Joshua Denney

Catalyst for Change

Why I Don’t Hate America (And Why You Shouldn’t Either)

bluesky by jonathan denney

I’m a Canadian in my late 20’s. Nirvana rocked my life as a teenager, 9/11 rocked my life as an adult.

I watched those planes hit and those towers fall, with a heavy heart and a troubled mind.

I’ve known about America’s flawed foreign policy for many years, as I’ve traveled around the world and was always told it was better to be a Canadian, abroad. I didn’t fully understand, but it was my seed of curiosity, leading me to consider foreign policy at a fairly young age.

I later learned that the United States was a country that felt it was the World Police, imposing their beliefs on cultures that have been in existence centuries longer than the US had been a mere idea on a map.

I watched as George W. Bush made the case for what would be called Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he claimed the right to strike as a defense of the United States itself. If it was a good enough reason to strike and to petition your people’s support, why give the false impression that it would enable freedom in Iraq? This operation continues to this very day.

When will the Iraqis be free? When will the United States be safe?

Oh, there was also this thing in Afghanistan – Operation Enduring Freedom. That one isn’t finished yet either…

…but it hasn’t been all bad, right?

The United States is a place for high hopes and big dreams. It has enabled Hollywood, big business and rock stars to gain incredible wealth and power, and to use that wealth and power to contribute back to the world, at a level that most cannot even comprehend.

In the same lifetime that some have experienced slavery and persecution, they’ve witnessed the election of a young, intelligent Black man to the position of President.

After enduring 8 years of the Bush Administration, I can’t imagine Obama doing a worse job in less than 4.

The United States is ‘the land of opportunity’. There have been so many people who’ve gained success in the USA, versus their home country, that I think it’s safe to say there is something special about it…at least that’s how it makes me feel.

Still, there isn’t a lot of high regard for the USA these days, both inside and outside its borders. Not a lot of faith in the government, not a lot of faith in each other, in ourselves even.

Many don’t have a lot of optimism left to support what the USA is doing overseas, regardless if it is helping to create a better world or not.

It’s been cool to hate the United States for a long time.

War-mongering, profiteering destroyers of the planet, some might say.

Please allow Michael Jackson to interject.

We are the world, we are the children.~ Michael Jackson

As crazy as MJ may have been, he was right.

We are one large family of humans and we inhabit the same planet called Earth.

That is all there is and all there ever was.

Right now, we’re gaining a world perspective unlike anyone in any other time period, ever. Given the incredible growth of knowledge-based technology and The Internet, it’s not surprising that this is the case.

We’re starting to see that it isn’t one country versus another; it is only us and our ability to sustain this planet we’re living on.

Does it make sense to want a country to fail more than you want your world to succeed?

We need a strong United States in the world family. One with people more enlightened than ever before, with a great leader making decisions that will benefit everyone on Earth.

The United States is a world superpower.

We need less POWER, more SUPER.

You’re a Spokesperson for Facebook Ads. You Didn’t Know?

UPDATE: New link to edit Facebook ad settings (requires login, of course).

Also, you may or may not see a blog post ‘debunking’ the rumors of Facebook using photos in advertising. They say it was third-party advertisers only and they have ‘fixed’ the problem.

[Re: the blog post above - Big thanks to Barry, the (condescending) manager of policy communications at Facebook. Dear Barry: How about you add new features AND THEN explain what they are AND THEN let people CHOOSE?]

Facebook is now allowing third-party advertisers to use your photos in their advertising.

Facebook says it’s not breaking privacy rules, but DO YOU want your face next to an ad you have no control over?

I don’t!

Luckily, you can change your privacy settings to prevent this from happening:

Go to Settings > Privacy > News Feed and Wall > Facebook Ads and select ‘No one’ in the drop down box.

I have a special skill set…

…and I would like to share it with the world.

Inquire within.

Who’s Bringing Karma Back?

Here are 6 great people who’ve made selfless contributions to great causes. On behalf of humanity, I’d like to thank:

Ted Murphy in Cereal Bathtub

Ted Murphy (@tedmurphy on Twitter) is one crazy CEO! Founder of IZEA and MindComet, Ted likes to take things to a special place when helping those in need.

His latest promotion is a contest where someone will win 52 boxes of cereal…but if he gets over 500 unique comments on his post he’s pledged to donate 52 more boxes to a local family in need. Go Ted!

Not surprisingly, many of the commenters have pledged to donate their cereal if they win. Check the video of Ted in his bathtub of cereal and be sure to comment on this post to help those in need!

Buzz Bishop & World Diabetes Day

Buzz Bishop is a radio/blog personality on Vancouver’s 95Crave, writer for 24 Hours and all-around broadcaster of good vibes.

He’s constantly using his reach and popularity to spread the word about things like World Diabetes Day and The United Way.

A truly good person, Buzz wants to make the world better, for all of us to enjoy. If you do nothing else, follow him on Twitter and bug him about radio prizes (he just LOVES people who LOVE to get prizes)!.

Jacob Cass for Blog Action Day Charity

Jacob Cass is a talented and helpful young graphic designer from Australia. He’s currently celebrating his blog’s 1st birthday and giving over $11,000 worth of prizes to 67 lucky people in the name of charity.

He’s chosen Blog Action Day’s Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as his cause this year, and has already helped get the word out to thousands of people, through the donations and publicizing through blogs and Twitter. Get in on the donating now and pass it along to your friends!

Mark Hayward and Train for Humanity

Mark Hayward served in the Peace Corps and now runs a guesthouse in Culebra with his partner Terrie. He blogs inspiration all day long at MyTropicalEscape and Zen Habits and still finds time to co-create a huge project called Train for Humanity.

Their concept: getting fit + social media + blogging = social good.

Read more about the creation of their non-profit organization for Darfur Peace & Development and some of the lessons he’s learned so far.

Catch Mark on Twitter and say hello (he’s friendly)!

Graham Smith and SoulTweet

Graham Smith is a UK logo designer with over 20 years experience. Graham uses social media to help bring awareness to good people, places and things online.

He recently started a soulful promotion of Twitter people at SoulTweet.

SoulTweet highlights people who either need an uplifting compliment or are doing great things that should be noted. Graham gives a lot of himself to others and you can see how by following him on Twitter.

Suggest a Soul on SoulTweet today!

John Chow and the United Gospel Mission

John Chow is a self-made millionaire, one of the original ‘make money’ bloggers and a generous philanthropist. Making over $35k a month on his blog, John finds plenty of ways to spread the wealth.

He recently helped Tanya Davis in her Team Diabetes Disney World fundraising, firing off the extra $1300 she needed to top up her $4500 goal to the finish line!

Longtime donor and promoter of Union Gospel Mission (a shelter on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC), John recently committed a $5000 cheque he got in the mail to helping UGM. He’s calling on you to help match his donation and feed thousands of hungry people for the holidays.

John on Twitter.

Even if you don’t click any of the links on this page, pass it along to someone who might. You might just see some karma come your way.  ;)

PS – (follow me on Twitter)

Don’t Miss the Point

Anyone interested in a reflective moment?

No? Too bad it’s my site!

Watch (and listen to) this short animation inspired by Alan Watts.

Bet you can’t guess who produced it!

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