This Is Deja-vu All Over Again . . .

An odd thing happened to me the other day. On November 25, 2018 I went to bed as I usually do and woke up the next day only to find it was sometime in the 60’s. I had turned on the TV and saw a noose hanging from a tree in the Jackson City square outside the Capital Building in Mississippi.  I was immediately transported back to those dark and awful days when our humanity showed the world it’s absolute worst–American style. Hangings were pretty normal or as normal as they could be I guess. Segregation was in full bloom and black people were denigrated, beaten, often disappeared in the middle of the night–some never seen again, kidnapped, forced into some kind of servitude, denied access to public buildings and services all because the color of their skin was different–that was it.

A quick fast forward using my remote brought me back to today but not before many memories were released for me to contemplate. I wondered how this could be happening all over again in the new millennia some 55+ years later. And who is leading the band? None other than the latest demoralizing example of child-like leadership–the man himself–Donald John Trump. Here he was out stumping for Cindy Hyde-Smith trying to make sure she has every opportunity to win that important seat. Why is he out there anyway? Shouldn’t he be at the White House trying to sort out the problems of the world?

I believe that he is to be feared not because of his shrewdness or intellect but because of the damage he could do to democracy and the rule of law with very few checks and balances to stand in his way. Puppets like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell appear to be virtually useless. When it comes to doing what is right and protecting the sanctity of the office Trump is virtually running on alone. There is no danger of Ryan or McConnell growing a pair.

So how is it he is allowed to get away with the shenanigans he pulls off? Here he is standing on a stage in from of the crowd of course, his favorite spot, (it really is all about him after all,) talking like he knew what he was saying when we all know he hasn’t a clue about much else than how to be repugnant and to show his ignorance of how to be civil and gracious. He fell over himself trying to be supportive of his candidate and couldn’t say enough good things about her. She was wonderful and all of this with noose in the ‘background’ reminding the Black Americans what could happen if they vote the wrong way. I’m still at a loss how any self respecting Black American could even consider voting for this woman especially after saying she would love to sit in the front row of a public hanging dressed in her little Miss Confederate uniform with a rifle in her hands. Wow! And the American fearless leader had nothing to say about any of this. Tell me he is not a racist and a bigot. His lack of any kind of condemnation about the whole set up speaks volumes about his true view of Black Americans. He will do nothing to help Black Americans get ahead in the U.S.ofA.–nothing. What has he done for them so far? Besides embarrass himself and act fraudulently about his true ‘love’ for all the people of his great land.

But again what can the world expect from a man who is bereft of emotion. He has no basic understanding of compassion, and his timing when offering any condolence or real support to someone who has just experienced a sad event explains why he has to be told by his ‘advisers’ when to emote. If it were not for ANGER and PETULANCE he would not have any emotions at all.

All this said there is a great deal that Trump can teach us if we free ourselves to listen and not be taken by a growing sense of ‘righty-ism’. The world, in general, seems to be moving to the ‘right’ these days by demonstrating their bravado. Demonstrations have become an opportunity to openly threaten and intimidate other groups by the swastikas they draw on buildings, by desecrating burial grounds, houses of worship and schools. It used to be that our civil society wouldn’t tolerate this behavior in the name of freedom but now freedom is used against many to say and do whatever they want.

The question is do you want to step back in to the past when the rich got richer on the backs of good hard working people who just wanted a little bigger  piece of the pie. We are not our neighbors to the south–Yet. But look closely at our own back yard. Andrew Scheer–a ‘Trumpite’ in sheep’s clothing. Always complaining but never the suggestion of a solution and Doug Ford-a recent graduate of the prep school Trump came from. Both giving and stand-up guys. Both capable of  deception and malfeasance without blinking an eye.

We need to pay attention to the little things these guys are doing. Any politician who says he has a magic solution to the problems at hand and all we need to do is trust him/her to get the job done should be the reason to yell–“Run Forest Run!”

Our relatively peaceful life is beginning to look like deja-vu all over again.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best, thanks for stopping by–Jim               Send your comments to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(image by gazette.com. The photo is used for criticism, education or research purposes only. I derive no financial benefit from using this image)

Get Him Outta Here . . .

It wasn’t that long ago in real terms but it seems like a life-time ago that Donald Trump was elected king south of the border. When his journey, and our nightmare started, I remember a rally he was at where he had security toss out a dissenter. He uttered those famous words ‘throw that guy outta here–yeh throw him out.’ Thus began his constant assault on freedoms and rights and it has not slowed since. He has managed to discredit the media in the eyes of many and once that happens we are all screwed.  He has not been kind to the country or the world for that matter. He spreads chaos and discontent wherever he goes. For me, he re-in-forces the belief that money cannot and does not by class.

Beyond that, however, and if that is not enough, a growing number of people suggest that he will go down as one of the all time worst representatives of the US people and what they used to stand for in the world. He has sold out the reputation the US had cultivated and held so dear–that the country was fair, powerful and could be innovative. Now they are just bullies.

Sadly those in a position to sanction him choose not to do that. Perhaps for the fear he will find a way to survive or the promise of mutual greed or both–you choose. Instead they support the idea of  combining politics and economics to create foreign policy at the expense of their own (declining popularity) support base. When interviewed he continues to prove his basic ignorance of several key issues and the environment is one of those issues. He has no clue about what his policies are doing nor, I believe, does he care. His support and pressure to support pipe lines, coal fired energy generators ( he promised 8 key coal producing states that he would put them back to work and 7 states believed him. Wyoming,West Virginia,Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Montana, Texas, Indiana) and the growth of nuclear energy by building new reactors is dangerous not to mention costly and time consuming.

It takes approximately 5-6 years to build a nuclear reactor at an estimated cost of 8-9 billion dollars. Instead of investing in a future for his people that would ensure much more affordable energy with a never ending supply of renewable energy he chooses to cow tail to Saudi Arabia and the other oil producing and pollution producing countries around the globe that will continue to have the power to influence global policy by withholding or reducing oil supplies. Russia and China come to mind. I don’t look forward to those two having a say in how we live our lives according to which Autocracy you wish to listen to.  If we don’t believe that those two countries don’t have any sway with the Middle East producers then we are not paying attention to world politics. The evidence is there for us to see. Consider Trumps’ ‘kiss me quick’ relationship with Putin and the hollow threats of meaningful sanctions against China.

I have included a video link-about 3:30 in length that deserves our attention. Please watch it and then ask yourself why are we, here in Canada, not considering investing in the product outlined in the video rather than considering other more costly and environmentally disruptive and destructive sources of energy. If this process is what it reports to be it seems like a no brainer to me. It makes perfect sense to develop an industry that other countries would seriously consider using–almost zero emissions, cheaper, cleaner, would replace gas for our trucks, cars and airplanes with minimal disruption for auto makers, virtually an endless supply of basic product that currently causes a great deal of concern for our overall health (co2) and the health of the planet, and one that we would not have to spend a great deal of financial resources on trying to figure out how to minimize it’s presence.

How about you?

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

Send me your comments–jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Image used by Getty  Images/istockphoto–I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image. It is used for education, research or criticism purposes)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-company-says-it-is-sucking-carbon-from-air-making-fuel-1.4696817

 

 

 

 

Where Have All The Voices Gone?

As I periodically tune into what is happening in the United States and I wonder what has become of the once proud and globally respected nation it was, I question where have all the voices gone? Unfortunately the few Republicans who still garner any kind of respect from those out side of Trump’s puppets have lost their voices. It’s the worst case of collective laryngitis ever recorded in the history of “their” country as Trump calls it.

I have stayed away from spending time swiping at and castigating Trump and his posse. They continue to dominate the news broadcasts on a regular basis to the point where CNN has dedicated several prime time spots to providing a regular report of the lunatics at work. These spots have become part of their broadcast menu.  CNN has complained about the tactics that Trump employs to deflect interest or attention from screw ups or poorly thought out policy decisions he has made. Yet they promote these deflections by pointing out or focusing on the fact that he is doing it again–HELLO CNN-you guys are becoming part of his tactic. How much important national or global business stuff has happened in the last while besides insulting Canada on any occasion he can take advantage of? I speak here about NAFTA which is now the USMCA as demanded by Trump.

It is truly a sad and very poorly developed soap opera. I get that he is truly a mentally ill human being. There can be no doubt about this fact–no fake news here. According to the DSM-5 he exhibits most if not all of the characteristics of NPD–Narcissistic Personality Disorder. There are many who also suggest he demonstrates many of the signs of being a Sociopath. Good guy to have near the button–right?

It seems, however, that folks have become less interested in what he has accomplished and more interested in knowing or hearing about what craziness and absurdities he has conjured up now. TV news programs are becoming obsessed with being the one who brought him “down.” They really do go beyond the news that we need to know sometimes. Is the world any closer to getting rid of this sad soul? I’ll believe that when I see it happen. I still believe that if there was a total blackout of public news broadcasts concerning Donald J. Trump he would disappear as well or do something so outrageous that they would finally remove him from office. The powers that be would need to be sure that the regulatory infrastructure-the checks and balances designed to ensure that no one can run away with the keys to Fort Knox, weren’t in his pocket. Then shut him out of the “limelight.” He MUST be in the headlines all the time–at least he believes so in order for him to flourish.

The title of this article is “Where have all the voices gone?” Indeed-where have they gone? Where have the women’s groups gone. We haven’t heard much from them in quite awhile. It’s difficult to believe that there are any self-respecting women out there who would vote for this guy ever again. If they gathered together to join forces they could almost take him out all by themselves. He has done things to women or supports everything that women tell us they despise. Well ladies we are not seeing or hearing a great deal of that sentiment voiced out there right now or ever since he got into the White House for that matter. There needs to be daily or weekly protests and marches . Women’s groups need to show up at his rallies and disrupt things a bit. “Me Too” sure kicked up some dust in their beginning but not so much these days.

The only disgrace that is being talked about in Washington these days is the fact that Kavanaugh has had to defend himself (Mitch McConnell). I submit that the only disgrace is that he still has a chance to sit on the Supreme Court Bench. All this and I haven’t mentioned the African American community. How can African Americans of ANY political stripe or religion cast a single vote for this guy. Short memories I guess. I wonder what ML King would have said? How can any African American citizen support this guy when he openly supports the White Supremacists. And where have the “balls” that used to be tied to Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul to name a few–gone. At least Jeff Flake was able to find his and only because he didn’t have to fear the wrath of Donald J. Trump. Sen. Flake is not running for re-election. It’s like these guys were neutered or something. How much is enough guys or has everything decent that the US had stood for been sold off to the highest bidder? Where have all the voices gone?

Anyways, that’s how I see things, All the best and thanks for stopping by, Jim

comments to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

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.

 

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