Friday, June 25, 2010

General Agreement

Victor Davis Hanson, the distinguished military historian, has addressed the McChrystal flap with his usual intelligence and clear judgment in two articles, linked here and here.

Although I was torn on the issue (because so much of what was said in the infamous article is true about the Obama administration), a Commander-in-Chief simply can't tolerate that level of disrespect going public. Although it is painful to think of the inept and self-obsessed Obama in that crucial role, it is our country's reality at the moment.

Respect for the office, not the person, is required. Our over-puffed president has trouble with that distinction, but it also is reality.

There are at least a couple of ironies in the conclusion to this messy incident. Apparently it takes personal insults against President Obama for him to act quickly and decisively. Perhaps BP and Gov. Bobby Jindal should start calling the president a "wimp" in order to prompt more Federal involvement in the Gulf cleanup. And General Petraeus, about whom Obama was so negative during the Bush years, has become his new go-to guy. We won't be seeing "Betray-Us" ads in the media or hearing Hillary Clinton bleat over "suspension of disbelief."

Generally speaking, it's an acceptable outcome.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
~ Sigmund Freud

It's been a very long time since I could wish my dad a Happy Father's Day. After twenty-three years, I still miss him.

As an adult, with a continent between us, I never did much for Dad on Father's Day. Of course, being a good father, he never expected much. Dad really enjoyed humorous greeting cards, so each year I would send him a funny card. He always said that if a card didn't make you laugh immediately when you opened it and read the punch line, it was the wrong card. I would spend considerable time each year selecting the properly amusing card for him.

On Father's Day morning, I would call Dad and we would chat and chuckle about this year's greeting card. To this day, it is difficult for me to walk past displays of Father's Day greeting cards.

A good dad makes all the difference in life. I hope you can hear me saying, as I do each year, "Happy Father's Day, Daddy."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A New Addition

I've added Rasmussen Reports to my sidebar links, since I've been checking it every day for a few months. I think Scott Rasmussen has the most accurate and comprehensive polling on the widest variety of issues that concern American voters. In my opinion, and in today's cyber-speak, he's earned his hotlink on my homepage.

UPDATE: I removed the link when it began requiring a subscription to read it

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lessons from Loss

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind...
~ William Wordsworth, Ode on Intimations of Immortality

Since my husband’s death over four years ago, I’ve been through a lot of changes. Not all of them are noteworthy, but I have developed two beneficial habits. One is an attitude of thankfulness for every good thing that remains in my life, because I now understand the reality of how quickly things can change. The second is the awareness of the knowledge that any loss can always be so much worse than it was.

Yes, Pete died at an early age. I am grateful that our children were already grown. Both of them were young adults, no longer dependent upon their parents for the basic support and structure of their daily lives. Yes, it would have been wonderful for them to have their father here for love and guidance as they stand poised for families of their own. But the kids did have a wonderful father throughout all their formative years, and God had other plans for Pete. I’m so grateful that I was not left with young children to raise without their dad.

I received some bad news today that reminded me of this blessing. A friend I worked with many years ago just lost his wife after a 10-year battle with cancer. She was a beautiful person, 44 years old, and she leaves behind her husband and two teenaged daughters. Her girls will not have their mother to help them prepare for senior prom, college life, marriage, careers, or motherhood. My friend will not have his wife to help him finish the work and share of the joy of raising their children. When I think of his situation, I thank God I was spared this burden.

Deep losses teach us important lessons. My friend is just beginning the hard journey of grief, and my prayers go with him. I don’t doubt that he will learn, as I did, the precious value of life’s remaining blessings.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Pain of the Game

You can ask any San Diego Padre fan and they'll most likely agree--baseball breaks your heart.

Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game last night. Even if the blown call is reversed--and I hope and pray that it is--he's been robbed of his joyful moment at game's end. Nobody ever said that life is fair. But for a baseball fan, this kind of painful injustice is hard to take.

Let's hope the officials reviewing the call will put things right. At least that will give Galarraga his well-earned place in the record books.

Congratulations, Armando. Regardless of the final ruling, you pitched a perfect game. You know it, just like everyone who has seen the play knows it--including the umpire who made the mistake. Small comfort, I know, but I hope it helps.

UPDATE: Alas, there will be no reversing of this sad decision. As Pete always said, "That's the game." It is somewhat uplifting, though, to watch the compassion and dignity of all parties involved. If there's a bright side to be found, that's it. In an age of selfishness, we've seen a gracious, classy sportsmanship that I thought was long extinct.