Friday, February 5, 2021

Common Ground...a work in progress

 I have dedicated myself through Billy's Quest to find real solutions to help our children as well as adults to not only learn to read, but to thoroughly question what we are reading or being told. The desire to help our children learn to read; coming from a 67-year-old man that reading skills are still suspect at best. I have committed myself to reading books on a wide range of topics daily hardcover, kindle and audiobooks sometimes using together to help me improve my own fluency and comprehension.

This leads me to "Common Ground" we all seem to think we have the answers to the problems we are facing today. Are you interested in seeing just how bad we have failed? I have new term for it "popsicle news" just pick your flavor, need more proof turn on the television and watch 10 minutes of mainstream media of say 2 maybe 3 of your choosing daily MSNBC ,CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX and you can add to the list PBS and many others on cable  "news agencies"  90% owned by 6 corporation because biased commentary, planting seeds of division among us and PROFITS are far more important than the news they provide that affects each of us daily. 

The first 100 days in office we are told a President gets more done there than any other time in office.

I realize this is a very complex issue. My suggestion is to start to correct the divide, because it seems to me there is no common ground. Until our children at lease start to learn both the good and bad of our history in America the hate and prejudice will continue. President Biden Why not appoint a diverse group of educators, parents, leaders of our communities, the least among us that know their own unique problems, to help tackle the "History of America" being taught in our schools. This in my humble opinion is where the division starts. Anyone ever read Lincoln's House Divided against itself, cannot stand speech while running for Congress? Will we as a nation continue to think only what is important to each of us individually where winner takes all? A great resource of information to understand what the 2008 meltdown did to our Country "The Con" . Those problems were not addressed and continue to  get worse; just finished "The ChickenShit Club" by Jesse Eisinger what a wealth of information. Want to understand how our legal system really works, where our courts don't prosecute or even held accountable for the damages the banks and corporations have done and continue to do to our country?

Common Ground will be a work in progress...more to come!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Turning the Lights Red ... Turning the Lights to Read!

Originally posted October 17,2020                                                      

I ask you to first read "I had to be the Dumbest Person in Room...Why you may ask? I couldn't READ"  I ask you to not only read the post. but please READ every link that is provided! Then it's time to ask yourself ...Am I part of the problem or Am I part of the solution?


Thank you David for sharing the real meaning of "Turning the Lights RED", This will be my next post and will be a work in progress. I have already lived the the first 50 years of my life thinking I had to be the dumbest person in the room; I realize now I will never be the smartest person in the room, but I do know the difference between right from wrong! And what has happened to our educational system in America is just WRONG! It's not just learning to read it's also learning to question as well, and never being afraid to say I was wrong in my views or my beliefs.

I spent my time searching for the reasons and causes to why our educational system is broken. I believe it comes down to PROFITS,GREED and POWER pure and simple. Our children from the time they are born are nothing more than a commodity  a never ending PROFIT CENTER; here is just one shining example  in 2004 Michael Milken yes that one who was pardoned by President Donald Trump on February 18, 2020. Milken was indicted for racketeering and securities fraud in 1989 in an insider trading investigation. This is just one example of a person that has no business being allowed to provide educational services for our children.

I cannot continue this post without bringing up the conflict of interest being allowed in our government. This appointment shows the degree of how powerful positions in our government pay to play are just blatant Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education? I work to connect the dots and follow the money. DeVos investment portfolio included Oh yes stock in Milken $1.1 Billion investment KinderCare! She has now because of ethics investigation will devest from KinderCare. Remember I'm suppose to be the dumbest person in the room and I see this crystal clear?

Although not quite as blatant, but where this mess the modern day privatization of Education and health had it's beginnings Wikipedia excerpt William John Bennett is an American conservative pundit, politician, and political theorist, his who served as Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. He also held the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W. Bush.

This leads all back to Ronald Regan and to William Bennett  who was a key player. We first have to ask ourselves Regan who loathed, hated with a passion welfare and made major cuts (Excerpt: Once elected, Reagan cut a total of $140 billion from social programs, including the elimination of free school lunches for over one million poor children. At the same time, however, Reagan increased defense spending by $181 billion). So now the question is why did he sign the disabilities act in 1984?As a side note as I do this research it is the hauntedly similarities between Regan and Trump right down to "Make America Great Again" which Trump either has stolen or borrowed depending on you point of view that concerns me. I don't like or trust either candidate for President, but if Joe had of used "Make  America Great Again" I believe he would have been accused of plagiarism, which he has been very good at. If either of these candidates were even half the man they both think they are; our country would not be in the mess we're in. May I ask you has mother's and father's would you want your child to grow up to be like either of these men?

Thursday, November 5, 2020

I had to be the dumbest person in the room..... Why you may ask?.....I couldn't READ!

                                                        Originally posted September 23,2020                                                                                                                               

It took me the better part of fifty years to realize that I was and will always be dyslexic.

You may ask why I started my own research. It is very important that you don't misunderstand me. So before my next comments; I want you to know that I know there so many caring educators and parents that have given their time and energy and in many cases literacy/dyslexia has become their life's work. These individuals and groups have and are doing amazing things to help our children. But after months that has lead into years of trying to find ways to help myself (as well as others) improve my own reading and writing skills. I have watched time and again as the at-risk children of the poor and unemployed have been made the villains and we are told they are responsible for this mess... this article.... ("should be changed from "Americans" to "Big Business" game the $200 Billion a-year-Disability Industrial Complex"!) and is just one of many articles (excerpt: America’s health-care entitlements—Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare—are the biggest drivers of our exploding federal debt). But, there is no mention of the  endless stream of unethical profits by big pharma? It's time that we have to know and hold accountable the real culprit's the Educational Industrial Complex ( a combination of corporations, philanthropies, government agencies, and the organizations that promote privatization and high-stakes testing ).We have a dysfunctional educational system and there is a herd of elephants in the room, and it seems that very few care about the damage being done to our children that don't have the means or the right address to get the help they will need. Please tell me how it is that 8,000 U.S. students quit High School EVERY DAY? This is one very good reason Why!

I started to realize that education just like health care, job creation, and our economic system is based on a broken system of self- promotion, profits and greed. I started to realized that so much of today's information not just on dyslexia, but education in general has been based on either out dated information or products or programs that just don't work. Why would I say something like this? Well there is data that confirms that low literacy levels could be costing the economy $2.2 TRILLION a year ( excerpt:According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old - about 130 million people - lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level., and even more data that literacy hasn't shown measurable improvement in America in the last 27 years! There are very few that want to talk about that reading is man-made artificial unnatural skill. And now with the evolution of social media, and the English language in particular being just too complex  this according to a long list of notable leaders and scholars including  most notably Andrew Carnegie the 19th century industrialists that build 1679 public libraries, Noah Webster (Webster's Dictionary), Benjamin FranklinTheodore Roosevelt..oh and one of my favorites Samuel Langhome Clemens better known as Mark Twain  who tried unsuccessfully to make changes to the alphabet and English language as we know it.

I know this is a very complicated issue and again there are so many working hard and are having amazing results. But until our educational system that is truly broken; where profits now more and more come before our children is changed, there will be more and more of the same terrible results especially for those that need the help the most!

We as a society want to blame our children for our own inability to teach them how to read. Why have we labeled our dyslexic children as having a disability? We have got to find another way to help our children learn other than calling our children disabled. Any ideas or suggestions? This is a stigma that will follow them throughout their lives. Is this because we don't have the courage to admit and/or take responsibility it has been our fault all along?

I carried this fear and the down right shame that my reading and writing were so atrocious and had to be my fault. This Shame felt from a very early age, I would always figure out ways to leave the room when it was my turn to read. This became an art that I used even in AA meetings ( reading of the Preamble & reading of 12 steps) that I am now proud to say that I have been clean and sober for 18 plus years. I want you to know that dyslexia was not the the main reason I struggle with alcohol and drugs, but it sure didn't help either.

I still to this day struggle with hearing certain sounds, and some days my reading and spelling skills are much better than other days. The difference today I always have a book or my tablet close by. Kids I want you to know that reading can be done with our eyes or our ears or a combination of both. Today I read on a multitude of subjects. I believe we as a society have got to learn the real history of our great nation, both the good and the bad. We hear "FAKE NEWS” used by so many politicians, pundits and now our friends and family are buying into many of these lies. "Fake News" sole purpose is to plant a seed of doubt in the hope it will cause us to doubt the truth, it's "Not New" like some people and our corporate media would have us believe. I may also suggest going to our history books both old and new reading the research and try to understand the perspectives from different sources. I have read and have to agree history helps us to have a better understanding of the world around us, and  helps us create our own framework to gain knowledge. AND most importantly ...We must never be afraid to admit when our beliefs and/or views are wrong or misplaced.

I ask you to be careful with news from major television/newspapers 90% owned by 6 corporations  that has an agenda, but not necessarily in our own best interest! There are so many established and now there is a new breed of up and coming investigative journalist that are independent of these out side forces.

This event “The Lights Turn Red” at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in recognition of October Dyslexia Awareness Month for our children is now in it's 5th year ( Sunday October 18th, 2020 6:15-7:30) all started with a song called “Billy” based on my imaginary friend that until last year as..... "I truly started believing in myself " Shame is very powerful & controlling and it's always just one thought away! I could not even think of adding the line. “I no longer had to think I was the dumbest person in the room" Something that I hid for far too long...because today I know I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I am no longer the dumbest either!

I will end today by telling our children .....

I want you to know that with all my heart and soul that I know and believe you are “NOT BROKEN or DAMAGED” you just happen to learn differently!

P.S.   Why posted here ....this is just one of the blogs I created to help not only our children facing unheard of amounts student loan debt now estimated $1.7 Trillion, but  help me with my own writing skills!  You will be surprised how fast you learn to fix mistakes when the whole world can see your work! 

Breathe of Fresh Air ...The Conversation We should be having......


                                                               Originally posted October 31,2020                                                                                                                                          

As I continue my research I ran across this article by Alfie Kohn. There is a growing number that know there is something terribly wrong with our educational system, and like Kohn knows it will take much more than just another band-aide to fix! It is important that you don't buy into the lies that we are being told about high-stakes testing.Todd Farley gives us a small glimpse into what is happening in his own misadventures of the standardized testing industry.

Food for thought...........                                           The word rigor has  been high-jacked by the Educational Industial complex rigorous" is the first word in it's present use that has to be removed from pedagogy. Oh me too!! I didn't know  the meaning  or even how to pronounce pedagogy before I started my own research several years ago. We can learn together:-) if our children are ever going to truly learn in the 21st Century!

To be continued! your thoughts or concerns?