Friday, July 30, 2004

With very little to do in the office today, I decided to give thought to updating the blog.  With a wedding in Dallas this weekend, I don't know when I would next have an opportunity to do so.  I can warm you now loyal reader, this entry is going to be a hodge-podge of thoughts with no central theme to them, except they're in my head currently.

I have been reading the 9/11 Commission Report, I am a dork- I know this, and so far it is quite interesting.  It delves more deeply into the mindset and policies of US Intelligence pre September eleventh and also gives a very good background on Al Queda.  One conclusion I am coming to in reading the report is that the capture of Bin Laden is only a symbolic goal, but not a requirement for defeating and dismantling that terrorist organization.  It would be a morale boost to the American public, but overall would not seriously disrupt the operation of the organization.

This week has seen the Democratic National Convention in Boston going through the formality of selecting the Kerry/Edwards ticket as their parties nomination for the Presidential election.  The party came out with a very conservative platform, trying to reposition itself more in the center in an attempt to shed the liberal label.  I do not think they will be successful, though most of the American public is dumb and stupid to believe anything because they are too lazy to actually think and form their own opinions.  It is expected that the ticket will receive a nice bounce in the polls coming out of the convention, yet I do not foresee it being as big as many predict.   The canidates offered some ideas, but no substance on how to achieve them and fund them.  I assume taxes will go up to foot the bill for most of them.

The focus on education is central to both parties.  Personally, the responsibility to provide education to the masses is not a Constitutionally granted power of the Federal government.  The more I dwell upon it, the more I begin to opine that such responsibility should rest with the states.  This would eliminate the Department of Education at the Federal level and free up more money that the Federal government could send directly to the states.  In order to insure that standards are in place and fairly equal, perhaps a governing board of state representatives should meet regularly, call is a Continental Congress of Educators.   As for higher education, every student who wishes to go to college has the opportunity to do so.  Granted, it may not be an "Ivy", no matter how over rated they are, but the opportunity is there.  However, I do not agree with the ideas floated about in some realms that every student needs to go to college.  College is not ideal for everyone, I would rather see someone wanting to become a mechanic or a plumber serve as an apprentice in that trade.  I do not see plumbing becoming a major at Harvard anytime soon.  This is no doubt an extreme example, but not every student is cut out for college.  Nor are all students who wish to go prepared emotionally to deal with the college environment fresh out of high school.  The undergraduate education is becoming devalued in society when the marketplace is flooded by job seekers holding them.  It has become the equivalent of a high school diploma a few generations ago.  This lends slight truth to the joke of liberal arts majors who learn the most important sentence to know on their first job, post graduation, is: "Would you like fries with that?"  

My Hokie friend, Ben Vastine, updated his blog recently and mentioned the moving on of friends.  Those who are going on to jobs, marriage, grad schools, internships, mission work, etc.  A link to his blog is over on the right.  I do not want to be repetitive, but he hits the nail square on the head.  It's sad to see them go, but we'll see each other again.  It reminds me of a song from one of my favorite movies, "Hope Floats", a duet by Bob Seger and Martina McBride called "Chances Are" some of the lyrics are: "Chances are you'll find me Somewhere on your road tonight Seems I always end up driving by Ever since I've known you It seems you're on my way....I remember clearly how you looked The night we met I recall your laughter and your smile I remember how you made me Feel so at ease I remember all your grace and your style"
Grace and style can be added to beauty and character.

In a closing note, I saw the "Bourne Supremacy" earlier this week.  Go see it, good movie.  However, something about that movie struck me and has stayed with me.  Here is an action movie, marketed towards adults and teens.  A great story, no over the top special effects and trick gadgets, violence that is not graphic, and very little profanity.... if any (I don't recall there being any that stood out).  It was classic Hollywood.  Studio folk can learn that good movies can still be made without shocking the audience or dazzling them with smoke and mirrors.

Well until next time.. Grace & Peace.


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