Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
Friction is a necessary force in nature. Without friction we would literally slide down any slippery slope, be unable to stop or hold anything, and be falling down or crashing constantly. We need friction - this natural resistance, to live safely. This is a quixotic truth yet in a social sense people often believe that friction causes discomfort which they wish to avoid. Having everything "running smoothly" is a goal for most people and that includes "no tension" within their relationships.
Social media implicitly demands we only post images presenting "smooth sailing" and 'positive value' portrayals of people and situations. Dramatic poses, displays of skin and sexually explicit pics spread quickly to "go viral" (like a swift moving infection of the mind/spirit) amassing audience and media "engagement" are becoming de rigueur. While each person may believe they have a "unique branding", in reality they become predictable and like a swarm on the few 'popular' platforms. This week I am urging you to exercise your judgement, your brain and fight the deliberate media incitements to be sucked into the fantasies of effortless achievements, easy opulent lifestyles or to resist jumping into the bandwagons created to incite friction, division, slanders and extremes. Dare NOT to click!
Find new ways to ease, squeeze, outsmart and defuse or ignore presented "issues"; therefore de-escalating those factions, groups and persons who seek to distort truth, garner mob support to attack those they view (or are brainwashed to see) as "divergent", or non-conforming to the "acceptable narratives". Resist the strong currents pulling toward 'One Mind/Group Think/Hive Control'. Ignite your full spectrum thinking@ and don't fight the friction-learn when to ease off and when to embrace these anomalies with your own willpower and brain. This week I will include means and ways to do so. You will need to employ these on a daily basis.
'Groupthink' is a term first used in 1972, by social psychologist Irving L. Janis that refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people strive for consensus within a group. In many cases, people will set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. The group is more concerned with maintaining unity than with objectively evaluating their situation, alternatives and options.
Groupthink may come about organically in homogeneous societies with a common, language, culture, ethnicity, belief system and environment. Tribal societies such as Indigenous Aboriginal, Native American and specific African tribes are examples. These peoples historically had rituals, ceremonies, obligations and strict rules/taboos in order to ensure their survival against outsiders, invaders, predators and natural disasters. Groupthink evolved over time and experience from within.
However, this type of Groupthink is different than what Irving Janis was describing as observed in the latter 20th, and the beginning of the 21st centuries. Today, heterogenous societies, fueled by global movements and immigration mixing cultures, ethnicities, languages, beliefs and customs are steered by media, the dominant group/culture's education system and political organs, to create a "common group think" based on who is in power and wishes to keep their power. The 'unity' proselytized is not for the benefit and overall health of the individual or tribal group-rather the individual, family unit, clan and tribe will be forced to be subsumed and assimilated into a larger entity. Labels become more important than names i.e. you become a "party member", "Comrade", "Green", "Tory", "Rebel" "Alt Right/Left"-etc. You are expected to think, act, espouse in concert with the group not your personal choice, conscience or ideas. Independent thought is actively discouraged. Groupthink has it's own script you follow to be considered "one" of them.
Further, with advanced technologies-the "hive mind" observed in bees, starlings, locusts, Monarch butterflies, Red crabs, bats and dolphins can be understood physiologically by tracking, tagging and imaging neural networks in different species over time. This has been accomplished by reviewing changes in migration patterns, hunting, incubating and food storage. There are many who wish to connect human minds this way and further, have human minds connected to computers to form a "hive mind". The rationale is that the sacrifice of individuality is worthwhile for the betterment of the larger population. They base their model and prescription on "nature".
"No individual fully grasps the entire problem, whether the task is to defend a hive or migrate in a coordinated fashion, he said. But by acting on its own senses within its immediate surroundings, each animal influences its neighbors’ behavior. Magnified across a large flock or swarm, you get a global behavior of the whole system that can appear intelligent. The secret behind these new research efforts derives from the basic rules of what’s known as swarm intelligence, a scientific framework inspired by the way in which birds flock together, social insects swarm and dust particles swirl in the air. In other words, the sum is greater than its parts." www.nbcnews.com/id/23888902/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/t/swarm-intelligence-inspired-animals/
Films such as: The Matrix, Transcendence, Listening, Minority Report, Star Trek, X-Men, Fifth Element, Lucy, The Divergent Series all are part of predictive programming for control using technology interface and "group think". The film, gaming and media industries want to condition their audience/population to see "hive mind-no privacy" as an inevitability thus subconsciously and consciously normalizing shocking controls while preparing you to submit to groupthink, groupmove, group chipping...willingly. My warning to you all-DON'T CAPITULATE-RESIST!
Here are strategies to shield yourself and discern tactics used in GroupThink. Read, implement and pass these forward please. There are more of course, but for this week I offer the following:
Be willing to "burst open" your mind, ideas and movements to explore new territories. Use "friction" as the dynamic force it is and ease off when you know or feel instinctively it is the time to do so. Make it your Mission Possible-pursue true freedom and exercise your independence daily.
This Tuesday I include a song from Imagine Dragons album "Smoke + Mirrors"-entitled: "FRICTION"....appropo eh?! Let me know: www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0aoh363PI4
Aroha Nui (much/big love)
Creating a new life is a relatively uncomplicated process...as we all know. One's biological father may be different than the man who fathered you during the time you grew from an infant to an adult. You may have had more than one father or a strong father "figure" such as an uncle, grandfather, older brother or step father in your life. If your father left, died or was never there in your home, you may have had a teacher, a coach, a mentor, the military, a boss or religious leader-even a gang leader who served as a "father" to you, to guide you growing on to adulthood. If you were the first in your family when your parents were young; you probably had a different experience than children born to older parents or as the youngest in a large family when your parents were older and more tired/experienced by the time they parented you. In any of these circumstances and others, if you had a father present most of the time in your home growing up, who tried to be a "good father" leading you on a path to right action, hard work, integrity and provided for you all-you were/are fortunate. Sadly, in the 21st century...you are in the minority.
Statistics gathered in most western countries for over 50 years, show that families where the father is absent most or all of the time results in the highest rates of children who have behavioral problems, addictions, teenage pregnancies, relationship problems, criminal behavior and suicide. See this site and documentary, graphs and stats from the USA, as one example: fathers.com/statistics-and-research/the-extent-of-fatherlessness/
Due to relentless conflicts, wars, natural disasters, many families are displaced from their homes, communities and families and find themselves without a "father" or elder males to provide guidance, financial and emotional support to children growing up. The most recent estimate of children in crisis in refugee camps and otherwise "displaced" as of the end of 2017, is a staggering 31 million.
Children are our most valuable and our most vulnerable resource for our future. However, those who take care and teach children-these people and these professions are some of the lowest paid and least respected occupations in western countries. Even mothers or fathers who are able to be at home caring/working for their family are still denigrated in media in subtle and blatant ways, as a result of very misguided "feminist" and political movements.
The push in North America specifically, against men, against boys and the psycho- social engineering language bombarded through media about "toxic" masculinity ad nauseum, fuels the divide between genders, confuses the role of men and diminishes the vital importance of two parents, two genders i.e. male and female, in healthy parenting. Moreover those who seek to divide people over outward appearance of race, ethnicity and religion further drive wedges between the possibility of close relationships between fathers and daughters, fathers and sons, mothers and sons and mothers and fathers.
A significant percentage of young adults in 'western' nations aged 22-40, have inwardly decided not to even attempt parenting and long term bonding with another human being because of a number of reasons and pressures-real or contrived-against having "normal families". Many come from families where their parents divorced, where they were forced into "step families" or endured living in single parent households with economic and emotional hardships they associate with being parents and having a family. Many would be fathers are almost afraid of the unrealistic demands of what they view as "extreme responsibility" i.e. "being everything to everybody" involved as a father. Fathers are in the same situation mothers were in the 80s and 90s, when women found themselves having to be "superwomen" to be "cool moms" and having impossible standards set for being a "successful woman" and "successful mother" and "all roles" concurrently.
There are situations where the only work men can obtain is overseas or out of the country or state. I am not including fathers who are in the military and must serve overseas-they have a unique situation and fortunately far more support now than previously, but it is still very hard on families and marriages to have one parent away for months at a time over years at a time-especially if they are deployed to dangerous posts.
I have seen many ex-pats, especially from South and Central Asia, as well as the Caucasus countries, who have no possibility of earning enough money to work in their own countries and must leave for a year or years at a time. If the wife/mother has a large family who supports her in his absence, that is one way a family can sacrifice by having an absent father for years. Otherwise, it is the children who suffer the most.
Men who are fathers and have been justly or unjustly convicted of a crime and must serve time in prison, also place their families in a higher risk of having the next generation have serious issues in their lives. There is less support, sympathy and resources for families in this situation. In many countries men are hauled off to prison for political reasons or on the basis of a lie or contrived evidence, and their families never see them again.
The stigma of having a parent/spouse in prison is pasted onto the family during and after the incarceration. This stigma is very difficult to remove. There are a few, children (they are the exception statistically) who are able to rise out of their circumstances of suffering and succeed in all ways, untuning the previous generation's mistakes or misfortunes, and becoming good and even great men and fathers. This is what we hope and pray for in healthy communities.
While my own father was away much of the time when I was growing up, pushed to provide more and more for his ever growing family of six children; I was fortunate to have a large extended family with loving uncles a very supportive paternal grandfather and lots of male cousins in addition to having some excellent male teachers, coaches and mentors throughout my life. My father took me to the track as soon as I could walk, showed me how to hammer a nail, lay slate, taught me music first and even though he was a classical musician, it was he who brought home the first Beatles record for us. He was a strict, Sicilian man who expanded his thinking to promote my sister and I to excel and strive for high standards graduating from Georgetown and Princeton university, respectively. He accepted both my youngest brother when he came out as gay, and one of his nephews when he came out as an openly gay man. He made many mistakes, some quite serious ones, but he did keep trying to change and adapt.
My father, grandfathers and uncles endeavored to be 'good, strong men' but were not concerned about being 'nice' men. As I recently read and agree with: “Nice” says nothing of spine, of edge, of valor, and thus it can say little of righteousness or purpose. Nice requires no courage, no conviction, and no willingness to make enemies with the wicked."-Greg Morse-"Not Safe but Good" on: www.desiringgod.org/articles
My parents created the "extreme responsibility rule" in our family which was: "Whoever is the eldest is responsible". I was/am the eldest child in our half dozen, so it was always me. My siblings soon learned that whenever I was babysitting, which was very often, they could get away with almost anything since I would be blamed. The few times I tried to reason with my parents about the inequity and unfairness of their rules, they replied sternly: "Life isn't fair." That was the end of the attempted discussion. Any inquiry about their methods and reasons would result in the blanket statement: "Don't be fresh!" A very different meaning then, than in use today. This statement was usually punctuated with a slap to my face as an exclamation point to remember. Both my parents used violence as a tool/strategy for behavior management. I don't think it is/was necessary and there are more effective strategies to raise children but they both came from small families and my mother only had two sisters. They had no clue about how to raise a large family with four sons in various locations and cultures of the USA, so they 'experimented'. We used to be referred to as "holy terrors" by my mother when we were children. By contrast with most children, we actually were very "well behaved" most of the time. I know this after being out in wider society, in hundreds of schools in dozens of countries over the decades.
The first two of us, my brother Robert and I, were the guinea pigs for the rest to follow. My younger siblings benefited from our examples. We bore the pain from which they gained. The younger four of us had it much easier growing up yet my brother Robert and I are the only two of our parents six children, who became parents ourselves. Two of my siblings have never married. Fairly typical of that generation of children of immigrant families who grew up in the USA.
The man I married who was father to our children came from an immigrant family, too. He was the youngest of four and his German mother once told me she "gave up on him" because he was so "difficult and impossible to handle". As a consequence he wasn't held accountable for his actions. His own paternal grandfather was the one who endeavored to teach him and admonish him to be more responsible. His grandfather encouraged and supported my husband's choice to go into the US military. But my husband's grandfather died before our son was born.
My husband used to moan that taking care of our young children was in the 'too hard category' for him. He said, "I'd "rather be climbing K2 than take the kids for the weekend." When we were married he was gone between 6-8 months of the year as a mountain guide and climber. He ended up being a "deadbeat dad" in more ways than one. He thought of responsibilities, especially in connection with being a father for our children, as his "shackles". He tried to break free whenever he could no matter what the consequences. Marty didn't want to be a "granpa". I never understood nor sympathized with his attitude.
Our son, Denali was a very responsible person, perhaps too responsible; since he wouldn't let his father go alone to his death at the end. He took on extreme responsibility and "led" for his father as far as he could on the mountain K2. Denali, would have made a wonderful father, I believe. He liked and wanted to have children and told me once he would be "a present, not an absent father". But that is/was not to be.
(Photos below of "fathers" in my family including my paternal grandfather (my father's step father), my father, my husband and my brother (USMC-Retired) who is a father and grandfather now. None of my other siblings chose to be parents.
Certainly there are men or couples who physically cannot father (or mother) a child and therefore cannot become a biological parent in their life. However, there are some who care take and parent other children who need parenting in their extended family, or even take in foster children or orphans and parent them with love and support. These men become the ones responsible for their child's or children's guidance and growth. There are those who become teachers, coaches, trainers and leaders and "father" or mentor those younger and imprint important lessons by their example. I am writing here of the positive examples. Sadly we hear all too often of the twisted, sick, criminal and evil "fathers" and the tragedies left in their legacy of abuse, cruelty, torture, abandonment, exploitation and neglect.
Father's Day was celebrated on Sunday, June 16, 2019 in a number of countries. My best to all of you who have undertaken willingly and lovingly the responsibility of being/becoming a father. This will be your most important "job" and the consequences of not "doing your job" affects other human beings for the rest of their lives...therefore please take this responsibility seriously.
Tonight in the chill of south island winter and wind, I remember the sunny songs of Harry Belafonte in connection with memories of my father. My Dad used to put on Harry Belafonte records when he was babysitting us by himself. He would have us dance and sing with him to these songs. I still remember the lyrics. He would stage our dances sometimes by having me and my sister come down the stairs, with my brothers beating on tables to the drums of the album "Calypso" with Harry Belafonte calling out "OOO Look, look at Dolly..." and then the refrain, "Cause she gonna dance, she gonna sing - she gonna cause the rafters to ring!" He would eat a banana while singing the "Banana Boat song" just for fun. Those were times of joy, warmth and true togetherness. Thank you, Dad.
Till next week may you hold your fathers in your prayers wherever you may be....they need them now more than ever whether still on this Earth or across the threshold.
Harry Belafonte"Dolly Dawn" on his Calypso Album
FYI: Harry Belafonte is still alive.
Born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr.; March 1, 1927-Jamaican/American
It appears to be part of human nature that regardless of where we are born on this Earth, we do not heed the lessons of our previous generations and think "our generation" knows better. It is often ignorance of history and causation which leads to the hubris of us thinking "we are different" rather than conscientiously reviewing what was tried and accomplished in the past, which may be similar to situations we are in currently. Have we not learned, as Niccolo Machiavelli pointed out during the Renaissance: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ?! Perhaps not.
Our past was examined and commemorated globally this week with the events as well as visitations by heads of state on the anniversary of D-Day. The defeat of the Axis powers and the Nazi regime is still a cause for celebration. The sacrifice of millions on all sides reminds us of the horrors and blood shed in war.
What is not reported is that one of the most influential families in the United States both politically and financially, the Bush family, was intricately involved in supporting the Axis alliance. Prescott Bush used his position and wealth to provide funds, logistics and passage to the Nazi regime contrary to the laws and policies of his own country, the USA. Prescott Bush was never fully investigated or charged with violations to US law by dealing with the enemy during a time of declared war, World War II.
What many people do not know is that both the Bush family and the British Royal family, the "Windsors", are related. They both have genetic, ancestral roots in Germany, in the Guelph and Saxe-Coburg line. Moreover while the world thinks of the USA as being a "class less society" and without lines of succession through family connections, in truth this is not the case.
There are three dynastic political families in the United States which have wielded leverage in the 20th and 21st century. They are: the Bush family, the Kennedy Family and the Clinton/Rodham families. Although the Kennedy family is the most prolific in terms of the number of Kennedy family members, the Bush family arguably has the most influence, power and money and is closely allied to the Clinton/Rodham family, even though they are from different political parties.
The Bush family has been involved in the oil and gas as well as steel industries, in banking, the intelligence community, politics at the local, state and national level including family members as governors, senators, Head of the Republican National Committee and Presidents of the United States. They have also been involved in drug trafficking, child sex trafficking and pedophile scandals, money laundering schemes, fraudulent benefit from their military contracts and cited internationally for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In this they have a nexus with the Clinton/Rodham families. George Herbert Walker Bush has been associated with the Clintons since his time at the CIA and their time in Arkansas. Their dark bonds go back decades. www.veteranstoday.com/2015/02/07/power-pedophilia-and-the-us-government/
The news these past weeks also reported briefly on the arrest and imprisonment in the UK of Australian citizen, journalist, whistle blower and founder of Wiki leaks - Julian Assange. Julian Assange's reputation for verifying any and all information he publishes, vetting carefully all his sources-is impeccable. He is a thorn in the side and the heart of the corrupt. He has exposed the documents and emails leaked and sent to him by those on the inside of numerous governments and government agencies seeking an avenue for possible exposure of wrongdoing and the pursuit of justice. Those who are culpable of crimes and corruption seek him out and contrive means to silence him. The Clinton and the Bush families are dead set against him ever being "free" again. Wiki leaks exposure of their (Clinton and Bush's) own emails, means they will no longer be able to operate in the shadows. Their minions, partners will also be revealed, their tactics, strategies and dirty deeds publicized for all who care to read and research. allnewspipeline.com/Recent_Mysterious_Deaths_Are_A_Sign_Of_Trouble.php
Wiki leaks does not charge for their documentation. They are truly "free" and strive for "freedom" of the press and objective reporting on all sides. They discover the hard truths and fight against secrecy. They encourage other whistle blowers to contact them and they pride themselves on keeping their own sources confidential. This angers many people and organizations. This also inspires many people and organizations. Wiki leaks is a beacon of light in a world with ever increasing darkness and censorship. Wiki leaks offers pieces to the jigsaw puzzle of shifting power in the global landscape. It gives us hard facts and documents we need to digest in order to truly know what is happening, to come to our own conclusions and analysis, and realize who should be held accountable and who controls or seeks to control us.
"Clinton’s emails, and evidence from Wikileaks, [show] the Hillary Clinton State Department ran foreign policy as its own shadow government apparatus, and engaged in illegal activities." www.globalresearch.ca/political-succession-and-the-bush-clinton-nexus-permanent-criminal-state-a-clinton-white-house-guarantees-war-with-russia/5547656
Hillary Clinton has, on more than one occasion, called for Julian Assange to be "droned" as she constantly calls for him to be held accountable which is ironic considering she has not yet been held accountable for any of her nefarious crimes and transgressions. There is still the murder of Seth Rich and the cables connecting Hillary Clinton and John Podesta to that case that has yet to be fully and impartially investigated. Hillary Clinton and her spokespeople, including a CNN reporter, have called for Julian Assange to be assassinated, have the death penalty applied to his case and to 'answer for his crimes'. The Clintons are afraid of exposure by Wikileaks.
Why do you suppose Julian Assange has been targeted by the UK, USA, his home country of Australia and the complicit leftist government of Sweden? Julian Assange has characterized Hillary Clinton as a liar and a "bright, well connected sadistic sociopath" after being privy to more of her emails than the US justice system has. www.infowars.com/fbi-releases-damning-hillary-clinton-email-docs-showing-server-info-found-on-dark-web/
Wiki leaks also brought forward evidence in emails released regarding the fraud and criminal activities of the Clinton Foundation and of Hillary's brother Tony Rodham. Tony was being investigated for criminal activities in regard to the Clinton Foundation's activities in Haiti when he died on June 7, 2019. No cause of death has yet been reported: www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/08/tony-rodham-hillary-clinton-brother-dies/1392885001/
"The Clinton Foundation is a criminal apparatus, which exemplifies the kind of activity upon which the Clintons and Bushes thrive. Its business includes CIA black ops, the funding of terrorists (ISIS), the destabilization of nations, war provocations, extra-judicial political assassinations, currency fraud, money laundering, child sex trafficking and treason. Hillary Clinton has been a leading force in the creation and funding of Islamic terror and ISIS, having enthusiastically set loose the CIA, Al-Qaeda in Libya and the Islamic State across the Middle East and into Syria." www.globalresearch.ca/political-succession-and-the-bush-clinton-nexus-permanent-criminal-state-a-clinton-white-house-guarantees-war-with-russia/5547656
These families (Bush and Rodham/ Clinton) sought and seek power. They have done it blatantly and covertly. They corrupted their positions/offices and their use of power from their beginnings. They rose to influence in the political/financial sectors by any means they chose-legally and illegally. The more power they attained the more corrupt and cruel they became. They prove the maxim that Niccolo Machiavelli warned us about in the 1500s. Have we not yet learned to discern his lessons?
Ending this week with a tribute to a brave woman and brave men whose deaths are suspicious and who all had some connection to investigations concerning the Clinton crime network. Linda Collins-Smith was investigating a huge child trafficking, sex ring in Arkansas that had been in place for decades funded by US Federal and state grant money funneled through the Arkansas Child 'Protective Services'- CPS. Linda was shot, rolled up in material and left in her back yard for days before being discovered. Linda was a business owner, mother, grandmother and legislator. In 2017, Collins-Smith introduced Senate Bill 774, the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act which would limit individuals claiming to be 'transgender', in the use of government facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. She said that the bills set a baseline for privacy across the state and would shield public schools from lawsuits by organizations "seeking to impose their anti-privacy agenda on our children.
"Linda Collins Smith (Former State Senator-Republican) had also allegedly been investigating Child Protective Services in Arkansas and had apparently discovered a massive underground child trafficking ring hidden within private organizations but funded by Federal Grants." creativedestructionmedia.com/investigations/2019/06/07/breaking-murdered-arkansas-former-gop-state-senator-believed-she-was-closing-in-on-child-trafficking-ring-in-arkansas-state-government/ To add to this heinous assassination an Arkansas Circuit Court judge, Harold S. Erwin, who started his judgeship in 1987, during Bill Clinton's tenure as governor; announced the records in Linda Smith-Collins case of Pocahontas county, will be sealed.
Her death comes in the same week Oklahoma State Senator Jonathan Nichols was also found shot in his own home. "In 2005 State Senator Jonathan Nichols was presented with the “Crime Fighter Award” from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). The RAINN Crime Fighter Award is a national honor bestowed on individuals for leadership in fighting crime and helping victims. Said Senator Nichols, a former prosecutor. “But there is more to be done. I will continue working to pass legislation that protects children. It is a privilege to be able to do work that I believe in and to be honored for doing it in our communities and to make sure that these predators are taken off the streets and locked up in prison.” illicitinfo.com/?p=7502
The deaths of New York Veteran Police Chief Steven Silk and homicide detective, Joseph (Joe) Calabrese are also suspect. They are linked with Hilary Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner and child sex trafficking/abuse evidence:
"The alleged 'suicides' of Veteran Police Chief Steven Silk, who was only one month away from retirement, and a homicide detective were immediately picked up upon by users of the website 4Chan who claimed that Silk was the Police Chief who handed over Anthony Weiner's laptop to the FBI and had seen the contents of it. It sure looks to us like someone is cleaning up loose ends, and with the mysterious death of Hillary Clinton's youngest brother Tony Rodham also happening on Saturday, coming during the same week as all of these other mysterious deaths." nypost.com/2019/06/06/missing-homicide-detective-joe-calabrese-found-dead/
No one should be immune or considered "above" the laws or the United States will no longer be a country where rule of law is respected. We could learn, we should learn from those who have been corrupted by power in the political, financial and tech realms from within, and/or bribed from without, the US borders. We need the will and commitment to conduct a massive mission to clean out corruption and the abuse of power in the United States of America. What a positive model of a country that professes "Liberty and Justice for All" this would be.
Let's hope this generation learns their lessons well.
Singing out from an island in the Pacific until next week while including a song of prayer on another deeper level of power - entitled: "Go Rest High on that Mountain...Your work on Earth is Done".
This song is dedicated to the memory of all those mentioned in this post, and all those who have been killed in the line of service to a higher, noble cause. There are so many whose names will never be known. They kept the torches burning. They passed on the lessons and information they gained to us. May they never be forgotten. www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jXrmAKBBTU
How do you know when the time is right to call for muster and support from those in your profession to launch a strike? When years have passed with broken promises, no resolutions, few resources and salary stagnation combined with higher expectations and greater stress in the work environment-then is the time to march in public and focus the attention of the general public, the media and the governing bodies, on the urgency of the situation. This is what teachers, students and parents did on Thursday, May 29 in the capital city of New Zealand on a windy, sunny day.
With others in Wellington, I stood on the sidelines listening, nodding as well as cheering support for those in the parade. Though not a teacher in New Zealand for many years now, I also taught in various sectors of the New Zealand education system at one time. I earned a post graduate degree in Education from Massey University in 2003, and I was compelled to adhere to the various new NCEA curriculum requirements and experiments which characterized the 'progressive' movements foisted onto what was once a world class, high standard system of state education in Aotearoa.
Reports confirm that this strike was the largest "industrial action" ever in New Zealand. New Zealand has teacher unions. More than 700,000 children were affected as schools closed for the day. Approximately 60% of all 2,410 public schools have active union members on their staff. Schools which had never closed before for a teacher strike did so this week in solidarity. A few private, religious and charter schools also closed for the day of the strike. time.com/5597383/new-zealand-teachers-strike-education/
Teachers from both the north and south island congregated in Wellington on the day before the start of a major holiday weekend here for the British Queen's Birthday. Yes, New Zealand is still tied to the British Crown legally and culturally.
The issues on the table which have not been negotiated to satisfaction are ones which most countries face:
I have written before about teacher unions in other countries including the USA, in my blog post September 4, 2018: www.jopatti.com/blog/labor-and-lifes-purpose
The teaching profession has been denigrated in the last few decades, especially in "western" countries, while the expectations of teachers have increased. Teacher salaries have remained stagnant while the workload has swelled. Politicians have used "education reform" as part of their platform and a general "feel good-win/win" promise; however few leaders have followed on with funding and legislation once they were elected. People in most countries rely on the "good heartedness" of teachers and educators to continue, no matter what dreadful conditions they must teach in - on a daily basis.
I, personally have been in districts in Italy, Pakistan, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Romania where teachers were not paid for months at a time or were not given the pay they were promised in their contracts. Often communities and politicians will castigate teachers who strike, admonishing them by saying "Think about the children if you stop working!" or "Don't make our children suffer because of your labor/labour disputes". They never mention the children of teachers and their families that suffer. Administrators and journalists will try to emotionally blackmail teachers by using their columns and social media shaming to apply pressure for teachers and principals to "compromise". Teachers are continually in the spotlight though most went into the profession preferring not to be in the media but to truly make a difference in their student's learning and possibly in their pupils lives and career choices.
It is time to strike. When talks reach an impasse, striking has proved the most effective way to focus attention on the serious issues affecting a district, state or nation's education system. New Zealand teachers have thrown down the gauntlet and clearly outlined the issues. They have also warned they will not be "dismissed" and will strike again if satisfactory new contracts and resolutions are not implemented.
From the sidelines here, I wholeheartedly support them. Yes, I am taking a stand and a side on this one in unity with their cause. As the sign below implicitly asks....I answer. I "back" and I stand with teachers, all teachers in their quest for equity, safety, resources and parity of wages with other professions. I back their entreaties to be able to actually teach and not just "teach to the test". I stand with fairness and for teachers to be able to have work/life balance with their own families and children. I stand for teachers to be able to express themselves responsibly and to express themselves creatively within their curriculum, and about their curriculum, in addition to the edicts and requirements heaped on them from those in a higher position of 'authority'. I back teachers demands for support for their teaching environment and conditions. I stand with lowering the number of students per teacher especially at the elementary, middle and high school levels. I back teachers to be protected legally when there is a union issue or parental harassment. I back teachers as those who are teaching and care taking our nation's next generation.
Where do you stand? Who do you back?! We are all connected to these concerns.
While the current prime minster of New Zealand has proposed a budget with millions of dollars in the general category of "mental health" - perhaps a more causal analysis involving and funding education would be more specific and efficacious. Some mental health issues stem from stress, anxiety about low pay and high costs of living, from lowered self esteem, affects of bullying, discrimination and loss of opportunity and ignorance about self care, hauora and basic living skills such as: attention to diet, regular exercise, budgeting, infant and child care, how to detect addictions and how to study 'smartly'. These are all significant issues within the education system and some are endemic but could be extracted and examined within different levels of public education health, PE, science and social studies courses. Pharmaceuticals and therapeutic interventions won't be needed after the fact, if these problems are addressed early and within the framework of New Zealand/Aotearoa/Te Waipounamu society empowering citizens to be more knowledgeable, capable and self disciplined. New Zealand education system, New Zealand teachers could once again teach and work in an innovative, world class education system reaching more children and requiring less medication.
My song this week is a rousing rendition of "Bread and Roses". Inserted in this music video are actual photographs from strikes, especially by women in what is often categorized as "professions suitable for females". That attitude still persists in more of the 187 countries in our world, than not.
"Bread and Roses" Labor/Labour Union Song is based on a poem by James Oppenheim for the Chicago Women's Trade Union (1911) used during the Textile Workers Strike in Massachusetts in 1912, and put to music by Martha Coleman. It is still relevant today. (Click on the link to watch/listen)
On a personal aside, I received my first online review of my non-fiction book which includes many stories about teaching in different situations in different countries. The review is from a literary site here in New Zealand/Aotearoa. This cheered me. I feel encouraged to keep writing. Here is the link: www.nzbooklovers.co.nz/blog/getting-off-the-x-by-jo-patti
Ending my post this evening as I watch the sunset over the Tasman sea. Winter is approaching here in the southern hemisphere and I am thankful to be indoors tonight.
Until next Tuesday, keep the light shining wherever you may be....