Friday, October 26, 2012

Sports and Drugs. In re Lance Armstrong trashing.

 When the option is to drug or drop out of the sport you love and are good at at the top level, Which was most sports in the 80s and 90s. We can applaud those who chose to play at the drug free level but I only know the names of three. All of which might well have doped their way to fame and fortune but chose not to. They were near the top of their game in competition with druggies, but chose to pass on the fame and fortune due to the need for drugs. 
I am not ready to condemn anyone who made the other choice. If you have trained all your life in the sport of your choice and are the top of the game, but competing at the next level means drugs, I refuse to disrespect those who choose to compete. 
To live comfortably or perhaps at all I need asthma drugs. Are you going to give me a pass just because they are legal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bigotry and Retards

An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

John Franklin Stephens
The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me.  You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics.  See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet,   John Franklin Stephens
Global Messenger
Special Olympics Virginia

My comment on facebook 
J'Carlin: It is high time that words referring to mentally challenged people used as insults be treated as the bigotry that they are. I have worked with mentally challenged people who have used other abilities to make a useful place for themselves in the world, and with others that have been warehoused with no opportunity to develop other skillls because of their mental challenge label. In either case the label is a cruel insult to the disabled and evidence of a mental disability of the user of the term. That mental disability is the lack of common decency and respect which has its own label which should be used freely and openly "Bigot." Or as Rollins should have said more concicely: Ann Coulter is a bigot and should STFU.
I had the pleasure of working with an IQ challenged person who was never allowed to be labled by his parents, who used his "people skill" ability in a customer experience capacity to make a respected career for himself.  Although I trained him in the CE skills, in my follow up with customers I found that he was much better at the job than I, even though technically I was clearly better.  Any technical errors were forgotten as each customer was in fact the special focus of his attention and knew it. Absolutely critical to creating a satisfied, loyal customer.  He certainly taught me important lessons in the CE which served me well in my career in this customer critical area. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Atheist Living

It is almost impossible to not be moral and compassionate if you are an atheist as there is no alternative.  You have no choice but to do the very best you can for the expanding circle of people that you consider your chosen society.  It isn't so much having an apple fall on your head, we can't always be so lucky or so smart, but we do what we can to make it probable that those that are can take advantage of it.  Education, critical thinking, and creative attitudes can all be encouraged, and certainly exploring top level thinking like the existentialists is important to being able to take advantage of those opportunities. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Gish Gallop

As I demonstrated earlier in this thread, all the founders of the major branches of science were Christians, modern hospitals were invented by Christians, Christians ended slavery in the US and Britain, modern universities were invented by Christians, the largest charities in the world were founded and are run by Christians, the United States was founded by primarily Christians, and has been one of the countries that has produced the most good in the world and I could name more.

A classic example of the Gish GallopIf you put enough lies in a short enough paragraph it is impossible to refute them all in any reasonable way.  In this case each phrase has been the topic of many posts on this thread alone clearly defining the lie and misleading partial truth in the phrase.  

Thanks to Daily Kos for pointing out that the Romney debate was won with this technique. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Retroactive Culture Change - Fail.

The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”

The kissing sailor, Greta Zimmer Friedman, George Mendonsa
Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II.

Retroactively trying to change a culture or even using a past culture to criticize a current culture is a fool's errand.  I grew up in that culture and never imagined that the sailor asked for prior informed consent of the nurse.  Sailors at liberty from an all male environment were expected to be aggressively promiscuous as were most single men at the time.

It was in fact a male aggressive culture, a reflection of the dominant religious culture of female submissiveness.  Ask any cheerleader at the time about the victory parties.  Or the loss parties for that matter.  It was an article of manliness dogma that if you could get a woman in a compromising position good for you!  The then current excuse for the man was if the woman didn't want to be molested she should have stayed home.   Directly related to the current Muslim attitude to women.  It isn't the man's fault if the woman is alone and improperly dressed. 

Better to focus on examples of current non-consensual sexual contact which have a better chance of changing current culture than bitching about the past. 

Lets fight about this shit:

I often ride the Metro when I commute from North Hollywood to Long Beach in order to save money.  I bring a book, pointedly wear a ring on my ring finger to imply I’m married (I’m not) and keep to myself.
Without fail, I am aggressively approached by men on at least half of these commutes.  The most common approach is to walk up to where I am sitting with body language that practically screams LEAVE ME ALONE and sit down next to me or as close to me as possible, when the train is not crowded and there are many empty rows.  Sometimes an overly friendly arm is draped over the railing behind me, or they attempt to lean in close to talk to me as if we are old friends.  Without fail, the man or boy in question will lean to close and ask me
What are you reading?
Is that a good book?
What’s that book about?