Posted in Politics, SocialMedia, Uncategorized

State of the Nation: Public Service, Politics and Social Media

Regardless of your personality type, religious background, nationality, gender, sexual preference, political leaning or income level, you are first a human being.  If you’re in this country, benefiting from a democratically organized and administered society (legally or undocumented) … you are still a human first–deserving of respect!

humanrights-tweet

As a citizen, defined by Merriam-Webster as:  “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it”, there is an inherent obligation by each citizen to be a loyal participant of that society, its laws, and the practices of administering it’s “govern”-ment.  Government is defined as:  “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”  Our system is set up to allow both federally through elections, and locally through legislatures, councils, boards, and committees.

It is unfortunate how few people vote in our country when so much is at stake.  What I find even more appalling is how many people choose to get their information for decision-making from unsupported claims posted on social media outlets, hot-heads on talk-radio, and biased daily news shows.

How can YOU participate and be an active contributing citizen of our society?

Before new Federal laws are implemented, they are posted for public review and comment by anyone with access to a web browser (which is everyone, because public libraries have computer labs.)  If you’ve never visited the site–it can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/   No excuses for any of us to complain that we never had a say (for or against) legislation that has become law.

Every state has a website to make public the issues and legislation being proposed.  In my own state that site is:  http://nebraskalegislature.gov/  Google your state name and the word Legislature to find your state government’s administrative resources.  My state has a link to live-streaming of legislative sessions.  You can search for your congress or senate representatives, schedule an appointment to take a tour, view the legislative calendar, view past transcripts,  or find telephone numbers to speak with your representatives.

Of course there is always traditional media (Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBCNews and the other major news networks) to help you evaluate elected officials backgrounds and attempt understanding the issues being discussed.  But as you may realize, there is a LOT of spin on what is being presented as “truth” (sound bites pieced together to lead you to believe something shocking–yet totally out of context).  You also should not be duped into believing everything you read.  If you want to be an informed citizen and vote by fact, not feeling…here are a couple of other sites you might consider:

https://www.govtrack.us/ (Federal)
http://www.voterinformation.org/ (Nebraska local) – Your state may have a similar site.

November 8th is right around the corner.  Depending upon what news you read, you just might believe that the world is going to hell in a hand basket.  There is a lot wrong in our government, but it is still a lot better than most governments.  There is always room for improvement, but it requires we be engaged, aware, involved, actively participating in this democracy.

Just because you hopefully voted during the last election cycle does not mean your job as a citizen is done.  You must observe your government in action and participate in this democracy to make it work for you.  If you don’t approve of local, state or federal decisions, use the processes put in place for you to engage and make your voice heard.  The links provided in this post are a starting point.

If you do not like the current state of government at the state or federal level, you have a right…no, a responsibility, to get involved and contribute.  Regardless of what you think of her, Elizabeth Warren said it best, “a constitution does not sustain itself.”  Prove your loyalty to this great nation, educate yourself and get involved.

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Posted in Education, Writing

Farewell 2011, Hello 2012!

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...
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Tonight my wife and I took our children to a Ron Paul Town Hall at the MidAmerica Center in Council Bluffs, IA.  We’ve been keeping tabs on the Republican candidates through social media, television debates, newspaper, and discussions around the dinner table.  Being a homeschooling family, our children have been very interested in and vocal about their concerns and criticisms on the issues facing our nation.  Ron Paul mentioned some of the departments he would do away with if elected President….starting with the Department of Education!  The quality of education has endured a decay in quality since the Federal government made it their business to get involved in and in some cases overrule the State’s rights/business.  “No Child Left Behind“, and now “Race to the Top” are classic examples of federal programs that attempt to address the symptoms of social problems not being dealt with.

My daughter, Madeleine, and I were questioned by a reporter from a Pennsylvania gazette about our views on Ron Paul.  I was glad to hear his clarifications on his foreign policy decisions–he’s not ignorant and would endorse/support going after maniacs who threaten our lands and people (9/11), but he feels that any action to “go to war” should be in accordance with the Constitution and the matter voted on and supported by a majority of Congress!  I also appreciate his constant referral to “what is the role of government?”  Few candidates on the Republican field will rewind the discussion of politics all the way back to the Founder’s intent in the role of government–to protect our rights!  My college course at Bellevue University has really got me pouring over these founding documents in detail.  The more I learn the more angry I’m becoming about the erosion of our liberties and freedoms.  My hope is that more Americans will show up at the voting booths.  Considering the past history (view voting statistics here) its a shame that so few of all who benefit from living in this country don’t show up to exercise their rights/choice by doing their research and checking the ballot box for the candidates that best represent their values/ideals.  Anyway, before I get too riled up let me just say, I’m very interested in the outcome of the caucuses and the outcome of the race for a Republican nominee.

This year has definitely been a year of personal metamorphosis.  As mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve moved into a new house, my girls started driving, I started college, lost a grandmother, a dog and two cats…life never slows down or waits for anyone.  For this reason I’ve decided to not allow any more circumstances in my life be the result of indecision or lack of choosing.  There’s no time like the present, and nobody is going to look out for your best interest….so you better do it.  I decided to get a head start on goals and New Years Resolutions!  Beginning Monday of this week, I started eating less, exercising more, nurturing my passion for writing and reading, and generally taking better care of myself.  Its amazing how much you can pack into such a short amount of time when you set your mind to it.

Here are just a few of the exciting personal events/goals on the horizon for 2012:

Turning 45 years old 🙂
Celebrating 20 years of marriage
Graduating from Bellevue University with a Bachelor’s in Business Analysis and Management
Becoming a published author (in addition to my blog )
Voting in the 2012 Presidential Election
Developing and keeping personal fitness habits to improve my health
Growing as many vegetables and fruit for the family on our postage stamp-sized yard
Improving the quality (being more present/conscious) of my relationships with family and friends

To all who stumble across this post, I wish you the safest of New Years celebrations and an exciting and personally fulfilling and prosperous 2012.