Family Milestones, Closing the Generation Gap, and Other Ramblings

Congratulations to Pamela and her daughter for successfully reaching an important family milestone. It’s no secret that family life is complicated, frustrating and difficult (and wonderful). To bring up a child through high school, or be that child, and have parent and child still on speaking terms at the end is no small achievement for both. Mother and daughter looking at colleges together – this is good. Brings back memories of when I when I started college. When I graduated high school we had this much media-touted phenomenon called the Generation Gap. I guess both generations believed in it. Things have changed and, believe me, I’m not “crying in my beer” about this, just pointing out what I hope is … Continue reading

New Books: Tom Bissell, Take a Bow.

I recently finished a book called God Lives in St. Petersburg by Tom Bissell. For someone of my age (early fifties) it can be a little annoying to encounter members of the younger generation (thirty-something generation X, Y or whatever) with superior insight. At the same time it’s great to know that the younger folks, with all their tacky gadgetry, are still interested in good writing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Bissell is from Escanaba, Michigan, which is on Big Bay De Noc, the north shore of Lake Michigan, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Much of the UP’s economy has to do with tourism and recreation, but I’ve always found something forlorn about it. There are good times to be had, … Continue reading

Four Historians, Four Years Ago

On March 17, 2003, President Bush gave his now famous 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein. That night, Jim Lehrer interviewed four historians on this edition of Newshour regarding the decision to invade Iraq. The transcript reveals very different opinions, including serious doubts about the war. Below are brief exerpts from the four experts. WALTER RUSSELL MEAD – Senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations “I actually think that in a way just as the stock markets have been going up as it looks like the crisis is going to be resolved quickly that probably we took much more damage in the run-up to war than we’ll take in the war itself.” DIANE KUNZ – Diplomatic historian, formerly at Yale … Continue reading

Norton Garfinkle, Take a Bow

Photo credit: PBS and Google Images. “If you don’t pay the people enough money, they can’t buy the cars.” – Henry Ford Norton Garfinkle, former economics professor and current chairman of the nonprofit, nonpartisan education and research organization, Future of American Democracy Foundation, has written a highly readible book about the modern American economy. The American Dream vs. The Gospel of Wealth: The fight for a Productive Middle-Class Economy is written for the citizen reader, has a good reading pace, and uses minimal jargon. Early in the book, Garfinkle lays out the framework for the economic debate thus: Every important economic policy has three kinds of consequences: factual, moral, and political. In effect, in evaluating economic policy, we have to … Continue reading

Giuliani Enjoys Support of Some Libertarians

Photo credit: World Net Daily In a previous post, I mentioned that, according to Rasmussen Reports, Gore and Edwards are matching up better than either Obama or Clinton in hypothetical races against Rudy Giuliani, the current Republican front-runner. Eric of Mainstream Libertarian points out that, if nominated, Rudy Giuliani would be the first Libertarian Republican to run since Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was a good guy. As a kid in 1964, I remember drinking cans of ginger ale called Goldwater. AuH2O in 64! I was not aware of this Libertarian streak of Giuliani’s, and since I can relate to certain aspects of the Libertarian agenda (liberty, personal privacy, secular government, etc), I’d like to learn more about him. The terms liberty, … Continue reading

Sen. Kerry and Rep. Inslee Join Conservation Groups in Lawsuit Against the Bush Administration

Has John Kerry been inspired by James Brown? The Senator is hammering on so many issues right now, he may be the hardest working man in Washington. Here is an exerpt from the Environmental News Network and the Center for Biological Diversity about the amicus brief supporting a lawsuit against the Bush Administration for being two years late on its global warming “homework.” Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) joined conservation groups today, filing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit against the Bush administration for its failure to issue a legally required National Assessment of climate change impacts on the United States, now two years overdue. The members of Congress filed the brief in Center … Continue reading