Saturday, January 19, 2013

There have been many firsts surrounding the Presidential inauguration from times past.

Pam Panchak / Post-Gazette

Ruth and Bob Sasser, (click here) left, from Upper St. Clair and Marva Williams from Penn Hills assemble care packages for military families in Pittsburgh at the Homewood AME Zion church in Homewood as part of the National Day of Service in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1809. Dolley Madison held the first inaugural ball with James on her arm. The tickets were $4.00 and 400 people attended. Given the cost of inflation that was a very expensive date. The gala was considered a great event for the country.

In 1909, Helen Taft became first, First Lady to ride in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. Previously, the outgoing and elected Presidents rode in the parade together. First Lady Taft decided she would take a seat next to William Howard and a new tradition was born.

In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was considered first to dress for success. Televisions were relatively new to the country and weren't common place until the late 1950s. The televisions in homes were black and white. So, the First Lady wanted to be easy to find in a crowd of dark coats, so she wore a pale gray-beige wool coat with two oversized buttons and a matching pill box hat. 

It wasn't until 1965 the First Lady held the Bible for the swearing in of the President. The First Couple was Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Byrd. Previous to Lady Byrd, the bible was held by a clerk of the Supreme Court assisting the Chief Justice.

And last, the Bible was not always the book of choice for the inauguration's swearing in. In 1825, John Quincy Adams, of the Democratic - Republican Party, swore on a book of law with the intention that he was swearing on the Constitution of the United States of America. Theodore Roosevelt did not use a Bible or book of any kind when taking the oath of office in 1901.

So, given tradition is often dictated or noted surrounding the Presidential Inauguration, the National Day of Service in commemoration of Dr. King may very well become a new tradition in the USA. At the very least, it will be noteworthy to history.

Mark Sanford has a very poor track record in governing.

Mark Sanford, when he was found to be in South America, became a large disappointment to a group of people well invested in his career. Now, one has to ask why would anyone be that upset over a single governor, but, that power structure behind Sanford exits. Sanford wasn't going to disappear forever. It was written in the sanskrit.

Posted: Apr. 21, 2010 | 11:11 a.m.
Updated: Apr. 22, 2010 | 7:57 a.m.
...Nine of the 11 worst governors (click here) in CREW's opinion are Republicans, including Schwarzenegger and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Democratic Govs. David Paterson of New York and Bill Richardson of New Mexico also are on the list.
Peter Bjork, a spokesman for the organization, said CREW reviewed the records of all 50 governors in developing the list.
"We are nonpartisan," he said. "We go after both parties equally. If any Democrat or Republican governors were left off the list, we would like to hear suggestions."
CREW calls itself a nonprofit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.
Like Gibbons, two other governors on the worst list, have been accused of infidelity....

Sanford didn't win by a huge margin when first elected as Governor. It wasn't a squeaker, but, it was only about 5 or 6 percent. The point is his chance of winning in the US House again is going to be effected by his lying and infidelity. It was believed Sanford won his governorship because of a fund raising advantage, not the content of his character or his policy agenda for South Carolina. Sanford can be defeated with sufficient funding for the other candidate.

Sanford also had a high unemployment rate, something like 9.5%. He refused the monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He was confronted by the South Carolina legislature after which he relented and requested $700 million from the ARRA.

Sanford stayed through the second term of his Governorship, but, after his infidelity was learned of it didn't help his approval ratings. Oddly or maybe not so oddly, the longer he stayed in the Governorship the more his approval rating dropped.

By fitsnews
August 27, 2010
...According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, (click here) Sanford’s approval rating currently stands at 47 percent. Meanwhile, 51 percent of South Carolinians disapprove of his job performance. That’s obviously not a favorable position from which to launch another bid for public office – although multiple sources close to the governor tell FITS that’s exactly what Sanford is hoping to do....

...Oh well, guess that whole “dishonesty thing” (a.k.a. “I was hiking the Appalachian Trail“) continues to dog him...

The 'thing' with infidelity is the understanding it is an insubordination to the marriage. It is not accepted with acclaim in the USA. Most Americans find infidelity a failure of character. While most people accept infidelity as a personal issue with most elected officials, it does taint the character of a person asking to be re-elected or elected to office again.

The infidelity is not the only character issue with Sanford either. While he was indulging his sexual passions for a woman, he disappeared. People didn't know where he was. If the legislator so desired, they could have impeached him for that reason alone.

Sanford's character issues go beyond that. Speaking to his 'Star Chamber' elections, he abused his power in office for personal benefit and those of his friends. He also violated campaign finance laws when failing to report in-kind contributions and using campaign monies for personal use. Wasn't it he that had to pay back monies to the state or something like that. 

But, he is a fairly shady guy. He really should not be returned to government. If the former first couple of South Carolina is having financial trouble in providing for their comfort and their children and his return to office would satisfy that problem (pure speculation, but, not unreasonable to believe); Jenny Sanford should have run. She has far greater dignity and moral content than her ex-husband. Seriously. She is a heck of a mom, too.

Sandy Hook Actors, Department of Homeland Security Conducted Training in...

This is a set of media insults propagated by Pro-Gun Zealots stating the parents appearing for interviews were "Crisis Actors," from Homeland Security (click here).

Some of this mess is on Facebook and yes, people are actually buying into this. They don't care there are children dead, they are focusing on the anti-government theme to promote defeat of any new gun laws.

How is it the deceased get lost to this level of distraction? There is no reverence for the dead?
The American society is defined by the individual. In that, is the understanding we are all responsible for our own actions. We also define our culture as freedom. The individual is provided a great deal of freedom, including bullying. Actions, even within a great deal of freedom, have consequences. Here again, actions are a part of individual responsibility within our culture of freedom. No different than a car accident whereby there are consequences for 'real property.' Individual actions are like car accidents when they collide and cause emotional and psychological damage.

Living in a human body is an array chemical reactions, including what occurs within our nervous systems and thoughts. They are biochemical interactions, so therefore, there is a physical component to psychological damage. Dispair and stress is not simply intangible. It is real. It is palpable and there are actions by others that can impact the psychi. Fact. Not fiction.

24 Vand. L. Rev. 217 (1970-1971) Civil Liability for Causing Suicide: A Synthesis of Law and Psychiatry; Schwartz, Victor E. 

If suicide is a deliberate act, (click here) intentional act by an individual, how can one person be "civilly liable for the suicide of another?" The paradox suggested by this question has caused many courts to shy away from imposing civil liability for causing suicide. In certain situations, however, a growing number of courts are permitting recovery. Since suicide is on the increase both in numerical terms and in rank as a cause of death in the United States, it can be expected that even more tort claims will be brought by parties attempting to fix civil responsibility on someone other than their beloved decedent.

There are levels of stress that are somewhat invisible. Psychiatrists over the decades have established a profound understanding that interaction and actions of people are not spontaneous, so much as a product of our physiology and life experiences. Nature vs. Nurture. Are we one or the other or is PERSONALITY a combination of both?

Personality is so very tangible in psychology there are Personality Disorders considered diagnosis of which treatment is established. So, the idea a person is set on a path that will ultimately result in a prescribed outcome is completely invalid. People know that as a matter of living, however, there are sound practices of science and applied science called medicine and psychology to prove it. Proof after all is where our courts are established. Justice has to have concrete definition in the USA.

Posted: 01/18/2013 10:11 pm
Aaron Swartz committed suicide last week. (click here)  He was 26, a genius and my friend. Not a really good friend, but someone I had worked with off and on for 11 years, liked a lot, had laughed with frequently, occasionally shaken my head over and deeply admired. When I first met him he looked like this....

Life is complicated. Not only is it complicated, it can be acted on to be more or less complicated by dynamics of living. All that living is a dynamic chemical soup of chemicals and BALANCE.

Thoughts can be directed by imbalances in thinking. The most stressful times in a person's life is often when new things happen. We are surprised and adrenaline kicks in. Fight or flight. Right? So, the human body is set for survival. Often, our visual fields are more important to our survival instincts. People involved in stressful work, such as soldiers train themselves to be reliant on other aspects of senses of hearing, touch and the like. So, the mind is an incredible organ. It dominates the outcomes of the body. There is value in mental health and RESPECTING the limits of the human condition.

The human condition can be acted on by stressors out of control of a person's life. In 2008, the global population experienced a huge surprise. Alarming. Survival in a civilized world came at populous of many nations like a runaway railroad train. There was dearly nothing anyone could do to stop it. It was happening and in the USA and in the global community we were graced in our lives with a new President with dedication and the ABILITY to take on this huge challenge.

Within the USA, why would President Obama seek to extend unemployment relief, support students, provide food stamps and encourage government spending? He didn't create the problem and by every measure in the USA individuals are responsible for themselves and their lives. He did so because without compassion and identifying the stressors the American people were facing there would a great deal of adverse outcome for them. Right? So, a sense of well being, even as far as where the next meal is coming from is very important.

I don't know the particulars of living for Aaron Swartz, but, he was a human being. I am familiar with his passion. I am not going to debate his stand on a very important issue. Freedom. Freedom of speech is reliant on education. So, there is merit to his focus.

He death was not expected by anyone in his social circles. In his personal life. It was a surprise. Some of the most determined suicides are unexpected and very insidious. It is that insidious nature most important to understand in knowing where the actions of a prosecutor caused Aaron his life. And, yes, I stated 'caused Aaron his life.'

Legal authority is powerful. It is as powerful as a runaway economic train. If that level of stress could cause individuals within a society adverse outcomes, it will cause a person despair leading to suicide. 

People die of suicide for what others perceive as silly. Life is suppose to be so much more valuable than anything else. But, to those effected by stressors life itself becomes less valuable and less valuable as they realize they are unworthy of it.

Suicide is not a minor issue. It is a mental health issue. Stressors causing deterioration of mental health are very important to understand. Those that administer the law are suppose to be well educated. Educated well enough to know what their actions are causing in reaction to those prosecutions.

Aaron Swartz was very high profile. He was an activist. He was a leader. His responsibility to his peers was huge. There is every indication the stressors in his life were out of control to the point where any person experiencing them would result in deterioration of mental health.

The prosecutor in this case knew exactly what she was doing and how hard she was pushing. He was a non-violent protester to a huge institutionalized paradigm with nearly impossible odds to change. His actions were to bring about focus and movement within society in a way to benefit the entire of society and not destroy it.

It is the prosecutor causing Aaron Swartz death. The prosecutor needs to be removed from her position, investigated and assessed to her ability to actually handle the public's interest for their best outcome. She is irresponsible within her capacity, abusive to people in her charge. Her prosecution and/or civil torts need to go forward. The case is there to be made.