Update: August 27th, 2013.
A great deal has happened in my part of the world since the terribly sad outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.
I wrote about Zimmerman in the past, the article below I wrote in April, 2012. I wanted to write about the Zimmerman case, as I had written about the Casey Anthony trial, but couldn’t bring myself to do it – knowing that once I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
That may sound odd, but the truth is, the horribleness of this case, and now its outcome, is terribly depressing. Life is hard enough, I thought then, why go down that road of despair? How could I write everything that needs to be said about the case and the verdict?
It’s too important to be taken lightly or to simply “blog” about.
I feel that writing about this moment in history is so serious and would take such devotion on my part, that I’d need to give it my full, undivided, attention – to do it justice.
So, instead of writing about it, I let it simmer in me.
The simmer – what I feel is not exactly “rage”, but its cousin.
I think of this case and its outcome every single day and now, today, Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney, is asking the state of Florida to cover Zimmerman’s bill! Yes, a million would cover it, thank-you-very-much-Florida.
So, I’m outraged more. Paying Zimmerman’s legal bill????
It’s UNFAIR. At least on moral ground. As for legal ground, I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer. It must be legal for O’Mara to ask, and I don’t blame him for asking – that’s what lawyers do. But, shouldn’t O’Mara at least try to walk on a higher ground? Couldn’t he let the people of Florida get over this before pouring salt into this still bleeding wound? Haven’t we suffered enough over this terrible tragedy?
Makes me angry. Really angry.
Zimmerman never apologized, as far as I know. And during the trial, he never showed one ounce of remorse for the murder (it will always be murder no matter what the verdict of 6 people.) of a defenseless young teenager.
A child with loving parents. Strong parents. Good parents.
The jury didn’t see Trayvon the child. They didn’t see him for the child he was; they saw him as a young hoodie-wearing-soon-to-be-hoodlum-because-they-knew-that’s-what-all-young-black-men-are.
Had the jury thought of Trayvon as THEIR son, as THEIR child, I don’t think they could have let Zimmerman walk away, get away, with murder.
No. The jury didn’t see their child. They didn’t see their duty to protect this child – their child.
The jury saw a young black man, probably up to no good, and a good, upstanding man with a license to kill, doing what good white men do – stand their ground because they have a gun to do it with.
What does this say to young men today? It says: Beware – you are targets in Florida. Don’t drink your Arizona Ice Tea or your Skittles while black.
I have friends who, over the years, have referred to their status as a citizen behind the wheel of an automobile (especially an expensive car), as “Driving While Black.” They have to be hyper-vigilant and it’s incredibly sad – beyond the beyond of disgusting.
It’s a given that young black men are racially targeted; it’s a given they are profiled; it’s a given they are increasingly disadvantaged economically and socially, but must we pour more money to the Gun-toting Southern white man’s sense of superiority?
Let’s give more money to the cracker-ass white men like Zimmerman who think nothing of starving their beast.
But, don’t get me started.
April 2, 2012: In Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, the character of Richard – who will do anything to be King of England – accuses Lord Hastings of all things foul, and thus Hastings is murdered.
In a video revealed today by ABC News, George Zimmerman’s head (as he’s being led out of a police car), appears injured and red. Does the fact that Zimmerman appears to have an injured head make any difference?
No. No. A thousand times, no.
However, it IS important insofar as it supports Zimmerman’s claim to have acted in self-defense, claiming he’d been attacked by Trayvon Martin.
Yeah. And, so what?
As we know, Zimmerman claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, stating that the young man, armed with a very dangerous bag of Skittles, pounded his head into the ground and bloodied his nose……
Wait. Back up. We don’t know if that is true or not! And even if it is true, so what?!
Like the sign the guy in the above photo is holding – “They never stop & frisk old white guys like me.” (I love that he’s wearing a blindfold like Lady Justice in the photo.)
It’s true. We live in the land of the free, where people, no matter who they are, should be able to walk down any street while eating candy as it rains.
Just My Opinion:
Here’s what I think may have happened that night:
- Zimmerman sees a young man in his neighborhood that he does not recognize and calls the police. Why? Because Zimmerman realizes that the boy is black. Strike one against Trayvon, he’s walking while black. Clearly in Zimmerman’s mind that spells trouble.
- While Zimmerman is talking to the police operator, during his first call, it sounds like he’s walking. Was he following Trayvon? (Oh, he’s following in self-defense – that’s right, I forgot that detail.)
- Trayvon surely must sense that he’s being followed, or stalked by a man he doesn’t recognize.
- Does Trayvon fear Zimmerman because he’s white? Possibly. But more likely, he’s afraid because he’s being watched and followed. I would be terrified.
- Zimmerman hangs up with the dispatch, talks to the Police who tell him NOT to take action.
- Does Zimmerman continue to stalk / follow Trayvon? Does Zimmerman get too close? Does he purposely appear threatening? Does he brandish his gun?
- If Zimmerman brandished his gun, Trayvon may have, in a fight for his life, attempted to disable Zimmerman – separate him from his gun, to save his young life.
- Did Zimmerman lay hands on Trayvon maybe to question him? Why? He’s not a police-person.
- Common sense tells me Zimmerman was likely holding his gun. People who carry guns do so because they want to use them. That’s just common sense, right?
- Did Trayvon see that gun and try to save his life by jumping on Zimmerman to try to disarm him?
- Was Zimmerman too strong for Trayvon?
- Did Trayvon, realizing he is no match against Zimmerman, now try to run away to save his life? Or did he fall, screaming out and afraid of the man and the gun?
These things we may never really know, but we do know that Trayvon was crying out, afraid that he was going to be shot. Who shoots to kill someone who’s unarmed and crying?
I will not go so far as to say Zimmerman murdered the young Trayvon because I do not know what really happened. I only know there is something very wrong and a young man with an Ice Tea and a bag of candy should not be gunned down.
Florida and it’s NRA – written, Jeb Bush backed “Stand Your Ground” law is horrifying, senseless, and unconstitutional as far as I am concerned. The Second Amendment to the Constitution did not want a bunch of Zimmerman’s running around, in my opinion.
So, I won’t say “Off with his head,” about Zimmerman. If he’s guilty of manslaughter or murder, he’ll have his day in court. He’ll face Florida laws, which is what I’m afraid of.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Creative Whack,” those wonderful and inspiring cards by Roger Von Oech.
This particular card, See the Obvious, reminds me that seeing the obvious is easier said than done, especially if you are unable to see the most obvious due to the little-known phenomenon, Facial Blindness.
This phenomenon was recently discussed on the television program, 60 Minutes. If you’ve never heard about Facial Blindness, you’re not alone. Unlike Color Blindness, Facial Blindness is a rare condition in which another person’s features are completely unrecognizable to the person who suffers with the condition. Imagine not being able to recognize your wife or husband, or your children and parents? Every one is a stranger. Everyone.
Seeing the 60 Minutes program got me thinking about what life would be like if EVERYONE had facial blindness? Can you imagine meeting a family member, or best friend for a lunch date and be unable to recognize who you’re supposed to meet?
Would the world be more peaceful if we were unable to recognize our enemies?
How would we know who to hate? Or, would we hate everyone?
I’d like to think that society would be much more pleasant because we’d look our “enemies” in the face and they’d be unrecognizable.
Now, wouldn’t that be something!
- TV alert: Prosopagnosia on 60 Minutes (teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.de)
The photo challenge this week is to define what “distorted” might look like.
The first thing that came to my mind? Politicians and supposed “entertainers” like the horrible Rush Limbaugh. A picture of Rush Limbaugh does embody the word distorted, distort, distortion, like non other I can think of. But, I have never photographed him, nor would I ever want to.
Limbaugh’s recent on-air comments about a Georgetown law student’s appeal to Congress on the contraception issue, were so twisted, so hateful, and so misogynistic that it baffles the mind. We are in the 21st century, correct?
Limbaugh called Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke “a prostitute and a slut” for arguing that birth control should be covered by insurance at religious workplaces or institutions. But, more troubling than his sick, sick words? Some GOP politicians see nothing wrong with what Limbaugh said. I kid you not.
That’s not only distorted, it’s incredibly troubling…..
Anyway, about my entry, I captured this beautiful fellow (the zoo docent said though he’s mighty pretty, he’s a real pest!) at Zoo Miami while he was shaking his lovely plume. I am sorry I cannot recall the name of this bird…. I also don’t recall if he is a pigeon or a dove… I will attempt to find the answer though.
So the Academy Awards are decided. I enjoyed the show and agree with the outcomes. I don’t care about the fashion or the best or worst dressed – everyone was beautiful as far as I’m concerned.
But, I’m so sorry that a wonderful, wonderful film was not on the award list. The wonderful movie, Happy, (thehappymovie.com), may not be Academy Award material, but it’s material that says a great deal about the meaning of life.
Happy is a documentary about the meaning and the search for happiness. When I saw the film recently, it reaffirmed for me that the path toward happiness is measured in human kindness.
To be happy, to find happiness is what we all want as human beings. The filmmakers – psychologists and other professionals, tell us that the pursuit of happiness requires us to live a life in which performing acts of kindness is so ingrained in us it comes naturally and happens often.
When artists create, or writers write, they enter what’s best described as “the zone.” That zone is where happiness happens and is measurable.
Depression, as we know, is an illness that is talked about, and talked about, and talked about. Depression is measured, diagnosed and medicated. Acts of human kindness result in elevating the brain chemicals and systems that produce “happy endorphins and serotonin messages.” When the brain is stressed-out and the happy chemicals in our brains go haywire on us, leaving us low, sad – depressed, medicine can turn it around.
Scientists and psychiatrists measure the level of depression and attempt to cure it with medicine that stimulates happy brain chemicals once again. Granted, there’s much, much more to mental health – it’s serious and important and I don’t mean to make light of the topic… Instead, I wish to illustrate what the filmmakers of Happy tell us about how to create happiness, and that it can be measured and improved, too.
The main message of this film (for me) revealed a truth that simple human kindness, being grateful, sharing and giving to others, is a critical reality for living a life of happiness. It’s all wrapped up in empathy, compassion for others; giving of ourselves, serving others, being passionate givers and knowing the return on that investment is our happiness.
In our daily lives we hear and read about hate and ugliness constantly. Sadly we don’t hear about happy things such as examples of giving and compassion often enough. Rather, we hear and read news reports filled with politicians and criminals spewing hate. They seem to embrace negativity and hate with a real passion.
Nearly every day this blog is used for people to talk about the Casey Anthony case. Remember the Casey Anthony trial? It was about determining who senselessly murdered a beautiful little child – Caylee Anthony.
In this Orlando, Florida case about the death of little Caylee Anthony, it was pretty clear that the toddler’s mother, Casey Anthony, single-highhandedly murdered her own daughter.
But, Casey Anthony was found not guilty by a jury of twelve people. Granted, that was not a verdict anyone expected, least of all me, the reality of the trial’s outcome is something I’ve completely accepted.
Casey Anthony is not guilty of murder in the eyes of the law.
No one can punish or try her with this crime ever again. No one…. That includes Federal entities, too, for those who are petitioning the government to try Casey Anthony in Federal Court. It will not happen. And we need to thank our lucky stars that our justice system gives Casey Anthony that protection.
There are too many cases of truly innocent people punished by our system, and that is wrong, too, clearly. The facts are these: The application of our state laws and our constitutional rights are often abused by over=zealous lawmakers. There are prosecutors and law enforcement agencies out there who don’t always care about the innocent, they want to solve cases by any means possible. It is up to us to VOTE for lawmakers who RESPECT the HUMAN Rights of all people, who apply the LAW evenly to ALL people. That includes immigrants AND all ARAB human beings, by the way.
There are people in this country who believe in an eye-for-an-eye justice, like in Biblical times. There are lawmakers who feel this way, too. In fact, there are people with political power in this country who are so twisted, they’d like to give angry mobs the ability to hold be-headings, or hangings. There is one GOP lawmaker in North Carolina who’d very much like that to happen. Republican Representative Larry Pittman says, “Let’s round up the (so-called), abortionists, rapists, kidnappers and murders and hang-em high.” More specifically, Pittman said:
We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well. via North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers.
As America gets dumber it’s reflected in the people WE VOTE into office.
There are Americans who feel just as Representative Pittman does about forms of punishment. There are people who want Casey Anthony dead. These angry and sick people would like nothing better than to see Casey Anthony face the ultimate punishment, and no doubt they’d like it to happen publicly.
God help them.
God help us all if haters, in the name of religion, seek justice their way.
- Casey Anthony – can we give her the not guilty verdict, finally? (andreadreamin.com)
- Casey Anthony – try-casey-anthony-in-federal-court??? (andreadreamin.com)
When I have a moment to check in to Facebook (which is not too often lately), it’s usually a treat because I stumble across things in the news that move or anger me, but are always educational.
I stumbled upon this video and I am so glad I did. It is moving and lovely and hopeful…well, you will have to see it to appreciate what I’m attempting to say here.
The young person in the video is 13-year-old Jonah Mowry. He’s pretty special, as you’ll see.
Sadly, this is an all too typical story. Every day kids and teens are bullied for being different enough to stand out. Jonah’s bullied for most of his young life.
What’s wonderful, though, is we get to see his raw and emotional transformation into person-hood. He realizes that before the tyrants who bully him will stop, Jonah has to first accept himself for who he is.
Bullying in the schools should not be a rite of passage for kids to endure and suffer through. Young kids, or teens like Jonah need to be allowed to grow naturally into incredible young people. They have a lot to deal with in the coming out process. Young men and women like Jonah who must come to grips with who they are, have a tough enough time, the schools shouldn’t be where humiliation and torture are condoned.
After posting this video to his friends, the video went viral and everyone fell in love with him, myself included. You will love him too, I’m sure.
Bravo to Jonah for his courage, grit, and ability to stand up for himself – refusing to allow the coward bullies to hurt him anymore. The wonderful outcome of his video is the fact he has undoubtedly given hope to many, many young people like Jonah who are facing what it means to come out.
We can only hope that every young person with the courage to come out will do so with the incredible grace of Jonah Mowry.
The text below is what Jonah left on his YouTube page.
UPDATE, PLEASE READ
To all my friends and supporters,
I made this video 4 months ago just before school was about to start. I was 13. It was a very emotionally dark time in my life. I made the video at 4:00am in the morning; I hadn’t been sleeping at night for a long time, too many things going on in my head. I was dreading going back to school and I had not come out to my family yet. Only my closest friends knew. I didn’t know how to say what I needed to say. All I could think about were all the bad things that had been happening at school last year, every year for that matter. I just couldn’t bare to go through that anymore. I was done being fake happy, pretending hateful words didn’t hurt, done hiding it from my family.
So this video was made for my friends that had moved on to High School who were worried for me, to say to them that I was going to take a stand, and to the haters at my middle school that I’m not going anywhere. I am who I am. I posted the video here and told people were to find it. That was it.
My friends were moved by the video and thought I did something important. I was encouraged to upload it to my Facebook page so more people could see it. Maybe it could help someone else going through the same thing. So I linked it Dec. 1st. My Parents saw it for the first time Dec, 2nd.
Then….. all this happened.
I never expected in a million years that it would have such a wonderful impact on so many people. I am truly humbled and truly thankful for all the love, encouragement and support from people all over the world. It’s been incredibly overwhelming. I don’t know what to say. Thank you so, so much!
Lastly, yes you have seen me happy in a couple short videos replies I posted; I would think that would be a good thing, and yes I do have friends, my High School friends, and I have made friends because when I came out they realized that they had hurt me and that they fealt sorry. The video is real, and true.
In the last few months everything eventually came out in the open, I felt a huge weight off my shoulders; I’m happy, I’m excepted for who I am, I’m more confident and feel stronger every day.
Thank you all, Love and peace to all who are hurting.
Let’s encourage children to spread love, not hate. Speak peace, kindness, appreciation for all our differences so kids and teens understand that being gay is not a curse. Rather it’s a journey – a long one perhaps, but a good one, too.
What a remarkable young man Jonah Mowry is. And, what a wonderful outcome, not only for him, but for the countless kids who are feeling the same way.
This is a very topical Whack. I agree it’s necessary to get out of your box to look for unusual possibilities in usual places!
It’s limiting to be defined by a single box because, as human beings, we are constantly evolving and evolution will happen whether we like it or not. The world will go on with or without us. And if we’re lucky – if our children’s children are lucky, we will continue to evolve as a human race and stop making wars because we don’t like our neighbors religion, or we want their land, or their weapons or even their people.
It’s unhealthy to be in a box Life in a box is no life at all. Thoughts outside of the four walls of the box are far more interesting, don’t you think? Going outside of the box involves risk. And an open mind. Opening the mind is not easy when prejudices interfere. And being risk-adverse is nearly as sad as not accepting or appreciating people for their differences.
99.9% of all DNA in a human being is identical. Yet, we are afraid of a seeing a Muslim or Arab person in an airport! There is nothing so horrible as that kind of disrespect. People who accept the Islam faith are not different than people who accept the Christian faith. There are horrible people and there are loving and beautiful people in both beliefs.
Most people have two eyes, a nose, teeth, arms and hands with usually five fingers and five toes on the end of two feet that are at the end of their two legs. Chances are, though, if you happen to be one of the brave individuals who jumped on the “Mission Possible” boat with criminal George W. Bush, you may no longer have arms or legs.
If you sacrificed your body as a result to the big lie, I am so sorry. Americans know your reasons for fighting were honorable. Unfortunately, you were led by a criminal into a war that was based on fiction and lies.
Criminal George W. lied to Congress and the American people for his own political interests. Criminal George W. lied and attacked the people of Iraq in March of 2003 without provocation. It had nothing to do with 9/11 either. As most of us are aware, it had been proven that Iraq had no role in those attacks.
We attacked Iraq because the Bush Crime Family, with their deep family ties in Saudi Arabia, had their eye on a bigger prize: Oil. Texans must have their oil.
So, this Get out of Your Box Whack refers to beliefs, culture, and how we should look at the world not by our rules, but by a set of truths different from our own.
There are person (s) who call themselves Christians and post on this blog to fight, and to lecture me (and others) about our religious views.
I’ve learned there are two kinds of “Christians” – the people who go to church because it fills them up with things they value and enjoy believing in. And those who are fanatics about religion with one goal in life – to tell “non-believers” like me how horrible we are because we question “religion” and because we don’t believe in their religious brand, we are not the chosen ones.
Sorry, folks, but demeaning non-believers is not Christian. It’s just annoying and hypocritical in the extreme.
I think it’s beyond the beyond of wonderful that you love your religion, but I don’t like it jammed down my throat in mean or demeaning ways. So, leave me alone! If I wanted to become a Holy Christian person I would! But, I don’t want to. I like what I think and I will go on thinking this way, too. Get the message? I don’t like being boxed in.
I enjoy reading about the history of religion, of all religions and I don’t like one over the other. I like the diversity of many religions! Who can say there is just one GOD? I bet GOD is a SHE.
Oh, and I believe in evolution which tends to be the opposite of what the loud Christians believe.
I believe in Islam. I believe in Judaism. I believe in Buddhism (I practiced Buddhism for a couple of years until life got in the way.) I believe in your religion, whatever it is because I am able to get out of the box with curiosity and find something good in what you believe. But I don’t want what you have, okay? So, you can go away now.
You’ve already told me you’re the chosen one….and you’ve explained how I am nothing and I will not get into the Kingdom, and when I die I’ll be on the wrong side death’s door, or something inane like that and blah blah blah. When I hear all of that I have to ask, who’s the hater?
I never answer the door when the religious people come knocking on Saturday, all dressed to the nines in 90 degree weather. I won’t respond to people who attack me because I don’t care about their religion. I would love to talk about anyone’s religion, but NEVER ever will I entertain insults. I don’t trust people who want to push religion on anyone. Religion should be lovely, personal and enlightening, right? Dumb me. I thought the study of religion would result in wisdom, sensitivity, acceptance.
Speaking of wisdom….
Did you know more and more children are being born without wisdom teeth? A professor told a class I was in that because more and more people are born without wisdom teeth, it is due to the evolutionary process of discarding human traits that are superfluous, or not needed.
I found that fascinating – to be witness to evolution as it is happening. However, there are two schools of thought on this. One school says that if a person does not have wisdom teeth as a result of genetics, that trait will be passed on, and on, and on. Evolution, on the other hand, will cause traits that are not useful in an environment to slowly disappear. The differences are not so different in my view… but I am hardly a scientist or anthropologist.
However, my professor could be right, and he could be wrong because scientists are not quite certain. The point here, then, we cannot dismiss either possibility because the truth is still evolving and it changes…..
We all have roots extending back 200,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa, and back more than 6 million years to the evolution of the earliest human species in Africa. This amazing story of adaptation and survival is written in the language of our genes, in every cell of our bodies—as well as in the fossil and behavioral evidence. http://humanorigins.si.edu/
Regarding “Get out of Your Box,” the message is as clear as day. Wouldn’t you agree that thinking in a box is incredibly limiting? Being in a box means to accept only what we know – or think we know. Like Hamlet said to his friend Horatio:
There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene V.
- What does Islam and Buddhism have in common (wiki.answers.com)
- How does the different Chinese religions live together in harmony (wiki.answers.com)
- What religious practices of Judaism separated it from other religions in the first century (wiki.answers.com)
Have you read or heard the shocking news about Arlington National Cemetery? This revered cemetery of hallowed ground is now facing a criminal investigation! Reading this story nearly knocked me off my feet – it’s shocking and so sad.
The problems at the cemetery were apparently discovered in 2010, as noted in this recent msnbc article:
In June 2010 an Army inspector general’s report cited widespread problems at the cemetery, including more than 200 unmarked or misidentified graves.
In August 2010 officials revealed one grave site at Arlington was found empty, another contained the wrong remains and a third had two sets of remains, only one of which matched the headstone’s name. Read msnbc article.
Because urns of the veteran soldiers, many who died in battle, were unmarked, it has been difficult to identify to whom they belonged. One clue, however, allowed the identity of Gwyn Stecher to be revealed. A photo of a young ice skater was found with the remains of Gwyn Stecher. The photo turned out to be that of 19 year old Granddaughter, Rachel Stecher, now a Cadet in the Air Force Academy, says the NBC report.
The urn containing the ashes of Gwyn Stecher were supposed to be buried with her husband, Adolph Stecher, a retired officer who served in World War II, and North Korea.
What does this say about society today? I hardly know what to think. It would seem absurd to place blame on the whole Arlington National Cemetery itself, though there obviously are individuals there without respect, concern or care for the honored soldiers, or family of soldiers.
This horrible story regarding Arlington National Cemetery makes me think conscientiousness and respect are in the process of eroding. Aren’t we a God fearing society?
The Right-wing Extremists like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and others, say you’re damn right we are!
I don’t look forward to the upcoming Presidential election, by the way. The religious fervor in politics is alarming – that’s another post for another day.
The hypocrisy holler!
I abhor hypocrisy, especially as it relates to the actions of those who are supposedly beyond reproach like ultra-religious priests, pastors, ministers, clergy. I’m also talking about the regular guy/gal wearing a big cross around their necks as they murder or rape or steal in between preaching engagements. That’s who I am referring to.
Speaking of hate, the judgmental pastors, who are more like loud car salesmen than anything else, who march up to the podium to condemn any state allowing Gay and Lesbians to marry, also also Politicians and Washington Lobbyists. They are anxious to tell us, repeatedly, that marriage vows are exclusively for a man and a woman. Really? Yes, says the Bible. Since the Bible says so, it must be true.
The good book also tells us that: “Entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death.” And, “A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother’s widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders.” Click for citation.
I don’t know a single Gay or Lesbian with those aspirations!
The Civil Rights that we depend on weren’t only for African Americans, and other minorities. Civil Rights belong to everyone. Nowhere do our Civil Rights discuss sexual preferences.
This is what angers me about politics today. The fact that we are not screaming bloody murder over what some immoral politicians promote because they think it will get them elected.
There are too many Americans who have, stupidly, gotten swept up in a fervor, believing that a good politician is chiefly a good Christian. A white Christian, at that.
I have a problem with religion that is taken to the extremes. I respect all religions, as a matter of course, but religion has begun to scare me.
Religion is like an oxymoron when hate mongers threaten to destroy the rights of people who are different, like gay and lesbians.
It scares me to see Bible-Thumping goons promising to heal; their devotees shaking and shimmying with the spirit, singing, “Praise the Lord” as they fall to the ground, shaking and shuddering, writhing in pain.
Who wants to do that?
Wouldn’t it be nice if our religions were loving, caring, soft and private? Religion is scary when it’s loud. Religion shouldn’t be loud.
So, I am ranting about religion tonight because of the likes of Pastor Dale Richardson, held without bail for kidnapping and raping three women at gun point. A serial rapist. And a Pastor.
When rapists, murderers, and thieving criminals, are God-Fearing, what God are they listening to? Is that the God you and I believe in? It does make me wonder.
Dale Richardson believes and depends on the Word of God, say his followers. If there is one God, I don’t think I want Pastor Dale’s version.
What God do the Catholic Priests pray to when they rape little boys? When these God-fearing criminals are caught, I wonder if they blame God?
To those of you who will think me blasphemous, I don’t apologize. I’m just a little fed up. Sad, too.
Here is the story about Pastor Dale Richardson – this story is what prompted this post:
They’re missing, murdered, abducted and sold. Children all over the planet are victimized day in and day out. Few victims are recovered alive, and that’s what is so desperately upsetting, unbearable for the families, and loved ones waiting and hoping for what must seem like forever.
Often it is forever.
Caylee Anthony was also a victim, but of murder.
Recently, Drew Kesse, father of the beautiful Jennifer Kesse, missing from Orlando Florida since January 24, 2006, lambasted George and Cindy Anthony in the press for their actions.
Kesse, responding to Hal Boedeker’s Orlando Sentinel Blog regarding the Anthony’s upcoming appearance on the Dr. Phil show, calling Dr. Phil “a pimp for this garbage,” referring to the Anthony’s.
Kesse was uber critical, writing that Caylee was never a missing child, she was a murdered child. The Anthony’s, he said, should “Go away, go far away, please.” He also wrote:
Let’s get one thing straight right now, Dr. Phil, you are a pimp for this garbage. The Anthonys and this new foundation are the biggest insults to every missing person in America today. Dr. Phil, after the show airs and you make a donation to their new scam, have on real families of the missing.
Of course, it’s true that Caylee was never missing, and the Anthony’s are not, and have never been the picture of propriety or trust. However, I don’t think it was necessary for Drew Kesse to so publicly beat on the Anthony’s. The fact is, the Anthony’s lost the love of their life – Caylee was probably the only joy in their life.
And so, I think it is cruel to knock the Anthony’s down further than they already are. What’s the point? Who are the Anthony’s hurting? Will our sympathy be less for missing children if George and Cindy bring attention to their plight?
It’s as if people think missing children will be thought of with some kind of disregard if the Anthony’s are involved in helping this cause. How does that make sense? What ever happened to the sentiment of “live and let live?” What about “turn the other cheek?” Or, do we only respect the sentiment of “an eye for an eye?” God help us if we do.
It is never good, in my humble opinion, to attack another person, especially to make them suffer! Why extend cruelty? It’s one thing to criticize, quite another thing to attack and hate. The Anthony’s were always their own worst enemies, why make it worse? They’ve done a pretty good job screwing up their own lives and don’t need our help.
The Anthony’s want to work for the cause of missing children. And that is because, they wanted to believe Caylee was missing, they did not want to face the truth, even though I am certain they always knew the truth, of course they didn’t want to face it.
People do funny things when overtaken by the kind of grief they were faced with. How would you react if your granddaughter was murdered by your only daughter? Granted, most of us are law-abiding and trusting that law enforcement will act with good faith, but the Anthony’s never trusted – they seemed to think they were above the law, which was tragic for them, in the end.
If I were in their shoes, I would surely be out of my mind with grief and would probably make many mistakes, too. Many would. Especially in the glare of the camera.
Isn’t it time to leave this family alone? Sure, they are not honest; sure they lied on the witness stand; sure, they tampered with evidence, and yes, they did so many things that were on the verge of scandalous. You know what their real crime is, in my opinion? They are only human.
I have been terribly critical of the Anthony’s leading up to the trial of their daughter, Casey Anthony. It is time to forgive and forget – time for me, anyway.
The Anthony’s undoing resulted because they put the spot light on themselves, and we saw an intense dysfunction that we couldn’t turn away from. Seeing the Anthony’s mistakes and misdeeds reminded many of us that our lives were pretty sane in comparison.
That makes me think, there but for the grace of God go I.
There’s wild news, even wilder allegations about the amount of money to be made off of the Casey Anthony trial and verdict.
This evening I watched the Nancy Grace show (without the hothead herself – which is why I watched it), and the discussion about profiting and money was interesting, but not surprising, unfortunately.
The gist of the show this evening had to do with marketing Casey. Making money and more money, and more and more money – we’re talking lots of money from Casey’s story.
There is an incessant beat, beat, beat of the drum, drum, drum as the major networks march (as fast as they can) to be the leader of the band and score the interview. A band of goofballs.
The Nancy Grace show quests discussed the terribly irony that with the acquittal, this story is no longer about a murdered two year old. It’s a story about Casey.
Furthermore, the story is “sexy” because Casey, before she was arrested, was a pretty girl with a great deal of sex appeal, said the panelists on the show. The reality we’re dealing with is that Sex Sells.
That’s the reality of marketing today – edgy, slick and sexy is what sells. And if the context of the story is salacious, it’s even better.
The panelists on the show made no bones about it, Casey Anthony stands to make money, and lots of it.
After her interview deal, she’ll have a book deal, and there will be more and more deal making until the story fades eventually.
This is the abhorrent reality of the marketing game. And, the networks will gauge the public interest to be sure they hit the market when it’s hot and take full advantage of a promising and lucrative “deal.”
Deal or no deal, as I’ve said before, Casey Anthony, at the end of the day, has to live with herself.
The fact is, Casey has every right to profit as a result of being found not guilty. No one likes it, but “it is what it is” or “what will be will be” or add your own cliche – it’s gonna happen, the pundits seem to be saying. They will milk this story for all it’s worth.
I’m not really convinced. It’s difficult to fathom how the networks will be able to get away with it, given the groundswell of disgust that rises across the country when talk of Anthony profiteering comes up.
It will be interesting how it plays out. One thing is certain, there will be many boycotts of any network or show that airs a Casey Anthony interview.
The question is, do the networks or the individual shows even care about the backlash? Is the population of people who want to hear from Casey Anthony bigger than the population who will boycott? I don’t have that answer, of course.
I hate to say it, but I think those of us who boycott will be a drop in the bucket compared to an audience interested in seeing Casey Anthony – in her own words.
According to TMZ, NBC is likely leading the band of miscreant networks:
Sources tell TMZ … NBC, ABC and CBS are all competing for the first interview. Sources connected with the negotiations tell TMZ there is a “big price tag” for the interview. We’re told the networks — which say they don’t pay for interviews — are offering to license photos and other material and pay big bucks … that’s S.O.P. in the network game. (Note from Andrea: SOP = Standard Operating Procedure)
We’re told NBC looks like the frontrunner so far, but ABC is in the game. We’re told CBS “is a distant third.” We’re told NBC is paying for Baez’ hotel room.
Baez spent part of the night Thursday in the Mandarin Oriental bar with famed lawyer Mark Geragos — who knows a thing or two about high-profile cases. We’re told Geragos gave Baez pointers on negotiating the deal.
Sources also say that Jose Baez in is acting as an agent to seal the deal for Casey, and himself. The scuttlebutt is that Baez is being mentored by Mark Geragos, in the pursuit of cashing in on “Casey” and her infamous notoriety.
Cindy and George Anthony allegedly turned down $250,000 for an interview – it wasn’t quite the amount of money they were looking for, thank you very much.
We may have to grit our collective teeth when it happens. If the pundits are correct, we’re going to be bombarded with Casey Anthony, in the flesh.
I really don’t want to believe it. I don’t think this is a done-deal yet…..
I need to say a few words concerning Sarah Palin’s video release today – a perfect example of what not to say after a tragedy. But, Sarah Palin has about as much sensitivity as a Mack truck.
In her video today she says:
..journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
“Blood libel.” Using such a word to blame the media for “manufacturing a blood libel” is at best counterproductive, at its worst, ignorant.
Or is it?
Michael Shear, a political writer for the New York Times, points out:
The term blood libel is generally used to mean the false accusation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos for passover. That false claim was circulated for centuries to incite anti-Semitism and justify violent pogroms against Jews. Ms. Palin’s use of the phrase in her video, which helped make it rapidly go viral, is itself attracting criticism, not least because Ms. Giffords, who remains in critical condition in a Tucson hospital, is Jewish.
However, I would like to point out that others have used this phrase in discussion of the aftermath of the tragedy in Tuscon. Whether Sarah Palin’s speech writers used this term knowingly, is anyone’s guess. Regardless, to say it reeks of poor taste is an understatement.
In a recent New York Times editorial, Paul Krugman pointed out this important fact when discussing the growing concern over the rhetoric of some right-wing extremists:
The Department of Homeland Security reached the same conclusion: in April of 2009 an internal report warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise, with a growing potential for violence.
Although the Tuscon shooter was obviously a troubled young man, he was not blind to what was going on in the world of politics. It’s been reported the FBI found other written threats against Gabrielle Giffords authored by the shooter.
The facts are these: A violent extremist culture has been brewing in this country for a long time. Yes, it’s all just words, words, words, but the hate that surrounds us on TV and the radio, does have consequences when something is stirred in the psyche of madmen.
When the vitriolic rhetoric of some Americans in politics, in radio, or in television, graphically targets others, using cross-hairs on a hate map, we are in trouble.
When horrific hate-talk threatens the very essence of sensibility and civility, the rights that we cherish are in danger. Political hate-talk, if left unchecked, threatens what Thomas Jefferson called our rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
We constantly hear angry mouthpieces like Sarah Palin who cry, “Don’t retreat, reload.” And Bill O’Reily, Rush, Joyce Kaufman, and their ilk, who sensationalize hate and killing and guns using maps and websites that brazenly depict political districts as if they were war-zones. What does this say about us as a country?
Why do we allow our government servants to target one another by virtue of a political bent?
What can we do when politicians or talking heads say things like: “if ballots don’t work bullets will?”
I don’t have an answer. But, I would ask the people who are the mouthpieces in this country to realize that people listen to them, and take seriously their hate talk. People who are not quite all there mentally, who can buy a gun as easily as I buy chewing gum, to settle imagined or delusional scores, do listen to you. Words ARE weapons.
I feel helpless in this fight. I stand by and watch this hate and ignorance spread and feel hopeless because there seem to be so few answers. And, those in government who do have answers, aren’t talking.
I hope and pray that, as a result of yesterday’s tragedy in Tuscon, Arizona, we will let dialogue, not diatribe, stretch and reach out across the land, silencing the hatred that political animosity has created – is creating.
We need to take some deep, deep breaths in this country. Let’s regain our civility as a people, as a nation of human beings with empathy for the common good. Of course, good for one does not translate into good for all, but we can start with civility.
Let’s hope that our 112th Congress, as they take this coming week off to regroup after the tragic events in Tuscon, will put aside their political brains and use their human brains to realize that hate speech engenders more hate, and more hate, and more hate and more hate until we become a nation of gun-toting, trigger-haired, lunatics.
Listen to Keith Olberman.
This is a short, but powerful, video featuring one of the most famous speeches by Harvey Milk, given in 1978.
Listen to Harvey Milk. Listen to his message of hope, peace, equality and justice for all.
We are all one people in this wide world. Let us stop bullying each other.
Our classrooms are filled with children who, because of ignorance on the part of their parents, condone Gay hatred and thus we have young people committing suicide. Young people who were born Homosexual but are too young to understand what it means to be Gay. They are too young to know that being Gay is RIGHT for them. Children who are too young to appreciate that no one should care about an individuals sexuality because it belongs to the individual.
There is no right or wrong in being Gay or Straight. One is not better or worse than the other. Believe this. Live this for the sake of our children. For the sake of children who will grow up to be lovely human beings, not necessarily because of their homosexuality, but because they will have grown up with a sensitivity that will become a lovely sensibility.
Believe this. Stop the hatred. Stop the bullying. Condone kindness, empathy, and appreciate the different colors and the different sexuality that others own.
Live your own life without fear or judgment.
Say no to fear.
Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant’s and John Briggs’ are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope. -Harvey Milk, 1978