Grateful for little things

November 16, 2010 Four years ago today my youngest grandson made an entrance into the world and while he only weighed in at just over a whopping 3 pounds, it was a monumental occasion.The other three grandchildren were just as remarkable, but a lot less dramatic.When I look back at how small he was, surrounded by many more just like him fighting to survive, I have never forgotten how much love and care it took to get him here.And he is such a joy, although a tad bit independent.

Think change

November 16, 2010 Can a single thought change your life?It’s certainly a good place to start.When we’re not aware of our own internal thoughts, we tend to believe that our actions are in response to our circumstances.But that’s not the way it really works.

Ugly truth

November 16, 2010 There’s something ugly going on in Washington, D.C.Travel + Leisure magazine asked travelers to rank 35 American cities in a variety of categories, including which has the most attractive residents.Washingtonians were ranked the sixth least attractive.I think, borrowing from Jay Leno, I know why: “Politics is show business for ugly people.”You see, out in “flyover country,” people actually care about ideas and results and the direction our country is heading.

Reader makes writer’s day

November 15, 2010 I couldn’t help but feel as though I had written it when I opened the e-mail from a woman named Amanda Russell who sent me an article she had written and thought I might be able to use.“I feel so lost, out of place in this world. A world where you can share every thought in your mind with millions. Unimportant thoughts. Even as this thought leaves my mind and becomes this writing I wonder, does this thought matter?” Russell wrote.

Think small

November 15, 2010 Back in the 1970s, during his first term as governor Jerry Brown said “small is beautiful,” one of a number of observations about California politics and lifestyle that earned him the nickname “Moonbeam.”Four decades have passed since Brown made his prescient comment. During those 40 years, in the most improbable of scenarios, Brown is again California’s governor-elect.The one word Brown won’t be using to describe California’s myriad challenges is “small.”

Grocery tax cut proposed

November 12, 2010 LITTLE ROCK — The governor presented next year’s budget for state government and the highlight was his proposal to further reduce the sales tax on groceries by half a cent.Since 2007, the Legislature has approved the governor’s requests to gradually remove the state sales tax on food. It is now at 2 percent and would drop to 1.5 percent if the Legislature agrees to the governor’s proposal.

Congress: Fix the potholes

November 12, 2010 It’s an odd Americanism to elect someone to be in government who freely admits they don’t like government. As if reluctance translates into competence. “Oh he’ll be a great husband, especially since he doesn’t believe in marriage.” For some reason, we buy the premise of politicians begging to be a part of the thing they are, in theory — against.

Regulating the Internet

November 12, 2010 Do you recall that ironic twist on an old saying that goes like this: “No good deed goes unpunished?” In its broadest sense, that adage recognizes the reality that bad things can result from even the most well-intentioned actions and ideas.Case in point: The laudable ongoing efforts to balance freedom of expression online with protection from sexual predators and others who pose harm to children, in the United States and around the world.

Lay it away

November 11, 2010 Tis the season to spend more money than we have in our wallets. That may explain why layaway is making a mild comeback this holiday season.

$2 billion BS

November 11, 2010 Vice President Joe Biden flew to Texas on Saturday to attend the wedding of his press secretary, Elizabeth Alexander, at the First United Methodist Church in the small community of Cleburne. According to unidentified sources, the vice president’s trip is costing American taxpayers over $75 million dollars, due to increased security and accommodations for Biden’s staff. “Such expenditures, particularly when the nation’s economy is suffering, are outrageous and another example of how the current administration is out of touch with the wishes of the American people,” stated Rep.