Friday, April 15, 2011

Next step to Big Brother?

So then what do they do when someone hacks into THAT database? How will you verify you are YOU?!
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Back and Mobile!

Well I come across a lot of great reads and tweets and will now try to share them via mobile. Not sure how it will work, but I'm rarely sitting at the pc blogging these days!

The boy is now 14 and finishing up jr high. High school is next. goal is to let him breathe every day and keep my sanity. Not sure those can always be met at the same time...?

On the political front, I'm going to try and see "Atlas Shrugged" this weekend. Anyone else?
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Faith Through Fear: The New Slavery of America

REALLY great read!

Faith Through Fear: The New Slavery of America: "The thirteenth amendment states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have b..."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh the joys of the 13 year old boy...

So the boy is 13 years-old and in the 8th grade. He's a big guy now, and acting like it. Acting all big and tough and...? DUMB. But then I guess we all got dumb when we really started being teenagers right?! Of course when I was growing up the dangers that presented themselves to teens were not as great or lethal (it seems) as what faces our kids today.

As he has started the downward slide of missing assignments and mouthing off to his teachers and talking too much in class, I've put my foot down with consequences that he felt immediately. No more electronics for 3+ weeks. No more hip-hop/rap music. (I had blogged about this a month or so ago - his love for it) He can no longer listen to the popular radio station that his friends listen to and has had to delete all of the rap songs from his MP3 player. He also hasn't been able to listen to his MP3 player for close to a week now. He can't go to the local dance this Friday night. TV has been even more limited and he doesn't have free access to any and all shows - I have to approve them.

Now this was always the way - I approve what he listens to and watches. But there are times when I've been a little more lax and tried to respect his individuality. I liked different things growing up than my mom - you know? But dammit. DAMMIT. I just don't see any real positive influence that comes from hip-hop/rap that the kids all want to listen to. And this is a style of music that came into being as I grew up. It isn't as if I'm some old fuddy-duddy who is so out of whack with the modern times.

But after all of these years with my only enjoying a handful of songs/artists (more dance less rap) - I still have yet to see the REALLY powerful and positive message behind this style of "music". Because? It simply doesn't seem to exist. Not really. And the kids - gosh the kids that my son hangs out with. They do NOT come from the hood or tough streets. They haven't grown up in project housing or long-established welfare households. Sure some of them come from divorced families and unemployed parents, and some tougher financial straights (hello? I was unemployed for 18 months until 6 months ago and am a single mom). But even with any of the trials and tough things these kids experience (there is some gang activity locally sure..) it is NOTHING compared to what is discussed in these songs. Their culture is NOT that culture.

So why do they gravitate towards it so? Why is it so damned interesting or thought to be cool? I simply do not get it. I didn't get it when I was growing up. I mean - who wants to live in fear all day every day that you'll be shot or someone close to you will be shot? WHAT?! How is that awesome or cool or something to be envied or admired? Why do they wish to be associated with crime, thievery, getting one's street "cred", being sexually promiscuous, and outsmarting the police? How on earth is that appealing - on any level?!

Anyway - this is the music that my son has gotten interested in over the last few months. And while he still has a pretty varied musical collection (thanks to yours truly) - this is what he 'd listen to most of all if given his choice. And? He's a real punk most of the time now. He is mouthy and disrespectful. And yes I know some of that comes from his burgeoning teenage rebellion. But not all of it. No. A lot of it comes from what he watches and listens to - it does for all of our kids.

I will fight him tooth and nail to do my best so that he doesn't continue to be this kind of "poser" that will only get him into trouble with really tough kids that will be affronted by his posturing. Or any of his friends' posturing. But more importantly I will do everything I can to remind him that there is nothing wrong with coming from a solid family. From a somewhat milder neighborhood. That there is nothing wrong and only everything RIGHT with embracing education and respect and goodness towards others.

So he'll continue on as an Honors Black Belt in Karate. He'll continue on in the Young Marines youth group (oh get your kids involved - they are awesome!). And he'll continue to be taught to stand tall and straight and proud. He'll be taught about America and honor. He has no choice.

I suppose he'll resent me the whole way.
Until he doesn't. Right?!

And because I'm posting - check out this WSJ article:
I happened to enjoy that Tea Party rally we were at over the weekend!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 you feel that generation gap?

As we were driving home from the gym (me) and karate class (the boy), we had a not so lovely talk about the music he's been immersing himself in. A lot of it is mostly harmless - good dance music that I myself would want to listen and be-boop (that's right I said it) out to. But not all of it. The station is a local R&B/Dance/Hip Hop station and some of the songs are just too grown up.

For example, they are playing the hell out of "Love the way you Lie" by Eminem. Someone tried to tell me it's an anthem AGAINST obsessive/abusive relationships. However, when you watch the video (very steamy yes, but completely "wrong" in tone and nature for our youth to watch) and listen the lyrics, it more or less is just a story about obsessive/abusive relationships. Like- this is simply what it's like. I'm sure when he wrote the lyrics he was thinking of his much-publicized troubles with his wife, Kim. ANYWAY - the terrible thing is that he has wrapped his lyrics/rap in a hugely awesome and addictive hook. I mean it sounds GREAT. It is physically difficult to turn it off the radio when it comes on - it just sounds that good. But turn it off, I do. Because - the subject matter is atrocious.

So here I am trying to talk to my son about variety in his music. Luckily for me, he really likes a lot of different stuff. I mean he sings songs from "Glee" over and over (and over) as well as country and rock (old and new). This kid likes classical. And yeah, he likes what "the young kids" are listening to with all of the nodding of the heads and veiled (and not so veiled)innuendos - AND unfortunately for me ties/threads to what some call "culture" in terms of urban life/gang life. Because there is no denying that even if pop/techno/hip hop songs are relatively harmless - they still are tied (even loosely) to that OTHER crap. The very negative crap that I've STILL yet to see positive come from. Even after all of these years.

And I've been looking. I've long been a fan of many forms of music and I'm not that old. These styles of music were evolving when I was in my teens and then took hold when I was in my 20's. So it isn't like I'm a complete boob and know nothing. And what I do know is that there still isn't much to be positive about in reference to this urban "culture".

And it's something that I'm working hard to keep my son from de-sensitizing himself to. Even when I sound like my mother did as we watched Madonna rolling around on the stage floor and I just thought that woman was so very cool and strong. And she was. But really? The stage floor?! Hell now - when she opens her mouth on world events, I want to shove a sandwich in it - although I still dig the woman's music........

In other news, color me VERY interested that a Tea Party candidate took the primary in Alaska. I just find that so very interesting. Interesting indeed for what is to come in November baby!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

teens, tv and lying oh my!

My son is 13. He's a great kid. I mean bone-deep a great kid. I just wanna squish him.
Except when I don't.
Me (as I stare the the sandwich he skipped eating today) - "Did you make your sandwich for tomorrow?"
Him (as he watches TV) - "Yes"
Me - "Are you sure it was tonight you made it?"
Him (still hasn't turned around) - "Yes - tonight."
Me (trying to give him the opportunity to come clean) - "What utensils did you use? I don't see anything out here.."
Him - "The same knife I used at dinner....."
Me (fed up) - "Dude I've found today's sandwich. The knife hasn't been used. If you don't come clean you're not going to so and so's house for a month - are you sure you don't want to come clean..?!"
Him (slowly turning around and ducking his head) - "I did't make it - it's from today."
Me - "Was it so hard to tell me the truth..?"
Him - "Yeah..."

I then reminded him that lying is slimy. Disrespectful. Wrong. Etc. He doesn't know why he did it and why he didn't come clean earlier on rather than stick with the lie...

But don't worry according to this article it's normal.
Oh yay..........

where does the time go?

So it's been several months since I've Blogged. It was a busy spring and summer. What can I say? Life has a way of getting in the way of online life...

So let me bring you up to speed. I'm working now and have been for several months. It's currently on a "temp to perm" basis and I'm keeping my fingers crossed it goes "perm" sooner rather than later. My son had some respect/behavioral challenges at the end of the school year and went under what we call "lock-down". He's now re-focused and on the right path. He's such a great kid. Oh and he's now an active Young Marine (great youth group). I simply couldn't be more proud of him or the young man he is becoming.

I've still had my eyes and ears on Washington and Sacramento. Naturally, I find myself stumped that folks still just don't seem to "get" what Obama's real mission is. Or what the Liberals' mission is. Or the fact that even our "allies" in Congress (i.e. Republicans) have lost their way - or rather have been lost for a very long time. DUDES - it's time for a big spring cleaning. We need to start over from scratch!!!

And I certainly don't understand why so many in my state are so willing to fight for Prop 8 and the right for all to marry, but won't spend the same energy fighting for individual rights in terms of health care. Or so many other individual rights that are being squandered and stolen from us.

More recently, I've been educating myself more on Islam. And what I'm learning scares the shit out of me. This is not a religion to be taken lightly or ignored. (In fact there isn't any real distinction between the religion and government.) I know that many folks are tired of hearing about this Mosque at Ground Zero - but it IS a huge topic. And no, I cannot contest the legalities involved. Sure legally it can be built. No laws are being broken. But it is HUGELY insensitive to the violent terrorist acts that were committed there. More than that? I believe it is one more victory stroke for the Jihad that is being waged. One more foothold in our nation.

You can bet that if someone wanted to pay for a big bulletin board across the street from said Mosque repudiating Islam - there would be Hell to pay. And I bet the board would be taken down very quickly due to being "intolerant" or "offensive". Yet hey - let's just let them build a trophy Mosque near Ground Zero. SURE...

I've got a couple of really interesting videos I want to share. I have to do my part to share what I'm learning. Education is not the same as intolerance. However, while I tolerate many religions around me (being an athiest I sort of have to) - I will NOT tolerate being blind to a so-called "religion of peace" or to those who practice it. Islam is something that people REALLY need to open their eyes and brains to. I have many other links that have been collected and sent to me that I hope to share over time.

3 Things About Islam