Attendance in School Matters!


I read an article over at the NYT about a partnership between the Ad Council and the Army to boost attendance in school for students

In short the idea is that parents aren’t aware of how important it is for kids to get to class every day.  A lot of children are off close to  a month a year.  Incredible, but it seems true.  So kids who are having a hard time with the material are going to really struggle if they aren’t even in school.  I get that.

What I’m not really sure about is the method of fixing the problem.  Get this- this Boost Attendance is a website that allows parents to sign up to find out whether their children are in school.  All you have to do is type in your mobile phone number and your child’s first name and their school and what state it is in.


How is it possible that my typing in my mobile and my child’s first name will allow me to access whether they are in school or not?

I checked out the website, it’s run by a company called “Eprize.”  They are the folks behind Survey Monkey and some other social sites that award prizes and alert customers to sales and they have a neat little app that allows apartment hunters to hold up their cell phone in an area and see all the interiors of local apartments.

I was a little surprised so I dug into it a little more and I couldn’t filter all the information but it seems it’s about API keys.  I know I must seem like an idiot because I don’t understand how computers are accessing more and more of our personal information…but I can’t process it.  Obviously I need more computer power in my head.

if someone understands why our children’s schools would be offering information on whether our children are in school or not, please send me a message at mogallant@gmail.com.  I’d also like to know why any parent would sign onto a site that gives their children’s information to third parties?





Chemical Warfare and You!

What a title huh?  I thank God that I’m not the kind of person that thinks that hurting other people is okay!  It isn’t, and I’d worry about hurting people no matter how annoyed they were making me.  Some  people may think that is cowardice, but I don’t think so.   It’s just how I choose to live my life.

Now that we’ve established that I’m not going to promote chemical weapons for use, maybe we should talk about why this is even a topic for discussion!  I mean, who’d want to gas people to death?

Apparently you’d be surprised at who is completely okay with killing people to make things simpler. I know I am!

Back to the weapons; there are either lethal weapons, or non-lethal weapons.  Lethal weapons take people out in some rather awful ways.  A lot of the chemicals will cause burns, confusion, severe pain, tightening of the chest , and problems breathing, or using any nerves in the human body.  Imagine a body collapsing with things like bowel loosening, vomiting, and bleeding from any open orifices.  It isn’t a nice calm death.

Well, I’m lying.  When these things attack people, some people are lucky enough to get the full force of the blast.  They’ll die rather quickly, but those who are in the environment, but not fully exposed my suffer quite a while  before they die.  That is grotesque to me.

There are also some “non-lethal weapons”.  These societies have apparently decided are okay because they generally don’t kill large groups of people, but if people can drown from drinking too much water, you’ve got to accept that even non-lethal weapons can contribute to killing people.  So, when someone tosses a cannister filled with CS gas which we call tear gas into a crowd, if there isn’t any way to get fresh air, people can DIE.

If a chemical called Fentanyl is used in a weapon, then some people will lose control and others will simply stop breathing.  Fentanyl is called an “incapacitant” it allows soldiers to enter an area without worrying about people attacking them.

You’ve probably seen those bombs that release smoke to hide what soldiers are doing.  There  might be a big bang and a flash of white smoke.  Well, that white smoke is sometimes made with white phosporus.  It ignites when exposed to oxygen.  Imagine being near an explosive with that crap in it.  When it explodes and lands on human flesh, it burns down to the bone.   Flesh burned to that degree, a 3rd degree looks puffy , charred and whitish.  An entire body can look awful, but the person can still be alive.  If they are burned to a large extent, they’ll die from the toxins released in their system.

Some chemicals are not intended to work if someone is taking other chemicals or medications.  Like if you are a heroin user, look out.  Soldiers probably don’t worry about whether people are taking medications when they toss those flash explosions.  So, um, you can die from it.

My problem with hearing that Syria has used chemical weapons on it’s citizens, is one, how do we know Syria has done it as a policy?  And can we be so sure that the “Rebels” who were former soldiers in the Syrian army don’t have access to some of these materials?  And are we sure that we are talking about “lethal” weapons…even though as I’ve pointed out all of these materials SUCK!

Folks, this is all bad!  I read this stuff and I wanted to get on a plane and travel somewhere where I could talk some sense into people.  The citizens of Syria are probably very similar to the people we see around us.  And they are living in a war zone worried about being nuked by Super Powers!

I don’t want to say what we should or shouldn’t do, I just want the folks who are so happy to talk about just “letting them do away with themselves” know what we are talking about.   It isn’t the average folks who are engaged in this war!  They are the victims and they’ll continue being the victims until someone gets it through to the HUMAN RACE that we shouldn’t hurt each other for political gain.

That is my two cents and I’m willing to have others disagree with me.  Just let’s talk nicely.




How Much Do You Understand About Syria?

If you are anything like me, Syria isn’t something you think about all the time, but lately you can’t listen to a news program without thinking about Damascus, or Homs.

I’d like to start in this post by saying that I’m pretty sad about all the upset and death that the people of Syria have had to deal with lately.  I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention to your homeland.  It’s grotesque that we haven’t figured out a way to solve political problems other than war!

Let’s get back to  talking specifically about Syria.  Syria is currently controlled by an administration that is run by a man who is the son of their former leader Haffez Al Assad.  The son is Bashaar Al Assad, he wasn’t expected to be the next leader, his brother who was being trained was in an accident and that is the way the world turns.

So “Assad” as we call him was trained as a dentist and lived in the West.  His view of how Syria should be is a little different from well, let’s say the folks who are with Al-Quaeda.  However, his views weren’t accepted by all the people in his country.  There are some who are seriously interested in making Syria a Muslim country with Muslim laws.  They don’t want the West influencing them.  Think Muslim Brotherhood.

Some other folks who didn’t like his views were with his military.  He ousted them from positions of relative power.  They are now part of the “rebels”.  This is why we sometimes hear that what is going on over in Syria  is a civil war, there isn’t anything civil about  it, but it’s amongst the people  who live in Syria.

I’m sure there are powers outside of Syria who’d like to have some control of that nation.  I’m not going to break my brain trying to figure out who wants to get power there or why.  I think we can assume it’s true.  The one thing that seems to bother the US particularly though is that Assad is friendly with Iran.  I am not going to explain why Iran is a problem, if you don’t know that, this posting won’t explain…just think nuclear rogue nation.  Assad likes them because they are Persian and they are more closely related to his faith as an Alawite?  This is where it matters if Muslims are Shia or Sunni, Shia are in Iran, and Sunni were also  Al Quaeda.  Please do not make the mistake  that I think all Sunni’s are terrorists!  I don’t, I’m just trying to keep this simple.

Let’s end there, in the next post we’ll talk about CW, or chemical warfare.



Glad People Are Still Visiting

I have to apologize for not posting lately.  I don’t know what happened, I think I felt kind of pointless spending all my energy typing out my thoughts.  It just felt like it was to no avail.  I mean, I do appreciate my friends who stop in, and sometimes leave me their thoughts.  But I guess I was going through a slump.

Well, I think the slump is sloughing off.  I know that I’m a lone voice and I don’t imagine my views really hold that much weight, but it’s because of that that I think it might be worthwhile to continue posting.  I sincerely believe I’m just an average person and I’m okay with that, but sometimes average folks aren’t treated all that well, have any of you noticed that?

There are things that come up in life that I sometimes tend to disregard because I think what difference can my frustration make?

There are books I read that I think , wow, I wish I could share what I think about that with others, but how do you do that unless you belong to a book club or something?

There are foods I enjoy and I’d really like to talk to others about how easy they are to prepare, or how simple they are to enjoy, and in my regular life- the people I know the best, already know what I like to eat, or what foods fascinate me.  So, the question is  Does anyone else care?

Despite the changes in the world, where bean counters are making decisions based   on the big picture- there are a lot of individual stories that still are powerful, and pertinent, and that really matter.

I’m not promising I’ll post regularly again and I’m not suggesting anything I post will move or inspire, or help anyone…but I know that is my hope.

Thanks again for those of you who have been checking to see if I’ve written anything.  It’s a good feeling to know that there are some folks who “get it”.

Let’s see what we are going to talk about next!