Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Not Everything that can be counted counts and Not Everything that counts can be counted THING

Dear America,

"Not everything that can be counted counts,
Not everything that counts can be counted."

perhaps the most appropriate way to start this thing today is to quote Einstein, or is it really something William Bruce Cameron said? -- the world may never know .....or do we? 

Sure, it's a mystery.  And in the midst of a really good mystery, what do we do?  We dig in. Investigate.   Try to find the answer.

And then I found this:  quoteinvestigator.com

Of course, attributing the quote to Einstein is simply a no-brainer -- he's the more romantic one, am I right?  

He's the one 
we would all like to see
 to be the one 
who actually said what we see
...on the pages of quotable history.

And why?

For it drips wit

But if you are a prolific clicker to the links around here, then you would be one to be counted as one who counts; you would be included in the group who now knows that this axiom-maximus is most likely NOT an Einstein thing --  it's a William Bruce Cameron, the Sociologist, thing.

And yet, having said all this -- the real truth is, that all this talk about who said what has nothing to do with what I want to say today.  It's, dare I say, being a wee bit counterproductive on my part; my apologies, but not really.

"Not everything that can be counted counts,
Not everything that counts can be counted."

 Let's cut to the chase and chase to the cut, shall we?

In the most simplest of terms, and quite certainly fitting universally into every problem on the planet --  this catchy collision of compound counterintelligence  happens to be the answer to the question posed at the Georgetown University "Conversation on Poverty" just the other day.

So do we decide to throw even more money at the problem of prevailing poverty levels,..


do we simply remind everyone of what the purest form of self-reliance looks like, sounds like, counts like?

And like the president said:

"And it seems to me that if coming out of this conversation we can have a both/and conversation rather than either/or conversation, then we’ll be making some progress."


By the way, that is verbatim; it comes right out of the "Remarks by the President in Conversation on Poverty at Georgetown University,"  transcript HERE.

I must add that the entire read is worthy.

The underlying ties to faith and community are remarkably present throughout the panel discussion and thus, for me being G, makes it far more palatable to finish the nearly fifteen pages of text. 

Here's a snippet giving you a little taste of what I'm talking about; it's when the Harvard professor Robert Putnam is speaking:

....And I don’t mean Bill Gates and some homeless person.  I mean people coming from college-educated homes -- their kids are doing better and better, and people coming from high school-educated homes, they’re kids aren’t.  And it’s not just that there’s this class gap, but a class gap on our watch -- I don’t mean just the President’s watch, but I mean on my generation’s watch -- that gap has grown.  
And you can see it in measures of family stability.  You can see it in measures of the investments that parents are able to make in their kids, the investments of money and the investments of time.  You can see it in the quality of schools kids go to.  You can see it in the character of the social and community support that kids -- rich kids and poor kids are getting from their communities.  Church attendance is a good example of that, actually.  Churches are an important source of social support for kids outside their own family, but church attendance is down much more rapidly among kids coming from impoverished backgrounds than among kids coming from wealthy backgrounds.  
And so I think what all of that evidence suggests is that we do face, I think, actually a serious crisis in which, increasingly, the most important decision that anybody makes is choosing their parents.  And if -- like my grandchildren are really smart, they were -- the best decision they ever made was to choose college-educated parents and great grandparents.  But out there, someplace else, there is another bunch of kids who are just as talented and just as -- in principle -- just as hardworking, but who happened to choose parents who weren’t very well-educated or weren’t high-income, and those kids’ fate is being determined by things that they had no control over.  And that’s fundamentally unfair. 
[Yeah....guess it was more than a little.]

That last part -- the part that I made bold -- is my favorite.

Putnam says, 

But out there, someplace else, there is another bunch of kids who are just as talented and just as -- in principle -- just as hardworking, but who happened to choose parents who weren’t very well-educated or weren’t high-income, and those kids’ fate is being determined by things that they had no control over.  And that’s fundamentally unfair. 

IN PRINCIPLE, he is absolutely right.

And in principle, the answer and what is missing out of the equation is....drum roll please:

"Not everything that can be counted counts,
Not everything that counts can be counted."

AND in principle, if I may be so bold, we are all born with complete control over doing the very things that may not count in order to eventually be one included in the group that counts and be counted as a productive part of the whole.

AND at this point, I am fairly certain that "both/and" "either/or" an Einstein and a Cameron and a President Barack Obama would agree with me.

Let me give you another part that I love; this one coming from David Brooks --

When you talk about people as your brothers and sisters you don’t talk about them as liabilities to manage.  They’re not liabilities to manage.  They’re assets to develop because every one of us made in God’s image is an asset to develop.  That’s a completely different approach to poverty alleviation.  That’s a human capital approach to poverty alleviation.  That’s what we can do to stimulate that conversation on the political right, just as it can be on the political left.

...."every one of us made in God's image is an asset to develop."

Please.  Someone.  Tell me why our school's and universities can't have THIS conversation every day.

FOR IF our kids did -- all the way from early childhood and carrying them sweetly, gently, carefully, spiritually developed  and self-assured into their higher education years, we would end chronic poverty.  It's a "human capital approach to poverty alleviation" that counts.

Now yesterday, when I caught a tiny part of the Rush Limbaugh Show, he was discussing the whole idea that for so much of human history, for so many of us, we all came from poverty!   It's like, duh, right.  

It hasn't been until we left the agricultural and farming age and moved into being of the industrial age, that we all began to create a life of happiness and substance and even a little wealth.  The food in our belly today has come directly from the toil of our ancestors who came from circumstances of universal lack.

AND the PRESIDENT not only KNOWS this, he reflected upon it for a moment, saying:

...We don’t dispute that the free market is the greatest producer of wealth in history -- it has lifted billions of people out of poverty.  We believe in property rights, rule of law, so forth. 

And then, like right on cue, his next word was:   "BUT..."

Are you kidding me, Mr. President?

The free market IS the greatest producer of wealth in history, or it's not.

This is the problem with conversations sometimes; sometimes we just go round and round  and round and nothing gets done.

Let's have a conversation.  Let's have a panel discussion.   Let's get together and have a committee meeting, a congressional hearing, a board review; it's all about a chat that never really ends.

"Not everything that can be counted counts,
Not everything that counts can be counted."

Yup. That about sums it up.

To grow a person of character, because character truly counts, in an environment where not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts is a hard one to figure out, isn't it?


A person of good character usually turns out good, even when not everything around them is of good character or good, when they stick with being a person of good character and good, 

The unequal distribution of productivity, accountability and responsibility in recognizing the wealth of opportunity that abounds in the every day and in the every thing we do says it all, backwards and forwards.

Make it a Good Day, G 

 we can throw more money on it....BUT.....
COUNTING Dollars and adding common sense into the equation, go to Newsweek, HERE.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It's a Story about a Story Thing

Dear America,

so speaking of family.

my girl comes home from college TODAY!!!

and you know the best part -- she is just as excited to come home to see me as I am to see her. 

Verily feeling all the more proud, with my anticipation all the more heightened, and the value of all the many years of my single-parenthood's ups and downs affirmed --  I realize I have done something right; she will be flying high and happy wee wee wee wee all the way home.

See what I did there?
It's called tapping into a little game we play on the toes of our babies -- beginning with the little 'piggies,' nursery rhymes and story times produce results; developing the miracle that grows from their little pea-brain from the moment our children come into the world benefits all of us in the long run.  And lo and behold, it can be done even through the most unsuspecting of ways...

Of course, here in G land, we are long past "this little piggy went to market."

Like a blink of an eye, somehow or other, we have made it to a brand new stage; and "this little monkey goes to college" seems to fit just fine.

One of a parent's many responsibilities and duties is to ensure that we build up and validate what our children do right, and likewise discouraging -- even with consequences, if warranted -- what our children do wrong, Think of that mother of Baltimore recently, Toya, who smacked her son upside the head on national TV [no recollection? then go back and read my blog from a couple of days ago..]

[oh this is rich...just got a text after she hum and hawed about my insistence she get to the airport two hours early...she writes  "it's 12:30 sitting at the gate an hour and half early are ya happy"]

beautiful girl.


The thing is, I appreciate any validation from the universe of my fine parenting skills, large or small, or, given her latest text, totally unseen.

But you know what I really love?

 -- getting validation of some of the ideas I schlep day in and day out @this American girl thing.

And today, we can thank a little post titled, "Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?"

Allow me to just cut to the chase, my little piggies --  at the end of the day, it's a rather twisted and absurd thought process of some highly intelligent people.    But who am I, right?

Apparently [even though I'm completely stuck on the notion as to how nobody connected the dots on this before...duh] -- there needed to be a study on the value of reading bedtime stories to children at the end of the day.

And you know what they discovered?

After all has been said, read, and done,  there was more of an advantage in doing just this one thing than sending our children to private schools, let alone reading nothing at all.

It's just amazing!

Someone -- seemingly in a position of authority on the matter -- affirmed my simple-simon approach to parenting;  something as easy as reading to our children a bedtime story, or playing with the little piggies in nursery rhyme, add up to something pretty wonderful: a loved and well adjusted child with an advantage!

So what becomes twisted and absurd happens to be THE RESPONSE to this realization by these yahoos; that when something so simple as reading to our kids can be so influential, to the extent of giving some children an advantage,  that surely the answer must be in the take away of this advantage! 

Or so they have you think anyway....

Are you kidding me?

With the advantage being seen as totally unfair, the summation to the equation --  in order to even it all out --  might just be to subtract the loving family and the bedtime stories? seriously?

I love this part --

Setting it up like so....

So should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?

‘I don’t think parents reading their children bedtime stories should constantly have in their minds the way that they are unfairly disadvantaging other people’s children, but I think they should have that thought occasionally,’ quips Swift.

Or how about --  Swift -- you simply get up and tell the  whole world to bloody hell read to your kids!!! 

Why isn't this news on the front page of the Wall Street Journal?  How come the nightly news isn't championing this latest incite,  perhaps in rhyme and unceasing, until we all get it smacked upside the head and do it?

ahhh these are the days that try a mom's soul.

"No bother,"  (Eeyore), "Promise me you'll always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"  Christopher Robin to Winnie-the-Pooh

I have a baby coming home and I plan on rubbing her arm and telling her a story or two just like the olden days.

Make it a Good Day, G

Friday, May 1, 2015

It's a Stars in Their Courses Thing

Dear America,

"Intention plus hard work equals magic."

just a little sage advice that came via my Yahoo horoscope from this morning... and ironically, and as often the case no matter the sign -- it works for everyone.

the thing is... 
sometimes it takes what seems to be a lifetime to figure this out.

while other times, a whole life is lived without even so much as an inkling.

and then of course, for some "lucky" people -- the stars seem aligned right out of the gate, as if by fate, as if no effort was ever required.

But for most of the time -- this realization that the magic happens at the intersection of intention and the unimaginable number of days manufacturing boatloads of blood, sweat and tears -- IT MUST BE TAUGHT!

You know how that works -- one person tells another person, and then they tell another person,  and so on and so on.

Here's another way to look at it.   
Think of it in terms of how America was made -- that being completely upon the principles of self-reliance, independence, and the freedom to do the very thing that makes each of us happy alongside what was fully intended to be a limited government.

Simple simon, right?

Apparently not so much.

Someone who I love, respect, support, and pretty much think highly of in every way, is Star Parker. 

Just today -- upon the heels of the Baltimore riots -- she has come out with a quick post making clear where her intentions lay in the everyday.  And having come from welfare, the ghetto, herself, she personifies the conception of "intentions with hard work equals magic" almost seamlessly.  Knowing what she is made of -- the ghetto and the grit to change her circumstances -- makes Star all the more magnificent.    She IS a Star.

So here is what the constellation Parker had to say, just today:

And no -- I have no intention on giving you so much as a word other than the heading.  Go read what Star has to say -- and then -- make a donation to CURE...just follow the links, easy peezy, light and breezy, lemon squeezy.

Which reminds me -- if "the magic" doesn't seem to be happening quickly enough, here's another one for you:  "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

Yeah, I hear you.

Save it.

Sure --  it's cliche.

Kinda stupid,

Possibly even sophomoric, pollyanna-ish, and ridiculously naive.



And besides, if all of the citizens of Baltimore (who are we kidding, let's throw in the entire country, shall we...)  simply had a grasp on just how this all works, we would all be in a better place; for it's so true -- our intentions coupled with hard work equals magic! 

 Indeed.  And it is our duty and responsibility to not only know this, but to pass it on with each new generation we make.  

It works from a natural law (much like the intentions back behind what is written into law in our Constitution, and within our Declaration of Independence.)  that instantly, and consistently, responds to our every thought and action and intention, whether positive or negative, like magic.  When it works in our favor, nobody ever really notices all the hard work, considering by that time it is totally out-shined by the sparkling results of whatever we made (with effort! and determination! and tears!).

The reality is, the streets of Baltimore are seeing the results of the intentions plus efforts of the whole, and most certainly, of the great power of the collective.   Unfortunately, it isn't shiny or brand new; it's neither industrious or productive.   It is purely organized destruction, after decades of ill-conceived intentions, undermining every act of self-reliance and independence with liberal lies, abuse, misguidance, and fraud.


Kinda like, um, karma,   
What goes around comes around.
Or, like, um, we reap what we sow.  

Ooooh,  like no, like maybe in the "stars in their courses" kinda way...[The Book of Judges encapsulates the cycle of sin and salvation, following a part of history in Israel, covering a period of time of 330 years in the land of Canaan and likely written around 1000 B.C.]

oh wow. 
oh G,.. 
sometimes, you even amaze yourself.  he he  
[Even though I am nothing, and only by the grace of God do I come up with anything to say upon any waking day... thank you, God.    Can I get an amen?]

Anywho, this morning when I awoke I thought to myself,
should I write a blog, or no?
And wondering, do I really have something to say, today?

Unknowingly, and yet setting my sights upon the answer of yes, my intentions began to align with tripping around the keyboard, starting with my daily ritual of reading a silly horoscope and promptly bouncing around the web like nobody's business.

And the stars came out to greet me.

Baddabing Badda Big Bang Boom.
Bye Bye

Make it a Good Day, G