Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tricameral Legislature

Just musing from my ivory tower. Just musing on the current political climate. Just musing, just musing, neither right nor left because I never discuss politics in public or on blogs. Just musing.

Here's an idea. Why not have three houses of the legislative branch?

Why not have a legislative house for the rest of us? Call it the Humble House. Its members will be called Humble Persons.

Humble Person: an elected official that represents the average Joe or Jane (You figure out the legalese).

Qualifications: A Humble Person shall have the same qualifications as a U.S. Representative, except that: the Humble Person must have attained the age of 35, have one or more dependent children living in the household with at least one between the ages of 2 and 17; and have an annual household income of no greater than 5 percent of the median income of the Humble Person's state. (You figure out the legalese).

Distribution: The number of Humble Persons representing each state shall be determined based upon a formula: 1 half of 1 percent of the total number of middle class U.S. citizens residing in that state; furthermore, there shall be no fewer than 3 and no greater than 10 Humble Persons representing each state; and at least one of the Humble Persons from each state must have an annual income that is at or below the poverty level.(You figure out the legalese).

Powers: All bills concerning social issues passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives must also pass the Humble House before reaching the Chief Executive's desk. From time to time, the Humble House shall create a bill when it seems that the other two houses need direction on a particular issue. The Humble Persons shall partake in the approving of Supreme Court Justices and all presidential appointments. The Humble House shall have no input into matters of foreign policy, international trade, or war, except in cases where over 1 percent of people are subject to job loss or 1 percent of people under 21 are called up to fight (You figure out the legalese).

Salary: Current household income plus 5 Percent of their current household income. In addition, all household bills of the Humble Person shall be paid by the Government, not including healthcare, life insurance, income taxes, or college tuition and fees. All travel and other expenses associated with the Humble House shall be paid for by the government. This salary comes with no annual raise. All Humble Persons are encouraged to remain in the real world. (You figure out the legalese).

Term: 4 years. Election period shall coincide with Presidential elections so that the Humble House Representatives shall be attached to a particular President.

Just musing.

But seriously.

We have the Senate, and all Senators are smart and good people, but ALL Senators are so far removed from the rest of us living in the real world.

We have the House of Representatives, and all Representatives are smart and good people, but ALL Representatives are far removed from the rest of us living in the real world.

Ask a senator: “How much does a gallon of milk cost?” Watch what happens.

Every single member of the U.S. Legislature is a good person, but All of them, All of them, ALL of them are so out of touch with the American people. We elect them to represent us, and they do so to the best of their abilities, but how can they do that with even the barest minimum of success?

How can they represent us if they aren’t like us?

The America government is a government of the people for the people by the people. So where are the people in government?

In the Humble House.

Just musing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dennis, starring Kim Kold

Of Mice and Elephants

Preston L. Allen



The film, DENNIS, demonstrates to an extreme and absurd extent the results of a domineering parent on an adult child. The shrewish mother controls the protagonist Dennis by making him feel guilty and dependent on her when in fact it is she who is dependent on him. She is lonely, it seems, because she has no male companion. Early in the film, Dennis shyly tells her, “I’m going to the movies with Peter.” This is not true. He is actually going on a date with a girl Peter has set him up with, but he must lie rather than tell his mother he is going out with a girl. The lie he tells is shown to us as a fib, a “naughty” little boy’s way of deceiving. You can’t see his hands the way the scene is shot, but you can imagine his fingers crossed as he fibs. His mother responds by saying, “It’s okay for you to stand people up like that.” We can see the result this has on the hulking Dennis now completely immersed in the role of the “little boy” who has disappointed his mom with his “sneaky,” dishonest behavior. To make up for is misdeed, he hangs his head guiltily and volunteers to put away the groceries—one of his “duties” she reminds him. In their cramped tiny kitchen, it’s hard to miss that he towers over her--she looks tiny and frail beneath him. If he doesn’t move out of the way, she cannot pass to go into her room—but move out of the way he does. The contrast in their size in this scene is emphasized by the camera angles, and it is important as the director wants to illustrate that a mother of this type can take away the manhood of even someone as physically imposing as this bodybuilder. And thus the mouse controls the elephant much to our surprise and amazement.

This emasculating due to guilt extends beyond the home as is demonstrated by his awkwardness in social situations in general, but especially around members of the opposite sex. Not only does he shrink before his little mouse of a mother, but he is now exposed to other little mice who can sense his condition and victimize him further. This is illustrated quite effectively in the scenes in the restaurant and at the party. At the restaurant he is a disappointment in the eyes of his date, Patricia, because he drinks Coca Cola rather than alcohol, an adult’s beverage. “I’m in training,” he lies. (It is because his mother scolds him when he drinks we will learn in a later scene.) Also there is a noticeable smirk on his date’s face when he tells another transparent fib when asked if he lives alone. “Yes,” he tells her, averting his eyes. You can see in her face that she doubts his words and is debating whether to call his bluff by asking to go home with this enormous “little child man” for a night of “adult” activities. How amusing that would’ve been.

Instead she invites him to a party and he agrees to go, but first he must take the padlock off his bike—his mode of transportation in a country concerned about the environment? Perhaps. In this film, however, it is just one more framing of him as a child—a giant on a child’s mode of transportation. In the scene at the party, he is made to undress and dance by three more little mice for their amusement. When the “real” adult males appear, they are little mice too compared to him in size, but like all mice they sense his weakness and victimize him as well by laughing derisively at him calling him a “lump.” (Of cheese?) No wonder the giant flees down the stairs and out of the apartment.

Finally, the giant “little boy” cannot take any more of this abuse and returns home. He has tried to escape his mom by running away and it hasn’t worked. The world outside his cage is too dangerous and so he returns to the only place where he feels safe. Now he is so humbled by shame and guilt that he cannot face her, but he must take her scolding if he is to regain her protection. She asks him how the movie was, knowing full well he did not go there. Had he gone there, would his shirt be inside out? She observes too that he has been drinking—he is becoming more like his father, an alcoholic (but perhaps a real man?) She goes to bed, leaving the child thoroughly chastised by her insinuations. Wracked with guilt, he goes into his bedroom, takes off his shirt, again revealing his massive physique, but after a while we see him in her room where he asks timidly, “Can I sleep with you?” What does he mean by that? No, this is not incest, but much worse. The mouse says, “Yes, you may,” rolls over, and pulls back the sheet. And the elephant climbs in—so much like a mom and her giant “little” boy, lying safe beside her.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Inter-Nuts

What happens when someone on the internet makes threats but no form of authority is there to take action? And what happens when someone from the federal government takes too much action and the other person’s privacy has been violated. The issue of whether or not government should be allowed to regulate information on the internet has been very controversial. However, the federal government should absolutely be permitted to regulate information on the internet on the internet while adhering to very strict guidelines and rules.

Every day, people are surfing the web, whether it be school related, a personal question, or even shopping. There are millions of websites out there, some being immensely dangerous or inappropriate. Allowing the federal government to regulate information on the internet will provide an effective way of either halting the behavior or further monitoring to ensure that nothing suspicious has been occurring on the website. In doing so, websites that target children for the benefit of child molesters can be taken down immediately and the appropriate consequences will be given. There are so many websites that either post inappropriate things or lure certain groups of people to them. A recent study showed that 79 percent of Americans believe that the government should do something about the issue of dangerous strangers making contact with children. This same study showed that 62 percent of Americans agree that government should be involved when regarding false advertising (Blendon, Benson, Altman, Rosenbaum, Flournoy, Kim 47). The truth is, the web surfer cannot be certain of who is behind that false advertisement. It could be simply harmless or it could result in the stealing of someone’s identity.

Surprisingly, more Americans are worried that the government will not involve itself enough in the issue of pornography rather than the possibility of the government involving itself too much in other issues. As Americans, we give up some rights to receive protection but how much of our privacy are we giving away when the government is allowed to regulate the internet? Although it can be very beneficial, the reality is that there are also many negative factors. For instance, as unfortunate as it is, there are corrupt officials that may take advantage of this opportunity. This is where the issue of boundaries and guidelines come in to play because without them, the allowance of regulation could get out of hand. Even if it is not intentional, officials may take things too far and violate someone’s privacy. There needs to be rules put in place to limit the amount of perusing that the government does through people’s private things. Another way to prevent the government from getting away with looking through personal information that is out of bounds is to notify the person that their things have been looked through (Stanton).

Another beneficial aspect of having the government regulate the internet is that they would be able to catch criminals by monitoring certain websites. In particular, there was a case where officers put a fake advertisement on the internet to target men who were suspected of prostitution. They received several hits and proceeded to monitoring the website over time. This allowed them to catch multiple people who asked for the price of specific sexual acts (BRIEF). Allowing government to monitor websites like this is beneficial in the regard that it is easier and more efficient to catch people committing illegal acts.

In retrospect, allowing the government to regulate the internet is very rewarding if they adhere to the guidelines. Many cases have proven that it has saved lives and caught criminals. However, it has also violated the privacy of innocent people. Therefore, guidelines should be put in place in order to prevent the government from crossing boundaries that they should not be crossing. As long as these strict rules are followed, then regulation of the internet should be enacted and performed.

  Works Cited Blendon, Robert, et. al. "Whom to Protect and How? The Public, the Government, and the Internet Revolution?" The Brookings Review, 2001. Print.

Stanton, Lynn. "Government seen as 'bully pulpit' for data privacy, internet of things." Cybersecurity Policy Report 24 Aug. 2015. General OneFile. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

"BRIEF: Simi Valley police use phony online ad to catch men seeking sex." Ventura County Star [Ventura, CA] 19 Dec. 2012. General OneFile. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. (MDC student M. Hernandez)

Was It Good for You?

Should certain kinds of ads be banned in the interest of health/morality/annoyance for example, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription meds? Yes I have to agree 100% percent. There are a lot of things on T.V I would not want my daughter to see. A thirty second or one minute clip can change her whole life and mind forever. For example the new M&M’s commercial is very offensive to me as a mom. If you haven’t seen it, just imagine the brown M&M in bed with its shirt off next to a half naked woman, whose husband surprises her. What’s up with that?

I would not want my daughter to think its okay to sleep in the bed under the sheet’s with a candy perhaps, in a sexual way. I’d take that very offensive if she thoughts that way acceptable. Also, I would like to keep cigarettes ads off the TV. As of now they have commercials running daily about people that shouldn’t be smoking, good advertising but can go about it a different way. I know that these ads are designed to keep people from smoking rather than encouraging it, but someone shouldn’t have to peel off their face to get the point across that smoking can cause skin cancer and other problems. This one’s heart is in the right place, perhaps, but it takes it to the point of annoyance.

I believe there are a lot of commercials that should banned from the internet. For example, you would never see an abortion commercial on TV, simply because it’s not a friendly conversational topic that everyone wants to see. The point I’m trying to make is that, women and some men still know without the ads and commercials exactly where to get a safe abortion if needed, or do they? I think it’s common sense, but maybe not. Nevertheless, it is an annoying ad and certainly offensive to many religious groups.

(An excerpt from MDC student J. Holt)