Feb 11

I now have to prepare for Bangladesh. Part of preparation is getting a feel for the language. Bengali is the most deprived language in the world. I’ve only been able to find one instruction book in Bengali, with a limited CD that gives you a rough impression as to what the words sound like. No major language instruction company offers any help. Berlitz? No Bengali. Rosetta Stone? You can take Welsh, spoken by 750K people total in the world, or Irish, where only half the population of Ireland speaks Irish, and then, mostly as a second language. Then, there is Bengali, the 6th most common language in the world. Nothing. Nichts. Nada. Nichivo. So, I slave away. Countless pages of Sanskrit later….


A return to semi-reality has just occurred. I was able to touch base with the office and surgery center, as well as do lunch with Dr. Liao. I ran over to the hospital to talk with The Lord High Grand Inquisitor. It was a rather cold event. I’m troubled by the statements that I’m a valuable character in the MultiCare system, and yet do not get the impression that I’m particularly wanted. They realize that I am the character able to bring major abdominal cases as well as breast cases to the hospital. Otherwise, the cases will be totally lost to elsewhere. It was sort of like a “wake-up” for me. Several movie wake-ups come to mind. The first is in the next-to-last scene of Conan the Barbarian (the best movie of all time) when Conan wakes up to the siren voice of Thulsa Doom. The second is deep in the earth when Puddleglum wakes up to the sweet talk and enchantment of the witch, in the movie, The Silver Chair. Somehow, I don’t have a good feeling about things to come. Then, I get the Surgical News, and always enjoy reading the occasional articles by Dr. Cossman, who is a vascular surgeon in Los Angeles. He seems to hit home every time. The article this month speaks of the death of private practice general surgery, and he is absolutely on the mark. I have included an exerpt in the Veröffentlichungen. Please read it in whole to get a good feel of what I’m going through. So, I remain uncertain as to what to do for the future. With the Franciscans, I will need to throw out any chance of doing any more thoracic or gynecological work, and I’d have to work with surgeons that I don’t trust. That doesn’t turn over well with me. I’d consider moving to Portland but the job market there is a zoo like it is in Tacoma. There is the thought of either figuring out a way of staying in Missions work until retirement, or doing nothing but locum tenens. Please pray for me that the Lord will guide Betsy and me in making proper decisions.


So, national news continues. A chimpanzee attacks a lady and nearly kills her. We now learn that apes can be quite vicious. Why didn’t Margaret Meade tell us that? If you accept the simple schoolbook -what you’ve learned in college- teaching on evolution, then we are the random product of a fairly violent species. No wonder I don’t feel safe in Harlem, or Washington D.C..


The Pope has now made several declarations that have ruffled many feathers. The first was to pardon and remove excommunication from a bishop who declared that the Holocaust did not occur. The second was instruction that Catholic politicians (such as Nancy Pelosi) must vote pro-life, or risk church action. Wow. My first reaction to the first declaration was a fit of anger. How dare the pope do such a thing? But then, I got to thinking… who cares what Pope Joe declares? Do you really take him seriously in these sorts of matters? I don’t.  Secondly, I don’t know where there is an injunction in Scripture to hold in excommunication those with stupid beliefs. The strength of Christianity is that it tends to look beyond politics and our own screwed-up-ed-ness. Yes, it is possible that the Marxist  bleeding heart liberal Tony Campolo might even make it into heaven. It’s definitely not ours to judge. So, perhaps it is proper for the church to stay out of issues such as belief in the Holocaust. I know of nowhere where the Constantinopolo-Nicene creed, the Apostolic creed, the Heidelberger Katechism, Westminster Confession, or any Roman Catholic creed insists on a belief in the Holocaust as a ground for orthodoxy… But, Pope Joe just can’t stay out of politics, or perhaps, just has bad timing on his statements with heavy political implications… He now declares that pro-death politicians cannot be good Catholics. Certainly, I’d wonder if anybody that strongly supports abortion or PAS should even waste their time identifying themselves as Christian. I’m not talking about many, who tend to wring their hands on the issue of abortion or PAS. Like I said before, lot’s of confused and uncertain people will be going to heaven someday. I’m speaking of the Gloria Steinems or Nancy Pelosi’s, who view themselves on a mission from (god?) to make abortion common, accessible, and completely socially acceptable. These politicians should quit wasting their time with the “Christian” or “Catholic” label. Meanwhile, Pope Joe must learn that he can’t be selective about when he practices politics, or when he practices Christianity.


Katze 19.FEB2009. Katze threw up everywhere in the house for the umpteenth time. We realized that we would have a serious problem with Katze, being that we would be gone much of this year. So, we decided to have Katze returned to the Animal shelter where we got her 5 years ago. We gave Katze a good 5 years, and it was not without plentiful tears to wish Katze goodbye. We had Sarah take Katze to the pound as we could not bear to see her go. We will miss Katze’s vomitus on our rugs and floor. She was otherwise a good Kitty.


So I end my ramblings. Kreuzberger Nächte sind lang, aber denn? (For my English readers, I’m referring to the lead song, which was a German hit song in 1978. It remains for you to figure out what the song is all about.)


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