Over the last several years, I've found myself working harder than I can ever remember at trying to understand this world. Its not that I didn't want to understand things earlier in life, I just don't recall having the same sense of urgency. As I approached the age of fifty, things seemed to matter more. Things seemed to touch me more than before. Two of our three children have left the nest and established homes and lives of their own. With just one child left, the drama has lessened substantially. Perhaps with a smaller household to help oversee, I've reclaimed some time each day for thought. Who am I to squander this?
I've always had an interest in politics. As an intern and then an employee for KDKA Radio back in the late 1980's in Pittsburgh, I was sometimes assigned to attend the weekly City Council hearings. I thought it was very interesting even if I didn't understand all the nuance of creating legislation. There's an old saying from Otto Von Bismark that says, "Laws are like sausages. Its better not to see them being made." He was right.
So, combining my station in life with my attraction to our political process, here I am. Mostly I'll comment on current political events, with a concentration on health reform and the upcoming Presidential election in 2012. From time to time, I'll wander into other areas like music, sports or human interest stories.
I try to support my positions with facts. Research, peer reviewed studies, etc. are all tools of the trade. You should know I don't watch much cable news. I think most of its trash, regardless of the point of view. I have as much contempt for MSNBC as I do Fox News. I get a lot of my political news from P.O.T.U.S. (XM Channel 130) They play it right down the middle, present both sides of an issue and leave it up to the listener to decide for themselves. They cover things no one else does in the main stream media, like the daily White House briefings, weekly State Department press conferences and both the weekly Republican and Democratic weekly pressers. I also frequent several different on line news sites, blogs, columns, etc. Every thing from HuffPo to Red State. I also try to listen to both liberal and conservative talk shows on the radio. Not to learn so much, but to try and understand where the far edges of the political discussion are.
I've called this blog "Reasonable Conversation," because that's my goal. That's the first thing all of us will see each day when we log in and hopefully it will give us pause to think before we write. If you disagree with me, fine. If you've got facts, sources, etc. that shows that my position is wrong, that's fair. If all you have is tired old talking points or a debate style where you start with straw man arguments and then resort to excited rhetoric, well...that's not really what I'm looking for. If that's what you bring to the blog, expect to be asked to back that up. I'm not holding anyone to a standard I won't try and hold myself to.
Basically, just a single ground rule regarding conduct exists:
1) No abuse of other posters will be tolerated. Disagree passionately, but avoid name calling, ridiculing, etc. In other words, please keep it reasonable.
If everyone observes rule #1 and engages in reasonable conversation, I think we'll have a great time.
I'll ask in advance to bear with me on the presentation of the blog. I'm new to the software and it may take sometime for me to get all the bells and whistles I want to have.