"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Apologies to the ACLU, and the pope in America

Well, all is still pretty quiet around here. The most excitement I got tonight was during my short two-hour hop out to the west, where the haze and airborne dust was so bad that it felt liked we were encased in a green bubble of nothing. We couldn't see the ground or the stars, and if it weren't for our FLIR it'd have been hard to tell that either still existed (close relations can calm themselves, visibility improved greatly on the return leg).

That's all I really have for Iraq right now. Moving on, never let it be said that I won't give credit where credit is due. In my last post, I lambasted the ACLU on the assumption that they would never touch the case of a public-school-gone-religious if it didn't fit their own trend of attacking Christians. It now appears (hat-tip to my relations in the area) that the ACLU of Minnesota is looking into the case of the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (named for the Muslim conqueror of Spain), and that the Minnesota Department of Education is finally providing that thing called, what was the word, ah yes: "oversight". Kudos to all parties for getting involved; now let's see how they do on the follow-through.

Pope Benedict XVI is visiting the United States for the first time as pontiff, and has generated a great deal of coverage (some of it even positive). Two of the best articles covering his trip are this by Time, which discusses his long and fond ties with the American persona, and this moving piece by Peggy Noonan on his papacy as "the beginning of something beautiful."

Finally, you may have noticed that I installed a hit counter on my blog, and also noticed that it's already garnered a lot of hits. I probably owe my thanks for this to Kathy Shaidle, a Canadian blogress who posted me on her top hit list and is currently at the forefront of a seminal free speech case back in Canada (getting sued by Canada's Reign of Terrorish Human Rights Commissions for pretty much saying what she thinks on her own blog). So thank you, Kathy Shaidle, and good luck in your fight; if you lose, there's a place south of the 49th parallel where free speech is given more than lip service.


Il Santo said...

You know I do not read blogs, and as my friends will tell you I have a long standing "feud" with technology, or so I have been told. With that said I am doing something I thought would be much farther down the road, a road where my 1950s psyche finally caught up with, well, years gone by. All must see the futility in that situation.

This post has nothing to do with this blog in particular, but the flag and certificate I received in the mail more than a few days ago now. Cincinnatus you are truly a great friend, and far braver than I, especially as a non-native patriot.

I know I speak for everyone when I say that when you are back in New England this summer, you will put us all to shame with your tan. Revel in that moment sir, but only for a moment, as to not forget your Canadian twist on an otherwise unassuming Black Eyed Peas’ song.

It is an honor and pleasure Sir.

From this day forward I pledge, no, I vow to read blogs, maybe.

Matt said...

Ok, so what combination of liquor/beer/other inspired Laney to write that post? Honestly... that is some kind of ramble.

Meghan said...

that was Laney? How did Ian get Laney to read a blog?

Cincinnatus said...

I won't pretend to know what enticed him; I might flatter myself that it's the riveting subject matter, though I'd probably be in a minority on that. I'm just glad I know who wrote it, because honestly, Bree and I were mystified.

All that aside: thank you for the kind sentiments Laney. There are a variety of options for souvenirs out here, and most of them are complete crap. Short of sending vials of Iraqi sand through the postal system, I figured the best keepsake was something reminiscent of the Marine Corps' hymn's first line, second verse: "Our flag's unfurled to every breeze, from dawn to setting sun." For a few hours the flags I sent out were unfurled to the Iraqi breeze and then sent out to some of the best Americans I know (patriotic, and also easier to mount on a wall than, say, a vial of sand).

Now, my only question is: exactly what Black Eyed Peas' song are we talking about (my fellow pilots might guess "My Humps", since they've developed a rather disturbing fascination with my posterior)?

Matt said...

Yeah, that was Laney... let's review the evidence at hand..

"You know I do not read blogs"

"my friends will tell you I have a long standing "feud" with technology"

"my 1950s psyche"

the flag and certificate

"I speak for everyone...back in New England"

that and the odd name but no attached blog left me with one conclusion... oh and he's the only one I can think of who would actually use the "It is an honor and pleasure Sir." with the capitals 'S' online. Next week I solve the mystery of the missing office supplies...

Anonymous said...

A disturbing fascination with your posterior? I'd say that's putting it mildly. I occasionally have nightmares wherein you leave me for Captain Mitchell.

bwilliam23 said...

as a cincinnatian...of the ohioan nature and not the roman, i was directed here by five feet of fury...just wanted to say keep up the good work...and stay safe, eh?

Cincinnatus said...

I truly appreciate it, and thank you for leaving a comment (and now I owe more thanks to Kathy Shaidle). My fellow Marines and I have been staying safe and, thanks to the guys on the ground, not worrying too much about anyone taking a pot-shot at us. Due to their hard work, the biggest threats we have out here are the weather (outside we currently have sand storm number ten or eleven for the last four weeks) and sheer boredom.