Last weekend, most of us in the United States had set our clocks forward one hour for our springtime jump into Daylight Saving Time (DST).
We will stay in this mode for seven months, at which time we will “fall” back to “normal time.”
This means that every man, woman, and child in the US will realize an annual time savings of exactly—zero.
That’s right; it is a gross misrepresentation that Daylight Saving Time actually saves time. All it does is shift the clock setting forward one hour so that dusk has the allusion of being delayed. Of course, the tradeoff for this is that dawn likewise seems to arrive one hour later. So on one end, we seemingly have more time to play and on the other side, more time to sleep in. Yeah, right!
The result is that no time is created or lost in the process, merely the perception by some that they actually gained something through this temporal sleight of hand.
So, what will you do with all this extra time that you save?
That doesn’t mean we need to actually hear and consider every voice, but it does mean we need to show respect. Our freedom of speech doesn’t permit us to yell louder than someone else, shouting them down and thereby denying them their right to speak.
Sadly, I see this happening today, especially when the voice is advocating something unpopular or a “politically incorrect” view.
We are beginning to lose sight of all that freedom of speech entails. And if that happens completely, we might lose even more, including the very right itself.
[Freedom of Speech is provided for in Article 1 of the Bill of Rights.]
Several years ago, the United States made a concerted political push to increase home ownership rates. The idea was to help renters become buyers. Politicians argued this would have many benefits for those who made the jump. This included an increased standard of living, greater self-esteem, and financial security (by building up equity). As a result, many people who shouldn’t have bought houses, were pushed into doing so.
This was exacerbated by some lenders who got greedy, sub-prime loans, and the assumption that balloon payments would not be a problem. The belief was that the housing bubble would not collapse. We now know that these forces conspired together to create a perfect storm for economic disaster.Should everyone really have a college education? Click To Tweet
We now know the truth, not everyone should own their home.
A Free College Education
It seems that the political emphasis has switched from owning your own home to getting a college degree. Indeed the current mantra is “free college education for everyone.” Never mind that not everyone is college material.
Some need to pursue a trade, join the service, or directly enter the workforce. Sending the ill-equipped, the unmotivated, and or uncaring to college will do nothing to make them better. But attending will saddle them with student loans. It will also harm the overall learning opportunities offered at the institutions they attend.
In addition, if everyone obtained a college degree, then those seeking to distinguish themselves will feel a push into grad school. Indeed some fields are already like that.
If this effort to send everyone to college succeeds, the result will not be them getting a better job, but merely an upward push on required qualifications, as well as more money spent on schooling and increased student debt.
It will only be a matter of time before the college bubble bursts—just like the housing bubble before it.
Ten years ago I tangentially touched on the abortion topic. I didn’t address it head on—and won’t be doing so today, either.
Although some people are ambivalent towards the subject, most have pronounced and decided opinions on the matter. Both sides of this volatile issue have been known to take determinedly dogmatic and militant stances. Just throw out the “A” word in casual conversation—and then duck, because someone will start slinging something, be it hurtful words, strong rhetoric, or pure invective.
The issue is currently too emotionally charged to conduct a cogent conversation, so with words seemingly inadequate to win over the opposition, the prudent course of action is often silence. Each side is convinced that the other is ignorantly wrong and hopelessly barbaric. Unfortunately there is apparent truth to that, even if only in media sound bites and the fanatical fringe—which is present in both groups.
These future historians will look back, concurring with one side and condemning the other. They may uphold the pro-choice group with the same applause as those who promoted civil rights or salute the pro-life group with the same reverence as those who opposed the Holocaust and genocide. And when they do, whatever they decide, public opinion will line up squarely and smartly behind their conclusion.
I know what I want their verdict to be, but I’m not sure if they will agree. Only time will tell.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night.
Ask someone who is “pro-life” what that means and he or she will most likely say they are against abortion. True, but what else? If pressed, they may also mention opposition to euthanasia.
That seems a lot like someone claiming to be a “music lover,” but who only listens to classical music—how limited and shortsighted. Can anyone truly be a music lover if they only experience a small segment of all things musical?
To truly be pro-life seemingly means to affirm all life and seek to improve the condition of all people.
Historically, the Republican Party has been preferred by the traditional pro-life crowd. However, given the preceding holistic, expanded definition of pro-life, it is the Democrats who are more fully addressing the majority of these life issues. For people who like convenient labels, this really confuses the issue.
With temperatures in the unseasonably low seventies, it seems like an opportune time to talk about global warming, which frankly, I don’t buy. I know, it’s not PC (politically correct) to assert that global warming is a scam, but I dare to. Some people who have carefully studied the facts have concluded that global warming is not the threat that others, such as Al Gore, claim it to be, however, am not one of those people. Instead, I base my assessment on two simple anecdotal conclusions:Yes, the global temperature does change. Sometimes it trends down; sometimes it trends up. Click To Tweet
1) When I was in elementary school, the big threat was the “coming ice age.” It was predicted that Michigan, were I live, would be covered with several hundred feet of frozen snow and ice as the glaciers pushed south. They warned that we would need to take action to avoid freezing to death. Now forty years later, that is a ludicrous alarm.
Yet seemingly it was the same logic of analyzing temperature fluctuations that projected an ice age then as is pointing to global warming now. I don’t think a forthcoming ice age is any more realistic than the ocean rising 100 feet and obliterating landmasses.
2) The scientific community relies on grant money—especially so when their research has no foreseeable economic upside. The people who receive the most grant attention are those who study alarming things (such as the effects of global warming) and not so much those whose work won’t be newsworthy (such as cooling the warming hype ). Given the competition for grants, the more dire warnings will tend to be awarded more money. It’s basic human nature at work. And for all those who think scientists are purely logical and their work is strictly scientific, remember that they are just people trying to earn a living like that rest of us.
Yes, the global temperature does change. Sometimes it trends down; sometimes it trends up. But catastrophe is not around the corner. It wasn’t 40 years ago and its not now.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it—at least until I’m covered with water—or ice.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night.
Winter, as measured by the amount of snow and extreme cold, has dragged on for too long. I’m ready for spring. A milestone that signals the approaching of a new season is the annual switch to daylight saving time (DST). In case this isn’t on your calendar, get ready. It occurs in a few days, this year on March 9 (if you’re in the US), when we spring forward one hour.
However, aside from a reminder of spring’s approach, I have no other affection for daylight saving time. Consider:
It’s a Misnomer: We don’t really save daylight; we just alter our perception of when it occurs. Incredibly, some people actually believe this gives them an extra hour of daylight each day.
It Wastes Time: We spend too much time changing our clocks.
It Costs Money: Businesses must pay someone to reset clocks, adjust equipment, correct payroll issues for people working during the time change, and so forth. This is an added business expense.
It’s Frustrating: I always seem to miss a clock or two. Sometimes it’s a week or more before I discover my error, but never until after I’ve had an initial panic that I’m late or messed up my schedule.
It Confuses People: After each biannual time change, invariably someone arrives at church at the wrong time. I’m sure it happens at work, too, especially on Sunday shifts.
It Takes Time to Adjust our Internal Clocks: Switching time, messes up our sleep; it takes up to a week for me to return to normal.
It’s Dreaded: I’ve never met a person who looked forward to changing time, but I know many people who complain about it.
While many, myself included, have advocated we skip this twice a year nonsense and pick one time, I have an even better idea: let’s pick one time for the entire world. After all, we live in a global world and should be in sync with each other.
Let’s all switch to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), also known as Zulu time. Then it will be the same time everywhere, with no confusion about time zones. No longer will we need to ask, “Is that 3:00 your time or mine?” There will be no errors in adjusting for meetings, conference calls, or deadlines with those in other time zones.
This will, of course, require a significant mental adjustment, but we’d only need to do it once. If my calculations are correct, that means I’d get up at 10:00 a.m. (not 5); eat lunch at 5:00 p.m. (not noon), my workday would end at 10:00 p.m. (not 5), and bedtime would beckon at 3:00 a.m. (not 10).
Of course, while we’re at it, we could also switch to a 24-hour clock and forgo the a.m. and p.m. notations.
The Presidential election in the United States is over. I, for one, am glad. The political phone calls, mailers, and ads now reside in our rear view mirrors.
Given the closeness of the outcome, I suspect about half of the people are rejoicing over the results and the other half, mourning.
For those with me in this second group, I offer three responses:
Respect the office of the President: Be glad for an elected president to lead us, not a dictator who controls or a king to serve.
Respect the person of the President: This doesn’t require affirming or even accepting his political views. Though often hard for me to comprehend, I see no evil or selfishness in our President, but a principled man doing what he feels is best.
Determine to be part of the solution, not part of the problem: With many issues needing attention, divisiveness must be set aside. Those who came up on the losing side can opt to be angry and obstruct progress or make the best of the situation, helping our country move forward.
I, for one, will view the glass as half-full — and hope not to be proven wrong.
Today is the primary election in Michigan. Though the presidential primary was so long ago as to be unmemorable, the rest of the offices are under consideration now.
The positions in the US Congress and state level are contested by both parties, but the local offices are the sole domain of one party. The other party has nary an entrant. That means whoever wins the primary will be a sure thing in this fall’s election.
In our contested US house race the incumbent must have been concerned. It seems we were getting one piece of mail a day from him — and on several days, two. He ran a highly negative campaign and his challenger did not. For that reason I voted for his challenger.
On a personal note, my bride decided to run to be a county delegate. There was some excitement when she expressed interest, as apparently our area often goes without. And the ballot reflected that reality. The instructions were to “vote for not more than eight” — and hers was the only name listed.
I’m quite sure she’ll make it.
Even so, on Monday she passed out fliers to 28 neighbors.