Why I Don’t Give a Damn About Bob Bergdahl’s Beard

The second I saw Bob and Jani Bergdahl in the Rose Garden, I knew nothing good was going to come from Bob’s appearance. However, I absolutely did not expect the reaction the nation has had — especially since when CNN began commenting on the news right after the announcement, everything was so positive. So what changed? 

Well, there’s the so-called “pro-Taliban” tweets, including this one:

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 7.41.33 PM

Oh, total terrorist sympathizer. Or, you know, just someone who doesn’t support the war we’re having, or the human rights violations by foreign agencies occurring in Afghanistan. Someone who doesn’t support Guantanamo Bay and all of its (not so) grey areas of legality (something I’m sure Mos Def would say is rational). Someone who, as a parent of a captured child, can relate to and feel empathy for the thousands of dead Afghan civilians — and yes, that number includes dead children.

Are these the people you want to agree with? People who act like a POW is a terrorist because after 5 years he can’t remember English? People who think that Afghan children aren’t important? People who criticize the BEARD of the father of a prisoner of war who has spent YEARS worried about and trying to save him? People who think speaking Arabic makes you a terrorist?

Maybe the Bergdahls do hate America. I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to know. But I do know that I have traveled the Middle East, studied Arabic, and I even own a hijab. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the way our nation has handled our policies and wars; and I am even more embarrassed by the American public’s  lack of understanding in the cultures we choose to dominate. I support the closure of Guantanamo Bay, and the release of those that we cannot prove are an actual threat through legal means. Why? Because I believe in the freedoms and ideals that America should represent  — and I don’t think people’s rights to life and liberty are less valid because of the language they speak or the color of their skin.

I’ll be damned if you think I’m anti-American just because I don’t have blind support and patriotism. But just in case you think that, let me leave you with some images that might change your mind when it comes to judging Bob Bergdahl’s tweets and sympathies.

skai     star  loss

Yeah. What an asshole, feeling bad for those kids. For feeling a connection to those across the world (for people who are actually interested in following his Twitter, he doesn’t only sympathize with victims in Afghanistan) whose children have been lost to war.


NSA: Unquestionable, Irreparable, Irreversible Harm

It’s no secret I’m not a fan of the NSA and its mass surveillance of American citizens, so of course I’m on board for a protest.

Tomorrow is the one year mark of Edward Snowden’s first leak of NSA spying to the American pubic. While the general opinion of Snowden has varied over the past year, a majority of Americans now believe he did the right thing…so don’t let it go to waste. Join Reset the Net and take advantage of the encryption tools that will help protect you from mass surveillance. While our politicians do nothing but mumble and stutter nonsense when confronted about their support of the NSA, let’s group together and make it too expensive for the NSA to continue the spying they’re currently doing.



Waterfront Dinner

I started this blog intending to write about things in politics and the news that really irritate me, but I’ve been held back bythe question of what topic to start with. Thankfully, I wasted $95 this weekend eating at Sequoia in DC, and I want to use every outlet possible to let people know how terrible this place was (Yelp and Google just aren’t enough). Sure, it isn’t exactly about politics, but the restaurant is in DC so it’s close enough.

I went here over the weekend with two of my friends to celebrate the sun finally showing its face in DC, and I now wish I had just had some PB&Js in my front yard or something. Everything that could go wrong and suck here absolutely did. When we got to the hostess stand, we had the same interaction with two different people (one of whom I believe was a manager based on his clothing).

Employee: How many?
Us: 3
Employee: [walks away as though we are invisible]

Oh, okay. So when we finally got to our table, instead of just meandering off after pointing us in the general direction, the guy who sat us goes, “is this table fine, YES OR NO?!” What? Is this the exit row in an airplane? You need a verbal yes or no about the table? Whatever. After we agreed YES to sit at the table (maybe this guy was actually warning us to get out and save ourselves?), a single glass of water with one straw was placed in the center of the table. Naturally, everyone that worked for the establishment promptly fled the vicinity, leaving us wondering what to do with this single water cup. Maybe cut the straw in thirds? When the waiter came to our table and took our drink orders, I even told him, “someone awkwardly set this single cup down here, so I’m not sure what’s up with that, but is it trash?” “Oh, they’ll be ‘right back’ with more.” Right back? Hope you like the water view, dear reader, as this place runs on Key West time…but with none of the natural beauty of the ocean or warmth of Florida (indeed, we ended up spending so long there the sun went down and it was freezing when we left).

Also, good thing the drink menu is just a list of some beers and like 3 speciality cocktails that aren’t impressive. They only have TWENTY for the entire restaurant, and the waiter rudely took it from my friend without an apology or saying he’d be back with it. Hey, Sequoia, you’re a WATERFRONT RESTAURANT. Would it freaking kill you to put some beachy drinks on your menu? I could buy some crab legs at Safeway and blend my own key lime vodka with coconut cream and ice and drink it by a kiddie pool and it’d be a more worthwhile and creative waterfront experience than crushed blueberries and menu snatching.

We ordered our appetizers and entrees at the same time — and thank God for apps! It took over an HOUR from GETTING our appetizers to get our entrees. Seriously? Props for using Maryland crabs, Sequoia, but did you send someone up the Chesapeake to pull a crab pot to make our cakes super fresh? When we got the food, my one friend asked for a box because she figured it’d be her only shot for an hour or so (jokes on her, since it took over an hour to pay the check after we asked for it), and our waiter told her, “I’m really busy right now, I’ll get it later.” WHAT?! The CORRECT answer is, “Of course! Give me just a minute and I’ll be right back with it.” But the boxes ended up being in a cabinet about 2 feet from our table, making his frazzled reaction even more bizarre. I guess he was really pressed for time since he probably had to run away and hide from another table so they couldn’t ask where their food was (answer: if at all like my lukewarm crabcakes, sitting under a heat lamp).

Then the check. Oh, the check. We planned to split the bill between two cards, with the third party paying cash to one of the cards. I was dividing up my portion when I realized there was an extra drink on the bill. We finally flagged down the waiter and pointed it out.

Waiter: Oh, yeah. Just pay everything and I won’t charge $10.
Me: Right, but we’re splitting the bill so we need an accurate count of the whole thing.
Waiter: It’s no big deal, just make it $10 short.
Me: You need to give us an accurate copy of the bill before I’ll pay.
Waiter: Fine.

Um, what? We’re dividing things up, and there was $19 worth of taxes on the bill that also needed split, and everything that happens here is terrible, so why would I trust this? Good thing I didn’t, based on what followed. We get the accurate check, I divide everything up and write LastNameA: $XXX LastNameB: $XXX. He did separate charges, all right…but swiped my friends card for both of the charges. Good thing I noticed my receipt said her name on it, or we wouldn’t have known until she or I checked our credit card statements.


Just walk around the area and buy a hot dog from a vendor or something.


The view is lovely.