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Today was the last day of the T-SIRT course. The graduation was as smooth as I've seen. It might have been a trifle better if anyone had told me Roll Call was moved up by fifty minutes, so Maia and I got there late.

Maia, to avoid offending anyone (which happened at Walter Reed) left her hat, with the "War is Not the Answer" and "Get US out of Vietnam Iraq" slogans in the car.

Ceremony done I changed my clothes and we went to brekkie, and did a spot of antiqueing in Paso Robles.

Then we stopped for gas, and I noticed I'd lost the gas cap the last time I got gas.


So we went across the street and got a gas cap.

While we were in line a woman came in, as the clerk was talking to Maia about the "War is Not the Answer" slogan (which is on the front) and this woman came in and got offended by the "Get US out of Vietnam Iraq" on the back. She, a bit more than muttered, "I thing that's offensive, my husband is over there defending your right to do that."

Maia commented that her fiancee was in the service and she said something to the effect of so what, she was disgusted; which was when I decided I'd had enough.

At this point she was at the other end of the store and I piped in, so she could plainly hear me, "I'm in the service, and if he's fighting to defend her right to do something then she ought to get to do it. You shouldn't be disgusted, you ought to be proud."

She, with less fervor, and the loss of her tone of offended superiority, sort of muttered, "Well I disagree."

At which point, lest I get really pissed off, I left.

It pointed out to me one of the things which offends me about that line of attack (and it's attack, not argument); the sense of being better than those with whom they disagree. Her husband is in Iraq, defending our rights, and because she's married to him she gets to put on airs when someone hurts her feelings.

Bullshit. She might get to pull the holier than thou crap if she were in the service, but even that's a stretch.

Me, I do feel proud when someone disagrees with the Gov't, no matter how I feel about the position. What they are agitating for may bother me, but if they can't agitate, then something a lot worse than what they want is happening (well, maybe the people plumping the Dominionist cause aren't worse than that, but only just).

Rights are not a zero sum game, and Maia exercising hers in no way diminishes those of the people she diasgrees with.

Like I said, she ought to be proud.

hit counter

Date: 2005-08-27 05:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well said, sir.

Speaking of Rights...

Date: 2005-08-27 07:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yesterday, I wrote an open letter to the National Commander of the American Legion. After sending it to him by post and e-mail, I forwarded copies of the letter via e-mail to several media outlets. Buzzflash replied today to let me know that it is up for all to see.

Peace and solidarity.

Re: Speaking of Rights...

Date: 2005-08-27 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for posting the link to your letter. I hope it gets the widespread readership it deserves.

Re: Speaking of Rights...

Date: 2005-08-27 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you. I hope so too.

Losing one, or even 1,000 members over this will mean nothing to the Legion, but I feel that if I can spread my views on it broadly, it might have an effect. Maybe.

Date: 2005-08-27 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*solemn nod* Very well said. I hope what you said to her made her stop and think, if only for a moment.

I have never understood the concept that we should be so grateful for the efforts of those fighting for our rights that we should thank them by not exercising said rights. Talk about doublespeak.

Date: 2005-08-27 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Our thinking is in line here.

Standing around with a sign that read "Iraq Veterans Against the War" last week, chatting the Vietnam veteran standing next to me, this topic came up in our conversation.

Almost in unison we both said words to the effect of, "When I'm talking back to my government, that's when I'm most proud to be an American."

Date: 2005-08-27 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Let me get this straight, her hubby is defending democracy, which includes thee right to dissent, and therefore, you ought not to dissent?

Who's defending logic? 'Cause clearly, they're loosing.

Date: 2005-08-27 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I defended and served for 20 years. I'm happy to see people protest, spout opinions, and the last time I saw somebody burn a flag I gave them a matchbook I found under my truck seat in case they needed to do it again. If nobody is allowed to exercise these freedoms because we have them, then we don't have them.

I salute you and Mia, Terry. You are exactly right.

Date: 2005-08-27 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ok, let me see if I got this straight. The president et. al. work for us. We decide, collectively, who gets the job. We pay his salary, and those of everyone else in the administration, we pay to house him, feed him, transport him, and cover his security. But we don't get any oversight on how he does his job? Any say in how he uses the various parts of the government he's allowed to control, including the armed forces? We're supposed to support the troops, but that can't include finding fault with their medical treatment, armament, equipment, supply, deployment, or anything else involved?
Why? Because this is a totalitarian regime? Or because people feel like it might not be "nice" to make waves? Criticism of the government is what keeps it honest. That includes the way it uses our fellow-citizens (mostly) in the armed forces, who ought to be able to count on us to scream on their behalf where they're badly-equipped, given inadequate compensation, insufficient medical treatment, or stupid, destructive orders that do not result in making us (or them) any safer than we were to begin with. Supporting the troops ought to mean a bit more than a yellow magnetic ribbon on the SUV, and mailing a package of stale cookies.

A local police department just finished a fund-raiser where proceeds were used to buy, among other things, the mirrors used to check the undersides of vehicles for bombs. You'd think that was a small enough item the DoD would manage to scrape up some. But apparently so much cash has been diverted to KBR that the 101st Airborne Division requires assistance from its civilian neighbors for procurement.

Verbing weirds nouns

Date: 2005-08-27 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"...and did a spot of antiqueing in Paso Robles."

Do you have before and after photos of the bits of Paso Robles you antiqued?

Re: Verbing weirds nouns

Date: 2005-08-27 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If Mendoza can do it in Connecticut, I can do it in Calif. (we just watched that episode of WW).


Date: 2005-08-27 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good for you!

Date: 2005-08-28 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe it's just an outgrowth of being Old and Cranky, but I both think and feel that it's the _responsibility_ of American citizens to Speak Out when they believe that the people they have (collectively) hired to run the operations of the Government are doing something that is morally or practically wrong. Yes, I think we've done so many things so extremely wrong in Iraq that the problem is impossible to solve, but I'm reasonably sure that doing more of the same is about the least-acceptable (or sane) course.

Date: 2005-08-29 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

At this point she was at the other end of the store and I piped in, so she could plainly hear me, "I'm in the service, and if he's fighting to defend her right to do something then she ought to get to do it. You shouldn't be disgusted, you ought to be proud."

Yes! I second that one.

Added you to the flist, as you can see..


Protestors and the like

Date: 2005-08-30 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha, Maia still wearing that hat? Buy her a new one Terry.

I see a protest every Friday at the corner of my hangout. This is what I see:

A flag of "Che Guevara" black ink, with red a background, very fashionable and innapropriate (lest we forget he was a shooter). A flag of the United Nations being waved by an idiot savant who will not talk or have an intelligent conversation (New World Order Conspiracies any one?). Photographs of Jewish and American equipment bulldozing Palestinian housing (more conspiracies). Signs of "Support the Troops". Funny, when I ask them how many care packages they've sent or how many letter of support they've written I hear "none". There is this new guy now, with a conspiracy link about how we manufactured 9/11.

There is this guy who wears a fake kevlar helmet who is a communist, with his girlfriend, ovbiously some Aztlan psycho. He also waves a red flag, spewing insults and canned slogans.

You guys are insane, making an issue out of nothing. And you Terry, pathetic for even bringing this up. Just as Maia has the right to express her emotions and beliefs with her bumper stickers and anti-war stance, that lady had the right to say it offended her. She is probably scared and preoccupied about her husband's safety, and probably tired of listening to whinny little pricks talking crap, pretending to support the troops while badmouthing the effort. She did not start chanting and screaming insults at you. Unlike some other people I see on Fridays. The only reason people support the troops now is because they acted like freaking maniacs during Vietnam, spitting and insulting returning vets, and it is not politically correct to do so now.

I believe and respect dissent. You can tell by my tattoos. But I believe in action more than words. All these protesters just remind me of washed out punks and anarchist, spewing slogans and wearing band shirts. All stance and pose, all yelling and acting enraged, no action. If you people are so pissed of at the fascist state, organize, train and act. No more words. No more honking and annoying. Just because you have an opinion, does not mean you have to force feed it to everybody. Act. Act. Act.

Granted that Terry can post whatever he likes, it is his blog, it is his opinion, it is his life. But outside the blog, there is the real world, and it affects everybody. In the real world, Terry is a soldier, a killer, a puppet of the regime, just like me.

Last week, I met a sergeant who went to the coffehouse I hang out at. He lost his legs in a M1A1 (big, expensive tank) after it ran over an IED. He was on convalescent leave from Texas. Now there is somebody with a real reason to be mad. Some honest chance to be pissed off. But no, he was an adult and understood his commitment and what he promised to do for his country. He did not break the law, he did not abuse prisoners, he did his job like he was told and that is what he got for being a man of his word. It broke my heart seeing all the metal parts on him. But I respect him. And I will do anything in my power to help him out.

Being a protestor is romantic nowadays. Standing in the corner, yelling about how evil the elected president is seems to be a national pastime. He lied. He lied. Oh… my goodness he lied.

Get over it. All politicians lie. All of them. You think this is a democracy? It is not. You think our elected officials fight for our welfare? Only when it coincides with their platform. Sorry fellas, but Jello Biafra is right. This is a Corporate Dictatorship and we are the pawns.

So continue to scream, yell and throw hissy fits. If you think you make a difference, knock yourself out, but it is futile and it is pathetic. Continue with the romance of protest, thinking you mean anything to anybody. Continue going to your social meetings, promoting feminism and illegal immigration and all that is good, it makes no difference to the corporate sponsors you support.

Fight War Not Wars (or hang out in the corner and pout).


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