During an election year, our country divides into groups based on political beliefs. We are faced with questions about health care, immigration, the economy, abortion, gay marriage, gun laws and more.
Nations and regions are recognizing that to compete successfully in the 21st-century global economy, they must increase educational attainment levels. This is true in China, India and Brazil, as well as in the U.S. and Nebraska.
Calandra Holloway was shaking. Nervous wasn't a sensation she experienced often in her 23 years. She was used to being the confident sweet-hearted girl that everybody loved.
Right now, I have news on the television, with Facebook open, Twitter tweeting, Pandora playing, my cell phone going off with text message alerts, my emails open and I am writing.
Diamonds have always held a particular allure. The hardest of all precious stones, they are traditionally associated with love and marriage. Marilyn Monroe sang, "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" the 1953 film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," and Ian Fleming's master spy James Bond battled a villainous smuggler in "Diamonds Are Forever." Those two lines have become central to one of the longest running, most lucrative, successful and patently deceptive advertising campaigns in history.
I have, on more than one occasion, had the unfortunate honor to witness combat with my own eyes. As a combat medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I worked tirelessly to bring freedom and rights to people who didn't have any. People have often asked why I did it, and I can honestly say it's because I believe in freedom and equality for all people. My military service has given me a unique perspective on how we apply rights to sections of our own society. (I have never met a single person who would say that as a combat tested military veteran, I shouldn't have access to all the rights and privileges that come along with being a citizen.) For some, there's an additional issue; I am not just a veteran, I am a gay veteran.