On October 30th three pro-democracy protesters were arrested. All three of them men, ages between 24 and 50. According to the WSJ two of the men were arrested for “obstructing police officers executing their duty”the other man was arrested, according to the WSJ for suspicion of criminal damage. According to the AP the skirmish began when a protester shined a cell phone camera light in an officer’s face, the officer tried to arrest he man, and a line of protester swarmed the police. The protesters are in their 6th week and are planning on marching from the business district to the Chinese government liaison’s office this Sunday. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, what they call their president (shows the economic history of Hong Kong) will be in Beijing for the Asian- Pacific Economic corporation forum. The student groups who said they would go to Beijing during this conference says they will wait, because they want their own time with Chinese officials. It isn’t going to be easy for them to go to main-land China anyway, China can deny entry to anyone, even Hong Kong residence.
It seems strange to me that the student leaders of this protest aren’t taking full advantage of what is going on. Hong Kong is an economic gold mine for China, that is why they wanted it back and why Great Britton took it after the Opium wars. This is also why the Chinese government wants to control Hong Kong faster, as opposed to the forty years that was promised after the hand over in 1997. I am curious of the aims of Hong Kong, the protesters say they want Democracy, but not independence. Do the protesters want permanent democracy or China to keep their promise for another 20 years? These are some of the questions I have that maybe you could lead me to a good answer about.
Catcalling, street harassment, no matter what term you use it’s all the same. Not asked for remarks made by a person on the street. These remarks are usually of a sexual nature designed to illicit a response from the other person. Most of the time catcalling is perpetrated by a male. And honestly, as a woman, I don’t know why men do it. Is it to illicit a response, because quite frankly I don’t believe these men want a response.
When I was younger and people talked about catcalling it was something that construction workers did. There was an episode of “Sex in the City” where Miranda was catcalled outside of a video store and she turned the tables on them.
But the truth is, even for Miranda, catcalling is unwanted. Women are human beings, just as men are, and we want to be talked to and not talked at. When did catcalling become a thing that many men do.
I am going to blame a few things on this. One is media and the other is women ourselves. The media has slowly but surely showed the female body as a prize, and the more you get to see the bigger the prize is. There seems to be, in this day in age, an entitlement, almost a reverse political correctness, in seeing a woman’s body.
The 1990s were all about political correctness, what we can and cannot say on the street and in the office, and how much those women and sometimes men were teased and made fun of. As children of the 1990s I think men and women of my age group don’t want to be seen as “those” kinds of people. We are the children and grandchildren of the sexual revolution, we have always had access to birthcontrol (mostly), safe and legal abortions (mostly), and Title IX. Equality is complete.
But these same people who see equality as being complete also believe that with complete equality means a right of equal and complete objectification. “A girl doesn’t walk down the street in leggings if she doesn’t want people to look.” I have heard before, and for some women that is true. Some women feel good being checked out. But that doesn’t mean that she wants strangers to talk to her.
Girls, as I can only speak as a woman, are taught to be afraid of strange people. Women are taught to be afraid of dark corners and shadows and to be wary of strangers, because this stranger may want to attack or sexually assault you. Men teach these ideas to their daughters. And yet other men go out on the street and catcall? Most women in America are taught from a young age to fear strangers, and yet men don’t understand why we don’t like catcalling.
I watched a video by CNN about he recent viral video by Hollaback on this subject:
And the man in this video says that women should, “stand up for themselves,” even after he is told that a women died in Detroit, http://michronicleonline.com/2014/10/08/shot-down-mother-of-three-killed-because-she-said-no-to-a-mans-advances/ . He then says women should go buy guns and blames bad parenting. She didn’t add this incident in New York, http://nypost.com/2014/10/08/womans-throat-slashed-after-rejecting-mans-advances/ . Women shouldn’t need guns to walk down the street. Women shouldn’t be made to feel unsafe because our “ass looks good in dem jeans.” We as a society shouldn’t stand for it.
Now this word has become a new fear buzz word. Remember anthrax and what could any white powder have been? The problem with the Ebola breakout is two-fold. One is that we, as a television watching, internet reading community, know who deadly this virus has been. The
BBC has reported today that World Health Organizations numbers, that 4447 people have died from this Ebola virus outbreak with the majority of this people being from West Africa. As of when this article was published the WHO states that an estimated 8,914 cases of Ebola overall. This is a deadly disease and we all know it. And yet, the media is also trying to calm people.
Recently I took a trip back to the United States and for the first time in a long time watched the nightly news. As the anchors were discussing what Ebola is and why it is so dangerous they kept mentioning over and over again that it’s not an airborne disease and that one cannot catch Ebola from being in the same room as another person with Ebola, and yet, every person who was dealing Eric Duncan, the patient in America with Ebola was wearing a hazmat suit. The people who were going his living quarters were wearing hazmat suits and people were being quarantined.
This doesn’t make sense? Why does the news tell us we have nothing to fear when we can all see that we do. When the BBC has to publish an article called “How Not to Catch Ebola”
The US media is downplaying the risk of catching Ebola by focusing on it not being an airborne cotangent, but in a way it is. This BBC article clearly states that if a person with Ebola sneezes on a person who isn’t wearing protective gear there is a high risk of catching the disease. There are good things to know the media has reported, such as if a person doesn’t’ have symptoms they aren’t contagious. But this downplaying of Ebola to not cause panic is clearly going to make the disease worse. Already a nurse who treated Eric Duncan has contracted Ebola. We have to be vigilant.
When I traveled to the USA from China I had to take off my shoes, but when I left the USA I didn’t have to take off my shoes. Does that mean Americas are becoming less vigilant, or that the USA has better trained bomb sniffing dogs? I don’t know. America has historically perceived itself as being better, more knowledgable and more prepared. But it just feels like we aren’t. There has to be a line between fear pushing and truth-telling about something that is scary and dangerous. I just feel as though my media should tell me the truth and not just what they think I need to know.
Donald Sterling no longer owns the Clippers but he is counter-suing the NBA, because he says he was illegally taped. He lost his team and was banned for life based on a conversation he had in private that he never ment to see the light of day. The NBA says that this conversation reaching the public has tarnished the image of the league. Funny the NBA has a stronger punishment for racist remarks than the NFL does for domestic abuse.
For some clarification, in case you have forgotten back in April Sterling was caught on tape with a female friend. This friend, V. Stivano irritated Sterling when he saw that she had posted on instagram a photo of herself with Magic Johnson. Sterling stated “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people”, and, “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want”, but “the little I ask you is … not to bring them to my games”
These comments caused a backlash within the team and within the NBA in general. Sterling was banned, within four days of this taped being released, from the NBA and given a fine of 25 million dollars. It’s crazy to realize all of these events happened about 6 months ago. Sterling’s ban has forced a sale of the team. Now he has lost a court battle is taking place over whether or not the sale Sterling’s wife made was legal and binding.
Basically Donald Sterling, no matter how much apologizing he tries to do will always be labeled a racist, and an organization like the NBA has no room or tolerance for racists. Players don’t want him around, it’s better for the moral of the NBA for him not to be there. The question he poses though is more interesting, should a private conversation that was illegally taped cause you to lose everything?
In this day in age where everyone has smart phones and tablets, it’s almost a given that your photo can be taken or you can be recorded at any moment. I think those of us under 30 have realized this. I think we have lost true privacy, unless you have good friends and this case will prove that.
September 11, 2001 is a day that I will never forget. I can’t believe that it has been 13 years. I guess that it makes sense that I just missed my 10 year high school reunion, so many friend of mine have had babies and the world has been introduced to the iPhone 6, and yet that morning still feels sickeningly real.
At that point in my life I was living in a small town outside of Chicago, and was in the 11th grade. I was sitting in my Algebra 2 class when my notoriously forgetful teacher told us she still hadn’t graded our last tests, and we had a test tomorrow. So she went to the office to photo copy our previous tests, like she did the test before, and the one before that, so we would have something to study from. 25-30 minutes later we all started to realize that she hadn’t returned. I don’t know why none of us left the room or didn’t do anything stupid, we just didn’t, I was actually playing on my friend’s TI89 calculator, cause those things were the coolest. Our teacher walked in with this dazed look on her face and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and she was listening to the radio in the office and then walked out. We all sat there confused until the bell rang.
My next class, English, we were all talking about what we had just heard and made the most logical conclusion we could, drunk pilot. It had to be a drunk pilot, how else could something like this happen. Then third period AP History, that calmness of truth was gone. Live my friends and I watched on TV as the second plane hit the second tower and I knew that there was no mistaking, their was no question, something was wrong and we were going to war. The rest of the day was confusion and tears. All the downstairs classrooms in my high school had TVs but the upstairs ones didn’t, so it felt like you were going into a different world upstairs. A friend of mine had a brother in the Pentagon, and I was worried about my Aunt and Uncle who I knew were supposed to be flying out that week, but I didn’t know when. And my daddy who worked as a limo driver at O’Hare. There were so many rumors and so much speculation going on, we were worried that their were other planes heading for the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) or this huge nuclear power plant near us, it was all rumor and fear and speculation that day.
The truth is though we all saw that our generation would bear a huge brunt of this war. And that is something none of us could question, we (America) would be going to war with someone. I have seen so many of my friends go to Afghanistan and Iraq and come back, thank goodness. They have never come back the same though. My generation grew up with terror alerts and heightened security, fear of the dodgy looking person near landmarks and sadly less personal liberty than the generation before. We won’t ever feel freedom from fear again because September 11th began a different type of war that Americans never had to deal with, and it will never end.
I still remember thinking, no country would ever be stupid enough to attack mainland America, and now I know, a country wouldn’t do that, but a terrorist would.
First before we begin with Olberman’s statement we need a little back story. Ray Rice was (he was fired on Monday) a player on the Baltimore Ravens. He was indited for domestic abuse. On February 15, Rice and his then fiancée got into a heated argument and he knocked her out cold in the elevator. The tape that was (allegedly seen) by the NFL was of him (Rice) dragging his unconscious fiancée out of the elevator to the hotel room. The couple married on March 28th, one month after his indictment. He avoided jail time by going to a pretrial diversionary program.
What was surprising to most was the NFL’s reaction to this incident. Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, gave Rice a 2 game suspension. This suspension was shorter than other players had received for marijuana use, and other crimes that do not involve bodily injury. Goodell has later stated that he, “didn’t get it right,” and has imposed tougher punishments for domestic violence.
This week a new video has surfaced. TMZ, our friendly neighborhood paparazzi hounds found the actual video inside the elevator where we see Rice deliver a knock-out punch to his then fiancée. For those of you who want to see it here in the link to the article. The include the raw footage and a cleaned up version.
The NFL states that they never saw this second video and that this video changes everything. Rice was fired on Monday from the Baltimore Ravens, and both Goodell and the Raven’s organization are receiving sharp critique from current and former players and new commentators.
Keith Olberman states, and I agree with him wholeheartedly,
“We begin tonight with the unavoidable and simple truth that intentionally, or by neglect, the Atlantic County, New Jersey district attorney’s office, the Baltimore Ravens, the National Football League, and commissioner Roger Goodell have conducted a cover-up of Ray Rice’s assault on his then fiancée on February 15th.
There is no other conclusion possible. Each body, each leading individual involved came to a judicial conclusion about what had happened to Janay Palmer and What should happen to Ray Rice. And each, through deception or incompetence, misled the public, damaged the efforts of every man and every woman in this country seeking to merely slow down the murderous epidemic of domestic violence, and made a mockery of the process by which those who batter those they claim to love are to be brought to justice.”
How could this have happened? How could the NFL thought that a 2 game suspension was enough? How could we have thought that this incident was just a, “bad night,” as the Ravens head coach had said. The original video released shows Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator, what other conclusion could have been made about what happened to her? And yet Rice is an amazing running back and I think the organization was wanting to do everything in their power to keep him. But here is the thing that we all know athletes are role models, and men. And because they choose to be role models, because they choose to be professional athletes their choices are seen differently. Rice’s actions are wrong and inexcusable, but so were the Raven’s actions, and so were Roger Goodell’s actions. Everyone needs to be held accountable for what they did.
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.
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.
A 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.