Wrong direction

Too many Americans are losing -- or never finding -- their moral compass

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An Augusta teacher taking a 4-year-old along on an official Richmond County student field trip to Athens may not have needed a map. But she sure needed a compass.

Authorities allege that not only did she shoplift on the trip, but that she also left her 4-year-old granddaughter in a motel room alone during the adventure.

She’s been criminally charged on both counts, as she should be. And if guilty, she should never step foot in a classroom again.

In another local case, an Augusta woman was arrested recently after her 1-year-old was found alone in wet diapers in an apartment with little food but easy access to dangerous cleaning materials.

Such alleged outrageous behavior, while a bit shocking, shouldn’t be all that surprising. They just don’t make moral compasses anymore. At least not like they used to. Like much of America’s manufacturing base, the moral compass industry has largely disappeared.

The anything-goes lifestyle is apparently here to stay. And we’re seeing its fruits every day – in cases such as the above, and in many more.

The media teach us that children in the womb are expendable if they’re inconvenient or put a crimp in your lifestyle. If children can be eliminated before birth, what boundaries are there after? Throw them in a room alone. Keep them in a hot car. Expose them to whomever you met last night at the club.

With breakdowns in both the extended and nuclear family; a waning of religion’s influence; unprecedented mobility to and from communities and cultures; and a media that celebrates freedom but ignores and even scowls at responsibility, who’s making the moral compass anymore?

Philosopher and psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl identified what he called an increasing “existential vacuum” in modern man’s life, as “the traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do ...”

Another problem in contemporary America is that we don’t seem willing or capable of even having this discussion. If you question the wisdom of certain behaviors, you’re overbearing, old-fashioned, fascist – you name it. Morality, perfectly chilled.

Liberals used to joke that if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. Well, guess what: That’s pretty much what liberals have made it. And they’re so paranoid about the government prohibiting it, or of any societal institution foisting morality on them, that the discussion – and probably the thought process – doesn’t go any further.

In short, there is a such a
backlash in today’s society toward any talk of morality that any talk of morality is pretty much gone. What a terrible shame.

And it’s eating away at the fabric of society. While tolerating and even touting destructive behaviors – drugs, promiscuity, self-indulgence, self-centeredness, sloth and more – the media spurn or ridicule almost any mention of the consequences of such behavior. Poverty. Fatherless children. Stunted growth. Crime. Disease. Government dependency. Illiteracy. And so on.

There are innumerable repercussions for destructive behaviors, but perhaps the saddest is the ruination of a person’s potential. That ruination is at epidemic levels today.

Where is the guidance? Where is the straight talk? Where is the compass?

And where is the talk of responsibility – the fact that you, and not the taxpayer down the block, are responsible for the consequences of your actions? Instead of that kind of frank talk, you know what we get? We get the pablum from Democrats that society must provide the promiscuous with free birth control, or else there’s a “war on women.”

This is what passes for public dialogue today. So why should anyone be surprised at the aimless lives and the thoughtless actions?

Maybe it’s time for upright people to tout their values unashamedly again. And perhaps we should refocus on handing them down.

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grouse
1635
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grouse 04/12/14 - 05:51 pm
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The Chronicle is taking a
Unpublished

The Chronicle is taking a couple of isolated incidents and presenting them as if they were the norm. There is no causality between being religious and being moral (one can point to child-molesting priests and pastors, if one wants to play the Chronicle's game). As far as I know, the people mentioned in this editorial are being held responsible. Conservatives are quick to pounce on the little guy's failings, but turn a blind eye to larger violation of human rights such as Gitmo, wage disparity, and voter restrictions.

lovingthesouth72
1368
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lovingthesouth72 04/12/14 - 06:22 pm
3
2
As it says ...

Bad things happen when good people do nothing. The PC police are out there tearing everyone down. Lets follow dr Ben Carson's lead and get out there and shake things back up and put them in their place. Leadership comes from the top , and unfortunately those leading us right now are throwing us over the cliff.

specsta
6355
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specsta 04/12/14 - 07:26 pm
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ACES, I Shake My Head Once Again...You Just Don't Get It

I guess that an ocean of water will be discovered on the moon on the same day that ACES actually writes an editorial that does not link the ills of the world to government assistance.

That day is not coming.

You want to talk about values and morals? The most immoral thing that a nation can do is to condemn the ones who need help - the impoverished, the sick, the uneducated, the unjustly incarcerated, the homeless, and the hungry.

The richest nation on earth has homeless people living in cardboard boxes. That's immoral.

The richest nation has a justice system that condemns non-violent offenders, even children, to life sentences thanks to mandatory-minimums. That's immoral.

The richest nation silently watches sick people die, unable to be treated or to get medicines. That's immoral.

The richest nation allows children to attend schools that are violent and rodent-infested, without adequate textbooks or any sort of curriculum that encourages independent thought. That's immoral.

The richest nation turns a bind eye to the lack of nutritious foods in inner city neighborhoods, while liquor stores and cigarette shops proliferate every street corner. That's immoral.

What is NOT immoral is a government that provides food benefits for hungry families. But we can do more, expand the program and feed even more families.

What is NOT immoral is a health clinic that provides free contraception and sex information to reduce teen pregnancies. But we can do more - and stop "abstinence-only" programs which are complete failures.

What is NOT immoral is to provide every child and teen in this country with an education in a safe, secure environment and allowing EVERY child to attend a 4-year college to be educated for free.

What is NOT immoral is to mandate access to healthy fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats in neighborhoods where it is easier to to buy alcohol and cigarettes than fresh fruit.

ACES, once again, as usual, you are off-target in this editorial.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 08:50 pm
1
6
And that justifies criminal

And that justifies criminal behavior? How does that solve problems in the long run?

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 08:51 pm
2
6
The blind eye is turned by

The blind eye is turned by the parents.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 08:56 pm
3
7
People who make babies need

People who make babies need to expect to take care of them. Not to have the taxpayers give them a free ride. We took care of our own. I don't want one cent of money taken from me to take care of a bunch of low rents expecting our taxes to take care of them and their poor choices.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 09:02 pm
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7
Specsta

Do you have a lot of relatives on the public dole? You are really eager for others to take care. I have never seen you post encouragement for the less fortunate to attempt to better themselves and stand on their own feet.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 09:05 pm
4
7
I would be careful about some

I would be careful about some of the things you stated in your last post. Could ebt be translated into liquor stores doing well?

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 09:07 pm
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6
And exactly why is anyone

And exactly why is anyone uneducated in 2014 except by choice?

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/13/14 - 01:21 pm
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Not every child is college

Not every child is college material. That is why there is so much wasted college scholarship money.

freeradical
1052
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freeradical 04/12/14 - 09:12 pm
2
6
Education is the political system.

Only a liar would not admit that today's public education is every bit

a part of the political machinery as was Bill Clintion's bimbo eruption

war room .

If not more so .

It is completely eaten up with sexual perverts , drug addicts ,

embezzlers , child molesters , murderers , thieves ,,etc,etc,etc,& etc .

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/12/14 - 09:42 pm
2
6
So assune you are in favor of

So assune you are in favor of tightening us with what WIC pays for. Fruits, vegetables, no snack food or colas or juice products. They need to drink water and eat the fruits. Snacks, NO.

stuaby
3445
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stuaby 04/12/14 - 10:27 pm
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5
Wow...just...wow. This post

Wow...just...wow. This post by Spectsa has my lower jaw on the floor somewhere.

There are many concepts that escape those who think the way that Specsta does.

Such as:
1) Where products and services come from, and why they come into existence to begin with.
2) Why the products and services aren't just free for the asking.
3) The notion of limited resources and how this factors into 1) and 2) above.
4) What the immutable reasons are that wealth and poverty coexist.
5) What the immutable reasons are that wealth (resources) cannot be distributed evenly.
6) What the dangers are in turning governmental control over to people who promise to force more even distribution of resources.
7) The staggering, STAGGERING, amounts of money spent by federal and state and charitable agencies on the "needy". (Their viewpoint is always that the "rich" aren't doing enough, and not that someone needs to get to the bottom of why so many people are "needy" and what can be done about it.)

I could go on and on, but, those of you who can handle the concepts above don't need for me to, do you?

itsanotherday1
41728
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itsanotherday1 04/12/14 - 10:36 pm
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4
Specsta

You are just wrongheaded on this subject. The public assistance lounge chair promotes broken families, bad behavior, ad nauseum. It is just human nature, period. Too many people of all race, creed, religion, gender, etc., etc., will take the path of least resistance, and have. They have children without ever having been properly parented themselves; they EXPECT the taxpayers to clean up after them, not having ever experienced responsibility and accountability. Every succeeding generation gets worse and worse.

The cycle has to be broken somehow. Continuing to subsidize teen pregnancy, absent fathers, and generally anti social behavior is poison. People need to be incentivised to fish or cut bait. Teach them at a young age that bad behavior results in bad treatment, social failure, and HUNGER.

Edit: As dichotomy pointed out in another post today. safety net means to keep one from drowning, not providing cell phones, personal cosmetics, cable vision, etc. The poor in this country are better off THAN THE MAJORITY OF THE REST OF THE POPULATION OF THE WORLD!

stuaby
3445
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stuaby 04/12/14 - 10:51 pm
3
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Follow up thoughts to

Follow up thoughts to Specsta's mind-blowing post:

There is one political party that specifically caters to those who don't understand very much OR are total ideologues (homo domo, aborto, enviro, anti-religio, etc.) OR are in one of a number of dependency classes. Naturally, this consortium of groups will continue to swell, since these paths are not of the "straight and narrow" variety.

Those of you with adequate perspective should be asking yourselves how this plays out, at this point. Insanity and gross ignorance, embraced by a nation, cannot go on forever. What is the failure mechanism? How long can the nation survive under these circumstances?

specsta
6355
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specsta 04/12/14 - 11:04 pm
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8
Educate Yourselves

This report given during a Congressional hearing before the Ways and Means committee sums up the need for assistance to the poor and working poor in this country...

http://www.cbpp.org/files/6-27-12pov-testimony.pdf

"...the poverty reduction that occurs thanks to these programs has significant, positive effects on the future education, employment, and earnings outcomes of the children in recipient families. In this regard, measures that reduce benefits will be far more likely to lead to lower incomes, higher poverty, and worse child outcomes than to increased work effort." Jared Bernstein

dichotomy
31949
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dichotomy 04/12/14 - 11:04 pm
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7
"The richest nation on earth

"The richest nation on earth has homeless people living in cardboard boxes."

It's called freedom of choice....and they made it.

"a justice system that condemns non-violent offenders, even children, to life sentences"

Crime is crime, violent or otherwise. Habitual, repeat offender criminals destroy peoples lives, their security, their sense of safety and well being. Those repeat offenders NEED to be locked up for life.

"silently watches sick people die, unable to be treated or to get medicines"

Oh horse crap. People been getting Medicaid and free treatment at emergency rooms for 50 years. Please locate some for me....I want to watch. If those people are not getting help then we've sure been paying those hospitals downtown a helluva bill for indigent care for nothing.

"or any sort of curriculum that encourages independent thought."

Before they can have independent thought they must first have A THOUGHT.....and that is where the problem arises.

"lack of nutritious foods in inner city neighborhoods, while liquor stores and cigarette shops proliferate every street corner"

Well that is simple. That is because they take the FOOD STAMPS we GIVE THEM and trade them for 50 cents on the dollar .at the liquor stores and cigarette shops and the GROCERY STORES GO BROKE....plus the fact that their kids are armed robbing the grocery stores every other day.....so being broke and getting robbed every other day the grocery stores close and move to Evans or somewhere.

The problem is that all those people you want us to help......well we have been OVER helping them for 50 years and it has become apparent that helping them just makes them worse.

Sorry specsta, my bleeding heart has bled out watching baby mama pay for the ribeyes with Food Stamps and baby daddy picking her up at the door in the Escalade with the spinners. If you want to shame me into more welfare spending I want to see you stacking emaciated bodies like cord wood.

specsta
6355
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specsta 04/12/14 - 11:11 pm
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9
@stuaby

When a country spends almost twice as much on weapons of war to rip human beings apart than it spends on food to feed hungry children - that is moral bankruptcy.

Little Lamb
45176
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Little Lamb 04/12/14 - 11:27 pm
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3
Helpless?

Specsta posted:

The most immoral thing that a nation can do is to condemn the ones who need help - the impoverished, the sick, the uneducated, the unjustly incarcerated, the homeless, and the hungry.

The teacher who shoplifted while her grandchild was left alone in a hotel room in Athens was not impoverished, sick, uneducated, incarcerated, homeless, or hungry. The teacher was greedy. The teacher was selfish. The teacher was arrogant.

It was the child who was helpless.

specsta
6355
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specsta 04/12/14 - 11:27 pm
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7
@dichotomy

I would imagine that you also believe the old Reagan lie about the Cadillac-driving welfare queen. And that it is mostly minorities receiving safety-net assistance.

I would love to see this back-room trading going on where SNAP cards are traded for .50 on the dollar for cigarettes and liquor. Sounds like a scene out of "Casino".

And of course, poor people, with their meager allotment for food benefits, will buy ribeye steaks, the finest seafood, and imported spices so that by mid-month they will be left with a ZERO balance and no food.

Watch Fox news much?

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/13/14 - 01:01 am
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7
Specsta

Do you come from a family with people on the public dole? You seem exceedingly sympathetic.

specsta
6355
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specsta 04/13/14 - 02:45 am
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4
KSL

One does not have to have a family member receiving government assistance to care about others who are struggling to eat and survive. I happen to care about the millions of children, the elderly, the disabled and others who go to bed hungry at night in this country.

I also care about those incarcerated, even though I have no family member in the prison or jail system. I am concerned about how this country treats non-violent offenders and the horrific conditions they must endure, locked up decades for non-violent crimes in which no person or property was harmed.

I also care about the sorry state of education in this country, where illiteracy is rampant, and children are taught not to think, but to pass tests. The nation becomes dumber every single day.

One doesn't have to have an intimate connection to a situation in order to realize that something is wrong and must be changed - one only needs to have a brain and a heart that cares about the plight of others.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/13/14 - 03:55 am
5
6
Do you care about the sorry

Do you care about the sorry state of parenting? It all begins at home. There is plenty of education for someone to get if they want it. You have a whole class of people who don't think they need it. I wish the freebies would be totally cut off so they finally realize they actually have to do something to survive.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/13/14 - 04:02 am
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4
And I assume you are against

And I assume you are against that idiotic Commom Core.

I think one of the biggest problems with education today is the lack of parents who put a value on it and encourage their children.

I cannot help you there. We did a great job with our children.

KSL
125894
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KSL 04/13/14 - 04:07 am
4
5
Specsta, Children in Richmond

Specsta,

Children in Richmond Co get 2 meals a day at school and many parents get food stamps. Please explain why they are hungry?

Riverman1
82024
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Riverman1 04/13/14 - 06:27 am
5
2
What Causes Totalitarian Government

I believe my friend, Specsta, voices humanitarian measures we would all like to see. Where we differ is the mechanism to create such a loving society where everyone is well fed, housed and provided with medical care.

Conservatives try to point out the only way such a society can exist is by the hard work of its members paying for the services they receive and being loving parents. Specsta believes there’s money out there that can simply be given to support his worthy causes.

The problem is there isn’t in a sustainable way that doesn’t lessen the work effort of all. Fewer and fewer people will want to pay as things are given to others. Society and government become chaotic and disordered. Totalitarian measures result.

Bodhisattva
5947
Points
Bodhisattva 04/13/14 - 06:33 am
6
6
No mention of wealthy

No mention of wealthy businessmen doing all they can to put a crony on the city council (whose job doesn't even allow him to attend most meetings) for the sole purpose of casting the deciding vote for those businessmen to receive tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers money to add an addition to their business (built partially with more taxpayer dollars) and to be managed by those same businessmen skimming even more taxpayer dollars? I don't get the printed paper, but the Chronicle used to run a Bible verse daily. Here's one you might use:"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:5. Wall Street almost destroys the economy and had to rescued by the previous administration and didn't change its practices at all. High frequency traders on Wall Street are using front running to cheat the average traders out of billions of dollars, yet the Chronicle can only pick on the poor, destitute, people who get a pittance for food stamps, and women who want birth control covered under their health insurance. The level of hypocrisy at this paper is astounding. They have no shame. They have no morals. The theft of millions of taxpayers' money and billions of other people's money, when you're already loaded, is capitalism at work. The use of a government program to feed your family when you're down and out is immoral? Only if you have no soul, and that is the only explanation that there can be.

Riverman1
82024
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Riverman1 04/13/14 - 07:08 am
6
3
Capitalism

"The theft of millions of taxpayers' money and billions of other people's money, when you're already loaded, is capitalism at work."

Theft has nothing to do with capitalism other than it's recognized as a crime. On the other hand, under socialism, taking of people's possessions by force is "legal." That's theft.

carcraft
25145
Points
carcraft 04/13/14 - 07:25 am
5
4
I Love our liberals. Obama

I Love our liberals. Obama has been in office for 6 years. More poverty, fewer job's, more part timers and more people in poverty and more people on welfare. That is wealth redistribution and fundamentally transforming America in a nut shell. Now that is immoral. Yes their are people that abuse the welfare system. Obama (or any politician) it is about power. Read about LIBERAL John Pedesta and he and hus wife's divorce. Accumulating wealth because of capital connections is immoral and Obama promised to end it. BWAHAHAHAHA. Oh and yes Geargia ebt cards have been spent in Nevada, Virgin Islands, Porto Rico etc. Oh course the poor need vacations to. I read about a couple living on a yacth! Gee imagine someone bulking the government, say it isn't so Joe!

carcraft
25145
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carcraft 04/13/14 - 07:27 am
5
2
This was a teacher, she

This was a teacher, she wasn't poor!

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