Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Some thoughts about autumn on this, its first day:
I love stepping outside on that first morning that fall’s nip is in the air.
I love how changing leaves turn Appalachian mountainsides into fiery palettes of orange, red, and gold.
I love driving winding roads through those mountains, catching glimpse after glimpse of falling leaves as they twirl their way to the ground.
I love cold nights marked by the scent of campfire and the sound of wind in the trees.
I love watching my daughter skip through the pumpkin patch looking for the perfect one to bring home.
I love walking behind her as she trick-or-treats on Halloween night.
I love pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day, and how it sets the ideal tone to start the Christmas season.
I love watching flocks of birds land in
And last but not least, I love football, especially college games where the fans are loud and the bands are blaring…and most of all, where Auburn is winning and the fight song you keep hearing begins with the line: “War Eagle, fly down the field, ever to conquer, never to yield!”
Friday, September 18, 2009
It’s time to take a break from political invective and write about something that is all fun and passion: college football.
Okay, I guess college football is political in some respects. And it is no stranger to invective. But whatever.
The first couple weeks of this season have been very intriguing. Here is a look back at the five best teams in history that did not take the national championship.
They are the only team ever to finish 13-0. Including the Sugar Bowl, they won six games against ranked teams and two of those were against BCS qualifiers. They defeated prestigious foes in blowouts (34-10 over
Part of me thinks this was the greatest team of all time, and another part of me thinks it is only the second best team on this list, and that is what makes college football so much fun. What made the ’86 Canes great was their mix of fearsome talent and unapologetic swagger, led by such future NFL stars as Michael Irvin, Jerome Brown, and Bennie Blades. Their 28-16 pasting of
The ’95 Bucks returned
Coach Joe Paterno was 67 years old and considered conventional and out of-date. But he opened up a pass-laden playbook that had QB Kerry Collins throwing the ball over the field. They finished the regular season undefeated, then cruised past
How can a team go undefeated in
Of course, this list is just my opinion. Surely there are other teams -- the 1983 Nebraska Cornhuskers and 1991 Florida State Seminoles, to name just two -- that also deserve consideration for it. Bring ’em on.
Monday, September 14, 2009
This is the third in a series of posts about American medical care and the government’s attempts to meddle in it. Posts about other topics may appear between them. The first two posts can be read here and here.
Wednesday September 9th came. And The Exalted One spoke. And as he spoke, he praised himself, and he lauded the medical care reforms he insists must be passed now -- now! -- even though they are not to take effect for four years. And everything he said was such rubbish that I feel like trotting out that old line about not wanting to dignify something by responding to it.
But when the things he says are so outlandish, not responding to them is difficult.
Barack Obama said the reforms will not add “a dime” to the federal deficit, even though every independent analysis you can find shows that claim to be false. (In my September 12th piece I mistakenly wrote that he said he won’t raise the deficit a “penny,” but at his inflationary pace, what’s the difference?)
He said the reforms will reduce costs -- even as they forbid actuarial pricing, and expand the items covered by insurance, and add millions more people to the rolls. I would be embarrassed to tell such an obvious whopper to a roomful of kindergartners, yet our president does not flinch while telling it to a nation full of adults.
The MSM roundly criticized Joe Wilson for yelling “you lie!” when Obama said that health care legislation would not cover illegal aliens. But
Then there is Obama’s most fork-tongued fabrication of all: His lawyerly remark that the reform “will not require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.” Of course none of the proposed legislation says “you must cancel your current plan.” But like I mentioned in Part II, it does contain financial incentives for employers to cancel their group medical plans and dump their employees into the so-called public option. It should send shivers down every spine in
Barack Obama insults the intelligence of the American people every time he opens his mouth. He does it so shamelessly that the only reasonable conclusion for the people to draw is that he looks down on them with sneering contempt. He should be ignored, for nothing he says ever proves true and his actions never match his words.
There are many things that can be done to positively affect the affordability and accessibility of medical care in America, but, by and large, those things involve limiting government and removing the handprints it has already left on our medical marketplace. In other words, those things represent the philosophical opposite of what Obama is trying to do. I intend to spend the next post in this series focusing on some of those things, since I have spent the first three making the point that neither Obama nor Obamacare are worthy of our trust.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Last October our second child died in Erika’s womb. My grandfather died two days later, on Sarah’s fourth birthday. At his funeral we talked about how his arrival in Heaven made him the first family member lucky enough to meet our child.
Barely ten months have passed since that tumultuous weekend, and now we are experiencing a kind of déjà vu. The child we lost last year was conceived after three years of trying everything under the sun and eventually resorting to in vitro fertilization. After the miscarriage, we returned to trying the old fashioned way, but that failed again and again, so we started up another round of in vitro in late July. My sperm successfully fertilized Erika’s eggs, and on August 10th our embryos (three of them) were transferred into her uterus. Home testing showed she was pregnant on the 16th, and office testing confirmed it on the 21st. We were elated. But then a follow-up test on the 25th brought the crushing news that this child has also passed.
Part of me wants to write about the feeling of helplessness that comes from all this.
Another part of me wants to write about how thankful we are to have Sarah.
Part of me wants to write about how we now have an even greater appreciation for the miracle of life, having experienced first-hand how many things must go precisely right just to conceive, and how many more must go precisely right to carry a child to term.
But another part of me seethes with anger over the knowledge that while we do everything right, countless crack whores seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.
There is no way to put any of this into words. The feelings are a tangle of contradictions that ebb and flow erratically, and there is no way to make sense of them -- which presents a problem, because for me, putting things in a way that makes sense is the whole purpose of writing.
All I know is that as much as I want to have another child for its own sake -- and to experience anew the thrills of seeing that first smile, watching that first crawl, hearing that first word -- the most important reason I have for wanting another one is so that Sarah will not be an only child. I have a brother and sister, and can not image having been the only non-adult in the household as the years of childhood peeled away. The very thought feels lonely. I think of how horrendous it would be for Sarah if something were to happen to me and Erika, leaving her all alone with no sibling on whom to lean or with whom to share memories of us late at night.
I have no doubt that the universe is the work of a Creator, and no doubt that there is a plan behind this material plain on which we live. I am also certain that each of us has a role to play towards fulfilling that plan, and that we are responsible for finding our role and playing it. The certainty does not, however, make the task any easier.
Tomorrow morning we return to the doctor’s office, bearing questions. And wondering whether that is the right place to seek the answers...