Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Talk about waffling

About 15 years ago, James Holsigner, President Bush's current nominee for surgeon general wrote a paper wherein he called homosexuality unhealthy and unnatural. Now he's telling senators, "The paper does not represent where I am today."

Holsinger told the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. "It represented a specific time, in a specific context, for a specific purpose. I can only say I have a deep, deep appreciation of all people, regardless of background or sexual orientation."

Holsinger tried to explain away his paper by saying that it was intended to be a literature review of health issues related to homosexuality for an audience with a Christian orientation.

It sounds to me like the nominee is good at saying just what a particular audience wants to hear.

Full story:


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Man's best friend

The neighbor family behind us has a dog, a small black dog with a very annoying bark. Most of the time, the dog is tied up on their back deck. The dog barks at the drop of a hat, so the mere opening of our back door and walking out on our deck started him going and he would keep barking pretty much the whole time you were outside. I was getting to the point of not wanting to go walk out the door.

That is, until about a week ago. I was on the cell phone in our basement and stepped outside to get better reception. A few moments later when I ended the call, I looked over to see our neighbor standing on his deck--with his dog. I hadn't hardly seen, let alone spoken with this neighbor, so I shouted a greeting to him and waved, to which he responded in kind. Just a quick interchange--but it changed the dog. He no longer barks at me when I go outside.

It's as if seeing me interact cordially with his master was enough to allay his insecurity toward me. At first I thought maybe he simply wasn't noticing my emergence into his domain; however, the last several times I've gone outside, I walked around the deck making noises, and he just went about his business seemingly unaware of me. A few times I heard him bark and thought, "oh no, hear we go again", only to look at him and realize he was barking at a bird or some noise in the distance. Then he was quiet again, and glanced at me as if to tell me I'm in his fave five now.

I'm definitely happy about this new development. I'm enjoying my new found friendship--and the peace and quiet.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tevia was right

I just finished reading a book called "The Mormon Way of Doing Business: Leadership and Success through Faith and Family" by Jeff Benedict. The book was interesting enough. It told about Mormon business executives who succeeded in the fast-paced, high-intensity business world, while staying true to their religious principles such as integrity, fidelity, and family. Many of them had even held positions of significant responsibility in their church while serving as CEO or CFO of a large corporation.

I was impressed with the stamina and ability to juggle many priorities demonstrated by these busy execs as they would fly home to a child's ball game or a church meeting amidst jetting around the world. However, as I read quotes from these highly successful men, I couldn't help thinking about the line Tevia sang in Fiddler on the Roof: "When you're rich, they think you really know!".

Being a Mormon myself, it occurred to me that most of what these men were saying about their beliefs could have come out of the mouth of any young child in the church. The author of the book seemed to be asserting that there was something about what these men accomplished that made what they said about life and values somehow more profound. However, the very teachings of the church they belong to does not indicate that what these men had accomplished constitutes the true definition of success. Mr. Benedict seemed to be putting forth some sort of a blueprint for greatness, but it seems to me that even the greatest man who ever walked the earth lived a life pretty much in diametric opposition to the type of success espoused by this book.

I'm all for letting those who want to pay the price reach the top of their field and win at all that they do. What though, of a business owner who never reaches the top because his acts of charity toward customers erode his profits? Is that type of a person any less successful that one who brings massive earnings to gleeful shareholders? I know too many great men who are not rich to buy in to this book's way as the "Mormon Way".