Showing posts from January, 2016

Uncle Sam is not a Father

As I sipped coffee while sitting in the shop’s window seat, I observed a young mom huddled beneath the bus shelter across the street. Holding onto her legs was a little boy bundled up against the rain, but nevertheless looking miserable. 
I watched a bus rumble up and the two boarded. As they drove past, mom and boy looked as bleak as the rainy day. I wondered when life would get easier for them, if ever.

Apologies to women who are rightfully using the government benefits they desperately need to raise their kids. 
This isn’t about you. 
It’s about absentee fathers who are abdicating their responsibilities. 
Instead of marrying the father of their kids, women have married state and federal programs just to be sustained in near poverty. And we see the results in our schools, community shelters, and prisons. 

Sorry, Uncle Sam doesn’t make a good father. 

Ask any of these women existing on rent support, food vouchers, and medicaid health plans if they are “making it” and they would emph…

Devastating Anniversary

Maybe you saw the “hoax” article on Facebook about a pending earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest. A quick response from the National Weather Service said there was nothing to worry about. 
But for record, the last time the Juan De Fuca tectonic plate and the North American tectonic plate had a super destructive meeting was January 26, 1700. 

And also for the record, these super-destructive earthquakes happen with eerie 243-year regularity. So if there is some concern about a pending quake, the ominous anniversary reminds us that we’re overdue a “big one”.

These mega-earthquakes have been traced all the way back to AD 599.  But now this amazingly beautiful real estate is home to millions—in cities like Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, and Salem with hundreds of towns in between.
Volumes of credible research and the best seismic equipment isn’t enough to give those of us living in the Pacific Northwest much warning for the anticipated 9.2 earthquake. 
Experts say that it…

The Great Crash of 2016

Perhaps you’ve been able to avoid the financial news since the beginning of the year and haven’t peeked at your financial portfolio. Maybe you hope it will reverse itself, somehow. Lower prices at the gas pump are nice, but it means your retirement savings are burning up too.
Financial gurus are busy explaining, but it can be summarized this way: we’re screwed. 

Here’s why:
Zero interest. The world’s central banks zero interest policy has “encouraged” dutiful money savers to invest money in riskier ventures (stocks). This includes the holders of pension plans and those managing retirement accounts.
Monopoly money. Globally, nations have chosen to print money that has no backing. This has accomplished building the largest mountain of personal and national debt—ever.
Las Vegas-styled banking. Rather than being careful stewards of loaning money, banks have created “derivative products”. Most of us have no idea what these are. But know this: the contracts for these obligations are six times…

Journalists Beware

It would have been easy to miss the few paragraphs tucked in the side column of the daily newspaper. What caught my eye was the headline: 
Gaza journalist says he was tortured in jail

Gaza is a hotbed for Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, but it wasn’t about Israel this time. Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul was imprisoned for publicly criticizing the Islamic Hamas control in Gaza. 
According to Al-Aloul, the nine days in Hamas custody made him a “new man”. Torture and beatings really do facilitate attitude adjustments.

No longer delving into political topics, the journalist will now focus on cheery things like sports, food, and fashion. As Al-Aloul says, “I’ve decided not to talk about the general situation anymore. The experience I went through was very difficult.” 
Hamas convinced Ayman al-Aloul that he should refrain from writing about his government and their control. I’m sure other Gaza journalists have taken note.

We don’t torture our reporters here in America. There's no …

More Guns = Less Death?

Increasing our nation’s gun control measures may seem like a plausible solution to gun violence, but it’s important to check out our gun statistics. The stats don’t support the notion that American gun violence is worsening. 
While mass-shootings are horrific, America is not as violent as it once was. Sociologists and experts can debate why American violence is diminishing, but one reason stands out: Americans now own more guns than ever before (185 million gun owners in 1993 to 357 million in 2013).

Many might disagree, but it appears that gun owners have actually made America a safer place. If you’re interested in reading supporting research, see the links below. But it’s hard to argue with the American Enterprise Institute graph below.

Let’s remember that violent thugs, terrorists, and crazies remain in our midst—legislation won’t take away their evil, but armed Americans can be a real deterrent to their efforts. 
For more info:
Washington Post, US Government, CATO, 10 Myths About …

2016: The Year of Our Children

I watched my grandson select just the right-sized rocks to form the numbers 2-0-1-6. It has become our way to welcome the New Year. But this time I had more foreboding about the year ahead—about his future too. 
Grandchildren are a blessing, but they are a reminder about the nation’s issues they’ll inherit. The issues my generation helped perpetuate. Sobering thought.

So as we begin a new year, here’s my prediction: 2016 will change America.
Be ready to be a change maker. Here are some ways:
If you’re 18, register to vote. Get informed. Don’t just listen to the pundits or get your news from some late night comedian. Read real economic reports. It’s grim. 
When you vote for a candidate promising terrific programs, remember the cost. America needs money to pay for everything we offer. We’re terribly debt-ridden. Each child already owes $58,000. That’s insane.

Everyone can help someone. Volunteer. It’s something I saw my parents and grandparents do. Our local civic clubs need members.…