Do We Have True Privacy Anymore

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Image via Forbes

Image via Forbes

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.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

13 Years and I still Remember

Friday, September 12th, 2014

september-11-2001-1September 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.

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

Keith Olbermann on the Ray Rice Scandal

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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.

TMZ Ray Rice Video

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.

Continue Reading »

This post was written by: PurplePolitico

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