Know what the band is playing before jumping on the bandwagon – HaliPawz

I recently watched a video being shared on Facebook regarding Donald Trump being a racist.  I know the intent was to show a protester not fully informed about the subject of his protests, but I saw so much more. 

The video – Black Lives Matter protester regarding Donald Trump

Video courtesy of Dennis Michael Lynch

  

Screenshot of Dennis Michael Lynch’s video regarding Black Lives Matter protester

As you can see, it has been shared over 8000 times. People are reacting in many ways to it.  

 This is an example of too many issues in our country today. Not just with racism or Donald Trump…we have a society where people jump on bandwagons without truly knowing facts. They follow crowds, spouting off “facts” that may or may not be true. Stop following others. Stop sharing things you do not know are true. Do your own research from sources OUTSIDE your comfort level. I’m not a Trump fan because he encourages the racial division and the violence that follows, because he knows it helps hype him up. He’s made a living over sensationalizing media moments and he continues to do it with his political campaign. Encouraging racial division for media sensation IS NOT the same as him being racist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. I don’t know because I haven’t done enough research on that topic. I know he LOVES Omarosa for all the money she helped make him when she was on his show, so he can’t be 100% racist LOL. The point is….verify before you spout off. Don’t just be a follower. Before you jump on a bandwagon, know what the band is playing! 

#knowthefacts 

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

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The Confederate Battle Flag and the “N” word are not all that different but many may disagree – HaliPawz

racism, empathy

I understand I may make some angry with this post.  It is NOT my intent.  Please read the WHOLE blog before you form an opinion about me, about the flag, or even what your real argument is about.

I recently had a conversation with a non white male about the confederate flag and all of the drama around it.  So many people are focused on the Confederate Flag and how it represents so much hate and horrible ideas but as the discussion continued between the two of us, I stated to him the “N” word is just like the Confederate Flag and the conversation got even more intense.

His argument:  The Confederate Flag is a representation of hate and was designed around white supremacy, and therefore should be gone.

My Argument:  The Confederate Flag is a representation of Southern Pride and / or of country life, and has nothing to do with hate except for those who allow hate and racism to enter their lives.

His Argument:  But the history of it shows it represents something else.

My argument:  But history shows the true meaning of the word Negro and the “N” word and why it should not be used by ANYONE but there are those who choose to ignore it and give it  it’s own meaning.  How is the “N” word any different than the Confederate Flag, it’s just  different groups supporting the two sides.

Now mind you, I was driving across state heading from Michigan to Missouri so I couldn’t take the time to break it down with facts about the Confederate Flag and I wanted to refresh my memory of the N word before I stated facts.

Please understand, I am not trying to divide the races even further, but rather to get everyone to understand similarities exist, even when we don’t want to see it.

Let’s look at some true facts first…..the term “Confederate Flag” is used when people are talking about this flag:

This is the Rebel Flag, not the Confederate Flag

This is the Rebel Flag, not the Confederate Flag

But the Confederate Flag actually looked like this:

White Man's Flag

Actual Confederate Flag

William Thompson, who designed the Confederate Flag DID say it was the “White Man’s Flag” but the Rebel Flag, causing all the uproar right now, was designed by Willliam Porcher Miles.  Was Miles racist?  Probably.  He was a Southern man living during a time when the country was divided.  Yes, he was known as a slave owner, but so were some of our earlier presidents and key men in our history.  I’m not here to discuss slavery.

The history of the Confederate Battle Flag or Rebel Flag

The Confederate Battle Flag was just that, a battle flag.  It was NOT a representation of slavery, it was just the battle flag of the south.  There have been people saying it flew on slave ships.  Not true.  The south NEVER owned any slave ships.  Technically, the slave ships were from the New England State, the dutch, and the Portuguese, NOT the south! It wasn’t even a southern NATIONAL flag, it was JUST a battle flag.   When racist groups, such as neo-nazis and skinheads choose to use this flag as “their” flag, they are, in fact desecrating the Confederate Flag and technically have no right to use it.  There are southern men and women who lost their loved ones, their ancestors, who died under that flag flying.  While we may not agree with WHAT they were fighting for, they have every right to want to respect the flag that represents THEIR history.  You don’t have to agree with something to respect it.  Black men, of their own free will, chose to fight under this very same flag that everyone is saying represents white men only.  So not true.  There are a lot of myths surrounding the Civil War.  It wasn’t as simple as the north was free and the south was slavery.  It goes so much further.

One group you may want to study further is the “Sons of Confederate Soldiers”  and read their statement so many, including the media, ignored.

Before I get into my deep comparison, think of a tradition such as “jumping the broom” that was passed on from ancestors to today.  A white person living in a predominately white town may have no idea what “Jumping the broom” means, but that doesn’t make them hate it or fight to have it removed from the weddings of those who choose to keep that tradition.  Yes, I understand there is a difference between someone choosing to have a tradition at their wedding vs a flag flying high on a government building.  All I’m trying to say is to understand the meaning TODAY behind something before you get upset, not the meaning the media or hate groups want you to believe.

47% of those polled only think of the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of pride in the south.  They don’t even know the history of it other than that.

This leads me to the N word…..

Negro comes from the Greek word Necro meaning dead, empty of life, corpse.  Now, I can say I choose to never use the N word or the word Negro but there are those who choose to use it as a sign of empowerment, indicating that, by using the word, they are taking it back and taking the negativity away from it.  But it comes with rules.  It is not OK for EVERYONE to use it.  Who decides?  At the end of the day, some use it almost like a word of pride.  I personally don’t understand how a word representing death and empty of life is a word to be proud of, but it’s not for me to understand because it isn’t MY history.

At the same time, I would hope those who CAN understand the pride that goes with the N word for themselves or those they know would look deep in their hearts to understand how the Confederate Battle Flag can be a source of PRIDE for those with Southern Roots.

The south wasn’t the only one who owned slaves.  There was slavery in the north as well.  In fact, there were some slave owners in the north that tried to ignore the laws even after Emancipation Proclamation.

At the end of the day, we don’t have to agree with something in order to be accepting of it.  Try to gain a little better understanding of WHY one group supports something, even when you may not and ask them to understand the things you support.  By taking the time to understand and appreciate another point of view, there will be less knee jerk reactions to all situations.

All I ask if for you to think about it, consider what I’m saying, and try to understand a point of view different than your own; it might just help make the world, and relationships with others, a little better!

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz

The Road to Political Success is Paved with Success and it seems only the Wealthy are Worthy – HaliPawz

Top 10 Reasons why someone like me should run for office, be it presidential, senate, or congress but would never be successful at it.

1. I have an opinion and I may change it!  I know the concept seems strange compared to what we are used to, but I would have my own opinions.  I wouldn’t need a team of people telling me what to think or how to think.  I would openly share my opinion but I would also listen to those with other opinions as long as the discussion stayed respectful of each other.  There may be times I may alter my opinion slightly or altogether based on new information.  It doesn’t make a person wishy-washy, it shows growth.

2. I understand the value of a dollar. I’m not rich. I have bills. I have debt.  I know what it’s like to go to the grocery store and weigh out an item to determine if it’s a want or a need. Because of this, I know how to look at options and be able to think…how will this affect our country fiscally? What impact will it have? Will it put us further into debt or will it help us start climbing out?

3. I’ve made mistakes! Yes! I know it’s a concept we seem to think our politicians shouldn’t have, but they do. The difference is, they work hard to hide them. I talk about mine. I talk about growth from them.  I talk about the knowledge I’ve gained. I have skeletons in my closet! GASP!

4.  I would not spend MILLIONS on my campaign.  How, as a society, do we not see that as a problem? We talk about the fiscal state of our country, of the needs of so many groups, yet think it’s OK to just pour millions and millions of dollars into campaigns???  Jeb Bush, by waiting to announce, had been out making money for his campaign, using the loophole…I’m not officially running yet, so give me as much money as you can!  Yes, I know the presidential campaign is always costlier than Congress, but too much money is spent on all the major campaigns.  With the use of social media, the paparazzi, the followers….you could run campaigns on a much smaller budget!

New York Times stated, “As the 2012 campaign gets under way, there have been a lot of numbers thrown around. Some analysts believe that President Obama, who raised and spent about $750 million in the 2008 campaign, will come close to $1 billion this time around — a figure that senior White House officials dispute.”

Think about how many people are running for the 2016 presidential spot already….and how much each of them is going to spend, couldn’t that money be used for better things?

5.  I would vote for things the way I felt I should vote, not because a lobbyist bought my vote.  Yes, it happens and more Americans should be aware of it.  I’m going to explain it in a simpler fashion, so it’s easier for everyone to understand. I worked in the optical industry for years.  I have worked for non Wal-Mart optical companies and for Wal-Mart optical.  When I managed a small location with a private doctor, we had a contact lens representative come in once a month to see us.  He barely talked about new product, but we (me and the optometrist) always went out to lunch with him to one of the nicest restaurants in the area.  Guess which brand of contacts the doctor fit 90% of the time? Knowing what I know now, I can honestly say there are times another brand probably would have worked for the patient.  The doctor liked the perks he was getting from the company (it wasn’t just lunch once a month).

Wal-Mart has a policy where you can not accept gifts from representatives.  They can come in to talk about their products and what is new, what questions we have, etc.  Because of this, we (the associates) had real knowledge of the products.  We knew what was coming in the future. We understood the differences. The optometrist fit the best PRODUCT to the patient, not the BRAND. In addition, because the company didn’t have to work their “freebies” or “gift” expenses into their cost, they were able to sell the product to Wal-Mart at a lower price, which in turn, allows Wal-Mart to sell it lower.  It’s a win for the consumer!

Now ask yourself, is my representative voting the best way he or she can for ME or because someone is giving them kickbacks to vote a particular way?

6. I would fight to change healthcare from the ground up, not the top down.  I have said over and over again that our health care system is screwed up and needs to be changed.  Sadly, because of how many lobbyists are in our politicians pockets, no one wants to make this change.  There is no regulation on charges. My proposal, in a quick blip, is start with expenses and mark ups. Doctors and hospitals should be held accountable for what they are charging.  Most people don’t even look at their hospital bills.  They pay their portion and move on. I saw a $5 charge once for a bandage.  This “bandage” was a band-aid! Are you kidding me, $5 for a band-aid? A mark up like that should be illegal.  Think doctors charge too much? They do and it’s because of insurance.  They have to charge the same amount regardless if you have insurance or not.  Insurance company A says, hey, you charge $150 for that procedure, but we are only going to pay you $73.50 for it.  The doctor, if they don’t agree to accept it, will lose 60% of his business, so he says ok.  Other insurances, who don’t have as big of a negotiating power, have to pay $104 for the procedure. Someone without insurance gets charged the full $150. See the problem? If we can get a handle on the mark ups, leveraging costs, the insurance companies costs would go down, so insurance premiums would go down, putting more money in the worker’s pocket, Medicaid costs would go down two-fold; less cost to the taxpayer AND more people could afford insurance.  How is it no one can see this? Oh yeah, they can, but the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies pay a lot of money to keep politicians from doing anything about it.

7. I would take the same approach to contracts and fight for more affordable government contracts.  Why are we paying $50 for a nut and bolt that costs $1 to make? Too much money is thrown down the drain because it’s not their money.  If we start challenging theses things at a local, city, and state level, costs would go down.  Budgets would be fixed.  I would challenge companies bidding for the job or the contract, WHY does it cost so much to do?  Can it be done cheaper?  What is the reason behind the costs?  For example, in an article on Philly.com talking about the ADA compliant ramps in their sidewalks, it stated

“In the Philadelphia region, that will mean rebuilding more than 60,000 sidewalk curb cuts along state-maintained highways, at a cost of at least $300 million over 10 years, and thousands more on local streets. In Philadelphia, sidewalk ramps will get about half of the city’s road budget, officials say”

My mom walks with a walker and uses a motorized scooter, so I am all for ADA compliant sidewalks and businesses, my concern is how much they are going to spend over 10 years.  Is anyone challenging them saying, hey, come on, why so much?  Just because it’s a government job doesn’t mean they should be able to increase their margin of profit.

8.  I’m not Republican or Democrat.  I am pro guns.  I am pro marriage for any two consenting, legal adults.  I am a Christian but not a fan of most  organized religions. I believe too many people are on Medicaid for the wrong reasons and it needs to be changed (not gone away, just fixed). I don’t believe in just throwing more and more money at a problem without working towards a solution.  See! In one number, I’ve angered so many.  It’s why no one would vote for me.

9.  I would be aware of the money I was spending.   I would challenge accountability of politicians.  When they are spending taxpayers dollars, there should be limits.  Anything over those limits should have to come out of their pocket.  When they are traveling for business, it shouldn’t be the most expensive.  It should be reasonable, depending on where they are going and why.  While there are times for splurges with any business or company, there should be rules and regulations around the spending and they should make sense.

10. Last reason….I don’t look the part of a politician.  I don’t have the right background.  I don’t have the right degrees. I don’t have the right look.  At the end of the day, I look more like the average American and for some reason, most average Americans don’t want a normal, everyday person, representing them! I don’t understand it, but it’s been proven time and time again.

To be clear, I’m not speaking just for myself when I say “I should run” I’m speaking for every American who would be great in office but would never be given the opportunity.

It’s funny, because I did look at what it would take to run for president and apparently anyone who raises in excess of $5000 can submit their application to run for President.  Maybe I should start a GoFundMe and see how much I can raise!  Or you can just submit money to PayPal to HaliPawz@aol.com and be sure to label it “Presidential Campaign”  As soon as I have $5001 I will enter the race!  Halifax for President 2016!

Seriously though, as Americans, we have to start demanding more from our politicians.  Challenge them to do better.  Don’t vote for the one who speaks the most eloquently, or makes the most promises, find the ones who fit what you believe, who are consistent with your thoughts and ideologies, and will make the best candidate, not because of the party they are affiliated with but because they will truly do the best job!

#HalifaxForPresident2016

If you like this and want to stay up to date with my posts, follow me on Twitter @HaliPawz  or Like me on Facebook.com/HaliPawz 

Dogs, Medicine, pairing the overpopulated shelters with the needs of the people – HaliPawz

As I was reading an article today about a a German Shepherd trained to sniff out thyroid cancer, it make me realize we are not using our natural resources as well as we should.  We have animal shelters overpopulated with dogs waiting for forever homes, many of them are smart dogs, dogs who should not be in a shelter, all they want is love and companionship.

We have an unbelievable number of homeless and underprivileged in the US right now.  There are currently over 600,000 homeless Americans as of 2013.  Many of them do not take the time to seek medical help or, in some cases, do not have the time to go to a free clinic.  Having done volunteer work with organizations that help the homeless and underprivileged, I know the care in the free medical clinics still need a lot of help.  In many situations, there is an expectation of arriving early so you can get your spot on line, only to sit and wait all day.

My proposal is to have teams of dogs trained to go to these clinics, to walk the streets of the homeless, to be the first level of diagnosis for cancer.  Dogs can also be trained to detect low blood sugar, low blood pressure, notification of a seizure coming on, and, in some cases, the onset of a heart attack.  While some of these abilities wouldn’t help in a clinic setting, the whole point is to get involved with partnering the right dogs with the right handlers to work in areas to cut down the costs of the medical testing.

Using a dog’s ability to detect via scent would help with less evasive screening tests.  It would also allow the handlers to walk the streets with the homeless, those not able to afford a bus or a a way to get to the clinics.

Would it solve every medical problem?  No, of course not, but it is a start.  It is a way to give more dogs in shelters work and a purpose, it is a way to help those less fortunate just a little more.

In addition, more dogs can be trained to detect seizures and oncoming heart attacks, and be given to those in need along with free food and pet care.  In the long run, this care would be cheaper than the medical costs a person will incur IF they have a seizure or if they have a heart attack and it isn’t caught quickly.  There are so many wins to this!

For further information, here are some good articles to read:

Dogs Detect Cancer

Medical Detection Dogs

WebMD pet detecting illness

Driver License Proposal

With all this media attention about animals and children being left in hot cars, I have a proposal.

Every potential driver in the United States has to sit in a car. The windows have to be cracked about a half-inch each. The car in a room that has UV and “sun rays” equivalent to an 85 degree day. I say 85 because I think that a lot of people don’t realize how hot 85 degrees is. When we go from an air-conditioned building or home to a car that cools down pretty quickly on an 85 degree day, we don’t always get that “man it’s hot out” feeling like we do at 95 degree weather.

As they are sitting in this vehicle, they can not turn it on. The timer starts as soon as the door shuts. They have to just sit in that car until they cannot stand it anymore and have to get out. Once the door is opened again, the timer stops. I think everyone would think twice about leaving their child or animal in the car with the windows “cracked” after they did this test. Once the test is complete and they have passed everything else, THEN they can get their license.

I wonder how many lives we would save if this was a requirement?

Government Butting their nose in – HaliPawz

Is it just me or does it seem like President Obama is pushing his thoughts and ideas on everyone without a care or thought about what “We the People” want.  I shouldn’t just say President Obama, I should say all politicians in general.  I thought the whole purpose of government was for them to represent the majority of the people, but last time I checked, it seems like they don’t care about the people.  Do you know who they care about?  They care about the person / organization with the biggest pocketbook to help them in one way or another.  Instead of being so concerned about the whole, you wash my back I’ll wash yours mentality, we have to see that our country is failing in so many ways.  We have people shooting at people driving by them like they are playing a video game.  We have people not able to afford the new “forced” health insurance but they don’t qualify for assistance or Medicaid.  We have way too many people who “qualify” for Medicaid that should be forced to go out and get a job.  But if they get a job making $100, they lose $300 dollars.  What is WRONG with this system.  I’m not saying I have all of the answers, no one has all of them, but when you have people passing laws that have never had to experience they system, the laws are going to continue failing.  Now this whole, equal pay for each gender law???  Last time I checked, that has been a focus for years, why all of a sudden is it a law?  Who is going to fact check it?  I’m a woman and I still have an issue with it.  OK, so lets say Bob and Sally are both hired the same day for a new company and Bob has 10 years experience and Sally has 2 years experience.  Because it’s the SAME job and they are starting the same day, should they both get the same rate of pay???  OF COURSE NOT!  Bob has more experience!  I see it all the time…..young 23 year olds, fresh out of college thinking they should be paid the same as the 40+ year old at the job twenty years…they think since they are doing the same job, they should get the same pay.  Life isn’t like that!  You have to EARN the right to be up there.  While they may be able to do the same overall job as the next person, they might not have the wisdom to trouble shoot a problem when it arises or to react quickly to a situation like someone who had been doing the job multiple years can.  President Obama says he wants his girls to make the same pay as their male counterparts…..who is he kidding???  Daughters who will be, by all counts, educated at ANY college they want to go to, and will have the title of former President’s daughters???  They are not going to be starting at the bottom of ANY wage bracket.  Their title, history, and name will already earn them a higher wage at ANY job they do.  So anyone that wants a feel good moment and saying….yeah, I want that too….reality is, it’s not going to happen, they will be treated differently their whole lives.  All this new bill will do is cause companies to scramble to find a way to “follow it” without actually following it and make the word force unbalanced, and, in many ways, unfair.  That is the reality of letting people pass laws that are CLUELESS to reality!

We need to make changes.  We need to get people in there that are not motivated by money and greed.  Oh wait, we can’t, because you have to be RICH to even be able to campaign!  But alas, that is a vent for another day!