Thursday, February 26, 2009


Last night, I had a minor epiphany. I went to a local business establishment and ended up talking with the employee at the check-out counter for about 5 minutes. When I had gone to this place before, I remember noticing this guy and kind of laughing to myself. He looked like something out of the early 80's, in terms of what he wore and how his hair was styled. I even remember laughing with my Father-in-law about this same guy as we left this place a few weeks ago.

It's funny, but I realized that stereotypes are the language of an outsider. True, there are reasons for stereotypes. Mainly, that they contain some degree of truth about their subject. But, they paint in broad strokes and are a vague impression of said subject. By no means do they take into account the individual.

As I was driving home, I thought about how nice this guy was. I thought about our discussions involving having children and being a Dad. I thought about how he's working 2 jobs to make ends meet. I also appreciated how truly inquisitive he was about my job and my life after graduating from UGA, among other things. We actually had some similarities.

I saw him in a new light because I had begun to get to know him. It was a simple thing, but profound. I think if we all knew people better, it would go a long way toward increasing our understanding and empathy. Of course, you can't know everyone on that level. Simply being aware that there's "more than meets the eye" is a powerful reminder that everyone's life is a novel - full of detail and unique experiences. That being said, we're all more similar than we imagine.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Good Point

This is a hypothetical question posed to Pres. Obama. It contains some surprising figures, comparing the economy in the 80's to our current one. Interesting points by Larry Elder.

"Mr. President, this is a two-part question. In your opening statement, you called today's economic situation "the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression" and later "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression." But in the 1981-82 recession, unemployment reached 10.8 percent in 1982 versus 7.6 today. Reagan inherited an annual inflation rate of 13.5 percent, while you, sir, came in with a 0.1 percent inflation rate. Prime interest rates reached 21.5 percent at the end of 1980, compared with 3.25 percent at the end of 2008. Reagan did not ask for a "rescue" or "bailout" package. He cut taxes and slowed the rate of domestic spending. Unemployment, inflation and interest rates went down. The Treasury collected more revenue than ever. First, how then -- at least so far -- is this the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression? And second, given Reagan's success, why not cut taxes, reduce domestic spending, and leave taxpayers and consumers with more money to save, spend and invest?"

The Old Gipper was a wise one. Here is the link to the full article this question originated from. Here's one more bonus quote from Ronnie:

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." - Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sweet Words

I've noticed, since the first time Obama came on the scene, how everyone is so amazed at his eloquence. His way with words. I admit, he is a polished speaker, no doubt about it. If that is all he is, though, we might as well have elected a trained actor or a poet. If someone is applauded merely for their ability to speak words in an artful way, is that enough?

There could be a man on the corner of the city sidewalk, who plays with words like an artist. He could also be mentally deranged. But, hey, his words sound great!

The point I'm making is that wordplay, alone, is a cheap prize. Something else to be treasured, but rarely is these days, is wisdom. Is Barack Obama a wise man? That's where I'm not sure.

He is the product and darling of the university system. Where our universities were once institutions of deep learning, nowadays, they are a far cry from those past places. Now, we have loads of professors who are learned and intelligent people, no doubt, but aren't necessarily wise. Some are, I'm sure. The vast majority, though, are persons whose minds are full of knowledge. Is knowledge enough? Obama has plenty of knowledge, I would imagine.

Ultimately, our world is caving in on itself and the emptiness of our own vanity. We love to appear smart. We love to appear beautiful. Do we love wisdom? I don't see our government being guided by wisdom. The stimulus package just passed in the Senate looks eerily similar, in concept, to Roosevelt's "New Deal." We're still haunted by some of these New Deal systems: social security, Fannie Mae. Are they still causing trouble today? Yes. Just look at the role Fannie Mae played in the recent housing debacle.

Some verses from 2 Timothy come to mind:

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3&4

This brings to mind all kinds of things - from talk shows, to infomercials, to educators, to government leaders.

Who is truly wise in this day and age?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

FaceBook In Reality

This is truly funny. So awkward!