Archive for November, 2016

Pursuing Freedom

Posted: November 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

Wow…just wow!  It never amazes me what people think they know about the Constitution!  While I might be the first to admit it isn’t perfect, if the lawyer/politicians would quit jacking around with it, and people understood it, it would be alright.  A few days ago on the dreaded Facebook, I read a post having to do with a protest of Target, because they are friendly to the Gay community, and, their dressing rooms are gender neutral, as are their bathrooms, oh, and Target is apparently trying to redefine the First Amendment.

I will be the first person to tell you that you have a right to protest a business for any reason, as long as you do it peacefully without physical harm to the business or its patrons.  That being said, I find this protest, for the most part, laughable.

Isn’t it interesting, though, that people (in general, political parties, specifically) claim we are a free nation?  Ultimately, though, the freedom they speak of is freedom within the confines of their definition, which usually isn’t real freedom.  It’s a small, predetermined set of choices with limits from which you can choose.

Our own Declaration of Independence is a masterful piece of work.  I wonder how many people have truly read it?  I wonder if anyone truly understands it?  Well, it tells us we have the RIGHT to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…period.  AND, the document tells us that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  The government’s job is to protect our rights.

Before the lawyer/politicians messed with the Constitution, adding and limiting freedoms (yes, they did…), the freedoms and rights remained with the people first, then the states.  Remember, our founding generation had just fought a war for freedom.  They weren’t about to give that up.  One of the main purposes of the Constitution was to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” (The abuses foisted upon the Indigenous and the Blacks will be the subject of another post, another time.)

Look more closely at Amendments Nine and Ten of the Bill of Rights:

Amendment Nine:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment Ten:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

And, to understand these, you must first know what, exactly, the enumerated powers of Congress were.  That would be Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution.  I encourage you to take the time to read it…carefully.

Let’s take the first offense by the Target protestors, redefining marriage.  How many people actually know why marriage licenses are required in this country?  Yeah, I didn’t think many…well…look into it!  Back in the day, the government required a marriage license so that the government could keep up with interracial couples…now, they require you to GET PERMISSION to marry…after all, isn’t that what a license is?  Asking permission to do something?  Your right to marry isn’t a right.  If it were, you wouldn’t need to ask permission!   (I never really understood why the Gay community wanted this, except for the spousal benefits…I do get that!).  Look back at Article 1 Section 8.  Nowhere in there does it say the government has the right to oversee your marriage to another!  The states actually govern that, but still…should they have the right?  People should be revolting rather than turning over their right to marry whom they want.  AND, we act like it’s too late to take back our right to marry whomever we want…it’s not!

The second offense is in the gender neutral dressing rooms.  Have you ever shopped at Goodwill?  Yeah, they have dressing rooms on both sides of the store, but I’ve seen women go over and use the “men’s” dressing rooms when the women’s are filled up…on more than one occasion!  I guess we don’t care about that…AND, it’s not like all the dressing rooms don’t have doors on them, with locks!  Who cares whose in the dressing room next to you?  If you can lock your door and you can dress in privacy, who cares!

As the mother of two girls, I will and do take offense to gender neutral bathrooms.  I’ve heard stories from reliable sources of men who prey on boys and young men in public restrooms.  Ever heard of NAMBLA?  I would and could never allow my son (had I had one!) to go into a men’s bathroom alone!  But now, we are finding that pedophilia is way more common than we thought.  Are we going to trust grown men in bathrooms with our little girls (or vise versa?)?  We also have the elderly, who were reared in a much more modest time.  Just because we feel the need to be more sexually free, are we going to subject our grandmother’s (and grandfather’s) to that?  I simply don’t see the need.  If you have girl parts, use the girl’s restroom; if you have boy parts, use the boy’s..but that’s my opinion!

And, as for the last grievance on the website for the protest organizer, a friend pointed it out, how in the world is Target trying to undermine free speech?  Just a question that needs asking!  I’m sure Target couldn’t care less what you say because they are going to do what they feel is best for them, anyway.  Please…

Protest if you will…because one the very best ways to get your point across is through withholding your hard-earned dollars from offending businesses.  But, as for you offended “Christians,” I need someone to tell me how marriage equality hurts your way of life? No one is forcing you into a marriage you don’t want.  No one is withholding your right to join in union with whomever you choose.  SO, explain to me how this affects marriage for YOU personally?

And, while we may not agree with each other on what constitutes happiness, it is our right to pursue happiness in this country.  If we live in a truly free country, no one person’s happiness should be more important than another person’s.  Remember, though, with freedom comes responsibility, so as long as you are not forcing me to apply your definition of happiness to myself, I, quite frankly, support your happiness.  As long as you are not harming another person, be happy!  And just a reminder to the “Christians” reading this, just remember, Jesus said the two most important commandments are Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself…these two are the sum of all the commandments…AND, it doesn’t say, love your neighbor when he agrees with you…it simply says love your neighbor as yourself…just sayin’!

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It’s been one helluva week since the monumental upset of the Donald Trump presidential win occurred.  Our nation saw utter defeat in the faces on the left, and some shock in the faces on the right.  There were devastating riots (cause let’s just be real, those were NOT protests!).  Many of t he people I spoke with voted for an alternative party candidate (which actually surprises me that all the alternative candidates only garnered about 5% together, but that’s for another time!)  The riots, according to one young lady, were held because the people were “really scared and sad.” I feel for them, as I  have been sad and scared for our nation for the past 20 or so years.  So, if you’re like me and disillusioned with the main parties and their candidates, where do we go from here?

Let’s address the “really scared and sad” for a moment.  Protests are one thing.  When done right, they bring about public awareness, they start conversations, they get the ball rolling toward an awakening of the ideas being thrown out.  But, what happened across our nation makes me shake my head.  If we believe these “protests” to be genuine, and there are many questions about that (here and here), we are dealing with a bunch of spoiled brats who respect nothing.  Again, I am all for peaceful protests.  Since when did tearing up neighborhoods, looting and vandalism and destruction of property become standard protesting practices?  You say you are really scared and sad?  What the hell do you think you did to the people in Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles, and the multitude of other places in which you protested or rioted because you didn’t get your way?  And, you’re scared because of what? Just to day I saw a photo of protestors holding up a sign that said, “Rape Meliana” and during the protests, there was “Kill Trump” painted across windows.  SO…exactly whom do we need to fear???

For this behavior, I must just say, in general, we are all to blame.

First and foremost, parents…for wanting a better life than we had for our children, we allowed their lives to be a little easier than ours.  This has gone on for generations.  We don’t make our children earn anything anymore, so they believe they are entitled to whatever they want.  I see it everyday in retail outlets.  The child wants something and the parent allows them to have it.  In the course of shopping, the kid acts up…then the parent threatens, “We’ll just put that back if you can’t behave.”  The child screams and cries and continues to act a fool…yes, I said a fool…and does the child get the item?  About nine times out of ten, yes.  Why?  Because the child pitched a bigger fit when the parent tried to put the item back.  They now know they can pitch an ungodly fit and get what they want.  Heaven forbid you discipline them!  At some point, you lost the ability to teach your child respect for adults.  You could also teach then the value of money and make them “earn” what they want either through doing chores or simply using their own money.

We’ve bowed down to outside pressures, as well.  Back in my day there were clear winners and losers, but today, we don’t want to leave anyone out or hurt anyone’s feelings, so, at least for a while, everyone’s a winner.  We can’t teach our children how to lose gracefully if they don’t lose.  if everyone’s the same and is treated the same, where is the incentive to do better or be better?  That’s from where the drive to do better comes…in your rewards.

As for owning our children’s education, we have foisted it off solely on teachers and daycare workers.  Government funded schools are going to teach what they want taught.  There are tons of examples, but I will site just one.  In high school, my daughter was being taught that our nation was a Constitutional Democracy.  She was taught that the terms “Constitutional Democracy” and “Constitutional Republic” were interchangeable and Republic was never brought up again…by the book or the teacher.  Why is that important?  Because if our nation’s children don’t know the truth, they don’t know what they should be fighting for.  Democracy is when the majority gets to tell the rest what they have to do.  In a Republic, there are a set of rules and every one is to follow those rules.  In our Republic, those rules are The Constitution.  How many people know the actual role of the President?  Congress?  The Supreme Court?  The States?  The individual members of our society?  Yes…there are rules for ALL those factions…yet, in making this country into a Constitutional Democracy, the roles have been reversed and the people intended to have the majority of the power now have the least power.  If the population knew they were intended to have the majority of the power, along with their individual states, would they protest differently?

Secondly, no one is held truly accountable anymore…including our politicians.  We have created a system in which we have lawyers that get people off jail time, because “it’s their job.”  Does anyone even question why we have this?  I understand that innocent people are arrested for crimes.  I get the need for lawyers for that purpose, but when there are actual witnesses and the person is guilty of harming or robbing or endangering someone other than them, why do we have lawyers to get them off?  Also, why do we have judges who, after someone is convicted of a crime, give some light sentences and throw the book at others?  Shouldn’t the punishment actually be the same for the same crime?  Society has turned everything into a disease, so now, instead of bad behavior, you have a disease.  It’s not your fault…nothing is ever your fault…

As for politicians being held accountable, what about all the campaign promises made by the various candidates over the years?  They say they are going to do one thing, we vote for them for wanting to do one thing, but they never seem to get around to doing the things they promised.  Does anyone remember back on the campaign trail, President Obama sworn, the first thing he was going to do was to set bringing out troops home from the Middle East (TRUE support for the troops, in my opinion!)?  He said they would be home in 16 months…yeah…also, he won a Nobel Peace Prize before he had shown any true actions toward peace.  And does anyone remember the first thing he actually did when he became president?  Yeah, he drone bombed the hell out of Pakistan.  Obama was such a breath of fresh air to many who were tired of the illegal Bush war on terror.  they viewed John McCain as more of the same.  Wired published an exceptional article a few years back regarding many statistics from the “war on terror” which included what Bush and Obama had done, up to that point.  Shockingly, when you averaged by year in office, Obama sent more troops, ordered more wire taps and over all, spent more time and money than Bush on the War on Terror…but people ignored that.

Before we leave the responsibility of the candidates, why is it that the only person to actually step up and call for an end to the violence was Bernie Sanders?  Where are our “leaders?”  You know, President Obama, President-Elect Trump, Clinton, both the GOP and the Democrats?  Why aren’t they stepping it up every day and calling for an end to this?

Third, the media has to take part in the divide in our country, as well as the unrest. Let’s play a little game, shall we?  See if you can guess when this quote was made:

“There is no such thing, at this stage of the world’s history in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.”

When a newspaper with the clout of the New York Times states they are rededicating their paper to reporting honestly, you have to wonder just how long they have been reporting dishonestly!  AND, if the New York Times is being dishonest, one has to wonder just how many other large papers, which serve as THE news outlet for smaller papers, radio and local news.  Even though trust in the media has declined over the years, people react before vetting their news.  Not only that, but once something is “in the news,” if later it comes out the story was misleading, the facts were wrong, or the facts were twisted to make the story sound better/worse than it was, people have already read the false and the damage is done.  Also, the way in which the media reports something, as well as the words they use, dictate how people will react.  If you want to sway someone’s opinion, wording is everything.  Ask any marketing major…you can sell anything you want to most people just by using the right words.  So, if the media wants to divide the nation, they will use the words they need to use to make it so….and people never question it, even though they don’t trust the media.

With that said, the media coverage, or lack there of, of certain individuals and ideas plays a huge roll in shaping opinions.  If we don’t know about certain things going on, we don’t know to ask questions (although I am of the strict opinion that we should questions EVERYTHING!).  If we don’t get the right facts, we don’t know the right questions to ask.  If we don’t get any information, we have nothing to go on what-so-ever.   What happened to journalistic integrity?  Is there more to it than simple across the board carelessness?

By the way, the answer to our little game is American journalist John Swinton made that statement at an award ceremony honoring his body of work…in the late 1800’s!

Lastly, we have to take a deep and hard look at our government and officials.  Our government has literally run amok for SEVERAL years now.  The egregious nature of our government didn’t start with the Obama Administration, as many in the GOP would like you to believe.  And, it didn’t start with either Bush Administration, as the Democrats would like for you to think.  Over the years, the government has been playing favorites with different industries and foreign governments, depending on who was in office.  Part of the appeal of the Trump campaign is that he isn’t an insider.  That was also part of the appeal of the Obama campaign.  Clinton is clearly an insider, but, since Trump seemed to be such an outsider, did the Democrats (AND the GOP) and the media decide they wanted to push an “experienced” politician?  It seems that way, even though, during Obama’s first campaign, they wanted fresh, new and not connected to the status quo.  How quickly we forget!

So, where DO we go from here?  Trump was elected, and yet people are already wanting to gloss over him and get to the next election.  But, will the people give him a chance?  People expected it for Obama.  I didn’t vote for him, but I do my own research.  I’ve read about his healthcare proposal and it seems reasonable.  Anyone in their right mind knows Obamacare is horrid and has done more damage to the healthcare industry than good.  Will people at least look over the final proposal?  I’ve read about what Trump says he wants to do on immigration.  It is eerily close to what Obama has done.  Will the people admit they were wrong about him and his disdain for immigrants?  After all, he can’t be against immigration, two of his three wives were immigrants!  While people call him a racist, do they actually know that?  There was plenty of support for him in the black community, but that didn’t fit the mainstream narrative, so it never showed up in the news.  I say we give him a chance.  See what he thinks he can do.  Get ourselves involved and make sure we stay in touch with our local representatives, letting them know what we think.  And, by God, we need to hold him accountable for everything he does…that’ll be new!