Sunday, May 19, 2013
Newtown CT. School shooting is tragic and horrifying to all of us. It is important after the normal process of grieving outrage, and reaction, to take a step back and talk about tragedies like this with a calm rational perspective. Not the usual talking that takes place during the event, which is talking at each other.
Shouting over one and other to be heard and not listening is a normal part of dealing with such incomprehensible actions. But we often forget an important part of the healing process, which is to listen. This is probably the most important part of the healing process, arguably anyway.
For example, Sussex County Delaware has to decided to put Guards in all it's schools to combat any future such events. What they failed to do is take a step back and discuss the problem in an intellectual manner. Which is ironic because all School systems in America are supposed to be based in intellectual thought.
The words Guard and Combat should never be used as a solution for Schools. Delaware has a created it's own reputation of putting metal detectors, guards, and police officers in it's High Schools, and as a result they have grown increasingly more violent.
Yes, as a result! A Schools intent is to develop and shape young minds. And that's just what Delaware has done. By treating Students as inferiors through searches, threats and constant scrutiny, we have developed in them a prisoner mentality.
Walking through metal detectors and being searched does not make anyone feel safe. We know it makes us safer because we are rational adults with the ability to discern the proper coarse needed to be safe. But we don't feel it, we discern it. Yet we expect children to be able to do the same. They can't. Not yet anyway. Not without experience. And experience is what separates the men from the boys so to speak.
I don't know what the correct answer is for making our Schools safer and no one person does either. That will take rational adult conversations with as many people as possible, and the most important ingredient of all "listening".
What I do know is, a child does not see the world as adults do. Daily exposure to guards, gates and detectors will never inspire creativity. Which is something else Schools are meant to do. You can't open minds by locking doors.
We don't currently have an answer for tragedies like Newtown, and we are not likely to have one any time soon, until we stop Reacting and start Responding.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tragically the West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion has become a model example for what can happen if the Republican lead Congress succeed in their De-regulation Agenda. It also points out the desperate need our Nation and our Economy has for strong united Unions.
Unions have done more to limit dangers in our work place, and ensure work place safety for all Americans through Education and Legislation.
It is impossible to count the number of workers alive today thanks to the diligence of Unions.
I understand a statement like this is easily dismissed, but before you do, ask yourself, would you rather have an actual number of workers who's lives were not saved, like in West Texas?
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Some find jobs, low wage, part time work. Which makes them ineligible for further unemployment benefits. After a time they are laid off and have to re apply. Going through the entire process of proving their eligibility all over again.
The ones who don't find work are subject to repeated call backs to come in to unemployment to verify and re verify then verify some more, only to find out they are not getting a check because the 'hand off' of paperwork was missed by someone. And you have to go back in to prove it wasn't your fault. Then wait another week for a check you should have gotten this week.
But it's okay. It's only money, right? (Sarcasm) What is important to remember is, to just keep quiet, do what the people with all the money tell you to do, and be grateful for the crumbs they throw you. After all we got Obamacare. (More Sarcasm)
Yes people are finding jobs, but not the jobs of yesteryear. Not even close. Hundreds of applicants line up for the same job. In many cases a job that does not offer enough to dig ourselves out of the debt we have unwillingly accumulated since the "Great Recession". Yup they are officially calling it the Great Recession.
Are unemployment benefit applications going down because our economy is recovering? Yes I guess they are. But it's also because people are walking away. They're tired, worn down, and beaten. Is it okay tor Society to sweep these people under the rug? I don't think so.
Some...feels like most actually, see them as bums or panhandlers. When in fact they are the ones who have done everything asked of them, just like you and me. And when they asked their elected officials to do something for them, those same officials were to busy arguing over who is to blame.
To say giving up and walking away is not accurate. It makes them sound like they had a choice, when in fact they did not. I don't know of a way to accurately describe what happened to these people. It's like trying to bale out a sinking boat with bucket riddled with holes. Eventually you sink.
The people we chose to send to Washington to run things are doing the exact opposite. They are doing nothing. If they had to enter the work force like the rest of us, they wouldn't be employed long with that kind of work ethic.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Gone, are the day's of rational behavior!
Where does the voice of reason reside?
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat...
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school... The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about.. And we said okay..
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
It's very simple. In order to save our society, we must be tolerant of everything but intolerance.
Monday, November 19, 2012
The first time I visited my family in Ireland, my cousin took me to a harsh and rugged piece of land that didn't seem capable of supporting human life . It was the home of my Grandfather, or at least the area where he was born and raised, and it was the most beautiful vista I had ever laid eyes on.
It was both inhospitable and magnificent. I have been a lot of places and seen a lot of gorgeous vistas, but none compared to that one. My cousin then ask me, "Billy, did you ever imagine that you would be standing right here where it all started for us"? He said "this is the land where all McLaughlins came from. This is where our blood line goes back to a time even before last names were used". I was so moved that I didn't realize I was speaking, and was surprised when I heard the word "No" come out of my mouth.
I guess this snapped me out of what ever shock I was in, because I began to tell him I never expected to be anywhere. I never thought in a million years I would have what I have, a home, a family, anything. I always thought I would grow up and live on the same street, in the same city I was born in. I never expected to have a wonderful wife, three amazing children, and a bevy of beautiful grandchildren.
Our home is no Palace by any means but it is my Castle, and that's enough for me. But that's what can happen in America. At least the America I grew up in. A boy with very little education, no connections, and even less money can make a place for himself. This is probably the main thing that separates us from the rest of the world. It can not be done without work and for that we need jobs. Good jobs, with good benefits and the chance for advancement.
This is something we are sorely lacking now a days. This is why my Grandfather came to America. When I was in Ireland, I walked along an old path that lead from the sea to the main town. The English paid my Grandfather to take stones from the pebble beach and spread them out on that path, paving the road all the way to town. Every day he would shovel stones into a 4 foot by 4 foot donkey cart and shovel it back out onto the path. And when he was done it needed replenishing, and he would start all over. If he missed a day, he would be replaced, and lose that job.
I look at Companies in America today and I see the same mentality my Grandfather wished to escape. My Grandfather grew up in a world where his religion, culture and language were illegal, and work was a privilege, so you'd better be grateful for what you got.
Congratulations Corporate America, you have guided us directly onto the path that caused the collapse of the British Empire.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I usually find the same old blame game with some bright ideas sprinkled here and there. But lately it's all been acrid slander spilling onto the page before me as if everybody at the party decided to vomit all at the same time.
When did we become a Nation of complainers? I understand the value of complaining. Everyone needs something to complain about. It's the natural order of things. It helps to relieve stress when we're frustrated, angry and sometimes it's even helpful when we are bored. You know, spices things up a bit. But this is getting out of control. It's all the time. Everyone is complaining and no one is doing anything about it.
There has to be a balance. And the tone of complaining is astounding. Vile, irreverent hatred coming from everywhere.
It's often said that we have a right to complain. If no one complained, we never would have had the American Revolution. But to complain without action is fruitless. By action I mean positive progressive steps forward. Not holding our breath, stomping our feet, or even worse, do what ever it takes to get our way no matter who gets hurt. Because I'm here to tell you, complaining combined with negative hurtful actions is a cocktail for disaster. I've seen the results of that for myself. We all have.
In the early hours of September 11th 2001 some 3000 people died in an hour and forty five minutes because of such a cocktail of closed minded hatred and selfishness. Think about that for a minute. 1 hour and 45 minutes. 3000 mothers, fathers, sons daughters, aunts, uncles, soldiers firefighters, police, CEO's accountants, and janitors, gone. For what?
So we can cry about having to pay higher taxes? So we can whine about who the real Americans are? Did hundreds of thousands of families have their lives irrevocably changed so we could blame each other incessantly?
We should be ashamed of ourselves. If we as Americans were watching another country go through this we'd be disgusted and appalled at such childish behavior. We should be honoring those men and women, as well as the military personnel who are fighting for us, and the ones that paid the ultimate price.