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Yesterday morning i was checking my personal email for the first time in days; i’ve been busy with work and preparation for a house guest and a severe case of self-inflicted World Cup Football Fever.  So i started opening emails as one does from the most recently arrived and read this:

ER-PLN

P…                                                                                           22 Jun 2018, 04:08

to me

Hi Rob,

I insist that you resign from the leadership team of ER-PLN immediately. OUR GROUP IS BASED ON NON-VIOLENCE. Let me know your decision.
to which i replied:

Hi P….,

i’d love to know what you’re being so insistent about.
i’ve been practicing non-violence all my life; i’ve turned the other cheek so often my head spins.
Please advise.
pax,
rob
i then opened another email:

H…….                                                          23 Jun 2018, 01:08

to me, C…..

Hi Rob!
I hope this message finds you well!
I wanted to reach out to you personally related to your recent post on the SRIS Facebook page (screenshot attached). There was some concern raised by a member that this post advocated violence and was inappropriate to the mission of sharing ELT resources and advocacy for social justice. We think perhaps the “until 45 is 25ed” was interpreted as if 25ed was a form of violence, i.e. being 86ed or killed.
We value freedom of speech and certainly understand your protest of the current administration and your comment related to boycotting TESOL convention in the U.S. That said, we are also wondering if you might consider editing or removing the comment based on the concern raised above. I know you contribute so much to our community and as community manager, I hope you can understand this request.
I’m here if you’d like to chat more about this;)
Thanks!
H…..

screen-shot-2018-06-22-at-1-03-38-pm.png

to which i replied:
                                                                                          24 Jun 2018, 01:58
to H…, C….

Bizarre!

i’m not even an American citizen and i know what the internet meme “until 45 is 25ed” means.
the 45 is, of course Donald J. Drumpf, the 45th President of The United States of America.
the 25 refers to the 25 amendment to the Constitution of said USA which provides the legal background by which a sitting President can be impeached (i.e. the Articles of Impeachment). It was a rather big meme several months ago when it looked like the Russian investigation would lead to more than just a few paltry charges and admissions of guilt by low ranking aides.
pax et amare,
rob
i then followed up with this by way of clarification (in between times i’d watched another footie match):
                                                                                 24 Jun 2018, 04:05
to H…, C….
the actual hashtag was #25for45 (i.e. Impeach Trump)
The next email i opened…

delete your post

to me

Hi Rob,

I need to ask you a serious question: ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT?
I need you to DELETE YOUR POST IN THE SRIS FB GROUP WITH YOUR FUCKING STUPID NUMBERS. IF YOU DO NOT DELETE YOUR POST, I WILL COMPLAIN TO TESOL ABOUT YOU.
to which i replied:
                                                                                            24 Jun 2018, 04:23
to H…., P…..

last time i checked i wasn’t as stupid as i look…

Which “FUCKING STUPID NUMBERS” are you referring to?
Having heard from H…. i understand you quite possibly mean “until 45 is 25ed” in a recent post.
that was a variation on the #25for45 twitter hashtag that was quite popular a few months ago when The Donald was being The Donald.
“the 45 is, of course Donald J. Drumpf, the 45th President of The United States of America.
the 25 refers to the 25th amendment to the Constitution of said USA which provides the legal background by which a sitting President can be impeached (i.e. the Articles of Impeachment).”
i was merely stating that until Donny was legally impeached by the US Govt i was going to continue to join the academic boycott of The USA.
(are you American? i’m not but i did learn quickly what #25for45 means.)  The are special places in hades for the likes of @POTUS & @FLOTUS
pax et amare,
rob
To which s/he replied:
                                                                                                24 Jun 2018, 07:12

Hi Rob,

I am sorry I misunderstood your meaning. I am also sorry for the inappropriate emails. Thank you for clearing things up for me.
Hi H….,
Thanks for taking the time to help me out trying to deal with this. I am sorry for the inconvenience. I will definitely try to keep a cool head in the future.
This morning i got this:
                                                                                               24 Jun 2018, 07:12
to me, H….

Rob,

If you are uncomfortable or unwilling to removing the post, I wonder if—at minimum—you would consider editing your post to make clear the intent (i.e., impeachment/resignation).  I understand through H….  that this is unnecessarily escalating.  (…I am not suggesting that you are the apparent source of the escalation.)

The “About this Group” Facebook page description asks members to “Post comments, teaching ideas, links to teaching materials that promote Social Responsibility in TESOL.”  While—like you—I would welcome the removal or resignation of POTUS, I am not sure the SRIS Facebook page for teaching materials is an appropriate venue for venting.

I hope you receive this email in the respectful tone intended.  Many thanks for considering this request.

Be well,

C…

In response i edited the post:

thank God for artists! (i will continue with my academic boycott of the USA until such time as 45 has been 25ed (45=Trump; 25=25th amendment to US constitution articles of impeachment). So that means i’ve not been to TESOL in since 2016)

and finally i sent this along:

Hi C….. & H…..,

you may have noticed that i did change the post on the SRIS fb page per your suggestion.
Given the recent Supreme Court decisions i’d say y’all have your work cut out for you.  Drumpf now has 5 Justices in his pocket…
One could argue that SRIS’s fb page needs to become a wee bit proactive in advocating for change in the face of what Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruit, Sarah Sanders et al are up to to legitimize 45 and make him appear normal.
Good Luck!
pax et amare,
rob
this just in from P: 

hello

P                                                                                    2 Jul 2018, 20:48
to me

Hi Rob,

About a week has gone by, and I wanted to thank you again for the message explaining things to me. I completely misunderstood your posts and then went about things the wrong way to say the least. I am deeply sorry for messing up. Never have I sent such inappropriate emails and I promise my emails in the future will be better. Just wanted to say, I have been dealing with personal issues recently which have definitely been a factor.
to which i replied: 

Hi P….,

i think i may actually understand where you were coming from (i’m not an authority on American History but an American writer/local man of letters told me:
     “By the way somone could interpret that to assassinating 45. The 25th prez was William McKinley who was killed…
        Numbers are always open to interpretation! I took a course in statistics. One thing I learned you can prove or disprove anything by numbers.  When I first read yr comment I thought that was what you were referring to until you clarified. I was thinking…25th must’ve been assassinated.  Sure enough…so I see where the anger was coming from if that’s what they were thinking you meant…
     Avoid using 20, 25, 35 with 45. Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy…
     Though I have a feeling that could happen. If so I hope its from a family member or someone inside the WH, one of his own who couldnt take the BS anymore…
     Also 16. Lincoln…”
So maybe that’s what you were thinking? i dunno.  Anyhow i hope you get your personal demons sorted out.  we all have to tilt at windmills once in a while.  Sometimes they tilt back but sometimes we win (i just scored a big win from the RC Church: after 13+ years of determined waiting and slow agitation i finally managed to get a Declaration of Nullity so my wife and i can now get married in church and not live in sin anymore…) 😉
take care,
rob
and i leave this with this message from Bansky:
 

 

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Where Is The Love (2016 remake)

The Black Eyed Peas

[Intro]
Where is the love ?

[Chorus: will.i.am]
People killing people dying
Children hurting I hear them crying
Can you practice what you preaching
Would you turn the other cheek again
Mama mama mama tell us
What the hell is going on
Can we all just get along
Father father father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
(Where is the love)

[Verse 1: will.i.am]
Yo what’s going on with the world momma
(Where is the love)
Yo people living like they ain’t got no mommas
(Where is the love)
I think they all distracted by the drama
And attracted to the trauma, momma
(Where is the love)
I think they don’t understand the concept
Or the meaning of karma
Where is the love ?

[Verse 2: Diddy]
Overseas yeah they trying to stop terrorism
(Where is the love)
Over here on the streets the police shoot
The people put the bullets in ’em
(Where is the love)
But if you only got love for your own race
(Where is the love)
Then you’re gonna leave space for others to discriminate
(Where is the love)

[Verse 3: will.i.am]
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that’s exactly how hate works and operates
Man we gotta set it straight
Take control of your mind and just meditate
And let your soul just gravitate
To the love so the whole world celebrate it

[Chorus]
People killing people dying
Children hurting I hear them crying
Can you practice what you preaching
Would you turn the other cheek again
Mama mama mama tell us
What the hell is going on
Can we all just get along
Father father father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
(Where is the love)

[Verse 4: Taboo]
It just ain’t the same always in change
(Where’s the love)
New days are strange is the world insane
(Where’s the love)
Nation dropping bombs killing our little ones
(Where’s the love)
Ongoing suffering as the youth die young
(Where’s the love)

[Verse 5: Game]
Where is the love when a child gets murdered
Or a cops get knocked down
Black lives not now
Everybody matter to me
All races y’all don’t like what I’m saying ?
Haterade tall cases
Everybody hate somebody
Guess we all racist
Black Eyed Peas do a song about love
And y’all hate this
All these protest with different colored faces
We was all born with a heart
Why we gotta chase it
And every time I look around

[Verse 6: Taboo +Ty Dolla $ign ]
Every time I look up every time I look down
No one’s on a common ground
(Where’s the love)
And if you never speak truth
Then you never know how love sounds
(Where’s the love)
And if you never know love
Then you never know God wow
(Where’s the love)
Where’s the love y’all ? I don’t I don’t know
Where’s the truth y’all ? I don’t know

[Chorus: Justin Timberlake]
People killing people dying
Children hurting I hear them crying
Could you practice what you preaching
Would you turn the other cheek again
Father father father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
(Where is the love) x2

[Bridge: DJ Khaled]
Love is the key
(Where is the love)
Love is the answer
(Where is the love)
Love is the solution
(Where is the love)
They don’t want us to love
(Where is the love)
Love is powerful
(Where is the love)

[Verse 7: A$AP Rocky + Jaden Smith]
My mama asked me why I never vote (never vote)
Cause police men want me dead and gone (dead and gone)
That election looking like a joke (such a joke)
And the weed man still selling dope (oh lord)
Somebody gotta give these niggas hope (give us hope)
All he ever wanted was a smoke (not a cosh)
Said he can’t breathe with his hands in the air
Laying on the ground died from a choke
Where is the love

[Verse 8: apl.de.ap + Fergie]
I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I’m getting older y’all people gets colder
Most of us only care about money making
Selfishness got us following the wrong direction
Wrong information was shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinemas

[Outro: apl.de.ap]
What happened to the love and the values of humanity ?
(Where is the love)
What happened to the love and the fairness and equality ?
(Where is the love)
Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity
(Where is the love)
Lack of understanding leading us away from unity
(Where is the love)

 

Writing/speaking activities following viewing the video: Students answer the rhetorical question, “Where is the love?” Students pick one of the children in the last frame of the video and imagine/tell their story.

 

An open letter to Justin Trudeau:

Image result for Light Armoured Vehicles

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

Why is our Canadian government, which represents all Canadian citizens to the world, still committed to sending billions of dollars worth of weaponized Light Armoured Vehicles to the morally bankrupt, terrorism exporting, Wahhabist regime in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you inherited this appallingly brokered weapons sale from Crime Minister Harper but that should not be an excuse for us to forsake morality, neutrality as well as common sense and sensibility in the name of the almighty dollar. The LAVs in question are still under development so none have yet been shipped. i strongly urge you to uphold Canadian human rights policy, practice and law and deny export permits for arms sales to the misogynist, oppressive oligarchy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  If you do go ahead with this mephistophelian matter you can add Human Rights abuser to your CV when you’re looking for your next job.

Sincerely,

rob clément

110284_11897_fullToday i got an email from Super Shuttle asking me to fill out their survey. As i’m sitting at LHR, on an extended layover, i had the time and was more than willing to fill out the form. When i had filled out the form and clicked on submit i got this message:

The surveys.supershuttle.com page isn’t working

surveys.supershuttle.com didn’t send any data.

ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE

So i decided to post the survey and my responses to my blog, for the sake of getting my message across to Super Shuttle, and some of their staff.

SSlogo

SuperShuttle Shared Ride Survey

  1. My SuperShuttle driver operated the vehicle safely.
  • Strongly agree *
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  1. My driver was helpful and friendly.
  • Strongly agree *
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  1. The van was clean and in good working order.
  • Strongly agree
  • Agree *
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  1. I was satisfied with the service SuperShuttle provided.
  • Highly Satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied *
  • Highly Dissatisfied
  1. I would recommend SuperShuttle to a friend or colleague.
  • Strongly agree
  • Agree *
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  1. Anything else you’d like to tell us? (optional)

Yeah the pick-up and drop off points were NOT the same. But i think that was because of the opening day for the Orioles. The Convention Center staff did not know where super shuttle picked up guests. (there are three different possible places.) i had to leave TESOL’s annual business meeting early as i was worried i would be left behind. i could have used the time to remain at the meeting but instead i used the time while waiting for the delayed Super Shuttle to literally take myself and my luggage around the 3 possible places where i could possibly have been picked up.

i think you picked me up WAY too early, but i understand your desire to deal with the possibilities of peak hour traffic. Francis, my driver, was stuck in the particularly messed up traffic downtown brought about by the Tampa Bay/Orioles game due to start at 7 pm. it was almost as bad as when i was dropped off on Monday evening. When you send your text telling me where i’m to be picked up you should send the actual physical address name i.e which one of the three BCC pickup locations. sending me directions to a map that i can’t open as i don’t have an internet enabled smartphone that functions in the USA is of no use.

The seat-belt, which if i am correct, i am legally obliged to wear, should not be twisted so that i have to twist it to get it to buckle up. i spent quite a bit of time getting the buckle on to the correct side of the belt.

Francis is great, courteous, helpful and very safe behind the wheel.  You have a friendly yet respectful driver there.

and that’s all i have to say about that.

pax,

frothquaffer

A while ago i posted a comment on the internet about Mark Boal’s recent Rolling Stone Kill Team article about a group of US troops in Afganistan who had started killing unarmed civilians for fun. i was appropriately appalled and expressed indignation in sufficient amounts to convey how i did not condone that type of killing.

However i really didn’t get it; i didn’t understand what made them do what they did. Recently i watch In the Valley of Elah. i was disturbed by the film and actually watched it twice over two days just to make sure i understood everything and the motivation of the soldier who killed his comrade in arms. Watching the movie and reflecting on it i was able to draw a link between the inhuman actions it portrayed and those discussed in the Rolling Stone article.  i was able to figure out how adults can be transformed into inhumane killing creatures. Their training has changed a lot over the years as Gwynne Dyer mentions in a recent comment piece in the Winnipeg Free Press. Soldiers are not trained to think, they are trained to kill, and to follow orders; without question.

The recent execution of Osama bin Laden is a case in point. we now know he was unarmed, that he apparently did not surrender but made a threatening gesture: perhaps a raised middle finger… What ever it was the Navy Seal with his finger on the trigger perceived it as a threat and waxed Osama. End of story. The training took over.

Somewhere along the line we have managed to forget “Thou shalt not kill”.

The one thing i am glad about is that i’ve managed to convince my oldest son that he has other career options aside from joining the Canadian Armed Forces. The last thing i want happening is he becoming another statistic in Afganistan.

i read with interest that today is the United Nations World Day of Social Justice. How apropos especially given all the people around the world striving for social justice, freedom and dignity in their lives.

i’m really wondering at what point the international community steps up and takes action when a member state systematically denies civil rights to its citizens and how many people have to die in the streets of the world’s cities before politicians take note. Do we need situations reach  Darfur and Bosnia levels before we take action? Where is the international Peace Keeping community when supposed leaders of nations are hanging on to power by brazenly killing their populations (and blaming foreign agitators and journalists)?

i would sooner see blue helmeted UN peacekeepers in the streets than dead and dying.

graduation19_JC

i started my Masters in 1992 and did the course work, part-time, for two years.  Then life, single parenting, divorce, more single parenting and five family moves intervened.  In late 2002 i contacted my favourite prof (this was UNI SA, not Murdoch (oops! isn’t this blog supposed to be supporting Murdoch?)) and asked what the possibilities of continuing my studies were.  He told me to write to the Dean of the Faculty and explain my situation to see if they were willing to take me on again.  They did and the rest is history: i did some action research revolving around the teacher training i was then doing in rural Malaysia; wrote it up; submitted it and managed to graduate a full decade after i was originally scheduled to.  That M.Ed. allowed me to apply for the Ed. D. i’m registered in now.

love_graphics_08you know how it is.  Things get piled up; assignments, part-time jobs, classes, studying for mid-terms… Once, as an undergrad, i had three assignments for different courses due the same day.  i stayed up for 3 days and 3 nights to get them all finished and in on time so as not to face a penalty for tardiness.

i then learned that it was possible to ask for an extension… get extra time and not get penalized.  The only thing was coming up with a plausible explaination.  during second year my then paramour (no i didn’t marry my Uni sweetheart; didn’t marry my high-school sweetie either) came up with the fantasic idea of telling my prof that, “i’m in love!”

So i went to see my prof, she listened to my excuse, smiled and, eyes twinkling, gave me an extra two days…  i’ve never tried that particular excuse on a male prof but i think the whole process of attempting to get an extension and what excuse/reason used would make, at the very least, an interesting research paper in sociology or psychology…

this is my blog created as part of the MAG Technology workshop i’m attending…  i’m definitly living and learning today.   miles to go before i sleep.