Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Hate The War

These days, if you haven't noticed, it doesn't take much to tick me off.  I don't want to be online, I want my life back, I'm so tired of all of it.

An e-mail noted a snapshot this week seemed "abrupt" at one part.  It was.  I had several sentences removed after dictating and before it was published.  I was explaining something Nouri had done and decided, as I dictated, that I wasn't going to provide dates.


I was pissed about _____ ripping me off word for word in an article _____ was paid to write for a professional media outlet.

I don't need money.  But it does bother me when people blatantly rip me off and claim my writing as their own.  And you have to be pretty blatant for me to recognize it.  I have far too much copy up here, I don't read it.  The only way I'll ever notice on my own or know that someone saying "You got ripped off" is telling me the truth is if the rip-off includes several continuous sentences because I will recognize the rhythm of my writing.

So, yes, there was an abrupt section of one snapshot due to editing because I didn't feel like being ripped off while also providing them with the details of when so they could really pretend like they knew what was going on.

It shouldn't matter.

And I don't care about the money issue.

But I do care that I've done the work here and it only takes a second to type, "As The Common Ills has noted . . ." or something similar to give credit.

When this does happen, it's always the professional media.  Like in 2012, March of 2012.  It's not bloggers, it's people who work for newspapers.  And maybe they're copying and pasting with the intent to rewrite and then forget to rewrite?  I don't know.

But it does tick me off.

As did the first e-mail I read tonight from the public account telling me how "little" I cared about Iraq because it was X o'clock in the EST and I hadn't posted today.

Well, on most weekends, I am home and that is PST not EST, so take three hours off your EST time.

Second, we are four months away from the ten year mark.

I've had how many days off in those ten years?


Every day there's been new content here.  I've written here every day.  And on Sundays, I'm also writing with Third on top of putting up content here.

Ten years, no day off.

Third, my day today included flying home, showering and getting dressed to go to a memorial service in the late morning (11:30 am my time), spending a few hours after that with others remembering the deceased, going home to change clothes and make up (and I showered again so I redid my hair as well) to go to a corporate function with a friend who was receiving a professional award at the dinner and wanted support because he suffers from Post-Traumatic Syndrome.  It was a nice dinner, he gave a great speech and after he wanted to talk about his time in Iraq (one-on-one) which was enough experiences to make anyone struggle readjusting to civilian life.

For me, the new stories were about the civilian contractors.  For example, a mortar attack in Baghdad -- a year before the 'surge' -- when an elderly Filipino woman -- who had very few teeth and knew very little English -- was pointing to the sky and to what everyone quickly realized was a mortar.  She died, the ones who saw her pointing managed to take cover.

And we hear about the contractors in the media all the time and think security but it's not just security contractors.  It's people like that woman over 60 from the Philippines who had no chance in her own country to make money for her family and took a job in a very dangerous environment because she thought it was the best she was going to get.  And how sad that she was probably right.

Beyond the New York Times and similar outlets, the story of Iraq contractors is a story of hotel and restaurant workers who come to Iraq from other countries, face hideous employers who -- for 'safekeeping' -- confiscate their passports and then the employees are really just prisoners.

After we'd finished the one-on-one, we joined two friends he'd served with for drinks.  All three had been at Camp Liberty so they were going over the various fast foods that were there, what you could buy on the Iraqi black market there and more.

Of course, Camp Liberty (Camp Hurriya) is now where the Ashraf community is held. So my small contribution to the conversation was to ask about the T-walls and was it possible -- since the T-walls had been taken down by Nouri -- that anyone could wrongly assume that the Ashraf community would be safe in Camp Liberty without the T-walls?

All three agreed that there's no way you could make that mistake.  That the removal wasn't poor judgment, it was clear intent to hurt.

I'm tired.  All I want to do is go to sleep and get rid of my headache.  Instead, I've got to do two entries here and then join Third to write the latest edition.  And all I want to do is go to sleep. Maybe I'll just do one entry?  This one and call it a night here?


Will that mean the e-mailer's correct and I care so "little" about Iraq?

How about this coming week when the snapshots are going to be shorter?

Every year, the people with community sites come out here (California) and we do fun stuff together.  Next week, I'll also be in DC for a hearing or two.  (I don't know.  Dona does my schedule and I never look at it until Sunday night -- and if Dona tells me, "Your first flight leaves at . . ." I don't look at it until I'm on the plane.)  (Thank you, Dona, for doing the scheduling and always doing it so well.)

But, yes, the snapshot will have to be shorter this coming week as I move into what passes for a 'vacation.'  (And remember that the community sites are on vacation so they do short posts and theme posts and things like that next week.)

I'm just really tired and, I'm sure, more than a little resentful.  I wanted this site to end in 2008.  Now it gets renewed (by me) for six month periods.  The cycle that just passed could have allowed this to end right after Fourth of July.  I wasn't planning on ending it on that cycle but I really didn't like the fact that I didn't really get a say.  As Nouri sets Iraq on fire, no, this is not the time to stop the site.

But one day it will be and I'm sure I'll miss it from time to time but I'm also sure that when I'm tired, when my head's killing me to such a degree that my eyes are watering, I'll be able to just lay down and go to sleep and to sleep as long as I need without worrying what TV show Ava and I have to tackle for Third or anything else like that.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.

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