Tell Me You’re Kidding? Did That Really Happen?

Attention: The photographer who took this picture is unknown to me.

‘Inukshuk’ , in broad terms, represents a human being who is expressing directions to anyone who follows. In the following 3 examples I ask you the reader to decide for yourself whether you feel we are moving in the right direction as a society or have we gone too far already?


Example 1: In May of this year a police officer in Weirton,West Virginia became embroiled in an altercation with an African American man during which time the African American man produced a weapon and kept asking for the police officer to just shoot him. The police officer refused to do that and instead tried talking the man down and to try to end the exchange peacefully. The police officer had, by other experience as well as his regular police training, been instructed how to deescalate similar situations such as this and felt certain that this was a ‘suicide by cop’ attempt. As he was trying to solve this without any violence a pair of police officers from the same force appeared. The African American man started to move toward them waving his gun. He was promptly shot in the back of his head and killed right there. One question I was curious about was that the man was shot in the BACK of his head. How much of a threat could he had been at that moment?

The first officer was placed on administrative leave and subsequently fired for placing his colleagues in danger. Go figure. Seems like cops in West Virginia don’t mess around. Oh yes, although there was no way of knowing this at the time–the man’s gun was NOT loaded.

Example 2/3: The Swiss are indeed an interesting group of folks. I seems that they are really stuck on the tradition/expectation that people who meet for the first time must shake hands as a sign of respect. I’m not quite sure if this is expected each time some one offers their hand but certainly the first time it is expected. Two situations arose recently.

An Austrian school teacher sued a Muslim father for refusing to shake her hand. The outcome of the suit is pending.

Another case occurred in Basel-Landschaft, which is a canton (a politically separated subdivision of land from a host country). In this case Switzerland is the host country. In this instance the Swiss government overturned a ruling that had been made by the governing Canton that exempted Muslim students from shaking the hands of their teachers despite this being a deeply respected custom. The Swiss government also took it upon itself to reverse/rescind another exception which was granted on religious grounds. Muslim males would not be required to shake hands of females either. The Swiss stated that the exception contravened the policy of adhering to gender equality.

Now if I am moving to another country a world away one of the FIRST things I would do would be to check out the customs and the culture to see if it were compatible with my own beliefs and values. Why go there otherwise? Unless there is another agenda at play here. Just sayin’. Isn’t there enough serious stuff going on in the world that we need to hear about this as well? World peace and poverty and genocide and war quickly come to mind.

There are many other examples of peoples rights, customs and so on that have run amok. Perhaps it is the ‘Inukshuk’ that is speaking to us saying that we, as a world group, need to consider another direction if we are to ALL survive on the planet.

A Forward Thinking Program:

And the work goes on. Just about finished making the case for developing a new approach to educating our kids and how they really do need to experience education from a totally different perspective. They need to be energized and very competent when it comes to being prepared to compete in the new global economies. We are hoping to have the description of the curriculum done by the early part of the New Year. Stay tuned–JIm

Truth Talkin’ Thursday:

Jane and I spoke about the need for some people to always be right and to go as far as to argue even though they know they are incorrect in their position. There is no positive that can happen when someone tries to defend two wrongs. We speculated that some of this may be motivated by not knowing the difference of being assertive and aggressive. I do know that many confuse the two.

To watch the rest of the conversation just click on then click on ‘Truth Talkin’ Thursday.

We are still working at getting the video down to under 10 minutes. We are getting closer ūüôā

One Of My Favourite Musical Videos:

I know, I know–I keep on about how I can’t believe that this band, while still selling out where ever they play and after 50 years, isn’t in the Hall of Fame especially considering some of those who have made it–Yikes. The Moody Blues-” Ride My See-Saw” ¬†The boys still can do it better than most–Enjoy

Comments are always welcome-send them to me at:  OR

Please send this along to family and friends–all the best and thanks for stopping by–Jim


Does Anybody Know What It Is? . . . Does Anybody Care?

As much as I try to get away from this topic it continues to edge it’s way back into the public conversation and I feel compelled to add my two cents. For me, however, this is not about immigrants and the mixed feelings concerning that issue. This is about what we were told multiculturalism was about, what it represented and how Canada would benefit greatly. I am speaking about the grand experiment that was championed by Pierre Elliot Trudeau (still my favourite PM) back in the early-mid twentieth century. I am always amazed at the spin that is put on programs and ideologies when certain groups want to have their way as was the case here. The timing for this ideology to be introduced to us was perfect. The ideas around Peace , Love and Brotherhood were running at a feverish level especially among the ‘flower children’ so debate or opposition was near none. The ideology is about allowing large numbers of immigrants into the country to add people power to a faltering economy. It was also about introducing a variety of cultures and different ways of living into this dual-culture country of Canada so that French and Anglo ideals and culture would not be all that defined the country on the world stage.

I don’t have any problem with the concept of multiculturalism nor do I have a problem with offering people from different walks of life the opportunity¬†to come and share the bounty of this great land. As I have said before–there is more than enough to go around for all of us. My problem is what we have given up to host these folks and what we continue to give up to this day. In 25 years and perhaps less the true settlers and founders of Canada–those whose blood lines are connected to those brave souls who carved out ¬†an existence and created a formula for living here–will become the minority in our own country. Our culture, our ideology and our way of life will all but be a blip on the big screen. What will be the reality created by those seers who believe that they are the enlightened ones and the true thinkers among us? So many questions abound such as:

Is the cost of having a multicultural society worth the loss of our cultural assets, our freedoms and our uniqueness in the world?

–Other cultural groups come to Canada from a variety of global villages and they bring their customs and culture with them of course. However, our leaders seem to think it is OK for us to give up some of our customs and culture to allow our new guests an opportunity to enjoy their customs and culture in the process. Instead of each ¬†group sharing their cultures and customs with each other to learn more about each other it has become an ‘either or’ scenario. We have become accustomed to giving up our identity as a nation so that others who come to us can enjoy more of theirs whether we like it or not.¬†How do we feel about that? ¬†What price do we pay for our generosity, tolerance and acceptance?

–Back then we were told that by allowing a huge number of folks to come to Canada that would bolster our economy because we could produce more from our resource base and therefore become much more prosperous as a nation. Our standard of living would certainly be increased. Apparently that has not happened and yet we continue to increase that labour pool each year even when there aren’t enough jobs for our own citizens. So that argument doesn’t fly. Why are we still being told that the opposite is true? Apparently new Canadians or those who are set to enter the country-legally-are receiving or will receive more benefit by being here and accessing our social systems than they are giving back to the country through taxation and so on. Why are we not addressing this issue?

–One great concern of mine is that gender equality will soon become a major issue or concern. When we consider that the majority of new comers to Canada are coming from countries where women are not respected or considered equal to men,¬†how long might it be before that notion of inequality begins to find traction here?¬†It is certainly likely that women who are arriving from those foreign lands would oppose any strength or movement that has developed here in the last 50 years.

–The unfortunate part of all this is:¬†the people who stand up to pose legitimate questions about process and ideology, culture, heritage and the economy¬†are branded racists and all rational, healthy and necessary debate is halted before it can receive a fair and public hearing.

I am not suggesting that we shelve the idea of multiculturalism-not at all. What I am suggesting is that we take another look at the ideology, vision and philosophy of the program and make adjustments to it that are at least as favourable to all those who participate and not just those who are coming here for a better life.


Anyways, that’s how I see it, Jim

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Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning