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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Take A Knee

While storms, nuclear threats, deliberate sabotage by our President of our healthcare and tax policy are all in the mix of daily life, trump, with a small T, picks a fight with the black athletes of our country. He started it in Alabama where two other lunatics were running for Senate, the winner of that primary, now trump's guy, is a homophobic, law breaking bigot, so picking such a fight down there seems right for him. Now trump has never read the Constitution so he doesn't understand what America is about. Several Supreme Court rulings have unambiguously declared that even unpopular or disrespectful expression, is protected. In the instance of the NFL dispute created by a President, he is preying on the stupidity and ignorance of many people who think the flag, the song and the statues are what makes America great. I wont change their minds and certainly wont waste my time trying. The actions of unpopular resistance have historically proven to facilitate progress such as expanding civil rights, raising consciousness on matters of importance and truly represent what our values are and what we stand for. Protest, respectful disagreement and activism are the true representations of our nation. trump will never get that. He actually by sabotaging law, using racism to quell disagreements and displaying ignorance with every breath he takes, is demonstrating much worse than taking a knee. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Dismantling of Humanity...Trump style

I love President Obama. He will always be a great President in my eyes, not for what he did not accomplish, but for his intellect, his vision for the future, his committment to the human condition and his scandal free, family friendly, poised, stable and compassionate administration. He talked about future technology jobs, improved infrastructure, an updated electric grid, respect for our global connections, protection of the environment and the basic decency and humanity of the American spirit. He left with a 58% popularity and an economy in a better position than the one in existence when he took office as evidenced by the continuation of good numbers over the past months. These are numbers completely unattributable to President Trump. If you are objective, put your hatred aside and be honest with yourself, my description cannot be factually unwound. In a few short months, hate crimes are up, we are questioning whether or not to condemn Nazis, we are denying the reality of human made environmental disasters, we are threatening nuclear destruction of sovereign nations, backing away from trade agreements, disrespecting our allies and using harsh, despicable language toward fellow citizens, declaring the free press obstructionist and putting fiction over fact on the most serious of matters. It is no coincidence that this is happening during the administration of Donald Trump, whose inhumanity pre-dates his Presidency. He is not alone responsible. His party has nurtured the conditions that have allowed such a man to be elected President. Now, in a last ditch effort of desperation and hurt, the Republicans may finally succeed in kicking millions off of health insurance, remove requirements that would have long term health benefits, make premiums in many quarters much higher, particularly for the sick and economically challenged all in the name of hate for Obama. It is a dismantling of humanity in our supposedly morally superior nation. It is a perfect storm. Trump style. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Teachable Moment

Back to school is around the corner and as a teacher, I am getting the usual pangs of anticipation and hope as a new year approaches. One thing we are not hearing a lot about during our current political reality, is how all of the dysfunction and meanness pervading our country right now, should be handled in the classrooms. I, quite frankly, am a bit worried about how to teach students the difference between good and evil without entering the arena of their own family dynamic and political perspective. After all, I actually work with teachers and other educators who support President Trump and it takes a lot for me to restrain myself and say to them how unbelievably inappropriate and ignorant their viewpoints are but I refrain. I have always made it a habit to teach students how to make decisions rather than make the decisions for them. It is hard, but it is right in my judgement. They may be able as they get older to guess that I am a left of center Democrat believing in compromise but they wont hear me define myself as such in the classroom. I never, however, refrain from modeling for them or teaching them about good character, respect for others and the avoidance of apathy. In the movie, "American President" Michael Douglas plays President Andrew Shepard who is dropping in the polls nearing re election. He finally decides to speak out against his fear mongering opponent Bob Rumson played by Richard Dreyfuss. In a famous line from his speech Shepard says "Being President is entirely about character". The teaching strategy that this example provides us as teachers is therefore the one I will use, without condemning party political affiliation or calling out the President by name. Instead I will teach students that we must fight against symbols of hate such as swastikas and KKK robes. We must respect each other and not use vulgar terms and expressions of disrespect toward women. I will teach that lying is bad and avoiding responsibility by blaming others is inappropriate. I will reinforce the importance of stopping bullies and speaking out forcefully against bigotry and hate. I will remind students that how they behave as young adults will shape who they become as adults, and I wont even have to mention Donald Trump, the most despicable human being, the most incredibly hateful and disingenuous thug, the most lacking in character of anyone to assume the office of the Presidency in a long long time. Maybe even forever. I will not squander this teachable moment. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?