Oh Captain My Captain…

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
Robin Williams wins the Oscar for Good Will Hunting

Robin Williams wins the Oscar for Good Will Hunting

Sadly the world has lost a great comedian.  Robin Williams was found dead in his Northern California home of an apparent suicide.  It has been reported by multiple sources that he has been depressed recently.  Robin Williams was the comedian of a generation.  He was a doctor, a genie, and a hero.  We looked to him to make us laugh and remember our childhoods and he will be sorely missed by all.

This death does raise a different issue.  If a man such as Robin Williams, who has the public face of being the funniest man on earth could be seriously depressed, what about the people in our own lives?  I believe that we as a society can take this tragedy of a life not finished and learn from it.  We should learn to recognize the signs of depression.  I do not pretend to know the extent of Williams’s condition.  But I do know that we live in an age where people are more likely to ask you how you are on your Facebook timeline than to actually pick up the phone.  Where people are complaining about the Facebook messenger app and how you should just text them, as though texting someone is so difficult to begin with.  We are so connected but with that connection we have become even more isolated.  We seem to know everything about everyone’s lived but in reality we don’t take the time to call people anymore and see how they are doing.  Hopefully we can take the time out of our days and think about the people in our lives, call them, have coffee and see how they are doing.  We don’t need to be living in a connected solitary world.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

Bill Clinton: “I could have killed him..”

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

A chilling recording recently surfaced in Australia.  While meeting with a group of Australian businessmen just hours before the 9/11 attacks Bill Clinton is recorded saying:

“I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden … He’s a very smart guy. I spent a lot of time thinking about him. And I nearly got him once.  I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him.”

“And so I didn’t do it.”

This audio was recorded by Michael Kroger and originally aired by Sky news in Australia.

In the clip the news anchor says, “You’re right 99% of the time what happens if its 1%,” implying that he feels as though Clinton made the wrong choice.  If you search this story anywhere on the internet it always says something along the lines, hours before 9/11 Clinton says, I could have killed Osama.  Implying that on September 10, 2001 Clinton had the power to kill Osama Bin Laden, which he didn’t.

According to the 9/11 Commission Reports there was an attack proposed in December of 1998 an attack was proposed on the town of Kandahar.  The president was advised by the Joint Chiefs not to attack due to the collateral damage this attack would cause, the lives of 200 – 300 civilians.

Is it our job to judge whether or not the president made the right choice.  In 2014 we can launch a missile on a direct target with ease and have a small amount of collateral damage.  In 1998 we have to get the intelligence, have it reach the president, have a choice be made and have a plane bring the payload, which at that time could take 4-5 hours.  Osama could have left where they thought he was by then.  Is bombing the whole town okey to kill one man?  Would that have been the better choice in hind sight?

If you watch the videos by Fox News and ABC News you see two very different points of view.  ABC News is very clearly on the side of Clinton making the right choice, for the times and good for him to not want to kill innocent civilians.  The Fox News anchor seems frustrated that the military expert he brought on to discuss this matter isn’t for Clinton killing those civilians, and Bin Laden.

I think that hindsight is just that.  Could different choices have been made, yes.  There were many choices that could have been made by different leaders, and maybe 9/11 wouldn’t have happened, maybe.  But that is just it, maybe.  And focusing on those moments when you could have made a different choice is not the best for your health or sanity.  And it isn’t the best for America.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

Dying with Dignity

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

366c0a0A friend of mine posted this article on his Facebook page called, ‘This Bill is about me’: Baroness Campbell’s speech at yesterday’s Lords debate and it got me thinking.  This speech given in the House of Lords was given about the Falconer Bill, which is a bill, modeled after the Oregon bill that would legalize assisted suicide for those who have less than six months to live (two doctors independently must agree on this), prove that this person is of sound mind to make this request, and there is no coercion.  There is support for the idea of assisted suicide among the majority of Brits, but there is some fear and misgivings there.  This speech though has given me cause to think. Is terminally ill and disabled the same thing?  Automatically you would think no, but what do you think of as disabled?  Unable to walk, what is the line between disabled and terminally ill?  My mother who has multiple sclerosis considers herself disabled, but the law says she has a terminal illness, while my sister who is autistic is legally considered disabled (which I don’t think anyone would disagree with that legal definition).  I find that the line between disabled and terminally ill can be blurred at some points and it would be very difficult to agree on one definition. Alright so then if we give someone the right to die does that take the burden away from us to help people who choose not to die?  I know that sounds harsh and your knee jerk reaction is to say, of course not, but hear me out.  Over the last 50 years the ideas of illness and dying has changed dramatically, from being sterile and clinical to being just a stage of life that with the good graces of modern medicine can be less painful.  But if you give the choice of ending your life, easily will then the medical community just say, well he/she isn’t my problem because he/she could have just taken the easy route and just ended things.  I know this sounds harsh and far fetched, but people and the government can take laws and ideas that seem to make since and be peaceful and nice, and these laws can be mishandled and mistreated. Do we have the right to choose when we die?  That is an interesting question.  We have many legal choices.  I as a woman can choose whether or not I want to be fertile, I can choose if I want to keep a fetus or not, I, when I have a sound mind, have complete legal autonomy over my body, and yet do I have the right to choose when I die?  At various times in US history suicide has been a criminal offence in the United States (laws varied from state to state) currently there is no law on the books against suicide, but is considered a common law crime.  That is fascinating to me.  It’s fascinating to me and most of those from outside the United States that major laws can vary in America from state to state.  In the US only in Oregon and Washington state (at the time this article was written) can you choose to end your own life with the help of a medical professional, but you can choose to end your own life at any point. Why do you think that there are so many taboos about suicide.  I think that it stems from religion mostly.  God created us as beautiful individual beings with free will and by ending our lives we are denying the plan that God had for us.  Circular logic, but still none the less, we as humans see this sanctity in life, religious or not.  Our mothers went through hell carrying us and delivering us, and I know most would do it all again in a heartbeat,  but to end your life by committing suicide is almost negating all that work your mother did.  But what about for the terminally ill or disabled? I think one would need to agree on a definition of these terms.  I think that there have to be safeguards put in place.  I am sure there are days when many disabled people feel like ending it all, but that is just frustration.  Should they have access to that?  Although there are some clear cut cases, my grandfather.  My grandfather had lung cancer was in pain for every breathe, and we knew that he had hours.  Some would say that it would be cruel not to end his life, and yet others see a dignity in the natural process of life.  These are my thoughts at the moment.  I would like to hear yours.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

What does the Government Owe Us?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The self-righteous ramblings of twenty-something political writers who don’t know how to read a Supreme Court decision has gotten me thinking?  What does the government really owe us as citizens?  What is the government responsible for?

It a simple founding fathers definition, John Locke said, “Life, liberty, and property,” although our good friend TJ changed it to, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  At the basics level a government is designed to. “protect the common defense,” and protect each other from, well each other.  Man is an evil creature, and governments are created to take away a bit of natural right, for security, and that’s the balance that governments have been trying to find, the balance between freedom and security.

Where does healthcare come into this equation.  It has been argued that the high cost of healthcare in America, and nobody can deny that, hinders on our rights of economic security, considering that the majority of bankruptcies in America, especially before the housing crisis, was due to medical bills, I can see their point.  So if unchecked costs of medical bills threatens economic security than where does birth control factor into this argument.  And when I am discussing birth control I am discussing it purely for preventing pregnancies, not for ANY medical reasons, reproductive or otherwise.

Well birth control prevents pregnancies and unintended pregnancies happen largely to the young and undereducated.  So having birth control available to these women would save the government millions.  Also women who can control when they have children can rise higher up the corporate ladder and do more with their careers and generally have the same opportunities as men.  Although that argument is for another article.  While all of this is true, do we want the federal government dealing with this?

I like the federal system.  America is a big place and the federal government would have a really difficult time dealing with all the different needs of each state.  I don’t think many people, if they think about it, would really want to get rid of the federal system.  So why can’t the states regulate birth control?  Why can’t the states have programs set up for women who cannot afford to pay for birth control?  Most states did.  Most states covered birth control for the low income or those who were under insured.  State governments who pay for the food stamps and unemployment and have a genuine interest of lowering the rate of unintended pregnancies in their state.

While I don’t like the idea of, the boss in my bedroom, or the government in my pants, they are paying for birth control.  The real way to not have the government in your bedroom or your boss in your bedroom is to leave them out of it.  Pay for your own birth control.  And yes $40-$100 a pack can suck.  But alas we don’t really want them out of our bedrooms because $1200 a year is a lot of money, although it’s less than a baby.  What do we do then?

We realise that the federal government shouldn’t be making broad laws infringing on freedom of religion.  I’m sorry but if a small store run by two nuns were forced to provide birth control it its 3 employees people would be up in arms.  Hobby Lobby is a much bigger store but it’s controlled by 5 people in the same family with the same beliefs.  It would be a horrible president for the government to set if they said, we’ll protect some people’s freedom of religion but not others.

This is where the state can step in, and set up a program to provide low cost or free birth control for those companies who do not provide contraceptives.

I am curious how all of this will come out in the next election.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

The Real Implications of the Hobby Lobby Case

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

imrsSo, as we are all listening and reading the articles and hearing the talking heads discuss Burwell v. Hobby Lobby we aren’t looking at the broader implications of this decision.  The Hobby Lobby case, as it’s more affectionately being called was decided that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act holds that closely held for-profit companies, meaning that more than 50% of the company stock is held by 5 or fewer people, are exempt from covering birth control.  What this decision really does is allow closely held for-profit companies to claim to have a religion.

When I wrote my original article about the Hobby Lobby case I had the same fears as I do now.  Recently the government and the Supreme Court have been treating corporations and people as the same thing.  Yes corporations are owned by people, but I don’t have any employees who livelihoods are dictated by my day-to-day life.

Let’s begin according to dictionary.com a corporation is

  1. an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members. See also municipal corporationpublic corporation.
  2. initial capital letter the group of principal officials of a borough or other municipal division in England.
  3. any group of persons united or regarded as united in one body.Informal. 
  4. a paunch; potbelly.

So for this case I am going with definition number one.  What that means is that a corporation will exist even without the original owner.  Bob’s Auto Repair will probably not exist if Bob dies but if he incorporates and franchises than Bob’s Auto Repair can exist with or without Bob.  Nothing wrong with that, the people at Wal-Mart  who have jobs even though Sam Walton died in 1992 probably are ok with that.  Wal-Mart has been a corporation for many years.  The company has hundreds of stockholders.  Wal-Mart cannot truly claim to have a company conscience considering that the company is held by so many people.  Now what about Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby is what one would call a closely held corporation.  More that 51% of its shares are held by 5 or fewer people or people in the same family.  It’s easy to believe that these people all have the same beliefs and morals.  I wouldn’t question that.  Why does this matter?  It’s easy to believe that these stocks are held in the same family because this family wants to keep control over their company.  If you own the majority of something you have control over its look, design.  Mark Zuckerberg may have the majority of the shares of Facebook, but he owns less than 30% of the shares of Facebook and the rest are owned by individuals and corporations.  Again it cannot be argued that Facebook has a corporate consciousness, no matter your opinion of Facebook as a website.

Why this matters is that it can be argued that Hobby Lobby chooses to stay closely held in order to keep control over the values and the shared interest of the company, and so that the morals of the majority owners of the company do matter.  One can assume that if you go to a restaurant owned by a Jewish or Muslim family that you most likely won’t find pork on the menu.  But a small mom and pop restaurant and a large company with hundreds of employees are two different things.  Should I have to do a bit of internet research before I start working for a company to find if the company has a corporate, religious, consciousness?  Is that status a legal status?  Can it change?  What if all the owners of Hobby Lobby or any of the other for-profit stores that will seek this protection change their minds?  We as individuals have the right to learn and grow and change our minds, but to corporations?

It seems to me that this ruling leaves us with more questions than answers.  Hopefully in the near future there will be some answers of the legal status of corporations, because it makes me very nervous that when I apply for jobs that I have to google what religion the CEO is now.

 

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

My Thoughts on Ann Coulter

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

 

http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/anncoulter.jpg

http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/anncoulter.jpg

As a political commentator myself, Ann Coulter is a name you will find everywhere. She wants you to talk about her and her brash opinions. Her last three books (she’s written nine books in the past ten years), are called “Demonic,” “Mugged” and “Never Trust a Liberal Over Three — Especially a Republican.” She wants you to notice her and she wants you to talk about her. She has recently made headlines with a few different social media statements and articles that both outrage and upset people. What comes to mind is the #bringbackourgirls hashtag, a movement that started over Twitter a few months ago. People, including Michelle Obama, posted photos holding signs with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls and Ann Coulter held a sign that said #bringbackourcountry.

The media was outraged for a week or so that Ann Coulter would use this Twitter movement, which was meant to do good for a social and political agenda, for personal gain. The truth is that she highlighted is that taking a picture and posting it to Twitter won’t do anything. We must do something to change the country. Action isn’t posting to social media — action is calling your congressman, not being passive.

Coulter’s latest social stunt is very pointed. My response to the article Coulter: Any growing interest in soccer a sign of nation’s moral decay is simply, WOW. I had never read anything so pointed or mean-spirited. The statements that she makes fall into three categories: her objections to the actual sport, the people who play or support the sport and the culture that supports soccer in the United States.

I live and work in China and my coworkers are from China, Australia and the United Kingdom. Many of the statement’s Coulter makes about baseball are common international complaints about baseball. Trying to explain why baseball is fun to watch and why I get excited to see a man hit a ball with a stick astounds some of my coworkers. It’s not a part of their culture and they didn’t grow up playing and loving it.  Coulter says that soccer is for wimps and that soccer moms love soccer because it’s safe and there are no individual winners — no MVP.  Well, if you have ever watched two homegrown teams play against each other for pride, it’s obvious that there are winners and losers and there are heroes. David Beckham wouldn’t have become the icon he now is if there weren’t star players. I’m sorry, but running around on a field for 90 minutes is exhausting without doing it with aggressive men wearing spikes. Have you seen any of the gnarly injuries that come from soccer?

Lastly, and the part that probably is the most rude, is Coulter’s statement about an American society that accepts and enjoys soccer. She says,

If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.

Apparently, she doesn’t find the people who brought soccer into this country to be real Americans. Americans have always wanted to be the best on the world stage and so, soccer leagues came into existence, especially because kiddie football became too expensive. Kids played soccer when they were younger and grew up loving the sport, the same way we learned to love baseball, football and apple pie. We’re in a new generation of kids who played soccer in school. My father, who is months older the Coulter played and loved soccer in high school and is rooting for America alongside so many other Americans. I think someone just needs to explain the rules to her.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

Why Are The Redskins Getting Flack For Their Name But The Blackhawks Aren’t?

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

I wrote my opinion on the Redskins name change contraversy here

http://elitedaily.com/sports/difference-redskin-blackhawk/639448/

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

Jenny Mollen on “the View”

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Jenny Mollen was on “The View” Wednesday to promote her book “I Like You Just the Way I Am.”  Mollen is known for her racy comments on Twitter and this book doesn’t hold anything back.  Whoopi Goldberg questioned why Mollen seemed subdued considering the subject manner of her book being so racy.  I have read a section of this book, it was in Cosmo, and she discussed trying to a particular scene from “50 Shades of Gray” with her husband Jason Biggs and the hilarious outcome from that.

I haven’t read the whole book.  I assume Candace Cameron Bure has and she took offence to some of the topics in Mollen’s book.  Particularly buying a hooker for her husband and having a 3 some with him.  Bure is known for her conservative and religious views, asking the audience why should that be celebrated, which garnered an applause from the audience.

I find more interesting are the comments from other people, called Bure crazy, or that she should leave public life and other things that are much worse than that.  When did expressing your point of view become a horrible thing.  Jenny Mollen certainly is in this book.  Candace Cameron Bure is a celebrity that is known to be religious and to speak out for her beliefs, and I respect her for that, just as much as I respect Jenny Mollen.

I just find that backlash against Bure funny considering that the USA is the place where not too long ago the country freaked out over Janet Jackson’s nipple.  Celebrities like Jenny Mollen beg the question that Bure asked, why should we be celebrating  people like Jenny Mollen who get book deals for being rancy and racy and showing the kind of moral that would make my grandmother’s head spin.  Does Jenny Mollen getting a book deal mean that the country has lost its puritanical prudishness and is willing to embrace all forms of sexual fun and friskiness?  I would say recent elections say no.

Mollen is definitely a celebrity that is a product of culture, although being Jason Biggs wife doesn’t hurt.  Mollen was able to garner her fame semi-anonymously from her twitter handle and to be honest her tweets are funny and seem brutally honest.  Looking at your smart phone or sitting behind a computer screen reading her tweets is like therapy, living through someone elses missteps, victories and funny moments without having to live them yourself. You can laugh at the latest quip made by her without having to, needing to, or wanting to know anything about her, or if any of it is real.

The question is though should she be celebrated.  Should celebrities like her be given book deals and what not for telling the scandalous parts of their lives to the public and making other groups very very uncomfortable.  You tell me.

Should Bure have been criticized so much for her comments.  Should the internet have been so hateful to her because she expressed her opinion of outrage about the celebration of Mollen’s bedroom activities.  You tell me.

Mollen and Bure both have a valid place in this culture that is quite divided.  Bure represents a religious representation of the culture that while technically a minority, the majority of that group votes and that makes her a member of an important group.  Mollen represents a younger group of people who know very little before twitter and Facebook, before our lives were majorly public.  Mollen’s character doesn’t seem out-of-place to us as under 30s because that is our life.  There are people who would tweet of facebook parts of their lives that are that public.  That doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it part of our new culture.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

Childfree Women

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

18vok42fzh93ujpgChildfree by choice.  To be childfree is a choice and in this day in age with the technology we have it’s a choice that every woman can make if she chooses to.  Why is it then that lately women feel as thought they have to publicly defend their choice to be child free?  Our  mothers and grandmothers fought long and hard for women to be able to have access to education, sports, employment opportunities, ect and they also fought to legalize birth control and abortion.  So after all these years of fighting for equal rights, when a woman makes a choice that follows from the rights that she has to make that choice, why does she feel the need to defend that choice?

As a childfree woman, I feel social pressure to have children.  I am 29 years old, my older cousins are all married with babies, why aren’t you?  Although the majority of that social pressure comes from my own head.  I think that women are conditioned to want to be like their peers,and when your best friend from university is married with 2 babies you wonder if something is wrong with you.  The truth is I am childfree because I am traveling.  In the last 4 years I have been in the United States for 3 weeks, and I enjoy my life and the freedom that comes with it.  Heck when one of my coworkers wanted to give me an adorable kitten I turned him down because I don’t want to deal with the responsibility of another life.

Here’s the next reason why childfree women feel as though they need to defend themselves, they sound selfish.  I, I , I is a common word in all of those sentences above, I choose, I feel, I want, and at some point shouldn’t those I s turn into we s then turn into us.  To be fair, that’s how it works in the movies, that’s how it probably worked with some of your parents, granted mine have been married for 30 years and still going strong.  Is it wrong to be selfish?  In this day in age with the ability to choose to not have kids, by the flip of that coin it means we choose to have kids, because even if your child was an accident, you knew how to prevent it.  If we choose to have kids then we have children for a reason, are all the reasons to have children altruistic?  I am just saying that when you make the choice to parent, it is that a choice, for a reason, and while you may have to be unselfish to parent, you made that choice for a reason.

I could go through an exhaustive list of pros and cons of being childfree, but in the end the choice to parent or the choice to be childfree is just that, a choice and I am grateful that I have that choice and we need to stop judging ourselves and each other for making that choice.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico