Sunday, January 27, 2008

Presidential Election thoughts

Back in sixth grade my teacher had us do a report on a presidential candidate. The one that I remember getting was Bill Clinton. For that report I went to one of their offices based out of a Clayton building. I cam away from that office with information on him, Hillary and their daughter Chelsea (who, coincidentally had a birthday only a day or two before my own). Because of this paper I became more interested in the elections, watching at least one of the debates on the TV with my mom and dad and talking about the candidates and asking questions when I didn't know what they were talking about. Because of that project, I found myself quite comfortable voting in my first presidential election in 2000.

Despite that I never got involved with the primaries. When I signed up to be a voted I decided I would be among that broad "independent" group mainly because I didn't know where I fit within the party designations. I guess I was and I seem to be still largely Democratic because I never voted for a Republican up until I moved to Cape Girardeau where they were almost always the only viable option.

In 2004 I watched the Democratic National Convention and happened to flip on at the time that Barack Obama spoke his iconic keynote address "The Audacity of Hope." Something about him made me stop and listen. I had never heard anything like that in living memory. I had heard speeches from John F. Kennedy and Senator Obama's speech evoked the feelings that some have said of President Kennedy. I was awed by his speech and said, "I would seriously consider voting for him if he went for president." I guess the talking heads were saying the same thing.

A few years later I had been asked to be a backup delegate for The United Church of Christ's General Synod. That is my denomination's major meeting where we talk about projects that the UCC is doing in addition to give the national center a direction. This is not the best explanation of what went on there but that's not important to this long story on politics. The 2007 General Synod was a huge event as it also celebrated our 50th year as the United church of Christ. About that same time John Thomas, the UCC president asked Senator Obama to speak at our keynote address about his feelings on how faith informs his politics. When I heard about that I had prayed that I would be able to go as a delegate. Sure enough, less than a month to go before Synod I get the call to be a delegate. His speech spoke to my feelings about the divisiveness within the Unites States government and "reaching across the aisles" to work with those with different viewpoints on things in a common narrative. That is something that I love about the UCC and something that seemed to strike a cord in me that I had never heard form a presidential candidate. Ever.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thoughts on the Market and Business students

I have been going to college on and off for a long time and am a senior that has another year plus to go for a business major. Last semester was a really bad one for me because I had a plan in my mind that I would start a retail business that was meant to fill in a niche. I was seeing the overall market on the verge of a major slip (possible and looks more like real recession). Now as for me and my fellow students I have to hope that this is not a long term problem. I know personally I had to be placed on medication for depression for the first time and finally got around to getting medication for Attention Deficit Disorder (something I've had since a child but never been placed on medication). I suspect I will be seeing a ton of students going for business either dropping out or slipping off to another major. We'll have to see.

I have not asked my fellow students on this issue but I get the feeling that now "might" be the time to buy in certain types of stocks. What some consider true essentials. Stuff like Procter and Gamble (with their toilet paper and toothpaste portfolio) or similar companies. If you can handle a little more downturn and are planning for the long haul it won't matter quite as much.

*not the best editted post but if you have a comment go ahead and respond.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Resolutions for 2008

1. Get a 3.0 semester GPA for both the spring and fall semesters.
2. Learn to tune and play my guitar (preferably messing around/practicing) once a week
3. Practice flute once a week
4. Go caving once a month
5. Read 50 books in a year (finished book one on 1/4/08).