Quick thoughts on a story garnering national attention about a racial discrimination lawsuit in Flint, MI:
Quick thoughts on a story garnering national attention about a racial discrimination lawsuit in Flint, MI:
I’m sure by now you’ve already heard the news about Chris Dorner, from when he first made the news by killing three people in a vendetta against the LAPD, to his fiery death (???) the other day. My quick (and final) thoughts:
All these thoughts notwithstanding, I’m done with this conversation. People are dead, guns are still dangerous, and the LAPD is still corrupt. What could have a been a significant step toward addressing a huge problem involving corruption and institutional racism is now tucked away in the country’s psyche as a bizarre example of a maverick (pardon the term) and violent enemy of the public. Another wasted opportunity to motivate change.
Welp. On to the next thing.
So, do you guys have any thoughts on this Dorner incident or should we just put this to bed? Holla at me!
Maybe I’m just in a foul mood, looking forward to the weekend. Or maybe, I’m growing increasingly incensed by the omnipresent “Political Correct Police.” Whatever the case, all I have to say at this point is: for real, Rhode Island?
The school system in Cranston, R.I., announced it is banning traditional father-daughter and mother-son activities, saying they are a violation of the state’s gender discrimination law, the Providence Journal reported late Monday.
Superintendent Judith Lundsten told the newspaper the decision was in response to a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a single mother who said her daughter was not able to attend a father-daughter dance.
“This is 2012 and they [public schools] should not be in the business of fostering blatant gender stereotypes,” Steven Brown of the Rhode Island ACLU told WPRO News.
According to the Providence Journal, Lundsten said that while federal law banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for such gender-specific events, Rhode Island law does not.
A few things immediately came to mind here:
(1) A lady goes to bed with a loser and now the kid has a deadbeat dad. So everybody has to suffer the consequences? Is that how it works?
(2) I’ve never been to a father-daughter dance, not having any children myself (and, um, obviously not being a daughter. C’mon. I’m trying to use some comedy relief here. I need this.). But I know at least one female friend who has been to one of these functions with her dad. The whole point of the dance is for the father to socially introduce his daughter as a young lady. These kind of dances are about as sacred as the father giving away his daughter during her wedding. I totally understand why parents are outraged. I’d be mad, too.
(3) This lady couldn’t find one positive male role model to be her daughter’s date? A brother? A friend? A neighbor? A teacher? Not a single person? Seriously? For the sake of example, consider my ex (relax, I’m not bashing her here. I’m using this example because I was directly involved in the situation). Her son’s biological dad had zero interest in him. As a substitute, she relied on her father, her brothers, one of her close male friends, and – before our breakup – me as support systems for her son. We all stepped up at one point or another. Men don’t have to be tied to a child through biology to be considered a father-like figure. Isn’t that the message we convey every Father’s Day? By our logic, there is a significant difference between a “baby daddy” and a person willing to step up and be a real father (or father figure). How is this any different?
(4) I do feel bad for the young girl. Not only does she have to deal with the hardship of not having a father, but she now also has to carry the cross for her mother at school. Imagine that your mother single-handedly ruined an event the entire school was looking forward to. How do you live that one down?
(5) Gender discrimination? Really? If a girl at this school preferred, I dunno, to play ball over going to the dance, then let her play ball. She doesn’t have to go to the dance. Plain and simple. If you don’t want to say “One nation, under God”, don’t say it. Even if public prayer is not allowed in schools, pray silently (which is what you should be doing anyway). If you don’t want to celebrate religious holidays, don’t celebrate them. My point is simple: we all have freedom in whether or not we choose to participate in certain events without reprisal. Unless we get to a point where institutions are forcing activities on you, please lighten up. This political correctness nonsense is going much too far. As one of my old teachers used to say “having too open of a mind makes your brains fall out.”
OK, I’m done with my rant. I’m sorry I didn’t intellectualize this better. But I tend to get this way when I’m in a pissy mood.
Anyway, what say you? Do you think this school did the right thing by banning the father-daughter dance, or is this another head-shaking moment of political correctness gone awry? Is this an example of gender discrimination or just a few uptight people with nothing better to do with their lives than to make everybody else’s miserable? (OK, my bias is clearly showing here. Sue me. Better yet, please don’t.).
This hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for Willard. After getting ripped to shreds by both the left and the right for his poorly timed, poorly delivered attack on Obama after the Libya protests, Mittens put himself in another potentially damaging situation this week after a video was leaked of him bashing the close to 47% of Americans who don’t pay income taxes. As Mittens spoke at an exclusive fundraiser with a roomful of wealthy donors, he openly vented about so-called beneficiaries of entitlement programs and their ostensible devotion to Obama. According to Mitt, these folks “believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” He continued by saying he’d “…never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
This story has become fodder on social media sites and in the news as an indication of Mitt’s out-of-touchness. But in addition to showcasing Romney’s elitism (the $50,000-a-plate dinner didn’t help much), he was factually off in a lot of ways:
(1) Contrary to Willard’s rant, most of the people he’s bashing actually are taxpayers: As Ezra Klein from the Washington Post brilliantly pointed out, of the now infamous 47 percent to whom Romney was referring, 61% of them did pay payroll taxes. Many of whom paid as high as 15.3% in income taxes, which is more than Romney at 13.9%. What Romney also failed to take in to account were all the Americans paying sales taxes and property taxes. Suddenly that 47% all but disappears.
The truth of the matter is: only the very poor neither pay income taxes or payroll taxes.
(2) According to figures provided by the Tax Policy Center, over 10% of Americans not paying federal income tax are retired or elderly. Since Social Security benefits aren’t considered taxable income, elderly citizens who rely on that as their income will obviously pay no tax on it. When you consider how overwhelming elderly folks vote Republican, Romney conflating the line between them and so-called ‘freeloaders’ is dangerous ground.
(3) Of those 47% who apparently will support Obama no matter what, the reality is that a very sizable amount of those people actually live in red states; states which decidedly vote Republican. Of the 10 states with the highest percentage of people who pay no income tax, nine are red states. Clearly, Romney’s team hasn’t done it’s electoral map homework.
(4) Last, but certainly not least, we can’t forget the top 0.1% wealthy people in this country who paid no federal income taxes because of how their incomes were generated from lowly-taxed capital gains. The existence of tax law provisions almost always allows the ultra-wealthy to minimize any tax liability they have.
Thing is: the American electorate has an increasingly short-term memory, matched with a propensity to vote against their interests. So it’s not likely that Romney’s outrageous assertions will be remembered a couple of months from now, much less investigated. But his comments were an eye-opener for me, at least. I guess I can live with that.
The universe can be an odd place at times.
Baseball enthusiasts might remember the name Jim Joyce. Joyce is a seasoned umpire in Major League Baseball, whose career so far has spanned over 25 years. During this time, he has officiated two World Series and three All-Star games. Despite his accolades however, his name made sports headlines across the country for infamously blowing a call which cost Detroit Tigers picture Armando Galarraga a highly coveted perfect game. Here’s the clip, if you can stomach it (sorry, Tigers fans):
After that, baseball fans all over the country were calling for Joyce to be fired. There was even a short-lived Facebook campaign to get him removed from his position. Fortunately, though – for one extremely fortunate young lady – Joyce was able to keep his job:
Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce is being hailed as a hero for making a life-saving call before the first pitch had even been thrown at a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Florida Marlins.
Joyce, 56, was heading to the umpire’s dressing room on Monday night at Phoenix’s Chase Field when he saw a stadium employee begin to shake and collapse to the ground, according to MLB.com.
Joyce, a 24-year veteran umpire, did not immediately respond to a request for comment today, but he told his story to MLB.com.
“I knew something was wrong,” Joyce told MLB.com. “And I knew if something wasn’t done, this lady could actually die in front of me. It was more instinct than anything else.”
Joyce began performing CPR on the woman to the tune of “Staying Alive,” which is often used to time the chest compressions during the maneuver.
While Joyce was performing CPR, Marlins bullpen coordinator Jeffrey Urgelles arrived to help. Urgelles was a firefighter and paramedic in Florida.
A first-responder arrived with an automatic external defibrillator (AED), which they used while Joyce continued CPR.
The woman, Jayne Powers, was eventually taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital where she regained consciousness.
Read the rest of the article here.
So following an application of inductive logic:
OK, my assertions might be a little hyperbolic. Or perhaps, it really does show how certain events in the universe are tied together. In some fascinating way (at least, fascinating to me), you can could almost identify the point at which one person’s life was impacted by what happened in another person’s life. Can we reasonably conclude that Ms. Powers is alive simply because Mr. Joyce wasn’t fired and not in the position to conduct CPR on her? Of course not. If Joyce wasn’t there, it could have just as easily been somebody else who was. But it is interesting to use his not getting fired as a starting point in this chance encounter with – and eventual intervention against – death. It kinda makes me wonder how certain events taking place in my life affect others.
Whatever the case, congratulations Mr. Joyce. A person is alive directly because of your quick thinking and kind heartedness. I hope this ultimate act of humanity will absolve you of some insignificant sin in the eyes of sports enthusiasts. It certainly has with me.