Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Free Speech can Kill

There are certain comments which, over the past couple of Years have gotten under my skin.  Thankfully, we mostly still Have the right of free speech, and for this I am very Glad.  It is Odd though, to have grown up in the 1960's and see that on our local college campus there are certain spaces Marked Out as "Free Speech Zones".  Why is Free Speech guaranteed to talk show hosts but maybe Not to College Students?  College campuses used to BE "free speech zzones".
I  haven't agreed with everything President Obama has done.  But I really dislike some of the racial slurs which have been thrown at him.  One night I was spinning the radio dial and heard someone call President Obama a "Halfrican".  Ok, so he's a grown man and anybody who runs for president should expect some name calling.  But this Wasn't a slur about his politics, or Even whether or not he was an American citizen.  It was purely a racial slur.  Has thriving on hatefulness really gone this far?  This radio show was nationwide and the host was quotint Another radio show host.

I don't usually like talk radio, "conservative" or "liberal".  The reason is that it inspires a misperception of someone else's views, and we need to remember that there are always people who, because of mental illness or extreme stress are willing to take violent action.  I believe that what I think of as "hate radio" has done and can do serious damage to our society as a whole, and, of course, to individuals.
Who has the right to name a doctor performing abortions, post his/her address online, and claim that This person has no rght to live?  Can the Obama children be sheltered from all of the purely racial slurs thrown at Both of their parents?  Have you ever heard of Another First Lady portrayed online with a Monkey's face?  Let's see, First Lady Laura Bush, First Lady Nancy Ragan, First Lady Hilary Clinton, First Lady Barbsara Bush?  Mrs. Clinton was called a lot of unnecessary  names when she attempted to begin a discussion about healthcare and its lack in our country.  But it's never been Quite this nasty before.

We rightly comdemn terrorism, but we can name people who we think should be "taken out" (a military term for killed) in the name of free speech.  ho can give back the lives "taken out" by careless words falling into the ears of mentally ill or temporarily enraged people?  Since lives can't be returned to the dead, shouldn't we be more careful with our words and images?  Where does inspiring harm, hurt, or murder with words, knowing that someone Just Might follow a suggestion, fit between Free Speech and partial Responsibility for the harm or murder/s?

I have often wondered what listening to "talk radio" on a regular basis Does to a person.  Does it Vent rage and frustration, so a person can continue working a job they hate, or be kinder to he family at day's end?  Or does it Ramp Up rage?  I wish some scientists would study this.  At least then people could know if they were or were not doing their bodies, minds, and relationships harm or good when they choose to listen to this programming.  Have any such stu
been conducted on this subject?  What are the factors which make talk radio so popular?  Are we really All That Angry?  If so, we have the right to say it.  But when we don't know whose listening over the air waves or watching online, I think we ought to say it more honestly and carefully. 

I feel angry when President Obama is called a "Halfrican" because I am a person of mixed race and know what a diet of constant name calling can do to a person's heart and will to try.
I feel frightened when someone uses military terms for killing against a civilian, because someone might Do It.  I felt shocked and amazed at the courage of Cher, when I was a kid because she actually Recorded a song called "Halfbreed".  Those are three examples of words which could be spoken in a Very Strong Voice.  Why is name calling so Cool?
What people say to one another in private is Their business!  What all of us say in public is Everybody's.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Winter's Bone" as seen from Southern Mo., BBC Missed the Points

When I first heard this film spoken of on BBC's World Service I was tense.  Sentences
something like, "Well they're obviously not All wife beating, banjo strumming yokels,
but . . ."  Really made me More tense.
But I got to watch the movie on DVD last night with a friend and actually thought
it was aVery  Good movie.
What I think was Missed by those who spoke about it on World Service was Poverty,
Demand and Supply.  I mentally compared what happened in Winter's Bone to what happens
in inner city drug dealing.  Do you think the male dealers or "cookers" don't beat
their wives in the cities?  A close friend of mine from an inner city in Indiana
was married to a man who became re-addicted to drugs and so dealt in them after they
were married.  He tried to Sell her sexual services to a friend.   He also beat,
choked, and pulled a gun on her.  Is this any Worse than what you saw in Winter's
I heard a young man from an inner city background asked on Television why he kept
Kicking an opponent who was already   lying down in the street.  The young man's
reply,  "Because he was there to kick."  Why don't you call young people like him
and their relatives "yokels?"
I think it is because a different stereotype reigns in the cities.  This man, though
he might have family involved in the illegal drugs trade probably has a brown skin,
you think.  He probably listens to rap or hip-hop, Not Banjos.
But in Both cases you miss the point!  Neither the inner city youth, Nor the people
in Winter's Bone had legitimate ways of earning money.  There weren't nearly enough
Jobs, especially Jobs on which one could Support one's self and others, to go around.
In Both cases, a quality education was lacking.  Ree, the heroine of Winter's Bone
didn't have time to study.  She cared for her mentally ill mother and two smaller
children.  If there was to be meat on the table, she had to teach the young ones
how to hunt deer and how to clean squirrel.
In Kansas City, Mo. a significant number of schools are being closed because of a
budget shortfall.  The kids are just being doubled up in their classrooms.  And a
large number of teachers, statewide, who have taught long enough to earn a pension
are retiring while there is Still a Pension to be Had.
In the country Ree's family had no shower.  In some apartment buildings in the poor
parts of Kansas City, the landlord controls the heat for the whole building and the
tenants walk around in blankets.  Maybe this is against the law, maybe not, but it
So the yokels and the ghetto kids have these  Important things in common:  1. Poverty
and 2. a knowledge that most of the country doesn't Care what happens to them.  3.
It is quite likely that they will Each receive a less than adequate education.
What happens when you have a poor, relatively uneducated group of citizens and a
demand for illegal drugs?  Just as all of us have seen in Mexico, when there is a
demand there will be a supply.  And the innocent people of Ciudad
Juarez and the inner cities, Indian Reservations, and Ozarks will pay the cost for
meeting that demand.
I think what shocked people about Winter's Bone were the cultural differences, (by
now Everyone who watches TV Thinks they know the inner city life) And the assumptions.
Ree was willing to sell her body and life to the Army to save what was left of her
family and their land, but she Didn't sell herself in the pool hall.  Yet so many
people who watched this movie have talked to me about how "inbred" the population
is.  Does it happen, of course.  Is it universal, certainly Not.  In any isolated
region on Earth intermarriage occurs.  How did hemophilia get so widespread among
European royalty?  They married for strength in alliances and generally did Not marry
what you still call Commoners.
Bottom line,  where there is poverty and ignorance plus a demand for illegal drugs
there will be great suffering among the poor and ignorant population surrounded by
drug growers and sellers, whether they are personally involved or not.  Please do
Not confuse Ignorant with Stupid or mentally disabled.  Ree was Not stupid, neither
was the inner city husband of my friend.  They both grew up in extremely Hard circumstances
without enough education to get out or combat them.  Precious in the book "Push"
was very bright and made the very Best of her opportunities to learn.  The same is
true of Sherman Alexi, who wrote, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian."
Playing a banjo doesn't make one a "yokel."  It probably indicates a rural origin
or heritage.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2500 year-old Affordable Healthcare Recommendations

When the Buddha was asked 2500 years ago how one should care for elderly parents he said that Four things should be provided:  food, shelter, clothing, And Medicine.  Yet often Buddhist friends seem to dislike the Affordable Healthcare Act.  My question is, if 2500 years ago it was thought by the founder of one of the world's major religions, or philosophies that Healthcare was a Duty, why is it such an obstacle today?  Obviously there are Parts of the Affordable Healthcare Act to which people object.  Many people resent being Told by the Government that they Must carry health insurance or pay a penalty.  Insurance companies resent any limits on what they can charge and the fact that they must accept people with pre-existing health conditions. 
     But in a society as large and complex as ours, can we come up with something Better?  Privatizing Medicare Doesn't seem Better to me.  Wouldn't doing this allow Medicare to become More like other insurance companies, rejecting sick applicants, saying what doctors and hospitals patients Must go to, Regardless of who has the best facilities for treating a particular condition?
     Why is it that when a Company tells you to change physicians or lose coverage, people grumble and do as they're told.  But when the Government says you Must have medical insurance, all he-- breaks loose?
     Isn't being bossed around being bossed around?  Or do people Truly believe that their insurance companies have their best interests at heart/?  Surely not
     I know a friend who is trying to hold onto her life Until "Obama Care" becomes available.  And I wonder how many more people are like her?

How many wars and who Pays

When I first heard that NATO had conducted air strikes against Colonel Gaddafi's compound I was enraged.  Where is the difference in this and the hunt for Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and what are the similarities?

In both cases the countries attacked had something   we want, OIL.  And in both cases we (our government) had cooperated with the former leaders, suddenly turned into demons in the public media.

Really, the same thing happened to Manuel Noriega in Panama.  He was the Government's friend, then he wore strange underwear, and was a drug dealing enemy. 

Thankfully, I am not the leader of anything and so might not have to fear being a "friend" of our Government.  We tend to sacrifice those international leaders (friends) who have something our Government wants or who are no longer cooperating as our Government thinks they should.

Have we "liberated" Iraq?  Did we protect civialians in Iraqi Freedom or just our oil interests?

And except for oil, where did the Government get the idea that we should "protect civilians" in a country's Civil Conflict?  President Obama, I voted for you, but NOT on This one!

We could "protect the civilians" of Tibet, Burma or Meinmar, the imprioned human rights activists in China, or the pro-democracy activists of Bahrain.  But we don't want to risk conflict with China, (we purchase too many cheap goods from them) so Tibet and the abuse of Chinese workers and pro-democracy activists are written off, except for gentle chiding.  Meinmar doesn't have enough of what we want to bother with and it would offend China.  Bahrain is a Major oil processing point, so we don't want to interfere with the flow of oil, regardless of what happens to civilians.  And the civilians of Southern Sudan in their long civil war, well the Government of the North controled the oil.

Then there is Syria, where military engagement would mean serious opposition from the Syrian military, we can't afford that, or a war with the Iranean military to "protect civilians".

It seems to me like the same old system used in creating and taking back Native American land.  Oklahoma is yours, Until we find Oil!  Acoma Pueblo is yours and so is Pine Ridge, Until we find Uranium.  Did we forget to "protect civilians" in those instances too?

When I voted for President Obama I voted for something Different.  But for the most part, it has been "business as usual", and for the first time in my live I'm considering NOT Voting this next time.

What I am coming to believe is that it doesn't Matter who is President of this wonderful country of mine.  It seems multi-national corporations run the Government, no matter who is President.

What about protecting the ""civialians" of This country?  They face Medicaid cuts, a threatened Medicare system, school districts with no money to keep all of their schools  open, early retirement of teachers, while there is Still a pension fund to collect From, on and on.  The children of our nation will pay for multi-national's greed with their ignorance and inability to compete in a technology rich job market.  The poor, disabled, and elderly are already paying for Three wars, if Libya is included.

I do not believe I can change this with a Vote and I do Not advocate violence.  So what Can be done? This post may appear with bad spelling as my talking computer won't work well with I wonder if this site complies with ADA standards?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Today I got two E-mails (so far) from the "Web Maintenance Team" of who?  It Might have been my isp, but it Wasn't.  How do I know?  Your Internet Service Provider should Never ask for your Password Or birth date in an E-mail.  Also, they should clearly state what company the represent "Web Maintenance Team" is Not an isp that I know about.  When I Called my isp to report these E-mails as identity theft, the call was noted in my account. 

I know it's an old, boring subject for long-term net users.  But for those of us who are rather new at it, Delete any E-mail which 1.  has the name of someone you know but only a link or series of letters and numbers inside or as the subject line.  You can always write your friend to ask if he or she Sent this mail, and if so, why nothing personal in it?  If it Was from your friend, that person can always explain What the mail is about and resend it.

2.  Never give out your password, date of birth, or social security number to someone who E-mails you.  Ligitimate companies will not Ask you to do this.  Identity thieves will.  The mail I got promised Much better service, if the information they wanted was provided.  Better service for Them no doubt, with enough info to use my information for all kinds of illegal and to me, costly purposes.  Luckily, I have no credit cards.

Sorry to bore you, but maybe it can't be mentioned often enough.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well well, my first attempt at a blog and my first Unsolicited junkmail,  Father's Day is coming, what kind of a dad do I have?  Deceased, so Go Away!  I wondered how long it would take some enterprising merchant to trace my individual computer from a single blog, now I know.  And There's the Annoyance.

Actually tonight I have the task of taking down the home altar which was Ours for many years. 

I'm NOT INTERESTED IN DATES, oh enterprising obnoxious ones.  But my friend of thirty years and partner of nineteen died in last Winter's blizzard.  I grieved for the people of Joplin, maybe With them, because I know how it feels to not find someone you love after terrifying weather.  And how it feels to wait while they are searched for.  Minutes become hours and the kindest thing anyone can do is give you Anything to do which Might help, even if they know the chance is slim to none.  Thank you, officers who did just this for me.  I didn't even Realize that you were helping Me at the time.  No more details about this are needed, none will be given.

We bought the statues on the altar together, years ago.  They and the Energies they represent traveled with us through many difficulties.  I never thought I'd be moving and taking them down to be packed, alone.  It hurts.

I've got more opinions than sense maybe, beginning this blog as a way of sharing my life and insights about many things.  But, at least temporarily, it helps.

I have many interests to pursue and a hobby which I hope I can turn into a job.  No, please Don't send me junkmail about That either!

If I am blessed, and work as hard as possible, I might become rich. 

How many people do you know who hate their jobs, if they are fortunate enough to Have one?  To quote a friend, "If you are doing something you love, then you are rich."

It's the kind of happiness where you don't even Bother to stop and ask, am I happy? You don't need a big rush or thrill nbsp
; Because you are so into what you are doing, so content and pleased that it doesn't seem to matter.  I hope to become rich.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Setting Priorities Joplin, Mo. and More

I am a Buddhist-Cherokee.  Some of my family are devout Cristians.  It wasn't 'til I got an offer of friendship from a sister, Unconditionally, that we began building trust which enables us to support and be involved with one another.  I have no need to preach my beliefs to anyone.  But some people who do genuinely care have been taught that they Must change me or see me burn forever after death.  It was deciding that we choose to treat one another as family, no matter what, that began to set things right.

So what does this have to do with the terrifying tornado which struck Joplin, Mo. on May 22nd?

As I listened to Joplin radio I heard many stories of compassion and courage.  Someone pulled a lady's brother out of a truck, saving his life, and she called in Twice to ask them to call her so she could thank them.  During the days she called the phone lines, when working, were Jammed.  She must have had to try again and again, just to say Thank You.  There were stories about  heroes with all kinds of backgrounds and last names.  This made me happy.

And when a group came to protest President Obama's visit to Jt.n, having alledgedly  put on their website that the tornado was a sign of God's wrath, a most Wonderful thing happened!

A woman called in to quote a State Trooper as saying "The trucks mysteriously broke down and couldn't be fixed".  The D.J.'s answer was "Beautiful!"  But I was laughing and yelling "Way to go, truckers" so loudly I could barely hear him.  Whether you were Over the Road drivers or friends in pickups, Thank You for a Perfect example of Nonviolent compassion toward the people of Joplin and the memories of their loved ones who were killed.

Evidently one individual did slip through and start to behave disrespectfully toward others.  The woman who called to report what had happened to the radio station said he was surrounded by a group of bikers who stayed around him until the police came to escort him away.

Thank you, bikers! whether you are a part of the Patriot Guard or just came to protect the shocked and hurting people of Joplin.

I personally don't agree with the political views expressed on the shows carried by the radio station I was listening to.  But they got it Right in my book by repeatedly urging the people of Joplin, who had and have every right to feel frustration and anger, NOT to respond to hate with hate, thus giving the group coming to stir up media attention fo themselves
 Any attention at All.    Some of these D.J.'s had damaged or destroyed homes themselves and again, Thank You for Being your best and Inspiring the Best in others.

A kid from inner city D.C. once asked the Dalai Lama how to create peace in an environment where it seemed no one wanted peace.  His answer, "Sometimes you have to shout."  Those of you who showed respect for the President, even if you disagree with everything he's ever done, and those of you who protected suffering people from hate found Perfect ways to Shout.  I won't forget you!

This is my first attempt at blogging and I am blind.  My screen reader, (the thing which makes my computer talk) is only reading back bits of words.  I hope this attempt comes out readable in the flat stuff you folks use, Print.  Please forgive me if it doesn't.