The first debate

Just a quick note tonight on the first presidential debate for 2004. I watched it with my dad and both agreed that Kerry did well. Bush, not so well. If we were scoring a high-school debate team, Kerry wins.

But, this is not a high-school debate, this is real life and there many, many other factors that will come into play over the next month. I’ve always know this was going to be a tight race and I still believe that. I won’t belabor any individual points that were either made or missed by the candidates tonight. I’ll only remind all of something Tim said to us tonight: Imagine the person who has not made up their mind already and they sat through this 90 minute debate. That’s a special person! What will they likely take away from it? They at least saw John Kerry as someone who “looks and sounds right.” In Bush, they saw someone who talks like their uncle. They may not decide until they walk into the voting booth.

Let me be perfectly clear

I’m simply saying that too many people think the Federal Government is their daddy. If one brings up the subject of Selective Service or even the Military in general, you’re side-stepping my point because one of the things that the Federal Government is supposed to do is provide a strong national defense. In the case of national emergency, like a war for instance, we would all be called upon to sacrifice some of our luxuries.

And this notion of a Draft next year; it’s a just a smoke screen. Liberal Democrats are the ones pushing it in Congress. The White House and the Pentagon have stated that there are presently no plans for such a thing. Please read this article to get some of the details. This rumor mongering fits their preferred world-view that the we’re all going to hell and it’s Bush’s fault. However, if there were to be a Draft, and Emily had to take her physical tomorrow, I would wish her the best and see her off. Just like all of you would.

Back to my point; I think it’s a crime for a young person, at the peak of their life, to be under the impression that the Government owes them something. They don’t owe you healthcare, they don’t owe you prescription drugs, they don’t owe you a job. Why anyone would trust them with any of those things is beyond me.

Just one more thing

I wanted to say one more thing pertaining to last night’s entry before I hit the sack tonight. To all the young people out there: Don’t ever believe that the Federal Government holds sway over your life; it doesn’t and it shouldn’t. You needn’t depend on hand-outs, head-starts, rebates, or roll-overs. You should be out there loving life, living it, and never concerning yourself with what the Government can do for you.

As I said last night, the Federal Spending will go up next year and the year after that, regardless of who is President. I have a fantasy that someday we’ll actually reduce the spending in government. Crazy, I know.

Imagine instead of the Feds taking your money in the form of taxes every paycheck, you had to write a check for that amount and mail it in to them.

A letter from my niece

I received an email from my niece the other day. I’ll give her credit. She responded to my challenge to say why, besides the Iraqi War, she won’t be voting for Bush. One thing I wanted to respond to tonight was a few misconceptions that plenty of people besides her have. They all fall under the general category of the national economy.

Misconception#1: The economy tanked because of President Bush. Please do some research on your own on this one. Nobody thinks the bubble burst because of anything the president did or didn’t do. It was already bursting when he took office and the 9/11 terrorists attacks just hammered the nails in the coffin.

Misconception#2: The government (Bush) is raising tuitions and cutting financial aid for college students. The President has NOTHING to do with what colleges charge for tuition. The cost of tuition is going up because the demand for college is going up. The demand for college is going up because there’s so much financial aid available. (esp. low interest loans.) And a final point about “cutting” at the Federal level. There’s no such thing! We always spend more this year than we did last year. Always. If money were the answer to education, we’d be at the top of every category. Check out this article. American tax payers will invest a total of 501 Billion Tax Dollars on education. Next year the President has requested about 402 Billion Dollars for the defense of the whole country. This President will spend more on Education, not to mention Health and Human Services than any President in history. Is it because he loves us so much? No, it’s because we live in a very wealthy country and the spending just keeps going. See what you did now? You got me all wound up. I’m going to bed now.

Another night at Steak N Shake

I was at Steak N Shake all night tonight. My father and I discussed everything from our own families to the Iraqi War. I asked him what he thought about Emily applying to Harvard. That’s right, I said Harvard. A man from church who’s a Harvard Graduate School alumni gave us an application. His wife said to me, “we think Emily is a very special girl and we think she should go to Harvard.” You can imagine my response. Something like, “That’s awful nice, whom do think should pay for Harvard?” Well as it turns out, Harvard doesn’t need my money. As far as academic requirements go, that doesn’t matter much either. Harvard lays out no minimum requirements for GPA or test scores. So, what the heck? Why not apply to Harvard?

I’ll mention again that these discussions with my father have been much more pleasant since he stopped trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and started talking with me. When he can say to my face that he hopes John Kerry wins, this is much preferable to being grilled with leading questions and innuendoes. We’ll banter back and forth, as we assume the roles of either campaign manager. Kerry should say this, Bush should stick to that. Pretty soon though, I have to stop to remind him that I really do think Bush is a visionary and history will remember him as a great leader. He starts spitting up at this point. That’s OK though, I still won’t roll my eyes or sigh (Al Gore?). I tell him that I won’t panic or commit suicide should Kerry win in November. I’m not sure about folks on the left. Their hopes and dreams seem to be dependent on political leaders.

It’s still somewhat humbling to me whenever my worldview crashes headlong into his. It’s hard to express to someone who is not a Christian that I look at the world differently than they do. I look at history different, as well as politics, law, money; all things of this world seem strangely dim.

The Pensacola Cross


This the Pensacola Cross. Our family vacations on this beach each year and I’ve been keeping up with the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. The destruction is hard to comprehend. I’m trying to keep the people who live there in my thoughts and prayers. It’s hard as I keep thinking about myself and what will it look like when I see it next? This was a huge hurricane and a little barrier island like Pensacola Beach is not even a speed bump as it smashed right through it. Check out some of these pictures. Posted by Hello

Something simple, like abortion

I think I’ll write about something simple tonight. Oh, I don’t know, like abortion. I think I’ll stick to my Whereas/Therefore formula.

Whereas:

  1. Life begins at conception.
  2. An unborn child is innocent of any crimes of man.
  3. There are approximately 126,000 abortions conducted each day worldwide (link). That’s worse than any war.
  4. Pregnancy in the developed world is almost entirely preventable by behavior modification. (Sadly, only 22% of abortions are done in “developed” countries. This is an argument for another day: the correlation between power, poverty and pregnancy.)
  5. The desire to end an unwanted pregnancy is normal. There’s nothing wrong with your emotions. But, because emotion often leads us into regrettable actions, I think a mandatory waiting period would be a big improvement.
  6. If you believe that it’s a sad and harsh necessity to murder an innocent unborn child sometimes, then I have no argument with you. You have to live with that.
  7. I don’t want to change the law, I want to change your mind.

Therefore…well, therefore, just agree with me.

Bellerive Day is over

…and boy are my arms tired. But seriously folks. The weather was beautiful and we had 54 homes participate this year. I think that was more than we’d ever had. Usually, it’s just about 50. It was a huge amount of work and every year at this time I tell myself I’m not going to head this up next year. Then I get over it and tell myself the next one’s a year away.

I’m going to get back into the swing of things; try to write a little each night. I may dip a toe into some, shall we say, “sensitive” issues. You can handle it, right? But tonight, I’m going to bed. Bellerive Day is over. Amen.

Chocolate Milk Wars Revisited

Jennifer mentioned some goofy games that we played when we were just tots. I have to add something to her story though. A chocolate milk race was, if I’m remembering accurately, done only by sipping one spoonful at a time. So, you would indeed race down the hallway to the cups at the kitchen table, but you had to drink it with a spoon. Much more challenging.

Another odd thing we used to do was Twinkie Smashing. (I hope I’m not imagining all this.) You would take your Twinkie and hurl it towards the ceiling. Twinkies can take pretty much punishment, so I think 3 to 4 throws where needed to smash one. Success was measured by a smashed, but un-opened Twinkie. I remember recounting this story to someone and we were laughing quite hard. They asked, “were they unwrapped?” I halted my laughter and said sternly, “No, that would be stupid.”

I wonder if Jennifer remembers too, the whistle that blew every morning at exactly 7:30 a.m. that we heard from our bedrooms. Annette and I were talking about that the other night. It’s a changing of the shift whistle at the “Monsanto” plant down on River de Peres. I say “Monsanto”, but it’s long ago been sold by them to two or three different companies.

I still hear that whistle. And I still hear the bells of the Lutheran Church on the corner of Holly Hills and Leona every hour. They’re rung by hand with the clangs counting the hours of the day. I’ll likely never live away from the sound of those bells.

I Love War

The ridiculous title is on behalf of all my liberal/moderate friends who may have considered voting for the President if it wasn’t for the Iraqi War. In other words, that single issue is keeping them from voting for him.

Whereas:

  1. Sometimes, war is a necessary evil
  2. Your freedom was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001 and they’d kill you and your children if they could
  3. A solution must be sought; doing nothing is not an option
  4. A strategy to establish a democratic stronghold in the Middle East is risky and ugly but it is the best option
  5. The war we put off today will be fought tomorrow

Therefore: Vote for President Bush

If the Iraqi War is just one of many reasons you won’t be voting for the President, that’s great. Tell me about it on your own blog. But if you’d like to vote for him but just can’t because of the war, then tell me which of those 5 points you don’t agree with. If you can convince me that any of them is false, I’ll….OK, I won’t vote for Kerry, but how ’bout I tell everyone how smart you are!