‘A tornado eating a rainbow’–Photographer Unknown to me.
Most would likely agree that the picture above is mesmerising and that it will not be seen very often. Some become awestruck-almost paralysed by the sight of it. It is in that paralysis that all the damage to the rainbow is done, however, and before we know it the rainbow is gone. The tornado, then, moves on like it wasn’t even there.
I find the picture is symbolic of some of the things going on around us right now. Before we know it our lives will have changed and we won’t know how or when that happened. It reminds me of taxes and tolls, rules and regulations. Like them or not they become part of what ‘is’. Such is my concern about the following 4 examples of ‘our tornado eating our rainbow’. In no particular order of importance:
1. Education. So much research has been done to examine the positive connection between a civilized society, lower rates of violence, personal stability, equality, freedom and more stable and sustainable democracies and a strong, well defined, relevant and informed educational system. Unfortunately, for the last 50 years at least and the last 10 years for certain, we have been moving to the edge of becoming less relevant in the economic world and less likely to be held up as a shining example of democracy and prosperity. Our children are dangerously close to being unprepared to compete for world class employment opportunities because our educational system has not kept up to date on what is needed to compete with regards to skill development. (Much more on this to come in future articles). We, and parents in particular, need to insert ourselves into the process of developing new curricula and re-defining learning environments that are much more relevant and appropriate for our children so they will, at least, be better prepared to compete on the global stage.
2. Freedom of the press. I am NOT suggesting curtailing the function of the press. Freedom of the press is a must if any nation/society wishes to protect and enhance their freedom to speak and decide. But what I see happening is the press is now in a place where it must compete for readership–for their ‘piece of the pie’ and they are losing that struggle. The Internet and social media have all but stabbed the free press directly in the heart and it is bleeding to death. Readership is way down. The printed media is almost extinct certainly when we compare it to where it was just 10-15 years ago. So now the press has taken to sensationalism and printing more innuendo than facts. I have always maintained that the press needs to report the news and not attempt to create the news. Consider this example.
If this story is true than we need to ask ‘what is the Toronto Star’ doing printing a story like this WITHOUT FIRST CHECKING THE FACTS? Not sure I want this media outlet reporting my news. Freedom of the press must be absolute and that means diligent as well as honest and truthful.
3. Freedom to speak your mind: I want to be perfectly clear here. I am not nor would I ever consider following Donald Trump anywhere for anything. BUT. I do respect his right to be an idiot and to try to convince people to vote for him. As much as he deserves to be removed from the race to be president he also has a right to approach that goal however he may within the laws of the land.
When I look deeper into the possible up-side of his candidacy I’m thinking that we-and I say Canadians, Americans and all lovers of freedom and democracy for that matter, need to pay attention to what is happening. DT represents all that is awful in someone and for him to run for president and actually stand a chance to be elected speaks volumes about what is wrong with the current system. That aside I support his right to be absurd. In this case the American people will make that distinction, hopefully, in November. It’s not the Trumps of this world that frighten me but rather those behind the scenes-the power brokers-that 1% that we hear about who control an enormous amount of the wealth. Those are the ones we need to watch. We need to be sure that they never have enough control and power in the system to hurt us more than they have. We need to stay vigilant and we need to be much smarter in the voting booth regarding who we entrust to do our bidding. We still have the power of the ballot box to do our speaking but for how long?
4. Political Correctness: My favourite pin cushion. This is a movement that has fought great fights and is responsible for so much good in the world. The principles and the dedication shown by the believers/activists has brought light to otherwise dark, dangerous and ruthless places. BUT. It is time for PC to go away now. People–good people need to be able to voice their opinions without fear of being centered out or identified as racists or antagonists just because we might disagree with what someone else says or believes. We cannot survive if the adage “if you are not part of the solution then you must be part of the problem” is in play. Isn’t this the very same principle that PC fought on in the first place. Hmmm. Confusing. Let’s not allow PC to determine all of our human rights and the outcomes of all of our disagreements.
Anyways, that’s how I see it. All the best and thanks for dropping by, Jim.
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