I am in mourning.

One of my heroes has died. I am not alone or unique, but Pete Seeger was on the short list of my truest, most admired, and most influential heroes. We all share music. He recognized its ability to reach people. He recognized its ability to touch them, speak to them, and teach them. He spent his life using this knowledge to speak to people about injustice, about the folly of hate, the wickedness of bigotry, the sadness of our self-destructive ways. He never sold out, he never relented. He was the voice of my conscience. I am just another American “baby boomer”. He, on the other hand, was my spiritual leader, usually when I didn’t even realize it. I will miss him. I am a poor reflection of his truth, but I will still miss him and his almost imperceptible moral guidance. My hero is gone, but I will never ever forget him.

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Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

Dear God, When, WHEN, will we ever learn??!!?!

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Filed under America, children, Education, Family, Freedom, God, Government, love, Politics, Religion, Schools, Spiritualty, Uncategorized, writing

Is Bullying okay, ever?

Here’s the Truth: Bullying is about hatred.

Mugs O’Brew here. I have a question: Is bullying okay, ever? I’m not gay. So don’t even go there.

I just read about another gay young person who committed suicide after being perpetually bullied.

I left any allegiance to the Catholic Church long ago when it became clear that there was a systematic organizational cover-up of pedophilia within the clergy.

I now look at the Christian Community of do-gooders and find that there is a tacit acceptance of homophobia as well as an endorsement of bullying if it is brought against gays because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. (Ahhh, yes, more warm and loving “truths” from our Christian Conservatives.)

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Do you know where this comes from people? Do you know what it means? How about this one? “Love your enemy as yourself?”

STOP JUSTIFYING HATE WITH THE BIBLE!

I have found God in a different way and no longer accept the hate that is spewed from the lips of homophobes, pedophiles, and racists. So don’t you dare try and tell me it’s God’s work that you do spreading this hate. You’re not listening to your own savior!

And while you’re at it, keep your nose out of other people’s bedrooms, unless of course, you want the rest of us in yours.

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Filed under America, Born-Again Christians, children, God, writing

Where Are All the Men Teachers?

(I am re-posting this because it’s more accurate now than I ever thought possible.)

 

Here’s the truth: The fact that I am a man is not something I feel I need to apologize for.

Halloooooooo! Mulligan “Mugs” O’Brew here. Well, my new job begins in earnest tomorrow. As I mentioned, last week was training. This week is prep week, with a little training thrown in. I’ll meet the people I’ll be working with, and my direct supervisor. I think that all of these people are women. Which brings me to my subject for this post: Why is education, especially elementary education, so lean on male teachers?

Smarter and far more educated people than I, have for years discussed the need for more positive male role models in elementary schools. Children, and in my opinion, both boys and girls, need to be with and learn from good men. I think we can all agree that there are some persistent differences between males and females of any age group. In children, these include the developmental differences, physical, emotional, social, and intellectual. (Yes, I know there are differences between individuals in these areas. But I am speaking in the broader sense here, as it applies to education in the schools.) Some public school systems have offered one gender classrooms and schools to allow for these differences and create programs more suited to each gender. I applaud these efforts. Any thoughtful and constructive effort to provide more and better options for kids’ education I am all for. Still, where are the men?

There are two reasons I believe that are the culprits here. The first one, which has been discussed at length, and again by people smarter and more educated than I, is money. Career minded people with ambition and a thirst for achievement, if they chose education at all, will leave the classroom in favor of academia or administration, both of which offer the possibility for “advancement.”

The second reason is a relatively well-kept secret, or at least that is my belief.  Bluntly put and with all due respect for their professionalism, a large percentage, perhaps a majority, of the women in education, I submit, do not really want men in the elementary schools. This assertion is very unscientific in its foundation, I readily admit. It is the impression that I have gotten, the “vibe” if you will, after being a teacher for four years in the elementary schools. I believe that many women, at least in their heart-of-hearts where maternal instincts reside, think men are too cold, too strict, too…well…male, to work with children. I have even gotten the feeling that some women educators have a prejudice or bias that says all men in education are probably abusive pedophiles, at least until proven otherwise.

Having made this assertion, I would like to immediately say that if true, it is not entirely without foundation that women educators have this belief concerning men. Far more men than women, and way too many men in general, have abused their power when put in positions of influence with children. Some fathers and other relatives, as well as some male coaches, clergy, club leaders, and teachers, have been guilty of horrific predatory offenses against children. The rub, however, is that the fear of these atrocities is over-shadowing the fact that most men are good people. Having an adult world populated, and some would argue controlled, by men, it would seem prudent that children should learn from, and become acquainted with, some of these good people who are men. Yes, they will operate and conduct themselves as teachers differently in many ways than most women. However, that is NOT a bad thing. It’s a good thing! After all, the world has both men and women in it the last time I checked.

I have not met any of the people I will be working with yet, and have no belief, in advance, that any of them will have such biases or prejudices. This discussion is not about them. I am hoping that no such atmosphere will greet me. But, I do sometimes get tired of the feeling that I need to apologize simply for being a man.

 

Keep on Peddlin’,

Mugs

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Filed under America, children, Education, Schools, Teaching, writing

october blue

october blue

the sky of a sunny crisp morning

i sit and sip from a steaming coffee cup

there are people i know

that don’t think i deserve

even this simple pleasure

sitting on the front step

i have failed to be who i was supposed to be

who i was supposed to be is not clear

but i am not…

not…

i don’t know who i am not

i will take another sip of coffee and…

well, tomorrow i will figure it out…

maybe…

i think first though

i will try to figure out who i am

it seems more important than

who i am not

the sky being october blue

is not a failure because it is not august

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Filed under poems, poetry, Pubs, Spiritualty, writing

where is home for you?

where is home for you?

there is a pub

it’s not like other pubs

but really

no two pubs are the same

are they?

people i care about come to this pub

people that care about me come to this pub

not every night

but they come

they eat

they drink

they listen to the music

music is always heard in this pub

always in the background

sometimes even live

but always music

it warms the heart

whether it’s really heard or not

and we talk

talk is always heard at the pub

always important things are said

but not always profound

the beer is cold

that’s my preference

but i suppose warm can be had as well

and when the evening is done

i am better for having been there

it is home for me

where is home for you?

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Filed under Humor, love, poems, poetry, Pubs, Spiritualty, writing

Upnorth’s Summer Festival

Here’s the truth: Today the blog returns to its original purpose and concept. (It’s been too long!)

        Halloooooooo! Mulligan “Mugs” O’Brew here. Well, I have not written a regular entry here for over a year. Okay, so I’ve been busy, and I had writer’s block, and  lot of stuff has been going on, and blah, blah, blah…

Anyway, I thought I might report to you on this day of blog renewal, about the goings on in Upnorth, U.S.A. If you will remember, that’s the town that is close to The Pub, the town that, technically, The Pub is in. As with all towns, we have a town council.  As with most government bodies, efficiency is not our strong suit. I say “our” because I am on the town council. We have a serious problem that goes to the heart of our inefficiency: we have six council members. Why is this a problem? Even number. We always seem to vote 3 to 3. We even tried to add a seventh member once, but the resolution failed, as the vote was once again 3 to 3. Last week this problem issued forth in a brand new way.

Every year we renew our effort to come up with a definite theme and dates for the town’s annual summer festival. At the meeting last week, we managed to come up with a list of five possible themes. “Fish Story Days”, was my suggestion. Then we had “Get Down in Upnorth” (not clear on what would happen with this one), “Enchanted Pine Forest Jamboree”, “Pine Cone Festival”, and “Road Kill Food Fest”. When no one had another to offer, I thought that finally we had a winner; we had five choices and six voters!  Well, the vote was 1 to 1 to 1 to 1 to 1, with Pastor Emil abstaining. He said he didn’t want to offend anyone.

That, I am afraid to say, was just the beginning of the frustration. At the end of the meeting, it was decided that this year’s festival will be called ”Something Day(s) Festival Celebration Jamboree” and will occur August 11, 12, 13, & 14 possibly, but Saturday August 13 for sure, unless it’s Sunday August 14.

So, come join us for all the… er… fun… One thing’s for sure, anyway. The Pub will be open!

Keep on Peddlin’,

Mugs

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Filed under America, Government, Humor, Pubs, writing