Culture, Current Events, Society, Uncategorized

In Memoriam

Image Credit: TNT Emerson

I love that our nation takes the time to honor and celebrate those who risk, and have given, their lives in dedication to our country on Veterans, Memorial, Independence, and Labor Day. The sacrifices that these men and women make for future generations is one of the greatest gifts that could ever be given to the people of this nation. I feel like I always say the same thing when I make a post dedicated to our troops but there really is not enough ‘thanks’ in the world that can effectively articulate how incredibly grateful I am and how proud I am to be an American.

I’ve been asking myself a lot of those big questions lately (in terms of what I believe): Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? The one thing I keep coming back to is that maybe the answers to those questions don’t matter as much as this: We are here. We are here with one another. We are here with one another and we should make the most of of that. We should strive to be better than our forefathers, to give hope to the children of the world, and to provide the kind of example that will make a lasting and positive impact on those who will come after us. The men and women of our armed forces, law enforcement, and emergency services do just that. More so than any professional athlete, musician, or actress: the men and women who dedicate their careers and their lives in service to their people are truly an inspiration. They are who I want my child (and subsequent future children, maybe someday) to look up to and admire.

To those who give their time and all of their efforts: Thank you.

To the families of our dearly departed: Thank you. 

As we move forward into the hustle and bustle of summer, I hope we can all take a little bit of time to express our gratitude for the freedoms we have, and the people who work to get them for us. Happy Memorial Day.

Culture, Current Events, Society

Heartbreak & Hope: Reflecting On The Week in Boston

What an emotional week for us here in America. Boston started it off by honoring the fallen victims from the Newtown tragedy during their annual marathon only to be faced with an act of terrorism that shook the region, and the nation, to the core. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. On Thursday, the bombing suspects were at war with local law enforcement and the FBI. There were bombs, guns, grenades, and the unprecedented lockdown of an entire city. I, like many Americans, were left wondering what’s next? As we reflect on the events that unfolded this week, we can only pray that it won’t happen again. But how do we move forward from here? How do we explain to our children what happened? And why? I’m not sure there are any easy answers…This morning I woke up with two feelings: overwhelming sadness and hope.

I was up almost all night on Thursday reading the live updates online and listening to the police scanner from Boston, trying to make sense of everything that was happening. It just didn’t seem real, like scenes out of a movie. I was heartbroken for the people of Boston, the police officers who were up against something they’ve likely never had to deal with before, and the families who anxiously awaited their return to their normal lives. It’s something that we don’t typically have to deal with here in the United States and, for that reason, I think it’s easy to forget that we’re at war with extremism. I’ve always had this underlying fear that it was only a matter of time before we experienced another attack on American soil and the prospect of something like this happening again is very scary.

I had the news on Friday, trying to follow whatever updates I could while they searched for the 19-year-old who was responsible for much of the chaos throughout the week and I realized that I was subjecting my child to it. How unfair for her. I turned it off and decided to try to focus on the things I can control: my life, my happiness, and what I can give to my family. As I hugged my daughter, tears in my eyes, it hit me. Hope.

Our children will grow up in a world faced with problems that we didn’t have to deal with when we were little. Because of advances in media and technology, they’ll have to see things that we never had to while we were growing up. I have to hold hope that our children will one day work together to put an end to it. To live in a more peaceful world. We had the news on last night, watching the people of Boston cheer for the police, FBI, and military who had worked so hard to keep them safe. That’s the kind of news, more than anything else, that I want to share with my child.

The people in my country give me hope. We may have differences in opinion when it comes to politics, religion, how to raise children, how to define marriage, or any other hot issue but at the end of the day we’re Americans. In times of struggle, need, or despair we band together. At the end of the day, the only thing I see is love. We love our nation and we love each other. It’s amazing and, even though the events of this week have been horrible and dim, it makes the future seem just a little bit brighter. Thank you to all of the men and women who make a commitment to protect and serve their community. You are amazing and you are heroes.

To the people of Boston: Our hearts are with you and you try to move forward from this situation and return to some semblance of normalcy.

Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays

Mad About It Monday: Marco Rubio & Water

Mad About It Mondays

Since we’ve been out of town I’ve had a lot of opportunity to listen to my satelite radio and so I’ve heard most of the coverage detailing Marco Rubio’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. I have to say that I, too, am appalled by the sip.

CNN provided hours of coverage for what they’ve called “the sip seen around the World” and I couldn’t be more proud of them for the hours that they’ve spent covering the late breaking news. Situations like this need to be discussed. Let’s not waste time focusing on what he said because it really doesn’t matter…

CNN brought up an interesting point in that this sip could cost Rubio the 2016 election and I couldn’t agree more. If he can’t handle a dry mouth during a speech, can he really handle North Korea?!

The sip of water is a clear sign of arrogance. Why should the American people have to wait two seconds for him to rehydrate?! He obviously doesn’t value your time.

No Water

Perhaps this was yet another failed attempt by the Republican party to connect with American voters by pretending that they’re just like us

For Republicans who consider voting for candidates based on their politics and the changes that they can bring to this country, I urge you to reconsider.

Kudos to Wolf Blizter, Anderson Cooper, and their friends over at CNN for covering stories that nobody else gives a crap about. I probably would have voted for Rubio in 2016 but, once I heard about the sip of water, I said H2…uh oh.

I feel that CNN missed out on some important potential headlines and so I’d like to share some of them with you:

Could A Sip of Water Drown His Chances in 2016?!

Why Water? We’ll Have the Anwers America is Thirsting for Coming Up…

Did the Blunder Dampen His Political Career?

The Republican Response Dripping with Disrespect.

Outrage Pouring Out Over a Sip of Water.

A Sip of Water Overflowing With Arrogance.

*Please note the sarcasm in this post. Do I really think that CNN should have spent hours covering this story?! Absolutely not. My Mad About It Monday is this: These attempts to distract are ridiculous. Instead of focusing so much of your time on a sip of water (which other politicians have done) why not spend that time discussing what was actually said?! I mean, really…come on.

Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Hate Groups (Like WBC)

This post, like many of similar nature I’m sure, is very difficult for me to write. I heard yesterday on my way to the airport that the Westboro Baptist Church is planning to gather together to praise the loss of the children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Rumors are circulating (and I haven’t found anything on their website to confirm this) that they’re also planning to picket the funerals that are slated to begin later today for the 20 children lost in this massacre.

When I heard about this, I broke down. It’s bad enough that tragic events like this even happen but to celebrate the loss of innocent children is repulsive. These monsters, these poor excuses for human beings, disgust me. The families are, undoubtably, having a hard enough time coming to terms with the loss of their six and seven year old children but to have a group of people make a mockery of this nation’s right to freedom of speech is mind-blowing.

What bothers me most about what these people do is that they do it under the umbrella of Christianity, claiming to speak for god, claiming that these horrible, evil acts are somehow punishment for a “sinful” society. What in the hell is wrong with these people? I mean, really. Absolutely sickening.

I was able to find one article if you want to take a look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248892/Connecticut-shooting-Westboro-Baptist-Church-plans-praise-gathering-outside-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-school.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

 

Culture, Current Events, Society, Uncategorized

When Tragedy Overwhelms Us

There are very few national events that I can honestly say I will remember for the rest of my life. The senseless tragedy on December 14th, 2012 is one of those events. Sitting at the airport on Friday morning, I heard the news of a school shooting in a quaint New England town. I didn’t think much about it on my first flight because they hadn’t released many details. During my layover in Chicago, however, I was able to spend some time listening to the story, getting the details as they continued to come in, and hopelessly trying to make sense of it all. There were twenty, maybe twenty-five of us, total strangers, sitting together all glued to CNN, all shocked and heartbroken for the loss of nearly 30 innocent lives, 20 of whom were beautiful little children. New souls.

As parents, situations like these instill a sense of overwhelming fear, discomfort, and uncertainty. Our children are supposed to be safe at school. Our children are supposed to grow and learn about the world. Our children are supposed to have imagination, creativity, drive, and enthusiasm for a world where the possibilities are seemingly endless. Our children are supposed to be alive.

I don’t know that it will ever be possible to truly understand or make sense of what happened at Sandy Point Elementary School. I cannot even begin to imagine how those parents must feel and my heart absolutely breaks for everyone who was affected by this living nightmare. I wish we lived in a world where domestic terrorists like these didn’t exist. I wish we could send our kids to school with the certainty that they’ll return happy, healthy, and safe. I wish, more than anything, for the families of the victims to be able to find some sort of peace someday.

My heart and my continued thoughts are with the citizens of Newtown, Connecticut and with our nation.

 

Culture, Current Events, Society

Marriage Equality & The Election

This post is going to be very, very short.

I make no secret about being a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Libertarian and, without going into too much detail about my political beliefs, I want to talk for a minute about the states of Washington and Maryland and how incredibly proud I am that they seem to be supporting marriage equality. If you want to read more about this particular issue, read here and here. I believe that all people deserve the right to fall in love and dedicate their lives to those that they fall in love with. That’s a big win for America.

Moving on…

I, like many others I’m sure, am relieved that the elections are finally over. I’ve never seen our county more divided than it has been during this election season and during this vote and I’m curious to see how the final numbers turn out when everything is all said and done. That said, I think it’s important to mention that even if you’re not happy with the outcome (speaking to about half the country here) we still need to come together as Americans. We can’t let this election divide us as a nation. Not now, not ever.