Gun posetion/control, marihuana use, same gender marriage, where do popular thinking miss the true point?

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By Isis Win

When I started to write this blog, it was intended to about the mass shooting in Newtown. I changed my mind right away because my emotions involved (I am a parent) are a copy to the millions of people around the world and I have nothing new to add. However, as usual, I always end up reflecting on the true aspects of what I am talking about. The source of the problem, perhaps only about one of them, so this is the direction I took. I hope I make sense to you.

There are several items that occupy the mental space of many people year to year and often, becomes a political investment. Many are trivial, most truly important and a few are a “give me a break!”. We well know that there are two positions to these issues and they fail to agree. Therefore to induce what is needed to arrive to a sound resolution. For the most part, it becomes a rhetorical debate in which every contributor mostly attempts to exhibit having an educated opinion and wants to be heard. This regardless of how sensitive, sensible and how much common sense is involved. These arguments tend to make the entire of each of those issues to be seeing as an exclusively B&W issue.

Gun possession has become an issue of debate among supporters and antagonists every time a serial crime has been committed. However, nothing happens at all. It is true the constitution of the United Stated of America observed a protection to the right of owning a gun. A weapon that at the times of writing the constitution made this nation what it is, what was necessary then and it made sense. Not everyone owned a gun then, but guns were commonly owned and used, because those times required it. Police and military forces were in short supply to providing the needed protection to the citizenship in general. Therefore, more often than not, it was necessary to protect one self. That was not possible when the “enemy” owned a weapon and was ready to use it to perpetrate their crime. Killing was unlawful then, but many times the court of law found a justification to do so because the perpetrator was threatened before the killing. Today, very few cases receive the same treatment. In fact, for the most part those cases instigate a deep examination of the nature of the crime involved, same that creates a long-winded legal process. But it does not provide the right answer at all times. The right answer is to judge and establish the responsibility of a gun user when there was a dead victim and carry on justice. With the proper legal team, unprofessional investigating measures, poor legally police driven management, etc, can let go to freedom true killers. But that is the legal system that is flawed from state to state and the resources that are available to free unjustified killers who have the resources to afford top-notch legal defense. We all are aware of the many famous cases.
Today, the need of possessing a gun is not even to what it was then. However, the constitution protects that right and there is a very powerful organization that is in such as a constant vigil, that such right is not touched at all. NRA protects the right of every gun owner. The right to become a gun owner for every citizen and of course, protects the “right” for gun manufacturers to produce guns massively and make millions of dollars in fire weapons and ammunition. Today, it is stated that there are more than three hundred millions guns in the possession of American citizens. If we would send three hundred million gun users to any of the places that presents a threat to our national security, we will simply eradicate the problem in no time. That is how impressive is the amount of guns that are out there. I wonder if this statistic reflects all the guns that are illegally possessed.
The war against the free right to own a gun has never been about this constitutional right. It has been about what type of guns should be available to anyone not in the law enforcement forces and how they obtain them. As well, it has been brought to the table that availability of massive amounts of ammunition that any person, including not guns owners can easily obtain. Of course, there are laws that regulate all of above, but do they work? Not, if we only look at the fact that we have an average of one killing spree of innocent and unrelated people once a month. A clear sign that we have a very serious problem in the nation. As serious as any measure to be taken to address it. This is the equivalent of having terrorists groups at home. Yet, supporters of gun rights and advocates for change of the established laws. The existing ones simply do nothing about it. This have become a political issue – loaded with non-sense rhetoric and loaded with anger against each other of the factions. The reality of this case is that the #1 group that should endorse, support and create the proper study of the possible solutions is the NRA. But the politics involved, added to the cost of such study, refrain them from arriving to a sound proposal that gathers a general proper consensus. At least while we figure if it really delivers the intended result. Why this is no responsibility of the federal government? Because this issue is not about the constitutional right to own guns. Because there is a deep and complex political weight with this issue. Because there are two parties that attempt to gain support from their followers as a political gain. Because there are several mass manufacturers that will only support what already is in place.  And more importantly, because the public in general loses sight about that the needed goal should be. And there is no answer that fits the bill but a series of measures that literally would block anyone that is not a registered gun owner to use illegal guns or somebody else weapon. It will be required to clean up the existing illegal weapons out there and supervise gun manufacturers production and as well, make them responsible when a non registered gun made by them was used for a crime. We will see how far we go now that the White House stated this is a problem that should be addressed and regardless of the political implications. I tend to believe this is wishful thinking from the WH, because the actual circumstances. The fact of the amazing power of NRA which opposes to new legislation and the massive amount of gun owners that fear losing their right to own a gun.
One of the overlooked items regarding homicide, is what is exampled and glamorized on television. I can’t inventory the shows that are a bad influence to some people. People suffering from depression, repression and frustration and need an outlet somewhere. They are not going to visit the shrink or a priest, so they will manage until they explode. However, I know of one very popular shows on Showtime called: Dexter. Likely you already know what it is about. Dedicating prime time to a television show that glamorizes a serial killer under the mask of a “justice warrior” or some kind of law “Robyn Hood” simply is wrong and bad. It is amazing that shows like that – not only get aired, but they are of the highest ratings. Something should be done in this regard and I wish soon, before it is much too late.
It is prevalent in our nation that level and amount of violence presented in our visual media channels is not healthy nor can be expected to render positive and peaceful results in the minds of many viewers. Only in the US so much violence is displayed, often glamorized and made look like if that is a normal part of our daily lives. Just looking at the many crime shows, many that are excellently produced and acted, we know that there is a serious problem with the material that is available to the American public. I am reminded right away of the time I covered the Senate when a committee inquired the network TV and Hollywood heads of those industries and when they were asked about the reason for so much a and intense violence in our media, the CBS CEO responded something like this. “We are a business and businesses are about income. In our industry we have strong competition and we must try to stay ahead of them. We produce and present what the American people prefer to watch, so we deliver their interests. We include in our programing all sorts of different shows, Including, comedy, learning programs, family shows, among many. The shows that you are referring about, are the shows that have the highest ratings in all the network channels, cable TV and cinema. It is the choice of the public and our service is about giving to them what they want, so we remain in business. A few senators threw  punches to these CEOs but bottom line, nothing changed.

True, people watch what they want. True, media producers are a business for the sake of profit. True, violence is part of our realm. But I question anyone to decide if all that makes sense, although it is clear watching so much of this and that, numbs our perception of things because after all, we know it is not reality. It is entertaining. So why do we prefer to entertain our selves, family and friends watching events that when they happen in real life, we are shocked and despise profoundly. It seems to be a terrible contradiction and looking at the fact that during this ending year we had more than sixty mass violence acts in our public venues, this contradiction speaks for itself. It brings the answer to the question, regarding why some people attack or kill others like if that is something that does not matter or is alright. Like if that is the price to collect for their anguish. Once again, at the top of the true source and reasons that we see so much mass violence in our nation, is because when we try to do something about it, we focus on the wrong item. Such as a possible violation to a constitutional right that is not as justified today as it was more than two hundred years ago. We must keep on mind that when fire weapons were conceived and manufactured, they were for the sake of killing. Weapons were not created as a hobby or sport. But today, it seems that is the way it is and that justifies the millions of guns that exist in the hands of civilians. A couple of days after the attack in Newtown, a neighbor city had a gun show and it was attended massively. We are losing touch with reality but the fact there is that it is not only the people who own all those guns and the people who use them. It is all of us at large because we allow violence to be even a grand part of our daily visual watch. We sponsor those shows. Therefore we all are responsible for it, until we decide to do something about it. Otherwise, attempting against the safety and life of others because we are unable to settle our frustrations, will result on victimizing innocent and unrelated people.
 
Marihuana: How ridiculous is this issue that after the dramatic experience of the nation (crime and deaths) when the Dry Law was in effect, marihuana still is forbidden? For starters, it has been scientifically established that weed does not make the user to behave in any fashion that makes them as dangerous to others when under the effects. It is more prone to be violent under the influence of alcohol and it is not forbidden. However, no one should drive when under the effects of anything that impairs quick reacting, good judgement and plain common sense.That includes several over the counter (such as cold medicines) and prescription class one drugs.  As well, we can’t ignore the huge problem drugs (including weed) have created to many nations, including ours. Tremendous cost to fight it, thousands and thousands of people killed because the wars between cartels and the authorities that aim to clean the problem. And the immense wealth that cartel people achieve, to a point that they can afford to buy law enforcement, legislators and politicians. We are talking about several billions of dollars that do not benefit any nation or legal citizen. And like if that is not enough, people addicted to any drug should be treated as a pathologically ill person and receive the chance to clean their act. That will be less expensive to do, than cluttering our jails with thousands of no criminals. Lets throw in the fact that this problem entices police members to be the first to violate our existing laws. Legalizing weed could become a source of income if the states allow it and federally is not prosecuted. It can be watched properly and efficiently. It will cease the propagation of criminality because its illegality. After all, we can achieve peace as it happened once the Dry Law was removed. Canada has proven that the benefits of legalization override the problems of having to fight it. As well, offering medical treatment to users has proven to be financially possible and reduced the problem dramatically.

Gay marriage: Well, this is the most ridiculous of all the debates in the hands of the public opinion. As well, allowing gays to marry will benefit everyone, instead of siding one way or the other one, creating division among the mainstream. Marriage should be allowed by anyone and to everyone, according the constitution, that establishes that no right given the people at large, can be denied to somebody else that does not fit their bill. As well, allowing same gender marriage does not present any threat to the nation or society. It is a fact that gay people will commit to each other, form a family and live a more or less an average lifestyle. What happens behind their doors is exclusively their own business, not of the public opinion. As well, religion does not have any right to intervene in legal matters that affect the nation and its population. Intolerance does not bring anything positive. Perhaps the most ridiculous of all statements presented by anti-gay-marriage is, that opponents say it is forbidden and considered unnatural by the Sacred Scriptures. Although we can assume everything written in the Bible truly delivers the best of human nature for society and it is a prevalent as it was thousands of years ago, there are parts of the Bible that are not a reflection of our reality today. For instance, the entries in support of slavery, which today, is illegal around the world. My argument there is: If God designed us according to his will and intent, God created gay people and that should be respected. No evidence found by science and scholars is accepted to end this issue at once. Nevertheless, they have proven that this is a natural phenomena and it happens in hundreds of other species. So where is the justification, besides the Bible that supposedly brings this issue to the table as unnatural, perverse, anti-societal? Nowhere and if one would be found, we will know about it in no time. This is a matter of opinion. An opinion from people who are unable to understand the fact the if gay couples are granted this constitutional right, in reality married gays are doing a good favor to society and the nation. They are aiming to behave as anyone else does in our society and that comes with responsibilities and obligations. This is specially important today, when the numbers of married couples had winded down in the last few decades. If there is a societal concern we should address, that is whatever is needed to preserve the stones that make the foundation of our society. Marriage being one at the top and should not matter who marries who. No long age inter-racial marriage was illegal in the nation. This was changed and has not brought any problems but benefits to nation, right? Gay marriage is not different but only something that some people do not recognize because they really know nothing about what is involved or what it means. They simply make a light judgment based on “facts” that are not reliable, true, constitutional and part of true human nature.

These three items had been examined from  the wrong corners by the mainstream and they are constantly manipulated for nothing. Having a sound gun control law will not violate the constitutional right attributed to it. People will still be entitled to obtain a gun. The only change in this regard is that gun owners should take full responsibility of the use of their guns. But the true problem behind this, is a psychological issue of the people who resort to use fire arms and kill any innocent people. A much deeper problem that one day will have to be examined and put in motion the measures that could help them before they need to commit a crime to survive. Of course, criminal will be criminals and controlling them as a much tougher problem. But by removing lack of opportunities for everyone – no exception, therefore poverty and neutralizing the drug lords because drugs are not longer against the law but seriously regulated, will have a much better and positive impact – than what is in place today. Last, disallowing anyone to reach happiness and fulfill their role in life does not lead to anything positive but to please a few people who are unable to open their minds and hearts, because they lack the proper education about each of these topics. It is not necessarily to accept homosexuality if it offends someone. It does not represent that allowing gay people to receive this denied right will populate the world with more gay people. Gays and straight people are born as they are, period. There is nothing that can change this in a normally growing person. Even if trying. This is not a matter of choice or a choice that provides them anything that others lack.

The main problem with theses issues is that, issues like these are not the problem themselves but the lack of ability to understand and be conscious of what truly matters. As well that what matters to some, may not matter to others, so be it! Harmony in our families, place of residence, peer groups, state, society, country, etc, depends on been able to agree to disagree and make our own choices as we envision them. Not the choices of others. We should stop attempting to force others to behave and be, according to our own agendas. We should only oppose to crime. Doing so, can only lead to frustration, lack of satisfaction, anguish, anger and the destruction of what sustains what we all care about. The ancient Greeks knew this so well but somehow through our history this is something that today is seeing as utopia. A way of living and organizing, that does not exist today but it happened before. So that is what the true problem is.

We may spend our entire life trying to fulfill our role in life by seeking for items that are out of our control and do not belong to us. True fulfillment and nurturing only happens in within and loving actions and that is what we must care about at all cost. While we, each of us, attend our role in life, we participate positively with our family, society and nation – in a way that it honors who we are, what we do and all the greatness that is plentiful in our world. Instead, we seem to focus more in destroying all that matters, including our selves, as the criminals that destroy the lives of others.
Politics can be one of the best examples of human achievements but in order to get there, politics should aim to join everyone and renegades of how much we may differ with others. Politicians have a great role to perform but very few do so. They are more prone to satisfy their own interests and the interest of those that seek advantage for themselves and support them. A bad role for politics but it takes bad politicians to get there and we have plenty of those. The most ridiculous premise of this, is the fact that they are in power because we allowed them and placed them in power. So here it is the chain that creates a domino effect that preserves what we no longer want: division among us, no resolution of our true problems and a split aim to better our people and world. Science and technological progress have leaped tremendously in the last an a half century but we do not represent the very same distance  and gains as the most skilled and capable of all species in our planet. We are into a self-destruction path that on the long run, is creating more damage, than changing the order that so many oppose to.

Bottom line, what we need the most, is to educate well every single human being in our planet, That means to honor their life, so they do the same for others and to provide them equal opportunities to succeed. The more growth in each of us, the better we will get along. We do not need to change the entire world nor do it all at once. We can work each issue together in real-time and put them behind, so we cover the next one. We have too many needed issues to be resolved on sight and the agenda is huge. One that will affect many generations to come and there is not right nor justified reason to bring more people into a world that offers so much pain, tribulations and a denial of their own self. We all need much but if we don’t provide by our own self – what we need first, we will not be able to educate and nurture those that do know less. We must think with the best of our mental capabilities without denying the scope of elements that compose what we feel everyday and we project into others. Mexican president Benito Juarez said many years ago: “El respeto al derecho ajeno, es la paz” = The respect for the rights of others, is peace.

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Answers to the 12 Questions of the Day?

By Isis Win

Facts:

OIL: We are moving a little faster towards petrol energy independence and some dependencies (such a motor vehicles) will not need as much gas it in the no so far future. As well, scientists estimate predictions of oil reserves may not be as not accurate as previously predicted and it may take lesser time to know it. Although today there are more means to extract oil from places it was believed impossible before, such as deep – deep underwater, being new technology, we are just learning about the possibly accidental consequences. But the point in mention, perhaps no so clear to some readers, is that major petroleum producing countries depend on sales of their reserves and they lack of an infrastructure to support themselves otherwise. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and the rest of the Persian region. The Emirates had been heavily investing in developing the fanciest luxurious touristic infrastructure. Will that be their ticket? Considering that only a small percentage of the population can afford those amenities, I wonder if large profits vs demand will compensate. Last: considering the levels of production in low wage countries and Global Economy, how could those nations fit into the new economy?

Cold war: NASA closed their doors to Chinese people, particularly to scientists. As well, research and high technology organizations had been beefing up their security across the board and closing their doors to China. Analysts believe this is the starting point to a similar situation once we had in relationship to the Soviet Union. However, so far both countries seek peace and commercial balance. Isn’t lack of both the #1 reason to divorce? Lol

Oxygen: Scientist around the world had been gathering data and so far their findings are seriously concerning. Celebrating  7 billion habitants of planet earth, the massive growth and the depletion of the ozone layer certainly point towards a serious situation in the no so far future. Not to be alarmist, but the suggestions are to start looking into this depletion now, much closer and before we are in real trouble.

Global Warming: The signs are obvious regardless of what the cause might be. The seriousness of the case is: once we finally, individually and globally recognized it, we have no place to go and it will be too late. According to top scientist around the world, Global Warming and ozone depletion is happening much faster than anticipated. We can blame the governments for this if your chose, but if we consider the effect of the planet’s population in this regard and what we’ve done so far to reduce emissions, the panorama is quite grim. We consume more water, electricity, forest products every day, housing is growing almost as much and as fast as the population. Although less pollutant vehicles are in high production more than a year ago, most people drive even a few blocks away to buy something silly as beer, cigarettes or post stamps. It is in our hands to pro-actively slow down the curve and as well, we must actively demand action in this regard from the governments and the industrial machine.

Cures: According to most colleges involved in Bio – Medical research, most of the financial allocations, grants, etc,  had been made towards “mood modifying drugs”. Much more than to “simple” illnesses such as a common cold or fatal ones such as Cancer. The point here is about the proportion of investment in both areas. Financially mood modifying drugs promise a better return than cancer drugs. In fact, the latest reports in this arena show that there is a shortage in the production of many cancer drugs. Guess why? A low return compared to the rest of them. Depression and anxiety cases reported in the last few years claim there is an increase of a whooping 70% just in this country! This report is based on the tabulation of sales of this type of drugs. Aldous Huxley forecasted the creation of the perfect “Happy Pill” in his novel “A Brave New World” written in the 1940-s <Soma>. Many of his other revelations are happening as revealed.

Brazil: Since the oil crisis of 1973 government, investors and the farming machine had worked steadily to become crude products independent. They went from 80% oil dependency to 20%! It is amazing the most vehicles produced in Brazil are Flex energy, all gas stations sell ethanol. It is much cheaper than gasoline. Brazilians had gone all the way to support this change, There are compromises to ethanol use in cars such as, if the engine is cold, it will not start. Brazilians are coping with it.

Yachts: A report of sales after the Monaco yacht show, stated not only that sales increased in 2008 <even considering the financial crisis of ’08> but the average cost of a luxury yacht is around 40 million dollars! The largest country to buy them? the US! The sales had been increasing steadily after 2008. There are several yacht shows around the world most of the year that display and sell this luxury toys.

Health System: This question is a true challenge to the cynic regardless of how educated he/she can be. When a country is as rich as the USA (GDP 14 trillion dollars compared to almost 10 trillion of China) it makes sense not only we can have it but it should be a world’s class model. However, in order for that to happen, accessibility and afford ability to Higher Education is mandatory. That brings higher tax revenue to the country and as well, technological and scientific development will steadily grow. That will maintain this predominant financial place of the US. Education, a vital asset that through the last decades has been decaying and today presents a true threat towards our global dominance and as well the possibility of providing decent social services to those in need. This issue is specially important today, when several countries, mostly in Asia, had been making steady improvements in educational availability (including overseas education), make it affordable to most and their technological and scientific developments are growing faster than even before and compete with ours. As well. foreigners are no longer tempted to get hooked to the US financial offers than once kept them here.

European Rail System: An irony: The USA created our rail system, against all odds, at an incredible speed, it was the most efficient system in the world in the early 1900’s. So what happened? Airplanes took over. Which is a logical step up and there is nothing bad about it . . .  except that plains are the worse contributors to ozone depletion However, the high cost of a fast and a nationally wide rail infra structure, is not something that interest large investors. In fact, it is a miracle that AMTRAK still is in business! But it would be ideal, actually is needed and hopefully one day it happens. If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying traveling by train, you have no idea what you’ve missed. I am one of the lucky ones and I am totally amazed by the Super Trains of Europe and Japan. But even the slow train in many countries is a true joy to indulge.

CEO-s indicted: They should be brought by the Senate and Congress panels and be inquired about this bubble and it’s failure They should state where the flaws were and how they missed the revealing triggers. They should become co-responsible in the creation a legislation that doesn’t restrict them and the industry, but avoids ever again abuse and neglect on their part. Otherwise they must face steep penalties. The damaged they allowed to happen is not a joke or as simple as a ponzy scheme. This is a blatant abuse of control and power without exercising any caution. That is their crime and they should be accountable one way or another one.

American Education: The US achieved it predominant place in the world based on higher levels of education, improvement in personal income and the development of many new industries. All thanks to affordable and quality higher education. Today, most manufacturing is overseas and our factory workers never were trained to develop high tech skills, as promised by Reagan at the starting point of NAFTA. On top of that, we’ve been sliding down steadily and drastically in the quality of education starting from elementary schools to college level. And to make matters worse, this is an area that is improving fast in Russia and most Asia, but as well, we can include a few no so developed countries such as Brazil. And remember, some of those countries are aiming towards supremacy. In case you are not aware, Wikipedia reports that we fall among the 30th place in regards of higher IQs in the world. Guess what countries are above.

Bailing Out Greece: This job has been achieved right after publishing this blog. However, at the cost of 50% of losses in all Greece debts to these European nations. It was cheaper to go that avenue than not to but it is clear the frustration of those countries’ rulers.
It is a fact that those European nations, as much as the US, have been living beyond their means. Credit, an incredibly powerful force to propel gigantic financial gains and commercial development, when abused create a reversed effect. This effect is not exclusive of the growing debt and the interest resulted from larger loans, but as well, it is common that when creating a larger debt based on credit, usually comes along with minimum or no savings at all. In the case of Greece, part of their failure was increasing their national debt and the other part based, on the fact that the country’s revenue is not compatible with the debt . Their Olympic Games didn’t recover the investment as planned and their vaults were not loaded enough to compensate for that.
As well, although Greece defaulted their debt anyway, if they would resort to bankruptcy, all the European credit would be compromised, therefore, other nations (because their deficits and as well government cost) would fall under the domino effect. All countries would suffer as well. Including the US.

The reason I post this type of questions is because I wonder if people reflect on issues like these, therefore are able to figure that living is not just a matter of their immediate environment or personal satisfaction or conflicts. The same way that outer forces affect how our planet will behave, we are subject to influences that fall out of our interest. However, today, in the times of global economy, natural disasters and fast and readily available communications, our immediate world is not exclusively affected by our immediate surroundings and lifestyle. We people have several layers of responsibility. Being the most immediate to our nuclear family, followed by our chosen family, friends, peers, work, associations, place of living, hobbies, etc. We have responsibilities in all those arenas but as well we have many others to our city, state and country. And the chain continues. The countries we associate with, as much as the ones we don’t, require a certain type of involvement such as represent our thoughts and feelings about them. That is a responsibility too and one that mostly is heavily ignored. And last but as important as our nuclear family is the responsibility we have towards our planet. Our actions may have a strong and important effect on the future of our planet. Countries that are focused in consumerism, tend to affect negatively our planet. It is of utmost importance to become aware of this and if we are conscious enough to get involved in halting it. As well, to do as much as possible to reverse any damage already done. Such as minimizing the consumption of paper, wood products, water, electricity and crude products. One of the principles of the ancient Buddhist beliefs is to create the least, if any, waves with our presence in our planet and others. It is a fact that looking at the raw results,  we are presented as savages that act like if we are entitled to everything we wish, as we wish it and when wish it. If we all would have the consciousness of the importance of our presence in the world, society, family and apply common sense, we would easily arrive to the conclusion that we are doing more wrong than right. If that would end there, well, that wouldn’t be so bad, but the fact is that we are heavily taxing future generations, as much as compromising our lifestyles in the near future. I recommend you to watch the old science fiction “Soilent Green”. A scary, sad and very grim panorama, that although it is hard to believe we could reach that plateau, it is not only possible but we are moving in that direction really fast. Maybe not in our time but the children of our children will see some of those effects. Do we care about it? In fact, we’ve been living with one of those ugly results of neglect in many cities of the world: We are breathing more toxic air than a heavy smoker does during an entire life. We are ruining one of the fundamental blocks of life. If you don’t believe it, just visit Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, London even Tokio that has one of the most rigid legislation in regards of air pollution. China, India and Russia and already looking at a very serious damage in this arena. It is the responsibility of each citizen of the world to do something about it. Don’t you agree? If you don’t please present your arguments!

This world and our humanity are loaded with so many precious treasures that make this presence of ours a great journey. There is plenty still, but slowly we are facing facts that alter our possibilities and lifestyle. Just imagine what it will be 5 generations from now. For starters, let’s think about all those issues that we directly affect and hopefully we address them properly TOGETHER. The more we are, the merrier the old saying says. But that will not be the case in our near future if we don’t do anything to stop the damage. Thanks for reading!

12 Questions Day

What will the petroleum producer countries do once they are no longer in business?
Are we stepping into a “Cold War” with China?
Will we see signs of oxygen depletion because oxygen production is becoming depleted due to deforesting and carbon emissions?
What will our alternative be IF truly <for the skeptics> there is Global Warming and is happening faster than forecasted?
What cure will happen first: To cancer, depression or the common cold?
Is Brazil the first energy independent country in the world?
Have the sales of mega-million dollars yachts decreased in the last 2 decades?
Will we end up with a fair, efficient, affordable health system for all?
Is it a chance for a rail system, European style in our country?
Should the CEO-s of the mortgage and banking industries be indicted, perhaps penalized, although they never broke the law?
Is ok if the USA is the most powerful and the richest nation in the world, but the educational level doesn’t even make it among the top 10 in the world?
Shall Greece, Spain, Italy and France be saved from financial collapsing?

Honesty – Did you say?

By Isis Win

Merriam Webster definition:

honesty
noun \ä-n?s-te\
plural honesties
Definition of HONESTY
1 obsolete : chastity
2 a : fairness and straightforwardness of conduct b : adherence to the facts : sincerity
3 : any of a genus (Lunaria) of European herbs of the mustard family with toothed leaves and flat disk-shaped siliques
See honesty defined for English-language learners »
See honesty defined for kids »
Examples of HONESTY

    She is admired for her kindness and her honesty.
    He demands honesty from everyone who works for him.
    He didn’t even have enough honesty to tell me he was leaving.

First Known Use of HONESTY
14th century
Related to HONESTY
Synonyms: integrity, probity, truthfulness, veracity, verity
Antonyms: deceit, deceitfulness, dishonesty, lying, mendaciousness, mendacity, untruthfulness
[+]more
Synonym Discussion of HONESTY
honesty, honor, integrity, probity mean uprightness of character or action. honesty implies a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way. honor suggests an active or anxious regard for the standards of one’s profession, calling, or position. integrity implies trustworthiness and incorruptibility to a degree that one is incapable of being false to a trust, responsibility, or pledge. probity implies tried and proven honesty or integrity

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I had a good conversation with a close friend and as usual, we covered topics with a little more depth than the usual chit-chat at times happens among friends. Among the topics we covered: Honesty. We believe honesty is a core part in people’s lives. Ironic, we never spoke about our personal perception about what honesty is and about. I suppose we both assumed honesty is exactly the same for each of us. Interesting, I gather we truly contemplate what honestly is, when honesty has been violated, overridden, neglected or ignored. I assume, when we think about honesty, we all think about the truth. Of course honesty should contain the truth, otherwise honestly, will not be more than a sweet and highly regarded concept that’s worth nothing. But honesty goes beyond the truth. As well, there are forms and forms of honesty. Particularly nowadays that we live in a polite and politically correct world. If you are older, baby boom generation, you know what I am talking about since these two ideas or concepts, were not as and prevalent then and as they are defined today. politeness and political correctness are here to stay for a long time!

A very interesting aspect about honesty is the fact that although similar to most, it differs among people. In fact, we can rightly say that honesty variances exist from region to region. To illustrate this, lets check the south and the north regions of the country. LA as the south and NY city as the north. New yorkers are known for being straight forward and forthcoming. A few of us would dare to say, they are brutally honest. I like that! I’ll explain later. But in LA we can say, honesty is much more a consideration towards the receiver’s feelings. A gentle honesty, or a polite and politically correct honesty? I leave the answer to you.
I prefer the NY honesty because the least I know, is exactly where I am standing on. Southern honesty, can be quite deceiving, flattery and of course supportive, but . . . Most people I’ve known, almost everywhere, apply this second one. Even in the north-east of the country, where I’ve live three-quarters of my life in the US.

We were not talking about honesty per-se, but where we can see honesty and we can get a good sense of what it represents to that person. Specifically my friend and I  entertained the honesty topic in the art world. In the middle of our exchange, my friend said: This an excellent topic to cover in your blog. I agree, although I find this topic quite complexed and compounded. I feel it could cover several blogs just to see the tip of the iceberg.
Our conversation started when my friend started to prick my brains about honesty and not so much in photography. My friend, a lover of photography, didn’t really know much this world and much less had any idea of the inner workings in this field. Through the 80’s and 90’s, I had the fortune of meeting many of the best photographers of the world and I befriend a few of them. Therefore, I know a little more about what goes into their creative process than the average person. I introduced a few names to my friend and mentioned a few known ones. My friend browsed the internet to find images of each of the artists I mentioned and she was a little more than impressed by their work and their honesty – or lack of it.
I introduced Hans Neleman, a still life photographer. Ruven Afanador, a fashion shooter. Anni Liebowitz, a celebrity shooter and perhaps the most known working photographer and undoubtedly the best paid in the history of magazine work. As well I mentioned Mark Seliger, known for his fantastic work for Rolling Stone magazine and many contemporary music bands. Art Kane, perhaps the best and most recognized “diversity” shooter. And one of my favorite shooters, a Gamma Liason shooter from Brazil Sebastio Salgado. A documentary photographer whose work borderline Fine Arts and many of his images had become iconographic in the photo and art worlds.

If you are interested in photography and photographers, do a query in the net and you’ll find excellent examples of their work and you’ll be the judge. The point I made to my friend in regards of honesty in photography is between “finding a formula and exploiting it” for the sake of having a successful career and those who represent their skills, through their perception, lifetime, lifestyle, perhaps interests and concerns and show it in a rather unique and original photographic way.
When looking at the work of honest artists, we can immediately recognize their work. We can do it not because a particular genre, same that I am presenting to you here, but because every frame of their work, indistinctly have their own seal. Their work’s originality is far from the known. They take risks and convey their vision in a way that touches most of us. By any means I don’t disqualify the work of those who are not as honest in their work. Many, if not most, turn absolutely outstanding results, we can identify their work but the vision they share is redundant through most of their careers. And as well it can be very redundant among several artists in the same genre. Their work is not unique. I didn’t mentioned Irvin Penn (one of my favorites) to my friend because she already knows about him. However, I highly suggest you as well to go to your local university library and see his work. Master of Photography Irving Penn was as honest as an artist can possibly be.

Honesty can be seeing everywhere. Nevertheless, in some fields it’s more obvious if it is there. Such as in the performance arts. In acting, when the performer is honest, he/she delivers such a performance, that like if they morphed their selves into a totally different person, they make us to forget we are looking at the celebrity we’ve known for so long. Such as Meryl Streep, Dusting Hoffman, Hilary Swank, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Al Pacino, among many more.
The core part that makes them so incredibly good, is nothing else than their honesty. Same is the case with many music artists.

On the other side, when I think about of dubious honesty, I get by default the image of a used car dealer, a lawyer and of course, politicians! Ouch! Politicians really prompt questions about what honesty is about for them, or what they believe we perceive, or believe about true or not honesty to us. For instance: Take what President Obama announces and the accusations some of the Republicans throw at him invalidating anything he said. Well, if that would only be the case, but as well accusing him being a failure, irresponsibility, unpatriotic behavior, you name it. They “politely”, hmm . . .  Politically correct? call him dishonest. But instead, they have the right answers BUT in order to prove it, they need seize the White House. Either the president or the senators congressmen are not honest. But who is who? Who is telling the truth? Of course, the answer will depend on who’s asking. Republicans and conservatives will side with  . . .  And Democrats and liberals with  . . . But what most seem to ignore, avoid, deny, neglect, override, etc, is the fact that the truth is a core component of honesty. Therefore, this issue becomes about trust. I believe that you, like myself and thousands of other people, don’t know what to make out of their “honesty”. Honesty that our representatives must have at all cost. Unless of course! You blindly believe – one or the other side! But looking at it, realistically looking at it, finding the answer in us – requires nothing less than: Honesty!
Last: honesty involves at least two people. Otherwise what would our purpose be to keep things clear, transparent and honest? Oh! Perhaps the answer is to let others know: They can truly trust us.
Hmm! . . . I better stick to art!

Twelve Questions day.

Is China really communist or capitalist?

Are liberal minds and plattforms really only about change, moving forward?

Are conservative minds and plattforms really only about tradition and keeping the country as known?

Is marriage about the institutional principles more than what one may think, believe and prefer?

Should non threatening drugs be legislated, approved and taxed?

Should all illiegal emigrants be kicked out of the country or penalized and legalized?

Should our country be a one country instead of many different ones?

Shall we kick out of government those that don’t comply with EVERYONES wishes?

Should the big corporations remain tax free and invest their earnings abroad?

Do we still are in the middle of a recession and we never pulled out of it?

Should the opinion of others matters to everyone?

Is the country where we want it to be and the Fathers of the Nation envisioned?

Questions that are worth a respone but better, if they are addressed.

HELLO: Austerity you said?

Austerity you said?
By Isis Win
I’ve lived through times in which the government was forced to austerity. I did in Mexico City after the peso devaluation in the ’70s, and again in Guatemala almost a decade after. Programs suffered the most and with the “excuse” of shortness of cash, many institutions suffered to a point where they were no longer able to provide support to their tax payers. Ironically, tax payers pay taxes to guarantee that they are provided for their services when they need them.
Currently, due to the financial status in the world, the heavy cost of running government and the increased debt, the U.S. is in need of activating all measures to save money. Continue reading