The Dangers of Subversive Propoganda from… Disney Movies?

I have a daughter who is now eight years old. Given that I have an inherent bias, just going by the endless and consistent comments from when she was just a baby, she is a beautiful  Young girl and always has been.  Like most girls, she fell in love with the Disney princesses and very quickly had all of them at both her mom’s and my house, along with the requisite Disney castles.  We have enjoyed them all, with her naturally having favorites, but she really did like Disney’s Mulan movie.  She didn’t seem to like to play with the Mulan doll as much as Arial or Cinderella, but there’s no doubt she enjoyed the movie. As kids are known to do, she’s watched it many, many times.

But for  current Vice President, Mike Pence, Disney is up to something far more nefarious than just entertaining and highly profitable children sounds. in fact, Disney is subversive Propaganda for your children, says Christian extremist, Mike Pence. He wants to convince you women should not be in the military & that Disney’s “Mulan” is propaganda to teach young girls it’s okay to be in the military. In fact, she can succeed and even achieve glory in battle.

Here is the piece Mr. Pence wrote on the dangers of Disney’s “Mulan.”  I have always been uncomfortable with the impossible physical attributes given to Disney’s female characters. It’s impossible for a woman to have a waist as thin as any of them. If you read the short Op-Ed from Mr. Pence, you will see his interpretation is very different from mine.

As a parent of a daughter just eight years old, who has already made comments about her waist size, which I assure you is anything but perfectly normal,  One has to wonder if she grows out of it or be detrimentally affected by this ‘body image’ issue that girls & women never really escape all her life? Just look at the magazine covers in the checkout line – nearly all unrealistic unless you happen to be a hard-core athlete, work out like a champion, have the right genetics, and/or are extremely cognizant of proper nutrition.

IMG_6101

But with the completely unrealistic body’s on most cartoons and Disney Channel shows with child actors, all of whom seemingly have ultra thin figures, and the dolls themselves especially, it is very easy to see how body image problems develop. These mostly unrealistic figures given to all Disney princesses can be confusing to a young girl and as they grow older.  It would seem natural to ask, why doesn’t my body look like that?

Continue reading The Dangers of Subversive Propoganda from… Disney Movies?

Advertisements

Human Rights v. Human Obligations

Have you ever considered the notion of “human obligations” as a corollary to the term human rights? Not to suggest one is dependent upon the other by I cannot help but wonder how things may be different if certain human obligations were dealt with in the same manner as human rights have historically been addressed. This would obviously require careful monitoring, but imagine if every Citizen was obligated to prove he or she knows the basics of how our government works in order to vote. I know this brings up thoughts of the poll tax or IQ test to those that was only applicable to African-Americans, but this is different. Let’s use the basic civics test we require those attempting to become Naturalized citizens of this country who are naturalized are required to know and .are tested upon. If we require it of those we grant citizenship to, it is not unreasonable to demand that same basic knowledge from our citizens.

How delightful would it be if all those seeking to serve Public Office be required to have a certain level of education, degree, certificate or whatever we decide to call it in Political Science and the Art of Statesmanship & Governing before they are eligible to run for elected office? In fact let’s do the reverse, every person that has completed such training is automatically eligible for election process (if they announce an intention to Run). Wouldn’t provide a basic level of competence. We require training of lawyers, doctors, professors, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc. so why not those in charge of our own government?

Once they have successfully completed the appropriate education from an accredited Political Science department (like accredited law schools), all they need do is announce their candidacy for lower office. And then they must first have held a lower office and demonstrated an ability to fulfill those duties that in a way that warrants their eligibility for higher office. These need not even alter the existing constitutional age requirements for the certain offices in Congress & the presidency.

Is it mere utopianism to hope for an elected official feels a “Human Obligation” to have in mind the best interests of the People he or she represents? At this stage, it is so blatantly obvious our elected officials no longer even try to hide the fact that they spend up to 70% of the time fund-raising.

The Supreme Court has somehow found it appropriate to give Corporations the same rights that we individuals have in our Constitution. Combined with other case law, they are now permitted to essentially give unlimited funds to campaigns, PACs & SuperPACs with almost no disclosure necessary – at least not before the election in question.

It’s so obviously wrong that there is a significant movement to change the law to undo the damage, which was to essentially put the entire government up for sale to the highest bidder. Between 2010-2012, during which the Supreme Court rendered its controversial Citizens United ruling, spending on campaigns, PACs & SuperPACs increased by something like 1900%. Does anyone in their right mind not believe the donors are expecting ROI – Return on Investment – which is a concept they are very familiar with in business? I certainly hope that level of naïveté does not exist.

I think it may take a constitutional amendment to fully eliminate the blatantly corruptive influence money currently has on our government, which explains why is it: 1) so bitterly divided and vitriolic; and 2) unable to accomplish anything, leading to the lowest approval rating Congress has ever seen.

The lawmakers have benefited so drastically from these rules and we cannot rationally expect they would change those rules themselves. They certainly have not done anything thus far. On the contrary, it’s gotten much worse. If you study campaign contributions, PAC & SuperPAC contributions as well as lobbying activity, Wall Street exceeds the other big players combined.

Which simply means Wall Street owns both parties and why there is currently a strong movement within the Democratic Party to get away from Secretary Clinton’s real & perceived ties to Wall Street and that of her husband. Of course, it was Pres. Bill Clinton that executed the plan to make sure Wall Street knew Democrats were as willing to play ball as the Republicans, as long as they kept the campaign money flowing. And boy did they ever.

It such a dominant influence in current politics that things the American people almost unanimously agree SHOULD get done will not get done. They won’t even come up for a vote because the industry watchdogs Big Corporations have purchased in Congress won’t allow it.

Take the controversial gun issue: over 80% of Americans are in favor of universal background checks for every sale. Though I’m not certain, I believe the statistics for closing the show loophole are similarly overwhelming. But the power of the NRA and the gun lobby is immense & they OWNER the GOP.

Let’s investigate how much money the industry has made under the current president because of the constant NRA campaign of lies like, they’re (Obama, Harry Reid, pelvis);; literally coming for your guns and they’re going to imprison you in FEMA Camps”. It might make for interesting fiction if a majority of Americans didn’t believe it to be so. You may recall the proposed invasion of the state of Texas under the guise of “wargames” that was supposedly leaked by the military or something of that nature – and, of course, didn’t happen. I still see people saying Pres. Obama has time and will declare martial law, confiscate all weapons and retain power.

Then again, there are those that will argue till they’re blue in the face with as much passion as if they were fighting for civil rights that there is all a massive conspiracy to cover up the fact that the world is flat. Even though it’s mathematically impossible as the extra gravity accumulated the closer you came to the “edge” of the earth would be something like 9G’s. The Internet is an amazing and wonderful place but it’s also given something to do to those people who have that little bit of knowledge we all know can be a dangerous thing. And now with the technology they can organize, groupthink sets in, and suddenly we have militias and the most creative conspiracy theories one can consider.

This stemmed from an interesting thought that occurred to me when I ran across this quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

“It is time in the West’s to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.”

Now I acknowledge having no idea the context in which the quote was made. He may have been referring to obligations as burdensome while I’m looking at them as a way to force citizens to realize the government isn’t here just to protect your freedom and allow you to take, take, and take. This is what happened with the fossil fuels industry for the last 200 years.

Think about this way: you find something in the ground that doesn’t belong to you, but that you essentially pay the government for the rights to steal from the ground – from the ground owned by “The People”. And they pay absolutely nothing for the right to exploit the resources of our, which we know it took millions of years to get there.

First of all, this exploitation of resources removes any doubt as to why fossil fuel companies have been among the most profitable the world has ever seen. Look at the business model! They get to extract as much of the resources mother Earth created over millions of years at virtually ZERO COST, and turn around and profit on it as if they created the chemical in their own laboratories and obtained the requisite patent. If that were the case, they have the right to have all of the profits (that’s the model of the pharmaceutical of big Pharma which is for another subject), but these guys take from the earth. Worse, what they take, and take and take from the earth has already done a great deal of damage in terms of the climate, and some will argue we are already too late without immediate & drastic measures that the fossil fuel industry will certainly oppose.

It’s happening right before our eyes as the developing countries (China, India & Brazil, etc.) are now fully developed and they unanimously realize how serious a threat climate change truly is. Of course they have no insane political party made up of politicians paid to deny the unambiguous science as we have here. Thankfully b/c it allowed them to take the bold steps (though not enough) that they took at the Paris Climate Agreement. The party that denies the science, also denies its beloved war making machine that has identified to climate change as a global threat. A real & true threat – a clearly defined strategic threat to the security of the United States of America. Despite this, half of our government refuses to even acknowledge it exists because they are so beholden to the Fossil fuel industry. They will protect that industry regardless of the cost to the American people and the environment we live in.

As I’ve said many times, the choice is ours. The only way in which we can exercise that choice is basically which party we vote for given the limited choice we really have. As always, would love to hear your thoughts, reactions or impressions.

Thanks and have a great day!

Check Your Perspective…

Thought Experiment… Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Think From Another’s Perspective:

A worthwhile Thought Experiment is to challenge yourself to view an issue from another perspective. Here is a 14 minute video that, if you really thought about it, would admit presents a perspective that is what I imagine is a very different perspective that you had of the topic. Was this true in you case?

Take this 13:38 and step away from the Echo Chamber in which millions of Americans elect to live their lives: 1) Engage in the experience of learning about and considering another’s perspective; 2) Now actually considering, really thinking about something a perspective that you never thought about that way before; and 3) Share your reactions, thoughts, opinions or suggestions in the Comments Section of the blog and which really supports the blog too so I kindly ask you to use this platform. (It’s just a click but it helps me immensely!) Congratulations on getting this far. Sincere apologies, unless I am wrong, I must pay for the ability to embed video on my page so click here for YouTube video (13:38).

Did your Perspective Change about anything? If so, what & how? I wouldn’t spend the time if I didn’t think there are subjects we need to make sure we really think about, done an thorough analysis of our reasoning to make sure it isn’t just going with the flow, a gut reaction or conventional wisdom – all without much though given to why you chose the way you did. Don’t feel inadequate as I believe only a small minority are that self-aware and analytical, quick to use critical thinking skills. Like many things it becomes a habit… a way of thinking and living in the world. These skills, which were important to our survival at one time, and that echo-chambers erode like all other unused muscles – hated atrophy! “Group-think” sets in and the analysis of what may be an important issue or life decision is over. The benefit of this approach is you don’t have to decide for yourself, you just turn with the swarm of fish that is the masses and have no really idea why. It’s not uncommon at all. I genuinely fear the school of fish analogy is sadly now the default setting for at least American society. This is my humble effort do change that. If you think you already see issues from a balanced perspective you…

May Want to Double Check…

One way is to take this short escape from your routine that won’t miss you and do what you normally don’t do because it’s human nature and it is SO easy to do – which is stay to that which you already know and are very comfortable without ever stopping to consider why you agree. Consider and analyze your reasoning. Really deconstruct it so you’re confident it’s sound and if you discover otherwise, you reconsider this is done without shame and should be done without shame. It is no different than preparing for everything we all have to do for anything we want to do well. Preparation is critical and this is why we demand it of doctors, lawyers, and ourselves whenever we give a proposal to our bosses, to prospective customers, and in other important events in life.

If you are Consider the reasoning of other’s that you respect but that may hold a different opinion so you can see it from her perspective. If you responded to that last sentence with, “I don’t know anyone like this.” you may be too far gone and will have to make an effort to meet people with different views. You will discover first that they are people too. Think about it this way: close to ½ of the voting public disagrees with you, but way more than half of those we deal with in life are nice, regular folks just making it through another day like you are. Meaning some would hate your politics, but you know they are not a monster – and neither are you. This sentiment is long dead in the current political climate… let’s hope that changes.

Online we act like civility and basic respect mandatory in face to face discussion is obliterated and it bothers me. There is never a way to exchange ideas or get someone to consider your perspective if you’re calling them names. No matter who started the bad behavior! If that happens, just disengage – no online rage (no one can see you anyway… I hope!)  Perhaps because the dialogue I am accustomed to is philosophical and legal. Philosophical discussion is typically pretty civil and pleasant. While arguing to a Court one is required to exercise decorum, civility & respect or the Judge will let you know it.

What constitutes “discussion” on the internet in general deserves not such a dignified label. It’s a childish trading of insults and will be ignored. People generally talking at each other not in anyway resembling a real discussion with an exchange of ideas. We have to remember that there are people that you respect and with whom you don’t agree on every important issue… you just don’t know it yet. It is because we have such complicated and very complex lives it shouldn’t surprise us that we reach many different opinions, but saying your opinion these days risks a nasty response and this is especially true online.

But again, like anything else, reason can be done properly or improperly. No one can tell you the answer, but you can be challenged to make certain you have given important issues appropriate thought and consideration. What if a young man or woman walked right up to you and asked very directly your opinion on an important topic?

Lives are hectic, but we must give ourselves time to think. We demand our children think before they speak or act, why not hold ourselves to the same standard? But the way one checked their opinions was discuss it with friends, parents, and teachers, along with anyone else available whose opinion we respect. Please read what Plato thought about taking enough time to think click here now.

If you want to read my continued thoughts just click. here.