Marriage

“Indeed, it is a fact that all you need to get married would be another person, a trip to a courthouse, a witness, and a signed document. When people get married in a church, it isn’t recognized by the government without the legal documentation.”  Attorney Mary Bonauto said this in response to a question posed by Chief Justice John Roberts during the first days of the hearings before the court.  I think this summarizes a great deal of what get lost in translation when it comes to the idea of marriage vs. the modern day act.  The idea of marriage.  You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  They say yes!  The ring!  Book the church (or desired location)!  The dress (or suit)!  The cake!  The invitations!  Oh, all the planning!  What are we going to do?!  Oh my!  It’s the windswept idea of marriage that excites everyone involved.  The most grandiose public display of affection legally allowed.  And what have we done with it?  Reduced it to paperwork.  Now, another scenario:  You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  They say yes!  OK, let’s get to the courthouse before it closes!  Do we have a witness?  Hey, janitor, can you come here real quick?  OK, that was easy!  Now what?!  Now, there are many reasons why someone might not want the big, traditional wedding.  It’s just that when the word is floated around, people get the big idea of it.  My issue with the ruling today is not its substance, but its existence.  The Supreme Court is charged with upholding the law of the land, and in cases of uncertainty, interpreting and reinforcing that law in line with the constitution.  I think the court overreached its authority today.  States are still debating this issue, and for the court to end that debate and stop the democratic process from happening, they have also stopped the natural progression of people transitioning their thinking of marriage.  There are many people who will never see it that way.  However, that is their right.  What happens now, when a gay couple are refused service by a wedding caterer because of their beliefs?  Both are now constitutionally protected, but who is right, and who is wrong?  Why should the caterer be punished for their beliefs?  Why should the couple be denied service?  In making their decision today, the court has damaged the country’s ability to come to a clear answer on this, and the outcome is that no one wins.  I sincerely hope and wish everyone affected by today’s ruling well, and if it means you can have a better life with the one you love, I wish you nothing but the best.  In closing, I do think this would have been the outcome for the country.  The direction we’ve been headed in for many years proves it would have only been a matter of time.  But anytime we freely hand over our right to decide anything to the government, it ceases to become that grandiose idea, like marriage, that we all hold so dear in our hearts and minds.

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Iraq.

“The United States is not going to be responsible for securing the security situation in Iraq.”  Those words were spoken by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest earlier today.  Recently, there have been some different messages making the rounds on the worsening situation in Iraq.  Last, week, when Iraqi soldiers fled Ramadi under fire from the Islamic State, Secretary of State Ashton Carter was quoted in the media, saying they “showed no will to fight.”  Those comments alone sent everyone in the administration into a tailspin of backpedaling, with even Vice President Joe Biden making a special appearance to re-affirm US Support in Iraq.  I could understand statements like these if I knew there was an endgame, a strategy in place for turning back the tide of terror.  But it currently seems like we have a hands off, open ended, almost relaxed approach to one of the worst threats to freedom and democracy we’ve faced in modern times.  It’s glaringly obvious what we are doing is not enough.  Add to the fact that we have top leaders chastising our allies who are currently fighting this evil, and you have a recipe for nothing but failure.  “Our strategy is to support the Iraqi security forces in doing what we will not do for them,” Earnest said.  The old Edmund Burke quote comes to mind.  If we will not meet our enemy, then who?

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I have been watching these last 3 years as an Honorably discharge Navy veteran.  Though most of what is going on was indeed happening before then, I never had the opportunity to really look at the issues, and the way they are dividing the country.  The economy is stable enough, but just barely for Congress to make last-minute deals to keep the Country open  It’s outrageous, in this day and age, that a government would use such a powerful threat, one you might have seen in another totalitarian or dictator’s country.  I grew up in a small town called Durand in Michigan.  It was a pretty place to grow up.  I remember riding my bike everywhere.  Always to the dilapidated aging Train Depot Station in town.  Everybody was friendly, we’d have block parties, or garage sales.  My grandmother lived down the street from me.  We would just get together everybody, even my late Great-Grandmother.  Often the choice would be Zhender’s in Frankenmuth.  In the winter, you could stop by Bronner’s christmas wonderland and be amazed at it all.  We would take vacations to our Cabin in Oscoda, another city in Michigan, farther North and closer to the Mackinaw Island bridge.

Which brings me to Mackinaw Island. It was such unique experience for me.  Exposed to the different group and way of living, it opened my eyes to possibilities.  And this brings to something that I feel like I’ve known for a while, but just didn’t say anything.  We are losing our sense of family and values.  The importance of being proud you’re an American!  It’s time we stand up and start recognizing the very real issues at stake here: According the latest information from Investors, Obama care is getting more expensive every minute. (Source article at bottom FYI) Then there’s gun control. I usually look at this issue as part of the larger picture and undercurrent of hopelessness in the country. During the recession, this country went through another big change in its history. People and big businesses started to lose money. The solution we found (after Government shutdowns, again) was for the government to give us money to live. It cheered some people up, got some businesses back to work, and the machine started to get back on course. The problem now, we have more people than we have jobs. Partly because companies can’t or won’t hire them, usually out of money issues or even over qualification. Some also are wary to give a job to someone who has a large gap, likely in their employment for instance, a veteran.

Combining all the factors playing into this, it’s  easy to see why someone could get angry enough to resort to violence with a gun.  I think the best way to “control” guns, would be to help change the things in people’s lives that drive them to them. Which brings me to my final thought.  I grew in a large, conservative, christian home with a large family that would sit down and eat dinner at the table (picture blue bloods minus the alcohol and better food 😉 but I have always had a strong family that loves, supports and encourages me.  I think that this is what we are missing in the nation right now.  Our ancestors, and I’m talking Neanderthals here, hunted and forged and were always working to have their families.  Even then family structure was essential to survival.  We too, are social creatures, But if we can’t rise up and say enough is enough, nothing is going to change.  Recently we’ve seen several candidates for president tell us how they would deal with these issue.  Even though we’re somewhat resigned to our fate, and just tell ourselves “as long I have my phone, my computer, and a nice place to lay my head, I’m good”  NO!  American pride and the will to work to do what’s necessary to get yourself ahead in life should be forefront! American drive and perseverance on the part of everyone, not just government. American pride. Regardless of color, gender, religion, of any differences we have. Te motto should be the sky’s the limit!  We need that.  Lately we’ve all been a little more than casual observers while our President seems set on gutting the nation in an new image. Anyway, I think the biggest thing we can do to remind ourselves we are a free people, is to get back to the basics.  As the founding fathers said “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Remember, you may just be a voice in the crowd, but it only takes a whisper to change the world.

Thank you for reading, and let me know you think!

http://news.investors.com/politics/051815-753015-obamacare-insurers-propose-big-2016-premium-hikes.htm