Category Archives: freedoms

Is There A Solution To Gun Violence?

Simply asking that question will not resolve anything but facing and making adequate and lasting changes can lead to actually saving lives.

Most recently, the focus from the media, political leaders, gun rights activists and many others have not been focused on long-term needs or solutions but rather on short-term story lines, misleading voters and pushing policies as well as allowing misunderstandings which have led to surges in firearm sales.

The story of the century would be a day without a death from gun violence or even more so, violent crime.
Sound impossible? We are driven to think that way.

Read Full Article on EzKool.com

Views and Beliefs vs. Rights and Freedoms

I appreciate people’s views, opinions and concerns. I think those are what have driven America’s progress the most. Without those voices of the past, we would not have the freedoms to have our voices heard today.

However we share our voices, whether it be through writing, TV, radio or to those around us. The fact is, we have the desire within us to be heard and in this country, we have the right.

In many countries, that is not the case. Those rights did not come to us without fight and by others giving up their freedoms and their lives. How we use those rights and our freedoms should never be taken lightly.

I have always been one to see things through the eyes of many, not just myself. I believe that one’s freedom can not be enjoyed with another person enslaved. Justice is not won if an injustice is being done and ignored. I see that and I do not take that lightly. That is why I do what I do.

Choice is a freedom. Choice is the ability to make a decision. For someone to take that away is to take a freedom away and we have fought too long to earn those rights.

In today’s politics, it seems like there are sides. People are choosing or picking who will win this election. It is much more than sides or winners and losers. When people vote without knowing what they have to gain or lose, they have already lost. And, when people vote for a candidate knowing their win will mean freedoms are lost, what does that say about America’s freedoms? How easy is it for us to give up the freedoms of others when we feel it does not agree with our beliefs?

What if that were the way America started to work? No more separation of church and state? Church telling government how to make the laws and government telling churches to pay up taxes and what they can and cannot preach. Church and state getting into conflicts over schools. Haven’t we crossed that path?

It is called progress. It has enabled us to allow people to make choices, to find the way to move forward equally, allowing freedom of religions and freedom of speech in a nation that is more diverse than any other nation in the world.

Who would want to back up progress that has already been made? Who would want to repeat history when those times of turmoil have been fought and lives have been lost so that we can be where we are today?

We have chosen to move forward and live in a nation of progress that believes our diversity is a value and with freedom, we have more opportunity. Our country has shown how valuable freedom is and in turn, it cannot truly feel free until it is shared by everyone. Humanity is one.

 

Choices, Abortions and Freedoms

In response (warning: my responses go long) about abortion leaving many “women with an ache in their soul they will carry for a lifetime” and the issue about, “it has also killed millions of little girl babies”, (speaking of the UNFPA programs which includes funds to China)… 

I can see how there are women who have decided to have an abortion who have regretted the decision later in life or those that have been led to have an abortion by their parents or a boyfriend because they felt it wasn’t time or it was a bad idea to have a baby at the given time. I can see this argument. 

I can most definitely see how the idea of aborting an unborn fetus, baby (however any one believes) at any stage because of its gender or believed status in any culture is just not right. I see that point, very clearly. I think the laws of China need to address this overall issue and I don’t think the US should play a part in this at all. 

I have my views, lots of them. However, on many issues, I don’t impose my views and I don’t feel they should rule the lives of others. 

I do believe there are instances for abortions. I will always stand for the right of a women’s choice. There are not going to be women walking in and out of a clinic for an abortion with smiles on the faces proud of what they do. 

It is not PRO-ABORTION. It is PRO-Choice and PRO-Life. I am for both. We do not live everyone’s life and do not know everyone’s circumstance but I do know enough to know if someone is raped, they do not deserve to have that decision made for them nor should they have to fight to have the right to make that decision while they are suffering through the rape they just went through. 

I do not believe a women, or her family, should have to fight for the right of a woman who could die due to the baby she is carrying. Again, this is a choice for a woman, her family and her doctor. 

This is not a parade of abortions or killing spree, this is about being able to choose what is best with the help of the mother, family support and doctor. 

It is the same thing as having to make a life or death call of a child who is facing end of life and whether or not more chemo could maybe give them 6 months of breath or no chemo give them 2 months of being able to enjoy those 2 months playing. These are tough calls that people suddenly have to make but they should be up to the people involved, not the courts, not the federal or state government. 

Those women who have to carry that ache in their heart because of the abortions they had, they did have the ability to make those choices. The pain afterward is something they didn’t know how it would affect them just like one can’t know how it would have affected them had they decided not to go through with the abortion. That is the thing with making a decision.

You know what it feels like to not have a choice? Ask people in countries that are ruled by dictators or use the same example at the top. China.

This is not about Romney or Obama, this is about choice. 

America’s road to the White House – 2012 Edition

Get out and vote!

As we countdown to the elections, there have been many moments that stand out. There are great moments, confusing moments and those moments that will be remembered forever.

There couldn’t be a more important time in America for people to come together and hear out what each side is saying at their campaign rallies, conventions, the upcoming debates and really be able to make an informed decision in November.

This is not an election of which Party to put into the White House but a choice of a leader for our Nation as we continue to work on strengthening our economy, building a better future for our children, putting quality and affordable healthcare in the reach of everyone, advancing our educational system to stay competitive in the world and making sure our service members, military families and veterans have their needs looked after from the time they enlist and each day after.

To lead America into the next 4 years, it means leading and listening to ALL Americans while respecting their lives and the diverse backgrounds many come from as well as the diversity within the United States of America. Without this diversity in our Nation, our great Country wouldn’t be what it is today. Pride in our Country starts with pride in its people.

There have been many speakers at both the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida and now the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. There has been a great deal of finger pointing, looking back at what hasn’t worked, talking to an empty chair (?) and in the Republican Convention there was a great deal of what seemed to be self promotional speeches.

The fact is, this is a time to make a point, take responsibility, state what their nominee’s plan is to move forward and nominate the person for each Party. At the end of these conventions, voters should know more about what each candidate would do to improve the lives of the American people as well as lay out some type of an idea for their overall policies. Give a glimpse into the future if they were to be the one sworn in as President of the United States in January 2013. This is not a race to win or a “family feud” of sorts. This is serious business. Can this person lead? Can this person represent the American people?

When it comes down to it, the decisions made in the past have laid down the groundwork for opportunities today.  Without strong leaders, much of what our Nation is known for would not be in existence today. Many freedoms we often take for granted would not have come about. To be a great leader means working to improve the present while also taking into account lives in the future, not taking for granted what has been fought for in the past and respecting those who have given of themselves for the freedoms we have today.

Between now and election, there will be a LOT of targeted ads running on TV. A good deal of them are being put out from special interest groups saying they “represent” one side or the other. Their point is not to give facts but to get votes. They don’t care if they are misguided votes. A vote is a vote. They have money to spend and they aren’t spending it to educate the American public.

In today’s age of technology, it has never been easier to sit down and watch a speech, debate, read a full dialogue or look up anything a person may have missed during the day or week. Why take someone’s word for what was said? See things, in full for yourself. A vote shouldn’t be made based on emails received, clips on the news, coworkers ideas or based on Party affiliation.

Each candidate has their own website and many of their speeches are posted shortly after they are given along the campaign trail. This enables voters to see for themselves what is happening as voting day gets closer.

Romney/Ryan Campaign 2012

Obama/Biden Campaign 2012

Every vote matters. Are you registered? Each state has different deadlines to register prior to elections. Check here for deadlines and registration.

Question: Have you been watching the conventions? RNC or DNC? Both? What have your favorite moments been?

Here is a video clip from the #DNC2012 of President Bill Clinton speaking. This is the first time ever a former President has nominated a President. This is a MUST SEE speech.

Not just a story

Our world is under a constant change. That is a given. Those who try to stop change or stand in the way of progress are slowly being rooted out.
That is certainly being seen across the Middle East as they continue to fight for their freedom of speech, equalities and the ability to finally be out from under the unspeakable acts of cowardly dictators that have ruled over them for decades.

As each day passes, bravery becomes more evident because to share the turmoil going on in places such as Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, it literally means risking arrest or even one’s life. Making a phone call, sending a picture, a tweet, updating a blog or even carrying on a conversation on the street or anywhere in public can cost a person their life on the spot or have them detained, tortured, or kidnapped leaving their family to wonder whatever became of them. This is not something that is exaggerated or made up. This is life for the people of these countries and has been for decades.

Most reporters sent in are there under government watch and only go places with government permission, in government convoys and to places the governments wants them to see. Example of this is in Tripoli’s famous Rixos Hotel where a large group of reporters have stayed and covered Libya’s conflict for an ongoing amount of time. This is where Iman Al Obaidi ran in to share her story of what happened while she was held by Gaddafi’s soldiers. Her story became internationally known once it was shared by worldwide news organizations and across social media websites. This became possible only because she risked her life to go into that hotel in the first place.

Other reporters have been thrown out of Libya and other countries for sharing too much of the truth as well as having been detained, beaten, raped or are still missing or or have been killed.

To name just a few, Chris Hondros, Tim Hetherington, Mohammed Al-Nabbous, Anton Hammerl were killed just recently. These are just a few and are just naming ones killed in Libya.

Why do “outsiders” risk their lives to share these “stories”?

I’ll answer this question very directly so as to be very clear.

These aren’t just stories, this is life. Just because I am an American writing about people that are living all the way around the world, doesn’t make this any less relevant than if I were writing about something locally, not to me.

You see, these people in many ways are just like me. They have hopes, dreams, families, loved ones, and friends.

Rebel fighters at the Wazin Border Crossing(Tunisia and Nafusa Mountains) May11th
Photo Courtesy of: @ShababLibya

A mother losing her child or a child losing their parents somewhere else in the world is just as upsetting as if that happened here, or to me. A friend watching their friend die is no less painful because it is further away or because it is in a time of war. Many of those fighting in these current revolutions are students, lawyers, doctors or young kids. Most are not soldiers and had never held a weapon before in their life. They are protecting their homes, businesses, families and their lives. They didn’t want to fight. They don’t want to fight. They want to be free which is the opposite of fighting.

As an American, I want our government to be able to help, of course.

I also know that many times, U.S. involvement comes with a cost and although at first glance and in a time of crisis, it seems great and the right thing to do when making arrangements but the long term effects, due to diplomatic arrangements made to reach that original agreement, often far outweigh the long term benefit. Doesn’t sound right, does it?

Let me explain. Iraq and Afghanistan.

The need for help is there and the desire to help is there but the actual response and outcome is often so jumbled up in politics, the RSVP would have been better to have been lost in the mail.

Some situations are so clear, up front, one would think there wouldn’t be any issues. One would think.

In Libya, Gaddafi was making it abundantly clear that he had no problem with taking as many lives each day as he could without any given reason. He also made it clear he wasn’t listening to reason. Once the UN came to an agreement and NATO started its response against Gaddafi’s crimes against his own people, it wasn’t as quick of a process as it would have once been thought.

At this point, it seems communication on the ground (what little there is) doesn’t get heard by the right people, quickly enough. I personally think if it were, Gaddafi would have been cut off much quicker.

Syria has tried to hide what is going on in their country but they haven’t been able to do this, not completely. The government says one thing and does another. It seems they want to act like Iran, dress like Iran but not be treated like Iran. When do threats from the U.S. end? Syria’s government has clearly chosen its path.

In Yemen today, President Saleh refused to sign the exit deal to hopefully bring an end to the political crises. Saleh has ruled for 32 years.
For months now, Yemen has been filled with protests for him to step down. Hundreds have been killed and he has refused to sign a deal at least twice before.

Saleh is demanding the opposition be present at the signing. The opposition refuses saying it will send the wrong message to the revolution leaders in Sanaa, making Saleh look victorious.

The opposition signed their part of the agreement on Saturday, May 21st with the understanding Saleh would sign his on Sunday.
About Saudi Arabia…this is a country with a great deal of oppression toward women.

I am a woman. I drive. Recently Manal Al Sharif was arrested for doing exactly the same thing in the eastern town of Khobar, Saudi Arabia which defies a long standing ban on women’s driving. Yeh, that’s right.

Manal Al Sharif 32 year old Saudi Arabian woman detained for driving in Saudi Arabia

It’s said that about two-thirds of a woman’s salary goes toward their transportation. They can’t walk on the street or drive so they must pay a taxi or private driver. There’s no public transportation.

On June 17th, there’s a campaign #Women2Drive which is growing in numbers on their Facebook page. The idea is for those women, with foreign licenses, to go out in the Kingdom of Saudi and drive that day. Some are even offering to teach others how to drive. Manal Al Sharif remains detained at this moment but in an interview to Gulf news she said, “Every lady has something to do in the city, she’ll just drive, do her business and come back. So it’s as simple as that. People can’t call it a demonstration, we’re not going against the law, we’re not going against anyone, we’re not even demonstrating.”

I was going to divide this article into two parts but I think it’s important to keep it as one.

You see, as a nation, we have an enormous amount of freedoms. I am writing this article which I will shortly post because I have the freedom to do so. I have the ability to share the information which I freely read about on the Internet or via links that were sent to me. Information is golden.

Education is priceless. The ability to have those available to us should never be taken for granted.

In many parts of our world, these freedoms or abilities do not exist. Our freedoms were fought for by very brave people before us and to take anything at all for granted, to me, just seems wrong. It also seems wrong to take lightly why others would want these same freedoms as well as the loss of lives they are experiencing while fighting for their freedom.

Many have chosen to come here, to the U.S., seeking a better life for themselves and their children. Around the world, America has been known as the “Land of the Free”, but is it? Do we truly know where these people are coming from, why they are seeking freedom and can they still find it here? In coming here, they have often made many sacrifices leaving behind the only homes they have ever known and family members to still live under dictators and the very life they are running from.

It’s been a while since I have written. I’ve been following much of what has been going on around the world, devastating natural disasters, revolutions and our own nation and its many ups and downs.

I hadn’t planned to write quite yet until I read a comment about the woman in Saudi, Manal, who had been arrested for, driving. The comment was basically along the lines of the fact the reader would never live in a place that wouldn’t allow a woman to drive!

My question: What if you were born there?

Change for Egypt

Protest in Tahrir Square
Photo by: AlJazeer


Soon after large demonstrations started in Egypt on January 25th, support poured in across Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter for Egyptians seeking freedoms, a better future and asking Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to immediately step down.

Protestors had gathered in Tahrir Square and said they would not leave till Mubarak he had given up his 30 year position as President of Egypt. As time passed, the crowd grew. The numbers following via Facebook and Twitter also grew. (#Egypt #Jan25)

Many of the demonstrators were tweeting and texting directly from their locations and also giving information of what would be going on the following hours and days. In today’s fast-paced Internet world, picture uploading, video uploading, texting, blogging and sharing information is instant and with the world’s changing times, this allows millions of people to know instantly what is going on across the world and to alert others.

Egypt’s government has in its constitution a law, the “Emergency Law” which, among other things, gives the government the right, at its discretion to shut down the Internet and on January 28th, Internet Service Providers were told to cut services.

This “Emergency Law” has been in place nearly all of Mubarak’s time in office. This law is one of many grievances the people have with the Egyptian government and it was recently extended to remain another two years. When the law is enacted, it gives the government the right to arrest people without cause, hold prisoners indefinitely, limit freedom of expression and assembly and more. At the time Internet was cut, most mobile phone services also were disabled especially text messaging. This greatly handicapped the ability not only for Egyptians to communicate internationally but also with one another in the country.

Until February 1st, the protestors mostly were peaceful. Tahrir Square remained full of protestors waiting for President Mubarak to step down. News had come that he had sworn in a Vice President which was a first in the country in over 30 years.

However, on the 1st, Mubarak made a speech on State T.V. which played on a large screen for all to see in the square. He stated he would not seek another term as president in the upcoming elections. The people quietly watched his entire speech and closer to the end he stated he would not be willing to step down before the end of his term in September, later this year.

On the ground in Tahrir Square and close by violence grew as the crowd became angry. There became a rise in violence and coverage of this was being shown internationally soon after the world had viewed not only this speech by President Mubarak but also a speech by President Obama on his thoughts concerning the situation in Egypt.

The rise in violence around Tahrir Square grew as pro-Mubarak groups grew larger in the square and clashes between them and the anti-government group became more violent causing a growing number of injuries and fatalities.

The following day as journalists were covering the clashes, they themselves became the targets of violence. They were being harassed, beaten up, having their equipment confiscated, being arrested, vehicles or teams attacked and as this grew increasingly worse, some were forced to leave for their safety and others went into hiding to continue reporting but to protect themselves and their crews.

This same day, Internet service began to slowly return across the country and as this happened, updates from Egyptians started to come in on Twitter, Facebook, blogging and other sources. These updates showed personal accounts of what had been happening around Egypt and confirming an even greater desire for freedom but also confirmed the fact journalists were being targeted on the ground, in hotels and around the country. Egypt’s government, it appeared, did not want the continued coverage of what was going on in the streets of Egypt during this crisis.

The question was, why?

Was the fear this coverage was making Egypt look bad internationally or was the fear the international coverage and the feedback it was getting influencing Egypt’s youth, inciting more displays of protests? Whatever the reasoning, the amount of international journalists in the country was greatly diminishing and those remaining were not being able to cover the revolution on the streets, the people, Tahrir Square up close as they had been doing, they now needed to look out for their safety and cover the crisis from afar.

The fact is though, covering the situation in Egypt is extremely important. It is extremely important to see the crisis and transformation as it unfolds. It’s more truthful and honest to see it from the eyes of the people and the government’s reaction and the angles there in Egypt and to have those views involved.

Egypt’s crisis and this transformation as some view it or revolution as it is turning out to be is not just a small event or something that will soon pass. It is much larger and significant.

Egypt has a population of more than 80 million people, the largest population in the 22 Arabic speaking countries.

Although the overthrow of Tunisia’s president in December ignited many frustrations and long held grievances of the citizens in other countries across the region, eyes are now on Egypt and at the moment, the leaders of Jordan, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere are looking at their own government and making tremendous changes and reforms to try to prevent many of the same actions. Protests are currently taking place.

As for the U.S. and its involvement in this crisis, of course there is a great deal of concern and the crisis in Egypt has great significance to the U.S. We have many Egyptian-Americans living in the United States and many have called this their home for generations but still, Egypt is their home as well. Compassion must always be shown not only to our fellow Americans but, all others.

What would you go to a demonstration for? What freedom would you not be willing to give up?

Much of what the Egyptians are protesting for, Americans not only have but take for granted. Fair elections, presidential term limit restrictions, freedom of speech and assembly and the right these freedoms can’t just be taken away at the whim of the government (like what is currently happening in Egypt and has been over the past 3 decades due to “Emergency Law”).

What is the United State’s position on making Mubarak step down being President?

This is a political revolution of the Egyptian people. They desire freedom and change in the way their country and government functions. Therefore it is up to Egypt and its people to unfold their new political system, laws and government, not outside countries. True change will come from within.

Since Mubarak has been an ally of the United States, there has been communication between Mubarak and President Obama as well as the Administration and other key officials in Egypt. It is important for the U.S. to point out certain views pertaining to matters that does affect the U.S. as well as what effects U.S. citizens in Egypt, humanitarian efforts and the safety of international journalists. The U.S. has remained a close ally with Egypt for many years and as long as diplomatically possible, this is important to continue without forgetting about the rights of the Egyptian citizens.

However, for the U.S. Administration or U.S. Citizens to act as though we can tell another country’s leader to step down does nothing to aide that country or the real long term efforts toward transformation they are working on. It also hurts our diplomacy efforts with other countries and in the long run would hurt our relations with the government that ends up being formed in Egypt. The U.S. cannot see itself as the strong hold over the world.

The best seat for the U.S. to strategically plan for what needs to be done after Egypt’s transition and the actions that follow in Yemen, Jordan, Syria and other neighboring governments may be in the observation area allowing the people of Egypt and its current government to build its own future out of its current turmoil.

Allow them to have change.

Who is Running Our Country?

When I think about “running the country” the first thing that would come to my mind would be “voting”. One of the most important rights we have as American Citizens is the right to vote. Although that right hasn’t come easy. And the word right is often thrown around without much thought as to its actual meaning.

Right: a justified claim or entitlement, or the freedom to do something.

Okay, so the right to vote. Basically, as American Citizens we have the ability to vote for a great number of things in our community, our state and our Nation. We can elect our Local School Board Members, Circuit Court Judges, Commissioners, Supervisors of Election, our Mayor and Local City Council Members. We also vote for our Governor, our State Representative, our State Senator, Supreme Court Justices, and many other important elections which is why it is always good to study about and know ahead of time what you will be expected to vote on like Proposed Amendments for example.

Originally, under our Constitution only white, male citizens over the age of 21 could vote. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920 when the nineteenth Amendment was passed. Voting was first extended (though not totally equally permitted) to African Americans once the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were passed. The Fifteenth Amendment is specifically dedicated to protecting the right of all citizens to vote, regardless of their race.

This was not the end of the voting rights struggle for African Americans. Because of widespread discrimination in some states, including the use of poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and literacy tests, African Americans were not assured full voting rights until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Federal Elections take place every two years on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Every member of our House of Representatives and about one-third of the Senate is up for reelection in any given election year. Every four years we hold a presidential election.

So, why did I ask, “Who is running our country?”

As always, I believe in getting some information before jumping right into a topic of conversation. I could talk about Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I could say something about the Tea Party or the Progressives. I can use Statistics and throw in a few graphs. The fact is it really irritates me especially when people use statistics. I will tell you why. The other day I was reading something that said, “Ninety-six percent of black voters, many of whom are Christians, cast their votes for Barack Obama.” Lloyd Marcus

What he didn’t add to that was the fact that isn’t HOW President Obama won. Here is a good article to read that came out the day after the election, one of the best turnouts ever for voters.

Whether or not you are for President Obama or you were for John McCain, the fact is you should be for the United States of America. Something that has happened in this country time and time again is CHANGE. It will happen whether you want it to or not. We don’t have to be ready for change but we have to recognize it and deal with it. I am not talking about the changes that come about that people consider to be immoral or those changes that make us all say, “What is this world coming to?”

I am talking about things like when Pearl Harbor was hit, President Kennedy was assassinated or the World Trade Center was struck down. Those moments where our Nation, together paused and remembered, we are in this, together. We can overcome anything. Day to day differences and arguments at the office can be put aside. The meaning of forgive and forget is much more clear. Listening to someone who is trying to drive a wedge into the heart of our family, our workplace environment or between us and our Nation is not going to be acceptable.

I am talking about the Media here. I guess it really depends what you want to hear or watch is up to you but whatever you decide your preferred media outlet is, the great thing about today is we can always have multiple sources and not just someone’s opinion or one angle on any given topic. Just because we hear it on the news, read it on a blog or even in a “Hard Print” Newspaper (they do still make those), doesn’t mean it is real. And, just because you didn’t hear on the news, didn’t read it in a blog or didn’t see it in a “Hard Print” Newspaper doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

He does have a point. When you read something or hear a person on the news, you are hearing their translation or even their viewpoint (you are getting my viewpoint right now with a side dish of my opinion) and at some point you have to weed out what is actual news and actual biased opinion. What someone is leaving out from what they are telling you and what they are adding in to what they are telling you.

Here is a great example. How many times do you see a clip of a video shown on a news network (or non-news network) showing some speech of President Obama or from something that was being covered through the day? Speeches are always a good example or interviews because of how I am going to use this. Okay, so they give you some information on what they plan to prove to you by showing you some clip from the video and then they show you maybe 15 seconds or even up to a minute of the video. Let’s say it proves their point. But, do you ever go watch the full video and see if when the video was watched, was their point proven looking at the full context of what was actually said? Or did they pull out just a piece and use that to manipulate their point? Think about it. A lot of full videos can now be pulled up on YouTube so there really isn’t a reason to not look at the full video. Especially when it comes to interviews with the President. Just go to the White House Website (whitehouse.gov) Would you want your words used out of context? Is that really telling the news? Or is that trying to turn people against the President of the U.S.?

If someone has a position that they can speak to millions of viewers, they should use it wisely and do good by it. They should take the time to research, to learn and to do something to benefit everyone as a Nation, not tear it apart. I take a fair amount of time watching the different news networks and I can see why they do certain things if I look at it from the point they are worried about their ratings but then that doesn’t give them the right to lie or to push hatred or fear. They have something that other countries can’t dream of. Millions of viewers for 24 hours a day.

Who is running this country? Partially the media. Too many people allow them to make their decisions for them. They listen and they take the words of the news commentators as the facts.

So, where else are all the answers. The Internet is a great resource of information…if it is used wisely. For one, everything on the Internet is basically put there by someone and backed up by someone’s server. So knowing where the source is coming from is always good and having more than one source (two or three agreeable sources) is something very beneficial. I always like to link to something when I am giving any facts because I don’t want to seem like I am just saying something like I know it all. I obviously don’t. It is impossible to know it all and hardly to know a great deal about much more than a few areas of interest these days. Someone can be an absolutely genius in their field and quite smart if a few different areas and then not understand something I am quite knowledgeable on and I just know I wouldn’t want to play a game of Trivia with them. The fact is we have to chose our battles when it comes to learning because in today’s world, there is SO MUCH information out there! But, my theory has always been, “Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it.” I used to say Google but now, try BING! Anyway, I won’t go into why…

Okay, so the Internet has all this great information so how could we go wrong? We have information, we have people on the Internet, the great Social Media gathering place! There’s the problem. People?? No. It is just the same thing as the media but more of it, a lot more of it.

The Internet is the biggest opinion gathering place ever! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with opinions. I just gave mine. What I have a problem with is when someone feels they know everyone else’s suddenly and throws it into a statistic or when someone knows what everyone needs. Or when someone feels they need to rip someone apart for their opinion by publicly humiliating them. The fact is one of the biggest issues going on today is a complete lack of respect for others, tolerance of others and the understand that WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. When someone feels they do know everything and everyone around them has it all wrong, they really need to self-evaluate. We all have flaws and we all have room to learn every day.

Don’t let the Internet and everyone around you in Forums, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, MySpace make decisions for you. Don’t copy and paste something just because everyone else is doing it or because it says if you don’t, then you don’t care. Being a part of a working government and knowing what is going on your community, your state, your Nation means a lot more than passing emails, messages and copying and pasting.

Who is running this country? The Internet and those who habitually just copy and paste forwarded emails.

When you receive a negative email about a candidate, an upcoming vote, some edited or clipped video, take the time to look it up, study it. Don’t just pass everything along. Know what is beneficial or not. When it comes to voting, know about Proposed Amendments that will appear on the ballot. Know about your local officials you will be voting on. Don’t just vote with your party. When you have the choice to get the ballot ahead of time, do the homework, fill it out.

You see, that is your time to have your say. Call the phone numbers and ask your questions. They do usually answer. If someone doesn’t call and ask then that person can’t say they were lied to. If someone doesn’t vote about a Proposed Amendment they knew for sure what it was about, they shouldn’t have voted. We are thinking human beings who can make up our own minds. We are not just followers. To make a difference, most of the time, you have to take a big step out of your comfort zone and make a lot of changes. If you are already like this, then great! You are doing what you should.

We don’t always get what we want even when we do all the correct steps but were involved. We didn’t sit idly by.

Then we can ask, “Who is running this country?” We can say we are doing our part, know what we are voting on, showing up to vote, asking others to register and get out to vote. If we don’t do that part, we should have no complaints because we took no part in being any part of a solution.

Lastly, when we do vote, there is always going to be a winner and a loser. When it comes to every office we are trying to elect. That is how the democratic process works.

The President of the United States of America is also the Commander in Chief to our Armed Forces and when he is disrespected and unaccepted by many, to me that is disrespectful. In every election that I have taken part in, the outcome has always been the person elected was MY PRESIDENT. Plain and simple.

There have been so many disagreements and reasons people have given as to why they say they disagree with President Obama being President and when one thing is answered, there has been another one brought up.

The earlier ones was he was Muslim and that he wasn’t born in the U.S. Both have been disputed but no matter what anybody says, it seems neither will ever be dropped. Since only God can know somebody’s heart and President Obama and others have said he is not Muslim, that has to be left at that. The State of Hawaii has gone above and beyond to give President Obama’s Birth Certificate and even with that handed over, this will not be dropped.

OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE (VIEW ONE)

OBAMA’S FULL VIEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE (MULTIPLE VIEWS)

Not even to mention the fact that his Mother is a U.S. Citizen. It really doesn’t matter to the people that have dragged this issue out if God himself came down and verified the birthing place of Barack Hussein Obama, the fact is there is a large group that don’t want him as President and will try to stop anything he tries to do as long as he is President, will try to ensure they cause radical movements to grow larger and larger, making anti-government movements flourish, and in the meantime who is this benefitting? It isn’t like in the school days that you have to pick one team or another. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, the Tea Party, Independents or Progressives. This isn’t about President Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Hillary Clinton even.

When it all boils down, when you look at yourself in the mirror, this is about the United States of America. It isn’t about some hate movement or which team is going to win. This isn’t about Glenn Beck everyday at 5PM trying to prove his point of how everyone he doesn’t like is out to get him. This isn’t about fear and the end of time. This is about being accountable for what each of us does person to person, what we say to one another, what we pass via the Internet, our participation within our community and the fact we can make a difference. Reaching out to others and living our lives with a purpose really is much more than just words. I am not saying that as a cliché. It really is beneficial. I don’t mean you have to volunteer in Haiti or build a House for Humanity (if you can, do it) but just somehow reaching out to someone else really does something inside you. It ties things together in some way. Connects us. It lets you know there is a reason for each day beyond just a daily routine.

We are this Country. We are what make this Country great! Don’t be fooled by what you hear. It takes everyone, just like on 9/11 helping each other, reaching out to strangers and thinking beyond our differences and minor grievances. It takes putting a lot of things aside and seeing the good in others and letting them see the good in us. It is all that good that makes our Country what it is.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!