Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Slience was Deafening

All last weekend I was upset over that "Cold Case" episode. I couldn't believe that something so insensitive would actually be aired! When I mentioned it to some co-workers and others, no one seemed to have heard about it. Maybe CBS thought that on a holiday weekend, folks wouldn't be paying attention.

What also upset me is that there seemed to be little discussion of it - at least not that I could find on the Internet (and I heard nothing on tv about it other than those awful promos). That LeBron James Vanity Fair cover controversy seemed to generate more. I'd expected to see many organizations condemning it, some prominent individuals, too - but none that I could find reports of. I just couldn't believe CBS was getting such a free pass. Well, at least Sunday Night Football came out ahead of it in ratings. Thank God for that, I suppose.

The irony of it is that I never would have thought that this particular show would be guilty of something so inappropriate. I've watched it and enjoyed many episodes. They've had a good track record of dealing with racial issues on the show; have two African-American cast members. I wish the entire cast had stood together and just said "We won't be associated with this."

I find I can't watch this series and enjoy it anymore. I'm not sure what I'll watch after Sunday Night Football, but it won't be "Cold Case."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turn off "Cold Case"

To everyone -

I urge everyone to turn off the show "Cold Case" - at least Sun. night. This is a show I've watched in the past but probably will not again.

When I saw the promos for the new episode scheduled to air on Sun. night, I was so upset and shocked that I was unbelieving and speechless. The story line concerns an African American politician whose slogan is 'Change' and who gets murdered. I just don't know how those who came up with this could be so insensitive. It is certainly in extremely poor taste.

I further urge EVERYONE to contact CBS, local affiliates and whoever else might help. I think that it might be great idea if they were to pull this episode. We just don't need this sort of bad taste.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Hopeful Sign

It's not often we actually hear any good news these days, but in the newspaper today, I did run across an item which spoke to me of hope.

Bob Jones University has now put a statement on its website apologizing for the segregationist policies it followed in the past. You can read the entire statement here.

I find it hopeful and refreshing that they would be open about this. I think that things like this clear the air. I also hope that the University's future directions continue to show progress in being sensitive to all students.

And it's delightful to have something positive to report!

P. S.
Did anyone notice I missed my annual birthday greeting to our second President? I'll have to work up a belated one in the next few days or so...

Mayanmar Yet Again

I'm sorry to say that Myanmar is still in the news for brutally abusing human rights.
Around 150 people were given sentences - from 2 - 65 years. Many were held in secret, sometimes with no counsel present. Why? These are protesters for democracy and/or against the brutal military junta.

A leading comedian, who helped distribute post-cyclone aid and gave interviews critical of the government's slow aid efforts, was given 65 years. 65 years! For a comedian! Medieval kings showed court jesters more respect than that!

It is estimated that around 2,100 political prisoners are now held. And that junta has nerve to say they want to be on a road to democracy? How could anyone believe that?

A lone brave soul, Min Thein, staged a silent protest near the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyi's prodemocracy party, the National League for Democracy.

I am outraged, saddened and frustrated that this situation is still without remedy. I just e-mailed the U. N. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (e-mail: (
If you go to the Human Rights Watch link on the left, you can look up more background information.

Do everything you can to keep this in our public consciousness, and also pray for the people of Myanmar/Burma.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Digital TV

Wow! A second post this month!

Last weekend I took my cousin shopping for a new digital tv. We noted that even converter boxes will not work once a complete switch to digital is made in 2012. As we were shopping it hit me. What are the working poor and those in real poverty going to do to continue to receive the broadcasts? How are they going to be able to afford even one of these new sets? This time, they will have converter box coupons to use which will help with most of the cost. A new digital set (even a small one) is much more pricey. I really hope that Congress can get its eyes off Wall St. for a while and start considering a program to help people afford the next switch.

I wasn't sure what Congressional Committees work on this, but I did find that a Congressman from Massachusetts, Congressman Edward Markey, is Chair of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. He has held hearings on the Digital transfer, so I figured he would be a good elected official to contact. I just e-mailed his office tonight. I will let you know if I get any response.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Problems for Protesters at RNC

I've gotten some reports that protesters were treated very harshly at the RNC. There were reports that police raided preparation areas, that they infiltrated at least one group (ok, not the best group of the lot, but still...) . Journalists were also jailed. Some who would want to document the protest and any ill treatment were among those arrested. Some are facing felony charges. The ACLU is protesting this treatment. Read their press release.

I'm very concerned about these police tactics and the fact that protesters have to face such problems. It's hard enough when the media hardly mentions these protests and the decision makers are so insulated from them!

PLEASE let more people know about these abuses and that we expect our civil liberties to be respected. Also, write or e-mail the Mayor of St. Paul, and any media outlets that come to mind.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Disrespect of Civil Liberties

We can never stop being vigilant in defending our civil liberties. During the just-ended Democratic Convention, a reporter for ABC News was arrested while working on an investigation. Protesters have also been subjected to poor treatment. You can read a brief report here.

I was understandably appalled and have been e-mailing my sentiments. I e-mailed the Mayor of Denver and the Democratic Party. I also e-mailed the NBC Nightly News to ask they cover this.

I hope that we Americans stand up and say "No More!" to such disrespect of our freedoms of speech, protest, and press. We are supposedly a free, not a totalitarian society. We need to fight hard to keep it that way.

I think that for too many Americans such freedoms are just abstract ideas. People are so worried about other things, like the economy. But these freedoms won't be so abstract if your own personal expression is next in the line of attack. We need everyone to make sure it does not get to that point.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Enough Darkness Already

Hello if anyone's still out there.

I hope that at least some of you are boycotting the Olympics. I am (well, after advocating everyone boycott, I don't have much of a choice, do I?) Blog or not, I just can't in all good conscience watch, knowing of the repression in Tibet and that the Chinese government helps prop up Myanmar and doesn't help to end the horrible situation in Darfur.

Well, on to the main topic for now. Since I don't live in a cave, I notice that "Dark Knight" is just shattering all kinds of box office records. I just don't get it. I just don't see why people are drawn so such a dark story line - with such a dark villain - and our late Heath Ledger's performance seems to be the draw (I'm sure he did a fine job - I just don't care to see this one...). Why are we now so preoccupied with darkness? And it's not just movies, of course. Lately this musical artist and that one's new albums have been described as darker. And the "Heroes" show this coming season is certainly going to be much darker than before. You can count me out of that one. Although I did watch that show at the beginning, I stopped sometime during the first season as it just got too dark for me. And then there were the horrific story lines of "Law and Order: SVU" last season. Great cast, but I got turned off by too much - darkness. I won't even get started on the video games that are so violent I feel like taking a shower after just reading about them.

It just seems to me that the villains are so much darker now- so much more cold, calculating, amoral, sociopathic, whatever. Of course the writers are seemingly making these into the more interesting characters.

Some may disagree, but I feel that all this darkness and violence can't be psychologically healthy. Certainly most people aren't going to commit such outrageous acts, but for those who are vulnerable these bombardments don't help. I also feel it must not be healthy for our society as a whole. I don't know where all this fascination with darkness comes from - but it seems to me it points to there being some fundamental problem with our culture.

Here's what I would suggest:
People - for goodness sake, leave the darkness behind and stop buying tickets for such dark movies, leave the ultraviolent video games on the shelf, and look for music and other entertainment that has some light in it! Stuff that doesn't do great box office, get terrific ratings or sales won't be around, so support some alternatives.

Writers - there have got to be ways to make decent heroes more interesting. You can indeed hold our interest without a lot of violence. So write story lines that involve us, that keep us on edge without being so over the top violent, dark or shocking. Yes, it can be done.

So please, some light, folks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Hi - anyone out there?

The recent events in Tibet have brought this topic to mind again. I usually watch and enjoy the Olympic Games, but I will not be watching this time. A report in the news today said that sponsors are beginning to face pressure from activists. Today I wrote to Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Lenovo - some of the Olympic sponsors. Their websites should be easy to find - so I don't think I need to put them here - with my dial up it would take so long to load them and check.

Previously I'd written the USOC and NBC which will do the broadcasting. I would urge everyone to boycott watching the games, to let the sponsors know, and to encourage everyone you know to do the same.