Friday, August 29, 2008

Odds And Ends

Well, I'm about to go home for Labor Day weekend, which means this crazy month of August is about to come to a close. I've now officially gone to at least one meeting of all my classes, and I must say when I look at everything I'm going to go through this semester, I'm a little nervous. Granted, that's how I feel at the start of every semester, so I'm sure I'll end up okay, but still... I'm just going to have to rely on God if I want to balance my academic, professional, spiritual, and social lives.

Oh, there are also a few updates going on in my family. My brother and his wife had their second child, an adorable little girl. This is also their second daughter; the first is three. Their first little girl looks a lot like her mother, but I think my new niece looks a lot like my brother, her dad. I saw her last weekend when she was born, and I hope to see her again this weekend.

I also have a prayer request. Recently, a close friend of mine became very ill and is taking the semester off to recover. She's a sweet girl and I'm going to miss her. She lives out in the Midwest so I doubt I'll have a chance to visit her. Just pray for her healing and her family as they take care of her this year.

Those are about all the odds and ends I have, although I suppose I should say that I wasn't really interested in this year's presidential race before, but now that John McCain has picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, I think it's definitely interesting. Either way, we will have our first African American president or our first female VP. And I'm also liking Palin's record on economic and social issues. She may not support same-sex marriage, but she did at least veto a bill that would block giving health benefits to the same-sex partners of public employees, so that's admirable of her. If I'm not mistaken, that made Alaska one of the first states to extend benefits to such partnerships amongst state employees. Pretty impressive for a Republican, huh?


Ophir said...

Hey Jay. Life can get hectic and it often seems there are not enough hours in the day. I'm sure you'll manage to balance all your responsibilities to others and yourself. In the tempest of activity, though, it's always good to take some time and reflect and make sure you're doing the things you really need and want to be doing. Also, congrats on the new niece. Though you seem too young to be an uncle! (that's just how it seems to me as an eldest-son with two younger siblings, the opposite of your situation).

I'm sorry to hear your friend is ill. Even if you won't get the chance to see her while she is fighting her illness and recovering, thanks to technology today you will of course be able to keep in touch with her and that will not only mean a lot to her, it may help her, even if slightly, in her recovery. Be sure to let her know you're by her side even if, physically, you're miles away.

Though I'm not one who usually prays, I am one to respect my friends' requests and I will pray for your friend, in whichever way I know how. Perhaps it will also make me once-again confront my own struggles with faith, which I have put on the sideline these past few months as I've been struggling with other things.

I agree with you about Palin. I was excited and enthusiastic about politics - about a politician - today like I haven't been in a long time. That's not to say I think Palin is totally awesome, just that she's not totally depressing. I like most of what I've read or heard about her so far (seems down-to-earth, seems to be fairly honest and uncorrupt for a politician and has fought unethical behavior even in her own party and against interest groups allied with it, has sound economic views, is pro-life and has actually had to live the tough issue and make the moral choice, and others). I also dislike or have some reservations about other things (from what I've read, if she's not herself a creationist she's at least expressed willingess to accept creationism alongside evolution in the classroom, she supports drilling in ANWR, though she's fought ethical violations she's currently under investigation herself though it's not a severe allegation, etc.). Regardless, what made it so exciting is that these past few weeks McCain, who I'm far from enthusiastic about, has just been running an excellent campaign. His anti-Obama ads were among the best, most memorable and strongest I've seen. And I'm amazed that Obama has just been making it so easy for him. Whatever advisors he's got, he needs to change them stat if he wants to win. Though ultimately I don't think the elections will change much and I'm fairly pessimistic about both a McCain presidency and an Obama one, at least your upcoming election is not totally soul-crushingly depressing as ours is. But, erm, yeah this isn't my blog and I'm not pundit.

Anyway have a great holiday!

bryan said...

I'm interested in the way that you described Palin, Jay. It sounds to me like you want her to legalize same-sex marriage and you're disappointed that she is opposed to it. Am I wrong in saying that? I was under the impression that you wouldn't want a candidate to support same-sex marriage. Or maybe I'm missing something. Hmm.

Brady said...

Very interesting that she vetoed the bill, especiall since she was on record saying she disagreed with the state's supreme court when they said same sex partners should get those benefits. At the very least, that takes some serious courage.

Jay said...

Ophir: Thanks for the words of encouragement! Also, thanks for the prayers for my friend. They mean a lot to me, and her, and also perhaps you. :)

I certainly agree that Palin has her problems, but I think she's just a breath of fresh air. She isn't a Washington insider, and though Mike Huckabee probably could have energized the base just as much (and no one would be questioning his experience), Palin has the added bonus of being an economic conservative as well as a social one (and Huckabee's economics were horrible).

Bryan: I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little torn on the issue. I personally think that a candidate should keep their personal views about same-sex marriage to themselves. Despite what social conservatives say, it's a different issue than abortion, which actually is a life or death matter (at least in my opinion). I really think that it should be left up to the voting population of a state. And if a state votes that it should be allowed, no governor should get in the way of the will of the people. I don't think Palin would, either way.

However, regardless of whether or not same-sex marriage is allowed, I think that couples should receive some benefits. I think most Americans agree, and holding up tradition while keeping things fair is a value they share. It appears Palin does, as well, but of course I'll have to watch her closely over the next few months. So far, I don't think there's any candidate who has shown support for full marriage equality, not even Obama.

Brady: Well, that's part of what was impressive about her. She disagreed with the ruling but she knew the duties of her office and upheld those duties regardless. That's a pretty cool move for a politician.

bryan said...

Well, I did a bit of digging and apparently she only signed that veto because she had no choice - she was legally obligated to veto the bill. And the church she comes from is supporting a Love Won Out conference. So, don't expect to see too much support for gay people from her I guess. Oh well. It's not a vote on just one issue... nobody is going to agree with you on everything.

And you're right about Obama, he's not for full marriage equality either. Honestly, I believe McCain might actually be the most for it. I read once that he said he wouldn't mind serving under a gay president. I thought that was very impressive. But really, Obama and McCain are both for the states deciding if I'm not mistaken here.

Robert said...

Sorry to be a wet rag. The McCail/Palin ticket is disappointing. Both Bush and McCain are moderates at heart, but they have pandered to the cesspool of uneducated, narrow-minded rednecks in the center of the U.S. We cannot have 8 more years of dumbing it down. We are facing economic failure, and political failure is around the corner. Obama is not perfect, but he is the best of the bunch.