#TBT: It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle

It’s Thanksgiving Day 2018, and I have much to thank God for this year:  a new home, a good job, eight (and counting) private music students, President Trump, and a mostly-functioning left wrist.  I’ve also lost about fifty-one (51) pounds since early June.  Sure, the midterms were a bit of a stalemate, but the GOP kept the Senate.

In that spirit, below is 2017’s “It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle,” a post about surviving a pretty nasty (and stupid) fall from an extension ladder onto a concrete pad.  I wrote that post just a few days after the fall, and expressed my thanks to God for sparing me worse injuries.  The wrist is mostly healed now (I can play bass, guitar, and piano again, though the wrist gets agitated after playing bass or guitar after about thirty minutes), although it will probably never be back to 100%.  There’s still a gnarly scar on my left leg, though the leg itself is fine (the scar, unfortunately, doesn’t look cool or dangerous; it’s just kind of a scary gash).

We have much to be thankful for this year.  Enjoy some time today with your families (or the good folks at Waffle House or Golden Corral).

God bless.

–TPP

This past Saturday, I fell from a ladder while hanging Christmas lights…. I shattered my left wrist—it’s called a distal radius fracture—and gashed my left leg. My head was also hurt, but there was no damage to my brain.

The fall was about 10-12 feet onto concrete. It could have been much, much worse; I am very thankful it wasn’t.

The doctor at the ER and the nurse practitioner both told me I would almost certainly need surgery due to the nature of my fracture. I saw the orthopedist Tuesday, and he was able to set the fracture to an “acceptable” state.

America’s Favorite Food


Setting the fracture without surgery was a major answer to prayer. I go back on 5 December for a follow-up; if the setting takes, I’ll get a flexi-cast. If not, I’ll have to have surgery.

That’s all to say that my posting will be [limited] for a time, as typing is rather tedious (I’m “typing” this post on my cell phone–the predictive text actually makes it faster). I’ll continue to do my best to deliver quality content and thoughtful analysis, just in shorter and less frequent chunks.

I am very thankful to our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, for extending His Hand of protection and healing; He has already worked miracles during my recovery through the prayers of many friends and family (not to mention the capable hands of my excellent orthopedic surgeon). I’m grateful to be alive!

God Bless, and Happy Thanksgiving!

–TPP

Advertisements

Veterans’ Day 2018, Commemoration of the Great War, and Poppies

The following remarks were delivered to the Florence County Republican Party at its 12 November 2018 monthly program, which was dedicated to honoring veterans.

Yesterday Americans, Europeans, and the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, what we call the First World War.  The Armistice that silenced the guns of one of the most brutal conflicts in human history was signed in the wee hours of 11 November 1918, but did not take effect until 11 AM—the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  That bit of numerical symmetry, while memorable, cost an additional 2738 lives, with 10,944 casualties—a pointless denouement to a destructive war.

Peace would ultimately come to Europe—after three prolongations of the Armistice—in 1920 with the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles (the United States, refusing to join the League of Nations, negotiated a separate treaty with Germany, the Treaty of Berlin, in 1921).  That treaty, which the Germans called the Diktat because of its severity, and because it pinned the war solely on the German Empire, was a reflection of the Armistice signed three years earlier.

In preparing tonight’s remarks, I came across an article that describes the first meeting between Marshall Foch, the commander-in-chief of the Allied forces, and Matthias Erzberger, a middle-aged German politician who had come to sue for peace.  The Frenchman looked stonily at the German peace delegation, and said, “Tell these gentlemen I have no proposals to make.”  Rather, Marshal Foch had a number of demands to issue, thirty-four in total, including Germany’s agreement to pay heavy reparations.

In hindsight, we know the folly of trying to squeeze blood and treasure from the turnip that was a starving, reduced Germany—and the radicalism it, in part, inspired.  But we have to understand, as best we can, the bitterness and weariness the Great War wrought.  Millions of men in Europe had lost their lives, or were maimed for life, fighting in the war.  The republican governments of France and Britain were not willing to accept peace without something to show for it; their people (and voters) would not have accepted it.  Indeed, Marshall Foch told his staff he intended “to pursue the Feldgrauen [field grays, or German soldiers] with a sword at their backs” until the moment the Armistice went into effect.  One cannot help but wonder that the fighting in this final hours was motivated, in part, by a mutual bloodlust, and an opportunity to settle scores one last time before the clock struck eleven.

From the grime and death of the Great War, however, grew new hope—a hope for peace, yes, but also a hope that humanity could avoid such a devastating conflict again.  That hope—and the enduring hope for a world built on peace and understanding—is poignantly symbolized in the flowering of the churned up “No Man’s Land,” the pock-marked area between Allied and German trenches.  Immortalized in Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields,” poppies were first flowers to bloom in that graveyard of Western civilization.  To this day, the crimson of the poppies serves as a reminder of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their countries, and that even in death, life endures.

I will close this somewhat grim Historical Moment with a brief reading of that poem; it can commemorate the men there far better than I:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 

Election Day 2018

This blog has fallen dormant—has it often seems to do—during the height of election season.  A savvy, dedicated blogger would churn out the bulk of his content when the news comes fast and fresh, and folks are seeking out information about candidates—not during the middle of summer, the deadest time for political news, outside of some primary elections.

But, hey, that’s what makes The Portly Politico unique.

What won’t make it unique is this admonition:  VOTE.  Ideally—and if you’re a reader of this blog, this might go without saying—vote for Republicans.

I went out to vote this morning—the last time at my current precinct, as I’ve recently moved to the countryside (after two floods, it was time)—and it was hoppin’.  I arrived around 7:05 AM EST, and there was a line out the door.  I finished voting around 7:40 AM EST—that’s how many people were there to vote.

I’ve never experienced a midterm election this year.  Both sides are highly energized.  It feels like a presidential election.

I’ll refrain from offering detailed analysis at this point (I think Republicans will pick up some Senate seats, but the House is a complete toss-up), but this election—to recycle another cliché, but only because it’s true—is of the utmost importance.

If Republicans lose the House (which, I’ll confess, seems likely, albeit by a narrow margin), it will certainly stymie President Trump and the GOP’s conservative agenda.  The prospect of returning Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to the Speaker position is also terrifying.

If Republicans lose the Senate, it will be utterly catastrophic.  You can kiss conservative Supreme Court nominees goodbye.  If you’re the most anti-Trumpist #NeverTrumper neocon that ever lived, you’ve gotta hold your nose and vote Republican for that reason alone.

If we lose both… well, I shudder to contemplate the kangaroo court of baseless investigations and accusations that Democratic Congress will unleash.  Impeachment might not result in removal, but the fraying fabric of our political system would be rent asunder as Democratic knives stab any opposition.

This election is a referendum on Trump and Trumpism, yes, but it’s also a series of choices:  the Constitution, or lawlessnessCapitalism, or communism.  Rule by the people, or rule by an entrenched, technocratic elite.

Get out there and vote, folks—especially Republicans!