What Ignorance Can Do To Individuals, Communities, and Society in Two Small Examples

Well, I had an eventful morning. I went out to get coffee and cigarettes (first let me say, uh, yum) immediately upon rolling out of bed.

I was at the 7-11 talking to an old friend I grew up with for a while about a few different subjects on family and life. As I went to leave there was some commotion outside.

I learned two things today and they both lead to the same conclusion; what the motto of F33DyourHEAD is and my own personal motto since I can remember.

Educate yourself!!!!!!

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1. Educate yourself on what your kids are being taught; whether in school, church, girl scouts, boy scouts, etc.

My friend talked recently with my sister who told her their church told her kids that there is no such thing as Santa. One of my sister’s children is old enough to know this anyways but, the other…..if they only knew that the littlest one’s father died on Christmas Eve, tragically, which will probably scar him for the rest of his life, they might have known better than to strip the one thing away from him on Christmas that still allowed it to be somewhat magical.  On a day when sadness is stronger than the joy of ripping open presents and meeting with family he will remember that as the day he learned his father died and now the day when Santa died and nothing in this world is as we hope or believe.  Possibly, down the road, he will be ok, but there is also a possibility it could lead to a more negative outcome. My sister tried to correct what they said but it was already too late.

2. Educate yourself when a situation is happening before you go taking pictures, posting them on Facebook and going off on rants which have absolutely nothing to do with what is happening.

We were outside smoking a cig, finishing up our conversation and some people drove up and parked at the 7-11 all in a hissy because if we had bothered to look right around the corner we would have seen a school bus full of small children and what looked like it being pulled over, the children taken off and the police officer going on and for some reason a prison bus pulled over on the next block ahead. It happens to be, I found out from my fellows, that today, a local high school was having a protest about bullying because some kid was beat up on a bus and is in a coma (according to the not so sure sources).  Here is a link to the actual incident.  The issue discussed at a recent school board meeting about school violence, I assume, was the reason for the protest.  Again, this is an assumption. They were on their way to the protest.  One man feverishly showed us pictures he took of the police pulling the kids from the bus and was figuring out how to post them to Facebook.  A woman commented on the sad state of the public school system in our town and city.  Another women commented on racism which, even if knowing nothing about the situation, is a large leap in logical thinking and reasoning.  The comment started with, Look I’m not racist or anything, but….” and I stopped listening to the rest.  The other woman who worked at the store (not my friend) came out to see and commented walking away, “That’s why I don’t want my kids going to public school” and walked back in the store to surely have gone on to tell the unknown versions of the tale to many others walking in that day, thus spreading an uneducated guess on what was happening.  There was speculation of a fight on the bus, a possibility that it had to do with the protest, etc.

Me, being who I am, said goodbye to my friend got in my car, drove around the block and asked the man filming from the local news, “What happened?”.  I was told by the cameraman the bus hit a prison transport vehicle.  Again, still not the exact truth.

Here is the simple truth of it, according to Steve Thomas (you can find his information here), head bus driver for the Elmira City School District.  The prison bus backed up to make room for another school bus and the Department of Corrections vehicle’s rear window moved the mirror on the school bus in question, no damage reported.  That’s it.  The children were taken off of the bus after the police arrived, which is their call.  The procedures state, again according to Steve Thomas, that names and birth dates and positions on the bus need to be recorded.  The students were then put on another bus and sent to school.  I went online in search of procedures in the event of a collision of a school bus and another vehicle.  I have included links to these documents in the article.  I tried to do a search for NYS Department of Corrections Accident Procedures but came up with nothing worthy of sharing a link to.  I am sure for security reasons these are kept confidential.

I tried to find the procedures for Chemung County or the Elmira City School District online and came up with nothing specific, so I did the next available thing and found a procedure for another county in New York State not too far from our own.

When looking at the school bus procedures for Putnam County (another county in New York State), it states under Procedure For Bus Driver:

“All passengers should remain in the vehicle unless fire or other hazardous conditions exist that warrant evacuation. In any event, it is extremely important that injured persons are not moved unless a hazard exists that presents an imminent danger of further injury.”

However, it also says under Procedure for General Operation:

“Emergency services agencies (police, fire, EMS), if called, will take charge of the accident scene upon their arrival. A school district representative (the superintendent, or person designated by the superintendent to have decision-making authority) will be dispatched to the accident scene (distance and time permitting), will report to the command post and will participate in unified command.”

The police had a right to decide in this case to remove the children from the bus.

As for the prison transport van it is unclear whether any prisoners were even aboard.  Logic follows that precautions would be taken to ensure that all locks were still functioning and that there were no escapes before almost anything else was done, including removing the children from the bus.

If you would like to read further about any of the procedures, please follow the links included in this article.

My main point in this second lesson is that without knowing what is happening we can cause a mass hysteria in a city before any facts are even released.  People at the protest for bullying today will surely spread the rumors of the school bus seen being “pulled over by police” and their children unjustly dragged from the school bus, assumingly afraid and scarred by the incident and put in potential danger by the proximity of a prison transport van.  This can add irrational fuel to an already boiling over issue.

When we don’t use the tools available to us to educate ourselves about issues and situations in our lives, things are children and ourselves are being taught, damage can happen, and exponentially so in the second case.  Personal responsibility for the knowledge we have or need to obtain is paramount to a saner world.

Related Links:

Get Control of your Private Information!

Hear Us Now : a project of Consumers Union:.

Send a message to your representative through the above link.

Bills have been introduced that will put you in control of your personal information while online or on your smartphone!

Now we need to get these online privacy bills passed, and we need consumers like you to weigh in. Opposition is expected to be strong, since online tracking of your private information is big business!

This latest bill would require companies to honor your decision if you do not want to be tracked online. And it would hold tracking companies accountable if they go against your wishes. The rules also would apply to smartphones, too.

1Sky and 350.org Merge under 350.org Banner to Unite Large-scale Powerful Grassroots Climate Movement | Common Dreams

350.org

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1Sky and 350.org Merge under 350.org Banner to Unite Large-scale Powerful Grassroots Climate Movement | Common Dreams.

More information at above link.

Grassroots groups 350.org and 1Sky today announced they will combine under the 350.org banner and dramatically expand their work. “In light of last night’s vote, it is more important than ever to unite and train a bigger, more powerful grassroots movement capable of attacking our corporate polluter opponents and fighting for a real clean energy future. This moment is our call to action,” said Liz Butler, Campaign Director of 1Sky.

In an essay announcing the merger, McKibben and new 350.org board member, author and activist Naomi Klein, wrote, “The idea is not to supplant the Washington green groups, but instead to give the whole movement new clout—enough clout to withstand the crushing power of oil money.”

How Climate Change Became A “Liberal Hoax”: Big Business vs. Science

Photograph of Noam Chomsky

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The sixth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions.

Linguist, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky talks about the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute and other business lobbies enthusiastically carrying out campaigns “to try and convince the population that global warming is a liberal hoax.

 

 

Petition Site That Cares: Care2 – largest online community for healthy and green living, human rights and animal welfare.

Care2 – largest online community for healthy and green living, human rights and animal welfare..

Randy Paynter, CEO and President of C2, started this site in 1998.

The idea is simple: Make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.

When he was 13 he was traveling with his father up the Amazon in a thatch-covered boat.  His father was an ornithologist (study of birds).

“What struck me most was the contrast between the remote tribes living in harmony with the rainforest, and the poverty and deforestation in the most “modernized” towns we visited”, said Paynter on the About Us page of the site.  He saw that the world was terribly out of balance and began to believe that we each have the power to make positive changes in our world.

“The answer came in 1998.  The Internet.  Finally, the power to mobilize the world was at hand.  I raised money from some kind and crazy souls, and then really lucked out in finding two extraordinary partners — Matt McGlynn (now our chief technology officer) and Camilla Eriksson (now our vice president of eCards.  In September 1998, we launched Care2 from my tiny apartment” Paynter writes.

The website is driven by those who wish to make changes in this world.  They are a certified B Corporation.

The Butterflies

 

 

 

 

The butterflies on the logo are designed after a Physics concept called “The Butterfly Effect“.  It symbolizes to them that one person can take a small step and make a difference.

You can earn butterfly credits by taking various actions like signing a petition and taking the daily action.  These credits can be redeemed for gifts that make the world a better place.

There is an online community and plenty of fun topics and polls.  you can create groups or join existing ones.

Taking Action

There are so many petitions you can sign on a wide array of topics and issues that you may support.  There is a daily action that you can do and earn credits for.

There is also a whole section on Healthy and Green Living.

I have been signed up for emails through this site for some time now.  Some of my other blogs are based on these emails about petitions available tailored to the issues I am concerned with at the moment.  I have always had a good experience with this Organization.  Enjoy, and help by taking your own little steps…we can make a difference!

7 Ways to Precycle, Upcycle, and DIY Your Way to (Almost) Never Recycling Again – Planet Green

A landfill in Poland

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7 Ways to Precycle, Upcycle, and DIY Your Way to (Almost) Never Recycling Again – Planet Green.

Conventional green wisdom used to be that recycling was one of the best things you could do for the planet — you’d be keeping trash out of landfills, using items made from old materials, and trimming your waste all at once. But these days we know that recycling has its own footprint: It requires energy to breakdown and repurpose the original material, and the resulting product is often a blend of post-consumer and brand-new substances.

Learn ways to pre-cycle at the above link.

Planetgreen.com suggests:

1.  Buy in Bulk

2. Ditch disposables

3. Upcycle

4. Think Outside the Kitchen

5. Stop Getting Junk Mail

6. Read mags and newspapers online

7. Make Your Own

Environmental Defense Fund – Finding the Ways That Work

Environmental Defense Fund – Finding the Ways That Work.

Connect with this organization  through their homepage and also on:

Facebook – Connect with them through Facebook and get their posts in your news feed

Twitter – Connect with them through Twitter and stay updated

All Blogs and Social Media – This last link offers choices on RSS feeds, EDF Blogs on all their topics and more

They use four core strategies to get results.  Here are their strategies and links to more information:

1. Sound Science

2. Economic Incentives

3. Corporate Partnerships

4. Getting The Law Right

Donate or they have other ways that you can support their cause.

They have a 4 star rating by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities.

Evaluation methodology

Using publicly available tax returns (IRS Form 990) filed with the Internal Revenue Service, and information posted by charities on their web sites, the Charity Navigator rating system bases its evaluations in two broad areas — financial health and accountability/transparency. Based on how the charity rates in each of the two areas, it is assigned an overall rating, ranging from zero to four stars. To help donors avoid becoming victims of mailing-list appeals, each assessment of a charity’s performance is accompanied by a review of its commitment to keeping donors’ personal information confidential.