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addendum to the stone soup

As an update to the post below.

Apparently, some people have a bit of a problem with reading comprehension. Either that, or they are so eager to see a cause they can martyr themselves for that they bypass the obvious. If you are one of the people who think that because I don't support the idea of mixing a commemoration of 9/11 with a support the troops rally, you have missed the entire point of the post and you owe me a fucking apology. Do you really think I'm "tired" of the military? Do you really think this has anything to do with me not being happy with how the war is going? I just don't think the two things belong together. I don't think it's right. To stretch that into me being tied of the military or that I think the families of 9/11 should be living lives of bleak existence. There are people who are so eager to run their mouths into high gear that they don't even bother to make sure how they are responding is appropriate to what they are responding to.

So I get an email calling me anti-American. You're kidding, right? Just because I think this march is a crass idea, I'm anti-American? Loosen up those knotted panties, buddy. Read the post again. How - and I ask this honestly, not rhetorically - does what I wrote make me a) anti-American and b) against the troops? Show your work, please.

The best response I've seen to this was on MeFi, where someone said:

On September 11, everyone should bring a plate of cookies to their local firehouse. Let's turn the day into a day of thanks to all the people who step out on a limb or do a dirty job no one else wants. Say thank you to EMS and sanitation workers. Thank a cop or a fireman.

I think that's a grand idea. And much more in line with what an honorable commemoration should be.

You know what? If they held a support the troops march on any other day, I would be all for it. My issue on this is not with them, it's not even with the war. It's with the juxtaposition of supporting the military and honoring the victims - and heroes - of 9/11. I just can't reconcile the two in my mind.

If you honestly think that I no longer support the troops or I am "tired" of the military or that I was intending in any way to be condescending towards anyone in the military or fighting this war, then don't ever again try to consider yourself my friend. Don't profess to think you know me at all. You are sadly, sadly mistaken and you are the one who is being condescending, not to mention off-base, thick headed and single minded.

I see how it is. You make a few comments here and there about how you disagree with some things the administration does and suddenly there's a crowd of arrows headed toward your head. Heaven forbid you say anything that can be taken as negative towards our president and his administration and their choices. If you're going to be part of a political party, make sure you take it all, lock, stock and barrel. Make sure you don't question or go against the grain. That's anti-American, don't you know?

I have no use for right wingers or left wingers. You all can kiss my ass. It's six of one, half dozen of another. Say something in support of the troops and the lefties see you as a mindless drone who practices the Hitler salute in front of the mirror at night. Say something against Bush and the righties call you a dirty hippie who flirts with treason.

Some may call that a lose/lose situation. I call it the price of being honest about your beliefs.

Update: Timmer says his "tired of military" comments were not directed at me, but my feelings about the whole thing and the ensuing comments/emails still stand. I just wish the people who email me had the balls to put their thoughts down in the comments.


I think you are allowed to disagree with Bush on immigration policy.

Hey, michele. Long time no see. Your position is reasonable and I tend to agree with it. But allow me to be a mushy middle-of-the-road person for a minute.

Once the shock of 9/11 subsided somewhat, a struggle ensued about what it all meant. Who owned 9/11 ? What would be the enduring symbolism of that event? Candlelit vigil inward-looking Oprah-fied pathos? Or Kick-Ass-vengeful hubris? We are still having that discussion today.

You don't listen to country music, so I'm not sure if you're familiar with the two big 9/11 related country songs: Alan Jackson's Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning? and Toby Keith's Angry American. Jackson's song was beautifully introspective, while Keith's was wonderfully filled with righteous indignation. Both were number one hits. Both should have been.

Was 9/11 Chernobyl or Pearl Harbor? A horrible tragedy or the start of a global war?


I think it's possible for a commemoration to include both elements and still be respectful both to the dead and to the soldiers who are currently exacting vengence for them and us. I'm not sure I trust Rumsfeld to do it, but it IS possible.

i told you sleeping with that cuban baseball team was gonna bring you trouble...

Well said! On both posts. I guess we rational folk are in the minority, huh?

Well I agree with you completely Michele. Me and about two others it might seem!! LOL.

But seriously, I think the 9/11 tragedy is about everyday folks, who didn't ask to die that day... who went about their morning routines fully expecting to return home that night... fully expecting their government to protect them. We don't walk around saying that outloud, but it's an assumption we all have, each and every day. We all assume no suicide bomber will be on our daily commute. We all assume that no terrorist will be in our work place.

The tragedy of 9/11 to me is that these people weren't in the military in a hostile country, fighting a battle... they were doing their admin assistant job, their stock broker jobs, their financial planner jobs. There was no reason to believe their lives were in any danger whatsoever.

When we honor our troops, we know that some won't return home. We know that some will never see their loved ones again and we honor that courage, that sacrifice, that ultimate gift that gives us our freedoms. Whether or not we agree with why or how or the politics of the war they fight, we recognize their sacrifice nonetheless.

The two do NOT belong together, because they are not related!! 9/11 deserves more than to be seen as the launching pad for a war. 9/11 deserves more than to be seen as the spearhead behind our current politics. 9/11 deserves to be about the people who perished not because it was part of their job, but because we were too arrogant a country to believe it could ever happen to us. They paid the ultimate price for our arrogance and they, along with the fire, police and rescue personnel who also lost their lives doing what they do best... they deserve our undying apologies because we didn't protect them. We didn't keep them from harm. Shame on us.

So have a support the troups rally. Do it on the 4th of July. Do it on Memorial day. Do it on September 12th. But don't confuse the two events, because they are completely separate!

Hmmm. I disagreed with you, but I don't think I cast any aspersions anyone's way. It looked like almost everyone agreed with you, was it a negative e-mail barrage?

There was email, but go back and read the comments. Especially Timmer's.

My first comments about 9/11 were in disagreement to yours. I think we should turn it into a party. I'm all for making Stone Soup. It's probably my favorite telling of the loaves and fishes I've ever seen.

The last paragraph wasn't even aimed at you, but at Hubris and the others making the DOD Corporitization cracks. Did I go too far? Hello, have you MET me? I get pissy about working around more contractors than military uniforms all day. Shrug.

Yeah, I'm the thick one. Biff. Lighten up.

Timmer, for what it's worth, I certainly didn't intend for my corporatization remark to be condescending to anyone. It seems to be Rumsfeld's management style, so I thought it was a pretty neutral remark (your frustration with the number of contractors seems to indicate I wasn't pulling something out of my ass, at least this time).

...and let me add there's a growing weariness in the miltary of having our media and even our "friends" act like everything is going terribly wrong when it's just NOT.

I'm tired of defeatism. I'm tired of folks acting like we've never taken a long time to clean up after a war before. Hell, I'm going to Japan NEXT YEAR.

And I've got a niece on the ground around Bagdhad who's convoy got hit last weekend. She's been there for about 2 months now, working her ass off to get infrastructure built AND taking out bad guys and when does her unit make CNN? When a fucking bomb goes off 20 feet from her.

I'm a little tired of civilians as a whole these days and I know that I shouldn't lump you all in with CNN, but sometimes I get tired of trying to make the distinctions.

I understand war weariness but come on folks, we're just getting started. They've been shooting at me and mine for over 20 fucking years!

For me, 9-11 marks the day that the rest of my country realized that an enemy was out to kill them and decided to FINALLY do something about it.

Yeah Hubris, you're right, which doesn't make me feel any fucking better about it.

(Insert snarky grimace.)

"Say something against Bush and the righties call you a dirty hippie who flirts with treason."

So...we can expect some bitchin' "Freedom Rock" come Friday night?

Ducks...runs like hell...

Question: What did people during WWII do to celebrate Pearl Harbor, if anything? Just curious.

At my elementary school, I started "Read with a Hero Day" every 9/11 (after reading about it on the web, of course!).

We have local police dept., fire dept., rescue workers, sheriff dept., etc. come out for a flag ceremony in front of the school. Then, after they partake of some snacks, they head out to the classrooms to visit. I provide a big box of some of my favorite, funny books and they read to the kids, talk about what they do and safety tips ... basically put a face behind the badge.
Sometimes, the biggest, scariest, most intimidating guys, the ones that seem the most nervous and out of place, end up sitting on the floor in a kindergarten classes just having a blast.

Of course, there are always the kids that speak up and say "Hey, I know you! You're the one that took my daddy/mommy/grandma to jail!".

Best comment last year: a police sargeant told me, on his way out, that somedays he leaves his house, wondering why he even does this anymore ... and that visit to our school reminded him.

Yeah, I say celebrate our heroes on 9/11 ... our everyday heroes need appreciation for what they did not only on 9/11 but every day of our lives.

I just noticed on another blog that people who want to go to this "freedom" event must register in advance.

Michele, I pretty much understood the first post, didn't read the comments though. Not sure what people got confused but if I had to guess I'd say the spin in the comments section of a political post can be a bitch.

And I'll always post my balls in your comments section. I mean, wait. Yeah, nevermind, yeah - that's what I mean. My balls, in your comments section, WOOO!

Roxanne -- I'd noticed that, too. Here's the link, and the bold-faced introductory text, written with no sense of irony whatsoever.

"The Freedom Walk is free and open to anyone who registers. Registration closes at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. There will be no on-site registrations the day of the event."


I just love that first sentence so much I keep saying it over and over: The Freedom Walk is free and open to anyone who registers.

You know we do already have a holiday to
remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."

It's called Veteran's Day! Unfortunately, prior to 9-11 and even after, most people (though probably not the educated people commenting on this blog) ignore this holiday.

How about supporting the troops by doing something special to remember it this year?!

I have no use for right wingers or left wingers. You all can kiss my ass.

C'mon, let's go whomp them all! We can jamm the grafs up Laurance's ass!

Dear M- I wish to apologize profusely for implying that you were one of those left-wing peaceniks opposed to the increasing body count. Heck, it all should be over before your son has the opportunity to give his life for... let's see now which Gulf War is this, anyway?

I also wish to profusely apologize for using the comment section of your splendid weblog to imply that anyone in the Bush administration is profiting personally from the war. That was wrong.

Please accept my apologies in the spirit that they were offered.

BTW: While I'm not much for baking goodies and edibles might not be well-received, I do believe that thanking (blessing, even) police - fire - rescue personnel at any time, and especially on the anniversary of 9/11, is a good thing.

P.S. Your spouse is still refusing to buy you that AK-47 ammo, right? Right?

Please accept my apologies in the spirit that they were offered.

Why would you want Michele to act like a sarcastic asshole too?



What Hubris said.

The Freedom Walk is free and open to anyone who registers. Registration closes at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2005. There will be no on-site registrations the day of the event.

Correct me if I'm wrong, O Ye Event Planners Among the Commentariat, but isn't that SOP for all events of this type? I had to register for Race for the Cure a few years ago.

I live in Washington, DC. I can assure you there are events, parades, protests, etc. here and especially down on the Mall nearly every fucking day. I've been to many, yet I've never been asked to "register" for one.

Methinks this is a way to keep out people who may not share the sentiment that 9/11 = an opportunity for the adminstration to re-re-re-brand the war on Iraq ...or whatever it's being called today.

For what it's worth - I wholeheartedly agree with you, it's very crass and should've been done on another day.

Re: right-wing/left-wing - true too. Mindless Idiots.

So, Michele ...

Aren't you glad you decided to blog on a political subject again?

"Please accept my apologies in the spirit that they were offered."

Please accept this single-fingered gesture in spirit that it is offered.

I'm not going to be polite or rational about this: I think the event is fucking disgusting and crass, and I hope that everyone who attends gets a mild case of food poisoning.

As a commenter at my site said, what's next, the 9/11 9am-to 11pm $9.11 sale at Macy's?

Fuck this event and everyone connected to making it. It's sickening. That's MY opinion. YMMV.


My guess is that you register for the Race for the Cure because (a) it's a 5k race and (b) it's a fundraiser. But the funny thing is that you could probably still participate even if you didn't register. Same with the AIDS Walk, ADA Walk, or any number of charitable walking activities. Or, at the very least, register on the day of the event.

I understand the point behind why you'd want people to register -- capacity planning, among other reasons -- but not that you can ONLY participate if you register in advance.

FWIW Michele, my comment on the previous post was not directed at your opinion, or really anyone's opinion. I just has my own opinion, in contrast to yours.

No sweat off my back, love you and love your site.

Dawn-- please permit me to use your comment above to illuminate a point.

We all have our own complex thoughts about what happened on 9/11. Some of us have gotten "over" the day, some of us will never do so, others are in between, and some just don't care one way or the other. Whether any of us are more "entitled" to these thoughts than others because they either were attacked that day, or have loved ones who died that day, I'll leave to others to debate.

However, I intend no insult by having to remind everyone that among those "everyday folks" attacked on 9/11 were ~23,000 men and women working in the Pentagon, 125 of whom died that day. While it is accurate that none of them expected to be attacked that day, those who wore the uniform-- or the civilians who swore the oath to the flag-- all understood what their mission was: to defend our country.

Most everyone who's objected to this proposal appears to have done so from the perspective that the Pentagon is holding ceremonies for a national commemoration, likening it to some sort of peer pressure to others-- dicating how 9/11 should be remembered. Other cities are invited to participate, yes, but in the end, this is about what the Pentagon wants to do to reflect.

Flip side: would a freedom drive with fire engines and police cars be appropriate for 9/11 ceremonies? If so, why not a people's walk with soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen?

So, my opinion is this: if the Pentagon wants to have a freedom walk, and wants people registered, and wants to have music at the end to entertain those who participate, what's the problem with that? What, the Pentagon doesn't get to choose how it commemorates the attack on its own people? THAT'S the crass opinion here.

In my humble opinion :-).

Dave at Garfield Ridge

How about balloons? Clowns? Pony Rides? Why not shoot off some fireworks?

Oh! We could have a REALLY big finale, where two towers of explosions start really high in the sky, then get closer and closer to the ground, then one really big white pentagon bursts in the air! ONly one side of it is red. You know. To commemorate

That would SO be classy.

Hard to represent a plane crashing in a field in fireworks though. I guess we just forget those folks. But that would be crass...

OK, I say we push for a bigger party. A big Pentagon cake with two towers sticking up, and maybe Jessica Simpson can jump out of the middle dressed in a flag bikini. NO! Better: Jessica Lynch. And the cake sits on a bigger cake made of green icing with a big chocolate furrow down the center full of pieces of a broken 757 made of sugar!

Oh, this will be glorious. And classy.

Let's roll, people. We can make it happen.

Now THAT's what I call a good use of sarcasm.

Well, I read through all the comments to the original Stone-Soup post, and although I do agree with Michelle on some points such as keeping 9-11 Memorial events separate from pro-troop rallies, I gotta stand with Timmer and Elephant Man in regards to the National moral slipping into smarmy indifference. Unfortunately, people have a very short attention span and often need a kick in the ass to remind them of what truly is going on.

(climbs off soap box, waits for the flames to come my way)

And when you work at the Pentagon JimK, you'll be more than welcome to suggest those things.

I recommend not using crayon.

Until then,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

That's it? I have to be there to criticize? You've resorted to a moonbat's chickenhawk argument?

No, not at all.

But you resorted to moonbat hyperbole, so I felt that fair was fair.

When the Pentagon plans anything remotely as ridiculous as you sarcastically joked, you'll have plenty of company in your disdain from me. That is not, however, what is planned, and we all know that.

You don't like what they're doing-- fine. There's no need to pretend it's something worse than what it really is, however.

Besides, Jessica Simpson is sooo yesterday.

Dave at Garfield Ridge

The Right/Left distinction. The Right will shoot you, the Left will argue with you. Now, does that sound equally idiotic? Left and proud of it.

Should finish my comments before shutting up. I have problems with the 911 march because the DOD is involved in it. In my long and getting longer life, I have found that suspicion should swing on that fact alone.

I understand where Michele's coming from, but I have to point out that this event will be not at the WTC site, but at the Pentagon.

The conection between supporting the troops and remembering 9/11 ought to be be especially strong at the DoD. Yeah, holding it as the WTC would be crass. But what got attacked on 9/11 wasn't just the WTC, but the headquarters of the American military - I bet most people who work at the Pentagon think of 9/11 not just as a tragedy, but a military strike. I'm not sure, but were there uniformed soldiers who died in the Pentagon that day?

Personally, I do think of 9/11 as a more of a Pearl Harbor style attack then anything else - that's why I'm not at all troubled by the Support the Troops aspect of it.

I understand fears that the actual rescue workers and victims might be lost in the rememberance. But at the Pentagon (again, as opposed to the WTC site or in Pennsylvania) this isn't as likely to happen - most of the victims were involved in the military on some level.

Because of that, I just don't believe it does the Pentagon 9/11 victims a diservice to have a Support the Troops rally. It just reminds everyone that there are American soldiers in harm's way, who are in just as much danger today as the Pentagon attack victims were on 9/11.

"That is not, however, what is planned, and we all know that."

Gee, really Dad? No way. I thought the plan was EXACTLY as I laid it out.

You tried a chickenhawk argument and now your backpedaling. Lame.

JImK, you said something stupid, and have been called out for it, and of course you don't like it one bit. I really don't get your level of anger -- it seems quite disproportionate to the item under discussion. But I guess some people get that way when they encounter disagreement with their own point of view.

The stupidity of "hallo's" comments I will leave unremarked upon.

In my case, I think you'd rather see my thoughts in emails and not the comments.

Call me crazy, but wouldn't the DoD cash be better spent on something else like, I dunno, our troops?