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Inspirational Thoughts and a Political Rant

So…I’ve been looking at some interesting, inspirational videos today – most of them TED talks about education by Sir Ken Robinson:

His 2006 talk –  http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html?source=facebook#.UkRUsPs38XR.facebook

His 2010 talk – http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html

And his most recent talk from earlier this year – http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley.html

All of these things make me nervous about my children’s upcoming education and eager to dig into whatever school district(s) they end up attending to ask a ton of questions.  Unfortunately, given my current lifestyle (military wife-hood in particular), it’s impossible to know where we will actually be when they start school.  At the moment, I’m just coasting along through my son’s current pre-VPK/preschool and am hoping that it’s at least decent.  It seems to be good thus far, but I’m also stuck with the convenience factor of having it be the same facility where he’s attended daycare (i.e. has friends) and where his sibling is at.

On a more uplifting note, I saw this today, which gave me the feels and reminded me of the people I need to openly thank in my life more often:  http://www.upworthy.com/scientists-discover-one-of-the-greatest-contributing-factors-to-happiness-youll-thank-me?c=gt1

It also makes me very appreciative of my current level of happiness and my life as it has turned out in general.

On another note, though…

I’ve been wanting to rant somewhere about the current situation happening in D.C.  Most people do not care what happens to federal workers.  Congress used to.  I mean, we weren’t at the top of the priority list, but at least the DoD got some respect and was valued in terms of helping our military members defend the nation.  Now, they are clearly just trying to shut Government operations down for the sake of argument.  And they are arguments over such things that should be easy for everyone to agree on from a humanitarian standpoint.  But that’s not what I want to rant about.  I am so very annoyed at every last one of the 536 people that are supposed to run our Government because one of their MAIN JOBS is to set a federal budget every year.  An ACTUAL BUDGET!  They have not.  They’ve pushed continuing resolution after continuing resolution for over a year now.  A continuing resolution is not a budget.  It’s the same amount that was funded by a previous Congress that could actually do its job.  I wonder how far the street goes and where the can, which has been kicked so many many times, will just hit a solid, brick wall.

Unfortunately, most of the talk has been about all the numbers:  The cost of Obamacare; the federal debt limit, the deficit.  These numbers are important, but they mask the human element that they govern.  And when it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the blame:  It’s Congress’ fault.  It’s the fault of the House.  It’s the Senate.  It’s the President.  It’s the Republicans’ fault.  No – it’s all on the Democrats.  My current opinion?  It’s ALL of their faults and they HONEST TO GOD need to figure out a way to work together like adults instead of whining and pointing fingers like grade-school children.  Because at the end of the day, they are all just shitting on their own people.

The federal workers who spend the money and keep a decent part of the economy going; those who ensure our domestic and international safety through acquisition of materials and services to defend our nation; those who watch and monitor our weather to better inform and prepare us for natural disasters; those who respond to the natural disasters and provide humanitarian aide to those unfortunate enough to be victims to acts of God/Nature; those who make sure planes don’t crash into each other at airports; those who monitor our educational systems across the nation; those who are trying to discover and make scientific advancements using Federal Grant money; and those who ensure that our weak, infirm and others who can’t help themselves have medical and financial supports…

All of these people have been partially laid off this year and have taken forced pay cuts.  Even if they hadn’t had the pay cuts, most of these people have been held at the same salary, via legislation, for the past three years without any compensation for the hard work they’ve been putting in to their jobs.  Most of these people have been told for TEN YEARS to do “more with less” – to work longer hours, to fit more work into a workday, to get the job done without sufficient resources.  And a small few of these workers who keep our Navy afloat and functioning just had the horrific experience of a crazy-ass shooter walk into what they felt was a supremely secure environment and senselessly gun down 12 of their co-workers.  And what is Congress AND the President going to reward them with?  A Government shut down.  More pay cuts.  On top of their current psychological distress.  It is a WONDER that anyone wants to work for the Government anymore.  It’s even enough to make one want to emigrate…

And it makes me wonder who, exactly, our “representative” Government is representing.  It sure doesn’t seem like they have the back of anyone I know, including the people who help those they “represent”.

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