Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eat Mor Chikin: Freedom of Speech

When the CEO of Chick-Fil-A was asked in an interview about his views of gay marriage, he gave an honest answer.  As a conservative and Christian, he simply stated he believed in the "Biblical definition of marriage."  Well, that sent some into a frenzy. Stating "how dare Mr. Cathy say such a thing," "that isn't politically correct," and starting demanding a boycott of the fast food restaurant.  Yet, maybe many missed the point that Chick-Fil-A has always operated on biblical principles and is closed on Sundays to allow its employees time to fellowship with family and attend church.  Mayors from primarily from Boston and Chicago jumped on the bandwagon telling Chick-Fil-A they were not welcomed in their cities as Chick-Fil-A's values didn't match those of their cities.  (source from CNN: cited that it enforced the discrimination many in the LGBT communities feel.

When the former governor of Arkansas and now talk show host, Mike Huckabee, proposed that August 1st to be "Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day" (source from Huckabee's webpage: many choose this day as a day to stand for freedom.  So like many other Americans, I drove to my local Chick-Fil-A today.  When I arrived, I was blown away.  The traffic getting into the restaurant was mind boggling, not to mention the line wrapped around the side of the restaurant of people and the chaotic but organized line in the place itself.  I had originally thought, "I'll just do the drive thru," but I couldn't even find where that line begun.  So I parked in a neighboring retail store, since there was no room at Chick-Fil-A.  As I walked closer to get in, I could just feel the buzz and energy.  With those in their cars, there was no honking, no lights flashing, no road rage, but just people letting others in & out as needed.  When I got to the restaurant, the line was already outside.  I had yet to see the organized chaos that awaited beyond the doors.  At the doors, I was greeted by the manager.  He attempted to explain how the line was moving. Once inside there was an assistant manager taking drink orders and bringing out the drinks.  Then as I waited, I began to hear the reasons why people were coming out...elderly, youth groups, nurses, business owners, teachers, and families.  It wasn't because they were for or against what Mr. Cathy had said, but it came down:  FREEDOM OF SPEECH.  The feeling of patriotism was alive and well in my Chick-Fil-A.  One fellow even suggested there should have been a table set up to register voters.  The talk in line was "we have to stand up for our rights and freedom."  In what could have been a very chaotic moment while waiting in the snaking lines and over an hour just to place an order.  I never once heard any whining or complaining from those in the line.  People were helping each other, having a positive discord on politics, offering suggestions on their favorite Chick-Fil-A food. What truly amazed me was the staff of Chick-Fil-A.  In a moment of utter chaos with a never ending line of customers from the time they opened, the entire staff was smiling, pleasant, and courteous. That my friends will keep customers going there, in my opinion.

Then the moment I will not forget, after waiting in line for about an hours.  A gentleman further up in the line from me announced, "May I have your attention please.  As we wait in line, maybe a song is in order.  How about Amazing Grace? Okay?  1-2-3" and the crowd broke out into song.  It was a beautiful moment. 

That is why I am an American.  That is why I went to Chick-Fil-A and stood in line for 90 minutes to order.  That is why I cheer on Team USA during the Olympics.  That is why I never miss an opportunity to vote.  Why? My answer is a simple one word response:  freedom. As an American, we should be able to freely express our beliefs. There is a reason our Founding Fathers included it in the First Amendment. There are other companies I may not agree with, but I respect their freedom to express their ideas. As the French philosopher Voltaire once said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm back !!!!

First off, I will like to apologize for taking a hiatus from writing on here. But between the demands of teaching and grad school, I had to take something off the burner. Good news is that I am down with grad school and find myself with a bit of extra time on my hands.

Second off, I would have hoped to have seen our great nation making progress and reclaiming its democratic history. Yet every time I turn on the news, read a newspaper, or just hear any American politician speak, I am left with the same question that made me start this blog to begin with "Seriously? Why?"

From the extra nastiness of the GOP primary season as it weeds through the selection process to find who will run against His Majesty President Obama, which to be honest...I have no clue who I would cast my vote and honestly I am not sure if any candidate can return our nation back to its greatness. They talk the talk, but really ask yourself will that person really make the needed changes? Will this person honestly take on the astronomical growth of our national debt ($15 trillion and growing) and big government and not let the power go to their heads? Will this person have the guts to stand up and say "We no longer need agency A, B, C, and maybe D." Will this person be able to stand up against the whining, crying, tears being shed, and tantrums to do what needs to be done?

I have yet to hear any of the candidates to answer my simple question, which I can't take credit for, but it is a question I think everyone of us should ask ourselves and those seeking office or holding it: HOW MUCH OF THE MONEY I EARN SHOULD I BE ABLE TO KEEP? This was asked by a wise young American in what seems like eons ago at either an early GOP debate or a town hall meeting.

To a Congress, I honestly no clue what the 535 of you are doing in Washington, DC. To the Senate, pass a budget already. To both chambers, do you really have no clue why you have the LOWEST approval rating in all of American history: you have let the power of the position to go to your head. You continue to deny the American people and refuse to listen to us: WE THE PEOPLE. You continue to pass legislation that befuddles my mind. Legislation that makes me wonder: are we even in the same country? It makes my job as teacher a bit harder. How do I explain to my students that if they do not do the assignment given to them and follow the guidelines, they are not going to get a passing grade. Yet Congress continues to not do the job it was elected to do and yet they still sit there in the US Capitol Building wasting our tax money with their kick backs and pass legislation that continues to strip us of our rights and we let them to do so: SERIOUSLY? WHY? We know in our heart of hearts that socialism does not work. Yet why do we (read elected officials) think being "socialized" like Europe is the way to go (hello...did anyone else miss the protesting and rioting taking place over the past year? or the EU on the verge of collapse...yet we have leaders of our nation who think this is the best course for our nation...SERIOUSLY? WHY?) to legislation that is in the works to strip us...AMERICANS...of our unalienable rights (speech, religion, citizenship, due process)...I am near at a loss of words and left scratching my head wondering: SERIOUSLY? WHY?

Your task America: look deep in your heart. Look deep in your soul. Look deep at the founding principles of our nation. Do you want to be that great nation that President Reagan once proudly claimed as a "shining city upon a hill"? Or is this it?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kohl's Cares on Facebook

I know, I haven't been as vigilant about keeping up this blog. It's hard when everything in the news is so depressing lately. But I promise to return shortly. First I wanted to take the opportunity and have you support Kohl's Cares on Facebook. Kohl's is awarding $10 million dollars out to 20 schools, $500,000 to each school. Please take a moment and vote for my school or a school of your choice.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Victim or Terrorist? That's the question.

In light of the recent foiled terrorist attempt in New York City, something dawned on me.

  1. The people who have become outspoken about the direction the government is going, i.e., the Tea Party Movement are still being characterized as "racists," "terrorists," or "right-wing nuts."
  2. Those who have become outspoken about the new Arizona immigration law, who love their nation and are for immigration...just not illegal immigration. Again are seen as "racists," "terrorists," "violent," and a host of other nasty names. But from what I have seen, the violence from the protesting has come more from the liberals or the counter-protesters. Yet it is the peaceful, protesters who want the Federal Government to uphold the laws that are already on the book are seen as the bad guy.
  3. Now for recent string of attacks: Fort Hood Shooter (Major Nidal Hasan), Christmas Day Bomber (aka "Fruit of the Loom" Bomber), and Faisal Shahzad (foiled NYC bomber). What drives me crazy is that the media is making these men out as "victims." Case in point, the media has focused on his house being in foreclosure and the conditions of the condo he has been living in. Yet totally ignoring the fact, that Shahzad went to Pakistan to a bomb making training camp and came back to cause physical harm to the nation that welcomed him its doors as a naturalized citizen. For Major Hasan, the focus has been on his alleged mental state. Again not focusing on the reasoning of him contacting the radical Yemeni cleric.
Confusion yet baffles me. I am confused by how the media can ignore the blatant obvious truth that lays in front of its camera lens. I am confused by how hardworking Americans, who love this nation and its freedoms, are seen as the bad guy.

Where has the America I love gone? I now have gained a better appreciation of the words in which Thomas Paine wrote in The Crisis,

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze (1851)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

You will be missed...

Today, I just found out that one of my favorite actresses passed away, Dixie Carter. At one time she described herself as "the only Republican in show business," yet her character on Designing Woman leaned more on the liberal-side of the political spectrum. I grew up watching her on Designing Women. What did I learn from watching Julia Sugarbaker in my youth?

1. It's okay to be an independent, thinking woman.
2. Stand up for what I believe in.
3. To support my friends and family.

You will be missed Ms. Carter. There were many great speeches made by Julia Sugarbaker, and below is one of my favorite. Rest in peace.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The time is now

One of the biggest issues facing my state right now is its education system. As a teacher, I am just dumbfounded by what I see my elected officials doing to the job I love. I didn't enter the classroom to enter the political game. Yet, it's something I do on a regular basis over the past decade. Instead of focusing on teaching the content of my subject area, I am often too busy doing mindless paperwork, which at times seems to be in triplicate despite technology, or a host of other mindless tasks that again take me away from doing my job. I now find myself in my free time writing letters to my elected officials in the State House to not vote for cutting the education budget more. And I am alarmed that more of my colleagues aren't doing the same.

In fact if the State, passes its current education budget numbers for the upcoming school year, the money per pupil will set the state back to 1995, yet we as teachers will be expected to meet the same demands and expectations placed upon us by these same elected officials, school district personnel, administrators, and parents. To put it frankly, 1995 was not a good year for my state and education. We were ranked toward the bottom in the nation for education. Over the past 15 years the state has taken great strides in improving its education system. Increasing the standards, promoting more critical thinking and process skills in the classroom, more professional development of its teachers, and taking measures to retain educators. Yet every time I turn on the local news, there is a new report of what the State House wants to cut from the education budget. For example, it wants to eliminate the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards incentive. Being a National Board teacher myself, I can honestly say the process to become NBPTS certified was not an easy feat, but through the process it helped me become a better teacher. I am more aware of my students' needs and reflective on my teaching. Thankfully my state has been generous in the past with rewarding its National Board teachers. Why? In hopes to retain us and pray that we don't leave the state, since we're certified to teach in any state. But that won't be the case if National Board funding is cut, there will be an exodus of NBPTS certified teachers leaving the classroom and probably the state.

If the State wants to improve its economy, cutting the education budget is not the answer. No industry, business, or corporation will be want to relocate to our great State if there is no solid education system in place. It wants an education system in which it can draw qualified workers and a system in which its employees will send their children.

At the rate the State is going, I would not be surprised to see many of its best teachers leave the classroom all together or remain in the classroom but do so in another state. Trust me that thought has crossed my mind a time or two over recent years. I'm not going to lie, there are some educational reforms that need to take place (just like with health care), but I don't think government is the solution. But that is another blog...

What's more alarming than going back 15 years funding for education, is the lack of educators who are (1) registered voters (2) registered votes who vote and (3) who contact their elected officials to express their concerns. My call to my fellow educators, we have to be the voice of our students. We must be their advocates when no one else will. We have to be our biggest advocates. We are our biggest hindrance in the process. How can we promote social justice in our classrooms and urge our students to become productive citizens of this great nation, if we, ourselves, are not willing to speak up. The time is now. Speak up, educators, speak up!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


In the past week, the name calling has begun on the Progressive Liberal left. If you didn't agree with them ramming health care down our throats, you are seen as "unpatriotic," "a fool," "ignorant," and my favorite "a terrorist." Seriously, a terrorist? Even the Majority Whip of the House of Representatives (Jim Clyburn, SC) has said so in a recent interview on MSNBC Wednesday, March 24.

The last time I looked, I am not a "terrorist" because I speak against my government. It's called my First Amendment right. I am not inciting fear and using violence to obtain a goal. I believe it was in 2003 when then Senator Hillary Clinton was openly telling Americans to speak out against the government and the decisions President George W. Bush's administration had done. It was your "patriotic duty" to do so. Hello, why is it now that is "unpatriotic" for me to speak against the actions of this Congress or even President? You can't have it both ways.

Yet, I am alarmed by the increasing number of those in Congress who have claimed to have receive death threats over the past week. I am begging and urging my fellow Americans to not to stoop to their level. The Progressives want you to become violent. That fuels their cause and allows for the government to take away more of our rights. DO NOT BECOME VIOLENT! There are other means to have your voice heard, but threatening violence or committing an act of violence is not acceptable. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. both led revolutions with not violence but with PEACE. It doesn't mean waving the white flag of surrender but do not use violence to fight. The first and most important step is simple, but sometimes the hardest: pray. Yes, pray for our government leaders and our nation. Pray for forgiveness. Pray for direction. Pray for wisdom and guidance. Just pray.

Glenn Beck had a wonderful monologue on his radio show, Wednesday, March 24, that I encourage to either take the time and read the transcript or listen to the audio. Click here for Glenn Beck's Monologue

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "an eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind."