Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Irrationally feeling guilty and apologetic for everything in my life

Nowadays my blog is so dry because I rarely write from my heart.  Have you ever been so busy that you don't even know how you feel about your own life.  I'm a senior in college at age 42.  I've been in college since October 2009.  I have never worked so hard towards 1 thing in my entire life.  And I'm getting tired. I really feel like they should just give me the degree.

Last year I slowed down my education to work for NBC and now that means I'll have to go to school 2 extra terms. I'm supposed to graduate next term on June 15, 2013 but I won't be graduating until December.

If I were single and had no children I could probably just take 5 classes at a time. Since I have a family I can only take 4 classes at a time.

a few weeks ago at a quincinera
I sit here and wonder how I got to this point where I feel guilty about everything in my life. I feel guilty I'm not spending enough quality time with my children. Not spending enough time with my nieces and nephews. Guilty I'm not taking good enough care of my husband. Guilty I'm not finishing a few projects I started awhile ago. Guilty I don't do my spiritual practice everyday. The weird thing is I don't even believe in guilt. I've been feeling nervous for a few weeks. I feel like something is a miss that I cannot put my fingers on.

Internally I know that my empathy barometer is picking up on something that I cannot tell what it is yet.   Before Hurricane Sandy happened I was a complete nervous wreck. So bad that I couldn't function. I had emailed the instructor of this useless editing class on the day of Hurricane Sandy and told him I was too upset to go.  I could feel what was happening.  And now for the past few weeks I've been a nervous wreck. I have some good days but it feels like it is getting increasingly worse. My mind is interpreting that it has something to do with my marriage. I don't know. My husband is being wonderful to me, caring and good. But I just don't feel like we are connecting with a deep connection. We are connecting on a surface and sweet connection. I just cannot put my fingers on it. I hate this feeling. Suspicion and anxiety.

As far as my movie I am sort of waiting for the next divine sign of what to do. Usually on my blog I try to put my best face forward, but I guess I owe it to who ever reads this blog that things are not always happy go lucky. Its stressful and hard. I freak out and scream at my kids sometimes. I do get inspired all the time and wish I did more to help the community. The past week or so I've been feeling the best and worst that I have for awhile. The good thing about being busy is you don't have time to feel everything, the bad thing about being busy is you don't have time to feel everything.

There are so many good things going on and I just cannot figure out why I am stressed. We are buying a house soon. We are in this home buying program where we save 2k and they give us 8k. Wehave our pre-approval appointment soon. House prices are pretty good. My film is coming along well. My health is much better than it was. My eldest son is in Australia doing study abroad.  My tax return is due to arrive tomorrow. So many good things are happening and  I just cannot understand why I am so anxious.

I'll let you know when I figure it out.

PuertoVallarta Girl in Portland.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Peace, Human rights, and Near Death Experiences

I just have to be honest - the reason I chose to do a documentary about the Near Death Experience is because I am at peace with the subject.  Hearing the stories of NDE spread peace, love, and compassion. Learning that consciousness continues after death helps people inter-personally and especially helps people who are grieving the death of a loved one. Hearing the stories helps our fellow humans.

The reason I did not do a documentary about Immigration Reform, which at one point was my goal,  is because it fires me up in all the wrong ways - ie. frustration, anger, sadness, despair, and a sense of helplessness. Spiritually speaking - they say anything you fight against persists.  Don't get me wrong, some day I probably will do a documentary about immigration reform, but I have to get to a place where I don't feel so personal about it.

Actually that is another reason I try not to get into politics, politics are consuming and in a way like chasing your tail. I feel like we as a people can ask your politicians to do their best and represent our interests. We must be a squeaky wheel - and you know the squeaky wheel gets the oil. (I learned that early on in my career) However, we must let go of the outcome.

This life is not about our petty differences it is about all the ways that we are the same.  All any of us wants is to be loved, feel like we belong, and for someone to listen to us at least some of the time.  We should all be finding ways that we have stuff in common. I know when I have practiced this in difficult situations, my life seamlessly becomes easier.  It has been more difficult for me to practice this with the ever changing lifestyle of freelance, college, and producing my first feature film, but I need to remember that. Each time I look at a person on the street I know deep down they want the same things we all want. And in this commonality our lives can shift.

The great spiritual leaders say that we are on the brink of a shift in consciousness  I'd like to think that shift is in the fact that we all realize we are the same and connected.

Energy never dissipates it only changes form. We are all in this great energy field living a life that is somewhat of an illusion. Once you die you do not have possessions   The only thing that you can carry with you is the love and forgiveness and nurturing that you did while you are alive. I'm not perfect at this. I think if I was perfect at this I probably would have passed on to the next dimension.

I want to finish this post with a quote I heard in a documentary about George McGovern - Taken from the political documentary enttiled "One Bright Shining Moment" these are words that I believe apply to life in general.  This quote by Dick Gregory, author and civil rights activists 

" If you took darkness and you lit one match, from miles away you could see that one match"
and another quote from the same documentary .

"because darkness sees darkness, you know, if you've been in the dark for so long, the light hurts your eyes".

These are the words I try to remember when I try to spread the messages of peace, human rights, and Near Death Experiences.

Peace out
PuertoVallartaGirl in Portland

Monday, March 18, 2013

Reward chart - goes digital

oK Moms - Lets talk chores and rewards - I don't know if you have this problem but I was trying to motivate my kids by having a monetary reward list on the wall for each chore, and all my kids had to do was do the chores and write down the money and I would initial. For some reason that worked ok with Teal when he was little but with my 2 littlest and the digital age they don't seem to care. sooooo I decided to look for an app to help with behavior and chores and tried several out. I finally found one that is customizable and works great and the best part - The kids are completely motivated - 


I've added categories for all the chores split out into tiny steps like dishes 1 (means put dishes away), dishes 2 (wash dishes), dishes 3 (clean up counters). Etc etc. and then you can add the rewards. I've added play outside as the cheapest at 3 poitns and watch tv is 4. If they are bad you give them a thumbs down for the appropriate category which means they are one less point, and they can't redeem their rewards until they have enough points. If they use them to go outside and then want to watch tv they have to do more chores. Like reading, homework. My kids love it and so do I. And the good thing is the list of thumbs up and thumbs down resets each night. but the points stay. 

Peace out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Immigration Reform heating up again. Go Randall and American Families United

As you may be able to tell I've hung low on the Immigration Reform Issues for awhile because of a few issues.

#1)  I actually have a spiritual belief that what you fight against persists in your life. And being that all I really want is for Immigration Reform to happen I figure I need to walk the talk. So I've let it go a little especially with how busy I am in college and my new career.

#2) The other issues is that if you have followed me you know how deeply I am affected by the Immigration Reform Issue. I will not be telling why or how but I am.

I have recently read of issues of abuse by Border Patrol and Customs.  I was a victim. But I was very unaware of how that affected my future and it had never occurred to me until recently that I could even fight it. Someday when my film is big and I'm rich and famous :) I will fight. But for now I just want to give an update of some articles I've come across.

I follow several groups and I am actually the inactive Oregon Chapter President of American Families United. I've asked to step down but I guess Randall has faith in me and is just waiting it out until I have more time again. Anyway this article showed up on my facebook today.


I still don't understand the ignorance from the general public about the issue.   All the hateful ignorant comments from people who don't even really know the issue and they rattle out all these rules and ideas. For God Sake immigration issues are a Civil issue. It isn't even technically criminal. In Every 20-50 years of US history  a different group is the target of racism.   The whole issue of racism makes me so frustrated because Native Americans and Mexican Natives are closely related, as well as the fact that California and Texas and that whole Southwest portion of the US used to be Mexico.   Then a bunch of white people show up on a boat...well you know the story but as time goes by when one group experiences racism and then they assimilate and then their children become the same people that dish racism to the next group.  Or I guess the correct word I should use is Nativism.  But we all know that Nativism holds hands with Racism.

I actually commented on the above article, it let me and so I did. I commented about the fact that it implies US Citizens have it made when it comes to having rights for their spouses.  I tried not to respond to the hate of the other comments other than rating them thumbs down. Look for the comment by Heather.

The next article I'd like to share is about Randall a person who I actually met over the phone/internet way back when I lived in Mexico and began being an Immigration Advocate. Randall is the President of American Families United. He testified in front of congress yesterday.

Here is his testimony copied directly from :  http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=43589&linkid=258956

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Testimony of Randall Emery
President, American Families United
To a hearing on
The Separation of Nuclear Families under U.S. Immigration Law
Thursday 3/14/2013 - 1:30 p.m.
2237 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13030851. (Posted 3/14/13)
- 2 -
Thank you Chairman Gowdy, ranking member Lofgren, and all the members of the panel. My name is Randall Emery. I am a US citizen. I am president and co-founder of American Families United. We are the premier grassroots organization advocating for nuclear families in US immigration reform.
American Families United was founded by US citizens in 2006 because our rights as US citizens – as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers – are not respected by US immigration law. We could not find another voice working on the specific oversights in US immigration law that threatened our right as US citizens to live with our families in our country.

We immediately made common cause with legal permanent residents – and are here today – because our values demand no less. These are people who got their green cards and then got married – and were shocked by the indefensible delays they face in living together as nuclear families in the country that claims to welcome them as legal permanent immigrants.

It is often said that our immigration laws are broken, but not why. It’s simple: our laws contradict our values.
On the one hand, we welcome legal immigrants as permanent residents and urge them to become US citizens – so that “they” become “us”. On the other hand, our laws block some of the most basic human values for both legal immigrants and US citizens – marriage and family.

Today’s hearing is on the separation of nuclear families under US immigration law. Let me take a moment to give a brief history of the F2A backlog, the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents.

It has been nearly a quarter century since the Congress last increased legal immigration, even though the country’s population has grown by a quarter and our economy is nearly 60% larger. America is a positive sum proposition. Isn’t that why we get married and have children?

In 1990, if someone got a green card today and got married tomorrow, the minimum wait was one year. The House of Representatives passed a version of the Immigration Act of 1990 that would have made this category numerically unlimited, although the Senate would only agree to a substantial increase.

Speaking on behalf of American Families United, we are proud of Governor Romney for proposing to return to this idea in his 2012 campaign, and we were very encouraged at news reports that Senator Rubio has also proposed making the F2A category into Immediate Relatives under the law.

In 1995, the bipartisan US Commission on Immigration Reform examined this issue. Known as the Jordan Commission, they were the first to ask the State Department for a formal count: how many people are we talking about?

At that time, the official estimate was 1.1 million, with more than 800,000 in the US and another 300,0000 waiting abroad, facing a minimum wait of 3 years. The Jordan Commission found both those numbers contrary to our national interest in warmly welcoming new Americans, and recommended that Congress recognize that the unification of nuclear families should have priority.

But others said at the time that this backlog was merely temporary and would go away on its own.

By the end of the 1990s, it was clear that the separation of nuclear families had become a permanent feature of US immigration policy. The State Department has explained that their 1997 estimate of more than a million was very low, for two reasons:

First, they had not properly counted the numbers of nuclear family members waiting in the United States, since the then-INS does not count applications until a visa is nearly available. Neither does the USCIS now.

Second, the delay is so long that families often increase while waiting – that is, a husband might visit his wife, who was counted as one person waiting but when her priority date finally arrives, the family has children. This is particularly true for Mexico.

For many years, the only way to see the scale of human misery created by this failure of our laws was to watch the priority dates – or the way we in American Families United have seen it, with people like Mat, here, who come to us for help and join our cause. We want to show the Committee most of the iceberg is below the surface.

In December 2000, the minimum worldwide wait for the spouse of a legal permanent resident was 4 years and 5 months. For Mexico, it was 6 years and two months. That was when Congress passed the LIFE Act, which created the V visa that allowed spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents to wait for their green cards in the US – but only up until the date of enactment. American Families United supported last year’s STEM bill, which would have revived the V visa. But it is important to realize that the LIFE Act did not solve the problem.

The worldwide wait for the nuclear families of legal immigrants peaked in July 2006 at 6 years and nine months. For Mexico, it peaked in July 2003 at 7 years and 8 months.

How could the total number of people waiting have been declining, when the time they must wait increased?
Over the next few years – from 2003 to 2010 – something happened, which you can see in the dry charts of the priority dates, but which we at American Families United heard directly from the people affected.

Literally hundreds of thousands of people who should have been welcomed as American families were pushed into the shadows or forced to leave their new country: exiled – or outlawed.

Month by month, the State Department moved the priority dates forward, in order to bring in that month’s portion of annual immigration in this category. By July 2010, the delay that had been nearly 7 years worldwide, had become just two years. For Mexico, what had been a nearly 8 year delay had ostensibly declined to a little more than 3.

Today, the State Department’s Visa Bulletin pegs both Mexico and the worldwide wait in this category the same: 2 years, 5 months. That’s the delay Mat is facing. It’s far, far too long. Yet it’s not the whole story.

It is not true that a shorter waiting time means fewer people are waiting. It means something much worse. Since 2010, the State Department has published an annual Waiting List. Last November, they officially counted 220,313 people waiting in this category.

But it has to be said clearly: this is misleading, because the State Department count does not include hundreds of thousands of applications for nuclear family immigration held at USCIS. There is no consolidated count for nuclear family unification.

Outside of the comprehensive immigration debate, there is no discussion of how many of the undocumented population has been eligible for legal immigration for many years. So it isn’t so much that they violate the value of the rule of law. Instead, our immigration laws fail the test of American values.

So let me briefly show the Committee the human face of these numbers through stories shared with us.
Consider the example of an engineer from Russia, who was working in Oklahoma. He married his sweetheart from back home, who was working in Kazakhstan. At the time, the minimum time they had to wait fluctuated each month between 5 and 6 years. But then she was hit by a car. Many of her bones were broken. He literally tried to commute between Kazakhstan and Oklahoma, to continue his career while obeying that part about “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health”. But he spent so much time at her bedside that he lost his permanent residence status in the US – and America lost that guy, someone who flew halfway around the world three times a month to try to keep his commitment to his new country as well as his new bride.

Just one more example, of many: an elevator repairman, a skilled mechanic from Jamaica, owns his own business. He married a foreign student from Trinidad. They had a baby – so she was the mother of a US citizen, and the wife of a legal permanent resident. But as often happens, it never occurred to her that US immigration law does not respect those fundamental values. She learned that her mother in Trinidad was dying – so she faced the dilemma: she could bring the only granddaughter to her dying mother, and be exiled from her husband, raise that little girl apart from her father for ten years – or she could remain in the US, never see her mother again, and be permanently outlawed.

Now, some might ask: why can’t these people just wait to become US citizens?
There are two things to say to that. First, America welcomes legal immigrants. That’s why they are legal, after all.

It defies our national interest to tell a new American that they cannot marry, cannot really start a new life in the United States, until they become a US citizen. What national interest could it possibly serve, to tell husbands and wives that they must sleep in separate countries for five years?

Second, even naturalization does not help in many thousands of cases. We know – that’s why American Families United was founded by US citizens whose spouses have been caught by the fish hooks and bear traps that litter US immigration law and policy. We know that nuclear families are often forced apart because our immigration laws are like death penalty trials with traffic court rules of evidence, with catastrophic consequences to US citizen families.

That’s why on Valentine’s Day – which happened to be Mat’s wedding day – AFU members met with 53 Congressional offices, including personal meetings with 5 US Senators and, in fact, we have met with several members of this Committee: with ranking Member Lofgren, in her California office; with Congressman Gutierrez – thank you again for your public support, Congressman Poe, Congressman Amodei, and others here in DC; and with the staff of Congressman Gowdy, Congressman Holding, and Congressman Garcia.

As those of you who met with us recall, we have a very specific ask for due process waiver reform: that US citizens’ families be treated at least as generously as anybody else in comprehensive immigration reform.

American Families United’s full legislative agenda is on our website, AmericanFamiliesUnited.org.

For this Committee hearing, let me emphasize just two parts: immediate relative status for the nuclear families of legal permanent residents, and – please, do not forget – due process waiver reform, so that the families of US citizens are at least not treated worse than others in comprehensive reform legislation.
Thank you.

Supporting Material:
From the Executive Summary of Legal Immigration: Setting Priorities, the 1995 Report of the bipartisan US Commission on Immigration Reform http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/uscir/reports.html (Page XV)
By the end of this fiscal year, 824,000 spouses and minor children of aliens legalized under IRCA will be waiting for visas. The number of new applications has fallen to only a handful for this group. However, since the filing of applications by the legalization beneficiaries, a backlog of 279,000 (or about 80,000 per year) spouses and minor children of other LPRs has developed. Under our current system, it would take more than a decade to clear the backlog, even with substantial naturalization. In the meantime, when an LPR sponsors a spouse and/or minor child, that individual goes to the end of the waiting list of 1.1 million.
History of the F2A backlog, the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents:
Minimum wait (summarized from the State Department Visa Bulletin Archives)
December 1995 http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/visa_bulletin/9512bulletin.html
Worldwide August 92; Mexico February 92
Worldwide: 4 years, 5 months
Mexico: 4 years, 10 months
December 1999 http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/visa_bulletin/9912bulletin.html
Worldwide September 1995; Mexico June 1994
Worldwide: 4 years, 3 months
Mexico: 5 years, 7 months
December 2000 (when LIFE Act created the V Visa):
Worldwide: July 96; Mexico October 94.
Worldwide: 4 years, 5 months
Mexico: 6 years, 2 months
July 2001
Worldwide September 96; Mexico October 94
Worldwide: 4 years, 9 months
Mexico: 6 years, 3 months
July 2002
Worldwide April 97; Mexico November 94
Worldwide: 5 years, 2 months
Mexico: 7 years, 8 months
July 2003
Worldwide: May 98; Mexico December 95
Worldwide: 5 years, 2 months
Mexico: 7 years, 8 months
July 2004
Worldwide: March 2000; Mexico August 97
Worldwide: 4 years, 3 months
Mexico: 6 years, 11 months
July 2005
Worldwide: May 2001; Mexico May 98
Worldwide: 4 years, 2 months
Mexico: 7 years, 2 months
July 2006
Worldwide: September 99; Mexico September 99
Worldwide: 6 years, 9 months
Mexico: 6 years, 9 months
July 2007
Worldwide June 02; Mexico August 01
Worldwide: 5 years, 1 month
Mexico: 6 years, 11 months
July 2008
Worldwide: August 03; Mexico UNAVAILABLE
Worldwide: 4 years, 11 months
Mexico: Unavailable
July 2009
Worldwide: December 04; Mexico June 02
Worldwide: 4 years, 8 months
Mexico: 7 years, 1 month
July 2010
Worldwide July 08; Mexico June 07
Worldwide: 2 years
Mexico: 3 years, 1 month
July 2011
Worldwide: March 08; Mexico February 08
Worldwide: 3 years, 3 months
Mexico: 3 years, 4 months
July 2012
Worldwide: February 2010; Mexico February 2010
Worldwide: 2 years, 4 months
Mexico 2 years, 4 months
March 2013:
Worldwide: November 2010; Mexico November 2010.
Worldwide: 2 years, 5 months
Mexico: 2 years, 5 months
American Families United
c/o Morrison Public Affairs Group
Inadmissibility Waivers Based on Family and Community Equities. Current waiver provisions for the various grounds of inadmissibility vary widely in standards and applicability. Most create bright lines between eligibility and ineligibility which fail to account for the widely varying facts of each case. We propose an overall waiver section applicable to all grounds of inadmissibility that are not based on prospective conduct. The provision creates a balancing test of positive and negative factors to be applied in each case. Central to these factors are the strength of family and community ties compared to the seriousness of the misconduct involved.
Legislative Language
SEC. XXX. WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBITY. Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182) is amended by inserting the following subsection (c)—
“(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General shall waive the effect of the following statutory provisions unless it is found that the balance of favorable and unfavorable factors on the totality of the evidence weighs against granting the waiver:
“(i) Any one or more grounds of inadmissibility (including any requirement of permission to reapply for admission and any application for relief from removal) set forth in subsections (a)(2), (a)(4), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(9), and (a)(10)(except subparagraph (A)) to permit an alien to receive an immigrant visa or be adjusted to the status of lawful permanent resident; or
“(ii) Any one or more grounds of removability set forth in section 237, except subsection (a)(4).
“(2) Favorable factors shall include:
“(i) The amount of time that has passed since the events or conduct that is the basis of the inadmissibility;
“(ii) The extent of rehabilitation and remorse demonstrated by the alien since such events or conduct;
“(iii) The duration of legal residence in the United States;
“(iv) The presence of family members entitled to live legally in the United States; AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13030851. (Posted 3/14/13)
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“(v) The provision of economic and social support to family members entitled to live legally in the United States;
“(vi) Property owned by the alien in the United States for personal or business use;
“(vii) Social, economic or cultural contributions made by the alien to his community in the United States or abroad;
“(viii) Honorable service in the armed forces of the United States or of an ally of the United States;
“(ix) The extent of any hardship that would be suffered by the alien or any person entitled to live legally in the United States due to the alien’s inadmissibility; and
“(x) Any specific benefit that would accrue to the government or citizens of the United States by permitting the alien to become a lawful permanent resident.
“(3) Unfavorable factors shall include:
“(i) The seriousness of the conduct that is the basis of the inadmissibility;
“(ii) Commission of serious crimes or significant immigration violations in addition to the conduct that is the basis of the inadmissibility;
“(iii) Specific harm caused to the national interest of the United States by conduct of the alien;
“(iv) Any specific detriment that would accrue to the government or citizens of the United States by permitting the alien to become a lawful permanent resident.
“(4) The absence of one or more favorable factors shall not be construed as a negative factor and a single favorable factor can provide sufficient basis to grant a waiver.
“(5) Permitting spouses and minor children to live together in the United States if one of the spouses is a citizen or lawful permanent resident is a specific benefit to the government and citizens of the United States and shall be given conclusive weight in favor of granting waivers in the absence of unusually serious negative factors.”
### AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13030851. (Posted 3/14/13)

How are the 60s still an influence when it comes to minorities? (pick one minority)

I wrote this paper for my history class that is about the 60s.

Ongoing social and economic “progress” of “minorities”

 Part 1, How are the 60s still an influence when it comes to minorities? (pick one minority)

First off this question is flawed. Take a look at our census from 2011 pictured above . There still persists this misconception and idea around the issue of minority. According to this there are basically only WHITE people and BLACK people. If you do the math 78.1 % White people, 13.1 % Black people. That is 91.2% of our population with a few other specific ethnicities called out. I do think there is a bigger issue that is a problem here. Hispanic is a category not even related to the fact of whether you are White or Black. And where are the Irish, Italians, Russians, Middle Easterners, and Latinos etc and how can we still be so stuck on color of skin? Why is there even this lump of white people and really what is white anyway? We always hear all this harping about illegal immigrants in our country. Evidently they are mostly white but I don’t think all the racists in Arizona would say that. The USA is and always has been the great melting pot of the world. You say pick one minority but that is very difficult for me to do because the whole idea of what is a minority is difficult to describe. Sometimes people try to say women are a minority but they are 50% of the population and that is not a minority is it? How are the 60’s still influencing minorities? I think the people in the 60’s who used to fight for free love, the idea to make your own way and drop out from society all got mortgages and families and bought right back into that government machine that they were so against. But, there is one way that the 60’s live on and that is this issue of what we call the fight for civil rights but was really the a fight for human rights. The fights of the 60’s helped the American society as a whole to shift its thinking paradigm but there is still that line drawn with black people on one side and then everyone else on the other side. I think that is a flaw of the violence of the time. It reminds me of the article where a black man went into a white restaurant dressed as an African and was treated with complete respect. There is and was a different issue going on, which is power and control of black people and somehow since the 60’s through that fight and the anger of the whites towards blacks, that anger has switched sides. After a few hundred years of abuse and repression black people are still pissed off, understandably so but clearly not over this issue.

Part 2, Exactly what is that influence?

That is a good question exactly how has the 60’s influenced minorities. Black people fight for their rights and are still fighting for their rights. Somehow the government has found new ways to legally instill racism into our society by being harsher on blacks and people with brown skin when it comes to sentencing crimes. To tell you the truth I've written this paper 3 times so far because every time I start to write I get into a rant about what is still wrong. But I think the question is supposed to be what is better. When we started this class I was able to detach myself from all the little details and I had a better sense of how the 60’s instilled a shift of consciousness. But now afterwards I think about the activism of the 60’s which is very inspiring, I cannot for the life of me get away from what I think still needs to change. I am trying my best to focus on positive changes since the 60’s. I would have to say the biggest change in American culture is what we call civil rights but what in truth is Human rights, like I said earlier. Since the 60’s there have been great jumps in the understanding and practice of Human Rights and not treating people like animals and that women are to be treated with respect same as men. The world is not perfect but it is certainly much better than it was back then. The government still condones and allows people to be treated without their basic human rights and civil rights and that is with this label of ”illegal immigrant” which is a whole other rant about private prisons and corruption in our government. But in general there is now a sort of double edged sword. On one side Americans and even new immigrants quickly get this sense of entitlement that you just do not find in other countries. We expect our government to hand over everything to us on a silver platter. Then on the other side of the coin we rarely fight back to the government because we know the government can still do whatever they want. With 9/11, weapons of mass destruction, the Patriot Act, and policeman having ‘the god complex’ there is still an element of that same feeling that I believe was present back in the 60’s. We are all still under the thumb of Uncle Sam. Which is sort of illogical that we know we are under Uncle Sam’s thumb but we still demand the government give us more benefits. This question is a really difficult question. What is different now because of the 60’s. Black people have more opportunities, education is available to everyone, Women can chose to have children or not, and we have a black president. People know deep down that if we gather together and stand up together we can make a change. Yes the 60’s made a difference. Yes things are better. Things are not perfect. But they are much better than if the 60’s activism never happened at all.