Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!
 As this begins I new year, brand new and unsullied - so far, I want to wish everyone love, hope, strength, and peace.  May everyday reveal the fantastic and beautiful to you.
  And, may we remember those lost.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Great News!!

I posted on this before:  here  I am happy, so very happy for this young one.   

Government thinks this is an adult.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Kosciusko County boy, who as a 12-year-old was convicted as an adult for helping kill his friend's stepfather, should be retried in juvenile court, his attorney told appeals court judges Tuesday.
In 2010, a northeastern Indiana judge sentenced Paul Henry Gingerich to 25 years in prison after the boy signed an agreement to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. Gingerich was originally charged with murder.
Gingerich's attorney, Monica Foster, said Tuesday that the local court rushed to judgment without considering Gingerich's maturity. Defense attorneys had complained that due process wasn't being followed and their requests for more time were repeatedly rejected, she said, even though a psychologist questioned whether Gingerich understood what was happening.
"He thought the judge's job was to convict him," she said.
Deputy Attorney General Angela Sanchez contended that the trial judge had no reason to question Gingerich's maturity level, and that Indiana law allows children as young as 10 to be tried as adults.
Sanchez also argued that Gingerich, now 14, and his parents had signed a plea agreement in which he waived his right to appeal.
"That was after they were in adult court," Judge John Baker said Tuesday, noting that the point is whether his case had belonged there.
Gingerich's lawyers were given only a week to prepare for the waiver hearing in Kosciusko County, the judges said Tuesday, while attorneys in other counties get as many as 90 days.
"How can that possibly be consistent with due process?" Judge James Kirsch asked.
Sanchez maintained: "This was not a railroading judgment, this was a carefully thought-out process."
Gingerich, who is eligible for release when he's 24, could risk a longer prison sentence if he gets a new hearing and is charged again with murder as an adult, the judges said.
"You may win the battle and lose the war," Baker told Foster.
Gingerich's older sister and several other relatives who attended the hearing declined comment afterward.
Afterward, Foster told reporters she was confident that wouldn't happen.
"I just don't believe that any fair judge who listened to a fair hearing would waive this kid to adult court," she said.
There is no timetable for the judges to rule.
Gingerich and a 15-year-old friend were convicted in the April 2010 fatal shooting of the friend's stepfather, 49-year-old Phillip Danner. According to court documents, the two boys were plotting to run away to Arizona with another friend.
The documents say Gingerich told police he simply went along with his older friend and didn't believe his friend was serious about killing his stepfather. He said he closed his eyes when he fired the gun in Danner's living room.
The 15-year-old, who also pleaded guilty as an adult to conspiracy to commit murder, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The other friend, who was present but didn't enter the house, was sentenced to juvenile detention until age 18.
"No question that this is a tragic case, most especially for the victim who lost his life due to actions of the defendant," Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement issued after Tuesday's hearing.
Larry Landis, executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council, attended the hearing. He said Indiana's laws regarding adult sentencing of minors were written before scientists discovered that adolescents' brains don't fully develop until age 25.
If the appellate court does order a fresh juvenile hearing, it will show that judges handling such cases involving young defendants should "slow down and make sure the child knows what is happening," he said.

There is something very wrong about a system that considers a 12 year old an adult.

Monday, December 24, 2012

So much for the right to disagree

LONDON (AP) — Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for British CNN host Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. over his gun control views.
Morgan has taken an aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. Last week, he called a gun advocate appearing on his "Piers Morgan Tonight" show an "unbelievably stupid man."
Now, gun rights activists are fighting back. A petition created Dec. 21 on the White House e-petition website by a user in Texas accuses Morgan of engaging in a "hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution" by targeting the Second Amendment. It demands he be deported immediately for "exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens."
The petition has already hit the 25,000 signature threshold to get a White House response. By Monday, it had 31,813 signatures.
Morgan seemed unfazed — and even amused — by the movement.
In a series of Twitter messages, he alternately urged his followers to sign the petition and in response to one article about the petition said "bring it on" as he appeared to track the petition's progress.
"If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?" he wrote.

  As a human being, even as an American human being, if I see incident after incident of violence escalating into the taking of a life, even those young lives that really haven't been used all that much yet and are therefore of lesser value (yes, that was sarcasm), and I say nothing, does it make me a better American?  What if I hold views that aren't so popular?  Is it ok to tell people that I believe them to be very wrong?  
  As a gay man, I've felt the many slings and arrows of the political right - and they are the political right because they believe everyone else is wrong - hammering away at my civil rights and the civil rights of those I care for.  In complete ignorance of their history, these who declare that the rights of all persons only apply to all persons who agree with their viewpoint, fail to see that allowing unfairness in one man's life jeopardizes all men's rights.  I guess they slept through the 60's.  Or, maybe they miss the 50's McCarthy fun.  And yet, in their ignorance and hysterical ramblings, still they have the right to speak - I just wish they would listen.
  Yet now, having spoken so repeatedly to make me nauseous, I'm to hear that they believe the right to disagree only applies to them.  These goons want to toss out a man for simply believing different - and having a platform to air his difference.
  So much for that whole "Freedom of Speech" thing.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lend a hand this Christmas!

 Hello Everyone!  May your Christmas season be filled with opportunities to be the hand that lifts, the heart that opens, the smile that brightens, the feet that take you to that one who needs you.  And in the moment, may you be fulfilled, joyous.  Remember, there is more to this year than gifts; it is a holiday of hope.
  If you are hurting, lonely, sad - write me. 
 We can make it through together!
email me at:

Even Morons get their Day in Court, I Guess...

Federal Court Blocks California Law Prohibiting ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy For Children

by David Badash on December 22, 2012
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Friday temporarily blocked the implementation date of a California state law that prohibits so-called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy for children. Practically every major medical organization has stated therapy to change a person’s orientation is harmful and possibly dangerous.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality California issued a joint statement yesterday in response:
Today, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily delayed the start date of a new California law that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from therapists who try to change their sexual orientation despite warnings by medical experts that these discredited practices put youth at risk of serious harm.
The new law was set to take effect on January 1, 2013. Today’s decision temporarily postpones that date until the court rules on the underlying appeal of a decision earlier this month by Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Judge Mueller denied a request by an anti-LGBT organization to stop the law from going into effect. The Ninth Circuit has put the case on a fast track and will rule on that appeal early next year.
Senate Bill 1172 was authored by Senator Ted Lieu and sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gaylesta, Courage Campaign, Lambda Legal, and Mental Health America of Northern California, and supported by dozens of organizations including the California Psychological Association, the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the California Division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on September 29, 2012.
Judge Mueller earlier this month also granted a motion by EQCA to intervene in the lawsuit in order to defend the law alongside California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who represents the State of California defendants. Equality California is represented in the case by NCLR and the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.
“Every leading medical and mental health organization has warned therapists and parents that these practices do not work and put young people at risk of serious harm, including depression and suicide,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “No young person should be subjected to these dangerous practices, and no licensed therapist should be permitted to engage in practices that cause such serious harm. We are pleased that this case is on a fast track so that this lifesaving law can take effect as soon as possible.”
Added Equality California Executive Director John O’Connor: “Equality California is proud to have sponsored this important law, which will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer engage in these dangerous and unethical practices. California regulates medical providers to protect consumers from all kinds of harmful and fraudulent practices. The California Legislature passed Senate Bill 1172 based on the warnings of the country’s leading medical organizations that these archaic practices have no medical or scientific basis and put youth at risk of serious harms. We want every LGBT youth in this state to know that the law values their lives and protects them from this dangerous abuse.”
Liberty Counsel, the anti-gay law firm and ministry that has a strong relationship to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, is challenging the law, which it calls “politically motivated.”
In a heinous statement exhibiting the very reason this law is so necessary, Mat Staver, head of Liberty Counsel, stated:
“Without this emergency injunction, the State of California would essentially barge into the private therapy rooms of victimized young people and tell them that their confusion caused by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky abuser is normal and they should pursue their unwanted same-sex sexual attractions and behavior.”
Of course, being LGBT has nothing to do with child sexual abuse, and those who claim so have no business treating or managing the treatment of children — or adults.
Liberty Counsel and Liberty University, as regular readers know, are home to the infamous Matt Barber.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Words far greater than my own

Hello everyone;

  Jay pointed this link out to me in his comment.  I am ever thankful.   Please look into these two posts and tell me what you think.  I just don't know what to say - there just has to be a better way!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Question of Gun Control

I guess this clip says it all for many of us boys growing up.  I didn't get a Red Rider, I got a Daisy 760.  But, my cousin got the Red Rider, and I thought it very cool even though not as powerful.  There's just something classic about the gun.
  And, why did we want the dang things?  Well, me and my friend wanted it so we could play war.  We had a rule though, no shooting above the chest.  There's a certain degree of idiocy to kids. 

In my defense, I grew up with Bugs Bunny cartoons, and outside of a bit of soot and loose feathers, Daffy Duck was just fine taking a double barrel of bird shot to the beak.

  For a fair portion of my life I had guns - up until my early twenties, actually.  I hunted, I target shot, and, I thought I needed one for protection - despite living in a very safe and quiet area. 

  My first understanding of how dangerous and disturbing guns could be occurred when I was a teenager.  I'm not sure of the conversation or rationale going into this, but for some reason my father decided to point his 44 at me.  He was sitting in his living room chair, I was at the other end of the room.  I knew it was unloaded, I hoped it was, but there was something about having that gun pointed at me.... I still clearly remember that feeling, that vision of seeing that gun pointed at me.  Helpless, afraid, threatened and hurt that he is making me feel this.  He thought me a wimp because I told him I didn't like him pointing it at me.  I believed him.

  Another event; I rented a "duplex" (rough translation, 1/2 a house) with a coworker.  I was 18, he was in his mid 20's.  It was my first place away from home.  He decided that he couldn't afford the rent anymore and moved out while I was at work.  I came home,first stopping at a nearby friend's house to say hello.  I thought it odd that she ran out of the house when I got there, but I talked with her two kids for a moment then went on to my place.  When i got there, she was leaving with my rifle.  When I asked her what she was doing, my now ex-roommate walked out with a box of stuff, got in his car and left.  It was two days before rent was due.  She was sure I'd shoot him.  I just may have.

  Only kids think guns are safe.  Only kids think guns don't hurt people.  Some people are still kids when well past 18.  Some kids never get the chance to make it that far.

Naughty Santa

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peace, Love, Hope

May this holiday bring you great joy and peace.  May anger and hatred flee.  And, when given the chance, may love prevail.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Caught in a conflict

I got myself caught in a conflict today as I watched the news.  Please allow me to introduce to you what is most likely a very nice, very decent human being.  I don't have a bad thought about him, and I want that known now.
  This is the Bishop Cardinal George.  Please forgive my ignorance; I imagine there is an appropriate honorific that I should use.  I'm not of the Catholic faith, so I've missed the lessons in rank.
  Bishop Cardinal George is struggling through cancer treatments.  Radiation.  My mother went through that, so did many friends.  It is rough on the person in so very many ways.  I wish him nothing but the best.
  So, why am I writing about him?  Well, as I said, I found myself caught in a conflict.  You see, in the past years, the Catholic Church has come out strongly against contraception and gay marriage.  The reason for the contraception issue:  God made sex for conception and bearing life.  The reason for no gay marriage?  Well, they say it's because the man/woman thing is completing, man/man or woman/woman is against God's design.  (?)
  And, let's face it, there are a number of other issues out there many of you could detail.

My conflict:  When did God allow the use of poisonous radiation, chemotherapy, to interfere with his plan for this man to leave earth and go to heaven?  I don't recall anywhere it saying that the taking in of poison is acceptable? 

Further:  This Church will tell you that a priest is married to the Church, is married to God.  A ceremony in which the other party has not been able to stand up and say "I Do" - or at least I don't think so.   And yet, I am told that my desire to marry an adult of legal standing, capable of expressing his own mind and desire to marry me, is unnatural and not tolerable.

I'm not here to be a church basher.  I'm not saying that anyone is a horrible being.  But, I am saying that something doesn't seem to add up.  If I am to be free to love, to live life more abundantly, more perfectly, a relationship of mutual respect, concern and love ought to be enough. 

  I wish you abundant and long life, Sir.  And, I ask, perhaps you and your cohorts could keep you nose out of my life.



... and Tigers...

.. and Bears.  Oh, My!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Lost Dog

Hello My Friends;

  I'd like to tell you about today's activities....

  Today I took part in an adoption day for the rescue organization I've mentioned before.  It was quiet, but we got some great people in to see the dogs and maybe find that forever friend they've been missing.
  Afterward, many of us went on a road trip to a nearby town in search of a missing dog.  This poor thing: 17 years old, a cancer survivor twice, deaf, nearly blind, unsteady on its feet.... and somehow now lost.
  The owners, a man and woman, have searched and searched, hoping against hope.  The temperatures sinking below freezing, the age and condition of their sweet friend..... the dog has been missing since Tuesday.  I was hoping I'd find their dog for them, praying I wouldn't as I searched under decks, in bushes, ditches, and along the water's edge.  
  There's no way to not feel for folks who have had a friend share their every day for 17 years, tears controlled only through a force of will.  Each confided to me separately that they believe the dog has died but they search for a live dog because each believes the other would be overly grief-struck.  I drove home tired, cold, and sad.  We didn't find the dog.  So, perhaps that means we can still hope.  

  When I got home I hugged my Gracie, once she was done dancing around my feet.    Fuzzy friends..... how they manage to get into our hearts, and how in the world could we possibly live without them?  I dread the day I will one day have to say goodbye to my friend, .  The best I can do, I guess, is make sure she knows she is loved and appreciated every day I have her.
  Isn't it incredible the wonderful lessons we learn from such "dumb" critters?