Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

May 2012 be wonderful for us all!

Dear Mr. Politician

  Dear Mr. Politician;

  It is my hope that you will listen to Clint.  Because, you see, while you stand upon your soap box, decrying the horrible concept of two adults who cherish each other coming together in an American Civil Right of Marriage for no other reason than both are of the same sex, you ignore the very important things.  As you line your pockets, you starve our children, our grandparents, and our neighbors.  You allow waste and pollution to run rampant while you dither the philosophies of men of 4000 years ago, ignoring what they were saying and cherry picking your tennants from the minor limbs of the tree of life. 
  Do you believe yourself to be so far above it all?  Ask Dick Cheney about his daughter.  Ask Nancy Reagan about her husband.  Ask John Edwards about his wife... if you can find him.  Don't you see? 
  If you put half your energy used keeping homosexuals from marrying and put it into feeding our kids, you wouldn't have starving kids in your district.  If you spent a quarter of the money in American Schools as you have in Iraq, Johnny would know how to read.  If you spent half your time on insider politics and spent more on the streets, bridges, and woods, you would see our land being destroyed.  And, if you cared just a bit more about your country and a bit less about your party, you wouldn't need to be told any of this. 
    -a voter!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our boys come home from Iraq....

But not all made it home for Christmas.  Let us not forget the cost

Ok, time to follow the law...

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s amusing as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleepwith their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

As the year draws to an end...

Hello My wonderful friends;

  You have no idea the great growth you've helped me make this year.  I was at work last night, thinking how my life has changed, how I've become more confident of myself and more aware of the world about me, how much my emotions no longer run my life and how I am able to deal with the emotions of others without reacting emotionally.  It is surely and so very obviously - in my mind, at least - due to the repeated positive feedback you all have given me.  I'd really like to thank you for that - for listening to my concerns, my rants, my naive hopes and small dreams, giving me understanding and insight in return. 

  I hope you can forgive me, but I'm off on another rant.  But, perhaps it is one that you can share...

I saw this video today.  It struck a cord in me.  It was so beautiful, so peaceful, yet so alive and vibrant - even mysterious and dangerous in its way.  I heard a line from some time ago where someone said in regard to the sea:  'if we spent a tenth on the oceans that we've spent in space, we'd feed the world'.  I don't know if that is true, but as America's "Space Age" drastically changes, perhaps we now can actually investigate the world in which we live rather than the space in which it roams.  Perhaps we can begin to look more closely at the world in which we must live rather than seek to escape it to the stars.  I don't know what we've gained from our forays into space, but it's come at a cost.  Please scroll down to see the vid.  It's worth the time....  turn on your sound.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to All

Good Morning, all.

   It's about 0800, Saturday Christmas Eve...  I have no idea when this posts.  I'm still blogger illiterate.  But, I think it will be today.  I hope....

  Anyway.  It's about 0800.  I got up about 3 hours ago, wrapping gifts I'd yet to wrap and placing them under my Charlie Brown Christmas isn't really, but it nearly looks like one.  For those of you unfamiliar, look it up (HERE(
  I like my tree, even if others don't.

  Yesterday my uncle and cousin came to visit.  They will be coming again today.  These two are sort of alone for Christmas as that aunt who died last year about this time was my cousin's mother and my uncle's ex.  (I got her in the divorce...she moved to just a mile or so down the road from me while he kept the old homestead in another state.)  So even though my cousin and I didn't get along for years, I won't turn anyone out of my home on Christmas
....well, I guess I still have some issues with two people who just would need to find another inn.  I would let them use my phone to do so, does that count?
  Yesterday started out a bit rough, and that's ok.  It was uncomfortable, I bet, for my cousin.  And, if someone comes into my house, I expect them to respect me and my home...he did in every way.  So, as things worked through the day and conversations developed, stuff improved.
  It's difficult to forgive someone.  Christmas is a wonderful time to do it.  If you have anyone in your life that has angered you, hurt you or others.... if you can find a way, forgive.  Harder done than said, I know, but worth it.   I will keep tring with my unforgiven one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Merry Christmas photo...

And a Merry Christmas was had by all...

Friday, December 16, 2011

What a great pic...

Where the mind takes me.... a scary ride.

Ok, put on your way-back goggles, hold on tight.  It's a bumpy ride into the mind.......  to a time long ago in my mind to !!! eeeeek! puberty~

  Ok, somewhere around there.  I think I was 11 or 12.  So, a bit early.  What brings this memory crashing down, you ask?  Well, like most of my memories, stashed and pushed into their own little corners, this one was dragged out kicking and screaming by this little fantastic, exceptional and heartwarming story found on Milkboys of acceptance, making things right, and making a way for things to be right:  I would love for you to read this story, if you haven't already.  Go ahead.......  I'll wait.  

  Back now?  Cool story, huh.  Well, my story is not nearly so cool, so I guess I would completely understand if you wanted to quit now while you were ahead.....  Well, don't complain later if you don't.
  Way back when, the skies were brighter, the air cleaner, there was a wonder in the world that new eyes could see and appreciate....and little randy was getting ready for holloween.  You in other countries may not have such a holiday, but it's second only to Christmas in kids' eyes here.  To dress up and traipse through the neighborhood begging for candy from neighbors and total strangers with equal underlying half considered threats of vengence upon those so stingy as to rebuke the beggars...  For a kid, it's magic.
  Most years I went as a ghost, a hobo, a pirate or a vampire.... whatever we could create here at the house.  It was a time when there wasn't a great deal of money in the household for more elaborate costumes.   Well, this particular year, I'd realized that my main friends had grown distant.  It was a period of time in which I'd been taken aside by the local bully, who was either gay or ???  and, like all kids do, they somehow knew and stayed away from me.  They were still there, just distant....and this is actually the holloween either just after or a year after I'd realized I was way over my head - the only way kids ever learn, when it went from fun to scary.   I was healing by this time, more or less ok.... but still had issues, I guess.  For holloween that year, I went out alone... I designed my costume, my disguise, in haste and with little help, utilizing two small cups from the bathroom - you know, those little paper/plastic ones of about 2oz? - and a funny blond wig, finishing it all off with long winter underwear and one of my sister's nighties......  you have to imagine the shock on my father's face, because I totally missed it.  Perhaps that was the first time the folks realized that little randy had issues.  Perhaps not.
  So, I guess the whole odd point to this story....yes, there is a point:  perhaps it is only kids who can be honest enough with themselves, unencumbered by the full weight of societal expectations and concepts of normality, to even come close to knowing who they really are.  And, yet, there are others who insist upon placing time and distance upon these fresh growing minds and souls to reportedly allow them to "grow up and determine who they really are" rather than listen and support them as they are.  I wonder, sometimes, what life would have dealt had I been more honest with myself.

Well, this sort of fit an earlier post....

  Do you have people at work who insist upon telling really poor taste jokes?  They aren't funny, everyone tells them, more or less, that they aren't all that funny, and yet these people insist going forth with jokes best left at the bar or locker-room. 
   Well, maybe this vid's for him....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shop Kitty

Hi Friends;
  I just wanted to bring you up to date on my decision regarding the rumor of abuse to the stray cat showing up at work....  I wrote a small sign and posted it on the front board near the time cards, it said:  "Be Kind to Small Animals.   The small kindnesses you do for them has big effects upon their lives, and the small meanness you do to them shows just how very very small you can be".   I did it in a poster format, boxed and with stylized printing.  Then, I made numerous copies.... It's been ripped down by said maintenance man 4 times now...and reposted each time by me and others. 
  Conversation has started and some who were not favorable towards the cat ...which is fine, not everyone is a cat lover ....  have seen how very small, in fact, such an act of mean-ness it is to kick or otherwise hurt a small animal.  So, success - even if a bit limited.

  12/16/11 -- a quick edit update:  Kitty showed up last night.  Seems no worse for the reported wear, and even allowed me to pick it up and put it back outside.  I did put up a box bed for it.... :)

Oh good, the translater is working. Now we can understand what he is saying...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Hi Friends;

  I always like to add a picture to my rants and wonderings.  Why?  I don't know, because I can, I guess.  Well, I've had a series of experiences lately that has me really thinking about the world in which we live and our values.  The kicker was reading Scottie's blog today, which should be titled "Congratulations.  It's a boy!"  but, he doesn't let me title is posts, which is quite wise.  I do encourage you to read it if you have not already:    Well, to make a long story short.... Scottie and Ron, and James, are all the final inspiration for this post.  So, this picture, though not quite in line with the post idea, still seems perfect to me.
  Let me begin by giving you some history of this thought process....and that is going to be kinda easy as you just need to scroll back in the blog a bit.  You will see postings on unfairly prosecuting people for a physical disease, making war on women and children in the name of one's god because the fit the rough description on a label, sacrificing one's ethics and integrity to lie and deceive, and last in the last few is for discrimination and alienation from a basis of fear....     
  Having noticed in passing those posts there, I'd like to tell you about a small cat, likely pregnant, that has been hanging around our shop as the weather has gotten colder and colder....  A little brown calico type, with the most expressive eyes and a purr to marvel General Motors, this little lady has been our daily visitor over the last couple of weeks, especially on cold nights.  I've kept the door open a bit, watching for her to slide near and absorb the warmth coming through.   We give her scraps of our lunch, finding that she really isn't into french fries but will turn somersaults, well almost, for a slice of turkey or ham.  She loves to be scratched behind the ears....      Well, rumor has it that the reason I've not seen her for a day or two is that the maintenance man kicked her.  A small, cold, pregnant little cat just trying to find a bit of warmth and humanity....sought it from one who evidently had none.
  Now, did you read Scotties post?

here is my question, the reason and title for this post....
    What does it mean to be a man?

   When some talk about men, real men, they think on John Wayne.  The rough, can handle it, ride off into the sunset type as those who need him run behind calling out "Shane...".   And, even, they see gay men as the very absence, the very antithesis of manhood....  but I wonder why?
  So, in my little demonstrations from these past posts, my experiences today, and Scottie's wonderful post, I truly begin to realize that our world has lost the understanding of what it means to be a man, as we are populated and led by selfish little boys...
  Let me begin with this issue today:  What could I do?  I didn't see the jerk kick the cat, but am going on rumor and story... which truly is unfair.   And yet, he's done similar before - which leads me to believe it to be true.  So, I ask myself; What sort of man is it who would hurt such a small creature so trusting of him?  I realize, that is no man at all; that is just a very old little boy still burning ants with his magnifier glass and pulling the wings off flies. 
  How about the story just prior where prosecutors are persecuting hiv+ men and labeling them "domestic terrorists"?  Are they at all fair, compassionate, reasonable?  How about wise, ethical, or decent? 
  Then we have the wars in the Middle East.  Clan upon clan, faith upon faith, and in the end their divisions are so very small.  For sake of being right, being the ones first in line, they would kill countrymen, and worse, women and children.  Is that honorable?  Is this what a warrior for a god is now? 
    Or, how about discriminating against others? 
           - how about selling out one's career code?

We could go on and on, but in the end we come to two men.  Gay men.  Some on the far right, like one of these recent posts - Michelle Bachman - would say are not entitled to the very rights of others.  Some would say they are gay, and therefore not really the "man's man", ironically.  But, in all the things I've experienced these past few days have brought me crashing down to see Scottie and Ron as the very definition of manhood.  They exemplify things that declare a mature man:
  First:  Stepping forward to help.  (read the story)...but going on to remember, that the definition of Dad is far different from that of father.  It takes a man to be a Dad!
  Compassion.   Caring for others.  Seeking fairness and decency in all things.  Holding to one's morals and convictions.  Looking past labels and seeing the person.  Humility, humor, and humanity...which makes one a triple hummer, right?  What have I missed?..........

Friends, I don't know where things are going in our world.  I don't understand a great deal of the things that I see.  For instance, I don't understand the ability to lie and deceive necessary to be a politician, the need for it even.  I don't understand the drive to use people, to wound, all for temporary gain of a few voters who somehow find that sort of thing enticing and worthy of a leader.  I know Scottie isn't perfect, and I know Ron doesn't have a big S on his chest.....does he?..... But, in this world of braggarts and liars, 15-minutes-of-famers, users, abusers, and thieves, all begging for our attention every week, isn't so very nice to hear this wonderful little story of two men who care?   It really made my day to say "Now there are a pair of MEN!".

 I am so proud to know them.  In their willingness to be Dads, they have given this rainy day a bit of sunshine for me.  They give me hope.  But perhaps most, they offer, quite humbly, a model for me to strive towards to be a good man one day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing."   -Ronald Reagan

  Hi Friends;
      I saw this today on Milkboys' political roundup.   It was an interesting article....on an issue of which I was completely in the dark.   Did you know this was happening?    Give your thoughts below.

While making his documentary about the media hysteria and unjust penalties behind HIV criminalization, Sean Strub, the founder of Poz Magazine, spoke with Nick Rhoades. Rhoades had an detectable viral load, used a condom and did not transmit HIV to his partner. But even still, a court sentenced him to 25 years for assault just because he had sex while HIV+.

He had to register as a sex offender every three months (child molesters have to register every six months). He couldn’t be around minors without their parents and had to wear a GPS ankle bracelet for 24 hour monitoring every day. He could not have any alcohol in the house, had to be home by midnight and couldn’t watch pornography. The police could search his computer whenever they liked and made him take psychological and phallometric tests where they gauged his reactions to different types of porn by putting a girth-measuring band around his penis.

Right now, 34 states and two U.S. territories currently have varying statutes that can penalize HIV+ people for potentially exposing others to the disease. In Rhoades’ home state of Iowa, an HIV+ person can get charged with assault and attempted murder for having consensual sex. In Michigan, an HIV+ man who bit someone in self-defense got charged with bioterrorism. And in Texas, an HIV+ man got 35 years in prison for spitting at a police officer.

In September U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced the Repeal HIV Discrimination Act, a bill that could end HIV criminalization nationwide. Until then the justice system at large and the American media consider the millions of Americans with HIV as criminals just waiting to attack.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A shocking pic from my perspective not pretty, be warned.

Hello everyone;
  I looked into msn and saw the horrible nature of man.  I am going to post the picture, because it needs to be posted, but I'll do so far below so that it doesn't come up right away.  People need to see it, and msn believed that also....though it took them a day to come to that conclusion.
  We wonder about a person's delicacy here in America so we don't show pics that are graphic and horrible.  But, those things are loose in the world.  Pain, hurt, anger and death, war and wounds and starvation of body, mind and soul.   It's not what I see in my little corner, and maybe that's a good thing.  I don't know how I'd respond.  Would I be callous?  Would I look upon such a thing with a gladness in my heart that I'd accomplished something profound against my enemy?  I sure hope not.  I sure hope that if I am ever so unfortunate to be placed in such an environment that I could somehow not glory in this type of stuff.
  What I'm going to talk about below is LABELS.  I made a comment on Milkboys that I was concerned about the reference of LGBT issues being labeled as such in reference to civil rights violations.  In my mind, a man or woman, of any age - ie baby to grandmama/grandpapa - who has their rights violated makes for a violation of rights, not a violation of women's rights, man's rights, gays rights, etc....  It seems to me that when we put labels on someone, we open the door for prejudice based solely on that label.  I was told it was not quite so simple, and I defer to more experienced minds on this, but I still have a hard time not seeing it that way.
  Well, same here.  And here is the pic....  It may not make the rest of your day so special...

 An Afghan Shia Muslim's cries near dead and injured after explosions during a religious ceremony in the center of Kabul on Dec. 6. At least 60 people were killed in an explosion at a Kabul shrine where Shia Muslims were marking the Day of Ashura Tuesday.

  Now, when I look at this pic, I don't see an "Afgan Shia Muslim"...  I see a mother, a sister, an aunt or what have you...looking down upon the death and hurt of so many of her neighbors, family, friends.  I see babies, mommies, little boys and grandmas.  I don't see the label so easy to hate, evidently by some.  I see people.   What is going on that babies and mommies and grandmas, little boys and girls, PEOPLE! are a military objective?  How does this do anything?  What is being proven?  How in the world does someone sleep at night after doing this?  and more so, how ever could they think that a loving and real deity could ever sanction such.
   My heart aches.  It just aches. 

hello friends, welcome to the nuthouse...

You know it's a political year, that elections are coming, when the most ridiculous gains place above the very real and scary aspects of life. 

  I've grown so very disillusioned with the manner in which news is presented in this country.  Fox is getting downright shameless in their promotion of an agenda.  Is that the role of the news-broadcasters in our world now?  Not to tell you what is going on, but to find news to fit a political agenda?
  I guess what scares me is that Fox is so blatant about it, but do all do this?
  Some of the recent "you are kidding, right?" for Fox news is decrying the new Muppets movie as part of a communist agenda.  Why?  Because the antagonist for the movie is an oil driller, seeking to bulldoze the Muppets' stage because he found oil there.'s a movie.  You do know that Muppets aren't real, right?  But, up in arms they go, marching off as to war against the enemy....
  So what got me on this rant....  well, I won't even dignify it with words, just this link (WTF!!!) .  I'll let you see the vid and you will understand my incredulity.
  What has become of our country?  Why do people just accept any bs as real and true.  Why don't they use their eyes, observe the world about them?  I know that I am in a small bubble of the world, a small bubble to my state even.  I see things from my perspective, I understand that.  And, I know that I sometimes come off as having the answers....I just want to have a conversation in which we talk about the reality, not the preset bull.  I want to believe that my presence on this planet is not to acquire wealth and step on people smaller than me.  I want to believe that we can be more than we are....I don't want to work towards being selfish and small.
  I've considered repeatedly dropping this blogging exercise.  And, to be honest, there are days when I really just don't like it at all.  When I see things so blatantly under my dignity to even acknowledge but find them to be so prevalent.  What is going on??  How can people be so dumb??  But, small moments come and I hear from people all over the world who tell me about their thoughts, their beliefs, and it is so cool.  Maybe my life is not so small, so closed in this little corner of my world.  Maybe I can go out of this world knowing that I did one thing worth while and cried out to the world ......  THINK!     Well,  you know the old saw...those that can't do, teach.  :)
hugs everyone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

out of the mouths of babes...

What Elijah says is:  "My Mommy is gay.  But, she doesn't need any fixing."
What the rest of say is Put that in your pretensious little pipe and smoke that, Bachman!'

Monday, December 5, 2011

Found through Milkboys...

  Unless I have lost my memory, the only realistic way to transmit the HIV virus is through blood or semen, right?  This site says that my memory hasn't gone completely around the least on this.  So, my only question:  What goes on at this school to make this child a risk to others?

A private high school in Pennsylvania refuses to admit a 13-year-old honor student who is HIV positive. The student's lawyer has filed a lawsuit alleging the school "violated multiple anti-discrimination laws." WCAU-TV's Tim Furlong reports.

By Art Caplan, Ph.D.

Today is World AIDS day – and there’s a lot of rhetoric flying around about progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, especially in overcoming fear and bigotry.
Except for at one school in Pennsylvania.
The administrators at the Milton Hershey School have single-handedly set back years of hard work tamping down the fear of those with HIV by denying admission to a boy who is HIV-positive, based on what can only be explained as fear, ignorance and bigotry.
The pre-K to 12th grade boarding school, located in Hershey, Penn., was financed and founded in 1909 by the Hershey’s chocolate company tycoon. It gives a free education to poor children and kids with behavioral problems. It has beautiful grounds, first-rate facilities and a dedicated staff. Its website is full of lofty language with talk of being "a caring community” and a school “that opens new doors for children whose families could not otherwise afford it”.
Unless apparently, the child has HIV.
The 13-year-old boy, described as an honors student, whose name isn’t being made public, and his family filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the school for discriminating against him.
The Hershey School said today in a statement that they can't admit him because “in order to protect our children in this unique environment, we cannot accommodate the needs of students with chronic communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.”

Say what? You have got to be kidding me.

The notion that you cannot place a kid who is HIV-positive in a residential school setting because he puts the community at risk is out of step with science, public health, and worst of all, real-world experience.
Ryan White fought -- and won -- that battle in the mid-1980s, after the teen was expelled from his Indiana school for being HIV-positive. But all these years later, here we are again somehow.
We have known for a long time that you can work or live with someone with HIV with next to no risk. Sexual contact is the primary risk factor, but that is hardly a reason not to allow a boy to go to school.
Shame on the Milton Hershey School for denying this kid the chance the school has given to so many others with special needs for reasons that have no basis in fact. Shame on the Milton Hershey School for discriminating against a young man who could bring much to their community. Shame on the Milton Hershey School for invoking a rationale for discrimination that only resurrects the bigotry and fear that it has taken decades to get rid of.
The school should do the right thing and do it today — admit this kid, hold a seminar soon on HIV and risk for their trustees, teachers and administrators and then renew their public commitment to “open their doors” to ALL who can both benefit and contribute to the school community by their presence.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

a Merry Christmas cartoon

Found on the internet...I forget where.  My thanks to Scott Metzger.  You are hillarious!  I encourage all to go to
the above site. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Either completely clueless or subtely ironic

Paul Blair Warns That "The Devil" Is Behind Gay Rights, Culture
Submitted by Brian Tashman on December 2, 2011 - 2:16pm

Oklahoma pastor Paul Blair joined Family Research Council president Tony Perkins today on Washington Watch Weekly to discuss his plans to run for office after speaking out against a proposal to add protections for sexual orientation in Oklahoma City’s anti-discrimination policy. Blair has tried to frame himself as a pastor who just happened to become involved in politics after he allegedly received threats after he denounced the measure, but as Kyle notes, he has a long history of working with anti-gay zealots like Sally Kern, Janet Porter and Perkins.
While speaking with Perkins, Blair claimed that American “culture is under attack” as “we’ve gone from True Grit to Brokeback Mountain.” In his discussion of the anti-discrimination proposal, Blair asserted that “the Devil” is leading the attack on the “realms of the home and the church” through the government.

Listen:   There is no picture, just sound

Our culture is under an attack. Just think in our lifetimes we have gone from an Ozzie and Harriet generation to a Desperate Housewives generation, we’ve gone from True Grit to Brokeback Mountain. Who’s supposed to stand for morality in our culture?
As Christians have abandoned the God-established realm of government, the Devil has been more than happy to fill that vacuum and now he is using government to attack the other realms of the home and the church. And we certainly are under attack.

 ~   ~   ~   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Ok, now, I've yet to hve the chance to see Broke Back Mountain.  Sorry, just haven't had that chance yet.  It's one of those that's slipped by.  But, what I recall of the movie, it's about two men in a small mountain town who are basically law abiding upstanding individuals.
 let's contrast that with "True Grit".

True Grit starts out as a man is murdered.  His murderer rides off free.  The local law enforcement individual is a drunk, slob, and foul mouthed.  He demands payment to do his job, a bribe really, then tries to welch. 

The heroine of the movie is a 14 year old who is forced to deal with the business community, intent upon cheating her, as her mother is 'constitutionally unable' to do so. 

For her attempts to find the murder of her father, she is spanked, abandoned, kidnapped, a rape is attempted, she is nearly killed far too often, and in the end dies a bitter spinster.

I'm sorry, we are supposed to go back to this "wholesome, Godly time"?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stories that raise questions...

Hi Friends;

  I stumbled upon this story via that same little app I put on my wallpaper.  I've adapted the story a bit as I am not allowed to post it in its entirety.  So, for those interested, search "Denver, Sheriff, Methamphetemines, Patrick Sullivan" and the AP story will likely be easy to find.  Ok?

A U.S. national sheriff of the year is now an inmate in the jail that was named for him, accused of offering methamphetamine in exchange for sex from a male acquaintance.
     Colorado retired Sheriff Patrick Sullivan, 68, now in handcuffs, dressed in jail oranges and walking with a cane observed quietly as a judge raised his bail amount to a half-million dollars and sent him to the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.
    The current sheriff, Grayson Robinson, who worked as undersheriff for Sullivan from 1997 until he took over the job in 2002, said "the department was shocked and saddened at his arrest" and has many in suburban Denver's Arapahoe County where he held sway for nearly two decades wondering what happened to the tough-as-nails lawman they once knew.
    Sullivan came to the attention of law enforcement Oct. 4 when two confidential informants said that Sullivan was dealing meth but would sell it only if they had sex with him. He was arrested after police set up a sting at a home.
    While those who know Sullivan were puzzled by the news, some said they weren't surprised that a person of his stature could get involved. They said meth users will do almost anything to feed their habit and often hurt others in the process.  "This drug knows no economic, social, professional or occupational boundaries," said state Rep. Ken Summers, who served on a legislative meth task force.

  Now, I am no expert on drugs, retired sheriffs, or even trading drugs for sex.  Being one who is completely absent of any expertise, I am, of course, qualified to offer opinion....   
  I find myself with a couple of real questions:
  1.  Was this former sheriff a drug user before retiring?
  2.  Was this former sheriff seeking sex with other men before retiring?
  3.  Will this former sheriff be treated differently from others who come to that very jail for similar offense?
  4.  If this drug knows no economic, social, professional or occupational boundaries, is the drug the fault or the person?  If the drug is the culprit, will this person be helped or tossed in jail and forgotten as many are who find themselves in like clothing and accommodation?  And, if the "drug is the culprit", then why are others given such harsh sentences?

  Americans will often look at this situation and shake our head wondering how far the mighty have fallen.  Some will advocate the jail named after him be known now as the one that he is buried beneath.  Some will seek to excuse his actions in light of his past good deeds, believing that a person's worst moments shouldn't occlude his best. 

  I ask those above questions because people often forget that there are social and personal issues that come into play upon any violation of the laws.  The man could seemingly get sex only by the dangle of illicit drugs.  Is he a user is unknown, though he doesn't appear to be too terribly ravaged by the loss of the drug in his system.  So, I am going to presume that this was more about the sex, and perhaps the money, than the drug.  If the sex, then perhaps it shows that a person, in good standing with the community, must hide his desires in the underground and back alleys of a drug world when the desire for gay sex should not be such a cause of hiding and shame.  You see my point?  Perhaps the very reason this man "fell so far" is that he used the drugs to get the sex that he couldn't socially.  He now becomes a very strange poster-child in a world so overcome with judgement and spite.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'd like some thoughts on the Salvation Army prejudiced?

Hello Friends;

  I recently added an, well I guess AP is the right word?, to my computer's wallpaper that gives me the days headlines.  I just put it up and already have something to talk about.  Good thing too....I was short on things to ramble on and bore you to death.

  So, according to a blog written by one who is living the life, the Salvation Army is prejudiced and discriminatory to homosexuals.

  I'm wondering is this true?  Is this the experience of a man who found a very misguided and "human" worker, or is this a case where the policy and the practice are not in accord?

  Please let me know what you have found in your experiences. 

hugs all;

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

funny signs

Hi Friends;
  I have had some things running through my mind lately.  I call them "Man rules"....though that seems to be taken by a whole list of other things.  These I see as rules for mankind to help sort through the bs of our daily lives.  I'd love your input on them and addition to the list.  For instance, I was reading a book recently and it talked about "good" vs. "evil"...and the general scope of things was that "evil" was being mistaken for the "good", the devil was being mistaken for the benevolent, just to start things out:
 1.  Words are Cheap.  The actions of the person, organization, etc., say a great deal more than the words from the propaganda office.
2.  Nothing good comes from Tequila.  No matter one's hopes, the complete removal of the brain in any action is doomed for failure. 
3.  Religious laws are only for Those In The Religion.  Debating any issue from a religious standpoint is doomed for irrelevence unless the person with whom you are debating is also of that religion.  And, any judgement is only valid for those who agree to be judged.
4.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  This does not apply to you who are in S/M domination and leather games. 
5.  Treat myself as I would treat others.  If I don't expect respect for myself from myself, then how can I expect it from others.
* this is a new one for me and one I'm struggling to do.

Do you have some to share?  Please do.  I'd love to have some "rules" for us to live and love by.
I imagine that my personal rules will need editing and practical tweeking....but it's a start.

In the mean time, a neat vid:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Did you ever wonder where pumkin pie comes from?

Hi Everyone...

  Saw this.  Too funny.  Sorry, had to share it with you all.......

Was Thanksgiving Happy?

Hi Friends;

  I meant to sit down so many times and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I just found it too difficult, I guess, to look at the day and kept putting it off.

  I've had a falling out with a majority of my family.  As a result, I spend a great many holidays alone.  I guess there are a lot of us out there who find ourselves not so welcome.  And, I guess, I am so glad to have come to understand that the concept of "family" can change.  I have a wonderful brother now that I didn't have the first 40 years of my life.  Who would have thought that at this age I suddenly get my life's wish for an older brother?! 
  Well, not able to sleep the night before, I finally laid down about 1100 and slept through my 1200 alarm, making me late for the dinner.  I rushed to prepare, take care of the dog's needs, and make it out the door, only being 15-minutes late.  We laughed it off, but I hate to be late.  I got hugs from my 3 aunts and went into the living room to watch the Lions/Packers game.
  It was a good day.  The things I brought went over well, and I learned that my aunt's best method for determining who will win the games centers around the asthetic quality of the football playera' "hats".   It does seem to work:  She believed the Lions have the prettiest hats, and she likes the dolphin, too.  But, as she really hates the color of the Dolphin's pants, I think it may be a wash.  In the end, I thought it an interesting method that seems no more effective than any other.
  I was sent home with some turkey after an enjoyable day.  And, my puppers enjoyed some of that when I fumbled on the goal line.....she was right there to help.

  So, I guess I'd like to wish everyone a happy Holiday, especially those like me who looked upon yesterday with dread.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Must I really be like you?

Hi Friends;
  I can't sleep, my knee is throbbing.  So, I'm up hoping the Excedrin will kick it....normally I take Aleve, but dummy me I left it in my tool box at work. 
  I was hitting some of the sites I've missed due to heavy work hours and found this follow up to the assault on the highschool student that I posted on before... (click here) .... for that Towel Road story.  What hit me the most is a comment made by the school officials to this young guy:  "Can't you maybe tone things down a bit?  Not draw so much attention to yourself?"
  In nature, conformity in packs is a survival mechanism.  Maybe that's true in people, too.  But, you see, if the fish, the Zebra, the Wilderbeast, etc., does not stand out, then the predator is not able to lock onto that one as a target.  In the uniformity and conformity of the pack, individualism is not a recipe for survival.  In fact, other fish, zebras and wilderbeast will actively distance themselves as not to be so near the target.
  I guess it's only in hindsight of looking at this phenomenon that I realize how basely driven we are even still.  We talk about this bully or that unfair system being a throwback, a Neanderthal, etc.  And, only now do I realize how correct that analogy.
  Nikki spoke of how shallow youth are, caring only about the clothes they wear.  I didn't understand his comment until now.  In the race to conformity, the style setters dictate survival.  Being "in" ensures a lead in the group, a centering of the mass so it is the stragglers and fringe who are sought by the predators. 
  It is, then, in increasing awe and admiration I have for those who live as themselves and not as part of the pack.  I personally am a t-shirt and jeans guy.  I don't know that I'd ever be otherwise...for that matter, I own little that doesn't fit that.  But, for those out there who proclaim themselves "out and proud", you have unfortunately painted yourself a target for the neanderthals.  But, perhaps more, you have begun to lead in a whole new social conformity that requires either acceptance or defiance.  You are winning the fight!  You are creating a world in which being different is not a death sentence, but a clarion call.  I am so proud of you.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In the "You have got to be kidding" file...

Bachmann's Iowa Campaign Chair Says Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead To Object Marriage
Submitted by Brian Tashman on November 21, 2011 - 1:30pm

A candidate with a long and ferocious anti-gay record as Michele Bachmann needs a campaign chairman with a similar history of activism against gay rights. Last week, Bachmann’s campaign announced that Tamara Scott will serve as her Iowa Co-Chair, with campaign manager Eric Woolson announcing, “We are proud to have the support of an honorable conservative leader like Tamara.”
Scott is the director of Iowa’s Concerned Women for America chapter, and last year successfully fought to remove three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court after they legalized marriage equality in the state. She claimed that the future of America and people’s potential to enter Heaven would be in jeopardy if marriage equality remains the law of the land, telling supporters, “This is a battle for your future as Americans, for your future as a society and for your future someday when you stand before the Throne.”

One reason Scott said that voters should oppose marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is that it would open the door for polyamory and legalizing marriages between people and inanimate objects. While speaking with Bob Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader, Scott warned that gay rights will lead to people marrying objects like the Eiffel Tower:

  In all actuality, I'm so glad to hear this is coming available.  I plan to marry the Capital.  I figure the way I've been f'd raw by the politicians and government, I should at least get a tax break by being able to file "married".  I can take all of congress as a dependent, right?

  Be warned, people....these are the people who want to "lead us" in to the future.

The Cost of Media Bias, Corporate Censorship, and the Lack of a Free Internet

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Hello Friends;

  In times past I was once a republican.  Sorry.  I didn't understand.  But, truth be told, I still find many of my views to hold a conservative lean.  Not republican, just conservative.  Long story....

  I found an interesting site:  I guess it wasn't lost, but you understand -  it's brand new to me.  I find it interesting because this site seems to focus on the real beliefs behind the G.O.P.  A great example is this one:

  Now, I have numerous thoughts for rebuttal.  For instance, we could talk about the way that the rich "job creators" have mostly created jobs in Mexico, China, India....etc.  and how many jobs are now just plain gone.  Or, we could talk about the manner in which these "job creators" are sending off jobs paying $20+ an hour and replacing them...sorry, Creating new ones that pay minimum wage.  Or, we could even simply talk about how very huge the gap is between the wealthy "job creators" and the common working man.  We could even talk about the manner in which the wealthy have swindled and cheated and driven the companies into ruin only to be offered millions to step aside and let the next have his turn at the wealth.... no accountability, no shame, no broken legs.
  Why, you ask, do I not?  Well, i think it's mostly because the common man really doesn't care.  All he wants is to be able to feed his family and put a nice roof over their heads.  We've become mostly inured to the screwing we receive from the rich, we just want to be able to live our lives.  What the rich seem to forget, is that when you take away the carrot, the horse no longer has incentive to pull your little golden wagon.  The whip, the wise cracks and brow beating quickly lose their power.  In fact, they become quite pathetic and so very demeaning as to show the speaker all the more clueless and shallow. 
  But, I think rather than speak on into infinity arguing that the classes are tired of being demoted from middle and upper middle to poor and poverty stricken, I'll let Bill say it:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rights, Religion, Politics....

Hi Friends;

  Over the past month or so I've become quite enamored with the ACLU blog.  I sometimes don't agree with their views, but that's ok.  I love the fact that they fight for freedom.  And, I guess, anyone who would suggest that isn't a laudable goal really needs to pull back and consider things a bit closer.
  The other day in my explorations, I found a picture that I just truly loved.  Unfortunately, I didn't save the addy so I can't find it again.  But, as most of you know of my religious beliefs, I'll just tell you what it said:  it said  "Jesus is my saviour, not my religion".  Now, this made me stop and wonder a bit.  I came to realize in my thoughts that when we Christians refer to Jesus as our "Personal Savior" and then begin to abide by a bunch of rules promulgated by man into a "religion", we lose the substance of our belief into our structure.  I know, that's a bit convoluted, but I guess I'm saying we lose focus.  And, since our goal is to be, by definition, "Christ like", perhaps our focus is quite important.
  Now, I've got issue with what I call "Cherry Picking Christians"; people who pull scripture that is complimentary to their belief system and sort of gloss over that which isn't.  These same will deny another person his rights so that this so-called Christian can be "right".  Well, I don't believe that is anywhere near "Christ-like".  We have man made laws, and we have God's Law.  Christians really need to read a bit more, pray a bit more, and definitely THINK a bit more,  and listen to preachers a lot less.
  So, now we come to the crux of my issue:  this piece found at the ACLU Blog.  I guess I could have left my thoughts to the end, but knowing me I'd forget to do so.  Well, here we go....tell me your thoughts:

please note:  I made some highlights of interesting phrases and claims.

ACLU Lens: Using Religion as an Excuse for Discrimination

This week, the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops is holding its annual meeting in Baltimore. The bishops are the lobbying arm of the Catholic church, and they hold substantial sway over lawmakers. But instead of focusing on issues like poverty or the economy, the bishops are instead complaining loudly that recent laws broadening women’s access to contraception and granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry amount to an assault on their religion.
However, as this Media Matters piece attests, this is hardly the case.

The bishops complained of anti-Catholic bias when the Obama administration declined to award them a contract to administer a program assisting victims of sex trafficking because the bishops refused to allow program funds to be used for abortion and contraception services and referrals. HHS instead gave grants to organizations that enable these women to get the care they need (legal aside: the ACLU has an ongoing case challenging that initial grant, and will continue litigating to ensure that government money is never used to impose any set of beliefs on vulnerable victims). Media Matters dissects the bishops’ arguments as articulated in a recent Washington Post piece by Michael Gerson.

The Gerson piece attempts to gloss over the fact that trafficking victims are often sexually abused, which is why it is critical that they have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Media Matters points to a British study that found that 95 percent of trafficking victims in Europe report being sexually assaulted.

Additionally, Media Matters shows that the bishops do not speak for the overwhelming majority of American Catholics, 78 percent of whom believe that rape victims should have access to abortion care and 63 percent of whom believe that insurance should cover contraception.

With facts like these, it is a matter of good sense, not animus, that the administration gave the contract to groups that will allow victims access to critical reproductive health services.

There’s no question that the Constitution allows everyone to practice their religion as they see fit. However, the Constitution does NOT allow one particular group to impose its beliefs on everyone else with federal money. That is exactly what the bishops are seeking to do. Nobody’s religious liberty is in jeopardy here. It is the right of others to live free from discrimination that is in danger.

And it’s not just the bishops. We’re seeing cases in which students training to be guidance counselors refuse to help teenagers in crisis because they are gay. We are seeing adoption agencies that use government funds refuse to adopt to same-sex couples. We are hearing of hospitals facing censure for providing a critically ill woman with an abortion in order to save her life. The bishops are not the victims here.

Our government’s top priority should be to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully, in accordance with our constitutional values. Allowing one particular faith to dictate how others should live does nothing to achieve this.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moments that change our lives...

Hello Friends;

  I was off on my's raining, so I'm not getting much work done today.  I had some pizza and a beer as I watched "Once Upon a Time".  I'm really liking that show.  I've also grown to like "Grimm".  I don't get to watch them on normal tv, but watch them here on the compy later.  But, I digress...

  I was off on my explorations and came across this picture.  It brought back memories and made me wonder about this lad.  I guess that's the magic of good art, good photography; it makes us wonder about the person, the place, the concept....
  I am like most people, I guess, in that I had a number of these moments when I was growing up.  I look back on them now, these moments of quiet sadness amidst the chaos of childhood and adolescence, and wonder just what decisions I made in these moments that now shape my life.
  Oh, we've all had these.  We've all had this time in our lives where we separated from one we loved, thought we'd never be able to show our face again, or just wished life held something more and different.  Lamenting our current position is perhaps the main title of adolescent depression.  I never thought I'd be this old when I was in such a predicament as this lad.  I thought I'd somehow escape my attractions to other lads and be married with kids of my own tearing about and destroying my home in their rambunctiousness.  Somehow I just knew life would be like the fairy tales, like the tv shows, and I'd be mowing a white picket fenced yard trying to escape my wife. 
  Escape being the operative word.  Escape reality.  You know, I have a lot of respect for kids now who are able to face themselves in the mirror, knowing that they are different and yet still very worthwhile.  It's hard for them to do that, I know, and we adults don't make it all that much easier all too often.  So, as I look at that picture there, I think back on my own refusals to face reality, even the many ways I tried to escape life, period.  The tv shows we watch....Once Upon a Time, indeed.  The books we read, the rants and raves, and all in all it's just a form of escape.  Can we be so brave to look into the mirror and see the truth....of ourselves, our worlds and the mistakes we've made and contributed to in others? 
  Well this is what was running through my mind for a bit today.....and then my pups jumped up into my lap - all 65 lbs of her - and reminded me that although my life hasn't turned out like the fairy tales, it's not so bad.  I'm loved, and I have someone...something? love, even when I'm feeling down.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The DOMA vote

I find it interesting, if I may interject my own words here for a moment, that it was Bill Clinton....of all presidents... who signed into law the so called "Defense Of Marriage Act".  Bill Clinton, who was a philanderer, a liar, had no concept of the word "is", and who's marriage for unknown years has been little more than a convenience.  But, that put aside, some may ask why this issue concerns me at all.  After all, it's not like I have any prospects, any expectations of any sort of marriage any time soon.  So why is it any of my business?
  Well, one:  it hurts a very good friend of mine.
   Two:  I still have hope.
    Three:  Any time we as Americans feel justified in taking the very basic rights of one group of people, we risk that very same thing happening to other groups of people.  It is why Martin Luther King Jr. stated so clearly that "an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere".  The fact that some would support the prejudice and discrimination involved in this issue is cause to wonder about that person's ethics in a greater scope.  As an example:  as a "white" male, I didn't support everything the Black Panthers, or N.O.I, or Malcolm X stood for.  But, I do stand and say that a so called "black" man is a man just as any other of the so called designations and descriptions we use (ie: white, brown, red, yellow, etc.) - and women, too.  I do stand and say that he has every right afforded any man, or woman, and vice verse. 
  You see, there are some in power who would fall all over themselves in denying by any method the taking away of the "black" man's rights - at least publicly - yet have no problem standing on their little morals and declare that a gay man's - or woman's - rights OUGHT to be denied them.   Who is next?  What is next?  Americans stand up and outcry the 1%, not understanding how it is that such inequality has come about - as a current issue example.  And, it wasn't all that long ago that this nation imprisoned Americans with Japanese ancestry for little other reason than suspecting collaboration.  Who is next?   It wasn't all that long ago that women were not allowed a vote, and in fact were considered property of the husband. 
  This is a repeating issue in this nation's history.  We, as a country, must have our noses bloodied on occasion to come awake to the understanding of freedom, liberty, and justice.  In the following clip, a number of politicians are mentioned by name..... some for equality, some against.  This is how we can know clearly who to support, and who to oust.
  ok, off my soap box now...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sorry sir, but it's illegal to be that poor.

Posted by ACLU of Michigan on Aug 17, 2011
Blog PostPovertyCriminal Justice

Guest blogger Desiree Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist and a legend in Detroit media. She blogs on race and politics in our fair city over at her Detroit Diary.

I’ve started noticing a troubling trend in the news lately:

June 9, 2011 – Police are looking for a white male who has taken liquor and baby formula from Kroger stores in Birmingham and Troy.
June 22, 2011 – An employee of a grocery store in West Bloomfield reportedly watched a 67-year-old woman place items in her carry basket into her purse. When confronted at the exit, police said her purse contained body lotion, flaxseed oil and Omega-3 fish oil worth $90.
July 6, 2011 – A man allegedly tried to shoplift 10 cans of baby formula worth a total of $137.40 at a supermarket in West Bloomfield. When approached by security, he dropped the formula and ran out of the store. Police tracked down the suspect’s Ford Taurus, and he reportedly admitted to attempting to take the formula.
As we continue to slog through this Next Great Depression, this is what new crime looks like. I’m trying to imagine myself as a security guard arresting a 67-year-old woman for stealing vitamins, or a couple skirting away with diapers and baby formula. Would I just turn a blind eye? Would I pay for the stolen items myself? Or, would I turn them in?
It all conjures up nightmares of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, where Jean Valjean spending the bulk of his life in debtors’ prison over a loaf of bread.
Debtors’ prison. Now there’s a word I never expected to hear outside of fiction. Unfortunately, it’s all too real for some metro area residents who are landing in jail not for their desperate crimes, but for their inability to pay their fines. According to the ACLU of Michigan, people across the state are being jailed for crime of being poor.
Case in point: 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt went fishing for rock bass in May. He’d lost his job last year and hasn’t been able to find anything steady since. (I even have to wonder if his fishing trip wasn’t just an attempt to find some R & R, but a real mission to put food on the table.) When he hooked a small-mouth bass out of season, he got slapped with a ticket from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
OK, that’s fair. The rules are the rules. But when Dewitt couldn’t pay the ticket, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. He turned himself in on July 25, 20ll, and an Ionia, Michigan district court judge ordered him to pay $215 by the end of the day or spend three days in jail. Dewitt offered to pay $100 the next day and the remainder the next month.
No go. The judge threw him in jail, even though Dewitt had never even pled guilty to the offense of catching the wrong fish in the wrong season. Seriously?? Lucky for Dewitt, the ACLU got him sprung pending a trial on the underlying offense.
In good times, fines may seem like an efficient way to slap the wrists of law-breakers. But in bad times, fines start to draw a bright line between the haves and the have nots. Should you really lose your freedom over not being able to pay traffic tickets or other misdemeanor fines?
“Long thought to be a relic of the 19th Century, debtors’ prisons are still alive and well in Michigan,” my good friend, Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan’s executive director, said in a press release. “Jailing our clients because they are poor is not only unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable and a shameful waste of resources. Our justice system should be a place where freedom has no price and equality prevails regardless of a defendant’s economic status.”
But a multi-state study by the ACLU entitled, "In for a Penny," showed that Michigan is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to jailing people who are too poor to pay fines.
"Michigan, a state hit harder than most by the recession, is trying to find operating funds in the most unlikely of places: the pockets of poor people who have been convicted of crimes," concluded the report. "Though the Michigan Constitution forbids debtors’ prisons and state laws explicitly prohibit the jailing of individuals who cannot pay court fines and fees because they are too poor, judges routinely threaten to jail and frequently do jail poor people who cannot pay."
This year, the ACLU has challenged five cases where an indigent citizen was told to "pay or stay," without any inquiry into the defendant's ability to pay immediately or over time. Thank goodness the ACLU is here to stand for people who cannot fend for themselves. I fear that Victor Hugo had it right when he wrote in Les Miserables, “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”

randy says.....   I am struck by this.  I am sure that there are people in my area that are desperate and poor...I just don't know them.  Lucky, I guess.  But, isn't that the way?  We only find out that someone is so badly hurting when it's gone all but too far.  Are they too prideful?  Do they figure that no one would care?  It's so sad that Americans are living in this place of bounty and some of us go without.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Hi Friends;

  A comment by Miles to my last post began a thought for me....almost always a dangerous thing leading to all sorts of unknown and heretofore best left alone areas.  You know, the proverbial " where angels fear to tread " thing.  Well, rash be damned, I'm confused.  
  To save you some time, in paraphrase, I commented to Miles that we create a great multitude of unnatural consequences from forcing what we would consider "natural" choices on people -- ok, actually I said that anytime a natural attraction is stifled, unnatural things are apt to develop.    And, there is where I get into trouble.  You see, this isn't a very well thought out post, it's an idea that is bugging me to no end.
  On the one hand, we, the "we as a people" we, have a duty and a right to train our young, etc, into an image that fits our outlook of what is right for humanity.  And yet, it is the very oddballs among us that seem to make such incredible leaps of creativity and thought.  Einstein was a very poor student due to his learning disabilities, and Elvis's choir teacher said he couldn't sing...the history of man is filled with such examples.  And yet, we try and try to put our youth and such into these forms that are fit in our eyes.
  Do any of you remember when the powers that be would try to retrain left handed kids to write right handed, because that was the right thing?  And yet, there is a certain segment of the population, a natural and undeniable portion of us as people, who are left handed.  What other traits are natural but the 'powers'  seek to "retrain"?
  Now, as is often the focus of this blog, the comment engendering this thought was about sexuality... specifically the church's role in deciding that certain behaviors of the priests were ok under wraps of secrecy while the outward orientation of homosexuality was decried a sin.  And, as is often the case with comments involving the church and sex, it was with kids that happened.....which made me wonder if the very control seeking behavior of the church decrying homosexuality did encourage pederasty as an unnatural outlet of the proverbial square peg being forced into the round hole?
  And, now we come to my confusion.  You see, I am wondering if this is part of the repeated problems we have now or if the problems we have are just the "anomie" of the times.  Are we fighting natural progressions and creating more and more problems because of that, or are we - again this is all 'we as a people' - failing to guide and develop our young as we should?

So, help me out...what do you think?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What does it mean to you?

Homophobia means:

I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.
I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.
I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.
We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.
I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.
I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had. I wish they could adopt me.
I am one of the lucky ones, I guess. I survived the attack that left me in a coma for three weeks, and in another year I will probably be able to walk again.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.
We are the couple who had the Realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.
I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.
I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.
I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.
I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.
I am the man who died when the paramedics stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I did not have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.
I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most, love.
I am the person who is afraid of telling his loving Christian parents he loves another male.
I am the boy kicked out of his home because I am gay.

  and who are you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A bully is never remembered well...

Hello everyone;

  I was reading on this new Michigan Law, "Matt's Safe School Law".  The law is named after Matt Epling, a teen who committed suicide after being bullied further than he could handle, to the distinct displeasure and embarrassment of the teen's father due to the impotence of the law.  It was passed by the entire Republican party portion of the Senate, and voted against by the entire Democratic party portion.  Ought to tell us something, huh.

  What I wanted to write about today was a boy I remember from school.  He was one of the "popular" kids.  Smart. Good looking. Athletic.  He was part of the "in crowd", in a school predominantly white and of upwardly moving middle class parents.  I was part of the lower middle class portion.  I saw him everyday.
  My school was dominated by the "in crowd".  It was filled with alligator shirts, spiked hair, snooty attitudes, you name it.  I was separate from that, sometimes its victim - and in a couple incidents I actually triumphed.  Yet, no amount of physical aggression could overcome the snooty judgementalism of that in crowd.
  Ok,...I'm dragging this along.  You see, I remember this boy so well not because he was a bully, but because he was not.  I have memories of the bullies to this day, but I'd be hard pressed to care one whit about them.  But, this boy was kind.  He was the anomaly of the 'in crowd' because he didn't judge others cruelly, didn't bully, didn't hate, didn't make people feel bad.  He had a ready smile, a laugh, and a power to lead that was nearly magical.  To this day I'd vote him for president.
  I nearly cried to learn that he died at the age of 21.  He fell asleep driving to college. 

  The sad thing about bullies is that even their friends don't really like them.  It could be argued that they don't like themselves.  Perhaps that is the real shame....that the bully lives on fear because that is such a great part of what he/she understands.  Afraid others will see just how small and insignificant they feel.  John was one who seemed so confident, so ready to smile and laugh, in contrast with some of the bullies I remember so well.  They seemed to laugh only with a sneer, compared themselves to the "lesser beings about them", and felt the ability to deal out humiliation and misery a profound power.  These boys peaked, in my eyes, in school.  I left them behind me, remembering only their pathetic nature.  John, on the other hand, I remember with a fondness and hope that even to this day I could be more like him.  That is real power.

The fox has new ideas on how to protect the hen house...

Hi everyone;

This came to my attention through Milkboys and Towelroad. Thought you would like to see it - and I'm really hoping you will spread the word. Repeatedly this arena is attacked by those purporting to "protect" it. Much like the fox proposing ideas on hen house security, the "protectors" seem intent on only protecting their position gained from the very things they now wish to stifle.