A 1-In-100 Blogger: November 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

CRU's Scandal: What is Climategate?

A hacker, or perhaps "whistleblower," broke into CRU's system, obtaining thousands of emails and documents. The uncovered documents show strong evidence of fraud, and may show smoking-gun proof of a lackluster cover-up by CRU scientists to exaggerate the existence, causation, and threat of global warming. In one e-mail dated November 1999, CRU chief P.D. Jones wrote to Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes:

"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

They’re calling it "Climategate." Quite possibly the biggest scientific hoax in the history of the world.

Lower Troposphere Global Temperature: 1979 - 2008; a representation of the actual climate change. Since 2005, global temperatures have given back most of the warming that occurred since 1980.

In the wake of the climategate scandal, a truly bizarre and slightly humorous situation has also developed. The mainstream media stories about global warming are simply pretending the uncovered documents never happened. As Climategate is totally ignored by most TV news outlets, Fox News appears to be the only national news media in Ameria interested in the growing Climategate scandal.

At Pajamas Media, they've outlined three things everyone should know about Climategate.
1. Scientists discussed manipulating data to get their preferred results; paleoclimatologists at CRU reconstruct historical temperatures and are responsible for a series of reconstructions that seemed to show a sharp rise in temperatures well above historical variation in recent decades.

2. Scientists on several occasions discussed methods of subverting the scientific peer review process to ensure that skeptical papers had no access to publication.

3. The scientists worked to circumvent the Freedom of Information process of the United Kingdom, as evidenced in this e-mail.

Iain Murray summed up what these three main points could mean:
"It does not mean that there is no warming trend or that mankind has not been responsible for at least some of the warming. To claim that as result of these documents is clearly a step too far. However, it is clear that at least one branch of climate science — paleoclimatology — has become hopelessly politicized to the point of engaging in unethical and possibly illegal behavior."

Meanwhile, as this controversy unfolds, Obama heads to Copenhagen vowing to force U.S. taxpayers to pay for Cap and Trade, still planning for more action to fight climate change.

Related Reading
A 1-In-100 Blogger: Video of the Year: 'Hide The Decline' - Climategate

Friday, November 27, 2009

Video of the Year: 'Hide The Decline' - Climategate

Almost exactly one year ago I wrote an entry about climate change, the myths of global warming and how more reliable evidence suggests that, because the Earth's ecosystem is constantly changing, global temperature naturally goes up and down - and it's currently decreasing. That was a year ago when I wrote the article. Things are about to get very interesting as this fraud ends in a debacle.

The only flaw in my 2008 blog post was in its title, "Green Smug Drives Global Cooling." Now that man-made global warming is proven to be just an elaborate hoax, and since scientists can get back to studying factual quality data, it would have been much more appropriate had the original title read:
Green Smug Hides Global Cooling.

The infamous Climategate, uncovered in 2009, and of which motivated the making of what I consider the best video of the year: "Hide The Decline."

Related Reading
A 1-In-100 Blogger: Green Smug Drives Global Cooling

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why 'DuckDuckGo' is the Best Search Engine

How many Internet search engines exist today? Most of you probably just thought of four names without hesitation: Google, Yahoo!, Ask, and now also Bing. The "big four," I suppose. For Google and Yahoo!, we're probably so familiar with their names that when we think about the "Internet" or "Web," it conjures up the name Google rather than what the real "Internet" is or looks like. We may even precariously assume the Web-Internet-Google-Yahoo!-Ask are all one and the same. Fortunately, they're not: one searches the other and retrieves information from it. They are quite literally the surf-boards that allows us to "surf" the Web.

Each separate trademark to its company, as a service in the information technology industry, Google, Yahoo! and even Bing will search to best of their ability and retrieve information for us on the Internet. Using their own patented algorithms, the reality is that a search engine will only retrieve as relevant of requested information that its own technology is designed to find—they have their limits. Some are more glaring than other minor issues. But all of this became much more aware to me recently, when I found a new search engine called Duck Duck Go.

I know what you're thinking. Probably, "Oh, not another..." Nope. It's not just another search engine. I wasn't happy after a week of trying Bing. And I was more interested in finding an alternative to Google. Don't get me wrong—Google's great! For a lot of things Google provides a great product or service, but in my opinion, Google's search engine has been lacking. And one of many reasons why I believe Duck Duck Go is the best search engine since the birth of the Internet!

And here's my test to prove it.

I used the extremely rare, technical search query, "metalworking inurl:blog" because, according to SEOmoz, in an entry posted by a member who goes by the name randfish, he said this:
Understanding how search engine query demand works is vital to judging an engine's performance. Some engines are excellent at returning great results for the most popular queries their users run, but provide very little value in the 'tail' of the demand curve. To be a great engine, you must be able to answer both.

SEOmoz member randfish also defined search engine "Relevancy," as another quality of search performance. Relevancy is defined by the core quality of the results — the more on-topic and valuable they are in fulfilling the searcher's goals and expectations, the higher the relevancy. Thus, taking the most technical, rare search query from a search engine comparison chart, I used the following scale to compare Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.com (Duck Duck Go had to be in its own browser window because the comparison site I used only compared "top" search engines).

The results I got from each of the four search engines using the query "metalworking inurl:blog" were quite interesting. The first image below will show you the results from (image: left-to-right) Google, Yahoo!, and Bing; the second image is the results following the same query but using Duck Duck Go.

Click to enlarge image

The results are clear. Bing didn't even know what to find, or how to find it. So its top result was simply a forum talking about the search engine comparison chart, while the second result was to SEOmoz comparing the search engine results. Then as you scroll down past a few more offbeat links, the remaining results were in Japanese or something. So I couldn't tell what Bing had found for me. Both Google and Yahoo! gave somewhat relevant results, according to the rating scale for comparing search engines, Google and Yahoo! both received a 3.75 rating.

Click for larger image

The results found using DuckDuckGo's search engine were very different, clearly. The results all appear to come from relevant websites on the topic of my test search, the website is clean looking, and the URL's seem respectable. And I didn't even "Duck It!" But I'll let you be the judge. Those are the results I got, and it seemed worthy enough as results to share with those who might be interested.

Most people love to try new things. Right? Besides, who wouldn't want to try out something new if it could mean a more satisfying "surf" experience on the Web—? So here's an alternative engine that I found compelling enough to share—and now you know why I "Duck It!"

Upvote this page for
"Duck Duck Go"
at a new search engine

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And the Nation Roars in Applaud—for Sarah Palin

By now most all of the United States knows who Sarah Palin is. A strongest of women beholden to nobody, yet bound to scrupulous attention from everyone. She is a woman of such awesome conservative character, and of which has garnered powerful loyalty by her followers, it’s no wonder the mainstream media liberals hold Sarah Palin accountable to unprecedented levels. So much so that her recently published memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” is held to the highest of standards in Associated Press history.

Treatment of Palin’s book is something new for the AP, having assigned eleven people to fact check all 432 pages, line-by-line, with nothing but the strictest of critique. In all fairness, as Fox News pointed out, the AP is an organization with more than 4,000 employees, and earned 49 Pulitzer Prizes for asking the toughest questions on major news stories – as well reviewing the occasional book here and there. The organization opted not to review for accuracy any of the books written by Barack Obama, such as Dreams From My Father (allegedly written by Bill Ayers), nor had they bothered to analyze the books written by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, or then-Sen. Joe Biden, or the autobiographies by Bill or Hillary Clinton. And there’s a reason for it, too.

Despite the AP dedicating eleven reporters and monetary resources to tear apart the book—they found just six “errors,” which are meager at best. Four-hundred-thirty-two pages, eleven critiquing reporters, and six errors; the AP claims Palin misstated her record with regard to travel expenses and taxpayer-funded bailouts, and in a typical leftist fashion they were speculating into Palin’s motives for writing “Going Rogue,” stating this that and the other.

In defense of the AP’s overzealously critical analysis of a book written by the beautiful conservative Republican, the former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, the one to help rejuvenate conservatism—Sarah Palin. Fox News pointed out, in a fair and balanced news article, “The attraction to Palin doesn't appear to be partisan, since AP didn't fact-check recent political tomes by Republicans Rudy Giuliani or Newt Gingrich.”

Oh, perfect. So what is it about Sarah Palin that makes all liberals skin crawl? The left-wing media has proven that they cannot, under any circumstance, allow her to be seen as the awesome, amazingly strong woman that she is.

Let’s ask President Barack Obama—what are your thoughts?

OBAMA: “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig.” He pauses to chuckle; the liberal crowd roars with laughter. “It’s still a pig.”

This apparently isn’t the first Obama slur. According to the New York Times, President Obama used a crude sexual term to insult conservatives at his pep talk to Democratic members of Congress before the health care bill vote on November 7, 2009.

Speaking of which, point being, I suppose when you have a conservative public figure who’s also a vibrant, strongly pro-life, belonging, in fact, to Feminists for Life—Sarah Palin—what you get in return from the liberal MSM is an obsession with trying to discredit her. They make fun of everything about her on a personal level; making fun of her gorgeous accent, commenting about her looks from a sexist point of view, all because she’s a conservative woman. What the liberal media offers is a hysterical spewage of stories focusing on the irrelevant, taken out-of-context approach that is now grossly expected of from the liberals and shows just how low one can go to attack a great individual.

Here’s another kicker—we've all seen the sexist Newsweek photo (used completely out of context)—originally published in the August 2009 issue of Runners World. Well, as it turns out, the photo was illegally sold by the photographer to Newsweek for their cover.

Yep, the photographer breached a contract by selling the Palin photo to Newsweek. Did Newsweek know their cover photo was illegally obtained?

I hope Sarah Palin runs for president in 2012—she’s got my vote. She is the image of the America I want to see, in all its glory and of which represents the same values that I hold closely. She is real change in the United States of America.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Violations Nationwide, Same SEIU Thugs

I previously wrote about the SEIU, and why I voted to elect Susan Hutchison for King County executive. I briefly covered some disturbing facts about the SEIU, a thug Union, one that also strongly backs Dow Constantine. In this entry I'm pointing out more reasons why it is necessary to curb the SEIU's ever growing power — which apparantly isn't just a state issue, it's a national problem. I'll get to that in just a bit. Here's a brief outline of the situation and problems that have been brought to surface in Seattle.

Before the smear campaign ads against Susan Hutchison occurred, a Seattle consulting firm, called Moxie Media Inc., was hired by a group calling itself "Citizens to Uphold the Constitution," to produce attack ads against Ross Hunter — Dow Constantine's opponent in the primary. This "independent" group, financed by several state and local unions (SEIU), paid $14,565 to Moxie Media to send out direct mailings attacking Hunter.

Moxie Media is well known for its campaign mailings supporting liberal groups such as the Service Employees International Union. Coincidentally, Moxie Media also shares the same mailing address and suite number as another consulting firm that was working for Dow Constantine's campaign, called Northwest Passage. There's strong evidence showing that a paid staff person for Constantine's campaign was working with Moxie Media, delivering campaign money for advertising.

Wait—how can that be?

Jason Bennett, a paid staffer as the treasurer for Dow Constantine's political campaign, owns his own political consulting firm and is listed as the sponsor for the group that purchased targeted phone campaign and mailing attack ads against Susan Hutchison, the opponent of Dow Constantine. Seattle Times reporter Keith Ervin wrote on August 5, commenting that, "Labor unions back county exec candidate Dow Constantine." He also pointed out the fact that the SEIU, as part of the "independent" campaign, working under a group that bills itself as a "non-partisan" political action committee, calling itself "Citizens to Uphold the Constitution," has something in common with Constantine's own campaign: They share the same treasurer, Jason Bennett.

According to campaign finance reforms that were enacted in 2002, it is illegal for a candidate to collaborate with a group—in this case several groups—who spend money to support that candidate or to attack the candidate's opponents. It appears that Dow Constantine's treasurer is working as a paid campaign staff person and as an operative for political action committees. Ads funded by two SEIU locals, unions of which also gave a combined $49,606 for pro-Constantine advertising, shared the same treasurer as Constantine's political campaign.

In the Federal Way Mirror Political commentary, Angie Vogt wrote:
According to their expenditures report filed to the [Public Disclosure Commission], Citizens to Uphold the Constitution paid $11,300.25 to Washington, D.C.-based vendor "The Clinton Group" to perform robocalls attacking candidate Susan Hutchison. The sponsor of the group who purchased the vendor services is named as Jason Bennett, who, according to the Seattle Times article, is also Dow Constantine's treasurer.

Angie Vogt has since filed a complaint with the state Public Disclosure Commission against the campaign of Dow Constantine.

This is all very interesting because of a recent call for investigation of SEIU President Andy Stern. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the Alliance for Worker Freedom (AWF) formally requested the investigation, to determine whether SEIU's related activities could constitute unregistered "lobbying" by Mr. Stern in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), 2 U.S.C. 1601, et seq.

The situation in Seattle appears to be a violation of RCW 42.17.020 and WAC 390-05-210; from the RCW, in section 28, it defines independent expenditure, which "forbids collaboration between a candidate—the candidate's campaign staff or any agent of that campaign—and a group or person purchasing advertising for that candidate or against the candidate's opponent." It is illegal for a candidate's campaign to coordinate with independent groups who finance attack ads against opponents or who fund campaign activities in support of said candidate.

Jason Bennett is a veteran political consultant and Olympia insider who has helped win Democratic majorities in the state Legislature and worked for Sen. Maria Cantwell's staff before opening his own political consulting firm in Seattle, Argo Strategies. He owns a firm that advertises its ability to get progressive Democrats elected; and now, he is in immediate need to answer some very important legal concerns based on his actions working with SEIU and at the same time as a paid staffer for Dow Constantine's campaign.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Mideast Summer’s Dream

Act I—Introduction

Act II—A Mideast Summer’s Dream

Maneuvering from lane to lane, it is all so easy for me to get lost in the dunes of Iraq – as if there is anything here but flat, endless lanes of sand. I jack up the music; a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival blasts as loud I can set it, titled Heard It through the Grapevine. Oh the joy of freedom, the reckless driving in the open desert. The military hummer and myself behind the wheel, we showed the sand dunes who’s in charge. Every now and then I notice a slight lump of sand out in front and ahead of the vehicle. Pressing down on the gas pedal, I gun it, hoping to catch air. Just for the thrill of it, testing out the power of its engine, the hummer gets me where I need to go. I am able to easily maneuver in and out of things in my way at top speeds – as fast I can go there isn’t a damn thing to stop me. The song nears its end, drifting quieter and quieter to the whisper of a siren.

Snapping back to my being, racing down the highway, I notice a police officer in my rear view mirror. In a hurry to go somewhere with flashing lights and a blaring siren, he crept up directly behind my vehicle. “How odd,” I think to myself. Even more peculiar is the fact as I slow down allowing him to pass he let his vehicle get within feet or inches of my own. Unsure what to think at this point, other than, well, I wonder, “When did he start following me?” Slowing down to 85MPH, then 75 to 65 and slower, I prepare to pull over. Realizing I had been racing along at who-knows what speed, I suppose this journey on the freeway was fun while it lasted. I’m home in the good state of Oregon.

Stopping the car I roll down my windows as two officers slowly walk up from both sides of the vehicle, hands on their holsters – I gulp, though swallowing mostly air. My hands tightly grip the steering wheel. The first officer reaches my driver side window, speaking first he says, “Where are you going?!” Pausing for a moment, I don’t want to say anything stupid or lie to him. “I’m going home, officer.” Looking up at him, I try appearing innocent. I swear he’s reading my thoughts because the next thing he mentions answers my unasked question. “I’ve been chasing you since you screeched your tires leaving the Costco parking lot. Did you not see me?” I didn’t. That was five miles ago. It occurs to me I’m probably going to jail. “Officer, I-I had no idea…” Stumbling to fix the situation, I say, “I apologize, Officer. I truly had no idea you were following me. I had my music turned up and was just driving home.” Soon thereafter I’m holding a yellow sheet of paper with five unique ticket violations on it, totaling about $1,000.

During my trial in court, I plead “not-guilty.” Before leaving court, after receiving my next trial date, another police officer stares me down as he walks up to me. He tells me sarcastically of my new fame, having been ‘the guy in a black sedan running from the cops.’ Wearing a collar-shirt during my show in court, I have a high-and-tight military haircut. I explain to the officer my recent return from Iraq. I assume it is easy for him to see that I was telling him the truth. Lo and behold, weeks later when after posting a plea bargain to reduce my fine – I’m told it’s denied. Instead, the court informs me that I must pay the sound violation fine for screeching my tires upon exiting the Costco parking lot. Shocked but extremely appreciative, I take it. The fine totals about $94. I can rest assure I’ll pay more attention while driving from there on out, lesson learned. I don’t want to do that again.

Immediately upon my return home from Iraq I notice my bank account has about $10,000 in it. Not having to pay taxes for ‘living’ outside the U.S. during the previous six months, each paycheck accumulated very nicely. Doing the math, I calculate the net income of $10k by the number of days I was in Iraq – which is six months, so approximately 180 days – it turns out each paycheck I received a cool $55.50 a day. Having worked twenty-four hour days with no weekends, I was paid a hefty $2 or $3 an hour for my work. What the money did offer me was a nice cushion for beginning school at the Oregon State University.

Walking on campus to class, my backpack is loaded with books. I’m a college student aiming to achieve an undergraduate degree. Sometimes I’m still aiming the barrel of my M-16 toward the enemy, wondering if the convoy my hummer leads is about to get ambushed. The campus streets fill with other students, each searching for their own building and classroom destination. Mine is for an English Philosophy class. Before entering the building where my classroom is located, I double check the streets, accounting for each remaining student still meandering along. Some appear lost. Making sure there isn’t anybody hiding on the roof-tops of other buildings, including my own, it’s time to head into class. “No snipers,” I imagine. It’s safe to enter the building; there will be no incoming fire. Lining the stairway up to the door, sandbags rest on either side, barbed wire along the railing. Quickly entering through the doors I search for room 189A.

Sitting down at my desk, we’re told to take our reading material out so we can follow along with the instructor as he takes us through the lesson plan of the day. Following instruction I quietly find myself looking around the room, impatiently waiting for everyone else to shut their mouths and do as we’re told. Time passes and eventually the other students catch up. Class begins. The instructor carries on, discussing something about William Shakespeare and poetry, or whatever. "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" the instructor quotes. Trying to keep focus on the lecture I take notes along with the lesson. At all costs I keep my head up, occasionally writing down what I hear, though mostly looking straight ahead. I must stay confident. I mustn’t show weakness from a lack of knowledge in lectures.

My head snaps forward, realizing my eyes are looking out the window. Stay focused. Keep alert. Class is still in session. I go over my notes and begin to recollect the instructor’s strategy given to us that morning, right before our convoy plans to head deeper into Iraq and into a hostile city. We are told of the enemy’s willingness to use all means necessary to kill Marines. Stay focused. Another convoy had run into trouble that morning after being suspiciously halted by “civilian vehicles and people” blocking the road. Look, read over my notes. The enemy, a child clutching a live grenade ran up to one of the stopped hummers packed with Marines, resting the device onto a wheel before running away. Focus. Many Marines were killed in that ambush. We prepare to move out.

The desert peels away from the earth under the tires of the hummer. “Now class,” the instructor continues. “We have to ask ourselves some important questions.” Nothing remains here; it is a constant state of motion. “Because we now have a Lysander who is under the influence of pixy dust.” With a fully loaded, locked-in-place magazine to my weapon, I have three remaining magazines strapped to my Kevlar vest. I am deadly at a distance of up to 500 yards. “His motives have been altered.” I am armed and kill-ready, there are few who are able to stop this weapon. “They are displaced, I’ll admit that. Puck may have used pixy dust, but can we still view his qualities as those of natural human beings?”

The instructor continues his lecture, quoting another reference to our reading from Shakespeare. He said:

"I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about t’expound this dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had—but man is but a patched fool if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream. It shall be called ‘Bottom’s Dream’, because it hath no bottom."

A few minutes later I check my notes, or at least I believe some time had gone by, because I apparently wrote the same quote down. I have no idea what it means, but satisfied with myself for writing it in my notes. “Ooh-Rah” I think, relieved that I’m staying on top of class work. The bell to end class blares and I realize my own shock that it’s already over. I pack up my things and leave. Assuring myself that I took quality notes, I’m pretty sure I gained something from today’s class lecture. Heading into the hallway there’s a lot of people in my way, I need to get out of the building and to my next class.

Locking my bayonet into place, I hold up my M-16 A2 service rifle while noting to self, “Not today.” It’s my life or theirs. And I sure won’t let it be mine. Our convoy enters the ‘hot zone’ in Iraq. The streets are filled with civilians and people, trucks and cars all pulling over to the side as we pass by them. Except for one, which did quite the opposite, it pulls out directly in front of our convoy ahead of me. About twenty yards in front of the hummer.

Staged on the back of the lead hummer I look over to the Marine next to me, his weapon mounted on the top and center portion of the vehicle. The M240 Machine Gun is extremely powerful having the capability to rip into and demolish the potential threat in front of us. Leaning to my right I also notice people begin to crowd near us, moving closer to our vehicle and the convoy which has now slowed down slightly – due this truck ahead of ours. Aiming my weapon at those getting closer, I’m yelling for them to get back, to move away. My bayonet-mounted rifle fiercely interpreting to them what I want. Searching for a weapon of any kind, I’m looking for the enemy. Noticing the white truck in front of our convoy hadn’t moved out of the way, I know our orders. Thirty seconds to a minute, that’s all we give them. We cannot afford another ambush. Not today. A minute passes by.

Waiting outside the classroom for my next class, a student near me asks if I finished the homework assignment from the night before. “I think so,” I reply, simultaneously dropping my backpack to the ground, rummaging through it for a particular sheet of paper. Apparently this is a follow up lecture teaching the same genre of written poetry and plays by Shakespeare and other well-known artists. Also apparent to me now, there was an assignment given the other day for us to complete. The ten-minute warning bell rings alerting us that class will begin soon but I couldn’t find my homework. I didn’t do it, it wasn’t there. My classmate tells me he hadn’t finished his either. He asks me if we should work on it before the class begins.

“Let’s do it,” the Marine next to me atop the hummer yells. He reminds me the truck in front of us seems all too suspicious, which is full of Iraqi’s standing in the truck-bed. I aim my rifle at them, frantically searching for a weapon aboard the vehicle or potentially held by those inside of it. Realizing some of the Iraqi’s in the truck bed were looking at us, I wave them off; motioning to them, they must move aside. Seconds pass by. No change of direction. There will be no warning shot. Not if my life has anything to say about it. General George S. Patton once stated, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” It’s my life or theirs.

“Wait,” I say to the Marine next to me. Still looking down the barrel of my rifle, aiming directly at them I say, “Are they looking to die or for an open street corner so they can turn?” After all, the street is crowded with people. And just as I mention it they turn. Satisfied with their movement, I finally exhale; taking note that there will be no killing here today. The men in front of us will live another day, and so will we.

A philosopher named Bertrand Russell who lived during the WWI and WWII-era once said, "Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country." How true it is, our willingness to sacrifice our life for our country do indeed make us heroic. Yet killing for our country isn’t a discussion veterans talk about or want to hear about. This is probably for the better.

I am accustomed to this mentality in Iraq; it is in my training, and it’s a daily routine I am used to in order to remain at the top of my game. But make no mistake; war is no game at all. It reminds me that, "There are no atheists in foxholes…” isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. Few understand this, luckily even less experience it. Nobody wants war, but if war is an intrinsic quality of humanity, then Marines should be the ones to punish those who try and restrict or damage the freedom that every human deserves a life of. I am proud of the freedom I’ve given to the Iraqi people.

In class I listen to our instructor speak. At least I can see that she is telling us something. Reciting and translating a final quote from Shakespeare’s play, she says,
“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here.”

“To help translate,” the instructor clarifies, “What Puck is saying is this: ‘if the actors in our show made you mad, it’ll be okay if you think of it this way! You fell asleep and dreamed the whole thing anyway.’” She continues,
“While these visions did appear;
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend."

Following along in the text, I ask myself, “What does the rest of it mean?” The struggle to regain focus and the concentration I know all too well I once had. “Where does it go?” I suppose that is asking for too much. I cannot know everything. I have many goals, though no regrets. Everyone’s life is unique and challenging in its own surrounding. Understanding this I comfortably remind myself that, “This is my challenge, and by way I will work around it.” And the instructor completes the recital, “Now to scape the serpent’s tongue, ‘illustrating the hissing of the audience,’” she says, “...So, good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends.” Paraphrasing, she states, “This demonstrates a yearning of applause from the audience, if they so desire. ‘And Robin shall restore amends.’ For William Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the instructor finishes, “This is the end.”

Cite this story
APA style
Erwin, D. (2009, November 2). A Mideast Summer’s Dream [Online exclusive]. A 1-In-100 Blogger. Retrieved from http://derekerwin.blogspot.com/2009/11/mideast-summers-dream.html

MLA style
Erwin, Derek. "A Mideast Summer's Dream." A 1-In-100 Blogger. 2 November 2009. Weblog entry. Retrieved from http://derekerwin.blogspot.com/2009/11/mideast-summers-dream.html


Act I—Introduction

The flight from Kuwait back home takes what seems like forever. Eager to see our family, friends, and supporters, there is not a single U.S. Marine aboard the plane whose anticipation is hidden. For six months there are two things we think about: our mission and family—home. But on this flight it is only thoughts of home. During our flight and until finally reuniting with our families we lose all discipline – if even for a brief period. Looking forward to arriving home is, after all, one of only two things crossing our minds since we left.

What we didn’t realize at the time is that the Middle East soon finds us again; the images, surroundings, and our mission. War follows the involved back home, waiting for the right moment to begin its eternal rerun from the past. But on this day it doesn’t show, on our first night home it is all family and no mission. Nothing can stop us from enjoying the safety and comfort of our return home.

Act II—A Mideast Summer’s Dream

Prelude: The true story of a war veteran's return home, crisscrossed with the theatrical play-within-a-play, and the on-again, off-again struggles returning to civilian reality.