We are asked to forgive the enemy or opposition in so many different ways, but should we? Sometimes it’s because the enemy of the people seeks forgiveness or excuse of their wrongdoing, and at other times it’s because we feel that forgiveness is necessary for us to move forward. Regardless of the case, the question of forgiveness is a running theme in our lives. Heit & Cheri kick off this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory with a discussion of the recent GoDaddy web hosting service outage, and quickly move on to other subjects.

Other topics discussed include Jay-Z and his recent comments about Occupy Wall Street, the Democratic National Convention and speeches by Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, the idea of voting online, term limits for Congress, presidential campaign fund raising, the case of a woman murdered by her boyfriend after revealing her HIV positive status after a sexual encounter, Jennifer Hudson saying that she forgives the murderer of her mother, brother, and nephew, and more!

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Segment 1

  • Discussion of GoDaddy’s major outage that occurred recently. The hacker group, Anonymous, took credit for the attack, but GoDaddy says that the attack wasn’t the result of hackers.
  • Did Anonymous really take down GoDaddy’s site? Many sites were affected by the outage, so even if Anonymous did take down the site, would GoDaddy ever admit it?
  • Anyone who does something could claim to be Anonymous since they are not an official group.
  • It doesn’t really matter whether Anonymous actually was responsible for the outages. What matters is what people believe. If people believe that Anonymous did it, that bolsters their credibility.
  • Discussion about the Occupy Wall Street movement and the similarities in the professed anti-leadership structure between it and Anonymous.
  • Discussion about Jay-Z’s recent comments, stating that he didn’t really understand what the whole Occupy movement was about.
  • Jay-Z wants you to make a distinction between the 1% responsible for people losing their homes, and the 1%–like him–who are entrepreneurs. He basically said that the notion of capitalism is okay because it is a principle on which America was built.
  • Jay-Z came out to make these statements to continue to appease these business leaders who are helping to fund him, with ventures like the Nets.
  • This is why the comments by Harry Belafonte that we discussed in Episode 046: Suck Cess was spot on with his assessment of Jay-Z and Beyonce as socially irresponsible.
  • Discussion of Russell Simmons’ response to Jay-Z’s statements.
  • Russell Simmons is another rich person who calls himself an entrepreneur, while exploiting the people who he professes to love. He has successfully crafted his image to seem like he is a person who cares about people, when he is really a predator in all he does–RushCard and the GlobalGrind website are examples. Russell went to Occupy Wall Street to sell his wares, while trying to appear down with the people.
  • Jay-Z also went to the Occupy Wall Street protests to sell his goods as well. He understood the movement well enough to try to make some money from it.
  • Harry Belafonte was right, and people don’t know their history well enough to understand what he actually stood for in his prime.
  • Discussion about the Democratic National Convention.
  • Michelle Obama’s DNC speech went viral. She made a passionate speech, but in the end it is all political rhetoric. She is trying to remain in the White House. You also have to remember that the speech didn’t fall on critical ears. The crowd was a crowd of supporters.
  • Michelle Obama has given Barack Obama a lot of street credibility, and helps to make him appear as a real person–just like you. You must remember, though, that this is a stage show.
  • The purpose is to attract voters, and they do this by crafting relatable messages–by making people believe that the politicians are just like them.
  • The whole convention is supposed to be about the democratic process of selecting a candidate, but it is really like a big party for the person who’s been pre-selected.
  • At the RNC we saw them changing the rules to try to silence any dissenters, minimizing the impact of Ron Paul and his supporters.
  • Bill Clinton’s speech was also notable.
  • Clinton mentioned that Obama had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama. Discussion of Clinton’s “admiration” of Michelle Obama.
  • Clinton spoke about poverty and the poor. It’s not surprising, because the idea of Clinton growing up as the son of a poor, single mother was part of his own story when he was running for office.
  • Clinton’s mention that private insurance companies will have millions of new customers shows that the Democrats are also supporters of corporate businesses. They just spin it differently.
  • There are rich people in both the Democratic and Republican parties. They simply spin their messages differently. They both want to continue making money, and they don’t mind making it on the backs and necks of the masses of people.
  • Discussion about presidential debates. The first presidential debate is scheduled for October 3rd. They practice their sound bites ahead of time, and they use advisers to guide them on what to say in response to the debate questions.
  • The debates in the primaries are always better than those in the general election.
  • They systematically shut out third-party candidates.
  • Discussion of a man who was at the DNC saying that there should be caps on corporate profits.
  • Discussion of Barack Obama’s DNC speech. Bill Clinton’s speech was better than his. The president should have a better speech than everyone else, and that was not the case. We’d heard everything he’s said before in his stump speeches.
  • The DNC crowd was present, and the arena was full. The RNC didn’t have the same crowds.
  • Discussion of the idea that the Democrats are pushing this “middle class first” doctrine. The poor are invisible to them. Anyone who is not part of the desirable social class is invisible to them.

Segment 2

  • What if we could vote online? It would be amazing to be able to vote on all of the different bills. It would take away some of the power in Congress.
  • Part of the problem is having a small group of people representing others.
  • Even if we could vote online, there would still be the issue of majority rule.
  • Discussion of the notion of selling your vote.
  • If you could vote online, you would have direct access to the legislation, and be able to participate more directly in the process.
  • Discussion about how to manage any potential voter fraud that could arise from online voting.
  • Discussion of the possibility of Federal government IDs or voter registration cards being used to facilitate online voting. It would be cheaper in the long run.
  • It’s 2012, and it makes no sense for us to be using the same system and technology for voting as we used 200 years ago.
  • Discussion about how the general vote doesn’t really count when you consider the role of the Electoral College in our voting system.
  • Discussion of the idea of doing away with political parties. An example given is how many Blacks are social conservatives, yet almost always vote for Democrats.
  • Getting rid of political parties would allow people to look at issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than following the prescribed party ideology across the board. It allows for more individualism. People may be liberal in one area and be conservative in another area.
  • Discussion about term limits for Congress.
  • There should be term limits, because people who stay in office too long become slaves to the system and self-perpetuation in that system becomes their goal–rather than service the people. Also, people who stay in office for decades have no incentive to refresh their ideas as times change.
  • Discussion about how ill-prepared older Congress members are to make decisions about emerging technologies, and their integration into society.
  • Discussion about whether it would be a good idea for Congress seats to be determined by lottery–like jury duty.
  • Discussion about the impact of fundraising on the presidential election.
  • Discussion about the following email sent to Barack Obama supporters by Jim Messina:

    Huge news:

    We finally closed the gap. We outraised Mitt Romney and the Republicans $114 million to $111 million in August.

    Unbelievable. After three straight months of getting beat — and not by a small margin — more than 1,170,000 supporters made a donation to close the gap.

    We can’t let up for one second. These August numbers don’t reflect outside group fundraising or spending — and in that category we’re still getting thrashed.

    Right before the conventions, we were being outspent by super PACs alone in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. That margin was more than 2 to 1 in Florida, Iowa, and North Carolina.

    Already, more than 3 million grassroots donors have stepped up to make sure they can’t drown us out. According to our records, you weren’t among them. Are you going to let this campaign go by without joining in?

    Stand up and be counted — donate $5 or more today to help build on this momentum.

    We recently learned Karl Rove is rounding up the most powerful Republican donors to give all they’ve got to beat Barack Obama.

    And it’s clear the Romney campaign has been building up a cash advantage that would allow them to blanket the airwaves with negative ads even if we did close the gap. Last week a Romney-Ryan official compared their latest ad campaign to the “daisy cutter” bombs used in the Iraq War. Another adviser to the campaign said their goal from now to Election Day is to “carpet bomb” President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    After all our hard work over the past 17 months, I’ll be damned if the Romney campaign, Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and a handful of anonymous billionaires “carpet bomb” the President and end up deciding this election for millions of Americans in the last 57 days.

    We just proved we can go head to head with Romney and the Republicans and win. That can’t stop now.

    This will be a tight race to the end. Donate $5 or more today:

    [redacted]

    Together we’re proving that ordinary Americans — not special interests or super PACs — will decide this election. I’m proud to be a part of this campaign, and even more determined to make sure our hard work translates into a win for President Obama in November. I hope you feel the same way.

    Thanks for all you’re doing.

    Messina

    Jim Messina
    Campaign Manager
    Obama for America

  • The money is the problem–the idea that money is buying the election.
  • Continued discussion about the hypocrisy of Obama’s complaints about being outspent by Romney, when he wasn’t complaining back in 2008 when he had record-breaking funds raised.
  • Discussion about the Citizen’s United decision, and how some are moving to try to have it overturned.
  • Discussion about the hijacking of the Republican party, and how we are seeing new faces and messages from the group.
  • Discussion of the increase in Evangelical presence back in the 1980s.
  • Discussion of how racism plays a part in the support of Republicans.
  • Discussion about August unemployment numbers. They were basically the same as the month before. The official government line is that the economy is getting better.
  • Discussion about something that Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote. He discussed that people will give jobs to their own group first.

Segment 3

  • Discussion of the case of a woman (Cicely Bolden) who was stabbed to death by her boyfriend (Larry Dunn) after she allegedly confessed that she is HIV positive after they had sex.
  • Was it “protected” sex? Should the man be charged? Could it be a case of temporary insanity?
  • Evidence seems to support that he killed her immediately after she told him.
  • While he has some responsibility in the presumably unprotected sex, she had the obligation to tell him she was HIV positive.
  • Anyone who has a communicable disease has the obligation to tell the a person they have the condition BEFORE they engage in activity that could result in transmission of the disease.
  • Discussion of the challenges people with sexually transmitted diseases–HIV, herpes, etc.–have developing relationships.
  • The man is reported as having said, “She killed me, so I killed her.” Did she actually transmit HIV to him? Does it really matter, or does it matter what he believed at the time?
  • If he acted in the moment, it seems like there would be a good case for temporary insanity. He didn’t go home and come back. It was in the heat of the moment when he killed her.
  • Discussion about the porn star, Mr. Marcus, who concealed his positive syphilis results, and continued to knowingly have sex with women on film.
  • Discussion about the married pastor who knowingly gave HIV to women in his church.
  • We think that the man who murdered his girlfriend will probably be charged and convicted–partly because of the way the story was told. Her children came in and found her mutilated dead body upon returning home from school.
  • Discussion about websites for people to connect romantically with other people with that same condition.
  • The woman has some responsibility in her own death, and so does the man who killed her.
  • Discussion about Jennifer Hudson saying that she forgives William Balfour, the murderer of her mother, brother, and nephew. She also points out the connection between the man’s upbringing that put him in a position where he never had a chance–he was a tragedy in the making, yet is still responsible for what he did to her family.
  • As long as the conditions that allow these things to occur, these types of social consequences will continue to happen.
  • Some people say that Jennifer Hudson is wrong, but they are not in her position. Most people will never find themselves in her shoes.
  • Cheri asks herself whether she can forgive the person who murdered her brother. She doesn’t know if that is a point she’ll get to in the future, but right now, with the murder being less than a month old, it is difficult to say where she’ll be in the future.
  • Heit discusses the idea of forgiveness related to the police murdering one of his best friends. He doesn’t concentrate as much on the individual who perpetrated the killing, but rather focuses on the role of society in a broader sense.
  • If we look at all of those incremental decisions that led up to the incident, we will see that we are all responsible for the collective ills of our society. When we fail to intervene given the opportunity, then we are all responsible.
  • Discussion of the anger that fuels the desire for vengeance.
  • Discussion of why people choose to kill the person who killed their loved one, thus causing pain to others who had nothing to do with the original incident.
  • When emotions are high, people are capable of things that they wouldn’t otherwise do.
  • When tragic loss occurs, we need to figure out how to make peace with the incident. You will never feel okay about what happened, but find peace with how to move forward in a healthy way.
  • Discussion about whether forgiveness is really necessary.
  • Discussion about our second weekly show that is all about music.

Audio Credits:

“Man kills woman after learning she had HIV after sex” – KENS 5 News via YouTube
“Jennifer Hudson Forgave Her Family Members’ Murderer” – via OWN
“The Kids” – B.o.B ft. Janelle Monae