Tag Archives: barack obama

Syrian intervention should be one of aid, not more bloodshed

syriaOne million children are now refugees from Syria’s civil war — and more escape the violence every day. That is JUST the number of children who have fleed. They are broken from their families and friends, because their parents help them to get smuggled out of the war zones. Many have seen their homes bombed, their schools reduced to rubble, their communities destroyed. Since the crisis in Syria began over two years ago, 4.25 million Syrians are believed to have been forcibly displaced within the country with over 100,000 deaths caused due to the conflict. I can’t even begin to pretend that I have any idea what these people go through.

The news reports today make it seem like the US House will side with President Obama in his decision to strike against Syria after their apparent chemical warfare crime which killed over one thousand people a little over one week ago.

This particular issue has been one of great debate in my household and also across social networks. For the most part I think people either have the “just drop a bomb on the whole country” attitude or the “war will do anything except end the deaths of innocent.” It’s a lose-lose situation. If the US strikes in Syria the only guarantee is that there will be more bloodshed. But does that mean we should turn a blind eye? Does it mean we should allow the tragic and unethical displays of inhumanity continue?

I’m not sure the great majority of people are aware just what happens in Syria. I’m not claiming to be all knowing either. And I certainly do not have the answers. I do wish greatly that there could be some sort of mediation set into place to help the country become more peaceful.

You might want to check out this RAND* pdf entitled “Unfolding the Future of the Long War,” copyright 2008, which discusses issues involving the US and Syria… stemming long before the chemical warfare…showing there has always been a plan, there has always been something looming here and it wasn’t because the US cared about who died… do a search for pipeline.

So what I suggest we do, for those of us who can, is to give to the Mercy Corps, International Medical Corps, Unicef or agencies similar to them so we can help these children who are the real victims in this situation. If any intervention is put into place shouldn’t it be one of aid and not one of more bloodshed?

*RAND Corporation is a nonprofit global policy think tank first formed to offer research and analysis to the United States armed forces by Douglas Aircraft Company.

Glad to know the First Dog’s Carbon Footprint Is Reduced

 Sungevity highlights benefits of solar energy in response to President Obama's climate change plan. (PRNewsFoto/Sungevity, Inc.)
Sungevity highlights benefits of solar energy in response to President Obama’s climate change plan. (PRNewsFoto/Sungevity, Inc.)

Okay this is cute and everything, but solar panels are not cheap and really how much electricity was that dog running? I know people somewhere thought this was a cute idea and yes I am laughing, but man I bet President Obama will catch flack for this one.

Sungevity and First Dog, Bo, today announced that the solar panels installed on his Presidential doghouse have successfully reduced his carbon paw print, and he is hounding President Obama to follow suit. Bo’s announcement follows an impassioned speech by the President in which he urged Americans to redouble their efforts in the fight against climate change. Bo’s 100-watt solar power system, which he leases from leading residential solar company, Sungevity, provides clean energy for his home’s electric fan, lighting, and electronics, all while lowering his electricity bill. Not one to sit and stay, Bo hopes to teach President Obama this new trick for addressing climate change, creating jobs and saving money all at the same time.

“Bo begged his owner to address climate change, and today the President did just that,” said Sungevity co-founder Danny Kennedy. “Bo is throwing President Obama a bone and showing him what the rest of the country already knows – that solar power is cleaner, more affordable, and better for America and the world than traditional dirty energy. Good boy, Bo.”

SMH.

Bo is a pretty smart dog.

Surprised by the Google Doodle this Easter?

cesar_chavezs_86th_birthday-1114005-hpYou’re not the only one wondering why Google is honoring Cesar Chaves this Easter Sunday instead of, well, Easter.

As it turns out they didn’t have an Easter doodle last year either. In fact, there hasn’t been an Easter Google Doodle since the year 2000. I guess I’m only noticing because of Cesar Chaves being on my search engine page this morning. If the page were just the normal Google logo I probably wouldn’t think anything of it. But I’m sure people will find way to be offended by this and that is just silly.

So anyway… who is Cesar Chaves?

Cesar Chavez Day is an official state holiday in the U.S. states of California, Colorado and Texas. As a senator, Barack Obama made a call in 2008 for a national holiday in Chavez’s honor, saying: “Chavez left a legacy as an educator, environmentalist, and a civil rights leader. And last year President Obama made it so by the power vested in him March 31st is now Cesar Chavez Day.

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez

 

 

School shootings in a society afraid of mental illness

ss-121412-school-shooting-tease.photoblog600What do you do when you hear about a tragedy like what happened yesterday in Newtown, Connecticut? Do you just keep going, ignore it so you don’t have to cope? Do you start preaching about gun control? Do you start pointing fingers at school security? Are you going to say the problem lies in video games?

Well, I don’t have the answers and I don’t know which questions to ask, but I do know we can start with prayers of healing for all those impacted by the shooting. In addition to seven adults who were shot and killed, one being the shooter, twenty children were shot and killed. Twenty children between the ages of 5 and 10 had their life brought to a violent end only 11 days before Christmas and during the light festival of Hannakuh. The shooter had also slayed his mother at their home prior to going to the school which brings the death toll to 28 people.

Every child at the Sandy Hook Elementary School this morning will never be the same. Every family in that community will be affected by this tragedy for the rest of their lives. I don’t believe they will blame guns, security or video games because eliminating or fixing any of those things would be subjective and it won’t change the fact that the shooter who invaded their lives on a chilly Friday in December was mentally unstable.

We live in a society where many psychiatrists feel pills can fix most mental health issues. This same society is split between those pill poppers they prescribe to and other people who would never even put down their walls of pride to consider seeing a doctor for mental health reasons. All parties in these scenarios are missing the bigger picture.

To live in a more peaceful world we all need to understand mental illness is real and can be treated, but not just with a pill. We also need to swallow our pride and accept there are true mental health issues and they cannot be ignored or swept under a rug, When you suspect someone isn’t coping well when you suspect there are issues with a person you need to trust your instincts and report those red flags to a counselor, a crisis hotline or the police. Don’t run from it, don’t say it’s not your problem, don’t act like it’s contagious, because chances are there were people in this shooter’s life who did see red flags.

Mental illness can be treated and it shouldn’t be any less important than other health issues. Furthermore, people need to learn to be comfortable enough in their own skin to be willing to openly talk to each other. If you think a child is showing signs of mental illness it doesn’t mean that their parents have done a bad job, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person and religion has nothing to do with it either.

ap-obama-connecticut-school-shooting_001-1_1_rx222_c200x220“Our hearts are broken today.” Our President spoke about the shooting with great emotion and sincere compassion.  “The majority of those who died were children — beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old,” Obama said. “They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own,” the president said of those who were killed. Throughout his briefing to the nation he made several long pauses and wiped tears from his eyes.

If you are like me and/or President Obama then you also found tears in your eyes as news of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting continued to unfold. My stomach was upset and my body shook as I saw the images of screaming parents and crying children on the tv screen. Above all other things right now I just want to express my deepest of sympathies to that community and to the families who have lost someone due to this tragedy.

Many prayers for healing to all.

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How you can help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy

© Jacquelyn Pyun/The HSUS

As more footage and photographs are released showing the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused along the East Coast, I’ve decided to find ways people can help.

President Obama declared my homestate of Delaware a federal disaster area as well as declaring the same for several other nearby states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

So far the damage is estimated to be at least $20.4 billion in the US. And the storm caused approximately 170 fatalities from formation to dissipating, many of them occurring in Haiti closer to the location this superstorm formed.

Tips for donating to a reputable charity or organization >>

Places you can donate:

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Three Day Series: Guantánamo Bay [day 3]

The Camp Delta prison was opened at a US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on 11 January 2002 to house ‘war on terror’ prisoners. The deadline set by Barack Obama to close it came and went two years ago. Furthermore, the practice of indefinite detention without trial has been codified into United States law with the recent adoption of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Today is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay and what should be done is to prosecute promptly the remaining Guantanamo detainees in accordance with international fair trial standards, or release them. Period.

Is it or is it not true that we are a country who believes in the right to equal justice under law?

Explain to me the law behind what happens at Guantánamo Bay? Are we following our rules of holding a fair trial within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial tribunal? No. We are not.

People were brought to this prison and tortured in hopes to get them to admit guilt in most cases to something they did not do. There are many who have lost limbs, eyes, hands, etc. due to their treatment at Guantánamo Bay. The torture they went through would have been sufficient interrogation means to establish guilt and yet guilt was not found. These men were excused after years of being held captive, sent to whomever would take them with all of their health problems in hopes that their families would accept them back. Hundreds of men, tortured for years without being told why and without a trial…never convicted of a crime.

It is simple. As I said in an earlier statement, I will repeat… prosecute promptly the remaining Guantanamo detainees in accordance with international fair trial standards, or release them. Period.

It is an outrage to just sit back and let an 11th year begin with the same savage happenings taking place at US hand. I do not want to hear about what any other country or person is doing at this moment. It is just like I tell my kids. I do not care what little Joey is doing in class. If the teacher is upset with you then that is all I am worried about. Same goes for the US right now. Two wrongs do not make a right. Yada yada. We know the analogies, we know the similies, we know history repeats itself, we know you can make excuses until you are blue in the face and all you will get is a bad headache.

U.S. taxpayers spend $800,000 a year to keep a single captive at Guantanamo Bay, something the people who spend the money won’t explain.

It is simple. As I said above, I will repeat… prosecute promptly the remaining Guantanamo detainees in accordance with international fair trial standards, or release them. Period.

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Three Day Series: Guantánamo Bay [day 2]

Once, in 8th grade I was dismissed from a history class before the movie Schindler’s List was to be shown. My teacher asked me, instead, to go to the library and write a series of poems about the Holocaust based on what we had learned. He never explained to me why exactly he pulled me out of class, but I assume it is because I have always been an extremely sensitive soul and the movie would have burned itself into my very soul for all eternity. I won several poetry contests in middle school.

The idea that leaders could capture people, proof or not, and force them into concentrations camps or interrogation rooms; rip them away from their families and in many ways destroy their life forever, is something incomprehensible to me. I grew up glad to be a US citizen, glad to be living some place where I knew of liberty and justice.

I grew up. I learned things are not always what they seem.

It disgusts me to no end that in the 21st century the United States of America, the “land of the free” could have their very own detention camp located within the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base. It is used as an extrajudicial detainment and interrogation facility. The abuse which takes place within those walls has been deemed torture on many accounts and that is not only tragic, but it is inexcusable and unforgivable.

A total of 775 men have passed through the prison – some of them children – and been subjected to harsh interrogation techniques: a euphemism for torture techniques like water boarding.

The Obama administration said they would shut down Guantánamo Bay when President Obama took office, now over three years since he took office it has yet to happen.  Today, 171 men remain at Guantánamo. Many of them remain because no nation will now accept them.

January 11, 2012, marks 10 years since the first detainees were transferred to the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

If you would like to be part of a protest in support of closing Guantánamo Bay, there is a website called www.witnesstorture.org where you can sign up to be part of a special human chain between the White House and the Capitol in protest of the 10th anniversary of the Guantánamo prison.

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