It’s that time again, presidential election season. The time that all the major networks both on air and cable seem to be obsessed with the upcoming elections. So much spin, lies and words taken out of context it is hard to know what lie to believe next. I would love to see just one time a real campaign based on the issues and not on the misleading advertisements against the other candidate. Too little emphasis on fixing the problems and being truthful in modern politics and way too much mud-slinging and word bending. The last 20 years of politics has me sick to my stomach, not saying we didn’t have a few good presidents or even a congress that at one time would work for the good of the citizens, just that there is less reality in Washington politics than in a science fiction novel. They really need to get off of the mud-slinging and twisting of words and get down to the bare facts about the true issues at hand. No matter who wins this upcoming election, my hope is that the congress will get a grip and start working together on the problems our country faces and stops playing around with their party based agendas. Well God help us in 2013 and beyond, for I feel we will need all the help and blessings we can get if the congress continues to be like it has for the last 4+ years.
The world is connected by a spider’s web of communication, information and all the junk that comes with such a large social connection. There are no more borders between the people or barriers between the cultures of our world. Yet governments still fight over imaginary lines on a map and the resources that they consider critical. Only if the governments could learn from the people and start looking beyond the illusions of separation and tolerate the differences between us all they might be able to pull together to find peaceful solutions to the problems this world faces as a whole. I am not promoting one world government, I think that would be a bad idea due to the ability of one person controlling everything. But I do support the idea of one world co-operation for the betterment of our world for everyone. The promotion of peace, compassion and the acceptance of our differences as an asset instead of a hindrance. So many of the problems we face in the modern world has been with us for such a long time, so many grudges between nations, Peoples and belief systems that have been amplifying through so many generations. It is so hard to try to fight against such anger and fear when it so embedded in the core of a groups beliefs. Trying to convince those who been raised to hate to see that there is hope and that people change individually as well as in multitudes.
We have so many tools at our disposal as citizens of the information age to share our cultural differences as well as to become a more peaceful world. The internet with all its tools at our fingertips that can help spread a peaceful mentality as well as gathering together as a world to deal with the issues we are facing in modern times. We as a species have such great potential and yet we cling on to negative ideas and beliefs and hold ourselves back from our destiny. We can become the great caretakers of our world and explorers of our vast universe. World hunger, water shortages, disease and the disregard for life can be things of the past if only we can grow enough to except each other as we are and co-operate on a global level for the good of our world. Seems sad we still hold on to prejudices and hatreds that have plagued us since the dawn of civilization. We need to grow up as a species and take responsibility for the crimes we have committed towards our planet and all life that lives upon it. Take responsibility and begin healing the wounds we inflicted on our world as well as the hurt we caused to our fellow humans and animals alike. We need to get past our lust of money, power and the fear of the unknown.
The future of our world and our species is in our hands and we should take life and all that is in it seriously. Not only this generation of humans are in danger by our current path, so are the many generations being born today and those that will follow. We can let them inherit the mess of ours along with the aftermath of the problems from the generations before ours or we can step up to the plate and try to fix the problems we face today. Some of the choices we will have to make will be hard and will require sacrifices that we may not like but it is something we will have to do in order to change our future into something our grandchildren can live in as well as enjoy.
We are the architects of the future and the students of the past. Raymond Barbier
Food stamps, public housing, welfare and other benefits provided by states and federal government are a necessity in times of high unemployment. The problem is the cost of these programs are bankrupting states and adding to the national debt. I don’t see why the states and the federal government couldn’t just require any able-bodied person who is receiving on or more of these benefits who are unemployed to work for the state or federal government in exchange for the benefits. At least it may offset the cost if not balance it out with the labor received. Nothing is for free, the programs are paid by working citizens and I see no reason a healthy person couldn’t work in exchange for the benefits. If it be just cleaning up trash off the side of the road, landscaping, mowing grass, custodial work in schools or any other job that could benefit the citizens and/or governments. Of course I support the idea of drug testing to receive benefits, If a person who is working a job has to take one to get and keep his job then why shouldn’t it be the same for a benefit recipient.
Plus if you require the healthy recipients to work then they can feel useful and it will keep them inspired to find employment. Also there should be more investigations and inspections on recipients to help prevent fraudulent benefit claims and beneficiaries. I do not wish to see the shutdown of the programs that are put in place to help those in need, but if we don’t find some way to alleviate both the cost and the waste created by fraudulent claims they will eventually either be stripped down to nothing or canceled. I am no expert and I don’t have all the answers, but I am intelligent enough to know the way things are going that all our benefits and entitlements will be gone in a generation or two if we don’t figure out how to keep them.
Every one of us has a story, each one of us influences the world around us. How we influence and how much we contribute is up to us. But there is no such thing as an unimportant person, we all are important, special and unique to God. We all are a part of the great machine called life. We as individuals can change our little worlds and as a group can influence change on a global scale. This is one of the unique qualities of human beings, we can change our environments to suit our needs as well as change the course of our worlds destiny / fate. Protests, revolutions, grass root projects and just plain speaking up can cause political, social and even cultural changes. I prefer the non violent methods of enacting change, usually the violent path only brings suffering and brings either temporary or negative results. There are of course some circumstances that violent action is the only path but it should be the last resort.
I blog quite often about how governments tend to be out of touch with the needs of the citizens and are more focused on the rich or the powerful. How the governments fail at actually coming up with solutions to problems due to party politics and the interest groups lobbying them. We can not rely on our governments to carry the weight and should as a nation and or global community start dealing with some of the problems ourselves. Poverty, hunger, homelessness and the environment are things we as citizens can make a difference in. If we organize and work together to better our communities and our world we can achieve almost anything. Some can give money, some can just volunteer time or their expertise as well as doing grass-roots education. So much we can do on our own and probably do a far better job of it than the government could do. It is the right way to do it and almost every religion supports the idea of taking care of our fellow human beings. We can put aside our religious and cultural differences to make this world a better place if we chose to do so.
Just some thoughts, Right or Wrong there here for all to see.
“Love, Compassion and peace are the keys to a better world.”
Why is it so many people over seas dislikes western culture and the governmental powers of the western world? Well far as our culture, to a morality based religious culture the western culture would appear to be quite decadent and low in moral standards. Besides the cultural differences there is the past colonization of the middle east by the British and French. Even though all the colonies were dissolved and abandoned the resentment is still there. Then the long dislike between Islam and both Christians and Jewish faiths doesn’t make things any easier between the western and middle eastern powers. Sometimes I believe the west in general seems to interfere too much with the middle east and that keeps mistrust and hatred brewing. A lot of the tension in the middle east is spawned from the constant debate of the Holy places in Israel. The fact that civilized people can not come to a fair way of sharing the Holy sites. The holy sites do not belong to one religion, they belong to all of God’s children be they Muslim, Jewish or even Christian.
After all we are all followers of the same god regardless the fact that the prophets we choose may be different or we may believe the messiah has already came once or not. Religion put aside there is the presence of military forces in middle eastern countries, even if they are invited by the governments or not they are seen as invaders by some in that region. Places like Iraq and Afghanistan may require our presence for a short while longer but the sooner we pull out and let the active governments stand on their own the better. The fear of a terrorist supporting government taking over or infiltrating the new governments in Iraq or Afghanistan is a waste of time. Regardless of how long you train and support the current governments the fact remains there will always be the risk they will turn terroristic or unfriendly after we leave. Our military presence isn’t going to make any difference on that fact. Plus with a about a decade of military and financial support, both Iraq and Afghanistan should be able to stand on their own by now.
Diplomacy should be the first priority for both the west and the middle eastern powers, both sides need to put their past differences aside for the good of our world. Trust can be earned on both sides if they are both willing to work at it and maybe sacrifice a few things along the way. Peace is always a possibility if both sides are truly willing to work for it. Just think how much money both sides would save and be able to apply to helping the people who are in need. All the money spent by governments and terrorist organizations to wage war could be used to build houses, schools and feed the hungry or heal the sick.
As usual the Congress has half way done their job and gave themselves more time to act like children fighting in a school yard. They keep trying to cut entitlements and yet they are not putting their own wages and benefits on the line to save our national budget. The poor and lower middle class always seem to either pay the bills for the government or loose entitlements to help the government to spend money on earmarks and pork. I think they really need to take a look at all the projects they are funding that doesn’t help the citizens nor the nation and cut them off from funding. Leave Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare alone. Far as welfare it should remain but should be structured to be an assistance program not a life long support system. Unfortunately there is a lot of entitlement abuse and fraud going on in our great country, many people who are capable and unwilling to work use the entitlement system in our country. But there are many who need the assistance and either are denied or are too proud to accept the help. Should we get rid of entitlements? No, To become caulis and uncompassionate is not the answer. More regulation and a better system on confirming the need of assistance is a must. Follow up inspections of the recipients and their residences to confirm that they are indeed in need and not just abusing the help is what must be done.
There are many ways to reduce the national debt, one is to reduce our foreign aid, Borrowing money to give it away to another country is just plain stupidity. Instead we could help the developing countries and countries in need by getting them loans from those countries able to lend. The tax code also needs to be revamped, The rich have too many loopholes and tax breaks while the middle class and poor have very few tax breaks at all. Both rich and poor should have to pay the same percentage of taxes per dollar earned. Why should someone who makes millions pay less per dollar in taxes than some one who makes thousands? Another big strain on our budget is all the military actions (wars) we are involved in, The world seems to want the U.S. to play the role off planetary policeman but yet none of the countries seem to want to help pay the bill for our involvement. This is a world of many countries and or nationalities and therefore it should be a global effort to enact change and also to police the rouge nations. The U.N., N.A.T.O and the rest of the global organizations should work together to improve the quality of life for all of mankind and be a part of the global solution.
Not one man nor one nation should shoulder the responsibility for our world alone, it should be a totally global responsibility and universal effort to fix the problems our world faces today. Regardless of ones religion, race or creed we are all part of the great human race. Not one life is greater or lesser than another and all life is sacred.
I think all the governments of this world need to either grow up and face reality or they need to wake up from their dream state.
Well once again I rambled on long enough. Peace and Truth Be your Guiding Light Raymond Barbier
Across the globe citizens of all walks of life are protesting and rioting against governments that are now learning the lessons of not listening to their citizens. Imbalance of power, wealth and education is creating a wave of anti government sentiment and actions. In the U.S. the Unions and workers of many states are in a battle for their rights to have a good wage and decent retirement / Insurance coverage. The citizens of the middle eastern countries and north Africa are fighting for basic human rights. All of this is due to the greed and the inability of governments to listen to the wants and needs of their citizens.
I find it quite sad it takes such protests and riots to enact change in countries and governments of the modern world. Maybe some good will come out of all of this unrest and un needed killing in countries such as Libya. Maybe, just maybe other countries and their governments will learn to listen to the public and be more concerned about their needs and wants. Possibly they may even see the great gap in the wealth and health issues within their own borders and try and find a way to make it a bit more fair and balanced.
No country is immune to the divide between the economic classes, some countries have a larger gap than others and this will eventually create either unrest or a economical downward spiral for those countries. The working class is the one that both helps create/provides goods and is the major consumer of such goods/services. Neglect that class and allow them to become impoverished both financially and in education then you will see a economical disaster in the making.
Another lesson that the world may learn is that we really need to move away from the dependence on oil as our main source of fuel. The unrest in the middle east has already increased the cost of oil per barrel to over 100 U.S. dollars and has effected the stock markets across the globe. An oil based economy like what most of the world is connected to is not a very stable one due to the increase of demand and the dwindling oil supplies and reserves across the globe.
To those in Libya, Egypt and the rest of the countries in the Middle East / North Africa I send my best wishes and my condolences for the lives lost in the revolutions/protests.