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Virgil

Constitution Day

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
Iím not referring to the US constitution.

Itís ironic actually. As we try to bring a correction to what has been done to the US constitution with a glorious march in Washington yesterday, Iím stymied by the Kazakhstan holiday of its Constitution Day.

First the march on Washington yesterday. If it had not been for the adoption events, and then a wedding that came up for yesterday evening as well, I had intended to go and be there. Back in the spring my friend Joe and I had both said we would be there for the event when we had learned of it. I was impressed with what I saw on TV, and damn it Iím going to go to the next one. This country has fallen apart and we need to take it back by returning to the principles that made us great in the first place. This administration and this congress has been a disaster, and while we canít change the administration come this November, you better believe we are going to throw congress out on its tuckus.

As to the Kazakhstan constitution, well, Iím happy tomorrow is their fifteen year anniversary and it stemmed out of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a good and happy event I might add. And an event I had longed hope for as an anti-communist. But did they have to celebrate it on August 30th? Gosh darn it, couldnít it be another day?

Those following my adoption may remember we needed to get a visa to enter the Kazakhstan, and they had a requirement that all passports needed to be within six months from expiration. As it turned out my wifeís was expiring in December, and so she made an incredible (and costly) effort to get a new passport within 36 hours. And then Thursday morning she went to the Kazakhstan consulate (lucky we live in New York where all these governments have offices) and applied for the visa. She hoped it would be ready by Monday morning, and then we could get on a plane Monday night. All so we could get to Matthew by Wednesday, his first birthday. That was a good plan, and it would have worked except for one thing, Kazakhstanís Constitution Day, August 30th. All Kazakhstan offices are closed on Monday, and as luck would have it the Kazakhstan consulate called our home at 5:30 PM on Friday, saying the visas were approved and that if we could come within a half hour we could pick them up. Now unless you live right in Manhattan, there is no way you can get anywhere in New York within a half hour. So we have to wait until Tuesday morning. We have booked flights now for Tuesday night and we will get to Matthew on Thursday, sadly missing his first birthday. I have to say I was really disappointed.

But such is life. Weíll celebrate it on the second. Certainly there are worse things that could have gone wrong.

This is the last blog from States side. I decided I am not going to take my laptop. Itís not worth the effort of lugging it or paying for an internet hookup in the apartment, and plus I want more free room in my luggage for souvenirs. So unless I can find an internet cafť, you wonít hear from me. Weíll be back in less than two weeks, so this is a much shorter trip, God willing.

Iíll leave you with some more photos of my little boy. Here he is reaching for mom.



And a more serious look.



And here trading raspberries with me.

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  1. Maryd.'s Avatar
    Dear Virgil, all the things that can go wrong, usually do... But just think, it's almost over. Good luck with this trip, (not that you need it now) Sadly we may not hear from you for a while. The only consolation is when we do, it's likely you will be typing with one hand, the other will be holding your son. Mwah to you and Puss. xooxox
  2. Janine's Avatar
    I wish you had made these two separate articals; I am afraid good friend, we don't agree politically; we know not to discuss that; but when you post like this, I feel I want to reply and it's not always easy to refrain. However I will to preserve our friendship which is more important to me.

    As for Matthew, I love his pictures...3 nice ones I had not seen before. He is so cute. Is he 'La la la'ing in the last one? I noticed that Brooke sometimes holds a musical key saying 'La'; they must teach them that. Even though you won't be there on the exact day of his birthday it's certainly close enough. You can keep on celebrating and I am sure this is one baby who will dive into his cake; that is if he is already on table food. There will many more birthday cakes and celebrations and holidays, etc. From here on you have soooo much to look forward to and I am sure your life will be wonderful transformed.

    I hope you can get to an internet cafe at least a few times to let us know the progress and share your job. I am really looking forward to photos of Matthew discovering his new nursery room and beautiful crib. He will be in home in that beautiful room in no time.

    Good luck on your flight and be safe my good friend, Janine
  3. Madhuri's Avatar
    It is such a disappointment that you won't be there on Matthew's first birthday. But you get to get your son home finally . Hey, maybe next year you can take Matthew for the march...Good luck to you and PnB. I hope you come back with your son safe and sound .
  4. qimissung's Avatar
    I'm so glad you are finally going, but sad for you guys that you won't be spending Matthew's first birthday with him. He's a Virgo! They are strong and kind; his birthday is very close to mine, so I know he'll be a great person.

    Good luck! Our thoughts are with you.
  5. Virgil's Avatar
    Thank you so much ladies.

    Janine - We were trading raspberries. That's where you put one's tongue between the lips and make piddle sounds.

    Qimi - It never occurred to me to look up his astrological sign. Thanks, now I won't forget it. Strong and kind: that does sound like Matthew already.
    Updated 08-29-2010 at 11:27 PM by Virgil
  6. Janine's Avatar
    I think that puts him at being a Virgo - how strange since Virgil is close to Virgo. I get along perfectly with Virgo's since that is my opposite sign being a Piecian.

    Yes, Virgil...I just thought - should have only said - the political stuff I won't touch with a ten foot pole. No way you're dragging me into that....ever....
    Updated 08-31-2010 at 01:10 AM by Janine
  7. ClaesGefvenberg's Avatar
    Virgil, Puss & Matthew,

    I am so happy for your sake. At last you are about to pass the last hurdle on what has obviously been quite a long journey. A few of my friends back here have adopted too, and I am fully aware of all the red tape involved. Thus, I also know how much determination and effort it takes. You obviously have it. Good on you.

    As you already know I have a very soft spot for children in general, and your pictures made me remember how great it felt to become a parent. I wish the three of you a happy life together.


    /Claes
  8. Sapphire's Avatar
    Thank you for this update. Good luck to all of you - I hope everything goes smoothly in Kazakhstan and you'll all have a safe trip.
    Take care, greetings Sapphire
  9. Lulim's Avatar
    Hi Virgil, I'm very glad your real family life is about to start properly, comes September 2nd. My best wishes for the three of you.

    As for that tea party business ... to say the least, I really don't know what to make of a party that refuses to acknowledge the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    Updated 08-30-2010 at 04:12 PM by Lulim
  10. Snowqueen's Avatar
    Don't worry about the birthday Virgil. I'm sure Matthew will celebrate rest of his birthdays with you and Puss. I wish you all the best.

    Thanks for sharing.
  11. PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
    First and foremost: best wishes to you, Puss & Matthew.

    As to the political element of this entry: You have the mosque intended for a scant two blocks from the scene of 9/11, and you have Glenn Beck summoning his rally, on the anniversary and at the same spot as Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech."

    Do you see a parallel?
  12. andave_ya's Avatar
    Praying for you and praying hard!! It will be such a blessing to have the little man safe and sound with you guys. God bless!

    As to the rally - amen. A bunch of school friends went to it. Let me know if you go to the next one and I'll see if I can tag along and meet you somewhere.
  13. mtpspur's Avatar
    Have a safe trip with a blessed ending.
  14. Petrarch's Love's Avatar
    I'm so happy that the two of you will soon be with young Matthew. I'll send the gift I mentioned off when I know you're all back in the states to receive it. I know that all will go well and that Matthew will be one lucky baby!
  15. Virgil's Avatar
    Janine, Claus, Lulim, Sapphire, Snowqueen, Prince, Andy, Rich, Petrarch - Thank you so much. I'm touched by all the kindness that has come from so many people on lit net and my other forum that participate on.
  16. Petrarch's Love's Avatar
    Separate issue. Separate post. I will proudly stand next to you at any event celebrating our nation and our constitution which is open and inclusive of all people who value this nation and that document. I have never condoned attempts by friends on the left to suggest that those who hold opposing political views love their country less because of those opinions about how it should be run and I similarly will not condone anything from my friends on the right that suggest that there is only one political party concerned with the welfare of our constitution. Political debate with the understanding that both sides are aiming to do their best for our country but disagree as to how is healthy. Suggesting that one side is the ruination of our nation is not. If there are faults with the way the power of the executive branch has developed in the last few years (And I do see there have been some issues. And I don't think they're anywhere near as fatal as the left or the right have suggested over the last decade or so) then they have been the product of at least the last two administrations, and probably before, across party lines. Attempts to fix them, if people are really concerned, should also reach across party lines and pursue as rational and accurate an account as possible of where both sides have made mistakes.

    When I next visit the Lincoln memorial it will not be to stand outside but to walk inside to read the words of a Republican I admire deeply and who knew a thing or two about a house divided: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
  17. Virgil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lulim
    As for that tea party business ... to say the least, I really don't know what to make of a party that refuses to acknowledge the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
    Oh I'm not aware of that issue Lulim. As a general rule, the UN is not popular here. I will say in looking over the highlights of the event, it did have too much religion in it to make a real political statement. The politics were really toned down for a more unified statement, but I'm not sure what that statement came out as. But it does show how disatisfied people are here. Let me also say that as far as I can tell (and I'm no economist) Germany has handled this economic down turn as well as any country in the world. Kudos to Angela Merkel.

    Why are we whispering?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince
    As to the political element of this entry: You have the mosque intended for a scant two blocks from the scene of 9/11, and you have Glenn Beck summoning his rally, on the anniversary and at the same spot as Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech."

    Do you see a parallel?
    Good point. In defense of Beck, let me say he feels that the state of the country is so bad that it rises to the level of MLK's march. I don't agree with that. In addition, the theme of this rally was not really political as in the previous Tea Party events. This was billed as a "Faith, Hope, and Charity" theme and I'm not sure exactly what the point was. There were several African American speakers who had been through the civil rights movement, including MLK's niece who gave a very elequent speech. In thinking about it, I do think you're right that it was inappropriate to associate it with MLK, though everyone has the right to use the Lincoln Memorial. Lots of people have used it for events there. Bottom line though is that 70% of Americans think that this country has taken a radical turn, and the enthusiasm for such events is everywhere. Also let me say that in addition to Germany Canada has done a very good job in handling this economy. The US essentially wasted a trillion dollars in stimulous. I hope this finally puts a nail in the coffin in Keynsian economics.

    Andy - what a great idea. We will have to meet in D.C. one day, Tea Party or not. I will have to take little Matthew there.
  18. Virgil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrarch's Love
    Separate issue. Separate post. I will proudly stand next to you at any event celebrating our nation and our constitution which is open and inclusive of all people who value this nation and that document. I have never condoned attempts by friends on the left to suggest that those who hold opposing political views love their country less because of those opinions about how it should be run and I similarly will not condone anything from my friends on the right that suggest that there is only one political party concerned with the welfare of our constitution. Political debate with the understanding that both sides are aiming to do their best for our country but disagree as to how is healthy. Suggesting that one side is the ruination of our nation is not. If there are faults with the way the power of the executive branch has developed in the last few years (And I do see there have been some issues. And I don't think they're anywhere near as fatal as the left or the right have suggested over the last decade or so) then they have been the product of at least the last two administrations, and probably before, across party lines. Attempts to fix them, if people are really concerned, should also reach across party lines and pursue as rational and accurate an account as possible of where both sides have made mistakes.

    When I next visit the Lincoln memorial it will not be to stand outside but to walk inside to read the words of a Republican I admire deeply and who knew a thing or two about a house divided: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
    The constitution part was my connecting it with the Kazakhstan constitution day. I don't think it was directly part of the Washington rally. But people on the right (including me!) will state correctly that judicial activism is outside the scope of the constitution. The constitution has been distorted, the right to an abortion is nowhere in the constitution, forced participation to social security should not be constitutional, and so too forcing people to buy health care.

    May I also say that I remember you in one of my blogs right after Obama was sworn in said that G.W. Bush had been extremely divisive. Let me tell you that no one can say with a straight face that Obama has not been divisive, even more so, repeatedly. He has shoved legislation down the throats of the American people against their wishes. This man is a walking divider, on race, on religion, on taxes. Come November, the American people will make their statement.
  19. Petrarch's Love's Avatar
    May I also say that I remember you in one of my blogs right after Obama was sworn in said that G.W. Bush had been extremely divisive. Let me tell you that no one can say with a straight face that Obama has not been divisive, even more so, repeatedly.
    I remember the comment, which was in response to a blog of yours praising our ability as Americans to disagree in our politics but respect that all of us love our country (http://www.online-literature.com/for...=6729#comments). What I said was this:

    I also really do hope that Obama can be a uniting figure in his presidency, and that we can all think of ourselves as Americans first and members of political parties second. Regardless of how you felt about him, Bush's presidency was clearly a divisive one, and I was hoping that whoever was elected this week would try to mend some of those rifts.

    As others said in their comments, I also was impressed by McCain's concession speech. I wish we could have seen him speaking more like that throughout the campaign. I thought both men were very respectful of their opponent and of opposing views in the election night speeches and that both equally demonstrated a deep love of this country that I found inspirational.
    I meant it when I said that I hope that the excessively divisive political atmosphere that probably started building toward the end of the Clinton years and has built across the Bush years would be diffused some by either Obama or McCain's election to office. I would agree that this has not been the case, and I think that's a shame for all of us.

    There are certainly actions and positions I disagree with with respect to the Obama administration, some of them continuations of what I felt were mistakes made in the Bush years, and some of them his own mistakes.

    I am not against political disagreement or even passionate political argument, and I am fully aware that such contention is a part of our system and will always be present in some form or another. My point in my post here was not one addressing specific debates on policy or political disagreement. It was regarding the way we handle this disagreement and the form that disagreement takes. For reasons you recognize above and for many others I think an event like the recent rally hits below the belt. Using a national monument and the anniversary of a significant civil rights event for a politically and religiously biased event led by a TV pundit and suggesting (even if somewhat indirectly) that the opposition has made a tatters of our our values as a nation and our constitution is something I find offensive. You have said elsewhere that the left was pretty offensive during the Bush years too, and I not only agree with that but often told my far left friends when I thought they were similarly stepping over the line and being needlessly disrespectful and dangerously simplistic about the opposing side. I think both ends of the spectrum would be well served by presenting their sides of issues as rationally and clearly as possible (which I fully recognize, people being people, is not ever going to be highly rational or clear) and avoiding hyperbolic flag waving and demonization of the opposition. A little respect for both sides as fellow Americans is in order. (Imagine how popular this opinion is with both right and left.).

    I could say more about discussing things in terms of constitutional interpretation as opposed to constitutional destruction, but you have to get off to Kazakhstan, start giving that baby all your love 24/7, and bring him back to this country that we both love and desire the best for.
  20. Virgil's Avatar
    Petrarch, I'm older than you and therefore go back more presidents. There has never been in my life time a period that was not an "excessively divisive political atmosphere." Never. Not Obama, not Bush II, not Clinton, not Bush I, not Reagan, not Carter. What you may not have realized is that before cable news, the main TV stations glossed over the animosity. But it was always there. Go back even more presdents. Nixon? Johnson? Hardly. The only "uniting figure" of a president that I can think of in this entire century was Eisenhower. Divisive politics is the norm. That Obama claimed he would be a post partesan president was a fraud. He has been as politically partesan from the get go as anyone I have ever seen. Not only has he not been a moderate, he has been on the extreme left of every issue I can think of. He never intended to be a moderate.
    Updated 08-30-2010 at 11:01 PM by Virgil
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