Category Archives: Political

Free Speech?

It is already January 12th and this is my first post of the year.  I had hoped to be writing much more than this by now!  Of course, I did not expect to get that nasty, nasty flu that hit mightily this year. Knocked me down for a solid two weeks.  The good news is that I am regaining strength and on the road to recovery and her we go into the New Year, albeit a bit later than planned!

Suffice it to say I have watched A LOT of TV while I was ill.  And I am a news junkie.  And there have been a few tragedies.  Another plane with 162 people crashed into the ocean; at least they will find this one.  Little comfort to the families, but they will be able to bury their loved ones.

And then the terrorist attacks in Paris.  Attacks against cartoonists drawing pictures.  Attacks against free speech. ATTACKS AGAINST WHAT EACH OF US DO HERE EVERYDAY.

I personally don’t agree with poking fun at someone’s religion, someone’s skin color, someone’s ethnicity, someone’s sexual orientation, but I do agree that we all have the right to do it.

There really hasn’t been any kind of free speech in the United States for a very long time.  Anyone who makes a comment about that is racist or bigoted is immediately chastised, and if a public figure, may not be for long.  While, again, I do not like racist or bigoted statements either, does “free speech” mean that there is a right to say whatever, without any ramifications?  Or does it mean that you can say whatever you want, but be prepared to deal with the consequences of your words?

What is free speech really?

 

Advertisements

Israelis, Palestinians and HAMAS, The Current War, 2014

I have been a news junkie for a long time and I don’t know that it is good for me anymore.  The world, or should I say the news, is depressing.  And the 24-hour news stations are worse.  The repeat the same things over and over and over, usually not even bothering to change the words or the videos.  I have decided this means that I watch it way too much.  I don’t even watch the same station, but go back and forth.  It still doesn’t change.  This post is not really about the media, however, nor is it about my watching too much news.  Nor is it about how in addition to this; I read not one, but two political printed materials.  This is about all the comments I am reading about the current war between Israel and Hamas.

The conservatives are mostly on the Israeli side, while the liberals are mostly on the Palestinian side.  No one is on the Hamas side.  At least no one that I have heard about in the media, and as I have established I pay attention.

I do believe that every country has a right to defend itself.  I mean could you imagine if a country was digging tunnels into the US?  Oh yeah, they are.  And the US went to war with a country who really didn’t do anything to us, no one got upset about that for a long time.  And when we did go to war with the country that MAY have been responsible for attacking us, we haven’t done such a great job.  I don’t have totals, however, I wonder just how many civilians have been killed in these wars. Of course they were, doesn’t anyone remember “Shock and Awe?”

The thing that is causing my anger to rise is that no one is talking about HAMAS, which “everyone” agrees is a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel.  People in the US are protesting the death of civilian Palestinians being killed by Israel; and , I agree, I do not like the death toll either.  And it infuriates me that these people cannot get out of this piece of land.  How can this be?  There should always be a way to flee the country.  Not just in times of war, but also for natural disaster or spread of disease.  After all, the supposed “decision makers” of Hamas are not even in Gaza, they are safely in Qatar; again according to the media.  So who is getting killed, the poor Palestinians who are trapped in a no win situation.  And they are trapped with tunnels and bombs that are part of their homes, schools, hospitals and places of worship.  Even if they are not complicit with this, they still may not have a choice with it.  I am not there, I am not Israeli nor Palestinian, however if I was a Palestinian living in Gaza I would have done everything I could to leave there after the first, second, third one of these wars.  If I could have; I have no idea if it is possible.

I am all about homeland and sentimental belonging, however, I am also about life and preserving a “way of life” and not a “place of life.”  That has been a lesson hard learned for me in the past three years.  I am also all about free speech and believe strongly that everyone has the right to say whatever they want, hence this post.  I also think that with free speech comes responsibility for one’s words.  And that one’s words does not give someone the freedom to do things that are irresponsible.  Inflaming situations without giving thought to the ramifications of the escalation, is not helping to raise awareness or even to get out one’s point of view.  It is simply to sensationalize so that they can get their fifteen minutes of fame.  Protesting is wonderful, it has accomplished a lot in this country and in others; violence is not.  It is sometimes difficult to see this however, when countries frequently use violence to settle their disputes and call it war to make it ok.

Is there an answer to all of this?  I don’t have one.  I am not there.  I live on the other side of the world.  And I don’t believe it is the United States fight.  Does the US have a stake in the outcome? Doesn’t every country.  I hear in the media that, “The US has to get involved because it is the only country to have major influence any more.”  So what, just because the US has major influence, does it have to use it?  It seems so, it seems that the US has to use it everywhere, which is why so many countries are “unhappy” with the US.  I understand that everything is global now, there is no way that any country can operate without being engaged with other countries.  I just do not know if that includes telling them how to live.

Now, there is the issue of Russia and Putin, but not today.  I do feel horrible for the 298 people who perished and all the people who love them.   No, not a topic for today; after all, I am missing the Sunday morning news shows…

To Be (Political) or Not to Be

It has been another week.  This time I have spent it struggling to breathe, dealing with pneumonia.  Another “issue” of having an autoimmune disease is that I catch everything and then can’t get rid of it.  I did avoid the hospital, through begging and refusal at first, and then not calling back for follow-up when I did not recover like “they” said I should.  I got this crap at the hospital, why would I go back there???? That just seems like a no-brainer to me!!  Needless to say, I have had lots of time, in between naps, to watch the TV.  Last weekend an American soldier was brought out of Afghanistan.  I watch a lot of news shows.  I probably need to stop, because I think too much.  I am a thinker.  I process things.  I can chew on a thought until it is reformulated to look nothing like its original concept.  And I listen.  And I rephrase.  And I chew.  And did I mention I’ve been in bed unable to move for about a week now????

I don’t necessarily see these things as political, although they are all happening in politics today (in the USA, anyway).  I think the reason I cannot see them this way is because I worked in Mental Health for 25+ years.  Everyone says we have a mental health problem in this country and I do agree.  Usually, this is mentioned in the area of gun violence.  And we have had that this week, too.   However, I don’t think we will be debating that, as there were not “enough” killed to make it a “mass” shooting “event.”  Once again, I digress.  Back to the point. One  group I worked with in my career was Special Education.  At the time, (dino. ages) it was a separate school for all the kids who could get along with other kids.  They sent them somewhere so that they could all be together and work out their problems.  We had three classrooms.   Ours were divided by age but I think you could divide them any way you want.  We taught them regular education stuff, like other kids…when we could get them to behave.  When we could get them to respect each other.  When we could get them to listen to each other. When we could get them to take responsibility for their words/actions.  When we could get them to get along with each other.  They did not have to like each other, but they did have to co-exist in a humane manner.  At first, we only had them with their own class, as it was too much to expect them to get along with everyone at one time.  Before they left and went back to their home school, however, they had to get along with a lot more children, so they had to learn to interact with everyone.

This was the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  I cannot remember having to breakup so many fights; repair so many broken desks, chairs, walls and people;  call so many parents about behaviors; figure out new and innovate ways to discipline/reward behaviors; and ways to fix myself so I could face another day.  It was a challenge.

A disclaimer:  this blog was not in any way meant to be political.  Sometimes, however, human nature takes over and I cannot help myself.  You, the reader, must judge whether this posts political in nature or just about human nature.  I can not tell anymore.

So I’m chewing folks…

Now, the USA decides to bring one of its own home.  Good thing, right.  The USA trades five bad guys. Bad thing, right.  This was gonna happen at the end of the war anyway, if we follow the Rules.  Anyway, not really my point.  But I’ll state for the record I’m glad he is “home” and I’m glad I’m not paying for the five bad guys anymore.  Knowing this country we will just figure out a way to use a drone on day 366 anyway, since we never could prosecute them for anything.

Ok, back to my point, I think…

~ Why, with all the “traceable” electronics in the world today would someone say/write something and then say/write the opposite, while denying that they ever said/wrote the first thing?

~ Why, are so many people denouncing one man for something he MIGHT have done, when there were a RECORDED 20,000 men who did the same thing in WWII?

~ Why, are the “leaders” of the USA allowing the Taliban to create the divisions in this country that it wants to see?

~ Why are there so many people concerned with making sure they do the opposite of what the other guy wants, even if it is the same thing they wanted the day before?

I’m still chewing….

I’m seeing some parallels here: 3 classrooms=senate, house, white house;  I want to do that until you are doing it, then I think it is a horrible thing to do;   I did not do that, somebody else wrote that on there, that wasn’t me; I will never do what he wants, I hate him (even if I wanted to do it 2 minutes ago).

You get the picture.  There are adult men and women acting like Behavior Disordered children.  I know that is not PC, but neither are they.  And I don’t have to be PC cause this is not about politics.  Did I mention the school was for 5-10 year olds????  Hmmm…..  No one stayed there more than year or two….   Hmmm…..

The only negative is that we can’t put adults in “time out,” we can’t “restrain” them, we can’t “de-redirect” them.   We can, however, “discharge” them, which is what the last resort was at the school.  When there was no hope left for any chance of change.

Okay, this is feeling a little political now….