Nailhead, meet Hammer

5 Character Flaws That Are Destroying America's Future
John Hawkins
Tuesday, June 02, 2009

1) Lack Of Personal Responsibility: As a society, we encourage a "victimhood mentality" and an overweening government that never met an issue it didn't want to dive into with both feet; so we shouldn't be surprised that so many Americans expect to be rewarded for failure.

If GM fails, we've got to step in and keep it afloat. If people snuck into this country illegally, we can't be so hardhearted as to obey the law and deport them! If you bought a house you couldn't afford, you shouldn't be penalized for that when the market takes a bad turn. If you bought a blender, tried to start it in your bathtub, and were nearly electrocuted -- that's not your fault! The manufacturers should have put a warning sticker on it.

We're descended from pioneer stock. Our ancestors explored, conquered, and tamed a continent. They couldn't rely on the police to show up if an Indian raiding party showed up at their isolated cabin at 3 AM. There was no school lunch program on the Oregon Trail. If your buggy whip company was going out of business because of those new fangled auto-mo-biles, you didn't get 20 billion dollars in taxpayer money so you could open up a new branch in China, you went out of business. If our ancestors were alive, they would sneer in disdain at what a nation full of whining babies their descendants have become.

2) Short Attention Spans: Perhaps because of the internet, the stunning variety of news sources, or the complexity of modern society, we've become much less able as a people to follow logical arguments and deal with complex messages.

This has bled over into Congress where they write legislation dealing with issues they don't truly understand. That legislation is voted on by legislators who admit that they haven’t read it and it affects the lives of millions of people who were unaware that such legislation was even being contemplated.

The problem with this is that there are many issues in life that are too knotty to be broken down into a soundbite or a 30 second commercial. Those affairs require more extensive knowledge and deeper thought and consideration than can be placed on a bumper sticker or weaved into a music video. When we lose sight of that fact, utter disasters that have been in plain sight all along for anyone with an attention span longer than five minutes can blindside much of the population.

3) Excessive Self-Esteem: Perhaps because we've spent decades trying to pump up the self-esteem of children in our public schools, irregardless of whether they've done anything to merit it, we have legions of people in our society who have an excessive level of confidence in their beliefs and abilities.

They're just so darn sure that what they believe is right just by virtue of the fact they believe it. Traditions? Codes of conduct? Religious beliefs? Customs? There's no need to even understand why previous generations believed what they did or to question what purpose it served. Just remember that they were racist back then and so they couldn't have had any good ideas.

Of course, we don't look back and say, "Gee? How did they make it without welfare, social security, or an income tax? Why is it that they had a divorce rate that was a fraction of the one we had today? How is it that the crime rate was so much lower? What made the people so much more polite than they are today? If we were in the same situation as the Founding Fathers, could our political leaders step up to the plate and do as well?"

Because we have forgotten the mistakes that convinced our forefathers to adopt the policies and mores that they did, in our ignorance we will be doomed to make many of those same mistakes again.

4) Short Term Thinking/Instant Gratification: Thomas Sowell once said that killing the goose that laid the golden egg can be a viable election strategy as long as it doesn't die until you're out of office and no one finds your prints on the murder weapon.

That is played out in American politics on a daily basis where few politicians think farther ahead than the next election. Time and time again, we have politicians advocating policies that either bring immediate benefits or avoid short-term pain, but are extremely harmful to the country over the long-term.

That is primarily how government has gotten so out of control. A problem occurs. In an effort to get re-elected, politicians rush to create a program to "fix" it. Ten years later, the original problem may or may not have been solved, but the program put in place to “fix” it has caused new issues and costs five times more than it did when it was originally put into place. However, if anyone suggests we get rid of it, there are howls of outrage. Hence, government never shrinks and bad programs almost never die.

Meanwhile, large festering problems like Social Security and Medicare are studiously ignored for as long as possible because we don't react until there's a crisis. Only after the horrific events of 9/11 did we start taking terrorism seriously. It took a bridge falling down to get Congress interested in poorly maintained structures nationwide. The whole economy had to crash to get Congress to become alarmed about quasi-governmental agencies handing out loans to people who couldn't pay them back.

Incidentally, we've already started going backwards on all of these same problems. The new President shows minimal concern about terrorism, nobody is talking about bridges anymore, and Congress has already started encouraging more bad housing loans. That's because the moment a story drops from the day's news cycle, it goes down the memory hole for most people. That is no way to run a nation.

5) Immorality: The default mode of Hollywood is hedonism and we've been told again and again, at least since the Clinton years, that character doesn't matter for our elected officials.

The problem with this is that character does matter -- quite a bit, actually.

Our leaders are corrupt to the core -- and that's not just the ones who are in violation of our laws, which have been crafted in order to allow staggering amounts of corruption to be done legally. The families of politicians are given plum jobs and paid ridiculous sums of money in order to gain influence with legislators. Government earmarks that aid campaign contributors or family members of Congress are common. Chrysler has even been handed over to Barack Obama's union allies in broad daylight. Ethics have become the very last consideration for our government and perhaps it's no surprise given the state of our society.

Civility is dead and buried. We have people protesting funerals and the private residences of citizens. There are perverted gay parades in the streets of San Francisco. The most grotesque, blasphemous, and offensive material imaginable is regularly displayed on the internet and TV and we are drenched in sex from the time we get up until the time we go to bed.

As a replacement for actual human decency and morality, we've turned to political correctness and bloodless legalisms, neither of which is an adequate replacement for doing the right thing because it's principled or virtuous.

The corrosive effects of this decline are seen not just in our government, but all throughout our society in the size of our prison population, the number of unmarried women having children, drug use, school shootings, and even our staggering abortion rate.

Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

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From the article: Perhaps because we've spent decades trying to pump up the self-esteem of children in our public schools, irregardless of whether they've done anything to merit it

As evidenced by the poor grammar used here; irregardless is not a word.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

It's amazing how many people make that mistake.

Same goes for normalcy / normality.

It bothers me for several reasons, but mainly because if the author is actually bright and well-educated enough to compose a diatribe like this one, he should be aware of faux pas like this one, along with common logical fallacies and over used cliches. It especially bothers me when sensitive or controversial topics (like these) are being illustrated as errors in grammar tend to invalidate the entire argument.

As it happens, I agree with a lot of what's written here and I think it's a good post. Thanks!

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

I looked up John Hawkins' bio--
http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnHawkins#ColumnistBio

This gives a list of all his recent columns, which also use the enumeration strategy (Six Problems with Modern Liberalism, Barack Obama's Top Five Bart Simspon Moments).

*

If our ancestors were alive, they would sneer in disdain at what a nation full of whining babies their descendants have become.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

That sentence needs to be shouted to the rooftops. I've said many times, if World War 2 were fought today instead of back then-we would lose to the Axis. Your own neighbors today would sell you out because they believed ,or agreed with ,a lot of the propaganda.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

From DarkSeid: if World War 2 were fought today instead of back then-we would lose to the Axis.

World War II has been replayed in simulation many times, and the Axis almost always win. WWII was closer than anyone would like to think. The Nazis were very close to developing a functional atomic bomb, and they had a delivery system. The United State beat them by a few weeks, and even then it took two atomic bombs to convince the emperor of Japan to surrender - something that Japan will never forget, and which the US should be remembering when it comes to international trade.

I think DarkSeid is quite correct about the US having a generally tough population during WWII, especially when compared to the population today. I know that one of the reasons Japan did not invade the US was because the Japanese knew the US population was armed and likely to fight, unlike the average Japanese household which was unarmed and ready to commit ritual suicide.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

???

The corrosive effects of this decline are seen not just in our government, but all throughout our society in the size of our prison population, the number of unmarried women having children, drug use, school shootings, and even our staggering abortion rate.

The author apparently sees 'unmarried women having children' as part of our society's corrosive decline, then in the very same sentence decries the 'staggering' abortion rate'?

Finger, meet hammer.

Not everyone sees the later as a viable resolution to the former but as a separate issue, but I dont want to turn this into an abortion debate because that's already being addressed on an active thread.

Not so fast, my heavy handed friend. The author is referring to two distinct situations here. In one case we have single moms, and most of these aren't widows, either. The parents are either divorced or never got married to begin with (I know, that's obvious). Either way the child doesn't have a stable family, let alone a stable extended family.

The author decries abortion as morally repugnant. That's fine for him to say, but I'm a very strong supporter of abortion and I don't believe abortion is murder. In fact, I believe that State funding should be used to provide abortions to those women who can't afford one.

Now then, if you want to smack some fingers with you nice little hammer, wait until DBA reads this and goes absolute wing nut bat shit, then smack away.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

In fact, I believe that State funding should be used to provide abortions to those women who can't afford one.

Yeah, so? And I happen to believe that ripping an entity with a beating heart out of it's mother's belly is murder. Our opinions differ. I can live with that.

Our opinions differ. I can live with that.

Odd. So can I.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Madjack says: I believe that State funding should be used to provide abortions to those women who can't afford one.

This is the crux of the problem for me--you want to use my money to fund someone else's abortion. If you are such " a very strong supporter of abortion," as you say, why not donate YOUR OWN funds to the cause? An "abortion bank" is an excellent idea--people who believe very strongly that women should have access to abortions could donate to the account and no unwanted child would be left behind.

Instead, we always turn to the government to provide where we feel that there is a need.

Helen, I'm certain that there are any number of social services that you want to fund and I do not. Such is the nature of government compromise: all parties are equally unhappy.

That being the case, I'd like to see a few changes in government spending, such as a vote by the mere tax paying civilians about the way their money is spent. For my part, I'd like to cut military spending and shift my share of that money to government funded abortion - or health care in general. I would also cut funding to the BATF and shift the money to, I don't know... education maybe, or something along those lines.

The thing is, this system isn't possible under the current regime. Instead, the mere civilians must choose between the lessor of two evils, each of whom lies about representing our interests.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Well, we actually agree on some sort of "a la carte" government controlled by vote of the TAXPAYERs.

However, you are wrong about one thing--There aren't many social services I'd like to see funded by taxpayers! They should be funded by charity/philanthropy. I share for people who have less than I in various ways; I'd provide more if my government weren't taking so much from me and weren't using it to feed prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, bailing out banks and businesses, planting flowers and doing July 4th Fireworks displays...

And you are right that this is not possible, so we live with it and grouse about it in forums. I feel better!

'many' is a relative term. As it happens, I don't have many things I'd like to see the government fund either.

Face it Helen, the US would be a much better place if you and I were running the show.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Vote Madjack and Helen Wheales 2012

Hey, I see unmarried women having children they cannot provide for and properly educate as a part of our society's decline and would still argue that there are too many abortions (even President Obama agrees). Perhap's Hawkins' word choice could have been different.

"Finger, meet hammer"

Oh man, that's good. You've still got it, McCaskey.

Pink Slip

In his article 5 Character Flaws That Are Destroying America's Future, John Hawkins makes some good points but fails to substantiate them. His first point deals with the lack of personal responsibility coupled with a 'victim mentality' and a dependence on the government to rescue us from our own easily avoided mistakes. In part, John states that If you bought a blender, tried to start it in your bathtub, and were nearly electrocuted -- that's not your fault! The manufacturers should have put a warning sticker on it. This is a rhetorical question, but John fails to cite any civil cases involving manufacturers warning labels and related liability, either individually or in total. John's claims are emotional and easy to believe, but he does nothing to back them up, and John could have referenced the infamous Ford Pinto case which is the poster child for product liability, and which, on closer examination, probably should have turned out a little differently. John continues We're descended from pioneer stock. Not all of us are, and it's likely most of us are not descended from pioneer stock. Our ancestors explored, conquered, and tamed a continent. Which is hard, dangerous work but exploring and conquering was a whole lot better than what these people were coming from. They couldn't rely on the police to show up if an Indian raiding party showed up at their isolated cabin at 3 AM. Which is ludicrous. The Indians didn't raid anyone at three in the morning. For one thing you couldn't see anything. For another, the Indians were doing just what the victims were doing at three in the morning, There was no school lunch program on the Oregon Trail. There wasn't any school on the Oregon Trail, John. During this time period children were pretty much left alone to raise themselves. Their parents taught them to read and write, if they learned at all. John pretty much concludes with If your buggy whip company was going out of business because of those new fangled auto-mo-biles, a line he probably got from Other People's Money, starring Danny DeVito.

John lists his second point as Short Attention Spans, which probably has some validity to it, but is more of a symptom than a major fault. John faults Congressional legislators: This [short attention span] has bled over into Congress where they write legislation dealing with issues they don't truly understand. John's only partly correct here. Congress votes on legislation written by some other legislator's assistant. Members of Congress do not read nor write most legislation. Case in point, the bill that deregulated the finance industry and allowed the chicanery to take place that contributed so heavily to our current economic depression was over one thousand (1000) pages. The only legislators in the US Congress who understood this voluminous codex were the authors. No one else bothered to read the whole thing, much less comprehend it or discuss the ramifications. John points this out, legislation is voted on by legislators who admit that they haven’t read it and it affects the lives of millions of people who were unaware that such legislation was even being contemplated. Which prompts me to ask if this isn't dereliction of duty on the part of the legislators, as well as the obvious, 'What if they had been aware?' In order to comprehend this legislation, a person would have to plow through it, and then would need a very solid understanding of US economics, history and current law to fully comprehend the ramifications of passage. Here's a clue: Half the people in the US have an IQ that is below average.

What John does not highlight is that Congress is not being held responsible for our current depression, and more than anyone else – even more than King George II – it is the US Congress that is responsible for our situation. The crime is that we the peons have no real way to hold Congress responsible, nor do we have easy input into Congressional activities.

The rest of the article is enjoyable reading and the author makes some very good points. I think the article would benefit from some supporting facts.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

I knew I shouldn't have opened that link.

Tree weasel.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

The pro-abortion folks don't even have the guts to call it what it is, infanticide.
Partial birth abortions are performed at 24 weeks or even later. Children have been born at 24 weeks and survived. To say this isn't murder is just BS.

Watch it, if you have the guts, then go ahead and lie to yourself that it's not murder, because you can't make me believe it.

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

No one is "pro abortion" , were pro choice. Read the stories below and see how painful it was for the women and their families.

Women don't wake up one morning in their 3rd trimester and decide that they're tired of being pregnant and then decide to get abortion.

Here are a bunch of personal stories. Sad stuff for sure.
http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2009/06/dr-george-tiller.html

Then I'll say it again, more plainly, BULLSHIT, pro-choice is just a more comfortable mane for those too cowardly to face the truth.

In some partial birth abortions, the childs entire body, except for the head is outside the mothers body, legs and arms moving. For you to try and tell me that isn't a baby, and terminating it's life isn't murder is the most disgusting lie possible. At that point the child is everything BUT completely born. Am I to believe that a few inches is the difference between birth and "a medical procedure"?

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

I don't like abortion either JM, that's why I'll never get one. But I believe in personal liberty, that's why I usually mind my own damn business. Guess that makes me liberal.

Pink Slip

under any circumstance. regardless of the health of the fetus and it's mother, late-term (or any-term) abortion is murder. Under any circumstance.

No exceptions. There's no picking and choosing here depending on mitigating factors, correct? Abortion is murder, period. Because it it doesn't cover every possible situation, what else do you call it?

Is that how it is?

We can't have women and their doctors making these choices! The government must step in and decide what is best!

It depends on who you ask, now doesn't it?

I knew the damn thread would get hijacked just as soon as someone started in on the abortion issue. Abortion has been legal since 1973 - why don't they all just shut up and go home?

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Sorry, all the "choice" talk is simply BS. You're forgetting someone in that equation.

The baby killers are arguing semantics. It is legal to scramble the brains of a baby that is full term and 90% outside of the mother. Yet if you did the same thing with that child completely outside the mother people would view you as a sick monster, rightfully so. I guess timing is everything.

The pro-abortion argument is intellectual dishonesty at BEST.

As far as "personal liberty", when does it start? Again, timing I guess, should it be a matter of a womans "personal liberty" if after giving birth she decides she doesn't want to be a mother?

Of course there are exceptions to every rule, I could see abortion in the case of it being the only means of saving the mothers life.
Trouble is you can bet in the vast majority of abortions, the child is perfectly fine.

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

"The baby killers are arguing semantics"

There are no semantics. A fetus is not a baby or child until it is born. I think Ayn Rand (a true conservative, not a pretend one) put it best:

"Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born."

Look up Barry Goldwater's views on this (another true conservative--not a fake one).

The anti-choice crowd do not deserve to be called "conservative". They are somewhere to the right of this.

Pink Slip

Pro-Freedom. From Pink_Slip, quoting Ayn Rand: Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born.

Which is accurate. For my part, I really don't care what the anti-freedom crowd wants to call it. The law says abortion is legal, and that isn't likely to change in the next four years. The four after that don't look good either.

The thing about the abortion issue is that people who are otherwise perfectly reasonable suddenly come unglued. Whatever reason they had departs, never to return. Anything that contradicts their fascist rules that we all must live by is ignored and disposed of. Anyone daring to espouse freedom over repression is denounced and is subject to a violent end.

You know, in my own unscientific survey I've noted that most gun owners fall into the pro-abortion camp, simply because they have a live and let live attitude, and they're smart enough to realize that abortion is not murder. No matter who says it is.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

The four after that don't look good either.

The next 20 don't look good either.

In the last 20 years Republicans have controlled both congress and the presidency for 12 of those years; 6 of them at the same time and yet they did nothing. People won’t vote for Obama because he is pro-choice so they vote Republican. At the end of the day abortion is still legal and results are the same.

There is a HUGE difference, between an abortion within the first trimester, and a late or partial birth abortion. I think that it should be illegal to have any abortion after 20 weeks - with a caveat - only in rare situations to save the life of the mother (which in reality, does not occur as often as people think).
BUT - the thalamus is not even formed before the 3rd trimester. That means it is impossible for the fetus to even feel pain. In the first 20 weeks, it is more an embryo, and while it may look like a cute tadpole thing on an unltrasound, it still does not have a thalumus - and thus, cannot feel pain.

I think it's a bit self righteous for people to make presumptions about what a woman 'should' do. This is a very private decision between a woman & her doctor & the government has NO business interfering with a woman's uterus. I know it's hard for some people to believe, but there's a lot of women who got pregnant because of failed birth control - they weren't all just lazy. Many (or most) of the women who seek abortions simply do not have the means to support a child. And there's far too many unadopted kids as it is (go ahead, adopt another foreign child).. Many of those women are living in poverty as it is, with more mouths to feed than they can handle.

I find it self-righteous when people throw the Bible & religious ideals into this - with the idea that it's against the Bible to kill, but the Old Testement is loaded with slavery, incest, human sacrifice, infantcide, murder - where God condoned or odered it be done. Just seems a bit hypochritical to me. (yes, I know, the New Testement features a kinder, more gentle God - but both the Old & the New are from the Bible & feature the same God.

Some constitutional scholars argue that abortion and contraception are not appropriate legal questions: they are moral, philosophical, and religious questions about a medical procedure. - as is evidenced by the fact that the most vocal, strident opponents of abortion claim a religious objection to abortion. If that small faction is allowed to prohibit abortion for other women, then they are in effect forcing those women to abide by religious beliefs which they do not share - a violation of our first amendment rights to the free exercise of religion.

Other scholars claim a 13th amendment prohibition against involuntary servitude to justify abortion. To them, the fetus does not have a right to use a woman's body for its own purpose. Still others claim a 14th amendment right to equal protection of the law - after all, if men don't have to get pregnant from having, why should women? This approach seems frivolous on the surface but it masks deeper questions, such as - why should a woman be required to risk her life, her health, her job, her career because she had sex when a man does not have to risk his?

The oldest extant writings on contraceptive practices come from Egypt and date to the nineteenth to the eleventh century BCE.

John Riddle in Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance (Harvard University Press, 1992) studied ancient medical texts, identified the plants in their contraceptive and abortifacient potions, and determined that the ancient contraceptives and abortifacients were probably effective and as safe as giving carrying a pregnancy to term. These herbals were commonly used by all strata of society. Although some plants were added to and other plants were dropped from the herbal lists over the millennia, many plants, plants which modern science has determined contain natural chemicals that could cause a woman to miscarry or become infertile, remained on the lists for thousands of years. After all, would the same plants show up in medical texts for thousands of years if they were not safe and effective? 2 Many traditional societies without access to Western medicine still use herbal potions as contraceptives and abortifacients. If modern women use safe and effective herbal contraceptives and abortifacients, why couldn't ancient women have used them?

The Assyrians, Sumerians, and Babylonians had laws which forbade abortion. The Greeks and Romans considered abortion and contraception a crime only if the father objected because the crime was in depriving the father of an heir, not in murdering a human being.

The earliest Catholic theological objection to abortion and contraception was that abortion and contraception were not sins in and of themselves. Neither of them were considered to be murder since the fetus had no soul. (According to Augustine, the fetus acquired a soul at 40 days for boys and at 90 days for girls. The pig.) These practices were objected to because they hid the true sins: fornication (sex with someone you are not married to) and adultery. Not until 1869 did the Catholic church declare that the soul entered the fetus at conception, making contraception and abortion murder.

(from wikipedia & other public domain sites)

Pro Life:

Life is something to be cherished and preserved
http://www.wsvn.com/images/news_articles/389x205/070219_amelia_baby.jpg

Pro Choice:

How is this not murder?
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_t2Ry7I5DNuQ/RyJ2S_vS3UI/AAAAAAAAA8g/ufrqoHFGeZ...

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

KK, you posted you decide. Do you realize what you just did? You're allowing the women to decide whether or not abortion is the right thing for them. Which, by the way, is the way things should be. If a woman wants an abortion, let her have one.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

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