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Authors Who Avoid Hasty Conclusions

Much of the information that we encounter, especially via the internet, is only partially true, if not completely bogus

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So much of the information that we encounter today, especially via the internet, is only partially true, if not completely bogus. As such, I admire the work of selected authors over the past few decades. They remind me to check out what seems to be common knowledge, for the truth the lies beyond it:

Self-help author Denis Waitley observed Albert Einstein always scored quite well in math and science. Some “historians” noted that his top grade of six on a scale of one to six dropped to a level of one from one year to the next, and they arbitrarily assumed he had started to flunk those courses. The school had reversed its grading system, however, to make the highest grade a one instead of a six.

For decades, no one had bothered to examine the original “evidence” leading to the proclamation that Einstein was an academic failure.

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Pop Trends

In her book, Backlash, author Susan Faludi told how “pop” market forecasters made a fortune by reviewing popular media, such as newspapers, television, movies and so forth, and then concluding what trends are looming in America. The extreme fallacy with this method of forecasting, Faludi noted, is that it tends to promulgate that which only a handful of editors, publishers and directors believe or perpetrate. No hard data supports the “forecasts.”

One such forecaster was credited with coining the term “cocooning” for the 1980s, where working men and women, particularly women, decided to spend more time in the household. Faludi shows that the assertion has no relationship to U.S. Department Bureau of Labor Statistics that indicated an increase in the number of women in the workforce and in the time each spent outside the home.

Nevertheless, corporations paid hefty sums to be told where we were all headed next. Because many other factors can obscure results, if the predicted “trend” then doesn’t help the corporate customer, it is rarely linked back to the forecaster. Such companies would do better, observed Faludi, to simply consult the U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other sources that independently collect data, presumably with no bias.

Dastardly Dads?

Faludi also uncovered this: The “fact” that an epidemic of divorced fathers refused to pay child care, which is a falsehood that distorted reality for decades. According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, the great majority of fathers with joint custody of their children – nearly 90% – paid their entire support obligation, in full and on time. Some 80% of fathers with visitation privileges, but not joint custody, paid regularly. Only when the courts deprive fathers of both custody and access do support levels drop to under 50%, the figure mistakenly attributed to all fathers.

Despite the strong correlation between a man’s ability to have joint custody or visitation with his children and his willingness to make regular support payments, most legislators and judges didn’t seem to see it. Their automatic and immediate response in cases of nonpayment was to blame the male, instead of enforcing the man’s right to visit his children and encouraging father-child relationships.

By continuing to make the majority of child custody awards to women, the courts systematically disregarded the role fathers played and all but ensured that the children would have adjustment problems. Even if a man legally wins visitation rights, his ability to visit his kids isn’t guaranteed. Judges don’t often put uncooperative mothers in jail. So, fathers end up going to court repeatedly – a costly venture. Sometimes after many attempts to visit their children, some fathers withhold support payments to force what the courts will not.

The media, charging to no one’s rescue and in search of thirty second sound bites, label such fathers as deadbeat, or worse. Hence, the widespread misconception about the true nature of what’s going on in this critical arena continues even to this day.

Abounded Influence

In his acclaimed 1990 book, Agents of Influence, author Pat Choate debunked the myth that the Japanese, as a whole, significantly contributed to the development of innovation and technology as evidenced by their annual lead in the number of U.S. patents they had filed and obtained. As Choate explained, the Japanese tilted the economic playing field, via the ruthless art of “patent flooding.”

When a U.S. firm, for example, applied for a patent representing an innovation on which the Japanese wanted to capitalize, Japanese firms issued a flurry of patent applications that surrounded the technology at hand. Thus, the original developer or inventor could not market his invention  without getting clearance from the Japanese, who could tie up an invention in the courts simply because they held nuisance patents for a component or contributing element to the major patent.

After decades of such tactics, and with China included as a leading culprit, the U.S. government still has failed to install comprehensive, necessary protections to safeguard the toil and genius of the original American patent applicant. As such, our government has unwittingly contributed to the redistribution of billions of dollars in royalties and revenues to others.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Family

I’ll Be Home for Thanksgiving

Where we are born, where we are raised, and where we return for Thanksgiving is based on a long-term chain of events that vastly predates our birth

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Years ago, when my mother was still alive and I routinely flew up to Connecticut from Washington DC for Thanksgiving, I had a profound realization during one of my flights. My father had passed away years ago, but my mother carried on the tradition of having the kids assemble at her house for turkey and all the fixings.

My plane ride that morning was actually on Thanksgiving Day, which stood out when I made the reservation as the best and least expensive flight. Surprisingly the cabin was not crowded, I guess because nearly everyone else who travels for the holiday departs a day or two before Thanksgiving. In any case, departing the ‘morning of’ can be a welcome change.

Ruminating in the Clouds

During the flight I became pensive. “I’m flying back to Hartford, Connecticut. Why?” Because that is where my parents settled, after a courtship that started when they first met in New London years back. My mother was from Springfield, Massachusetts and my father was from Hartford, Connecticut. As a family, after living in Hartford for a few years, we moved to Bloomfield, Connecticut.

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On Thanksgiving, among others times, I would land at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, be greeted by my mother, and then make the drive 15 to 18 minutes back to Bloomfield.

What if, I surmised, after meeting in New London, Connecticut my parents settled in, say, Providence, Rhode Island, or Cincinnati, Ohio? What if I’d been born to other parents? (Yes, I understand the intricacies of following that line of thinking.) What if my family was from Decatur, Illinois, or Paducah, Kentucky, or any one of 100s of other places? If so, on this particular morning, I’d be flying to one of those locations. That got me to thinking about the fragility and randomness of life.

A Chain of Events

To whom we are born, where we are born, where we are raised, and where we return for Thanksgiving is based on a long-term chain of events that predates our birth not just by years or decades, but by centuries and more. I was thankful to be flying back to Connecticut to see my mother, brother, and sister and at the same time realized that everyone on the flight, more or less, shared fairly similar circumstances.

We were all flying to Bradley International Airport, but for a quirk of fate, or happenstance, any of us could’ve been flying to Altoona, or Annapolis, or Austin.

Unlike most flights that I take, on that particular journey, at that time in the morning, I felt a kinship with everyone on board. I was thankful for my life, thankful for my family, and thankful for the opportunity and ability to travel to where I choose. What an experience, what a world, what an existence.

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Elections

Living in the USSA, United Socialist States of America

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Living in the USSA toady is not that different than living in Soviet Russia during part of the last century. Technology and terms may have changed but the results are the same. We have been reduced to a bleak existence controlled by faceless and nameless unelected bureaucrats. We move from our thankless jobs to our regulated hovels always trying to get one step ahead of our bills. Our elected officials, not affected by the decisions they hand down don’t seem to care about the people they claim to represent.

We can look at different slices of life in the USSA and compare them to life under socialist and communist regimes. These changes have been years in the making and have collimated in our life as we know it.

Media: There was a time when Pravda was derided and laughed at for misleading the people of Russia. Today we have MSNBC, CNN, CBS, New York Times and almost all news media seems to be arms of the democrat party. Sometimes their reporting is word for word from press releases issued from the White House. Even Hollywood and social media have jumped on the band wagon. Name one movie today that doesn’t preach some woke political message or show a world that only exists in a socialist fantasy world. Social media when it was found to bind citizens together has been purged of any original thought.

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Small Business: The only small businesses to thrive under communist and socialist rule are those of the underground economy. Under communism all business are owned by the state, under socialism they are regulated to the extent the owners are just figureheads. Opening your own business to be your own boss or the master of your own fate is an outdated concept in the USSA. Today after you apply for your permits and licenses you are told what you can sell, who you can hire, how much you must pay, where you can sell and make sure to collect the vig for the government if you are successful. It’s the main reason legal pot sales in California have not driven out the illegal sales. (Illegal sales)

Private property: Think you own your home after you satisfy your mortgage? Try not paying your property taxes. We don’t even get a say on how that money is spent or we are labeled domestic terrorists. To support the education cabal we pay more today in taxes than our parents paid in mortgage. Don’t forget all the rules and regulations that have been imposed. Want to make any changes? Make sure to contact the local bureaucrat for permission. Live near a designated wetland or home to an endangered rat species, forget about it.

Freedom of Speech: You are free to say what you want as long as you don’t use certain words that your race is not permitted to. Feel free to express yourself as long as you don’t offend any one of the 4 hundred million persons living in the United States. It’s even worse if you are not part of the protected class. Things uttered 10 or 20 years ago can still be held against you. You won’t be sent to the gulag but you will end up in the poor house if they still existed.

Medical: Ever since Obamacare moved medical records to on line, nothing is private. We can see how this has been weaponized with the push for vaccines. If you tell your Doctor you refuse to get the vaccine for whatever reason there is a special code for you. If your doctor inquiries about a firearm in the home another special code. Codes for your race, sex, and orientation. Any doctor or nurse that dares to contradict the vaccine narrative will be punished. Try to get a medical exemption for the clot shot these days and see how it goes.

Our representatives: In Soviet Russia the leaders have the best of everything including apartments, food, transportation and even summer dacha’s to remove themselves from the urban blight. Here in the USA we have an abundance of homeless, and college graduates living with mom and dad since the median home price has reached $375,000. But as a public “servant” you can purchase a modest million dollar get away from your constituents.  The Obama’s who claimed to be broke at the 2004 democrat convention. Today he lives in a 15 million dollar beach front, primarily white Martha’s Vineyard. Nancy Pelosi considering retirement does not want to live in the state she represented for 34 years. Nope, too many taxes and regulations and illegals. She picked up a little summer cottage for a mere $25 million in the trendy exclusive Jupiter Island. Our current world punch line of a president Biden has amassed quite a portfolio of real-estate in his home state of Delaware.

So here we are. Our rights have been slowly chipped away until the Wuhan flu was the opportunity to see how far we would be pushed. Elections used to have consequences but now our representatives no longer fear the ballot box. They have that covered. Our representatives no longer represent us but themselves and their friends and donors. They think they are our leaders. The department of Justice is now no longer protecting the nation but only those in charge. If it wasn’t for the second amendment they would be putting all their political opponents in gulags and smile while they did it. It has affected each and every one of us. We are becoming what we used to laugh at. There is an old Russian joke about  A man waits in line at the butcher shop, when he gets to the counter he inquires if they are out of fish. The proprietor informs him he is in the wrong place, across the street is the store that is out of fish.

The goal of socialism is communism.

 

Vladimir Lenin

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