Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

This is Memorial Weekend, so there are a lot of military movies on television, remembrances of past sacrifices, and salutes for today's service members. I am thankful for those friends I've served with, and those whose lives were cut short while serving. The thing I would like to remember was not one of my friends ever thought of themselves as a hero. Universally they were professionals, who were trained and skilled in their profession. Some were lost in action, some in training, but all died doing what they loved and worked to be good at. I miss them all, and it is only through God's grace that I was not among them.

I pray for their families, and know that God has taken them to a place of joy and celebration. Go in peace Hal Lewis, Rick Bakke, Lyn MacIntosh, Jim McMillan, Greg Peppers, Jack Felton, Jim Kirk, and Norm Martel.

"Bad things are not the worst things that can happen to us. Nothing is the worst thing that can happen to us!" From Richard Bach, author, pilot, philosopher

For todays Airman, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines I hope your lives are full, lived with love for your families, your friends and your Nation, and you stay safe while serving as an instrument of national foreign policy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I know it has been said many times, golf is a game of integrity. Unlike other sports where referees, umpires, judges, or some other independent agent calls any infraction, in golf you are left to your honor to keep an honest account of your effort. I wonder if golf will survive, in the future world where celebrity and denial of personal responsibility emerge as predominate characteristics?

I hope it does.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time in a bottle.

I was reading an entry the other day. It was from a teacher complaining about how teen pregnancy and hard drug use was on the rise. She went on to quote another writer to show how liberals are more compassionate and caring then are their conservative counter-parts.

What I found most intriguing about this was the complete lack of cause and effect correlation between the issues she was so distressed by and the liberal influence on those issues. There was an acceptance that our society is in crisis, but no thought the causes could be found in the liberal approach that encourages the entertainment industry to show dysfunctional family relationships, wanton violence, and anti-social behavior as an approved model for our youth.

As long as the entertainment industry can make a buck selling us products that push the limit of good taste we will continually be pushing the boundary on what is good taste. Unfortunately it isn't the media's fault. We buy into this and spend our $ on it. We each bear a part of the total responsibility. Each time a parent allows their kids into the violence, or spends their dollars on rentals, tickets or buying these movies we encourage another movie that goes just one step farther.

As a parent I approached my job with this simple understanding of my role and my child's role. It was my job to set boundaries that kept my kids safe. I had to allow them room to grow but keep them from growing too fast or taking too many risks. My son and daughter's job was to grow into a responsible adult. They could only do this if they continuously pushed against my boundaries and exerted their individuality as they fit within the societies expectations. My challenge was to know when the boundaries could or should be expanded, and to know when their challenge to my boundaries exceeded what society would accept and therefore should result in discipline. I am always amazed by parents who never grasp this dynamic.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Nation Divided?

As this apparently never ending election season drags on is it only me who wonders what we come out with at the back side? In the years I've been around I've come to a couple of hard conclusions. The first, since the narrow election of John F. Kennedy, the Presidential election has been more about style then substance. Neither party offers any real or fundamental changes. The Democrats are now the Liberal Democrats and offer the nation a chance for bigger government and more excuses for a lack of personal responsibility. The Republicans are now the Religious Right Republicans and offer promises of no change, and smaller government. Regardless of the promises both seem only to deliver larger government and government interference.

The second, and most important, observation is that if we want the government to seriously change it can only happen if we are willing to shake up the Congress. The Congress is the source of the good and bad. When Congressmen stay in office too long they move from our Representatives to our leaders. Unfortunately, at that time they begin to think they know better then us what we need.

The last serious change to the Congress came in the mid-90's when the Republicans under Gingrich took the House. Since then it has been a gradual erosion back to the Democratic party. Mostly because of the Republican arrogance when they had both the Congress and Executive Branch.

Until we shake up the establishment, and send the old time long established congressmen and women home and replace them with fresh new ideas we are going to be stuck. The problem is the deck is stacked against ground swell ever happening since reelection of a Representative or senator is almost an automatic, unless they do something really wrong like molest young pages, or pick up men in restrooms. Even picking up men in restrooms isn't sure to lead to their departure.
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