Saturday, October 18, 2014

The 90's: The Last Great Decade? Part 3: Politically Incorrect


Part Three: Politically Incorrect

1) Bill Clinton's Sexual Harassment Trial, Monica Lewinsky and Impeachment
--My daughter, whose name is Monica, was 3 years old when all of this hit the fan.  She was confused as to why her name kept getting mentioned on TV.

--"It depends on what the meaning of 'is', is."

2) Viral Horror
--The Blair Witch Project

3) Tech Boom
--Pixar
--Steve Jobs returns to Apple after a 10 year absence.

4) Hard Drugs
--Viagra

5) Public Enemy No.1
--Osama Bin Laden attacks two U.S. embassies.  On August 7, 1998 truck bombs explode in the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

--Clinton retaliates, but is accused of trying to sidetrack the American people from the Lewinsky scandal.


6) Sit Down Com
--Seinfeld rules the American airwaves.  It was the biggest hit of the decade.

--I'm not surprised, since it is one of my all-time favorite shows.

7) The West Wing
--A liberal's fantasy White House

8) The Famous Royal Couple Splits & Diana's Death
--Princess Diana does a tell all interview, which is unheard of in British royalty.

--After going against convention, Princess Diana goes on to become one of the most loved women in the world.

--The world is in shock and mourning when Diana is killed in a car accident.  I will never forget that day, because the footage was never ending on the TV.  Her funeral is watched by 2.5 billion people.

9) World Trade Organization
--An anti-globalization protest of the WTO in Seattle lasted for 5 days and caused $29 million in damages.

10) The Shooting at Columbine High School
--I will never forget this day, it brought tears to my eyes.  Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris murdered 14 students and 1 teacher.

11) The Internet Bubble
--Theglobe.com is a sensation overnight.  Everyone goes crazy, but then theglobe.com isn't making a profit, so their stock plummets.  The bubble bursts and people lose a lot of $.

12) Y2K--The Millenium Bug
--Many people were genuinely freaked out about this and really thought the world was going to come to an end.  People stocked up on food and water, etc... I figured if anything really bad happened I'd be dead anyway, so why be psycho about it.  I remember that I even forgot about the panic until the day after New Years, and then I realized I was right about not freaking out.

Previously:
Part One: Great Expectations
Part Two: Friends & Enemies

Friday, October 17, 2014

Malala Yousafzai is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!

In July 2013, Yousafzai addressed the United Nations, telling delegates that the Taliban "thought that bullets would silence us, but they failed.
"The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions," she said defiantly, "but nothing changed in my life, except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."--Scott Neuman
I am in the middle of reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.  So, I was excited when I found out that she was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She is one of the most amazing teenage girls I have ever seen.  Men and women alike fear the Taliban, yet Malala stood up to them at a young age.  She was shot for that courage, but survived to continue the fight for girls and women's rights to be educated.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee had this to say:
Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education.
Malala is the youngest ever to receive the award.  NPR had this to say:
Yousafzai, 17, defied the Taliban in her town of Mingora in Swat Valley, near the volatile western frontier dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan. In October 2012, Taliban militiamen boarded a school bus she was on, singled her out and shot her in the left side of the head. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.

Left in critical condition, Yousafzai received an outpouring of international support and was moved to the U.K. for treatment.
"Malala battled for her life, and came back to become an international ambassador for the rights of girls to be educated," NPR's Julie McCarthy says.

She is a previous recipient of the Sakharov Prize and was first nominated for the Peace Prize last year. She now lives in Birmingham, England, but the Taliban have threatened to target her again.
Malala is sharing the prize with Kailash Satyarthi.  The ironic part is that Malala is from Pakistan and Kailash is from India, two countries that have been at odds for a long time.

Time Magazine had this to say:
The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday.

Both Satyarthi, a 60-year-old Hindu from India, and Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Muslim from Pakistan, are renowned children’s rights activists. Malala became a household name around the globe when, in October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin while on her way to school. The young girl had been an outspoken advocate of girls’ education before the shooting. Afterward, she became an international beacon for the cause and was chosen as TIME’s runner-up for Person of the Year in 2012. She was later named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People. Now, at age 17, she is the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate.

For Yousufzai, who continues to receive threats from the Pakistani Taliban who attempted to silence her demands to be educated two years ago, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize offers no better, and no louder, rebuttal.
Malala has a bright future ahead of her.  I imagine that maybe some day, it is possible that she can break barriers and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.  That would certainly make the Taliban's blood boil.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Roosevelts--An Intimate History!--A Review (Part 1)

No other American family has touched so many lives.--The Roosevelts
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Ken Burns has 7 parts, that aired on 7 nights on PBS.
1-Get Action (1858-1901)
2-In the Arena (1901-1910)
3-The Fire of Life (1910-1919)
4-The Storm (1920-1933)
5-The Rising Road (1933-1939)
6-The Common Cause (1939-1944)
7-A Strong and Active Faith (1944-1962)
--I am going to be doing a review on each episode.  I love Ken Burn's documentaries.  My favorite, before this one, was The Civil War.

--The narrator is Peter Coyote.  He narrates a lot of history documentaries.  I love his voice.

Historians:
-Clay Jenkinson
-George F. Will
-David McCullough
-Jon Meacham
-Geoffrey C. Ward
-Doris Kearns Goodwin
-Jonathan Alter
-Edna Gurewitsch
-William Leuchtenburg
-H.W. Brands
-Patricia O'Toole
--I am a huge fan of David McCullough and have read his book on Teddy Roosevelt, so it was great to see that he was a part of this documentary.

--I was excited when I found out that Burns was going to do a documentary on the Roosevelts.  The reason being that I love Teddy Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.  While I'm not a huge fan of Franklin Roosevelt, he was a major historical figure.

Episode 1-Get Action (1858-1901)
Between Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, they would occupy the White House for 19 of the first 45 years of the 20th century.--The Roosevelts
My Notes:
--Teddy's father was such a philanthropist that he was nicknamed, Great Heart.

--Geoffrey C. Ward described Teddy (as an adult), like a six year old child on steroids and like the Tasmanian Devil.

--Teddy was devastated when he lost his Mother and his wife, Alice on the same day, February 14, 1884.  On that day he wrote in his journal, "The light has gone out of my life."

--Franklin Roosevelt was the only child of his Mother and was adored by all.  FDR was doted on to the point where he saw his rightful position as being the center of the world.

--As I watched this first episode, I was not disappointed.  This is another stellar production by Ken Burns.  I look forward to watching the next episode.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jon Stewart--Funding or Die


Hat Tip: America's Watchtower
Here's a tip: It may undercut your message when you're condemning a thing, that you have clearly mastered.  It's one of those, Thou shalt not kill, but if you're going to...single shot, back of the head, you want a carpet steal hacksaw, then put the parts in several trash bags, and spread them out over a forest.--Jon Stewart
--I confess that I love Jon Stewart.  Even though he is a huge liberal, he has his moments where he exposes the Democrats for who they really are.  I often played clips of him when I used to do my radio show.

--This time he points out the hypocrisy of the Democrats when it comes to money in campaigns.

Previous Jon Stewart Posts:
-The Race Card
-ClimateGate
-Obama's Teleprompter Problem
-Acorn is Corrupt to the Core

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When Men Become Gods--A Review


--When Men Become Gods is my 5th book in my study of the FLDS.  I've read Carolyn Jessop and Flora Jessop's accounts, and I'm listening to Rebecca Musser's on Cd.

--The women's accounts were their own personal stories.  In contrast, Singular gives a history and an overview of the FLDS movement.  He share the history of the Mormons, starting with Joseph Smith.

--He then details how things went wrong with some of the modern leaders of the FLDS.  And he shares about the women who started escaping and fighting back, and about the brave few who helped them.  The women and those who helped them were listed by Singular as the "Resistance".

--A list of just some who made up the "Resistance":
1) Flora Jessop--One of the many women who escaped and fought back
2) Sam Brower--A private investigator
3) Elaine Tyler--She assisted women who were trying to escape the FLDS, and she founded the Hope Organization.
4) Gary Engels--An investigator hired by Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith
5) Ross Chatwin--A loyal FLDS member who was kicked out by Warren Jeffs.  He was one of the few men who chose to fight back.  Most of the time Jeffs took away these men's homes and wives and children.  But Chatwin refused to leave his home, and his wife and kids stayed by his side instead of obeying Jeffs.
6) The Lost Boys--Teenage boys who were kicked out of the FLDS, so that the older men have more women to choose from.
--As I've studied all that has gone into the FLDS being exposed, I have been upset that Flora Jessop hasn't been given more credit for her role.  Below is Singular's description of her, and I think it's a good one:
Every revolution produced somebody like Flora Jessop: a flamethrower who jolted others into action.  She had a knack for inspiring victimized women to come forward--and for turning off strong FLDS opponents and embarrassing the police or other authorities.  In the absence of any organized effort to enforce the law along the border for the past several decades, Flora, like Laura Chapman before her, had stepped forward and done what others wouldn't.  Nobody else had wanted to take the risks to help the men, women, boys, girls, and childhood victims of polygamy--least of all the Latter-day Saints church up in Salt Lake City.--p. 121

--As the government authorities and members of the resistance tried to figure out how to bring the members of the FLDS to justice, they had some concerns.  They feared a Waco or Jonestown catastrophe.  The governments of Arizona, Utah and the Federal government were afraid to tackle the many crimes that were being committed in the FLDS community.  Yet, finally something needed to be done. The FLDS wasn't above the law and questions started to be raised by many, below are some:
What about the rising costs of welfare and of treating fumarase deficiency?  What if citizens across the nation with no connection to Mormon fundamentalists had to pick up the tab for other people's very expensive marital and sexual practices?  What if a religious sect on the Utah-Arizona border were being run like a criminal enterprise, similar to the mafia?  Or like a terrorist outfit, answerable only to its Prophet?--p. 115

--Singular shares how the authorities finally go after Jeffs, eventually putting him on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List.  And about the 3 sisters who testified against him, Elissa Wall, Theresa Wall and Rebecca Musser.

--Elissa Wall was forced into marriage when she was barely 14 and was raped by her husband.  Not only was this Jeffs' idea, but he refused to listen to her many cries for help and told her to "keep sweet" and submit to her husband.

--When Jeffs was declared guilty by a jury of his peers, several of the heroic women who stood up against him had this to say:
This wasn't just lawyering in the courtroom, this was justice.--Elaine Tyler

Opinion is a fleeting thing, but truth outlasts the sun.--Elissa Wall quoting Emily Dickinson
--Laura Chapman (one of the first women who fought back) was happy with the verdict, but warned people that the fight against the FLDS was far from over:
So much is still lacking in terms of accountability...Elissa Wall's parents not only failed to protect her but prepared a child in a wedding dress for her abuser.  They are culpable by law and should be charged.  If Warren Jeffs has 80 wives, and birth certificates of his 264 children prove this, he should be charged with 79 counts of bigamy...He was not charged for violating the Mann Act (taking a minor across state lines for sexual purposes).  Elissa was taken to Nevada to be married.  Jeffs should be held accountable for the human trafficking of women and children to Canada...

An apology should be issued to the thousands of people, over 160 years, who have lived in extreme conditions of poverty, emotional and spiritual abuse, sexual coercion and assault because of this doctrine that places men as superior over women.  Since the LDS church is one of the wealthiest religious organizations in the world, they should fund non-profit organizations to provide resources for refugees of polygamy.  They should no longer allow a man to be sealed for time and all eternity to more than one woman.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Studying the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) Cult

The above photo is Flora Jessop with her sister Ruby Jessop.  Flora had worked for many years to help Ruby escape, and they were finally successful.

--Since, I watch a lot of true crime shows, I started seeing shows about the horrific abuses in the polygamous FLDS cult years ago.  Every time I would see a show, I would write down the books and authors that were mentioned on the show.

--Recently, I started reading one of the books and I was hooked and wanted to learn more.  So far, I have read the following books and done posts on them:
1) Escape--Carolyn Jessop
2) Triumph--Carolyn Jessop
3) Church of Lies--Flora Jessop
--I am in the middle of reading:
4) The Witness Wore Red--Rebecca Musser
5) When Men Become Gods--Stephen Singular
--On my list to read:
6) Stolen Innocence--Elissa Wall
7) Lost Boy--Brent W. Jeffs
8) The Polygamists: A History of Colorado City, Arizona--Benjamin Bistline
 
--As I've learned more, especially after reading Flora Jessop's book, I wanted to see some of the people I was reading about.  So, I found some good documentaries online.

--When I'm finished with all of the books, and when I'm done researching, I will do a comprehensive post on the FLDS. 

 
--It is important to educate people about what is going on.  As I was talking about this at work, a friend just assumed I was talking about a group in a third world country.  I said, no, this is going on right here in the U.S.

Resources:
-Rebecca Musser: Choose to be Free
-Child Protection Project
-The Hope Organization

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The 90's: The Last Great Decade?--Part 2: Friends & Enemies


Part Two: Friends and Enemies

1) Waco: David Koresh vs. the Government
--The ATF, then the FBI tried to enter David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound.  They had 305 guns and there were allegations of child abuse.  When the ATF tried to raid the compound 4 ATF agents were killed and 6 Branch Davidians.

--The FBI then engaged in a 51 day standoff that ended on April 19th, 1993.  The FBI went in, a fire was started (most likely by Koresh) and 50 adults and 25 children died, including Koresh.  This initiated a lot of anti-government sentiment, which contributed in part to the OKC bombing 2 years later on the exact same day.

--Amazingly, Janet Reno, who oversaw this fiasco, was never held accountable.

2) X-Files: The nation's obssession over aliens and ufos.

3) Tonya Harding vs. Nancy Kerrigan
--On January 6th, 1994 someone attacked Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan by whacking her in the knee.  It was discovered that Harding's husband and bodyguard were responsible.  Harding has always denied that she knew anything about the attack beforehand, but many believe that she master minded the whole thing.

4) Jerry Springer and the rise of Trashy Tv Talk Shows
--Jerry Springer went from politics, to news to hosting one of the nation's trashiest talk shows.  The sad part was the world was captivated and his ratings skyrocketed.  He was called the "Mayor of Dysfunction Junction".

5) Black Hawk Down
--I have researched and talked a lot about this event.  It is one of Bill Clinton's many failures which led to Osama Bin Laden's view of the U.S. as a "paper tiger", and ultimately led to 9/11.

6) Medicated America
--Actresses such as Roseanne admit to using prescription drugs for depression and anxiety.  The world learns of a new set of drugs known as SSRI's.

7) The rise of Rap music and Rappers


8) Oklahoma City Bombing
--On April 19, 1995, exactly 2 years after the Waco siege, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols planted a car bomb by the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.  The bombing killed 168 people and injured 600.  Before 9/11 this was the largest terrorist attack in the U.S.

9) The rise of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio
--One of the best things about the 90's.

10) Bill Clinton and the Government Shutdown
--Congress led by Newt Gingrich and the President got into a battle and the government shut down for 27 days at the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996.  As usual, the media made the Republicans out to be the bad guys, and the Republicans caved.

11) Mobsters John Gotti vs. Sammy the Bull Gravano
--Gotti is the head of the Gambino crime family, and is a media whore who becomes popular until he is brought down by his second in command, Sammy the Bull Gravano.

12) New York City is rescued by Rudy Giuliani
--When Giuliani is elected as Mayor of New York City, crime was at an unbelievable high of  2,200 murders a year.  He implemented a no tolerance policy.  The # of murders per year was 2, 245 in 1990, and by 2010 it had dropped to 536.

--Two very popular Tv shows took place in New York City in the 90's.  Seinfeld is regarded as pre-Giuliani New York City, and Friends is post-Rudy.

13) Howard Stern--Father of a VERY Dysfunctional Family

14) Homosexuality comes out of the closet
--Roseanne and Ellen have gay people coming out of the closet.  The horrific murder of Matthew Shephard who was gay also takes place and gives rise to hate crimes laws.

15) Macarena song takes the country by storm
--Everyone is dancing the macarena.  It helped bring out Latino singers such as Jennifer Lopez and Ricky Martin.

16) The Internet
--Who knew when this was invented in 1991 (not by Al Gore ;-)) how much it would change our daily lives.  There was confusion on how to use it until Google comes on the scene and gives people an easy way to search the internet.

17) The OJ Simpson car chase, trial and verdict
--91% of Americans watched the verdict live.  It was the country's own version of a soap opera.  And one of the biggest miscarriages of justice.  The message was, if you have enough $, you can get away with murder.

Previously:
Part One: Great Expectations

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Church of Lies--A Review

It's amusing how many people now want to take credit for the fall of Warren Jeffs.  It's a seductive story.  Everybody wants to be seen as the hero...

But Flora Jessop--well, she's the real McCoy--one of the original warriors and genuine heroes.  In fact, in many ways, Flora Jessop and a childhood friend of hers from Colorado City are truly Arizona's Founding Mothers of this hard-fought, human rights revolution.  A campaign that had to overcome more than a half-century of institutionalized neglect and indifference on the part of Utah and Arizona officials before a man like Warren Jeffs could finally be brought to justice.

There are people who might dispute that claim--but I would argue that they are people who either don't really know the story or are lying to cover their own asses.--Mike Watkiss
--After reading Carolyn Jessop's two books, Escape and Triumph, about the abuse in the FLDS polygamous cult, I decided I wanted to learn more.

--Flora Jessop is Carolyn Jessop's cousin, since most of the FLDS community are related to each other.  Flora escaped long before Carolyn, while she was still a teenager.  Flora was being sexually assaulted by her father from a very young age.  She tried to escape numerous times before she was eventually successful.

--Flora's book details her early childhood, her escape from the FLDS cult and her struggle to live a normal life afterwards.  She eventually finds peace and a good life in the outside world.  It is then that she begins to help many other women and teenagers who want to escape from the FLDS as well.

--The more I learn about the FLDS cult, the more like the mob they seem.  They indoctrinate, brainwash and abuse their members in order to keep them imprisoned.  They don't want you to escape to tell the truth, so they manipulate and try to control your every move.  If you do escape, they hunt you down and try everything in their power to force you to return.

--The women that are able to escape intact, are some of the bravest and most courageous warriors I have ever seen.

--Flora Jessop is the Executive Director of The Child Protection Project, which is an amazing organization helping many escape their lives of abuse in the FLDS.

--To this day, Jessop continues to fight for victims of abuse, wherever they may be.  As Mike Watkiss says, she is one of the "original warriors and genuine heroes" of this movement.

Monday, October 06, 2014

American Sniper

 
--I remember the first time I saw Chris Kyle on O'Reilly's show, I was impressed.  I immediately wrote down his book and put it on my Goodreads list.

--Tragically, after being a Navy Seal and the most successful sniper in American military history, he was killed by another soldier he was trying to help who suffered from PTSD.


--I have since bought Kyle's book and was very excited to see that they have made a movie about him starring Bradley Cooper.  The movie has the same title as his book, American Sniper.  It comes out in December.  I will be one of the first in line to see it.

--I am a big Bradley Cooper fan, so I'm glad that he is playing Kyle.  And to add icing to the cake, Clint Eastwood is the director.

--I have 3 months to get the book read before the movie.  I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The 90's: The Last Great Decade? Part 1: Great Expectations


--The National Geographic Channel did a short mini-series entitled, The 90's: The Last Great Decade?  It has 3 parts, so I thought I'd do a post on each part and give a rundown.

--Since, the 90's was when I entered adulthood, I remember almost everything that is mentioned very well.  In many cases, I remember where I was and what I was doing when the events unfolded.  Yet, I did learn some new things, because for the first 3 years of the 90's I was in college and paying no attention to the outside world.

Some of the contributors who were interviewed as part of the series:
-Rob Lowe (he narrates all 3 episodes)
-Newt Gingrich
-Tucker Carlson
-Jerry Springer
-Colin Powell
-P.J. O'Rourke
-Monica Lewinsky
-Detective Tom Lange
-Matthew Perry
--Roseanne 

Part One: Great Expectations

1) Gulf War
--On August 2, 1990 Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.  CNN was the first news organization to air live from Baghdad when a war had started.  Kuwait is liberated.

2) Humvees and Hummers
--The humvee got a lot of good press from the war.  The humvee led to the creation of the hummer.  Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up buying 2 of the first ones.


3) Roseanne
--She credits herself in this series as being the one who got President Bill Clinton elected.  I'm not sure thats true, but even if it was, it definitely isn't something to brag about ;-).

4) Clinton's Election
--I had all 4 of my kids while Clinton was in office.  It was because of his presidency that I woke up and started paying attention to politics and current events.  I was outraged by his lack of morality.

This series credits Clinton and his team with inventing the spin machine for how to get out of tough spots, and Clinton had many.  James Carville was the leader and can probably be credited for keeping Clinton from being impeached.

5) Vanilla Ice and the Hip Hop Culture
--Vanilla Ice had a quick rise to fame, even though it didn't last long.

6) The Fresh Prince of Bel-air
--The series credited Will Smith and cast on the Fresh Prince with giving a new and better image of the black man.

--My oldest son used to get very excited when this show came on and would "dance" in his high chair to the theme song.  The show always came on when I was fixing supper.

7) Rodney King
--This was an event that I didn't know much about because I was in college when it happened.  And while I was outraged about about the Rodney King beating, and think the police shouldn't have been acquitted, it doesn't excuse or justify what happened afterwards.

--I was horrified as I watched the footage of black men beating and almost killing Reginald Denny.  Denny's skull was fractured 91 times.  Titus Murphy was one of the four people who rescued Denny and got him to the hospital.  He was a true hero.

--The riots ended up killing 55 people and causing $1 billion in damages.  How is killing innocent people and ruining businesses in your own neighborhood going to fix police brutality?

8) Clarence Thomas
--There are few things that outrage me as much as Anita Hill being used by liberals to try and destroy Clarence Thomas's life, character and chance to be a Supreme Court Justice.  Thank goodness she wasn't successful, but it bothers me to this day that many still mistakenly believe he was guilty.    Anita Hill is a disgrace to all the women who have been genuinely sexually harrassed.

--And the U.S. is fortunate that Thomas is on the supreme court, he is an honorable man.


9) Thelma and Louise
--A rogue movie in the 90's.

10) The Rise of the Bimbo
--Anna Nicole Smith got a breast enlargement and it led to a huge rise in women getting the surgery.

--She was one of the first people to become famous for no rhyme or reason, but many would follow.

11) The Decade of the Internet
--The world wide web transforms people's lives.

--Bill Gates makes computers accessible and affordable for everyone.  By 2013, Gates is the world's #1 philanthropist.

--In the 80's, there was a movie called, Revenge of the Nerds.  In the 90's, the movie actually happens.

12) Generation X
--Nirvana is one of the many voices of Generation X.  Kurt Cobain commits suicide.

13) Reality TV
--The Real World launches a new genre of TV, reality TV.

--Court TV airs the Jeffrey Dahmer trial live.

14) The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing
--It was treated as a criminal justice matter and the men who were responsible were arrested.  It should've been seen as an act of war.