Making a difference.

August 20, 2012 on 12:22 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments

How many of us talk about making a difference? How many of us complain because no one we elect ever makes a difference? I have done both of these things in the past but I now know we can make a difference. We might not be able to do it alone but when we come together as a group we can and now I have proof.

My friend, Shannon, decided to run for county council where she lives and she made it through the primary and into the general election in November. Shannon has no political experience and she had limited funds. What Shannon did have was the determination to make a difference, the honest message that people want to hear and a group of friends that helped every chance they could. Even though Shannon was outspent by a ratio of 13 to 1 she won by 27 votes.

Shannon might not win in November as her opponent is very well financed and will have no problem getting his name out for voters to hear. The fact that she will be a part of this election makes us all winners. We now have a chance to change the discussion. No longer do we have to hear what politicians want to tell us. We now have the ability to force them to talk about topics we want to hear about.

I guess I have known Shannon for about a year now. I do not remember when I actually first met her but I do recall that I was not really impressed by any particular characteristic that she might posses. I am now. I now realize how brave this otherwise unassuming person is. I now realize how dedicated my friend is. I now realize how I need to do more to help her because she is so willing to help us. Like many of the people reading this, I also do not live in Shannon’s county. While I am going to be unaffected by decisions that the county council makes regardless if she is on it, I am going to be affected by her run for office.

We are all affected when one person stands up and lets the World know that we are here. Shannon is the one speaking out but it is all of us that will be heard. Now all we need to do is amplify the noise. For any person reading this that feels as though they have no voice, you do. Use it. If you cannot run for office, find someone that can. Form a group of friends and find one person that is willing to be over worked, ridiculed and laughed at and go out there and make the World listen. When it is over we might just make the difference we all want.

For any person that would like to learn more about my friend Shannon please take a look at her website: Shannon McLeish

Time To Speak Up

August 2, 2012 on 7:27 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments

This past week has been filled with views and opinions of a fast food restaurant. I am sure everyone is familiar with what Mr. Cathy, the owner of Chick-fil-A has said. Well actually most are aware of part of what he said.

Everyone seems to be clear that he is an evangelical christian who has a need to inform the world of his beliefs. Apparently one of those beliefs is that Same-Gender Marriage should not be legal. Had he only given his views I would see no problem. However, this is his actual quote:“we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

This does not seem to be Earth shattering but what does he really mean? Westboro Baptist Church makes similar comments and uses this sentiment to justify the protesting funerals of fallen soldiers. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell made comments like this when telling us that the 911 attacks were because of homosexuals causing god’s wrath. These are divisive, hurtful comments.

Mr. Cathy has the right to have these opinions and he has the right to tell us his feelings. I will fight for his right to say it but that does not mean I have to like what he says. Although, I would like to thank him.

Why would I thank him? Because he helps America to remember that we have certain lines that do not need to be crossed. Michael Jordan was often asked about Civil Rights issues and which candidates he supported. Mr. Jordan would always respond that Republicans bought sneakers too. Mr. Jordan knew he had a right to his opinion but by voicing it he would upset some people. Mr. Jordan wanted to sell sneakers and earn money not tell the World what to think.

Every business person will now think a little harder before they make comments that might cause some people to be upset. Before they cross the line they will have to decide if they want to stir the pot as Mr. Cathy has or do they want to sell sneakers like Mr. Jordan did?

Mr. Cathy is likely a very good business person. If he makes comments that he knows will be unpopular with a large portion of the population he knows that it can hurt sales at his company. If he knows these things why would he make these statements? Perhaps it is because his personal views are more important to him than bigger profits. I give him credit for having the courage of his convictions but I still do not agree with what he said or did. Why?

Quite simple. If he knew these statements would harm profits and he made them anyway that tells me he also has an agenda It also tells me that he is unwilling to take other people’s feelings into account as he tries to force his agenda on the rest of us. He knows this is an election year and his comments will stir the Republican base. He knows hate and fear mongering sells. He intentionally allowed his comments to hurt some people so that the GOP base will get out and vote against liberal, progressive Democrats.

If Mr. Cathy wants to be a politician he should go down to the Clerk of Court’s office and fill out the paperwork and run for an office of his choice. If Mr. Cathy wants to sell chicken to the masses then he should afford all people the respect we deserve.

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