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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

A nation is not an individual; it’s a family. The type of family — patriarchal or matriarchal, multigenerational or single parent — is often neatly captured by a country’s politics. Fiercely patriarchal religious families are ruled by Sheiks and Sultans in the Middle East. Messy multigenerational families bicker and shout and somehow noisily get along in India and other parts of Asia. Democratic communal families muddle through their ill-defined or overlapping roles in Europe. Male-dominated autocracies rule Russia and half of South America.

America has always been what we Americans would call ‘traditional’. That is to say, 2 parents and…


It’s time schools acknowledge that games offer more practical and tangible value than most other subjects taught

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Credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty

In schools across America, games are treated as secondary to learning, even counterproductive. Unless a game has some utilitarian purpose — a math puzzle, for example — it’s given little value. We do not study games in school, nor do we practice or perfect them in class. We treat games the way we treat a pencil or paper, as a tool. But once the game itself becomes the focal point of an exercise, it’s then considered a violation, a pleasurable indulgence standing in the way of actual academic learning.

As a teacher, I spend a significant amount of time kicking…


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https://unsplash.com/@niull8664

It’s not much of an observation to note that schools are communities. Nor is it very insightful to observe that within the larger community of neighborhood, town, state, or nation, schools play an essential role in prosperity, security, and stability. Neither is it surprising to consider how powerful the community aspects of a school are to the students themselves, from their sense of belonging to their academic performance to whatever roles they are trained to take up as adults.

Nor is it much of an insight to observe that schools are also charged with providing an education. …


Five Arguments

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https://unsplash.com/@mrthetrain

1. Scale. If you made a thousand dollars a day, you’d have a million in 3 years. A billion? 2,740 years.

To earn a million dollars in a year, you’d have to make about $500 an hour, not including holidays. To get to a billion dollars in a year, you’d have to earn sixty dollars every second of every day, sixty seconds an hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days. $3,600 an hour. Most billionaires took about 10 years to get there, amassing wealth at around $6 a second for a decade. Amazon’s Bezos increased his wealth last year from…


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Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

I have relatives and friends who still support Trump. They think the Democrats literally stole the election. They believe the Capitol riots were the work of Antifa and the Left. They’re convinced America is ‘close enough’ to some government agency secretly microchipping us all, that anyone who isn’t a Republican is a communist, and that Republicans who oppose Trump are nearly as bad or worse, especially if they don’t believe the election was stolen.

I know this is what they believe because they’ve said it. Because I’ve read what is said on FOX News, because every so often I tune…


because redemption wasn’t going to occur, and neither was justice for America.

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Photo by Mirah Curzer on Unsplash

Justice works two ways. It changes the guilty or it satisfies the victims.

The convicted man can emerge from his punishment, be it prison or fine or impeachment, changed. Whether genuinely contrite or simply afraid of further punishment, he no longer commits the crime. He behaves differently. We might hope that the guilty man comes to understand the pain of his assault on others, but the justice system is mostly clustered around making horrible people so afraid of acting on their horrible impulses that they don’t do it again (or at all).

Law seeks to prevent crime. Justice seeks to…


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Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

Look at any school district’s Mission Statement and you’ll find the term ‘Lifelong Learner’. Education, the thinking goes (correctly), is a universal necessity to all human beings in all walks and stages of life. A school’s job, then, is not merely to impart knowledge or skill but create citizens who never stop learning. It’s not enough to learn to read and write and count; everyone needs to know HOW to learn to read and write and count, so they can go on to learn a zillion other things.

But nothing quite exposes the hypocrisy or contradiction of our education system…


We need a new plan for the last 30 years of life.

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Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

There are, in a manner of speaking, 3 stages to life, and each lasts roughly 20 to 25 years: Youth, The Middle, and Old Age.

The first 20 years of life are spent in Development. You are born tiny and helpless and empty, a vessel for hunger and need. You grow, but more importantly, you LEARN. You learn to move, to crawl and then walk and then run and jump. You learn to speak, you learn to think. You learn and you learn and you learn. The average 3-year-old acquires a new word every 20 minutes. In 16 years, a…

Bernie Bleske

just another frustrated teacher

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