Chicago Public School Officials Behaviorally Challenged: Who’s Acting Uneducated Now?

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING HIGHLY UNEDUCATED

Listening to Karen Lewis talk, you would think she wants some things to remain the same far as this business (overdone) with this chatter about “neighborhood” schools. She wants the present Mayor out of office, but what would she tell a new candidate about how the schools should be run and what ought to be done?

If I were going to run for Mayor and President Lewis came to me talking as she did today on the News Radio WBBM interview, I would turn her out of my office and tell her to come back when she’s not clouded by letting the demographers have power over her mind and the minds of those she works with. I’d say that when she is ready to really give an educated response and burst the bubbles of this talk of race and gender and gang lines, she can come back and settle down and use some Parliamentary Procedure manners and talk with me.

Listen folks, do not play the race game and the Census bit with me – I won’t buy it. I am tired of hearing people sound as though their world ends when their streets end or when the “people who look like them” are no longer visible. Pretty unsecure and prejudiced thinking, in my view, and we do not need such talk any further.

Demographic and racial gerrymandering talk does no good for anyone at all. Such talk only gives the government Census people more power to separate and categorize us and to make it sound like such talk is good for us and will give competitiveness, federal dollars, boost this or that and make  funds available for people who want to buy in to their “diversity” babble.

English: Seal of the United States Census Bure...

English: Seal of the United States Census Bureau. The blazon is defined here as: On a shield an open book beneath which is a lamp of knowledge emitting rays above in base two crossed quills. Around the whole a wreath of single leaves, surrounded by an outer band bearing between two stars the words “U.S. Department of Commerce” in the upper portion and “Bureau of the Census” in the lower portion, the lettering concentric with an inner beaded rim and an outer dentilated rim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Get on the horn, people! YOU ARE DIVERSE; everyone is “diverse”, because we are all different.  I don’t look like you and you don’t look like me and we don’t like the same kinds of food, but that does not make me inferior or superior to you. Come on, get grown up, folks. If you are in a fire are you going to watch for the firefighters coming up the aerial ladder and if he or she does not look like you are you going to be stupid enough to tell them, “I’ll want here until someone who looks like me comes up the ladder?” How silly is that?

So she thinks kids are not going to be welcome in a new school or in a new environment? That is a poor commentary on how good people can really be and how warm and open folks can be if given a chance. Such talk as she is spouting out is only adding fuel to the fire and keeping the wounds of racism, gangs, drugs, “turf”, neighborhoods, and “special” education going.

Perhaps the goals of our education system are wrong in the first place. For one thing, we are ALL in need of some sort of “special education”, considering that from observations I make that everyone is behaviorally challenged. We are not civil, we are not decent, we spit, we shout, we use phones at the dinner table, and we talk in church. People cut folks off when driving, people text when driving, act up in flight, push and shove, do not acknowledge when someone gives a resume in or have a job interview; people expose their underwear and exhibit other breaches of behavioral niceties.

Special education is for everyone, though some people need more attention than others due to physical or mental disorders that cannot be attended to in a regular school environment. Kids with severe deficiencies do need more attention during the day than those who can do normal activities such as feeding and dressing themselves, so they should be assessed and placed in a suitable environment.

But every school should be as good in quality as the very best schools in the Chicago area or schools around the nation, and if they are not then we need to take a close look at the real reasons why they are not. Who is playing the politics card, who is fomenting the racial and gender and gang issues and for what reason? Are they getting money and support from groups who are affiliated with demographers, demographic institutes or the Census Bureau?

I find that it is interesting that the Census Bureau has on its coat of arms an open book, the sign of someone getting an education and expanding their horizons, and the lamp of learning and the quills, with which people used to write with dipping in ink. And usually a wreath of leaves indicated the sign of a heroic accomplishment. The only thing the Census people are doing is dividing this nation along all kinds of lines and in all manner of categories, and I find nothing good, decent, heroic or honorable about that in the slightest. The way they are pushing their demographic divisiveness they ought to have a closed book and an extinguished lamp. Racial gerrymandering and prejudice have no place in this country and our government is making both legal, permissive, and acceptable.

What is really going on with those stubborn people? Do you want to have that kind of thinking plaguing you any longer?

If you need a further reason to burst your demographic social economic racist gender-biased bubbles and come out and break down the barriers, then look at the people in London who are by the tens of thousands participating today running in the London Marathon. Only a week after the events in Boston which drew us and the City of Boston together to assist the injured and traumatized, the London Marathon is drawing people supporting those in Boston and the sport of running and the spirit of good sportsmanship. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO COME OUT, to come from other countries and get in that race and run and feel proud and happy! They are happy to be out there and showing the team spirit!

How come you folks in Chicago cannot do the same?

Here is the pin… burst the bubbles and take a breath. Surely the air will be fresh and not at all stuffy. You’re making it stuffy now so break the barriers, grow up, stop talking and start acting, but in everyone’s interest and not for your political or PR ambitions. Quit acting up and start behaving like good citizens should.

Thank you.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Advertisements

Citizens Act Now: Whose Turf is it Anyway?

WHOSE TURF IS IT ANYWAY? CITIZENS NEED TO THINK AND ACT!

OK, who out there is TIRED of hearing the mass spin media and the politicians talk about “gun violence”, “gun control”, gangs and drugs, gang turf, gang territory, and children having to cross gang lines to go to school or to walk to the convenience store every day? Who is sick and tired of having their communities plagued by these people with their strong –arm tactics and guns and powerfully lethal drugs and their exhibitions of greed and materialism and idolizing the worst of what makes us human? Who is tired of the shouting and the graffiti, the danger the kids are in, the talk every day of how many people are dead in “gun violence”, and the sight of the open –air drug markets?

ARE YOU TIRED OF THAT? THEN WHAT DO YOU THINK?

It is safe to venture a guess that it was YOUR hard work and sweat that won you that property on which to have your home, your livelihood and your business, your schools and your churches. Certainly that land belonged to you and other hard –working, diligent citizens who were there long before those “gangs” with their no –good paraphernalia and drugs and guns and terrorist tactics and cowardice showed up and invaded.

Citizens of Chicago and of other towns plagued by these cowardly people, TAKE A STAND AND ACT IMMEDIATELY! Think about it: what would you do if your garden had weeds in it? You would want to know why they are there maybe, or you would just go ahead and see what it is and get rid of it. You already know you don’t want that thing in your garden, so you get out the hoe, rake, and shovel, weed spray, cultivator and then fresh soil and better plants and take the weeds out with some hard work and elbow grease.

That is how you get rid of weeds in a garden, so the same applies to getting rid of gangs and drugs on your streets. YOUR STREETS, folks, NOT the gang’s streets or the drug’s streets or the neighborhoods with “gun violence” – those are YOUR streets, YOUR homes, YOUR schools and YOUR bus stops. The gang members aren’t doing anything to help you out or improve things or make life better.

Gangs are around doing just the opposite: they are invasive and cancerous and pustule and disgusting and dishonorable. They are out to do no good, out to destroy and divide and draw in the vulnerable and take the lives of the innocent and purvey the drugs and the illegal guns. They are out for nothing but power and greed and to sport their stupid signs and their colors and their “pride” in being able to destroy children on front porches and exhibit their cowardice in drive –by shootings. Only cowards act that way, and the citizens of Chicago are NOT cowards.

It was YOUR land before it was the land of the gangs, so TAKE IT BACK. The gangs are on your land, not the reverse. YOU are on your land that you have paid for, that you maintain, that you work for and pay one third of your income in taxes for every year.  You are on land you have from your family, for your children, for your business and for your future; you have built that house and built that church and that community center and community garden. It is YOUR land, not the land of that gang banger!

What is the cause of the reason the gangs are in your community? Find that and you will find out how to get rid of them for good! Is it racial gerrymandering? Is it citizen apathy, political apathy, voter apathy, neglect of the streets and buildings and sidewalks and transit? What is it that is the reason the gangs found the area attractive and came in with their guns and their ways and their signals and set up shop? WHY ARE THEY THERE?

Ask those questions, find out what it is that made the area attractive for the gangs and the drugs and the violence, so you can find out how to turn the gangs in and run them out of your community once and for all. YOU CANNOT BE AFRAID ANY MORE! That is what the gangs and the terrorists want, and gang members ARE terrorists, nothing less and a lot more. They are homegrown terrorists or people affiliated with drug cartels that are out for nothing else other than to sell their drugs, destroys lives and destroy communities and divide families.

Find out how to get rid of them. Tell what you see, save a life, and save the children. Do your conscience a favor, do your city or town or village a favor. Branch out, leave demographics and race and ethnicity behind; get out of the social and economic bubble so you can help those who are in trouble and who need comfort, safety, assurance and love.

GET OUT THERE, FOLKS! Someone needs you.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Take a look at my entries in another of my blogs, ILLUMINATE AND ADVOCATE, the latest is inspired by the events in Boston.

http://intelligentempiricism.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/311/

NRA is Not Right All the Time: Gun Control Must Take Hold

NRA: Not Right At All: Sandy Hook and Gun Control

Now it is obvious that the arguments of the NRA (National Rifle Association) regarding the Second Amendment and gun control and all the rest of the concerns revolving (excuse the word choice there) around “gun violence” are not complete nor are they accurate. Below is the Second Amendment.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

First of all, banning certain types of weapons DOES NOT take away anything of the privileges we have in the Second Amendment, which gives us the right to bear arms. “Arms” can mean anything that is used to commit violence against someone using deadly force, strength meant to kill surely and not necessarily cleanly. It is DEADLY FORCE that is meant when someone takes a gun out and fires that weapon at a person with premeditated intent – they MEAN to KILL that person at whom the gun is pointed. It is ready for discharging and if the situation is upset enough the weapon will be used, and someone WILL DIE.

Sandy Hook, Connecticut

Sandy Hook, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The banning of certain weapons is not going to infringe on the Second Amendment, not at all. All the people of Sandy Hook want, and all that many Americans want, is to see the BANNING of certain types of guns and armaments accessories and an increase in background checks and details of said checks. The views of Chicago Police Department Superintendent McCarthy are correct in his five points, discussed some months ago in one of my previous blog entries. Now the police of communities across America cannot do all the work, the SWAT teams and the FBI cannot do all the work.

People must step up and write their representatives to the point of stuffing their mailboxes with letters insisting on these bans of assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and also of the increase in background checks for gun shows and all types of sales that are made anywhere, when guns are sold or transferred in ownership, and especially to keep track of where a gun might end up when it is stolen. There are GPS methods to track down stolen cars… there should perhaps be a way to insert GPS into guns to track them when the chip is activated. Privacy issues will come up no doubt but for now the issue is what to do about the “military style” guns that are being made and put on our streets every day.

On our streets we DO NOT NEED these assault weapons (though any type of weapon is really an “assault” weapon seeing that any sort of violence against another person is assault). We do not need in our communities the presence of the AR-15, the M-16, the Uzi, anything at all that is meant to take out many people as happened at Sandy Hook, as happened in Aurora, Colorado, and as happens every day in America as citizens allow gangs and corrupt people to take control of streets and communities for their drugs and their disgusting presence.

You can certainly have a firearm in your home or business for protection, and in most states you can carry a gun under the concealed carry law. But you certainly do not need one of those machine guns for daily protection unless you are in a war zone. There are some parts of America that might be called “war zones” because those communities have endured neglect and are run -down enough for gangs and drugs to take hold. Good people will leave and the bad elements will take over and the citizens who are stuck there will be in deep trouble. Points aside, you can have firearms and you can certainly uphold the Second Amendment. You do not have to listen to the NRA when deciding on gun control, plainly and simply.

The children and teachers who died at Sandy Hook will not be forgotten as long as parents are around, as long as caring citizens are here, as long as first responders have to pay visits to those types of scenes and make their reports. The record is there and the people of Connecticut have stepped up to tell America and Congress they are going to get tough for the gun control issue.

Those members of Congress and those other representatives who get good grades from the NRA need to remember the children who are struggling to get good grades in school every day in areas plagued by violence and racial gerrymandering and government neglect. Those senators who are going to filibuster and not vote on issues to regulate the gun industry and ban the assault weapons are going to have to answer their constituents if something happens in their state on the order of Sandy Hook or Aurora or Virginia Tech’s university campus massacre.

Those members of Congress will have to go before America and say that because they get an A rating from the NRA that they cannot support deeper gun control legislation that might save lives, that might keep our cities safer, that might take these guns out of the hands of gang bangers and criminals and violent people. They will have to answer the next time something like that happens if there is a next time.

The Second Amendment must be carefully considered away from what the NRA says will happen if we get tougher gun control. Such controls will not take away our right to have guns if we want them. We can certainly go out and get a gun, take courses on how to properly use a gun, and register it properly and learn to clean and care for it. We can teach the kids about gun safety if we have them around the house, so that nothing happens in the way of the unfortunate incidents that have popped up on the news lately, with younger kids shooting friends or siblings or family members.

Our esteemed wimpy idiotic foolish members of Congress need to get a backbone and act and pass tougher gun control laws immediately, no arguing, no filibustering, no posturing and no party politics. PLEASE people PLEASE do not do this to the good people of this country just because you are getting money and favoritism and perks from the NRA. They have their freedom of speech, they have their say, and you can listen to them with a grain of salt and then go on and pass the tougher laws. They have been heard and most people are tired of hearing them and their calling like telemarketers bugging people in Connecticut and with their daily comments on putting armed officers or teachers in schools.

WE DON’T NEED THAT, NRA! So QUIT SHOOTING OFF YOUR MOUTHS!

In memory of the children and teachers killed at Sandy Hook, Connecticut; in memory of the people killed at Virginia Tech; in memory of the people killed in Chicago especially the youth; in memory of the victims at Littleton, Colorado; in memory of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado, theater massacre; in memory of the people killed and wounded at the gathering of Gabby Giffords in Arizona… the hearts of the good people of America are with you every day.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Education and the Demographic Distraction

EDUCATION AND THE DEMOGRAPHIC DISTRACTION

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Now let us see here… what does education “mean”? ‘mid all the news and the talk and vague corporate chatter about the issue of “getting an education” we are not remembering the building blocks of what that has to do with us becoming good citizens in the first place. We need to take a deep breath, step back, and look at the whole idea of education from the beginning, in order to understand where our goals have failed and thus where we have failed ourselves and the children, the young citizens of America.

The roots of the word and concept of “education” mean to “draw out”, “march out”, or “lead out”. In that respect are those who talk of the issues and concerns regarding education doing those things? What is getting in the way of progress and satisfaction?

EDUCATION

EDUCATION

EDUCATION

INSTRUCTION

EDIFICATION

TRAINING

CULTURE

TUTORING

Then you can move on to… GRADUATION, which means what… yes, that’s right, moving up, taking higher, grander, greater steps. You have “gradually” gained sets of facts and skills that you can use to pursue a career and to grow as a good citizen. You have “made the grade”, taking the ups and downs of the learning process, the good with the bad, the late nights with the easy reading and the details with the attainment of the goals.

Thus when you are able to walk that stage and think, “I GRADUATED!”, you have accomplished something special, walking in the torchlight that generations before have set up for you to follow. Now you can research, take their ideas and concepts and designs and make something new, do something different, and choose your path.

Instead of saying this big-sounding talk of “get an education”, take it a different way and “BECOME EDUCATED”. The latter indicates that the idea of learning will always be with you if you are fortunate, every day, to take in something new and useful for your way of life. To become educated is a goal everyone should have.

As my grandmother says as a great mantra, “Learn something, learn something.”

She is correct. Do the right thing; make the situation easier at the outset:

BECOME EDUCATED and LEARN SOMETHING!

THE DEMOGRAPHIC DELUSION

In Chicago this year, and especially in the past month, the concerns over the closing of many dozens of public “neighborhood” schools has drawn fire onto the Chicago Public Schools bureaucracy, and has resulted in name-calling and the use of foul language.

American Education is in the Dumpster

American Education is in the Dumpster (Photo credit: brewbooks)

What is behind much of this prattle about the closing of the schools and the possibility of the “public” school being replaced by the “charter” school? Many factors are to be considered, among them and what we might think of as the main problem is demographics.

Far as this author can see, demographics focuses on separating and talking about people with regards to skin color/ “race”, religion, ethnic background, where they live, how much they make, the supposed concentration of certain people in a certain area, social and economic and gender aspects as well.

Is such thinking helping or hindering genuine progress? Is not such thinking making us a country that is NOT united? Any kind of separation pits one person or group against another person or group when seen in the light of demographics- whether or not someone has something the others do not or that they want, comparing people based on what someone assumes a certain race or gender will want at a certain time of day, using language that makes someone seem dumber or smarter in comparison to someone from a lower social-economic background, and making other arrogant and insensitive assumptions based on the few people they see and what those people appear to do and stamping others of that look with the prejudicial factors.

The people who are boiling in these issues need to learn some hard lessons, apparently. If education means in part “to lead out” and “to draw out”, and they talk about keeping the kids in their “neighborhood”, what does that say about those in control? They aren’t acting very EDUCATED, are they? What if the areas they are in now are more dangerous than the places where the new schools are?

So what about the type of school it is that they attend- what about it? One school type is no better than the other- all of them can have problems. The important point is achievement and holding to academic standards and personal behavior standards.

Best then to eliminate the divisive junk about “neighborhoods” and this stuff about “remember where you came from” and the rest of this “heritage” trash, than to continue the bickering based on such silly issues. Such demographic thinking does nothing good for anyone at all. As for this junk about “neighborhoods”, I don’t care where one area starts and another stops, what “race” or “ethnicity” lives there and who does not, what they look like or do or what kind of cars they drive.

The government is guilty of fomenting division in this nation, you can see that. The Census is their way of trying to keep such divisive practices in the pipeline and because those in power push it at us we think it so good to fill out those forms and send them in.

Why does “the government” want that information? Why do you think? They want to use those separatist statistics to parcel out “federal” money based on what race, color, creed, gender or ethnic group is in a certain school, workplace, or part of the country. They want to “help out” or “build that area up” based on those factors. And then they want to make it seem that they are doing those people good and helping them by giving them money, buildings, and parks and such. But is it helpful to think about people in those ways?

IT IS NOT.

But you must remember this: YOU CAN AND MUST LEARN TO GOVERN YOURSELVES! You can branch out and get away from this derisive, delusional talk; you can wrest control from these terrible thoughts and patterns, you can break the chains those demographers are putting on you. You can think positively and forget the negatives so fast you will wonder why you didn’t focus forward in the first place.

You can stop thinking backwards and letting the Census and commerce and ad people keep hold on you. You can tell them, “I don’t like that way you portrayed X in this ad. It is not truthful and not every X acts that way!” You can tell them, “Your ad campaign and your business practices are highly offensive to X because of X!” You can write letters, you can stop watching the shows, you do not have to go to the movies and you do not have to take flack in the workplace due to some stupid demographic category.

You can stop thinking that something is happening on a racial basis; you can stop pulling your bag back because you think someone is going to take it on the street just because they are walking toward you and looking a certain way. If they happen to be looking at your level, so what- people DO move their necks and eyes! You cannot judge why someone is looking a certain way and doing something!

HOW DARE YOU PRESUME?

You just go ahead with your duties and tasks and let the guilty party realize their errors. Do you not presume, do you not assume, you just go about and take care of business. Let others “mind” the supposed problem, the offense that did not happen, the event that did not occur, their reasons behind their actions and their prejudices.

People of Chicago, learn some lessons of your own! Grow up, get your goals straight, and then air your differences and your ideas. When you can learn to do so in a civil manner, when you can act like the educated people you think you are or want to be, then come to the table and sit down and act like people who want to be civilized.

After all, who are you harming the most in the end? You adults, you officials, you people in control are not doing all you can to make the gang and drug areas less dangerous, then you say that closing the schools will put the kids in danger. Bologna. YOU are putting them in danger by being all talk and no action, or not enough action. You are causing more worry and harm than the good kids who want to learn and accomplish something no matter what school they attend. You could stop the gangs, get rid of the drug markets, punish the offenders in your family, and clean up your supposed “neighborhood” if you wanted to, if you were not saddled with corrupt cops and politicians and national red tape.

If you officials on the Chicago Public Schools board are harboring ANY kind of Census-type racial, ethnographic, gender biases of ANY degree, if you are nursing anything related to supposing who lives where, what they are like based on some survey results, what they look like or what they do, then you are inciting shameful behavior. ALL OF YOU are nursing this bad behavior, and believe me, it is BAD BEHAVIOR, and you are not attending to what the kids want at all, though you might say you desire things to go in their best interest.

YOU ARE SHAMEFUL, THE LOT OF YOU! SHAME ON EVERYONE WHO TRUSTS THE CENSUS STUFF TO DECIDE EDUCATION ISSUES!

What does it matter who lives where or how they ended up in a certain part of a city, town, village, state, community or “neighborhood” (what a ridiculous idea anyway based on how that data is now being used)? Who cares? You do, and based on those biases that divide us? YOU ARE AT FAULT THEN for any of the problems that arise because you are keeping the problems up and getting mad the moment anyone wants to go after this supposed security blanket of “identity” and “heritage” you are shielding yourselves with. It is a see-through shield, a false and shredded blanket, a wall that is crumbling and a guard that is losing power. Everyone loses when biases cloud progress, everyone loses when demographics takes over.

For the instant anything like this comes up, the VERY MOMENT, someone gets so angry and so mad that they cannot control their behavior and right away the anger bubbles up so heavy and hot and volcanic that their mouths erupt with slurs, race and gender terms, bias terms, and they finger-point at everyone else.

But do they take action to correct the small things in their own minds before they take out the boards in the other person’s eye? The people who get so mad so quickly are clouded to so deep a degree that all they can think to do is react, not pro-act; they can get mad but they cannot offer clear solutions to the problems. They cannot present themselves civil and decorous and disciplined because of the news spin and the corporate chatter that weights their minds with the demographic dribble. They want to hold others accountable, honest, transparent and trustworthy… but can these accusers and finger-pointers and yelling heads hold their lives to the same expected standards?

What does that say when you want to keep them in the same areas they are growing up in, with “their own kind” and “their own type” and filling them with such limiting ideas? That is not the idea of being educated. Keeping them in their own boundaries means that they will not expand their horizons, learn about other cultures and people except from a book or some online page that might not be adequate in information or might be skewed in one or another way that would not permit the reception of more information from all sides of a story. To learn about others, you have to experience others.

I was fortunate not only to learn about Asia but to visit China, Japan and Hong Kong in the middle 1980’s. Had I only read about these wonderful people or seen movies or television shows portraying some aspect of their culture my experience of Asia would be incomplete. As it happened I ate their food, tried their clothes, saw their homes and families, shopped in their stores, saw the local scenery and heard the language. I have experienced Europe and England and enjoyed the best parts of many cultures. Travel for certain brings a new meaning to the phrase “live and active cultures”.

Even though an American child these days might not be able to travel due to economic trials, they can branch out and learn from people of the cultures around the world. There are many communities in Chicago from all over the place. You can experience Mexico, China, Japan, Turkey, Korea, Greece and India.

But what I am talking about is simply mixing with other people, no matter what they look like or what they do. This talk of “Black”, and “White” and such other gibberish is trash talk and not suitable for educated, learned people or folks who want to consider themselves so and pass learning on to others.

You must be sure your standards are not prejudiced by thinking “Black” or “White” or “rich” or “poor” or any other demographic category. Anything less than ridding yourself of backwards thinking is showing that you are uncivilized and far from educated; you will only pass on skewed information to the next generation and keep them limited, dumb and thinking on the same low levels as you are doing.

What does that say to the students who want to branch out, who are tired of being hemmed in by so much talk of gangs, drugs, where one community ends or begins just because of who lives on certain streets or because of what the buildings look like or some other demographic detraction? What does that tell the serious learners who want to get away from thinking that someone who does not look like them is not “their own kind”? Their own kind is HUMAN and AMERICAN and that is foundation enough.

What then do you want to do- keep talking or dig deeper and get more active in ways to make the education system better and more appealing and attractive and efficient?

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO and WHY? ASK THE BASIC QUESTIONS!

Ask who, why, what, when, where and how… ask what is essential and needed. You do not build the roof first after all; you start by laying a strong foundation.

DO WHAT IS NECESSARY FIRST.

What do you NEED to do FIRST?

Title page to Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning...

Title page to Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Divi Logan for ®EDUSHIRTS, ©Chicago 2013.

There goes the Neighborhood? Maybe that would be a great thing!

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD? MAYBE THAT WOULD BE A GOOD THING!

Chicago is known for its neighborhoods, and to some, that is fine. The city is divided on racial, ethnic, and income standards, and all that is (no) thanks to the demographers who just love to separate people for their own ends and means and make our nation a “dis” united states.

Well, far as I am concerned, this neighborhood stuff can go to blazes in a handbasket and quickly too. I’m sick and tired of the “neighborhoods” making the news for gang and gun violence and drug markets and being known as “violent” or as “white” or as one factor or another that serves only to divide us even more so that the news people can have something to talk about.

Neighborhoods be darned, that’s all there is to it. Stop the bordering of the streets and the houses, head the divisiveness off at the pass and be done with this juvenile this is mine or that is mine and I’m not going to share kind of mentality. Ridiculous and delinquent and stupid, all of it. What are we, a civilization or a nation of immature people who have to be told how to do everything, have an app for everything, have an electronic reminder for everything and get someone else to do everything for us because there is too much convenience?

The idea of the neighborhood as being drawn along such lines has always been anathema to me, nothing but hateful and reeking of exclusivity and divisiveness. Time to grow up, folks. Time to give these people less to worry about and take down the historical neighborhood districts, tear down fences and improve streets. Just because some “neighborhood” cuts off at one or another street, the pothole repairs and the plowing and the planting have to stop at one corner and leave another looking unkempt?

PUH-LEEEAAASSSEEE.

Grow up, people. Get out, branch out; you are not hermits and no one should make you feel like a prisoner in your own home because of some “neighborhood” issue that turns into nothign but negatives for your area, in the way of turf wars, territorial battles for gangs and drug markets, and whether or not some income group or racial group lives there. Of course the latter is total bunk. “Whites” and “blacks” live together and with each other; ethinic groups can live together and in the same building. People marry outside of their nationalities and racial lines. In other words, who cares who lives where, except the demographers and the politicians who listen to them and think they are doing some good for this country.

Also total bunkum- these people do no one any good at all. They are demons of dividing and separating for the sake of having something to report on or talk about in the cable news or insert as being supposedly of some importance to the business world and the education community. The news on News Radio 780 WBBM in Chicago is more and more littered with the reporters thinking they have to say what neighborhood something happened in. Well I could care less whether a shooting happened in Wicker Park or Gold Coast; the point is that some act happened and someone thinks it worth talking about. Some one was robbed or shot or carjacked – who but the police and first responders would care where it happened? They will respond to it and help those in need.

Of course the more they talk about the acts the more coverage is given to those who do the acts and they will only do more.

Neighborhoods need to go, no doubt. Once the idea might have been just fine, when Frank Lloyd Wright and his associates made the nice planned communities decades ago. But now the idea of the neighborhood, which is often shortened to “hood” is very negative. You need a library, or need to put up new housing or gardens or a fire station or school… well, build it or improve it for goodness’ sakes and just get it done! So what where it is done – just work on it already!

The neighborhood can be a good thing if we want it to be. The historic districts can be atractive and wonderful and great for tourists to see and worth preserving. But when the sorting by race and income and ethnicity start to filter in then it is time to go away from the idea and turn to something else positive.

Clean up the act- break down this idea of separating by streets and the like.

Be a part of the solution, or else you are part of the problem.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

GANGS IN CHICAGO: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY BEGINS WITH GOOD CITIZENS

GANGS GO AWAY… GANGS GO AWAY… PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY BEGINS WITH PEOPLE NOT LIKE YOU!

THEY THOUGHT….

Poor Hadiya. Poor young girl with so much potential… poor friends who huddled with her in the park just for shelter.

Mourn the reasoning for “gang turf” and “gang territory” that the news folks make so much out of in Chicago reporting these days. We certainly don’t need the mass media touting that at every turn, that “crossing gang lines” that only gives the gangs more attention and more focus. Mourn that those youth were in “the wrong place at the wrong time”.

And now on News Radio 780 WBBM we have Police Superintendent McCarthy of the CPD coming on and telling us that the young men arrested and charged with the murder of that aspiring and wonderful angelic young lady thought they were encountering members of a rival gang and so opened fire without another thought on the group, killing Hadiya. He says they thought they were seeing other gang members.

They thought. THEY THOUGHT? What in the world does he mean “THEY THOUGHT”? They thought, nothing. My five feet “they thought”.

THEY THOUGHT? IDIOTS! BULLIES! THUGS! DAMNABLE FOOLS!

Had they been thinking, well first they would not have been out there with those guns firing wildly into a group of kids just huddling in a park. Mistaken identity… some thinking they did. They thought, eh? They did no such thing, they were NOT thinking of anything but doing WHAT THEY WANTED.

That’s the way with such people, they do what they want with no consideration for others. And one of them should not even have been out on the streets, much less in possession of a firearm with which to terrorize others. And it is terrorism, folks, it is homeland terrorism, this business of gangs. They are homeland terrorists!

Some now say that the way to conquer this behavior begins with background checks. OH NO, FOLKS, not at all. It begins long before some sort of background check. It begins before someone can learn to spell “firearm” or learn what one is. If there are guns in the house, that should be part of what the parents teach the children, and it begins with being dutifully responsible for teaching that child what those instruments are for.

The way to a better society begins with everyone taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their actions when they are of an age for normal, logical reasoning of right and wrong, good and bad, basic morals and actions and considerations and the principles of good citizenship. When someone is able to understand these aspects of living in a society then it is time to test what the child has learned in the way of being responsible for what he does and what he does to others, and learning how to act when someone does something to him.

When your child is of an age to understand that something will hurt someone else, or that “this is a good thing to do”, or that “you are not to use this unless it is for…”, then you start them out on the path to being a good citizen. You teach trustworthiness, accountability, honesty, respect for others, and in time, community service. That should be the goal of our education system in this nation.

They thought, hm. Well, our politicians are not doing much thinking either. They sure are doing a lot of talking and sitting around “looking into things”. But doing talking and sitting do not address the issues like ACTION does. We don’t have time for the politicians doing their thing to keep on wasting time and money and energy.

We have to act, we have to govern ourselves and our communities; we cannot wait for the elected officials to get busy on that. Government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” So we as good citizens have to do the acting and the governing. You are not in control of the gangs – that is what the gang folks want you to think. But the gangs are nothing but cowards… they are armed cowards and they are bad, unfeeling, inconsiderate people, and that makes them dangerous. They are desperate for something, be it material gain, drugs, satisfying a habit attributable to greed or materialism or to get attention they otherwise miss somehow.

Gangs do not control you or me or us, they do not control the parks, schools, “neighborhoods”, street corners and stores. The upstanding people like Hadiya and her family and her nice friends are the ones who have the real control and who pay the taxes and who want to live and play in a better place. They want to learn and to work and to be good citizens; they do not want to be like those murderous thugs and fools who want to muscle in and terrorize others.

Do not stand for such behavior any longer. Come out of the woodwork, find out who these people are and what they are doing, what they want and why they are around. Move them out by force if you have to. Turn them in, SNITCH ALREADY! You might save a life.

And that life might be yours or your son’s or your daughter’s.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

Cameras Might Do Some Good But How Much “Training” Do We Need?

CAMERAS IN SUBWAYS ARE GREAT BUT WHAT IS THE REAL NEED?

Today on News Radio 780 WBBM in Chicago came a story about the CTA putting new cameras in their subway cars.

Well and good that they might be of better resolution and there will be more of them and they will have a 360 view… fine. But a camera, no matter costly and how much great and high technology equipment comes with it, cannot take the place of the solutions to the behaviors they are out to capture.

A camera is an inanimate object, a piece of equipment meant to take pictures, store and reproduce images in various creative formats. You can use film, digital, memory cards, all types of lenses. You can use them to spy on people or take photos of scenery and animals. You can use them for all kinds of projects. You can use them for security surveillance.

Of course when you talk of installing cameras somewhere it is usually put in a negative perspective. We do not mean them to record happy events or good news; putting a camera on or in a building or in a subway car or on a city bus is meant for the purpose of recording bad behavior and serious incidents such as molestation, shootings, gang incidents, and minor infractions such as soliciting.

Only people can take personal responsibility for solving those behaviors. A camera can only record and preserve the evidence; only we can get to the business of solving the issues that cause or contribute to the bad behavior. Precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of theft or of being knocked over, such as hiding or not even using these little electronic pads and pods and tablets. Doing so reduces your attention on what is going on around you, and that can be very dangerous. Criminals are always looking for vulnerable people, and when you are in your little world of the music tablet or device you are not paying attention, but someone is paying attention to you, just waiting for the moment to snatch the phone, the pad and the pod and knock you down without another thought or a care to how you are going to feel, and take off into the crowd with the stolen article.

Just remember that the stolen article contains personal information, account numbers, phone numbers for home and work and family, passwords and the like. The thieves know that and they are looking for the right moment to get that data and use it for identity theft. That can be very costly indeed and can land you in a lot of hassle and trouble.

In the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is brought up the subject of insects, sprays to control them, the natural world and the effect of pesticides on people, plants, animals and the food we eat and the buildings in which we live. Dr. Carson also makes mention of the importance of realizing that because of these products we have so many more cancers and other diseases that we are now trying to find cures for.

Find “CURES” for, eh? Well, she goes on to say that the logical way to get above that issue is to eliminate the carcinogens from the natural stream. But then we have to go against the makers of the chemicals and the big corporations, where the CEO insists that the chemicals are safe to use. The scientsts we should pay attention to do not work for the chemical corporations. We need to pay close attention to issues such as these and “bug to death” the people who control the chemical makers, who support them, and who work for them without understanding or having a care to the effects of these toxins.

In the same way the hot national issue of gun control meets the same obstacle course: we face opposition from the “powerful” (my foot) NRA, stubborn Congress personnel who own guns and who might be NRA members, and from gun manufacturers. Despite the problems we face with “gun violence” we let minor issues cloud the big picture.

So what if you spend millions on new cameras to survey the trains and subway system. Maybe at the same time you can put money into trying to solve the problems you are intending to record with those cameras. Put money into youth organizations, put money into sports clubs to keep people out of trouble, or organize more community service days where people come out to clean up vacant lots, to rake, to bag trash, to get rid of graffiti, to paint houses, to replace fences, to repair walls, to sweep and dust and do so many things that would make our city and state look so much better.

It is the same with any issue: you can talk till the cows come home and hades freezes over, but big talk, lots of talk and corporate vague babbling will do no good at all, not in the least or slightest or iota until action is put with that talk. Until the pundits and politicians get off their big behinds and get to work on making the solutions real, all they will be is talk in a big fancy room or words on a page, or some official saying to the mass media that they are going to “look into” it and “report on it”.

Big deal. Stop talking and start working.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

Chicagoland:: Chicago Land: Gangs, Guns, Drugs and Schools; What Are We Missing?

GANG TURF OR CHICAGO LAND? WHAT DO WE LIVE IN AND ON?

According to the news media in Chicago, it is gang turf that sees these violent incidents. But IS IT REALLY? A closer look at how the mass media and media blitz and spin campaigns affect us and our moods, our society, and our lives is in order. And there is more to it as well.

Wrapped up in the Chicago local scene issues revolving around public schools (the so -called neighborhood schools) is this wording in the news reports that students would have to cross “gang territory” to go to other schools if some schools close. GANG territory? Come on now, folks.

All the news people are doing is sensationalizing and making light of the real problem of lack of community service and involvement on all levels of society and within every ethnic and racial group and organization within a certain area that sees the worst violence.

We can learn a great lesson from reading the excellent book Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson. The book details the effects on our environment caused by highly toxic chemicals such as DDT, dieldrin, and other chemicals and sprays used to control insects and diseases. Instead of having the effect of eradication in many cases, the insects became resistant to many of the chemicals and people started to develop diseases such as the cancers that now plague our nation. The natural world has its own checks and balances in which humans have interfered to our blight and detriment and ruin. Carson’s book details all aspects of that issue and concern, from the big talk of the chemical producers to the straight talk of researchers and doctors about the nature and results of the use of these chemicals.

As we can learn from reading Silent Spring, there are ways to solve problems but we need to do more than rush headling into whatever the media says and reason that just because it is “on TV” or “on the radio” or “on the Web” that it must be right, proper, perfect, good and best. WRONG. All it is… mass produced and played and re -played until we are tired of hearing what the corporate news networks have to say. We act or we do not. We listen or we do not; we press mute or we do not. It is the will to or the will not to that is the foundation of any behavior, and the media people could easily make changes to their styles of writing and reporting if they so desired.

Well, if the “media corporate people” do not want to make the changes, the rest of us must make the changes so the journalists will TAKE NOTICE and REPORT on the changes we are making and not on what they want us to see, do, hear, or act on. We know what our problems or issues or concerns or challenges are. We see them in our communities every day without some hotshot anchor reporter coming on at a set time every day and spinning the tired threads of “news” and “breaking stories” from their viewpoints.

So some news station talks about the “gang turf” thing in regards to the schools; well, what else is there to do but be rid of the gangs and the reasons why there is “gang turf” in the first place! Same applied in Silent Spring; get rid of the cancer -causing chemicals instead of trying to keep on finding cures for the cancers. Unless we are rid of what or who causes the problems we will keep having the problems! How to be rid of the gangs or the drugs or whatever is causing the attraction to a certain area and catching people in these incidents that claim lives in Chicago every weekend now, is what we need to focus on. The police cannot do it alone, so we need more help. If order needs to be restored then SWAT and the National Guard ought to be called in to patrol these areas and watch out so that the good citizens can go about their business and not be worried off the sidewalks and playgrounds by some nasty gang banger or idiot out for revenge who gets a case of mistaken identity.

Gangs are like a cancer on the face of society; and all that is related to the gangs is the same. We do not need them or want them and must do all in our power to act now, same as for the “gun control” issue. ACT NOW, as Giffords said to Congress. America is counting on you to act now and not waste time. Lives are being lost every day to people who are angry, who are out for revenge, who are greedy and arrogant and bent on having their way with certain areas to get their drug and gun businesses going and keep people terrorized.

That is how some people think they get and keep power. These people are nothing but cowards… dangerous cowards though because somehow they get the guns and the drugs and the open ranges to sell them, use them, and get them from the cartels that pump these guns and drugs into American towns and cities and homes and schools.

What is the problem or what are the problems, then?

It was someone else’s land before it became “gang turf”. It was and is CHICAGO LAND, it is the land of good citizens and law -abiding citizens, that’s whose land it is. It is the land of children, workers, bus drivers for the CTA and PACE, the land of first responders who put their lives on the line every shift. It is the land of the free and home of the brave, of families with young kids in school, families trying to make it in tough times, people working hard to keep a home and a yard and live decently and in peace. It is not gang land, and never will be. The media makes it “gang turf” but the citizens of Chicago can reverse that trend.

We must then be what the slogan says: free and brave, so we can keep this the land of the free and the home of the brave, and have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

Guns in the Media: My Round’s For Superintendent McCarthy

IN (SELF) DEFENSE OF CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT McCARTHY’S “FIVE POINTS”

Gun control has taken a different turn here in Chicago with our CPD superintendent coming out with the following points regarding how to promote more gun control. Now each is perfectly good, but it is the way Mr. McCarthy put his views into words that needs a little clearing up.

Gun reasonability and gun accountability are the words I believe he used in the article aired on News Radio WBBM in Chicago. Now on the surface these sound right, but let us consider some basic grammar and writing pointers. Guns are inanimate objects meant for one purpose, being to inflict quick and serious, violent harm and injury upon a person, animal, or other object, and one shot is all that is needed. The old saying is “guns do not kill people; people kill people”. A gun cannot be accountable or reasonable. It should be stated that only the person in possession of that firearm is both ACCOUNTABLE and REASONABLE. The gun has no mind of its own, and only the person with the gun has the mind and the will of how to use that gun.

As stated in an online article from the Chicago Tribune:

“McCarthy also outlined five steps that he said would cut down on gun violence and prevent felons and gang members from acquiring guns: banning assault weapons; banning high-capacity magazines; requiring background checks for anyone who buys a gun; mandatory reporting of the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a gun; and mandatory minimum prison sentences for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun.”

The first two steps he speaks to, the banning of assault weapons and high -capacity magazines, suit me just fine. Though I might need a firearm for home defense I certainly have no need for something high -powered, high -round, with magazines of dozens of rounds and the power to mow down dozens of people in a few seconds. Military -style weapons belong in the hands of only those IN the military, active duty people with honorable records, as the type of veteran Wal -Mart wants to hire in a few months. Only in rare instances should anybody even need something as power driven as a machine gun or assault -style weapon, and then only in a war zone. Somewhere around the world where our troops are engaged we might need them, but certainly not on our streets or in our communities or for hunting or recreation.

Want to take your stresses out? Don’t need to take them out that way. Best try a vacation, a meditation sesssion at a temple or church or a spa day, or some exercise, or even getting out your cooking supplies and making a fresh, wholesome meal, or even going out, anything to get your mind away from taking your mind out for a rolling jaunt with an assault rifle. Using guns is a coward’s way out of situations, and using a machine gun only makes things worse. Children could be in harm’s way, innocent people could be in harm’s way, families could be in harm’s way. Why would you want such chaos and trouble to rain down on someone else? Suppose it was YOUR kid or parents or grandparents in the line of fire- would you want that? One thing is sure, around Chicago if you go after someone with the intent to murder, you might just draw the ire of someone down on you and your household or school. Guns used improperly bring nothing but trouble.

The lessons of West Webster, New York and Newtown, Connecticut, should teach us that much: the same weapon was used in both incidents, and innocent people were targeted. In Webster firefighters on a response to a residential blaze were gunned down and two died, and others were seriously injured. And we all know what happened in little Newtown, with the massacre of children and adults at the elementary school. Our firefighters and police officers put their lives on the line every single day they are on the job, and they are here to protect and serve and educate us; the children are the future of this nation and world. These are some of the most humble and innocent and loving people we have in our country, people we can learn so much from.

Point three of McCarthy’s Five take in these points: requiring background checks for anyone who buys a gun; mandatory reporting of the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a gun. It is so common sense that everyone who wants the privilege and honor of having any kind of firearm should be checked out with as detailed a background check as is possible. Check for anything unusual, signs of severe menal illness, suicide tendencies or talk of wanting to harm or kill another person for any reason at all, felonies, jail time, arrests, records of abuse of people or animals, anything that might raise a caution flag in the eyes of a doctor or of a law enforcement official.

Reporting the sale, transfer, loss or theft of a firearm is also essential, in order to keep track of these dangerous implements floating around in our society. Other things should be reported from a theft, such as jewelry, cars, and the like, so all the more vital that firearm theft, transfer, or sale or loss is immediately reported. It is up to the owners of guns to make as detailed records as possible, including photographs from many angles, serial numbers, and any unusual details about the weapon, such as wear patterns, decorations, engravings, etc. We must be able to know where weapons are or what they might be used for; if there has been an armed robbery in an area or guns have been stolen from a home or business, the moment it is known that these weapons are out of sight of their owners or not under proper lock and key, law enforcement and the community need to be informed in order to watch for the weapons or for suspicious activity in the area.

The next point is imposing a minimum prison sentences for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun. I think that anyone who goes so boldly into breaking the law and intending murderous or harmful purposes needs to be taught a lesson and be made fit to be in society again. They need to be put to labor appropriate for their strength and health and mental state in order to learn patience, something useful to get them back into society, and supervision- they need to know in every way possible that they will be watched, that breaking the law is not a good idea, and that they will now have a record that will possibly taint their re -entry into the workplace. They need to feel that booking process, the jail suit, hear the doors closing, see the bars and the heavy doors on the cells, and the misery that accompanies a stay in a prison.

Perhaps if prison is made heinous enough to be in right at the outset many people would most likely want to do everything they could to stay out of such a place. Prison is not a place any sane person, anyone who knows the awful conditions that can be there, the feelings surely of loneliness, of hearing odd noises and getting odd smells, no privacy, unusual food, a cold bed and a cold small window, and odd company. Just ask any preacher who has done prison ministry; I think they could tell you it is one of the worst places someone could find that they have ended up.

The points Mr. McCarthy puts forward make sense, and I will support him in any way possible.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

RESOURCES

1. Chicago’s Top Cop again calls for more gun laws. Article found at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-12/news/chi-chicagos-top-cop-again-calls-for-more-gun-laws-20130112_1_gun-laws-gun-violence-debate-over-gun-control. Accessed 15 January 2013.

Congress:: They Can Agree on One Thing: Being Stubborn and Wasteful

CONGRESSIONAL BICKERING HAS POTENTIALLY SERIOUS EFFECTS ON OUR NATION

Did you hear lately about the City of Gary cutting fifteen paramedics, and yet finding $90,000 for funding payment for an official? Well then they turn around and plan to train extra firefighters to be paramedics. That concept was on television forty years ago when the series EMERGENCY! aired. It is worth watching those episodes again, and you can, on MeTV during the week.

And now, thanks to the stalemate of the fiscal cliff, will we lose hundreds of air traffic controllers? What will smaller regional airports do for safety control then? What if a pilot is in danger or an aircraft is in danger in some remote area and there is no one at the tower to help? Safety of passengers and residents will be severely compromised. Many major airporst’ ATC staffs are all ready understaffed and underfunded; what if thousands of traffic controllers are put out?

What if we continue to lose first responders to the greed and pension problems and other misguided actions of officials?

What happens when education programs are slashed, for school lunches and after school activities? What happens when the price of milk doubles? Imagine paying more for milk than for gasoline! What will those who need to feed their young kids do then- get milk at $7 a gallon or tell them they have to go without? Where will the kids get the necessary nutrients milk can provide?

When taxes go up, what then? We aren’t taxed enough? Our patience with Congress certainly is being taxed all right, and for many citizens it has been taxed to the limit. Wasteful spending, lavish lifestyles, the insider information schemes and scandals, the affairs inside the CIA and the FBI, the fiascos across the seas, the wars, the Fed, the expensive meetings, the defense budget… Congress wastes enough of our money. We are putting our hard -earned money into the hands of a few people who don’t know how to handle a budget as others are expected to do every day for home and business finances.

Congress… give me a break. Cut your own salaries and perks, your lavish living and your privileges first. Cut the State Department, the embassies, the lavish spending on those elaborate lifestyles, the limousines, the private guards, the flashy clothes. You make cuts as you expect the rest of your constituents to do.

Do we want more cities to become as dangerous as Camden, New Jersey? Chicago certainly is, with five hundred homicides this year, and the number is going up every day. 500 dead from guns and drug and gang violence. Repeat that- 500! That is more than a murder a day, a figure New Orleans had years ago, but Chicago is now surpassing what was thought to be the most violent American city at one time. Families are suffering, people are hurting, kids are scared to go outside and play in their own front yards because their communities have suddenly become part of “gang turf” and they could get caught in a crossfire, be mistaken for someone else, or be a target for gang initiations. How sad.

The police want to be present at “gang funerals” now? Well folks, if you don’t know how to behave at a funeral, you darned well need to learn and quickly. A funeral is a funeral no matter whose it is; a “gang funeral” is still a funeral, a sending off, a dearly departing, an end, a closure for someone, for some family or sibling or relative or classmate.

As for Congress, they are putting the nails into this nation’s heart every day they continue their wasteful ways and arrogant thinking.

America the Beautiful, God shed His grace on Thee… and Lord, would you mind so much putting an ASAP on that prayer? Congress could use a visit from You right now, to bind them and open their eyes to the ruin they could cause this nation.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2012…. and let’s hope for a brighter and better 2013.