Sunday, April 30, 2006

NJ's Smoking Ban...2 Weeks Old, And Helping

It seems that NJ's smoking ban in public places such as restaurants and bars may actually be helping some businesses. In today's Press of Atlantic City, the paper reports that although it's too early to tell, some business owners are pleasantly surprised: their business has actually increased! People who stayed away because of the smoke are now coming in! In the article, a chef from a local Pub & Grill reported the NJ smoking ban as being very positive for that particular business. People who stayed away because they disliked the cigarette smoke, are now coming in!

I was in the Sands Casino the Saturday the ban went into effect. One of the very first things I overheard once I got off the elevator was 2 women stating how happy they were that they could now go eat in the Sands without all that smoke! And I did indeed notice a lesser smell of smoke in the Sands, although smoking is still allowed on the gaming floor.

As I have said before, and will probably say again, smokers are dinosaurs! Smoking is out! Breathing healthy air is in! All the crying in the world about rights, lack of business, or any other argument in favor of smoking is a shear waste of time! (If there was any drug on the market today that had the side effects that cigarette smoking does, that product would be pulled off the shelves immediately)!

I am going to be so bold as to suggest that smoking should be banned from the casino gaming floors as well! The amount of money the casinos take in would not drop as is so much feared. And who knows, like bars and restaurants are finding out, maybe business in the casinos would actually increase!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Beat Goes On! Definitely One Thing On Which I Do Not Agree With Bush

Well, the US military death count in Iraq is now over 2, 400! On Friday, officials at The Pentagon said that the American death toll in Iraq since the start of the war has topped 2,400, 2,401 to be exact. That includes all US military deaths in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. And in April 2006, the death toll has reached 69! US military death tolls had been declining since November, but April marks an increase. Why? Nobody seems to know the answer to that question. And I must agree with the tens of thousands that marched in Manhattan today, and I ask the question, "Why?"

It has been over 3 years since Bush & Company, with all their distorted intelligence, fooled Americans into believing invading Iraq was a necessary evil, but what has the US accomplished? Almost everyday, at least another American life is lost. And I am sure everyday an Iraqi life is lost! There seems to be no more stability in Iraq in April 2006 than when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Chaotic! That seems to be the right word to describe Iraq. Oh, I forgot, Iraq has a constitution! And they are working on a government! But big deal! Despite these "advancements", I again ask, "What has the US accomplished in Iraq?"

I know, be patient! Rebuilding a nation takes time! But how much time? I am sure 5 years from now, the situation in Iraq will be just the same as it is today. Maybe in 10 years the same too. Or, Iraq will have had its civil war and a new dictator will be in power! Call me pessimistic, but I cannot find the optimism in Iraq. My prediction is 25 years from now, history will look back on the Bush & Company Iraqi "experiment" as a total disaster, something that never should have happened!

Friday, April 28, 2006

What's Wrong With Me? I Have To Agree With Bush...

I must admit it, for the first time, I agree with George W. I agree with Bush that the US National Anthem should be sung in English, not Spanish! "One of the important things here is that we not lose our national soul," Bush said as he declared that the US National Anthem should be sung in english. Bush also stated, "...I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."

I believe all US citizens should maitain their heritage and language, but I do agree that immigrants to this country should be prepared to learn english. I think it's a shame when immigrants are ashamed of who they. I believe it is wrong for immigrants to the US to allow their heritage and culture to die by not passing that along to their children. Immigrants, no matter what country they come from, should be proud of who they are and what their culture is all about. But, if I were to decide to go live in another country, I would certainly assume that I would have to learn to speak the language of that country. And I believe the same should be said for those who chose to come to the US to live, which, by the way, was probably most of our ancestors.

It is the duty of the US to encourage cultural diversity and to be patient and understanding of those who may not speak english with 100% proficiency. But it is also the duty of immigrants to learn the language of the country, and in this case, that would be english.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Learn From That Fork In The Road

About 7 years ago, I came to a fork in the road. I had a decision to make that would forever change my life. I couldn't go straight because that was impossible. It had to be right or left, or the only other choice I had was to sit in the middle and cry! I think I made the right choice, but damn! How I hated those decisions in those days! But today, I look at those forks in the road, those roadblocks, in a different light. Sure, the choice is not always easy, but that choice made me move forward, not just sit in the middle and cry!

We are all faced with roadblocks. We all have to decide which way to move when facing that fork in the road. Sometimes we get so content and complacent with life as it is, that it takes that tough choice to force us to move on. I honestly believe that without these forks, alot of us, myself included, would just stagnate like a still pond of water. Day by day, we go through the same humdrum routine, and don't even realize we are going absolutely nowhere. And then, BOOM! A fork in the road! A roadblock that stops us dead in our tracks! And we must make a choice; a choice that we probably would never make unless we came to that fork.

So maybe instead of looking at the forks in the road as a bad thing, we should view the roadblocks in a more positive light. They force us to move on, to choose, to reinvigerate! They cause us to close one chapter in this book called Life, and begin the next chapter. And so the novel is written. The novel of Me. It's not until we close that final chapter, the end of the book, that we should be content in standing still. And who knows, maybe the book continues even after death.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

To Blog, Or NOT Too Blog?

That is the question....I find this very helpful in venting, but I am not really sure it's worth doing. Is it a waste? Does anyone really read it or care? Ehhhhh..........maybe? maybe not?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

And Now For US Successes in Iraq

So, the US is making great strides in Iraq. At least that's what George W. thinks and touts. Well, here are some updates on the US success in Iraq:

US troops are again patrolling in Baghdad. Dangerous areas of Baghdad that were given over to Iraqi's to take care of are now being watched by US troops. The good news: fewer attacks on US soldiers are occurring as the Iraqi's try to kill each other now.

Iraqi's still have not been able to resolve the deadlock over the formation of the new Iraqi government. Pressure to form the new government as soon as possible has come from all sides, from top U.S. officials to the Shiites' own top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, but to no avail.

And of course, there is still the question of civil war or no civil war? Is Iraq in a civil war or is it not? Some say yes, and some say no.

What fantastic success for the US. And we have George W. to thank for it. I used to think the US could not just "cut and run" from Iraq, but anymore I ask, "Would Iraq be any different if the US did just leave?"

Monday, April 10, 2006

Let The Senators Stand On Gay Marriage

US Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) announced that he supports giving same-sex couples the freedom to marry. As a result of this announcement, Feingold becomes the fourth U.S. senator to support marriage equality, along with Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). I am not sure of his exact position on gay marriage, but NJ's US Senator, Frank Lautenberg, has always been a strong supporter of gay rights, standing against an amendment to the US Constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

What Good Does Protesting Do? Just Ask The French!

Ever wonder if protests really create change? You see people protesting and wonder if it really makes a difference? "Why get involved?" Just ask the French people today if protesting works!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sorry Smokers, BUT...

Things are not looking too good for smokers in NJ. First of all, for those who order cigarettes online to save money, the NJ Division of Taxation is now expanding efforts to have smokers remit the taxes that the online prices don't include. New Jersey smokers who turned to the Internet as a source of cheaper cigarettes are finding that the cost may be more than they expected. And it appears online cigarette sellers are cooperating with states. Several other states, including New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Oregon, also have cracked down successfully on cigarette buyers who purchase online.

And the smoking ban countdown in NJ is on. At the stroke of midnight on April 15, 2006, NJ's indoor smoking ban goes into effect. The only place smoking will be able to occur is in your private home or car, some hotel/motel rooms, within the perimeters of casino gaming areas and casino simulcasting, some already established cigar bars, and some tobacco retail establishments. All other public, indoor areas will be smoke free.

Sorry for you smokers, but oh well..........Maybe you should take the hint and realize, like the dinosaur, smoking should be extinct!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Have We Learned Nothing!

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (gum disease), back pain, skin wrinkling (2 x risk), depression, stomach ulcer, common cold, Crohn’s Disease (chronic inflamed bowel)....These are just some of the ailments besides Cancer, emphysema, and heart problems caused by smoking!
It was 1 year ago today that ABC's Peter Jennings announced he had lung cancer.
124 days later, he died.
Have we learned nothing!

Let The Guilty Pay!

Hats off to Maryann Cottrell, an activist who has been snapping photos of people illegally parked in handicapped parking spaces. Cottrell has caught over 400 people, including Donovan McNabb, who appeared in court Wednesday, and Jeremiah Trotter, who also paid the fine. This was the second court date for McNabb and Trotter, who failed to appear for the original court date about a month or so ago. Neither Eagle was supposedly driving their vehicles. McNabb was in the hospital and his bodyguard, Troy Oglesby, admitted to using McNabb's vehicle. Trotter was allegedly in his vehicle, but not driving! Both owners are responsible for their respective vehicles.
It is about time someone stops people from occupying these designated handicapped spots when they themselves are not handicapped. People, who are perfectly capable, are just too damn lazy to walk a few extra feet! Cottrell is not a very popular person right now, but I say, "Way to go, Maryann! Keep it up!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Who's To Blame For This One, Pat?

On whom is Pat Robertson casting blame when it comes to the tornadoes that have devestated the central US?
I've asked the question before, and I'll continue to ask it until Mr. Robertson can explain why it is that whenever a natural disaster happens in an area that is gay friendly, it is God that is punishing that city/state. However, Mr. Robertson is silent when a natural disaster happens in what Mr. Robertson would consider a God-fearing, Bible-believing city/state. Which is it, Mr. Robertson? Is it God's punishment or not? Come on, PAT, you moronic idiot! (Sound familiar: "Jane, you ignorant slut!). Cut the crap! Thank God we haven't heard alot from Mr. Robertson lately. I guess maybe he's in the insane asylum that he should be in!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

My New Abode

Me entering my new home, sweet home...How I wish! Taken at Philly's Elfreth's Alley, one of my favorite spots to fantasize about in the whole world!!