Leaning Ivory Tower

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart.  If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.”

We’ve probably all heard this famous quote before. It’s often falsely attributed to Winston Churchill. I’m not sure the originator of the quote is important, nor do I buy into it completely. I have many friends of each persuasion and I’m quite sure at the time this observation was first stated, both political orientations were quite different from today.

I do know for an absolute fact that our school systems, and especially our universities lean far, far to the left. This is probably an incredibly obvious statement to most people, but it’s the extent to which this statement is accurate that causes me concern.

My credibility on this subject is substantial. I spent way too many years as a student and an entire career teaching at several major universities. Trust me, the fix is in. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I retired sooner than I had planned. Personally a conservative, I always felt like I was part of some underground organization.

What brings up this subject today? Well, first of all, it’s been simmering in my brain for many years. Secondly, the Young American’s Foundation reported today only 1 in 7 commencement speakers invited to speak at the top 100 universities in the country is politically conservative. Shocking? Yes. I couldn’t believe there were any conservatives invited to speak.

How bad is the educational bias? Let me share my favorite, albeit somewhat dated example. One day near the end of my career while teaching at a very prestigious college, I began to notice the many pictures that had been posted all over campus. You could not walk ten feet inside or outside without seeing them. They were pictures of the communist, black panther, and former FBI top ten most wanted Angela Davis. She had been invited and was being paid a large sum of money to visit the campus and speak to the students. The build up went on for days. The students were excited, and the faculty (with at least one exception) was nearly orgasmic. On the day she arrived, classes were cancelled and professors made attendance at the event mandatory. O. K., but at least we were being fair and balanced, right? The next week I noticed Elizabeth Dole, a former cabinet member in the Reagan administration was coming to speak. When I walked into class, I asked if any students were planning to attend Ms. Dole’s presentation. There were crickets. Finally, one student asked, “Who’s Elizabeth Dole?”

Fact is, I’m more of an observer than a drum beater, but all parents and grandparents paying good money to these bastions of education should know this bias has only gotten worse through the years. Some time back, someone asked me why I stopped teaching when I did. After thinking for a moment, I responded, “Because I enjoyed teaching people how to think, not what to think.” Students today have very little choice. 

 

www.TheBestofOurLives.com

  

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Some say Mother’s Day originated in ancient Greece, still others contend it began in ancient Egypt. Regardless, this Sunday we honor moms and I wish you all a wonderful day.

For readers of this blog, you know I lost my mother two months ago. I’m still in that phase of disbelief. Just yesterday when my wife and I walked into a familiar store, she grabbed a cart in the parking lot. When I asked her why, she got teary-eyed because she realized it was something she’d always done for my mother. She would grab the first cart she saw because holding the cart helped mom walk more steadily. It’s going to take a while.

This will be my first Mother’s Day without mom. But to me, “special days” are just like any other day. It’s one of the lessons I learned from my mother. While it’s nice to celebrate certain occasions such as birthdays and other similar cultural conventions, my mother taught me to live each day with enthusiasm, love, and respect.

Growing up on a farm, life for mom was not complicated. No shrinks needed. If you encountered a problem, you dealt with it. In dealing with people, you were always to be honest, polite, and show good manners. You were to get up each day and groom yourself, whether you were going out or not. You worked hard, were loyal to family, friends, and co-workers. Mom expected the same behavior from others and truly could not understand why anyone would not follow these simple rules of life. Many times she would see or hear a story about something like someone stealing something. She could never understand why anyone would do such a thing. In recent times, she would see women wearing pajama bottoms in a store and would be embarrassed for them. She considered it to be very disrespectful and an affront to good manners.

Some might consider such a rigid approach to life as being snobbish or prudish. Quite the contrary. Mom simply lived the Golden Rule. If others did not exhibit the same sensibilities, while she didn’t understand, she still showed them courtesy and respect.

Both my mother and father lived relatively modest lives. Interestingly, through his business, my father was once offered an opportunity to make a fortune with a long-term state contract if he would secretly kick back money to a certain state official. I was a young teenager at the time, and I overheard my parent’s  conversation. Here was a man who worked two jobs for thirteen years and his wife who supported him by taking care of the kids and maintaining a wonderful household. It was their chance to grab the financial golden ring. The choice was easy. They were not going to do anything even slightly dishonest, no matter how wealthy it would have made them.

The lessons were simple, and by today’s standards, perhaps considered a bit old-fashioned and out of touch. I very lucky to have had parents like mine. 

Thanks Mom.   

www.TheBestofOurLives.com         

Warning: This Blog Could Make You Rich

Are you lucky?

 

I’m always amazed by the number of retired people who spend so much of their time gambling and looking for a pot of gold. But it’s not my place to judge. Retired folks have earned the right to spend their time any way they want to spend it.

 

To answer my own question, I’m very lucky. Not in gambling, but life in general. I grew up in a wonderful family with great parents and my personal life and family has continued to bring me great joy. 

 

Years ago, sometime back in the last century, I asked a young lady to marry me. In a moment of obvious confusion, she said yes. The night before the ceremony, my fiance and her parents, my parents and me, all went to dinner at a small Chinese restaurant. When dinner was finished I opened up my fortune cookie and the message said: “Your upcoming marriage will bring you great wealth.” I stuck the fortune in my wallet where it remained for many years. One day while at work, I took out my wallet to look for something. There was a picture of my wife and three children, and out popped the fortune with those prophetic words. I was thinking money back when I first read it, but years later I realized what it truly meant.  

 

Today, I’m actually talking money. Or maybe property or some other form of riches. Each year, millions and millions of dollars, property, etc., goes unclaimed. Years ago it was almost impossible to find out if you had a claim on such riches. In most states today, laws have been passed requiring businesses and financial institutions to submit their records to the state. Through the magic of computers we can easily determine if we have a pot of gold waiting for us.

 

Because most of my readers reside in California, I’m going to provide a link that will take only seconds to find out if you have any riches coming your way. Other readers should go to their state’s home page and look for the link to “unclaimed property.” It’s that easy. Although I wasn’t on the list, I did find a neighbor who was surprised when I told him he had about $500 coming.

 

By the way, if you do strike it rich, you know how to reach me. Good luck!

Click here: UCP Inquiry System

www.TheBestofOurLives.com