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Posts Tagged ‘America’

More and more articles are coming out about the 2012 presidential elections, most of which are chalk-full of Sarah Palin interviews about a possible presidential run.  Aside from the fact that she’s now a Fox News analyst and has a reality show that are taking up significant amounts of time, I’m not sure if she would be able to win the primaries because of her rather strong views.  So, I’m not really sure if she’ll get the nod from the GOP to begin with because they may realise that, though you need to be highly conservative to first win the nomination, becoming more moderate afterwards may be a difficulty.  But you know what I want to see for the Republican nominations?  Mitt Romney or TRON PAUL!

Oh, I’m sorry.  That’s Ron Paul.

And you know what?  I’d be pretty happy seeing that kind of race against Obama (who, let’s not kid ourselves, will most likely get the Democratic nomination).

You may question why I’d like to see that race, so let’s just put down the basics on each of these guys:

Obama: Well, come on, he’s signed a ton of great legislation into effect during his time thus far, and I’m not even talking about the health bill which is literally the only reason that I can now get insurance once I’m off of my parent’s policy (because of pre-existing conditions, may I add).  He’s signed in bills to help recreate jobs in environmental sectors that not only help our economy but also help install more efficient forms of energy across the country.  He’s boosted scientific research, shut down Gitmo, and cut taxes for small businesses.  All of which I’m fond.

(T)Ron Paul:  I know that the odds are small that the will even run because of his age, and they’re even smaller that he would get the Republican nod even though he is what a true Republican is, but I still have hope as a Libertarian!  One of the cool new things he’s working on is creating a bill that makes it illegal for Federal employees to hide behind their immunity if they’ve totally fucked things up (so, basically holding people accountable).  He also strongly believes that what we do to other countries can often piss them off and cause more problems, which is a strong thing to admit, and he’s up for putting America first when it comes to our military rather than just stretching our troops across the globe.  Plus, ending subsidies for oil companies sounds like a good plan.  It may not work, but even the idea is a start.

Mitt Romney: I’ll fully admit that he’s not one of my very favourites, but out of the major Republicans up for the nomination, he’s one of my faves.  I like his position on the second amendment.  He’s in favour but also supports a waiting time and limit on assault weapons.  There’s a difference between owning a hunting rifle and an AK-47, and he understands this.  I also appreciate that, though he’s pro-life, he is also in favour of allowing states to decide legislation for themselves.  I also like that he supports diplomacy with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than a purely military approach.

None of these candidates are perfect.  Obama can be a bit closed-minded to conservatives, Ron Paul’s education plans are a little frightening, and Mitt Romney has a bit of a problem with separating church and state.  But you know what?  If I’m going to be reasonable with who may get to be nominated, then I’m going to be reasonable with picking these three guys as my favourites.

So, tell me what you think.  Who would you like to see in the 2012 race?  Who do you not want to see?  Tell me why; I’d love to hear it!

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It was a long day of working outside in 96 degree heat with small children around a camp-fire, cooking up stick bread and dump cake and making our own butter.  Six bottles of water, one packed lunch, and an entire outfit soaked in sweat later, it was time to go home and chill.  Of course, first things first, I needed food.  So I took some old black beans, added pepper jack cheese, onions, and a tomato, cooked it in the microwave and ate it along with bread and butter and yet another bottle-amount of water.  And then I showered.  Or, rinsed off would be the more correct phrasing.  And, finally, I was then able to chill and read random fashion/living blogs and avoid Facebook like usual.

The reason that I mention this to you is because I was informed during my blog reading this afternoon that this is not normal teenage culture.  Nothing seemed weird to me when I was making my own breakfast, lunch, and dinner; volunteering at an historic site; or not washing my hair.  But, turns out that these are all faux-pas.  During my reading based off of a Seventeen article, we are supposed to eat macaroni and cheese or go out to get good food.  Then, we’re supposed to work at the mall in some fashion forward boutique where we will be yelled at by gorilla-managers and stomped on by customers for a small pay check.  And, last, we’re supposed to take that second shower of the day where we rewash and then attempt to add the oils back to our skin and hair before blow drying and straightening our hair before just going to bed.

And it left me thinking, “What the fuck?”

Or maybe it just had me reeling that some ordinary day wasn’t ordinary at all in the standards of big businesses or media that would like to think that teenagers are all one stereotype.  According to them, at nineteen, I should still be painting my toenails every night before talking to my gal friends about who I should totally go on a date with after watching that new Twilight film.  They believe that women my age should be more interested in clothing, make up, and hair rather than careers, education, or our own opinions.

As much as I suppose I’ve known all of this goes on, it still manages to sicken me.  Teenagers are not the same person duplicated over and over again.  We are a force of many different people–perhaps even more varied than the majority of the adult world.  As a woman (and, yes, a WOMAN) who is both an adult and a teenager, I feel that my word on this should be fairly solid since I can see both worlds for the time being.

Media outlets try to push every piece of merchandise and accessory available to teenagers through the presumption that we are all the same person, and maybe they make a lot of money doing that.  But they also lose our trust when we are all labelled as trouble makers or fashion addicts or skater punks.  As an example, there was an occasion once at the mall when I was fifteen when I was followed around by a security guard and then questioned just because I was a teenager and because I was wearing the colour black (which happened to be a black polo with a grey pearl necklace, mind you).  When confronted, I commented that I was being pushed into a category I didn’t belong in simply because of my age and that it was blatant ageism.  And that security guard no longer had my trust because of that, which is sad since authority figures should be respected–not flattened because you have no faith in them.  I’m not saying that Media should be authority, but if it wants to act as such, then it needs to win over our trust by treating us as actual people.

So here’s what I have to say to those who believe my life is not the norm of teenage culture:

What is the norm?  Is it really that abnormal that I don’t work in the food or fashion industry?  Is it that abnormal that I love uni and learning?  Is it that abnormal that I not only cook all of my meals myself but cook them very healthily?  And is it really that abnormal that I don’t always wash my hair?

I mean, really, I like that my fifty year-old co-worker at the historic site quotes Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while talking about politics or that my hair is healthy because I don’t over wash it.  I like the food I eat, even though it’s not fried, full of chicken, or dumped in sugar.  So to those who say that I shouldn’t enjoy these and that they aren’t normal teenage culture, stuff it.  Here’s to all of those teenagers out there who are real people rather than what someone would like to think of them as–one dimensional zombies, bumping into each other while trying to buy another 26 dollars in anti-frizz serum.

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From a site about ‘true American Values’:

“As arrows are to an archer, children are to a father.”

So, children are instruments for killing things or hitting darts for entertainment?  Last I checked, children weren’t meant for that and shouldn’t be used as tools of destruction.  And why should the children only be used or coveted by their father?  What’s the say of all the mothers out there who birthed and helped to raise those children?  There’s no winning me over with sexist or discriminatory remarks, now.  Nice try American-values website, but you didn’t quite hit the bull’s eye with this one.

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Reading the news, as usual, brings out the worst of me.  It brings out the fight and the kick and the ‘that’s just not fair’ attitude that will bite back at anyone who opposes me.  Now, I’m not closed-minded about politics.  I won’t sit here and tell you that your opinion is wrong, but boy do I get angry over certain state decisions and how they effect the thinking of the people effected.

I was reading an article about how the prime minister of Japan just stepped down a few days ago amidst the roe with the US over the base at Okinawa.  The US has had it’s base there since the end of World War II in order to better keep power in the East, but Japan is avidly against the base.  First of all, it’s a giant patch of the city taken over by a foreign army.  Second, after the 1995 rape by three US servicemen of a twelve year-old Japanese girl, the people aren’t too happy about having the soldiers there.  I understand that there’s probably a need to have a base, but I also think that Japan and the US should come to some agreement that can keep both sides happy–rather than the problem being so large that the head of a country ups and leaves.

It also got me to thinking about something way long ago.  Back in sixth grade, I remember a teacher who would basically shove his political opinions down our throats during class.  While I now thank him for forcing us to read Animal Farm (as it is my favourite novel), I do not thank him for the animosity he taught us against President Clinton and those who supported other nations.  He complained about how Clinton had sold a part of the US to Japan for a base in California, and how terrible this was.  He would lament on about how he knew some guy who flew his American flag upside-down for all eight years of Clinton’s presidency in order to show that he was in distress from the politics.  For an eleven year-old, what our teachers said was solid truth, so I believed for still some years that Clinton must have been an evil politician and that Bush was the way to go.  Of course, it only took me three years to find that things weren’t quite that way.  It was around the same time I ‘woke up’; thinking for myself just became natural, and I began to question my conservative upbringing in the same way that I now question my early liberal views during high school.  (I’m a libertarian, if you should need to know.)

But what struck me was that my teacher was so angry over Japan getting the same rights that we have in America.  America makes bases all over the world, so why can’t other countries do the same?  Sure, Americans will yell, ‘But they can’t!  They’re (insert nation here)!  They could be terrorists or communists or socialists, et cetera!’

But, really, if we have the right to go and make military bases all over the place, why can’t other countries have the same right to have military bases in the US or around us?  What makes us so damn special?  For the ‘Land of the Free’, we certainly don’t seem to like giving freedom outside of our borders.  I guess equal rights end at the imaginary lines we’ve created.

But it does invoke a lot of passion in me when someone will criticise me for thinking this way.  The people who say, ‘well, if you don’t like America, why don’t you leave?’ just end up sickening me.  If you don’t like America, you try to change it.  It’s something our country is all about.  When we were pissed about not having voting rights, women went into the streets and fought.  When we were pissed about Vietnam, college kids shoved flowers into soldiers guns.  When we were pissed about our soldiers dying in Afghanistan, we protested outside of Bush’s ranch.  It’s for the same reason that, even though I don’t agree with the Tea Partiers, I don’t mind them protesting.  Sure, many of them don’t know at all what they’re talking about, but if they want to campaign for an America they more approve of, then have at it!  That’s the point!  To me, showing others that nations aside from America should have the same rights as we do to set up bases or make nuclear weapons or fuck up the Earth should be my right to think and say.  After all, if we’re allowed to do something, why should that give us the right to deny that allowance to someone else?

What’cha say?

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I’d say that if there was one thing both liberals and conservatives agreed on, it would be that America’s schools are falling behind when compared to the rest of the world.  But, unfortunately, both parties are misinformed about the issue.  They believe that adding more time to school and more standardised tests will fix the problem, but this is almost exactly the problem.  Obama wanting to add more time to the school day only further insults kids that they are inferior to adults by making them work nearly ten hours per day at school then work more on homework after school.  Let me ask you: where the hell do their personal lives fit into this?

Actually, there are two problems with the US’s system: the fact that we no longer teach to learn but teach to test and that American kids just don’t give a shit any more.

There was once a time when you were valued for being knowledgeable.  In fact, you were basically shunned if you didn’t do well in school since you couldn’t be the pride of the family.  Nowadays, the American life-style is a bit different.  And, I don’t want to blame this on the media (because most people who just blame “the media” for problems don’t know a damned thing about the actual subject), but I’m afraid I have to.

How many times have you seen a television show where the main character, whom you’re supposed to agree with, makes fun of the nerdy kid?  How many times has the “dumb jock” been glorified?  How many times has the kid who likes to learn been portrayed as snobbish or ugly?

Let me give you some examples from my childhood on television or films:

1. Lizzy Maguire: Remember how that nerdy boy was shown as a complete freak who ate worms and was made fun of constantly?

2. Hey Arnold: Pheobe (or whatever her name was) was constantly being walked on by Helga, and never did this seem to be a problem.

3. Powerpuff Girls: How many times was the smart one (Blossom) shown as being a cold-hearted bitch for being smart?

4. How many times is the smart kid dressed dorky and made fun of while the main characters just sit there and watch?  They never do anything; they just talk about “O, woah is me; I was once treated like that!” And then they cry to themselves about it.

5. How many films show the cheerleaders as idiots?  Did you know this wasn’t always the case?  Once upon a time, cheerleaders were popular and smart, which is what made them so appealing.  Bet you didn’t know that was the case even less than forty years ago.

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