Dec 10, 2015

Tired of Being Told "Who We Are"?

Americans are independent, free-spirited, and strongly opposed to being told what to do or who they are by anyone.  A few years ago this became apparent to the world when President Obama stated that "We are not a Christian nation."  Within minutes of his statement, Christian Americans flooded social media with statements like "This country was founded by Christians,"  "We are too a Christian nation," and "What does he mean telling the world that?  He doesn't know us."  It did not matter that we are a nation of nations, who happens to have been dominated by Christian views-the President told us and the world we are not Christian and received immediate backlash from Christians.

A few years later when the President announced that we had killed Osama bin Laden he again told the nation "who we are".  The President, his cabinet, Seal Team Six - whose name should never have been revealed to the world - and a handful of others had watched the action live.  They had the confirmation, allegedly in hand.  While they celebrated, the President once again told us who we are when he stated, "We do not spike the football.  That is not who we are," in reference to his reasoning for not allowing pictures of bin Laden to be released.   Sorry, Mr. President, as you again tell us "who we are" you seem to forget that we invented spiking the football and yes, we most certainly do that.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the President again reminded us of who we are when he told us that we take people from around the world as refuges.  His reference was to cries to not take Syrian refuges after an apparent terrorist attack in France by refuges.  Again, the President seems to forget that we know very well who we are.  Anytime the country has been concerned about a group of people entering, then we have almost always taken special precautions to stop them.  If this is not the case, then why do we even have a Border Patrol Agency?  Once again, we have done this so many times in the past, but the President seems to forget the history as he tells us this is not who we are once more.

Finally, just a few days ago headlines blew up around the world about Trump.  Donald Trump, the leading presidential candidate for the Republican Party said that he suggest we stop all Muslims from entering the country.  Immediately President Obama again pointed out that is not "who we are," many of the current presidential candidates did the same, and some in the Republican party even called for Trump to drop out of the race.  Everyone did it because that is not "who we are."  The first thing that should be noted is that Mr. Trump's full statement included the following "until we can figure out what is going on."  In other words, he said we should halt Muslims from entering the country until we can figure out what is happening - for example how did two radical Muslims slip into the country, obtain firearms (from a friend we learned now) and conduct a terrorist attack with all the current measures in place to stop them from doing just that.  In other words, regardless of where you stand on people entering the country and firearms, the fact is the government failed to keep these two out.  Trump is saying what many Americans have been saying.  He is saying, let's stop a minute and look over the process to see how we can fix it.  He is saying the same thing that President Carter said when he stopped anyone from Iran from entering the country without special approval!  Trump is saying the same thing that many Governors were saying when they said to stop the refuges from coming to their states just within the last month.  He is saying very similar words to what Republicans in Congress were saying when they introduced stronger security measures to screen refuges-a measure rejected by the President.  So what exactly is wrong with what Trump said?  This time everyone from Republicans to Democrats are telling us that the statement that Trump made is "not who we are" yet we have a long history of doing exactly what Mr. Trump is suggesting and just a fews before they were all suggesting almost the same measures!   

The bottom line is our government (Republicans and Democrats) seem very good at telling us "who we are".  It's impossible for them to tell us "who we are" because we are simply a nation too big and too diverse to be any one type of design.  We are gun owners and gun haters.  We are Christians and we are Muslims.  We are Republicans and we are Democrats.  We are pro-abortion and we are anti-abortion.  We are simply put "many".  This is what has made us strong for years.  We have been strong because we are many - imagine how confused the Japanese were in World War II when they could not figure out what the Navajo code Talkers were saying - not everyone was Navajo, but because Navajo is part of who we are, just as Cherokee and all other American Indians are part of who we are, we had a code that the Japanese never understood or translated.  We are many, period.  

It should be interesting to note that despite the Democrats and Republicans bashing Mr. Trump for his statement and telling him that is not who we are-even though it has been many, many times before-Trump rose in the polls again.  Maybe Democrats and Republicans need to stop and figure out that WE are tired of being told "who we are."  At least for now Trump has continued to rise in the polls despite his  refusal to allow political correctness, media bias with partial truths, and those in power to dictate to him how to act.  Trump is not only in the forefront of polls, but has been given standing ovations, growing support, and allowed to capture headlines around the world more than any other Democrat or Republican candidate.  Right now, "who we are" appears to be a nation who wants someone to stop political correctness and stand up to government for us, and Trump seems to have his corner in that group.

Dec 7, 2015

Media, Social Media, and the "No Compromise" Attitude

The fact is media, social media and our own stubborn inabilities to compromise have lead our nation down a dark and stagnant road where little can be accomplished without an overriding majority of one party or the other.   I recently saw a cartoon where a man was standing in front of a Democrat flag saluting, another was standing in front of a Republican flag saluting, and a third flag-the United States flag - had nobody standing in front of it.  The message was clear, we are often more dedicated to our party than we are to the nation.  This is a problem not unique to Republicans or Democrats.  It is a problem that has been propelled to the forefront in recent years.  There is no need to point fingers at who started it or who did not start it.  The fact is everyone seems to be in on it.  We have people from the President pointing at Republicans, clear down to local and county Republican Committees pointing at Democrats.  It's a division that is driving an "Us" v "Them" attitude right down the middle of our country, and we need to do something to stop it soon.

The media has always been a driving force behind the countries attitudes and outlooks.  It is a fact and never before have we seen in full swing as we have today.  Thanks partly to the growth of the Internet, everyone can have a news outlet.  Fox can support Republican causes with their views, MSNBC can support Democrat causes with their views and we the people can decide which we want to hear.  The spin the media plays with us makes most of us confused.  Look at it this way - let's say President Obama has a speech and says, "I believe milk is good for you unless you are lactose intolerant, then you should not drink milk."  Sounds easy enough and logical doesn't it?  I believe that Republicans and Democrats alike could agree that this is a reasonable statement from the President.  Now, along comes MSNBC and they post this headline:  "President Obama supports dairy industry".  Then Fox jumps into the fray with "President Obama states you should not drink milk".   Now, if you are a Democrat dairy farmer and you read MSNBC, you think the President is a great guy.  If you are a Republican dairy farmer and you read Fox, you suddenly feel like the President is out to get you and destroy your business.  It's all about how the media spins the story....make no mistake, this example occurs on Democrat and Republican liked news media equally - nobody is better or worse than the other - they all simply do it to rouse us up.

Once the news media has stuck a stick into the pot and stirred it around to rouse us up, all they have to do is watch social media's response.  Those of us participating in social media read our favorite news outlet and then we immediately shoot off our own opinions online - I know I do.   Once that opinion is out there, others are going to respond, and they don't always respond nicely.  I have been called names, told I'm stupid, and even cursed through social media - all uncalled for in my opinion, but then again that's my opinion.  The media has people so stirred up that they are angry.  I have heard people say, "You should not be friends or even associate with Democrats," and they are serious!  Now I have several friends who are Democrats and several family members who are also.   I can tell you that the thought of not associating with my parents, for example, is really upsetting for me.  But, that kind of thought pattern is what leads people to a blind dedication to a party and not to the nation.

Finally, perhaps due to the media and social media, our elected leaders often seem unwilling to compromise more than ever before.  Not too many years ago, and ahead of instant news and instant social media, politicians - Republicans and Democrats-worked together and compromised.  Reagan worked with a dominant Democrat Congress.  Clinton worked with a dominant Republican Congress.  Both of these Presidents -one Democrat and one Republican- had huge successes during their years as President.  We may not all agree on those success, but the one thing we can agree on is that Clinton and Reagan are both popular Presidents and had overall good terms as President.  What made Clinton and Reagan different?  Remember, they worked with a Congress that was dominated by the opposite party for much of their terms, so why were they successful?  Compromise.

Compromise and the willingness to work together for the common good of the nation is the reason that Reagan and Clinton were so successful as Presidents.  Yes, we could spend time looking at Iran-Contra and yes we could spend time looking at Clinton's Impeachment, but overall they learned and implemented the use of compromise.  Clinton and Reagan realized what many of us in the social media and following mainstream media do not these days and that is we are not all going to agree on everything, but we can agree on some things.  The key to compromise is setting aside what you know you will not agree on, and focussing on what you do agree on to get something done.

Recently, I had a twitter conversation with a man who was anti-guns.  This conversation naturally happened right after one of the recent shootings.  What we found was very interesting - he believed we did not need guns and I believe we do - we simply could find no way to get around this point.  We could have spent hours arguing statistics, where shootings happen, and how bad it is or is not going to be if everyone is carrying guns on their hips like the old west.  We could have allowed our conversation to rise to name-calling, cursing, or even serious negative post about each other's views - we did not.  Instead we decided that we were not going to agree on gun ownership and even gun carry issues.  We decided to set those items aside and look at what we did agree on.  Here is a short list of what we agreed on:
 1.  Regardless of the name (mass shooting) any shooting of people is bad.
 2.  Something needs to be done to stop these shootings.
 3.  Current background checks have been ineffective in stopping these shootings
 4.  Something needs to be done in gun free zones to ensure mass shootings do not or can not occur in them.

There were four areas that we agreed on almost immediately.  Now, I will admit that we had different views on some of the individual parts of each area, but overall we decided in our conversation that we knew we would disagree, but that we would be civil, polite, and respectful of each other's opinions and ideas.  By the end of the conversation we were friends who simply disagreed about certain points, we found that we both liked some of the same sports and even had other things in common.  We even joked that our politicians should have to use 140 characters to discuss issues.

It is not that hard people.  If we set aside what the media tries to make us believe and get the entire story for ourselves, we can be better.  If we use our social media in a constructive and respectful way, we can do better.  If we demand that our representatives work together and not against each other, we can move forward.  Finally, if those elected officials would realize that they were elected with the support of a party, but they were elected to represent everyone, then we would move much further in the right direction.  Maybe it's time we once again look at the flag and realize that there is not a Republican, Democrat or any other party picture or name on any part of that flag.   There are fifty stars, representing fifty states - regardless of who is in Congress, regardless of who is President, we are still all in this together - let's start thinking for ourselves, cut out the media influence, respect and remain positive in social media, and remember it's "I pledge allegiance to the flag or the United States of America," and not to a specific party.
from: Source

Dec 5, 2015

Obama's Poor Response to San Bernardino

from: source
Whenever terrorist attack a country, the people expect their leaders to rise up, denounce the attacks, and strongly support immediate action to ensure the same type of attack does not happen again.  This is just what people expect.  Even on local levels, people expect city governments, county governments, and state governments to do the same in the event of any terrorist attack.  Sadly, the Obama Administration has not taken this approach for the United States after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.  In fact, this administration has taken the exact opposite approach and appeared to be more supportive of the terrorist than of the American people.  It has left many wondering exactly where this administration's loyalties are now that the president no longer has to run for any office.

In Obama's book 'Dreams of My Father' Obama clearly says that if "political winds should shift in an ugly direction" against the Americans who appear to be Arab or Pakistani, he will "stand with them."  While one can appreciate this stand for American Arabs and Pakistanians within reason, this administration seems to take this stand to a level that borders on violating the Bill of Rights.

One day after the attacks, Obama's AG Lynch spoke to Muslim Americans and reassured them that they will prosecute "Anti-Muslim" speech - specifically "Anti-Muslim" speech that leads to violence (News).  Lynch further told Muslims to contact her if their children were bullied in school.  Now, everyone can agree that no speech should lead to violence - like nobody heard any speeches before the Boston Riots, right?  People would almost certainly agree that no children should be bullied in school (Bullied) But is such things as reporting a potential bomb in the form of a clock really bullying?  (Investigation) - why is the AG investigating people who reported a concern and took pro-active action to protect others?  It can do nothing but lead to more incidents like the one in San Bernardino where people refused to report what they thought was suspicious actions for fear of being called racist! (Fear)  People in the San Bernardino area saw what was going on in Texas, and they decided that rather than have their names plastered all over the news, possibly be investigated themselves, and even having to hire lawyers that they would just keep their mouths shut.  The message is clear - no longer report any suspicious activities if you believe it could be related to radical can be no other message to the American people.

Establishing that AG Lynch is going to protect Muslims in America is fine.  Establishing the limit of that protection is another thing entirely.  As stated above, is bullying going to be defined as reporting potential terrorist activities or suspected activity?  Now consider "Anti-Muslim" speech that leads to any potential violence.  Will the AG be pro-active in this area, and if so to what extent?  If a cartoon is drawn of Muhammad and Muslims complain, will the AG prosecute?  If a pastor or Christian says they believe Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, will the AG prosecute for "Anti-Muslim" speech?  Lynch's wide open statements, just one day after a terrorist attack by radical Muslims, is leaving many American's wondering exactly whose side this Administration is on now.

Within hours of the attack, President Obama stated it was too early to know exactly what happened - which after almost eight years in office he has apparently finally learned not to shoot his mouth off as President before he knows the facts.  However, he immediately said that this would not have happened if we had stricter gun laws (Gun Laws)  Now the President did not speak of striking back at the terrorist, and he did not give the type of supportive speech expected by Americans from their President.  Instead, he simply used this terrorist attack to stress how we need more gun laws.  This President seems to forget that California already has the strictest gun laws in the entire nation (CA Gun Laws), and he wants more!

So within hours of the terrorist attacks, the President calls for stricter gun laws.  Within a day of the attack, the AG - appointed by President Obama- informs Muslims that they will have extra protections afforded them that other Americans do not have while throwing out much of the Bill of Rights - after all, haven't we been told that the Bill of Rights protects other radical groups in the United States?  Does Lynch not think there are any other radical groups in the United States?  You'd better look again - here's a short list of groups that don't seem to concern Lynch in the least, but have a long history of "Anti" speeches and hate:

Ku Klux Klan 186 organizations with 52 websites
Neo-Nazi – 196 organizations with 89 websites
White Nationalist – 111 groups with 190 websites
Christian Identity – 39 groups with 37 websites
Neo-Confederation – 93 organizations with 25 websites
Black Separatist – 113 organizations with 40 websites
Anti-Gay  - 90 groups of hate with general hate speech 172 websites

While Obama runs around pushing for more gun laws even when a state with the strictest gun laws failed to keep guns out of the hands of terrorist, his Attorney General apparently threatens to throw out the Bill of Rights and extend special protections, not afforded to many other Americans, to Muslim Americans.   Since this President's Administration does not seem supportive of the victims of a terrorist attack in California, the people there should know that the rest of the nation does not feel this way.  We support the people of San Bernardino, California, continue to pray for them, and extend to them that you are not alone - fifty other states stand firmly with you.