“Mom, What Does ‘We Got Him’ Mean?”

Like you, I imagine I will always remember where we were Sunday, May 1, 2011 when we heard the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead. My family was in our minivan, driving home from Chicago. We’d normally not be on the road so late, but it was a fun family party, and we had to drop of my father-in-law and we had to make multiple bathroom stops and…well, you get the drift. We didn’t leave the city limits until after 9pm.

We’d turned off the radio and the children were asleep. I had fallen asleep briefly, and when I woke up, I compulsively checked Twitter. And that’s when I saw the tweets. We turned on the radio, and were filled in on the details.

It seemed almost surreal. I remember September 11, 2001 vividly, and I can’t believe it’s been a decade.

The war on terror has been going on for my entire marriage.

Tonight we got home later than usual, and when MaM turned on the TV, PBS Kids was already over. Instead of seeing her favorite characters, the screen showed a haggard picture of Bin Laden and the headline “We Got Him”.

She can read, so of course she asked, “Mom, what does ‘We Got Him’ mean?”

The war on terror has been going on her entire life.

And so I told her. I asked if she’d seen pictures of the day when the airplanes hit the buildings in New York City, and she said yes.

I told her that for a really long time, since before she was born, the United States has been looking for the man who ordered that to happen. That former President Bush said that we would not stop until we got him.

“Mom, did he go to jail?”

I told her the truth. I told her that when the soldiers came to get him, he fought back. And in the fight he was killed.

“So the bad guy is dead? Did the good guys duck his bullets?”

I told her that no good guys were hurt during the raid.

She said, “I’m glad the good guys are ok.”
And then she went about her day.

This will probably be just a blip on her radar. There will be many bad guys in the future, I’m sure, just like there have been many bad guy in my lifetime.

What I’m focusing on tonight with my children is that “The good guys are OK.”

Amazon Boycott, Alternate Title: Getting Violently Ill Whilst Reading

Earlier today, while on Twitter, I heard about parents starting a boycott of Amazon. I followed a few conversations, and figured out that there was a e-Book in their Kindle store that was causing a stir. Clicking on the link, I found that it linked to book that is basically a guide to pedophilia.

I couldn’t believe it — I mean, I’ve purchased things for my children on Amazon.

In scanning articles tonight, it appears that Amazon is holding to its position that it will continue to sell the e-book. Their statement in response to the criticism is as follows: “Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”

Amazon just made it very easy for me to make a major purchasing decision — I won’t be shopping there unless that book is taken down.

Do I believe in Free Speech? Of course.

Do I believe in the Free Market Place? Of course.

What I don’t believe in is the promotion of the exploitation of children.

I don’t believe in a company so lacking in morals that it will make money selling formula, baby toys, and children’s clothing on the exact same domain name that caters to pedophiles.

They are not doing a public service by allowing this e-book to be purchased. They are doing nothing but taking an opportunity to make some money on a book that could possibly destroy children’s lives. They are looking only at the bottom dollar of what they may make on this book.

Which is really too bad for them.

If you want to read more, follow #boycottamazon on Twitter, type that search term into Google or Facebook  or try this article on Tech Crunch http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/10/amazon-defends-pedophile-how-to-guide/

(Warning: it contains an excerpt from this filth. I started physically shaking, and almost threw up reading it. It is sick, it is wrong. It is in bad taste.)


I’ll keep you posted. Til then, I’m sitting on my Amazon credits. I’m not posting affiliate links. If this all dies down (as causes and boycotts sometimes do) and the book is still available, I’ll use up my credits on some more items for the Pajama Program and call it a day.

Time Warp: Blog Action Day 2007 Revisit

I just signed up for Blog Action Day 2010. I have a vague memory of participating in Blog Action Day before, so I just went  through my archives and discovered that yes, in 2007, I DID participate.

Blog Action day is now run by Change.org and the idea is that  bloggers across the globe all write a post on the same social-issue topic on the same day — thus spreading awareness.

In my 2007 post, I listed 5 things I was doing to help lessen my environmental impact — and  I thought today was appropriate to report how I’v been doing on these five things:

1. Reusable shopping bags: OMG, my collection is legendary. Checkers at Trader Joe’s compliment me on the fact that I have so.many.bags that I don’t need any paper bags when I shop. I only get my meat bagged in plastic, and we are to the point at my house that we really have to look for a random plastic bag when we need one. This makes me happy!

2. The powdered detergent: I have to say, I’ve started alternating between powder and liquid–the powder was gunking up my washing machine and not rinsing well. Any tips in this department are appreciated!

3. Using the dishwasher to conserve water: It still washes just as much as always, and I love it. Go Earth!

4. Bringing my own mug to the coffee shop: The reusable mug kick is largely over for me- I tend NOT to bring one with me these days. Reading my post on this was a good reminder that it’s easy and it does make a difference. Now if I can only remember….

5. Not buying bottled water: I’ve kept up the practice of rarely buying bottled water. We use reusable water bottles, which is no big deal and SO MUCH BETTER for the Earth I can’t hardly stand it! Sure there’s the occasional impulse/unprepared buy, and I’d rather buy water than anything else to drink, but it’s minimal.

One other thing we’ve started doing since that blog post was sign up for curbside recycling. We do pay a small fee, but we recycle so much more because we have one of those huge wheeled bins to fill. Also, when we signed up, we were one of the only families on our street to do so. Since then, it seems like every pick up day there’s another big blue bin on the curbside. It’s not the greatest recycling program (typical contents, except it only takes plastics #1 & #2) , but it’s better than nothing.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post — this year’s theme is WATER.