Monday, November 15

Declarations

Since politics seems to be the topic of the month, I just had to link to the Declaration of Independence. Read the Declaration of Independence. I think it's the most beautiful document ever written, and we take it so much for granted.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

This is the document that started it all, and the men who signed it knew that they would most definitely executed for treason if this undertaking failed. But they were in this together, they had something to stand for, and they were going to stand up and say their piece.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

They knew what they were getting into. It wasn't "every man for himself," it was "We must surely hang together, or we will most definitely hang seperately." They willingly stuck their head in the noose because they knew what they were standing for was right.
Where has this spirit gone?

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

These were a people who turned to fighting only as a last resort. These were a people reluctant to break the bonds with England, but not afraid to stand up for the rights they believed they truly deserved. They stood for what they believed in, and they did not back down.

The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

They stood their ground, and they had the facts to prove that they were right. They did not make senseless accusations, they did not fight because they wanted to, they fought because they felt they must, they took up arms because they truly believed their cause was just and their aim was sure. And they took the time to find the facts to prove it.

Where has this brave people gone? We have become complacent and lazy, we have taken everything this Grand Nation has to offer us for granted, because we've lived here all our life. This is our land of Promise and of Opportunity, if we only start to look for it.

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.

We have taken these words to mean that we have the right to find our own happiness even if it means taking away everyone else's. We have interpreted this to mean that we personally are more equal than everyone else. We have interpreted this to mean that our Rights are more important than anyone else's, that material goods are the way to true happiness, that no one can be happy unless they are rich, because that's the only way we can truly have everything we want.
Where has this brave people gone? Click the link, read the Declaration of Independence. Read it, and weep at how far we have strayed. And never take Freedom for granted again. We have been blessed with the opportunity of living here. The least we can do is recognize it, appreciate it, and use it.
Declaration of Independence

Friday, November 12

Chew on this for a while

Did you know...


  • the right to bear arms is often misinterpreted?

  • our country was not founded on Christian morals and values?

  • those that seem the fiercest to protect marraige are the first to throw it away? (more supporting links: 1, 2)

  • our President, no matter how hard he tries, is not a cowboy?

  • the red states would have some serious money problems were it not for the taxes of the blue states?


I found all of these links from this very offensive website. Offensive, though it may be, it brings up some very good points. I'm going to leave my opinion on these sites out. I just put these sites up, and I want to see some comments and what other people think beyond bashing the other side.

Monday, November 8

Political Conventions

I'm tired of political conventions. Just thought I'd announce that to the world.
Who really cares what party you're registered to? It's who you vote for that matters. And if you vote for people only because they're in the party you registered for, and you don't really know anything about them, then you're stupid. And no, I won't appologize if I offend anyone, because I refuse to appologize for what I believe.
No politician is perfect, I know that, I have come to grips with this concept. But at least vote for the one you agree with the most, and forget about the stupid Political Party junk. What is a Political Party, anyway, except the spot where candidates get their campaign money from?

At any rate, I've decided that this coming weekend I am going to try to do something I haven't done for twelve years. (Yes, you read that right. I am going to do something I last tried when I was eight.)
I am going to write to the President.
And I am going to tell him how I feel, and I am going to be nice and polite and ask for his logical arguments for his policies, and I am going to tell him my policies. And I probably will not get an answer. But at least I'll have done something. Why the President, you ask? Well, sometimes you just have to go directly to the top.
It'll be interesting to see if I get an answer.

Wednesday, November 3

She makes a very good point

Very good point. There are problems with our political system and the candidates were not the cream of the crop.
Part of the problem is that we've fallen into the groove of two parties, and each party has its own set of ways. Being a Democrat means you're probably for certain things. Being a Republican means you're for different things.
I have a couple of crazy ideas. I think it'd be great if we got a Rep-Dem pair. One for prez, the other for vice. In one respect, wouldn't everyone be happy? The majority of people and their ideals are represented and I see having both parties as a sort of balance of power. My other crazy idea is along the same lines. I want to start a Moderate party. This party will have the rules that the candidate must fall under neither category, and be a composite of the two in some way. Rather than stick with the same old story, make something new and bring things to the middle. They say certain presidents one just because they were more moderate and could appeal to more people. Plus, wouldn't it be a better representation of everyone? I dunno, maybe not. I really don't know much about all that goes on in politics.
I really wish there wouldn't be such hard lines and discrete differences between the candidates. I hate that we have to pick one way or the other way and that the nation is split down the middle on what they want.

I felt the need to comment and be so blatantly obvious about how I felt because before the election, or on election day, I simply asked a bunch of people who they supported and why. The responses I got, I felt, were scarily ignorant. Not one of the people I talked to could really explain why they supported one person. Now part of the problem is that they both were nothing special, but the other part is that I don't know how many people actually paid any attention to what was going on outside of paid ads, and that saddens me. I'm all about democracy ad freedom to choose. I'm not at any point going to say "YOUR WRONG", but I will say that I feel differently because...etc. Because I agree that it's hard to say what's right and wrong and that everyone will come up with a different idea based on their values and experiences.

I also agree that all the candidates may not be running because of their love and desire for improving the country, but for their own agenda. I won't get into my conspiracy theories on that issue. I would like to talk about the Independence party. Right now, Nader is the only one overall to get any viewable chunk of the presidential vote. But I think the Independents should start smaller and work their way up. Concentrate on infiltrating Congress to get some slow but gradual support. I sometimes wonder whether we'll see a woman president before an independent/3rd party president (my guess is that neither will happen in during my lifetime, unfortunately). But the key is to start small so that people eventually begin to realize that a non-two party system is possible.
In a way I wish Dean or Edwards ran for president independently, just to have a little competition. But that would make it easy for Bush because the other half of the country would be split and that's not really fair to the country. This is why I think we need a moderate party. Someone in the middle to take votes away from BOTH sides and be a real contender.

In short, I think politics suck, but though the past 4 years, I've been moved to try and do something about it.

No joke: Vote for me in 2024. I'm starting my campaign early.

Electing to Comment

I don't really feel like saying too much about the results of the election. I will not tell you who I voted for, because at this point it really doesn't matter. The votes are in, the die is cast, and nothing I say will change anything. I have lots I could say, but I don't really feel the need or see the point at the moment. What's done is done and, barring another 2000 or an assassination attempt, that's the way things are going to be for the next four years. So I choose not to comment specifically on the 2004 election.
I will comment on elections in general, though, because I don't like the way elections in this country appear to be going.

Someone sent me an email once about how elections used to be, about a time when it wasn't so much "he's a Republican, she's a Democrat," but a time when both sides would put forth candidates that they felt would best lead the United States. I don't live in that time period, so I can't comment on whether those running truly wanted to move America forward or if they just wanted to be President, but I can tell you that I dream of a day when all candidates for any office, especially the Presidency, are running purely for the reason that they think they are the best ones to move the United States forward. Nobody's perfect, I understand that, but it would be nice to see people trying for a change.
One of my professors here made a speech before class on Monday, November 1st, and I found myself really agreeing with him. Both the Democrats and Republicans have become large, powerful organizations, and because they're so large and have so many contributions from corporations, they'll never really have the interests of the average American at heart. Some may care more than others, but the average American is not where the campaign money comes from. He urged us to look at the smaller parties, the independent parties, the parties where people were running not to have a career in Politics (they would have become a Democrat or a Republican if that's really what they were after), but those who are running because they have something they genuinely believe in, some Great Dream they want to share with the People of the United States of America. And while voting for an independent for the Presidency is most likely throwing your vote away (the big political parties have too strong a hold on our government), voting them into office for the smaller positions is most likely better than voting for someone from the Republican or Democratic parties, assuming you can find an independent that you really agree with and can relate to. It's unfortunate that the people who are really trying aren't supported as much as the Democrats and Republicans are, because some of them really have a lot to offer. And just because they're not backed by some big corporation... Well, I see no reason to hold that against them, but rather as a point in their favor, really.
Sometimes I feel that in today's political system we're not really voting to elect the best candidate, we're just voting to keep the worst one out of office. And I really don't think that's where this nation should be headed.

So I won't tell you who I voted for, because frankly I didn't really agree with anyone running. It's just voting for the lesser of two evils today, and while I don't like doing that, it's the only choice we have until someone figures out how to fix the political system. That's probably on the list right after fixing Social Security. I wonder when they'll get around to that one.
There are very few politicians I feel I can relate to today. Very few that I feel I can agree with, and actually feel completely comfortable voting for. (I will tell you I voted for Bob Casey, Junior. We're a big fan of his family. From what I can tell, they actually try. My support to any other Pennsylvanian who agrees with me on this one.)
I think the sorts of people we really need to run for President are the same ones that won't. We need Presidents who realize what it's like to be the average American, Presidents who know what it's like to have a healthy relationship with your family, Presidents who believe in Peace and Love and Life. But those same people who should run are the ones that aren't, because in with those values of Peace and Love and Life is the goal of spending time with your family, and they recognize that politics is hard on the family and their family comes first. Because they really care, and so they want to be home to spend time with their family occasionally because they feel that's where they belong.
It's the people who really care that we really need. The people who want to do what's right. And I don't really see that in today's political system.

Yell at me all you want about how wrong I am, but that's how I feel about politics. I don't agree with anybody. If you were to run for office, I probably wouldn't vote for you. And if I did end up voting for you, I probably wouldn't like it.
I leave you with one last thought, my own definition of politics:

pol·i·tics, n. From the Greek (poli- meaning "many", tics meaning "blood-sucking creatures")

The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs. This requires appearing as busy as possible, while doing as little as possible.

Some things never change...

WARNING: THIS MAY OFFEND YOU.


LAST WARNING: IF YOU VOTED FOR BUSH, THIS REALLY MAY OFFEND YOU.


I would like to stress just how thoroughly disappointed I am in the election. I'm disappointed there was basically no change in young voter turnout. I'm disappointed that very few people seem to feel strongly about the election. I'm disappointed the Democratic party didn't have a better candidate. I'm disappointed that we're going to have another four years of the same stuff, and that over half the country seems happy with that. Yes, I'm disappointed that Bush won, but more importantly, I'm disappointed with the fact that I feel our country is going down the drain and that I'm not so sure I want to live here any more.
This is how strongly I feel.

I may not be so disappointed if both the house and senate weren't also dominated by Republicans. Not that I have anything against Republicans. But too many of them worry me. Too many of them start to turn into a forceful power that can decide without really counting in the other side. If they pretty much follow the President without thinking, our democracy nearly turns into a dictatorship. The Republicans basically have control of our future, with very little mattering from the Democrats. It scares me that Bush might get on his high horse and slip something by like the Patriot Act, taking away more freedoms because we're afraid.

I may not be so disappointed if I didn't think Bush was going to appoint a conservative Supreme Court judge and manage to have what should be civil rights taken away. Yes, this means I'm worried about the future of homosexuals in our country. I'm worried that our President is going to somehow manage to undermine the profound love that two people can feel for each other just because they are not of opposite sexes. If they can't have the same rights as married people, what does that really say about our values? That we, being the good Christians that we all are, are willing to recognize the love of friendship between people of the same gender, but not the lasting love of a relationship, just because we don't like the thought of them having sex? I mean are there many people that would honestly deny their love if it weren't for the sex? How many people (that dislike the idea of gay marraige/unions/recognition) cringe at the thought of the two same gender people having sex? How many people dislike a lesbian because her appearance is more like a man or a homosexual male because his appearance is more feminine? Is it really the fact that women like women and men like men? Or is it because they're just so different from what we are used to and what society says a 'normal' person should be like?

Enough of my ranting on that issue. Time for another one.
I'm disappointed that with every day that goes by, the separation of church and state is just a little bit closer. I understand that people have strong values and strong beliefs. But this country was founded specifically to keep certain things separate. There is no branch of the government dedicated to religion. There's a reason for that. Our country is supposed to be that of acceptance and freedom. Bringing religion into the government means bringing a single religion into the government and that means excluding others in some way. Bringing religion so strongly at one's side while running a country also puts out an aura of 'this is right, this is what you should believe'. But again, that is only one view, and not all Christians, not even all Catholics can agree on every single issue about just what is right. America and democracy is about freedom. Enforcing one view onto all the people no matter how right you may think it is is wrong. Anyone who feels they need to make laws or amend the constitution over something that does absolutely NO HARM to anyone else is limiting our freedom.

One last topic: terrorism. I feel one thing that the Bush administration has done a damn fine job of is get us all to think of 'terrorists' as inhuman. They're trying to hurt us, they're evil. That means they're no longer human and we must eliminate them like the bugs that they are. With our strong beliefs and convictions, we will defeat them. But wait...who are we talking about here? Isn't that how the terrorists see us? Don't they feel we've hurt them and that we're evil and should be defeated? Don't they feel strongly about their beliefs and convictions? And that they will defeat us? Wow, it really seems like we're all the same kind of people, doesn't it? But we can't for a moment feel that the terrorists are human, becase then we might remember our values and not want to kill them.

There's a lot of things I feel. As I think some more, I might end up with another post ranting about more issues.

I can't say the election wasn't fair, though. That is one thing I cannot complain about. Though, I honestly feel a good president would spend a bit less time campaigning and a bit more time doing his job. But I can't say it wasn't fair or somehow earned, even if I feel he doesn't deserve it.

Now I can't really say that I thought Kerry should have won. I can't say Nader should have won. But I feel so strongly that Bush should not have won, that I just don't know what to do with myself. I feel his way of leading through his values is throwing this country right into the trash. I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel with this man. I really don't. All I see is more darkness ahead, and I'm not so sure I want to be here anymore.

Again, I have no idea what Kerry would have done, had he won. I don't know if he would have been a better or worse president. But I voted for John Kerry, because I was voting for change.



(Disclaimer: These are my opinions. I tried very hard not to curse and sound like a raving lunatic. I only ask that comments and replies are argumentative and not just bashing me or either political candidate.)

Friday, October 15

Where the Wild Things Are

Oh, goodness yes!
If you don't feel free to live your life the way you feel like it, what use is it to live at all, really? I feel sorry for the people who are afraid to do what they want to in life because they're afraid of what society will think. And who cares about silly faces? Confusing people is half the fun! =)
I had a high school bus driver named Tammy who knew what it was like to live the way you wanted to. She would dye her hair bright colors (neon yellow or green and hot pink and blue were the four favorites) and she wasn't afraid to tell you what she thought about life. Apparently her mother-in-law didn't like her very much -- I think the woman was just jealous that Tammy felt free enough to live her own life.
She told a funny story once, about how her kids refused to go outside and play in the snow so Tammy decided to take advantage of her day off and go build a snowman by herself. Cars would slow down in front of the house, and she laughingly wondered if it was because of her hair or because there was a grown woman outside building a snowman by herself. And she was amused that everyone was staring at her.
Now there's a woman who's at ease with who she is. I'm sorry, but if you can't be at ease with who you are then who are you, anyway? Are you you, or just a helpless sheep bowing to the whims of Society?
Sorry, but that's just how I feel today. I want to be me. And if you don't want to let me be me, then go read somewhere else and leave me alone. Because I will be who I want to be, and do what I want to do, and live my own life.
Live your own life, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
LIVE!

Wednesday, October 6

Silly Little Things: A Happy Thought

Why do people look at you funny when you do silly little things? Is it because you're stepping out of line? Because you're behaving in a manner not designated proper by society?
I often find myself doing silly little things...and subsequently recieving silly looks in return. The other day, I was walking along and I noticed a spider web between two large flowers. I stopped to look at it and noticed the gigantic yellow and black spider. I hate spiders, but I have to admit that this particular spider was a beautiful masterpiece of nature. It sat upside down in the center of it's intricate web, and I had to lean over to get a better look at it. But this person who was walking by just sort of looked at me funny because I had stopped to look at the flowers.

Something I end up doing quite often is stop and look at squirrels. I have no idea why. It's like a game with me. I like to stop when they're near by and inch toward them, seeing at what point they'll run away up a tree. It's just another silly little thing.

I encourage others to partake in silly activities. I always have a smile on my face after. When I see other people doing silly things, it makes me smile also.

Be silly.
Be happy.
Smile.
Do silly little things.

Monday, October 4

Living in the Present Moment

It's good to plan ahead, but I really have to learn to slow down sometimes. I stay way too busy, and it just isn't healthy. I'm always running around here and there, hither and yon, there and back again, and I just can't seem to sit still and listen.
What happened to the little girl who used to love to lay in the grass in the summer, listen to the birds, and watch the clouds float by? I remember feeling the summer breeze in my hair, and the cat curling up next to me to protect me from any grasshoppers that came too close. And nothing seemed to matter except life as it was right now, without the worries of the world on my shoulders or the demands of society.
Or what happened to the teenager who would walk through the neighbor's yards to get to path in the woods that led the way to Carney's Pond? I remember the calm lapping of the waters, the gentle gurgling of the water as it drained out of the lake and into the marsh beyond. I remember the frogs, and the fish, and that big snapping turtle that would only come out when everything else was still. I remember that really nice fishing lure I found in the trees that the neighbor boys talked me into loaning them; I remember trying to untangle that lure from the trees again after they were done with it, until finally saying goodbye. I remember learning how to ice skate, or sitting in a sled on the small incline to the side and then sailing halfway across the ice of the lake on that purple plastic bullet.
I remember games of baseball in the backyard with wood scraps for the bases and different kinds of bats ranging from really fat red plastic to the (then) extremely heavy aluminum. Or the games of Skipbo or Uno or Chess or Checkers or Monopoly or Mille Bornes that would last late into the night (also known as 9:00pm, back then).
What happened?
Where did my life go?
Now I remember staying up until 2:00am (again) to finish (yet another) assignment due the next day. I remember frustration at studying equations that still don't make sense for yet another hour before giving up and going to sleep. I remember feeling guilty for sleeping because there's so much else that I should do, and yet taking naps during the day because I don't feel like doing any work and that's the only way I can justify it.
I remember staying up late at night in the engineering building, trying to stay awake, trying to finish my lab write-up, trying to distract myself with anything and everything I can think of. I remember missing dinner for the third night in a row because of homework/jazz/pastoral musicians and having to go to the Belle-Air Terrace (open until 10:00) or scrounge around in my room if I delayed going for too long and it decided to close without me.
I remember pushing myself to the limit, overloading on credits, not having any time to do fun things and yet still managing to procrastinate for days at a time. I remember going to bed with the hope of getting four solid hours of sleep and falling short because of the alarm down the hall or the noisy people outside or me just waking up and not being able to fall asleep again.
I want my life back. I want to be able to take my shoes off and feel the grass between my toes and not feel guilty that I'm not doing homework or making money. I want to be able to relax. I want to remember what 'relax' means. I want more time to be me. And I don't want to feel guilty/bored/unaccustomed when that time comes, if it ever decides to come.
If anyone sees more time up for bid on eBay (or a life, for that matter), please let me know. I don't have much money, but I'm determined to be the highest bidder.
I want my life back.