Category Archives: Politics

What I Learned: When People in Power Abuse Their Authority

I was scrolling through twitter looking at #WalterScott. Out of the millions of tweets I saw, one resonated with me. I don’t have an image of the tweet, just the words they said. 

  “How do I explain to my nephew that the same people who are here to protect you maybe the ones to actually kill you. #WalterScott”  

 If that doesn’t make you think, I don’t think you have a brain to use.

I want to tell you a quick story about myself before I get to my response. 

 Between the ages of 11 and 12, I remember it being such a difficult time for me, from 9/11, to a big move (RI to TN), my father suffering from heart issues, other family matters, and then the start of my (still) ongoing struggle with depression, I was having a hard time.  I wasn’t violent or nasty. I was just sad, alone, and confused. There were those in authority that acted deceitful in response to my mental health.

I can’t talk about too many of the specifics just yet; it is still difficult to even mention this much. It had become known to all in my class that I was suffering from depression, and some events and words of mine were highly exaggerated. 

Word got back to some influential and wealthy parents. A Principal and their assistant, possibly concerned with losing money, decided that I was to be the sacrifice that must be made. The situation was constructed where I was made to look like the bad guy and I was basically blackmailed to leave (unbeknownst to the classmates. I had found out from a friend who was in that class that they were never told that I was forced to leave. They thought it’d been my choice). Even though I went to see a therapist like they’d requested of me, I was still rejected and they saw me as a problem. Either I leave or they would make me look mentally unstable/violent and to be watched at all times. 

I felt betrayed and confused. How can someone who espoused Christian views, have treated me in this way?  I wasn’t a danger to anyone (my therapist told them that herself). The reason, my disillusioned self would soon learn, was because there was (and still is) a stigma around mental health, and the fact that there were generous benefactors for the school who didn’t like my presence. It didn’t help either that I wasn’t the best student at the time and my grades were suffering as a result of my depression, so it was no loss for them to get rid of me. It was more trouble to keep me there. My parents, wanting to spare me of the whole thing (the emotional impact had already been great) and not being able to afford a lawyer, couldn’t and didn’t fight to disprove the allegation.

I couldn’t understand it for the longest time. 

Over time I began to not trust all those in authority; to be honest I still don’t. I hear stories of ministers and priests abusing children, politicians being bribed, teachers raping students, and now more and more we hear of people being killed by cops and God only knows how many were actually telling the truth. So many abuses of the authority and power given. Why? I constantly asked myself. Why?

I, at the age of 12 learned this hard lesson and this is what I would say to my child if I had one.


So what do you tell your child? 

Authority and power dont automatically make you a good person. On the contrary, those who are not of good character tend to have those bad qualities exacerbated as a result of the authority and power that is given to them. The sad truth is, there are many people of poor/bad character out there, many who are in positions of power and authority.

There are those in authority and power who are racists. There are those in authority and power who are sexists. There are those in authority and power who are bigoted. They have poor character and the power and authority they have only make things worse. Sadly, you will hear more about these people than you ever will of those who do the right thing. 

Why were they given power and authority?

The reason they were given power and authority is because a majority of people today value what someone can do for them over the actual character of the individual. They don’t care if a person is sexist or racist, just can they get the job done. As long as it doesn’t affect their work, they don’t care. 

But it does affect their work. It can somewhere along the line. 

Well that’s the thing about it; many people don’t think that far ahead. Most don’t believe that good character and good work ethic are valuable. They only see good character as a bonus, or they automatically assume that because you have good work ethic, you have good character. Or it could be they are sociable and make people feel so good about themselves that their bad character is either hidden by that, or the people that meet them overlook their bad character, excusing it.

Many times, people of bad character can also be very sociable and relatable.

How can one survive all this? Will I be safe?

You live day by day. You can only do so much to protect yourself from the dangers of the world. At the end of the day though no matter what happens to you, don’t give up hope. Fight. Fight for what is right and what you believe in. Fight with your every breath. Being safe is not nearly as important as being free and treated with respect. To be treated as someone with rights. I can’t promise you won’t get hurt, frankly I would be lying to you if I said you are safe from all harm.

What I can promise you is this, I will fight for you. You must fight for you, and you must inspire others to fight for each other. Call out those that abuse their authority and power. Call out those of poor character. Show and tell others that character matters far more than good work ethic or being pleasant. No matter who it is, no matter what side they are on. Right is right and wrong is wrong. 

Will I die?

We all die someday, the thing is though, we never know when. Do not let yourself become so scared of death it paralyzes you from living, for it will happen one way or another. The question is what are you going to do in the meantime? Will you live in fear of those in authority? Will you fear those who abuse their power?  Will you stand by as this continues? Or will you fight for those who are victims of the abuser?  Will you let the fear paralyze you? Or will you stand up for what is right?

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No Cancelation- #BigOrangeScrew Once Again

Yes, that is an actual image of the bridge on campus not salted, not cleared off, and a dinky yellow sign that says caution wet floor. This was an image passed around on the #bigorangescrew hashftage on the 18th of this month during the terrible conditions that had forced many students, faculty, and other staff to stay home.

If you don’t remember, last year in January and February, there was a great deal of snow and the administration did a poor job of handling the situation. It is not uncommon for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville to not close the school despite the harsh weather conditions. Granted how the state and local government responds to the issue is another matter. This post will be focusing on how the University has handled it.

Now the Knox News Sentienal, a local newspaper, brings out this article as the University’s official reason as to why it doesn’t close. I started choking as I started to read it.

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Here is the reason why I think that. When I was looking at @UTKnoxville’s twitter account I noticed they shared this.

You can see why I can bull on the whole story that they don’t close because of an incident that is over 50 years old.

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A Century of Revolution, Protest, & Chaos

I remember hearing somewhere that the beginning of a century can define the feel of the entire upcoming one. It seems that since 9/11 we have been a time of protest, revolution, and chaos

I couldn’t tell you a time since 9/11 when the world has not been in conflict. It seems within the past 6-8 years that more and more conflicts have arisen throughout the world. And it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon.

Just here in the United States alone: our economy is a mess, we can’t trust our politicians, our borders are open to anyone (which brings in children who are now orphaned, drug cartels, terrorists, disease we haven’t faced before, and a whole slew of problems we haven’t thought of yet), most Americans under the age of 30 most likely does not remember a time when we weren’t at war, we will probably be the first generation in a long time that doesn’t do better than our parents, and so many people my age are disillusioned by the state of the world.

I have honestly lost track of all the protests that have taken place throughout my lifetime, even just with the past 5 years,

Thanks to Wikipedia I was able to get an idea of all the current ongoing protests (as of the date this is published.

protests

Screen Shot From this Page

And for the 21st Century Alone, not including the last 10 years of the 20th Century…

protests in 21st

Can’t read it? Go Here to see it. By the way, this will probably change and only more will be added.

There is nothing wrong with protesting or fighting an injustice. If one exists, one shouldn’t let themselves be walked all over. It is just very sad that there are injustices that still need to be fought.

I find it heartbreaking that so many people in this world are still suffering and still dealing with tyranny and oppression. While I am glad people are gathering their courage and strength to resist tyranny and oppression, I am sorry it is needed.

I think it finally hit me during the Ukrainian Revolution, Euromaiden, etc. You hear me talk about that a little more here as to why it affects me. To sum it up, I have Ukrainian ancestry in me. Although I am an American citizen I have heard the stories of my ancestors and they have stayed with me.

I remember those days, watching all the protests with obsession. Others began to be brought to my attention: Venezuela, Thailand, and now currently the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong.

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Scotland’s 45%

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After 55% of the population of Scotland voted no, whether out of fear or tradition, a new movement arose.

They are the 45%.

Those who voted Yes and those who supported the #voteyes movement were left in dismay about the results from last week. The 45 revitalizes the group of voters.

While low and behold the BBC announced that new technology will be added to the oil reserves off the North Sea, the same oil reserves rumored before the election to have been a great way for revenue and income for the UK if Scotland stayed (think about that No voters). Is anyone shocked that this was revealed after the election results are in? Not me.

ayell be back

While I haven’t been able to find any news about the 45 on BBC as of the date this is posted, I have been finding many American new sources and people criticizing those who are unhappy with the results. The irony is lost on them, for we American long ago left the The British Empire because we felt like they didn’t care about us. For Americans to not weep for those who voted yes and to be happy that the Union is staying together- my response…

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Who cares about the change of flag? Who cares about what would happen to Doctor Who ( and I like Doctor Who!). The want for freedom should never be comprised because of a desire for profit or a fear of change & difficulty.

Sadly, this has happened.

I hope the 45% movement keeps rising, I hope more and more people join the movement, and I hope Scotland will eventually become independent.

Stay Strong!

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Scotland the ‘fraid

no freedom

Stockholm Syndrome at its worst. A spouse who is afraid of the consequences of leaving their abusive and neglectful spouse.

That is something we have just witnessed and William Wallace would be disappointed with all the Scots that voted no.

I was up late last night watching the election results for the vote for Scottish Independence. As time went on and I saw more and more votes for no, I paced back and forth in my living room baffled as to how a country could pass up an opportunity to be independent.

My boyfriend has Scottish heritage in him, and as someone who is has Irish Origin, you can imagine that we were both hoping for their independence.

While lying in bed trying to figure out why? Why would a country willingly allow this?

It took me a few hours when I came to my conclusion-Fear. Fear of change. Fear of unknown. Fear of the struggle that would come with being independent.

oh forget it

After all they would have to create a new government, a new currency, new laws, new policies, negotiate new treaties, etc. They would have to start from scratch and that is a scary thing.

The world as of right now is economically unhealthy and the idea of starting a new country is a daunting task.

There is also the matter that the countries are right next to each other. It would have been easier for Northern Ireland or countries that were further away to be able to break away, but when you are trying to divorce someone you have been living with for many years it can be a hard and scary thing to do.

It doesn’t help when major politicians from around the world come out against the idea of Scottish Independence. Wouldn’t you be concerned about the support you would receive once you became independent, especially even when the country that was famous for rebelling against England said it’s a bad idea (I’m looking at you Barack Obama). You wouldn’t feel reinsured; you would reconsider the matter.

Nor would it help when the Prime Minister gives a fear mongering speech saying fine we will respect your wishes and be really vindictive in the process. Emotionally understandable, but not the actions of mature individuals.

Than when celebrities weigh in on the matter like British Citizen living in Scotland J.K. Rowling who is against the separation or Scot Susan Boyle both who have benefited from the United Kingdom remaining United and would have faced problems had it became separated. Hearing celebrities say it’s a bad idea on top of the nation known from saying over 200 years ago “screw you England….”

There have been rumors that those that are Scottish citizens that were living in other parts of the UK (not Scotland) that were not allowed to take part I the Scottish election, even though non Scots in Scotland could. And same thing for Scottish citizens that were currently living in another country. I don’t have a confirmation of this, just what I have found out and heard from others. (This last one must be taken not as a fact, but more so as a keep this in mind, this is a possibility too.)

freedommm

I realize now that the outcome shouldn’t be a total surprise.

At the end of the day, it is pretty amazing that a there was such a huge turnout for this voting process, sad though an opportunity was wasted. No one made history by choosing the easy and comfortable way out.

Either way I wish, I hope they will get what they want.

As for me, I would have to throw in a quote by famous American (that once loved the British with more vigor than thought possible) to convey my final thoughts on the matter.

Ben Franklin on Liberty and Security 05182009

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Banning Won’t Solve the Problem

gun control

 

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When news spread about a shooting at Reynolds High School in Oregon, I first thought one thing.

We are going to hear about the idea of banning guns. Here we go again.

I have kept myself quiet on the matter for a long time now.

And I am tired of being quiet about it.

Banning guns from won’t solve the problem. Adding more security to schools, to airports, etc. won’t solve the problem.

Humans were violent before guns, swords, knives, etc. were invented. Humans, whether or not these weapons exist, will continue to express their violent thoughts. The only way things will change is if we humans learn to love and respect each other. The only way things will change is if we humans remember that life has value.

Until than there will always be violence.

Guns aren’t the problem.

Swords aren’t the problem.

Knives aren’t the problem.

Weapons aren’t the problem.

We are the problem.

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No More Bowe? What is going with Bowe?

I remember being in shock when I had learned we negotiated with terrorists by giving u p 5 high profile Taliban terrorists for one solider.

I was in shock. I think a lot of people were.

Bowe Bergdahl

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There has been a lot of controversy and questions about this case/ event, whatever you want to call it. Here is everything that has been presented by the media (my thoughts will be in parentheses):

  • He was a prisoner for 5 years in Afghanistan
  • At least 6 soldiers have said to have died trying to find him.
  • He says he was kidnapped.
  • His unit says he left. That he was a deserter.
  • He was said to have left.
  • Some of his fellow soldiers believed he gave his “captives” information. Their reasoning is that
  • His unit was told to remain quiet on Bowe’s absence.
  • Believing that his health was deteriorating, the administration said it acted quickly to save his life. ( If they knew enough about his health, how come they don’t know enough about whether or not he deserted, why he left,etc.)
  • There was originally going to be a celebration in Bowe’s hometown but it was canceled.
  • A video has been released of Bowe’s release from te Taliban ( a camera man just happened to be nearby videotaping this release of a random solider for 5 high profile Taliban terrorists??)
  • The reason it was canceled because they said there was going to be lost of people showing up. Those in support and those in protest. (I personally think there would have been more protesters).
  • He came back into the United States (from Germany) Friday June 13 to the San Antonio Army medical center.
  • The Washington Post reported that Bergdahl, after leaving his unit in 2009, appeared determined to contact the Taliban despite warnings from local villagers about his safety. (Why would he want to contact the Taliban? To have milk and cookies?)

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  • “We think he was probably high after smoking hashish,” local intelligence chief Ibrahim Manikhel told the Post. “Why would an American want to find the Taliban?” (Oh great a military solider getting high and wanting to find the Taliban. What could go wrong? As to why an American would want to find the Taliban on his/her own, either cause they are crazy, they want to betray their country, or there is something else going on.)
  • The jihadists were shipped to Qatar, where even President Obama acknowledged they could resume their terrorist activities (This could encourage more hostages to be taken in return for terrorists).
  • “I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
  • A  U.S. law that requires the administration to give Congress notice 30 days before releasing any detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
  • National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sunday on CNN that the “acute urgency” of Bergdahl’s failing health and what she described as a narrow opportunity to win his freedom justified making the move without notifying Congress. (Failing health. What was his condition? Why wasn’t this talked about sooner?)
  • A reporter asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday whether Bergdahl had left his post without permission or deserted — and, if so, whether he would be punished. Hagel didn’t answer directly. “Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” he said. “Other circumstances that may develop and questions, those will be dealt with later.” (If they don’t know he deserted or was taken prisoner, why risk releasing 5 high profile terrorists that according to Obama could very well attack again).
  • “While the Bergdahls are overjoyed that their son has returned to the United States, Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl don’t intend to make any travel plans public,” the statement reads. “They ask for continued privacy as they concentrate on their son’s reintegration.”
  • When one is prisoner for 5 years, he may have been kept out of the loop and unaware what is going on around him. (why was he in Germany thought? The United States has a base there, but they have tons of bases around the world).
  • Bowe was said to be mentally unstable and frustrated with authority. (Always seems like Mental Illness is used as an excuse {I have depression and anxiety btw, don’t lecture me} I don’t use it as an excuse, I try to overcome it. If he was/is that mentally unstable where he could be a threat to himself and others, why would the military allow him to be in the military? Why would his family? His friends?)
  • Mary Robinson, a Facebook friend of Bergdahl, worked with him in a massage center and tea house near his home when Bergdahl was in high school. Robinson said she didn’t know why Bergdahl chose the Wandering Monk moniker. “He was really, really grounded. He was curious. He wasn’t one who was partying as some kids do,” Robinson said while verifying it was Bergdahl’s Facebook page. “He was going over there with all the good intentions of serving his country.” (Why doesn’t the NSA be nosy like they have been and check his emails and facebook?)
  • About two and a half weeks after his last Facebook post, Bergdahl sent a partially coded email to Kim Harrison, a longtime friend, suggesting he had concerns about his privacy and so couldn’t share his plans.”I’m worried,” he wrote in an entry before deployment. “The lcoser [sic] I get to ship day, the calmer the voices are. I’m reverting. I’m getting colder. My feelings are being flushed with the frozen logic and the training, all the unfeeling cold judgment of the darkness.”Later, he wrote, “I will not lose this mind, this world I have deep inside. I will not lose this passion of beauty.”The writings weren’t the first time Bergdahl’s friends were worried about his emotional health, Harrison told the Post. In 2006, he left the U.S. Coast Guard after 26 days in basic training in an “uncharacterized discharge,” according to Coast Guard records, the Post reported. Harrison said it was for psychological reasons.
  • But when he joined the Army in 2008, the military was dealing with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and was regularly issuing waivers that allowed people with criminal records, health conditions and other problems to enlist. The military declined to say whether Bergdahl was given such a waiver. (I have so many thoughts on this, I don’t know where to begin)
  • Army launches investigation to his disappearance. (I thought he was taken. Why would they need to launch an investigation? I don’t want to come across as cold, but if there is enough doubt why risk 5 high profile Taliban for someone who no longer wanted to serve his country? And who could possibly sell out his fellow soldiers?)
  • The team led by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl won’t interview Sgt. Bergdahl until he is cleared to discuss the matter by the medical team in Texas helping him to recover from nearly five years in captivity, the Army said. (besides the one video released by the Taliban and they are very reliable {rolling my eyes}.
  • He was said to walk off a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan in June 2009.
  • A 2009 Army investigation concluded then-Pfc. Bergdahl voluntarily left the eastern Afghanistan outpost where he was based, but stopped short of concluding he deserted, according to military officials familiar with the report. After leaving, he was captured by the Taliban. (he is an almost deserter that got caught by the Taliban? What?!) 697d4-saywhat
  • The army has yet to declassify the report. (Why would they classify the report of an almost deserter?)
  • Sgt. Bergdahl declined to speak with his parents while he was recovering at a U.S. military hospital in Germany, something that military officials said wasn’t unusual for someone who has gone through a long, traumatic experience. His parents weren’t at the Texas airport to greet him when he returned to the U.S. and a family spokesman said Monday the parents are keeping details of their plans private. (At least it’s not unusual, still his parents weren’t their to greet him in Texas. I know parents of the dead soldiers would have been there to greet their children home.)
  • Sgt. Bergdahl ( I wonder how much information he had access to?)
  • Other soliders were counting on him to help protect them. He abandoned them, and left them exposed, and unprotected while they slept. (And this doesn’t scream deserter?)
  • (I have friends who were in the military, they didn’t like what was going on. They did their duty while over there. Once they got back some quit because they didn’t want to put their families through the stress anymore and they wanted to be home. You may call them cowards, but they did their time and they didn’t desert.)
  • At a briefing this past Friday, reporters state that he had not been reunited with his parents and that he will decide when he wants to see them. (He will decide…huh. I wonder how close he is to his parents)
  • Bergdahl went missing on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, where he was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after his disappearance concluded he left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, according to an official who was briefed on the report. (Why was he being lauded as a hero? Why was there doubt he was a deserter? Why risk freeing terrorists than?)
  •  (If he did desert and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of evidence to suggest otherwise he should be court martialed)
  • For much of that time, CIA drones trolled the skies overhead, searching for signs of the missing U.S. soldier. Until late last year, the drones fired missiles that killed hundreds of fighters and at least one senior leader of the militant group, known as the Haqqani network.A five-month halt in the CIA drone strikes this year coincided with intensifying efforts to get Bergdahl out. His return on May 31 has freed the CIA to resume the attacks, and on Wednesday and Thursday, drones hit targets in the tribal area known as North Waziristan, where the Haqqani group is based, killing 16 militants.

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All the links I used for information gathering:

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