Our Kids Will Feel It The Most . . . Unfortunately

Sunset and Birds

Is That A New Vision On Its Way? (Photographer Unknown To Me)

It has been stated many times that the definition of insanity is making the same decisions over and over and expecting a different result each time.
Unfortunately the ‘insanity’ continues.

I realize how easy it is to stand on the sidelines and be critical and mocking. I am trying not to be either. What I am, however, is very concerned and nervous that the regular folks ‘out there’ will believe the manure that is being passed off as common sense and progress. The ‘ole’ election time bundle of empty promises and double talk that often baffles the best of thinkers has been dusted off and will be paraded in front of the public at regular intervals for the next few months. Quite similar to brain washing actually. For example: The so called 1.4 billion dollar ‘surplus’ is money pulled out of the ‘incidental crisis pool’ that the feds had socked away just to purchase votes by giving us what is/was ours in the first place. All this after telling us that they have no money for CPP and seniors needs. Thanks guys. And the insanity continues. It will be our children who will begin to pay the price for it.

Although it was a close race I think the ‘Darwin Award’, awarded to the most insane act/behaviour, needs to go to the Supreme Court of Canada. It’s really hard to top what these people have done in the recent past. Let’s start with banning prayers to start public meetings and gatherings. My hope is that people will see for themselves how idiotic this really is. Won’t the ‘rights’ of that one person have stripped away the ‘rights’ of thousands? Do I-we-not have a constitutional right to practice a religion of our choice? The rights of the one DO NOT eliminate or out weigh the rights of the many. The bone headed decisions that are being made lately are serious dents in our armour of freedom and self determination. The latter, for the most part, is disappearing at an alarming rate and few deterrents seem to be in place in order to counter such ‘give aways’. Our children will pay dearly for this because the slippery slope has now been established.

But the two that still grab me the most are those that the provincial Liberals put together. Selling off our assets to private concerns is one and the ever present concerns about the ‘new’ school curriculum is the other. To comment on the first: the Liberals have traded the future for the present. They have mishandled most everything they put their hands to and now will rob Peter to pay Paul. They have squandered money at a rate that is basically unprecedented and now hope to dangle public transit in the face of those who are about to feel the pinch. Many economists would say that you don’t sell off your assets because they only pay off once.

The second move that also garnered a strong consideration for a ‘Darwin’ is the misguided and ill thought out ‘new’ school curriculum.

The school thing may be best illustrated by this story: “THE ANIMAL SCHOOL FABLE”

The Administration of the School Curriculum with References to Individual Differences:

Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world.” So they organized a school.

They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all of the subjects. The duck was excellent in swimming–in fact better than his instructor–but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his web feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in this school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the tree top down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from over-exertion and then got a ‘C’ in climbing and a ‘D’ in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well, and also run, climb and fly a little, had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the ground hogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

Dr. George H. Reavis, Assistant Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools, 1939-1948

Does this fable have a moral? Yes it does and it is this: Let’s encourage adults and children alike to become who and what they want to be. Let’s start to celebrate our differences. Let’s remind those who come seeking a better life to stop complaining about the very freedoms that attracted them in the first place. Respect us and we will respect you in return. Let’s keep the government out of it-they only screw it up to begin with. Let’s understand that everyone is good at something and no one, Boards of Education in particular, should have the right to try to make someone into something they are not or have no desire to be. This is true for adults-this is true for our children. School needs to be a place for experience and investigation for all not just for the ‘gifted’. (See Premier Wynnes’ great vision for more).

Our children will suffer the most because of the mess we will leave them unless we stop making the same flagrant mistakes over and over expecting a different outcome each time.

Anyways, that’s how I see it, James

Comments can be sent to me at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com OR jamescloughley.com

Please pass this along to those you think might want to read it.

How Do You Tell An Election Is Coming? . . .

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both”
–Benjamin Franklin

Pictured above are the ‘three wise men’. These are the people who are running for the highest office in land as we move closer to another federal fiasco. And we get to pay for it–somewhere around 300 million (estimated)dollars. And yet we don’t even have a say regarding how it goes or what it looks like. I agree we are extremely fortunate to have the right to participate in a free election system. But I do wonder about how democratic it is. If federal elections were fought with integrity, respect and adherence to ethical values I might feel differently but they are not. There was a time when being in politics was honourable. Now, however, the public perception has changed quite dramatically. Today many of us see politicians as crooks first, thieves a close second and greedy a closing third. Most of the rules, integrity and truth will be replaced by innuendo, unsubstantiated lies and false information. Not many of the candidates will answer debate questions directly. Fewer still are likely to answer questions and making comments using a form of political double speak that only shows up at election time. PR teams will make huge amounts of money putting together film clips for TV ads consisting of comments made by someone’s opponent and usually taken or used out of context. Their only goal is to discredit the other candidate(s) rather than talk about what they plan to do that is different and creative. It’s called the Socratic method meaning destroying someone’s credibility usually destroys the message they bring. They don’t campaign on their records much anymore because they don’t have much of a record to speak about.

So we have to endure watching or listening to a smug and arrogant PM, whose act is wearing thin with people and who has lost most of what little respect he had gained a few years back. He makes his way through question period by making sarcastic remarks to the joy of his backbenchers who hoot and holler like a bunch of drunken teenagers at a backyard BBQ or we witness the opposition party leader carrying on with righteous indignation about something designed to catch the PM in a lie or a slip up of some kind. Does any work ever get done in question period by the way? To think that Parliament Hill was once the legacy of what thousands of men and women gave their lives for. It’s more like a circus than a once revered political centre piece illustrating our freedom.

So what to do?
1. Attack ads need to be banned-period.
2. Political ads should only speak about what the politician is going to do to improve the quality of our lives.
3. No more cheap shots at trying to disparage or denigrate opponents.
4. No candidate should be able to publicize a montage of clips and pieces of tape put together from five or six different activities that may be, in some instances, years and years old.

I want to hear why I should vote for someone based on their platform–what are they going to do about specific issues. Otherwise shut up.

I always think about what our kids are learning about the political process. If they are old enough to be interested in politics what can we tell them about what they hear and witness when most of it is about the latest scandal of some kind. It certainly doesn’t give them a warm and rosy feeling about state security, competence or confidence in the political system that we are trying to sell them on. Perhaps these pillars of government might start to wonder about why some of our young are turning to other ideologies. Perhaps they have lost confidence in what they see.

But the two major indicators that an election is coming closer are these.
Sometime in the 8 months to a year preceding an election we usually start to see the faces of the chief candidates on television or internet with greater frequency. They are photographed glad handing in places where they otherwise wouldn’t go. All of a sudden they have lots of time to be out looking concerned or sounding tough on certain issues. They start to plant the seeds of doubt. They start talking about how much they care about this and that and how important it is to …?

The other tip off is that all of a sudden there is all kinds of money for this program and that program and they drag out the old favourites like subsidized day care, taking better care of our seniors, homeless programs and how they are going to wipe out poverty and lower taxes or at least not raise them. They promise something for everyone. They start throwing money around as if they had it. In essence they end up giving us back our own money and then tell us how grateful we should be that they can do this for us. They want us to believe that they are the only ones who can balance a budget or because of their prowess as fiscal managers they can now throw us a few bones (if they get re-elected that is). I always find it remarkable that they promise all this money but won’t/can’t tell us how they will pay for the promises. Nor will they commit to when this will happen. To me if they can’t give us this information then they should not be able to promise it. Tell us how or shut up about it. And by the way where is Justin Trudeau? Has anyone seen or heard from him?

Read the quote from Ben Franklin again and then ask yourself who just proposed that very thing the other day with the idea that this was going to make us safer–it was Steven Harper. Why wasn’t he concerned three years ago? Because it’s election time.

We are the only folks who can force a change in how we conduct our elections. It really is up to us.

That’s how I see it anyways,

All the best, James

Please contact me with comments pro/con at jim.lifechoice@gmail.com OR visit my web site at jamescloughley.com


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