Category Archives: United

Will the @RealDonaldTrump please stand up?



When rumor surfaced in 2015 Donald Trump, reality TV star, billionaire and man who apparently loves his name on lots of buildings, hotels and golf courses may again be thinking about running for president, I just brushed it off. It had been said before and so far, no president trump, not even close.

Then, on June 16, 2015 when he and wife Melania came riding down on the escalator at his very own Trump Tower in New York City, (quite a sight to see) Donald Trump actually did announce he would be running.

OK, so he wanted to run. There were a lot of people running to be the eventual Republican nominee and nobody would take Trump seriously, right?

I myself don’t have a “cookie cut out” version of who should be president. I do think there are qualifications but also a president should be enough of a person to understand the people they are meant to lead, work with and work for.

Being president of the United States of America is not a prize or popularity contest but instead it is about truly knowing, loving and believing in your country and ALL the people of your country. Being president is about sacrifice and honor, about always putting others first and thinking about how each decision, every order and all your words have an effect on all the people not only in the United States of America but so many people all over the world for many generations to come.

The United States is very unique and is indeed a great nation. What makes this possible is also why the person elected as our president must understand what has brought America to its present and how we all must stand united to move forward to our future.

You see, the United States is made from the world. Many of its citizens have come to our shores from many generations back, most recently and will continue to do so.


The stories fade through the generations and often times we forget the struggles fought before us to provide the life we may now take for granted.

Freedom of religion, speech or escaping persecution, wars and genocide. Fleeing famine, disease or seeking the rights for education and better opportunities. Looking for safety from dictatorships, gangs, sex and/or human trafficking. In someway or another seeking that “American Dream”.

A person born and raised here may just as well wonder when will they find that “American Dream”?

What happened to being able to get a job, buy a house and have a family? Is that not possible anymore for the average person or is it just the elites? The lucky few?


So here comes election time again and what does that mean?

This time is totally different and I don’t say that lightly. I mean this time it has me asking myself, “How far are people really willing to push things?”

I watch the “news” and it has turned into an entertainment industry and its own reality show of sorts bringing on ‘talking heads ‘ to just argue and bicker about the same old thing day after day which resolves nothing in the elections, doesn’t share much of anything going on in our world and either feeds hate, causes confusion or inspires conspiracy and stupidity.

CNN used to be the “reliable news network”. But sharing the news means sharing actual stories and facts with updates and information.

To leave CNN on now for 24 hours means a person would hear a lot of the same old couple of stories all day, currently arguments about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Donald Trump’s language and those making excuses for him and a broad spectrum of talking heads sharing their opinion while interrupting, yelling, talking over each other and the host.

In all the world there is much more going on and if CNN or America really want to know if Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, her resume goes back decades long before email was even around and Donald Trump has been and will continue to be the same person he is and has been. Stop waiting for Donald 2.0 to be released.

While people are waiting for the real or the new and improved or maybe a “more presidential” Donald Trump, you can catch the @RealDonaldTrump on Twitter, any TV station, years of past You Tubes blurting out whatever he feels.

If that makes you warm and fuzzy, feeling secure and thinking he should control our country, military, nuke codes and make laws based on his years of business experience while not knowing how to run a fake university, answer where his own shirts and ties are made or, as a supposed Christian even believe in regret or asking forgiveness of anyone including God, then November is not far away.

This is a land of free voting rights… Pretty much, for now.

However, Hillary Clinton has endless references of working on behalf of children’s healthcare, people with disabilities, healthcare reform, fought for the 911 first responders healthcare, has fought endlessly for women and girls’ rights around the world, has fought for human rights and equality… The list goes on.

Hillary Clinton has been a daughter, wife, mother, student, teacher, lawyer, first lady, senator, and Secretary of State.
She has exceeded expectations and gone above and beyond everywhere she goes leaving a vast resume and trails of references, lifelong friends and grateful people along her path.

After the complete clown show, referred to as the Republican primaries, somehow Donald Trump actually emerged as the Republican nominee??
I mean, really??

As each of the others got knocked out of the heap, it made some sort of sense but Donald kept sticking around.

He insulted Mexicans, women, muslims, (people in general really) while also calling the candidates and countless others names. He openly made fun of the disabled, insulted veterans… just one thing after the other and his third grade grammar and bullying behavior kept landing him in the news and somehow the foul mouth bully was making his way closer and closer to being the Republican Nominee.

I guess if people didn’t like anyone, they chose the entertaining one?

But this is not a reality show or a joke. This is serious business with very serious consequences!!

Republicans have threatened for years Obama was going to take everyone’s guns away. They swore on it. There were threats of death camps. They swore on that too. Donald Trump himself swore Obama wasn’t an American Citizen. There were always reasons to scare people into voting against Obama and then against anything he pushed or the Democratic Party pushed.

Now there is Donald Trump as the Republican’s candidate for president and they are still trying to distract away from how insanely crazy and dangerous this idea of him even being this close to being president actually is. If they could replace him tomorrow, they would. If they could go back in time?  Things would not be taken so lightly when he announced his running. They wouldn’t shrug off so much of his hate speech. I hope not.

While his followers like his way of speaking like a “normal” person? What normal person??

And THIS person is running to be President? Maybe someone should inform Donald Trump’s mouth about that.

The world is listening. The world is watching.   –>>Words matter.

The media is not twisting his words or using them out of context. They spill from his lips out to the screen for the world to see. They spill from his fingers out to his tweets for the world to read. Then he speaks and/or tweets to confirm his ridiculous thoughts, opinions and absurd ideas on how he, alone would be able to make America great, and fast. Believe him! Ugh!

Donald Trump is unapologetic and out of control.

Donald sees winning the presidency as a contest and not as a sacrifice it actually is because Donald Trump does not know what sacrifice is, at all.

Donald Trump doesn’t respect the diversity of United States at all.

Donald Trump puts himself above all else, winning before working and shooting off at the mouth ahead of thinking about others or consequences.

I keep hearing leading republicans say they somehow hope he will change, become more “presidential” after this event or that event. Voters supporting him seem to think walking into the White House will do the trick. No, what you see and hear now will just be relocated to Washington D.C.

This is not a Disney movie and even Disney doesn’t always end happy.

Either people need to wake up and realize the blubbering, third-grade speaking bully that somehow has gotten this far is not only incapable of being president but needs help just being nice.

This election your has been like no other. This decision isn’t just about who to vote for but what is our country about? Are we going to stay true to who we really are? What so many have bought fought and died for?

My vote is for more than just me.

As an American, we stand together.

As an American, we stand united.

As an American we remember our past to guide us to through the present and lead us into our future.

So, one may ask, who is the best person to lead our country but also represent us around the world?

This is very clear… It is not Donald Trump!

The @RealDonaldTrump can sit down!

Stop waiting and wondering if he will magically become something or someone he clearly isn’t. People need to see this isn’t a contest, a one night event.

The “morning after” will last 4 years and have influence on our lives and so many lives all over the world for generations to come.

This is serious and the Republican Party needs to accept responsibility for their part in this, the media as well and as voters we need to put aside the hoopla and finger pointing and really see what is clearly in front of us.

If anything matters, votes matter because its our voices and we can’t let those be drowned out by side shows and games. This is serious.

@RealDonaldTrump has said if he doesn’t win, he will just go on a long vacation. How many of us can say that? Really?

 

 

 

 

America’s best days are ahead

"Sea to Shining Sea"
Photo by: dgroup

In our homes, our neighborhood schools, local businesses, communities and across our nation there have been conversations about the need for improvements in many areas of day to day life and the future of America.

Although when traveling through American cities or the rural communities which link our nation together, things may appear at first glance to be different, most Americans have the same basic needs in life and many share the same values and goals; family, home and having a better future for their children.

However, it’s not the differences within these communities that bring the divide to the nation. The diversity of cultures, religions and race have made America a nation that stands out unlike every other country in the world. These differences however can also be used as a tool to bring weakness and divide.

Many issues our country continues to face have come about through history and in instances, such as slavery, laws have been enacted after many lives were lost and many injustices were carried out but also heroes came to the forefront of our American culture to show that good can triumph over evil if people are willing to get involved and stand up for what is right even when it may not be popular or have anything to gain for them personally or may possibly bring them physical harm even costing their life.

Through history, lessons can be learned and the worst possible thing to do would be to revert back to old ways or act as though they never happened.

History should never have to repeat itself to prove wrong doesn’t make right and to again show one human is not above another human, not by race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or economic standing.

Instead, as American and World History are taught in our schools, it should include the fact these lessons in history can and should be what makes America a stronger nation and each culture and religion represented in America should be the ties that bind us as an even greater, more unique nation of the future with goals that represent our strengths and ambitions and look out for the humanity of everyone across our nation.

On Saturday, January 8th our nation suffered a tremendous tragedy in Tucson, Arizona when a 22 year old man opened fire at a shopping center, shooting a U.S. Representative, a Federal Judge, and 9 year old girl as well as countless others in a few short moments. In the end, 20 people were shot and 6 lost their lives including one of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ aides, Gabe Zimmerman, Federal Judge – John Roll, Dorwan Stoddard – who used his body to shield his wife from being killed, Dorothy Morris – who was there with her husband of 55 years, also shot but survived, Phyllis Schneck – a loving mother and grandmother who loved her community, and Christina Green – a 9 year old who wanted to meet her Congresswoman and someday participate in Government.

The news of this horrific event ripped through the media on TV, radio, online social media, etc. causing a great deal of grief, confusion, anger, unity, memories, panic, just so many different emotions.

An outpouring of prayers and wishes poured out across America for the families of the victims and those who had suffered injuries and were being rushed to nearby hospitals. So many questions were being asked but there were very few available answers.

Different news agencies were trying to gather facts and at times, there were reports coming in and then being reversed due to wrong information. There was also a great deal of information coming in that was being driven by emotion and reaction but not backed up by facts because the shooter hadn’t talked nor had enough time passed to give investigators an opportunity to put together the facts.

What happened in Tucson, Arizona is an inexcusable tragedy and by no means can be something that defines who America is but what America, as a nation, is not.

For those who used their media outlet and time before this awful event to campaign Americans against Americans will hopefully see America is a United Nation. For those who look at our nation as citizens against their government, America is a civilized democracy.

People can have different ideas, different goals and debates but as a people, Americans should be looking out for the good of one person as much as for the good of another person, one family as much as for the good of another family.

Americans should look past each other’s party, race, religion, Ethnicity and to each other’s goals, ideas, needs and future and see it as America’s future, their future.

America’s best days are ahead. It is within this great nation, our great nation to accomplish what is needed to move forward and to move ahead into the future. The idea is to work alongside each other and alongside other nations, to draw on our strengths and not focus on the weakness of others.

Our nation is made up of our people, all of our people and for America to truly be as great as it can be, our nation must unite and work together for the common goals of everyone.

As different as many may be, that is also our strength when used correctly and for the right purpose.

In the face of tragedy, unity is often seen, but everyday unity can be shown.

Examiner link

Looking back and moving forward on 9/11

It’s a beautiful day, clear skies, sun shining and people walking around just like any other day.

A woman goes into Starbucks and picks up a tall, skinny latte and then heads back out making a quick call back home to remind someone she’ll be home early today because they have guest coming to dinner. “Don’t be late”, she says.

Moments later, she heads into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

At Boston’s Logan International Airport, a man waves bye to the friend dropping him off. In such a rush, he nearly leaves his ticket in the car for American Airlines’ flight #11. It’s a rush to the gate, but he makes his flight.

As a few co-workers are getting some last minute paperwork printed up and start heading out the door to a meeting, one man reminds his assistant, “Bring both of the files off the desk.” They turn around to open the door and…

On September 11, 2001 lives changed. Where were you?

8:46 A.M. American Airlines Flight #11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center

8:48 A.M. The first television report is broadcast locally on New York’s WNYW station

8:49 A.M. CNN breaks into a Ditech commercial with live footage and the screen subtitle says,“World Trade Center Disaster”

9:03 A.M. United Flight #175 crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center

9:15 A.M. NBC’s Today Program makes unconfirmed statements from employees at United Airlines that an American Airlines aircraft had been hijacked previous to its destruction

9:17 A.M. All NYC area airports closed down

9:18 A.M. CNN makes reference for the first time saying foul play may be involved. FBI is investigating foul play

9:23 A.M. Text message sent to United Flight #93 warning “Beware of cockpit intrusion-Two a/c {aircraft} hit World Trade Center”

9:24 A.M. FAA notifies the Northeast Air Defense Sector about the possible hijacking of American Airlines Flight #77

9:28 A.M. Hijackers storm into cockpit of Flight #93 and take over flight. Takeover is overheard by flight controllers in Cleveland

9:29 A.M. President Bush makes first Public Statement about attacks from Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, FL where he had been visiting with students at the time of the attacks

9:37 A.M. Flight #77 crashes into the western side of the Pentagon

Immediately the Nation becomes aware that these are possibly calculated terrorist and more can continue to happen

9:43 A.M. the White House and Capital are evacuated and closed

9:45 A.M. United States airspace is shutdown. No civilian aircraft can take off and all aircraft flying are told to land immediately at nearest airport. All international flights are directed to land in Canada. Transport Canada, Canada’s transportation also shuts down its airspace

9:57 A.M. Passenger revolt begins against hijackers aboard Flight #93

9:59 A.M. The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses

10:03 A.M. Flight #93 is crashed in a field in Somerset, Pennsylvania due to hijackers and passengers fighting. Reports indicated passengers had learned of the World Trade Center attacks and planned revolt to resist the hijackers

10:10 A.M. Part of the west side of the Pentagon collapses

10:28 A.M. The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses

10:50 A.M. Five stories of the Pentagon building collapse

4:00 P.M. National news outlets report that high officials in the federal intelligence community are stating that Osama Bin Laden is suspect number one.

Due to the attacks on September 11, 2001, 2,977 innocent people lost their lives. Their families and their friends lost loved ones. What these people could have brought to the future of the world will never be known but each of them has a name and should always be remembered for who they were and the lives they touched.
September 11, 2001 was caused by the hate of a group of extremist, an Islamist Militant Group and Osama Bin Laden. These attacks were not caused by the countries these individuals are from or the religion they claimed to be fighting for.

This day was a day that would forever change our Country but it shouldn’t tear down our Nation. Our Nation shouldn’t be formed by our history. We should learn from our history and focus on our growth and our future.

To be held back by that horrible day and the events that took place is not honoring those that were lost but it is awarding and remembering those 19 individuals that attacked and is also showing Osama Bin Laden that America can again be broken due to its division.

For America to be strong, its people must be United, showing each other respect, understanding and overall, having the desire to see America move forward.

~Please share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of the page. To receive and email alert when upcoming articles are released, subscribe at the top of this article.

Updated add on:  See article “America is a land of heroes and honor” with a tribute to 9/11 “America Stand Strong”

What will it take to end hate?

The more often a story plays on the news or is written in the papers about discrimination, hate crimes, intolerance against others for numerous reasons, it should be opening the doors to more mature communications and closing the gaps of miscommunication.



It seems even though more people are talking and talking that less people are really listening. It appears to actually be fueling more hate and more intolerance. Why is that the case? Why is there so much division within the “United” States of America? Something has to be fueling the continued division and causing this to not only grow, but to become such an issue that even when the country is in such turmoil economically and suffering from tremendous job losses and countless crisis that needs attention.

Is this a political issue or an agenda of politicians? Does it lean from one party to another? Does the possibility of so much intolerance towards one another benefit one party over another to the point that this would be beneficial in the long run? That wouldn’t really make sense. Maybe in some illogical concept one could see it but in the long term, any time there is a period of hatred it will bring the downfall of any government or society.

 

Is this centered completely around typical discrimination? In many ways, almost everyone has some sort of discrimination in them. It may not be racial or towards another person’s religion. It may not focus on a person’s sexual orientation or whether they are rich or poor but there are many ways to discriminate against people by judging them before you actually know them. The more often a person draws conclusions, the easier and more acceptable it seems to be.

 

Intolerance is the unwillingness or refusal to accept people who are different from you, or views, beliefs, or lifestyles that differ from your own. Nowhere in the definition does is say a person has the inability to have tolerance to accept people. It says they are unwilling or they refuse to accept the person’s differences. Everyone can choose to become tolerant.

 

At this point, the U.S. is in a crisis. The crisis is not just economic or jobs. The major crisis is within America. Americans need to find the ability to work on these inner issues of discrimination, intolerance and hate. Without fixing the inner issues, the economy and job crisis, the educational issues and the energy crisis cannot to move forward. America is only as strong as its weakest links.

Americans vote for the leaders that represent them in each state and in Washington D.C. Americans vote for the President. Americans vote for a great number of things. These votes represent what each voter is saying they want to see done and who they choose to represent them.

 

However, for this to work, each voter has to start by taking responsibility for themselves in their everyday life. Each person has to take responsibility for their everyday activity and how they treat every other person they encounter. Everyone has to expect that from the leaders they chose when they are in their home state and when they are in Washington, willing to work together for the good of their state and for the good of their country. Unless someone is working for the good of others, nothing will move forward.

 

Hate, discrimination, intolerance and waiting for someone else to start the process to end these problems is just not going to work. It takes each of us starting the process to end this and end this now, right away.

 

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” Samuel Johnson

Inspired or Angered?

Inspiration:

*In 2007, Gary Oppenheimer ended up with leftovers from his garden that his family could not use. In trying to find a way to put his fresh produce to use, he came upon an idea that has since really caught on and is not only helping him use his excess surplus but is also helping others in need to eat and stay healthy and has given gardeners across the nation a way to get involved and help save lives. His idea grew into AmpleHarvest.org. The free online resource enables food pantries to register and be listed in a central nationwide directory, and makes it possible for American gardeners to easily find the local pantries where they can donate extra produce.

*HelpOthers.org is just an amazing source of ways to reach out to anyone. If you have someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time and aren’t sure how to make that connection again, visit this site. If you want to do something nice for someone and aren’t sure what to do, go by this site. They have a lot of good “random acts of kindness ideas.” They also have something called, “Smile Cards”. They are cards you can either print up yourself or they will mail them to you, FREE!! Yep, totally FREE!! How kind is that?? You can donate if you can or want to but other people donate to keep this service going. The idea is though that you will mail out these cute little smiley cards to cheer up someone’s day. And, let me tell you, cards do cheer up someone’s day. Having a daughter that has spent month after month straight in the hospital, cards are great! But, also think about the fact that now-a-days the only thing most people still get in their mail box is bills or junk mail. When is the last time you sat down and wrote a nice little note to someone and stuck a stamp on it? Yeh, stamps? Texts and emails are nice but a note or letter in the mail? Wow! But, drop by this site, there are a lot of great ideas and even stories on there.

*Out of personal experience and having lived in the “world of cancer” for so long now I can tell you that being around cancer patients and kids fighting cancer, I am surrounded by inspiration. I find it very difficult to complain about a headache or a bad day since I have been introduced to people that daily fight for their lives while being inflicted with so much pain and sickness. Do you know what I noticed right away on the oncology floor that I would have never imagined to have seen? I noticed a lot of smiles, lots of smiles. I am not sure if they were always there, if people were just always smiling and I didn’t notice it or if it was the fact that the people fighting hardest for their lives found more of reason to smile through each day they were living. I think it is the second point. I think they found more of a reason to smile. I will never forget when I noticed those smiles. Ever. They inspired me to notice that each day is different and each day is a gift. They inspired me to realize even more that none of us are promised the next day, the next hour or even our next minute. Life is a gift.

*In a previous article on my blog, “21 Days Makes a Habit”  I spoke about the Pay It Forward Foundation.  . The idea of “Pay it Forward” was brought out very clearly after a movie was released in 2000 based on the novel. In the movie, an 11 year old boy, Trevor is doing a project for his science class. Trevor calls his plan “pay it forward”, which can be described as a charitable pyramid scheme, based on good deeds rather than profit. “Paying it forward” means the recipient of a favor does a favor for a third party rather than paying the favor back. His plan not only caught on but it caught on BIG! This 11 year old inspired a movement and people really felt so eager to do something for others. They not only did something but they did so with a happy heart and in many cases, their heart had been closed or had been just going from day to day not really feeling much of anything.

*Do you think the above people are still doing what they started doing in the links mentioned above? I mean once someone gets inspired to get involved like Gary Oppenheimer with his garden helping others or people that go by helpothers.org once, do you think they will go by a second time. Well, the people that started that site were inspired enough to start it and the people that donate to keep the cards free obviously have been inspired enough to get involved to help with that part of the service as well. I know we have been so inspired by our daughter’s fight for life and others’ fight for life as well as how different organizations such as BeTheMatch.org, Florida Blood Services, and so many others that we wanted to do our part to further help educating others on the need for marrow donors and blood product donation as well as helping families going through transplant so we started our own foundation, the Katia Solomon Foundation back in 2003. Inspiration tends to continue on a daily basis because it not only touches your life, it touches your heart. It has somehow changed your life and maybe given you purpose.

So, what else moves people to get up and do something? There are a lot of times people get angry over something that happens in a community and a community gets together to make a statement. It can be a tragic accident with a drunk driver, a missing person that a community gets together to help find and sometimes the news turns out with a very happy ending or the reverse of that story the person is found murdered after a long search. When communities come together to help each other, it is great and even better when the news covers the story. When a community stands up against a tragedy together, it often brings the community together.

However, so many things have become arguable. Things that most would think are beyond argument. I mean one can always find a path to an argument if you choose to go looking but these days it seems nearly anyone is ready for an argument, ready to take sides on things that there should be at least a clear understanding on certain parts of the story.

I mean has it really come to the point that everything is an argument and that is what motivates people to speak up? Get involved?

Anger:

Here are a few examples.

*Oil in the gulf… is bad. The problem has to get fixed. We need accountable, competent people fixing the problem until there is no more oil coming out of the oil well. A lot of people have lost their jobs and a lot of damage is being done to wildlife and beaches. This damage is going to last for a very long time. Everything needs to be done to assure these issues do not happen again.






*Immigration Reform is something that will always be a work in progress as our country is in a constant change and each year more people will migrate here from different countries all over the world. As our country is constantly changing and more people are coming and going, laws need to be updated and relooked at on a normal basis. Our country’s safety is always a top priority.






*Education is the foundation to a good future. Every child in every town across America deserves a good education. This should be a top priority across our Nation.






*If you think your child is sick, you take them to the doctor. That is what any good parent does, right? Not if you don’t have health insurance. Well, of course you should be able to take you child to the doctor or go to the doctor if you are ill. Of course you should be able to go to the doctor for regular screenings that can catch cancer early, diagnose the beginning of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or many other diseases that when left untreated can end up causing significant health problems and run up enormous health cost or cause death. Health reform was set out to correct this issue.














Personally I don’t see where there is even an issue with any of the above things mentioned. I don’t see how someone can jump on any of those statements and say how there is a disagreement as those stand. I can see how there is something a person can jump on IF they already have a set view and don’t want to look at the plain, easy-to-see picture as it stands. There is always a way someone can drag it from the “left” to the “right” and not see it in the way of humanity and simply as what is just the basic right thing to do. That is very often overlooked until things get just too far out of hand or something so tragic happens that the cloudiness over our eyes that has been put there by our own views and the views of what we watch, read or listen to is finally washed away by tears of tragedy and sadness. It doesn’t need to come to that to see how we can be a part of doing what is right even though we may feel differently about some things. Just because we may see things in a different view doesn’t mean we should overlook basic human rights, common sense and being part of the growth of our nation and not a hindrance on our growth.




My response to the above issue:

*When a company is responsible for the death of any of its employees, damage to natural habitat, loss of jobs and the ways of lives that have gone on for generation after generation, they should claim that responsibility. It should be done in a legal way according to a way that is laid out and agreed upon. Too often these types of incidents become something more like a “witch hunt”. At this point it doesn’t matter what side you’re on or even if you aren’t keeping up with BP and the leaking oil in the gulf, you are on the wrong side. Someone is totally against you and you don’t know what you are talking about. The fact is this was the first time this has happened and yes, it should NEVER have happened. It has taken a long time for someone to even come close to finding an answer and there is still oil leaking in the gulf at this moment…leaking, leaking, leaking. Not like a dripping faucet either. More like barrels just being dumped! But, the point is, nobody has the answers. I think a lot of people want to do a lot of firing and even more people want to find a problem. Even more wish this had never happened. This is the optimal time for political parties and campaigns to point fingers of blame at each other. It will go on for years. But pointing fingers and placing blame on each other doesn’t make it right and it certainly doesn’t reverse time, fix the leak or clean up the gulf now does it?  While I am typing this, there is hope of a new solution fixing the problem…let’s pray this works.






*Immigration Reform is another one of those issues that either people really have an opinion on or some people just don’t touch the topic due to its heated debates. This country was built with immigrants. There is hardly anyone in the United States that didn’t have family who at some point in time migrated from another part of the world. At different times, there were different standards of how immigration was done, how land was claimed, or what rights a person had as an immigrant. If you have read my past articles, “Will History Repeat Itself?”  and “What Divides Our Nation“, you will see how far our country has come and also have to ask yourself what is going on now? For a country that has been built on diversity, freedom and so many have fought for human rights even fighting for the human rights of others in countries around the world, why is it that the immigration issue is now becoming something that would even come close to taking away anyone’s human rights. Not sure what I mean? Read “Arizona is just the beginning… watch out!”  Yes, Immigration Reform is a necessity and it is something that needs to be done now and continuously monitored. It is a federal issue and it is something that both democrat and republicans need to work together on. You see, everyone came to this country seeking freedom and a better life, right? This country. The UNITED States of America.

*Education is something that everyone should see is a top priority. I think that part everyone would say, “Of course, absolutely.” The education system in our country has moved down the list when compared to other countries and there is absolutely no reason for that. When George W. Bush became president, he signed the No Child Left Behind ActIt was signed to increase funding, accountability of schools and teachers and close the gaps between minorities and children in impoverished areas. It measured students annually through standardized tests. The numbers that came back were shared and showing improvements for the first few years. The gaps were closing and the funding appeared to be working for the teachers’ incentives. Schools that were doing a poor job needed to earn a better grade to get more money. There were problems with the NCLB act. The tests were on math and English. So, to score a higher grade, teachers were “teaching to the test”, basically preparing their students for the test and not teaching on other subjects or preparing them for even their next school grade. There is also the idea that ALL students can take the same test and the school can be judged by the outcome or the teacher can be judged by the outcome. Although a teacher does teach in the classroom, more often, that has less to do with what students take away from a class. Although our students go to school each day, they are taking less education away from school and more outside influence. I feel there could be 10 standardized tests on education a year and it really wouldn’t give much information at all about what students are learning in schools. There is certainly not anything standardized about the public school system in America.

I don’t believe in stating a problem without a solution so here is at least the beginning of a solution because to give anymore would be another blog. What is missing from our public schools and even most private schools today is the communication between the student and their parents, the communication between the parents and the teachers and the communication between the parent, teacher and the student together. If a teacher knows that the parent and the student are communicating (and that is saying you do communicate with your child) and then the teacher knows they can communicate with you if there is an issue at school, it opens up a whole new avenue of tools for the teacher to use to help your child with their education. Teachers have less available to them now than ever before when it comes to dealing with their students. They are teaching less due to funding, testing and class size. They are held back and paid very little but are expected to turn out something amazing after approximately 35-45 a day, 5 days a week with your student. How often do we as parents get involved with our students after school, ask what they are doing, read something they have written, talk to them about their friends, their goals, etc. Teachers can’t do all the teaching. Our children are our responsibility. Teachers are there to help us teach our children. We should know what they are doing and communicate with their teachers. A teacher should have a phone number they can feel free to contact you and know you are there to work with and take part in your student’s education ALL the way through their school years.



*To me, the last one is just a simple fact of humanity. If someone is sick, they go to the doctor or the hospital to get better. That shouldn’t have anything to do with whether they are rich or poor, have a certain type of health insurance or another or have no health insurance. It shouldn’t have anything to do whether they have recently lost their job or do not have a job. It is their health. They are not going to the doctor to get a 6 pack of beer, a tattoo or play poker. It is not a day at Disney or a free vacation. It is the doctor’s office and it is either that they are sick or someone they take care of is sick. It’s pretty simple to me. I am not even going to go into the politics of all the things our country’s citizens will pay money on but taking care of people when they are sick is something that I don’t consider should be one of these things that should cause a roaring debate for over a year in this country. When we are each born, we aren’t promised to be born into a family that has it all!! We aren’t promised to be born into a country that has it all!! During our life we aren’t promised there won’t be any obstacles or tragedies to come our way. Anything can happen to any of us at any time. That I can promise you. A family member can come down with a terminal or debilitating illness and either with insurance or without insurance bills add up. A car accident can suddenly put one of your family members into a coma for a long time and they can come out with irreversible brain damage. Again, even though you may have the best of insurance you can lose everything due to medical bills. What if the person that is diagnosed with the medical condition or involved in the accident is the one the medical insurance is under? What if you have insurance and then lose that insurance? You are then with the millions of others without medical insurance. So many people are willing to stand against EVERYONE without insurance saying they don’t want their money going to pay for people without insurance but yet these people fighting against those without medical insurance don’t know the stories of these individuals without insurance. They think they do. They think they are all people that have never worked a day in their lives, don’t plan to and just live off the system, thanks to the tax payers!


Meanwhile, plenty of the people at those rallies didn’t have health insurance. Many people right next to those people at their jobs making plenty of money to be able to buy their own insurance didn’t have health insurance. Why? A lot of people don’t think they need it. While people at low paying jobs who are thought not to have insurance do have insurance because their company offers it and the employees understand the importance. You see, you can’t judge a person unless you not only know the person but you know the circumstances. So it is best just not to judge. My belief is that insurance is a right. Insurance should be available to everyone. Every company should be able to afford to offer health insurance to their employees and the employees should be able to afford to buy it. If health insurance was seen as a human right and a basic necessity, it wouldn’t be something our representatives could argue over for a year holding up a bill getting signed into law. It wouldn’t be something people fought over while people were getting sicker and dying. That tends to get overlooked or it is looked at and not cared about as though, these sick and dying ones are different than the ones that hold their insurance cards in their hands. They have a card that says they can live, for now.




So, you see I get motivated by both inspiration and anger but anger doesn’t make me go and do something that isn’t going to solve anything. Anger doesn’t make me do something that is going to hold back another person from moving forward in their life. Anger isn’t going to get me to do anything that will hold someone back from getting what they need to live a full and happy life. No.

I have been inspired to do everything in my power to see that I leave this world better than I found it.

I have been inspired to help someone who is down.

I have been inspired to think of a solution instead of dwelling on the problem.

I have been inspired to look past the differences and see the likenesses.

I have been inspired to not only dream but to soar with the possibilities.

I have been inspired to not only see what can be done now but to inspire others that will go on long after my time is over.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose”. Robert Byrne

What Divides Our Nation?

July 1, 2010

Is God merely being used for convenience or religion being as an excuse for intolerance?

More and more it seems God and religion are being pushed away but just as much the Bible is being used to back up laws and arguments but yet it is thrown out when it goes against a bill, group or even a campaign effort that is no longer desired. The same people that are standing up and using the Word of God as an argument are acting out in hatred toward anyone that does not act or live according to their beliefs which goes contrary to what the Bible, they claim to live by, teaches.

Before I decided to write this blog, I looked up different articles, news stories, blogs, past and present references and there were plenty of instances that are not only proof of this but also speak on just this subject. So, I find that I am not alone in how I feel. This blog is not something that I am going to back up with a lot of facts or dates in history. There will obviously be some but this is something I have wanted to touch on and write for quite some time.

If you watch the news, go to church, work alongside people of faith or of no faith, or if you go to school, the facts are alongside you every day. Most of the people around you are willing to tell you how they feel, what they think, what they “know”, etc. People will give you statistics, historical data, books to read, quote Bible verses, even bring you things they have printed out to make sure you see their reasoning is factual, at least that it makes more sense than the “other side”. But why is it always more necessary to prove the other side wrong? If things make so much sense, can they not speak for themselves? Why does everyone feel the need to be so “in your face”, “100% right”, “my way or no way” all the time?

Like I said, this is going to be an opinion blog by me. So, for that reason I am sticking to what I have been confronted with and how I feel. I urge you to comment and share your thoughts or what you have been confronted with and how you feel. You may or may not feel comfortable with that but, feel free.

First of all, let me put out some facts. I am a Christian. I am a registered Republican. This is the first time I voted for the Democratic Candidate. I am very much someone who follows the campaigns, the debates, the town hall meetings, does my research on the voting history, etc. I am not a person that gets caught up in all the forwarded emails, the negative publicity that goes around or the fact of which candidate is running under which party. I don’t vote for a party, I vote for a President. IF my candidate of choice doesn’t win (which has happened in the past), I support the elected President and I do as I would if the Candidate I chose had won, I keep our President and our Country in continued prayer. I am not someone that is only concerned about our country during the Presidential elections, I always keep up with what is going on. That is how I feel it should be. Know the facts. Know the person. Know the laws. But, never think you know it all. You can’t.

Yes, I keep the Country, our President, our troops, our world and a lot of things in daily prayer. I believe in prayer. I don’t just believe in prayer when I need something. I also believe in prayer for giving thanks as well. If you know anything about me, I have had many things to pray for in times of need but also many times to give thanks.

This takes me to one of my points, something continuously brought up and often times I wonder if people realize the history behind the words on our money. The words, “In God We Trust” first appeared on our paper currency after being passed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 30, 1956. He declared In God We Trust the national motto of the United States. Congress had required, in the previous year that the words appear on all currency, as a Cold War measure: “In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper” to “remind all of us of this self-evident truth” that “as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail.”

The words “IN GOD WE TRUST” did not come lightly. There is quite a history behind those words and our Country. The law Dwight D. Eisenhower signed in July of 1956 was done so after 90 years of inscribing “In God We Trust” on our coins a centuries old heritage of recognizing God’s sovereignty in our Nation’s affairs. It was the establishment of our Nation.

The next two points I am going to put together although they are really big points depending on who is looking at them. Depending on your age, you may or may not remember when it was okay for schools to have prayers said or passages from the Bible read in school. Whether or not you or your parents were religious or not, it was something that was okay to do. Now the fact that it could happen seems almost like an atrocity to some people. How dare they violate mine or someone else’s rights? Well, mind you just like they took that out of schools they have also taken a long list of books out of schools. Enough complaints come in, things go out. Either it can be in the name of religion or in the name of someone’s “rights”, one way or the other, things get done. It just depends what side of the aisle you are on as to whether or not you agree with it. When it comes to prayer in school, as far as I am concerned, I find it comforting at times. Let’s say a classmate has gone missing in the community (that has happened with me) or a classmate has suddenly died tragically (that has happened to me). Let’s say that missing student is found dead or let’s say that the school had one or more of its students come in and go crazy with guns?? What if a suicide happens on the school campus? What is appropriate then? Who makes the rules for times like those? Do we wait until it happens enough times for there to be statistics to go by or a congressional hearing to make a decision for us? Everything is not always cut and dry, black and white. Every community is different. Every school is different. Every situation is different.

In 1963 school prayer was the focus of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, a militant left wing atheist with close ties to the American Communist Party, when she filed a lawsuit against the school board of Baltimore. The case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing school prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. Justice Tom Clark wrote, “Religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none.”

I am a very tolerant person to another one’s rights and beliefs. I don’t believe in pushing anything on anyone. I think exclusions should be made for those that do not want to participate. I know as I was growing up in school (during the 70’s and 80’s), nobody was forced to participate in the Pledge or the National Anthem. Although when I was younger, I didn’t understand why they didn’t want to, it wasn’t pushed and I didn’t bug about it. Now I understand their reasoning. That doesn’t mean though that you just stop doing the Pledge or the National Anthem though. You can find a way to work around things. Everyone has to learn tolerance. This is the United States of America. UNITED!

The Pledge of Allegiance:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

There is a history behind those words. At one time, the part, “Under God” was not in there. Louis A. Bowman was the first to initiate the additional words, “under God” into the pledge. He said they came from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. On February 12, 1948, he led a meeting as the Chaplain of the Chicago area Sons of the American Revolution and recited the Pledge of Allegiance with the words added, “under God.”

The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

So what is the problem? Is it the problem with a large amount of people not wanting to say, “under God”? Well, if they don’t want to say it but allow others to go ahead, then that isn’t the problem. The problem lies in the part just after. “Indivisible” or undivided. That is where the biggest problem lies with so many things these days.

Our Country, the UNITED States of America is so divided. Our Nation is divided. Our government is divided. Our schools are divided. Our workplaces are divided. Our streets are divided. Our families are divided. And over what? What divides us? What drives a wedge between us? Why did it take so long for congress to pass a HEALTHcare Act? Why is it so difficult to see where the problems are with our financial system in our country? Where is our focus? Why is it that elected officials are dragging out jobs while plenty of them are doing things that have nothing to do with what they were hired to do? Where are churches right now?

For a Country that was built on freedom, rights and limiting of the federal government (I am taking this from the US Constitution’s 1st, 6th and 10th Amendments) it appears that people want all of those things but don’t want others to have the same things. One group wants their religious freedoms by taking away another’s religious freedoms. There are huge groups that want to limit the power of the Federal Government but want them there and ready to make laws available to protect any right they come up with or knock down the ability for another’s rights. No secret here… I am talking about the Tea Party Movement. If the Tea Party Movement originally set out to do something positive, make a difference and stand up for something they believe in, it has not come across that way. Maybe to their own group they present themselves in an educated fashion and hold some type of overall point that has yet to be shown. To me and a large group of those on Twitter and Facebook as well as across the Internet, the Tea Party Movement is an unorganized group of people protesting a large number of things but not making any point or any sense for that matter. It was pretty clear where they were headed (or not headed) when they chose Sarah Palin to be their Featured Speaker at their first National Convention in Nashville Tennessee on February 4, 2010.

A good number of Christians have backed up Sarah Palin and what she stands for and many Christians are part of the Tea Party Movement, I stress this though, NOT ALL.

Do you watch Glenn Beck? Have you heard of the 9-12 Project? For a long time Glenn Beck was another one that it seemed so many Christians were following. Again, let me remind you, I am a Christian. I am not a Christian that just blindly follows anyone though. I am not saying if you watch Glenn Beck you are blindly following but I hope you are really paying attention to him, taking a second look at what he is really saying.

The 9-12 Project

9 Principles 12 Values

9 PRINCIPLES

1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the center of my life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

12 VALUES

Honesty

Reverence

Hope

Thrift

Humility

Charity

Sincerity

Moderation

Hard Work

Courage

Personal Responsibility

Gratitude

Did you read those? Just in reading them I realized they don’t even go together. It seems that when one is uneasy about being “forced” to be charitable, they seem to not have a charitable heart at all. I think that is more being concerned about being taxed but he just didn’t want to say that and sound like a regular GOPer. Better to sound more honest and wholesome. But then he has charity in the values section along with sincerity. Overall the system is anti-government. It doesn’t even go with smaller government, it is anti-government and anti-authority. What is confusing is #1. America is good. If America is good then why is its government bad? Why is its charity bad? And #7 makes Glenn Beck sound like a selfish kid that doesn’t want to share his toys. What about #9, the point of the government working for us and we don’t answer to them? Well, the government does work for the people but since it works for everyone also means that it is there to protect others (i.e. the police department, the courts) so at some point, there could be a time you may be answering to them, literally. Also, there is the I.R.S., the D.M.V., Homeland Security, just to name a few. As much as you want to kick the government away, you also rely on them for your safety and well-being. When 9/11 happened, I didn’t see Glenn Beck pack up to go to war but he loves to insult our Commanders-in-Chief.

It takes a government to run a country. It doesn’t help anything for a bunch of anti-government people to rally around with signs or to go to meetings and stand up shouting and interrupting. It certainly hasn’t made our country any better to have a person getting paid to speak at conventions and meetings where she really has no idea of a set plan other than to go against the current administration and in the meantime make as much money she can wasting legitimate time from what could be, possibly a chance for the GOP party to find a legitimate person to come up with some new ideas.

If they want to complain about our current administration, find someone worthwhile to run. Stop playing games and just cutting down everything in the House and the Senate that is trying to be passed for our Country. This isn’t a game we are playing. It isn’t who has the most points or who is the most popular. It isn’t about poll numbers or who has the lead story in the news. This isn’t about who can kick out the other’s religion or get the other’s rights get taken away.

As I highlighted earlier, this is the UNITED States of America.

United: formed by or resulting from the union of two or more person or things

We are so much different than any other country. That should make us special. As I see it, we should take advantage of a wonderful situation we have been granted. We have the union of many cultures. We have combined influences. We have the combined efforts of many lands, beliefs, roots, educations, backgrounds, and customs. We have people that have been through foreign wars, triumphs, defeats and due to this have come out changed people with either a higher level of tolerance and yes, in some cases a higher level of intolerance. But, with all of this we should build knowledge, bridges and understandings. We should create our own ties and levels of understanding. Of course we should always protect ourselves and the best beginning to protecting ourselves is by being united but that doesn’t mean by cutting off the outside world. Remember, we were the outside world. Our strength comes from who we were and who we are. Our future comes from who we can be and the acknowledgement this requires growth and change from everyone. None of us can say we know it all, we have it all or we have done it all. None of us is better than anyone else. To say that means someone can say that about you. And to believe you don’t have anything left to learn or anything to give is ignorant. We all must learn and we all must give.

As people go around protesting and fighting against those that are different from them or over laws they haven’t even taken the time to read, nothing is getting done. Nothing is moving forward. To say you don’t like our current administration but you have no reliable source to send of your own and your own party can’t get organized to get anything done within the House or the Senate says they are only out to fight and not resolve. If you have a problem, come with a solution.

I asked earlier, where are the churches in all of this?

When I was growing up, churches used to go out on visitations, door to door. Not much of them do that anymore. I think I can guess a few reasons why. Partially, it may be because people are busier now. It may be more difficult to get people that are willing to go out and knock on a door. Fear as to what people may say or do when they answer.

I have seen the way radical Christians have been yelling and screaming at different anti-abortion rallies, tea party rallies, anti-Obama rallies, anti-Health Care rallies and Town hall meetings, etc. The way they were presenting themselves were giving Christians a bad name. People don’t look at Christians in different groups. They don’t see Radical or non-radical Christians. They see Christians yelling and screaming holding up signs and acting like a bunch of judgmental and hateful people. I personally don’t want to fall into that group. I don’t use God’s name or being a Christian as an excuse to throw away tolerance but instead I believe in being kind and respectful of others. That doesn’t mean I must toss my morals and beliefs out the window and just join everyone either. I find a medium ground without losing my morals or demeaning them or being rude and disrespectful.

Acting out that way doesn’t seem very Christian like. If a Christian wants to share Christ with someone, the best way to do that is through their actions. This is one of the biggest moments I can think of where actions definitely speak louder than words. Being a Christian is to be an example of Christ.

As much as America was built on religious freedoms, more and more people want freedom from religion. It is as though God is there for a need-to-use basis. An example of this was on 9/11. When that horrible act of terrorism happened, churches were filled. I mean think about it. Everything that people held sacred had been stripped away in a single moment. People didn’t think that could happen. There are going to be people that say they knew it was coming but overall the majority of people felt stripped that day and the place many sought refuge was church and each other.

When bad things happen, people turn to God. Some people hate God when something bad happens or a loved one is lost but still, they turn to God.

How sacred does this Country really hold God? How important are certain words? I mean is it the words or is it the sentiment? Is it the fact of who says it or is it something else? Is God merely being used?

I know where I stand. I am not here to judge anyone personally. But I am talking about in our Country, our Government, in our Political Parties? How far has it gone?

I will leave it with this.

What would happen if President Obama had a meeting with a group of 5th graders and the beginning of their meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance. I mean, he is the President of the United States of America, the Commander in Chief of U.S. Military. So it goes like this, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

No “under God.”

Think people have a problem with President Obama now? What then?

Or, what would happen if Congress put forward a Bill to remove those words from the Pledge of Allegiance? Then, where would people stand? Would it make a difference if Congress was pushing this instead of our President leaving out the words?

Is it the words being left out, the person who is leaving out the words, or a law that would be removing the words permanently?

Or is it God? Would it be different to know that our Country, our Nation is deliberately and decisively choosing to leave God out?