Thursday, May 30, 2013

Investigating Eric Holder

Believe me, I am no fan of Eric Holder.  I feel that he never should have gotten the job as Attorney General.  The Department of Justice has a bad habit of looking at everything on a color bar instead of justice.  The entire purpose of our justice system in this country is give equal rights to all.

Since Holder has taken over lawsuits against states to firm up their voter rolls have been dropped.  By law, every state across the union is supposed to update their voter registration rolls in order to get the money that the federal government gives them to help cover the costs for all federal level elections.  The department filed these suits against states that were not keeping up with their end of the bargain when Michael Mukasey was heading the department.  They were summarily dropped when Holder took over.  The evidence of how the department of "civil rights" is anything but.  While most of the people in this department are career lawyers, it still is a statement of the people who are running the department when eyes are closed to what they are doing.  Free and fair elections cannot happen if we don't have trust that the states are doing what they should be doing when it comes to removing ineligible voters off the rolls.

As much I would like to think that Eric Holder is going to be convicted of perjury, I just don't see it happening.  What Eric Holder actually said was that he wasn't aware of anyone wanting to prosecute reporters.  While it may be a parsing of words, there is a big difference being investigating a person and charging a person with a crime.

The real thing that should be investigated is who is the person who misled the courts?  By AG Holder's own testimony, they never had any intention of charging James Rosen with a crime, they just wanted some information that they could get no other way.  Someone stood in front of judge and asked for phone and email records of a private citizen who they never had any intention of prosecuting.  Not only that, they went judge "shopping" to find one that would allow them not to notify his employers and called him a flight risk.  This person should be fired for cause, therefore giving up all rights to the federal benefits, and also be barred from practicing law, ever again.

Now, I do think that since Eric Holder's signature is on the paperwork he can no longer be trusted by Americans to do what is fair and just.   If President Obama had any sense he would ask for the resignation of his attorney general.  Moving forward the citizens of this country deserve to have someone at the helm of this department that they believe is doing the work of the office, giving citizens the belief that our justice system is doing its job, upholding the law without regard to political beliefs, race, color, or creed.  The amount of power this department used to go after one person is exactly what our founders warned us against and tried to protect us from.

Monday, May 27, 2013

They Gave All

For those you were willing to give their lives to their country.  

Thank you and to your families.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

President Bush & The Wounded Warrior Bike Ride

There are many things that I wasn't happy about during President Bush's tenure, but his love and sheer admiration for our troops always makes my heart go pitty pat.  

You can see more photos here.  

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quote of the Day - Alan Dershowitz Edition

"It should never have been allowed. She should have been told by her attorney that the law is clear, that once you open up an area of inquiry for interrogation, you have to respond, Now she may have made a political decision that it's worth it to take the risk . . . That's just not the way the law works. It may be the way politics works . . . but she can't invoke the Fifth."
Attorney Alan Dershowitz on Lerner invoking the Fifth Amendment yesterday during her congressional testimony. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Michelle Obama's Message to the Black Community - Education Is Not "Acting White"

It rare, but I happen to agree with Michelle Obama on something.  Over the weekend she gave a commencement speech at a historically black college and during this speech she said:
“reject the slander that a black child with a book is trying to act white.”
There was a time in my life that I wouldn't believe that this was so widespread of a belief in the black community.  But that naiveté is long gone.  I have done some volunteer work with the scholarship program in Washington, D.C..  It is basically a voucher program that allows low-income families to apply for money to be used at the school of their choice.  The forms can be a little overwhelming, so I would help parents fill out the forms for the application.  I also did outreach to get as many as possible to apply.  During this outreach I got a little education of my own.  This is a common theme among the inner city blacks, at least in D.C..  I heard this mantra over and over again.   I also heard far too often that learning how to fight wouldn't happen in those "white schools".  Sadly, that is true story.

What exactly is "acting white" supposed to mean anyway?  Why would getting an education that can lift your child out of poverty and a life of low earning jobs a bad thing?  Every one of the parents I spoke with were living in low-income, high crime areas of The District.  They have lived the life of not having enough money to get their children into a neighborhood that would provide them a better school and reduce the amount of violence around them.  I went into doing this work thinking every parent would jump at the chance to get some help for their child. Wrong.

Education is an issue that I feel very strongly about.  Every child in this country deserves a quality education; regardless of the income of their parents.  Sadly, when you are living in low-income areas, the public schools are failing your children.  A lack of a good education leads to all kinds of social ills throughout your life and in many instances leads to a life dependent on government subsidies just to survive.  It also costs the taxpayers a great deal of money when you start looking at the rates of incarceration among people who don't finish high school.  They are far less likely to add to the economy; actually they become a drain to tax payers.  From a human point of view it is a difficult life to lead.

It has also been shown that pay disparities between blacks and whites disappear within one generation.  A black person who finishes two-year of college will have children that makes just as much as their white counterparts.  This is among one of the chief complaints among "civil rights" leaders.  Well, here is a your solution.  Yet, this is something that is rarely, if ever, spoken about by these race hustlers.  They just talk about all that is wrong, but rarely every talk about the 'unspeakable".  The apathy in the black community that has haunted far too many and allows generation after generation to live a life of poverty need to hear this message.  You can lift yourself and your family out of poverty by getting yourself an education.
She went on:
“Today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of ‘separate but equal,’ when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered,” she said.
“Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they’re sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper,” Obama kept going. “Right now, one in three African American students are dropping out of high school, only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree.”
This is something that the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't understand.  They continue to hold onto the belief that somehow only access to the same public schools that whites go to is enough.  The evidence that clearly isn't true sadly is the many inner city black youths who are being robbed of a decent education.  This is demonstrated quite clearly when the NAACP sued the City of New York to keep the worst performing school in the country open.  That incident also clearly demonstrated how hypocritical they truly are about the issue.  The lawyer for the NAACP that filed the lawsuit sends her daughter to boarding school in New Hampshire.  If you are stunned by that, you really shouldn't be.  It is par for the course.  Education for me, but not for thee seems to be mantra of the race hustlers that have money.  Letting those poor kids stay in the under performing schools is perfectly fine, as long as it isn't their children.

I have waited four long years for the Obama family to make these type of statements.  While I truly believe that singling out people by race is a bad thing, I also truly believe that with the type of platform that they have it is a crying shame that they have not used it more effectively to reach those in the black community.  Simply being president and first lady isn't enough.  The message must be that you too, with an education, can accomplish what we have accomplished.  You too can make it to Harvard and Princeton if you work hard.  You too can lift your families to greater heights.  I also feel that they need to talk about the family dinner table and the importance of fathers in the home and being around to raise your children.  While I have heard it from him, it isn't nearly often enough.  Every study shows that having a father around increases grades, decreases drug use, and makes the possibility of that child growing up in poverty that much less.  In fact, the percentage that lift themselves out of poverty is more than 70% when three simple things are done, finishing high school, not marrying before the age of 21, and not having children out-of-wedlock.  This study was also confirmed by a left leaning think tank that tried to prove it wrong.

I will always give credit where credit is due.  I want to hear more of this from Michelle Obama.  I also would like other leaders in the black community to follow her lead.  Lets talk about some of the uncomfortable truths, that sometimes blacks are their own worst enemies.  Believing that getting an education is "white" then getting ahead will be nearly impossible.  The choice is yours black community, the choice is yours.

Quote of the Day - Lizz Winstead Edition

‘This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives,’
Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and all around idiot.
Yes I am sure that the young children who apparently drowned in that school were right-wing nut jobs.
She has since apologized saying she didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.  I guess if only fewer people died or it was just people losing everything that they owned it would have been fine.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Now Fox News Targeted by DOJ - Meghan Kelly Reports - Video

If this isn't Nixonian, I don't know what is.  Be very afraid America, be very afraid.  No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, this should outrage you.  This will only make our government workers more afraid to come forward with information that is being withheld from us "for our own good".

Quote of the Day - State Senator Tommy Tucker Edition

"I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet,"

Sadly he is a republican.  Obviously it matters none which party you are from, this attitude is all to prevelant.  

He has denied saying this, saying that he actually said:
"I'm the senator here, let me finish."
But, three others in the room have confirmed that what is being reported is correct.  

Time for this man to take a lesson at humility and I think it should start at the ballot box.   

Sunday, May 19, 2013

E.W. Jackson's Convention Speech - Video

This speech changed votes.  Make no mistake about that.  I know people who didn't intend to vote for him until they heard this.  Some I know still didn't vote for him on the first ballot, but did switch to him on the second.  


Unable to embed, but well worth the seven minutes.

Quote of the Day - Democratic Strategist Edition

“Politicians, overall as a trade, are in the bottom of the outhouse,” he said. “And the reason is, they talk out of the side of their mouths, most of them. . . . The fact that Ken Cuccinelli’s talking out of the front of his mouth and not the side of his mouth, I think, is refreshing to everybody, whether you agree with him or not.”
A democratic strategist on Ken Cuccinelli formally becoming the nominee for governor in Virginia.

You're damn skippy.  I know I respect people who say what they mean, and mean what they say.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quote of the Day - Dennis Miller Edition

‘A few more days like this — Obama’s going to claim he was born in Kenya"


Oh, The Ties that Bind. Why I.R.S., The AP Records, and Benghazi Matters to All Americans

The Obama administration is in the middle of three "scandals".  The fact the media is finally on board with them all is great start.  Of course this is years too late, but I will say welcome aboard.  

The I.R.S. is the most important, to me anyway.  Others will have another view of it.  But to find out that one of the most powerful government agencies was specifically targeting people based on political affiliation is nothing short of Nixonian and completely unacceptable.  This shouldn't matter what side of the political aisle you are on.  If this is allowed to happen, it won't take long for them to come gunning for an organization that you are fond of.  It doesn't matter that these groups happened to be conservative.  All that matters is that a government agency that has the power to put you in jail was targeting individual Americans as well as non-profit groups.  There is no way to say at this moment if President Obama is involved.  I, of course, wouldn't be a bit surprised if he were, but so far at this point the evidence of that isn't out there.  Yet. 

But we do see is a pattern of behavior with this administration.  Of course people like me have been saying this for years, but at least the media is seeing it for themselves.  President Obama doesn't like anything that doesn't fit his narrative.  If he doesn't like, he thinks he can just ignore it and somehow the rest of us won't figure it out.  

Baghdad Bob Jim Carney is reaching epic proportions of comedy with his denials that the White House had a hand in the changing the talking points of the terrorist attacks on Benghazi.  I mean seriously, it was the anniversary of 9/11, did anyone in this country not automatically think terrorism the moment they heard about the attacks?  al Qaeda is well-known for liking anniversaries and dates that have meaning for their attacks.  That is isn't a talking point, it is just a statement of fact.  Anyone that is paying attention, even a little, has seen the original C.I.A. talking points and what the statement became after all the fingers got into that pie.  Some of those fingers came from The White House.  Denying it only makes them look silly.  But denying they are.  

The AP dustup is very interesting considering that President Obama and AG Holder both have been talking about changing the laws regarding the rules that the government has when it comes to national security leaks and the press.  Yet, four years later nothing has been done.  The real scary part of this incident is that people who have information that the American people should be aware of they will be afraid to come forward.  That doesn't bode well for future generations.  

The ties to all of these stories comes down to how stupid this administration is.  This is by their own admission.  Apparently, according to Obama, the daily presidential briefing never said the word terrorism, even though we now know that the C.I.A. said about the final version that they didn't see point of the talking points since all words of terrorism were removed.  President Obama didn't know about the I.R.S. scandal until the news reports.  Both he and his spokesperson has said this.  The report was given to them two weeks ago.  The same story about the AP scandal.  What type of management is being used in this White House?  Who exactly is making these decisions not to bring this to the attention of the president?  Shouldn't that person be held responsible for making the president look so inept?  Now, I personally feel that president is inept, but for those that are his "fans" it must be very disappointing indeed.  

But the biggest problem with all of these scandals what is really going to happen is the loss of trust in the government.  It isn't like the trust was all that great to start with.  Matter of fact, it is very, very, low.  Those numbers are just going to go lower.  While this may in the end, help the politico class, because fewer people are going to pay attention.  They may end up staying in office because only the truly partisan will show up to vote in 14.  Which of course means that the problems will only get worse.  
I do wonder if President Obama would like to change his words during OSU's graduation speech:
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
We have never been a people who place all of our faith in government to solve our problems; we shouldn’t want to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we understand that it’s not about what America can do for us; it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. (Applause.) And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process
Yes some of those voices talking of tyranny are The Tea Party.  Turns out they were right.  

Some Mid Day Humor - President Bush Getting the Last Laugh

Too funny.

Quote of the Day - David Axelrod Edition

“The government is so vast”

This is more like the quote of the year.  

Duh.  That is the problem you asshat.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Quote of the Day - Jay Leno Edition

'I Was Going to Start Off Tonight With an Obama Joke But I Don't Want to Get Audited by the IRS'
Jay Leno

Truly Nixonian.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Love for Your Mom – Even When it isn’t Easy

This weekend is always hard for me.  Mother's Day isn't exactly one of my favorites of the year.  My mother and I don't get along, at all.  Matter of fact we have barely spoken for about five years now.  The easiest thing would be to just act like it isn't happening, denial always being a good escape for the things you don't want to face.  But that rarely helps anything or anyone.  

My parents marriage was difficult, and I think I am being kind by saying that.  My father was the town drunk and while my parents never divorced she had to carry the weight of caring for the house and the kids basically on her own.  Now, as a child I couldn't see that.  I just saw the chaos and the turmoil.  I resented it and I resented her.  Giving my father a pass was easier in a way because you could always point to his drinking problems as the root cause of why he behaved the way he did.  The other parent, well that isn't so easy.  

In my late teens and early twenties I did a great deal of reading on co-dependant relationships and people with substance abuse problems.  Her reactions weren't all that uncommon.  Matter of fact my family reacted "normally" for the situation.  For some strange reason children of substance abusers seem to find each other as adults.  Most children end up either a substance abuser or married to one, the number is something like close to 70%.  I am neither.  But I have played around on the edges of both.  I rarely drink today, but that wasn't always the case.  I also was engaged to a man who not only drank but used drugs as well.  It was all part of my quest to find a man that would "stop" for me.  I grew up, got over it, and removed him from my life.  Of course it wasn't as easy as that, but as painful as it was I did it.  But oddly, instead of helping me understand my mother's predicament better, it made me resent her more.  I walked away, why couldn't she?  

My mother is also one of those highly critical people.  Nothing I did ever seemed to be good enough.  Right down to the nail polish color I used was criticized.  Nothing I have ever done was ever good enough.  I was one of the first people in my family to graduate college.  I thought that would be a big one.  That would get me some loving approval right?  Wrong.  She didn't even come to my college graduation.  It wasn't that "big of a deal".  I was once told that no decent man would want me, nor would I be a good mother.  Those hurtful comments along with my depression had a great effect on how I view the world as well as how I view myself.  

I spent a great deal of my life looking for that approval, and many cases I looked in all the wrong places.  It has taken a long time to let the bitterness of it all go.  I am not even sure if it is really all gone, but I can deal with better; now that we don't talk.  I can keep it over there.  Out of sight, out of mind so to speak.  Not the really the best plan, but it has worked for me.  It has allowed me to move on and get to a better place in my life.  To have relationships that are built on mutual respect instead of a quest for approval.  

But underneath it all, the desire to love my mom as openly as many others do is still there.  I also now know that if you spoke to my mom she would tell you how amazing I am.  She tells people that I have a kind heart, that I am intelligent, and the amazement that she had that I ended up working in politics and the passion that I have for it.  She worries about me constantly.  You see we have this odd sort of communication.  Mutual friends unfairly get put in the middle of this ongoing battle and they keep us informed of the happenings in each others lives, since I have no communication with any of my family at all.  

My mother is getting up there in years and she won't be around forever.  I know in my head that the time to make peace is now.  I never had that chance with my dad.  While it shouldn't have been, his death was very unexpected and seemed so sudden.  He had health problems, but I guess I always expected his exit of the world to be far more dramatic than sitting down and dying while he was preparing dinner.  It was so ordinary and pedestrian to the point that it threw my whole family off.  I have always believed he knew it was coming, he called many people shortly before his death, and by shortly I mean hours and minutes even.  My phone call came about one hour prior.  He called to tell me I had mail at his house.  Very odd.  
I have figured out that now no matter what your relationship to your parent is, the draw to them is always there.  The desire to have a loving relationship is too strong to deny.  Now, there will be times that having that relationship will be unhealthy, but it doesn't change the need to have it.  You will always miss it.  You will always mourn that you don't have it.  

I could pick up the phone this weekend, but I doubt I will.  I can use the excuse that I don't have her phone number.  But I know I can get easily, if I wanted to.  I am still not ready.  I am still scared to open up that can of worms and find that the pain is still too real.  But I can openly and honestly say that I love my mother.  That I miss not having a relationship with her, and that I think my life would more complete if we were closer.  

So Happy Mother's Day to  a woman who isn't easy, has brought a great deal of pain into my life, but is still my mom.  

An Ode to Step Mothers on Mother's Day

This weekend across the country countless people will be paying tribute to their Moms, as they should.  Moms are very important in our lives.  Most moms give everything they have to raise their children to be healthy, happy, well-adjusted adults.  They are an integral part of our childhoods and society as a whole.  But sadly, not many will be talking about the role of step mothers.

We live in a society, for good or for bad, that have many blended families.  The divorce rates show that.  In a perfect world we would raise our children in the nuclear family, but we don't live in a perfect world.  Without getting into the right and wrong of this phenomenon we have to accept that it exists.

More and more people are getting married later in life and putting off having children.  Sadly many women that put off having children then find themselves in the unfortunate situation of not being able to conceive on their own.  In many cases these women are just the "stepmom".

Step-Mothers have gotten a bad rap for longest time now.  Some of that is well deserved I am sure.  But many women out there are doing extraordinary things in helping to raise children into adulthood.  There are giving their all in helping their husbands parent, yet they are told by society that they don't know what it is like to be a "mom".

Giving birth isn't what really makes you a mommy.  Being one of those is a very different thing than being a mother.  Being there for a child is a very rewarding experience, even considering how hard it is.  Most parents wouldn't trade their kids for anything in the world.  I wish I could say all parents would say that, but they don't.

Many women out there put everything they have into raising kids that they didn't give birth to, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.  They are subjected to children who look at them as the impediment that is keeping their parents apart and sometimes the former spouses do everything possible to keep children feeling that way.  Sadly many children are put in the middle of love that has gone bad.  That is a very difficult situation to find yourself in when you are trying to make a relationship work and deal with children that are not your own.

Step children in many cases have developed trust issues due to the break-up of their parents, which is perfectly understandable.  The Step Mom must overcome these issues as well as dealing with her own day-to-day stresses of everyday life.

Step mom's still deal with sick children, homework, the temper tantrums, the balancing of work and family, and in many cases does this without the credit from the rest of society.  She is often put in the position that she has to bite her tongue to keep the peace and she makes many of the same sacrifices that any parent must make.

So for those that have step parents in their lives just remember they deserve a little call out this weekend as well.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Doing the Right Thing and Being Punished

The claws have come out for Charles Ramsey.  Apparently he has an arrest record for domestic abuse and has spent time in jail.  There is no excuse for what he did, none.  But he has done his time and it doesn't seem that he has had any recent issues.  He says that he has grown up and all involved have moved on.  I am not going to make excuses for what he did, but what exactly does that have to do with him helping those earlier this week?  He was given a chance to help those young women and he did it.  

To say that it is a no brainer simply isn't true.  Years back in Baltimore, Maryland there was a woman who lived in a neighborhood that was infested by gangs, drugs, and violence.  She decided to take a stand to get her neighborhood back.  She caused a great deal of problems for the local hoodlums and helped the police when she could.  She helped close down a crack house.  Shortly after that incident she was found murdered in broad daylight not too far from that same crack house.  This happened in the middle of  the street.  Not one person will admit to seeing anything.  Her murder is unsolved.  It likely will remain so.
We have developed into a society of apathetic people for exactly this reason.  It seems that no good deed goes unpunished in these times.  We are hearing that at least a few of the neighbors heard strange noises and saw strange things.  Some say that police had been notified and they ignored the claims.  It is very possible.  But it is also very possible that those neighbors didn't want to get involved.  

Simply doing the right thing and helping your fellow-man isn't a reason for people to dig into your past and talk about all the skeletons in your closet.  We all have them.  Everyone one of us have done something that we would not wanted to see printed in major newspapers around the country.  

This is just further proof how far from doing their real jobs the media in this country has gone.  Simply tragic.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gregory Hicks On the Ground Testimony of What Happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12 - Video

It was quite the hearing today. This is compelling and heartbreaking.  It is amazing that anyone survived.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

@MeghanMcCain's Hilarious Outrage over Sanford Win - UPDATES

Meghan is none too pleased that Mark Sanford won the special election for Tim Scott's open in seat in congress.
Any republican that voted for Mark Sanford in South Carolina but is against gay marriage is an unbelievable hypocrite
Really republicans? We're gonna get behind Mark Sanford and claim gay couples will ruin marriage. This is why young people don't vote GOP!!!
Mark Sanford is what is wrong with American politics.
What exactly the relationship between Mark Sanford and gay marriage is I can't explain.

She then went a step further and said that people cheating and lying shouldn't be sent to Washington.  Now I agree with that and have been saying for months that Sanford shouldn't be supported.  But, I am not the daughter of man who has been in the senate forever, ran for president who cheated on his first wife with my mom.  I guess she has forgotten that.  Since she has since deleted that tweet but these usually live on:
Like your Dad does? RT @MeghanMcCain: I just can't right now. I am furious. You can lie and cheat and still get sent back to Washington!
She then was reminded of an unfortunate little fact:
Game over! RT @iowahawkblog@MeghanMcCain if it wasn't for politicians cheating on their wives, you wouldn't exist
@MeghanMcCain Um, your father ran for president and if I recall correctly he cheated on his first wife w/ your mom.
Too Funny.

Someone on twitter found this.  Forgive Sanford.  I guess she forgot she wrote this too.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

What Conservatives are For - Senator Mike Lee Video

We need to hear more of this.  Great Speech given at The Hertiage Foundation

Tyndale Publishing Will Not Be Forced to Go Against Religous Beliefs

Tyndale Publishing, one of the world's largest publishers of Christian materials, will not be forced to offer birth control and abortifacients with its health insurance which are against their religious beliefs.  

The Obama administration has elected not to stand up in court and make the ludicrous claim that a publishing house that only publishes Christian materials and gives large portions of its profits to Christian causes does not qualify as a religious employer.  

Score one for the good guys.  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Over Parenting our Way to Demise

I have long felt that as a society we have lost our way.  I also truly believe that a great deal of this is about parenting.  We over parent our children to the point that they feel they are owed something.  A friend is a nursery school teacher and she pointed me towards this article aptly named A Nation of Wimps.  

I think that is an accurate name for what is going on in our society. Everyone is trying to protect their children to the point that we not allowing them to grow and mature.  
Behold the wholly sanitized childhood without skinned knees or the occasional C in history. "Kids need to feel badly sometimes," says child psychologist David Elkind, professor at Tufts University. "We learn through experience and we learn through bad experiences. Through failure we learn how to cope."
Yes, failing at times is a good thing.  We learn from it.  Children at some point are going to become an adult that will have to make choices, and not all of those choices will be good ones.  Having a few failures gives them the background to figure out what choices are better than others.  I will fully admit that sometimes all the choices are bad, but you still have to learn which choices will give the best possible outcome.  
No one doubts that there are significant economic forces pushing parents to invest so heavily in their children's outcome from an early age. But taking all the discomfort, disappointment and even the play out of development, especially while increasing pressure for success, turns out to be misguided by just about 180 degrees. With few challenges all their own, kids are unable to forge their creative adaptations to the normal vicissitudes of life. That not only makes them risk-averse, it makes them psychologically fragile, riddled with anxiety. In the process they're robbed of identity, meaning and a sense of accomplishment, to say nothing of a shot at real happiness. Forget, too, about perseverance, not simply amoral virtue but a necessary life skill. These turn out to be the spreading psychic fault lines of 21st-century youth. Whether we want to or not, we're on our way to creating a nation of wimps.
Every parent wants what is best for their children.  It is instinct to hope that your child will live a life that is "easier" than you did.  But the fact remains that every life will have disappointments, failures, and expectations that won't be reached.  It happens to all of us.  You need to teach your children the ability to pick themselves up and brush themselves off.  There will come a time that you will not be there for them.  
College, it seems, is where the fragility factor is now making its greatest mark. It's where intellectual and developmental tracks converge as the emotional training wheels come off. By all accounts, psychological distress is rampant on college campuses. It takes a variety of forms, including anxiety and depression—which are increasingly regarded as two faces of the same coin—binge drinking and substance abuse, self-mutilation and other forms of disconnection. The mental state of students is now so precarious for so many that, says Steven Hyman, provost of Harvard University and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, "it is interfering with the core mission of the university."
The severity of student mental health problems has been rising since 1988, according to an annual survey of counseling center directors. Through 1996, the most common problems raised by students were relationship issues. That is developmentally appropriate, reports Sherry Benton, assistant director of counseling at Kansas State University. But in 1996, anxiety overtook relationship concerns and has remained the major problem. The University of Michigan Depression Center, the nation's first, estimates that 15 percent of college students nationwide are suffering from that disorder alone.
I read something recently that talked about the percentage of parents that expected a phone call from their children who were out of the home attending college.  I can't remember the exact number but it was about half of parents surveyed.  How exactly do these kids learn to do things for themselves when Mommy and Daddy are still keeping tabs on everything that they are doing?  

Some of this is showing up in very disturbing ways:
Relationship problems haven't gone away; their nature has dramatically shifted and the severity escalated. Colleges report ever more cases of obsessive pursuit, otherwise known as stalking, leading to violence, even death. Anorexia or bulimia in florid or subclinical form now afflicts 40 percent of women at some time in their college career. Eleven weeks into a semester, reports psychologist Russ Federman, head of counseling at the University of Virginia, "all appointment slots are filled. But the students don't stop coming."
Drinking, too, has changed. Once a means of social lubrication, it has acquired a darker, more desperate nature. Campuses nationwide are reporting record increases in binge drinking over the past decade, with students often stuporous in class, if they get there at all. Psychologist Paul E. Joffe, chair of the suicide prevention team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, contends that at bottom binge-drinking is a quest for authenticity and intensity of experience. It gives young people something all their own to talk about, and sharing stories about the path to passing out is a primary purpose. It's an inverted world in which drinking to oblivion is the way to feel connected and alive.
"There is a ritual every university administrator has come to fear," reports John Portmann, professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. "Every fall, parents drop off their well-groomed freshmen and within two or three days many have consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and placed themselves in harm's way. These kids have been controlled for so long, they just go crazy."
Why would we feel that is a good idea?  The numbers of young woman who have said that they have been abused in relationship is frightening.  While I am not denying the pathology that is behind people staying in an abusive relationship exists, but many of these kids are not coming from abusive homes, which lowers the risk of the them being abused as an adult.  
Talk to a college president or administrator and you're almost certainly bound to hear tales of the parents who call at 2 a.m. to protest Branden's C in economics because it's going to damage his shot at grad school.
Shortly after psychologist Robert Epstein announced to his university students that he expected them to work hard and would hold them to high standards, he heard from a parent—on official judicial stationery—asking how he could dare mistreat the young. Epstein, former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, eventually filed a complaint with the California commission on judicial misconduct, and the judge was censured for abusing his office—but not before he created havoc in the psychology department at the University of California, San Diego.
I also was reading some stories from hiring directors about the millennium generation and their job interviewing skills.  They are pretty poor:
A college senior brought her cat into an interview for a buyer's position at clothing retailer American Eagle. She set the crate-housed cat on the interviewer's desk and periodically played with it. "It hit me like — why would you think that's OK?" says Mark Dillon, the chain's former recruiting director. "She cut herself off before she had a chance."
• Helicoptering parents. A man in his late 20s brought his father into a 45-minute interview for a material handling job on an assembly line, says Teri Nichols, owner of a Spherion staffing-agency in Brooksville, Fla. At Cigna, a health insurance provider, the father of a recent grad who received an offer for a sales job, called to negotiate a higher salary, says Paula Welch, a Cigna HR consultant.
While yes the story about the cat is funny, it is also very scary.  These kids are going to be running the country one day and they think bringing a cat to an interview is acceptable behavior.  I think it can be a good idea for a parent to help their child through the first job interview process and teaching them about negotiating a salary, those are necessary skills to have over your lifetime.  But you don't make the call yourself.  

It is any wonder that kids today don't understand the concept of responsiblity and hard work?  
Although we're well on our way to making kids more fragile, no one thinks that kids and young adults are fundamentally more flawed than in previous generations. Maybe many will "recover" from diagnoses too liberally slapped on to them. In his own studies of 14 skills he has identified as essential for adulthood in American culture, from love to leadership, Epstein has found that "although teens don't necessarily behave in a competent way, they have the potential to be every bit as competent and as incompetent as adults."
It is all in our hands parents.  Are we up to the task?  

Disturbing Poll Numbers - 44% Feel that Government Should Spend Money on Programs for Younger Adults

Wow.  I am blown away by this.  What is the most disturbing is the fact that 46% of those that describe themselves as Republican feel this way as well.  Now it didn't go into what those programs should be, but still I am sitting here shaking my head.

There are government programs that I feel are good ones.  I think the Small Business Administration backing loans for businesses is a good use of public funds.  It helps promote economic growth as well as improving employment for people around the country.  Now, I do feel that if people don't pay back the loans, the assets should be seized so the tax payers are not on the hook.  Although I do find some of the ways that grants are given out is suspect at best.  It seems that if you are a white man, you need not apply.  Shocker.  But the loan program is a good government program.  But that program isn't based on age.  While it is unlikely that seniors are going to be applying for these, it isn't based on age.

I also believe that as a country the majority of us agree that we need to make investments in educating our young.  The disagreement comes from what level of government should be doing it, but virtually all feel that we need an education system.  Now I personally believe that it is  in major disrepair and needs serious overhaul, but I certainly don't feel that it isn't a good use of public funds.

While this should come as no surprise, the majority of people who feel that young should get more public funds are between the ages of  18-29.  This of course is the group that put the least amount into the system, yet feels it should be the group that takes advantage of what is there, and to be honest the way we spend money in this country it isn't even using what is there, it is borrowed money.  I guess the reality that they are the ones going forward are going to pay the highest price for all this borrowing.  But it will hit them eventually.

I am not a huge fan of Social Security.  I would like to see a plan that is partially privatized and allow people to make a choice about how to invest their money for their futures.  Lets be honest here, it is difficult, at best, to live solely on that income and it is costing tax payers a fortune.  While that is due to mismanagement by our government officials (Thanks, LBJ), it doesn't change the fact that we all are going to pay higher and higher taxes to pay out what was promised.  We still have a generation of people who were not able to take advantage of retirement plans from day one of their adult work lives, they absolutely should be given the benefits that they have paid in to.  But today virtually any worker can take advantage of retirement savings plan.  I even had one as a part-time retail worker.

I honestly don't know what it is going to take to make people see that our government is too big, too intrusive and way too expensive.  Paying a great deal of money in taxes due to reckless spending is why people don't have money to do the things that they want to do.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Brave New World of Having Babies – Woman Steals Sperm from Condoms, Goes to Clinic, Sues for Child Support

A Texas exotic dancer has 4-year-old twins.  She became pregnant around the time that a relationship with her then boyfriend was coming to an end.  The man, Joseph Pressil, says he was surprised when she told him she was pregnant because they always used condoms.  Not so fast there Joseph.  Apparently you weren't dumping your sperm down the toilet.  You gave her the chance to hide your little swimmers, then rush them over to the fertility clinic.  

That's right.  She kept the sperm and used it during IVF treatments.  The Clinic never bothered to check where the sperm was coming from and if she had permission to use it.  The IVF treatment obviously took.  Pressil has taken responsibility for his actions and has joint custody of the kids.  But, he has decided to file a lawsuit against the fertility clinic for using his sperm without his permission.  

While I would like to think that this is a rare occurrence, but how do we know?  I mean many women out there put off having children to concentrate on their careers.  The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to get pregnant the natural way.  Hence the multi dollar business of fertility clinics.  

I am not going to try to put down people who desperately want children and can't seem to get there the "natural" way.  I have been in that position myself and believe me, it is horrible and heartbreaking.  But doesn't this clinic have some sort of responsibility to find out where this sperm comes from?  Don't they require a signature from the man at the very least?  

Can anyone just walk in off the street with vial full of sperm and say hey, get me pregnant.  This just furthers my belief that as a society we have taken away rights from men when it comes to "reproductive rights".  All the talk goes to the woman's side.  She can kill her child at will with no input from the father of the child, and apparently you can go get yourself knocked up without speaking to him either.  Do men have any rights in this process anymore?  

We wonder why society more and more views men as nothing more than sperm donors; marriage is on the decline and single parenthood is on the rise.  I guess what is good for the children is a just a secondary thing.  Ain't no thing I guess.  

I hope he gets millions and puts this clinic out of business.  

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