Category Archives: US President

Listen Up – It’s Monica’s Turn

Who doesn’t remember the scandal that consumed the nation and the world in the late ’90s? The infamous adventures, the trials and tribulations of Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton, and the virtual megaphone and media storm that made it a top news story for several weeks.

While some of us thought it was much ado about nothing, there is no question that it provided tremendous ammunition to the Clinton haters and the worldwide media at large.

Incredibly, more than fifteen years have passed since that time, the scandal became old news and Monica Lewinsky had virtually disappeared into obscurity. 

Until, that is, she decided to take a very deliberate and decisive step to re-emerge into the public eye.

After reading about it, I finally had the privilege (yes, it was) of watching her TED talk from March. In just about a month, that talk has garnered views in the range of 3.4 million so, this may all be old news to you.

Just in case it isn’t, or you have not yet had the opportunity to watch her talk, I would encourage you to do so.

It’s calledThe Price of Shame“, and if anyone knows what that is, it is undoubtedly Ms. Lewinsky. Her talk articulates the horrific experience she went through and the incredible humiliation she had to suffer through. But it is centered around communicating this to people simply so that others who make mistakes in life never have to go through that kind of public shame, ridicule and judgement.

She communicates a message that is related to her experience but geared towards how we treat others who make mistakes in life, how easy it is to bully and get bullied in cyberspace, and her plea for all of us to use empathy and compassion so that others may never suffer the public shame she did.  

Perhaps it will only be curiosity about the public figure she became that will cause you to watch her speak, but I believe you will be as impressed with her eloquence and courage as I was.

[Click on the image below to view the TED talk].

monica ted talk

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With Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency, there is little doubt in my mind that there will be an encore of sorts, with the many haters coming out of whatever dark pit they have been hiding in, to blow-up the old scandal anew.  [Watch this space at this time next year]. 

I just wish they could/would listen to the meaningful messages from this strong woman before they started with their public hating and spewing. All over again.

We can always dream, right?

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The Madness of Guns

Where else but in the United States are people so passionate about guns?

It doesn’t matter how much death and destruction they have caused, the lunacy to acquire and possess firearms continues. And much as I love it, nowhere is this more apparent than in the (yes, sometimes silly) South where I live.

I heard this unbelievable but sadly true story on NPR the other day about a church in Kentucky that had found a novel way to draw crowds – they held, get this, a gun raffle!  I know gun mania is bad but this is insane! Don’t believe me? Check this out –

Kentucky Southern Baptists Draw Crowds With Gun Giveaways

According to NPR, the raffle for 25 guns drew so many people that a long line of people wrapped itself around the building.  The Kentucky Baptist Convention’s communication director, described this initiative as “outreach to rednecks“.

 I. Kid. You. Not. 

Kentucky is undoubtedly proud of it’s standing in the list of deadliest gun states (as in, the worst record of gun fatalities). It ranks #11, and even better, it ranks #5 for the states with the most permissive gun laws.  These two might be related, you think?

I can just imagine the mighty religious Kentucky every-man citizen saying to his redneck buddy, “And, we’re damn proud of this honor, no two ways about it!”

Go ahead, check out this gruesome list –  see where your state ranks.

512px-Houston_Gun_Show_at_the_George_R._Brown_Convention_Center

Did I say crazy? Sure, that’s just my humble opinion.  But here are some scary stats

  • As of 2009, the United States had a population of 307 million people.
  • Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there were roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.
  • People between the ages of 15 and 24 are most likely to be targeted by gun violence as opposed to other forms of violence.
  • From 1976 to 2005, 77 percent of homicide victims ages 15-17 died from gun-related injuries. This age group was most at risk for gun violence during this time period. Can anyone actually claim that these kids deserved it??!
  • Teens and young adults are more likely than persons of other ages to be murdered with a gun. Most violent gun crime, especially homicide, occurs in cities and urban communities.

Sick and scared yet?

Gun violence in schools from recent years has led to concerted efforts to change the laws and we can only hope that they meet with deserved success.

But the flip side of this progress is how hard the people in favor of “gun rights” are working for just the opposite outcome…all you have to do is mention the second amendment to get these folks up in arms, pun intended.

Want to know how all this  plays out in the political arena? Just check this out. No surprises here! These are the total political contributions from 1990 to 2010 to federal political candidates for the respective causes to control guns. Or not.

Gun Control and Rights

The sheer magnitude of contributions for gun rights is remarkable and herein lies the key problem. Sadly, we’re looking at a very long road ahead to change this country.  

Unfortunately, I can also state with an enormously high degree of confidence that the deep South, Kentucky included, will not be leading this charge in any way. Whatsoever.  😦

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Photo credits:

Gun show: By http://flickr.com/photos/glasgows/ (http://flickr.com/photos/glasgows/432945997/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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