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Posts Tagged ‘controversy’

If you haven’t heard the news yet, it appears that NY Democratic representative Anthony Weiner is caught up in a social media scandal that has caused great controversy.  In the beginning he said, that risque photos posted in the public time-line of his Twitter account was the work of a hacker. However, it has since been disclosed by Anthony Weiner that the photos were of himself and that he posted them to women that he “met” in his online relationships.

He’s stated that he has not met them in real life.  His credibility is being called into question because of the lies he initially told regarding the scandal.  His judgment is part of that controversy in regards to his career. Many people are wondering whether someone who would lie to his constituents, his family, his friends, and the media could do his job with honesty and integrity. To keep reading: Write Where You Are Blog

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It is interesting to contemplate some of the facets of a man who was such a controversial figure in American culture.  Jack Kevorkian was known at one time in the media as Dr. Death because of his involvement in assisting individuals with taking their lives…this was titled assisted suicide.  Today, Jack Kevorkian died after a two week hospitalization for pneumonia.  He is believed to have died from a blood clot but they will know more later.  He struggled with the pneumonia and kidney complications during the hospitalization from media reports.

A lot has been said about Jack Kevorkian in the media over the years. To continue: Write Where You Are

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       Twitter is quickly becoming a way of life for many businesses and folks.  Anytime twitter shows a fail whale…(the symbol a person sees when trying to access Twitter and its service is unavailable) people quickly bemoan the fact that they can’t get on.   🙂  The fail whale doesn’t usually last long…I’ve only seen it a few times; briefly, when it was over capacity with Twitter users.  Twitter is a mini social site that is quickly becoming a large social media site; the idea is to answer in 140 characters or less the question, ” What are you doing?”.   Often, I hear other users say that they quickly become “addicted” to Twitter.   The service has spawned a bunch of books on Twitter etiquette….rules or no rules use.   Reasons for using Twitter is as varied as the number of people you ask…everyone has their own reasons for using it.  Relationships are built online…everyone has equal access to other users…both famous and non-famous users.   The latest controvery of this company which has been in business for approximately 3 years is…should they charge a fee for their services?

         So far, the Twitter service is free.  There is some discussion about whether businesses may be charged to use Twitter in the future.    People are still discovering Twitter and all that it can do.  Many people of course, use Twitter as a social networking service for their personal communication; others, are trying to find ways to use it to brand their businesses.

          Twitter has been uber successful in their goals of creating a mini social networking site.   At the end of 2008, Twitter rejected a bid for purchase by Facebook of $500 million.  To me, that means that they view their value as well over that $500 million; and it means to me that Facebook considers it a huge competitor.  Still, to stay competitive with Facebook as well as other large entities…Twitter will need to make money to stay alive and growing.

           Businesses have to make money somewhere to stay in business and pay their own employees.  Do they raise funds by putting advertising on their service, by charging for upgraded services for business accounts, or maybe charge a membership fee?  What do you think?  Do you use Twitter?  What are your thoughts on this subject?

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      Wow… I just watched a clip from The View today in which Barbara Walters talks about an interview she did with Paula Abdul on her radio show.  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6425460

       In the chat fest in the beginning of the show Barbara refers to that interview when she says that Paula has dropped a few explosive bombs about American Idol producers, Fox television, as well as,  Simon Cowell.

         As many of you know, there was an unfortunate young woman who was allegedly obsessed with Paula Adbul who died in front of Paula’s home…allegedly a suicide.  This young woman, Paula Goodspeed, has been supposedly sending letters and trying to make contact with Paula Abdul for something like 17 years, through her fan club. 

         Abdul claims in the radio interview with Barbara Walters that the producers of American Idol knew of this young woman’s obsession and still they allowed her to audition for the three Idol judges.  That audition  appears to have caused much harm; because of the rejection  Paula Goodspeed felt that she was publically humiliated.  Does a show like this carry a  legal and moral responsibility to pre-screen contestants; to make sure that they can handle the criticism that they face on the show?  I think they should.

          Paula Abdul says that she begged the producers and Simon not to allow Ms. Goodspeed to audition…but, against her wishes they allowed her to audition, possibly more than once.  It put her in a terrible position; Paula says that the producers and Simon wished to see her squirm. 

          At some point, Ms. Goodspeed followed Paula Abdul to her home address.  There were other incidents that took place there before the actual suicide took place.  Paula was not home when the suicide took place.  She now has her home for sale i hear; she says she has not slept there since it happened.

         Paula also says that she has lost endorsements and business opportunities because of the public’s perception that she is drunk or stoned on medications; because of the way that she is portrayed on the show.  She says, part of, that is caused by Simon who says crazy things in Paula’s ear piece while she is trying to communicate her “judgement”.   She says, something to the effect, that this is a distraction; and, Simon tries to make her laugh when she is trying to graciously speak to the contestants.

         If these things are true, and she can prove them…i see this turning into a major big, legal deal.  Obviously, Paula is upset about the whole nightmare of the suicide of Paula Goodspeed.  After all, a life was lost and if it is true that it was because of manipulations behind the scenes of the show…then shame on those involved.   There are more important things than ratings of a television show!

         When asked why Paula was still on the show…she apparently, simply said that she is under contract.  Paula also allegedly says that Simon could have at anytime corrected himself and retracted the statements that he has made.  She is under contract for another year; even though, this year there is a fourth judge being brought onto the show.  Just last week, Randy Jackson was on television shows saying not to believe everything people hear about this year’s American Idol.  

           What does this mean?  Is there a mystery here behind the scenes?  Does Paula want out of her contract?  Did this suicide impress on anyone the importance of the impact of the hurtful words that are said to contestants who don’t measure up to the judges expectations?  Is the show going to be legally liable in the young woman’s death?   I wonder, do you anyone feels guilty who was involved in that episode involving young Paula Goodspeed?

          Does this controversy mean that Paula will no longer associate herself with the show after her contract expires?  Time will tell.  I suspect that we have not heard the last of this drama.  What do you think is going on?  Is it alright to do “anything” to get ratings…or, should networks, producers, and the like be held responsible when things go wrong?

* See related story here: https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/american-idol-judge-idolized/

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        Breaking news on the bailout…it seems that the House now has enough votes to pass with at least 230 votes.  The bailout plan has already passed in the Senate.  At least 218 are needed to pass the bailout plan in the House of Representatives.  Last week the measure failed to pass the house and there has been alot of uncertainty since that time.   The failure was 13 votes shy of passing at that time.

         If this measure actually takes place and is approved by the house…there is going to be controversy.  If it doesn’t take place there is going to be controversy.   Some say that expensive add ons were added to the bailout to make the idea more appealing to house members.  This idea of adding on to the already very high price tag is something that doesn’t sit well with many voters.  The vote is supposed to take place later today, on the bailout plan.   What i would like to know is what is in the plan; how much is it going to cost me and my family, and how soon will we see changes in the economy?  What happens if this bailout fails to improve the financial condition of the voters in this country?

          Is this bailout a good idea or a bad idea?  What do you think on the whole situation?  What kind of impact is this financial crisis having on your finances and your family situation?

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       There was a recent news story that did much to anger those who work with women who have been “date raped”.   Helen Mirren, a British actress, who won awards last year for her portrayal of the Queen, did an interview with GQ in which she claimed to have been raped several times, many years ago, when she was a student.  Helen is 63 years old now. 

         The reason some people have been upset with Helen, over that interview, is that she seemed to down play the experiences.  She said there was no extreme violence, she was not hit…but rather, was locked in a room and made to have sex.  She did not file charges in those incidents.  She also said that if a man and a woman were about to get intimate and the woman changed her mind, and the man continued; that was indeed rape.  However, in that circumstance; she didn’t feel that a woman could then turn around and take that man to court for it.  Those are highly controversial remarks when taken individually or out of context.  To some people…those comments smack of judgementalism…that those situations aren’t worthy of prosecution of a person who sexually assaults another.  Those comments appear inflammatory to many folks.

         Most people are clear that if a stranger attacks another person and forces sexual relations…then that is rape.  It is true enough…it is.  But there are other forms of rape as well that aren’t as clearly defined for some people. (more…)

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      Here we go, the Republican party is gearing up for next weeks Republican National Convention.  Sen. John McCain is ready to announce his running mate.  Conservative supporters are warning that funding and advertising support can, and will, be withdrawn if he chooses a running mate that is pro-abortion.  Two of the people he is considering as a running mate are pro-choice…that is Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Pennsylvania Govenor Tom Ridge. 

       Of course, abortion is only one issue.  There are many issues to consider such as gay rights, health care, the war and bringing home the military men and women, economy, bank failures, terrorism,foreign policy, housing market, joblessness, federal bailouts in the lending and in transportation, education, cost of living and social security issues…but, with many Democrats unhappy with the elimination of Hillary Clinton as a running mate for Sen. Barack Obama…many of her supporters have pledged their support over to John McCain.  All of these issues is important to voters; but the Republican party is typically conservative.  Conservatives are looking for leadership that is going to reinforce the party’s basic standards as well as provide some economic stability in the country; while at the same time, correcting some of the perceived errors in the present administration.

         Also in the realm of possibility is Minnesota Govenor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Mitt Romney…both anti-abortion proponents.  With all of the difficulties since the last election, it is a little frightening to be standing on the edge of the unknown this time around.

         Sen. John McCain has to be very careful about who he announces as his pick.  He doesn’t want to exchange many of his supporters, with deep pockets, for those unhappy Democratic supporters.  If he is wise in his choosing of a running mate…those Democrats will be additional voters not replacements for those who were supporters in the first place; it could have a big impact.  

          I guess we are about to find out…as it has been announced that Sen. John McCain has picked his running mate and will announce it to the American public on Friday at noon in Ohio.  His running mate will get the word on Thursday!  I don’t think that people have been this anxious about the political arena as they are this year…but then, most people agree…the climate in the American culture hasn’t been as critical as it seems, at this time…for a great many years.  The outcome is terribly important.  Let’s hope that the running mate is a pick that many can get behind without controversy taking away from the issues at hand.        

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      Is there no end to the humiliation that Kwame Kilpatrick is willing to endure to stay in office?  I mean, the man has been in jail in the last week, been released, ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device, his travel has been restricted, he has been “invited” by local clergy, to please step down from his position out of respect for the people of Detroit, Michigan Govenor Granholm says that she won’t pardon him should he be convicted of the charges before the court, and now, the coupe de grace…he is being “un-invited” to attend the Democratic National Convention, allegedly, by a spokesman for  Sen. Obama; because the focus would be taken off of Senator Barack Obama; and, Kwame Kilpatrick would be a “distraction”. 

       My opinion is, who could tell whether Mr. Kilpatrick was a distraction, what with the news that Oprah will be there, Bill Clinton will be making a speech, and of course, Hillary his former competition will be there.   This whole Democratic National Convention is looking like a big ole slice of distraction pie anyway…but still, enough is enough regarding Mr. Kilpatrick.  The stress of this whole case, has to be having an enormous effect on him and his family; it is hard enough to go through these issues privately…but, publically is a whole different matter.  As far as he goes, i guess it is his problem…he put himself in that position…but his family and friends…that is another matter…they aren’t the ones being accused but they are in the middle of it just because they are close to him.

       Besides Mr. Kilpatrick being pushed and pulled like a human yo-yo between two court room jurisdictions; being allowed to travel to the Democratic National Convention by one judge, forbid by another, told to wear the electronic monitor, then given permission to have it removed; only, to have it re-attached four hours later, it has to be taking up all of his time just to deal with the legalities; when and how does he start healing his relationships. 

       How many times, and in how many ways, does Mr. Kilpatrick have to be told to move on…it is a little like a woman throwing herself at a man; a man who: a).  doesn’t want her, b)  doesn’t need her, and, c).  is thinking about filing harassment charges against her; and finally, d).  has to go into the witness protection program, because he can’t get away from the woman who has turned a little extreme, and is acting out a role in a fatal attraction, kind of way!   I mean really, a compulsive person who is driven to act in ways that are not in their best interest, and can’t seem to help making things worse for themselves; and, is in denial about it…really needs to find a way to understand that the ordeal has to end sometime…so why not take control of the resignation before it ends in total political humiliation?   Of course, i don’t know how much more humiliating it could get than to be publically un-invited to your own party’s national convention.

         Like a moth drawn to the flame…the moth can’t seem to help itself before it is too late.     Isn’t there someone in his personal life, or one of his close advisors that he respects, who cares enough about him to say…step down…do it for yourself or, your family if for no other reason;… because this isn’t good for you, your family, or for Michigan?  This last year in politics has been nothing but controversy for Michigan…most of us have had enough frustration and embarassment.

        The whole mess has elevated to a new level of dismay with each new court appearance, or news article that gets published, or video clips that make the nightly news.  Someone, somewhere is thinking that this will make a great book with all kinds of insider explanations…please don’t…some of us have to continue to live in the state of Michigan…even after the Kilpatrick soap opera is brought to an end; and, healing begins to take place. 

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        Ben Stiller, the talented and funny actor has a new movie coming out; it is called Tropic Thunder.  It is a movie he was instrumental in producing, by doing the writing and directing, among other things.  There is a boycott brewing by special needs advocacy groups because of a movie within the movie.  The movie is supposed to be a mocking satire of actors who will take any movie no matter how over the top or bizarre to make a name for themselves as an actor, without regard for the subject matter. 

         Is this something that is supposed to be funny?  The lower our standards of conduct go…the funnier it is supposed to be…is that the concept?  Instead of getting kudos by the industry for a financial success…there should be a call to accountability; demanded by the American public for standards of decency.  Controvery about the subject matter should not just be just a tool used by public relations departments to garner curiosity that translates to box office rewards; that is my opinion. 

         One of the movies within the movie called, Simple Jack, allegedly mocks and makes fun of people with disabilities.   Meetings with advocacy group leaders were held with Stacey Snider who is a chief executive at Dreamworks…the company that released the film to try to address the concerns about the movie.  The studio has refused to make changes to the movie.  Shame on them!  Their attempts at humor just aren’t funny when the laughs are at the expense of a population of people born with disabilities.  Where is the respect?  (more…)

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        I read an article that I believe will bring the house down, if ABC chooses to push the envelope with Dances With The Stars this season on television.  The article had an alledged comment from Cheryl Burke that said something to the effect of; America wasn’t ready to see two men dancing together.  The comment was in reference to a question about a competitor in the upcoming season, Lance Bass.  The question alluded to the idea of whether Lance would have a male, or female dancing professional partner.  Cheryl apparently doesn’t think that would happen.  I agree, i think if it were to happen…ABC would see a huge backlash directed towards one of it’s most popular shows. 

          Lance Bass, a former singer in the boy band N’SYNC, announced that he is gay back in 2006, I believe.  I think that if ABC took a chance to shock viewers by allowing such a trouncing on the mainstream traditional family values they would stand to lose not only sponsors; but, ratings as well.  The sponsors themselves could potentially risk loosing lots of money.  Public opinion carrys alot of weight with television…and with the networks struggling and competing against cable programming…i wonder if they would truly risk such a decision.

        Also, it seems to me that there would also be a question of an unfair advantage of having two partners with the combined physical strength that two male dancers would have, over the traditional dancing partners of one male and one female.  I doubt that the other teams would feel that they were evenly matched in comparison.

          The new season will begin on September 22, 2008.  Who knows whether ABC even seriously considered this idea; or, whether it has been put into the media by the organizations that try to push the gay/lesbian agenda on television.  People are people no matter what and deserve respect, not hate; often these issues push hot buttons…however, i do think that Cheryl Burke was right…I don’t think America is ready, willing, or able to be participants in watching the show if it violates their personal beliefs.

          The question is, Dancing with the Stars…could they, would they, or should they, do something so contrary to traditional family values as to allow a gay man to compete with a dance professional of the same sex during a prime time television show that many families watch with their children? 

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