Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today my daughter Lucy is on her way to the Inauguration and we are very excited for her, being there at such a great moment in history.

George W. Bush's failures should not rest on his shoulders alone, but in the hands of each person who voted to place him in an office so far beyond his intellectual and moral capacity. I don't see anyone lining up to acknowledge their serious errors of judgment, but perhaps they are in a state of shock and denial. We have paid a tremendous price and will continue to pay as a nation for his failings in every possible direction.
As a woodworker, I am interested in a restoration of strength to our economy.

As an environmentalist, I am interested in seeing our planet's diverse species protected and our responsibilities to the preservation of the Earth's climate met in full.

As a teacher, I am interested in seeing a renewal of sound educational principles, particularly recognizing the value of real hands-on learning for all children.

As a human being, I am interested in seeing a restoration of values, not the empty slogans of "Compassionate Conservatism", but of action toward renewal of communities and opportunities, of volunteerism and personal investment in the lives of others.
It would be naive to think that such changes can come easily and without effort. We have work to do.

Yesterday President-Elect Obama left Philadelphia by train on his journey to Washington, DC. Thousands of people lined the tracks in hopes of catching a glimpse of our new president.

Back in 1903, the mayor of Philadelphia, John Weaver welcomed the assembly of members of the Eastern Manual Training Association with the following words:
I congratulate you on your assemblage here at your eleventh annual convention; and I am most happy to welcome you to this city of Philadelphia. It seems to me that manual training is becoming the most popular feature of our system of education. I am quite sure that a man who graduates from a manual training school is better fitted for the battle of life than the man who graduates from the school that has not the manual training in its curriculum.

What the world wants today is the man that does things; what it wants is the man that can do things, rather than the man who graduates from a school with a dogma or a theory. What the world wants is the man who graduates from the manual training school--who can do things and who is always constructive and not destructive.
I am so pleased with the end of George W. Bush's second term. It is past time for the end of dogma, and the restoration of practicality and action-- In schools, in the preservation of our environment, in the use of American power and diplomacy, and in our own lives, as we take charge and gain through our own hands, the power to live better, more meaningful lives in service to ourselves, our families and our neighbors.

I am very proud of my daughter Lucy. She will be there as history is made on Tuesday's Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Tomorrow, Dr. Martin Luther King day has been called as a national day of service by the incoming Obama administration. There are millions of people who already live each day called to service. For those, this will be nothing new. But there are many who act as though their sole mission in life is the generation of resources for their own personal consumption. Today's Arkansas Democrat Gazette Newspaper listed the state's highest paid employees. Is it any surprise that the highest paid government employees in the state of Arkansas are the athletic coaches from the University of Arkansas? With a very slight shift in American values there could be a sense of shame applied to those who require such huge compensation for something that could be a matter of service, selfless giving and heart. And of course, one might ask, what kind of example do these coaches set for our kids?

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