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April 22, 2015     The Florala News
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April 22, 2015

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PAGE 4 THE FLORALA NEWS- WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2015 II I I The Florala News' editorial section is intended to provide our readers and citizens as com- plete an opportunity to express themselves with as few restrictions as possible. Profani direct or implied, and attacks on one's person rather than on actions or deeds are not ac- ceptable. Publication on this page in NO WAY REFLECTS AGREEMENT OR ENDORSE- MENT BY THIS NEWSPAPER. BB Time for an adult discussion about America's role in the world Presidential primary season is upon us, and handlers of candidates of both political parties will attempt to control how the public perceives them. It should be a time of great debate about the future of the country. Wage deflation, a national debt approaching $20 trillion, the government's culpability in the student loan bubble, and a gray- ing population destined to consume more and more taxpayer resources are all big problems confront- ing the nation. But perhaps the most significant problem is America's declining status in the world. This past weekend, images from Libya of another two groups of Christians being executed for their faith were seared into our consciousness, just another of a se- ries of horrific actions by an enemy that we dare not speak honestly about lest we be called bigots. Conversely, this past weekend, hand-picked businesspeople, who were wined and dined by the government of Iran, regaled the media with sto- ries of a country that is ready to be transformed. The eager-to-please group apparently never once thought to ask their hosts about being allowed to bring American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini home with them. The Iranian-born Abedini was in Iran visiting family and helping build an orphan- age when he was arrested in 2012. Subsequently, he has been threatened with the death penalty due to his refusal to renounce his Christian faith. Abedini's story doesn't fit the Obama Admin- istration narrative that the Iranian government wants to join the responsible nations of the world and can be trusted with the means to develop a nuclear device, so his name dare not be mentioned, and it rarely is by official sources. While hosting the either gullible or willfully ig- norant businesspeople, Iran also announced that they were moving warships to the coast of the country of Yemen, escalating the probability of wholesale war in the Middle East, as Yemen con- trols the Red Sea choke point for exporting oil from Saudi Arabia. The peaceful Iranian mullahs also are receiving sophisticated air defense missiles from Russia to protect their nuclear bomb-making capacity from air strikes. The kind and misunderstood mullahs also marked their "Army Day" with chants and official- ly-sanctioned billboards saying "Death to America" with others urging "Death to Israel." President Obama, who knows something about lying to achieve his ends, discounts the words com- ing out of the Iranian leaders' mouths as political rhetoric, and trusts that they, like him, are willing to tell the public what they want to hear in order to thrive politically. Of course, his very contention that death to America is politically popular in a rapidly-becoming-nuclear Iran should send shivers up the spine of any thinking person, but aur nation seems in short supply of this type of citizen. The U.S. Senate, for its part, has responded by rolling over on its back with its paws in the air, as they are moving forward with bipartisan legis- lation by Republican Senator Bob Corker of Ten- nessee that abdicates their own Constitutional authority over President Obama's Iranian treaty framework. Hope comes from a potential lively presidential debate about our nation's future role in the world. The past six years have seen an unprecedented power vacuum deliberately created by a United States foreign policy that has made the world less free and more dangerous. This presidential election season, foreign policy must take center stage. A real discussion of Amer- ica's role in the world must be conducted. Beyond Iran and their nuke potential, a new U.S. president will also face the expanding Rus- sian imperialist threat; a China with a collapsing Great expectations? BY GARY WELTON "If your children are no better than you are, you have fathered them in vain, indeed you have lived in vain." -Solzhenitsyn from "Cancer Ward" Actually, I am not satisfied merely if my chii- dren are better than I am, for I have set that bar rather low. At the very least, my goal is that my children will be above average, better than their peers. I am not speaking of academic ability. We are drowning in evidence of academic strengths and weaknesses, based on required standardized test- ing. Instead, I am thinking of positive youth devel- opment, sometimes referred to as character devel- opment. Do people view me as a man of integrity? Do people view my children as people of integrity? Are they contributing members of society, in their families, at the workplace, and in their church- es? Psychology is not as accurate when it comes to measuring positive youth development. It is a more subjective domain; the evidence is easier to misinterpret and exaggerate. A large amount of research in psychology is based on survey data, in which people describe themselves. The evidence suggests that such data are always suspect, because people are not good judges of their strengths, their weaknesses, and their particular motivations. This reality has been documented in David Myers' book, "The Inflated Self: Human Illusions and the Biblical Call to Hope." This book provides convincing research evi- dence of the problems associated with self-report data. We are not very accurate when we evaluate our own characteristics, especially in those areas where the evidence is more subjective. If self-report data are questionable, you migh t wonder why they are so often used. It is a mat- ter of logistics and pragmatics. More reliable data require more sophisticated and more expensive methods. One potential approach, however, is to gather data from multiple sources: For example, instead of just asking teens to provide self-report data, one might supplement their answers with re- ports from their parents. If teens exaggerate their skills and characteristics, we might get a more bal- anced perspective from their parents. Or not. Along with my colleagues, I surveyed teens and parents from 223 families, asking teens to rate both their characteristics and the nature of their family dynamics. A parent for each teen also rated the teen's character development and the family dynamics. It is impossible from these data to defin- itively determine the accuracy of the teen ratings, but based on the historical analysis, we would ex- pect that the teen self ratings would be inflated. We do have the ability to compare the teen ratings to the parent ratings, which might help us evalu- ate the extent to which the teens inflated their self ratings. Or not. For each and every one Of the primary vari- ables of interest, the parent ratings were statisti.- cally higher than the teen ratings. If indeed the teens exaggerated their self ratings, as we would have expected, then the parents exaggerated even more. We defined positive youth development by com- bining scores from five different scales, including selflessness, forgiveness, gratitude, resilience, and satisfaction with life. On this index, parents rated their teens higher by .29 standard deviations than the teens rated themselves. We also measured self- control. On this measure, parents rated their teens higher by .58 standard deviations, The difference was even larger when we asked respondents about family dynamics. On this measure, parents rated the family dynamics higher than did the teens by .67 standard deviations. Letter tothe Editor After rain postponed the doubleheader slated for Friday afternoon, the Florala Wildcats base- ball team made the early Saturday morning trip to Millry, AL for first round AHSAA playoff action. The Wildcats, plagued by well placed base hits, fielding errors, and a few questionable calls, were defeated in both games, 17-2 and 8-0, ending their bid for a state championship. However, I Would just like to take this time to thank every Florala baseball player for his class, respect, and overall behavior in a place that was far from friendly. Be it the rap music with its' vul- gar language blasted between every Millry batter that limited communication on the field, the con- stant cat calls, whooping, and even at times per- sonal statements made from the opposing dugout see LETTER page 8 The Florala News BY RICK MANNING economy, lots of new military hardware, and a need to divert their people's attention away from domestic problems; and a startling lack of friends around the worldl The new president will face demoralized military personnel using materiel which has been stretched to the limit through constant deployment with a public that, unless they are convinced otherwise, cares more about getting free cell phones from Un- cle Sam than protecting our national interest. It is going to be a very hard, complicated job made impossible if a clear vision has not been de- veloped and articulated during the election cam- paign. The time to start is now. It is time for candi- dates to have the debate over our nation's foreign and defense policy. It is time for candidates to lead this discussion and educate the public why this is important. It is time to have the big discussions about our nation's future. Or we can spend time analyzing what Hillary Clinton ate at Chipotle in Iowa and whether she tipped. America needs a real political discussion, not a Buzzfeed/TMZ gotcha-fest. The only question is, are we adult enough to have it? - The author is president of Americans for Lim- ited Government. Does it teens   " Iquences? " " _ d'sh Make the Switch [ to Dish Today I.] r m ] IE ,,' and Save Up To $0%   sm.z Call Now and Ask How! \\; " / _ . 1-800-318'5121 Call7daysaweekSam.llpmESTPtomoCocle:MSOH3 'Offer subje o change bas on premium channel availabilitl :0 StatePoint Media THEME: POP ICONS 6. Fictional company in old cartoons ACROSS 7. Testing site 1. Fathom 8. Quality of having size or , 6. Priestly vestment strength 9. 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