Sunday, August 27, 2017

Life hasn't changed

These days of 24 - 7 internet and news activity has somehow made the last two generations believe the world is crumbling and that the United States if falling into the abyss and we as a nation have never faced such strife. Here are just a few things that may have happened before you were born. This is just a very small selected list, something from every decade since the American Civil War. Maybe you've heard of some of them...

1860's - The American Civil War

1870's - exploitation of the American West and the battle of Little Big Horn

1880's - exploitation of the American West, 2nd Anglo - Afghan war when British troops fight in Afghanistan, Haymarket Riots in Chicago

1890's - Philippine Revolution, Lattimer Massacre, War of Canudos

1915 - World War I, the war to end all wars

1920's - prohibition and women suffrage

1930's - the Great Depression

1940's - World War II

1950's - Korean War and start of the Cold War,conflict of integration of the Southern states

1960's - Race riots / civil rights, Cuban missile crisis, the Cold War continues, assassinations of Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, rampant environmental pollution (Cuyahoga River in Cleveland catches fire)

1970's - Vietnam War and civil unrest, 25 year strife in Northern Ireland, Genocide in Africa, Arab-Israeli conflict

1980's - Civil wars continue in much of Africa, Arab-Israeli conflict continues, Iran - Iraq War, overthrow of Communist governments in Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain

1990's- First Gulf War when one Arab nation invades another, Branch Davidians and Waco, Texas

2000's - Terrorism escalates around the world and continues to this day

The world hasn't changed one bit. You as a consumer or a Millennial or a Gen Y or whomever you identify with just see and hear more of it. The United States has been involved in more military campaigns mostly because we have become the world's police after World War II. Have we always been right? Absolutely not. There are places I believe we should never have gone, but what we don't get credit for is all the aide to the starving and poor around the world. Those stories almost never get published in the general press, or when you do hear about them it's like trying to find a radio station on a Sunday morning and the only thing you can find is required content stations must air to retain their licenses.

It's fine to be aware of what's happening in the world and our own country but to think it was all puppy dogs and roses before you were born is simply ignorance. Change requires people to get involved but don't blame everything on the generation before you. We had to battle our own challenges.

The world keeps on spinning ...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pencil and paper

It's that time of year again, the kiddies are going back to school. With my line of work during the daylight hours, it has been something I've been intimately involved with for many years. This year however, I got to do something new.

I'm on the other end of the school supply list! And it sucks! Yup, the shoe is on the other foot.

How did this thing we call school lists get so out of control? In the past as a parent, My Beloved handled all this stuff. That was her duty to fulfill. I never had little little kids around. I got the joy of parenthood with a teenager. By then, yeah, they're fairly self sufficient. That's not happening this year. Ragin' Cage has a school list about a foot long and I was in charge of getting it filled.

Here's my questions, why the hell does a kid need three styles of markers? Highlighters, permanent and washable? What the heck is that all about? We also have two styles of pencils, colored and regular #2. And not just any #2. It had to be 12, Ticonderoga presharpened pencils. Hey, isn't that why God made pencil sharpeners? Why the hell do we have to have presharpened?

Okay, this is where I go into flashback mode. Back in my day ... Yeah, that's right. We needed a pencil, a pen, a notebook and that was it. If your parents had a few extra dollars you got to have a book bag to carry it all in. I never had a new book bag. All I had was an old, army green duffle bag. It looked like army surplus to a little third grader. It wasn't pretty but it got the job done. They have these things now that are stretchy book covers. You guessed it. I covered all my books with paper bags cut to size from the grocery store. (Try finding a grocery sack these days).

I get it. Times change; things evolve and yes, many teachers have a tough job and use their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms. It get it, but sometimes evolution gets it wrong.

Oh, and he has to have headphones too ... really?