Sticks and Stones

….will break my bones; but, words will never hurt me.  Remember that one?

I do.

According to my Google search, it first appeared in a publication called The Christian Recorder in 1862.

Basically, it means that you cannot be hurt by words. Only physical things, like sticks…and stones, can really truly hurt you. I expect that many Gen Xers and beyond, possibly even a few Millenials, remember the phrase, and hopefully its meaning.

I view its meaning as a tenet of maturity and wisdom – a principle. Principles are to be upheld at all costs. I raised my children to know this principle – understand it, and apply it. The expectation was, and is, don’t say things that will hurt others, and don’t get all bent out of shape when someone says something to try to hurt you. In order to achieve this, a person obviously has to have a very well established ego and self-esteem; basically, they need to know who they are and be proud of themselves.

Not an easy undertaking in our current society.

By the looks of it, however, it appears that many who are driven to frustration and anger over the state of our society and the status of the political spectrum have forgotten this phrase.

Many are trying to hurt with their words.

Many are being hurt by those very same words.

There is a vicious cycle brewing and bubbling.

Many of those words are opinion, not fact – yet, those words are being propagated as fact.

And those words sting.

The words being thrown around are nothing less than horrifying and degrading. In that sense, they could be allocated the weight of a stick or a stone, in certain individuals.

Sticks and stones being heaved over social media, just because they can.

If you view the words – thrown around like stones and rocks – as fact, this is what MSM, and even some of your Facebook friends, would have you believe:

  • that you are worthless because of your beliefs
  • that your beliefs are worthless because they are contrary to “xxxx”
  • that your beliefs are worthless because they are contrary to someone else’s
  • that you are not an individual if you support certain ideas
  • that because you are not an individual, you are stereotyped into a certain group
  • that the group you are stereotyped into is not worthy of anything except contempt
  • that your opinion is irrelevant
  • that you are wrong

What it boils down is these facts:

  • Judging your neighbor or your friend in the previously listed areas is now acceptable
  • The use of angry language and nasty epithets (basically depersonalizing another human being) against someone because they don’t agree with you is now the way to win the argument
  • Acknowledging that another human being has a different point of view, and that point of view is valid even though you don’t agree with it, is now out of fashion

Here is my opinion, based on the facts:

  • Each person is responsible for his actions and his words.
  • A person cannot be held responsible for the actions or words of someone else.
  • Our society is overrun by people who have an inability to think, speak, and act independently.
  • When people are not able to think, speak, and act independently, they are then more likely to not take responsibility for themselves. They will blame and instigate.
  • Groups of people who are followers, with no independent thought or personal responsibility, are dangerous.

What appears to be happening in our society now is disheartening and pathetic. I truly hope is only a blip and that it will subside and leave us a better people as a whole.

In the meantime, we, as individuals, have a lot of work to do. For as we take the actions that will uphold our fellow human beings, friend or not, we will propagate the ideals to make our society a better place after the turmoil in over.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

 

Advertisements

DACA – Not What They Want You to Think

The newest and greatest controversy of the Trump presidency is DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

It was initiated by President Obama in June 2012 as a means to allow the children of illegal immigrants, who entered our country as minors, to apply for a renewable permit to remain in the country.

Now, President Trump is rescinding the program, probably as part of his campaign platform to reduce illegal immigration in our country.

While well-intended, the design of the proposed solution was illegal from the start. The reason it is illegal is because the Executive branch – the President – cannot determine who is illegal in America, and who it not. The determination for naturalization is up to Congress, not the President. Yet, President Obama attempted to institute it anyhow. In a nutshell, President Obama was breaking the law, and everyone turned a blind eye.

In 2014, the state of Texas, along with 24 other states, even sued the Federal Government over proposed expansions to DACA because the costs involved in maintaining it would be overwhelming.

The ideal was sound: Children of illegal immigrants are not party to any decisions made by their parents, so they should not be penalized later on because of it.

I get it.

But, unfortunately, the premise was instigated on shaky Constitutional grounds. President Obama never had the power to do that, according to our Constitution. The 14th Amendment allows citizenship to those born on our soil. The kids born across our borders but brought here by parents, made up a grey area that he tried to color in.  But Article 1, Section 8, allocates the authority for establishing standards for citizenship and naturalization to Congress. Not the President.

Here is what you will hear from the MSM or from your friends on Facebook – or both:

  •  that rescinding DACA is punishing the children
  •  that most DACA recipients are productive members of American society
  •  that rescinding DACA is contrary to our American spirit and common sense
  •  that America will somehow lose value
  •  that America’s economy will suffer

Here is my opinion, based on the facts I have reviewed:

  • DACA needs to be placed back in the hands of Congress to pursue a solution that is legally binding. President Trump’s action to rescind DACA with a 6 month grace period is doing exactly that – let’s see what Congress can create, legally.
  • Current DACA recipients should be measured based on their individual success and contribution to American society.
  • DACA program should be grandfathered for those children already in America.
  • Grandfathered DACA program should have a definite end date.
  • Older DACA recipients should be transitioned to a full naturalization program.

Here is a statistical analysis of DACA applicants and recipients from 2012 through 2016.

Again, this is yet another element of our continually homogenizing society that we need to transition together. There are many different opinions, but only a specific set of facts. Those facts are irrefutable. Let’s look at this with open minds and creative approach and pray that Congress can do the same – for the sake of the children and young adults affected.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts for the Days

~ If you can’t own it, don’t do it.

~ Gotta love the strength of a long-awaited and well-earned revelation. It has the power to flush away – in an instant – months of emotional turmoil and to restore stability and self-confidence.

~ “Nothing is unknown. It is only temporarily hidden.” ~ Star Trek Beyond

~ “In the end what you don’t surrender the world just strips away.” ~ Human Touch by Bruce Springsteen

~ “Life, for all its anguish, is ours. It belongs to no other.” ~ quoted from Penny Dreadful, Season 3, Episode 1

~ There is meaning in many of life’s events – tragedies, triumphs, disappointments, successes. All you need is the courage to look into the shadows to see what was hidden before and to be unafraid to connect the pieces.

~ What will you – the biased political pundits of FB (you are part of this group if you have made more than 1 politically tainted post a week during this campaign) do after this election? Who will you roast? What will you have accomplished, really? What has really changed by all of your inflammatory posts but to drive a wedge between every one and every group? Just like the candidates and the media have guided you to do, driven you to express…you are not unifiers. You have become just as devisive as them all. Pity! Can’t wait for the end of the drama…

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Focus and Educate Yourself: Education – Part 1

image-imageformat-lightboxEducation is one of the most virulent, debated, and politically explosive issues in our current society.

No more so than now, as a new embattled and controversial president-elect positions his cabinet to take control of our government.

In order to ground ourselves in reality, here are some facts about education in American history: 

  • The first “free” school  was opened in Virginia in 1635, although most children were home educated.
  • In 1642, the first state statute was passed in Massachusetts requiring parents to ensure their children are educated in religion and laws of the commonwealth.
  • In 1647, the Massachusetts Law of 1647 was passed requiring all towns with a population greater than 50 families to hire a schoolmaster to teach the children. Note: local jurisdiction versus federal jurisdiction
  • John Locke publishes his Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1690. This becomes a basic tenet of American education going forward.
  • In 1788, the U.S. Constitution is ratified. It does not include any reference to education or school.
  • In 1791, the Bill of Rights is passed. It does not include any requirements for education or schools. In the 10th Amendment, any powers not delegated to the federal government are granted to the states.
  • In 1821, the first public high school is opened in Boston.
  • In 1827, Massachusetts passes a law that requires any towns with more than 100 families to have a public high school available to all students.
  • Horace Mann – the first Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education – becomes the first proponent of public (‘free’) education for all.
  • By 1918, all states have laws requiring compulsory school attendance. They are sporadically enforced.
  • The Department of Education is created in 1867 and funded by the Peabody Education Fund. Main focus of this fund is to support struggling school systems in the south.

As you can see in the history of education in America up until this point, there is nothing that commands that public education become a replacement for other forms of education. The emphasis is in ensuring that everyone is educated.

john-locke

Somewhere and somehow, the emphasis changed. The public education system that was originally envisioned by founding thinkers like John Locke and Horace Mann began to mutate; it continues to do so.

Sadly, even as we battle these statistics, no one can come to an agreement. Why?

Mutual agreement is hampered by some of the following issues:

  • public misunderstanding
  • media misrepresentation
  • over-reliance on misdirected studies and so-called ’empirical’ evidence
  • lack of appropriate funding
  • communication breakdowns related to biased thought processes
  • political infighting and finger pointing
  • loss of focus

The longer we take to come to a mutual agreement, the farther our children slip.

Our focus must be and remain on our children – all of them. We are not the future – they are.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Introducing “Focus and Educate Yourself”

Over the past few months,  I have gotten myself, with the help of my Facebook “friends”, into several heated debates over politically charged issues: education, use of GMOs, President-elect Trump’s political appointments and future policies.

I have been labeled ignorant and close-minded. Me? Wow!!

My goal was never to inflame nor to judge, but only to show a different side to very narrow and politically biased arguments. Unfortunately, I did not have research and facts to back me up. And I was called out for it. This doesn’t mean that the other side had a handle on those facts either; only that they were able to throw around some weighty catch phrases.

During this all, I have learned that:

  • Everyone has a political bias
  • Political bias is a blinder and it has the power to debilitate most healthy debates
  • The use of rhetoric and conjecture is rampant when political bias is present
  • Rhetoric and conjecture have become mainstay replacements for actual research and educated thought processes
  • Everyone is subject to the use of rhetoric and conjecture because it is the easy way out
  • The ability to remain objective in a politically biased world is virtually impossible

I’m tired of being cornered by people who think they have all the answers and are arrogant enough to voice it that way.

I’m sick of people who label and stereotype others a certain way just because of different viewpoints.

I hate the hypocrisy that is occurring.

I’m done with feeling like I am clawing my way through a maze of biased or under-informed opinion, just because it was the most recent post that came over someone’s Facebook and inflamed an emotional response couched in purported “facts”.

I want to be in a position where I can share something during one of these debates that makes another person say, “Wow, I didn’t know that”. Yep, I know that not everyone is like me and may not likely actually say that out loud, no more than they would apologize when they know they are wrong. I also know that when an issue is ensconced in emotion, mutual understanding and agreement can never be reached.

I am introducing a series of posts entitled “Focus and Educate Yourself”. The purpose of these posts will be to share what I learned through my own research on different topics that are prominent in today’s world and significant in our current political environment. The goal is to hopefully get people thinking on their own, instead of spewing the most recent babble.

I am welcome to suggestions on topics.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Dear Mr. President

Preamble:

Let’s get some facts established first:

  • I did not vote for Trump, nor for Clinton.
  • I am not a millenial.
  • I am gainfully employed but have seen troubles over my life that have placed me, at times, in less than desirable circumstances from which I had to crawl my way out, dragging a family behind me.
  • I am a conservative, not a Fascist.
  • As a conservative, yes, I do believe in basic human rights and justices.
  • I believe in hard work ~ for everyone.
  • I do not believe in the political machine, including the main and mid stream media that snivels around it and has all of us by the balls and is slowly squeezing.
  • I believe in peaceful demonstration, as one of our Constitutional rights, but I do not by any means advocate violence of any kind.
  • I know that many of you will read this and be insulted, even now, over a week after the election.
  • I do not apologize for my opinion, nor my position.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

With that aside, let me continue.

After many days of contemplation, peppered with vicious exchanges with people whom I have called friends for several years, I have decided to express a few thoughts and feelings that I have been harboring.

As much as many of us have tried to keep things civilized in the wake of your election victory last week, it has proven almost impossible.download

Actually, if I had to classify it, I would say it is social warfare out there. No longer warfare between the proverbial haves and have nots. Nor between the sexes. And it really is not even a war between the races.

It is a war of principles. It is a war of perceived standards. It is a war between intangible thought processes and subjective belief systems; belief systems that have been grown, pruned, and stunted by untold years of personal experience and the molding of each individual. It has resulted in histrionics of epic proportions, across multiple societal lines.

The war zone is real out here, President-elect Trump, and it is slowly gathering momentum – taking prisoners and accumulating casualties.

It is a war steeped in fear, resentment, spite.

It has made some good people make bad behavior choices. good_versus_bad

Here are some of the behaviors I have personally experienced. Sadly, some of the behaviors I have personally experienced; some of the behaviors mimic what you yourself – and the portion of your supporters constantly spotlighted by the mainstream media – exhibited on the campaign trail.

Name-calling – marginalizing – stereotyping – pitting of one group against another – judging and accusations – assumptions – more accusations – immoral and unprincipled characterizations

The example that you set during the campaign has become an artifact that we, the people, are now forced to grapple with in the aftermath, down in the trenches.pto5kkl7c

We have been made aware of our divisions. Those divisions have been drawn into the light. Spotlighted and amplified. Somehow, over the course of this campaign year, people with lesser moral character or weak emotional constitution have become indoctrinated with a sense that they can bully and attack and accuse anyone else from the other camp. Fundamentally good people have been convinced that they can now make these bad choices, and that they are justified for doing so.

They have gotten the idea that they don’t have to respect each other’s opinion if that opinion resonates from the other side.

Somehow, people are increasingly getting the idea that it is acceptable now to judge someone based on the group they affiliate with instead of the moral fabric of that person’s  own character.

It has become impossible to discuss rationally with someone from “the other camp” unless that person has embraced a level of maturity that allows them to gracefully accept and move on. Notice that I did not pinpoint any “camp”. It is followers of both camps, plus some, who are behaving badly.

And many are not moving on gracefully.images

They are refusing to accept the election results. They are refusing to even give you and your new administration a chance because they are so blinded by the other garbage.

They are finding you guilty before you have even made a move.

immaturity

 

If nothing else at this point, you have shaken up the status quo. Not surprising, a bit scary, and necessary.

I, for one Mr. President-elect, will do my best to represent a positive front in the turmoil that is raging. Many people of my like mind are working hard to do the same thing. Because, despite some of the despicable things you did and said during the election, those things are no more despicable than many of the things that a multitude of career politicians, including your rivals and those you are currently appointing to your staff, have done for decades. Difference is your actions and words were publicized and spotlighted while the others slithered around in the mud and tried to pretend that they were righteous, good, and doing what they did in the best interest of the American public.

But I wonder, what is happening to principles, standards, love, acceptance?

While many of us wish that we were not beginning a new chapter under such social duress, we are hopeful that as you are sworn in that you will show us a different side than what the media decided to entertain and enrage us with during your campaign and that the changes you evoke will make us a better people and a better nation.

Good luck, Mr. President-elect.

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts For The Days

July 1 ~ “He’s got to make his own mistakes and learn to mend the mess he makes. He’s old enough to know what’s right and young enough not to choose it. He’s noble enough to win the world but weak enough to lose it.” ~ lyrics from New World Man by Rush

July 4 ~ “Home is not a place or a lifestyle, but the state of your heart and all the people who take their place in it.” ~ from Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

July 7 ~ Friends are great. Great friends are the best!

July 11 ~ We live. And, yes, we learn. But, what compels us to repeat the mistakes and the bad patterns of the past.

July 12 ~ I refuse to be just another option. Someone else can take that dirty job.

July 13 ~ Of course we can’t be friends anymore, silly. You betrayed me. “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” ~ William Blake

July 14 ~ Test case halted. 90 shelf life confirmed. Anyone can play a role for 90 days. But, in the end, the true self cannot be suppressed and always rises to break the facade.

July 15 ~ No matter how angry someone makes you, or how badly they hurt you, at some point you owe it to yourself to:

Forgive yourself for bad behavior in the heat of anger
Forgive them for the pain they caused you
Have compassion for the part of their life journey that brought them to that action

And….pray for them

You might not believe that they deserve any compassion. But, turn the tables and know that, if you were on the other side, you would want that from them at some point.

And then….turn your back and walk away, in peace.

July 26 ~ “…all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools…and it’s a long road out of Eden…” ~ lyrics from Long Road Out of Eden by The Eagles

July 27 ~ It is courageous enough to live by being who you are. The real challenge is identifying who you could be and then striving for that. Success is possible when the support of like-minded friends and family is there to help you.

July 28 ~ “I {knew} the pieces fit ’cause I watched them fall away. Mildewed and smoldering. Fundamental differing….” Yup, yup!! Sad but inevitably true. ~ lyrics from Schism by Tool

© 2010-2016 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.