Currents Topic Page
© 2005 P. Arthur Stuart
Updated October 31, 2013

Notice - You Only Need to Read this Once, if at all. - I'll change the date, when I add or change something.
Originally, I was going to call this page, "The Daily Topic Page" or "Today's Topic Page" but I quickly realized that I'm just not smart enough and besides, I'm too lazy to update it daily. Besides there may not be anything that interests me that day. You may find a few words quickly jotted down or a long dissertation, both of which will probably need additional work. As I present and develop the new themes, I will move the old-currents topic to its own page for further refinement and development as necessary. The word currents in the page title, is reflective of the movement of things, like water currents. Sometimes you can see them clearly and sometimes they are hidden. And sometimes you need to do research.

It's A Matter of Perspective
October 31, 2013

In 2013 San Diego had the dubious honor of its mayor, Bob Filner, resigning because of sexual harassment allegations, to which he later pleaded guilty to on a couple of them. My little tirade here is not about Filner, his behavior is reprehensible, but rather, about the attitude related to the behavior, expressed by a major official when interviewed.
During the interview, the official gave, on either August 21 or 22, 2013, he stated, words to the effect, that Filner’s behavior were of product of his generation—my generation.
For the record Filner’s form of behavior was never considered acceptable. Because of the “Good Old Boy Club” mentality, people with money or power were able to get away with this and other reprehensible behaviors. My generation considered Mr. Filner’s arrogant and bulling behavior deplorable. It is unfortunate the people in power -- political or private sector -- still get away with much of it. And sadly, in most cases the victims often pay the price.
The point is that these forms of behavior were not considered acceptable by my generation, as well as subsequent generations. I suspect the mistreatment, sexual or bully, has not been considered as acceptable by most civilized societies.

Only in the Mind of the Beholder
September 20, 2010
Click here for Kelly Perry on Sesame Street - You Tube

As I age, I find it more-and-more difficult to understand people. I don’t know whether they’re prudes, ignorant, small minded, stupid or zealots. Parents complained to the Sesame Street producers that Katy Perry’s Outfit was to risqué for the program. The dress she was wearing was about the same as a typical figure skater’s outfit, except it was perhaps a bit longer. They, the parents, complained that it was inappropriate for children of Sesame Street age.
I’m reminded of the story I heard about an artist that painted nudes. He and his wife were worried what their three year old daughter would think if she saw him painting. The inevitable day came. The young girl burst into his studio while he was working, followed closely behind was his wife. The girl looked at the model from head-to-foot, place her hands on her hips, defiantly, and then turned to her parents. With a scowl on her face she angrily said, “If she can go without shoes, why can’t I?”
The point being that young children and toddlers don’t see the world as adults do. The fact is they have no concept of sex and what risqué is all about. By the time a child would view the outfit Perry wore as risqué they wouldn’t be watching Sesame Street.
It makes one wonder if their child (parents that complained) go to the beach or community swimming pools or their own pool for that matter. Do these parents prevent the children from watching figure skating, gymnastics, the circus, .... I could go on-and-on naming typical events where the participants are minimally dressed and not considered risqué. Maybe we should forbid cheerleading! I think that risqué is in the mind of the observer. I guess what really bothers me is that it seems like even the most innocuous things or words offend someone. I worked at a place where the boss's secretary didn’t like the word “gal,” so it was forbidden to be used. If parents really are so concerned about what their children see on TV then they should complain about the commercials where kids are behaving badly and the parent is smiling.
I've said enough here but add related comments in my "Parenting" page.

What's the Real Cause?

In the Dear Abby column (February 2010) a woman wrote that she was at a restaurant and observed that parents at one table were, figuratively speaking, force feeding their child. The child was already overweight. She further when on to say, Isn't it the parents' fault that today's children have weight problems.
Abby responded by telling the women not to judge the parents. It is the types of food eaten and lack of exercise. In essence, she blamed it on the environment.
Well, that's partly true. How and what we eat, coupled with lack of exercise can lead to being overweight. Let me spell it out. Where do you think that children learn and develop their eating and exercise habits?
Over the years I've kind of observed that the weight of children is proportional to their parent(s) -- heavy parents, heavy children. It is not universal as there are exceptions, albeit not too many. I should write "Dear Abby" but I'm just too lazy and really don't care what she says. It's the issue that bothers me. I would put the blame squarely on parents; that's where children learn their eating and exercise habits. I won't say that I was a great example. I guess I was lucky my kids, as was my wife and I, in the recommended weight range for our height. We did a lot of things right by accident. One of them was we were active in sports—tennis and soccer. Our kids were also active in sports, all kinds.
If I were raising children today, I would do the following:
  1. I would "NEVER" use food as a reward or to comfort. Using food as a reward or for comfort is probably, I think, the biggest reason for weight problems. Many of my overweight friends, I do have a few friends, eat when they get upset or stressed. They even say it helps them to relax. I find exercise does it for me and I've met a lot of people that say exercise does it for them.
  2. I would serve healthier foods. Serve more fruits and vegetables. Put a bowl of fruit in a place that is right in front of them and easy to reach, like on the table in front of the TV.
  3. Never force them to finish everything. When they're finished eating let them have the dessert, but limit it to a standard portion, whatever that might be, regardless of how much they've eaten. Don't make the portion bigger or give them more because they've eaten more. In time they will learn what is right for them.
  4. I would encourage them to try everything. This means that I would also have to try everything along with them. Over the years, I began doing this and have since found several foods I thought I hated to be very likable.
  5. I would keep portions of the not so healthy but enjoyable foods limited. I thinks it OK to visit the fast food places once in a while, but not as a reward. If you are out to an event such as a baseball game, sightseeing, shopping, or traveling, are the times that fast food might be just the ticket.
  6. I would participate and encourage daily exercise, which we did.

Who's to Blame?

I'm back, February 24, 2010. Reference: San Diego Union Tribune, Saturday, January 16, 2010. In the "Smart Living" section was an article. "It's Hard To Lose Weight When Your Spouse Keeps Buying Pizza." The gist of the article was how can I eat right if my spouse doesn't. If the writer wasn't married, then it would have been her mother, father, siblings, friends, roommate, the environment ....
The devil made me do it. It's not my fault, (you fill in the blank) made me do it. The point is, if I fail, it's not my fault. The article goes on to tell you how you can manipulate those you would blame for your failure into making them make you do it.
I get so pissed off and frustrated when people want to blame their actions on others.
While I was growing up, (some might say I never grew up) in the 1940s and 1950s, I seem to remember adults stressing, over and over again, that you need to take responsibility for your actions. Along came the 1960s and 1970s when psychiatry and sociology espoused that you are the way you are because the people you grew up with and your environment made you that way. It didn't matter that thousands of people in similar situations grew up differently; most of which became relatively normal.
If I were to respond to the article writer, I would say, "Sure it helps when you are supported or you can partner with someone when you strive to accomplish a goal. However, in the end you must take responsibility and, if necessary, do it on your own. The only person you can really blame for your failure is yourself.

Who Do They Think They're Punishing?

Wow. it's been a long time. September 3, 2008 -- The major headline in today's paper read, "Feds Fine Pfizer $2.3 billion." Is that supposed to make us happy. Just who are they punishing. For certain it's not the high rollers of the company or the stockholders. It's you and me. It's the customer that will pay the bill. I regret that this little outburst is like a grain of sand that no one will see. I do vote against all incumbents, unless the challenger appears to be a bigger crook or moron.
What is really needed are laws that punish the people making the decisions. I'm not talking about bad decisions; I'm talking about the illegal ones. When they, The Feds or other government entities, fine a company, it's because of wrongdoing by company personnel; usually upper management. I also wonder why nobody in the media circus does anything. I guess it's easier to go along with the way things are. After all who owns the media? Large corporations and they surely don't want to make themselves libel.

Sometimes Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

November 22, 2008 -- On last night's TV news, a story was reported (it was also in the local newspaper this morning) that the Nebraska Legislator enacted a Safe Haven law. The Safe Haven law is intended to permit a parent to drop off a newborn at locations, like hospitals, fire stations, police stations, with no questions asked. Almost immediately they had to amend the law to stipulate a maximum babies age of 30 days. Because they initially failed to stipulate the age of the child that could be drop off, some 35 children, most in the age group, 10 through 17 were dropped off.

Food for thought: It would appear that babies, infant, and small children are easier to take care of and deal with than an adolescent.

What About the Truth

November 3, 2008 -- In California there is a proposition related to marriage. This topic is related to "truth" and not the subject of the proposition. So, don't look at the issue. One side says that the subject of gay marriage is not taught in school. It was made by the Superintendent of California Schools. The other side says it has been and will be taught in school and that parents have no say. They state that a first grade class was taken to a gay marriage and that parents had no say. I thought that all field trips, regardless of what they were for, had to have parental approval. In some ways they are like husband and wife, in divorce court, each saying the other is lying.
Based on what I've just stated (if you've seen or view the ads, you can confirm) one of the sides is lying. My thoughts are that this is appalling. We have laws that require truth in advertising, yet nothing is done when it comes to political ads. Even if the truthful side were to sue the lying side, with the current court system, the election would be long past before anything were done.
I guess what disappoints me most is that, it seems, that most people really don't care that they are being lied to and we've come to accept it.
While I'm speaking about the truth. PETA sued the state over false advertising that "California cows were happy." The court ruled that the state was "NOT" subject to the truth in advertising law. What bothers me it that the government is sanctioned to lie to us. We should be up-in-arms. If I were half the person I'd like to be and had the resources, I would do more than just write this. I guess I'm satisfied to live the remainder of my existence, acquiescent to the current status. It's the younger generation that needs to get involved.