Sunday, July 31, 2005

U.S Helps Establish A Theocracy?

Appears Iraq's new constitution has run into some unexpected bumps and delays. A draft of the new Iraqi constitution currently under construction would have Islam as the main source, the basis for law in Iraq. This is much different than the model set down by U.S. authorities. The "sharia", or Islamic law would be the rule of the day. The U.S. had previously stated that Islam could be a "source" of the constitution, but not the "basis." Wow, to think that the U.S. might be on the verge of starting a theocracy! What does this mean? For one thing, women would lose many of their civil rights. It could also move Iraq in a direction much different than that envisioned by the Bush Administration. Iraq would be no different than Iran or any other theocratic society. And the future will have Bush and the U.S to thank.
But, when you think about it, it isn't much different than what the radical Republican agenda has for America. Allow the religious right to run the government and the U.S. too could become a theocracy. Fade the division between church and state, and who knows what the future of the U.S. holds.
History will certainly be an interesting read, not only for what happens in Iraq, but also what happens in the U.S. Perhaps this is what the founding fathers thought would happen if a religion was established is the U.S. The Bush Administration never fathomed the surmounting problems in Iraq. One problem after the other. Not the simple conquer, occupy, and re-establish Bush thought of. And perhaps the Republicans have no idea what allowing religion to play such a major part in secular politics can have.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

No Psychological?

I guess the examination does not include a psychological/psychiatric evaluation.....No way he would have passed!

Life's A Beach

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Oh those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! What's a girl to do?

Thank You, Music

I am sitting here now listening to jazz artist, Wayman Tisdale. He's a 6'4, 300 lb. former basketball player, who plays the bass guitar like I have never heard before. I like all kinds of music, depending on my mood at the time. I go from Jazz to Country to good ol' fashion Gay Dance (as I like to call it). But I just have to say "Thank You, Music. You make my day. You lift me up when down...or bring me down when a bit too up." Music amazes me. Just think about it: all the millions of songs made each year, maybe even each day or week, and no 2 exactly alike. What is there, 8 notes? (I am not a musician). And the combination of these notes, "infinitessable"! Music is better than any drug developed, better than any liquor created. (Although these can add to the "feel" of the music). A world without music would be pretty dull. Give me my music!

Some People Are Just Too Friggin' Much

A teenage boy was shot in Atlantic City early friday morning. The Press of Atlantic City (Saturday, 7/30/05) is now reporting that the man police are looking for, Antoine McCall, Pleasantville, chased down and shot the 17 year old simply because he was from the same neighborhood as some people involved in an earlier fight. The boy was not involved in that earlier fight, but McCall wanted to get revenge on the neighborhood that was involved in the fight. So the boy became the target at the time.
I am sorry, but some people do not deserve to live! What a reason to shoot someone! (Not that there really is any good reason). To seek revenge against a neighborhood. So, take a gun and shoot anyone who happens to be from that neighborhood. How ridiculous!
But this is the norm anymore. If someone doesn't like someone, is offended by someone, is pissed off at someone, or just feels like having fun, shot them! Go buy a gun, if you don't already have one, and simply shoot the person. Pretty easy, isn't it? Or so it seems.
I go back and forth on the death penalty. But more and more I believe there are people on this earth, that for whatever reason, are plain and simply BAD, and do not deserve to live. There is not a thing you can do to stop them or cure them. I don't know the reason why someone turns out BAD, but some just do. Maybe they're just "bad seeds." And then it's too late. Catch the likes of Mr. McCall, put him in jail, try to rehabilitate him (even though this does not really occur in prison), but the Mr. McCalls of the world will again shoot and kill.
I don't know the answers. If I did, I wouldn't be sitting here right now. But something has to be done about the violence on our streets. It is absolutely absurd at how easy it is to shoot, stab, and kill.
By the way, the 17 year old boy was not killed. He is however, in the trauma unit of a local hospital, indicating major injury. Hopefully he come out alive.

Fox To Investigate American Idol Affair...Better Late Than Never?

FOX TV has hired an independent counsel to determine if there is any truth to the allegations that judge Paula Abdul had an affair with then contestant Corey Clark. First of all, I could really care less! Both are adults. Clark quit the contest, the reason still not really known. So big deal!
What I find more interesting is that these allegations occurred in April,when the contest was in full swing. Heaven forbid if FOX investigated the allegations then. What about the show? What about FOX's ratings? So now, months after the show ended, FOX has decided to investigate the allegations. FOX refused to answer what will happen if the allegations are founded. Auditions for the upcoming season start in August, with the show beginning in the fall. Is there more in FOX's timing? What great publicity for the upcoming season?

Beware The Robins!

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SO, appears it's not the nasty crow afterall that is the potential source of West Nile Virus. It very well could be the beloved, cute little Robin that is all over the place. What to do now? Shoot all the Robins? Should be pretty easy. It'd be like hunting and shooting squirrels....they're a dime a dozen.

Friday, July 29, 2005

God Works In Mysterious Ways...depending on one's perspective

BEWARE! What I'm about to say may shock some: perhaps God sent the lightening bolt down that struck and killed a boy scout leader and scout. Maybe it was because of the Boy Scouts of America discriminatory policies? Perhaps it was because of the amount of sexual abuse done by boy scout leaders? Who knows?
CALM DOWN! I do not for a moment believe that. But, if it had been a group of gays participating in an outing that got struck by the lightning, you can be sure religious leader across this country (not all, but quite a few) would be saying, or at least thinking, that God was dishing out some good old fashion justice! Well, why is that when some natural disasters happen, it's God causing it, and when others occur, it's God who stops it, indicating it wasn't God who caused the disaster in the first place? I guess it just depends on one's perspective.
Let's face it. Bad things just happen. There is no rhyme nor reason behind them. SHIT HAPPENS is how I believe we best put it. And if God is in control, then I guess no matter what happens, God is causing it. Or no, is he just allowing it to happen? Again, who knows? I sure don't, nor does Jerry Fallwell, Pat Robertson, or any other human being on the face of this earth.
So let's stop trying to think we are smarter than God by explaining events in terms of God doing or not doing it.

Bush Says It & It's Done?

When George Bush made up the scenario to invade Iraq, most believed it. Bush said the US needed to invade Iraq to get rid of the menace and threat (to the US), Saddam Hussein. Although debated, very few with any power fought against Bush's decision. 9-11 had recently happened, the US was taking care of the terrorists in Afghanistan, and to voice an opinion against invading Iraq was viewed as unpatriotic. So invade Iraq was what the US did.
Then, one infamous morning on a battleship, Bush said, "Mission accomplished!" Most believed him. US citizens rejoiced because in their minds, the war was just about over and US soldiers would be coming home. I am sure soldiers and their families felt the same way. But guess what? The "mission" was far from over.
A little over a month ago, Bush addressed the country. He said that there was no end in sight. The US would stay in Iraq as long as it takes. No benchmarks, no goals, no hope. And again, most believed Bush. Most have accepted what Bush said and are no longer pushing for any end to the war.
The war continues. Sometimes it almost seems like it is just a normal part of life. The media reports casualties on a daily basis, but somehow it just doesn't have the same impact it did in the beginning of the war. Hurricanes, missing people, the space shuttle all take the lead story over Iraq.
But people continue to die in Iraq. Americans, Iraqis, and people from all over the world die every single day in Iraq. And is the end in sight? Not at all. There are no indicators whatsoever that the US will leave Iraq anytime soon. Where is the outrage? Where is the anger that US men and women are dying over an exaggerated imagination and personal desire of our president? Where are the people in power who were afraid to speak against invading Iraq in the first place? They should be pushing this down Bush's throat everyday. And, where is the media? Why is the media so complacent to not challenge the Bush Adminstration?
The only hope I think we have for leaving Iraq will come in 2008, the next presidential election. If the citizens of the US are fed up enough with Iraq by then, a president advocating the withdrawl of troops from Iraq will be elected. If the citizens of the US continue their complacency, then a president who will "stay the course" will be elected in 2008. The election of 2008 will more than likely become a referendum on the war in Iraq and the future of US troops in Iraq. Until then, unless something miraculous occurs, the US will remain in Iraq, and more will die there.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Progressive Democrats of America Update

An update of the Progressive Democrats of America.......Downing Street Memo public forums across the country; Rove-Gate and the DSM; Roe v. Wade and the new Supreme Court nominee; and more.

Fight Terrorism at Home, But Use Caution & Good judgment

I have to admit after hearing about the man shot in London who was "directly linked" with the July 7, 2005 London subway and bus bombings, my first reaction was, "shoot 'em all!" I, like many, felt that this is what should happen to those animals that caused such devastation, as well as for those who continue to commit such crimes. But now it has been announced that the man that was shot had absolutely nothing to do with the bombings. And it has not been reported whether the man had actually done anything illegal. Was he shot simply because of his nationality or color? Was there really just cause for his death? Seems like a great overreaction by the police. (I am not judging the police in this situation. I was not there and do not know what actually transpired). Was this just vengence for the July 7 bombings?
I think we all feel that rush of anger and wish to see justice done, maybe even to the extent of revenge, when a wrong has been done. We are living in a world of fear. One never knows when such an event like 9-11 or the London bombings, or the Egyptian resort bombing will happen again. We're living on edge. We want protection, and we want everything done to make sure we are as safe as possible. But, is judging, or should I say, prejudging someone, the right thing to do? Just because someone is of a different nationality or religion, maybe even a nationality or religion in which a great majority hate America, does that give anyone the right to assume that person is a terrorist?
In our fight to stop terrorism and to protect US citizens here and around the world, one must use caution and good judgement. We cannot allow our human nature to revenge and get even to cause a deadly mistake like that in London. During the recent US debate on extending the Patriot Act such discussion ensued. We must protect the civil rights of all Americans while protecting the safety of all Americans. This is NOT an easy measure, but one that must be done with good judgement. Let us not give up our freedoms, put innocent people under suspicion, and make this country one under martial law.

Friday, July 22, 2005

T.O.-Please SHUT UP & Sit Down!

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So, T.O. says he'll be in training camp, "But I won't be happy, I can tell you that much! Take from that whatever you want." On a Comcast sports network T.O. vowed that "its not going to be a good situation" if he has to go into training camp with his contract unchanged. Poor, poor T.O.! Guess he realizes the penalty for not showing up to training camp will cost him lots of money. And, he has to worry about his family. You know what my solution to the situation is? If T.O. does not perform up to par, he simply sits out, if necessary for the season. Then, maybe after his reputation is ruined, he can be traded next year. Or, maybe even wait until his contract with the Eagles is up.

Two Boys Executed In Iran For Being GAY

It has been reported by Michael Rogers of that 2 Iranian boys have been lashed 228 times and hanged for sexual crimes-being gay. (This has been confirmed by other news sources). I was going to write something about this, then decided not to because it is such a sickening thing. I am not going to say much about it but this: If there is a Heaven, these boys and others who have to experience such hatred, brutality, and injustice should be in the best spot there.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The White House Becoming The New Clinton For Candidates?

Remember when Al Gore was running for President in 2000? He stayed as far away from Bill Clinton as possible, not wanting his quest for president to be tarnished by association with Bill's personal life. (Perhaps that was a big mistake made by Mr. Gore). Seems now that the same thing is happening with George Bush, especially in NJ.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester had a campaign fundraiser scheduled for this Friday which included a visit by Dick Cheney. It didn't take the Democrats long to jump on that one. The Bush Administration is quickly becoming very unpopular in NJ, and the Forrester campaign quickly pulled the announcement that Cheney would be attending the fundraiser from its website. The Forrester campaign claims that it is not ashamed of Cheney, but rather that Cheney never confirmed his appearance.
Forrester's reliance on national GOP support has come under heavy fire in NJ, especially in light of the alleged Karl Rove leakage. US Senator Frank Lautenberg had earlier started a petition drive asking Forrester to return the "blood money" raised with the help of Rove. Forrester started the tit-for-tat when he accused Senator John Corzine, Democratic gubernatorial candidate of links to corruption in the Democratic party.
Oh the games of politics!

Bush Vows To Fire Anyone Committing A Crime In White House Leak

So, Bush has vowed to fire anyone who has committed a crime in connection to the leak of CIA agent Valerie Blame (That could possibly mean Karl Rove). But don't be so satisfied with the answer. It's another Bush word game. Bush said anyone who has committed a crime. Most feel that even if Rove leaked the name of Blame, it was probably not criminal. Unethical maybe, but not criminal. And we know Bush doesn't care about ethics! Or will he, if the pressure is tough enough!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Another Enemy Amongst Us? Rick Santorum Aid.

Robert Traynham, anti-gay Senator Rick Santorum's main spokesman and deputy chief of staff, has told a Washington blog that he is gay. Traynham also stated that he stands by his boss. Supposedly Traynham is out to Santorum, one of the biggest supporters, and leading sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. How, Mr. Traynham, can you work with and support someone who considers you second class? Join me and other gay rights activists in adding Mr. Traynham to the list of enemies of decent gay Americans!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Thanks Again, George!

Thank you again, Mr. President. At least another 60, dead and as many as 100 injured! Everytime someone dies in Iraq, especially American men and women, thank our president!

Two Simple Solutions To The World's Problems

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I am a country music fan. (Well, today's country, not necessarily the "twangy" stuff my dad listened to). The lyrics of the songs are pretty simplistic, not alot to think about. The songs don't have any hidden, indepth meaning to them. They say what they mean. As for the problems of the world, 2 country songs give a very simple solution.
Terry Clarks says, "I Think The World Needs A Drink.": "Turn on the TV; more crime on the streets; More trouble in the Middle East an'fires out west, Politicians flingin dirt; got dissension in the church....I think the world needs a drink; I think enough's enough. She's been spinnin around so long, I'd say she's pretty wound up. Calm down, sit back, relax, Tear up the contracts an' save the ink: Yeah, I think the world needs a drink."
And Hank Williams, Jr. (That's him, the "Are You Ready For Some Football?"), sings, "Why Can't We All Just Get A Long(neck)?". "This crime in the city streets. Always trouble in the Middle East. How'd they let things get so outta hand? Just watchin the tv news that would give anyone the blues. The more I know, I think the less I understand. Oh why can't we all just get a long...(neck)? And make a toast to peace and harmony? Why, why can't we all just get a long....(neck)? And see how good gettin along might be?"
Oh, if it could be that simple. George Bush, Tony Blair, and President Hussein (in times previous), sitting in a London pub having a Guiness and discussing the WMD. But, they'd probably fight over what to drink. Then there'd be a barroom brawl. But then, maybe that's how things out to be solved!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Where Are They Now?

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Victor Edward Willis, the original policeman of The Village People, was arrested by the real police in Daly City, just south of San Francisco. A gun and drugs were found in the "policeman's" car, and he went from Macho, Macho Man to suspect. Willis also did not have a valid drivers license or ID, and first lied about his name and residence. He said something about living at the Y.M.C.A.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Will Rove Resign?

As pressure mounts for the firing of Karl Rove, we can only wait and see what Bush's solution to the dilema will be. Bush so far has refused to discuss the allegations of Rove's involvement in the leak, and publically the White House says it has full confidence in Rove. But, if Bush is to be a man of his word, and if more and more evidence mounts that Rove was the leak, or even involved in the leak, Bush really won't have much choice but to ask Rove to leave. And perhaps Rove, if he has any loyalty to Bush at all, will simply resign to stop all the speculation and further investigation. Even if Rove did not name Valerie Plame by name, Rove still discussed Plame's job at the CIA, which is not really appropriate for a deputy chief of staff to do. Even though Bush will never be re-elected to the White House, other political buddies of Bush do need to seek re-election. They will be concerned about what impact Bush's decision and actions related to this matter will have on them, and the pressure they put on Bush to act will be key to the outcome.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Demand A Strategy In Iraq!

Join Barbara Boxer and sign the petition to George Bush demanding a success strategy in Iraq.

Karl Rove Has Got To Go!

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Karl Rove has got to go. George Bush must keep his promise to fire anybody involved in White House leaks. Join John Kerry and sign the petition to Bush to have Rove fired! Then join Howard Dean and sign away too.

OK...I'm A Choc-A-Holic!

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OK....I'll admit it! I am a choc-a-holic! I need my chocolate fix just about every day. Not alot, just a piece or two of chocolate. And the darker the better. Because of my vice, I pay special attention to stories about chocolate. I really like all the hoopla chocolate is getting now about how healthy it is. Chocolate is full of antioxidents that are good for the body. So, I'm not eating chocolate, but I'm taking my vitamins. My favorite candy is M&M's, especially peanuts. And M&M's have an interesting history.
It goes all the way back to the Spanish Civil War, when legend has it that Forrest Mars, Sr., on a trip to Spain, encountered soldiers eating pellets of chocolate encased in a hard sugar coating, preventing the chocolate from melting. (That's right, "it melts in your mouth, not in your hand"). M&M's candy was first sold in 1941, and soon became a favorite of American GI's in WWII. They were sold as a convenient snack that was good in any climate. Today, I have heard that M&M's continues to be a favorite in the hot climate of Iraq and Afghanistan. All I know is M&M's are good.

My Prediction: The DEBACLE of All Debacles

My prediction: Ten years or more from now, the Iraq War (this current one) will go down in history as the debacle of all time. From its conception, the Iraq War has been one mistake after another. The rationale for war was wrong. The stategy of the war was wrong. The end result will be wrong. Let's face it: the US is stuck in Iraq for a long time to come. No timetable or benchmarks have been set. However, rumors are now that troops will be decreased in Iraq. If the US stays, the problems only mount. If the US cuts and runs, Iraq will end up in civil war and disarray for many, many years to come. George Bush has got his work cut out for him. But, as he constantly reminds us, "It is hard work." Call my cynical, but this was one big mistake, Mr. Bush. And I think history will also view it as such. Mark this date, and my prediction. Tell me if I'm wrong or right in ten years.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

If Bush Has To Fire Rove...What Irony!

The White House is refusing to answer any questions about Karl Rove and his possible leaking.....When Bush was asked directly if he would uphold his June, 2004 pledge to fire any leakers in this case, Bush refused to answer. What irony if Bush has to fire the major factor in his election in in 2000 and re-election in 2004. How cool would that be?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Join The Vote To Impeach?

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Join the Vote to Impeach Bush...........Find out more about the impeachment contingent at the anti-war protest on September 24, 2005 at the White House.

See Any Similarities? Hilary Does!

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"I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington." This is what Senator Hilary Clinton said yesterday during the inaugural Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. The Republicans are mad! "At a time when President Bush and most elected officials are focused on the security of our nation, Mrs. Clinton seems focused on taking partisan jabs and promoting her presidential campaign," said New York's GOP chairman, Stephen Minarik. Sometimes the truth hurts. There really are many similarities between George and Alfred.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Thanks George!

Thanks a bunch, George! (Yeah, I know........"it's hard work!").

Take A Position, Doug Forrester

About 3 weeks ago, I wrote to Doug Forrester, candidate for NJ Governor, about his position on gay rights, particularly gay marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnership laws. To date, I have received no response. I did a web search and could not find Forrester's position on gay rights. I have since sent another e-mail. Let's see what kind of answer, if any, I receive from Mr. Forrester. I'm sure it won't be the only time in the campaign he will be asked this question.

Way To Go, Troy Vincent

It is always good to see professional athletes truly give back to their communities. Philadelphia Eagles' Troy Vincent did that yesterday in Trenton, NJ. Vincent's charity, Love Thy Neighbor had its second annual Community Fest. Vincent, a Trenton native, has had many years of charitable contribution, and has won numerous humanitarian awards. The money raised by Love Thy Neighbor provides scholarships for local kids. Thanks Troy!

Mother Nature In Control

Hurricane Dennis (7/10/05)
Sometimes human beings are so arrogant, ignorant, or just plain stupid. Watching the coverage of the impending landfall of Hurricane Dennis, I can't help but ask why are we so surprised at the damage these storms do to the buildings we put up where these storms constantly go? Homes and businesses are placed right on the beaches. What do you expect? Is it any surprise there will be damage? Even at the Jersey shore, the ocean washes away the sand and millions of dollars are spent to replenish the beaches. Then with just one more storm, the sand is washed away again. And we are surprised. Maybe there are just some places that Mother Nature doesn't want us living, or at least not building permanent structures. 'Cause guess what? If Mother Nature wants her land back, she just simply takes it, no permits needed!

Atlantic City's Newest House

House Of Blues, Atlantic City
The House of Blues, Atlantic City celebrated its grand opening this weekend. Make sure you check it out. I am planning on it! As The Press of Atlantic City reports, the House of Blues, "During its first year in operation when the club plans to book more than 200 acts, the House of Blues will differentiate itself from the city's other venues in two main ways. It will bring nationally known acts with smaller followings during the middle of the week through the summer, and it will play host to diverse musical genres with particular attention to the underserved punk and hip-hop followers."

Watch For Gay Marriage In New Jersey

Today's Press of Atlantic City and Philadelphia Inquirer (July 10, 2005) both reported on the push for gay marriage in NJ. For a year now, NJ has had domestic partnership laws, but for most same-sex couples, this is not enough. Steven Goldstein, Chairman of Garden State Equality, has counted 10 rights for domestic partners, compared to 1,049 for married couples.
The articles tell the story of Rosalind Heggs and Paula Long. On 9/8/01, this couple drove to Vermont for a civil union ceremony. In NJ, however, this union has no recognition. In March, Heggs suffered a heart attack, a stroke, and a collapsed lung, and was treated at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden. Heggs sister, not Long, had to provide medical consent. And when nurses removed Heggs' wedding ring, they put it in a safe rather than give it to Long, who was in the room. (The hospital later apologized after recognizing the state's domestic partners law entitled Long to make medical decisions for her partner and hold the ring). However, this made the couple long to be married so that their relationship would not be subject to legal questions.
Heggs and Long are among many gay couples pushing to make same-sex marriage legal in NJ. Rather than celebrate the one-year anniversary of the domestic partner law, many gays in NJ are fighting for more. A case is forthcoming this fall in the State Supreme Court that seeks full marriage benefits for gay unions. A state appeals court in June ruled against the 9 same-sex couples bringing forth a lawsuit, but the one impassioned dissent of one of the judges was enough to provide hope that the State Supreme Court will side with the couples. Experts say that NJ's Supreme Court has in the past been very protective and progressive on civil rights issues, and many are confident NJ will have same-sex marriage rights soon. Let's hope so.
P.S. Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who was the major supporter of domestic partner rights in NJ, said that while she is often thanked for pushing the domestic partnership law, she DOES NOT hear from gay people who think the law is enough. I encourage you to contact Assemblywoman Weinberg and let her know your position.

Nations (Despite US Arrogance) Must Unite to Combat Terrorism

Ann McFeatters, Washington bureau chief of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade presents to readers that the War on Terrorism is a world-wide fight. With this I agree. However, Ms. McFeatters states, "After sporadic acts of terrorism, the war began in earnest with the heinous rush-hour attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, that killed 3,000 people." This displays the arrogance of the people of the US. Terrorism has been occuring since the beginning of time. Nations around the world have had to deal with horrific acts against humanity for decades. But it was not until such a terrible thing happened on US soil, did the US give serious thought to dealing with terrrorism. As long as it was happening "over there," the US really could have cared less about damaged lives. Isn't it a shame that this is the attitude of many?

Feeling Safer Since We Took Care Of Iraq?

I have to applaud Leonard Pitts, Jr., who is becoming one of my favorite columnists. (Mr. Pitts is a columnist for the Miami Herald). He puts forth to his readers the statement: "Tell me again how the Iraq war has made us safer from terrorism. Spin for me once more the theory of how, by drawing the terrorists' attention there, we'ver made ourselves more secure here. Point out for me again how we've suffered no terrorist attack since that day George Bush took the fight to the enemy. You'll have to speak up though. It's going to be hard to hear you over the explosions and sirens and wails of the maimed in London." As Mr. Pitts further states, "Yes, you're right. (The attacks Thursday) happened there, not here...Sooner or later, one awful morning yet to come, it will be us again, for real."
George Bush is trying his best to continue to create a link between the Iraq War and terrorism, as was seen in Bush's address to the nation a few weeks ago. And even though the US has taken the war to the terrorists, I am not sure who it is that is really winning? Tony Blair was shown this lesson on Thursday. While thousands are killed and maimed in Iraq, the terrorists continue to strike. While Saddam Hussein, as evil as he is, sits in a jail (and rightly so), Osama bin Laden, continues to reek havoc, and the US has no, idea where he is. Will Bush and Blair ever be able to admit the mistakes? Bush will never admit it, but at least Blair has previously said mistakes were made in the intelligence. Bush won't even admit that. And when will the American people wake up and realize that George Bush had it in his mind long before 9-11 to get rid of Hussein? After 9-11 Americans wanted someone to pay for the crime, and Iraq became the target, along with Afghanistan.

Keep The Faith, UCC

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First of all, "Thank You," United Church of Christ for standing firm in the conviction that all men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, are loved by God and entitled to be happy. And, keep the faith, no matter what others may do. For what it's worth, you have my support, and I am sure many others like me. The St. John's Reformed United Church of Christ of Middlebrook, Va. was burned and anti-gay graffiti written on the walls. This a definite result of UCC's stand.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Let's Hear It For Oregon!

Oregon's Senate passed a bill today that would make same-sex couples "substantially equivalent" rights under state law as married couples. The new law would create civil unions and also outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill now awaits action in the House. Last year, Oregon voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The new law creating civil unions is at least a start toward full and equal rights to gay couples.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Join HRC's Supreme Team

Please join the HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN in their drive to make the next Supreme Court nominee one that protects the individual rights and freedoms of US citizens.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

MORE LIGHT PRESBYTERIANS Celebrates the United Church of Christ

The NEW LIGHT PRESBYTERIANS have celebrated the decision of the United Church of Christ to endorse gay marriages. The New Light Presbyterians stated that, "In a culture where prejudice, fear and hatred of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people abound, More Light Presbyterians affirms that God calls the church to be an agent of love, wisdom and justice. Each person — regardless of gender, sexual orientation or bodily condition — has a moral right to love and be loved, as well as the responsibility to express his or her sexuality in ways genuinely respectful of self and others." Now that is the true meaning of Christian love!

John Corzine for NJ Governor

John Corzine
I know it's a bit early, but I am endorsing JOHN CORZINE for NJ Governor in 2005. I have received several mailings and responses from Senator Corzine in reference to gay rights, and I am pleased to say Senator Corzine is in favor of equal rights for gay Americans. He is opposed to any Marriage Amendment in the Constitution and feels this would be an amendment of discrimination. Although one might argue that Senator Corzine is too wealthy and will "buy" his way into office, I see his wealth as a plus. Senator Corzine does not have to depend on his position in public service to make a buck. He already has what he needs, and I think he can use his business knowledge to govern NJ. Senator will stand up for all the citizens of NJ, like he has the citizens of the U.S. while serving in the U.S. Senate.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Thankful For Independence, But Not Complete!

As I watch the many Independence Day Celebrations, I cannot help but be thankful for the many freedoms I know living in these United States of America. But I also cannot help but feel incompleteness, knowing that my brothers and sisters, my "family", gay men and women, are being discriminated against daily. I feel incompleteness knowing that my brothers and sisters do not know the complete freedom they deserve, and the complete freedom this country so proudly boasts. From our freedom- proclaiming and fighting President to States in this U.S.A, to individual behavior in our communities, gays and lesbians are still considered second class citizens. Gays cannot marry. Gays cannot adopt. Gays cannot know the rights of other committed partners. Not in every place in the U.S. And slowly, the rights we have gained are being taken away. But, as with other minorities, our fight will continue. And we will win full rights in due time. So let us continue to fight the fight that was begun on July 4, 1776, 229 years ago. Let's win our freedom completely!

Ford Stands Fast

The conservative Christian, antigay American Family Association has threatened to boycott Ford Motor Corporation over Ford's "support" of gay marriage and gay groups. According to AFA, "From redefining family to include homosexual marriage, to giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to support homosexual groups and their agenda...Ford leads the way." Ford's response: "Ford values all people, regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and cultural or physical differences." Some individual Ford dealers are a bit more cautious, and the AFA has decided to delay its boycott. YOU GO FORD!!

Philadelphia Smoking Ban? Check Out San Francisco's

Starting July 1, 2005, San Francisco's smoking ban in public buildings has been extended to city owned property, including outdoor property such as parks, recreational areas, and gardens owned by the city. As I stated in a previous post, after visiting NYC and seeing the effect that a smoking ban in public buildings such as bars and clubs had, which appeared to have little impact on business, I changed my mind and stated I am in favor of such a ban in Philadelphia as well. I am not so sure that I would favor a ban as rigid as San Francisco's, however. One of the major reasons for the ban in all city-owned property is because of the trash left behind by smokers. Maybe if smokers would learn to disgard their cigarette butts properly, this ban would never have been invoked. How many times have you driven on the road and seen people in the car in front of you toss out butts in the street? Disgusting, isn't it? But, like NYC's ban, on a recent visit to San Francisco, the smoking ban in the few bars and clubs I visited did not seem to have any impact on business; the places were filled, wall to wall with customers.


The UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST has overhwhelmingly voted to approve a resolution endorsing gay marriage. This makes the United Church of Christ the largest Christian demonination to do so. The vote is non-binding to individual churches. About 80% of the church's General Synod voted to approve the resolution. Thank God for the United Church of Christ. Let's see if any other follow.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

You Mind Your Business, And I'll Mind Mine

Don't ask me why, but sometime last week it just hit me...................I am sick and tired of the religious right thinking that it owns this country and that it has the right to tell me, or anyone else, how to live, let alone worship. I consider myself a Christian, and I have no problem whatsoever with anyone worshipping as they wish. But, for those who wish to worship differently, or not at all, it is nobody's business. Unless my type worship or non-worship injures someone else, it is none of your business, religious right! And do NOT try to run my life! On this Independence Day weekend I wish everyone, religious right, atheist, or somewhere inbetween, would remember that this country was founded on religious freedom, including the right not to worship. And if someone's lifestyle does not perhaps agree with someone's particular religion, that's ok too. Don't tell me how to live or worship, and I won't tell you how to live or worship.


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pusuit of Happiness..." (Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776).
On this July 4th, Independence Day Celebration, let us not forget that this declaration is for ALL men and women in the U.S. That includes gay men and women. They too are entitled to the right of the "pursuit of Happiness." NOT allowing gay men and women the same "unalienable Rights" is against the law. This includes the right to pursue happiness through marriage if one chooses. How any law can be established denying this god-given right is beyond my comprehension. Maybe Congress should pass a law exempting any State that discriminates from obtaining any federal funding! So, go ahead States, make your laws of discrimation, but be prepared to go it alone, not with the Federal Government's agreement. (One can dream, can't he?).

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sandra Day O'Connor's Resignation A Sad Day For America?

The National Gay and Lesbian Task force calls the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor a "sad day" for America. I say it doesn't have to be. Keep on top of the replacement nomination and encourage our legislators to vote for who's best for America, not just rubber stamp Bush's nomination.

San Francisco Visit-Gay Pride

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Visited the great city of San Francisco for a week. While I was there, I took part in the Gay Pride Parade and Festival. It is fabulous being gay in San Francisco. The amazing thing to me is that being gay isn't really any big deal. I remember this time last year when I also was in San Francisco for Gay Pride a tour bus driver nonchalantly ask if my friend and I were going to the Gay Pride parade the next day. He said it as if he were asking if we were going to the ball game or any other function that anyone would attend. There are gay people all over, and for the most part, it is just part of the culture that is San Francisco. Gay couples hold hands with no reservations in San Francisco. And the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and Festivities that follow are out of this world. They are part of the city itself, not just something set aside for "those people." The parade itself lasts about 2 hours and it is broadcast on the local KRON TV station (Philadelphia's equivalent of WPVI Channel 6 or NBC 10, not the local city cable company). Dignitaries from all over San Francisco participate. Being gay in San Francisco seems to be nirvana.
However, in the Monday (June 27, 2005) edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, Louis Freedberg reminded readers that "Sunday's Gay Pride parade in San Francisco is the bright side of the tolerance and acceptance of diverse lifestyles and people that have made the Bay Area, and Northern California, famous. There is a far darkerside-one of intolerance, prejudice and, at times, extreme violence." Mr. Freedberg reminded readers of the trial now going on in Hayward County, in which 3 men are being retried for the 2002 murder of a 17-year-old transgendered teen Gwen Araujo. Mr. Freedberg states, "The trial shames the Bay Area's tradition of tolerance-and challenges us to respond to stamp out hate and intolerance where it occurs."
Intolerance SUCKS! No matter what kind of intolerance we are speaking of, race, religion, sexual identity, or anything else. Why is it that people just cannot accept differences among others? It doesn't mean you have to like the differences, but if it is not directly effecting you, what difference does it make how different someone else is? We should all be striving to stamp out intolerance wherever it occurs, as Mr. Freedberg reminds us.

A PHL Scam?

I went to the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) last Thursday, 6/23/05, arriving shortly before 7:00 AM. I proceeded to the Economy Parking lot only to find it filled. A security guard said I would have to park in the Garage Parking. I went to the Garage Parking and parked for what turned out to be 8 days. When I went to pay, I was charged the $17.00/day Garage Parking fee for a total of $136.00 rather than the Economy Parking fee of $9.00/day, which would have equated to $72.00 total. Last year when I the same thing happened, I was only charged the Economy Parking fee even though I had to park in the Garage Parking because of the Economy Parking being full. I asked why I wasn't being charged the Economy Parking fee and I was informed that you NOW have to pay the Garage Parking fee even if you're parking there because the Economy Parking is full. WHAT A SCAM THE PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS GOING! Maybe they could just park some "dummy" cars in the Economy Parking and tell everyone that lot is full..........great way to make some money for the airport?


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I found Elvis!! He was at the Country Western Stage at the San Francisco Gay Pride Festivities.

Fly A Bankrupted Airline? Never Again!

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Sorry Flight Attendants! Sorry Pilots and Co-Pilots! Sorry Ground Crews! I tried! I tried my best to help you out. But after my recent trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco, and the events that can only be described as INSANE, I will never, never, never fly an airline that is in bankruptcy. I could only think to myself while the events transpired, "Is this why you are in such financial woes, United? Perhaps you shouldn' be in business if this is how you run your business!" Below is a letter I sent to United detailing my bizarre and unbelievable sequence of events:

July 1, 2005

To whom it may concern,

On 6/23/05, my friend and I were scheduled to fly United Flight 89 from Philadelphia, PA., to San Francisco, CA. The flight was supposed to leave Philadelphia at 8:55AM. We arrived at the airport before 7:00AM to have plenty of time to make boarding preparations. (I might add that it is about an hour drive to the Philadelphia Airport from where we live).
When we received our boarding passes, we were notified that the flight was delayed until 10:10AM. We proceeded to the gate to await our flight. As we waited, we were told several times that the flight was delayed even longer. Finally we were notified that the reason for the delay was that a flight crew was being flown in from Washington, DC to fly the plane. (The plane was on the ground and had been ready to go for the original 8:55AM take off). Passengers would be notified that as soon as the crew arrived, a flight time would be announced. Finally, around 1:00PM (EST), passengers were notified that the crew had arrived and the flight would leave approximately 1:45PM. About 10 minutes later, the announcement came that there was GOOD news: the plane would probably leave around 1:30PM. (This GOOD news after waiting over 4 hours). The plane was boarded and taxied to the runway about 1:50PM, taking off after 2:00PM. This was almost five hours after the flight was originally scheduled to leave.
While on the plane, we learned the flight attendants that they too had been at the airport since 7:30AM, and they were just as unhappy as the passengers. "So we're all in this boat together," quoted on flight attendant. One of the flight attendants openly complained about "being in bankruptcy” and "not having a pension,” and "to take it up with United, not us." The pilot explained that the delay was due to the original crew getting in late due to weather, and the replacement crew being held up in Washington, DC due to mechanical trouble. The original crew finally flew the plane after getting their FAA mandated rest. The flight itself was fine, and we arrived in San Francisco about five hours 50 minutes later.
This is absolutely ridiculous! No contingency plans for a crew to fly a plane? And the behavior of the flight attendants, being miserable and speaking badly of United, was inexcusable! Nobody seemed to provide any decent explanation or any sincere apology! I thought this was the end of our troubles, but it wasn't.
On our return trip from San Francisco to Philadelphia the fiasco continued. We were scheduled to fly United Flight 90 at 12:00 Noon on 6/29/05. We arrived at the airport at 9:00AM (PST). After receiving our boarding passes and proceeding to the gate, the departure board showed a delay in the flight. This continued to change until about 2:00PM when the boarding began. While in the tunnel boarding the plane at approximately 3:00PM, passengers were notified that because of bad weather on the East Coast, the FAA would not permit the plane to take off until 6:00PM, and passengers should wait in the waiting area until boarding could continue. At approximately 4:00PM, notification was given that the flight had been cancelled. After being herded to a customer service area, we made arrangements to stay at a local hotel, which I was under the impression from the Customer Service Rep. that United would be paying for the cost of the hotel. (I later found out at the hotel that the pink coupon only gave US the United hotel rate and I had to pay for the hotel). We then proceeded to the baggage area to await our luggage to we could take it with us to the hotel and bring it back the next day with our new flight. (The new flight was SFO to Boston, flight 172, leaving 8:45AM(PST), 6/30/05, then Boston to PHL, US Airways 1170, leaving 6:30PM(EST) on 6/30/05). At the baggage claim area, a "reclaim" order was put on our luggage so it would not wait to be placed on the next day's flight. We waited FOUR hours to get our luggage to go the hotel for the night.
We arrived at SFO on 6/30/05, to take Unite Flight 172 to Boston. The flight was scheduled to take off at 8:45AM. We boarded the plane and taxied to the runaway, where the engines were shut off and passengers were informed by the pilot that there would be an approximately 30 minute delay due to heavy air traffic on the east coast. The flight took off at approximately 9:35AM (PST) and arrived in Boston at approximately 6:15PM(EST). Our flight from Boston to Philadelphia (US Air Flight 1170) was scheduled to leave at 6:30PM(EST). We were to go to the United Customer Service area between gates 19 and 20 upon arrival to Boston. We went to the Customer Service area to find no United employees, and other customers there said no United employee had been around for quite some time. Fortunately, a security guard came from a door and said he was to take us to the US Airways terminal (on the other side of the airport). US Air Flight 1170 was delayed and not leaving until 7:34PM(EST) instead of the originally scheduled 6:30PM time. We therefore were able to board the plane. However, as I feared, when we arrived in Philadelphia about 9:00PM, our luggage was not on board. I put in a baggage locator for our luggage, which I am currently awaiting on. (I have been informed that as of 11:30AM, 7/1/05, the baggage had been located and should arrive within 4-6 hours).
Our entire experience with United was a disaster. We have flown United before with no problems, but this was absolutely INSANE. Although weather played some part in the delays encountered, United MUST take some responsibility with thedelays. An entire DAY OF OUR LIVES (24 hours) was wasted because of United! My friend and I have vowed never again to fly United, and I will make sure everyone I come in contact with knows what a poor operation United runs. In addition to the delays, we were constantly given misinformation; being told one thing in one part of the airport and something totally different in another. There was NO excuse for what we encountered on this trip.

Could anything worse have happened? Well, I don't even want to go there, because I wouldn't be sitting here writing this now.
The trip to San Francisco was great, and you'll hear more about that later.