January 28, 2008
Before there was postsecret.com, there was notproud.com. You could confess into one of 8 categories — seven for the deadly sins, and an additional “miscellaneous.” I used to check that Web site often because it was updated daily with fresh confessions. You know, for the same reason you visit postsecret.
I had stopped visiting and forgotten the site for well over two years after the administrators decided they did not want to bother updating. (That’s not a proper way of putting it. Perhaps they were occupied with other matter in their lives.) But only recently did I realize that all old confessions have been forever deleted!
Lucky for us, all confessions are still preserved thanks to google cache. Yes, now all you have to do in order to look up why someone was ever a bum by simply typing, “site:notproud.com sloth”. And then click on the “Cached” link at the bottom of each result.
I looked up the “anger” confessions ( “site:notproud.com anger” ), and landed on one of the most depressing personal story told on the Internet that I’ve come across in a long time.
|Pride | Envy | Sloth | Gluttony | Greed | Lust | Anger | Misc|
|03/05/2005 at 22:31:18
I turned 15 in september of 1977. My dad had just retired from the united states air force after 29 years. In november of that same year, he got sick. In march of 1978 he was diagnosed as having pancreatic cancer. The doctor gave him two months to live. I remember standing the second floor solarium of our local hospital, shaking my fist at god, telling him I hated him, and that he really didn’t care about me or my dad. A month later, I went with my cousin up to Baltimore for her to get an abortion. She didn’t know until then that she was carrying twins. She had to pay extra because of it. I cried. She became very depressed afterwards. Then, the same week that my dad died, she tried to kill herself. Cut both her wrists. She lived. I remember standing at her bedside, just across the hall from where my dad laid dying thinking, ‘what kind of god allows people to live, that want to die, while killing someone who wants to live?”. Who did he think he was after all? She murdered two innocent babies, then tried to kill herself, while my dad laid across the hall, fighting for every breath… I remember one day when my dad was in the hospital, when he still wouldn’t use the bedpan, but couldn’t go to the bathroom alone, that I was there alone with him. He had to poop. He asked me to help him to the bathroom. I wanted to wait for mom to get there. (he was my dad after all) but he had to go, and finally told me, he couldn’t wait any longer. I stalled so long; I made my dad poop all over himself. I just stood there. I was so embarrassed for him; for me. He kept telling me, it wasn’t my fault, but I know it was. I should have just taken him. I wanted to stay with him over night one night. My mom said no, his brother, who had never even visited him in two months, came and mom said he could stay that night, and I could stay the next night. Well the next night never came. My dad died that night, at 2:45 am, may 14, 1978, mother’s day. He had lived two months and fourteen days. I never even cried when I heard that it was over. Dad was gone, never coming home again; meanwhile, my cousin came home the following day. Got married and moved away. Her life went on. So did mine. Life never slows down anyway. I didn’t cry again for four years. My job became a way to prove that god wasn’t god after all. He was a big bully. Going around choosing who would live and who would die. On a whim. Whatever. I started hooking school. Hanging out at all hours. My mom was the kind of mother that always said ‘wait until your dad gets home’. When the school called about me hooking, I asked her if I should just wait for dad to get home. I made her cry, I felt awful. I told her I wished she had died and not dad. I wanted everyone to feel as bad as I did. Some stuff you can never take back. Those words will haunt me until the day I die. I got married in dec of ’82. Got pregnant by january ’83. In march, I miscarried; it was a tubule pregnancy. I was in the hospital for 5 days. I got an infection. Anyway, I wanted that baby so much. And I was devastated. Why god? Why? What did I do wrong this time? It was 1984 before I got pregnant again. Not for not trying though. Pumpink was the result. I tried for 6 years, but was never able to get pregnant again. I wanted 6 kids, my husband wanted four. We got one. My mother became an alcoholic after dad died. When our daughter was 11 months old, mom missed a curve going too fast while drunk, and rolled her car 3 times, landing against a telephone pole. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was thrown forward through the windshield and then tossed back again into the front seat. The glass cut her scalp clear down to the skull bone, from one ear to the other. And rolled the skin backwards. She still has glass in there to this day that the doctors couldn’t get to. She was flown to prmc; after about 5 hours she was flown to johns hopkins. They told us her neck was broken, she had brain damage, and internal bleeding. Said she wouldn’t live through the night. She was home in two weeks. She was in a hospital bed in my living room for six months after that.
January 13, 2008
A U.S. commander said Tuesday he is “deeply ashamed” by the Marine killings of Afghan civilians in March and reported that the American military has made condolence payments to their families.
“Today we met with the families of those victims: 19 dead and 50 injured,” said Col. John Nicholson, commander of the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, deployed in eastern Afghanistan. “We made official apologies on the part of the U.S. government” and payments of about $2,000 for each death. (AP via USA Today)
Old news, but I only came to learn of it during my commute back from work on NPR two days ago. Turns out the U.S. military makes condolences payments — officially called “solatia” payments (unofficially also “martyr” payments) — to the families of those accidentally killed during combat fire.
The Pentagon has set $2,500 as the highest individual sum that can be paid. Most death payments remain at that level, with a rough sliding scale of $1,000 for serious injury and $500 for property damage. Beginning in April of last year, payments of up to $10,000 were possible for “extraordinary cases” but only with a division commander’s authorization.
The report, titled “The Department of Defense’s Use of Solatia and Condolence Payments in Iraq and Afghanistan (pdf),” offers a particularly coldblooded example of how payments are estimated, drawn from CERP‘s operating procedures: “Two members of the same family are killed in a car hit by U.S. forces. The family could receive a maximum of $7,500 in CERP condolence payments ($2,500 for each death and up to $2,500 for vehicle damage).”(WaPo, 06/18/07)
Some pics of these condolences payments being made from this article that makes it sound okay:
I’m frankly at loss for words. Can’t figure out what aspect to begin commenting on first. I don’t believe monetary apology to be valid after any wrongdoing. But let’s suppose that your life situation is desperate, and you make the trip to the official place to get ‘reimbursed,’ how far does $2,500 really go? Take any of the following scenario for instance, what do you suppose the money given to the victim’s family could most effectively be used for?
Approximately $8,000 was paid by the Pentagon to two children who lost their mother when the taxi in which she was traveling came under fire. The vehicle was said to have run a checkpoint. The children were alongside their mother when she died and were also injured. A measly “condolence” payment of $500 was paid to the family of a deaf man shot outside a museum in Samarra and a larger condolence payment of $2,500 was granted to the parents of a 4-year-old girl who died when a bullet fired from a Humvee struck her.
In what the U.S. military said “negligent fire,” an Iraqi ambulance driver was shot dead on his way to a bomb scene by a coalition soldier. The dead man’s family was paid $2,500. (AmericanFreePres)
Iraq Body Count, a Web site that reputedly maintains most accurate account of casualties of the war, reveals more instances where American military has put a supposedly justified price on lives or limbs lost. Please also read these two articles on the NYT, and listen to a report on NPR to learn more.
Lastly, I don’t mean to compare but, I would like to point out the amount given to the families of victims who lost their lives on the space shuttle Columbia in 2003: $26 million. This is far too sad for me to disrespectfully end the post with the usual clever comment. Because even these families likely are not satisfied, and would much rather have their loved ones returned, instead.
January 7, 2008
It’s amazing how this absurd anti-dark skinned mentality is so prevalent across the globe. Whitening creams are huge in China and India, among both girls and guys. It’s an abhorrent practice from the cosmetic company’s part. They take as much advantage possible of these insecurities created by the media, sometime in the most detestable manner. Look at this ridiculous commercial from South Asia where the girl is self conscious of her tan hand!
There are many resources on the Internet that explain this screwy phenomenon. But I’m not in the mood to preach, solve problems or raise concerns. But perhaps inspire? Actually, I just want an excuse to play this song that actually sounds real good. I heard it play on the radio today when I was running to veggie-friendly Baja Fresh during lunch. It’s India Arie featuring Akon, “I am not my hair.” I know you’ll enjoy it.