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Archive for the ‘Honor’ Category

        Honor killings are used as a way to control behaviors typically in male dominated societies, often in the middle east.  Usually, we hear about a daughter, a neice, a sister, mother, or a wife who has been murdered for violating a traditional role in their interaction with other males outside of their family.  Unfortunately, this week honor killings are making news headlines because of a New York television owner’s death.  It is being alleged that Aasiya Hassan was killed by her husband Muzzammil under the heading of an honor killing because of her desire for a divorce after some domestic violence issues, allegedly between husband and wife.

         The Hassan’s started their television station in 2004; they did so because they wanted to combat any form of anti -Islamic sentiments that have been building since 911.  They called their station Bridges TV. (more…)

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     I can’t believe all of the different things that this inauguration appears to mean to each person that i talk to or read about.  Some people are moved to tears by the inspiration of it all.  Some people are in awe of the historical nature.  For others it is more personal; they have invested so much of their own personal hopes and dreams into the candidates for the office of the President of the United States.  Observing the inauguration is a very personal and a very public thing.  The swearing in of the 44th President of the United States is a solemn occasion and is observed by all in a variety of ways.

      For quite some time there has been indiviual stories on the news about individuals who have made the trek to view the ceremonies in person…some have borrowed money to get there or made amazing sacrifices to fund the trip.  Others who are content to watch from their homes watch avidly….others in dismay.

      Supporters of candidates who did not win the nominations have differing views and opinions.  I watch and look for conflicting emotions on the faces of those who could have been in a different place during todays proceedings..and yet…i see pride, joy and excitement in their faces.

       Watching the former Presidents and the mixture of emotions and memories flood their visage is truly something to see.  Their wives remembering their time in the spotlight…reflecting on the changes since their moment…you can see the strength that it takes to endure the pressures and the passage of time.

        It is no simple time …the respect of the responsibility, the solemness of the swearing in…the honor…the pride…the exaltation…it is such a mixture of the past, the present and the future.  Truly…can feel the waves of deeply held beliefs and expectations.  For this one day, we can enjoy the coming together as a nation.  There will be time on another day to examine the differences, the disappointments, the frustrations and the solutions to problems that exist…For now…today is momentous!  I am thrilled that God is acknowledged as the ultimate authority of our nation…I pray that President Barack Obama submits his actions to be wholly acceptable to the only person who he should be in submission to at this point and that is God himself.  May God bless our nation…and may we live up to the standards that he expects from us.

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       It is a historical moment in time, this presidential inauguration of 2009; just like every other presidential inauguration since the beginning of the United States.  Yet, this one feels different.  It feels as though this particular inauguration is getting more attention than any other one, in my memory.

          I did not personally vote for Barack Obama…still, i can appreciate this moment…as it will be a moment of history as well as a moment for our future in America.  There is hope, excitement, fear and anxiety, as this nation faces huge difficulties.  That hope and excitement creates an air of expectancy; yet, we must temper that.

          To hear the media tell it…Obama is the answer to all the issues facing the nation.  That can not be,  he is just one man after all…even though he is a powerful man.  It isn’t fair to put that kind of pressue on him.  He cannot fix all of the issues facing this country in a way that is going to satisfy everyone.  There will be frustration, there will be disappointment…and, there will be a reality check for those who believe that things can only go up from here.

           The reason for that is…President Barack Obama is human; he is not God.  I believe that he realizes that…but, there is such a building up of who people think he is; that i think it builds a false sense of what he will be able to do.  He will represent the people…not just the black population, not just the white population or the male population.  I do think he will do his best.  I do think that he will accomplish much…but, it will be in partnership  with the Senate, the Congress,  and even the citizens of the United States.  This country will change…for better or worse who knows?  History many years from now will be the judge; when we look back to this period of our history we will have the advantage of knowing what came before and after.

          The Presidency is also a conditional thing; people forget that you must balance your expectations with reality, because reality is based on the conditions during that president’s time of the leadership.  The reality is that there are foreign governments, there are terrorists, there are internal struggles that create situations that each and every President must face during their term in office. 

     What we as a nation want to know is that our leader is a strong person, a person of good moral fiber, a person of commitment and a person who we can trust; we want a president who is wise, who knows good counsel when he hears it, a person of integrity who knows how to balance compassion and strong leadership.

          I say for now…let’s enjoy the excitement of the moment.  Let’s celebrate with the Obama family at this accomplishment. Things will get real soon enough with all of the demands of the office on the President, his family and friends.  This is a huge accomplishment and honor; but, let’s not forget it is also a sacrifice.

            The sacrifice comes by way of a sacrifice of schedule to have family time whenever they want it; it comes with pressure like no other job, it comes with a lack of privacy, it comes with media scrutiny that is justified; and, with scrutiny that is not. 

          So for now, can we not just honor the new President of the United States…acknowledge his tipping of the hat towards President Lincoln and his respect for the man and the office…while quietly considering the possibilities before us? Let’s celebrate our patriotism with our fellow citizens and not let ourselves be divided at this time…let’s look forward to the future and it’s impact on us and those around the world.

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        Today is a life affirming day of recognition….it is the Sanctity of Life Sunday…a day when most churches and individuals choose to celebrate life and inspire individuals to cherish & protect it.  Many churches concentrate on the issue of teaching that abortion violates the sanctity of life (I happen to agree)… however, there are many, equally important ways to honor and celebrate life.

        While abortion is a horror to me and i think it should be repellant to all human beings; that issues comes up at the very beginning of life.  There are other circumstances that need to be addressed as well. 

          There are issues such as injury, illness and those who fight for the right to commit suicide.  Life is precious at all stages.  Should we turn a blind eye to those who would turn out the light of another human being simply because they are infirmed, disabled, impaired, terminally ill or have no desire to live another moment?

            For those who truly believe in the sanctity of life…it gets a bit stickier for some when you enter into the idea of criminals who commit heinous crimes; and, the criminal justice system offers up the death penalty or death row for certain individuals who have been convicted of crimes that can dish out the death penalty as punnishment. 

        For me that is a bit trickier –i have not sorted out the boundaries of my beliefs on that.  Criminals who commit the most horrible, vile crimes….it is a struggle in my heart to remind myself that God says, “Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord”.  But, if that verse is applied strictly…then…punnishment will come later from God (in the meantime…life in prison without parole is the only recourse to prevent further tragedy).  

          On the other hand, there are scriptures that also talk about an eye for an eye…and if a man take a life he must also forfeit his.  So…this part of the sanctity of life, i am still working out in my mind and heart.  Until i have studied the issues more closely..i am going to err on the side of; Life is precious and must be protected…at the beginning of life, in the early part of life, in middle age, in the elder years and in all stages in between.

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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       Today is the Marine Corps birthday…hope it is a great one for all of our men and women in the Corps.  God bless you for all of your sacrifices for us civilians.  For those serving overseas we thank you and we appreciate you. To all of the Marines who serve here at home on U.S. soil…your sacrifice is also appreciated.  May you have safety and well-being till you are stateside and home again with your family & loved ones!

         Quite often on the news, all we hear about is those who dishonor the Corps or who choose to perpetrate violence outside of war.  Those stories put a black mark on the minds of people who don’t have personal knowledge of the quality of most Marines.  I want to acknowledge the fact that there are more men and women who serve the United States in good standing; than there are who fail to act honorably.  Just by living their lives decently and serving when called upon to do so…they are heros.  It takes courage & commitment to serve in the armed forces.  They risk life and limb and deserve respect for what they give during their time in the military.  We need to honor them and support them; not just at the holiday time…but, year round.  Support their family members who sacrifice alot as well…by being seperated from their service person.

        This week, several Marines made the news with their heroic actions by saving many people staying in a hotel when they discovered that the hotel was on fire.  They immediately went into action and alerted the hotel guests to the fire and told them to evacuate.  One Marine said…this is what we are trained to do…when there is danger we are trained to go in…not run away! The williness to serve, that the Corps instills in it’s personel, is nothing less than admirable.  God bless each and every one.  So, for those who are serving in the Corps today; or, those who have formerly served in the Corps…thank you.   If you see a Marine today…tell them thank you for serving and wish them a Happy Birthday!  Semper Fi

      

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       September 11th used to be just another day.  Then, it became my son’s brother’s birthday.  Nine years later…September 11th became something else.  September 11th, 2001 became the day of the destruction of American innocence.  It became a day controlled by terrorists and their plot of destruction.  It became a day of horror and fear.  It became a day of mourning.  Then, it became a day of rememberance. 

         Each year the day brings anxiety, fear, sadness and depression…but it also, becomes a measure of time.  It becomes, almost a before and after measure in our country and in our lives.  The military men and women, the everyday people who traveled on the jets, the business people who worked in the World Trade Center, the people on the street…every life that was lost was precious; and the grief never becomes anything less than what it should be!  The grieving process is different for everyone…but, it is the bridge from a place of denial to an acceptance of a life that has been changed, due to a loss of the life of a loved one.  At some point, you either become a person cocooned in pain and loss or you move towards a place of healing and acceptance.

        How much time has passed since that tragic day.  How many things have those people who’s names are called out in the roll-call missed.  How many sons and daughters have marked milestones in their lives without parents?  How many spouses have witnessed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births & deaths without their partners by their side to support them?  How many parents, grandparents, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends have been forced to bear witness to life without those who were such a part of their lives?

          For those who have valiantly tried to heal from the deep wounds of September 11th; some have found some way of marching into the future…one difficult footstep at a time.  Others have been forever stuck in that moment of loss.  For those who have been able to move forward painfully…there is no lack of a sense of guilt, for surviving and beginning to enjoy the blessings in life again. 

          Each milestone of survival is marked by loss…that can’t be forgotten; and yet, to choose not to enjoy what’s left in life to enjoy; is a slap in the face to those who’s lives were lost.  Which of them, if given a choice would choose to live a life without thanksgiving, without joy, without celebration… of all the good things before them; if they were able to live again?  It does those who were lost no honor, to allow the terrorists to have more “dead” victims than they already stole from the world.

          So while we honor those who were lost…let’s not forget those who were left behind to survive.  Let’s honor the loved ones, of those who were lost in the attack.  At some point, peeling back the scab over and over again can only serve to prevent long-term healing.  When, might September 11th become just another day again?  Can it ever become just another day…probably not?  Should it ever become something else besides an acknowledgement of the terrorists deeds?  Or are we forever bound by loss and respect to the lives lost, to always carry the scar of history ?  Is it possible to take back some of the power that the terrorists stole from us by reclaiming that day as just another day?

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       Labor Day is celebrated traditionally on the first Monday in September every year in the United States.  The original idea came about in 1882; it is a bit of a controversy who came up with the idea but most agree it is one of these two men, Peter J. McGuire a carpenter or Matthew Maguire a machinist brought the idea to the American forefront.  The reasoning behind a Labor Day was to celebrate the men and women in this country who work so hard to contribute to the infrastructure of our country by the manual labor and the sweat of their brows.  This Day is to honor them by giving them a day off from work and to recognize all that they do for their families, their employers, and their communities.

        It has become a national holiday, that over the years …the reason for the celebration has been diluted by the activities surrounding it.  There are picnics, festivals,tele-thons, fireworks, cookouts, parties and get-togethers…all of which are wonderful.  However, the reason for the Labor Day needs to once again be brought to the forefront; as people work harder than ever to build businesses, products, and services…but, seemingly the American Worker gets farther and farther behind in their earnings and their savings.

         Today, it was announced in the news that personal incomes dropped by 0.7% in the month of July alone…this is the most noteable drop in income, in over three years.  This comes as a disappointment as the government had issued those tax incentive rebate checks that were supposed to stimulate the economy.  It just goes to show that the fine balancing act that is the American economy, is more than just a little off kilter.

          The American worker works longer hours, and has more financial burdens than they need; and, are saving less than ever before.  The uncertainity of job security hangs over everyone’s heads as corporations and businessess outsource work to citizens from other countries, or outright move their businesses overseas to save money.  It costs more to do business now just as it costs workers more to exist. 

            The cost of living seems to be raising the stakes as workers struggle with rising gasoline, food prices, health care, education costs, home heating fuel and fluctuating mortgage payments, foreclosures, and bank failures. 

            Business companies and workers alike need to come back to the idea of the solid  American work ethic and the celebratory rewards from their employers for loyalty of service to their employees by investing back in the American economy.   CEOs and Administrators need to stop demanding and expecting so many perks and rally up behind some sacrifices that pump some new lifeblood into the network of reliable work histories of the American people.  Workers need to work hard to build up the assets of their employers.  We can learn alot from our forebearers in how they earned, saved, and how this country was built from the ground up.  The American worker who went before, often worked in unsafe working conditions. 

              We have come a long way in making working conditions safer due to labor unions and the worker creating an awareness about those issues, as well as child labor laws.  We can learn from both the good and the bad.  People who work hard and are reliable and trustwory as well as dependable; should be rewarded with job security, appropriate income, and benefits.  Companies who value their workers and develop stability should be praised and encouraged.  Together they are what this country needs to get the balance back where it needs to be.  We need to encourage more teamwork between employers and employees.

               So this weekend, as you celebrate your well earned time off to spend with your friends and family with a variety of R & R…let’s keep our priorities straight.  Celebrate and honor the traditions of those who came before and helped to trailblaize for the American worker of today; when you work…work hard and give your best quality.  Companies…if you have workers who don’t do their jobs and don’t give of the appropriate level of work…let them go…there are plenty of workers out there who will. 

                America has become a bit off balance.  There are those who work hard and are proud to do so…and there are slackers who are proud to be slackers.  There are companies who struggle to provide good products, and services who honor their workers with appropriate rewards and there are companies who don’t.  Unions sometimes will get behind a worker who shouldn’t necessarily be backed up if they are in the wrong.  There are occasions where it is hard for a company to dismiss a worker who isn’t working up to the appropriate standard of employment…don’t back up the worker who is in the wrong…it costs the company money, it costs the laborers in morale and it takes jobs away from workers who really want to work and would work hard for what they earn. 

                The next American President needs to create more opportunities for workers to have jobs and not just in the large metropolitan areas…there are plenty of potential employees who live in the suburbs and in the country areas who need good paying jobs.  We need to teach our young people how to work, how to take pride in a job well done and how to respect those in authority over them so that they learn how to be a good employee.  Maybe the next American President could take a page out of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s legacy and create something like the CCC or Civilian Conservation Corps which created an environment of employment, did amazing things for our environment, provided for families, and built a generation of dedicated hard working individuals who gave something meaningful to their country and their communities.  That would be amazing!

                We want to celebrate the best of the best.  Whether you are an executive, a laborer, a clerk, a stock person,a doctor, professor, janitor, or a truck driver, etc…it doesn’t matter, it is about the quality of person that you are; your integrity, and the willingness you have to earn what you are paid for. So what does Labor Day mean to our country today?  It could very well mean the difference between building up our economy or the total collapse of the very infrastructure that this country was founded on.  Buy American… Happy Labor Day weekend!

           

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          What are your thoughts on a person who has worked hard to earn a law license; who then, down the road faced multiple felony charges against them?  Should they be able to retain their law license, while the legal process weaves itself through the system, if they agree to some kind of a deal with a prosecutor?

          I mean,  i am not in any way associated with the legal system, but the way i understand it; lawyers are officers of the court.  As officers of the court, aren’t they obligated to uphold the law?   I thought as officers of the court they were held to a higher standard of behavior or conduct.   If they do in fact violate the law, should they then be allowed to practice the law in the future or should they be disbarred?   Would anyone actually use the services of a lawyer who had been charged with multiple felonies, even if they were not prosecuted because they accepted a deal instead of being convicted?

        I ask, because there is some speculation that behind the scenes wrangling, in Michigan of the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick case, in some reporting or comments that i have read are suggesting that he may be holding out on making some kind of deal; that would allow him to keep his law license and maybe even avoid jail time. 

         I don’t know if that is possible with 10 felony charges against him at the moment; although, i read that there was a plea deal offered to him and his legal team last week friday.  The offer was, to have one of the felony assault charges against him dropped; if, he were to agree to resign before Sept 3.   So far, no resignation has been announced; although, there has been plenty of pressure applied by a variety of people through the media.  This whole political mess is making history…but, it is a sad history for the state Michigan and for the future of one of the largest cities in Michigan.

         For those readers who have not been following this case, Sept 3 is when Govenor Jennifer Granholm will be conducting a hearing on whether Mayor Kilpatrick should be removed from his position for misconduct.   What do you think on this issue? 

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