5 Viewpoints on the Government Shutdown from an American Citizen Living Overseas

1. Comparing Congressmen to “Babies Having a Temper Tantrums” is just plain wrong.  Political rhetoric is pathetic.  The 535 men and women elected to the U.S. Capitol contain some of the brightest people in the country.  Even if some of them have extremist ideas, the truth is they are working hard.  The problem isn’t that they “babies” or that they are “lazy.”  The problem is the political format of America forces Congressmen to work for their party instead of the people who elected them.

2. The media needs to grow a spine.  Nearly every news outlet I turn to right now is trying to be nonpartisan.  Seriously!?  The facts are facts.  The Tea Party is responsible.  Period.  They are holding up legislation to keep the government running because “democrats won’t negotiate.”  There’s one major problem with this idea.  The democrats already negotiated on Obamacare—which is why the law was watered down in the first place.  But it passed.  The Supreme Court upheld it.  The battle is over.  The blame sits squarely on the Tea Party….or

http://news.yahoo.com/video/government-shutdown-sparks-blame-game-161908447.html

3. The real blame belongs on Our Founding Fathers.  Our constitution is brilliant.  But its few mistakes are rather severe.  One of the worst parts is the Electoral College.  Due to the evolution of voting and democracy since the late 1700s, the Electoral College is dangerous.  It binds us to a two-party system that is destroying us instead of evolving to a multi-party system like you see in Europe.  This two party system led to the absurd rules that guide the House of Representatives, which now allow ten Tea Party members blackmail the Speaker of the House into grinding the government to a halt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHEDXzOfENI&list=SPqs5ohhass_QZtSkX06DmWOaEaadwmw_D

4.  Representative Randy Neugebauer is either a moron or an asshole.  In the year 2013, all elected officials know they need to watch what they say 24/7.  That means it’s really hard to hid stupidity.  Representative Neugebauer presented this stupidity in a very public manner.  It is nearly impossible to finish watching that video without wanting to punch this man in the face.  How dare he.

5.  The Shutdown is affecting US workers overseas.  I work for the Peace Corps, but this extends to every agency that works overseas—the State Department, the CDC, etc.  Since you work overseas, you can’t be furloughed.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us.  Our counterparts in D.C.  are furloughed—leaving many communication lines down until further notice.  If this continues for more than a week, you will hear of serious consequences.

Sharing Important Moments

While shopping today, I ran into a older married couple that is serving in this wonderful beach-side city.  They informed me that their son just became a father a few hours ago.  It only took me a couple questions to realize that I was talking to newly-minted grandparents.  This was their grandchild.  If it weren’t for them telling me, I’m sure I could have guessed by the eternal grin on their faces.  I wonder if that grin ever really fades.

For today’s 50-Day Memory Challenge, I took a memory I wrote last year and completely rewrote it.  It is about the Inauguration of Barack Obama.

Day Two: Inauguration Day 2009

End of my first Week in the Peace Corps

The orientation week for the Peace Corps has been tiring.  We have full schedules everyday (except today–that’s how I explored Rabat).  The pictures should be below.  I have three more days in this city until I head off to the Atlas Mountains to start my Pre-Service training….which includes some extreme 4-hours a day language training.  I already got a hold on basic Moroccan Arabic.  I hope I can continue making this kind of progress.

I finally found an Internet Cafe that has stable internet.  I was able to Skype with my whole family plus my girl.  It’s been great to catch up with everyone after a week with sketchy internet.  I hope you enjoy the photos.  I am going to continue posting old writings while I get settled here in Morocco.  In honor of President Obama’s second inauguration  here is a piece about the Presidential Election of 2004.  Enjoy my first attempts at political writing (from back when I was 15).

November 2nd, 2004

 

Christmas Eve Bash

There are some 30 people coming to my parent’s house for Christmas Eve dinner this evening.  I can’t wait.  I love being around my family during the holidays.  I hope all my readers are enjoying their Christmas celebrations.  Not to ruin the spirit, but I woke up with guns on the mind (that’s what happens when you engage in Facebook debates  I guess).  I spent the morning working on another piece regarding my country and it’s disgusting gun-rights offensive.  I just hope something is actually going to be done this time.

All I want for Christmas is Gun Control

 

Reacting to Shootings in Newtown, Connecticut

For those of you who have been following me for some time, you know that I am an avid advocate for gun control.  The events of Aurora, Colorado (about an hour south of me) changed me permanently.  I no longer feel like I can sit on the bleachers as shooting after shooting after shooting takes place in my country and my state.  I want to be an active part of the solution.  If you want to be a part of the solution, here’s a short list of what you can do today:

(1) Send condolences to the families.
(2) Contact local representatives and let them know this can never happen again.
(3) Give to charities who help families grieve through these charities
(4) Support loved ones with mental illnesses. If they know they are loved, they are less likely to reach their breaking point.

I am starting off with number two.  I spent the past hour writing a letter to my elected officials (state and national).  I suggest you do the same.  You are also welcome to share my open letter in any way you would like (just let me know).  Inaction is our biggest fault.  Here is the link:

An Open Letter to my Elected Officials Regarding the Shootings in Newtown, Connecticut

 

Election Day 2012 Wishlist

The day is finally here.  I will be in front of my computer and a TV screen most the day.  Here is my hopeful list.  I know all of them won’t happen, but I sure hope a majority of them do.

  1. Amendment 64 in Colorado passes—Legalizing Marijuana.
  2. 3A passes in Greeley—allowing for a new middle school in my hometown.
  3. Obama wins the Presidency.
  4. Obama carries Colorado–I like seeing my state sway progressive.
  5. Marriage equality comes out strong in state amendments.
    1. Minnesota doesn’t define marriage as one man one woman.
    2. Washington legalizes gay marriage.
    3. Maine legalizes gay marriage.
    4. Maryland legalizes gay marriage.
  6. California bans the Death Penalty.
  7. Massachusetts becomes the next state to allow Assisted Suicide.

I also uploaded a piece on the Electoral College yesterday.  If you missed it, here is the link: Repeal the Electoral College

on Marijuana & Genocide

With about 50 hours left until the Presidential Election, I can’t help but be one of the people to weigh in.  On Twitter and and Facebook, my focus has been on Amendment 64 here in Colorado–The amendment that will legalize and regulate Marijuana like Alcohol.  Although I would like to weigh in on the Romney versus Obama fight, it seems almost irrelevant.  At this point it’s like trying to debate gun rights or abortion–you’re not going to convince anyone.  But, with Amendment 64, I think we can educate the public on the truth about Cannabis:

1. Marijuana accounts for zero death per year.  Period.
2. Cannabis–the plant that bears THC–was originally made illegal because the timber industry saw it as a threat.
3. In countries where Marijuana has been legalized, the use of the drug by children has not increased.
4. Legalizing marijuana will be a massive blow to the drug cartels in Mexico–who currently are leading a disgusting war for control that is crippling the country.
5.  This is my personal opinion: The government’s main job is to protect us from each other…not to protect us from ourselves.

That being said, I am uploading an old paper I wrote for my Master’s Program in History.  This paper deals with the Armenian Genocide and how Turkey has covered it up in the century that has followed.  I’m mainly uploading this for a friend to read, but it is well worth the time.  If you do not know about the Armenian Genocide, give this a look.

The Armenian Genocide and Turkish Denial

A Week for the Record Books

The past week has been jam-packed with so much emotion and change.  It’s difficult to even begin the process of understanding what has happened.  It all started this past weekend with a 60-hour trip to Seattle to surprise a friend for her 21st birthday.  While there, I became a part of a 26-hour relationship that has since upended my understanding on what I want for myself in the months and years ahead.

Upon returning to Colorado, I started the process of moving back to my hometown.  The central idea was to be closer to my family for the final holiday season before I leave for the Peace Corps.  It’s been a strange transition.  Now, as of a few hours ago, my father was just laid off.  My God…it’s been one hell of a week.  Here’s the first piece of writing to come of it.  I pounding it out this morning after hearing the news about my father.

When Politics Gets Personal

The Stagner Chronicle: On Sale Now

31 years after the conclusion of America’s Second Revolution, those involved in the events release “The Stagner Chronicle.” This oral history documents a drastically different history from the one set in the history books. While living in a dystopian America, three young men and women accidently spark a revolution. When they are declared enemies of the state, the trio must avoid capture or risk being thrown in an underground prison-known as a Black Site. Meanwhile, The Revolution gains some real traction.

Digital Copy for only $4.99
Paperback for only $9.80
Hardback for only $23.99

Purchase your copy here.

 

Looking for The Third Way

Join the Kickstarter Campaign to Publish “The Stagner Chronicle”

Before you read my next article, I feel the need for a disclaimer.  I write for the sake of writing and thinking.  What I write is not always entirely what I believe.  Oftentimes, it is an exercise into the unknown.  I find that some of my best non-fiction writing takes place when i explore things that the general population refuses to talk about.  That is what I have done today.

Today’s article is about scraping the ideals of Communism and Capitalism and finding another way–one that doesn’t funnel money to the 1% at the expense of the 99%.  It is an exploration into the world of think-tanks and coming up with better ways to run our world… because we sure as Hell aren’t doing it right.

Capitalism, Communism, and The Third Way