June 30, 2013
Arthur Levine, college, College Students, Helicopter Parents, Parenting, United States
I have great parents, they have always been vigilant when concerning my future while allowing me a reasonable level of autonomy. I love them for allowing me that freedom; however, many of my friends live with a very different style of parenting. Progressively, there are teeming numbers of “more involved” caretakers, changing what it means to be a parent in the United States. These Helicopter Parents, Go-Get-Em Dads and Tiger Moms, passionately push and prod their children so they are picture-perfect, giving them the best opportunities to make the most of life. But these kids do not, they cannot; they never learned how to do anything for themselves.
Helicopter Parents, designated such as they hover around their children’s every decision and guide them along an optimized path, are the bane of the modern college student’s self-initiative. In college, even when these subdued children are continents away, this parenting style means the umbilical cord is never cut; these kids cannot think for themselves. Many young adults are in constant communication with their parents. Arthur Levine, a renown sociologist who studies college students, notes in his latest book Digital Natives and Their Customs “One in five college kids are in touch with their parents three or more times a day, and 41 percent are in touch every day. ” I hope many of these communications are simple text messages and Snapchats; inconsequential memos of nothing of significance. But in the age of Helicopter Parents, these flurried texts and calls amount to the decision-making apparatus of too many college students. This bodes poorly for America’s future.
The future workers of America are having their enterprising initiative diluted as they outsource decision-making to mommy and daddy. This is not good, not for them and not for the country. Empirical data indicates that those students afflicted with helicopter parents have less accountability, worse grades, and are less satisfied with their lives. Once their self-determination is undermined and stunted these children will never be able to forge their own healthy futures and identities. The Helicopter Parents will just keep circling and circling, graying our collective future with apathetic colleagues incapable of seizing the day. We will all lose out.
June 19, 2013
Forest Fire, Forest Service, House of Representitives, Politics, President Obama, republican, Sequestration, United States
Fire Fighters Struggle With Flames and Budgets
Every summer there is another record breaking forest fire immolating homeowners and ravaging communities. 2013 is no exception.
Throughout the American West, the United States Forest Service is scrambling to evacuate homes and contain destructive wildfires. These fire epidemics are getting worse every summer. Analysts blame urban encroaching into forests, global warming drying out the West, and bad luck.
Meanwhile, Washington’s sequestration and budget cuts have just axed the wildfire protection budget by more than forty-percent.
A gridlocked congress’s inability to act has pushed President Obama to preemptively reducing programs to offset future spending caps. These cuts are on top of the millions lost to the sequestration eroding the Forest Service’s budget. The Hazardous Fuels Reduction Program, responsible for controlling damaging megablazes, has lost $208 million of its original $500 million dollar budget. As the Forest Service chooses how to allocate its meager resources, experts are predicting worsening fires throughout the foreseeable future.
The United States must invest in wildfire protection instead of cutting funding. It also must spend smarter. Proactive strategy, ranging from clearing at-risk brush to lighting clearing fires, are progressively considered the best option for the fiscally starved Forest Service. Rather than fighting megablazes head on preemptive action curtails megablazes from ever burning out of control of threatening communities. These preventive methods are the cheapest option to saving endangered towns; every dollar spent on prevention multiplies itself into ten dollars saved on firefighter costs. To unlock the funds needed to reinstate funding to the Forest Services it will take political action from Congress, the institution originally responsible for the crippling cuts.
Many Republican Congressmen, ironically representing the fire-plagued west, are responsible for the sequestration and budget cuts. These austerity hawks are endeavoring to “starve the beast” of big government; by choking off the federal programs and taxes these zealots intend to force the nation towards smaller government. The Republican leadership is now self-immolating its own districts to uphold a deranged ideology. It’s no wonder Congress’s approval rating has plunged to ten percent. Another record.
June 11, 2013
Afghanistan, Bradley Manning, Cablegate, Iraq, Jihad, leak, trial, war crime, wikileaks
Bradley Manning: Beleagured Whistleblower
After three years of arduous delays Bradley Manning has finally had his day in court. The documents and videos that he made public to the world revealed thousands of unreported killings and gruesome maimings of civilians throughout Afghanistan and Iraq during the American occupations. Even an attempted attacks on journalists were publicized. Manning’s Cablegate was the single largest disclosure of classified American documents in history. Needless to say, many are interested why Manning would go to such lengths to deface American troops and her allies.
Here is the answer.
Manning’s leaked documents in Cablegate exposed a systematic under reporting of war crimes by Americans in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Many of incidents Manning exposed were unreported killings of civilians, surrendering terrorists being shot to pieces, rapes and murders by unchecked local policemen, sadistic torture, and countless other acts of horror. While often these incidents were noted by American troops, the war crimes were only reported internally; legal actions and reprimands were almost never carried out. This transgression resulted in 15,000 unaccounted for deaths of civilians. These malfeasance were not deliberately masterminded nor broadly coordinated. They just happened; its part of war. There has not been a war in history where such travesties have not occurred and it would be pretentious to assume otherwise
The gut-wrenching letdown is these crimes were allowed to go unreported. To be hidden, to be wished away and forgotten.
The United States, backed by its NATO Allies, went into Afghanistan and Iraq to purge corrupt regimes and install unfettered democracies. Yet they allowed widespread killings, just as the preceding governments did. This conceited hypocrisy devalues the liberties and rights the Allied forces espoused. What Afghan or Iraqi would trust the supporters of rapists and murders? The American-backed governments in these states lost hearts and minds whenever these war crimes went unpunished. The global community may not have known about this secret slaughter, but the civilians on the ground did. They were the ones who lost friends and loved ones. They were the ones who justice was denied. They were the ones who sided with jihadists to claim their righteous vengeance.
The United States has to hold itself to a higher standard. It has to pursue the criminals in its ranks and flush their crimes out publicly. It will be hard and painful, but it is right. If the military can show purge itself of its fiendish criminals it can reclaim the virtue it stands for, winning back the support of the Afghans and the Iraqi nations . As the sadists are rooted out there might be even fewer unintended killings. This transformation was the goal of Bradley Manning’s Cablegate. The cost of such a dream will probably be a life sentence in prison for Bradley Manning. I hope his sacrifice will return righteousness to our armies.
Afghanistan thanks Manning