2016 US Presidental Voting

Well its that time again - voting for the US President. In the past, I've written up another blog post about the election. However, now its time to vote. Many people don't vote and others are very eager to vote. Usually, I'm not either or one way or another. I feel its that time again and vote. However, this time around its different. I feel I MUST vote - as a US citizen, I have a voice and can be heard when voting.

What's bad, is even though I do have a voice to be heard, who's actually there to hear it? What exactly are my choices and what do these choices actually know? I have been watching multiple news programs to get educated on what the views are to things like immigration, defense, economy and deficit. However, what I found was not many of these subjects are actually discussed. Instead we have 4 people who are in the running: 2 we seem to know everything about and 2 we haven't heard about. The 2 we seem to know everything about are acting like children. Yep, adults aged 50+ and they are acting like they should be in grade 5. Disgusting.

Who are these people?
  • Donald Trump 
He's a business man, who has had multiple business bankruptcies, loves to speak out, likes to not pay his bills to other businesses and employees, likes women as seen my his multiple marriages and sponsor/host to the Miss America pageant. Yes, some of these are not good and some of these are good (if not great).

However (yes there has to be a however!), what comes out of the guy's mouth? That's inexcusable. He says one thing and then not even 10 minutes later he says something else. I'm talking about interviews he's sat there and spoke to. This is not taped stuff or anything that happened past, let's say, year. This is during his run for the white house. If you are going to run for such an important job, then get your views straight at least!

Then you have his comments on Russia and its ruler. This shouldn't even be discussed while running for this job, but Trump's brought it up. This alone would make me not vote for the guy, but because I believe in doing things fairly, I still took a look at him and what he's said directly from his mouth and not from anything taped. What Russia has done to my family, and in a way STILL does to my family, I can never condone. If any of you read my genealogy page, Of My Flesh and Bones, knows part of my family comes from Poland. My father's side was absorbed into Russia for many years and its only been recently - after the cold war - they have finally had some kinds of freedoms. However, when my grandmother was born, they were under Russian rule. My grandmother, at the age of about 2 or so, had her father leave Poland, so he wouldn't be forced to go back into the Russian army. I believe this is only one reason he left. Then add on about 7 years later, my grandmother and great grandmother were forced to leave Poland at the height of the Polish–Soviet War. I was told they were the last to leave and I can believe this because they left Danzig on August 20, 1920 which is just before Warsaw fell. My grandmother was so badly malnourished when she got to the US, she had to relearn how to walk.

As of all of this isn't bad enough, I grew up being told in small bits we had people, family, that were killed by the Russians. Why? Because they were once royals. I can almost believe this because of where I've been able to track down where my grandmother and great grandparents came from - Eastern Poland along the Bug River. This side of our family I can track down living in this region for generations. In fact, I have a cousin (1st cousin 1 time removed) who still lives in Warsaw. His great grandparents was my 2x great grandparents.

This is the main reason I will NEVER vote for anyone who even likes Russia or whatever name they give themselves.

  • Hillary Clinton

She's been a lawyer, who has then gone into politics. She was once first lady because Bill Clinton was president in the 1990s. I know. I voted for him - both times. After their time was up there, they took a break and then she decided to buy a place in New York and run for Senate. She promised many things while in Senate, but never delivered fully I feel. She then ran again and ended up as Secretary of State after her first try at president didn't happen and now is running for President again.

However (got to love that word don't you?), she's been around and around the place. She has said much but hasn't delivered to areas I feel were very important. She promised so much for Newburgh, NY, one of the most violent places in the USA. However, she visited a few times, made these promises and then it was like she forgot about the place. Newburgh hasn't changed and its sad as at one point it was one of the most livable cities in the USA. I would love to see it brought back to this once again.

Clinton's got problems as well. Email server, while yes, she made a mistake, but some of the excuses and things that are now starting to appear? Not good. Then you take a look at the court/decision around the server and while it is questionable, nothing that we have seen yet has shown she was directly involved. Yes, people have met others within the government who were handling it, BUT remember she and her husband have been around the place for years, so you get to know people personally. She was a lawyer and yet she didn't know what a C was (for copyright)? Yeah right. I'm not very educated by degrees but I know what a C is for on documents. Bad decisions made while Secretary which resulted in people/soldiers getting killed. Now this I can understand, but what hasn't really been discussed is was the information reliable she acted on? Creditable? Vetted? Also, remember soldiers when they sign on, they accept something like this can and possibly will happen. I know this because my father served in the US Navy until he retired. Each time you reup or sign on again, its there in the document you are signing. Again, this is the stuff that's happened within the last year.

While she has done questionable things, but they have never been proven, the questionable actions and her integrity are very much in doubt.

  • Jill Stein

With Jill, I had to look up who she was, what she stands for and her views. She was one of the people who there hasn't been much to be said about. What I read about her shocked me. She's been a doctor for years and in the last 10 or so years she's started to look at running for political office.

However (there's that word again!), she's also been going green, and doing some of those types of things and this forms part of her platform. I have read (from her own website) her views are using these. While these are not bad, but you have to understand other people do not operate or think this way. I have also read some statement from her about children and wifi. Wifi if it was going to affect people would affect us all and not just children. This has not been proven but there are many variables involved with this.

While she's got a great education and a lateral thinker, I believe I'd be worried about how she would operate with military and other major decisions. I believe she could think in an emergency, but I don't think her priorities are in right areas.

  • Gary Johnson 

Again with Gary, I had to look up who he was and his views. Again, he was one of the people we don't know anything about. Its great he's been around for 2 terms which gives him experience which was one of the problems when Obama came on the scene I felt. However, he doesn't know many of the deals happening such as the TPP, is against everyone getting free education, doesn't understand about the Keystone Pipeline even after it was brought up LAST election, doesn't understand the minimum wage and why its an issue, restrictions with gun laws and doesn't understand why we have them, and if all this wasn't enough while he says he watches what he spends, the deficit in his own state shows differently.

While he's got the experience of being elected, its showing he doesn't know many key issues. Some of the issues I support, like everyone should pay something for their education and it not being free, there are many others like the deficit, I would be worried about if he were elected. Besides, if items were being brought up last election you didn't know about, wouldn't you have researched them before trying again? I know I would have spent the next amount of time getting to know those items up, down, back, and forth before anyone else asked me about them.

Last Presidential Debate
I started this post before the last debate between Clinton and Trump started (on October 20, 2016). I wanted to write a non biased article before the last time we, as a voter, gets to see them in action before voting. I have watched the first debate, where I believe Clinton was far ahead of Trump. The second debate, was better but it made them look like fish swimming around the stage with their mouths going. It was almost even, but Clinton still made a few statements that had impact. Then you had today's, and last, debate. They both did very well, although at one point I had closed my eyes while they were talking and tried to picture them in a foreign land speaking and how I would feel - proud or embarrassed - when they were speaking. One thing that stood out - Trump snorting or sniffing was real off putting with the sound. That would embarrass me.

Next, I added in the statements they were talking about and how wondered would I feel? Clinton was speaking powerful and insistently with facts or so it seemed (no fact checker here - I'll leave that to the guys who have been doing this). Trump was, if I took out the sniffing and snorting, or seemed like the people I used to work with in the government - they started the conversation before picking up the phone to talk to me and it was a casual chat among friends instead of one of leadership which I would classify it as non leadership type of speaking.

The Decision
My decision is what I've been saying all along - I want another choice - any choice. However (damn there's that word again!), we're stuck with 4 clowns and its all a circus. I think the only thing that has been missing is someone sticking out their tongue or pulling hair (oh wait didn't someone in one of the nighttime talk shows do that to Trump's hair to see if it was a wig or not??).
Taken from

I even have been saying on Facebook, Batman, Spiderman, and even Deadpool would all be better choices than what we are faced with this election day. However, if I have to take what I've said above about integrity (who has a tiny bit more - think in hundreds of thousands .000 difference which isn't much but it does matter), who actually talks true facts and they are verified, experience is a double edged sword, and who doesn't rant and rave like they are insane? I guess my vote will have to be Hillary because of this, but let me tell you - its such a thin line you need the strongest ever microscope available to see the difference.

Am I happy with my choice? HELL NO. In fact, I'm pretty pissed. We have that many over 318 million people that live there and its come down to these 4 clowns??

If we had someone that could balance a budget (any - government or business), did not have a string of bankruptcies behind them, had integrity, (in a stretch) honest as they could be, spoke passionately about the issues (not sound like they were reading them off of a card like these 2 seemed to be doing), didn't go around either accusing or calling other people names, and basically acting like an adult, I vote for them. Hell, if a baboon was running and he had all of these qualities I'd vote for him over the choices we have. I have to wonder if Warren Buffet would be available to run? He's released his taxes already, so he's already ahead of Trump.

Alas, we don't have even a baboon handy - we have these 4 clowns which just make me sad for democracy and for the USA. Also, I just want to apologize to all clowns for comparing the candidates using your name but its the closest thing I could come up with.


Gun Laws and the US Senate & House of Reps

Gun laws have been talked about since the first current mass shootings, now many years ago, but people keep asking - why hasn't the laws been changed? This is in response to the recent rejection of the US Gun Laws by the US Senate.

I discussed my views on gun control in my last post Gun Laws and Protection of Rights.
One of the many questions always asked to me is "why hasn't the laws been changed? Its crazy over there (meaning the USA)!".  I look at them and tell them its a 3 fold problem:

Fold 1: Laws have been written in such a way that there's so much fluff around them people can't tell what's fluff and the actual problem. Usually this is combined with what the public has been saying even though, most of those who have been commenting, have not done their research - they are repeating what they heard on the news.
Taken from US Congress website
Fold 2: House of Representatives. At first these termed politicians would not even compromise. Now they are compromising but because of Fold 3, the laws or bills have been getting rejected.

Fold 3: US Senate. These people have the same problems as the House of Representatives had - they don't like working with others. They'd rather sit and reject the bills/laws rather than make suggestions as to what it will get passed, so we can all move on.

I have 2 huge problems with Fold 2 & 3 above. First, most of these people have been in there so long, they will have to die in there. According to the list of US Congress who died in office, there have been 19 people who have died while in this office - since 2000. Yep, since 2000. If you look though, those who have died, have been in since the 1970's. Yes, there have been ones that have only been in a few years, but if you even look at the ones who started in the 1990's that is STILL 20 years.

The Amendment of the XXII of the Constitution for Two-Term Limit on Presidency, which was
From National Constitution Center
passed by Congress on March 21, 1947 and ratified on February 27, 1951. Yes, it was as current as that. Keep in mind, however, George Washington was asked to run for a third time as president and refused, so it has been an issue before the above mentioned amendment.

The people I have been talking to are getting to be more convinced there should be term limits for Congress - both the house and Senate. This would limit how many years people could serve in a row and would get rid of the mind set of once they are in, they are there for life. We all want change, but no one is actually doing anything about it. Why?

Its because those who have to write it up and vote for or against the term limits would be the same people who they would directly affect. It would be like accepting a job and then making the decision when or if you are going to loose that job. If you were in this position, what would you vote? I know it would be to keep my job. Somehow, someone will have to make the bold decision to one day bring this forward. Another way would be there to be such a backlash from the public, they bring it to the public for a vote during election time. I believe this way would be fair, but who would be the bold person or group to suggest it? I'm taking a guess - NO ONE.

The second huge problem I have with Fold 2 & 3 above, is how can an organization hold such a grip on the government? How did the NRA get so forceful, it can now influence politics. No one party, whether is political or an organization, should hold the US government to such where it starts to compromise itself. Yes, by listening to the NRA (National Rifle Association) politicians or yet to be politicians are being controlled. Case in point - Donald Trump.

In May 2016, the NRA came out in support for Donald Trump. This is even after Trump voicing his views for years about gun control and has many of his properties that are gun free. Good you say? Remember this is the same man that says ""I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," Trump said at a campaign rally.
However, as of June 19, 2016, the NRA, and some of its members, have started to have second thoughts about supporting him. CNN reports "Top NRA leaders split Sunday with Trump's earlier position that armed club-goers are a good idea."

Is this just in recent times with the NRA? No, its not. In fact, the NRA is a major influence and has been for years with politics.  Its been very noticeable since the 1968 Gun Control Act. It was here they decided the end game being pursued wasn't "public safety," but public disarmament in the name of safety.  After all, the argument promoted by gun "control" advocates is "more guns = more crime" and "the number of guns is the problem." (Quora article). Even on the NRA Wikipedia page, it states "Observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington. Over its history the organization has influenced legislation, participated in or initiated lawsuits, and endorsed or opposed various candidates." My question is this, if the NRA is about safety and protection, then what in the world is it doing influencing legislation?

Besides, is this what the United States forefathers say this is what they had to protect and ensure the US didn't become? Isn't this what the Federalist papers Number 10 about? Doesn't it address the question of how to guard against "factions", or groups of citizens, with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community. (Wikipedia)

James Madison author of Federalist Paper 10 Wikipedia
In fact Madison states "defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community".[14] He identifies the most serious source of faction to be the diversity of opinion in political life which leads to dispute over fundamental issues such as what regime or religion should be preferred." Isn't this what the NRA is doing?

I think everyone agrees SOMETHING - ANYTHING must be done to control these shootings. Maybe we should restrict them and then let up tiny bit of control? But there's a fear with thinking this way. The US people fear that once a freedom is taken away they won't ever get it back. Dumb? No, I'd say this is realistic. However, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.
Part of the federalist papers,_1898).djvu&page=132


Gun Laws and Protection of Rights

 When events happen like they did on June 13, 2016, with the Orlando Florida shootings, people start to look at who is to blame. The first reports out included the words such as: religious,  ISIS, Islamic State, terrorist attack, dead, victims and gay. I stood back took a look, flipped the channels and listened to more people and they used the same type of words but the meaning was as clear as those first words.

The next topic to be brought up was who would be to claiming this shooting, how many dead, what exactly happened, and the US gun laws and what type of gun was used. How sad in today's world we immediately want to know the gory details of who did it or who was responsible, how many are deceased, and what type of gun. What about what trauma people are going through, where people can meet up, where people can go for more information, and/or how can we all help or what information is needed. This way we can all do something proactive instead of waiting for the things to come to us.

Since the first reports, the talk has now turned back to the US gun laws and their control. This always seems to get people upset in some respect and mad. Its like watching groups of pitbulls go nuts at each other in a fight.

On the one side we have people who love their guns and will do anything to protect them. They are chanting - We want our Second Amendment right - The Right to Bear Arms. People are saying things like:
Taken from
and then this
Taken from

 What people don't seem to realize is the US has had mass shootings in the United States, which was back in the late 1800s. Yes, 1800's! In other words, these happenings are NOT something new -
they've happening over 200 years now. Remember, the Second Amendment was written in 1791 and has been doing its job. However, and this is a HUGE however, times - like everything else - have changed. Guns back in the late 1700s and up until the past generation - yes, a generation - have been used most of the time pretty responsibly.
"Reprinted from the Boston daily advertiser, June 3, 1887."

What's happened in the last generation and responsibility?
When I grew up, by the time I was 8 years old, I could shoot rifles and handguns and make different types of bullets. It was what I was taught by my father. However, when we did go to shoot, we respected what it meant and how the skill involved and took precautions.

Now people are too busy to be taught on how to shoot properly and all the other responsible things that go along with owning a firearm - making sure no one gets hurt, cleaning, practicing, and on and on it goes. Add this to how people who are currently buying them and they don't know how to store a gun or the ammo that goes along with it. They buy it and then tell everyone they have a gun. A gun is not an accessory - its to be used either in sport or on the very rare occasions to defend yourself or
Taken from
your family. You shouldn't have to walk around with one strapped to your side either. If you are out and about, there are trained and professional people out there that have them if you need them. For some reason the generation today think they are a fashion accessory or they believe if something happens they have a gun and they can protect themselves. Guess what? More often than not, people will run, hide in a ball or hide behind something more than shoot at someone. Think about it - if you were shopping for food and something happened, you wouldn't be grabbing for your gun, you would be trying to get away from the gun shots.

Ok so you are not buying that one. How about this... if you carried your gun with you and there was a shooter who you didn't see before they started to fire and they got you (whether you are shot or dead) and you couldn't move. What if the shooter's gun jams or they run out of bullets? They will be looking to see who if anyone has a gun they could use. You do and so they pick up the gun and start to kill people - maybe even yourself if they see you are still alive - would could you be able to live with yourself that you brought something with you that can be used to kill others.

Or even how about this... a shooter arrives in the same place and starts to shoot. You have your gun and decide to act and go towards the shooting. When you near, you pull out the gun to be ready to fire. Then you hear someone - probably the shooter?- coming close to you, so you step out and shoot. It wasn't the shooter it was maybe your spouse? Your adult child? A neighbor? Friend? And you've just killed them because you brought a gun into a situation which shouldn't have been there.

Second Amendment

The Second Amendment, which is what everyone has been using to keep your guns. "The right to bear arms".  However, did you know the amendment is more than just to bear arms? This was written back in the late 1700's. They still mainly hunted for their own food back then - they didn't have a grocery store or butcher to go to and had to do it themselves. It makes sense for them to have guns. Now? We take a car ride to get the hunting done.
Taken from

Further, back then we had slaves which went out when good ole Abe Lincoln was around. They needed them to "keep them under control" or so the says went. I think its a bunch of hog wash, but back then it was "the done thing" with the slaves - again its been gone for generations.

Taken from
 To see/read more, see this page.

Again, what else did we commonly have back in the late 1700's? Militia. What I can hear you saying... Militia which is how they put it in the movie "The Patriot" as "Farmers with pitchforks" or in this case guns. They had this so if any army came onto the US land at any point, the people could defend themselves against foreign invaders.

How did we get from foreign invaders to strangers?
This is something I'm still trying to figure out to this day. People are now trying to use this (the second) amendment to have all firearms. They are chanting loud and proud. To me they are just showing their ignorance.
Take From

Obama, and thus the Democrats, are NOT trying to take your guns and ammo. They are just trying to LIMIT how many people get shot at once. They are still allowing you to have your guns but they are just trying to limit what type of guns are used. This is NOT against any amendment or the US law at all.

The NRA and Republicans are doing the scare tactic of they want to take away your guns - ALL guns. No, you poor, misinformed people, they are not going to take your stupid guns - they are trying to limit how many bullet holes people like this moron in Florida put into civilian bodies.  Instead of listening to what spin doctors tell the public, maybe you should do your research and find out exactly what wording has been used in the amendments and things that have been filed with the Senate and House of Representatives.

Remember Gabrielle Giffords? She was in the government - until another person with a gun shot her in the head. She, like many of us, just want "promoting responsible gun ownership and encouraging lawmakers to find solutions to gun violence" as their website states for the book they wrote. They have also created an organisation called Americans for Responsible Solutions


Like everything in life, or a marriage, there eventually comes a compromise. Why don't people do or think of this instead of fighting the entire thing? Make suggestions of what they don't like AFTER THEY DO SOME RESEARCH on what has already been said.

Possible options:
Some of my compromises would be something like this below: 
  • Make regular mandatory gun safety requirements where people must go to show the responsible gun and ammo handling. 
  • Outlaw any multi shot gun above 5 shot per 10 seconds (or something like this). 
  • Limit the cartridges to only hold 5 shots, so people can still keep their multi shot guns but can't spend more than 5 shots per go. 
  • Limit the cartridges to only hold 5 shots, so people can still keep their multi shot guns but can't spend more than 5 shots per go AND make it harder for the cartridges to be changed, so the innocent people if they are being the target can get away. 
  • Maybe some or all of the above?
I'm sure there are many other possible compromises... Can you come up with any?

Now we have the possible compromises, we need to tell someone. What is the sense in coming up with possible compromises if you do not tell the people who make and decide on the laws? Write to
your representatives in the house and senate and give them your detailed compromises to the problem. They might just use them and make this problem we seem to have people talk about every few months.

Am I against guns? No, I'm not. I've used them and believe there is a time and a place for them. What's my view of the second amendment? I believe its there for a reason and it is a living document as such it must be viewed as that. However, to just use a few choice words out of the whole amendment? That's just wrong. I believe people, meaning the public, must education themselves before taking views of certain public persons and making these public persons views theirs. Read upon what they are talking about and just don't take what these public persons views are as correct because generally they spin the information so it fits to what they want everyone else, including corporations and organisations, views and their agendas. Isn't it about time you make your own agenda instead of taking someone else's?


Reflections on US elections in 2016

As we've been experiencing, the US election are this year. First we have to make it through the primaries which is proving to be a testing time. I say testing time only because, to me, it seems more like they are a bunch of children than educated adults. Guess what? Its only going to get worse as time goes on.

It sad really because these adults are acting more like they are 10 instead in their 50's and older.

What the majority of people want I've seen and talked to?

An adult. One that is educated, acts like an adult, can make independent decisions on things like immigration, has some kind of budgeting background so we can make the deficit less, and thinks education and health are very important to everyone - no matter what your race, gender, or political views.

True it would be nice if we had some other things, but those are specific to the political parties themselves. I acknowledge this and agree about this, but as a country we need to get back to the basics - not continue on this self destructive path we've been finding ourselves going down.

Let's face the facts:

The US is in severe debt. If anyone of us were in this much debt we'd be in jail because its criminal.

Jobs are there, but the economy is still slow. The economy and jobs are getting better, but this is more of a global problem and not just a US problem. The other consideration which has to be looked at is one tiny scare again, and the economy stalls and jobs drop. Prior to the last global financial crisis, we had a slowing economy, we just change the taxes and breaks given and the economy just bounced right back. However, instead of an instance bounce which would normally happen, after taking the same actions as we had in the post and have taken in the past few years, this time we have to slowly build everything back up which is what is happening. However, what will the new president do to influence or not influence this?

Education seems to be slowly getting worse - not better. I've been watching what has been being said by news groups as well as parents with kids in the system. Common core? Its like common mess. There's just no common sense within the common core. Its bad enough, most parents don't discipline children or even tell them NO, and there's no growth with creativity or letting kids get hurt just a bit but they will learn not to do it again and will be able to rationalize things a bit better. However, parents are just too protective and won't let the kids get hurt a tiny bit (think of it when you tell them not to touch something that's hot when they were tiny and they reached and touch it anyway. They soon learn not to touch something like that because it hurts). College education is pretty expensive as well. Then you have to be able to get a job afterwards which was always a hard thing to get because then you have the problem of no experience whatsoever.

The US has major illegal immigration problem. I know I have had grandparents and great grandparents all immigrate to the US. Back then, you didn't apply and be accepted - you just showed up. However, now the rules have changed because there's only so much space in the US and the US' resources were starting to run down, so they had to cap it somehow, which means you now have to fill out forms to see if the US' resources can fit you in. However, people are just showing up and thinking the US should just accept them. Why not just stay and band together and make changes in your own country instead?  There are always those who need to just leave because of wars, but that's why there are centers where you can stay and then after its decided where the resources are that can support you the best and then you will be let go there - instead of an illegal you will be known as a refugee and this is acceptable. Those who are in the US illegally? You knew what you were doing when you first did this so why would you complain to go back where you came from and come back in legally?

There are many more areas the US has fallen down, but we have to start some place to make it a place people want to go again. Choosing the right person who head the whole thing is one of the most important decisions you can make. However, you have to look at things like:

  • Age - we have to know the person can handle shocks and long hours without getting a jolt and dying of a heart attack. 
  • Experience - they have to know what they are doing and not only what sounds good in a sound bite or on paper and social media.
  • Understand finances - do they have a concept of spending and being able to balance their budget? Or do they have a history of declaring bankruptcy or just thinking by partnering up with a few businesses will help the US to run like an independent business as it should be treated?
  • How do they act? How do they treat others - We are all taught in kindergarten we have to play nice with others. True, you don't have to be best friends, but you at least have to show people respect. This is, unfortunately, what we are sadly lacking from ALL candidates. 

  • Born in the USA - One of the facts is the constitution states:
Article II Section 1 Clause 5:
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
and later it was amended:
Amendment XIV Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
which is according to the constitution.  This means in order to be a president, you have to be a natural born citizen OR naturalized in the US or jurisdiction where they reside.

The last 2 elections for president, this was in the news each time. This time its reared its head again because there's some doubt if some of the nominees were not born in the US; however, I don't think anyone's looked into the amendment XIV Section 1 though. Personally? I would automatically cross out anyone who was born outside or the doubts of their birth. Then couple this with their spouse's naturalization/background. Then follow the whole thing up with looking at where had they settled their life and family? Did they live overseas or the US? How long have they been in the US? How close are their ties to the US? All these are very important because they influence all of us in different ways but they are influences on our lives and the ways we live.

These are all very important areas to the US and not just ONE political party. This is what is lacking - people are thinking more of themselves and their parties and not of the United States. Our reputation is going down hill fast and its getting to the slope where its so slippery there is only limited time to claw our way back, but I feel we might be just slipping away if we don't do something NOW.
Taken from

We are citizens of the US - We can do better - ALL of us.

In Deep with the Book of Me - Explore. Dream. Discover

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the month is:    
Explore. Dream. Discover
The Brief:
''Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did........ Explore. Dream. Discover.'' - Mark Twain
This prompt is probably a tough one. I don't believe we make wrong decisions, I believe that things that do not turn out as we expect them to present an opportunity for us to learn and develop further. To become stronger and better people.
Do you share that philosophy? Explore the prompt. Cast your mind back to decisions you made and things that you didn't do? Perhaps reflect on family decisions, things from previous generations? 

To make a decision people follow either: impulses, their "gut", ask for facts and then make it, research it to death before making it and sometimes it can be a combination of any of these. I know for myself, it depends on what the decision is and just how big it is.
What do you need to make a decision?

In business, I can make a decision pretty fast as long as I know the basics and what the companies outlook and how decisions are made. In fact, sometimes people look at me and are amazed because usually they were cheaper, quality and enacted with a plan before anyone could really say anything.

In my personal life, well that's a bit more complicated. Most of the time I gather the basic facts and take my experiences and go from there. However, the bigger decisions like getting married took a bit more. Why? Because I wasn't just getting married. I was leaving a country and moving to a new place where there was none of MY family. I couldn't just drive a couple days to see my family - I had to plan it to see them if I wanted to. This one took a bit more time to take a look and a decision. In the end, I had to go with emotion and combine it with facts.

The outcomes have been mediocre at best with the personal stuff. Why? Because there always seems to be outside interference that I just didn't see coming. Believe me, I do build in contingency plans but these were so far out of the box that you just don't see them and they hurt when they do the Gibbs slap (for those of you who watch the NCIS show) and it leaves you stunned.
You can always look back at your decisions, but usually once I take a look at mine and make it, I know I've done the best with what I had and knew at the time. However, I do try and look at things from all sides and not discount anything. This way I know when I look at myself in the mirror, I can look at myself straight in the eye and know I did my best and that's all any of us can really do isn't it?

  Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.    


"In Deep with the Book of Me" - Genealogical Tapestry

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the week is:    
Genealogical Tapestry
The Brief:
Our lives can be defined as a tapestry. Clear threads, isolated from each other, yet coming together to represent a life. A full potential of being. What threads define you?

If I was to take a tapestry and adjust it to my life, then it would be very interesting indeed. I would start with all the different times in my life and then lead it to now. Below would be how I would view it.

Birth to age 4

With this part of my life, I would say it would be crowded, crazy and full of all types of colors - from red (fighting) to blue (streak of swearing) to yellow (for happier days) and then you have all the times in between. I would say the colors wouldn't be all in a line - they would be squiggle and all over the place because that's what I can remember feeling.
Birth to age 4

Age 4 to age 9

In this part, would be mainly be slowing down, colors fairly dark and lightening up in color. However, the red (fighting) would be back at certain times. These are usually when my parents had to actually talk about things. When I say talk, it would be who would want to over power or win that battle on that day. However, at times the color would go to a deep dark black like the color of charcoal when things would happen in life. You learn to deal with those times. The lines would be fairly straight until the battles begin and the they would spike with all the words used.
Age 4 - 9

Aged 10 to age 18
This would be one of the most stable time in my life. The colors would be moderately bright and straight because fights didn't happen, no power struggles really. Everyone seemed to be enjoying life. However there were times when the deep dark black charcoal color would appear and you would deal with things. Lines would be straight with very little spikes.
Age 10 to 18

Aged 18 to age 23
At this point things got hectic and I felt like I had whiplash. Between work, school and relationships all going this way and that it was a very turbulent time. You'd wake up that day and want to say screw it and pull the covers over your head. Talk about the color of the rainbow, spikes of lines and squiggles all over the place. You always felt like you were on an amusement park ride. Every.Single.Day. The colors were all over the place and sometimes you had the color of the rainbow all within a day. All you could do was hang on and hold your breath. At times I really didn't know how I was going to survive, but the important part was I did.
Age 18 to 23

Aged 24 to 25
Things started to even out and I could finally stop for a breath and start to think about life and the future. Colors were a very medium and very average but by the time I married things were good - and I felt happy for the first time what seemed years. Truly happy and only getting better. Of course there were blips like the 3 fires we had around the time we married, but as long as no one was hurt, those things could and did get worked through. Life was a nice straight line and a nice happy yellow.
Pic taken from

Aged 25 to 31
Things were still pretty good and we were all happy. There were times when things could have been better, but overall we were very happy and content. We built and moved into our own home, owned some dogs, and had stable jobs. The one thing that still eluted us was making us a family - children. It wasn't like we weren't trying - we were. We went in for tests, day surgeries to check, went on medication but still nothing. Then I lost my job and then things went from yellow to red to grey. The lines looked like a heart monitor with the blips - some times going in a straight line with contentedness and then something would happen and it would spike it and usually that would be either to do with the job or with trying for a baby.
Pic taken from

Aged 32 to Present
During these times, its like being on the roller coaster ride again. Some days its great and others make you hold that breath. The colors are all over the place - happy, sad, content, devastated. During this
Pic from
point, we've lost babies and have never - yet - had even a birth even if it was stillborn. We've done IVF, which all failed, and are looking around going is this it. I found employment for it to go spastic and then them to cut positions due to budget. I've had health problems and the list goes on. The colors are all over - sometimes many within one day. The lines have the deepest of lows and the highest of highs as well. Sometimes they are like the mountain range that you would see if you looked at Everest...slowly going up and the big gashes going down.
Pic from

One of the biggest changes? I've always had stages in my life with very little to tie things together. However, in the last 6 months or so, I've learned about more of my ancestors and have found cousins and not just a few. Learning about all of these are helping to make my life from singular lines into lines which are becoming more webbed. I've always felt so isolated and alone, however, I'm finding I'm not so alone - I have cousins and an uncle out there. I have others and those connections are making my life a bit more webbed in togetherness than I've ever had before.

My new relationship web - notice how the blue have the green and yellows? Where they might still be different and move away but are still connected? Where as the black dots are more and more isolated until one of those black spots turns yellow and reconnects with later generations. This yellow dot is me.

Some people things think I'm doing genealogy to "start shit" or think this of me. I have no idea why as I'm a person who does not like confrontations but if someone pushes hard enough or someone I can about hard enough, I will push back. I just want to feel there are others out there that are family - love without conditions or rather than people who feel responsible for you and take care of you because of those. I think we all need love without conditions, however, some people must go looking for it to get it otherwise they will never know that type of love.

Pic taken from
I do realize that I will never have the unconditional love that parents are supposed to give, but at least I know I can change that and make it my responsibility to show - or try - it to others.
Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.    - See more at:
Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.     - See more at:
Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.     - See more at:

"The Book of Me, Written by You" - What have you learnt about yourself and your family?

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the week is:    
What have you learnt about yourself and your family?
The Brief:

  • Think back to the question we asked in Week One - Who am I?
  • Before you look back at the answers you wrote then, answer the question again.
  • Now compare are there any similarites, it is the same, or have any of the answers changed?
  • What has made the change?
  • Now lets look at the wider and original question - What have you learnt about yourself and your family?
  • Is there anything you still want to write and explore?
I have actually looked back and used this as an example in a genealogy class I taught at the end of 2014. I then told them about this topic and that I would add to it some more things. I wouldn't take anything out because they are who I AM but now I found I am MORE.

One of my slides I used for my course on Genealogy
The answers have changed because of adding to them. As I'm researching each ancestor, things are becoming more interesting as I'm finding out more about them as a person. I used to be mad and annoyed at my grandfather, but as I started to research I found the things he did either were the result of someone else and not his or his was the result of what someone else did to him and this is how he handled it. An example would be I was told he was a drunk. I found this was probably because of the way his father treated him and how he was kicked out of the family home at 15. This was the way he dealt with those things as an escape.

I've learned over the last 2 years, when looking at your ancestor, or yourself, look for what is going on in their life and whatever it was caused a reaction - good or bad. Another example, is my great
Jimmy's wings he obtained before he left. He died about 3 weeks later.
uncle Jimmy (I've spoken about my mother's cousin before) Sherman. He saw how scared his mother, my great aunt Florence, was about World War 2. He joined the service to protect her and other females and children in the family. All very honorable, but he ended up loosing his life in a training accident.

In fact, in my newer classes or when I talk to people about their family histories, I ask about the era and what part of the world, and then ask them about what was going on during that time. When they don't know, I tell them to research that and it usually helps with understanding what is going on with them or what the actions and reactions in later life are. Then I use the many examples of my ancestors. In fact, I pressed home this fact with my cousins recently. I spent my holiday season tracing my Belgium ancestors - the Gauquie's - back to see how far I could go. Hoping to hit the link that took the name from France into Belgium. The family story was they left because of the French
The National Assembly taking the Tennis Court Oath (sketch by Jacques-Louis David). from Wikipedia
Revolution. I was able to go back to just before that war broke out with our timeline, but I could show them via history what happened and how it influenced how far they moved. The big question was did they move because of the French Revolution? Answer is - it was probably the events just before the revolution which caused them to leave. They probably said it was the revolution because it was one or more of the causes of it that made them leave before anything really bad happened.

Another great example I use is my great grandfather Jules. He left Belgium and arrived in the US in 1888. The way he treated his wife was as, I think, his father treated HIS wife - Jules' mother, Florence. As the Belgium custom is :
"Rural women were expected to work in the fields as well as in the home. Traditional roles for men and women were observed, and any deviation was often censured. Even though it was not uncommon for widows to carry on their deceased husband's occupation, especially that of farming, it was frowned upon if women assumed a community leadership role, except on a social basis. Children also had chores to do at an early age, and gender-based chores were commonly assigned. On farms, they also helped with planting and harvest, and as a result, were often absent from school during those times of the year."
 Which is why when I found news articles about my great grandmother getting hurt with cows and
then later talking to my cousins they told me she never had a winter jacket until a few months before she died. Sounds to me it was Belgium customs. Also, could the children part be why my grandfather and his siblings didn't really go to school and they left? We know now, this was why some of the people back then did not go to school and looked down upon it.
Great Grandmother Annie Gauquie has been hurt

As if that wasn't enough, it was how Jules treated his second wife, Belle, in comparison. According to the newspaper, she got 1/3 of Jules' estate. However, family stories has it she got most of his money and land before he passed away. Then she got basically everything after he passed and the kids didn't get anything. I was annoyed at this until I found out that Jules was born illegitimate to a maid servant. This explains why Belle got almost all of his money - because he was taking care of her and her child like no one did for HIS mother. Again - action and reaction.

Jules' birth certificate listing his mother and father - the writing on the right was when he was made legitimate

Oh there's still more that I want to explore. I'm slowly starting to fill in the holes on my mother's side. My father side? Well, that's another jumble that I'll have to try to unmangle again... I think I feel a headache coming on...

  Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.    


"The Book of Me, Written by You" - Task Reflections

This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations.
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
This is a journey of finding yourself and how your loved ones see you in their eyes. Further, this can be online and carried forward to share, if you wish, to future generations. - See more at:
The prompt for the week is:    
Task Reflections
The Brief:
  • Write a list of each task you undertake for any given day.
  • Include the fine details of the tasks  - taking milk out of the fridge to add to a drink - what was the milk in? a jug, quart container?
  • Compare those tasks to an ancestor - someone born in the late 19th Century or early 20th Century and preferably someone that you knew or remember.
  • Record and discuss the differences
  • What of those discoveries has impacted on you?

At the moment I cannot really do the tasks as each day these tasks are different especially as I'm still trying to complete things from over the holiday time period and catch up with the posts here.

My daily routine
Normally, I'd get up, make breakfast and get dressed to start the day. I usually go on my walk (lately I haven't been doing this until the afternoon or late evening), and then I was sitting down to work on my certificate I finished up midyear. After I finished my certificate up, I used the time to write up
presentations and resources for my classes for the rest of the year and then I sat doing genealogy research. Then went for a walk with the dog, Buddy follows me around the house, and back home and made dinner.

My ancestor's routines
I can imagine people like my great grandmother Annie and greats back before her all got up and made the household breakfast before they went out to either work (baker, farmer, factory workers) and the women cleaned the house, did the dishes, did the laundry, looked after the gardens, looked
Woodhull's Dairy in 1870-1920?  - Taken from website
after the vegetable patches and made everything from scratch. Then there were the children. All dogs were probably kept outside.

Comparing the two routines
I can see my ancestor's milking the cows (as some owned dairy farms) and the kids or wife bringing in the milk to use with the breakfast. I know when I was a child, we would go to a farm which gave away some milk to people so all we would have to do is bring in the glass and then plastic jugs and then take them home with us.

Me walking at Sam's Point in 2011.
I know on the weekends and when I'm home, like I have been, I make things from scratch. When I was working such long hours I was just too tired to do it. However, with me being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I've went back to basics and have brought the Diabetes back under control. Today the foods are not pure - instead companies fill them with sugars, salts and any other thing that will make them taste good. This is one of the major problems with people today and why people are cannot get over the mother in the US that the authorities want to bring up on child neglect charges because they were walking back from the park. What has the world turned into? Its crazy...
gaining so much weight! The other is no exercise - or very little. I still

Equipment that is used compared
My husband's coffee machine and grinder
I know I use a computer and back in the 1800's they would have had books to read and paper and pen to use instead of the computer. As for the kitchen, we have a kettle that is electric but its not that much of a stretch to boil water in a pot. My husband and his 'machine' I can only imagine what the look would have been on my ancestor's faces if they wanted coffee and my husband used the machine for them. In fact, its probably the same type of face my sister gave him the time she visited and saw what he went through in order to get one cup of coffee - she told him point blank that was too hard.
Early 1800 Teapot from husband's Moyode Castle connection

I can only imagine what they would have thought of the TV and the way we can get movies over the internet. I know my paternal grandmother Jean, would have told us if we wanted that then we should have watched when it was on and not save it. She thought an answering machine was a waste of money and space because if they wanted you badly enough then they would call you back. Oh she was such a character!

The one thing I think they would have fought against would be how fast everything moves today and how its all got to be done NOW! Also, how religion has fallen down and not been practiced very much. Up until my mother's generation I can tell everyone thought highly and made time for religion. However, since that generation church seems like something the rest of us think about, but are usually too busy to go. I know that's one of my problems - the services are held at a time when I'm just too busy (working or doing things that need to get done) or on days when I can be doing other things that need to be done. Another reason could be that growing up, the way my mother said church it was like a bad word. Only when I really pushed and I had to go with one of my friends in order to go. It was like world war 3 to do it. Overall, it was just too hard and so I never really went consistently.

Where I am trying to attend services
I do know my husband and I talked about it and if we ever had kids then they would go, as it would be another type of support system and I would encourage it. However, that seems very unlikely it would happen to us, so I guess its a mute point.

  Check back for the continuation of "The Book of me, Written by You" series.