Respect for our own – U.S. sanitizes stain of death

I see nothing wrong with showing such photos of our war heroes on their last journey home. These photos are respectful, insightful, and patriotic. I was moved by these images, by the detail of the way in which they were laid out and managed, by the tight creases and folds of each flag that was covered each individual, and even the way the light hit the photographer’s canvass and the expression on the guards’ faces as they performed their duty. I could clearly see that the returning soldiers who had given their lives in service were being given the due and proper formal respect that they deserved, and I appreciated that.

Family privacy would apply here if you could identify the individuals, but these are flag-draped coffins – anonymity is clearly assured. Why then would the Bush Administration be so adamant about pressing the Pentagon to censor such images, claiming family privacy was at issue? Why show such disrespect and contempt towards our war heroes by trying to hide their homecoming and then make up some B.S. story that this is a privacy issue? Is this something the Bush Administration is not proud of? Or afraid of? These heroes should not be swept under the carpet so quickly by this administration – they should be given public recognition and public dignity on this solemn and noble occasion. It seems to me entirely disrespectful to try and prevent such photos from being shown, both to the soldiers who selflessly gave their lives in the service of this nation, and to the American public that deserves to see with their own eyes what the real cost of war is and to not receive some candy-coated rosy tale of war completely devoid of real consequence. We need to see this stuff, and we need leadership in this country that isn’t afraid to show it.

Bedrest and WiFi

When Yingwen was pregnant with Max, it was a difficult time. She had to spend three months lying in bed, doing nothing, trying to make it to the next day without having an early delivery. Now we’re in it again – Yingwen is at just 23 weeks and she’s already been designated a high risk patient and has to keep still again.

To ease the boredom and the frustration of what is looking like three months of bedrest, I got her a brand new iBook – the 12″ model that just came out this week, and popped in an AirPort WIFi card before I brought it home. For her it makes all the difference – the lines of communication are back, the research into her condition is still at her fingertips, and she feels at least slightly back in control of things. Plus it is way faster than her old iMac 266. Having a WiFi-enabled laptop is a great way to pass the time when you’re stuck with living horizontally for a long time.

WiFi networks are a great thing in this regard – no need to run an Ethernet cable into the bedroom or behind the couch, just pick up the laptop computer and put it where you need it. Last night when we were sitting in the hospital and she was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and gadgetry I thought, wouldn’t it be easier for her if all those things were wireless. Movement would be so much easier if they all just attached to a pocket-sized box. There’s probably no way to make the I.V. line wireless, unfortunately…

We have a long way to go yet. She’s on strong medication to minimize the contractions. She’s got to stay put for a long time. We had to send Max to go stay with his grandmother for a while, which is the pits for us (although Max is having a blast.) Hopefully this will all work out positively.

More selective transcription Rumsfeld’s Iraq war comment deleted from public transcript

Looks like the Pentagon and the PRC media are taking notes from each other…

The Pentagon deleted from a public transcript a statement Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made to author Bob Woodward suggesting that the administration gave Saudi Arabia a two-month heads-up that President Bush had decided to invade Iraq.

Once again we see evidence of Bush and the Saudi government in bed together. Once again we see attempts to blind the American public from the truth.

Selective Transcription

Yahoo! News – China Says Media Didn’t Censor Cheney

Tongzhi, there is no censorship at all! Where do you see censorship? Ah that is nothing – just a rushed transcription is all, minor detail, dosen’t matter. We’ll just forget about that one, eh tongzhi?…

In one segment of his speech, Cheney spoke of “rising prosperity and expanding political freedom” across Asia. But the Chinese transcript refers only to “rising prosperity.”

Cheney also said that when people experience economic liberty they “desire greater freedom in expressing their views and choosing their leaders” – comments that weren’t included in the Chinese version.

The Chinese transcript also excludes Cheney’s support for the Taiwan Relations Act, a U.S. law that requires Washington to supply the island with defensive weapons. China insists self-ruling Taiwan is part of Chinese territory and has called on the United States to stop arming it.

An editor at the People’s Daily who gave only her surname, Chen, said: “There was no censorship at all.” She said the transcript was based on a simultaneous translation.

It takes real solid brass cojones to lie through your teeth like that – but then Cheney should be used to that sort of thing.