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)

Nothing Stays The Same and Neither Should This . . . It’s Time

 

“Education needs to be recognized as an “organic” process-one that grows and expands not a “mechanical” process that too often remains static or slow moving at best.”            Sir Ken Robinson

 

We must view education through a different lens today. In times past and present education was and is still treated as a separate entity responsible to only itself for its governance. It has a job to do and is provided the resources to get that job done. We could say the same for health care services, the legal system, the penal system, transportation systems and defense systems. Although these systems are independent from one another there has always been an unwritten agreement there would be a collective sense of nationalism that directed some loose idea of community.

As technology speeds up our transformation from a fragmented community of independent service structures we are now faced with the reality that such a system cannot continue to function as it has. We don’t have the resources nor the infrastructure to continue to regulate such an entity. Up to now we haven’t shared our resources with each other. In deed we have competed against one another for those very resources ensuring that none of us will have enough of what we need to get the job done properly.

The managers, administrators, and leaders of our service structures want us to continue to follow their beliefs they know how to guide their agencies better than anyone else. However, by all appearances we are slowly and painfully recognizing that our major public services are now becoming more dependent on each for the other services necessary to provide a better more efficient over-all system but without any formal plan to do so. What’s left–Chaos. Services have become more expensive and in some cases less effective. The common expectation and refrain now is ‘do more with less.’ We’re a wealthy country-we shouldn’t have to ‘do more with less.’

A question, then, remains and that is ‘Is this the best we can hope for? We believe that many are doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

Police services are now more dependent upon the mental health services system. The judicial services are now becoming more dependent upon understanding and seeking the support and knowledge of mental health professionals in order to understand more concretely just who and what they are dealing with. The penal system needs some guidance and direction around what is the best course of treatment for those who suffer from mental health problems who are housed in their facilities. Child care services don’t have enough personnel to do their jobs as they would like too.

Like it or not agencies are becoming more dependent on each other and the expertise of others to offer the best possible service to the citizens who find themselves in need of the ‘treatment’ business they each offer. Unfortunately many of these agencies end up ‘dumping’ their clients on other services in order to keep their costs down resulting in waiting lists for services of up to 6 months for what should take 6 weeks. The judicial system finds it difficult to offer trial dates of up to a year for offences that need to be heard much sooner than that.

 Who takes the lead?

Education is at the heart of the ‘Social Survival’ organism which will need to become a unified service provider as opposed to a conglomerate. The current method of trying to provide all the social services demanded of it is too competitive internally to be as effective as it could be or needs to be. Health care competes with mental health and police services competes with fire protection services and they compete with judicial services for funds just to maintain their budgets and yet face greater demand for services. They are told to ‘do more with less.’ The result is a system that struggles to maintain quality services. Wait times at our hospitals are unacceptable. Waiting to hear a case in court can take years. Booking an appointment to see a mental health professional can take months meanwhile the suicide rates and the rates of separation and divorce are more often destroying our family structures which in turn affect our legal system. It is not difficult to link most of these concerns with an Education system that is from another era. It is broken and a new one needs to take its rightful place at the ‘head of the table’.

It is time to share the responsibility of creating a new paradigm, a new pedagogy and a new curriculum regarding how and what will a new educational system look like and what will be its purpose. We will need to define what the purpose of educating our learners will be and we will need to be able to do this working in concert with the other stakeholders.

We need to be very careful that the politicians and those who stand to gain the most don’t hijack education from those who deserve it and need it the most in order to be productive and happy in their lives. We are the only ones who can make a difference in the world we live in. Let’s not give away the opportunity and the right to fashion the world we want to have.

Anyways, that’s how I see it. Comments can be sent to me at: jim.lifechoice @ gmail.com or check out my web site at jimcloughley.com

 

What You Need To Know About Blended Families . . .

A couple of facts to consider: there are now more blended families in existence then there are ‘traditional’ families that have one set of parents.

Often times in blended families there are problems with each member trying to decide where they fit in. Behavior that was OK before may not be acceptable in the new family setting. Territory and roles get redistributed or re-defined. What was ‘mine’ before may not be now. Family value systems and belief systems differ. There are a myriad of problems and issues that need to be navigated if this is to work. One would hope that many of these issues would have been addressed before any effort to blend the family takes place. But there are issues that come up after the effort to blend families takes place. Some of these can’t be addressed because the personalities of the family members aren’t always predictable. What about pets-do they come along for the ride or are they not welcome because the other parent has pets already in the ‘new home’ and they might not get along very well. Who gets rid of what? Doesn’t sound like much but blended families have been defeated for much less.

The following are four of the more obvious and destructive hurdles to get over.  It often matters whether or not Mom is moving into Dads house or Dad is moving into Moms house. Adults can be just as territorial as kids can be. The parent moving ‘in’ is often the one expected to be more conciliatory when it comes to accepting new arrangements, disciplinary decisions or values affecting the functioning of the kids as a whole. Not fair perhaps but often true.

  • The natural response from a step-parent who is moving into to a new living situation, thereby creating a blended family, often favors the other partners kids trying to ‘make friends’ with the kids that are living there.  In doing so they sometimes, unwittingly, alienate their own kids in the process.  By doing so the authority, standards, values and the ‘rules’ that existed are compromised creating some confusion in the house. That means that the two parents have got some serious issues to sort out and quickly. They need to find a way to mend the breach equitably.
  •  Another major problem arises when one parent feels or believes that the standards of behavior in the house are not fairly balanced between the children of each family. “You are harder on my kids than your own kids” or ” it’s seems OK for your kids to do  . .?   but not for mine.”
  • The other part of the same issue occurs when one parent feels he or she is working harder to make things work than the other. Consequently the harder working parent is seen as being too tough by the kids themselves.  The kids end up favoring one parent over the other usually the less demanding one.
  • It is easy to get caught up in the every day workings of a new blended family. The parents work overtime trying to make all things perfect. In the mean time one of the parents loses sight of the amazing bond that can exist between a biological parent and his or her children. That one parent may side with one of his or her kids  to protect them against one of the other kids or one of the partners. In either case it becomes divisive.
  • The fourth problem can be the constant interference by the biological parent who is now out of the family picture. Whether it is due to anger, grief, or sadness the parent who is left out will create havoc and disruption and could use his or her kids to cause constant friction between the blended family members. Kids against kids. Kids against the other biological parent. Kids against the ‘new parent’.

So how to deal with these problems. Communicate often and clearly with each other.

  • Now is the time for everyone to have a chance to speak about what the experience is like for them so far. They need to trust that they are free to speak openly but respectfully about what is going on for them.
  • Have family meetings each week to talk about things that came up or discuss ideas about how to make things better
  • The step parents need to model appropriate behavior and skill when trying to sort out problems or issues that are concerning.
  • The step parents need to speak about the family and the members as being equal to and each as important as the other. The step parents have to be careful at all times and in all actions as not favoring one child over another regardless of whose child is being disciplined.
  • The step parents need to decide on parenting techniques that both will use so that a consistent common front is demonstrated. NEVER challenge one another in from of the kids. If there is a disagreement in style or substance sort it out behind closed doors and in private.
  • Months before the move to join families happens get the kids together to spend time with each other-to get to know a bit about each other–their music likes, their sports likes or what their hobbies are before they actually share the same space.
  • Step parents need to agree ahead of time to establish boundaries for acceptable behavior and they are presented to the kids as one voice–a common front.

There are many more things that can be done but don’t try to do too much too soon and don’t rush the process. Let it grow at it’s own pace.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Thanks for dropping by — Comments can be sent to: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com.

All the best, Jim

(The photo image was used as a tool to present criticism, research and educational information. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

 

Fatherlessness Can Kill Our Children

“More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.”–fathers.com 2012

We spend so much time condemning, chastising, and berating fathers who just ‘walk away’ that we don’t stop long enough to consider what exactly is going on with them. We see the headlines or read the story part way through and then don’t finish it thinking we know how the story ends. We get angry at  fathers for being low lifes who don’t deserve kids yet we seldom ask how can we help stop this from happening. We recycle old ideas and programs, pretty them up some, and then throw some money at the problem and declare that we have developed a new program or approach that will help to fix the problem but nothing changes. We don’t reach out to fathers to get their side of the story and we certainly don’t reach out to hear what the kids have to say. We don’t ask how to help but rather seem more interested with who is to blame.

Are there some moms out there who need to be helped–absolutely. Are there some men-fathers- who are guilty of abandoning their families-absolutely. Is that the case for all dad’s–absolutely not.

There are many dads who want to be involved in their sons lives who are legally prevented from doing so. Rather counter-productive in the end and its the child who is punished because the parents can’t get their stuff together..

How do we lessen the burden that many moms experience as a single parent? How do we do this without crushing any opportunity for a father to parent his son?

But what amazes me most is how the health systems and the legal systems can’t figure out why there is such a horrific drug problem among our kids. Why is there so much violence and growing suicide rates? Why are gangs becoming almost unstoppable?

Let’s take a look at some of the side effects for a kid who grows up without a father and then ask ourselves those same questions over again. Imagine being a kid and facing these issues everyday. In the U.S. they describe fatherlessness as having reached epidemic proportions. There are approximately 20 Million kids who are fatherless.

Poverty–Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families. Fathers are important too.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse–The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.”

Physical and Emotional Health–Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Educational Achievement–Children living with their married biological father tested at a significantly higher level than those living with a non biological father.

71% of high school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.

Crime–A study of 109 juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency.

Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy

Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a high school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a high school degree.

Perhaps if we were to actually pay attention to evidence like this and if we decided to deal with the issues as a responsible society void of prejudice, bias, religion and politics and began to look at the issues attached as social issues that involve human lives worthy of our attention, energy and care we would be better off.

Let’s try to put the true welfare of the child FIRST for a change instead of considering what sound bite or position will get you votes. Let’s help BOTH moms and Dads be responsible for the wee life that they each helped to make. The responsibility of nourishing that life doesn’t stop at the front door or a border somewhere. Moms need to drop the anger and the outrage. They need to stop using their kids as a ‘tool’ to hurt the other parent. Moms need to help support and promote that relationship between fathers and sons not destroy or discourage it. It would be better for Moms in the long run as well. Legal systems need to stop punishing dads and come up with a better approach that encourages a co-operative approach. Parents don’t have to like each other they just need to put the needs of the kid ahead of their own.

Fathers need to step up and take care of business meaning looking after their family. First priority-bar none. If mom is the full time parent then help her do the job. Give her what she needs to do the best she can. If dad wont do the right thing then lets make sure that Mom has ALL the resources she needs to do what’s important.

Lets encourage parents to stop making the kids suffer for what the parents can’t sort out. It really is the parents who need to grow up not the kids.

Anyways, that’s how I see things.

All the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim

Comments can be made at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Photo resources by debuglies.com–used for research, education and criticism purposes. I receive no benefit from the use of 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

 

 

 

 

What Were They Thinking ? . . . (Re-posted From October 13, 2013)

In light of recent events south of us I went back to a past article I posted on a related topic. I don’t want this opening paragraph to come off like I am defending men or the decisions some make or have made. Not in the least. I offer this as an opinion or partial explanation as to these recent events and how confusing things can get. I also offer this thought for males and females both. Careful the places you find yourself–what are the messages that are being sent, received and acted upon or responded to.

Now that there is a new ass sitting on the Supreme Court bench it is safe to say that the rule of law and it’s meaning are in decline. If nothing else Kavanaugh should have been held in contempt of court for lying under oath about his drinking history. Those lies remain undisputed. Even if Ford’s story had too many claims that could not be proven under the rules and regulations laid out by the White House, he should have been held accountable for the ‘bullshit’ and the ‘B’ performance he put on at that table in that hall. And there is Trump in the background with that smug ugly face staring out at the world saying ‘hey, gotcha again.’ He is the absolute worst role model and the poorest example of strength and legitimacy that the citizens of the United States have ever had the misfortune of placing on the world stage for all to see.

As a parting thought here I thought that the hearings were worse than a cheap ‘B’ porn movie with the starring role played by a character called “Trump Kavanaugh”–just saying . . .

 

“What were they thinking. . . ?

Now that I’ve had a chance to think about this I find myself asking ‘what were they thinking?’

I have to admit that I am really confused, as a male and a human being about what the Y.U.N. chant thing was all about. But the big question for me was what the hell were these future pillars of society thinking about when they advocated the legalization of rape and child molestation? If they were trying to be challenging and controversial the only thing that has been accomplished here is the confirmation that supporters of this idea are not only misguided and bored but border on being misogynistic.

The main concern for me and the part that has me very confused is the number of females who were right in there supporting the whole premise. It didn’t seem to bother them that they were backing the idea that it is perfectly OK to force a young girl to have sex whether she wants to or not. So how young is too young? I mean underage is just that isn’t it? So when is it OK to feed alcohol to a 12 year old to the point where she is not aware or able to cry out for help? What ever happened to the arguments that women have been putting up for years now that say they and they alone are the arbiters of what they decide to do with their bodies? These young women who have supported this lunacy have set that whole discussion back to the stone ages. Truly now, if this was their sister we are talking about would they really feel the same way? Would they be all for it? And where are the women’s groups? I haven’t heard a great deal of criticism or dialogue involving those who have been advocating a ‘different’ deal for women. At the very least a clear statement of some kind speaking about respect and equality. Even just a touch of outrage.

And the men-I can’t call them men.  Are the males who support this so challenged and so unable to attract and develop a sexual relationship with someone who is functioning, emotionally, at about the same level that they need to pick on young girls who really are not equipped with the critical thinking that goes along with giving permission to share themselves with someone else in a meaningful way?  As a man, I’m embarrassed to say that this whole idea is about the same as reducing sex to scratching an itch on their ass. It is a conquest and a power-grab not an emotional act of any kind. This type of behavior is what clearly illustrates the growing lack of respect for self and others that seems to be so prevalent in the youth of today.

I have an adult son and daughter. My son and his wife have blessed us with a beautiful granddaughter. She’s two years old. If what this chant is promoting ever happened to either daughter or granddaughter, at any age, and I were to confront the perpetrators I would not report them. I might, however, bind their testicles with a liberal piece of piano wire secured to the bumper of my car and let them know that for as long as they can run they can keep them attached.

Perhaps a bit radical but then again so is this absurd idea that it’s OK to take what you can regardless of how the other person feels about things.

That’s how I see it anyway, Jim”

Comments?–Send them to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

(Use of this photo is for education, research and/or offering criticism. I derive no financial benefit from the use of this image)

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

 

Are Our Lives Really Just A Day Long . . ?

As I have come to understand my life started out as most do. I woke up and it was dark as usual. It seemed like I had been asleep or resting for a long time. Then all I remember was I was moving. I was going somewhere and it was a bumpy ride. I wasn’t liking this much. All of a sudden I noticed this small light ahead. It kept getting bigger and bigger-brighter and brighter until-BANG-I was in a whole different place. Some of me was in-some of me was out (I think it was out) and it was cold. There was a lot of noise now and I was not happy about being here. Before I knew it the long ride was over. Hands were all over me and then someone smacked me and I wanted to scream Hey!What’d I do? Someone picked me up and I felt warmer. Well I wasn’t sure about whether or not I was going to like this place so I started to wail. What I really wanted was to go back to familiar territory. One thing for sure was I was hungry. At least I think that’s what I felt-hunger? Next thing I knew I ended up with this big soft thing that I could put my head on and if I squeezed it stuff would come out. It was warm and not bad.

This was the beginning of my day known as “Morning.” (the morning of my life)

Time passed me by and I got to the point where I was tired of being carried around so the first chance I had I started to learn about being mobile. Big people that I had come to recognize as my parents helped me and soon I was able to go from here to there with little injury.

Soon I went to a place where other people like me were hanging out. They were dealing with the same issues as I was. Bathrooms and what was supposed to happen in there. Not being able to capture that thing with legs but didn’t look like any of us was frustrating and when I did get it and pulled it’s head it got angry and other people rushed to take it away from me.

Sooner it seemed I went to a place called school but I saw less of the people who used to spend a great deal of time with me and then I started to ride a thing called a bus. That was fun for a while. I went to a “bigger school” with crazier people although some of them did things that made me laugh.

I think they called my next stop “public school.” My days seemed longer-sometimes really hot-sometimes really cold and sometimes not much fun. One day my parents told me I had to “work” doing things around the house. Most of that entailed cleaning up messes that I had made. Then I had to learn how to be nice? to other people. I didn’t know why but they said it was the right thing to do-so I did it. Turned out they were right. The longer I was around the more they taught me and the more I felt OK doing it. As it turned out I stopped going to these “smaller schools” and started to go to bigger places with more people than ever and I was learning strange stuff I really didn’t want to know about.  This time space, as it turned out, was called the “Afternoon” of my life.  This was really a great time for me. Freedom to do what I wanted. I met some interesting people who dressed and talked differently than I. Some wore dresses, some had long hair, some had beards and mustaches and some were called “hippies”. Music was great, I entered a relationship with alcohol and cannabis which I believed would lead me to a greater understanding of the universe. Truthfully it ended up being a most tumultuous relationship and not always ending well. I learned that girls were more fun to be around than they used to be and I learned about respecting other peoples opinions and values and rights. Along about this point I started to tune out most of the adult voices in my life in favor of  younger more dymanic voices. This was my second great mistake. I stopped listening to my parents and older folks figuring they were out of step and didn’t know what people like me needed to know. I missed so much of their wisdom and knowledge. They had been where I was going. I regret that decision now.

Eventually it became time to get serious about how my life was going to be spent and I started on a career path that was an awful choice. I did it for a long time reconciling the choice with the idea that this is what folks do to raise a family and buy a home and have toys and things. I learned that I alone was responsible for being the author of my own story. As it turned out it was a great time to be alive. There was a vibrancy all round. I needed my parents to guide me and to listen to me but I never asked them. I thought I knew better. I didn’t.

I had my family and changed my career in mid stream-good move. I had struggled to learn but learn I did. I managed to get it right, at least for me, and I’m good with how it all turned out. This has been and continues to be the“Evening” of my day. I’m still healthy; I still have enough energy to do most of what I want and most of the time the means to do it. I realized some successes and I continue to use some good advice “from back there” that, somehow stuck with me.

The last stage of my day is “Twilight” and although I’m not there yet I will be soon enough.

There are seven points that I’d like to share:

  • value what you have learned no matter how you learned it.
  • never pass up a chance to learn something new-even at this stage of your day.
  • don’t get caught up with what others are doing or not doing.
  • don’t suffer stupid people easily.
  • never forget who your friends are.
  • patience is often over rated.
  • time is your most valuable resource

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

jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

 

Have You Really Thought About The Quality Of Your Child’s Public Education?

Who sees your kids more than you do? School teachers. Who has more opportunity to influence your kids than you do? School systems. Yet parents, for the most part, spend less time speaking about or thinking about what is happening at school and what are they being taught. We send them off in the morning expecting to see them at the end of the day but beyond that we don’t give their day much thought. We assume that they are looked after and that they are learning something useful. We trust schools and school systems to know how to do their job and we just accept the fact that when they graduate they will do fine “out there.” That is happening less and less on many fronts.

I often wonder how many parents actually take time at the end of the day to talk with their kids and ask about what they learned at school that day or how did school go today or what was something you learned today that you didn’t know anything about? In other words what happened that was interesting.

And so it goes. Each day the kid goes off to a place that parents know little about being told or given tons of data/facts that really don’t have much relevance to the kids everyday living experience and we, as parents, can’t understand why our kids aren’t crazy about going to school each day and doing better. Could it be that school is long, boring, and not much fun? There are any number of kids that would say the same thing when they get home at the end of the day. It was boring and they ask why they have to learn that stuff. Plus they have an hour or more homework to do for tomorrow and they don’t have a clue how to do it or what to do about it.

They sit in a classroom 6 rows across and 5 rows deep or vice versa for hours listening to a talking head fire data/information at them with the expectation that they will “get it.” And we can’t understand why some kids are trouble makers, disruptive or hard to manage. How many of those get diagnosed with ADD and put on meds?

Many questions remain when I think about the relevance of the current pedagogy and the value and relevance of the curriculum that is presented each new school year.  Talk to some of the teachers and they will tell you what they think is going on but no one seems to hear what it is they are saying. They are trying to tell us that “we have to change how we do school-this system isn’t working.”

Along with those concerns is the bigger problem being the reluctance to change anything or update the overall approach of the public school system as it stands.

I know this much and that is that the system has become virtually unresponsive to the issues being mentioned. It needs to change dramatically and almost immediately if we hope to offer our children a chance to compete with other kids from other countries for challenging, rewarding and high paying jobs.

So how do we do that? Parents–whoever and wherever you are you need to get involved with what is happening with your kids future. That means you will have to become better informed about the options out there for your kids to gain an education that will help prepare them for the professional challenges of the 21st century. There are more options available than you know. The public system, although preferable, is not the only option. But to become more informed you need to talk to your kids and ask the right questions. Be prepared to listen to them because they are the experts on what is or is not working in today’s classrooms. They know what the changes are that need to be made and why they need to be made.

With a great deal of passion, assistance and input from a well informed and motivated group of colleagues and educators I have spent the last three years creating a new approach to educating our kids that addresses many of the issues I mentioned above.

First thing needed is to understand what some of the options are. Check out the differences and the pros and cons of Charter schools, magnet schools, public schools, private schools and home schooling. Once you understand some of the differences and the similarities you can now ask the important questions from the school board members and the trustees and you’ll know more about the quality and validity of the answers you get in return.

I’ll be writing much more about this topic in the weeks to come. I’ll share some of the solutions and suggestions that we came up with as a result of our research and from some of the actual experiences some of my colleagues had that worked in their classrooms but were never considered alternatives or even food for thought.

The following statement is the goal that we have identified for our group. It can be done but only if the parents who really care about the quality and the opportunity their kids receive speak up and are heard.

“To offer a new paradigm regarding a free, non-discriminatory, local, national, and global learner centered education program that merges enthusiasm, participation, and excitement with each learner’s unique differences, a capacity for high performance, and an innate desire to maximize self.”

I’ll be absent next week but I’ll write more about this in two weeks. Eventually I will provide an outline of the program we develop on my web page at jimcloughley.com

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

 

 

What Would This Great Storyteller Have Said . . .

As Paul Harvey might have said: And now for the rest of the story.

Last week I was very critical of 3D printers and the potential disaster they represent to the world as a whole. The technology will make it so much easier to kill others and to exact some wild idea of fair play. I went on to talk about how dangerous it will make the world and how it will be for those who are brave enough to try and defend  our way of life and to protect our civil rights. I think of those who concern themselves with the safety of our homes and family. They risk their well being to ensure our security. I’m still fearful of that being jeopardized by somebody with an ax to grind. I understand the frustration and the unfairness–I do. But if that is the only way that we can show our displeasure and anger then we need to go back to the drawing board because it only strengthens the true forces of evil that exist around us. It slides right into the argument that we need to protect ourselves when it is these same forces of evil that we are concerned about. The ‘bad guys’ get more entrenched and legitimate citizens pay the price.

With all that said I must say that the video that follows my offering today has certainly made me sit up–shut up–and pay attention to all the good that 3D printers and that technology can provide for many of us. It is amazing what can be done to further our efforts to provide for many of those who can’t because of a lack of resources or political will.

The advances and designs of medical equipment will be upon us at light speed. I doubt that we be able to keep up with the changes in our personal, industrial, and scientific lives either. Just about anything that we can see or conceive will be duplicated and improved upon using 3D technology. Any of you remember the 6 million dollar man with Lee Majors? Inside of ten years that fantasy is likely to be a reality. There are already or near ready some designs and plans to build a functioning heart for human use. Those who have lost limbs to accident, disease or birth defects will opportunities to use artificial joints and organs that are only dreamed of today.

I guess my thinking has changed somewhat although I still believe that there will be an element who will always pervert progress. In this case the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks as this video suggests.

I applaud this father who refused to give up and instead fashioned a solution to his little boy’s problem. That’s what Dads are supposed to do and this man does it in spades.

Anyways, that’s how I see things, thanks for stopping by.

All the best, Jim

Any and all comments will reach me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

 

 

 

Download

Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning

15987

WordPress Help