Archive for October, 2008

October 26, 2008

A little more about the election

Yep  – still thinking a lot about the election. Some of assertions (Obama wants to make us socialists and wants to create a welfare state) strike me as specious at best – but are tossed out by the folks who:

  • Support the home mortgage deduction
  • The military complex (think Boeing, Haliburton, Blackwater and others)
  • Converting television to digital only signals
  • The wall street bail out

I’d like to know what part of those things don’t fall into one of the arms of socialism or welfare? I’m sure I could think of a few more examples if I tried. And while I’m not hot on our military spending – I can easily understand the why of it, if you get what I mean, just like I understand the why of federal highways. So – why not they why of public electricity, public water, public transportation and a few other things?

October 25, 2008

Too much/Not enough Government

I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming elections – both here in town and nationally. And one of the things that bothers me the most is the enormous gap and polarization around both the “should there be government services” and the “how should they be delivered” questions.

I see it everywhere. Let’s start with this one: The government shouldn’t meddle in the markets –we’ll become socialist. Markets should be free.

Okay, I think – if that’s true – how come health care is such a mess? Mostly free market, methinks. And it isn’t really working, I don’t think. I’m pretty sure most agree that it isn’t working. So what’s the story here? If the power of the free market cant’ solve it – then what? This strikes me as just exactly what a government is supposed to do – provide services that states and communities can’t provide on their own. Federal highways are a good example of this, as is the Post Office – it just doesn’t make sense that everyone should have to figure out how to deliver the mail.

And how about this one: (Insert your town, city, state here) is a business unfriendly town – it costs too much money to do business.

Okay, I think – a lot depends on how you count. But try this in for size: How much contaminated milk do we have in the US? Or – how about those building codes? You know, the ones that everyone bitches about when building? Yep – those are the ones that meant we could have a serious earthquake here and no one was killed.

I like this one, too – we pay way too much taxes.

Okay, I think – compared to who? Canada? Nope. Sweden? Nope. Pick a few others, and I’ll look them up. These are hard to figure out – lots of variables. But the truth is probably that i/you/we don’t think they are being spent well. But the other day, I took a jog from my office, and in a 60 minute run, I was on a bike path, a pedestrian path, ran alongside 5 parks, noticed great crosswalks, well lit playgrounds, a brand new school renovation, a public bathroom and drinking fountain.

I could go on and on. Truth be told- I think I live in a pretty lucky place, and while its easy to get distracted by the taxes coming OUT of my paycheck – I don’t have to look around that hard to see the benefits, too.

So here’s what I want to know: How come the conversations happening don’t talk about these things? Taxes? Not all good or bad. Capitalism? Not all good or bad? Government? Not all good or bad.

I sound a little like “why can’t we all get along” and that’s not really where I’m aiming. I mean –we should have a vigorous argument about vaccinations, fluoride in the water, the best way to spend our tax dollars – but they should be focused on “are these taxes/plans adding enough value” rather than on some high level “too little/too much” kind of conversation.

October 16, 2008

Simple Pleasures

A couple of nights ago, Puja and I headed to Vertigo in Bellevue – our friend Joe plays piano and sings (and entertains) on Tuesday nights – so we invited a few other friends to join us.

It was totally fun – just a handful of us sitting around the piano, catching, up, listening to music, cracking jokes, having a pint (maybe two).

Pretty good way to spend a Tuesday evening, methinks! Make sure you head on out – and if you don’t know Joe – introduce yourself and let him know that we’re friends!

October 13, 2008

A Perfect Shelter?

It’s been a month since Puja and were married on Galiano Island – and we’re still buzzing from the goodness of it all. We’ve seen some of the pictures, we’ve chatted with friends, we’ve received cards and notes and email – and it all still feels exceptionally present.

I’ve told friends that I suspect that in a lifetime someone might get a few days like we had: Perfect weather, surrounded by friends and family, terrific food and atmosphere, and everything seeming about as easy as can be. I’ve wondered – when a lot of bad things happen all at the same time, we call it a perfect storm.

What about when all of the good things happen? A perfect shelter? A perfect calm? Something else entirely? It’s still so recent I don’t think I have any great words to describe what a terrific time it was, save for in opposite.

You know – every good deed goes unpunished? For us it was the opposite – every good deed (done, thought about, considered!) was returned a thousand times over.

Expect the worst? We expected the very best, and had more of it that we’d thought possible!

Anyway – I’m sure I’ll write more about it later. In the meantime – a few pictures until we get the rest of them all sorted out!


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Patrick adn Puja #1 The band