tag:juanhijo.com,2013:/posts Juanhijo 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426060 2012-11-08T03:53:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Dig it. President of the United States - now transformational. America gets it right.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426064 2012-11-08T03:43:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z What is Democracy? In 1943 during WWII EB White was asked to explain What is Democracy? His answer frames and captures the essential answer nicely.

 "What is Democracy?

It is the line that forms on the right.

It is the don't in 'Don't Shove.'

It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles; it is the dent in the high hat.

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half the people are right more than half of the time.

It is the feeling of privacy in voting booths, the feeling of communion in libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere.

Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth.

It is an idea which hasn't been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad.

It's the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the coffee.

Democracy is a request from a War Board, in the middle of a morning in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy is."

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426065 2012-03-17T19:23:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Republicans have mastered the double-speak Perceptions about Gov't Spending are different than Reality...

In this graph you can see the annualized growth of per capita federal spending by POTUS Adminsitration.

Republicans have mastered the double-speak ... and persuaded us that it is not their hand in the cookie jar.

Drive to fact, drive to root cause, assess, then act.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426068 2011-12-20T04:31:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Industries Using Government to Undermine Innovation and New Competition The pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation provides the opportunity to clearly delineate old industry from new - established markets from emerging market forces.

Old Industry is seeking policy to protect their media distribution models. New industry is seeking the continued openness that is currently driving innovation, creating new markets, one could even argue, driving revolutions both figurative and literal. Below you can see who is driving the new regulation and see who is opposing it.

What is SOPA? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R.3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX)

 http://maplight.org/content/72896 - data source

Industry Business Interest Contributions
    (Jan. 1, 2009 - Jun. 30, 2011)
     
Computers/Internet (Opposes) Computer software $273,744
  Online computer services $251,233
Total
  $524,977
     
TV/Movies/Music (Supports) Cable & satellite TV production & distribution $672,750
  Commercial TV & radio stations $265,050
  Entertainment Industry/Broadcast & Motion Pictures $320,800
  Motion Picture production & distribution $282,150
  Recorded Music & music production $317,446
  TV production & distribution $125,400
Total
  $1,983,596
     
Grand Total   $2,508,573

 

It's the new American way of doing business in the post-modern digital swish:

Write new rules and litigate.

As disruptive innovation in an industry emerges, old business, people who have profited from predictable market conditions over time, are tempted to pay lobbyists and buy legislators to create policy that undermines competition, ultimately protecting their markets and their revenue streams.

Alternatively, businesses have other strategic and tactical options when faced with innovation - competition via: price, value, R&D, partner, buy the competition etc. 

Do nothing and a business faces declining revenue and closing up shop (see: Polaroid, Blockbuster, Borders Books)

Enter disruption to the status quo >>>  Thesis challenged by an Antithesis that results in Synthesis.

Anachronistic crony capitalism is the act of buying government policy and policy makers to avoid competition, to externalize costs, and to make revenue streams as permanent as possible. Established companies need to become good at sustained investment and innovation learning how to strategically invest and drive a sustaining innovation path.

This is key. Your profits are not guaranteed into perpetuity. You cannot use government to enforce market conditions that guarantee your competitive edge.

I am a promoter of open source and open standards and peer review. Be that as it may, it is worth noting, that even Microsoft continuously includes strategic R&D investments in their business model in order to drive sustainable future revenue.

Corporations should not be allowed to buy policy, buy market conditions, write laws and effectively influence and deviate markets for their benefit.

Compete.  Damn it.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426070 2011-12-18T15:31:42Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Son is home

... On leave, finally. No new tattoos to report.
His presence 'displaces a lot of water' in our family. While he's gone, we're not the same.]]>
Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426072 2011-10-30T17:42:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Lonely Bag Piper

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426076 2011-10-30T17:39:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Disco Jesus to the Rescue A family favorite. Bring on the funk.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426078 2011-10-30T15:15:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Spending Levers: Federal budget investments that will shorten the recession

The US labor market is still in terrible shape. Virtually every economic textbook affirms that increased Gov't spending in recession eases unemployment and shortens the duration of the downward cycle. Some want to debate this evidence - but the majority of pople who make this claim never cracked a book on economics (macro or micro) and are stuck debating ideological jingoism rather than facts.

Knowing that part of our strategy is the need to jump-start investments, where should spending be targeted? I submit that US Gov't policy should re-focus federal $$ on the economies of tomorrow > building that road to the 21st century: Research and Development, Science, Sustainable Environment and Development, Alternative Energies, Smart Grid, a double-down on Education, Technology, Transportation, and Infrastructure design that leads to the future.

There is a place for government seed $ and investment: see NASA and ARPANET for examples of trillion $ returns from million $ government investments.

While we struggle to frame the correct policy questions and strategies, India and China steam ahead executing investment strategies that forcefully position their economies for future hegemony.

Tick-Tock Peeps: This game is 3 dimensional, not a linear Sunday stroll where the Protestant work ethic 'better tomorrow' is guaranteed through belief and culture. The future is earned, prioritized, and funded.
Progress requires purpose.
Building a better America requires intention.
Results require discipline and vision...
and a commitment to something larger than the just the American individual.

I keep this reality in my field of vision: The American Individual alone can not compete with China. While individual innovation is a critical wild-card and one of the US's competitive advantages, it alone does not win the day. Laying line for telegraphs, transcontinental railways, the interstate highway system ... All kickstarted by federal investment.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426079 2011-10-15T23:43:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Us vs Them Income Reality: The Experience of 99% of Americans Economic graph #1 explains the expanding income gaps that the vast majority of Americans are experiencing. People know something is wrong, but are too busy working, to make ends meet, taking care of their families, saving for college, looking for work, trying to save their homes, and ...

... paying for rising medical costs. The middle aged middle class is responsible for raising the next generation of Americans, and increasingly becoming responsible for the care of the preceding generations. Graph #2 shows that rising health care costs remain the primary long-term budget challenge we face as a nation. People can make a case for debt, real-estate inventory glut, loss of manufacturing base, declining infrastructure, ineffective under investment in education - however, rising healthcare costs threaten to overtake the Federal Budget, placing increasing downward economic pressure on the middle-aged middle class.

In graph #1 we see the splintering and detachment of the high income class; the self-extrication of the top 1% from the common American Experience and National Identity. The expanding income gap suggests the development of a permanent two-class society. The process by which the top 1% have detached is through the buying and influence on elections and more important gov't policy. With the Federal Government firmly in the hands of the funders of vicious campaign fund-raising requirements, do not expect those that have purchased policy-makers to suddenly drive policy to solve national issues that do not involve their income class (re Graph #2). The hyper wealthy have purchased government legally - they will not only use it to enable the policies that support their objectives, they will also defend the power of government policy from those who would seek to use it to benefit the 99% of Americans represented by the US Republic.

In graph #3 - meet the 1%:

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426080 2011-09-20T13:56:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Costs of Bush and Obama Policies Another compelling chart about policy changes that exploded the deficit. Bush tax cuts are at root.

It's based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who's "to blame" for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts.

source - http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/the-chart-that-should-acc...

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426082 2011-09-20T13:48:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Bush Legacy on Long-Term Deficits This information is impossible to ignore; difficult to dispute. Put this graph in your back pocket the next time a GOP ideollogue lays the debt at Obama's feet. Call BS on it. Deal in Reality.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426086 2011-09-16T21:00:11Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z National Deficit as a Percentage of GDP

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426088 2011-09-12T02:54:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z One thing that remains 10 years on Waltzing the Spheres

"We pulled each other closer in the turn
around a center we could not see -
This holding on is what I had to learn.

The sun can hold the planets, earth the moon,
but we had to create our gravity,
by always pulling closer in the turn.

Each revolution caused my head to whirl
so dizzily I wanted to break free,
but holding on is what I had to learn.

I fixed my eyes on something out there firm,
and then our orbits steadied so that we
could pull each other closer in the turn.

The joy that circles with us round the curve
is joy that passes surely as a peace,
and holding on is what we have to learn.

And, if our feet should briefly leave the earth,
no matter, earth was made for us to leave,
and arms for pulling closer in the turn,
This holding on is what we have to learn."

- Susan Scott Thompson, 1946-2007

http://www.pbs.org/americaresponds/moyers912.html]]>
Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426089 2011-04-16T16:25:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Top US Tax Rates 1917-2010

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426090 2011-03-27T20:36:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z This Man Pulled the Thread that Unraveled Dictators

All things are possible in this century, all things happen fast now...

Excerpt from Time:

"He is now famous throughout Tunisia and the Arab world — a legend, in fact. But Mohammed Bouazizi never set out to be a byword. His aunt Radia Bouazizi says his dream was to save enough money to be able to rent or buy a pickup truck. "Not to cruise around in," she says, "but for his work." Her nephew was a vegetable seller. "He would come home tired after pushing the cart around all day. All he wanted was a pickup." Instead, he started a revolution.

Bouazizi was like the hundreds of desperate, downtrodden young men in hardscrabble Sidi Bouzid. Many of them have university degrees but spend their days loitering in the cafés lining the dusty streets of this impoverished town, 190 miles (300 km) south of the capital Tunis. Bouazizi, 26, didn't have a college degree, having only reached what his mother says was the baccalaureate level, which is roughly equivalent to high school. He was, however, luckier than most in that he at least earned an income from selling vegetables, work that he'd had for seven years. (See pictures of the ransacked mansions of Tunisia.)

But on Dec. 17 his livelihood was threatened when a policewoman confiscated his unlicensed vegetable cart and its goods. It wasn't the first time it had happened, but it would be the last. Not satisfied with accepting the 10-dinar fine that Bouazizi tried to pay ($7, the equivalent of a good day's earnings), the policewoman allegedly slapped the scrawny young man, spat in his face and insulted his dead father.

Humiliated and dejected, Bouazizi, the breadwinner for his family of eight, went to the provincial headquarters, hoping to complain to local municipality officials, but they refused to see him. At 11:30 a.m., less than an hour after the confrontation with the policewoman and without telling his family, Bouazizi returned to the elegant double-storey white building with arched azure shutters, poured fuel over himself and set himself on fire. He did not die right away but lingered in the hospital till Jan. 4. There was so much outrage over his ordeal that even President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, the dictator, visited Bouazizi on Dec. 28 to try to blunt the anger. But the outcry could not be suppressed and, on Jan. 14, just 10 days after Bouazizi died, Ben Ali's 23-year rule of Tunisia was over."
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2043557,00.html#ixzz1HpnOGa8j

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Bouazizi

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426092 2011-03-22T05:26:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z London fiddle gigging

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426095 2011-03-22T05:25:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z London Street Music

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426098 2011-03-22T02:43:47Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Cajun music in London

Old English man singing the blues playing fiddle, Irish Grandmother on
bass, Hindu on lead guitar, singing Cajun music in London. All that's
missing is a washboard.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426100 2011-03-22T02:41:48Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z I call this London foto ...

"Old Man on the old Tube"

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426101 2011-03-21T16:47:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Undermining the Idea GateKeepers

Love this interview with LeVar Burton on Building 43 - Communities without Gatekeepers.

We should not be afraid of “more accountability and integrity in our communicating.”

Broadcast media & commercial communication are one-way conversations bundled with sales messages, actors, branding, and entertainers. Often it is marketing made to look like authentic human interaction.

The goal of most mass media communication is to generate revenue.

When you unpack Broadcast media messaging we find it is often a partial hollow representation of human communication. In the age of mass media, companies and large organizations have controlled, or at the very least influenced, the messages that people receive in the broadcast channel.

Mass media messages have been tightly controlled. With revenue protection in mind,  the distribution channel owners and funders have acted as the message gatekeepers. 

No more.

Check out LeVar's thoughts in the video above. He has has been a champion for challenging people to think, discover, and ask "what if?" for decades now.

In the Web 2.0 Social web, we are increasingly able to find and choose messages that make sense and resonate; conversations that enhance our perspective and our understanding. And ironically, it is technology that is extending our authentic conversations beyond our local reach.

The many-to-many Social Web now matches and extends beyond the reach of one-way broadcast media.

More than ever we are able to choose an alternative to the status quo of how we hear, understand, and discuss issues that involve all of us. With broadcast messaging declining and non-commercial communication increasing, we are finding connections with new people and forming new communities – along the way uncovering those things that make us more alike than different. We are able organize around different commonalities and undertsandings. It is here that we are collectively remembering that there is more to life than selling, consumption, and commercial agendas.

The hegemony of the idea gatekeepers is eroding every passing day. And it is in this sharing of stories of being human, Levar Burton says, we have an opportunity for imagination ... An opportunity to say “what if ...?”

We should not be afraid of “more accountability and integrity in our communicating.”

That, friends, is our starting point and ideal worth evangelizing.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426057 2011-01-18T13:45:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z CBO - Projected Federal Spending The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, primarily because of the rising cost of health care.

(Percentage of gross domestic product)

You solve rising Health Care costs - you solve the Budget. 

http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/health.cfm

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426062 2010-09-20T22:09:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Voter Registration I am compelled to repost these thoughts from the 2008 Presidential Election. I've registered several 1000's of voters in my lifetime. And I never did it for money. I did it because I believed in people and open ended democracy. Even more so today, I remain committed to ideals and concepts that are often bigger than the individual self.
-- Brian 
___________________________________________________________________________________________

]

I always had faith in the idea that filling the ballot box was the best way to change courses. It's hard work. It's non-violent force of collective wills.  The beauty of America is a our ability to change directions; not locked down by the baggage of history, and the trajectory of that history. Our society has a built in mechanism of change. We are not forced to keep living the errors and mistakes of the yesterday's decisions. We avoid anachronistic systems, we avoid extinction ... we change, adapt, and improve. Thesis, Anti-thesis, Synthesis.  Rinse, repeat.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426063 2010-09-19T06:58:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Insurance Company Executive Salaries 2007

This is part of what a for-profit healthcare system gets you. Behaviors are always incented to create net proft. That's expected in business - however when profit is made from reducing cost by denying  health care, what that really means is people are Broken. Here are the 2007 insurance company executive salaries:  

ANNUAL COMPENSATION 2007:

* Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834

* H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million

* David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million

* Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million

* Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529

* Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771

* Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million

* Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million

* William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass., $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits

* Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million

* James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million

* Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million

* Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million

* Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $1,061,513

* Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555

* Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825

* Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426067 2010-06-12T16:28:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z A Human Cul -de-Sac

Is this not true?

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426069 2010-05-23T18:26:01Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z I'm at www.agmuseum.us boerne tx

Lot's of old timey history here. Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426073 2010-05-23T17:02:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Texas chainsaw massacre mask made out of Tortillas

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426074 2010-03-20T15:45:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Communication as Power An observation from Desmond Tutu: "Language not only describes reality, Language creates the reality it describes."

Language is powerful. Communication is a human arrow in the quiver of power. The communication of the meaning of a reality is a powerful act. I think Marshall McLuhan had it right, the way one communicates is as important as what he communicates. How people receive information is as important as the information they receive.The medium is the message.

How does technology, web 2.0, and the cloud impact and accelerate the communication of reality, identity, culture, nationalism? What is the impact of "many to many" communication upon "one-to-one" and "one-to-many" communication? It too soon to tell the final results of how the web transforms the ways people learn, communicate, and define reality, and ultimately create meaning.

The typographic mind is fading. The story telling tribal mind is challenged. Is the group think dying? Today, the birth and death and new creation of realities is growing exponentially; Expanding and splintering at the same moment.

What holds true is this: Shared experience remains key to humanness.

Socratic method is dying. We once gathered around campfires; Jesus used parables, and so it goes...

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426075 2010-01-09T21:20:10Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Catapillar-narian

My daughter & I found a frozen caterpillar this morning. He thawed out ... and resumed eating.

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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426077 2009-12-11T00:36:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z sub-urbs growth

 

This is what my flower garden looked like 3 months ago
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Brian Johnson
tag:juanhijo.com,2013:Post/426081 2009-09-09T04:57:00Z 2013-10-08T16:53:02Z Common Sense and My Kids' Indoctrination The furor coming from right-wing camps about the POTUS speech at Wakefield High School has completely befuddled and frustrated me as a Parent, Texan and US citizen. It's as if we have allowed our common senses to be over-run by a small group spouting a vulgar coarse rhetoric. It smacks of McCarthyism and HUAC. Personally it makes me sick. It makes my bones ache. It makes me suck my teeth with disdain at those who willingly tear apart discourse, institutions, & government. Shameful. A friend, @lettergirl, wrote a blog post that captured what many of us parents have been thinking, and searching for a way to express. I have included it below along with the speech Obama delivered to American students today. May reason, civil discourse, mutual respect, and the center hold ... before we harden into rigid sides, with jaws clenched, staring into the unfamilar future of  internal dischord and looming separation. From Dawn at http://notgoingpostal.com/2009/09/07/indoctrination/

I admit it. I’m worried this week about my children being indoctrinated.

Within a mile of our house, we have a McDonald’s, a Taco Bell, Taco Cabana, KFC, Jack in the Box, DQ and a Sonic. They can sing the commercials or tell you the slogans of pretty much all of them, and know at any given time what the Happy Meal/Wacky Pack/Cabana Kids Meal prize is.

The other girls in Middle School indoctrinate my daughter about the need to be popular, the importance of names like Aeropostale, why it’s just not cool to take a shower after gym, and why having a “boyfriend” is important for a sixth-grader.

The boys in elementary school tell my son only nerds have to play E-rated video games, and tell him the Halo and Doom and Mortal Kombat are way more fun than Wii Sports.

My kids are indoctrinated by Hannah Montana, the Wizards of Waverly Place, the Transformers, Ben 10 and a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

Sure, I swim against these tides. It’s what parents do. We teach our children our values, share our wisdom, encourage them to think for themselves. I fight indoctrination tooth and nail.

But this?

Obama’s Speech to School Children

This “indoctrination?” I say this.

Bring. It. On.

Take the bully pulpit, Mr. President.

Tell my son, whose birth family was torn apart by addiction and violence, “Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.”

Tell my daughter, struggling with the pressure to conform, worried about popularity, that ”Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is,”

If their schools lack the courage to stand up to the fearmongers and won’t play your address in the classrooms, we will read it at home. Because sir, I need all the back-up I can get. We’ve got a great support system. Good neighbors, committed teachers, a church family, grandparents, lots of friends who share our values.

But if you are willing to take time away from wrestling with our nation’s present struggles, and encourage the guardians of our country’s future? Mr. President, we don’t agree on everything. But in this, you be my guest.

Indoctrinate away.

  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZZ6GrzWkw0]

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Brian Johnson