Thursday, October 11, 2007

Point, counterpoint

An attempt to stimulate debate and thoughtful contemplation re: the state of the U.S. economy, utilizing the power and promise of the Internet for said purpose. And if someone has better sources than me, then use them for Pete's sake.

Point: Don't worry, everything is fine. Really. Would the government lie? Go and buy something.

Jobs and prosperity! Yay!

A strong, strong economy.

Did we mention that this is a strong economy?

Wow, things are looking great! I guess things are looking up and there's no need to fret about the future as long as W's crew are writing the economic "analysis."

In an attempt to support our noble president, I tried to pluck similar, upbeat opinions from the vast universe of business/financial/economic commentary that is available on the Internet, I really, really tried, please believe me.... you think I want to quote the government in my blog?

Hmmm... not much positive stuff out there. Instead, I found a lot of arguments along these lines... and there are tens of thousands more.

Counterpoint: what has the President been smoking?

Make your minimum payments, and we might extend your line of credit! Wouldn't you like that? Aren't we generous?

Be happy, be productive.

Work for a living but can't seem to get ahead? Screw you, it's your own fault.

Pay it forward.

The American dream, or hamster wheel?

The Consumer Price Index: a lie?


Well, that's just how free markets work, slacker! Oh, wait a minute...

What do I think?

James McMurtry is no newcomer -- he's been recording and touring for nearly 20 years. The following song is from his excellent album from last year, Childish Things.

I believe this video is unofficial, but it pretty much summed up how I feel about the state of this land when I came across it a couple of months ago. It's a powerful, moving song, simply stated in terms anyone can understand.

But why listen to James McMurtry, or to me for that matter, when W is so clearly on top of the game, and Bernanke and the Fed are just waiting to bail out the billionaires from their bad bets? Isn't that good for us all?

If you're not angry or worried, I'd like to move to your planet. The weather must be nice there.

I would love to be able to tell my son that the USA will be a free, prosperous and shining beacon of democracy when he is older. I'm not optimistic. Now, discuss...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Behold my boy!

Okay, I know it's been nearly a month, but those of you with little kids can probably understand why Wendi and I have been a little distracted lately.

Simon was born September 7th after what we believe to be a particularly grueling labor. He was a week overdue and labor was induced by Wendi's fantastic and compassionate doctor, Dr. Wester. Wendi's water broke on its own (she was quite proud of this) and after about 12 hours of labor was ready to push.

And push she did, for nearly three hours. At first things were progressing nicely, but about halfway through the second hour she tired considerably. Eventually things stopped progressing and Wendi made the decision to have a cesarean section.

Dr. Wester earned his money! I will never be able to thank him enough. As it turned out, Wendi made the right decision because Simon came into this world a big boy -- 9 pounds 11 ounces. We heard that if they had tried to go ahead and deliver him with forceps, the results would have been pretty bad for both mommy and the boy. NO!

Wendi was very, very strong and this fact was remarked upon by all attending medical staff. She kept her composure better than me, because I kind of um, broke down at one point when I saw her in tremendous pain. My hat is off to her.

We were in the hospital together for the better part of a week, both because of Wendi's recovery and Simon's developing a bit of jaundice, which thankfully cleared up nicely after a day strapped to a glowing, comfy looking UV device. We jokingly called him "UFO baby" after seeing him like that.

I took off a week of work, most of which was spent in the hospital with my wife and boy. Wendi's mother, Shirl, flew in from NC and spent the second weekend with us, and we have had many meals and good wishes thanks to her, my own family and friends. The past few weeks we have spent enjoying and consolidating our bonds as a family unit.

Simon is generally a mellow guy and though caring for him can be a strain, as with every baby ever born, I think Wendi and I both agree that he is the best thing that has happened to us. We love him intensely.

At long last, some photos to show you what I mean.... we think he's probably going to have blue eyes, and that seems to be the consensus among others who have met him.

Whatever his eyes' color, one thing is certain: he's going to be a handsome guy, even better looking than me ;-)

We three, in the hospital tired but happy.

Simon himself, resting on my hairy leg about an hour ago.

Daddy loves his boy!