It’s been a strange couple of weeks in and around the government and other bodies. The IRS scandal, sexual assault in the military, the NSA spying debacle and the Baptists wanting to kick the Boy Scouts out because somebody might be gay all contributed to one of the weirder series of incidents in recent memory.
Let’s take them one at a time.
It is time for a major overhaul of the Internal Revenue Service. They are too big and mega-arrogant to boot. Anyone who has ever been audited will tell you that for sure. And now they are having big parties, line dancing and targeting political groups. It all smacks of McCarthyism and cannot be tolerated by an agency that we, the taxpayers, pay for dearly each April 15. When will a politician take on the IRS? Don’t hold your breath, but I think it would be a popular stand.
Spy vs. spy
Most of my generation will remember Mrs. Cravats on the "Bewitched" show. She was the nosy neighbor who couldn’t keep her binoculars off the alleged witch, Samantha Stevens. Well, we have a much bigger Mrs. Cravats on our hands.
I have really not been too troubled by the NSA checking my phone records or any other record for that matter. I have nothing to hide. As a matter of fact, I kind of wish I did. That would mean I was a more interesting person.
The bank knows about all my financial transactions, the wireless companies know about all my phone calls, the satellite company knows if I rent dirty movies and the post office probably knows if I get any weird mail.
Officials have confirmed that the monitoring of phone records has helped deter terrorist activities. That’s all I need to know. And I don’t think the public needs to know everything the government is doing to stop terrorism. Spying has been a way of life in this world for thousands of years. It won’t stop now.
I have seen a young man holding up a big "The NSA is spying on you" sign on Highway 10 during the peak traffic periods. Get a job.
Sexual assault in the military
In May, the Pentagon released an annual report estimating as many as 26,000 military members faced unwanted sexual contact in 2012 — an increase from 19,000 cases the previous year. That is astounding and totally unacceptable. One U.S. Senator would like to transfer some of the cases to independent prosecutors in order to expedite the processing of the offenders. I say move on with it. If it were you or me, we would probably already be picking peas at Tucker Prison.
Gay means happy in the Baptist Church
The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution denouncing the Boy Scouts of America for accepting openly gay boys. They have not "ordered" their churches to cut ties yet, but I think we all see where this is headed.
As a public relations practitioner, I would advise them to slow down. They should have never taken the vote. What a huge PR blunder. More and more Americans are leaving the church and here the Baptists give them another reason not to go to their churches. Preachers who occupy the pulpits should remember they have not been given judgment powers by God. They are here to spread the Gospel.
I am not here to pass judgment on homosexuality. That is not my job. Let’s just leave it at "what would Jesus do?"
Two lovely ladies leave us
Last week marked the passing of two ladies who have made quite an impact on their communities.
Rebecca Jones, owner of Beef O’ Brady’s in Maumelle passed away after a long battle with cancer. I have frequented "Beef’s" since it opened and Rebecca was usually there with a smile on her face. She will be missed in Maumelle.
Donna Creer, executive director of the Magnet Review Committee and an activist in the gospel music industry, died in a home fire, along with her husband.
I had known Donna for over 15 years and had worked with her as a minority consultant to several public relations programs of which I was involved. She was also one of the best African-American voice-over artists in the country. I had worked with her on many radio projects through the years. She will be dearly missed in several communities. As one friend put on her Facebook page, "In His arms."
Goodbye, sweet ladies.
Thanks for letting me rant this week. See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore owns a creative consulting firm, Neal Moore Creative. He has lived in Maumelle over 10 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter, @kneelmore.