Raising a teenager is hard work.
It’s a training ground for adulthood with children who feel that since their bodies have expanded to grown-up proportions they've, therefore, earned the rights of their elders.
I wished that someone had taken my children aside and explained some things…someone like Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
“Always obey your parents — when they are present. Most parents think they know more than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.”
I did my best with their life lessons.
Like the time I tried guiding my son through his first argument with his girlfriend.
“She’s not speaking to me,” he said.
“Apologize,” I advised.
“But I don’t even know what I did wrong.”
“Give her flowers,” my daughter chimed in, “and then ask her.”
Driving had its challenges too. But it wasn’t just speeding, or icy roads, that I wanted to warn him about.
Before even allowing him behind the wheel I advised him, “If you see a woman with a stroller or holding a toddler’s hand, bring the car to stop far away from her.”
My son drew his brows together. “But, why?”
“Because they’ll assume that you’re threatening their children and death rays will fly from their eyes.”
“That’s stupid, mom.”
It happened just as I foretold.
We were in the Target parking lot and my son pulled to a stop to allow a mother to cross with her children. But the distance was not great enough.
The woman’s hands never left the stroller but her head pivoted to identify the threat. With eyes that could tear holes into a brick wall, she pinned my son to the back of his seat…daring him to move one inch closer to her babies.
My son swallowed hard.
“That was it, wasn’t it?”
“Yes.” I patted his arm to let him know that he’d be okay.
“Don’t mess with moms, sweetie. Ever.”
My daughter’s lessons were different and often felt more like negotiations.
“If you can go an entire year without buying any new clothes, I will let you get that tattoo. Prove to me that, in a year from now, you will still like to wear the same outfits and I will pay for it myself.” I promised her. “Think of it this way, a tattoo is a permanent fashion decision.”
She lasted two weeks. And she never asked for a tattoo again.
She outfoxed me, fair and square, when it came to the nose piercing. A small gemstone followed her past high school and through college. It didn't disappear until she entered into her career.
When she went on her first official date, I was honest with her and did exactly what my mom did on my first date.
“Invite him in,” I requested, “And then distract him for a moment. Get him a drink or something.”
“I need time to slip out the back, go around the house and jot down his license plate. In case I have to talk to the police.”
She rolled her eyes and shook her head.
But she did it.
There are some lessons that we teach and we don’t even know it. Last weekend I learned about one of them.
The pastor at my daughter’s church asked everyone to close their eyes and think back to a time when they felt unloved. She called me and told me about it.
“Never,” she said. “I’ve lived my entire life and have never experienced a single moment where I didn’t feel loved.”
“That’s right,” I said with a throat that felt suddenly tight. “And you never will.”
Greta Thunberg is a fifteen year old Swedish girl who has given a TED talk about climate change. She’s influenced other kids to skip school on Fridays to raise awareness about the problem. I wrote about her here.
Now, I want to tell you about Kelsey Juliana. She’s a University of Oregon student who’s one of twenty one kids (ages 11-22) suing the US saying that the government knowingly failed to protect them from climate change. They come from ten different states and the youngest is in sixth grade.
The plaintiffs (the children), led by a legal team, are arguing that a safe climate is a civil right. They want clean air and water and would like to avoid the famines, floods and fires predicted if we don’t start changing our ways. I can’t blame them.
There has actually been multiple climate change lawsuits already. So, why is this one different?
First- They’re not seeking money for damages. They’re trying to force the government to make changes in order to decrease our CO2 emissions.
Second- They’ve already survived several legal battles and motions to dismiss and gone further than other similar lawsuits in the past.
The lawsuit was filed in 2015 and initially the fossil fuel industry intervened, joining the US government in an attempt to get the case dismissed. They failed. Later, in 2017, the fossil fuel defendants asked to be released from the case.
Why would they do that?
A Washington Post article explained that it was likely to avoid “questions about the industry’s position on the effects of climate change on water supplies, agriculture and other natural systems, as well as the ability of human societies and natural ecosystems to adapt.”
They would be forced to tell the truth, in court, about the effects fossil fuels are having on our world.
The government has tried to prevent this lawsuit from ever coming to court. In an article on forbes.com, Jame Conca wrote reported that one of the 19 year old plaintiffs said: “The lengths my own government is going to to get this case thrown out and avoid trial is absurd and offensive. This case is not about money. This is not about the 'harms to the government' or how much money the government has paid its experts or how many hours their lawyers have to work. This is about my future and the future of our youngest generations. This is about fundamental constitutional rights of children. We are simply asking for our right to be heard.”
Since 2017, the courts have been ruling on motions causing a delay from the original trial date of Feb 5, 2018. But why delay it?
Julia Olson, an Oregon lawyer, explained in a Sixty Minutes episode. The US government admits “that the government has known for over 50 years that burning fossil fuels would cause climate change. And they don't dispute that we are in a danger zone on climate change. And they don't dispute that climate change is a national security threat and a threat to our economy and a threat to people's lives and safety. They do not dispute any of those facts of the case.”
So, if you don’t believe in climate change, I have news for you. Our own US government recognizes that climate change will be catastrophic problem. For fifty years, since President Lyndon Johnson was in office, both Democrats and Republican presidents have known that burning fossil fuels was causing climate change. And they’ve failed to address it.
Steve Kroft (Sixty Minutes) summarized why its a big deal to keep it out of the courts, “You're talking about a case that could change economics in this country.” Without a doubt, addressing climate change would be a massive financial endeavor. But what if, like the FDR’s New Deal and the war that followed, this serves as an economic stimulus to our government?
And more importantly, do we even have a choice? Don’t we owe it to our children and grandchildren to make changes to protect their world?
Julia Olson says that the government does not want to go to court “Because they will lose on the evidence that will be presented at trial.”
As usual, I stand on the side of the kids...the one's fighting to save us all.
If you’re a kid and want to add your name to the list of those concerned about the climate and in support of Kelsey Juliana, you can do that HERE.
Have you heard about the Green New Deal?
I wanted to review the “old” New Deal before I started on the new version. You can read that in my blog here.
I ended my blog by saying that with the previous New Deal, the government accepted responsibility for our welfare, not just our protection. Here’s a definition for you.
Welfare: social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need. That's important to know because that's what this proposal is all about.
The title “Green” implies that this document is solely about climate change but that’s not correct. It’s much broader than that. The Green New Deal isn’t just about preventing droughts, floods and hurricanes. It’s a vision to address the collapse of the middle class, the escalation of healthcare costs, the stabilization our economy. It proposes to rein in the military, protect our personal liberties and support the local media.
Where did the term New Green Deal come from?
According to Wikipedia, Thomas Friedman was one of the earlier users of the term. He was a journalist for The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine. In 2007, he wrote, “If you have put a windmill in your yard or some solar panels on your roof, bless your heart.” He went on to explain that it will take more than those minor adaptations and that we needed a New Deal but a green version.
Different organizations took up the charge and the concept grew more popular. But, on February 7, 2019, things got really interesting. New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced her Green New Deal in the House and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced the companion resolution in the Senate. What they introduced was a resolution, not a bill.
What’s the difference?
A resolution is a vision statement... a call to action.
A bill can become a law.
So what was the big deal? This resolution was the first time this list of goals, modeled after the New Deal, was formally introduced in Congress. And boy, did it get everyone’s attention.
The Green New Deal (GND) has several goals.
As expected, everyone has an opinion about the resolution.
First, President Trump tweeted:
“I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal. It would be great for the so-called “Carbon Footprint” to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military- even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!
Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House) called it "a green dream".
And imagine what those disbelievers in climate change think....
Ocasio-Cortez addressed that issue in a video…“At this point, we don’t even have to prove it. Just walk outside in the winter in a lot of places, and its either way worse than you’re used to or way warmer than you’re used to.”
The New Deal was costly and this Green New Deal sounds even more expensive. Some people have expressed concern that it could bankrupt us. Jeffrey Sachs, in an article on Feb 26, said, “These claims are dead wrong. The Green New Deal agenda is both feasible and affordable. This will become clear as the agenda is turned into specific legislation for energy, health care, higher education, and more.”
A lot of articles have been written both in support and opposition. That happened as FDR was unrolling his New Deal too. But this proposal is bigger and more wide-sweeping. The whole plan is wildly audacious, even to those that support some of the principals. And that makes it likely to fail. Bipartisan support for all of those issues?
So, was the whole thing a waste of time. ...Maybe not.
If the idea was to point attention to the climate, it worked. Prior to now, there hasn't been much discussion and that meant a lot of people didn't take the subject seriously. But, it's a Big Deal.
Senator Tom Carper said, "Climate change is real, human activity during the last century is the dominant cause of the climate crisis: and the United States and Congress should take immediate action to address the challenge of climate change."
Diane Feinstein wants to introduce her own alternative proposal and Nancy Pelosi believes that a resolution is not the best way to handle this situation and instead it should be a law.
I'm keeping my eye on this Green New Deal!
Have you heard about the New Green Deal?
I confess, I was feeling like I should review the old one before I spent too much time on the new one. It’s pretty interesting stuff and it all started with Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer).
Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, wrote about the river pilots forcing the steamboat owners to meet their wage demands and recognize their union in his memoir Life on the Mississippi. It was a pivotal experience and he wrote about it again, this time in fiction, in his book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court:
“…here I was, in a country where a right to say how the country should be governed was restricted to six persons in each thousand of its population…I was to become a stockholder in a corporation where nine hundred and ninety-four of the members furnished all the money and did all the work, and the other six elected themselves as a permanent board of direction and took all the dividends. It seemed to me that what the nine hundred and ninety-four dupes needed was a new deal.”
Twain was a supporter of workers and unions. At his regular Monday Evening Club, Twain gave a speech praising the Knights of Labor (KOL). Founded in 1869, the KOL was was the first labor organization in the United States. It originated in secret and was designed to protect its members from retaliation from their employers.
From that day on, Labor leaders used Twain’s quote from his Connecticut Yankee book as an inspiration to union members.
Did I mention that Connecticut Yankee was one of Franklin D Roosevelt’s favorite books?
Let's fast forward to when FDR accepted the Democratic nomination for the President of the US. According to independent producer John McDonough in The Birth of a New Deal, in his final paragraph of his acceptance FDR said:
I pledge myself to a new deal for the American people.
So, now you know where FDR got his inspiration. But where did the concept for the New Deal come from?
Let me tell you a little about his wife, Eleanor.
Elenor was orphaned at a young age, married FDR against the wishes of his mother and then her husband had an affair. Her home life sounded pretty miserable and as Wikipedia says, “she resolved to seek fulfillment in a public life of her own.”
She was an outspoken woman who gave speeches and made public appearances. Even worse—sometimes she publicly disagreed with her husband. In short, she was not the typical First Lady.
Eleanor was a great supporter of civil rights for African-Americans, Women’s rights…in fact, all Human rights. (She served as the first chair for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights)
Eleanor, along with several other women (Nancy Cook, Marion Dickerman and Caroline O’Day), opened up Val-Kill Industries in 1926, a non-profit furniture factory in Hyde Park, New York. The goal of the business was to employ young men and supplement farmer’s incomes by making early American furniture replicas.
They created jobs in order to help those in need. Interesting, right?
The stock market crashed in 1929, losing 90% of its value. Unemployment was sky-rocketing, the economy was failing and the financial system was in danger of collapse. Franklin Roosevelt had to do something. During his first one hundred days in office, he:
Held fireside chats and urged people to put their money back in banks.
Stopped Prohibition. (Thank you, sir)
Enabled the federal government to build dams to control flooding and provide power to rural areas in Tennessee. (TVA)
Gave commodities to farmers to end surpluses and boost prices.
The economy increased but it was not enough. The country was still in a depression.
So he launched even more programs:
The Workers Progress Administration (WPA) created jobs building bridges, schools and highways. (Thank you, Eleanor)
Social Security was created to provide pensions to workers and federal government support to dependents and the disabled.
Loans were made to farmers.
Public housing was created and the US minimal wage was increased.
Did it work to pull us out of the Great Depression?
Historians still debate this. Those that supported it (Liberals) felt that it did while those against (Conservatives) disagreed.
It’s hard to say because in 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed, and our country was thrown into a war. And war means lots of jobs and lots of money spent on industries supporting the war—so our country recovered.
What is the legacy of the New Deal?
Many may argue about how effective the New Deal was in restoring our country but most historians agree that the New Deal instituted the following changes:
-The New Deal dramatically increased the power of the federal government and the President.
-It made a commitment to the people to attend to their welfare, not just their safety.
What is welfare anyway?
Definition: statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.
I bet that last part’s important when we consider the New Green Deal.
Marie Kondo is at it again.
Do you know who she is? She wrote the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. She has a new series on Netflix called Tidying Up.
But why is the world is an organizational expert such big news?
Because she’s making a promise to transform your life.
And a lot of people have an opinion about that.
It turns out that cleaning your closet is actually more complicated than I realized.
Some writers point out that clutter is a symbol of procrastination. All those belts and shoes that you haven’t worn for two years represents a series of unmade decisions. Should you get rid of them? Sell them? Save them because you spent a lot of money on them? We’ve all been there.
Our disorganized closets may be a symptom. When I go on walks, it’s obvious that not everyone puts there cars in the garage. According to this article, 75% of us can’t fit our cars in because we have too much stuff. Could the relentless need to keep buying stuff be a symptom of how people deal with the frustrations in their life. An attempt to ease the pain…when ultimately you’re only adding to the chaos?
Some authors point out that our disarray is keeping us from being happy. Others disagree.
In “Marie Kondo and the Privilege of Clutter”, the author says, “Kondo is unfailingly earnest in her assertion that the first step to having a joyful life is through mindful consideration of your possessions.” She and points out that for immigrants and refugees, holding on to things is a response to their earlier losses of material possessions. A recovery process.
Disposing of things caused her mom to be sad and anxious, it wasn’t a release from materialism for her.
Greenpeace says stuff should not equal happiness in the first place. They want you to look at the piles of your possessions and recognize the time, energy and environmental impact those items have. “Today’s trends are tomorrow’s trash” they declare.
And speaking of trash…
Nicole Bennet's article said “Worst of all, the Kon Mari method preserved the myth of an ‘away’, the fiction that once objects are discarded, they effectively disappear.” Things don't disappear simply because they got carted away by the trash truck. See my blog…Shop till you Drop.
Mari Kondo wants us to ask ourselves, “Does this object spark joy?”.
We need to ask ourselves that question before we make a purchase.
We also need we ask: how long is that likely to make me happy...a day, a year?
Having a joyful life has to start with an introspective look at our goals and our philosophies for life. And then, maybe… cleaning our closet.
Do you remember reading George Orwell’s 1984 in school?
It was required reading for me.
Let me remind you what it’s about. First, it's a dystopian novel published in 1949. Between The Hunger Games and Divergent, it’s tempting to believe that dystopian novels are a new trend.
Dystopian novels typically describe an oppressive society that gives the illusion of a perfect society.
1984 is a classic example.
Great Britain has become a province of Oceana and the story takes place in London, the chief city. The “Party” rules the society and the “Thought Police” persecute individualism and independent thinking. Remember the phrase, ‘Big Brother’s watching you”?
Winston Smith is a member of the Party but while he appears to be a diligent worker, he dreams of rebelling. And then he has a secret... forbidden relationship.
The book is full of satire.
The Ministry of Love oversees law and order…and torturing. The Ministry of Plenty oversees rationing and the Ministry of Truth, where the main character works, oversees propaganda. He’s in charge of revising records to keep up with the changing party line—going as far as deleting people’s names who were killed by the state.
Back to that secret relationship. They’re discovered. It ends badly for both of them.
So, what’s the purpose of bringing up this book?
Dina Leygerman’s been running an experiment with her students. In true “Orwellian” fashion, she tells the students that she must, as part of an evidence-based strategy, fight “senioritis”. It’s her way of introducing the book in a real life fashion.
1984 may have a distressing ending but Dina’s got good news to share about today’s teenagers.
You can read about it here.
If you read last weeks blog, you have an idea what teachers are thinking about. But what about students? I was watching the news when I heard a story of children in Belgium skipping school to express their concerns about climate change.
I wanted to know more.
Anuna De Wever is the seventeen instigator of that movement. What started with 3,000 students grew to around 35,000 demonstrators marching with the hope of changing the world. They decided to play truant on Thursdays because this cause was “more important than math lessons”.
She wants us to take public transportation, eat less meat, fly less often and wear heavier clothes in the winter. From her government—she wants even more. Money for action, of course. But primarily, she wants the topic of climate change to be at the top of their agenda.
And then there’s a Swedish teenager named Greta Thunberg. She’s been an even more influential climate activist. I decided to listen to her TED talk.
Greta has the look of a modern day Pippi Longstocking. She has long, slightly sloppy braids that curl out in a haphazard fashion at the tips. Her blue sweatshirt is too long for her petite body and this emphasizes her youth.
Greta introduced her talk by saying that she’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s, OCD and selective mutism. “Basically this means I only speak when I feel it’s necessary. Now is one of those moments.”
She speaks in a calm, even tone and frowns occasionally as she outlines the problems. Over 200 species are going extinct every day. Our emissions are going up, not down.
She’s obviously read the Paris Agreement and she breaks down the goal of Equity in the agreement for the listener. Rich countries, she explained, have to move their emissions to zero so that poor countries can build their infrastructure. After all, she insisted, how can we expect them to worry about the climate when they have concerns about clean water and building hospitals. She makes a lot of sense.
The goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius. According to Wikipedia, 195 members have signed the agreement that was originally drawn in 2015. (Our own president caused an uproar when he stated his intention to withdraw from the agreement in June 2017)
But before I go any further…is climate change even real? I still hear arguments that it’s all a myth. What would it take you to believe?
Take a look at the NASA.gov website. The graph on this page is compelling but listen to what else they say:
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia."
Other sites stated that "There is a 97% consensus amongst published scientist agreeing that humans are responsible."
But, regardless of whether or not you believe…it’s obvious Greta does.
Greta asks “Are we evil?” After all, we aren’t doing enough to change the problem. “If there was a crisis—we’d see some restrictions but no ones acting like we’re in a crisis” Governments are not implementing changes… therefore it can’t really be a problem. Right?
A site called Global Weirding points out what we can expect if we do nothing according to a UN report on climate change. The report is over 2,000 pages long and based on 9,200 peer-reviewed studies. That’s strong research.
By the way, according to the website, Global Weirding...
Describes how the rise in average global temperature leads to all sorts of crazy things — from hotter heat spells to colder cold spells, more drought and intense flooding, as well as slow-onset changes such as ocean acidification and sea level rise. Also includes oddball things such as jellyfish clogging up the pipes of nuclear power plants, forcing them to shut down.
By 2100, we’ll face mass extinctions, further increase in wildfires and limited fresh water.
Crops yields will go down by 2030 and flooding and droughts will increase in 2040. This is starting to sound eerily like a warning about the Apocalypse.
Greta points out that in the year 2078, she will be 75 years old. She looked sternly over the audience and reminded them that her life, her children’s lives…will all be impacted by the decisions we make today.
She’s doing something about it. Greta’s been skipping school on Fridays. She’s presented herself to the Swedish parliament to talk about the crisis and possible solutions. Did I mention she was only fifteen? Other students in Europe are taking part too, using the hashtag #FridaysForFuture on social media.
According to Wikipedia, in December 2018, Greta addressed the United Nations climate change summit. She didn't pull any punches.
"You only speak of a green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children."
Greta says that it’s time for action because “our house is on fire”. She says it’s time to panic.
Based on everything I’ve read, I believe her.
Just because it’s been quiet for while…doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening. While the issue of gun control has been eclipsed by other political issues (the government shut down and the wall) according to a New York Times article, Trump’s educational secretary , Betsy DeVos, is considering if she can use some federal dollars for ‘improving school conditions’ to buy firearms.
And who will be carrying those weapons?
Will it be armed security guards?
I’m not sure what the government is planning but I know what some teachers are doing.
They’re signing up for a course called FASTER Saves Lives. It’s a three day “active-killer’ response course where school staff members learn how to carry a gun and…how to shoot to kill.
Jay Willis was curious about how many teachers are already armed and wrote about the experience of attending the course here.
During the course he was instructed that the police are not helpful since, typically, they are not at the scene when the event occurs. He was told that you have no choice but to fight.
Clearly, this is serious business.
The course provides crisis management and even emergency medical treatment for life-threatening injuries. Oh, and they do SWAT styled drills that allow them to "stop school violence rapidly". With the exception of my high school biology teacher, who was also a football coach, I’m having trouble picturing any of my former teachers doing this exercise.
I may not be able to imagine sweet Mrs. Strickland pumping bullets into a target but times have changed. Since the school shooting at Parkland, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation, which uses donations to provide scholarships, has been overwhelmed with requests to participate in the course.
Willis’ article is quick to remind you that this is not a video-game exercise. He states that when those teachers miss their targets and dust flies up when the rounds hit the nearby hillside, an ex-cop calls out “The dirt represents the CHILDREN. I don’t want to see any DIRT.”
Think about that for a moment.
Every year, I hear a story about a police officer that pulls the trigger and some innocent person dies as a result. I’m not here to judge. There is no way I could, in a million years, do that job. What I’m saying is that these teachers are so desperate that they’re taking this on…even knowing that trained professionals make mistakes and that they could possibly injure or even kill a child while they’re trying to save other children.
The debate on gun control is over for those participants taking the course. They’ve chosen to take matters in their own hands despite the emotional and economic cost to them (a Smith &Wesson 9mm handgun cost one teacher $500 dollars).
But what about the teachers here in our community? How do they feel? I asked a teacher that I’ve known for several years now some hard questions. She was okay with me using her name…but I decided that, based on how complicated this topic can be…it might be best if she remains anonymous.
Do teachers still worry about school shooters or does the anxiety go down the further we get away from the last shooting episode?
Teachers worry about school shootings all the time. I think a lot of it depends on where you teach and the type of students you interact with that informs how much you worry about it. It seems to be the affluent, primarily Caucasian school districts and schools where these shootings happen. I worry. I worry because this is precisely the type of school I teach at. I think that the worry actually grows with each school shooting. It seems like they become more and more frequent and it seems as though there is little to nothing being done about it. Often I think teachers feel like sitting ducks.
What would you (and other teachers) like to see done about the threat of school shooters?
Wow, that is a complicated question with a multifaceted answer. I think it begins with strong, heavily regulated safety measures for each school. At the educational level, this is really all we can do. We can encourage students to treat others with respect, we can encourage them to take care of each other, and we can model that behavior, but at the end of the day keeping our campus secure is the only practical way to keep out these dangers BY THE SCHOOL. However, the reality is reducing access to guns is going to have the most impact. We can’t legislate good parenting. We can’t legislate morality. We can legislate access to guns. We can also require people to have to attend training and carry a license to own a gun. You have to have a license to drive a car—and it is not an INTENDED deadly weapon. It can kill, but that is not it sole intent.
What are some possible solutions you’ve heard about?
Increased training for teachers and students to recognize issues. Practical drills on reducing casualties. But, increasing school security and really, reducing access to guns—make it harder for people to buy large magazines for weapons and ban assault rifles. I am a gun owner. I support the right to own a gun, but NO ONE NEEDS AN AR-15! This is a weapon designed to tear through human flesh. Period. It is MUCH easier and more efficient to kill a large number of people with a gun like an AR-15 than a shotgun.
The issue of gun control is a hot mess. It doesn’t look like we can expect any resolution for this issue in the near future. Do most teachers have the same opinion on gun control or is the debates just as dramatic in the schools as outside the schools?
This is Texas, so the debate is big even amongst teachers. Some feel that we need to carry weapons. I AM WHOLLY opposed to this. At best, police officer are accurate with their shooting, when under duress, about 25% of the time. I do not want a partially trained civilian, in a terrifying, life threatening situation firing a weapon anywhere near me. This is NOT the answer. But, yes. There is as much disagreement amongst us as there is in the country as a whole.
Why is the happening in the first place?
Well, I need days to write about that. Why is it happening? Because kids are unhealthier and unhappier then they have ever been. They are staring into screens all day watching people hurt each other and playing video games where they shoot people. Their parents don’t talk to them. They are overmedicated, under-parented, and overstimulated. They eat like crap and they never go outside. The access to technology, I truly feel, is a huge part of this. People aren’t connecting with each other. We don’t look at each other in the face. We don’t spend time just BEING in each other’s company. The desire for constant entertainment has turned is into zombies who have been desensitized. Add the increased use of drugs and alcohol and access to high power firearms and you have this horrific epidemic we are in now. I truly do not know the answer. But I do know that if we don’t to something soon, I may start having to wear a flak jacket to work.
I want to finish with a thought I had after listening to a sermon last week. There’s been a lot of scorn for the words “thoughts and prayers” when it comes to school shootings--but I was reminded just how powerful prayer really is.
“Thoughts and prayers” can’t be just words…they have to be actions.
We have to think through the situation logically and pray that we find a solution before any more children are murdered.
Look at these gorgeous frames for my book covers! I just received them from a friend and I’m completely in love with them.
Speaking of books…
It’s been a while since my last book but trust me…it’s for a good reason. In the Oath Series conclusion, there’s been a lot going on around Tulsa…and it’s not all good.
Maddy’s having trouble sleeping, she’s experiencing vivid dreams that make no sense. But she can’t afford to be tired right now, if she makes a mistake…lives could be at stake.
Ashton keeps sneaking off somewhere—she’s definitely up to something, but what?
Gideon’s frustrated, he’s been researching to find a way to protect a creature he can’t even see…but despite spending countless hours in the bookstore, he’s not making any progress.
Mirabella’s not quite recovered from her last adventure and she’s still mourning the loss of a dear friend.
Well, he’s got his own secrets.
They can all feel it…something’s in the air.
Something potent and dangerous.
A cataclysmic event is about to happen
and no one’s quite ready...
I'm really excited about the conclusion to the series (and already thinking about what comes next!)
I've got a little polishing left to do on the manuscript and then it goes out to some early readers.
With fingers crossed, it will be out by this spring!
Thanks for all the support!!
Here's the link to Amazon to see the previous books....
When did shopping become a form of entertainment?
And when did it become ok to discard an outfit after wearing it only one day?
Well, let me tell you...
In the 1800’s, if you wanted clothing...somebody was going to have to grow the cotton and weave the cloth--and that took time!
It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution and the creation of a sewing machine that clothing could be produced with more speed. And while that sounded like a good idea...that’s when sweat shops emerged. Workers were faced with long hours and deplorable conditions. Fortunately, labor laws were created that prevent this from happening in the USA.
In the 1990’s, another big change occurred.
We became a throw-away culture for the clothing we bought.
It all started when the clothing store Zara came to New York in 1990. According to a New York Times article, it was the first place to offer “fast fashion”.
Now this is what I used to think fast fashion meant...
According to the dictionary, fast fashion is actually “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass market retailers in response to the latest fashion trends”.
Zara’s mission was to move a fashion from the designer’s brain to a store rack in a mere 15 days. The emphasis was keeping these trends affordable... or as one writer stated, creating the ‘democratization of fashion’. Now, for a relatively inexpensive cost, anyone could wear clothing similar to the top designers.
It sounds like a good idea, right?
Seriously, the cost of clothing is actually going down with the passage of time instead of up--like everything else!
One article said that in 1901, clothing made up 14% of the budget. In 1960, that number dropped to 10.4% and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 that number dropped to 3.1%.
At this rate, pretty soon, our clothing could be free....
One quote I read was "Fast fashion isn't free. Someone, somewhere is paying."
Obviously, it’s the workers who are slapping these outfits together in record time.
After all, you may think that there’s only 4 seasons but when it comes to shopping...there’s 52 micro-seasons. (I had no idea, did you?) Stores like H&M, Forever 21, Top Shop come out with a new collection every week.
They copy a trend and produce it quickly with low quality materials.
What’s the harm with that?
In 2013, in Bangladesh a clothing manufacturing complex collapsed and killed over a thousand workers—drawing attention to these businesses that are not putting safety into their business model equation.
My favorite quote was from Orsola de Castro (Co-founder of Fashion Revolution Day):
Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.
Maybe it's hard to relate to someone on the other side of the world. But you might be paying too...
With your health.
The Center for Environmental Health expressed concerns about lead contaminated purses, belts and shoes and their possible role in causing infertility.
Did we think we could just ignore the toxic dyes and chemicals used in the manufacture of these products and that our bodies...and our environment won’t be impacted?
Can we talk abut happens when we dispose of those outfits?
Maybe you don’t realize how much we’re throwing away.
In 2017, in the United Kingdom, 235 million pieces of clothing went to the landfills.
The population is only 66 million.
The US contributes 11 million tons to our landfills...approximately 80 pounds per person!
Fashion is the 2nd largest polluter of clean water.
Polyester is made from fossil fuels. Tiny microfibers shed and leave plastics in our ocean.
Pesticides get in our ground water from farms that grow cotton.
And we keep making more and more and more.
It’s okay as long as you don’t throw it away, right?
You just need to donate it!
Did you know that less than 50% of donated clothing makes it to another home to be worn?
Most of it goes to landfills and incinerators.
And don't even think about composting our clothing. Those bleaches, dyes and chemicals leach into our groundwater.
Even the third world countries who used to accept our used clothing...are no longer interested. Kenya, Pakistan, Malaysia....all refuse to accept any more of our throw-aways.
So if these cheap (but very fashionable) outfits are bad for our health and our world...what can we do?
Ask yourself a question....
Am I buying this to make me happy today or...
Is this something I can use for years?
buy less, choose well, make it last--British designer Vivienne Woodward.