Three Degrees of Secretary Gates

Filed under:Cool,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on December 6, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

A good friend of mine did graduate work at Texas A&M, her husband received his PhD there, and their daughter graduated last spring. Their daughter played soccer for the school. At a match, my friend met and became friendly with Mrs. Robert Gates, wife of the outgoing president of Texas A&M and incoming U.S Secretary of Defense.

My friend has Mrs. Gates’s number in her cell phone. Kinda cool, no?

What Goes Unreported?

Filed under:It's My Life,It's the Jihad,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 9:52 pm

In the wake of the Flying Imams, SeeDubya is concerned about similar incidents going unreported. He quotes Brent Bozell on an airline arrest he witnessed and describes his own harrowing experience on a plane that had an engine fire on takeoff. Though obviously SeeDub’s right that the airline has no incentive to report a fire in the engine to the media, I think they’re in something of a cleft stick regarding incidents like the one Bozell saw: they fear lawsuits, but at the same time, knowing that they’re playing it safe would reassure a lot of average travellers that the airlines and law enforcment won’t allow anybody, imams or no, to get away with the equivalent of screaming “WORLD TRADE CENTER!” on a crowded jetliner. In addition, I think the public deserves to know the outcome of these cases–are the people arrested? Imprisoned? For how long? Do they lead to potential terrorist networks? Are they joyriders looking to see how far they can push?

More than a month ago, my first cousin, a sturdy North Carolina boy, was on his way home from basic training with the U.S. Air Force. He was wearing his uniform. In the Atlanta airport, he was accosted and attacked by a man of unidentified foreign origin, screaming at him in a language my cousin didn’t recognize. The man grabbed for my cousin’s uniform ribbons and threw them on the floor as well as assaulting him physically. Cousin–did I mention he was returning from basic training?–put attacker on the floor fairly quickly; security appeared and accepted at face value cousin’s account of the attack (possibly with assistance from witnesses). They collected the attacker and left. And that was it. They didn’t take my cousin’s name or ask him for a statement; to my knowledge there was no follow-up. I called the Atlanta airport and Atlanta PD to see if I could find out anything, but I’m a rank novice at acting like press; I left a message in the airport’s PR office that wasn’t returned and got a bit of a runaround from the PD. I let it drop. I didn’t blog it at the time because I hadn’t spoken to anybody in Atlanta.

I’d sure like to know what happened to that person who attacked a U.S. serviceman in a public airport for no other reason than that he is a serviceman. Perhaps our friend the prosecutor can tell us if charges can be pressed without a statement from the victim or from witnesses. I know where I’d bet my money.

Update: In the interest of strict accuracy, I should note I was mistaken about my cousin’s point of origin–he was not returning from basic training, but from specialist training. Sorry for the error.

How Big is the Moon?

Filed under:Children's Books,It's My Life,Mothering — posted by Anwyn @ 9:26 pm

The Bean (age three, at the moment) has a book by James Thurber (!) called Many Moons. In it, the court jester finds that the princess can easily be given what she wants–the moon–because she is deceived as to its nature. Though I’m not sure the moral is sound–it might be psychologically healthier to modify our wishes to things that are within our grasp, but surely not under deception–it’s a cute book and won the Caldecott Medal for illustrations by Louis Slobodkin.

Tonight in the car, The Bean was entranced by the moon, talking about how it was following us home (it was) and how much he loves the moon (he does) and how much the moon loves him (it does). I asked him how big the moon is, thinking he would give the answer of the Princess Lenore from his book: just a little smaller than his thumbnail. Instead his answer surprised me: “It’s big enough.”

RIP James Kim

Filed under:Sad — posted by Anwyn @ 1:38 pm

My sympathy and thoughts are with Kati Kim, her two daughters, and all of James Kim’s family. Mr. Kim’s body has been found in the wilderness in mountainous southern Oregon, four days after he left his stranded family in their car to find help, two days after his wife and daughters were rescued.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace