Shaping the Next Generation

Overweight children is only one area where American parents are failing their children. With parents doing such a poor job of raising children, I think it’s time for others to follow Washington D.C.’s example and step up to the plate to help. Bastions of self control and discipline–like Washington D.C.–can’t shape the next generation alone.

Here are some suggestions where others can follow DC’s example and pitch in to help parents raise their children.

  • John Edwards, Tiger Woods and Mark Sanford could tour schools together and explain the importance of fidelity.
  • Bernie Madoff could teach the importance of sharing.
  • John Stewart and Stephen Colbert could explain the harm caused by teasing.
  • Mary Kay Letourneau and Debra Lafave could warn children about sexual abuse.
  • Lindsay Lohan should scold children about underage drinking.
  • John Mayer and Mel Gibson could teach racial sensitivity.
  • Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears could explain the dangers of underage sex.
  • Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner can teach the importance of savings accounts.
  • A bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans could let children know the damage done by name calling.
  • Andy Dick could explain good touch/bad touch.
  • President Obama could speak about the importance of keeping promises.
  • Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity could explain logical fallacies, such as the Straw Man and Appeal to Popularity.
  • Kanye West could talk about the importance of waiting your turn to speak.
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What They Really Mean; Bipartisanship

After hearing several calls for bipartisanship, I thought it was time to update the list of words and phrases in political commentary and what they really mean. Politicians cry out for bipartisanship and then turn right around and debase any opposing views.

When politicians call for bipartisanship, it’s political theater to make it sound as though they are open minded and willing to work out a solution, but in reality are saying “I’ll listen to you when you stop being stupid.”

Bipartisanship – My ideas are good ones and the opposition is partisan, because they don’t agree with me.

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What They Really Mean; Bipartisanship

After hearing several calls for bipartisanship, I thought it was time to update the list of words and phrases in political commentary and what they really mean. Politicians cry out for bipartisanship and then turn right around and debase any opposing views.

When politicians call for bipartisanship, it’s political theater to make it sound as though they are open minded and willing to work out a solution, but in reality are saying “I’ll listen to you when you stop being stupid.”

Bipartisanship – My ideas are good ones and the opposition is partisan, because they don’t agree with me.

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Groundhog Day

So I went looking for news stories today hoping for something at least remotely related to an issue, but didn’t have much success.

I see Glenn Beck said something about Nancy Pelosi and Arianna Huffington said something about Beck. President Obama and Sarah Palin both spoke today. There were several political stories about one side being far superior to the other and new statistics to backing up the claims. The government will be spending more money, or taxing more, or both.

A few stories about global warming being real or fake. Micheal Jackson’s doctor is being charged for I don’t know what. A few more economic stories about how bad things are. Big banks something, something, something. Health care blah, blah, blah, blah.

Bad things happened in the Middle East. There is bad weather here and there. Something new about the iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so there will be six more weeks of the same news.

Happy Groundhog Day!

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Distractions for Washington DC Cause Increase in Productivity

Each time the economy slows down, it leads to micromanagement at work. When a company is making money, the people at the top are either taking it easy or looking for new ways to make money. When the money isn’t coming in as fast as they’d like, they start looking inside their company for savings and efficiency. It turns into a living hell for the people at the bottom because everything they do ends up being micromanaged.

Many workers are hoping and praying for the economy to turn around just because they are tired of explaining how and why they do some of the simplest tasks. A slow economy leads to the annoying time-sheets detailing every minute of the day. Pointing out the loss of productivity to management caused by keeping track of work rather than doing work falls on deaf ears. Workers catch on to being micromanaged and learn to fake time-sheets so they can get back to being productive.

In some work situations, the micromanaging turns into having a supervisor watching over the shoulder of workers. Having someone watching everything you do doesn’t mean you are going to do it any faster, because it’s a distraction from doing the job at hand. Pointing out the loss of productivity from excessive monitoring will once again fall on deaf ears. Workers also learn how to play this game by finding things to keep their managers busy. Workers start complaining about how other departments are run and how much the “defective” departments are making their jobs more difficult. With any luck, the managers will all be busy in meetings fighting with one another so you can get back to work.

The same workplace dynamic of the people at the top needing to do something is taking place in Washington DC. Just as workplace management can’t acknowledge the harm they do by interfering with the job at hand, the government can’t see the harm they are doing to the economy. Reforming health care and new regulations for business are examples of the government micromanaging the economy, and when the loss of productivity is pointing out, it falls on deaf ears.

Politicians have no qualms distracting the public so we aren’t focused on the job they are doing, so I have no guilt in suggesting we distract the government so we can do our jobs. The Obama administration is starting to look at the Bowl Championship Series and that’s a good thing; as long as you aren’t part of the BCS. We need to come up with more innocuous distractions like college bowl games to keep them busy. I’m calling on my fellow American’s that when they are involved in any polling to pick the least intrusive option. If asked which of the following is most important – the economy – heath care – sexting by teenagers, for the sake of our future please pick “sexting.”

Businesses can’t use the same tactics workers use with faking their time-sheets. Faking time-sheets might get a worker fired, faking the governments time-sheets can lead to big fines or prison terms. Businesses can fight back by lobbying congress with useful distractions such as, coming up with a way to keep copiers from copying genitalia or convincing congress businesses would be more productive if congress could tell them the absolute value of pi.

If we all put our heads together we can come up with some new distractions for Washington DC. Here are a few ideas–not exactly good ideas, but something to get the creative juices flowing:

Demand all of congress visit every site in the world impacted by global warming before taking any action. It’s expensive, but trust me–it’s worth it.

If enough people film street lights and email them to their representative, we can convince congress there is an imminent alien invasion.

Protest anything from France.

Start a rumor terrorists are secretly sending commands to operatives through 4chan.

Ask congress to find out how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood (stressing how important woodchucks are to the economy).

The number of sex scandals by elected officials is destroying our faith in government and should be investigated by congress.

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NASA will miss Congressional Deadline for Asteroid Tracking – no Funding Provided from Congress

NASA won’t meet Congressional orders to track most city-smashing-sized asteroids in Earth’s neighborhood by 2020, an expert panel concluded Friday, because the government didn’t provide the money to detect such Near-Earth Objects.

“because for the past 5 years the administration requested no funds, and the Congress appropriated none, for this purpose.” (blogs.usatoday.com/sciencefair)

This issue is not a possibility, its a probability. Sooner or later Earth will be hit by another asteroid that will cause massive amounts of damage.

Bundle up all the things Washington protects us from into one giant cataclysmic ball and it still wouldn’t equal the damage a large asteroid will do.

The mistake is that asteroids are still legal. If asteroids were illegal then there would be ample funding to track and destroy them.

To that end, please help spread one of these rumors about asteroids –

Illegal aliens use asteroids to sneak into America.

Disaster capitalist are plotting to steer asteroids at Earth for profit.

Drug traffickers use asteroids to smuggle narcotics into America.

Global warming is caused from the friction asteroids create entering the atmosphere.

Al-Qaeda is secretly plotting to steer an asteroid into the White House.

Teenagers are getting stoned on Meteorites.

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Name-calling is Fun and Entertaining – and Drowning Debate: The Jon Stewart / Keith Olbermann Saga

Here is Keith Olbermann’s response to Jon Stewart over Olbermann’s namecalling towards Scott Brown. At the end, Keith Olbermann says “You’re right. I have been a little over the top lately. Point taken. Sorry.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZylQXm-vis

The ad hominem spam in political discussion is so abundant it’s become an issue unto itself. Unemployment and a shrinking economy have to take a backseat to political pundits personal views of others. To quote Stewart on this subject, “Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.” (Jon Stewart on CNN’s Crossfire)

The irony is that at the end of the Crossfire video, Jon Stewart gets sucked into the namecalling by calling Tucker Carlson a “dick.” I’m not defending Olbermann; calling someone a “dick” is a far cry from calling someone “an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea-bagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees.”

The namecalling is so loud now its drowning out debate about the issues. Most political talk these days is focused on getting the best dig in and not the best point across. The king of the hill battle to arouse prejudices needs to die down. It would be an improvement for Olbermann to refer to Scott Brown as a “dick” next time.

Even when you are well aware of the damage caused by personal attacks, it’s easy to get drawn into the battle. It takes a great deal of self-discipline not to reach for the flamethrower when attacked or when there is a strong disagreement on an issue.

To teach themselves some self-discipline and so someone can benefit, the pundits should put up their own swear jar. Each time they drift away from the issue at hand and go with the personal attacks, they have to throw some money in the jar to be donated to charity.

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Dreaming of a Libertarian Network News Channel

Fox News coverage is aimed towards Republicans and MSNBC is aimed at Democrats. I’d like cable news network aimed at Libertarians. If being liberty-minded catches on, there will be a market for news Libertarians find important.

There is some Libertarian coverage on the networks now–and the coverage seems to be growing. Libertarians are let into the media pool for an hour each week with John Stossel’s show on Fox Business News. CNN has been throwing in Libertarian-leaning guests on their shows. I appreciate CNN for bringing Penn Jillette and Ron Paul into their discussions.

Lip service from the major outlets doesn’t cut it, though. There is still a need for a network with a Libertarian bias. As Penn Jillette put it while discussing his show Bullshit!, “We are trying to be fair and extremely biased.”

That’s what I want: factual reporting, unashamedly biased towards liberty–a network where reporters are required to ask politicians, “Will this lead to more or less freedom?” Reporters that will challenge the “majority of people want this legislation” with questions about the tyranny of the majority.

While a politician is speaking, I want the bottom of the screen to scroll the biggest donors to their campaigns. I want a cha ching sound when tax increases or incentives are mentioned and chain rattle when victimless crimes are mentioned.

When an election is mentioned, all the candidates for office will be listed, but in freedom-minded order. If there had been a network with a Libertarian bias, Joe Kennedy would have been mentioned on-air before the Massachusetts special election was held, instead of as a footnote afterward when the results had been tallied.

Polling for the Libertarian Network would be freedom-biased:

  • What is the least popular government program?
  • Do you feel more free now than you did four years ago?
  • Rate how much federal servitude interferes with your life: [ none/somewhat/too much/ready for a revolution]
  • Why do you feel Washington hates you?

A nightly lineup of opinion shows would include people like Penn Jillette, Drew Carey, John Stossel and Larry Elder. Have the people over at Free Talk Live do specials on police abuses.

And…last but not least, the hosts and guests could drink and smoke on the air if they choose.

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Alex Jones calls Glenn Beck a Slimeball Traitor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAYXOpZFXQw

Most of the name calling between the pundits isn’t very news worthy, but Alex Jones sounds so much like Sam Kinison its difficult not to laugh even when he is being serious.

Jones compares Beck to Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. Its a bit dated, but I think of most TV pundits as Larry ‘Lonesome’ Rhodes from A Face in the Crowd.

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The Threat Children Pose to Liberty

An Illinois National Guard soldier has been charged with possession of child pornography over snapshots of a 4-year-old niece in a swimsuit. The story is important to mention because when the subject of children is thrown into political debate, liberty is thrown out the window.

The emotional strings pulled by playing the “children card” trump all reasoning. In the overzealousness to protect children, free speech and civil rights have been unintended victims. The story of this National Guard soldier illustrates the potential harm of protecting children at all costs.

What happened to this soldier could happen to anyone. The family photo albums of the when the kids were toddlers has to go in the trash. Do not dare take pictures of your own kids at a park. The 1978 version of Superman should be destroyed because it shows baby Clark Kent’s weenie. Anyone could potentially be charged as a child predator.

This isn’t about hatred for kids, but about not being blinded by the natural instinct to protect children. Playing the children card has been used in the war on drugs, war on poverty, censorship, smoking and gun control. Here are some examples when children are brought in the rules completely change.

Protecting children seems to supersede the US Constitution. Sex offenders can be held indefinitely in jail.

We have a National Sex Offender Registry but not a a murderer registry–at least not yet, although some have proposed a murderer listing.

Some states have proposed defining “smoking around children” as child abuse. So would it be an assault to smoke near an adult?

Many countries have internet censorship to protect children from harmful material. Free speech doesn’t apply if little ears are present.

SCHIP’s (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) get passed into law without the same amount of controversy health care reform has generated.

More often than not, the “protect the children” argument is thrown in simply to win the debate. Using children in politics is just a way of saying, “If you don’t agree with me, you hate children.” The people that support censorship would still support censorship, even if it were impossible for children to ever see a pornographic image.

When the children card is played, ask yourself, “Is the intent to protect kids, or is it really about controlling other people?” After asking this question, you’ll often see people who are promoting their own version of morality and aren’t interested in protecting children or liberty.

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