Orange Gearle

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

do you know any?

My nephew sent me the YouTube video that I have embedded below. You should probably watch it...maybe...but as I was watching it I got angry. Very angry actually. It's interesting. It was pretty well done. Watch it, then I will tell you why I am angry....

You might think that my anger would be focused on "the people" that this "movie" wants me to be mad at -- these people that are not "supporting the troops" or "hate" them or whatever.

But that's not it.

You might think that my anger would be about showing photographs of all of these grieving families ....or showing a dead soldier in an open casket.

But that's not it either.

You might think that it would be because this video only shows caucasian men and women (with a few exceptions).

Not it.

Putting a face on war? Nope, I actually don't mind that part.

I know nothing about the person that created this video. Maybe this was some form of healing for her or something. I'm all for that. It's creative...and it may have been therapeutic for her. No problem there.

When I first started watching it....I was thinking that it might be something about continuing to show support for the troops, even though life has gone on back here...they are still there...putting their lives on the in less than stellar conditions....we need to remind them that we are thinking about them, that we love them, that we support them, etc. Maybe some sort of a reminder to send them mail, care packages, etc. Once again, I'm all for that.

But then I got angry. And not even at Bush. :-)

I'm angry because it's really propaganda...Right wing, Bush supporting, oil-mongering, SUV driving, wire-tapping, prisoner torturing, (etc) propaganda. Who in the hell doesn't support our troops? "Some people hate me." it says. Who in the hell hates our troops, as this video claims?????

Is it the demonstrators?

There are many people out there participating in demonstrations that promote peace. They do not hate the troops. They love peace.

There are many people out there that participate in anti-war demonstrations. They do not hate the troops. They hate this war (and probably Bush).

There are many more people out there that do nothing. They don't hate the troops. They are just living their lives.

The majority of people in this country think we should no longer be in Iraq. Some have known that all along...and others have seen the light as this civil war continues to escalate and more and more soldiers are maimed and killed....or just forever scarred emotionally and/or physically. They don't hate the troops. They love the troops and want them home.

There is a very, very small religious group of people that are protesting at various funerals around the country -- soldier's funerals.
They are nuts.
They might hate the troops. In fact, they probably hate the troops. But I bet they don't watch YouTube videos.

Are these the people at which this video is aimed? I have no idea the actual number, but I can't imagine that there is more than a fraction of one percent of people in the United States of America that fall into that category. Yes, even one person is too many....but don't imply...or say outright...that there are all these people that hate the troops. Americans learned a lot from Vietnam (excluding the Bush administration, apparently). Where are the people that is video is meant for?

Maybe I'm naive. Maybe there are more of them out there than I think...but I really find that hard to you know ANY??

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


As usual, the last few weeks have been full of activity. I've been doing so much that I haven't really had a chance to write about any of it. I suppose doing rather than writing isn't so bad.

Right before graduation, my car died. New motor. My fault. Don't really want to talk about it, cuz if you don't talk about isn't happening right? Anyway, it doesn't really matter's fixed, and I owe a bunch more money. :-) I found it interesting that it all occurred the week before graduation...why is it that things like this in my life always have the best timing??? Oh well, as mom says..."This too shall pass."

Over graduation weekend, I was also given an opportunity that forced me to make a decision. Decisions aren't really my strong point, especially in times of stress (which it was...graduation weekend, car's dead, money's gone, and career decision to be made...YIKES). Anyway, at any non-stressful time in my life (when is that again?) it would've been a no brainer. However, I took the weekend to think about it...and came to the same conclusion I would have in any circumstance. Next year I am leaving the regular classroom to take a Title I Reading position in my building. Basically this means that I will be teaching first and second grade students that require extra support in the area of reading. I love teaching kids how to read. So this is a good fit. Along with the position comes more responsibilities, more leadership opportunities and more paper work -- all of which I enjoy (excluding the paperwork). Jokingly I've said that it's like a promotion sans more pay. This also means that I will be moving again. Ick. I expect to be moved by the end of the week...if not by the end of today!

Since graduation I have attended several events in the area. Hollyanne and I met the McBrides in North Liberty for a bluegrass festival. We were only able to stay through the Mike and Amy Finders band...but it was worth it, of course. Hollyanne didn't enjoy it as much as me (she even went to the car and slept a bit), but it was still fun. She did like Mike and Amy, even though Mike's voice was shot, so it was more like the Amy Finders Show. :-) The weather didn't cooperate. It was a rainy the event was held inside the church (which did distract from the usual festival atmosphere that I enjoy so much). I will probably go back to this free event next year. Here are a couple pix...

Shinbone Alley
which includes Al and Aleta 'the hammer' Murphy -- two of my Burlington Street Bluegrass Band favorites

Mike and Amy Finders

From North Liberty we headed back to the Cedar Rapids/Marion area. Hollyanne and I met Scott and members of his family at the Longbranch for Shayne's debut. :-) You can read a bit more about it here. I was amazed at Shayne's guitar playing. I had heard him some when I was at the house...but he far exceeded my expectations...and was definitely the star of the show. I took pictures, of's one...

Shayne Smalling
a.k.a. Golden Arm

Every summer Iowa City has a free Friday night concert series on the ped mall as part of Summer of the Arts . This year I plan to attend as many as I can! This past Friday Scott and I went to Iowa City to see The Beaker Boys. They put on a good show. There were a lot of people there...and the weather was perfect. I was a bit disappointed because it was basically a cover band. I have come to expect a little more out of my trips to Iowa City. However, the weather, atmosphere and company made up for the lack of originality. :-) This week we hope to attend again -- this time one of my favorites -- The Mayflies. Seriously, if you haven't caught them need to! You will walk away talking about that fiddle player, Annie, and especially my good friend Jon Eric on the banjo. They play bluegrass -- with a kick. Scott and I will get there a bit late -- I have a wedding rehearsal to attend. I am singing at my friend Nicole's wedding on Saturday.

Summer school started yesterday. I am teaching reading and math to kiddos that just completed first grade. I have 11 students for one hour of math, and 11 different students for two hours of reading. All summer school classes are housed at the middle school. This means that as the school year was winding down I started putting items into different piles at school. One pile to be moved to my new 'classroom' -- more like an office (or a glorified closet), one pile to go home (because I can't fit all my crap in a closet) and one pile to the middle school. Once it's all moved in and the kids arrive, I don't mind summer school so much...but the days leading up to it plain just piss me off!!! :-)

This week is as busy as ever...full of things that I am required to attend. Each morning filled with summer school, and the afternoons filled with "other". Monday was a summer school planning afternoon with a colleague and I did a bit more moving. Tuesday (today) is a cadre (leadership team) meeting. Wednesday I am meeting with our district's curriculum director regarding my new job responsibilities (a.k.a the paper work required because it is a federally funded position -- ICK) Thursday I am on the interview team to hire a new first grade teacher...then the jam?? Friday I am meeting with the new first grade teachers in our building....then the wedding rehearsal...then the Mayflies!


Next week looks much better. I haven't been able to go the Thursday night jam for about three weeks. I also hope to rectify that this week!! The jam was moved from PHAT Daddy's in Marengo, to The Colony Village in the Amanas. I'm not thrilled about that...but it still works. I'll give it the summer and see what happens. It's the same people, basically...but the atmosphere isn't quite the same. Also, the drive isn't nearly as beautiful...Interstate 80 is very boring and full of trucks, noise and pollution. Bleh.

Hollyanne got a new job. She is now working on the phones. She starts today. This week is training...then beginning next week she has a regular schedule that includes 25 hours/week. Having a set schedule will be much better. Her having a car would be even better! Did I mention that she dyed her hair BLONDE???? Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Speaking of Charlie Brown, I saw Charlie Braun this morning at school. I never see him, of course, and he avoids talking to me whenever he can. So I was a bit surprised when he was full of conversation this morning. He even said that he misses Emmie sometimes. I felt like saying...."Uhhh....yeah...thanks." He misses Emmie? WTF?

I'll end this post with this....

Last night on KUNI's "Night Music" with Al Schares I got to hear Bob Dylan's Million Dollar Bash followed by my favorite Dylan song, Visions of Johanna, sung by Chris Smither (he does several Dylan covers that I enjoy - and I don't like it when most people do Dylan covers). And, believe it or not, I have neither of these songs in my collection!! It was stellar. ;-) (and I will have to acquire both of these songs soon, of course)

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