The Worship of Sports in America

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How The Middle-Class Got Screwed (Video)

A most simplistic explanation of how the economic problems of the middle-class has become an actual threat to their well-being.

Why I'm Not A Democrat...Or A Republican!

There is a whole lot not to like about either of the 2 major political parties.

Whatever Happened To Saturday Morning Cartoons?

Whatever happened to the Saturday morning cartoons we grew up with? A brief look into how they have become a thing of the past.

ADHD, ODD, And Other Assorted Bull****!

A look into the questionable way we as a nation over-diagnose behavioral "afflictions."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Opinion (Sort Of...) -- President Obama & Liberals Cause Earthquake On The East Coast!!!

BREAKING NEWS--President Obama Causes Earthquake on East Coast! (Notice This Scrolls To The Left)

(The following is a message paid for by shameful politicians we allow to represent us in government!)

Near disaster was averted yesterday by the divine providence of the one-true God who our illegitimate Muslim president chooses not to believe in! An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale, whose epicenter was centered near Mineral, Virginia, shook parts of the greater Washington D.C metro area. The quake was measured as far west as Chicago, as far south as Atlanta, and as far north as Toronto, Canada.
This earthquake is yet another example Obama’s job-killing leftist policies, and why he and his socialist, anti-Constitutional comrades have to be stopped! This earthquake was a sign from God almighty that He wants the liberals out of office! In effect, president Obama and liberals caused this earthquake, and we can expect more natural disasters like this if true Americans like you and I do not work to return America back to the people!

Ok, tongue-in-cheek aside, this send-up of current political thinking in America is why people need to think beyond politics and take ideology and passions out of politics. Almost daily, we hear the ranting of those who embrace the most ridiculous notions and conspiratorial accusations in the name of whatever narrow little beliefs they support. Death panels, fake birth certificates, financial doomsday scenarios, and unsustainable entitlement spending not-withstanding, the American people deserve better.
It’s one thing when individuals living on the geographical and political fringe of America believe in one-world governments, generalized stereotypes, and embrace a hatred of a government (which many of them freely participate by way of public office and voting). It’s another to have these individuals represent us in the halls of government itself, hindering legislation, engaging in fear-mongering, and enacting policies based on based on their interpretation of what and how they believe we should be governed rather than by the needs of the people or by consensus.
Federal spending needs to addressed; serious and substantive hard-choice cuts as well as fair revenue intake have to be considered. Entitlements have to be fixed in a way which provides both sustainability and security. And while the deficit is important, people are more concerned with jobs. Tax cuts, especially for the financially well-heeled and politically-connected mean nothing if people lack the income employment provides to even enjoy a tax cut. People need guns--the means to protect themselves--from criminals (and not from an imaginary threats from an "oppressive" central government) without undue legislative hindrance. We need to stop involving America in foreign wars that have no bearing on American interests, and which cost too much in the way of money and lives. People need universally affordable health care (access), especially if a work-based health care regime means is to be the paradigm. Life—for most people—is a need, whether outlawing abortion and/or capital punishment is the means of ensuring it. Political ideology is a want; people want to believe in governing a certain way. But there is no Constitutional provision for wants. And government should be about ensuring needs, not wants!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

America...The Lazy, Stupid, and Dumb!

Back in March of this year, I went to the movies to see a somewhat decent sci-fi flick, “Limitless.” Because the movie is now on DVD, I can give you a synopsis of the movie’s premise. In the movie, the protagonist, a down-and-out writer and otherwise chronic failure comes face-to-face with a failed drug salesman with criminal affiliations. The salesman gives the loser a pill which magnifies his mental faculties and sensory perceptions a thousand-fold, which turns his life around in a kind of “The Matrix” meets Charlie Brown scenario. Beyond that, you’ll just have to either rent or buy the DVD.
Fast forward to July of this year. In one of my rare days of leisure, I was watching the news when my interest began to focus on a story on NBC’s “The Today Show.” It featured a story about the abuse of the anti-attention deficit disorder prescription drug, Adderall by otherwise normal college students. Apparently, there is a growing trend among some these students, many of them attending top-tier colleges, of taking the drug in an effort to help stimulate concentration and spur the focus needed to successfully study all night.

Watch "The Today Show's" health segment on how college students abuse the drug, Adderall by clicking on the "watch" button.

According to one female student on the “Today Show” segment,

When I’m on Adderall and I’m looking at the textbook I can forget about everything else around me. I figured if everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t I get the advantage?”

Another male student added, “It’s given me the boost to work non-stop for 10 hours a day…Baseball players take steroids to be the best and students take Adderall to be the best. It’s steroids for school.”
Experts say that Adderall is considered safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor, but can addictive to those using it in non-prescribed ways.
Labeled “the ‘smart pill’” by those using it on college campuses, those who peddle Adderall to those looking for the edge to maintain academic performance sell the pill for as much as $5 for a 25 milligram tablet. In the case of those traditionally cash-strapped students who can’t come up with money for the pill, they are given advice on how to obtain a legally-prescribed dose of the drug for their own use; fake symptoms and go to the nearest doctor.
As I watched the report, my mind started to make connections that this abuse has to other perspectives with regard to issues like affirmative action in higher education, how we rear our children, the quality of students public schools, our collective sense of ethics (or lack thereof), the over-medication of our children, and our collective lack of appreciation for hard work.
Whenever there is talk of race and higher education, preferential treatment for minorities in admission is usually in the forefront. However, the abuse of Adderall by college students at top-tier colleges reveals how irrelevant numbers and standardized test scores can be for some. Remember, these are “the best” according to the numbers. It’s also a reflection of a larger issue…that of those having resources and the ability to via access to manipulate the system in order advance while others are condemned to “follow the rules.”
The abuse of the drug is symptomatic of a serious epidemic of faltering ethics which could be traced directly to parenting. The concept of easy fixes and quick ways out have been lost and supplanted by a win-at-all-cost mentality. We see this in many aspects of contemporary child-rearing. Parents who push their children almost from the womb to excel promote win-win-win thinking by micro-managing many aspects of their children’ lives with the focus on results.
From entering their children in “child pageants” (the worst kind of exploitation) and signing them up for every extra-curricular activity (in the hopes of finding their possible sports “niche”), to hiring college entrance “coaches” who assist in prepackaging young people in an appealing way to as to increase their chances for college admissions (including test coaching) and/or mortgaging their homes to pay for their children’ education, many middle class parents seek to cement their children’s futures at the cost of the latters’ independence and the ability to self-earn their success. Many are impressed with the thinking that money, means and quick fixes are the keys to succeeding; hard work, grit, and intestinal fortitude are the provinces of the less-than-fortunate. The “everybody cheats/bends the rules” ethic in a society of perceived one-upsmanship has become the accepted mantra of those seeking advantage as a result (what about affirmative action for the rest of us without such resources to succeed?).
With instances such as the abuse of Adderall, how we raise (and strip our children of their sense of independence), and how such extreme measures are needed to succeed in college curriculums which are not even as challenging those in other countries, is it any wonder the rest of the world considers Americans to be "soft?"
The ease by which college students can and do abuse Adderall also reveals how quick we are as a society to seek solutions to even the most common and human of afflictions…diverted attention. This is due more to the lack of self-discipline and will that we have avoided instilling in our children, and not a proliferation of ADHD. Quite simply, we have over-medicated out children (and ourselves) where they have come to accept that pills are the answer to our shortcomings.

Americans need to back to the Old School approach to rearing emphasis on hard work, structure, direct involvement in their children’ education, and an occasional visitation from a leather belt worked wonders to create responsible citizens and half-way decent leaders. Overly-liberal, new age ideas about non-punitive, be-your-child’s-friend child-rearing are ruining traditional (and I think proven) methods of parenting. Two-parent households (responsible parents), clearly-defined parent-child roles and expectations, and the aforementioned Old School approaches are the only things that will put our youth back on the path of an appreciation for self-earned, self-generated success.
While Tea Partiers complain about "how our children are going to pay for our current debt," our children are selling off something even more important...their souls and the future basis for what had made America successful in the past!

See Also: "Apr. 09 - A Nation of Whiners."
"May 09 - Faith, Drugs, & Children...Bad Parenting Made Easy."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hypocrisy In Debt Ceiling Talks...Nothing New!

Breaking News! Debt Ceiling Deal Reached!

Yes, there needs to be a curtailing on government spending. Yes, the government has to adopt a full measure of fiscal restraint with regards to spending. But ever since the debt ceiling "crisis" began, I can't help but ponder why, in my recent memory, has it become such a point of contention this time, and not so much in times past.
Then I came across this little piece on Think Progress, a site that I don't normally frequent:

VIDEO: House GOP Urged Clean Debt Ceiling Hike As A Matter of Responsibility And Good Governance

By Jeff Spross on Jul 30, 2011 at 8:30 am

Under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), the Republicans continue to precipitate a stalemate over the debt ceiling and a possible economic crisis. As ThinkProgressZaid Jilani and Travis Waldron have reported, not only did the Republican leadership vote multiple times for clean debt ceiling hikes under more favorable political circumstances, but no less than 98 currently serving House GOP members did so as well.

Between a vote in 2004, and another in 2002, many of these Republicans took to the floor of the House to defend a debt ceiling hike as not only necessary, but as a basic matter of responsibility and good governance. ThinkProgress has compiled the video.

At the risk of sounding like taking sides, Republican lawmakers have allowed themselves to be held hostage by the Tea Party's influence within their ranks (to put this dynamic into perspective, former President Bush II had too initiated policies which had begun a surge in deficit spending). They are so myopic and fixated on holding the ideological line against tax increases that they simply cannot see reality. Allow me to paint the picture:

1. We are in strained economic times nationally! The country cannot afford to allow interest rates to rise...even the talk of such puts strains on both domestic and foreign markets.

2. The voting electorate did not elect Republicans to Congress last November to add to Washington gridlock! Politics is about legislative compromise, not legislative hindrance. What is occurring with regards to the debt ceiling talks is proof why politicians cannot and should not be allowed to govern by ideology as opposed to pragmatically.

3. If we were focused on creating and replacing the 10 million jobs lost in the economic downturn instead of whether the economically well-heeled have to "suffer" tax increases, we wouldn't have so much revenue shortfall in the first place. This is an indication that we need a combination of revenue increases, spending cuts, fiscal restraint, and the removal of liberal and conservative ideologues in Congress (after all, I can think of at least 10 million people who couldn't care less about a tax increase).

In the simplest terms, like my mother used to say when I gave her an excuse about cleaning my room, "I don't care how you get it done...get it!"