In light of the recent extension of the Patriot Act (another four years of the authorized spying on our own citizens) I've come to realize how insanely optimistic the human spirit is, to the point of naivete. I am no exception. I am neither Democrat nor Republican, yet I've been struggling for the past few months to make sense of our President's actions.
Over the weekend, a video was sent to me about this very topic. So I've posted it for my loyal readers who actually give my stories and postings credit. Because I love and care about you all.
Live. Think. Evolve.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Vintage Contemporaries 1993
With the backdrop of 1940s Louisiana, a young black man called Jefferson finds himself on trial for murder - the only survivor of a shootout from a robbery attempt gone wrong. He claims never to have participated in the shooting, and his own lawyer argues that Jefferson is so dim that he was incapable of plotting such a scheme.
"What justice would there be to take this life? Justice, gentlemen? Why, I would just as soon put a hog in the electric chair as this."
After the jury quickly brings forth a guilty verdict, Grant Wiggins, a restless school teacher who regrets coming back home to teach, is solicited by his aunt and Jefferson's godmother to visit Jefferson to instruct him on how to be a man before his death sentence is carried out. Through repeat visits, a bond of defiance and courage emerges.
I found both characters, Grant and Jefferson to be insanely frustrating. Jefferson is not exactly retarded, but neither is he a model brainiac. Far from it. Grant, however, seems to be an intelligent man with an immature and cynical scope of the world. Following the story, I was struggling to see how the schooled man/boy would teach the death row man/boy how to command dignity and respect.
In the end, the journey to the resisted mission of getting through to Jefferson was so touching that it eventually moved me to tears.
I recommend this book because of the author's ability to build and display three dimensional characters that the reader is able to develop emotional ties to. It's a very good read.
Live. Think. Evolve.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
President Thein Sein of Burma has recently signed a "general amnesty" that is meant to be viewed as an act of humanitarianism. It is an attempt to improve Burma's international image.
Under the newly inked amnesty, death sentences are reduced to life terms and other prison terms are reduced by one year. One human rights watch group calls the act a "sick joke" since some political prisoners have been handed 65-year terms.
According to the Associated Press, almost 15,000 prisoners are being released, however it is speculated by the BBC Burmese service that only 30 of the 15,000 are political prisoners. Other human rights groups have reported the number to be about 2,200. The vast majority of those released are instead, common criminals.
The US has renewed its sanctions against Burma, and the release of the prisoners came on the heels of a UN envoy visit by Vijay Nambia, who urged the release of political prisoners.
Former Burmese soldier, Myo Myint, said, "Then I didn't know the difference between people showing respect and acting out of fear."
On HBO, a documentary titled "Burma Soldier" airs this evening. According to Time Magazine, it follows the story of a former Burmese soldier who joined the military as a teen, but as an adult, joined the military opposition.