MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

October 29, 2011

Adoption: For the Love of a Parent

Note: The following is from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous.

In a previous article I discussed the issue of a birth mother who many years ago gave up a child for adoption and now, perhaps decades later, decides to go searching for the child. In this scenario it was a closed adoption meaning no contact at all from the adoptive parents. Now the birth mother feels a yearning to find out what happened to "her" child and to reconnect.

In my prior article, while I sympathized with the feelings of the birth mother, I also pointed out there are many ways such a reunion might go much different and darker than she envisions. That is, the child who is now probably at least in his/her teens may not react as openly and lovingly as you believe they will for a variety of reason. Read that article for the different scenarios.

It is my thesis that a birth mother searching for "her" child years/decades later has to be prepared for all scenarios, not just the one hopeful starry-eyed mother/child reunion. It might be a Hallmark moment but it might not be too.

Now I want add another set of scenarios to that thesis.

Look at it as well from the adoptive parents' point of view.

If the parents adopted a child in a closed adoption arrangement they did not expect any further communication or contact from the birth mother (or birth father too if he is in the picture as well). In fact, as alien as it may seem to many die-hard adoption devotees, many adoptive parents specifically do not want contact with the birth mother after the placement! That is, the adoptive parents want a closed/no contact adoption.

Now years perhaps a decade or more later, the birth mother makes contact from out of the blue.

I acknowledge it is certainly a possibility the adoptive parents will be open about it. It is possible they will be glad you contacted them and will be open to considering meeting you. Then arrange to re-unite you and the child. This would be the ideal scenario.

But not the only possible scenario!

Do not underestimate the love of a parent to protect their child, biological or adopted!
As in my prior article, you don't know what they child has been told about the circumstances of his/her life (i.e. if they even know they are adopted much less the situation around the adoption). And, like it or not (and I'm sure you don't), the adoptive parents may view you as a threat to the child and their family. Not a physical threat (I hope not!) per se. But rather an upsetting factor. Even a problem they want to avoid.

From their point of view they may see the situation as having parted ways with you years ago and that's that.

Or, perhaps they see the situation has never intending or even wanting contact with you after the adoption.

To that end, be prepared to be rejected by the adoptive parents. Maybe even receive a hostile greeting from the adoptive parents if they view you as a threat to the child or the family.

The love of a parent is not merely from blood relationship. As such, a parent will fight to protect their child from what they perceive as danger.

As I had indicated before, finding a child given up for adoption is a noble concept. But it isn't just you the birth mother (and father) involved.

Think before you leap.

October 26, 2011

Biting The Hand That Feeds You? (Why a Government-Run Healthcare System WILL Destroy Your Freedom!)

There already has been so much written about the pros and cons of a government-run healthcare system. I'm not going to rehash the same old-same old that can be found all over the blogosphere and forums. But there is one aspect of such a system that I have rarely seen addressed that I do believe must also be taken into consideration.

How can you have freedom of speech and protest against the same government that you rely on to provide for your and your loved one's health??

Think about it.

In a government run healthcare system you need the government to review and approve all your healthcare requests. Especially serious, chronic life&death treatments that are usually time consuming and very expensive.

So how can you bee free to voice opposition, much less strong impassioned opposition, against the same government that you then need to turn to in order to save your life or the love of someone you love?!

The answer is simple: You can't!

Just imagine an outspoken critic of the government then needing a major medical procedures – or worse, someone in their family needing it – and now having to apply to this same government that they have been soooooooo critical of to approve the treatment and payment. One would hope that politics remains out of the decision process but nothing in government is without some measure of politics.

Just imagine someone like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannety, Mark Levine, Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Dick Morris, Laura Ingrham, et al. suddenly needing cancer treatment or a organ transplant or perhaps life time treatment for something like MS or Parkinson's. Do you really think the government would be so quick and eager to provide it? MasterPo doesn't.

Not that government would outright say "No!" to the treatment (they might, who knows what politics will be like in the future!) but through weeks and months and possibly years of bureaucracy and the red tape government is famous for treatment will be delayed, withheld, or denied.

When you rely on someone else for literally your very life and the life of the people you love and care for how can you speak freely in criticism of them?

You can't!

Thus is how freedom dies.
Not with a gun shot.
But with something much worse – good intentions.

October 22, 2011

Not Out Of Touch!

This article is in response to a friends’ article on his blog (not going to post the link for personal reasons).

The up-shot of his article is that he recently visited a friend in the mid-West who is in a very dire situation financially. A common story these days: Divorced, child support, lost good job, living in small rental apartment with roommate, gave up car etc. All too common in America these days.

By contrast MasterPo’s friend feels he is in a much better position financially and doesn’t worry (right or wrong) about such things. Not being married and having no kids helps the situation (a sad commentary too on America!). But he feels he has lost some prospective on the national environment. He claims he too was in that similar situation some years ago and through a lot of time, hard work and risk made himself better off.

In MasterPo’s opinion this guy has nothing to feel “out of touch” or more likely guilty about!

Different people live different lives. We all make decisions that lead to different results. Sometimes we think we know the outcomes of our decisions and other times we don’t have a clue where it will lead. MasterPo isn’t going to second guess the life decisions of MasterPo’s friend or the friend’s friend. But whatever those decisions were it lead to where they are today:

Plus a dose of the X Factor: The unknown often uncontrollable events in life that we have know idea will happen nor any real ability to change or prevent them from happening (example: could anyone reading this have truly known for a fact terrorists would strike on 9/11? Even if you felt it was possible what could you personally have done to stop it?).

It’s human compassion to feel compassion for someone in a bad position. And it’s normal to pause and consider: By the grace of G-d go thee.

But there is no need to feel out of touch. Either by hard work or circumstance or just good luck you didn’t end up in a similar position (at least not yet, things tend to run in cycles). It speaks well that you have empathy for someone’s plight and self reflection to recognize you too could easily be in the same circumstances. But just because he is in a bad place and you aren’t does not make you “out of touch”.

Just don’t say “Let them eat cake”.

October 18, 2011

Business and Government in a Petri Dish

By this point in modern American history the “great experiment” of government economic and social planning verses private sector/business should have proven to all that, on the whole, to be a great failure!

MasterPo isn’t going to list all the reasons that are so often listed on other sites. But there is one significant difference between the plans of government and the plans of business.

Government can create a plan (program), allocate funds that typically means borrowing which is fine, then projects that 5 years (or whatever time frame) the results (return) will be whatever.

Business often does the same thing.


When a business starts project, borrows money to pay for it, makes a time line projection as to the return on the project, if at that future time the project doesn’t yield the return expected or fails in total the business takes a big hit! Maybe even goes out of business if the risk was so high. (Realistically, the business isn’t waiting until whatever future time, it already knows long before then if the project is doing well or not and may cancel the project is things don’t go as well as expected.)

By contrast, with government when the future time comes no one even bothers to look back and see if the program returned anywhere near what the claim was at the start. And more over, any return, even a mere 1% or less is deemed “successful” and therefore justifies the expense and resources expended. So all the money borrowed for the program that wasn’t made back just gets dumped on the ever growing pile of the national debt. There are no ramifications for those who proposed the program, voted for it, implemented it, managed it etc. No one gets fired. No one gets sued. No one even gets called before a committee to explain the failure. Just life goes on willy-nilly.

What business could survive doing that?! None. And that’s why government can’t be deemed a player, a “competitor”, in the business environment. Government can operate for years, decades even, at a loss without serious ramifications to those involved. Now we are finally seeing the weight of all that spending and Devil-may-care lack of planning and review. But even still, who is being taken to task officially for it? Who lost their job and reputations in disgrace? Who went to jail?! No one.

Government’s ability to borrow money pretty much at will and with few limits (Federal level at least) or print money (Federal) makes it the ultimate anti-competition entity in the universe! No private for-profit organization (and many non-government not-for-profit organizations too) can compete for years much less decades with such an entity under those conditions.

No business ever welcomed help from the government. The same can be said for government “competition”.

October 10, 2011

What The Transformers Can Teach To Occupy Wall Street Supporters

MasterPo grew up loving the Transformers animated TV show. This was the original Transformers before they started adding new robots every week and lost any kind of story plot consistency. Back when cartoons were real shows and not 24 minute (after commercials) commercials for products. The characters were creative (especially the Dinobots!) and stories not too cartoonish. Ahhh…….

With the events of Occupy Wall Street (and other locals) a particular episode of the Transformers has come to mind again.

In one of the original series episodes the story delved into the origins of the leader of the Autobots Optimus Prime. MasterPo doesn’t know if this is canon for the current generation of Transformers (though it should be!).

The story goes that back on Cybertron (the home of the Autobots and Decepticons) Optimus was originally a young and idealistic robot named Orion Pax (which is irony since “Pax” means peace). He had a female robot girlfriend (don’t recall her name) and worked with an older, wiser Mr. Miyagi style of robot in some kind of mechanical shop.

It was at the end of the Golden Age of Cybertron. The Decepticons were just starting to attack cities. No one knew where they came from, who built them, or what they wanted just that they were powerful and attacked all that had been SOP on Cybertron for eons.

Orion Pax idealized the Decepticons because they could fly, had so much power, and were afraid of no one. A real teenager’s idol. He dreamed of meeting Megatron and the Decepticons. Maybe even becoming one too! He didn’t care if they attacked some places. “That’s what Guardian Robots” – their police force? – “are for!” he said.

Then the Decepticons came to his city.

At first he was thrilled to be meeting them finally. But Megatron wouldn’t have anything to do with him and threw him aside.

Then they attacked the city.

No Guardian Robots were there to even try to defend them.

Orion was badly hurt and his girlfriend too.

The Mr. Miyagi robot took Orion into his shop and worked on him. When he emerged Orion Pax was now Optimus Prime with all the power, arms and armor to fight back against the Decepticons. He single handedly drove them off from this city. Optimus then swore to stop the Decepticons however long it would take.

And he went off in pursuit of the Decepticons.

(After Optimus left Mr. Miyagi robot took his girlfriend into the shop and said he was going to create a new class of robot and call he Elita-1 but we never saw her final incarnation in that or any other episode MasterPo knows about.)

So what does all this have to do with Occupy Wall Street?


Be careful who you idealize!!

Just as Orion Pax idealized the Decpticons, it was too late when he found out the truth wasn’t nearly as pretty as the popular image so too will likely the supporters of Occupy Wall Street find out all too late the people behind the protests aren’t the warm and fuzzy boy/girl-next-door type until it’s too late.

And this time there won’t be an honorable defender knight in shining armor coming to save you.

October 5, 2011

Questions for Occupy Wall Street

By now most readers are away of the movement in the U.S. calling itself “Occupy Wall Street”. Along with its other spinoffs like Occupy Boston, Occupy Los Angles, etc. it’s basically a 1960’s still sit-in protest event designed to clog the streets until certain “demands” are met. Many of these “demands” are the usual liberal/socialist/progressive stuff about banks and CEO’s and corporations along with a good sprinkling of environmental “green” stuff, the usual “human rights” and “gay rights” protestors, lots of pro-union people etc etc etc.

For several days now MasterPo has been monitoring the situation from the point of view of the media at large (MSNBC, CNN, Fox), certain commentators like Beck and Rush, and from the protestor’s own mouths via Twitter. And to the latter, MasterPo has conversed with several protestors about their stand and outlook on things.

The topics expressed and the desired results of this protest are, to say the least, “interesting” if not outright comical insofar as pie-in-the-sky feel-good results. This is truly a 21st century Woodstock event!

While gathering information for this article about the protestors it occurred to MasterPo, based on what he has read and heard from protestors, there are a lot more questions than answers. And even more importantly, it does not seen as if anyone knows where to even begin answering the questions!

With that in mind, rather than write a complete article critiquing the Occupy Wall Street protests, MastePo will simply list many of the questions he’s been asking and not getting any solid answers for. They are listed in no particular order unless otherwise stated.

If anyone can answer those questions precisely please post as a comment.

Who is in charge around here?
Who is the leader or group of leaders of this protest?
Gandhi was the leader of his protest.
Martin Luther King, Jr was the leader of his movement.
The Founding Fathers, as listed on the Declaration of Independence, were the leaders of the colonies.
Moses was the leader of his people out of slavery in Egypt.

So who leads this group?

It’s a very important question. If you don’t know who is leading how do you know you’re putting your support to the right people? Slogans aren’t a movement. They don’t make results.

Who makes decisions around here?

Just as with a leader, who decides what (and who) is a fair point or target or not?

Similarly, if the object of your protest wants to meet and discuss things who do they meet with?
Who in the protest has the authority to speak and decide for the rest?
Whose word is so trusted to represent you?

You can’t say “democracy” because that’s mob rule. Even if an agreement for action is made between some protestors and some protestee who is going to ensure the rest of the protestors abide by it? You can’t make peace with every single individuals’ agenda.

Who decides your next victims?

Today you’re protesting against banks, and bank and corporate CEOs (among others).

Wo decides against whom you’ll be protesting tomorrow?
Where does it end?
How about the bank/corporate VP’s?
General Managers?
Project Managers?
Regional Managers?
Office Managers?
Office administrators?
How about the compute programmer that writes the software that charges you 25% interest when your credit card payment is 1 day late?
Or the Dunkin Donuts owner who sells cake and coffee to the executive meetings?

And now you’re targeting people with 7-figure incomes.

How about 6-figure incomes?
Or just high 5-figure incomes?
Or maybe someone who just makes more than you whatever that is?

How far does it go?

Even the law has a Statute of Limitations for liability. So what is yours??

How do you count yourselves?

Since this isn’t anything formally organized how can you really know how many are truly in your corner and who are just “tourists” with nothing better to do?

Who says “Stop!”?

Without a leader or leadership who decides when enough is enough?
Who decided when it’s time to go home?
Who decides the goals of the protest have been met? Or at least met enough for now?

And very importantly:

Who decides what actions of the protest are to be condoned and which are to be shunned?

This is an extremely important question since eventually someone is going to get frustrated or just plain go bonkers and start violence. So who is going to stand up and say “We are not about violence!” and say those committing violence are not representative of your movement?

Or are they?

What is the End-Game?

In reading what protestors are posting on Twitter and other sites, and in chatting with several on Twitter no one seems to know what the end will look like. Sure there are a lot of pretty feel-good descriptions about “rights” and “fairness” but where the rubber meets the road what does this mean in terms of actually implementing the changes you want?

What does America look like after you succeed?

Related to the above question, if your protest is successful as you dream it will be, when people wake up the next day what does daily life in America for Joe Average man/woman now look like?

You’re protesting major changes to everything from banking and insurance and energy to union contracts and government representation. So what does daily life really look like afterwards?

Please don’t answer about being more”fair” or “respected” or “better”.

Please be specific.

For example, after you succeed how will the supermarkets be well stocked (at anything like reasonable prices) as they are now?
How will garbage be collected and sanitarily disposed of?
How will law enforcement be preventing crime and punishing those who do commit crime?

Just a few but essential aspects of daily life that MasterPo doesn’t see operating nearly as well after your “revolution” is over. It never does after a revolution.

Who will oversee and enforce all these new changes?

So you get all the changes you’re demanding.

Who is going to watch over and ensure on a daily basis business and organizations adhere to the new rules?

You don’t like the way current government oversees things and you don’t like the way current business self-polices. So who do you trust to oversee this brave new world that won’t sooner or later become the same way?

Who is so wise and honorable that you’re going to empower to do this?

And who watches the overseers?

Related to the above, who makes sure the wise and honorable people you have picked remain that way?

Or is protest and “revolution” the new norm of life?

Do you really want to associate yourselves with Greece and Egypt?

Several protesters I chatted with said they are in league with protestors in Greece and Egypt. Seeing how violent and socially disruptive those protests have been are you sure you want to be named in the same sentence as them?

You are known by the company you keep.

If you’re against corporate “greed” then who do you think made money from the sale of the iphones, camcorders and Apple laptops you’re using now?

Someone made good money on it.

Design, development, testing, marketing, manufacturing, sales – a lot of people made a lot of money.

Think about that.

Do you realize there are more middle-class people working in corporations than CEO’s?

Far more middle-class people with incomes well under the 7-figure mark work for corps – as direct employees as well as consultants and 3rd party vendors/suppliers. They will be hurt, especially in the short run, much more than the CEO’s will be.

Do you expect them to support your cause when the Wall Street business relocates to Tennessee and the employee is laid off?

If a corporation doesn’t hire you, where do you expect to find employment?

Be it a “big” business or small one, most people are employees at least for part of their working life.

If you stop “big corporations” where will the jobs come from?

For that matter, who will want to start or grow a business after your revolution?

Who’s going to put their life on the line if people like you can protest them out of business or worse?

What is going happen in a matter of weeks or months when NOTHING happens?

So you’re protesting now with chants and signs and sit ins. Let’s say nothing comes of it. Or at least nothing you want.

Now what are you going to do?
Protest more?
Get violent?
What happens when your “revolution” gets violent?

It’s inevitable. Social revolutions always have at least some element of violence. There has never been a peaceful revolution that tears down a full system and starts all over.

Be careful. The fires you set may turn and consume you as well.

There are many many other questions about this “revolution” and more come up every day. But these are a good start.

Please post answers, if you can.

October 3, 2011

Why Do You Insist On Peeing In My Cheerios?

As of writing this the July 4th holiday is only a few days away. And you know what that means: Someone somewhere must come out with an article, “study”, or press release that impugns and degrades the event. Sure enough, MasterPo wasn’t disappointed.

In case you haven’t yet heard, the hoity-toity Harvard University released a “study” in which they claim that 4th of July celebrations –parades, fireworks, town BBQ’s and concerts etc. – are really just an indoctrination zone for turning children into conservatives and Republicans. Incredible! So the 4th of July isn’t about celebrating the independence of America, it’s about grooming new conservatives and Republicans. So says the vaunted Harvard University.



Why is it that year in year out for every major American holiday or American celebration someone must put out something to try to degrade it or minimize the significance?

Starting in the beginning of the year there’s Presidents Day. We used to have George Washington’s birthday then Lincoln’s birthday. But now we have only 1 day. Fine. So now every year someone releases a statement about how the early Presidents like Washington and Jefferson et al were “rich” white men, slave owner, blah-blah-blah.

Then comes Memorial Day. Someone has to protest this or that American military action.

July sees the 4th of July Independence Day. First, there were those who argued it wasn’t independence for the American Indians here when the Europeans came. Bad enough. Now there’s the above mentioned Harvard “study”.

The fall sees Labor Day. Funny how no one slams big unions! But they do find cause to slam big business that hires them!

Halloween has been watered down to the point that in many locations it’s in fact illegal to go trick-or-treating! Kids get dressed up and stand on line in a mall somewhere for a small bag of candy. That’s it. Not to mention all the dire warnings about the sugar and sweeteners in the candy, how ill children can get (as if they are eating the same every day of the year), how much child obesity is a problem, etc etc. Plus there are those who say it is an offense to their religious views! (MasterPo has actually seen signs on doors during Halloween telling kids it’s offensive to ask them for candy.)
Then comes Veteran’s Day. Same slam as Memorial Day.

Thanks Giving is another American Indian protest. And the animal rights wackos cry about the turkeys.

And the crowning event of the year – Christmas! Along with its constant law suits and demonstrations about a tree or nativity scene in a park or along a road etc etc.

(Not to be forgotten but there are also many protests and law suits over Menorahs for Chanukah too. But since Judaism isn’t the main religion of America Jews have been able to avoid much of the same negativity Christians have had to face. At least so far.)

They seem to take off for New Years, probably because it isn’t a uniquely American holiday.

MasterPo gets it. You have issues with these events. Stupid, but OK. Funny how America survived – nay, prospered! – for 235 years holding dear to these holidays and traditions that now must be attacked at every opportunity.

You don’t feel like partaking of the celebration? Fine with MasterPo.

But many other do.

Please stop peeing in my Cheerios.