Ah...the weekend...time to recharge...

Today I read a couple articles that were thought provoking. I will post the links below.

*Peggy Noonan's current piece is one I found very interesting. I like how she introduced the subject and then painted the picture of the current social/politcal landscape.

*The United Nations scandal in the "Oil for Food" program hasn't received a lot of press. Several countries (US allies) were beneficiaries of illegal kickbacks from Saddam Hussein. Read comments by one member of the media .

*One of the ways I learn best is by listening to different speakers share their thoughts on a variety of subjects. My opinions are shaped and my views are challenged by hearing others (more knowledgable than me) expand and expound on issues of the day, history, politics and religion. Laura and I have been listening to a friend of ours, JR Woodward, talk on "A Call to Live in Reality" . Today I was able to listen to his fifth talk in a series of eleven on "Eyes Remade for Story."

*My mom gave me a book to read called In Search of Identity by Anwar el-Sadat. He was the President of Egypt. This book is his autobiography. I just finished chapter 3 and hope to share what he says soon.


Random Observations...

I'm not sure if "observations" is the right word. If you think of something else please let me know. I've been thinking about how to be a better steward of what I have and consider how what I buy affects (or is it effects?) those who produce (workers especially) the products I consume. An example would be buying free trade coffee or produce grown without pesticides. Recently I was encouraged to shop at Wal-mart versus brand name stores so that I will save money so I can in turn give more away. But the irony (literary scholars correct me if my use of irony is wrong) in this is I buy from Wal-mart to fight materialism to give to the poor and oppressed when the very products I buy are so affordable because they are produced by the poor and oppressed. It seems like an unavoidable circle of doing the "right" thing prevents any possible solution. ??? And totally unrelated to the above thought is for you ladies. I noticed something each time my wife, Laura, went to a salon to get her hair colored. Now this event happens once every three months (thankfully because I pay for it) and she always looks great. Along with the "coloring" Laura will also get her hair trimmed. It is so insignificant that I don't even notice. Sometimes the stylist will talk her into doing something different with her bangs. This service is not free of charge. It doesn't come along with the color. No it is a significant amount more for a couple snips with the shears. I'm convinced I could do it here in the comfort of my own apartment. I always ask Laura why she gets it cut. And she never really has an answer. Then it dawned on me that it has to be a money making scheme. While the women are getting their hair colored, talk them into some sort of cut and charge 'em out the yang. I'm onto the scheme. I wonder if this is why a majority of women have short hair? I know it is so much easier to manage and take care of but doesn't make sense that there really isn't any money in "long hair." Of course long hair requires more products to keep it looking nice but far less than the monthly cut and style that I see so many women wearing. It's all a ploy by the "big stylist industries." I'm onto you Paul Mitchell.



We just got rid of our cable. Other than not being able to watch football I'm doing okay. It's keeping me away from the news channels (of which I'm junkie) which isn't even news anyway - just sensationalism to get you to watcha and keep watching. It's even in print. Read this headline and then the text. Here' a funny one from t.v.



the art of skillful living...not so much lately.