Archive for December, 2010

The Law Of Effect and Unemployment

December 30, 2010

The Law of Effect and Unemployment


The consequences of a particular behavior determine whether we are likely to repeat that particular behavior (or something similar) again in the future.

If consequences are punishing, the behavior is less likely to occur in the future.

If consequences do not occur at all…no environmental change following a behavior happens…the behavior is less likely to occur in the future.

If consequences are rewarding, the behavior is more likely to occur in the future.

Governmentally arranged consequences for population behavior patterns must be informed by the Law Of Effect, or government will destroy the quality of its population’s behavior.

From the perspective of The Law Of Effect: What do you think the outcome will be of our government continuing to extend the “benefits” of unemployment compensation to our unemployed citizens?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Who Is Teaching Morality To Our Children?

December 27, 2010

Who Teaches Morality To Our Children?

I believe that America is increasingly weakened by our failure to teach morality to our children. The most effective ways in which moral behaviors are taught to children are through others “modeling” (showing or describing) moral behavior for children and then “positively reinforcing” (rewarding in many ways) their actions when they imitate adults and peers moral behaviors.

It is axiomatic that “Do as I say, not as I do!” fails pitifully.

My question to you is who is teaching morality to our children? Do you think the majority of our parents are doing so? How could that be so when so many of our parents are behaving immorally, or simply unavailable to children due to divorce, work or other activities? Do you think it is our grandparents? How could that be so when so many of them are behaving immorally, divorced, living away from grandchildren, traveling, or disaffected from their own children? Do you think it is our schools? How could that be so when schools are no longer committed to teaching America’s traditional Judeo-Christian codes for moral conduct and their display has been outlawed from the classroom—all of this with no comparable moral code replacement? Do you think it is our religious organizations? How significant is this influence when increasingly our churches do not teach a strong moral code of conduct for fear of offending their parishioners and losing financial support? How strong can church influence be when our sociologists consistently tell us that families are no longer deeply and significantly involved in church activities and with church social functions?

Can you please tell me Who Is Teaching Morality To Our Children?

My own answer is: Fewer and fewer good parents, fewer and fewer good grandparents, fewer and fewer good private schools, and fewer and fewer good churches. Of course, there are some clubs that remain dedicated to teaching moral and ethical principles such as Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownie Scouts and Girl Scouts, etc. that are also declining in popularity.

Fewer and Fewer of us and our institutions are teaching moral behavior to our children.

Therefore, how could we expect anything but less and less moral behavior in America?

Can you see that these problems imply many solutions?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   12/27/10

Let’s Stop Making Our Own Misery

December 26, 2010

Let’s Stop Making Our Own Misery

Albert Ellis has written about how we make ourselves anxious and depressed by embracing certain irrational ideas or beliefs. He is correct! You and I both know from experience that it is not so much what happened to a person that makes them is how they choose to think about what happened to them.

I once sat with a friend who was dying of cancer. I dreaded visiting him simply because I feel more skilled at talking about coping with life and less so about coping with death. My dear wife, who is a nurse, is so much better at that than I am. It was comforting that she was with me that day.

To our surprise, our bed-side visit with our friend was another valuable lesson in life. Our friend welcomed us with a great smile and, after our initial greetings, he said: “Let me put this in perspective”!

He then cheerfully summarized the many wonderful things that he had the good fortune to enjoy in his life: His marriage, his children (now grown), his grandchildren, his good friends, pleasant hobbies, his pleasures and good fortunes in work, and his faith in God.

All of this from a man who we knew had suffered some significant defeats, hardships, losses and embarrassments in his life. In short, he had many of the problems in his life that a lot of people would describe as failures and great disappointments.

But not my friend. He chose to focus on the good things. The good things were as real and they were much more enduring than the bad things. By focusing upon the good things he became an inspiration to everyone who knew him. He beamed a glorious comfort for all of us to aspire to imitate.

He was thinking rationally about his own death. It was not a horrible or terrible thing! He could choose to be miserable in his last days, or he could strive to find some happiness and do some good for others. His thinking was positive in nature and he focused upon his own intended goals. His thinking was as follows:

Everyone dies. I am going earlier than I wished, but 68 years is a long time. There is much that I have accomplished. I will celebrate the good things. I will not dwell upon the bad things that I cannot change. My last gift to everyone I love (including myself) will be my love of them and my cheerful encouragement of them to carry on, make good contributions, be happy and enjoy their lives!

If my dying friend could do this through the power of rational thinking, it is certain that we can do better with our common problems in life— that we must find ways to manage and overcome.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.  12/26/10

Merry Christmas VI

December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas VI 

The best Christmas light display. Sent to me by my life-long buddy Vic Palenske— it is really neat!

 Nat King Cole and his daughter Natalie! What a great idea, made possible through modern technology.


Merry Christmas V

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas V

My dear mother loved Nat King Cole and this song, by this incredible singer, was one of her favorites. When I hear this Nat sing this song it bring back memories of wonderful childhood family times at Christmas.

Have a wonderful Christmas!


Merry Christmas IV

December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas IV

I wonder how many people remember Johnny Mathis, one of the most phenomenal male voices I have ever heard. He was very popular in the late 1950’s and 60’s when I was dating my wonderful wife, Sally.




Christmas III

December 22, 2010

Christmas III

The following is for those of you who have some Irish in your ancestry..or for those of you who would enjoy kissing the Blainey matter your heritage!

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas II

December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas II

It seemed an odd and unlikely combination when David Bowie and Bing Crosby teamed up to sing ” The Little Drummer Boy”.  But it was a wonderful combination that many people have never seen.

I hope you will enjoy!


Merry Christmas 1

December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas 1

Dean Martin: A wonderful crooner from the Italian tradition!

Click, listen, and remember.


Wikileaks and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

December 19, 2010

Wikileaks and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

I have a very sweet and peaceful run-up to CHRISTmas planned for my blog.

 I hope you will stop-by on each of the five days before Christmas for a short, effortless and  delightful treat starting on Monday. No politics, no controversy, just heart-warming reminiscences.

But for today, I will address two issues that have my blood boiling..and I will “take the gloves off” to discuss these issues.

The first issue is Wikieleaks. Some say that the leaking of thousands of America’s secrets during a time of war was an act of “free speech”, even patriotism. Never mind the wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, and maybe…Iran, N. Korea, and their allies…not to mention the ongoing world-wide onslaught of radical Muslim Terrorism).  During WWI and WWII would have executed those responsible and shut down the news sources that published them. But, of course,  those were the days when we were savage enough to win wars and survive as a nation.

First some definitions:

The Espionage act of 1917 defined espionage as: A) conveying information with the intent of interfering with an operation or the success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies, and B) false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and to willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States.

According to the Constitutional Dictionary, Treason is “The offense of attempting to overthrow the government or one’s own country or assisting its enemies in war.

If proven, the purposeful leaking of thousands of secret and top-secret informational items by U.S. Army Private Bradly Manning is clearly an act of treason. I vote for the death penalty or life in prison. In the not too distant past, private Manning would have justifiably faced a firing squad. I prefer the traditional approach to such matters.

With regard to Julian Assange, the Australian activist who took the thousands of leaked U.S. secrets and sent them to news outlets and published them on the internet, very grave consequences are also in order. He is not a U.S. citizen, so the Espionage Act of 1917 may cover his offense. If only one of our people is killed, or any of our allied forces, I will hope that we provide  more “leaks” to Mr. Wikieleak. A firing squad would provide him the deserved leaks.

I will not stipulate the punishment for our own news media, however they need an object lesson in the differences between patriotism, protected free speech, and Treason. Severe penalties should be applied to these business organizations.

It appears that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has been repealed. We are fools for loosing sight of the fact that when one enlists in the military that they lose their civil liberties. All that matters is that wars be won and our targets be destroyed in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Nothing, certainly not social sensitivities or political correctness, should ever be allowed to interfere with this task. We have already damaged our fighting efficiency by mixing women into close quarters our male fighting forces. The results have been the necessity of new “sensitivity” and  heterosexual conduct training, increased cases of sexual harassment, rape cases (investigations and court proceedings), loss of training investments and operational readiness due to pregnancies, and within-troop marriages and divorces with all of the fall-out…all cavitating within our military.

Now that actively gay and lesbian enlistments are encouraged, the same problems will likely more than double. More than double? Yes, I expect this because gay men generally have a great many more sexual partners than do straight males. Sexual fidelity, at least among gay males, is not a controlling moral value for most.

The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell is a result of our military leaders caving-in to the strong-arm tactics of our progressive political leaders who pander to their liberal constituents in order to stay alive. The repeal is also a result of a naive young voting public, the majority of whom, know nothing of the military ethics and operational standards that made America the mightiest on earth.

Our behavior, in all domains, continues to be massively self-destructive.

Wake-up America

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.  12/19/10

P.S. While my respect and gratitude goes to all who serve honorably in our military, my Strongest admiration goes to the Marine Corps, who never gave-in on this issue.  I am proud to have once been a member of our submarine service. They too are an elite fighting force, but they have caved to recent political-correctness pressures. Soon there will be both women and active homosexuals on our submarines. If I were a young man today, knowing what I know now, I would hope to qualify to serve in the Marine Corps. They worship and live their unparalleled traditions of exclusivity and high achievement…and they did not forsake their primary responsibilities to America in order to pursue a politically motivated social experiment during a time of war.

%d bloggers like this: