Saturday, July 25, 2009

8 Year-old at Fault for Being Raped

Ever since I stumbled upon this news story this morning, I can't get it out of my head.

Here's one version:

That one's a little more sympathetic than a previous one I read (which I can't find now, of course.)

Her's a little better version of the story with a different perspective:
AZCentral News (Local Source)

We've all heard reports before from Saudi Arabia where when a woman is raped it is "her fault" and so she's put to death for it. But actually considering a child at fault I find intolerable. Not that it's tolerable when it is an adult, but that any one can see anything but vicitimization of a child in this story is incomprehensible. This child is being victimized by her own father, who says to the police "take her away! She can't live here any more. She has brought shame and dishonor on our whole family!"

I'm sorry, dude, but you've brought shame and dishonor upon yourself! An all your people who consider what you are saying to be normal.

I hate to sound racist. But, personally I don't think it is a racial thing, I think it is a cultural thing. It is a cultural thing that we find unacceptable here in the United States of American, and I don't care where you are from, and what your race, and what your religion, if you consider women to not have the same rights as men, and if you consider children to not have rights, then go the hell back to your own country and get out of ours, because you are not welcome here!

One of the most disturbing things about the story is the social workers saying "well, the family hasn't actually broken any laws by doing this." Well, then it is time we change the laws to protect women and children, I'd say.

It should be against the law for example, for any parent to "disown" their child under a certain age when a crime has been committed against them! It should be against the law for people to teach their boys that it is OK to rape the girls (if they can manage it), and that is basically what is being taught here.

I don't know if I'm more angry at the young boys who did this to the poor girl, or their parents. Actually, I do know. I'm more angry at their parents. Parents should be held responsible for violence abuse that their children inflict on others.

I understand that people from other cultures bring their cultural values with them when they come to the United States. I admire, have many friends and relatives, and greatly appreciate folks who immigrate to the U.S. from other countries. One of the greatest things about our country is the amazing diversity of cultures we have here.

But some things from other cultures simply cannot, and should not be tolerated. There should be laws against tolerating such things. And people who immigrate here should be required to sign a statement in their own languages that they says they renounce certain cultural things that we find not acceptable here.

One of those things is the notion that a victim should ever be considered responsible for a crime committed against them.

Another of those things is that those who commit a crime are more of a disgrace to their people than those among them against whom a crime has been committed.

And lastly, that women (and girls) have the same rights in our culture as men (and boys), and that considering men and boys to have greater worth and value than women and girls is intolerable here.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Man in the Moon...
I mean, Man on the Moon!

Let me first say, I have no opinion on the matter of whether or not man has ever been to the moon. As a child I was raised to believe it with a certainty. As an adult, I was actually surprised to learn that some dispute that man has ever been on the moon. But having read through much of the skeptic's materials, which is, we all recognize, amateurish looking which only reinforces the notion that it is all nonsense, I've decided that the skeptics really do have some legitimate things to say. The Apollo moon landings could have been staged, faked, etc. We certainly had the technology at the time to fake such a thing, and it is questionable whether or not we had the technology at the time to actually get to the moon.

So, I'm not saying I cast my vote for the skeptics. It would be absurd to cast your vote for either side. But, I'd like to at least propose that: It is absurd to believe unquestionably the the U.S.A. landed people on the moon back in the 60s, for a number of reasons. I'll let you investigate that on your own.

What I'd like to write today is a response to this interesting article: Top 5: Proofs That The Moon Landing Happened. It may seem ridiculous to you that anyone would need proofs, since you most probably like me were taught this as indisputable truth as a child.

The #5 reason, they say is: "The Soviet Union Did Not Dispute It" - they write that because of the way the Soviets had just lost the Cuban missile crisis, and were going back home with their tails between their legs, if they had any believe at all that we were faking the moon landing, the Soviet Union would have tried to use this to embarrass us. Well, yes, I guess if you take the conventional wisdom that most American's have, you'd think that wouldn't you. Since the Soviets were a bunch of idealogical crack-pots they would behave as such. But actually, now that some time has gone by since the end of the Soviet Union, they have started to let some of the archives of their politburo conferences become public. What has been revealed in this is that the politburo was a very thoughtful body, trying to lead the Soviet Union in its arms race (and race to space) against the U.S.A. If you read some of the archives of their discussions that have been made public you will see that they were very conservative. Like a skillful chess player they thought out every move very carefully.

In my opinion it would have been ludicrous for the Soviets to come out and say right then that the U.S.A. was faking it, and if they had some doubts that we had really archived this, they would have certainly met together and discussed what their reaction would be: "Should we call the American's bluff?" "But how can we prove anything?" "Well we know they didn't really go to the moon, maybe we can catch them somehow with their pants down?" "No, we will make ourselves look like idiots if we say anything at all, because all the world believes them..." etc. You see how I would envision they might have worked things out.

No, it would be foolish beyond sense to believe that the Soviets lack of disputing we had done this was somehow proof that we actually had done it. They could have had very good reasons, especially after the embarrassment at Cuba for keeping quiet on the space matter.

Reason number 4, they write: The Number of Photographs
They say "It seems obvious to the point of absurdity, but the sheer number of photographs -- none of which show anything terrestrial -- is pretty compelling evidence." That's pretty silly if you think about it: if you take enough photographs of something it PROVES it is real. Like about a million great movies that have been made throughout time, each with more about 1000 times more still frames taken than the volume of photographs taken of the moon, and so we are to believe that all the missions of the Starship Enterprise have been for real since there are thousands upon thousands of frames of pictures from these movies and TV shows, and NONE of them show any other cameras, or studio personnel in the background. I mean surely if it hadn't been for real we would have seen something in the background somewhere suggesting it was a HOAX!

Give me a break. If Hollywood can be so careful when they make a movie that is 20 times longer than any film shot in space, and contains millions of more frames (the equivalent, I'd think of a photo) without accidentally getting a directory, or an off-duty actor, or a camera cable, or a microphone, etc. Then I'm pretty sure NASA could have accomplished that too. In fact, if you look at history, we were much more well advanced in filmation at the time we sent folks to the moon than we were at space travel. (And, of course, STILL are!) The volume of photos certainly isn't an argument in favor, and if NASA isn't careful (when they keep discovering previously undiscovered photos that had been archived) eventually the volume of photos will be an argument AGAINST, once someone runs the calculations and figures out there is no way the could have lifted off the ground with all that film!

Reason number 3: "Rock Samples Are Universally Acknowledged As Being Non-Terrestrial" Well, I have to say here they have finally arrived at a pretty compelling point. But I'm unconvinced that they couldn't have faked the rocks somehow using chemical compounds and heat/radiation, etc. Sure the rocks didn't contain any microbes, but how do we know for certain NASA didn't irradiate them all of the rocks first? It certainly is a good argument, but by no means "proof."

And, again, as if they can't get enough of themselves, in the middle of offering this as a proof they accidentally revert back to "and I'm sure the Soviets would have said something..." argument. Which, I say again, I wouldn't have been so sure I would have known exactly what the Soviets would or wouldn't have done.

Reason number 2: "No.2 - No One on the Inside Disputed It"
Actually if you read through that link up at the top there where they claim the whole Apollo program was a hoax, they do mention some astronaut who supposedly said something about it being a hoax shortly before he died or something. I can't remember the details, and you can read it for yourself if interested. I'm certainly not reading that crap again. But I think the statement "the sheer scale of the project would have made it impossible to keep everybody quiet." is again a silly notion. There wouldn't have had to been all that many people "in on" the secret if it was a hoax. NASA already had a "studio" where the recreated as best the could the environment of the moon in order to test vehicles and so forth. On the few days that they were filming and photographing they could have had a very small crew of people who were in on the secret. As for the astronauts themselves they could have blasted them up in to orbit to circle the earth until they came back down in their other capsule. It really "could have" been faked. Again, I'm not saying it was, but it is certainly well within the realm of possibility.

And, when you consider how carefully NASA has selected their astronauts over the years, I'm sure that if NASA had wanted to consider someone's ability to keep a secret, a NATIONAL secret that to "break the secret would be a betrayal of your homeland!" Somehow I'm sure they could have found folks with that quality. In fact, seeing as the USA employs thousands maybe even tens of thousands of spies around the globe at all times with those very qualities, I'm sure they could have found a few astronauts and a skeleton crew of officials that were "in on it" to work out filming the thing if they wanted to. After all, if we had the ability to get folks to the moon, we certainly had the ability to fake it, and I think we national feeling of patriotism that many folks have would be more than enough to convince them to keep a national secret.

And the number 1 reason they site: "It Happened Again…And Again…And Again"

They quote astronaut Charlie Duke: "We have been to the Moon nine times. Why would we fake it nine times, if we faked it?" They they say "it is a pertinent question and it does seem that if you are going to tell a lie, it is far easier to do it once and then stop, than to keep exaggerating the lie over the course of the next few years." Oh my gosh! Have these people NEVER told lies. Anyone who has ever told a true like, completely faked something, knows that they have to keep retelling the same lie over and over and over again. Once you've gone down that route you have to keep supporting it.

Again, I'm not saying NASA was lying. But I find the notion that if they lied once they would have let it stop there and not lied any more to be completely ridiculous. Of course they had to keep "going to the moon." If they had the technology to do it, how could they suddenly stop doing it? If anything, the fact that we finally DID STOP going to the moon suggests that the lie ran out of steam, that eventually politicians got elected that didn't think we should keep lying and so the budgets got cut, and so on.

Now, in conclusion, I'm not saying we've never been to the moon. All I'm saying is it hasn't been proven to me. I am looking forward to eventually finding out for sure. Our political, cultural, socio-economic climates have changed considerably since we were making trips to the moon. And what's more, the possibilities seem greater and greater all the time that we will soon know much, much more about the truth of what we have learned from our lunar expeditions. Currently some other countries are sending various craft to the moon. One of them has spent probes, and another is circling the moon photographing it at high detail. They plan to photograph the entire surface of the moon in the highest detail ever!

I look forward to seeing our US landing craft show up on those photos! Either that, or I look forward to watching NASA scramble and try to explain to people why you can't see them! Either way, it will be very, very interesting.