Government Knows Best

Environmentalists should be howling

A father is arrested for picking up his kids from school at the time they were let out because he had walked and therefore was supposed to wait an extra 35 minutes according to a new school policy.

People who drove to pick up their kids could get them at 2pm, but “walkers” had to wait until 2:35pm. The father claims the “walkers” refers only to kids who walked home by themselves, not parents who walked to pick their kids up. He said he didn’t want to wait in the extremely long and slow line of cars waiting to pick up their kids.

Dad chose to walk instead of sitting, idling in his ozone-producing car for an inefficient system to discharge his kids? Yea, environmentalists should be howling.

Apparently it’s a safety issue too, as the local Sheriff notes the line of cars picking up kids is so long it’s spilling out along the highway.

Doctor? Kidnapper? Same difference.

Clinical psychologist Dean Hokanson, who is familiar with this case says that 15-year-old Justina Pelletier’s parents are

actually being accused of being too active in pursuing healthcare matters for their child

Doctor Mark Korson who has also worked with this child wrote an email to her parent’s attorneys:

I am dismayed. … It feels like Justina’s treatment team is out to prove the diagnosis at all costs. … The team has demanded that Justina be removed from the home. … This represents the most severe and intrusive intervention a patient can undergo … for a clinical hunch

At issue? A new team has decided the teen suffers from a brain condition called “somatoform disorder” rather than the mitochondrial disease previously diagnosed.

Within 4 days of the new diagnosis, the parent’s custody OF THEIR DAUGHTER was revoked.

I understand there are instances where gross and continual neglect and abuse make it necessary to remove a child from their parents. But due to the severity of this action, the barriers to reaching it ought to be very, very high. I know this means more kids will be in situations that do not appear to be beneficial to their health. But because the benefit to kids from their parents, even if their parents do not seem to be all that we wish parents would be, is so very great, the proofs necessary to remove children from their parents must be similarly great.

No proof of criminal intent necessary

Bubbly info-dude starts his newest story “There is a new law on the books”.

And it goes downhill from there.

Norman Gurley was arrested in Ohio for driving a car with a hidden compartment. There were no drugs in the compartment. There was no evidence there had been drugs in the compartment. But Norman was arrested on felony charges because he had a compartment in his car. quotes the ACLU of Ohio:

The ACLU of Ohio believes SB 305 is an unnecessary and unproductive expansion of law. Drug trafficking is already prohibited under Ohio law, so there is no use for shifting the focus to the container. Further by focusing on the container itself, this bill criminalizes a person with prior felony drug trafficking convictions simply for driving a car with a hidden compartment, regardless of whether or not drugs or even drug residue are present.

When the Government says “voluntary”, it isn’t

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) decided it wants to know how many people actually get into their cars after drinking alcohol, and so they commissioned a study they claim is “100 percent voluntary and anonymous“.

Considering what we know about NSA spying and all the other shenanigans the Government has been found participating in lately, it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the issue.

If a cop, even an off-duty one, waves me over, “voluntary” isn’t the first word that comes to mind.

If you think about it, even taxes are taken at gunpoint. As in, if you don’t pay taxes and make an issue of your not paying taxes, you’re very likely to end up on the wrong end of a gun in a raid by police of one sort or another. The government is incapable of doing anything “voluntarily”. “You can keep your health plan if you like it”, or your doctor, but it turns out that wasn’t so voluntary either.

Government is only capable of one-size molds. This is bound up within the nature of government. Any government that tries being too many things to too many people invariably collapses under its own weight. This is also not necessarily a bad thing. Government which governs least means government which has the biggest mold, allowing its citizens the most room within which to exercise their freedoms. One-size government means that one size ought to be large and permissive enough to allow the whole gamut of actions acceptable by free peoples, and constraining only those who venture outside the bounds of acceptable behavior.

Well, this too-small government mold started working in the Fort Worth area of Texas, “allowing” drivers to “voluntarily” participate in a study involving swabbing their cheeks, taking breathalyzer tests, and giving blood for study.

Some “volunteers” are crying foul, saying the participating officer’s actions weren’t so “volunteer”-friendly.

No kidding.


REPOST: Why Does It Matter?

Originally published February 9th, 2009.

Why do I pick on people like the Miss Havisham family, excoriate the misinformed life-form on Medved, indict the frantic yuppies fearful of every nut’s shadow, or judge the juvenile respondents of the Network World poll?

Because every action we take, each response we make, and every choice is informed by our worldview.

Contrary to what many people think, there are absolute truths. It’s not an imbecilic or juvenile response to say that the statement “there are no absolute truths” is self-negating and therefore incompatible with any form of reality known or knowable to any sentient being of any kind. It does not require a deep explanation or understanding of complex semantics. “No” is an absolute, there’s no arguing that.

Following proof of absolute truth is the fact that somethings are correct or right, and other things are incorrect, or wrong. Because there is absolute truth, the belief there are no absolutes is wrong. Simple. Anybody can do philosophy, trust me. Anybody who says otherwise has an inflated view of themselves and is lying, and wrong, all at the same time.

Belief in relativism is not the only incorrect idea we encounter either. The cosmos is full of wrong ideas. In fact, wrong ideas, simply because there can be so many more of them than right ideas, taken together are generally much more popular than right ideas.

I don’t claim to have a complete grasp of what’s right, and in fact I believe most people live their lives somewhere along the fence between right and the many possible wrongs. Sometimes dabbling in right but more often swimming in wrong.

People are too often convinced by the wrong and deceived into incorrect thinking, and the best way to warn others off is to point out the wrong when we see it.

I mount my soap box to show wrong where I see it in hopes that those in the wrong and others observing the situation will hopefully see the err and avoid it themselves.

The truth will win out in the end, but it benefits when we grandstand on it’s behalf.

Thoughts On “Christian” Child Abuse

The Resurgence: Father's Don't Provoke Your ChildrenAnother couple has been found guilty of murder for the death of their child after they used the “parenting” advice found in the book “To Train Up A Child” by Mike and Debi Pearl.

The New York Times headline lumps all corporal punishment under the same roof as the abusive advice of the Pearls.

A friend of the parents most recently found guilty points out “the Pearls are not professionally trained or educated in child development.”

First off let me be clear: These parents are evil and deserve the full and just punishment for  the abuse and murder of their children. How heartless, callous, cruel, and stupid must you be to consider sending your young child naked into the cold to be reasonable punishment, a good idea?

Yes, children are sinners just like you and I, and discipline is necessary to guide them into being healthy adults, but the goal is never to break the child. These are children, not horses. Discipline is about structure, structure is about direction, direction is about purpose. The goal of discipline is to grow within the child the self-discipline necessary for them to be able to accomplish their own purposes in life. Breaking a child’s will robs them of purpose and so is not a legitimate goal or form of discipline.

Parents who consider advice such as the Pearls dispense sound are doing grave disservice to their children at best, and are harming their children immeasurably at worst.

But we have to also be clear about a few others things as well:

  • Professional training in child development does not in any way make a person a legitimate expert able to dispense advice that would be any more right or effective than the destructive trash put out by the Pearls. Experience and success, or even an honest understanding of the source of ones failures, are more likely to present advice worth reading, and even if that is read, it ought to be run past your own common sense, for what is successful with one child may not necessarily be successful with another, even one in the same family.
  • Corporal punishment, spanking, is often illustrated with extreme cases where the intent is clearly harm to the child, when there is no proof that is how it primarily exists. The very fact that these isolated cases are such big news is that they are isolated. Most parents are not beating their children with plastic tubing until they “draw into a quiet shell and obey”.
  • The Bible in no way supports the ideas of breaking children down. Instead, twice in the New Testament Paul tells fathers to not provoke their children to wrath, anger, exasperation, embitterment, or discouragement (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21).

So far as we know the Pearls have not committed any crimes themselves. Freedom of speech and of the press means that in this country at least they ought to still be free to publish their drivel and silly people are still free to follow them. Not every child raised by adherents of the Pearls folly die, and some even turn out all right I’d presume. But like the leftist Democrats in the Westboro Baptist “Church” the Pearls ought to be confronted with wisdom and truth by some, and studiously ignored by all others, and parents ought to be surrounded by their family, friends, and community with good and sound advice and help and support.

Popular Personal Responsibility

8446248658_cf4741c43a_cI know this is old(ish) news, but it bears repeating.

I talked to some of my friends and they don’t want to get a job at Starbucks or whatever because it’s below them. Well, I think the only thing that can be below you is to not have a job.

Actor Ashton Kutcher, recognizing that his time as a teen sensation is probably drawing to a close, has started saying things that have depth and significance in hopes that those who hand on his every word will hang on these too.

There are several aspects of this that need to be considered, first the words he says, then the reason people listen to him, and then his own responsibility in using his platform to say them.

The first platform he used was the Teen Choice Awards:

And that raised a lot of attention.

Someone telling our kids to work hard? Someone telling them they can dream, but they have to work hard if they want any chance of reaching their dreams?


Well, there wasn’t really too much of that latter bit, probably because the ones who think that don’t really care about their kids and what they watch and what their idols say, and the few who did scream up were drowned out by the rest of us saying “Right ON!” and feeling giddy that someone our kids (and their kids) listen to actually appears to feel some responsibility and has a good head on his shoulders.

Among those who had to ride the wave of Popular Man’s popular talk was the second fiddle of daytime talk shows, Ellen Degeneres, who, granted, has more watchable moments than the first lady of all media empires, the Great O.

Am I the only one who thought Ellen sounds just a wee bit uncomfortable after Kutcher’s talk? Here he just finished railing against people feeling like they deserve stuff and how the celebrity culture feeds into that and encourages it, and all Ellen can think to say is that he deserves the accolades?

quote-nothing-worth-having-comes-easyWell, I agree, for what Ashton is saying, he definitely deserves some recognition and respect, but it just seemed to me she didn’t have the best line there.

But this isn’t about Ellen or her celebrity status or what she said. No, this is about Ashton, and the second thing we need to consider about what he is investing himself into right now is how he is using the resources he has, his popularity and the platforms that gives him, to speak truth when people are listening.

How many will listen to the crazy on the corner railing on and on about personal responsibility and working hard and the end of the world? None, unless you count the other crazies and the choir.

How many would listen to you or I if we just went down the local mall and said the exact same words that Ashton said on stage? I’d wager very few.

We see this propaganda machine around fame and celebrity and I actually, there are some kids in the world today that think, when I grow up I want to be famous — instead of when I grow up I want to do something, I want to build something, I want to create something. ~Ashton Kutcher

Before you can speak and expect people to listen, you must have earned the right to be heard by those you wish to speak to. You don’t deserve people’s ears and time. You have to earn them.

Whether you consider Ashton’s fame and celebrity to be to be ill-gotten or not, he has earned it one way or another. He has focused on his passions, he appears to enjoy the work he does, he has done the work necessary to get him to where he is now, and for that people now listen to him.

AshtonOnEllen_v1_CREDITWhat have you done to earn people’s ears?

Finally, rather than squander the time he’s been given and further demean our culture by filling the air with more celebrity-culture self-obsession, he has literally bit the hand that feeds him, from a certain perspective.

He has taken a stand, but not foolishly or with destructive methods. No, he chose his words and used them in a winsome way to communicate what he feels strongly about. No one can take offense at what he said because of how he said it.

What good is our message if, after we have earned the right to be heard, we squander that by saying things in a way that offends needlessly? That harms and hurts rather than strengthening and guiding?

The method of delivery is just as important as what we are delivering, and the wrong package will ruin even the right present.

Do you have something that needs to be said? Have you earned the right to say it? And have you calculated how to say what you must say in such a way that it will bring about what you desire?

Go work until you can go get the job that you want to have. I’m lucky I get to work with a lot of entrepreneurs that are building some of the coolest new stuff in the world. And they work really hard and put in the hours and they are generous and care about other people and it’s what led to their success.

Governor Jindal Cancels Thieve’s Benefit Cards

Remember this?

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal does and he’s ordered that those who participated in the fraud should have their benefits cards canceled for a year, the standard first-time fraud discipline period.

There is a process to appeal this ruling if individual SNAP recipients do not feel they deserve the punishment, which is good. Each case can and will be looked at to verify guilt.

Walmart-food-stamps-frenzy-caused-by-printing-glitchThis is a very good thing and more than I could have hoped for when I first heard of this mass theft. Do I hate people who need benefits like this? Do I have their children? No, not at all. But there are a few things you must keep in mind:

  • These are benefits, not wages. Those who receive them do not deserve them, are not owed anything to begin with, and receive them only at the charity and goodness of those who give them (leaving out the issues of taxation and wealth-redistribution/theft).
  • Those who participated in this fraud have shown they do not value the hard work of others necessary to make these benefits available to them. This includes the tax payers whose money is taken to pay for the programs, and the government and charity agencies which get the benefit cards to the people who have them.
  • The immoral actions of the adults who chose to act in a lawless manner and commit theft and fraud are the issue. It is those adults who hate their children, who did not consider what their real needs were, who thought only of what they could get and take and have for themselves without paying, even though they weren’t paying for anything on their cards before.

From the article:

As always, it’s the children who will really pay the price for the irresponsible actions of their parents. Through greed, dishonesty, and an entitlement mentality, these folks have just created their own SHTF event.