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    Default RANT: The Dumbing Down of America

    I originally posted this in another thread but thought I should make it a seperate thread......Just my thoughts on some issues I have been dealing with at work.


    Why is it that when I screwed up, I got a belt to the ***** and kids now get a "time out?" Send the kid to their room as a punishment where their tv, computer, stereo, Ipod and Playstations are. Yup, real punishment there. They really do learn a life lesson by being forced to play playstation.

    When I broke my neighbors window with my baseball, and cut myself climbing through the window to recover it (so they wouldn't know it was me) I still got a belt to the ***** and was forced by Dad to replace the window myself. Why is it now that someone breaks into a home to steal stuff and then sue the homeowners for damages because they got cut on the same window they broke to rip them off?

    Why is it that a parent of a 16yr old kid who just backed into another car at a parking lot is blaming the driver of the other vehicle for parking behind her son's car?

    Why is it that a parent will call the cops for an "out of control 5 year old?" HE'S FREAKIN' 5 YRS OLD!!!! Deal with it. If you can't handle the kid, don't have them!

    Why is it that every kid now a days is diagnosed as A.D.D. and needs to be medicated to "calm them down?"

    We have become a "deflect blame and responsibility" society. Somewhere it became that a spanking is abuse and is wrong. There is a difference between discipline and abuse. Somewhere the art of PARENTING and UPBRINGING has been lost. Somewhere it became the norm to point the finger at someone else because of their own stupidity. It's called the Dumbing Down of America.

    We would have less problems if people just accepted responsibility for their own actions and stopped pointing the finger at someone else.

    Everyone needs a good spanking now and again.
    Jason Knecht
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    Well, I don't think spanking, or the lack of it, is the problem. You hit it pretty well on the head with this line:

    Send the kid to their room as a punishment where their tv, computer, stereo, Ipod and Playstations are.
    But it's about ineffective punishment, not the lack of a heavy hand. Drawing from my personal experiences, I had a lot of friends as a kid who received the old belt on regular occasion. I also had a bunch who's parents never hit them. The odd thing, for the most part the second batch were the more honest, obedient, and hard-working of the bunch. That doesn't necessarily mean the spanking was useless, but just that those parents had found more effective ways to modify thier kids behaviour.

    As for the responsibility, there is no doubt that the old ways are gone. My entire town helped to raise me, much to my disdain. I couldn't cast a sideways glance at someone without my parents finding out.
    Today, there is a general distrust of people, and we don't seem to promote the social environment within our own communities anymore. I rememeber the neighbours hosting huge parties for everyone on the block. Today you don't let your kids play at a new families house without an interview and background check.

    Responsibility came easier when you had personal relationships with your neighbours. And kids were easier to manage when those folks were on your side. If we all took a little time to get to know our neighbours and the folks in our communities, we wouldn't have as great a natural divide and distrust of our fellow man.
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    I agree with you on the group that the parents did not spank their kids. Those are the true parents that have a special talent, almost and art of raising kids.

    Those parents are like the one special teacher you had in school that you wanted nothing but to please that person and it motivated you to do good and the right thing. I know people like this but they are the minority, a dying breed.

    Here is another thing. The other day I went to the gas station and total was $17.08 and the clerk saw me pull out a twenty. I felt some change in my pocket and didn't need any more so I gave her the twenty and 8 cents. Oh my, it was like I just told her her hair was on fire. I completely messed up her mojo. The til told her to give me $2.92 in change back. Instead, she had to do some quick math and it was like she vapor locked. She couldn't figure it out. I let her stew a bit and just as she reached for the calculator I finally said to just give me $3 back and it's all good.

    Now mind you I'm no rocket scientist math wizard but it seems most younger people can't do any math at all without a calculator. WTF???

    Who knows, maybe I'm just getting old and cranky.
    Last edited by Dickey; 07-08-2007 at 07:29 AM.
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    lol, I'm with you on the math thing.


    I was in a convenience store the other day to pick up a few items. The order came to $21.30, and all I had was twenties. I gave the clerk $40, and she began to punch it in. I suddenly realized that I had a twoonie ($2.00 coin) in my pocket, so rather than get a bunch of small bills and change back I dropped it on the counter and said, here use this instead.

    Well of course she had already hit the enter button, and the magic machine told her she owed me $18.70. I waited for her to figure it out, but instead she just stared at the Keypad, looking for the "do-over" button. After about ten seconds, she stared at me with this look of panic, and then fear. Ten more seconds passed before I said, just forget it and give me the $18.70.

    I could have taken the time to explain the math to her, but since there were other folks in line, I though that would be even more rude of me than I was already being. How dare I expect her to add 2 to 18 and get 20.

    I did suggest she try to stay awake in math class.
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    Here's what I think is a big reason for the refusal to accept responsibility for one's own actions-LAWYERS.

    We have a whole generation of people who have grown up with a pervasive attitude that if you are wronged-sue the bastards. It's not your fault you smoked for 50 years and got lung cancer despite every conceivable warning of it's health effects-sue the tobacco cos. That is an example where the lawyers went out and solicited the parties to that lawsuit, worked hard to turn it multiple times into a class action lawsuit and won billions. What individuals got alot of money? Not the plaintiffs, but the lawyers.

    Who would have ever thought that McDonald's coffee was hot? Could you believe the audacity of the school system for placing skylights on a gymnasium roof where a trespasser could fall through while he was attempting to burglarize the school? And, by God, we need that warning label on a bag of peanuts that says "MAY CONTAIN NUTS".

    Lawyers (not all, but a segment of the industry) have put out the message loud and clear for at least a generation-if you are harmed, it is never your fault. You (and the lawyer) deserve a big fat pay day. It is the end of personal responsibility.

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    Dickey,

    You could not possibly be more right on with this topic. There is a general attitude change about raising kids and it is not for the better.

    My kids have been held to my wife's and my standard which is definitely higher than the school and apparently most of society these days. Honesty, accepting responsibility and blame, hard work pays off in school and life, respect for others and their property, and my favorite...there is no free ride, ever.

    Our kids have always lived by our standard. While you could play school sports with a D average, we said ANY grade below a C and you are done. We are well known in the school because when a teacher calls us with a concern we actually follow up and help fix the problem. The corrolary to that is if there is a problem at school that isn't being handled I am in that school until it is. My kids know that about my wife and I.

    My kids are not angels by any means, they are sometimes little ****ers like any other kid. But it is very, very good to have people compliment you on your kids. When your son comes home from his job after being there only a month with a bonus and an award for doing his job above and beyond...you can't help but be proud.

    A little story for you regarding the computer, TV, stereo and playstation in the room. My oldest son is, well, messy, no that's not quite it, he's a pig, no that insults pigs, he is well a slob and his room was becoming a mini Collier's mansion. I was on him to clean it up and after a week or so I put a sign on his door saying today or your electricity gets shut off to your room. Well, he blew me off and didn't do it. He went to hangout with friends and I shut off the circuit breaker to his room. He came home, no lights, no tv, no comp, no stereo, no play station...guess what? He cleaned his room!! All I do now is smile and say guess its time to shut off the juice again and his room gets cleaned. Not spotless but better than the dump it usually is.

    I am sure that story probably means I am mentaly abusive or some such s### but it worked, I didn't have to yell, and my point was made. Seems like a perfect solution to me.

    Parents need to stand up and demand their kids behave, demand they do better in school, demand they respect others and their property. Its all in what you show them yourself and the standard you set and live by.

    FyredUp

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Dickey,

    You could not possibly be more right on with this topic. There is a general attitude change about raising kids and it is not for the better.

    My kids have been held to my wife's and my standard which is definitely higher than the school and apparently most of society these days. Honesty, accepting responsibility and blame, hard work pays off in school and life, respect for others and their property, and my favorite...there is no free ride, ever.

    Our kids have always lived by our standard. While you could play school sports with a D average, we said ANY grade below a C and you are done. We are well known in the school because when a teacher calls us with a concern we actually follow up and help fix the problem. The corrolary to that is if there is a problem at school that isn't being handled I am in that school until it is. My kids know that about my wife and I.

    My kids are not angels by any means, they are sometimes little ****ers like any other kid. But it is very, very good to have people compliment you on your kids. When your son comes home from his job after being there only a month with a bonus and an award for doing his job above and beyond...you can't help but be proud.

    A little story for you regarding the computer, TV, stereo and playstation in the room. My oldest son is, well, messy, no that's not quite it, he's a pig, no that insults pigs, he is well a slob and his room was becoming a mini Collier's mansion. I was on him to clean it up and after a week or so I put a sign on his door saying today or your electricity gets shut off to your room. Well, he blew me off and didn't do it. He went to hangout with friends and I shut off the circuit breaker to his room. He came home, no lights, no tv, no comp, no stereo, no play station...guess what? He cleaned his room!! All I do now is smile and say guess its time to shut off the juice again and his room gets cleaned. Not spotless but better than the dump it usually is.

    I am sure that story probably means I am mentaly abusive or some such s### but it worked, I didn't have to yell, and my point was made. Seems like a perfect solution to me.

    Parents need to stand up and demand their kids behave, demand they do better in school, demand they respect others and their property. Its all in what you show them yourself and the standard you set and live by.

    FyredUp

    You couldn't be more right. My 19 yoa son has a job, in a professional, non-government atmosphere, where his boss' comments are that he is as respectful as any kid who ever worked for him. He particularly was impressed with the fact that the kid can firmly shake your hand, look you in the eye and have an intelligent conversation devoid of "like", "you know" and "awesome".

    To clarify my earlier post, I feel that a failure, by parents, of having their kids adhere to a standard of conduct and allowing them to be free of responsibility stems from the pervasive cultural more of no personal responsibility that so many adults buy into.

    We locked up about 10 kids (ages 16-17) for burning down a garage. They video'd it. It occurred while they were pouring gasoline on sticks and beating each other with it in a "Jackass" sort of fashion. These kids were spoiled brats who had little regard for the law. In fact, they threatened to beat the resident of the house where the garage was burning if she told the police they did it. Real sweethearts.

    During the interview of the kid, the kid's father told me that he didn't know what the big deal was. His son led a "Bohemian lifestyle" and that sometimes these things happen while he was expressing himself. I lost it (I know, hard to believe) and told the father exactly what I thought of his son, him and their lifestyle. Then I put the kid in juvenile detention. This, for me, epitomizes the problem.

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    Thumbs up Couple of Points...................

    George is, as usual, right on the money, IMO. Tort Reform is long overdue, and it's not happening. And it will not happen until a group with a lot of money forces the issue on referendums in the various States. Most States have a framework of Legislation that would require a change to that State's Constitution in order to change the Standards for Legal actions. Even if States tighten up on Stupid Lawsuits, the Federal Arena will provide entertainment for many years to come. Speaking of which, the guy in Washington D.C. that sued a dry Cleaners for $50+ Million over a lost pair of pants got his Butt handed to him by the trial judge. Not only did the Judge find for the Defendant, he ordered the Plaintiff to pay all costs of the proceedings for EVERYONE involved.



    And Jason's Phrase: "There is a difference between Discipline and Abuse." Should be awarded "The Phrase of the year Award". Period. Six simple words that speak volumes about how we live in 2007. If it were my call, I would require a 1,000 word essay based on the meaning of that phrase from every person involved in Social Services of any kind, Nationwide.
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    I know this will stir up a whole other sh*t strom. But, the other reason we are being "dumbed". The extreme left. They as a collective group, whine and fight to give all same "rights and privilges" to everyone regardless of abilities. No one knows what its like to "lose".
    People know they can sue to make the team, get the job, etc.. regardless of their abilities or education....
    "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
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    Good topic!

    I think egocentrism has a lot to do with Society's woes. It's amazing on how many people think that the sun rises and sets in their back yard and everyone else is along for the ride. This attitude can be found on all levels of society.

    You think the kids are facked-up now. I can't wait to see the offspring of Generation "R" (for Ritalin).
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    I know this will stir up a whole other sh*t strom. But, the other reason we are being "dumbed". The extreme left.
    Horse crap.
    They as a collective group, whine and fight to give all same "rights and privilges" to everyone regardless of abilities. No one knows what its like to "lose".
    Baloney. Athletic programs are more popular now than ever. And I assure you, every player and team out there knows what it's like to lose.
    People know they can sue to make the team, get the job, etc.. regardless of their abilities or education....
    Every student should be allowed to participate. There is nothing wrong with that. Their parents pay just as much taxes as the parents of the superstars.
    Every generation looks back on the previous and says the same thing. It's a complete farce. Your post is nothing but meaningless Rush Limbaugh rightwing crap.

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    I will be the first to say that tort reform is necessary.

    I have yet to meet anyone, even the most dogged supporter of tort reform, who would willingly give away his option to hire an aggressive attorney if circumstances ever warrant it. Had it not been for the much-maligned contingency fee system in which attorneys get a portion of any monetary judgment few poor or middle class people would be able to have their day in court, or to hire a first-rate attorney for legitimate wrongs.

    What do those who say the words "trial attorney" through gnashed teeth propose? Or are you going to tell us that people are never wronged or injured by incompetent entities?
    Last edited by scfire86; 07-08-2007 at 05:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire View Post
    I know this will stir up a whole other sh*t strom. But, the other reason we are being "dumbed". The extreme left.
    As opposed to the extreme right who keep telling everyone how happy they should be to get fu(ked.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Awww geezus, both you right wingers and you libs shut up and take your political battle elsewhere....Pretty please.

    This is mostly, well from my viewpoint, parental skills and teaching personal responsibility, not freaking politics.

    FyredUp

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    I agree with Fyred....but SC & TheNozz, you two need to not attack the right wingers. Ignore them...simple as that. Let them rant.
    And if defense of wtr, I bet he lost a job or game to someone "lesser" than him? Perhaps that is why he feels the way he does?

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    wot choo all talcing bout?
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Hmmmmmmm. Think about it.

    Lowered expectations from our pathertically dismal and failed Public Education System. How dare you discipline anyone nowadys for anything. Can't keep score at childrens' games. No marking test answer sheets in Red ink for fear of harming someone's feelings. Lawsuits over anything and everything. A sense of entitlement that everything is owed to everyone

    Hell, you want to see dumbed down? Work a shift with me in the Emergency Department. People sleep around with 5 people in a week and are shocked, utterly shocked that they have 3 different sexually transmitted diseases. I told a family that their mother has lugn cancer and they were thankful that it was not Tuberculosis.

    The mother today that called EMS because her 3 year old put a single bead in their nostril. The people that are asthmatics and smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and can't figure out why their asthma is getting worse. The people I see that weigh 350 pounds and yell at me for telling them that their chronic back pain is due to their weight. The 400 pounder who cries becuase they have high blood pressure and have to start a medication. The guy I had yesterday who stopped medicating himself with his hypertension medications and now feels like ***** because his blood pressure is through the roof. The 18 year old who risked blindness because she used her friend's contact lenses because she "wanted to look cool with green eyes."

    Or even better, the lawyers who tell their clients to go to the Emergency Department for pain medications or unnecessary tests for their lawsuit claims. Then they get ****ed at me for telling them that I am not going to order an unnecessary $1,400 CT scan or MRI, then turn around and tell me that I should do it "because my lawyer said so."

    Or the people who demand antibiotics for illnesses that do not require it because "My father had the 'same thing' last week." The people that come to me and complain about not being able to have a bowel movement in 4 days, but on X-Ray have a bottle of deodorant, a potato, a vibrator, or pencil in their rectum.

    I have no faith in society any longer. The sad thing is, these events have all happened when I was working or took care of these people personally, in the past 4 months.

    You know who is responsible? We are. Each and every one of us. And it will not get better. Ever.
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    I agree with Fyred....but SC & TheNozz, you two need to not attack the right wingers. Ignore them...simple as that. Let them rant.
    Well, as usual, one of them started it. I just get tired of hearing it. Once upon a time, all the kids in the nation were going to hell in a handbasket because they were listening to Elvis or driving their damned hot rods too fast. Now, they listen to whatever the hell it is they listen to, and drive their Hondas too fast. Nothing's changed...except those who are bitching about it now just got old. Blaming it on liberals, social programs, or the schools is just stupid. Some of my friends went to top notch private schools, and they were some of the stupidest son of a bitches I ever met. There have always been stupid kids and dumb, arrogant parents. This is nothing new at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Well, as usual, one of them started it. I just get tired of hearing it. Once upon a time, all the kids in the nation were going to hell in a handbasket because they were listening to Elvis or driving their damned hot rods too fast. Now, they listen to whatever the hell it is they listen to, and drive their Hondas too fast. Nothing's changed...except those who are bitching about it now just got old. Blaming it on liberals, social programs, or the schools is just stupid. Some of my friends went to top notch private schools, and they were some of the stupidest son of a bitches I ever met. There have always been stupid kids and dumb, arrogant parents. This is nothing new at all.

    Nozz.. it's Rap, hip hop and Ricers...

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    Can't keep score at childrens' games.
    The only people bitching about this is the over agressive parents who are trying to extend their egos through their children's performance, not the little kids actually playing the game. I live across from a little league field. It gets damned old hearing those guys yelling at 8 year olds like they're grown men all afternoon.
    Hell, you want to see dumbed down? Work a shift with me in the Emergency Department. People sleep around with 5 people in a week and are shocked, utterly shocked that they have 3 different sexually transmitted diseases. I told a family that their mother has lugn cancer and they were thankful that it was not Tuberculosis.
    People all around the world have been getting STD's for centuries.
    The mother today that called EMS because her 3 year old put a single bead in their nostril.
    So? I'd rather a worried parent call us than not. I'm here to help, not bitch. It all pays the same.
    The people that are asthmatics and smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and can't figure out why their asthma is getting worse.
    Get real. They know...they just can't stop because they are addicted and don't want to stop, any how.
    The 400 pounder who cries becuase they have high blood pressure and have to start a medication.
    Obesity is nothing new, either. People who have poor diets, smoke, drink, and don't take care of their health in general have been around for a long time, too. It is nothing new.
    The 18 year old who risked blindness because she used her friend's contact lenses because she "wanted to look cool with green eyes."
    Again, kids do stupid things. I know I pulled my fair share of stunts when I was that age. In fact, I'm very lucky to be alive having cheated death behind the wheel of a fast car more than once. It is business as usal, and not indicative of anything.
    Or even better, the lawyers who tell their clients to go to the Emergency Department for pain medications or unnecessary tests for their lawsuit claims. Then they get ****ed at me for telling them that I am not going to order an unnecessary $1,400 CT scan or MRI, then turn around and tell me that I should do it "because my lawyer said so."
    If you think that crooked lawyers and their scams are anything new, guess again.
    Or the people who demand antibiotics for illnesses that do not require it because "My father had the 'same thing' last week." The people that come to me and complain about not being able to have a bowel movement in 4 days, but on X-Ray have a bottle of deodorant, a potato, a vibrator, or pencil in their rectum.
    Again, we are all capable of doing stupid stuff. This sort of thing has gone on for a long time, too.
    I have no faith in society any longer. The sad thing is, these events have all happened when I was working or took care of these people personally, in the past 4 months.
    You've lost faith in society because of crooked lawyers, smokers, obese people, girls sharing contact lenses, and people putting things in their butts?
    Sounds like you didn't have much faith in the first place.
    You know who is responsible? We are. Each and every one of us. And it will not get better. Ever.
    Please. This nation has been through far harder times than we are having now...civil war...slavery...mass poverty...epidemics...depression...you name it. Is there room for inprovement? You bet...but I'm sure not losing faith any time soon. That's crazy talk.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 07-08-2007 at 11:42 PM.

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    Nozz.. it's Rap, hip hop and Ricers...
    Yeah...with those annoying fart pipes. Damn, I hate those things!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Yeah...with those annoying fart pipes. Damn, I hate those things!
    One of my neighbor's kids has an older Eclipse with the fart can exhaust.. he tries to impress me if I am outside when he drives by gunning it...

    Paybacks are a bitch.. especially when I do likewise in the 'Stang (insert twisted evil smiley icon here)

    My son just replaced his 2001 F-150's exhaust system with a Magnaflow dual exhaust... the sound? Sweet mercy!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Awww geezus, both you right wingers and you libs shut up and take your political battle elsewhere....Pretty please.

    This is mostly, well from my viewpoint, parental skills and teaching personal responsibility, not freaking politics.

    FyredUp
    THANK YOU!!!!

    If I wanted to hear politics I would turn on C-SPAN. Take your $hit elsewhere!

    ...and great thinking with shutting off the power. If we had more parents that actually cared......we wouldn't be discussing it here. Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Here's what I think is a big reason for the refusal to accept responsibility for one's own actions-LAWYERS.
    Yes, I agree George. Those types of cases would not happen if it wasn't for lawyers trying to make a buck. No matter how you look at it, it all comes back to parenting. The basic right from wrong teachings. Not talking religion (however if that's what your beliefs are, more power to ya) but just the basic, common sense stuff. Treat people with respect, treat them how you would be want to be treated.

    I recently moved and went to the neighbors to introduce myself. Most I knew already from buying the house I grew up in and they were there when I was a wee man but there were a few new ones. A few were shocked that I would do such a thing. One even said they didn't know their next door neighbors after living there 3 years!! WTF?

    I didn't want to make this a "poor me" thread but I had to vent a bit. I'm glad you all see what I see and that I'm actually not getting old and senile!




    Oh and Gonz........let it rip buddy, the louder the meaner the better!!!!
    Last edited by Dickey; 07-09-2007 at 01:15 AM.
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  24. #24
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    Thank you for the whirwind tour of history Nozz. Once again just because things have gone on in the past it makes it OK?

    People are responsible for thier actions in life. I may be here to help, but the stupidity of people, the improper utilization of resources and the health care system is unbelievable.

    When we do not take the time to educate and inform people we perpetuate the stupidity. Everyone should be allowed to do everything and no one should say anything about it.

    Children can do what they want.

    I have lost faith in society. We all turn to the government to solve every ill, look for someone else to blame, won't say "it's my fault" or " I am responsible." All one needs to do is observe people's actions throughout the day to come to realize that the situation has gotten much worse than when any of us were children. It gets worse every generation.

    Then again I must just be a pessimist. And these things have all happened in the past so it is acceptable, regardless of what they do.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    Please. This nation has been through far harder times than we are having now...civil war...slavery...mass poverty...epidemics...depressi on...you name it. Is there room for inprovement? You bet...but I'm sure not losing faith any time soon. That's crazy talk.
    Noz, this is the most true statement you have posted in a long time.

    Those types of cases would not happen if it wasn't for lawyers trying to make a buck. No matter how you look at it, it all comes back to parenting. The basic right from wrong teachings. Not talking religion (however if that's what your beliefs are, more power to ya) but just the basic, common sense stuff. Treat people with respect, treat them how you would be want to be treated.
    Yeah, you're right. My point was that we young parents now have been brought up through the litigious times where every social ill is met with a lawsuit. It, IMO, bred an entitlement type of attitude that is now being passed down to their children. Translated, you are not responsible for anything that happens to you. Some other bad person is.

    These same parents are also teaching that there is no right and wrong. I wish I had a dollar for every time a parent of a kid I locked up blamed ME for the problem. I had a 17 yoa male who confessed the setting his bedroom on fire accidentally while he was playing with matches. Talked to Dad and explained that no charges would be filed (there was alot to the case) and I provided him with info on our juv. firesetter program. He threatened to sue me for slandering his son and his family. So I charged his kid with arson.

    Another time, while working an OT detail, I locked up a 16 yoa kid who I witnessed sucker punch a smaller kid in a mall. Kid took a swing at me and resisted arrest. As we were walking him to the car, he spit at a random guy walking past us. Two days later, I have an IA against me because mommy, who wasn't there, said I brutalized her kid. I didn't but I should have.

    Sports? I coached, over the past three years, baseball teams consisting of 6-9 year old kids. I have a talk on the first night of practice where I discuss sportsmanship, appropriate behavior and what is expected of them. Oh yeah, this talk is for the parents. If Dad thinks his kid is a superstar at that age, he's nuts. He may have a kid who developed faster than the other kids, or is a better learner, but it is completely impossible to recognize who will be a prodigy. I don't even want parents on the field unless they can remember one thing-that kid they are rooting against is not a bum or a clown or a jerk. He is the kid that your kid will be playing with on the playground tomorrow.

    Old guys like me remember getting a bunch of kids together, getting enough mitts for the guys in the field to use, finding a ball that has the electrical tape intact and at least one bat that we could at least wood screw the crack closed and having a pick up game with no adults in sight. They were usually great games where the disputed calls were handled on the field with a do-over. There were also no lawsuits because a kid didn't get picked first.

    Kids today cannot do this. They don't know how. And that is a sad commentary on Mom and Dad.

    Oh. Moms are every bit as bad as Dads.

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