Sunday, May 1, 2011

History Has Been Made

I remember September 11th, 2001 very clearly. I woke up at my usual 6;30, and started getting ready for school. As I walked to the kitchen to make my cereal I saw my mom watching the news and I heard "the world trade center has been attacked." I didn't quite understand what had happened. And the camera cut back to the towers as another plane came across the screen, and the second building was struck, then the towers collapsed. And thats when I understood the magnitude of the situation, I was an eleven year old 6th grader, but I knew something terrible had happened. My heart sunk and I knew our lives would be altered forever. As I went to school and continued watching the news feed at school, and as the networks continued to show the chaos in New York and later the Pentagon, I couldn't help but cry. I didn't know these people, or any of their families, but I knew that Americans had been murdered unjustly, by a group of individuals who obviously hated this country. Despite your position on the crimes the United States has committed in history, the 3,000 Americans who were murdered that day did not deserve to die. The people in the world trade center did not deserve to die. The people in the Pentagon did not deserve to die. The brave men and women on flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania and on the other three planes did not deserve to die. The only person that deserved to die that day died today May 1st, 2011.

Today was a huge milestone in a war that has lasted over nine years. We have accomplished what we set out to do 9 years ago. We as Americans have made huge sacrifices for this day. Our rights were violated by the Bush administration with the Patriot Act. Our privacy was invaded every time we go to an airport. And now, the thousands of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to bring this man to justice can rest in peace. The families of those who died on September 11th and the families of the soldiers who gave their lives to find this man can sleep a little better tonight. The absolution and closure these families so hoped for and DESERVED has finally come. And I thank God for that.

And now we have one more step. I hope President Obama makes sure to let Americans know that we cannot tolerate ignorance toward Muslims not only in America, but across the globe. We need to make sure that we demonstrate a commitment to accepting Islam but to continue to denounce extremist terrorist groups. We need to show the world that we know the difference between the millions of peaceful Muslims across the globe and terrorist groups like al Qaeda.

Today, like every other day, I'm proud to be an American. Not only because Osama bin laden is dead, but because we did it. Americans did it. And as I've reflected on this day and the past nine years, it's been difficult to hold back tears. So although today should be remembered, let's not forget why this day needed to happen, the 3,000 Americans who lost their lives on that Tuesday morning on September 11th.

God Bless

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I'm starting to realize I don't like very many of them. There are some who I still like, but they are limited and are exceptional human beings. I think the reason I have this case of misanthropy is that the nature of people is cruel, mean, and not intelligent. For example, so many people live on such a high horse, I can only imagine how amazing they are because their amazing-ness is just beyond measure. Their hair is too perfect, they're too smart, they know all the "good" or "real" music, or whatever the case may be, there exists many people who are so narcissistic that it seems as though they've forgotten they're still human. That bothers me. And instead of helping us average folk become more amazing like themselves, they choose to criticize others and just remind us common-folk at how un-amazing we are. I believe if you have a talent, you should share it and pass it to the next person, otherwise what purpose does it serve if nobody else can benefit from it? I hope one day I become as amazing as they are. For now that's all, I've just noticed a lot of this going on lately in my little social networking universe and I felt the need to address it, just so I don't go postal at how certain people drive me crazy. Oh and if you're reading this and you happen to be one of those amazing people who are just so bomb, let me in on some of your secrets, so that way I can be a little bit closer to becoming as awesome as you. Haha, goodnight.

Friday, November 12, 2010


So I took a test on facebook (silly I know) on what hogwarts house I belong to. I was sorted into Gryffindor which is a symbol of idealism and doing what's right when the odds are against you and it doesn't make sense to do the right thing. I was once called idealistic as an insult in that I was unrealistic in my beliefs and that what I was standing for would never work. To me, that was one of the best compliments I could have received. That says I have a set of values, beliefs that I hold and won't give up. I hope one day I am put to the test on whether I'm all talk or if I stand firm in my beliefs. I hope I pass. I hope I have the courage, like a lion of gryffindor, to not buckle to the beliefs that I'm too "idealistic". Because your ideas are all you have. Hold onto them tight.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

California and Its Pothead Citizenry

So as we've all seen, Proposition 19 has failed in the state of California. For those of you living under a rock the past six months ago, proposition 19 was an initiative to legalize marijuana in this state for citizens 21 years of age and up. I'm not going to lie, I voted yes on the proposition in hopes of legalizing it and I was pretty convinced prior to the election it would fail. I won't hate you or dislike you if you voted no on the proposition, I just hope you know why you voted the way you did. And the sad part is, from the posts and comments I've seen on facebook, the majority of you voted no for all the wrong reasons.

First, let me tell you some perfectly good reasons you should have voted NO on proposition 19. If you voted no because the actual language of the proposition was unclear and was poorly written, you had a completely valid reason to vote no. The proposition legalized marijuana in California, however it allowed for counties that wanted to continue the prohibition of marijuana to do so. So if I bought legal weed in Los Angeles, took it to Riverside county where it might've remained illegal, do I get arrested? I purchased the weed in a convenience store, I am of age, and was correctly taxed, yet just because of my location in the same state it becomes illegal? The proposition didn't address that major issue and the bureaucracy necessary to determine situations like that could've cost the state even more than the proposition created. So if you voted no on the proposition due to lack of comprehensiveness, good for you.

A second good reason to vote no on proposition 19 was that even though it would be legal according to state law, the federal government still has marijuana listed as a schedule one drug (along with cocaine and heroin among others) therefore making it illegal on a federal level. If you ever took an American history course and payed attention, this country fought a civil war because the southern states had issues with the federal government having too much power and state's rights were being infringed. If you recall, the union won and the federal government maintained its supreme rule over individual states. The constitution explicitly states the federal law will always override state law when the two conflict. With that being said, one could make the argument that proposition 19 is unconstitutional and even if it was passed, it would most likely be stricken down in the United States Supreme Court. So if you voted no on proposition 19 based on that argument, good for you.

However, from what I've seen, most of you did not vote no on the proposition for this reason. Granted, I am generalizing, but based on comments and simple observations, it is pretty easy to conclude that those of you who voted no on proposition 19 did not have either of the two previous arguments in your mind. Many people voted no on proposition 19 because people who smoke weed are stupid, lazy stoners. To make a generalization like that is ridiculous, ignorant, and inappropriate. There exists a population of marijuana smokers who are unproductive members of society, but to take a stereotype of a group, and apply it to an entire population that consists of academics, musicians, actors, politicians, lawyers, and doctors is a foolish assumption to make. Next time I see you have a drink I'll make sure to remind you of your alcoholism.

Another reason I've seen people vote NO on the proposition is because weed is bad for you and its morally wrong. Based on that argument, should we ban everything that can potentially harm you? Maybe driving should be criminalized because according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2005 almost 40,000 people died in car accidents in the U.S. Click the link to view the percentage estimated to be alcohol related. Or maybe we should outlaw contact sports, that cause serious injury to large portion of its participants, including paralysis as seen here. One might say that those are extraordinary examples and that isn't enough to prohibit these activities. Yet somehow that's acceptable to do the marijuana using population in this country for whatever reason.

Also, people argue that it is morally wrong to smoke weed because it alters your mind in I guess an inappropriate manner. If you abstain from drugs and also alcohol and make this argument that weed is somehow morally wrong, good for you, you are maintaining your principles and you are true to what you say. However, to consider the consumption of alcohol acceptable and the consumption of marijuana unacceptable doesn't necessarily follow. Both alter your ability to make decisions and compromise your rationality. Both can impair your physical judgement and can impair depth perception. Both are depressants with alcohol tending to cause violent reactions more frequently than marijuana. Alcohol scientifically has severe consequences with mass consumption whereas marijuana has actually showed promise as a valid medical treatment. So to say alcohol is okay and marijuana isn't based on those grounds doesn't follow.

To rap this all up, I'm not even going to discuss the history of American drug laws because those in itself are a joke and their creation were inherently racist nor am I going to discuss the fiscal consequences of the war on drugs and its failure to stop drug use in this country. If you want to talk about it we can, but it'll be a long discussion, I can supplement our discussion with an eighteen page paper discussing both issues. All I'm asking is that when something similar to this proposition comes up again (which I believe it will in our lifetime), really consider why you're voting against it and the logic you used to reach that conclusion. Because if you read any of the previous paragraphs, you'll see a lot of these arguments just don't follow. Maybe I missed a key part of the opponents logic and if I did, I'd encourage you to let me know. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope you learned a little something.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Patriotism (or lack thereof)

So with the upcoming midterm elections I've been watching a lot of news lately to try and make sure my decisions are informed decisions and I'm not picking candidates based on whether or not I like their suit. I feel it is very important to go out and vote and to make sure as a voter I know why I'm voting a particular way. It seems as though people stopped caring about politics in our country and are somewhat disillusioned with the idea of democracy. I see a lot of people saying "my vote isn't important" or "we're screwed either way". To say we're screwed either way might have some grounds because based on recent history especially on a state level it would appear that neither Republicans or Democrats know what the hell they are doing. But to completely give up on the democratic process is an insult to the people who have bled to maintain democracy and a slap in the face to our forefathers. It is clear that our founding fathers set up a democratic republic in order to rid our land of tyranny and to set up a government "for the people and by the people." However, a major part of their plan was having an informed citizenry to know what they were voting for. Thomas Jefferson himself stated that "Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight." Basically, a democracy is not possible without an educated and well informed citizenry, and based on some comments of my peers and even comments in media and other places, our democracy is destined to fail. People either are so disillusioned with democracy because of corporation's influence over public officials, corruption of other forms in Washington D.C., or simple apathy. Whatever the case may be, the current situation at least from a local perspective is discouraging.

However, this lack of trust in the government, this feeling of helplessness is what inspires me to get informed and to vote in every election. I believe in the democratic system that is the backbone of the United States. Our founding fathers did not design a perfect government and they knew that, but they were intelligent enough to allow for amendments to the Constitution in order to help make it better. I believe in my power to make a difference by simply going to my designated polling place, and casting my vote. Ever since I was a small child I took an interest in politics. I would look at my parents sample ballots and I'd cast my own ballot on what I would vote for if I could. Granted, my understanding of the political system at the time was elementary at best but I knew, that voting rights was not something everyone on this planet had, and I certainly would not take advantage of it. I don't know if other people weren't taught about democracy, or maybe because I was lucky to meet my grandfather's uncles, both distinguished world war two veterans who served our country honorably and with bravery, who knew the risks they took, but believed in defending something bigger than themselves.

Maybe I'm crazy in believing that my voice matters, maybe the conspiracy theories are right and are votes don't count. Or maybe I think the way I think because I value things that aren't tangible, like patriotism. It seems as time passes, more and more people lose a sense of patriotism and have lost a love for this country. I don't advocate nationalism, that the United States should be allowed to do whatever it wants at any cost, but I do believe we have set an example for nations to strive for, to come from being a colonial settlement, to the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world. And although we have hit economic hardships, and seem to be losing two wars, don't let radicals tell you otherwise, the United States is the most powerful country in the world and I'm glad to be a part of it. Despite our shortcomings, despite our differences, the American population has proven time and time again that we can overcome, we can survive, and we will not fail. I believe that this has been achieved through generations of Americans who value democracy, freedom, and the ability to work together; in Washington and even in our everyday lives. One can look at the current political situation and see politicians calling each other names, blacklisting each other, and throwing labels like "communist, socialist" etc around in order to try to polarize the country. However, the average American isn't to the far left or far right, but a moderate with certain beliefs that may lean more liberal or conservative. These are the people we need to focus on, because only through compromise and working together will the American dream be achieved.

To conclude, I feel it is imperative that in order for this country to turn around from these difficult times, a sense of patriotism must be instilled into the mainstream consciousness. It saddens me that in the past ten years, it seems that only the September 11th attacks were the only way to unite this great nation. I one day dream of a nation that works together to solve issues, instead of the hyper-partisan nation that tries to attack each other. This is why things don't get done. Not because the government is corrupt, not because big business runs Washington, but because people have lost a sense of patriotism; also we have lost a sense of duty to our country. I'm glad to be an American, I'm glad that I still feel this sense of duty to my country, to try and help in any way that I can. Whether or not my individual vote changed an election is irrelevant because our government isn't supposed to be controlled by one person, however if we all vote, if we all participate, if we all care, we can prosper, we can overcome hard times, and we will succeed.

Monday, October 25, 2010


So i've seen various posts on facebook, twitter, etc. in regards to happiness is what you make it and happiness is just being happy with what you have. These principles are good in teaching children and even adults to appreciate the possessions that they do have instead of focusing on what they lack. The only problem I have with it is that it appears that by teaching people these principles encourages complacency and settling. Is complacency something our society should encourage? Also, I think a lot of people learn this idea of being happy with what you have from church and their parents in order to encourage positive attitudes. I fully respect religion and listening to your parents but I believe that many people simply take this principle and allow themselves to settle for less than what they deserve. I think competition and striving for the best and NOT being happy and NOT being complacent with your environment is a good thing. My parents taught me to strive for the best, to be the best, and I firmly believe in pushing myself and not being happy with my situation drives me. Furthermore, our American culture stresses the importance of investing in your human capital by valuing education, work experience, etc. By being okay with your circumstances, you are doing yourself a disservice. Why do the majority of people go to school? Because their parents were uneducated and want to provide themselves with an opportunity to better their future and enhance the future of possible offspring. To conclude this post, I think it is important to not live by the principle of happiness is being happy with what you have. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe not, but I know I won't ever subscribe to that philosophy. Share your thoughts.