"Bagdhad?" - What is it with me and the word "Baghdad?" I can't seem to get the "h" in the right place. (See yesterday's post, which is not the only place I have misspelled it)

It's all over the news, you'd think I could get it right. And it's not a typo like the word "somehting" which you will see popping up frequently in my writing. Or "hte."

Oh, carp.
Violin - lin - lin - I woke up this morning to the screeching of strings.

Mattie has taken up the violin.

It took her about a day before she would let anyone else touch her new quarter-size string instrument. Her enthusiasm is admirable, but, having only had one lesson, the sounds are (as of yet) a bit monotonous. More accurately, they're multitonous, but repetitive.

"Mommy" I heard her asking. "Can they hear me outside."

I didn't quite catch the answer, but I'm pretty sure it was something like "Yes. Does that bother you?"

"No. I want them to hear me."

And this is our shy daughter?


A Toast - It's no secret I had (and still have) my doubts about this war. However, I'm not blind to the fact that some good can definitely come about because of it. So let me raise a toast to the demise of Saddam's control of Iraq. Good riddance.

Also, let me suggest a moment of silence for those whose lives the war has already claimed. Perhaps a thousand where were clearly Iraqi citizens, and then many more who were conscripted into Saddam's army against their will. Of course, my thoughs also go to the coalition soldiers who have died, and their families.

A momentary pause in the criticism to just step back and take in what has happened thus far. Saddam overthrown, and perhaps killed. Bagdhad taken with little effort on the part of the coalition forces. 1/3 of the death toll of the 9/11 attacks in Iraqi civilian casualties, but unconfirmed total casualties thus far. The end of deadly sanctions.


Easter Story Update - Two stories related to that Easter basket thing I posted yesterday:
Thanks, Julie for making me think to look for these preexisting stories.

Update: I can't get the permalink to the entry on PeacePassion to work, but if you want to see what Greg wrote about his visit to Wal*mart, go to PeacePassion and look under April 5, 2003.


On The Third Day He Bombed Again - I don't know if it's changed since when I was a kid, but I don't remember Easter being about blowing people up.

My father-in-law told my wife that he saw some military weapon-themed Easter baskets at Wal*mart. I had to see for myself. Still getting used to the camera that came with my phone - the picture to the left is the grainy result.

Behind that cellophane are army guys and their weapons of destruc... er, defense.

Anyone who thinks this is an anti-armed-forces post is missing the point. We're in a war and this is an Easter basket with weapons of war in it.

I'll leave to your own mind the conflict between Christ, Holy Week and war, and instead will put it to you thusly:

Imagine some Islamic celebration where (insisting they are the religion of peace) they gave replicas of SCUD missiles and armed soldiers to their children. Get the picture? Get what this says about our culture?

This stuff is dug in deep.

My father-in-law will likely write about his encounter in Wal*mart, and I'll link to it here if that happens.


Don't Make Pele Angry - Been to Hawaii? If so, you may have taken a lava rock off one of the beautiful beaches. Should it worry you that some people believe that taking a lava rock from Hawaii can cause the goddess of fire Pele to bring down bad luck on your head?

It shouldn't, but some people are seriously bothered by this possibility. They're so upset that there are even services to help return the lava rocks.

Why do the Brady Bunch leap to mind? Anyone else remember that Hawaiian trilogy?
Model Citizen - A website called My Virtual Model will assist you in creating a virtual model of your body type to assist in purchasing clothing from online retailers. The only retailer I know of which supports this model so far is Lands' End.

It looks to me like mine needs to lose a couple of pounds.
My archives are dead! - I can't seem to republish my archives. The usual Blogger tricks are no help. Darn it! I want to check something in the archives and now I can't even get to them!!!

Argh. Any other blogger users out there having the same problem?
You Have Been Volunteered - I'm busy enough that I can avoid thinking about the war most of the time now, but when it comes back into my consciousness it comes back with all the conflicting emotions of before and more. Gung-ho war proponents would probably think it weak of me, or silly, or just plain nuts to have so much inner conflict over something I'm not directly involved in.

But, the fact is, we are all involved. And for all the "good reasons" we're in theis war, and for all of the trying to prevent civilian deaths, it's still a mess. And, according to fairly conservative estimates, it's been the end of about 1,000 Iraqi civilian lives thus far.

I know I've pissed some people off expressing my feelings about the war. But less so than many others have, who have gone to an extreme in their protesting. Some have avoided the far extreme, and just gone in for the annoyance factor - stopping traffic and such. When I hear people complain about how their lives were interrupted by a traffic jam caused by a protest, is it odd for me to immediately think about the folks whose lives have been forever interrupted by this war? Innocents and combatants, on both sides? And, isn't it hard to stifle a dry, mirthless laugh when comparing the two?

If there is good to be done by this war - if the means are distasteful only until you consider the ends, then what kind of calculus are we engaging in to reach those means? Perhaps what angers me most about our government is that such a calculus was not honestly presented to us before the war. We were clearly sold a product, but it was a bit of bait and switch.

Ends and means. If my intentions are good, and I keep the ends in sight, how many people am I justified in killing to get there? If I were a doctor who was trying to cure a disease, does society find it acceptable if I choose 100,000,000 to unwittingly and/or unwillingly act as test subjects for my treatment and, in the process, kill 1,000 of them? You have been volunteered.