Day One, Day 19,171

Everything has a beginning.  Every enterprise is no exception.  This is the first day I begin blogging in earnest.  However, it’s hardly the beginning of my writing career.  And it certainly is not the beginning of the time when my ideas form about the world.  It’s more like the point at which I can’t keep the ideas from spilling out any longer.

19,171 days ago (if I calculated leap years correctly), I was born into this world.  I had the distinction of being one of the first babies born in the new hospital in Mobridge, South Dakota.  What I know about this world began to form from that moment.  Along the way, I was privileged to be able to travel America extensively, and I received a top-notch academic education.  But what I learned in school was really HOW to learn, how to research, investigate, test theories and practices.

My father was a high school and college professor.  My mother was a wannabee lawyer who became a teacher.  I went to colleges and universities three times for three different degrees.  I also taught at four different academic levels.  I am about as close to being a professional student as one can be.  What I know for sure is that a true student cannot be confined to a classroom.  There are a lot of people who receive degrees who are not intellectuals, and there are a lot of intellectuals who have never set foot in a university classroom.  The true art of teaching lies in making life-long students.

To be a good mechanic, you have to check under the hood.  To understand the nuts and bolts of politics and economics, you have to do the same.  To understand any subject, you have to be able to break it down into fundamental ideas and think logically about each one.  That’s really hard to do with TV sound bites that often obscure or even omit the fundamentals.  The only way to make even somewhat relevant judgements about most media blurbs is to have developed a sound understanding of the underlying fundamental issues.  From there, you can dismiss most of what you hear as news glitz and see past the spin to really understand what counts.

I am here to provide you with my insights into right wing thinking.  While I am a member of the Republican party, that is only because I am a true Republican.  Republican candidates usually are less left from me than Democrat candidates.  But none of them are where I’d like them to be.  I should really register as a Libertarian, I suppose.  But that word is equated with being a true “wing nut”.  However, Republicans who fear getting too far right and being labeled “wing nuts” have to be careful of riding the fence too much.  Because, as one of my college professors once told me, “when you ride the fence, you’ll get splinters on both legs.”

My music college professor once said that he didn’t understand why so many women were attracted to musicians.  “After all, we’re the biggest geeks.  We spend all our time writing music, practicing, or in the studio.”  The same can be said for all the other things near and dear to my heart.  I love the outdoors, but spend most of my time in front of a computer or reading a book.  But, anything that is worth doing is tedious and unglamorous.  The results, however, are worth the cost.  Nobody who hears Mozart, Bach and Beethoven thinks of them as geeks.  Nobody who watches Kim Yu Na* skate thinks of her as a geek.  No one who listens to YoYoMa or watches Roger Federer thinks of a geek.

I want to make people into better mechanics of life.  That’s what I’m here for.  I hope you’ll join me once in awhile.

*My bad, originally wrote Ming Na, instead of Kim Yu Na.  Of course, Ming Na is a well-known American Actresss, whom I also admire. My apologies to both women.

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