About

Welcome to Licentia Loquendi, founded January 2009. L2 is a team blog that focuses primarily on political, military and Constitutional issues with a Conservative Christian slant. We are two college students, a Navy corpsman, an Army sniper and a Vietnam era Army veteran.

Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.

30 June 2009

Justice

Although I love the movie "Defiance," the scene in which the Jews in hiding beat the German soldier (I'm not sure whether he was an SS or regular army) always disturbs me. A lot. Perhaps it's because I do not understand war and have never lost anyone close to me to the brutality of war (or anything other than cancer and horrific car accidents, actually), but when the bereaved mothers start yelling the names of their sons and cry, "Justice!" I cannot view their bashing in of the man's head with rifle butts as justice, but rather as murder. How does one justify the life of another? I do not understand how one can view the taking of a life as justice. In war, both the guilty and the innocent, both civilians and combatants, perish. But, perhaps it is because things are different in war.

28 June 2009

In Other News

video

Independence Day Parade

I can't believe that I've never before gone to the Fourth of July parade (local). It was one of the most wonderful experiences ever, and it was packed. The entire parade route was lined with several rows of chairs, blankets and strollers -- and there were even two rows of chairs set up specifically for veterans, who arrived via tour bus.
The parade began with a flyover courtesy of a B-25, which according to some flew up from Ft. Indiantown Gap. It circled the route several times, and it was absolutely inspiring. I can't imagine the pride and safety they would have instilled flying overhead in formation, or the sheer terror they would have instilled in their enemies. It gave me goosebumps.


Then, the flags were marched past, and I was so happy to see that almost everyone rose. They were followed by an Army band and then a lot of soldiers (I realize how general that sounds, but I have no idea how to measure them). Either way, I started crying a mix of I'm-so-proud-of-this-country and personal tears. Everyone applauded them. It's good to know that, even if patriotism is a value largely absent in a great deal of the media and seemingly many college campuses, it's highly regarded in my hometown community.


Aside from the flyover and the troops, one of my favorite parts of the parade was the line of reenactors embodying the Revolutionary, 1812, Civil and World Wars. They were followed by uniformed veterans representing every branch of the armed services.


It was interesting to see the veterans. Most of them were from the Greatest Generation (though I often wonder why today's men and women in uniform aren't also the Greatest Generation). Some of them were from the current war. All of them were thanked by the people they served. I wondered what they thought, what it was like for the WWII vets who arrived home to ticker tape parades and the grateful thanks of a nation to be applauded and thanked today, for the Korean veterans who are so often seemingly forgotten, for the Vietnam vets who couldn't wear their uniforms off-base and who are now greeted with smiles and thank-yous.
I'm so glad that I went. The patriotism and unity for once felt almost tangible; it was very thrilling. I love this country and I'm so grateful for the men and women who serve her.

26 June 2009

The Stoning of Soraya M. [Again]

Hot Air mentions a blogger get-together in Minneapolis. I don't even know of a theatre in Pennsylvania showing "The Stoning of Soraya M.," which, by the way, I've been wanting to see since this past fall.

25 June 2009

Ranger Up

Ranger Up is run by military personnel who have deployed, and sells apparel designed specifically with deployed military in mind. It's mostly slightly crude, rather offensive and very funny.
I recently signed up for their Affiliate Program, and if you purchase anything via the link on my blog, I get store credit (and you get the satisfaction of helping me). At the very least, I recommend checking out their merchandise. It's pretty clever.


I hate it when people say "derka derka," but this shirt amuses me.

I wish they'd design this for women.

Same with this one.

I really want this shirt! It's not the stereotypical yellow ribbon.

24 June 2009

Land of the Free Because of the Brave

"Amid growing controversy over procedures that exposed 10,000 veterans to the AIDS and hepatitis viruses, the Department of Veterans Affairs is now bracing against news that one of its facilities in Pennsylvania gave botched radiation treatments to nearly 100 cancer patients" (FNC).

This
is how we repay the men and women who sacrificed so much to keep us safe?
Last night I met two friends at Dunkin' Donuts (it was either that or a late-night run to Wal-Mart . . . or maybe some snipe hunting or cow tipping here in Central PA), one of whom I haven't really seen since graduation. She spent the past year traveling to VAs across the country performing with a group. Even though she still can't tell you who fought in the Civil War and she still thinks Churchill said "The British are coming! The British are coming!," she has learned so much from simply talking with veterans before and after shows. History books only teach so much -- I have learned far more from simply listening to veterans than I ever did in a class. I'm glad that she was able to have this experience. Too often we forget about our veterans, we take for granted everything that we have. And yet, to an extent we should be grateful for the fact that we have so much to take for granted.

On Monday the family and I went to Olive Garden to celebrate both Father's Day and my dad's birthday. As I was enjoying my meal with my family, it dawned on me how eerie it is to be able to sit in a nice restaurant and enjoy a rather nice meal without having to worry about safety or anything that our military men and women worry about on a daily basis overseas. It's odd to be able to sit down at my laptop and type whatever I want on my blog and know that if my wireless goes down for some reason, I can mooch off of my neighbors, because some of them also have wireless Internet in their homes. Meanwhile, there's a war going on a few thousand miles away. How fortunate we are to have the fighting force we do, to have the men and women willing to take our places over there and keep us safe, in spite of our frequent ingratitude.

22 June 2009

You Know You're From Snyder/Union/Northumberland County When . . .

You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA."

Philadelphia is always "Philly" and New Jersey is always "Jersey."

The first day of hunting season is considered a holiday.

Schools are closed for the Bloomsburg Fair.

You know the differences between the Amish and the Mennonites.

You go somewhere "fairly directly," "throw the horse over the fence some hay," "outen the lights," and "redd up your room."

Snow "lays" on the ground.

You shoot squirrels from your kitchen window (jokingly a West End thing).

When Joe Snedeker "calls for snow," you run to Weis for bread and milk.

You order "dippy eggs" for breakfast.

You know what real potpie is.

Buggies on the road are nothing out of the ordinary.

Tractors take up half of the road and never pull over.

Many Mennonites or Amish run puppy mills, and they accept Discover or Visa.

Your friends consider a good time to include either spotting or mudding -- perhaps both.

Late-night runs to Wal-Mart are considered fun.

When farmers spread manure in their fields, you can tell whether it's cow or chicken by the smell.

You love Middleswarth chips.

People keep electronic candle lights in their windows year-round, not just during the Christmas season.

School cancellations due to snow take half of forever to finish, because almost every town has its own school district.

You know what a whistle pig is, and have gone hunting for them.

The following were found on Facebook:

You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilkes-Barre, Schuylkill, Bala Cynwyd, Duquesne, New Tripoli, Tunkhannock, Punxsutawney, Tamaqua, Susquehanna, Allegheny, and Monongahela.

You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" and not even bat an eye.

You own only three condiments "A-1, Heinz 57 and Heinz ketchup".

Words like "hoagie", "crick", "chipped ham", "sticky buns", "shoo-fly pie", "pierogies" and "pocketbook" actually mean something to you.

You know several places to purchase or that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage (Lebanon Bologna), and Hot Bacon Dressing.

You know the time and location of every "wing night" in a 20 mile radius.

You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you know that it comes in several colors: Red, Blue, White, Brown, Gold.

You can stop along the road to buy fruits, vegetables, or crafts on the "honor system."

You prefer Hershey's Chocolate to Godiva.

You refer to something as "a whole nother," e.g., "That's a whole nother issue."

You hear Jersey Shore and think of a small town near Williamsport, not the beach of New Jersey.

You have had a lengthy conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number.

People wear camouflage to social events.

You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

Neda















[EDIT 7:13 PM]
Neda Soltan, Young Woman Hailed as Martyr in Iran, Becomes Face of Protests

19 June 2009

Those who make peaceful protest impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

The crowds in Tehran and elsewhere have been able to organize despite a government clampdown on the Internet and cell phones. The government has blocked certain Web sites, such as BBC Farsi, Facebook, Twitter and several pro-Mousavi sites that are vital conduits for Iranians to tell the world about protests and violence.
Text messaging, which is a primary source of spreading information in Tehran, has not been working since last week, and cell phone service in Tehran is frequently down. The government also has barred foreign news organizations from reporting on Tehran's streets.

"North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile["believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles] toward Hawaii . . . between July 4 and 8, given the North's propensity to launch on U.S. holidays (FNC).

Meanwhile, the U.S.S. John McCain is attempting to intercept the North Korean ship Kang Nam, "suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution past last Friday. . . . Kang Nam left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore. . . . The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, the U.S. military would have to request permission to board -- a request North Korea is unlikely to grant. North Korea has said that any attempt to board its ships would be viewed as an act of war and promised '100- or 1,000-fold' retaliation if provoked"" (FNC).

10 June 2009

Souse

David Letterman Slammed For Sex Jokes About Palin's Teen Daughter
This is disgusting and hardly a laughing matter. Hasn't bashing Gov. Palin gotten a bit old? Letterman needs to be more creative and find something less crude.

At the weekly farmers' market today, I discovered something called "souse" (which I pronounced "soose" when asking my mother about it). Despite my fondness for scrapple, as well as deer jerky and deer bologna (and basically anything else you can make out of deer), I cannot wrap my mind around the concept of souse (pronounced sowse), which, despite having lived in Central PA for almost my entire life, I have never tasted. It must be fairly common, however, because as I was asking my mom what souse is, a woman passing by overheard our conversation and smiled. After mom said, "You won't like it," the woman said, "She might, you never know." I looked at the woman and said, "I don't even know what it is! I didn't even know it was edible!"