No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for the 'Talking to Four Year Olds' Category

February 23, 2010

Talking to Four Year Olds – Dessert Edition

Regardless of the age, kids don’t understand the importance of healthy eating habits.  From early on, and yet today, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are “compartment” eaters.  The Things eat all of one item, say their vegetable, then the meat, then the starch.  If we sat their dessert on the table along with the rest of their meal, there is no doubt that they would eat that first.

The House Democrats had a plan to reform health care.  The Senate Democrats had a plan to reform health care.  While the plans varied on some details, we heard vociferous denials and objections from various Democrat leaders, including President Barack Obama, that there was no plan to “take over” health care.  They claimed time and again, that they just wanted to repair, fix or reduce the cost of it.

Today President Obama finally announced his plan for reforming health care.  Remember that neither the House or Senate plans were his and that every attempt to get him to explain the details of either of those plans was met with some variation of “he hasn’t released his plan.”

President Obama’s plan contains basically one item; price controls.  Pay no attention to anything else that he says about incorporating parts of the Senate, House or even Republican plans, they are moot.  With the simple act of controlling and dictating prices, President Obama will absorb national health care into the Federal government. 

By controlling the pricing structure, President Obama will force all of the other concessions that he wants:  Not including pre existing conditions; you won’t get that price increase.  Not reducing payments to physicians; you won’t get that price increase.  Using procedures that aren’t deemed acceptable; you won’t get that price increase.  Paying too much for people that have high cost health care; you won’t get the price increase etc. etc. etc.

When asked about the large loans provided to the auto manufacturers and the subsequent rules imposed on them by their Czar, President Obama claimed “I don’t want to run the auto companies.”  Saying that limiting premium increases is not controlling the insurance industry and in turn the medical industry, is just as disingenuous as his statement about the auto industry.

While we’ve taught our boys that they need to work the process, eat a good meal and they get dessert, President Obama has never learned this lesson.  Rather than eat a balanced meal, President Obama thinks his political life only exists to eat dessert.  I hope he has a good dental plan!

January 28, 2010

Talking to Four Year Olds – Be Careful of The Friends You Choose Edition

by @ 5:57. Filed under Talking to Four Year Olds.

Our twin boys, Thing 1 and Thing2 are in fifth grade.  Parenting is a full contact activity at this age.  While they aren’t yet old enough to get into major trouble, they are flexing and testing their independence muscles.  One of the areas where we’ve had to work with both of the Things is in their choice of friends.

Both of the Things are very social and compassionate boys (Insert “where did they get the from?” here).  From a very early age they had a spirit that let them make friends with anyone and everyone.  For the most part, this character trait has been a great advantage to them.  However, as the saying goes; the greatest strength can be the greatest weakness.

Because the boys accept others so readily, they don’t always use good judgement in determining who they should be friends with.  A couple of times they have befriended other boys who did not have the same values regarding school work, school behavior or behavior with other kids.  On a couple of occasions, the poor choice of a friend has gotten one of the things in trouble in school.  Our counsel to them has always been that while we want them to be friends with as many people as possible, they need to be aware of the behaviors of the people they choose to be friends with.  Like it or not, we are judged by and impacted by the company we keep.

Wow, that was a lot of stage setting for this article from WSJ.  It seems that the PGA is about to have a really tough season.  While the financial situation of some previously large sponsors like GM, Chrysler and Stanford Group Co. have left some holes in the sponsorship line up, the big problem is the loss of Tiger Woods.

The loss of Woods is and will, have a large financial impact on the PGA:

Ticket sales are down, fewer hospitality tents have been sold, and the title sponsor had to be lured with a cut-rate price.

It is a harbinger of what the PGA Tour may be without its most popular player. Three of the Tour’s 46 tournaments scheduled for 2010 don’t have a lead corporate sponsor, nor do 13 of next year’s tournaments. Television viewership of the first two events of this year’s Tour tumbled.

While the PGA will be challenged this year, they have no one to blame but themselves.

It’s become clear that the behavior which caused Tiger Woods to step out of the tour was not a behavior that was hidden from those around him.  It’s now clear that Woods’ behavior was well known on the tour.  One would have to believe that if not actually assisting in his behavior, people associated with the tour abetted the behavior simply by keeping it from the public and not dealing with it.

What’s all this have to do with my counsel to the Things?  Well, like the Things, the PGA had a choice of how closely to embrace their friend, Tiger.  They did not remain casual friends.  No, the PGA made Tiger their BFF while knowing that his behavior was dangerous to himself as well as the reputation of the PGA. 

The result?  Because the PGA not only listed Tiger as their BFF but perpetuated the mystic of the clean cut, family guy, knowing that the truth was something far different, when Tiger fell, so did the PGA.

The halcyon days of both Tiger and the PGA may be over, we’ll have to see.  The Things have both learned how to be friends without letting the friendship dictate who they are as individuals.  It will be interesting to see whether the PGA will be able to learn that same lesson.

December 2, 2009

The Work You Have Will Fill The Time Alloted For It

I hate to say I told you so but, I told you so. 

Had you read my post from yesterday you would have had all the high points of President Obama’s Afghan speech, in advance and without having to watch his strained, poorly choreographed event.

So, what did we get?  We got some additional troops, he’s going to bang his shoe on the Afghan government’s table and he’s going to begin withdrawal in 18 months.  All like I said yesterday. 

I only have one question:  “What took him so long?”

President Obama mentally gyrated for 3 months so that he could get all the best advice, understand the situation clearly, look at options and make a plan.  After all that, he came up with a plan that I could have developed in 1/2 hour including two pee breaks?

Thing 1 and Thing 2 are in fifth grade.  This is the first year that they are regularly getting homework.  Mrs. Shoebox and I work with them to ensure that their first focus each day is to do their homework.  Even if things aren’t due until later in the week, we encourage them to finish as much of their homework as early in the week as possible.  The reason is simple, it’s easy for 11 year olds to forget about what they’re supposed to do and spend time on what they want to do.  The corollary to this for adults is the old saying about the amount of work you have will always fill the amount of time you have to do it.

It’s clear from his speech this evening, that the extra time that President Obama spent trying to decide what to do in Afghanistan wasn’t invested in a higher quality product.  It’s obvious that President Obama didn’t focus his effort at the beginning of his time and like Thing 1 and Thing 2, got caught slapping something together at the last minute.

One of the folks I follow on Twitter posted that he wasn’t going to be critical of President Obama, he wanted to wish him the best because he wanted us to win in Afghanistan.  My response was that I too want us to win in Afghanistan but somehow I don’t believe that that is President Obama’s objective.

September 17, 2008

Talking to Four Year Olds – Oversight Edition

As I’ve related before, our boys, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are twins. The great part about twins is that they always have a playmate. The tough part of raising twins is dealing with discipline.

Because our boys are nearly always together, when something “happens” we tend to hear “not me” from both of them. That leaves Mrs. Shoe and I to do our best impression of Sherlock Holmes to figure out what happened and who, if anyone, gets disciplined. Because they spend much of their time together, we tend to find that it is rarely ever just one that was involved in the “happening.” Typically we find that both of them were involved, with perhaps one acting as the ringleader but, the other also involved. In those situations we always council the one that tagged along, “Listen, you may not have had the idea but you were just as involved and had a chance to change your behavior but didn’t. For that, you get disciplined as well.”

Pelosi: Dems bear no responsibility for economic crisis

That was the headline posted on TheHill.com.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when asked Tuesday whether Democrats bear some of the responsibility regarding the current crisis on Wall Street, had a one-word answer: "No."

Really? None? Nada? Zilch? Zero?

Hmmmmmmmm.

According to the Committee on Rules of the US House of Representatives, the US Congress is responsible for oversight. The House’s own document defines in detail, what “oversight” is:

Congressional oversight is one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Congress. Congressional oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs and policy implementation, and it provides the legislative branch with an opportunity to inspect, examine, review and check the executive branch and its agencies. The authority of Congress to do oversight is derived from its implied powers in the U.S. Constitution, various laws, and House rules.

Futher on, it provides a list of reasons why “oversight” is required:

Why Does Congress Need to Do Oversight?

Ensure executive compliance with legislative intent.
Improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of governmental operations.
Evaluate program performance.
Prevent executive encroachment on legislative prerogatives and powers.
Investigate alleged instances of poor administration, arbitrary and capricious behavior, abuse, waste, dishonesty, and fraud.
Assess an agency or official’s ability to manage and carry out program objectives.
Review and determine federal financial priorities.
Ensure that executive policies reflect the public interest.
Protect individual rights and liberties.
Review agency rule-making processes.
Acquire information useful in future policymaking.

OK, just to recap: Congress (read that SanFranNan’s House) is responsible for oversight.   According to it’s own document it is “one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Congress.”   And, while SanFranNan claims that Buuuuuuuuush hasn’t protected the America public, it’s ironic that one of the reasons for oversight is to “Investigate alleged instances of poor administration, arbitrary and capricious behavior, abuse, waste, dishonesty, and fraud.”

The brilliance of the Founding Fathers is that they gave us a constitution which had 3 separate but co-equal branchs of government.   The co-equal part only works if you have people in charge of them that are smart enough to read and understand the constitution and not just make up what they want about it.

Yes, something has “happened” in the financial system and markets.   Contrary to SanFranNan’s protests, the co-equal part of the Constitution means that it wasn’t just the Executive branch that was there, the Legislative Branch (read that SanFranNan’s House) was there (or not there as  is probably more the case) too.   SanFranNan may want to be careful about calling too much attention to the fact that something “happened.”   Just  as when something “happens” with Thing 1 and Thing 2, SanFranNan may find herself included in the discipline doled out by the American people.

September 3, 2008

Talking to Four Year Olds – Energy Addition

by @ 5:31. Filed under Energy, Talking to Four Year Olds.

A good technique when working with four year olds, is to use “teachable moments.”   “Teachable moments” are not to be confused with disciplinary action required when your four year old has done something wrong.   Rather, a “teachable moment” general has nothing to do with your four year old.   It usually is an issue unrelated to your four year old, but is one that helps your four year think through something that may otherwise be a complex subject for them.

Today’s teachable moment has to do with energy production,  specifically, oil production.

Approximately 25% of our domestic oil production comes from drilling that is done in the Gulf of Mexico.

Do you know what happens to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico when a hurricane, almost any hurricane comes across the Gulf?   Yup, oil rigs get shut down.   Maybe for just a few days, maybe longer.

Do you know what happens to oil rigs in the gulf of Mexico when a BIG hurricane, like Katrina or Rita come through the Gulf?   No, not environmental disaster.   These rigs have been built to put the safety of their crews and the environment first.   In fact, while there were about 13,000 barrels of oil that escaped as a result of the hurricane damage, the final study done for the MMS noted that there were no on shore impacts from any of the spills! Yes, that’s right, 25% of our oil production goes offline, some of it for several months.

Do you know which coastal state has never had a recorded hurricane?   Yes, Alaska has never had a recorded hurricane.   The waters around Alaska are too cold to allow one to form.

If you were going to increase oil drilling, would you increase it in the Gulf or would you go where hurricanes can’t strike?

Don’t quite get it?   Let me try another approach.

If you had $10 to bet on future energy would your rather:

A.  Bet it on the extreme long shot of “Alternative Energy?”…if you win, you win big.   If you lose, you’re screwed.

B.   Bet it on the choice sure to lose money;  just find ways to  use less

C.   Bet on a proven doubling of your money by increasing drilling and opening oil shale fields.

Good answer, now you’ve got it!

August 28, 2008

A Message for A Three Year Old

by @ 5:53. Filed under Talking to Four Year Olds.

Sometimes, when working with small children, it’s possible to assume too much about the child’s intellectual capabilities  and their ability to  grasp a topic.   Apparently, that was my mistake when I tried to explain to Nancy Pelosi her error on abortion theology.

After getting not only my advice, but that of several prominent Catholic Archbishops, Nancy remains steadfast in her belief that Catholicism allows for abortion. Nancy is standing on the following statement by Saint Augustine:

the law does not provide that the act (abortion) pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation …

OK Nancy, we tried the 4 year old level and that didn’t take. Let’s try the 3 year old level.

Nancy, it’s well documented that fetuses (read that babies) at 8 weeks can feel pain. Even using Saint Augustine’s definition, all second and third trimester abortions and the last month of the first trimester would be considered homicide. I wonder if Nancy will sign up for that? Along those lines, If Nancy believes that St. Augustine is the final arbiter of knowledge for medical science, perhaps she would be OK if the next time she went in for her “nip and tuck” the surgeon refused to use anesthesia because of course, it didn’t exist at St. Augustine’s time!

There is only one thing worse than someone with an ego that knows no bounds. That is someone with an overinflated ego who, when presented with irrefutable proof of their error and ignorance, clings to their ego as the arbiter of all knowledge.

August 26, 2008

Talking to Four Year Olds

by @ 5:19. Filed under Talking to Four Year Olds.

Steve has started (restarted) his Ask Egg series which provides insightful advice to the lost souls of politics.   Similar to Steve, I will start a column today and it will be focused on teaching simple truths to Liberals.   Liberals have a penchant for taking obvious truths and making them complex by adding multiple levels of relativism and obfuscation to the discussion. Part of my purpose is to help these lost souls regain control of simple, concise thinking. Today I start recurring column titled “Talking to Four Year Olds.”

First the Democrats had the presumptuous presidential candidate.   Now, they appear to have the presumptuous Pope in waiting.

In an interview this weekend on “Meet the Press,” Nancy determined she had an appropriate pay grade to determine when life began. This account from William Donohue:

"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition." Responding, moderator Tom Brokaw told her that the Catholic Church "feels very strongly" that life begins at conception. Pelosi said, "I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the Church, this is an issue of controversy."

I’ll let Mr. Donohue give the slap down response:

"Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: "˜Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.’ It also says, "˜Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’ Looks like Pelosi didn’t study the subject long enough. But not to worry: We are sending her a copy of Catholicism for Dummies today (the Catechism is like maybe a bit advanced).

My first attempt at educating a four year old:

I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the Church, this is an issue of controversy.

A simple; “You’re wrong!” should suffice but ,I’ll give a bit more evidence. Donohue provides the Catechism answer. It’s source, if you claim Christianity, is authoritative, The Bible.

From Isaiah 49:

1 Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
from within the womb he called me by name.

and

5 And now the Lord speaks"”
the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant,
who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me,
and my God has given me strength.

(Emphasis mine)
Isaiah made a claim of God personally knowing him while he was in the womb! He didn’t say “you named me at my birth,” or “You developed me from birth to manhood.” He specifically referred to activity while in the womb and he referred to “me” and not ” a pile of plasma.” And, just for the record, most of the Bible was written a bit more than 50 years ago.

OK, if Bible talk is a bit too advanced for your four year old try this one:

The basic argument of the “pro choice” crowds is that abortion is a women’s choice and it’s OK because it’s not a life. Let’s deconstruct that a bit:

Let’s stipulate that if you can survive outside of the womb, you are a life. I think we can also stipulate that you are a life even if you have to use extraordinary means. Even four year olds believe that people who have horrible diseases should get the benefit of extraordinary means to extend their lives.

When I was born if you weren’t nearly a full term baby, your chances of survival were very low. In fact (not that you’d know it now) but I was a full term baby and the story goes that my Great Grandmother told my Grandmother, out of earshot of my mom, that I was too small and wouldn’t survive. To the disappointment of many, I fooled her! Today, babies at 24 weeks are considered viable and the shortest gestation which the baby survived was about 21 weeks.

So what’s changed in the past (mumble, mutter, harumph, harumph) half a century? Well obviously, the medical community has gotten a lot smarter and technology has gotten much better. What’s not changed? Conception still occurs the same way (sperm fertilizes egg) even though we’ve found ways to help that and babies still develop in the same way and the same rate that they always have. In other words, what God designed hasn’t changed a bit but what Man understands about it continues to evolve.

Which brings me to a simple question:

If the only thing that is changing is our understanding and ability to define “viable,” doesn’t that mean that the fetus is viable and therefore a life from the day of conception and the only thing that prevents it is that we aren’t smart enough to successfully intervene…..YET?

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