I didn’t mess up the Abbess’s Birthday this Year…Cheers!
I am terrible at doing birthdays…mine included. Unfortunately this can be detrimental in my primary and many other relationships. In particular I have made my fair share of messes when it comes to birthdays, especially those of Judy. This began shortly after marriage and there have been a number of times that I regret, especially in choice of gifts. A large part of this was due to selective hearing on my part in what she wanted and to what she would refer to as the “damage to the brain caused by the male hormone.” The biggest of the goofs was when in seminary I got her the Bible that I wanted…not smart. I will not add to the fire of my self-immolation here by describing the others. I can say that like a pitcher has hung one too many curveballs in the center of the plate to good hitters and seeing it go over the fence, the memories flash through my mind beginning in the middle of September until the birthday is successfully negotiated. It is like making sure that I get the last out before I can rest.
This year went well. In fact it has been like an extended celebration for her milestone birthday. We brought her college roommate here for 6 days, we had lunch with her friend Diane and dinner at Gordon Biersch together and breakfast today with her friend Pat and her father today. Saturday evening we will make the close to the week by having a number of people over for dinner and cake. Even the gifts that I chose were things that she wanted or actually liked. The key to me successfully negotiating a birthday is to actually listen to what she wants.
We have had a couple of good days of leave and enjoyed our time together. The cool thing is though she has reached this milestone, she neither looks nor acts her age. Since I neither look nor act my age most of the time, though I am feeling it more, I think that we are a good match.
Open for Business
At the same time the week has seen my “Closet of Anxieties” open up again. Part is obviously PTSD induced and part life induced. My mom as always has managed to add stress to my life. My dad continues to slowly circle getting worse in the nursing home. My German friend wants me to come to Germany in early December but I am nervous about making the flight. I was able to handle flying much better before Iraq.
Finally I am concerned about things going on in the country as some people on the political right are advocating a military coup or violent revolution to overthrow President Obama. The scary thing as these are not people on the nutty fringe but people more in the mainstream of current conservative thought. What is even more alarming is that a lot of these folks are also prominent Evangelical Christians. One should never forget that many German “conservative Christian values voters” supported Hitler because they so hated the left. Hitler, like many right wing politicians in this country played to their fear and hatred of the left for their political support. I’m afraid of the same thing happening here.
A good article about this is found at blogger Polycarp’s site which is linked here: http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/2009/09/phyllis-schlafly-endorses-bloody-revolution-columnist-plans-for-armed-coup/
The Kapp Putsch
To me the political situation is looking more like the Weimar Republic every day and unlike the folks cited in the article I don’t see President Obama as a Nazi or Marxist. I think that people are playing with fire in suggesting bloody revolutions or military coups. If either happens there is no going back. They will have to coin a phrase “destroyed the Constitution in order to save it.” What is scary for me to see a national columnist like John Perry writing in the mainstream conservative news online publication Newsmax.com , suggest a military coup when the military is engaged in two wars. The military is perhaps the most trusted institution in the country and to look to it in time of war to overthrow the government in a partisan action is madness and even borders on treason. Even if this Wolfgang Kapp wannabee was able to get some misdirected military leader to pull a Lüttwitz[i] and attempt to seize power. Such an attempt would be futile and doomed to failure. Such an attempt could never gain the support of the entire military and would be dependent on many younger soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who do not necessarily support the or are as radical as those pushing this on the political right. The military is not a reactionary or monolithic institution despite the wishes of some on the right. When one sees this kind of talk combined with street brawls at political town meetings and people carrying semi-automatic weapons at rallies where the President is speaking one sees a recipe for disaster that could destroy the country. If this continues and at best poison the political and social atmosphere for decades to come. I felt the same way when people on the left suggested a military coup against President Bush a couple of years ago. We have a political process that has worked relatively well for 200 plus years. Yes we are divided and having problems but nothing is insurmountable if we decide to work and play well with each other. We have survived as a nation so long precisely because we have had the wisdom to step back from the brink, with the exception of the Civil War and we all know how well that turned out for everyone concerned.
Jeff Fiorentino in Norfolk
However tonight a final source of anxiety was lifted when the Orioles broke their 13 game losing streak against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. O’s lefty Chris Waters, who I have met a number of times in Norfolk got the win and Jeff Fiorentino came up big with a 2 out RBI single that provided what would be the winning run. It was good news for both players, Waters needed the win just to regain confidence and hopefully get another look by the O’s and other teams. Fiorentino is now being talked about as having a place on the 2010 Orioles. He certainly has earned it. With the win the Orioles go home to the confines of Camden Yards to finish the season against the Blue Jays.
Peace, Padre Steve+
Note: The last time I posted something about faith and politics I had a couple of really nasty and personal comments by those on the right all but calling me a non-Christian and Marxist traitor. This should be fun.
[i] Wolfgang Kapp was a German politician who worked with disaffected radical elements of the Army to attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic in 1922. He gained the support of General von Lüttwitz who commanded the military district around Berlin and used a radicalized Freikorps, the Erhardt Brigade which was slated by the Army for demobilization to attempt to seize control of the government. The attempt floundered but hindered future cooperation between the Army and the Majority Socialists where the Nazis began their rise to power.