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The Hunger Games - Is the "Movie" all that? Review

the hunger games

The Hunger Games - Is the "Movie" all that, damn straight it is!
The Hunger Games, the Movie - is it all that - damn straight it is! If you go by the hoopla and the box office numbers - it's the best thing ever. I admit it, I went to see it on its first day – on the ticket line to see the movie I read about how it made $19 million during its midnight showing the night before [ impressive ]. But does this make it a great movie or just the only good thing that was available? Did the hype build up suspense and is it only the teenagers and the pre-teens that made this blockbuster turn out so big?

katniss the hunger gamesThe reason I bring it up is because the only reason why I saw this movie was: 1- It seemed action pack compared to other movies and it gave me the twilight kind of vibe [ yes I liked twilight, I favor the last three so far, but enjoyed the books more ]. 2- My daughter insisted on watching this movie over the Lorax - she is 14 what do you expect and again, she is a big fan of Twilight.

Infact my daughter has all ready caught the "The Hunger Games" craze fan daze. I remember when it was all about Harry Potter and before the Harry Potter movie series were done - here came Twilight and her attention went from Harry to Edward just like that. Now before Twilight has even shown its last movie she is a crazed fan of the Hunger Games and wants me to get her the posters, the pictures and all this other stuff [ your typical teenager ].

That is why I am wondering if the big hoopla about its opening weekend really means that it was a great movie - or just a good movie with a lot of good luck, great timing and awesome promotions?

the hunter games movieThe 'Hunger Games' devours box office with $155M opening
By Joshua L. Weinstein
"The Hunger Games" beat even the most optimistic box-office expectations in its debut weekend, grossing an estimated $155 million domestically and setting several records. Lionsgate's movie opened bigger than any movie ever to open in the period between January and April. It is the biggest non-sequel opening ever and the third-biggest movie opening ever.
More on Hunter Games Movie box office take

Well, the first thing you should know is - Yes, I liked the movie.

the hunger gamesI honestly believe it is a good movie. It gives you a little bit of everything if you think about it. It gives you a PG13 rating so all the kids can go. It gives you drama, a bit of suspense, action and The Hunger Games does a great job of trying to tug on your heart strings - you want to love the main character Katniss. The faults – yes, it has faults: they squeeze too much into The Hunger Games with little in-depth detail. They don’t really build up any of the characters, not even Katniss [ probably not enough time ].

The movie has a slow beginning [ especially if your there for the action ] and it's not because their building up a story line, because they fail to fill in all of the blanks [ if you haven't read the book, like me - you feel like you’re missing something ] - the blanks which were filled in by my daughter who only read half the book because she found it "too slow". My daughter tells me that, and I don't know if it is true, that the first two chapters of The Hunger Games is about “Katniss” in the woods hunting while trying to catch a bird - not a deer like in the movie. This is why I will probably end up reading the book, like I did with Twilight [ I want the facts, details ].

The reason I say that part of the interest in this movie comes from Twilight fans is because, let’s face it, Twilight is over. Most people have read all the books, seen all the latest movies and are moving on... Not that they won’t go to see the last Twilight movie - it's that there is nothing left and they have to cling to something new, something they know will be there next week, next year and beyond that , if only in their hearts and minds.

the hunger games

Hunger Games - Five things you should know if you have not read the Book

Ofcourse fans are fickle and some just hate it if you compare it to Harry Potter or Twilight:

Comment [ On Hunger Games ]
RickRickard
This is totally not comparable with Harry Potter. Hunger Games sucks. Mindless and violent. There has to be a lot of dedicated fans to make so much noise about this goose shit. Kids killing kids for televised entertainment in future America- not sure how this sounds good or fun.

I remember when people were all up in arms about Harry being dribble, about how it promoted witch craft or that it made no sense - that quickly changed after time.
All I can say is: it was a good movie, it could have been better – but it was good. It certainly has enjoyed a favorable time due to luck and even luckier timing, plus a great promotional build up by the masses and not just the movie promoters. Like Harry Potter, Like Bella - it will build a following - it's inevitable. If my daughter is any example of what pre-teens and young teens are like, they will flock from Twilight in droves to become ”The Hunger Games” fanatics. They will go from choosing team Edward or Team Jacob – to the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale Hawthorne. What teenage girl doesn’t love a good love triangle?
That is, until something better comes along.

Ofcourse, in my opinion – this movie does nothing to show a love triangle. Yes, you see the beginnings of” love” with Katniss and Peeta, but it only seems like a close friendship with Gale. But like I said, I haven’t read any of The Hunger Games books – so what do I know.

Inside the New 'Hunger Games' Facebook Game Hunger Games FB

Hunger Games Update: I have been informed by my daughter that Peeta was not wounded as in the movieversion; he lost his leg and was given a prosthetic leg…. I am really going to have to read the book to get the facts.

hunger games the movie

Tech is terminating Jobs, whats next?

Technology makes life easier. It lets us do more with less. But as sure as Angry Birds will divebomb pigs, technology is also always putting someone, somewhere, out of work. On my last camping vacation we stopped at a local Wal-Mart super store, to replenish our food supply. After 2 minutes online waiting for the cashier my wife says "lets go to the self serve check out line!". We were next and it was clear that the cashier was done with the customer in-front of us - so my reply was "Let's not, and lets help insure that wal-Mart employees keep their jobs". This caused the cashier to smile, I mean a large smile and she said "Thank you sir".
Technology is great, I love technology. But sadly, technology is also having a adverse effect on the economy.

Are they 'Terminating' your job?

Lots of Americans worry about workers in developing countries taking U.S. jobs. And that fear is hardly unfounded.

But as we suffer through a sluggish job market, we shouldn't forget the threats to our jobs found closer to home. Because the reasons some jobs are disappearing include your smartphone, your Kindle and a host of other cool gadgets.
One cool current technology being produced is the Google car. We've all dreamed of it - a car that drives itself.

The Google car
Google has thoroughly tested a "self-driving" car that employs a combination of lasers, software, cameras and other sensors to safely navigate highways in California. It's not science fiction anymore.

The Google car won't put parents out of work, but it will reduce the burden of one of their main tasks -- driving the kids around for activities. Over time, the system could reduce demand for truckers, cab drivers and construction equipment operators, or lower the skill set required for those jobs -- along with the pay.
12 Machines that want your job
Can you be Replaced

I remember when I was a bank teller in Green Point Brooklyn New York, I did not love my job. But when Banks started forcing customers to use ATM's by charging them a fee to use a "Human" bank teller inside the Bank - I knew the goal was to cut jobs. It was just obviouse to me. You can not even call the bank today and get a live person - you spend your first 10 to 20 minutes on the phone responding to an automated machine. And the sad part, when you do get a living breathing human being, they ask you the same darn questions the automated machine just asked you.

All these toys are great, but at what cost? My wife wants an E-reader, why? What is wrong with having a physical book? Not only do I fear the abuse of technology [ with out physical records real factual history can be changed "online" and know one would know it. ], but I also fear that our love for everything that is "tech" blinds us to the fact that we are part of the reason our fellow man lost his job, and ignorant to the possibility that you and I may be next.

Technology: the price we pay for job distruction
Economists tell us it will all work out in the end; it's part of the "creative destruction" of capitalism. They mean that technology creates more jobs than it destroys and helps everyone by making things easier.

But not so fast. Technology is creeping up the pay scale. While technologies of the past usually displaced mostly jobs that were dull, dirty and dangerous, machines are now mastering skills that used to be uniquely human. We're not far away from machines that can replace drivers, pilots and soldiers; handle the varied communications tasks performed by secretaries, customer-service workers and language translators; and even diagnose ills the way an M.D. might.

"What I'm worried about is the destruction of jobs where humans used to have an advantage," says Andrew McAfee, co-author of a book, "Race Against the Machine," that describes what's in store.
Because of the way technology picks up speed over time, this mechanized romp through our workplaces is only going to snowball. "There's going to be a lot of turbulence," predicts McAfee, an MIT professor who says he's no tech-hating Luddite. "New jobs will be created. But I am less confident that the creation is going to stay ahead of the destruction."

terminator jobsSo no, the machines aren't coming to get us like those in "The Terminator" movies. But they are being built to replace us at work.

Family camping Vacation, it's cheap & fun - Kathryn Abby Hana Park

Family Vacation, best camping, it's cheap but Fun

The best family vacation: camping also is the "cheap" way to go. As I have stated before, the best and cheapest way to have a vacation with your family [ if you really want to bond with your family ] is to go camping. Camping is the way to go, personally I have fallen in love with Kelly Park in Apopka Florida - it's a camping site with a lazy river that is fun for everyone. But ofcourse my wife wanted something different, new, interesting this year [ sounds like trouble to me ].

cheap family florida campingSo we did the research, we went online and started looking into all our options – this is where I got the idea for one of my blog post: Top ten camping campgrounds in Florida .

Where did we end up .... Kathryn Abby Hanna Park.

I being one who does not like change - after all, if it ain't broken, why fix it. But she wanted something new and she wanted to go to this special camp site. She was sold on the camp having an ice cream shop, a bike rental, a boat rental, and especially the fact that it had a beach [ ocean water, she loves the ocean - all I could think was: drown or shark attack, which one would kill me? ]

best family caping vacationBut for the love of the family [ and to preserve my sanity ] we packed up our gear, bought enough food to feed an army and got all the family together. In total it was a group of six adults and five children. This was a recipe for disaster - so I tried to plan ahead. The reason I bought food for an army was because I was taking advantage of our local grocery store deals. As I had mentioned in a prior blog post - I love deals, I especially love the "buy one get one" free deals. I figured that it would - One: save me money feeding a total of eleven people. Second: since I've never been at this campground before, I didn't know what to expect - so better to be ready and safe, rather than sorry.

First, before I continue: I admit I had fun and it was a great place to camp. It fulfilled all of my top qualifications for a great cheap family camping vacation. They had an extremely large camp site with several trails to hike and bike. I really enjoyed myself so much - but before I give away too much I want to share with you my camping emails. Yes emails.

You see, I had planned to share with you my camping experience. So every time I had a free moment I tried to send my thoughts, feelings, reactions in an email I would send myself. So I am going to try to comprise all my emails in an easy to read format that will make sense of all of my thoughts during my camping vacation when I found myself with a funny camping moment, fact, camping adventure and more. So here we go....

On our way, beginning our family vacation camping trip

cheap family camping vacationI have to bite down hard because our trip to Kelly Park Apopka Florida camping site is only about three hours away, this camp site is in Jacksonville Florida, about five long hours away from home.

Still on US 27 heading north, 30 minutes away from US 95 and it starts to rain. So far the trip only had one hiccup, some kind of traffic problem... We literally had to jump a large medium in order to turn around and take an alternate route. Currently 12:04 pm... Getting hungry and everyone in my car is talking about food... Stomach is grumbling....

( No, I was not on my cell and driving - every time traffic stopped for more than 2 minutes I wrote my email...)

Kathryn Abby Hanna Park - let's start our camping vacation.. uh?

continue: best camping, Kathryn Abby Hanna Park

Family Vacation, best camping, Kathryn Abby Hana Park

Kathryn Abby Hanna Park - let's start our camping vacation.. uh?

We arrived and after being all hyped up by my wife about all the things we can do...
I am not impressed.

family camping vacation bestThe camp site is set up for an RV and we are surrounded mostly by RV's and the camp site lot slopes down, ground a bit rocky and hard. Man I miss Kelly Park already.... The lots are small and have no cement area to park my car like Kelly Park does. Bathroom is about a 3 minute walk away which is not bad. But I was surprised to find them working on the bathroom roof [check out the pic’s], already I had my doubts. I love to camp but I need electricity, water, and decent bathrooms with showers that have hot running water.

best camping kathryn abby hanaI admit, I did enjoy the camp sites security - they even had keypad locks on the bathroom doors. Yes, the bathroom has a lock and my father in law already had to come back to get the code because he forgot it. Personally, I thought I would be the first to forget the code and have to secretly use the bushes in an.... let’s say emergency. But luckily - I never had that problem unlike my father in-law who just could not remember it with ease.

After everything my wife had sold us on - ice cream shop, a laundry mat in the camp ground camp site, that it was very disconcerting to see that the camp ground had all these things closed. Then to see roof work going on, I was starting to think this camping vacation was going to be a bust. But like I always tell my kids - It's part of the experience you remember and this is part of the camping experience.

The funny thing about all this is- believe it or not, my brother in law brought with him a fridge, a grill, a freezer, a coffee maker and even a microwave - so much for roughing it. I tell people about going camping and people think I am crazy, but when I tell them that I do not go "all natural" and need some amenities, they say "oh, that's ok". But every year we go my brother in-law brings more and more of home with us.

It's getting cool and dark, our tents are up ( that was fun ) and we still are setting up camp... This is going to make great memories and hopefully a great blog post. Till next I write.

Best Family Camping Vacation, cheap vacation good, family makes it great

best florida campingWe've been here two days and we are finding out that the basics of camping always seem to work for the kids. Say what you want to say about this place - the kids are enjoying this family vacation. The kids already know most of all the bike trails. This camp ground is large and has many trails for biking and hiking, which have color codes to indicate the difficulty of each trail - red means difficult expert trail ( you know I didn't go on those ). The hiking trails are not so bad, my kids seems to have already become familiar with most of the trails here at the camping grounds and are my personal guides. If it wasn't for them, I probably would have gotten lost on several occasions.

My wife became particularly familiar with one expert trail, she almost crashed into a tree and felt it necessary to jump off her bike in order to save her life ( according to her that is ), a few small cuts and scrapes but she was fine. Of course that did not stop her from going back for more.

The one thing I did not like ( and could not get over the whole time I was there ) were the one car lane thru out the entire camping grounds. My kids and nephews love to ride their bikes and my son who is very daring tries to keep up with his cousins who are always looking for something interesting ( a subtle way of saying dangerous) to do. So it worries me that cars come and go and have very little room to avoid the kids riding their bikes. Also, I am waiting to see what happens when two cars going opposite directions meet on this single lane road, it’s not like you have the room to let the other guy pass? I've been looking for the one way sign but judging by how everyone goes which ever direction they choose, there doesn't seem to be one. ( I was wrong, I did run into oncoming traffic and found a way to pass )

What camp ground does not have a lake

family camping vacationWhat is camping without water and a place to swim? Now the camp ground lake is large, it also has a large “don't feed the alligator, cats ( my brother in-law suggest cats means bobcats or Florida panther ), raccoon or possums” sign. So swimming in this lake doesn't look like the smart thing to do. Though I don't see how anyone could because the banks of the lake would make it impossible for anyone to get back on to shore. To me it looks more like it was drugged up this way in order to keep something from coming up on to shore ( which brings me back to looking for alligators ).

My daughter did get a glimpse of an alligator and snapped a picture, she thought it was cool - for me it was a confirmation to stay out of the lake. Which caused me much grief because; my wife wants to rent a paddle boat. It's one of those boats with bicycle pedals to make the boat go. So while from far it looks like fun ( and hard work) all I can think of is - alligator bait.

cheap family vacation campThe thing about camping is this - if you remember that the vacation is about spending time together with your family, anything can be fun. Even though we had to wait for the owners of the boat rental business to come open their shop, we spent our time playing dominos, chess and even a bit of two hands touch football.
When the owners finally arrived, I found them to be very nice people. They spoke about five different languages. The business to them was a hobby. They did this for fun and had their own business; they were professional translators for the local hospital and county courts. When they found out we spoke Spanish they wanted to know if we would be interested in working part time for them ( 30 dollars an hour, 2 hours minimum whether you worked 10 minutes or two hours, not bad. But we had to live in Jacksonville, darn ).

I tried to provide an impromptu lesson to my children, by showing my daughter how important and profitable it can be to know more than one language. These people drove a BMW and had a business as a hobby. But like most teenagers, it went in one ear and out the other.

Boat ride in the large camp ground lake

Continue: Boat ride makes camping fun

Family Vacation, best camping, it's cheap but Fun - Kathryn Abby Hana Park

Boat ride in the large camp ground lake

boating, family camping floridaWe did brave the water and ofcourse being nervous and all I had to break the tension with some funny humor. So I made the owner laugh as I explained to him I wanted the best life vest he had that would help me out float and out swim the rest of my family. What did I get? I got a vest with a whistle ( wow ). He did give my son a scare when he mentioned that the lake has a famous alligator called Bob, at first my son was excited, and then in the next moment he was asking if he could stay on the dock (you and me both kid).

florida camping vacationThe boat ride I admit was enjoyable and fun, but very hard on the legs. After some time of peddling my legs were like jelly. I was glad we decided not to pay for the use of the boat for the whole day because after two hours I was ready to drop dead ( secretly I was glad my children said that they have had enough because I didn't want to sound like a wimp .... “oh, please lets go back?”)

Why Rules are important when you go Camping - to survive your family vacation

Like all kids - vacation is just another reason to break the rules. Why is it important to where your bike helmet, because Izzy my niece crashed into a tree head on going downhill on a trail. Wow.... thank you Lord she survived that. Yet, that did not stop her from continuing to "NOT WEAR HER HELMET" as she rode her bike. Kids....... gotta love’em for their spunk.

florida camping vacation cheapOfcourse here is where I stopped sending myself emails. I was simply having too much fun, I still carried my cell phone with me to take as many pictures as I could, but I was no longer sending myself messages. We walked the beach at sun set, we rode our bikes up to the naval base [ that till then I did not know was even there ], we took the in-laws for a bike ride down the beach side as the sun set. We played dominos, chess, we – my father in-law & I, even taught my nephews and my son how to play chess and not just the basics. The family spent hours at the beach taking sun, playing with the wave board [ a failed attempt, no one could make it work].

beach camping floridaThis was the first camping vacation we didn’t go to a local restaurant to eat, we all stood in camp every day and we all took turns preparing and cooking food. It was a great time. No, it was not heaven – we had spats, some desired to do this when others wanted to do something else – but in the end we realized that we all could have fun as long as we allowed everyone to do what they wanted to do. When we remembered that the most important thing about this family camping vacation was “family”, everything always worked out for the best.

florida camping beach bestAfter all, why do we take family vacations? Why do we want to escape the hassle of work? Why do we plan to get away from it all – if not to spend that precious free time with your loved ones, your family, your children? To create the memories we will so cherish when we are old, our children will desire to recreate with their children. That is why to me, a family camping vacation is not about saving money – but more about family, about time, about memories.

camping vacation best beach

best camping vacation

family vacation best camping

Part One: Family Camping Vacation

Part two: Fun camping vacation

Tip a Server even if it was bad service? Are you obligated

Tip a Server even if it was bad service? Are you obligated

Do you "Tip a server" even if you get bad service? Are you obligated; feel pressured to tip a server who gives you bad service for fear of reprisal - like being called cheap. That is what I was faced with, I understand - If you’re at a restaurant that you frequently visit you have that fear of getting repeated bad service or worry about the quality of your food.

What I am talking about is more of something the line of this: read this example and tell me what you think?

I am walking around the mall with my wife and son, my wife decides that she doesn't want to wait until I take my son to my long standing barber, but rather she wanted to take him to cut his hair at one of these fancy hair cutting places at the mall. I lost the argument, I mean debate, and off we went.

I watch as this lady [ avoiding name of company and person just in case – being sued you know...] comes up and ask us what we need. I let my wife take the lead since it was her idea. She tells the woman what kind of cut she wants for my son and she sits him in her chair.

This is where the problem starts. My son quickly asks her why she didn't give him a booster chair and she tells him that he was a big boy. Uhm really, cause to me it look like she was having trouble even looking at the back of his head because he was shorter than the back of the chair.

To make a story short lets break it down:

tips for servers1- She was too lazy to get a booster chair for my son.

2- She cut his hair with an apparent distain??

3- I could see that she was doing a bad job.

4- A new customer walked in and asked if she can get a cut and my sons hair stylist spoke above another girl and said she would be done in a minute [ to me it looked like she still had at least 5 to 10 minutes to go to finish ].

5- She finished and started taking my son off the chair and I had to point out to my wife that there were pieces of his hair that were still undone. So my wife pointed it out and the woman said - Oh, I'll fix it [ not even a " I'm sorry" ]

6- She quickly fixes it and takes my son off the chair. I noticed she left hair on his neck and other undone things. I wanted to avoid making a scene - So, I spoke the best way I could: when she rang me up "I gave her no tip".

tips server bad obligatedAs we walked out of the parlor my wife looked at me with this surprised look and said: you didn't give her a tip? And my response was by pointing out the above for mention points. My wife seemed to agree with me and kept walking.

My wife is always big on giving a tip. She has this funny urge to be the type of person who believes you should always leave a tip because "you don't want to look cheap", even if you didn't like the service. She is somehow afraid that it’s not proper. Me, I have worked in the service industry for a long time and I give all of my customers the best service knowing full well I don’t get a tip and if offered... I have to refuse it. So why I ask, why should I be obligated to give anyone a tip for terrible service? I paid this woman $15 dollars for my son’s bad hair cut – I refuse to thank her for it by giving her a tip.

What do you think?

Study says video games are good for your brain

Study says video games are good for your brain

Video games are good for your brain- study says? Is it true, have all my years of playing video games paid off - said the old man sitting infront of his TV.
Have I been wasting my time reading books, improving my mind, to find out that "Mom" was wrong - video games are not rotting my brain? I beg to differ. First you have to understand - I Love video games, so trust me way I say: video games do not make you smart. Especially if your the kind of player [ like most are ] that buys the cheat codes to every game you've played. In fact, I believe that games have been dumb down in order to become more popular.

There is only a few handful of games I believe truly improve your brian skills, Monopoly, scrable, but best of all - Chess. But go ahead, read the article below, and read up on why I beleive Chess is the best game for you and your children to play [ as far as building brain power goes ].

Study says nonviolent video games are good for your brain

brain training good games
Go ahead, launch another Angry Bird. According to research cited in the Wall Street Journal, frequent gaming can improve everything from decision-making processes to your ability to multitask. In addition, a study of 491 middle schoolers "found that the more children played computer games" the better they performed on creativity tests. That's not to say that their findings were all One Ups and bonus rounds; studies do show that violent games can negatively affect brain function. "There has been a lot of attention wasted in figuring out whether these things turn us into killing machines," analyst Joshua Lewis said. "Not enough attention has been paid to the unique...features that videogames have outside the violence."

Why Chess is the best Game for the Brain

There are a lot of reason why chess is great for the brain.

brain training games goodChess in my opinion is a game of stragity, decision making, fact checking and even bluff. Believe it or not you have to not only read the moves but also the person making the moves. It creates an opportunity for children who are learning the game to think out side the box. I once explain to a student who was in the school chess club that the reason I won our game was becuase I was willing to sacrifice several peices in order to set him up for the fatal blow. The concept of sacrafice went over his head, but he soon got the idea.

Chess is called the thinking mans [ woman ] game becuase you have to think about every move you make and that of your opponent. You have to form a plan, remember the plan, be willing to change and formulate a new stragidy in order to win. To top that all off, you have to remember where all the peices are, forget to make one step in your planned moves and you lose a vital peice or the entire game. It's a game that requires thought, brain power, and like any muscle - the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

Lets show some studies, I will keep it brief.

In a 1973-74 Zaire study conducted by Dr. Albert Frank, employing 92 students, age 16-18, the chess-playing experimental group showed a significant advancement in spatial, numerical and administrative-directional abilities, along with verbal aptitudes, compared to the control group. The improvements held true regardless of the final chess skill level attained.

fun brain training games videoIn a 1974-1976 Belgium study, a chess-playing experimental group of fifth graders experienced a statistically significant gain in cognitive development over a control group, using Piaget's tests for cognitive development. Perhaps more noteworthy, they also did significantly better in their regular school testing, as well as in standardized testing administered by an outside agency which did not know the identity of the two groups. Quoting Dr. Adriaan de Groot: ...``In addition, the Belgium study appears to demonstrate that the treatment of the elementary, clear-cut and playful subject matter can have a positive effect on motivation and school achievement generally...''

In a 1977-1979 study at the Chinese University in Hong Kong by Dr. Yee Wang Fung, chess players showed a 15% improvement in math and science test scores.
A four-year study (1979-1983) in Pennsylvania found that the chess-playing experimental group consistently outperformed the control groups engaged in other thinking development programs, using measurements from the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

The 1979-1983 Venezuela ``Learning to Think Project,'' which trained 100,000 teachers to teach thinking skills and involved a sample of 4,266 second grade students, reached a general conclusion that chess, methodologically taught, is an incentive system sufficient to accelerate the increase of IQ in elementary age children of both sexes at all socio-economic levels.

So yes, I love video games. I became enthrawld with video games the first time I sat down to play "The Legend of Zelda". The game required you not only to kill the enemy but to solve puzzles, accumulate clues and more. Yes, I love video games - But no, I do not believe they help the brain - at least not most of todays video games. I play video games for fun - I teach my children chess to improve their mind.

Msn.com Video games good for brain

Want to fix Marriage, we might want to fix the economy first

If we want to fix marriage and the decline of marriage, we might want to start by fixing the economy. Now that sounds like an interesting article and topic.

For Richer or Poorer
By Rana Foroohar

Social issues, particularly the economics of marriage and childbirth, have been major themes in the Republican primary races. As Charles Murray's much-talked-about book Coming Apart points out, marriage is becoming a luxury good: Well-educated rich people get married and stay married. Most of the rest of the population doesn't. This, along with a spate of studies about the growing number of low-income, single-parent families, has spurred a debate about whether government should push marriage as a poverty-elimination tool. But is it really that simple? To quote Beyonc, would poverty go away if we "put a ring on it"?
Statistically it's true...
In the TIME magazine March 12, 2012 issue

Excuse me if I start by saying - it's left wing tripe. The article was interesting at first until they started backing away from the obvious truths that they desperately tried avoid. The article starts off with this title "For Richer or Poorer. If we want to fix marriage, we might start by fixing the economy" . I thought it sounded interesting and I wanted to see what their point would be. After all, marriage is more than money and is a very complex issue to deal with and the statement seems to sum up the solution as being: jobs?

They make mention that statistically people who have finished high school and are married are less likely to be poor. Then they bring the issue of unmarried people and children born out of wedlock - marriage declining: that the percentage of children being born out of wedlock is 41% overall and 53% for women under 30.

Quote: "it's not unusual for a single or cohabiting parent to have three partners over the course of five years and multiple children with different partners. Forget about the moral judgment; the issue is that this rotating cast of characters can create complexity and volatility in the lives of these families."

Excuse me, how can you forget about "Morals"? Morals, as not to sound religious - let’s say a standard, is what tells people that they should get an education before they marry, get jobs and save before they have kids, and live by the old adage "until death do ye part". Morals, is what defines a man and why he will not abandon his children. Morals, is what tells a mother - let me think of my children first because they need me and I brought them into this world. Morals, is what a man and a woman have, need in order to wake up every day as they struggle, scrape and fight to keep their family together moving forward. Morals, like the one that says "love your fellow man', how about loving your spouse enough not to cheat on them? Loving your children enough not to abandon them? Morals, a standard that goes against what we have today: It's all about me or the highway.

The article mentions that poverty is another cause why marriage is in decline today. That people who struggle day in and day out and are constantly on the edge are more likely to fall over that edge. It makes me wonder, this will strike you as offensive, but poverty and hardship use to keep people together, after all, there is strength in unity.

Poverty can cause stress, it can bring a family close to the edge of destruction - but it is not the reason why families fail, why husbands leave, why wives crumble. Look back in history and you will find people that lived thru extreme poverty, here comes the offensive part, there have been slaves who struggled more than you and I will ever struggle but they survived together. Families that were torn apart by slavery and found their way back together. Families like say, the pilgrims who found themselves in a foreign country, fighting against hunger, death and so much more. Black, red, or green - history shows us of not only individuals but entire families and nations that faced insurmountable odds placed against them and "they stood together".

Israel is a people that faced genocide, loss of country and loss of national identity. Look at them now, a nation once again. Why do I bring them up? What does a nation have to do with marriage? Because they had a belief, a code, a standard, that kept them together. That gave them strength to carry on when everything and everyone said give up. A marriage only works if you have morals, a code, standards - I will not cheat, I will not abandon my children, I will not let my family go hungry. I will work the lowliest job there is, if it feeds my kids. I will love, respect, honor my spouse even if the neighbor talks nice to me.
Do you want to know what the articles solution to fixing marriage was?

The solution was:

"What does help create stable families? Birth control - because three quarters of births outside marriage are unintended, according to sociologist Jennifer Manlove of child trends,..."

The solution to fixing declining marriage in our nation is: Birth control?
So we forget about morals, about a code, about holding up a standard of right and wrong and we hand out condoms? That is how you get people to stay married, honor marriage, stay and care for their kids - by offering safe sex? Contraception may reduce childbirths but it won’t fix divorce rates or build stronger unions. I saw a documentary on TV in 2011 how Japan was struggling with the decline of their population. Children were not being born, they spoke about how play grounds were empty in most of Japan - but they never said this helped keep marriages together?
The reason my father abandon his family was because he was a coward. It was not poverty that drove him away and it was not my mother. You ask how I know. Because when he left us he went and took care of another man’s children, that is right, he left us and went and cared for another family. How do I know it wasn't because of my mother, because many years later when I was older he wanted to leave the woman he was with to return to my Mother? It wasn't poverty, struggle, it was cowardice, lack of morals. It is always easier to do the wrong thing, than to struggle doing what is right. That is why we cannot forget about morals, why we need to have a sense of right and wrong - in order to live better we need a standard of conduct.

The article goes on to end with this statement:

"There simply aren't as many steadily employed, marriageable men as there used to be, so women - particularly poorer ones - end up going it alone."
Remember the good old days; you know the days when there were a lot of good hard working marriageable men around???? Could it be, that the lack of morals, the lack of the sense of right and wrong that has diminished in our nation is what caused an increase in this "lack" of good men. Oh, and lets not forget good women as well. The article is written by a women so I understand why she throws the blame on men - but, if a women let’s say, got an education, poor or rich, she found work so she can be independent and say, refused to have sex before marriage..... What are the odds she would become an unwed mother?

I know, I over simplified the facts, but believe it or not - more women, according to the article are having children out of wed-lock before they are even 30.
Morals, a standard, a code, something that says - this is right and this is wrong. No, I am not saying life is as simple as right and wrong, but it is does make it a lot easier. My mother never re-married, she made her life all about her kids. She had many opportunities to escape the harsh reality that was her life and say "forget my children, I deserve a life", but she didn't. Isn't that the model of most mother’s day card messages - how mom has done [sacrificed] so much. Isn't that the model message of most father day cards - how dad has been there for me through thick and thin.

I wake up every day and I tell my kids what not to do and what they should do. I tell them to go to school and learn, stay out of trouble, eat right, exercise, study, learn how to work smart and if need be, how to work hard. Never be ashamed of doing what is right. Why, because I love them and I want a better life for them. I hope and pray they avoid my mistakes, become better than I could ever be, surround themselves with good people and marry someone who knows what is right and what is wrong. Why? Because life is difficult and their morals, their standard, their code is what will help them be better people. My mother, like all mothers had this saying: tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are. I guess in this day and age according to the article, the saying probably goes like this: ignore right from wrong, just carry a condom.
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