Friday, May 19, 2006

Where is the Ethics Board?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, ethics means

"A set of principles of right conduct. The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession."

Generally that is taken to imply the more broad description that ethics means: "A theory or a system of moral values."

So, it goes without saying that racism, hate speech or slanderous comments would normally qualify as being unethical.

If I were a white politician and made the following claim about my black opponent:
"Seventy percent of all inmates in our prisons are black, so you can assume my opponent will commit a crime in office."
The Ethics Boards would have my head - not to mention my political career would be over.

If the roles were reversed and I was a black candidate and said about my white opponent:
"Ninety five percent of all government embezzlement and fraud is committed by white males, so you can assume my opponent will defraud you."
I would likewise be punished by Ethics Boards, the Press and the public.

And yet in the small community of Mariposa California, State Assembly Representative Candidate Bill Conrad, is running the following ad campaign against his opponent, Tom Berryhill.
Tom Berryhill doesn't have the HEART for State Assembly

The average lifespan of a heart transplant patient is 7 years.
(Berryhill's heart transplant was 6 years ago)

Heart transplant patients take anti-rejection medications for life.
(These medications weaken the immune system making the recipient more susceptible to illness and death)

Severe stress SIGNIFICANTLY shortens the life expectency of heart transplant recipients.

Can you imagine the costs to taxpayers for a Special Election when poor health renders him unable to fulfill his duties of office?
Yes, you read that all correctly. Bill Conrad's campaign strategy is:
"Vote for me because my opponent had a heart transplant and he's going to die in office - and that'll cost you money."
And even though both candidates are Republican, this message apparently has not been publicly criticized by the Republican Party itself.

Amazing... absolutely amazing.

Where are the Ethics Boards now?

But a better question may be, what will the voters do with this blatantly unethical candidate?

Someone who associates with, and supports the activities of, another professional who acts unethically is also usually deemed to be unethical.

So in that light, we can safely say that in California's Mariposa area anyone who votes for Bill Conrad is, by association, unethical. Let's hope the local party officials make a very clear public statement of disgust about this issue and withhold any current or future support for Bill Conrad. Otherwise, they're willfully jumping into the ethics cesspool as well.

If he gets more than two votes, it's a sad statement on American politics...


Monday, May 15, 2006

The Mystery of Duke

The last month or two has seen both Duke Cunningham and several Duke lacrosse players indicted for felony acts. Not a good time to be a Duke. Thankfully "The Duke" himself isn't alive today or we'd probably have a trifecta capped with accusations of his questionable sexuality.

But one of these puzzle pieces has me stumped - and that point is driven even further home with today's indictment of a third Duke lacrosse player in the supposed beating and rape of a young black stripper. Sorry, I'm not going to say "exotic dancer" because, well, let's get real - she's a stripper. We're not talking belly dancing or flamingo dancing here - we're talking pole dancing, in the nude, for horny 19-23 year old guys. It is what it is.

But before everyone gets up in arms that I'm about to make light of a woman's rape based on her profession, or insinuating that she somehow deserves being raped, let me stop you right there and say unequivocally: "Nope, that's not the case - so don't even get started on that tangent."

So, why do I bring up the whole stripper thing then? Simple - the fact that she's being portrayed as a "dancer" in the media is indicative of the fact that presentations here are already being manipulated and the truth may be farther away from the "story" than we think.

Yes the Duke lacrosse team proved they are an idiotic group of immature males on many levels, not the least of which was having strippers come to perform for their party. Yeah, well that fits a large majority of the male collegiate population. That in itself is poor judgment, but not criminal behavior. And that alone does not make them rapists.

Nor does the simple accusation of rape.

And yet, they have been convicted in the court of the media and public opinion of the crime of being rich arrogant prejudiced spoiled kids who could easily perpetrate this heinous crime on a struggling underprivileged yet talented young dancer for whom they obviously had both class and race disdain.

But wait - these kids aren't all rich kids. And the accuser isn't Miss America or a talented artist. These are college kids and (according to reports) a drunk or high stripper.

And... something's wrong in Denmark here.

The facts simply don't gel - four key facts in particular. For a beating and a rape, there are apparently no signs of a beating and a rape, with the exception of semen found inside the accuser. But the male DNA found inside the accuser (determined to be recently deposited) was not the DNA of ANY team member of the lacrosse team - and they were all tested not once, but twice.

Secondly, photos of the evening show date stamps which do not validate the accuser's claims. And, while time/date stamps can be altered on digital cameras, they generally would need to be altered "prior" to actually taking the photos. So this whole thing would have had to be a concerted planned conspiracy from the start.

Thirdly, one of those indicted was even photographed at an ATM machine (by the ATM camera) miles away at the same time the accuser says he was brutalizing her.

And fourthly, we have what appears to be (on record) a previous false rape accusation by this same accuser several years ago. While that doesn't prove anything, it is important in light of all the existing physical evidence - which points to the fact that there was in fact no rape at the hands of the Duke lacrosse team.

And that is what leaves the biggest mystery of all: Just what evidence does the Prosecutor have that no one else seems to have any knowledge of? What evidence is there that now, with round two of DNA results coming back negative, he indicts a third person for a rape no one seems able to prove happened?

Remember that the police arrived on the scene after the other dancer called 911 (due to racial epithets being exchanged), so it's not like this all took place days apart and evidence of a rape may have passed.

So, what are we missing here? Will some earth-breaking information be revealed by the prosecution? Or will this truly be a case of he-said/she-said? Best speculation says it will be the latter.

So, should we allow people to be tried and convicted in the media before anything has been proven, based solely on the accusations of a single person? We've already seen the University take its hits, as have the individuals accused. Is this justified?

The bottom line is of course that all accusations should be taken seriously - but the rights and names of the accused should not be permanently tarnished based solely on the accusation. It's a difficult balancing act to be sure.

But if the media convicts an accused individual, and if cases like this turn out to be a case of fraudulent accusations, this does nothing but grave harm to the future plight of women who truly have been raped or victimized.

It should be quite interesting to see how this case plays out. Let's just hope, in the end, the truth and the victim(s) become known.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ad nauseum

Hmmm... so it's been a month since my last post. A lot longer than that if you talk about "consistent" posting.

But I've felt a little under the weather...

Although not much seems to have changed in the mainstream world. And that's part of the problem.

Snips of Reality was never meant to be a daily political blog. But wow, was it ever easy to get sucked right in... The whole concept of Snips was to frequently look at things that seemed outlandishly humorous or disturbing and try to bring a little "reality" to the table.

The current state of our Union unfortunately has become just such an outlandish state of circumstances. But, it's getting harder and harder to bring reality to it. People still really believe that Iraq was behind 9/11, that we found Weapons of Mass Destruction and that the President has told the truth about everything. We're not talking about a nation of apathetic citizens who say "whatever" here - we're talking about people who say "You go GW!" It's utterly mind boggling.

And so... for many weeks my mind has indeed been boggled.

I have decided to let those eloquent political bloggers out there, such as our friends at The Hue and Cry espouse the daily mantra. Snips will instead make a return to topics that may be a bit off the beaten path.

Yes, I know... this post is a blog about a blog. A blog about how banging my head against a wall actually started to hurt. How screaming at the top of my lungs with no one listening did nothing but give me a sore throat. How expecting people to wake up and see the reality of what's happening is no more about to happen than for a daydream to come true.

That has been my reality. And it's made me ill.

Not physically or mentally, but intellectually ill. It has made me question my friends, my family, my faith, my Country and humanity as a whole. Are people really closed minded to the point that they don't even listen anymore? They don't even consider anything but their own personal niche of a viewpoint? Are people really this... this... Oh hell, I can't even say it.

Yep, I guess they are.

My feeling of nauseu runs to my soul. If there were ever a case for medical marijuana, this is it...

Life is short. Too short to waste it trying to explain the universe to someone who has no intention of "getting it" - someone who doesn't even try.

So, it's on to other topics of interest than world politics. Not that I'll never comment again... just don't expect daily updates on the White House here...

Whew... glad to get that out.

Thanks for the therapy. I think I'm feeling a little better already...