Beyond the Cusp

May 3, 2015

Baltimore Mother Who Showed She Cared


One Baltimore Mother, Toya Graham, upon seeing her sixteen-year-old son on the television coverage throwing rocks at police instead of in school took her parenting skills up a notch and intervened getting him out of the streets during the rioting. Where her technique might be debated, her love leading her to act was shown to the world. Toya Graham is being lauded and has been interviewed endlessly many of which can be found on You Tube attached as recommended viewing from our embed for those who may not have witnessed Toya Graham as she applied some negative reinforcement and the loving and caring reaction pushing her to some extreme parenting. Immediately following find the video of her actions caught on the streets of Baltimore during the riots.





Where we cannot actually commend her methods we also refuse to condemn them as often a parent understands the degree to which they may need to go to correct behavior of their child, especially teen age children. We most certainly hope and keep our prayers with Ms. Graham that she not be dragged into the mire that Social Services can put a parent through should they perceive that their style and tactics in correcting a child does not meet there esoteric guidelines which emphasize using reason and persuasion and never ever, no matter the circumstance, resort to physical assaults when conveying displeasure with one’s child’s actions. Personally, we would prefer to witness more parents willing to risk everything to correct their child thus using an intervention at the time of the action when possible or as immediately after any undesired action applying whatever you have found works best when communicating such corrections. If the mothers of only ten percent took to the streets to apply some degree of parental intervention and guidance preferably at as early a stage as possible and at every juncture which appears that some corrective actions are required, then we would probably see far less rioting and matters would be easier for law enforcement to police and shut down violent rioters. Unfortunately there are so many busybody agencies which extend from Humane Social Services or from the school system through teacher interventions, counselor advisement and other administrative forced guidance interventions or from somewhere out of the blue government program into whose clutches one might fall. I realize how much a parent can be up against from raising one of the most wonderful and brilliantly successful self-motivated and among the high-achievers of her generation who has put herself through college while working and gone beyond a Bachelor’s Degree and achieved several licensing certificates which have aided her advancement and the fact that she developed her potential and at the same time displayed her devoted service to a single company building her record of achievements while advancing from entry level through to management and almost beyond the cusp of entry management into middle and even upper management as she also has shown an interest in attempting to get her MBA in her specialty. Still, there was a series of difficulties encountered where the school system was distressed and expressed their concerns and even recommended that my wonderful and yet individual and creative daughter be placed on medications simply so they could put her into some special pigeon hole from which the school system would receive additional funding for having another special needs student. Fortunately intervention prevented their prescribing some psychotropic drug at the advice of meetings held between her teacher and a counselor noting certain undescribed but classified as troubling behaviors which would require her being put on medication. Thank Hashem that parental consent was still required a few decades back; it is frightening to think what is being done to our children by school systems.


The intervention of schools in parenting children where they place in the minds of children that they need not listen to their parents, that they have rights to watch television, have a cell phone, text instead of interact at the dinner table, eat what and when they please and how parents are there simply to provide for you and if they attempt any discipline, just tell your teacher or counselor and they will bring Child Protective Services down on your parent and that situation will be resolved to the child’s satisfaction. The only advice I can give parents, should Child Protective Services representative appear at your front door they will try whatever it takes to force their way past your front door and into your home; do not at any time permit them past your portal as once they gain entry they then have every right to act ‘in the best interest’ of your child. They are actually acting in the best interest of the state in furthering the forcing of your child into their assigned pigeon hole where they will learn to love big brother. Simply remember at all times that your child is the most precious of life’s treasures and their freedom to be who they wish to be is your war to be fought to allow them that path and not necessarily the path the government has decided is best. Our children are still ours for as long as a parent can prove control of situations which may arise, but keep such situations and their treatment on your application, never the state’s application. Only in the case of a felonious or extremely dangerous misdemeanor should you possibly do the best you are able to remain in the loop concerning your child. All these little items must be performed by both parents as it takes two to bring forth a new life, except in Britain where they now allow for three parent children as by introducing additional proteins, DNA strips and mitochondria into the embryo there can be advantages to resist diseases or correct for other abnormalities producing a superior child. Where this slippery slope will take us is something we will only see the results down the road ten, twenty or even thirty years. Who knows, they may know what it is they are doing or they may be playing with alterations which may prove to have been beyond the cusp and into the weird world previously found only on the very strange and twisted Island of Doctor Moreau.


Meanwhile, if the rioters had simply waited a few days they would have found that the city was going to hold those responsible with the unfortunate death of a 25-year-old African-American, Freddie Gray, whose spine was snapped in custody of the Baltimore Police facing charges of murder. This was to be the result of their internal investigation. Did the rioting affect their deliberations and perhaps pushed the authorities to seek prosecution? Possibly, but that will remain something we can never know. The rioting may have little to do with the pursuit of justice as it does with plain old hooliganism and for some the free stuff which can be taken using the rioting as a cover for their acts of theft, plain and ordinary theft. The damage in Baltimore has been horrific and grown disproportionally by the reaction to each case as they have broken into mass criminal behavior. From spotty bits of coverage I have caught the main subject has been around how these rioters have been left out by society and that inner-city life is so hard and that many of the rioters are the product of a failed school system and failures by the city government. The suggested solution being discussed, I would guess to be the need to invest more into the school system and provide other constructive activities where the city needs to invest in the future. Isn’t all investments made to produce their results in the future? I mean there is no way that I can think that an investment can be made as an investment in the past. Oddly enough, the one item the Baltimore City Government could do, would be to make efforts to make large areas of the city into special tax zones where taxes paid by employers would be cut in half permanently providing their employees are predominantly from within the city. The kinds of industry sought would be those willing in working with the city school system which could be partnered in giving students specific training required to be productive in a variety of areas and expertise. Having such programs might also provide the impetus for some youths to find an area where they were interested in pursuing training at a higher level thus the school could provide the necessary education preparing children to chase their dreams, but also to provide jobs.


Still, there is the question of where will these riots lead? The pattern has been obvious where there has been the death of a youth usually by a Caucasian police officer under questionable situations which leads to protest and eventually rioting, arson, theft and vandalism. The real question people across the United States are having is what the odds are of their city being targeted with such unrest. Every major city is simply the pull of a policeman’s trigger and that city could implode into riots which might grow to the point of general civil unrest requiring the use of the National Guard troops. Calling in the National Guard might be simply setting up the next confrontation which could produce such an increase in the level of the rioting to the point where each city involved in rioting would spread the riots to the next city causing a chain effect spreading rioting across the country. The possibility of such an escalation will increase as the summer weather gets hotter and hotter. As far as the United States is concerned, is the potential for a repeat of the summer of 1968 leading up to the Democrat Convention. The effects of the rioting of that summer are still not totally repaired and likely never will be restored. Some cities managed to utilize the destruction to renovate and completely change the face of the center city. These were the miraculous success stories where the almost dead center city was renovated and even transformed into a place which was desirable. They included shopping areas with walking paths and bicycle and rollerblade lanes but no vehicular traffic. Mixed into these shopping areas were apartment buildings and townhomes and a short distance easily reachable by mass transit there was an industrial park. The one other major change these cities did was to lower residential, industrial, land, property and sales taxes. It may have taken few years but with their patience the new lower tax rates were doing exactly as first predicted, it returned vibrancy to the city and was returning more revenue than had been predicted in most cases. Unfortunately, some cities simply were incapable of making a transition when the riots broke out and some simply boarded up the damaged areas and limped forward with the memories of the destruction forever left almost as if it were a museum exhibit. As far as what is in store this summer, well, if this spring is any kind of indicator then the United States is in for a long, hot raging summer of discontent. Perhaps some forms of entertainment and show some progress in attracting businesses which creates jobs and thus present two paths, one the old school and the other new school and the new system where the education system works hand-in-hand with the education as explained earlier. Still, the single most important thing that is required is the lowering of taxes across the board as without making the grounds and situation attractive and desirable to investors, builders, industries and individuals no financial investments will occur. If you lower the taxes they will come, come to build, come and invest, come and produce, come to sell, and most of all, come to live life.


Beyond the Cusp


January 11, 2013

My Last Reasoning on the Root of Our Violence Culture

The first thing I have noticed is that every side of the debate is blaming every other side instead of doing any self-inspection. Perhaps if some of the energies and efforts being applied to deflect any responsibility for the documented recent violence in our society, it might be better invested by turning it inward and seeking what each of us and every segment of our society can accomplish to repair the broken people and the broken societal functions that have collapsed rather than stand and deflect the problem. The first hint is that Government is not going to repair this as they may be at the real root of the problem with their replacement and funding of a Nanny State which has taken over the functions in society by replacing parents with childcare and school systems, replacing religious assistance with Government programs, replacing youth organizations with after school activities, and replacing the one stay at home parent, be they the father or the mother, with almost a forced need for two salary families through high taxation and the encouragement of a consumer based society instead of a value based society. But what about the different groups and what part do they really play?

The ever so blamed and presumed evil gun lobby is always the first to be brought to the fore whenever there is one of these tragedies. Their defense that guns do not kill people, people kill people is as valid a point as any given by any of these groups to excuse any responsibility they may carry. I will grant that it would make firearms more expensive initially but there is a solution that would make the handgun or rifle nothing but a club if stolen or attempted to be used by any unauthorized individual. What I am talking about is the smart gun which has a bio-reader built in to the trigger which is keyed to only those approved by the owner to be able to fire the weapon. The argument that no such function can be installed into firearms that would survive the impacts of firing the firearm is ridiculous. When we can send vehicles to Mars and bounce them onto the surface or fire military rounds with cameras and guidance systems which work after the shock of being fired or launched but we cannot build into a firearm a trigger system, really?

The movie and entertainment industry is another and let’s leave video games out for special consideration later in the article. We will simply talk about movies and, ever more often, television shows, especially on cable and satellite. The excuse we often hear is that they have made numerous movies which are explosion and violence free and they always completely fail. I would be willing to bet that they fail in the theaters but do quite well once they make it on to HBO, pay for view, Netflix, or other mass distribution venues. One reason behind this is that the vast majority of movie goers are teens and young adults and not so much young families. One of the reasons for this is the price forces families to take the less expensive view at home option while by watching it at home they do not have to view violent previews. The other truth is that the road to the levels of violence we have witnessed is also influenced by these movies and television shows with a reality factor that makes it indiscernible from actual real world events. If Hollywood is to return to what is often referred to as a more moral and nonviolent fare, it will take at least the same amount of time, possibly longer. The warning to Hollywood is that you may not continue to be forever in with the politicians in Washington or in the State Capital. There may come a day when the politicians will no longer be enamored with you and may finally listen to the public who will still be demanding responsible limits to be placed on the entertainment industry. Trust me when I tell you that you would be much better served to manage yourselves and not continue to push a larger segment of the population than you appear to realize to finally demand actions to force change and limits on your industry.

The video games industry is quite possibly in a difficult position because it can likely be proven that first person shooter games if made too real-life-like depictions of violence, killing, and general mayhem actually do desensitize vulnerable individuals who may have other problems and are far more impressionable making them particularly susceptible to such influences turning them into stark raving mad murderous lunatics. Granted that the average youth can play these games, possibly endlessly, and never have even the slightest urge to go out and shoot up the neighborhood or whatever. But, as is often said, it only takes one out of a million to really ruin your day if that individual is set off near you. The problem is that these first shooter games are using a proven method which has been utilized by the Military and law-enforcement personnel to desensitize their numbers so that when the time comes, they will be less likely to freeze and instead will react taking shooting a person and equating it with shooting silhouettes as they have been trained. Perhaps the video game industry could adopt some alteration to the first person shooter games which would remove a measure of the real feel and graphics such that there is a disconnect between the video shooting victim and a real world shooting victim. Many of the first person shooter games now have such high definition and extensive algorithms that they can approach realistic visuals even to the point of allowing for differences between each shot and other such minutia which add to the real feeling of the game. Such detail is not necessary for the function or scoring of the game but has been driven by a demand for more realism. Perhaps the makers can decide among themselves before they are forced by the heavy hand of Government to take a step back and make an alteration or substitution that allows for just that amount of unrealistic depiction that it removed the ease of linking the game to reality.

Lastly, the real root of the problem which is seldom considered the role of Government. The largest factor which has changed from the supposed times before these mass murders were seemingly almost a common and repeated problem is that we no longer have as many live and work at home parents. The loss of an at home parent does make a difference and there are endless studies which have measured numerous different deficiencies and problems resultant from the two working parent family. The people who point out that a large part of the problem is due to our consumer lifestyle are not entirely on target as with newer technologies the consumerism has become affordable or at least more affordable at levels much higher than simply fifty years ago. The largest and most damning of the stay at home parent has been the cost of Government. All one needs to observe is the tax rates from then and now. Taxes, fees and licensing were well under twenty percent of an employee’s salary when everything is taken into consideration. Even if you pay no income tax and just pay all the other forms of tax, such as FICA, and have to pay sales taxes, property taxes, licensing, fees, and other miscellaneous money snatching mechanisms that fund our over-bloated Government, your payments to fund government is still very likely close to double that of your grandparents paid. By comparison to the investment, as the politicians like to euphemistically refer to their robbery, your ancestors paid; you are very likely paying so much more that a second income is necessary for you to earn a comparable salary and have equal purchasing power as your ancestors.

Further proof of this symptom that has altered our society and allowed for Government to become a full partner in parenting can be found in numerous studies which have been published and then ignored over the last fifty plus years. That is another part of the voiceless conspiracy that has made the demands of affording government and raising a family so demanding that who has time to notice much of anything, which is exactly the point. Perhaps we would be better off with far less government and having those in need of our society again be cared for by volunteers and not by a Government licensed employee. Just maybe things were better when those who cared for the special needs of our neighborhoods and communities were from among those neighborhoods and communities and not sent by Government with a briefcase and a thousand forms which mostly were used to prove that the government employee was necessary. Has surrendering our freedoms to care for those among us to the Government really proven to work that well? The fact we are asking the questions after tragedies at a disturbing rate is all the proof we need.

Beyond the Cusp

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