“Totally Under Control”

This is a dual anecdotal blog-post; one to follow-up my previous post on this new WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor and its immense learning curve for paying subscribers/members like myself, and a blog-post regarding our current political/Presidential and VP campaigns… or rather what I have always considered in election years super hyped-up rhetoric and sensationalizing lip-service by most all elected officials. Therefore, regarding the first anecdote, I began this simple, quick blog-draft at 7:45pm CST. I completely finished this super basic post with no bells and whistles, then published it at 1:05am—over FIVE HOURS LATER—with no interruptions! The bulk of those 5-hours were spent trying to learn and perfect an incredibly sophisticated Editor. That is crazy, stupid, required (wasted?) time with this new Editor for so little catching-presentation and final product! Ridiculous WordPress. Way too complicated for Users who use WordPress as a hobby!

Regarding the second anecdote, our Presidential and VP campaigns and debates would like to tell all Americans that this race between our two parties is about three issues: 1) COVID-19, 2) healthcare, and 3) the consequences of #1 on our economy. No, I say all three combine into ONE: how horribly shitty our nation’s highest leadership had prepared for and managed #1 that directly affected #2 and #3. It is that simple and don’t let political propaganda and typical lip-service rhetoric of our current national leadership deceive you or divert you from that fact! Let’s review.

On January 6, 2020, after many infections, deaths, and signs from Wuhan, China, worldwide and domestic virologists, epidemiologists, scientists, and the CDC informed and forewarned the President of the United States, his administration, and all federal health agencies that the COVID-19 pandemic was coming to America. On January 21, 2020, the very first case of coronavirus arrived near Seattle, WA. This was our President’s reaction:

We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.

President Trump, interview with CNBC, asked about the first diagnosed U.S. case. He said he was not worried about a lethal pandemic.

Unfortunately for thousands and thousands of At Risk Americans, 210,000 deaths and counting, this egotistical indifference by the President is utterly misleading and a catastrophic mistake. And Dr. Taison Bell, M.D. at University of Virginia Health and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine, puts all the historical facts in place today and what was not done when warned and warned repeatedly in December 2019, January 2020, again in February 2020, and over and over still from March 2020 to the present day. Watch this excellent 30-second portrayal of factual federal apathy and denial (for political reasons) to protect the American public:

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/tV6w/future-forward-usa-action-taison-bell

Now, back to my first anecdote, this damn new Block Editor. I am essentially done here… at least as far as I am concerned. There is more for me to say that Dr. Taison Bell doesn’t poignantly nail in those 30-seconds. It’s now almost 1:10am CST and I have spent way too much time here just trying to post this! Geeezzz. 🤬


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

Civil Responsibility 2016

I pointed to the classroom’s lesson hook on the board, I turned to my 8th graders and repeated the question, “Who has the power to do things in the United States?” I quickly had to add, “LEGALLY do things!

Over the years of teaching Social Studies, there is one answer I consistently get: “THE PRESIDENT!” I remain silent for as long as necessary. Why? For a number of fine reasons, comic relief is one, but mostly to gauge how extensive the class will need to cover U.S. government, and indirectly Texas state government, for the upcoming week or two. However, there is another reason I like to ask the class this hook question. Inevitably parental teaching and influence will surface between the lines of their responses, especially if I allow the students some time and freedom to challenge each other’s answer and explanation. Those opening minutes are not too unlike adult conversations over political issues you catch at town squares or workplace break rooms. Every four years these conversations, sometimes volatile debates, can be exactly the same as those my 8th graders start. 😮

Don Huffines - TX Senator

Senator Huffines reply to me about the absurd injustice of Texas businesses refusing service to any of the LGBT community on religious grounds

If all of you received a quality education in primary school through secondary school and graduated obtaining your diploma, perhaps in the upper half of your senior class or better, or had the fortune to attend four years of undergraduate studies obtaining a bachelor’s degree, then it is reasonable to assume that you know that our U.S. President does NOT have all the power to do things. There is a very good reason… it prevents one person, or one office, organization, branch, from gaining a greedy and/or abusive advantage; in a word: dictatorship. Yet, surprisingly (or not) a significant population of American adults under the age of 50 feel the U.S. President is the sole person responsible for good times and bad times. At the risk of stating the obvious, this political mentality is tragic, let alone harmful for a community’s, a state’s, or a nation’s future.

Critical thinking skills are sometimes (often?) NOT taught to our young children, adolescents, or undergraduates. This is partly due to how much freedom people and institutions are indeed given, e.g. the above image and response letter from Don Huffines, my Texas Senator, regarding the rights of business owners to refuse all services to gays-lesbians-transgendered whomever they choose. Another reason critical thinking skills are not taught or tested in primary and secondary schools is that until recently Common Core Standards in education did not exist 10-20 years ago. Thus, a generation of un-ingenious or unimaginative followers were raised. Today, 43 states have fortunately adopted Common Core Standards teaching critical thinking skills to young minds. But that is only in public education. It does not reflect the ever-increasing popularity in some states for charter or private schools, much less the home-schooling sector.

Following is a good 3-minute video about these skills and how ProCon.org promotes them in non-partisan fashion.

As I alluded to in my previous post, I have very little time at the moment to write in-depth 3,000 – 7,000 word posts on such MONUMENTAL subjects as voting and other civil responsibilities during campaign years, primaries, elections — and elections of public officers who APPOINT other officers or judges into positions of great power the general population will have no direct say in their placing — and how these officials will affect millions of citizens for years to follow. Knowing how your candidate might “appoint” other officials, collaborate with other officials, or remain consistent to their campaign positions and promises are just as crucial as your here-n-gone single vote for him or her! I feel this is a subject, a blog-post that is important enough to pause my hectic life for a few hours and share in a small way how paramount civil responsibility is to each of us… including your own children’s and grandchildren’s futures and how to make changes, improvements, even though they may be slow and gradual.

Therefore, if you would like to get a broad introduction into how to be a more informed wiser voter, I’ll recommend my post Oversimplification 2012 and its 4-part series as a starting point. However, if you’d prefer the abbreviated more shallow introduction — i.e. the version(s) many American voters prefer or only have time for — then continue reading. If you barely had time to read this far, then I beg you to try and at least watch completely the below video. It could cause you to reconsider your voting and political tendencies regarding our privileged, important, and free (or costly?) civil right to vote that each of us are gifted. Voting, and voting wisely, as well as freely, should never be ignored or taken lightly.

So many political issues and controversy are rooted in economics; its healthy or unhealthy status. This is partly why I chose Joseph Stiglitz’s video and commentary over his new book, The Great Divide. Also because he is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics and has loads of wisdom to impart!

I hope this very brief post has helped you and other voters to be a bit more informed, but informed in more objective broader ways. Please get or remain very involved in your community’s, your county’s, your municipal’s, your state’s, and your federal elections. Correspond with your elected officials frequently. Vote and vote wisely, and just as important, vote for a greater good for the greatest number!

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Will the Real America Please Standup

“By the people…”

As I began teaching my middle school and high school students one day about the meaning and power of American citizenship, I realized that several of the basic concepts of our government and how it functions the same from bottom to top seemed alien, even to the high schoolers.  I had been taught these principles by my parents before I reached fifth grade.  As a result, I guided my students back through a quick review and retaught some of these basic concepts and methods, all used successfully in our country (for the most part) for the last 230 plus years.  But something else struck me as peculiar.

Many adults have the same naïvety as my students I stand before in my classroom.  Of course the reasons for this naïvety should not be oversimplified.  However, as is the case with any child on any given day, disabilities or not, they learn how to manipulate situations to meet what their natural, youthful self-centeredness desires.  Recognizing this side of human nature, history shows that if this type of attitude and behavior is not modified at an early age, or at least addressed, then the families of the United States of America grow and nurture adults with firmly learned compounded narrow-mindedness; youthful egotists in adult bodies if you will.  Two integral components of a productive, proactive American adult is neglected:  ownership and collaboration.  How often do you hear these two simple terms in politics?  More to the point, how often do you hear the terms and their real meaning during Presidential election years?

The making of American citizens

I am constantly baffled by American citizens whining incessantly about the current President and or his political party.  In just about any public place or on any public forum or social media, you can always find jabs and derogatory remarks about one man, or one political ideal screwing up this country.  Sadly, I hear this from my middle and high school students just as much!  Where on earth are they hearing or being taught this annoying whining about one man or one ideal?  I promise you this, not in my classroom and I hope not in any publicly funded classroom!  By the way, American people are not ruled, governed, or enslaved by or to one man.  It has thankfully been this way for yes, 235 something years.  If the American public are proactive in their families, communities, states, and federal government — as has been given to them freely according to our Constitution — and proactive in self-ownership of their elected officials, then the reality is this:  YOU are the one to whine about.

Also, if you find yourself in the “minority” of American laws and policies, then once again our system of government freely provides to you the methods of COLLABORATION within your community, state, and federal groups to begin your revolution of change.  That is exactly how our nation’s forefathers constructed our government in the 1700’s and setting it up the same for you today.

Yet, do not be fooled into thinking that “revolutionary change” is in any way done by “THEM“.  On the contrary, it is you who must be actively or proactively involved.  You must sacrifice your own time and efforts to gain the change you seek.  It is you who must learn to be a master of collaboration and diplomacy, not “them“.  If you are truly convicted about your policies and ideology, then YOU become the next Thomas Jefferson, or Abraham Lincoln, or Martin Luther King, Jr.  And I, as your equal, will first educate myself thoroughly on your dream of change, and if it coincides with my ideals, then perhaps together we can collaborate and take ownership of our social system as it was meant to be in the first place, and make those changes happen.

Good government starts in your own family

However, allow me to point out that before you can create a better America, or a better state or community, you must first have your own house and family in good, happy working order.  The cliché “Those who can be trusted with the little things, can be trusted with the greater things” is never more true in this case.  What is taught, nurtured, and matured in the home will either add to or subtract from our country.  More precisely, if you were taught the basic principles of ownership, collaboration (teamwork), understanding, and tolerance for diversity, then your chances of making America better are profoundly excellent.  If not, then you will find yourself always swimming upstream with no one to aid you, no matter how much you whine aloud.

President Obama, or the political party he affiliates himself, have never been the entire problem America faces today.  Americans are sleeping in the very bed they have made for themselves.  Whether it is a lack of principles, education, family values, collaboration, or whatever your slogan, take ownership America for your inactivity in local, state, and federal government, or your shortcomings of collaboration, understanding, and intolerance.  But quit blaming “them”.  Quit blaming one man.  Pointing fingers at opposing political officials only demonstrates a severe lack of collaboration and ownership.  Our governing officials, laws and policies are only a mirror of not only each American citizen’s voice, but equally our societal depth, from our own family right up to our federal officials.

President Obama, proudly take your seat.  It isn’t your lack of leadership that has America in this predicament.  It is each of us citizens, on every level; so…will the REAL America please standup, act collaboratively, and take ownership of your country’s good and bad.  Our current economic and societal woes are “…for the people, BY the people“.  It does not say by one man.

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