Tag Archives: kids

Rambling of the Day: Babes in gangland

28 Aug

Here’s the headline that bit me in the butt this morning: Kids brave gangland as Chicago budget cuts redraw route to school. Holy cow. So if you haven’t been paying attention, the word is Chicago is broke and had to close 50 elementary schools and lay off 2,000 teachers last month. The result is that the kids from those schools have to attend different schools this year, many of which are blocks away with walking routes that cut through multiple gang territories.

“Most of Chicago’s cuts have taken place in the predominantly poor, African-American and Latino south and west sides, which is also where the majority of the city’s record 506 murders occurred last year.” Neil Munshi, Financial Times.

So… reading this, I instantly had three big questions come to mind. 1) Why is Chicago so broke? 2) Why is Chicago so dangerous and violent? 3) HOW in the bleepity bleep bleep is hiring a bunch of citizen sentries along so-called “Safe Passage” routes going to keep kids safe?!

So why is Chicago broke? That’s pretty simple: The state of Illinois has basically been run entirely by Democrats since 2003. That’s 10 years of unrelenting progressive abuse. Like they have in Detroit, progressive policies, including an insane amount of welfare programs and unfunded union and government pensions, have left the state devastated. So why do the same people keep get elected to run Chicago? Well, according to NBC Chicago, “Illinois’ GOP has become irrelevant because of its association with the national Republican brand: white and rural, with a desire to bring religion into public life, and a belief that the government has no business telling people how many guns they can own.” Oh, yeah right. It’s amazing how much trouble conservatives get into when they try to stereotype the left, but liberals can call us Bible-thumping, gun-wielding hicks any time and it’s acceptable. Regardless, the fact that Republicans in Illinois are white and religious has nothing to do with them losing elections in the state. That’s nonsense invented to distract people from the truth: that conservatives don’t support the growth and expansion of entitlement programs and other rubbish that keep the impoverished slums of Chicago from ever improving. The same policies that sent Detroit into bankruptcy – despite massive government assistance, including the auto bailout – are plummeting Chicago’s economy to certain ruin.

Why is it so dangerous to live in Chicago? Also a fairly simple answer: Chicago is a war zone. It isn’t just any ordinary war zone, however. It’s one in which the good guys are unarmed.

“Illinois remains the only state in the country where nobody can legally carry a concealed weapon…” Charlie Vidal, policymic.

Chicago has 59 gangs divided up into 625 factions with 125,000 members. Go here to see a map of the gang territories in respect to where schools are located. It is thoroughly disturbing.

Between the unbelievable number of gang members and the drug war that includes ties to a Mexican cartel, essentially the only armed people in Chicago are criminals and police officers. If you go through a complicated process, you can legally keep a gun in your home. However, only three percent of Chicagoans who own a firearm have even completed the city’s required firearm registration. Regardless, it is unlawful for the citizens of Chicago to arm themselves on their war-torn streets. The result is that the dangerous criminals of Chicago have a monopoly on illegal weapons, and, tragically, that Chicago is now the deadliest city in America.

So we have the deadliest city in America closing 50 of its elementary schools, many of which are in the poorest, most gang-ridden and violent areas, and what is the benevolent mayor’s solution? “Safe passage” – routes to the schools manned by adults armed with, what was that again? Oh yeah, walkie talkies. For many families affected by school closings, they will be sending their children through one or more gang territories to reach their destinations. Two people were already shot along the safe passage routes the day before school began. One was a 14-year-old boy who was within a block of an elementary school.

My assessment? Chicago is run by idiots, particularly that idiot Rahm Emanuel. Mr. Emanuel, if your kids had to walk through gang territories to get to their elementary schools, would you still be gung-ho on “Safe Passage?” Would it be good enough that the adults “supervising” their passage were armed only with walkie talkies?

Chicago needs to grow some balls. Get rid of the outrageous pensions that are sucking the economy dry. Make it harder to sit pretty on welfare. Make it better to work than to get a handout. Put the lives of children ahead of stupid policy ideals like gun control. The only guns being controlled are the ones sitting in people’s homes, not being used to save lives. I want our country to look at Chicago, our own personal third world within a first world, and DO SOMETHING about it. Stop focusing on Egypt and Syria. Yes, their problems are bad, but we need to clean up our own damn house before we start interfering with other people’s problems. Obama’s drawn a red line for Syria, but where’s his red line for his own hometown?! Mr. Obama, you are so devastated by the death of one black teenager in the suburbs of Florida, but what about the deaths of countless of innocents in your old stomping grounds? Why aren’t you outraged about that?

Rambling of the Day: A “collective notion” of our children

14 Apr

It’s been about a week now since I heard of the death of the inspirational and wonderful Margaret Thatcher. Her departure is a tragic loss to the world, but I’m sure the woman of iron will is loving her new home as much as she loved her country.

Obviously, I could go on and on about my love for Margaret Thatcher, but I’m not going to. I think, as a lover of freedom and a harsh critic of the idiocy of socialism, she would find this more important.

In a sick twist of irony, I heard about this ad by MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry on the same day I heard of Lady Thatcher’s passing. Before I say anything, just read it or listen to it, if you haven’t yet. I apologize for any ensuing stomach sickness that may result.

“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children.  Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility.  We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children.  So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.” Melissa Harris-Perry, “Lean Forward”

This is the epitome of everything I fear as a parent raising my child in a backwards society ruled by elitists who learned nothing from the failure of communism… The idea that they will dig their fingers so far into our private lives that they will have influence over our children. Honestly though, it doesn’t amaze me that this is Perry’s belief system. I’ve heard plenty of MSNBC’s rhetoric – the idea of collectivism isn’t shocking to me. What’s amazing to me is how blatant she is about it. At least when these people try to pretend to be moderate it’s less obvious how insane they are. But apparently now they have no reason to be moderate, which tells me they are confident that enough people have accepted the nanny state that they can get away with saying these kinds of things. With a spoon-fed society in place, the extreme socialist agenda has no need to hide behind the veil of being moderate.

Maybe this doesn’t bother some parents. Maybe some parents are applauding Perry, thinking – Wow, society is going to take care of my children. Perfect, less pressure on me. Maybe some people are naïve enough to buy into the idea that their children belong to whole communities – that they are other people’s responsibility as much as theirs.

I have a message for Perry, and anyone else who tries to shove this collectivist agenda down my throat. My daughter does not belong to you or to any community. I carried her for nine months, I stayed up with her night after endless night as she cried; I watched her take her first steps, heard the sweet moment when she first called me “mama.” And I can tell you with complete certainty that the “private idea that kids belong to their parents” is something you will never eek out of me, nor out of any other parent with any kind of sense of personal responsibility and love for her children. And no, this is not the assertion of a crazed, redneck freak holed off from society, bashing her kids over the head with a Bible and an American flag (seriously, I’m pretty sure that’s how the socialists tell each other conservatives act). It is simply the cry of a mother passionate about the incredible privilege she has been given to be parent of a beautiful little human being – a human being that literally came out of her. My daughter is, in every sense, a part of me. Forgive me if I feel that she is mine and not the community’s.

To those of you with kids that are still not getting it… well, first of all, maybe you should read a different blog. But no, really, let’s break this down a little further. Think about everything else we allow the government to control. Our money? Public education? Relations with other countries? Uh, hello – the DMV?!

The government can be trusted to handle very little with efficiency. It gets too big, too bureaucratic, and things get incredibly messy. Our government was never intended to have a scope that included butting into people’s private lives – and yes, raising your kids is part of that. That is not the government’s job. Nor should you want it to be! We need to stop allowing these talking heads to seduce us with the promise of having less responsibility. It is buying into such notions that runs entire nations into the ground.

Being a parent is a privilege incomparable to anything else in life. It is probably the most meaningful thing you will ever do. So do it well. Don’t allow people like this to belittle your role in your child’s life. You are, and should be, the biggest influence in your children’s lives. It is your job to see to it that they grow up right – not the state’s.

“We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State.”  Margaret Thatcher, “The New Renaissance”

Mama Talk: There’s WHAT in that hamburger?

5 Feb

Well, horse meat if you got it from Burger King.

Okay, let’s get real – nobody wants to eat horse meat. And we don’t go through the drive thru at a fast food place because we want to consume extraordinary amounts of trans fats and all the chemicals that are used in the mass production of the food. But let’s face it – it’s much easier and, in most cases, cheaper, to eat stuff that’s bad for you. And many of us shrug it off, assuming that if it’s being sold to the public it can’t be that bad for you. If this is you, I suggest you watch the documentary Food, Inc. all the way through – no matter how grossed out you get – because the thought that things can’t possibly be that bad has got to go. Yes, they can be that bad, and they are, and you’re paying for it.

I’m not going to go deeply into detail about the dangers of processed foods and the fast food industry. Watch the documentary, read Fast Food Nation – or simply do a few minutes of non-government funded research for yourself. What you will find in just five minutes of exploring is that a huge portion of the foods available to us everywhere we go is loaded with junk that is truly terrible for our bodies. This is the food that’s being sold in our country – it’s the food that’s profitable, that is the easiest to sell because it’s cheap to make and cheap to consume. Sadly, this is the reality and it probably won’t be changing any time soon. So if you want to be healthy, you truly have to be actively engaged in choosing healthy foods for you and your kids, or you will undoubtedly become a victim of the food industry.

The most important thing to remember when thinking about your family’s nutrition is what I have said repeatedly about almost everything I’ve talked about: it is your responsibility, and yours alone. The food industry, which profits from your blind consumption of their crap, certainly doesn’t care. The pharmaceutical companies making billions off your medications definitely don’t care. The government has bigger fish to fry, and they’ve got the food industry lobbyists so far down their throats it makes no difference whether they like it or not. No one is going to be responsible for your health and well-being but you. You must play an active role in choosing the foods you consume. That being said, yes, it will cost you. You will absolutely pay more for locally-grown meats and vegetables, organic snacks and non-processed foods. But… I hear triple-bypass surgeries are also quite expensive, so you’ll have to pick your poison.

Here are just a few of my humble suggestions for how to keep your family eating as clean as possible:

1. Be an obnoxious label-reader.

I know it takes longer to read the ingredients. I know people glare at you when they’re waiting behind you in the aisles. Just do it. Read the label, find out what in the world you’re putting into your body, and then decide if you’re going to purchase it or not. If one of the main ingredients is high fructose corn syrup or it’s loaded with preservatives with names you can’t even begin to pronounce, it probably isn’t safe.

2. Don’t assume the front of the box is a reflection of the back.

The nutrition label is on the back of the box for a reason. It’s also in small print for a reason. The front might say 50% less fat or High in Fiber! in big bold letters, but the back could be home to 20+ ingredients chock full of bad stuff. Companies are required to list all of the ingredients for you, but they can say whatever nonsense they want on the rest of the box. Don’t be fooled by the box.

3. Stock up.

If your kid is anything like mine, she probably wants to eat… all… the… time. Instead of having to constantly stop for food (and consequently go through the drive thru all the time because you know you don’t want to waste the time unbuckling, shuffling into the store, rebuckling, etc.) make sure you have plenty of healthy snacks available. That means spending more at the grocery store initially, but saving money when you’re out and about, and, more importantly, being kind to your baby’s belly. My favorites are Trader Joe’s applesauce crushers and cereal bars, fresh bananas and other fruits, and trail mix.

4. For the most part, stick to the outer layer of the grocery store.

Basically avoid everything within the center aisles of the store if you can help it. The outer perimeter of the store is where you’ll find meats, veggies, fruits, and eggs. The middle is generally jam-packed full of processed foods that’ll last on those shelves for years because they’re so stuffed full of chemicals. Stick to the stuff that either came out of the ground or once had a face, as much as you possibly can.

5. Local is best.

Most places have at least a handful of farmer’s market-type local food spots. Go to them as much as you can! The less traveling your food had to do to get to you, the better off you are eating it. Not only are you being kind to your body, but you are also supporting the local farmers in your area – and really, in this day and age, those guys need all the help they can get. And if you’ve never been to a farmer’s market, don’t think that it’s just local vegetables. Most of these places have organic jams, dried fruits, trail mix type snacks, and other items that you can feel good about eating. You don’t necessarily have to go and buy bushels of kale.

I know we can’t always eat perfectly healthy, and I understand the limits of a budget that make it even harder. Just remember that investing in your health and the health of your kids now is just as important as investing in their education and financial future. Helping them understand the importance of healthy eating at a young age is the best way you can contribute to their outlook on food in the future. Do your part as the parent by setting the example that their culture refuses to set for them.

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