Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Courts Rule In Favor Of Gay Marriage - In Iowa?!?
Now at first, I was a little shocked that this ruling came out of Iowa. Many of us think of Iowa only in terms of corn, farming, and rural country folk, which in many minds translates into Republican. And yes, one might assume that overall Iowa seems a bit on the conservative side. But take a look at this information below taken from CNN.com:
Past General Elections -
|2004:||Bush (R)||50.0%||Kerry (D)||49.3%|
|2000:||Gore (D)||48.5%||Bush (R)||48.2%|
|1996:||Clinton (D)||50.3%||Dole (R)||39.9%|
|1992:||Clinton (D)||43.3%||Bush (R)||37.3%|
|1988:||Dukakis (D)||54.7%||Bush (R)||44.5%|
|1984:||Reagan (R)||53.3%||Mondale (D)||45.9%|
|1980:||Reagan (R)||51.3%||Carter (D)||38.6%|
|1976:||Ford (R)||49.5%||Carter (D)||48.5%|
As you can see, 2004 was the first time in 20 years that the state voted Republican. Now that does not mean that the states is necessarily "socially liberal" but it does mean that the state is not necessarily the close minded, rural state that many people associate it with.
Now perhaps, this ruling has nothing at all to do with the open mindedness or closed mindedness of the state population. Maybe this simply represents that the six gay and lesbian couples who brought forth this lawsuit lucked out and found the right judge to hear their case. It is possible that if the choice were put before the voters, they would vote to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage and define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
Regardless of the true reason behind the decision, one can certainly reflect upon the following facts:
Jurisdictions in the U.S. that offer civil unions or domestic partnerships granting nearly all of the state-recognized rights of marriage to same-sex couples include
- domestic partnership in California (2000)
- civil unions in Vermont (2000)
- civil unions in Connecticut (2005)
- civil unions in New Jersey(2007)
- civil unions in New Hampshire (2008)
States in the U.S. with domestic partnerships or similar status granting some of the rights of marriage include
- domestic partnership in Hawaii (1997)
- domestic partnership in Maine (2004)
- domestic partnership in New Jersey (2004) (now available only for couples 62 and older)
- domestic partnership in Washington (2007)
- domestic partnership in Oregon (2008)
- domestic partnership in District of Columbia (Washington, DC) (1992/2002).
Massachusetts is the only state that offers same-sex marriage, which was legalized in 2004.It is sad to confess the next fact:
***Due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act or, DOMA, same-sex couples in marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships in the U.S. do not have the 1,138 rights that a married couple has under federal law.***
Remember, we are not asking for special treatment....we are simply asking for "equal treatment"...One of the ideas this country was founded upon, was the idea that all men were created equal...so, in my mind, the question still remains...
Why do we even have to ask at all???
Sunday, August 26, 2007
A Change Is Coming - Are You Ready For It?
Well a new transition is coming....
Some of you may not like it or agree with it...and that is ok....because after all what is the purpose of my blog but to express what is happening in my life and in ME...
Because if you have read my blog from the beginning, even though the change may look sudden it is not...this transision only brings back to light a change that took place over a decade ago...it has just taken a back seat for the last few years....
Monday, August 20, 2007
Michael Vick Is A Coward And A Liar - Is He Any Different?!?!?
I am sure that for many people, this case brings up different emotions. Some people are upset that he killed and tortured animals...some are upset that he simply gambled and as a professional athlete, he should not be involved in that...some just see him as another arrogant celebrity who thinks he can get away with anything.
But in the end, I think what this plea bargain shows is that Michael Vick is a coward who had no internal desire to take responsibility for his actions or admit his wrongdoing...and I will explain why:
Let's start with the obvious! He did it! He is guilty! That is what this plea agreement says. That is a far cry from what he stated on July 27th:
"I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name," the Atlanta Falcons quarterback said in a prepared statement read outside court by his attorney Billy Martin. "I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown. Above all, I would like to say to my mom I'm sorry for what she has had to go through in this most trying of times. It has caused pain to my family and I apologize to my family."
So at the beginning of this fiasco apparently Michael Vick felt he did nothing wrong. He certainly wasn't accepting full responsibility and was not stepping up and being a man and accepting the consequences for his actions. So time moves on and we wait for the "facts" to be shown...
Well all of the facts are being shown...most notably signed statements from his two supposed "friends" and finally a statement from Michael Vick himself in which he said through his attorney:
“Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made,” Martin said in a statement. “Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.”
Ok...now lets just get real. He LIED! He lied to his family, he lied to the media, he lied to his fans, he lied to the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, he lied to everyone! Michael Vick LIED in his first statement when he said let him clear his name, the facts would show him innocent, blah blah blah.
Let's get real. The only reason why Michael Vick accepted that plea bargain and accepted full responsibility is BECAUSE HE GOT CAUGHT AND HAD NO OTHER WAY OUT! His "friends" were about to testify against him and he faced even more charges and finally shit hit the fan and got ricocheted into his face, and he opened his eyes.
That is what makes him like every other average person in America:
He only fessed up when he knew he had been caught!
He is no better but no worse. How many of us have lied to save our own skins and then been caught in the lie later on and had to admit the truth? Yes this case involved the torture and execution of animals which is horrible, but Michael Vick's reaction was sadly predictable and something the majority of Americans can definitely relate to...
Now even though his reaction was quite predictable what he did was horrific and disgusting. The blood on the walls from executed dogs, rape stands, electrocution, body slamming dogs on the ground, the gambling, all of it disgusts me. I think it is sad that he only faces a possibility of 36 months in prison. I hear it is possible that his plea with the State of Virginia could run concurrently with his federal time so even if he faces jail time from the state of Virginia, it would not extend his prison stay.
So let me just say, I think Michael Vick reacted the same way many people would have. He lied...he said he was innocent...he denied all wrong doing...he only admitted his wrong-doings when he had no other way out...he wasn't someone who took responsibility for his actions...he was FORCED to take responsibility by the Justice system.
I hope he gets the maximum sentence possible, and I hope he never plays football again...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
What Music Did I Listen To In College? - Check Out Below
Hope To Carry On - Caedmon's Call
I Can Only Imagine - Mercy Me
Consuming Fire - 3rd Day
These songs bring back tons of memories to me. Some good, some bad...but all of them made me who I am today...so they are all precious...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Just Because I Disagree With Bush - Does Not Mean I Agree With Clinton
Just Because I Disagree With Bush, Doesn't Mean I Agree w/ Clinton
I am going to print out this sign and where it on me at all times. :-)
I am not a Republican, and even though I am technically not 100% in line with the Democrats all the time, I do lean left and find myself drawn more to blue than to red.
But this definitely does not mean that every time I disagree with Bush, I am in accordance with what the democrats are stating...or more important...this definitely does not mean that I agree with what Bill or Hillary Clinton are stating.
Just because I wish Bush was not in office and just because I can't wait for Bush to leave the presidency, does not mean that I am in complete agreement with what Bill Clinton did in the past or what Hillary is currently doing or may do in the future.
Now one must realize that I do not think George W. Bush is a horrible person. I do not think that he wakes up every day with a plan to make the USA weaker and more vulnerable to danger. I do not think he is an evil man. Hell, I voted for him the first time. But I have lost faith in him as president and I find myself more and more weary of his ideas and the direction he and his cabinet are taking this country. That does not automatically mean I trust the Democrats completely either.
But when any citizen loses faith in their government, I believe it is their duty to speak out and to make their dissatisfaction known...not only to other citizens, but also to their government. And part of speaking out is to voice that by voting. So everyone reading this, I do not care if you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent...just go out and VOTE....make your voice known.
I consider myself a free thinker, someone who is informed about the issues and truly makes a decision based upon the information I have gathered. I do not base my beliefs or my votes on a polarizing "idea" of voting straight Republican or straight Democrat. I look at what each person is stating on each individual issue and then draw my own conclusions.
On the Democratic side, I find myself drawn to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
On the Republican side, I find myself drawn to Rudy Guliani and Mitt Romney.
I know that each of the four candidates listed have their pros and cons and each one has skeletons that can haunt them, each one of them has flip-flopped on issues, and each one has their shortcomings...
But you know, this is how our system works...people run for office, and then you have to research each candidate and find out their individual beliefs on each issue.
Some of the major issues that are important to me right now are:
(these are in no particular order)
2) Health care
3) Economy (national debt/deficit) - fiscal responsibility
4) Gay Rights
5) Immigration/Homeland Security
Now I know that each candidate is going to have a different idea on how they can fulfill each one of these needs. And my job as a voter is to research and make the most informed decision.
So yes...I want Bush out of office..but that doesn't mean that Hillary Clinton will automatically get my vote....
Friday, August 10, 2007
A Draft??? - Bush Must Be Crazy But What Else Is New
How can he say he is taking a new direction in Iraq (which is what the American people want) when he is entertaining the idea of reinstating the draft?
There would be no reason for a draft if we didn't try and police every nation on earth...
Bush War Adviser Says Draft Worth A Look
Britney Spears - Can She Do Anything Else So Stupid?
With paparazzi all around her, she blatantly hits a parked/unoccupied car...she is photographed and videotaped hitting the car...she laughs and then examines her own car...and just walks away...not even paying attention or caring at all about the fact that she hit another car...
Did she not realize that this would make its way all over the internet?
Or perhaps she did know and she is just so self absorbed and consumed with her own idea of self worth and self invincibility, that she just did not care.
I mean after all...she is Britney Spears...she is better than everyone else right???
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
A View Into My Apt - Oh What You Might See!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Road Rage Drivers Suffer Consequences - Serves Them Right!
Check out this story in California:
A stretch of Highway 138 in California was under construction to actually widen it and make it safer and more efficient for California drivers. During the construction process, commuters threw burritos at the workers, shot the workers in the leg with BBs, one commuter even struck a worker and fled the scene before he was chased down by the police at his residence (where he ironically had shaved his moustache to change his appearance).
So what did the Department of Transportation do?...they CLOSED the Highway...yup you got it...the closed the highway and now commuters cannot use the roadway at all until construction is done.
Serves the damn idiots right....
California Highway Shut Down Due To Road Rage
Michael Jackson Duet - With Britney Spears???
I have to wonder if part of his draw to sing with her was that at the time, she was the face of pop music...she had the body, the music sales, the endorsements, the sold out concerts, the works...
Now I do not know if they did something to the microphones they were using...and if you watch the video you can tell that neither one of them is lip-synching their part of the song...but watch this video and you can see how far Michael Jackson outdoes Britney Spears.
I am not one to just blatantly attack Britney or anything like that...I think some of her songs are catchy and I can see why millions of people liked her...I mean let's face it...in this video she looks hot as hell....but listen to their voices in this performance...
Britney is just way out of her league on this song....
On a side note...does anyone else think Michael Jackson should update his dance moves???
Monday, August 06, 2007
Are Hate Crime Laws Important? - Let's Take A Look
Now some people may ask why is more legislation needed? Why do we have to differentiate these crimes from other crimes...can't these crimes be prosecuted under the current laws just as easily. Those are valid questions, and to them, I would say this:
Hate crimes are a special type of crime because of what they signify. They go after the core of someone's identity. Hate crimes are especially vicious because it is their nature that the crime is not just committed against one person, but rather against that person as a representative of a larger group. They seek the degradation and dehumanization of an entire group of people, incite social unrest, and the emotional and psychological problems that stem from the attacks extend far beyond the individual to the larger group and to society as a whole.
Current hate crimes legislation helps to protect victims of crimes based on their race, religion, color, and national origin. So in a nut shell, here is what that means:
Under current law, if you are attacked because you are Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Caucasian, then you are a victim of a hate crime. If you are attacked because you are Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Christian, then you are a victim of a hate crime. If you are attacked because you are Albanian, Mexican, Ethiopian, Russian, or whatever, then you are a victim of a hate crime. But if you get the shit beat out of you within an inch of your life, ribs cracked, skull kicked in, blood all over your clothes and all over the pavement, a broken nose, knocked out teeth, and spit upon because you are gay, lesbian or trans-gender, then sorry...its assault and battery. Now in the last example, if you had died, they could have added murder to the list of charges, but that wouldn't do the victim much good now would it??? Why? Because this last example was not a hate crime...
I don't care what the law says...that is a hate crime no matter how you label or don't label it. Hate crimes should be prosecuted harsher and the punishments should be more severe.
Let's look at some examples and see what you guys think...
A man is approached from behind on the residential street where he lives. He is attacked and robbed. Obviously a crime was committed so the perpetrator of this crime is caught and charged with robbery, assault, and battery. Case opened/case closed. We see this example all the time.
A man is approached from behind on the residential street where he lives and he is attacked and robbed because he is Black. Obviously a crime was committed. But...is it the same crime that was committed in the prior scenario. Is this crime just an open/shut case of robbery, assault and battery? Deep down, I know most if not all of you are thinking...NO...and why....because the victim was singled out because of his race not because of how much money he had in his wallet. In the first scenario, anyone in the neighborhood could feel nervous or scared because of what occurred. However, this second scenario brings with it other implications as well. While the first example would cause general unease in the neighborhood where the attack happened, this second example goes beyond the victim to a specific larger group: all of the black residents of that neighborhood. Now the social well being of an entire group of people (the African American community) in this community is disrupted and brought into question . This is what sets the two scenarios apart. The difference is astounding when you think about.
A man is approached from behind on the residential street where he lives and he is attacked and robbed because he is homosexual. Obviously a crime was committed. But what type of crime...and what type of punishment should be delivered? Does this crime qualify as the first example where you only punish the actions...or does it fall under the second scenario where you punish not only the actions but the prejudicial and bigoted motives behind the crime as well?
You see, that is the main difference, the absolute defining fork in the road between crime and "hate" crime. The motive behind the crime totally changes the attitude of the crime, the purpose of the crime, and the result and affect the crime has on the individual, the larger group the victim belongs to and our society as a whole.
Forget the moral issue of whether you believe homosexuality is right or wrong. On a basic human level, doesn't that last gruesome example just stir up something within you...doesn't it make you want to stand up and scream that there is something really wrong with our nation when we would actually try and withhold protections from a group of people? We are a nation built upon individuality, uniqueness, liberty, and fairness. Since when did liberty and justice for all exclude the gays, lesbians, and trans-gendered people who I might add are still citizens of this country?
I guess I just do not understand...
But here are some facts I do understand concerning the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.....
Out of the 28 states and the District of Columbia that have laws either protecting sexual orientation and/or transgendered persons:
20 states plus DC typically vote Democrat (21 total)
8 states typically vote Republican
You do the math!
Transgender/Sexual Orientation Inclusive Hate Crime Laws
Blue = Hate Crimes Laws Include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: HI, CA, CT, NM, MO, MN, PA, VT, DC
Red = Hate Crimes Laws Include Just Sexual Orientation
Grey = No Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Hate Crimes Laws
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Running For My Life - Dropping The Weight!
1.) I ran for my life
Yes - that's right...I ran like my life depended on it. Four to five days a week I was hitting the treadmill for around 6 - 6.5 miles. I tell you, nothing will drop those calories off your fat ass like running for over an hour on the good ole treadmill.
2.) I did not eat after 7:30 - 8:00 pm
This was key for me because I was someone who loved late night snack runs to Wendys, late night ice cream, etc. If it was chocolate, sweet, fried, or fattening and it was after 10 it was in my mouth. But not anymore...trust me, it works and I have the proof.
3.) I never give up when I run until I meet my goal
If your goal is to run 3 miles, then run 3 miles. If your goal is 6 miles then run 6 miles and don't stop until you reach it. If your goal is 6 miles, and at 3 miles you tell yourself (I am just gonna take a short break or slow down) then you are telling yourself you can't make it. Well, that rings true for me. If I slow down halfway through or I take a break, I mentally lose focus and usually end up stopping altogether.
So after all this time, I have set my goal at 178 pounds. Standing 5'10, I feel that is a reasonable weight for my height...so in 6 weeks we will see if I made it. I can tell you right now, I will...
You can bet your ass on it....
(I wish I had a treadmill like that one!)