Jan 232015

hand tissue

by John Donnelly

A pampered society, which rebukes the notion that character building, spiritual growth, self-esteem and gratitude are developed and advanced through one’s personal struggles, has set out to insulate our children and citizenry from the normal patterns of growth acquired via facing and mastering difficult situations. The ‘nanny state’ has conditioning the populace to rely upon someone or something else to do their thinking and take care of them, thus promoting weak minds and a deadened spirit. For the most part, the educational paradigm proffered by our government schools is severely lacking. Several presidents have referred to it as posing a: “Threat to our national security”. However, no one has authentically done anything to create a world-class curriculum for our children.

Many teachers bring the ‘joy of learning’ and ‘wisdom’ into their classrooms. Unfortunately, nurturing this excitement and ‘spirit of exploration’ has not been a priority for many school bureaucrats.

Perhaps the leadership in America and the world at-large, prefer the organizational framework upon which they educate and indoctrinate their citizens to remain ‘as is’; producing a flaccid, dependent and unquestioning people, comfortable with being told ‘what to do’ and ‘how to live’ their lives. Many have accepted the narratives rationalized by their overlords ‘carte blanche’, accustomed to being manipulated and maneuvered by those in power.

Dissenters and non-conformists, along with those demanding accountability and a ‘performance based analysis’ of their leaders, can be whipped into ‘shape’ and monitored by an expanding and over-reaching central authority.

It appears that we will continue to train and cultivate managers eager to fill the government’s expansive programs that control our lives with their programming. The ‘prison industrial complex’ has a bed and lethal injection for anyone that threatens to ‘upset the apple cart’.

Benjamin Franklin suggested: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one”. Self-Actualized citizens with sound minds and spirits are capable of navigating through the many delusive forms of reality proffered by the ruling elites. However, where are these people to come from? Is the American Public School system the answerer?

Many of the solid and sturdier members of society that I received my instruction with have departed. Who will replace them? What caliber of individual will replace them?

Society has changed since I was a young man, in many instances not for the better.

One constant, stemming from the compressed composite of interrelated energies, which birthed my existence, is the merciful ‘Presence’ that made ‘Itself’ known and stood with me during my weakest and darkest hours.

I’ve enjoyed the discipline and nurturing of a ‘Creator’ that takes joy in my growth and comfort. This ‘Power’ has never given me more then I can chew. ‘It’ provided me with the experiences and relationships necessary to reach a point where the potential within was unleashed. Allowing me to clearly determine where I was and it what direction I wanted to proceed. Aware of the methodology required, I was able to advance confidently towards my goals and objectives, while able to accept defeat and failure, as lessons learned along the way.

I’m grateful for the sacrifices made by my Mother and Father to move me in the right circles. I value and appreciate the lessons I continue to learn from ‘all’ my teachers.

The world is increasingly difficult to understand. It doesn’t make sense to contribute to that confusion, by herding our children into schools that are in anyway deficient or flawed.

Considering the enormous amounts of money and resources required to maintain our school districts, I want every child, effectively guaranteed, a world-class education.


John Donnelly

John Donnelly

John Donnelly, a resident of Key Largo was born, raised and went to high school in the South Bronx. Upon graduation he was awarded several scholarships to college. He chose to enlist in the United Sates Marine Corps. While serving in Vietnam John was wounded in action. He received two meritorious promotions, one during combat. Upon discharge and return to America, John had a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life. He found himself homeless for the next 4 years. As he worked out some troublesome concerns, he began to yearn to make some sense of his experiences via education. He sought and received his GI Bill benefits. He applied and was admitted to New York University. He later transfered to the University of Miami where he graduated on the President’s Honor Roll. John secured a teaching position at a Maximum Security Prison Facility for criminally insane adolescents. While working there he earned a Master of Science degree from Florida International University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude.

John spent the next 20 years teaching elementary and high school students, while doing some coaching and instructing as an adjunct college professor. John was the recipient of the Mayor Stephen P. Clark award, which recognized him as an “Outstanding Educator”. During this time he continued his work clothing, feeding and counseling the homeless. John has been acknowledged by the Disabled American Veterans, the Miami Vet Center and the Veterans Council of Monroe County for his efforts on behalf of homeless and addicted veterans.

Recently, John was privileged to spearhead the successful release of a wrongfully accused inmate who faced 3 life sentences, without the possibility of parole, for crimes that he did not commit. This young man has since been returned to his twin sons and graduated with honors from one of our nation’s premier vocational colleges. John continues to research and write on issues facing our ‘One Human Family’.

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 January 23, 2015  Posted by at 1:05 am Issue #98  Add comments

  16 Responses to “Get Me A Tissue…”

  1. John, As usual, I appreciate your humanity and sincerity. You are a special person. But I think you are confusing something here. I, like you, abhor the kind of education we now use to “indoctrinate” our populace into the kind of society we now live in. As Post Consumer Man I’ve written copiously about this. But this is not the result of government interference, or a “nanny state”, it is the direct result of corporate control of our government, which has now led to the corporate infiltration of our whole educational apparatus, even our state colleges. Although I like the message, I don’t like the tone of the article. It is placing blame too much in the wrong direction. Government should be active in keeping our educational apparatus objective and open minded, and it is the only segment of our society that has the ability to do so. Unfortunately, our government has been bought by the most powerful players in the private sector. This is what we have to fight. Good stuff John, thanks, PCM

  2. Nicely presented, John. Our school system is the brunt of jokes in some “disadvantaged” parts of the world. George Carlin summarized the problem and the reasons for lack of improvement in some of his awareness-promoting performances. In his later years, comedy became a small part of his shows and his frustration and anger became more evident. While i missed his humor, I appreciate his clarity and fearlessness. Whether you agree with him or not, at least you see how things look from another viewpoint Coarse language, but Carlin talks about education as he sees it in this 4 minute video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMqJvhmD5Yg

  3. I must echo what Jerome has pointed out. From his appreciation of you as a good soul to the co-option of our governance by corporate interests. Peace

  4. Jerome and Alex,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I value your ‘insightful understandings’ and critiques. I appreciate your thoughtful contributions to the discussion. I respect, admire and revere your life’s work.

    Corporate influence is a reality that has been with us for quite some time. Working collectively (American Public School System & Corporate Enterprises) for the betterment of our children, society and quality of life is a ‘no brainer’. It wins unanimous approval all the time, across the board. It’s as easy as ‘apple pie’ to work out. Why hasn’t anything substantive, come from this type of ‘partnership’???

    Money…Money…Money… However, here is where we way disagree; the government is the corrupt and crooked entity. They couldn’t advance any type of constructive reform, even if their lives’ depended upon it. Because of their corruptness, initiating authentic policies, positively impact the lives of our children are an impossibility. Please allow me to explain.

    Let the financiers of the world do their thing. They are going to do it anyway. Corporations are the ‘money changers’ and ‘profiteers’ of the world; if I can’t be bought as an elected official, if I’m not for sale; their money will never have any influence over me. Therefore, as a member of the Department of Education, I’m free to move my students towards the standards of excellence that I’ve set out for them. I can design world-class curriculums, demanding excellence from my staff and students. The students are the first priority, all the time, and in all decisions. If some children need more attention to secure a goal, we get it for them. Special needs students are our specialty, these children will always give so much more, when you love them and are determined to stand with them as they are brought along.

    I search, recruit and hire people who think like me. I secure ‘principals’ who not only think like I do, they think ‘better than me’.

    As I discovered going through discarded building materials at construction sites, so that my students would have the ingredients to build cabinets for their personal items;;; Money doesn’t educate children…Let me repeat that, money doesn’t educate children.

    Brilliant, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Bold, Daring, Courageous and Determined individuals; with depth, gravitas and a plethora of experience, are the ones that have been changing the world, since the inception of man, one student at a time.

    So, let me draw the loose ends together. Materialists, capitalists and corporations spend their money to get what they want. Rather than use their wealth to collaboratively work with educators, to improve our public school system; our corrupted and malfeasant government officials have shown them another, ‘cost effective, immediate and guaranteed’ method of increasing their bottom lines.

    By lining the pockets of our politicians and bureaucrats, corporations will continue to ensure that our ‘public school system’ remains ranked at, or near the bottom; maintaining its status as a: :”Threat to our national security”.

    The corporate ‘pay off’ is startling, they hire immigrant (visa or green card eligible) employees from around the world to perform the sophisticated tasks that many of our students are unsuited for. They pay these foreign workers minuscule salaries, with meager benefits. It’s a ‘Corporate Bonanza’.

    Unable to provide ethical and credible leadership, government misconduct and malfeasance are behind the demise of ‘public education’.

    Blessings & Resect…

  5. Halloween,

    Thank you so much for your comments and sharing the George Carlin take on ‘education’. Your input is sincerely valued and appreciated.

    It’s clear that some politicians hide behind the “flag, bible and children” when it comes to justifying and rationalizing their ‘bad actions’.

    In the material world, it appears to me that ‘money people’ will usually get what they want. If you’re a materialist without much money or power, it’s going to be difficult to succeed in the worldly realm. However, as we know, it can be done. It appears to start with getting a ‘complete education’ (parents, adult influences, experiences, exposure to positive people and an adequate formal training).

    Perhaps, I’m in the minority, but I believe the ‘Constitution of the United States’ and our ‘Declaration of Independence’ mean something. My understanding is that these are important documents, which provide our citizens with the means to strive towards becoming ‘all that they can become’. The ‘Constitution’ is the Law of our land.

    Furthermore, if I’m a politician or elected official who has sworn an oath to protect, defend and adhere to the principles contained within these documents; and I betray my oath and the trust of the people I represent; I’ve concluded that to be a serious crime. I think crimes of this nature at one time were punishable by death.

    If I don’t want to serve the American people, I should not seek to represent them. If I want to make money, I have several options that I can pursue; legal or illegal. Taking it from there, through my hard work and effort in the material world, I stand a good shot of advancing my financial standing.
    A public life of ‘serving the people’ is not an appropriate course of action.

    As Mr. Carlin’s video alluded to, the problem is that the electorate continues to put into ‘office’ politicians who don’t care about them whatsoever.

    It has been said another way: “The people get the politicians they deserve”.

  6. John, It is a pleasure to intellectually engage with you. Thanks. As for this discussion, you haven’t convinced me. Government is the problem only because our “democracy” provides instant access to the political crooks, mainly in the form of the money they need to get elected. Reform of our electoral process would go a long way to helping not only our educational deficiencies, but everything else. As for the wonderful educators you speak about, yes, they exist, but much of their effort is gelded by what corporate America wants taught. John, if there is a solution, only government can do it. Everything else in our society has vested interests. Now, can we ever get to the point where a sincere government exists? The jury is out.

  7. Jerome,

    Excellent, precise and cogent comments. Thank you.

    I believe that we’re getting somewhere. ‘Trust is something earned’.

    20 and 21st Century Governments, ours included, have done a lot of unnecessary killing. The totals approach 262,000,000 innocent men, women and children slaughtered in the name of ‘government’. Collateral damage is bantered about today as an esoteric colloquialism, removed from the reality of one’s life.

    Power is a corrupting influence. Whether it’s in the board room, congress, white house or school district.

    Governments are not very good at improving anything. They don’t have to be. Accountability is absent and consequences for misconduct are few and far between.

    ‘Government Schools’ have a stranglehold on the information proffered to their students. Indoctrinating them into precisely want they want them to become. Subsequent generations of voters have been tailored made to maintain the ‘status quo’.

    The cyclic toxicity of the system is rarely broken. However, it has been challenged…

    In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
    — Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798

  8. John, Yes, we are getting somewhere, because 2 souls with genuine feelings are respectfully engaging each other. Now, your comments, once again, do not convince me. In fact, starting with what I consider to be where America turned in the wrong direction, Ronald Reagan, your comments have almost become cliches in conservative rhetoric. I agree, government schools will have a message to sell, but it would be a far less polluted one than that presented by private interests. There is no perfection here. In my view, the government is apt for doing some things just as private enterprise is. I will not get more specific here, but will present a number of essays dealing with all this somewhere down the line. Once again John, good stuff.

  9. Jerome,

    Thank you again for your well-thought out comments. I’ll do my best to respond in kind.

    I’m not the most sophisticated, when it comes to delving into politics. I’ve never been too much interested in political messages, narratives and platforms. My focus is usually on ‘the results’ that have occurred because of a particular candidates’ position. In many instances I find myself being ‘apolitical’, beyond the bounds of labels. I believe we do ourselves and nation a great disservice, when we pretend to know what’s in another’s heart .

    As I remember Reagan, he was a feel good president. Speaking glowingly about the magnificence of America and its People. It was refreshing to hear him speak positively about our country and its citizens. It reflected many of my experiences and views. For decades we had been denigrating the United States and its combat veterans as baby killers, drug addicts and mass murderers.

    Exaggerations and hatred had become embedded within our society; no solutions were arrived at.

    We vociferously judged and denigrated one another, never learning what we should have learned from that tragic ‘governmental induced experience’. All that death, negative emotion and clawing away at one another, for what, as our government continues to repeat the same mistakes.

    Do prefer Reagan to Obama?

    It’s not a ‘cliché’ for those individuals who stopped to count the dead bodies and view the disfigured causalities, as they passed through the genocides and atrocities that were authored by governments, of all makes and models.

    As I remember it, charities flourished in NYC. Every manner of care was readily available for those in need. Churches, Synagogues and Non-Profits galore. Just within the Catholic religion alone, there were a plethora of ‘down home’ charitable agencies. I was always becoming aware of a new group providing care to the disadvantage. There was always ‘Family’ to rescue the battered remains of those enmeshed in squabbles, disagreements and down times.

    Most Americans were good and generous people not only in their communities, but on the battlefield as well.

    On many occasions, individual citizens in their neighborhoods were far more responsive and effective in meeting the needs of ‘suffering people’ than the government. For those who fell between the cracks, as you know, we had a well supervised ‘welfare system’.

    At present and resultant from government intervention, ‘mean and median’ incomes have significantly decreased, many millions of Americans have left the work force, as there aren’t any jobs for them. Gas prices temporality down, everything else, food included, on the rise. The planet is aflame with sectarian violence.

    Our government’s narrative to these realities during the State of the Union address, everything is ‘peachy sweet’, not only in America, but around the world. Masking ‘truth’ form the electrode does not build bridges of trust. It diminishes the integrity and credible of those who took an oath to ‘serve the people’.

    Shall we continue to chase our remaining corporations out of the United States and completely place our trust and dependence upon ‘government’ to guide us to the promised land; because we don’t like these enterprises making too much money? Shall we restrict their growth, innovation and research, driving them to friendlier environments, because the government wants to take away more of their assets?

    Right now, American corporations pay the highest ‘corporate tax rate’ in the world. The government isn’t doing a very good job with the enormous sums of money they already have (17.5 trillion in debt). Taxpayer funded schools under the auspices of ‘government’ aren’t doing a very good job. Documented success for our children is sorely lacking.

    I’m performance based. I want young men and women coming out of our schools who can not only read their diplomas, I want them to lead and catapult the world into another dimension.

    Jerome, I concur with you, establishing a balance between corporate and government involvement in our lives, isn’t an exact science. However, holding each entity accountable under the ‘Law of our Land’, is a precise measure that will clearly illuminate the proper role and relationship that each is to have in our lives.

    Again, I sincerely value and appreciate the depth of your wisdom. Thank you.

    • John, I’ve been saying for years that people acting individually, face to face, are usually very well intentioned. It is the “collective”, this abstract notion for whatever collective we are talking about, that often (always?) runs astray. In truth John, I think we probably agree on many things, it is probably a matter of nuance, tweaks here and there. But I believe that government has a key role to play in a world as complex, interconnected, and populace as the one we live in. I see that role as that of a referee, as someone who makes the system behave. Blah, blah, I’ll have to post some of my essays on this subject. Cool mon

  10. Jerome and John:

    you guys need to look up the word “fascism.”

    when you ingest it’s meaning, I would hope that you both will finally be cognizant of the world in which you live. you speak as though there is a difference between governments and corporations, public interests and private interests. there is not. you have owners. we are all owned. when you have 80 people worth the same as 3.5 BILLION people, HALF the entire planet, where do think the power lies? who do you think is calling the shots? the voters?? please.

  11. jerry / john etal
    what year was the dept of ed created at the fed level is the tip off. all the woes of fed/corporate edu-indoctrination will cease the year its abolished along with its current idiot spawn ‘common core’. education as in the old days needs be state and local…in fact many parts of the fed gov need be abolished and all authority rest with the state as per our u.s. constitution….but I digress.

  12. Keysbum, I think you make one good point here and it is where I think John is making a mistake. He keeps attributing things like war and other government policies to the government, but you are correct in saying that our government and the private sector big boys are the same thing. We need to divorce the government from this segment of our society so that Big Business has to petition the government for what it wants, and not the other way around. Yes, I know, a tall order, but if such a thing as democracy can ever exist, this must happen.

  13. fascism
    [fash-iz-uh m]
    Spell Syllables
    • Examples
    • Word Origin
    (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.


    Great to hear from you. As always, thanks for your many intelligent, penetrating and persuasive comments.

    As per the definition, “regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing aggressive nationalism and often racism”. Yes, yes; and more yes…

    For the first time, I’m saddened by your instruction. I’m faced with the reality that my idealism, naiveté and ignorance may have convinced me the game wasn’t rigged. I cannot argue with your points. However, I’ve always been cognizant of what made the material world ‘go round’.

    That being said, let’s examine precisely what we have here. I don’t rub shoulders with the ‘elite 80’. I don’t live in their world, nor do I desire to be a part of it . As previously described, my world rests between my ears. Its emergence is based upon a number of factors. However, “‘my will and what I want” are the driving forces behind my development and expansion as a human being.

    If I wanted the wealth and power of the ‘elite 80’ I would take it.

    Is it too much to require obedience to the “Constitution of the United States” by all corporate ceo’s and elected officials? It has been demonstrated to us that no one is above the law. There are many corporate executives, politicians and government officials serving lengthy prison terms. President Nixon found out the hard way, that no matter who he thought he was, if you are pursued by indiviuals demanding accountability and consequences for your misconduct and malfeasance, you will be found out and punished.

    Perhaps voting is passé. Not too long ago, 5% of Ft. Lauderdale’s registered voters elected their mayor.

    However, I’m not going away. The Bill of Rights, along with those demanding transparency and accountability aren’t going away.

    Movements rutting out corruption are on the rise. They are comprised of individuals that mean business.

    Yes it’s a balancing act between the sunlight, darkness and the shadows in between. We all have choices to be made.

    Keysbum, much appreciation and thanks…

    Blessings & Respect

  14. Jerome,
    Fantastic exchange… Individuals such as yourself maintain our dignity and hope.
    I concur with you, we are in agreement on many fronts. I view Keysbum’s presentation as not negating the essence of what’s been addressed in the comments.
    Thanks for the excellent thoughts and penetrating insight….
    Blessings & Respect

  15. One more thing John, and I think we can wrap it up for now. I believe in some form of market system, in some kind of free enterprise. There are many varieties of this and the proper balance between business interest and the common good must be found. In truth, I think it had been found, somewhat, until Thatcher-Reagan, working for their plutocratic bosses, started to dismantle it. I promise to submit some of my essays on this sublect later. ciao, PCM

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