Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Suzie Homemaker

This is a topic that is very important to me. Wolves are a passion for me. I've studied them and the different populations--Yellowstone and Greater Yellowstone, Alaska, Isle Royale Nat'l Park--for years. This video shows what Palin and the Alaska Board of Game--made up of hunters and guides mainly--call "predator management/control." It is, in fact, not predator control. Sure, some of that has to be done as well--but it should be based on pure science and good numbers. This is based on money and politics, hoping to artificially inflate the moose numbers, so as to continue attracting huge revenues from out-of-state trophy hunters. Palin recently made it so the Board of Game can make all of their "management" policies without consulting state biologists or the Dept. of Fish and Game. Is this the trend she'd live by as VP or, gasp, President?

Monday, October 27, 2008

I dont' have anything to say...

Quote of the moment, which took place during the 31st minute of the 23rd hour of the 27th day of the 10th month of the year 2008:

“(Nationalism is) a set of beliefs taught to each generation in which the Motherland or the Fatherland is an object of veneration and becomes a burning cause for which one becomes willing to kill the children of other Motherlands or Fatherlands”
-Howard Zinn-

Howard Zinn is a prominent and well respected historian and a professor at Boston University. One of the greatest history books I've ever read is "A People's History of the United States," written by Zinn. I wish people would read this book before they vote, just to really get a better picture of our great nation, and to be better informed. Howard Zinn is one of my heroes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quote of the moment:

Quote for the moment, which took place in the 59th minute of the 17th hour of the 21st day of the 10th month of the year 2008:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
-Barack Hussein Obama-

I love this quote. This election is about no longer waiting for the government to save us from war, from a poor economy, or from the government itself. It's about us--We The People--doing what we have to do to make this a "more perfect union." It's up to us--this generation of Americans--to turn this country into the place we've always claimed it to be. I think this quote is going to be one of the great ones.

Who's "in charge" of the U.S. Senate?

Are you kidding us?!?! Palin, you are not in charge of ANY legislative branch. You are not, according to the Constitution, (You know, that thing you'd have to swear to uphold and defend) a part of the legislative branch. You are sort of ceremoniously the president of the Senate. But your ONLY job is to vote in the event of a tie in the Senate.

Oh my. People, this lady is not that far away from going to Washington and helping to lead our country. That scares me to death. Please, vote. Tell all of your friends and family to vote. Anyone but McPalin.

You know; I thought Bush was sort of.....um......not smart. But this lady takes the whole stupid cake.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quote of the.......moment.

I was thinking about how much I love good quotes. I love them all. Wise ones. Funny ones. Dumb ones. (Get a lot of these from Dubya Bush). And, I thought about doing a sort of "Quote of the Day" type thing on my blog. But, I know I won't do it everyday. So, it's just going to be whenever I think of it or want to. Thus, quote of the moment.

Quote for the 23rd minute of the 19th hour of the 20th day of the 10th month of the year 2008:

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."

I really like the philosophies of Thoreau. Christopher McCandless, the subject of the book and recent film, "Into the Wild," often quoted Thoreau and, it is widely believed that he lived by many of Thoreau's teachings. I loooooooovvvvvvvvvvvveeddddd this book, as well as the movie.

I've talked about it before. I won't bore you. If you want to know my thoughts, refer to my blog entry titled, "What's it all for?" I believe the simpler and less cluttered our lives are, the happier we are. Stuff, at the end of the day, is still just stuff.

I think this quote has something to do with that. Honestly though, I'm not sure I totally get it. What do you think?

I've included a video, from youtube. It is clips from the "Into the Wild" movie" set to some music from the soundtrack. The song is simply titled, "Society," and is sung by Eddie Vedder. It's become one of my favorite songs of all time. The message is powerful. More important, I believe the message is true.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A video...

Now, why are you voting the way you are?

Colin Powell endorses who?


This is good news.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thoughts about presidential debate III

Well, this will be short and sweet, as we learned little more in this debate than in the previous two. The most dominating topic was the economy and the two candidates each presented their "new" plans this week.

In a nutshell, McCain's economic policies, including taxation, will look a lot like our current system, under the Bush Administration. It is often called "trickle-down," or, "supply-side." Essentially, the theory is, give the rich people all the tax breaks and they, in turn, will supply jobs and, therefore, money to the rest of the little people.

Obama's plan is, according to him, the anti-thesis of the Bush/McCain policy. His theory says, if you give the majority (95%) of Americans a tax cut, they'll have more money to pay bills and, more importantly, to infuse into the economy by purchasing goods and services at American businesses.

I, like McCain, am no economic genius. I'm not sure either of the two plans will solve our financial crisis very quickly. I think Americans are going to pay, for a long time, for the irresponsible decisions and spending by "the powers that be." However, the Bush policy has been in place for nearly 8 years and has proven not to work. I can see how it might have--had the government put more regulation and checks and investigations on the big businesses to which the tax breaks were given. For example, Exxon/Mobil has made record profits for the last 2 years. We're talking about 12 billion dollars this year. So much, that they gave a former top staffer who "no longer works there" a $400,000,000.00 severance. What?!?! That is outrageous, especially when, admittedly, Exxon/Mobil is not putting any of the money from tax breaks, into research for alternative/renewable energy sources. I'll find fault with that all day long. So, sorry McCain, Obama's got you beat this time on economic policy, even if it's by default.

Again, we've seen the personalities and what seems to be the true character of the candidates this last week and during Wednesday night's debate. How is Obama so good at staying calm and collected during all of McCain's attacks? I think he's doing the right thing--showing that he isn't quick to be defensively reactive. Rather, he's cool and thoughtful under the most stressful of situations. Great trait for a leader of the free world. McCain obviously does not like Obama. He acts like a cornered wolverine--always hungry, pissed, and pissed because he's hungry. He's not the thoughtful, sensible, cool-headed leader we need right now. These times are going to require intelligence, thoughtfulness, and reaching across party lines. Obama has vowed to have both republicans and democrats in his cabinet.

While both sides have run negative ads, I find McCain's side to be more troubling. He's making Palin do his dirty work--inciting hatred and violence at her rallies. When more than a handful of people at your rallies are chanting, "Terrorist," "Off with his head," and "Kill him," at your mention of the other candidate's name, you need to take the high road (Palin) and bring things back down to reality. Instead, the McCain camp has done barely a thing about it. I just saw on the news that a guy has an Obama effigy, hanging from his tree, a noose tied around its neck, and "Husein" written across it, as well as a Jewish Star of David on it's head. It's hanging above a McCain/Palin campaign sign. And this is not an isolated incident on the part of McCain supporters. McCain, you have the support of the KKK and other racist, White Supremacist groups. While you may not belong to these groups, if you fail to publicly denounce these acts, then you are as low as they are in my book. I had great respect for you as a senator and, more so, as a hero P.O.W. Throughout your campaign for presidency, whether by your slander of Mitt Romney or your low, half-truth lies about Obama, I've lost every ounce of respect for you. These are not the actions of an American hero.

Palin, you are every bit the Washington politician you claimed not to become. You've stooped to lower than low levels. You said nothing in response to the calls to kill Obama at your rallies. At least McCain had the decency to swipe the mic out of that crazy lady's hands and say, "No, Obama isn't an Arab. He's a decent man. He's not someone that people need to fear." Please, go back to Alaska and tend to your family. You have a teenage daughter who is pregnant and will need her mom, and you have a special needs child who will need far more attention from you than you'll be able to give if, God forbid, you became VP.

Mostly, I want a leader who is for the American people---all of them. I want a leader who will always choose peace, when war isn't ABSOLUTELY necessary. We've had 8 years of a president who was a C student. McCain graduated at the bottom of his class. Obama at the top. My choice this November 4th will be an easy one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Minutes from debate III

Why is you economic plan better?

McCain: 52 billion dollars. Buy bad mortages. Tax breaks to corporations. Taxes are bad. Don't tax small businesses. Obama is bad for "Joe" the plumber. Exxon would get additional 4 billion in tax breaks. Obama's plan is class-warfare. ("Spread the wealth around"). Joe will create jobs unless you raise his taxes. Taxation according to what's good for business is better.

Obama: 60 Billion dollars. Added clauses to bailout that CEOs don't enrich themselves while they're walking away. End tax breaks for businesses shipping jobs. Tax cuts for families making less than $250,000. Help homeowners. Let them re-neg. on their mortgages. Still lots of work to do. But have to act quickly. Fix energy policy that gives our wealth away. Fix education system. Trickle down isn't working. Ground up is better. Only if you make more than 250k will your taxes increase. 98% of small businesses make less than 250k. 95% of Americans will have their taxes lowered. Nobody likes taxes but, Exxon/Mobil doesn't need any breaks. The middle-class and poor need a break.

This year's deficit is 455 billion dollars. Won't some of the programs you proposed need to be trimmed?

Obama: The 750 bill, if structured right, taxpayers will get their money back. We've been living beyond our means. Strong proponent of pay as you go. We need to eliminate current programs from our budget if they're not working. Wants to invest in America. Invest in preventing diseases. Invest in education. Invest in energy and technology. We're going to have to embrace a culture of living within our means and being responsible. Spending freeze won't work. We need a scalpel. Some good programs are underfunded. Some bad programs just need to be cut. Earmarks account for .5% of total spending budget. National deficit has doubled while Bush has been in office. McCain voted for 4 out of 5 of Bush's budgets. On the core economic issues, McCain has been a vigorous supporter of Bush.

McCain: Energy independence. "Countries that don't like us very much." Across the board spending freeze. And then I'll use a scalpel. Government spending is way out of control. We owe China a half billion. Veto every earmarked, pork-barrel bill. I can balance the budget. Job creation through energy independence. I have disagreed with Bush and my party. (Climate change, torture, patient bill of rights, Iraq War?)

Are you willing to say the things your campaigns have said about each other?

McCain: If Obama would've done townhall meetings, it would've been different. It's been tough. I regret some of the negative of both campaigns. Some things have been unacceptable. I hope Obama will repudiate remarks made about me and Palin having to do with the worst chapter in U.S. history. Obama didn't keep his word about public financing. Obama's ads are wrong about McCain on stem-cell research. McCain acting like a martyr, as if he's been the bigger man. Obama started his campaign in Bill Ayers living room.

Obama: We expect campaigns to be tough. 2/3 of people think McCain ran a neg. campaign. 100% of McCain's ads have been negative. Nothing wrong with debate about the issues. Not having townhall mtgs. doesn't justify accusations and very negative ads. People deserve to hear talk about what's most important to them. (Economy). Politics as usual isn't solving the big problems in America. Americans are tired of tit for tat. They want to focus on the big challenges they have right now. Obama acting like McCain is just in the way of him being able to take on the big challenges we face: 2 wars, the worst financial crisis. Mr. Ayers has been center-piece of McCain's campaign. He's a professor. He engaged in despicable acts. He's not involved in my campaign. He will not advise me in the White House. Acorn has been illegally registering voters. It had nothing to do with me. I'll be surrounding myself with democrats and republicans in the white house.

People you'll bring into the government. Why did you pick your VP?

Obama: Joe Biden is a fine public servant. Has some of the best foreign policy credentials. Has never forgotten where he comes from. Has been through hard times. Comes from middle-America. Fights for the little guy. Will help working families. Passed violence against women act. Shares Obama's core values. We agree that we have to reprioritize--help families. Stop focussing everything on corporations and business. Make sure kids get to go to college. Palin is capable. She's excited base. It's commendable that she works on special needs. Autism and other special needs will require additional research. (Spending freeze won't be good).

McCain: She's a role model to women. Is a reformer. Was head of energy and nat. resources board. Gives money back to tax payers. Faced down oil companies. She understands special-needs families. She takes on the "ol boys club." That's YOU McCain. Joe Biden is qualified in many respects. But he voted against first Gulf War. He wanted to divide Iraq into 3. McCain thinks that's not going to work.

Energy and Climate change. End dependence on foreign oil. Give a number of how much we can reduce our foreign oil imports?

McCain: We can eliminate Middle-Eastern and Venezuelan oil. Build 45 new nuclear plants. We can store and reprocess. Nuclear, wind, tide, solar, flex-fuel, clean-coal--all necessary. Within 7 to 10 years we can get off the bad people oil.

Obama: In 10 years, we can reduce our dependence---no oil from Mid East and Venezuelan. Right now, we're mortgaging our children's futures. We need to expand domestic production. The oil companies will need to use it or lose it with the 68,000 acres of leases. We need to look at off-shore. Need to develop high fuel-efficient car in America. We've fallen behind. I believe in free-trade. But for far too long, we've taken any trade agreement. We need to start enforcing the rules. The president has to advocate for American products. We have to stand for human rights when we look at trade agreements as well. We need to help the auto makers but we have to make them accountable for energy consumption. We can make 5 million jobs in America just buy investing and researching in clean energy.

Would you favor controlling health care costs?

Obama: People are being laid off and are losing health care. If you have health insurance and you like it, keep it. We'll try to cut costs by $2500 per year. If you don't have insurance, you'll be provided the chance to choose the same health care plan as the federal employees at a lower cost. We'll make the whole system more efficient/electronic. We'll work on preventative health care. Small businesses will be exempted from the fine for not providing health care. Large businesses won't be exempted--they can afford it. If businesses don't take care of their employees, someone has to. McCain's plan would allow insurances to exclude.

McCain: We need to put health care records online. Obesity is an alarming statistic. We should have physical fitness programs in schools and work. $5000 refundable tax credit to buy whatever plan you want. We've already got too much government. Obama's plan is too much government control. It will take away choice.

Would you nominate a judge who disagrees with you on Roe v Wade?

McCain: Should be left up to the states. I don't use a litmus test on an appointee. Thinks Roe v Wade was a bad decision. Obama voted against 2 good judges based on idealogical differences. I'll find the best, who have the strictest adherence to the Constitution. We have to change the culture of America. Courage and compassion. Attacking Obama's record on abortion/late term abortion. Proud to be pro-life. McCain is an adoptive parent. Thinks Obama's language "health of the mother" is misleading.

Obama: Shouldn't apply a litmus test. Fairness, justice to American people is most important. Believes Roe v Wade was correct. It's a moral issue. Ultimately, women are in the best position to make this decision. Has to do with Constitutional right to privacy. Judges will be an important issue. Thinks judges should have a view about what real world folks are going through. Obama defends his abortion vote by saying there was already a law on the books which protected the unborn and the born. Voted against banning late term because there wasn't an exception for the life of the mother. This is a divisive issue. But there surely is some common ground----try to prevent unplanned/unwanted pregnancy through education and adoption. NO ONE is pro-abortion.

U.S. tests lower than most of the countries of the world though we spend the most on education?

Obama: This has to do with our secure future. Debate is more money? Or more reform? Thinks we need both. Every dollar invested gets huge gains in the end. Need to spend more to recruit better, more qualified educators. Need to make college more affordable. Proposes $4000 tuition credit every year, in exchange for some form of community/national service. Parents need to show responsibility. No child left behind went underfunded so it didn't work. No follow-through on funding. Focus on early childhood education. Thinks charter school competition is a good thing. Doubled the number of charter schools in Illinois. Kids aren't an interest group. They are America's future. Vouchers aren't the way to go. The center-piece of McCain's policy is to increase the DC voucher program. That doesn't help the rest of America.

McCain: It's the new civil rights issue. Choice and competition among schools is what's needed. Charter schools. Reward good teachers. Find poor teachers another line of work. Charter schools provide competition. Throwing money at the problem isn't the solution. Some of the most failing schools are getting the most money. Doesn't make sense. We must improve education in this country. Need to make student loans available and more easily payable. No Child left behind was a great idea to get us started. We need to fix it and reauthorize it. Head start is a great program. We should reform it and then refund it. It needs accountability and transparency. The fact that American education is the most expensive and the least effective cries out for reform.

Closing statements:

McCain: "My friends." These are difficult times. Need new direction. I have a record of reform and taking on other party and own party. I've been a careful steward. We'll make healthcare available and affordable. WE have to stop the spending. You'll have to decide if you trust me or Obama. Look at my record. I've been proud to serve.

Obama: Going through tough times. Administration plus Washington's refusual to tackle problems have led us here. We need fundamental change. Americans are fudamentally decent. That's what's going to get us better. That's why our best days lie ahead. It's not going to be easy. It's going to require ALL of us. It's going to require sacrifice. I will work everyday tirelessly for you and your children.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

As The World Turns...

I love Fall. I wish it would stay longer, though I know it certainly won't. The crisp, fresh air of Fall is becoming colder, stinging. Winter is on its way. Brynn and I rode up Payson Canyon and down Santaquin Canyon last week to see the colors on the foliage. It was beautiful--amazing. I posted a picture or two at the bottom of this page and on my Facebook page as well. I know Winter is coming. I thought for sure that last week would be my final chance to get in a bike ride on my favorite trails. Wednesday afternoon I called about everyone I know--that I usually bike with--and no one was around. I wanted someone to accompany me on a bike ride. After that was unsuccessful, I decided I was going anyway. Brynn took me up and dropped me off. The ride was awesome. It's a great workout and such a rush. Plus, the Fall colors, the leaves on the ground, and just the freshness in the air all made a fun night. I'm so glad I went.

Today, my friend Jack came into town. Brynn, Jack and I went to eat at One Man Band in Santaquin---a late breakfast. Then, we decided to ride, this time, up Santaquin Canyon and down the Payson side to catch the colors again. The world is surely turning, as there was ice in Santaquin Creek and temperature dropped to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The colors had, of course, changed from last week. The deeper reds have now made their entrance to my satisfaction. It reminded me of Broad Pass, near Denali, AK, though not quite as spectacular. (In my mind, nothing ever will be). But it was beautiful and it was fun hanging out with Jack, AKA TD1.

There's something so amazing and so...natural about the turning of the seasons. Things are always changing; Things coming to life, things dying, and things in states in between. The deer and elk are out, foraging; trying to pack on some extra layers as they surely know the cold season is approaching. Jake and Puka (our dogs) are growing in their winter coats, fluffy and warm. It's always amazed me that Jake has never really NEEDED a house. He has one though. I'll have to post a picture of it sometime--sort of a doggy cabin. But each year, nature provides him an amazingly efficient, fluffy, thick coat. And each Winter, I find him sleeping under the blanket of snow, brought during the night, instead of in his warm house I worked so hard on. Well, I suppose I've got nothing on Mother Nature and her skills.

I feel a sense of urgency at this time of year. It's time to get things done and in order before the snow comes and makes them more difficult. This year, especially, as we have our first baby planning his entrance into our small world any day now. His room is ready. Brynn has done a great job decorating and....nesting. Also, I must say her mom has been very helpful getting the baby room ready. We owe Brynn's parents greatly. Our roof has been leaking and threatening to ruin our wood floor. I finally got up there yesterday morning and patched the bejeezus out of it. I was sort of hoping for rain to come so I'd know if my work was successful. At any rate, we are busy preparing for winter and the new changes that will likely come with our "new addition."

As the world keeps turning, and we're all busy trying to keep up with everything in our lives, let's take time to smell the roses and appreciate the environment we have all around. It wasn't made beautiful for nothing.

Happy Fall.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Presidential debate II

Much better than the first. Obama----------more substance this time-------still gives off an "I can be calm under all circumstances" vibe. People like that. McCain-------giving off the "I know my ship is sinking so I'm using desperate measures--jab, jab, jab," vibe. Even his own base is lost. Really McCain? You want to add another $300 billion to the bailout? The bailout that most people are pissed off about? Really? Really?!?! McCain camp's new punchline: "That one." You'll have to watch the debate on a rerun or just tune into MSNBC, CNN, or Faux News channels tomorrow.

Score: Obama 2 McCain 0

It's certainly not over yet. As I've echoed before, "Never underestimate a democrats ability to lose an election."

In case you didn't know, the third and final presidential debate will be next Wednesday night at 7 on all your major news networks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eat, drink, be merry and........GAY!!!

Well, this is one of those hot button topics. It's controversial--especially around here these days. I probably shouldn't say anything about it but I can't help myself. I didn't watch general conference. I'm not sure it was mentioned there. (General Conference = Huge Latter-Day Saints' bi-annual worldwide services). But a friend of mine recently heard this about the church and discussed it with me at work today.

His brother, who is in the bishopric (clergy), was sent a statement from the church's general authorities, telling him to issue callings to a couple of people in the ward (local congregation), in which they will be making phone calls to people in California, telling them to vote to overturn a supreme court's recent ruling that gay marriage is constitutionally legal. Confusing? I explained it as simply as I could.

I should mention that, at this point, this is hearsay. However, I completely trust the source. What on earth is going on here? What is the big deal? What is a "politically neutral, tax-exempt, religious organization doing getting so heavily involved with politics? And why?

We're taught in the faith that, the prophet is the Lord's mouthpiece here on earth and, therefore, we're supposed to support and sustain them. It's not that we cannot question them. On the contrary; We're taught that we should question them if we need to, with prayer and fasting for a confirmation of The Spirit. But this news immediately jumps out to me as somehow wrong, uncalled for, overreaching.

You see, I don't believe that there is a problem with gays and lesbians marrying--entering into deeply, committed, and monogamous relationships with their soul mates, with whom their in love. Do you? What should be the alternative then? We acknowledge that there certainly are sons and daughters of God who are gay. Shall we send the message then, that we'd prefer people be polygamous, having loose relations with whomever, whenever. Is that not the more dangerous alternative? More STDs, more cancers, more confusion.

In The Church, we're taught that we cannot have eternal happiness and joy and all of God's blessings unless we are sealed in a temple ceremony of marriage. Well then, what is to become of our gay friends, brothers, sisters, parents, children, if they cannot marry the one they love? Do we believe that a gay man will suddenly become physically attracted to females instead? From what I've seen, the answer is most probably not. So then, if they cannot marry whom they love, and they're not going to marry someone of the opposite sex, what will be their end? The God I believe in wouldn't rob them of the joys experienced in a committed, loving relationship/family. The God I believe in loves everyone the same. The God I believe in wants the most for all of his children.

I've thought about this a lot. I really have. I cannot think of a reason why we'd deprive someone equal rights, based on whom they want to love.

Whether you believe our sexual preferences come about by choice or by birth matters not. On this there are many opinions. But the FACT remains: THERE ARE GAY PEOPLE. Who are they? They are your co-workers, your distant relatives, your neighbor, your neighbor's kid, your fellow church member's kid, your sibling, your friend. Most of all, they are people. They are humans and they have the same rights as everyone else. (Or at least they should---working on it).

Some of you may think I'll be struck by lightning in my sleep for thinking/writing this way. I've got news for you. I've been thinking/writing this way for a long time and, so far, so good. Worry about your own relationships. Let everyone else worry about theirs. Is your marriage a source of happiness? Why not hope for EVERYONE to experience that? Someone else's relationship will have no affect on yours, negative or positive. If it does, you're doing something wrong. Yeah, it's you, not them.

As far as sustaining our church leaders go, well, on this one, for now, I think this will one day be looked at in the same way we now look at some of Bruce R. McConkie's or Brigham Young's statements about black people. It was wrong to think that way then. It was human error then. And I believe the big stink being made now, asking people to make campaign calls to overturn a supreme court decision that isn't hurting anyone, is wrong now. I could be wrong. But I'm going to err on the side of living and letting live.

I love you ALL.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall, season of new life?

Fall is really here. It'll be gone before I know it and then the dead of winter will set in. This year is different though. Much different. While most of the vegetation is dying for the year, a new life is right around the corner. Or, right inside my wife's belly. It's dawning on me, more and more each day; I'm going to be a daddy.

Oh my holy shiz! I'm going to be a daddy! I'm going to have a kid. I'm going to be raising someone; another life. What do I think about it? How am I feeling? Honestly? I'm terrified. I'm absolutely afraid to bring a kid into this confusing world. I'm fearful of not being adequate for this job. What if I'm not mature enough? What if I'm too inexperienced? What if I'm too confused myself, to ever be able to put someone else on "the right path?" Somebody help me!

And just when I want to shrink from this whole situation, and forgo the coming experience, I look at Brynn and I start to gain some confidence. I see the way she is fully aware of what's coming. While I've been sort of an outside spectator, she's been very much a part of this unborn kid's life. She actually feels him growing inside of her. She feels him moving around. She senses parts of his personality. She seems to have a relationship with him already. She knows his moods. At this point, she already knows what to do to make him more calm, more comfortable. She is a mom. She's a nurturer. This child is 100% dependent upon her and her actions. She sees to it that he's being nourished. She makes certain that he's not exposed to any harmful medications or foods or air. This must be why I grew up feeling much closer to my mom than my dad.

Majoring in bio-chemistry in college, I've studied the inner-workings of the human body and the immense complexities of life and its origins. I'm am overwhelmingly amazed that this child, our son, began his journey as a single cell. I'm fascinated that this cell knew the exact moment in which it should begin dividing into two cells, and then into four, and so on. Not only that, but those cells knew what type of tissues to become and then into which organs they should divide and form. The cells had a blue-print, formed by chance, and now know what color of eyes, skin, and hair to make. Will this baby have straight hair or curly? Will he grow to be tall, or will he be my size? (I'm only 5'8" or so.) Will he be able to roll his tongue? Will his earlobes be attached or detached? Will he be naturally athletic, or will sports and things come more difficult for him? Will he be smart--the top of his class? Or will he have some learning difficulties? God knows.

I am terrified, and I would continue to be terrified if I didn't have my wife and if I didn't believe that God/Jesus/Mother nature was in charge here. My wife is going to be such an amazing mom. She's a nurse so fixing things, putting band-aids on "owies," and making everything all better just comes naturally for her. There will be a learning curve for me. But I will figure it out. The excitement of having this little bundle of joy---with Brynn---is slowly overcoming my fear. I've heard my friends talking about how there's just something, for which there are no words, about that tiny new life depending on you for EVERYTHING. And they dig it like crazy. I think I will as well.

After reading this, if you are a parent, or not, and you feel like I could use your advice, please feel free to give it. I'll happily accept.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The VP Debate

Well, I realize I've already blogged about Gov. Palin, and why I won't vote for her. But that was before I didn't know about all of these other reasons I can't vote for her, and don't believe anyone else should either.

Last night's debate was pretty good, especially as far as VP debates go. I have to agree with most of the political reporters on this one. (Excluding Sean "I'd cut off my hand for Sarah Palin" Hannity.) I think both candidates did a good job. Biden was able to demonstrate his knowledge, especially that of foreign policy. While he seemed to hold back and cut himself short at times, his answers were polished and were things he obviously believes---not just something the campaign told him to say. Palin "exceeded expectations," though I don't think expectations were very high. She was able to hold her own, and appeal to those whose only mandatory qualification for VP is that "down home folksiness."

Look, Sarah Palin has flat out lied about certain things and she isn't being called on it very well. She has continually lied and misrepresented the story about the bridge to nowhere. She did not say, "Thanks, but no thanks to Congress," until she found out they couldn't give her the total amount for that project. And she didn't give back those earmarked funds. She spent them on other things. During her time as mayor, she allowed the city to charge rape victims for rape kits. She claims not to have known about this.

In her interview with Charlie Gibson, she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine on foreign policy, even though it's what the last 6 plus years of foreign policy is based on. Sure, Joe or Jane American may or may not know what that is. (Many do). But Gov. Palin isn't Jane American--she is someone who is running for the 2nd most powerful position in the world. And don't even get me started on the Katie Couric interview, although I'd recommend you watch it on youtube if you haven't seen it.

Sure, she's folksy. She's down home. (If by that you mean wealthy, living in a governor's mansion most of the time and then at their lake house at Lake Wasilla at other times). She's proven that she can handle being governor---of a state with a few issues and only 670,000 people. But how can she honestly be VP when her foreign policy experience and knowledge are so limited? By her own admission, her foreign policy qualifications are that she lives next to Canada and that you can see Russia from parts of Western Alaska.

I just can't leave the world in the hands of those who seem most folksy and hockey-mommish. I think I'd rather it be in the hands of someone with a legitimate Harvard degree, someone who graduated at the top of his class, and someone who knows a bit about the world and its affairs.

I think Palin would do well and have a huge audience if she hosted her own show like Oprah or Ellen. But I think the country will soon realize the mistake of electing McCain and Palin, if the majority go that route.

As for me, I hope Obama wins and that soon I'll be writing a letter to the editor, telling people how to safely remove their McCain '08 and McCain/Palin stickers from their bumpers.