Monday, March 28, 2016

We Can't Even Have A Simple Easter Egg Hunt Anymore

When Malcolm X was interviewed and questioned about his thoughts on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, somewhere in his response he said "the chickens came home to roost" meaning according to him that the president's assassination was the result of the climate of hate.

Like Malcolm, I must say that much of the craziness that is going on around the world today is another example of the chickens coming home to roost. Not only are we in a climate of hate, but a climate of total disregard, disrespect, and a spirit of defiance regardless of what it is, even when it is something as simple and traditional as an Easter egg hunt. An annual event sponsored by the PEZ Candy company had to be canceled not due to the behavior of the children, but the deplorable behavior of their parents. The article from CNN appears below.
(CNN) PEZ Candy abruptly canceled its third annual Easter egg hunt Saturday after parents stormed the field in Connecticut, according to a company news release.
Children as young as 4 were pushed aside by parents eager to grab as many of the 9,000 eggs hidden in three fields.It was originally advertised to be three separate events, to be broken up by age groups, beginning at 10:30 a.m ET, before a visit from the Easter Bunny, according to the PEZ Company.
Instead of waiting for their designated time, people chose to enter the first field before anyone from PEZ starting the event, the release said."When it came time, at like 10:30 a.m. ET, the parents just bum-rushed that area," West Haven resident Nicole Welch told CNN affiliate WFSB. "When my son left, he had a broken basket, and he was hysterically crying." 
The general manager and other staff quickly responded to the situation, letting visitors know if someone didn't get an egg or candy, they would be compensated, the release said."We made efforts to get everyone something before they left and passed out tons of candy and coupons," PEZ said. "Due to the actions of a few, the good intent turned into a mess."
Following the events, disgruntled parents took to the PEZ Candy Facebook page to complain."This event was a joke to put it mildly," said Susan Kristie Nadori DeRose. "We have a 3-year-old. The parents first of all were letting their uncontrolled children pick up eggs prior to the start. Then when the event started all the parents rushed in and we're picking up the eggs." CNN reached out to PEZ but did not receive a response.
Police made no arrests and reported no injuries.
If you are a regular reader of THE CRITICAL THINKER, then you know I often write about where we find ourselves as a society based on the actions or behaviors of the young and the not so young. What I mean by the chickens coming home to roost is, the things we are experiencing are the consequences of one or more generations not having been taught respect for authority, rules, decor, etiquette, work ethic, and manners. We are truly in a society now where anything and everything goes, where there are no holds barred and no boundaries and we are paying for it.  Vulgarity and profanity has become the norm on television and radio and even in our current presidential campaign for the party nominees.

Suicide bombers terrorized Brussels and Pakistan not long before the parents barnstormed the Easter egg hunt in Connecticut. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are off insulting each other's wives. What type of display and modeling are our adults showing our children? What did the children of those parents learn at that Easter egg hunt? What are our children learning as they watch the presidential debates? What are our children learning when all they see around them are suicide bombers, guns, and slashings (and we wonder why they don't learn 2+2=4)?

I know I cannot be the only one observing and questioning where we are going with all of this defiance of rules and authority. If parents at an Easter egg hunt are not going to follow the directions of the event sponsors, what can we expect their children to do?  If our presidential candidates can go on worldwide television and call each other names and talk about each other's body parts and family members, what do we expect our children to do?  More importantly, what type of chickens are we setting up to roost in the future? The sad truth is, it does not seem to be getting any better, but worse. We are not only seeing a decline in the United States, but we are seeing it around the world.We are in a death spiral.

I do not write this as one with no hope, but to make more of us aware that more of us need to be working to turn this thing around. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that children as young as 4 were pushed aside by parents eager to grab as many of the 9,000 eggs hidden by PEZ that they could. The event was for the children, not the parents. What on earth have we become when a child leaves an Easter egg hunt with a broken basket and hysterically crying because he was bum rushed by adults?

Yes, the lack of respect and disregard for rules and authority are tearing the fabric of our world apart and we are seeing the manifestation of those chickens coming home to roost every day and in every way.  Something to critically think about.

I invite you to listen to me live each Saturday at 6 a.m. ET via world wide web stream on and locally in the northern NJ area on FM radio WP88.7 FM as I host The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. I also invite you to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Nothing Funny Indeed!

On Thursday (3/17) evening, I was perusing my various social media sites and happened across the video shown above. It caught my attention for a lot of reasons with the primary one being the title which described the motivational speaker shown going "off script" because of the lack of respect shown to him by the student body he was addressing. As the speaker was sharing a much needed message, some students in the audience continued to talk regardless of the speaker speaking on the stage.  The gentleman's experience hit home for me as I frequently have similar ones when addressing the students in the school where I serve. When the video was placed on YouTube, it was entitled NOTHING FUNNY, and that is an appropriate title as the ignorance and disrespect displayed by too many people both young and not so young alike is far from funny, in fact it is sad.

Too many of our children (and I keep prefacing my statements with "too many," as I do not want to generalize)  are not being taught in their homes about respect and other life and social skills. Too many children are raising themselves and are as should be expected doing a horrendous job. It is not the job of a child to raise him/herself, as that's the role of parents. The truth of the matter is, too many of our parents were faced with having to raise themselves and therefore are clueless about raising children themselves thus continuing the terrible cycle. Poorly raised adults have children and raise them poorly. It's hard to teach what you yourself was never taught or never learned.

Life skills such as manners, respect, love, work ethic, punctuality, discipline, self esteem, and so many other skills needed to be successful in society/life are not being taught to our children at home. The burden of this teaching is too often left to our schools and in some instances our churches (if the child or family attends a church).  The motivational speaker in the video above was a visitor at a school with the intent to motivate and inspire the students to reach for more; to reach for excellence and not to settle for mediocrity or slackness. As he is sharing his story in his message, he hears chatter and can see the students from his position on the stage blatantly talking while he is talking. He can see the students not listening or paying attention. At that point, he leaves his original message and commands the student's attention by an impromptu message that came from his heart as of result of their disrespect. What he began sharing with them was once again the type of discussion that need to be occurring in homes at the dinner table or family gatherings in the living room. In order to get their attention, he had to come across as a drill sergeant or prison warden.

It's ashamed the only way we can get the attention of too many is by having to dictate, yell, scream or carry a big stick. What type of mentality only responds to that type of communication? It took for this gentleman to "Tell like it really is" in a harsh manner for the students to realize just how disrespectful they were being when he was speaking to them in a calm and logical manner.

Parents, as I have said within the confines of this blog before, too many of us have dropped the ball and our society is paying a heavy price because of it. Children do not ask to come here and far too many parents abdicate their responsibilities at conception and delivery. After that it is for everyone else to raise their children. The government; the schools; the daycare centers; the churches; the streets; and finally the penal system. At what point does it become enough?  If you have not done so already, please take the seven minutes and fifty-three seconds to watch the video in this post. I'm sure you will agree that it is something to critically think about and act upon.

You are invited to listen to me live as host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. eastern time. The show is web streamed around the world on and heard locally in northern NJ on FM radio WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical and @readingcircle01.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Other Countries Don't Play That

Otto Frederick Warmbier, a 21-year-old American student
Once again a young American faces consequences for misbehavior in a foreign country most likely driven by the thoughts that (a) I won't get caught and (b) even if I do get caught, I will be dealt with in the same manner as if I were in the United States (Miranda Rights, fair trial, jury of my peers, etc. etc. etc.) only to learn that the systems and the penalties in other countries are much different and harsher.

21-year-old Otto Frederick Warmbier is accused of allegedly  trying to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel while visiting North Korea. The sign was written in Korean, so I can't fathom what Mr. Warmbier intended to do with it had he gotten away with it. Some would say a school boy prank or perhaps Mr. Warmbier wanted a souvenir.

The first problem I have with this story is the fact that we as Americans were already warned not to visit North Korea for myriad reasons, yet Mr. Warmbier chose to disregard the caution and visited the country anyway. As if that were not bad enough, he goes there and allegedly tries to steal a poster which this act in the U.S. would have been probably viewed as an act of vandalism and not necessarily a big deal. A misdemeanor such as this in the U.S. probably would have garnered a mere slap on the wrist or maybe a fine and some community service. At best, a verbal tongue lashing from a judge. But in North Korea, that act cost Mr. Warmbier fifteen years of hard labor in a North Korean facility.

In 1994, when Mr. Warmbier was probably still in the womb, another youngster Michael P. Fay, an 18-year-old high school student from Ohio who was attending the Singapore American School, thought it would be fun to spray-paint cars and deface property over a ten day period of time. For his days of fun, Fay was sentenced to four months in prison and six strokes from a four-foot-long, six-inch-wide rattan cane. The saga became known as The caning of Michael Fay. Even the intervention of then President Bill Clinton did not overturn the punishment.

Americans need to think about culture before traveling because the world does not live by our American culture. The world does not operate under the same rules of law and protocols that we do in United States. Learning about the culture you are traveling to is one of the first rules of traveling internationally.  For example blowing your nose in public in Japan is considered rude; showing the sole of your shoe is an insult in the Arab culture; In China, avoid personal contact with people and the opposite sex should never touch in public; Lastly, right hands have been cut off at the wrist as punishment for theft in Sharia-controlled areas of Nigeria and in Saudi Arabia.

We must know before we board that plane or cruise ship that other countries are not as tolerating of even the smallest of what they consider criminal activity as we are in the United States. As that old saying goes, "Think BEFORE you act."  Something to critically think about.

You are invited to listen to me live as host of The Reading Circle each Saturday at 6 a.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDST) as I web stream around the world on and locally on FM radio in northern New Jersey on WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and readingcircle01.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them The First Time

The title of this post is a quote by the late, great, Maya Angelou. She stated "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." This was Poet Angelou's way of trying to help us not to  try to make someone something he/she is not. Her way of letting us know that we cannot change the essence of who a person really is deep down inside and we ought not attempt to. She is speaking of the person you are when no one is looking and when the world is looking (character).

Other cliches and idioms include "A leopard doesn't change its spots," meaning that a person's character, especially if it is bad, will not change, even if he/she pretend it has and "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" with the first impression being the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person.

Donald Trump in my opinion is showing us in this spectacle of a presidential nomination race just who he is. Throughout this race he has insulted, name-called, bullied, incited, instigated, lied, and the list grows longer daily and at each event. With all of this said, his support base still grows causing me to wonder, what is it that all of these voters are believing they will be getting in a president? Mr. Trump has been anything but presidential throughout this campaign so far. It has been an absolute circus; an embarrassment to the United States.

Mr. Trump's slogan is "Make America Great Again," causing me to wonder again what "America" is he referring to? He makes statements about protesters being carried out on stretchers in the old days and punching people in the face reminding me of Bull Connor during the Civil Rights Movement and even worse, the likes of  Adolf  Hitler. Over and over again Mr. Trump has said how Mexico was going to pay for a wall that he intends to build sparking former Mexican President Vincente Fox to explicitly let him know that Mexico is NOT paying for any wall. Mr. Trump talks as if he intends to bully Mexico into paying for his wall. He has made similar statements about activities that would occur in other countries that he would make them pay for. At recent Trump rallies, people have been moved to physically fighting each other. A seventy-eight year old man actually reached across and punched a protester who was African American and was being escorted out of the rally by police. The protester was defenseless because he was in police presence and could not and did not strike back. The seventy-eight year old went on to say in a later interview that if he were to see the young man again, he would kill him. This is the kind of activity that has been spawned from the constant negativity spewing from Donald Trump's mouth.

Other players in this circus has been Pope Francis (who was correct in his commentary concerning building bridges compared with building walls), Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, and most recently Dr. Ben Carson. This race has been an absolute freak show and too many Americans seem to be loving it. The problem is, this is not a reality television show. This is not the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) or The Apprentice. This is a race for the highest office in the free world. An office where the person in the seat must be able to deal with world leaders and infinite issues. While he may be a very good business man,  Mr. Trump has not shown the ability to run a country throughout this race. When he does not get his way, he starts calling names and insulting people or he just doesn't show up as was shown with the second debate moderated by Megyn Kelly or the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). If Mr. Trump becomes president, he will not be able insult or call our world leaders names or not show up to meetings because the meeting is not going to go his way.

Donald Trump is showing us who he is and too many of us are not believing him. This nomination race is our "first time" in Maya Angelou speak and if we [Americans] are wise, we'd better believe him. Mr. Trump stated that he loves the "poorly educated" and I think I know why.  Once we elect Mr. Trump into the presidency, it will be too late.The same Donald Trump that we are seeing in this race will be the same Donald Trump we will see as president. The fact that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now his front man is symbolic of what Donald Trump is going to do. I predict, the same thing that Governor Christie did to his New Jersey voters, is what Donald Trump is going to do to his American voters. At this very moment there are people who voted for Chris Christie who now have bumper stickers on their cars saying "I voted for Chris Christie and I am sorry I did," "My child is an honor student - My Governor is a moron,"  "I voted for Chris Christie and he screwed me."   If Donald Trump wins the presidency, there will be similar bumper stickers with his name on it on cars in a couple of years.

If you listen to Mr. Trump, he honestly believes that when he says "Jump!" that the Congress and the Senate are all going to shout "How high?" That's not going to happen and neither will it with the world leaders. His bullying and so called anger tactics will not bode well in the White House. He will not be able to just bellow "Get um out" and expect world leaders to leave with their tails between their legs. We Americans must really consider who and what we are supporting. Donald Trump is showing us who he is and we better believe him. Something to critically think about.

You are invited to listen to me live each Saturday at 6 a.m. eastern daylight savings time around the world on and locally in northern New Jersey on FM radio WP88.7 FM. You are also invited to follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01 and @readingcircle01.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

If He [Barack Obama] Can Do It, Anybody Can

As I start this post, I want to be clear that I am not playing the "race card," nor looking to do anything other than to make an observation. My view and opinion is solely my own and is just that, an opinion based on what I am observing during this presidential nomination race.

I think we all can agree that this race has been unprecedented in terms of the behavior exhibited by too many of the candidates. Yes, we know politics can get down and dirty; however, this race has taken down and dirty to an all time low.  Thus far the race has been an embarrassment to the United States of America. I can't imagine what must be going through the minds of world leaders watching this buffoonery along with we, the American people. This circus has included everyone from the Pope to the former president of Mexico and the topics of debate have ranged from penis size to Barbara Bush. The debates have been utterly ridiculous.

As I watch the debates, I am reminded of a time when I was a kid and a bunch of us would gather around and crack [jokes] on each other. I remember Darren, Glenn, Michael, Jerome, Frankie, Todd and myself standing in a huddle making jokes about each others' sneakers, clothing, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, head sizes, lack of athletic ability, lack of sexual knowledge, lack of being able to fight and on and on and on. Some were more quick witted than others and garnered the biggest laughs. Many would call it running the Dozens.  I wasn't very good at it, so in most cases I just stood around and laughed at the various put downs oftentimes becoming a target for not being able to pull off a laugher. In some instances, nick names for certain group members were created emanating from the jokes about him. The teasing was all in fun and to see who was the most skilled at creating the funniest put down. I share this because watching these debates look like this same activity to me with the exception of these men and women are running for the highest office in this country, if not the world. What I am seeing is nothing close to presidential, yet they are all vying to be our next president.  As I try to determine who I will vote for in November, the only thing I keep hearing is "Little Marco," "Lying Ted," "Con Man Don," and "You're a liar, No, you're a liar."  "You lied, no you lied" and more and more vicious attacks.

Donald Trump has mentioned on several occasions with venom and disdain how Mitt Romney, John McCain and Hillary Clinton should have beaten Barack Obama "easily,"  and each time he says this, I have to question, why should it have been so easy? He says this with an anger....with a burn and the burn is not for Bernie Sanders either. Mr. Trump's tone and body language when he references the races against Barack Obama leads me to read between the lines of what he is really saying or shall I say, not saying. When he dismisses Clinton, McCain and Romney for losing to Barack Obama, what he really is saying is how could you all lose to that Black man? It's written all over his face. He has literally called all three of them "losers," and he is not just saying that because they lost. He is emphasizing "loser" because they lost to a "Black man."

When the race began there were nearly twenty Republican candidates and close to five Democrats seeking their respective nominations.  I believe these numbers were so high, particularly on the Republican side of the house because somewhere in these candidate's heart of hearts each said to him/herself, "If Barack Obama can do it, anybody can." If that Black man who was a community organizer can make it to the highest office in the land, then surely I can, hence the candidates we are witnessing today.

The truth of the matter is, not just anybody can do that job and it is not as easy as these candidates seem to think. Again, if Barack Obama can do it, how hard can it be? I've heard all sorts of "First Day in Office" promises spewed during the debates. "I'm going to repeal this.............," "I'm going change that......."  Listening to these candidates, one might think that being President of the United States is a dictatorship that does not have to deal with the three branches of government. If you listen to Donald Trump, he believes that just because he says "Jump!" that everyone, including other world leaders are going to ask "How high?"  He is in for a rude awakening and based on what we have seen so far from him, when this happens he is going to get frustrated and either start insulting, calling names or just not showing up (picking up his marbles and going home like at the debate moderated by Megyn Kelly or the annual Conservative Political Action Conference). The response coming from former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox about Mr. Trump's wall is nothing compared to what Mr. Trump is going to receive if he behaves with the world leaders the way he has been behaving during these debates. If Trump were to win, I don't think a leopard changes his spots that quickly. There is a sadistic part of me that actually hopes Donald Trump wins just so that he can see that the presidency is not what he thinks it is. Being President of the United States is not the same as being a business man negotiating deals.

Anyone in a leadership role can tell you that from the outside looking in, it is very easy to talk about what you would do or be the Monday Morning Quarterback; however, when you are actually in the seat, it is a whole different story. I believe President Obama found that out as well and he had it even worse than some of his predecessors because the congress and senate blocked in one way or another just about everything he proposed.

As we grapple with our decision as to who we are going to give the nod to be our next Commander-in -Chief, we must really take into consideration that old adage, "Be careful what you ask for (or in this case, vote for) because you just may get it." Don't believe me? Ask New Jerseyans who voted for Chris Christie.  Something to critically think about.

You are invited to listen to me live each Saturday at 6:00 a.m. ET as I web stream around the world on and locally in northern NJ on FM radio WP88.7 FM as host of The Reading Circle with Marc Medley. You can also tune in on my podcast The Marc Medley Show on Spreaker  and follow me on Twitter @readingcircle01.