Sunday, June 29, 2014

Selfless Acts of Kindness

       
  This week we made a few more attempts at reaching out to the people around us. We brought a homeless man a smile. We brought an old man a smile. Then we mailed out a smile. There are a million reasons to be depressed nowadays. We wanted to spread a few smiles this week. These are all easy things that don't take much time at all.

            There are only a few homeless people in our town. One individual hangs out at the 7 Eleven down the street. We decided to send him a plate of home-made honey walnut chicken, a card, and a $10 bill. He wasn't there the first time we drove by. Our schedule forced us to leave the package with the manager. We checked back to make sure he got it. One smile.

           From there we went to visit my grandfather. He's in his 80's. My grandmother is out of town for the week. He complained about being alone and not being able to get out much. The next day we took him out to the flea market and bought him lunch. He had a great time. Two smiles.

           We purchased a direct-mail list for a business we had a while back. We randomly chose an address and mailed out with a few dollars in it. We added a small note. Hopefully a third smile.

           There are acts of kindness waiting to be completed all around us. Some are free. Some are in your immediate family. The idea is to keep kindness in mind. It's not always about the other person either. Keeping kindness in mind leaves less room for things like ignorance, evil, and hate to move in. This is just one man's opinion.



Please Keep Retirement In Mind.

           
This is not exactly the retirement I had in mind.
             I met an 84 year old man. He's retired here in America. He lived his whole life here. He has two pensions and social security. He was a heating ventilation and A/C mechanic all his life. His wife also has social security. She is retired as well. The tail end of the American dream. Unfortunately, my generation won't have the same exact blessings. As our government ran retirement system continues to die my generation is left to figure things out. Let's not just lean on our government. Instead, let's makes moves. So what does Google say about all this?
                The general consensus says going to college and making money is the best way to form your retirement. This is aside from 401(k) among other investment options. According to the Lumina Foundation, 40% of working-aged Americans hold a college degree. So those people need to strive for the top saving and investing all the way up. What about those that can't, don't, won't, didn't, and couldn't afford to get there? What about the majority?
                Those that don't or won't hold a college degree through their lifetime will need to work a little harder to meet decent retirement goals. That's okay. Don't let it scare you. Saving is the first thing you have to do. Integrating your savings with an investment option is a great idea. Like a 401(k) fund automatically withdrawn from your paycheck. If you are really young don't get frustrated when you don't make much. In your young age it's more important to get the habit of saving. This is also a great time to figure out what type of savings and investment options work for you. This way you can set into the idea early on and make your mistakes before kids and marriage show up.
                 When it comes to retirement, for the new generation, don't expect to get rich. Also don't believe everything these banks and investment firms tell you. They just want your money. Even the good ones. It's business. Realize that and do your research. Please 80's and 90's babies I don't want to see us in the street in our old age. I don't want to see us working until 90 because we can't afford to stay home. I want to see a prosperous generation that stands even taller than the generation before it. Not because of the hormones in our beef, but because we learned to be better. This is just the opinion of one man.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Policing Means Less Privacy. It Also Means Security.

         
          As time goes by, crime goes up. As crime goes up, privacy goes down. It's not a societal law, but it could be one day. Americans are losing a little more privacy every few years. It is a necessary function to keep society safe. With all the inclusions of social networking systems new laws must be written to keep these new technologies from hurting our country and its citizens. As the online world continues its booming construction the crime that is taking place in this "virtual world" is stretching police forces thin. Especially because we haven't built a proper online policing system to keep up. Crime really hasn't moved to the internet. The internet just brought more crime with it.
         PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) is a huge network of business that stretches over 150 countries. PWC does a lot of research on cyber crimes. The findings they released from 2013 are here. Feel free to fall asleep to them. The report covers all kinds of stuff. The reality comes down to these companies not being able to keep their millions safe. Why is this important? If these guys can't keep money safe, what makes you think you're safe? No offense, but money gets way more protection than we do.
          As we continue our move onto the internet we must realize that things are going to change. We are going to have to give up a lot. Once we realize that, our government may be able to properly protect us. Without wasting time fighting over keeping our Facebook profiles "safe". We can police bullying and harassment online. Stop thieves, find, and punish them for their crimes. Maybe even stomp out child pornography altogether. This is the way of the world. We have to keep up with it. This is just the opinion of one man.
                       
This entry was inspired by this article.

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Fox News Getting It Twisted.

       
     
            Fox News isn't exactly considered the most reliable source anymore. For a list of reasons I really don't want to get into. I will say I am a bit disappointed in an article released by them this week titled, "Mexico Sorry for Border Crossing, but US Marine's Apology Not Enough". The title alone already speaks volumes for the news source. Let's discuss the article first.
           The Tohono O'odham Indian Nation reservation lies on the Arizona-Mexico Border. According to the article, the area is a "hotbed for drug smuggling". Both America and Mexico are said to commit to operations in the area. Apparently Mexico drifted 100 yards into American air space and shot two rounds at our Border Patrol in the area. They did not hit anything and no one was injured. They said sorry.
           Fox should never have let this article hit their front page. Why? The comparison. It's not even apples and oranges. One of our citizens "accidentally" crossed into Mexico with a few guns. The man was arrested. His apology didn't get him out of jail. You can read more about it here.
            The opinion is that the U.S. shouldn't accept Mexico's apology for shooting at our Border Patrol, because Mexico didn't accept our citizen's apology. Even a certain Senator is quoted saying, "It's ironic that Mexico says it acted accidentally in this case, and they ask we accept an apology, when they refuse to acknowledge an authentic mistake on Andrew's part." Andrew is the man that crossed the border with weapons into Mexico.
           Our Border Patrol has plenty of unarmed innocent blood on their hands. We could pull up the numbers, but it might just be too embarrassing. I'm not saying it's okay that they shot at our officials. I'm not saying revenge is required either. I'm also not saying they shouldn't let Andrew go. I mean what are we going to do? Go to war with Mexico? Maybe at least our Border Patrol will stop shooting at every brown thing that moves in the desert knowing someone other than God is watching. I will say if a Mexican crosses into America with a gun he's dead. At least Andrew is still alive. This is just the opinion of one man.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Negligence Can Be Murder Too.

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       Justin Ross Harris is a deadbeat dad. For those that don't know the story we'll sum it up right here. According to an article released by CNN, Harris left his 22-month-old baby boy in his car in Georgia. The poor thing passed away in there while Harris was earning his paycheck. Apparently, he went to his car to put something in the on lunch, and still didn't remember his son in the vehicle. At the end of the day he pulls out of work with his baby in the car. Pulls over in a parking lot just up the street, and gets out of the car trying to resuscitate the baby boy. He was too late. The case is opened.
       
           The police began questioning and investigating. Eventually, the case pointed towards the father. Things went from negligence to homicide fairly quickly. They arrested Harris and seized his company computer. In his computer they found a Google search titled, " how long does it take for an animal to die in a hot car." Irony? Maybe. However, this gave detectives the idea that this really could have been premeditated. What's there to take from all of this?
           According to kidsandcars.org 40 children died in 2013, from heat strokes in vehicles. This is far from an epidemic, but I'm down for saving 40 children a year. How? Make an example out of this guy. Give him 10 or 15 years. This is not a joke these are children's lives. Premeditated homicide or not this guy needs to pay for his crime and so does every parent from here on out. I hate to say it, but it's situations like this that make legalizing abortion an idea to consider. This is just the opinion of one man.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Phone Privacy hits the Supreme Court

       
        Police officers pull people over all the time. They search people all the time too. Higher powers such as rhe Supreme Court defend us from their malice. I have had my cell phone confiscated and searched. I would have been upset if I has personal photos in my phone. Now, thanks to a ruling by the Supreme Court cops need a warrant to search our cell phones. Victory indeed.

         Our cell phones contain so much of our personal information. From the credit to the intimate. Let's say you're jay walking. Without this ruling, a police officer could snatch you up and grab your phone. They could scroll through your Facebook, your bank information, your plans for the week, or even your menstrual cycle. This is obviously a complete invasion of privacy. They do enough invading already.

          The arguing side is going to say "we have terrorists and murders to worry about". They will also say things like "you shouldn't have anything to hide." I say, whether I do or don't get a warrant like everything else. This leaves the "probably cause" stuff up to the judge. No you cannot just look through my life whenever you want. This is just the opinion of one man, however.

For more information on phone privacy the American Civil Liberties Union defends and maintains these rights for us.

This article was based off of USA Today's rendering of the ruling. Click Here

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The Middle East and Human History

          The Middle East is really old country. The area's culture runs deep in human history. For those that believe in the Bible this area is even more important to understand. As it is mostly what the Old Testament talks about. For those that don't believe in the bible, Iraq and its neighboring countries have human evidence dating back over 100,000 years. Religion or not this isn't just Iraq's history. This is human history. With that said check out the map below.


            Mesopotamia is an old reference to a larger area encompassing a lot more than this map. This is the central area, however, and was key during the time (100,000 B.C.E. to 1,500 C.E.). The two rivers seen in the map "Tigris" and Euphrates" offered water, and served as transport. There were many wars fought in this area since the beginning of time.  I am not going to highlight every single one, we could be here all day. 
            The people that live here now have all of this in their background. Constant fights over religion, gods, and land has left this culture weary and agitated. We must understand that. We must also understand that most of the people in this region don't believe in government. Even Christians should recognize the saying, "Be no part of the world, as I am no part of the world" - Jesus Christ. Asking them to show obedience to someone other than their god could be considered disrespectful. Though both the Bible and the Qur'an have specific requests to obey governing authorities. 
           The fact is reforming this area needs to be done with finesse. Sort of like a brain surgeon in a foreign policy kind of way. Ignoring the situation is not an option. War is a last resort. If we want peace we must vote members into government that have peaceable solutions to the problems in the Middle East. Like always we must stay away from war-mongering. Lastly, we have to show compassion. Various sources claim 1,000,000 + deaths due to the wars in Iraq since 2011, on all sides. How many of them were casualties? All of them. This is just the opinion of one man.

Iraq Timeline. That's were I got a lot of the information on the history of Iraq. There's a lot of great reliable information there. Check it out.


             
             

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Government That Cares More About Anything More Than Our Country

         
            All presidents are heckled throughout their presidencies. They are scrutinized and exposed. Verbally torn and thrown through most of the bad that hits our government. This is to be expected. However, no one in history has ever sued a president while he was in office. John Boehner (BAY'-nur), a Republican Senator from Ohio and the House Speaker, would like to be the first. Why?
           Obama is being accused of misusing his authority. According to an article released by the Huffington Post, Obama is "picking and choosing what portions of laws to enforce, sometimes by issuing executive orders." Executive orders are a controversial topic. This is because even though there is no provision in the Constitution for executive orders, the power is granted in Article II. Every president since George Washington has used them. Generally, to bypass Congress when they don't see eye to eye, or don't have the time to vote on a decision. Could this law-suit have anything to do with the Republicans meeting up to tank Obama's Presidency even though it might not be in the best interest of the country? Maybe. If you don't know about that please click here.
            This is just another attempt to deface the President. Beyond finger-pointing this child, and his friends, are completely out of bounds. They have no ground to stand on. This will not be their last attempt, nor is it their first. This is just another government official that cares more about everything but our country. Another official that needs to go home. Suing the President? Do we really have time for that? Isn't Iraq a bigger problem? Maybe it's just me. This is just the opinion of one man.

The article that inspired this opinion is here.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Great Divide

             The Shiite-Sunni divide is one of the root causes to a lot of problems in the Middle East. There are a lot of war stories and history tied up in this divide. The main thing we need to understand is that, in certain areas, they are divided. We also should know a little about how this divide started. The Sunnis and Shiites are both Muslim. Meaning they follow the religion of Islam, with key traditional differences. Their divide came after the prophet Muhammad died in the year 632 C.E.. The two sides began to fight over who would lead the Muslim world next. There was blood-shed and so began a divide that is still in existence today.
             Sunnis make up almost all of the world's population of Muslims. Except for in Iran and Iraq. The map below supports this.
Map Attribution

 Almost all of the Muslims you meet in the United States are Sunni (Although this divide doesn't reach as far as America. Most Muslims in the U.S., and the rest of the world, would just say they are "Muslim"). How does this divide tie into the current ISIL crisis?
             After the United States pulled out of Iraq the government running Iraq was left predominately Shiite. This made the Sunnis living in the country feel like the government's interests were in favor of the Shiite population. A branch of Al-Qaeda decided to take advantage of this, and convince the Sunnis into joining them in a rebellion against the government. Sort of like how Hitler gained his power. Taking advantage of a society ready to be conquered.
              This divide is tearing apart several countries. We are talking about several hundred million people here. What we should realize is that this area is still in need of reform. It will take a while before they stabilize. We need to be prepared for this, and stay away from war-mongering. Believe it or not our general opinion is taken into account when our government makes these decisions. We must also trust our government to handle the politics of it. Pay attention to the goals of certain politicians. Vote in the ones that have goals of a healthy society please. Democrat or Republican. This is just the opinion of one man.

Pew Research Information. This is the site that backs up a lot of this article. It also has a lot of other valuable information. Check it out.

Religion Facts explains the background of the Shiite-Sunni divide. It is where I got what isn't common knowledge about the history of the divide.

Another important factor is the Kurdish population. I will explain this in the coming article.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Making Moves: Acts Of Kindness WK 2

           This week we tried to accomplish several acts of kindness. We reached out to our local zoo, we wanted to help some animals. We were met with payment plans for training on volunteering that demands 3.5 hours a week. This does not fit our criteria for acts of kindness. This is great for those that have a strong desire to get into that community. We decided to make a bird feeder, and place it in our backyard instead. It was easy, and used things most people have at home. We left a total of  $3.00 in the change pockets of two random vending machines. We reestablished two friendships. Only one of them caught on.
           These are all things that anyone can easily do. Things that won't cost much time, and can leave an impact on our society. If you have a relationship that may have ended in a negative way bury it by forgiving and apologizing. If you know someone who may have had a traumatic event in their life send them a message, email, give them a call, or even mail them a hand-written letter. Let's make moves. This is just the opinion of one man.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Islam, Muslim, Arab Difference Explained.

Symbol of Islam

There are many reasons to be confused about the Middle East and its terminology, sects (Yeah I spelled it right), tribes, countries, beliefs, languages, regional wars, relationships with the world, and history. This confusion can leave a void waiting to be filled with ignorance. Bad news bears! Let's not add to the surplus of hate in the world. With Trump's new proposals having this mentality could be devastating to the American idea of equality. Let's go over a few points. I'll make it quick I promise.

Breath deep. One at a time. 



Islam


Religion. 


Muslims


Followers of Islam. 

Arab


Ethnicity originating, or inhabiting, an Arab-speaking country (Typically in Middle East or North Africa).

Islamic


Inanimate objects referenced with Islam are "Islamic" (Examples are Islamic architecture, Islamic beliefs, and Islamic art).

What Does Islam Teach?


Peace and surrendering yourself to God. This has to happen within the realm of God's commandments. No murdering, no stealing, no suicide vests. You know. The basics.

How many people are considered Muslim?


According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 1.6 billion. Almost a quarter of the estimated world population. This still puts it in second place to Christianity according to the Pew. 

Where do most Muslims live? 


The map below shows a breakdown of Muslim Population Distribution.

Map Attribution

Summary

Islam is a religion, like Christianity, and Buddhism. 

Muslims practice Islam. Like Christians practice Christianity and Buddhists practice Buddhism.

Arab is an ethnicity. Like I'm Puerto Rican and my wife is Pacific Islander.

Islam is submission to God and His commandments.

Last word

Whether it is safer for the Country to utilize broad spectrum security measures or not I cannot say. In the event that becomes the choice do not believe it is because Muslims are bad. It is because it is more efficient and cost effective to employ broad spectrum tactics. This is just the opinion of one man.

Middle East 101

     
Iraq isn't just about war. They have a deep history.
  For the next coming days I am going to be pushing several brief articles on things that we should all know about Islam, Iraq and its neighboring countries, and how these things are relevant to the rest of us. I am not going to go to into great detail as lengthy article scare off people that could really use the information provided. These are mostly for those that don't pay attention to the news. The brief educational articles will include topics on the different tribes in Iraq, and their feelings of each other. The religion of Islam, and how it is split up. So please check back periodically this week.
          As these problems continue to rise in the Middle East again we must stay a step ahead. Education bestows knowledge and knowledge is power. We will start with education. This is just the opinion of one man.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

An Open Letter To The New Islamic Republic From One Man

          Recently I was given this letter to pass on. The Letter. I couldn't without a response. There's the letter, below is my response, the opinion is left for you to form.



Dear Arshad Mohsin,

You offer an idea of peace. Please allow an opinion in return. I would like to set aside talk of bombings and assaults, because both sides have had their fair share. I would also like to put aside religion as it seems to be what makes most of these situations violent and misunderstood. At it's core the world has no problem accepting Islam or any of the peace it offers. As you may notice the largest problems are outside of the umbrella that is the West. These wars and struggles are a result of poverty and attempts at establishments of power.

Please allow yourself the ability to shake what local propaganda, and confusion has offered you and your mission for peace. None of the violence that has taken place is with the mission of destroying any religion or people. It is to instill a stable country for citizens to grow and exist in peace. A country that keeps order making sure its citizens aren't abused or taken advantage of. Please remember that true freedom, in life, is not barred by religion. 

The freedom offered by extremists has misplaced an entire country. It has provoked war, chaos, and force of religion. None of these things offer freedom or peace. Neither of our gods appreciate any of these things. So please, don't blame Americans. Don't blame "Western Influence". Don't blame the missiles or even your own extremists. This would be true if we lived in a blissful state of ignorance. Please, instead, blame humanities struggle for greed. Blame the evils of life. Those who really want peace will fight for the existence of a free Middle East. One that isn't weak and susceptible to attacks from those looking for earth and water. Those that don't want peace will continue to grow in territory, and weaken in humility. Those that are confused will be manipulated to either side. Please fight for the freedoms of the Middle East Mr. Mohsin. For I am American, and this is the peace I want as well. 

This letter was formed from the opinion of one man. I cannot speak for my country. I speak for myself. Thank you for honoring my letter.

Sincerely,
Robert Rivera

Finger Pointing

 
      The ISIL crisis continues to get worse. There is a lot of coverage on the topic from all kinds of angles. For those of us that keep up with most of it we know that blame is being ushered on our President, as always. The main focus of blame is on him pulling U.S. troops out too early. Saying the crisis grew quickly in the vacuum left after our military took leave. Obama seems to use the point that the government in Iraq did not want to provide U.S. military forces with immunity. Without it the Obama administration decided to pull out. All these politics. Let's dig into the real problem here.
          The real problem is that ISIL is taking over Iraq. Not that our troops got to take a break from war. Not that a war-weary society got a break either. Can we not place the same amount of blame on all of our allies for not helping more? Should we not place blame on neighboring countries of Iraq that don't want to help either? Yes, the decisions our leaders make determine the outcome of war. We can't blame our President for everything, however.
          This is where the voter has to pay close attention to how our government reacts to these situations. We need to vote out these elected officials that continue to point the fingers within their ranks over problems occurring outside of our country. These are officials who care more about public appearance than solutions to grave issues. These are officials that are contributing to our loss of faith in our government. These are officials that must go home. This is just the opinion of one man.

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Cops Are Shooting Unarmed Citizens In The Back

     
        Albuquerque, New Mexico Police Department has claimed another victim's life. James Boyd. He was a homeless man sleeping in the hills of New Mexico, because the local shelters were closed for the night. Police showed up to talk him out of the area. After a few hours of negotiations things quickly turned hectic. The homeless man ended up getting shot in the back three times. When he hit the ground the officers supposedly sent their attack dog in. Then they began to shoot rubber bullets at the poor man's almost lifeless body as he gasps for air. The video is available here. Please be aware that the video is graphic.
         After watching the video you should be able to see how things happen fast in these instances. It's easy to say what one would do watching the video. Being there making the decisions is a very hard thing to do. According to the CNN article following the video 26 people have been shot and killed by that same police department since 2010. How does that fair compared to the rest of the nation? They beat out Chicago and New York City. After reading that it is even harder to defend those police. It is obviously not premeditated murder we're talking about here, but should they be punished?
        These officers can't be punished. American police go through training for these instances. They have procedures with steps they must follow. If they followed those steps according to the procedure then they cannot be held accountable. The police department will have to go through their procedure, and see if any alterations can be made to make sure this doesn't happen in the future. They will have to retrain their staff, and amend the training for new officers. These are the proper steps to neutralizing this problem. Not firing and hanging the cops. I'm sorry, but this is only the opinion of one man.

I would like to ask that you give just one moment of silence for James Boyd.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Should "Mental Patients" Be Able To Say They Aren't Mental Patients?

This is an opinion blog. At times I write these brief articles contrary to my own opinion. This is one of them. With that said, let's get some history in briefness.

In 1974, a group of, "mental patients", made enough noise to get pulled out of the DSM. The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this is the bible of psychology. A reference manual used by psychologists to classify all known mental disorders. What group are we talking about? Homosexuals. For those that don't know. Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by Sigmund Freud. Freud was an Austrian Neurologist, and considered the founding father of psychoanalysis. He said a whole bunch of things about a whole bunch of stuff. Google can tell you all about him.
         
Freud's belief on homosexuality was that children learn what is to be considered normal sexual behavior in life. Those that don't, or cannot control themselves enough to conform, have a mental disorder. One that can be "repaired", if the disorder was effecting the patients life in a negative way. Now this guy was born in 1856. So why did they keep his ideas until 1974? Science hadn't proven him wrong yet and still hasn't. We are talking about the only mental disorder to be removed from the DSM, because the group with the "mental disorder" decided they didn't have one. It was put to a vote by the board overseeing the manual's content. The vote barely passed 50%. Where did this happen? San Francisco. This meaning the vote could have been corrupted by outside influence since the area had already boasted quite a homosexual population.
       
All that was said to say this. The opinion stands that homosexuality should still be considered a mental disorder. On the basis that it hasn't been proven otherwise. Imagine if all those people with bipolar disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, or depression said they don't belong in the DSM either, because most of them can live normal lives. They would be sent to a psychologist for an examination. I'm not saying homosexuals are crazy. I'm not saying anyone with a mental disorder is crazy. I'm saying this opinion stands for good reason. It may not be mine, but this is just the opinion given by one man.

A good article that stands on this point is here. It is written by a doctor of psychology. It is where I got a lot of this information. What I didn't should be common knowledge or information that is available from many sources. Google is a wonderfully free encyclopedia.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Green Coffee Bean

       

  Recently CNN released an article about the Dr. Oz green coffee bean situation. The problem is that Dr. Oz was quoted for using "flowery" language to describe green coffee bean extract supplements on his show. For those that don't know what green coffee bean extract is, it's just a dietary supplement that says to help lose weight. So Dr. Oz said It was "lightning in a bottle" and also referred to the supplement as a "miracle. I can't seem to get over incompetent people are to purchase their own products. Law suits are stemming from the issues now, of course. What's a problem in the U.S without our citizens trying to get money from someone?
          The fact is it's holisitc medicine people. None of it is proven otherwise it wouldn't be holistic medicine. You can't blame Dr. Oz because you didn't lose weight by just eating pills. Some things in life are earned, imagine that. Me and my wife used green coffee beans ourselves after seeing Dr. Oz promote it. Did it work for us? No. Why? We sat on our computers building a blog the whole time. We're not going to lose weight sitting down no matter what pills we take.
        CNN ended their article with "Don't believe everything you see". I'll agree with that. What I think is the more important point is don't SUE everything you see. I'm sure most of the people the drug didn't work for aren't suing anyone. Like me and my wife. You can believe whatever you want. You can't get money for whatever you want, however. This is just the opinion of one man.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Terrorists Could Be On Your Friends List

     
The real leader of ISIS
  The ISIS situation in Iraq seems to be getting thicker. More and more villages are being captured every few days. This is information we should be keeping up with. Some don't because they don't see how these things effect us. Some really don't have the time to watch the news or read the newspaper. Let's use the current situation to see how keeping up with the news can be vital to the safety of our families and loved ones.
          ISIS continues to unravel all the work our soldiers have done. At the same time they are displaying proof of their horrendous deeds over social media. After reading an article or watching the news on these topics most continue about their day. They might toss up a thought of how bad it must be "over there". Not realizing the true danger of the situation. "Terrorists have Facebook and Twitter accounts!?" ... This is the correct response.
          This means that terrorists can be looking at our photos right now. This means that they could have access to all of our personal whereabouts. They can hack into our computers and commit crimes against us on a personal level. The options are truly endless. What can we do to guard ourselves?
           Reevaluate your purpose for social media. Delete accounts of people you really don't know. Take a good look at what you post before you post, and make sure you understand your privacy settings and how to use them. The most important thing is that we realize what doors are open before terrorists can get in them. In this way we, as citizens, might be able to save some lives. Imagine that. This is just one man's opinion.

What Is The Electoral College?

           The Electoral College. This is something a lot of Americans don't understand but should. A large group of us agree that it needs reform. Some even think it needs to be replaced. Either way we should be aware of it, and how it works.
         
The Electoral College consists of "electors". These electors are the ones that physically vote for the president and vice president. Electors are broken up by state. Each state gets one elector for each of its members in the House of Representatives, and one for each of their Senators (each state has two Senators). In total that's 538 electoral votes. 100 for Senators, 435 for House of Representatives and three extra for the District of Columbia.
            Every state is represented by a small group of officials. How they are chosen varies from state to state. Most of the time these electors are chosen by the candidate's political party, and publicly pledge to vote for a certain candidate. So what happens to our vote?
            When we go to the polls to vote we chose a candidate. If that candidate wins the majority of votes for that state all of the electoral votes for that state go to the winning candidate. Also known as a "winner takes all" system. Two exceptions are Nebraska and Maine. In these states the winning candidate is given two votes for the winning candidate and the rest are allocated to the candidate that won them. This is only the case in these two states. So basically ...
           You have three main entities. You, the voter, the presidential candidate, and the electors who do the actual voting for the president and Vice President. You vote for the candidate. If he/she wins that state they get votes equal to that states number of Senators and Representatives in the house. It's a third-party system. There are pros and cons to this system like anything else. That is a separate topic. This is a brief explanation on the ins and outs of the procedure that is the "Electoral College". I hope it was useful. This is just the opinion of one man.

I am pasting a couple of sites that reinforce all of this information below.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/what-is-the-electoral-college_n_2078970.html
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html
       

Making Moves: Acts Of Kindness WK 1

I have my crayons, coffee, and laptop. Cape equivalents :)
          I started this blog with the main purpose to reestablish faith in our government. Writing isn't enough. To make moves you have to make moves. So I made moves. I started acts of kindness this week. My first was to ask 30 random people if they needed someone to talk to. My second was making 50 handmade cards for hospitalized children. Why? Let's do one at a time.
I'm not an artist. I hope they like them.
         The reason I asked 30 people if they needed someone to talk to was in hopes that someone did. Maybe talking to someone about their day will prevent them from a crime that day. If I could prevent one violent act it would all be worth it. Did I? I don't know. I got only one person to actually talk to me. They told me they had a bad day, but that things seemed to be turning up. I didn't expect to talk a stranger off a ledge. Just trying to lend an ear.
         My second act of kindness was making the cards. It took me almost three days, with the help of my wife. I shot for 50 cards, but I ran out of supplies. It's okay I'll make it up next time.
         The point? Helping the community is something we need to make a habit in this country. As I get older I see less and less people caring about anything. This is alarming. So I decided every Monday I will report on the acts of kindness I completed that week. This is only the beginning. Let's make moves America! This is just one man's opinion.

If anyone wants the link to the company that accepts the cards check it out here.
http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/make-cards.html

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day

     
He looks like a good dad! 
     Well, first of all happy Father's Day today and any day anyone reads this. For the purposes of this brief article I will capitalize all the F's in Father. Father's Day is a wonderful holiday. As always let's pick something apart. Today will be Father's Day. Not many people know the history of this wonderful holiday. Let's check it out. I'll make it brief I promise.
           According to the Library of Congress website, it all started with Sonora Dodd. Her mother died giving birth to her, and her Father raised her and her siblings. She was so grateful to her Father, back when kids were grateful, that she encouraged a bunch of churches in Spokane, Washington to honor Fathers in June. This was her Father's birth month, and this happened in the year 1910. So when did our government accept the holiday?
           In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event. What was the purpose for this day? To, "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations." So, basically it was a day for Fathers to bond with their children. Then there is that last part of the quote. So that Fathers know the size of their commitment (That's the new world translation anyways). I think we need to take note of that today and from every Father's Day forward.
           Today is Father's Day. It's a day when Father's are appreciated. The good ones deserve it and some of the bad ones get it anyways. Either way Fathers should take this time to realize the magnitude of their job as a father, and bask in its glory. It is a wonderful position to have in life. This is just one man's opinion.

Here is the link where I got the information for this article.
http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/jun03/father.html

If you're a Father and no one recognized you for Father's Day then you might be a bad one. I'm sorry for your kids. I wish I could say better luck next time. I tried to find a helpful link for dead beat dads, but no one really likes you guys. I did, however, find a link where children of dead beat dads can get their backed child support! Check it out here!
http://www.supportcollectors.com/intake.php?campaign=google&gclid=CjkKEQjw5e-cBRDysazatpTm5b8BEiQAWxTHh1H-JxQWG5SIo_OTCLKncaP8JOOhVUQOXW_eeaSvs2fw_wcB
         

Friday, June 13, 2014

Let's Forgive.

     
  Forgive me. It's a phrase people don't use as often as they used to. What does forgive really mean? The average definition is to stop feeling angry at or with someone. Kind of like getting over things or letting things go. People throw the word around a lot, but are we actually forgiving the person?
          According to Psychology Today there are seven "rules" to forgiveness. I am not going to go over all of them just a few.
          Now that we know anger has a lot to do with forgiveness, we must know that it is the key to forgiving. When you feel that anger rising calm yourself. Use meditation, breathing, taking walks, or whatever else works for you.
          Forgiving is not forgetting. People that receive serious traumas in their lives never forget these things. They forgive so that the anger doesn't kill them. They forgive so that they can keep on living a normal life.
           Forgiveness isn't about the gesture being accepted. Forgiveness is for the person forgiving. You don't even have to express your forgiveness to that person. If they come to you with a sincere apology and you can't accept it, then you probably haven't forgiven that person fully. If you do then you have expressed your forgiveness to that person whether they accept it or not.
           Forgiveness is something we need to exercise in this country. A society's inability to forgive can be the root cause of a lot of violence, as anger is one of the main fuels for violence. Violence is becoming more common in our country, and we need to do all we can to stop it from taking over our society. Practicing forgiveness is one step in the right direction. I will write another step tomorrow. This is just the opinion of one man.

The article from Psychology Today is at the link below.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/do-the-right-thing/201403/7-rules-forgiveness

The ISIS Crisis Ladies And Gentlemen!

       
   The problem in Iraq needs to be met quickly. ISIS is moving quickly. Here we go with the same nonsense. "Don't send in our troops, "Let them worry about themselves", "It's Obama's fault, he pulled them out too soon". I can hear it all already. So what is Obama going to do?
           According to an article released by CNN he is reviewing four options. Send in troops, hit them with airstrikes, send them war goods, and political assistance. Let's give a quick look at these options. Sending in troops will work. We did just bring them back, however. Let's try an avoid this one. Airstrikes? Yeah that works too. Except they aren't very specific attacks. They wipe out civilians, and these terrorist know that. They use them as camouflage holding our good intentions against us. Our goal is no casualties. War goods. We have sent them plenty already. A lot of them were forfeited to ISIS when they took over these areas. We have to be careful what we send them and how much. Most likely just sending them goods wont work. That bring us to political assistance.  That needs it's own paragraph.
          Political assistance in these poor countries is a crazy idea. These people are hungry. These people need fuel and community assistance for their villages. This is provided to them from terrorist groups. These terrorist groups aren't terrifying most of these areas. They win them over completely. Of course in payment they have to submit to the terrorists' religion, and it's level of extreme. Not much to pay for when they share the same religion anyways. In the end they pledge allegiance to those that provide for them. We can't blame them. Solution?
          I'm no security official, but this needs attention now. As citizens we need to stay away from propaganda speaking against our government about these issues. Like what? Like social network ads that speak against our government. News articles saying things like, "I told Obama's administration it was too early. I think they should be fired! I new this was going to happen." These are things that form your opinion for you. If you agree with that let's round up all those soldiers that came home and we could all tell them how we wished they never came home in the first place. This is just the opinion of one man.

This article was inspired by the article by CNN at the link below.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/us/iraq-us-options/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What Is ISIS?


        ISIS. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Sometimes the group is called ISIL using Levant instead of Syria as the last letter in the acronym. Levant applies to the region in the Mediterranean. ISIS has been making some headway recently. It's important for us to keep up with it. It's hard with all these Middle Eastern names, and locations. Let's use this brief article to explain what ISIS is. I am getting this information from many sources, and I will just place all links at the bottom so you can read without all the annoying "according to's".
          ISIS formed themselves near the beginning of the war in Iraq. A whole host of tribes and insurgents (which is just a cool word for rebels) jumped up to join the state. So this group of rebels and tribes stood up and said, "we are the Islamic State in Iraq (they added Syria later on). These are our territories and this is what we do." They were new and didn't have much of a reputation. Until 2004.
          In 2004, they pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. This was probably to get exposure and assistance from the well-known terrorist group. This worked great for the two groups as the addition of any militant group makes Al-Qaeda stronger. Not to mention all the avenues this opens up for ISIS. Their relationship proved to be problematic earlier this year, however. Al-Qaeda cut all ties with ISIS after somewhat of a power struggle between the two in February. Even without Al-Qaeda the group is gaining ground and a death toll.
          The fact is this rebellious group is gaining power and territory fast. After our troops withdrew from the Middle East the militant group has made some serious moves. Acquiring a lot of the weapons and equipment our military left Iraq's government for protection. They move into these villages and provide community assistance programs, fuel, food, and other things to gain the trust of the villagers. The same thing most other terrorist groups do. After they feed them and show face they are basically handed these weapons without even a fight. What can we do to help?
         There isn't much we can do as citizens. What we can do is stay away from war-mongering and comments that suggest we shouldn't worry about other countries. Another thing we can do is keep up with what's going on in the world. Again, this is just one opinion from one man.

Links Links Links. I give credit where credit is due!
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/world/meast/who-is-the-isis/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/11/iraq-mosul-isil.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-11/al-qaeda-offshoot-threatens-iraq-energy-sites-after-taking-mosul.html
       

Border Patrol And Sexual Assault.

       
   U.S. Customs and Border Protection is now defending themselves against accusations of sexual abuse. There are 116 of these complaints according to an article released by CNN today. Where did they get the information? The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and four immigrant-rights groups. For those that don't know what the ACLU does, they basically protect our individual human rights. So you have this large group of representatives that come by and slap this report of sexual abuse on the Border Patrol. Let's see what the ACLU has to say.
            I checked out the article based on the report on the ACLU website. Almost all of the cases they spoke about were long detainee times. As most of the detainees on the report suffered from an illness before they got there it is hard to place all the blame on Border Patrol for most of these instances. They are not doctors. One of the complaints published by ACLU in their article said a teenage girl had her legs "violently spread and touched her genital area forcefully." The article doesn't say if the officers who performed, what sounds like a cavity search, were male or female. So why are they performing cavity searches on these kids anyways?
           Well let's first remember that the cartel is using kids to transport drugs across the border. This makes it hard for Border Patrol to do their job. They must make sure these children aren't drug mules. Strip searching children never sounds good. We have to blame the cartel for that not Border Patrol. I'm sure some were performed improperly, leaving the door open for the phrase "sexual assault" or "sexual abuse". What ever happened to the benefit of a doubt?
          I am not taking away from the fact that Border Patrol needs an overhaul. I believe they do and I think all of these reports need to be investigating thoroughly. There are a few allegations of full blown rape, and it has happened before. We have to keep a neutral mindset when we form our initial opinions on allegations against our government. This is part of reestablishing our faith in them. This is just the opinion of one man.

The CNN article that inspired this opinion is at the link below.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/11/us/undocumented-children-immigrants-abuse-complaint/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

The link to the page of the ACLU website where they released the report is here. At the bottom there is a link to read the report in full. Have at it.
https://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/unaccompanied-immigrant-children-report-serious-abuse-us-officials-during

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Great Gun Debate.

       
Someone has a closet gun fetish.
  Public shootings continue to be a huge topic on the news. There is debate over the topic. Gun supporters say it's the person. The anti-gun side believes most weapons need to be outlawed. This is a constant battle that seems to get hotter and hotter as more people continue these public shootings. Especially in schools. Let's get some quotes.
          According to an article released by CNN Obama is quoted in responding to the Oregon shooting. He said, "The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted, in ways that as a parent are terrifying me." This is definitely true. So what is his solution? Most of us know, but we will touch base on it for those who don't know.
         The article says that Obama is "ashamed" of our inability to get tougher gun restrictions from our government. I agree, to a point. Tougher gun restrictions won't help our current situation. It will help other situations in the future as America continues to grow and crime with it. The solution to our current problem would be a serious juggernaut-style anti-violence campaign aimed at youth and young adults. One that is implemented in our education system. One that helps parents make the right choices for their children.
         Guns are dangerous there is no denying that. The problem with gun restrictions is that even making things completely illegal never stops the population from committing to it. Examples are the prohibition, the war on drugs, and any other anti-crime campaigns we have put out. What does work are government programs that teach fear of punishment, and instill good moral fiber in our youth and young adults. Let's vote in people that promise to do these things. Although, a politicians promise is worth less than a ball of bum's belly button lint, they do fulfill a lot of their promises. This is just one man's opinion.

The CNN article that I quoted from is at the link below.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/11/justice/oregon-high-school-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Violence is an increasing problem in our country. If you or someone you know is known for being violent, or indulges in a lot of violent conversation, please check out this link below. If you are scared to refer them to the link get someone bigger and stronger to do it.
http://www.apa.org/topics/violence/

Apple Inc.

       

  Apple has produced some of the world's most user-friendly products. As a company they come off greedy. No company that large with that much market share is anything but greedy. Paying attention to how a company acts in the business world can really give you an idea of that company's personality. Recently Apple has committed to a 7 to 1 stock split. What is a stock split?
          I'm no professor in economics. I have a few years experience trading stock options, however. So I know a little something. Let's say you own one share of stock that's worth $1 in my company called, "Action!" Let's then say that we commit to a stock split 2 to 1. That's 50% or cutting the shares in half. Now you own two shares of stock that are worth $0.50 a piece. The company doesn't go up in value and neither does your stock, at first. Now that you have these two shares this makes it more appealing for people who like cheaper stocks. This creates buying activity that can raise the price. Why did Apple split their stock?
         There are a few rumors. One is that they wanted to get into the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Another is that they did the split to maintain high prices on their products. What they have said is that they want the stock to be more appealing for smaller investors. Their stock was trading for over $600 a share. Now it's under $100. What does any of this mean for the people?
         A lot of people use Apple products. Although splitting shares isn't an evil thing to do in the business market. Another one of the rumors is that Apple is doing this to maintain high prices on their electronics. I believe it. Splitting stocks to the stimulate company value is not far from what a greedy giant like Apple would do. The fact of the matter is their bubble burst already. If they would shrink, up like a good company, that could let other companies enjoy some of that market share. This could stimulate a lot of local economies and the business market as well. These aren't things Apple cares about, unfortunately. Well if you'll excuse me I have to go charge my iPod. This is just one man's opinion.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Good Old Hillary Clinton

       
Hillary Clinton is a well-known politician. Some say she's good some say other things. Either way she comes from the end of an era of politicians that did things they didn't want for the good of the country. Now we have politicians doing whatever they want and being proud of it. I wrote an article not too long ago for a media firm that was about politicians and drug abuse. The record is horrendous! The fact is some politicians have more couth than others. Hillary Clinton has couth. I think the country pretty much agrees.                                  
           According to an article released by ABC News, 67% of Americans view her as a strong leader. 60% say she's trustworthy and honest. 59% say she has good ideas for America's future. Recently she has released her book, "Hard Choices". The book is said to cover topics like Monica Lewinsky and Benghazi. A good read for her fans or anyone interested in her side of these topics. This is just one man's opinion.

The article ABC News released is at the link below.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/hillary-clinton-reveals-2016-timetable-shell-testify-benghazi/story?id=24036584
       

Spanking Isn't A Big Deal

     
We all tried that. It just makes them more angry.
  I am glad I didn't have kids at 18. Even at 20. The fact is most people don't have what they need to provide their children with their best at that age. One of the things most of us don't have at that age is patience. Patience is the key to not making slapping your child across the face a wonderful past-time. Speaking of hitting children is it okay? CNN has released an article on this topic. Every blog in America has reused these same exact stats a million times. I will leave the link at the bottom if you want to read it. Let me break it down.
         Almost all kids between three and four years old have been spanked. Three quarters of mothers in America think it's okay to spank children between one and three. This is wonderful news! Spank away people! Let's just drop in with Psychology Today for a quick second and see what they say?
         They have released several articles on the topic. In their articles they define spanking children as "physical punishment". Which they say is "the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience bodily pain or discomfort". Well that would be beating. Spanking, as a scare tactic, helps establish fear of punishment. This is necessary when we get older to keep us from breaking the law.
        To spank or not to spank. It's up to the parent. Most Americans do. Most children get spanked. Most people are good. This just goes to show us how sometimes science, reports, and studies don't always have the right answer. This is just one man's opinion.

The CNN article is here.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/08/living/parents-spanking-p/

The Psychology Today article I quoted from is here.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/great-kids-great-parents/200908/why-do-we-still-spank-hit-children-the-problem-physical-corpora

       

Why Do We Rape?

       
  Why do these boys continue to assault women in public group? A lot of people are saying the punishments in these countries aren't enough. This probably isn't the issue. According to Psychology Today there is a whole list of reasons why people rape. The link to the supporting article is at the bottom of this post. The article lists everything from laziness to women actually wanting to get raped. I don't agree with what the article is saying, but this is a very reliable source. Aside from all the chemicals in our brain what does opinion say about why we rape?
          To get that answer it might be easier to see what keeps us from raping in the first place. Those reasons might be endless as well. Let's say that most of us don't rape because it's morally wrong. Those that don't care for moral probably don't do it because they fear the punishment. In a lot of countries rape is punishable by death. So punishment and moral keeps us from raping. Where is moral and fear of punishment in these public group rape situations?
          Gone. People aren't fearing punishment because they don't expect to get caught. Their morals? They probably weren't there to begin with. Some say it's an instinct that incites when people are in a large group. I don't believe that to be true. Most people in the world wouldn't rape another person no matter the situation. Preventative measures anyone? Coming right up.
          The best way to keep this from happening to you is to avoid dangerous situations. Large groups filled with emotion. Dark alleys. Jogging in Central Park at night. Taking the "short cut" through Compton. Besides avoiding dangerous situations go out in groups. The larger the better. Pay attention to your surroundings. That's just the way the world is nowadays. If we make it a habit now we can prevent these things from being common in our country. Although this is just the opinion of one man, please take it seriously. We must protect our women from these violent crimes.

The Psychology Today Article is available here.
http://robertrivera0914.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-world-economic-forum-global-risk.html

This is an article on a public group raping in Egypt that happened at the inauguration of their new president. This was the inspiration for this article.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/09/world/egypt-mob-attacks-women/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Lastly, this is a link to a website called RAINN. An acronym for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. They have preventative measures as well as hotlines for anyone that has been raped. Check it out.
https://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dear Readers New And Last Week

     
    I have been getting great feed back on this blog. I really appreciate it, and I want to thank all the readers who have been keeping up with things so far. I feel it is time to introduce myself and express the intentions of this blog. I promise to keep things brief.
          My name is Robert; but enough about me more about the blog. News is necessary. Believe it or not the news doesn't get to inform us about everything. One of the main reasons is because these stations need viewers to stay in operation. Viewers means money from advertising. This creates a situation where the focus is our attention span not informing us on topics that are important for our well-being. This is the main reason behind their lies and misleading information. That brings us to the purpose of this blog. To bring the attention back to informing people on what's important. Like reestablishing faith in our government, exercising our freedom to form an opinion, raising awareness on issues often unrealized, and reporting calming ideas not ones that promote mongering.
          The news can continue to inform you on murders, how America is losing it's grip, and how our government sucks. This blog will continue to publish ways to prevent further murders, how America will come back, and how our government needs reform not criticism.
          I know those were some confusing sentences. Just know this blog is for you, and please check back often as all of the published topics are important to most of us and several are published daily. If you disagree with something great! Please feel free to publicly display your point in the comments box. I will get back to it. Let's move forward America. As always, this is just the opinion of one man.
       
       

The World Economic Forum Global Risk Report

          Let's talk about the World Economic Forum. They are an international group that is committed to improving the state of the world and its future. Their headquarters are in Switzerland and they were established in 1971 as a non-profit organization. Every year they release a Global Risks report. The report is public information, and Google will bring it right to your screen for free. This report is formed from the views of 700 experts from around the world. Pretty good huh? This year's report was filled with all kinds of depressions. From the water crisis to global unemployment. The whole things seems kind of pessimistic. Then there is that one topic.
          The heading of "the one" risk is, "Profound Political And Social Instability". The world is having a lot of that. For the purpose of this article I am referencing all of this information from USA Today and I will provide the link to the article below. Quoting the report under the heading we read, "the risk that one or more systematically critical countries will experience significant erosion of trust and mutual obligations between states and citizens. This could lead to state collapse, internal violence, regional or global instability, and, potentially, military conflict." Let's break this down.
          First let's see who the risk is referring to. "Systematically critical countries". Which countries are those? Different sources say different things. They all pretty much agree on the United States, Canada, England, Russia, China, Japan, France, Germany, and India. In essence, these are the countries the risk pertains to. What is the cause of the risk these countries may face? "Significant erosion of trust [...] between states and citizens". So, people who lose faith in their governments place their country at a risk. I can say that out of all the countries on that list Americans are the ones that seem to be losing the most faith in their government. A lot of people say it's the governments fault and that we have the right to lose faith. That may be true. So let's continue our course. At what cost?
          According to that same report continuing to lose faith in our government, "could lead to state collapse, internal violence, regional or global instability, and, potentially, military conflict." You don't need a dictionary to know that's not good.
          Our government needs to stop messing around and get to work. Those who think they can do better please step up, now's your chance. The rest of us need to maintain our faith and continue our countries progression into these next 100 years. It's up to us. This is just one man's opinion.

The information on the report was pulled out of this article by USA Today. Below it is a link to more information about the World Economic Forum.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/16/wef-biggest-risks-facing-world-2014/4505691/
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/16/wef-biggest-risks-facing-world-2014/4505691/


         

Let's Stop Lying.

          All of us do it. It is almost a necessary at times. It happens every day all day. Lying. "Little white lies" are some of our favorites. What about the author making money off of a book about being stolen and forced into sexual slavery? Lie. What about the Pulitzer Prize winning individual that made up stories of being in the Vietnam war? Lie. I am not going to say any names, that would be too much like pointing fingers. Lying is a very powerful thing. It can spare someone's feelings, it can get you out of a problem, it can get you praise, and it can even save our lives sometimes. Lying for personal gain is wrong. Not everyone does it for this same reason. Lying is rooting deep into our behavior.
         It's not necessarily the lie we are focused on. It's the reaction we expect to get from the lie. Babies start lying as early as six months old. This doesn't mean babies are getting up telling us the sky is falling. These lies are mainly crying and laughing. Even if something isn't funny or bothering them they will laugh or cry for the attention they get from it. As we get older this idea stays the same. We lie because our brain has calculated how it thinks society is going to react to the lie. Whatever that reaction is happens to be something our mind needs. If we are sad and no one seems to care we might be pushed to get attention by making up sad stories about our past. If we want to laugh with someone we might make up a funny story about our past to share in laughter. We have to try and stay away from this. It starts with the liar and the last person they lie to.
          If you find yourself about to lie or lied already, stop. Think. It's something we don't have much time for nowadays, but we need to make time for it. Be brave, admit to your lie, and move on. To the ones that see the lie work with the person. Don't expose them and tell everyone how much of a liar that person is. Help that person receive some of the emotion they are looking for. If they are lying about sad stories they probably need an ear. Hear them. If they are making up an action-packed life you know is false, give them some attention. After a time they will probably expose the lies on their own. If not get them help. Remember the liar is trying to stay away from negative attention, so make every step towards getting them help a positive one. As always, this is just the opinion of one man.

Psychology today has several articles on deception. I used this one for some of the information for this article. Check it out.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-dolphin-divide/201309/why-do-we-lie

Here is a link to a website explaining compulsive lying and it's treatment. If the compulsive liar is someone close to you, you might want to check this link out before suggesting treatment.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-dolphin-divide/201309/why-do-we-lie

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Don't Lose Faith.

Battered or bruised we must hold faith.
Nationalism can be a wonderful thing. What is nationalism? As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, nationalism is "a feeling that people have of being loyal to and proud of their country." This is a feeling a lot of Americans have been losing lately, unfortunately. Loyalty is burnt by the fire the government causes, and the fuel the media feeds it. How much of us are losing our confidence?
         
The Associated Press-NORC center for public affairs research is a wonderful entity. In one of their recent polls they found some interesting information. 64% of Americans don't believe Congress isn't interested in improving unemployment. 85% don't trust congress will fix the country's money problems. 75% feel the same way about immigration. 70% about foreign policy. 63% about education. The list goes on. Basically the people are losing faith in their government. This is not good and these numbers should be wrong. A lot of people blame the government for them losing their faith. True or not we are the ones that lost faith making that portion of the problem our fault. How do we reestablish our faith?
       
Little by little. Start putting those flags back on your cars. Stomp out those conversations that our country is always screwing up, especially those anti-government social media posts. Speak highly of our country and pass it on. If we don't believe in the home team who will? Win or lose this is our home and we must have faith that it will continue to be a great one. This is the opinion of one man.
       
       

Are They Born Gay?

The watch totally draws my attention away
from the egg.
          Gay people are everywhere. They are a non-violent group of people with a specific sexual practice. Scientists spend a lot of time and money researching what makes people this way. There are two main opinions to the topic of people being born gay. Some feel they are born this way. Some feel this is a habit learned from their environment. Let's look at some numbers.
         According to the latest Gallup Poll, 42% of Americans believe gay people are born with the notion as opposed to 13% in 1978. 37% believe gay people learn to be gay from their upbringing and environment as opposed to 56% in 1978. Now before we indulge in these numbers and what they mean let's get a brief idea of what a Gallup poll is.
         A Gallup poll is almost always a directory-assisted phone call that has the person punch in numbers to answer specific questions. After they poll a certain amount they weigh these numbers against the nation and come up with a percentage. On to indulging in opinion.
         What do these numbers say to us? Most people have changed their minds. What does opinion say? As America continues to accept the gay lifestyle we have an open opportunity to see them up close and realize how normal they really are. Now society doesn't hate them. When one individual accepts another they are less apt to say anything bad about them. We don't hear the question as "Do you believe gay people are born gay or raised gay?" We hear the questions as, "Which option is less offensive to gay people?" This corrupts our actual opinion. The point of all this?
          There are two actually. The main point is only science can say if people are born gay or not. Polling Americans won't get to the bottom of it. Point number two. Although this poll was to discover America's opinion, it didn't ask the right question. Sort of like when someone is conducting an interview. It's not about the question, it's how to get the answer you're looking for. As always, this is just the opinion of one man.

The Gallup poll mentioned is displayed at the link below.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/30/are-people-born-gay-heres-what-americans-think/

If you would like to know more about what goes into the Gallup poll check this link out.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/101872/how-does-gallup-polling-work.aspx