Anyway, I've searched my favorite news sources (including the BBC, News Au, Xinhua, RTV, and Al-Jazeera) and found a few things of note.
First, as it is coming up very frequently on FB, my two cents on the Paula Deen fooferall. As far as I can figure it, you have a deposition out there (which Laurie has read, and thus is my fact source) that dug deep into her family business, and especially cut hard on brother Bubba and issues of sexual harassment and racism. However, ALL you hear on the media is Paula Deen used racial slurs.
May I be so insensitive to say, so what? People of her generation, location, and ethnicity have done that for years. Many of us were brought up in homes where "Darky" was a descriptive and not a perjorative, and quite frankly our parents did a pretty punk job of explaining how a "darky" might feel about it. I am going to be painfully honest here, so if you are racially sensitive, scroll down one paragraph. My Dad's best friend at work was an African-American gentleman who was wiser than most of the A-A community's leaders of today. He knew that "nigger" meant -originally- "lazy, or worthless". He always told my Dad, "Woody, it's not the blacks (referring to the crime, the thuggery, that they saw even back then), it's the G.D. niggers." We simply put a different spin on the meaning back then.
And those were the meanings, the thought processes we grew up with. Have you totally rejected and purged yourself of all the negative things you learned in childhood? If so, congratulations. If not, do you find it amusing, as I do, all of the people out there casting the first stone at Paula, when they are TOTALLY ignoring the context in which the revelation was made?
Even people who should know better (Stand up, Herman Cain!) are posting as if the SOLE point of the deposition was a few wrong phrases. So, my stand on the Deen affair is simple: read up or shut up.
In other news I collected, a woman died in a NY exercise club while Nero fiddled. You see, the woman collapsed in the ladies locker room behind a locked stall door. Another member rushed to the front desk to get help, where the sole employee in the building informed her he couldn't do anything because he "wasn't allowed in the ladies' room", and wouldn't even so much as call 911. He did offer, however, that a female co-worker would be there soon. He however, continued to stare blankly at a computer screen. Still doing so 41/2 minutes later when a second member finally called 911. Still doing so 8 minutes later when the other employee showed up and rushed in to help her. And presumably still doing so when the woman was pronounced dead just under an hour after she entered the restroom. Planet Fitness, the club's owner, has had only one comment- telling the deceased's lawyer that they are not liable. Wanna bet on that one?
Another story from Nain's legal report shows the Supreme Court deciding 5-4 that a black woman could not file a Title VII civil rights complaint against Ball State because the white employee who was harassing her was not (technically) a supervisor. According to the majority, a "supervisor", to meet the definition, has to have the power "to effect a ‘significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits"- and this woman, whether she was a de facto supervisor or not, could not do any of those. Thus, the University is off the hook. I guess (cribbing from BSU's ad slogans) that education isn't the only thing "redefined" in Muncie, IN.
And while I do have a lot of sympathy and my prayers are with the people of Calgary, who had to abandon downtown over the weekend due to the two rivers going through the city "looking more like an ocean," in the words of its mayor, I am a bit curious about not only the lack of concern over the more massive flooding in Central Europe, but the total ignoring of even worse flooding in Northern India and Nepal. At least 8,000 are dead just in India, perceived inaction may overthrow the government in Nepal, and nary a word in our local media.
And while we here in the land of pollution, environmental unfriendliness, and global warming are griping about the heat and humidity (or MacGyvering solutions to broken AC, like our friends at A Beer For The Shower (you really need to check this out!), Not a word for the poor people of Malaysia.
Thanks to poor farmers in Sumatra using slash and burn clearing methods in their former forests, half the nation is under a smoke cloud which has put up to twice the amount of pollutants into their sky as are considered hazardous. Indonesia is trying to round up the illegal burners and put out the fires, but the nation which got the 7th most rainfall of all measured nations in the world in 2011 (over 106 inches) is waiting on rain to come to put it out.
And of course, the biggest news of the day is good ol' Sylvio Berlusconi, former Italian top dog and all-around gadabout, was sentenced to seven years in prison for hiring a lady of the evening who wasn't quite a lady yet (IOW, an underage prostitute). I'm sure he'll get a nice comfy cell somewhere in Cinque Terre.
|Damnable cell... every day, the same view...|
And we wrap it up in Russia, where a local government deputy tried to get out of a fatal hit-and-run by loading the deceased into his vehicle before running! Police quickly pulled him over (Oh for the good old days when you could send witnesses to the gulag, eh?) and he is currently awaiting charges. The only thing that makes this story far fetched was that "alcohol is not believed to be involved." In Russia? Cahmahn!!!!!!!