs of the Palestinians, but at the same time Israel has the right to look after its own security. They should disengage from the Palestinians completely and tell them, “Listen, folks. Don't mess around with us anymore. We're going to strike back if you fire rockets at us. And if you want to have Hamas, Fatah, or whomever, go and do it over there without our help.” That's the only way. I don't see a real peace emerging over here. We should stop talking about it.

The whole thing is definitely worth reading. And it reminds me that the husband and I were talking about donating money to Totten a while back...gotta do that.

Posted by Sarah at 01:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


From John Stossel's We Can't Spend Our Way to Prosperity:

We should be suspicious when politicians, economists and the media declare a "consensus" and marginalize dissent. President Obama says, "There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy."

That's not true. Last week, the Cato Institute ran a full-page newspaper ad signed by more than 200 economists, including Nobel laureates stating:

"We the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's 'lost decade' in the 1990s ... Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth."

Doesn't that sound remarkably like global warming? There's no debate, everyone agrees, blahdy blah, and meanwhile the peanut gallery is saying that actually they don't agree.

My father is fond of saying, "Don't cloud up the issue with the facts." How fitting.

Posted by Sarah at 08:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Jonah Goldberg, Democrats are hypocrites when it comes to paying taxes:

When moralizing conservatives get caught, say, cheating on their wives or challenging stall mates to robust Greco-Roman wrestling in airport bathrooms, liberals justifiably howl at the hypocrisy of it all (even though conservative moralizing has no teeth, while the IRS has agents with guns). When liberals fail to pay taxes -- the wellspring of a just society -- it's merely, to borrow an old phrase from Daschle, "sad and disappointing," but ultimately not that big a deal.

When he was still running the Democratic Party, Howard Dean made fighting hypocrisy his top priority. "Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings."

Well, I hear a lot of lecturing from Democrats about why I should be ashamed for not liking taxes more because "the children" need it.

John Eberhard, The Liberal Mind, Part 1:

“An extensive survey by the Pew Research Center found that three out of four Republicans believe that people can get ahead by working hard. Four out of five believe that everyone has the power to succeed. But Democrats have much less faith in the value of hard work. Only 14 percent believe that people can get ahead by working hard, according to the survey. And only 44 percent believe that everyone has the power to succeed. This is not a case of ‘rich’ Republicans believing one thing and ‘poor’ Democrats another. Even when you compare Republicans and Democrats of the same income, the gap still exists.”

“What this means is that many modern liberals believe differences in wealth are a result of dumb luck rather than hard work and a diligent attitude. It should therefore not be surprising that according to one scientific survey, liberals are two and a half times as likely to play the lottery or gamble in the hope of getting rich.”

This fact is incredible, and very revealing. 75% of Republicans believe you can get ahead by working hard, compared to 14% for Democrats. 86% of Democrats don’t believe that hard work allows you get ahead! The book also quotes many leading liberals in stating that the idea that you should work hard is “ridiculous,” a “seductive myth,” a “profoundly conservative, if not reactionary agenda,” and that the game is “rigged.”

[both links via CG]

Posted by Sarah at 08:25 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 04, 2009


The funniest Dining In story ever. (Lots of naughty language)


When I took that one year of ROTC, I couldn't attend the Dining In because I was performing in a play that weekend. Apparently I missed out on a roaring good time, because afterwards it was decreed that there would be no more alcohol served at Dining Ins in the future. The husband says it was pretty crazy.

In Dining Out news, when the husband and I were first married, they made all the wives come up and drink from the grog bowl. I thought it would be oh-so-funny to go last, and instead of taking a little sip and making a horrible face like the other wives, I wanted to grab the cup, chug the whole thing, and walk away without blinking. And I did, and it was funny...until I spent the rest of the night puking in the 3 Putt Willie's parking lot.

Posted by Sarah at 09:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Tom Elia at The New Editor:

At the dawn of the Obama Administration we have witnessed: four high-level appointees blow up over various issues, tax and otherwise (Richardson, Daschel, and Killefer get axed; Geitner stays); the appointment of at least 12 lobbyists to positions in the Administration -- in direct contradiction of campaign promises; a pork-laden economic stimulus bill without precedent in US history; and the reversal of campaign positions concerning controversial policies like rendition.

The first couple of weeks of the Obama Administration has simply reinforced my stated belief that the Obama campaign and subsequent election represents the biggest, most successful political con of my lifetime.

(via Instapundit)

And a hilarious comment from JorgXMcKie:

Democrats remind me of the old story about a baseball player-manager who pulled his right fielder from the game after the right fielder had dropped two fly balls.

The manager put himself in right field, and promptly dropped three fly balls. When he returned to the bench he yelled at the player he had replaced, "See!! You screwed it up so bad nobody can play right field."

I expect to hear this over and over and over and over and over [...] as Obama screws up over and over and over and over and over.


Posted by Sarah at 08:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 02, 2009


Julie at A Little Pregnant has a good post up about the octuplets lady. She says it all.

What I'd like to tangentially say relates to multiples. Two years ago, I would've freaked out to get pregnant with twins. I thought fertility drugs were scary and that people who risked having four to six babies were insane.

But a lot has happened inside my head in two years.

Now I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed for twins or triplets. I don't want to go through any of this ever again. I now understand the desperation people feel when they opt for riskier options. I will be thrilled if I have twins. I would prefer it to one baby.

Again, this is tangential to the octuplets lady. She is nuts.

Posted by Sarah at 06:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 01, 2009


I'm on track to beat Bush's 2008 and 2007 scores in my George Bush 2009 Reading Challenge: I've read four books in four weeks. I'm gonna make sure I keep up the pace, which I think will be easy once my husband starts leaving town all the time. Heck, maybe I could even beat Rove.

I have plenty of things on my bookshelves to keep me occupied, but I always enjoy asking people to recommend books. What are your favorites? Maybe I will add some of them to my list this year.

Posted by Sarah at 11:20 AM | Comments (23) | TrackBack