Global Awareness- A Growing Problem by Scott Hall

In the last few months, our nation and the global citizenry have seen several infractions of human rights, questionable behaviors and serious law and political goof ups; Image Credit: www.classwarfareexists.com

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7.02.2017

The American Wish ~Opinion Article~

Article by: Scott Hall (scotthall.cnj@gmail.com)

          Dare to dream a little dream or two.  Reach the stars, your dreams can come true. A bit of history will start us off on this opinion piece.  I ask, each person who reads this article, think a moment on what you want for the United States of America and the citizens within. Try to place yourself, in the halls of times past and the lack of practical technologies, the lingering future and the hopes of a few thousand, placed in the hands of one persons leadership and then watch it grow.  I think it would be a neat game, if a programmer were to create a game called America: Destiny, the platform would put the player as every President in known history, facing each of those problems and the outcomes would be based on the players decisions, be them good, bad or accurately historic. All fantasy aside, please, read this article with an open mind and do give some of its contents some critical thought, feedback is welcomed. Thank you. Author, Scott Hall.

          A long time ago, in a country just beginning to find its way, there were some people, noted in History, as our founding fathers. Fed up with a Monarchy, heavy and overbearing financial oppression and religious segregation, a handful of countrymen, inspired many to join in and fight for freedom upon a new land.  Many people paid the ultimate price with their lives, so that those known as the founding fathers could establish and form a Constitution. This document, carefully formed and thought out, represents the notion, that the people of this great nation are actually the deciders of how this country grows and protects its own people, the very same ones who took to the streets and country sides to fight, including the people of the future generations who, have done and will do the same, by taking up arms to defend their rights to be Free of Tyrannical rule and dictatorships heavy laden with Oligarchy or Over reaching powers. We know this to be true, as “We the People” is embossed within its opening words and cemented in all staples of the USA’s History.

            This same group of men also saw fit, to allow the people to change those who represent them, by voting and that the voice of the people, through votes cast would be part of that same Constitution, written for the people, by the people of a young, United States of America.  History will show, many great things happening, many tragedies that shaped or changed how the country grew and faced those challenges, not even our founders said that change or growth would be easy and in truth, if we add up the bloodshed, the beatings, the public persecutions and segregation's that went on for decades, this country has many dark moments.  In each of those dark moments, came major change, but only after the struggle to do what is right, not just what is popular unfolded. From alcohol to voter’s rights, women’s rights to now, people’s rights and an American Lives rights to affordable Health care while still facing a changing world, full of persons who wish to harm as many of us as they can or are able.

            What our country faces now, is really not much different than the challenges faced by an early Congress and President, how best to take care of and serve the very people who elected all persons in office.  Yes, it includes bringing in revenue and hoping that the revenue spent is indeed for the benefit of all Americans.  I firmly believe that in our cores, the people of these United States don’t really believe that America needs to be made great again, it needs some fixing in a lot of areas, but America is, was and always will be, great.  Thinking in terms of what the United States could use to help all Americans, I have compiled a list of things that we should all want and if those elected officials cannot make it happen and make it fair for all, and then we need fresh minds in office that can.

1:  Term Limits on every member of Congress, no more than 2 terms can be served.  If being a politician is a career, then all Colleges and Universities, under graduate studies and elementary teachings MUST include courses designed to assist citizens to become professionals in that field and once you decide to do so, then the salary of your office will surely be adjusted as you are now working under contract for the people of the United States of America and must renew your application to continue working in that office, every year, paying dues just like many professionals do who hold certain licensing or prestigious offices.

2:  Salary caps on those offices held, our representatives and leaders should NOT be getting rich off of taxpayer money designated for salary, eliminate the lifetime pension and all members must purchase their Health Care from the same outlets given to all Americans and cannot receive preferential treatment because of the office they hold, in other words, just because you stubbed your toe, makes you no more entitled to a band aid when any American does the same, sans the President.

3:  Caps on Health Insurance premiums, so that no American has to worry about how affordable the insurance is, eliminate the sliding scale premium based on credit score, pre existing conditions or anything that affects the premiums cost, in short, people get sick, some more than others and if you’re really wanting to stop the Cancers and such, stop making the things that trigger it, that means over sight.

4: A cap on costs of Medical treatments such as pharmacy costs with stricter regulations on the medicines themselves.  We do want to cure things and feel better while we live our lives, but don’t give us a drug to treat a headache that makes our muscles atrophy or pee ourselves, we are NOT guinea pigs.

5:  Boost spending on Education, you want the best, help them to get there by investing in the very people living right here in the USA. Better teachers with more resources means more opportunities for students to learn and grow, increase the amounts in the grant programs and make colleges more attainable to all.  If you allow privatized schools, that means they are a business and should not hold special exemptions nor be allowed special privileges, tax them fairly and include Congressional oversight so that any “profits” are invested back into the students or the facility and not into some CEO’s pocket book.

6:  Eliminate the IRS and replace them with multiple accounting firms, designated for each region and adjust the withholding rates, based on the individual’s percentage of contribution in that region.  It’s no secret that our top earners need to pay more of their share, so, no more easy loopholes, everyone gets a standard set of deductions and since business’s are considered people, tax them the same as you would a citizen.  There are only two ways to eliminate debt, raise revenue or cut spending, if we cut programs that assist people and not the ones that suck up the most money, we are only setting ourselves up to have one or two tax brackets fund the majority of the costs while the rest get drank dry with no chance at recovery.  It’s money, not rocket science.

7:  Pay our Soldiers and Veterans their dues.  No cost health coverage, more facilities and specialize in a PTSD and other effects of war and service department.  These folks paid a serious price, their sanity is worth it and their sacrifices speak for themselves. Give them whatever equipment they need and if the contracted people asked to build those things can’t deliver on time, then give the military some factories, this will promote a new set of skills and perhaps put a major stamp on truly, American Made items.  Don’t ignore the needs of these citizens and that includes a fair wage while serving, at the very least, we owe them that since they are being asked to put their lives on the line every single day and at any beckon call.

8:  Eliminate the Electoral College popular vote’s wins every election, every time.  Go ahead, have your conventions, but include in them: The independent’s convention and any other party listed on the ballot, they all deserve equal access and application, goodbye fat cats in your party’s cast for a candidate, the people should speak always, loudly and clearly.

9:  The roads, bridges, sewers, water treatment and factories that are a part of this nation, all need to be modernized and in doing so, find a cleaner output so that the health issues that face us, due to air, water, food or what have you, are diminished.  We want these things safe all of us see the potholes, cracks, rust, age and corrosion on many of these things, so get to work, make them great again, create jobs and reduce the jobless rate by investing in the countryside, coal and other CO2 producing companies need to find and implement better ventilation and exhaust systems to reduce the smog and soot filling our air and our children’s lungs.

10:  Anytime, the Federal government shuts down, all members lose their salaries for the month it happens and stays a free job until they pass legislation that keeps our countries Government running, with all the tax money being paid in for you to do your job, not presenting a budget on time is not only morose, but inexcusable. Fail to pass a budget twice in any 5 year period, and all members of those seats, whether or not they have reached their second term, lose their seat on the next election cycle.

11:  Enact a Federal agency, designed to oversee all law enforcement agencies that are NOT part of the Federal Government, allot them a budget, that helps bring all departments up to par in technology, staffing, resources and salaries.  Our first responders stand up to most all disasters, so why not allow them the same safety and ability as we do our military? All Lives Matter, so why not make it a death penalty crime for killing any first responder, a felony for assault against a first responder and equip all emergency medical personnel with overdose antidotes and anyone who has one administered, has to go to a facility to get clean for a mandatory 6 months, if they leave or refuse, 2 years in jail.  The drug problem is everywhere from narcotics to recreational items we can find a way to reduce the impact if we look at the cores of the problems including, no methadone clinic can administer the drug to a patient and send them home, those patients require monitoring, not a here’s your weekend doses, don’t kill yourself.

12:  Control immigration, by sending anyone caught to be here without proper ID or reasonable visa status, to Ellis Island, enroll them in a citizenship program to become citizens and assign them the jobs to rebuild our infrastructure while waiting, they will not receive any “free” assistance to a degree, they must use their earnings to pay their fair share and if it means healthcare, food, shelter or other, a percentage of that pay goes toward those needs, equivalent to the benefits they would have otherwise been given for free.  If they refuse to become a US citizen, deport them to their home country or another country willing to accept them, if they are caught three times, prison for 10 years in a Federal Facility where they will earn credits for time served, by completing citizenship courses.


            Yes, living in America isn’t perfect, hell at times when we see things on the news of goings on within our own borders, we are all likely to go out and buy new locks. The majority of our country, live their lives in peace and work hard to provide for their families and a few actually want their tax dollars spent better than what it is now and for the right reasons.  We all deserve to be treated as humans, even if our money levels aren’t the same.  To say the poor are looking for a hand out is the same as saying no tax breaks for the rich, both are financial class statements of how one views the other, as though a poor child can’t be a doctor or a rich person a homeless shelter inhabitant, the biggest problem we face right here in our own backyards, is ourselves.  Look at what we are allowing: Mockery, Oligarchy, Weaponizing computers, Social unrest, Brutal violence and needless gun violence, Education that will bankrupt most students by causing them irrational debt in the name of higher education, while not allowing them a living wage based on their skills, Opioid addiction, Help Systems abuse, Increasing Homelessness (we have a homeless town in our country known as tent city, think about that), Veterans being ignored or waiting months to see someone for less than stellar care, Endless racisms and the end of Historic Monuments in the name of “offensiveness”, well I too am offended, I’m offended by all the dumbing down of our citizens and suppression of free thinking, I’m offended we have allowed ourselves to be sucked into class warfare, I’m offended that wealth equal education and that if you don’t make enough money, tough, your life is in the skilled workers world, where physical injuries happen often and disability is a possibility or even death, I’m offended we elected someone who promised to rid the special interests but stockpiled the wealthiest persons in the White House’s history and even said, “I just don’t want a poor person in that position, does that make sense?”, I’m offended that we have ignored history’s lessons, that we have thrown out being decent, respectable persons toward the world and each other, I’m offended that any world leader would threaten nuclear destruction and stay in power without consequence from the world and their own countrymen and finally, I’m offended that we allow terrorists to have any say so in this world at all, as a global community, there should be no debates or barters or deals made to deal with this growing global problem, it should be, whose ass needs kicking and where, I’m offended that we all dare to sell arms to anyone and say, we need to have gun control, why not just melt them down the answer is obvious, money rules your world, I’m all for the people of this nation growing, learning, becoming more than they ever could imagine, but none of this will be possible, until we rid ourselves of the things plaguing our nation now, we will never overcome these challenges by taking them all on at once, but for the love of God, focus and get it done the American way, with Liberty and Justice for all. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men [and women] are equal.” 

5.30.2017

Balance of Power

Article by: Scott Hall (scotthall.cnj@gmail.com)
            When in History, has the USA ever had a true “balance of power”? This question was shared with me not long after I announced that I was working on writing what you and many others are about to read.  A real thought is crossing the minds of millions of American citizens, has our elected government gone a bit too far or are we not focused on more “real” issues, is there an abuse of power, is there any power at all?  Healthcare repeal debacles, Immigration bans that flopped before they could be enacted, trying times many see here in the USA, even parts of our globe now think we are lead by blindness to deeper items, it is not a secret that the GOP or Republicans, are the majority of the political party in the Congress and the Presidency.  What does this all mean, will we survive the next four years without losing our values or killing off our poor or elderly to make way for a have or have not society?  Let us put on our truth glasses and examine what a balance of power means, branch by branch, and see for ourselves.
CONSTITUTION 101
            The first three sections of the Constitution of the United States, deal with the separation of powers, also referred to as the “balance of power”.  Those three branches are: The Executive, The Legislative and The Judiciary, thus, dividing the power of our government into three parts.  These separation of powers, was well thought out by our founding fathers, they established this to avoid tyranny by allowing the three parts to work together to accomplish tasks poised in this great nation and made them independent of one another, so that no one branch could execute more power than another without being – “Checked” by the other 2, this is also known as the system of checks and balances.  Each branch of the government as is listed in the Constitution has its own duties and responsibilities: The Executive branch – The President, implements the laws; The Legislative – The Congress, they make the laws; The Judiciary – The Supreme Court, they interpret the laws and decide on legal controversies.  This system of government, is credited to James Madison, at the Constitutional convention of 1787, Madison took a lead role in persuading the developers of the document we now know as our Constitution, to have the provisions for a separation of powers, by balancing government with a system that checks to make sure that no one branch had too much control. 
            An example of this type of system occurs every year; we know it as Tax Day, usually around April the 15th of every year.  Congress passes legislation in the tax laws, which the President appoints a director of the Internal Revenue Service to collect those taxes and the Supreme Court oversees to make sure that the laws are applied correctly.  Though a simple example, the idea is that no one branch can do anything alone, therefore, dividing up decisions into the three parts of government, just to collect the taxes for their budget, a budget that varies year to year, but has a large base to operate.  Those are more complex discussions, we will put this aside for now, but the idea here is clear, the laws of the land are created by Congress, put into action by the President (who can also Veto, which means “reject”) and interpreted by a Judicial branch, to insure that things are Constitutional.  This brings us to our next topic, in our USA now, many persons feel that the current President, Donald Trump is over reaching his power and that perhaps, Congress is allowing it by creating new rules, I’ve even heard it called similar to a crying child getting louder and louder until it gets its way.  Let us take a look and see if this indeed is true to form or is the President and our government blowing smoke around.
            When we think of “Balance of Power” many may envision a set of scales where one side must at least equal the other in order to be balanced, however, over many decades things were not so “peachy keen” when it comes to what each President sees as the power within their branch of government.  Dateline: 1952, President Truman seizes control of some steel mills, during the Korean war, a six member majority of the Supreme Court ruled that the President had over exceeded his authority, but also said “…the powers of the President are not limited to those solely expressed in Article II of the Constitution.” – had the Congress decided to not disapprove the extension of power, the action by the president would have been upheld and those mills would have been under presidential control.  This case is listed as Youngtown Sheet and Tube Company vs. Sawyer (1952).  The president isn’t the only one to face such woes while in office; the Congress is subject to this same scrutiny as well.
            In a case known as Morrison vs. Olson, the constitutionality of a special prosecutor was brought into focus by the courts (related to the Ethics in Government Act), this one, was tough, they had to determine which branch the special prosecutor belonged so that no one branch had this sole authority to call for one over the other.  In fact, Justice Rehnquist upheld the provisions within the Act, whereas Justice Scalia said, “the opinion of the court is a revolution in Constitutional Law” adding, “without separation of powers, the Bill of Rights is worthless”, this, circa 1980’s.  The courts ruled during the Nixon administration and all its woes that executive privilege, the power that is given to the president to not share certain information with other branches of government, is “not absolute” and “presumptive of power of privilege”, in short, this means no secrets can be harbored by one branch and no one check it to make sure it isn’t a breach of power, Nixon felt that power slip and avoided impeachment, Clinton came real close as well, so those powers are there, even if not in the face of all Americans on a daily basis. 
It would serve well at this point to mention that our government may be three branches but there are a few persons who make up this group: Legislative Branch; The Senate – 100 persons; The House of Representatives – 435 persons; Executive Branch; The President, The Vice President, Cabinet Members or advisors to the office of the President, including persons for Attorney General, Secretary of Defense, etc., (all appointed Cabinet members to the President, must be approved by the Senate with at least 51 votes or a ‘majority’, as is written in the Constitution); Judicial Branch; The Supreme Court, consisting of 9 members, whom are nominated by the President and again, must be approved by the Senate with 51 votes.  Oh, but wait, if this is the simple rule, why then did we hear the Senate enact “The Nuclear Option” in approving the latest appointee, or a better question:
            What is the Nuclear Option? Well, in a nut shell, the nuclear option is a last-resort, break in case of emergency way for the majority party in the Senate to overcome obstruction by the minority, by changing the rules of the Senate to avoid costly filibusters that could prevent or block approvals or legislation that would greatly affect the status of the US.  The rules in the current Senate require 60 votes to be a majority, but the nuclear option actually takes a step back to the Constitution, only requiring 51 votes, not just a party line, a pragmatic way to speed up the process “in case of emergency”, much like filling an empty seat in a 9 member panel so that no “ties” could happen, perhaps or perhaps not, we will leave history to decide that fate. Isn’t learning that the rhetoric our government uses as leverage of power nothing more than double talk for this is what the Constitution says - fun to know, don’t worry it isn’t for this author either, but then again, doesn’t absolute power corrupt absolutely, indeed it does and allegedly we have a checks and balance system in our government, in truth, we have smoke and mirrors when we instantly learn that the nuclear option is bologna and no, President Trump’s Congress isn’t alone in those words, Nixon, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and others have used it.  Now, knowing this one must ask, since when can the Senate change their own rules, that’s a great question, but not one for now, perhaps another examination by our Truth Glasses in a different article.
            This current administration, clarifying by listing Donald Trump as the current President of the United States, has seen a large amount of drama, turmoil, controversy and tons of things that are making the public pick sides on which is right or wrong by the country as a whole and in essence, the things that should bring America back to greatness (which on a personal note, I don’t think America has ever had a “not so great” title attached to it, I am sure historians or fact checkers could do that, so I will leave that to them).  What we have had, is a load of stuff that makes us feel penalized just for living within these borders, we also see real threats from outside, that we all question, “Just how crazy are things going to get?” The people of this land expect our leaders to maintain efficiency, defense against enemies, have good trade and stimulate the economy so that jobs will be created and we can all take our shot at the “American Dream”. So now that the whole fiasco over Russia has came out and many fingers are being pointed, tweets that either “Slam” or are “Unfair” rise to the top, people going literally hardcore over basic issues that we all want solved, unfortunately, in this current struggle for power, there is indeed an imbalance. 
BALANCE OF POWER!
            First, let us explore what an Executive Order is and does; A presidential policy directive that implements or interprets a Federal Statute, a Constitutional Provision or a Treaty.  The power to issue an executive order comes from Congress and the Constitution; it gives the president a power to set policy, without Congressional approval. In the specific issuance of this President’s immigration orders, it is issued under statutory authority from Congress and has the effect of law and enforceable immediately. So the challenge to the law is simple under US Law, this type of authority action, being enforceable by Congressional Law, can and is subject to Federal Courts to determine if the law is fair and just under the Constitution.
            President Trump has been noted as saying that he and his administration are being treated unfairly, many of his supporters are saying; give the man a chance to do his job.  In truth, he has only been in office for about 5 months, so for many to cry out that he has had plenty of chances, keep in mind, he still has quite a way to go before this first term is over.  Along his campaign trail, this former candidate and now office holder said or did some of the most unthinkable things anyone has probably ever heard on a campaign trail.  For a period of about a year, the only advertisements that went on air, were news stories of: Going to build a wall, going to repeal healthcare, going to shake up the trade world, going to strengthen our military, work on our infrastructure, punish those who try to build in another country to avoid taxes, lowering taxes and the list goes on.
            Not only, did these things fill the air, but along side of them, fights breaking out in rally’s from anti support groups and Trump himself saying, “Beat the crap outta ‘em”, then, the infamous mockery of the disabled news reporter, along with “Dirty Mexicans”, an invitation to Russia to openly hack Clinton and the infamous emails, a smack to China as well as ISIS and I will spare you the rest, but the message received by many was one of hate, bullying, narcissism, bigotry, power mongering and warned this may not be the person we want. What the GOP had offered up, was someone who would, “Drain the swamp”. A great idea, if it could be done and if it could be done, would it be done legally, our Truth Glasses must know.
            First, we will take a look at his Executive Order, on immigration, the first one. In January / February of 2017, the newly elected President wrote an executive order that banned travel and entry to many immigrants and entrants into the United States, the day it was implemented, airports and transportation went into a brief chaos.  Then, around the 4th of February, a Federal appeals judge rejected the restoration of his executive action, which primarily focused on Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, it was stopped cold and the President, tweeted this “The opinion of this ‘so-called’ judge is ridiculous and will be overturned!” The judge’s reasoning was that there was no support for the administration’s argument that we are directly under threat from any of those nations.  President Trump decided that after failing in an appeals court, he would again issue a new Executive Order, which once again, was rejected. 
            This President cried out against many, even citing the “relaxed” stance of the former administration’s policies, which by the way, Obama had his share of woes with immigration reform as well, June 23, 2016, President Obama said this after the Supreme Court blocked his Executive Authority, “For more than 2 decades, our immigration system has been broken and the fact that the Supreme Court couldn’t issue a decision today (they were split on the issue), hurts our country even further and takes us away from the country we aspire to be.” This means that the issue has been a huge one, since around 2001/2002, not long after a national tragedy, I can imagine that many in the Supreme Court look closely at the laws when it comes to those things, President Bush initiated several new policies, policies that have kept many things from happening, but also allowed for others to go unnoticed or directly challenged. 
            This is why we have a balance of power in these issues, so that no one President or Congress or Supreme Court Justice, can make a personal stance that goes against our founding fathers words in a document, created to avoid, Tyranny. The link to the original issuance of the Executive Order is at the bottom of this article, I encourage you all to read it and decide for yourself if it fits what we want, remember, Iraq, Libya are two countries we invaded and pretty much armed the “resistance” while the others are known Al-Qaeda or other terrorist group spots, with all of them having victims of this type of behavior and those who are serious about fleeing, having to go abroad, not just the USA. So, this is a prime example of how our system oversees things to insure there is clarity and legality in all that each branch does. Let’s move on.
            Among the many campaign issuances, was Trump’s promise to carry out a full repeal and replacement of the ACA, affectionately known as “Obama care” a health care law, that among the many expansions of coverage to the poor, was also a huge taxation to those who were currently paying premiums, promising no one would have to lose coverage and closing the gap on Medicare patients, from its inception to current day, one of the most contested issues in recent American history. Not long after the immigration issue, in March of 2017, members of his affiliated party went right to work, along the way, members of Congress reading, discussing it, some even calling it “Obama care light” pushed their way through it all and came up with the American Health Care Act, but failed to do one crucial thing: Get a majority vote to implement it.  The idea died and the President was noted as stating, “The best thing that could have happened, did happen, watch and see….it (the ACA) will implode, the Democrats will have no choice then but to come to us and say, let’s get together” Although controversial, many Americans agree, we all need health care coverage especially in the wake of rising pharmaceutical and hospitalization costs and that at some point, the markets have to be controlled, whether those companies like it or not, even the wealthiest of Americans may in fact sink a majority of their money into a surgery, if and when needed, the only answer here is bipartisan ship, one that keeps the good things and either eliminates the bad ones or makes corrections that reduce the pains of the costs, Congress voting, another example of the balance of power, needed to be upheld, in this country.
            We will close this article with a couple of quick facts and then a look at the Russia scandal facing our nation.  First, Mr. Trump was not going to sign legislation that extended the operation of the Federal Government, unless money for his wall promise was inserted into the bill, then of course, he retracted that notion, once they explained to him “we don’t have that much to spend right now”, he signed the extension, but it only goes to November, keep our fingers crossed, things don’t go spinning away like a marble on a slanted table. Mr. Trump, said he would drain the swamp, in his cabinet, he has made history, he has hired more Goldman Sachs persons to be in his cabinet than any other president in history, mostly investors and yep, stock exchange people, no wonder the markets exploded, they saw opportunity to control the nation, sitting right next to the most powerful seat in the world, but again, we will save that for another article, our focus right now, is Russia and the important probe going on of whether or not that country, influenced or had direct collusion with our now, President Trump.
            As each week passed by, from the onset of Mr. Trump’s inauguration, more and more bizarre items began to emerge, including the President pseudo blocking the members of the press from a crucial meeting with a Russian Ambassador.  Well, turns out, they were not alone in that room, a few photo’s emerged, then it was learned that intelligence secrets were “shared” almost openly, suddenly, a few members of his cabinet, such as Mr. Flynn, get subpoenaed on what they know, his own son in law also looked at for information, an FBI Director fired, a former CIA person testifying that Trump’s campaign was on their radar for a while and now, members of the cabinet resigning as well as a host of questions surrounding all this conflict and the low resonance of Impeachment, beginning to come into question.  The president, of course, continues to move about the world, even shoving world leaders aside as though his presence was more important than anyone in the room.  His visit around his holiness, the Pope, well, a picture is worth a thousand words, if you haven’t seen it (and not the meme’s), take a look and watch a smile fade from one’s face the moment he makes eye contact.  Looking at all this chaos and seemingly free abuse of power, to answer the question of whether or not to impeach him and anyone else who hasn’t or doesn’t resign, is simply to look at what is required to consider it:
            In the United States of America, Impeachment proceedings begin in Legislative Branch and in essence equates to some criminal charges while in office, however, Congress has in the past considered prior to the office when deciding to impeach and only two presidents have been successfully impeached, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon does not count as he resigned his seat before impeachment came knocking; by the way, grounds for impeachment are: Treason, Bribery or ‘other high crimes and misdemeanors’.  The House of Representatives or more correctly any member therein, can bring about these charges at any time, in fact throughout history, several impeachment proceedings have came to light, though rarely fought vigorously, that is because the Senate has the final say so over the charges brought about, pretty much the House brings the charges and presents the evidence, the Senate oversees it much like a trial, where both sides can call witnesses to testify and along the in between, specific committees are set up for the particular type of charge/crime being presented.  If convicted in the Senate, the official is immediately discharged of their service and may also not be able to hold other offices or political posts.
            Now, since there are lots we know, highlights and tidbits of things going on, the question is, has this administration committed an act, that would mandate an Impeachment process?  Here is where it gets tricky, first, we must ask, has the House or any of its members presented this idea and if not, why not.  Trump admitted to firing director James Comey from the FBI as a result of the intensifying investigation going on into the extend of Russian involvement in the US Election or further.  Trump also tweeted, a rant about leaking recordings of conversations with a Federal Agent before he was fired.  Each person along the lines of the probe has either “excused” themselves or resigned or gets the Presidential version of “You’re Fired”.  Collusion with a known enemy of the United States is Treason, that aside, there is an obvious obstruction of justice charge in an ongoing investigation and yet, not a sound nor a word from the House about impeachment….yet.  As in any lawful investigation into a crime, evidence has to be gathered, which as this article is being typed, several persons have been asked to respond to the inquiry, along with piecing together other items and if enough evidence is presented, remember the in between special committees, well the probe is one of that type – anyway, once the evidence is gathered and enough concrete items come to pass, indeed, I am confident that someone in our House of Representatives will speak up, not for the people they represent, but for the very Constitution they took an oath to uphold, protect and ensure, from here, the only item remaining: Time, or more correctly, The necessary amount of time for our Democracy to show why we have a Balance of Power in place and never forget, when you grow weary of the same old ideas, and feel the need to shake things up, start first with Congress, those are the ones who represent you, instead of an unlimited ticket, give them term limits, take away their pensions, make them pay for the very same services we all do and yeah, they can keep the salary, so long as they work more than 10 months a year and if not, then let us all work to Balance that Power as well.
            One last thought before I close, Presidents are not the only ones that have been looked at for Impeachment, that list includes: July 7, 1797: William Blount, US Senator; March 12, 1804: Samuel Chase, US Supreme Court Associate Justice; March 2, 1876: William W. Belknap; US Secretary of War.
            The Constitution for the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States of America. It was completed on September 17, 1787, with its adoption by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was later ratified by special conventions in each state. It created a federal union of sovereign states, and a federal government to operate that union. It replaced the less defined union that had existed under the Articles of Confederation. It took effect on March 4, 1789 and has served as a model for the constitutions of numerous other nations. The Constitution of the United States of America is the oldest written national constitution in use.  
           

3.08.2017

The Gong ~ Addiction and the sound it makes.

            ‘The times they are a changing’ and this author agrees whole heartedly.  Thanks in part to developments in just about every industry, things are indeed changing.  While the many changes we see are positive or have good effects, with them has come a new era of problems and addictions.  In my own community drugs like Heroin and Methamphetamine are nearing “serious problematic” levels and infiltrating our children’s schools and our communities. Addictions are not always slated to be chemical; they can be organic or even artificial and not as clear in their ill side effects as the ones we all know, such as drinking and driving or gambling.  I was sitting in my home, observing some of the things that teenagers do (my children’s circle of friends) and instead of turning up the TV to drown out teen chatter, I decided to listen and as I did, aside from the thousands of memories of my own that came flooding back, something came to mind that I shared with my children, saying specifically this, “Every addict has a gong inside them that only they can hear.” This being said in reference to some of the things I overheard about what was happening to others they know or friends they haven’t seen in a few years and had developed, including teen pregnancy or what I call babies having babies. This article will expand on those types of gongs, their potential effects and hopefully will bring about some conversations that lead to healing our poisoned minds and bodies.
THE BASICS
            Merriam-Webster defines addiction as a compulsive need for and use of a habit forming substance (such as drugs or alcohols) characterized by tolerance and well defined symptoms upon withdrawal or more broadly: a persistent compulsive use of something by a user known to be harmful or cause harm to that user.  We are all familiar with the traits of drug and alcohol abuse, the behaviors, the broken families, the in depth reach the abuse has to not just the abuser, but friends and families as well, if not, you can watch less than a week’s worth of Dr. Phil or any sensationalized talk show and see it firsthand (if you aren’t already living with someone in that kind of trouble).  Let’s toss out the addiction to drugs or alcohol for a moment and look at the more broad definition of addiction, the persistent compulsive use of something known to be harmful to the person - if we apply this to say the video game addict, that person would likely think us nuts if we said, “Hey, we have a treatment facility for addicts like you, would you put down the controller and give it a shot?” or what about the social media addict, “Stop Tweeting, you’re hurting your family and we can help you to overcome that”.  Crazy? Perhaps, but nonetheless true and a part of our society today.
            To understand what may motivate this style of thought, we need also to look at the root word; Addict.  By definition (MW Defining again) to devote or surrender oneself to something habitually or obsessively.  Within the two defined realms, lies a common core, the habit or more perfectly a habit that can be or is harmful.  Harmful meaning - one of a few things, not just physical harm; perhaps mental, emotional, and psychological – the list of possibilities is lengthy.  For example, the person who spends most of their day on a computer or playing their video game consoles may become resistant to change when told “get up, get a job”, expressing anger, disgust, protest and other items, it is because their habit (one that like all others develops over a set period of time) is being disrupted and they are in fact in some way “addicted” to that behavior, the harmful effect being no motivation to become productive, upstanding citizens (yes parents, I can see a few head nods in agreement).  Another example could be the person who tweets everything, news, food, personal thoughts, all of it, each day they just can’t seem to break away from their phones including when they eat or are just sitting outside, the device might as well have an implant on their hip and lord help them if their candy ever gets crushed the wrong way, the saving grace against a rage quit is a shattered phone is costly vs. a game controller.  If we were to ask them to go without it for a couple of days, they may just turn pale, sweat or breathe heavily and protest or may even say sure but 2 hours later come knocking on your door pleading for the devices return, admit it, you know someone like this.  This habit / addiction is harmful, it robs the user of real interaction, of real emotions, let’s face it, if we could hear tone through text like the audible sounds we hear in conversation, there may be a whole lot less anger on the web. 
            In short in our opening basic look, addict and addiction share common threads and regardless of whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or electronics, addictions can come in a variety of challenges and while treatments are necessary and difficult for the drug or alcohol addict, how much more is it for the non substance addict.  As I mentioned earlier in this article, I said every addict has a gong inside them that only they can hear and when it rings out, the harmful behavior either overtakes their minds or their bodies or causes them to act or think irrationally and they just cannot help themselves, until they become strong enough to block it out or ignore its calling.  I will use a real life example for our first gong example, I am a tobacco user, I have been for a few years, when I first started, I was told, the habit will get harder to break, the longer you go – they are correct.  My gongs: Wake up to drink coffee have a “wake up smoke”, eat breakfast, “have a meal smoke”, go to work, have a “cig for the ride, smoke” and so on and so on, each time the gong to go smoke rang, I answered the call with no second thought, the habit now had developed a way of telling me, “it’s time to go take care of this”, this gong is always around, so, now that I am enrolled in a cessation program, I am hearing this gong even when I don’t necessarily wish it to be, the habit’s gong hasn’t forgotten me or its own wants.  Another example: You just had a bad day and learned you owe some money to the IRS, get upset, the brain grabs the mallet and “bwang! You need a smoke” to which the common phrase is, “I need a smoke break” or “I’m going to go smoke a cig and do some thinking, I will be right back” the gong is real and applies to every addict and addiction out there.
THE GONGS OF ADDICTIONS
            Addictions are sometimes characterized by compulsion or compulsive behavior but they can also be psychological or medically necessary (prescribed).  Among the many substance addictions, there are a few you may not know about, that are a part of modern medicine, in other words, what was created for a treatment became or is becoming something that creates or causes addiction, a partial list is as follows: Actiq (A cancer drug used for pain not relieved by other normal treatment medicines); Butalbital (A barbiturate which reduces anxiety and is mostly prescribed to treat tension headaches); Clonazepam (AKA Klonopin, A drug used to control seizures or to help with panic attacks, withdrawal symptoms are somewhat similar to Meth or Heroin, including shakiness, vomiting and sweating); The gongs are loud in these three items, each as helpful as they are harmful, for the patient a blessing, for the abuser, hell on wheels.  Each designed to help with the pains or problems in life such as drug addiction, alcohol abuse, the effects of carcinogenic components and help with uncontrolled anxiety, each “out there” in the black markets and neighborhoods where our children play and friends we know live and work, each answering the calls of the thousands of gongs ringing out for the euphoric high or escape they can bring.
            Some gongs simply cannot be helped, these are known as impulse disorders, the gong sounds and anytime the answerer has an opportunity to satisfy the calling, they will or do, some by any means necessary.  Among these types of gongs are gambling, pyromania and kleptomania.  I have never met someone who had an uncontrolled impulse to burn things, but I have known many who will spend their last dime on a “sure bet” rather than eat, and have known a few whom stole half their wardrobe by simple sleight of hand; again, a harmful effect as a result of answering the call of the gong within, including destroying relationships, jobs and a self destruction that may bring about feelings of hopelessness or helplessness.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to them, point them in the direction of help, and let them know they don’t have to answer the call every time it rings out.  Remember, addictions do not have to be chemical or substance abuse, they can be behavioral and may include what we would call “everyday items”. Things like being addicted to food, sex, pornography viewing, the internet, social media, working, exercising, cutting oneself and yes, even spiritual addiction (not religious devotion).  Let’s look back a moment, to the broader definition of addiction, we can see that it applies to nearly everything we as a human race can potentially be or are addicted to, the difference is we see some of these as “not as harmful” and tend to miscatergorize them or make fun of the people who have those addictions, to the point that we don’t give the addictions or their grip the credit or power they deserve.   To this point, we have seen many examples of the result, of the gong’s control and callings that addicts and addiction know all too well, but I have yet to explain the gong itself, although I am sure you may have an idea by now of what it implies.
            The “Gong” Signs: 1 – Someone you know is struggling mentally or physically with the behavior or item that has them in their grips as a result of not being able to stop (without help). 2 – Relationships, whether or not intimate, suffer as the person who is wrestling with the problem they have, allows it to grow out of control; sometimes this spills over into their job environment, they may seem down or not themselves and work becomes taxing or toxic.  3 – The person’s total environment breaks down due to consequences not seen by the initial addictions grip (example, time spent focusing on addiction robs from quality time in other areas) and results in extreme behaviors, items like “you’ve stopped spending time with me” or “why haven’t you been around” become a conversation.  4 – Regardless of how harsh the punishment or stiff the consequences, the person refuses to stop, they refuse to listen to reason and insist what they are doing is okay or without worry (they are willing to lose their home, jobs, etc to get what they want, a big part of # 3’s side effects, this includes a lack of interest in relationships or a willingness to lose the person they love as they are just “getting in the way”).
             The Gong’s sounds: “You’re only 1 level away from beating the game”; A focus on a digitized environment that robs the person from work, they may or may not be motivated and usually can be found at home nearly all the time, resistive to chores or anything social other than a headset and a bag of chips; “You’ve got mail”; Notification or personalization audio specific to a function or result of digitized applications or internet item, which causes the addict to check every time they hear it or worse, place on social media every inch of what they read or do including making sure they haven’t missed a moment, even if that moment is literally one minute apart; “I’ve had a bad day, I need a fix”, Depression, Anxiety or Stress that leads the person to seek out the euphoric escape of a high in the form of alcohol, drugs or other “outlets” some would say, “Comfortably Numb”; “Come on, everyone’s doing it” or “You need to chill out, try this” Peer pressures or wanted acceptance that leads to behaviors you wouldn’t normally do; such as smoke some marijuana or take a feel good pill just to fit in or “be cool”; “If I don’t have it, I will get sick” A heroine or methamphetamine user’s nightmare, to combat the body’s physical withdrawal, they ‘must’ have it, their minds and bodies convince the abuser that there is no other way to overcome the effects, which bring new ones themselves such as depression from not being able to resist it or actually stealing money from friends/family to gain the fix they seek out (see article Heroin or Hell).  These are only partial examples of the many sounds the gong makes, but each time it sounds, the addict, regardless of substance or outlet used, once hooked answers it without a second thought and usually doesn’t realize the mallet used to strike the gong, is in their hands to put down.  I’ve seen relationships destroyed by text, I’ve seen addicts think they are immortal until they overdose, I’ve seen thieves think they couldn’t be caught and wind up embarrassed at their job sites by arrest and I’ve lived the gong’s call on multiple levels, including: you need a smoke, you need a drink, with help I have overcame alcohol by a 25 year sobriety, tobacco, well it will take some time.  Will the road be difficult, yes, will the road have moments of temptation, yes, will that gong sound, yes but in order for me to not answer it, I have to learn to recognize when it calls that I don’t have to beckon to its needs or wants and if I cannot do it alone, realize there is help available (such as the cessation program I am currently enrolled in).  If you are addicted to anything that brings harm to yourself or others around you, go get help and overcome the grip it has before your mind customizes the sounds of the gong you carry within and never forget, the addiction doesn’t have to be alcohol, drugs or substance, it can be something as “simple” as your smart phone.  Don’t Text and Drive, Be alert, arrive unhurt.  Thank you for reading, good day to you all. ~ Scott~
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READINGS

1.20.2017

We the People – Examination and Opinion

            Many persons, who will read the title of this article, will probably realize those words are from a document known as the Constitution of the United States of America, but what do those words imply, are they to be taken literally or is there something more?  In the presidential election, we the people, by majority of electorate vote, decided in a new and untouched direction, one that is leaving many trails of disbelief and wonderment as to what will ‘become’ of our USA and what should we do about it.  In this article, I hope to expand some critical thinking skills and maybe take a look at a perspective that may or may not get us talking, instead of fighting, hating, being afraid or perhaps nervously awaiting dooms day, I have plenty of extra truth glasses to go around, I ask only for a few moments of your time in your busy day, to stop and talk.
            We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
            The above in italics and bold, is the preamble to our Constitution; consider it like an opening statement in a court of law, it openly identifies goals and sets the stage for arguments in support of it’s worth, while allowing room for ‘proof positive’ that these things are true to the best of one’s knowledge and / or ability.  The first 7 words, address the interested parties (that’s us now as much as it was us, when it was written), the next 8 identify the goal and then followed by a how to and what we should at a minimum feel or know beyond the shadow of a doubt, what is to come from the aforementioned statements and then ratify it by establishing the document and of course, the rest is our rights, liberties, powers of branches of government, how they get to where they are, requirements and on and on.  The document known as our Constitution is very important, and it is important because of the opening words, We the People.
            As we grow up and gain our elementary knowledge’s about America, we learn about the many battles fought in the name of freedom and liberty, we know of the atrocities of global threats and what mad men (or women) can do in positions of power, we’ve seen the most corrupt ignored by a justice system and the least able criminal get decades for ignorance - and in all of it, we look to a figure head, an entity that only catches our attention when we turn on the evening news seeking out answers or proposed solutions to the problems that plague society.  Where are we the people at before these items become news or we seek out our leadership to change things, other than watching it unfold before our eyes and spewing out opinions across social media outlets, hoping it will make a change,  in fact it doesn’t. We are glued to our media outlets (like our phones, tablets, laptops and so on), glued as though we either cannot wait for the next horrifying item or hoping to make a comment against the ‘man’- so as a start, to our knowledge journey, we can safely say that “We the People” includes you, regardless of where you are in the United States of America, past, present and future.
            In the earliest of times in our country’s birth, there is little doubt there was debates about how best to grow and prosper.  Those leaders knew that the current system and the one they fought so hard to get away from were in dire need of work, which brings us to the next part of the pre-amble, “In order to form a more perfect union”.  A definitive goal, simply make it better than it was while building for a better tomorrow and yes - the signee’s of that document knew full well what was ahead and I am sure never dreamed of the future USA, which is currently suffering a few woes.  If we look around today, about half of the country thinks nope, things are worsening and the hope now lies upon the next President, Mr. Trump, to fix what is wrong.  The other half is nervously waiting to see what disasters will unfold and hurt their pocket books or their rights.  Not too much of a difference in worries from 200 plus years ago, just more modern thought, don’t forget the only wireless our colonial ancestors had was carrier pigeon.  All joking aside, the USA then: paying off war debts, set up financial system, create opportunities, protect the public, govern the people who elected you to do these things, make trades that help the land, don’t charge too much in tax to help pay for it – you get the picture.  In the time span in between then and now, much has changed; we have overcome obstacles of education, immunization, health, industry, housing, automobiles and more – women’s rights, desegregation, naturalization plus the enforcing the basics that were established 200 plus years ago.  All these things are markers of a nation that as it grows and works to form that more perfect union, includes the mistakes of judgments and guess who is ever present in this task, that’s right, “We the People”.
            Moving forward, we look at the next set of words: “Establish Justice” sounds simple enough; someone does something wrong, they get punished for it, but what exactly is the correct punishment for the particular crime committed and shouldn’t it be equally applied?  Rolling back the clock, we can all imagine the vast array of punishments available, such as: Stockade, Jail, and Hanging, Firing Squads - compared to now: Elaborate Prison systems, Electric Chairs, Gas Chambers, and Lethal Injections, Life sentences and in some parts depending on crime, Hangings and waiting on death row for several decades at the taxpayers’ expense.  What one person sees as ‘justice’ another may see as cruel and unnecessary, they are after all still human and have certain rights, even while incarcerated as is guaranteed by our Constitution, but don’t tell that to certain persons, they see criminals as criminals regardless of background, it’s like being branded “you messed up” the rest of your life and no matter how much “scar away” you apply, the blemish never goes away.  Along the way, in certain events, the accused gets to have a jury of their peers to listen to the accuser’s side and ‘their’ side, this while being presided over by a judge in a nice building…compared to perhaps waiting for weeks just to have a justice of the peace who covers a very large region, come by and decide based on what a sheriff or marshal has to say, which is based on what they saw or were told, yeah, that was fair.  To establish justice means working on making it better every chance we get so that equal levels of crime get equal punishments or at least we hope it will work that way, sounds good in theory, but doesn’t work well in practice, our present day is littered in crime and punishments that are far from equal and full of speculation that incites riots from the public, wonder what Benjamin Franklin would think of us now, compared to those persons of the past.
            Take for example a set of terms placed upon our nation at a young age, “The great American melting pot”, which symbolizes our open doors to the many nations who have people that long to live and have liberties that make their basic rights to live – while living here free...as in freedoms, though these days, the citizen think free applies to those who aren’t worthy of help, little do they understand that our country was founded upon helping and has been ingrained in our soils starting on day 1.  Since those doors were opened, we have had attackers from all sorts of backgrounds. Spanish American war, World Wars I and II just to name a couple, we have even fought against ourselves in a “Civil” war, there have been emancipations, laws passed, standards set to reach out, help out and grow, but now we reject those same people and more for fear of them either “stealing our jobs” or having a desire to kill every last one of us in the name of martyrdom and sacrificing to their God let alone the mass shootings or killings taking place in areas all over the world.  Look at the debate about who should own what gun or why, while we bicker about who is not going to take our assault line of rifles, because our military isn’t enough to defend us we got to have guns at home that were used by the military or are still in use; are we ignoring the person with other ideas about those mass killings, who may have the right also to use it, but that means background checks, but no one wants that, do they, nor laws to be written to make the punishments equal the crime level for using those same guns shooting up a movie theater or worse, a school.  Establishing Justice, it takes work, it takes thought, it takes “we the people” over a long period of time, perfecting their mistakes and working to improve the system and indeed, includes forming a more perfect union by adapting to changing technologies and generations. Our justice system isn’t the best, nor is it the worst, but it does belong to all of us.
            If we take a good look at our USA as a whole, we got issues that need addressing besides the crumbling roadways and energy woes we combat now, we have violence, racial divide, barbarianism, shootings, drug wars while trying to legalize a select few, teenagers getting pregnant, a surge in alcoholism and more – in short, goodbye moral compass. Insuring domestic tranquility should have something to say about that, or is this wishful thinking in a nation now that seems so plagued by so many items.  How does one insure our domestic tranquility, isn’t that more usefully translated to “calm in our homeland”.  By definition, tranquility means the quality or state of being tranquil or calm.  This statement in our preamble opens our minds eye to a bunch of questions and more importantly, different views on what calm means to each person. To our founding leaders, keeping the calm I am sure meant insuring that no British influence would be around shooting at them, or perhaps that homes would be built for everyone who chose to live there at the time, perhaps food or a stable economy, in reality all they had was a piece of paper, the goods they either brought or created and for the most part, relied upon each other.  In a sense, the domestic tranquility was entirely up to the very people living in those areas and had someone to turn to when stuff got out of hand or serious questions that would arise, I think they call that a police force and court system, but I could be wrong all I know is those judges then wore some pretty fancy wigs.
            Suppose we apply some modern hopes now to that insuring domestic tranquility, do we need a department of homeland security, a cabinet for families and children or court system for paternity cases? I shudder to think where our country would be if instead of arrest and conviction, we just said, “eh, it’s gonna be okay, they’re just going through a phase” and let them run the streets, or perhaps build a prison state like escape from New York (The movie) and anyone accused was sent there with a good luck charm in hand. What domestic tranquility means to each of us, I just want to live my life in peace, get married, perhaps have a child, a nice home and car, a good cell phone, nice hair, great clothes…or should it be, live and let live. We should never forget this: “I am my brother’s keeper”; the problem here, we see the dealer, we see the crime, we know the person is doing wrong but we shelter them, hide evidence, we turn our head and refuse to get involved or become enablers to their extremities all while secretly praying they stop; Once again, we the people are in full control of that scenario and not this alone as ridiculous an example as it may seem, domestic tranquility rests on our shoulders and the sooner we speak up, the better our environment will become for our children, our families, our friends and ourselves.  This applies as much to domestic tranquility as it does providing for the common defense, an army of people, assigned to defend our land against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to secure the peace is to prepare for war and without the brave lives of those who are serving, have served, will serve “we the people” would be nothing but a pipe dream and knowing our enemies when they arrive are all about killing us, so domestic tranquility and a good defense, are somewhat married, one needs the other to work and yes, you do have the right to have arms in your home, our ancestors did and they did use them on one another, a big old war as I recall, but I also know there are no “gun police” that are going to come to my door and take them, again, it’s in our Constitution, the very document written by (you guessed it) we the people and ultimately we have the final say so on a lot of things, so, no worries about what you can buy, be more worried about what is being done to stop our home grown and abroad enemies from buying them as well, provide for your common defense.
            Did our founders want the citizens and settlers to succeed in this new country?  We can be relatively certain they did, as in the opening statement, they happened to include promoting the general welfare.  I wonder how many log homes were built with just one man’s hands, or how many horse and buggy breakdowns happened where tom couldn’t ask if harry for an extra cog or pin. Then we got to work, we improved the design, figured out the wrongs and made things better, we worked as a country, making friends out of strangers and establishing building blocks for a better day. Who remembers their parents saying “Go to the neighbor’s house and see if we can borrow a cup of milk or a few eggs” and usually was given out no problems or calling the police when we saw something not quite right happening at the neighbor’s house and then following up by calling them and checking on them, I think it was called being “neighborly” I will have to check my historical references.  Isn’t that promoting the general welfare and if so, why aren’t we trying to do more of it today, like, now?  In my own eyes, promoting the general welfare means reaching out and helping someone when we can, replace a flat tire, recommend a mechanic, load a truck or just asking if they need a ride to get a can of gas for their car, or if that isn’t your flavor, how about holding the door open for someone or simply buying that homeless person a cup of coffee.  In the days we live in now, in some regions and cities, if you are wearing the wrong clothes, could get you mugged or seriously injured, giving a lift could get you killed but yet we trust in an Uber driver, and rely on an internet driven company to insure they have hired the right people. We have police officers who use lethal force for fear of their own lives, while we have officers dying who happen to be sitting in their cars, because the community thugs hate them, they are cops who take their friends to jail and hate the color of their skin, and on and on and on, it is flooding our screens, our phones and our lives, raising questions (and hands in the air) and plaguing a nation full of despair and chaos mostly created by those who turn their heads or refuse to get involved, which is causing us to marvel at the hero’s who risk their lives to save someone they don’t know, we think and say, “I’d have done the same thing if it were me” or do we…we the people are not who we think we are, or so it is becoming a possibility, if not, then why do we have armed persons in our schools and metal detectors in our movie theaters.  We are growing, not just in people, but in ideas, possibilities and over the vast number of years of existence, we have figured out that we need clean water, air and we need vaccinations against disease, we need a police force that keeps the bad guys off the streets while establishing good ties to their communities, but we expect it to be done in an instant, we expect a certain behavior from the bad guys and the good guys…is this a movie or our USA; no, it’s we the people, not accepting responsibility for ourselves, not holding ourselves accountable which in turn would hold others to the same level of reasoning, maybe we should give paying it forward a try, who knows how far it could go.
            Wouldn’t it be easy to say, well what is happening now isn’t near what our founding fathers had in mind, it was a different time, they couldn’t have a clue as to what was to come.  Who knew that the right to bear arms, freedom of the press or the shrouds hovering over an election would be in the spotlight it is now and be under such close scrutiny, who would have expected an African American would be President or that a woman would have the same chance.  Our founding leaders did indeed have us in mind; we can see it clearly by simply examining the final look at our preamble (introduction) of our Constitution: “and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity”.  Posterity, by definition: All future generations. What Liberty is, much like an earlier example, is defined by the individual, but prescribed by our Constitution and upheld by “We the People”, whether it’s: the positive enjoyment of social, political or economic rights and privileges or the freedom from arbitrary or despotic control or from restraint or just the state of being free, we the people have created it, accepted it, worked to keep it safe, changed it and used it to form a more perfect union, free from oppression, created to allow us to help each other learn and grow while defending our families and communities, in short doing our best to each live their own versions of the American dream or even perhaps the world’s dream.  Free to worship God in whatever form we see fit, Free to speak our minds about the rights and wrongs in our country, Free to have the press report on the news of what is happening and be held highly accountable in their accuracies, Free to go hunting, fishing and enjoy the fruits of our lands, Free to choose who leads us in our overall well being in the status quo of the world while trusting that in the event someone wishes to bring us harm, that we the people will defend our land and Free to secure a future for our children, which includes all the same essential items everyone should have, water, clean air, less destruction of our planet’s resources and more replenishing of what we are taking for granted daily.
            In conclusion, looking only at the preamble to our Constitution, millions of lives over a couple of hundred years helped to shape the country we call the USA.  The founding fathers choices were not so much unlike that of our own now, with many of the same hopes and fears taking part in growth.  People, naturally fear change, but not just any change, the kind of change that promotes growth and personal adaptation.  Now, we can admit, we like the idea of having our health costs covered so that we can live fuller richer lives, we can also admit that we want security from groups of persons who wish to try and kill us and many of us were elated to learn that Osama Bin Laden was finally brought to justice, we are relentless in our established justice system when it comes to the bad guys. We want to know our kids will be safe, twice in two weeks two 15 year old kids were gunned down my own communities.  We want better pay, lower taxes all of the things that we all know, will keep America the greatest nation on Earth, a nation for the people, the American Dream, written and bound in our hearts, our minds and our founding Constitution.  Looking at our world, what we should do now, to move forward is easy, we should insure our tranquility, try our best to live in peace here on our homeland with one another, we should go after our enemies with renewed courage, we should reach out to help when we can, we should be, the shining nation we have always been, one that reflects, “We the People”.  Before I ask you to reflect on the things you have read in the article above, I want to state that it is okay to disagree with my perceptions, opinions or stated reasoning, I uphold your right to do so, and encourage feedback, not just on this article but in your own communities, look around and see what good you can do; that is truly what will make America great again, investment in ourselves, perhaps President Trump is on to something, by causing us to focus on ourselves, ultimately the people are the reason America IS great, as stated in the opening of our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


           

            

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