Stop the Clock

147 Views

Daylight Savings Time is upon us. That annual time when we move our clocks 1 hour ahead of the standard meridian we use to measure the passing of time. There are those who love the time change. But I am not one of them.

Our changing of the clocks is an old tradition. Some old traditions like traditional marriage, the family, and the Church, are well worth keeping. But this tradition is no longer needed in our 24 hour highly technical society.

The tradition was a great idea when a day was still measured from sunrise to sunset. Moving the clocks ahead 1 hour gave more daylight that could be devoted to more work getting done.

But our technology has supplanted that need for daylight to get more work done. Even in rural communities, like my home state of Iowa, tractors can be seen in the fields late at night with massive bright lights that illuminate the night.

And our society operates at a 24 hour level. Many businesses are open and available 24 hours every day. Add in the internet and there is nothing that can’t get done even in the darkest part of the night.

Daylight is obsolete. Changing the clocks does harm as well. It produces high stress which can lead to illness. Especially in those first couple of weeks after we spring forward.

Fortunately states can opt-out of Daylight Savings Time. And with Congressional approval they can move to Daylight Savings Time year round if they choose to take that route instead. Currently only Arizona has opted out of Daylight Savings Time.

But there are many states that have such legislation pending. Either to opt-out or move to Daylight Savings Time year round. I don’t care which way one goes with it. Just pick 1 time and stay on it. Lets not change the clocks again afterwards.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

119 Views

It’s time to address the elephant, or in this case donkey, in the room. Before Super Tuesday, few people expected Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign to last until Not-Quite-As-Super Wednesday. Now, after Super Tuesday II: Electoral Boogaloo, the former Vice President has become the Democrats’ front runner for the nomination, which has shocked a lot of people, not the least of which being Bernie Sanders supporters.

What changed? Certainly not Joe, and certainly not in a positive way. In the past couple of decades, we could expect him to slip up verbally once in a while or come up with an absurd idea or two, but this election cycle has been a bull market on bull and malarky. And a boon for bloggers looking to take another look at Joe Biden.

Joe Biden

What the Left thinks it means – a brilliant and compassionate man who would be a better leader than Donald Trump

What it really means – a man whose status is far above his abilities and his accomplishments

If you’re not aware, this is the third time Joe Biden ran for President. The first time was 1988, when he was defeated (along with several others) by eventual loser Michael Dukakis. Think about that for a moment. Joe Biden lost to a man who thought riding around in a tank with an oversized helmet would make him look like a hawk on defense. If ever there was a sign you may not be cut out to be President, it was that.

But Biden ran again in 2008, where he lost to eventual winner Barack Obama and became his Vice President. This was after spending 36 years in the Senate. Thirty. Six. Years. He would probably still be there if he hadn’t been picked by President Obama to be his fall guy…I mean Vice President.

Actually, I’m being unfair to Mr. Biden. President Obama picked him because of his experience in foreign policy. And what was that experience exactly? He spent a long time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. During that time, he opposed the Gulf War, supported military action in Bosnia and Kosovo, and supported the Iraq War…or did he oppose it?

That’s one of my major problems with Mr. Biden. He loves to retell his story his way depending on who is listening, and facts be damned. Granted, this applies to most politicians, but with Biden, what bothers me is the ease at which he slips from one version of reality to another. What you can find him saying on record one day will be contradicted by him on another day, often combined with indignation you would attribute the words he said before to him now.

Normally, this could be chalked up to politics, but this time around there’s another explanation to explore: Joe Biden may not be on top of his game anymore. And when you consider he wasn’t that great at his game in the first place, that’s saying something. For all of his foreign policy experience, his major accomplishments could be matched by a Model UN student. Let’s not forget it was Joe Biden who came up with the “three state solution” in Iraq, which would have split up the country into three religious sections, which military leaders at the time dismissed as being counterproductive at best. (In layman’s terms, that means they thought it was damn stupid.)

Now, consider Biden today. He lashes out at critics, sometimes threatening violence against them. He forgets where and when he is. He looks lost, confused, even befuddled. He has trouble finishing sentences. He loses track of facts necessary to discuss the topic he’s on.

In other words, he’s what the Left thinks President Donald Trump is. And if current trends continue, he’s going to finally get the nomination he’s been trying to get for over 32 years! He’s due! Maybe third time really is the charm!

Ah, well, that’s where things get a little hazy. Bernie Sanders still has a significant chunk of the available delegates necessary to secure the nomination. Yet, in an effort to grease the wheels (and to prevent Mr. Biden from making more gaffes as suggested by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina), members of the party are suggesting the primaries should be over and Biden named the candidate. Although I’m no fan of either of the anointed Democrat candidates, I have to take Sanders’ side on this one. Not only have the majority of states not held their caucuses and primaries yet, Biden and Sanders are still relatively close in the delegate count. If the Democrats and the Left decide to curtail the remaining contests, regardless of reason, it will spell the end of the Democrats as we know them, or at least make the final blow-up at the Democratic National Convention this summer more dangerous than I’ve anticipated. (The short version: Chicago 1968 will be an Amish barn-raising compared to what I think is coming.)

All to protect someone who isn’t ready for prime time and may never be.

For all the times the Left has called President Trump mentally unstable, incompetent to hold the office of the President, and unintelligent, to put up Joe Biden is the height of self-unawareness and tone-deafness. But when you consider the alternative is a slightly older socialist who hasn’t gotten the memo about Venezuela yet, the Democrats really don’t have much of a choice. They have to go with Joe Biden, if only to maintain the illusion they aren’t okay with socialism. (Spoiler Alert: they’re Berniecrats with the bank balances to ensure they don’t have to live under socialism.)

And where does that leave Joe? A figurehead with no real power to do anything but what the power behind the throne, as it were, tells him to do.

In closing, let me address one thing I keep being brought up about Joe Biden: his frequent verbal miscues are not the result of stuttering; they’re the result of a misfiring brain, and those miscues are getting worse. When you consider Bernie Sanders is a year older and is more lucid (vocally, not economically) than the man you think can take on Donald Trump, you can’t pin it on stuttering, and no amount of “can too!” will change that.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

179 Views

Another week, another existential threat against the Constitution, our democracy (which is actually a Constitutional republic, but the Left doesn’t get that), and America. This week’s outrage revolves around President Donald Trump commuting sentences of several people who were convicted of various crimes and were sentenced accordingly, often in excess of what the actual punishment should have been. Not surprisingly at this point, the Left lost their collectivist minds.

Although it’s nice to see Leftists care about criminal justice reform, it’s odd they’ve decided to attack the President for pardoning criminals. While they concern themselves with the color of those they think got the lion’s share of the pardons (i.e. white people, or as I prefer to be called Honkey-Americans), they might not have the first idea of the Presidential pardon powers. In the interest of informing (and possibly entertaining) any Leftist who might be reading this, I am going to give a quick primer on pardons.

Presidential pardon

What the Left thinks it means – the power of the President to forgive criminals, a power abused by Donald Trump to help out his white collar criminal buddies

What it really means – the power of the President to forgive criminals, a power that has been overly scrutinized depending on which party is in the White House

Since we’re talking about the power of the President, let’s consult with the US Constitution. Article 2, Section 2 reads:

The President…shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

In the interest of transparency, there are a lot of words between “President” and “shall” that have nothing to do with Presidential pardons, but if you want to look for yourselves, here is a handy link.

Meanwhile back at the Leftist hivemind, there are people who think this use of a Constitutionally-defined Presidential power is unprecedented, signals a dark time in our history, and should cause massive panic and outrage. The truth is none of this is true. (Shocking, I know!) What President Trump did was exercise his Presidential powers in accordance with the Constitution, which goes over in Leftist circles as well as a white male eating full GMO vegetables with his so-rare-you-can-still-hear-the-moo hamburger washed down with a non-soy coffee produced by MAGA hat wearing American veterans and taken as dark as Michael Avenatti’s 2020 Presidential hopes. (To quote the great Dennis Miller, “Stop me before I subreference again.”)

For all of the Left’s fearmongering over President Trump wanting to be a dictator, you would think they would be happy he’s following the Constitution, but we can’t have nice things, so they aren’t. A huge (or yuge if you prefer) portion of the outrage comes from who is doing it, but there’s another element at work here. Chelsea Handler’s idiotic Twitter post suggesting the recipients of the President’s commutations and pardons were all white notwithstanding, a significant chunk of them didn’t look like Trump. People of color and women in particular made up a noticeable percentage of the recipients, and that scares Leftists because it destroys a few of their narratives. Cries of “racist” and “sexist” are harder to justify when looking at those on the good business end of a Trump Presidential pardon.

But the most profound narrative that gets destroyed is Leftists are the only ones who can understand the struggles of minorities in America. With a stroke of a pen, Donald Trump has taken action while Leftists only give lip service to the minority communities across America. Although it’s still several months before the Presidential election, actions like this speak volumes about who is really committed to addressing the concerns of all people, not just the ones one party or the other is trying to sucker into voting for their candidate.

Now, here’s the part that will really blow Leftists’ minds. President Trump is on pace to pardoning or commuting the fewest number of people in the past several years. If Trump is a power-mad dictator who can do whatever he wants, why so few pardons with none going to people who support him? He even pardoned Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat! Wrap your few but still functional neurons around that, Leftists!

However, I do have to take a slight issue with the idea of Presidential pardons because of the political nature they’ve taken on in recent years. Ever see the name of someone getting a Presidential pardon and wonder why he or she is getting it? More than likely, it’s because it advances a political/ideological agenda. Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich was one such instance because Rich and his wife were large donors to the Democrats. (Who says Leftists don’t love Rich guys?) To keep that sweet contribution money rolling in, the Commander in Briefs did Rich a solid. Naked partisanship (and, really, does Bill practice any other kind) is bad enough, but it gets worse when people who should be locked up for life get a Get Out of Jail Free card from the President. Clinton and Barack Obama both pardoned known terrorists for reasons that still escape me, but the damage is done and we have to live with the consequences.

I’m not sure what, if any, political or ideological angle President Trump’s recent pardons and commutations entailed aside from the ones I mentioned above, but he would be wise to take extra care with each request he receives to dole out the appropriate amount of compassion and justice. If anyone Trump pardons gets involved in shady dealings after the fact, the Left is going to scream. Then again, that’s pretty much been their standard MO since November 2016. Regardless, handing out pardons shouldn’t be handled with the grace of a sledgehammer in a china shop and should be based on merit, not politics. After reading up on a number of the cases involved, I can say the President met that burden.

Now if he pardons Jussie Smollett, on the other hand…

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

204 Views

Remember Stacey Abrams? If so, I’m sorry. If not, she’s a former Democrat candidate for Governor of Georgia who lost the election by 55,000 votes, but contends she was robbed of the election. Well, she’s back, both as an on-again off-again Vice Presidential candidate and as the leader of a relatively new organization called Fair Fight 2020 whose focus is on…get ready for this…election security.

The Left’s overt concern for election security isn’t new. Since President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Left has offered up any number of solutions to what they perceive to be lapses in protecting the election process in America and making sure the current system is reformed to avoid another election debacle.

If you sensed a tinge of sarcasm in my typing, you would be correct. There is a lot to unpack regarding the Left’s newfound love of secure elections, so let’s get started!

election security

What the Left thinks it means – ensuring all votes are counted and all threats to a democratic election are minimized, if not eliminated

What it really means – securing elections so only Democrats can win

The Left hasn’t always had a great track record when it comes to election security. From the dead voting in Chicago to mysterious votes appearing out of nowhere to elect former Senator Al Franken, the Left has always managed to find ways to circumvent existing laws through a combination of registration fraud (i.e. ACORN), favorable judicial rulings that make no sense (i.e. Franken’s election), and controlling who counts the votes (i.e. George Soros’ plan to fill state election officials with individuals sympathetic to Leftist causes). Like I said, there’s a lot to unpack here, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

Back in 2000, Democrats cheated and still lost. At that time, they started coming up with all sorts of reasons why our elections were substandard (without ever considering the fact Al Gore was a horrible candidate). They insisted upon electronic voting options, which were easily hacked and provided no paper trail of a person’s vote in case of a malfunction. That’s not counting all the glitches in the electronic voting system.

But the interesting part of this isn’t what the Left has proposed, but what it hasn’t proposed. Simple ideas like paper ballots, photo ID required to vote, and limits on early voting aren’t even being considered and are actively opposed by the very Leftists who say they want secure elections. They will give you any number of reasons why these ideas need to be opposed (usually revolving around allegations of racism, voter intimidation, discrimination, or some combination of buzzwords). Yet, none of these reasons make sense if election security is really the name of the game.

But it’s not, and it never has been.

The Left’s dedication to bureaucracy gives them a decided advantage in elections, that being they know the rules inside and out so they know how to circumvent them. That advantage has been threatened by voters deciding not to vote for Leftists because they’re nuttier than squirrel shit. So, instead of finding candidates that can’t be insane, gaffe-prone, or dumb, the Left blames the election process and the voters for “voting wrong.” Why else do you think the Left is okay with publicly naming and shaming Trump donors? Because in their minds, Trump voters should be ashamed of voting and supporting the President.

The fact Trump beat their best efforts to rig an election has been eating at the Left since 2016, and their recent support of election security is a part of that. The Left needs to find a balance between making sure the voting system is as restrictive as possible to outsiders and keeping the systems they’ve put in place to secure more Democrat victories from being discovered and then used against them. Plus, the more screwed up they can make election security, the better their argument that it’s screwed up and needs to be fixed becomes.

Voter ID is a prime example of the Left’s strategy. It’s not that hard to get an ID card, no matter what the Left tells you. Many states offer free or low-cost cards. All it takes is the effort and desire to get one. If election security were the Left’s real aim, they would support it, but they don’t because it screws up some of the mechanisms they have in place to rig elections. Leftists love early voting and absentee voting because they can secure votes from people who can’t vote for one reason or another (usually because the voter is dead, but not removed from voter rolls yet.) With voter ID, people who can’t produce proof of who they are can’t vote, which ruins the Left’s usual tactics. Without it, they can gin up as many votes as they want or need to meet their goals.

One thing the Left can count on, though, is the Right playing by the rules…most of the time. Let’s be honest here. Politics is one of the dirtiest games around and both major parties bend, break, and puree the rules on a regular basis. Having said that, the Right still has some sense of duty to the law that the Left gave up a loooooong time ago in order to win elections. Make no mistake, the Left is as concerned about election security as they are about Pat Paulsen coming back to life and running as a Democrat. Everything they say with regards to election security is designed as a smokescreen.

And the best way to fight it is to support actual election security efforts. Showing your ID at a polling place takes only a few seconds, but it does more to protect the integrity of an election than the Left cares to admit. Same with paper ballots, auditing election rolls on a regular and more timely basis, and any number of other common sense options the Left rejects out of hand. If you want election security, fight for the solutions to make elections more, not less, secure. And don’t be dissuaded by those who call you a racist, bigot, or some other name because you do. Remember the Left’s entire purpose isn’t to improve our election system, but to improve the chances Leftists get elected.

Then, maybe Stacey Abrams can go back to pretending to be Governor of Georgia.

My 2019 Commencement Address

278 Views

Although you may not be able to tell from the weather outside, Spring is finally here again, as is graduation season. Appropriately enough, it’s also the time when I wait patiently for invitations to speak at graduation ceremonies that never come. Maybe it has something to do with a) not being famous enough, b) not being a rich enough alumnus to justify it, or c) they’ve read my past commencement addresses and said “Hard Pass.”

Regardless of those, I want to present to you the speech I would give (and am still willing to give) to this year’s graduating classes.

Hello, students, faculty, and family of the Class of 2019! If you are seeing and/or hearing this, we have survived yet another doomsday scenario dreamed up by people who claim to have all the answers. As a commencement speaker, it’s assumed I have all or at least most of the answers to what lies ahead. And you’d be right…and wrong.

You ever have that dream where you arrive to school on the last day for a final and realize you haven’t studied, the test has already been distributed, and you’re wearing nothing but a pair of pink Victoria Secret panties with matching bra and a pair of Crocs? Okay, maybe that’s just me, but the point is you’re scared, vulnerable, and don’t know what to do next. Welcome to Adulthood 2019, kids!

Instead of telling you to put on a brave face and go out and pursue your dreams, I’m going to level with you. It’s okay to be all of those things. Half the battle of being an adult these days is dealing with the anxiety that comes from being an adult these days. The other half of the battle? Knowing.

GI JOOOOOOOOOOOE!

Okay, bad 80s reference there.

The point is it’s okay to be uncertain in uncertain times, and we’ve hit the jackpot on the Slot Machine of Uncertainty lately. Whether it’s global climate change, the economy, tensions around the world, or where to get a good cup of coffee, there are always going to be problems that are too big for any of us to solve. And, yes, I know you think you have all the answers because I was once in that same position when I was your age. But all it takes is one person or situation to change all of that.

For me, it was the professor of my very first class at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. John Eiklor. I walked into the auditorium for my first lecture thinking I was so brilliant and above it all, and 45 minutes later, I walked out realizing I needed to get my ego checked and my brain engaged. And since then, I have devoted myself to two causes. First, learning as much as I can to become more well-rounded, and second, never walking into an auditorium ever again. Well, that last one didn’t turn out so well due to having 6 more years of college to go at that part of my life, but the first one is still going strong.

Even though my desire for knowledge has continued, there are still some things where I’m just as clueless as ever. Like the Man Bun. No matter what, it rarely looks good on anyone unless you’re a samurai, and even then there is room for doubt.

Just like in life.

Soon, you will be faced with making adult decisions and you will make mistakes, just like I have. But it’s in the lessons we learn from those mistakes that make us who we are as adults. If it hadn’t been for Dr. Eiklor giving my ego a hard check into the sideboards, I don’t know if I would have been smart and brave enough to know that I didn’t know. Okay, that sounded better in my head, but the point is to always leave room for doubt in your lives because it’s in those gray areas where we find ourselves, both figuratively and literally, and maybe have some fun along the way. Instead of being bi-curious, be try-curious and try whatever suits your fancy. You will emerge from the experience richer than when you started it.

Just a word of warning, though. There are two consistencies in life. One is inconsistency. The other is there will always be bad movies coming out of Hollywood. We can’t overcome the latter, but we can overcome the former by keeping an open mind. Just because something worked for you now doesn’t mean it will always work. The worst thing you can do in your lives is to self-restrict your field of vision.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some hard truths that can’t be swayed, however. I wanted to be a great basketball player in my teens, and I would be if I didn’t have the physical attributes of a three-toed sloth with narcolepsy. I still love to play, but I know I won’t be the next LeBron James and most likely neither will you. Welcome to the club!

Wait a second…did I just stumble across a nugget of wisdom here? Yes, yes I did. When all else fails, find common ground with people. So much of the stress we face in life comes down to us focusing on our differences instead of the really important stuff like what unites us. So, what should we be doing? Binge watching Netflix, of course! Well, either that or figuring out we’re different, just like everyone else!

Confusing, isn’t it? Well, that’s what awaits you once you walk out of here and into the next stages of your lives. Life isn’t supposed to make sense, folks. It’s supposed to be lived.

And that’s the best answer I can give you as far as what to expect out there in the Real World. You won’t have all the answers either, but at least you’ll know you won’t and that it’s okay not to have them. Just do right by yourself and others and you’ll be fine.

Thank you for listening and not throwing sharp and/or heavy objects at me. Congratulations, Class of 2019!

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

305 Views

There have been some major news stories breaking over the past week, but none has been bigger than WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being arrested in London at the behest of the United States. Assange is a polarizing figure to many. To some, he’s an unsung hero who kept governments’ feet to the fire. To others, he is a dangerous individual who should have been arrested and jailed a long time ago.

And, as you might expect, the Left has been conflicted over his work. When it was George W. Bush getting skewered, Leftists loved Assange. When it was Hillary Clinton catching his ire, he was a Russian asset. And when President Donald Trump said he liked WikiLeaks and asked them jokingly to get her emails, Assange became persona non grata to the Left. (Persona non grata is Latin for “person without cheese.” Or something like that.)

Time to delve into the wonderful world of WikiLeaks and Assange.

Julian Assange

What the Left thinks it means – a dangerous individual who is a threat to international security

What it really means – a 21st Century version of a hired gun

The Left’s attitude towards Assange is no surprise to me because they’ve played this game before. Remember Cindy Sheehan? The Left loved her when she would protest against George W. Bush, but when she decided to run against Nancy Pelosi, Sheehan was painted as an unstable grieving mother who couldn’t find her way out of a ditch with a map, a ladder, and a sign. The Left will use whomever they want in whatever fashion they want until that person becomes a liability to them.

And Julian Assange fits that bill perfectly.

I’ve been following his efforts to shine light into the cockroach infested halls of government for years, and it’s clear he has no allegiance to any one ideology or movement. He is truly a merc with a modem. That can lead to some interesting discussions about the morality and legality of what he does. On the one hand, he is revealing information the powerful don’t want you to know (or in Hillary’s case relying on the stupidity of her campaign staffers to openly give out the information inadvertently). Knowledge is power, especially in the Information Age. Yet, what if that information results in an innocent party getting hurt? Some could argue people like Bradley “Chelsea” Manning were damaged by working with Assange. And he/she may not be the only one, just one of the more visible victims.

This raises a question that hits at both the legal and moral parts of this discussion: is disobeying a bad law for good ends justifiable? Not an easy one to puzzle out, is it? Once you factor in such elements as severity of the crime (stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family versus stealing a loaf of bread to kill your family), the frequency of the crime (a first-time offender versus a serial killer who uses baked goods to kill his victims), circumstances (a poor child versus a rich white man who washed out of culinary school and wants to take revenge on the world), and so on, the hard and fast solution we want becomes murkier and harder to obtain. Yes, Assange broke the law in at least 2 countries, and the reasons behind that lawlessness may be the result of a lawless process, but it’s hard to get past the fact the law was broken.

Of course, none of that means jack squat to the Left. They will justify lawlessness in pursuit of their own ends without fail. How do you think Al Sharpton keeps getting sweet gigs in spite of his criminal behavior? The minute Sharpton flips the script and sounds like Rush Limbaugh with a tan, the Left will turn on him faster than you can say Tawana Brawley.

But this relationship isn’t one way. Seems the Left had no problems wanting Assange taken out. I seem to remember someone from a recent previous administration who wondered out loud whether Assange could be taken out with a drone strike, but I can’t remember who that was…I’m sure it was nobody important. After all, the previous President would never let someone make a joke like that or make a similar joke about his daughters and the Jonas Brothers.

Anyway, even a joke like that would be enough to motivate him to counterattack in the only way he knew how: by releasing damning information about Hillary Clinton. Personally, I’m surprised he had the bandwidth, storage capacity, and patience to limit it to just her emails, but bully for him all the same.

Here’s where I part company with Assange. Although he’s shown he has no allegiance to the Left or the Right, I can’t quite trust him. Call it the David Brock Effect. Brock was a Republican (or so the self-professed liar said in his book Blinded By the Right), but then shifted hard Left. Whenever someone shifts that drastically, even if I agree with the outcome, I can’t completely trust that person. People with integrity can change their minds without it affecting their core convictions. I don’t get that from Assange, just like I don’t get it from Brock because I’m not convinced they have core convictions beyond the here and now. That tells me their convictions can be bought and sold depending on who’s cutting the check. What’s to say Assange doesn’t goes after Trump tomorrow if George Soros drops a few million dollars in his lap?

Granted, this is speculation on my part because I don’t know Assange well enough to say definitively. He may be as consistent and dogged as I am to get to the truth. We will see in the coming weeks and years whether he is an opportunist or a soothsayer. In the meantime, I will enjoy the Leftist meltdowns.

Popcorn, anyone?

Guest Opinion – “College Admission Sweepstakes” by Ari Kaufman

355 Views

A friend recently told me to discontinue sending her e-mails because her son is “preparing to apply to colleges” and would thus need his mother’s constant attention and assistance.

I was miffed, recalling that the boy just turned 16. I’m aware of crafty college coaches recruiting players in eighth grade but I was unsure why my friend needed to devote so much time to this oft-overhyped decision.

When I applied to college about 25 years ago, my mom was helpful, but there were no online applications and, therefore, no opportunities for incessant e-mails to the high school guidance counselor or university administrator.

Unlike the homes I’ve recently visited, my family’s dining room table wasn’t  littered with brochures from a dozen schools. There was no calendar planning when we’d go on the “East Coast trip,” (Maryland, Virginia) the “West coast sojourn” (UCLA, Stanford) nor the “Big Ten trip,” centered around football schedules for the likes of Michigan and Wisconsin.

And after my school of choice didn’t accept me, we didn’t call on an esteemed alumnus to write a persuasive letter to the dean, requesting further consideration and review of my extracurriculars. (Yes, I know several upper-middle class people who’ve done exactly that, and it usually worked.)

The class of 2019 will decide on college — or work, as many intrepidly eschew college’s high costs for vocational schools and quicker paychecks — in the next few weeks, and it’s an overplayed decision, which becomes less essential each year.

As we recently witnessed via the massive university admissions bribery scandal, the playing field isn’t legitimate either, and disingenuous influence comes in a variety of ways if you’re well connected. In fact, insecure parents often care more than the children.

For many parents, it’s a mad dash of planning frivolity, all for an indefinite result, long-term debt and what some deem an overpriced participation certificate (I say this as someone with a graduate degree and PhD wife.)

Especially within the humanities (full disclosure: I majored in political science, and my current job has nothing to do with my field of study), colleges are not about teaching skill sets nor preparing students for real world careers; they’re about credentialing, social connections and, yes, status. Credentialing occurs the minute you get accepted to the university, while social connections are created by one’s mere presence at university. Status is via your diploma and often more important for the parents to boast about with bumper stickers and school sweatshirts. Education itself? Usually secondary.

Actress Lori Laughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade, may have come across vacuous in her YouTube video saying she didn’t care about school, but she was mostly correct; she doesn’t need to go to college. She’s wise to drop out! At age 18, she was already a more successful entrepreneur than any of USC’s faculty who’ll teach her. Blame the rich parents for their insecurity and wasting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

A few decades ago, it mattered a bit where you attended college, and more importantly, what you learned. Some employers likely cared, professors were more objective, grades weren’t inflated, and fewer people attended graduate school.

Thirty years ago, a majority of students could probably identify Iraq on a map, the name of Germany’s chancellor or what the First Amendment entails.

Not so much anymore. The facts, polls and anecdotal evidence don’t lie.

Recent grads I know were unaware of who Robert F. Kennedy was, what socialism is, and when the Gulf War occurred. There was an economics graduate from a top school who had never been introduced to Milton Friedman’s brilliant theories (I’m certain he knew Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s warped theories, though.)

So, since where one attends college is becoming immaterial, why all the stress?

Unlike 1959 or 1979, now that delaying one’s entry into the workforce is common via grad school, the institute producing your bachelors’ diploma is truly less imperative.

Yes, succeeding at certain schools in certain majors holds weight in certain fields, but that’s a very narrow area. It mostly depends upon where your future boss puts value. In the various jobs and careers I’ve had, no supervisor cared one iota about my grades or where I went to college. None. My work ethic, integrity, experience and production mattered more.

Parents need to realize this, relax, and relay this information to their offspring. But, in my experience, and this week proves it again, they don’t.

There are paid “educational consultants” in high-achiever enclaves for parents looking to pick the proper preschool. And the pressure to get into the “right” college is being felt by parents of children not yet in high school.

When I taught a group of soon-to-be ninth-graders many summers ago at the University of Vermont, one precocious student’s parents picked him up the final day and whisked him on a weekend tour of New England campuses.

I’m afraid to guess what that kid’s next few years were like.

 

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2019/03/13/college-admissions-scandal-mad-raise-better-humans/3155698002/

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a26812285/william-singer-college-admissions-scandal/

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lveMkZc-NRE&feature=youtu.be

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/lori-loughlins-kid-olivia-jade-said-she-didnt-really-care-about-school-in-vid-amid-college-scam-charges

https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/revisiting-the-value-of-elite-colleges/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lveMkZc-NRE

https://pagesix.com/2019/03/14/lori-loughlins-daughters-drop-out-of-usc-after-admissions-scandal/?utm_campaign=iosapp

A California native, former school teacher and military historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist for various publications around the country since 2004. He lives with his wife in Minnesota.

 

Childish Social Media

206 Views

On social media there is a growing trend of users who get upset with you when you comment on their public posts. I guess they don’t understand what social media is all about. So here is a primer.

Social media is first of all social. That means not just you but a group of people. If you don’t have any friends or follower on social media what would be the point of sharing something.

Social media secondly is about sharing. Your likes, your dislikes, your political views. Your faith or lack there of. Your vacation pictures. The pictures of your children, grandchildren, or pets. You can share your pet peeves, favorite recipes, and so much more.

With social media you can share these things and a lot more instantly. You can share them with your friends, your family, your co-workers. And it can be shared by their friends, family, and co-workers as well. And even further to people you may not even know yet.

So I am surprised when someone gets upset with something they shared with the entire world. Not everyone is going to like or agree with things that you share.

This needs a solution and I have it. It’s very simple too. If you find yourself upset over comments made on something that you shared with the world then you need to get over yourself first. You did share it. What did you expect?

If you don’t want any comments or don’t like the comments you get. Well, it is your page or wall. Feel free to delete them, but they might come back if you do. The better solution is to not post anything that you don’t want commented on in the first place. Everything posted on social media is subject to comment. Not all comments will be positive.

Looking at Facebook, you do have options on who a post is shared with … this too can help limit the comments. Use this instead of posting it to the whole world of “public”. Post it so only you can see it.

Just don’t complain that it’s your page or wall when a comment is something you don’t like. That is childish.

Starship Design Blunder

193 Views

Starship design in most science-fiction doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is true across most science-fiction franchises. Star Wars, Star Trek, the original Battlestar Galactica, and many others.

The design problem is the placement of the bridge. In many of these starships the bridge is located behind a glass window looking out into space. And it is located at the front and center of the ship.

This makes the bridge an easy target during combat. It’s not well protected and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

The bridge dome at the top of every Federation starship’s saucer shaped primary hull. The front windows of the bridge of the Battlestar Galactica in the original series was shattered more times that I can count in battle. And the bridge at the top tower of an Imperial Star Destroyer of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars.

These are all advanced civilizations but they don’t protect the nerve center of their warships. At least this was corrected in the reimaged Battlestar Galactica series as it was within the hull and well protected. It used sensors and small craft to view what was happening outside instead of a glass window.

Having the bridge exposed is just a bad design. In any of these stories I would target the bridge location in every engagement. Concentrated firepower would get through any energy shields and completely disable any ship targeted.

UFP and Communism

135 Views

A lot has been written about the futuristic universe of Star Trek. Most articles have been on its technology and how that influenced our technology. There is no doubt on this aspect. We can see it all around us.

The economics of Star Trek has been touched on by a few. There are different theories on this but I subscribe to the theory that the United Federation of Planets has become a communist state. It didn’t start out that way mind you, but by the time of The Next Generation the change has been nearly completed.

Some have stated that to express the idea that the Federation is communist is being lazy. And that might be the case if one doesn’t present the abundant evidence that supports the statement. And others flat out refuse to accept that the Federation is communist. Not their beloved science-fiction franchise that can do no wrong.

But the evidence is clear in this case. The Federation has become a communist state.

Below is a sampling of the evidence taken from an article that was previously written on the subject that goes into far greater depth than I’m going to go into here in this posting. However the article will be posted as a PDF that you can download and read for yourself as well with the overwhelming evidence that supports that the Federation is communist.

In Communism and the Federation there are no property rights. There is no wealth, no money, and no buying and selling of personal goods. Also wall street and investments are also non-existent. And due to these factors people live in a very Spartan lifestyle.

In Communism and the Federation the State controls all forms of transportation. We see this in Star Trek all the time. There are no personal or privately owned star ships. The skies above Earth are empty. Movement is tracked as everyone must book passage on a Federation owned ship to go anywhere. No one even owns a private shuttle craft.

In Communism and the Federation the State controls communications and thus limits Freedom of expression, speech, and even the press. We have never even seen the press in the Federation. Every bit of news comes from the government. The subspace relay network is owned by the government, there is no alternative to long range communications. Personal data isn’t encrypted either as its been shown throughout the series that personal information can easily be obtained. Only Federation officials and ship captains can send secure communications.

In Communism and the Federation religion has been eliminated and so has the traditional family. Promiscuity is wide spread and even encouraged. Throughout TNG and beyond there is no mention of God or Jesus anywhere. Christianity has been stamped out.

In Communism and the Federation the State controls all industry. There are no corporations by the time of TNG era. No logos across known space for any company. And no patients either, everything created is in the public domain.

The points I just listed are the tip of the iceberg. Check out the attached PDF file for the drilled down examples and details concerning these points and many more. Once you have finished this reading, you will know that the Federation is communist.