Let’s Stop Talking and Do Something!!

The school bully has been around since school first started. There has always been those kids who could gain support and admiration for mocking and trying to point of differences of other children. I have always questioned who was worse the bully or the other people who rally around them. Of course there’s those who don’t agree with what’s happening but they don’t say anything because of fear or just not wanting to get involved. But there are plenty more who cheer the person on and even join in the mocking.
I was bullied throughout public school. I was told I was fat and ugly and was mocked even for the clothes I wore. We didn’t have a computer and I didn’t have a cell phone as technogly was not like it is today. So I was able to get away from it because it never went beyond the school yard or park should I meet up with them. Around the end grade six or seven with the help of my Parents and some real friends I realized that these people weren’t better than me and that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I also started thinking why would I even want to be friends with people who acted like that. I started to wear dark clothing that was baggy and made no attempt to try to fit in, I just saw no reason for it. I figured that it was time to just be me and forget what other kids thought. I learned to ignore the comments and would think every time I heard one that I am better than that.
Sadly though other kids and teens can’t get to that point or get away from the constant tormenting. They aren’t able to see that those kids that are bothering them are really not good people and they shouldn’t care about their opinions. They need help to deal with what’s going on and maybe even find a solution. Teachers and Parents try to help but it’s very hard for them to make a difference sometimes. I’m not saying that they can’t help, because it is an important first step but it’s hard for them to stop what’s going on especially now a days.
In a world where everyone is so connected there is just no escape from it. An embarrassing moment could be caught on tape or a picture taken and within moments it is plastered all over the internet. An email written in confidence can be sent to everyone, people are able to create face book pages, web sites and tweet their hate for other’s and there is nothing done about it.
I am not saying that I have the solution to end bullying but I think I have a way that we can try to prevent it on social media sites and help ease some of the torment. I am not picking on Facebook but I will use it as an example because not only does it seem to be the most popular social media site but I think it needs a lot of work and we need to start somewhere.
I would first like to say that I am all of freedom of speech but when you are maliciously attacking another person a line needs to be drawn. What I am suggestion is that we have people who monitor the groups that are started and delete those that are promoting hatred towards others. I know there are those who would argue that you could block those sites and not look at them but in the case of bullying , racial hatred and many other situations these sites need to be taken down. We need to make sure that the hatred and mocking doesn’t spread not only for the person who is being bullied but so other’s don’t think this behavior is normal and accepted. We need a way to flag the person and if they get too many reports against them block them from posting anything for a while. If their behavior continues then they should be blocked from Facebook for an allotted amount of time. This would send a message loud and clear that we won’t let this behavior to continue. Also showing the people who are the victims of bullies that we care.
There are so many pages now on Facebook that are disgusting as they are disturbing condemning other people and ridiculing them. There is everything from Cancer is Funny sites which post very disturbing things to pages dedicated to making a person’s life miserable and taunting them the world over. These can be found by entering a few simple phrases, names or words. Recently Amanda Todd became the latest victim of bullying. She was tormented through Facebook for over three years and a page was made embarrassing her and belittling her to the world. Face book pages are still being started mocking her and what she went through. Why is this being allowed? We don’t need more sites like these popping up we need to get rid of them.
We need to have a page where kids can talk about bullying and how they can get through it. Encouraging kids and teens to stand up for each other and put an end to all this hatred. Showing them that when they stand up for one another then the person doesn’t have to face it alone and they can help stop it before it begins. We need a secure place online for kids and teens to be able to talk to each other about their bullying experiences so they know that they are not alone. That way we get them talking about the problem so they are not just keeping it inside. Maybe even school counselors could join the group and that way if a person didn’t want to talk to their counselor in person they could do it online. Because sometimes it is easier to write than it is to talk and this might be a way to get more kids/teens help.
So Mr. Zuckerberg it’s your move, are you just going to sit there and let this problem escalate or are you going to be the first to do something about it? It’s time to take a stand against bullying and rid the social media sites of this hostility.
We all know that words can hurt and letting them stay as a sort of monument to ignorance is something we all can’t stand for. Let me be the first to offer my time and be your first employee to help delete these hate sites and fix a major problem that is effecting people all over the world. Let Facebook be what I believe it was intended to be, a place where people can stay in touch with each other and connect with one another in a positive way.
As I said before I am not saying this would end bullying but it is a step in the right direction. It will show the people with cruel intentions that we wont stand for it anymore. Also we need to show the victims of bullies that we are willing to stand up for them and show them support. We need to let them know that people world wide care about them and what’s going on.
If you agree with me that something needs to be done let’s make this go viral. Let’s make the media sites clean up the hatred and help prevent cyber bullying and stalking. Hopefully this will come to the attention of Mark Zuckerberg and he takes me up on my offer of employment. Let’s make Facebook positive instead of negative and show the people who bully and discriminate that we wont stand for it anymore!!!

Thank you
Heather

The Fighter Within

It’s a sorry state
between life and not
it’s a feeling
hard to explain

Your trapped by yourself
in this battle of one
while your body lies
twisted in pain

You hold your breath tightly
and wait through the blow
there’s release
on the other side

Just one moment more
you’ve reached it before
hold strong and you’ll make it
this time

This frustrating blow
has lingered too long
and is fighting hard
to stay

Just challenge the attacks
and keep fighting back
don’t let it claim you
as it’s slave

Soldier of Words

We are on a plane to somewhere
for our talents are in demand
We wrestle with our emotions
about the task that is at hand

Our thoughts race with the unknown
despite the courage we proclaim
As the nervous laughter echoes
I know the fear is all the same

We have taken up the challenge
to go explore where few will dare
Our intentions may be different
but together we will be there

The stories flow like water
as we fly to this distant shore
Remembering times of glory
and the lives we all lived before

The touchdown has been called out
the well wishes hang in the air
Soon silence has taken over
In that moment we will to prepare

We all go about our checklists
assembling everything we need
You have to anticipate the chaos
to rise above it and succeed

We land admits a commotion
and fall into place in a line
This is where we say good-bye my friend
for your orders are different from mine

The units take to their corners
and the plans are being revealed
I stand and I go unnoticed
observing the cast in the field

You ready yourself with armour
and are protected with a gun
I steady my hand for the words
that wont stop once they’ve begun

You’re the heroes of a nation
I am the voice that thousands hear
You defend the souls of innocents
while I record the lives and the fear

In a place encased in destruction
we ignore the dangers at hand
Your courage will be remembered
through my eyes they’ll understand

Change of Light

The waves are turning scarlet blue
as the sun paints the scene
The hues are truly breathtaking
like something out of a dream

The light lingers in the distance
all the trees begin to glow
Beauty a blaze with colours
an amazing nightly show

The wind is slowly tiring
as the stillness settle’s in
Soon the darkness will come calling
and the nightlife can begin

The waves have turned a blackened blue
as they role in for the night
The shadows have taken over
as the day loses the fight

The light has slipped beyond the eyes
and the moon starts creeping back
Stars begin to flicker to life
as the canvas fades to black

The flames start burning on the shores
as the souls all gather round
These moments are worth memories
for it’s here your spirits found

The waves now roll like dusky ink
as the lake smooths out like glass
Nature captures the occasion
with beauty you can’t surpass

Know your facts before you claim a view Congressmen!

Imagine if you will that the unthinkable happens to you or a loved one. No matter how we try to protect ourselves or the people in our lives terrible things still happen that we can’t control.

Now imagine that while you are recovering from this horrific ordeal you find out that you’re pregnant because of it, what would you do? Would you be able to look beyond the violent act that has led to this predicament? or would fear and other emotions from what happened haunt you on a daily basis?

It’s hard to say for certain what each of us would do in a situation like this but should the government have the final say in the matter and make a decision for you? Would you want someone in a position of power to be able to argue that you shouldn’t have a choice because of a misguided opinion on the subject?
Due to some outrageous comments made by a couple of different representative’s I am afraid that Americans are now faced with these questions.

Todd Akin is a six-term member of Congress who is backed by the Tea Party conservatives. He opposes abortion even in the instances of rape and has some very odd views how the female body works. According to him pregnancies from rape are “really rare” and that “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down” and prevent the pregnancy from continuing. He says this is based on information he has learned from Doctor‘s. His comments caused quite a stir and afterwards he backtracked saying that he “misspoke” and has deep empathy for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.

Sadly he is not the only person who believes that pregnancies very rarely come from some one being raped. Republican Representative Henry Aldridge also made remarks supporting the theory that women’s bodies know and can stop themselves from becoming pregnant. While debating a proposal to eliminate a state abortion fund for poor women he said “ The facts show that people who are raped–who are truly raped–the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant,” and ended with saying that “Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.” Later he defended his comments by saying “ To get pregnant, it takes a little cooperation. And there ain’t much cooperation in a rape.”

It just seems very strange to me that people in their position can be so uneducated when it comes to simple human nature and how things work. And how they are able to get away with using such phrases such as “legitimately raped” and “who are truly raped”. What they are implying seems rude and uncalled for.

The statement from Akin also upset the medical community, he quoted medical statistics that were false. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that in America a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes, and on average there are 207,754 victims (age 12 or older) of sexual assault every year.

Of course not all of these ended up with the women becoming pregnant but a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that as of 1996 “among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.
This is of course not even considering the number of people who don’t come forward when they are rape so a true number is hard to know for sure.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a statement in response to Akin’s comments : “Each year in the U.S., 10,000-15,000 abortions occur among women whose pregnancies are a result of rape or incest.”

It seems to me that they were more than just a little off in their facts and understanding of the subject they were talking about. Their views not only just on this subject but all other’s as well should be examined and questioned. I think because of the media firestorm these comments have generated in the press this hopefully will happen. At least now it’s been brought to the people’s attention and they can decided if they want someone like that in the positions they are.

I just hope other Representative’s learn from their mistakes and in the future really educate themselves before they ramble off their opinion’s made from facts that are untrue. But hey this is politics’ and the odds are statements like these will be made again. Maybe it’s time Congress takes a good look at who they are employing.

Is Hooliganism on the Rise?

I am sure by now you have heard about this, as it’s been hard to miss over the last couple of months in the media, but after the verdict the other day I felt the need for a discussion.
That’s right I am talking about the Pussy Riot Women who right now have begun their two years sentence that was handed down on August 17th.
When I first heard about this case I have to admit I laughed, the news headline was “3 Women being charged with hooliganism”. I thought really are we going to start charging people for being “ruffians” and engaging in what my Grandpa use to call “rough-housing” as well?
However when I heard the whole story I found out it wasn’t just something simple or humorous like the title somewhat suggested.
It seems there is a group of women in Moscow who have formed a band called Pussy Riot but as of right now they have no album. They do have six songs and have released five video’s. The video’s are made during their performance’s in such places as Lobnoye Mestro on Red Square, on top of a trolleybus and on a scaffold in Moscow Metro. Their songs are about Russian political life and their views on the subject. The group was founded in August 2011 after a couple of the band members left the art collective group called Voina.
Voina is a Russian street-art group known for their politically charged works of performance art. They have done demonstrations that have ranged from street protests, pranks in public places to vandalism, destruction of public property and even sexual acts to get their point across. The Ladies from Pussy Riot have given the impression that they are a distinct group apart from Voina. Yet they do strongly endorse what they have said was Voina earlier more radical phase and political views.
The band started to perform around the time that Vladimir Putin announced that he was planning to return for at least another 12 years. They believe that the Russian people needed a awake up call (if you will) to see what evil crooks and tyrants that Vladimir Putin and his Officers were. And that they also needed someone to fight for the basic human rights that they see as the Putin administration trying to put restrictions on.
The known members of the band are Nadezhda (Nadia) Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria (Masha) Alekhina, 24, Yekaterina (Katya) Samutsevich, 29. There is also at least seven other Women in the group, two of which performed at the Church with the Three mentioned above. They have not be found as of yet but I suspect that when and if they are they will face the same fate as these women of received.
It’s true that in the past both Maria and Nadezhda have participated in activates that Voina has done. But now they are just focusing on the musical aspect of protesting. That being said it seems to me that singing is one of the calmer ways they have tried to be heard. So why is it now that they are getting charged and served with a jail sentence?
This is a question lots of people have and there is a couple of different answers depending on who you ask. Some believe that it is because they were bashing Valdimar Putin in a public place and his political agenda for Russia and he couldn’t have that. Others because they criticized the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, The Patriarch of Moscow and in some people’s eye’s all of Russia. and did so in front of one of Russia’s holiest places The Christ the Savoir Cathedral. And there is still others who believe that it’s a little of both since the line between church and state is blurred they feel in Russia.
If you haven’t read the lyrics you can find them here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pussy_Riot
and the video of their performance is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEBLskpDWQ
Another video was posted after the performance which includes video from the Cathedral and studio recorded music/vocals playing over. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO1024aZr1Y
After reading the lyrics and their history I am left with the impression that this was simply another protest song, a way from the group to get their views heard.
Over the years there have been many musical groups that have used their talents to stand up for injustices they see being enforced. From Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens to The Sex Pistols and The Clash they have all written and preformed protest songs and none of them have been given the lengthy prison sentences that these women now face. This leads us back to the question Why?
Why now in their protest history are they being charged with a crime? Why them? When so many bands have done similar things in the past or have at least written a politically charged song. I have found that no answers can be found without looking at the three opinions I have mentioned above.
Vladimir Putin is well-known for his political activates he has been President of Russia three times now. Depending on who you ask he is either praised as a great leader or is criticized for being a harsh tyrant. He first began his career in the KGB then in 1996 moved to Moscow to join President Boris Yeltsin’s administration. He rose quickly within the ranks and even became acting President in 1991 when Yeltsin resigned. Some believe he has turned Russia into a “virtual Mafia state” while others give him very high approval ratings in the poles. Either way you look at it a man in Vladimir Putin’s position could not risk losing face in front of the Russian public so could he somehow have a part in why they were judged so harshly? It’s hard to say because there is also a religious aspect as well to this case.
They did perform as you know in the front of one of the holiest Russian Orthodox Cathedral’s in Moscow.
Many faithful followers believe this act violated the ancient Christian Sacraments and that’s why they should be punished. The lyrics they say also both criticized and are insulting to the Church.
I agree that it properly wasn’t the best place to hold their protest but I guess that was the point. More people would see and hear them this way and people would talk about it.
I admit I don’t know how the legal system works in Russia but I have never heard of a case where people who have protested/insulted the church have been sent to prison for the length they have.
I can see if they vandalized the church property or harmed the people inside but from what I have learned there was nothing but a peaceful protest where the Women sang, danced and prayed at some points. If anything they should have been banned from the area, finned or maybe even both. But a two-year sentence? That seems a bit much.
That leaves us to question the third option to why they are being judged so harshly. Is it a little of column A or B like situation that some believe? In a couple of reports I have read Vladimir Putin does seem to have a close relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church but there doesn’t seem to be any definite proof too that so I can’t say for certain if it is true. It’s hard to say for sure because both have issues with what took place and they both have reasons to want to see them punished but in this case the punishment doesn’t really seem to fit the crime. Maybe the two powers did work together but for right now no one is talking so we don’t know for sure. No matter who was behind enforcing such a long sentence a bigger problem still remains. Will the Russian population stand by and watch as they slowly start to lose their human rights and freedom of expression ? We will all have to wait and see.
If we follow the mind-set that Russia seems to be going in they are going to have to build more prisons because soon there will be quite a bit of the population behind bars. Or it’s going to be a country at war because I don’t believe the people in Russia will accept losing their rights and freedom. I know you think I am exaggerating but think of it this way. How many people do you know that have been to a protests, listen to bands who sing about political change, or have gone to one of their shows. How many people do you know that have watched shows on TV., movies or even books that talk about political issues? I am sure you have thought of quite a few and even yourself in some of these case’s. Can you imagine it then? it would be like a mass exodus to the prisons, the court’s would fall hopelessly behind and people would be awaiting trail for years. Yes people may stop all actions that the law prohibits but for how long? You can only take the freedom of expression away from people for so long before they will demand change and revolt.
And if the court lets this conviction be upheld then it opens up the floor to other such laws that would take the power away from the citizens of Russia. I just hate to think of where this could lead too and the rights people will lose if similar laws are enforced in that Country.
It’s up to you which side you agree with in this case. But one thing is for sure, the Women got something they wanted out of all of this and that was to be heard.

If you would like to join their cause and sign the petition to get them released please follow the link below.
http://www.change.org/freepussyriot

When does humor go too far?

I find myself once again disappointed in choices some of my fellow humans (if I can say that) have made. I know that you might argue that there are worse sites than these online and I agree but what I found is truly distasteful. My cousin alerted me to this problem and on further investigation I realized that there is more than one of these sites on Facebook and I am shocked by the comments and the number of likes they have received. The sites that I am talking about are different variations of the same theme “Cancer is funny”. Granted there are some pages that our Cancer survivor’s trying to raise money for Cancer through comedy shows and another person who is making light of his situation. There are still a whole lot of sites that are really negative and post things that are not right. The top site is called “Cancer is funny cause people die” which has a staggering amount of likes and has almost doubled since yesterday when I first found out about it. It is listed under the group category: Community Organization. It was founded in 2011 and has many pictures of people (mostly kids) who are suffering from Cancer in hospitals. It also has other cartoons and such making fun of people dying from Cancer.
The site creator claims that when he ( I don’t know the person’s sexuality but I am using he to make it simpler) was younger his Dad died of Lung Cancer and during that time his Mom would always try to show him the positive side of things even Cancer. Here is his post, I am still confused as to where the humor comes in but you can see for yourself how he defends his site.
She once said “You see that person with cancer? He’s bald, just like you!” She would comfort me and she helped me go through my dad dying of cancer. To this day when I think of my father, I think of the humor that my mom would teach me to cope with my painful emotions. Now with all of the hate coming towards the page I feel a deep hole in my heart where my dad used to be, thanks to everyone commenting cruel statements on this page.-from Cancer is funny cause people die-2012
I am all for finding humor when faced with a situation like this but the posts and comments that are found on this page are far from funny. I have read through some of the comments (because reading them all would take weeks) and yes people are making cruel statements and even threats in some cases but what he has put out there is just as cruel. The last line seems to be implying that the comments are causing him emotional pain well to me that seems a bit strange. Had he not started the site in the first place then the comments wouldn’t have been made. What he is doing is upsetting a lot of people and causing them sadness just like he claims their comments are doing to him. It a vicious cycle but one which he could stop himself. Let me say that I don’t condone the vicious threats that people are making against him wishing him harm or how some people are taking a stand against him with their comments. It’s just when you put something like that out there your going to get these kind of comments coming back at you.
He again tries to defend his page in another post by saying:
“To all of the haters of this page, coming here is basically like an atheist going into a church and complaining how everyone there is an idiot and how god is fake. Don’t come to a page that you don’t like and then start complaining about the content. It’s the internet and everyone has their freedom of speech so if you don’t like what you hear fuck off my page.” from Cancer is funny cause people die page.
I don’t know where to start exactly with this post as there is a lot that trouble’s me with it but the Freedom of Speech part seems as good a place as any.
Yes it’s important to have Freedom of speech without it there would still be slavery, women wouldn’t be able to vote, People would be in power that shouldn’t be and so many other things. But when what you have to say is hurtful to other people a line needs to be drawn. What he doesn’t seem to know is that there are limitations to freedom of speech which I feel he has violated. They are called the Harm principle and the Offense principle. Although he is not harming people physical I feel mentally and emotionally he is. He is not thinking of other people who have watched loved ones die from this disease or are going through it themselves and when they come across pages like this it could be very distressing which is just not right. As for the Offense Principle what he is posting is truly disturbing regardless how he or the other supporters look at it they are offending a lot of people all over the world.
Yes people could avoid the page but when it’s as easy as searching cancer groups on face book and these sites pop up they are hard to ignore.
Facebook gives you the option to report the page sadly though the report seems to fall on deaf ears. As I have noticed there are many groups that have started to ban and remove this page from face book but it is still there so nothing seems to have come from the reports that have been made. How do I know? Well one of the pages that is calling for it’s removal has 5,464 likes and if all those people reported it than why hasn’t it been removed? That seems like a large of enough number for the staff of Facebook to realize that this page shouldn’t be there.
If they are having a staffing issue and don’t have enough people reading the reports than I would more than happy to join the staff and help remove sites like these. I also know there is a lot of people in the world looking for employment that would join the cause as well and in no time I feel we could make Face book a more respectful place that it should be.
I am not just coming down on Facebook as I discovered all you have to do is put it in any search engine and lots of these kind of pages will pop up. Again the solution is simple hire people to search the internet and give them the authority to remove these sites permanently. There are so many people looking for work that would jump at the chance to have a steady job and income that you wouldn’t have to search hard to find staff. It wouldn’t be something that you could take care of over night but in time we could help delete these sites and make the internet safer for everyone.
In a world where were so connected through technology it doesn’t take much effort to find sites like these. The younger generation spends a good majority of their day on the internet and at their young age they can be impressionable. I am not saying all teenagers would fall for this hateful trap and groups but it gives people access to them easily and then these twisted views spread like wild-fire. But however what I have noticed when looking through these sites is that a lot of the comments supporting them do come from young people. I would just hate for what I see on the internet and Facebook to make it to the school yard where it could cause a lot of emotionally damage to students who may be having to face this kind of issue in their lives. There is however a lot of young people who don’t agree with them which makes me happy to see. So if you have teenagers talk to them about this and maybe with their help we can get these sites shut down.
Teenagers aren’t the only ones to fall victim to this, adults who have similar views also have an easy time finding such pages, join them and or like these groups and then share it with their friends/family and the hate/disturbing views carry on.
Although these sites about Cancer being funny is very troubling to me there are a lot of other hateful pages on Facebook and around the internet that are just as bad. Just by typing simple phrases into the search bar I have found sites that think pedophiles are funny, racist pages and many others just as distasteful. I truly think something should be done about it and I am up for the challenge if no one else is.
But at last until someone from such business like Facebook, Microsoft and other internet company’s finally stand up and see there is a problem and a solution to that problem these sites and their followers will continue to grow.
For now there is something for you to do, you can go to these sites and report them on Facebook. I am not sure how many times it will let you report the same page but if you have time try it as may times as you can. Also you can share with your friends and family what I have written and bring awareness to such sites and maybe they too will join in the reporting and exposing of this problem.
Thank you for reading and taking a stand!

visit and report
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cancer-is-funny-cause-people-die/174140266010061