Friday, May 30, 2014

The ultimate goal of idealism is equal pay, poverty for all

Perhaps people don't think of this much, but the reason people go to work each day is to make money.  And if you want to make a lot of money, then you have to take risks.  Thus, the incentive for taking such risks is the opportunity to make a lot of money.

Another thing people don't think about often is that the rich are not static, meaning you don't have the same people in the top 1%, or the top 10%, of income earners.  In other words, every ten years you have a different list of top earners in this country.  The reason for this is due to the risk.

It is also important to understand is that these same people, the ones taking the risks, also benefit the rest of the country, as they both spend their money in the process of risking it to make even more money.  Plus they spend money on luxury items that keep the economy afloat.

In other words, there are advantages of rich people.

Yet then you have people in Washington who want to raise taxes on these people. Thomas Piketty, in his book that is now #1 on Amazon called "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," suggests an 80% income tax raise on anyone making over $500,000 in order to get rid of that income class.

This, by the way, is the ultimate goals out of the pocket book of progressivism 101: equal pay.  To get this they take from the rich and give to the poor, or take from the haves and give to the have nots, however you want to describe it.

It's income redistribution.  And it has been tried thousands of times in world history, and is being tried in many nations right now as I write this, and it has failed every time it has been tried.

Why does it fail? Because in order for an economy to flourish there has to be an incentive to take risks.  America has always been great because every person has, historically, had an equal opportunity to rise to a better place in life.

Yet them came along the progressive movement, or the liberal movement, or the socialist movement, the idealist movement, or the communist movement, and then this all changed for the worse.  All of these movements, whatever you want to call them, want to redistribute wealth in order to make everyone equal.

This is the ultimate Utopian goal.  The problem is, that while it sounds like a great goal, it is doomed to fail. It has always failed, and will always fail.  The reason is because you cannot have a booming economy if you don't have rich people willing to save and invest.  You just can't.

The thing is, anyone who studies history, anyone who studies economics 101, will know this.  It is for this reason that these types of people don't want privately run schools, because it's easier to control what kids are taught when you have the government running it all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Selfishness has destroyed great nations, and may destroy ours

What destroys nations is selfishness and greed.  I'm not just talking about rich people, I'm referring to the nation in general.  When we, as a nation, put our own personal desires ahead of our nation, the entire nation fails.  It is such selfishness that even brought down the mighty Roman Empire.  

Consider that Roman slaves did most of the work, and that each citizen of Rome had at least one slave, but more than likely many slaves. The citizens of Rome took advantage of the slaves, who did all the work, to live luxurious lifestyles.  But once wars ended and slaves were gone, the citizens didn't know how to work.  So the nation collapsed.  

This wasn't the only reason, but it was one of many contributing factors into the collapse of Rome.  People, the rich and the poor, kept asking for more from the government, and the government kept giving them more.  They did, in essence, create a nation of entitlement programs.  The cost of these programs ultimately became so great the nation collapsed from within and without.  

Now we have an American nation that has, for the past 100 or so years, slowly become a nation of entitlements.  The poor keep asking for more from the rich in the form of entitlements, and they become so comfortable that they can never get off of welfare.  They become so comfortable that they have no incentive to ever get up and go to work.  

The rich, on the other hand, often champion for these same government programs because it will benefit them.  Obamacare, for instance, was championed for by hospitals and insurance companies because they thought that it would create more customers for them.  In the end, it has merely created one more entitlement program whose cost is higher premiums, fewer insured, fewer employed, and more regulations for both consumers and employers.  

Now, I am not opposed to helping the poor and the needy.  Few of us are opposed to helping the poor and the needy.  But this has gone beyond just helping the poor and the needy.  It become more of a "what have you done for me lately" government.  

The more power you give to the government, the more power it will take. This is a historical trend that has occurred in nearly every government ever created. It was this, in essence, that brought down both ancient Greece and the mighty Roman Empire. 

If you give the government the power to tax, it will tax more.  If you give the government the power to create entitlements, it will create to many.  If you give the government the power to make laws "for our own good," they will creating laws based on idealistic myths.  

Worse, once the government makes a law, it takes away one more freedom. Whenever the government makes a new entitlement, people will not want to give it back, and politicians will not vote to eliminate for fear of angering voters.  

I think the idealistic, progressive movement began with an effort to benefit the underclass.  They had many victories, creating laws giving women the right to vote, and laws protecting workers.  But then they started to go too far, which is what government is known to do.  This is one of the reasons why the founders championed that government was a necessary evil.  

Government is necessary in order to create a safe environment for the people to thrive, although too much government, most often created for selfish gain, creates an evil empire that cannot thrive.  

A think a good quote to sum this up comes from Benjamin Franklin.  He said: "I am for doing good to the poor... I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it..."

It's time we, as Americans, stop thinking as individuals who want to make laws for our own personal gain.  Instead, we must start working together as one to protect and preserve the liberties our Constitution was created to protect.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

What is better? Nanny State or Free State

I have some friends who like progressive people in government like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  They think it's a good idea that laws are made that urge healthy lifestyles.  I, however, think that this form of nanny-style government is dangerous.

Think of it this way.  Think of the government as your home.  Since the parents are paying the bills, they get to set the rules.  They can prevent you from eating foods high in sugar and fat, and they can encourage you to exercise.

Now, once we the people give the government the power to pay our bills, then we are, in essence, making the government the parents.  By default, this gives the government the power to tell us what we can and cannot eat.

So every time a new study comes out showing that something we are eating is bad for us, then these government officials want to make laws preventing people from eating it.  This is what Bloomberg did when he banned the sale of 36 ounce drinks in New York.  

Why did he do it?  The bottom line is the government of New York pays a lot of money for healthcare.  A high cost in healthcare is the cost of caring for diabetic people.  Since pop has a lot of sugar, the idea was the people would drink less pop and ingest less sugar. 

This is the crux of the progressive movement.  They believe that experts in Washington should decide what's best for us. They believe that in the absence of a nanny state in government, people are stupid and will make unwise decisions.  

The problem here is that the these experts assume they are right.  But what if they are wrong.  What if people will simply buy more pop?  What if not drinking pop will still result in diabetes? What if these experts are proven wrong?  

Will they then get rid of the law?  There have been many instances in the past where these so called experts were proven wrong, and this did not stop them from changing their ways.  It has never resulted in the reversal of any laws. 

Whenever someone proves one of these idealist experts wrong, the expert simply trudges forward, even it it takes denying the facts and telling lies.  

Consider that, despite the assault on high fat foods such as McDonalds, Burger King and KFC under the belief that high fat foods cause hardened arteries and heart disease, science has proven that this is a myth.  

Scientists actually found a high rate of hardened arteries and heart disease in ancient Egyptian mummies, and their diet didn't even include meat.  They didn't even have the knowledge to make fried foods.  This has experts wondering if it's not the foods we eat but genetics that causes heart disease. 

Regardless, the experts continue the assault on high fat foods.  And I'm not saying you should eat these foods, I'm just saying that the experts are not always right. They make laws based on "it sounds good" myths, and make laws because "it's for our own good" and they they find out they are wrong, but they deny they are wrong.
A second thought I have on this topic is that for every new law one more liberty, one more freedom, is taken away. You must consider that every law tells me one more thing I must do, or that I cannot do.  It takes away my right to decide? It tramples on my personal liberty.

A third thought I have on this topic is this: Is the government supposed to make a new law every single time a new study comes out?  I mean, what if a study came out showing that long-term ingestion of popcorn caused dementia in the elderly? Are they going to ban the sale of popcorn?  Where does it end?

There is an alternative to the nanny state, and that is to assume people are smart rather than stupid.  I think people are smart, and will make decisions they think are best for them.  When provided with better knowledge, they will make better decisions.  

So, the powers that be should not assume people are stupid, thus making laws forcing them to make wise decisions.  Instead, they should assume that most people are smart, and make a gallant effort to educate them about the advantages of making smart choices.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

All the lonely people

Back in 1993 I graduated from college and felt very lonely.  I completed college, and realized I did not want to be what I went to school for.  I was hired as a journalist, and I hated it.  I knew I was a good writer, but I got a serious bout of writers block.  I quit, and then for the rest of the year I felt depressed and lonely.

I felt lonely because I felt there was no one I could talk to.  My dad didn't want me to quit my job, mainly because he said I would get better with time and learn to like it.  I knew I would not get better, and not learn to like it.  I felt like I had taken a wrong path.  I spent many hours wondering why God had allowed me to take this journey.  I wondered how I was going to get out of it.

I couldn't help thinking of this recently as I attended two different Masses where the Priest talked about "all the lonely people."  They both began their sermons by singing the following lyrics by the Beatles:
All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?
The moral of both these sermons was this: if you believe in Jesus, you are never alone.  If you believe in the Lord, God, you are never alone.  This is essentially the message of John 14:15-21:
If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you for ever,
the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.
I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you.
In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see that I live and you also will live.
On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.
 Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me willbe loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.
One priest said this is similar to those moments, as parents, that we hold the hands of our children.  Yet then there comes a time as parents you have to let go and allow your child to walk on his own and hope you taught well.  Usually, your children DO take steps on their own, and they do well.  This is how they learn to become independent.

Similarly, there are times when Jesus holds our hands, and then there are times when he lets go, allowing us a chance to walk on our own.  These will be the times when you feel lonely.  Yet those who believe will know that the Lord is right there all along.  We continue to pray for the Lord to reveal himself, to show us that he is still there.

It is in these moments we pray words, and we seek for our prayers to be answered.  Yet, for long periods of time, sometimes it seems, our prayers go unanswered.  Yet we continue to pray, because, deep down, we continue to believe; we continue to have faith.

And then, usually at unexpected moments, he shows us that he is there.  These are the moments that, as a parent holds the hands of his child once again, that God does the same for us.

Those of us who believe will have those moments when we feel His hand, once again, upon our shoulders.  Perhaps this will be a moment where the sun shines bright upon your shoulder, and you are hit with a revelation that you are with God; You are hit with the revelation that your prayer has already been answered; you are hit with the revelation that the Lord has been with you all along.

I had such a moment back in December of 1993.  My brother David encouraged me to visit him in Kentucky.  One evening he and his wife were gone, and I was lying on the floor with a journal in front of me.  A refreshing breeze wafted over me and my journal, ruffling the pages.  At the same time a ray of sun shined on me, and a shiver went up my spine.

That was one of those moments when the Lord grabbed me by the shoulder and held me, guiding me.  At that moment it occurred to me that I was going to be a respiratory therapist. The next day I called my mother, thinking she'd be angry with me for starting all over, but instead she was fully supportive.  That was when I realized God had talked to her about it too.

And it's not like we need the support of our parents to change courses in life, although, as most of us know, it surely helps.  It helps to know that you are not taking this journey alone; that you have those who support you.

Over time I realized that not only did God touch me in that moment when the sun shined upon me, but he was also guiding me all along.  He walked with me during all those asthma attacks. He walked with me through journalism school. He walked with me through advertising school. He walked with me when I was working for the Lake County Star.  He walked with me that year I felt lonely.

The skills I obtained during that time allow me to share the word with all those I meet, and all those who read the words I write.  So, while sometimes we feel as though our prayers are not being answered; that the Lord is not listening, chances are, our prayers have already been answered.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The quest to stop climate change, for our own good

One of the reasons the founding fathers set limits on what the legislature could legislate on was to prevent it from responding emotionally to the latest whims and wishes of society.  Today those whims and wishes seem to come in the form of emotions.

There are people out there who are trying to scare people into believing that modern technology is destroying the planet, and they have many people convinced.  There are kids that are literally scared that the world is going to end in 500 days, 5 years, 10 years, or whatever today's date is for the marking of the end of the world. They are convinced that we are the cause because we aren't doing anything about it.

It's obvious that the Obama administration has bought into these scare tactics, and, like the founders did not want, his environmental protection agency (EPA) is set to increase regulations on energy corporations.  He has to do this for our own good, because if he doesn't we won't do anything and we will destroy the planet.  He has to force this for the betterment of mankind.

According to, "President Obama's Big Carbon Crackdown Readies for Launch:"
Obama is expected to endorse a strategy that seeks creative ways to achieve big carbon cuts — one that could lead some utilities to help their residential and business customers reduce their demand for electricity. Insiders refer to that as going outside the power plants’ “fence line"...
The new rule also won’t set up a single way for power companies to meet its requirements. Instead, it will set an emissions goal that states must meet, then give them guidelines for how they can comply. States must write their own compliance plans — subject to EPA approval — or the agency will step in with its own requirements.
Broad, state-level pollution targets would mean greater cuts and more flexibility for states, while viewing power plants as part of a collective system. Several environmental groups have offered model plans to the EPA in which some states would encourage utilities to switch from coal to gas and generate more wind or solar power.
The goal here is noble, although this is not the way to accomplish what they wish to accomplish.  In fact, just by using the words "collective system" shows that this is a progressive/ liberal/ socialist agenda item whereby the government thinks it knows what's best for people and is forcing them to comply.

However, what if the government is wrong?  What if the current belief that mankind is destroying the environmenet is wrong? What if these regulations force many or all of these energy corporations to go out of business?  Does the EPA care?

There are opponents of this ruling who are set to fight it, as noted by
Still, opponents will launch a major legal fight against the broad approach, saying the EPA can’t legally require steeper pollution cuts than a power plant could make on its own. “The reason why EPA has never before obligated a source to reduce emissions beyond its control is because it’s beyond its control,” industry attorney Robert Wyman said.
Progressives are known to use fear tactics to try to convince people that they are right.  Yet, when the fear campaign fails to inspire change, they do it with force. This, I am afraid,  may have the founding fathers rolling over in their graves.

Yet Obama doesn't seem to care about the founding fathers, nor does he have respect for the documents they wrote.  His main objective now is to save his legacy, and he believes he can do it by "saving the planet." God help us!

Further reading:

Friday, May 23, 2014

The global warming debate: let the children decide

Right here on the cover of Newsweek magazine
opponents of the global warming theory
are made out to be bumbling idiots
for not becoming sheep.
Global warming does exists, and if we do not change our way of living we are going to send the planet to Armageddon. Global warming does not exist, and if we don't stop taxing and regulating American industries because of the hoax of global warming, we are going to destroy our economy.  This, in essence, is the modern global warming debate, raging since the early 1990s. 

So, who is right?

I watched a news program in March of 2008 on ABC news about this one scientist who had gone public with his notion that global warming was a hoax. I don't remember the name of the show, the host, nor the guest, although it really doesn't matter for the sake of our discussion here.  What happened was that, instead of the host of that program allowing this scientist to show his evidence that global warming is a hoax, he basically made an effort to discredit him, making him look like a bumbling idiot.

I was actually watching this show with a friend, and while the show was progressing, my friend kept waving his hand through the air saying things like, "See? See?  Global warming is real!"

I said, "That was a terrible report. That scientists barely had a chance to make his point."

My friend said, "Why's that? Because it proved you wrong."

The next morning I awoke and found my son, then nine-years-old, standing in the kitchen.  We heard a huge gust of wind, and both looked out the window to see a fresh blanket of snow.  I said, "Wow, it's not supposed to be doing this in March."

He said, "Yeah, especially with global warming."

Now, at nine, I don't know if he thinks about global warming, although I have a raging suspicion that it is taught, not as the theory that it is, but as a fact.  Chances are that most of his teachers tell him that people are destroying the planet.  I could be wrong, but by the things he brings home, by what I read, that's what I suspect.

I am willing to bet the other side of the argument does not see the light of day in schools. In fact, I bet the global warming debate is not even brought up in schools, meaning the global warming theory is simply a given fact in school not even worth debating.  

Yet I think that's wrong.  I think it's wrong to use a theory as a fact; a given.  I think it is wrong to thing that a theory is a fact, when it fact it is just a theory, an educated guess.  

Like I said, I do not have a problem with my children being taught about global warming.  I have a problem with them being told it's a fact.  I have a problem with it not being taught along with other theories that are equally credible, and that are supported by 50 percent of scientists and 50 percent of Americans.  

That said, if I were a 4th grade teacher, this is how I would teach about global warming.  Ready, here goes.  
"Today, guys, we are going to talk about global temperatures. Basically, there are two theories, and I'm going to leave it up to you what theory you want to believe in. What I'm going to do is give you the facts, and you can decide for yourself what you think.
"About 50% of scientists believe in global warming. The basis of the global warming theory is that we humans are causing the planet to warm up. By our use of fossil fuels, we are causing CO2 to build up in the atmosphere, and this is causing a greenhouse effect, where the planet keeps getting hotter and hotter. Since about 1970, the global temperature has increased by about one degree.
The people who believe in global warming, that we are causing it, want to regulate businesses and, tax them, and make laws that force them to stop doing things that they think are causing global warming, like driving gas guzzling cars, emitting pollution from factories, etc.
"Any questions?" 
After a discussion, I would continue the discussion:

"Okay, now I'm going to give you the facts provided by the scientists who do not believe in global warming. In fact, these scientists do believe in global warming, there is scientific evidence that the earth has increased by one degree since about 1970, although this temperature had not risen since about 1997.  
"However, according to scientific data, there is also evidence that from 1900 to about 1940 there was a period of global warming. This was a time when there was very little use of fossil fuels. Then, from 1940 to 1970, there was a period of global cooling.
"In fact, this global cooling became so bad in the 1970s that some scientists actually proposed melting the polar ice caps. They were never allowed to do that, but it was a proposition that was seriously discussed in Washington. Could you imagine what would have happened if they did melt the polar caps?  What repercussions would that have resulted in?
Here we might have another discussion, and then I would continue.
"What these people contend is that the global warming believers, the people who believe that man is causing the planet to warm, are only using data from 1970 on. The truth is, if you use data from 1900 on, there is evidence to support a cyclical trend of global warming and cooling. What do you think of that? 
"Thus, while the weather is warming now, it will at some point start to cool again. Likewise, to add one more fact, global temperatures cooled in January, 2008,  in all five locations where global temperatures are measured.
Economists who believe in global warming is a hoax think taxing and regulating businesses based on fear is only going to cause economic trouble.  Instead, they postulate reform to benefit the planet through public education and incentives for businesses to conform to better practices that are more planet friendly.   
"Now, based on the facts I just presented, let's have a discussion."
Just before class ended, I would remind my students of the following.
It is important to know there will always be people who put money before taking care of the planet. There will also be people who will support the global warming theory as though it were a religion even when presented with facts.  That is just a given.
Still, and most important, is that most people, regardless of whether or not they believe in the global warming theory, still love the planet Earth and want to do their part to maintain a good environment.  It is always important to work together to be environmentally responsible, no matter what theory you believe in.  
So, that said, what theory do you believe in?  Why? Let's have a discussion. 
Of course, now we would have a discussion. Then, later in the day, or perhaps the next day, I would tell my students that while I don't care which theory they decide to support, it is still important to work together to be environmentally responsible.

I also believe it is okay for a teacher to tell students their opinions, it's just not okay for teachers to use schools as training grounds for recruiting.  That, in my opinion, is what evil dictator nations do.  I think it is wrong.

I would say something like this: 
Now that we are done with our discussion, and before the bell rings, here's my opinion.  Please do not let my opinion influence you.  I believe that no matter what theory you decide to support, that there is global warming right now. There is also evidence that man has caused some effect on this global warming, but to what extend the facts we presently have access to do not show
The question is, will there be a period of global cooling in the future? Or, will temperatures of the earth steadily increase until our planet is destroyed?  
Regardless how you answer those questions, there is not reason to make decisions today out of fear and anger.  We need to make environmentally sound decisions in an environmentally friendly way.  We need to be happy and enjoy today, while considering the future. 
Plus, and most important, no matter what you decide to believe in, you must respect the opinions of those who disagree with you.   

I might think about it, but I would not say:
You are not an idiot if you do not believe in global warming.  You are not an idiot for not being a sheep and following the crowd. To say such things is a maneuver to stifle creativity.  If we do that, then we will prevent further investigations that present newer facts and newer, better, theories from developing. 
We must never try to indoctrinate children to support idealistic theories, nor should we keep them ignorant on such matters.  Instead, we must teach our kids, or encourage our kids, to think, to investigate evidence, and decide on their own. Creative thinking and open mindedness are what made our nation the best nation in the history of the world.

So, when it comes to the global warming debate, we must teach our children how to think, not what to think.  Instead of forming sound conclusions at such an early time in the debate, we must encourage environmental responsibility over dogmatic idealistic solutions. the defense.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No evidence to support global warming theory

John Hinderaker, Power Line, wrote a good post about global warming. Do you know what climate alarmism is based on? Climate change/global warming alarmism, do you know what it is based on? It's based on one thing: Climate models. It is not based on empirical evidence. It "is not based on empirical observation." It is not based on real data.

The entire theory of global warming -- and I am not exaggerating -- is rooted in computer models predicting the future 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 years down the road.

And that is it. And the computer models are put together by biased scientists who have a financial interest in producing an outcome that their donors want.

A computer model is only as good as the data that's put into it. The whole global warming movement "is entirely predicated on computer models that are manipulated to generate predictions of significant global warming as a result of increased concentrations of CO2."

There is no scientific evidence backing it up. It is all a supposition that they use the computer models to back up. Then they go and get a picture of a polar bear on a small, little piece of ice. They present this fraudulent picture as evidence of ice melting at the North Pole, and when that ice melts that polar bear is gonna die! And a little kids in public schools are gonna believe that because a little kid doesn't know a polar bear can swim 60 miles.

A little kid doesn't know that that piece of ice is where the polar bear goes to take a vacation. The polar bear is there vegging. The polar bears seek out these little ice floes just to take a break. And theysee a fish, bam! They jump off, go get it, and come back. And it's true there are more polar bears today than in the last 10, 15 years. There's no truth to any of this alarmism. The models that are put together obey the input of the people that create the model.

By the way, he left uses economic models the same way. The Congressional Budget Office will use economic models to project what something is going to do in the future tax-wise. The only thing they have to go on is the data Congress gives them. It's all a hoax. But the thing that gets me is, there is no empirical data past or present that's utilized in these predictions of global warming. The models do not accurately predict the past.

The hockey stick thing that the guy at Penn State came up with to show what the Medieval Warming period was? It's totally made up, as the e-mails from the University of East Anglia fortunately illustrate. The models do not account for many features of the present climate. Again, this concept may be a little bit hard for kids to understand. But it's all also rooted in the belief that whatever was going on 15 years ago is the normal for planet Earth.

And they just made that up! They just decided that the average high and low, whatever the climate circumstances were 15 years, was "normal." So anything that happens from 15 years ago is bad because we're not holding at normal, and ideally we would hold at normal or reduce. But the earth is always changing; it's never constant. The whole thing is such a bogus hoax.

In fact, there is so little evidence of global warming that even the global warming proponents have changed the name of their argument to "global change." This is a sign, to me, that the proponents are so deeply invested in this, that there is so much profit being made both politically and financially from it, that instead of admitting they are wrong, they changed the name.

I don't mean to offend anyone, I'm just saying.

Further reading:

Monday, May 19, 2014

What do we do when people try to indoctrinate our children?

Instead of teaching both sides of the story, many schools are teaching global warming as though it is a fact, instead of just a theory. So, when your kid comes home talking about how man his destroying the planet, what are we, as parents, supposed to do?

In other words, what do you do when you know your kids are being taught things in school that you don't believe in? Personally, it's not that I don't believe in global warming, I just want it to be taught to my kids as though it were a theory, which it is, to be respected, and not a proven fact.  

That's my dilemma.  And I know if I simply tell my kids my thoughts, if I simply respond to what my son is telling me, my wife will make me out to be an idiot.  So how do I, how do we, approach situations like this? 

Of course there's the other dilemma, because if you take out your frustration on the teacher, or the principal, they will take it out on your child with bad grades.  So, you're kind of faced with a double edged sword.  

And then there's the third angle, which is the top angle for me, and this is that you want to make your kid feel like you're nagging him, or forcing him to believe what you believe, because I don't want to do that either. So, there's that angle too. 

My whole goal with my kids is to have them think independently and not just accept what I think or anyone else and to challenge it and dig for the truth as best you can. So their not fully in agreement, certainly, with that movies like The Inconvenient Truth or man-made climate change.

But I get the feeling they're trying to indoctrinate my children, and it makes me feel very uncomfortable.  So what can I do?  What can we do?   I mean, if I go to the school, I'm just going to face a whole bunch of people who are indoctrinated, and they're going to make me out to be the bad guy.  These people are going to be as closed minded as anyone.

You could throw all the facts at them in the world, and all the facts could be on your side, and all they are going to do is make you out to be the blind one; the idiot.  Heck, they might even call you an idiot for not being a sheep. That's never happened at the school, I'm just saying.

Now, you cannot approach the people advocating theories such as the global warming theory with facts.  When you're dealing with idealist theories, facts don't matter.  You could speak the evidence: "There has been no increase in global temperatures since 1997."

You could say, "Global warming activists went to Antarctica looking for evidence that there were fewer glaciers, and they got stuck on one."

It doesn't matter.  The facts won't work.  Their theories are their religion.  So you have to use something else.  But it's not even that.  Your job is not to convince the sheep, your job, my job, is to convince your children to consider all the evidence and to think for themselves.

So, how do we do that?

The problem with movies like the Al Gore movie, "The Inconvenient Truth," is that kids watch it and then they go home and they blame their parents for destroying the planet.

The best thing you can do as a parent is... well, you can't just hope for the best. You have to do your best to set a good example for your children, and hope that when they set off into the world you did a good job. However, you can't just hope, because hope is an excuse for failure.

Hope never solves anything.  You, as a parent, have to say something. So, what do you say.  On this, I heard a good quote the other day, a quote that I found to be perfect.  One that I haven't even used yet, but I know other dad's, uncles, aunts, friends, have... they have used it on their kids, nephews, etc.

The quote is this:
"Open-mindedness is great, but coming to the wrong conclusion isn't."
At 10, 13, 15 years old, our kids are in the formative years. This is the best chance you're gonna have until life experiences take over for them. 

Parents constantly disagree with the propaganda their kids are being hit with. But they feel powerless, just like we do. So we, as parents, have to say something.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Patients losing doctors and hospitals due to Obamacare

Many people who had insurance that they liked, and was affordable, have lost their healthcare plans, or will lose them, and are being forced to, unless they want to pay a penalty, purchases a plan on the Obama website.

To make matters worse, many doctors and hospitals are not accepting these plans, so people are being forced to find new doctors, and new hospitals, sometimes having to travel long distances.
So who do you think is the bad by here? No, it's not Obama, who is above it all. The people who are being blamed are the hospitals and the doctors. They are thinking of their selfish gain over and above their patients.

But, look folks, physicians are people too.  They need to make money just like anyone else.  Many have discovered, and I have met many of them, that it's simply not worth taking patients who are on medicare, and that's basically what Obamacare amounts to.  Doctors can make more money by charging individuals and insurance companies, than they can Medicare.

This should not come as a surprise.  If you want mom and dad to pay, then you are going to have to have to live under their rules.  In order to keep government costs low, it changes the rules, and, in some cases, makes up its own rules. This should not come as a surprise.

Many patients are stunned.  They were told "If you like your plan you can keep your plan."  But there was not way this could have been possible, not when the government is involved.  They were told, "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor."  But now doctors are refusing to accept Medicare, so these patients are being forced to look elsewhere for doctors.

Kelli Kennedy, writing for the Associated Press, "Consumers losing doctors with new insurance plans," said:
Michelle Pool is one of those customers. Before enrolling in a new health plan on California's exchange, she checked whether her longtime primary care doctor was covered. Pool, a 60-year-old diabetic who has had back surgery and a hip replacement, purchased the plan only to find that the insurer was mistaken.
Her $352 a month gold plan was cheaper than what she'd paid under her husband's insurance and seemed like a good deal because of her numerous pre-existing conditions. But after her insurance card came in the mail, the Vista, California resident learned her doctor wasn't taking her new insurance.
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, "California consumers say duped by Blue Shield's limited Obamacare plan, said:
Consumers who purchased new health plans from Blue Shield of California have sued the insurer, claiming they were misled into thinking the insurance would cover their desired doctors and hospitals.
In their complaint filed in California state court on Wednesday, San Francisco residents John Harrington and Alex Talon accused Blue Shield of misrepresenting that their plans, sold on California's health exchange, would cover the full provider network advertised on the company's website.

They sued on behalf of a class of people who had purchased so-called "preferred provider organization" plans from the insurer only to realize that the doctor and hospital networks for their plans were limited.
Stunning? Not really. This is the kind of stuff the opponents of Obamacare have been saying all along.  It's the kind of stuff that was reported as far back as when Hilary tried to get Hillarycare passed pack in the early 1990s.

Despite all the warnings, the media chose not to pay attention. This is why so many people were misiled into supporting Obamacare.  Now, here we have the AP blaming doctors, and Reuters blaming insurance companies.  The rest of us know who the true culprits are.

We know that Obama and the democrats have lied to people for years about what Obamacare is all about, and the media just goes along for the ride.The president has failed the people, the democrats have failed the people, and the media has failed the people.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Obama care results in hospital layoffs

The Affordable Care Ace, Obamacare (is it really affordable?),  has resulted in cuts in reimbursement to hospitals, making it nearly impossible for many hospitals to stay afloat without taking some sort of action.  Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, was among the first victims as it was forced to lay off 29 people, albeit non medical workers.

To make matters worse, hospital administration said that this was not an effort to cut costs, because all it will do is make it so the hospital can continue running on the current budget.  The reason for this is that Obamacare requires hospitals to focus on keeping patients healthy at home, thus preventing them from being readmitted.

This is the kind of thing that you knew was going to come when the government was given the power to pay for healthcare.  When mom and dad are paying the bills, they get to set the rules, even when they don't make sense.

Readmissions for patients diagnosed with heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and heart failure were costing the government too much money, so they basically set a new rule making hospitals responsible for making sure they are not readmitted.

In other words, if a hospital has a readmission rate for these ailments that is too high, the Fed will reduce reimbursement.  This is why Mercy Medical Center was forced to lay off workers.  In order to comply with the program, they have to utilize workers already on the payroll to create programs that will focus on patient education, and also to monitor patients in the home setting to make sure they are taking their medicines, and living an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

This program does have good intentions, as it is meant to keep patients healthy.  However, if it was a viable program, it would have been done years ago. The reason it wasn't is because it is extremely expensive.  And, it is for this reason that hospitals in situations similar to Mercy will also start to see layoffs, followed by cuts in benefits, and freezes on pay raises. Some hospitals that have been running independently for years will be forced to sell out or merge with larger organizations, and many others will simply close their doors forever.

"It's inevitable folks," says one critique of the governmental demands.  "The entire system was designed to fail so people come crawling to the government to bail them out with a universal healthcare program.  The only way to stop it is for the voters to voice their concerns during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles and vote people into office who will repeal the affordable care act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Friday, May 16, 2014

You can call me a doom and gloomer all day, he said.

Three friends are sitting around talking politics.  The third one says, "All you guys do is sit around and criticize Obama all day.  You need to give him a chance.  You are doom and gloomers."

The second one says, "So, are you saying we have to agree with him just because he is the President."

The third one says, "I think we need to give him a chance."

The second one says, "So you're saying that even if we know who he is and what he stands for, and it's the opposite of what we stand for, that we still have to support him?"

The third one says, "After all, he is OUR president."

"So you're saying we can't think for ourselves just because Obama is President.  Are you saying we have to compromise our own beliefs because our President lost.  Are you saying we have to be sheep. "

The first tone says, "I think his vision for this nation is scary, and, therefore, I hope he fails.  You can call me a doom and gloomer all day if you want."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Don Jones sent to sensitivity training; Michael Sam doing reality show

Don Jones of the Miami Dolphins
I just want my readers to know that I have no problem with an openly gay person, Michael Sam in this case, being drafted by the NFL.  I have written on this blog how I have utmost respect for the gay population, even to the point that I support gay marriage.

I could write about how good this is for the nation and stuff like that, but I think that topic has been covered ad nauseum on other blogs and in the media.  For the sake of this blog, I would like to take this discussion a step further.

I think that our Constitution is not prejudiced, and it essentially protects the rights and liberties of all Americans equally.  By this, it does not matter the color of your skin, the religion of your choice, whether you are male or female, or whether you are straight or gay.  You are an American, you have natural born rights and liberties that the Constitution protects.

Michael Sam of the Miami Dolphins
Taken a step further, you also have a right to be smart, but you also have a right to be stupid.  You have a right to be sensitive, but you also have a right to be insensitive.

That said, while I completely disagree with him, I think that Miami Dolphin Don Jones is an insensitive idiot for tweeting "OMG," and "horrible" in response to the drafting of Sam.

So, just because Don Jones disagrees with the management of the Miami Dolphins, and disagrees with sensitive and caring Americans who are proud of Michael Sam for doing what he did, the Dolphins are forcing Jones to attend "sensitivity training."

You may disagree with me here, but I think this is scary.  So just because Jones disagrees with you he has to attend "sensitivity training" until he either does or says he does.  That is not American.  In fact, it's as un-American as you can get.

I think we should be proud of Michael Sam.  However, I think what the Dolphins are forcing Jones to do, attend re-educational camp, distracts from all that is good about Sam being drafted.  I think it's crazy; it's scary.

If I openly disagree with Obamacare, am I going to have to attend "re-education" training" until I support it. I openly criticize world leaders on this blog.  Am I going to be forced to attend "re-education training" when my opinion differs from theirs.

Folks, this is not good. Sam being drafted is good, but the Dolphin's punishment for Jones being an idiot is not good.

Should Jones' apologize? Yes!  Should Jones be told to keep his mouth shut? Yes! Should he be fined?  Yes! Should Jones be fired? Perhaps.  Should Jones be forced to think like you and me?  No!  And that's what I find scary.
Update:  5/17/14

In another interesting twist, the Dolphins learn that Michael Sam was doing a reality TV show during the draft, and they weren't aware of this.  So, this sort of distracts from his coming out, and the kiss.

Think about it this way, when you are in front of cameras, and when the cameras are rolling, do you act the same way you would act when the cameras are not on you?  The answer is usually no.

So, this raises the possibility that Sam came out only as part of the show, and the possibility that "the kiss" was only an act in front of the cameras.  ESPN analyst Jason Whitlock said he would cut Sam based on this deception.

According to CBS News:
Whitlock said that he feels like Michael Sam is contradicting himself. Sam said that he wants to be viewed as a football player, but now he’s doing a docuseries that’s going to take away from football. He also said he’s a staunch supporter of Sam coming out but right now he feels duped.
It's interesting anyway. Were all the media, all those who all they could talk about for several weeks before the draft was Michael Sam being the first ever gay player who came out to be drafted in the "manly" NFL draft, duped?

I'm not forming an opinion here, nor telling you how you should react to this, I'm merely analyzing what's in the news.  Yet some say the show should be cancelled because it will just distract from football (something Sam said he did not want to do), or Sam should be cut.

Further reading or viewing:
  1. Dolphins fine and suspend Don Jones for anti-Michael Sam tweet
  2. O, No!  Show revealed
  3. Michael Sam faces real danger: the Tim Tebow effect

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Should we just hand condoms out to our kids?

I remember when I was in college we had a class called "public speaking" where they taught us how to, well, speak in public.  There was this one kid who got up and he gave a presentation about AIDS, and how we need to teach our kids to wear condoms, and we need to create a safe environment for our kids to have sex, because, he said, "They are going to do it anyway."

So he gave this demonstration to us how to put on a condom.  He used a cucumber as the condom.  He said that kids are going to have sex anyway, so he said he lets his kids have sex in their bedrooms or the back seat of their car.  He said he did this because, "At least I know it's clean in my guest bathroom." 

I'm telling you, this is a true story.  I really had to endure this presentation.  I also had to grade his presentation.  All of us were responsible for not just giving a presentation, but grading it too.  Our grades were compiled and were factored into the final grade for the speaker's presentation.  

To be honest, I gave this guy an A because his presentation was great.  Now, when offering my opinion I disagreed with him, but I couldn't give someone a down grade just because I disagreed with him.  I mean, Obama is a great speaker.  His ideas are moronic, but he is a great speaker.  In other words, moronic views don't necessarily make a moronic speaker.  It's unfortunate, but it's true.  

So, anyway, this guy says, "Look, they're gonna have sex; we can't stop them," which was a liberal mantra back then that he was just picking up. "We can't stop 'em. They're going to do it. You can't stop it." 

After the class we were allowed to ask questions.  This was part of the grade, to ask, "Do you have any questions?"  

My friend who happened to be in the same class, a guy I really loved for his ability to think fast on his feet, said, "But wait a minute! Once they start smoking, you can't stop 'em. So why don't you put a pack of cigarettes on the nightstand for when they finish sex?"

The speaker was taken aback, and he said: "No, no. That's bad. We're not gonna let 'em smoke."

My friend said:  "Well, but you say they're gonna have sex no matter what." 

"Yeah, that's right." 

My friends point was brilliant.  He showed how arrogant and condescending the speaker was, and how wrong his argument was.

A better approach regarding this issue is to set a good example, take the time to educate your child about the advantages of abstinence, and make sure they know that if they do choose to ignore your wishes to wear a condom.

But don't make it easy on them by handing them out.  If they choose to do it, it should be an uncomfortable experience for them having to find condoms on their own.  Perhaps the added hassle with buy time for common sense to set in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Benghazi hearings must be hunt for facts only

As an outside observer here, it would seem to be in the best interest of democrats to participate in the House Select Committee on Benghazi.  First off, it's important to learn the truth as to what happened. Second off, if Hillary Clinton is called to testify, they would be able to make sure she receives a fair hearing.

It's beyond me why they wouldn't want to participate.  Four Americans are dead, and they are dead because someone screwed up.  Who? Why? What could have been done different? These are important questions that need to be answered for justice to be done for those who died, and to prevent similar circumstances from happening in the future.

Charles Krauthammer, in his May 8, 2014, column, "Benghazi: How to do the hearings right," says the hearings are necessary, and should focus on the following questions:
Where and to what extent was there dereliction of duty as memos, urgent pleas and mounting evidence of danger were ignored and the U.S. ambassador was allowed to enter a deathtrap?
What happened during the eight hours of the Benghazi attack, at the end of which the last two Americans (of four) were killed by mortar fire? Where was the commander in chief and where was the responsible Cabinet secretary, Hillary Clinton? What did they do?
We now know the White House was pushing the “video made them do it” coverup, lest the blame be placed on administration policy. Who was involved in that decision, obviously designed to protect a president campaigning that al-Qaeda was “on the run”?
Now, if these proceedings are meant to be a witch hunt, then I'm not for it.  If botched, Krauthammer said, it could backfire on republicans like the Clinton impeachment hearings.  So there is political risk involved.  But this shouldn't be about politics, it should be about learning facts.

If republicans go alone, they need to stick to the issues, and only ask questions aimed at getting at facts. Hopefully they don't have to do it alone, and they should still stick to only asking questions aimed at getting to the facts.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The risks of overprotecting our kids

There's a neat story in the Atlantic by Hanna Rosin called "The Overprotected Kid."  It's about the consequences of overprotecting children.

The article explains that when we overprotect our children, when we take all the risk out of life with helmets, and seat belts, and safe playgrounds, sunscreens, germicides, and rules that don't allow children to be children, they don't learn how to take risks.

In fact, some studies show that more children are getting injured on playgrounds that are supposed to be safer for children because they are being so protected they aren't learning how to make calculated risks.

Risk is something that has to be learned, and most of us learn it by trial and error; we learn it by being kids.  We learn it by climbing play areas that are not safe, and we learn how not to fall off the top.  When we do fall, when we do get hurt, we learn how not to do it again, or how to do it better, safer, the next time around.

A good example is when I was a eight my mom let me ride my bike on the road to the neighbors house down the street.  I was so proud to be riding by myself.  I remember I was carrying a sack of toys, so I had to hold it in my left hand as my left hand's on the handlebars.  I'm riding along, enjoying the breeze, and maybe there was a smile on my face, I don't know.

But my point is, that I was allowed to do this.  I was allowed to ride my bike by myself.  It wasn't a long ride, but to me, at the height of that moment, it seemed like it was.  Then, all of a sudden, my knee came up and hit the bottom of the sack, and the front tire of the bike jackknifed, and I did a header off of the bike.  I did a somersault in the middle of the street.

Luckily, I didn't get badly hurt, and I've had some little cuts and some bruises and abrasions, and I was just mad. Actually, I was embarrassed.  Once I gathered myself, I collected my stuff.  The sack had emptied out.  So had to put everything back in the sack and ride home, and I couldn't wait to tell my mother what she had caused.

I said, "Look what happened."

She said, "What happened to you?" She inspected my knee, and my hands, and my elbow, and my head, and she said, "Well, go put some stuff on it." That was it.  And the medicine she put on it was iodine, a medicine that hurt. Today, even the medicine tastes good and doesn't hurt. There's not even any risk to taking medicine, at least as far as bad taste or anything, but that's a story for another post.

So what did I learn.  I learned not to be stupid with the bike.  I learned not to space out when riding a bike.  I learned to pay attention to what I was doing when riding a bike.  The end result is that I became smarter. I became a better bike rider.

When we protect our kids from any potential danger, they don't learn to take risks. They don't do things for themselves, and so they don't get better and they don't learn anything but how to be safe and scared. Then, when they are exposed to danger, they don't know what to do.

Today, thanks in part to the idealists who think a perfect world is possible, our kids are protected from all dangers.  We provide safety nets for our kids, so that when they fall we say things like, "Oh, poor, Johnny!  I will protect you every time you get a boo boo."

My mom would never say, "Oh, I'm so sorry!  I'm so sorry!  I won't let this happen to you again.  I will protect you from danger."  No, none of that.  I'm not saying she wouldn't have empathy, but she didn't over coddle or over protect us.

I don't do that either with my kids, or at least I try not to.  Actually, I don't have the energy to overprotect my kids.  I have to work.  I don't have time to protect my kids from everything.  There comes a point, as my dad said to me once about us, that you have to let your kids go and trust that you did a good job raising them.

I remember playing catch with my oldest son when he was eight, and I threw a ball at him hard because I knew he could catch it, he had already shown he could many times, but this time it hit him square in the chest.  He cried, "Dad!  Why did you do that!"  He was mad.  All I said was, "Come on!  Get up!"  He pouted a few moments, and then he got up. He got up and he tossed the ball back at me as hard as he could, barely missing my head.  Then we played catch another hour.

It was cold, too, very cold.  It was early in spring, and it was probably only in the 40s, so that hit probably stung a long time.  But what he learned was to be tough. He learned not to be a wussy.  I've had similar experience with my daughter who is now 10.  She gets hurt, blames me, and I don't provide sympathy.  So she gets madder.  Then she continues on.

I don't want my kids to grow up as wussies, although there are many parents who do give into the pressure, and their kids become wussified.  Their parents offer safety nets.  It's one thing to be smart, but it's yet another to provide so many safety next that kids don't learn to take risks, to learn important lessons from trips and falls and failures.

The same is true as kids grow up.  It used to be that when a kid grows up, when he turns 18, he leaves the house and he never comes back.  He is on his own.  If he fails, he had to pick himself back up and keep going.  When he gets fired, he gets mad, maybe even sad, but he has no choice but to pick himself up and move on, because he knew there were no safety nets.  He knew mommy and daddy wouldn't be there to bail him out.

My parents offered some safety nets.  They had to because I had asthma and had a tougher road than most people.  When I was fired from my first job after college, I was allowed to stay on my parent's insurance and live with them.  I loafed around, drank beer with my friends, spent every last dime I had, and then I had nothing: no money and no pride.

Then my dad said to me, "You need to do something.  You need to get a job." He even helped me get some small jobs, and every time I did one, even if it was a job I hated doing, he'd say, "There, don't you feel better!"

I remember one job he gave me was ripping up a carpet in an old house.  I said, "Dad, I have asthma.  I can't do that."  He said, "You can wear a mask!"  He did not sympathise with me.  He did not say, "Oh, poor Johnny."  He just said, "You can wear a mask."

I did. And, not wanting my dad to think I was a wuss, I did a great job.  I worked hard ripping up that carpet. I had to take many breaks, and I did have an asthma attack, but I kept working through it.  I was tough because I didn't want to disappoint my dad.

Another thing dad had all us kids do was go into the woods to haul and stack wood.  It was tough on me, but I learned that you didn't say anything to dad unless you were really, truly sick.  You toughed it out.  And I did learn to tough it out.  I learned toughness.

Sometimes I took this too far, and would work until I couldn't breathe, and I would still keep going.  I remember one day sitting on the couch because I was not breathing really good, and my brother wanted me to play football.  It was Thanksgiving day, and it was cold outside, and there was chimney smoke in the air.  I didn't want to play out among all those asthma triggers when I was already feeling sick.

But my older brother Bobby said, "You are a waste of skin."  That was all it took. I didn't want my brother to think I was a wussy, so I went outside.  I played, giving 100%.  I ran.  I threw the ball.  I took hits.  I was dinged and banged up from my finger tips to my toes, and from my skin to my lungs.  I felt so miserable by halftime I couldn't move because my bones and muscles ached, and I also couldn't hardly breathe.

But that didn't stop me.  I went inside every half hour to take a breathing treatment. I would puff on my nebulizer until my breath came back, then I'd sneak past my parents because I was afraid they'd tell me I was too sick to play.  I went back to the makeshift football field and I'd play more football until I couldn't breathe anymore and then I'd repeat the cycle.  I learned toughness.

On a side note here, I discussed this with my brother years later, and he apologized vigorously for calling me a waste of skin.  I said, "Don't be.  You actually did me a favor."

My parents owned a lot of land, and sometimes we'd wander past our property line and go all the way to where the old city dump was.  My mom would be sleeping, and she would have no clue where we were.  Once we were playing around old tar pits.  We'd be swinging from trees. Once I got brave and climbed all the way to the top of this tree and I fell out of the tree.

I got cuts and scrapes and bruises all over my body.  I think I might even have fractured a rib.  I went into the house and my mom looked at me and said, "You're fine!"  Five minutes later I was back in the tree doing it again. I knew I could do it right this time, and I did.  I learned toughness.

It never occurred to us to think what would have happened to us if our parents were too attuned to us. But I'm thankful they didn't overprotect us.
For the past several years, however, parents are taught to overprotect their children. So what happened as a result? What happens to those kids that are babied, sheltered, protected?

They grow up thinking they're not capable of doing anything on their own. They grow up totally risk-averse. They grow up, basically, afraid of reality. If they've been sheltered and protected and provided for, they're raised and they end up with no confidence, which gave rise to the self-esteem movement in our schools.

Because we realized our children didn't like themselves because they had not again given a chance to develop love for themselves. They were so overly protected, provided for, taken care of, sheltered, that they didn't grow up. One of the focal points was risk. They just weren't allowed to take any because the fear of failure, the fear of damage, the fear of the risk resulting in pain.

That's probably the primary thing that these overprotective parents wanted to avoid was any pain or suffering on the part of the Little Johnny and Little Sally. And if they could do that, then they would be good parents. "There's enough trouble out there without Little Johnny and Little Sally being protected from it. So we need to protect them from any pain, any suffering," and, as such, we end up with really strange but unprepared kids. 

Not mine, but many kids in today's America, don't learn to do things on their own, and the result is they don't learn the lessons of doing things on their own.  They become adults, but they don't amount to anything. 

This is almost the exact opposite of when I was a kid.  I can't even count how many times my mom said, "You are never going to amount to anything."  Today parents would be sued by their kids for saying such things.  But, back then, it made us better.  It motivated us.  And, in the end, all six of my parent's siblings are successful members of society.

How many of you had parents who said, "You can't do that"? A lot of kids do. It's not healthy, obviously. But other parents are totally laissez-faire. "Go try it and do what you want." That's how my parents were.  That's how I try to be as a parent.  I know I can't protect my kids from everything.  I know my kid is on the Internet right now, and I have confidence that he will make smart choices.

Of course we didn't have the Internet, but this is how it was when we were kids. We did things.  If we screwed up we were lectured and maybe even spanked.  But we went back at doing things after pouting, and we learned to become confident at the things we succeeded in.  When we failed, when we fell, we learned that you didn't always, shouldn't always, go crying back to mommy and daddy.  Heck, mom would get mad at us if we woke her up from her nap.  

But there was pride in competence, learning you were able to do something. There was pride in being able to take care of yourself. There was sense of achievement in independence, being able to handle things yourself without having to run to mommy or daddy.

Here is another quote from the article:
Children are born with the instinct to take risks in play, because historically, learning to negotiate risk has been crucial to survival; in another era, they would have had to learn to run from some danger, defend themselves from others, be independent. Even today, growing up is a process of managing fears and learning to arrive at sound decisions.
By engaging in risky play, children are effectively subjecting themselves to a form of exposure therapy, in which they force themselves to do the thing they’re afraid of in order to overcome their fear. But if they never go through that process, the fear can turn into a phobia. Paradoxically, [Ellen Sandseter, a professor of early-childhood education at Queen Maud University College] writes, 'our fear of children being harmed,' mostly in minor ways, 'may result in more fearful children and increased levels of psychopathology."
You see, there's lessons learned from failure. From failure, from falling, we learn how to thrive, we learn how to get back up and stay up. Too many kids today are not learning how to thrive because society has provided for them so many safety nets they have essentially become wussies.  When I was a kid, if you were a wussy you were mocked and ridiculed.

All of this made us better, stronger as adults.

Today kids are coddled and soothed with words like, "Oh, I'm so sorry."  We don't want them to have their feelings hurt.  There are actually school systems that won't fail any kids because they are afraid of hurting their feelings or otherwise scarring them.

When we were kids, as we got older and tried more things and mastered more activities, we grew, and we learned to take on greater risks. And then we learned to assess the risk.

The article notes:
"These days middle-class children, at least, skip these milestones. They spend a lot of time in the company of adults, so they can talk and think like them, but they never build up the confidence to be truly independent and self-reliant," if they come from overprotective parents.
There are some schools that don't give grades because it's not fair that some people get good grades while you are failing.  When I was a kid if you didn't get good grades you were put in a special class.  I had that happen to me once, and what it did was motivate me to do better.

When I was in the 6th grade kids picked on me big time.  Once I cried to a teacher, and she told me to go beat the bully up.  I talked to my parents about it, and they sent me to Karate class and told me that if I ever decided to beat up the bully they would support me.  Heck, I even had teachers tell me that.

There was no coddling. There was no, "Oh, Johnny, we feel so bad for you." And there was never anything said to the bully.  In order for me to deal with the bully, it was up to me to stand up for myself.

One teacher said to me that I could stay in for recess, and I said, "No!  I'll go outside."  Several years later I talked to this teacher, and he said how impressed he was that I did that.

That was a tough year, perhaps the toughest of my life, but it made me who I am today.  Kids picked on me because I was a wussy, and I may even have been a wussy because I had asthma, but they forced me to be tough. They forced me to develop the character needed to survive in this tough world.

Today we are told we are not smart enough to be parents on our own, so the government tells us what we have to do to raise good children.  They tell us we need to have an "inti-bullying society."  It's rooted in the belief that we, as parents, are incompetent. 

They say things like:
 "You don't know how to raise a child. You didn't know how to raise yourself! You don't know how to spend your money the right way. You don't know the right kind of car to drive. You don't know the right way to eat. You're not responsible enough even to get the right health care or health care policy. We have to do that for you! You're not responsible enough to get yourself from point A to point B. We gotta get you there in mass transit and we gotta put you in the right kind of car if you're not gonna use mass transit.
So it's become just as much control over all of life as they can secure for themselves rooted in their belief that you are incompetent. And they have succeeded in influencing parenthood to the point that they've raised millions of kids that are incompetent now, with no confidence, no ability to achieve independently.

For the first 160 plus years of this nation, or at least until the 1960s or so, because that's when our culture started to change, that's when liberals and idealists started to take control over social issues, kids were raised to be independent.  When kids were 17 or 18, when they were done with school, they wanted to go out on their own and be independent.  They wanted to get a job and be completely independent of their parents.

But the difference today is that the Democrat Party, the American left is raising their own kids, and they want all kids to be raised dependent on them, dependent on the state. That's from where they derive their electoral power, is everybody being dependent on them, on the government or what have you. And so these kids are raised being taught about the beauties of the state and the wonderment of government and the fairness and the equality of all of it.

In order to accomplish this they need to protect kids with safety nets.  In order to do this they need to make parents feel guilty when they don't protect their kids from failure.  

At the same time, kids are raised being warned of all of the meanness and the unfairness and the inequality and the extremism that's out there. And you've gotta be careful, 'cause everybody wants to harm you and damage you and take advantage of you and relegate you to insignificance. And that's the difference. Kids aren't being raised to be independent today -- by design and on purpose, by liberals, anyway.

Today when people get fired we give them food stamps, supplements to purchase insurance and homes, unemployment for up to six months.  Liberals have created such a system of safety nets that people begin to feel so comfortable that they don't ever have an incentive to do anything with their lives.  They become lazy. They become little piglets dependent on the mother pig.  They have no incentive to get off their asses and take risks.

Risk is where confidence, competence, pride, feelings of self worth, toughness, wealth, and stuff like that, are learned.  My dad knew this.  My mom know this. Surely they tried to provide as safe an environment as they could, surely they coddled us when we needed it.  But, as my dad said every time I helped him do a job, no matter how tough that job was: "Don't you feel better now?  Don't you just feel a sense of accomplishment?"

The answer was always: "Yes!"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The greatest kids in the world

I just want you to know how great my kids are.  Crystal worked, so Myles and Laney both slept in my bed.  So, once they were asleep, I slept on the couch. Myles got up at 6:00 and laid in his tent in the living room, and played, until 6:30, and he never said a word.  He just played real nice.  Then at 6:30 I got up and turned the TV on, and he watched TV for an hour while I slept.  How many kids would do that.

Then Laney and Myles decided they wanted to go outside.  They insisted on playing in the sandbox.  I told them they could, but they couldn't talk so as not to wake Crystal up.  So they have been sitting in the sandbox now for about an hour without saying a word.  It's just amazing how awesome my kids are.

Callie has reminded me many times in the past month that "we" had to go to the store to get something for our wedding aniversary "so you don't get into trouble." She also insisted we get flowers for mother's day.  It's neat that my children are at an age where, not only are they well behaved, but are also helpful.

Jordan is very independent, which is nice.  He's a good kid who works hard at everything he does, gets good grades, plays his video games in his room, plays his guitars, and is helpful around the house and with the kids.

Sometimes, it's just nice to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have such great kids. To add to this joy, I'm sitting outside, writing on my computer, with a refreshing 69 degree western breeze wafting over my shoulders.