Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Some Observations

It is a February afternoon in California - sunny and warm, with a bit of breeze to kee me awake as I stroll outside. At the moment I am avoiding some less enjoyable tasks such as scheduling new appointments and paying the bills. I am not quite procrastinating, just pondering some observations that have come my way in the new year.

I normally use this space to present ideas that I am passionate about, especially solutions to problems that the Left and Right both get wrong!

Today I want to share my musings, so here goes:

As a nation we spend huge amounts of money on education and social services "for the children." This is good. Have we thought about using the bully pulpits of business, politics, and religious communities and some of our budgeted funds to prepare adults to be the proper parents for their children?

Half a century of serious clinical research has demonstrated that Little Johnny and Young Sally need a Daddy and a Mommy who make their children's needs their first concern. So why do we make it so easy for Mommy and Daddy to divorce?

A generation of progress for Women's Equality is being undermined in the name of freedom of expression. Explicit pornographic material will soon be widely available on TV and is currently one of the the biggest money-making industries online. We claim that we want to give full dignity to women and men, but then we pander to animalistic instincts and depersonalize human intimacy. What message are we sending to our adolescents?

The PETA organization, dedicated to animal rights, calls the slaughter of animals a modern "holocaust", comparing it to the Nazi barbarity of WWII. At the same time, religious citizens are fined and jailed for expressing non-hateful, non-violent opposition to homosexual behavior. Am I crazy, ot is something wrong with our moral compass here?

In 1935 FDR proposed that Social Security have both private and public elements to insure its long-term health. President Clinton stated the same in 1999. Why then is there such a hailstorm of criticism when the issue is addressed today? Are we so bitter and ideological that we can not think strategically for generations ahead?

We try to improve educational quality so that our students can compete in a competitve global economy. We then undermine this improvement with grade inflation, allowing unprepared students into advanced classes, and graduating functional illiterates. Can we do better?

Amidst the hectic pace and high price of modern life, we long for "simplicity" and wish we could get out of the "rat race." Don't we see that we make choices about lifestyle and location that either intensify or ameliorate our stress?

Well, lunch break is over and the afternoon's tasks await. My next blog will mark a return of your "Sage of Sanity" as I deal with the Middle East. Until then, I hope these thoughts will help us all make better personal choices.