Bad blogger wants to be good, will it happen?

By Isis Win

Something interesting happened after this past blog of mine. More than one person is following me. In fact, several signed in to read my writing. It makes me wonder and it makes me feel something new. I wonder what is it that I have those readers now. Is it that I asked for help? humility? I mentioning my upcoming adventure? LGBT or that I am a trans woman? Who knows and I doubt I will ever will get to know the answer.
The feeling? Well, I know well that knowing that some people have in interest in my blogs makes feel having purpose to continue doing it. How ironic because in the 90s and early 2K I was blogging in so many places, all different topics and stories and I knew having a pretty decent amount of readers but I didn’t feel what I do today. I continue blogging after a long “hiatus” because I have a mission about spreading the word, perhaps educating some, to understand, accept and embrace everyone under the LGBT umbrella. Something I understand should be happening at these times and particularly in this country where diversity has made the most interesting and prolific nation in history. However, it was not happening and only a few of us knew why. As well, the opponents reasons do not seem reasonable or reliable. Such as some of biblical extracts that in their eyes meant only certain people deserve the love and support of God, consideration, compassion, etc. I prefer not going into because it is a lost war. Now I know. However, yesterday I was visiting an old friend who is very christian and has been a devoted Bible student most of his life. We covered this topic only to end agreeing that the Christian message (Jesus) and al religions are exactly about embracing everyone. He as well, fails to understand this archaic attitude of some LGBT opponents and agreed that such interpretations used against us are out of context and poor.

I do no know about other bloggers but besides my intent to pitch in this LGBT movement, I write because that is my first love, I enjoy it and I am a communicator. As well, I know we need to address many things to better them off. Therefore, knowing being read does the trick, the contrary simply is a bad rap with a bad feeling. Isn’t it?

If I tell your how much I have invested in this battle for inclusion of LGBT in everything, whether sending letters (hand written), e-mails and calls to legislators, and corporations, you will think I am plain nuts. Sometimes I think that way myself. However, in the last couple of years things have been changing for better, regardless of how much we have to go. There is deep level of satisfaction in myself from knowing being part of this movement of change. That makes the effort of communicating – non stop about the same issues – worthy the effort. But there is so much more to life! We should occupy part of our time and effort to invest as much as we can afford – to address many other extremely important topics and make sure they change. Such as child and women abuse. The environment. We must pitch into providing resources to poor families, so their children can acquire an education and pursue college. Many states are incredibly successful with programs that provide musical, acting, even technical “shops” to keep the children busy with something worth it and enticing them to pursue a better lifestyle through their own effort. Without the participation of generous Americans, this would not happen. These schools present stats of heavily reduced numbers of student’s quitting before getting their high school diploma. That is an excellent result that on the long run makes the US a better nation. But higher education is another matter that requires a stronger and more massive investment from most Americans. It can be done in this nation where the impossible happens and history shows it every century.
Well, this blog is about my gratitude to those readers that signed in and as well, the peace of mind of knowing something I didn’t just a couple of days ago.

By the way about blogging, since the days I blogged last with these past 2 blogs, I noticed many changes in the navigation panel (Dashboard) to blog and have control about the blogger’s pages. Navigating already was not as “friendly” as needed by someone who are not well-educated about code, internet intricacies, etc. So now I find I need to relearn this process and simply said, it takes time away from other activities. I guess this is something to be expected in this ever and fast changing world of digital technology. However, give me a break!
I want to be a good blogger by posting more often and sharing with others things that trigger their interest. However, this only can happen when interaction between the readers and the blogger take place. I deeply believe this is the way to join the efforts to produce the needed changes that otherwise, ankylose everything else. So lets see if my timing – this time – is better because I know well, this is the right place for me and I just hope, for a long time to come. Thanks for reading me!

PS: One or two of my subscribers seem to be business >people<, not readers. Is that so? The Spam engine have removed about 1500 of them already!

Bad blogger is out of limbo now

 

Almost right after I published my lasts blog I received news from my “disappeared” friend. I received a short note letting me know she is fine and later she will write more since she is constrained of time at the time. Needless to say, I am relief knowing about her well being. I hope one day to know what happened to her during all this time. Of course, I will leave the mystery to you since who cares about very personal things. Although at times, I believe actually blogging, at least in terms of numbers, are about personal things. But that is very personal. As well, my friend wants me to continue blogging. I’ll see what the future departs for me in the next few months.
Now I will get a bit personal. Much more than ever before and I envisioned to do, ever before. However, the only reason for doing so, with what I am about to share, is because I am adventuring soon, into a totally unknown world for me and I am clueless as what I can expect. Further more, I lack the necessary judgment and knowledge to do so, but isn’t life about adventure as well? This adventure is more typical of what very young people indulge with. Older people – although – they do this type of traveling a lot, they do have known most of what is involved very setup before and they know what to expect. Am I too old for doing so? Time will speak for me. However, I can do it now and I know, waiting much more for something like this, will be a no-no in the no so distant time. It is not a big deal though. Thousands of people had done it for who knows how long but they know something that I do not know. Regardless, I will plunge into it.

A few years ago I moved from SFO Ca. I came to beautiful lushly VA to start a business while spending time with my little brother who was experiencing serious health problems (diabetes B). I never started the business due to a few reasons, being #1 that it was a no so good year to do so. 2008 when we were looking at a serious financial crisis – world wide, a potential second great depression, slow moving investments and massive unemployment. So, I have been improvising all these years and like so many people, facing something I never experienced before as this. A terrible problem due to poor cash flow. Humility (and gratitude for what I have) settled in place to manage. However, I spend time with my little bother although basically we were troubled getting along. My little brother passed away a few months ago. Therefore he is no longer the reason for my staying here. So, I am heading to warm Ca to start life again. I wonder how much of a good idea this is, since Ca still is deep in the unemployment department but they still have the nice weather, except fires and of course earthquakes. More importantly, Ca is a little more friendlier to LGBT people and I’ll shade myself under that umbrella. If lucky, I find me a job working in an advocacy organization in favor of the denied rights to us. But that is not the core of my blog.
I am preparing myself to purchase a large RV that allows me to live in it full time. However, I know nothing about them. In the last few weeks, I’ve been learning so much about the entire thing. Whether is easy to believe it or not, it takes loads of knowledge. Starting by what to buy with a limited budget as mine. Now I see RVs as a rolling on wheels boat. Rving in reality is a luxury that only people with dough can indulge with. Well, unless the case is  – that occasional holiday and either rent one or have a small one that requires much less maintenance and can be parked in the driveway or backyard. Not my case as I mentioned. I’ll be doing this journey along., My aim is to travel from the east to the west coast in it and start traveling Ca from the south to the north until I find my next place to settle. I am traveling with very limited resources so luck (and loads of common sense) must be on my side. If you tell me to be doing this, I will call it adventurous but nuts. Well, for an old lady like myself.
I do not see this journey like one of those adventures in which an old lady is about to explore unknown lands and the time of the Wild West. Today, doing something like this is much easier and accessible than it was a century ago. Not to mention, with the comfort of an RV? However, it comes with its risks. And as I said, ignorance can come with a price. Today I feel more prepared than a month ago, when I was concocting my plan. Now I am familiar with he laws in all states I will pass through. What to avoid when purchasing a used RV. That a 5h wheel will be better and easier to haul. Many of the known problems with RVs such as “hidden” water inside and more. However, I’ve never pulled one before so this will be a first. Since my truck (2000 F250, Super Duty – Super crew cab) is capable of hauling 12,500 lb max., I am limited to a smaller RV. Perhaps 29’ to 30’, unless I find an affordable super light weight with 2 slides. If you do not what that is, it is no more than an extension that you slide when parked,  giving you some extra room. One slide usually is in the living room/dinette and the other one can be the bedroom. I will need badly this second one to have a decent closet space where I could store more than my summer shorts and a tank top, if you know what I mean.  Although it is amazing how much space they have for a “home on wheels”, only the fancy ones have enough room for a “home like experience”. Not what is in my budget. A max of 10k out of the door. That barely covers an old one, such as 1990s and no fancy at all. It is so ironic that I could buy larger and newer for the same money and that is because there are many more large RVs and heavier than what my track can manage. So, I’ll get me what I can and hopefully I make a decent choice and not a hole in my pocket because otherwise, my journey will end before who knows.
Perhaps the only promising thing is that I’ll be documenting my trip as much as I can and as I go. However, I will be incommunicado. My laptop drive does not boot up and I doubt I will be able to reach WI-Fi from the road and inside of the RV with my desktop. I tried a new drive but Dell truly stinks. After I loaded the OS, I’ve not being able to access the net because I must find the needed drivers by hand and I am clueless as which ones – in the extra CD belong to what the communications devices need to connect to the net. A consultation to Dell to do so since I am out of warranty, will cost me more than I wish to pay for. Perhaps a new lap top will be best but since I am buying this RV, that is not permitted at the moment. So who knows if I’ll figure how to deal with this before my trip. If lucky, then I can post as I go and share my photos. Maybe some stories but doubt it since I am driving alone, therefore, just the driving will squeeze out of me most of my energy. Well,I am thinking about a slow driving – pulling so much weight – that probably will take me more than the previous 5 day trip to the west coast coast I’ve done 5 times before – by car. Maybe if I do not get so tired, I make a few stops to enjoy some of the places on my way. However, I will not go by the Colorado canyon in order to avoid the steep climb to Albuquerque, later entering Ca. I will travel south of them, passing near the Mexican border. A new route for me.
As you can see, I am excited (and scared!!) to do this crazy trip and I hope to make a fantastic experience out of this opportunity. I just wish to be better prepared but I am already set to leave no later than the end of June, when I have to return my place of living.
Frankly, I was not considering to share any of this because I am not sure I can come up with some goods for you to enjoy. But I’ll give it my best try and I hope not to disappoint anyone expecting something really good. Wish me good luck and if you have a similar experience or know about RVing, please share it with me. Thanks for reading me!

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.

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!

 

Compassion . . .


By Isis Win

Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.

Perhaps the word is not as old as the sentiment, but certainly compassion has existed from our early days of tribal gathering. Compassion, the highest level of empathy for the suffering is a fundamental part of human love, humanism and altruism. It is the cornerstone of  religion and perhaps, one of the feelings most considered by philosophers and poets. As well, it is the principle of socialization and the formation for the many different groups that populated the world through our entire history. Psychology and sociology have studied it, and concur that our world without it, would not be the same, not as we know it. Compassion is an innate human virtue that can either die or be greatly enhanced through the learning process of interactivity among people.

From the religious point, compassion is referred as the inter connection between God and the self. It is the love from the parent for the child, according to Judaism (Kabbalah). And it is a tradition among their followers to consciously exercise it, a classic articulation of the Golden Rule.

In Christianity, the Bible refers about it in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.” As well, the Gospels extend compassion to all, even to loving one’s enemies.

In Islam, God’s attributes are mercy and compassion (Rahaman and Rahim) and well, each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception start with the verse “In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful”. In the Muslim tradition, a good Muslim starts each day with a prayer invoking God the Merciful and Compassionate. Family ties are characterized by compassion and named after the exalted attribute of God “Al-Rahim” (the compassionate). During Ramadan, fasting is used as a help to empathize with the hunger of the less fortunate and to enhance the sensitivity to the sufferings of others and develop compassion for the poor and destitute.

Hinduism in their various traditions, compassion (Daya) is about charity and self-control, one of the three central virtues. Prior to 1500 B.C., the Vedas emphasized the importance of compassion to be observed.

In Buddhism, compassion (Karuna) is the transcendental and experiential heart of the Buddha’s teachings. He was reputedly asked by his personal attendant, Ananda, “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?” To which the Buddha replied, “No. It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice. It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.  The Dalai Lama has said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

In Jainism, compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. It is believed that vegetarianism is the result of compassion.

There are some that experience compassion for others, some that seem not to know what that is and there are many whose lives revolve around compassion. Among those that ignore it or are incapable of experiencing it, are the social psychopaths that exercise their passion for cruelty and kill people. Neurologists and DNA researchers have established the paths of compassion in the brain and the strands that define if someone is a psychopath or not. Very few people lack this strand but those that exhibit it do not necessarily become psychopaths. So what does define that outcome? Cultural influence through a person’s period of upbringing, extreme stress and frustration that does not find an outlet. So, now we have an idea of what compassion is. The nurturing of empathy to others and their suffering. Most people know it well, had experienced it through their lives and reacted in an altruistic form. But as well, there are many individuals unable to represent their empathy or compassion. The reason I wrote this blog is the result of the constant accusations by a few radio personalities and some organizations against LGBT people and illegal immigrants, who declaim against them and deny social and civil rights of these minorities. Another reason is the constant vitriol among politicians seeking to gather either power or office, by belittling and attacking their opponent. The irony of this case is that all use their anger and lack of compassion against something they do not understand or that is not approved based on their religion. That includes priest and preachers in almost all denominations. As well, “some common criminals” that hate westerners and their countries and justify their criminal behavior in religion, such as Jihad.

LGBT and illegal immigrants are the main recipients of this lack of compassion and love for the other in the last few years. Those who cannot show compassion despise those people who perhaps are more deserving than themselves, people who have suffered from ostracism, rejection, lack of support and understanding, or received abuse and fell into poverty, due to the opportunities denied to them because they do not “fit” in our society, according to these bigots. But those people whom they have discriminated against do not react the same way against them. As well, the intolerant claim that some people are not deserving of compassion because they are who they are, even though they are not criminals, mean-intentioned towards others or do wrong. Of course, there are bad apples among those discriminated against, but there are many more in the mainstream, and bigots do not target them. Their war is going too far at this point. They, the intolerant, not only exhibit their lack of love for other human beings, but as well, their lack of love for themselves and the God they claim to love, worship and follow. Their God, regardless of denomination, would never do that to anyone.

But that is me, I am compassionate because that is the way I was raised and that is the way I’ve chosen to live my life. As well, I’ve chosen not to remain quiet because intolerants and bigots not only are hurting themselves – but they are hurting everyone else with their poison. I wonder what their children are like; I wish them well and I wish they depart from intolerance and choose to become loving and supportive of the stigmatized, segregated and rejected, because those are suffering people in need of compassion.

We live in a complex world. A world that is constantly threatened by violence and insecurity, fear and paranoia. Bigots should not fear any other – but the ones that threaten everyone, not our own kind, and not because someone does not conform to their view of life or condition. For as long as compassion is not what rules our destiny, no one, including our loving children are safe. Gandhi provided a grand example to the world with his support to those that demanded freedom and the right to choose what they judge best to their interest – by showing his love and compassion – even to those that antagonized his people and country, and his followers resorted to a Non-Violence approach, that according to many, doesn’t work. It did for India and to date, they are not only free and pacific people but they are experiencing the largest boost in their country, socially, culturally, spiritually and financially. On the other hand, we in America are feuding in partisan venues, for issues that do not belong to the political realm but rather, to the legal, social realms, and to something that the Constitution ruled: that our nation is the nation of everyone. And this principle brought the incredible progress that we all know about since those old days of the Founders of America. Many Americans wonder if we are in decay, if the nation is experiencing a fall from that privileged place in the world we’ve known for so long.
There is only one way we can insure the future of this nation: to exercise that fundamental principle of empathy and compassion towards those who may be believed to be wrong. It is our example that will straighten the path of those that need direction. And our example must be based on an undeniable compassion towards everyone. If you are not convinced yet about what compassion is about and how much it belongs to our realm, read again Buddha’s thought above. If you are among us, compassionate people, spread the word and lets change what we can, now that we can.

We don’t have to agree with anyone who does not concur with our lifestyle, principles, faith, moral standards, etc., especially if we don’t fully know and understand what those individuals are about, more so if what they show as their direction in life maybe scary to us. But we owe to everyone the benefit of the doubt. Undeniably, we most honor their choices and condition as human beings and their efforts to better their conditions in life. Doing the contrary is against our constitutional principle that provides us freedom and opportunity and the same principle that this nation has fought for since its inception. Going against this principle is a violation of the cornerstone of our government, nation and everyone that contributes to it. But we can not disregard the fact that the reason the US became independent and created its constitution is because in order to achieve that high place in the world with our society, legal system, even the forces that protects us, compassion must be observed unrelentingly by every single person that steps into, lives on and forms part of our society and country. Doing the contrary simply dilutes that principle that make each of us and the nation who we are and what we stand for, especially if those ostracized by our societal norms have not been proven guilty for any other crime, but their willingness and investment to better their lives, the lives of their beloved ones and such contribute to the well-being of our nation and everyone in it. Let compassion rule your heart and mind and shall you receive equally the same.

A brief interruption in our already scheduled program. No more deportations of young people!

By Isis Win

In the middle of a busy end of spring, I heard president Obama announcing his command to Homeland Security Agency to halt deportation of the children of undocumented immigrants younger than 30 years of age, law-abiding and engaged into education.

Right away, right-wing politicians, including Romney, use this presidential action to attack Obama and to represent themselves as the good guys we must keep and oust Obama. Some are already talking about a “political move from Obama, to gain Latin votes”. Well, if so, good for him because Latinos were an important part of his election in 2008 and many were disappointed for no immigration reform as he promised. Obama simply said: That is the right thing to do. Indeed! Latinos that incorporate themselves into American customs, work hard to better themselves and family and feel rooted in this country as their own, deserve the right to stay and make their case in the court of law. Additionally, the law must allow them to become legal residents with a chance to become naturalized citizens.

But not all undocumented immigrants are entitled to have this same treatment.  My take about this, I would be glad to see many Latinos go back to their country if they are not law-abiding, respect the customs of this country and do not care for changing their ways. The court of law will take care of them. Sadly, there are many of those individuals in the nation and those bad apples misrepresent the good ones because Americans tend to believe that all Latinos are like them. But as well, why add more danger and risk in this country, specially from undeserving people. But what about those that are law-abiding and hard-working undocumented Latinos? It seems this is like a miniseries and in order to see the next episode, we must make sure the same characters stay in the play. Reliable sources have told me Obama’s team has been diligently working on that reform that Latinos have been waiting for. No cigar yet because this effort is considering many of the interest and views of state authorities that are more affected than the rest of the nation. States like California, Texas, etc. Can you imagine if all undocumented Latinos in LA would be deported? The thousands of vacancies that no others want to fill nor get hired for them because the work is harder than the pay they can get for. Ask most undocumented Latinos if that position is unfair between pay and the required labor. I’ve done so anytime I get a chance and they say: Gimnme the job now! And they take it and will keep it forever! I’ve met dozens of undocumented workers at Universal Studios theme park. Of course, they are “legally” in this country! Yes, so far there is no mechanism that forces employers to verify Gestapo style that they are indeed undocumented. But ask their bosses and they will say: Undocumented? They are not and if they would be, we would make them legal! Well . . .  The part of the second episode that Obama will deliver in his next period.

But I am painting the “Rosie version” of this story. The blue version says that thousands of legal Latinos will not vote for Obama, even though they did in the past election. Why not? Well . . . They fully disagree with the gay issue and Obama’s support to same-sex marriage rights. Go figure! Latinos are and have been by excellence the countries with the most macho attitude and ultra religious views! So, Obama sabotaged himself and the election by showing his support to this right. Oh! Do you know that last night he had dinner with several gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to celebrate gay pride month? I see arrows encrusted in his chest, arms and legs by nothing else but our Latin brothers and sisters!

The news this past Friday was definitely good news, Coming from our president, this rule is to be observed by all government agencies even if the republicans demonstrate against Obama or throw tantrums in both chambers! And for those that do not read the papers often, most Americans are behind civil human rights favored by Obama! But by no means, this represents that Obama will have his chance to another presidential period. The facts on that side are that many of the very important states that supported Obama in the past election are going through an impasse because Obama’s support for many of those issues. Polls are showing that the gap between Romney and Obama had been closing in the recent weeks and those states that are not fully defined at this point, if they go GOP or the contrary can unbalance the rest of the nation. Therefore, we all that still believe in Obama or those that give him the benefit of the doubt not only will have to vote for him but we need to contribute to his campaign. Remember, we are only 5 months away from election day! So the balance should be more defined by now. But as is, there is a change we cannot take at all. Electing Romney would be the worse that could happen at this juncture, for our nation and the world! A very delicate balance of the economy in the European nations, a crisis ready to explode with Syria due to Russia protecting their military interest in that nation and the unbalance in the Persian and African nations that are threatening the balance of the world if theocratic regimes take over such is the no so good-looking situation in Egypt! We need a president with guts, a vision about political balance and not ruled by fear but justice and fairness! If Obama makes it to the White House this coming period, we have a chance but if not, it has been clear that Romney not only will be a redundancy of Bush’s regimes but will increase the gap between the 1% and the rest of the population. Something that we cannot afford at all.

Latin brothers and sisters, allow me this occasion to represent my unconditional support for Obama and inquire you to do the same. Not because we are part of the LGBT world, not because we are Latinos, but because we are conscious of what our nation, families and world need now! We cannot afford a “trial” period in which the chief sitting at the White House is trying to figure out how to make sure he would rule for a second period in 2016. Lets give Obama that chance and be behind him all the way through because that this nation needs the most, is that we all remember that whether we are LGBT, Latinos, black, Asian, whatever, we are the people who pulls the world forward and we need no more fear and instability and we can conquer that goals because, yes we can!

Reprinted from: http://xqsimagazine.com/2012/06/16/a-brief-interruption-in-our-already-scheduled-program-no-more-deportations-of-young-people/

 

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.

Is sex overrated?

 By Isis Win
Sex has been the talk no one “should” ever have for centuries. Good sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. But certainly everyone without exception thinks about it. Good, sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. Everyone wants and enjoys good sex, but at some point bad sex comes through the door and we don’t really know what to think about it. Try it again? Or simply ignore it? Men do not think about sex the same way women do. Men do not have sex the same way women do. So what is it with this thing about sex, that regardless of what we do, good sex, really good sex is hard to come by? The puzzling starts by: We find great sex and at some point it goes bad. Like milk! After a long while of having sex with the same partner it becomes monotonous, at times undesirable and often rare among long-term couples. Most couples invariably will fail in their partnership once sex goes bad. Well, that! next to economical troubles. Whys isn’t it that the older sex is, with that partner   doesn’t get better like an old wine? Oh! Old, old wine goes bad too! So what’s the deal with sex?

There are more myths about sex than true facts in the minds of mainstream people. Thousands and thousands of books have been written about sex and most sell like hot cakes. Some books have even survived millennia! When a new book come out with some interesting facts, mostly educational stuff, most people get excited (even aroused?). Just kidding! Many try what they learned from them but as well, all that becomes old at some point. Should we be reading more books about sex all the time to keep it roaring? Who wants to read books about sex when we have videos? The number one industry in the internet is sex! And how about all the millions of photos in the net that one way or another one, are loaded with sexual overtones?
In the old days (40s/50s), a photo that was considered provocative would never made into a family magazine. But today, even the billboards of metropolitan cities contain more than provocative photos. Not to mention many fashion catalogs! Did you have the chance to peruse the early catalogs (80s) of the now internationally famous brand name Victoria Secret? They were sooo sexy! Borderline between provocative and the content of most men’s magazines of today. Isn’t strange that those catalogs made this brand name a staple in the bedrooms of the mainstream world? When sex is so mystified? Many more catalogs and brand names came out after the success of VS. Television and cinema as well, are heavily loaded with sexual and provocative images. Ratings simply describe it “Sexual content”. No wonder why we think so much about sex! Like if we need reminders!

The history of sex is a confusing one. While sex is a normal and needed human activity, sex has been subjected to stigmatizing, ostracism, judgment and all the negative adjectives anyone can throw at it. There is no need to delve into what the reasons are. We all know them quite well. For starters, when young, our parents gave us at least one warning about sex. Some parents even threatened their kids if they would ever knew they were having sex . . . Aah! This is history that will never change. One irony of the case is, many of those parents indulged their sexual life quite well when young. Take for instance, the Baby Boomers. The 60s and 70s were the times of sexual liberation. Not that such liberation never happened before, but this time, it was public and highly eloquent. “Make Love, Not War” was the slogan of the times as a demonstration against the war in Vietnam or was it just for the sake of making love? I betya! Young people wanted to indulge their interest and attraction to sex freely.

We can’t ignore as well that celebrated thinkers had something to say about sex too. Freud was one of them among many. And his words were concerning and alarming to the mainstream. According to Freud, sex represented many not so cool things about the character or psychological issues. I will not get into that. In the 40s/50s, Dr Kinsey had something to say about sex too. But his message was exactly what the mainstream could not manage: The truth. He stated things like: Women and men of all ages, masturbated and fantasized often if not daily, and had at least one homosexual experience. But not your grandmother and mine, right? How can we think about our grandmother playing with herself? And having sex with another woman? Can you imagine finding a dildo in your grandmother’s bedroom? Oh no! That is not possible! This is how confusing sex can be.

Recently we read at xQsi magazine an article by marriage and family therapist Roberto Olivo talking about sex addiction. Sex what? Addiction? Not me! Not you! Not anyone we know, right? Well, it is not easy to understand sex, period, much less to understand what sex addiction might be. Yes, it exist! And what is it? Good sex, bad sex, and lots of it? All of the above? Sex is an act of instant gratification that anyone can indulge in and it can come with the biggest and hardest hangover anyone can experience – when indulged irresponsibly. Hangover? People with the “ability” to drink heavily and regularly can stand a hangover. Can they do the same with irresponsible sex? Oh yes! Just like alcoholics, they must seek for more alcohol to recover from that hangover. Same with sex. More sex takes care of it. So why do people drink again and again? Because of the very same reason sexually addicted people must have more sex. They need that instant gratification, they need their “fix”. However, although one may recover from sexual hangovers, the consequences will not go away! Unwanted pregnancy, venereal diseases, tarnished reputation and many more. As well, such “fix” does not fix anything but creates the illusion, a temporary illusion.
Frequent masturbation, multiple partners, anonymous partners, unprotected sex, all that and lots of it are among the symptoms of sexual addiction. The more the merrier, right? Well, there is a true reason for it and it is not precisely a humorous one. Sexual addiction happens because of an emptiness in-within – at a core level. Sexual addiction becomes a coping mechanism that will allow us to keep going on and on – when things are not right. Things like poor self-confidence and self-love, frustration, guilt and stress, among many others. But it turns our backs to responsible sex once it happens, turns that sexual experience into bad sex. More emptiness, more void happens and we are back to square one. Then, we get hangover! But the interesting part about addicted sex is that most people fail to recognize addiction to sex. As well, they are not able to recognize the hangover, not even bad sex. But they can recognize sex much easier! And always as an imperative need that needs to be fulfilled immediately and regardless of its cost. Is sex just sex, nothing more?

Looking into our inner self is not an easy chore. And there is no instant fix either when we find something that is wrong. The tribulations of daily life, the interpersonal crisis, financial limitations and complications, plain lack of fulfillment and happiness tend to make us seek for that fix somewhere else. There is no difference with alcohol or drugs abuse, greed, an obsessive quest for power or appreciation and an obsessive need for validation. Bottom line is, when we are missing something in within, we seek for it somewhere else. And that is not right! It just doesn’t deliver. But this is the not the problem that our parents warned us about. They just meant not having sex, because our judgment may not be grounded, period!. As well, all those moralistic and religious minds that claim sex is only for one exclusive purpose . . . Give me a break! Clearly when we indulge that is not our purpose. Ours, is to feel good about our own selves (physically and emotionally) and to unwind our pressures, frustrations, stress, etc. But it doesn’t work when it only serves that purpose -> for a quick instant. The Petite Mort as the French call it, is no more than an orgasm, which even though it is almost always nice to have, may leave an emptiness after all. A spiritual and emotional death.

The reality about sex to most, is that we know so little about it. But we seem to act it as if we were experts. We just feel the hormonal call or an opportunity to prove our selves or to fix something that is broken. Even all those books written through history will not teach us the level of importance sex has in our lives and selves. Sex is the most innate intimate activity we can share with someone else. When indulging into sexual activity we fully strip ourselves down to the bare bones! And I am not referring about physical nudity. Sex as well, can be the most gratifying experience one can experience with another individual when done responsibly. We hear about it all over the place and at all times: Making love is generally acceptable – having irresponsible sex, comes with all the wrongs. Making love is an action that we perform with somebody that we respect and love. Someone that we like so much that we harvest and expect having a steady – long-term relationship with. When we make love to that person, we go to a very different place than when we just have plain sex. Don’t get me wrong! Plain sex can be great too! But granting at least some quantity of true personal intimacy, will come with quantity of quality. I bet you that there are some among your old experiences, experiences that you will remember and treasure forever. Yes, that’s it! Intimate loving sex is something that we will always remember so we don’t need to go into more once indulged. We do not need anyone else. As well, we don’t need to have sex with that partner without the proper regards for that appreciated person. For starters, when we make love or have intimate loving sex, we love our own self too. After all, besides of becoming attentive to the needs and desires of our partner, we are taking care of ours. Question: When you masturbate, do make love to yourself or just take care of that need in a brief instant?

Getting addicted to anything is easier than anyone can imagine. And when we get addicted to something, it comes silently and almost invisibly. All we see is a way to fill that hole of void and inadequacy in our selves and lives. The instant fix! Addiction, as you can imagine, is not a good trait to have. Any kind of addiction! Because addiction is dependency. And we should not be dependent on anyone or anything but our own selves. If we become self-sufficient to all of our needs, we will be able to rely on ourselves forever! And we must exercise good judgement and courtesy to others when we exclusively depend on our selves. Although we must observe our independence, we must observe and respect the independence of others. That is the best of all vaccines to anything bad! As well, being self-sufficient/independent will help anybody to determine if she/he is prone to become addicted or not, because she/he are able to face reality as it comes. And that reality always will come with respect and common sense when we responsibly face everything it in real-time and as it comes. But if you are addicted, there is no need to feel worse about yourself, that you are doomed, or your life is finished. Although you should depend on your own self, it doesn’t mean you can’t rely on someone else. Reach out, do the leg work and to whatever it takes to reclaim yourself! There are programs and services to aid everyone with any kind of addiction. And the fun in life will not end if you do so! In fact, fun becomes better, will last longer and you will remember it for as long as you live. When we responsibly indulge into any of our choices, we not only enjoy those much more and better, but there is no hangover or negative consequences once indulgence passed. Then, you can live longer, live happily and live in company of others like yourself.

Sex is overrated and underrated by the standards of that we see in the media, by the myths that circulate around. Indulging in responsible sex requires a level-headed approach, not just like what we see in TV and the movies and we simply throw ourselves into it and all comes out OK. That is fantasy! A pregnant young woman or a venereally ill person is not going to fix the problem as it happens in movies. Although life will not end there, reality will set in and we may end up feeling that our days are over. Yes, this can be a life changing experience and not necessarily for the best. And many of the normal and expected goodies life offers may become much more difficult to reach. Sometimes even becoming impossible to do so. But making love is not the same. Having responsible sex is not the same. Instead of getting fixated in instant gratification, live and love, love and live. That is much better than just having plain sex with anyone and without care and regards. It becomes a lasting experience!

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.