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MORNING BUZZ: Franchise, Embarrassing and Really…LET IT GO!

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Good Morning!

So I was sitting at my desk yesterday and a colleague stopped by my desk to talk for a second.  He and I don’t see each other on a day-to-day basis…he looked at me and said “are you high?”.  Obviously I answered  no at 10:30 in the morning (or anytime really).  He said my eyes looked red and glassy.  No no, that’s just the benefits of 15 years of a morning schedule.  I’m 10 days away from a long vacation…needless to say I’m looking forward to the sleep.

To the News:


This was the only decision voters in Des Moines could make.  It seems rediculous…and it is.  The $40 million ruling will mostly go to the lawyers.  Here’s the thing, the Judge can’t just say stop charging the fee.  If he ruled it illegal he has to set the precedent of making the City give it back.  Otherwise, what’s the incentive for another city, county or State taxing body to just charge and illegal tax.  Until someone challenges it they can reap the financial benefit.  

This case, the potholes in every road and the number of water main breaks we’ve had over the winter make me wonder when people are going to understand we have let a lot of these costs go far too long.  Cities, counties and the State have allowed their  infrastructure go.  The cost will me millions all at once instead of a few hundred thousand here and there over the last 15-20 years.  The reason plain and simple is politics.  Not wanting to raise taxes seems like a fiscally responsible policy…people like you and elected officials tend to stay elected officials. now a lot of those politicians are retiring…they’ll leave the mess for someone else.  Spending the taxpayer’s money responsibly is a good thing.  But the lack of attention ion things like sewers and water lines and even roads and bridges borders on criminally negligent.  It’s tie to come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of some of the stuff that keeps our communities running.  It’s not sexy… but it’s necessary.


The exchange on the floor of the Iowa Senate yesterday should embarrass everyone in that chamber.  It won’t.  Both parties will retreat to their corners and say they were provoked, that the other side is entrenched in its ideology.  Then they’ll talk themselves into the idea that their constituents elected them to stick to their guns and not give any ground.  

I’m waiting for the day people in Iowa start asking their elected representatives to go to the Statehouse, the County building or the City Council Chambers with an open mind, debate the issues, assess what CAN get done and do it.  Think critically, listen with an open mind, and make educated decisions.  To the average observer all of these great debates at the Iowa Statehouse are  nothing more than theater…in the same way a Jerry Springer episode is.    


This is a great example of what I just talked about.  If recent Polls are to be believed…and I think they are; Iowans don’t want to see recreational marijuana sold in our state.  Great.  But the same polling shows Iowans have no problem with Doctors dispensing the product of a marijuana plant for the treatment of pain or disease or seizures.  Why not make that last instance a test case?  Allow doctors to dispense Charlotte’s web, a byproduct on one kind of marijuana plant?  If that works…control the substance the way you would control percocet or codeine.  Make it hard to get…but not impossible.  

I can only imagine why.  No one wants to see their face on a commercial for one of their primary opponents… Rep. Bob Soandso voted to legalize marijuana in our state... That’s an excuse…that reveals priorities and shows little faith in the electorate.  

Entitled Child v Parents

Did you see the kid suing her parents for the cost of college?  How did we get to the place where we feel that kind of entitlement?  The case in New Jersey involves a girl who moved out of her parents home.  Her parents say she was drinking and dating a guy they didn’t like…so they laid down some rules.  The girl says she suffered physical and verbal abuse from her parents.  I don’t know who’s right here but until the girl can show some evidence of physical abuse, she should go back to her parents.  In fact that friend’s parents should have driven her home a couple of nights after she left.  

As for the cost of college, we were having a conversation in the Newsroom about this.  There is no rule that says your parents HAVE to pay for your higher education.  If you want to go to school…pay for it.  But we all are guilty of giving our children the impression they can have anything they want.  I know I do it way too much.  We’re trying to reverse that impression before it’s too late.  An article my wife forwarded me recently said it best.  It’s a list of 26 things parents need reminders of.  Among the best are 6-8

6. Don’t confuse children’s wants with their needs. Don’t fall for the smooth talking 15-year-old’s line: “Mom, you’ll probably want to buy me a brand new car because it’ll be really, really, really safe…definitely safer than me driving your big old van.” Privileges are not entitlements.

7. Remember that kids are hardy perennials, not hothouse flowers. Let them be cold, wet, or hungry for more than a second and they’ll appreciate the chance to be warm, dry, and fed.

8. Abstain from taking the role of Sherpa, butler, concierge, secret police, short order cook or maid.  Your child is hard-wired for competence.  Let them do for themselves.

I remember, well a lesson in parenting that my folks gave me…They made it VERY clear I was not their friend…I was their kid…their responsibility and they were the boss. No questions asked (thought I did quite a bit).  My kids may not like it very much now or when they are a teenager and I don’t let them do something their friends are doing, but I want to keep the question in mind: How am I preparing them for the world they will face as an adult?  It starts now.  

Finally…Let it GO already!

When the traffic guy in Cincinnati did the parody of the now Oscar award-winning song Let it Go, I thought it was funny, and creative.  His explanation of why he did it…his daughter’s love of the movie, Frozen, was enough for most of us Dads to say…”sure I get it”.  The three or four TV stations that have done it since now seem to be just looking for attention.  

I tell people all the time…you ARE NOT FUNNY.  Very few people are, and the ones that are usually think they are not.  Being really truly funny takes timing and intelligence and a sharp instinct about when you shouldn’t say anything at all.  

I don’t have it.  

I love watching people who are funny or listening to people who are funny.  Nothing is more awkward than someone who tries to contribute, and instead ends a conversation that is rolling with humor.  Instead of making the Let it Go thing funny…now it’s just annoying and awkward…

But that’s just what I think…Let me know what you’re thinking about.  Comment about this post or anything else you’d like to talk about.  I always love hearing from the people who read this.



  • Missy Ham (@Anthillgoddess)

    You are right on the mark all through this blog post today!

    I’m the mom of an (in April) 15 year-old girl and a 6 year-old boy. The two couldn’t be more different except in one way…I’ve let them treat me like a “homemaker” instead of like their mother. When I psychoanalyze myself I think I’m trying too hard to BE the perfect mom to them since I stay at home however I know all I’m really doing is keeping THEM from learning to do these things for themselves. They *do* know, though, that Mom and Dad rule the roost (can you tell we’re farm folk yet? LOL) and that if you don’t like the rules, the door is available at any time. I liked the judge saying that he didn’t want to set precedent on kids getting mad at the rules and then suing their parents for support…someone who’s thinking far past the case in front of him at the moment. Also liked that he recommended family therapy before they’re to reappear in April.

    As far as your colleague asking if you were high…I think I would have found myself quite offended at being asked. Anyone who knows someone who works early (or late) hours knows that look all too well and knows it has nothing to do with marijuana use. That being said, at least that person had it in them to ask you directly instead of holding on to a suspicion that eventually becomes rumor and supposition…so there’s that.

    Great blog today (per usual!) Thanks!

  • Steve Herbert

    I think that kids ought to be introduced to children who have lost both parents, or otherwise orphaned by ” the school of hard knocks ” rather than the loss of parents through separation, or divorce, which is common. Separated parents are seeing their offspring, and often subject to their child’s demands and bribery schemes, playing on the parent’s guilt, or ex spouse rivalry. But an orphan knows how close they are to being throw aways. I believe it’s on the north side of the Woodland cemetery where the orphans were buried as the nameless, and the unloved.

  • Linda

    “How did we get to the place where people feel that kind of entitlement?” I can’t believe you even asked that! Seriously this is the kind of world we live in now, so totally exacerbated by the potus himself. We all have to be “equal”, we all deserve what others have even if we don’t work for it — it is just taken from others who have it. It is all so about “what you can do for me, not what can I do for you”. Give me a break! Just look at the health care debacle and the urgency for the increase in the minimum wage…..where do you think the monies for these are coming from? It is most certainly not from the “have nots”. This country as it is right now is in a sad state of affairs. This Titanic sized block of ice is only going to get bigger, and things will only change when we pull together and fight to get it back!!!!!!! Until then man the lifeboats and grab your lifevests.

  • Dawn W.

    I have to point out a clarification on something you said today, Pat. You said there is no rule that says parents have to pay for higher education…. unless you’re divorced. Read Iowa law, it specifically says the cost of higher education of children from divorced parents will be split 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 – father, mother, and child.

    It is rediculous to have that law in the books. Perhaps some kids are going to “suffer” because neither parent wants to help, but there are plenty of kids whose parents can’t help anyway and higher education is an extra, nothing anyone needs, but the law is there.

  • William Dickerson

    Speaking of “franchises”, if I have my facts correct, or more correctly, if the supervisor from Mediacom had his facts correct – Iowa law makes it impossible for us to get cable Internet where we live. Why does Iowa law make it impossible? Runnells has the lock on cable service. You live in Runnells, you get cable service from them. I contacted Mediacom one day for an issue with one of our Mediacom accounts at work. While the supervisor I was working with was digging into the issues we just chatted a bit about this and that and I made a sort of jab about them not wanting to provide service for us. It was mostly joking. He asked where we lived, I told him. He asked what our mailing address was, I told him – he said it was because they were barred from providing service in the area served by Runnells. Here’s the kicker – we live so far away from that town that there’s no way in heck they’d build their plant out our direction – but because we technically have their address, Mediacom can’t service us either. the town won’t, the cable provider can’t. So we’re stuck. We also live in a cell dead-zone. It’s humorous, really. Lay the cell service map over top of the county property maps and guess where the cell service stops… yup, our property lines! Even the staff at the cell store had gotten a laugh, then a really funny look when they realized it was real. So Mr. Governor – if you want Iowa to have Internet – you need to make some changes to the RULES here! I mean Texas and Wisconsin have FIBER to the HOME! We can’t even get cable.

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