Monday, January 28, 2008

Living in Freedom and Peace

The current President of the United States is talking. But is he actually saying anything? The problem with a lame duck President in his last year and especially with the last State of the Union addressd is that they're looking for the last amount of legacy that they can bring out. It was the same with Clinton as well. (Of course all he really had to overcome is lying that had some dalliances, Mr. Bush has a LOT more to answer for.)

Bush is not going to have a good year. The election this year is looking at becoming one of the best attended and most useful at resetting how policy is shaped in America. The President will become irrelevant this year. We're going to have shrinkage in the economy, continued challenges to the role of the United States in the rest of the world. The least of which this year is the world's focus on China in an olympic year. There will be examination on the politics, lifestyles and massive market that the Chinese represent. Much of it will be the vision of a newly industrialized country, bringing a totalitarian one-party state to a full market economy. The tale of Hong Kong wagging the dog.

China will be on the main stage, as will other Asian centers of influence. Countries willing to subjigate their human resources for greater global share and market. The American socierty that this President sees is a shielded State. Protectionism and isolationism will not balance out the power growing in human will on the other side of the globe. If it were left to a strict non-diplomatic invisible hand economy...I'm not sure that ours will be left standing on top. We must be proactive in bringing about positive change in our cities, our students and universities. Making our lives more productive by providing better places to live rather that instilling fear and a false sense of security without hope.

This is what this President has brought us to. This is where we will need to change.

Brain Dump

Hiya out there. It's been a month since my last post, which wasn't much - just some photos from Christmas time. We've been a bit busy. We've had a car accident a couple of weeks ago. We were driving in the Honda to Church and going slowly on Main Street in Roanoke when this guy backs up into our car from a parking space on the side of the road. It turns out that he is an unlicensed Mexican national. The police weren't much help. They got the information wrong on the police report. The insurance that the guy had in the truck, while looking legal, has a phone number that goes to some lady in Fort Worth. He caused 3,000 dollars in damage to our car, and our insurance is going to have to pay for it.

I knew when he had hit us that it was going to be difficult. That's why I called the police. I was really disappointed when I got the report and there were glaring errors in it. For instance, my driver's license number appeared on the report as the number of the insurance policy. Luckily, I had written down the number independently or they wouldn't have got it.

So, we're going to have my Dad fix the car in the next couple of weeks.

We had my Mom's 60th birthday party on Saturday. Her actual birthday is Jan 28th, but my sister and I planned to have a party that included several of her friends. We had a Mardi Gras theme. I cooked Cajun food including boiled shrimp, potatoes, and corn. We bought some crawfish etoufee and dirty rice and Meredith made a nice bread pudding with whiskey sauce and a lemon sauce.

Mom was really touched by the party. Laura had made her a scrapbook of photos, I made a DVD with a video from photos and Michael showed up. He surprised everyone by flying in unannounced for the weekend from Maine. That was really special. I think the event was a great experience for Mom.

On another point, we're going to be starting a comprehensive plan update at work. I've gotten a consultant on board to help look at some of the larger issues with the city and hope to set a goal list of items to update ordinances with.

I purchased a new computer. After debating for almost two years about which laptop to get, I finally broke down and purchased another Dell product. I had been looking at MacBooks for some time, but I couldn't see paying a extra 1000 dollars and not getting the compatibility with some of the work software that I have. Plus, several of my online things that I like (streaming video from my Netflix account) wouldn't work with a Mac. Dell had a 10 days of deals promotion going on, and I got a 15" Dell XPS laptop in red. It's snazzy. In fact, I'm writing this first post of the year from it. More than a toy, I'll be able to use it not only for work, but also for some consulting on the side as well.

Ford has been getting more restless lately. He has had some fairly significant separation anxiety from Meredith. He cries regularly when she leaves his immediate eyesight. He is now going twice a week to Cornerstone school with Alexander while Meredith is teaching her classes. He'll grow out of it, but it is a little disheartening for me to pick him up to play with him and all he wants to do is cry.

Lost on ABC starts back up this week. I got hooked over the past six months from watching it on DVD. I'm ready to see what's become of the rest of the Others, who gets off the island, and is the future Jack and Kate, real, imagined, or one of possible futures.

Hope you've been able to keep up...