"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." -2 Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Smart Girl Nation, November Edition, Article, "Defining Patriotism"

The latest issue of Smart Girl Nation, published by Smart Girl Politics Action, was released today.  Below is an excerpt from my article, called Defining Patriotism.  Hope you enjoy!  (You can read the rest here.)


Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”  America was founded with many basic values.  We were a God-fearing people, striving for liberty, and the good will of people was evident at every turn.  Sadly, we as a nation have strayed from many of those founding principles.  We are now in danger of losing another; one that has been an underlying theme in every American success.  Patriotism exemplifies everything America is about.  Love of country is much of the reason America is different from every other nation.  If we lose that, most of our superiority in the world goes with it.

Patriotism is something that has been instilled in Americans' hearts for generations.  This country gave many people the opportunity to achieve their “American Dream”, giving them a very strong love for their country.  It was of great importance to them that their children learn that same love of country, through telling their stories to their children, and teaching them that America truly is the land of opportunity.  They, in turn, grew up to tell their own children the same thing, sharing their own stories of American success, with a sense of pride and patriotism which every American who has achieved their dreams understands. 

Patriotism is the driving force behind our military.  As Nathan Hale, a spy in the American Revolution, said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”  Every person that enlists in our armed forces has a patriotism the rest of America should strive for.  To have the courage to leave your family for the cause of freedom is something worthy of being admired and replicated to everyone in America.  They love their country enough to sacrifice themselves for it, and that is true patriotism: “Love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it.”  Thousands of young Americans have given their lives for this country.  While not all of us are called to follow in their footsteps into war, we can embody that same kind of patriotism by showing how much we appreciate their sacrifice.  Even a smile and a thank-you shows a soldier how much you appreciate him or her.  The fact that a person would give of themselves so that we could have freedom ought to elicit a feeling of patriotism from every single American. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Don't give up!

I'm sure everyone has been at the point where they just wanted to give up; whether it was on something big or small, doesn't matter.  I'll be honest and say that I'm at a point like that right now, of wanting to give up on something.  I know that I shouldn't, but things have just become so hard in the said area that my flesh and my mind are just exhausted beyond imagination.  Trying to "keep face" about it seems pointless anymore.  I've finally discovered, I think, that I really can't change this situation on my own.  I've tried and nothing changes.  I've prayed about it, but nothing has really changed; but I think I figured out that, honestly, I've been saying the words but not putting forth the effort I know it will take to truly change things.  I've been trying to carry this on my own, and it hasn't been working.  I'm ready to give up.  I was reading my Bible tonight and I came across-- no, I couldn't have done it.  This was one of those times that God had to be guiding my fingers (if you've ever experienced that you know what I mean).  I landed on this passage in Hebrews tonight that I want to post.  I'm starting in the middle of chapter 11 and I'll end in one of the first few verses of chapter 12.  In case you're not familiar with it, chapter 11 of Hebrews has been "nicknamed" the "Hall of Faith."  It gives details on how Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and even Rahab were able to accomplish miracles through faith, just because they had faith.  I know this is a little lengthy, but I'd encourage you to read the whole thing:

"And what shall I more say?  for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong,
waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection:  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, more-over of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword:  they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God, For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."

After reading that, it was hard for me to not be encouraged!  It starts off by asking what more you need after all the Writer has already told you previously in the chapter.  It then tells you the types of things that have been accomplished by faith in the past, and tells you of more people that accomplished great works through faith.  This is my favorite part:  Every one of those people, who accomplished those unthinkable things through faith, is sitting in a cloud of witnesses as we speak, looking down on believers and encouraging them in our race down here. 

I've come out of reading this encouraged and, although I'm not looking forward to it, I know that I just can't give up on this.  I'm handing it over to God and trusting Him to take care of it; but I know that I have to do my part, too, and that I can handle whatever comes at me by doing that.  I'm encouraged knowing that there are people who are cheering for me right now, that want me to succeed. 

I'm not sure why I wanted to post this.  Maybe somebody needed to read this, too.  If so, I hope it encouraged you as much as it encouraged me!  Please keep me in your prayers; constant battle between my flesh and the Spirit going on inside me as we speak :) but I feel confident that I'll get through this.  Hopefully this won't be looked at as a pointless post-- if anything, it did help me to actually type this out!  If you take anything away from this, let it be this:  Don't give up!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I really don't feel like I've fully realized yet all the things I have to be thankful for-- trying to, but I don't think I could truly count all of them!  Here's a list of some of the things I'm thankful for (in the order I think of them).  I'm not giving a number because I'm going to list them until I can't think of anymore!

1.  My faith.

2.  My family

3.  My friends

4. Living in America!

5.  My "necessities"-- sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, etc.

6.  Laughter...the best medicine (I know it's cliche, but I think it's true!)

7.  Blogging!

8.  Our democratic system of government.

9.  Texting (if I was going in order, this would be higher up on the list...I am a teenager ;)

10.  Football!  (This, too, would be higher up!)

11.  Campaigning

12.  Taking goofy pictures

13.  Longboarding

14.  Getting pulled on a longboard by a bike

15.  Playing manhunt in the dark (awesome!!)

16.  Mountains

17.  Spending time with my friends and family :)

Take a moment this Thanksgiving to reflect on all you truly have to be thankful for.  Just because life isn't perfect, doesn't mean that you have nothing to be thankful for.  In fact, it's at that point that you probably have more to be thankful for.  Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

P.S.   It really is "Thanksgiving", not "Turkey Day"...the latter is an attempt to erase what the first Thanksgiving was truly about.  Don't give in!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Someone to look up to

As a HUGE Denver Broncos fan, I was absolutely thrilled with the outcome of last night's game versus the New York Jets.  Honestly, the only real reason I'm a Broncos fan is because of their new starting quarterback that has brought them up from a 1-4 team to now a 5-5 team.  Not only am I a fan of his because of his abilities on the field, I am moreso a fan because of the way he lives his life when he isn't on the football field.  Tim Tebow is not and has never been concerned about bringing himself glory and fame- he wants it all to go to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I'm not sure about you, but for me, this makes him someone I can look up to and follow after.

The world we live in today has such a lack of role models for someone like me: a Christian teenager.  Most of the time, it seems to me that this world has almost no moral standards.  I want someone I can look up to who has strong morals and will stand up for their beliefs, no matter the audience.  I have only found a handful of people who fit this criteria, and almost none of them are people on a nationally recognized level.  Tim Tebow is one of the few exceptions.  He was born to humble beginnings- his parents were missionaries in the Philippines.  When his mother found out she was pregnant, her doctor informed her that she would be forced to make the decision of whether to lose her life or abort her baby.  Mrs. Tebow chose to defy her doctors suggestion and refused to have an abortion.  Through many prayers, she delivered a healthy baby and both of them were fine.  When Tim turned three he and his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he grew up.  His family purchased a farm, where he and his two brothers did most of the farm work that was necessary.  He was brought up being taught the power of hard work. 

The thing that has always been front and center in his life, however, is his faith.  Tim Tebow is an outspoken Christian who has never shied away from declaring it publicly.  When he was at the University of Florida, his practice of kneeling on one knee after every touchdown became a tradition; writing a Biblical reference on his eye black did as well.  During the BCS Championship game in his sophomore year, Tebow wrote "John 3:16" on his eye black and the next day, that was one of the most searched terms on google.  It was proven especially that day that many, many people were watching Tim Tebow.

Now that he is at the NFL level, more people are paying attention to Tebow and his circle of influence is widening.  Even with the fame he is now receiving, he has never compromised his beliefs.  He remains a dedicated Christian whose goal is to make a difference in the lives around him.  After last night's win, he gave an interview in which he credited everyone-- firstly, his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ-- for his performance, except for himself.  He credits his abilities and talents to Christ, his parents, and his teammates.  Humility is one of the things I look for in a role model, and I've certainly found it in Tim Tebow.  He is definitely taking football "normals" and changing them drastically; for a quarterback to win a football game without a single touchdown pass is unthinkable!  Not impossible, though-- it was done last night.  The entire NFL and all its fans are taking a second, or even third look at this remarkable player.  There's just something different about him, they can see it; but most can't seem to identify it.  God has truly blessed Tim Tebow for walking in His ways and keeping his eyes fixed on Him.  That is something I can admire and look up to.  He's proven that hard work and faith in God will help you accomplish anything you put your mind to. 

Tim Tebow's book, Through My Eyes, is a must-read!  It gives his life story in detail and gives you a glimpse into the mindset of a dedicated Christian young man who's been thrust onto a national stage.  He is definitely someone that young people in my generation should be looking up to.  He's proven that he is dedicated to his faith and his goals and will continue to be, no matter what.  When a professional football player can say in an interview, that building a hospital in the Philippines is more important to him than playing football, it speaks volumes about his true character.  He is using football to make a difference around the world.  That inspires me and makes me believe that there really are still people out there that I can look up to.
There's so much more I could say about Tim Tebow, but I won't.  I'll leave it at this.  I would encourage you, though, to watch him closely; he'll definitely impress, and he's making huge differences in peoples' lives all over the world!
For the record, I am Tim Tebow's #1 fan :) no arguing that with me!

UPDATE: I just found a very, very interesting article about Tim Tebow, and it made me laugh, so I think you'll enjoy it:  http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=7250435&type=story.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

GOP debate co-sponsored by Heritage!

In case you haven't heard, the Heritage Foundation is co-sponsoring a GOP Presidential debate, to be aired on Tuesday, November 22nd at 8pmET.  The debate will be broadcast by CNN and moderated by Wolf Blitzer.  The theme of the debate will be national security and foreign policy-- two issues very close to many peoples' hearts.  Sadly, there has not been much mention of these subjects in previous debates (excluding last Saturday's debate on foreign policy) and many people have been waiting to hear the candidates' responses on key issues.  Whether it's a discussion on our wars, our standing in the world, our foreign aid to other countries, and more, Americans are waiting to hear where these Presidential-hopefuls stand.  The Heritage Foundation is helping us find the answers more quickly by co-sponsoring this debate! 

They've also made a special website to help you find all your debate-watching needs, which can be found here.  You can also receive a free debate watch party kit, if you'll be willing to host a party with some of your friends to watch the debate on Tuesday night (trust me, you won't regret it!).  Heritage is doing their part to get the answers to tough questions out of our candidates.  You can do your part by telling your friends and family about the debate and helping reach more people with the conservative message! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Meeting with Herman Cain

I had the opportunity today to attend a Herman Cain rally, and also had the privilege of meeting Mr. Cain personally.  The energy surrounding the meeting place was definitely contagious!  There were so many people there in whom it was clear to see their passion for defeating President Obama in 2012.  My only slight complaint about the rally was having to stand in the sun waiting for his arrival!  Once he did arrive, though, everyone in the crowd errupted.  He gave a roughly twenty minute speech, in which he addressed the many issues facing our nation today.  He also gave a clear description on his feelings toward Israel, and it was one that I completely agree with:  "If you mess with Israel, you're messing with the United States of America." 

Mr. Cain said in a later interview that he felt this current administration might not react if Israel were to be attacked by an opposing country.  He said that President Obama is the first president since Harry S. Truman to, as Mr. Cain believes, "not support Israel."  Most of what Mr. Cain said was nothing out of the ordinary; I didn't hear anything I haven't heard before.  However, he definitely does know how to energize a crowd.  There were a couple hecklers there who were seeking to trip Mr. Cain up, but they did not succeed; they were shut down by the crowd almost immediately, even though it appeared that the camera-man for a news agency that was there sounded like he was encouraging him. 

I had the opportunity to also meet many of Mr. Cain's top staffers and loved talking with them; all of them are very, very nice people.  My impression of Mr. Cain is that he is a very confident and nice man.  He went around to the crowd and signed some of the things he was asked to (others, he refused to, stating that they "didn't work too well" with the sharpies).  While he is solid on most of his points, he is not all of them, but no candidate will be.  Anything can change in this race, though; that much has been proven.  Mr. Cain was very strong on his points today and I greatly enjoyed his speech!  One of my favorite parts was hearing the people chant "9-9-9" during his speech-- not necessarily because I agree with it completely, but because after hearing that chant on television so many times, it was really neat to hear it in person!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank you, Veterans!

"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."

America is the world's best in many areas.  One of our most important bests is our military.  The United States military is the finest in the world, and has been for centuries.  Since our founding, brave men and women have sacrificed their lives at home, sacrificed a normal life, to serve their country and fight for our freedom.

Our American military has been involved in seven major wars.  In each one, the goal that sounded with every gunshot has been the same:  Freedom.  Whether we were fighting for our own freedom or another country's, the American military has a goal of freedom that they spread abroad to every country they touch down on.  In the American Revolution, we fought for our own independence from England.  In WWII, we fought for the freedom of Germany from the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, as well as the freedom of thousands of Jews that had been captured by the Nazis.  In the American Civil War, we fought for the freedom of slaves, as well as the freedom of the entire country by abolishing slavery.  In the Iraq war, we are seeking to destroy terrorism and in the process, free the world of that huge threat. 

Our veterans deserve thanks year round, but November 11th is a day set aside especially for them.  The entire country will remember them on this day.  Our veterans deserve our full, unwavering support.  Many of them come back from war with post-traumatic stress.  Too many of them come back without the means necessary to support their families, that they have sacrificed time away from to serve, after dealing with a major injury.  Some soldiers, sadly, even end their own lives here at home after surviving the war because they cannot deal with the images engraved in their minds after the war.  Our veterans deserve every ounce of support we can give them, and more.  It is beyond sad and pathetic that so many of them come back and are unable to support themselves.  Organizations like Wounded Warrior Project and Any Soldier are doing their part to support our troops and veterans; but the military men and women deserve every single Americans' full, unerring support.

Today, thank a veteran.  Think of and remember those who have given the "last full measure of devotion" for the cause of freedom.  It is because of their sacrifice that we can live in a free country.  They have taken months, and in many cases years, out of their own lives, sacrificed time with family, risked their own lives for the cause of liberty.  They fight for freedom for the next generation of Americans, so they, too, can grow up in a free America.  President Reagan stated our fight for freedom the best:  "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."  Every one of our veterans has fought for the very thing many take for granted. 

If you are a veteran, I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  It is because of you that I was born in and can grow up in a free country.  There are really no words I can say that can fully express my gratitude to you!  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  All of America is indebted to you!

GOP Presidential Debate 11/9/11

Last night's debate will be going down in the history books.  Not for reasons I'd like, that much is certain.  However, I think this gaffe by Gov. Perry is being blown out of proportion.  Rather than do an order of who did the best-to-worst on this one, I'm just going to give you some thoughts on all the candidates' performances in order of current polls.  My order is going to be very similar to ones before this, so just enjoy my thoughts on each person.

Mitt Romney.  Everything I hear from the media says how wonderful Mitt Romney is, how polished, composed, and articulate he looks and sounds in every debate.  Yes, they're right.  However, Mitt is starting to look like a robot to me.  He "never" makes a mistake, something that is, eventually, going to happen, or even has happened, to every Presidential candidate.  Every one of them is human, and Mitt has so far avoided that fact.  His time for mistakes will come eventually, and I think it would be better if it happened on a stage with other GOP candidates, rather than on a stage with President Obama.  By making mistakes now, you become better informed of what you need to work on.  Last night, Mitt did nothing to hurt himself, but did nothing spectacular.  Most of what he said was general talking points.  I still can't shake the feeling that Mitt is in this for himself, not for the next generation of Americans.  Oh, and one of my all-time favorite lines in a Presidential debate:  Asked why Americans could trust him not to flip-flop on issues as President, Mitt answered:  "I've been married to the same woman for 25, oh, excuse me, I'll get in trouble, 43 years."  Somehow, I don't see that making the cut.

Herman Cain.  The Herman Cain we saw last night was certainly different from the one we've seen in previous debates.  Instead of the happy, jovial businessman, we saw an unhappy, almost miserable, Herman Cain who only gave true answers to some questions.  Many answers were simply brought back to the fact that America "needs" his 9-9-9 plan.  At one point, after the third or fourth time of mentioning it, the audience started laughing; which shows that, in order to keep his plan in credible standing with the American people, mention of it needs to be scaled back a bit.  Maria Bartiromo went out on a limb to ask Cain about the recent accusations against him (overall, was not a good night for Maria Bartiromo!).  Between the booing crowd and Cain's denial of doing anything wrong, the matter was closed very quickly.

Newt Gingrich.  It has been proved without a doubt that this man is brilliant.  He finally found his niche when it comes to debating and consistently gives strong, solid performances.  I always love to watch his banter with the moderators, sometimes even the way he scolds them for unnecessary or biased questions.  Maria Bartiromo certainly got her dose of Newt's medicine when she asked him how, specifically, the media has been wrong about the state of the economy.  I, honestly, do not believe that Newt can win the nomination.  The establishment would never let that happen; which is a shame in itself.  The establishment truly needs to get out of the nominating process and let the people choose their own nominee.  The same goes for the media.  Overall, strong performance by Newt, once again.

Rick Perry.  Here we go.  I'm going to get much disagreement over my opinion on this, but I'm going to say it anyway.  Gov. Perry's "gaffe" was not that bad!  Yes, it was a mistake.  It could even be classified as a bad mistake.  However, it was in no way "campaign-ending."  Every single person on that stage is human.  Most people already knew that about Gov. Perry before last night, but now it's been made official.  Why is that such a big deal?  With the numerous unnecessary federal agencies we currently have in place, it's no wonder it took the Governor a moment to bring to mind the specific one he was thinking of.  The fact that people are using this to question Gov. Perry's ability to debate President Obama is, frankly, a bit ridiculous.  President Obama has never worked to abolish any government agencies; rather, he's created many more.  On that point, any candidate on the stage could debate President Obama.  That is of almost no concern.  Even news anchors are saying, "Memory lapse, we've all been there, haven't we?"  Something that I have been waiting to hear from one of these Presidential candidates is the fact that they will fight for the next generation.  I heard it for the first time last night, and it came from Governor Perry.  He said, specifically, that he would fight for the next generation.  Overall, good debate performance before and after his slip.  During that slip, well...you make that decision.

Ron Paul.  Rep. Paul was one of the two people on the stage last night who had virtually nothing to lose based on his performance (the other was Mitt Romney).  Ron Paul has a steady stream of supporters who aren't going anywhere, anytime soon.  Personally, I do not agree with many of Rep. Paul's opinions.  The one line from him last night, though, that I agree with, was this:  When asked, if the student loan program was abolished, how people were supposed to pay for their college education (again, asked by Maria Bartiromo!), Paul responded, "The same way they pay for their cell phones and computers!"

Michele Bachmann.  Rep. Bachmann has mostly faded into the rest of the pack after winning the Iowa Straw Poll in August.  Last night's debate performance was different from the previous ones, and I think she did better last night than she ever has before.  She gave deeper answers and offered solutions to some issues, rather than just repeating talking points.

Rick Santorum.  I think we are, sadly, nearing the end of Rick Santorum's campaign.  His poll numbers are just not rising enough to sustain his Presidential bid.  I am a huge fan of Sen. Santorum, and I wish his campaign had gotten more of a start earlier in the race.  Many people have issues with the fact that he is such an outspoken supporter of traditional marriage and the sanctity of life.  This is part of the reason I am a fan of his!

Jon Huntsman.  For the first time, Jon Huntsman actually earned a bit of admiration from me last night.  He was the first person to go after Mitt Romney-- however small the attack, after being prodded by the moderator to do it, and even after he almost apologized for it while saying it.  He was the first person I have seen in a debate, outside of the fight between Gov. Perry and Mitt in the last debate, to truly go after Romney on something of huge importance.  Other than that...I've got nothing on Huntsman.

Many are saying that last night's debate, especially Gov. Perry's memory lapse, will be shown on news reels for years to come.  It is being called one of the worst debate moments in modern Presidential debate history.  However, I think Mitt Romney's response in the last debate was a bit worse:  "I can't have illegals, I'm running for office, for pete's sake!"  I don't know about the rest of America, but I'd rather have a human who can make mistakes as my President, than someone who looks like a robot and will do whatever is needed to win the highest office in the land.  I truly believe this needs to turn into a four-man race:  Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry.  Those are the only four I believe still have a chance.  The rest...I like some of them.  I just don't think they have a chance at the nomination, and it would take away some distraction and give the other four more time in debates if these bottom four dropped out.  If we really want to defeat President Obama in 2012, conservatives need to get behind one candidate, not spread our support amongst four or five.  Having a smaller field will help us do that.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One year away

One year from today marks Election Day, 2012.  Many people are looking forward to that day, for different reasons.  Some are just against President Obama and are anxious to cast their vote against him.  Others have a real excitement for one of the GOP candidates and are anxious to cast a vote for them.  Others, well, they are just anxious to cast a vote for another Obama term.  I believe, though, regardless of whether I agree with President Obama's policies, we need someone who is actually qualified to run this country in the White House in 2013.

President Obama had been a member of the United States Senate for less than one year before he took office as President of the United States.  Yes, he had been involved in his state legislature for a few years before that, but he virtually had no executive experience before being elected President.  In 2008, people were anxious to make history with that vote, and they did.  It just didn't happen in the ways they were expecting.  President Obama was the first President in a long time to actually keep his campaign promise:  To fundamentally transform America.  He has done so largely through the legalization of abortion.  This was not legal when this country was founded; rather, it was a foreign concept that people didn't even think about.  In 2008 our economic crisis was, really, just beginning.  We did not need a fundamental transformation.  We needed a strong leader with a proven record of getting things done.  We needed someone who knew how to lead and take a stand for what they believed was right.  Instead, we were given someone with almost no experience who, in attempting to solve our nation's problems, has only made them worse.  Some of these new issues were directly his fault, and some were not.  Either way, he will ultimately be blamed for all of them because he was the President.

Many people believe that President Obama will be defeated in a landslide in 2012.  I do not believe this.  I think that if the GOP crowd does not get behind one candidate soon, President Obama will have a greater chance to win.  We do need to be picky about our nominee, not only because they will be the one we believe in to get us out of this hole, but we need someone who can definitely come out strong against President Obama.  We need someone with a proven record who can put his (or hers) up next to President Obama's and clearly show the American people the difference between a proven leader and an inexperienced leader.  Yes, having someone who is totally outside the Washington elite would be nice; but if we choose someone with absolutely no executive experience, I believe we might as well be handing the victory to President Obama.  While we don't want another typical politician in power, we do need someone who knows what they are doing, here at home and around the world.  Even if we defeat President Obama in 2012, if we elect someone with less experience than he had, we won't be doing ourselves a huge favor.  Even someone with little experience will not be able to fully bring America back from the edge it is on. 

2012 is critical.  Literally, every vote will count.  By someone saying, "I don't like the nominee, so I won't vote", they are giving their vote to President Obama.  We need to come together as a nation and take a stand for the next generation.  If we do not, we will become a socialist nation just like every other one in the world.  By sitting on the sidelines, we allow distant politicians in Washington to determine our futures for us.  By standing up and getting into the middle of the fight, we ensure that nothing can happen without "We the People"'s approval.  Those in Washington need a wake-up call to once again be reminded why we elected them.  November 6th, 2012, will be our next, and possibly last, chance to do so.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Herman Cain Allegations

A story has surfaced recently that accuses GOP Presidential hopeful Herman Cain of sexual harassment while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.  Supposedly, two different women filed complaints against Cain for harassment, and both received settlements to remain mum about what happened.  A third woman has also come out, saying that he harassed her as well, and she feared losing her job if she failed to do as he asked.  There are also, though very minor, claims from an Iowa radio host stating that when Cain came in for an interview, he made comments to two female employees that made them uncomfortable.

The catch in all this?  These are all anonymous allegations.  Politico broke this story earlier this week with no proof that any of these claims are true.  You would think that, in this case, Mr. Cain could come out and disregard the rumors.  He claims they aren't true, so what else would he have to do?  If they are really false, all he needs to do is come out and say very strongly that there is no credibility to these accusations.  Instead, Mr. Cain first came out saying that there was no settlement because he "didn't do nothin' wrong!"  Since then, the Cain campaign has been all-consumed with finding out who leaked this story to the press.  Personally, I feel this is the wrong way to address this.  If there is no substance to these claims, why be so determined to find out who leaked them?  Why not continue with the campaign as usual, knowing that when you run for President, you're going to find those people who want to tear you down. 

As of yesterday, the Cain campaign adamantly believed that the Rick Perry campaign was somehow behind this story.  Apparently, a pollster named Curt Anderson worked for Cain during his Senate run in 2004 (which he lost).  Cain claimed yesterday that Anderson was the only person he told about these allegations then, to make sure he knew if they ever came out publicly.  Cain says that he told Anderson of one claim, though, not two.  In a later interview yesterday, Cain said he was "almost certain" he told Anderson about the allegations.  The catch in this one?  Curt Anderson was recently brought on to the Rick Perry campaign, giving Cain reason to believe that Anderson leaked the story.  Mr. Anderson denies that he leaked this story to Politico, and has given them full permission to publicly say if he was the source of this story.  Since Politico has not yet done that, it gives reason to believe that Anderson was not the leak. 

Really, though, why does it matter where the story came from?  If this really happened, it should not be of such concern who brought it up.  We should be glad that this came up before the primaries so if these stories are true, the voters know before they go to the polls.  At this point, these sources are still anonymous.  The lawyer for one of the women who filed harassment claims against Cain in the 1990s is speaking with the NRA, and urging them to release her from the confidentiality agreement.  This story has only been out for a week and more than fifty stories have been released in the news about it.  One thing is certain, though:  We need answers, and fast.  Enough of dripping information out to keep people interested; people are going to become disinterested if this keeps up.  We need to know the truth about whether these allegations are true.  Mr. Cain should not be running from them and instead trying to find the person who leaked the story.  If they're such outrageous claims, why not say so every chance you get, rather than focus on finding the "culprit."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Helping or Hurting the Cause?

For a history assignment, I had to write an essay answering the following question:  "Did John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry help the cause of abolition?"  Below are my thoughts on it.  What do you think?


The issue of slavery was a very intense one and a point of disagreement for many, especially in the 1800s. That was the century of our civil war. It was early in that century that people began to truly form opinions on slavery and, in some cases, adamantly voice their disagreement with those holding differing views. There were many people who pointedly tried to end the issue of slavery once and for all. One of those people was John Brown. However, due to his violent approach, I believe that his efforts caused more hurt to the mission than help.

Slavery was a common practice for many who grew up in the previous century. Especially for Southerners, abolishing slavery would completely alter their way of life. In fact, because of this, when talk of abolishing slavery first came up, it was mostly Northerners who supported it. John Brown was one of those folks who grew up in the north and supported the abolition. He had a strong religious upbringing, which could have had some effect on his views regarding slavery. However, an event that most likely caused it happened when he was a child. He witnessed a slave being beaten and the image was engraved in his memory forever. This may be part of the reason he was so vehemently opposed to slavery.

As the mission to abolish slavery became more controversial, John Brown became convinced that violence was the only true solution to abolishing it as soon as possible. Congress granted newer states such as California the right to have a statewide vote, choosing whether they would legalize slavery for themselves. This new practice, called “popular sovereignty”, was put into action in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. People from both sides of the argument began pouring into Kansas, hoping to sway the result of the voting. Pro-slavery forces attacked the town of Lawrence and burned down their anti-slavery headquarters. Brown and six of his men took revenge for the attacks by killing five men in pro-slavery camps along the Pottawatomie Creek.

John Brown fled Kansas to avoid prosecution for killing these men. For two and a half years he traveled around New England, raising money for weapons intended for use in waging a war against slavery. On October 16th, 1859, Brown led twenty-one of his men on a raid of the military arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. His plan was to give the captured weapons to slaves and create a chain reaction of attacks across the entire Southeast. His plan, however, did not have the intended effect. Slaves did not respond to his calls for violence against the slave owners holding them on their farms, plantations, and homes. Local troops and a force of Marines led by Robert E. Lee killed several of Brown's men, including two of his sons. He was captured and convicted of treason, murder, and inciting a slave insurrection. John Brown was hanged on December 2nd, 1859.

I have no doubt that John Brown had good intentions. Due to his strong moral upbringing and his witnessing of a slave-beating as a child, he had many reasons to oppose slavery. He, along with many others, made the abolition of slavery possible. However, I do feel that Brown's efforts hurt the abolitionist cause more than they helped them. By going into certain places and inciting violence to end slavery, he sent the wrong message to the pro-slavery groups as well as to his fellow abolitionists. I do not think Brown went so far in his efforts that he can be labeled a “terrorist”; however, I feel that he could have gotten his point across, as hundreds of others did, without the unnecessary violence he included.

Perry's 2nd Iowa TV Ad