Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Campaign Pause: Part 1

The founders of our nation made a mistake. You see, they gave use the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Then they imposed death sentences and imprisonment, which made plenty of people unhappy. There are those who take these words literally. These same people would likely want to live a hedonistic lifestyle. "Let freedom ring" would become "Let chaos reign."

The thing is that everyone likes to stand upon their rights. Even I stand upon the rock and shout, "I have a right not to live beneath poverty!" What a lot of people fail to realize is that those rights need to be earned. The government's response to my shouting is, "Well, who told you to flunk out of college? Who told you to work lower-middle class jobs? Who told you to make yourself sick as a teenager, only to become disabled at 33? We didn't tell you to do that. You get back what you put in, and the pittance you surrendered is all you get."

Okay...That's not exactly how the system works, but it's a close example.

There is only so much a government can do. It can't force people to make better decisions, or hold their hand on the road of life and warn of every danger. As much as a government can pour into an educational system and attempt to teach right from wrong, it cannot make people wiser.

No...That falls to parents. There are all kinds of laws and agencies in place to protect a child from abusive parents. But it can't protect kids from lazy, ignorant individuals that sired them. While Morbid Wombat makes a good point that schools should not be teaching a slew of things to kids, parents have come to rely on the educational system to do just that. You hear it come the middle of summer across the United States, "I can't wait for school to start up again." The epitome of laziness...waiting for a school to get your kids potty trained! I have seen it. Parents would rather throw away countless dollars on diapers and wait for someone else to teach their kids how to use a bathroom than do it themselves. It's just...sad.

That's why I have two different categories for parents. (Follow along, kids. This'll be fun!)

Mother/Father - These people keep their kids fed, clothed, and housed. That's about it. They're idea of helping with homework is seeing that it gets done. Once it's complete, they let their kids out to play, and for all they know, the kids are running down to the nearest railroad tracks and playing "Chicken" with oncoming trains. When a child shows behavioral problems, these adults want to know who else can solve the problem. Does it require therapy? How about a pill? Maybe, if they do nothing, it'll go away. I have new neighbors who apparently fall into this category, because their toddler wanders the complex free, staring at the sky and screaming at the top of her lungs. She's not even saying anything, just releasing shrieks. No one comes to stop her. If I did that, someone would call the cops. (And believe me, there are days when I consider screaming at the sky an option.)

Mom/Dad - Actually cares about their children. They show love and affection. They teach various moral values that help a child get along with the rest of the world. They go the extra steps beyond food, clothing, and home. Sports, creativity, exposure to other cultures, all evenly mixed with love and caring. Despite whatever fills mom or dad's busy day, they make time for their kids. No matter the age, mom and dad are there when their offspring is in tears.

Put simply, a father would tell the kids to shut up because he's watching the game, while a dad invites the kids to watch the game with him.

And then we turn around, becoming all sensitive and contradicting. Look at the group that started out in this nation as "niggers." Eventually, they became known as "blacks." When no one was paying attention, they became "African Americans." Almost a century and a half after they were granted freedom here in the States, they are now greeting each other, "What up, nigger?" If I walked into a temple and said to a congregation member, "Wassup, kike," there would be such an uproar as to make the news as a hate crime. AND I'M JEWISH!

A President of the United States may well be able to establish various programs, allowing for more work and better education, but we cannot enforce common sense. The fact is, common sense is dead. I even found the obituary on the net:

"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valued lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair.

"Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge). His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

"Finally, Common sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, spilled bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

"Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepsisters, Mai Rights and Ima Whiner.

"Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone."

With his demise, I'm afraid there's little the government can do. While I may agree or disagree with numerous aspects brought up by my friend, Morbid Wombat, it is ultimately bad when a government says, "You will pay a legal price for making poor life choices, such as taking a low-paying job or having kids before you're ready."

I probably have more to say in such rants, but unfortunately I have things to accomplish this day. I appreciate all the people...ummm...that is, the few people showing interest in my wanna-be political ramblings, but arguing moral values is tough. Trying to get laws in play to enact morals tends to backfire, as it did when Prohibition existed here in the States. (Laws that originated from the concept that "there was a clear consensus that while alcohol was a gift from God, its abuse was from the Devil"? Separation of Church and State, anyone?)

I'm going to leave it at that. I hope this was an entertaining read, as well as...educational.


Anonymous said...

Thomas Paine would be so sad. His work has been destroyed.

I've actually seen Jews call each other kyke as a joke. Granted, the entire joke was that they were calling each other kyke, and it wasn't that funny. (But no one found it offensive.)

And I completely agree with you, common sense is dead. (But you were a bit ambiguous later. Are you saying that it's a problem when the government doesn't help people without common sense?)

Also, someone once said that common sense isn't too common.


morbidwombat said...

When the Constitution was worded, it was a bit of a different world. They were paraphrasing Paine’s “life, liberty, property.” It was a bit of a PR move to say “pursuit of happiness.” Many founding fathers disagreed with slavery, but not enough of them thought they could get away with abolishing it. So they settled for some creative wording and figured it would be got rid of down the line.

I am NOT going to go into my thoughts on the prison system or the death penalty right now, or we’d be here all day.

Attention parents: Schools are not a babysitter. TV is not a nanny. In a day and age where you had every resource to prevent unwanted multiplication, you chose not to. Now act like the adult you think you are.

Lots of people expect unnecessary things from me. This does not mean I do them. Schools have enough on their plates, without bowing to every expectation of the parent. Required vaccinations are something I haven’t rambled about yet. Your child’s health is not the school’s responsibility. It’s just more paperwork. If you got Little Jimmy vaccinated, nothing to worry about. That’s what vaccines are for. If other parents didn’t take the time, so be it. Jimmy’s still safe. There will always be people who refuse for religious reasons, and it’s not like their children are quarantined from the rest; they wander amongst the general populace, and nothing horrible happens.

(And now to argue with myself.) Schools requiring vaccinations means those vaccinations have to be offered at reasonable or no cost for schoolchildren. For example, the new Guardasil (HPV) vaccine is required by certain schools, and therefore affordable for many families, thus preventing possible future cancer patients. Hurray, right? But /one/ of the ways HPV is spread is through sexual contact. Some people are protesting the vaccine, saying it will make kids think they’re safe to have random sex. It’s not an AIDS vaccine, people. If one shot in the ass destroys all your child’s morals, you’ve failed as a parent. (And if you think that was stopping them before, look at the current numbers on teen sexual behavior. Come back when you’re done crying, I’m not finished yet.)

But we’re getting into the whole medical expenses thing again. A vaccine that may prevent cancer should not be prohibitively expensive in the first place.

Where are these schools that will potty train, BTW? Most day care centers around here will not take a child who is still in diapers. If someone ever expected me to toilet train /their/ child, I’d call child services and let them know someone had dropped off a child covered in it’s own excrement (which, by the time CS arrived, it would be.) As if anyone didn’t know, the first thing you have to do after you create another being, is to teach it not to crap on itself. Pretty basic, I thought.

There is a whole spectrum of parenting, not just two sides of the same coin. It goes from Parent of the Year, to Vaguely Negligent, to Actively Destructive. (Also, I understand the simplified Mom/Dad labeling, but that doesn’t account for non-traditional guardianship. [/PC police])

My friends call me all manner of inappropriate things. It’s OK, I speak the same way to them, because that’s the level at which we are friends. If a stranger (or mere acquaintance) were to call me “kike” I will (and have) become violent. As for hate crime laws, all they do is accentuate the differences between people. As do affirmative action laws. It’s like saying certain people don’t deserve protection under the existing laws, but need new ones in place just for them.

I’m not saying people should pay for making poor choices. I’m saying it should be explained that if they have children, without taking proper steps to prove that they can raise children to be productive members of society, they will get no assistance from society. You choose not to participate in a mutually beneficial way in this society, fine. Just don’t expect anything. Such a system would not enact any sort of moral laws. It would just force people to take steps to learn how to parent before they try it out on their own. Better than the whole, “Fail once, and we take your gonads” sort of view that I used to hold.

Separation of Church and State simply means you can’t be discriminated against or made to worship in a way you don’t agree with. If the majority really supported it, the President’s denomination wouldn’t be such a big deal. And we’d have to reword a lot of laws. On a personal note, my boss has pulled the box of Christmas lights out of storage. He’s already conceded that if he puts them up, I’m smearing the door with red paint next April.

As for common sense, that’s what I mean when I say critical thinking skills. The ability to just...figure things out, without having ever been in a given situation before. I don’t think it’s dead. There have always been people whose brains just don’t work that way. It’s only obvious to us now because, well, we have to live with them.

Someone named Rob said...

FIRESTAR: Yeah...Rogh day for me, what with the sudden change in weather here. Lots of pain = lots of pain meds. It's the only way I can remain functional, so I think I did lose a little focus there.

My message is that the government CAN'T help people without common sense. That is, we can't grant it to them. Every criminal makes a choise when he/she breaks the law, and we make them pay for their choice. The system, however, has no magic powers, and we therefore can't grant people the ability to make wise decisions, even if we were to write a law that insists we do.

MORBIDWOMBAT: Allow me to be clear, here. Just because I labeled them "mother/father" and "mom/dad" doesn't mean a child can't have two of the same. In fact, I'm rather outraged at people making a huge fuss over same sex marriages, or anyone who might fall under the heading of "other." There's been entirely too much legislative gay bashing over the years, and it's time for the ignorant parties to surrender. Race, religion, or sexual orientation is no reason for exclusion, especially if your standpoint is, "I just don't like it." But I believe I covered this a bit in my "Election Day Special."

Alas, a great deal of your comment requires more discussion, to the point of requiring more and more posts about the same thing. I am not refusing the discussion or a debate. What I *AM* suggesting is that perhaps you save it until I can manage to get a few more ideas out of my head before we start focusing on just one idea at a time.

Besides...The President Elect has yet to take his oath of office, and 2012 seems a long way off right now. My little, would-be campaign is starting now because...well, like many Americans, I'm pissed off at a lot of various things. If I'm going to have any chance of becoming the man in the big chair, my status as a speck on the land means I have to start hammering out ideas now.

Try to see it as me becoming a student all over again. Age 41, and I'm back in school. My major? Running a country. Fantasy? Probably. But it would make a lot of people sit up and scratch their heads when I manage to get more votes than some of the actual KNOWN parties in the race. =P