Change really isn’t a 4 letter word…

Our biggest limitations are the ones we make for ourselves. We often decide that something is impossible… when in reality it is possible, it would just require us to change how we do things, and maybe even how we view things.

We’re so scared to change anything. The reality is that if you try something some way and it doesn’t work.. In stead of throwing your hands up and getting all upset, you could simply look into diagnosing what parts of your methods didn’t work and adjust until you get it right.

Instead of giving up at the beginning.. maybe its time we decide to work towards improving and be more open to trying something new. A better answer could be right around the corner if we are willing to seek it.

A hard look at Ben Carson

Ninja edit: Another clip that confirms I can’t reasonably support this guy. I get that its hard to put yourself in a position you are unfamiliar with, but to actually say that a women should not have the right to decide to terminate a pregnancy if it has to do with rape, incest, or may cost her – her own life… that is absurd. To compare that difficult decision to the woman acting as a slave holder.. seriously? I’ve only known a few people who have had to make that difficult choice… and for people to act as if its just people willy-nilly making those decisions obviously has never spoken, and can’t empathize someone put in that position. /ninjaedit


Problem #1. Its hard for me to fully support someone who shows reluctance running for President in the first place.

If the only reason you are running is because others are “clamoring” that you run that may be a problem.

I still don’t want to be president . . . Whether I run or not, I don’t want to. ” ~ Ben Carson

Carson told onlookers in Iowa

I really don’t want to do this, to be honest with you,” ~ Ben Carson

The View was asked: “Do you have presidential aspirations”

It is not something I desire to do and my hope is that someone comes along that excites the people.” ~ Ben Carson

Sanity check. While its nice that others may “want” you to do the job, If your hearts not in it.. I actually don’t want you anywhere near it. We need a president whose heart is in this.

#2. When asked if he would want to bring back water-boarding as president, Carson replied with the following:

What we do in order to get the information we need is our business, and I wouldn’t necessarily be broadcasting to everybody what we are going to do. We’ve gotten into this mindset of fighting Politically Correct wars. There is no such thing as a Politically correct war. “

Here is the thing; While there may be no “Politically Correct War” (which is questionable, because most wars tend to always be politically charged in some way or another, so it depends on your view of it), the only reason I could see engaging in war in the first place would be over “Morally Correct” issues. If you are trying to promote moral behavior abroad, but harbor the attitude that we can do whatever we want here if it benefits us, that is hypocrisy pure and simple. 

#3 Not willing to rise above personal biases

On Meet the Press Ben Carson stated:

I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” ~ Ben Carson

He also said that Islam, as a religion, is incompatible with the Constitution.

In a later interview meant to blow over frustrations over his earlier statements that he rejected taking back, he further stated:

Now, if someone has a Muslim background, and they’re willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then of course they will be considered infidels and heretics, but at least I would then be quite willing to support them,” ~ Ben Carson

The main problem I have with Ben Carson, is that I’m not actually interested in electing someone that seems to be a step backwards for America, rather than a step forwards in encouraging peace and discouraging discrimination. I want to know that the any president I vote for is someone who is sensible enough to understand what is wrong with making blanket statements like that.

Even George W Bush in 2001 said

The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace.  They represent evil and war.” ~ George W. Bush

If they don’t know better than to phrase things in a blanket statement, and they harbor biases, then they won’t do a good enough job in working for our diverse citizenship.  Islam is the 4th most common religion in the United States. Islam doesn’t equal Terrorism and anyone  who believes otherwise is far too simple to handle our country’s most complicated elected office.

The last point I want to throw out there is that its important to know that regardless of what we often hear, there is a separation of “Church and State” for a reason. This countries founding documents support a “freedom of religion for Americans” and prohibit people from being treated unjustly because of their religion.

Again…. the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

as well as:

…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.  ~ ARTICLE VI of The United States Constitution

Seriously.. let it go!

It makes me want to cry sometimes how much people seem to WANT to hate. How much they support it. How much division they seem to want for there to be making sure to label everyone rather than just talking and getting to know others. How much “control” they seem to take in thinking that their “opinion” should impact how a stranger lives, loves, and prays.. what level of rights or respect they believe a stranger doesn’t “deserve” because they aren’t exactly like them.

Its so sad. I don’t care what your religion, nationality, skin color, orientation, political side or where you live. If you care about those things.. seriously please challenge yourself to figure out why. What is it in your being that prevents you from caring about someone elses suffering. What in you determines that just because someone differs from you, that they are not worthy to be included in the golden rule.

Its not healthy to be this petty. Books can’t be judged by their cover, yet we are dumb enough to think people can be? People are so complex, and cannot be explained away by your labels. Labels are the lazy way out. The only way you know anything about anyone is communicating with them directly as an individual, or getting to know their character over-time but so many would rather assume rather than extend an invitation and open a dialogue.

#IStandwithAhmed and weep for CJ’s hatred

I long to live in a world where people are judged by their merits and how they use their talents..not by labels and stereotypes. A world where people challenge their own biases and strive to improve themselves first – and enlighten themselves by actually getting to really know people of their community.. and people of their world. Doing that rather than blindly working under the assumption that they could know anything about a stranger merely from the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the religion they practice. Lets hope that the next generation is far brighter than we are. Lets hope that at some point we can start being the role-models our kids deserve, and that we always work to encourage intelligence and innovation in our young. They are our future. ‪#‎IStandWithAhmed‬

I think The Doctor is right…  “Why can’t I meet a decent species?   Planet of the pudding brains.” I can’t begin to understand people sometimes.

I was pretty proud of people for a bit the day before yesterday, when so many rallied to let a young boy whose teacher let her own personal bias over his race/religion control her imagination and make something out to be something it wasn’t at all. Why are we so stupid? Luckily it restored my faith in people that the majority were pretty willing to stand up for Ahmed.

Then came the people who don’t seem to care about the details of what had happened, and only desired to make it fit their political agenda.  Seriously guys.. this isn’t about your dramatized political rhetoric.

Posts on facebook and everywhere popped up where people started condemning the President for his audacity in inviting this 14 year old to the white house. Their issue… he’s muslim.  Comments like “he didn’t get invited because of science”

Ya think? Well Duh!

No its not only because of science. He got invited because he is a part of what is considered a minority in this country (even though his religion is the fourth largest in the United States) and was wrongly accused.  He had been accused of a being malicious threat BECAUSE of his teacher’s personal bias towards his skin color/religion, and that is wrong. His intentions were to share his interests with his teacher, and she freaked out instead.

No “bright ones”.. It would have taken a lot more than a small homemade clock to garner public attention had Ahmed not gotten arrested. Without winning a science fair with an amazing invention, or building a nuclear reactor in your garage.. had his arrest not happened, he probably wouldn’t have been invited out. But that is not the point.

Reason #1  He got invited to set an example to the American people that we should not be so quick to judge. To highlight for some that for a fact, there are individuals that are brown and/or muslim (pick your bias), that in truth aren’t actually evil, and aren’t here to “destroy this country”, and that do have intelligence.

Reason #2 The second reason was to show Ahmed that not everyone in America is out to get him merely because of his skin color and religion. To not let this teacher/school’s knee-jerk reaction to their own bias, get him down because it wasn’t his fault they hold those grudges. To encourage him to keep striving to learn and do something with himself DESPITE idocy around him.

Muslim/Islam is not terrorism. Don’t be so simple minded.

Whats more frustrating about this is that it introduced me to a young CJ Pearson who already at such a young age is tainted by political nonsense. He made a  youtube video about how horrible it is that Obama would do such a thing in inviting Ahmed to the white house.

His thoughts in his video were all over the place. Started off being about that it wasn’t right that a muslim Ahmed was invited, then went on to talk about how its Obama’s fault for fallen police officers deaths, and then onto complaining basically how inept the president is.  It was more about being as mad as he could possibly be.

First of all there is absolutely nothing wrong with the president to inviting Ahmed to the White House. There is nothing wrong with him encouraging kids to be interested in science. I’m curious as to why  this particular kid didn’t make an “outraged” video when Taylor Wilson, the white kid who made a nuclear reactor in his garage got to meet the president. Nor In 2013 Obama met with a whole lot of kids who were science fair winners in Miami… was there an issue with that?   We need our kids to be better than us. We need our kids to be able to see past people’s differences and be more real than biased.

It honestly made me kind of sick to my stomach to see the few people that seem to just eat it up and celebrate this kids hatred. Its like they want to be angry, so they will take any possible thing they can and turn it into a cry-fest. Thats such a miserable way to live!

To each their own opinion I guess. We’ll have to agree to disagree… and I just have to take my own advice and “consider the source” and realize that if you are someone so that easily blinded by small differences in people, and willing to follow people who appreciate discourse.. that I won’t be able to take anything you say all that serious.

Plain and simple, assuming biases is what initiated this all in the first place. The kid was arrested because his teacher let her bias create a problem that wasn’t real. To me its rather sad that no teacher at that school was intelligent enough to look at that simple device and know what it was.. and it was basic electronic parts, the school’s computer IT people could have probably even figured it out.

What kind of world are we trying to encourage here? Would we rather a bright young man get tainted by someone elses hate and assumptions and totally discourage him? Or even worse.. have him decide “what is the point in doing something positive” when “everyone” automatically expects negatives from him?  Its honestly in societies best interest for us to encourage all kids to stop pretending as if someone’s skin color, religion, or orientation tells you anything reliable about a person. Its time for us to get real and stop buying into nonsense.
I’m aware that people like to blame Obama for anything and everything they possibly can. Heck, there was a survey recently where people blamed Obama for mismanagement of relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina….thing was he wasn’t even president then. Its all gotten pretty old.

This CJ Pearson is reacting to one issue as if it had anything at all to do with what he wants to complain about. He says its Obama’s fault because some of our police and military personnel got shot. Seriously? Was he there? Did Obama pull the trigger? No. Get over yourself child. I guess there is hope in the fact that you are still a child, and life still has opportunity to teach you that it takes more than pointing fingers to get things done, and life doesn’t have to be such a circus. There is life after highschool dramatics..

Its interesting to me how if anyone says anything about gun control, that the stand point is always a very knowing “Guns don’t kill people, People kill people”… yet if “Obama” can be blamed we are fully ok to skip blaming the people who actually pulled the triggers, and decide that those criminals “would have never done that if Obama <insert complaint here>.

The plain truth is criminals shoot police, military personnel, because of themselves and their own hatred… not because Obama “allowed them”. I guess Obama could take away our right to bear arms…. oh except he can’t.. and hasn’t. Want to blame him because we still have access to guns? People should be held accountable for their own actions.. yet so much time is spent pointing fingers at everyone else. Its an incredibly dim outlook to pretend that tragedies such of these never occurred “before Obama”. I get that people don’t like the president. I don’t necessarily agree with every single choice he’s made, but I’m not going to buy into hating just to hate, Nor am I going to get riled up that someone of a different religion/color/orientation gets a bit of encouragement, especially when they had been so wrongly accused of something pretty serious.

Speak with positive intention… not for mere attention.

Try to be reasonably aware of the origin of your “opinions” and work to stay out of the spotlight unless you actually mean to make a positive difference in the world. In truth its not always necessary to have an opinion on subjects not concerning you. Nor is it really expected on subjects you’ve not done any more than a google search or two on.  It really doesn’t somehow make you important or impressive just because you have crafted one. Infact… it makes you rather average.

It takes character to be someone who listens first and speaks up only when its necessary. Someone who researches first, weighs multiple differing points of view before ever being willing to make any statement.

Cheat Sheet:  How to know the difference between when you should voice your point of view… and when you should not.

Ask yourself these simple questions ~

#1 Is the behavior fatal? Does it cause physical or mental or emotional suffering to the individuals immediately participating in the behavior?

If Yes Then yes of course speak up! Let others know you care about their suffering and work to help alleviate the hurt in this world by doing something about it. Work with others to inspire positive change, and encourage cooperation across the board to make a lasting difference. Strive to make this world a healthier, more positive place that benefits all those currently living in it, as well as those that will come along in the future. Think long-term. Encourage and Inspire overall peace. Work towards a greater good.

If No – If the people actually involved are happy or content with their decisions, and it doesn’t immediately concern your everyday life, then stay out of it. Being overly opinionated about decisions other people choose to live out is just being a nosy gossip. Just move on.. there’s nothing to see here. Your opinion on the matter isn’t needed until its specifically asked for.

#2 Is your opinion based on your religion?

If Yes – then understand that religion/spirituality is a personal choice and should be understood as such. Religion/Spirituality is only meaningful if its personal. Religion/Spirituality is completely worthless if you just “believe” because its taken on because its what others around you expect. Don’t attempt to herd people into blindly believing. Know that the rules you’ve agreed to live by, are rules that are expected of you and you alone. Don’t expect everyone around you to abide by your beliefs just because you do.  Ask yourself question #1 once more and use that to determine if you should speak up before you do.

If No – then still understand that if the people actually involved are happy or content with their decisions, and it doesn’t immediately concern your everyday life, then stay out of it.

#3 Did anyone ask you?

If Yes – Then give some consideration to your answer.
If the subject isn’t “about you” or actually causing physical/mental/emotionally hurtful to those involved.
Strive to correctly represent how much time you’ve actually put into coming up with that opinion. Realize your own motives behind anything you are wanting to say. If you know your opinion is based more out of personal interest rather than a greater good.. you should likely abstain and not comment.
If the subject is “about you” and/or IS actually causing physical/mental/emotionally hurtful to those involved.
SPEAK UP and do something to help encourage change for the better!

If No – then unless it affects your life directly, or is causing physical/mental/emotional suffering to others, then its likely unneeded and you should not worry about being vocal.  
IF HOWEVER – it is causing  physical/mental/emotional suffering to yourself or others immediately involved or participating then SPEAK UP and do something to help encourage change for the better!

“Religious Liberty” or just an excuse to discriminate?

liberty

It is understood that the US took its core democratic premise and understanding of liberty from English Philosophers/Theorists John Locke and Francis Hutchison. Principles of Natural Law, and the concept that no one should interfere with another’s life, health, liberty or possessions were some of the main points used as basis for the foundation of The United States of America. Our Declaration of Independence cites plainly that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Locke  believed that governments  and the majority rule needed to be kept in check, and that the way to do so is by protecting and preserving individual liberties. This would be the individual liberties for all… because we’re all created equal right?

The first amendment of our constitutions  “prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.” Simplified, that second part of the establishment clause prohibits the US government from preferring any one religion over another or “forcing” people into having specific religious beliefs. We work to foster freedom across the board in this nation.

Now with all that said and understood, I can put across my point.

I’ve seen the term “Religious Liberties” thrown around quite a lot lately when it comes to people who decide they cannot fulfill their jobs duties because of their religious beliefs. They clamor to protect their “right” to choose who they provide service to. Now we are all about protecting individual liberties, but here is the problem with what these people want. They are basically wanting the “right” to openly discriminate and not be held accountable. They are wanting to force their views on others, and they want to discipline others for not adhering to THEIR personal belief system.

I think its stretching things when people start believing that our whole society should begin being expected to tailor each individual’s job to their unique set of religious beliefs, for even the most basic of services.  To start allowing people to claim “religious liberty” as a means to discriminate against another person just because they hold differing beliefs is going overboard. Especially when the beliefs they disagree with are totally unrelated, and have nothing to do with to the business interaction that is being asked of them. To be quite honest, the whole idea is simply unprofessional and childish.

Bakers that won’t bake cakes, florists that won’t arrange flowers, and clerks that refuse to issue a document, should plainly be fired. The point that they can’t bring themselves to perform the same simple duty that they perform every other single day, all because of the “kind” of people they are having to “deal” with — is simply an excuse used to justify their discriminatory biases publicly.  I’m not sure how their attitude can be seriously taken as anything other than discrimination?  Whether these “Religious” individuals want to admit it or not, that is actually them forcing their beliefs on others rather than the other way around.

There is a problem when people throw around phrases like “Religious Liberty” and don’t understand what it even means.  The whole point of Religious Liberty is that you are allowed to have your own belief system, and to practice it, and assemble with others that share those beliefs. If those points are being threatened, then yeah.. bring up your grievance, and stand up for  your “Religious Liberty”. However if you are  being “forced” to do your regular job, performing the same simple duties that you are fine to you do every other day for anyone else, then that is not an attack on your “Religious Liberty”, that is merely an exhibited limitation of your own personal character over being able to separate your personal biases from  your work performance. At that point  If you are simply being asked to do something that you do every other day, something you get compensated for.. that is not violating your “religious” rights, that is actually you violating others rights.

What really makes it clear that it is plain discrimination is when the simple duty you are being asked to perform, causes no physical or emotional harm to others and has no bearing on your own personal life and you still choose to refuse service.  To put it simply, in order to bake a cake, to arrange flowers, or to process a marriage certificate, those duties do not require you personally to become involved sexually with that individual. It does not require you to attend their church services. It does not require that you learn to speak their language, and it does not require you to even like that person. All it requires you to do is the same simple tasks that you’ve been willing to do for others who have come in.  To perform the duties that your chosen “profession” is expected to do. If you cannot, then the issue is you and if you can’t overcome it, then its time for you to get a different job and allow someone more well-rounded and deserving to be paid for doing honest work.

To me its all pretty simple. If aspects of your job make you feel you are betraying your beliefs.. then that means its time for you to quit that job and move on. No attention or showcasing is really needed. A job is a job, take it or leave it.  Being “Religious” shouldn’t give you the right to openly discriminate against someone and not get called out on it.

Another thing people aren’t seeming to understand is actually what “Liberty” means.

Liberty is really supposed to be about creating balance for all so that freedom can be realized. Its supposed to be about the fact that all people are “created equal” and should all have the basic rights.

As long as someone’s lifestyle choices don’t involve killing or abuse of others, then its really not any of your business. We are supposed to not impede or interfere with someone else’s way of life and personal beliefs, and pursuit of happiness. Liberty is about protecting ones right to chose their own way. To allow the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges. Having your marriage recognized is one of those basic rights.

If you believe its part of your “Liberty” to control others, or to dish out discipline for someone not adhering to YOUR way of life, then you are misinformed on the meaning of what liberty is, and you don’t deserve to use the word at all.