Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank you, John.

John Edwards has suspended his campaign.
My first reaction was of disappointment; I really thought this might be when we start to turn things back around in America... and maybe it will be, but it's less likely now. I don't know what precipitated his decision to withdraw today, six days before Super Tuesday with absentee ballots already in the mail, but I give him the benefit of the doubt; I owe him that.
The watchword of his campaign is "Tomorrow Begins Today," and that resonated with me; we don't have to, nor should we, wait until January, 2009, to change America. Since my association with his One Corps organization I've stirred myself to spend a hot day on a Habitat for Humanity build site, I've started getting out on Sunday mornings and helping to set up the Arlington West site in Santa Monica, and I've become a Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer. Having been inertially challenged all my life, I owe John and Elizabeth Edwards a huge debt of gratitude.
I'm not going to campaign for Barack Obama... I still don't know how much of him is sizzle and how much is steak... but I wish him well and I hope there's something to him. For John and Elizabeth, fair winds and following seas.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"All I know is what I read in the funny papers."

I want to mention "A Town Called Dobson" to whomever might be passing through here. January 22nd's post sang to me, of course, but it's usually right on the money from my point of view.
Go see what you think of it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

None of My Damn Business

Today, of course, is the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. My comment here will be brief:
I believe that a woman's body is her own; it is not for me or for anyone other than that woman to decide whether or not she may terminate a pregnancy. There is a line, I think, between abortion and infanticide later in a pregnancy, but I don't think it's for me to say that conception defines a woman and her available choices regarding her person. I am eternally thankful that my daughter made the choice that she did, but I am also thankful that she had the choice.
Check out this post by Maya's Granny.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

When I Was Young

It's been a long time since I've consciously dredged up memories from my 26th year, but both Ronni Bennett and Kay Dennison have posted a meme to list five things we never thought, at age 25, that we would become. It took me back.
I don't remember June, 1972, although I'm reasonably sure drinking was involved. (If I've ever been a role model, it was not in my 26th year.) I was assigned to the air wing about to deploy again in USS Ranger, so there would have been significant predeployment activity as well as working in the medical records room at the Branch Clinic. I did get married for the first time in August... don't ask... and then in September we were embarked and underway for nine months.
Deployments at that time were broken up between time in Subic Bay for refitting and time in the Tonkin Gulf... primariy in the north... incentivizing the Vietnamese to negotiate with us. To make a long story short, we appeared to have been effective because by the end of January the Paris Peace Accords had been signed. I have to say that standing out in the middle of the flight deck during flight operations with a small first aid kit seemed a little nuts, but after the cease-fire I was able to play a little. One night I helped change out a CSD and generator in a F-4J Phantom II, and the damn thing just flew and flew; but we did some good medicine out there, too.
In February, 1973, we visited Hong Kong and, on the last day there, I was to take the Advancement Exam for Chief for the first time. Basically all I had to do was show up on time and sober and I had a shot at making Chief in eight years; but I didn't do that, of course. Later that spring we visited Singapore and crossed the Equator, and finally stopped in Yokosuka on the way home.
1. I never imagined that I would be married three more times or end up alone. I was not surprised that X-1 and I didn't remain married, but I retained the illusion that I could commit and settle down. (I just wasn't ready yet.)
2. I never thought I would wind up as an administrator. If someone had told me that I would argue myself out of a PA school seat in 1981 to take an admin slot in San Diego, I'd have said they were nuts. I never thought I wouldn't be able to find a job doing what I loved.
3. I never thought I would live in L.A. county. Honestly, the future was not a huge priority with me, but San Diego people don't move to Los Angeles. It did not occur to me until much later that finding a job in San Diego might prove to be a challenge. By 1972, going back to Iowa was just out of the question.
4. I never thought I would clean up. I never thought I would run, and I sure never thought I would run a marathon, but I wound up finishing four before I broke my leg in 2005. I smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish at 25; but I was pretty skinny. When I thought about it at all, I thought I might be the guy wandering around the Gaslamp early on Sunday mornings.
5. Of course, I never imagined the internet in 1972. I never thought I'd have conversations with people on four continents; this has been an extraordinary gift. In the same vein, I never imagined most of the technologic advances in medicine... fiberoptics, laparoscopic procedures, nano-technology... and now that we can do some of these things, we still tend to avoid the larger question: Should we?
That's all for now. I'm not comfortable looking back; it's enough to know that I screwed up without dwelling on it.

A Word for HM3 Mark R. Cannon

Petty Officer Third Class Mark R. Cannon, 31, of Lubbock, Texas died Oct. 2, 2007, from a gunshot wound to the chest while conducting combat operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Doc Cannon was a hospital corpsman assigned to 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Semper Fi.

In Memory of HM2 Charles Luke Milam

Petty Officer Second Class Charles Luke Milam, 26, of Littleton, Colo., died September 25, 2007, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Doc Milam was a hospital corpsman assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He graduated from Columbine High School in Littleton in 1999, the year of the shootings, and enlisted that summer. He had served three tours in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan this time.
Semper Fi.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I Can't See from Where I Sat

I know I said I was going to blog over there from then on; however, stuff happens.

I don't know whether it's WordPress or Globat, but "The View From Where I Sit" is offline at least for the time being. As I think about it, I'm probably okay with that because I'm okay with Blogger, but I hope I can at least recover some of the posts and the non-spam comments.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Little Perspective on the War in Iraq

A hat-tip to Sean Dustman at Doc in the Box for pointing me to the blog post that Andy Olmsted left behind.

Andy died of wounds from small arms fire in As Sadiyah, Iraq, on January 3, 2008. He left behind his wife and his parents.

I think he spoke for a lot of men and women when he wrote:
I'm a soldier and I know that sometimes you have to fight if you're to hold onto what you hold dear. But in making that decision, I believe we understate the costs of war; when we make the decision to fight, we make the decision to kill, and that means lives and families destroyed. Mine now falls into that category; the next time the question of war or peace comes up, if you knew me at least you can understand a bit more just what it is you're deciding to do, and whether or not those costs are worth it.

Semper Fi, Andy.