Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Having Lunch....

About 10 years ago, or so, I attended a Daddy/Daughter event at church with my oldest daughter. One of the activities that they had was a game where they asked the dad's a question and then asked the daughter's what they thought their dad's answer would be. The only question that I can really remember was, "If your dad could have lunch with any one person in the world, who would it be?"

My daughter answered "My mom". I told everyone that she had the right answer because I would certainly have my wife come along with me as well. (Good save Anderson!) The person we would have lunch with, however would be John Wooden. Virtually all the girls said "who?", while the dads generally responded "Yeah, that would be cool!"

While a freshman at the University of Utah I attended an on campus event that was called the "Challenge Lecture Series", or something like that. One particular day John Wooden was the invited guest speaker. I knew that he was arguably the greatest college basketball coach in history at that time -- and may be so even today, but I didn't know anything else much about him. He gave a lecture that was one of the most inspirational I have ever heard. He talked about integrity, individual responsibility and other virtues. He is so much more than a great basketball coach

Well, today while on the internet I came across this video about John Wooden who now 99 years old. I have even more respect for the man today than I did at the time I answered that I would have lunch with him. For Britt and her friends who didn't understand my answer, I hope you enjoy the video clip as much as I did.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

State of the Union

I didn't actually hear the State of the Union address last night. Cody was playing basketball and, quite frankly, that was more important to me than what the President has to say. He campaigned with the slogan of "Change we can believe in." One year later "Changing what we believe in" seems more appropriate.

I agree with the main priority he set out in his speech (based on what I have read). We need to get American's working again. Unfortunately, he appears to believe that the answer is government job creation. Other than the military and other security related jobs, I don't know that government-related or created jobs are worth the effort. It seems to me that a job should create something (goods/services) that is demanded by the economy. Government should stay out of the way and let the markets determine where to allocate resources.

The President's proposal for high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever hear. I don't know one person who would use it. If I have to drive my car to get to a high speed train in Los Angeles and then not have a car when I get to San Francisco, I would simply rather drive myself. The government subsidy figures I have heard rumored for this project is $2.3 billion. On the other hand, the cost of that type of rail has been estimated at over $40 billion. Where will the difference come from? No private lender or enterprise is going to fund this effort because there is simply no demand.

I tend to believe that the surest way to stimulate the economy is to stimulate population growth. A growing population require goods and services. That type of demand is what drove the economic boom in the United States in the last century.

Clearly, the last thing we need in this country is more deficit government spending for projects without a hope of succeeding. The last 'stimulus' bill was replete with such projects and they haven't generated any economic recovery that I can see.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Baby Had a Baby

So, it turns out I married a grandmother. Well, she wasn't a grandmother when I married her, but she became one the other day.

It's taken a bit of time for me to be comfortable with being a grandfather. It literally seems like yesterday that Kerry and I brought Brittny home from the hospital.

Anyway, good job Britt & Eric. I hope little Samuel brings as much happiness to your lives as you have to mine.

Oh yeah, here is the little guy (little only relatively as he was 8 lbs 11 oz. and 21.5" long)

Other pictures can be viewed somewhere on the internet, but I can only find them on Samuel's Facebook page and you probably can't see them unless you are his friend. Maybe Brittny will post a link for more photos as a comment.

Thanks to my baby brother, Kelly, I can post the video of mom and baby from eight hours post partum. Kelly had some magical video format conversion tool that could convert a QuickTime file to wmv which Blogger seems to like much better (even if it is about 8 times larger).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's Fair?

Sorry for not getting back to your earlier with my comments on your inauguration speech, Mr. President. I've been rather busy with a few things. See, my business doesn't seem to be on the radar for a bailout, it doesn't seem to be a target for the economic stimulus plan; and my family requires more attention to guide them in the world we live in. It's not fair that I have to work this hard, but it's okay. I think that is why I am here.

That leads me to my thoughts about your inaugural address. I thought it was well written and your delivery was terrific. The substance of the speech had some very thought provoking points.

One such point was your call for 'fair play'. Having observed your actions, I believe you must have a vastly different definition of the term than I do.

Tell me how your call to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act is fair? It may be politically expedient. It caters to a special interest group that voted for you. But it certainly isn't fair to children brought into the world who have the right to have both a mother and a father. I know, some parents are pretty pathetic at caring for their kids, but don't undermine the basic building block of our society with a warped view of fairness.

Tell me how reversing the gains made in welfare reform in the past 15 years that your 'economic stimulus package' calls for is fair. The welfare state it is creating is not stimulating. It is repressive. Repressive to those who look for a handout instead of work. Repressive to an economy that needs workers, not idlers. Repressive to future generations that will be burdened with the increased national debt.

Mr. President, government is not the answer to our nation's difficulties. For the past 20 years it has been the problem. I have heard you and your supporters blame greedy capitalists for the current financial market troubles. Actually, I believe government policies are more to blame. Take the mortgage 'crisis' for example. It was brought about in part because certain interest groups who, in the interest of fairness, wanted the government to guarantee mortgages for people who couldn't afford them. Where sound financial analysis in the private sector would have quickly classified these transactions as imprudent, at best, the presence of a government guarantee led to a false sense of security. Our government usually does well at fighting wars. Most other things are better left to the private sector.

I would pocket the fairness card for now, Mr. President. Encourage people to be fair-minded. Encourage our elected officials to be fair-minded as well. Fair-minded means to be just and impartial. Government today has shown itself incapable of being just and impartial. Reduce government involvement in the lives of the people. Enact and enforce laws that encourage and support families and hard work. That will the best and ultimately fairest economic stimulus package that could be enacted.