The Rule of Law and Tinkerbell (Updated)

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(Click on the title to read the post) The power of which I spoke then and write about now is not the power of Law, which is a mythical power that depends upon the Tinkerbell Effect; rather, it is the power that comes from an ability to instill fear in the minds of a majority of citizens—their individual fear of significant material loss, of physical pain, and/or fear of death—in order to force them into compliance.

Reunion (A Christmas Story)

(Click on the image in order to read the entire post.) Kate read the letter again and then carefully folded it and returned it to the envelope. She wiped a tear from her eye and lifted up the tissue paper that covered the remaining contents of the box. She found items that must have been important to her Uncle Manny: three snapshots of him at boot camp, and one taken somewhere in Korea, a tiny ivory carving of a dragon, a small prayer book on the inside leaf of which his mother had written a simple prayer, a small stack of letters from home, and a delicate carving of a dog wondering at a baby asleep in a manger. The tears in Kate’s eyes made it difficult to see the details of a master’s craft, but she recognized the work she had never seen.  Walter Thicke, 1917, was clearly etched into the bottom of it.

Overthrow the Status Quo

(Click on the title to read the entire post) This is not a pendulum swinging. It is a firmly planted rubber wall that represents this reality: it is the privileged who hold the power; NOT We the People. From time to time, The People rush against the rubber wall with such force that it stretches to a place where the world appears different (e.g. French Revolution), but the people stretching apparent reality become complacent, or simply tire of the effort and stop pushing, and when the force in the elasticity of privilege, which has never diminished, begins to reassert itself, the wall of reality snaps back to where it was in the first place.

I pledge allegiance…

(Click on the title to read the entire post) I have been going through those files and have come across two pages that awakened a memory about a time over forty years ago when some "True Americans" were bemoaning the fact that students might be allowed to opt out of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every morning of every school day. As a 7th grade homeroom teacher in 1975, I witnessed this regular exercise every day and was of the opinion that for most students, it was a mindless mumble of meaningless words, and I had the temerity to say so in the teacher's lounge during a discussion among my colleagues over lunch. Attacked as the second coming of King George III, a Russian instigator, and someone who was advocating the end of American Democracy as it was then known, I decided to gather some evidence.

The Harm That School Choice Brings

(Click on the title to read the entire post) A challenge that continues to face public schools is not how to provide opportunities for parents to reallocate their children to schools the parents choose; rather, the preeminent and ongoing challenge is how to appropriately and effectively allocate a sufficient number of highly effective teachers to those students most in need of three essential qualities possessed by such teachers, their unyielding belief in... ... the ability of all children, including those who are disadvantaged, to learn  ... their belief that their calling to be a teacher is a noble one of significant social importance ...their conviction that a professional teacher has a moral responsibility to acquire and finely hone the research-proven skills and strategies needed to lead all students to mastery of the knowledge and skills that will empower them to succeed as adults

We shall be as a city upon a hill…

(Click on the title to read the entire post) I’m sick near to death with the predictable responses of the group of politicians who 1) claim mass killings are not who “we” are, 2) point to emotional instability of killers with the implication that killers would not kill if only we could get them therapeutic help, and 3) ask us to pray for victims and their families; none of these politicians acknowledge the underlying recipe for the toxic stew in which we Americans are immersed…