Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I'm Spiderman?

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Love Is A Battlefield

I got another letter from Dad. In response to my note in the Father's Day card I sent. It was not what I had hoped for, but what I sort of expected.

"Dismayed, disgusted, and revolted."

"I loathe what you say you've become."

He did say he loves me. So there is that.

And so I sat in my chair in my living room reading the short, terse, brutal, letter over and over again.

The irony (or whatever) is that we still talk on the phone. In a civil, polite fashion. He won't say he loves me, but he still emails me. In an oh-so-typical fashion, we're only expressing what we really feel in letters. Not in email or in words that are actually spoken aloud. Emails and spoken words are used only to exchange information about the weather, jobs, status of relatives, etc. Nothing important. Just the details of our lives, but not the meaning of our lives.

In reality, he doesn't know who I really am. Not the real me atleast. I've only shared with him portions of my life. So he just has this partial picture of who I am. And I know this is partly my fault, but at the same time, shouldn't he be asking: "Trey, when are you going to find someone to love?" (And yes I went gender neutral on purpose) "Trey, are you happy with what you are doing?" "What are your hopes, your dreams, your goals." He's never asked those questions, and I've never volunteered answers to them. I'm not even sure if I konw the answers.

Partly because I've been too busy living life to really enjoy it sometimes. I admit that I use the excuse of so much to do, in so little time, to prevent me from actually taking the time to really look at what I'm doing, to figure out who I am, things like that.

And unfortunately I think it's too late to share those answers with my Dad now. He's made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want to hear anything about my "lifestyle." But in reality I think he doesn't want to hear anything about me. Anything that doesn't fit into his mindset of who or what I am. Because it is, afterall, all about him.

Okay, my head hurts, and my heart hurts, so I'm bailing on this subject for awhile. More later, I'm sure.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chicago! (Part 3)

Our final day in Chicago was filled with food, shopping, and music!

We met up with Mr. No Karma’s friend for a little Sunday brunch. Of course we completely forgot that it was Father’s Day. Have you tried to just walk in to a restaurant on Father’s Day without reservations? Yeah, not pretty. But we did manage to find some place and then loitered at the bar with our Bloody Maries before we finally got a table. Brunch was good, but just way too much food. Afterwards, we walked up and down Halsted St doing some shopping. We did go into a couple of stores in Boystown, including one where I got a great muscle t-shirt that says “Saint” on it. ; )

Then we wandered south down Halsted and passed through these great little neighborhoods. It’s just so unlike DC or any other place I’ve been. They little neighborhoods actually have their own little quaint, discreet, shopping strips that are really nice. I mean, how many neighborhoods do you know that have their own Barney’s Co-op?

One of the weird things we saw as we walked was a huge billboard on the side of a building apparently slamming the pervasiveness of iPods. The billboard had a series of like comic book squares that included a picture of a crazy robot with the title, “iRobot.” Or the picture of a puppetter with little marinettes that all had iPods on that was titled “iPuppets.” Then of course a flock of sheep wearing iPods titled “iSheep.” It was kind of weird and disturbing, but cool.

After our little walking tour of parts of Chicago, we headed back down to the hotel to recuperate and rest before the main event. The Madonna concert. After getting showered and dressed in our newly purchased trashion, No Karma and I took at cab to the United Center. We got there about an hour before the show was supposed to start, well atleast according to the time on the ticket. We had already been forwarned that the show would start late, and that her highness doesn’t like air conditioning, so be prepared to sweat. Anyways, we got down to the Center and we began our people watching. It was definitely very interesting. While of course there were some gay guys around, there really weren’t that many. I figured most of the A-list gays probably went on the first two nights. Instead we were seeing a very broad mix of people who almost uniformly had bad hair. No really. Really, really bad hair. It was like they imported them from New Jersey. Of course we played the count the cammo shorts game, but tired of that quickly. Then it was time for the main event.

I will say unequivocally that the show was amazing. She’s 47 and just looks so good. Unreal almost. We had great seats. We were kind of at the 50 yard point in the arena, and dead even with the outer most stage. And then only 50 feet or so from one of the side stages. Definitely worth the extremely large price tags. The music, the imagery, the dancing, the special effects, they were all awesome. And it was totally high energy. For one of the numbers, they lowered this set of bars and platforms that looked like an adult jungle gym and then the dancers just sort of jumped, hurdled, climbed, swung, and just glided over and through it to the very fast beat of the music. I was exhausted just by watching it. She also had some strange imagery that shows horses falling. Kind of a flashback to the fall she took off a horse. But it was almost painful to watch as these horses fell and you know they were seriously injured. One of the best imagery was a counter that increased so quickly it was hard to keep up until it was in the tens and hundreds of thousands. The number kept building through the song and ended at 12,000,000. And then a picture of an emaciated small African child. There are 12 million children in African who are orphaned due to AIDS. Just a very powerful imagery with a very powerful song to it. Yes we saw the mirrored cross. But really, it wasn’t that shocking. She performed for almost exactly two hours. I would have liked to have heard more of her older stuff, but that’s what Madonnaramas are for. Anyways, it was just an awesome concert.

I didn’t return to DC. I had to catch a flight to San Diego, so I left Mr. No Karma at the airport. I had landed in San Diego, gotten the rental car, gotten to the hotel, done some work, gone out to dinner, and come back to do more work before Mr. No Karma even got home. His story is just so wrong, in a funny way of course.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chicago! (Part 2)

One of the things I love about Mr. No Karma is his total dedication to all things pop culture and fashion. He lent me his Details magazine at the airport and pointed to some new terms that we have to adopt. The word of the day is "teenile". Teenile is an adjective to describe somone dressing in age inappropriate clothing. For example, "Mr. Sister is totally teenile in that A&F t-shirt. Honey, you're pushing 40, let it go." Not that we would ever say such of thing of course.

While I came back to the hotel, Mr. No Karma was tripping the light fantastic at a club called Hydrate, which we just assume is reminder to all of the circuit queens that they need to drink water after all of their party drugs. Anyways, he didn't roll in (no pun intended) until 4AM. So the early morning get up I had planned (I am kind of an itinerary nazi) was not to be. We finally left the hotel around 11AM and walked up Michigan Avenue. One of the great things about Chicago is it's skyline. There were just so many amazing buildings with just impressive architectures. And unlike NYC, they are king of spaced out, so you're not overwhelmed and you can appreciate each one individually. Just very cool.

Michigan Avenue is called the Magnificent Mile and I assume it's the equivalent to 5th Ave in NYC. We're talking some major shopping opporunities. After a quick bit to eat and a great little sandwich shop on one of the side streets, we hit Hugo Boss, Kenneth Cole, and Nordstroms. We did hit a good sale at Kenneth Cole but Hugo Boss was not good to us. But we did some heavy shopping in Nordstroms. Which brings us to the second word of the day: "Trashion." Trashion is a combination of trash and fashion. It's clothes that make you look trashy whether it's done intentionally or not. So most of our shopping in Nordstroms was for some trashion. I'm about 3 seasons late buying the distressed rocker t-shirts, so I finally broke down and bought some. Of course, while we are in the middle of gay men's mecca, who do we run into, but Greek God and his friends. Even Mr. No Karma had to give him a "Hallah-f&ckn-ma-shandah." (sp?) That's his hightes rating for hotties. Life is just not fair.

Part of the fun of wandering up and down the Magnificent Mile was playing the fashion game. Like on a road trip where you would look for license plates from different states, we played count the cammie shorts. They were everywhere. While they have gone from de-riguer for the gay boys, they've been coopted by the straight boys as well. So they were everywhere! We actually lost count at some point.

After shopping we came back to the hotel for a disco nap, we hit the gym, and they we were pumped for a night on the town. Or sort of. We headed to Boystown for dinner and got a nice greasy burger (must start diet on Monday!) and then walked up the street to check out some of the bars. It was just okay, and we ended up back at Sidetracks where it was just packed to the gills and I got more than a little claustrophobic. So after one drink, we headed back to the hotel.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Chicago! (Part I)

I felt bad leaving work early on Friday. All sorts of stuff was happening, but I had a flight to catch. And with the wonderful world of broadband, I could still keep in touch with the office. So off I went.

Anyways, after a bumpy, warm, nauseating descent into Ohare, we got our luggage and then hit the CTA train into downtown. The train was bumpy, warm, and nauseating. So not a good start to the trip. But we made it downtown and got to our hotel. The Hyatt Regency, which thanks to Priceline, was only $120 a night. Not bad considering. Great room and we got cleaned up and refreshed before heading out for the evening.

Mr. No Karma had a friend here, so we hooked up with him and hit a cool, hip, restatuant in the River North area. Dinner was just a blast. We dug into a big appetizer plate and started on the mojitos and the good times just started to roll. We got into telling old funny stories and we were all just laughing to the point where we were almost causing a scene. Let's put it this way, when you reference "Up With People", you just know it's going to be ugly. I excused myself to go use the bathroom and fell behind a short, stocky, black person with very short hair. We turned the corner and they walked by the door with the big M on it, so I had to stop them. "Sir, excuse me, sir. I think that's the women's room." At which point the person turned and snarled at me, "I'm not a SIR!". Oops. Of course No Karma's friend was right behind me and almost bit his tongue trying not to laugh. Of course after I went to the bathroom, I immediately left the restaurant so the big black lesbian wouldn't beat me up.

After dinner, we took a cab up Lakeshore Drive up to Boystown, the gay-hood. We went into Sidetracks and it was awesome. Multi-levels, multi-rooms, multi-bars. And nice. Like an upscale JRs. The three of us continued to talk and laught and have a good time while I was covertly checking out the guy next to us. Short, close cropped blond hair, almost a high and tight hair cut. Black tank top and muscles for miles. I kept looking at him and smiling at him, but I wasn't getting a reaction back, except that he kept looking at me. So when No Karma and his friend went to wander the bar, I went up and introduced myself to Mr. Muscles.

Yes, I have no shame, especially in a foreign city. Sure, I might make a fool of myself, but I'm never going to see these people again. Anyways, I go in and start chatting with Mr. Muscles. He's nice. We talk a bit. There's some light hooching. Some rubbing of muscles. Turns out he's 50! Talk about not looking your age. And apparently on steriods. So THAT'S how you get great muscles. But it was nice chatting (and hooching for a bit). Until . . . . these three guys come up to Mr. Muscles. One of them was a Greek God. I kid you not. Short dark hair, olive skin, and more muscles than you can believe. In a hot little black t-shirt with a very cool Superman design on it, he moved in on Mr. Muscles and there was some reciprocal muscle worship gonig on. Hello, what I am here, chopped liver? I would have liked to have hated Greek God, but he was really nice, and really funny, and he let me feel up his chest and biceps. I start my steriod injections tomorrow. Anyways, I hung out with them for a bit and then Mr. Muscles had to leave and the long day caught up with me and I just went back to the hotel to crash.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Evil? Me?

You Are 30% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.
How Evil Are You?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Torture: For or Against? Discuss . . .

Try disgust. I can't even believe that we are even having this dicussion at all. Or that we keep having it. And the mere thought of it gets me so mad, then frustrated, then depressed, and then tired. So I just try not to think about it too much. Ignorance is bliss. But I'm not.

"Asymetrical warfare." That's what the military called the three suicides at GITMO earlier this week. How exactly is this asymetrical warfare? Exactly how many US soldiers died as the result of these suicides? Or how many were injured? None. This is not asymetrical warfare. Asymetrical warfare is when a suicide bomber walks into a cafe and kills 20 innocent civilians. Of course the media didn't challenge this at all, so it's out there. Put out by our military!!! How sad.

What happened in GITMO is despair. These men have been there for YEARS. With not even the basic human rights that we would give to rapists and criminals in the US. These men may be horrible, evil, killers, but they are still humans and we need to figure out a way to deal with them. Where we respect not only their human rights, but we preserve our moral footing in this war. A footing we continue to lose through gross stupidity and cavelier abandonment of the basic principles upon which our nation was founded. These men have been held in captivity, tortured, force fed, and more with no hope for release. Day in and day out. For years. Think of it as a sadistic version of "Waiting for Godot." It's not hard to see where any human could get to the point where they feel that the only thing they can do to end their suffering, is to kill themselves.

Well, the end may be near for some of them. The military tribunals were supposed to start this week, but they've been pushed back due to the suicides. Then the US military, apparently under the orders to Don Dumbself, has ordered the media on GITMO there to observe the tribunals off the island. Because we wouldn't want to have the public actually know what's going on down there, now would we? There are some arguements that the tribunals are not legal anyways, or that they are stacked against the detainees. I'm not an expert on these things, but what I've read only continues to be a stain on our country.

To end on an upnote, it does look like some in the military are pushing back on the new interrogration techinques that do not follow the Geneva Conventions that were going into a SECRET version of the Army Field Manual. So that's the good news. For now.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Saga of the White Shirt

So . . . when I was in Mexico, Greek Boy and I hit Playa Del Carmen to do some shopping. I had already picked up the mayan art work that I wanted, so I just sort of window shopped. The main street was a strange collection of high end stores (Modavi watches, Lacoste shirts), liquor stores (get your tequila!), and then of course the low end, touristy shirts with such classic t-shirts as "Eat my burrito" and the one with the international sign for giving head. Nice.

But we did wander into one mid-range store that sold those cool white, light, cotton shirts. Now, white is the new black, so I had to take a look. I really don't have any casual white shirts as they usually don't look good on me. It's my body type. But still I look. You never know when you might find something that works. Sadly most of the shirts, while nice, had a little Playa del Carmen logo on them and that was just not going to work. But I did find one that had promise. It had these cool ridges, almost like a tuxedo shirt look, to it. I tried it on, and it was okay. But I thought it had some promise, so I went ahead and got it.

Around the corner from my house, I've found a nice little old lady who does alterations. I've taken some pants for work there and I've seen her do other things, so I thought I would see if she could fix up the shirt. So I tried it on and explained that I wanted the shirt to be even on the bottom, more of a casual, wear un-tucked look. Oh, and I want the sleeves shorter. The sleeves are too long and I do have some okay guns, so I want to show them off. So she pinned me up and and said it would be done in 2 days.

So I went back in 3 days. It wasn't done. Come back tomorrow. I come back the next day, it's not done. I'll do it this afternoon, I come back 2 days later and it's still not done. Now I'm not mad at her at all. Really. I'm in no rush, this is really a late summer shirt when it gets really hot and sticky here in DC. But still, I'm kind of looking forward to it. But she keeps getting pulled away to do prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, things like that. Things with a real deadline. So I'm like okay. But at some point, this becomes a bit ridiculous. But after two weeks, I get my shirt. And it's nice. I go home, I try it on, and I look in the mirror and . . . . . well, it's not quite right. I guess with the long sleeves, the weight of the material kept the sleeves laying flat against my arms. But since the sleeves were cut short, the sleeves were sticking up and our like I had little horns on my arms. Just not good.

Now I've paid some decent kwan to buy the shirt. More kwan to get it altered once. And now I need to get it altered again. And I'm just a little bit embarassed to go back to the little lady around the corner. So I take it into place near my office, and the little old lady there said that she was busy, and that she couldn't fix the sleeves. I'm like what? But nevermind. So I finally bite the bullet and go back to the lady around the corner. We talk and she thinks she understands what needs to be done. It will be ready tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow, you're only a day away! As if. Try over a week. But she didn't charge my any more for the final alterations. And it looks fabulous! I'll post a pic when I get a chance to wear it.

Yes, this is as exciting as my life gets sometimes. Oh well.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

AIDS and Pride

So this week marked the 25th anniversary of the first announcement of a strange new disease identified by the CDC. In 1981, I was 14 years old. We were living in some hick town in Missouri and I'm sure I wasn't aware of it. By the time we moved to Colorado and I was a junior in high school, I knew about it. But knew about it in abstract, disconnected way. I left Colorado and went to the Naval Academy. Reading the Washington Post every day, I became a bit more familiar. But it wasn't until the tender age of 18 when I was on my youngster cruise on board the USS New Jersy for a port visit to Pattaya Beach Thailand that I would really face STDs. There was a big punch bowl of condoms on the quarterdeck for sailors to take as they went ashore to the cheap and easy sex that was offered there. I went out with my running mate (an enlisted guy who was supposed to be my mentor) on the first night who wanted to make sure I had a good time. His definition of a good time was getting "screwed, blewed, and tattooed." But after seeing the "lesbian double dildo" act, I managed to avoid the seamier side of town. At the end of the week long port visit, out of a ship with over 1500 men, the VD line was over 400 men long. A couple hundred of your run of the mill clap, some gonorrhea and herpes thrown in for good measure, and a couple of cases of syphillus. I got the message about safe sex. Hell, I had to teach a class about sexual transmitted diseases when I was on board the ship after I graduated. Our XO on the USS Reeves had a little stamp that we would use before we pulled into port: Wrap that Rascal! Oh, and the big bowl on condoms of course. By the time I realized that I was gay, AIDS was out of control. So being in the Navy, and being scared of catching this lethal disease, I went deep into the closet. And I think it saved my life. When I got out, and when I came out, the safe sex message had been out there for awhile. But I know a lot of people weren't so lucky. You only had to read the papers to hear about the thousands of people sick and dying from this horrible desease. I'm old enough to remember the bad times, but my knowledge of them is very strange. I'm lucky. The strange path of my life meant that I didn't loose any close friends. I didn't have to hold someone's hand as they lay dying in a hospital. I really am lucky. Now that I'm out, I have more gay friends. Some of whom are HIV+. And I truely love them. And I'm so glad that the marvels of modern medicine have helped them. I can't imagine my life without them. I know they are still looking for a cure, and I hope by the time we get to the 50th anniversary we'll have found it and this disease will just be history.

Pride. Yep, it's Pride time. Joe.My.God has the best Pride post I've read yet. Please go read it.

I will say that the best Pride parade I've ever seen is in Sydney Australia as part of their Mardi Gras party. It totally rocked. I'll be heading out later to see DC's parade. No the dykes on bikes don't do anything for me, but I do like to watch. I like to see all of the different groups, the politicians, the gay friendly church groups. It's such a fun and welcoming experience. I did go to bear happy hour last night. But it was packed and I started to get a big claustrophibic. Plus, I'm such an introvert. I just sort of walked around, looked at people, and then nursed the one beer I had. I did manage to talk with a few people I knew, but I was home early and then the week just hit me and I was exhausted. Tonight's options after the parade are either BlowOff, or Nation. Not sure which way I'm leaning on that. And then of course the festival tomorrow. Happy Pride everyone!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Jon Stewart=Love. Ann Coulter=Hate

Check out Jon just evisercating Bill Bennett about gay marriage over at C&L. It's just beautiful to watch.

"Marriage was originally about chattle!"
"Being Gay is part of the human condition."
"It's choice to get 3 or 4 wives, that's a choice, that's not a bioligical condition."
"Divorce does not happen becuase 50% of marriage ends in gayness."

Love him.

Now, that Ann Coulter bitch needs to get a clue. She was on Today yesterday hawking her new book: "Godless: The Church of Liberalism." Nice uniting title. Right? Anyways, Matt starts to hammer her about gay marriage and she starts spouting off that 20 some states have passed marriage ammendments. She goes on to say that Alabama passed their marriage ammendment with something like 85%. Wow, what a shocker. I think slavery would pass in Alabama today with about 85% approval. Apparently in that same segment on Today, she diss-ed the widows of 9/11. She's such an evil, malignant person it just makes me ill.

Monday, June 05, 2006

4.6 Pounds!

I'm so totally psyched that I lost 4.6 pounds last week. Yes, a lot of that was probably water, but it still feels good. I started the new, new, NEW diet plan last Saturday and so far so good. I finally figured out that I didn't really need any help working out. I can work out on my own. Even the weightlifting I can pretty much do on my own. It's the diet thing that I needed help with. I just like to eat and portion control has never been one of my strong suits. So I signed up for Diet To Go. What they do is prepare all of your meals for you. You pick them up twice a week (the pick up location is like 2 blocks from my house!) and it has all of your meals. The food is actually pretty good. I've had shrimp with pasta, a pulled BBQ turkey sandwich, chinese stir fry, a breakfast pizza, etc. So all sorts of stuff, and it's fresh! I'm on the 3 meal a day plan which is a bit hard core, but so far I'm loving it. And it's all portion controlled. And I've been really good about not snacking. I even went out to lunch with my team at work for a farewell but ordered the smallest appetizer I could find as my meal. So it's all working pretty well right now. We'll see what the count stands at next week. Of course, in addition to the food, I'm still doing the obsessive compulsive exercise thing. But hey, it's working!

Kathy Griffin just ROCKS! Saw her last night at the Warner Theatre. I was laughing so hard my cheeks were hurting. She was just vicious, and so funny. The crowd must have been 2/3rds gay, and she was in full gay-bonic refering to Ryan Seacrest as "she" and "her". It was hilarious. I did feel bad for the straight couple in front of us when she went into her bit about Oprah basically fisting Tim Frey on her show. The visuals were a bit much. And then the whole thing on Clay Aiken. OMG. Now I consider myself a bit of a pop culture junkie, but not really a tabloid junkie. So apparently I missed all of the Clay Aiken "dialing for dick" stories. I was just laughing so hard that I was almost crying. And of course I had to google it as soon as I got home to read the dirt. And wow, there certainly is plenty. ALLEGEDLY! As Kathy would say.

So I talked with my sister today for a bit. I think she really is cool with the whole gay thing and has invited me again to Paris. So I think Dad is just saying what he thinks or feels, but not really what the whole family feels. Talking with her helped. I hate dumping my drama on her since she's got plenty on her plate already. But I think I understand some of Dad's comments better. He talked about how I've "immersed myself" in my "new lifestyle." And I just couldn't figure out how he came to that conclusion. And then it sort of dawned on me. Even though I had de-fagged the condo, I still live in the hood. I'm sure he walked around the neighborhood while I was in Mexico and probably ran into more gay people (and blacks, latinos, etc) than he's ever seen in his life. So he probably just assumed that because I live in the hood I'm out every night at drug fueled orgies where we dress in womens clothes and plot the overthrow of the US government. Sadly, my social life is not so exciting. If I can muster the strength to go out once or twice a week for a drink (as in singular!) then I'm pretty happy. My sister is right. I think my parents have become isolated from the world living out there in white bread central and their minds numbed from listening to faux news all day.

Anyways, I'm feeling much better today. My sister and I talked about our trip home soon and I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

We Always Hurt The Ones We Love

So Dad. I thought we were doing okay. Not great. But okay. Well, maybe a bit less than okay. He still wouldn’t say that he loves me again, but I was hoping that it would come in time. He was here a couple of weeks ago and I thought it went okay. But apparently I was wrong.

On Thursday I got a letter from him. Expecting it to be a detailed report of his bike trip, I opened the letter, read the first few lines and then quickly sat down. It wasn’t pretty. At all. I have no idea what has changed since his last letter, which was harsh, but atleast offered some hope. Not this letter.

There were so many parts of the letter that I just couldn’t believe what he was saying. Abomination. A stake in the heart of our family. Thankful that my grandparents weren’t burdened with this horrible fact. I felt my heart break in two when I read the letter. And I still get upset when I look at it now. He was perfectly clear in the neat, yet firm and absolute, dismissal of who I am. “Go with God . . . “

Needless to say I’ve been all over the map emotionally this weekend. Doing my best to ignore it, to push it into the dark crevices of my mind to deal with more immediate, easily managed, problems. That’s what I usually do. And I’ve had some success.

I’m not sure what the future holds for us at this point. I don’t see the point in trying to argue with him. I think I just need to accept his opinions and beliefs, and yet still continue to love him. While his opinions and beliefs may not change, neither will my love for him. And maybe someday he’ll return that love.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Core Values Training?

From the Washington Post:

"Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, today ordered that all U.S. and allied troops in Iraq undergo new "core values" training in how to operate professionally and humanely. Not only will leaders discuss how to treat civilians under the rules of engagement, but small units also will be ordered to go through training scenarios to gauge their understanding of those rules."

I don't even know where to begin.

Let's see, we're almost 3 YEARS, over 2000 US fatalities, over 20,000 injured soldiers, and countless tens of thousands of Iraqis killed and injured into this war, we've piled up naked prisoners in Abu Ghraib, we've water tortured prisoners, we've pissed on the Koran, and now, NOW you're going to hold this training?

And I can't wait to hear what the training is like. I was in the Navy in the aftermath of the Tailhook fiasco and I just can't tell you how well recieved the sexual harrassment training went over after that. The people who understood the need for it, didn't need it. And the people who needed the training, just rolled their eyes and ignored it.

This all goes back to the utter lack of post war planning. We never thought that we would be using national guard units, and other support type units, in these types of missions. Where they would have to be warrior, peacekeeper, and nation builder all at the same time. You need to kill the insurgents, you need to separate and protect the different sects, and you need to work with the Iraqis to rebuild their nation and take real ownership of it so we can eventually leave. But it takes a lot of training to understand how those different roles intersect and the importance of each of them. And how your actions in any one of those roles can support, or undermine, your goals in the other roles. It's just a lot of responsibility for some 20 year old who just wants to do his job and just saw his best friend killed. I can't/won't excuse their horrible actions, but I think we need to look at the underlying causes.

I respect the military and the bright, dedicated men and women who are doing their jobs. I really do. But I am just sickened by those in the system who have through their direct actions, or inactions, caused Abu Ghraib, supported tortured, lied about Pat Tillmans' death, and lied about the massacre in Haditha. I'm mentioned before that at some point the American people are going to lose respect for the military if these things keep happening. I really hope I'm wrong. But I'm not so sure.