Monday, January 30, 2006

Bush's State of the Union Address? No Thanks!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I will not be watching President Bush's State of the Union Address tomorrow night. I simply cannot watch that man speak! First of all, I am embarrassed for Mr. Bush. Granted, his address will be scripted, and I am sure he will have practiced it several times, but I cannot watch him fumble around and savagely murder the English language. And secondly, I am embarrassed for the US! This is supposed to be our leader! But the man cannot even speak! Below are just a few "Bushisms" that I found on the net:
"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" —George W. Bush
"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it."
"I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together." —Bartlett, Tenn., Aug. 18, 2000
"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?"—Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000
Not everyone shares my views. One writer that I found actually believes, "George W. Bush is not the most articulate of men." Is this person hearing the same thing I am? But everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. (Just like assholes, everyone's got one)!
I can't watch and wait in anticipation for the blunders. It is too nerve wracking for me. So I will not watch the State of the Union Address. Call me un-American if you want, but it's my choice. At least so far, Bush cannot make any of us watch him.

NO To Zulima Farber, Corzine's Attorney General Nominee

The NJ State Senate is expected to approve the nomination of Zulima V. Farber as NJ's new Attorney General, probably today. Farber would be the first Hispanic to hold the position, which is great. However, in her confirmation hearings, Republican oppenents brought up Ms. Farber's driving record. She has 13 speeding tickets and 4 bench warrants. I have to agree with the Republicans on this one: Farber is not fit to be Attorney General, often referred to as NJ's "top cop." She apparently has no respect for the law. A person could not even qualify to be a NJ State Trooper with her record! I could understand and make an exception if Ms. Farber was being nominated for another post, such as Human Services Commissioner or Dept. of Education Commissioner. But this is for the position of Attorney General! I know we are all human, and believe me, I am not without fault. But I would not consider even myself qualified for NJ Attorney General with a criminal record! SO I SAY NO TO FARBER for NJ Attorney General.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

NJ & PA Battle Over Mud

Today's The Press of Atlantic City had an article about the quiet quarrel that has been going on between NJ and PA on whether to make a 103 mile stretch of the Delaware River 5 feet deeper so larger ships can sail into the port of Philadelphia. PA wants the Delaware deepened to compete with other ports along the east coast. NJ lawmakers say the dredging project is economically and enviornmentally unsound. The quarrel is about to "flow downstream into the nation's capital."
Rick Santorum, Republican Senator from PA has threatened to block any federal legislation that benefits NJ if the state continues to oppose the river dredging project. Ed Rendell, Governor of PA, said he would stop commuter trains from running into PA if NJ continues to oppose the project. But NJ remains unswayed. Rendell has pledged that if NJ supports the dredging, PA will take 75% of the mud, with NJ taking the remaining 25%. But many New Jerseyans question whether Rendell will keep his promise.
Politics, of course, comes into play. Santorum and Rendell both face upcoming elections, so they want their constituents to view them as pushing the dredging project to benefit PA. And NJ legislators do not want to be seen as caving in to more mud than promised.
So, I would say, come on boys. Let's come to some agreement that can benefit both NJ and PA. Let's be neighborly. And besides, I still want to use the train to come to Philly if I choose.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Palestinian Election. Help Me Understand!

OK. The Palestinians had a legitimate election in which the militant group Hamas won the majority of seats. (Probably old news for most of you). This was a democratic election monitored by groups to make sure it was legit. Even Jimmy Carter was one of the officials monitoring the election. But the US, which formally views Hamas as terrorists (and they sure are), is refusing to recongnize Hamas until they renounce their wicked ways. Condy Rice said last week of Hamas, "You can't have one foot in politics, and the other in terror." Funny, I thought politics and terror, especially in the current US administration, went hand in hand. So, I am confused. Doesn't the US preach Democracy and the will of the people? Isn't that what Iraq is all about? In Palestine, the people voted, and chose the party they wanted in power, correct? There was no fraud. There was no ballot stuffing by Hamas. It was a legitimate show of the people of Palestine as to what kind of leadership they want. It may not be what the US or Israel want, but it is apparently what the Palestinians want. I guess the US can decide with whom it does business. And if the official position of the US, rightly or wrongly, is that we do not do business with Hamas as it currently exists, is this the explanation. Whether the US wants to recongnize the Palestinian government or not, it exists! It will be very interesting to see how the US reacts. I can only imagine what the US response would have been if the Iraqi election didn't turn out the way it was supposed to.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Not All Conservative Republicans Oppose Gay Rights

I happened upon a commentary on Advocate.Com written by Bob Hall, a former Massachusetts lawmaker, who describes himself as a conservative Republican who wants everyone to know that the only people who threaten traditional marriage are straight couples. Hall, an unlikely supporter of gay rights explains why he does not support a constitutional admendment in Wisconsin banning gay marriage. I have to say that I do not agree with many of Hall's positions, but he has shown me that not every conservative, Republican is against gay marriage. Hall recalls how he became a supporter of gay rights in 1973, when Massachusetts state representative Barney Frank had filed bills prohibiting employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. "The bills received a favorable report—but no one in the committee’s Democratic majority was willing to carry (be floor manager) for them. So I volunteered", according to Hall. "The Republican floor leader had a minor stroke when he learned I was carrying gay rights bills," Hall continued. Today that antidiscrimination act is law in Massachusetts. Hall addresses the argument that legalizing gay marriage will hurt the institution of marriage: "Trust me, no true heterosexual wakes up and thinks, Hey, I’m really angry with my partner. I think I’ll try dating someone from my own gender from now on. So who has destroyed traditional marriage in America?" Hall ends his commentary by stating that "The anti–same-sex-marriage amendment isn’t going to help my marriage by so much as a red whisker. If you think it will protect your marriage or any marriage, that marriage is already shot."

No More US Air Strikes In Pakistan

Pakistan has informed the US government that there will be no more air strikes in its country. This came as a result of yet another recent screw-up by US intelligence leading to an air strike that killed several Pakistanis and destroyed a few homes, but did not take out the intended target. Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz made the remarks at a news conference in Islamabad, with former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, in attendance. So much for the hunt for Osama bin Laden if he is indeed in Pakistan. And who knows where this will lead in relations between Pakistan and the US. Who knows; Bush may now put Pakistan on alert that it too is in the "axis of evil."

Gay Marriage Ban Overturned In Maryland

Well for all you MARYlanders out there, good news! A Baltimore judge struck down a 33-year-old state law against gay marriage Friday, declaring it violates the Maryland Constitution's guarantee of equal rights. Judge M. Brook Murdock immediately stayed her order, allowing for an appeal to Maryland's Court of Appeals. We can only hope that the Appeals Court will also agree with Judge Murdock.
February 15th is an important date for NJ gay rights activists. The NJ Supreme Court will hear a similar case brought by same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, claiming that the NJ Constitution does not prohibit gay marriage. Again, let's hope the NJ Supreme Court also decides in favor of gay marriage.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bush V. Google...What Next?

I can't believe the Bush Administration has subpoenaed Google for details on what its users have been using Google to look for on the net. This is all part of the Bush Administration's efforts to revive an online pornography law that was previously struck down by the US Supreme Court. Google, fortunately, has refused to comply with the subpoena which was issued last year. The subpoena asks Google for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period. US Justice lawyers have now filed papers demanding Google comply with the subpoena. I only hope Google does not give in. Although Google pledges to protect personal information, the company's privacy policy says it complies with legal and government requests.
First illegal spying on citizens of the US. Now monitoring where US citizens go on the net. What next for the Bush Administration? I know some would say, "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about." But, this is the US! It is illegal to spy on people without proper authorization from a court, and it is a violation of privacy to be monitoring where someone goes on the net, or what anyone does in the privacy of his own home.
Enough is enough! Is this also due to Bush's war on terror, like everything else Bush thinks he can do?

My Message To Osama

Now that Osama bin Laden has put out a message for the US, threatening more attacks, I would like to respond to Osama and give him a message from me: "F**K you, Osama! I will continue my life as I am planning! I will still be taking my summer vacation, and getting there via air travel. I will still be going to NYC, using the Lincoln Tunnel. I will not be putting my plans on hold because you want to threaten my way of life! I will continue to live! Go to Hell, Osama!"
I hope everyone else also has the same message for Osama!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

We Got One! We Got One! Oops! No We Didn't!

US and Pakistani officials have now stated that Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, second man in the al Qaeda terrorist network, was not in a remote Pakistani village targeted by a recent CIA airstrike. However, Friday morning's strike killed eight men, five women and five children, in the three homes reportedly targeted. "Their information was wrong, and our investigations conclude that they acted on a false information," a senior intelligence official told The Associated Press on Saturday. This incident no doubtedly will cause major outrage toward the US. And remember, this occurred in Pakistan, not Afghanistan.
Osama bin Laden and the rest of his people must be laughing their assess off about now. Believe me, I wish we could get these bastards just as bad as anyone. Problem is, I'm not really sure we can. And "al Qaeda" is so big, even if we get one or two of them, the network will continue to do its dirty work. I'm not even sure if "al Qaeda" is really flesh-and-blood men, or more of an idea. I don't know the answer to al-Qaeda, but the US seems to be having a real problem dealing with them/it. And God only knows where Osama is....the US certainly doesn't!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

King George Calls For Silence

George Bush has again warned critics of the war in Iraq to be careful what they say, so as "not (to bring) comfort to our adversaries." And even though he hasn't called for compete silence, he wants debate over the war that "brings credit to our democracy, not comfort to our adversaries." I am sure Bush would rather there be no debate over what he is doing in Iraq. When the war began, critics were afraid to speak; 911 had just happened and saying anything in contrary to Bush's "war on terror" was seen as unpatriotic. Maybe if more debate had taken place the US would not be in Iraq today and 2,200+ American soldiers would be alive today. And maybe thousands of Iraqis would still be alive, and Saddam Hussein defeated anyway. (There were certainly other methods of getting rid of Hussein). If Bush were King, he'd have anyone who criticized the war placed in prison as traitors. And who knows, the way things are going, Bush still may be able to do so. He can illegally approve wiretapping, mail-reading, and other techniques to fight the "war on terror" so who knows what Mr. Bush might get away with in the future!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Somebody Get Bush A Dictionary! Or Don't Let Him Leave Home Without A Script!

I had the displeasure of seeing George Bush comment today about the start of Judge Alito's Supreme Court nomination after having breakfast with Judge Alito. I must say it was almost painful to watch the President of the United States fumble around for words and make facial gestures that pretty much resembled some lunatic in an aslyum. "Sam’s got the intellect necessary to bring a lot of class to that Court," Bush said. What the ****? Now that was a profound statement! I don't know about anybody else, but I have the hardest time in the world watching Bush speak. I usually try to avoid his speeches. He's ok when he has a written script in front of him, but when he tries to adlib, OH MY GOD! It is absolutely embarrassing! Hard to believe this man graduated from Yale and Harvard, let alone any community college. (Guess money can get you any degree). And what to me is even more amazing is there are people out there that still think George Bush is an intelligent, great leader!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brokeback Mountain

Finally got to see Brokeback Mountain last night. It was a good movie, for a love story. (I personally don't get that into "love stories" whether between straight or gay characters). Both actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal were very convincing in the roles they portrayed. The scenery was beautiful, and the movie began in 1963 in Wyoming, a place and time where being gay was much more difficult than it is in 2006. The movie's main theme was the difficulty these 2 men had in expressing their true love for each other. And what a shame that is; that people, even today, cannot love who and how they want to without being ridiculed, or in some cases, physically abused or even killed.
The theatre where I saw Brokeback Mountain was packed. It appeared to me that many straight couples were in the audience, more so than I had expected. If nothing else, I do believe this movie will indeed help in moving forward gay rights. The movie was only postive in its portrayal of the love these 2 men had for one another. There was no "Jack McFarland" (Will & Grace) type characters; these were 2 ordinary, hard working men who happened to be gay. When most straight people think of gays, they immediately envision flambyont queens prancing around. If there's one thing I learned the first time I went into a gay club, was that every type guy imaginable, from construction worker to retail clerk, can be gay. And lesbians: not all butch with mullets, but some that would knock the socks off the straightest straight guy. And Brokeback Mountain furthers this understanding.
I would suggest that everyone see Brokeback Mountain, even if you don't necessarily like "love stories" as I don't. It may just enlighten you a little.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Is It The State's Job To Take Care Of Families?

I'm going to do something I don't usually do: defend NJ's Division of Youth & Family Services (DYFS). I work for another State entity, and believe me, I have my problems with DYFS, but I think some of the flack DYFS is receiving from the state child advocate is unwarranted. Now, granted, children in DYFS care have been injured and killed, and the DYFS system was in need of repair, and I'm sure still is to some extent. But come on! I don't care how much reform there is, unfortunately, children in NJ are going to be abused and even killed. It's just a fact of life! And is DYFS totally responsible for protecting every child in NJ? Or, is DYFS there to lend some assistance to families to lessen harm to children?
Two reports released by the state child advocate yesterday has found that the Division of Youth and Family Services sometimes fails to help New Jersey's abused, neglected and otherwise vulnerable children _ even amid an ambitious reform effort. Most of NJ's children under the care of DYFS remain in the homes of their families, not in foster care. "Too many families in this study appeared to be left to their own devices to solve their problems," said Arburta Jones, the chief of staff for the child advocate's office and the lead author of the report on families. Let me ask you, what's wrong with families solving their own problems? Who solved your family's problems? Who solved my family's problems? Was it the State? NO!
We live in a time when nobody takes responsibility for their own actions. It is not the State's job to take care of families; it is the family's job to take care of itself. Why does everyone think the State is responsible to provide the care? State agencies are there to lend support and assistance, but not be totally responsible for the care of families. Women (and men) have child after child, then expect the State to take care of them. Then if there's a problem, blame the State! Even for a child taken from his/her family and placed in foster care, who is ultimately to blame if something bad happens to that child? I would argue it is ultimately the natural parents to blame who for whatever reason shirked their parental responsibilties! It is not the State's fault. The State comes in to provide help, but cannot be held accountable for the problem in the first place.
Instead of blaming DYFS, maybe we should be supportive of the work it does. Budgets are limited, and nobody wants their taxes raised to provide the adequate funding needed. Caseworker try their best to provide assistance to families in need, but they are not in the situation 24/7, and bad things happen when they're not there. It is not the State's responsibility to care for families! It is the family's responsibility. And I would suggest that if someone does not want the responsibility of caring for their own children, then don't have them in the first place!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Bush To Blame For Retiree Benefits' Cuts?

Has anyone else noticed the correlation between Bush's proposed privatization of Social Security (which thankfully has not gone anywhere) and the recent push by companies to cut the benefits of retirees? Back in October GM had reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers Union to cut health benefits of retirees, and other car manufacturers were following suit. Today, IBM announced that it too would be changing its traditional pension plan by 2008. Could it be that companies have caught onto Bush's plan to make workers contribute to 401K and other retirement plans instead of the companies having to contribute to the pension and retiree benefits of those workers retiring? Could this be the wave of the future? Have private companies, in an effort to cut costs, and make more profits for the owners and stockholders, screwed those men and women who for year sacrificed for this company, with the understanding and agreement that there would be a pension and health benefits at the time of retirement? Could it have been the Bush Administration that is to blame for this trend? I would say that it sure as hell could be. Bush & Company have done more to hurt the "little guy" than any president in recent history. And Americans don't seem to be able to see through this. Just look at how many of the "little guys" supported Bush in 2004 because he promised safety from the evil terrorists. But, Bush has done nothing to keep Americans safe from the terrorists within, the big company owners!

Come On, People! This Is 2006!

It's hard to believe stuff like this still happens in America, the nation that is supposed to be so freedom-loving, so example-setting, and the big melting pot! A 19-year old Army Private who was beaten by one soldier and threatened by another after they learned he is gay has been discharged. Private Kyle Lawson (pictured to the left) was punched in the face by a fellow member of a training unit at Fort Huachuca at an off-post party in October after a friend let it slip that Lawson was gay. Of course Private Zaccharias Pierre, the soldier accused of hitting Private Lawson, has used the excuse that Lawson was coming on to him. Private Zacharias Pierre was charged with felony aggravated assault - a charge that draws an average 3 1/2 years in prison upon conviction in Arizona, more if a judge finds the crime was hate-based. And I only hope the judge does indeed find Pierre to be in violation of a hate-based crime. The military should also be doing the same thing, but using military regulations officials at Fort Huachuca took control of the case, dropping the charges laid by Sierra Vista police. They have refused to say if any appropriate action has been taken to hold his attacker accountable but media reports indicate that Pierre has received only a slap on the wrist - the withdrawal of a weekend pass. The US military needs to make an example of Pierre and any others who commit such crimes! Private Lawson left the military with an honorable discharge, and even military police doubt there was any provocation on Lawson's part.
Here is a man who was serving his country. A man that gave up everything to be a good soldier, and he was not abused by any enemy, but by a fellow officer! “The command at Fort Huachuca owes Private Lawson, Congress and the public an explanation about why an anti-gay attack appears to have gone unpunished," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. " Congress and the Pentagon must repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ immediately and impose strict penalties against those who engage in any form of harassment. If America is fighting for democracy abroad, it must abide by those same principles at home." The US needs to lead not only with words, but with example!

NJ Moves Still Closer to Full Gay Partner Rights!

Way to go NJ! The New Jersey Senate late Thursday passed sweeping amendments to the state's domestic partner law that would, upon a partner's death, give the surviving partner control of the estate and inheritance in the absence of a will. The legislation also would give the surviving partner control of burial decisions absent a directive otherwise. Here we go again, NJ! First Domestic Partner rights, now this amendment, and who knows, soon gay marriage...or at least civil unions? I still think NJ is a great place to live!

Poor Jeb Bush!

The Florida Supreme Court ruled yesterday that using tax payers' dollars to pay for tuition at private schools is unconstitutional. This venture was the "centerpiece" of Jeb Bush's educational reform in Florida. When are the Bush's going to realize that public money is for public things, not for private, mostly religious things?

Preacher Of Doom, Pat Robertson!

Now Pat Roberson is suggesting that Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon was "smote" by God because of his decision to "divide" Israel. "He was dividing God's land, and I would say, 'Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America,'" Robertson told viewers of his long-running television show, "The 700 Club." When are people going to realize Pat Robertson is off his rocker. (I have to admit, years ago, I was a big fan of Robertson's, so it took me awhile to realize what a moron he really is). I can only imagine how far back Robertson's comments will put Christian/Jewish relationships.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thank You For Your Answer, Pat Robertson! It Had Nothing To Do With My Request!

A few days ago I wrote to Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network/700 Club, requesting his prayer for the people in Oklahoma and Texas as God’s purging continued there in the form of heavenly fires. I informed Mr. Robertson that I felt God was punishing these states for supporting a war monger and divisive president. I received a response from CBN, but it had nothing to do with Oklahoma and Texas. It was a general response about my asking for prayer for others. It was a generalized, probably computer-generated response. Shows how much CBN/700 Club really care. The following is their response:

Your prayers to God in behalf of others are pleasing to the Lord. The Bible tells us that the Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous and is pleased by them (Proverbs 15:8, 29). We encourage you to continue in prayer for those you are concerned about.James 5:13-16 presents a powerful lesson on the prayer of faith. Here we learn that if anyone is in trouble, he should pray. If anyone is happy, he should sing songs of joy. And if anyone is sick, the elders of the church should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Whatever the need is, general or specific, we should stand together in prayer for those needs to be met.Prayer that is offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. We are to confess our sins to each other and pray for one another. If we do these things, we can know that any concern we have for others, whether for salvation, healing, or financial need, can be brought before God in faith, and He will hear and answer that prayer.Prayer for another is an outreach of God's love through us to other people. It is something we can do for anyone, anytime, and anyplace, and it is definitely something we all need! It costs so little to give, only our time and spiritual energy, but it reaps so much good in return. If we will trust in Him, the results are priceless!CBN has a 24-hour prayer line that you can call anytime you need someone to pray with you or for you personally. Just call 1-800-759-0700. Someone is here for you!

Thanks for the help!

Monday, January 02, 2006

My Hopes For 2006

The following are just a few of my hopes for the year 2006:

1. George Bush will be impeached and convicted of crimes against humanity and
abuse of power, and tossed out of office along with his cronies;
2. The senseless killing will end in Iraq, and the US will get the hell out;
3. Gays across this nation will win respect and the right to marry, or at least experience
civil unions;
4. Discrimination of all kinds will end in the US

It's a big order, but if we all band together and fight, it can happen. As Andy Warhol once said, "They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." Let's all change, then change our society...for the better.

Heavens Purging Fires on Texas and Oklahoma?

Well, Pat Robertson and the likes of you? How do you explain the current wild fires in Oklahoma and Texas? Perhaps it’s God’s wrath and Heaven’s purging fires being brought down on a people who supported a war monger and divisive president? I wrote Mr. Robertson at the 700 Club asking him to pray for the people of these states. The following is my correspondence to Mr. Robertson:

Please pray for the people of Texas and Oklahoma who are experiencing Heaven's purging fires for supporting a war monger and divisive president. God's wrath is upon them.

Let’s see if Mr. Robertson responds.