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.

Believe it or not, corporate America is changing policies regarding “Same Sex Marriage”.

By Isis Win

Disclaimer: English is my second language and regardless of all my efforts, I fall short to master it in a way that I make myself easy to read. Please, be patient and hopefully you get the idea at the end of my text. However, feel free to leave any criticism, suggestion and comment. That will help me and expedite my learning of your wonderful but no so easy language. Thanks!


No so long ago, there was no clear positive participation from the mainstream to support LGBT issues and realm. Today, this panorama differs drastically from our recent panorama but corporate America is making a grand difference and a dent in the mind of the mainstream. During the past decade several one 100 corporations incorporated policies in the work force, hiring, provided perks, etc, to serve equally to LGBT people. These actions had been implemented by hundreds of them and now, they are supporting Same Sex Marriage. Since corporations cannot change the existing legislation to this unconstitutional denial, they not only opened their doors to LGBT workers and new employed people, but they are enacting policies that provide to their gay and lesbian workers equal services from their providers. Today, several of these corporations allow a gay or lesbian workers to include their beloved on in their health provisions package and benefits. It does not validate the civil right that according to the US constitution every single American should receive, but this is a mighty good start. Although gay and lesbian American workers expect more regarding their right to marry their chosen one, this corporate move very likely will mimic part of the desired goals based on a rightful wish. At this point, LGBT advocates and the related organizations, such HRC are only waiting for the Supreme Court to revise the constitutionality of this demand, the opposition movement, etc, in several states. Experts believe, the Supreme Court will rule out denial of this right based on the value of the constitution. The question will be if this becomes a federal mandate or states are allowed to choose how they will enact this policy.
It is clear the several organizations involved in denying this right will continue to invest their multimillion contributions to campaigns against it. Mostly religious organizations that ironically ignore the fact that separation of church and state does not allow them to attempt to “guide” the government and American people to deny such basic right and based on the Sacred Scriptures. However, candidates at the brink of elections, present their support to this religious battle and clearly to gather the support of their constituents that do not support marriage between the same-sex. This is prevalent on the republican party side but there are a few democrats politicians that oppose to this right as well. The Supreme Court and the White House have a package in their hands to either observe this constitutional right or delay it. On the long run, there will be a day in which this right is observed and no longer is a political issue in the platform of those no scrupulous politicians.
Same sex marriage has been on the table for many years now in the USA. It has created one of the most radical polemics among their opponents and supporters to a point that, when testifying to the media, their arguments fall right away through the cracks when confronted with the civil aspects of this issue. I’ve heard in many talk programs arguments on their part that do not present any other notion but the believe that marriage, “natural marriage” as they call it, can only be allowed between a man and woman. A notion that right away lose the shine they pretend to present in their effort as a part of God’s design, because the religions they use to support their position, as well states clearly, according to their very own interpretations: God intended to seed in his human children forgiveness compassion, generosity, love and acceptance to every one of his children, that would be allowed to enter “Heaven” if repented of their sins. And this cannot be a sin. Being born as God’s design and being incongruent with the established role by humans is an issue between humans, not God’s will. This regardless of the hostile antagonism represented through history, at large, and coming down to the loss of beloved family members, peers and friends and suicide to many. This to a point that, although it is federally and state illegal, LGBT people are harassed, bullied, destitute, physically and emotionally punished. This clear sign not only represents that lack of ability to exercise compassion and generosity to those that in their view lack what life only accepts and support, but as well, the mean streak represented against LGBT through history as the recent disease that killed thousands of people in our nation as the result of HIV and AIDS when they celebrated this disease and deaths. Up to date, thousands of people point this disease as a deserving punishment from God to gay people and consider it appropriate punishment to the case. However, we as well have many more folds numbers of compassionate people who have work constantly to find the means to treat the disease and find a cure. Today, more people survive this disease than ever before.
Corporate America recognizes the fact that LGBT people are as good contributors to the working force as any other human being. They recognize it is of utmost importance that they acquire the very same rights and benefits in their working force as anyone and several businesses include this initiative in their policies. Perhaps one of these days, this right no longer is denied anywhere at anytime, to any deserving member of this minority. Meanwhile, every month dozens and dozens of people and their businesses are moving to that place of support and that reflects the vision of our founding fathers. As well, it represents a higher state of human consideration among the supporters of LGBT people. This contribution of corporate America brings a tremendous positive outcome to our nation, same that at some point will reflect the evolution of our race. Although we are far superior to all other species, for some strange reason, we humans are troubled by this and ignoring the fact that animal life in hundreds of species – exhibit this very same homosexual behavior. Even theologians from all walks of life, beliefs and cultures, attest that marriage between a man and woman is not contemplated in the Sacred Scriptures but it is the result of a bad and manipulated interpretation. In my part, I believe that whatever this is for one or the other side of this issue, one greatly overlooked fact is that no one is entitled at any level, whatsoever, to make themselves the judge, jury and enforcement on the lives of law-abiding members of our society. This a phenomena speaks very eloquently of the poor moral, ethic and legal state of mind of those that not only oppose to this right, but as well desire to force the rest of the world to comply with their own view. The day the stop minding the business of others, as LGBT people actively have represented no to mind others issues through this polemic issue, we may reach a plateau in which we can mingle together and peacefully. Regardless of the differences of opinion, beliefs and lifestyles between us. Overall, we will perform better as citizens, human beings, brothers and sisters, when we exclusively remain faithful to our own choices and allow others to do exactly the same.
Thank you and congratulations to corporate America for taking the right position in this polemic issue and the very same to every individual that supports LGBT people or refrain from participating in a controlling and belittling way against them. These times are a clear indication of what we need the most: To gather our efforts and support everyone towards their well-being, peace and harmony and regardless of who they are. LGBT people care for others without making any distinction of others lifestyle, beliefs, status, etc.

Presidential Equality.

By Isis Win

This past Sunday, I watched Vice President Biden candidly say on “Meet the Press” that he has no issue about gay couples and their desire to marry.

Coming from the second highest office, this is something that cannot be taken lightly. As well, he mentioned that he believed President Obama has been supportive of LGBT people, although Biden did not compromise and assert Obama’s position. This was followed by all the news services and of course, the questions about: “A political mistake? Compromised the upcoming vote? Political maneuver?” popped wildly. However, the press had no clue in regard to the presidential take and position on this issue that had become almost as important as the economy in recent days. Previously, the press reported Obama does not support Marriage Equality.

See excerpt of this interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/obama-sex-marriage-legal-16312940

It is extremely hard to know what is the true level of general support for this effort and as well, the counter movement. Even after the many polls and the numbers skewed to figure the true numbers, there is no true statistic.  This is an issue that covers a spectrum much larger than left-center-right political views. Religion, moral beliefs and the personal state of mind, and as well the feelings of each person have weight in this issue. Homosexuality has been such a stigmatized issue since the earliest days of our history. Although archeological findings have much to say as to how and what changed in certain times, ostracizing homosexuality has grown on its own for centuries.  Homosexuality has been associated mostly with superstition, bad interpretations of the Bible and other sacred scriptures, but as well, through times in our history homosexuality has been considered decadent and sinful, creating a strong animosity against it. Mostly during times when homosexuality was not closeted, many high rank figures were gay and what was considered marriage in those times was common. But as well, those times were times of major tragedy and famine, such as the events during and after the fall of the Roman Empire, both abroad and their country itself. Superstition was used to justify many of those tragedies as well as many of the natural disasters of the times. The “Wrath of God” at work, and of course, religion took part in these times. However, homosexuality before and during those times, if not accepted, it wasn’t fought and committed gay relationships were allowed.

Today, after Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage, this panorama has changed somehow. There is a positive joy going on around not just because the importance of the first US president supporting Marriage Equality, but as well, it is believed that this news will help the movement for LGBT equality. I have a very different take on this and trust me, I am not a cynic in this regard. The very same way discrimination against LGBT people seemed to be fading, discrimination against African-Americans seemed to be a thing of the past.  The reality is that political correctness and politeness were abandoned by many people who in theory were OK with racial equality. Something that somehow changed post Obama’s election. Something that, to my own disbelief, I’ve witnessed personally in many realms walks of life: Many voters despise Obama because he is black. The reality is, while African-Americans were accepted “across the board”, that didn’t include having a black president. A president with different ideology (socialist as alleged by many conservatives), opposition party, etc, is one thing but an African-American that will determine the future of the entire nation? That is unacceptable by many. People do not express openly their views in this regard, unless in the presence of others who they know are in the same place. I heard things such as: The trust and importance of the White House in the world will be severely demerited by a black president. A black person lacks the necessary quality and style of an American president. I even heard people calling him a monkey. The same is the case with homosexuality. Prior to President Obama’s Pro Equality announcement, a lot of people refrained from sharing their opinion openly about same gender marriage. But today, many are infuriated that our president, a Democrat, who in their view “has done nothing for the country and themselves”, has made many serious mistakes and now is supporting something that most people believe is immoral and against the biblical beliefs. I find the hatred against Obama exhibited in many of these conservatives now is a combo of hate against Obama with homosexuality. People seem to fear change more than any previous time in American history and their fear, becomes unproportional to reason and logic. It is no more than shutting the door to both issues, as much as any issue that represents change and tradition that seems threatened.

I liked Obama’s interview and what he said. Particularly when he mentioned the “Golden Rule”: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done with you”. Exactly! Where would the president be if he realizes that one of his daughters is a lesbian and desires a committed and legally supported marriage? What many people fail to see, is that compassion and generosity are some of the most positive and influential forces that make everything better, for everyone. People seem to overlook the fact that freedom is a necessary and mandatory state of life to achieve the best possible growth in life. Denying legal marriage to gay and lesbians, is a form of denial of this freedom. Something that perhaps didn’t matter to them much before, but today is a vital need. Regulations and laws do not permit couples out of legal marriage to benefit from federal and state perks that come along with the accomplishments of their obligations and the necessary requirements to claim legal rights when the partner is unable to decide for her/himself or deal with the legal and necessary rights in case of death, child custody, and divorce. But all unjust civil issues take their place in the roster of what needs to be addressed at some point. Many racial issues somehow have been worked out and only time will decide how much gain comes from it. So far, African-Americans have been able to achieve higher education, predominant places in all industries and fields, including the military, and so having a president of African-American origin definitely changes that perspective for them by many folds. Black people today, especially young generations, increased their aspirations and confidence because America elected one of them.
I’ve heard educated and upper (or more) middle class people wondering if allowing same-sex marriage rights at some point will allow having a gay or lesbian (and couples) elected as an US president. This is a terrible miss and a short-sighted view because what a nation really needs and can benefit from, is having capable people in charge that are willing of giving their very best to the nation. Lincoln was not fully accepted when running for the White House chair because his education and social status. But his mind and heart were much more than brilliant and with his “limited” resources, not only saved the nation in one of the most difficult times in American history, but he pushed the nation better than what many presidents had done. Those shoes will be hard to fill for a long time.
I really hope that this testimony from the President does not do any more harm to his effectiveness and re-election goals, and helps many to persuade themselves that denying a basic civil right to a few – that is supposed to be granted to everyone, does not treat anything or anybody fairly or justly.
Apparently many people opposed to Obama and LGBT rights now – out of the blue – became very vocal and are taking initiative to broadcast their views to fight LGBT equality and president Obama. Perhaps before president Obama’s testimony supporting LGBT people and marriage equality, people who never cared nor believed this right would be granted are reacting to this news, but Obama’s support “awakened” their animosity and in just a few hours past this testimony, they became quite vocal and active to show their true sentiment. The irony of this case is: God didn’t invent marriage. Marriage is a human invention that through centuries and millennia had changed about the reasons to exist. For instance, at some point it was used to halt women from seeking relationships out of marriage and if doing so, they would be executed by law. Men were allowed to do exactly that. As well, during some history periods, this was the tool for fathers to make any claim about their children. Gay and lesbians care for legal marriage simply because they care of having the exact same legal rights all other couples do. Legal rights that will not exist for as long as their marriage is not legally recognized and granting Civil Union rights is not the same. Still is a form of control and discrimination and there is no true reason within the human realm that can justify such aberration. As well, religious beliefs must be left in the hands of the parishes the very same way the government doesn’t have the right to state, regulate, etc, them. The will of the church is free from this. Government and religion are two different and separate entities that by any means should not be mixed, as the US Constitution states. So why do people fight marriage equality as an item of biblical reasons?

The world is not going to become gay across the board because of same-sex marriage equality. There is no way that a straight man or woman is going to turn gay because nondiscrimination laws are in place. The very same way that a gay person cannot switch to being straight, heterosexual people cannot change their sexual or gender orientation; that is innate and unchangeable. Let history speak about this so people can see that homosexuality has existed through our entire presence in the physical realm and never produced any harm to anyone or anything. Nothing has changed, regardless of the many efforts through our history to fight them, and even to eliminate them, such as the genocide of homosexuals in many cultures through centuries. Middle east nations still do that!  Despite these oppressions, no one, absolutely no one is capable of changing what is built-in, what we are born with.

More importantly, it is evident that those who are allowed to be themselves, freely and without concern, have been individuals that fulfilled their role in life and often for the benefit of many others of all ethnic backgrounds, walks of life, social status, etc. regardless of all the limitations and denial of their rights. In fact, this denial is so unfair, unjust, stupid and non-sensical because many of the best contributors in all realms to the American life were (and are) people that had been ostracized by society and their obsolete rules. These people never focused on the unfairness that was imposed in them. Instead, they focused on the talents they were born with and poured all their dedication to render their best to all. And because of their pride of being, they survived all. But no one is “cut from the same cloth”, nor has the same abilities as anyone else. Some need to be supported in order to explore their gifts of birth and to not deal with a lifestyle that needs to fight everyone and the establishment. Let them live freely and join the battle of moving from our ankylosis and bring fortune and well-being to themselves and everyone. Let everyone be free! Everyone must have the right to choose whatever they wish!

I thank President Obama for taking a stand in this issue, although the possibility of making him to lose this coming election now is larger, judging from this reaction. What President Obama has done is to be himself; an honest, fair, compassionate human being and a President to all, including the underdog. Something to celebrate forever.

I know the absolute truth but you . . .

By Isis Win

It is so interesting how some of the aspects in a democratic society and process, somehow fail to deliver what originally was intended as a the main purpose of a nation that serves, supports and entitle every single citizen of the exact same rights. Those rights that were extensively examined by the founders of our nation and became the constitution of the USA. Since its inception and the following amends, the constitution aims towards the deserving freedom that every single contributor to the nation earns by abiding the law and regulations that will preserve the peace and harmony of each citizen, same that become the order and progress of the nation. Therefore a free and happy society, brings what the country needs to ensure that prosperity and the well-being of all will be. The results go both ways: to the components of this society and the nation that holds them.

Law abiding citizens that comply with their responsibilities and obligations are deserving of those liberty rights and any other provision the government creates, which will be served equally and without any distinction to ethnicity, gender, lifestyle, belief, origin, social and cultural status, etc. The constitution does not provide any “special favors” to any group, person, organization, etc. All – is about every individual that independently contributes to the positive formation and progress of the entire nation.

Jefferson, considering the measurable and important value of public happiness included in the United States Declaration of Independence the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” . Which is considered one the best crafted and most influential sentences in the history of the English language. He recognized these three rights as an “unalienable rights” or sovereign rights of man.
George Mason wrote:
“That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”

But it is interesting that one of those perks offered by democracy, has been used at large, when a legislation that has been passed to protect and provide those constitutional rights to a minority lacking of those – becomes a matter of “popular” consensus by a referendum and only to deny that passed legislation.
Nothing wrong with that mechanism, for as long as the same doesn’t violate the basic principle of granting – indiscriminately – those rights to everyone, no exception. But referendums created and presented to override the right to legal marriage to gay couples should be questioned before posted. The interesting part of all this, is  that there is no substance when it comes to any legal or reasonable principle to deny a right – that already was granted by the higher office of a state and based on that constitutional right. Religious, moral or anything beyond the scope of the legal realm doesn’t suffice to derail something that has been established as a constitutional legal right. But those referendums keep coming and attempting to override that passed legislation. I am not a constitutional lawyer and sadly my ignorance in that department will not help me to present the necessary legal arguments that are violated with such referendums. But just common sense tells me that they are way wrong and out-of-place.
 
Looking a little beyond this constitutional and legal aspect, we can see the main issue at stake, somehow, most miss to see it or address it: There is no individual, organization, law or regulation that entitles anyone to decide how others may live their own life. But somehow those that are against those rights for that minority of the minorities, feel that somewhere marriage between a man and a woman, is written in stone that and that kind of marriage, is exclusively the only one that can  take place in our society. Is it that those religious minds suspect that if this constitutional right is addressed and federally enforced, those gay couples may seek for religious marriage? Give me a break!
 
Interesting! for a lack of a better word, theologians, historians, anthropologists and archeologists had found no sound evidence to such in the sacred scriptures. Not to mention the fact that the basic principle of all religions establish – that every single human being must be loved, accepted, supported and forgiven when wrong. To make this case even more compelling, there is no evidence in the sacred scriptures that presents that homosexuality as wrong, unnatural or a matter of personal choice. So where does this come from? The undeniable fact here is, that some people strongly believe to know the only truth, even if such goes against their own religious principles and as well is a total denial of equal liberty rights to all. We can go even deeper in that regard, when we ask: why those individuals tend to believe that they are the only holders of such truth? But frankly, that is not of my business as much as it is not theirs to analyze, judge, ostracize and sentence those that they are unable to recognize and accept. However, from the civic point of view, it is rather revolting that those uptight and judgmental individuals fail to recognize that gay people seeking for the right to marriage – are as good contributors to the well-being of the nation – as perhaps they are. They work, pay taxes, respect the law, are loving people, etc. And all they ask is the acknowledgment of being who they are: equal to all and entitle to legal marriage that will provide them the same rights their opponents receive. But it is not just the civil right what they seek for. Anyone who desires to commit into legal marriage, desires to do so because, they like the rest of the population, they aspire to help with the foundation in which society has been built on. They want to participate in the well being of the nation with every single aspect of the established, working and organized society they live in.
Their love for each other will note impaired by this denial and their commitment always existed since the moment that they committed to each other. But that “doesn’t suffice” to validate their commitment and the recognition they aim for, which is for the well-being and benefit of our nation and society. How ironic this is, when at least 50% of the heterosexual couples are already divorced, the majority pregnancy cases in the US are in single women under 30 years old, the numbers of family less children sky rocketed in the last few decades, thousands of children lack of any nurturing family and most crimes, come from those that never had an opportunity to become law-abiding citizens, because they are unrecognized and lack of all opportunities.

Same gender marriage will pitch in – tremendously – in addressing and correcting some of those problems. In fact, more than half of the gay families opt for adoption. And there is no evidence of any sort, that kids growing up in a same gender couple family are dysfunctional, less human, disrespectful of the law and much less, not loving people. Many of the kids from gay couples I’ve met through my kid’s events, schools, etc, are some of the most loving and compassionate kids I’ve known. But those that propose these referendums, as well those that vote for them, seem to know the truth better than the rest of the American people. Even better than those gay couples.

More ironic is the fact that not everyone is against same gender marriage. The majority of the people under 30 yo are in favor of same gender marriage rights. But today, baby boomers , the flower generation, are much older and they’ve forgotten what they learned, when they were young as their kids are today. As well, it is overwhelmingly clear – that the advocate efforts of some religious groups (#1 the Mormons) are the reason this legislation has been threatened and defeated before (Prop8) and possibly legislation in those states that already passed this constitutional legislation, will be defeated again and again, until this case goes to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will not have any other saying but to speak in favor of the constitutional rights of every American. Just the very same way that inter-racial marriage became protected.

But I have another point in this regard, that is as valid and solid as the previously mentioned. We are not in the middle ages. Science, sociology, history and many other fields had proven consistently that homosexuality is a natural event in our species , records existed since our early days of history, there is nothing wrong with it and going against it, reflects a deep lack of compassion, understanding, fear and plain ignorance. And that doesn’t match our needed progress in any field or history. Or is it human nature to always have an issue to go against and a certain group of people? Specially a minority? There is no evidence to this notion but that the individual that feels, thinks and acts that way, have an internal and very personal issue about what they are against. And their issue has nothing to do with the people they are against, because there is no foundation or evidence to their sentiment. The reason they have no other argument than to use something that is not even proven, such as the Sacred Scriptures they assert. However, it seems “they know the truth and the only truth” but those are against to it, in reality, know nothing. They are just holding their sentiment based on their very personal opinion. A Freudian projection of some sort? Therefore, they feel obligated to fight them at any cost. Also, they take the law in their own hands. They police the order they believe should be, they try to enforce it and they do whatever it takes to keep it that way. And the cost of this illegal efforts is a tremendous waste of money, time, and it damages the establishment, the uneducated and fearful society because it plainly disseminates discrimination towards those that never have done anything to deserve such. This is nothing different from what today is not illegal anymore, such as interracial marriage, rights for women, desegregation, religious freedom, etc, etc, etc, The same items that  were removed from our unspoken “laws” of our ancient past and were nothing less than a disgraceful violation to humanity and harmonious order.

Nevertheless, the most of all annoying aspects of this discriminatory initiative of some religious groups, is that the only argument they present to advocate against gay couples, is nothing else than their moral and religious views. Same that had not be proven by any means in terms of any biblical validation and the separation of church and state suppose to go both ways. No one is advocating about any of the above beliefs or religions, so what is the excuse those jealous have to make their case, out of what has been clearly legislated and protected by our constitution? These referendums that attempt to derail any constitutional right, do not deserve to become a matter of democratic process, because no one has any negative evidence proof this attempt. And is a violation to the liberties that all Americans deserve and are granted. Civil union is not the proper measure to be granted by state governments because such is not a validation of that right and as well, for as long as this right is not federally addressed and corrected, gay couples will continued being unrecognized as law-abiding and deserving people, as the constitution and the law states should be.

I am not attempting to state that (as they like to think and act) I own the universal truth about this issue. Therefore I know better than they do. I am just expressing my own view based on a little more educated place. I am not seeking myself to marry anyone, same gender or the opposite. I do not have a family member that wishes to receive this right. Yes, I know of people who wish to be able to do so but my investment is not based on my own belief or wish. I am just expressing something that once taken care of, for good and enforced to the dot, will deeply and positively affect an area in our world and nation, that has been for the longest neglected and unspoken. And that only is because those against this, are extremely vocal and proactive to enforce their own set of beliefs and the rest of the people prefer not to get involved because – for starters – this is not a business that belongs to anyone but those that wish, aim and aspire to get it legally granted. The very same right that you and I receive and most take for granted. Marriage is about commitment into a monogamous, steady and loving establishing of a family. It is recognized as a right to one of  the basic principles that establish a positive future of a functional and progressive society that up-keeps a nation. Nothing more, nothing less. Those referendums should be denied by the local governments and they should use their resources in something that offers true promises to our democratic process, state and nation.

Middle East – Just a concern? Or an impending threat?

By Isis Win

I always advocate for learning what is necessary to have any kind of judgment about . . . whatever! But at times, we hear and read information that perhaps is reliable but never complete. That cannot lead to educated judgment but to assumptions that mostly fall in the domain of pure ignorance and projections of all kinds. The word moves around and as it grows becomes an exaggeration of what possibly was no more than an important issue. After all, the media constantly competes to be on top of everything for the sake or ratings. Nothing new about that. But bad or incomplete information at times in the hands of people with unlimited access to the media can become quite convoluted and make matters worse. For instance, during Republican campaigning, the media has constantly been accusing Obama of being responsible for the actual status of the nation, which we all know is not good, regardless of any progress reported by the same media or the executive branch. It is rather dismaying to realize that a presidential candidate would be making accusations that have no foundation in truth, that are, in other words, plain lies. The New York Times published an interesting discussion about lies in the political world. The discussion doesn’t really help any reader to figure out one or another thing except that lying is a fact of life; it has been that way for a long time and likely will not change.
On that note, I wonder about the lack of attention to the issues going on in most of the Middle East countries that represent not only lack of stability in the region but as well to the world. After all, we can’t ignore the fact that the world depends on the production and sales of petroleum products. Instead, we only have sketches about what’s going on and, from time to time, that news in the hands of the Arabs who fight the US, is used in the very same way that media portrays Obama to persuade their people to join the hate against this country. We have video of soldiers desecrating the bodies of some rebels and of cases of civilian casualties. Clearly, propaganda of that kind will not help any attempt to push any of those countries into diplomatic negotiations.
Perhaps my uneducated mind is more concerned than it should be or than is justified, but for years I’ve been afraid of what some analysts recently have been talking about: the possibility of a Middle East war. For starters a few analysts are concerned about too many loose cannons that can trigger one. If that happens to be the case, the world, including the US, is at peril. The US cannot afford another economic blow due to hostilities of any sort in the region. However, can the US stay out of it, particularly if Israel acts, provoked by the threats from neighboring countries?
I prefer much more to assume that this just another crisis that the world has to face as in the past, that it won’t escalate as in the past. But it is clear that just the threat of such a crisis will cause serious turmoil in most countries. And there are too many reasons to suspect a serious international issue is at stake at this moment. There are too many countries demonstrating antagonism toward the US, and no one can escape the idea that instead of fighting Big Brother in the war field, imposing financial distress can do the job. That was one of the aims of Al-Qaeda when it attacked the Twin Towers. It was not just to cause panic, fear, and loss of life. Regardless of how prepared any nation could be for the possibility of attacks in their own land, Al-Qaeda proved that even the most powerful nation in the world is at risk in the hands of terrorists groups.
I have no doubts the US can “bite the bullet” and overcome anything. The resilience of the American people has been proven over and over, but whether this is the case or not, this something that no one wants to see and deal with. As well, it is unlikely that the world would sit back observing a conflict. The alliance will join efforts to fight any country that disrupts the well-being of an allied nation. But we need warring of any kind, not even diplomatic warfare, as has been happening with Iran. However, we know little about what is happening with other nations that “claim” to be friends of the US. We have Afghanistan and Pakistan, and lately Turkey has been mentioned, as countries that possibly have hidden agendas with the US. And there is no doubt in my mind that petrol-producing nations have one of the “aces” in their hands. We know Saudi Arabia is somehow on our side, but we can’t ignore that it is an Arab nation and threatening countries are its neighbors. All this, while we already are sorting out an unemployment problem that represents a level of economic stagnation that is not exclusive of the political situation that we’ve been witnessing now for years.
Although most scholars and analysts I’ve heard don’t directly state the reason for the actual state of affairs with the Arab Nations, they are not slow to suggest more than one or twice that the lack of stability in the Middle East is collateral damage due to the poor management of Saddam Hussein’s removal. I recall before the pre-emptive attack against Iraq, academics warned the White House of the possible consequences. Iraq was the glue at the time that maintained stability in the region which was the reason the US supported that nation before the threat that it possibly was supporting al-Qaeda and had weapons of mass destruction. This by the way, showed either poor intelligence-gathering by the US or simply that we were deceived by the American government. There are plenty of people out there now suggesting conspiracies and that corporate interests curiously formed a nexus with our executive figures during the previous years. The ultimate fact is that whether we don’t know any better because the true knowledge is of National Security importance or the truth is manipulated back and forth, we have serious reasons to fear a longer period of chaos in the world. Of course, crisis like this had been seen a few times before, such as the case of the ballistic missile build up in Cuba by the Soviets. I recall the newspaper headlines pointing to a possible WW III. Thank goodness nothing happened because those missiles were removed. But the fear was there, even for myself, a young person incapable of reasoning the possible outcome.
As was lightly mentioned in the “Lies” discussion by the New York Times, one of the problems about manipulation, half-truths and lies in the political arena, is that the American people just read and hear them and go on. However, considering the radical split the American people have been facing so far, the same that will render its outcome this coming November, such lies are creating a wave of sentiment that all should avoid. During WW II, and the Great Depression, the American people joined hands to overcome the crises that threatened this great nation, and as anyone can see, the US came out gloriously and achieved a predominant place in the world. We are not even close to losing our place in the world as long the US dollar continues being the currency of trade, but this is something that we cannot afford to allow to change because of events in the Middle East. We all must be together, put aside our differences, and work towards bringing the nation to where we were before Iraq, Afghanistan and the mortgage crisis. Although I didn’t feel Obama’s State of the Union speech was of historic caliber, what he said is nothing else but the truth in regards to what must be addressed in the upcoming years. I am not fully convinced he can deliver his agenda due to the orchestrated obstruction by the Republicans; however, it is a matter of common sense to allow his initiatives to happen, even if they believed to be prone to failure, instead of simply freezing everything and getting nothing done. The entire executive and legislative branches should as well put aside their differences and sit down to negotiate whatever it takes for the sake of moving the country forward. Otherwise, even if the Republicans win the upcoming election, the damage could be too large for them to pull the country of danger, just like the scenario that Obama faced right after becoming elected. Our reality of today is not a partisan or philosophical issue. It is a matter of the well-being of the country and everyone in it because after all, if we end up with an empty basket, everyone, including the 1% will suffer serious consequences. It is a luxury we cannot afford.

Settling of a reality

 By Isis Win

Ending another year prompts reflection. Perhaps when it comes to our personal reflection the process seems, “Smooth and easy” to attain but when it comes to issues of our country and world, things may become complex and incomprehensible.

The reasons are quite obvious but offer no explanations as how we arrived to where we are. For starters the media does not make it any easier but as well, not always represents the truth. Propaganda and manipulation often make the headlines and we are left thinking what is not. In most cases, all depends on what the medium in place is. However, many of those issues foreign to our inner world affect everything including our personal and close world.

The political scene is no exception and as we know, such alters many other realms that ultimately affect us personally.  Here I am doing a quick revision about some of those issues that have resulted in apathy, vitriolic reasoning and divided further the American people. All resulting in one of the worse cases in the American peopleʻs lack of confidence.  However, it is clear that no one fully agrees in many of those points of issue and their true representation.  Nevertheless, with some distance, the truth shines for itself, showing the facts as they truly are. Here are some at the top of the list.

Through the entire twenty-first century we’ve been encountering a not-so-familiar panorama in the US, starting with the unprovoked attack on the WTC, an event that shocked and infuriated even the most cool and collected person. For some “strange” reason, if we could have removed our selves from what happened as it happened, we didn’t. We were emotional witnesses to this hard-to-believe painful tragedy. Some people mourned, while for others, their anger was triggered to the point of seeking revenge against the perpetrator.

I bounced back and forth between both, but always kept in view that a terrorist faction is not a country. They have no official home and they can be spread around the world. How scary! Almost like in the bloody seventeenth century when many religion wars were fought. Therefore, fighting them seemed close to impossible. Those that were obsessed by that core anger wanted to take matters in their hands. As a consequence, flocks of young people joined the armed forces. Young patriotic people who were willing to sacrifice their lives to defend our sovereignty and freedom. People whose values rank at the highest level of caring for their nation and people, something to be much more than admired. But sadly, even the armed forces have failed them from beginning to end.

Through those same times, we were consumed as well by a previous enemy of the USA and a threat to the world: Saddam Hussein. Hussein already was an icon in our minds when he invaded and stole the vaults of Kuwait and was flawlessly ousted out of Kuwait by the US forces. The US demolished his arsenal, leaving him totally unprotected in one of the most dangerous and unstable regions of the world, a region that constantly has been at war since the beginning of history.

It was well-known that Hussein possessed chemical weapons and was fully capable of using them, and as well, US intelligence suspected a large arsenal that could be used against the US as retaliation, and the existence of production plants. There even was speculation that he was preparing to possess nuclear weapons although the UN stepped in and established there were not suspected weapons, nor plants. Saddam was no threat to anyone. As well, US intelligence assured the White House that Hussein had business with Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and was involved in the WTC attack.

Then, the US went to a preemptive assault on Iraq, a war that then-President Bush promised to the American people “will be a short one and a definite win” without any problem. History showed that not being the case at all, but as well, the presumed US intelligence was wrong. Way wrong! Hussein was not a threat nor was part of any act of terrorism against the US or any allied country. However, we engaged into a war that cost several thousands of life lost, and severely physically damaged many folds more of soldiers. The cost of this war was way beyond what the country could afford – especially when we were enjoying tax cuts across the board. But like if that wasn’t enough pain to the country and to the American people, the post-invasion effort was a total flop. The only winners in this war had been all the humongous businesses that garnered multi-billion contracts to support the troops, do the clean up, and saw to the return of Iraq, such as Halliburton. As well, we faced the true problem behind the 9/11 attack: Afghanistan. Our troops went there to kill all Al Qaeda operatives and their top rulers. It was another flop, although several of the people responsible for the attack had been detained and others killed, including Osama bin Laden.

We learned that what Bush said in regard to Iraq and Saddam was completely false, and his team made sure to point the finger at faulty intelligence, but not him. Bush simply washed his hands of any responsibility. To the public opinion, he just retaliated against the culprits of 9/11, and that sufficed to most. However, we now know that there was evidence of manipulations within the government agencies, and consequentially around that time, Secretary of State Colin Powell renounced his position, leaving politics for good. We will never know what the truth is. It has been said over and over that the attack to Iraq was planned before 9/11.

Nevertheless, we engaged in two war fronts, lost too many lives, and more, although Bush assured us to the contrary. We left Iraq a total mess, and Afghanistan is far from reaching an end. The cost of both wars amounts several billions of dollars, although we’ll never know if the actual cost of the wars on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq is close to 4 trillion dollars as stated by the press.

But the previous administration left us one more chaos. Although analysts, academics and several legislators warned the White House about the dangerous housing and mortgage balloon, the White House did nothing. It burst, leaving us in the second-worst recession in history. Frankly, after all I’ve read about the depression of the 30s, I believe what we’ve dealt with is a true depression. However, it never reached that level because the White House stepped in and saved most of the banks.

This created another breed of winners: bankers and their top men, including those that illegally traded many corrupted loans. Bottom line, the Republicans left the country and the American people in dire straights. We lived through almost an entire decade while watching the most powerful White House in the history of the US deceiving the American people, selling the country to China, creating a war that was not justified by any means, and violating the Freedom Act with the Patriot Act, and all in the name of justice. But justice to who? Although most Americans agreed with bringing to justice all responsible for the attack, no one agreed to the results of the flawed management to achieve that purpose. So far Al-Qaeda has cost the US almost 10,000 lives and a fortune we cannot afford.

It wasn’t surprising to see Bush winning a second term. Although I forecast many years ago Kerry being president due to his remarkable political career, his campaign was too poor and the fact was that he is part of the American aristocracy, even if just by marriage. I knew all that would be a heavy price for him. Bush won and we were set on course to tragedy. The silver spoon-born rancher got a second term. The saddest part is – learning about Bush’s grim past. Although a college graduate, he is an ignorant, not presidential caliber at all.
Bush has not even traveled overseas ever! And he became a president? As well, all his previous “professional” positions were a total flop. Not even being governor of Texas created sound credentials, well, despite the grand fact that he came from a family with a long history in American politics.

Then, elections came again, and with the American people already fed up with the terrible and failed Republican policies of Bush, the Democrats rose into power. I remember so clearly when Governor Obama delivered that phenomenal speech at the Democratic Convention at Kerry’s nomination, I was awed and deeply impressed by it. I told my wife right away, “Here we have a presidential Democrat.” My wife dismissed my comment simply because in her eyes, America was not ready for an African-American president. I had doubts too. However, I believed that the principles of his speech were exactly what the American people wanted and needed: to return to the known American principles of social justice and a growing economic power to all. But that panorama was too far from reality, considering all of above.

Obama became the choice of the American people. Personally, I favored Obama simply because McCain was not promising throughout his campaign at all, particularly after he selected bimbo Palin as his running partner. It was clear that either he wanted absolute power by choosing her or he felt the election was in his pocket anyway. I took offense at his poor choice. “Why Palin?”, I wondered. Because she is an eloquent loose canon? Because she is very attractive? Or because she is quite poisoned against moderate or liberal policies?

My question was answered once the Tea Party started to take over the Republican platform. All that is about is vitriol and nothing about policies or real patriotism, not even American dreams. Opposition to abortion, illegal immigrants, gun control and antagonism against gay rights became their platform and nothing about American policy nor the well-being of the American people. It was about removing from the American tapestry anyone that wasn’t approved by them.  Like that defines our nation! Clearly, as well, greed known among republicans is part of their song.

However, it is my impression that in reality, McCain gave away his presidential dreams due to the recent disaster of the financial meltdown. In fact, I don’t doubt the possibility that the Republican party gave away the election to let the Democrats deal with the existing crisis and then win the following period. Fixing the depression wouldn’t be possible in the next four years, but it is more promising during the next period. We must remember at all times that in politics, anything can happen. And if so, the Republicans had made a great performance presenting a view of Obama and the Republican Party that would assure them the White House in 2012.

I can only hope that the American people have a better vision than going by the Republican propaganda and the blocked attempts to address our current situation. If the White House ends up Republican in 2012, we must be prepared to manage a worse war than the one against Al-Qaeda, because the American people have left behind for far too long the worst scenario for the American people in the last 100 years. Frankly, I believe that the majority voters are not willing to deal with the Republicans, at least in 2012.

The American voters are after justice, fairness and equal distribution. Obama promised not only that, but a total change of the political landscape. A red flag in my view. He was committing to too much and on top of that he was to going to bridge differences between Republicans and Democrats? I wondered how could he do that? That definitely would represent a major change! However, I knew as well that the fact that he is of African descent could bring as well another can of worms for him and the Democrats. Of course, no one wants to publicly admit that, but for four years I’ve heard too many Republicans and Democrats whining about that fact. In 2008, I didn’t care myself because my eyes don’t suffer from those ethnic filters. As well, I knew what the nation needed was someone who wanted to achieve a place in history that confirmed what this nation is supposed to be about. If we could have another Lincoln or Jefferson, that would be it! How naïve of me, because I disregarded the fact that the opposition would make sure he failed in any attempt to bring any of those promised changes. All that because he is a Democrat, he promised too much, he believed in the ability to fully change the nation and because he is black. It seems I was right, but that doesn’t remove the sadness I experienced because, in my book, everything should be about the bettering of the country and everyone in it.

Now we’ve witnessed for a few months the front-runners for the official Republican candidacy throwing dirt at each other and many folds more to Obama. At the early stage of the debates, I was somehow excited about it. Now, I am so disappointed and just as frustrated. Between all the candidates, the Republican party lacks of any true presidential caliber candidate. Flip flopping, ignorance, deception and a hidden agenda are out in the light, even to the politically blind. Not even extracting the best of each candidate can we create one candidate that is sound and promising. On the other side, we still have Obama who, according to the Tea Party and the running candidates, is nothing close to presidential caliber and is a total fraud. If that were to be true, we are in a humongous jam because what the American people need is even a tiny bit of confidence in our future and a change of social and economic structure, something the Republicans openly are against. This is the reason the Occupy movement was born.

Although it seems that Occupy has awakened consciousness along the Main Streets, I see no signs of participation in numbers, something that is vital and badly needed. Perhaps everyone is too busy doing Christmas shopping or too depressed to say anything? It is another layer to the apathy I see. But I don’t blame anyone for it. It would be useless to do so. We cannot change our deficit, unemployment, nor the animosity of the Arab world towards us, or the divisive mentality in politics.  We are hopeless!

I know as well that most of the people unaffected by the recession not only don’t really care about what’s going on in the country or the people, and they have an opinion that differs so much from  reality. Dentists can afford looking at the eye of the customer and say: “Well, I have a plan for your dental care. It will take a few visits and your cost will only be $5,000!” Not to mention a visit to the Doctor, who in the long run, will only write another prescription to be filled and enrich the already-billionaire bio-chemical industries. God forbid that you need a lawyer that will charge you $300 for that letter he sent in your behalf! Nor go back to the gas prices of the early 2000s. But instead, we can buy a large screen TV, an iPad, or a car in payments so it provides some sense to living! And that while a small group of new millionaires and billionaires take their monies to foreign banks, can afford multiple mega-million homes, have their own jet, a fabulous yacht in an exotic place and pay almost no taxes!

Only the blind cannot see what’s truly happening to the world and our country, but, since they are blind, they will not read my blog. But way high in the aristocratic ladder, I can point to all those politicians who are not only out of touch with what the nation needs, but are clueless about what the American people want. Why would they care? Especially if they can enjoy a million dollar revolving account at Tiffany’s, or live in a $1,000,000+ home, while others are just concerned about putting a turkey on the Christmas dinner table or even worse, having a warm roof over their heads. In case you are not aware, poverty levels have grown as bad as our deficit.

If the country needs something, it is to put an end to negativity, to halt the bashing of those who are not approved by others, to – pitch in – where and when possible, and to insure the well-being of every single law-abiding citizen. We need to open our minds, eyes and hearts! Every single American matters as much as you do! After all, the well-being of others, is reflected in our own lives because our lives, are the fabric of America. Diversity has been one of the greatest blessings of the USA; therefore, every single individual should count, regardless of how different we might be or of our personal preferences. Therefore, everyone must be entitled to the exact same rights and opportunities. It is great for corporate America that has achieved the wold’s greatest place, but that place should not be exclusive to them, nor exclude anyone.

God Bless America and each of us!

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!