Jessica Mondillo’s Blog


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Random category.

Sarah Palin is NOT the first woman to be a Vice Presidential Nominee

29 August 2008

With John McCain’s recent decision to have Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee brings up the question, is she the first woman to be on a ballot for vice president?

The answer is no.  Women have been running for vice president since the 1800s.

Marietta Lizzie Bell Stow, of the Equal Rights Party, ran as the running mate of Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood in 1884.

Although there has not been a female vice presidential candidate in a major party for more than 20 years, there have been several in the smaller parties.

To find more information on female vice presidential candidates you can visit this site.  It gives the year, party, country, and in many case some background information on former female candidates.

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Political Correctness: Indian vs. Native America

28 August 2008

Political correctness is always an issue and the question is where the line of too much is.  Some people think that has been crossed a long time ago.  Now my question involves the word “INDIAN.”

I never realized that the word “Indian” has finally crossed deep into the realm of being politically incorrect.  In an attempt to list an item on eBay (a site that tends to be notoriously strict on being politically correct), the listing was termed “illegal” according to their policies because it said “Indian” describing a native American on a motorcycle.

My question for everyone is: Is it wrong to use the term “Indian” to refer to Native Americans or is eBay being excessive?  Do people of Native American decent find the term “Indian” offensive and which term do they prefer to use to describe their heritage?

The reason I ask is for two reasons.  First of all I know many people of Native American decent and many of them refer to themselves as “Indians” or use the term interchangeably with “native Americans.” 

The second reason I ask this is my curriculum.  I only graduated from high school last year (2007) and during my public school education, and also my current college education at Boston University, I can remember several of my text books referring to Native Americans either interchangeably or in some cases exclusively as “Indians.”

I am wondering if my background was somehow severely limited or if I am not the only person who does not see the term “Indian” as offensive but as a term that was used (and still is) to describe Native Americans because Columbus had an incorrect belief, that he was in India and not a “new world,” when he reached the Americas.


Barack Obama’s Greek Temple at the DNC

28 August 2008

I keep hearing about the backdrop that Senator Obama selected for his speech tonight.  It consists of several Greek columns.

It is no secret that I am not fond of Senator Obama’s proposed policies because they go against my ideals.  On many conservative talk shows I have heard reference to these columns and suggestions that they came off of sets like Ben Hurr.

Knowing a little bit of history, I do know that today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”  On one of the talk shows someone called in and suggested that these columns were suppose to mimic the Lincoln Memorial.

At that point I had yet to see the backdrop and did not think the idea quite as insane, although an expensive alternative to projecting the backdrop behind Senator Obama.

Then I got to see the pictures of the backdrop.  Not only does it seem excessive, it could never mimic the Lincoln Memorial.  Here are a couple of the links to pictures of the background. http://news.aol.com/?feature=152107  &  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yQwufJ_JpA&eurl=http://www.michaelgraham.com/

Although I am not sure it is a “temple” per say, it is definitely not the Lincoln Memorial and appears to have minimal function.  Personally I feel a presidential nominee should have some type of a patriotic background that reflects their connection with the US instead of an expensive backdrop that does not appear to serve any purpose.


Looking for Help with a Project–Survery on the Meaning of Being an American

06 June 2008

As I have made clear in my blog before, I am going to Boston University.  Right now I am taking summer classes and am looking for a few people to volunteer to help me.

I am looking for several people of Portugese decent who have immigrated to America (not necessarily a citizen of the US right now) or are first generation Americans.  This is for my documentary class and I am doing the research as if I were making the documentary (even though I will not be).  I am asking for several people to take a few minutes to do a survery and email it to me at jem@bu.edu  If you are interested, I can either email you the survey or you can copy and paste it from below.  Thank you for anyone willing to help.

Name (first or first and last):
Age:
Would you be willing to be filmed:
What region of Portugal you are from:
What Portugese customs do you participate in:
What American customs do you participate in:
Do you consider yourself an American (regardless of if you are a citizen):
If so, what does being an American mean to you:
When did you come to American and with who:
Why did you come to America:
Are you an American citizen:
If so, since when:
If not, do you want to?  Why or why not:
Do you live in a Portugese community:
Do you go to any Portugese festivals in your area:
Would you be willing to let me contact you again with further questions:

As I said, I would appreciate help from anyone willing.  I will only use this information for my class and questions like age and where in Portugal you came from are only to give me a clearer understanding of any historical factors that may have played a role.  Thank you again.  My email is jem@bu.edu


Jetson Style Commuter Plane?

12 January 2008

I was on eBay this morning and the front page was advertising the commuter plane prototype.  The plane appeared to be designed to hold at most 2 people but maybe 4, it was hard to tell.

What I don’t understand is what is this plane accomplishing?  Yes, it will cut down travel time for the commuter meaning you can live farther from the city and still work there. 

But does it help the average person?  I’m going to say at least right now, no not really.  Granted I don’t know much about this plane but when it comes out, just like all technology it will be EXPENSIVE.  So the average person will not be able to afford the plane right away.  Fuel wise I don’t know what it runs on.  But if it is gas, there is another major problem.  Gas, a non renewable resource, is already expensive and being put into vehicles, many of which only get 10-15 miles per a gallon.  A plane gets substantially less gas milage and will therefore suck down more gas, making it an uneconomical way to travel.

Now on to air traffic.  Right now we have hundreds of large jets and air planes in the air and they need to be directed by air traffic control.  And they can’t be flown in bad weather.  A commuter plane would have many of the same problems.  As time goes on more people would be using these commuter planes, at least in theory.  Therefore there would be more traffic.

Now we have all seen drivers on the cell phone, either texting or calling people, on a lap top, reading, doing make up or other potentially hazardous activities during driving.   Do we really want inattentive people in the air where they can cause more accidents, that are much more dangerous?

In the Jetson’s commuter planes were widely used.  Right now I don’t think the world is ready for commuter planes.  I don’t think the TV cartoon concept was thoroughly thought about before scientists and inventors tried to make it a reality.  We are just moving the traffic problem into the sky where it will be more dangerous if there are collisions.

Maybe I am missing information on this plane.  If anyone can offer me more information, please do.  I will gladly correct anything I have said if that information changes it.


Italian Court Summons Tweety, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, & Daisy

08 December 2007 

This crosses the line between funny and just plain stupid.  In Naples Italy court summons were sent to Tweety, Mickey, Donald Duck, and Daisy to testify in a counterfeiting trial.  The court accuses a Chinese man of counterfeiting Disney and Warner Brother products.

I must say that Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia had a good answer.  She said, “Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland.  It certainly pleased us that the characters were considered real, because that’s what we try to do.”

I have one major question.  Did no one in the court’s clerical department think it was weird to call cartoon characters to trial?  Yes, these were the characters that had counterfitted merchandise made in their likeness but that doesn’t mean they can testify.

Luckily for the court, Disney and Warner Brothers did not send these characters into the courtroom.  That would have been it’s own three-ring circus.

As amusing as I find this, I am befuddled that no one realized that they were sending court summons to a cartoon.


Santa: A bad role model? Yes, according to US Surgeon General Galson

08 December 2007 

At the beginning of the month Acting US Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Steven K Galson, came to Boston.  In his speech, Galson calls Santa Clause a bad role model because he is too fat and should exercise.

Santa Clause has been a symbol of Christmas for years but now he is a bad role model because children are obese?  Are we proposing that jolly old Santa should become a body builder?  I don’t think that will be cheerful but instead scary to a young child.

Yes, children are becoming more obese but I don’t blame Santa, the person who is highly visible for only 1 month of the year.  If we want to stop children becoming overweight lets not target Santa but instead the sedentary lifestyle that they live.

Now if it because Santa is a role model for children, that seems weird to me because I never remember thinking “I want to be just like Santa!”  Maybe Santa is a good role model though.  He is always happy, he is not concerned with fitting a stereotype of how a person should look and he gives to everyone.  These are not things that we see often in life.  If more people were generous and happy, would that be a bad thing?  If people didn’t fall into a stereotype and everyone was unique and thus happy just being them, is that bad?

And just say every boy in the country is using Santa as their role model and now wants to be fat like him.  Is it really better to have him be the perfect male, with a perfect body?  No.  We are just promoting that every boy should use steroids and work out every day so that they can have a perfect body.  Girls are already pressured to look perfect and fit a stereotype, so why don’t we make boys have peer pressure and fit a stereotype?

Maybe I’m crazy, but when I have children, I don’t want to change Santa for them.  I don’t see him as a negative role model, but instead that Santa has some of the most important values a person can have.  If I have to keep my child from being overweight, I’d encourage a healthy lifestyle instead of making tolerance of everyone, regardless of the way they look, taboo.


New York Archdiocese Sex Predator Coloring Book

 08 December 2007

The archdiocese of New York is distributing coloring books and comic books about sexual predators.  The book includes information on appropriate behavior involving the Internet, private body parts and other safety tips and is being distributed  through schools and religious institutions.

Personally I think it is ironic that an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church is promoting safety from sexual predators, especially since the Boston archdiocese has been hit by scandals involving sexual abuse by priests on young boys.  At the same time I am glad that the church is concerned with stopping sexual predators.

The one thing that worries me is that one of their pictures to color is a guardian angel saying, “For safety’s sake, a child and an adult shouldn’t be alone in a closed room together.  If a child and an adult happen to be alone, someone should know where they are and the door should be open or have a big window in it.”

First of all, if a young child (4 or 5 years old) can read this, I am impressed.

Second, I was a very literal child.  When the fire department did their fire safety class and said if you see fire leave the building they didn’t explain that the fire had to be in the building.   Therefore I was convinced that when I saw a fire through a window from my house I had to leave the house.  The message in the coloring book to a literal child would mean that he or she should never be alone in a room with an adult, including their parents, their extended family, their doctor, or their teacher.  These are people who may need to be with a child for their health, to spend time with them or to give them extra help with homework.

I am glad the archdiocese are promoting safety and trying to help children to avoid sexual predators.  I just hope children are not nearly as literal as I was.


Ron Paul a terrorist? The media is more of a terrorist than he is.

November 17, 2007

On the blog http://feedblog.org/2007/11/16/i-was-right-right-wing-media-declares-ron-paul-a-terrorist/#comment-10837 it mentions that the media led by Glenn Beck is calling Ron Paul a terrorist.

First of all Ron Paul’s fund-raising day on November 5th was not originally thought of by the Ron Paul campaign.   According to CNN political ticker, the fundraiser was organized by on-line supporters.

Second I would like to give the Webster Dictionary definition of terrorism: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.  In this case I feel the terrorist is not Ron Paul but the media.  The media is coercing supporters and undecided voters to not vote for Ron Paul by calling him a terrorist and giving people a negative view of him.

I think it is important that like the blog that I first heard about this, I tell you what a former Marine had to say to Glenn Beck:

You sir have done a grave disservice to me personally by implying that I am a terrorist because I support Dr. Ron Paul. Over my forty three years of life’s trials and tribulations I have developed pretty thick skin, and am not easily bothered by someone’s words. But when I heard you imply that Ron Paul supporters are “akin to terrorists” for choosing the fifth of November as the day for our fund raising donation, I have to admit that I was a highly upset! I sincerely believe you have a right to your opinion, as do we all. But where you enjoy an assumed position of authority in television and radio with the potential to influence millions of viewers and listeners alike comes an even greater obligation to ensure that the opinions you espouse are well founded, and responsible ones.

Personally I believe Ron Paul supporters picked November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day, not because Ron Paul supports terrorism but because it is a parallel that says that Ron Paul wants to change American politics.  He wants to bring a new era to American politics where people are involved in making positive changes in America.

On CNN Political Ticker, it says:

“The creator of the Web site that pushed the Paul fundraising drive said the message is not violent, but rather a fundraising idea that spread virally on-line. The Texas congressman’s spokesman said the idea did not come from Paul, but he did promote it in recent speeches.”

So anyone who is rethinking Ron Paul because of claims that he is a terrorist, please look at his campaign platform, the facts and the definition of a terrorist.  If you look at all of that, it shows that Ron Paul is no terrorist.  He’s the real deal, the media just doesn’t want you to support him.


You’ve tried 3 times, Cheney will not be impeached

07 November 2007 

Democrat representative from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich has now tried and failed 3 times to impeach Cheney.  I’m not sure what crimes he is saying Cheney committed and would love to know if anyone could tell me.  This comes not long after Bush claims Congress is getting nothing done.

And do you want to know how this bill to debate Cheney’s impeachment was killed?  Republicans started voting for it, so Democrats began voting against it because it would look foolish if the bill passed and they were debating Cheney’s impeachment.

An ABC/Washington Post poll from Oct 29 to Nov 1 gives Congress an overall approval rating of 28%.  This is as low as President Bush and shows that the 2006 election that promised reform, thus far has not achieved reform.

Bush is saying that Congress has yet to pass a budget for the country.  That is a huge deal since that is a major portion of Congress’s job, decide how much money can be spent on what.

I don’t care what side you are on but nothing is getting done.  Congress is spending days debating over if Cheney should be impeached.  At the same time when they passed S-CHIP, Bush wouldn’t sign it.  Basically, neither side is getting work done because they are too busy criticizing and disapproving of the other.  I’d look forward to 2008 as a year of little success between Congress and the President.