Sense & Sensibilities…? Shame!

Originally posted Oct 4, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Sense and Sensibilities Today was the day I had lined up to write about malware but with this current shutdown situation going on, I had to write about that instead – especially in light of the fact that it also affects me too.

I will not be calling out names, it is not my nature. I will not be calling out specific parties. Anyone who objectively watches, listens and reads more than one narrowly focused news outlet (TV, radio, websites & newsprint) will know what is going on. I say ‘objectively’ because too many people are not being objective about this shutdown and using emotion and religion instead. In light of this shutdown, what I really want to do is rant and use profanity so profuse that it will make the hand on the back of your hands burn off but that is not me.

Look, if you are not using your head and thinking through the daily and weekly political machinations for yourself but instead relying on one talk show personality, or radio personality or one politician who ‘may’ be distorting the truth – Shame on you. Go out and work your brain cells and verify some of that content for yourself – use that brain that nature gave you.

Gerrymandering / Re-districting We have to put a stop to gerrymandering; it just goes on getting worse and worse over time. Both political parties have got to stop that madness. I happened to be listening to the Rachel Maddow show one night this week and they were discussing the possibilities of having a professional non-partisan group work on the re-districting process, removing the bias that grows more and more over time. I like that idea, would it work? Could people in this country get behind this idea so we can have representation of all the people in that district rather than some of them?

To those people in certain congressional districts around the country, you need to think about more than yourself. You are likely in a district full of citizens that are overwhelmingly just like you but lacking any real diversity. There are many, many other people out there around the country from many different walks of life. These other people may not be like you in: == Race (we had an Indian-American woman win Miss America, so what, be happy for her), == Education (not everyone can go to college due to other issues in their lives, like caring for a seriously sick family member), == Affluence (not everyone is born into a family that had a head start in life decades ago (I’m not talking about rich)), == Political persuasion, == Religious or no religious beliefs (religion should not be playing any part in government) or even == Health (people who do not grow up in well to do families, have health problems that are not taken care of years ago) Because some people may hold a very narrow view on life, those people cannot and should not inflict that narrow view on others and try to force others to be like them. You simply cannot do that, life is not supposed to work that way – you cannot suppress and deny others as it was done centuries ago (think ‘Christian Crusades’) or even as recent as the 20th century (think ‘women’s rights,’ slavery (Chinese and Blacks). You have to consider others as well as yourself in how we live in today’s society and move forward in the 21st century. Other people may not have had the chance to obtain better education in order to get that better job and earn a better living. And when monies are taken away from some school district to finance another ‘better’ school district, you are in effect suppressing those others.

Politics So, when people in the various pockets of America think and act narrowly on things in life and transplant that to politics, those people vote for someone who also thinks narrowly. This starts moving to extremes over time, we see that today. People should be thinking long term in how we can make the country better for all American citizens, not just in those close-minded pockets of the United States. We can do better than that.

We should be looking at mechanisms that can help all of us in the long run, even if it does mean spending more money first. For example, take this Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or Kynect or Covered California or whatever it is called in your state) – this will start reducing costs immediately for reduced emergency room visits that many without insurance use for their standard health care. That is, due to not having insurance, they let medical problems become worse until they can no longer stand it and need some kind of treatment. In the meantime, in some form or fashion, the rest of us pay for those emergency room visits…

Politicians & Talking heads We seem to have quite a few politicians and talking heads who are saying that this shutdown is a good thing. Do not take my word for it; watch the repeated videos and news clippings yourself. These individuals, in talking about the shutdown are saying some of the following: == It is only a minor inconvenience == This is only a pin prick == People will see how much government we can get along without == Etc. Now, if you are paying attention to what is going on around the country, you, yourself, will know this is not a pin prick or minor inconvenience. Our embassies and consulates overseas will have to function sub-optimally if their current funds run out. Medical research is now drastically reduced. I know someone who is supposed to get married on the National Capital Mall this weekend but will now not be able to because of the shutdown. Etc., Etc., Etc. And if those people who are affected by the shutdown cannot receive pay checks due to their furlough, then the ripple effect starts and it will affect many more people around the country. These people caught up in that ripple effect will likely be someone you know – “IF” not you specifically.

To those politicians who are obstinate, close-minded and chose to force situations on people – SHAME on you.

Conclusion We can absolutely do better than what is going on with this shutdown. We are supposed to be world leaders but it seems like we are harking back to Newt Gingrich when he was supposedly snubbed by the President at the time and as a result, Gingrich (as Speaker of the House) shutdown the government in 1995. Take a look at the Daily News front page from back then of the image portraying Gingrich in a caricature of him wearing a diaper throwing a tantrum. (Jan 2012 article link with that caricature: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/01/newt-gingrich-crybaby-the-famous-daily-news-cover-explained) We need people in politics who will listen to their constituents, the well-meaning, level-headed constituents in their districts and bring those thoughts and ideas to congress. We need people in politics who are above board and honest in the message they bring back to their districts and informing their constituents of what is reality. These politicians must convey the message that their constituents cannot have everything only the way they want it.

There has to be compromise. We cannot force things on people, things like forcing: == A woman to undergo a trans-vaginal probe or == People who have voted for 50-60 years or more to get voter i.d.s to prove their identity == People to only marry the opposite sex (or become a freak show for marrying a same-sex partner)

We can do better than that. We have to. Didn’t we get women the right to vote (the hard way)? Didn’t we get blacks the right to vote (painfully)? Didn’t mixed race marriage come to pass? Didn’t we end segregation (well, this is still a work in progress due to the large number of bigots in the country)?Come on folks; let’s not allow the extreme people of the country hijack the rest of us. We should have compromise, level-headedness and better reasoning in politics. For that matter, we should have it around the globe. No one can have whatever they want, whenever they want it (that goes for the rich or the politically powerful as well).

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Society: Bigotry, Gender discrimination & Stupidity

Originally posted Aug 15, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Society What is happening to us? Are we losing our minds around the world or what? And no, this will not be a diatribe; it is a soliloquy of frustration at what is happening in the world. This was somewhat long but it is a big deal to me, all of the following.

We have so many people who only want things their way and no one else’s. We cannot do that, not anywhere in the world. The world’s population is growing and it ‘ain’t’ gonna stop, not in our lifetimes and as such, we cannot afford to say, okay, this part of the world, we’re only going to have Sharia law where women are 2nd class (or less) and girls cannot go to school. Here, in this part of the world, it is only for the white race and no gays. Are you serious? ARE YOU BONKERS!!!! We have men and women; we have blacks, whites, Chinese, Arabs, Latinos; we have atheists and Christians and Muslims; we have gays and lesbians and heterosexuals; we have older and younger; and on and on and on. We have got to stop treating people like they are not welcome in any part of the world. But in order to do so, we have to get more people to realize that their way is not the only way – and I mean this for those religious groups who have one way of life or for those who believe that their race (skin color) is the superior race…

America What is happening to us? We, here in America, are supposed to be the leaders of the free world and we STILL have all these racial, religious, class issues here in this country. We cannot lead the world if we cannot first learn to live and work together!!! Yes, conservatives have their say, just as liberals and other parties have their say or thought process. But whatever happened to helping each other? We need to help each other up even if it means getting our own soft hands a bit dirty to ensure everyone is being pulled up. However, when you become polarized and antagonistic towards other different groups JUST because they are different – then you slow down or even halt progress. Just because you, hypothetical you in this case, grew up in a nice neighborhood and your family had a decent income to live off of, it does not mean that others who did not have that same luxury are beneath you. They, these lower class individuals whom you look down on (if you even notice them), just never had the same opportunities as you did. And on top of that, if you continue to suppress them, errr, deny them opportunities to grow – they will remain in that economic miasma. What are you afraid of, the other person’s skin color? Religion or lack of? Gender? Sexual preference? Dearth of education? Why?

Sacrifice Many people have to go through sacrifice to get to where they are today. It may mean breaking a glass ceiling for women. It might mean someone of a different skin color going through agonizing periods of time to attain a spot in society that means middle class or better. It might mean someone hiding their homosexuality in work environments that are strictly homophobic – for years! All of these people have to suffer through the same bloody things. To become equals in society, they have to endure emotional humiliation and even physical pain every day. They have to endure stupidity from those around them and these individuals spewing stupidity may not be the best and the brightest our society has to offer – even though, sometimes it is our best and brightest (who years later may say that they do not recall ever doing horrible things to others). For many of us, sacrificing multiple things in our lives for a period of time to reach a milestone is a fulfilling thing. However, many people should ‘not’ have to suffer needlessly and foolishly to achieve any goal – but really, NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO SUFFER needlessly and foolishly to grow in their lives. We all will need to sacrifice something in order for the world to grow as one.

Commonsense Just because you believe in one thing and only act in one manner, you are not on this planet alone. You are amongst hundreds of millions of people who want a better way of life. Or who just want to live a peaceful life, one where you can walk the streets without people locking their car doors as you approach. It might be a world where you can be a woman without every single guy in the world hitting on you just because you smiled back out of niceness. Some want a world where they do not care if you practice a different religion from them but that you allow them to practice their religion in peace without being castigated for it. Each and every single one of us has to look out for the others, especially the weaker. We have to protect those who have a difficult time protecting themselves or cannot. We have to get past the notion that skin color means something. It does not really and I mean that respectfully. It only means your ancestors were born in a different part of the world at a very, very different and difficult time. And I’m not talking about the religious 6,000 years ago when the world was created. I am talking about the scientifically recognized time of millions of years ago as humans evolved and developed (if you disagree, I am sorry and that is your right). Many people today who believe they are of a pure race would be shocked to discover (if they underwent a DNA genetics test) that they are not as pure as they believed. When are we, as a collective race of people, going to start recognizing as a whole that we should not be letting skin color separate us, marking us as totally different? Or in the case of some misguided groups, that skin color or religion marks you a lower class individual (Hitler and the Jews, KKK and blacks, etc.) When are ‘more’ of us going to start recognizing that mixed race marriages or relationships are going to continue to grow and there is nothing wrong with that? Is it wrong in your eyes?

Today! Personally, I’ve been waiting for decades for the world, but America specifically, to grow and appreciate the possibilities of synergy of mixed races and to get past stupid and meaningless racism. I continue to believe that we are getting better but watching the news seeing some individual in Norway (2011) blow up a building and shoot up an island summer camp because of racism – it makes me saddened. Then you read about some nut jobs who want to join some group but need to track and target gays or blacks and kill them, just because they are different and as part of the groups’ initiation process. I cry when I see these kinds of stories in 2013, I cry because I still have that little bit of optimism in me that says we will get better, we will be better. What is happening to us, are we devolving to lesser peoples, only concerned with little old me?

Harvey Fierstein was on “All in with Chris Hayes” (Wed., Aug 14, 2013) in regards to Russia and that country’s anti-gay laws. Harvey was fired up about this and equated it to Hitler and how the people of the time, over time, let the little things continue to go by until they became big things, and well, you know how that ended. Jews were massacred. Well, it is the same with gays this time, the Winter Olympics at Sochi 2014. How can an entire country, or most of the population still have such a difficult time moving forward into the future, here in 2013? How can so many people be so conservative that they allow gays to be beaten in the streets and arrested? How can this be? Iran is the same, recall Ahmadinejad stating that there are no gays in Iran. Something has to be done, around the world as a hold in getting countries to change their regressive ways of thinking and beliefs. And it means that the people of the world have to unite.

I recall, during the week of Martin L. King Jr.’s death, my being asked to give his “I have a dream” speech to the student body. I have held the same thoughts ever since, about his dream, but adding the inclusiveness of gays and people of all religions, or no religion. I still harbor these desires…

Lastly, it does not matter to me what your skin color is, how old/young you are, what your gender is, what religion you are nor your sexual preference. What matters to me is your character – your integrity and ethics, these are what matter to me. Can you reciprocate?