Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bridges Tunnels and Roads, Oh My!

  I have said it before many, many times. And I'm not the only one.   Federal stimulus is needed to repair roads and bridges across this Nation.  I have driven extensively across America and have witnessed first hand the disrepair of our Nations infrastructure.

  I'm not saying I've been everywhere in this Country, or on every road and bridge but I don't have to.
You don't have to go far from home, no matter where you live, to see pot holes in roads and concrete crumbling on bridges and overpasses.  Eight years ago it was suggested to stimulate a sluggish economy.  Four years ago it was pleaded for by many as a means to kick start a recovery from  "The Great Recession".

  It should not take a bridge collapse like the one in Washington state to get Congress and the President talking about it again.  And it doesn't seem that is has!  The only people talking about it are the Press, Media, and working folks like you and me.  Everyone but the the proper authorities.

  It is very simple math, safe roads benefit everyone and come with no disadvantages.  Safe roads keep the American traveler safe, increase interstate commerce, and provide for the "General Welfare of the People."  Which is a term expressed many times by our founding fathers over two hundred years ago.

  So no matter what your political affiliation, you can not argue that the "General Welfare of the People" has, and always should be, at the forefront of everything this Country stands for.

  Federal stimulus for roads, tunnels and bridges has been a tried and tested means of economic stimulus.  And it remains that way even today.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reaction Is Not Response

  You know those commercials where if you need something you can just push the Easy Button?  I wish they were real!

  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.