Go Along, Get Along?

During my college days, my long-term boyfriend was the grandson of a Nazi soldier.  His grandfather was just a regular German who fought for his country.  In fact, many Germans sat idly by while their leaders tried to spread their ideals to other countries. 

A couple of weeks ago my blog post bordered on alarmist.  A friend had voiced a prophecy some years back that now seems to be coming true.  This was no ordinary prophecy.  She warned of a growing movement that could overtake us without our resistance.  She warned of economic woes, a growing divide between economic classes, and a rigidity that could mean intolerance towards some groups.

There have been several disturbing articles recently that bolster her prognostication.  Imagine a country full of people who are proud patriots, nationalists, true believers in the absolute military power of the country.  It's not so bad when it's us.  But imagine if that country were Spain under a present-day Franco or Italy ruled by a present-day Mussolini.  Remember during the '30s all the swastika-emblazoned flags that lined the streets of Berlin.  Now imagine a fiscally-sound Germany who bails out weaker economies insisting that countries pay fealty to their German saviors.

Imagine if it were us instead of the Germans.  Would we sit idly by like the good German people of the 1930s did?  Would you leave the country?  Would you focus your energy on reclaiming your country?  Would you live a quiet, consenting civilian life?  Or join the military and climb to the top of the ranks?  Would you go along with the people in authority?  Would you throw your moral reservations to the wayside and join the army?  Would you put a belief in your chosen political party ahead of the country?  Would you be proud of your country and your heritage to the point of wanting the country to look exactly like what you think it should look like?

Have we already met the enemy?  Is he us?

[Take the Would-I-Be-a-Nazi test and tell me what you would have been.  Me?  I scored as an Expat.]


It's Eleven O'Clock Somewhere

Yesterday's work day was thirteen and a half hours long, not including drive time.  Is it any wonder when eight o'clock in the evening rolls around that I'm studying the inside of my eyelids?  Surely there's got to be a way to stay awake for the late news without using toothpicks to prop open my eyes.

[Title taken from this.]


Blog Tweet, Blog Tweet

How can one have an old whiplash injury and never remember when or how it could have happened?

[Title taken from this.]


Santa Anna, Santayana, Santana and Shakespeare

Only researchers, employees, and a few tourists read the quote.  Yet it is one that practically everyone knows.  "What is past is prologue."1  It is inscribed in marble beneath a statue of a woman with an open book on her lap.  At the researchers' and employees' entrance to the National Archives.  Want to see the Founding Documents?  Enter on the opposite side of the building.

That quote echoes through my mind regularly, the intervals between moments spent dwelling on it ever decreasing.  All because of something a friend pontificated several years ago.  What she said did not, at the time, make me shake in my boots.  But the shaking began a couple of years ago and is now bordering on worry.

It turns out my friend is a prophet.  The reason for the worry is another prophecy from the early 1800s.  "If we [Mexicans] are not successful, our grandchildren and their grandchildren will beg for crumbs from the Americans!"2

The History of the World, Part 2 seems to me to be repeating the history of the world from a time just beyond living memory.  A time that only a handful of people alive today were part of.  And then, only as children feeling the effects.

Remember the '20s not only for their Roaring but also for their restriction; the '30s for their meager times; and the '40s for the results of the previous two decades.  Why?  "Those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it."3

Yes, this post is purposefully vague.  My hope is that my friend really isn't a prophet, but just a hack pulpiteer.  My prayer is for her to be wrong.  And to avoid anxiety or, worse, hysteria (mostly on my part), I refrain from passing along her prophecy.

It's time for something other than prophecies.  It's time for some preachifying.  Which brings us to the last quote for today.  "The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace."4

If we all live by those words, perhaps we would never repeat our own mistakes.

1. William Shakespeare
2. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
3. George Santayana
4. Carlos Santana


A Church, A Courtroom and Then Hypocracy

I need to fill you in on the EMT's pink shirts.  It turns out that, yes, they are supporting breast cancer.  They're not quite as brave as Marshall Moneymaker.  But they're showing their support.

And in other news... I'm on a pet peeve tear.  Consistency!  Why aren't people consistent?  Being inconsistent can come across as hypocritical in some cases.

An acquaintance of mine is very gung-ho in wanting everyone to follow what the Bible says.  She wants to make sure that gays and lesbians are never allowed to form civil unions.  Because "the Bible doesn't approve of gays and lesbians."  Now, this is the same person who divorced her husband under a no-fault divorce law. 

Growing up in a very conservative Southern Baptist household, we weren't supposed to dance, play cards, or drink.  My divorced grandfather lived with us because he already had a wife, according to his Biblical interpretations.  He never remarried and I never met my biological grandmother until after my grandfather died.  Because she had remarried and was considered an adulteress.

This is the same community that my acquaintance grew up in.  She was schooled in this same Biblical tradition.  Yet she doesn't see that in her own life she doesn't practice what she preaches. 

When are people going to be consistent?  If you're pro-life, then be pro-life until death.  No assisted suicide even for someone with an excruciatingly painful terminal disease and no death penalty.  If you're pro-choice, then let people decide whether they want to end their lives with the help of a family member, friend or doctor and realize that the state can end a life as well.

If you're going to quote the Bible about other people's marital statuses, then let your marital status be a shining example.  Something about "let he among you without sin be the first to condemn" keeps running through my mind.  Now where did that come from?

[Title taken from this.]


Curious Gaelic

If curiosity killed the cat, then I'm in over my head.  Following a successful reconciliation at church today, changing into casual clothes to cook was necessary.  While sitting in the bedroom fastening my shoes, something bright pink outside the window caught the corner of my eye.

Turning to have a better look, there were two EMT's from the firehouse working on their ambulance.  Both sported a pink that does not readily occur in nature.  Except on maybe some hybrid azaleas or cone flowers.  However, the man getting out of the EMT Supervisor truck wore the usual navy of the department.

Hmm... Is it the Race for the Cure weekend?  Is it the Komen 3-Day weekend?  Are they imitating the Pink Fireman?  Hmm... Curious minds want to know.  Guess I should go knock on their door and ask.  I'll let you know what they say.

[Title taken from this.]


Drops of Jupiter's Moons

Whenever a gift is used, even if months goes by between uses, makes the giver feel good.  Like we scored a hit.  That's the case with Maeve's telescope. 

It was a Christmas present a few years ago.  Looking at the moon through its lens is like practically being on the surface.  All the craters and deserts are right there, big enough to touch.

After supper, she announced that she was going outside to look at the moon.  A few minutes later she asked if I would like to see the moon.  I followed her out and looked at the rough surface of the half moon.  Maeve also had the binoculars around her neck to look at the moon while other people used the telescope.

When my turn came for the binoculars, the stars were my targets.  Alas!  My hands aren't steady enough to hold the binoculars still to view the stars very well.  Until I noticed that Jupiter was rising in the east.

Bracing the binoculars against the brick wall, the moons of Jupiter were visible.  No telescope necessary.  It's the coolest thing to see the moons of Jupiter in the night sky.  Maybe when it's a bit colder outside, Mr. Gaelic will join us with his warming devices -- a heavy fleece blanket, two fingers of single malt, and a Fonseca.

[Title taken from this.]


As Scarce as Hen's Teeth

Spending 14 years as a full-time mother spoils a person.  No boss to answer to, no office politics, self-determined schedules.  Ah, what a life!

My duck feathers are losing their oils.  It's getting harder for things to roll off my back. I've noticed that my jaw is clenched tightly during the day and doesn't completely relax while at home.  Perhaps some football player can help me pick out a mouth guard to protect my teeth.

Who knew a duck had teeth?


I Love My Pet

Left to my own proclivity, my neighbors would know me as the modern-day St. Francis, although it would be Frances instead of Francis. That's putting a nice spin on being the crazy lady who takes in all the stray cats.

There's a site on Facebook which a friend of a friend of a friend suggested - Pets on Death Row. It lists the shelter where the animal is, gives the phone number, and tells the time tomorrow morning that the pictured animal will be euthanized. Why on earth did I sign up for such a depressing site?

There are enough homeless pets, especially now when the economy makes feeding and caring for pets a luxury some people can't afford. If you're a pet owner, please spay and neuter your pets. If you're not a pet owner, there are some adorable animals out there just waiting for a home.

[Title taken from this.]


You'll Never Work Alone

"I'm not joining today."

"But why, my child? I've prepared the feast just for you."

"I have anger issues that I haven't finished dealing with."

"I know. I know everything about you. You even admitted your anger a few minutes ago. But I forgive you. All I ask is that you forgive."

"But she hurt Deirdre with that letter she sent. She blamed Deirdre for her bad decisions and didn't accept any responsibility for her actions."

"I know. I know Deirdre's pain. You're like the lioness protecting her cubs. I chose a good mother for Deirdre. Perhaps it's yourself you need to forgive. Now come to my table."

"I thought that if I partake when you and I aren't in communion that the bread and wine can do more harm than good."

"That's an intriguing thought."


"Well what?"

"Aren't you supposed to tell me what to do?"

"You already know."

"I'll come to the table but not partake."

"Go on."



"I'll come to your feast next week."

"Is that all?"

"Who are you? The Wizard of Oz and I'm Dorothy? And 'if I ever go looking for my heart's desire, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!'"

"Hahaha. But you didn't finish."

"I know. My work as a mother isn't finished. It will continue. Your task for me is to raise Deirdre with an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works."

"Yes. I chose Deirdre's mother very well.  See you next week?"

"See you next week."

"One other thing."

"Don't worry. I'll be beside you tomorrow too."

"Even if I don't remember to talk to you?"

"Even when you refuse to talk to me. You'll never work alone. Because I love you."

[Title taken from this.]


President, er Captain, er General Washington Presents

George Washington was giving a talk behind the Governor's Palace at Williamsburg and opened the floor, um ground, for questions.  One man tried to get the general to agree to Second Amendment gun rights.  The general reminded the man that currently, in General Washington's present day, he, the general, had no idea what the Second Amendment was because the date was 1780.

But the general didn't let the man off the hook that easily.

As he pointed out, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to serve in the militia.  Also, due to inadequate supplies, men were required to bring their own muskets from home as part of their militia duty.  These were muzzle-loaded muskets.  Rifling, which increases the accuracy of bullets, did not become widespread until the 19th century.  And pistols were flint-locks, used almost exclusively by the wealthiest in duels to settle gentlemanly arguments, and also lacked accuracy thereby almost guaranteeing survival of both parties to a duel.  (Just don't tell Alexander Hamilton that.)

The man questioning General Washington walked away in disgust at not being vindicated.

What would the Second Amendment arguments look like today if we still had to live with the conditions in the late 18th century?  All men from 11th grade to almost-retirement would serve in the militia, not just the 1% of today's men and women.  A hunter would have to be very skilled to down anything.  And only hedge-fund managers and corporate CEO's could afford a pistol. 

You want to know my question of the general?  "Did Mrs. Washington accompany you on every campaign as she did during the winter in Valley Forge?"  Heads turned and eyebrows furrowed, their thoughts written on their faces, Martha Washington was at Valley Forge!?!?

The general looked at me, "Yes, she did.  As did many women who accompanied their husbands."

We shared a knowing smile.  It pays to know history.

[Title taken very loosely from this.]