Thursday, February 28, 2013

Our Nation...Glass Half empty or Glass Half Full

When we look at life we often see things that are good and we see things that are bad. Life has its ups and downs...How we react and respond to good things and bad things has everything to do with our attitude and philosophy in life. Our attitude and outlook on life can be very dynamic. We are always being shaped and influenced by events that take place all around us, the activities in our day, the city and country where we live, and even regional and global events have some influence.

Take the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the loss of 26 lives at the school due to a senseless tragic event. It was an event that shook many people to their core. However, it also caused many people in America to take a look at their lives and those of others around them and appreciate those me it is the "Newtown Effect". Not taking life and those around us for granted. Finding something positive out of something is all about attitude. You control YOUR attitude, others may influence it but YOU OWN IT. Your attitude is the key to your success, or the key to your failure.

Let's take recent events such as our national financial crisis and the Sequestration budget cuts we talked about yesterday in class. This is the epitome of the leadership vacuum that exists in our federal government (and some say in our nation), specifically in the executive and legislative branch. The President's job is to lead our government and Congress's job is to mange the process. Their collective responsibility is to manage and control our economy to balance the budget similar to how your parents / guardians do every month.  They have failed and there appears to be no direct consequence...failed responsibility without any accountability. What can you do? You are just a kid...a high school student.

Let's watch a short video that talks about the state of affairs in our nation and the challenge that you are presented with as the next generation of leadership:

NOTE: There are a few expletives (foul language) in this video clip so do not watch if you are offended. 

Is the glass half empty? Or is it half full? ...What do you want to do about sequestration... Will you accept and own the challenge????

Homework Assignment

  1. Conduct some research online before you write the letter. 
  2. Write a letter addressed to "Your Elected Official" about your thoughts on the sequestration and its impact on our lives.  
  3. Try to type the letter if you are able to. The final letter is due in class on Monday. 


  1. Dear Congress Jim Himes,

    As I write this letter it is March third and sequestration has already taken effect. I ask myself why did sequestration happen? It's because of the actions of the House, the Senate and the Presidential administration. Because Democratic and Republican government officials coudn't settle their differences and work out a compromise, everyone will be effected in one way shape or form. The actions of a few elected officials shouldn't hurt the American populous because a solution couldn't be worked out. Most things will have little effect on a sophomore in highschool but will effect my family, and adults I know. While I used to only wait 25 minutes in an airport security line, I may find myself waiting double the time due to the cuts that airlines will be taking. Our military will be weakened from these cuts and will become less effective. My dad who works in the Federal Governent will be losing 14 days of pay in the next six months on top of not having any raises in three years. The cuts will effect educational grants cauing many students who could've done great things to not be able to since they can't pay for college. Our border patrol will be reduced causiong a possible increase in illegal immigration. Agencies that help with disaster relief will be cut. This means that after a hurricane like Sandy, it may take my community a lot longer and with much more effort to rebuild. With all that said why should citizens have to face $85 billion dollars beacuse our officials couldn't step up and take leadership and do the job they were supposed to do. After all that is the reason they were elected.

    Brendan Walsh

  2. Preet S.
    Dear Jim Hines,
    This past Friday marked the day that sequestration was taken to effect. I think that this occured because of the lack of responsibility, leadership, and initiative. The biggest problem I saw with this act is that on one was on the same page. Also, I feel as if a lot of this nation thinks as being democrat or republican makes a difference. The democrats and republicans couldn't create a deal to our benefit, now the whole act is hurting every american. Another thing is, we've elected these officals to do their job to make this a better country, now that the government couldn't do their job we as a nation have to come up with 85 billion dollars. The nations management has to start doing their jobs.
    Yours Truly,
    Preet Singh