Month: July 2014

Motivation on steroids

Motivation, or the lack thereof, is a basic ingredient in every story of success or failure. I think a lot about motivation. Every once in a while something grabs me. This video did. Although it is about PTSD, I instantly thought of juvenile court and the constant need to create motivation in young people to “do better.”     Post by Bud Parker. In my 16 years on the District Court bench, often sitting as the Juvenile Court, I spent a lot of time trying to motivate youngsters and scratching my head on ways to do that. I often talked to them about setting goals, just set a goal and go for it and if that isn’t working, set a different one. This video, in a far more graphic way, says it a lot better than I ever did. Thanks to Guy Taylor and a Facebook posting for putting me onto this video. Recent Possibly Related External Links 25th Annual United Way Golf Outing 20 Inspirational Sports Movies – Rant Sports From Prison to Politics: Prophet Walker’s Journey | <b>Juvenile Justice</b> <b>…</b> Like this:Like...

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Illegal aliens are not refugees or illegal immigrants

Using the sensational terms “refugee” and “illegal immigrant” to describe the flood of unaccompanied children walking into Texas is disingenuous. It’s time to stop the dishonest discourse. We all have empathy for the plight of the children, and adults, who have been lulled across the border with false promises. We all deplore the conditions they are fleeing. But the fact is that Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador are no worse than probably 50 other countries around the world. Sierra Leone civil war, anyone? Using the term “refugee” is not only legally incorrect, but also terribly misleading in conjunction with the sympathetic pleas for children fleeing bad circumstances. And use of the term “illegal immigrant” is an oxymoron and similarly misleading. Those people are simply illegal aliens under the law. To say “illegal” immigrant is to demean the effort and law-abiding dedication of immigrants who became such by following our laws and processes. There are many ways to obtain U.S. citizenship. Here is one of my favorite. But I digress. Crashing a country’s sovereign border is illegal, and such person is an alien (i.e. from a foreign country), thus an illegal alien as opposed to those persons with resident alien status (which is a legal immigration status). Illegal entry does not a refugee make. A more learned discussion on whether the UnAccompanied Children (UAC) are refugees is taken from a recent judicial source: UAC...

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Common Core Educational Standards: a Dissection

I was recently asked my opinion about Common Core whereupon I realized that most of my knowledge was anecdotal. This Saturday I met a teacher from Louisiana who was recently retired — motivated by disgust from dealing with Common Core’s inaccuracies. This graphic sums up the usual discussion I hear on the street. I resolved to research it. Firstly, I think it important to realize that the debate has conflated two issues. One issue revolves around whether there should be national standards for education and if so, what the standards should be. The other issue concerns the content that is to be used to attain the standards. Why write this now? Common Core is dead in Texas. Or maybe not. Portions of the CSCOPE curricula is still used at least in part in many Texas schools, perhaps even locally. In any event, standardized testing is still a push from the federal government and the backers of Common Core are still pushing its adoption. Common Core’s Origin In 2009, the NGA convened a group of people to work on developing the standards. This team included David Coleman, William McCallum of the University of Arizona, Phil Daro, and Student Achievement Partners founders Jason Zimba[6] and Susan Pimentel to write standards in the areas of mathematics and literacy.[citation needed] Announced on June 1, 2009,[7] the initiative’s stated purpose is to “provide a...

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Conflater in Chief — it’s the border stupid

The Conflater in Chief a/k/a President Obama continues to foist confusion on the public in every speech about immigration. He never talks about the border as a problem as in border security, but conflates “immigration reform” with doing something about the flood of people crossing our border from the South. Why am I writing about this? We’ll see. First, recall the definition of “conflate” which is to bring together or to combine/mix two or more things. See And the synonyms? Confuse, confound, mistake. President Clinton famously declared “it’s the economy, stupid” and he was right at that time. At this time, we should be saying “it’s the border, stupid.” Let’s be clear, there is no real need for “immigration reform.” To speak of immigration reform and equate it to border security is misleading at best. We have a system of laws and procedures for persons who want to immigrate, which means to enter and usually become established; especially :  to come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence — Illegal entry is not immigration. The prospect of illegal entry requires securing the border so that we know who is coming in and thus processing them into our immigration system. The only immigration reform that Obama speaks of and seeks is amnesty for those who have breached our borders illegally. That is all well and good, and...

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My first bust and power play

I confess. I have once upon a time been busted. It was a long time ago. It was my first encounter of any sort with a law enforcement officer. That is a scary event no matter what the offense, or lack thereof. I was 14 and possessed a driver’s license with still wet ink. For you kids out there, the DL used to be printed on actual paper. That was pretty handy because a person skilled with a razor blade could be any age he desired. Or so I’ve been told. Yes, age 14. That’s when you could get a DL back in the “olden days” as my daughter Melissa used to refer to my past. Not only did I have that great piece of paper, but my first car. My dad bought it for me sight unseen — unseen by me that is. I came home one afternoon to find that formerly shiny vehicle of any color you wanted as long as it was black — a 1935 Ford 2-door sedan with a flathead V-8 motor. The year was 1958, the same year cousin Toney got the brand new Chevy Impala  🙁  It would also be the last car my dad bought for me, I think as part of his character-building plan for me. I had plenty of character, what I needed was a 1958 Impala! I digress,...

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