Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up . . .


I saw a television commercial today from Liberty Mutual Insurance Company that says it all. A woman came on the air and announced that drivers cannot parallel park their cars. Why? It is only a matter of time before they smash in somebody’s fenders. Drivers have only two options the woman explained: Take a bus, or buy insurance.

How about this option? Get off your lazy ass and learn how to parallel park!

There was a time in America when virtually every driver enrolled in a Drivers’ Education Program either through school or a private company prior to taking a drivers’ test. Every time I turn a corner, I still hear Mr. Evans saying, “Downshift to second gear son, before you make the turn.” In my world, everyone uses directional signals before turning or switching lanes. On my planet, people keep right, except to pass.

It is no coincidence that most automobile accidents involve drivers less than 25 years of age. Allowing immature 16 year olds to risk our lives and the lives of our loved ones is insane. I used to ask my students how far they should remain behind the car in front of them and they universally indicated 1 car length. When I told them it was 1 car length for every 10 MPH, they laughed and told me they would never get to where they were going if they followed that rule. They, of course, were right, but over the years so many of them never got there and never will.

It is a shame, but the Liberty Mutual commercial represents what America has become. We are a nation that craves dependency. It is easier to purchase insurance than learn how to drive properly. We are all equal, which means we all have the same driving skills. We have a First Amendment, which means we have a God-given right to operate our vehicles recklessly and endanger the lives of others.

I have one final puzzling thought. Have you noticed that the people who provide adequate insurance coverage for their families don’t seem to be the same people causing the accidents with their reckless driving habits? Keep handing out participation trophies to our children so they can grow up believing they can drive a motor vehicle. After all, they will live forever, and we will pick up the tab.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Swing and a Spit, Strike Three!


As in every year since I played Little League Baseball, I have enjoyed watching the World Series Playoffs, which are currently running again on TV this year. The players are terrific, the games have been exciting, and I can think of no better way to keep kids out of trouble than participation in good, clean sports.

However, as we watch the United States decline on every level, there are always incidents that go unnoticed by those of us who believe that not hearing the truth keeps us positive. I always learned that the truth will set you free, but more and more I feel alone. That ancient adage seems to have no place in twenty-first century America. Those incidents I mention appear regularly now in Little League competition. I am referring to the modern art of spitting in public by the players from the United States. I have not witnessed the same level of gross behavior from the international teams, but then again, the Koreans, Japanese, Czechs, and others do not have our warped sense of freedom.

This year, more than ever before, the young players are spitting almost continuously during every game. I don’t blame the kids. They do not know any better. I don’t blame the Little League organization. For sure, any attempt to stop the disgusting habit would be met with a lawsuit alleging the gobbing player was denied his or her First Amendment right to be a pig in public, just as our Founders planned it. I do blame the parents, although even those who possess the brass to control their kids are subject to legal action and social worker intrusions. I suppose the rest of us can simply turn off the television. That is the common recommendation by the naïve populace that fails to see the detriment to our country by allowing our children the freedom to be disgusting.

I suggest that those of us who still believe it is possible to regain the national couth we once enjoyed should speak out in an attempt to help these young people. But it will not happen. Most everyone will undoubtedly think I am making a mountain out of the proverbial mole hill. I suppose the deniers will never explore the past practice since 2007 of the losing players spitting in their palms before shaking hands with the victorious team. That is not the sportsmanship I was taught in the Little League.

Of course, that was a different America. I had adults around me that forbade such a public display of repulsive behavior, without fear of recourse for showing me better ways to treat my fellow man. Why has that changed? As an avid Boston Red Sox fan, I grew up emulating my favorite players. What I do not remember is watching intently as my heroes spit regularly during every game. That sure has changed. Today’s Little Leaguers have different role models to admire. It is okay today to be revolting and nauseating. Get hit by a pitch, and it is perfectly fine to charge the mound and fight with another player. After all, the pros do it.

I truly believe the Little League to be a great organization for children. I simply hope that it remains that way. If not, we will lose one more avenue of character building for America’s youth. Perhaps if we, as a nation, taught our children respect for others, we would not have to make believe the laughing thirty-year old felons destroying Ferguson, Missouri are just frustrated. Here’s a novel idea. Teach them not to spit.

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