Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Motivated or Self-Medicated?

I am angry! Last night I watched the movie Murderball, which is a documentary style story about wheelchair bound paraplegics who compete in Olympic level wheelchair rugby. Quoting from the DVD cover, “fierce rivalry, renewal of the human spirit and larger-than-life personalities, Murderball is courage redefined.” The movie is 86 minutes of telling the stories of men who became paraplegics due to accident or disease and who compete better than they could if they were fully-abled. The story revolves around the USA team and the coach of the Canadian team, who abandoned the US when he could no longer make the cut for the US team.

After the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat on the field of play, the last scenes of the movie depict the team at a US military rehabilitation center where they introduce wheelchair rugby to our troops made paraplegic in Iraq. You see the same determination and drive of the human spirit in the faces of our injured military personnel. America’s best; missing or useless limbs and still moving forward.

But, why I am angry? It’s because there is a significant segment of fully-abled in our society which is totally opposite to the paraplegics described above. They are a parasitic drain on society. They lack motivation, drive, education, work ethic, and productive values. They are swirling around in an entitlement driven cesspool of drugs and criminal activity.

Within the last two weeks, I’ve watched as youth and young adults trudged in and out of a house where you can purchase methamphetamine. There were a half-dozen present when we served the search warrant, including a 17 year old girl complete with the requisite pierced lip and nipples. She was holding the dope and money for the dealer. She had just gotten out of juvenile hall for possession of another “friend’s” handgun, which of course was stolen property. Each of the half dozen in the location was a tweaker (meth user), and they all appeared to have mental diminishment.

Two nights ago I attended the searching of a vehicle driven by a seventeen year old male arrested for selling ecstasy. His clients: probably mostly youth and young adults.

Yesterday, I participated in the perimeter containment of a residential area as officers searched house to house for the remaining suspect in a home invasion robbery. Two young adults, armed with handguns, invaded the home of an elderly woman and her son, and tied them up with duct tape. When the scum bags failed to find what they wanted, they cut loose the male from his bondage with the intention of taking him to an ATM to withdraw money. Their plan went in the bucket when they stepped out of the house and ran into the officers.

I am angry at the still vivid scenes in my mind of mass personal and societal dysfunction in New Orleans after Katrina with the acknowledgement that similar entitlement driven environments exist in every big city.

Poverty has always been with us. While poverty is linked to crime and drugs, it is not causative. It is a lack of positive personal values which is causative. A goodly portion of our youth is entering adulthood without the prerequisite characteristics and preparation to become productive members of society.

It is not the responsibility of government to prepare children for life, but rather the responsibility of parents. Parents must present a child with a loving, supportive environment and present a properly prepared child ready to be formally educated by government schools. Government, in general, has tried to assist, but has failed miserable. It is ironic that the very governmental efforts intended to help have exacerbated the conditions. That’s because government has chosen the technique of entitlement, which undermines personal responsibility.

There is definitely something wrong with familial/social & political systems that encourage and facilitate the devolution of core personal values necessary for a healthy and dynamic society. The various welfare entitlement programs and a deteriorating family structure is sucking out vitality and fueling a growing dependent, parasitic, and often criminal underclass.

The human spirit can be strong and produce productive citizens despite horrendous adversity. Or, it can be weak and produce dependent, non-productive, self-medicating failures. Society needs parents to be both responsible role models and tough-minded teachers. There is the primary rub. We have a failure in the family. Garbage parenting will produce more of the same.