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

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By Isis Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

What a storm! Thank goodness, FEMA will pitch in to recovery, but . . .

Mega-Storm

Satellite image of Sandy approaching the Mid-Atlantic area.

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!

A perfect storm hits the east coast to teach many that we cannot assume life is free, safe and fun when it comes to mother nature. In fact, when we think of mother nature, although we can get awed by the beauty that most of us appreciate so much, it will do from time to time what it is due to do. Those other natural things that disagree with populated areas and lives. Scientist frequently have offered their opinion in this regard to bring consciousness about a natural global change that will onset what we have known historically. Weather patterns are changing and with them, disasters that although no new in our planet, today, they are unprecedented. This mega storm makes the case clearly. Nevertheless, although sadly it brought a loss of two dozen plus people and damage still is not truly evaluated, we know it is something that will take quite a long time to fix it. It is estimated that it will exceed the one billion dollars, perhaps two. Since we all are familiar with the caliber of this disaster, I will spare you from reading redundancy. Instead, I will like to address part of this mother nature reminder. Same that I blogged about, a year ago when Romney during a debate to gain the official republican nomination, stated that FEMA’s budget needed to be reconsidered and his statement clearly sounded like it should be reduced or removed. Our lower financial health is the number one national security threat. Managing our budget to pay off our national debt to foreign loans and reducing our growing deficit is a needed action to take place right away. Reducing or removing federal aid to FEMA would be as dramatic or worse than ignoring the budgetary problem or the mega storm itself. The voice that presented that scenario, is the voice of a business man who sees opportunity on simply shutting down an ill businesses and sell what is left as a scrap. Fine, if that works in that business but removing federal aid to the nation’s problem does not any promise eliminating that national threat. Interestingly, Romney’s supporters missed the eloquent value of that idiocy of his when addressing a needed federal change that he only could deliver. Today and again, he changed course and supports FEMA’s needs. He is going to do whatever he feels is necessary to grab the sit even if he does not mean what he says or he says what he doesn’t mean.

When Al-Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers, didn’t exclusively contemplated the immense loss of lives the caused. All involved well knew that in order to hurt the USA, putting the country in a precarious financial situation would do much more damage than anything else. Certainly there were huge financial losses as result of this attack. But the American resilience overcame this promptly and effectively. However, as well, that attack was an aggression that provoked action and such action will be reflected in a military response that would cost the US a fortune. This situation was so cleverly managed by extremists, that British and American intelligence gathered false information that pointed Saddam Hussein involved in the attack and that Iraq owned weapons of mass destruction. Even though the UN inspectors insisted that was not the case. Ten years later, not only we know that was false, but we added five thousand lives into our loses and financially, the US was in need of borrowing a few trillion dollars to finance the wars. We can look with positive eyes at this military effort if we wish. Using the fact that Hussein is no longer in power so there is no threat and as well that Bin Laden and some of his top people are no longer – adds to this justification that most would or will celebrate. But the financial damage is here and it will be extremely difficult and lengthy to fix. We will, as we had with many other troubles. It will require loads of compromises, perhaps sacrifices, such as a tax increase once the employment numbers improve but reducing the programs that usually are reduced such as education and FEMA in this case, will not pay off as the businesses that made several million dollars to Romney. However, there is one impending threat that nobody has anything to do with and no one can stop: Mother nature.
Whether we are passing through a man created global change or it is part of nature’s cycles, it is clear the natural disasters of the last decade or so, are beyond imagination and extremely costly. Those disasters will not cease for as long as the weather patterns do not return to the known old patterns. The presence of natural mega tragedies will continue happening and that not only will impose a grand amount of dollars costs but as well, will make unstable our economy every time a grand disaster happens. I bet you that couple of days the Stock Market closed, because Sandy, will cost several millions of dollars to investments.
We’ve seeing huge and strong hurricanes and many more that were usual. Uncanny sand storms, unbelievable rains producing massive floods, droughts unparalleled to our records, extreme temperatures. immense wild fires, and more. And there is no much we can do about it, but endure it. As if that would not be enough, our seven billion population make this tragedies a tremendous losses due to death and displacement of massive numbers of people. This has been happening all over the world not just here. And when these tragedies happen in other region of the world, although what we contribute to help those suffering nations is not significant compared to their tragedy, it adds to our financial toll. But we cannot close our eyes to the pain and suffering of the world. That is not the role of the most powerful nation in the world. Unless we don’t care for what the world perceives of USA. As well, we have to look at the secondary results of these disasters. Gasoline and food go up and even after the situation is normalized, they stay up. Take for instance, Florida recently faced one of the worse freezes in history. Citrus went up at least 50% or more. OK, demand is large, supply is low. However, the prices never went down after they resumed normal production. At least in the Mid-Atlantic area. Same with gas prices. Demand went up, prices went sky high. Demand went down and the small reduction of those prices does not reflect the prices we were paying at the pump when we consumed those lower levels.

The solution to the financial US problem only have one solution and that solution does not depend on our government. It depends on all of us. But the government can very well help to a point that we move in that direction. We need more professional people in all research, development and implementation fields to export our advances and goods. But that cost money. Tons of money and Romney, contrary to Obama will like to reduce the budget for education and related resources. We need millions of professionals that collect incomes in the six digit figures and create new businesses through new technologies. However, wise investors such as Romney, will only invest in secured profit operations and new technologies are not that secured. Unless they prove it over an extended time. Take for instance Facebook. Personally, I do not appreciate the contribution of Facebook, but I admit, my imagination falls short to envision the future benefits of Facebook. However, that new field grew faster than anything previously known. I became parallel to Microsoft, Cisco, Google and many more newer mega million businesses. But investments into Facebook are not moving as it would a share from Apple or Goggle, etc. What is the problem with the investors? The want a secured, sure and fast return. OK, everyone is entitled to do so but we cannot disregard the fact that the USA became what it is, thanks to those professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists and manufacturers and workers. Our most important task is to secure we continue doing so and before other nation wins that technology. China as we speak, is moving forward and faster than any other nation towards Wind Technology. Because Solindra failed we should not push that industry? Obama took a risk and didn’t pay off. Oh well, so what is next?

The legislative body now, specially with the coming elections, is holding Obama’s power and initiative, so he is unable to make drastic investments and subsides to newer technologies. Something that he promises to do if elected. I hope so, because I am sure there will be many more natural disasters and at some point we are going to need to relocate massive amounts of people (think the coast line), develop, create and build new technology in home building industries. As well, we need to do whatever it takes to insure our water supply and agricultural areas are well if we are punished again by mother nature. Natural disasters not only kill tons of people and produce massive costs, but does not allow to survive properly those that heavily depend on meeting ends in this bad economy.

The Obama administration was on top of Sandy. Hurray for Obama! At this point, a few important people are recognizing that this has been the storm of the century. I hope the worse that NY city faces ever! FEMA is ready to tackle the humongous task they have in their hands. Both legislative parties seem to be in agreement about providing the needed funds to FEMA and the rest is a matter of time. Hopefully we put this in the past promptly and likely we will forget about it during the election day. But we maybe thrown back into remembering it, depending on who is elected. We don’t need another Bush and Katrina. Hopefully, Obama receives the deserving credit for being there when he was needed and wins this election. As you can see, at this point I truly know who I am voting for. I am voting for progress, change and a future that we all can count on!

National Security Defense: Do we need more to cope with the threats of the 21st century?

By Isis Win

National security and the military budget has been under the microscope since I started to remember. Previous to the end of the Cold War, it was the largest  issue on the media and the minds of the global politically minded. Both super powers, the USA and USSR balanced their budgets at all times while bordering bankruptcy. The Cold War ended and the regular negotiations among the atomic weapons countries slowly but surely reduced the amount of nuclear heads and as well, the Huge cost of producing them and maintaining them. It was said often the Soviets could not properly maintain their nuclear arsenal due to the cost. Building a stronger and more capable armed forces never stop though. Technological progress has been a drive that the military always depend on. Although research aimed to achieve supremacy in the military field, that research as well benefited most average citizens in many areas. For instance, GPS is a technology developed and exclusively used by the military but today, even smart phones provide this very useful tool. As well, the medical field provided many advances that today are used in American civil hospitals. Nevertheless, the argument about military spending has always been a matter of debate and scrutiny. There are too many questions about this, but the number one has always been: Do we have enough? Are we better equipped and prepared that the rest of the world? A very difficult topic to be sort out without doing tons of research and confirmation of the found information. Some people tend to believe that the “enemy” is better equipped and prepared that us. But as well, most people believe that the supremacy that USA showed during the II WW and the Cold War still is a reality. So what is the truth?
I suppose no one would be surprised to known that all armed forces of all countries will not fully reveal their true power. Such is the assumed case of China. That, because it is up to each country to report their arsenal, armed forces numbers etc to the International Community and in compliance with international treaties. But would you be surprised to know that the USA as well will not fully disclose their facts? I tend to believe that it would be impossible to do so because such is a matter of National Security. But as well, we cannot discount the fact that in order to be superior in the war field, opponents should have a few cards under their sleeve. However, just analyzing the official provided numbers of the most powerful militarily nations, will take our breath away when comparing one after another nation. Yes, if you guessed the USA is the most powerful military force in the world. Although when we look into this arena we must think nuclear arsenal first, the reality of the case is that since the likelihood of using those bombs is almost zero, the USA has the most of all weapons and better than the amount, the most technologically advanced weapons. Well, something that is almost impossible to truly know, since likely even the brass in our military forces do not get the full picture of what we have. Even putting together all the small pictures would make the chore of truly figuring out the power of our nation can only be decided in the war field. And the USA certainly did it during the invasion of Iraq and as we will know, the USA proved to have a vast superiority to what Saddam Hussein had in his stock pile. The attack of Iraq went like a breeze for the USA weaponry power. Could that be the same with China, Russia and other powerful nations? Only one way to find out: War.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated that if he arrives to the White House he will provide two trillion dollars to our armed forces. No long ago, the defense budget was presented to the legislative and there were cuts into our defense cost. The arguments went back and forth and the last statement of the proper authorities said that it was OK. The Defense Department will focus instead in improving our capabilities and streamlining our troops. Other nations had done the exact same. It has been clear that the continuous fusion if massive amounts of money into the forces will not insure the proper national security. But the proper training and strategies will definitely present the desired outcome. So, why does Romney offered two extra trillions dollars to our defense department? Hard to tell but it is logic to read such as an infusion of fear to the voter. True, we are under a threat from the extremist Islams of the Persian world. True there are several terrorists groups that could present death, financial loses and insecurity to the USA, the allies and the entire world. But this is a war that cannot be fought with what we see as our military power. In order to fight a war, you need a country that declares war against the US. But no country had done so nor will easily do it. The irony of this scenario would be that the US would not loose such war. Not alone and not with the support of the allies. But the threat we all fear is a guerrilla war that cannot be fought as what we know as a war. The US have developed the means and strategies to fight the terrorists. Through intelligence and remote controlled technology the US has avoided to see a disaster in our land and avoided many disasters abroad. But eliminating absolutely every single attempt is an impossible. Once again, the enemy is not a nation nor an army. So, a two trillion dollar increase into the defense budget will not avoid one.
Now the meat of this point: Why did president Obama reduced the past budget? Because the worse threat to our national security is not being able to balance our deficit and budget. During the Cold War, it was near impossible to reduce anything military. But it was done and more than once and as we can see, there is not tragedy resulted from doing so. Nevertheless, since the days of the Cold War the military budget was one of the biggest suckers of tax money. Do not take my word for it. Visit this website that states everything you will like and need to know about this. The Ten Largest Military Powers In The World up to the end of 2010 are here. Here is the link: http://247wallst.com/2011/04/14/the-ten-largest-military-powers-in-the-world/
This well researched document, published in April 14 of 2011 will show you the facts. If you lack the time to do so, here are some of the highlights. I will share with the the three on the top of some important facts and stats.
1. USA
> Spending 2010: $698 Billion
> Change 2001 – 2010: 81.3%
> Share of GDP: 4.8%

2. China
> Spending 2010: $[119] Billion
> Change 2001 – 2010: 189%
> Share of GDP: [2.1]%
3. UK
> Spending 2010: $59.6 Billion
> Change 2001 – 2010: 21.9%
> Share of GDP: 2.7%

What? Russia is not among the three top nations? Surprising isn’t it? Well, lets get to Russia but not before:
4. France
> Spending 2010: $59.3 Billion
> Change 2001 – 2010: 3.3%
> Share of GDP: 2.3%

5. Russia
> Spending 2010: $[58.7] Billion
> Change 2001 – 2010: 82.4%
> Share of GDP: [4]%

But these numbers will not present a clear picture to the average person. What about the sea and air weaponry and as well, all the land arsenal? Check this great site, although there are several that present detailed facts and stats, this one will give you a general good idea:
http://www.globalfirepower.com/
In this site you will see that some countries have more something than the US. Such as Russia’s and their submarines or China’s carriers. Not true! Got you! We have more and we have better!
We cannot pass the grand fact that the US have a long and detailed experience with all sorts of weapons and machinery and American engineering and building still is at the very top of the ladder. Other nations will need the same experience to detail and hone their technology. But as well, we civilians are clueless as what the USA have under their sleeves.

Arguing and debating the USA status among international relations or diplomacy is another topic that requires a decent education and command of the facts. However, I will dare to say that what the media and the Obama administration have said in this regard is accurate. We are in a better situation than what we were during the Bush administration. Diplomatic ties and relations will never be perfect but they can be predictable up to some point. Although negotiations may end prematurely and without solving all the issues, what a few call “A mechanical delay to resolution”, is not so. The USA and the allies have strategies and policies that have a proven record of success. Even if the imposed nation of a sanction claims the contrary. In the case of Iran, for instance, they are suffering tremendously with the imposed sanctions. Just talk to anyone in that nation and they will tell you that they are getting ready to do something about it although their government claims there is no reason to fear nothing. And this is the beginning. Now, they once again accepted the invitation to negotiate their nuclear plans and open that is demanded to prove they are not even near to have a nuclear bomb. But as well, they will need the delivery vehicle that at the moment they work on that, the allies will confront them and threaten with military power. The world is ready for that, including the US and without any influx of more trillions of dollars.

Last, we all think, wish, talk of world peace. So do I! But revising our long history, we will find out that we are in one of the most peaceful stages that our world have seeing. But the threat will always be there and there will be times of war. The question today is what kind of war? No one wants any kind but the battle for power, freedom, etc, is part of part of human nature. As my step dad used to tell me and totally infuriated: We are savages! Yes, we are and violence takes place all the time and at all levels. From domestic violence to violence among groups in all nations. We humans know so little about temper and as well, it seems we are unable to control our selves if something tic us off. Such as the case of M. Romney that has not been able to truly present any facts that would invalidate Obama’s place in the White House and in front of the American people. In fact and on that note, the battle between republicans and democrats and the representatives of both ends have trespassed the boundaries of peace. In the case of Romney, he even manipulates the facts the construct fear and hate against Obama. Interesting that General Colin publicly declared support to president Obama’s candidacy but as well, Colin stated his worries about the proposed policies by Senator Romney. Romney as he represents himself is a threat to that peace here, in our country and to the world. I don’t think he means that nor that he truly supports what he says. Although he is a smart man for some things. Romney is not smart enough to run the USA. Just like George Bush, that brought the nation to the worse state the nation has faced in several decades and perhaps in history. The facts speak for themselves and today, we can see that all the warnings about the situation with Saddam Hussein, Taliban and Al Qaeda were right but not in support of Bush. The true experts spoke and never were allowed to prove their knowledge. Instead, Bush invaded Iraq and sent massive amounts of soldiers to Afghanistan, borrowed several trillions of dollars from China, never found Bin Laden nor restore Iraq to human living conditions and Islamist from many countries hate America. More importantly, lost thousands of our soldiers for what? The only benefited from his actions are the corporations that supported the troops, raped the American tax payers and got away with murder without a flick. As well, Bush did not not stopped the mortgage and banking collapse when he warned about a future depression. A depression that was in the media for at least two years. Banks and home sellers made a mint of that but millions of people lost their homes and many more their income.

The cherry of my blog is in turn now. And the cherry is you and every single citizen that instead of repeating what has been said or published, gathers reliable information to make their mind regarding of how they will contribute in the formation of a better country. Well, in a perfect world because although it was clear Bush was not the answer to the nation, he was reelected so he made the chaos and crisis even worse. Frankly, republicans should be grateful to Obama and the democrats because without them, who know how low we could go and end up living a deeper grand depression. True, we are not recovered yet. True it will take a few more years. But reelecting Obama will bring that chance and electing Romney will definitely be a regression to the Bush times.

It is supposed that every single individual is conscious of their actions and results. So, voting is not merely about choosing the candidate we like best but making a choice that will bring the best possible scenario to the nation. That is what makes each of us the cherry on top if the cake. But we must have a cake to have that role and if we lightly make a presidential choice, we may end up losing the entire cake. And we well not even get to enjoy eating it! Most of it has been already eaten with the mortgage and baking unscrupulous people that sold America in exchange of their personal fortune. Oh well! As I said: In a perfect world  . . .  but we are far from that one!

 

War of Hearts and Minds

By Isis Win

recent years, marriage of same-gender couples has become one of the most published headlines in the US history. Every sector in the public opinion has seized the opportunity to express their position and in particular, to the media, for the benefit of gathering larger audience. This is not an old issue, but certainly it is one that grew in the past few years, and following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, it has grown enormously. Since its repeal, advocacy agencies (such as HRC – Human Rights Campaign) finally let go of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, allowing room for the next issue in their agenda: Marriage between gay and lesbians.
This issue has become a larger controversy than the right to abortion when it comes to large-scale public participation. The religious realm, particularly Mormons, launched an unparalleled initiative to fight legislation passed in California that allowing gay and lesbian marriage equality, the 2008 ballot Proposition 8 “Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Initiative Constitutional Amendment”. Proposition 8 and its repeal landed in the hands of millions of people who didn’t care about it either way. Many were not even aware of this battle. Massive ad campaigns in TV and newspapers awakened these people, however, and as well, many important pedestrian traffic spots in California were manned by groups of Mormons distributing literature against same-sex marriage and preaching to the passers-by. Some organizations claim that Mormons spent about 20 million dollars in this campaign. But the religious opponents of marriage equality have not limited themselves to California; as well, in recent years they have been sponsoring the same campaign in many cities and states across the country, except that now they use Obama’s recent public support to attempt repealing both, the right to marry and the presidential candidate.

Religious opponents to same-sex marriage sustain their argument based on the Bible that, according to them, contains many entries referring to “marriage exclusively between a man and a woman”. Some people as well say that the Bible claims marriage in the between the same gender is an aberration and sinful behavior, regardless of the contributions of theologians, anthropologists, sociologists and archeologists that show that there is no evidence of such citations, but rather, that they are citations based on majorly flawed interpretations. In fact, archeologists report finding evidence that same-sex couples during Jesus Christ’s time existed and were not abominated. But arguing the Bible against a civil right, clearly will never end this issue. While religious extremists argue that marriage equality is contrary to their beliefs, their opponents argue this is not a religious issue but an issue about freedom and civil rights. Such an argument between apples and oranges offers no future to either party. However, this attitude from the extremists is fueling a response that is better to leave alone because, it adds gas to the already roaring fire. Defenders of freedom and civil rights, will be in need of breaking into pieces the Bible, categorizing it and proving that the Bible could never address this issue when it was created. There is enough evidence to this case that ultimately will make opponents to Marriage Equality so angry, that it is not unforeseeable that they will hire the devil to revenge against these “pagans”. Something already is happening but it is escalating into a major war, and all because although, in a democratic nation the wishes and will of all matter, this issue is one that cannot be fought by beliefs and phobias. In democracy, facts are the most determining factor and if this issue is examined by the Supreme Court based on the facts of the constitutional elements of it (or lack of thereof) so that the law rules what is fair and not, then at least in some form, this issue will be a thing of the past. However, extremists present their case as if it was “written in stone”, as the Ten Commandments. BTW, the Bible cites that they were 3 tablets not 2 as used today. I bet that the eleventh commandment was in regards of not getting your nose into someone else’s business.

On that note: religious extremists tend to believe that they are in the right to rule and force how others should live; it is a clear demonstration that religious extremists are people who are unhappy within themselves and lack fulfillment. It is that same unhappiness and lack that forces them into looking into the eye of others instead of addressing their own issues and how they observe their religious views themselves. This type of behavior is nothing new according to anthropological and sociological studies that establish that for centuries, in small towns or cities, the country side, part of the daily routine of a large number of citizens was, and still is to criticize, ostracize and gossip about the behavior of others that they do not approve. However, times are different and this phenomena has no longer any place in a modern and civilized society. Bottom line is: This attitude among those activists have nothing to do with Christianity and they heavily deny the basic principles of Christianity based on their personal beliefs and assumptions.

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the Bible as a historical record proves that the cornerstone of Jesus doctrine was about forgiving everyone, loving others as they love themselves and God and giving them the opportunity of redemption when their time comes. Jesus? message was about love, support and compassion. And the lack of these attributes is what shines in this initiative against Marriage Equality. On that note: The Bible cites in several chapters that slavery was OK and that slaves should submit to their owners and never raise against them. I wonder what the view about this issue is for those extremists, because slavery has been fought for centuries as an issue of human and civil rights cruelty and injustice and gradually and slowly has been disappearing from the face of earth. Only seriously under-developed and uncivilized nations still preserve this abuse and those nations are being fought by human rights activists and international organizations such as the UN.

What this issue talks about in reality presents a much larger scenario than a human and civil rights issue or the religious beliefs supported by the sacred scriptures. This issue is clearly stating where the hearts and minds of people are and that place is not a good one; rather, it is a totally antagonistic place to the Christian beliefs. No wonder after a century of an explosive technical, industrial and scientific revolution, we still can’t live among ourselves peacefully and this place is not so different than centuries ago. We still act as savages, greed is the religion of most on the top at the ladder and poverty and inequality still is rampant even in most developed nations. Only when tragedy strikes do the people at large open their hearts and care for others. Do they choose and pick who is to received this help? Hard to believe but such still is the case in many nations at this time. Just the way it happened post-Katrina.  The most affected people had to wait for governmental aid at the cost of unnecessary deaths and suffering. However, those – volunteering helping hands – post-Katrina, didn’t look into ethnic profiles, religious affiliations or lifestyles to serve the needed. People with a good heart helped everyone and for a long time, even feed them from their own pocket. There were hundreds of volunteers that traveled – even thousands of miles – to serve with their human duty. Hard to believe but, in many studies across the nation, it has been said: Overall, people nowadays are self-centric and selfish. Just like many cities have a reputation of this trade by excellence (like NY city) even remote areas are equally sad and poor in compassion giving.

This battle of same-sex marriage, a marriage equality issue, is no more than a war of wills and beliefs to almost the silent majority of the population. Well, at least, those against Marriage Equality are extremely active and quite verbal. But because of that, the smallest of all minorities suffer their weight: gays and lesbians, when all they want is to have equal rights like the rest of the population. And there is no logical, sensitive and sensible reason to deny this right to anyone that cares for being part of an establishment that ultimately cares in the largest scheme for their nation and the institution of the family that supports society at large, the same institution that has suffered tremendously in the last six or eight decades because family members no longer gather as a family; it is not rare that family see each other once every other decade, because they are too busy entertaining their well-being and future while forgetting the love and gratitude that they received and owe to their parents. As well, in the US divorce has been growing at an alarming rate and at this point about 50% of marriages are divorced, many marriages are exclusively preserved by convenience or religious beliefs but there is no true sense of family among them and more than 50% of the existing couples do not marry but live together, even if they have children.

Almost everywhere I go, where people like to share their views about current events, I hear from the conservatives their camouflaged hate against LGBT and their consideration that such “lifestyles” are no less than a deviation according to God and their bible. They leave no room for education or understanding but the mysterious part to myself is the humongous question: What makes them think they are entitled to and should fight anything against their religious beliefs? I don’t even bother asking them, again, because reliably their answers are biblical citations that they believe to the core of their heart.
But on the opposite end, people express anger as well because they are unable to stand those they call “bigots” and among the religious ones, they call those who use the Bible to oppose Marriage Equality names such as sacrilegious because the word of God is being used for a mean and intolerant personal issue against LGBT people and their supporters. Many believe this bigotry is mostly a case of denied homosexuality because they find no other explanation for this. But the concerning part is that now I hear people judging institutionalized religion and the biblical interpretations by those bigots, something I believe will grow in a crescendo, and I see in it no positive end. This same phenomena was exhibited several hundreds of years ago in the Middle East among other areas and were the reason for many true wars between nations of different belief. Exact figures about the death toll of those wars are not reliable but suffice to say that entire populations were extinguished. I don’t believe we have the chance to escalate that badly nowadays, but Jihad fighters prove me wrong. So I wonder if in reality not only we are not able to live in peace but we need a war of some sort to justify our presence in this physical life.
However, time, as always, will decide the outcome of this particular war of hearts and minds and I have no doubt, like others, that this one will be won by granting all the needed rights to all minorities. And the LGBT is the one in turn. I hope I witness this change during my lifetime because it is rather disturbing to hear, see and known that there are humans that despise humans because they do not conform to their lifestyle and beliefs. Something must change right there!
I was told by a Guatemalan friend that her country was celebrating the first year against LGBT bigots in their country and as I reacted to her, I say to that: Let other live their own choice and present compassion and generosity to those that are unable to do so.

So meanwhile, let the war keep happening and let’s see at what point we may destroy each other when clearly these times prove that our historical mistakes demand our utmost good heart investment for the well-being of everyone. The well-being of everyone offers better guarantees that our personal future and space have better chances to achieve, peace, harmony and fulfillment. That leads to those occasional and rare moments in which we consider our selves being happy people.

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.

What’s up with our Television service?

By Isis Win

Contrary to the majority of the people, I rarely watch network TV. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against television, especially considering I am a visual type of person. But most of the material shown in the networks have nothing that really triggers my interest. However, I enjoy watching NBC TV news, some of the political talk/discussion shows (except all at Fox TV), I am quite a follower of several programs at PBS and occasionally I watch Dancing with the Stars. But that is because ballroom dancing is something I appreciate a lot, especially after taking classes for 6 months long ago. But definitely, I never miss the summer and winter Olympics on national TV or the World Cup. You would rarely see me in front of the “Idiot Box” watching professional or college football, basketball, baseball, etc. games. I love watching sports games right there and experience the catharsis of competition between two rivals and the excitement of the crowd. Nevertheless, I’ve never been a fan of any TV show where competition is the issue. Specially those Reality shows that every single network presents. I admit though, I watched the show named The Voice a couple of times, and it wasn’t bad to my taste. It wasn’t, because the talents I saw during the Blind Competition simply were incredibly talented people – that in my modest opinion, deserve a shot at a professional successful career and that otherwise, are professionally doomed.

My personal view about what the commercial channels present, is nothing close to what I enjoy and enjoy supporting. Not to mention at times, many of those commercials are ridiculous and mostly long interruptions. Although I believe entertainment is a vital, needed part of most people lives, such content should present material that represents something that has a good value in real life. But there is little of real and good value in most TV shows. In fact, many simply present a distorted version of the realities we find in life. And most of those “realities” are the ones that make me wonder: why would someone care about that stuff as part of their entertainment in daily life? But that is a matter of taste or preference. I accept the fact that everyone is different.

Today’s television is not the memory I have of my early days watching TV. Then I wonder, what did change? On the contrary, those who are fortunate to afford cable or satellite TV, have access to so many great TV shows. Perhaps most people consider those not of entertainment value because basically, they are didactic. The instructional type, the learning stuff that we don’t know about or know very little, such as cooking, science, history, travel, etc. However, affording those types of programing nowadays is very pricey for most budgets. I often wonder myself about that expense and my stupidity of spending the cost of my own service. But there are so many others things I wonder about. However, talking about expenses, there are many things today that today are hard to afford today. Stuff that didn’t cost a penny before, or as much, such as drinking water, so many services, gas, ice cream, even the movies I enjoy so very much! Tickets in the neighborhood of $10.00+? Not to mention if you are like myself a traditional movie goer that must have the bucket of freshly made pop-corn and a drink. That set the tag about $20.00+ per movie if you enjoy going alone!

All of the above are the reason I pulled my laptop to write this blog. This reason is very specific and as well, one that I don’t recall from my past TV viewing years. I am talking about a political ad against president Obama I saw between the transmission of NBC news. This ad, likely hit all the national TV stations that broadcast NBC news, maybe in all channels.
This ad presented people who, according to the it, are people who received substantial amounts of “bonus” money from Obama’s bailout to the financial corporations. And it states all of them contribute-d to Obama’s government or the bailout. The punch line is: “Obama won’t admit to supporting Wall Street, but Wall Street sure supports Obama.”

True? False? Or a plain exageration?

Although my first reaction was to think this is a blunt exaggeration of the truth, I was left wondering about any possible truth in it. A concerning truth. However, the face value of this ad is this: a blunt blow to the US president. I have trouble believing that a Super PAC would run into the possibility of being sued of libel. So, I wonder what is the truth? I acknowledge its value as a political campaign ad that aims to take credit away from the incumbent runner for the White House seat. But this premise questions two factors: Why that advertising money is not used to present the good values and points of the supported candidate instead? And how much of that ad is true? Nevertheless, removing one bad (Obama according to their account) doesn’t make the other one right. Frankly, my sentiment is: The White House and Mr. Obama should respond accordingly. And by that I don’t mean to counter attack with a similar ad but to put this matter to where it belongs. To present the truth or expose the lies about it – to the American people at large. But likely Obama will not reply to it because that would be throwing gas on the fire. That is what prompted me to pull my laptop and write this blog. Although political campaigns have done this type of misinformation since who knows how long, this particular republican campaign is the dirtiest and most toxic of all times. I know TV business is to make revenue, and ads make tons of it, but I am starting to believe that TV networks should exercise their criteria to present good material, including their ads in their programing. It is not a matter of free exercise of speech what should be entitled Super PACs what is at stake, but the type of material that the networks allow and not to be broadcasted. They have the right to do so.

My believe about the TV service, national and local, is that they should present – nothing less than – the truth. As well quality.  And if this ad is true, whether it disturbs me or not, it should be something exclusively to be exposed by the press and not in political ads. The entire media should be involved in investigating all details of a case like this one and present the important facts found AS THEY ARE. And to do it – based on reliable facts, facts that cannot be debated or manipulated, to be presented exclusively on their own merits and facts. But this ad doesn’t deliver that. What it does is distorts a possible truth against their opponent to gain that vote, but without merit. This ad is – way more wrong – that any of those distortions of reality and truth that many of the commercial channels present in their shows.
On that note: when I was reporting on communication issues at the Senate and House, during the ʻ80s and when broadcast TV was under scrutiny for their programing because the amount of sexual content and violence, I heard something that simply blew me away. CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox CEOʻs before the communications senate committee were asked: Why do you broadcast such content? This happened after many of the Senate speakers clearly and bluntly stated that the American people do not want that level of violence and sexuality and it is not positive for the American audience. The chairman of the Senate Communication’s Commission asked them why? If I recall well, NBC’s CEOʻs responded: We are in the business of making revenue, therefore we give to the public what they want to see. Otherwise we are out of business. We are a competitive industry and we always try to gain more audience than our competition, who as well offer the content that people want. This statement makes sense, since we are talking about multi-million investments.
Not all content on network TV is toxic. As well, many of those shows on paid TV are alike, even worse! My recollection about television immediately reminded me that many other countries in the world as well have substantial amounts of money invested in their operations , but their content is not as toxic as what American television overall. Nevertheless, I just remember that although it represents an expense that I could put to use in other more useful ways, this is one of the reasons I find myself spending the cost of my cable service: I have a choice!  When I am home, have done my daily chores, read my books, talked to my people, etc, I need to chill out. I call this time a “vegetating” moment in which I pick and choose something that entertains me and enlightens me.

Although not everyone can afford paid TV services, people still have a choice, I think! Not to watch negative television! Now that little voice inside my head that enjoys proving me wrong when it can, just told me: Yep, switch channels but you will find the competition is offering a similar show,  perhaps worse! But I responded, nuh! Anyone can switch to sports TV! But we both missed the entire point. And that point is: is the world and everything else changing that much and that badly? or is it just me? I’ll keep wondering and I will keep you posted.