2014, a year closer to the end of America?

         The title may seem conspiracy like or even reactionary, but it is not far off base. If we honestly look at some of the things that transpired this year, you have to admit that this isn’t our parents America. The land we live in has fallen quite short of what I thought we were. But this is a disappointment I have gotten used to. Republican and Democrat blaming each other, while both are suckling Wall Streets teat. More insane nut bags threatening our “monkey” President Obama, because his skin color is bothering them. Conservatives pining for the time when white American men were the only people who mattered. Cops not just being bullies, but now shooting and killing unarmed black kids, then saying they felt threatened. Then trying to understand how an adult justifies shooting 12 times at someone running away, while my 10 year old daughter tells the grown up it is wrong. Cops using an illegal choke hold to kill a guy who was selling “loosey” cigarettes, only to hear more adults justify it. Then trying to explain to my 10 and 13 year old kids what is wrong with these people without calling them dumb. This list can go on and on. But seriously, what the hell is wrong with us?

            Everyone screams that things need to change, but when your voice is heard the majority sit home. The American society has failed. We are in general a weak and lazy group. Not all, as I said in general. To show our unhappiness we sit home, to show our social disobedience, we sit home. Sitting home and not participating seems to be the universal answer. America is the way it is because of US, WE THE PEOPLE CREATED THIS MESS. Our apathy has left a shell of a nation for my children. When we can change something, we do not because the devil we know is better then the devil we dont. Unfortunately we have left the fox in the henhouse, we stopped paying attention. Now everything seems corrupted, anyone with the tiniest bit of power has eaten the poison apple. Who cares, no one was watching them. Cops are beating black kids, don’t break the law. Killing black people, don’t break the law. But a black kills a white and all hell breaks loose. Politicians, even the ones where I live are under investigation for being corrupt.

           I love the freedoms I have but I have been negligent of my responsibilities as well. As a democracy, we are responsible for the actions of our representatives, we stopped telling them what to do because they quit doing it. If I stopped doing my job, I would get fired. CONGRESS SHOULD BE FIRED!!! 9% approval yet 94% reelected, what is wrong there. This apathy goes right into how people think. It is easy to hate and be bigoted, doesn’t take any thought. Simple minded people hate people based on color and creed. Stupid and loud people hold a lot of power in this country. How did we allow this? Money is some cases, because in some warped world money means intellegence. Laziness in others, why debate a dumb person, they will never change. We all seem to listen to the loudest speaker, typically the most ignorant person in the room. So this because our education system failed us or just because we lost faith in everything?

             I don’t have any answers. I can’t tell you what is right or wrong. I can tell you that my convictions are changing. I have always been a very liberal Democrat. The liberal part has grown stronger, I believe we need to help one another, foster a sense of community and continue to help the weakest among us to rise above where they are. We are a wealthy country who needs to commit resources to our infrastructure, education, homelessness and better health care, as well as mental health. We need to reel in the police, educate, better training and better mental health screening, as well as holding them accountable for their actions. The same needs to be done with our leaders on all kevels, state, local and federal. As well as TV and radio personalities who spread vitriol and lies. Time for all to be held accountable for their actions. That is a start. To improve our government, term limits for House, Senate and Supreme Court Justices. Time to remove money from politics and deny personhood of corporations. Even the playing field, end lobbying. The Democrat part has been called into question. I agree with them more, but they are also guilty of putting money before the people.

         In general 2014 was another year we failed our children. I will not anymore, my children will see that I believe it is time to stand. There is a movement in this country, it has been building slowly but it is building. I think it will reach a crescendo soon and we will see massive change. It is a dangerous and beautiful time to be alive. We will take our country back. We need to reverse the trend and improve in all aspects. If not America Jay be doomed to fail. Happy New Year! HAPPY NEW AMERICA!!!!

Social Media and todays pre-teens.

             Social Media for an adult is a wonderful thing, Twitter is my social media vice. If you are into politics, sports, religion, photography and whatever else you are interested in, it is right there. My live for politics has grown since joining Twitter. My wife is on Facebook and Instagram quite a bit.

              But for our pre-teen kids it is a little much. If you come from the bullying point of view, there is no escape. You are bullied in school, they find you online and keep up the attack, basically destroying any chance for friendly contact. The people that abuse this are generally not good people. But the kids that do it, are usually quite a bit like their parents. The only way to stop this is to keep your kids away from social media, that in turn will make them a pariah in school.

              The next ill of social media is how it is causing our kids to grow up alarmingly fast. These pre-teen girls know quite a bit more than they should. If you were to look at some of this kids Instagram pages you find some very shocking things there. Sexual innuendo, pictures describing sex and things about sex I know nothing about. How do we keep them away from this? Yes, I understand that they will eventually learn these things, but lets wait until then.

                I know kids today are maturing faster, I have 2. But I honestly believe social media is a tool best left to adults. These kids do not have the common sense or street smarts to use these things. Parents are getting into trouble because their 12 year old is writing that they want to kill themselves. It is nit enough that a parent has to worry about everything else, but also worry about a world that doesn’t make sense to us. It will only get worse, any step we take to change this will be met with heated resistance. Good luck to all parents out there.

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How do we handle our child being bullied?

          It seems at least a few times a month I read about a child committing suicide because they were bullied. I am sure it is more frequent but not all make the news. That does not diminish the fact a life was ended early because another person or people bullied them. I ask myself, what should we as parents do to protect our child?

           We all know, having dealt with other children when we were younger, how brutal kids can be. Kids get picked on for being poor, having pimples, the house you live in, sexual orientation, eyebrows, we could go on all day with this. Kids brutalize one another emotionally. Some kids are picked on by large groups, sometimes it is one kid, sometimes it us physical and sometimes its mental. Either way it affects each kid differently.

                Schools create anti-bullying programs and tell parents and children to talk to teachers and administrators if there is a problem. It does not work. I have seen these programs at work and I assure you that they let kids down. School should be a place they feel safe and a teacher a person they feel they can go to. The unfortunate truth here is that most bullies parents are just as bad as the bully. In turn if a teacher attempts to take care of a problem they are then bullied by the parent.

             How to handle a bully parent? I think a parent that attempts to bully their child should have charges levied against them. I am all for protecting your child, but if several kids are saying your child is picking on them, chances are its true. Parents of the bullied child attempt to let the school take care of the problem. Then when the school can’t the problem in some cases is too far gone.

            If we truly want to stop bullying, which will never happen. But if we want to make it less we need to hold the parent, teachers and administrators all responsible. If a child is being threatened by a parent we need more comprehensive protection for that child. I am not a perfect parent, but I try to keep my kids aware of how they treat others. It would be nice if other parents did so as well.

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Tennessee wants to slash welfare benefits based on kids grades.

                Tennessee Republican State Senator Stacey Campfield introduced legislation recently that would slash welfare benefits for parents whose kids get crummy grades. Critics call it an unfair proposal that will ultimately hurt kids. Campfield days the bill will inspire parents to do a better job.

             Senate Democrat leader Jim Kyle says a graded for welfare plan would stack the deck against at risk children. It would pressure them to study when they have no food on the dinner table. The state already cuts benefits by 20% for parents whose kids don’t have to go to school. Campfields bill would raise that to 30%. Campfield believes his proposal would break the cycle of poverty. A single mom with 2 kids recieves only $185 a month in benefits, does anyone believe this is enough.

               When Campfield introduced the legislation in January, he said parents have gotten away with doing absolutely nothing to help their children in school. He also said that it was child abuse. While Tennessee already ties welfare to education, this change would put the burden of maintaining benefits squarely on children. Can you imagine being 10 and knowing that how you do on this test can take away what helps your family get food. That is an awful lot of pressure for a kid. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ( TANF), meanwhile is failing students and their families. It serves fewer impoverished families and children that its predecessor did before the 1996 welfare reform law was instituted and it especially failed during the Great Recession, when the rates of families served fell in 35 states despite increases in both poverty and unemployment. Tenbessee’s welfare program is hardly robust, the maximum benefit is $185 a month and has remained that way since 1996. Low income students already struggle to keep up in school, further reducing the already modest benefits they receive from TAND. This isn’t likely to improve educational outcomes.

               There was a petition to stop this started by Clergy for Justice, a Tennessee based organization of clergy that has previously advocated for causes including immigration reform, health care and anti-bullying laws. They say the public school system fails our kids time and time again, not reaching out to children that need it, not being available to tutor and leaving behind children that may need just a little more time to catch on to something. Now put the pressure on them that they will get less food if they don’t get good grades.

              This isn’t the answer to our problems. These programs are there for people who need them. Instead if getting more revenue from taxes on the super wealthy they go after those that have nothing. Yes I agree some parents don’t help their children, but should the child be punished for that? No! We need to find a better solution, I probably don’t have the answer but it won’t stop me from trying.

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