Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The United States of America: A Christian Nation or Religious Freedoms?

I have heard it said by many of people, that the USA is a Christian Nation, and wants the country to be where same sex marriage is not allowed.  Before we get into the specifics of same sex marriage, I want to give a history lesson here, about how this country is NOT a Christian nation, and that The Constitution is to celebrate religious freedom.

Here is the Preamble of the Constitution:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary forone people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them withanother, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equalstation to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decentrespect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causeswhich impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men arecreated equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienablerights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That to secure these rights, governments are institutedamong men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Thatwhenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is theright of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government,laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in suchform, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments longestablished should not be changed for light and transient causes; andaccordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed tosuffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing theforms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuinginvariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolutedespotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government,and to provide new guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; andsuch is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systemsof government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history ofrepeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishmentof an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submittedto a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome andnecessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate andpressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent shouldbe obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation oflarge districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right ofRepresentation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidableto tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for thesole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, foropposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, tocause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable ofAnnihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; theState remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion fromwithout, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of theseStates; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners;refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising theconditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusinghis Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for thetenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hitherswarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armieswithout the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of andsuperior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to ajurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment forany Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trialby Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretendedoffences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in aneighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, andenlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fitinstrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our mostvaluable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaringthemselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of hisProtection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt ourtowns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreignMercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, alreadybegun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in themost barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on thehigh Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners oftheir friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and hasendeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless IndianSavages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of allages, sexes and conditions.
He has waged cruel war against human natureitself, violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons ofa distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them intoslavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in theirtransportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidelspowers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. He hasprostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibitor to restrain this execrable commerce determining to keep open a market whereMEN should be bought and sold: and that this assemblage of horrors might wantno fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise inarms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, bymurdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off formercrimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which heurges them to commit against the lives of another.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned forRedress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answeredonly by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every actwhich may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittishbrethren.
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by theirlegislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigrationand settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity,and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow theseusurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections andcorrespondence.
They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and ofconsanguinity.
We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, whichdenounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind,Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States ofAmerica, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of theworld for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority ofthe good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these UnitedColonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that theyare Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all politicalconnection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to betotally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have fullPower to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, andto do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firmreliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to eachother our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Here is the introduction of the Bible:

Genesis 1 King James Version (KJV)

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Okay, so I don't know about you, but I'm not seeing a similarity here.  Two different balls of wax.  None of the words are the same, and the ideals put forth are totally different.  Oh, it doesn't matter?  why, sure it does.  The Founding Fathers of our country were not all Christian.  Most of them were Deists, as in they believed in a creator, but, don't state what their faith is, and were also the push behind public education.

The link for the faith of our Founding Fathers is here:  http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4846-faith-of-the-founding-fathers

And here:  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1272214/The-Founding-Fathers-Deism-and-Christianity

It stands to reason, that this is true, because of the fact that in England, back in the day, whomever was king, assigned the national religion or faith, and if another group ended up taking over, the new regime set the new national religion.  We have also read from other history books, that much of the European countries have had their fair share of the religious wars, and it was one Christian sect against another.  To eliminate the issue, for a totally free country, our Founding Fathers put in the First Amendment about religion, because the will to practice how you see fit is considered of utmost importance with the freedom of press, peaceful assembly, speech and petitioning our government.  To say the USA is a Christian nation  does not stand the test of the Constitution.  We are all here to be able to practice our faith at will.

Traditionally, until Ben Franklin founded the first university, many children were home schooled.  But, the founding fathers realized that seriously?  Not every parent was available to teach their children, but not all parents are fit to be home school teachers.  They prided themselves on the fact that an educated public is a well behaved public, and idle hands lead to mischief, to say the least. 

The link for the public school founding is here:  http://www.nas.org/articles/u_s_founding_fathers_on_education_in_their_own_words

And here:  http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/founding-fathers-agreed-funding-public-education-is-not-a-debate/article_f05aa5b0-2fed-5c63-be1a-1b013cf49625.html

Oh, so you say I missed the boat?  That the Constitution really is based on the Bible?  Okay, here.  Maybe a look at the Bill of Rights and The Ten Commandments comparison will give us a closer look at how the two beasts (our political system and our faith) are not even overlapping, much less being similar.

The Bill of Rights (which is our governmental 10 Commandments):

Amendment I - Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II -Right to bear arms

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III - Quartering of soldiers

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV - Search and arrest

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V - Rights in criminal cases

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI - Right to a fair trial

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII - Rights in civil cases

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII - Bail, fines, punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX - Rights retained by the People

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X - States' rights

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Here is the 10 Commandments (The Constitution of the Bible):

Exodus 20 King James Version (KJV)

20 And God spake all these words, saying,
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
22 And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.
24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

So, I have yet to see where these are similar.  they are not.  No, I am not knocking your religion.  Unless you are about taking living beings and making live sacrifices for what ever fetish that you have.  Often, those with faith find the courage they need there, to do the right thing.  If that is the ultimate goal, more power to you.  I'm just saying that the Constitution gives us the flexibility to practice any faith we please, or to not participate as we also have equal right to do so.

Hey, don't shoot the messenger.  I love the fact that I get to be a universalist protestant, and you get to be what ever faith you want.  This country was based off of the fact that as individuals, we are entitled to be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, Wiccan, or what suits you.  If everyone were alike, we'd be talking to the walls. 

What then, is it with the same sex marriage issue?  Of course, we must remember, no matter what the verses state in the Bible, God never uses the term marriage, and does not outright define husband as a man, and does not define wife as being woman.  So that definition is null and void about marriage between a man and a woman.  So, if you want a Christian country, you would have to get rid of the preamble and ditch out on the ideas of our founding fathers.  If you want to honor The Constitution, you need to accept the fact that all men are created equal, meaning that you can't stop some people from getting married thus having less rights than you do.  And, if Jesus were here today?  What would He do?  He would accept those who are cast out to put them under His wing.  More people need to practice the ideal of the Golden Rule "do unto others, as you'd have done unto you".

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A High School Play Written by Students and Child Abuse Awareness

I was invited to go to a play over at Case High School on Sunday, April 19 written by some students.  I was figuring that it would be one of those light hearted shows, with some tongue in cheek word plays.  What I got was something totally different, and I was actually very impressed at the topics covered in this play, entitled The Secret Project.  And it is just as intelligent as it is real as reality can get.

As you know, the month of April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.  We will get back to this later, but, I find it very interesting that many of the topics covered in the show have a lot, if not all, to do with child abuse and making it aware that yes.  These topics exist.

Anyway, it is called The Secret Project, because we all, especially as teens, have secrets that we keep deep within ourselves, never to let it out.  Some are the usual teen angst that is just normalcy in each of our lives.  But, there are other ones that are not so normal nor trivial such as wearing the cast off brand of the designers, because our families can't afford the real ones.  These are real issues, that affect real people, and no, it's not just something we experience as adults and our children unaware.  They are more aware than what we give them credit for.  Which is why we need to lead by example.

The kids started off as a whole group in silence, and there was actually a deaf child, who was unable to be present for this weekend's performance.  But, each individual actor/actress their own secret in sign language.  Of course while obvious that each were doing their own signing, it was impossible to follow any one individual, because there was so much going on...  Just like if everyone started talking at once, but it was silent, so they still keep their secret even if they are literally spelling it out right in front of you.

Anyway, as the stories play out, you don't know which story belongs to which student, and if it represents any of the students themselves, or those of their classmates...  Either way, the topics play out, and the issues cover domestic violence and how these actions can affect the next generation in how a teenage son may be protective of his mother from his abusive father, but, turns around and is abusive toward his girlfriends and sister.  Another story is about anorexia and self harm, and there are issues that are deep and is usually a cry for help, but, as the girl loses weight, gets complimented by her friends on how good the skinny jeans fit her, while a couple of the boys worry about why she is getting so painfully thin, and why she doesn't eat.  There is also the story of a young man who just wants to be in a relationship, and is in a twilight zone of being "just friends". Then there is also the single parent issue and how often, can be over protective of their kids.  A huge issue also, is the thing of how being gay is still experiencing a lot of stigmatization and is ostracized by peers and discriminated by adults.  And, there is teen suicide, which could be any reason, but, in this case, it was a gay kid whose parents sent him to a correction camp, and even parents of other kids were discriminatory. 

Thing is, each and every issue presented in this play is an act of abuse, and yes, they ALL affect our children.  It was very mature of these teenagers who played their roles as typical teens, but with heavy burden on their hearts.  While the stories tugged on everyone's heart strings, especially their closing song, where they all sang as one, I think I was actually more proud of them for tackling these important topics, because they don't go away, just because we ignore them.  These issues should not have to be dealt in silence by our kids.  It's up to us, as adults, to help them.  Hear them.  Listen to them.  Take them seriously.  Ms. Nancy Gibson, the director, was courageous in tackling this, and did not want to water down the issues.  I thank her.

I truly hope that there can be a connection made, because I am here with the Youth Voice Initiative to combat these issues, and to allow for these kids to tell their stories anonymously so I can take this to the legislatures, the courts, etc. to do the work that needs to be done to protect these kids.  Not just the older ones, but our younger ones, too.  I also thought it was so appropriate, that this play was presented in April, which is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

My hope for the future is, that this play will continue with it's own evolution to become more detailed and relevant to the current students, but will draw the attention of our general public, who all too often, wants the issues not to be true, or as true as it is.  Hiding from the topic of abuse, homelessness, etc is not something that will get better, but only worse if we don't tackle it head on.  My dream for the future is to get as many common citizens as possible to help me in my cause to push for a better tomorrow for our children.  You don't have to be in the forefront, because just the same in production, those behind the scenes are just as important as what we get in front of us, for the cause or play to be presented.

A special thank you to Inken, the German foreign exchange student living with my mom, who invited me to go to the show, and to Marysia, a Polish exchange student, also living with my mom, for coming up to personally thank me for coming to the show.  I hope this show continues, and that I'll be able to be a part of the audience while The Secret Project matures and develops into a cause of it's own.

April.  The Child Abuse Awareness Month.  Please learn about it, and join the cause.




    











Friday, April 3, 2015

April Showers Bring Awareness

As you may or may not know, the month of April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.  Why do we need the awareness?  Here is a short list of articles, and these are just cases here in Racine, and many of these situations got extremely light sentencing.

Please refer to these articles, just in Racine, WI that deals with these light sentencing:

This one only got a year.
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/mount-pleasant-man-gets-year-in-jail-for-child-sexual/article_e6d2aa50-f093-11e3-b5ad-001a4bcf887a.html

This one only got 4 months.
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/johnson-to-serve-four-months-jail-pay-k/article_8c504e8a-eda9-11e3-88aa-0019bb2963f4.html

This one is ruled incompetent (which doesn't excuse the assault).
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-ruled-incompetent-for-now-to-stand-trial-in-molestation/article_2c34cea2-da91-11e3-961e-0019bb2963f4.html

This one goes to alcohol treatment for his crime.
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/waterford-man-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-girl-to-go-to/article_b5adb168-c16d-11e3-9bee-0019bb2963f4.html

This one gets 8 months.
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/another-months-in-prison-for-man-convicted-again-in-sexual/article_99d48672-bfda-11e3-afa4-0019bb2963f4.html

Now this one, had his charges dropped, because "the victim is uncooperative".
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/sexual-assault-charge-against-waterford-man-dismissed/article_6778bbe6-a9da-11e3-8da6-001a4bcf887a.html

Probation for this one.
http://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/teen-given-probation-in-child-molestation-case/article_440ae916-5694-11e3-8f81-0019bb2963f4.html


Do you see the trend here?  Many of these cases, the victim was either a relative or a neighbor of some sort.  Studies show time and time again, that the closer the relationship to the child, the more severe the consequences to the mental, emotional, and psychological state of the child.  So you think children are resilient.  Yes, they are, to a point.  We don't condone our children to go fight our wars, do we?  Well, put it this way...  sexually abusing our children is the same type of trauma that our soldiers see on the front lines of a war.  And, our soldiers are trained in combat and what not.  Our children are supposed to be resilient to that kind of violence?  Yes, sex abuse and domestic violence is that traumatic, especially for our children.  It becomes a combat zone, where they have no control.  Their rights are stripped away, and to do nothing is to silently side with the perpetrators.

It is obvious that due to what ever family ties, that even our justice system is tentative about splitting families.  Yet to not do so, is giving the silent message that it is okay to abuse our children.  It is not.  And during holiday seasons, violence tends to rise, with the business of time, the money crunch, etc. and it doesn't get any easier to deal with.  Maybe we need to educate our legal system on the damage that this causes our children, and to put in stiffer sentencing within the current walls of the law, rather than to keep doing the minimum.

With the trauma that the victims face after sex abuse, is it a wonder why a victim will be at least somewhat uncooperative?  It seems as if we give all other crime victims the benefit of the doubt, but sex abuse victims get put on trial.  We are talking about children.  They are not pawns.  They are not sex toys.  They are not property.  They are young people, who need guidance, safety, and a whole lot of TLC.  Anything less is unacceptable.  Quit talking about how children are liars, or blaming them in any other way.  It's bad enough that sex crimes already take away part of the soul of anyone who is victim to this atrocity.  To not support them is adding another new injury to a broken soul who needs to learn to move forward.

The Youth Voice Initiative is a registered 501c4 to help create the social change and put in stiffer sentencing, close loop holes, and hold perpetrators of child abuse accountable for their actions.  We are always looking for people who are willing to help be the voice to the voiceless, and your interest and willingness to help is the only requirement. 

Please either visit the Volunteer Center of Racine - http://volunteerracine.galaxydigital.com/volunteer/agency/display/youth-voice-initiative/?agency_id=30660 
Or, Volunteer Match for the descriptions of where we need our volunteers - http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/org313396.jsp

You may go through their site, or, email me directly at lika.yvi@gmail.com to express your interest in the category you'd like to volunteer.  To donate, please go to US Bank, to donate to Youth Voice Initiative c/o Rika Saliscente directly, or ask about our mailing address by emailing me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Public Libraries + Child Porn = Illegal Activity

I came to my computer to check my email, and this is disturbing.  The fact that child porn was viewed, the administration of the library was alerted, and they are trying to discredit the people who reported it?  And to be complacent about being a sexually charged workplace?



Orland Park Public Library
14921 S Ravinia Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 428-5100Orland Park Public Library 14921 S Ravinia Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462 (708) 428-5100



Please read more here, at this link - http://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/il-library-fighting-to-allow-porn-public-sex-acts/

Please write or call this library, ask for a supervisor or administrator, and talk to them about this practice.  Child porn = Child Sex Abuse = Illegal = Arrested + Shut Down!

Oland Park Public Library
14921 S Ravinia Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 428-5100

Thank you for your cooperation and help.

Here is a sample letter:

Dear Orland Park Library Administration;

I am writing to you about the child and other porn that has been brought to public attention that is being viewed at your library.  This concerns me because the combination of children and pornography is morally wrong, ethically bankrupt, and highly illegal on multiple levels.

First, is it is a federal offense to have a child view porn.  By being publicly viewable, a federal crime is being committed each time a child may be walking through your library computers.  Second, a child was sexually assaulted by making child porn, which is one offense.  Trading child porn is a second offense.  Viewing it is a third offense, and having a child see it is a fourth offense.  These are four different crimes in one incident. 

To then, allow these people to ogle, stalk, and harass your female visitors with or without their children is absolutely abhorrent.  I urge you to put a stop to this immediately, or it will be reported to the FBI to investigate the problem. 

Thank you,

(sign your name)

(print your name)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Job Posts from Racine Journal Times from Sunday, March 8, 2015

Drivers:  Reliable Express Transport - Cargo vans, Box trucks, Delivery driver needed:  S.E. Wisconsin and McHenry & Lake, IL counties.  Delivery experience a plus, but not required.  If interested, please call (847)553-7133 or visit us at www.reliableexpresstransport.com and click on opportunities.

Movers/Drivers:  Movers/drivers are critically important positions in our company.  You are the face of the company, and the work you do fulfills our promise of professional moving services.  At Merchants', you can be assured that with some hard-work, a little aptitude and a great attitude, you will go far!  We offer a comprehensive training program, and we will train you for your CDL.

Requirements:  no experience necessary, be over 21, high school diploma or equivalent, current auto license with no restrictions (except eye wear), excellent driving record, able to do heavy lifting and pass a DOT physical.  Stop by, talk to us, fill out an application.
Merchants Moving & Storage Co.  1215 State St.  Racine WI 53404 (262)631-5680

Tanker Drivers:  REDI-MIX Drivers.  CDL a must.  Good driving record.  Full time plus benefits.  Apply at Gleason Redi Mix  3255 Phillips Ave.  Racine.

School Bus Driver:  rewarding part time job.  3 paid holidays.  Free training.  Life Insurance.  Bring your children to work.  Benefits available.  Must undergo a motor vehicle records check, drug check, and criminal records check.  Certain rules apply.  Apply in person M-F 8am-4pm 1608 Oaks Rd. in Racine or call (262)886-1312 or online at www.durhamschoolservices.com

CNC Swiss (Citizen) Setup/Operators:  Minimum 3 years set up experience required.  Programming experience a plus.  Wages will be commensurate with experience.  Immediate vacation pay and paid holidays.  Health insurance, dental, vision, 401k profit sharing, company paid STD & life insurance.  Apply to:  Michaels Machine Co., Inc.  4442 Douglas Ave.  Racine, WI 53402.  Email brada@michaelsmachine.com or www.michalsmachine.com

PPG Industries Inc:  20 full time openings for production/warehouse positions at it's Oak Creek, WI coatings manufacturing facility due to upcoming retirements and growth.  PPG Industries is a $15 billion world wide leader in the production of coatings, glass and specialty chemicals.  We offer competitive wages and excellent benefits including health care, dental, 401k savings plan, retirement plan, paid vacation and holidays.  Hiring all shifts, primarily 2nd, 3rd, and weekend shifts.  Must be able to train on 1st.  Positions entail gathering chemical raw materials to manufacture industrial coatings in batches, measure, blend, and ship the coatings.  Some heavy lifting of 50# and forklift operation required, along with strong communication, teamwork, basic math skills and excellent safety habits.  Prior work experience preferred.  Raise to $15-18/hr after 6 mos.  Background check, intoxicant screen & pre-employment physical are required prior to starting work.  Smoke free workplace.  To apply:  www.jobsppg.com - when asked to pick location - choose Oak Creek, then the position - Oak Creek Production.

Wait Staff: Apply in person.  Infusino's 3225 Rapids Dr. After 4pm.

Part-Time cook:  The Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit agency is seeking applicants for part time cook (24hrs/wk including weekends and holidays) for the Veterans Assistance program located in Union Grove, WI.  Experience is preferred.  H.S. diploma or equivalent required.  Some lifting up to 50# may be required.  Must be eligible for our vehicle insurance and become CPR certified.  To apply, please send resume to:  Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc.  ATTN:  Melissa Taggart  P.P. Box 427 Union Grove, WI 53182 or melissa.tagart@vafvets.org by 3/13/2015

Yard Attendant:  Goodwill Industries is looking for a Yard Attendant for our Retail Distribusion Center in Racine.  Responsibilities include:  *Moving, loading, backing up trailers in lot  *Unload trailers in dock  *Operate forklift 
Previous driving or trailer pulling experience required.  Forklift experience a plus.  For an immediate hiring possibility, go to www.goodwillsewcareers.com, click on apply now and select Yard Attendant for the job title.  Goodwill is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  Minorities, women, wets, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

HR Assistant:Work with HR manager in providing support to teammates.  Responsibilities include payroll, pre-employment set up and orientations, file maintenance and other administrative duties, answering questions from teammates.  Qualifications include *excellent organization skills  *maintain confidentiality  *problem solving  *multi-tasking with interruptions  *bachelors degree preferred  *2+ years HR experience preferred
McLane offeres a competitive salary and benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401k with match.  To apply, submit resume with wage requirements to:  McLane  1906 Grandview Pkwy., Sturtevant, WI 53177 or careers@mclanefs.com - an EOE committed to a drug free workplace.

City Clerk/Assistant Treasury Manager:  The city of Racine will be accepting applications until March 20, 2015 at 5pm for the position of City Clerk/Assistant Treasury Manager.  Under the supervision of the City Clerk, the individual selected will assist in the performance, planning, coordinating and scheduling of work relating to the conduct of tax collection, cash receiving, elections, licensing, and the general operation of treasury and clerk office activities.  The hours will be 8:30am- 5:30pm.  Qualified applicants will have a BS in accounting, finance, administration or related field and considerable experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.  A complete job description can be found at www.cityofracine.org under Human Resources.  Salary range - $49,957.24 - $67,441.30 annually.  qualified applicants must follw instructions posted online and submit an online application for the opening at:  http://www.cityofracine.org/City_of_Racine_Jobs.aspx  Free computer access is available at the Racine Public Library or the Workforce development Center.  Failure to submit all required documentation may result in disqualification from consideration.  An AA/EOE/ADA employer

Information Systems- Systems Analyst:  Racine County has a vacancy for Systems Analyst.  Qualifications:  Experience supporting existing systems including IBM i Series (AS/400) and web design, installing and maintaining system applications as well as project management.  Associate Degree and minimum of 4 years experience in application programming and systems nalysis.  Must possess a valid WI driver's license.  Salary plus excellent benefits including Wisconsin Retirement EOE.  Apply at:  http://agency governmentjobs.com/racinecountywi/default.cfm

System Analyst (2 openings):  Analyze user requirements, procedures and problems to automate processing and improve existing computer system.  Utilize the following:  (Job# 1 Code SA01) - C, C++, ASP, Java, XML, HTML, Oracle, SQL, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards XE,ERP, AS/400, Crystal Reports, (Job# 2 Code SA02) - SAP, SD, MM,WM, QM, PP, FI, RFID, MS Visio, MS PowerPoint, MS Project.  For all positions:  Job locations in Mt. Pleasant, WI & various unanticipated client sites nationally requiring relocation & travel to these sites involving short and long term assignments.  To apply, specify Job Title & Code & mail resume to:  R S InfoCon, Inc 8330 Corporate Dr.  Mt. Pleasant, WI 53406  Attn:  HR0308

Distribution Center Assistant - Burlington, WI:  If you enjoy helping customers in a fast paced environment, and are available to work 3rd shift, a position on our distribution center team may be for you.  Our distribution center team  coordinates a bulk receiving and distribution of newspapers.  This position will work primarily at our Burlington distribution facility and will typically include weekday and rotating weekend shifts.  The work is fast paced.  Prompt receiving and accurate distribution of products allows our carrier force to complete more than 30,000 deliveries to our Racine County customers each day.  Shifts are from 4-8 hours long, beginning between 7pm and midnight.  the Distribution Center Assistant position is approximately 15-24 hrs/wk, with potential for advancement.  Qualifications include a valid driver's license, the ability to complete basic math calculations, and the ability to lift and carry objects weighing 30#.  Typing skills and ability to operate PC software applications are a definite plus.  Apply online at journaltimes.com/workhere  Please attach a resume to your application.  EOE

Community Support Specialists:  Be more than a caregiver, be a SPECIALIST!  Alpha Homes of Wisconsin, Inc. is a leader in providing residential care for the intellectually disable dis now hiring for part time Community Support Specialists.  Assist our clients in activities of daily living, medication management, medical appointments, and community activities.  This is a great opportunity for nursing, education and human services students!  We offer competitive pay, shift premiums, flexible scheduling, and paid training.  We have facilities in Racine and Kenosha.  Requirements:  18 years old, good driving record, and clean criminal history!  Apply in person at:  Alpha Homes of Wisconsin, Inc.  6216 Washington Ave. Ste D, Racine, WI 53406

Medical Assistant:  Part time position, may become full time.  Computer experience required.  People friendly & respectful.  Send replies to 749, The Journal Times 212 - 4th St. Racine, WI 53403

Automotive Service Writer:  Experienced.  Full time, M-F.  Apply in person at:  Durand Automotive Center  1623 Durand Ave.  262-632-2625

Assistant Executive Director:  Capri Senior Communities at Killarney Kourt in Sturtevant is currently hiring for an Assistant Executive Director, full time.  Assisting the Executive Director, scheduling tours and visits, maintaining resident files, market analysis, maintenance of accounting software, resident relations.  High school diploma required.  Health Care Administration degree a plus.  Send resume to: eblicle@capricommunites.com or call 262-321-0802

Thursday, March 5, 2015

City of Racine and Racine County jobs.

City of Racine jobs

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/racinewi/default.cfm

Asst. City Clerk/Asst Treasury Manager Full-Time $49,957.24/Year 03/20/15

Building Inspector III
Full-Time $26.22 - $31.57 Hourly 03/20/15
Lifeguard - Summer Seasonal Part-Time $8.94 - $9.23 Hourly 04/03/15

Playground Leader - Summer Seasonal
Part-Time $7.79 - $8.36 Hourly 04/03/15


Public Health Nurse P/T
Part-Time $25.03/Hour Continuous


Student Laborer - Summer Seasonal
Part-Time $8.73 - $10.05 Hourly 04/03/15


Racine County jobs

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/racinecountywi/default.cfm

Accounting Technician-Billing FULL TIME $15.79 - $21.98 Hourly 03/05/15

Bailiff - On Call
ON CALL $9.10/Hour  


ENGINEERING TECHNICIAN
FULL TIME $45,231.00 - $61,574.00 Annually  


INFORMATION SYSTEMS - SYSTEMS ANALYST
FULL TIME $54,453.00 - $76,290.00 Annually  
LPN 24 hours a week PART TIME 24 HOURS A WEEK $18.65 - $21.43 Hourly  
MDS Coordinator - On Call ON CALL $23.87/Hour  

Nurse Aide 16 hours a week
PART TIME 16 HOURS A WEEK $13.45/Hour  
Nurse Aide 24 hours a week PART TIME 24 HOURS A WEEK $13.45/Hour  

Nursing Manager
FULL TIME $54,453.00 - $76,290.00 Annually 03/06/15


Registered Nurse 16 hours a week
PART TIME 16 HOURS A WEEK $23.76 - $30.79 Hourly  


Registered Nurse 24 hours a week
PART TIME 24 HOURS A WEEK $23.76 - $30.79 Hourly  


Registered Nurse full time
FULL TIME $23.76 - $30.79 Hourly  


Seasonal - Temporary Position through PI...
TEMPORARY/SEASONAL $10.00/Hour 03/31/15


NEW! Social Work- SAIL supervisor
FULL TIME $49,654.00 - $68,570.00 Annually 03/06/15


Staff Development Manager
FULL TIME $54,453.00 - $76,290.00 Annually 03/06/15


VICTIM WITNESS SPECIALIST
FULL TIME $41,723.00 - $55,875.00 Annually 03/13/15


Vital Records Scanning Clerk
TEMPORARY POSITION THROUGH PIE MANAGEMENT $9.00 - $10.00 Hourly 03/08/15



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Right to Work, Rally, and Committee

Early this morning, I met with a group going up to Madison for the rally against the "Right to Work" legislation.  For those who are unsure what this is, basically the "Right to Work" status would first, make it illegal for a company or work place make it mandatory to join the union.  Currently, if a certain employer has a union, you have to join.  Second, it would force the unions to fight for you, even if you decided not to join, because the union would have to defend everyone, not just members.  In other words, those who aren't paid members of the union would be getting free services.

At first glance, it sounds good, right?  Some people may not believe in unionizing, and they don't have to join if they don't want to.  I am actually ambivalent on this one, though we could use the Republican stance of, "If you don't like it, don't work there".  On the other hand, the unions can be of huge help.  Unions kind of act as the FDIC for jobs, setting the gold standard for what would be appropriate in certain fields.  They help set the goals of keeping work places a safe place to do your work.  Unions also set what kind of benefits vs. monetary pay would be fair.

At second glance, ethically, if you're going to receive a service, you should pay for them.  Which is why I don't understand, since many conservatives believe that others shouldn't pay for health care, but think it's okay to accept free services from the union?  Unions help make it so that the boss can't fire you without due cause, and even then, they help you keep your job.

So, okay, why is this a bad thing?  Because when union bosses have to put out a lot for non-paying members, they lose money, and may have to fold.  I don't think there is anything wrong with having separate categories, as in a full member vs. partial members, I don't know.  Thing is, if we could ensure that employers do the right thing, we wouldn't need unions, but, let me tell you.  Not all employers are fair about letting you go.  It's not always for a due cause.  I will come back to this later.

I can kind of see why it shouldn't be mandatory to join the union or you can't go work there.  On the other hand, if you're not paying dues, you shouldn't get full services.  This is a way to try to drive into the ground the rest of the private sector unions.  They have a work load defending too many members/nonmembers.  The union loses money, and eventually has to fold from each different employer, which brings down the number of people in the management of the union.

The other reason it is bad, is the fact that when these unions are going to be eradicated, it is only a matter of time before safety hazards, pay scales, and even the minimum wage will be attacked.  Studies show that states that have "Right to Work" laws has lower wages and benefits than those who are "At Will" states.  So is it really "Right to Work" or "right to steal from workers"?  With Wisconsin having a sluggish economy, and S.E. Wisconsin being desperate for not just jobs, but good paying ones that are also full time with benefits, we cannot afford to lose what ever grounds we have as hard workers.

Now, back to the firing for due causes...  I have never worked for a place that had a union.  I have been terminated for a couple or so jobs.  Out of these jobs, the VA was the only one that I was terminated with a reason.  Technically, since I was still within my probationary period, they did not owe me an explanation.  I'm not even sure if they would have owed me one after that.  But, I was making mistakes, and they let me know.  But, I've had other ones where the excuse was, "You're going back to college so it doesn't matter".  Or "You're just not a good fit".  Or "You love International Relations.  So, you should do that".  Huh, so I can't finish out the summer or the Christmas season, or what?  It would be nice if they really told my WHY I wasn't a good fit, or why they weren't going to let me finish the summer out.  I really don't know what I did at these places that merited being let go.  I've gotten criticized about it by other people, as if I can read minds.  No, I don't know why.  A union would have been nice.

On the flip side, I have seen where a person really DID deserve to be terminated on several different occasions, and the Union saved his butt.  He came to expect that he can do and act as he pleases, and as long as the job got done, he could just go ahead and curse like a sailor in front of the people that hired his company to do work for them.  The boss had tried to rid him at least 6 times, and the union saved him every time.  Unions need to practice their ethics, also.  Insubordination is not something that should be tolerated if it will lose business for the owner.

What stinks, though, is that this isn't the only issue.  Education is getting slashed on the k-12 level as well as the post secondary level.  With lesser quality education during k-12, as well as fewer people going to get higher education, this means that lower pay could be merited by future employers.  These are interrelated, as is how much goes into your social security and pensions.

It is also interesting to learn that home care agencies are exempt from unions to the point that they are not allowed.  Yet home care personnel are the lowest paid health care workers.  Not only that, but raises are also few and far between, and it's no easier than working at a nursing home.  But, this isn't something that should be discussed in this blog...

Anyway, here are some pictures, just to give you some idea about how many people showed up.  It was interesting, considering that I actually lost my group for the duration I was there, and I got to talk to welders, construction guys, other laborers, and a lady who wanted to see a copy of the Right to Work legislation so she could share the info with others. 

Then, I actually heard that they stuck it into a committee last night.  Don't know how true, if so.






                                                                                          































I did, in fact, write a form discussing this to our senator. I also signed a petition to go to the governor, state senator and assembly person. Though I don't know if it will work, it's always good to let your representatives know where you're coming from.