Why I decided to run for office

 

For many a year, I was the angry protester. The man who was quick to get a permanent marker and a white cardboard, ready to write some angry message as a grievance to the government.  I still see a place for that kind of behavior, but I eventually realized how fruitless it can be.  U.S Treasurer Alexander Heig once said, “Let them march and protest all they want, so long as they pay their taxes.”  I got sick of the rhetoric, “The Democrats are to blame! The Republicans are to blame!”.  I got tired of parties and political ideologies, I just wanted to be left-alone by overreaching government while making sure that all who live here are protected and safe when need be regardless of who is in office! I could criticize the liberal just as much as the conservative. Two wings to the same bird that makes America fly!

I have worked as a paralegal in bankruptcy, I have volunteered as a youth boxing coach, and have been a staunch lobbyist on issues like Family Law Reform, Foreign policy reform, and civil liberties abuses.  One evening, a friend of mine said, “Why don’t you run for office? Just get the signatures, get on the ballot, and see what happens!”

So, based on a dare, I collected the signatures (which was tougher than I thought it would be), and got on the ballot! My main issues that I am running on are:

Family law reform. : Default 50/50 custody, child support reform, protect drivers licenses. Appoint equal representation to both parents, give more prominence to father’s role in development of kids. Give pro-choice to both genders.

Cut waste: No more spending thousands of dollars on luxury toilet seats or pork-barrel projects like the Nashville Sounds Stadium.

Protect Free-Speech:  The entire state will be a “free-speech zone”. I may not agree with what you say, but i’ll defend to the death your right to say it! Political correctness or fear of speaking because of a potential backlash from unfair laws has no place in our nation. Whether it be good or bad comments being made, such comments encourage debate and progress!  So long as no criminal threats are made, you may say and believe whatever you please!

Reform Healthcare: Bring transparency to healthcare prices, open up the market, bring true competition into healthcare to cut down prices. We have to stop the large insurance companies from dehumanizing our healthcare system and falsely inflating prices.

Restore liberty:   Restore voting rights to felons, protect the right to travel (stop suspending driver’s licenses over debts.) , end civil asset forfeiture corruption, reform  the expungment process and create program that reduce repeat incarceration.  The US has the largest prison population on Earth (for-profit), we must stop this.

Utilize our National Guard:  Our National Guard should be used to protect this land, and to deal with domestic issues, I would support legislation to keep it that way.  These men and women do not belong in overseas deployments unless absolutely necessary.

Gun rights: I believe in property rights.  The 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting or sport, but about protecting individuals and the nation at large.  The citizenry is the militia! I am not a member of the NRA or any other organization, however, I do believe that our mass-shooting problem is not a gun problem, but a problem stemming from diet, media, fatherless homes, lack of proper socializing, lack of access to healthcare.

Protect Education: Give tax breaks to homeschoolers, expand individual spending accounts for those who want to put their tax dollars elsewhere, give parents more choice in choosing which schools to put their kids in!

Medical Marijuana:  Give sick people access to this medicine! Leave CBD products alone as well!

Sales Tax reform: Tennessee has a huge surplus in revenue because our state has the highest sales tax rate in the nation! Let’s get it lowered!

Reduce Regulations:  We should not have occupational licenses on jobs that do not need it. Unless you are a doctor, lawyer, or have some dangerous job that requires extensive training that could potentially ruin someone’s life, the government should not be charging expensive fees or requiring licenses. They are simply revenue generating schemes!

Help Veterans: Create low-income housing facilities specially designed for veterans

Protect the lives of Firefighters and Police:  Firefighters and police are often exposed to cancer causing agents and harmful on the job conditions. These civil servants deserve grant money for on the job related injuries, especially after a long-time service record. While there is a lot of “anti-police” sentiment in the news media today, I believe that the majority of our MNPD officers seek to work with integrity.  Blame the law, not necessarily the enforcers all of the time!

Criminal Justice Reform:  Favor rehabilitation rather than incarceration. It costs about $35,000 per year to house an inmate. Let’s get the private contractors out of our prisons and jails too! If our judges can find ways to solve legal issues without jail sentences or hefty fines, then why not! Few people desire to go to prison or jail. Let us focus on helping our citizens to avoid jail rather than beating them further down.  A society is only as strong as its weakest links.

Housing:  Keep property taxes low and use other methods to keep native Nashvillians from being “priced out” of their homes.

Since getting on the ballot, I have met with police officers, unions, single-parents, Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans, the LGBTQ community, investors, incumbent politicians, veterans, spent time in tent-city with the homeless, and did some extensive traveling to Washington D.C and New York City.  I am not a liberal or a conservative(Atleast not in the political sense), I am simple a man who believes in the Constitution to the utmost degree and believes that all men and women should have an equal opportunity to pursue happiness unmolested while still enjoying protection under the law with a unifying love of the American culture of liberty.  My personal beliefs stop where your rights begin! If you aren’t harming or stealing, I have no right to impede upon you! Regardless of my personal opinion of your life choices!

These are just a few of the ideas I have! Instead of being angry at how corrupt the world is, I want to be a part of the solution! I want to be invited at the table of power and honestly, empathetically, and sympathetically discuss solutions to our nation’s greatest issues with both liberals and conservatives as a non-partisan independent. I am proud to be an American, and I truly believe that this nation attracts the best and brightest from all around. If we put our differences aside and focus on the major issues, I concretely believe that we can find real solutions as a team. This is a unique nation that is home to many races, religions, and personal ideologies. And it is because we welcome such diversity with a common culture of liberty, that America can hold onto it’s title of “Greatest Nation on Earth.”

Despite the complicated lives of our founding fathers and the times they grew up in, I truly believe that these men, especially Mr. Thomas Jefferson, truly did foresee and desire a place with ultimate freedom. Now that we have the technology and education to expand upon those original ideals, I believe we can make that dream come true! Combining ancient traditions with progressive advances in technology.

#TeamAmerica #TeamHuman #GeorgeWashington #ThomasJefferson

www.facebook.com/repstroud

Vote November 6th 2018 if you live in Nashville.

A common-sense independent.

 

 

 

Saudi Feminist faces possible Execution

 Loujain Alhathlou, 28, of Saudi Arabia, is a well-known middle eastern women’s rights activist. In her homeland, women are barred from the simple act of driving a vehicle without a husband’s permission.  Referencing my book, “Global Human Trafficking in the Family Law courts”, I highlight ways in which men are treated unfairly in society, especially when it comes to finances, divorce, custody, social aspect, and military service requirements. While I often criticize feminism in the west, there is no argument that a moderate amount of feminism is certainly needed in the middle east.  While feminism was very apparent in the west during the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, modern feminism in the west often appears to be overly aggressive. (witch hunting?)  However, in the middle east, women are still treated as if it were the middle ages.  Women in the west, especially feminists or anyone who calls themselves a human rights activist should support this brave woman who has put her life on the line to give women the basic right to live in society an enjoy simple privileges such as driving a car.   I encourage everyone to reach out to amnesty international in support of this young woman by emailing their directors at :  report@aiusa.org

Nalini-Global


Via Washington Post

It was just days before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s March visit to the United States when Loujain al-Hathloul, one of Saudi Arabia’s most high profile feminists, was stopped by security officers as she drove on a highway near her university in Abu Dhabi.

The 28-year-old was taken from her vehicle and spirited away to her home country on a plane.

Hathloul spent several days in prison before being released, and she was banned from using social media or leaving the country as the Saudi heir apparent embarked on his marathon three-week public relations blitz in the United States, where he met with President Trump as well as Oprah Winfrey and others.

The activist’s rendition from the United Arab Emirates, where she was studying for a master’s degree, highlights the contradiction between Saudi Arabia’s public relations campaign touting reform and the reality on the ground for those asking for basic rights for women.

It also demonstrates the close cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which together have promoted a model in the region that prioritizes stability and economic development while harshly suppressing political activism.

The details of Hathloul’s forced return were recounted by people with knowledge of the incident, who were granted anonymity because they fear reprisals. Authorities in Riyadh did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

The Post’s Loveday Morris visited a motorcycle driving school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. For the first time, women there are learning how to ride motorcycles. 

Despite apparently complying with Saudi Arabia’s attempts to silence her — Hathloul’s last tweet to her 316,000 followers was on March 12 — she was arrested again last week in what appeared to be a particularly brutal crackdown on female activists in the kingdom.

A total of seven Saudis were detained — five women and two men who had supported their cause, including a lawyer who had represented Hathloul in the past. They were accused of crimes including “suspicious contact with foreign parties” and undermining the “security and stability” of Saudi Arabia, and they have been publicly vilified in pro-government media in what activists have described as a vicious smear campaign.

“Loujain should be celebrated now,” said Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi writer in self-imposed exile in the United States. “This is so unneeded right after the huge effort that MBS [Mohammed bin Salman] made in the United States, presenting himself as a reformer.”

Hathloul’s activism focused on women being allowed to drive and on ending the country’s restrictive male guardianship system, which meant women required permission from a male relative to access many government services.

The movement had some success and had appeared to be in step with Mohammed’s vision to modernize Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom granted women the right to drive last year and guardianship laws were eased. Women can now supposedly access government services and open businesses without a man’s permission, though in practice it is still often requested, women say. A guardian’s permission is still required for women to travel or marry.

But the kingdom’s inching reforms have come alongside a clampdown on activists, with an increasingly oppressive environment for those who call for changes. Human Rights Watch described it as having sparked a “frenzy of fear” for those genuinely engaged in reform.

“This arrest campaign is an arrest campaign against feminism in Saudi,” said one female activist who knows some of those detained. “Even the men who were arrested, they were with us.”

At 2:30 p.m. on May 15, Hathloul’s house was raided and she was arrested in her bedroom, according to Alqst, a Saudi human rights group based in London. She was taken to al-Hair prison, the group said, the same jail where she was held after she was seized in the United Arab Emirates. Those detained have since been transferred to Jiddah, according to human rights groups.

She’s no stranger to detention. Hathloul rose to prominence in 2014, when she got in her car in neighboring Abu Dhabi and tried to drive across the border to Saudi Arabia. She was arrested and referred to a terrorism court but was released before being tried after 73 days in detention.

The following year she stood in local council elections, after a royal decree allowed women to both vote and run for office. However, her name was never added to the ballot.

She was detained again in June 2017 after returning from a family visit to the United States.

Her activism has brought her international recognition. Last year she was photographed alongside actress Meghan Markle, who married Britain’s Prince Harry on Saturday, at a humanitarian summit in Canada. She was ranked 45th on a list of the most influential Arabs in the world by Arabian Business magazine last year.

But it has come at a cost. Saudi Arabia’s Okaz newspaper reported on Sunday that those arrested could face up to 20 years in jail. They have been publicly branded traitors by pro-government ­media.

Those detained span several generations of Saudi feminists.

Aziza al-Youssef, a professor at King Saud University, has been campaigning for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia for decades. When women signed a petition against the guardianship system, she took it to the royal palace.

Also detained was Aisha al-Mana, a 70-year-old who was among the first to challenge the driving ban, one of more than 40 women who drove in a convoy in Riyadh in 1990, along with ­Madeha al-Ajroush, a psychotherapist in her mid-60s, who is also now in detention.

“Loujain, Aziza and other activists who use their real identities are very brave,” said the Saudi activist, who has campaigned online anonymously. “They have very supportive families and nice lives but they chose to be the voice for us.”

Just hours after the announcement that the driving ban would be lifted in September, women who had campaigned for that right were called and asked to not comment publicly — even positively.

Speaking before the latest round of arrests, one female activist speculated that there could be an “old camp” trying to counter Mohammed’s reforms. Others disputed that, saying he has a complete grip on power.

“There is no old guard,” Khashoggi said. “He is in total control. What’s happening is unprecedented.” It doesn’t represent the “old” Saudi Arabia, he said, but the “new Saudi.”

Kareem Fahim in Istanbul contributed to this report.

Where is the International Day of The Boy?

Today the United Nations declared that October 11th, would now be considered “International Day of The Girl”, bringing awareness to the fact that 1 in 4 girls world-wide will become married before the age of 14.  Girls are also more likely to end up as sex trafficking slaves than boys are. Girls are also subject to genital mutilation in developing countries like Sudan, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia.

As these girls turn into women, 1 in 4 of them will end up in an abusive relationship.  Being a girl/woman, in human society is rife with challenges that should never be ignored or marginalized. However, as a gender studies enthusiast, I noticed that there is no international day of the “boy”. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to studies, “Fathers Day” generates 1/4 of the income from sales as compared to “Mothers Day”.  If Fathers are being ignored in their importance, then why not their sons too? Makes sense….

We must recognize that boys/men face unique challenges that girls/women do not. For example,  According to “Child-soldier.org”,  in the last 10 years, over two million child soldiers ranging from the ages of 4-15 years old, have been killed in combat. In places where child soldiers are used, more than 95% of the time, the soldiers will be boys. In fact, the military draft, including the United States, only targets men. In most countries, women are not required to sign up for conscription.

As far as genital mutilation is concerned, over 70% of newborn male babies are circumcised. A process that is not medically necessary and causes extreme pain and disfigurement to the male reproductive organs.  The foreskin that is removed contains thousands of nerve-endings, once removed, many pleasure sensing nerves and self-cleaning organisms are removed in the process. After the operation is complete, the hospitals keep the foreskins and use them for other medical procedures. Essentially, they are harvesting free organs, mainly because this sort of mutilation is socially acceptable. However, when we discuss “Female Circumcisions”, then suddenly it becomes a human rights issue.

Boys who will later turn in men are subject to many shocking statistics. Men live up to 3-5 years less than women. Men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide. Twice as likely to file for Bankruptcy due to societies demands on them to be “bread-winners”, and 1 in 7 men will end up in a relationship with an abusive woman. While many governments sponsor domestic violence shelters for women, none exist for the male counter-parts.

Men who fight for legal custody of their children will only win 7% of the time, and only after spending upwards to $30K on lawyer fees. Men are often alienated from their children in family law courts. While the courts have created agencies that enforce child-support and tend to favor custody towards women, the struggles of fathers and having enforced access to their children and/or receiving financial assistance from the government is almost unheard of; hence why there is a Child Support Enforcement Agency but there is no Child Visitation Enforcement Agency. This alienation not only causes severe depression in fathers who are alienated from their sons, but also for the children being alienated. Men are almost always the targets in cases where one parent is alienating the child from the other parent because custody is rarely granted to men to begin with. Boys who grow up with fathers are much more likely to end up as criminals,sexual deviants, and/or less successful in their jobs.

Men’s contributions are also ignored in the professional field.

Men are also more likely to take on higher-paying but also higher-risk jobs such as demolitions, military, law enforcement, construction, high-rise window cleaners, public sanitation, and oil-rig operators. Jobs that come with many health-risks. While women do exist in these fields, their numbers are very low.

Girls face unique challenges, especially in sexually charged situations. Girls also face workplace discrimination because employers fear that once they become mothers, they will not devote time to their work, thus they sometimes avoid hiring them. Is this fair? Absolutely not! In no way, shape, or form am I marginalizing the struggles that girls and women face. They are real!

But, have we gotten so focused on developing the rights of girls and women that boys and men have been chopped down in the process? This is why Nalini-Global prefers the term of “Universal Human Rights” instead of women’s rights, men’s rights, immigrants rights, ect…

The bottom line is, “HUMANS” have rights! If we are only capable of fighting for the rights of those people who look and feel as we do, then we inadvertently become discriminatory ourselves. For the misogynists who claims that “women should get back in the kitchen”, and for the misandry Feminists who calm that “Men are nothing more than sperm donors to us.” , are both proponents of extremism.

Instead of having a Women’s Rights March or a “Men’s Rights March”, why not have a “Gender Equality” march that addresses the grievances of both men and women? Because there is a bias! It is easy to fight for the rights of those who look like us. But, if we truly believe in equality, we must also ask that our sisters support their brothers, and our brothers support their sisters.

Should we celebrate mothers, girls, and women in general for the contributions that they give to our society and to our homes? Absolutely!

Should we celebrate fathers, boys, and men in general for the contributions that they give to our society and to our homes? Absolutely!

I don’t want to live in a gender neutral society. There are differences between men and women. We are not biologically equal. Both sexes contain physical and mental advantages and disadvantages. Let us start by celebrating the things that make women and men unique, and start talking about the things that negatively impact women and men.  We may be separate in our biology, but in our spirits, and our claim to human rights, we are absolutely equal!

So to our boys who will someday become men…

Thank you for being strong, masculine, and determined. We celebrate your masculinity and we fathers will also love and support you. We will help you become strong leaders, loyal husbands, hard workers, and diligent advocates for social change. Keep up the good work.

Nalini-Global

2017

-Randell D Stroud

Dedicated to Eli Ross Sayson.

Gentrification is a losing battle: “Read Niccolo Machiavelli”

Oct/3/2017;

As I approached the 6th district courthouse in Nashville,Tn,  on Oct.3rd, 2017, around 6pm, there was a group of Native Americans protesting outside the building, chanting,

“Columbus Day is Murder Day. Today is Indigenous People’s Day!”

A local Native American, Albert Bender, lead the group. We briefly spoke about the DCS and CPS epidemic of kidnapping native children from reservations, displacing them in white homes, thus, erasing their culture.  After a few minutes of chit-chat, we went inside the court building in an attempt to attend the Councilman’s chambers for their General Assembly Hearings. Mr.Bender wanted to adopt a resolution on the agenda to change, “Columbus Day” to formally be known as, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”.  He was barred from entry alongside his large group of followers.

The GA was mainly focusing on gentrification issues and building permits. For years, many  wealthy New Yorkers and Californians have been moving to Nashville.  Development has been booming! Businesses, restaurants, apartment skyrises,— all popping up like a virus! Multiplying by the day.

In many respects, this development has been amazing for the city. However, many of the locals are aggravated by the development due to increased traffic and rising costs of living from property tax hikes caused by development. Many activists charged the councilmen, stating that the economy was bad, they needed jobs, but also feared that development and rising costs were forcing them out of their homes. Their once affordable apartments were now un-affordable. Many locals were being forced to move to surrounding areas like Antioch and Murfreesboro. Places that were less populated and had higher rates of poverty and crime.

Growing up on the east side of Nashville, my heart really went out for those people. Many of the housing projects had been bulldozed, and dozens of families were displaced and forced to move to more affordable areas. Many of those families had lived in the area all their lives.  I grew up , lower-middle class, not rich, not struggling, but definitely on a budget!

In my younger years, I would have certainly been on board with the protests. However, after reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s , “The Prince” , running for office in 2012, and having gone through the challenges of adult life, — I had realized it was a fruitless war.

I addressed the GA law-makers, including Vice-Mayor David-Briley, whereas I shamed both protesters and law makers.  I shamed the protesters, who were against the new hotels being built due to “increased traffic”, while they simultaneously cried out that their weren’t enough jobs. I shamed the congress by exposing the fact that, they weren’t really listening, they were just passing bills and merely acting as if the people’s voices mattered. It was nothing more than a “dog and pony show” as I called it.

I reminded my audience that, Nashville looked like New York City 50 years ago. However, with population increases and development, it is a consequence of “political realism”.  If you cannot adapt to development, you will be forced to move out. It sounded harsh (and it was), but it is the reality and will always be the reality. Big business and state interests will always overshadow the plight of the poor and minorities.

It wasn’t what everyone wanted to hear, but it was the truth.

“Politics are fake”,  …… “Adapt or Die.” 

This is my view towards gentrification. And I am no hypocrite! I myself am also being forced out of Nashville due to not being able to afford the rising costs of rent. It is sad, but I cannot argue with political realism. I will pack my bags and see where I can thrive. This is the nature of our human existence.

Most of my activism focuses on reform, realism with a hint of idealism, and communication. However, when it comes to gentrification, there is no way around it. When wealthy individuals invade a small city, they will take it over, and the local government will salivate at the money to be made. The poor will be given transitional housing, and small acts of assistance, only to be slowly phased out. It has always been this way and it always will be. Cities crash and cities boom. Currently, Nashville is booming! If you aren’t a doctor, lawyer, business tycoon, or trust fund kid, then you probably aren’t feeling too confident living in metropolitan Nashville at the moment.

While my speech didn’t offer any “real” solutions, it did cause a silence amongst the crowd coupled with a bit of introspection. My words cut deep. The protesters knew that their plight was futile, and the politicians knew that this entire “hearing” on gentrification was nothing more than a formality.  I even encouraged some of the citizens to move to Missouri at one point in my speech. (I’m sure the councilman leader didn’t like those words!)

I wasn’t expecting to give a speech that day. It was impromptu, and I was little nervous, but I felt that it had to be said, thus, I took to the stand. After my words were completed, I said, “Thank you”, and simply walked off.

You could cut the tension in the room with a knife!

There were looks of disappointment on the faces of the protesters… as if I had revealed that Santa wasn’t real!

There were looks of cynical laughter on the faces of the politicians, as if I had belittled their power based in front of the public or as if I was just a peon.

Regardless, the truth was spoken!

In 20 years, Nashville will become a major city like Chicago or Manhattan, or the boom will stop, Nashville will crash and return to its former small city charm, whereas an influx of the lower-income brackets of society will return to their former homes.

As long as big business and big government remain friends, gentrification is here to stay.

-Randell Stroud

2017

Naliniglobal