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Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

When my convictions waver

Posted by Lissa on September 10, 2009

As I’ve consistently said . . .  okay, sorry, that was a bad way to start, wasn’t it?  Let me be clear . . . I didn’t mean to make you hurl this early in the morning.  😉

Starting over — I’ve said before that I have no trouble understanding the liberal mindset.  After all, I spent many years believing that more governmental assistance — read “interference” — could solve every problem.  Needless to say, I no longer feel that way.

But every once in a while, I get that emotional twinge.

I was riding the T the other day and found myself in the company of a large group of young women.  Talking in very loud voices, they discussed friends of theirs who had grills.  No, not the kind to cook hamburgers, the kind where you put frickin’ metals and rocks in your mouth.  They knew a girl named Rosa who had an actual diamond in her teeth, and spoke of her admiringly.

Now, there’s always a chance that first impressions are completely deceiving.  Perhaps these young women were on their way to an after-school study session where they would learn to properly diagram sentences and to conjugate in Latin (two things I never mastered).  Perhaps they have a smooth path ahead of them as they go off to college and then get a job that has nothing to do with anything they learned or discussed in college (as I did).

But I don’t think so.

The liberal says, “Look at these girls!  They have no hope, no future.  They have no chance of getting a white-collar job or even a pink-collar job.  All they have to look forward to is a McJob, and that’s on the rosy side of the scenario.  Something has to be done! We can’t just abandon these kids!  We’ve failed them and we need to fix them!”  It’s an emotional gut-punch that I still feel.

The conservative takes a deep breath and says, “Yes, many systems have failed these young women, first and foremost the parents.  Sadly, no amount of government intervention can make parents care about educating their kids, can make them keep books around the house and follow-up on school projects and homework.  As far as the school system goes, yeah, it’s probably terrible, but this district spends more for worse results than the rest of the county and the state.  If you really want to help these girls, making teachers accountable for their students’ performance and giving them vouchers so that they can choose their school would be a good step.  Before you take more of my money to pour into a program to help young women, you need to show me how 1) there aren’t other programs designed to do the same thing, and 2) a program like yours hasn’t been tried with disappointing results completely unable to justify the amount spent.”

In the meantime, maybe the girls can go get a ruby grill.

Statists think anti-statists don’t care about the poor and the disadvantaged, but I don’t think that’s it.  Anti-statists don’t think that a government solution will WORK.  Certainly it won’t work as efficiently as any private charity would.

Which makes me wish I could start my own private charity.

I’d call it In loco parentisAll the things your parents never taught you. I’d make my sister quit her job and run the place; I’ve long said that everyone needs a Jenny!  ILP would be a center where you could learn about the value of a retirement account, why you should buy basic health insurance, why you shouldn’t buy a house you can’t afford, how to haggle with used-car salesmen, how to evaluate academic programs such that you get the most bang for your buck, and other life-tools needed for self-sufficiency.  I’d fund it completely with private donations and I’d get it staffed completely by volunteers willing to teach a class once a week or every other week.  My volunteers wouldn’t need to be Ph.D’s, they’d just need to be adults who can teach the lessons about becoming an adult, rather than a perpetual adolescent.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “When my convictions waver”

  1. Brad K. said

    I think the liberal and conservative takes might go a bit differently.

    Liberal – establish after school programs, and possibly counseling for outre-fashion grillers and tatters. Maybe add to Medicaid for those unable to afford appliances on their own. I imagine all news accounts and program literature will clearly label which law makers deserve the vote of those that benefit.

    Conservative – require parental consent and $5,000 bond, with mandatory counseling, to get ears pierced under age 16, or grill or other piercings or tats applied under age 37 years. It is still mutilation. The $5,000 bond – per piercing or tat – would go toward a US Savings bond that could not be redeemed before age 37. Someone has to pay for ObamaCare.

    Just think. The tongue pin was originally intended to enhance oral sex. In my life we have gone from the Texas “if she is riding in your car with her shoes off, you are guilty of statutory rape.” to junior high classes of unwed mothers and not a statutory rape case in sight. And grills and tats.

    I wonder . . . does someone with a mouth full of grill notice if they walk past a bug zapper or a security sensor? Nah. I still recall the scenes in “Accepted” where the students played with the electro-shock therapy rig. A bit of zap would likely be seen as “I got a bigger jolt with my Amber grill.” “Don’t you hate Amber? I get a spark just brushing with my nylon toothbrush and Tom’s Natural!”

    In an age of decadence, of indolent youth not working to build character and learn discipline, let me reassure you that not all are swapping grill stories. Several of the people I work with just started college, on scholastic scholarships, with little extra resources, few tattoos, and few piercings. It is the bright-flaring skyrockets we notice, not the honorable, dependable people of character. You have to get out of the spotlights and glamour lights to find actual values.

  2. Bob S. said

    Go for the charity. Don’t wait, try now.

    Honestly, there are many people out there trying to give away money. You would be able to get that money and use it effectively.

    Make it part day care / part after school care for elementary students. You could provide child care, school work assistance and parental style advice all at the same time.

    Get the younger kids hooked and then start on the older ones. Make it a condition of the low cost care that parents take at least X number of classes and you’ve hooked them. Make the classes very small though, 4 to 9 people max, lots of interaction.

    I think you have a great idea.

  3. I know that this wasn’t the anticipated outcome, but ILP would make you a (non-profit) MILLIONAIRE, at least.
    Commonsense solution to a common problem, w/out gubmint intervention to screw it up.
    Perfek!
    Sign me up as a (non-profit) volunteer: Doubletrouble, PHD,SoHK (School of Hard Knocks)

  4. totwtytr said

    Sadly, by the time you and your charity reach these kids, it’s too late. From birth they are taught and observe that it’s the government’s responsibility to provide them with everything. This is reinforced by their parents, the media, the schools, and of course politicians.

    Most of the people that they come into contact with (except their friends) work for some government agency. I’m not even sure that they understand that there is a private sector.

    They should curse the liberals that have wrought this, but then again why should they? They don’t have to pay for anything they need to survive. Thus they can afford “grills”, acrylic nails, cell phones, and other luxuries.

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