Thursday, October 20, 2016

Op-Ed Regarding The Importance of the Peaceful Transition of Power and why it is the reason American Democracy has worked for 240 years.

Op-Ed Regarding The Importance of the Peaceful Transition of Power and why it is the reason American Democracy has worked for 240 years.

As recorded via LIVE broadcast:

By:  J. Dean Grimes

It frightens me that presidential candidate Donald Trump incites mild violence at his rallies.  It frightens me that he is well known for being disrespectful to women, is pro repealing Rowe v. Wade, that he is a bully, and it frightens me that he is a misogynistic power hungry man who is only in the presidential race to please himself, not the American people.  However, I am absolutely petrified about the fact that on both September 30th, and then openly in the last presidential debate, Trump very plainly stated that he would contest the validity of the election results if he loses the election. 

Here’s why:
The peaceful transition of power from one president to the next is the foundation upon that which makes America’s democracy work.  Why?  Because American voters have the right to elections that are fair, that are peaceful, and that truly reflect the way that American democracy represents the people, for the people, and by the people.  We all know that the electoral college, and the supreme court have interfered in elections in our past [Bush / Gore], but despite whether we agreed as a nation about the outcome of controversial elections in our past, Americans have rallied around our new president because a peaceful transition of power has taken place. 

America is founded on the principle that all beings are created equal.  Creating divisiveness, openly stating that you will contest election results, asking supporters to incite mild or actual violence in protest of this principle will send our great nation into a time before the feudal system and the dark ages of kingships and autocratic rulers.  We all know what happened when Germany was thrown into chaos after World War I, and a new party called the Nazi party came into power, and a megalomaniac ruler that sent tens of thousands of people to death camps for no other reason than their ethnicity came into power. 

It is with the aforementioned thought in mind that I ask the American people this: 
Do we want to live in a new era of dictatorship led by a man who doesn’t believe in the core values of our constitution let alone understand them?  Further, if a man like this can come into such a powerful position of leadership, what does that say about America?  Are we falling into the same traps that ancient Rome fell into as they crumbled into oblivion?  Or are we going to stand up to the bullies and focus on our common belief that peace is in the best interest of everyone, that education brings purpose to all people, and that purpose creates prosperity not only for Americans, but people across the globe. 

It is with this in mind, as we move closer to election day, that I urge American’s to consider what and who they are really voting for, what the true outcome will be, and to consider that the foundations of our constitution are what truly make America great.  Additionally, I urge Americans to think about what separates the United States democratic system from any other governmental system in the world:  The peaceful transition of power from one president to another.  We must believe in our system.  We must unite.  We must believe in ourselves, believe in each other, and acknowledge that each American is afforded the right to voice their opinion ONLY because America is already great. 

In this election, it is essential that Americans come together and unite as one.  We must not only  believe that our democracy actually works because we have the guaranteed right to speak freely, elect our leaders freely, and allows for the opportuniy to shout with one loud voice!  Use your voice to stand up for your right to America’s brand of democracy – which allows for the peaceful transition of power, delivers a voice to all people, gives everyone an opportunity to prosper, and through the prosperity of these founding ideals, gives purpose to our domestic policies, and to our policies abroad.

This election your voice counts  because your voice will determine the outcome of our future as Americans more than any other time in our 240 year history. 

Get out and vote.  It counts.

I urge you to watch the entire third and final presidential debate here:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Regarding Yemen as written for Prof. Brennan Legasse, Sierra Nevada College

Regarding Yemen’s History:

Yemen is located east of the Red Sea, South of Saudi Arabia, North of Somalia, West of Oman,
which I like to call “Oh Man!” because both states are located in a hotbed of terrorist activity, ruthless
oil regimes, a great fishing location, and an ideal port for US Naval ships (other countries such as Russia
also highly value Yemen for this reason as well), and an even better port for land invasions for any army
or military. The result is a history that has been plagued with invasion, corrupt governments, civil
unrest, terrorist activity, and a nation that has no true identity.
Regarding Population, GDP and other statistics.

Yemen is home to 26 million people, is a desert country, and the largest city is Sana’a, which is
the nation’s capital, and the primary seaport is Aden. Arabic is Yemen’s official language. Yemen has a
history of violent uprisings due to secessionists, unruly tribes, and Islamic extremists. President Ali
Abdullah Saleh was forced to resign in 2011 and power was transferred to Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi
(he was the VP in Saleh’s reign of power) in a 2012 election. Yemen currently relies on foreign aid as its
number one source of income, and as 54% business freedom, 57.1% labor freedom, 68.5% monetary
freedom, 77.6% trade freedom, 50% investment freedom, and 30% financial freedom.
Regarding a sustainable Yemen

Yemeni’s live in a dark triangle of fear, suppression, and a mixed religious culture. The country
has serious divisions among religion / ideologies as well. The result is a fractured nation with no real guiding compass. Therefore, a sustainable future depends on a combination of three things.

One, foreign aid and investment, Two, an increased state investment in community based natural resource
management (CBNRM) as well as other forms of education, and three, the indoctrination of common
core values and investment in a common cultural identity… in other words, Yemeni’s must create a
sovereign government that promotes sustainability, an understanding of the environment that the
Yemeni’s live in, and they must create a common economy that promotes prosperity from within.
Foreign aid investment is crucial to the outcome of a prosperous Yemen. In this regard, foreign
investment from the global north in education, education related resources, and educational planning
aid (this is for all aspects of education from CBNRM to traditional education) must be provided, and
USED for the purpose of creating a sustainable Yemeni future. Further, establishing a fair and equal
government through a prosperous educational environment will increase the ability for Yemeni’s to
recognize a prosperous future through equality and common values combined with providing a common
identity and a sense of togetherness, which is key to creating a Yemeni sustainable future. But, more
than these things, establishing an understanding that breaking through cultural barriers via education
will eliminate hostility among the Yemeni people and reduce outside influence such as terrorist groups,
and it will establish a common ground from which future Yemeni people will prosper.

Regarding Politics and Government:

A sustainable government depends on the foundation with which it is built. An economy, a
government, a body, group, or an organization of people cannot sustain itself if it is not built on a
foundation of cooperation among people, a wiliness to work with each other, and an understanding that
every community, state, organization, etc. begins upon the foundation of self, that is you. As in, there is
an I in US and that is U. Through this series of understandings a solid foundation can be built. Through
these principles, one can clearly see that a sustainable future for Yemen goes straight through a path of
a rebuilt education system. And, this cannot be a system of education that works for the US and/ or the global north… It cannot be an education system that works for Saudi Arabia or other neighboring  states… It must be an educational system that works for Yemen. A system built on the foundation of
unification, a common interest that is written by the people, representing the people, and system that
can benefit the people… not select groups, thugs, the privileged, or corrupt government officials.

Regarding Education:

Emphasis on vocational education such as farming and agriculture is the key to creating a new
successful education system in Yemen. Teaching vocational education in Yemen with emphasis on the
cultivation and exportation of the countries brightest assets (figs, bananas, mangos, almonds, walnuts,
pears, pomegranates all work well in Yemen’s fertile soil, therefore vocational education in agriculture
would enable Yemeni’s sustainable economic growth) is essential for a Yemen’s prosperous and
sustainable future. Fishing is also a major industry for Yemen, therefore an investment in vocational
education with emphasis on fishing could provide long term economic sustainability.

Vocational education is often misunderstood as being solely blue collar, but, is becoming a
doctor not becoming a vocation? If it is then, can education in Yemen set the stage for the future of
education across the globe by simply creating a vocational education that actually works? Education is
solely vocationally driven any way – That is, everyone works in one form of another, the result is,
everyone should get paid to perform their favorite profession. Starting at an early age, rural peoples
should be out in the fields learning farming, etc. with the opportunity for each child to attend state run
professional/ vocational schools, and / or the opportunity to attend a state run university that would or
could lead to further education depending on the profession an individual chooses. Vocational
education or as I would prefer to call it, Professional Education (PE) will create a sustainable future for
all nations, may as well start with Yemen.

A Conclusion of Sorts:

Vocational education is the path for a successful Yemeni future. This education must emphasize
sustainability, prosperity, and unity. No system of government can change overnight, and it is through
education that Yemeni’s can change the social consciousness of their state. Education can lift the spirits
of a people, change the course of a nation, and create a state that is for all people, not just the elite.
Education includes teaching community based resource management, HIV/AID/STD education,
professional education, vocational education, government/ political education, as well as education
about all things in all ways. These things, among others not discussed here, through the eyes
of sustainability, will create a prosperous Yemen.