Archive for Youth

On the Campaign Trail

Posted in Life, Society with tags , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2011 by rikki5

So yesterday I went out on my own on the Ron Paul campaign trail to get signatures to get Dr. Paul on the ballot for the Virginia primary on March 6th. In Virginia, they require 10,000 signatures and 400 signatures from each congressional district to get the name on the ballot. So when the Campaign for Liberty sent me some petitions with a request to help Dr. Paul, I said why the heck not?!

Well, I haven’t gone door to door since I first moved to Seattle in 1995. That was campaigning with WASHPIRG to save the salmon streams. Now here I am, sixteen years later campaigning for Ron Paul door-to-door.

I spent 3 hours yesterday going door-to-door and gained only 20 signatures. Most people who didn’t sign were either lying when they said they were not registered voters or that they were not really registered to vote. Others said no way- that they are voting Democrat. A few said they didn’t know anything about Ron Paul. A couple merely shut the door in my face. Still others were extremely nice and signed my petition just to help me out. A couple of people said they loved Dr. Paul and grabbed my petition right away! One African-American answered the door and I asked if her parents were home, oops—she said she was over 18 and after my apologies saying she looked so young, she signed my petition. A few people were foreigners but exclaimed their appreciation that they would soon become American citizens and some were from out of state. One nice guy told me he was from Texas and way to go!

So, I get home 20 signatures later and myself feeling somewhat patriotic I made the effort then somewhat disgusted with the apathy and ignorance still running rampant in the general American
public. Ah, democracy!!

My friend calls me.

“Hey come over, I have some Ron Paul people here,” he says.

So I go over and gathered 6 more signatures. One was my friend of course. Two were some old biker dudes. One lady was a biker chick who said she wanted to know Ron Paul’s stance on bringing the troops home.

“He wants to bring them home now,” I replied. She immediately signed.

The other two was a couple who just happened to be there. A guy and his girlfriend who looked like they were about 20 years old. They started talking to me about stuff I didn’t even know about Ron Paul. They informed me of a protest going on at the Federal Reserve this weekend. Apparently they had just viewed some films about the Federal Reserve.

“I never used to care much about politics,” she said, “But it has gotten to the point you have to do something. I’m so glad someone is doing something,” she said as she signed my petition.

Amazing. Even though Ron Paul is supposed to be a “fringe” candidate, 20-somethings know more about him than I do. He has cured the apathy of today’s youth.

So all in all I guess it was a success. 26 signatures, my faith in Ron Paul confirmed, my faith in the youth of today restored, and Democracy still alive and well in America…at least for a while longer.

Troy Davis and the Death Penalty

Posted in Society with tags , , , on September 23, 2011 by rikki5

I haven’t written in this blog for quite some time. However, something has occurred that has made me more impassioned to speak out against the death penalty and start to communicate again via this blog.

On September 21, 2011 Troy Anthony Davis was killed by lethal injection by the State of Georgia. He passed away at 11:08 p.m., 4 hours after his original execution time of 7:00 p.m. after the United States Supreme Court refused to intervene in the execution. The Supreme Court gave no comment on their decision. I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to not stay the execution and even more disappointed they would not give the citizens of this country an explanation for their decision.

I am not going to go over all of the legal doubts and factual inconsistencies of this case. If you want to learn more about those arguments, then simply do a search on google for Troy Davis. I do want to mention because it has widely been ignored that one of the main obstacles in granting Davis a new trial was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214, (also known as AEDPA). This law was an act of Congress signed into law on April 24, 1996. The bill was introduced by former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, passed with broad bipartisan support by Congress following the Oklahoma City bombing, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. This law bars death row inmates from later presenting evidence they could have presented at trial. Members of the legal community have criticized the restricting effect of the 1996 Act on the ability of wrongfully convicted persons to prove their innocence.

The sad fact is that in America we still use the death penalty. In fact, we are one of the top five nations who put criminals to death. Our company on that list consists of communist China, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. All of Europe, Russia, Australia, the UK, even parts of Africa have outlawed the use of the death penalty.

What makes a killer? In our society, we are bombarded each day with movies, music, and images of violence in the media. We give celebrity status to people who murder. Take for instance the recent case of Casey Anthony. While I am sure that some of the most horrible killers in the world have a genetic component, I think a lot of it has to do with a fundamental flaw in our society. We do not look out for our children. We must look to ourselves to discover the truths of why people kill and murder. We must start looking to parents to raise up children with love and attention. We have to look at teachers, schools, and communities faced with the difficulty of identifying potential future murderers, rapists, thieves, and gangsters. We need to stop living in the bubble we have created because it is easy. If we suspect abuse, we need to speak out. If we suspect neglect we need to get involved in some way. We cannot sit idly by and await someone else to take action. We need to hold parents responsible the children they bring into the world. We have to teach love and compassion to our children. We have to teach them to value diversity instead of teaching them hate towards those who are different. We have to start working on the issue of poverty in our communities and those individuals who struggle to properly feed, clothe, and house their children. We need to volunteer to be a big brother or sister, a CASA advocate, something. We need to quit being apathetic and help those who are less fortunate than us, especially our youth.

I do not believe that Troy Davis was a murderer. It was known that he wasn’t the best student and that he did have some problems in his youth. I wonder how different his outcome would have been had a concerned teacher or school counselor recognized that he had some issues. I wonder how it would have turned out differently for him if someone had stepped in and gave him some extra encouragement or attention that he needed as a youth. I wonder how different his life would have been had he not been a product of a divorce. We are so easy in this day and age to advocate for divorce, we have succumbed to the easy way out when we really should look at the ramifications for our children and society. We should not take the vow of marriage lightly.

If we want to prevent these injustices from occurring we must not only eradicate the death penalty, but we must look to ourselves and to each other to reach out to our troubled youth before they are beyond help, before they have crossed the line.

Dumbed Down Youth Rant

Posted in Society with tags , , , , on June 2, 2008 by rikki5

When I look around at today’s youth, I’ve noticed that many people from the age group 16-25 are seriously either sheltered or misinformed. I’m 30 so I am obviously excluded from “youth”…and I notice that it’s hard to have a conversation with younger people these days. They really don’t have much to say other than about trivial bullcrap. I’m sure there are a few exceptions but I am just talking about the generation as a whole. Have you ever tried talking to a young person these days? Like 18..19? It’s saddening. The main reason I am concerned is because back when I was in high school and early college years we at least were concerned about politics and social reform. Look at the bands that came from the early 90s…Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc. Now look at the bands today..so much crap no wonder these poor kids could care less. The sad part is no one ever mentions it. At least I didn’t think so until I came across this book entitled “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)”written by Mark Bauerlein

You can buy it here

If you haven’t read this book, please do so. It creates a disturbing picture of today’s youth. It seems true as well. By the mere fact that today’s youth are bringing back 80s fashion is proof that their generation has serious issues. I saw leg warmers the other day! Leg warmers in 2008!!