So I’m Hearing Big Business Can’t Be Trusted . . .

Where was this picture taken?–could be anywhere. It seems this scene is becoming more and more common place these days. This could be the town YOU live in. Let’s hope that this pic wasn’t taken on an ordinary day.

There are, of course, pros and cons to the cap and trade program but for me one of the benefits of living with a cap and trade policy is that the quality of the air that ALL of us breathe will be better. We can only hope that water pollution and earth bound pollution would be positively affected as well. I’m thinking about my granddaughter and other peoples’ grandchildren and their children. What gives us the right to condemn them to a life of illness or cancer or lung disease. They don’t even get to have a say in what happens to them. Actually, they not likely think too much about pollution. Inherently they believe that the adults in their lives will protect them from the bad things that could happen to them. How we doin’ so far?

Meanwhile morons like the one just elected would spend 30 million dollars of our money fighting to open the gates to big business so they can continue to screw us over under the guise of working in our best interests.

Government paid lobbyists and spin artists will be paid millions of dollars to tell us why they are right and we aren’t. Just a minute–Our newly elected government citing fiscal responsibility as part of its platform will spend 30million dollars on court costs and fees and pay professional spinners many millions more so that big business can make more money by using our environment as one huge toilet. All of this while claiming to be operating in our best interests. Really? Don’t you just love politics.

To be clear if big business grew some “nuts” and worked to support the general population and to promote a sense of responsibility and true citizenship we wouldn’t need a cap and trade policy. This is more about their greed and egotism and yet they ask us why we don’t trust them to act in our best interests. To be clear I’m all for profit on investment but how much is enough and at what cost?

Anyone remember the”acid rain” concerns in the 80’s? It’s interesting to note that the U.S. has had a cap and trade program to curb sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions in effect since the 80’s and it is still in play without any of the ‘fears’ of the naysayers coming true. Emissions have been reduced by 50% with no negative ramifications to big business. The big winner has been the environment and a generally healthier population.

So some of the general concerns pro and con:

Businesses that have chosen to be more responsible concerning the environment can actually make a profit from a cap and trade situation. For instance, If they have already lowered their emissions below what they would be assessed at they can sell the balance of their emission allotment for cash. The cash would come from those companies who haven’t been able to or haven’t bothered to be responsible partners on the planet and are now required to lower their emissions or be penalised in order to continue to do business.

The government can also purchase emission credits and then resell those same credits at increased values to companies who are not in compliance and need to be or continue to be fined. The money that is raised either by fines or by selling emission credits would then be used to fund the development of new energy sources that would benefit businesses as a whole.  As capitalists there are times when we need to understand that to make money sometimes money has to be spent. Business cannot continue to suck the daylights out of the very people who contribute to their bottom line. Those companies who are forward thinking will be and should be rewarded for their foresight and their diligence–progressive thinking helps as well.

To those businesses who are whining about not being able to compete because of unfair differences of production costs I say–“If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen”–can’t compete that’s your problem. Isn’t that what business says to us?

Perhaps some kind of a sliding scale of tax credits for equipment bought to lower emissions? Perhaps business could suggest something. Perhaps we could all work together with the best interests of everyone in mind not just those looking to get to the bank more often.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, all the best, Jim

(Photo image by cnn.com. Used for research, criticism and/or educational purposes. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

Comments to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

 

 

They’re Doing It To Us—AGAIN . . .

So who is that fourth guy on the pic at the top of the page? I bet half the folks out there have no idea what his name is let alone what he does and what he says he stands for. His name is Mike Schreiner and he is the provincial leader of the Green Party. Now as of now I’m not a supporter of the Green Party but that could change only because the other three are boring as hell. NO imagination and not much in terms of being honest. If they were honest they would share how they are going to come by all of this money they are throwing around like they had it.

The major TV networks don’t cover Mr. Schreiner much. Does anyone even know what the Green Party’s platform is about? Does anyone even care? Frankly I’m ashamed to say that provincial and federal politics are embarrassing and are a joke, albeit a very expensive one. Oh they do make a few attempts at instituting meaningful change in the lives of the people who pay the freight in this country. But democracies are not run by the “will of the people” a much as they are by the will of the ‘boardrooms from coast to coast.  Our system is still the best in the world but it lacks creativity and guts. It lacks integrity and true co-operation with each other. The recent cash grab to cover electoral promises being the legalization of cannabis for personal use still rings in my head. However, that’s a whole other topic for me.  At least the Green Party seems to be willing to speak about some life changing issues. I do think that it is hypocritical for these three “top guns” to shun the GP especially when they espouse the concepts of freedom and diversity but show nothing close in practice.

I, for one, would like to hear what they (GP) have to say in contrast to the other three parties. I would like to here it on a national TV station.  Maybe, just maybe, they have something of value to add to the mix. At least they seem to care for the environment in spite of what Ford and his mentor D.Trump have to say about it. But then no one has really put credit to the idea that either one of them is brilliant either. Are we destined to get what others pay for?

We have three major leaders running for the same office and they are:

Kathleen Wynne. She became premier under sketchy circumstances. I can excuse some of her initial mess due to the situation that McGuinty left her to deal with. Don’ tell me she didn’t know but I can see how her hands might have been tied-for bit. But she also came with an agenda that seemed to occupy too much cranial space which could have been better spent dealing with the problems at hand. She really didn’t show any creativity or indicate that she had any idea about how to govern and be innovative. Perhaps her greatest achievement will be overseeing the plan to specifically name particular parts of our anatomies. She didn’t lend much to the political landscape and now she can’t even decide on a clear platform representing her own party. She is content to say that she supports quite a bit of what the NDP is talking about. Now there’s a real confidence booster if you are a Liberal.

Then we have Andrea Horwath. Out of the four leaders she has probably stepped up her game the most. That’s not saying a great deal but at least she has developed a personality, a new look (for her) and is showing it off to the electorate. As for new issues or new ways of going about the province’s business–nada. It’s the same tired stuff repackaged with some different numbers attached to it but it is the same approach we are used to hearing about. Again, lacking any creativity and making it difficult to get excited about any new approach to help more of us share the Canadian dream. The same folks are handling the money and are likely to continue to do the same things with it as they always have and that is not sharing much more of it with us regular folk.

Now we get to Doug Ford. Comes from money and knows how to keep it. No political experience to speak of and reminds me far too much of  Donald Trump. They are cut from the same cloth with a similar message. Truthfully, I would not expect anything different than what we have seen from him. If given enough time Mr. Ford would self destruct just as good ole Donny has. Yikes–don’t do it folks.

NOT ONE OF THESE CANDIDATES MENTIONED THE ONE MOST IMPORTANT CRISIS OF THE DAY–THE NEED TO CREATE A NEW PARADIGM CONCERNING EDUCATION(Go to jimcloughley.com/learn) for more about this important issue).

What are they doing to us–AGAIN?  They are simply telling us what they think we want to hear. As voters, we are not asking the questions that need to be asked either. Candidates must be forced to provide an explanation of “how” and if they can’t then they get no press time until they stop talking about all of our money they are going to give back to us. Use your vote wisely and make them accountable–don’t let them buy your vote.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, Jim

 

It’s Time For Parents To Do This . . .

I have struggled mightily to stay out of the darkness that surrounds Donald Trump and for the most part I think I’ve done OK. I won’t waste much of your time here going on about him. He isn’t worth our time actually but again but one never knows what he will say next. I’m not sure even he knows. We need to ask a couple of questions: “Is he a joke for our time or is he a person to be concerned with in our time?” I don’t think he will be remembered for anything that he did that was good for our time. We do, however, need to protect or insulate ourselves against the possibility that his rhetoric doesn’t infect our sense of positive world citizenship.

As Canadians we should be very concerned about whatever drivel comes out of his mouth and yet he is, in many ways, in control of what happens to us here. However, there is one institution that he can’t or hasn’t affected–yet–and that is our educational system. How we educate our children and how we create our futures. I do believe that certain aspects of our culture could be at risk. That’s why I feel there is an urgency for us to re-write/re-create the pedagogy concerning how we teach our children and curriculum concerning what we teach our children. But in order to do that we have to re-write or re-create a new direction and basis for what we do in our schools from public school to university. There needs to be a new focus and a new method in place that allows our children to have a say for themselves what they are excited about learning so they can continue to move toward the eventual enlightenment and enthusiasm that comes from a desire to have a meaningful place in the society they want to live in. Up to now we have managed to provide just enough interest in the mainstream student to continue to move ahead and not settle for complacency. That complacency is what concerns me about people like Trump who has the power to do almost anything he likes and no common sense to know what to do with it. It’s like having someone flip a loaded gun around with the safety off.

Education will be the worlds salvation-of this I have no doubt. Those who believe the same need to rise up and be heard. We need to be sure that our children have a chance to develop their own innovative opportunities, to trust in their own creativity, decency and the value of the global participation of like thinkers. We need to be focusing on taking care for those who can’t yet and we need to come to the place where we understand that better for “them” means “better for all.” There is close to 8 hundred million humans walking around on Mother Earth who are illiterate who would see life much differently if they could read and write. Marginalising them is not the answer.

There are pockets of people on the planet who are beginning to move toward this progressive way of seeing the world but that movement is fragile at best. It needs more fuel to feed the fires of change. We do that by managing our educational systems much more closely and we become much more interested in how our kids are doing when looking at other children in other parts of the world. We guard against the complacency that still exists and the blind trust that “they” will do right by us. “They” are those who have the power and control over how education is done today. How we educate our children is not working well now. We have been doing “education” this way for the last 100 years and it no longer suits the overall needs of today’s learner. So says the learners who have gone through the system and so says much of the marketplace who are looking for more soft skill capabilities from graduates.

As parents we need to scrutinize the curricula that our children are exposed to and whether the methods of teaching are appropriate for the times. Our kids need to be enjoying the opportunity that school provides them to learn, how to think and to be innovators and creators and not be deterred by those who would be critical and closed minded. Parents are the ones who can do this by supporting their children’s efforts to be those free thinkers. Kids need to be allowed to choose their own field of interest based on what excites them. It is their life not ours to spend. Some will err no doubt. Some will not accept the responsibility of choosing for themselves-no doubt. But so many more will decide to work on finding ways to solve the poverty and fresh water problems. They will work collaboratively to help solve the worlds issues and are more likely to support diversity and what being human really is about regardless of where folks live. We just need to look around and listen to what our children are doing these days to see that they are more interested in global issues than making large sums of money in a career that has no life in it.

You want to make a difference? You want to be an important part of your child’s growth into adulthood then get to the town hall meetings coming up in your area and ask the candidates what they think about the state of education in your area or province. Vote for the ones that see it as in need of change. If they have no thoughts about it then DON’T put an “X” beside their name. They don’t have your kids best interest or yours at heart.

I have been asked to contribute to this topic a bit more often so I will. Thanks for stopping by.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, Jim

Comments can be sent to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo image used for education, research or criticism purposes only. I derive no monetary benefit from the use of this image)

Teachers Lives Matter Too . . .

Unless you have been passed out under a rock somewhere for the last week or two you will know that 17 young lives were taken for no other reason than they were where they were supposed to be and the murderer wasn’t. Among those who were wounded or murdered were the teachers who get up every morning with the very thought that this might be the day. That’s a hell of a way to start anyone’s day. Those I don’t admire-are those who refuse to show a backbone and have placed children’s lives ahead of the right thing to do. That would include the politicians who spend their time sucking up to those who are positioned at the underbelly of the NRA.

Those I do admire are those students and teachers who have not shrunk away to the shadows to feel sorry for themselves but rather those who have stood up, brushed themselves off and have shown more grit and courage and passion to do the right thing than the so called leaders who are supposed to protect them. These kids will be heard and they will make a difference.

I guess what bothers me the most is that whenever an African American or Latino citizen gets shot all kinds of marches happen and cries of racial bias and lack of caring fill the air. But who is marching for the Teachers? Who is out there chanting for justice to find them?

These Teachers are the people who actually hold the nations future in their hands and yet no one seems to recognize the significance of what just happened. It is about far more than losing the precious lives of these 17 human beings and their minds. The world lost their creativity and vision as future scholars and difference makers. Every time a tragedy like this happens more people decide to either leave the teaching profession or they get involved in another career choice. When a suggestion like giving guns to teachers is made it is not only the most ridiculous and repugnant suggestion that could have been made but it shows a COMPLETE lack of understanding and empathy for teachers and what they go through every day to try to do the best they can as educators. They spend their days with one eye on the door each minute of each day not knowing who may be on their way through it with malice in their hearts.

The NRA can and will keep this debate alive and well for as long as it can because there is a fortune to be made each day the rules stay as they are. This isn’t about fundamentals. This is about cash-pure and simple. I believe the law makers need to stop trying to ban guns and re-think how guns will be tolerated. Here are three suggestions they might want to consider:

  1. There is no question or doubt that assault rifles need to go. They serve no logical purpose and they are only made and sold for one purpose and that is to KILL other human beings. A 357 will do the same thing. So assault rifles are to be owned by law enforcement or military personnel only. Home owners do not need an assault rifle to protect and defend their property and their liberty.
  2. If you feel you need to own a gun to defend your property then you would be able to purchase a hand gun after going through the proper and most thorough process known to man. Only after completing the appropriate assessments, background checks, criminal records and after an appropriate waiting time do you get the chance to purchase a legal fire arm from a legal retailer–no gun shows-no magazine purchases. If you are found to possess a hand gun bought on the street the time served should be on a chain gang (first offence-1 year-no fine) cracking rock and making new roads.  If you are able to purchase a hand gun you take it home and it stays IN YOUR HOME. It does not see the street. It does not see the light of day. If you need it to protect your home then it should stay in your home-locked, loaded and safety on.
  3. If you have a burning need to have a rifle of some kind then you join a gun club where they have lockers that can be secured. Join a club where the targets move and you can hunt them. When you are done the gun(s) are locked back up again and you leave knowing that it will be right there for you whenever you want to go back and blow off another 100 or 200 rounds-who cares.

The problem today is the NRA has people believing there has to be one solution that fits all situations and of course that is never going to happen. The NRA will continue to spill the “life blood” of the citizens and businesses will continue as usual.

The bigger problem for me is that more innocent children will die. More teachers will die or quit. The educational process that is absolutely vital for any country to succeed or survive for that matter will become an afterthought instead of a priority. Nature hates a vacuum. Dictatorships are born from citizens who demonstrate a lack of education which, in turn, creates limited thinking and no political will. Laugh if you will–would never happen here you say. When you look around at the troubled countries of the world there aren’t many that have the freedoms we enjoy at present. Our high rate of education keeps us insulated from the chaos that other countries experience. To continue to do that we need to protect our teachers not drive them away or worse yet kill them off.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim

Comments will find me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo image used for education, research and criticism purposes. I derive no financial gain from the use of this image or any others.)

 

I’m Not So Sure I Would Call It A Democracy . . .

I offer my sincere gratitude to those who witness and manage the outcomes of the human destruction and tragedy that seems to be increasing all around us. What they do is amazing and I’m not sure how they do it. I’m just glad they do. That goes for soldiers as well. Amazing people who are passionate and who care about their fellow humans. I thank them all.

I’m also thankful that I live in a place where most of my basic needs are met but saddened by the constant erosion of those rights in the name of my own best interests. Canada is truly the best country on the planet to live in-I would not want to live anywhere else. But I’m becoming more challenged to see it as a true democracy. The word ‘democracy’ suggests majority rules. The will of the people is supposed to stand above everything else. For instance, in a true democracy, Trump would have been removed from office a long time ago. He certainly does not have the backing of anywhere close to a majority. He wasn’t elected by a larger number of voters. I am not a ‘Hillary’ fan but she did garner 2million more votes than he did. Put two or three names on a piece of paper and a check mark beside the one you like. Count the check marks and there is your leader. Pretty simple stuff.

I don’t quite agree with the interpretation of ‘democracy’ as it stands. I do not want to put my vote in the hands of a politician who doesn’t know me or know how I feel on a particular issue. Why then should he cast a vote either yeh or nay in my name. If we lived in a true democracy we, being eligible citizens, would be able to have a direct say in the important issues that frame our lives in some way almost every day. A direct say would simply mean-ONE VOTE cast by each eligible individual. The person or issue with the most votes wins the day. It is considered to be the common will of the people. This is a true democracy to me.

And it is not true that anyone can run for public office. Money, time, support of power brokers, special interest groups and those who gain if John Doe is elected are some of the reasons why the ‘average Joe’ can’t run or would never win an election. Let’s at least be honest about that.

The following are some of the issues that I believe need to stay within the direct influence of everyday people and not left to the representatives we send to parliament to represent our best interests. I can’t remember the last time my ‘representative’ called me to ask for my thoughts??

For example: (I realize that rule by plebiscite isn’t ideal either. However, it is much easier to do now using the technology available and it sure is more ‘democratic’ than the current system.)

  • We need to have a way of impeaching a leader if he/she fails to live up to ‘election promises’ within a specified period of time. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver–it’s called accountability and honesty.
  • Declarations of war. Perhaps the leaders could send their kids to be among the first to fight the enemy. Would they be as anxious to wage war a half a world away?
  • Implementation of the death penalty. This issue should not be left to whichever leader has the strongest moral conviction one way of the other. It depends on what we collectively stand for and what kind of justice are we seeking.
  • Abortion-decision should be the sole decision of the mother.
  • Gun control. If you like to shoot go to the gun club where your secured firearm is located. It is different if you hunt for food and clothing. I understand hunting for sport. You just don’t get to keep the thing tucked away in your closet. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons should never leave the firing range or designated firing areas.  They are useful when hunting people and that’s about it. The NRA now wants to have silencers legalized. Apparently, it hurts their ears–HEY-get some friggin’ ear plugs.
  • Legalising cannabis–for medical purposes only and absolutely. It should be covered just as any other prescription is covered.
  • Major constitutional changes depending on what they are. If the outcome would interfere with how the government goes about it’s business then that outcome needs to be dealt with in a different manner.
  • Euthanasia–it’s MY life and it does not belong to anyone else. If I want to end it because I have had enough and I am deemed to be of sound mind then the state should not have a say in that.

These are some of the issues that we ALL should have a say in–a direct say-one vote-one eligible citizen across the board. If more people vote yes than no then it happens. If you don’t agree then go out and try to persuade as many others as you can that you are right and they need to listen to you.

Let’s leave the government to macro-manage the national systems like the railroads, highways, air travel, funding national education programs, global representation at the UN for example and negotiating international trade agreements, the judicial system, national medical programs, national defence, international climate change initiatives, funding R&D and energy production. These issues are discussed when elections take place-vote your conscience. The other issues are what we have to live with every day of our lives and for the most part direct the quality of our living experiences each day. We need to have a direct say.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, Thanks for stopping by, Jim

Contact me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Disclaimer: the use of the photo is for education, research or criticism purposes only. I derive no monetary benefit from the use of it)

Who Are These People Anyway? I Thought They Were On Our Side . . .

Even Jean-Luc and Will (Star Trek Guys) are having difficulty trying to figure out what in the world the so called ‘brain trust’ is thinking about over in the provincial education department these days. We trust them to do right by us in terms of making decisions that are in our best interests. Unfortunately, I can’t trust in that anymore. There can be little doubt that much of the decision making coming out of Queen’s Park these days has to do with generating money to help replenish the gross amount of money that this outfit has squandered during their term in office. An election can’t be far off.

However, re-election should not come at the expense of our kid’s education. I believe there are three things that should remain universal and untouchable: education, health-care (including the cost of prescription drugs) and freedom.  We are told to do more with less but the time of doing more with less is coming to an end. The fat is gone and service seems to be next. Perhaps the MPP’s would set the example of doing more with less by taking a 20% pay cut and a hefty reduction from a bloated retirement package. Oh, not possible they say–I ask why not?

There seems to be an old pattern at play and that is to act without considering the whole picture before deciding a particular issue. In this case, it is continuing to close schools at quite a clip to save money. I don’t doubt there are some school buildings that need to be closed because they are too costly to try to save. However, there are many that are being closed because of inefficient use. Are enrollments down? Yes, they are. Have they considered ways to increase enrollments? Have they thought about how to re-engage with students who have dropped out of school? Have they considered converting some schools into multi-use facilities or is it easier to just shut them down and move on?

Have these decision-makers considered the overall importance and symbolism of having a school in a small rural community? Have they considered that without a school the likelihood of EVER generating any new interest or growth in a rural town is just about impossible? Having a local school is about demonstrating leadership, social stability and providing hope and opportunity for all even if the group is small. Kids depend on their school for a central sense of identity and connectedness. Boards don’t seem to care much about that.  How many parents want to have their kids bused an hour or two one way to attend a school with which they have no connection or history? How many opportunities would the parents have to be any part of their child’s education and what kind of relationship would they have with the teachers entrusted with educating their kids? What they, the bureaucrats, don’t seem to understand is that education is far more than books and learning. It’s about developing community spirit, creativity, and collaboration. These are the very skills lacking in many of the programs in larger centers. If a government can’t find a way to do that then they should move out and move on.

Some of the smaller schools could be refurbished especially with the new technology that is available. Utilizing solar energy and heat pumps instead of burning expensive fuel oil. Great ecological example for the next generation. Other countries are building homes and buildings out of cardboard. They are reputed to be as efficient and durable as bricks and mortar but a great deal less costly. Consider the multi-use option that many small communities have adopted.

Multi-use possibilities: Size school buildings to accommodate the number of students who will attend.

  1. Part school and part community center with a public gym.
  2. Create regular school classrooms and special education classrooms for challenged learners in the same building
  3. Treatment facilities and out patient clinics (re-habs)
  4. Medical clinics
  5. Day care/child care facilities
  6. Social service centers
  7. Rental space for small private sector businesses like dental offices or optometrist offices

We are inviting more immigrants with young families to come to Canada. These kids will need to go to school. What a wonderful opportunity to practice our goals of providing a diverse setting for all who come to join us. There are a growing number of professionals who like the idea of practicing in a rural or small town to get away from the ‘big city experience.’ They will want to know there are good schools where they are considering working.

Closing schools, especially at the current rate, is not only short-sighted but borders on negligence. Strong word. I am aware of what it means. Educators know that the communities without schools are likely to die and yet they continue to plan on closing many schools that don’t need to be closed at least before trying other means of sharing the costs of keeping them open. That is negligence to me. Perhaps it’s time to create a new funding strategy instead of using the old one that doesn’t represent the taxpayers very well. It is the obligation of our governments big and small to assume the responsibility to provide adequate education not limit its availability.

Parents need to fight for what they deserve or they are likely to get what they deserve. Don’t leave it to the government to save the day. Education is too important to leave it to the educators. 

Anyways, that’s how I see it. Thanks for stopping by. All the best, Jim

Comments will find me at jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The use of this image is being used for education, research and criticism purposes. I do not derive any financial gain from the use of this photo provided by vladville.com

One Week Goes And Another One Comes . . . It’s What We Do In Between That Counts

Commentary:

This week I happened upon some truths and wisdoms (if wisdoms is not a word it should be so I’ll use it anyway) that really stopped me in my tracks. I cannot take credit for them but I can say that they made great sense to me and I have adopted them as part of my mantra. I can also say that I appreciate the person(s) who did write them and the clarity he/she enjoyed at the time of their creation–well done.

We all need a mantra and if you don’t have one yet you need to get going on it if you are over 60. I am over 60 and I now see the need to express how I feel about things as I see them and if folks don’t like that approach so be it. I no longer have a need or an obligation to apologize for how I see the world I live in.

The following are but a few of what I have come to understand and accept about myself:

  1. I don’t need anger management.  I need people to stop pissing me off!
  2. Old age is coming at a really bad time!
  3. My people skills are just fine.  It’s my tolerance to idiots that needs work.
  4. Even duct tape can’t fix stupid … but it can muffle the sound!
  5. Lord grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the friends to post my bail when I finally snap!
  6. Teach your daughter how to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, All the best, Jim

Comments are always welcomed at:  jim.lifechoice@gmail.com  OR  jimcloughley.com

Send this along to family and friends–with my thanks.

Disclaimer:  The photo used in this article, by picsmine.com  is used for research, criticism or for education. I derive no financial benefit from using this image.

Truth Talkin’ Thursday:

Jane and I were talking about how ridiculous things have become and how frivolous some people can be when a judge in Canada can be condemned by the public and disciplined for wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ t-shirt on his own time and NOT in a courtroom but rather a supermarket. Catch the rest of our discussion on u-tube–Episode 42

A Forward Thinking Program:

I have begun having some ‘unofficial’ conversations about the new paradigm of education that my colleague and I have been working on for the past 2 years. Had some great responses and heard some skepticism as well. Happy to say that there is much more support than doubt about the need to create a new way of educating and preparing our kids for the 21st century marketplace. When I have a final draft ready to go I will start to release some of the talking points of the program for the public to consider with the hopes of beginning serious conversations about the future of our children and their learning opportunities.

 

Perception vs. Reality: How Much Of Us Fits In Either?

The photographer responsible for this amazing shot is unknown to me. This resource is being used for education, research or criticism purposes only. I derive no financial or personal gain from the use of this resource.

Such an amazing photo. Is it real or is it photoshopped? I’m not saying one way or the other.

Perception: means becoming aware through our senses; recognizing and interpreting through                                       sensory stimuli

Reality: means accepting things as they actually exist; the world or state of things

Lee Atwater, an American Political Consultant, is mentioned as the originator of the quote: ‘Perception is Reality.’ Others have said that most people hear what they want to hear and they don’t hear the rest. That may be true as well. My question then is–Do folks really want to know the truth or just what appears to be the truth? Should we trust those who claim they will fight for our best interests? Let’s consider 5 areas of our lives where we really need to be more diligent if we want to seek out some Peace and Serenity in our lives.

  1. POLITICS–The most obvious one is politics. For the most part most politicians are masters at creating the perception they are genuine, they really do care and will work tirelessly to right the wrongs of those who have gone before, they have answers others seem to have failed to implement or come up with and all that needs to happen is for them to be elected. Trump is the master of deception. What he is doing is what most sociopaths and narcissists do and that’s create confusion, blame others and promote deception. The perception they create is one that is truly believable and thus becomes a reality. What we hear and see forms our beliefs. We want to believe what we hear is the truth. A good politician will take advantage of that. The reality is most politicians will get just enough done to keep them in office for the next 4 years.
  2. MEDICAL –What the system wants us to buy into is that all that can be done is being done. We have come to believe that equipment needs to be that expensive and that drugs need to be that expensive . However, we have been told by professional groups, doctors, governments and lobbyists that drugs need to remain expensive to help cover the cost of producing the next generation of drugs so that our health and the ‘cures’ that come with that can and will be found. The perception is that without those drugs people who don’t have to die–will. Click on the link I provided to see how the poor pharmaceutical companies are managing to scrape by.  In this case the perception and the reality of the medical/pharmaceutical industry is the same. 
  3. BUSINESS–The petroleum industry is so good at creating the perception they are in trouble. They justify the price of gas at the pumps based on future contracts and then don’t live up to that explanation when the prices drop in the world market place. The perception is they are hurting and we need to help them survive. We settle for a shrug of the shoulders and say, ‘So what can we do about it?’ The reality is they are making as much or more than they used to-at our expense. Another perception is that our government is doing it can to regulate prices and keep them under control. The reality is that they are complicit in the ‘big’ plan of amalgamating oil reserves and will eventually create a global marketplace that will create a global price. Some would call this an monopoly.
  4. ENVIRONMENT–This one is likely the most egregious perception of them all. We have been told for years the world environment is in serious trouble by those who are in a position to know. The Americans, for one, have recently debunked this as ‘fake’ news. They have created a perception that all is well and that the earth is in fine shape despite hard scientific evidence to the contrary. The government wouldn’t lie about that–would they? The reality is they would if it meant that companies were going to profit more.
  5. EDUCATION–This perception is the easiest to defend. For years we have been told that we have one of the finest systems in the world. Not true anymore if it ever was. Currently we rank 6th in the world behind South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Cong, Finland, The U.K. and then Canada. We continue to make erroneous and misleading comparisons with other countries based on questionable numbers. The reality is we are not living up to our obligation to lead. We have sold out. Other countries are gaining or passing us by in terms of growth and development. We need to be less accepting and more questioning of what our leaders are trying to sell us. The old saying goes: ‘They will do it to us long before they will do it for us.’

Perception is NOT reality. When we buy into the excuses and the stories about why something didn’t work out we are adding strength to the perception and we don’t see the reality.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. If you want to comment send me an email at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com  OR  connect with me through my web site at: jimcloughley.com

Please send this along to friends and family with thanks

Thanks for stopping by, all the best, Jim

The reality is that we will believe our perceptions to be  true

What Gets Your Blood Flowing A Bit Quicker? My Top . . .

Source of this photo: itsclaudied.wordpress.com. This photo resource is used for educational, criticism or research purposes only. I derive no financial gain from using this pic.

What is it that really gets your blood moving? Which people or situations have to present themselves before you really want to scream at something or someone?

What I do know about me is that I don’t tolerate fools easily and greedy, insensitive, selfish and self centered people disturb me-sometimes deeply-perhaps irrationally.

If you have a minute or two tell me about what disturbs you the most and moves you to ranting and anger. We all have something-what’s yours? Send it off to me at jim.lifechoice@gmail.com . No names are necessary. I’m interested in compiling a list for a future blog and would consider some of your comments.

If it helps I’ll go first:

When I look at global leadership I think of Canada and the U.S. On the surface it currently appears that there exists a huge gap concerning principles, values, morals and just about everything else that humans should concern themselves about. I supported Justin Trudeau for PM. Who is or could be more despicable and hateful than Donald J. Trump. I’m not suggesting for a moment that the two men inhabit the same ugly place in history BUT they both disturb me greatly (bigly in the Donald’s case.) at times.

Trump–In Trumps’ case it’s just that he is so separated from the people that he claims to care about. (For more reasons please read my blog from last week to understand what that means.) In short Donald Trump has, at least, done or is doing what he said he would do, if elected. It is difficult, for me, to be angry at someone who does what he said he would do. Isn’t that what we are looking for in our leaders?  My concern is not that he moved so quickly to get started as much as it is about HOW he did what he did. He doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass who got hurt or who he threatened to make it happen. He has the power and the control.

He has appointed a large number of folks that are just like him. Steve Bannon, for one, should not be within ten miles of the place and yet he is Trumps’ number one boy. Apparently it was Mr. Bannon who hurried along the implementation of this likely unconstitutional edict. I’m aware that what happens south of us often ends up in our lap as well and that doesn’t sit well with me at all.

It’s not his habitual lying that bothers me. It’s more about the swamp he swore to get rid of and the inhabitants who were, supposedly, installed there. But he didn’t bother to empty the old one. Instead he just built a new one called the White House. Apparently he likes to build ‘new’ things. I don’t like him. Actually I could easily be moved to glorious anger when his name is mentioned. It looks and sounds like a huge ‘frat’ party gone wrong somehow. The party favours are power and control and the outcome is yet to be determined.

What angers me? He is such a thick skinned tyrant and nothing that I say or do, nothing that anyone says or does, can reach him emotionally. He is exempt. There is a disconnect between Donald and the world he now reigns. There is a certain fear and hopelessness that is connected to most things he does.

Trudeau–He oozes compassion and generosity. He inherited a certain amount of caring and wisdom. But does he care about us as Canadian citizens anymore than Trump does in the U.S.-really? He was so quick off the mark to say that we will take up the slack if or when refugees are displaced or turned back. That statement has since been amended somewhat. I get that the PM is a humanitarian. But he also seems to have this saviour complex going and Canada is not just his to play with. The point is there is a practical cost involved here as well. As a country we are running a deficit which we are ALL responsible for that is growing at a rate of $3,000,000.00 /per HOUR-every hour. We still have difficulties orienting and covering the costs of the last group of refugees we accepted into our country. We invited them and we need to look after them-I agree. Let’s not agree to invite too many others until we can do it right. We struggle to take care of our veterans, indigenous people and the mentally ill. To me THEY are the ones who are next in line and long overdue for that consideration. The decision to share our wealth needs to come from a national discussion and agreement. Being elected with a large majority isn’t a free pass to do that. Assuming it does is very disturbing to me.

We elected our Prime Minister to lead not dictate but sometimes, as with Donald J. Trump, those who spoke with a ballot need to be heard and taken seriously not just paid lip service. In this case Mr. Trudeau can be just as intransigent as Mr. Trump. Certainly he is more sophisticated I’ll happily give him that.

Anyway, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim

Please pass this along to family and friends. Send comments to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

Is It Possible? The Truth About The President . . .

Photo origin unknown to me. Photo used for education, research or criticism purposes only. I receive no financial compensation from the use of this resource.

The question on the lips of many now is: “Why is President Trump so obsessed with the number of people who supposedly attended his inauguration?”

I believe that the explanation is quite simple. I’ll need to provide some background first.

Ever read his ‘tweets’? Good Lord he is supposed to be a grown man with awesome power and responsibilities and here he is ‘tweeting’ to his groupies like some adolescent or Rock Star. Perhaps a periodic deviation from reality?? He shows more concern about the number of followers he has than how he is going to provide health care to millions. Great message to our kids.

But he’s like a cash cow to news organizations. He received more attention and TV time than most of the other candidates combined and that includes Hillary Clinton. So the ‘love affair’ with Donald Trump is as much a creation of the media as anything or anyone. Sadly we will never know what Trump would have done if NO ONE reported on his antics or wild statements knowing that the majority of those statements were lies based on no creditable or factual information. It seemed not to matter after a while.

So let us consider some observable facts:

(Psychology Today suggests that “Psychopathy and Sociopathy are terms with an intertwined clinical history, and they are now largely used interchangeably. The DSM excludes both, in favor of the term antisocial personality disorder).” Some characteristics would be:

-superficial charm and good intelligence

-unreliability; untruthfulness and insincerity

-lack of remorse and shame

-sex life likely impersonal, trivial and poorly integrated

-specific loss of insight–he has lied to the public so many times it must be difficult keeping them all separate.

-pathological egocentricity–he is the center of his universe

-secretive, paranoid, authoritarian

-only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired

-irresponsibility-does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed. He must be the most ‘misunderstood’ man on the planet. He NEVER gets it wrong.

-shallow emotions-outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises. eg. the great wall of Mexico.

A quick summary of things that fit the ‘profile’:

-this is a man who has bragged about his ‘conquests’ of many women and how he likes to grope them hoping that the public will believe and be in awe of his sexual prowess. He has talked openly about his penis like he was discussing tomorrows’ weather forecast.  Where is the feminist movement when they are needed. Oh yeah they showed up the other day about  year late.

-he has mocked disabled folks, slammed Blacks and Latinos and disparaged most other immigrant groups with no concerns about social circumstances. He will say or do anything with no concern about validity or accuracy or facts.

-he openly stated that he knows more than the generals about ISIS and that he and he alone can fix the problems of the world. He doesn’t need anybody’s help to do that. He is the great ‘I am.’

-obsessed by power–‘You’re fired’

-pathological lying-has no problem lying coolly and easily. It is almost impossible for him to be truthful on a consistent basis. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

-it is inconceivable to him that Hillary could be more popular than he is and so he is dedicated to create a story or offer ‘alternate facts’ in order to prove that she is not more popular than he is-that he got more of the popular vote or the theory about illegal voters. His paranoia was evident. He will lie (even when everyone knows he is lying), deflect, misrepresent and defame any opposition to what he wants or stand for. Destroy the messenger and you destroy his/her message.

-he turned on his friends and colleagues to march through the primaries and the debates. He never offered up any substantial ideas-he didn’t have any. Because he had no original thoughts he trashed everybody elses.’ He attacked their reputations and credibility. That’s what bullies do.

Is he smart? I suppose he is but not in a way that could be considered good. Someone always seems to pay a price for knowing him. He uses people and when they can be of no further use he blows them off.

Yup-I sure want a guy like this running the show for me. One of the symptoms of those who suffer from an anti-social personality disorder is the ease by which they can justify their actions and their behaviours. Is he getting some things done–yes. Does he care about how the majority are affected–no. Good luck America-you’ll need it.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best–Jim

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