Tag: Politics

Ethical Revolutionist’s Great Reads from Around the Web

er-great-readsWhen we’re not stirring up political controversy here, we’re raising enlightened individuals who are capable of thinking and questioning the status quo. We really do believe that our children are the future, and we’re raising them to believe in peace, acceptance, and coexistence without judgement. We also blog about parenting on MomsGetReal and DadsGetReal.

On MomsGetReal, we talk about things like raising kids with good self-esteem and celebrating individuality.

On DadsGetReal, David has been exploring how Bruce Springsteen is a mentor to dads by teaching social responsibility, and explored his changing feelings about Memorial Day in light of the pointless loss of life we’ve incurred in the last round of politically and religiously motivated war mongering.

We’ve written about education a number of times here, and our friend James was inspired to do the same over at Dissident Voice with a brilliant expose on the American Corp-University Complex.

We love Allen Clifton’s Right Off a Cliff, the putting-it-in-perspective Republicans for Obama, and of course, we are ardent supporters of the Occupy movement.

We hope you’ll take the time to explore some of these articles and let us know what you think. Do you have a blog or have you published an article you’d like us to share in a future Great Reads post? Do you know of a Great Read that should be featured here? Let us know!

Museum of Unnatural History

by David T. Bruce

Festival of art
Grants to patrons granted
Penalty paid with interest
Refuse to play?
Don’t look the other way

Keep a watchful eye for phonies
Facts are rarely represented faithfully
Homogenized canvas
The broadest stroke is used
Statues erected as visions crumble
Readings are rhetorical
Scripted spontaneity

National museum of relics
Carbon copies, misprints
Words of mass destruction
Mementos engraved with dreams of futures past
Symbols now our laurels
We live in yesterday

We preach a fierce morality
While we dance around the truth
The art of diplomacy carves a monument of hypocrisy
Watercolor dreams for our youth
Washed away by pious despots
A country cunningly annihilated

for more of David’s poetry, you can read RAGE, available exclusively on Kindle and free to borrow for Prime members.

An Unrealistic Vision of Reality

by David T. Bruce

911As on the day that al-Qaeda terrorists took over 3,000 lives, my heart today – the day that Osama Bin Laden, the founder and leader of the al-Qaeda was assassinated in response to these attacks – goes out to the family members who mourned the loss of those they were close to.  Maybe today they will find some peace of mind, some peace within.  I truly hope they do.  For the rest of us, I worry.

Those families who lost loved ones sought justice, at least in an honorable sense.  I struggle within myself as to what the rest of us America sought.  Is our pride so easily wounded?  Our response to the successful attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (and the failed attack on the White House) was a knee-jerk reaction.  Up until the terrorist attacks on our country, we lived behind a veil, submersing ourselves in “reality” shows, living a fantasy funded by credit and caprice.  Al-Qaeda opened our eyes to true reality.  This reality, however, is not one that can be turned off or pre-empted.

While we can enjoy a measure of success and comfort in at least incapacitating the Al-Qaeda by permanently removing Bin Laden as the head of the terrorist organization, we are foolish to believe that we have stopped al-Qaeda or any other extremist group.  Like the multi-headed Hydra, a new leader for al-Qaeda will replace Bin Laden, and the cycle of events pitting one ideology against another will begin anew.

We must ask ourselves “what have we gained by assassinating Bin Laden?”  Outside the Capitol, citizens chanted “USA, USA,” reacting to the news they had heard about the death of Bin Laden.  How is this different from the throngs of people in the Middle East who cheered at the collapse of the World Trade Center towers?  Do our different ideologies, religions, skin color, or clothes make us all that different?  We are all still human, and the taking of any life diminishes us as humans.  The celebration of taking a life strips us of our souls.

Hypocritically, to some extent, I do feel a sense of relief that this chapter has come to an end.  Almost ten years to the day that Americans were reminded that they were a part of a larger community, we may enjoy some closure.  At the same time, I feel a sense of apprehension that we will again become complacent, retreating into our “reality.”  Will we learn from this chain of events?

The al-Qaeda will not turn the other cheek, and their convictions will carry them into the future.  We must adapt to this reality, not necessarily fighting a war that we cannot win by conventional means, but instead living cautiously, with our eyes wide open instead of wide shut.  We do not need to remain on the offensive to remain safe; we do have to safeguard our home by adopting a lifestyle and strategy that deters future terrorist attacks.  We have Guard and Reserve units who may best serve their country at home, not in the Middle East.  By conducting ourselves proactively instead of reactively, we stand the best chance of winning the war against terrorism every day.

Students not a Collective Bargaining Right

by David Bruce

tenureThe recession that the United States is not in, according to government and business officials who want to keep their jobs, is forcing the hand of Wisconsin officials in respect to budget cuts for the coming fiscal year.  These budget cuts, among other details, eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state employees, teachers among them.  This particular event adds fuel to the debate of whether or not teachers are paid what they are worth.

This argument can be levied against any career.  Certainly those people who work any hours and many hours for retail operations would say that they are not paid what they are worth, and many would argue that sports and entertainment icons are paid far more than they are worth.  The issue in the instance of educators and in respect to the profession of teaching in general is in regards to the quality of education that we should be giving to our children and how we may accomplish that task.

Most teachers may argue in favor of labor unions to promote competitive pay and benefits and to secure their jobs.  If this is the impetus for teaching, then why teach?  The students are the focus.  No, services should not come for free.  Teachers provide a service than can never be measured in pay stubs and benefits, and teachers that perform admirably as measured by their superiors should be compensated accordingly.   Unions, however, are another level of bureaucracy that benefits those at the top more than those people that they were originally chartered to protect.

Unions are another layer of government and business that takes the focus away from the students.  Eliminate unions.  Eliminate tenure.  Resources may then be used to hire and promote teachers who do want to teach, and those that teach well should be paid their worth and prosper.  Those that do not teach well can learn something new.  This approach is not fool proof.  Administrators have been known to take advantage of employees, but a level of trust must be established for the best interests of all parties.

Ultimately, the goal is to promote learning.  The best teachers are a product of education and an innate desire to engage with students.  This is not necessarily accomplished or fostered by labor union and government intervention, as is evident by the failure of No Child Left Behind and the ongoing feud between school districts and teacher unions.  Students who learn, regardless of demographic, are good for and to themselves, their communities, and or country.