Sunday, February 26, 2006

Explanation From Danish Editor

The News and Record ran a story in the Ideas section of todays Sunday paper from Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten that ran the cartoons depicting Muhammad. He gives his explanation for running them, the reason behind it, and some insight into freedom of speech rights and the cultural double edged sword that a lot of people expect.

Some highlight quotes:

"I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam."

"The cartoonist treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions. And by treating Muslims in Denmark as equals they made a point: We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society."

"When I visit a mosque, I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible in a secular democracy."

It is a very insightful op-ed piece. The original printed in the WAPO is here, originally ran on Feb. 19th.

Port Insecurity

The Dubai World port deal, brokered by the very people who tell us we can not trust the terrorist, stinks something awful. Your government, which I now believe smokes all the confiscated crack, wants to allow a country that harbors terrorist, guard our ports. I am pretty sure CNN has honed that breaking news logo and headline about a dirty bomb or nuke being smuggled in to our ports and detonated, in preparation. I think Bill Maher put it best this past weekend when he said, "Let's see how the President would feel about replacing his Secret Service Agents with people from the United Arab Emirates." If it's ok for our security, then it must be ok for his. Right?

The solution to this problem is simple. If the deal goes through, the unionized port workers should go on strike, until the crackheads in Washington realize that our national security can not be outsourced like our jobs can. Why make more holes in our port security? Why let their be a greater chance of an incident? We should be strengthening our ports, not weakening them.

By the way, the Republicans are brokering a compromise of your security as we speak. They are trying to get a 45 day national security review, to allow the deal to be brokered and move forward. Just remember come election day this year that the Republican you are voting for are selling your security to terrorist. These are the, "We're better at fighting terrorism, then the Democrats" , people. Former Senate Majority leader Bob Dole who is the husband of NC Senator Elizabeth Dole was hired by Dubai Ports to help lobby the deal. Follow the money and find the crook who is selling you out. It's like a sick game of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.

Anyway you cut this deal, the White House admits to not knowing about the deal until after the deal was brokered. What else don't they know? Who the hell is running this country? We have to stop being so lazy and complacent. Answers are needed from our government, and we are not going to get them from the mainstream media, we have to raise questions. We need to be pro-active before they allow us to all be radioactive. People say I am a glowing person when they meet me, I just don't want them to have to be literal.

South Dakota Thoughts

The travesty of a vote against women's rights in South Dakota most likely paves the way for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. HB1215 can be read here. Here is the rollcall for the South Dakota House vote. Here is the rollcall for the South Dakota Senate vote.

I think we should all send a message to those who voted for the abortion ban. Each member of the South Dakota legislature has their info here. Click on the member and get their e-mail, phone and home address.

This could be the decision that overturns a women's right to have a choice. A choice to get rid of a rapist child, of an incestuous baby, etc.. I don't personally believe that abortions should be used as a form of birth control. A mother that can not handle a child should not be forced to have one.

Simple guidelines for Abortion can be adopted to prevent it as a form of birth control.

First, over eighteen years of age unless with parental permission.

Then, a database of abortions to track who and how many. A reasonable limit to how many during a lifetime. The only exception being rape, incest or the mothers life is in jeopardy.

Finally, if a women abuses the right, then the state can rule in court to force a hysterectomy. Reason being that if a mother can not handle having a child, as a parent in general or financially, then the state of residence will wind up paying for that child or children anyway. Either way the state pays, but with the hysterectomy it is a lot less. Children should be raised in a happy household that has a chance of overcoming the financial strains of having a child. Welfare babys lead to other welfare babys down the road. It is an unfortunate vicious cycle that can not be broken until we stop the rich from staying rich, while keeping the poor...well poor. If you want abortions to stop on their own, then ban Halliburton, Exxon, Wal-mart, you get the point. Also you folks can make health insurance a little more affordable. The states pay for a lot of pregnancies, solely because a mother(especially a single mother) can not afford health insurance to have their baby.

For those on the right of this issue, especially the Christian right, I understand your stance on the issue. I also understand your stance on the issue of contraception. I just don't agree. You can not have your cake and eat it too. If you are against contraception, you are promoting unsafe sex. 'Cus let's be real for a second, abstinence is not a choice most are going to take. Those who swear to abstinence are still having oral sex and anal sex without contraceptives. Not everyone wants to live the life of a priest, or we would all be priests. By promoting unsafe and unprotected sex, you are directly contributing to the "so-called" abortion crisis. It's not like everyone is getting an abortion, it is a small percentage of the population. Wal-mart is not offering them on a blue dot special, well not yet at least.

For those who vote to ban abortions under any circumstances, I hope you have to have a loved one raped and live through the trauma. Then, you'll have to explain to your wife, mother, sister, etc.. why you won't let them get rid of a child that will forever remind them of the trauma they lived through. Then come talk to me about your view on abortion. Until then don't be draconian asshat, keep your thoughts to yourselves and do your job, represent the people. How come none of the abortion bills ever go to a general vote? See how the people feel. It is, after all, their lives you are effecting.

This is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Media Reactions and Public Disconnections

JR posts this story at the News and Record(from David House) about the people who have adverse reactions to coverage of the VP's "accident", or other important stories they don't deem as news . John raises the same point on local hot button issues saying, "So much is viewed through the black-and-white prism of if-you're-not-with-us-you're-against-us."

I think he is right, much is viewed in black and white. I posted these thoughts in the comments to the article(which I am reposting here, because it started looking like one of my blog pieces and I wanted to elaborate more):

"I feel like the public just doesn't care as much. They want news, but they want it super-sized and fast. The death of a free media started with the birth of the soundbyte and the videoclip. Because of this, I feel like the erosion of interest in opinions has been weaned off the American public like painkillers, with the reverse effect of making us numb instead of informed. The less informed the public is, the less resistant we are to a government who caters to the rich and the corporations, not the average people."

"What the media in the US needs, is to reverse it's vasectomy and start reporting like a reporter should, with factual information, that gives the whole story and is non partisan in nature to let the people form their own opinions. This is why I enjoy blogs. They are partisan, but I read the right and the left. I can form my own opinion and click on links to actual documents to reinforce the article I read. With TV and newspapers, I don't know where the info comes from, might as well be thin air, especially when reporters won't reveal where they got important info to an important story. The system is broke, but not unfixable. We just need a willing presscore to get back to basics and tell us something we didn't read online 12 hours ago."

What I mean by a less informed public being less resistant is that if they government keeps the public in the dark they will never see the light. All kinds of legislation is passed all the time that effects all of us. Most of us never even know that the legislation is being discussed or voted on. The exception being high profile bills that need to garner public support. This occurs on a local and state level as well. Why do the papers not cover legislation in it's entirety, instead of only what has paper selling headlines? This would be a service to the community, which is what a paper is. This is just one suggestion.

I find it compelling that the public has allowed it's own disconnection. It has been a slow and steady hypnotic act by the mainstream media that has lulled America to sleep. Chanting "you are a Republican" or "you are a Democrat" depending on what paper you read. To me, it makes sense for the papers to be non-partisan, they would be able to attract both sides of the audience.

When I said the death of the media started with the soundbyte and the videoclip I am referring to the "CNNification" of America. Breaking News is now sometimes(I kid you not) ,we don't know anything more at this time on this event. People jump over tables like trained monkeys when that breaking news icon appears, and I don't get it. It is new news, but most times it isn't much, especially on a slow news day.

When VP Cheney shoots his friend in the face, IT IS NEWS. It doesn't matter what side of the political divide you are on, the people should know. Just as much as when he has chest pains. After all the man is second in line to the button. Here's a good question, what if his friend shot him in the face, would that be news? Again, I think yes. I don't think that the side of the public making a big deal out of this weeks coverage would oppose to coverage of that. What makes it so different? Who got shot? What if Whittigton died from the VP's gunshot wounds? It would have been negligent homicide, and a new VP. So could someone on the other side explain how this isn't news? I would sure like to know.

The Rhino printed the Danish cartoons, this past week(not online)(N&R coverage of the Rhino's complaints on the cartoons here), that stirred up the Muslim community. I don't read the Rhino, I think they are partisan trash. I do commend them for printing the cartoons, however. Why shouldn't the public see the drawing that was causing such a stir? The Danish cartoons should have been in every paper for all to see. If you think you would find it offensive, turn away. In the dark, the public gets the impression that all Muslims are insane and violent(by their reaction). Seeing the cartoons you can form your own opinion. People say it is "offensive to their prophet". I can understand that. What makes it any different from a President Bush anti-Arab speech? The fact that it's a picture. They are our enemies, the terrorist, the President drills us over and over(meaning the Arabs who aren't obedient to American policy). After 9/11, while I was residing in NJ, there was numerous attacks on NYC cab drivers because of their ethnic backgrounds. an Arab community in Patterson, NJ was basically under siege by other non-Arab residents, while the police did nothing. I hate the men who flew those planes as much as the next guy, but it wasn't the Arab world who collectively flew those planes into the Trade Center towers. It wasn't the cab drivers fault, but some paid a price. It wasn't the Arabs in Patterson, NJ.

I just think everyone is overly sensitive, like a toothache. If you don't like it, don't read it. If you think it is offensive, turn away. The US is one of the only free countries that doesn't have nudity on public TV. Are we so ashamed of our bodies? What is offensive about another nude human? Why do we shield ourselves from everything? If you tell someone they can't they will want to. That is why pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry, and I don't think that a few pervs could come up with the multi-billions by themselves. A dissenting view is healthy, it keeps the human race on their toes, thinking and intelligent. I swear that if we keep up this diaper wearing society, we will be surpassed by another lifeform on earth, like the monkeys or dolphins. That is how dumb we are allowing ourselves to become as a whole. We don't need any help from the media in the dumbing process, we need help getting us thinking again.

When I say that the system is broke, but not unfixable I mean it. Some papers, like the News and Record, are endorsing a new media like blogs and podcasts. Embracing new sources of news and opinions, who aren't professional journalist. I have always said that "Just because a doctor has a degree, he doesn't always have a cure, all he has is a piece of paper that says he might." It is the same with journos, they have a degree but unless they are fabricating the news, they can always reach out for other views or leads to what their readership thinks is news. Expanding coverage, that was thin at best to begin with, is a good start. These papers will survive if they stay the course, remove the political divide and embrace their readership as intelligent individuals that can form their own opinions. We beg you, give us something to read. Something more then partisan press releases, and propaganda opinions. Something with substance and flavor. Like "Field of Dreams", if you write it, they will read.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I'm Just Sayin'

I had to fill out a form tonight for Earthlink Spamblocker. I sent an e-mail to a fellow earthlink user, and at their request 1st time senders must fill out this form. There was one weird thing about the form, however. Here it is:

Visually impaired? Click here

I kid you not. Like the visually impaired can even see the link. I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers win the big game. Final score 31-21. The Seahawks beat my Giants in the regular season, so my choice may be biased. Actually our kicker beat us, 3 times!!!!

Looking forward to the commercials anyway.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

30 Years Ago- Wiretaps- Same Cast

AP runs this story about a Bush, a Cheney and a Rumsfeld. Wiretaps during the Ford administration.

I guess now that they have their boy in office this was going to happen. They have apparently been fighting for it for 30 years. If this wasn't predetermined from the day that W got office I don't know what was. I think a lot of this administration was based around the "War Machine".

Yes, 9/11 happened, but did they let it?

Yes, we had to go to Afghanistan, but Iraq?

Fought for wiretaps 30 years ago, now they admit to it.

The scary NY Times parallels?

If you weren't in the circle of trust for this administration then you ain't reaping the rewards. No wonder big oil and defense companies are doing so well. Yes, your Exxons and Halliburtons.

I'm just saying. How much of what is going on now was written into history before W even became a Gov. in Texas? Good question, huh?
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