Family Man

Father Holding Daughter's Hand
Photo by Spirit Fire

I have decided to more completely dedicate myself to my family and nothing else and to do so in an orderly fashion. A thought struck me again about how much more I noticed and recorded in my kids’ lives years ago so that my younger kids have almost no record and the older kids have no recent record. I decided that in order to fix that I would need to spend more focused time with each of the kids. That’s tough to do since things are so busy but I need to do it so I have decided that I will carve out half an hour each day Monday through Thursday to spend with one child. That will allow me to have time with each of my children regularly. On Fridays that equivalent time would be folded into date night (date night is longer than 30 minutes of course). Saturday I will carve out some dedicated time to working on some project around the house (there’s always something that has been neglected which that time could be used for) and then Sunday is dedicated to spiritual pursuits.

How to schedule this in is the real trick. I already get up and do any exercise and study before I go to work which I do before anybody else is up for the day. (Sometimes my oldest will be up reading or one of my younger boys will be up asking for a snack as I run out the door.) Once I get home from work I have to make dinner, feed the family, and do the dishes before getting people to bed. Somewhere in that time I need to allow the rest of the family to coast unsupervised while I create a bubble of attention around the child of the day. We can do an activity, work on homework, or talk during that time.

I hope that the dedicated half hour will help me be more perceptive and have things to record about each child more regularly. I created a rotation that would feel somewhat random to the kids but make sure that they each got regular attention within each cycle. I started this last week and have had time with most of the kids by now and I believe this will yield the results I have been hoping for. A few more cycles should make it obvious but already I can see that the kids are anxious to have time with me rather than seeing me as the big bad ogre all the time.

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Net Neutrality vs Open Infrastructure

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Image by Steve Rhodes

Adam Kenigsberg did a very brave thing in posting a case against Net Neutrality and inviting his friends to “start a vigorous debate in the comment thread.” As someone who has long been interested in Net Neutrality and who has vacillated between favoring it, opposing it, and being undecided about it I was interested in what would follow before I even saw the comment thread.

Notes and Context

The case against Net Neutrality was written by David Veksler who has written quite a number of interesting cases for and against a variety of things. If you enjoy thoughtful consideration of issues his cases deserve a look. I wanted to make that clear lest anyone think that my deconstruction of his case indicated any lack of respect for his approach to this or any other topic. I would also note that his case was written more than 7 years ago. Much has changed about the internet and the surrounding industries in that time. For example, AOL was still merged with Time Warner at the time and Facebook had been open to the public for less than a year and wouldn’t have its IPO for another five years after this case was published. Continue reading

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Promiscuity Culture is a War on Women

EoS

In a mere seven sentences, the latter part of this article exposes how a culture of promiscuity constitutes a real war on women in four points.

In work done by sociologist Paula England, more than half of college women surveyed reported feeling less respected by men after casual sex. Meanwhile, college men are less interested than women in a relationship both before and after sex. In addition, more women reported highly unsatisfying sexual encounters, often feeling that they were treated as sexual objects by the men involved.

Yet they continued to have casual sex anyway, because when the cost of sex is low, women feel enormous pressure to give in. Many men even expect this–so much so that survey data indicate 3-5 percent of college women are victims of rape or attempted rape every year.

Yet the victimization doesn’t end there. When contraception fails, whether after consensual casual sex or an alcohol-fueled dorm-rape, men turn to abortion as a way to mitigate their responsibility.

Let’s go beyond my initial “well, duh” reaction and explore the why behind and the implications coming from each of these points. Continue reading

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Endorsing Laura Belnap

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School board elections tend to fly under the radar compared to other elections in Utah. I suspect that at least part of the reason for that is that they are non-partisan so candidates aren’t affiliated with a party (at least as far as their campaigns are concerned) and the parties aren’t involved in promoting the campaigns of any candidate for those offices. I’m not going to make any argument about whether that is good or bad, but I feel confident that it is a natural consequence of having these be non-partisan. As a voter I have generally felt less informed about School Board candidates before they are elected and the records of Schoold Board members after they are elected than I do about candidates and holders of other offices. Because of that traditional lack of feeling informed I have decided that despite being busy and foregoing other endorsements this cycle I am going to make this endorsement of Laura Bellnap for State School Board.

Laura Belnap stands head and shoulders above her opponent in her understanding of the way to address the issues in our education system in Utah. She recognizes the importance of keeping parents informed and involved to ensure that their children get the best available education. She recognizes the value of technology from an educaitonal perspective without blindly thinking that technology alone will solve all our problems. She is also able to see the value of Common Core along with the pitfalls of it where too many people see only one side or the other.

It is because I expect that many voters are in the same boat I have often been in with regard to school board elections that I consider it important to share my perspective when I feel that one candidate so solidly stands above the other in this important race.

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Ballot Issues

After seeing the ballot for this election cycle I quickly spotted a number of problems with the ballot. These weren’t issues with the ballot being faulty. They were (generally) manifestations on the ballot of problems within our political system and climate. Here is the ballot I received:

Ballot Issues

Issues

Empty Ballot

This really isn’t a problem unless the ballot stays empty (which this one won’t). The problem is that there are always thousands of ballots (millions nationwide) that remain empty. This is, functionally, the simplest of the problems to fix – people just need to take the time to vote. (If only it were really that simple.)

Long Ballot

This ballot is 8½ X 17 and it fills out the first side and most of the second. That is too many races and issues for most people to pay attention to and cast informed votes on in a single cycle. It practically guarantees uninformed voting. Continue reading

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