Monthly Archives: September 2012

America in Crisis…over Football

America has finally gone over the cliff.  The major actors dilly-dallied for months without making progress.  So now, the crisis has touched countless Americans where it really hurts.  Of course, you know I’m talking about football and the NFL referee lockout.

What else could possibly capture the headlines for 3 days straight this week alone?  The national debt, which topped $16 trillion recently?  As Mark Steyn put it, “The $16 trillion is really just the surface. We need to pay back $16 trillion, Washington does, just to get back to having nothing.”  Nope.  America doesn’t really seem too concerned about that.  Especially after President Obama went on “Late Night with David Letterman” and said that we don’t have to worry about it for now.  He couldn’t even put a real number on the debt.  That’s how nonchalant he is.

What about the war in Afghanistan?  Surely America demands to be kept informed about a conflict that has cost the lives of over 2100 service members.  Well, not so much.  You would have to dig deep to discover that on September 14, 2012, the US suffered its worst airpower loss since the Tet Offensive of 1968.  Even Fox news reported just that “Two U.S. Marines were killed, several injured in the attack on the base where Britain’s Prince Harry is stationed with his Apache helicopter unit.”  Thankfully, Prince Harry went unharmed, but American firepower wasn’t so lucky:

Under  the leadership of Barack H. Obama, though hardly noticed by the pro-Obama  mainstream media, the U.S. Marine Corps has suffered its worst air squadron  catastrophe since Vietnam, and its prized VMA-211 squadron has taken its worst  hit since its defense of Wake Island in World War II.

It happened  on September 14, 2012, northwest of the city of Lashkar Gah in southern  Afghanistan.  A team of fewer than two dozen Taliban fighters attacked the  USMC’s massive Camp  Bastion base there, killing VMA-211 squadron commander Lt. Col. Christopher  Raible and destroying or permanently disabling eight of the ten top-of-the-line  harrier AV-8B attack aircraft stationed under him.  Out of production for  more than a decade, these aircraft can never be replaced.

By  the time the smoke cleared, roughly 7% of the total harrier fleet operated by  the USMC had been wiped out on a single day by a small force of ground  combatants whose most potent weapon was the suicide vest, one of which was used  to breach the camp’s perimeter fence.

Is the average American outraged about the cover-up by our own government, starting with the President, of the 9/11 terrorist attack against our embassy in Libya?  Apparently, US intelligence agencies knew the real story within 24 hours of the attack, but as recently as yesterday, Obama was still harping on that ridiculous video as the root of all evil, embarrassing himself and the whole country in front of the United Nations General Assembly.  Still not headline worthy, though.

It seems to me–but who am I really, but just a housewife–that if Americans, and American voters in particular, were as fired up about our collapsing economy or disappearing liberties or our weakness in the world as they are about botched officiating in football games, this country might stand a chance.  Will football survive this crisis?  Who cares?!  Will the United States survive?  Meh.  As long as we get back football like it’s supposed to be, America has no complaints.

 

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Sandwich, Anyone?

Hello, blog.  Remember me?  What did you do on your summer vacation?

I wish I could say this was the best summer we have had in our household in a long time.  After all, both kids finished school earlier than in previous years (end of June!!).  We had a fabulous week at a beach rental planned.  SuzyQ and I were excited to get her packed up for college.  Oh, how plans do go awry.

It turns out that excitement about outfitting SuzyQ’s dorm fell victim pretty quickly to anxiety about whether she and her roommate would be able to coordinate color schemes, disagreements with Darling Husband about what is “essential” to take with her and what is excessive, and plain frustration over the daunting task of packing our child’s life up to fit into the back of our SUV.  Ultimately, it all fit; only minor things were forgotten; and SuzyQ is happy.

I wish I could say the same for those of us not away at college.  Both of my parents saw their health deteriorate this summer.  My dad had a particular crisis in a progressive decline, while Mom experienced some mobility issues.  He’s 77, and she turns 73 today.  And neither of them are spry or active for their age.  As the only one of their children living close by, I find myself assuming the growing role of caretaker.  The big problem is, my parents don’t want to need help.  Does that make sense?  They know that they need help, but they are definitely not happy about it.

So to anyone who is in similar circumstances, I put to you a few questions:

  • What do you do when you don’t agree with their medical decisions?  I’m not talking about, “Get me a power of attorney; they’re unfit to make these decisions.”  I mean things like refusing physical therapy or feeling too awkward about asking for a second opinion or settling for the same old course of treatment instead of asking for something different.  Neither Mom nor Dad seek any input from us adult kids when it comes to what test or procedures they will have done.  Should we have any say in the matter at all?  What if they then complain incessantly about their doctors or all the pills they are taking?
  • How do you help your parents downsize when they both tend toward hoarding?  No, it’s not time to call the producers of that “Hoarders” show on TV, but both parents would be better off with more open space in the house to make getting around safer and easier.  And eventually they will have to move into a single-story, maintenance-free home.  Both my parent grew up in essentially poor families.  To them, everything is valuable and must never be thrown away.  They rarely even donate things they aren’t using because, “We might need that one day.”  Add to that the fact that Mom especially has an irrational emotional attachment to most of the “things” in the house.  This too-big piece of furniture reminds her of a particular Army posting.  That ugly ceramic was made by a dear deceased sister-in-law.  All of those years worth of greeting cards were sent by someone special and therefore cannot be thrown out.  I don’t see how they will ever get past the emotional hurdles of downsizing, never mind the physical work involved.
  • Will you always disappoint someone when you are trying to balance your roles?  Mom and Dad will vehemently stress that I must consider my own family first.  And yet…  With Darling Husband facing military retirement and hunting for a new job, what happens if we relocate because of his second career?  How will the parents manage with no family nearby?  Should that be a factor in how broad his geographic search for a job should be?

As I recover from packing one child off to college 6 hours away and get the other one started on his AP classes and SAT prep, I have to shake my head again about all of those helicopter parents out there.  They should be saving their energy.  What they might want to consider instead is helicopter parenting their own parents.

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