Why I’m Happy

I have four – what would be called in the old days – enthusiasms. They are, in no particular order, History, Music, Sports (mainly baseball and football) and Politics. During election years my political enthusiasm usually gets the best of me. I become hyper-sensitive to the stupidity of politicians. I buy into the hype that “This is the most important election of our lifetimes!” This year is particularly hard because I am a Conservative Republican and things don’t look for us this election (regardless of who’s elected). It’s also tough this year because my Sports enthusiasm can usually offer a good distraction from my politically agitated state. But I can’t think of an MLB post season that I’ve been less interested in. I mean the Phillies and (probably) Tampa Bay? You think the MLB marketing department is scrambling to find a way to sell that match-up to American TV viewers? The Cowboys appear to be stumbling a little early this year. A year in which they can’t afford too many stumbles because their division is probably the best in the NFL. And on top of all that, I didn’t get my first Fantasy Football win until this week, improving my record to 1 and 5. But today I sat back, took a deep breath and thought of all of the things that make life, in the words of James Taylor, “…such a lovely ride.”

Last weekend our family went camping and my girls (5 and 4) caught their first fish.

Whether Obama or McCain wins, the supporters of the losing candidate won’t be thrown in prison or executed. That’s something that can’t be said in other countries.

I just got the new Ben Folds album, Way to Normal. After several listens I’ve determined that it’s his least impressive effort thus far. Folds’ trademarks are incredibly catchy melodies and smart, witty and sarcastic lyrics. Most of the new album is lacking those trademarks. Having said all of that, there’s still a song that I keep humming to myself. Can’t get it out of my head. Greatness.

Now that the season is over for the Texas Rangers, I can look forward to next season. Rangers. World Series. 2009. Bet on it.

Neither my wife nor I know where they got this, but when my girls are in a silly mood, they’ll suddenly exclaim: “Ghostie don’t tee-tee!” It cracks me up.

I go to a church that still sings hymns from a hymnal.

I have a wife who loves me and loves our children and takes care of us.

Mad Men on AMC and The Office on NBC. Both very different shows but both great.

Marion Barber still acts like he wants to punish anyone who even gets near him on the football field.

Ron Chernow, author of Alexander Hamilton and Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (both great books), is working on a biography of George Washington.

My wife likes to mow the lawn.

There are 3 NFL teams that have won 5 Super Bowls: The Cowboys, the 49ers, and the Steelers. I like the Cowboys’ chances of being the first to 6.

Regardless of who wins the next election you and I won’t be imprisoned or executed because we’re Protestant, Catholic or None of the Above thanks to the Founding Fathers’ distaste for an established state religion.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

My girls want me to sing to them every night before they go to bed. Usually they request the song I Will by the Beatles.

My wife and I went to a comedy club with some other couples the other night. The comedian was Patrice O’Neal who is known for working “blue”. I didn’t have to worry about my wife getting offended.

I have a pretty stable job (with a new boss that doesn’t micro-manage, whoo hoo!) that provides an income that allows my wife to stay home with our kids.

I’m an American citizen and enjoy more freedoms than any group of people in the history of civilization.

My girls learned a song in church. The lyrics are: God gave the world His only Son. He made the hippo and it weighs a ton. Hip-hip-hip hippopotamus. Hip-hip-hooray God made us. That makes me smile.

I have a friend who gave me MP3 files of the Billboard Top 100 songs for each year from 1955 – 2007.

I was born in Texas.

My pastor preaches the truth of God’s Word found in the Bible and doesn’t apologize if people don’t like what they hear.

I live in Texas. In the summer we have a lot of days with temperatures over 100 degrees. I’m an IT guy. I work inside.

Sarah Palin has a decent shot at becoming the first woman to hold the office of Vice President…and she’s pretty hot.

Both of my girls love Star Wars.

Because of the Electoral College system a vote for Obama in the state of Texas is a wasted vote. Our 34 electoral votes will go to McCain this year and to the Republican candidate for the foreseeable future.

Autumn (such as it is in Texas) is here and It’s my favorite season.

Thanks to one of the greatest modern inventions, refrigeration, I don’t have to worry too much about becoming seriously ill from or being killed by the food I eat. People throughout history and in many current Third World countries didn’t and don’t have that luxury.

KTCK AM 1310 – The Ticket

Even though we think we have a rancorous political atmosphere. We live in a time that if someone wrote the following quote on the side of a building, it would seem slightly weird: “Damn John Jay. Damn anyone who won’t damn John Jay. Damn anyone who won’t sit up all night with a candle in his window damning John Jay.” For the Founders’ time, it not only wasn’t weird, it was comparatively mild.

 In America, thanks to Noah Webster, we don’t have to add a u to words like color, favor, labor and humor.

George F. Will

My youngest daughter, whenever I leave the house, says either “Bye schmoopsie-poo!” or “Goodbye Mr. Tootie Pants!” Both of which make me laugh.

Both of my girls tell their mom that she’s gorgeous. She is.

I like my In-Laws.

I went to college but didn’t finish my degree. I make well over the average salary for a high school graduate. In fact, I make well over the average salary for a college graduate with a Master’s degree.

The bottom line is that God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, two healthy, beautiful daughters. I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood in the greatest country in the world. I have everything I need and a lot of the things I want.

It’s more than I deserve.





Fear of the Known

I have a friend (for this post let’s call him S) that I’ve known since back in high school. I have another friend (for this post let’s call him W) that I’ve also known since high school. So one night back in the day the three of us were all sitting around talking about what most 15 to 17 year old American males talk about: girls, football, girls, music, girls, baseball, girls and girls. So we’re sitting there talking and my friend S, who let’s just say wasn’t as enlightened as he is now, goes off on this long, expository rant about women and a woman’s place and womens’ rights. When he was done there were a few seconds of silence and then W said: “S, if I were a woman I’d run away from you.” To wich S replied without skipping a beat: “They do…but not fast enough!”

Conservative Quandary

In many respects this election is a lose-lose proposition for true conservatives. If Obama wins (and that is highly likely) he’ll have a democratic held House and Senate and together they will tag-team the American people, taxing and spending as if there’s no tomorrow. It’s a scenario that is basically a conservative’s nightmare that I think will make us think fondly of the Carter years.

But what if McCain wins? I think there are only a few things that conservatives can look forward to in a McCain administration. One, he will prosecute the War on Terror effectively and can be trusted to do what’s right when it comes to Iran and an increasingly aggressive Russia. Two, he will probably try to be fiscally conservative. He’s promised to work to extend the Bush tax cuts and has promised to veto any bill with pork in it as well as cut federal spending. But these things will be hard to do with a Congress controlled by democrats. Plus he has a tendency to shoot from the hip and jump up on moral high horses as demonstrated by his latest proposal of $300 billion in federal spending to buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate them. So as long as it’s a noble cause (in his eyes) he doesn’t appear to mind putting your tax dollars to work.Three, he says that he will nominate Supreme Court judges in the mold of Alito and Roberts. That would be great as both of the oldest justices that are likely to retire in the next four years are on the liberal side of the court. But many conservatives question whether or not McCain would actually nominate judges like Roberts and Alito. Both have already dealt blows to McCains’ signature legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act. Many conservatives loathe this legislation and view it as a clear infringement on the free speech rights protected by the First Amendment. So the questions is: will McCain nominate someone he knows would be hostile to his baby? So even two of the three things that conservatives can feel good about McCain are shaky prospects at best. And once you set those issues aside, you have all of the issues that McCain “reaches across the aisle” for. The aforementioned McCain-Feingold, Climate Change (not much different from Obama on this), his rampant populism (oil companies, Wall Street, CEOs – all bad). These are all things that concerned conservatives about McCain during the primaries. But then he won the nomination and threw conservatives a bone with Palin and we all went giddy and weak in the knees over her. I know that he nominated Palin to “solidify the base” so that he could move to the center during the general election. I know that allows him to appeal to independents and that they might put him over the top. I know that’s a good campaign strategy. It’s just that the more I see of McCain, whether it’s in the debates or on the stump the more queasy I feel.

Idiots on Parade

As you can tell by the title, this is about politics.

I watched the Town Hall debate last night and it just confirmed a theory that I’ve been resisting for some time now. I have a friend who subscribes to what he calls the “16% Theory”. This year I have had to admit that I’m starting to buy into that theory. The 16% Theory states that every election is decided by 16% of the population. This 16% remains “undecided” until close to the end and their mind is usually made up by something one of the politicians either says or does. The theory further postulates that these undecideds are undecided because they are either stupid, ignorant or too lazy to inform themselves on the issues. In any of the cases, you really don’t want the fate of the country in these people’s hands. Unfortunately, it is. This election has made me a believer in the 16% Theory and last night’s debate was a clear example.

The parade of idiots we saw last night, starts with all eighty of the village idiots that were in the audience. I think the last time I heard questions as lame was at the MTV town hall meeting with Clinton back in ’92. This was where the boxers or briefs question was thrown out (as if she didn’t already know). There were a couple of thoughtful questions, one from a 78 year old woman via the internet asking what each candidate would ask Americans to sacrifice for the good of the country, but mostly they were simplistic and more often than not uttered in stuttering fashion.

Then there was the ring master of the idiot circus, Mr. Tom “I-so-desperately-want-to-be-the-voice-of-America” Brokaw. He really had a hold on that moderators whip…for about the first 30 seconds. The rest of the night he was whining about everyone breaking the time constraints. Hey Tom, you’re the moderator. If one of the candidates goes over time cut them off! That’s your job. Your only purpose for being in the room, really. And then, after complaining the whole time about the candidates, he decided that since he couldn’t enforce the rules he’d break them too and tacked on his own “coda” to one of the audience questions. I was really dumbfounded by his performance.

And that brings me to the two senators. the few of you who read this blog know that I am a Republican. You also probably know that I’m not a huge McCain fan. There is so much that I would like to say about the candidates’ performances last night but it would take me all morning. So I will just address what I thought was the most bone-headed statement from each candidate. I didn’t write the exact quotes down last night, so these are paraphrases. In his answer to the first question, John McCain talked about what he likes to talk about most: government spending and corruption gone wild. His main point was that government spending is out of control and that it has to be reigned in. He immediately followed that statement by outlining his plan to have the treasury secretary spend $300 billion buying up bad mortgages so that they could be renegotiated! Yes, he’s so against out-of-control government spending, he’d like to tack on another $300 billion to the $700 billion he just voted for. Genius! Barack Obama’s moment was less obvious but still great in its own right. In one of his answers on the energy situation Obama stated that he was for limited off-shore drilling but that he would first tell the oil companies to drill on the (I don’t remember the exact number he used) however many million acres of land at their disposal. So basically use it or loose it. Let’s look at the logic behind that statement. The greedy (by most politicians and unfortunately most Americans count) oil companies don’t want to use the millions of acres of land that they already have to drill on. Instead they want to drill off-shore where the oil is harder to find and more expensive to extract. Probably just so they can stick it to Mother Nature. Hey, here’s a thought: since oil companies are into making money, I bet that if there was sufficient amounts of oil on those millions of acres that they could get at more cost effectively than off-shore drilling, they’d do it. But of course thinking about things logically doesn’t get votes. Blaming oil companies, Wall Street and government corruption does.

The final idiot of the night is the reason I’m starting to sour on the Fox News Channel (which of course is what I watched the debate on). That would be the King of the Idiots (on the conservative side. Al Franken is up there on the left), Sean Hannity. I could say more, but do I need to?