Entries from blogs tagged with “Social Responsibility”
Those who watch the Oscars need to understand the song that receives the Oscar for best song may not deserve the honor. The Motion Picture Academy arbitrarily rescinded the nomination of the song "Alone Yet Not Alone" from the best song category.
According to a review "ALONE YET NOT ALONE tells the inspiring story of Barbara and Regina Leininger and their journey of faith and survival during the French & Indian war in 1755. Captured by the Allegheny Indians in a raid on their home and transported over 300 miles of wilderness to Ohio, the sisters are sustained only by their abiding trust in God, and their hope of escape against all odds to be reunited with their family." The Leiningers had immigrated to the British Colonies in search of religious freedom.
During the French and Indian War, the French paid the Alleghenies and others to attack British settlements. The British saw nothing wrong with kidnapping people from Africa.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who has helped to market studio films, hypocritically claims that the action was justified by an email song composer Bruce Broughton sent to those who help to nominate songs. However, she apparently sees nothing wrong with allowing major studios to run expensive campaigns for the awards.
Broughton notes that "major studios and many independents send out DVD screeners of their films which list all of the eligible contestants on the jacket – including the songwriters – and follow up with invitations to screenings, meet-‘n-greets, sometimes including a fully produced, non-film version CD of the song, something that is disallowed by Academy rules. When major studios “campaign,” there’s no way a small independent can adequately compete. And there’s nothing anonymous about any of it."
Conservative groups are blaming the withdrawal of the Oscar nomination for best song from "Alone Yet Not Alone" on anti-Christian prejudice. Although the studios could have benefited from religious prejudice among those in charge of the Oscars, the studio executives are more likely motivated by pure greed. They want the awards closed to outside competitors who cannot afford to make big budget movies. The action is evidence that the Oscars are just a public relations gimmick.
The studios may have been worried that a "Cinderella" candidate might have an advantage over their big budget songs. By giving into the studios the Academy missed a major opportunity to indicate that the Oscars are not just based on money. Having a true Cinderella candidate would have generated a lot of positive publicity for the Academy and helped draw more viewers for the Oscar program.
The Oscars exist to provide an advertising benefit to the studios that make big budget films. Allowing small film companies to compete for the awards cut reduce revenue for the major studios. Taking away the nomination from "Alone Yet Not Alone" was not intended to maintain a level playing field but instead to insure that the playing field remained tilted in favor of the wealthy studios.
The huge amount of money the studios spend selling their films and performers means that the Oscar winners may only be the beneficiaries of advertising campaigns rather than the best at anything.
The biggest impediment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, dream of a society in which color is not considered important is the continued used of the extremely racist term "African-American". The term implies the descendants of slaves are a separate race whose members belong in Africa rather than the United States even though many have ancestors who were living in North America long before the American Revolution.
The term "African American" arbitrarily segregates people by skin color. The term treats people with dark complexions as if they only had African ancestors even if more of their ancestors came from somewhere else. For example, sportscasters call Asian ancestry golfer Tiger Woods "African American" even though his mother is Asian and his father had Asian and North American ancestors as well as African ancestors.
. The only inherent difference between black and white Americans is a half dozen genes that control skin color. A person can have a dark complexion even though a majority of skin color genes come from European ancestors because the genes that code for dark complexion are dominant and only a couple are needed for a relatively dark complexion. One of the genes that codes for a dark complexion is common among peoples of North America and Asia as well as Africa
North American residents have been having sex across the color line since the first African slaves had sexual relationships with their Spanish masters in the 16th Century Spanish colonies located in what are now Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Sexual relations occurred with the North American peoples who lived in the vicinity of plantations for the first two hundred years of American slavery and accepted runaway slaves into their villages.
Initially slaves in the British colonies were indentured servants who only had to serve as slaves for a few years. Most early slaves were from the British isles, especially Ireland where the English were anxious to take ownership of Irish lands. Initially the more expensive African slaves were also treated as indentured servants.
By the mid 17th Century slave owners decided to turn the dark skinned slaves into permanent slaves with white slaves continuing to be indentured servants. To increase the number of permanent slaves some slave owners required white female slaves to mate with African male slaves so that the resulting dark skinned babies could be kept as permanent slaves. Laws adopted during the period preventing sex across the color line were primarily intended to keep free white from having dark skinned babies who would have been born free rather than slave
Virtually all the African ancestors of slaves arrived before Congress outlawed importation of Africans in 1808. Only about 500,000 Africans were imported into North America which means that virtually all slaves were born in North America to parents of mixed ancestry; .
The slave genome continued to receive new DNA from plantation owners and overseers until slavery was ended. In slave societies it is common for men of the master class to have sex with women of the slave class. The most prominent example of this practice in the United States was the relationship between President Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
Southern laws prohibiting sex across the color line continued to be ignored if the female was black such as in the case of the mother of Sen. Strom Thurmond's black daughter. Dr. King is known to have had a white male ancestor who provided his "Y" chromosome. As recently as the early 1960's, young southern white women were told that boy friends who received passionate good night kisses might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community.
White men could rape black women without fear of prosecution until the 1960's.
Sex across the color line has increased since the 1960's because of acceptance of relationships between white women and black men.
It's likely that some children of mixed ancestry were passing for white by the early 18th Century. Many whites who researched their ancestry after the "Roots" television series were surprised to find ancestors whose military records included the letter "C" after the name for "Colored". President Warren G. Harding acknowledged he had some black ancestors. It is very likely that President Abraham Lincoln got his dark curly hair from a black ancestor. Many of his contemporaries believed he had slave ancestors.
It's time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.
The Impressions lamented in their song "This is My County" -- "Some people think we don't have the right To say its my country Before they give in, they'd rather fuss and fight Than say its my country"
It's time we started allowing the descendants of slaves to call America, rather than Africa their country. If light skinned Americans whose ancestors all arrived after the Civil War can call themselves 100% Americans, why must dark skinned Americans whose ancestors may have arrived before the American Revolution be treated as part American and part something else. Many slaves earned their freedom by helping to defeat the British during the Revolution.
Why are there no Jews on ABC's list of the 30 greatest women in music during the last 50 years?
This question might not be important if it weren't for the fact that two women more deserving of being on the list than at least 80% of those listed by ABC are both Jewish. Barbra Streisand and Carole King both should be near the top of any list of the greatest women in music. They aren't the only great women missing from the list, but they are the only two whose omission cannot be justified. Incidentally, I'm a Baptist.
The closest the list has to someone Jewish is Madonna who has followed the school of thought called Kabbalah which originated in Jewish mysticism but now has become associated with other religions as well. P!nk (Alecia Beth Moore) had a Jewish mother and Christian father, but prefers to not be identified with any specific religion.
Many of us believe that Barbra Streisand is the greatest female singer of the last 50 years, although I do consider Whitney Houston worthy of consideration for that honor even though her career was far too short. I also believe Streisand became the greatest living entertainer when Elvis Presley died. She has received 8 Grammy Awards and is one of the few entertainers to win an Academy Award, Grammy, Emmy and Tony awards. She has also received a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor Award. The Recording Industry Association of America lists her as the top album selling female artist with 71.5 million albums in the U.S. and 145 million records worldwide. .
How can anyone make a list of the 30 greatest women in music in the last 50 years and not include the first woman to win the Gershwin Prize for song writing, Carole King? The Gershwin prize site says she "is without question the most successful and revered female songwriter in pop music history."
Her album "Tapestry" held the record for most album sales by a female until that record was beaten by Whitney Houston. She won four Grammys from the album including becoming the first woman to win Song of the Year.
Songs she wrote helped other women singers. the Shirelles release of King's "Will you still love me tomorrow" became the first number 1 hit by a black girl group. "(You make me feel like) a natural woman" became a signature song for Aretha Franklin.
The "Divine Miss M" Bette Midler is another Jewish woman who should be in the top 30, although she isn't as well qualified as Streisand and King. "Midler has been nominated for two Academy Awards, and won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and a special Tony Award. She has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and along with that has also received 13 Gold, 8 Platinum and 4 Multiplatinum albums by RIAA." At the very least she should be above Karen Carpenter.
I can understand how people who lack familiarity with music in the sixties might overlook Janis Joplin whose career like that of Whitney Houston was far too short. She played a major role in establishment of the genre of psychedelic soul and was considered the "queen of psychedelic soul". In 2008 "Rolling Stone" ranked her 28 on a list that had men holding most of the top 30 positions. I was a fan of Karen Carpenter but not of Janis Joplin but I would rate Joplin well above Carpenter,
I can understand how Ella Fitzgerald might be excluded from consideration because most of her success was prior to 1960 even though she continued to perform after 1960. The same situation applies to Mahalia Jackson and country music's first diva Kitty Wells who paved the way for other women to succeed in country music.
President Barack Obama's use of riot police to deal with WWII veterans wishing to visit their war memorial is the type of action one would expect of a dictator who's afraid protesters are attempting to overthrow him.
Obama's obsession with keeping veterans away from their war memorial makes no sense. Why would a sane president do such a thing? Obama's actions indicate he is a compassion less vindictive individual who doesn't care about people. He wants to make himself feel important by pushing other people around.
Obama blundered badly in Syria. His proposal to bomb Syria was the political equivalent of jumping into a swimming pool without first checking to see if the pool contained any water. He lost face and needed some other way to make himself feel important by pushing someone around.
The Honor Flights that take World War II vets to their war memorial are planned months in advance and cannot easily be rescheduled. Any delay in a fight may mean a veteran could die without getting to visit the memorial. Millions of WWII vets, including my father and my uncles, died before the memorial was completed. We owe the remaining veterans the opportunity to visit their Memorial.
WWII was the second most important war against a foreign power in American history. Only the Revolution was more important. Those who served took enormous risks. Thousands could die in a single battle.
the world War II Memorial really belongs to World War II veterans. The government merely takes care of it for them. Closing off access to veterans because of a government shutdown makes no more sense than closing down public roads.
The fall of more than one dictator has begun with an overreaction to peaceful protesters. Overreaction by the dictator can provoke others into joining the protest as has already happened with he World War II Memorial. Overreaction can cause some to decide that violence may be needed to topple the tyrant. This hasn't happened yet but could happen in the future if Obama doesn't change his attitude.
Obama needs to decide if he is a President or the 2-bit tyrant he acted like during the recent shutdown. Obama may have a tall body, but there is a little man inside.
Congress has been having trouble coming up with a debt limit measure because members want something they like. It's difficult to pass such a measure because the wants of the different Senators and Representatives conflict too much.
Members of Congress need to recognize that the"tooth ache" they are dealing with isn't likely to have a pleasant solution. Instead of looking for a measure they like they should concentrate on passing a temporary measure that includes provisions they know their opponents will dislike. This approach would allow members of each party to console their supporters by pointing out what the opposition had to give up. It would also provide an incentive to negotiate a solution to the current deficit situation.
I realize Congress is unlikely to consider any measure from outside, but I feel I should at least take a chance. If you think this proposal is worth considering you might email it to your Representative and Senators.
The provisions involving spending or taxes would be temporary based on certain budget deficit "triggers". Each provision would have a different trigger. When the deficit falls below a trigger, that provision would no long apply. Spending on a certain program could be resumed or a tax would be reduced on eliminated.
Congress would not necessarily eliminate any spending programs (tax credits would be considered as spending programs). Instead spending would be suspended until sufficient money was available for the program. Prior to the next deadline, Congress would determine the triggers for individual provisions.
I suggest the following unpopular provisions. The unpopular provision for Republicans would be extension of the payroll (FICA) tax to all income received from an employer including all the income received by athletes and entertainers. Business owners would not pay a higher tax on their incomes. Employers would not pay the matching tax on the higher employee income. This tax might be phased out as the deficit declines or another tax might be reduced.
An unpopular provision with Democrats would be to delay spending on new programs including Obamacare. Spending wouldn't begin until spending on the program wouldn't adversely affect the deficit. The deficit wouldn't need to be eliminated, only reduced. Elitist Democrats still don't understand that many Republican House members were able to defeat Democrats in 2010 because their constituents strongly opposed Obamacare.
Spending for grant programs to non-profit groups along with state and local governments would be suspended beginning January 1, 2014. The amount of spending involved could reduce the deficit sufficiently that many of those programs with a higher priority (as determined by Congress) could be continued. Others programs would be resumed as funds became available.
All tax credit programs would be suspended. Those credits already approved might be claimable at some future date. An exception would be for programs that benefit individuals making less than $50,000 per year. Tax credit programs in general would be the last of the "spending programs" to be resumed. Energy related credits might be the first to be reauthorized.
President Barack Obama is solely responsible for the current government shutdown. He used the Republican opposition to his health care plan to manipulate them into a situation he could exploit.
He wants to use his media sheep to make the Republicans look bad so he can pursue his goal of gaining dictatorial control over the budget process. He wants the type of power the British monarchy lost centuries ago.
I wouldn't trust former President Thomas Jefferson with the type of control over the federal debt that Obama wants. Jefferson was not only a more honorable man than Obama, he may have had more intelligence than the last three presidents combined.
Obama's conduct of the so called shutdown indicates he is totally lacking in compassion and has contempt for the American people. Blocking public access to the various public monuments in Washington is vindictive and sick. I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of veterans in the Washington area who would be willing to stand guard over those sites if there is a need for such protection.
Obama says he won't negotiate. The only thing he will accept is total control over the debt ceiling. He apparently is willing to let the economy collapse if he can't get what he demands.
Would a sane president make such a threat?
It's time for Vice President Joe Biden and the cabinet to exercise their responsibility under the 25th Amendment to relieve a president who is acting irrationally from the position.
Various conditions can reduce a president's ability to handle the job. The president wouldn't need to be mentally ill to function improperly. Tumors and conditions that affect blood flow to the brain can interfere with a president's ability to handle the office. Alcoholism and stress can have a negative affect.
If President Obama is having some problem he would benefit from being removed from office before the problem permanently damages him. Many historians believe that the stress associated with various scandals killed President Warren G. Harding. The stress of Watergate nearly killed President Richard Nixon.
The 25th Amendment of the Constitution assigns the vice president and members of the president's cabinet the responsibility to monitor the president's condition and relieve him of his duties if they determine he has a mental or physical condition that prevents him from effectively exercising the duties of his office. This responsibility is similar to the responsibility senior officers on a warship have to relieve a captain who is not able to effectively exercise his duties.
John F. Harris and Todd S. Purdum are reporting in Politico that: "Across the capital, anxious friends and chortling enemies alike are asking: What’s wrong with Obama?"
"It’s also true, as acknowledged even by sympathetic lawmakers and some former Obama West Wingers in recent background conversations, that his presidency is in a parlous state, with wounds that are lately self-inflicted."
I've been concerned for some time that stresses of the office are adversely affecting Obama's ability to function.
At times he seems to be losing touch with reality. For example, he seems unable to understand the seriousness of the scandals that are plaguing his administration. The scandals are as real as Watergate, not phony as Obama believes.
His irrational response to the recent chemical attack in Syria raises doubts about his fitness for office. A rational president would have waited for a thorough investigation and then presented evidence to the United Nations and/or the World Court to give them an opportunity to respond. Obama's call for an immediate violent response before all the facts are in is the type of reaction I would expect from a drunk in a bar, not a president in full command of his mental faculties.
A rational president would realize that he needed to take time to convince Americans that the United States needed to get involved in another Vietnam, Iraq or Libya, etc.
Since Obama announced he wanted to bomb Syria, German intelligence has revealed that communications it monitored indicated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had refused to authorize use of chemical weapons.
Russia is claiming it has evidence that rebels used the weapons. If so, it wouldn't be the first time an anti-government force in the region stole weapons from the government or had its personnel masquerade as government forces.
In the movie the "Caine Mutiny" the defense council for the alleged mutineers tells the court that on those on the bridge of the U.S.S. Caine could know if the captain was unable to act effectively in an emergency, Those of us who have to view the president through the filter of the media. Only those on the bridge of the American ship of state know what Obama's mental state is. Only they know for sure if the nation would be better off if Obama were temporarily removed from office.
Member of the president's cabinet need to keep in mind that if Obama has been hurt by the stresses of the office and they fail to act, they will be responsible for an disaster that occurs.
25th Amendment: "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."
Dr. Martin Luther King's dream of a color blind society cannot be realized as long as the media and black leaders continue to perpetuate the old southern myth that the descendants of North American slaves are a different "race" from light skinned Americans. The term "African American" is an extremely racist term that implies the descendants of slaves belong in Africa rather than the United States even though many have ancestors who were living in North America at the time of the Revolution.
The dark skinned peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa might be of a different race from the light skinned peoples of northern Africa and Europe, but Americans have had too much sex across the color line over the last 400 years to be of different races.
The only inherent difference between black and white Americans is a half dozen genes that control skin color. A person can have a dark complexion even though a majority of skin color genes come from European ancestors because the genes that code for dark complexion are dominant and only a couple are needed for a relatively dark complexion. One of the genes that codes for a dark complexion is common among peoples of North America and Asia as well as Africa
Americans have been having sex across the color line since the first African slaves had sexual relationships with their fellow Irish slaves or with slave owners. Sexual relations also occurred with the North American peoples who lived in the vicinity of plantations for the first two hundred years of American slavery and accepted runaway slaves into their villages.
In the mid 17th Century some plantation owners required Irish female slaves to mate with African male slaves so that the resulting dark skinned babies could be kept as permanent slaves. Initially slaves in the British colonies were indentured servants who only had to serve as slaves for a few years. Most early slaves were from the British isles, especially Ireland Later slave owners decided to switch to having permanent slaves with the dark complexioned slaves becoming permanent slaves and the white slaves being indentured servants.
The only African ancestors of slaves arrived before importation of Africans was outlawed in 1808. Only about 500,000 Africans were imported into North America during this period which means that most slaves were born in North America to parents of mixed ancestry; .
The slave genome continued to receive new DNA from plantation owners and overseers until slavery was ended. Southern laws prohibiting sex across the color line were ignored if the female was black such as in the case of the mother of Sen. Strom Thurmond's black daughter. Dr. King is known to have had a white male ancestor who provided his "Y" chromosome. White men could rape black women without fear of prosecution until the 1960's.
It's likely that some children of mixed ancestry were passing for white by the early 18th Century. Many whites who researched their ancestry after the "Roots" television series were surprised to find ancestors whose military records included the letter "C" after the name for "Colored". President Warren G. Harding acknowledged he had some black ancestors. It is very likely that President Abraham Lincoln got his dark curly hair from an black ancestor. Many of his contemporaries believed he had slave ancestors.
It's time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.
The important question in Syria isn't whether Syria used chemical weapons on its own people or should be punished for doing so. The important question is whether the established legal procedures should be used or whether the United States will ignore the law and launch a "lynch mob" style vigilante attack on Syria.
America's Imperial President Barack Obama has decided he is the Imperial Wizard of Earth and like other Imperial Wizards believes he can decide what punishment to apply for various infractions. Like other Imperial Wizards, he doesn't believe he needs to seek the approval of the established legal authorities for his actions.
American leaders have long touted the idea of the rule of law in dealing with questionable activities. Law enforcement officials are supposed to act within an established legal framework that regulates how they deal with suspected lawbreakers. For example, they have to present evidence of illegal activity to a judge if they want to search a suspects residence. The courts, rather than law enforcement officers determine what punishment, if any, should be imposed.
Vigilantes don't bother with using the legal system. If they believe someone has done something wrong they just impose whatever punishment they want.' A unilateral attack by the United States against Syria would be a vigilante attack unless it is preapproved by an appropriate international body such as the United Nations or the World Court.
Congressional approval of Obama's vigilante attack would tell the world that the United States is a hypocritical nation. Congress would be saying that the rule of law is good enough for the United States but not the smaller nations of the world. Congress would be saying that the smaller nations have to accept whatever treatment the Imperial United States wants to give them.
Let me see if I've got this right. President Barack Obama has decided the Syria government has used unacceptable means of killing Syrians so Obama is considering demonstrating the acceptable way of killing Syrians by using conventional weapons to kill Syrians.
The fact that Obama is even considering such an action raises doubts about his sanity.
Killing residents of a country because the country's government used chemical weapons to attack another country might be acceptable. However, the United States cannot justify punishing residents of a country because its government has mistreated them. Such an action would compound the original injury.
If the United States has evidence Syrian government officials have violated international law, the correct response would be to present the evidence to the World Court for prosecution for war crimes whenever prosecution becomes practical.
Killing even one innocent Syrian for a Syrian government official's mistreatment of other Syrians would be murder. If Obama kills any civilians to "punish" Syrian government officials, Congress should impeach and remove Obama from office for the high crime of murder. The United States should then turn Obama over to the World Court for possible prosecution for war crimes.
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution assigns the Vice President and member of the president's cabinet the responsibility of monitoring a president's mental and physical health and relieving him if it appears he is not mentally or physically able to properly handle the powers of the presidency. The responsibility is similar to the responsibility of senior officers on a ship to relieve a captain who has become unable to handle the captain's duties.
If Obama is considering killing innocent Syrians to punish its government for mistreating other Syrians, the cabinet should ask mental health professionals to evaluate whether or not Obama should be relieved of his duties until such time as he regains the mental competence to handle the office responsibly.
In the Vietnam War a marine officer once commented that he was burning a Vietnamese village in order to save it. President Barack Obama's threat to launch a terrorist bombing campaign against Syria would increase the destruction of the country without any guarantee that the government would let America's Imperial President dictate how it should treat its citizens.
Such bombing campaigns have a history of failure. Germany's massive bombing of England during World War II failure to cause the country to surrender as did the American bombing of North Vietnam in the sixties. The Russians had to intervene in the Serbian conflict after the American bombing campaign failed to change things. The United States had to invade Iraq a decade ago to get Saddam Hussein to get rid of his Weapons of Mass Destruction after the bombing campaign failed to produce compliance.
Imperial President Barack Obomber has already destroyed one Muslim country in his efforts to convince people that he is Emperor of the world. Libya still hasn't recovered from his destructive efforts. His inept handling of Libya hasn't given his European friends the control of Libyan oil that they wanted when they got him to support their attack on the country.
Bombings often produce what American terrorist Timothy McVeigh called "collateral damage". President Bill Clinton's attacks on Serbia damaged a hospital and the Chinese embassy. Obomber's bombing of Libya murdered some members of Muammar Gaddafi's family with his bombing campaign. How many innocent civilians will die in Syria if Obomber gets to launch a terrorist bombing campaign against the country? .
When did the President of the United States become god of the world? Who appointed the United States to decide how other countries should treat their citizens? Would Obomber attack Russia or China if they mistreated their citizens or does he just try to bully smaller countries that are too small to defend themselves against the imperialist United States?
The United States has no moral authority to dictate how other governments should treat people considering the government's mistreatment of the country's original residents and the way it allowed the mistreatment of the descendants of slaves in the century after the Civil War.
Members of the media and old black leaders have dishonored Trayvon Martin by portraying him as some type of defenseless child instead of the young man he was. Men like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton haven't used the b-word [hint it rhymes with Elroy] but they have implied it.
At 17 Trayvon Martin was old enough to enlist in the army with parental consent. That made him a man. He was 5' 11" and weighed 158 pounds. We will never know for sure why Martin attacked the man named George Zimmerman, but it's possible Martin believed Zimmerman was stalking him and thus posed a threat.
Martin did what young men sometimes do and decided to take care of whatever he thought the problem was by attacking Zimmerman himself. It's not unusual for young men to try to prove they are men by taking care of threats themselves instead of turning the matter over to the police.
Young men often believe that they know everything, they can do anything and nothing bad can happen to them. Young men are particularly prone to fighting when under the influence of alcohol or drugs such as marijuana. Martin was under the influence of marijuana according to the medical examiner.
People unfamiliar with close combat have overstated the advantage Zimmerman might have gained by pulling out a handgun. In close combat an experienced fighter may be able to gain control of another's handgun and use it against its owner.
It's time to accept the fact that Trayvon Martin was a man who made a man's decision to test himself by fighting another man. People should stop dishonoring Martin by portraying him as a defenseless child like individual.
Bill Maher, the court jester of the elite, has gotten in trouble recently because he used the archaic term "retarded" in referring to Sarah Palin's son who has Down Syndrome.
There are two issues involved in the incident. The first is the use of the term "retarded" which intelligent people have generally stopped using. The second involves a sick attempt by a mentally bankrupt comic to get a laugh at a child's expense. Anyone who would use a child's handicap as the subject of a joke doesn't belong on television.
Maher's critics might consider that those who are within the group a derogatory term refers to can use the term. For example, over the last several decades I've heard black comics use the "n' word" without criticism including comedian Dick Gregory's use of the word as the title of his autobiography.
The term "retarded" has often been misused in association with various conditions. It has often been used to refer to various mental problems that those who use the term don't understand. For example, many describe those with autism as "retarded" even though individuals with this condition can be very intelligent.
Maher has managed to find a way to make a lot of money by demonstrating his ignorance of various subjects on national television. His use of the term "retarded" to describe all those with Down Syndrome indicates he knows nothing about Down Syndrome.
55 years ago those born with Down Syndrome were thought to have only a limited future. Most didn't reach their 20th birthdays. Medical advances since then have increased the capabilities of those with Down Syndrome as has the willingness of people to give them opportunities to demonstrate what they can do. .
A few months ago I mentioned some of the achievements of people with Down Syndrome. One Oregon teen recently accomplished a physical feat most of us would never even attempt. Eli Reimer led a group of climbers to the 17,600 foot base camp of Mt. Everest.
Individuals with Down Syndrome do many things most of us wouldn't attempt. Chris Burke was a star on the successful tv series "Life Goes On". Sarah Itoh was playing the clarinet by the time she was11 years old and is an accomplished public speaker who travels around talking about Special Olympics.
Four years ago the scouting program my mom helped start for those with Down Syndrome in the sixties produced an Eagle Scout when Lucas Wondra met the necessary requirements. He's not the only scout with Down Syndrome to reach that goal. Daniel Camacho of Overland Park, Kansas, achieved that goal and has plans to join others with Down Syndrome who attend college.
If Maher thinks Eagle Scouts, entertainers and college students are "retarded", then he could be "retarded" too.
Maher reminds me of an old Peanuts comic strip. In the strip Charlie Brown asks other children why they are laughing. They answer that they are laughing because they don't understand. Maher spends much of his time laughing about things he doesn't understand.
The biggest problem with Maher's statement about Trig Palin isn't the use of the word "retarded". People who are adults mentally as well as physically don't go around making fun of children. Would Maher and the low lifes who laughed at his comments also laugh at a child in a wheel chair or a child who is deaf or blind? I won't call Maher a man because men don't pick on children.
Calling a child "dumb", "stupid", "retarded" etc. is verbal child abuse and thus who engage in such abuse don't belong on television. An alleged comic who can't get laughs without making fun of children needs to find another line of work.
The ruling in the same sex marriage issue before the Supreme Court will indicate whether the United States is still a democracy or has become a judicial oligarchy. In a democracy, elected officials decide major social issues like how government will treat the ancient mating practice of marriage. In a oligarchy, non elected officials dictate policy to elected officials based on their personal views.
One of my favorite movie quotes is from "The Teahouse of the August Moon". Glenn Ford plays an American officer attempting to explain democracy to the Japanese after World War II. He says, "democracy is where the people have the right to make the wrong decisions." The statement is the essence of democracy. If elected officials make the wrong decision on behalf of the people voters can rectify the situation by electing replacement officials to make the right decisions. If non-elected officials make the wrong decisions the people have no recourse other than overthrowing the government.
People don't become infallible just because they hold a high government office even if they are absolute monarchs who have supposedly been chosen by their deities to run the government. Those of us who are familiar with the history of the Supreme Court known that it is extremely fallible. The Supreme Court has made some extremely bad decisions, particularly.when it has gotten involved in social issues with decisions involving social theories rather than law.
The decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford is easily the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court. The Court attempted to use the case to deal with the divisive social issue of slavery. Chief Justice Roger Taney's ruling inflamed northern public opinion against slavery which many northerners regarded as immoral. The decision insured that slavery would be a major issue in the 1860 presidential election. The decision didn't cause the Civil War, but provided the catalyst to turn the controversy over slavery and broader economic issues into a war.
The 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision is the Court's second worst decision. The Court's acceptance of the questionable social concept of "separate but equal" condemned generations of black southerners to mistreatment including rape and murder. The Court refused to admit that "separate but equal" was nonsense until the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
"Separate but equal' wasn't the only nonsense theory the Court accepted in the late 19th Century. The Court prevented state government from protecting workers from exploitive employers by accepting a nonsense theory called "freedom of contract". Under this theory, government protection of workers supposedly prevented their "free" ability to contract with employers. The Court ignored the fact that workers weren't in a position to negotiate. They had to accept bad working conditions or risk possible starvation.
The same sex marriage issue before the Supreme Court is not about whether homosexuals should be allowed to marry. Homosexuals have always been allowed to get married and many have married individuals of the other anatomical sex. Many individuals strongly encourage their homosexual acquaintences to marry a member of the other sex.
The issue before the Supreme Court is whether to radically change the ancient definition of marriage. The arguments for same sex "marriage" are just as nonsensical as the arguments for "separate but equal' and "freedom of contract".
Marriage is first and foremost a biological process. It is the dominant human mating practice and existed before the establishment of formal governments. Marriage unites the two different types of human beings (male and female) to form a unit capable of reproducing the species. Scientists know that the male body produces a chemical that benefits the female body. Marriage seems to provide health benefits to men, but it's unclear whether chemistry is involved.
The two individuals may even become chemically addicted to each other. Addiction could explain why a woman will take her abusive husband back much like an alcoholic with liver disease will continue to drink.
Governments have traditionally protected marriage because of the benefits to society marriage provides by encouraging production of new members. Benefit programs were established at a time when the time requirements of household duties such as cooking and cleaning meant it was best for one parent to provide the income and the other to handle family duties. Such benefits may or may not still be needed, but any decision in this area should be handled by those selected by the people rather than those selected by a few politicians.
Providing some of these benefits, such as tax breaks or access to the Social Security benefits of another, may discriminate against single adults who cannot obtain comparable benefits. Government can justify this discrimination because of the potential benefit to society of the new members heterosexual marriage may provide even when a given couple doesn't intend to produce a new member.
Providing benefits. such as Social Security or health care, to same sex couples illegally discriminates against single adults. Society can receive no benefit from same sex couples. Two women cannot produce a child together. To become pregnant a woman has to obtain sperm from a man outside the relationship just like she would if she were a single adult.
The Court's intervention in social situations in the past has led to disasters such as the Civil War and southern Jim Crow laws. Decisions about social issues require months or even years of study. The idea that individuals who have no advanced education in the social sciences can decide a complex social issue after a few hours of rhetoric is lunacy.
The Court has often claimed that it attempts to "discover the law". Under the U.S. Constitution a law is a measure that has been approved by Congress and signed by the President or passed over his veto. Congress has defined "marriage" as the union of a man and a woman which is consistent with centuries of Anglo American law. If the Court changes the definition of marriage then it will be making a new law and usurping the power of Congress and depriving the voters of their right to choose the people who make important social decisions. If the Court is going to overturn this definition of marriage by the people's elected representatives, then it is time for members of the Court to also face the electorate.
I've been experimenting with a new camera which let me takes series of photos so that I can create timelapse movies. This is the first of my efforts.
Any effort to reduce sexual harassment in the military needs to recognize that some men have never learned to adequately control their sex drives. Unfortunately, the military may need many of these men for their military related skills. Winning wars requires using men, and women, who don't always play well with others. Thus, the military may need to find a way to reduce sex assaults while keeping those who have trouble controlling their zippers.
The military has some experience in this area because of personnel who occasionally "forget" who they are supposed to fight and who they are not supposed to fight. 99% of the time these men are valuable soldiers, sailors,etc. The military needs people who are willing to fight, but it needs to discourage assaults against other American military personnel by punishing their misconduct..
At one point I was considering suggesting that sex assault cases be turned over to the civilian court system. Then I remembered that the civilian justice system is so ineffective in this area that many women feel reporting sexual assaults is a waste of time. Conviction in civil courts requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt and many cases are just he said - she said with no actual other evidence to support the claim of rape..
The military may actually have a superior ability to handle these cases because it has alternative ways to deal with rule breakers. When I was in Vietnam we had a man from New York City assigned to our post office who had gotten lucky and arrived at a time when we needed a "warm body" to perform miscellaneous duties. He had never driven any kind of vehicle, so of course the army made him a truck driver. Shortly before I left Vietnam he was caught smoking pot. Instead of sending him to Long Binh Jail, the army simply reassigned him to an infantry company.
The civilian courts only options for punishment are probation, imprisonment or fines. The military can reassign someone to another unit, reduce an individual's rank or make it harder for him to get future promotions. The military could have some male only units that men who can't control their zippers could be reassigned to.
The military should change the way investigations are handled. Male officers have been having problems maintaining a proper relationship with those who claim to have been assaulted. The military could eliminate this problem by having female officers investigate assaults against female personnel.
The military can limit sexual stimulation by providing men and women with separate living areas. If men and women cannot be assigned to separate buildings some type of partition, even if its only some type of tarps or blankets should separate the male and female areas. If it isn't practical to provide separate showers for men and women, men and women should use the facilities at different times.. Physical training should be sexually segregated because seeing women exercise can arouse men even if the women are fully clothed and aren't using poles or other props.
Members of the "oldest profession" have long operated near military bases and followed military units around. Some feel that the term "hooker" comes from the women who provided their services to those under the command of MG Joseph Hooker during the Civil War. The military should consider allowing such women to operate their businesses on American bases. Those operating on bases in Muslim countries would have to be particularly discrete. The military might even consider establishing a "sex therapist" duty assignment.
Religious groups might complain. but providing a sexual outlet to those in high stress military assignments would be preferable to having some men attempt to force their attentions on women who aren't interested in them.
I interrupt my discussion of sexual harassment in the military for major breaking news.
Sen. Bill Nelson, Democrat - Florida, in effect said that President Barack Obama committed treason by claiming that Edward Snowden's revelation of NSA monitoring of American phone calls was an "act of treason". Nelson served on the Senate Intelligence Committee for six years.
Burgess Everett reports in Politico that Nelson said, “On the issue of if this a whistleblower or is this an act of treason, I think it directly is [treason]. And I think most of the people who served on intel will tell you that,”
“I think he ought to be prosecuted under the law,” Nelson told reporters. “Extradited and prosecuted. We cannot have national security if our secrets can’t be kept on our methods of gathering information."
If Snowden committed treason by revealing NSA's program to spy on American phone calls, then President Barack Obama committed treason when he released similar information about how the CIA found Osama bin Laden. After the execution of bin Laden Obama revealed that the CIA had been monitoring al Qaeda phone calls in its efforts to find bin Laden and had used satellite cameras to track bin Laden's suspected courier.
If Snowden should be "extradited and prosecuted" as Nelson suggests, then Obama should be impeached and removed from office. Obama's offense was far more serious than Snowden's. Snowden only revealed NSA is using computers to monitor phone calls. Obama told al Qaeda the United States was able to identify and monitor its calls. Obama went further and told al Qaeda that the United States knew which phone numbers they were using.
I don't know what Edward Snowden's motive was in revealing NSA montoring of domestic phone calls. I do know that if his actions qualify as treason then so do Obama's.
The current sexual harassment scandal comes as no surprise to those of us who understand the danger of not teaching young males to control their sex drives.
The first thing parents teach their children is to control their eating and sleeping cycles so they don't expect to eat in the middle of the night. The next thing parents teach their children is to control when and where they expel waste products so the children don't have to wear diapers. When I was young, the third thing parents taught their children was to control their sex drives.
Unfortunately, a few decades ago some very ignorant people decided there was no need to teach children to control their sexual inclinations. These people ignored the fact that all human males are natural sexual predators and encouraged them to fulfill their sexual fantasies. These people in effect told young girls that they were supposed to give into the requests of boys and learn to be sex objects.
When I was an adolescent, we boys were taught to respect girls' sexual privacy. We expected girls to tell us no if we asked to have sex with them. Girls who gave in to boys were looked down upon and considered to have a "bad reputation". Today girls who protect their sexual privacy are looked down upon.
Human males are natural sexual predators with some of us being more predatory than others. Many of us are satisfied with the situation mentioned in the old popular song -- "a boy chases a girl until she catches him." Many of us prefer a situation in which we don't have to worry about our performance being compared to other males. Many of us think there are more important activities than sex.
Other males, such as former President Bill Clinton, believe women exist to provide them with sexual pleasure and may consider themselves God's gift to women. In societies that discourage sex outside marriage these men may limit their actions to women with "bad reputations". In societies that encourage casual sex, these men may expect most women to have sex with them. They may convince themselves that women who resist their advances are "playing hard to get" while hoping to be overpowered.
A third group "goes with the flow". They will limit sexual activities if society discourages casual sex. In societies like ours they may feel that if they don't attempt to have sexual relations with women, people will think there is something wrong with them. Some of them may feel relieved if they are turned down, but still think they should make the attempt.
"Make love, not war" was a popular slogan used by anti-Vietnam War protesters. Generations of soldiers have used "making love" to forget about the realities of war. Survival in war requires soldiers to live by the law of the jungle and be prepared to kill or be killed. Wild male animals not only kill, but in many species expect to have sex. The prostitutes who served the men of Civil War Union MG Joseph Hooker are believed to be responsible for the use of the word "hooker" to describe themselves.
Soldiers fighting in foreign countries typically have used local women for sexual relief. American commanders may feel it is better for American men serving in Muslim countries to be having sex with their fellow female soldiers than having sex with local Muslim women. Officers who know they might have to send those under their command to certain death, may not understand the psychological impact of allowing their male soldiers to force their attention onto female officers.
Some male officers may have an .attitude that female personnel should consider it an honor to provide sexual services to male personnel who face potential death in battle. The more sexually aggressive men, and some women, have a less personal attitude to sex than many women do. To them, sex is just another physical activity like playing football. These men may not understand those women who only want sex as part of an intimate personal relationship.
I'm not sure of current military practices, but I have read stories in the past indicating that the military has required women to share living quarters and shower facilities with men. In addition, women have been required to exercise with men. Such practices can sexually arouse men and reduce their respect for women's sexual privacy.
In my next post, I'll discuss actions the military might take to reduce sexual assaults and harassment.
Do those who want the Boy Scouts to allow openly homosexual boys to participate understand why it's the Boy Scouts rather than the Boy and Girl Scouts? Do they think boys and girls should share tents on camp outs?
Male homosexuals claim they look at other males the way males look at females. If that is true than they sometimes look at other males as potential sexual conquests. They sometimes invade the sexual privacy of other males by imaging sexual contact with them.
I don't know if the claim is true or not. I only know that scientific research indicates homosexuals are born with the body of one sex and the brain of the other. This Gender Identification Disorder seems to create confusion about whether their behavior should be consistent with their brains or their bodies.
Heterosexual behavior is based in part on a predator / prey model. For most that is a friendly relationship like in the old song "a boy chases a girl until she catches him." The recent military scandal in which men assigned to protect women from sexual assaults assaulted them instead demonstrates that some men are unfriendly predators.
The natural sexual attraction process involves males imagining relationships with females. Sometimes these fantasies involve sexual intercourse. Human imagination sometimes becomes detached from reality with males and females imagining relationships that don't exist. A boy sharing a tent with a girl might fantasize about having some level of physical contact with her.
Would a homosexual boy sharing a tent with another boy have a similar fantasy? The important thing is that the other boy might become concerned that the homosexual boy was fantasizing about him and react violently,
Males sometimes have trouble interpreting smiles. A male can mistake a female's smile as inviting a relationship when the female is just being friendly. A similar mistake involving a male homosexual. could produce violence.
Women respond to unwanted attention as "prey" by "running away" or calling for help. Males may respond to imagined unwanted sexual attention as a predator would by launching a preemptive attack.
As boys pass through puberty they move from an attitude of "girls, yuk" to "girls, wow". Boys don't all make the transition at the same time. Boys who want to stay on good terms with friends who haven't made the transition may have to deny an interest in girls. A recent "For Better or Worse" comic strip the son is interested in a girl, but denies it when his friends accuse him of liking her. She of course over hears his statement.
An accusation of a relationship by a heterosexual boy [I'll call Billy] with a homosexual boy [I'll call Jimmy] could produce violence. If some boys say, "Billy, we hear Jimmy's sweet on you", Billy may feel he has to beat up Jimmy to prove there is no relationship.
Puberty is a difficult time for children. Separating boys and girls reduces the potential for sexual tension between them. The current Boy Scout policy of not allowing homosexual members keeps sexual tension out of scouting activities. Allowing openly homosexual boys to join would risk introducing sexual tensions that could result in violence because boys in a situation they don't know how to handle may respond violently.
The Boy Scouts should not allow adult homosexuals to supervise scouts for the same reason the Girl Scouts shouldn't allow heterosexual males to supervise girl scouts. Not only is there a potential for child molesting to occur, there is the possibility of a child making up a story about being molested. The Boy Scouts would have difficulty defending themselves from a lawsuit, even one based on false charges, if the organization knew the alleged offender was homosexual.
One of the most disturbing aspects of the fall of the American consulate in Benghazi is the similarity of the situation to one of the most famous murders in history,
Most people have probably heard of the romance story of Israel's King David and Bathsheba. Fewer are aware of how David got rid of Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite.
To summarize the story: David saw Bathsheba bathing and decided to have a brief affair with her and got her pregnant. He tried to cover up his role in the pregnancy by having her soldier husband Uriah the Hittite recalled with the hope Uriah would spend some time with his wife so he would appear responsible for her pregnancy. Uriah's code of ethics prevented him from having sex with his wife while his comrades were still in combat.
David then issued orders for Uriah to be placed in the middle of a battle and have other soldiers withdraw so he would be killed.
It has been alleged by those in Benghazi at the time of Benghazi attack on the consulate that they were ordered not to try to rescue U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the others in the consulate. Such orders would normally seem unlikely considering the fact that Viet Cong attack on the American embassy in Saigon in 1968 was part of the reason President Lyndon Johnson decided not to run for reelection. The capture of the American embassy in Tehran was one of the reasons President Jimmy Carter lost his reelection bid.
Any order not to mount a rescue effort to prevent an al Qaeda victory could be construed as "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" -- the Constitutional definition of treason. American forces quickly retook the American embassy in Saigon in 1968. President Carter launched an ill fated rescue effort to rescue personnel at the American embassy in Iran. Obama and Clinton had personnel available to attempt a rescue effort. Why weren't those forces used?
Normally American presidents would be expected to do whatever was necessary to protect the lives of American ambassadors. Why did President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fail to protect Ambassador Stevens? Were they too dumb to recognize the possibility al Qaeda would take the consulate? Did one of them or someone else high in the administration want Ambassador Stevens, or someone else at the consulate, to die for some reason?
Ambassador Stevens wasn't married, so the motive couldn't have been the same as the motive for killing Uriah. Perhaps Stevens was connected to a scandal that hasn't been uncovered yet. I'm aware that there are rumors that both Stevens and Obama are homosexual, but don't know if the rumors are true.
I don't have any answers, only questions. Congress needs to consider the possibility that the Benghazi incident was used by someone high in the Obama administration to kill Ambassador Stevens or someone else at the consulate. It would also be possible the intended victim wasn't at the consulate even though someone in Washington thought he, or she, would be.