Monthly Archives: January 2011

Raising kids means raising the bar

On the heels of the Martin Luther King holiday and the beginning of Black History month, I find it ironic that so many  grammy nominees feel compelled to populate their lyrics with the “n word” .     Somewhere I missed the New Miss Manner’s edition that this offensive word is now accepted vernacular, a synonym for brother, buddy or any another term of endearment, and to insult to injury, these “artists”  feel the need to add a hefty helping of expletives.

However, this lowered standard of decency has its limits,  acceptable and even lauded for the “top 40″ to utter every eight bars, [‘creative advisors’ insist it boosts radio play] but unacceptable for a teacher trying to talk to his students in their adopted slang, as  Valley High School’s Paul Dawson learned.   And rightly so; this is an unacceptable term from anyone’s, or any teacher’s, lips, with one exception; unless he is reading Mark Twain.   How hypocritical that Jay Z, Li’l Wayne, M & M, Puff Daddy/diddy?, Jeezy, and scores of others with made up names to add ‘gangsta’ cred”, can shout it from the rafters, but Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer gets excised!  One of the most prolific, classic works of literature gets as white washed as Tom’s picket fence.

Martin Luther King was a pupil and disciple of language and believed in its power to transform and overcome adversity.  To think he died so that those that came after him could call one another “n_ _ _  a”, must have him spinning in his grave.   The English language is rich, artful and with enough variety to paint any picture.  If we measure the past 10 years by lyrical content and competence,  it becomes apparent we have fallen many rungs off the evolutionary ladder. That pop culture continues to utilize its worst, most ignorant elements is reflection of  its lack of judgement, taste, and/or intelligence. I know there are many parents that share this view, but we are so busy juggling work and family to take the time to push back and raise the bar to its rightful, higher place from the role models our kids look to who keep lowering it.  Just because the FCC has abrogated its responsibility in enforcing decency,  doesn’t give me, or you, an excuse to do the same.    I’m fighting back, please join in.

It’s guns, stupid!

I am tiring of every politician and broadcast personality citing that our nasty political rhetoric has caused the murders in Arizona.   I can’t figure out if this is the media driven for ratings or politicians propagandizing, but already it feels the Nancy Grace  circus-like coverage surrounding  the tragedies of Haleigh Cummings and Natalie Halloway.

I don’t recall anyone from Columbine, VA Tech, Binghamton, LIRR, DC, or other sites of murderous rampages, attributing the polarized political landscape as a factor.   And wasn’t it a spate of attacks by postal workers that coined the term ‘going postal’ , not ‘going political’?   But they all had one thing in common, which is frighteningly absent here:  a fever pitch clamor to remove guns, notably assault rifles,  from the public.   This time, however, we are treated to politicians pledging to be nicer to one another.

I certainly agree it would be a welcome improvement if politicians would stop demonizing the political party/member they don’t agree with.  But that misses the mark, and distracts us from the real culprit, which is access to guns and it seems no party wants to take that on.   At least that is the only explanation I can come up with for ignoring the obvious; this inexcusable and deafening silence on the one common feature/accomplice to all these crimes, namely, semi-automatic assault weapons,  and all those involved in ensuring their free-flowing supply.   Are our politicians are so egocentric they have to find another separate reason for how they differ from other rampage victims?    Does a parent who mourns their daughter’s death at VA grieve differently than the Greens or feel any less of a loss?  and what comfort does a less polarized political scene bring to them?    Unstable or psychotic people are merely that, until you provide them access to weapons, and then they can become killing machines.

It was reported that Jared Loughner was rejected from the Army.   Isn’t this determination recorded in a database so that when unsuitable candidates start shopping for firearms, their ID search triggers an alert, notifying the retailer/salesman and authorities?   If not, then what the hell have they been doing with our taxpayer dollars, this is a no-brainer?   Clearly this is no hunting rifle; its sole purpose is maximum kills in minimum time.   How many others must die before our legislators illegalize this class of firearm?    Perhaps it is only by hitting this close to home our leaders will rise to the office we elected them and act as there will be no greater motivation or interest among our elected officials than there is now.      Let’s do more than pray they don’t waste this opportunity; write your elected officials now, or forward this blog link.   This may be the only issue today with bi-partisan support, at least before the gun manufacturers start breaking out their checkbooks for contributions.

Healthcare with odds worse than Vegas

“I see dead people”,  Haley Joel Osment told Bruce Willis in “The Sixth Sense”, but he could have uttered the same in his first year of residency.    A friend of mine who is also a cardiologist and surgeon was recently lamenting the course of action he is forced to recommend for a 12 year old and 82 year old; the 82 year old’s heirs might sue him for neglect if he failed to provide the same treatment.   Such disgregard of common sense means that nonsensical health procedures will continue unless there is tort reform.

No better example of this lunacy is the news of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s scheduled surgery to amputate a portion of her leg to remove a cancerous tumor.   Zsa Zsa is no stranger to life threatening health concerns, she has been in and out of the hospital since August.   At 92 years young she has led an inspired life and seemed ready to accept her fate when she requested a priest give her last rites back in September.

This is where quality of life and quantity diverge.   Even if this were on her own dime, it would be just as deplorable.    Her survival of the surgery is questionable, the quality of the time she has left is questionable.    The only certain thing is that, whatever her chances are,  the hospital and those treating her will make money.   Kind of like Vegas, customers may win or lose, but the “house’ always wins.