May 05, 2004

Pro-choice, the only real choice...

I made the mistake of pausing on a Christian radio station a while ago. The fact that the radio station was Christian wasn't the mistake. It was a mistake because of what they were broadcasting. The were holding a "National Town Meeting; A Pro-Life Conference". Now I actually happen to be pro-life. I'm still alive, aren't I? Here's the problem;

They had gathered a bunch of well-intentioned civic and religion leaders together to talk about the "abortion problem". It was the 30th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision handed down by the US Supreme Court, and they apparently decided to "do something about it". They held a lively discussion about how abortion is wrong, how it goes against everything Christianity stands for, and I can accept and listen to that discussion, even if I don't personally agree with it. They invited customer comments and questions and provided an 800 number, so I called. They wouldn't field my question They wouldn't even let me on the air! My question wasn't absurd, it wasn't even heretical. My question was this:

"What, if anything, is the Catholic church, which has had a long standing record of stewardship, doing to help the 15 year old pregnant girl, who is going to leave her baby in a dumpster?" (no link, type it your own self. If you're pro-choice, you don't need to, if not, I'm not going to help you...) has a lot of information about how many abortions are performed in a year. Answer? Probably about 1,800,000 last year (give or take). What they want to do it force people to go through the full pregnancy and let 1.8 Million babies be born that are not wanted. Either the parents can not or will not take care of the child. Options? Sure, adoption. In the year 2000, there were 130,000 kids in interim foster care waiting for a home, and 53,000 kids had already been placed. That's 180,000 orphans. Sure, jack that up by 10x! What a GREAT idea. Instead of having 130,000 kids waiting for homes, let's have 1.3 million waiting for a home. That's assuming a half a million homes open their doors for children needing homes.

Of course, that's not accurate. There won't be 1.8 million children needing homes. There will be 1.9 Million needing homes. The same 130,000 kids will be born and still need homes, remember? It won't be a problem. There are 105,000,000 homes in the U.S. (2000 Census). And there are 281 Million people in the U.S. That's 2.6 people per house, on average. If only one out of every 50 homes in the U.S. opened it's doors, there'd be no problem at all! Every year.

Of course, that's still no accurate at all, is it? Sure. A good number of those kids are dumpster, reservoir or toilet bound, aren't they? That'll knock off a good 200,000 of them. Then we can forget about the other half million that will die of neglect. Do we really need to create a state that the Human Rights Watch will watch?

I tell you what. I won't protest a law outlawing abortion totally as long as the law states that you must publicly proclaim your vote, and if you vote FOR the law, you must make your home available to an orphan every 5 years. Not as a foster home. Permanent adoption.

Doesn't sound like such a great idea now, does it?

The generation gap gets wierder.....

I want to talk about my generation. Generation X. I'm 30. I'm part of GenX. I was listening to NPR and they were talking about how the Baby Boomers were going to turn 65, and that would bankrupt Social Security. Generation X is about all of the things that the Baby Boomers are not: GenX is full of guys and gals who know that they don't get everything for free. Baby Boomers have only one motto: "Give me that! It's mine! I want it, so I should have it!". It's basically a philosophy based on a very distorted version of entitlement. Look it up. The Baby Boomers want everything for free. Right now. Don't argue. They grew up between the generation that expected to work 20 years at a company and retire with a gold watch, a thank-you and a pension. The Baby Boomers are NOT our parents. They created an institution of hands-off entitlement. They hired nannies to do their dirty work, while they went to work, driving Bimmers and snorting cocaine. They rode the backs of those that had worked hard before them. They drank from the cup filled by their parent's hard work.

Generation X had, and has, been lied to. GenX has been lied to in many ways, but one more than any other. I, and everyone I went to school with, was told "You need to get a degree, or you will never make any money." Everyone was told this. So, everyone went and got a degree. Now degrees are worthless. Completely worthless. Unless you have 2+ years of experience, don't even consider looking for a job more challenging than a Barista as Starbucks. Meanwhile, those of us who had the clarity of thought to ignore our parents, guidance councelors and such, went on to learn NEW stuff. We wanted to DO NEW THINGS. If you went to college for anything at all, you learned things that you could've read yourself and practiced on the job while everyone else was getting their worthless degrees.

Let's take a look at the career path for each type of degree at UMASS Amherst:

Acronym Key:
WYLFWT? = "Would you like fries with that?"
NPE = "Need professional experience"
NTOPE = "Need tons of professional experience"
NAD = "Need another degree to work in this field")
BAT = "Become a teacher, and teach this useless field to other mindless suckers."

Accounting & Information Systems <= NTOPE/WYLFWT?
Afro-American Studies <= Become a teacher - NAD or Be self imporant (aka, worthless) - WYLFWT?
Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary <= NAD/WYLFWT?
Anthropology <= BAT/NAD/WYLFWT?
Apparel Marketing <= Good luck. No jobs. WYLFWT?
Arboriculture & Park Management <= No jobs. WYLFWT?
Art (design or studio) <= Starving artist - WYLFWT?
Art History <= BAT/NAD/WYLFWT?
Astronomy <= Look at stars. Discover nothing new. Starve. Alone. or NAD or WYLFWT?
Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) <= Couldn't make up my mind. Got a degree in "Undeclared" - WYLFWT?
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology <= NAD - Got to be a Ph.D or better here. WYLFWT?
Biology <= NAD - Same as BioChem and MolBio - WYLFWT?
Building Materials & Wood Technology <= "Look Dad, I made you a really nifty cutting board!" - WYLFWT?
Chemical Engineering <= NAD/NTOPE/WYLFWT?
Chemistry <= Build Nitrogen Tri-iodide bomblets. Move to Afghanistan. Convert to a VERY twisted version of Islam. Bomb buildings OR NAD OR WYLFWT?
Chinese Language & Literature <= WYLFWT? (I don't have double byte characters, so Latin characters will have to do).
Civil Engineering <= "I can wield a shovel, and whistle at girls who find me repulsive before I go home and eat my Hungry Man meal. Alone."
Classics <= WYLFWT?
Classics & Philosophy <= WYLFWT? or, more precisely, "Would you consider the implications of wanting fries with that? In Latin?"
Communication <= "I didn't know how to speak before, but now I've been lernt and gradiutated!" - WYLFWT?
Communication Disorders <= "I enjoy listening to people I can't understand, and can't understand me." - WYLFWT?
Comparative Literature <= BAT/NAD/WYLFWT?
Computer Science - "Now I know how to program in Pascal. I rule! What's Java? Oh crap." - NTOPE - WYLFWT?
Computer Systems Engineering - "I know what a PNP junction is! What do you mean you don't care?" - NTOPE - WYLFWT?
Dance <= "Look at me! I'm flying! I said LOOK AT ME! Okay, fine! Can you spare a dime?" - WYLFWT?
Earth Systems <= NAD/"We could harness the energy of the wind to power to world! Hello? HEELLOO???" - WYLFWT?
Economics <= "I'm broke, but I know EXACTLY why. Damn those Democrats!" - NAD or WYLFWT?
Education <= "Okay, I've got the other degree. I've spent $180,000 on getting them both. What do you mean it's going to take me the rest of my life to pay off my student loans? AND WYLFWT?
Electrical Engineering <= NTOPE/NAD/WYLFWT?
English <= BAT/NAD and WYLFWT?
Environmental Design <= NAD or NOTPE - "Okay, I need another degree, fine! I'm broke, fine! But I'm GREEEN! Look! Hemp Shoes!"
Environmental Sciences <= NTOPE and NAD - "Okay, I need another degree, fine! I'm broke, fine! But I'm GREEEN! Look! Hemp Shoes!"
Equine Industries <= NAD or Win the Kentucky Derby. You're folks are loaded, and so are you. But at least Daddy's happy that you got a degree
Exercise Science <= "Take a lap." -
Family & Consumer Sciences <= WYLFWT?
Finance & Operations Management <= NTOPE/NAD/WYLFWT?
Food Science <= WYLFWT? - No other choice.
Forestry <= You get to fight forest fires!
French & Francophone Studies <= You're already French. 'Nuff said.
Geography <= "I know where Tanzania is without looking at a map. What do you mean you don't care? No, I don't have any other skills! I'm a degreed professional!" - WYLFWT?
Geology <= Dig up rocks in some god forsaken part of the world. Be very facinated with what you find. Alone.
German <= "Wurde Sie mögen Fischrogen mit dem? "
History <= NAD/Wurde Sie mögen Fischrogen mit dem?
Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Administration <= "Would you like a smoking or non-smoking room?"
Human Nutrition <= "Would you like fries with that? I thought so! That's why you're fat!"
Industrial Engineering <= NAD/NTOPE
Italian Studies <= "voi gradiscono le fritture con quello?"
Japanese Language & Literature <= "あなた好むそれのfries か." - Again, no double byte characters, but still speaks for itself.
Journalism <= "I'm witty! I can write! Would you care for some of our fabulous fries with that?"
Judaic Studies <= WYLFWT? - On sale!
Landscape Architecture <= Grass here, here, here, here and here. I can't believe I went to school for this.
Landscape Contracting <= Grass here, here, here, here, here, there, over there, more here, some there. No guarantees. Pay me. I can't believe I went to school for this.
Legal Studies <= NAD/NTOPE/Make friends w/Johnny Cochrane.
Linguistics <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & Anthropology <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & Chinese <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & German <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & Japanese <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & Philosophy <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & Psychology <= WYLFWT?
Linguistics & Russian <= WYLFWT?
Management <= NAD/NTOPE/WYLFWT?
Marketing <= WYLFWT? On sale today! Come on down!
Mathematics <= BAT/NAD
Mechanical Engineering <= "Okay, so your pipe goes down, bends and that's where the hair gets stuck. Pay me to pour this Liquid Plumber down the drain, okay?"
Microbiology <= NAD/BAT
Middle Eastern Studies <= WYLFWT?
Music <= WYLFWT?
Natural Resource Studies <= WYLFWT?
Nursing <= !!!! This is the ONE degree that will get you a good paying job right now. Only trouble is, you'll be emptying out bedpans. !!!
Philosophy <= WYLFWT?
Physics <= NAD/NTOPE
Plant & Soil Sciences <= NAD and STILL WYLFWT?
Political Science <= Become a lackey in some govt. office, wiping the "mysterious" stain off of some politico's trousers. Go down in flames with him. Did I mention it's an intern job for no pay?
Portuguese <= WYLFWT?
Pre-Dental Studies <= NAD (Duh!)
Pre-Medical Studies <= NAD (Duh!)
Psychology <= NAD/WYLFWT?
Resource Economics <= WYLFWT?
Russian & East European Studies <= WYLFWT?
Social Thought & Political Economy <= WYLFWT?
Sociology <= WYLFWT?
Spanish <= WYLFWT?
Sport Management <= WYLFWT?
Theater <= WYLFWT?
Turfgrass Management <= WYLFWT?
Wildlife & Fisheries Conservation <= WYLFWT? You would? Wouldn't you prefer a gardenburger? Oh my God! You're wearing LEATHER! COW KILLER! COW KILLER! Wait! Oh, I'm sorry, the fries come WITH the Big Mac.... My bad.
Women's Studies <= WYLFWT? Pig?

Whew! All of that to find out that you had better become a nurse or be independently wealthy. So, back to what I was saying. Right now there are THOUSANDS of folks who have been lied to, hoping to find a job somewhere where they can make their own money, and live their own lives. The Baby Boomers (remember them?) are pissed because their Big Plan backfired on them. Their kids are still living at home. They say things like "Get a job!", only all of the fries are being served. The "Summer Job Market" is the worst it's been in 40 years. There are no jobs unless you've got more than one degree, tons of professional experience or you're a nurse. And even then, experience will substitute for any number of degrees. Unless you're a nurse. Remember the bedpans? Anyway.

The lesson here is: Go out, get a small job (which probably sucks), screw college and spend the rest of your part time hours learning something useful. Then do some of that work for free - get the experience. Then go looking for a job.

Twist: GenY (our children) will NEED degrees, because we won't have them, and when THEY get into the job market, it WILL be the difference. Why? Because you and I will have taught them the useful stuff. And by then, hopefully the college's will be teaching something that you and I don't know.

Another thing about GenX. We all have ADHD. When I was a kid, it was just called "Hyper active". Teachers would say "Your son is hyperactive! He needs counseling. He needs Special Ed". Bullshit! I learned to learn by watching TV, where the longest image I'm likely to see is no longer than 3 seconds long. I'm a computer user. I browse multiple sites AT THE SAME TIME. I filter out what I don't need to know, learn the stuff I DO need to know, and remember where I learned it. That way, I can go BACK to where I saw it when I need it. I'm sorry, but Ms. Whipple is NOT going to get my attention for 40 straight minutes without making it interesting in some fashion. I know where I can find the info if I need it, they made me get one when I started the class. Give me something interesting, and THEN you'll have my attention, but until then, I'm going to continue bettering myself faster than you can, if you don't mind. And: STOP DRUGGING THESE KIDS INTO SUBMISSION!!!! They are not retarded. They're more advanced than you are. Deal with it. Learn something new.