US boots on the ground needed in Syria

war-is-peace

US Boots on the Ground Needed in Syria

WASHINGTON, DC – May 25, 2015 – US boots on the ground needed in Syria: Back into battle? – https://youtu.be/RnOUXKE-i70 


WASHINGTON, DC – September 11, 2013 – Zbigniew Brzezinski on PBS NewsHour saying US boots on the ground will be needed in Syria – http://youtu.be/RxSYkFiprAM 


The Plan — according to U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.) – http://youtu.be/SXS3vW47mOE


Truth in Media: Origin of ISIS – http://youtu.be/o6kdi1UXxhY


Posted in Government, War | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Politically Correct Tattletale Culture and Social Media Shaming

Photo illustration by Andrew B. Myers; Prop stylist - Sonia Rentsch

Photo illustration by Andrew B. Myers; Prop stylist – Sonia Rentsch

Politically Correct Tattletale Culture and Social Media Shaming 

Better watch what you say and do, because the politically correct tattletales — with their cell phone cameras and social media accounts — are everywhere…

Politically Correct: ‘Agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.” Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/politically%20correct

Tattletale: “One who tattles on others; an informer or talebearer, especially among children; a scandalmonger or gossip. One who gives incriminating information about others: informant, informer, tattler. Informal: rat, tipster, fink. Slang: snitch, snitcher, squealer, stoolie, stool pigeon.” Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tattletale

Not a Very P. C. Thing to Say

“Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today’s political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.

“It also makes money. Every media company knows that stories about race and gender bias draw huge audiences, making identity politics a reliable profit center in a media industry beset by insecurity…”

Read more: Not a Very P. C. Thing to Say – http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/01/not-a-very-pc-thing-to-say.html 

CNN: The price of public shaming in the Internet age

“Do you believe in forgiveness? Do you believe in second chances? Of course you do. Everybody makes mistakes. To err is human, to forgive divine. Right? Not in the age of social media…”

Continue reading: CNN: The price of public shaming in the Internet age – http://tinyurl.com/p4vfosf

Why You Should Think Twice Before Shaming Anyone on Social Media

“Shaming, it seems, has become a core competency of the Internet, and it’s one that can destroy both lives and livelihoods. But the question of who’s responsible for the destruction — the person engaging in the behavior or the person revealing it — depends on whom you ask. At its best, social media has given a voice to the disenfranchised, allowing them to bypass the gatekeepers of power and publicize injustices that might otherwise remain invisible. At its worst, it’s a weapon of mass reputation destruction, capable of amplifying slander, bullying, and casual idiocy on a scale never before possible… Online shaming is a door that swings only one way: You may have the power to open it, but you don’t have the power to close it. And sometimes what rushes through that door can engulf you too.”

Read more: Why You Should Think Twice Before Shaming Anyone on Social Media – http://www.wired.com/2013/07/ap_argshaming/

Australian man falsely mass-shamed on social media as pedophile

“THE MAN at the centre of a social media firestorm has been left devastated at being labelled a paedophile on Facebook.

“While he was reluctant to speak about his experience, he told the Knox Leader exclusively that he wanted some good to come from the “nightmare”.

“We have chosen not to identify the man.

“He said he was horrified that his image had been shared thousands of times and he had been called a “creep” and a “sex offender”. He said he has also had death threats on Facebook…”

Continue reading: Australian man falsely mass-shamed on social media as pedophile – http://tinyurl.com/qz69r3l

Facebook Shaming: Mum Sorry Over ‘Creep’ Slur

“A mother who shamed a man on social media because she thought he was taking pictures of her children has apologised after receiving death threats.

“The woman, who does not want to be named, took a photo of the man in a shopping centre in Melbourne, Australia, and posted it on Facebook – branding him a “creep”.

‘It turned out the father-of-three was only taking a selfie photo in front of a Darth Vader sign to send to his children.

“The woman’s photo was shared more than 20,000 times and the devastated man was forced to contact police after being wrongly labelled a paedophile.

“The mother, who does not want to be named, said she had tried to contact the man to apologise after she received two death threats – one in person and the other on Facebook.

“She phoned her local newspaper, the Knox Leader, to issue an apology and said she had been unable to sleep since the incident.

“Her children are to receive counselling because they are so upset by it.

“My kids are now suffering because of a stupid mistake I made,” she said…”

Read more: Facebook Shaming: Mum Sorry Over ‘Creep’ Slur http://news.sky.com/story/1482245/facebook-shaming-mum-sorry-over-creep-slur

Are the benefits of Internet shaming worth the costs?

“The attractions of a new shame culture, where denizens of Twitter and Facebook target people who harm society, are easy to see. Our plodding legal system often fails to do justice because of high standards of proof, the expense of lawyers, and the weakness of the laws—laws that are often so weak because rich corporations exert so much influence over legislatures. Indeed, shaming allows us to avoid the messy business of legislation in the first place; moral norms are enforced directly, so one doesn’t need to wait for the political system to lurch into motion. If there is no law against making racist arguments, we can nonetheless shame people who do. Shaming seems like a democratic, cost-effective, and fluid device for combating environmental degradation, racism, and homophobia—for creating a virtuous society. But the truth is nearly the opposite… The major effect of social media is that it enables people to broadcast an opinion—or, more accurately, a gut reaction—to the whole world, instantly, without pausing to give it any thought. This, combined with pervasive anonymity and traditional animosity to anyone who acts or thinks unconventionally, has awoken atavistic instincts that are multiplied a hundredfold through herd mentality. And then these ill-considered reactions are stored indefinitely, while being immediately accessible to anyone, thanks to the efficiency of search engines…”

Read more: Are the benefits of Internet shaming worth the costs? – http://tinyurl.com/p4vfosf

Monica Lewinsky and Jon Ronson on How Social-Media Shaming Turns Us All into Bullies: https://youtu.be/S3kAVeympZ4 via @YouTube


“So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”, by Jon Ronson – http://www.amazon.com/So-Youve-Been-Publicly-Shamed/dp/1594487138

“How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life”, by Jon Ronson – http://nyti.ms/1F1nA5B


A Social Media Mistake Is Not a Good Reason to Be Fired

“Jon Ronson’s forthcoming book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, can’t reach front porches soon enough, assuming it resembles the adaptation published in The New York Times. The journalist and humorist revisits the stories of mostly obscure people who showed bad judgment (as every Internet user has done at one time or another) but were unlucky enough to become the focus of an angry digital mob. The nature of their transgressions varies. But in each case, the punishments arbitrarily urged or meted out by callous strangers on social media affected their lives for years, costing them jobs, causing them to flee from their homes, stressing their loved ones, and sending them into states of existential despair…”

Read more: A Social Media Mistake Is Not a Good Reason to Be Fired http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/being-shamed-on-social-media-should-not-get-people-fired/385597/

Jon Ronson on public shaming in the social media age

“We no longer flog offenders in the public square. But we have ways of making them suffer. And what happens to the targets after the outraged mob has moved on? Journalist Jon Ronson’s juicy new book, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” follows up on some of the best-known recent cases of online opprobrium. Along the way, he meditates on social media (mostly Twitter), political correctness, sex scandals, apologies, punishment and forgiveness…”

Read more: Jon Ronson on public shaming in the social media age – http://nwsdy.li/1MNQWDR

The shameful shaming of Twitter’s digital mobs

“Mobs are defined by no ideas at all beyond wanting to cause trouble, exclude, bully, ridicule, or hurt someone deemed worthy of suffering. What’s distinctive about a mob is its character as a group of people whipped up into an irrational frenzy, sometimes by a single leader, and other times by members of the crowd itself.

“In the days before social media, a mob could only form in physical space — a street corner or city park, a farmer’s field or town square. Twitter has created a virtual place for throngs to come together — and endless opportunities for mobs to spontaneously form.

“Twitter is an ideal medium for mobs because it is so democratic. Countless thousands mulling about an agora of infinite expanse, each person given the same 140 characters with which to pronounce, denounce, show off, and shine in a glaring public spotlight…”

Read more: The shameful shaming of Twitter’s digital mobs – http://theweek.com/articles/539494/shameful-shaming-twitters-digital-mobs

Social shaming kids is doing more harm than good

“When it comes to disciplining your children, some parents say spanking is best, while other opt for conversation.  These days, some parents are choosing to punish their kids in public, using social media. 

“Some child development experts are against it though, saying the explosion of social media shaming is doing more harm than good…”

Read more: Social shaming, doing more harm than good – http://www.wach.com/news/story.aspx?id=1200826#.VVU59FVViko

Social Media Shaming Part 1 https://youtu.be/VErsy4Hx8eE via @YouTube

Social Media Shaming Part 2 https://youtu.be/CKJqE4jszbM via @YouTube

A recent example of tattletale culture and social media shaming

Drivers get coffee, leave hearse with veteran’s flag-draped coffin in parking lot… https://youtu.be/O-QVxJLHWW8 via @YouTube


Internet Mob Justice Isn’t Justice At All

“The latest story of internet mob justice is a depressing one.

“Two elderly hearse drivers driving the flag-draped coffin of a military man stopped to grab a donut before their long drive from one Florida town to the next.

“A man saw the parked hearse and took a video of himself confronting them about this apparent disrespect to a fallen hero.

“When they didn’t seem remorseful for stopping at a Dunkin Donuts, he sent the video to a pro-veterans group. One thing led to another and the video went viral, the internet freaked out, and the two men—both in their seventies—lost their jobs.

“Our lives are now ruined because of a donut,” one of the men wrote on Facebook.

“God forgive me. We now have no means of income because of a donut and being human.”

“Few things are as dangerous as the toxic mix of hero worship and outrage culture…”

Continue reading: Internet Mob Justice Isn’t Justice At All – http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/05/14/internet-mob-justice-isnt-justice-at-all/

Social Shaming and the Search for Validation: WVU Professor Examines How, Why

“One theme in our paper is that social media increases the ability of aggrieved individuals to rally a large group of people around their cause, or publicly expose and embarrass someone they define as a deviant,” Manning said. “A virtual mob can be mobilized overnight to spread the word of someone’s alleged wrongdoing, flood his or her inbox with hate mail, and apply other kinds of pressure.”

“In the case of the ESA, the British scientist gave a tearful apology days after the social media storm. Though that controversy was over relatively quickly, Manning added that there are more violent and hurtful consequences of these public shamings.

“Modern media provides new ways of harming others and tarnishing their reputations. People can now be more easily humiliated by publicly exposing their private affairs, such as posting nude pictures or other sensitive information online,” he said. “Such exposure might even drive someone to suicide…”

Read more: Social Shaming and the Search for Validation: WVU Professor Examines How, Why – http://www.newswise.com/articles/social-shaming-and-the-search-for-validation-wvu-professor-examines-how-why

Social Media Shaming https://youtu.be/V4BvyJWKWDE via @YouTube


The politics of shaming | The Sunday Talk https://youtu.be/h6pAEvKPEgQ via @YouTube


Posted in Culture, Media, Society | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

3 black men charged with murder of white security guard in Mississippi

Source: WMC Action News 5, Memphis, TN

16-year-old Kentavious Nolan (top left), 20-year-old Jeremy Evans (top right), and 21-year-old Demarcus Bryant (bottom center) are charged with murder. (Source: Clarksdale Police Department) Source: WMC Action News 5, Memphis, TN

3 black men charged with murder of white security guard in Mississippi

Headlines are important, because they (are supposed to) communicate the gist of a story.

Many people only read headlines, and never bother reading the stories.

I prefer not to mention race in a headline, but the media is doing it all the time lately.

Actually, the media is doing it all the time lately ONLY when a story concerns white on black violence.

The media will NEVER mention race in the headline of a story about black on black violence, nor will media mention race in the headline of a story about black on white violence.

Source: WMC Action News 5, Memphis, TN

Butch Catledge (Source: Family) Source: WMC Action News 5, Memphis, TN

This story, about the cold blooded murder of Butch Catledge, is a story about black on white violence, which is why I thought it deserved to have race mentioned in the headline, since the media will never do so.

God knows if three white men had recently murdered a black man in Mississippi we would never hear the end of it. And you know I’m right about that.

There’s no national outrage about the murder of Butch Catlege. There’s no hashtag devoted to him. The Twitterverse, like the national media, is silent about the murder of Butch Catlege. Only local media reports on the story, without any mention of race in the headline…

3 charged with murder of Clarksdale security guard

May 15, 2015  “CLARKSDALE, MS (WMC) – Three men are charged with shooting and killing a Clarksdale, Mississippi security guard.

“The shooting happened around 1 a.m. Tuesday at the Clarksdale public utility guard house in the 200 block of Hicks Street.

“Police say the 59-year-old security guard was inside the gate when he was shot by someone on the other side.

“The guard, who family members say is 59-year-old Finnis Melvin “Butch” Catledge III., died.

“Clarksdale Police Department arrested 16-year-old Kentavious Nolan, 20-year-old Jeremy Evans, and 21-year-old Demarcus Bryant. They are charged and are each being held in jail on $500,000 bond.”

Source: 3 charged with murder of Clarksdale security guard – WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee: http://tinyurl.com/lxgsupm

See also: Security guard shot, killed in Clarksdale, MS – WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee – http://tinyurl.com/kx8jldt

Posted in Crime, Culture, Media, Violence | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Transgender Truths

transgender

Transgender Truths

Remember the “transgender” who used the women’s locker room at Planet Fitness? A woman complained to Planet Fitness management that a man dressed like a woman was using the women’s locker room, and the management kicked out the woman who complained. This woman was scolded all over the media for being an intolerant transphobic bigot.

The truth, which was never widely disseminated via media, was that the transgender wasn’t a transgender at all, but was, in fact — as the woman who complained said: a man dressing as a woman, or: a transvestite…

Zoey Tur reacts to Planet Fitness controversy: https://youtu.be/5gUB8fqzwI8 


As mentioned in the video, above, one’s appearance is not relevant to federal law or Planet Fitness policy. When it comes to gender, whatever one thinks him/herself to be is how the rest of us are required to behave toward him/her. Or, in the case of Planet Fitness, even a man who thinks of himself as a man but who dresses as a woman is allowed to use the women’s locker room and no one is allowed to complain and remain a member.

This is how perverse a society we have now become. Perverse as in perverted… perverse as in upside down and inside out… perverse as is right is wrong and wrong is right… perverse as in men are changing their appearances to resemble women and woman are changing their appearances to resemble men.

Perverse as in Satan always attempts to pervert and destroy everything good God created.

Everything good like the people who think they are transgender.

Satan is attempting to destroy them.

He’s succeeding, too…

Source: Sex Change Regret: http://www.sexchangeregret.com/

Source: Sex Change Regret: http://www.sexchangeregret.com/

No one can change the sex they were born with. People can attempt to change their appearances but they cannot change themselves from men to women or from women to men.

Those who wish to and attempt to do so have serious personality issues that need to be resolved.

Giving such peoples hormones and surgery is equivalent to giving someone who is anorexic weight loss pills and liposuction.

Individuals who believe themselves to be transgender need help, not affirmation.

They need to be told the truth…

Transgender Truths

“[N]o amount of surgical manipulation of body parts, cross-gender behaviors, or cosmetic changes to appearance will ever medically change a person from one gender to the other…”

Read more: Outlawing Psychotherapy For Trans-Kids Will Not Prevent Suicides –  http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/16/outlawing-psychotherapy-for-trans-kids-will-not-prevent-suicides/

“We should make public policy and encourage social norms that reflect the truth about the human person and sexuality, not obfuscate the truth about such matters and sow the seeds of sexual confusion in future generations for years to come…”

Continue reading: The Absurdity of Transgenderism: A Stern but Necessary Critique http://shar.es/1paHRr

“Teens struggling with their sexual identity may seem to have more options than they did in the 1980s—but one important option is increasingly denied to them…”

Continue reading: The Girl in the Tuxedo: Two Variations on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity http://shar.es/1paWvT 

“I want to tell you my story. I want you to have the opportunity to see the life of a trans-kid, not in a polished television special, but across more than seven decades of life, with all of its confusion, pain, and redemption…”

Continue reading: I was a transgender woman…and here’s how it nearly killed me: http://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/i-was-a-transgender-woman

“[P]olicy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention…”

Read more: Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution – http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120

Margaret Thaler Singer, an expert on cults, has written about the role of rhetoric in stifling independent thinking among cult members: “As members continue to formulate their ideas in the group’s jargon, this language serves the purpose of constricting members’ thinking and shutting down critical thinking abilities. . . . . One large international group, for example, has dictionaries for members to use. . . . One can search from term to term trying to learn this new language.” According to Singer: “Orwell reasoned that if a government could control all media and interpersonal communication while simultaneously forcing citizens to speak in politically controlled jargon, it could blunt independent thinking.” As we navigate the labyrinths of identity politics, we must never forget that forcing changes in our language forces changes in our thoughts. And in the case of gender identity, this means accepting language that universally redefines—or perhaps more accurately, un-defines—us all.”

Read more: How The Trans-Agenda Seeks To Redefine Everyone –  http://thefederalist.com/2014/06/23/how-the-trans-agenda-seeks-to-redefine-everyone/ 

“Everyone has regrets. Some of us have big regrets. Most everyone has some place to go to get help dealing with them. Except for, say, a guy who had sex-change surgery and now would like to have his penis back…”

Continue reading: Trouble In Transtopia: Murmurs Of Sex Change Regret –  http://thefederalist.com/2014/11/11/trouble-in-transtopia-murmurs-of-sex-change-regret/

Sex Change Regret: http://www.sexchangeregret.com/

“Regretters” is a documentary film about two Swedish men who both go under the knife and become women. Only to realize that changing their sex was a big mistake. They meet for the first time to talk about their lives. Regretters won the Prix Europa for best documentary in Berlin in 2010, the Swedish Academy Award (Guldbagge) for best Swedish documentary 2011 and has, besides been presented at numerous international film festivals, also been screened at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow…”

Continue reading: Regretters (Film) – http://www.marcuslindeen.com/regretters/

Hot Docs 2010 Trailers: REGRETTERS – https://youtu.be/PI-bT2jzDDE

Posted in Society | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Gyrocopter pilot’s message bigger threat to Washington than terrorism

Gyrocopter pilot’s message bigger threat to Washington than terrorism

Doug Hughes

Doug Hughes

AP EXCLUSIVE: Witness Captures Capitol Landing https://youtu.be/giv8wy-9lEI


Doug Hughes, the mailman who landed his gyrocopter on the west lawn of the US Capitol last week, says our federal government in Washington is a “dysfunctional plutocracy”.

I read the letter Doug wrote, addressed, stamped, and attempted to deliver to all 500+ congresspersons — letters which are now being held, undelivered, as evidence — and I’ve included it, below, at the bottom of this post.

His message to Congress is that We The People know the federal government in Washington is a corrupt organization and a “dysfunctional plutocracy”.

This message, which is true, is a much bigger threat to Washington than are the phony “terror threats” from the phony “enemies of freedom”, which the corrupt, dysfunctional Washington plutocracy uses to drum up never ending support for their Top Secret AmericaHomeland SecurityMilitary Industrial Intelligence Complex – Racket.

The only thing wrong with Doug is he’s very naive.

Sending Congress a message is a waste of time.

The corrupt Washington politicos and their partners in crime circled the wagons and walled themselves off from the rest of America years ago: beginning after the Oklahoma City bombing and finishing up after 9/11.

I used to be able to drive past the White House when I worked in the Washington area, during the 1980’s. After the OKC Bombing, the street in front of the White House was closed to vehicular traffic, but open to tourists and foot traffic. Due to the recent spate of fence jumpers, new security measures are being considered.

Capitol Hill, since 9/11, can be (and at times is) completely sealed off via anti-vehicle devices that rise up from the streets surrounding the Hill whenever the command is given, which — literally — walls Congress off from the people.

The most important politicos in Washington are so frightened of the people — not terrorists — that they will not visit their favorite expensive restaurants in the district without being accompanied by fully armed SWAT teams. I know. I’ve seen this with my own eyes.

I ask you… who think’s they’re that important? And what are they so afraid of?

Cartel bosses in Mexico travel with the same type of protection.

Enough said.

Doug Hughes is right: Washington is corrupt through and through.

Unlike Doug, I see no hope of peaceful reform. The Washington federal government is run by bullies, thieves, and killers who utilize bullying, stealing, and killing as foreign and domestic policy.

These people will never be removed without force. We can only hope the men with the guns — police and military — will remove them and institute a more honest government.

I doubt this will ever happen. And I fear the powers that be may pull a fast one on us and make it appear as though this does happen, when, in fact, it doesn’t happen.

We don’t need the appearance of reform, we need real reform.

We need 100,000,000 people like Doug Hughes descending on Washington demanding reform.

We need Americans to QUIT WORKING for the corrupt Top Secret AmericaHomeland SecurityMilitary Industrial Intelligence Complex – Racket

The biggest threat to the Washington politicos isn’t terrorism.

Terrorism, and the threat of terrorism, enables them to secure their power and control over us, to insulate themselves from us, to distracts us, and to frighten us.

The corrupt Washington politicos created the terrorists for these and other reasons.

The biggest threat to the Washington politicos is our exposure of their corruption and our demand for reform.

Now that Doug Hughes has returned to Florida, he realizes his actions have created more concern for better securing Washington’s airspace than for government reform.

And now I find myself wondering what he may do next…

Gyrocopter Pilot Arrives Home in Florida https://youtu.be/XIRnPzAuUG4 via @YouTube


Gyrocopter pilot frustrated message isn’t getting through

“RUSKIN, Fla. (AP) – The letter carrier who caused a full-scale security review in Washington when he violated national airspace by landing his gyrocopter on Capitol Hill expressed frustration Sunday that his message wasn’t getting through.

“Doug Hughes had hoped to raise awareness about the influence of big money in politics by deliberately breaking the law to deliver 535 letters, one for each member of Congress. Instead, the overwhelming focus of news coverage has been about the gaps he exposed in national security.

“We’ve got bigger problems in this country than worrying about whether the security around DC is ironclad,” Hughes told The Associated Press. “We need to be worried about the piles of money that are going into Congress.”

“Hughes, 61, spoke as he returned to his home in Florida to await prosecution on charges of violating national airspace and operating an unregistered aircraft. He said his house arrest begins Monday, and he will wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet until a May 8 court hearing in Washington…”

Continue reading: Gyrocopter pilot frustrated message isn’t getting through http://wpo.st/0SSD0

Video: Gyrocopter pilot explains landing stunt https://youtu.be/adMwDPV9mw4 via @YouTube


Gyrocopter pilot articles at The Washington Post

Gyrocopter lands on Capitol lawn; pilot is arrested http://wpo.st/qQSD0

The man who planned to fly a gyrocopter to the Capitol has a Web site. Here’s what it says. http://wpo.st/nRSD0

Gyrocopter pilot lands at Capitol to protest money in politics http://wpo.st/vRSD0

A Florida newspaper is along for the ride — and catches flak http://wpo.st/kSSD0

Homeland chief: Gyrocopter came in ‘under the radar’ http://wpo.st/3WSD0

Gyrocopter pilot is charged with felony and sent back home to Fla. http://wpo.st/ORSD0

Gyrocopter pilot arrives home in Florida http://wapo.st/1JiVC3K via @PostTV

The gyrocopter incident raises new concerns about D.C. security http://wapo.st/1FPUnpK

Here is where you’re not allowed to fly your gyrocopter in Washington, D.C. http://wapo.st/1b3OJsG

Flying mailman becomes most audacious gyrocopter pilot since James Bond http://wapo.st/1EL1mUR

The gyrocopter footage is even better with Inspector Gadget music http://wpo.st/8WSD0

Gyrocopter pilot’s stunt just the latest bid for Congress’s attention http://wpo.st/KRSD0

Gyrocopter pilot frustrated message isn’t getting through http://wpo.st/0SSD0

Doug Hughes’ Letter to Congress

Dear ___________,

Consider the following statement by John Kerry in his farewell speech to the Senate —

“The unending chase for money I believe threatens to steal our democracy itself. They know it. They know we know it. And yet, Nothing Happens!” — John Kerry, 2-13

In a July 2012 Gallup poll, 87% tagged corruption in the federal government as extremely important or very important, placing this issue just barely behind job creation.

According to Gallup, public faith in Congress is at a 41-year record low, 7%. (June 2014) Kerry is correct. The popular perception outside the DC beltway is that the federal government is corrupt and the US Congress is the major problem. As a voter, I’m a member of the only political body with authority over Congress. I’m demanding reform and declaring a voter’s rebellion in a manner consistent with Jefferson’s description of rights in the Declaration of Independence. As a member of Congress, you have three options.

1. You may pretend corruption does not exist.

2. You may pretend to oppose corruption while you sabotage reform.

3. You may actively participate in real reform.

If you’re considering option 1, you may wonder if voters really know what the ‘chase for money’ is. Your dismal and declining popularity documented by Gallup suggests we know, but allow a few examples, by no means a complete list. That these practices are legal does not make them right! Obviously, it is Congress who writes the laws that make corruption legal.

1. Dozens of major and very profitable corporations pay nothing in taxes. Voters know how this is done. Corporations pay millions to lobbyists for special legislation. Many companies on the list of freeloaders are household names — GE, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Verizon, Citigroup, Dow …

2. Almost half of the retiring members of Congress from 1998 to 2004 got jobs as lobbyists earning on average fourteen times their Congressional salary. (50% of the Senate, 42% of the House)

3. The new democratic freshmen to the US House in 2012 were ‘advised’ by the party to schedule 4 hours per day on the phones fund raising at party headquarters (because fund raising is illegal from gov’t offices.) It is the donors with deep pockets who get the calls, but seldom do the priorities of the rich donor help the average citizen.

4. The relevant (rich) donors who command the attention of Congress are only .05% of the public (5 people in a thousand) but these aristocrats of both parties are who Congress really works for. As a member of the US Congress, you should work only for

The People.

1. Not yourself.

2. Not your political party.

3. Not the richest donors to your campaign.

4. Not the lobbyist company who will hire you after your leave Congress.

There are several credible groups working to reform Congress. Their evaluations of the problem are remarkably in agreement though the leadership (and membership) may lean conservative or liberal. They see the corrupting effect of money — how the current rules empower special interests through lobbyists and PACs — robbing the average American of any representation on any issue where the connected have a stake. This is not democracy even if the ritual of elections is maintained.

The various mechanisms which funnel money to candidates and congress-persons are complex. It happens before they are elected, while they are in office and after they leave Congress. Fortunately, a solution to corruption is not complicated. All the proposals are built around either reform legislation or a Constitutional Amendment. Actually, we need both — a constitutional amendment and legislation.

There will be discussion about the structure and details of reform. As I see it, campaign finance reform is the cornerstone of building an honest Congress. Erect a wall of separation between our elected officials and big money. This you must do — or your replacement will do. A corporation is not ‘people’ and no individual should be allowed to spend hundreds of millions to ‘influence’ an election. That much money is a megaphone which drowns out the voices of ‘We the People.’ Next, a retired member of Congress has a lifelong obligation to avoid the appearance of impropriety. That almost half the retired members of Congress work as lobbyists and make millions of dollars per year smells like bribery, however legal. It must end. Pass real campaign finance reform and prohibit even the appearance of payola after retirement and you will be part of a Congress I can respect.

The states have the power to pass a Constitutional Amendment without Congress — and we will. You in Congress will likely embrace the change just to survive, because liberals and conservatives won’t settle for less than democracy. The leadership and organization to coordinate a voters revolution exist now! New groups will add their voices because the vast majority of Americans believe in the real democracy we once had, which Congress over time has eroded to the corrupt, dysfunctional plutocracy we have.

The question is where YOU individually stand. You have three options and you must choose.

Sincerely,

Douglas M. Hughes

www.TheDemocracyClub.org

Source: FAA investigating Florida mailman’s landing of gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/ruskin-mailman-tries-flying-to-capitol-in-gyrocopter-to-deliver-campaign/2225584 via @TB_Times

Doug Hughes

Doug Hughes

Posted in Activism, Government | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Review: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

Review: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

This is a brief review of the 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5, which has an aluminum frame, Fox fork and rear shock. The 2015 Giant Anthem Advanced SX 27.5, which has a carbon fiber frame, RockShox fork and rear shock, is a different bike.

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 – http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/anthem.sx.27.5/18755/76189/

I purchased the 2015 Giant Anthem SX (from my local bike shop) in early January 2015 and I’ve been very happy with it. In my opinion it’s a high quality bike that performs well when put to the test.

The bike has all Shimano components (SLX and XT), a 120mm Fox Float CTD Performance fork, and a 100mm Fox Float CTD Performance rear shock. It also has a really nice frame, which comes with Giant’s lifetime warranty.

Because it has a 120mm fork, slackened head angle, dropper post, wide bars, short stem, and 180mm front brake rotor, the Anthem SX is much more than a cross country bike, but it’s not quite a full blown trail bike, which makes it perfect for the type of riding I do and the terrain I normally ride. I normally ride cross country in Michaux State Forest, for fun, and I needed a bike that would be up for the occasional technical downhill section too.

I discovered the Giant Anthem SX because my local bike shop – Quick Release Bicycles – carries Giant bikes, and that’s what got me to looking – both online and at the shop – at Giant’s selection of mountain bikes.

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

I also did a lot of research online regarding suspension, because this is the first full suspension bike I’ve ever bought, and I thought Giant’s Maestro suspension was an excellent design. Now that I’ve ridden the bike quite a bit, in the mountains near my home, I can say this suspension is excellent. It gives me great control going downhill and doesn’t bob going uphill. The Fox Float CTD Performance rear shock paired with the Maestro suspension is a great combination.

mtb copy

I didn’t want to write a review of this bike until I had really put it to the test, and that’s exactly what I did this past weekend at the 2015 Michaux MTB School. I’ve only been mountain biking for one year now, and I was really putting myself to the test this past weekend too. Thanks to the instructors at the school I was able to learn many new and important skills and my confidence as a mountain bike rider has greatly increased. If you have the opportunity, I strongly suggest you sign up for the 2016 Michaux MTB School.

Michaux MTB School – http://michauxmtbschool.com/

Michaux MTB camp: Is this camp for you? http://wp.me/P5q5Ly-K via @wordpressdotcom

Riders hone skills at the Michaux Mountain Bike School – http://dirtragmag.com/riders-hone-skills-michaux-mountain-bike-school/

Michaux MTB camp – http://wp.me/p2IVSK-ec via @wordpressdotcom

The School of Hard Rocks, Michaux MTB Camp – http://wp.me/p1t7Ux-bc via @wordpressdotcom

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

As I said, I really put my Giant Anthem SX to the test this weekend. The Michaux State Forest in Pennsylvania has some of the toughest technical trails on the east coast, and that’s exactly what we trained for and road while attending the Michaux MTB School.

The Anthem SX 27.5 performed well on the tight, twisty, old school single track. The wide bars, short stem, dropper post, Fox shocks, SLX brakes, and Maxxis tires on my Anthem SX allowed me to maintain control of my bike whenever I was descending those steep rocky trails. I really put my faith in the bike this weekend and it didn’t let me down. All I had to do was to stay loose, allow the bike to take the hits, and guide the bike down the trail.

After a punishing weekend of fun at the Michaux MTB School I can give the 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 five out of five stars! :D

If you think this bike will fit your riding style and the terrain you ride don’t hesitate to buy it. You will not be disappointed.

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

Maestro Suspension – Giant Bicycles http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/technology/maestro/58/

Fox Float CTD Performance with Boost Valve – http://tinyurl.com/oqr2snk

Maxxis Ardent 2.25 (Front) Maxxis Ardent Race 2.20 (Rear) – http://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-465-121-ardent-race

MTBR – Anthem 27.5 SX – http://forums.mtbr.com/giant/anthem-27-5-sx-923480.html

MTBR User Reviews: Giant Anthem SX 27.5 Full Suspension – http://www.mtbr.com/cat/bikes/27-5fullsuspension/giant/anthem-sx/prd_515226_6488crx.aspx

Specs: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

Specs: 2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

New-School XC Bike Group Test

“A dose of realism: This Group Test is based on the notion that while most XC bikes sold globally are marketed as World Cup race machines, not that many of their owners actually ride them in such a way. Some bike manufacturers have already recognised this and are introducing trail versions of their XC race bikes. These are equipped with dropper seatposts, wider tyres and bars, and sometimes even with longer-travel suspension forks which slackens geometry. The focus is shifting from weight saving towards fun, confidence and more downhill performance — all the while retaining XC-style light-footedness, which is a win-win situation for many XC riders.

“XC World Cup racer and Olympian Manuel Fumic accurately observed during the Design & Innovation Award 2015 that the perception of a traditional XC rider is rapidly changing: “For many bikers, the term ‘cross country’ creates an image of lycra-clad hardtail-warriors who are only interested in their best times after speeding up climbs. Modern XC riders ride full-suss bikes and enjoy their descents just as much as climbing. They’re just looking for enjoyment on their bikes.” Continue reading: New-School XC Bike Group Test | Enduro Mountainbike Magazine: http://enduro-mtb.com/en/preview-issue-015-new-school-xc-bike-group-test/

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (May 2015, Snowy Mountain, Michaux State Forest, PA)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (May 2015, Snowy Mountain, Michaux State Forest, PA)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (June 2015, Swift Run, Michaux State Forest, PA)

2015 Giant Anthem SX 27.5 (June 2015, Swift Run, Michaux State Forest, PA)

Posted in Mountain Bikes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

NeoCatholic blogger DEFENDS dousing the homeless with a sprinkler system

homeless-jesus1

NeoCatholic blogger DEFENDS dousing the homeless with a sprinkler system

“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 8:10)

Have you seen the news about the Catholic Church in San Francisco that douses homeless people with a sprinkler system in order to run them off?

Most people, myself included, consider this a very UN-CHRISTIAN thing to do.

I mean, What Would Jesus Do?

As someone who has slept on the doorsteps of numerous Catholic (and other) churches myself, I found this news particularly disturbing:

SF Archdiocese Apologizes For Dousing Church Homeless: https://youtu.be/8LLx-GyVY-E via @YouTube

But some people, who are supposedly Christians, think the sprinklers are (or were) a great idea…

NeoCatholic blogger Kathy Schiffer recently wrote an amazingly pathetic, out-of-touch, and un-Christian article wherein she actually DEFENDS the SF Archdiocese (former) practice of dousing the homeless with a sprinkler system:

“Let’s stop to consider another part of the story, the Rights (and yes, the Responsibilities) of the Poor. Why in the world would homeless people feel entitled to sleep wherever they want, and be damned anyone who tried to stop them?

“My local Target store has nice, wide doors through which shoppers can easily push their carts laden with groceries and goods.

“But imagine this: Some local families, unable to afford housing any longer, move to the doorway of Target. They bring sleeping bags, a change of clothing, snacks in paper bags. There’s no outhouse or lavatory available, and when you gotta go, you gotta go! –so they defecate in the doorway before heading out to beg on the street later in the day.

“Would Target permit them to stay, in the interest of helping the poor? NO WAY! And if they did, customers would be right to be seriously concerned, and would take their business elsewhere.

“Because doorways are not for sleeping. Doorways are for passing through…”

Read more: San Francisco’s Unwashed “Masses”: Better Safe Than Soggy – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2015/03/san-franciscos-unwashed-masses-better-safe-than-soggy/#ixzz3VFShg8b3

Guess what Kathy? Catholic Churches aren’t Target Stores!

Guess what else?  Instead of dousing them with water, the church could have had porta-potties placed on the grounds for the homeless to use.

Guess what else? Instead of dousing the homeless with water, the church could have offered food, clothes, a place to stay in the church, a hot shower, laundry services, haircuts, and a hot meal each morning.

Being a follower of Jesus means being willing to serve others.

That means you don’t douse people in need with water in order to run them off.

Neither do you write articles defending such a heartless practice.

jesus-hungry-homeless

Posted in Charity, Church, Society, Theology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment