I am a husband, a father of four (three girls and one boy ages 7,5,3, and under 1), a Christian, an executive in the healthcare information technology field, and I still prefer the Oxford comma. I enjoy and spend much of my time reading biographies, history, economics, philosophy and classical literature as well as publications “The Economist” and “The Wall Street Journal.” I am a graduate of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Texas A&M University. I served for four years as an officer in the U.S. Army. I believe that my five years working within the healthcare field gives me a front-row view to the pros and cons of the heavy hand of government in an industry. I enjoy writing and have contributed to a book that is a compendium of essays on important issues of the day published directly through Amazon called “Reinventing the Right.” Mine is the chapter focused on free trade and globalization.
I chose the name “The Gymnasium” for purposeful overlapping reasons, both intellectual alignment and for humor. Gymnasium in America has long been associated with physical strength. Less known is its more historic origin as a name for a place of learning. Ancient philosophers such as Plato opened Gymnasiums as a place for intellectual pursuits with which they amassed students and followers. More humorously, the etymology of Gymnasium quite literally means to “exercise naked.” The metaphor for this blog is that this is a place to exercise our ability to mentally exercise “naked” and free of fear of vitriol and personal attacks. Thus, the only initial ground rules that I will lay out here is that I expect this to grow into a place of intellectual thought, discussion, and perhaps rigorous and heated debate at times. However, when comments tend towards ad hominem attacks, that is where I will draw the line.
The primary focus of this blog will be the political, economics, and faith discussions that matter to the modern world, at least from my own vantage point. My own intellectual biases tend towards the classical liberal tradition. Before I raise the ire of many a conservative fellow, allow me to explain that the classical liberal term is more closely associated with what one might label “libertarian” in the modern era, with perhaps the important distinction that I will admit that I possess a few libertarian heresies such as being pro-life and believing that there is some role for government in a society and in some cases a social safety net can be acceptable so long as it is backed by general rules rather than special favors given to a certain class of individuals. Hence, my use of the more historical epithet of classical liberal to describe where I more closely align from an ideological perspective.
A short description of classical liberal is someone who espouses political and economic freedom buttressed by the importance of a well-functioning but limited and non-corrupt government that supports the rule of law and limits to the highest degree possible the interference and coercion of man. Think of the writings of John Locke, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman as lions of classical liberalism.
For my eventual followers. I heartily welcome you to my blog and hope to have great thoughts and debates with you all in the future. I introduce this blog with one of my favorite quotes that I believe is appropriate for my vision for this blog:
“We must not attempt to fly, when we can scarcely pretend to creep. In considering any complex matter, we ought to examine every distinct ingredient in the composition, one by one; and reduce everything to the utmost simplicity; since the condition of our nature binds us to a strict law and very narrow limits. We ought afterwards to re-examine the principles by the effect of the composition, as well as the composition by that of the principles. We ought to compare our subject with things of a similar nature, and even with things of a contrary nature; for discoveries may be, and often are, made by the contrast, which would escape us on the single view. The greater number of the comparisons we make, the more general and the more certain our knowledge is likely to prove, as built upon a more extensive and perfect induction.
If an inquiry thus carefully conducted should fail at last of discovering the truth, it may answer an end perhaps as useful, in discovering to us the weakness of our own understanding. If it does not make us knowing, it may make us modest. If it does not preserve us from error, it may at least from the spirit of error; and may make us cautious of pronouncing with positiveness or with haste, when so much labour may end in so much uncertainty.”