I am basically conservative though more so fiscally than socially.

I believe in the dignity and value of work, whether it be digging ditches or working on a cure for cancer.

I was brought up to believe that charity begins in the home and that I should never accept the charity of others until all other avenues had been exhausted and without a plan to repay it.

I learned from my parents and grandparents that respect for others is an essential component of a civilized society.

I believe that the single defining feature of the American Society which has set it apart from all others is the level of individual freedom and, in particular, freedom from government intrusion and control, with which we are blessed.  It is not our education system (now ranked near the bottom of developed nations).  It is not our rule of law (many others have it).  It is, in my opinion, the amazing innovations and efforts of people who can do their thing without (or in spite of) much interference from their government.

I think that every time we ask our government to do something for us we are ceding some of our freedom.  For this reason, I believe in far less government than we currently have.

I am convinced that with every freedom comes responsibility.

To maintain our freedoms, we must cede certain smaller freedoms to our government to allow it to do one of the few things we probably cannot do privately, protect ourselves from enemies to our society.

I think the Constitution of the United States was a brilliant work that has served as an excellent guide for our governmental activity for over 200 years.  I believe it is still valid and useful today.  It is not a document that should be subject to change depending on the views of those in power.

I can appreciate that many people are single issue voters.  Personally, I look at a much broader perspective.  I see our current national debate as the argument between “fair” and “free” and between change and more of the same.  What the definition of “fair” is depends of the position of the definer.  A socialist feels it is fair to take from the rich to give to the poor.  A capitalist feels it is fair to reward a person for his results.  My definition of freedom is the ability to swing my arms as much as I want, up to the point of the other guy’s nose.

The purpose of this blog is to reflect, in public, about the state of our Union.  I hope to ask more questions than I answer.  I hope to show an open mind.  I will attempt to assume nothing without mentioning that assumption.  I will attempt to check the facts of anything I pass on but will often ask you to do that for me, in which case I will state I have not checked and would appreciate any links to organic documents that can confirm or deny anything that I post.

I hope to be humble but that is a tall task when you have a wonderful wife, two great sons, two beautiful and brilliant daughters-in-law, and five granddaughters who defy my ability to use sufficient superlatives.

I hope you will read with interest, comment often, straighten me out when needed, and help promote civilized debate.

I am the original baby boomer having been born 9 months to the day after Hiroshima.  I lead the life of most people’s dreams in that I am surrounded by the best friends and family a person could choose and have the health to enjoy the happiness that comes from doing what I want and doing it well (I hope).

For those who care, I was born in California, went to high school in Hawaii, graduated from the U.S.Air Force Academy and worked in manufacturing for over 40 years.  I currently live in Oregon where I am now retired (from both manufacturing and growing wine grapes and olives) and, with my wife am planning our next great adventure, a move to the Bitterroot Valley in Montana.  When time allows I love to read, travel and flyfish for trout.