Archive for the 'political agenda' Category

21
Aug
17

Is History Funny?

We have all heard the expression “history repeats itself.” And so we also know that human beings have a tendency to forget harmful and even wicked events. We bury them. And once we bury the history, do we forget it?

It struck me today that when Jerry Lewis died, people start talking about the film e made. Being a natural comedian, and being Jewish, he couldn’t reconcile the events of the Holocaust, so he tried to create film that made fun of it. So did Charlie Chaplin, not of the Holocaust, but of the rise of Hitler, and was and he also Jewish. Maybe Jerry was just smart enough to never show the film, because it would have offended so many of his fellow Jews. His being able to deal with it in a comic fashion, would’ve been anathema to others.chaplin as hitler

This also coincides with the Charlottesville racist protest of the removal of General Lee’s statue. And the horrific act of a young man from Ohio, plus all the other violence that occurred. So here we have the contrast of a symbol that has grown to represent racism, which is the Civil War, in the southern combatants.

With the fresh violence in our minds, we are struck with the horrors of war, the glorification of the provocateurs, the hate and the anger that was generated more than 100 years apart. Then should we remember this as history, or forget it as a violent, evil past.

Isn’t history always told by the Victor and not the vanquished?

So now we must consider what we’re going to forget. Should we tear down all the monuments in countries related to any war? Why should we glorify the dead fallen in the horrors of war? Should we remove all the stones from the cemeteries? Many of the wars in the world glorify the atrocities of one culture over another. Racism, sexism, colonialism and a whole lot of other isms, should we forget them by destroying the monuments to those times in history?

This really makes me consider any monuments that are designed to capture history. What else are they capturing? Are they also glorifying some wickedness?

ReichswaldForest cemetary of dead soldiers

So you comedians out there, don’t start making fun of the Charlottesville incident. It may only do your so good, but the rest of humanity is still deeply troubled by what they saw in Charlottesville.  Too some this is the precursor to another civil war in America, and that really is not comical.

It seems to me, that you really can’t make fun of historic events, while the people who suffered from them are still alive. That’s just wrong. You can go back and make fun of Caesar being slashed to death with knives, Napoleon being exiled, and other historic events just as long as everybody who was involved with them are dead. So take a tip from me comedians, start crack in the jokes, but focus on content that occurred before your grandparents were alive.

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

 

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15
Feb
13

Suicide versus Abortion: Sanctity of Life Issue

suicide bombingSuicide bombings are not a part of American culture, and without the cultural reference, the America mind is highly puzzled by this seeming lack of value of life.  Yet the few who have died in bombings are nothing compared to the number of abortions that happen each year in the United States.  Death and mayhem is denounced by Americans with regard to actions in the middle east, but completely overlooked by most when it comes to the destruction of human life within the womb.

What is the motivation for killing?  What is the logic?  These are actually two different elements.  Motivations in blowing oneself up can be very personal.  First in countries were those with disability and illness disengages them with their culture and their own family, these people are the walking dead.  They are shame, they are pariah.  In order to bring about some support for their families, they often agree to end their miserable existence in order to win some honor or a nice cash payment for their families.  In Afghanistan, it is reported that over 80% of suicide bombers are disabled or sick individuals.

Here are some reasons suicide bombers might give to the press if they were questioned before their fatal actions: Bereavement, grief, revenge, altruism, or vengeance.  At the heart of many of these motivations is feelings of personal harm, injustice and personal suffering.  But religious and nationalistic reasons also give motivation to many.  This changes the motivation from personal to communal.

Nearly all societies and in all religions suicide is regarded as deviant behavior.  It is usually expected that suicide is connected to mental instability.  That’s why American don’t get the reasons people would kill themselves like they do regularly in Israel.   The whole group think thing is totally incomprehensible to Westerners.

picture of an abortion clinic with a person holding a sign that says killing babies todayWhat about abortion.  What is the motivation for a woman getting an abortion?  Feelings dominate this area.  Women feel they aren’t ready for a child or that they are mature enough.  They are afraid that they can’t be good mothers. The reasons are more along the lines of conflicts they have.  They believe another child or the child would interfere with their relationships, or that they won’t be able to go to school or that their partner doesn’t want a child.  Abortions outnumber adoptions in the U.S.A by 10 times each year, so you can see that a line divides motivation from reason.

Two issues come to mind.  First is the fact that adoption which use to be the communal response to unwanted pregnancy has dropped.  The other issue that says “pick me” is the narcissistic  justification which labels the child as a fetus and not a human being.

Both suicide and abortion cross the line of sanctity of life – the line where humans can justifiably be snuffed out to benefit someone or the community.  The only rationale I can see for that is for eliminating violent criminals, murderers, hardcore rapists and the like.  On one hand we have westerners who chosen to have children or not based on whether it is convenient to them at that stage of life.  They murder their unborn children to ensure they have no interruptions in their paths.  The suicide bombers on the other hand give up all their own pleasures of life to kill themselves for a cause.  These civilians turned soldiers take the courage to do something for the community they support; which is the altruistic reason for their deaths.  The big difference to me is that one chosing to kill others as a human bomb is a decision – the community could be moral and say that is unacceptable, but is America’s culture so sick that they can say, it’s okay to kill you own children, and then protect the murders right to do that?  Talk about victims taking the blame.  Woman and men having sex should take the responsibility of bearing children if they don’t use contraception.  Take responsibility like the suicide bomber.

Calling all Virgins

Calling all Virgins

In my book all senseless deaths are horrid.  The God in heaven doesn’t hand out virtues and awards to women for killing their babies; neither does the Almighty hand out 72 virgins – there is no sex or birth in heaven.  They say that when one loses their empathy towards other people that they can and will do horrible things to others.  Women who have aborted their children probably walk around with a big black stain of guilt for killing their children.  Known of us knows what happens to know what really happens to the souls of those unborn, and certainly a just God doesn’t let murders into heaven regardless of what political cause.

Resources:

Adoption Statistics

Abortion Statistics

Rational for suicide bombers

Motives for Suicide bombing

10
May
12

America’s Mental Wasteland

It’s time to wake up America regarding the inhumane treatment society is giving the mentally ill.  Of the 740,000 homeless in the United States 250,000 are mentally ill.  These individuals make the downtowns of many major cities a nightmare for everyone.  The streets are America’s mental ward.  This needs to stop.

Since  the Reagan administration mental illness (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1981) which was treated in intuitions like psychiatric hospitals, the country has given in to neglect of the mentally ill.  The idea was to save the cost of institutionalizing the mentally ill, but according to studies, the cost of leaving them on the streets is still around $40,000 per individual.

But is it sane?  Are we as Americans sane to let those we know are crazy out in the public centers, the marketplace, the city centers? Is it not extremely crazy to have the mentally ill loose on the streets?    There is this song about Los Angeles with the lyrics “nobody walks in LA.”  But the streets are full of the homeless.  Why do people allow this?  Why aren’t the politicians doing anything about this – “public servants,” the term is laughable.

Where fo art thou brother?

The real public servants, the police, firefighters, emts, the paramedics, the homeless shelter workers, the lay ministers, the emergency room staff, the clerks at the stores, they see these people up close and personal.  Why aren’t they crying out to get these mentally ill off the streets.  They are a national embarrassment, a blight on society.

The Police have been cited so often for police brutality after they beat or kill the homeless that they look like goons.  They aren’t trained to deal with these mentally ill people.  They cannot control the city streets filled with sick mined folks.  They should be enforcing real laws, and these sick people should be cared for.

People are saying:

Mentally Ill Patients Strain EMS Resources by Tony Plohetski in Mental Health News

“As emergency rooms continue to be crowded by mental health patients who can’t get beds elsewhere”

Paramedic Perceptions of their role.  Journal of Emergency Primary Care 2009: Volume 7, Issue 3

“The removal of people with mental illness from an institution based system of care to the community has not been accompanied by an appropriate level of community service development resulting in a growing need for prehospital care.”

Dealing with the Mentally Ill and Emotionally Disturbed in the Use of Force Context, by Jack Ryan, Public Agency Training Council

Homeless in Los Angeles by Jerry Drucker, LA Progressive

“In 2011 the census count of the homeless (in Los Angeles County) was 51,340, 3% less than 2009 at 52,931. A looming problem that Arnold brought up was homeless veterans.”

References

Accordino, M. P., Porter, D. F., & Morse, T. (2001). Deinstitutionalization of Persons with Severe Mental Illness: Context and Consequences. Journal Of Rehabilitation, 67(2), 16.

http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/consequences/homeless-mentally-ill.html

10
Jun
10

Dictators, reading lists and reasoning skills

Summer Reading

A professor becomes an intellectual dictator when he/she presents a philosophy or idea and demand his/her students conform his/her oral and written ideals.  In the world of education even placing an argument into the place where there are only two sides to choose from is purely misguided.  The point is to prepare students to think, write, and present their own thinking, not to conform to an agenda.  It is unethical for a professional academic to demand allegiance to a cause, especially a political cause.

Recently reading lists for incoming college students were looked at by the National Association of Scholars.  Which indicated that (1) the reading lists were not sufficiently challenging, and (2) had for the most part liberal political themes.  Omitted from most of the recommended reading lists were classic literature.  Quoting from Inside Higher Ed News:

“A group that advocates for a more rigorous and traditional college curriculum — released what it says is the most comprehensive analysis of what freshmen are being asked to read. The findings suggest that certain kinds of books — on multiculturalism and the environment — dominate these reading selections. And the study, called “Beach Books,” questions whether the choices of colleges are too similar, too left-leaning and not sufficiently challenging.”

This article goes on to describe the type of books recommended for students to read will allow them to have some basis of mutual topics of discussion.  The books are to be interesting, and focused on current events.  The question is do these books teach or preach a perspective? Let’s look at some of the titles:   Approaching the Quran:  the Early Revelations, No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal, Children of Jihad, Brother I’m Dying, and the Black Dog of Fate.

I applaud the effort of school to promote scholarly reading and thinking.  Most of the college students I have worked with barely read anything but their textbooks, and most high school students probably won’t be looking at those recommended books.  Only those who actually are curious  and some of those rare folks who enter college thinking.  Most students have social lives, and important twits  and facebook or myspace to keep them busy.  Heck, “what is a book?” is more of the true question.

Professors are right in saying that most students are not well educated and capable of more than expressing opinions during class discussions, that these students are neither well read, have studied their texts, or done any research before speaking out in class.  There seems to be an attitude that all opinions are of equal weight from students.  Pamela Caughie writes in Academe Online the following:

Classrooms today seem to be more like talk shows, with the professor as host, than forums for intellectual inquiry. Students who don’t read the assignment and never set foot in a library feel every bit as entitled to express their opinions on an assigned reading as those who have read carefully and researched extensively. And because administrators pay more attention to ten point scales on student evaluation forms, and even chili peppers on RateYourProfessor.com, than to the kind of intellectual work that goes on in the classroom, too many teachers feel their job is to acknowledge any and all opinions offered on the topic being studied. Not to do so is to risk being exposed as someone intent on indoctrinating students rather than teaching them.

In this world of uneducated opinions, you find that students are really not well read and have little background with which to engage in debate or discussion.  They might be capable of talking about television, sports, and pop culture or worse video games, but academic reading is a prime means of developing analytical skills.  More books and less entertainment will prepare  students most.  More conformity and loss of reasoning prepares the world for totalitarianism.




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