Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Address Change and Inspiration

December 30, 2009

Thanks for coming.  I have moved this blog, along with all the old posts, to a new address.  Please visit the new address:

http://ourdinnertable.wordpress.com

This new name was inspired by Ronald Reagan’s quote from his 1989 presidential farewell address:

All great change begins at the dinner table.  So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.

Please accept this as an invitation to my dinner table.   Let’s sit down and talk!

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Thanksgiving

November 25, 2009

As I get older, I find Thanksgiving to be my favorite holiday.  It seems to be the one time of year everyone puts family ahead of their other pursuits.  That Thursday doesn’t feel like a Thursday.  It has a different feel.  It’s its own day.

But, that’s not the only reason I like it so much.  I like it because it gives us a chance to pause and consider what we’re thankful for.  It’s easy to forget those things the rest of the year.

I’m thankful for so much.  I’ll start a list.  I’m sure I’ll forget a few things, but I can always add to it later or next year.  I’m thankful for:

  • My family and friends
  • The universe
  • The Sun that gives us energy and the Earth that has so many things to make life hospitable for us.
    • The moon that keeps our spin stable.
    • Earth’s magnetic field that shields us from dangerous radiation.
    • Gravity, for keeping us planted on Earth and the relatively thin layer of atmosphere around Earth.
    • The atmosphere for trapping enough of Sun’s energy to warm us up from the near absolute zero temperature of space.
    • All the things that put the basic essentials for breathing and growing plant life into the atmosphere.
    • Water
    • I could keep going here
  • Life and making it
  • Being born in a time and place where human freedom is a very high priority
  • Being born into a loving family
  • Having been raised to think for myself and be skeptical of conventional wisdom
  • Having my faculties to enjoy what’s around me
  • Having met the people I have in my life so far
  • Learning the lessons I’ve learned
  • Being helped by the people who’ve helped me
  • Having been able to help others
  • Having coordinated my efforts for the betterment of society anonymously through the free market
  • The things I enjoy doing
  • Having been well cared for in times of need
  • The men and women who have died for my freedom
  • Overall, being able to lead a more comfortable life than generations before
  • Having possibly contributed to those to come to do even better
  • The four known forces in the universe
  • LOST
  • Libraries
  • Authors
  • Ice cream
  • Coffee
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Specific kinds of wine
  • Computers and all of its devices
  • DVRs, digital cameras, wireless networks
  • Starbucks and Starbucks founder who never felt it necessary to treat others disrespectfully
  • Bicycles
  • Roads
  • Vehicles
  • Crunchy onion rings
  • The beauty of nature – the sights, sounds and smells
  • Sunsets and sunrises
  • Beaches
  • Planes
  • Doctors and hospitals
  • Parks
  • Monopoly
  • Freeze tag

I’ll stop there for now.

Why I Am Conservative

October 12, 2009

Despite what many liberals believe, it’s not because I have a cold-heart, or that I’m selfish or greedy.

  1. Freedom is the main reason.   I believe people should have the right to make their own decisions as long as they don’t put others in harm’s way, infringe on others’ freedom or coerce others.
  2. Better results The other reason I’m conservative is that freedom happens to have a nice side effect.  It brings better results for us all.  That is, it gives us the best chance at improving our standard of living and giving us many options to choose from.

Whenever I disagree with someone with more liberal leanings, it’s usually on one or both of these two that we disagree.

State Your Position in 10 Seconds

August 31, 2009

Twice over the past week I saw local TV news reporting from outside a health care town hall forum.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they grab random people from both sides of the issue, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are a bit more selective.

So far, those chose to voice why they oppose government health care have not impressed me.  But seeing the coverage made me think, if asked to explain why I oppose government health care in 10 seconds, what would I say?  I think that would be something good to be ready to answer because you never know when you might get 10 seconds and trying to come up with the 10 second version of your view on the fly will probably be as disastrous as what I’ve seen so far.

So, here are a few options I’ve started to think about.

10 Second Version

I want the best health care to be available to everyone.   While well-intentioned, government health care isn’t the best answer.  The problems in today’s health care industry are caused by government.  Getting the government more involved will make it worse.

50 Second Version

[Show my iPod.]  It would take a wall in a room of my house to store as much music as this thing holds and makes available with a few finger taps.  I can also use it to check the weather, show photos of my latest vacation, plot a route to my next destination, e-mail friends, update facebook, download more music, videos, podcasts or books at Starbucks, or pass the time playing Tic-Tac-Toe and Checkers with my son.  I got all this for less than $300.  There are other versions of this product that can do pretty many of these things for around $100.

The government was not involved in making this product. Fifteen years ago while alphabetizing my CD collection in wood crates to make it easier for me to find the music I want to listen to, I would never imagine the iPod.  It does all this for me and I can carry it in my pocket.

I can imagine if the government were involved in its development, I would probably still be muddling through those wood crates.  Not bad by any means, but not a small percentage as good as this.

Excellent Read from Star Parker

August 3, 2009

I highly recommending reading Star Parker’s latest column, ‘Beer summit’ should have been about freedom.

Key paragraphs:

One would be hard pressed to find a black American who is not concerned, often from personal experience, about being personally violated as result of arbitrarily exercised authority and power.

Read the Declaration of Independence. Protecting individual liberty against such arbitrary power was and is what it’s all about.

So why do blacks, who have more personal experience than any other group in this nation with abuses of such power, consistently support expanding it?

Why is Professor Gates freaked out by the policeman standing on his porch but not by the intrusive expansion of government into his life and the lives of every other American, white or black?

The purpose of the press conference where Obama was asked about the incident in Cambridge was about his answering questions regarding the massive government takeover of private American lives he is engineering with his health care proposal. A proposal where government will dictate how we get our health care, what health care we will get, and putting life and death in the hands of bureaucrats.

McCaskill Changes Her Tune Quickly

June 18, 2009

On Tuesday Senator Claire McCaskill said:

The White House has failed to follow the proper procedure in notifying Congress as to the removal of the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The legislation which was passed last year requires that the president give a reason for the removal. ‘Loss of confidence’ is not a sufficient reason.  I’m hopeful the White House will provide a more substantive rationale, in writing, as quickly as possible.

Yesterday she said:

Last night, in response to my request for adequate information on the firing of Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service Gerald Walpin, the White House submitted a letter to Senators Lieberman and Collins that now puts the White House in full compliance with the notice requirement in the law.  The next step for Congress is to use the 30 days provided by the notice to seek further information and undertake any further review that might be necessary. The reasons given in the most recent White House letter are substantial and the decision to remove Walpin appears well founded.

I’d be interested to know the reasons.

Palin v Letterman Double Standard

June 12, 2009

I’ll give Letterman the benefit of the doubt that he made a dumb error.  I could be wrong.  Either way, he should give a straight-up apology – no excuses.

That being said, I could also be wrong about this too, but I don’t think the media would work too hard to get the facts straight if Palin said something stupid.

Bill Maher

June 6, 2009

I heard Bill Maher on the radio on the way home from work plugging his upcoming show in the are.  Funny stuff.  The guy takes himself way too seriously.  Apparently he has all the answers.  We should just ask him.

According to Maher, people who haven’t bought into the dogma of global warming, hook, line and sinker, aren’t sitting at the adult table.   Unless Republicans want to change to be more like Democrats, they’re just plain stupid or the crazies that listen to Glenn Beck.

I’m sure it sells tickets to his comedy act.  His use of third grade and Third Reich tactics to avoid using reason, logic and evidence  is certainly laughable.

“Why aren’t we laughing?”

June 3, 2009

Chinese students laugh an Timothy Geitner.  Read about it here.

Commenting on this laughter, a guest on the Chris Stigall radio show, Chris Butler, this morning asked, “Why aren’t we laughing?”

Good point.

Random Thoughts

May 30, 2009

As a nod to Thomas Sowell and Jerry Heaster (a former business columnist for the local newspaper), I’m trying a random thoughts post.

Some have made a great point this week that Clarence Thomas’s “compelling life story” or his minority status didn’t get near the mileage in the media as Sotomoyer’s.  I have yet to come across a good reason why.  A sure sign of a media doing its job correctly would be an intense focus on Sotomoyer’s qualifications for the Supreme Court. 

Star Trek was an excellent movie.

North Korea.  Who didn’t see that coming?  The sad but true reason why we must keep a strong defense, you can’t trust other humans. 

Talking heads must get bored doing their jobs.  They must look forward to being able to say the hot phrases such as ‘compelling life story’.  Thanks to Chris Stigall for sharing a montage of those words from the past few days.  Can anyone else remember when the hot phrase was ‘Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali’? 

Michael Savage stopped caring on his radio show this week and it resulted in some entertaining radio.  Limbaugh seemed to take that approach a few years back.  Hannity should try it. 

GM. Chrysler. Banks. Dipping Treasuries. Large deficit.  The changes going on around us remind me of the way Elie Wiesel described the changes afoot in his community leading up to the Halocaust in his excellent book Night, which was a unwillingness to believe that anything that bad was happening and that everything would turn out okay.  A good visual depiction of this human behavior can be seen in the original Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price (the original I Am Legend with Will Smith). 

I’m the crazy one for thinking it strange for the government (i.e. Barack Obama, who else is calling the shots?) to own a majority of GM while Sweden, a Socialist country, said it wasn’t going to bail out its auto company because it wasn’t prepared to run an auto business.  And people keep buying the “he doesn’t want to run auto companies and the banks” line.

I love to read and listen to debates.  I often hear someone accuse the other of being wrong.  I rarely hear them explain why.

I think I’m losing the taste for Starbucks coffee.  Or maybe they’re just not keeping it fresh (brew every 20 minutes) like they use to.