A Beginning

I know I’ve been writing a lot about children lately… Perhaps it’s because they’re the only ones leaving a good impression on me in recent times…

The world has been shook, that’s for sure. And how the pieces fall in that wake will leave many consequences to come.

Philosophically speaking, we must ask ourselves “What world are we leaving future generations? And more specifically, speaking of where I live, what is the America to come?”

Pandemics disrupt. It’s what they do. But rather than bring people together, it has created an even greater chasm between those of differing opinions and since everyone thinks they are right, how will any meaningful change occur that isn’t politicized to death?

So, I want to pose a BIG beginning solution…

What if, instead of caring about what side of the political team you’re on, consider being on team humanity? And from that premise, perhaps then, we can begin to discuss how to deal with this pandemic and move forward toward individual prosperity rather than our standard of government/big business crony capitalism political BS.

With movements such as #blacklivesmatter and #metoo, people who have been disenfranchised are finding their voice and starting to be heard. There is tremendous power in understanding each other… and that’s where I think we need to begin because differences will always exist, and that’s a fact.

And children. Oh, let us learn from them!

The other day, I was hanging with my 8 & 10 year old nephews. We decided to do movie day but both of them wanted to watch something differently. As Aunt, I said, okay, I’ll write the name of both movies on slips of paper and we’ll randomly select. Knowing I was playing with fire since one of them would not get the movie they wanted, I hoped they would see that both options could work but a decision had to be made fairly.

Well, I was in for a surprise.

The 8 year old won. His choice was “Godzilla” while his brother wanted to watch “StarDog & TurboCat.” I watched the “one who got his choice” eye his older sibling, noticing the disappointment in his brother’s face. A moment later, the 8 year old  suddenly said, “No, it’s okay, Aunt Tina. Let’s watch StarDog.”

Both myself and the 10 year old snapped our heads toward him and said, “Really?” “Are you serious?” To which this beautiful child said, “Yeah, it’s okay. It will be a fun movie too.”

Moral of the story… Even if you get your way, it’s not always the best choice to make.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Wonders… 5 Ways We Are Changing For The Better From The Coronavirus…

My past few posts have been a bit depressing so I thought for this one I’d write about the ways I am seeing the world change for the better, due to the pandemic at hand.

Sure, we could argue till we’re blue in the face about how this all started, how governments are responding, how people are acting, but seriously, what good would arguing do?

“Love is saying ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘You’re wrong.’” – Unknown

And as someone who loves difference of opinions because it’s the best way to learn, I am going to ignore that noise and focus instead on some good things I’ve noticed come out of the #coronavirus and well, that’s something to shine a spotlight on, isn’t it?

5 Ways we are changing for the better

We’re so damn clean.
Anyone else notice how sanitized people and things are getting? I mean, how can that be a bad thing? Hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze and not breathing on top of people… all wonderful traits that are getting instilled in people as they become routine.

The pause leads to thought.
In a weird way, the world is pausing. The wheels have largely stopped and because of that, what was once the norm is now anything but. We’ve been forced to find a new norm with stay-at-home orders and loss of employment among other things. But with these new limitations, we are led right to an important aspect of our life. Our HOME. If it’s your temple, you’ll take comfort in your design. But if on the flip side, you don’t like what you find, well… isn’t that in itself a gift because now, you see it as it is and can do something about it? When one is busy, it’s way too easy to ignore important things.

We’re learning what’s essential.
By definition, essential means what is absolutely necessary. And we are learning what that is! In a world filled of an abundance of distraction, eye candy and material goods, this lesson is not one to be taken for granted. It’s a gift to be able to stop, see what one really needs, and then progress from there to form a healthier state of being. And isn’t it interesting to find out what you do really need, when all bling and glitz and distraction is removed?

Gaining awareness of what teacher’s do and how grossly underpaid they are.
Full disclosure, I have no children by choice. But I am seeing those who do have children, are getting a big taste of what teachers actually do and how incredibly challenging it is to teach children. Perhaps now people will think about where state money should go (not with words, but with actual action and legislation) as the importance of this position has been elevated and revealed for all to witness. Education does not have pharmaceutical lobbyists but imagine if it did….

Letting nature breathe.
Sadly, it had to be forced upon us by a global virus, but a ray of light through this storm is the fact nature has been allowed to do as she would without our massive intervention. The environment is not infinite, despite what the 1980s/90s thought. And allowing it a chance to reset, enjoy itself without our intrusion and just breathe a sigh of relief to be allowed to do so, is perhaps the very best gift this pandemic has given us. Has given the world. And well, that’s pretty damn good.

What positive observations have you observed? #coronavirus

 

I lean Libertarian and voted for Bernie – here’s why

I have to start by explaining that I despise labels. I believe deeply that they’re limiting, regressive and make way for group-think rather than individual thought. With that in mind, I am not registered for any political party – as pure non-partisan as they come –  as I vote for the person, not the party.

This is the premise I begin with when voting.  And to give some perspective, I identify mostly with the Libertarian party more than any other party. A lot of my political activity does involve this party, more than any other, as I firmly believe in minimal government.

So then, how does someone like myself end up voting for Bernie Sanders, a man believed to be a Socialist?

It’s a puzzling question I’ve received from those who know me, and it’s an important one, so I thought I’d address it on my blog.

The reason is actually more simple than most think, but first a little story…

I worked on Ron Paul’s campaign in 2012. Even went to Nevada, where his party put me and a bunch of others up in a hotel to canvas streets, work the call bank and more. It was there that I got a real glimpse into political parties and the machinations of the voting process. It was also during this time that I began to learn about what both parties were involved in and while in principal, they may stand for seemingly different things, in practice, they weren’t all that different.

I wasn’t a Republican but Ron Paul was, so that was the party I was helping. Here was a man, with a strong political career, who spoke out about the truth of government and fought hard for individual liberties.

The worm hole was opened for me. I delved deep into voter suppression and fraud, false media narratives, corporate welfare and so much more. I learned that both parties spent taxpayer money – either at home or abroad – against taxpayer wishes. I learned both parties believed strongly in corporate welfare, never allowing capitalism to have a chance, and when the big banks were not allowed to suffer the consequences they created with the help of the gov’t, who stepped in to help them? The gov’t! With taxpayer money!

That was it. I was done. With both sides.

I learned in order to make real change, the big beast that is our government was going to have to change. It all became so obvious that the parties are made to pull the strings on the voters, both sides, and they make rules to benefit themselves and those who have money to hire lobbyists. They are not about the people, no matter how much they claim to be.

So….

I began to vote for individuals who represented the people, regardless if I agreed with their stances or not, because my top priority became to end the relationship between government and big business. In my opinion, it is what killed the middle class and made the elite class that now runs our country.

Enough is enough.

At first, I too thought Bernie Sanders was a socialist dying to take from the earners to give to those who chose not to earn for themselves. But as I learned more, I realized that yes, he wants sweeping changes that expanded gov’t, but how was that any different from the Republican or Democrat presidents before him who did the exact same, just without transparency and under guises of capitalism though was anything but?

I realized Bernie is transparent and a true representative of the people by being so. It’s clear from his actions – his political fight against Big Business/backhand corporate welfare deals and his anti-war stance – that he will use his position to help the people he represents. And stop sending us into war.

As sad as it is, it’s become as simple as that for me.

I want transparency. I want a president working for the people, not the corporations who sponsor him/her.

And with the pickings so slim, my only chance of achieving this for America is with Bernie Sanders.

Who would have thought?

#seethingsastheyarenotwhatotherstellyoutheyare

 

 

 

Left Versus Right, Right Versus Left

[In the case it isn’t evident, allow me to preface this post with the warning that this is my political opinion, based on research and experience.]

It’s difficult to watch any mainstream news outlet these days and even more difficult to scroll through my Facebook feed because of the abundance of material in which Liberals from the left yell about the right and Conservatives from the right yell about the left. It’s down right nauseating and what’s the worst, is the fact both sides think they’re completely right and the other side is the devil.

Granted, Trump continually gives people many, many reasons to talk mad trash, but when I whittled it all down, I was amazed at how much opinion and sarcasm could be found while substance was insanely lacking. Yes, his administration changes quicker than ice cream flavors at Baskin Robbins and corruption can be found all over (you’d be hard pressed to find any administration free of corruption,) but what really scares me is the fact he gives people reasons to continually use him to take out their own life frustrations. In fact, it seems he enjoys saying things just to make people show their misdirected anger. This is not to say he doesn’t genuinely do things that could anger someone – he absolutely does – but when emotion about one’s own life is not great, Trump provides a spring board and excuse to keep that negativity going and that is greatly troubling to me as it is mostly emotion based rather than logic based.

Now, I should mention I am non-partisan, belonging to no party, but if I had to say the one I relate to most, it would be Libertarian, though I have many problems with them as well. I hesitate to say this because when I say who I am closest too in ideology, people who disagree with my political beliefs will target that group as if they represent or speak for me and that’s a sure sign the conversation is about parties, not actions, and quite frankly, I’m just not interested. (I do mention it here so my readers have a better understanding of where I lean but that is the only reason why.)

Personally, I think while the left and right are trying to one up each other to make the most sarcastic comment, the American public will continue to head in other directions. Coastal states will start to realize they don’t hold all the cards and if one researchs both parties, as many are starting to do, sadly one will find insane corruption all over the place so neither of the main two parties should ever be claiming any moral/economic/social superiority…

But they do. And are.

And that’s what led us to Trump and I fear is going to lead us to another term with him at the helm. Though he was once believed to be a possibility of draining the swamp (i.e. getting rid of the muck of both parties,) time and time again he proves he is not the one to do the job. But that doesn’t mean the voting American public will not continue to send politicians a message. Disruptors prevail because right now, America is hurting and things need to change without the involvement of the two parties who brought on all the destruction and continue to do so.

The swamp is getting fuller, but it could actually be a good thing, because when the draining of it really does come, they’ll all be in one spot. And Trump adds to it every day.

As I watch independents grow and third parties become more and more represented on ballots (I’ve never voted for so many third parties on the local/state level than in our last election here in CA,) I believe things on the federal level will start to change quicker than ever and those on both Left/Right will start to take notice they’re digging their own graves…

But not before the able bodied third-parties waiting in the wings go for it. Yes, reporting is scarce, but I have seen the rise of these parties in the past few years in person so allow me to share that.

The above photo is from Ron Paul speaking at a Republican event. The Right did to him what the left did to Bernie Sanders – they used corruption, silencing and destruction to keep his voice quiet since he was by far not the party favorite. I personally witnessed some massive corruption. Direct message me with any questions you have on this…

2020.

it’s going to be interesting…. hang on America!

Open Communication

Communication has been on my mind lately and specifically, people’s fear of it…

By definition communication means to impart/exchange/share information, knowledge, news, feelings and ideas.

Sounds awesome, right?

Well, I’ve always found it to be. And while it may not be all butterflies and roses when it’s about an unpleasant topic or a disagreeable situation, that is when communication is perhaps most important and needed.

And yet, that is precisely when communication tends to fail.

From my experience, many people tend to fear communication and I’ve always wondered why. Now, I admit I’m one who likes to be straight-forward and I’m quick to put things right on the table, and I understand people don’t have to be just like me and communicate about whatever’s on their mind but, I wonder what is so scary about exchanging thoughts and discussing things? If it’s that passions will fly off the handle, leading to arguments, then simply have a moderator! I don’t know about you, but I see lack of communication all around.

As I was reading over politics, an answer stared me in the face. Anyone who follows the American government knows that they could all use a course on how to communicate. From sliding things into bills under the rug to shutting down discourse at the drop of a hat, politicians are well-versed in ways to get around communicating. And as I was thinking about all this, it hit me.

Communication is feared when truth is not on one’s side.

Think about it. If you believe in what you say and do, communicating will be no problem. Truth is on your side and acts as your guide. But if truth is not on your side, say you’re trying to hide or control something, communication is precisely what you would fear and try to stop from happening or at the very least, tailor it to keep a closed communication system in place.

Politicians love to make deals behind close doors even though those deals, in theory, should be done on the citizen’s behalf. Rather than talk about an issue, most try to send out bullet points so they can control the conversation. And God help any group who tries to make their voice heard outside of the two main parties. They will be shut down so quickly, they won’t even have time to blink. (Did you see what happened when the Libertarians and Green party wanted to participate in the debates?? Disgusting…)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

I agree with you, Shaw, and I’d like to add the second biggest problem is the fear of it.

A political post

As I sat down to compose my latest blog post, I ran through my list of ideas. Soooo many things going on right now. From my two-year wedding anniversary today 9/26 to the natural disasters that have caused far too much destruction in their wake, my mind is reeling.

But then, it got stuck on something that I believe has not only been increasing in quantity and intensity, but is the root of many problems America is facing…

Extreme partisanship.

Now, I should state I belong to no party. (Full disclaimer, I have been registered for a few so that I could vote in primaries.) But I act according to my principals, whichever party they fall in, and accept the consequences of doing so. I do, however, notice my views tend to fall more in favor with third parties but I don’t label myself because I’ll ultimately disagree with something in every group and I have yet to find a party that welcomes that, so I remain nonpartisan.

America, however, doesn’t seem to agree… Is it just me or is partisanship at an all-time high?

I know our current President does not exactly bring out the best in people but he was voted in and is something we must deal with. And it’s gotten many people to keep a watchful eye on what the executive branch is doing so cheers to that, right?

But damn, the partisanship.

Speaking to bases rather than citizens, the two-party dynasty hold, the lack of respect and platform for third party voices, crony capitalism deals, journalist biases so obvious my 6 year-old nephew could pick up on them, intolerance for anyone who disagrees with you, emotion-based laws lacking in practical logic….

America is broken and is reaching a boiling point.

So, what will come of it?

I don’t know. I’m not a prophet. But I do know a boiling pot blows off a lot of steam.

My philosophy studies led me to search for the truth and strive with every fiber of my being to see reality as it is and not as I want or wish it to be because I can’t make change for the better within myself and the world around me unless I see what I’m actually dealing with. Today, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on our political landscape in an effort to open a dialogue and create awareness with hope to inspire others to think for themselves rather than just toeing a party line….

The two-party system is dying as a new generation begins to take over political power. It’s happening slowly, though Trump has accelerated it a tad by being so extreme. But politicians are so beholden to party politics that Americans are nowhere near their top focus and the younger generations are beginning to say enough is enough. It’s time for the people to take the power back. What they want to do with that power remains to be seen…

Consequences will dictate a lot of what the near future holds. Once people see their desires in action, things start to get real, and fast. Look at San Francisco. They’re incredibly hospitable to the homeless but every time I visit (which is multiple times a year,) I see the city being more and more overrun by the very cause they’re trying to eradicate so how is that helping? Or take the NFL. Will player protests of the national anthem hurt their popularity and therefore their bottom line or will it make them even more successful? What will the fans choose to do?

The fact that mainstream media had no idea Trump was going to be president when it seemed really obvious led me to believe they are biased and a waste of my time. Silver lining – information is in abundance thanks to the Internet so the truth is out there. Citizens are becoming the journalists we need. Just be prepared to spend some time sifting through the muck…

Tolerance is key. The world is not perfect. Neither am I and neither are you. There will always be differing opinions. But I believe the fight starts when anyone tries to force something or someone upon another that is not welcomed. But before I pick a fight, I make sure I know what I’m fighting for and its worth to me… I have found that change often comes with pain. Lots of pain.

Nature could care less about emotions so it’s best to be reasonable. The great arbiter of life is nature and it has a way of always reminding humans who is boss. I find it best to listen to my emotions but apply them to logic and reason before doing any acting. That way, whatever Nature throws at me or gives me, I’m ready for it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as well! But I do ask for respect. And I should mention I typically don’t understand the meaning of snarky or snide comments so if you choose to give one, be prepared that I will ask you to explain yourself.

#istherevolutioncoming?

 

 

 

 

The Facts And Nothing But

As I was leaving work tonight, a co-worker/friend and I were talking about some things I write and for the first time someone called me an “investigative reporter.”

To be clear, she used it in a descriptive manner when talking about my inquisitive nature.

I thought about it as I drove home. I’ve always been inquisitive and not afraid to ask any question (hey, no one’s forcing an answer!) but investigative… that word. It stuck with me and my brain started thinking….

Now, unless you’ve been under a rock lately, chances are you’ve noticed the tension in the air about the new President of the United States. Everyone and their mother has an opinion on the topic and most are not afraid to tell you it.

The wrath though. That’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. But that’s a topic for another post.

Trying to wade through the abundance of opinion, pontification, falsehood, agenda-driven “alternative facts” and just down right nasty lies has made the job of someone who wants the-facts-and-nothing-but insanely difficult.

The amount of time I spend researching something has escalated, as the truth-tellers have narrowed.

And that’s when it hit me.

have to some degree become an investigative reporter, out of sheer necessity to find the truth.

Well, you do what you gotta do.

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
– Winston Churchill

Countdown till Christmas – 10 days to go!

I’ll be straight with you right out of the gate. Christmas is not a religious time for me. I understand its roots lie in Christianity with the birth of Jesus Christ and I acknowledge that but for me, I choose to celebrate this time of year by spreading love and being with those who I care about.

And keeping in the spirit of helping others, I decided to write a ten-day countdown to Christmas where on each of the ten days I will attempt to learn something new in the name of giving, joy and love, all in an effort to be of help to others.

Today, I decided to catch up on politics and I noticed a bunch of stories about a “fake news” epidemic. After I wondered how this FINALLY got to be acknowledged, I researched more and began to see that it was all about the dissemination of fake news and not the actual fake news itself!

So, in an effort to help promote integrity in journalism, I would like to share a video of a reporter who is reporting on Aleppo and is actually there and witnessing what is occurring. With the vast amount of dishonesty in journalism, it is getting increasingly more difficult to find honest news and we desperately need it. Aleppo is getting chewed up by the news media and my search for trustworthy news about it was quite difficult… But I found one and would like to pass it along in an effort to help others search for honest news among the sea of deception that is out there…

 

A political growth chart

With the upcoming 2016 election here in America, politics is in the air… for better or worse.

And I’ve begun to notice that this time around, many more of my friends and acquaintances are taking an active interest in the political landscape. More than ever before it seems and this got me thinking about how one goes through a journey as they submerge themselves into politics…

As for my own personal journey into politics, I credit my mother with its origin of moving me from passive bystander to informed doer. About eight or nine years ago, I noticed she had become much more interested in politics and the actions of our government and the discussions we had led me to wanting to know more. They also made it glaringly obvious to me that I had not taken much interest in something that I was finding to be of utmost importance – political affairs, especially those of the government who work for me.

My journey has taken me on many roads as I try to navigate the path I want to take. To date, Ron Paul has been the only politician in office that I have fully believed in. I hope more will be added to the list in the future…

Overall, I believe my political journey has made me a better person. Not only by becoming more informed, but by becoming politically active as well. After all, how can you make change if you don’t do something about the change you want to make?

It wasn’t a smooth road though. Passion runs high when one first embarks on the road of politics. And after learning about what is really going on, emotions will become intense. Not to mention with the advent of the Internet, which is quite new in the grand scheme of things, a wealth of information has never been so readily available. It all can come at you pretty hard. And typically, outrage will come. And you’ll want to voice it.

As I see my Facebook newsfeed light up with political news rather than mindless pop-candy, I am thrilled. It takes The People to make true change, not those in power, as both main parties continuously prove over and over again. But I also see a lot of blood boiling and anger running high, which led me to think about different stages of political growth…

POLITICAL GROWTH CHART

Infancy: Every sense is on overload and high alert. You struggle as you attempt to learn the basics.

Toddler: You tell everyone your opinion, which you think is the only one that should exist.

Child: You start to have some legs to walk on but you argue way more than you reason.

Teenager: You begin to appreciate differences in thought and opinion but still, you like things your way.

Young Adult: You accept that others think differently than you. Action replaces talking about what you are going to do or what others should do.

Adult: Your mantra becomes, “God [or who or what you believe in,] grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Why?

As I was talking politics tonight, someone said to me, “Well, your friend Rand Paul…” and continued with their theory of why Rand is no good. I stopped them and said that he’s no a friend of mine. I’ve never even met the man.

I am not here to defend Rand Paul. He has a lot more to prove to me before I stand behind him or anyone else for that matter. I have not put my support behind anyone for the 2016 election so I don’t really understand why suddenly Rand Paul becomes “my friend” simply because he’s running for president.

Yes, I worked on his father’s campaign in 2012. Yes, I find him interesting. Yes, he is the closest to being a Libertarian out of those who appear to be running for the next president from the two major parties but he is by no means a Libertarian, which happens to be the party I most closely identify with, so… how exactly is this man my friend?

Oh, wait. That’s right. Others like to place me in a category, for a reason which I have yet to fully understand but my goodness, do they try.

Is it because I am part of what I like to call the “political super-minority”?  I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I identify closest to Libertarian yes, but in truth, I adhere to no parties’ principles except for my own and I take full responsibility for such behavior. I get that I am not the norm and I don’t often have agreeing opinions with others, especially in terms of politics, but what’s so wrong with disagreeing? Why do others around me consistently try to place me within the confines of some person or party? Often times, if I state my opinion, suddenly I’m a lover of Obama or I want McCain in the oval office. Does it make them feel better? Does it help them in some way to categorize me?

My parents raised me to not care about what others think. I thank them for that. It’s made me okay with others disagreeing with me. It’s made me understand why I do what I do. It’s made me learn that it’s up to each one of us to figure out what is right and wrong and act accordingly, not confine ourselves to some label or group thinking. And now, it’s helping me understand why others try to place me in a group. Allow me to give an example…

I was raised a Catholic. I was taught by nuns in elementary school. I went to church. I took the Eucharist. I’m Sicilian and this religion is important to my ancestors, near and past. Very important.

So I was placed in this religion but as I grew up, I started questioning why I was doing what I was doing. When it came time for Confirmation, I really started to question things. What does this mean to me? Do I want to be here? Do I feel as they want me too? Is this something I’m drawn to on an honest level?

My mother and I were brought before the woman in charge of the Confirmation classes I was taking. I believe it was because of my “behavior”. It was at this meeting that my rebellion against organized religion was sparked and it became the start of others getting upset when I didn’t feel the same way they did. I became wrong for not believing in the God others around me did. I wasn’t acting as part of their group, so therefore I had a behavior problem.

But why?

What’s so wrong with thinking differently? Who is the arbiter of right and wrong? And if someone does think differently than you, do they have to be boxed into a category? Is it so they can be attacked?

I’ve been watching the Star Wars original series and can’t help but heed the message that we can live among all types of different people because deep down, it’s the force of goodness inside us that will prevail.