Sunday, May 27, 2012

Talking entry

This is an e-mail entry responding to several topics.  At holiday times we used to always do a "talking entry."  We got away from that in recent years and Micah e-mailed asking if there could be one this Memorial Day weekend.

So what's coming up here?

Tomorrow, Kat will have a review of an album that comes out Tuesday.  Isaiah will have a new comic.  I'll do at least two entries on Iraq.  A snapshot if the news of the day warrants it.

Next, am I doing an "I Hate The War" anymore?


That  entry isn't really all that important to me anymore.  The Thursday night entry was important when this site was a year old and younger.  Since then we had a whole community of evening bloggers and that's only grown.  So the community needs can and are better served at a variety of other sites.  In addition, one person -- who closed their site and wasn't a member of this community although he always wanted me to provide links to him -- wrote me that by posting anything in the evening I made it harder for him to be read.  He might have been right, he might have been wrong but he was very vocal and vocalized at great length in his e-mail.

After the first year, the main reason for this entry was to track the death toll of US service members, a number that got little attention.

The death toll.  It's not going to change.  Not because no US service member will  die in Iraq.  Hopefully, none will.  But there is the chance that some still will.  However, if someone should unfortunately die while stationed in Iraq, the Pentagon wouldn't include them in the OIF or whatever figures.  They've already (quietly) made that announcement. 

We'll still note the DoD death toll here when I do a "I Hate The War" entry but that DoD number we note will not go up because any further deaths will be credited differently by the Pentagon.

Unless there is a snapshot on Monday, most community sites will not be posting.  If I do a snapshot (dependent upon the news coming out of Iraq), then they will.   Why do they need the day off? (That was a question.)  Uh, because it can get really old doing a website.  Since we started here in 2004, I've never missed a day.  If the press did their part, I would honestly be skipping days.

But I know damn well that if I do, the phone will ring and it will be various friends in the media saying, "See, it's not easy to write about Iraq every day."  And I don't want to give anyone that ammo.  There are enough people in the press offering excuses for how they withdrew coverage at the end of 2008.  (And Panhandle Media -- Beggar Media -- e.g. The Nation magazine, Pacifica Radio, etc.-- dropped Iraq as a topic before 2008.)  At some point, I will just walk away from this site because this was never supposed to have gone on this long.  But until that happens, we are proof that Iraq is still on the map, that Iraqis are still struggling, that the US continues its occupation (right now it strong arms and bribes to try to keep Nouri in office).  And that's what we will be until this site goes dark.

Sometimes there will be an "I Hate The War," sometimes there won't be.  If I'm playing Barbies with Rebecca's daughter, I'm not going to stop playing to do an entry.  If I'm reading her a goodnight story, I'm not going to put that on hold to do an entry and I'm not going to stay up all night anymore to do one.  I'm not going to finish up an "I Hate The War" at two in the morning knowing that I'll be up and running (physically run -- morning workout) at 5:00 a.m.  I've done it, I'm not doing it anymore.  I'd rather spend time with my goddaughter. And with Elaine and Mike adopting, I've got another goddaughter.

My attitude is, I already put in the time that day.  I already spoke about Iraq to various groups, I already wrote about it several times.  If "I Hate The War" doesn't get done, that's fine, I really don't care.  I don't stress over it, I don't worry about it.

As community members know -- even those who came on board in the last two years -- the plan was for this site to go dark in the summer of 2008.  Clearly, that didn't happen.

As we continue, more and more in the snapshots  is important.  So there's also the fact that we may not get the Thursday snapshot up until 9:00 pm or so.  ("We"?  It's dictated. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have time for it.)  So an hour and a half later I'm going to do a "I Hate The War" entry?

Last week, we covered a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing in two snapshots.  We also covered the Iraqi press which few sites bother to and we addressed two just released reports.  As well as many other things.  But the point being, the snapshots have grown for six to eight paragraphs to a major staple of the site.

How much longer are we going?  I'm committed through this July 4th weekend.  I haven't yet committed to another six months.  I'll make a decision shortly.  Everybody doing a site is tired and that includes me.

"We are planning a Barbie roundtable for Third," Kat wrote at her site Thursday.  We finally did do that Barbie roundtable today.  Kat continued, "Time has been a pain in the ass and we haven't been able to.  I know C.I. is beyond tired.  I know Ava really would walk out on Third today and that -- because they're a team -- C.I. would the second Ava said it was time."  And Kat is so right.  We're all very tired.  I don't even want to think about another six months right now.

And because I do love the song.

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 troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4488.

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