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how much is enough?

              Community service is supposed to an act of kindness in which one does out their own free will. The goal of many universities and schools is to have their students do community service to teach them to give back to those in need. However the message has become strayed as these students just do the service to fill hours and to have enough to get something in return.

                When doing community service many people quit after a while saying I had enough. Today in society there are times when people think because a year has passed after a disaster that things have completely restored and that people are back on their feet and begin to not care. However it often takes a decade or more to correct a disaster that took minutes or seconds to happened with no human control.

                Hurricane Katrina was a devastation to the people of New Orleans, Louisiana where many lost loved ones, their homes, their memories, and most importantly life as it used to be. After the disaster struck many people sent aid and lent a helping hand to those in need. Statistics show that ten thousand college students volunteered to help during their spring break. Forty million pounds of food were distributed by catholic charities. Six point six million meals were distributed by the Salvation Army. ( numbers were for the first year following the hurricane however researching statistics about aid after the storm most numbers come from what happened during the first year with very little about how much was done after. According to the article five hundred thousand people had already volunteered and there was still more people needed as the purpose of the article was to raise awareness and rally up support.

                After a while those who aren’t affected directly by a disaster tend to forget about what has happened and seem to forget its existence. Life is about forgetting the past and moving to the future. However moving to the future and helping others move forward as well is doing something not only out of kindness or to receive credit or publicity but to give someone the same opportunity that you have.  Many times those who have struggled to achieve what they have are more willing to help someone else have something mainly because they know what it is to struggle verses those who have had everything handed to them on a golden spoon their entire life not knowing what a struggle really is.

                A helping hand is needed by everyone at one point in their life. Sometimes by lending someone a helping hand helps them to become inspired to help someone else and thus spread the light of giving to someone else. How much is enough? There no answer to what amount is enough when it comes to helping as you can help one person by giving them twenty dollars and fell an abundance of joy because that money made their holiday or you can give one thousand dollars to a Politian who spends it on a Champaign in which no one really benefits because he doesn’t fulfill the promises he made. Enough is knowing in your heart that whatever it is you gave to whomever you gave it made a difference in their life.

heal the world


                 A true legend is one who is remembered not for what they did but for the message they left the world. Michael Jackson a name known by many (if not all) all over the world gave the world a new genre of music with many number one hits. One of his most famous songs still sung by many today, both old and young was a collaboration he made with many of his friends entitled Heal the World.  In this song he sent a message saying that to make the world a better place for the future we need to realize what is happening and find a way to fix it and remember that we are all humans living and enduring struggles of all sorts. “There are people dying if you care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me”(Michael Jacksons Heal the World).

                      Today many people read newspapers, online articles, watch news broadcasts, about a world in which there is so much killing and these people don’t realize that this is happening to someone who is just like them; whether it be the killing of an entire family, or a suicide bombing that killed someone’s mother who was getting their weekly groceries and a father who was earning his family’s only means of support. Michael Jackson sent a message to the world saying to realize that people everyday are losing their lives and their loved ones and if we could realize this and find a way to put an end to it or at least to help each other whether it be in support or in awareness then we can make a better world. 

                    My vision of the world fifty years from now is that there is a lot of destruction and devastation to come if no change made. In today’s world as an American and as a New Yorker, I see people discriminating against others based on their clothing, names, dialect, religion and race thinking that they are all terrorists. This is a stereo-type like many of the past generations, which cause these people beings discriminated a lot of difficulty as sometimes they may fit the description of the stereo-type and be one of them who discriminate against it.

                The worst part about the discrimination is that many times those who have come to America and adapted to the culture make fun of those from the same culture as they are adapting to this new way of life forgetting that at one point they were in the same situation that newcomer is facing. This is not something that has been happening recently as this can be traced back to the days of the industrial revolutions where immigrants were heavily disliked by those who have lived here for a while or were first generation Americans.

               My goal of this blog is to change this discrimination even if it’s one person or one hundred people or a thousand; a difference begins with just one person.

Our judicial system: effective or defective?

HELLO! Welcome to my blog!
What's your idea of our justice system? Is it fair and well thought out or is it corrupt and mindless? Our government is filled with errors and mistakes that are paid by the loss of lives and the sentencing of innocent people. Is our justice system falling apart or standing strong? Whatever your argument may be, feel free to check out my posts and re-blog them with your own opinions!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

DeathPalin Is the US Headed Towards a Fascist Government?

      By Arif Rahman

"The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic." 

     - Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

           On September 17, 1787, the Unites States Constitution was adopted by our Founding Fathers. With imperial Great Britain on their minds, they decided to create a government on the basis of democracy, a government that Abraham Lincoln, one hundred years later, described as, “Of the people, for the people and by the people”. The constitution, with the Bill of Rights, was laid down as the supreme law of the land. It was a form of checks and balances to make sure that no one would be able to chip away at the foundations of democracy. Yet almost three hundred years later it seems our political system is doing just that. The notion of “The separation of Church and State”, no longer applies to today’s politicians. Laws that complete defy the Constitution are being passed, but the Supreme Court continues to sit by idly. Today’s politicians seem to only be interested in how to further their own careers, and when it comes to decision making their biased by either their religion, or their political party. It appears that there is a regime building up within the United States, a regime which shows all too many signs of a Fascist uprising.
                 When our forefathers created the Constitution, even though they did not declare it in the constitution itself, it was implied that they only wanted educated and knowledgeable landowners to vote.  Max Frankel, former editor of the Times, quotes from biographer Joachim Fest in his review of Speer: The Final Verdict: " . . .how easily, given appropriate conditions, people will allow themselves to be mobilized into violence, abandoning the humanitarian traditions they have built up over centuries to protect themselves from each other," 1.  The “dumbing” down of America has reached new heights. It seems the majority of Americans will listen to anything they hear. By placing blind faith in our government we are handing them a blank check to do as they wish. People like Hitler and Mussolini rose to power by manipulating their Countries.
                Now, there are a lot of people out there who would label people like me as a nut job. Couple of years ago I wouldn’t believe it myself. Yet after studying US history in high school and placing number one in my AP US History class, I have begun to realize a trend within our government. Can we say that our form of checks and balances is 100% foolproof? Can we contain one man from doing the bidding of his choice? The President of the United States is virtually powerless. For almost everything he does he needs approval from congress. However I did say “virtually”. Many people are unaware of this fact, but the president has control over the ENTIRE military for ninety days before he has to report to congress. We can take over Cuba in just three.
Let us take a trip back into history. President Andrew Jackson, one of the key people from the War of 1812 who helped us defeat the British in New Orleans, ordered the “Trail of Tears”. For those of you who are not familiar with the trail of tears, in a nutshell it was Jackson’s way of telling the native Indians to get the hell out. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall declared the event “unconstitutional”. President Jackson’s famous response was, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it”. Obviously the Supreme Court has no army at its heels, so how does someone say no to a person with ninety days of complete military power?
Chris Hedges in his book War is a force that gives us meaning says, “There are always people willing to commit unspeakable human atrocity in exchange for a little power and privilege."  Power leads to corruption. It sounds so cliché. This is the phrase you hear in almost all bad guy films. However it wasn’t until now that I really took a look at what the phrase really meant. Our history is rich with shady presidents. FDR loved being commander in chief so much, he served four terms of it before congress decided to cut it short to two for all future hopefuls. President Bush’s administration passed laws that literally stripped away the bill of rights. Where was the tea party when Bush claimed authority to break 750 US laws2. Yet we as citizens sit by idly as laws like the Patriot Act and a blatant attempt at invading the privacy of American citizens occurs. In fact the CIA is able to keep tabs on what people are saying through cell phones. Even if one is turned off, unless the battery is removed, the CIA is recording what we say. If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t this the same as the Soviet Union’s “Big Brother” policy during the cold war? Are we communists? Yet a lot of people don’t care because they say the government is “trying to keep us safe”, but my point is that it is a total disregard of the law because the CIA has no jurisdiction to work on US soil.  All of this occurs under one president who has no regards for the law but continues to run on a platform of patriotism.
However, my biggest fear is not corruption of power, corruption happens we cannot help that, what I am concerned about is the rise of religious fanatics. When I say religious fanatics I don’t mean Islam, I mean the extreme right. One of the things that gets me burning under the skin is the fact that no one seems to care about the separation of church and state. One of the main concerns people had during JFK’s presidential campaign was the fact that he was a Catholic and would ignore the rights of the Protestants. We are talking about the people who had the threat of nuclear missiles being fired at them by the USSR, but their biggest concern was why JFK is a Catholic. Our country today is at its biggest divide since the civil war. The right today only votes for their political parties regardless of what the candidates bring to the table. They look to see if the person is Christian or Muslim. Their politicians seek out the support of religious groups and clergy men. These are the people we must watch out for, because they are the ones who will destroy the very foundation of what we stand for. There is a reason why the separation of church and state is so important. One persons fairy tale pegged against another fairy tale only creates friction.
 When I think of America, an overwhelming sense of pride rushes through my veins. This is the country I have lived in since I immigrated here at six months. I know no other country which I could call home. So when I think about the future of this country and where it is headed, the future were my descendants will live in, I can only imagine. We are the most powerful country in the world. Our military is unmatched by any other entity out there. Every fight is our fight, do not be told else wise, we do not get to sit one out. Yet we will not always be like this. You think the Romans were thinking about the fall of their empire during its peak? Do you think Great Britain, a country with the most powerful Navy of that time, ever expected to lose to a bunch of farmers from the colonies? America will not be a superpower forever, not if history has a say in it. My only fear is what it will become when it does fall.  

1(Is America Becoming Fascist by Anis Shivani
2Bush Challenges hundreds of laws by Charlie Savage, The  Boston Globe


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