On Tuesday, we celebrated Veterans Day, an event mostly associated with media clips of (generally) older ex-warriors, dressed in uniform as they stand at attention saluting our flag.
Someone once said, rather aptly, that you should never meet your heroes because you’re bound to be disappointed. If that pessimistic view is actually true, I would like to think that the failings are manageable, ones that we can live with against the accomplishments of our icons. After all, they’re human too.
I wanted to take a different approach to this week's blog post. So often, I write about policy or current events but I wanted to share with you a piece of poetry that I wrote some time ago. But first, I wanted to talk to you about why arts education is so critically important. Education in the arts, in my opinion, is essential to the development of each human being. Those who have studied the mechanics of education throughout history have emphasized the importance of the arts education in the process. Study of the arts is integral to our society. They are a part of the cultural heritage of every citizen of our country, and make us more complete as people. Whether your particular flavor is theater, poetry, dance, visual art or music, I believe the key to being a well-rounded human being is to be exposed to and try new things.
I used to love Sesame Street when I was a kid. I could watch it for hours sitting in amazement at that show. One of my favorite parts was learning what letter or word the show was brought to the viewers by. Taking a page from that childhood classic, today's post is brought to you by the word "transparent".
The dictionary defines "transparent" by using the following words: "easily understood....obvious...open... easily recognized or detected". I must admit that I find myself troubled as to how this seemingly clear definition is turned upside down in Trenton these days.
It continues to be one of the most emotional issues of our day. Should a person have the right to terminate their life if they face impending death because of a medical condition? This issue bubbles to the surface as more states begin to legislate or place on the ballot the question of doctor-assisted suicide. It reaches the national conversation and bursts into the public's consciousness when someone becomes a cause célèbre over the issue. We only need to recall the tumultuous reaction to the Karen Ann Quinlan case (d. 1985) and Terri Schiavo story (d. 2005) to know that to be the case.
The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong. Recently, the court split along political lines, voting 5-4 in an emergency order that would deny Ohio voters access to voting on the Sunday before Election Day. They overturned several previous Ohio rulings by a federal judge and the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals that denied an attempt to close polls as an early voting option.
In BC time (before computers), if you graduated from college and needed a transcript, you would contact the school, pay a small fee and ask them to send a copy of your grades to a prospective employer, for example.You would usually share some private information such as year of graduation and social security number to confirm your identity. It was simple and it worked.
That was yesteryear. Today, an informational deluge resides with various educational institutions, in everything from grades to health records. And because of technology and the sheer onslaught of record keeping, educational institutions are turning to cloud computing services to maintain, store and protect this torrent of information. The problem is simple. These companies hold some of the most private educational and related information about us, yet few guidelines dictate their use of our data.
There’s a lot of cruelty in the world.
It’s almost impossible to watch a news show without a rise in blood pressure after hearing someone explain how they’ve been the victims of some cruel act.
However, for most victims of cruelty, they can eventually raise a voice about their plight. Most, that is, except for one group that is always silent, no matter how much they are mistreated: our pets and animal friends.
A common phrase that we hear all the time, especially when we judge those who we look up to, is the term “role model”. We constantly refer to upstanding and outstanding individuals whom we admire from afar and yet are close enough that we believe that they are worthy to emulate in this way. For some, finding these viable role models over the course of our day-to-day life can be challenging.
The other day I was playing the old game hot potato with my three-year old son and it dawned on me how the game could be a metaphor for New Jersey’s pension dilemma. Stay with me on this one. The game we were playing was Hot Potato. As you may recall from your youth, the object of the game is to keep the ball or object moving between those playing so that when the clock stops or the music runs out you are not left holding that “hot potato”. For those wondering, TJ lost the game.