Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Things NEED to Change

The past year has been an edifying one. Natural disasters in the United States and Asia, combined with unnatural disasters in Europe and the Middle East, have highlighted a host of problems that all of us need to be concerned about.

  • The tsunami in South Asia killed 200,000 people, and caused billions of dollars in damages. Today, almost eleven months later, things are still chaotic, many people are still living hand-to-mouth, and the areas most severely affected are only marginally recovering.
  • Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma caused tens of billions of dollars in damages across the Gulf Coast, and severely affected oil production and refining capacity in seven states. Widespread looting broke out in New Orleans after the levees broke, and disaster response at the local, parish, state, and national level left much to be desired. Florida, hit for the sixth or seventh time in the last 22 months, is actually recovering faster than the rest of the Gulf Coast, hit only twice, and not in the same place. The Houston evacuation was a debacle, and by the time the storm actually hit, many who had fled had driven into harm's way.
  • The disasterous earthquake in Pakistan and India highlighted problems long dormant - poor construction techniques, graft, corruption, and government indifference. The people most responsible suffered the least.
  • Islaminazis continue to wage war against civilization with bombings in London, Bali, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and of course a continuous war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Russia, and elsewhere in central Asia.
  • The current Muslim uprising in France has already claimed millions of dollars in property damage, and has seen copy-cat acts in Belgium, Germany, and Greece.

It's not going to stop just because people want it to stop. We're always going to have natural disasters as long as we live in a geologically and climatically active world. Unnatural disasters - those inflicted upon the populace by the behavior of a small group of people - can be either suppressed, or dealt with more firmly and more efficiently than what's currently being done. I offer the following suggestions:

  1. Give people something other than hopelessness to strive for. Reform education by banning the teacher's unions, insist upon a workable approach to education, and crush the "fad" behavior of "educational professionals". Go back to teaching basics the way that worked for 100+ years, and get rid of the fancy garbage that DOESN'T work. Destroy the political power of the unions to control education, and return it to the hands of the local community. If it means outlawing teacher's unions, do it. The past 50 years have proven to be an unmitigated disaster and a continuing erosion of educational achievement in the United States. Put a stop to it, doing whatever is necessary.
  2. Push the idea that employment depends upon whether the individual is worth hiring. Teach basic job skills (punctuality, courtesy, integrity, capability, etc.), beginning in elementary school and continuing through advanced technical, vocational, or liberal education. Establish remedial education programs for those that failed to get the information the first time. Do not promote those children and adults who fail to achieve a minimum level of competency - it's better to establish the precedent at a young age and have the individual overcome it than promote "self-esteem" at the expense of competency until the individual tries to get his first job, and find themselves totally crushed by their worthless skillset and unemployability. Establish institutions that prepare people for life, including the concept of doing an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. There are no guaranteed shortcuts to success.
  3. End the psychobabble and "social experimentation". The future is too important to be playing silly games with. End the self-destructive behavior of tearing down "old" institutions and trying to replace them with a house of cards. "Rediscover" the concept of the "work ethic".
  4. Promote individual rights, including the freedoms described in the US Constitution's "Bill of Rights", personal property rights, and the rights to intellectual property. Institutionalize the concept of "personal ownership" and individual reward for individual performance. Give people something to protect and defend. Give them the individual rights to protect and defend what is theirs through personal ownership of the means of defense, including laws that are easily understood and applied equally across all ethnic, social, cultural and political groups.
  5. Promote both individual, cultural, "civic" and national pride by recognizing and acknowledging outstanding achievement at any level. Don't cover up failures, but use them to illustrate how to avoid repeating them. Encourage everyone to try, but don't give false rewards for less than outstanding behavior.
  6. Stop condemning competitive behavior. Competition is the key to success - as individuals, businesses, and other enterprises. Unless you're willing to be competetive, you will fail. Don't settle for being second, third, tenth, or umpty-ninety-ninth - strive to be better, do better. Some people will always be better at some things than others. Being unable to compete at one thing may force people to search to find what they're better at, and increase their personal satisfaction. It's better to be the best third clarinet in the band than to be a lousy first trumpet.
  7. Stop relying on false indicators to make decisions. Much of what passes for "business wisdom" today - especially in Europe - was proven ineffective and useless 100 years ago. Scrap the "social progressive policies" and enter the 21st Century. Socialism collapsed under the weight of its own inequities - in Russia, in China, and it's in the process in Western Europe.
  8. Stop instituting economic policies for political reasons in business and government - it just muddies the water and keeps people from doing what's necessary to survive. Affirmative action is dying - let it go. Accept that the world is made of individuals, not cookie-cutter assembly-line-manufactured drones, and start creating economic, business, social, cultural, and government policies based upon this truth.
  9. Understand at the basic level that all things change, and at their own speed. There is NOTHING that will ALWAYS be "just this way". There is always need to respond to change. Individuals should be aware of this, and be able to adapt to it. That includes teaching them the truth about change, and how to respond appropriately to the changes in their everyday world. The individual who can't change will be crushed - by change.
  10. An individual's belief system is their ultimate personal property - government, society, and business need to leave it alone. Imposing rules that create unnecessary impositions upon the individual's practice of their beliefs is equal to trying to outlaw or supress those beliefs. Nor should one person's beliefs take precedent over another, regardless of their position within a company or institution. Personal beliefs should never be permitted to be an excuse to engage in violent criminal activity against the lives or property of others.

The world will continue to change. Those who are prepared to accept change, and respond to it to the best of their abilities, will succeed. The rest will always be "victims".


Blogger Stitches77 said...

You're very articulate, I love the way your write and your ideas.

3:49 PM  

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