Sunday, November 30, 2008

What Could Have Been That Important?

In a way, I'm glad I had to work on Black Friday. No way am was I going to deal with the traffic, crowds and morons out shopping trying to get a bargain on that day! What was so important in a Long Island Walmart that customers had to storm the door, break it open, and trample an employee to death? Was it worth the death of someone to get a Tickle-Me Elmo or a cheap laptop computer? It just baffles the mind to think that this man was trampled to death and nobody even realized they were stepping all over him. From what I have read, even when word got out that someone was killed, the response of the shoppers was to keep shopping. One person even said, "I've been waiting in that line since yesterday."

There will be sales and deals througout the Christmas shopping season, especially given the fact that stores will do what they must to end their year in the black with the economic problems at hand. Black Friday is not the only day of shopping for the Christmas season. But so many think it is! I went shopping on Saturday and it wasn't too bad. The stores were a bit more crowded than a normal Saturday. The sales were still there. I made purchases!

There is nothing in the world that cannot wait to be bought when one realizes the tragedy that happened in Long Island on Black Friday. Hopefully the people who were a part of that crowd will come forth and admit they were a part of it. However that is doubtful because when people act as a group, they lose that individuality.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Let The Preparations Begin

Now that I've put away the pumpkins and eaten the turkey, I can begin to think about Christmas! So the preparations now begin!
We push the holiday too much. I know it's the merchants that want the big bucks during the Christmas season that causes this push, but I like to enjoy the holidays as they occur. I don't want to worry about Christmas before Halloween has even come. we go! "It's beginning to look alot like Christmas..." And now, I can appreciate it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Am Thankful For.....

MY HEALTH: I know I take it for granted, but I am thankful for good health. When I look around and see all that could be wrong with me, I realize just how thankful I am for this.

MY FAMILY: I don't always tell them enough, but I am so very thankful for a loving family. I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a 2 parent household, with a mother (who is deceased) and father that always provided for my brothers and sisters an I. We were by no means rich growing up, but my parents always made ends meet and then some. I remember my mother sitting out in the cold and rain watching her boy play football. She gave everything for her husband and children. My sisters and brothers and I still remain close and enjoy our times together.

FOR MY CHILDRE: Again, I don't tell them enough. But they mean everything to me! They are one of those things in my life why I don't dwell on, "IF I had done it differently." If I had done it differently, my 2 kids wouldn't be! That would be a loss for me!

FOR MY FRIENDS: Friends that are there when I just need someone to talk to! Friends who give me a laugh now and again.

FOR MYGUY: He means the world to me! Kind, sweet, generous, caring...just a few words to describe him!

FOR MY JOB: I have been very lucky throughout life, with a job that is secure and provides me with what I need. I may not appreciate it everyday, but without it, life would be so much harder!

The list could go on and on I'm sure.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IF-One of the Biggest Words

The other night a friend of mine said, "If only I had done it differently!" My reply, "I haven't done everything in my life right, but I wouldn't do it differently even if I could." IF is something I don't dwell on for too long. IF isn't real and cannot happen no matter what. No matter how much you wish you could do something different, no matter how often you think, "what if?," no matter how long you consider how things would have turned out "if only," IF will NEVER be!
That one little word is one of the most thought about, discussed, wished for words in the world, and it can't even happen! Besides, if it could be, remember this: that one little word would change your entire life! Change one little thing about your life, and your entire life changes! As I said to my friend, "If you never got married, you wouldn't have that wonderful daughter you always speak of with such pride and joy. You would not have met me!"
I don't know why things happen in life. I used to say it was God's will. That I'm not so sure of anymore, but this I am sure: things happen in our lives for a reason. We are put in a situation and in contact with certain people at a specific time, for a specific reason. I have met many people throughout my life who made a difference for me, and I hope there are people I've met that I have made things just a little better for. Life is in constant motion, and we are pieces moved on a chess board.
So instead of wondering, "what IF," be thankful and appreciate what HAS happened in your life. For IF could alter all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Criminals? No, Just Two People In Love

In June 1958, police in Caroline County, Virginia, raided the home of Mr. & Mrs. Richard Loving (Mildred being the wife) while they were asleep in their home. The Lovings had recently returned to their home in Virginia after being married in Washington, DC. The police not only hoped to find the Lovings in bed, but engaged in a sex act. For you see, in Virginia, this couple's marriage was illegal, and sex between the two was another crime. Yes, a crime for a married couple to be engaged in sexual relations. In their defense, Ms. Loving had pointed to a marriage certificate on the wall in their bedroom. That, instead of defending them, became the evidence the police needed for a criminal charge since it showed they had been married in another state. This case was eventually fought and taken all the way to the US Supreme Court, where, almost 10 years later, the Court ruled that:
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
As I have previously stated, marriage has changed throughout the ages. Marriage was not, as most believe, an institution established by God. Marriage originally was a "business arrangement" between tribes and families. The woman became the man's property! Plain and simple. Why do you think the woman has taken the man's name? So when one argues against same-sex marriage, there's not much basis to state that gay marriage would redefine marriage. Marriage has been redefined for years!
In the US, it is a constitutional right to marry. That means it's a constitutional right for all! You don't have to like it, or approve of it, or participate in it, but not allowing gay couples to marry is DISCRIMINATION!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's A Personal Attack

Tens of thousands of people in cities across the country turned out in support of gay marriage yesterday, one of the largest show of support since Prop 8 made same-sex marriage illegal in California. Signs like the one pictured and slogans like "Yes we will" and "We want our rights" were echoed in the streets of several US cities including Philadelphia, where several thousand gathered. In Las Vegas, comedian Wanda Sykes surprised a crowd of more than 1,000 rallying outside a gay community center by announcing that she is gay and had wed her wife in California on Oct. 25. Sykes said that, “I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked — our community was attacked.”

A personal attack? Yes, a personal attack! These constitutional amendments, also put in place in Florida and Arizona on November 4, 2008, add discrimination to a state's constitution! That's all there is to it. Instead of advancing civil rights for its citizens, these amendments take a certain group and prevent them from their right to happiness. (If you can define marriage as "happiness." Some do). So if a certain State decided it no longer thought women should vote, it could, by passing an amendment to its constitution, take away a woman's right to vote? One does not have to agree with, or approve of gay marriage, but same-sex marriage is in no way a threat to heterosexual marriage. Marriages have been changed throughout history, so don't tell me allowing gay couples to marry is redefining marriage. It wasn't until the late 1960's that all states had to permit interracial marriage, and if it were up to some states today, couples of different races would still not be allowed to wed. This is some of the basis for at least three legal challenges put to the court seeking Prop 8 not be allowed into law! Doesn't the US Constitution guarantee that States cannot implement discrimination?

Do I as a gay man want to get married? It's not a question of do I want to get married, but am I legally permitted to get married. It's not a question of does someone need to be married to be happy, can anyone be married to achieve their goal of happiness. Anyone in the US who wants to be married has that right!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Yes, People Still Are Good....Most of Them, Anyway

In yesterday's Press of Atlantic City
it was reported that a disabled man and his mother, who live in the Northeast Inlet section of Atlantic City had been burglarized for the 11th time since moving into the home about 10 years ago, despite a home security system. However this time, Jason McGlynn, a man with cerebral palsy, had his computer stolen in the burglary. The computer gave the man access to the community and the outside world, and it was vital in his life. (How I can understand the need for that computer). It was reported that not one neighbor came to see what was going on when the police cars arrived on scene the night the burglary was reported. The mother, Lucy, and Jason thought nobody cared. However, they found out how wrong they were.
On Friday morning, Jason and Lucy found out they had more neighbors than they thought. And they all wanted to help. "The calls started at 6:30 this morning," said Lucy. "I've got to tell you, I was pretty despondent, but there's been such a wonderful outpouring. People have been so kind to us. I'm speechless." The calls kept coming, and by 9:30AM 75 calls had been received. By 2PM, there were hundreds. A new computer for Jason was promised. New windows will be installed by Tom Sykes, an Atlantic City architect, replacing the ones damaged by the burglars. Lucy, a Social Worker at Atlantic Cape Community College counsels about 350 disabled students, and she has suggested that those who were offering to donate computers to her donate them to her students. A sad story with a happy ending.
It makes you realize that with all the bad going on in the world today, people still do care! If we just look around, I would venture to say those good people far outweigh the bad!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


A new day! A new direction! What an historic moment in American history!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The World Wants Obama

While we wait to see who is elected the next President of the US, the world waits as well. Most of the world wants Barack Obama. According to one report, "World hopes for 'less arrogant America." The world is tired of George W. Bush and is excited about Obama's focus on hope. In Paris, there is going to be a "Goodbye George" party to say adios to an era in US history that I hope does not harm our reputation too dramatically.

Obama brings with him an attitude that America must lead, but must also be a part of the world community. To some that is scary, a sign of weakness. However, it's the truth. Like it or not, we now live in a world that is more than ever connected. Economically there is no way around it. What happens in Japan has an impact on the US. And what we have learned recently with the high fuel prices, what happens in the Middle East sends tidal waves to the US. Technology brings us together, like it or not. The environment also joins the countries of the world; pollution in China effects the environment of the US.

So let's keep our hope alive today as Barack Obama is elected President. It is not only good for America, but the rest of the world as well.

(Now I'm outta here to cast my vote. Hope you're doing the same).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

What Is Proposition 8?

While most of us watch to see who will become President-elect on Tuesday, on the other side of the country in California, a huge vote will take place that could define the future of (gay) marriage in California. Prop 8 is a vote to amend the California constitution that would in essence make gay marriage illegal, defining marriage as a union ONLY between 1 woman and 1 man.

In May, the California Supreme Court ruled that the California constitution did not allow discrimination as to who could or could not get married, and that by not allowing gays to marry, that was discrimination. California then became the 3rd state in the US to allow gay marriage. (Massachusetts and Connecticut are the only other states in which gay marriage is legal). However, the religious right got their panties in an uproar and decided to try and overturn the Supreme Court's ruling by proposing an amendment to the Constitution specificall stating who could marry in California. The campaign for Prop 8 has been a long, hard fight, with many lies and hatred spewed about gays and what will happen to California and the nation if gays are allowed to marry. Those against Prop 8 hold that by passing Prop 8, it is adding discrimination to the constitution by taking away a right of one group.

The polls show a close vote on Prop 8. The latest stated that those who oppose Prop 8 is about 49% while those who favor Prop 8 are about 44%. As is often said, "As goes California, so goes the rest of the country." HOPEFULLY PROP 8 WILL BE DEFEATED!