June 5


I watched the old movie Shenandoah today. Since I’d be surprised if anyone who reads this has seen it before, it’s a 1965 Western-style movie about a Virginian man and his family caught up in the Civil War. It’s a Jimmy Stewart flick, full of chuckle-inducing quips & one-liners. But my favorite part was its conventional wisdom:

Mr. Anderson: It’s no easy job, Sam, to take care of a woman.
Sam: No, Sir.
Mr. Anderson: They expect things they never ask for, and when they don’t get them, they ask you why. Sometimes they don’t ask, and they just go ahead and punish you for not doing something you didn’t know you were supposed to do in the first place.
Sam: What, for instance, Sir?
Mr. Anderson: Well that’s a very difficult question to answer, Sam. You’re never quite sure. It’s sorta, you might say, relative.
Sam: Relative to what, Sir?
Mr. Anderson: To how they’re feeling at the moment.
Sam: And how’s that?
Mr. Anderson: You never know.
Sam: Well, I don’t believe I really understand what you’re trying to tell me, Sir.
Mr. Anderson: I know, I know, I never understood it myself. It’s just one of those things, Sam. It’s around; you just don’t ever see it. Now suppose Jenny started to cry one day. You don’t know why, so you ask her what she’s cryin’ about. You ask her, and she won’t tell ya. And that’s when you ask what you did that caused her to cry. She still won’t tell you, and that’s when you start to get angry. But don’t get angry, Sam. She won’t tell you why she’s cryin’ because she doesn’t know. Women are like that, Sam. It’s exasperating, it’s, it’s—! But don’t let it make ya angry. When she gets like that, just walk up and hug her a little bit. ‘Cause that’s all they really want when they’re like that, Sam. A little lovin’. You understand me, don’t ya?
Sam: No, Sir.
Mr. Anderson: You don’t, huh?

[next scene]

Mrs. Ann Anderson: Here’s something else you must remember: husbands like to be alone once in awhile.
Jennie Anderson: Why?
Mrs. Ann Anderson: You never know why, but I can always tell when James wants to be alone. A mood comes over him. I can always see it in his eyes before it gets there. I don’t know where the mood comes from or why, but that’s when I leave him alone. It seems sometimes things get so fickle in a man that he comes to feel that everything is closing in on him – and that’s when he wants to be left alone. You understand, don’t you?
Jennie Anderson: No!

So true, so true. Go rent (download) it! Leave your thoughts below :)

May 6

walking the line

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine proudly signed legislation in March which will ban smoking in all private restaurants; this law goes into effect in December of this year. now, at least on the apolitical surface, one would think I would be all smiles about this law. after all, I have never taken even one puff from a cigarette – I rather loathe the invasive smell of smoke, and the tenacity with which it refuses to let go of my clothing after a night on the town. I find appalling the CEOs of big tobacco, who knowingly market their product to youth, because every soul they win will score thousands of dollars over their lifetime. I abhor the physical damage tobacco does to the mouth, gums, teeth, lungs. most personally, I was affected by the cancer it gave my mother, whom God graciously gave the strength to fight off this horrible disease (at least for now), but who has not yet found the strength to kick her addictive and deadly habit.

but after all these things, I am at odds with Governor Kaine for a multitude of reasons. first, this law takes responsibility and choice away from the individual. many of us enjoy going to bars and restaurants – but who is forcing us? if smoking in a bar is an ingrained atmosphere of that bar, then so be it. should we be barred from eating fish in a seafood restaurant, if the smell of fish is repulsive to some customers? NO! those customers can find somewhere else to eat, where there is no fish!

but most importantly, I loathe the continuous government intrusion into the private sector. as the individual consumer has a choice, so should the individual business owner. the owner should be free to make a decision on smoking based on what is best for his or her business. anyone who cannot deal with smoke in a particular restaurant can surely find another one which has chosen not to allow smoking on its premises. and if such a restaurant cannot be found, one is free to start their own restaurant which enforces such rules, as there is clearly a market for it! such is the beauty of capitalism.

this law was surely made with good intentions, but it walks the line right on the edge of that slippery slope. it encroaches on the liberties of one citizen (the business owner) for the liberties of another (the anti-smoker); this idea is against the fundamental nature of a Republic. could we eventually see a ban on smoking in any business? that does not seem far-fetched after a bill of this nature is passed. could we eventually see a ban on smoking in your own home? certainly that seems ludicrous. but one must consider this possibility: what if your business is run from your home?

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