Monthly Archives: October 2017

Tarnished Stars

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I was disappointed but not surprised when I read President Trump’s Chief of Staff, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly turn to false narratives of the American Civil War in an interview Fox New’s Femme Ideologue Laura Ingraham. Kelly described Robert E. Lee as an honorable man and said that the war was caused by a lack of compromise. Kelly’s description of both is mind boggling to me as a historian in 2017 because the narrative that he evoked was that of Jim Crow, the noble south, and Confederate revisionist history that began in the years after the war and became for many people the truth about the the war, its causes, and the men who led the Confederate armies in a war that was based on the expansion of slavery and the rejection of decades of compromise in which the Free States continuously surrendered their rights and freedoms to Slave Power.

Kelly’s comments surprised many military men, especially those who have some actual advanced education in history, as well as respected historians of the period who are not political ideologues. I fit in both categories. I am a career military officer and I am a historian. My first book, which hopefully will be published sometime next year, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Race, Religion, Ideology, and Politics in the Civil War Era, deals extensively with the subject. I found Kelly’s comments coupled with his continued refusal to apologize to a Gold Star Mother, and a Congresswoman who he lied about completely dishonorable and actions which stained his honor as a Marine. I can only imagine what Smedley Butler would say to Kelly, and based on what Butler said in his book War is a Racket I cannot imagine them being sympathetic to Kelly. Butler wrote:

“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

In his defense of President Trump as well as his apology for the traitorous General Lee and the Southern Confederacy which valued slavery and race supremacy over the Union Kelly lost every bit of respect that I had given him. He has surrendered his honor to be a partisan hack for a politician who has shown no respect to the Constitution, the rule of law, or our form of government. Kelly may end up becoming, to paraphrase the words of Butler, a gangster for Trump. When I think of that my heart sinks, and I wonder why more officers cannot heed the words of Butler, or German General Ludwig Beck who said in opposing Hitler:

“It is a lack of character and insight, when a soldier in high command sees his duty and mission only in the context of his military orders without realizing that the highest responsibility is to the people of his country.”

I sign off tonight shaking my head sadly thinking about how John Kelly has forever tarnished his reputation, and if he continues down this path may help destroy the Constitution that with every promotion he has sworn to support and defend.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under civil war, History, Military, News and current events, Political Commentary

Character and Leadership: Kaiser Wilhelm II and President Trump

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Theodore Roosevelt noted: “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

As the dual crises of indictments and potential nuclear war swirl around the White House I think that it is important to see the President’s words and actions in light of a number of factors. One of those, as Theodore Roosevelt noted is character. Thus it is important to know how the character other leaders at other times influenced how they treated people, reacted to criticism, and led their nations.

In the American experience one is hard pressed to find a President with a similar temperament and character that corresponds to Donald Trump. Yes, Nixon had some similarities, Jackson as well, but both men even at their worst did, at least in public restrain themselves and Nixon, when confronted with the reality of certain impeachment did the country a favor by resigning.

But that was a different time. There were leaders in the Republican Party who chose to honor the Constitution and their oaths over blind party loyalty or their determination to pass a certain legislative act. Their resistance to President Nixon was instrumental in his resignation in 1974. But there seem to be few current members of the GOP congressional delegations willing to stand either for fear of the Trump base, or blind determination to press on with tax cuts even if it means the sacrifice of the Constitution, nuclear war, or their own integrity.

But I do think that there is a leader who in temperament was much like President Trump, who ended up helping to lead his nation and the world to the abyss of World War. That is not Adolf Hitler who many people often compare the President. I think that Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and his reliance on his radicalized base, including armed mobs in the street, and hyper-partisan allies in the right wing media, especially Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp which serves as his de-facto state media are similar, but they do not speak to the President’s unstable, narcissistic, and paranoid behaviors. I think that the better comparison is to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany with whom the President seems to share many similarities.

In his book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, Christopher Clark wrote of Wilhelm in words that are strikingly reminiscent of the President.

“It was one of this Kaiser’s many peculiarities that he was completely unable to calibrate his behaviour to the contexts in which his high office obliged him to operate. Too often he spoke not like a monarch, but like an over-excited teenager giving free rein to his current preoccupations.

‘I am the sole master of German policy,’ he remarked in a letter to the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII), ‘and my country must follow me wherever I go”

“Wilhelm frequently –especially in the early years of his reign –bypassed his responsible ministers by consulting with ‘favourites’, encouraged factional strife in order to undermine the unity of government, and expounded views that had not been cleared with the relevant ministers or were at odds with the prevailing policy.

“It was in this last area –the unauthorized exposition of unsanctioned political views –that the Kaiser achieved the most hostile notice, both from contemporaries and from historians. There can be no doubt about the bizarre tone and content of many of the Kaiser’s personal communications in telegrams, letters, marginal comments, conversations, interviews and speeches on foreign and domestic political themes. Their exceptional volume alone is remarkable: the Kaiser spoke, wrote, telegraphed, scribbled and ranted more or less continuously during the thirty years of his reign, and a huge portion of these articulations was recorded and preserved for posterity…”

Max Hastings wrote that Wilhelm “was a brittle personality whose yearning for respect caused him to intersperse blandishments and threats in ill-judged succession.” Sean McMeekin in his book July 1914 wrote that Wilhelm had an “insecurity complex, a need for constant attention and acclaim. As one of his many critics put it, the kaiser needed to be “the stag at every hunt, the bride at every wedding, and the corpse at every funeral.” He also noted “Eager for praise, taking offense at the merest slight, the kaiser was a difficult man to work for. Bismarck had disdained to gratify Wilhelm II’s fragile ego after he became emperor in 1888, which led to his sacking two years later.”

Like President Trump the Kaiser did experience some push back from different governmental ministers, and was somewhat restrained during the month leading up to the war, but his constant belligerence, instability, and unscripted remarks helped set the diplomatic and governmental crisis that led to the war. Of course this was not his fault alone, the Austrian-Hungarians, Serbians, Russians, French, and British all had a hand, but the Kaiser, through his words and actions during the three decades preceding the war bears much responsibility for what happened in 1914. If the Kaiser had had a Twitter account he would have certainly used it in a similar manner to President Trump.

But Germany had no checks and balances to restrain Wilhelm. He was an absolute monarch. Americans do still have institutional checks and balances to Presidential overreach or abuses should we choose to follow the Constitution, but for that to happen the leadership of the Republican Party must also act, as did their predecessors during the Nixon administration to put principle or party, and rule of law over blind obedience. This is not about partisanship; it is about the Constitution, our form of government, and yes, even the prevention of nuclear war.

Character and temperament are very important in times of crisis and elevated tensions. Character is also fate. We should all tremble when we think of the lack of character and maturity shown by our President.

Until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

3 Comments

Filed under History, national security, News and current events, Political Commentary

Here I Stand: The Reformation at 500 Years

Me at the site where Martin Luther made his stand in 1996

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Today was Reformation Sunday, the Sunday where many Protestants celebrate Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Schlosskirche on October 31st 1517.

For me it is one of those weird times. I am not Protestant, though Martin Luther is one of my heroes, nor am I Roman Catholic. I am a priest in a small communion that is most like the Dutch Old Catholics and the Utrecht Union. I live in the uncomfortable middle between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Thus I have to make my way between a variety of types of Protestants and Roman Catholics in order to survive have a good deal of appreciation for the historic faith of the undivided Catholic Church before the Great Schism of 1054, and Martin Luther’s expression of Protestantism which culminated in his break with Rome and excommunication when he defended himself before the Holy Roman Emperor and the Papal legates at the Diet of Worms where when demanded to recant his views he said:

“Since your most serene majesty and your high mightinesses require of me a simple, clear and direct answer, I will give one, and it is this: I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the council, because it is as clear as noonday that they have fallen into error and even into glaring inconsistency with themselves. If, then, I am not convinced by proof from Holy Scripture, or by cogent reasons, if I am not satisfied by the very text I have cited, and if my judgment is not in this way brought into subjection to God’s word, I neither can nor will retract anything; for it cannot be either safe or honest for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise; God help me! Amen.

When I read Luther’s defense of his views before the princes and prelates at Worms in 1521 I still get a chill up my spine. It is hard to imagine anyone today daring to stand up to ruling powers unless they have the support of worldly powers greater than oppose.

What Luther did when he nailed his theses to the door of the Schlosskirche was to set into motion events that he could not dare to imagine. By kicking in the doors of the church to real dissent he opened the way to the secular and progressive views of the Enlightenment, without which there would have been no philosophical or political underpinning for the United States of America and the hallmark of our national ideal found in our Declaration of Independence which says “we hold these truth s to be self evident, that all men are created equal…”

Luther recovered the key to the Christian faith, that is faith in the Crucified God. As Lutheran theologian Juergen Moltmann wrote:

“When God becomes man in Jesus of Nazareth, he not only enters into the finitude of man, but in his death on the cross also enters into the situation of man’s godforsakenness. In Jesus he does not die the natural death of a finite being, but the violent death of the criminal on the cross, the death of complete abandonment by God. The suffering in the passion of Jesus is abandonment, rejection by God, his Father. God does not become a religion, so that man participates in him by corresponding religious thoughts and feelings. God does not become a law, so that man participates in him through obedience to a law. God does not become an ideal, so that man achieves community with him through constant striving. He humbles himself and takes upon himself the eternal death of the godless and the godforsaken, so that all the godless and the godforsaken can experience communion with him.”

Because of that we owe the flawed and often troubled monk and theologian from Wittenberg a debt of gratitude. As for me, I know that I do. I may not always be right, nor to I claim to be, but as a matter of faith and politics I have to say “here I stand.”

So until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under christian life, faith, Religion

Physical and Emotional Readiness

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

This week I passed my Navy Physical Fitness Assessment, or PFA. I did my weigh in and met my Body Composition Assessment or BCA, having lost eleven pounds since my last weigh-in on April 18th (and 17 since Memorial Day). I also did a lot better on the Physical Readiness Test completing 73 sit-ups and 51-push-ups while doing well enough on the stationary bike to get an overall score of excellent. Since I am 57 and a half years old that made my week. A lot of my success has been a combination of doing a much better job of my diet as well as disciplining myself to walk or run as much as I can nearly every day. On a bad day I typically walk at least six miles and most days I shoot for nine to ten miles or more, sometimes in combat boots.

Since Memorial Day I now keep track of my steps, distance, time, calories burned, and sleep on a Garmin Vivofit 3 device. That device and the Garmin app for my iPhone allow me to track my fitness better than I have in years. I highly recommend to any of my readers who struggle with keeping track of their weight and physical fitness to get a similar device from either Garmin or Fitbit. They do not cost that much and at least for me they challenge me to achieve my daily and weekly goals far more than anything else I have used in my life.

Anyway. I have been extremely busy at work, and since I struggle with sleep due to a combination of PTSD night terrors and recently diagnosed sleep apnea for which I will be fitted with a CPAP machine next week I am very pleased with my weight loss and overall physical fitness.

In normal times simply doing this for health would be a good enough reason to try to stay in shape, but as a military man I know that it has to be about more than that.

The fact that I am 57 years old and am getting raw scores better than people younger than me on the Physical Readiness Test makes me quite happy. I try my best to neither look or act my age, and most of my sailors, as well as many other officers and chaplains are surprised to find out just how old I am. In fact I am the oldest active duty Navy member on my base.

There are a couple of reasons I work so hard at this: first, I need to for the sake of my health, and second, because I believe that the President is going to lead us into a terrible war and that I could well end up back in harms way. If I am correct and that happens I need to ensure that I am in the best physical shape possible and make sure that I have more physical endurance than I had during my last combat tour in Iraq in 2007-2008. I have served and trained on the Korean DMZ and I know that if war breaks out there it will be more terrible than anything seen since before I was born. Compared to it our wars in Vietnam and the Middle East will be child’s play and the cost in lives, and treasure will be appalling.

I have been to war and I hate war. I am scared to death of how cavalier President Trump seems about war when he engages in rhetorical games with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Likewise I am appalled to see how how unserious the majority of Americans are, including many in the military, about being prepared for the worst. I am and will always remain a critic of President Trump. I do not feel he has the moral character or emotion maturity to lead this country, but he is the President whether I like it or not. I could have retired from the military years ago, but I have felt that it was my place to continue to serve. I never anticipated a man like Donald Trump being President, but now I feel that I have to remain in order to care for my sailors, marines, soldiers, and airmen when the war breaks out. I see it coming and I hate it. There are times that I want to retire, sell everything and move to Germany to get out of Trump’s America and to the disaster that he is leading us, but When I think of those young men and women who will be going into harms way I know that I have to remain. If I remain I have to be both physically and emotionally ready for the coming war.

Lieutenant General Hal Moore who fought in the Second World War, Korea, and Vietnam wrote:

“There’s never been a noble war except in the history books and propaganda movies. It’s a bloody, dirty, cruel, costly mistake in almost every case, as it was in this war that would end so badly. But the young soldiers can be and often are noble, selfless, and honorable. They don’t fight for a flag or a president or mom and apple pie. When it comes down to it they fight and die for each other, and that is reason enough for them, and for me.”

I would like to be wrong about it, but as a historian I see war coming, probably sooner rather than later, and because of that I am doing all that I can to ensure that I can be there for those young men and women who will be on the front lines. If war does not come I lose nothing. I will be in great physical shape and that will help me emotionally as well. That being said I cannot shake the feeling that President Trump is leading us to a military disaster and that many Americans, military and civilians, not to mention Koreans, Japanese, Chines, and others will die in the war that he and Kim Jong Un will bring upon the world. Judy and I talk about this reality. Recently she asked me if I would resign my commission or retire if war came. I told her that I couldn’t because I care too much about those young men and women who don’t need cheerleading chaplains, but chaplains who will be there for them when all else fails. Of course she knew that.

Frankly, I really do want to be wrong about this, but I can see it coming as plainly as I can see anything.

So until tomorrow.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under History, Military

Corker, McCain, Flake, and Von Papen: A Reflection on Words Without Actions

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I have been listening to the words and watching the actions of Republicans who at one time or another have criticized or stood against the words and actions of President Trump. Likewise I have watched and listened for any pushback from military leaders at the actions of retired Marine Corps General John Kelly when like any hired partisan political hack he went to the defense of the President, and made false statements regarding a Democratic Congresswoman while pouring more gasoline on a fire that never should have been lit in the first place. As I have watched that spectacle I have been reminded of the words of one of my football coaches in high school who told me when I protested not getting playing time “your actions speak so loud I can hear a word you are saying.” He was talking about my performance in practice and his words helped me to set a new course for my life. I only wish that President Trump’s Republican critics would have gotten that message.

A number of Senators, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and John McCain, as well,as former President George Bush made sharp comments about the President’s actions, words, and his character, but were careful to avoid mentioning him by name. Corker was one of Trump’s earliest supporters but now has become one of the Presidents’s most stalwart critics. Senator Lindsey Graham, who has occasionally spoken out against certain policies of the President gave voice as to the real reason that congressional Republicans say little and do less to oppose the chaos of the administration, or President’s attacks on the Constitution, when he said that he wasn’t criticizing Trump because he was “working for tax cuts.”

Working for tax cuts while the President and his supporters like Steve Bannon threaten the very heart of the American system of government and the Constitutional rights of all Americans is a sad excuse for doing nothing. When I read the the comments of the erstwhile GOP opponents of Trump I am reminded of Franz von Papen and other German conservatives who in 1933 looked the other way when Hitler began his campaign to eliminate political opposition, including that of their own parties. Too late, Papen, who had helped convince President Paul von Hindenburg to make Hitler Chancellor. In a speech at Marburg University on June 17th 1934 Papen, then serving as Vice Chancellor spoke against some aspects of the National Socialist state without actually naming Hitler or the Nazi Party. Even so, the speech infuriated Hitler, and two weeks later Papen narrowly escaped death during the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler eliminated much potential opposition from inside and outside of the Nazi Party in a two day bloodbath in which three of his closest aides were murdered by the SS and Gestapo. Afterward Papen resigned his post and was appointed as Ambassador to Austria where he served during the Nazi takeover of that county, and later in Turkey.

Other German conservatives, especially in the Army lent a hand to Hitler by both tacit agreement and silent acquiescence in those early years when it was still possible under the Weimar Constitution to remove Hitler, but their hatred of democracy and Hitler’s opponents on the political left prevented them from taking the courageous steps necessary.

Papen bore heavy responsibility for helping Hitler gain power and to carry out his initial work to eliminate organized political opposition, and to eliminate his opponents in the Nazi Party. Without the cooperation of Papen and other non-Nazis as well as their later silence, Hitler would not have been able to gain full power over the German state.

I wonder how many American conservatives, including GOP leaders, Christian ministers, and military men will end up regretting their acquiescence to President Trump. When I do that I am reminded of the words of Martin Niemoller, a German war hero from the First World War who became an influential pastor. He wrote:

“I hated the growing atheistic movement, which was fostered and promoted by the Social Democrats and the Communists. Their hostility toward the Church made me pin my hopes on Hitler for a while. I am paying for that mistake now; and not me alone, but thousands of other persons like me.”

Niemoller later wrote the immortal poem First They Came. I wonder how many of the people who either cheer on the President today, or knuckle under to his threats will find Niemoller’s words apropos when they find themselves under the gun. Niemoller wrote:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. 

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. 

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. 

Words matter, but actions matter more. This is a warning from history.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Loose thoughts and musings, nazi germany, Political Commentary

The Kelly Kerfuffle

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I was sad when I saw retired Marine General John Kelly and current Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump debase himself in order to defend the President’s remarkers to a pregnant and now widowed wife of a fallen Green Beret. But let me explain, because context is everything when dealing with a situation like this.

But please let me preface my comments by explaining a bit of my background. I have spent most of my life in military society and have been formed by my experiences as a Navy Brat, seventeen and a half years in the Army, Army National Guard and Reserve, and another almost nineteen years in the Navy in which I have served over six years with the Marines and another four years in Joint assignments. I was born in a Navy hospital in 1960 and the military has been my life. From the time I was a young child it was my desire to serve in the military. When I got old enough to join my parents talked me out of enlisting immediately after high school to check out college. I did that, met the girl that became my wife, and realized that I still desired to serve in the military. Thirty-six years after first swearing into the Army in August 1981 I still serve. I have made multiple deployments, suffer from severe PTSD and other afflictions but I neither regret any part of my service nor think that somehow my service makes me any more of a patriot than people who love this country and serve in other ways. My brother has never served in the military but he is a stellar school administrator in a very challenging school district and his wife is a teacher. Neither of them has served in the military but there is no doubt that they love the country and have made sacrifices to serve the people of my hometown when they could have done other things.

First let me say that while he was on active duty I both respected and admired General Kelly, especially after his son, a Marine Corps Lieutenant was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. His loss is some ways, from a personal point of view unimaginable to me because I have never fathered any children and thus never experienced the loss of a son. I have sat with hundreds of fathers and mothers who have lost their children from all kinds of reasons including war to understand their loss from a clinical and pastoral standpoint but I cannot completely empathize because I never had a child or lost one.

Unfortunately, at least from my point of view General Kelly jumped the shark in attempting to defend the words of an unapologetic, and at least from all I have read, uncaring, President Trump. Honestly there is nothing that General Kelly could have done to salvage our the situation for the President unless the President himself had done something to apologize or to defuse the situation before it blew up. All the President had to do, even if he was sincere about it, was to say, “I didn’t mean to come across the way that I and do care for you. Please if I can do anything to help during these terrible times let me know, I will,stand by you as long as you need and will make sure that you are not forgotten.” But the President can admit no fault and blames everyone else for his mistakes, missteps, and outright fuck-ups. Because of that General Kelly should have said nothing and simply worked to contain the damage of the President, but he and the White House Press Secretary poured gasoline on the fire.

Despite being a Gold Star father he showed no empathy to the wife of the Green Beret, Mrs. Johnson. Instead he launched into a speech about the decline in traditional values, including respect for women (which the three times married, lecherous, and misogynistic President has never himself imbibed in). General Kelly then made his statement an ad hominem political attack on Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of Florida who listen to the call which riding with Sergeant Johnson’s widow. General Kelly, who had not been a target of any criticism then went to the defense of the President, insulted her, deprecated her, and was hugely and factually wrong in criticizing her remarks at an FBI building dedication in 2015, which was proven by video recordings of her comments in 2015. He also made a qualitative judgment about the value of those who have served in the military and those who haven’t. It was as he said, if you haven’t served I neither respect you or value your opinion. His comments sounded much like Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) in A Few Good Men.

In answering questions about General Kelly’s comments White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders basically told critics of Kelly:”If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that that’s something highly inappropriate.” But General Kelly is now retired. He serves in a civilian capacity and by the way no General or Admiral, active, Reserve, or retired is above criticism in our form of government and it is why that the founders had a deep distrust of military establishments and the machinations of Generals in politics. But Mr. Kelly does not seem to appreciate that distinction.

Conservative Republican columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote:

“Recognition is now sinking in that Kelly is not so different than all the other politicians and officials who come in contact with Trump. To serve him requires suspension of integrity, and therefore those who serve become morally corrupted.”

That is not good. Elliot Cohen who served in the Bush White House said that Sanders’s comments were “a statement worthy of Wilhelmine Germany at its worst.”

What Mr. Kelly did was to throw gasoline on an already raging fire, and to act more as a politician by launching attacks on a congresswoman who heard the conversation that as someone trying to be the adult in the room. I can imagine that he has not really gotten over the loss of his son and that he is still hurting, and like many of us who served, often blames civilians who have never served in the military, especially at war, as part of the problem. However, it was the military after the Vietnam War who in conjunction with legislators from both parties that helped design this all-volunteer military in the mid-1970s.

Please do not get me wrong, but Mr. Kelly hurt his reputation and moral standing by wading into the fray.

So anyway, I could write more from other perspectives but I will wait.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under Loose thoughts and musings, Military, Political Commentary

Perchance to Sleep: A Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I found out on Friday that I have moderate to almost severe sleep apnea. I have had terrible problems with sleep since returning form Iraq in 2008, in fact my problems sleeping started while I was still in country. I battle PTSD and that has been a big part of my sleep problems the constant anxiety, nightmares, night terrors, and exceptionally vivid dreams, even those not dealing directly with Iraq, war, or military service.

In 2015 I had a sleep study that did not detect the apnea, though it did link my sleeplessness to neurological issues related to the PTSD. That being said different medications have only marginally helped me sleep and over the past few years I have had two emergency room visits from flying out of my bed and smashing my face against nightstands, including one that my face broke. My dad always did say that I was hard headed but I never thought about it being that hard.

Anyway, for over a year Judy had been complaining about my loud snoring, this is something that had become worse over the past couple of years. She is profoundly deaf without her hearing aids and she even tried wearing ear plugs that would give her and extra 30-40 decibel protection. Since without her hearing aids she has a loss of something over 70% the decibels should have allowed her to sleep, but my snoring still intruded. So we moved me into our guest bedroom while I waited to see the sleep doctor and get set up for another sleep study. I did the study in the middle of August and got the results Friday. I will be getting a CPAP machine in a week or so and I look forward to at least not struggling to breathe in my sleep even if I still deal with the other PTSD related issues. It is no fun waking up exhausted and hopefully the use of the machine will help me sleep better.

Admittedly a machine will not help much those nights when my brain refuses to shut off and I cannot get to sleep because I am either in a state of anxiety or creativity, but that is life.

Anyway, on other subjects I am thrilled that the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees and I do hope that they will go on the defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. As far as the remarks of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on the controversy created by President Trump involving a Gold Star mother I have a number of thoughts from different angles, clinical, social, political, constitutional and historical that I hope to explore this week because the controversy has exposed some issues that could threaten our republican form of government and our democracy. Because of this and to avoid writing something quickly that could be interpreted wrong I am going to reflect and read some more before I write about it.

So until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

1 Comment

Filed under Loose thoughts and musings, PTSD