The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Posts Tagged ‘politics

I Didn’t Vote for Miss Cleo. Did You?

News MediaLet me just put this out there right at the start of this post… I am a news junkie. I am seriously hooked on the news and not just in the moments of crisis (e.g., Ukraine), but all the durn time.

CNN makes a regular appearance on my television throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll venture to other news stations and the local news channels to see what they’re talking about, but I usually don’t stay very long. I especially like to hear the international perspective, so I tune in to CNN International as well.

Side Note: I remember a trip that I took to Amsterdam, probably close to 10 years ago, and turned the TV to CNN — expecting to find something familiar. It was like a whole new world opened to me when I realized that CNN was totally different abroad.

Okay, so back to me being a news junkie…

I know that too much of anything is not good for you. I know that watching the news too much is not healthy for your mind, but is it me or has the news become more entertaining? Newsertainment, right? I find myself talking back to the radio while I’m driving. Oh, did I mention that I listen to CNN radio in my car?

Sometimes I wonder, where do they find these commentators? They say some of the most vexing things. Of course I have to remind myself daily that the reason they say such provocative things is so that they keep their jobs. Good television needs drama. And most of us like a little drama in our lives.

Oh, we don’t want to live the drama. We declare ourselves drama-free in our own lives, but life without a little spice is like eating rice cakes all day — bland and dull! So, bring on the TV drama, right? A little reality TV, a little Scandal, and did you hear 24 is coming back?!

So, I like to mix it up with Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Roland Martin, just to name a few. Then the other day I realized that Wolf’s voice makes me anxious. Just hearing his voice makes my heart beat faster and not in an ooo la la way, but in a nervous kinda way. Everything he says about this Ukraine crisis makes me feel like something is about to jump off at any minute now. Is it just me?

And, why, please tell me, why is every little thing breaking news?

Uh, this just in… Vladimir Putin doesn’t give a crap about what we say or do.

Every time I hear “Breaking New” or “This just in,” I’m like Pavlov’s dogs and I’m salivating, my ears at full attention.

This bring me to the point I wanted to write about in the first place. Why are the news anchors and their guest commentators so up in arms about intelligence failures by President Obama and the intelligence community? If I hear one more person mention how we should have seen this coming… Really? Because I didn’t vote for Miss Cleo, did you? Among the list of qualities I was voting for in a President, clairvoyance wasn’t one of them.

Just a few months ago the news media’s criticism was that the intelligence community was crossing the line — violating the rights of our partners abroad, tapping Angela Merkel’s cell phone and such. I’m not saying it was right or wrong, but the same people who were spinning up the drama around that are now the same people today criticizing our intelligence, or lack thereof.

Maybe if all the NSA’s business wasn’t put on front street… and maybe if the news media didn’t make such a big hullabaloo out of it, then maybe, just maybe, we would’ve been privy to one of those calls between Putin and Merkel and we could have seen this Ukraine crisis coming. #ijs

So, the news media are doing what they do best: spinning the tale, creating the drama, and getting me to tune in every durn day. That is all. You know where to find me. 🙂

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Written by Shara

March 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Inauguration 2013: We the People…

Presidential Inauguration 2013

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Today, I watched the Presidential Inauguration and felt such joy, pride and hope. Not just for myself and my family, but for so many Americans who in the past have been relegated to the sidelines of  our society — minorities, immigrants, same-sex couples, and even those with disabilities. All mentioned in President Barack Obama’s  inauguration speech.

Wow!

Just earlier this week, I had a conversation with a neighbor who proclaimed there were too many Asian Americans in our community. He said that another neighbor had to move because she was the only one on her street who spoke English. He continued to share that his biggest problem is with Hispanics who are “too lazy” to learn English, and that if they truly wanted to be Americans then they should learn English. He felt that federal tax dollars should not be spent to translate information for government services into Spanish.

Of course, I took issue with everything he was saying. Everything.

For a moment, I was surprised. I’m not sure why because I have had similar conversations with this same neighbor in years past. Also, I have met people with similar prejudicial ideas more than a few times in my life. Then it hit me.

In my quiet moments, in the safety of my loving home and in the ideals of my mind, I forget that not only does this type of prejudice still exist in our nation, but it resides in my community — right down the street. And, while I’m saddened at the thought, I’m also thankful.

Thankful that my neighbor feels comfortable enough expressing his prejudices to me… someone I’m sure he knows is not a sympathetic ear. Thankful that his starkly different views slap me in the face and wake me up to a reminder that our work is not done.

Thankful for a President who has the audacity to hope for something better for ALL Americans and would be Americans.  Thankful for a President who said today,

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.”

See, I realize that my neighbor and many like him have never taken the time to get to know someone coming to this country for the first time, trying to make a better life for themselves and their family… and also struggling to learn English as a second language. If he did, he would know that it is certainly not laziness that becomes the barrier to success. Many wake earlier than the sun and work multiple minimum or low wage jobs to provide for their families. They strive for that dream that so many take for granted.

I also realize that it’s not my job to convince him that he’s wrong and I’m right. And while I am baited into the dialogue to express my opinions and strong dissent, it’s not my job to change his mind or enlighten him.

It IS my job to make sure that legislators are elected, at all levels of government, who understand the importance of creating a unified vision for America. One that includes all Americans regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, disability, language, religion, sexual orientation or otherwise.

It IS my job to make sure that I am a part of this dialogue for change, so that when opposing views are expressed, they are not the only ones heard.

It IS my job to make sure that my children learn these lessons not merely from what I say, but also by what I do.

It IS my job to ensure that my children understand how they too can make a difference in this country and in this world.

My heart sank thinking about my neighbor’s comments the other day. Today, my heart soars with hope and progress.  I will keep at the forefront of my mind the President’s words today,

“We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky and happiness for the few.”

God bless you all and God bless the United States of America!