Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It would be one thing if people allowed their beliefs to guide them into becoming better people, but the exact moment you impart those beliefs unto others in the form of superiority, you immediately go from respectable contributor to disreputable phony. If the only way you can feel better about yourself is by feeling superior to another, you have nothing to feel good about.
If you either have HBO or can access HBO through another route, Friday nights at 11:00 pm eastern time should be spent either watching or using a TiVo to record Bill Maher. If you don't know who he is, you might want to change that. He has an intelligent, satirical and clever way of talking about the week's events with educated panelists from all walks of life. A regular feature of the program is his New Rules segment at the conclusion of each 60 minute show. Here is Bill's take on Value Voters from the October 19th show. I can say with a certain moral certitude, you'll enjoy it....
If the choice in '08 is between Rudy and Hillary, "values voters" must do the Christian thing and choose Hillary. Of course, I think all religion is nuts, but at least she practices it the way Jesus suggested: privately. Like a Dick Cheney energy meeting.
Plus, she's raised an admirable daughter, while Rudy's kids couldn't hate him more if they were New York City firefighters.
And let's not forget, Hillary didn't commit adultery. Her husband did. And afterwards, she did the Christian thing and forgave him. And then she had a GPS unit implanted in his penis. But the important thing is, she forgave him!
Now, I bring all this up because this weekend in Washington is the "Values Voters Convention." Three days of peace, love and hypocrisy. Where the Republican frontrunners will spend the week kissing the asses of 2,000 social conservatives who despise liberals, homosexuals, Muslims, Mexicans and Nobel Prize winners. And who believe the sound of a condom wrapper being opened makes angels die.
It's kind of like a "Star Trek" convention, only the virgins are angry--and they think outer space is just a theory. So, Ann Coulter, if you've got any more "f@ggot" jokes, this is the room for you.
But - but, here's something I learned while indulging one of my traditional values, reading. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the states with the most conservative Christians have the highest rates of divorce, the highest teen pregnancy rates and the highest obesity levels. Yes, they're fat, knocked up and not talking to each other--but, at least they put homosexuality back where it belongs: in the airport men's room.
Now, I know what you "values voters" are saying right now: "Why would we listen to you, Bill Maher? You're a bachelor from heathen California. What do you know about family values?" Well, I know enough not to get married and live in Kansas.
And I know that if you can look at the war in Iraq, the melting environments and the descent of America into "idiocracy," and still think our biggest problems are boobies during the Super Bowl and the "war on Christmas," then you don't have values, you have issues.
If you had "values," you'd draw the line at torture. But a startling number of people who call themselves Christians don't. And I'm pretty sure if you asked, "What would Jesus veto," it wouldn't be health care for sick kids.
Why, it's almost like "values voters" don't really believe Jesus was right about anything. [in mock attack ad voice] "Jesus Christ: wrong on gays, wrong on taxes, wrong on torture, and wrong for America."
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
IS THE BIG GUY A HOLY ROLLER?
What made me come to that conclusion you ask? Look around and smell the fear just below the surface of the morning dew. People nowadays are not only terrified by Muslim extremists, but by fear itself. It's hard to crow how we're winning the war on terrorism when we can't take a bottle of water or shampoo on a plane. If God was paying attention to world events half as much as he is to sports, would we be mired in a war in Iraq, another possible war in Iran, genocide in Darfur, rampant worldwide poverty, world wide devastation because of global warming, premature death by the same illnesses our great-grandparents died of because stem cell research has been throttled or being subjected to a president as stupid as George W. Bush? I think not. This is a clear case of an all-omnipotent spiritual being spending too much leisure time watching sports then watching how the people created in his own image are screwing the planet over.
It's time we stop kidding ourselves about being better people when we should be focusing on being better fans. Whenever I would see sports fans effeminately waving white hankies, doing the wave, bastardizing Native Americans by using foam rubber tomahawks in "the chop" or all wearing the same color shirt, my first instinct has always been to puke. It simply doesn't work. It's too generic, too regional and too sissified. Fans need to pool their energies and, more importantly, their faiths to pray in unison loud enough that nobody, not even God Almighty, can ignore their pleas anymore. Imagine 50,000 baseball fans in Colorado praying at the top of their lungs. The Red Sox would have been condemned or dare I say cursed to eternal damnation. Now, of course, four of the seven games were scheduled to be played in Boston, thereby negating the prayers of Colorado. But maybe if the praying was effective enough, an act of God would have created some type of catastrophe in New England forcing more games be played in Colorado.
Colorado is a Red State. Massachusetts is a Blue State. Everything I hear indicates red state prayers are better than their blue state opponents, thereby making a Rockie victory inevitable. One thing I would advise, however, is sports organizations have to be much more careful what they name their stadiums and arenas in the future. Colorado plays its games in Coors Field. The stadium is named after beer. You know what beer does. It makes you drunk and the tool of the devil. God is not going to sign on to that. God will go with Boston who plays in Fenway. When the stadium opened its doors back in 1912, Fenway was a section of downtown Boston. God in theory will choose tradition rich history over beer any day of the week, I would think. So be careful how you name your sports stadiums. Select more God-friendly names like Wrigley as in chewing gum or Mile High Stadium in Denver where the football Broncos play. A mile high is closer to heaven than Death Valley. The best place, however, is where the Los Angeles Angels play. That's right, Angels Stadium. Yeah, like they'll ever lose a game again. Just imagine what will happen when they play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
So in conclusion sports fans, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, but how you pray the game. Our team doesn't need better players, but better prayers. A great power hitting third baseman can't compete with the power of God. Why waste time praying our guys can win when our prayers can insure they'll win. So, until God starts spending more time watching the world, watching the temperatures, watching the terrorists and watching the polling booths, why not at least win some more games and get in some quality praying in as well. Once we can accomplish that, we can really find eternal happiness beyond sports. That's right, sports gambling. Watch our bank account grow as our interest grows in our teams. I mean after all, isn't that the real definition of the expression, Win-Win? God, I need a face card on top of my bullet. BLACKJACK! again.....
Monday, October 29, 2007
Here's to the winners - lift up the glasses .
Here's to the glory still to be.
Here's to the battle, whatever it's for,
To ask the best of ourselves, then give much more.
Here's to the heroes - those who move mountains.
Here's to the miracles they make us see.
Here's to all brothers - here's to all people
Here's to the winners all of us can be.
Here's to the heroes - those who move mountains.
Here's to the miracles they make us see.
Here's to all brothers - here's to all people
Here's to the winners all of us can be.
My late paternal grandfather could never understand how his sons or grandsons could get so worked up over a sporting event on television. Grandpa had a theory it really didn't matter if your team won or lost, you still had to go to work tomorrow. In my case, I guess he meant school. Intellectually I can appreciate what he was saying, but sports isn't about intellect, it's about passion and emotion. I can't explain it exactly nor do I want to, but all I know is you feel better when your team wins. You wear your hat and uniform top with an unapologetic pride. You want everybody you come in contact with for the next week or two to know that your guys beat someone else's guys. This wasn't always such an easy thing for Red Sox fans to do. For most of my formative years, I just knew the Red Sox as losers thanks to watching the games on television, reading the sports pages and being ridiculed by sickeningly arrogant Yankee fans.
I can still hear that grating New York accent going through me today with taunts of 1918 (prior to 2004, the last year the Sox won a World Series) the nonsensical Curse of the Bambino legend and how many titles the Yankees won while Boston was usually fighting only to avoid last place. Those days are over. Back in October of 2004, the curse was not only broken, but obliterated into a few million pieces. The hated rivals met in the 2004 American League Championship series, with the winner getting to represent the AL in the series. The Yankers er Yankees took what seemed an insurmountable three games to zero lead in the best four out of seven series. The Yanks merely had to win one out of a possible four more games to win and rub their heel in New England's collective noses yet again.
But something magical happened. 86 years of futility was about to be 86ed. The Red Sox would become the first team in the over 100 year old history of Major League Baseball to come back from a three games to zero deficit and win four straight games to gain entrance into the World Series. Red Sox Nation had to pause and reflect which was better, going to the series or coming back from 3 - 0 on the Yankees. I still can't decide. Well to make a four game series short, the Sox steamrolled the St Louis Cardinals four straight games to win the World Series for the first time since 1918. You remember 1918. There was something called World War I and a quart of milk would set you back a pretty penny, about 14 pennies to be exact.
If you've never been to New England, cared much about baseball and agreed with my grandfather about going to work tomorrow, you couldn't possibly understand or care what 2004 meant and, to a slightly lesser extent, what 2007 means to Sox fans. After the series was over and the mess from the parades were cleaned up, a great many Sox supporters visited cemeteries to pay honor to their grandfathers, fathers and other loved ones to bring them the news the boys with red hose and the capital B on their hats finally did it. No more laughable losers, no more frustrations of ground balls rolling through first basemen's legs, no more cries of "wait til next year." The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the world champions of baseball.
I hope you like a little irony with your blogs because I'm going to leave you with a taste as I finish this off to sip a drink and puff a cigar myself. First, the Red Sox won the final seven games they played in 2004 to win that World Series. They did the exact same thing to win the series this year too. You can also consider how many superstitious sorts think the Red Sox were cursed after winning the series back in 1918. The then owner of the club desperately needed money to finance a Broadway production. He raised that money by "selling" his best player to the New York Yankees. You may have heard his name once or twice, Babe Ruth. When the Yankees started wearing numbers on their jerseys, Ruth wore number 3. The final out in the 2004 series was made by then Cardinal shortstop, Edgar Renteria. Yeah that's right, he wore #3 as well. This year, the final out was made by pinch hitter Seth Smith, who struck out. Smith wears #12. A little bit of a stretch, but where I come from 1 + 2 = 3. The curse is not only as dead as the Babe, but buried forever and ever........
Posted by Veritas at 1:07 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States of America is in what used to be your house. How gullible are people who buy two cents worth of this cruel and contrived horse feces? Two years ago the gulf coast areas of Mississippi and Louisiana were devastated by Hurricane Wilma. The city of New Orleans is still a long way from anything close to a full recovery. The worst part of all however, was the systematic way in which the people of New Orleans were ignored and abandoned by the Federal Government in the immediate hours and days following the storm's conclusion. While the poor people of New Orleans were left to fend for themselves, George W. Bush was doing what he's always done best, he was vacationing. Survivors were literally dying in the streets from lack of fresh water, food and disease. People died of exposure trapped on the roofs of their houses while others were being victimized in the Superdome and in the few dry pieces of ground within the city limits.
The one common thread connecting these victims were the irrefutable facts that they were mostly poor and mostly black. Not the kind of people the George W. Bush's of the world associate with. I mean they weren't the people that supported Bush and his fellow republicans with generous campaign contributions or at the ballot box. When Bush eventually began to pay the slightest attention to this national shame, thanks to the 24 hour coverage of the world's media, all he did was mug for the cameras with then FEMA director Michael Brown. Who among us will ever forget the immortal "you're doing a heck of a job, Brownie" proclamation. Bush eventually showed up nearly a week after the total devastation and gave one of his hollow, canned speeches, made all kinds of empty promises (most of which have never been fulfilled) and found some sad victims to hug as the cameras recorded every moment for posterity. Bush was highly and correctly criticized for his cavalier, too little-too late, public relations intensive attitude. Some people say that incident was most responsible for finally stripping the teflon cover off his empty shell.
Now we have another disaster in another part of the country because of these wind driven wildfires in California. Thousands of homes have been reduced to ashes and nearly a million people were displaced. Wow, lightning strikes twice. The president is awarded a mulligan. The opportunity is in place for Bush to correct the comprehensive failures from New Orleans. No matter how stupid this guy is and trust me, technology has yet to invent the instrument to measure how massively stupid he truly is, he couldn't possibly screw this one up. Yeah, and it never rains right after you wash and wax your car either. Bush announces he's coming to California to inspect the damage for himself. He plans to tour the affected area by helicopter. I see him sitting there with his little nose pressed up against the window offering insightful comments such as "wow, fires are bad" and "I'm hungry, how about some fried chicken and smoked ham for lunch." The plans were made initially for some quick helicopter touring and lunch with all the heck of a job firefighters and to thank the men for their hard work and service to their country.
Some of you may be thinking Bush can't win with you people. If he stays away, you criticize him for that and if he shows up, you criticize him for that. Wrong you are. Everybody in the world with access to CNN knows all about the fires and feels really bad for the affected people and want to help. They want to help constructively however, not self-servingly. Cities are sending firefighters, equipment and resources to help. The Red Cross and other relief organizations are collecting monetary donations, blankets, clothing and other daily essentials to help displaced people be able to live. The area was obviously designated a federal disaster zone, thereby allowing the few funds not designated for Iraq available to help. I'm sure the people there need more but the one thing they don't need, is a "nucular" idiot showing up there with a horde of flunkies to videotape their despair. I realize almost all these people are white and have money, but still, right now they share more in common with the poor, black residents of New Orleans than with a self serving wealthy, white imbecile in a work shirt. I heard the Dept. of the Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, claim in a televised interview how engaged Bush was and how much time he spent time "peppering" the secretary about the fire. Uh huh, Bush should just sign the necessary paperwork, send the check and stay the hell out of everybody's way. If he wants to pepper something, let him pepper his own lunch while safely tucked away in the White House. Then he can lie down, take a nap, and let the adults do what needs to be done. Good night Mr. President....
Friday, October 26, 2007
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Thursday, October 25, 2007
In words and pictures everybody can agree upon, portions of Southern California appear to be in the middle of Hell. Wildfires being driven by hurricane force winds are destroying everything in their path. Houses and nature reduced to glowing embers and ashes. Wildfires are a major environmental hazard that have historically cost California more than $800 million each year and contribute to “bad air days” throughout the state. The more global warming pollution that is emitted into the atmosphere, the more wildfires Californians can expect to see. If average statewide temperatures rise to the MEDIUM warming range, the risk of major wildfires in California is expected to increase approximately 20% by the middle of the 21st century and an incredible 50% by the end of the century. That is almost twice the wildfire increase expected if temperatures are able to be kept in the lower as opposed to medium warming range. A matter of just a few degrees.
It's not just increased temperatures that will dramatically increase these destructive wildfires, but the corresponding decrease in precipitation as well. Because of this, future wildfire risk throughout the state will not be uniform. An example of this is a hotter, drier climate could very well increase the flammability of vegetation in Northern California and promote up to a 90% increase in large wildfires by the end of this century. Future generations will be left to pay for the Iraq War, but at this rate, they will have to foot the bill for these wildfires as well. Even if precipitation remains constant, but temperatures continue to warm, this hotter, wetter climate would also lead to an increase in wildfires in the northern part of the state, but to the lesser extent of 40% by the end of the century.
Wildfire smoke produces small soot particles, which can cause or aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory illness and lead to premature death. For example, the wildfires that burned nearly three-quarters of a million acres in Southern California in 2003 caused particular matter or soot to increase four to five times above normal levels throughout the southern part of the state. Five million people were exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution for a minimum of two days while the fires burned and nearly two million additional people were exposed for five days in a row. If global warming emissions continue unabated and temperatures should rise into the higher warming range, property damage costs from wildfires alone could increase as much as 30% toward century's end. This is considered to be a conservative estimate because it's based on the California population and land use patterns remaining at today's levels, even though the state's population is projected to grow from the present 36 million to more than 55 million within the next 40 years.
Furthermore, other fire-related costs such as fire prevention and suppression, health effects of fire-related pollution, flooding, mudslides, altered recreation opportunities, and loss of timber were not included. Because most global warming emissions remain in the atmosphere for decades or centuries, the choices that are made today greatly influence the climate future generations will inherit. The technology presently exists to increase energy efficiency and significantly reduce emissions from energy and land use. People have to begin committing now to reduce the dangerous effects of global warming.
I once again ask why this tremendous country allows a relatively small band of delusional nuts to dictate the path in which this country is being led. My only theory is that these sanctimonious hypocrites take the time to vote. Because of that, this country is being denied so many amazing technological and scientific breakthroughs that could potentially improve the quality of life for every American. Diseases presently killing people of ALL faiths and beliefs could one day be dramatically reduced through stem cell research. Global warming could be contained which would allow future generations to enjoy the same quality of life this country has had access to for nearly a quarter of a millennium. Hundreds of billions of dollars could be spent on finding ways to preserve life, rather than ending life through immoral wars. I still think the majority of Americans agree with my positions than with the self appointed moral misfits who would rather terminate the future of you and your children than an unwanted fetus. I do believe in the proverb that "evil prevails only when good people stand by and do nothing." I wonder what will it take for the good people to stop standing by and start standing up. Metaphorically, perhaps this country, much like the legend of the Phoenix, would rise from the ashes and in its place, these self-righteous global whores can throw themselves in the flames and be born anew as human beings....
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Athletes are also examples of mind numbing head trauma victims when they answer the most ridiculous questions with even more ridiculous responses. This will be clearly illustrated as the World Series begins Wednesday night in Boston. You think you guys can win the series this year Joe? Oh yeah we definitely got a chance if we stay healthy, get good pitching and hitting, get the breaks and play hard. I always wonder why they don't say, yeah we can win if we score more runs than the other team. If one team scores seven runs and the opposition scores six or less, boom, you win. Reporters have to fill newspapers with mindless interviews and analysis that means absolutely nothing. Television guys doing the 6:00 and 11:00 sportscasts have to fill time as well. What was that pitch you hit out of the park in the 7th inning Jose? Jose will kill three minutes explaining it was a slider. Slide this. Who cares what specific pitch was thrown, just hit the damn ball over the damn wall.
What about political candidates answering hard hitting questions from soft tossing journalists? Every answer to every question is straight from their campaign literature. When do you think we can bring our troops home from Iraq, Senator? That's an excellent question Sam. Let me answer that by saying we have the finest troops in the world. They're the best trained fighting force ever assembled and Americans are so proud of them. They remind me of the time I was fishing with my father and we caught a five and a half foot tuna and that reminds me of when I met my wife and yada yada yada. I'm sorry Senator, when did you say we would bring the troops home? Sam, I think we should pass a resolution saluting the American fighting men and women of the United States of America that flies the flag I so proudly display on my lapel.
But most important of all cases where mouths should be sealed shut involves so called celebrities. It's rare to watch CNN nowadays for 20 minutes without getting an update on the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears. These idiots are discussed and interviewed on so called news programs. Your grandparents have seen Britney going commando. (Ewwww) Experts are brought in to discuss the thought processes people like Britney go through. Interviewers are asking her what her Halloween plans are, what color panties she's wearing if she's even wearing them. I bet you more people under 40 in America, know the names of Britney's kids than know the name of their own Governor, US Senators and Congressional representative. Reporters ask her what she thinks of certain issues. If I ever hear somebody justifying their position on a particular issue by quoting Britney Spears or Paris Hilton, I will have to consider severing their arm and then proceeding to beating them in the head with it.
MARIE OSMOND AND PARTNER JUST BEFORE SHE FAINTED
The way I see it, we're left with two choices in this country. We either have to stop interviewing people or shortening the days from 24 to 4 hours. With the explosion of 24 hour cable news operations, there simply is not enough news to sustain 24 hour around the clock coverage. Tops, there is four hours of news and that's on a somewhat eventful day. The purpose of transmitting vital information to people around the world has to be more than debating if the 3 -1 pitch should have been a slider or a fastball. It has to be more than asking politicians meaningful questions in order to extract meaningless answers. It has to be more than asking Britney Spears what her plans are for a 50 pound pumpkin she's carrying around in her trunk. We need more eventful news like Marie Osmond fainting on Dancing with the Stars. Marie revealed in an explosive interview immediately after regaining consciousness that she sometimes forgets to breathe when she becomes nervous or excited. Wow, that's what I call news, competition, celebrity information and drama all rolled up in one little dance. So the key is more dancing or shorter days. Clearly I've left you all with quite a bit to ponder.....
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Cheney exaggerating the size of his courage
They so cavalierly dispatch brave young men and women to fight wars that they lack the intellectual wherewithal and intestinal fortitude to have fought themselves. We must never forget that Bush was a Vietnam War deserter and allowed to do so because of powerful family connections. Cheney had to rely on five separate deferments to keep him out of Vietnam. Cheney told the Washington Post that he had sought his deferments because "I had other priorities in the 60's than military service." Other priorities he said? Those priorities consisted of flunking out of Yale University because of subpar academic performance. Cheney added, "I don't regret the decisions I made, I complied fully with all the requirements of the statutes, registered with the draft when I turned 18. Had I been drafted, I would have been happy to serve." Easy to say 30 years after the fact.
Others contend that Mr. Cheney appeared to go to some length to avoid the draft. "Five deferments seems incredible to me," said David Curry, a professor at the University of Missouri in St. Louis who has written extensively about the draft, including a 1985 book, "Sunshine Patriots: Punishment and the Vietnam Offender." How does a so called man so easily uproot young men and women from their families for a war he knows was based on lies? All these dead and injured soldiers, the emotional and financial tolls on the families, the hundreds of billions of dollars spent and for what? So cowardly old men can relive their shameful lives through the courage and bravery of others. Iraq wasn't enough to fully absolve their yellow hearts, lets get Iran next.
"The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences," he said in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. I wonder what that means. Is he referring to the same international community fighting in Iraq? You know the one. The United States is providing 180,000 troops and the "community" is providing a few thousand extra. I suppose when we bomb Iran, Trinidad and Tobago will be flying the lead planes. Poland's four soldiers will lead the first wave of ground troops over the dunes of the Iranian Desert. John McCain will get captured and video taped to help jump start his fading presidential campaign. Rudy Giuliani will remind the American people he was mayor of New York City on 9/11. Mitt Romney will stage a 24 hour bus ride across Iowa as he reminds people he's pro life for all of God's children, except for Iranians and them pesky varmints he likes to shoot.
Well Dick, thanks for coming out of your hole to remind the world why you're the tough talking hombre from Wyoming. I wonder if you saw your shadow. I wonder if Iran had the WMD all along. I wonder if anybody still clamors to go hunting with you. I wonder if you care how many troops have died for your lack of courage and abundance of lies. That's why it is such a shame you're the embodiment of the color yellow. Had you gone to Vietnam like these soldiers today go to Iraq, maybe you would have been too frightened to have allowed your country to participate in another senseless war. You see Dick, courage is acknowledging fear and then overcoming that fear through positive actions. You acknowledged your fear by letting that fear overcome you, and make you into the weak, pathetic little coward you will be to your last breath....
Monday, October 22, 2007
If you look back at the history of the United States, the concept of diversity and multiculturalism was the very foundation on which we were built. Downtrodden people from all over Europe, Asia and the world arriving in this country to make a better life for themselves and their families. It seemed only natural the different ethnic groups banded together in neighborhoods as they acclimated themselves to their new environs. There was nothing sinister in play, just diverse cultural groups slowly beginning the transformation from where they were from into Americans. After all, you just don't flip a switch and erase generational cultural patterns for the unknown. It was often a slow metamorphosis, but a steady one as well. Today, that concept seems to have dramatically changed.
The feeling of nationalistic esprit de corps has been replaced by distrust and hatred. People nowadays are much more evaluated on where their ancestry originated, then for who they are today. Much of that should be discounted, but not all of it. Growing up in South Florida, I have witnessed how the city of Miami has dramatically changed from the tropical gateway to the Caribbean to the Caribbean. The majority of Miamians are now self described Cuban exiles whose loyalties to their ancestral home far supersede their loyalties to their current homeland. The city government is almost exclusively Cuban and their main interest in this country is the liberation of their former country by any and all means. For example, every time Fidel Castro is reported to have a cold, the natives start banding together and start rumors about the alleged death of the dictator. What happens in the United States is relevant only in how it will affect the island nation of Cuba.
Another book questioning the merits of cultural diversity is "While Europe Slept" by Bruce Bawer. This is a book that documents how radical Islam is destroying the west from within. Bawer illustrates how the countries of Europe were so intent on being tolerant of Islamic culture, that they have permitted Muslims to isolate themselves from the rest of the citizenry, not learn the language of their new home and pillage government resources. The cultural values held are those of the Muslim world, where the only law is SHARIA law and the only leaders are the Imams. Private Islamic schools subsidized by the government are allowed to teach hatred of America, Israel and of Jews in the name of cultural respect. The host government is viewed as a temporary situation destined to be replaced by a restrictive Muslim regime, one that permits (and even encourages) honor killings, arranged marriages and wife beating. Even after 9/11, denial still existed. It would seem the policy of tolerance is backfiring. Finally, these countries are attempting to deal with the immigration issue. But is it too late?
The concepts of multiculturalism and diversity sound so good to the ear and look so good to the eye. However, in this growing climate of religious fanaticism and nationalistic exclusion of foreigners, it doesn't seem to make much sense anymore. People no longer welcome "outsiders." We instead treat them with fear and suspicion. We tell ourselves the new neighbors or the new neighborhoods dominated by "those people" are not like us. My first question is always "who exactly are the people like us?" I often wonder what I have in common with most so called real Americans anymore. I don't wear a flag pin on my lapel. I don't consider myself an anti-human, pro fetus conservative. I'm not a tree hugging liberal either. I'm not religious, morally superior and self-centered enough to fit in with any group. I do however have white skin, a warm smile and I don't go out of my way to inflict my personal beliefs on others. Nowadays, that makes me as diverse as anybody, I suppose. I guess deep down maybe I'm just like that old, old wooden ship that Ron Burgundy waxed poetic about before he read the news. You stay classy multiculturalism people...........
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Allow me to give you an example that illustrates this point. Recently a 15 year old African-American girl from Ft. Pierce, Florida was stopped by a police officer at 1:30 AM for being in violation of a city mandated ordinance prohibiting minors under 16 years of age from being out in the streets after 12:00 midnight. Not only was 15 year old Shelwanda Riley knowingly breaking curfew, she did everything in her power to resist being taken into custody and tried to basically fight the cop. A squad car's dashboard camera captured the arrest on tape, and has been replayed across the nation. Officer Daniel Gilroy asked the girl to stop resisting 17 separate times as she screamed and twisted. When Riley bit Gilroy, the officer smacked her face and sprayed her with mace before taking her to the juvenile detention center.
The girl's aunt, Gloria Smith got wind there was a video recording the incident. Well, let the games begin. Hey 15 year old curfew violator, come on down, you're the next contestant on "The Price of a Lawsuit." To begin, notify the media, get a bunch of ministers, get Al Sharpton and/or Jesse Jackson, maybe a psychologist or two, a media expert, a carefully orchestrated press conference, make some demands, make some threats, start crying about the emotional toll of 200 years of persecution and for good measure, throw in a kitchen sink. All the players are now assembled on the stage and ACTION.
Reverend William F. Richardson opened the production by stating Officer Gilroy used excessive force in his July 15 arrest of 15-year-old Shelwanda Riley for a curfew violation. He watched the video I assume, everybody else has. Who is Rev. Richardson you ask, he's a local guy who claimed to be speaking on behalf of Rev. Sharpton, whom he said is closely following the case but could not be at the press conference because Sharpton is in the Bahamas on other business. Hmmm, I've been to the Bahamas and I've been to Ft. Pierce. Not the hardest decision Al ever had to make. The Rev insists the cop be suspended immediately. He went on to state how the cops need better training too. He was speaking on behalf of a 15 year old curfew violator and her still traumatized aunt. Never mind the incident is already three months old.
The family and their spokespeople are now awaiting a police department internal review of the matter before they plan to publicly announce their next course of action. Something tells me the next course will feature a civil lawsuit on the menu. I'm sure the claims will include severe mental trauma, inability to perform school work, the root cause of current behavioral problems, withdrawal from society and an elevated fear of authoritarian figures. Did I forget anything, Messrs. Jacoby and Meyers? This kid may simply be too traumatized to ever break curfew again. Who knows, she may not want to commit any illegal acts or act in an anti-social manner for the rest of her life. That would be horrible. She should collect $10 million in 20's right away.
This is just one example amongst thousands of these types of cases a year. We've all heard stories from parents and grandparents back in the "olden days." You know, when they used to walk to school in 20 feet of snow in July. If they broke curfew or were suspended from school, there was no talk of a lawsuit, there was no talk at all. The boys got rapped in the mouth and the girls got their asses smacked red in a way they didn't enjoy. I'm not defending hitting a kid no matter how appealing that sounds sometimes, but don't go to the other extreme either. Growing up I got in trouble all the time. My parents never sued anybody and I never got rapped in the mouth. Look how amazing I turned out. Am I right people?????????