Sunday, July 30, 2006

What's in a Promise?

So, I was listening to the news again (bad habit – just makes me angry), and I heard that the U.S. military is planning on keeping 3500 troops in Iraq past their yearlong tour. This despite the promise of the administration that soldiers would not be asked to serve in Iraq for more than a year. The reporter was oddly happy to point out that this would mean a significant increase in the numbers of overall troops in Iraq.

What happened to the plan of slowly withdrawing troops? What happened “Mission Accomplished? Hell, what happened to keeping the promises we make to the men and women who go into harms way so that we can be free to sit at home on our asses and watch reality TV? I am beginning to feel silly and a little naive and stupid even asking those questions, but I can’t seem to quit asking them. Like a scab, I just keep picking at them. What I expect of that picking, I really couldn’t say. To release the swelling pus underneath so that healing can occur? Maybe. Or maybe I just haven’t become as cynical as I thought.

Of course, no one actually came out and said that this was just one more indication of the absolutely nasty situation that Iraq is becoming. No one had to. It was clear. Like the pink elephant, we can all see it, even if many people refuse to admit that it’s dancing in the living room under all of our noses.

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I took this picture on the drive back from San Diego. Perhaps because we so rarely see them here, I find myself obsessed with clouds. We had just left a small town (Something Pine...) in CA and drove up around a hill and there this magnificent cloud formation was, just waiting to be enjoyed. It never fails to amaze me that there is so much beauty in the world. Even in the desert.

After dark, we were caught in torrential rain from early monsoons. Though it made for slow travel, we were glad to get the moisture. Tonight, it is raining outside, and I find my mind, which is so used to the dry desert and so unused to hearing rain patter on sidewalks, wandering back to the midwest. I do occasionally miss those rainy, dreery days.

I still don't miss snow and ice storms, however.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

San Diego Comicon

So, I spent the last several days in San Diego attending the world's largest comicon. It was truely awe inspiring! Bigger than anything I could possibly imagined only days before. San Diego (what little I saw outside of the Convention Center), is a beautiful, clean city that I plan to see in more detail some time in the future.

The San Diego Comicon is huge. Bigger than huge. I can't come up with the words to talk about how big this thing is. I saw more people in one place than lived in the entire town I grew up in. (No, I am not exaggerating - it was that big!) I could blog for pages about my life and times at the con, but if you are really interested in the con, there are plenty of others already doing it better than I could ever hope to.

So, I'll keep it short.

Best Costume: The really, really tall guy dressed as Supergirl.

Celeb I most wanted to meet: Gail Simone. (Thanks for signing my Birds of Prey comics!)

Celeb I most wanted to see and didn't: Kevin Smith. (We waited in line for an hour, then waited in the hall for another 2 hours, only to find out that he was stuck in traffic. Rosario Dawson is really cool though!)

Moment I most enjoyed: Watching my husband geek out after getting a photo with John Romita. (He was very friendly and gracious.)

Most painful Lesson Learned: Do not go into the Vender Hall on Saturday - it isn't worth life and limb!

Will we go again? You Bet!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flowers in the Desert

This picture was taken at the Phoenix Zoo. When we first moved to the desert, I was amazed at all the gorgeous flowers and plants that grow here. To my Midwestern eyes, it was like a tropical paradise, not the sand and scrub that I’d foolishly expected. Of course, there are times that it does begin to look like I'd imagined. During the drought this spring and early summer, we didn't get all green we had last year. 130 days of no rain and counting was a very new, and not very fun experience for me. I could easily live without all those rainless days forever!


Monday, July 17, 2006

"It's the end of the world as we know it..."

The news is so depressing and scary lately. I watch it constantly at work, and it horrifies me. While I don’t share the apocalyptic views of some of the ultra Christians I hear about on TV, I do find the Middle East situation terrifying. It makes it worse that we (Americans) can’t seem to quit mucking about in the area. Maybe the trouble in Iraq isn't part of this, but our blundering presence can't be all that helpful. Plus, we are so pushy about everything. In the same 15-minute news segment, I hear that we’re advocating two groups of “multi-nation peace-keeping troops” but at the same time making clear that we are in no way going to provide any of those troops. It strikes me as breath-taking arrogance to insist on a plan that everyone else is supposed to follow, but refusing to commit our own troops to help. What kind of bossy country are we?

I was angry to hear that our citizens were being forced to agree to pay for their evacuations from Lebanon. I believe that one of the reasons our government exists is to protect its citizens. What the hell happened to “for the people?” We can spend millions on bombs, but we can’t afford to remove our own people from dangerous situations? Since when did bombs become more important than people? What if people can't afford to pay whatever the government decides to charge?

Several Democrats went on record promising to push a bill through Congress that would change the law that caused this whole issue, but I have to wonder why it took a situation like this one before the law became a problem. Much as I would like to believe that the Democrats have the best interests of all the eveacuees at heart, I remain cynical. It seems unlikely that the chance to show up the Republicans had nothing to do with the quick response of these polititions.

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