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Here are my picks for Picture of the Week.  This time, I looked at Time.com and MSNBC.com to find pictures, as at MSNBC, I did not find any I had any kind of opinion about from Jan 5-Jan 12th.

Caption from Time.com: January 10, 2012. An Indian worker covers an elephant statue at Ambedkar Park in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. Workmen using truckloads of cloth raced to comply with election officials who ordered the statues of Chief Minister of Utter Pradesh state Mayawati, who is a hero to India’s lowest castes, along with nearly 200 statues of elephants, her party’s symbol, be covered.
The reason for my posting of this picture is to bring awareness for the caste system that is still very alive and well in India.  Even though India law has established that discrimination because of the caste system is illegal and not allowed, it is still a very real fact for many Indians who are members of the very lowest castes in India.  Even someone who is running for office in the Indian government is treated with discrimination, as you can see from the caption by Time.com.
 
 
Caption from MSNBC.com: Seven year old George Ball puts up a sign in preparation for a campaign stop by Republican presidential candidate and former US Sen. Rick Santorum at the Beacon Drive-In, Jan. 18, in Spartanburg, SC. Voters go to the polls on Jan. 21 in the South Carolina GOP primary.
I put this picture up because whenever I see children under the age of 10-12 who are being “a part” of a political movement, or political campaign, it always churns my stomach.  Do children this age really understand why they are putting up these posters/holding up these posters?  If they did, would they do it?  I know, many of you may say that it doesn’t matter because all they’re doing is helping out or they don’t understand anyways, so it doesn’t matter.  Yeah, I get that.  But isn’t it exploitation?  They don’t understand what’s going on, so they hold up this sign innocently…this is not as serious as children who hold up signs saying, “You are going to hell” or “God hates you.”  But sometimes I wonder if it’s getting pretty close???
 
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Tebow

Before I begin, I just want to say:  I do not know a lot about this man, Tim Tebow.  All I know is he’s the quarterback for the Broncos, he is the creator of the “Tebowing,” and that he is a very religious man.  Now, things you should know about me:  I am a football fan and I am not religious, though in my previous life, I have been.

Now, onto my point:  Tim Tebow, religion, national football, millions of fans – mix all those four into a bowl – I’m a little freaked out.  Like there isn’t enough of those wack jobs out there already, people are taking pictures “Tebowing” and posting them online and the sports talk show hosts are having a field day with these pictures (and these people “Tebowing” probably are not even religious, and they’re just doing it because “it’s cool”).

With the heavy political environment nowadays that mixes politics and religion that I hear day to day *gag* and NOW, AS A FOOTBALL FAN, now I have to hear about Tebow and his religion???  No pun intended, God save us.  Talk about ramming Jesus down my throat!  Religion, you like annoying me, don’t you?

When I watch football, I want to be entertained – not hear about some quarterback’s religious beliefs, his favorite psalms from the Bible, and how every move he made on the field is somehow eerily related to 3:16.  Can you just tell me the highlights of the day with the backdrop of some really cool upbeat music?  And when they interview Tebow, I absolutely hate it when he credits his “Lord and savior Jesus Christ” for the win.  REALLY?  REALLY?  I mean, really?  Uuuuuummmm…how about Demaryius Thomas???  You know, that guy. That ran the ball. To win the game?

I move for separation of church and state.  And separation of church and football.  Please.

Just sayin’.

Image of the future of North Korea

This is my pick of MSNBC’S Picture of the Week.  I chose this picture because since I am Asian myself, this is a representation of the secret world of totalitarian countries in Asia.  As a Hmong person, I am living the legacy of my father, grandfather and ancestors as a peoples and culture that has fought oppression for centuries.  First fighting the Chinese, the French, the Japanese, and Communist Laos and Vietnam.

What I hope for these countries in Asia is that they open up and join the rest of the world and let their people free from the oppression that their government has put on them.  And these countries know that if they do not open up and join the rest of the world, they will suffocate themselves, but they are not willing to make themselves look weak to the rest of the world.  I hope in the future that they do not see this as being weak, but they see this as progression for their country and their people.

After Texas school shooting, many questions loom – Yahoo! News.

This is definitely tragic. And anything occuring in this magnitude is sad and should not happen – in all places – a school.  I feel for the family and the community – as the family has lost a loved family member and the community as a whole has experienced a horrible incident.

But what people are trying to grapple with is:  Why would the boy not drop the gun after the police told him repeatedly to drop the gun?  If he would have just dropped the gun, he would not have died.  Why didn’t the police just shoot him in the shoulder, or the leg, or the arm to disarm him?  Why kill him?  These are legitimate questions and questions that should be answered respectfully.  Whatever the answers are, there are three sides that are affected by this incident:  The immediate family, the school and community and the police force.  The first two are obvious, but the third is not so obvious.

The cops who shot Gonzalez are probably suffering also.  I was thinking,  “What if I was in those cops’ shoes?”.  After the incident, and finding out that the kid only had a pellet gun, I would have been traumatized; thought that I had done something wrong – I’m supposed to protect – especially children. I think many people are forgetting about the cops who choose to protect and serve the community as they are most of the time caught between “doing the right thing” and “what if”???