What is This Blog All About?

Yes, that dirty little word "Liberal". We take a Progressive stance on the political atmosphere of the United States and that of the International Community. But, for all you Conservatives out there, tell us what you think. If you have a position on an issue this is a place where all political views can be addressed without fear of retribution. While our post are politically Liberal, your comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Gay Marriage New York

I have been talking about this topic for so long I don't even know what else to say. Why isn't California following in New Yorks footsteps. Making laws that take rights away from people is not only morally wrong, but unconstitutional and making laws based on person feelings is also risky. I strongly believe that we need to start being sensitive to those who are different and have differing views on life. People have the right to choose and that also includes life partners. Gay people should be allowed to marry, period.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prophecy Fulfilled

I just wanted to point out that I was correct with regards to Congresswoman Giffords. There was a recent blurp about her in the news regarding her husband going into space, but other than that we hear nothing of her recovery. Additionally, we are back to where we were before, no security for our lawmakers. I didn't really believe that it was necessary for Congressman to have bodyguards, but it does make me sad that we quickly move on to the next big thing...Casey Anthony, not guilty.

Upcoming Elections

Something that has been on my mind for some time now has been with respect to the upcoming Presidential elections. What really has me thinking is the lack of a clear Republican front runner. I personally have ever intention of voting for Obama.

1. He is not a Republican
2. He has a better chance of winning
3. I want my vote to count, and as I will have only 2 choices, the answer is an obvious one.

I had the privilege of living in Boston, Ma for a year, it happens to be my favorite city. Mit Romney happened to be leaving office at the time, but something he will always be remembered for is signing into law the bill that allowed all residents of Massachusetts to get affordable health insurance. But for some reason he refuses to really take any credit for basically instituting a state run form of healthcare. People still have choice in cost and kind of insurance, but in all reality it is universal healthcare. I can't possible stand by someone who doesn't stand by their own recent past.

Michele Buchmann is just a no brainer to me. She has made several incorrect statements to the press, making her a liability as a future President. It is also my understanding that her chances are slim as never has a Congress person become President due to voters. If we though President Obama was inexperienced, Michele Buchmann is an infant. I don't think the international community would take her seriously.

Herman Cain, a business man with no political experience, is also someone I wouldn't vote for. Besides the fact that he has no international relations experience, government is not a business and should not be run as if it were. Its a non profit for a reason. I think he would be better served to run for a Governor first, but we all know how that went down in California, as Meg Whitman lost that race based on a similar platform as Mr. Cain.

Need I continue with the other options?

What do you think? Do you believe Obama has done a good job? Is he making progress? Is he the best option?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Implications of Congresswoman's Attempted Assassination

The assassination attempt of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords does bring to light the lack of security surrounding local officials and the simplicity in getting close to those individuals. As Arizona politics has been at the forefront of immigration reform, I have been staying abreast to many Arizona political issues. In the past, most people actually did not know their representative, districts being so confusing and many young people not taking an interest in local government.

It is my belief that since the end of the Bush administration, the political climate has been heating up and many people of all ages have been getting more involved in politics, as can be seen in the recent election. With the economic down turn and only a slight glean of light at the end of the job tunnel, people have become angry and fed up with US political dysfunction. Republican and Democrats alike, people from both sides are upset and fed up with how government is functioning. After seeing what appears to be an attempted assassination of Rep. Giffords, I have begun to contemplate the direction our fellow countrymen are moving. There seems to be so much anger and animosity throughout the world, so much hostility, you can hardly argue this one young angry man is a complete anomaly.

In other articles I've written, I have pointed out all the policy changes and the political environment of the United States, but I honestly didn't see this kind of malice on my US anger radar. How angry must our citizen neighbors must feel that they believe killing a person would resolve their frustrations. Have things become so unsettling in the United States that people have succumbed to death threats and attempted murder to fix their or the US problems?

During a constituent meeting, Rep. Giffords and several other individuals, including an Aide, were shot by Jared Lee Loughner. Most often we think assassination attempts happen to Presidents, people who seem the most powerful, larger than life. One representative is only a small part of a large body of power. She is but one person out of 435. Her voice is actually rather small in the grand scheme of things.

It is no surprise that fellow classmates and old friends are stating that Jared Lee Loughner is mentally disturbed. It seems the most common method of discerning this type of behavior, to find a reason why this horrible things would happen. But ultimately, he is not the first or last people to show extreme amounts of anger towards political figures.

President Lincoln used to invite people to the presidents mansion, he would speak to constituents without Secret Service guarding him. Now Presidents have to speak to large groups, never one on one, and most importantly, not without the watchful eye of the Secret Service. Had President Lincoln not been shot and killed, Presidents would be using the President in the fashion we have come to know.

Individual cities have stepped up security for many local representatives conducting open meetings. Obviously, it is not possible to completely cut off from the public, but many representatives are concerned for their safety, as they should. I fear though that little will change from this tragedy. Has anything in Washington really changed? Are Representatives and Senators working together to make real changes or are they just making a show of change?

Call me a skeptic, but I believe nothing will really change in Washington, and in a month or two this horrible tragedy will be pushed to the side and politics will continue on as usual. It is the job of the citizens, of us, to keep our politician honest, to make sure politicians do not forget this horror. Only by learning from this can real change come about, by learning from it and not forgetting it happened. Only then can we ensure real change in Washington. Because the reality is, American people are unhappy and angry, not just the unstable Americans, but the "Joe Plumber's" of the country. Ultimately, the American people deserve a government that takes them seriously and works together to get the economy and jobs back on track. Only then can that glean of light at the end of the tunnel become a bright light of reality that we all hope for and deserve. Then we will know for certain that Rep. Giffords' will not be forgotten. Otherwise we are in for a lot more of the same.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Congresswoman Shot

I don't know much about this Arizona Congresswoman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, but I am really shocked at where our country is going. I know I have talked about all the policy changes and the political environment, but I honestly didn't see this kind of malice.

Most often we think about assassination attempts on Presidents, people who seem powerful, larger than life. One representative is only a small part of a large body of power. She is but one person out of 435. Her voice is actually rather small in the grand scheme of things.

President Lincoln used to invite people to the presidents mansion, he would speak to constituents without Secret Service man guarding him. Now Presidents have to speak to large groups, never one on one, and most importantly, not without the watchful eye of the Secret Service.

Will our local lawmakers now also need body guards to protect them from those they speak for?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Department of Education

When you think of the federal Department of Education what comes to mind? Primary and Secondary school regulations, the George Bush No Child Left Behind Act (that left all children behind), or higher education, such as college or university? It would be to the detriment of the US education system if the federal Department of Education was dismantled. The reality is, the DOE is an all encompassing organization of sorts that deals with all elements of education. This is vital to the US education system because it can more effectively offer equal opportunities to all education systems while at least attempting to maintain equal distribution of education funds to those in need. It is incredibly important to note that some states are obviously more wealthy than others, they would not have the abilities to maintain themselves without some federal government aid. To expect equal education distribution among students, it is equally important to maintain equal facilities. Obviously, some schools still have low graduation rates because the facilities are poor, but that is only another reason why state management is not enough to help run schools, as most schools are funded by property taxes in the area.

While many of us focus on the failure of the No Child Left Behind Act of the Bush Administration, many don't realize the potential this law had at actually assisting under performing schools around the US. The lack of follow through with respect to this law cannot only be attributed to the Department of Education. Lack of funding by Congress was the real reason nothing beneficial came from this program other than test scores. While the program is not perfect, forcing all students to take a written exam to determine their knowledge of the proceeding year, it has been one of the only programs that forces schools to be accountable to the students that don't score as high as others. These are the students that usually get lost in the shuffle. In theory, it has been the only federally mandated program to force schools to focus on all children, not just the top performing students. Obviously, without funding, it was a flop. But, as voters we can make that change.

Additionally, the Federal Department of Education offers many opportunities financially, to college bound students that some states just don't offer. To dismantle this department would then do away with hundreds of thousands of young American adults that are attending institutions of higher education that they normally would not be able to afford, be it City College, Community College, or University. Some states just do not have the resources to offer these kinds of programs to college bound students. Certainly, Nebraska does not have the financial capabilities as California in offering student aid, and students should not be penalized for that states smaller budget just because of where they live geographically.

The Department of Education is a tool that the United States uses to manage the education system within all 50 states, in order to determine they are functioning at an equal level. If they are not, DOE has the capability of assisting those schools financially. To do away with a program, that frankly receives less than 5% of the US budget is unnecessary and unfair to those that utilize its programs. DOE is far more than a regulatory agency, but also an agent of obtaining higher education. To dismantle that would be to do away with the small opportunity many of these people have at obtaining a degree in order to make their life better. It does far more than any state may be able to achieve.

Should Smoking be Allowed in Public?

Have you ever gone for a run outside and found yourself surrounded by a waft of smoke? Your lungs are already working hard, your heart rate is elevated and all of a sudden, on a big deep breath you inhale black smoke from someone in front of you. That's it, your run is finished, you can't breath and you've lost momentum.

This happens to me all the time at my favorite running spot, West Cliff in Santa Cruz, Ca. Not that I am the worlds best runner, but I'm trying. I, like millions of Americans, have asthma. Running is hard enough as it is, but with asthma, my chest constricts more heavily and I rely on my inhaler to get me through a long run. West Cliff is one of those places that is just beautiful. On the Pacific Ocean, the wind blowing, the air quality for someone like me is perfect on West Cliff.

Unfortunately, during the tourist season West Cliff is overrun by out of towners. It's impossible to run without breathing in cigarette smoke. Now, maybe you're thinking, this is an outdoor area, open by the ocean for heavens sakes. The reality is, West Cliff is one of those public places where people specifically go to exercise. People walk their pets, they walk with friends, they ride their bikes, or watch the amazing surfing in the waters below. This area is known as an area where people go to work out and enjoy the outside. Smoking and exercise do not mix. And its rude when people go there knowing that people go there to workout. In fact, Santa Cruz, Ca created a law banning smoking in this area. Although, without police enforcing this law, like many others, this law is useless.

That is one example of why smoking should be banned in public places. Another example is when food is concerned. Just because of smoker can't test, doesn't mean we all should suffer from this ailment. Breathing in sticky, suffocating cigarette smoke is not my idea of an enjoyable dining experience. I would hazard a guess that even a smoker would agree it's not a great experience to eat while breathing in someone else cigarette smoke. Food and cigarette smoke don't mix either.

Besides the rude factor, we are all aware of the health affects of cigarettes. In the state of California it is illegal to smoke in your car if you have children in the car, even if they are your own children. It's child endangerment. This law came about because of the health affects that children have been exposed to. If a smoker chooses to smoke and kill themselves, do so privately. I think it is official. If a smoker wants a smoke do so in a manner that doesn't affect those around you. Smoking is a personal choice and therefore you have to deal with the consequences of smoking around people that don't like cigarettes. If you want a quick fix do so in private, in a manner that doesn't inflict pain to those around you.

Learn more about this author, Amy Rebeiro.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Islam and Terrorism

Differentiating between Islam and Terrorism

Is the religion of Islam a faith of terror, or does this religion give people who are by nature more prone to violence an excuse to impart their terrorist vengeance upon those around them? Due to past and recent events in history individuals find themselves thinking about the connection between terrorism and the religion of Islam. There are debates surrounding the faith itself. More notably, scholars are currently debating the definition of the term Jihad, which appears numerous times in the Quran.

The notion of terror is not new. Throughout history, universities have studied the use of terror during war and by world leaders. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Lenin are all examples of world leaders that have inflicted terror upon their people and upon other nation states. Interestingly enough, both Lenin and Stalin argued for the destruction of religion, advocating for a state free of faith and God. As a fundamental aspect of Communism, both leaders believed in the abolition of religion. Another use of terror can be evaluated by studying Hitler and Mussolini. Both advocated for a world free of Jews, believing Jews were to blame for the weakened economy and world depression. All these leaders used terror tactics in creating and maintaining their power, while arguing that terror was in the benefit of it's people and country.

Another example of historical terror, Christians used terror during the Crusades. Christians argued their God was the right God, and by not accepting their perspective of God, all those not willing to accept Jesus into their heart must die, an after life spend in eternal damnation. Terror has been a tool of war for thousands of years, faith only being a means to impart that terror.

With respect to Al Qaeda, it is true that Osama Bin Laden has declared Jihad against the United States. Jihad is defined as a struggle or by some a holy war, but many Muslims have argued the Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden have perverted the text of the Quran to justify their actions. Many Muslims have argued that the term jihad is not a justification for a fighting war as we know in the 21st Century, but more an internal struggle or war that many must go through to accept their faith into their heart, in other words, a war of faith. It is a struggle that Muslims must go through in understanding their faith.

Muslim scholars say that Osama Bin Laden has perverted the faith of Islam, and more importantly, the term Jihad to promote violence as a means to itself, not a means directed by the Quran or in the name of Allah. Bin Laden claims it is because of the troops in Saudi Arabia that justifies his holy war. He fights this Jihad because of the American presence in one of the most holy cities of Islam. This is the justification for this war by Al Qaeda, but it has, of course, grown much larger than that at this point.

But religion is an interesting thing. For centuries it has been used as a platform for righteous war, and Islam is not the first, or probably the last to claim this right. Regardless of the name of the faith, all religions justify their actions by saying they do so in the name of their God. Can't all used of violence been seen as terror?

To claim that Islam is a breading ground for terror is to ignore the use of faith in world history. It is arguable to say that it is the people within the religion of Islam that are angry and feel weak; it is the use of their faith as a tool for violence, not the faith itself that is violent. In all religions there are extremist, Islam is just another example of how those extremist pervert their faith to justify violence.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm a published writer!

Hey bloggers! I am so happy to anounce I sold my first article! Aren't you proud of me!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Arizona Immigration Decision

Arizona is under extreme amounts of scrutiny regarding the immigration law they recently passed. The State of Arizona contends that it has the right to protect it self and that the law mirrors that of the Federal government’s. The opposition of the Arizona content that the law condones racial profiling, and discriminates against people of darker skin. Additionally, those that disagree with the law do so because they believe it is far too complicated for every state to create individual laws that may or may not agree with each other. More specifically, immigration is a Federal issue and does not fall under State jurisdiction.The Obama administration took the Arizona immigration law to court in July. His administration did not cite racism as the reason behind their claim, but went to State vs. Federal powers outlined in the Constitution.

Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court ruled for the Obama Administration, but did allow some aspect of the law to move forward, although she did believes the law is not a mirror image of the Federal statues, as many of the supporters have been claiming. She stated that: “There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens.”Arizona’s Immigration Law went into affect this month under much scrutiny. Both noncitizens and citizens alike felt mixed emotions regarding the enactment of this law, which did not fall short of the eye of the Federal Government.

Not all aspects of this law went into effect. Specifically, parts of the law that forced law enforcement to look into all individuals that may or may not be illegally in the United States. It also allowed citizens to seek legal retribution against law enforcement if those citizens believe law enforcement is not doing enough.

Arizona’s immigration law also forces all individuals to carry their immigration papers on them at all times. The Arizona immigration law, in essence, only requires those that are not legally here to provide proof to authorities that they are allowed to be here legally, not the other way around. Arizona does not have the authority to force all citizens to carry federal documentation of citizenship.

More troubling is the aspect of the law that allows the police to detain individuals they believe my not be here legally if “when practicable”. The ambiguousness of the law is disconcerting. Arizona did provide a video tape to its police giving scenarios where this action may be required, but in viewing the video, it is still questionable what could be seen as reasonable.

Even with this ruling, Arizona is not backing down. They are moving forward with an appeal of the decision

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why the US Needs to Reform its Immigration System

Who has the right to be an American? Who has the right to be in America? There have been many arguments regarding immigration reform. Some believe a complete revamp of our system is in order and that our nation cannot afford to deport all undocumented individuals living in the US. Others believe that immigrants have taken jobs away from Americans

The United States deports immigrants when it is determined they are undocumented. The US is finding that many of those undocumented immigrants just cross back over again. Many Americans would not be willing to do the hard labor of farm labor many immigrants do for the income of many of these immigrant families.

Many Americans complain about getting paid minimum wage for standing around doing nothing. I have found that many laborers make roughly minimum wage, but realistically it comes out to more because it is not taxed. Immigration reform needs to be addressed

To detain immigrants crossing the border is of higher cost to Americans. And the cost for deportation is higher still. The study, "Deporting the Undocumented: A Cost Assessment," scheduled for release today by the Center for American Progress, is billed by its authors as the first-ever estimate of costs associated with arresting, detaining, prosecuting and removing immigrants who have entered the United States illegally or overstayed their visas.

The total cost would be $206 billion to $230 billion over five years, depending on how many of the immigrants leave voluntarily, according to the study." Washington Post, 2005. We can't just build a fence and expect the immigration problem to go away.

Another thing that needs to be address is the concept of the US National language. The United States does NOT have a national language. Unfortunately, one of the things that bothers me the most in the United States is that Americans do not learn another language in schools in addition to English.

We demand that immigrants learn English, but we don't have any desire to learn their language in return, even when we travel to their country. We expect everyone to know English.

One way or the other, Immigration Reform needs to address these issues. If you go to any other Western nation students learn 2 additional languages. English is a very difficult language to learn, and I have a lot of respect for people who try to learn how to read and write. But how can we expect people to learn a language when there are no programs available to them?

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to learn English when becoming a US citizen. I know this because my mother, who has been here for 35 years, still has a difficult time speaking English, and she knew very little when she became a citizen. But she is constantly learning and reading and studying to become a better English speaker. What people don't realize is that she knows 3 other languages. But that doesn't matter because she has an accent. Immigration needs to address the language barrier.



If the United States had a better relationship with Mexico, like it does with Canada, the immigration issue would be for not. But that would mean Mexico would have to be more like Canada. Mexico is in dire need of assistance financially, and it needs a new system of government. It is so corrupt and dangerous people leave because they have no choice.

Immigration Reform needs to address building a relationship of worker visas, at least giving people the right to work in a more available way, and have them pay taxes, that is something to move this issue forward. That doesn't mean make everyone a citizen.

Drug Cartels have also been a major problem with respect to immigration. And this has been an issue since the Clinton administration. A task force was created to combat the drug cartels moving into the United States from Mexico. Cocaine is one of the biggest imported items from Mexico into the United States.

We have intelligence in Afghanistan and Iraq and wherever we are combating Al Qaeda, but I would say that the largest threat to Americans right now is the violence from these cartels just south of our border. Would people turn to death and violence to provide for their families if an alternative were available to them? Immigration Reform needs to be address now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Can Anyone Demand Too Many Rights?

The question is: Are Gays and Lesbians given too many rights? I would counter that question with: Do people have too many rights?

Let's remember the Constitution, as the 14th Amendment states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State

deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." All citizens of the United States are given the same rights, equal rights. The right to vote, the right to free speech, the right to their own religion, whether you agree with that religion or not. Don’t forget, each religious group believes their religion is the correct one, and they don’t agree with the other faith, but each faith still have the right to believe what they want to believe.

Remember when African Americans were fighting for their right to be considered a full person? Black people used to be preserved as a fraction of a person. Remember when women were fighting for their right to have a voice, to vote? Both groups were told during the time of their struggle that they wanted too much. To women, people said, let the husband voice political views for the family, stay at home, take care of the home. For Black people, they were subjugated, told they were less than human because of the color of their skin. And while many don't want to admit the tough reality, Black people are still fighting for equality. Women, as well, make less than men in the same career field.

But does any argue that these groups are demanding too many rights? Do we say that they are given too many rights? Certainly not, at least not in the public arena because deep down all people deserve equal rights, to be acknowledge by society as an equal part of that nation. Gay Activists are advocating for the right to have equal rights, the right to have the same rights as everyone else.

Like another’s religion, you don’t have to agree with that faith. That is your right. But you have to respect the other person’s right to have a different perspective than you. Natural or not, people are people.

Our forefathers created the Constitution to give more explicit laws to a newly created United States of America, the Declaration of Independence is equally important when analyzing the rights of man: "All men are created equal." It is imperative that we stop thinking in terms of Homosexuals and "Us". It is as if we separate ourselves from a large part of our population. This question separate gays and lesbians, from "Us," implying that they are less than us. Homosexuals are not different then us, not any more different than women are from men, and White people are from Black people.

Gays, lesbians, women, men, Blacks or Whites, we are all the same skin deep. We are all made from the same good stuff. Gays and Lesbians deserve the same opportunities, the same joys, and the same sadness as everyone else. Wouldn't it be more accurate to ask, Why haven't Gays and Lesbians been given full rights as conceived in our the Constitution?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Should Abortion be legal?

When the government creates laws there are several questions that need to be addressed. For one, is a law just because the government says so, or as citizens, do we have the right, or more specifically, the duty to question why laws are passed. What makes laws just? These questions have been on my mind for a long time, not only with respect to the issue of abortion and the death penalty, but also because of the Health care debate and other programs before or passed by Congress.

We as citizens have an obligation to question the creation of laws, or the changing of our laws. But, by the same token, it is important to understand why government passes certain laws. It is imperative that citizens not only know that certain laws exist, but also understand the purpose of the law. In order for people to follow laws its important for them to understand them

With respect to abortion, it is as important to understand the law, as it is to understand why the law was created. The right to privacy, while not explicitly written in the constitution, has become understood as a basic right that the Framers intended. That said, what one does to their own body is their own choice, and it is that understanding that allowed for the creation of the legalization of abortion.

The interesting thing is, beliefs are relative. To impose ones beliefs on others that do not welcome it is disrespectful. People have the right to believe whatever they want and not have that belief oppressed. That said, I am going to state my opinion regarding abortion, but to people who are interested in hearing what it is. I'm not forcing anyone to agree or live with my opinion.As religion has shown, feelings of superiority have affected our ability to see things clearly. Ultimately, we do not have the right to tell someone what they do to their body is wrong, let alone force someone to give birth, have a child, or be responsible for giving that life away.

Abortion should have nothing to do with religion, but in many cases it always comes back to God. It is not my business what ones relationship with God is or isn't. It is equally important to state that to force a women to carry a life inside her is equally unjust. Additionally, it is very difficult to enforce specific abortion laws. This is the reasoning I was talking about earlier. It is equally important to be able to make laws that are enforceable. We cannot make laws based on morality, but unenforceable. Specifically, making abortion only legal if the product of rape or incest. That law is not enforceable mostly because not all people go to the police to file a report and many people are ashamed to admit incest. Is it just to make a person have their father's child?

The reality is laws based on morality or without proper justification are flawed. Morality is always changing and therefore a poor basis for the creation of laws.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Economics and Crime

Super interesting take on why the crime rate has dropped.

Arizona and Accents?

Arizona is dismissing English teachers who have accents...what kind of accent do they have?

Arizona-English-Teachers-policy-What-accent-is-wrong

heavily-accented-teachers