Integrity

As most of you know I lean in a more liberal persuasion.  I am not a far left person but more a moderate Democrat. The other night I watched the January 6 investigation.  Much of what I heard was old news but there were parts that were released for the first time.

The part that had the biggest impact on me was when Representative Cheney, an stauch ⁸republican made a statement. This is a quote, “Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain,”.

I would vote for her before Manchin! She has integrity! She knows what happened on that terrible day and who planned it. She may have forfeited her career for that statement, but unlike many politicians, the truth means more to her than holding office. Oh how I wish there were more Liz Cheneys.

If I were going to run for president- My Platform.

Abortion-According to the Pew Research Center Poll, 61% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in almost all cases with some restrictions.

Immigration-Over 91% of Americans support some level of legal immigration. There is much concern about the number of illegals crossing the border but most Americans favor a liberal approach to allowing foreign people to legally enter our country.

Term limits- According to a Gallup survey posted Friday, 85 percent of adults nationwide back term limits for members of the House and the Senate, while 15 percent say they would vote against term limits. I guess as long as the fox is guarding the hen house, nothing is going to change.

Citizens United-73% of American support congress creating laws to overturn Citizens United. Most of Americans believe that the money in politics is out of control. Many US Senators become millionaires quickly after being elected. Certainly not what our fore fathers planned.

What makes this very curious is that politicians have these same polls and still refuse to do what the majority of the American population would like them to do. There you have it folks, My Platform for 2024. Here is my campaign slogan.

COSMIC CHARLEY, HE IS FOR WHAT MOST PEOPLE WANT!

The big fly swatter in the sky

I just murdered a fly. Calculated and diligently, I stalked him, surveyed the surroundings, anticipated not breaking anything, prepared my swatter and sent him to fly heaven. As I moved in for the kill, it crossed my mind that there may be a giant swatter hovering over me. I quickly looked up! Nothing there, whew…

Flies are a nuisance and a constant irritant. The only thing I hate about spring is the flies. They always find a way in and they love to land on your face while you are taking an afternoon nap and wake you with a start! Ticks, mosquitoes, spiders and chiggers tend to stay outside where they belong, but flies are like that long lost uncle and are constantly moving into my house.

Back to my original point, I wonder if there are proverbial fly swatters hanging over me, waiting for the right moment to swat me into the afterlife. I guess the pandemic is like a giant fly swatter. If aliens decide to vaporize us in an instant, that sounds similar to a fly swatter event. If dumb ass Putin decides to start a nuclear war that’s more like boiling slowly in water.

Well I guess I better get to work. I am painting my new shed, but after these disturbing thoughts, you know I will have one eye checking out the sky above me at all times.

What does Pro-abortion mean?

This is a re-post from several years ago. We are going to be hearing a lot about this topic in the months ahead!

As a teacher I spent many hours answering questions about abortion from my students.  Most students were fully convinced of one side of the debate, a position which was predictably based on their parents’ or their church’s views. Many were convinced that I was a rabid pro-abortionist, mainly because of my rather liberal point of view in other areas.  If I were to classify my thinking, I would consider myself a Social Libertarian.  You might ask, what in the hell is that?  Put succinctly, I cherish my individual rights but see the need of a society as complex as ours, with its many moving parts, to be regulated by a central government.  Among these critical needs would be: the military, social security, highway system and most importantly health care!  After all, if you are not well, none of these other things matter.

So with that said, let’s move on to the topic at hand.  Abortion is, by any measurement, a complex issue with rigid points of view on both sides.  The extreme right feels  that even when a mother’s life is in danger or a woman has become pregnant through rape, abortions should be illegal.  This ranges all the way to the far left, who believe that an abortion should be readily available with few restrictions. There is little chance that the two extreme groups are ever going to come to a compromise.

So let us take a step back and look at the things we know:

  1. If we do not curb the increasing population of humans, life on earth as we know it will cease.
  2.  Starting 18 years after Roe v Wade was passed by the Supreme Court in 1973, major crimes have dropped every year,
  3. I think a women should have the right to determine if she wants to have a child.
  4. Children should not have children.
  5. Many unwanted children become wards of the state.
  6. Throughout history attitudes about abortion have changed based on the size of the population and economic security.
  7. The economic drain on our society from neglected children is growing rapidly.
  8. Children of reluctant parents are sometimes born with severe medical and social problems due to poor parental skills and lack of medical care.
  9. Abortions preformed in unsafe environments by untrained individuals are not a favorable direction in a modern society and will result in the deaths of many women.

The first and most important fact to consider is that, NO ONE WANTS AN ABORTION! I can’t imagine that one wakes up in the morning excited that she is going to have an abortion that day. This includes all liberals, conservatives and everyone in-between.  Abortions are not anyone’s first choice but in some cases may offer a way out of a extremely harrowing and difficult situation.  For example, were a women to become pregnant by rape, how in the world would she be expected to be sanguine about birthing that child.  Why would she want to commit to raising this child for 18 years?  She may love children in general and be open to conceive a child but I feel pretty certain she would undoubtedly prefer to have a child based on love, not the violent act of rape!  This is one of those areas where the adage, ‘Take a walk in my shoes’, comes to mind.

More than a few women experience medical complications during pregnancy and childbirth.  In this case, a difficult decision would need to be made weighing the mother’s life against the fetus’s life.  I do believe, and feel that this is a consensus opinion: a mother’s life has priority over the fetus.  I can only imagine the difficulty in making such a decision.  There would be several doctors, the mother, clergy, administrators and members of the family involved!  I do not think that any of us who have not been confronted with this dilemma can imagine the stress and pain involved in a decision of this magnitude.

By far the most difficult issues we must consider are the unwanted child of a young girl, of a drug addict or genetically challenged parents.  In nature this is not a problem; if an animal is unable to survive, mother nature removes it from the gene pool.  In our world we have circumvented nature with our modern medical advances.  Many of you who are reading this would not be alive today if not for the marvels of modern medicine.  Again, we are faced with a difficult decision.  When a severely challenged child is born, the effect ripples through a family, not only emotionally but financially with little support from the medical community or the government.  Many families have been financially destroyed by the birth of a challenged child.  In a world where many of us are denied adequate basic health care, it is hard to financially justify bringing a profoundly challenged child into the world who could generate medical bills that could run into the millions, while at the same time, others have little to no health care.

As you may now see, abortion is very complicated.  I believe the decision should be made by the woman and persons intimately involved and not legislated by government.  That’s the libertarian in me.  Said another way, I believe a woman should have the untrammeled right to determine if she is able and willing to take on the serious responsibility of raising a child. This is not a decision that I would want somebody to make for me.  To make this even more complicated, we would have to consider when does the fetus become a viable life.  I, like many others, believe that when the baby is able to survive outside the womb, then they become a protected life. Some other points of view suggest that as soon as the sperm finds the egg, it becomes a viable life.  There is also the spectrum of ideas between these two beliefs. Abortion has become the passionate talking point of politicians and this scares the crap out of me.  Do you really want politicians deciding what you do with your private life?

As I said at the start, if I were a women considering an abortion, it would be a very difficult thing for me to decide to do, so I am glad that I never did and never will have to even think about making that decision. But, there are many women out there who have to make this choice, and hopefully they will base that decision on sound reasoning.

The Perfect Industrial War

Imagine you are a corporation that builds military hardware. Economic times for these folks were rather bleak. No one was blowing up anything…and then suddenly Russia/Putin decides to attack Ukraine and the US and much of the free world decides to provide infinite military support. Now, don’t get me wrong, Putin is a bad guy and the world needs to stand up to him, but make no mistake, the military complex is smiling while they haul their booty to the bank.

It has been said that the US economy is heavily supported by a very large amount of money that supports our military machine. By the way, our military complex is larger than the next 10 countries added together. Now the military is beginning to whine that this war/yard sale is depleting its funds, prompting the need for even more money! Currently, the military research and development budget for 2022 is roughly 112 BILLION dollars!! That’s the money the military uses to dream up and develop new ways to kill human beings! The total budget for 2022 was 782 BILLION dollars! It is hard to track down any rock solid numbers but it appears that the US has, or will, give Ukraine about 20 BILLION dollars for their war effort up to now.

I do not believe us po-folks can even imagine how much money this is. If you make $100,000/year for 40 years, that is only $4 MILLION. After taxes, social security and all the other mandated expenses, you might be left with $2,600,000. What do you know about BILLIONS? The point is, these numbers have become so large due to military growth and inflation they are beyond our comprehension.

So, while we are pounding our chest and yelling freedom, the military complex is making tremendous profits. To repeat myself, Putin needs to be stopped and I guess it’s up to us and the rest of the free world to stop him. But make a quick note, during war some people get very rich while many others are dying for a cause! Since we Americans are not obligating any soldiers to this conflict, it is a free venture for us, since we are just sending money and stuff.

The death of norms

Do you ever ask yourself what is normal? Do you ever look around and ask yourself if what you are seeing is the way it is supposed to be? I have witnessed the evolution of norms throughout my life and I am pretty certain, so have you! If I pick a few general topics and look at them through history maybe it might give us a better picture of norms. Let me think, where should we start?…How about drugs? Most of us think elicite drugs are a problem with our society.

Otiz, the frozen man found in the northern ice sheet, who lived about 5000 years ago had a pouch full of pharmaceuticals, including polypore fungus, which has antibacterial and hemostatic properties. Early Ethiopian farmers noticed that their sheep became spry after eating coffee plants and learned to produce the same effect in people. New age drugs such as nicotine and cocaine are well established in our culture . Older drugs are opium and cannabis, which came from Eurasia. Except in North America, alcohol has been around forever because of its ease of production. Fly agaric, a mushroom with psychoactive ingredien has been used in religious ceremonies for over 4000 years in central Asia. Early Central America used Psilocybin mushrooms, also know as mescaline, for the same psychoactive effects. One of Noah’s first actions after leaving the ark was to plant an grape arbor so he could get drunk. (Genesis 9, 20-21) He must have had fast growing grapes. Alexander the Great’s death was attributed to alcohol consumption in 323BC. This was the beginning of the idea of addiction. Alcohol is now a rite of passage drug. When our young get to be a certain age, it is almost required that they get drunk or stoned.

My second choice is tattoos. I personally have no tattoos. I receive enough pain from my crazy antics and old age, I don’t need someone poking holes in me. But, tattoos have been around for a long time, coming into favor and dropping out of favor. They have been used in religion, life events and for an abundance of personal reasons. My personal theory for their prevalence at this time in history is they have replaced, rather poorly, the trials and tribulations of growing up and life. Our young folks have been coddled and protected so much they are reaching out for challenges. I guess dealing with the pain of a tattoo is an ordeal, I would rather attempt a 600 mile bike ride myself.

Lets look at music, the separator of generations in modern society. Think of the development of music over the last several hundred years. There is an obvious pattern if you look. First thing is a new and divergent style of music that appears. Second, the younger generation adopts this new sound, Third, the parents protest the music as being subversive or immoral, Forth, the music gains listeners and market share, Fifth, parents begin to accept the new sound rather begrudgingly, Sixth, it is an accepted form of music and as time passes some of it becomes legendary. Think of Elvis, first he was a bad influence on the youth, the young fell in love with him, parents thought he was vulgar, his sound gained listeners, parents began to accept and listen to him, then it became an accepted artform and finally he is considered a legendary artistic performer. Now you tell me what is a norm in music.

Now lets tackle the really hard one, no pun intended, SEX. Have you ever sat down and thought about the incredible shifts in human sexual conduct over the last, say, 10,000 years? Talk about a roller coaster ride. Lets start with early prehistoric man. From the little that is known about it, it was somewhat simple, man wanted women, man has sex with woman and in many cases they become partners due to mankind’s monogamous nature, then they had a child. This was relatively straight forward, the man protected the women, hunted for food for the family. The woman gathered herbs, roots and berries. Some evolutionary scientists believe that if a baby was born and the man did not believe it was his, due to facial features, eye color or hair color, it was discarded for the animals to eat. Harsh times indeed. Now, today’s sexual norms, as portrayed by the media and parts of society, are not quite the same as early man. Sexual roles are becoming blurred. No longer is the sex orientation you were born with what you have to be. Many of us struggle with understanding our place in this new world order. The word norm almost feels like a bad word when discussing this.

When you start thinking about it, norms are ambiguous! What is normal during one generation is outlandish in another. I hope by now you are seeing the complexity of this topic. Many people believe that our society is in trouble due to the lack of norms or the abandonment of older norms. Personally, I am extremely concerned with the direction our society seems to be headed but history tells me it will be ok…or does it?

Music is now so loud at concerts many young people are having hearing issues at a young age. The use of drugs during these concerts is becoming the norm. Many of the performers present themselves as not totally human. Somehow this seems beyond the norm to me. Rather than a tattoo on your buttocks that no one ever sees, there are people with their entire body tattooed, including their face! This too seems a little extreme to me. Drugs which were once hard to get and relatively rare are available to anyone in unlimited amounts. Because of the media, drugs have become an accepted form of recreation in our culture. In today’s world many people die due to drug use and many of us do not bat an eye, unless it’s someone we know. Again, the word norm just doesn’t feel right to me.

There is something different about our times. I am not sure the old rules apply anymore. FUTURE SHOCK was published in 1970, over 50 years ago when many of these trends were just getting started. It talked about a world coming unglued as society was changing at speeds never experienced before. Dear Mr. Toffler, you could only imagine what today’s world is like! Our world is changing faster than anyone has ever dreamed. Technology is changing us in ways no one could even imagine 50 years ago, although some science fiction told of a tech future. In conclusion, get ready, buckle up for a rough ride as we head towards the 22nd century. There is nothing on the horizon that says its going to be easy.

Starting any War is criminal

I guess I thought that if I ignored the Ukraine war long enough, it would go away like a bad dream, so much for that idea. I have tried to limit my time watching the 24 hour news cycle which is like the proverbial dog and a squirrel. The pictures of the devastation are unnerving to me and remind me of the true nature of human civilization past and present. Ever since man bit into the proverbial apple of knowledge, it’s been one war after another. In a simple search on google I found one claim that as many as ONE BILLION people have been killed in wars since man’s existence.

Here is a summary of “WAR CRIMES” according to the Geneva Convention

Violations of the laws or customs of war, including:

  • Atrocities or offenses against persons or property, constituting violations of the laws or customs of war
  • murder, ill treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population in occupied territory
  • murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas
  • killing of hostages
  • torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments
  • plunder of public or private property
  • wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages
  • devastation not justified by military necessity

Crimes against humanity

Atrocities and offenses committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, including:

  • murder
  • extermination
  • enslavement
  • deportation
  • mass systematic rape and sexual enslavement in a time of war
  • other inhumane acts
  • persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated

Forgive me if I am a little slow but isn’t that what war is, all those things above? I’m as upset as the next guy, but war is hell! I remember reading about the English as they lined up in full view of their enemy and fired their weapons during the revolution war. Americans violated their rules of war of England by hiding in the bushes or behind things so as to not get shot! Because of this we won! When the USA dropped the atomic bombs on Japan, I am sure that violated several rules of war. Some defend that action because it ended the war, it did, but many innocent Japanese people died that day.

I could go on and on with the many violations of the USA and other countries for as far back as we wish to remember, but my point is the same, war is hell! Now here are the big questions. Who makes these laws of war? Who decides what’s OK and what’s not? It almost seems funny that a country can declare war on another country and that simple act is not a crime of war! Ukraine was a peaceful country, not bothering anyone, and bang, Russia decides to attack! Is that not a war crime? If you break into a store and shoot the cashier and take the money, is that not a crime? Help me here folks, I am having a very difficult time consuming this insanity! War is horrific and the people who cause them should be considered war criminals, despite the level of their intrusion. Its hard to believe that we are at the crossroads of deciding what horrendous thing is a war crime! They are all war crimes when you attack another country and kill its people! The invasion of Crimea was a war crime but no one did anything about that but whine and complain and slap a few meaningless sanctions on Russia. No wonder Putin attacked Ukraine, he was convinced that the world would do nothing to stop him or just throw words at him. He reminds me of the school yard bully, but this bully has a very large gun that can blow up the school and everything around it.

So here we sit, watching our televisions, wondering if this man with 50 cards in his deck is crazy enough to start a nuclear war and end modern civilization as we know it. One thing I heard many times as I was growing up was, do not fight with a crazy man because he has no rules of war. Is Putin narcissistic enough to take the world down his rabbit hole? Are we at his beck and call every time he or another man decides to disrupt the world order? Is this the nature of the world till this man dies? Behind him is the next nut ball, Kim Jong-un, definitely of loon status who is developing his own nuclear arsenal.

I tried to not write about this crazy war but it is haunting many of my thoughts. I, like many of you, am frightened and worried that our world could end because of one simple mistake made by one individual. Let us hope we can make it through these terrible times and peace will find its way to the negotiating table. Then we can all get back to complaining about the weather and gas prices.

The price of gas

I, like many of you, have been watching the price of gas slowly creep up and then explode with the recent actions of a certain Russian dictator. I do not want to get into the possibility of a full scaled nuclear war and the end of civilization as we know it because of this certain Russian dictator’s actions, but I do want to talk about a more mundane subject, gas prices.

Yes, gas prices are going up quickly and it is hitting the pockets of middle and lower income people very hard. What I want to do is address the reasons gas prices are going up and clear up many misconceptions that many of you have about the price of gas.

Gas is a world commodity, which means its price is controlled by world demand, production rates and world reserves. If the Saudis decide to flood the market with oil, the price goes down. If they decide to tighten up supplies, the price goes up. If we quit buying Russian oil, which we should do, this will also force the price of oil to increase. Tough question, fund a dictator who is killing innocent women and children, pay more for gas or go to full-scaled war!. These are very simple reasons, but there are many other factors that are less visible.

If you look at the chart above, you will see that the production of crude oil has been declining for several decades. This is because there is less and less oil in the ground that is easy to get to. There may be some areas where the reserves could be somewhat accessible but the environmental impact of drilling in these areas is enormous, and may hasten the global climate change we are currently experiencing. Back in 1970 the USA was producing about 9 million Barrels/day (B/D) of crude oil, today it is under 5 million B/D. Our consumption as gone from 7.25 million B/D in 1970 to almost 20 million B/D in 2021. This old earth has only so much to give before we are forced to find another way to provide energy to a growing society. Let’s hope there is a breakthrough in fusion energy which is the cleanest and safest way to make power known to man.

So now lets look more carefully at the chart. Where is the additional oil coming from to get us from 5 million B/D to the 20 million B/D we consume now? The term TIGHT OIL refers to oil that has been produced from fracked wells. Fracking is very dangerous to the environment, mainly our drinking water. Many communities around our country have experienced this first hand, witnessing flames coming from their kitchen spigot. If we destroy our water supply, then Katy-bar-the-door, things are going to get interesting! You will notice, fracking production numbers are declining as well. Fracked crude oil is also very dirty and not able to be processed in all refineries. Natural gas, which is available because of the increased use of fracking in getting the gas out of the ground is not a long term option. Who knows what “other” is, probably don’t want to know, but above that we see what has allowed us to keep close to the amount of fuel we need to survive as a country, BIOFUEL, which is heavily federally funded. This process is where we take valuable crop land and use it to produce crops which we turn into biofuel. Its important to note that much of our bio-fuel is imported. The current price to produce bio-fuels is between $5.50 and $6.50 a gallon, which is significantly more expensive then gasoline. Remember, if you burn any hydro-carbon fuel, regardless of where it is made or mined, it puts CO2 in the atmosphere.

For those of you who want to blame politicians for the rise in gas prices, seriously, they don’t have that much power. Now Exxon, that’s another story, they do have the power to control world prices, and they use it! The way you control price is through supply and demand and they have a death grip on supply.

Last point: Why did President Biden cancel the Keystone pipeline? First, and probably most important, the oil extracted from the Canadian Tar Sands would create enough CO2 to raise the earth’s global temperature 2 full degrees in the near future.

Much of this oil would move through the pipeline all the way to Texas where it would be processed and shipped overseas. It would not have been completed for years so I am not sure how it affects gas prices today.

Tarsand oil is very difficult to move through pipe lines, and the lines have suffered several leaks in the completed parts.

There you have it. If you read above, you have a basic understanding of petroleum and what determines its price on the market. Have a good day!

Imagine healthcare with no dollar signs

For those of you who have lived in a cave for most of your life, you need to know that we live in a capitalist country. Capitalism has its upside and is great for a developing country to make its mark in the world, at least for the capitalist it’s good. Capitalism creates a classed society with the promise that anyone who works hard enough will make it to the money, and that is what capitalism is all about, MONEY. Sort of like the lottery, if you buy enough tickets, you will eventually win the jackpot and never have to work a day for the rest of your life.

Now let’s switch over to the the world of medicine and pharmaceuticals. We would all like to think that the people in these fields are there for the altruistic reason of making the world a better place. Yes, there are many who wake up in the morning wondering how they can make the world a better place, but, it is hard not to be drawn into the wealthy lifestyle that can come with these industries. This is an industry that spends a lot of money upfront developing a new drug and then sells it at exaggerated prices to a public that has been told it will make them all better, regardless what is wrong with them. After developing a new drug, it’s formula is sent to China or India, where it is produced at ridiculously low prices, sent back to the states and sold at insanely high prices in order to give the companies extremely high profits. Some companies even go as far as raising the price hundreds to thousands of times to capitalize on a rare disease! In these cases people will die unless they spend the money for the drug…which many cannot afford. Some die.

I know that I am a little slow in some areas, but this seems like a no-brainer to me. If we allow capitalists to make money based on our health expenses, we are probably not going to have very good health services. Their job is to make money, not to make us healthy. In fact, the healthier we are, the less money they make. The more dependent on their services we are, the more money they make. Just count the number of drug commercials on TV at several million dollars a pop. Who do you think pays that? Yeah, that’s the ticket, go to your doctor and tell him what drug you need. Have you ever listened to the list of things that might happen to you by using these new advertised drugs?

Wake up folks, every developed country in the world has health care for its entire population, not just the ones who can afford it. Why are we so different? Why are we so resistant to our entire population being healthy? How many times have I heard people complain about the insane cost of medical care and turn around and say they do not want a government run affordable health care plan? You know who does not want this to happen, the rich! And guess who gets the best medical care under our current system…The rich.

Socrates’ child

I woke up this morning wondering if Socrates had any children. I then wondered if he instilled the wonders of learning and exploring the world of thought. Being brought up in a middle class working home where books were not prevalent, I never heard much about Socrates until I became older. One of my college professors said that when I expressed my ideas I often reminded him of Socrates. I was pretty sure it was a compliment but I was not certain. As I learned more about this man, I realized the magnitude of the compliment, since I was heading into the field of education. As an educator I tried to teach using the Socrates method of questions and reflection.

As I laid there in bed this morning it dawned on me that our civilization may have the means to solve the problem of the dumbing down of America. Currently, our schools are unprepared, underfunded and understaffed to handle the emergence of the 21st century. America and many other countries around the world are much like a stale piece of bread slowly being dissolved by the microbes that inhabit our world. We are failing in most every possible way to make the world a better place. Wow, that was a downer…Unlike most of my writing that just addresses issues in the world to think about and maybe reflect on, I have an idea!

Here we go. If you saw the movie MILLENIUM MAN, with Robin Williams, you may already be ahead of me. In this fictional story enacted in the future, a robot, who is designed to care for children, spends his life devoted to a family. Of course Robin draws you into the story and convinces you that he is amazing and does an extraordinary job raising the children. Another short story by Lewis Padgett, MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES, approaches this issue with an futuristic toy that proliferates creativity and thought. If you can find it, it is an incredible read! I’m not saying that we all buy robots to help raise our young ones, but what if we figured a way to develop an artificial intelligence program that friended our children at a young age and was there 24-7-365 to help them navigate the rocky roads of life.

Before you jump on your horse and ride off into the sunset yelling “your crazy”, let me expound a little. Our society has become so disruptive to the emotional growth of our children, it is no wonder the suicide rate is skyrocketing and shootings are occurring daily. Our children are not being allowed to be children! Our corporate world sees children as capital and potential markets, not innocent human beings. Most parents know in their hearts that this is true but have no idea how to avoid it. Between jobs that require many hours of the week, house cleaning and repairs, spouses in need of attention, community work, church and its many functions, after school activities including sports, there is no time to be a proper parent! TV has replaced sitting around the table talking and the relatively recent insertion of the internet and cell phones is pushing us to the brink of sanity,

We now may have the ability to add a stability factor to our children’s life. Like all things, my idea has its risk, but the rewards could be staggering. In my mind we have a choice, continue down this road that we all know will lead to nothing good or come up with a possible solution. LET AN AI COMPANION HELP US RAISE OUR CHILDREN! AI could not do any worse than what many of our children are experiencing daily. It does not have to be a fancy robot but simply a very elaborate program that grows up with the child and nudges them gently to make right decisions. This program would be free of corporate involvement and would be designed to help the child develop into a healthy, inquisitive, intelligent and happy adult. Just think of ALEXA on steroids. There would be no advertisements or crazy, unreachable societal norms, just simple positive, supportive and caring ideas.

In the beginning I referred to Socrates with the idea I would come back around to him. The AI I am alluding to would be modeled after Socrates. All interactions would be using the inquiry method with questions and reflecting on an idea. Example: “Jack, why were you angry with your parents? You know they love you and want what’s best for you.” There would be no scolding or lecturing on issues, just gentle discussion. Many children have secret friends when they are growing up, and Socrates, that’s the name I will give our AI, would be their friend. I am sure most parents would want to give the AI a different name.

If you are still not convinced that this may be a good idea, go to a friend who is involved with our youth, like a guidance counselor or a social worker, and ask them the state of the American family. The answer should chill you to the bone! Bottom line folks is, we are in trouble and drastic measures are needed to turn us around. All ideas are on the table. Artificial Intelligence scares the hell out of me at various levels if not controlled, but if done properly with the appropriate guidelines it could save our society from heading into a dark time in the not to distant future.