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Commodious Thinking 

By KEVIN TAYLOR & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & K & lt;/span & evin Kincheloe is best known as a high school teacher and counselor in the little town of Harrison on the eastern shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene.





But recently, for the better part of two years, he was called away to serve a stint as a platoon leader and sergeant first class on combat patrol in Iraq with the Idaho National Guard's 116th Brigade Combat Team.





Almost as soon as he got off the plane at Camp Beurhring in Kuwait, he was struck by the level of graffiti in Porta Potties.





"While at Camp Buerhring, I soon realized that the thoughts and ramblings inside these plastic commodes were a lot different than those that you would typically see in public bathrooms back in the States. Because the users were about to cross the border into Iraq, their comments were a little more substantive, devoid of the typical sexual banter. I found them to be funny, thought-provoking, political, and at times, totally random," Kincheloe writes.





He made sure to take snapshots of bathroom graffiti from Kuwait all the way north through Iraq to the Kurdish city of Kirkuk.





Here are a few samples Kincheloe shared with The Inlander: Some are short and cryptic about the land that lay outside the plastic door: Is this Oz?


Or short and poignant: I miss home. Can't I just blow up Fallujah?


Other writers expounded at length.


This is not our war


This is not our land


This is not our cause


We are brought here to


Let ex-presidents live vicariously through us


And let our blood fertilize democracy


In a country that will uproot it at every chance.


So We Fight


For honor now


And the hope that the memory of our victory


Lingers long after our footprints


Fade from the sand


And let it be known that for


Every soldier that dies


The axe is swung one more time


Against the tree of political bigotry.





(Another writer penned "Amen" next to the above.)





Here's a favorite random entry:





I bet if you


were a cowboy and


you were dragging a guy


behind your horse it


would make you really


mad if you looked


back and he was


reading a magazine.





At first it seems to make no sense, then you think about what is the actual nature of the war in Iraq.


Then there is the amazing entry - in elegant, curling script - that appears written by Major Optimist:





Every morning is a fresh beginning.


Every day is the world made new.


Today is a new day.


Today is my world made new.


I have lived all my life up to this moment,


to come to this day.


This moment - this day - is as good


as any moment in all eternity.


I shall make of this day - each moment of


this day - a heaven on earth.


This is my day of Opportunity!


A swooping arrow comes from a commentary - serious or snarky, it's impossible to tell - written in a bolder, heavier hand, from off to the side, "Whoever wrote this is obviously smart & amp; educated."





A darker message was addressed to the enemy:


Dear Insurgent:


I drove in a car


I flew in a plane


To come to your house


And deal you some pain


I look at you


You look at me


You know you'll be dead


By half-past three


No improvised bomb


Or IED


Is enough to discourage me


If you are down


Stomach feels funny


Stop and read Leviticus 20.





There was another smart question:


Do we stop


violence or


perpetuate it?


Policing the


World is


Painful.





And a nice rant from "Johnny Quest":


Is this a war or maybe a crusade


It's hard to discern watching a Rumsfeld tirade


Terrorism or oil, I'm left uncertain,


Maybe the source of my consternation is Bush's 'black curtain'


Perhaps Powell will write a tell-all book,


And 51 percent of America will really get a look.


If 'Pottery Barn' rules really do apply,


Will it be 5, 10, 15 years before the 'coalition of the willing' can finally fly.


Does the electorate really have an intimation,


Or as I suspect, they are still on vacation.
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