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We can't look to the future if we can't take care of our own!

Universal Health Care is not a pipe dream!

I have done extensive research on this issue, pouring over all the data I could find that discusses our health care costs, the results are staggering! For one the multiplier costs of Health Care in our country vary from health care facility, and region! The general cost of care for the same treatment varies just as greatly if not more! Furthermore every single medical treatment facility in the country receives a Medicare payment. Once you start balancing the equations the shocking reality comes out: we can afford Universal Health Care ... Now!

See my research and sources on the subject! Here is another discussion piece on the true cost of Health Care in our Country!

We need to get on board with the rest of the Modern World and provide our citizens with health care. There are many examples of universal health care out there to choose from, and all of them could be implemented today. The reason why we still have such high medical costs, in spite of the highest per capita expenditure per patient in the world, is because our medical industry is for profit. There is absolutely no other reason or excuse as to why the United States of America, the wealthiest nation in the World by a large margin, can't afford to provide health care to its citizens. We need men and women like you to stand up for your right to live! Healthcare isn't a privilege. Going into debt because of cancer or an injury is not right, and neither should it be a burden to you, or your family if these things happen to you. You are an integral part of this nation, and it owes you a debt of gratitude. By being a member of this country and paying taxes, you deserve to be treated like a human being, and part of that involves being secure in your life should the unthinkable happen to you! There is no debate, there is no middle ground, we are all warm blooded, living breathing human beings and we have the right to stay that without having to sacrifice our livlihoods!

Mental Health is Health Care too!

Another major issue in our nation is the over-diagnosis of mental health disorders. Everyone it seems is, depressed, or ADD, or worse, and must get a magic pill to fix them, when in reality it's simple: people are experiencing life and don't know how to cope. This isn't limited to just mental health diagnosis', there are many different examples of false diagnosis. Conspiracy theorists would argue it's Big Pharma influencing the medical fields, others would argue its the governments fault for oversight, but the reason may very well be much less oppressive. People expect that their issue or ailment isn't a normal facet of life and they expect a result from their providers. That result is, more often than not, a pill or diagnosis to validate the patients often misplaced worries. This has bred a culture of hypochondriacs, and fear that anything that isn't "normal" must be a medical issue and must be fixed. Once this latest epidemic of fear wanes, we will see less and less of these false diagnosis', and a smaller influence of miracle drugs solving all of life's problems and mysteries. That isn't to say many of these cases aren't well founded, simply that increasingly professionals are forced to placate their patients in order to give them piece of mind.

Here's an article that attempts to explain this issue:

http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/06/09/why-life-in-america-can-literally-drive-you-insane/

Below is a link of an individual who had a recent hospital stay:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/07/15/this-guy-put-his-hospital-bill-online-now-the-whole-world-is-talking-about-it/

Here's an example of fears being put to rest:

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/systematic-review-finds-side-effects-vaccines-are-extremely-rare

Cannabis also deserves a mention:

http://themindunleashed.org/2013/07/cannabis-cures-cancer-and-government.html

One last article that depicts the success of ACA, and the right direction it's taking on the road to Universal Health Care:

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-obamacare-is-working-20140620-column.htm

America is still one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and we continue to drive forward and lead the way in all fields! Not least of which is medical science. We are developing cures, and treatments at an astounding rate, and from all walks of life. There are teenagers who are revolutionizing the way we track and treat cancer for science projects. There are bio engineers developing smart viruses to attack unhealthy organisms. There are simply too many examples to list in this blurb! Suffice to say, death through disease and illness should not be nearly as commonplace as it is, and most of it stems from lack of health coverage. The other half is availability and funding of these wondrous medicines and treatments!

Nano technology is not relegated to Science Fiction movies anymore, nanotechnology exists here and now! What's more, nanotechnology is extremely cost effective, less invasive, and more successful than current treatments out there, or they at least have the potential to surpass conventional medicine. This is the future of medicine, when we utilize our significant technological prowess to help solve our problems to include disease, and illness!


We can map the inner-workings of an organ without using probes, tubes, or biopsies. We are able to make diagnostic decisions based on imaging, and we are only improving as we get a better understanding of ourselves and these technologies. 


Another fantastic innovation we have is lasik eye surgery and other laser based procedures! Granted these procedures have been around for nearly a decade, but the success rate, cost, and availability of these procedures have grown so much more viable! As we continue on in our endeavors to cure diseases, illness, correct injuries, and correct the overall health of our bodies, lasers will be an integral part of that process!


This is Brittany Wenger, the developer of the Leukemia seeking algorithm! She was a high school senior at the time!

This is Brittany Wenger, the developer of the Leukemia seeking algorithm! She was a high school senior at the time!

This is one of many examples of our young people making strides for our country, and for our people. A dedicated student, who is clearly years ahead of the rest of, is pioneering a new method of diagnosing maladies. By using computer technology and math, she was able to do what conventional medicine could, except exponentially better! It's wonderful when different sciences come together to solve problems that individually they just simply weren't equipped to handle!


Below are some of the links that depict how we are making improvements in health and medicine, and why they should be more available to the public!

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/scientists-successfully-destroy-cancer-nanobubbles

http://www.upworthy.com/it-took-studying-25782500-kids-to-begin-to-undo-the-damage-caused-by-1-doctor?g=2&c=ufb

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-%E2%80%93-evidence-so-far

This link in particular is testament to why we need to develop better medicines, and technologies to combat illness/disease. It is especially important to get these cures, or treatments to every citizen not just the few who can afford them!

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/antibiotic-resistance-now-global-threat-according-latest-who-report

 

Education is the foundation of our Nation

Without education, we could not have the leader, the doctors, or the educators of tomorrow. Therefore, we need to take a stand in creating opportunity and desire at all levels of education for all of our countrymen!

Common core is among the worst educational "improvements"our country has ever perpetrated! This cannot be allowed to continue, and needs to be revoked immediately. Once we are heard in Capitol Hill, or at the Governor's Mansion, we will be making strides to right the wrongs of knee-jerk politics! That we need to improve our education is understood, but Common Core is, in no way, the answer. One viable solution to the education problem in America is the utilization of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Below are a few articles talking about both of these issues.

http://vimeo.com/66575133       

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/05/13/the-insanity-of-common-core-math-revealed-in-under-two-minutes/

http://mic.com/articles/91679/the-case-for-free-college-tuitio


This isn't just about our children, it's about our pursuit of Higher education as well. With the for profit education industry in America, most students can barely afford their education, let alone begin to pay off their crushing student debt. The poor economy aside, the outrageous expectations of many employers are also making it more difficult for college graduates to obtain employment! Part of the reason is because colleges don't offer practical skills, just knowledge in that particular field. Part of the underlying issue is that colleges and universities gut their students for money, but don't actually provide them with the tools their particular industry requires/desires of them.

What we need is to, firstly, lower the cost of education, or at the least the amount of aid or debt a student should be expected to deal with. Secondly, our educational facilities should be focusing on churning out degree programs that their students can actually use in the real world. Universal education could solve the former of those problems, and would be extremely cost effective, as can be seen in European nations that have done that very thing. However, the issue of creating a practical knowledge experience for the student is what's lacking. Perhaps instead of focusing on a "well rounded student," universities and colleges can instead create/encourage more apprenticeships, and internships with businesses and organizations.

Here's more about some of the very real problems the current generation of student is facing from receiving the secondary education that was supposed to help them build a new future and life!

Salon Article

http://iumbc.com/2011/08/americas-literacy-rate-surprising-statistics/

http://mic.com/articles/91679/the-case-for-free-college-tuition

http://thecontributor.com/elizabeth-warren-introduce-bill-reduce-burden-student-loan-debt

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/05/13/3437571/student-debt-housing/

In case you haven't heard about Common Core, or if you weren't sure what it was here are some articles about that as well. Also found below are other articles pertaining to child education.

http://www.tpnn.com/2014/05/13/the-insanity-of-common-core-math-revealed-in-under-two-minutes/

http://news.yahoo.com/u-children-read-not-well-often-report-041325597.html

http://prn.fm/finland-keeps-kids-focused-free-play/

The argument for Universal education isn't just a European idea, Tennessee has even begun dabbling in it! Universal Education isn't unattainable, it's just being denied by for profit education, such as Corinthian College. Even these colleges are getting their just desserts, and the efforts of men and women like you are what is bringing about this change in our nation! Don't stop now, keep pushing, keep fighting for your rights because it's working!

Economic proposals

This Series of links will highlight the different levels of government and how by simply adjusting the way monies are apportioned and the way the budgets could be balanced can save taxpayers billions each year, or at the very least have their money put to where it is needed most!

This link highlights the potential economic output of the City of Columbus the capital of Ohio:

City of Columbus Example

These links highlight how the State of Ohio could be budgeted, and can be used as an example for the rest of the United States as well:

Proposed State of Ohio Budget After Federal Changes

These links highlight how the federal government can help save trillions of dollars each and every year, while simultaneously aiding state and local governments balance their budgets as well:

Solution to Poverty

Fiscal Changes

 

The Cost of Economic Waste

This link is an unadulterated account of the money we lose/waste each year in simple excess cost, or loss of tax money:

Economic Waste

 

 

 

 

There's something fundamentally wrong when the wealthiest nation in the world still has poverty within its own borders.

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The above photos depict both the poverty in this country, and the disregard many hold towards their disenfranchised countryman. On the bottom right, is an image of wealth and plenty that most American cities enjoy, a stark contrast to the impoverished areas of our very own country. Poverty isn't an issue because of the lack of money available, it isn't necessarily due to the labor force, it's large in part due to uncaring on the part of the tax payer, and the lawmaker. We have the funds to eradicate poverty, we waste more food than we eat, and there are plenty of government aid programs out there that many people aren't eligible for due to a severe misunderstanding of what is actually required to survive.

The other part of that coin is the consumerism in this nation. We are a nation of wants, and haves not needs. We want the brand new iPhone, we want a 52" LED TV, we want the brand new mustang, but we also want to eat, feed, and clothe ourselves, support our loved ones, have a safe reliable home, with running water, and electricity. Yet, all of those things are significantly more expensive now than in any other time, to include the spending capability of the average American. Livable conditions and a hint of luxury is unattainable for the majority of Americans, including those with full time jobs.

Furthermore it isn't necessary for this nation to live in poverty, our welfare programs notwithstanding! If we created a tax and Universal Basic Income system that worked for the common citizen we could eradicate poverty in our country! We can revamp our welfare programs, and save billions in tax dollars annually, while easing the tax burden off of the States who bare the brunt of the costs!


Criminal Justice Reform

Our criminal justice system is broken and requires immediate reform. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, almost half of all federal prisoners are held for non-violent drug crimes, the majority of which are for possession of marijuana. A major reason for this is the predatory for-profit prison system, which incentivizes the disastrous war on drugs – in service of higher profits for the private prison industry. I will support efforts to fight this predatory system, starting with federal legalization of marijuana.

Additionally, there is a lack of confidence in our current system of policing because of the systemic racism and classism that has targeted vulnerable communities, through draconian policies like mandatory minimum sentencing. I will work to bring REAL reform by fighting to end the war on drugs and through the creation of civilian led review boards that create community accountability for law enforcement.

This link highlights the math behind how and why Cannabis would be the nations greatest cash crop and could single-handedly annihilate the deficit:

Cannabis Break Down

Clean Energy

We as people have always wondered what that giant ball of fire in the sky could be used for. Even from the days of antiquity, we utilized the Suns rays in some form or fashion. All across the world, regardless of civilization or epoch, there was some utilization of the Sun. Now we find ourselves at the edge of an energy revolution that could completely redefine our energy consumption and needs. We can finally harness that big ball of nuclear fission in space here on Earth to power our lives. This page will highlight some of those innovations, and give links to articles that discuss advancements in solar technology.

Our Mission

To bring awareness of solar power to the masses, and to stop politicizing something that should be used by default. We are trying to move forward into the future of mankind, a future that relies on the things around us to succeed, and in ways that don't destroy the only home we have had. It begins with knowledge, and it ends with you, the individual, making the choice to move forward as well.

What We've Achieved

Solar isn't the only form of Clean Energy Out There!

Wind Power could generate over 20% of the US energy requirements!

Wind Turbines near a mountain range in China

Wind Turbines near a mountain range in China

Corn is already primarily produced for feed and energy.

Fields of corn that will be used for Ethanol

Fields of corn that will be used for Ethanol

This small amount of Thorium could power a vehicle for 100 years!

Thorium, an abundant radioactive material with an incredible energy output rate! Such a small amount of Thorium could power a common commuter vehicle for 100 years!

Thorium, an abundant radioactive material with an incredible energy output rate! Such a small amount of Thorium could power a common commuter vehicle for 100 years!

The fact of the matter is that there are many different ways to power our world and our machines, the question is why aren't we? it's because those individuals with the money and the power are too intent on maintaining their hold over the energy industry, in spite of all the benefits and advancements that could be achieved by green technologies.

Here are some sources to help you understand more about the various clean energy initiatives that could begin tomorrow in this country, as well as information about current energy useage! 

http://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2014/06/radioactive-Thorium-car.html

(Although not expressly mentioned, hydrogen as a fuel source is also a very viable solution and alternative to fossil fuels.)

http://livefreelivenatural.com/another-breakthrough-hydrogen-energy-challenges-fossil-fuel-dominance/

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/06/22/the-world-has-533-years-of-oil-left.aspx

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/renewables-now-produce-22-percent-worlds-electricity

Agricutlural Improvements

People love to dis GMO's and corporate farming methods, yet, without it, there would be a lot less food for everyone. The problem with the term GMO is that what it actually stands for and how it's perceived are entirely different.

"A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food."

The above is the true definition, below is the perceived definition

The rallies come four days ahead of World Food Day on Oct. 16 and are a direct attack on what the organizers term Monsanto’s “predatory business,” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful pesticides, which threaten “health, fertility and longevity.”

The difference is night and day. One is a scientific definition, the other is a politically charged definition or debate point. The fact of the matter is, without GMO's, we literally would not have enough food for everyone, and innovations like improved photosynthesis would never have occurred! Furthermore, genetic modification of food could easily end world hunger, and not just make it a corporate scheme to make billions off of fast food. Vegetables, fruits, and grains could be grown in ridiculous quantities, multiple times per years, and much larger yields. Yet, with the out cry of anti GMO research, use, or production, we are actually hurting our own progression and survival as a species.


What else can Agriculture do?

There is the interesting notion that agriculture can do more than just feed us, considering most of the corn yield of the US is meant to feed livestock. It helps clean up the air by absorbing CO2 and emitting life giving oxygen! Agriculture is truly the bread and butter (pun intended) of American industry. Without it, our supremacy wouldn't be nearly as high yielding (another intended pun) as it is. What's more, agriculture isn't limited to just food related things, it's also part of the Cannabis and Hemp industry which is gaining support every day! 

The thing is, Agriculture can truly become the staple of our economy and GMOs can significantly help with that reality. If successful, we would be far less dependent on for profit education, medicine, and defense spending (wars). We could be a nation that literally grows its money, and trades the goods it can create be it food or product. We, as a nation, need to focus less on the politics of science and focus on what the science is actually doing. In this case, GMOs are going to be an even more important facet of our lives and we need to educate ourselves as a nation on what they can actually do, not what the political flavor of the day wants to sell.

What can we do at home to help out?

There are lots of social, cultural, and domestic issues, but what can actually be done about them? It's easy to say just get along and work together, but what else can we do, what's something that we can see, touch, or feel? An answer to that question would be some of the social, and domestic solutions that other countries have already embraced: Universal Health Care, Universal Education, but also a few that are more a theory than a practice: Citizen's pay, Government Assisted Job Search.


Citizen's Pay

There are pages dedicated to universal education and health care so let's discuss Citizen's Pay. The idea is that all tax payers are paying taxes, and that they should reap some sort of reward from doing so. The best, and simplest means of doing so, would be that all of the taxes get pooled into a group fund and every tax paying, or otherwise, qualified citizen receives a monthly stipend. Now that sounds like socialism, communism, and big government wrapped up in a huge bundle doesn't it? Well that's because it is. However, let's define what these terms mean first:

Socialism - "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

Communism - "a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property."

Big Government - "government perceived as excessively interventionist and intruding into all aspects of the lives of its citizens."


Secondly, let's also establish what the US is like already in terms of government:

"In contemporary usage, the term democracy refers to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative.[85] The term republic has many different meanings, but today often refers to a representative democracy with an elected head of state, such as a president, serving for a limited term, in contrast to states with a hereditary monarch as a head of state, even if these states also are representative democracies with an elected or appointed head of government such as a prime minister.[86]

The Founding Fathers of the United States rarely praised and often criticized democracy, which in their time tended to specifically mean direct democracy, often without the protection of a Constitution enshrining basic rights; James Madison argued, especially in The Federalist No. 10, that what distinguished a democracy from a republic was that the former became weaker as it got larger and suffered more violently from the effects of faction, whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger and combats faction by its very structure.

What was critical to American values, John Adams insisted,[87] was that the government be "bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend." As Benjamin Franklin was exiting after writing the U.S. constitution, a woman asked him "Well, Doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?". He replied "A republic—if you can keep it."[88]"

The United States of America never has, or never will be, a true Democracy. For one, the Constitution denies that possibility from ever happening by establishing 3 branches of government, and designating powers to them. For another, the Bill of Rights and the other Amendments spell out our individual rights, as well as limitations/rights of the government. In a true Democracy, the people would have a say on anything and everything, which is both impractical and sometimes ill advised, especially in emotionally driven topics and issues. We are a Republic, with Democratic, Socialist, Communist, and other aspects of government molded into one. The reason why? It goes back to the old adage of greater than the sum of the parts. We have taken all of the best aspects of various forms of government, organization, and institution and molded them into one cohesive and functioning government, that has lead the world for well over a century. Therefore, it is not a stretch to suggest any of these ideas: Universal Health Care/Education, Citizen's Pay, or Government Assisted Job Search.

Civil Rights and Liberties

No matter what your beliefs, culture, or morals, there is one truth that we all need to realize and that many of us do: we are all in this World together, and it's up to us to make the most of it together. Our current growing generation of young leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, and so much more, are among the most diverse individuals yet, because they have grown up in the age of information, of a shrinking of the known world, and an increase of international relationships, understandings, and friendships! Diversity is coming, it is happening, and it isn't going anywhere, nor should it, nor should anyone try and stop it.


Is this the legacy you want to leave behind.....

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Or is this the legacy you want to leave behind?

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This is what our nation has fought to overcome, and here we are in some cases over a 100 years later still waging the same struggle that should have never existed in the first place.

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Slavery is possibly the most heinous atrocity we have committed in human history. The fact that it lasted well into the 19th century in this country, and continues on in other countries to this very day, is saddening and unforgivable. We are better than this, as a nation, as a people, as a species, there is no excuse to take away the humanity of another living, breathing person. Yet, we still have intolerance and racism in this country, fluent use of slurs against "minorities," and disparity of living conditions among "the races." Last time I checked, we all breathe the same air, eat the same food, bleed when injured, and feel sorrow from loss. We are all imperfect beings living on this rock, it is high time we get it together and focus on what matters: we are all human beings. 

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Women's Suffrage in 1919 and earlier beginnings of the movement are another one of those moments in history that should never have occurred in the first place. Women are citizens just like men, just like Black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. Everyone, 18 years or older, has the right and the duty to vote because it is written that way in our Constitution. The fact it took almost 150 years to give women the right to vote is an outrage. What's worse is, that in 2014 women still have to fight for their various rights, be it equal pay, equal opportunity, or to have adequate health coverage. Why is it so hard to treat each other with respect and dignity?


Ferguson Riots

We all have heard of the Ferguson riots by now and the tragedies in our legal system, racial tensions, and poor judgement of a few law enforcement officials that lead to the riots. We do not promote anarchy and chaos, we do not condone the actions of the looters or the rioters, what we do, however, promote is reaching out to our fellow man and recognizing that we have a problem with race and social injustice in this country. Instead of national outrage that a citizen was shot and killed by a police officer and wanting to hold that police officer accountable for his actions, and to determine if it was necessary to the situation, there was, instead, outrage that a teen who happened to be black, in a historically racially tense neighborhood was killed by a cop who happened to be white. Then Fox News chose to air these tidbits of information for their viewers:

What on earth are these statistics supposed to convey to the audience? That racial killings are down, but murders from minorities are up? That black people are a menace to society because they proportionately kill more innocent people than white people? Or is this meant to be a simply informative blurb outlining relevant statistics to recent events? What should be reported by Fox News is that police killings in general are at record lows (it's not widely reported or managed so we don't know,) or that in 2013, 16,238 homicides were committed in the US, and that the vast majority of these are committed by American citizens against other American citizens. 

If we keep trying to pin specific behavior to a specific ethnicity, or if we don't acknowledge that we are one people, under one nation, then these tragedies, misleading statistics, and general racism will continue and flourish unchecked until even greater or more devastating tragedies occur. More importantly, why aren't we focusing on the strides that have been made in racial integration, or in successful protests by the American people? Why must we focus on the murder, the rape, and the negative aspects of our society? Why are we glorifying actors, singers, and other entertainers when our scientists, teachers, and engineers have catapulted us into newer and greater technological heights than at any other point in our history! We need to focus on what we accomplish when working together not finding new and more imaginative ways to separate ourselves!

Freedom of speech is another 1st amendment right that seems to be impeded at every step!

Why is it that the simplest of human interactions seem to be the ones that are most often targeted and attempted to be suborned?  Why is it that speaking out against inequality, hate, political idiocy, public policy, international crises, poverty, religious intolerance and so much more are always met with brute force retaliation? the last time i checked the only thing that should be illegal in terms of free speech is hate speech, or slander. That's the only form of speech that is direct confrontation with good order and conduct yet hate groups all across America are steadfastly defended, but protesters fighting for your rights to internet neutrality, advocating clean energy, or religious tolerance are being arrested in droves! 

The other side to that coin is what's actually being reported and represented in the media. We are an ignorant nation that is unwittingly helping promote the agenda of those in power: fear, hate, discrimination. Why do you think there are so many new and more imaginative ways to define different segments of the population and to pit them against each other? Why do you think Generation X should be angry with Baby Boomers destroying their SSI? Why do you think young black males are being portrayed as thugs in the media, but whenever a young black male does something outstanding, or righteous they are steadfastly ignored? Why is it that you hear nothing about the success' of diverse groups, but only of the fighting and violence between them? Fear, and hate is what's driving our media, and that's what we are given.

If the above photo doesn't appall you it should, because that is precisely how our media, and government choose to interact with their populous! We are being fed biased, loaded media to sway our opinions on public matters, and foreign involvement, with hardly the whole story ever being told! For months we've been forced to watch our nations leaders bicker and squabble over ACA, Benghazi, and the growing crisis in the Middle East.

One side says ACA is destroying the economy, and people are uninsured, the other defends the fact that more people have insurance than ever before, yet the truth is very simple: more American's are insured than ever before and have more beneficial plans then previously, however there have been rises in insurance rates, but the overall outcome of ACA is beneficial to both citizen and economy. 

Benghazi is another example of bias in the media, however the truth was simply that there hasn't been enough funding for embassies, and that the policies were the best that could be had. Now we have the ISIS problem in the Middle East and Right wing politicians urging for another war in the Middle East.

The President issued an address to the nation and already it has been torn apart on both sides of the spectrum! What we have is a tug of war of ideologies, and not an ounce of unity in our politics. We don't have debate, we have shouting matches and finger pointing, and this is what our nation has devolved to in regular social interactions as well. A person cannot consistently have a discussion about religion or politics without either offending someone, or creating a heated argument with any tangible discussion occurring. This is even more of a disturbing issue than the lack of good reporting in our media. if we as regular people can't even talk to each other without "being offended" or devolving into snarling wolves, then what hope is there for our children being raised in this environment?

 

The good news is that most young people are just as fed up with the antics of today's leaders as many of you, and other Americans are. The fantastic news is that people young and old are standing up for their rights, and their beliefs all across the nation, and making themselves heard. The greatest result being the vast distaste for our Congress that the majority of Americans feel towards them, and how vocal they are about it! The next step is forcing the issue, making ourselves be heard, and more importantly be respected. It is high time we are heard, and take back our usurped authority from those who dare claim to represent us! We do have a voice, and we need to use it, more importantly we need to understand that not everyone will agree with everything we have to say. This is a good thing, without differences in opinion to include starkly contrasting opinions we would never have progression, we would stagnate and never strive for greater heights.

The biggest issue concerning free speech in America is this sense of entitlement, that simply because you have an opinion it must be respected, and taken seriously, when the reality is all opinions are open to debate, and they should be questioned until there can only be truth left! Science is the only truth, and even then knowledge that we possess today about our known universe may change tomorrow with new discoveries and facts, so to should our opinions of the world, socially, politically, and culturally. Embrace the adversity among your fellow citizens and focus on what matters: being respected by our government, and taking back our freedoms and liberties!


This is all that needs to be said about the American Dream, and the Freedoms we enjoy everyday!

This is all that needs to be said about the American Dream, and the Freedoms we enjoy everyday!

America vs The World

Sounds about right, doesn't it? The US against every single other country in the world! Except, that's not the reality. We have many allies and friends that work diligently to aid us in our endeavors, trade us for goods, and all around help us to be better. We, in turn, do the same for them. It's the nations that we don't see eye to eye with that seem to be at the forefront of our foreign policy. Granted, we should worry more about our enemies than our allies, but are some of these nations truly our enemies, or are they following our example? Take Russia for instance, and Ukraine. What is so different about Russia invading Ukraine to promote their sovereignty (ambiguously defined), then America invading.... well, any of the countries we've invaded over the past century? What's so different about Israel fighting Palestinians, or Chinese trying to bring Taiwan back into their leadership?

The difference, ladies and gentlemen, it's them doing it, not us. Granted, are some of those examples bad for the World and America in general, of course. Is it our business to intervene in every little scuffle on the World stage? Well that's the debate, now isn't it? When do we crush the opposition and when do we let them be? It's tricky, and I don't envy the president, or our military leaders in having to make those decisions. The issue is when bipartisan politics, and biased media try and influence the public into extremism or pacifism, because neither is the correct approach.

Ultimately, any conflict involving other nations, and not  the US, is none of our business no matter how much we want it to be. The issue is when do we intercede, and whose side do we take? Well, in a perfect world, the answer would be the good guys. But who are the good guys in Ukraine versus Russia, or Taiwan and China, or Israel and practically all of the Middle East? That depends entirely upon which news network, or report you watch at the time, and why it's such a complicated issue.

My take personally, as the author of this page, is that we should let the World handle it's own affairs, unless it's crimes against humanity, WMD's (legitimate ones not made up ones as an excuse), or any overt/covert threat to the US, her allies, or her citizens abroad are in existence. That should be our foreign policy. Fight to defend humanity, dignity, and freedom, not for profit, oil, and because.


The other half of International Relations

The above photo is a bit of a poke at how Industry with America and other Countries is perceived both by us and other nationalities. Trade is an important and integral part of international relationships, whether or not they are your ally or not. Most Americans would probably agree that China is at best a wary ally, yet, most of our trade is with them, one way or the other. We also trade with Russia and Middle Eastern Countries. The other side of that coin is trade embargoes, which is the non-violent war mongering solution to international disputes, and something we as a nation have employed against Russia and North Korea to remarkable effect.

In the case of Russia, we did it to deter their actions, whether or not you or I agree with them. It worked phenomenally, but does that mean Russia is the bad guy and we need to worry about Russia attacking us? No. Because Diplomacy to include economic trade agreements, are a peaceful means to either forge alliances, or to ease tension, or to reprimand untoward actions or aggression. Now, in the case of North Korea every ounce of trade embargo or military action that we have taken has been to deny them any hope of gaining a foothold of power in the world, because the leaders of that nation would wreak havoc on its neighbors if given the chance. So why haven't we, or the combined forces of an international coalition, wiped them off of the face of the Earth?

That's a second debate in foreign policy and international relations, when is war a necessity, and when is it enough to deprive a nation of its economy? When is too much deprivation hurting the populace (who are presumed innocent) more than the regime it's targeting? Well, the answer is trade embargoes are supposed to by warning lights to stop acting out of line, and if you don't, you will suffer worse consequences. But what if that's not enough, when is war necessary? Well again, personally speaking, war would be necessary when a foreign nation is either unwilling to back down from its' aggression towards you, or towards others. North Korea doesn't have to be hell bent on the destruction of everyone else, but its' leaders choose to be. So who are we to decimate a nation because of the antics of the people in power? Do we have the right to attack anyone because we disagree with them, even if it is arguably justifiable? 

The answer is more so not what is the correct option, but what is the option you are willing to live with. Me, personally, I would be able to sleep at night if the US sent in teams of highly skilled soldiers to annihilate the political and military leaders of North Korea. I would whole-heartedly support that. I would not under any circumstances support a full scale invasion, in which, civilian casualties would far surpass the threshold for acceptable losses (zero). Since Russia was the other primary example I gave, I'll give my thoughts on that as well. Russia is doing what Russia has always done and will probably continue to do. However, in the case of Ukraine, Russia and Ukraine aren't doing anything that we, and the British Empire, didn't do in 1776. In my opinion, Ukraine deserves its' sovereignty if the Ukrainian people wish it, and we should support that. However, if Ukraine becomes a state of Russia, again, then that is in no way our business. Some might argue it'd be a huge threat to our safety and security. How?

Ukraine, although a beautiful country, isn't wealthy, or powerful, and is full of unsettled land. True, it is deeper into Europe than Russia is alone, and the natural resources Ukraine possess are considerable, but would it truly put Russia over the edge compared to the might of American war fighting capability? No. Would America win a fight against Russia in the first place? Probably, but it'd escalate into WWIII and nobody would win if that happened, which is largely why it hasn't happened, and why so many countries (with exceptions) try and avoid declarations of war. The point is, we shouldn't look to escalate already tense situations, and blow up every problem that occurs, this no longer Ancient Rome, or Greece. This is the 21st century, and we need to start acting like the evolved, sentient species we claim to be, and the means to do so is being demonstrated all around the World: through unity comes strength, through the people peace and prosperity!

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The second Amendment and you!

So what does the right to bear arms mean to you? Does it mean to tote around any and every type of weaponry to defend yourself with? Does it mean open carry for everyone? Does it mean anyone can own, operate, and possess a weapon regardless of background, training or knowledge? Does it mean responsibly owning, possessing, and operating a weapon for the purpose of recreation, or self defense? That seems to be a huge question into today's 2nd amendment debate. What does the Constitution have to say about the 2nd Amendment?

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Technically, our well regulated militia is the Guard and Reserve components of the various branches of our armed forces, and even then, technically, only the Guard is State ran, funded and supported making it the most eligible candidate for "militia" status. That being said, it has been debated up and down since the inception of our nation. There are many stories and articles about people open carrying and displaying their right to bear arms. Most of them are troubling, some are thought provoking, but most are jut trying to get their point across: we have the right to bear and keep arms thanks to the 2nd Amendment. 


The debate!

Technically speaking, only the members in the Guard and Reserve may operate and maintain arms, and in all actuality, they should be able to keep them in their own homes. Open carry activists claim that all citizens could be deemed a well regulated militia, or that if nothing else, they can't be denied their right to own a gun. Me, personally, and many of us here at the Average Joes Initiative, don't care one way or the other. What concerns us is that if you are going to own, possess, and operate a firearm, or any other type of weapon, since arms can be defined as any armament, that you do so responsibly, and reasonably.

Why is it so much to ask to obtain use of force training, minimum safety use training, a background check, and to either register the weapon, or obtain a licence of ownership for any and all weapons you may possess or wish to possess? We make everyone get health insurance, car insurance, home insurance, a driver's licence, a degree for certain career fields, why on Earth is it so much to ask to keep and maintain a licence for weapons? The solution is that simple: in order to receive a licence to carry or possess a given weapon type you must pass use of force training, arms safety, minimum competency, and a background check. End of Story.

I will stand here and argue that, technically, no American citizen that isn't part of the National Guard or Reserves should be allowed to possess any form of armament whatsoever, unless their job specifies it. I will also argue that, as far as the nation is concerned, and most American citizens, possessing fire arms isn't an issue, it's to do so responsibly that needs to be the case. There are too many instances of individuals with all the proper credentials killing each over senseless things, and persons who shouldn't possess armament of any degree having a multitude. The other issue is the ease in which arms can be obtained....legally! Arms regulation shouldn't make it impossible to obtain arms, but it should ensure that responsible individuals are the only ones able to do so!