Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saying Goodbye, Looking Ahead to Summer

Yesterday was sentimentally tough. My oldest finished her last day of her last year at elementary school. My little girl completed Kindergarten at the Montessori where she has been going since she was three. The little school (K-1) where my big one started school and the little one was to go to first grade is closing. We went to the farewell celebration after school and I took pictures of my two on the little bench where I sat pregnant and with baby little girl waiting to pick-up my big girl from Kindergarten and 1st grade. Until last month, we thought our little girl was going there too. To top it all off, our next door neighbor who owns the Montessori and taught my little girl the past years is moving up north. She's going to stay in town during the week to teach, but we won't be neighbors any longer. Time goes on I guess.

I have to work at the library today so I told my big girl to make a list of ideas, dreams, and hopes for the summer. I am determined that we will have a meaningful summer. One thing we have to solve as a family is mealtime, bedtime, and my big girl's room cleaning habits. This morning I found my dear one sleeping in her bed with books and papers and ....get... this figure skates strewn all about her!!!! I was a messy kid, but this is crazy! At least I've got nearly two weeks off to get started on what I hope is a great (and not so cluttered) summer!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Mission, Politics, Conservatism, and the Rule of Law...

My slide into political complacency did being with the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. When I first heard of the controversy, I figured President Bush had a good reason and the right to let the attorneys go. I was just tired of the Bush-bashing and figured it was just another one of those cases where the blame Bush agenda was being promoted.
I soon learned that one of the U.S. Attorneys dismissed was named David C. Iglesias. I called my husband and I asked him if it could be the same David Iglesias. Tom was pretty sure it had to be the same guy. I remember going home and digging out my husband’s mission trip videos and photos and quizzing him about all the details. I also remembered him showing me the newspaper clipping about David and A Few Good Men when we first started dating. We actually have a picture of Tom with David’s parents on a bulletin board of mission trip pictures. I’m not sure when or how I confirmed the David Iglesias the U.S. Attorney was David Iglesias, son of missionaries, but for me, these facts became very relevant. I wanted to write about it.
The trouble is that I wanted Tom’s missionary friend, David to be vindicated and I wanted President Bush to not be responsible for these events. How could I write about that? Am I going to be biased? Overwhelmed with discerning facts and fictions.
I am not consulting facts as I write today, but rather writing from my notes and memories of the time.
I think it was my mom who told me Mr. Iglesias was dismissed because he would not rush through some case in time for an election. At least that is what I remember.
Here are the conclusions I drew more from my heart and head than from research:
David C. Iglesias is a Christian, possibly Conservative as the son of Baptist Missionaries
He was appointed by George W. Bush
His job is to determine which cases should be prosecuted or not. His job requires him to gather and review the facts to see if there is enough evidence to prosecute a case. THIS TAKES TIME
Keep in mind: During the time period in which this was beginning to play out, I was not listening, viewing, or reading a lot of news. I was busy with other things. And, the subject of politics was getting too complicated: the war, the war, the economy, and on…
So my heart came to this conclusion:
David C. Iglesias , Christian first, U.S. Attorney second, was doing his job with all of the honesty and integrity of a Christian man. He would not be pushed by party or political expediency, but rather the Rule of Law and the evidence available. He would not was going to waste time or tax-payer’s money on frivolous cases. Nor was he going to rush decisions to influence elections. I figured the problem was local, or I hoped it was local. At this point, I’m still hoping to convince my political novice husband to consider the GOP and conservatism in spite of “them” firing his friend from his Panama days.
It was during this time I just started to get mad and sad about the Bush administration. Ironically, in his book, David Iglesias shares the same kind of feelings of hope and disappointment. What was the truth about everything. I didn’t trust anything from any source. Did “Bushlie”? I just wanted honest leaders who value the individual and the rule of law, etc. Where were they? What about the war? Maybe we shouldn’t be there, but we can’t just leave now. Right? Terrorism? Safety? Freedom? I’m drowning in political thought. I must stop.
In Justice: Inside the scandal that rocked the Bush administration
One day, a colleague told me that David Iglesias had been on N.P.R. Since I’d been avoiding politics, I’d let the issue go. I decided to look Mr. Iglesias up to catch up with the latest. I was so excited to see that he’d written a book. I’d read some things he’d written in Native Peoples Magazine, and knew at the very least, he knew how to write. (And, as a busy mom, etc., I understand why he had a co-author with this tome.)
I see new books released everyday as a librarian. I was tired of all of the –scandal- Bush-wrong- war-books thrust my face via professional journals and our library’s shelves, but I needed this book. I ordered my own copy immediately and read it as fast as I could.
I read and re-read passages, highlighting and taking notes. Ultimately, I learned that the story was pretty similar to the one I’d created in my head. I was really angry! Here is a man who is the kind of person I want in office, not just as a U.S. Attorney, but the Oval Office. These kinds of people do get destroyed because they refuse to play the game, which is exactly why I want people like David Iglesias in important positions.
It was hard to read of people with whom I disagree “saving the day”, but right is right and wrong is wrong and sometimes left doesn’t matter.
Sometimes when I hear someone with whom I generally agree trot out someone like Karl Rove as a Republican poster boy, I just wonder. What am I missing?
I guess this incident really started me thinking that I don’t really know what I’m talking about when I talk conservative. For example, I made a sloppy statement about David Iglesias not being all that conservative. What did I mean by that? So, I re-read page 28 of In Justice. I won’t dare try to paraphrase or cite it here, but I actually agree with what he wrote in a good part. I am having a hard time figuring out the free-market – I can’t seem to win the argument with my husband about NAFTA. Unions? Free Speech? The list goes on.
I know I’m not happy with what has been going on over the last 100 or so days. It seems that most things are in direct opposition with my values, forget my political identity.
Finally, inspired by David C. Iglesias’ comment, I have an important assignment: To define what Conservatism is to me.

Double Shame on Me!

Double shame on me!
I knew when I was writing my post of April 30, 2009 I wasn’t being thoughtful or careful. I was trying to explain my absence from blogging with too little attention to detail~(please remember, I do actually have A.D.H.D.). I guess I never think that anyone will read what I write, but I was troubled by it all weekend. (I don’t have internet at home at present and couldn’t proof and post anything since Thursday.)
Mr. Iglesias’ comment highlights my need to remember:
1) People actually read what I write.
2) I should write about what is important.
3) I should take my time to write about what is important.
4) I need to go back and take the time to “flesh out” my thoughts shared in my post of April 30.
5) Before I begin, I need to remind myself that the mission of this blog is merely a log on the web of my thoughts, ideas, and sometimes opinions. I don’t like gray areas, but as I try to stay true in black and white…gray sneaks in, urging me to refine once again.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Conservative Complacency

Shame on me! During this last election cycle, I got very complacent for a variety of factors. I will attempt to discuss what was going on in the political part of my heart and mind in this posting. Confession should precede redemption.

I think it really got started after 2006 dismisal of the U.S. Attorneys. At first I thought the media was not getting to the root of the issue as usual, but then it hit home...kinda sorta.

My husband made a variety of mission trips during his bachelor days. One of those experiences was working with the Kuna Indians of Panama. He told me wonderful stories about working with Claudio Iglesias and his wife Margaret and the Kuna people. He also told me about their son, David. My husband got to know David because David was working with American church groups from the U.S. doing short-term mission work with the Kunas. My husband was actually asked by David to come back to Panama to help another church group. This was because David had to go to Washington, D.C. when the group was scheduled to come and David felt my husband could fill in for him. Prior to the U.S. Attorneys dismissal, the only other thing I knew about David was he had something to do with the real story of the play and movie, A Few Good Men.

When the dismissal became public, I had a hunch what the "rest of the story" was. I read David's book In Justice and tried to consider all of the sides. To say the least, I was troubled, but to be honest, I still don't know what really happened. Maybe we "...can't handle the truth". Ultimately, I wanted David to be a Conservative...but even in his book, he admits he is not all that Conservative anyway...

Concurrent with this was that my family started attending a mission church of our regular congregation. Both of these are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) synod. The ELCA is the most liberal of all Lutheran churches. However, our home church was still remaining true to fundamental Biblical teachings, allowing room to let God judge and us to extend grace. However, I soon learned that in my fairly conservative community, the liberals all gravitated to this congregation, so I kept my political mouth shut.

The incident which really shut me down happened during a conversation at a staff dinner about a year ago. I overheard a couple of my colleagues talking about President Bush. These women were colleagues withwhom I shared a mutual respect. One said to the other, "The only people who voted for Bush in 2004 were uneducated and ignorant." I knew they didn't like the president, but hearing such a statement from these colleagues was just...well...I just stayed away from them for a while and stuffed my opinions way down deep. I wanted to scream, but I just got up and walked away and have since tried to let it go...

Fast forward to Fall 2008: I was not thrilled with John McCain and I'm not sure about Sarah Palin either. I admired her when I read about her in the "Weekly Standard" a few years back, but let us just say the jury is out on her. I knew I would vote for McCain because it was the only hope to not let the other candidate win. The funny part was that while all the a political people were voting for Obama because of the war, my husband became an evangelist for voting Republican to keep us safe.

My husband had never been politically active before 2008. He had recently retired from a Teasmter Union job and we are primarily living off of that pension today. However, he felt so strongly about the simple fact that Bush had kept us safe from another attack since 9/11, he had to vote for John McCain and tell everyone to do the same for that simple reason. So, just in time to vote in the General Election of 2008, my 52 year-old husband registered to vote for the first time. On Election Day 2008, the first votes he cast in his life were for Republican candidates!

In addition, my husband and I started attending a new church. We started attending just before the election and during my first prayer meeting, I knew that I found some people who shared some of my political leanings at the very least. It was a start. We continue to pray for President Obama...that his heart will be changed and he will stop un-doing our Conservative Foundations!

I was not surprised in Obama's victory and at first I really didn't think it would have such an immediate impact...I had the attitude of "Oh well, you ask for this stuff..are you happy...I told you so..." After all, in Michigan, Jennifer Grandholm won a second term in spite of totally ruining our state...all because people hate Bush!!"

Now my feelings are very different...I need to get out there and write and do all I can to help this country survive, return to its Conservative foundation...and thrive again.

I don't have a lot of time for blogging and I'm sorry if this is not a well written and proofed posting, but I must post it anyway. There will be time for pretty prose later.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is This Really What the People Wanted?

Do you ever feel like everything you believe in is being smacked upside the head? It might just be my imagination, but it seems to me that President Obama is targeting certain things in order to make it clear that anything that hints of Judeo/Christian principles is not going to be tolerated.

It just seems that everything our President does is his way of is thumbing his nose at me...

I'm not whining, just thinking out loud.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hot-Wiring My (Blogging) Engine

I compose brilliant posts for my blog in my head all of the time. The trouble is, I just can't find the time to get them down on this vitural paper.

I'm hoping to get my engine going again in the near future. I was inspired today by the fact someone had left a comment on my blog about a story I wrote quite a while back. It seems my post on my hometown of Dearborn, Michigan post has endured...

Ironically, my hometown had been in and out of recent conversations. I think I'll write something on this somewhat light topic as it may segue into a heavier one I've been seriously contemplating...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Clarification: Buckeyes and the State of "Michigan"

October 20, 2007 was a beautiful Ohio afternoon. I was attending the wedding of my cousin's daughter with my family. We'd driven 4 1/2 hours from our home in Michigan to spend an afteroon with most of my extended family.

After the wedding, several of us were talking outside of the church. On Saturdays in October, the talk inevitably turns toward football, even amongst an intergenerational group of women. Someone asked who the Bucks were playing that afternoon, to which another replied, "Michigan". As a proud Michigan State University grad, I had to clarify that today the Buckeyes were playing Michigan State, not the University of Michigan. I then shared that I almost packed my OSU sweatshirt, until I realized that this was the only day in football season I could NOT be a Buckeye fan. Later, while signing the guest book, a woman commented that, "we won, we're still okay (undefeated)". As I had already predicted my team's loss that afternoon, I knew she was referring to OSU without any futher query.

Upon my return home, I had an email conversation with a cousin whom I had "seen" but not spoken to at the wedding. (A very big family and lots of little kids makes this a challenge!)

The subject of note was the game of the previous Saturday. No matter how many times I tried to tell her that OSU beat Michigan State that Saturday, she continued to refer to the "win over Michigan" and the OSU/University of Michigan rivalry. My hope is that she is pleasantly surprised when OSU DEFEATS "MICHIGAN" (again?) on Saturday.

I just wonder how many people "Michigan" and "Michigan State" are the same? Maybe it is just our "neighbors" in Ohio? I didn't realize this until I was in the 5th grade. A kid I liked had a "Michigan (State)" jacket that was green and white and my brother's "Michigan" shirt was maize and blue. I asked my dad if "they" had two sets of colors. He cleared up my misunderstanding. Ironically, Dad is a UM MBA'd-MSU Dad-Buckeye Fan, so he should be able to explain this to anyone!

At least my Ohio relatives are starting to understand why I'm Buckeye fan each year in late November.

I've blogged about my Buckeye connections here

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


As I was handwriting a series of fortunate events, I recalled this funny little teaser from my blog entry to come:

My 4 year old daughter and I were exploring Thomas Edison's laboratory at Greenfield Village this past Saturday. The "presenter" was talking about Edison's favorite invention, the phonograph and asked my daughter what she did when she wanted to listen to good music. "Do you have a cd player, an ipod, or a radio?" he queried. To this, my dear girl replied, "My mommy plays the 'cello." Just more inspiration to keep on playing, eh???

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