Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let's Ban Snakes and Everything Else That Makes a Headline

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter in response to an article about the python that strangled two boys in Canada, and to address some comments and concerns that I found on this article.

This incident is, without a doubt, a complete tragedy in every sense of the word and was completely preventable. However, this does not mean we need to demonize the animal, or the people who own snakes.

I am an animal lover, and in particular a snake lover. I am working a decently paying office job and going to school to get a degree in Business Administration. I also own three snakes: a Ball Python, a Kenyan Sand Boa and a Green Tree Python. I am not a “freak” as some have said, nor am I as one commenter stated, “a generally stupid person with low intelligence,” or someone who “only owns snakes to be cool.”



Those of us in the reptile community frown upon those who buy these animals just to show off and be cool: it gives all of us a bad and unwarranted reputation when something goes wrong so I would like to address a couple notable comments. Unfortunately I cannot respond to all of them because some are simply too ignorant to warrant a response.



Number one: Snakes are a passion and a hobby in the same way that racing cars, playing an instrument or keeping any other type of pet is a passion and hobby.

No we do not need them, you cannot cuddle with them, or teach them tricks, but most people are not going to be in the Indy 500 or playing music in front of a sold out crowd. And a cat or dog is not a necessity most of the time either, with the exception of seeing-eye dogs. But we love our animals, our cars and our instruments all the same.



Making sweeping generalizations of how people who own snakes are dumb and stupid is just an example of ignorance and stupidity. How many fatal car crashes occur every day? Does this mean that all of the people involved are idiots? No. Can they be? Sure. But typically something simply went wrong at the wrong time and place. Does this mean that we should ban all cars? No, because they serve a purpose. What about banning all sports cars? What practical use do they have? Aren’t they just for show so that people think you’re cool? Let’s ban those.



How about cats and dogs? How many dog attacks occur every day? And not just from so-called ‘aggressive’ breeds. My cousin suffered an attack from a Dalmatian. It’s quite a common occurrence, so let’s ban dogs too. There are hundreds of thousands of snakes kept in the United States and we only hear about these cases once a year, if that. Dog attacks on the other hand are such a common event, they rarely even make the news. So let’s ban them. Cats can transmit fatal diseases like rabies and toxoplasmosis so let’s ban them too.

Heck, people have been electrocuted from their electric guitars, microphones and other instruments so we should ban those as well.



Of course these ideas are ridiculous. 

Cases like these are the very rare exception and not the norm. Justin Bieber is responsible for more media outcry than snakes are and he won’t be banned anytime soon.

Snakes are typically a calm and docile animal with very few exceptions. The details are not entirely clear yet as to how this happened, but, so far there are two things that are clear: number one; the snake killed the two boys by constricting them. Snakes ONLY do this when they are hunting for prey when they are hungry. Second, the snake escaped from its cage. These two things seem very obvious to state, but the significance cannot be denied. Rock Pythons typically only need to eat every two to three weeks. The fact that it was willing to attack and kill a person, something that it would not normally feed on, leads me to believe that it was willing to escape and look for food because it missed one or more meals. This is not the animals fault: it is POTENTIALLY the owner’s fault. 

However, it does not seem like everything adds up here. More facts need to come out before we have any true idea of what happened. 



There will be plenty more details to emerge later, but the media loves to jump on these stories before all the facts are revealed. We cannot pass blame or judgment until we know ALL of the facts.

Now, in response to the people who believe that wild animals should be left in the wild—cats, dogs, and birds are all wild animals. They are simply perceived as domestic. If you were to let your cats or dogs out to run free in the wild, they would revert right back to their natural instincts most of the time. They can love us and trust us but they are still animals. They are ‘domestic’ animals only because we brought them in from the wild because we liked them, and over the years have become more docile.



I am not in any way implying that more people should buy these much larger species of snakes as pets. In fact, I am urging the exact opposite.

The Burmese Python problem is a huge problem in Florida because of irresponsible owners who could not handle an animal that large. Large snakes should be left to highly experienced snake keepers only, and the trained people who do own these snakes almost never have any problems.

The solution to this problem, along with the problems of car crashes and dog attacks, is not to ban everything that makes a news story. The solution is education. Potential buyers of these animals need to know just how large and powerful an 8-15 foot snake really is. They also need to know how expensive and time consuming it is to feed and house such an animal. Unfortunately, many of these animals are for sale at prices I believe are far too inexpensive to deter unprepared buyers which is another issue entirely. But more times than not, a little education can prevent an unprepared person, with the money to spend, from buying one of these animals. Of course, there will be those few exceptions and we can hope that they do their research and care for their animals properly.

Just like with sports cars, fatal accidents happen because something goes wrong. This does not mean we should ban them or that the people who buy them are “stupid and generally of low intelligence,” or that they “just want to have one because it’s cool.”

To the Barthe family, my God, I am incredibly sorry for what happened to you. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you must be feeling and you have my deepest and heartfelt condolences.

To those of you looking to buy an exotic and large snake, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your homework. If you do not have several years of experience with snakes, you should NOT buy one. I don’t want my passion and hobby impacted because of your inexperience and stupidity.

Owning snakes is not stupid, but, unprepared or stupid people owning gigantic snakes creates problems for all of us. Please do your research and be safe.


-Cody

P.S.

I believe I have been very reasonable and rational with this article. If you have opposing views, I welcome discussion. However, to anyone who thinks I am making light of this situation, or that I do not care about the victims of this tragedy: 

Fuck you. You are not welcome to open your mouth around me or this blog.

I do not harass you for your hobbies or beliefs even if they sometimes kill people. Problems are not solved from harassment and name calling, they are solved through discussion. Thank you in advance for being considerate.

P.S.S.

If any of you whose name is in the comments I took snap shots of read this and get upset that you're being mentioned, I really do not give a shit. If you have the right to make stupid ignorant comments on public forum, then I have the right to put you on blast and counter those comments.

Friday, December 14, 2012

You Can Blame Guns All You Want

Today a tragedy unfolded which will no doubt go down in our nation's history as one of the most heartbreaking and bloodiest massacres in modern times. Almost 30 people, mostly children between the ages of 5 and 10 were sprayed with bullets and killed by an unstable individual who wanted to kill his mother. Further details will unfold in due time I'm sure, but with no surprise what immediately followed was the question of who to point the finger at? You can blame guns all you want. The same things are said after every massacre; gun laws aren't tough enough, ban assault weapons, ban handguns etc etc. We've heard it all before. We hear where were the parents at? And that the perpetrator was from a broken home etc etc. You can tighten up gun regulation as much as you want or even take away all the guns in the country and it still wont solve the problem. That would be like putting duct tape over a high pressure water main. Sooner or later, the pressure will build up again and lead to another explosion. The fact of the matter is, if someone wants to kill people that person will figure out a way to do it and laws are only there for the people willing to abide by them. Humans have been killing each other for thousands of years, well before there were guns. Guns aren't the problem, broken homes aren't the problem, lack of security isn't even the problem. The blame can be pointed at two things and two things only. 

First and foremost the blame lies on the gunman himself. There's no doubt in anyone's mind that what Adam Lanza did was evil. Whatever drove him to kill innocent people is irrelevant to the fact that his actions were evil. 

And the second thing to point a finger at... 

Well, just take a look in a mirror.

That's right. You. Me. All of us. And why? Because we continuously prove time and time again that tragedies sell newspapers and boost ratings. Nine times out of ten the tragic will outsell the good. We might wonder why someone would choose to go on a rampage if they wanted to kill themselves since that is always the ultimate outcome for these types of people. And the answer is because they know people will be watching

Millions of them.

One of the first things that get the blame on this is society. Well guess what, you make up society. I make up society. Society is just a way to blame yourself without actually saying so you don't feel guilty. Ever since serial killers became celebrities the body count has risen. Did you know that Richard Ramirez, or also known as the Night Stalker killer received thousands of nude pictures from his female fans? That's what we've turned the most depraved criminals in our society into. So it becomes a contest of sorts for someone on the verge of an extreme mental snap who's thinking about killing people. The more people they kill, the more media attention is put on it. The more people get to see them and know about them. There's so much pressure to be somebody in this world and that's the way they can do it because we make them that somebody. Why stop at killing yourself and be a loser nobody when you can go on a rampage and be famous? Murderers are caught and put in jail on a daily basis. It's only after they've killed several people, or entire families before you hear about it outside of your local region and the reason why is because it sells. It's not capitalism's fault, it's our fault. When we see negative stimuli it makes us feel better about ourselves because we don't have it as bad but when we see something positive happen to others it makes us jealous that that good thing isn't happening to us so we turn it off when we see it. We're so willing to point the finger at everyone but ourselves but it's about time we had some personal accountability. 

I'm willing to take accountability for what I have contributed to this. I'm no more innocent than anyone else out there. Writing this blog proves it. But so does reading it. I wish I could apologize but to apologize means that you intend not to repeat the action for which you are apologizing for, something I think a lot of us forget. But I know that the next time there's a tragedy I'll tune in and watch and listen for the details just like millions of other Americans do. 

I'm willing to take accountability. Are you?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

F*ck

What people define as a swear word varies from person to person but there are always a few that are universally a swear word. But what determines a swear word? What is it about the connotation of those words that makes them "bad"

I'll admit I swear on a pretty regular basis. I try not to over do it and become tasteless though; I prefer to demonstrate a greater vernacular than those short simple swear words, as effective as they may be. But really, what about those words makes them so offensive

Let's just get the big one out of the way.

Fuck.

Why is this a curse word? The flexibility of the word is unrivaled, as it can be used as either a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and can stand alone as a predicate or subject of a sentence and can be used to describe a variety of different emotions such as happiness, exasperation, anger, surprise and many others. If you trace the origins of the word you'll find that it is the sexual connotation of the word that originally gave rise to its vulgar status. It was used to desecrate the holy nature of sex (if you can imagine it used to have that nature) in a way that would offend God fearing men and women of old times. So why is it offensive now? 

Let's take a look at a couple examples.

"I'm going to shit on your food!"

And...

"That fucking guy is pissing me off!"

I don't know about you, but I'd be more offended if someone defecated in my meal than if I were to hear the second phrase in passing. But it's almost funny if you were to hear the first phrase, like something you would imagine Will Ferrell yelling to someone as a childish comeback in one of his movies. 

Let's try another.

"Shove it up your ass!"

And...

"Go fuck yourself!"

Which one is more offensive? Both have a sexual suggestion, either forcing something up your ass or a vulgar masturbation reference. So which is worse? Let's say you were to say one of those to your boss, which one do you think your boss would be more offended by? I don't think it would matter. I think either way you'd probably be getting fired. So then why is "ass" acceptable to say on television and "fuck" is not?

When you think about it doesn't make much sense. Unless of course you take the context of the sentence into play and to whom that sentence is being spoken to.

So let's try this....

"I'm going to kill you!"

And...

"I'm going to kick your fuckin' ass!"

Alright so you have the threat of physical violence in both of these statements but which is more offensive? Suppose you and your family are sitting at a restaurant and you hear one those phrases shouted out from a table next to you. Which would upset you more if your child heard? I've heard TV shows aimed at young adults that use the first phrase as a joke but I've never heard the second phrase in young adult television as a joke or even at all. I would think that killing is more severe  than being beaten up, but that one is the joking phrase? So if we're going to be fair, shouldn't the first phrase be bleeped out in television? You can look at those two sentences either way, either from friend joking with friend, or from to people angry at each other and yet the one that uses the word "fuck" is going to have the more serious tone to it or be the most offensive and strongly provoking. There's just no getting around it. 

So what gives this word so much power in modern times? There are only a couple words that are considered more offensive, one starting with a "C" and one starting with an "N" but even those words strength can be diminished depending on who is using the word to who.  So is it who uses the word that gives it its power? Whether man or woman, child or adult, black, white, Asian, Mexican, French, German, English the word "fuck" is going to be offensive not to mention it's very easily recognized by people who don't speak the same language, so you can even offend people you don't think can understand you.

So to recap we have this universally offensive word. Whether it's friends joking around using the word or two people arguing, it's going to piss some people off if they hear it. We've seen that there are phrases that are more serious and threatening in nature and also just as sexually vulgar and yet, the phrase with the word "fuck" is more offensive. It doesn't matter what context it's in and phrases in a more serious context like, "I'm going to kill you", are still nowhere near as shocking to hear in public than someone dropping a F-Bomb. 

So what gives?

The way I see it a word is just a word. It's all in how it's spoken to someone. I'd be more offended if someone told me I was hideous looking than if someone said "Fuck you." But at the same time it's still tasteless if you use a word over and over when it doesn't need to be used. The word "fuck" can used to add emphasis to a statement when trying to make a point like in: 

"I am so fucking angry."

But makes you sound ignorant and unintelligent when used like this: 

"So this fucking guy walked into the fucking store and I didn't want to fucking help him out and he's asking me these fucking questions and I all like, get the fuck outta here."

It can be just as bad as someone who says "like" in between every word and someone who says "um" in between every word. Both "like" and "um" can be perfectly acceptable if not over used, but too much is just too much. But quantity doesn't matter for "fuck." Once is enough apparently and I can't figure it out for the life of me. The main intention of the word when it was first used is all but gone, the context doesn't matter, worse things that can be said aren't offensive... 

It just doesn't make any sense! 

Usually I have some kind of point that I'm trying to make where I can wrap up everything I said into a closing point. But in this case, I have no fucking idea.
  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Republicans

Here's a little bit about me:

I am agnostic, I am not Christian or Catholic or any other denomination of religion.
I couldn't care less about who marries who.
I am pro choice.
I do not believe that if you're raped that its just meant to be.
I don't think that all women should be confined to the kitchen.
I think pot should be legalized.
I think there are flaws with gun control regulation (more so on the people doing the selling than the laws themselves).
I am in no way rich whatsoever and have no ties to any oil companies.
I think the war in Iraq was misguided.

And yet, I am a Republican.

How you might ask?

BECAUSE NONE OF THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO AT ALL WITH BEING A REPUBLICAN.

I'm sick of hearing the word "Republican" used like it's some sort of dirty word and something to be ashamed of. But what I'm even more sick of hearing are the words "conservative" and "liberal" being used in the wrong context and I am goddamn sick of of the people in office who have hijacked and made a mockery of the party I affiliate with.

For starters:

The words "conservative" and "liberal" were coined to reference how a federal government would spend back when the Republican and Democratic parties were formed. If you supported policies that favored less federal government spending you supported conservative Republican ideas and if you favored policies that spent more government money creating federally funded social programs you supported liberal Democrat ideas.

Conservative does not mean backwards and liberal does not mean progressive.

The main ideology of the Republican party was that government should play as little role in the every day life of the common man as possible and supported a smaller federal government with increased powers in the state. The Republican party originated in the NORTH not in the SOUTH to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act from extending slavery into the unclaimed territories and in fact, one if its main demographics was made up by African Americans. 

Another fun fact, Jefferson Davis who you might know as the President of the Confederate states during the Civil War was a Democrat.

Now let's take a look at the whole "government should play as little role as possible in the everyday life thing."

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. "
-Thomas Jefferson


If that's true... Then that means if you support that abortion should be legal OR illegal on a federal level, that gay marriage should legal OR illegal on a federal level, or that religion should play a role in your decision making on a federal level... 

YOU CANNOT TRULY CALL YOURSELF A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN.

If you are a true Republican you should be saying things like "let the people choose how their communities are run, let them choose how the cities and states they live are run and more importantly just let the people choose." 

Not the stupid garbage you hear out of most of these people nowadays like, "I'm more conservative than so and so because I oppose abortion."

Give me a break.

Extremism on both sides is never a good thing and hating someone's idea because you have backwards thinking misconceptions about a party is just as ridiculous as the people who wanted to see Obama's birth certificate. Republicans are not the "bad guys" and Democrats are not the "good guys". Both sides have had their ugly moments in history as well as their shining moments. If we hadn't have had a Democrat president during the Great Depression who wanted to spend government money to create roads, bridges and parks to create jobs, we probably would have been worse off. On the other end if Theodore Roosevelt hadn't made conservationism such a front and center issue then what would the conditions of our parks and protected lands be now?

Social issues should be on the bottom of the list for a Republican President and should be highest on the list for a Republican governor. 

I don't blame people for their modern perceptions of Republicans but those perceptions come from sound bites and news quips and not from real research. There are a lot of dumb "Republicans" in office right now who say some amazingly ignorant things so it's no wonder why the word "conservative" brings to mind backwards thinking because that's exactly how some of these morons act. 

My advice to the Republican candidate for 2016...  

STOP COMPARING WHO'S MORE CONSERVATIVE. 

Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt who fought to protect our parks, Lincoln who helped abolish slavery (he didn't completely end it, another misconception), Reagan who led to a boom in our economy after the Carter administration, Grant who fought against the KKK, Eisenhower who created the Departments of Education, Welfare and Labor were all known for the progressive thinking and championing of civil rights. 

You aren't breaking party lines if you don't believe in God. 
This country was founded on the belief of a separation of church and state. 
You aren't breaking party lines if you support abortion. 
You don't know what's best for another person so you don't want to limit their rights. 
You aren't breaking party lines if you support gay marriage. 
You aren't those people and it has no effect on how your personal life or how your country is run. 

Believing in God, opposing abortion and gay marriage doesn't make you a Republican anymore than believing the opposite of those means you're a Democrat just like standing in a garage doesn't make you a car. 

If you're going to judge a party based off the backwards misconceptions and sound bites of the Republican party, you're no better than the people who hold backwards thinking beliefs who call themselves Republicans. 

For those of you hold those beliefs against the Republican party, please do yourself and me a favor and do your homework. 

For all of you who call themselves Republicans for all the wrong reasons... Wake up. 

You're making my party look bad. 

One last quote from Thomas Jefferson....

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Labels

I recently watched a documentary on adolescent bi polar disorder which I found to be appalling. In short there were 4 families with children 2 of which were questionable on whether or not they actually had a disorder, 1 that was pretty certain there was a problem with and another that seemed like the parents just didn't know how to handle a temper tantrum. They all decided to go to a doctor and the diagnoses went from ADHD to bi polar disorder. Medicines were prescribed, more medicines prescribed to treat the side effects and then more medicines to treat the side effects from those. 

When they were describing the symptoms these kids had; lots of energy, mood swings when they don't get what they want, grandiose fantasies and racing thoughts, the only thing I could think of was:

Isn't that a kid just being a kid?

All medicinal factors aside when it comes to diagnosing children, why are we so quick to want to put a label on people? These parents are describing how their child isn't acting how they're supposed to act because they aren't calm. Did they forget they were a kid too? I remember growing up in a day care and elementary school and for the most part, no one was calm. We were kids. We had imaginations, we made up adventures we threw fits and then were fine once we forgot whatever it was that upset us because our childish minds had short attention spans. Kids being kids. But now those apparently mean you have ADHD or bi polar disorder.

That's one example of labels, how about another.

What about the cliques in high schools? Preps, jocks, goths, nerds, gangsters, hipsters, bros.... Or the latest "percent phase" like the 99% or the 47%, the poor and the rich and on and on and on. Why are so we quick to throw ourselves into a neat cookie cutter label? Why is that label what defines us as people? And people who are from other "groups" are these bad guys.

It feels good to fit in and maybe these labels give us some sort of peace of mind and validation but that's not who we are right? 

I wear dark clothes and listen to metal music so you could call me a metal head but is that how I base my life decisions? Not in the slightest. I hang out with non metal head friends, I listen to genres aside from metal and yet I still dress like a metal head so I must be a poser huh? No. I am a friend, an older brother, an over ambitious but under motivated youngster who still has a lot to learn.

I am not rich by any means but I am not the 99% (don't even get me going on that whole thing). I am white but I'm not "white people," I like to think I'm pretty intelligent but I'm not a "nerd," I play video games but I'm not a "gamer." 

Labels slow down our progress as a society. Fitting in with a group just means that you've found a box to hide under rather than finding a sense of self that comes only from within yourself and not from friends, parents, taunts, clothes, cars or whatever else there is out there.

How about we spend less time trying to figure out what disorder we have or what group we fall into and spend more time just being ourselves and doing what we like to do because we like to do it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Job Market

I recently quit my job at a company I had been with for over 4 years and as I've been looking for work, its really been dawning on me why the job market is so screwed up. For some background on me, I haven't taken any college classes although I will be going back to school this coming semester, I've worked at one company for over 2 years and another for over 4 years (I'm 22 so that's quite a while at each for me) and in both jobs I've done nothing but constantly advance, increase productivity, exceed goals and be given raises. 

And yet even with all that on my resume, its pretty damn hard getting an interview simply because I don't have a degree. 

I've had interviews but they are few and far between the applications and while I've been hunting I've noticed something that I find tragically humorous. I'm seeing all these customer service jobs available but they're listing college degrees as prerequisites

So a job that requires you to answer the phone and look up stuff on a computer that pays you MAYBE $12 an hour TOPS wants a college degree? Isn't that a little picky on their part?

And the customer service jobs aren't the only ones like that. There are other jobs that pay even less that are asking for some college or associate's degrees for prerequisites.

First off, what person with a college degree is looking for a $12 an hour job unless they are super desperate for work. You go to college so that you can get a job that pays you WELL, not $12 an hour so people with degrees probably aren't looking for those types of jobs. And the people who ARE looking for those jobs are the people who DON"T have the degrees and yet the job description is answer a phone and look stuff up on a computer

Can't someone who didn't go to college handle that?

Hmmm....

And we wonder why the unemployment rate is so high? It's not due to a lack of jobs because there are plenty out there. Just go on Monster.com or Careerfinder or Careerbuilder or SimplyHired or any other job website and you'll see the thousands and thousands of job listings. The jobs are there, the people hiring just aren't setting realistic expectations for their prospecting employees. 

When did real work experience become less valuable than a degree? In my last job I saw plenty of people come in who were these supposed big shots and then I watched them fall on their face because they didn't have any real life work experience. They only had that piece of paper that said they could do all sorts of wonderful things. 

And those were the people getting rewarded at that company. Not the people who had been there for years and shaped the company from the ground up. Those people were being tossed the scraps that the new people didn't get. 

Don't get me wrong, if you survived college you deserve to have a great job that makes you plenty of money and fulfills you because that takes a lot of sacrifice. But it isn't the only thing that determines whether or not you make a good employee.

For example, my last company called me back because the replacement they hired wasn't cutting it. My position was a buyer and I was directly responsible for about half of this multi million dollar company's sales. I worked my from the ground up in this company. The guy they had replace me was a guy with a bachelor's degree with a background in the aerospace industry making an hour and a half commute to work everyday. 

Seems like a good candidate right?

But the guy couldn't be flexible and use what he learned to adapt to a new environment and on top of that was lazy and didn't get along with anyone. So when they asked for me to come back and made me the same offer I turned down when I quit, I made a counter offer that was fair and reasonable. I provided proof and reasoning of why it was fair, and was denied because of a lack of experience (4 years with the company?) and because I didn't have a degree so I couldn't command that type of pay.

Right... So its OK to pay this other guy to basically do nothing more money because he can COMMAND it when he hasn't done anything within that company to EARN that pay.

Hmmm....

The mystery of the unemployment in this country really isn't much of a mystery.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Offended Someone Recently

The other night I was at a bar with a drinking buddy of mine who is much older than I and whom I respect greatly. The subject of voting came up and I made a comment which greatly offended him which was not my intention. I think there was quite a bit of misinterpretation so maybe you can help me figure it out. 

The comment I made was, "I don't think everyone should vote." He interpreted this as, "I don't think everyone should have the right to vote," and likened that to me saying, "Only certain people should ride in the front of the bus" which is FAR from what I meant. He went on to say that voting is a privilege just like driving that people living in this country deserve. 

I couldn't agree more. 

But like driving, I don't think everyone should be driving either. If you are irresponsible behind the wheel of a car you lose your license and privilege to drive.

So the point I was trying to make (before having to apologize for offending him, I do respect the guy a lot) was that if you are going to vote based off something like, "he's a cool guy", or "he's the most Christian" or not vote for someone based off something like "he's rich" or "he's black", you are voting irresponsibly and therefore should not vote. I believe everyone who is a citizen in this country over the age of 18 should have the RIGHT to vote just like everyone who is 16 or older has the RIGHT to drive a car. But I think if you are going to take something as serious as voting lightly that perhaps you should not vote until you make a more informed decision on what you are doing. 

Is that so wrong to think? 

My friend went so far as to say that what I said was "f*cked up" but I disagree. Voting is a big deal. There are millions of people in the world who live in countries ruled by dictators without the right or privilege to have a say in what goes on in their country. The issues in their countries are very real to them and yet they have no say at all. Versus people, who in my opinion, have no idea what their candidate's plans are for this country or what the real issues this country is facing, who then vote for someone because they like them as a person. 

I like my friends as people but that doesn't mean I would vote for them if they ran for president.

So why is it so wrong for me to think that people who choose presidents like they would choose drinking pals or golfing buddies shouldn't go and vote? Not because they don't deserve the right but because that's choosing the leader of your country like deciding what color shirt to wear.

My point is that if you are going to vote, make an informed decision about what you're doing. Research the candidate, what they stand for, what their plans are and how they are going to make those plans happen. Don't abuse the privilege you have by wasting a vote making an irresponsible decision. 

Maybe I'm out of line with this, or maybe I was just misinterpreted or maybe I'm speaking a truth that people don't realize. Can you help me out?

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