>Late night thought

>I love English.

It has a roll, a flow, a rise and fall that can be music and a story at once. Shades of meaning, dozens of words for that, which, in other tongues is a single word and many tones– and meaning is shaded further still by the situation, the tone, even the one to whom you are speaking.

The rules that change, seem to be solidified whimsy, then change again with the times– but always slowly, always so they can be followed, mapped out and understood by those who wish to study.

The frustration of spelling, the mysteries of pronunciation, and always, always, the lovely glitter of a story behind each gem of a word. Simple beads call to heaven, meanings twist like a snake, once alien words join the family and are utterly changed by that event.

I truly love the English Language.

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>America. Sometimes, you do things that blow away all hint of despair

>eHere is your story: a young woman runs away from an arranged marriage, jumping into a country where she does not know the language or the culture and secures safety. She adapts. For years she works, becoming well-known for her brains and beauty. She even represents her new home as a member of Parliament.

Eventually, she is involved in a movie related to her childhood– a culture that devalued her for being female. It is beautiful, though slightly depressing, and also clean enough to be shown in a normal school.

The man who produced the movie is killed in the middle of the street in the middle of the day and for months nobody “saw anything.” A five-page letter is held to his body by a knife, including threats to the woman’s life.

The woman is obviously scared, but she does not run– until the high-security building in which she lives kicks her out as a security risk. No-one will help her– until many colleges in the United States hear about her plight and offer her professorship.

She is now in the United States, mostly in DC at the AEI but also in various other organizations.

I was delighted to see this article on National Review because I remember reading on a blog when van Gogh was killed and she was evicted– I knew that many organizations here in the US were offering her a place because of a helpful poster on that blog.

She has arrived and is flourishing, by all appearances.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s lovely, and not just her looks: “Human beings are equal; cultures are not.” This, I can greatly agree with– those cultures that hold that a high good is killing women for being raped or sawing off heads for religious reasons are not as good as a culture that admires those who will get killed trying to protect the woman from being raped, or protect even those religions they violently disagree with from destruction.

I am proud of my country in this event, very proud.

>I love the internet…

>

Our ideas are thrown out live for our readers to chew on, sometimes
unmercifully. But that is the joy of blogging; not that we will get it right the
first time, but that through formulating ideas, discussion, and synthesis, we
may eventually catch a fleeting glimpse of the truth.

-Cassandra of VC, yet again.

Alright, generally, I don’t do a single link-like-read-this post. (that’s what my side bar is for)

But there are good ideas and it’s so nicely phrased, that I ask y’all to please go visit her, and be polite.

(Y’all: old english word for “any random person who happens to wander by)

>A Different Christmas Poem

> The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,

But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, Then the

sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,

Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,

“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!

Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light

Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”

“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,

That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”

Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,

And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red, white, and blue… an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,

Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,

To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,

Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”

“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,

“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,

For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,

To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

–From a blog I can’t recall

>Yes, I AM a sap. This is sweet.

>From Villainous Company (please do help.)

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.” “Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty, “Stew … made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”
Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.”
George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. “You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.
“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”
George help! ed put t he woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new ……..” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.
George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.
“Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.
As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”
George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.
“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”
The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only! to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.
He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”
George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”
George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked. “None for me,” said the officer. “Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.
The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.
“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.
“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”
The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”
The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”
He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pee shooter away.”
George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week …”
George handed the gun to the ! cop. Son , we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”
He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”
The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”
“Shut up and drink your coffee.” the cop said.
George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.
“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”
“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.
Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”
George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.
“That guy work here?,” the wounded cop continued. “Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”
The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”
Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”
“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”
George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”
The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.” ! “And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”
George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”
The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.
“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said, “Now git home to your family.”
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”
“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”
George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”
“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”
“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”
The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor. The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists.The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”
George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.
“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”
The stranger moved toward the door. “I! f you wi ll excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”
George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.
“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”
George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord.”
~ author unknown

>We wish you a Merry Christmas-

>-and a happy New Year!

I got to see Handel’s Messiah at the Kennedy Center (Visiting my boyfriend’s family, and they took us. Loved it!)

Missing my family, of course, but I’ll call them in two hours and hopefully catch them after dinner and before the presents. (When you’re on a ranch, you open the presents on Eve or at noon the next day, and we’ve found Christmas Eve much more festive and special.)

I pray the new year finds us all healthy, happy and growing wise.

Dia duit!

>And this is why I titled the post as I did

>I posted on the nonreligious reasons for homosexual marriage being a non-starter.

Mastgrr said…
In my opinion the government should leave it up to the churches and priests. Nobody has the right to tell you what version of Christianity is the best for you, so it’s not right to outlaw gay marriage because it would imply that your version is more wrong than someone else’s. We have a first amendment and guarantees religious freedom.

I dislike being rude, but as I posted, did he even read the post? For that matter, it’s not “outlawing gay marriage”– you can’t outlaw something that is already illegal.

Stop the red herrings and use the brain in your skull, or show yourself for the troll that you seem to be; despite the opening that you believe it should be left to the churches and priests, you seem to ignore the entire social structure that is already part of the government. That is why the guy who shacks up with a girl for a week doesn’t have to fear for his salary, but the guy who is married to a woman for a few years does face losing cash, even without children.

It should be pretty clear that the topic of the right religion isn’t involved– the effects of a dominant religion on marriage in various cultures is mentioned. That’s it.

Oh, and the exact text of the first:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

That does not guarantee religious freedom, actually. It says that congress (the federal law-maker) can’t make a state religion (such as England has/had) or outlaw a religion (i.e., “no more Mormons”). Actually, your suggestion to leave it to the priests, without re-writing just about all of our existing property laws, would result in MANY state-established religions. (I would like to note that I’m using “state” in the national sense, not the unit-of-the-country sense.)

Here’s a question for you and your base assumptions: can you find a major world religion that does NOT have a marriage-between-reproducing-pairs arrangement?

PS–love Pali’Sucks, part of why I hope for a good response.

A former sailor's ramblings on anything from family, country and Church through general geek-ness.