Can you count or find your way home?

Last week I made an observation on how young people today cannot make change at the cash register. The machine tells them how much one and one is, and what the machine says is what they do.

My son read the column and said, “You know Dad, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.” He is a middle-school teacher and is around young people all day. “They don’t know their own phone numbers.”

The young people of today have been brought up with cell phones that remember not only all their important phone numbers but tell them who has called, who is calling and who they must call. They don’t know how to read a map and have a problem figuring out what is south, east, west and north. The GPS does all of that for them. The phones of today keep the kids in constant contact with their friends, families and emails.

You know, I remember when I was a youngster and had an early morning paper route. On the route I got to know the policeman who walked the streets I delivered papers on. I asked him why he wasn’t driving a police car.

He said, “Don’t want to, then they know where you are all the time; all they have to do is call the car radio.”

With today’s phone all we have to do is Google the phone and we know where it and the holder are. Miss the old days yet? Sounds kind of brave new worldly, doesn’t it?

If you want to be counted, you have to first learn to count

It may be because of the use of computers and calculators or something I am not aware of, but I get a sense our young people really don’t know ’rithmatic — how to count!

My grandfather came to this country when he was in his twenties. He fathered seven children; they would update his green card every year. He was never really comfortable speaking the English language and signed any legal documents with an X because he didn’t know how to write in any language. But my aunts and uncles would laugh that Pop could do numbers with the likes of Yale graduates and not only hold his own, but beat then in adding up the columns. He was never shortchanged.

I recently noticed that the young people making change at local eateries are thrown for a math loop when you give them money that is not in sync with their cash register.

For example, the bill is $10.10 — 10 dollars and 10 cents. I have a twenty.

They ring in the twenty on their register and are told what the change should be. I don’t want a lot of pocket change, so I give them a twenty-dollar bill and a dime — 10 cents. I want a ten-dollar bill back. They crash and lock up in place.

I have gotten back anything from $10 to a quarter to $9.90. They have no understanding of numbers or how they work on the simplest levels.

It is really amazing. It happens time in and time out. It makes no difference what the young person behind the counter looks like, they all don’t know numbers, just simple adding and subtracting. With all the charter schools and money being spent on education, arithmetic is a stumbling block for our young people…

Anyone want to see what happens if we take away spell check? Fundamentals, back to fundamentals.

A point to ponder.

Fun of summer is coming to a close

You know you’re on a fast horse when you look up and see we are already in August, the eighth month of the year, the heart of summer, and you realize you are two-thirds into the year of 2015. More taxes, more grandchildren, more incidental drama and some real quick life jolts as well. Time keeps moving. The long lazy days of summer we used to enjoy as kids are no longer in our reach.

There’s just too many requirements from our society that we be compliant with the rules and regulation of our daily living. Think about it. We have to get a sticker for our cars’ emissions tests; we have to get the kids vaccinated and prove we did before they can go back to school; property taxes have to be paid or you have a problem. Can you believe the cost of owning a house, and I’m talking with no mortgage?

These requirements make time move at a very fast pace, and every place you turn, if you are not compliant you are punished, you are fined. If you are late, you must pay the phone bill on time or lose it, you must pay the credit cards on time or lose them you are charged a penalty for sure, you must pay the electric bill or they will shut it off, like right now — same with the gas bill. By the way it’s bad to have too much competition with the utilities. Better to have a monopoly so they can charge more and shut you off more quickly.

And you really need all this stuff. Oh, and how about student loans — those will keep you awake at night. The lazy days of summer are just another run of compliance days. I miss summer; I really, really miss it.

A point to ponder.

Wondering if there is any shame left in America…

Do you think Margret Sanger would be proud of what has been done in her name, or would she be shamed?

Sanger was one of the most important move-shakers in the women’s movement and one of the major forces in pointing out to the world the true social bondage women were subjected to in this country and the entire world.

She set up centers for women in the poorest of the poor working neighborhoods in America; she pushed for birth control and the rights of women to decide on giving birth. It was their bodies, so they should have the choice in the matter; that was her belief and conviction, and she went to jail when there were very few women’s jails. She went to jail and fought for the poor women of America.

In truth, she fought for all the women of the world. It was not unusual for women to have five or six children in her time. and they often lost one or two in the process; the mortality rate for women giving birth in her time was staggering. She fought to change women’s station in this country and fought for them to have the right to decide their right to give birth, to decide their right to life, to decide their right not to be compelled by society or a partner to do something that might kill them.

Was her fight for the rights of women a fight for the loss of dignity and sanctity of life? Did she intend for doctors to be rewarded for getting the good parts of a terminated pregnancy to sell as a commodity product to medical labs and the cosmetic industry? The Roe v. Wade decision was made 1973 with the Supreme Court’s justices acknowledging women’s rights to terminate a pregnancy with their doctors’ agreement for the safety and health of the mother.

‘I can’t wait ’til Sunday,’ said the man who loved his work

In a snap, that which we have planned no longer exists…

New Britain native and longtime radio personality Ed Henry at age 88 passed away July 18th… He was born Ed Henry Wojciechowski. He was a first-generation American and was proud of “The Lone Ranger” and “Henry Aldrich” and “The Ted Mack Amateur Hour” but most of all he was proud of being an American. He loved the country that allowed his people to be part of what he thought was a great heritage. He strived to be what he as an “American boy” should be… proud, protective and a productive citizen. He and his wife Jean had three children, a home in Middletown and were members of church and social communities.

But what Ed was most proud of was being a radio professional, a talent on local Middletown radio. Everyone in town knew Ed Henry and his show; it aired Sunday mornings…“Polish Melodies” He was on the air for 65 years and loved it. He loved his audience, and they loved him … he loved his radio colleagues and they loved him. They all had fun and, for a short time every weekend, forgot the real world and let Ed Henry make the world fun.

How many people have you known who could not wait to get to work and make on-air happiness for his audience. The audience would be waiting for him to do his Sunday thing, and on and on it went. He is one of the few people I have met, who would not let the passing of time diminish his love of broadcasting and the world of radio. We will miss his optimism and seeds of fun.

I had Ed on my show and we were reminiscing about his long career and some of the people we knew in the business. When it was all said and done Ed smiled, looked at me …“Phil, I can’t wait till Sunday.”

Just know Sundays will not be the same for a lot us for a very long time.

A point to ponder.

‘We are insane,’ commentator says, drawing on video view

We as a nation have always acted as if we were in God’s grace, that we we always had the ear of the Almighty — almost all of the founding documents mention the grace and blessing of the Almighty in the founding of these United States or the founding of the new land of America. January 14, 1639, Fundamental Orders of Connecticut: “For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence …” “The First Virginia Charter April 10, 1606: “James, by the grace of God …” “July 4,1776: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable right, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness …”

We as a people, as Americans, were firmly entrenched in a belief of the sanctity of the individual and the right to life, and we had God’s guidance and grace to lead us on our life quest. How great is that?

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has shown the world we in America are out of God’s grace and have fallen into a state of heartless, loveless pursuit of money and pursuit of evil. She was recorded explaining how aborted babies’ bodies are sold off in bulk for scientific research and the cosmetic industry. They are dead; they are body parts; and are referenced in off-handed comments between sips of wine and lunch bits.

You must see this video; it has gone viral on the internet and the inhumanity of this woman is what you would have expected to witness as Dr. Josef Mengele sent his Jewish patients to the gas chambers at Auschwitz. This is not what America ever was, even at its worst, but this is what we are now: a Fascist state. God is gone, rights are gone and innocence is a profit center.

God help America find itself.

A point to ponder.

This country has a history of embracing all of its people

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The birth of this nation began with the unanimous declaration of a group of men who represented the then 13 United States of America with a Declaration of Independence from England. They went on after a bloody eight-year war to set up a set of rules that the new government of this country was to follow to insure the rights and safety of it’s people.

“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Nothing like it had been seen in the history of the world. Bits and pieces had been suggested through the centuries. but this country, our country, was the first to attempt to form a government which was run by the people, for the people and with the people.

Here we are, some 239 years later, and after fighting to destroy fully and publicly the institution of human slavery, and bringing the population of slaves into the American franchise of citizenship, after declaring publicly that these rights and blessings were not to be limited by gender, we have found it within ourselves as nation to keep clarifying the meaning of We the People. Not everyone is happy about our inclusions, but this country has a history of embracing all its’ people — eventually.

Just remember what America is: the New Jerusalem, a country of God. Happy 4th of July.

A point to ponder.

Not chaos, just new think

Okay! As we get closer to celebrating America’s birthday, I think I get it now. We have arrived at the point in American history and the American culture where we are now moving to “newspeak.” I read it in a book once: You say the opposite of what you mean, and people know that what you are saying is the opposite. It’s like being politically correct.

“We are practicing diversity” (white men need not apply). “Culturally exciting” (anything but positive views of European history). “We are practicing minority empathy, trying to understand” (Not enforcing the law).

If you check the many graduation pictures in the local papers, you’ll see the happy faces and exuberance of the classes of 2015, and all the images are people of the protected classes in their graduation gowns (check it out). Mind you, these are not deliberate efforts to exclude men but rather the deliberate social effort to make sure everyone else is included — which results in men’s exclusion.

The Supreme Court has brought “newspeak” to a new high in its effort to be all-inclusive by okaying the Affordable Care Act as they have said other things should be okay — lots of stuff will be coming our way on that. And extending the sanctity of marriage to be inclusive of other partner combinations will prove interesting as well. Polygamy is looking pretty good right now!

You see the same in the coverage of sports. Women’s sports are really special; men not so much. The efforts to equalize America has split the genders and the ethnic groups, polarizing an effort that was meant to do good.

Those that passed the civil rights laws and the lawmakers were men, white men, and they did not intend for their sons and grandsons to be relegated to the back reaches of society and cultural relevance. So that’s “newspeak” — do not admit inequality still is in play, call it diversity. Like the white lady in the NAACP — pretend it’s something that is not happening. Pretend to be something you’re not. Are we moving into social insanity? Or is it diversity?

A point to ponder.

Has anyone asked about the medication shooter was taking?

Yet another full-fledged moment of madness, and the world watches in wide-eyed disbelief. People in a prayer group are shot down as they tried to bring their reality of God’s world to their reality. They were not innocent children in a classroom, or people trying to escape into the world of movies; they were searching out God’s word for its relevance in this world, and they were gunned down.

This young white man, like the last 17, was on high-octane drugs, which have a side effect of causing strange madness to the users. We saw it in Sandy Hook, the Denver movie house, and on and on. Side effects are not side effects; they are effects.

The drug companies try and minimize major reactions to drugs by saying they are not normal or frequent, just something that might possibly happen. Do you believe that?

Every early photo released by the media of these young men show them to look out there, disconnected, and out of touch, out there on another planet. Yet no one questions the drugs; they attack the guns — all guns. We have got to get the use of these chemicals, the drugs regulated in a way so as to prevent these side effects, and we have got to get people who have mental issues who are this explosive into care, not cut the programs.

How much are the lives of innocent Americans worth? How much are the lives of people in prayer or people teaching 6-year-olds worth? How much are the lives of 6-year-olds worth? We have got to take a long hard look at cause and affect. We‘ve been blaming the guns — let’s take a look at the drugs as well.

A point to ponder.

A living chaos theory, when people and parties aren’t what they say

Okay, we have a Democratic president who has the consent and backing of a Republican House and Senate on what is called a trade bill, but the Democrats, his party, voted no to the bill and effectively, for the time being, killed it. Then we have our governor saying he is going to adjust the submitted budget, which was passed by his party after he said, “Go to it, boys,” but the uproar was truly startling from some Connecticut corporations, and that’s just the ones we know about. So the governor is unraveling the budget, and the people on Capitol Hill in Hartford are standing in transfixed shock. The governor will be flying to the Paris Air show to try to woo and win better businesses to the Nutmeg State. And …

The head of the Spokane NAACP is being accused of falsely claiming to be black — her white biological parents in Montana say it just ain’t so, and the powers that be say she was not hired because of her race, that working for the NAACP is not race-driven — ugh. Okay, so if “one’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying for standard for NAACP leadership,” what’s the big deal? She is not the first white woman working for the NAACP, but she is the only one claiming to be black.

The governor is going to fix a budget he handed over to the state Legislature — he will be tweaking it. I think the NAACP is color blind, and Obama is being stopped by his own party. I think I’m very confused, How about you?

A point to ponder.