Category Archives: rights

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.

 

Freedom – What is it worth?

Freedom
Photo by: Moe

More often it seems people are concerned about what is happening to their freedoms or one person’s freedom is standing in the way of another person’s freedom.

One person’s freedom of speech can become bullying or harassment to another which has been making headlines recently across the nation even inspiring the “It Gets Better” campaign.

Freedoms have been fought for throughout America’s history but when one person’s freedom has become a source of disrespect, intolerance, hate or the cause of a crime, this is no longer just someone exercising their freedoms but instead it is an act against someone else’s rights.

What exactly is a freedom and what is a right? Where should the line be drawn and who should draw the line?

A freedom is very difficult to just flat out define but it is being free willed, making one’s own choices, having liberty, not being physically bound or confined or not having one’s future pre-determined. Freedom is being able to have something that is yours and know you will be able to hold on to it.

A right is the freedom to do something or the justifiable claim or entitlement to something. Some may say a right is something you are born with and die with like the rights spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. However, this has been something that is argued that these are more a privilege because they can be taken away from you. For example, prisoners lose many of their rights. However, we are looking at this primarily as freedoms.

Can a person have too much freedom? Is it possible for freedom to be taken too far or to be misinterpreted?

If a person had 100% freedom to do absolutely anything he/she wanted this could and most likely would begin to infringe on those around them. Each person having their own freedoms would expect to have the same apply to them, 100% freedom for themselves. This couldn’t work.

It’s very easy to come up with a quick example that is not extreme but more or less a day to day example. Imagine a busy supermarket, long lines at the register and everyone is on their cell phones, talking loudly and in no hurry to get off. That includes the cashier, the person ahead of you and the person ahead of them. Everyone is just freely talking. It may seem rude but is it breaking the law?

Putting one’s freedoms aside to respect another person and/or their freedoms has made life not only tolerable but has made America a place where people feel safe enough to speak up, be religious or choose not to practice religion, pick and represent political parties, vote, chase their dreams or follow in the footsteps of previous generations.

But, is this America being pushed aside as more individuals are consumed by personal freedoms instead of overall respect, safety and equality?

Not too long ago, in the top of the news was the Islamic Center in NYC. The issue originally stated that people were concerned with it being so close to Ground Zero.

However, once the media became more involved, the issue became more against Islam and the NYC Islamic Center wasn’t the only one having issues with people not wanting to see it built.

Another proposed Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee ran into extreme debates even though they had been in the community for two decades. Their plans were for a larger center than their already existing one. However, opponents went to court to try to put a halt to their plans.

This past week, Chancellor Robert Corlew III denied the opponents of the Mosque an emergency injunction that would block construction so for now, it looks like plans can move forward.

What happened to freedom of religion? Who decides where the line of freedom is drawn? Then, is it really freedom?

Remember the Florida Pastor, Terry Jones? He was willing to go against top brass in the military, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell and General David Petraeus, as well as multiple religious and community leaders who urged him to reconsider his plans to burn the Holy Book of Islam, the Qu’ran, on September 11th of this year.

Why would he do such an act? Because he felt Islam was of the devil and he wanted to express how he felt.

Once his story reached the news and the news spread worldwide what he was planning to do, safety for American troops in the Middle East was a great concern as well as the safety for Americans abroad due to retaliation for what Terry Jones was planning to do. However, with these details, Terry Jones did not want to back down.

Was he breaking the law or was he just exercising his right to free speech and to share how he felt about Islam?

Terry Jones changed his mind at the last minute after all of the attention and after a great deal of fear had set in due to riots in the Middle East. This was going on at the same time as the issue over the Islamic Center in NYC and the one in Tennessee was going on. Tensions were already high. In the U.S., many people were debating different views and politicians had become involved as the 2010 mid-term elections were approaching.

When does one person’s freedom hinder another person’s freedom?

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas have gone to military funerals across the country but not to pay respects to the families or say goodbye to a friend or loved one. They are armed with signs that say, “God Hates You” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”. They feel America’s war casualties are God’s wrath for tolerating homosexuality. Is this really the time or place for a protest or picketing? Again, are they breaking a law? Do they have the right to do this? Do these families have the right to peacefully say goodbye to their loved ones?

Freedom is something that has set the U.S. apart from many other countries around the world. Many countries do not allow near as many freedoms as the U.S. allows and although this sets us apart, this can also be a wedge that drives a great divide through the nation. The more one person’s freedom takes away from another person’s freedom, the nation loses its freedom and therefore what separates the U.S. from many countries around the world.

Freedoms lost today may not affect you, as it happens to one person or a group of people today it can happen to another tomorrow and then more people over time.

Americans must understand that every freedom we have today has come to us through someone’s great effort, fight and even death. Freedoms that have been gained over time can also be lost. They’re never to be taken lightly or for granted; not your own freedoms or someone else’s.

To be truly free requires the respect of the freedom of others and to know the limits of our freedoms. Then we, and those around us, can have a more meaningful and lasting freedom.

Who is dividing our Nation?

Just this past weekend, Glenn Beck was holding a “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington D.C. which according to most counts drew just under 100,000 attendees. Why a rally? What was the purpose behind the rally? What were people supposed to walk away with or walk away feeling? Is Glenn Beck’s radio show going to take on a new “image” now?

This rally had been in the news and drawing quite a bit of attention as the day approached mainly due to the fact this rally was on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Glenn Beck said he did not know this when setting the date and location but when he found out, he did not make any changes which upset quite a large number of people and caused a lot of media attention.

A Fox colleague, Greta Van Susteren, said he should move his event for sensitivity reasons. Just because a person can do something doesn’t mean they should do something.

A similar argument is going on in New York and around the world about the building of an Islamic Center in New York City near the World Trade Center site, and whether by doing that would be insensitive. Although it may be legal to do this, it may not be sensitive to the families and others involved in the 9/11 tragedies.

Although these two situations are quite different, they both require taking other people’s feelings into consideration and looking at the overall end result. Is it really necessary to go through with the initial plans or would a simple change and some compromise bring the same end result with a better overall showing of tolerance and respect?

At the “Restoring Honor” rally, an organizer said it wouldn’t be about politics but to pay tribute to military personnel and others “who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.” There were funds raised for a group in Tampa, Florida – Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Nearly 5 million dollars was raised and more can be donated online for this Foundation by visiting their website.

The rally attendees appeared to enjoy the speakers and the overall event. There were people waving flags, wearing patriotic shirts and there were different times of applause including the playing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Glenn Beck talked about the fact that even though people have different political views, for the sake of the Nation, Americans should focus on their principles and values. He urged Americans to turn to God and reminded people that change begins with each individual.

That is what Glenn Beck was saying at the “Restoring Honor” rally on Saturday.

In an interview with Fox on Sunday following the rally, Beck decided to go after Obama’s religion once again to claim that Obama “is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim.”

“People aren’t recognizing his version of Christianity,” Beck added.

Beck said that liberation theology is at the core of Obama’s “belief structure”.

“You see, it’s all about victims and victimhood; oppressors and the oppressed; reparations, not repentance; collectivism, not individual salvation. I don’t know what it is, other than it’s not Muslim, it’s not Christian. It’s a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it,” Beck said.

As the Nation once again approaches another anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the U.S. seems to be more divided than ever.

As much as people talk about the need for the leaders in Washington to work together and children and teens getting along, it seems the average, everyday citizen is not passing along that message in their actions.

The problems of intolerance, hate and violence against those of different racial, ethnic and religious groups shows how this is not only a reoccurring problem but a growing trend. And, the fact a younger generation is showing these signs of intolerance as well, is a signal this will continue yet again into the following generations if nothing is done.

If a voter wants their leaders in Washington to be bipartisan, then demand that of them or don’t re-elect them. If they continue to get re-elected, then it shows them their constituents are okay with their behavior. It also shows the world that the Americans are okay with this behavior from their leaders.

If a person is showing unacceptable behavior such as bullying, racism, sexism or abuse of any kind, this is not okay and should be dealt with immediately. If it isn’t, then it appears to be okay.

If a child is seeing this from their parents, teachers, adults or those around them, then they are going to pick this up. If this is being seen through the television, then turn it off. Children have to know this is unacceptable behavior and it’s not tolerated.

When people in the media are daily insulting the President, the leader of our Country or saying demeaning things about people of different races or religions, belittling people in our society and it appears Americans are okay with this because they are tuning into their shows on a daily basis, they will continue the same behavior and sponsors will continue to pay for their programs.

Yes, there is a First Amendment Right for freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean people have to listen.

This is a country built on freedoms and rights for everyone and a lot of people have fought and died for those freedoms.

There is also the Second Amendment for the right to bear arms. The fact of a person having the right to have a gun is taken differently by different people. Some people want the right to have a gun in their house to protect their family. Others want the right to have a gun on them when they are out in public. The fact of a person having a gun in a public place makes people very uncomfortable and yet, this is something that the Second Amendment is looked to for a person to argue this case.

If everyone only worried about their freedoms and rights and not about what that did to another person’s freedoms and rights, then this country would not be free at all. People would be living in fear and afraid to say anything to anybody. Just because people have freedoms and rights shouldn’t mean they hinder or threaten another person or make another person feel demeaned or belittled.

To come together as a country, it isn’t about judging the other person and tearing down another person’s rights to make sure our own rights aren’t touched. There always has to be people looking out for the freedoms and rights of others.

It is about putting our Nation first which means looking out for one another. It means making sure the freedoms and rights that so many people fought for and died for are honored.

It means the Christian community needs to stop judging whether our President who has publicly said he is a Christian, really is a Christian. Do they judge each other in the same way or is that judgment reserved specifically for President Obama? As a Christian community, there are a great number of things that could be done with the time and effort they have put into trying to tear down the President’s faith. There are many people in need during these hard economic times. There are a great number of struggling families.

If Glenn Beck really wants to help “restore honor”, he can do it daily via his radio show and his show on Fox News instead of daily attacking the President of the Country he calls home. If a person wants to restore something, build on it. Don’t attack it and try to tear it down.

Life is not always about politics and politics is not always about Republicans and Democrats.

The focus needs to be put back on the individuals that make up this Nation, this great Nation, the UNITED States of America.

What does Arizona’s law have to do with individuals’ rights?

As it nears the end of July, it would be hard to imagine anyone that hasn’t heard what is going on with the controversial law in Arizona. The SB1070 was due to go into effect tomorrow, July 29th. Legal challenges were filed against the law including one by the United States Department of Justice questioning its compliance with civil rights law and its constitutionality. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton today has *blocked the most controversial parts so those parts of the law from going into effect. However other parts of the law will go into effect tomorrow. Read the ruling here. The SB1070 law either way, has already had quite an impact nationwide.

Although this law is set to take place in the state of Arizona, many other states are looking at enacting similar type laws as well. In Florida, the Gubernatorial Candidates have gone back and forth on where they stand. Bill McCollum in April had been quoted saying, “I think Arizona has its own unique problems. I don’t think Florida should enact laws like this — quite that far out.” He has since released a statement which in part says, “I support Arizona’s law as amended, and if the federal government fails to secure our borders and solve the problem of illegal immigration, I would support a similar law for Florida.”

How would a law in one state have an effect on every other state? The immigration system, however poorly it may be viewed has been a federally handled system. It has been handled systematically across the states. This has been very evident to not be appropriate for many reasons and there are obvious changes that need to go into effect. There needs to be a complete overhaul or total reform of sorts. This needs to have been done in the past but certainly it is long overdue.

Although something may be done with the best of intentions, the citizens’ rights may not be completely protected and when the rights of individuals start getting taken away by laws that were not voted on by voters but instead put in place by politicians who are trying to get re-elected, individuals need to really take a step back and understand that somebody has at one time had to earn these rights, fight for their freedoms and remember that a person’s rights and freedoms shouldn’t be so easily discounted when decisions are being made.

Everyone has a right that just as easily can be taken away with reasons that can begin to be argued. It comes down to which side of the “issue of the moment” someone is on.

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!

Will History Repeat Itself???

Have you watched the news lately??

You really don’t have to watch the news to see how much divide is going on in our country, our world or even just in those around you.


It used to be you could say, “I don’t want to discuss religion or politics” and that would keep you out of hot water with people at your work place, neighbors or the new in-laws. Nowadays, it could be a broad range of topics. Almost anything is a hot topic or it’s going to lead straight to a heated debate.


I think there are times and places for debates and places that should be safe from debates but I also think there are ways to “debate” (actually discuss is a better word when done right). It doesn’t require an argument but it does require respecting another person’s opinion, choices, lifestyle, space, etc. and also knowing a decent amount of what you are talking about because you, yourself have taken the time to look into the subject or you, yourself have actually been through the matter at hand.


A subject came up today about gays. Yep, I am going to jump straight in, head first to one of the hottest topics that has just been drudged around for years. Because it, like many other topics seems to be just brought up as though it isn’t going to affect someone if it is going against them, their choices, their opinion or their lifestyle. It is like one of those things that are hush hush and everyone wants to talk about it but nobody wants to say they are curious enough to either ask a gay person questions about their homosexuality (I am not going to say their lifestyle or choice here because I don’t believe it is just a lifestyle or always a choice) or even think about the fact this topic, like many others, through time has been shoved behind closed doors, misunderstood and not given the proper attention it does deserve. Think about it. Is there something you didn’t understand 5 years ago, 10 years ago or 15 years ago that you do now? Maybe not something like this but something you have since looked into and wish you had earlier and not judged before you looked into the matter? I think each of us can say yes to that question. Have you heard of someone else misjudging someone and thinking, “They should really think about that or get all of the facts first.” Maybe you should read on and follow the posted links. Some things might surprise you.


Everyone has their opinion and everyone has their rights, right? When you say “everyone”, do you mean everyone or just the ones you see “eye to eye” with? I am going to look at this from a different angle. Give it a different perspective. Many things aren’t so cut and dry to be able to draw a quick opinion without putting effort into collecting facts, getting to know someone and really understanding what your part really is in the matter when it comes to casting judgment. This seems to be quite blurry for many people these days (at least from where I am standing and in a lot of what I am observing, reading and hearing). I am not just talking about mainstream media either. If I used that for the information I draw from, I would be a shallow, fearful individual. There are a lot of things that we hear daily. There are usually more than two sides to everything. Just like we have a chance to judge others, others have that chance to judge us. Ultimately, God is the judge. He is the only judge on many matters and only He knows our hearts and the hearts of others. Remember that. And on many things that have been argued over for hundreds of years, He will be the final judge on these matters too.


Throughout history there have been many times where all over the world, judging has been taken into the wrong hands. Millions of lives have been lost. Human beings have gone back and forth against each other all over the world because of race, gender, religion, sexual preference, politics, land, greed…. I could go on. It has turned into Wars. Not once, not twice, over and over. Not every war means weapons out and armies against each other either. They can be in our country, in our hometowns, in our “close knit communities”. When people see others as different or feel their views are wrong, suddenly they are the enemy and either they must change or suddenly it becomes a place of hatred, intolerance, judgment and even if it isn’t with open violence or painted signs, the message is there, the feelings are there and things can quickly get out of hand. Our young people are watching and picking up on the message we are sending out. Some people are okay with that. That is their objective and what they hope to do. I don’t feel that is the right message. To understand this, first we must look at history. So, this entry is going to be about history. I will touch on more after this entry.

The fact is that history repeats itself because we allow it to do so. If you read books from History or you listen to speeches from past Presidents… (all of them) and you look around and see what is going on in our society today, it is shameful to me.  I say that because of the fact we have the GUIDANCE of history.  We must learn from history. There have been so many lessons laid out for us but, as human beings we to have to look at each other just that way and see how history has taught us that throughout the world, judging each other hasn’t done anything but lead to death and, too many times massive destruction. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I could see where war has been necessary and in our part that has mainly been in the times of coming to another’s defense to protect rights and independence. Obviously before taking on any war, we have to know what we are standing for, who we are standing with and what we are able to do, how long and with what military man power, materials and finances.

As the years have gone on, the ease of international information has made a huge difference in our society and societies around the world. International travel has brought more and more cultures both to and from many different countries allowing people to come to the U.S. and Americans to travel abroad. The United States is a Nation that is full of diversity and has become the great culture that it is due to its diversity. No other country has this advantage of such diversity. Many times instead of this being appreciated, it is not only downplayed, it is looked down on as differences that many can’t get along with. There are of course a great amount of people that wholeheartedly enjoy the diversity in our Nation and the many positive attributes this brings.

When you are in your work place, the mall, an amusement park or the airport, if you take a moment and look around you will notice just how many people are around you. Everyone is living their own life. Everyone has their own families, their own background, their own worries, dreams, and are moving about their day as you are. Although they may not share the same religion, race, ethnic background, sexual preference, or even have many of the typical ideals set up the same way, for the most part, although we each have our difference, in many ways, we have far more in common. Other people often see you, the same way you see them, another person.

So, let’s take a look back at history and then move on from there to start moving forward.


Times change. A lot of people say, “I wish things could go back to like it was when I was growing up.” Okay, so let’s say that was during the 40’s,50’s 60’s or 70’s.


Let’s take a look back….. Many horrible things have happened. And there’s been productive and good things. Please take a chance to click on some links.

In the 40’s

*War was going on everywhere. World War II

*The Japanese attack the US base at Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941. In the surprise attack, more than 350 Japanese airplanes sink 12 US ships and destroy or damage more than 300 aircraft. More than 2,300 military personnel are killed and 1,100 wounded. More than 1,100 men on the battleship Arizona die and the ship sinks.

*Due to the Japanese attacks at Pearl Harbor more than 110,000 Japanese Americans (Nisei) living on the West Coast are moved inland to internment camps, some for the duration of the war. Although most were born in this country, the Nisei are designated enemy aliens who must obey travel restrictions, curfew, and contraband regulations. Many lose their homes, farms and property during this time of internment.

* In Europe we had a World War that included a Holocaust with Adolf Hitler‘s
Nazis killing over 6 million European Jews plus millions more that were considered “different” from what the leading Nazis had considered acceptable. War ravages everywhere. In the US, the draft is taking over. Gas and sugar is rationed. Women are working to replace men and keep lines of necessary war equipment rolling out. In 1944, China is in its 7th year of War and Japan is taking their kids out of school to work in factories to produce bombs and other war equipment.

*The morning of June 6, 1944, (known as D-Day) 3,000 warships carry 200,000 American and British soldiers cross the stormy English Channel and land on the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy, France, to begin a vicious battle with the German army. The Battle of the Bulge begins in December as Hitler musters 500,000 troops along the Allied front from southern Belgium into Luxembourg. In bitter cold, they push ahead 50 miles, creating a bulge in the Allied lines. By the end of January, 1945, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed, wounded or captured.

*Nearly one million men, women, and children in the Leningrad, Russia, die from starvation and cold during a two-and-a-half-year siege and blockade by German troops. 

*After considering all options, President Harry S. Truman  gives the order and on August 6, 1945, the US drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. In minutes, half of the city vanishes and about 200,000 people are killed or missing. Radiation reaches more than 100,000 people. On August 9, the US drops an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. In September, Japan surrenders unconditionally on board the USS Missouri.

*By the time World War II was over in 1945, nearly 300,000 Americans had been killed. In all countries about 55 million people lost their lives. And more civilians lost their lives than soldiers. In 1948, the Soviet Union blockades Berlin, Germany, trying to force the Allies out of West Berlin.








There were some good things in the 40’s as well. Aside from the fact all of the good that was done by all the good troops that fought for the freedom during World War 2 and all those at home that helped keep things going while troops were being deployed also, war time takes everyone’s effort. Here are a few of the noteworthy things that happened during that time period.






*The Social Security Administration, created by 1930s New Deal legislation, sends out its first checks.

*The Rh factor of blood is discovered.

*CBS demonstrates the first color television in New York City, and WNBT in New York City becomes the country’s first regular television station, broadcasting to about 10,000 viewers.

*Transportation expands. The first multi-lane superhighway, October 1, 1940 the Pennsylvania Turnpike opens; and the first Los Angeles freeway opens. Burma Shave roadside ads are set up along the highways.

The 1940’s brought about something that is still going very strong today, McDonald’s which originally opened in San Bernadino, California. They started small and now they are everywhere and don’t appear to be going anywhere, anytime soon.









With the good and the bad, the 40’s to me, was primarily spent fighting wars affecting nearly everyone around the world in some way.



Let’s look at the 50’s.

Well, I am going to stick as close as possible to the Home Front, the U.S. But, mind you what goes on around the world is closely tied to the U.S. in many many ways. Let’s start right at the beginning of the 50’s.






*U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin tells President Truman that the State Department is infiltrated with communists and communist sympathizers. This initiates a period of witch hunts and blacklists.






*Former U.S. State Department official Hiss is convicted of perjury and sentenced to five years in prison. He was accused of being a Soviet spy in 1948. Let the finger pointing begin.




*Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death for espionage against the U.S. for selling classified information about the atomic bomb to the Russians. They are executed in 1953. (Can nobody keep their mouth shut!) 






*Rosa Parks,  an African American woman, is arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. Her arrest sparks a bus boycott led by local minister Martin Luther King Jr., and sets the American civil rights movement in motion.






*North Vietnam, through the Viet Cong, begins a guerilla war against South Vietnam.






*In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus calls the National Guard to prevent nine African American students from integrating Little Rock’s Central High School. He defies the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.






*In 1959, Fidel Castro  installs the first communist regime in the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. will later break off diplomatic relations in 1961.










Okay, the good times of the 50’s…. I remember there were poodle skirts, fun music and some good movies, oh and Elvis! There were also advancements and some things that just stand out.






*The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed, limiting the president to a maximum of two terms in office.










*The Brown v. Board of Education decision is handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court saying that “separate but equal” school systems are unconstitutional. An era of desegregation of schools is instituted.






*RCA introduces the first color TV sets, and NBC begins regular broadcasts in color.






*Elvis Presley  releases the first of more than 170 hit songs, “Heartbreak Hotel.”






*1958 NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is founded and starts the Mercury Project to take the first Americans into space. (First though, animals were sent…not all flights were successful)






*American Airlines launches the jet age in the U.S. transportation industry with the first transcontinental flights with a Boeing 707 aircraft.






*Albert Sabin develops a live-virus polio vaccine that can be taken orally and offers longer immunity than the Salk vaccine.










Onto the 60’s


This is the decade I was born in and I remember learning all that went on during this decade when I was in Junior High and High School.






*U.S.-trained Cuban exiles attempt to overthrow the Castro government in Cuba with an invasion at the “Bay of Pigs.”  The invasion fails badly. It’s a major embarrassment to the Kennedy administration.






*The Berlin Wall is constructed in Germany to prevent East Berliners from defecting to the West.






*In 1962, Nelson Mandela, deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC), is arrested in South Africa for agitating against apartheid laws.






*On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated on November 22 in Dallas, Texas, by Lee Harvey Oswald.






*Early 1964, U.S. destroyers are allegedly attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. In response, President Johnson pushes through Congress a resolution allowing him to greatly increase U.S. troop levels in Vietnam. The escalation of the war begins.






*On March 7,1965  600 civil rights marchers are attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. Only the third, and last, march successfully makes it into Montgomery.






*In New York, on February 21, 1965, Black Muslim leader Malcolm X is assassinated.






*1967 By year’s end, there are 480,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. The U.S. begins mining rivers in North Vietnam.

*In Washington, DC, 50,000 people protest the Vietnam War at the Lincoln Memorial. Students nationwide burn their draft cards. Mohammad Ali is stripped of his boxing title for refusing to join the Army because of his Muslim faith.

*On March 16, 1968 in South Vietnam, the My Lai Massacre takes places conducted by a Unit of the US Army taking the lives of mostly women, babies and elderly ranging in ages of 1 to 82. The death toll ranges from 347 to 500 due to chaotic circumstances.






*1968 As the U.S. presidential campaign heats up, President Lyndon Johnson shocks the nation by announcing he will not seek reelection because of frustrations with the Vietnam War.






*Just before the announcement, Senator Robert F. Kennedy had entered the race. He won the critical California primary in June, but within minutes, on June 6, 1968 he was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.






*Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, by James Earl Ray. Riots erupt across the U.S.






*In 1968 Pope Paul VI issues a encyclical against all artificial means of contraception. In 1970, he declares that priestly celibacy is fundamental to the Roman Catholic Church.












During the 60’s there were also some BIG happenings that the world will always remember, that many of us see in our day to day lives and other things that are still being improved upon. And, there was music! Always music!












*The Peace Corps is established by President Kennedy encouraging young people to volunteer to help third world countries. Over the years, more than 187,000 people have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in 139 countries.






*February 20, 1962 Astronaut John Glenn is the first American to orbit the earth when he goes around the earth three times and returns successfully.






*The Wal-Mart discount store in opened by Sam Walton in Arkansas.






*In May In August, 250,000 freedom marchers descend on Washington, DC, and hear Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.(Video)




*In 1963 he U.S. and the Soviet Union set up a hotline between the White House and the Kremlin to avoid communication problems that were evident in the Cuban missile crisis.






*The Beatles release their first album, “Please Please Me”.






*Russian Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.






*July 2, 1964 The U.S. Civil Rights Act  is passed, ending legal discrimination in public places, promising equal voting rights and creating the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.






*1964 The Beatles make their U.S. television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The next morning practically every newspaper wrote that the Beatles were nothing more than a “fad,” and “could not carry a tune across the Atlantic.” They couldn’t have more wrong.






*1965 President Lyndon Johnson announces his Great Society agenda, creating Medicare and expanding his “war on poverty.” Also, the U.S. Congress passes the Voting Rights Act, attacking voting restrictions aimed at African Americans. But, Johnson refuses to raise taxes to pay for both the social programs and the Vietnam War.






*The U.S. Supreme Court, citing the Constitutional right to privacy, strikes down a Connecticut law that prohibits married couples from using birth control pills.






*January 16, 1967 In the first Super Bowl , Green Bay Packers beats the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 35-10.






*1967 Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant operation in Cape Town, South Africa. He is assisted by Hamilton Naki, a self-taught black African surgeon who later receives an honorary degree in medicine.






*In Woodstock, NY, around 500,000 rock-and-roll fans attend three days of music, “peace and love.”






*July 16, 1969 Neil Armstrong walks on the moon during Apollo11’s mission. More than 100 million people watch on television around the world as U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong steps onto the surface.

Let’s take a look at the final decade I am going to touch on, the 70’s.











*Vietnamization fails


The process of allowing South Vietnam to defend itself without US intervention proved to be a mistake, the 120,000 North Vietnamese soldiers stormed into South Vietnam, surprising the 6000 US troops still in the country.




*In October North Vietnam offered a compromise if Communist troops were allowed to stay in South Vietnam, it wouldn’t expel the South Vietnam government and try to reach a new agreement with them. The US agreed, and declared that peace “was at hand.” Once Nixon was re-elected, Kissinger reversed himself on the issue of troops remaining and bombing of Hanoi resumed. Kissinger Video 




*Israeli athletes taken hostage/killed at Olympics


The PLO group Black September in revenge for the 1970 defeat of Palestinian guerrillas, broke into the Olympic Village and killed two coaches and took nine hostages. It later ended in the death of the hostages and the commandos as they tried to leave the country.










* Watergate Burglary


The act that felled the President two years later, was committed in June of 1972 by five men, among them ex-FBI man G. Gordon Liddy and ex-CIA man E. Howard Hunt.








*August 8, 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns.


Once the articles of impeachment had been drawn up, Nixon was required to release more tapes, which clearly tied him to the Watergate coverup. 


President Gerald Ford later Pardons Nixon.






*1975- Lebanon civil war begins


Sparked by Christians killing a busload of Palestinians and other Muslims, the country was quickly thrown into a war between the privileged Christians and the poor Muslims.








*1975- Saigon falls to communism


America suspended its aid two years after removing it’s military forces. In April, US official ordered the remaining 1000 US citizens to evacuate to the embassy in Saigon. This lead to the now famous image of citizens climbing the ladder to helicopters to be airlifted out of the city.










*1978- Jonestown massacre


The suicide and murder of 900 people who drank cyanide in fruit-flavored drink, the leader shot himself.









*1979- The Shah flees Iran


The Ayatollah Khomeini assumes power February 11, 1979 an introduces Islamic law.






*1979- Iranian students storm the US embassy


They held 52 of the 66 people in the embassy hostage for 444 days, which helped to undermine Jimmy Carters re-election efforts in the 1980.














Then there are the accomplishments, the progress and the highlights of the 70’s….










*In December 1970, the North Tower of the World Trade Center was completed and in July 1971, the South Tower was completed.






*On January 1, 1971 the last cigarette commercial played on TV during the Johnny Carson show. On April 1st , President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act.






*CT or Cat Scans were introduced in the United States during the early 1970’s



*October 1, 1971 Disney World in Orlando, Florida opens!!!






* HBO (Home Box Office) launches! 






* Nike running shoes hit the market






* First successful report of freezing mouse embryos. They actually survived after being frozen!




* Vietnam War Ends


President Nixon takes last troops out of Vietnam






* 1974- First black model on cover of a major fashion magazine.


Beverly Johnson on Vogue 






* Founding Of Microsoft


Microsoft was founded in 1975




* Betamax and VHS VCRs released  (yeah for fast forward and rewind!!)




1979- Mother Teresa Wins Nobel Peace Prize


In Stockholm Sweden, Mother Teresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her saint-like presence in India.

By looking back at the past 4 decades, there were many hard times, many horrible times, things that can never be forgotten or taken back, the pain never erased or hearts never mended. It seemed each decade there was a repeat of wars in different areas that all had to do with a simple disregard of life and respecting others for their differences and their own rights of religion and race for the most part.


Slavery was a big part of U.S. History during those decades we lost great leaders trying to fight for the rights of blacks simply wanting the same rights as whites. Humans are humans regardless of their race. But it took a lot to get to the point to make laws to protect those rights.


It has taken a lot of suffering and pain to get many laws on the books to protect the rights to many things that seem to be taken for granted today or even seem to be getting taken away from many. The right for equalities regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background. Human rights are being put aside for some to allow rights for others. The word equal is simple in meaning yet large in context.


Equal: having the same privileges, rights, status, and opportunities as others.


It seems too often, time is spent looking past the good in someone to see the fault. If it is a moral issue, that is going to be in another blog. But remember Christ walked on this earth with everyone and as a Christian we are to be a witness for Christ, not a judge. We do not have a pure enough heart, or are we just enough or are we the One to be the judge.


If we don’t want history to repeat itself, then we shouldn’t behave as people have all throughout history. The choices we make today will reflect tomorrow. We are responsible for every choice we make.


We can change the present and we are in control of our choices and how we raise our kids, how we teach them is the right way to react to those around them. We can’t prepare the path for them in life but we can prepare them for the path. Self respect and respect for others, tolerance and understanding. I believe that when people understand that what is going on around the world does affect each of us and what goes on with us does affect the rest of the world, it makes the world not seem like such a big and scary place. Of course, there will always be negative people in the world, those people that are just out to destroy others. They have always been around. We know about them more due to the ease and ability for news to travel faster, the ease for International Travel and the desire by people to spread fear and chaos amongst whoever will listen to them.


The best thing to do to fight against bad in the world though is to increase the unity, confidence, communication, and raise the next generation to carry that on. In today’s world, that is more important than ever with today’s technology.

Be responsible for the information you are taking in and especially passing along. Of course with Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc., we have the choice to sign on or sign off. We have the choice to forward and email or delete. We have the choice to post a certain status update that is going along in Facebook or not. Before you do though, know that if you are saying something is a fact, you have checked the source. Reference it if possible with more than just the fact it has been forwarded to you. A lot of things have been started wrongly by playing along with the elementary game of “telephone” and getting the actual facts wrong. If you see a video clip of something, chances are in today’s world, the full video is out there (especially if it is political).

The Whitehouse/Russia hotline helped ease the idea of misunderstandings just like checking the facts can. Know both sides. Use multiple news sources.

Don’t be the person that says, “Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is already made up.”

Here is a quote from Mark Twain that is growing more true each day as the media turns more to digital especially.

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uniformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.” Mark Twain

So true since it takes time to print the paper, everything in today’s world can change….

More later.  Feel free to leave your thoughts. I am interested.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” Chuck Swindoll

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