The Universe and Common-Sense Decisions

          Why are you here? What purpose will you fulfill? These are philosophical questions most people who live day-to-day never think about.

            You are born and hopefully have parents or know where you came from. They are supposed to set an example and teach you how to survive and prosper. But somehow in the daily routines we forget to think. We let out emotions run our lives.

            We are born with five key senses, but seldom learn to develop and use all five. We are predominantly visual. What you see is what you get. So, you watch the news and listen to your friends. You learn all about the problems in the world and with your friends.

            Do you stop to wonder why is there so much conflict? Well, if you did not have conflict, you would never be challenged to figure out solutions to those problems. In our world called Earth there are all kinds of people with different cultures, education, moral values, economic woes, religions, and views based on their life’s experiences.

            This often creates haves and have nots. Those who learn a work ethic generally have acquired what they own. Then there are those who inherit massive wealth. And there are peoples who are disadvantaged from birth for a variety of reasons.

            Human behavior always takes the path of least resistance and self-preservation. What early behaviors get reinforced determines short and long-term outcomes. If anyone learns to lie, cheat, and steal and suffers no painful consequence, they are rewarded and reinforced to keep doing those kinds of behaviors.

            Early discipline in the home does make a difference. But with so many single parent homes and cultures dealing with overpopulation life is not so precious. Moral values suffer when economics cannot support life in those terms.

            Let me make a few points.  The earth is only one planet in our solar system that revolves around one small star estimated to be a huge ball of ever-expanding helium. Our sun is estimated to have a lifespan of about six or seven billion years and is already at about three billion years old. And we wonder if there is life on other planets in our small solar system.

            Our solar system is one small part of the Milky Way galaxy with billions of stars like our sun. We presume there could be other solar system surrounding each of those stars, and question if life exists like ours.

            Then there is the religious question about Heaven or Hell. Some religions believe if you don’t believe as they do you will NOT go to Heaven. Some religious followers even believe you must be killed if you do not believe as they do. Such emotional discord.

            My answer is why would you give a damn where I go in the “afterlife”.  Most all of us will be dead in 100 years or less. Religion does offer hope for a better quality of life assuming we are blessed by God. But then you forget personal accountability to make something of yourself to provide for your own needs and for others.

            God gifts us with life and abilities we can become skilled at doing and producing. Our job is to learn what those abilities are very early to develop and use them to provide for ourselves. This requires a work ethic to become educated.

            You can’t teach stupid. And if you early on learned to not work to become educated so you could resort to lie, cheat, and steal from others YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES that will not improve your quality of life.

            One universal fact in all cultures is no one values anything they get for free. Value only comes from have a goal and working to earn what you have.

            Any actions to the contrary such as no painful consequence for maladaptive behaviors only rewards those to repeat the same behaviors. So, what is happening in the cultures within the United States – home of the brave and land of the free?

            No cash bail so those who commit serious crimes are rewarded to repeat those offenses. Duh! Open borders allow anyone to come on in and be given free everything – a plane or bus ticket anywhere, free food, clothing, medical care and even a cell phone.

I’m a retired public-school superintendent. For any student to get enrolled in a public school all they need to produce are a few documents as proof they live in the school’s district. With similar last family names living with relatives those extra students now require more teachers, staff, and often new schools and those local taxpayers’ foot the bill! But instead of getting jobs, earning an income, and paying their fair share in taxes instead they are given handouts and subsidies to not work upwards of $1400 per person per month.

Try getting those kinds of benefits sneaking into France, Italy, or Mexico.

Keeping the U.S. Constitution strong poses many conflicts by those who don’t want to follow it for their own political gain that would only serve one part of the population but not all over time. That Constitution guarantees freedoms not afforded by other countries.

So, why are there emotional groups of uneducated people who want to tell you how to live your life? It is all about control for you to do what they want? The uneducated will follow like lambs to the slaughter. The educated will resist with fervor in their hearts and minds to figure out solutions. Often, that means a change in leaders to better guide the masses.

These are the pendulums of change. When the pain becomes too great, the pendulum swings back with a vengeance.

PS. If you give a man enough rope, he will eventually hang himself. Do you see this playing out today?

Obviously, the more you do for people, the less they learn to do for themselves. Add to that how emotional groups will argue and rationalize to get what they want despite facts that prove unworkable for lack of funding.  But pleasure overrules pain with no accountability. No wonder so many bad decisions are being made.

Personal Philosophy


Personal Philosophy

You may not know this, but your personal philosophy has a subconscious effect on your behavior. Philosophy is more than an attitude and plays a role in your bias and thinking.

Philosophy is defined as a discipline comprising at its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology – pursuit of wisdom.  Philosophy has subdomains.

Idealism is a theory that only the perceptible is real. It comes from the word ideal – a standard of perfection, beauty, or excellence; existing as a mental image or imagination only; broadly: lacking practicality.

Pragmatism is a practical approach to problems and affairs. In other words, a means to a solution to pay for an ideal or idea.

Existentialism is a philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for his acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong, good or bad.

Socialism is any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods and services.

Progressivism is a political doctrine of social improvement by governmental action.

In the United States as with other democracies the mood often shifts between liberalism and conservatism. When progressives run wild with idealistic utopian states, they fundamentally forget how to fund their ideas. This is where pragmatism fits in to maintain a proper balance to pay for it, or for technology to catch up.

So, examine how leaders lead. Get an idea of what their personal philosophy is or is not. What do they value? Are their actions good for all Americans? Do they flip-flop their positions to be popular? Philosophy is what directs their behaviors. A leopard doesn’t change its spots.

Do leaders say and do what they mean or say what they mean and not do? Do you feel the leader cares about you and to help you meet your personal needs and values? Or do they make promises you know they cannot keep getting elected and gain power?

There is a huge contrast to compare values between Democrat and Republican parties. Neither is what their platforms called for even a generation ago. But the Constitution remains the cornerstone of American values and society to evolve a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people. We must not lose sight of that document. It is the beacon for all people in the world to come here. And so, the Constitution must be followed and not diminished.

What has changed is younger voters have been given a lot of free stuff and not had to work to earn it. So, they expect everyone – namely the government to give them what they want but not have the responsibility to pay for it.  Let the parents or older folks pay for it like they always have.

No one in any culture values anything they get for free.  Is it any wonder who the rioters are? They ain’t old people who grew up with a work ethic. But I do call out parents who have given their children way too much without asking a return to help the family to even take out the garbage or pick up the dog poop. Those kids will fight you for the keys to the car and ask for gas money. It is the expectation that has been rewarded.

If you have free money, you will choose pleasure to party and avoid the pain of work. And because that notion is reinforced, you will rationalize it is okay. The more a government tries to micromanage its people they forgive personal accountability so there is no law and order to the society. Personal freedoms are reduced because you cannot build accountability in a micromanagement system of dependence instead of free will.

Change is difficult but necessary to advance any society but must not get out of hand. An ideal state must be affordable at the time and not a pie in the sky wish list.

For example, a current raging debate is climate change. But the rationale logic does not fit the narrative. The U.S. is around 335 million people with designs to build two coal fired electric energy plants.  China has 1.5 billion or more people and has designs to build 954 coal burning plants. India has another 1.5 billion people that wants 740 coal burning plants.

Yet, in the Paris Climate Accord we in the U.S. are supposed to pay for massive reductions in CO2 emissions? The philosophical logic does not fit. Why not detail how the Amazon River rain forest that accounts for an estimated 25% of converting CO2 to O2 worldwide. But acres are being cut down by the hour to provide grazing lands to harvest beef cattle for a profit.

Are CO2 levels rising in the oceans? Yes. Are the glaciers receding at a fast rate? Yes. But was there an ice age glacier that covered North America 10-12,000 years ago that went all the way down to St. Louis? Yes. A one-mile-thick sheet of ice-covered downtown Chicago. When that glacier receded, it formed the Great Lakes the largest body of fresh water in the world.

For all we know this global warming and cooling could have a 10-20,000-year cycle. What happens is inevitable.  Storms were just as catastrophic before, but there were fewer people living in those areas. You cannot blame that death and destruction completely on climate change.

So, before you vote for your leaders, first examine their core philosophy and values. Do they care to meet your personal needs, values, and goals to improve your quality of life?

Zero Sum

Zero Sum


Zero sum is defined as for me to win you must lose. Loyal people are indoctrinated to support their team regardless of philosophy, ideals, and policy that has gone astray from its original foundations. Neither U.S. political party has the same ideals, and values it subscribed to fifty years ago. Perhaps only a generation ago.

Politics has been described as a “blood sport” because it appears in some cases that it is okay to lie, cheat, and steal to get what you want – to win at all costs to the other party. Defame, disgrace, dig up dirt in false unfounded “anonymous” allegations where there is no witness or way to corroborate a story. But if that story is salacious enough to sell papers and TV ratings it is okay. Many Americans believe journalism, factual news reporting and vetting stories is dead.

Schools are supposed to teach critical thinking skills to understand propaganda, brainwashing, and indoctrination to make a point convincing and believable. Sort of like where there is smoke there is fire.  If you can repeat the lie and others repeat it many times, then you begin to believe it must be true.

To win you only need to subvert the needs and values of the voters with false promises you cannot deliver. All that matters is to get people to believe in your cause with hope for a better future and quality of life. The fact is only intelligent persons have projection ability to foresee down the road outcomes from prior experience. Uninformed people tend to rely only on their emotions and cannot envision the long-term consequence of their decisions.

In general, younger people who vote have not lived long enough to know history and gain knowledge from that experience. They act upon emotion and immediate gratification of their needs mostly provided by others all their lives. Many lack early discipline and a work ethic to value anything except getting more taken from others.

The point violated in these events is, “Anyone can rationalize anything to get what they want.” It’s all about winning at any cost. The adversary has no empathy or moral value in the story. Common sense truth and wisdom is not applied but reported anyway.

It’s my way or the highway. There is no accountability. The blame game occurs whenever poor performance yields bad sometimes catastrophic results. To avoid scrutiny the accused will double down to rationalize their belief is correct and everyone else is wrong. People who disagree with your opinion to win must be discredited to lose. They are called nasty names like racist, xenophobic, etc. Free speech and our Constitution come under attack.

Verbal slurs and loud voices deflect from the truth. Bias raises its ugly head, and there is no argument that can convince rationale thought. This continues until the next news cycle takes attention away from view.

Capitalism breeds competition. But there are only so many ways you can cut up a pie. You must be good at your craft to outsmart and outwork your competition. If you adopt the attitude to win at all costs, then you rationalize it’s okay to lie, cheat, and steal if you don’t get caught. And if you are questioned you simply deny and blame your competitor is a racist and liar.

There is an old personality principle. Those who make the greatest accusations are themselves most guilty of the same offense. I just heard a past President accuse the other party, “They will lie and do anything…” (sic. to get elected). Hypocrisy remains solid in the face of adversity.

All this divides a nation. The great President Abraham Lincoln said, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”  The playbook to win is to accuse your opponent of cheating. Let them prove their innocence. The injustice is we are presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The truth always comes out in the end. Unfortunately, that end can be in the courts for years, and only those with deep pockets can afford to defend themselves against mob opinion.

The media is motivated to report salacious stories to grab attention and ratings. Advertisers pay for the privilege of being seen by those viewers, so the reporters and networks get paid at the expense of the truth. Journalism is dead. People no longer trust the media all because of the philosophy of “zero sum.”




       There is an old phrase. “If you give a man enough rope, he will hang himself.”  Of course, this is a metaphor applied to anyone who boasts about a position that is wrong in the eyes and ears of the listener. In politics it is the “flip-flopper” who changes their opinion based on the critical reviews of the people they are trying to appeal and convince of their view.

Applying the four standard points of this column, keep in mind anyone can rationalize anything to get what they want. But results matter as do consequences of past decisions made to support the view at the time.

Quality of life is the benchmark most people gauge their lives in the moment. In politics the catchphrase has and perhaps will always be, “It’s the economy stupid.” This leads to the first psychological principle. People will go for pleasure and avoid pain. People always vote their pocketbooks. When there is pain at the gas pump and grocery store to feed your family that resonates with a large cross-section of Americans and people everywhere.

So, when the results of policies do not match the rhetoric and propaganda sewn by a political party this alludes to being the “hangman.” In any book or game, results matter. When anyone keeps professing a lie as if it is the truth, they become a sociopath to rationalize anything to get what they want.  That is power and control and wealth over the people who would elect them to office.

Hypocrisy sets in when past opinions and views are changed to support a new position. All behavior is driven by a personal philosophy. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. A political candidate can say one thing and believe that ideal because it is a part of their personal philosophy in how they view their lives and want to judge others how to live their lives like theirs for personal gain.

But, too often, that is not the will or philosophy seen in the values of the American worker with a solid work ethic to earn the rewards of his/her labors. More recently to reward students $10,000 to reduce their student loan debt they perhaps should not have occurred in the first place, and then bill the American hard-working taxpayer to the benefit of a select group without the work ethic or college education is a slap in the face.  The result is a “hangman” philosophy.

Add to this example idealistic policies toward energy, immigration, the economy, supply chain, abortion, school curricula, and perhaps most important denial of law and order to maintain a civil society. All Presidents take an “Oath” to protect and defend the Constitution of The United States.  If that “Oath” is openly violated, then the only recourse is to “Impeach” that President. Then the “hangman” rings true.

Climate Change and Common Sense

Climate Change and Common Sense


       In recent years, a debate has raged over climate change. It creates a war between common sense and science. Common sense borders on logic and probabilities. Science is supposed to be based on The Scientific Method and not opinion.

Fossil fuels are being blamed for creating excessive amounts of carbon dioxide or CO2.  Decomposition also creates methane gases, and freon a gas in coolant compressor systems along with propellants in aerosol cans linked to breaking up the ozone layer above the earth to allow stronger unfiltered sunlight to hit the earth.

This combination is reasoned to contribute to global warming. As proof glaciers are melting and receding at an alarming rate. Scientists have also drilled ice caps to pull sample layers to prove how levels of CO2 have increased for the last thousand years.

While reading please keep in mind the four standard points I apply to making any decision. When hurricanes, cyclones, flooding, and tornados cause pain it is natural to avoid such calamity. Anyone can rationalize to get the solution they want – to be free of such painful occurrence.

Then, the more you do for people, the less they learn to do for themselves so blame everything on lack of government intervention and prevention. And last, you cannot build accountability in a micromanagement system.

Here are facts seldom presented in arguments for or against climate change and what to do about it:

  1. CO2 is essential for plants to convert back into oxygen O2 so plant more trees and stop deforestation in the Amazon River Region that replenishes up to 25% of the earth’s oxygen.
  2. Take the tree line for example. No trees grow above a certain altitude because carbon dioxide is non-existent. Of all the gases 79% is N2- nitrogen, 21% O2- oxygen. Somewhere in between is Argon of less than 1%, and of that 1% only one-tenth of that is carbon dioxide.
  3. The earth is about 3.5 billion years old. Dinosaurs roamed 250 million years ago and became extinct 65 million years ago. And man has only been recorded for 250-300,000 years. The question becomes, “Is man bent on extinction?”
  4. Only 10,000 years ago a glacier extended down to St. Louis in America. When that receded, it formed The Great Lakes – the largest body of fresh water on the planet.
  5. The great Sahara Desert was once a thriving forest, but climate changed that, too, 2.5 million years ago.
  6. Woolly Mammoths roamed the earth 15 million to 10,000 years ago and have been found frozen intact. Global warming is not what killed them.
  7. The Egyptians and Pharaohs built mathematical genius pyramids and thatch boats over 3,000 years ago. Christ walked a little over 2,000 years ago among a Roman Empire.
  8. Populations then and now have exploded from less than a few million to upwards of seven billion people who all poop and produce methane gases. Yet we are blaming cows.
  9. With populations people want the pleasure of warmth and scenic views so they build homes and occupy spaces where catastrophic storms have always hit for of years. And now we blame climate change for this death and destruction.
  10. I read where one scientist stated when the volcanos erupted in Iceland a recently spewed more CO2 in four days than all that man had created in the last 150 years!
  11. Scientists have also reported efforts by man to control the sun are microscopic by comparison.
  12. The United States has a population of 330 million while China and India each have about 1.4 billion. It is reported China is building 950 and India 750 coal burning plants to produce electricity. Yet people in the U.S. believe we can change the climate by our efforts alone.
  13. Logic – would God have created the earth and man in his own image and likeness to be so short lived? For all we know, temperature variations may be on a 10-20,000-year cycle. Yet people believe they can change this course of evolution overnight or in a few short years?
  14. Will the earth eventually run out of fossil fuels? Yes, but technology for alternative energy production must be given time to catch up. This certainly cannot take place in one year.
  15. Hydrogen fuel cells may be the answer as it is more abundant and replenishable. The by-product is water vapor.
  16. The U.S. policy war on fossil fuels is ludicrous. Electricity must be produced from clean burning natural gas and coal or nuclear with strong safety measures.
  17. There is enough natural gas to power all things in the U.S. for the next 200-300 years! Why not get technology to create a safe solution to provide numerous natural gas stations instead of electric recharging that takes upwards of 20-40 minutes to recharge a car? And how will trucks laden with tons of products get space to load thousands of pounds of batteries to power them?
  18. If you are bothered by long lines at a gas station, wait until 100 cars hit 10 electric refueling outlets. May take a day to get repowered.
  19. How will the electric grid handle increased demand? What happens when an electric grid in the heat of summer fails? How do you power up your car? More personal solar panels on your home? More costly?
  20. Demand is created by scarcity so cutting off clean deliveries of oil to refineries via pipelines is crazy. Oil tank cars on trains and trucks and ships create far more pollution and dangers.
  21. The U.S. needs and uses about 20 million barrels of oil a day. The Keystone Pipeline from oil rich Canada could provide 900,000 barrels of oil a day. Fracking could provide another millions of barrels per day along with a lot more natural gas in Pennsylvania alone.
  22. The Government release of 1 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve is a literal drop in the bucket for no effect on gas prices but will affect strategy to power vessels to protect our country and essential businesses like water filtration, and food production in an emergency.

If man is supposed to have dominion over the earth and all things known, then we must act with more common sense to figure out solutions rather than rely on emotions of the uneducated or those few who profit from material gain.

How do the uneducated think electricity is made? How are synthetic fibers and plastics made? From petroleum – fossil fuels. All those windmills have at the top a turbine comprised of a massive copper coil the same as a hydroelectric plant on rivers with dams. The generator in your car uses the same technology to recharge the batteries.

When wind, solar, and hydro (moving water) are not readily available those generators must be powered by coal, natural gas, or nuclear fission to produce the heat into steam to move the generator and create electricity.

Common sense must tell us that any kind of conversion from fossil fuels to other forms must allow for technology to catch up over the next 30-50 years! Just as President Kennedy issued a challenge to put a man on the moon that was not accomplished in one year.

And, if man has been on this 3.5-billion-year-old planet and dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago do you really think man can be extinct after 250-300,000 years in the next 50 years?

Even as the world population continues to explode and food and water become scarcer, man will kill man for power and control to enrich themselves far faster and greater than CO2 and climate change. In the next 100 years man can try to control emissions but still be powerless to what the sun is doing. Man can only hope to adapt with the weather. But regardless, weather will continue to strike populated areas with more destruction simply because there are more people living in that concentrated area than before.

Parental Discipline

Parental Discipline

As a parent of six kids – 5 sons and 1 daughter – that include triplets, I have some experience raising and disciplining children. I was also a high school Dean to discipline students before I became a licensed school superintendent.

As a behaviorist I see behaviors by the same groups of people. Call this profiling if you want. But it appears most of the people committing larceny and disrespecting law and order are under the age of 30. They come in all colors and nationalities.

I try to see the “Big Picture” in the news reports. Reporters all want to cover that one incident and not investigate the “root cause.” What I see is a lack of early discipline in the home. This is caused by single parent families where the father and sometimes the mother has skipped out of their responsibility to nurture and care for their child. The other cause is affluence – giving the child everything they ever wanted with no need to even ask they do some small chores to help the family.

This may stem all the way back to the late 1940’s when Dr. Benjamin Spock released his book, “The Common-Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.” It was a bestseller because there was a “baby boom” caused by men returning home after World War II. And mother’s sought advice on child rearing.

Dr. Spock’s advice was to not spank your child for fear of causing undue psychological harm that would affect the child’s behavior for the rest of their lives. They would develop habits of emotional fear or anger.

I am one of those “baby boomers” born in 1943. Fortunately, or unfortunately my parents never got the book or the message. I was warned about certain behaviors, and the consequences. I remember getting spanked once, and my face slapped when I talked back when I was around 10.

We were a middle-class family with good American values. We were taught to honor your mother and father and respect your elders. Along with that came respect for Law and Order.

Since I’ve had many conversations with people my age and slightly older whose parents did spank them. And they all have turned out all right with a sound work ethic from that early discipline in the home.

When my triplet boys were born three months into my Ph.D. program, the pediatrician gave us sage advice. “The kids come to live with you; not the other way around.”

We effected fair-minded early discipline in the home and later when my boys came to live with me in high school. Self-discipline is a hallmark of every top performer. I listened to many interviews of top sports athletes, and every top performer stated how their mother held them accountable.

Today all six of my children have college degrees and successful careers and marriages. During those high school years two of my triplets and oldest son challenged me once. And I physically stood up to them. Today we are a very close-knit family with love in our hearts to help each other be the best we can be. And I have 15 grandchildren to effect behavior modifications for pending success. I love them all. But I have cousins who don’t speak to each other.

When I became a high school principal and then a k-12 school superintendent, the first message I offered my staff was I did not believe in “self-esteem” psychology. Because any 2nd grader knows false praise and you’d lose their trust in anything you would say including what you taught.

My idea is you teach personal accountability. You cannot blame others for your poor performance. You develop a work ethic to achieve your personal needs, values, and goals to achieve your quality of life.

What you see in those young people rioting is a broken value system – no respect for others or their property or the police, district prosecutors, and judges. Irrespective of color or nationality, if you do the crime, you do the time. No excuses. But when you do not enforce the laws, you reinforce irresponsible behaviors. No consequence – do it again and again.

Think of what driving a car would be like if most everyone ignored the traffic laws. There would be more than simple fender benders. People would get killed.

So, what’s the answer to rioting and burning Federal buildings and police stations by trained arsonists? What purpose is achieved? Is BLM – Black Lives Matter – really a movement or a farce?

The truth always comes out in the end, and now we learn something like 90 million dollars is missing from that organization, and there is no office to be found. Not even a P.O. Box. And if anyone criticizes with the facts, you are labeled a “racist.”  Racist has now become an overused term to describe anyone who disagrees with a liberal view.

Defund the police and no cash bail has also backfired. Homicides and robberies and theft have greatly increased. Sometime read the Presidential Oath of Office. The sworn in President of the United States must protect and defend our Constitution. If you don’t, you can be impeached.

If you are raised without discipline and rewarded for poor behaviors, you will repeat those behaviors. So, if you do wrong, and there is no consequence you will do those behaviors again.

Is it any wonder why young people expect everything for free when they have been given everything and gotten away with so many bad behaviors? And if there is no justice (discipline) in the courts, law and order becomes a mockery. No one is safe anywhere.

Review my four points at the top of every blog post. They help you make better short and long-term decisions. Anarchists go for the pleasure of rioting without fear of consequences or pain. They can rationalize all they want to get what they want. Attention.

Behaviorally, the more you do for anyone, the less they learn to do for themselves. I seriously doubt rioters and looters care to work to advance mankind or help themselves. And you cannot build personal accountability in a micromanagement system, i.e., Big Government. We must not make laws with no plan to enforce them. The same behaviors will continue if there is no consequence.

For parents of small children, you must raise your child with proper discipline and respect for American values, Law and Order. Explain the rules and the consequences when violated. Then hold them to those rules. They don’t get two free passes or don’t set that rule.

If you don’t effect early discipline at home, you may find when the kids turn16 they will fight you for the keys to the car. Oh, and know that the PFC – prefrontal cortex to help you make better decisions is not fully developed until age 23-25.

The Myth of Democrat Progressive Idealism

The Myth of Democrat Progressive Idealism


Consider how if you violate any one of the four main points in my behaviorist view does not lead to a beneficial short or long-term decision. The focus point today is: “anyone can rationalize anything to get what they want.”

Elections do have consequences. This November 2021 election showed why 71% of the American people do not approve the direction our country is taking. It appears from voters in Virginia who rejected totalitarian sometimes dictatorial views of the incumbent Democrat governor.

Virginians rejected the progressive idealist view that parents are not smart enough to know what needs to be taught to their children, whether to wear masks in schools in defiance of the science, and even to be vaccinated with the risk of spreading the virus less than the common cold.

Add to the dismay of these voters is lawlessness everywhere, no enforcement of Constitutional Law regarding immigration, the economy and inflation hurting their pocketbooks, and the uncontrolled spending packages in Congress. They know our excess 29 trillion spending historically leads to high inflation, and possible recession.

Yet, Democrats double down and rationalize the result was because people did not know how this spending will help them. However, even moderate Democrats would like to have their required 72 hours to read what’s in the proposed 2178-page bill. Others, mostly Republicans and a few moderate Democrats also want to see the CBO score – Congressional Budget Office – to learn its long-term impact.

For this same reason, Speaker of the House, Pelosi, demanded the same in 2017 when Republicans worked to push through changes to the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obama Care. The hypocrisy is deafening.

As a behaviorist, my view is idealism is more for dreamers who would like to have their “ideas” funded by hard-working taxpayers with the false promise they will get a positive return on their investment. But there appears to be no pragmatic balance in how to pay for the excess spending other than to tax people more.

This kind of spending is above and beyond what has already been allocated and not spent in other bills that passed. All this leads to the inflation for all goods and services we are seeing now.

So, the rich can afford to spend more. But the middle class and poor lower class get hurt the most with inflation that outstrips their pay raise. This is a subtle hidden tax seldom talked about by the news outlets.

The ones hurt the most will also be retirees who do not have a cost-of-living escalator in their retirement income.  I am fortunate, so far, to have a 3% escalator, but that, too, will be demolished if inflation grows to 5-7-9%.  I am old enough to see what happened to my dad’s retirement income in the 1970’s.  By the end of that decade with inflation his buying power was easily one-third less.

So, the rich with all their investments ride the wave in the market and real estate, but the working-class and welfare class lose every time with higher rents and needed supplies. None of that appears to be a good short or long-term decision by Democrats, and so now the American people are objecting.

Personal Accountability

Personal Accountability

The purpose of this blog is to help you make better short and long-term decisions based on applying those four standard points at the top of each post. In my view, an intelligent person is one who has projection ability. That is to think and plan-ahead…if I do X what will Y be?

We are in an age of “cancel culture.” You must ask why? Is America and all its freedoms still the beacon of society? Or why would so many people of other cultures want to come here?

I am a behaviorist. By my observation there is not one culture that values anything they get for free. So, why is one political party so bent on providing more welfare and free goods?

America is built on the idea of opportunity, but one party has killed that idea to make it one of entitlement.  Yet every hard-working American with a work ethic values what they do. They value the connections helping others and themselves and their families. They value satisfying their personal needs and being self-reliant. Some call this pride. Others call this patriotism.

I have observed a certain group of people some call liberals that do not have the same values – to give and help others. Whenever, something goes wrong and they do not achieve the result they wanted or expected others to give to them, they blame those other people.

So, observe personal accountability in others. Who shows it and who does not?  Who are the ones quick to blame others for their faults and failures?

The first most important lesson I modeled and taught my six children was personal accountability. I never accepted their excuse to blame anyone but themselves for lack of effort.

This is an important paradigm shift. The quality of effort equals the quality of the reward. Poor effort gets poor results. And quality focused effort with a realistic and achievable goal increases your probability of a favorable result.

All six of my children have college degrees and gone on to successful careers and good incomes to support their families. All are good citizens and support our U.S. Constitution. I and they are appalled at the total disdain for upholding the laws of the land under the principles in the Constitution.

I had to check what is written in the Presidential Oath of Office. It is very clear to swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America! It is only eight months into this new Presidency. What do you think?

Are our leaders making good decisions for all Americans? But what about you? What do you think? Elections do have consequences and we are seeing those play out in front of our eyes. What can you do?

First, stop blaming everyone else. How did you vote last? How will you vote now? What values were you considering? Idealistic promises or pragmatic facts how things were? Are those promises giving you the ideal results you expected? Who told you? Stop and evaluate how you made your decision. Was it based on fact or emotion to clarify your thinking?

The benchmark I always use is RESULTS. You can’t choose leaders only based on whether you like them. Like a tough love tough-minded parent your children may not always like you. But you are their parent and don’t need to be liked and be their best friend. If you choose that path, you’ll give everything you can to buy their love.

But remember, no one values anything they get for free.  I chose to value respect and taught the same to my children. To honor your mother and father and respect your elders. That respect also applies to personal performance knowing if you gave it a valued effort.

Early on growing up, I chose to accept personal accountability. I view myself as an average person who tries to do a better than average job. That philosophy has kept me grounded and served me well to be a top performer.  I did not make excuses or blame others, but instead gracioiusly thanked all those who helped me.

Speed Bumps and Chain Brakes

Speed Bumps and Chain Brakes

A couple of weeks ago I was driving in San Diego traffic.  We were moving along about 80 miles per hour just fine.  But there was always someone who couldn’t stand to be behind anyone.  C’mon some 10 year old beat up pick up trucks went by me that looked like their wheels could fall off.

Sure enough when the distance per car would not allow enough vision ahead, drivers would hit their brakes.  The loss of each driver’s reaction time can catch up to you if you are the fourth or fifth car back and did not leave enough room to slow down.

It seems we are always in a hurry because we don’t like to plan ahead and leave a little earlier.  The result is that we get where we are going at breakneck speed and then sit down and waste the time calming down once we get there.

Human behavior is what it is.  We have lost our ability to think ahead or develop projection skills.  We create such a routine that the ridiculous death defying blood pressure packed commute becomes normal.  And we repeat this same behavior every day.

I know you can derive pleasure from saving time but not if you were to cause someone to be injured in the process so you spend more time rationalizing your behavior than correcting your routine by leaving 10 minutes earlier.

Speed limit laws are designed for our protection and not to micromanage your irrational behavior.  Do yourself and your family a favor and leave earlier to arrive safely under less emotional stress.  The life you save may be your own.

Freeway driving chain brakes and speed bumps are a lot like our economy.  It has been reported that there have been nine recessions since the end of World War II.  It seems that once our economy gets a head of steam it acts like a steam roller with momentum.  It is hard to stop the ride.

But then along comes a speed bump or two or worse a complete chain brake.  You better hope you are wearing your seat belt and have good sense to brake hard.  Better yet at least start to tap your brake lights to warn all the people behind you before you have to brake hard.

When you learn to apply the four behavioral points this blog is based on, you project what an accident would be like.  All the negative pain you will feel.  You will make a better decision at least to look farther ahead than you have been to consider the consequences of your behavior before you act or don’t act.

However, you seldom behave to prevent accidents, and you suffer the consequences nine times over if you live long enough.  The pleasure of the moment keeps you from saving your money for later.  You rationalize that you might not get what you want if you wait until later.

But it has been proven that those who acquire financial security do not acquire debt.  They save for what they need and invest their money.  Then they pay cash and never have a payment to burden their life with debt.  That takes discipline and awareness of the four points to hold yourself accountable for providing for your needs and not be micromanaged by others to meet their needs before yours.

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

            Many people in all cultures like to make resolutions to change their behaviors for the new year. Is this you? Read the four standard points of this blog in the header to apply. Then ask yourself, “Are you rationalizing your resolution to get what you want?”  Are you serious, or just bragging to your friends?

Next, will the new behavior require more pain or pleasure? You know you’ll stop the new behavior when you feel it is not pleasurable. So, how can you make the behavioral change fun? Trick your brain. Keep your expectations a.k.a. goals low positive to feel rewarding.

If your expectations exceed reality, you will always be frustrated and end the pain by quitting. Weight loss appears to be the #1 resolution. That new goal is not driven by a change in your eating or exercising habits. Those are the pleasurable parts that need to change the most.

Examine your routines and habits. When, where, and what do you like to eat (feel pleasure)? Then, reduce every food intake by one-half, and use the stairs or park a block away from the store. Stop buying anything that tastes sweet.

Without those modifications, when you tell your brain I need to lose 30 pounds, your brain subconsciously is saying, “Yah, right.” You’re not serious. And why did you gain those 30 pounds in the first place?

When you set a low positive goal, you only need to lose one pound per week. Do the little things that count. Cut your food intake by one-half and exercise a bit more. Walk a bit farther and faster in the parking lot to the store. Use the stairs! Feel rewarded with small changes.

Take the behavioral rule, “You cannot build accountability in a micromanagement system.” Do you require a personal trainer or group workout to hold yourself accountable? So, without that how long will your resolution last?

Use your home scales and set low positive goals. Weigh yourself every morning before eating breakfast after you void your bladder. This reinforces the changes to your eating and exercising habits.

Next, go do some push ups and stomach curls. If difficult, start with fewer and slowly build up the number of repetitions. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LOSE 30 LBS. AND GET STRONGER IN ONE WEEK. Your muscles will feel sore and painful, and you’ll quit.

Start with only 5 or 10 repetitions and build up more every few days as your muscles adapt. This proves very rewarding to continue with self-discipline in the new routine. You don’t need a trainer or group.

The other behavioral rule, “The more you do for people, the less they learn to do for themselves.”  Are you letting people do more for you that you must learn to do for yourself? This is your body so take care of it and know why you need to do that.

Who buys and prepares your food and diet quantity? Your goal is not their goal. Maybe they like to see you, fat and out of shape, so they look better with no pressure to change their behaviors, too.

So, let’s review. Set a realistic low positive goal to lose only one pound per week. Start to exercise you can easily do and feel rewarded and pleasurable to keep improving. Do as a new daily routine. Be reliant and self-disciplined to do for yourself instead of depending on others to hold you accountable for change.

If you want to improve, you cannot blame others for your poor performance.