Monday, July 21, 2014

Thousands Protest Rape of 6 yr old Girl in India

The show of solidarity surpassed anything Bangalore has seen in the recent past. Perhaps Anna Hazare's protest at Freedom Park three years ago came close. But this march was far stronger, much bigger and more emotional. It was the middle-class Bangalorean — anguished, scared and frustrated — seeking justice for a child the adult world had let down.
--Thousands protested in India this past Saturday over the delay by the police and the school in dealing with the rape of a 6 year old girl.

--The girl was raped while she was at school, allegedly by 2 teachers.  There are reports that the school tried to cover it up.

--The police did finally arrest one of the suspects.  The teacher who was arrested had been taking pictures of children, and police are looking into 4 other instances of abuse.  The school has a lot of questions to answer since they didn't verify the teacher enough before hiring him.

--The little girl was further traumatized by being put through 2 rounds of medical tests.

--India has taken a tougher stance on rape in the past 18 months, but India still has a rape problem.
Thousands of people swept through the streets of New Delhi in spontaneous protests after the December 2012 bus rape, demanding protection for women. The victim became “the daughter of the entire nation,” said Sushma Swaraj, now the country's foreign minister.

Much has changed in the 18 months since then — harsher laws against rape, increased media focus on sexual violence, new police units dedicated to helping women. But a gang rape last week that left two teenage cousins dead, their corpses hanging from a village mango tree, has revealed the immense gulf that remains in India. In a nation that can at times appear convulsed with outrage over a culture of sexual violence, there are plenty of occasions when it seems little has changed at all.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Review of Belle!

BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing.
While her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) chases suitors for marriage, Belle is left on the sidelines wondering if she will ever find love. After meeting an idealistic young vicar's son bent on changing society, he and Belle help shape Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.--Rotten Tomatoes

--I saw the movie Belle last night and loved it!!

--The movie has numerous aspects to it that made me fall in love with it:
  • It is loosely based on some true historical events 
  • It is a "Jane Austen" type movie with an abolition theme 
--Historical Facts:
  • The above 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray is what inspired the movie.  
  • The painting was "one of the first European portraits to portray a black subject on an equal eye-line with a white aristocrat."
  • Belle was indeed the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of Maria Belle (an African slave in the West Indies) and Naval Officer, Captain John Lindsay.
  • Lindsay entrusted Belle to his Uncle William Murray in 1765.
  • William Murray was the 1st Earl of Mansfield and the Lord Chief Justice of England.
  • Murray did indeed rule in 2 important slavery cases--Somerset vs. Stewart in 1772 and the Zong Massacre trials of 1783 which did help pave the way for the Slave Trade Act of 1807.  Thus inspiring William Wilberforce to fight for the abolition of slavery in 1833.
--The rest of the movie is fiction, but extremely well-done.  I highly recommend it!  

--The Zong by James Walvin

Friday, July 18, 2014

Malaysian Flight #MH17!

--What We Know About the Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

--Malaysian Flight #MH17 was 3rd Plane Shot Down by Russian Terrorists This Week

--Official: 181 Bodies Found at Malaysian Plane Site

--Obama: Plane Shot Down by Missile, 1 American Dead

--Doomed Flight Likely Downed by Pro-Russian Separatists

--Sophisticated Surface-to-air System Needed to Shoot Down High-flying Jets

--All Walks of Life on the Plane:
A Malaysia Airlines vice president, Huib Gorter, said 189 of the passengers were Dutch. There were also 29 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine from the United Kingdom, four each from Germany and Belgium, three from the Philippines, one each from Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong, according to the airline and officials in Australia and Hong Kong. Two passengers' nationalities remained to be confirmed.
For one Australian family, the Ukraine crash represented an almost unbelievable double tragedy.
Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 when it vanished in March. On Friday, Mann found out that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed on Flight 17.

Read more here:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

War Movies...

--I'm not sure why I have a thing for war movies, but I do.  I think most of it is that I know at this stage that I'll never serve in the military, so this is how I see things through their eyes.

--It is the classic struggle between good and evil.  It is fighting for a cause and purpose and a country that is worth dying for.

My Favorites:
1. Braveheart
2. The Patriot
3. Black Hawk Down
4. Lone Survivor
5. The Great Raid
6. Gods and Generals
7. Gettysburg
8. The Civil War by Ken Burns
9. The Last Samurai
10. The Last of the Mohicans
11. Troy
12. Valkryie
13. We were Soldiers

1. Flyboys
2. Tears of the Sun
3. Saving Private Ryan
4. Flags of our Fathers
5. Letters of Iwo Jima
6. Blood Diamond

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Review of Sleepers!

--Sleepers is a story that will profoundly affect you.  When I first saw the movie back in the 90's, it had a powerful affect on me.  It challenges your views about justice and revenge.  What makes it even more powerful, is that it really happened.

--I am now in the middle of the book, Sleepers.  The movie sticks very close to the book.  Carcaterra had to change dates, names, places and people to protect the innocent.  There still has been controversy about whether the story is true or not.

--I find everything about the story to be fascinating.  I loved learning about what life was like for those that lived in "Hell's Kitchen" in the 60's.  It was interesting how the Catholic church made an impact on their daily lives, yet, couldn't curb the domestic violence.

--What happened to the 4 boys was horrific, it left me outraged.  Yet, just like their favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo, there was amazing justice.  It doesn't happen too often in life, which is probably why many think the story can't be true.

--It was interesting to me that The Count of Monte Cristo was also mentioned in another favorite movie/book of mine, Shawshank Redemption.

--Anyway you look at it, both the book and the movie are well worth your time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ted Bundy-Serial Killer Profile #1

--I have always been interested in true crime and serial killers in specific.  I blame my Mother for this, since she has the same fascination.  It must be passed on from Mother to daughter because my daughter is the same.  She recently wrote a research paper on serial killers for school.

--Therefore, I decided it would be good idea to do some more in-depth research and start writing some profiles.

--Ted Bundy is one of the more notorious serial killers.  There were a lot reasons for this.  He was young, charming and loved the spotlight, choosing to represent himself during his trials.  All of his victims were young and beautiful.

--He was a notorious liar, so some of the details about who he killed are still in doubt, since he confessed different things to different people.

--He confessed to 30 murders, 20 of which are verified, but he is suspected of killing many more
--He murdered women in 6 states--Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Idaho & Florida
--He escaped from prison twice
--He attacked 6 women in Florida after he escaped, 3 were murdered and 3 survived
--He represented himself during his trials, proving that a "man who represents himself has a fool for a client".
--The reasons/motive for killing have been attributed to his resentment towards his mother (who stuck by him to the very end), and that all the women he murdered looked similar to a girlfriend who devastated him by breaking up with him.
--He never knew the identity of his biological father, there is some suspicion that his grandfather was his real father, but this was never verified.
--His first victim is suspected to be Ann Marie Burr who was only 8 years old, he was only 14/15 at the time.  She disappeared on August 31, 1961, Ted was her paper boy and there were several other connections that make it very likely he was the killer.  He confessed to Detective Keppel that there were, "some murders" that he would "never talk about", because they were committed "too close to home", "too close to family", or involved "victims who were very young".

Books I've Read about Bundy:
--Ted and Ann: The Mystery of a Missing Child and her Neighbour Ted Bundy--Rebecca Morris
--The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story--Ann Rule

Monday, July 14, 2014

Africa in Review!

--Since, I am back to blogging on a regular basis, I thought it would be good to reflect on what I have blogged about for the past 9 years, starting back in 2005.

 --Monday is Africa day, so, I thought I would post some of my previous posts on Africa.

 --I went to Senegal, West Africa in 2011.  It was an amazing trip, the above picture is just one of many from that trip.

--I think I'm going to continue my series of doing a profile on the different countries in Africa.

--I am Going to Senegal, West Africa
--Senegal ABC's

--The Lost Boys of Sudan!
--Pray for Peace for Sudan
--Sudan--Global Day of Prayer!
--Horrific Flogging of Woman in Sudan!
--President Bush Fed up with UN's Lack of Action on Darfur
--Genocide in Darfur
--A review of Attack on Darfur

--Going After Terrorists in Somalia 
--A Review of The True Story of Black Hawk Down


--Kisses from Katie

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Inspirational Devotionals!

--If I had to recommend only one book for people going through a divorce, Kristin Armstrong's Happily Ever After would definitely be it.  After Kristin survived a divorce from Lance Armstrong, she wrote down the scriptures and lessons that helped her.  She then put them into devotional book form.  It was immensely encouraging for me.  I also found that God had shown me some of the same lessons that she shared, which was comforting.  I finished this just last month in June.

--Stormie Omartian has yet to write a book that hasn't been immensely inspirational to me.  The Power of Praying Through the Bible was no exception.  I also finished this last month.

--I was asked to review Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore, and received a complimentary copy.  I am so glad, because it has been a great devotional tool, I love the journal aspect of it.  I am almost finished with this, just a couple days left to go.

--I just bought A Simple Path by Mother Theresa at a thrift store, and am looking forward to reading it.

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11th Smorgasbord!

--My youngest son didn't walk until he was 2 1/2, so seeing the above video is beyond precious.  I was thinking that an adult might be discouraged about having a prosthetic leg, but this boy is too excited about learning to walk to care.  We should all be inspired by his can-do attitude, I know I am.

--Unlikely Friendship Between Toddler and WWII Vet Will Melt Your Heart--This story does exactly what the title says, it melts your heart.  A toddler and a World War II Vet that have a special friendship.  The sad part is, they will soon be torn apart.

--This house looks nice on the inside and the outside, but most people won't want to live there.  Why? It was once a serial killer's torture chamber.  Who is the landlady? The serial killer's mother, nice...

--Todd Akin single-handedly lost Missouri's chance to gain back the U.S. Senate seat in 2012.  Everything was in the Republicans favor, yet, he opens his mouth and throws it all away.  And to prove he is a bigger idiot, he didn't step aside, so the Republicans could salvage the seat.

So, guess what? He has written a book about what an idiot he is and blames everyone but himself.  And who writes the intro for him?  None other than my other least favorite Republican, Mike Huckabee!  Guess who won't ever be reading this book?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Ranking of the U.S. Presidents!

I started this post years ago, when I first started blogging.  I have spent a lot of time studying the different U.S. Presidents.  I thought it would be fun to do my own ranking of them.

I've read a lot of presidential biographies over the years and seen a lot of other people rank them. I figured it was my turn. I don't feel like I've exhaustively studied them enough yet though, so I'm sure over time my rankings will be subject to change.

There are 43 presidents to rank since Grover Cleveland was actually president twice but not in consecutive terms. He was the 22nd and the 24th president. By the way, he is the only president that has ever done this. (Although I was hoping David Palmer would be able to do the same thing on 24, but they killed him off before he got a chance ;-).)

I am going to start with the worst, and work my way up to the best.
43--Jimmy Carter--He was horrible in office, and continues to disgrace himself and our country
42--Warren G. Harding--Had moral/ethical issues and so did a lot of those in his administration
41--Richard Nixon--Resigned in disgrace
40--Barack Obama--The list is long
39--William Henry Harrison--He only lived a month after he took office
38--James Buchanan--He along with Fillmore & Pierce did nothing to try and solve the slavery crisis
37--Millard Fillmore
36--Franklin Pierce
35--Lyndon Johnson--Had many ethical issues
34--Herbert Hoover
33--Bill Clinton--He had ethical issues to say the least
32--Ulysses S. Grant--He was a great war hero, but not that good at governing
31--Andrew Johnson
30--Woodrow Wilson--Was a socialist and tried to thwart women's suffrage
29--Gerald Ford--A liberal Republican who didn't stand for anything
28--William McKinley
27--Martin VanBuren
26--Benjamin Harrison
25--John Tyler
24--James K. Polk
23--Andrew Jackson
22--Zachary Taylor
21--James Garfield
20--Chester A. Arthur
19--Rutherford B. Hayes
18--William Howard Taft
17--George H.W. Bush
16--Calvin Coolidge
15--Franklin D. Roosevelt
14--Grover Cleveland
13--James Monroe
12--John F. Kennedy
11--Dwight Eisenhower
10--James Madison
9--John Quincy Adams
8--Thomas Jefferson
7--John Adams
6--Harry Truman
5--George W. Bush
4--Teddy Roosevelt
3--Ronald Reagan
2--Abraham Lincoln
1--George Washington