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September 23, 2010

Good Reads

Sorry for the lack of bloggitudinal fare of late. Your hostess journeyed far from the Land of Bedwetting Socialists, but now she is back and completely overwhelmed with work.

Fortunately, there's lots of good reading around the Blatherosphere. Darleen Click teases out the history of the Gadsden flag:

Up until 2009 the only time most of us encountered the Gadsden Flag was as a picture in our grade-school American History books. With the advent of the grass-roots tea parties in April of that year, the Gadsden Flag has made a spectacular public comeback, and launched a few controversies as the unofficial flag of the leaderless Tea Party movement.

But where did we get this powerful symbol?

If you're following the Senate horse races, John Hawkins provides one stop shopping for all your November election needs.

Over at Spousebuzz, Andi dissects the yin and yang of military life:

After reading the arguments for and against this game, I pushed the superficial discussion aside and examined why it was, exactly, that actual soldiers can be unbothered by something like this, but family members can be deeply affected by it.

Military families struggle, thrive, fight, fail and succeed as a unit, but the spouse and the service member often employ very different coping mechanisms and have opposite reactions to events which affect the military community. Namely, war. When my husband is preparing to deploy, he is very matter-of-fact regarding the tasks at hand. Things like updating living wills, wills, SGLI paperwork, POAs and the zillion other forms that must be completed before deploying are mere tasks. Check the box and move on. Paperwork. But the things contained in that haunting yellow envelope are more than papers to me. They're a prescient reminder of what could go wrong. Where he sees a piece of paper, necessary and important though it is, I see a possible death warrant. There have been times in the past when I've been all "wee-wee'd" up over some anti-military sentiment and my husband didn't give it a second thought.

I've seen this happen in reverse, too - things that don't bother me for a millisecond sometimes grate on The Unit's last nerve. All a matter of perspective.

Greyhawk looks at Afghanistan then... and now.

"Dynamite in the hands of a child is not more dangerous than a strong policy weakly carried out."

That's a quote from Winston Churchill - a man more quotable than most. You may have an image in mind of Britain's prime minister during the Second World War, a man whose long life in the political arena well-prepared him for his role. And yes, the quote is from that Winston Churchill - but then again, it isn't... that was 23-year-old Winston Churchill, opining specifically on his nation's policy on Afghanistan in 1897, but doing so with a truth on broad terms.

Maybe that's an obvious truth to twenty-somethings of any generation; then again maybe it's something some people go through life without fully grasping.

Kanani Fong on Afghanistan:

In Kunar today, girls are going to school, and women are selling handcrafts. Medical treatment is given to locals by military doctors, and they're training Afghan doctors and nurses. The ISAF has worked in Helmand to secure the local population. Bazaars are busy, schools have reopened. Contractors (unfairly painted as corrupt by the press and politicians) have delivered on sanitation, road, Wi-Fi and other projects at a fraction of the cost of USAID. Nonprofit organizations such as the La Jolla Rotary Club and MIT's Fab Lab fund schools and computer labs in Jalalabad. To media cynics, these efforts might seem small. To an Afghan, however, these efforts are huge, whether it's sending a daughter to school or simply having a child treated for burns from a cooking mishap.

Still, the Taliban has a hold on many areas; their beheadings, torture of females and forcing children to fight is documented. The murder of ten medical health workers in Badakshan by jihadi tourists in August is a reminder of the danger. Now, there's a growing political crescendo in the United States for an orderly pullout from Afghanistan. The reality is there is nothing orderly about ceding a battle to the enemy.

Finally, this is awesome:

Posted by Cassandra at September 23, 2010 06:59 AM

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that video is totally awesome

Posted by: tabitharuth at September 23, 2010 11:27 AM

Glad you enjoyed it :)

Posted by: Cassandra at September 23, 2010 11:33 AM

Izzat a weed in my fescue? Ahhh nah!

Posted by: Boquisucio at September 23, 2010 11:56 AM

*mental note: do not show that to MH....do not show that to MH....do not show that to MH!*

Yeah, right, who am I kidding! You'll pay for that, lady, oh yes, you will pay.....

Posted by: DL Sly at September 23, 2010 03:13 PM

I somehow can't imagine 0 seeing himself in that video, but I'm not a dad and can totally identify with it. "Round-Up to the rescue!"

Posted by: htom at September 23, 2010 05:15 PM

Sly, if bankruptcy is declared, all bet debts are off.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 24, 2010 01:11 PM

In your world maybe. But then I never said a word about *money*.....

Posted by: DL Sly at September 24, 2010 01:46 PM

Then, there's the flip side...


Posted by: BillT at September 24, 2010 02:25 PM


It grows on Mommy!

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 24, 2010 04:26 PM