Earthquake.

They say tornadoes sound like a giant freight train. Or a massive swarm of bees. A loud, vocal warning of highly destructive power. Hurricanes lash out, pulverize towns like a garbage disposal, washing lives down the drain with a flood of water. A funnel drops from an ominous, boiling cloud, but there are signs before it carves its deadly path into the earth; the uptake of vapor into the greedy storm cell, the unease in the atmosphere. We can study the sky, watch for the hints that earth has decided to declare war on humanity once again, and then, marshal our forces against nature...or retreat.

We are given a choice in our destiny.

I didn't get that choice. My son, my newborn daughter, they didn't get a choice. The hundreds of thousands of Japanese who now are missing their lives, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, villages, they didn't get a choice. The earth buckled under our feet and there was nowhere to run to.

It's a funny thing, an earthquake. Certain things, things like a blue sky and snow in winter and gravity, aren't certain anymore. The universe laughs at our assumptions. Solids stay solid, liquids stay in oceans and we move the earth. The earth does not move us. The earthquake, an earthquake, leaves us shaken, cracked, battered. Faced with the truth of our flawed world, exposed and raw.

Truth is ugly. There is nothing uglier than the truth that you are alive, and someone else is dead. Your beautiful daughter will grow up and change the world, but someone else's beautiful daughter will not, and somehow, the world spins on and on and on.

I know much of Japan's story is written with shock, horror, and fear. But the beginning of this tale does not have to end the way it began. We can still reach out and take back some of the certainty, the control the earth stole from us that day. You can change the ending of this story, erase the words that the cruel winter weather has already begun to etch in the frost blanketing northern Japan. Please take the time to donate to the Red Cross. We cannot just sit back and let earth collect more casualties. Help save the children who survived.

Someday, they might be our salvation.

9-11-01, LTCDR Eric Cranford Died a Senseless & Unforgivable Death.

09.11.01.

"Something happened. Something has gone into the World Trade Center. Oh my god!" the newswoman sobbed, her rational monotone cracking into the foreign squeak of a terrified little girl.

I blank after that, a gray fuzz of pain and fury cloaking my brave new world.

More 9-11 memories and LTCDR Cranford's story-->>

I'm a Blogging Ninja...

and a drive-by tweeter. I would apologize to my lovely tweeps and blog readers about my wayward propensities, and promise to never stray again, but we all know that I'm dirty, low-down, no-good, procrastinator.

It will probably happen again.

More-->>

Redeemed: This Blog's Journey

Once, long, long ago, there was a silly little soldier who liked to argue about politics, her hair, and whatever else lit the fire under her own personal hot air balloon. She annoyed the piss out of her co-workers, her family, her friends, and even the occasional boyfriend (when she wasn't busy finding a new one). One day, she was bumming around on Google, and stumbled across this novel idea known as the Blog.

Read the full story of how I made my internet fortune-->>

Gun Control Watch: Is 18 Too Young?

The rights of citizens under 21 are yet again under attack by over-zealous lawmakers, this time under the guise of child gun safety. H.R. 257, currently under review in the House, seeks to adjust current legislative language intended to prevent minors' access to firearms by "by striking `juvenile' and inserting `person who is less than 21 years of age,'" increasing restrictions on gun sales, and stiffening penalties for those who sell or provide guns to anyone under 21.

While the concept is a noble one, the fact remains that citizens who have the right to vote, pay taxes, and serve in the military should have the right to drink responsibly and protect themselves with a personal handgun or rifle if they so choose.


Image of Sheila Jackson-Lee
Image via Wikipedia



The bill is being sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D) of Texas.

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Should Women Be Drafted?

[From a debate titled: "Should women be forced to serve if a country imposes a military draft?"]

No.


The military draft is a highly debated and hotly protested subject in a country whose military strength relies on a strictly volunteer force. In our culture of fierce individualism and self government, the right to choose what we will do with our bodies and our lives is an essential, tightly held principle. The very concept of a draft grates on the freedom we hold dear, yet, we know that in extreme circumstances where a threat to our security and our way of life cannot be dealt with our current military, a draft maybe a necessary measure, if not the only way, to secure our future. Traditionally, a military draft consists of all eligible young male citizens of a country being called to serve. However, due to our current culture of gender equality and equal standing of men and women in our society, a pressing question has arose. If a draft were invoked, should our young women be required to serve as well?

Women have the same citizenship rights as any man, and have proven that they are capable of making a valuable contribution to our government. It has been argued, if an individual can vote, so shouldn't they be required to fulfill the undesirable responsibilities of citizenship as well, like a draft? The problems with this type of logic are numerous. We aren't discussing whether women should be required to report for jury duty, or whether they should stand trial under the same laws as men, we are talking about a task that requires a high level of physical stamina that is often beyond the average citizen's ability to attain. But, you may say, there is no assurance that all men who are drafted will become able soldiers, nor is there any proof that women don't make good soldiers.

Although many women have achieved mental and financial equality with men, we have never been able to change the biological reality of our species. Women are fundamentally different in structure than men and cannot compare in physical competition. As a woman who has served in the military, I can testify to this fact. I have dealt with the physical and emotional challenges that come with being a soldier,* and no matter how hard I trained, or how hard I pushed myself, I was never able to match the physical capabilities of my male counterparts. Therefore, being a female soldier requires an extra level of dedication and fortitude to simply overcome the physical demands. At the end of the day, you are much more likely to be able to take the average American male and train him to the level of physical ability necessary to survive and succeed in a combat environment in a short amount of time than the average female. In addition, even when women are trained to the highest level of combat readiness possible, in a true combat situation, when pitted against a male adversary, most, if not all, female soldiers will lose a hand-to-hand fight. Which leads us to the second argument-much of our military force is composed of support personnel, who, under ideal circumstances, never set foot in a combat situation, and there is no reason why a drafted woman would not be able to fill these positions instead of a direct combat role.

So what, then, is the problem with drafting women as well as men?

Quite simply, there are no guarantees in a war zone. Recent history has proven that the enemy does not differentiate between infantryman or surgeon, and though you may enter a war as a engineer or a nurse or a supply clerk, ultimately, (especially during a crisis so drastic that it calls for a draft), every service member must be prepared for the worse case scenario of war- combat.

*Although my own personal experience was as a soldier in the U.S. Army, I use the term soldier generically throughout this article to refer to both soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors.

This article is cross-posted at Helium.com.

We Will Lose the War on Terror By Pandering to the American Public

The Iraq war rages on and we still can't find the sense to listen to anyone who is actually knowledgeable in the art of warcraft rather than someone who just sounds important. Check out the usual mish-mash of another example of the usual useless debate: Bloomberg.com.