Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
Have we not lost our way when a U.S. Veteran having served in Iraq and Afghanistan languishes chained in a Mexican prison because he accidentally drove over the border with his weapons in his vehicle while our President and Congress are doing everything they can to fast track illegal aliens (many criminal) to becoming U.S. Citizens?
Have we not lost our way when President Obama personally takes time to call Georgetown University law student Sandra Flock to congratulate her for seeking taxpayer money to fund her choice of contraception while the same President does not take the time to fire the head of the Veteran’s Administration for a cover-up and total failure to provide medical care for our Veterans?
Have we not lost our way when a federally mandated academic curriculum called “Common Core” is designed to stifle creative and independent thinking while using public education to promote a political agenda while gathering intrusive personal data on both students and parents alike?
Have we not lost our way when you need a photo ID to obtain a driver’s license, obtain any hospital out-patient or in-patient procedure, purchase over-the-counter sinus medication, donate blood, carry out bank transactions (even deposits now!), cash A check or pay for purchases by check, purchase a gun, obtain Social Security benefits, be booked for arrest, visit a school if you’re a non-student, adopt a child, pick up packages at the post office, produce at a routine traffic stop…but not to VOTE?
Have we not lost our way when we march and protest over cruelty to animals but are indifferent to 50,000,000+ U.S. abortions (many of them late term) in the last 30 years?
Have we not lost our way when schools teach, as early as third grade, the intimacies and technicalities of sexual acts but teachers, administrators and politicians rebel at the mention of God in those same classrooms?
Have we not lost our way when a parent is arrested at a school board meeting for objecting to prurient and pornographic subject matter in his child’s textbook and every other parent, present with the same objection, sits by silently in fear without standing up for the father?
Have we not lost our way when we make believe that some politician will reverse the social and economic nightmare we are living rather than take responsibility ourselves for what needs to be done?
Have we not lost our way?
I’ve had an “aha” moment. This isn’t a conspiracy theory although it may read like one. Oftentimes, a new and innovative way of looking at the status quo, that calls into question an established view or pattern, can be misinterpreted as conspiratorial. Let’s not go there. Keep an open mind as you read on and you may have an “aha” moment of your own.
In his latest book “Focus” Daniel Goleman states:
“Survival in the wild, some neuroscientists argue, may have depended at crucial moments on a rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do. What we now diagnose as Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) may reflect a natural variation in focusing styles that had an advantage in evolution–and so continue to be dispersed in our gene pool.”
Goleman’s words gave me that “aha” moment.
We are living in a time when political, economic and social systems are breaking down all around us. Its certainly reasonable to posit that all the resulting chaos raises a “warning/danger” response in the primal area of our brains. Accordingly, we are hard wired to respond to threats to our well being and/or our very existence exactly as Goleman and his neuroscientsists observed… “with rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do.” Also known as A.D.D.
Here’s where you’ll have to suspend your tendency to conclude conspiracy.
Approximately 7.5% of school aged children in the United States have been diagnosed with A.D.D. Unmedicated, they are also (to use Darwin’s phrase) the “fittest” for this phase of conscious evolution we must now navigate. I suddenly understood why the “powers that be” want to medicate A.D.D. A narrowly focused population that cannot think expansively, change focus rapidly, or multitask with ease is more readily controlled that one that can. These A.D.D individuals are the seers and the innovators of our day. It is they who will be the ones to usher in new ways of doing things in this age of breakdowns
If you have A.D.D, or know someone who does, perhaps you might want to pay more attention to the wanderings of that rapid mind….and less attention to what “the experts” say about medication.
All our futures may depend on it.
Whether you are pro-gun ownership or pro-gun control, there is no doubt that an airsoft gun is not a firearm. This simple fact makes the suspension from school of Khalid Caraballo, age 12, and his friend, Aidan for “possession, handling and use of a firearm” the latest example of politically motivated efforts to redefine reality and subjugate our children’s behavior to the directives of government control.
Did I mention that the boys were playing in their own front yard awaiting the arrival of a school bus at the time of the alleged behavior? Yet, the misdirected punishment is…suspension from school?
How do reactions such as this by administrative bodies and government entities continue to have legs? Well, when the President of the United States uses a memorial service, as President Obama just did, to shamelessly put forth a political agenda and seize the moment to actually encourage “transformation” and “obsession” it’s no wonder.
This isn’t about the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Nor is it about the propriety or impropriety of children playing with guns of any ilk. Those are topics for another day. This is about common sense and the relentless redefinition of what is right, wrong and politically correct by the powers that be.
The President (and all Progressives) commonly refer to the United States simply as a democracy. As a former Professor of Constitutional Law myself (as was the President) I find this to be incomplete and misleading. A “democracy” is one person/one vote. It is ultimately mob rule. The Constitutional Republic established by the Framers was a deliberate and carefully crafted effort to avoid creation of yet another failed democracy. Historically, that model of government had never worked. A fact that remains true as of this writing.
We are not governed by mob rule and the Administration’s and media’s efforts to incite “transformation” and “obsession” to achieve their goal of gun control leads not to an end that is in the highest interest of all, but rather to incidents such as the one where a 12-year-old child is punished for…well…being a 12-year-old child.
If Khalid Caraballo’s mother and father have an issue concerning their child playing with a toy gun, if their particular morals and values prohibit it, they will act accordingly in directing and educating their child. Absent that, the powers that be, in this case school Administrators, need to mind their own damned business.
If you aren’t incensed by this latest and blatant display of arrogance and overreaching power, it’s because enslavement is a slippery slope and you’ve past the point of recovery.
In Rose, Michigan, a 6th grade student is groomed for two years then raped by a 40-year-old pedofile teacher at the public school. The teacher is then tried and convicted by a court of law and sentenced to 15-30 years. The School Board, the local Lutheran Church and the faculty stand in support of the pedofile.
In Ontario, Canada, a mother with an autistic son moves into a new neighborhood and receives an anonymous letter in her mailbox suggesting she euthanize her son and donate “whatever non-retarded body parts he has” to science because the sounds the child makes when playing outside are “not normal” and disturbing. The letter further states that no one is ever going to employ or love him. The surrounding community is silent.
Al Jazeera, a purported “news” channel owned and operated by the nation of Qatar, began cable broadcast today into 49 million homes in the United States. Not only is this the network that promoted and broadcast tapes by Osama bin Laden, but Qatar is currently the outcast Arab nation that is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda and atrocities in Egypt, much to the public dismay of its Arab neighbors who deem the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. What the Arab world deems terrorist, the United States welcome into its homes and families.
If Adolf Hitler knew one thing it was how reluctant people are to take a stand against what they know in their hearts to be wrong. Behavior can defy reason and decency and yet we humans, all too readily and in the end tragically, remain mute for fear of reprisal.
There is historical instruction on this issue. And its not WWII but rather the biblical Book of Esther. Esther, a Jew, is married to the King of Persia who is unaware of her heritage. When the King’s Ambassador and confidant Haman attempts to eliminate all the Jews, Esther’s uncle Mordechai tells her to go to the King and plead for intervention to reverse the decree. Esther, fearing for her own life should she reveal her Judaism to the King, at first declines Mordechai’s request. In reply, Mordechai tells her that if she seeks her own personal safety at the expense of her People, the Jews will die but inevitably so shall Esther. His admonition: Your silence will cost you the very thing you seek it to protect.
Whether the issue is a pedofile teacher, a cruel and cowardly neighbor lacking all compassion, or the media outlet of our sworn enemy being invited into our children’s minds, silence in opposition will cost you the protections and peace you hope it will bring.
Few words in the English language make me as uncomfortable as the word “appeasement.” That’s because it conjures images of Neville Chamberlain, train tracks and ovens. So, when tonight I heard talk radio host Glenn Beck use the word appeasement in the context of the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia, I sat up and took notice. I reacted as I did because that one word instantly brought into focus all that is occurring around us.
Energy, finances and Wahhabism are the 21st century trinity. You probably know about the U.S.- Saudi oil dependent relationship. You may even know that Saudi investment and ownership in U.S. companies and enterprises includes such holdings as 60% of Citibank and $20 million gifts each to Georgetown and Harvard Universities to buy Departmental Chairs and influence curriculum. The list is endless and the sums of money (read “influence”) are staggering.
But did you know that Saudi Arabia is the largest source of funding for terrorism in the world? Or that Wahhabism is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia? Or that it’s “a religious movement among fundamentalist Islamic believers that seeks to return to the earliest fundamental sources of the Quran”? It teaches the worst kind of hatred and spawns terror against all non-Muslim people and beliefs. It has schools in the United States teaching, for example, that Muslims should not only “always oppose” infidels “in every way”, but “hate them for their religion … for Allah’s sake”, that “democracy” is responsible for all the horrible wars of the 20th century”, and that Shia and certain Sunni Muslims were infidels.”
We have turned a blind eye towards the destructive relationship that has evolved with Saudi Arabia. While this Administration is not the first to be complicit in this, it is the one history will charge with being most like the despised Neville Chamberlain who appeased the enemy.
Today we are not witness to the final destination of train tracks but rather to beheading and suicide bombers. And as with the most recent attack in Boston, we again hear voices from those in power who deny the truth (“there’s no such thing as Islamic terrorism”) and conspire with the enemy to conceal it (Janet Napolitano lying to Congress about the immanent “voluntary” deportation of Boston terror attack likely co-conspirator Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi).
Whether the Nazis or the Saudis, selling your soul to Evil in exchange for anything is but an illusion. Evil make no deals from which it does not emerge the victor having consumed the vanquished.
Our only hope is to courageously stand for what is right and true albeit it difficult. My prayer is that there are enough of us willing to do just that before we find ourselves out of options.
A house of horrors abortion clinic in Philadelphia. A fourth grade teacher in Florida having students print that they would “give up some of [their] constitutional rights in order to be safe or more secure.” A New York high school teacher who assigned his class to “argue Jews are evil” while blaming them for the problems of Nazi Germany.
I am less troubled by who we have become than by the question, “Why don’t we care who we’ve become?” Have these collective offenses to the Divine in each of us been reduced, at best, to passing stories on the nightly news? Why do we not care about education that is agenda based, deceitful and perverse? Why are we so apathetic or hardened to the systematic slaughter of the unborn that we allow it to continue in the name of a woman’s right to choose?
I am a woman and I chose. When my ex-husband and I could not have a child we chose to go to China and adopt our daughter. She is a beauty both inside and out. In light of the gruesome story out of Philadelphia, I look at her and am pained by the thought that she, too, could have been brutally “terminated” but for the courage of her birth mother, the existence of an orphanage and her own sheer will to survive. What right do we have, we who are the beneficiaries of the gift of life, to take it from the innocence of others? Why do we think we can escape the inevitable slippery slope of turning a blind eye to the total disregard and devaluation of human life? If you know your Purim story and Mordechai’s admonition to Queen Esther, then you know the wisdom teaching that if you try and deny your responsibility towards saving humanity, you too will perish.
As for the stories out of Florida and New York, they are “the canaries in the gold mine” of education. We are, through “Common Core” and our indifference to the personal responsibility for educating our children, abandoning and enslaving this and future generations to the distortions and perversions of evil. So as the power players bombard us with news and arguments in favor of gun control, they are simultaneously and systematically seeking to selectively control the population and mold minds through abortion and curriculum, respectively.
What they seek to accomplish can only be attained by our accompanying indifference and cooperation. What we think will not happen here is based upon the false premise that it can never happen here because it has never happened here.
The premise is false on two counts.
First, at the end of the Civil War, the nation embarked upon Reconstruction and by way of Black Codes, prohibited gun ownership from freedmen, slaves and African-Americans. The result? A flourishing Ku Klux Klan. We have, in our own history, sought to control birth, education and self-defense of an entire people. It was a shameful time, a blight upon the National saga, with repercussions still felt today. Secondly, an enlightened and civilized society, Europe of the early twentieth century, was the breeding ground for Adolph Hitler.
Evil can and will exist anywhere humanity allows it to germinate and grow through indifference and cooperation. The good news is that each of us has total control over how indifferent or cooperative we choose to be. Pick your cause. This is the time to be heard. This is the time to stand. Find the indignation within and, with focused intention, speak truth to power. This is your moment.
There is only One of Us. In no more concise a fashion can this be stated than it was by Rabbi Hillel, the 1st century Jewish sage and scholar who said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
Have the presence of mind to ask yourself “When?” Then have the courage of heart to hear the response. “Now.”
There is neither rhyme nor reason as to how the November 6th Presidential election turned out as it did. There will be a variety of hindsight quarterbacking with a variety of causes. Some will say money and a machine bought the win while others that the Republicans had the wrong VP candidate in Paul Ryan. The one certainty is that this is a Nation divided and that division is deep and seemingly irreconcilable.
Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Former Soviet Union Premiere Nikita Khrushchev knew it when he said, “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you; we will so weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” Russian foreign policy expert and former KGB analyst Igor Panarin knew it when he predicted economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he said, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.
No? Listen to the Obama supporter who, during the campaign, expressed that she was supporting Obama because “I never thought this day would happen. I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car…I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage…because if I help him he’s gonna help me.”
We have two challenges ahead of us. The first is to quickly educate the American people that throughout all of human history abdication of personal responsibility always ends in bondage. The second is that we are not separate, we are One. Only the illusion of separateness, perpetuated by the few who would have power over the many, can cause us to see one another as adversaries and enemies to be destroyed or upon whom to seek revenge.
It may be too late for the former. It is not too late for the latter and should we get there, be certain there will be nothing and no one left to rebuild or restart.
Personal responsibility and Oneness. A recipe to save a nation on the brink.
Three decades ago a friend of mine who is a clinical social worker said to me, “Every society that has abandoned its children has failed to survive. We have a million runaways a year in this country. It’s not a good sign.” Well, wasn’t she prescient? And wasn’t that a very slippery slope.
We have fallen so far down that slope that people in positions of authority and power have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to child predators and the sexual molestation of minors. To wit: the faculty and Administrators of Penn State University and Jerry Sandusky... not to mention Judge Leslie Dutchcot who let the alleged predator walk without posting bail and without ordering monitoring of his whereabouts pending trial.
What are we thinking? Who have we become?
This story out of State College, Pennsylvania may well travel the path of the sexual abuse revelations within the Catholic Church. Sexual molestation of minors, and knowledge thereof by adult faculty and coaching staffs, may turn out to be a collegiate and professional sports team epidemic. Nor do I think its limited to those venues. Child molestation by a relative, a more disgusting manifestation of this particular deviant behavior, is likely a national problem as well.
Why? Because of what my friend said three decades ago.
In our quest for more and more instant gratification and personal aggrandizement, we lost sight of human decency, the laws of Nature, the laws of God, and as such abandoned the children. When you spend your time split between material gain and self-absorption, perspectives get warped and priorities get skewed. The children (and the elderly) become irrelevant as they do not enhance either of those self-indulgent past times.
So, the perversions of Jerry Sandusky, and the abdication of personal responsibility by the adults at Penn State who knew of his crimes, are the foreseeable end result. Only we, as a Nation, have been too self-absorbed to care.
The good news is that darkness cannot exist in the light of day. The revelations at Penn State now confront us as the undeniable error of our ways. It is too late for those innocent boys who suffered from Sandusky’s misuse of power as it is too late for the millions who have similarly suffered from similar abuse.
However, it is not too late for each of us to confront that capacity within ourselves, and openly confront that capacity when we witness in others, that would so violently violate the sacred space of another human being and misuse power to such a spectacular degree.
Jewish sages have said “To save one life is to save the world.” How much more so if it is the saving of a Soul? Perhaps the saving of one soul, one child who will not have to suffer the terror, pain, and indignation of sexual abuse, will be the salvation of us all.
Saving a life is finite. Saving a Soul is eternal.
Here’s something to ponder. Have we finally seen the negative impact of technology on society? Today, the College Board released the 2011 high school graduating results from the national SAT exam. The scores? Well, a drop in all three areas tested…reading, writing and math…and the overall lowest scores ever recorded.
Surprised? Not me. I have an 18 year old daughter.
My daughter is not the norm she’s the exception. She scored above average on her SAT’s and is an honor student. But, let me tell you why.
I don’t watch television. Ever. I haven’t for decades. I was cured of it when years ago I was on assignment in Los Angeles in a furnished, rental apartment with no television. It took me only days to realize how the quality of my life improved without one. So, when my daughter was growing up, there was mostly very little, and sometimes no, television. I never used it to babysit her and believe me that was exhausting. It’s a lot harder to interact with a child and fill their time with meaningful activities and conversation than it is to plop them down in front of that box (or monitor) and go your way.
As she got older, I similarly limited her exposure to computers, video games and the like. Even after 9/11/01, when my ex-husband and I got her a cell phone at age 8 (for safety reasons) she was permitted to use it only for an emergency or the need to contact us.
Absent all that technology, she read. And then she read some more. She consumed books and I believe as a result, tested the second highest score in reading comprehension in the national GEPA’s in 8th grade.
What’s my point?
There’s an upside and a downside to everything. Technology has made the world smaller, our ability to complete things faster, and expanded the potential for any individual with a computer to learn about anything of interest. It has also made us less social, less articulate and less able to think for ourselves. Clearly, it has also made our children less able to read, understand and calculate.
Is it the only cause? Probably not. Absentee parents have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility as do pathetically inadequate public schools. But I for one think it’s as good a time as any to ask ourselves whether we are in control of the technology and its prevalence in our lives… or whether we have abdicated responsibility for that as well and it is running us.
I hope we figure out the answer very soon… before we’re too stupid to figure it out.
P.S. My daughter is a talented creative writer at age 18 as well. But that’s no surprise, is it?
It’s bad enough when sports figures and actors turn out to be sad excuses for role models… but it’s completely something else when it turns out to be our teachers. So, the unfolding story out of Atlanta Georgia is particularly shameful.
In excess of 178 teachers and principals, and perhaps Superintendents, are being accused of cheating and tampering with test scores of elementary and middle school students in order to continue receiving funding under the No Child Left Behind Act. The educators (I use the term loosely) actually held “cheating parties” where they got together after school hours and doctored the tests by erasing wrong answers and substituting correct ones.
I think Congress needs to pass a supplemental act titled “Leave Corrupt Teachers Behind.” While it’s a tongue-in-cheek statement, I do think that the complete breakdown of ethics in our society has reached a dangerous level when those responsible for molding the minds of the future exhibit such reprehensible behavior evidencing a complete lack of conscience.
What were they thinking? Obviously something similar to what the teachers in Wisconsin were thinking when they marched before the State House picketing the Governor’s budget plan which included prohibiting teachers from collective bargaining practices. Those teachers encouraged their students to have their parents or doctors write fraudulent absence notes to their schools so the students could picket alongside the teachers. Most of the students I saw interviewed didn’t even know what they were picketing for… but were delighted it had gotten them out of school!
In this most recent and troubling example of the ethical and moral “pit of despair”in which this nation finds itself, let us each personally vow to begin to make own lives a breeding ground for truthfulness, integrity and ethical example.
When Moses and the Israelites were standing seemingly trapped at the Reed (Red) Sea, Moses plead to God for help. The unsung hero of that moment was Nahshon, Israelite brother-in-law of Aaron, who took the first step into the waters and continued head deep before they parted.
We are at such a moment in our ethical lives. Be a Nahshon in your own. Walk into this culture of deceit, up to your head if necessary, with faith that doing the right thing will bring the highest outcome… or at least model something worth emulating.