Framing the Dialogue

Archive for December, 2008

Risky Business

Assume you are a government regulator, and I am a businessman with a new fuel I want to sell.  My new fuel will be no cheaper than oil, but it will at least give us another choice, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  The problem with it is that, unlike oil, which is just flammable, my new fuel is so flammable, it’s explosive.  It’s also invisible, odorless, and deadly poisonous.  Oh and I want to pump it directly into American homes.

Winners Never Cheat

When my son was looking at business colleges, we had the pleasure of talking to the chairman of one of the programs after he gave a talk about business ethics classes.  While the university requires that all business students attend ethics classes, he thought that the need for them was limited.  He said that if you don’t act ethically in business, you will not last in business.  The word about your character gets out and people will not deal with you.

Civil War Trilogy

I really didn’t have much interest in history until I had the opportunity to chaperone my son’s fifth grade field trip in 2000.  This was their big field trip to the Gettysburg National Military Park.  The kids (and parents) fund-raised all year for the trip in April. 

We arrived at the park after a four-hour drive and it was basically fields with lots of monuments.  A lot of monuments!  We had a great time and learned a great deal that day.  So what does this have to do with a book review?

America the Greatest Democracy?

A little Q & A to start – These are all True or False questions

  1. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. (True or False)
  2. Barack Obama will be the 44th President so we have had 43 other Presidents. (True or False)
  3. Paul Revere single-handedly warned that the “British are coming.” (True or False)
  4. George Washington was the first elected President of the United States. (True or False)
  5. Washington D.C. was the first capital of the United States. (True or False)
  6. America is the greatest democracy on Earth. (True or False)

Daniel Silva

I had the good fortune of stumbling upon A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva at a flea market this summer. I risked the dollar and bought the book. I took it with me on vacation to Virginia Beach. To say I couldn’t put it down might sound like a cliche, but it is true. I really devoured this book which lead me to the search for and read all of Mr. Silva’s other book this summer:

State of Fear

I recently wrote an insightful commentary on the global warming “crisis.”  Michael Crichton did a much better job on the topic in this novel.  That’s right, I did say novel. 

The story I heard is that while Mr. Crichton was conducting research for this book, he was surprised to find how much hype there was about the man-made global warming issue.  Rather than a book about a global warming crisis, State of Fear is more about the industry behind the global warming movement. 

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money

What do you call two-dozen lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A good start!

I went to college to become an engineer a long time ago.  As I look back at my first job when I got out of college, I wasn’t really prepared to do engineering.  Not long after I started, I was given an assignment to design a structure for a bridge for a proposal.  I spent the next six hours doing as I was taught in school.  By the end of the day I turned in my design.  My boss took my pages and reviewed the design and began laughing.  Not reaction that I was hoping for and not a great confidence builder.

Global Warming…Who done it?

UPDATE – December 16, 2008:  The Associated Press released the following article yesterday (12-15-08); Obama Left With Little Time to Curb Global Warming.   Some highlights of the phrases used in the article include; “ticking time bomb,” “time is close to running out,” “the time for delay is over, the time for denial is over,” “a matter of urgency and national security,” and my favorite; “We’re out of time. Things are going extinct.”  I love how Mr. Gore, who is quoted as if he were a scientific expert (he did win a Nobel Prize – mentioned in the third paragraph and they did mention that it was for “peace”) and the others never want to debate and are urgently warning that we must change NOW.  It takes until the 22nd and 23rd (and last) paragraphs for the AP to note that 2008 is actually cooler than previous years.  To them cooler temperatures is “proof” that there is global warming. 

A Bird In the Hand Will Cost You 20 Bucks

…six geese a laying,

F i v e    g o l d    r i n g s,

Forget the calling bird this year’s rings will cost you $350. and the nine ladies dancing will cost you $4,759, but a partridge will only set you back $20.

It is that time of year.  Actually I started seeing Christmas decorations several weeks before Thanksgiving.  When I was young, stores didn’t put out Christmas decorations until December 15…what a great day.  I also had to walk two miles each way to school into strong headwinds and uphill each way.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Dr. Meeker gives us “10 Secrets Every Father Should Know” in this exceptional book and every father with daughters should read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. Both of my daughters were teenagers by the time I read this, so it was too late for them.  Just kidding!  It’s not too late and they are both strong young women that I am very proud of.