Random Thoughts

I’m interested in lots of things today, so fire up your randommeter.

  • End of Iraq War – Obama announced today that virtually all U.S. troops will return from Iraq by year’s end. I didn’t like this war when it began. I voted for Kerry and Obama largely because they promised to end it. And now it’s almost over. Is Iraq better off? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. Is our country safer? I doubt it. Was our “victory” worth over 4000 American lives, countless Iraqi lives, $750 billion, and the huge strain it placed on our military and military families? I don’t think so. I’m not a fan of everything Obama has done (and left undone), but he delivered on this one. Now, if we could do the same with Afghanistan…
  • 33 Years – My birthday is tomorrow. I’ll be 33 years old. Supposedly that’s how old Jesus was upon his death. And He didn’t really start his ministry until age 30. So he changed the world in just 3 years. I’ll try to remember that next time I start feeling like the big kahuna.
  • Quit Sending Your Leftovers to Foreign Countries – Few things opened my eyes as much this week as Haiti Doesn’t Need Your Old T-Shirt. It describes how well-meaning Westerners destroy local economies in foreign countries by flooding their markets with unwanted goods. Free or super-cheap Western goods undercut the local merchants, growers, and manufacturers and make it much harder for them to make a living. You know how Americans are complaining about being unable to compete with the low pay and poor working conditions in foreign countries? This is a similar situation, only reversed. According to this article, the best way to help struggling people in other countries is to pump money into their economies rather than goods. Why? They can spend that money and move it around, where it works like rising water in a dry marina, raising all boats together.
  • Just Let It Go – I’m fighting the temptation to own and solve other people’s problems. From what I’ve seen and heard, other people struggle with that, too. Perhaps you’ve might have noticed that I can be a bit opinionated? It’s not necessarily bad to be opinionated, but it does give me the tendency to want to jump in with solutions when other people might not want my help. People don’t usually like that. It also stresses me out because I get frustrated if they don’t follow my wonderful advice. It’s so easy to forget that there’s only one person I can control – not my coworkers, not my wife, not my children, not my friends or family, just ME. And I don’t always do even that little job all that well. So I’m trying to stop getting so worked up about what other people do, say, and think.
  • Rangers – Nolan predicted Rangers in 6. Who am I to argue with that? So as of now, that means we take two of three in Arlington and then wrap it up Wednesday night back in St. Louis. But for the sake of the fans, I hope we win in five so it’ll happen at home. Imagine the wild rumpus at Rangers Stadium Monday night if we can pull that off.