18 September 2017

Doing Things "Right"

I am doing some adjunct teaching this year and I find myself with mixed feelings about it. I find myself falling into the trap of being an English teacher, as all of the work is written. I wrote this to the students today and I thought it might be interesting to others as well.

As you are now working on your term papers, I feel the need to say a few things about research, source material, and doing things "right".

Some of you seem to be opening up Google, typing in the title of your "research" and basically restating the "click-bait" pablum that passes for technology "journalism". These should not be passed off as business-grade research in anything to which you attach your name. I hope you have a little more regard for your productive output and how you look professionally.

Internet "Best of...", "Ten Ways..", or "Twelve Tips..." articles, if read at all, should be the absolute beginning of your research effort. Please do us all the effort of "drilling down" for the real research behind the surface "noise" of the search engine top results. This means looking up that article's "sources", that source's sources, and so on, until you actually find the original material on which several layers of "Hey! look at this and my obvious conclusion" writing was ultimately based.

You may find the reading of that original research difficult, but your self-respect, the money you earn to provide for your family, and the reputations of those around you deserve real insights beyond the shallow products we see too often in the technical popular press. Also, although the mere mention of sources is technically correct and appropriately scored, your future bosses (and I) would really like to see actual *quotes* to back up your assertions from authoritative sources. I have a masters degree in this subject and I am *NOT* considered a particularly authoritative source in a term paper - Everyone feels better if they see "Ph.D." in a good number of your sources and that the title of the sources look scholarly. I am not saying that ALL your sources must look that way, but you should have more regard for your work and how it will be viewed by others. Poor, shallow research is obvious and I see it too often. Good research looks a certain way and I hope you want to be known for your use of it!

Your grade will reflect criteria met and you can put forth a pathetic effort ("I figured out the system!") and still make excellent scores and get your degree with minimal fuss. That is the story of much of my graduate work. You can do this on your term paper as well, I will give you the points you earned, and I expect some of you may do this for your own reasons, legitimate or not. If nothing else, I understand the realities of higher education and the fact that it can be easily "gamed".

Some day, I hope all of us will be capable of displaying that we actually can do things in an excellent way and show that we are fully educated people. You can do this through your term paper in this class, or somewhere else where it matters more to you and your family, but my greatest wish for all of you is that you actually *do it* someday!

14 September 2017

Breaking the Cultural Suicide Pact of the West

Culturally, most Americans have a problem with the indolent - those who choose to live off the money made by others. These people are economically un-productive. I suppose these folks could say that they were born lazy and that they cannot be asked to behave differently, but I think the bulk of people in a vibrant culture rightly reject this. As societies, we expect people to strive to economically support themselves and contribute to the support of those who authentically cannot do so. Naturally, we think poorly of those who can do this but choose not to do so.

We have not been replacing ourselves in most of the "Western" or "developed" world for a few decades now. North America continues to gain population through immigration, both legal and illegal. The tide of immigrants to Europe as refugees is the only way they keep their vaunted social programs viable, though you won't catch many politicians saying so. If it were up to native-born Westerners to keep our present culture at even a stable state into the future, it could not be done due to an inability or more likely a refusal to have and raise a necessary number of children to do so. It is a statistical reality for North America, Europe, and much of the far East that, without heavy infusions of "third world" breeding stock that eschew the so-called "value" of childlessness, presently strong nations will continue a steady population decline toward cultural irrelevance. To put it into a term, we are in the midst of cultural suicide.

Many Americans refuse to do what is required to avoid cultural suicide and such suicidal tendencies have become an accepted and even heralded addition to our culture. For example, people increasingly choose now fashionable "gay" and other deviant lifestyles that provide an easy rationalization against bearing and raising children in a culturally sustainable way. Although there are many lifestyle choices that encourage childlessness and cultural suicide, we are currently in the hypnotic embrace of deviant sexuality and its absolute desire for acceptance. However, this fact remains: if there are too many deviant people, there won't be enough kids.

It is bad enough that people choose lifestyles that preclude propagation, but now our leaders offer political "perks" to such groups and hand over our most vulnerable children to them for adoption and indoctrination into attitudes of sanctioned and vaunted dis-productivity. Every person, no matter what their personal excuse, who chooses to not birth and raise at least three children under sustainable circumstances is perpetrating cultural suicide. How can Western civilization hope to survive on its present course?

It is easy to blame others for the decline and so expect others to effect the needed turn-around. Better yet, we can look at ourselves and evaluate our own contribution to our cultural continuance. Are we marrying in ways that bring children into our culture? Are we teaching our own children the habits and expectations that will help our culture thrive? Are we being decisive in the direction that our culture should take toward sustainability? Does our personal conduct reflect such habits and expectations? Any change from our present course toward cultural suicide begins with each one of us. Like the indolent, we have little space for people who claim some exemption and could be birthing and properly raising the next generation.

In the end, we must either choose to abandon practices and attitudes that lead to cultural suicide or watch our nations and peoples fade into irrelevancy. The areas of western Europe and north America will continue on and be populated, but other, less suicidal cultures and peoples will occupy them.

09 September 2017

MediMania: The CPAP Prostitution

I wrote a few posts a few years back regarding the whole concept of hypochondriac profiteering (aka preventative medical care). It is a compelling subject simply because everyone has a story to tell about their own shellacking by the health industry. Allow me to offer up a personal example.

Ever since we got married (nearly twenty fours years ago these days), my endurant wife has lived with the fear of my imminent death. Apparently, when I go to sleep, I stop breathing. I go for upwards of two minutes where my tongue seems to fall back into my air passage, closing it off, and it seems to take something of an act of Congress for mind and body to jar me awake enough to clear the blockage and get some oxygen back in the lungs. Come to find out that this is an incredibly common problem and the official name for it is "sleep apnea". My wife tells me that she got scared of my dying on our wedding night and has remained scared ever since, until she finally convinced me to "see my doctor", as every drug and health advertisement urges one to do.

I was then introduced to the biggest "medical" cash cow I have yet encountered: the CPAP prostitution.
My quasi-doctor (I use a nurse practitioner because I don't care), upon hearing the situation from my wife, prescribed a curious instrument somewhere between an oxygen mask and a brain scanner. It seemed to get used quite a lot because they had several and I had to wait a few days before one became available and a specially trained nurse could instruct me on its proper use. You have to understand that I live in an underpopulated place and this clinic probably serves a population of 2000 at best, so these little "sleep apnea" detectors were getting quite a workout. In deference to my wife, I strapped this contraption to my head which confirmed what my wife had been saying for years: I didn't breathe very often at night. This highlights Rule #1 of the medical/insurance cabal: Use very expensive tests to establish the incredibly obvious. This would not be the first time that rule would be employed.

After the obvious results finally came in, I was scheduled for the mandatory "sleep test" which was scheduled at a pleasant little building some hundred miles from where I lived. Even with my pathetic insurance that charges me a lot and pays out very little, I would be getting to sleep in a nice enough bed while hooked up to dozens of sensors and an air pump that kept me inflated like a hot air balloon. Of course, my insurance only paid for part of this, as I am sure many scammers do these tests just for fun to watch me lose the better part of a night's sleep, so I ponied up my co-pay and after the might ended, I was basically told exactly what my wife had been saying for years and for free: I didn't breathe much at night.

I guess I need to say something positive about my health insurance, as they must have thrown piles of money at these "sleep centers", which seem to spring up everywhere. The guy who ran me through the process was very talkative and ultimately revealed that he had gotten into the business after his own "sleep test", perhaps seeing a lucrative career as I seem to recall that he was a truck driver previous to becoming a "sleep tech". Although he seemed small potatoes in the field, he did well enough to afford a nice little building with two suites that stay full every night he chooses and he even gets a lot of repeat business, as the insurance companies likely demand a recheck of your lifelong condition to prevent aforementioned scamming, as if anyone just magically starts breathing better at night.

So, my quasi-doctor and my certified ex-truck-driver sleep tech were satisfied, so my insurance company released the monetary floodgates and I was rented a CPAP machine by a chain smoker who had a certificate as a respiratory therapist. It seems like a lot of victims of various breathing ailments decide to jockey their troubles into a career, as it seems the "sleep" industry doesn't require much more than a background in bail-jumping to begin training. I was dutifully read a paper, as my therapist seemed to be new and hadn't properly memorized things yet in order to look "professional". It seems that everyone involved with this procedure were suffering from my "apnea" in one form or another, just like apparently 98% of the population. I was introduced to my new nighttime buddy, a "quiet" CPAP machine, and instructed in its rather simple use.

At first, this was all payed for by my insurance, so I played along. My wife reported that, when I did sleep, which was difficult in a full face mask that rarely made a usable seal onto my head, I indeed didn't stop breathing. Of course, I doubt is was necessary to breathe as I was swollen up like a bloated porpoise with all the air being pumped into my gastro-intestinal tract and every other empty internal cavity!

Well, I was dutiful about using the CPAP but was also planning what to do about my hiking and backpacking activities and how such a machine would fit into this. There were some incredibly expensive battery-operated units that a person could get, but I am cheap guy and a began looking for alternatives. Most of these were either worthless (variations on jaw-jutting mouthpieces) or practically illegal in the USA, but obtainable over the internet. I tried a few cheap "solutions" that didn't work and I was discouraged. I was also doing my typical job of ignoring the fact that all of these "sleep aids" were absolutely not recommended for sleep apnea sufferers and was told that I was taking a horrible risk with my life by trying such things.

Then, the reality hit as I received my first bill for this "therapy" that my insurance was supposed to pay for. I would pay $50 a month for the rental of my CPAP machine from here on out. Needless-to-say, I was "disappointed" and promptly took all the stuff back before I could be charged again. Of course, I was warned constantly that this action was dangerous, as if I were going to die within hours of the discontinuance of CPAP use. I am accustomed to being lied to by TV hucksters but it is interesting to see the same tactics used by "licensed" "health-care" "professionals". In fact, to this day, I get some harassment from providers over ending my "therapy".

I finally settled up on the wonderful AVEO TSD device, which sucks onto your tongue and keeps it pulled a bit out of the mouth while I sleep, opening the air passage and letting me breathe at night. I got mine off of eBay for around $80 that another person used and didn't like. Normally, you must have a doctor's or dentist's prescription to even touch one of these, but you know how much I love feeding the medical/insurance industry!

In all of this, I had one criteria for dealing with this problem: does it let me breathe at night? That actually was the only original problem and in spite of likely thousands of dollars spent to poke at things, I ultimately solved the problem myself for about $80. I could have skipped the whole sorted process described above by doing one simple thing: Stay away from doctors.

Now, I certainly don't recommend avoiding medicine if there is something causing you extended pain - that is what the system is there for. Sadly, we hypochondriacs are encouraged to see the doctor about every little thing and often see them when we have no problems at all, just in case. My advice is to avoid the "if you had just come in earlier" syndrome, promulgated by a media that loves to tell horror stories about people who are dying that may not have if they would have spent their lives running between waiting rooms. It is a trick: if we had perfect and real-time knowledge, we would also likely never have troubles, but you can't live like that. I choose living a life, perhaps even an allegedly shorter one, than giving myself over to the "life managers" of the medical industry.

02 September 2017

Putting Husband Before Father

Children Thrive Best Under a Loving, Stable, and Devoted Marriage between their Natural Parents

The lack of natural marriage, childbearing, and family-building is a root cause of a majority of societal ills. Our prisons are bursting with the products of broken homes who never accomplished proper human development. One cause of such problems is the practice of putting the caring for one's children ahead of devotion for one's spouse. This misplaced centrality leads to selfish divorces, un-launched and mal-developed adult children, and divided loyalties that retard everyone's needed progression. Societies cannot survive with so many under-developed and broken people as "respected" members.

The relationship between a husband and wife is the supreme, enduring relationship as sanctioned and dictated by God himself. It is meant to last a lifetime and beyond. The marriage covenant is designed to complete men and women, drawing upon the innate talents and abilities of each to meet the common needs of both and the children they bear - the natural family. The acquisition and nurture of a mutually beneficial and loving natural marriage should be the over-arching goal and primary labor of every adult human life. No other pursuit is more fulfilling; no other relationship is more honorable. Natural marriage provides its ultimate benefit in incubating the next generation of verdant individuals that healthy societies and nations require and that God demands.

Parental obligations to children should focus on their development and their rise to the station of dutiful and devoted wives and husbands with families of their own. Doting on children beyond this is a major predictor of lifelong dysfunction:

  • an inability to put another ahead of self;
  • a lack of desire and resolve sufficient to marry or sustain a marriage;
  • the immature act of having children out-of-wedlock; and
  • a lack of sufficient time and resources to meet the swollen demands of intrinsically misshapened "sub-families".

Governments and leaders of every stripe should show greater concern for the health of their societies by strongly encouraging natural, devoted marriage and building of families based upon such marriages. All adults should show greater respect for the efforts and sacrifices of parents, grandparents, and further ancestors in bringing each man and woman into this world and raising them up, typically within natural families. The voluntary formation and acceptance of "sub-families", such as intentional single-parent groupings, same-sex couplings (adoptive or not), co-habitation households, orphanages, "child development centers" and other sub-optimal child-raising situations should be strongly de-emphasized and categorically discouraged, both through societal and statutory means. No society can hope to prosper where a large and growing proportion of children are subjected to systemically inferior developmental environments outside of their natural families. There will always be a small proportion of children who will lose one parent or both to death and require alternatives and added assistance, but such circumstances are somewhat rare. We do children no favors by socially and legislatively "blessing" the aberrant home-lives of miscreant parent-figures when family life under natural married parents was purposefully rejected.

Every child deserves an optimal developmental setting and it is the duty of each father and mother to join together to provide such for their natural children. Putting devotion to a spouse ahead of love for son or daughter best prepares the children to accept adult roles and responsibilities, the highest of which is to create further natural marriages and optimal families.