Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)
All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first]:
I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Dr. Laura Is SOOO Wrong:

by Glenn Littrell

At least on this incident.

In response to an article on the Huffington Post:

The doctor has a right to her opinion, but putting it out there in a public forum, her forum, creates the opportunity for others to express their outrage and opinion. She warns the caller about taking things out of context, but as a ‘doctor’ the context is what she seems to forget or in this case ignore. It is that context that differentiates the use of the word amongst blacks from it use by whites. It is not a double standard but the context that leads to varying levels of what is acceptable .

Most African-Americans condemn the use of the word, but not being monolithic some have varying degrees of acceptance of its use. So even for African-Americans there are situations that it is not acceptable.

The origin, use and history of the word stems from one overriding intent: to identify in an insulting manner, to degrade and to inflict humiliation. I can not think of any single word, spoken by a black man to a white man, that would be guaranteed to give rise to as strong and passionate an emotion as the use of this word spoken in reverse.

Words like cracker, whitey, or honky wouldn’t even transcend generational lines amongst white people. None of these words even have a significant history before the 50’s. None of them have a place in time when they were used from a position of authority and power to inflict humiliation. The most common reaction to them amongst whites would probably be a giggle of amusement for being so ‘retro’. Those that would be offended by them would probably be more offended by the audacity and yes, context of the person using the words.

Terms like white trash and red neck are currently so commonly used by whites in reference to themselves and each other that they are barely taken as being negative.

If you were of Italian descent and your Uncle Marco was still with us and I said any one of several slang words for Italians or Catholics he would knock me on my butt in a heartbeat.
But things change. Through assimilation and acceptance Italians may be more tolerant of Italian jokes and ethnic humor today. The context today might be different to some. Marco lived in a world where the KKK burned crosses in the neighborhood because they did not like Catholics.

I not saying there aren't words that wouldn't offend a white person or anyone other than an African-American. My point is is that offensive words across lines of differences don't carry the same weight. Sometimes because of them becoming irrelevant over time and generations, sometimes because of assimilation or acceptance, hopefully always because we progress forward in an acceptance of each other not digress to the point that we tolerate offensive words because its easier.

As to the word being used by African-Americans amongst themselves and in reference to themselves and each other on TV and by comedians, again the doctor ignores the context.

Now if I refer to my wife as ‘honey’ and my daughter as ‘ sweetie’.  Does anyone think that it would me alright for a complete stranger, particularly a male, to refer to them in the same manner? I don’t think so. Coming from the lips of a stranger the use of those terms would be incendiary and very inappropriate. This is not a double-standard. This is the context that alludes the doctor and many people, black and white, and the context is about familiarity and appropriateness.

The above analogy is in reference to the doctor’s logic, her point, is that it's alright to use the word, or should be alright because blacks do it, but the doctor is ignoring all context.

In the conversation with the caller the doctor’s desire to repeat what she heard on TV was petty and inappropriate.

"Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****, n*****, n*****. I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing. But when black people say it, it's affectionate."

She' claims its confusing, yet she gives advice? Or is it just that she wants to echo the ridiculous idea that a black president = the end of racism, not so that we can go forward to a non-racist existence, but so that we can have license to say offensive things without reproach, because racism is dead? i.e. "Don't NAACP me"  A statement that reveals a racially slanted stereotype.

If you turn on HBO you will also hear the ‘F’ bomb being dropped repeatedly. Does that make it alright? I know guys who use profanity all the time, except around their wife, kids and parents. These same guys would get very upset if any of their friends did it around those same people. I know guys who watch the shows with the "’F’ bomb who never use the word themselves and even though they watch the shows would never let their kids do so. Is this a double standard or is it about appropriate language? Before you say its a double standard consider that showing discretion involves applying varied but appropriate behavior and decisions to similar but not totally identical situations. It is the difference between the situations, not the similarities, that dictate appropriateness.

The most appalling thing about the doctor’s response to the caller is that she didn’t outright condemn everyone's use of the word. She actually unloads on the caller for being too sensitive about the racist actions of her husband’s friends and his condoning their behavior. This situation has potential domestic violence written all over it. The doctor’s inclination to want to make an asinine statement in support of the universal acceptance of the ‘N’ word, instead of offering sound advise to the caller in itself is enough to warrant the criticism and condemnation of her words.

by Glenn Littrell
in reference to:
“Dr. Laura's N-Word Rant: Radio Host Apologizes For Offensive Language” (AUDIO)

P.S.

Dr. Laura's History Of Incendiary Statements: Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced Tuesday that she is ending her radio show in the wake of the firestorm created over her repeated use of the n-word in a conversation with a black caller last week.     But it's hardly the first time she's made incendiary or controversial statements.

Also:


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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oil Spill Video:

by Glenn Littrell

in response to a video post and comments on FaceBook comparing the BP Oil Spill to Katrina:

The timeline in the video is a ‘little’ misleading. 
Leadership from Day 1/3am phone call:

“The fire occurred at 10pm, the NEXT day: Day 1, after overnight explosion: April 21: Deputy Secretary of Interior, Coast Guard dispatched to region… following a briefing with President Obama, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen*, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, "Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes was dispatched to the region yesterday to assist with coordination and response."   

Adm. Thad Allen is the man it took Bush 8 days to put in place because of the appointment of “Brownie”, the horse judge. Brownie’s appointment was probably the single most contributing factor in Katrina becoming Bush’s Katrina.

The references to the offer of the Dutch ship on day 3 was refused supposedly because of the Jones Act?
At that time the Jones Act waiver was not as crucial as it became later because on day 3 it was still believed that the well was not leaking. The only oil in the water was believed to be that directly related to the fire and the sinking of the rig. The Dutch ship and others probably would not have arrived in time for what was erroneously believed or being portrayed by BP as manageable spill. 

Day 3: April 23: Coast Guard "focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water." The Coast Guard stated:

“The Department of the Interior, MMS [the U.S. Minerals Management Service], and the Coast Guard continue to support the efforts of the responsible parties to secure all potential sources of pollution. Both federal agencies have technical teams in place overseeing the proposals by BP and Transocean to completely secure the well. Until that has occurred and all parties are confident the risk of additional spill is removed, a high readiness posture to respond will remain in place. 

Although the oil appears to have stopped flowing from the well head, Coast Guard, BP, Transocean, and MMS remain focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water and preparing for a worst-case scenario in the event the seal does not hold…”

  Day 5:April 25: Response team implements plan to contain oil spilling from source, weather delays cleanup.
“The unified command is implementing intervention efforts in an attempt to contain the source of oil emanating from the wellhead at the Deepwater Horizon incident site Sunday.

The unified command has approved a plan that utilizes submersible remote operated vehicles in an effort to activate the blowout preventer on the sea floor and to stop the flow of oil that has been estimated at leaking up to 1,000 barrels/42,000 gallons a day.”

Day 6: April 26: Response crews "to resume skimming operations." On April 26, the response team stated, ”…Following adverse weather that went through the area, response crews are anticipated to resume skimming operations today," including 1,000 personnel, 10 offshore vessels, 7 skimming boats and more than 14,000 gallons of dispersant. At that point 48,384 gallons of oily water had been collected.

Day 8 April 28: Federal officials realize spill was far more severe than BP led them to believe. An April 28 New York Times article reported, "Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times that suggested by initial estimates."

  The video cites Obama being on vacation, and of course golf, but lets remember Bush’s flyover was on his way back from vacation. So is that a wash? I hope so because The whole whose on vacation, who golfed the most is getting tiresome. We’re even attacking the family for going on vacation? Same situation has occurred before, so lets all get over it.

As far as statements on the campaign trail let’s remember that his opponent, and all the nominees from that party proclaimed the safety of off shore drilling, including deep water drilling. Remember “Drill, Baby, Drill”. Unfortunately Obama decided to drink some of that cool-aid shortly before the explosion. So if we’re going to dump everybody on the campaign trail for those promises I’ll go along with that.

If you want to paint this as Obama’s Katrina go ahead. He muffed some things. There were mistakes, both technical and political. But I would like to point out two things:

  1.   No one saw this coming, not even the ‘Drill, baby, drill” proponents. It was an isolated incident that barely made the news at first. We were all banking on the so called ‘safe’ and secure industry to handle it. Personally I was a little surprised it made the briefing list the next day. It happened without warning, the deaths occurred immediately, the damage was impending but unlike Katrina people were not in immediate and ongoing danger of more deaths and injuries. This is why the young lady in the video was careful not to compare this to Katrina. The makers of the video seem to miss that point, but it is a political video, and apparently an implication of accuracy is not required in politics In the long run though, absent of any other information, the waiver of the Jones Act should have come sooner.
  2.   The Obama bashing is just so perfuse, so saturating and in many cases so trivial that it is becoming so irrelevant. Can anybody in this country debate an issue anymore without it degrading to a shouting match of talking points without substantial arguments, or heaven forbid someone should have to defend against a counter argument, because they aren’t allowed. With Clinton we spent 4 years and $40 million dollars to prove a man would lie about having an affair. And to what end? Now for political points we deny employment benefits during the worse [and yes inherited] recession ever. We create fear with cries of imaginary ‘death panels’ and socialism! In a country where we claim to be a Christian nation we criminalize hard working people, blame the poor for being poor, condemn an acquisition of racism while ignoring acts of racism, and deny benefits to 9/11 first responders to protect off shore investors. All to score political points. I’m tiring of the whole thing, I should of shutdown and become a hermit when the guy I backed turned out to be a total sleazebag. It scares me that we are becoming a nation where only one side can be right, that disagreeing and dissent are no longer considered part of a republic.

NOW let’s look at the opposition’s response to the oil spill:

by Glenn Littrell

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Is $150,000 per pirated song a fair punishment?

reposted from 8-1-09:

by Glenn Littrell

I’ve been trying to warn people about the potential problems with downloading music.  Innocent downloader's are being sent bills for thousands of dollars because a file, bought by them online, has shown up on someone's website.  The fines are so steep and the law so one sided that out of court settlements for thousands of dollars are the rule not the exception:

“After admitting that he is liable for having “uploaded and downloaded music” illegally, Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum faces some potentially steep fines. The jury, which will meet late today, has already been told by the judge that Mr. Tenenbaum must pay for pirating music. But they will decide if he did so “willfully.”

That’s the difference between a $22,500 payment to the record industry and a $4.5 million one.

Federal law states that juries may award $750 to $30,000 for each of the 30 songs that Tenenbaum apparently pirated. But if the music label’s copyrights were infringed upon “willfully,” then damages could reach $150,000 per song…

The Boston Globe wrote that this is “only the second of thousands of music downloading complaints filed by the industry to go to trial. Most defendants settle out of court for $3,000 to $5,000.”

The other trial, against Jammie Thomas-Rassset, started with the jury awarding $9,250 per song. During her appeal, that number rose to $80,000 for each of the 24 songs that she illegally shared. The total: $1.92 million…”

 

read the full article:  RIAA trial: Is $150,000 per pirated song a fair punishment? | csmonitor.com

When you download [purchased or free] can the file be encrypted with your personal info that you usually have to give to register or sign on?  If it isn’t now it probably will be in the future.  If your mp3 player is lost or stolen, or you let someone copy your music files and anyone of them ever shows up on the internet through Peer To Peer networking can the music industry retrieve any personal info.  If so, or when, you will get one of those bills.  I don’t touch downloading or sharing music online in any way, shape or form since the industry, which is losing millions to pirating and sharing have the lobbies to create laws that entrap people, yes kids too, as away of sustaining there excessive profits and lifestyles.     Glenn

note: Joel was found guilty of uploading/downloading copywrited songs and fined $675,000 dollars, which was reduced on appeal to $67,500. That’s just for 31 songs…that’s over $2,000 per song!!!!

Under Section 504(c) of the Copyright Act, the jury may award statutory damages of between $750 and $30,000 per infringed song in the case of “regular” or nonwillful infringement. If, however, the jury finds infringement to be willful, the maximum it may award jumps five-fold, to $150,000 per song.”