Thursday, August 12, 2010

Importance of Education

Last night I finally watched the movie "Monster" about Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer. I have not seen the documentary regarding this person. Apparently, she was sexually abused while living at home.

I happen to believe behavior is a result of the mixture of nurture and nature. My belief is based upon my research into astrology, especially Aquarian Age Astrology, in which we may be locked into specific boxes called genetics, but our experiences help us in determining how to deal with the situation.

This woman's life goes to show me a few facts about which I already am adament - 1) the system needs to respond in a more effective way to children who are sexually abused, 2) education in the primary and then all elementary grades needs to be strongly based upon skills that can help one manage his/her life and NOT based upon theoretical ideas put forth by educators with PhDs and EDs whose intent is solely upon developing the "upper intellect." I know many people with highly developed "upper intellects" who can barely manage their lives from day to day. Fortunately, many of my friends in this situation are married to or have significant others who are partners or even families who take care of practical matters. Also, 3) when people whose job it is to protect individuals instead use and abuse them, they need to be prosecuted themselves. In most law enforcement agencies, people typically know who are the good guys and who are the bad, yet, just as in the medical profession, legal profession, and many other professions, people protect their co-workers and peers instead of having the courage to "out" them for behavior outside the rules or accepted boundaries. I did NOT say unethical because that is a subjective matter.

Do not think I am EXCUSING her behavior. I am not. She had no right to murder others. What I am saying is there should have been interventions into her life many years before this killing spree began - interventions that could have helped her move down a different life path and better handle her circumstances. I don't remember hearing in the film, but I wonder if she quit school before graduating or how her grades were. Even bright people have a hard time making good grades when they are being abused at home.

The key to a well-managed and civil life is what we go through as young children, older children, then teens. We build neuron pathways when we are young and those become habits, which later become behavior patterns that are difficult to break.

Watching the movie hurt - it was very sad to see what happened to everyone involved in this woman's life. This woman seemed to have become a monster because of what was done to her, but many steps led to that moment.

How do we find the individuals who will be the next "monsters" and do something about that now? When I taught and was an Academic Coordinator, it was easy to see which children were problematic even in Kindergarten. I wanted us to intervene into the lives of those young children in order for them to have what I considered a better future. Others wanted to give the kids gifts (which I knew would immediately be pawned by the people with whom children lived). Some of us called CPS regarding children. Some of us pushed for better testing - my big push related to dyslexia. However, as nice as many of the teachers were, many were simply overwhelmed by the educational system and did not have the energy to do anything about any problem.

Education is EXTREMELY important in our lives - we must do better with the system and that means less waste of resources, more practical curricula, getting rid of ineffective teachers and administrators and district managements, etc.

We are an intelligent nation and we could do better than we now do. For that to happen, everyone would have to actually spend time getting involved in what is going on in our country. At least with the current financial downturn, more residents appear to be anxious to get involved.

For the most part, the brains of serial killers work the same way as the brains of the rest of us (in terms of neuron development and function). More training on brain chemistry and function should be taught to educators so educators can better help students learn to monitor and alter, when necessary, their own behaviors.

When I taught, I showed my students a PowerPoint I created to show them how their brains developed and how neuron pathways became stronger as behaviors were repeated. The lessons were 1) you have choices, 2) don't even start bad behaviors, and 3) if you do activate a negative behavior, don't ever repeat it!

I absolutely believe astrology charts and consultation help us to identify stresses and find ways out. We all experience negative situations - it is how we handle them that makes the difference.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Transferring my energies back to Astrology

Lots of changes these days. I was heavily invested in Astrology for most of my life, first as a student when I was a child, then as a Professional Astrologer with both individual and corporate clients. Being high-energied, I also owned and operated the talent agency and other endeavors plus was involved in a lot of activities.

Then the time came to pull back from the Piscean Age Astrology so that I could get a better perspective of the big picture and research the Aquarian Age Astrology. I did so, followed my own chart, did everything I believe I was supposed to do, and now the time is coming for me to close down everything else and go to ONLY Astrology and writing. For Astrology or any writings  regarding that topic, I use the DBA Lee masters - the masters is used as a verb because I, like everyone else on this planet, is here to master Life.

The Astrology website is and the blog is I may or may not type opinions in this Lee Gabor blog very often - simply depends on time available.

I always will lobby for what is right and will continue those efforts. The music, photography, etc., are fading significantly. I even sold my baby grand piano and getting ready to sell Boze sound system, stage lights, etc.

Eventually, I also will sell all the teaching items I bought and used during those years as an educator with Dallas ISD.

It especially feels great that my ruling planet (in my Astrological natal chart) Moon is finishing its trip through the 12th House in my natal chart and, in 3 months, will move into House 1 for a whole new 28-year phase. I've been looking forward to this all my life. I now have about 3 months to finish up all old projects, get rid of all the stuff I no longer need, and be ready.

Blessings to you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Update on Missouri Bus Crash - would seatbelts have helped

According to news reports today, the young lady that was killed in the bus crash was sitting in the last seat on the right side of the bus with the girls, which was the bus that struck the pickup truck and then moved up onto the cab of the tractor-trailer truck (no trailer, just tractor cab).  The other bus, on which sat the boys, rammed into the rear of the bus with the girls. State Troopers in Missouri state that the young girl that died would have been a fatality even if she had been wearing a seatbelt. Apparently, the last three rows of seats were pushed forward at least three rows. The statement by the Trooper is that a seatbelt would not have helped in this case.

My question is, what about all the kids that were thrown around and injured? Obviously, seat belts would have helped them. I can't speak about the girls in the last three rows of the front bus, but all the other children probably could  have been helped.

The National Traffic Safety Board states that about 1700 kids are in bus accidents every day throughout the U.S. However, hospital records of children being seen in emergency rooms as a result of school bus accidents indicates the number of children seen is higher.  In my opinion, there is no doubt that kids who are not wearing belts are thrown forward, upward, and/or to the side when the bus in which they are riding is in an accident. However, the NTSB believes differently. They state that buses are safe due to "compartmentalization." On their website, they say "An average of only 7 passengers are fatally injured each year as school buses carry over 23.5 million children daily."

ONLY 7 PASSENGERS? These are someone's kids. These are the students of teachers who, hopefully, care. These are kids with friends. How dare they think that it doesn't matter since ONLY 7 fatalities of kids on school buses occur. The cost per bus is $7000 to $11,000 to provide seat belts. Each bus carries about 50 kids. The cost for belts is a one time purchase over the life of the bus. If the bus is used for 10 years, the cost per year is $700 to $1,100. Divide that by 50 children riding the bus ONE TIME  That is about $14 to $22 added for each child who rides that bus that ONE TIME. Would a parent pay that to keep his/her child safe? But, children don't typically ride ONE TIME. Those buses are used every school day plus for after and before school activities. As the NTSB states, school buses carry over 23.5 million children DAILY.

In my opinion, mathematically, when looking at the life of the bus over time, the cost is minimal to provide belts. Also, many school buses are used for more than 10 years. They get sold to churches or other non-profits and some districts have to keep them for many years.

As with everything in life, it is wise to look NOT just at the up-front cost of something, but to spread that cost over time. If we are looking at a higher quality product, what are we paying each year for that extra quality? At least this is the way I consider every purchase. How much more should we be considering the purchase of seatbelts on school buses.

Only a few states require seat belts. Missouri is not one of those states, although it may be that the parents of those injured children begin to lobby for seatbelts on buses. A Massachusetts legislator is lobbying for a change in the law there.

A company that manufactures seat belts for buses has animations of what happens to children when an accident occurs. Children restrained by seat belts stay in their seat. Those without belts are thrown around and at risk of severe injury. Even with these animations, people fight the expense of putting belts on buses.

It is 2010. I began lobbying on this issue in the early 1970s. In all that time, there has been little progress, although Texas did pass the law and I'm very grateful for that and believe every moment I spent contacting state legislators was worth the effort. I just have a hard time believing that, in all the other states without seat belt on school bus laws, the cost of belts is too high. Taxpayer money pays for these buses and many taxpayers have children riding those buses. Why isn't every parent lobbying on this issue? People just don't know how much power they have, if wiling to be persistent. I guess it is more important to spend time on Facebook or to watch one's favorite TV show than to consider the risk our children may endure daily.

PLEASE get on board regarding this issue. You may save a child's life and never know it! You may save a child from severe injury and never know it. However, God knows what we do and watches our works.

Blessings to all! I do hope readers make the effort to lobby the U.S. Congress about passing a law requiring seat belts on school buses in every state of our Union.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fatal bus accident in Missouri

It is a sad day to recognize that, apparently, a young teenage girl has been killed in the bus collision in Missouri. According to the news, the driver of the first school bus, which carried the girls, was changing lanes and took her eyes from the road in order to look into her rear view (side) mirrors. In front of her on the road , a pickup truck had hit the cab of an 18-wheeler and these vehicles were stopped on the highway. The bus with the girls slammed into the pickup, crushing it (which killed the driver), then travelled up onto the 18-wheeler cab (there was not a load being carried - only the cab in the accident).

The bus with the boys on it then slammed into the bus with the girls. Was that driver following too close? I don't know.

The reason I'm writing is because of my belief that ALL school buses should have seat belts. There was no indication that either of these buses had seat belts. Would the girl that died still be alive if she had been wearing a seatbelt? Would the other students have been safer? I can't answer those questions, but I would like to know the truths. The news stated that many students were taken to hospitals.

In the early 1970s in Indiana, I began lobbying for seatbelts on buses and I continued that for many years, including the time I've lived in Texas. Year before last year, the Texas legislature finally passed a law requiring that, as of 2011, all school buses in our state have seatbelts.

Thank God for that, but there are still many states in which seatbelts are not required. The cost of a seatbelt is nothing compared to the emotional toll of losing a student.

I ask all of my friends to email their federal legislatures (and state legislators in states other than Texas) to request that the law require seatbelts on buses. Please do this!