Children


Why Bullying Exists In Schools

This is one of the best descriptions of why bullying exists to a much greater extent in an educational environment as opposed to the professional world that I have read in quite a long time:

People often think bullying is a result of kids being kids. Its not. Its a direct result of placing them in the school system with its rules and authority apparatus. If you placed adults in an identical environment you would end up with bullying as well.

One of the main differences between school and the adult world is, in school if kids fight they will both be punished. You will often hear “I dont care who started it”.

In the adult world, whoever attacks is guilty of assault and the other person can defend themselves and will not be punished at all.

In the adult world, if someone is annoying you, you can get up and walk out. In school, you are essentially a prisoner.

Also, the school staff has to see with their own eyes an act of bullying. If a teacher sees a student punch another student, they will likely do something. If a student tells a teacher they were punched nothing will likely be done.

In the adult world, courts believe the testimony of victims.

Bullies are just kids who are using the system to their advantage. And thats only human nature. To stop bullying, what needs to change is the system so bullies are no longer rewarded and encouraged by it.

ClassicalFizz (Reddit)

This was always my belief as I went through the public system and if you know me, you know how much I love the public school system.

I think the perspective one has to take is that you never ever start a fight but don’t be afraid of finishing one. That probably has a tendency to have some consequences but sometimes you have to let your kid take a stand while still trying to teach them violence isn’t always the answer.


Howard Zinn: Hero and Historian

I had first heard about him back in 10th when a teacher of mine, Ms. Pfeffer (who I still consider as one of the two best teachers I had of all time), introduced our class to a chapter from a book called “A People’s History of the United States.” I had never heard of either the book or the author named Howard Zinn prior to that moment but I can safely point to that day in 2002 that changed me. Until earlier today, I don’t think I ever thanked Ms. Pfeffer for that brief introduction but I took care of that and let me thank her here again.

I think we only read one chapter for our class regarding how the farmers of the Shay’s Rebellion should be considered the real heroes in the true history of the United States of America. It certainly peaked my curiosity and I went on to read the whole book which questioned why the initial union organizers did not receive much credit over the course of history or why the founding fathers, for all the good they did, still were considered with such glamor since they were slave owners themselves.

At a time when few politicians dared even call themselves liberal, “A People’s History” told an openly left-wing story. Zinn charged Christopher Columbus and other explorers with genocide, picked apart presidents from Andrew Jackson to Franklin D. Roosevelt and celebrated workers, feminists and war resisters.

During the civil rights movement, Zinn encouraged his students to request books from the segregated public libraries and helped coordinate sit-ins at downtown cafeterias. Zinn also published several articles, including a then-rare attack on the Kennedy administration for being too slow to protect blacks.

The attached quote above and the one below is from this NPR article and a lot of the stuff about him, I am learning now but already could have figured he would have had a rich history given his take from just a single book. I plan on reading You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times some day, hopefully sooner rather than later, and most certainly it will give be an even better perspective.

One of Zinn’s last public writings was a brief essay, published last week in The Nation, about the first year of the Obama administration.

“I’ve been searching hard for a highlight,” he wrote, adding that he wasn’t disappointed because he never expected a lot from Obama.

“I think people are dazzled by Obama’s rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president — which means, in our time, a dangerous president — unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.”

His critical views of President Obama are pretty damning to say the least but it definitely brings to light the type of reality we all may be hiding from and need to wake up to. I’ll end the post with three quotes from Howard Zinn regarding what he worried about most and what he thought about politics and war.

“I’m worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel – let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they’re doing. I’m concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that’s handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.”

Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country [America], for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria.

It’s not right to respond to terrorism by terrorizing other people. And furthermore, it’s not going to help. Then you might say, “Yes, it’s terrorizing people, but it’s worth doing because it will end terrorism.” But how much common sense does it take to know that you cannot end terrorism by indiscriminately dropping bombs?


Pokemon On The iPhone 3G? 5

I think a large market was missed by Nintendo when they decided not to develop some sort of a Pokemon game for the iPhone. It has been quite clear for a long time that the iPhone has become a gaming platform and Pokemon by no means is a graphically intense game that could not be played. You see the games (via roms) available through Cydia.

This guy over at “Loot Ninja” has obviously gone bonkers and if the editor-in-chief’s screen name (drunk pandas) is any indication, they must have obviously been intoxicated on something to make the following claim:

Pokemon on your iPhone is pretty interesting, but I think that this game is a bit silly seeing as the people that own an iPhone are not in the right age group to enjoy Pokemon.

I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind can state that? People with cell phones (including the iPhone) are getting it at a younger and younger age. You see kids as young as freshmen or sophomores in high school with the iPhone and you can’t say that that is not the “right age group”.

Pokemon was became a transcendent game when it came out in 1996 – which was 13 years ago! Let’s just assume that a kid was 10 years old (4th grade) when he started playing at the time the game came out. Today he would be 23 years old and I can tell you from personal experience, that a kid that young at the time would still be very interested in playing Pokemon for the iPhone.

I guarantee that I am not the only one who shares my sentiment. What do you think? Is Pokemon too childish for a mobile device that already has such games as “Wheels on the Bus” and “Toddler Flashcards” amongst countless other children applications that already exist. People need to get away from making excuses for why something should not be done and Nintendo should find a way of getting Pokemon on the iPhone — before I defect to the ways of Cydia and get it myself.

iPhone-Children


Israel Continues Doing What They Do 2

Israel continues their massacre and bombing campaign which including a one-ton bomb in a residential area, all which I should remind you is done in the name of peace. 

Gaza officials say that nearly 400 people have died and over 1,500 have been injured since Israel began its aerial assault on Saturday. The U.N. figures say at least 60 Palestinian civilians have been killed.

gaza-girl

(A Palestinian medic carries a wounded girl to a treatment room following a missile strike)

gaza-boy

(Palestinians carry the body of an 11 year old during his funeral. He was killed Wednesday after he was injured on Tuesday in an Israeli airstrike. His two sisters, 12 and 4, died in Tuesday’s airstrike.)


Is CNN Saying Palin Is A Nazi?

Well CNN certainly has some bright people to work for them… and this is the best photo they could come up with for their front page?

She did give one heck of a speech last night… a bunch of empty rhetoric but that’s all she needed to do. Get through the night without any major mistakes which she did although if you are a conservative you have to be a little worried about her attacking the media and bringing her children into the spotlight. They are already digging up details on her past and now she has them pissed.

Also with her children… it’s okay to talk about her son since he’s going to fight in Iraq but her daughter who is having a baby is completely off-limits. Here is news for you: if one is fair game, everyone is fair game.