Category Archives: World Issues

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.

DOMA be gone, Supreme Court puts down the hammer

This will be all over the news so I’m only going to write something short. I cannot tell you how proud I am of the Supreme Court for striking down the Defense Against Marriage Act (DOMA). I’m beyond thrilled that something good is happening in our country. We needed this, we needed to see that the US is no longer going to uphold such an unconstitutional piece of garbage as DOMA.

My husband and I had talked about this earlier in the week and he wasn’t sure the Surpreme Court would rule this way, he thought they might kick it back and make the States decide. I am SO happy they put their foot down and made the decision because this means all States which allow same-sex marriage will be barred to this national decision.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told CNN the ruling was a “great win.” ““A great win not just for the gay community, it’s a great win for the American tradition of equal justice under the law,” he said.

There is no gay agenda or straight agenda. Any couple in a legally binded marriage should receive the SAME RIGHTS regardless of their sexual orientation. Period.

Look past tragedy and you’ll see heroes #shoesforboston

shoesforbostonIn light of the tragedy which occurred yesterday at the Boston marathon I would like to briefly state my thoughts. I’m sure everyone is now aware there was a bombing at the marathon which ended in three dead and over 140 injured. The videos and photos which have been shared from the people who were there are nothing short of sickening.

One thing I feel needs to be emphasized above the evil is all the good which was visible. Marathon runners who had already finished the race laced their sneakers back up and ran to the nearest hospital or blood bank to donate blood. Firefighters, EMTs and police officers ran into the clouds of smoke to pull back barriers and immediately aide the wounded. Strangers, good Samaritans took of their belts and created tourniquets for those who lost their limbs. People who never met each other before yesterday will now be bonded together in the wake of what has happened. I am sure many lives were saved because of the quick and selfless acts of all those mentioned.

Today on Twitter people are joining together and posting photos of their shoes in what will surely become a highly used hashtag #shoesforboston. It might seem trivial, but I think having all of these people take a moment to take a photo of their shoes and post it is a wonderful thing. My Finn and I have posted a photo and I fully intend to get my whole family together for a shoe photo shoot once we are all home from school and work this evening.

Two statements from celebrities on Facebook impacted me and so I will share them here.

George Takei wrote:

“When tragedies strike, heroes rise to meet the challenge: the first responders seen sprinting toward the blast site, the runners who changed course to run to local hospitals to donate blood, and the fine citizens of Boston who at once opened their homes to marathoners in need of a place to stay. When we come together, we cannot be brought down.”

Patton Oswalt wrote:

“So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

WAYS YOU CAN HELP

  • The Red Cross says the best way to help right now is to get in touch with loved ones through its Safe And Well Listings. The organization is not asking for blood donations at this time.
  • The Salvation Army is offering food, beverages and crisis counseling to survivors and first responders. Find out how you can get involved here.
  • Some marathon runners are stranded in Boston and in need of places to stay. Find out how you can offer housing here.
  • Anyone with info about the incident can call 1-800-494-TIPS.

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

 

 

Everyone should learn about the sequestration cuts; they impact us all

There are so many music and entertainment tidbits I want to share with you. I was thinking about all of them this morning. But there is something far more pressing I need to get off my chest. It may or may not mean anything to the readers on scrink.com but it has to be said and I very much hope you read it, understand it and share it.

If I had an opportunity to be in Washington, DC this week while higher ups discuss the sequestration I would love to be able to walk in a crowded room of legislators and give them a piece of my mind. Put a face on one of the people they are hurting with their slowness to act and narrow minds.I may not be eloquent, I may literally shake when I speak in front of groups, but I’m real and I’m passionate and the robots in DC need to see more people like me, they need to hear what we have to say.

Do you know what the word sequester means?

Verb: Isolate or hide away (someone or something).

That’s an ugly word and the sequestration will have devastating effects on our country. Is it true what the Washington Post reported just this morning? “Just one in four Americans are following the debate over the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to kick in on Friday very closely.” Really? Only one in four? Are we that caught up in our own lives that we are so oblivious to the bomb about to drop on our country?

One manWho am I and why does it matter? Not only am I a full-time employee at a University but I am also a student. Working full-time to help the University, going to class in the middle of it all and then going home to be with my family (husband and three children). I represent a growing population of working parents who are trying to make things better for their family. I understand my associate’s degree just isn’t going to cut it if I want a higher paying job. I decided last year to go back to school and complete my four-year degree. Educating myself will help me to become a better employee, a better parent and a strong member of my community.

Are we not cognizant of the fact that more people need a higher education in order to get a better paying job and therefore become someone who can help to repair the economy? Truly, the need to increase the federal investment in education has never been greater. To me this is an obvious fact and I do not understand how that can be debatable.

I know, specifically the College I work for does an amazing amount of research, we work across the State of Delaware and are considered a Land Grant University. Sequestration will cut our funding immensely and we have already faced tough cuts leading up to this point. Consider the effects of those who rely on federal grants from programs like the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy for example, to do groundbreaking research. Sequestration would mean a cut of $2.4 billion in National Institute of Health-funded research alone (according to ReseachAmerica.) The University of Delaware stands to lose at least $5.5M in sponsored research expenditures.

And just how are students and their families supposed to afford higher education with sequestration dealing such a blow to federal aid? Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants will be cut 8.2%, I read on educationvotes.nea.org just how the cut to Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants might impact our country. “In New York alone, that would mean 6,500 students could lose work-study assistance and 7,000 could lose their opportunity grants.”

TRIO and GEAR UP, two programs that prepare low-income students for college, saying that the programs could lose $90 million if sequestration goes into effect, eliminating services to more than 100,000 students.

A report from the National Education Association estimates the total cuts to pre-kindergarten, K-12, and postsecondary education budgets next year will range from $4.5-$4.8 billion. Close to 15,000 special education teachers could lose their jobs under sequestration. These are just some of the cuts to our education system in America. I don’t have the time or space to explain all of them.

Everyone needs to be aware and needs to understand these are not fake numbers, they are not scare tactics and they very much need to be taken seriously.

Sequestration cuts are going to impact far more than just higher education, but I am firm in my belief that continuing to cut funding for Universities and Colleges will branch out into the lives of future students, their families; all they offer now and all they will continue to offer after graduating. Please keep this in mind and speak up. I cannot begin to explain to you just how important it is to tell your Senator and Representative that they need to step up and take action.

Please also note that this is NOT the time to point fingers, cast blame or trash talk… any action should should a positive one. Offer suggestions not criticisms. If we want to stop sequestration we all need to put our minds together and come up with better solutions, we cannot do that if people close their minds and choose to bicker instead.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

― Edward Everett Hale

Please check out this link for videos of researchers in higher education who can tell you what they are working on and why the federal funding is so very valuable:

http://www.scienceworksforus.org/economy/america-s-research-community-speaks-out

Live in Seattle? Turn in a firearm and get a $100 Amazon gift card

gun_buybackThe Seattle Police Foundation is adding $25,000. Pemco and other businesses also are contributing to push the total over $70,000.The first buyback will be Jan. 26 under an Interstate 5 viaduct in downtown Seattle. Others are planned. Handguns, rifles and shotguns are worth a $100 gift card. Guns classified as assault weapons are worth $20.

It’s scheduled for January 26, 2013 and I think it’s a pretty awesome idea.

More info can be found HERE.

Furthermore, the buyback is anonymous, no questions will be asked. So even if you’re McShady you can bring in a gun.

Enhanced by Zemanta