Hurricane Andrew
Since Nov 14, 2000

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I believe that the majority of the problems in our country today stem from a few key areas:

1. Lack of personal accountability. It's gotten to the point of absurdity when the media conditions us to feel pity and empathy for criminals. If people would be more responsible for their actions (or inactions) instead of looking for a handout, or someone to blame, or whatever, it would mark a great step forward for our nation.

2. Attack on and degeneration of family values. My family is unfortunately a rarity in today's society. Both my wife and I come from a "traditional" family. We both had a mother and father growing up. Now, though it is not easy, my wife is able to stay at home full time with our three children. For some strange reason, we view having two parents (married and living together) as normal. Therein lies the problem. Children growing up in one parent or no-parent households today view their situation as normal. It is quite clear that children from "traditional" families are more even tempered, perform better as a group in school, and are more successful later in life. Other attacks include the elevation of "partner" status to rival marriage as an institution, and the concept, as espoused by Hillary Clinton herself, that it takes a village to raise a child. Bull. All it takes is good parenting, solid family support, faith, and an education system that we can count on, as opposed to the one we presently have.

3. Education. Though a subset of #2, education really is a beast unto itself. Our present education system is failing. The answer for over 30 years has been simple: feed it more $$$. That has put us in the dire position we are in now. The key to fixing education lays in three areas. First, we must promote competition. Vouchers have proven to be successful virtually everywhere they have been used. Only by forcing schools to improve (or lose students and funding) will they do so. Second, we must break the chokehold that the teachers union has on education. They have systematically blocked needed reforms to protect the status quo, at the expense of our children. Third, everyone involved in education: students, parents, teachers, school boards, and states need to be held accountable for their roles in the process. Students need to learn, teachers need to teach, parents need to be involved and active participants in the process, and school boards and states need to insure that the other parties receive the tools they need, and call the parties to task when one or more fails to hold up their end of bargain.

4. A general government intrusion into all areas of society, raising the cost of government as well as decreasing personal liberties. Is there a need for the federal government? Sure there is. National defense. Interstate commerce. Immigration. Protection of civil rights. Beyond that, there are few examples of where the federal government should rear its bloated head. I could point out that we are a federal republic, and go on to rant about the concept of federalism as it pertains to state rights, the electoral process, et. al. but I think I've droned on long enough for now.