Archive for January, 2011

New Contributor

Posted by Troy on 31st January 2011 in Uncategorized

We at Swamp Fox Press would like to welcome our newest Contributor, Jon.  Jon is a Vietnam vetern, was a lineman with the telephone company for twenty years, and a professional photographer.  We are sure that his experiences and writing sytle will be a welcomed addition to our fold.

Long Live the Constitution!

Tiger Mom vs My Dad

Posted by Troy on 30th January 2011 in Human Nature

Amy Chua (Tiger Mom) has become somewhat of a celebrity for her book extolling the parenting skills of the Chinese over those of Americans.  I have decided to compare the highlights of her methods verses my father’s.

Amy Chua believes in pushing her children to excel at everything.  This sounds great on the surface.  However, what goes along with this is not.  There is tremendous pressure on her children to succeed on all they do.  Worse than this is the exclusion of things that the children would like to do that could possibly enrich their lives.  They wanted to participate in the school play…forbidden.  They want to have sleep overs with friends…forbidden.  Structure is good and fine, but there comes a point when it goes too far.  She is mandating the kind of life they should have, when that may not be the life for which they are best suited.  Will practicing three hours a day make them great musicians?  Probably.  Will stressing schoolwork above all else ensure academic success and possibly a higher paying job?  Probably.  Will these items make them happy?  Maybe, maybe not.  There are plenty of talented people who are miserable and turn to drugs and drink–same goes for the rich. 

My dad was strict by most of my friends’ opinion.  He always stressed that we should do the best we can at all things.  When we did well, we were rewarded.  When we did poorly, telephone or television privileges were removed.  In a lot of ways, he was very similar to the Tiger Mom.  However, he always let us be our own people.  Our thoughts were our own.  Our direction was our own.  He never tried to tell us what kind of job to have.  He told us ”You can be a janitor if that’s what would make you happy but be the best janitor you can be.” 

The worse thing about Tiger Mom’s theory is that it robs the children of the human interactions and friendships they make in childhood.  My two truest friends came from my childhood.  If I had to choose between vast success and having these people in my life, there is no contest.  The types of decisions you make for yourself determine your character.  This character developing process should start in early childhood.  Her children are being robbed of this important process.  I wonder how her children will turn out.  I suppose they will either have trouble relating to people and have early heart attacks or be grand successes. 

The Chinese vs Americans.  Say what you will, but our Freedom produces as many world class athletes and performers despite the Chinese having a vast population from which to pull people.  Also, here we are Free to do what we want, whereas their athletes are given that as a job.  And yet, we’re still winning.  If I have to choose Freedom or Control, I’ll bet on Freedom every time.

This is not to say that American parents should not be involved with their children.  In fact, most parents are not nearly as involved as they should be.  There is a balance which should be maintained.  That is the correct path.  Children should be motivated, not controlled.  Raising intelligent machines is pointless.  Raising fully-developed, intelligent, free individuals should be the goal.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Posted by Troy on 28th January 2011 in Entertainment

It has come to my attention that Marvel Studios is changing the name of the movie to just “The First Avenger” so that it might not hurt international ticket sales.  Unless there is a huge rewrite, is this not a practice in futility?  He’s still going to be called “Captain America” throughout the movie.  Also, I understand that he is going to wear the traditional costume.  I think the international community is going to catch on that it’s about Captain America.  Why is it that we seem to be the only country that is concerned with how other countries view our patriotism?  Why do we seem to think that it is something of which to be ashamed?

Marvel Studios should release this as is.  Let it be a pro-American rant.  We the People would eat it up.  Constantly, we are subjected to movies and shows that declare that Americans are an undesirable lot.  While there are dark moments in our history, there is still a lot of which to be proud.  Captain America is supposed to symbolize that.  He is a hero what believes in the rule of law.  He believes in the Constitution.  He believes in our country and the American spirit.  Above all else, however, he is a hero of deep moral convictions and virtues.  Marvel should not bastardize the franchise just for the sake of international ticket sales that will end up being weak regardless.  Hurting their own brand hurts their credibility, and that will hurt their overall ticket sales for other movies.  Also, changing the name and declaring that Captain America will not be a jingoist flag-waver is going to turn off their most important fans, patriotic Americans.

Consolidation

Posted by Troy on 26th January 2011 in Political

One thing Obama discussed in his 2011 State of the Union address that worries me is Consolidation of power inside the government.  Now, there are two possible outcomes from the consolidation of powers.  The possible good outcome is that they are able to consolidate powers, reduce departments, cut federal jobs, streamline procedures, and reduce duplication of duties and costs.  What could also happen is that it ends up creating federal departments which are so powerful they can rule by executive fiat.  They are already trying to expand the powers of the EPA and other departments to circumvent the Constitution and rob people of their rights.  If we make them larger and more powerful, this aim will be easier to achieve.

State of the Union Address

Posted by Troy on 25th January 2011 in Political

Needless to say, the State of the Union address has deteriorated into mere political hot air.  I personally blame live TV for this.  However, it is still worth discussing.

I find it very interesting that Obama speaks of solving the debt in nearly the same breath he talks about increasing “investments.”  I should imagine that the term “investment” has focus group tested as being more acceptable than “stimulus.” 

First, let’s discuss the comparison to China.  For instance, the super-trains.  In America, we do not invest in things that are economically unviable.  If there was enough demand for these new trains, we would surely build them.  The reason that they are built in China is because the Chinese government can order something built, and it doesn’t matter if there’s not enough demand for it.  It doesn’t have to turn a profit.  The fact of the matter is that any company foolish enough to invest in these new bullet trains would quickly go bankrupt.  Americans love cars.  Plain and simple.  Our economy works differently than the Chinese.  Eventually, economic reality is going to catch up to the Chinese.  It would catch up to us much faster as we actually live (at least to a certain degree) in economic reality.

Second, let’s discuss the deficit.  He talks a great deal about lowering the deficit.  However, he doesn’t discuss the only thing that will save the deficit: getting rid of entitlements.  Govenment programs all start out with the best intentions.  Welfare was intended to help war widows.  What happens is called mission creep, where the program just continues to grow.  As these programs grow, you have the unintended consequence of people choosing to partake of these entitlements rather than work.  In the case of Social Security, people will merely spend their excess money rather than put it into their retirement savings.  Each entitlement is a sinkhole. 

Finally, let us end with a discussion on illegal immigration.  Every attempt of “immigration reform” which involves giving a “path to citizenship” for any group here illegally only gives yet another incentive for illegals to come here, particularly with their children.  From where do you think the money to pay for college for students under the DREAM act will come?  I have a feeling that it will be from scholarships which could have gone to American citizens or our tax dollars.  I will say, students who are here on a student visa who excel in their field of study should be given a path to citizenship as a way of keeping top prospects on our side.

Swamp Fox Press

Posted by Troy on 24th January 2011 in Uncategorized

Hello,

I am Troy David Newham, the author behind Swamp Fox Press.  Our team is a small but determined group.  We currently have a staff of three.  Out of respect for their privacy, I will only refer to them by first name.  Terri is our editor-in-chief.  She graduated Mercer University with an English degree and was the first person to graduate that institution with a degree in creative writing for poetry.  Gene is our site admin.  He graduated Valdosta State University with a degree in computer technology and has several years experience in the private sector.

The inspiration for our website is the original swamp fox, Francis Marion.  Francis Marion was a leader during the Revolutionary War.  He lead a group of irregulars against the British.  Using cunning, he was able to harass the British despite being out numbered and out gunned. 

We plan on being a responsive group.  If you have any questions or any topics you’d like for us to discuss, please don’t hesitate to let us know.  I will be adding to the blog often.  I will discuss my view on current events, my writing, books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, or whatever may strike my fancy for that day.

Welcome

Posted by Troy on 20th January 2011 in Uncategorized

Welcome to Swamp Fox Press.  Our page is currently under construction, but we look forward to bringing you the writings of Troy David Newham.  Visit often for his commentary on current events and his writing.