Direction in an Age of Confusion
20 Years of Prophecy Fulfilled
Sequel to Evil: Labor Evolution Revolution
I referenced the television series ‘Highway to Heaven’ with Michael Landon, executive producer, actor and writer of many of its segments, in a previous blog. Noting again the series was produced in 1988, and watching the five seasons fully, is compelling in its foretelling situations then to current Year 2020 challenges and concerns.
The segment linking today’s blog with the past, is ‘Good-bye Mr. Zelinka’ (Season 5, Episode 6).
A high school literature teacher reaches the state’s employee mandatory rule for retirement at the age of 70. Mr. Zelinka, a beloved educator for all of the students, who agreed with his ‘right’ to continue teaching, as he was completely gifted, as well as able body and mind, to continue to guide them.
Teachers and staff also stepped forward to offer support. When Ivan Zelinka telephoned to ask a school board staff member if there was any way to change the course of his future, he was informed, “No extension, no appeal, --if there were a ‘letter’ submitted their for reconsideration,--it won’t do any good.”
Principal Carlyle’s response to Mr. Zelinka’s plea, “‘I don’t want to retire, I like teaching, I feel I still have a lot to give”, and entreating his help was met with condescension… “How altruistic and noble.. but, you’ve been teaching for fifty years, -- relax, take a nice long trip, ’good luck to you old boy’,” Then the principal signaled his need to attend more important matters with parents (you know how they can be) leaving the teacher in the hallway, unaided and discouraged.
The distressed students began to actively advocate on Mr. Zelinka’s behalf, meeting hard resistance and disapproval encountering the District School Board of Education President Bill Simenton and addressed the Principal of the High School themselves. (Mr. Carlyle).
‘Mark’ (Victor French) and Jonathan (Michael Landon) employed as building maintenance workers, encouraged the students to peacefully protest the forced retirement, “This is what America is all about –do what you believe in, don’t take it sitting down—“. Students suggested picketing but were advised by Jonathan to submit a ‘petition’ instead. As agreed students prepared a petition, signed it along with teachers and parents, except for Mr. Carlyle, refusing because he had a reputation to uphold ‘that’s the system… someone younger can take his place.’
Mr. Carlyle, actively insistent about no petitioning actions be undertaken by the students. The Board would think ‘he’s heading up a bunch of revolutionary rabble rousers’, “I forbid your petition on school property!”
However, the students joined in volunteerism, peacefully petitioned on the public sidewalk in front of the school. They were admonished again –by the Principal, threatening to expel them, when Mark interrupted, reminding Carlyle that the youth had ‘rights’ too, this IS America, you know?”
Met with a quick retort, “I’m reminding you I am the Principal-- and you are just a maintenance man”. Then Jonathan interjects that maintenance people have rights too (along with students and teachers).
Ultimately the students complete a legitimate petition and submit it to Board President Simenton, assures them ‘action has been already been taken’--their democratic process is admirable --but decision is final, by ‘the rules’.
“You can’t fight city hall.”
Mark grins, suggests put Plan B in action. Peaceful demonstration, and picket signs, and students chanting, ‘No go, Mr. Z, No go’. Now, Principal threatens expelling the entire student body, then displacing the teachers into ‘those other schools’.
Teachers join in peaceful sign carrying; the news media arrives, with television cameras recording events. A sudden megaphone, in his hand, the Board President announces option to settle ‘the American Way’ of doing things --end the demonstration, and attend a special meeting to reconsider the decision on Mr. Zelinka’s retirement. (It’s now a city/local matter, not a state matter?)
Attending the special hearing, the students explain Mr. Z’s inspirational and effective teaching, requesting he remain active, submission of petition with 1,027 signatures. The President argues ‘Fact is, at his age the duties are too difficult’.
A young girl intervenes; “Age has nothing to do with ‘great things” explains her encyclopedia research reports: “Winston Church was 77 years old when he became the Prime Minister of England for the second time and 79 when he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Ronald Reagan was 77 when he was elected President, and Grandma Moses started her career as an artist when she was 76 years old and became an internationally famous painting 25 pictures one year after her 100th birthday.”
Mr. Simenton recites the legal mandate again and time to adjourn when Jonathan requests permission to speak, introducing himself, and his position as a maintenance man at the school. But was interrupted with “…we are tired and want to go home, and frankly I don’t think a maintenance man can add very much to this discussion…”
“Well, if you’ll excuse me, responded Jonathan, “I am also a citizen, and paying your salary with my taxes, and I think that takes precedence over being a maintenance man.”
Jonathan reminded the school board that the federal law had changed the year before, there was no mandatory retirement age of 70 anymore, but many states and cities were ignoring that. If the board continued he could promise them “they would find themselves in a law suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission, and would lose, but then again, I’m only a maintenance man.”
The balance of the show, portrayed the consistent effort to thwart the ‘intention of law’ and ignoring the equal opportunity to work (without age discrimination). Demanding the teacher to pass an evidently ‘biased’ examination in order to continue his career at the school.
The foundation of this series, a core belief system that there is a higher power-- ‘God’ who has the wherewithal to supernaturally assist Mr. Zelinka’s ‘knowledge’, in order to pursue life, liberty, pursuit of happiness (without discrimination). Mr. Z passes the exam ‘close to perfect score.’
III. Quality of Life
Quality of Life: 1) Areas of Change, 2) Basis, 3) Methods of Change, and 4) Intended Results
· Academic, Professional, Blue Collar, Small Business Respected
· Blue Collar labor, skilled trade independent or Union Workers
· Academic for Scholarship & Commitment to Basic Education
· Individualized Student Needs
· Professional Trades
· Attorneys as protecting or administering the law on behalf of citizens in courts of law for justice, without special interest
· Accounting, Financial Planners, Insurance, etc. for the long-term well-being of clients
· Small Business Retail & ‘Mom & Pop’ Main Street in urban or rural areas supplying basic needs in community services, carpentry, electricians, mechanics, industry, farming, a Community Strengthening Labor Pool
Social and Economically providing synergy to stability
Method of Change:
White Collar Professional vs Blue Collar Laborer
Class Distinction Bias
Unions vs Social Individual Enterprise
· Areas of ‘specialization’ in professional trades, attorneys: Civil & Criminal, Tax & Estate, Corporate or Personal, Family, Divorce,
· So many laws, so many changes, “class action and individual suits increase’
· Finance structure: Savings and Loans, Commercial Banking, Investment Companies, real estate, insurance health, home, business, specializations, multiple practice partners, limited liability companies, minimum exposure or accountability for “wrong-doing’
Welfare State Benefits vs Work Ethic Benefits
· Loss of Business & Labor Market:
· Empty Urban Downtowns “Flight”
· Rural Main Streets Empty Closed Businesses
· Empty Malls
· Empty Downtown
· Urban Blight
Class Conflict Causes Disrespect
Emphasis on “Lack, Envy, Alienation, Risk,
Demoralization, Self-Worth, Skills or Talents
· Potential Victimization personal rights sacrificed for ‘group interests’
· Forced stop of jobs and production based on hierarchy of union representation creating “walk out ransom”
· or monopoly break-up intent
· Dependency, Lacking in Self-Motivation, Powerlessness,
· Income bracket determines status and loss of “Middle Income” either High or Low, Cost of Living and support standards, growth and strength minimized by overshadow of broad national market special interests/power
· Loss of Labor Market &
· Minimum wage inadequate for basic necessities
· Government Tax Dollars for Big Business Interest Investment or Development Rebates, Large Banks Invest
· Technologies & International Interest Presence Outs National & Local Opportunity
· No Stability without addressing social conscience, minority neighborhoods, blue collar and academics jobs, industrialization, trade balances local support
Altogether, today’s Blog has three major components:
1) We are a nation of people with a Bill of Rights, that guarantee a number of rights and privileges including our ‘labor’, ability to earn a living and provide for ourselves and families.
2) We are a nation of people young and old, will skills and knowledge and who contribute to the well-being of us all, productivity, free trade, substantially of all trades, often identified as ‘blue color or white color’ but without both, disastrous.
3) We are a nation of people who are equal in our opportunity to conduct our lives in peaceful, meaningful, ‘Revolution’ with a Vote’, and ousting anyone in leadership who determines that that we work for them – when they work for us.
They work for us locally, statewide, and nationally, and if they are working outside or against our national interests, ‘Fire Them’ with a Vote on November 3’.
· Now, it is time to decide your answers to these questions:
· What was your life like twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Five?
· Is your life better or worse? Quality of life, peace, stability, health, in what ways….
· Is society and community around you is as a whole, better or worse?
· If your life and the lives of your children or family, in the future is to be determined by your decisions and actions of ‘today’, --what are you going to change? Or do?
Because..”It doesn’t have to be this way”…
Political parties are not the issue, people are.