Saturday Night Open Thread

We're finally getting some fall weather.

I'm watching "The Blind Side." It's not as cheesy as I thought it would be. What are you doing or thinking about tonight?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    This isn't your average tea party (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jbindc on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:10:16 PM EST
    (And no, I don't mean the latest political movement)


    MARJA, Afghanistan -- They expected tea, not firefights.

    But the three female Marines and their patrol were shot at late on a recent day, when a burst of Kalashnikov rifle fire came from a nearby compound. The group hit the ground, crawled into a ditch and aimed its guns across the fields of cotton and corn.

    In their sights they could see the source of the blast: an Afghan man who had shot aimlessly from behind a mud wall, shielded by a half-dozen children. The women held their fire with the rest of the patrol so as not to hit a child, waited for the all-clear, then headed back to the base, survivors of yet another encounter with the enemy.

    "You still get that same feeling, like, `Oh, my gosh, I'm getting shot at,' " said Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, 20, speaking of the firefights that have become part of her life in Marja. "But you know what to do. You're not, like, comfortable, because you're just -- " She stopped, searching for how to describe her response to experiences that for many would be terrifying. "It's like muscle memory."

    Six months ago, Lance Corporal Robertson arrived in Afghanistan with 39 other female Marines from Camp Pendleton, Calif., as part of an unusual experiment of the American military: sending full-time "female engagement teams" out with all-male infantry patrols in Helmand Province to try to win over the rural Afghan women who are culturally off limits to outside men.

    As new faces in an American counterinsurgency campaign, the female Marines, who volunteered for the job, were to meet with Pashtun women over tea in their homes, assess their need for aid, gather intelligence, and help open schools and clinics.

    They have done that and more, and as their seven-month deployment in southern Afghanistan nears an end their "tea as a weapon" mission has been judged a success. But the Marines, who have been closer to combat than most other women in the war, have also had to use real weapons in a tougher fight than many expected.

    Here in Marja -- which, seven months after a major offensive against the Taliban, is improving but remains one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan -- the female Marines have daily skirted the Pentagon rules restricting women in combat. They have shot back in firefights and ambushes, been hit by homemade bombs and lived on bases hit by mortar attacks.

    None of the 40 women have been killed or seriously injured, and a number have worked in stable areas where the shooting has stopped, but many have seen good friends die.

    I am in awe of these women.

    Yes. Too many (none / 0) (#24)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:33:59 PM EST
    have not been issued weapons or received training in them, owing to the continued Congressional restriction on women in combat so they receive training as "support troops."  

    So too many in combat zones have died.  I hope that these women at least receive combat pay . . . but I would not bet on it.

    And I wonder whether male troops in Afghanistan received any training in the culture to be able to conduct "female engagement."


    Reading the article (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 02:12:28 PM EST
    There was actually a mention that in some instances, these female marines are actually connecting better with some Afghan men than the male marines are.

    And I do hope these women get combat pay.


    Hard frost advisory for central & northern WI (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:25:50 PM EST
    Time to harvest those buds.

    Brrrrr. Just got back (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:14:58 PM EST
    from theatre downtown, here in southern Wisconsin along the lakefront, and it's in the 30s!  I had to pull out the parka for the first time.

    But it will be back up to high 60s, nearly 70, in a couple of days.  And it will stay so sunny, the wonderful October blue of the skies as backdrop for stunning fall color this year everywhere.  I'm loving my walks to work and back -- but have to remember, before crossing streets, to stop looking up at the foliage.  


    Hottest week of the year here (none / 0) (#9)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:22:17 AM EST
    In the 100s.

    It was in the high 60s for most of August....


    Let's see Padres win (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 09:55:10 PM EST
    We are on train from LA to San Diego after new opera w/Placido Domingo.  

    Just watched 'Fur' (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:31:51 PM EST
    I didnt know the title was so literal. There are some images it will take a while to lose. I did not need to see Robert Downey Jr covered in fur.

    I do not recommend.

    It was odd (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:13:24 PM EST
    I wasn't crazy about it but it intrigued me.

    You want to scar your mind's eye (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 11:14:35 PM EST
    watch 'Antichrist'.

    Blind Side was playing on the plane (none / 0) (#4)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 02, 2010 at 10:32:05 PM EST
    when I moved out here. Wasn't as cheesy as I thought it would be either :)

    must be lovely where you are judging from the pic. thankfully, I have some maple and other leaf change trees in my yard, so I may not go through 'fall color' withdraw too seriously. at least with this fall, I don't have to dread how winter will be after. I doubt I'll be b*tching at the windchills this year unless I'm at the cabin by choice :)

    nycstray (none / 0) (#8)
    by cpresley on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:07:13 AM EST
    I know from reading your comments in the past that you make your own dog food for Dot. I have an 11 year old dog that has extremly low glucose levels to the point she can go into diabetic shock. I am making her food for her now and feeding her 4 times a day. She still has problems at times and I was wondering if you know of any ingredients that I can add to her food that is high in glucose that dogs can eat?

    hmm (none / 0) (#25)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:38:59 PM EST
    i'd be hesitant to suggest anything since it's not an area i'm real familiar with. i have to watch Dot's purine intake (breed thing). I researched through dog nutrition books (that are pro-raw!) and yahoo groups for raw/nutrition/dalmatians. you might want to check out this group and this one. there may also be a canine diabetes specific one.

    Condolences to BTD (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:26:50 AM EST

    New Rule (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 06:32:46 AM EST
    Pols and others have to stop citing their latest flight on a packed airplane as a sign of economic recovery. Latest culprit is Las Vegas Mayor Goodman in the NYT. I have co-workers in denial that do it all the time. ' well, I don't know what recession they're talking about, that flight was full,'

    The number of flights has been cut by around 30%, last i saw. When the economy is recovered, airlines may be able to add some partially loaded flights back into the schedules.

    Yup (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 07:26:47 AM EST
    Full flights are a sign of "consolidation" these days. It's also why you probably haven't flown on a domestic widebody since the 90s. Boston to LA on a 737? You betcha!

    Un-offing-believable (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:38:10 AM EST
    Bob Shieffer has Bill Richardson on as a liberal Dem spokesman.

    No wonder liberals get (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:42:03 AM EST
    such a bad rap.

    Schieffer asked him how liberals are (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:48:55 AM EST
    responding to being told to 'buck up'. Richardson says it might not have gone down well but it was the right thing to do. Great.

    And exactly how in the world would (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:53:06 AM EST
    Richardson know how liberals were responding?

    That Overton window needs a good shove (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:02:27 AM EST
    And I need to start turning off the tv after CBS Sunday Morning, which I do enjoy!

    So Shieffer asks his 'liberal' correspondent (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:53:02 AM EST
    Jamal Simmons why Obama is having such a hard time with liberals. He answers that people are worried about Americans losing their competitive edge.

    I must be in bizarro world this morning.


    Surprised they didn't say that (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 09:55:45 AM EST
    they didn't like the fact that Obama was not bipartisan enough or that his policies were too socialistic even for liberals to endorse. ;-(

    This is why I stopped watching these (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:45:01 AM EST
    shows - they simply are not reality-based, or at least, their reality does not conform to mine.

    That CBS and Schieffer think Richardson is a liberal Dem tells you just how far to the right the media is tilted.


    I quit watching this type of television way back (none / 0) (#21)
    by Angel on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 11:57:57 AM EST
    in the Dubya years.....they're all bat$hit crazy talking heads spewing lies.  I've got better things to do.

    This week (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 12:09:53 PM EST
    had a very interesting program on this morning discussing Muslims vs. Extremists, etc.  Had a panel representing the full array of viewpoints; most poignant for me was when a woman who lost her daughter on 9/11, in response to all the right-wing non-sense & intolerance -- Muslims need to be sensitive and not build mosque 2.5 blocks from WTC, etc., stated that this and other comments were not an "American" conversation, that she feared her daughter died in vain, and then she reminded everyone what the Constitution says about freedom of religion, the right for all to a presumption of innocence, etc.  Her comments came at the end of the discussion and were quite powerful.

    Yes, that was a good discussion (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 01:51:15 PM EST
    Left me grateful to identify with people like that woman you mention rather than with Franklin Graham. What poison he spews. Did you notice he kept trying to turn the discussion away from America, and make the American Muslims responsible for every Muslim worldwide? That woman was very good, as were the other two women on that side.

    lue Angeles are doing their thing over (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 05:46:01 PM EST
    my house today.  Loud!  And it looks like the Pads season is about to end.

    "Blue Angels" (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 05:46:28 PM EST