Sunday Open Thread: Are We Smarter Than Our Five Year Olds, Rescue Edition

Hat-tip Claimsman of DelphForums for the heads-up to the video above.

There's a television show called Are you smarter than a fifth-grader which is meant to be fun and entertaining, but in truth it's a rather interesting contrast: do we, as we get older and more experienced, become stupid? Do we incorporate so many facts and figures among our experiences that they turn to mush, taking along with them any sense or sensibility, while the constant screeching of morality and politics from vested interests keep us from taking time out to save our minds?

And yes, that's a leading question, on purpose.

"Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future"

            -- John F. Kennedy

Our children learn from our examples. We are the guardians of our future; they are the future guardians of our planet. They are a major part of our legacy. But are we taking our responsibility toward the future and as stewards of the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of humanity, as well as the planet and all its resources, seriously?

"I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."

            -- Whitney Houston

Here's another outstanding child who also saves her mother by calling 911:

I'd like to think that, for the most part, we're doing a great job for our children: ensuring they have adequate health care and a good education, proper guidance for what is right and wrong, a tolerance and understanding of different people, cultures and religions...but then I look at the world today, and see war, waste, corruption and destruction. I see politics dictating poor policies out of political expedience and sound bytes, leading to cutting children's health care and education or favoring only the children of the wealthy. I see...well, hell -- I see this:

  1. 1/3/2007 "Bless the beastly little children of a lesser god than mine." by GreyHawk
  2. 11/29/2007 And A Little Child Shall Lead Them by GreyHawk
  3. 12/16/2007 Got Kids, Meet Their Future by jimstaro
  4. 11/10/2008 Children Go Where I Send Thee: Die. by rba
  5. 1/26/2009 Children of a Lesser Allah by Jeff Huber
  6. 9/25/2009 Too stupid to be parents by GreyHawk
  7. 11/17/2009 Hier, les enfants dansaient by ConnecticutMan1
  8. 11/29/2009 Project Omelas - Finding a cause by Unenergy

What kind of a world are we making for our children? What kind of a job are we teaching them about waste, abuse, greed, war, kindness, wisdom and sustainable behaviors? What have we taught them about Justice?

It's a question worthy not only of discussion, but -- ideally -- one that should initiate action(s) toward rectifying any problems with have with the answers.

This is an Open Thread.

Obama's Leadership: DADT, EFCA, Etc.

Self-bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-12-10 15:40:12 -0500. Also available in orange. -- GH

Because of a thread that hit the flame folder here where the original poster was demonstrably uninterested in reality, I'm posting this -- feel free to add, amend, correct, elucidate, qualify or quantify.

  • DADT: Obama hasn't demonstrated any overt leadership on this, and appears to be dragging his heels. But he also has reaffirmed that he will get it repealed/replaced, and other promising signs of culture-shifts that recognize the importance of full equality and non-discrimination are emerging.

  • EFCA: (Employee Free Choice Act) Obama was an original co-sponsor of this while he was still in the Senate, and pledged to sign it into law upon becoming President. The qualifier, of course, was that Congress had to pass the legislation so it would appear on his desk for him to sign -- as it is with any law. The Obama WH had reiterated support for the legislation, but it has so far been stalled by the GOP and a group of wayward Democrats.

  • Economy, Wall Street and the Banks: This is a mess that Obama inherited from his predecessor -- a stinking, seething pile of sh!t festering throughout the economic and social infrastructure of the nation, with vast ties to the world economy. Made ever-more complicated by the expansive reduction in regulatory controls that the GOP's unfettered majorities of the preceding 12 years made possible, this is one of the biggest messes to clean up. Obama has made several unpopular decisions, some of which appear to be strategically necessary and others which appear unfathomable betrayals...yet, behind the scenes, other steps have been taken that have garnered less attention and move us further toward unraveling the twisted knots of red tape. (See House Committee votes to let regulators break up Too Big to Fail Banks, for example.)

  • Healthcare: Under Obama's initiative, a healthcare reform bill was taken up -- and subsequently ding'd repeatedly as Dems caved and capitulated to the GOP (and other screwheads) -- and yet, a better-we-have-had-to-date bill looks to be on the verge of passing. Behind the scenes, other actions are helping to lay and set a foundation for improvements that will also make further future reforms easier while reducing overhead cost and bureaucracy. One of the little-recognized big changes that looks like it may stay in the current form of the bill is the push to keep 90% of premium money focused on health care, not administrative costs. Wile this may result in hiked premiums (there's little regulatory strength to help ensure affordable premiums are raised beyond a fair limit), it does stand to significantly impact the insurer's bottom lines and fat margins.

    See CTMan's earlier front-page post for some in-depth perspective and more information.

So, yeah -- Obama's been making progress, not always in a popular way, but against insane opposition, increasing security threats and a huge mess.1, 2, 3 If you're having issues with his performance given the size and heft of the sh!t sandwich he was handed, and upon which the GOP, the teabaggers and recalcitrant politico Dems keep dolluping more crap, then grab a mop.

Veterans Day - Tuesday 11-11-08

We all know we have a change coming, and it would be great if it happened yesterday, but it will be happening soon enough. That change is in a New President and His Administration who ran on "Change" and bringing along with him a change in the Peoples Representation in both houses of Congress.

"Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations"

The House Judiciary Committee today, Friday, July 25th, will put Impeachment squarely back "on the table" and restored to its prominent place in our Constitution.

Wednesday 07/25/2008 - 10:00 AM
2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Full Committee
By Direction of the Chairman

The Silent Constituency: The African American Voter

I woke up today to read two stirring diaries by two of my favorite diarists, kid oakland and teacherken. Both thought provoking and on point.

But I am going to go further, because I can being African American and growing up in this community.

And I will go even a greater step further. If the Democrats do not stand up and get a spine they will lose in November.


And A Little Child Shall Lead Them...

This piece was originally published on the older ePluribus Media scoop site on Sat Nov 24, 2007 at 12:07:25 PM EST, in addition to several other locations. I was unable to post it here at that time. I am now remedying the situation; relax. You are not experiencing deja-vu if you saw this article before.

A famous US patriot once said "These are the times that try men's souls." At the time, he spoke of the events and circumstances surrounding the birth of a nation destined to be defined by the rights and freedoms of the people; a nation led by government of the People, by the People and for the People, where leaders could inspire the People to stand united in spite of differing opinions or particular religious influence.

The advent of the twenty-first century has marked the most severe departure from our founding principles than ever before. We stand on the brink of self-immolation, leaderless and adrift, while selfish, arrogant hypocrites steer our ship of state toward the shoals.

Should we fail now to grow resolute and united in our determination to right this ship, we fail not only ourselves but our children, and their children's children.

It is time to look to those children for inspiration and a reminder of what we, as adults, are tasked with as parents and guardians: to create and foster an environment where children can grow to adulthood, secure in the knowledge that we have passed along the best models for ethical leadership and responsible stewardship of this nation that we know how.