Tag Archives: American

Americans want Social Security answers

As Social Security just celebrated its 75th birthday this past week, politicians have not denied themselves any golden opportunity to use this as a ticket to get more votes even if it means telling half-truths or flat out lying.

To current Social Security recipients, this is a very serious matter and to people paying into Social Security this is becoming an all too familiar issue, parties saying different facts and figures but rarely back them up with solid proof or anybody answering the questions being asked.

In President Obama’s Saturday Radio Address he stated, “Seventy-five years ago today, in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, laying a cornerstone in the foundation of America’s middleclass, and assuring generations of America’s seniors that after a lifetime of hard work, they’d have a chance to retire with dignity.”

He went on to say, “One thing we can’t afford to do is privatize Social Security – an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market.”

As usual, the different parties and their constituents have different opinions on whether Social Security should be privatized or paid into the Social Security Trust Fund maintained by the U.S. Treasury.

Many Americans believe that Social Security is broke or going broke. According the Congressional Budget Office Projections, Social Security can continue to pay 100 percent of promised benefits for more than 25 years, until 2037, with no changes and three-quarters benefits for 75 years, until 2085. With modest changes, Social Security can pay our children and our grandchildren.

A question that has come up is another program Supplemental Security Income (SSI) which is a government program that provides to low income persons who are either aged (65 or older), blind or disabled. This program can also be provided to children. Although administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is funded by the U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security Trust Fund. SSI was created in 1974 to replace federal-state adult assistance programs that served the same purpose. Today the program provides benefits to 7.6 million Americans.

With so many questions and rumors going around regarding Social Security and other programs that sound as though they fall under the same Social Security Trust Fund, it is not surprising that politicians try to use this as a campaign token to draw voters in by either just confusing their constituents or making their campaign ads in a way that either lie or bend the truth. Often, when asked straight forward questions, they find a way to avoid answering the question directly because when a vote comes up, they don’t want to be caught voting in a way they said they wouldn’t.

One question is will the retirement age be raised to receive full benefits (100%) of a person’s Social Security? A very good tool to use at the moment is on the Social Security website. There is talk of this changing and at the moment, that is just what it is. But, the age limit has recently changed. Using the tool is as simple as putting in the year of a person’s birth.

The breakdown is this.

Prior to 1942 – 100% at age 65

1943-1954 – 100% at age 66

1955 – 100% at age 66 yrs + 2 mos.

1956 – 100 % at age 66 yrs + 4 mos.

1957 – 100 % at age 66 yrs. + 6 mos.

1958 – 100 % at age 66 yrs. + 8 mos.

1959 – 100% at age 66 yrs. 10 mos.

1960 and later – at age 67

Over the years, there’s always problems with fraud and people taking advantage of “the system”. This uses a lot of tax money unnecessarily and takes away from those who do need the funds to live and have earned the money. One of the best ways to prevent fraud is to report fraud and of course to never be a part of the problem but always a part of the solution. To report Social Security Fraud, call 1-800-269-0271 or use this online form.

Social Security is not only paid to those who qualify by age as some may think. Children can be entitled to receive Social Security Child’s Benefits if a deceased parent was fully insured by Social Security and meet the necessary criteria. A spouse may also qualify as long as they also meet certain criteria as well.

Social Security is a very important part of everyone’s life, both now and in the future. It shouldn’t matter if a person is a Democrat or a Republican or too young to even vote at this moment.

This is something that has worked for 75 years and was put together with very admirable reasons and very well thought out. This should still be looked at as a goal for all Americans and by all Americans.

Many statements are being made by candidates running for re-election or office. These cause rumors or confusion but nonetheless, they spread. Most often if a person goes to the candidate’s website, that statement is not there because it wasn’t substantial enough to post next to their name due to it being unfounded, weak or compromising. Social Security is too important for games, lies, deceptions or costly mistakes.

In his weekly address, President Obama said, “We’ve been talking for a long time” about how to fix Social Security’s issues, “and I am committed to working with anyone, Democrat or Republican, who wants to strengthen Social Security.”

Mr. President, so are many Americans.

Recovery for America Pt. 4 – Intolerance, inequality and discrimination

Everyday there are more stories, news coverage, talk between friends and families about issues that are not only dividing the nation but are also dividing people, even causing arguments between complete strangers. The discussion is over the building of the mosque (Islamic Center) at Ground Zero.

The online social media website such as Facebook and Twitter show these divisions as well. On Facebook, soon after a ”hot topic” news story runs, the headlines or video clips will post and the comments themselves become a place for open arguments going back and forth, lines drawn down the middle. On Twitter, “hashtags” which typically are names to form groups, can often be used to make a clear point or in 140 characters or less, a clear confrontation can take place back and forth for all to see or jump in and join.

What are the issues? The arguments are more often about things that have nothing to do with things that a person can change or have control over and more about things that fall into a person’s constitutional rights, religion, race and a person’s national origin. What’s different about these arguments is the social media and the internet’s ability for things to swell up much quicker into larger groups of both support and hate, so both sides seem to grow much larger overnight. Both good and bad information gets passed around much quicker and what is said on the news, on a website or in an interview makes its way around the world in a moment. However, most often good things don’t go “viral”. Bad news travels fast.

As each new generation begins, it has been a new opportunity to bring up a more open-minded generation. That does not mean a generation of people that “give in” or a generation that does not understand its culture. It means a generation that does not carry with them the burdens of intolerance but a generation that has the ability to see each other as who they are and not what they are. A generation that sees people for what they bring to society and not what a group of them has done or what has been done to them. It is okay to understand history but not let history control the future but to learn from history and not allow it to repeat itself.

With the U.S. having such a diverse people within its borders, there is only more to gain, more to grow and more to learn. By having so many adverse feelings against each other, it is only hurting the nation as a whole and many opportunities are being lost for everyone.

In NYC, many people are upset about the idea of the Islamic Center near Ground Zero. This has been an extremely sensitive subject for so many.

President Obama released a statement on a person’s right to practice religion this past Friday.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country,” Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has risen in New York City and the nation.

“That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances,” he said. “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

The plan now is to turn the property into a 13-story, $100 million Islamic Center. This is being developed by a group call the Cordoba Initiative. The Cordoba Initiative says on its website that its goal is to foster a better relationship between the Muslim World and the West, “steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions.”

The Center’s board will include members from other religions and will explore including an interfaith chapel at the center.

The Center will include a basketball court, swimming pool, auditorium and culinary school as well as a mosque and mediation rooms.

We believe it will be a place where the counter momentum against extremism will begin, “the Imam’s wife, Daisy Khan to the Associated Press. “We are committed to peace.

Across the U.S., different towns have rallied against mosque being built as well. This isn’t just in NYC near Ground Zero. In Temecula, California, opponents brought dogs to protest a 25,000 sq. ft. mosque that would sit on 4 acres. Opponents say it would turn the town into a haven for Islamic extremist, but mosque leaders say they are peaceful and just need more room to serve members.

A proposed mosque in July is raising concerns in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Proponents allege the opponents are displaying religious intolerance while people fighting the mosque say zoning issues and worries about Islamic radicalism are their chief concerns.

Several hundred opponents faced off to counter protesters. The rhetoric was heated. Protestors bore signs with slogans such as “MOSQUE LEADERS SUPPORT KILLING CONVERTS.”

Mosque leader Essam Fathy, who helped plan the new building in Murfreesboro, has lived there for 30 years. “I didn’t think people would try that hard to oppose something that’s in the Constitution,” he said. “The Islamic center has been here since the early 80’s, 12 years at this location. There’s nothing new except it’s going to be a little bigger.”

Zuhdi Jasser, president of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a nonprofit that advocates for reform and modernization of Islam, said opposing mosque is no way to prevent terrorism.

A study by professors at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the University of North Carolina back up Jasser’s statement. The study found that mosque, religious bookstores, and other communal associations that bring Muslim-Americans together, prevent radicalization.

By taking the time to learn and understand a person, their religion and culture, it gives more of a chance to grow and develop in one’s own life as well as allowing one to accept a person more for their character and who they are and not judging them by who one thinks they are by their appearance, misunderstandings or what may have been heard by someone else.

Today it may be someone else being unfairly judged, someone else’s religion, race or culture. The hateful words may be directed at someone else. Those tables can be turned. Intolerance is never okay. Hate is never okay. Discrimination is never okay. Sitting by while a hate crime happens is never okay. Embrace our diverse Nation and learn about others, their culture and religions. Practice tolerance and pass it down to the younger generations.

Politics 101-Getting to know your government

Where are interesting websites to learn more about past presidents through President Obama? I decided to take a break with the series that I am working on to look up some interesting links on the history of U.S. Presidents as well as the White House. Here are just a few of those links.

Sometimes the best way to get involved is to know more about the subject. Understanding more about the United States’ past presidents and their accomplishments as well as some of their day to day life can possibly open doors to more interest in today’s activities in the local government as well as what goes on in Washington D.C and our 44th President, Barack Obama.

A very interesting website to visit is The American Presidency Project. This is an online resource of documents that go all the back to President George Washington. Documents include Inaugural Addresses, press conferences, executive orders, State of the Union addresses, convention speeches and much more. There’s even a link to find out the word usage in the State of the Union messages and so far, President Obama’s longest message was 7,904 words. President Theodore Roosevelt however had one that was 27,397 words on December 3, 1907. A few of his used near the same amount of words. This is an interesting link and very informative.

Another link, which is often overlooked, to get to know more about the U.S. government is the White House Website. By clicking on the section “our government” there is a large amount of useful information on the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of the government. There is an area on the Constitution, Federal Agencies and Commissions. A person can learn more about the elections and voting processes and also about how the state and local government work within their daily lives.

By surfing through the White House website, a person can find information such as daily schedules, statements, history on past presidents, pieces of legislations, different issues on a wide range of topics like energy & environment, health care, veterans, taxes, defense, immigration and much more.

Aside from the President and First Lady, there are also links to learn more about different administration members at the White House. If you’d like to send a message to the White House with comments, suggestions or a message of support, there is a link to do that as well under the “contact us” section. You can also mail a letter to the White House.

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Phone Numbers
Comments: 202-456-1111
Fax: 202-456-2461

Of course to learn more about the presidents, politics and Washington D.C., knowing more about the White House itself and its history as well as its day to day functions is certainly important. By visiting the White House Historical Association’s Website, a person can see historical pictures, timelines and facts as well as videos, art images and slide shows. There is even an online classroom section for students and teachers to visit. For teachers there are lesson plans (grades K-12) and students have different links to click on for informative and fun lessons.

For those in Florida, getting to know more about the local state government and politicians as well as what is available through their community and state services and be done by visiting the MyFlorida.com website, a person can find information on public schools, taxes, social security benefits, Veteran’s Affairs, unemployment and more.

For Hillsborough County residents, more detailed information can be found by visiting the Hillsborough County Website to find links from different government agencies like the Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsborough County Court House and the website has many more links to visit. By taking time to go through the links on this website, a person can look for job opportunities through the county and state, file for permits, register to vote or find voting times and locations, pay property taxes, search for public records as well as find links to outside resources and more.

This is only a small amount of websites available to learn more about the local and national government and its history and resources. Understanding how the government works allows people to be involved and therefore be part of making decisions and making a difference.

Why vote?

Twitter users have been asking and answering that question for a while now under the hashtag, #whyIvote. A “hashtag” is a way of creating a group or a theme on twitter so others can keep up with a topic or add to the topic and #whyIVote has definitely caught on. It became a way of showing party likes or dislikes, candidate approvals or disapprovals and there are those that give the reason why they just don’t vote. Of course, there will be a wide variety of differing opinions and insights as Twitter users range in age from young teens to the elderly, they can come from the Tampa Bay Area, New York, from Europe to Asia and they come from all walks of life and backgrounds.

What really draws attention is an overwhelming amount of inspirational reasons why people vote as well as some common sense reasons behind voting. For those on Twitter, go to the search area and type in “whyIVote to follow this hashtag and feel free to continue adding on. Here are just a few example tweets.

@utbrp “I remember the Joy I felt when Obama was elected President. I cried like a baby. No one can steal that”. #WhyiVote


@isthisamerica “Because I think our best days as a country are ahead of us, not behind us”. #whyivote


@TheHarrisWalker “Because I want to make a difference and you have no right to pass judgment on what happens if you don’t”. #whyivote

So, why vote? Voting has been the way this country has run its democratic process. The locally elected officials go on to represent their constituents both statewide and nationwide but somehow this system seems to be breaking down. In press conferences, the elected officials often say, “The American people want…” or “The American people feel…” but is it really what the majority of American people want or feel? Are they asking the people or… who do they ask? What or who do they follow? What plan of action sets up their goals in office? What happens to the promises they make?

Are the best individuals running for the job? Or, is it a “party against party” vote? Do parties look for individuals to run that are well qualified or do they back candidates that will get more votes, more campaign dollars and overall just get elected, which will bring them more seats in D.C.? What is most important to Party Officials?

To be successful, this nation needs elected officials that are looking ahead to build, empower and design a newer America while focusing on bettering our nation. What America doesn’t need is more politicians taking office to tear down, blame or go back to a system that doesn’t work.

A person that is elected to office is elected by each voter that went in and cast a ballot. That vote doesn’t stop there. Voters can be just as involved following the elections as before the elections. They can show that compromising and dropping the ball is not acceptable and not what the American people want. When elected officials see that their voters want more than someone that can stand up during campaigns and make a good speech and make more of the same promises that are made each year but then afterward nothing happens until it’s campaign time again, maybe it will show them to either make changes to how they are playing their “political game” or actually see that Americans don’t see this as a game at all. This is life.

So, why vote? To be heard, have a say and make a difference. Vote because people have fought for the freedom to vote and the ability to be represented and because this country is a democracy. Vote because you can.

Feel free to leave a comment below sharing why you vote.

View this article on the Examiner.com page where the entire article is posted. Become a subscriber when new articles are released.

What gain or loss has social media brought to a political candidate?

With elections going on across the country, campaigning is again in the local media, mainstream media and across the social media. Around the nation people are talking, debating, discussing, tweeting, texting and blogging about politics. In 2008 the U.S. had one of the biggest elections ever and the fact was whether Barack Obama or John McCain won, CHANGE was happening in America.
The “winds of change” are often difficult for people to get used to or work with but the fact is times are always changing and people are always growing and reinventing themselves. Look around. A person’s day to day life has taken on a new look. For example, the daily newspaper is becoming more digitalized and turning to online editions. This allows a reader the ability to have continuously updated information. The ability to communicate worldwide has completely changed with new mobile gadgets and high speed internet ability as well as social media. People are “plugged in”. Change happens.

With elections coming up and campaigns seeming to never really end, politicians have turned to social media as well as their constituents using their own social media circles to reach out to millions of people on a daily basis, not always trying to spread a message but often just trying to keep their candidate of choice in the headlines and being discussed. Social Media has been one of the biggest changes that have come along and those who understand how to use it both in a good way or a negative way can certainly make a difference in a campaign.

The question is, are they spreading a relevant and truthful message as well as something they will stand behind in the coming months and years if they take office? Or, are they just trying to catch the attention of the voters, get the headlines forwarded to reach more viewers and ultimately win the largest number of votes? But with social media, another question is do their constituents know this and allow this to happen? Do they become part of the process by pushing their candidate’s messages in the social media outlets while sometimes knowing the message may not be completely factual or actually promoting lies just to promote their party of choice?

Social media can spread the message of a candidate over night and help them gain political points while at the same time, spread a message of half truths or lies but through the same process this tool can be used to hold a candidate responsible for sticking to the facts during a campaign and long after.

What spreads through the internet often comes back later to hold a candidate responsible but also those that put the message in the media to begin with. Some things never change and one of those things is that one’s words can come back to haunt them and social media just means that more people have seen, heard or watched a message or video and will be able to pull that up again at a later date. A person’s words or a person’s message should be something they want their name attached to for a very long time.

View article on the Examiner.com page where the entire article is posted. Become a subscriber to see new articles as they are released.

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

Is America Being Micro-Managed

Are there too many ideas and not enough action in Washington D.C.? Do you ever feel as though you wake up in the morning totally frustrated because each day’s events bring more tragedy, a higher deficit and uncertainty to our nation? Does it seem the leaders of our country are looking to the media for polls and support numbers? Does it appear there are too many things going on at one time and nothing getting actually done? If you feel like this, you are not alone.

In a world of social media rising, blogs and more people being able to openly share their opinions effortlessly throughout their day from work, home, school and wherever they may be, people are venting and they are venting a lot!

On Twitter, people can get their opinion out in (140 characters or less) and be heard to millions of other users. You can instantly get positive or negative feedback from a large number of other ‘Tweeters’ in seconds. If you don’t have your privacy settings set to private, your tweets are there for everyone to see and, as of recently, they are being archived in the National Library of Congress.  Things can get very heated up on Twitter but also opinions can be shared in these short 140 character or less exchanges and people can see the similarities and differences between each other in a new light. Everyone from the halls of congress, senators, court justices, state leaders, CEOs, actors, business people, college students, parents, teens and people from nearly (sadly not all) countries are on Twitter. Imagine the influence this is having on our world, the influence on decisions being made; all kinds of decisions by all kinds of people.

If you read an earlier blog of mine, “Privacy Matters”, you will remember the part about Facebook’s influence on our lives. Facebook has boomed each year following its arrival. People ask if it will ever go away or lose its popularity. My opinion is IF it does, it will be quite some time from now. Facebook has brought something around that many people have craved. It is a way of getting back in touch with people and meeting new people without actually having to be face to face. It is a way for families to stay in touch, share pictures and chat even though they can’t actually travel and be together. It allows people to have a sense of “togetherness” even though they aren’t physically together. This is nice but it is missing an important factor in a relationship which is a real face to face conversation, a real handwritten letter, a real phone conversation. In some instances and some of these online relationships, there is a sense of “knowing” someone in a way that is really not there. Today’s idea of knowing someone is so much different. Of course it all depends on the type of relationship you are forming. In my eyes, without meeting someone, it is more of a “Pen Pal” type of relationship than anything else.

I say that to say this. So much of what many people base a decision on is what their peer group feels or what they hear on TV or read. I have talked about this in previous blogs.

Change Happens” 

Will History Repeat Itself?” 

Who is Running Our Country?”

There are so many blogs in our world today it is basically putting newspapers out of business. Most newspapers are using bloggers as their journalist now. Not saying there aren’t journalist still doing the writing but there isn’t so many in “hard print” as there used to be. A lot of newspapers have gone digital and being read online. I love the AC360 blogs  and Jack Gray is one of my all time favorites! The great thing about newspapers and magazines that have turned over to digital media is they are more updated and they can change on a dime if the news changes, which it does (ALL DAY).

With 24 hour news on TV and 24 hours of updated blogs and news online then everyone can be getting around the clock updates and opinions all day long. That includes our local government, state government and national government. Trust me, they are keeping up with the news sources, Twitter and blogs just like anyone else.

So, I asked is our government being micro-managed? What I mean by that is are we too involved in the many different things that come across our messages, facebook, twitter, blogs and news all day? Then we share our opinions which can be positive or negative with a great number of people and then they share their opinions and that trend goes on and on. It can become viral if it catches on. Is that a bad thing? Well, not necessarily. But, it can be if we really don’t know what we are talking about.

I can admit that I really didn’t know a lot about the oil spill when it first happened. I felt I needed to know more facts. I wasn’t going to point fingers at anyone. I still feel the investigation needs to be carried out. I don’t appreciate anyone that says, “It isn’t our fault” or tries to back out of responsibility or someone who drags their feet doing something to find a solution. But, I can also understand the problem is much worse than anyone could have ever planned or imagined. It would be like trying to stop a Category 5 hurricane from happening, then blaming someone for the Category 5 Hurricane hitting a certain location.

My opinion at this point seems to be (and I may stand corrected) that it may appear there was a warning there was a problem back in March? That has to be shown to be a fact and no matter what, it is BPs well and there is a lot of damage coming from it. Everybody that can be helping to stop the oil and contain the problem should be. If there is a chance at saving wildlife and habitat it should be happening and I understand many things are much easier said than done. That is why things should always be secured so these disasters can be prevented at all cost.

Here is my thinking on the Israeli and Gaza situation and I wrote about this in an earlier blog as well, “Will History Repeat Itself?” as well as “Are You the “Right” Color?” Again, this is something that started out with so many people having an opinion as soon as the news came in and Twitter especially lit up and a lot of people get angry that anyone else has an opinion that differs from theirs. But, it comes down to something very simple and history has shown us this over and over. As long as anyone or any group of people think they are better than anyone or any other group of people are less than them or deserve less than them, this will continue. This isn’t right. It doesn’t matter who is the one throwing the first stone, shooting the first shot, jumping onto whoever’s ship. It is wrong. This boat may have been carrying humanitarian aid or it may have had some weapons on it. It may have had 100% good intentions. Israel may have had a perfectly good reason to board the ship and things got out of hand. This may have been all because of bad communication. The point is it has gotten to this because of the same reason. Groups of people thinking they deserve better than the other. You may say one group or the other but the fact is, everyone has a different opinion. Nobody should have to worry for their life because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin. This is just wrong. This is not my opinion. This is human rights.

So why does it seem to take so long for our government, world government and the UN to come out and make a statement? It is almost as though they are looking to public opinion. It is as though they want to see what the world is feeling. Or, is it that our opinions have become so quick and so abrupt these days due to our ability to share them and get instant feedback? Do we expect instant feedback from our leaders? Do we expect the same direct, in-your-face kind of answers? Are we micro-managing our government? Do they need our micro-managing?

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

Be a part of bridging the gap on unity and pass this blog along. Follow the blog so you can see future post on this topic and others.

Change Happens

It is what millions of people voted for and it is what we are seeing. Whether a person voted for the current administration or not, what is going on will in some way affect each of us. If there were no changes occurring at the moment, people would be complaining. If there were different changes occurring, there would be different complaints going around work places, coffee shops, on the streets, talk shows, waiting lines at grocery stores and now, social media. That is just the way things are in our country. Things have really changed in that area. People have a large demographic they can share their opinion. Is that a problem? Well, it can get irritating and of course the media can make it very repetitive to listen to but that is what America is about when it comes to the First Amendment’s “Freedom of Speech” right? Look at me, I am sharing my opinion. I read other people’s opinions, a lot. I listen to the news, I read Facebook, Twitter, Email, Blogs, etc. I get it from a lot of different angles. I choose to stay away from Talk Radio.

I don’t mind hearing someone’s opinion or reading their opinion or, in most cases, I have the option to just turn off the TV or not check on the sources I read. We all have those choices. More and more though, it doesn’t matter where I turn, those opinions are showing up in ways that are becoming harder and harder for me to avoid. If I am going to watch the news, I am going to run into story after story of protests that have turned into crimes or protestors that are threatening different leaders for their stance on issues or votes. These are more recent events. I was stunned (maybe I shouldn’t have been but then that would mean I was becoming accepting with the way things are becoming) of the fact people were threatening the families of some members of congress because of the way they had recently voted. I understand protests have gone on for years, decades even that I can remember. Voting is way this country does things in a democratic and civilized way. We elect the members of Congress and Senate that represent us in Washington during these different votes. I know that may sound like I am minimizing the importance of this last piece of Legislation that was just voted on and how much time, effort and discussion went into this and also how large of an impact this will have on many of us but I am also one of those people. I too spent a lot of time researching, calling my local Representative and before I voted for my local Representative, I researched the candidates because I know the Congress and Senate could be called upon at anytime to make very big and long lasting decisions for our country, my state, me personally. It is a personal thing to me, my vote.

When it comes to my vote, this is something I have discussed when I am asked but not something I go around bringing up anytime I have a chance. I don’t feel everyone wants to hear my feelings and everything I am thinking about at any given moment (It is usually quite boring). I don’t believe in heading straight to vote for whoever is running within my “Party”. In fact, what my Voter Registration card says really doesn’t matter to me. I look over all the candidates and start narrowing them down as I learn more and more. I certainly don’t learn about them via the Commentators and Journalist on TV or Emails that are passed around and forwarded. I don’t just listen to what they say about themselves or what they promise. I look at what history they have, what ideas they have. I look at their character, their body language, their voting history and how those that have worked with them speak about them. I look at their families and how they deal with their families, where their priorities seem to lie and how they handle pressure, the media, campaigning and I consider myself a very good judge of character. Obviously people are going to rip into them and attack every angle they can so I also watch how they deal with that pressure as well. I have another good source of decision making to always turn to. Not just for voting or politics but for everyday life. I pray about any big decision. Voting for the President of the United States of America is a huge decision!

This past election, America seemed to turn its decision into more of a witch hunt, a search for reasons to turn against each other and a reason to put common sense behind us and hatred and self first. This has really put our country in a place of a constant spin and it seems that although things are happening and things are changing, many Americans just can’t get their focus back on what is good for America and their families and how working together has always proven to benefit us as a country. Tearing each other down is the quickest and fastest way to run America into turmoil one family after another. Americans need to look at each other and look across their work places and schools, places of worship and remember how many times, desperate times over the centuries we have proven to pull together and make those needed changes and we came out a great Nation, United and Strong.