Archive | September, 2012

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Voter Suppression in Florida, Pennsylvania and other Crucial States (Election 2012)

Posted on 25 September 2012 by mdepeine

How is it that in the year 2012 we have elected officials all over the United States devising ways to keep people from voting?  There is a presidential election occurring on November 6, 2012 and Republican politicians are “bending over backwards” to suppress the vote.  They have claimed that there needs to be provisions put in place to prevent voter fraud (less than 1% cases documented).  This could not be further from the truth!  Millions of Americans, mostly blacks and hispanics, are in jeopardy of losing their right to vote because of these last minute changes made to suppress the vote.  Here are some of those restrictions:

1.  The requirement of a state issued photo Identification card at a cost (in Pennsylvania, alone, that affects approximately 800,000 voters).  This change should never be allowed during a Presidential election year!  It takes years to correctly implement such new changes, not a few weeks before an election.

2.  The reduction of early voting days (in Florida, they had 15 days of early voting in 2008, this year, it has been cut down to only 8 days) will create even bigger lines than what we saw in 2008.  Our elected officials should be looking for ways to expedite the process, not create extreme “bottleneck” and regression to “days of old” when only the “privileged” got the “right” to vote.

3.  Most government agencies could not produce the volume of ID cards necessary to allow all eligible voters to vote in time for the elections.  A situation was created that makes it physically impossible to make the new IDs that would be necessary to allow all voters who wished to, the opportunity to vote.  This is grossly unfair!

4.  In some cities, Florida will have a voting sheet that will be as long as 10 pages per voter (with several referendums to decide on)!  Imagine the extra long lines that will create and the discouragement and frustration it will cause to many seniors and people who cannot afford to miss hours of work (poll tax?) to wait to vote.

How could a party that seems to pride itself on protecting the US Constitution create such scenarios to disenfranchise so many Americans?  This smells of extreme hypocrisy and a gross lack of patriotism.

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Summary of 2012 Democratic National Convention (Key Speeches)

Posted on 15 September 2012 by mdepeine

Below is a link to a commentary I made on CNN iReport about the powerful speeches given a the Democratic National Convention.

Democrats Know How to Do a Convention! – CNN iReport

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Texas Police Drag 77 Year Old Senior Citizen Out of Car

Posted on 14 September 2012 by mdepeine

Lynn Bedford was rushing to find a bathroom because she was reportedly suffering from a bladder infection.  She didn’t cooperate with the police when he asked her for Id and he proceeded to drag her out and assert his “authority.”

Perhaps force should not be the first option to use.  Just because the force is there in “abundance” doesn’t mean that it is the only means available to deescalate the situation.  It seems that some police are “trained” to escalate rather than find a way to deescalate situations.  I think a certain degree of police diplomacy should be used when dealing with the elderly.  I’m sure this is not the first time this has happened.  It just happen to get “caught on camera”  and it is now available for all to see and hear on the internet.

Elderly Woman Dragged From Car by Texas Cop – Yahoo!

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Michelle Obama’s Speech at the Democratic National Convention: Powerful!

Posted on 05 September 2012 by mdepeine

Michelle Obama managed to give America a clear summary of what matters to the man she is married to; President Barack Obama.  She shared the story about their common family struggles;  how their parents were working class Americans.  She shared about her father’s illness (Multiple sclerosis) and how he did not miss days of work despite his condition.  Michelle shared about Barack Obama’s mom and her struggles as a single mom.  Michelle also shared about the “glass ceiling” that Barack’s mom and other women often have to contend with.  She accentuated that with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which says that there needs to be “equal pay for equal work.”

Michelle stressed that “Success is not about how much money you make but how much difference you make in people’s lives.”  This is so important to note.  I appreciate that kind of thinking because too many people focus on money and not on how to help their fellow man.  She shared how Barack Obama is about helping people.  She mentioned how both her and Barack would not have been able to attend college without financial aid.  So it made sense for Barack to push for legislation that increased financial aid at reduced rates for college students.

Our lives are a collection of hopes and dreams, Michelle said.  She stated that Barack wants to fight to give people access to the American Dream because he himself is living proof of the American Dream.  What he received he wants to give back to all people.

You got a sense that Barack is a man of deep character after listening to Michelle’s speech.  She mentioned him being a  man of truth and integrity.  Michelle also said that “values, visions and experiences make you who you are.”  The most memorable words were when she asked “Does the presidency change who you are?”  She answered, in reference to her husband, Barack Obama, “The Presidency reveals who you are!”  She said that Barack Obama is more committed and more determined to see to it that the needs of the people are addressed and that the middle class is strengthened and the American Dream is within reach for everybody.

This was a speech for Americans from an American who loves her country.  Finally, Michelle said of Barack:  “He knows we all love our country.”  This was a very inclusive and unifying speech.  Anyone who values these things addressed by Michelle will likely vote for Barack Obama.

 

 

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2012 Democratic Convention – Julian Castro

Posted on 04 September 2012 by mdepeine

Julian Castro’s speech was very sound and inspiring.  I really liked the way he said that attaining our dreams is like a “relay.”  One generation passes the baton to another, but the point is, it keeps moving “forward.”

From the speech, you got a sense that Barack Obama cares for the middle class.  You got a sense that the current president considered the regular person.  Castro highlighted the “infrastructure” that’s necessary to help Americans reach their dreams, make them reality.  The investment in education is very important.  Also making money available for “small business loans” was key.  He juxtaposed the government loans with Romney’s statement:  “Get a loan from your parents.”  Not many average (middle class) people have that option.  That was very true!

 

 

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Who Should Step up and Take Care of the Oppressed, the Naked, those Unjustly Treated?

Posted on 02 September 2012 by mdepeine

The passage below is from the Old Testament, Isaiah 58:3-12.  God, Almighty is addressing his people.  The people had fasted and sacrificed in a way and they expected God to come through and answer their prayers.  They probably gave up certain foods or all food for a certain period of time.  They probably dressed in clothing that was not attractive or comfortable.  They probably did not do things they considered “luxuries” of those days.  In any case, they “sacrificed” and they expected some results from God.

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’

God pointed out to the people that even though you fasted, “You do as you please.”  He said that they exploited their workers – cheated them and took advantage of them.  He said that “Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists.”  See below.  God is saying that fasting involves doing what he wants from us, not just what we please.  He also is saying that “true fasting” involves a heart of doing right by those you may have “charge” over and it also means that you are not quarreling but practicing love.

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?

Below we see what God’s preferred fasting really entails.  When you look at what God lists below, it takes a great deal of selflessness and sacrifice to actually accomplish these things.  It takes self-denial and a decision that “you” want to meet the needs of those who are less fortunate than you.  This kind of “fast” is a decision to put your comfort at risk, so that you could help others who may not have what you have.  Remember Moses:  “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (see Hebrews 11:25).  Consider the great men and women of history who stood up for justice and fought oppression.  Many of them were threatened, attached and eventually killed for taking action in the areas that God calls “true fasting.”

God said that a true fast involves loosening the “chains of injustice.”  He said it involves untying the cords of the yoke, set the oppressed free and break every yoke (physical and spiritual)!  These are areas that I believe that many  Christians shy away from, yet they are so important to our God!  God is a just God and he wants people who follow him to stop injustice, oppression, and slavery of every kind.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

True fasting also involves sharing our food with the hungry.  Providing shelter for the wanderer.  Cloth the naked.  See below.

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

God says that when we fast as he prescribes, then we will shine.  We will be transformed and we will be healed.  Somehow, taking care of people transforms us and heals us and draws us closer to God.  I’m  not talking about just the traditional (still very important), feed and cloth people, I’m also talking about those who are being unjustly treated by anyone or a government.  It applies to those being oppressed at home and abroad.  It applies to those being oppressed by a job, sitution or  a government regualtion.  God says take care of these issues; that is true fasting!

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

God’s people; anyone who professes to follow God should heed these passages and put them into practice and “own them.”  Christians should, more than anybody, be the first people to have compassion on those who are oppressed.  They should not just have compassion but also look for ways to remove the oppression.  Christians should also be looking for ways to remove injustice wherever it may exist.  It is a big task, but God expects his people to do it.

Isaiah 58 started out in verse one with this line:  “Declare to my people their rebellion…”  God was talking to his people.  Anyone who claims to follow God should seek ways to put these verses into practice.  It may be through prayer, awareness campaigns, changing laws, voting, being a leader or anything that God has designed the individual to do.  But know this, God does expect his people to “fast” this way.

What do you think?

 

See also Psalm 82

 

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How Do You Introduce a New Law?

Posted on 02 September 2012 by mdepeine

Coming Soon:  Being an active member of your government

Under construction!

Megan’s Law – History of Megan’s Law

Legislative Process – How the Congressional Legislative Process Works

Government Affairs

Congress of the United States – How A Bill Becomes A Law – Bills, House, Committee, and Debate – JRank Articles

How Does Congress Work? |The Center On Congress at Indiana University

Who Makes up Congress? – Ask.com Answers

How Congress Works

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