Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Today's Vote!

According to JSONLINE, the Republicans don't expect anyone to put up much of a fight regarding today's vote on the anti-gay ban. They figure it's a slam dunk and they can all go home and pat themselves on the back. (And, pray to God that He forgives them for their sins, I'm sure.)

Anyway, I just received an email from a buddy of mine who let me know what happened on the floor. I'm posting it here, verbatim.

"I have to share with you what just happened on the Assembly Floor. Representative Jon Richards (Dem-Milwaukee) introduced a constituent in the gallery who fought on the U.S.S. Wisconsin. A real war hero. Everyone stood up and cheered -- the Republicans cheering the loudest. (They love their war heroes). Then Representative Richards introduced this man's gay partner to much cheering from the Democrats and much less from the Republicans. :-)"


Guess Republicans aren't too keen on gay war heroes and their husbands.

Keep good thoughts that right will win over might and somehow this won't pass.

God Bless us all.

JS Online:Don't cut Guard funds, forces, Doyle, governors tell president

JS Online:Don't cut Guard funds, forces, Doyle, governors tell president

Are these reports that the President wants to cut spending and manpower from the National Guard true?

While we have a shortage of manpower?

While 47% of our fighting force in Iraq and Afghanistan are from National Guard Units?

This is when our President decides, hey, let's cut the money?

Why? What could he possibly be thinking?

Cutting our military, especially in a time of War (and that's what the right-wing keeps saying, we're at war. We can illegally wiretap your phone, because we're at War.) is not going to help the situation.

The National Guard serves both the states and the federal government. This is not when we should be cutting their budget.

God Bless

Breast Cancer

Last night, I'm talking with my sister-in-law, Robyn, who is married to my brother, Scott. She mentions to me that my sister-in-law, Tara, (who is married to my brother, Brian) is participating in the Breast Cancer Walk -- the one for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation -- in Chicago in September. So, Robyn tells me that Tara is planning on sending out a notice to all our family members, so I get the information together and send an email to all of my friends -- and who is the first to respond? Darren Pillsbury of Imaginary Friends. He has even offered to put a link on his site to the donation site!

Thanks so much, Darren!

So, if you would like to donate to this worthy cause in my sister-in-law's name, click this link. Or, go to the website: www.the3day.org. Click on Donate. On the left side, choose Chicago. Under Participant's Name, enter Tara Totsch and hit search. Visit the link to donate in Tara's name.

Thanks in advance!

God Bless!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

CNN.com - Bush: No need to worry about port security - Feb 23, 2006

CNN.com - Bush: No need to worry about port security - Feb 23, 2006

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to write anything about the shipping ports until I received more facts, but this quote from President Bush bugs the hell out of me.

He says, "People don't need to worry about security."

We don't? Since when?

Since 9/11, we've been told -- through various people and groups -- that we need to watch what we say, we need to pay attention due to security concerns, etc, etc. We've been told that the President is allowed to circumvent the Constitution of the United States of America because we are at war with terrorists.

But now, President Bush has decided that we don't need to worry about security.

Really?

I'm going to double-check these facts, but Dubai Ports World company will be purchasing Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation -- the company who manages the U.S. Ports now for over 6 billion dollars. Now, Dubai Ports World is located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- a country that has terrorist ties. Money that went to fund the 9/11 attacks came from the banks of Dubai. Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from UAE and Bush considers them our friends? With friends like these, who needs enemies? (she asks in her best Yiddish accent.)

I could go on.

I'm sure someone will jump on the support Bush at all costs bandwagon, but isn't there a place where we should draw a line and say, "No, we don't support you in this?"

God have mercy on us all, because we know the terrorists won't.

God Bless

2/23/1996 - 2/23/2006 -- Ten Years and counting...

Well, I could write about Cheney's hunting accident and the political fallout, but I'm sure everyone is just sick about the story.

I could write about Bush refusing to relent on letting an Arab country take over not one, but six of our seaports. But, I want to do some more research and make sure I have all my facts straight.

So, since today is Feb. 23, 2006 and it was ten years ago today that my now wife allowed me to escort her to a party, I thought that I'd write about us.

Cheryl and I were among the first guests at the party and we were the last to leave. We barely noticed that anyone else even existed. We still have days where we only see each other and don't seem to notice that anyone else even floats near our existence.

She is the best part of my life -- the best thing to ever happen to me -- and I think every day, I fall more and more in love with her. Do we have problems? Sure, we do, just like everyone else does, but since we're such good friends, we're able to work them out.

Prior to Cheryl, I wasn't really a long term relationship kind of person. Eight months was pretty much long enough for me. Then, came Cheryl. She is my sun and moon and puts the stars in the sky. Without her, I'd probably be a wreck, but with her, there isn't anything I cannot achieve.

I sent her 10 red roses -- one for every year -- and the florist asked me if Cheryl reciprocates. I told her not in flowers. I don't have roses or even carnations on my desk today, but I have magic drawers that are filled with clean underwear and socks and magic closets that fill back up with clean clothes on a regular basis. So, no, I won't be getting flowers, but Cheryl tells me that she loves me on a daily basis more so than I could ever tell her.

So, in case you've forgotten, babe, I love you, more today than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

All My Love Forever,

Julie

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

CNN.com - Bikers roll to military funerals to oppose anti-gay protests - Feb 21, 2006

I've always loved Bikers. Nearly everytime I have come in contact with a biker it has been a positive experience.

The Patroit Guard Riders are no exception to this rule. They are going from military funeral to military funeral to shield the families of our deceased military service personnel from the hate-mongers of the Westboro Baptist Church. (This is the hate-filled church who used to protest outside AIDS victims funerals.)

The Patroit Guard Riders wave American Flags and chants in order to drown out the un-Christian, un-American, sinful, blasphemer members of the Westboro Baptist Church. (This church is not affiliated with any large Baptist organization and is mostly attended and run by family members of the self-proclaimed Rev. Fred Phelps -- may he not rest in peace and my God descend from Heaven above to throw Rev. Phelps into the pit of Hell and may I be there to witness it. -- Sorry, gentle readers, but my Christian forgiveness is long forgotten when it comes to this man, but I'm working on it.)

Kudos to the Patroit Guard Riders -- thanks for reminding me that there are good people still living in America.

Oh, and when you vote this next election, remember that the amendment against gays in this state just gives power and support to people like Phelps and his sick, twisted cult of a family.

Our service men and women fight for our freedoms everyday, so when a group such as this appears at their funerals to protest, every American should drive 300 miles to protect and shield their families.

And, don't get me started on their signs that thank God for IEDs (the explosives by which the majority of our soldiers are killed in Iraq).

God Bless.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

If the right gets their way...

Here's a story I took from the ACLU website (and it's true).

The story of Sam Beaumont is a perfect example of how same-sex couples are harmed when they are denied legal recognition. Sam and his partner Earl Meadows spent over 20 years building and working an 80-acre ranch in Bristow, Oklahoma. Together they raised Sam's three sons from a previous marriage. When Earl's parents got older, Sam tended to their every need, often spending the night with Earl's mother when she got to sick too care for herself. They shared a quiet life together, building a family, tending cattle and raising prize-winning chickens.

Their time together came to an end in 2000 when Earl died of a stroke. Unfortunately, the notarized will Earl drafted to leave everything to Sam had only one witness - Oklahoma requires two. To make matters worse, almost all the couple's assets were in Earl's name.

If Sam and Earl could have married, the property would have passed to Sam automatically. But since Oklahoma law doesn't recognize same-sex relationships, it's only a matter of time before the home Sam and Earl shared will go to Earl's disapproving cousins who rarely spoke to Earl when he was alive and had never even set foot on the property. Meanwhile, Sam is struggling to hold on to what little he has left.


Remember, that if the Wisconsin amendment passes, this will happen to gay -- and straight, unwed couples -- in this state. Imagine, you work hard all your life and some distant, homophobic cousin comes along and rips your hardwork away from you, because your spouse passed away. NO ONE should be allowed EVER to CONTEST this type of a will. It's ridiculous to think one of my cousins could contest my will. What right do they have?!?

Also, June 5th, Congress is giving it yet another go at the anti-gay amendment. Wouldn't it be nice if they could find the time to eliminate poverty in this country or do something about the trade deficit? No, they want to make our Constitution a mandate of hate. While our sons and daughters are fighting for democracy in Iraq, we will elimate democracy here at home!

I can remember how the conservatives used to be when I was growing up - little government interference, always wanting to stick up for the little guy, but not anymore. Now, the conservatives are looking out for hate-filled, backward, incompetent, Bible-thumping (but not Bible-reading), small-minded, insensitive, freedom hating, hypocritical, right-wing, psudeo-Christians, who's hearts are like those of the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus' day.

May God have mercy on all of their souls, for on judgement day Jesus will be casting them aside like goats because they did not help the oppressed and they reached out and even harmed the oppressed. Won't they be surprised when they are cast down into the fires of Hell and their hate-filled hearts will be filled with more agony than the agony they have chosen to inflict on Gays and Lesbians.

Never forget that Jesus ate with the poor, downtrodden, the outcasts, the unwanteds and the unloved. He did not entertain the hypocrites, Sadducees and Pharisees.

MATTHEW 21:42-43 STATES:
"42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43Therefore say I unto you (THE PHARISEES), The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

God Bless

Labels:

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ameriquest

Okay, now I'm mad and when I get mad, I blog about it.

Ameriquest sold our mortgage -- the one we just took out with them less than 3 months ago -- to CitiFinancial, who sucks.

We went with Ameriquest BECAUSE we could 1) do automatic withdrawals on payments and 2) do bi-weekly payments. This will cut our 15 year mortgage down to 121/2. BUT NO-- Citifinancial will not honor these payment arrangements because -- according to them -- they are not required to by law.

So, making a customer -- who is forced to do business with you -- happy isn't something you -- Citifinancial -- are in the business to do. Okay, fine. I called the Wisconsin State Attorney General's office this morning. I'm filing a complaint against both Ameriquest and CitiFinancial.

And, I'm going to blog the whole bloody process. Plus, I'm going to start a new blog, just for the process.

Right now, I suggest that no one do business with either of these companies if you can help it.

God Bless.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Concealed Carry

Someone recently blogged that the Democrats need to come up with their own concealed carry law, as the Republicans are not going to give up on this. So, that set me thinking as to what I would want to see in a Concealed Carry law.

Let's keep this in mind, the Second Amendment states,
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
This means, at least to me, that our founding fathers knew that we would have the need to regulate our weapons. So, I have no problems with controlling who does and who doesn't receive a concealed carry permit. If you disagree with this, ask yourself -- do you really want me to be allowed to carry a handgun?

Anyway, here's my list (and I reserve the right to add to it at a later time):

  • The permit should not cost less than $150.00. If you want to carry a weapon in Wisconsin, you should have to show that you are serious about it.

  • If you are caught without your permit and you are carrying a weapon, it's NOT a $25.00 fine, it's a $100.00 fine. Get caught a second time, automatic 3 month suspension of your Concealed Carry Permit and the police officer confiscates your weapon immediately -- you may have it returned to you AFTER the suspension is up. Get caught a third time, your Concealed Carry is revoked -- Period. If you can't manage to carry the permit on you at all times, apparently, you aren't mature enough to have one.

  • Either lie to a police officer about having the permit or not handing it over when asked for it, automatic 6 month suspension of your Concealed Carry Permit and the police officer may confiscate your weapon immediately -- you may have it returned to you AFTER the suspension is up. Do it a second time and the permit is revoked.

  • If you have ever had a restraining order for domestic abuse or been charged with domestic abuse, no permit. Yeah, this might be a little harsh, but tell that to the dead, abused spouse.

  • A waiting period -- three days if you are all ready registers a weapon and seven days if you are not. I want the background check to be extensive. Something might have changed between when you registered your weapon and when you apply for a Concealed Carry permit.

  • Police officers any time they come in contact with a person -- traffic stop, domestic violence call, witness to a crime, victim of a crime, whatever it is, have the right to check if you have a Concealed Carry permit. ANYTIME.

  • I'll probably add to this list, but this is a good place to start.

    God Bless.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    The Right only Tells half the story -- Go figure

    Hit the above link and you can read a transcript regarding how CNN senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield, feels about political remarks stated at Coretta Scott King's funeral on Tuesday. Apparently, Mr. Greenfield is unhappy that President Carter remarked on the illegal wiretapping of the Kings, implying that this was a dig at the current administration. The transcript, also, implies that President Clinton and Joseph Lowery took some jabs at President Bush. Unfortunately, I don't happen to have a transcript of the actual funeral, so I can't comment on their remarks.

    However, CNN was nice enough to print President Carter's remarks. I don't feel that President Carter was making a dig -- he was stating a fact:
    "It was difficult for them personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the targets of secret government wiretapping, other surveillance."
    Like it or not, that happened -- illegal wiretaps and, like it or not, this administration has done its fairshare of illegal wiretaps.

    If you read the entire transcript, you would think that ONLY liberals made any protests or did anything inappropriate. Now, since I don't hear the King family disagreeing with anything that was said, how can anyone say it was inappropriate. If the King family wasn't offended, no one else should take offense.

    (Plus, they act like Pres Bush did the Kings a favor for showing up and making nice. I really resent that. The King family did a favor for by not asking him not to come so he could have his photo ops. Plus, Bush isn't supported by 49% of the population, that isn't a small minority, that's nearly half the nation. I'm sure he's a big enough man to realize some people aren't going to like him or his policies.)

    Anyway, what you won't read in the transcript of the interview with Jeff Greenfield is what I found in another article regarding the funeral:

    "Funeral-goers were met outside the church by a protest by members of the Westboro Baptist Church. The Topeka, Kansas-based congregation is known for its anti-gay stands and frequently pickets the funerals of people supportive of gay rights, as Mrs. King was."


    Apparently, Mr. Greenfield thinks that protesting should be reserved for those on the far right and not the far left.

    Isn't that just like a conservative?

    God Bless.

    PS. Godspeed, Mrs. King, may God grant you a very special place in Heaven above.

    Tuesday, February 07, 2006

    Update -- Adrial C. White

    According to the medical examiner's report, Christopher Carbajal was killed in a "execution-style shooting". I've received a couple of comments from people who clearly support Mr. White's shooting.
    Two of them are below:

    " Maybe someday you'll get the chance to thank someone for trying to steal something from you."

    "FREE ADRIAL WHITE, KEEP FREE WHOEVER REALLY SHOT THE MEN WHO WERE TERRORIZING RACINE WITH THESE THEFTS."

    Clearly, these are from White supporters, but I wonder if they are supporting him now? The evidence is beginning to show that Mr. White did not act in self-defense, as earlier believed.

    Sunday, February 05, 2006

    Yes, Another Video

    Baby Videos

    Okay all my friends and family, I've posted another video of Da Boys! Take a look. I still say they are the cutest little guys on the planet!

    Also, so you know, the vid is over 5MB.

    God Bless

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    CNN.com - Christian group angry over Britney 'Will' - Feb 3, 2006

    CNN.com - Christian group angry over Britney 'Will' - Feb 3, 2006

    Apparently, the American Family Association thinks that the only protrait we should have in this country is the one they proclaim is correct. According to them, if Britney Spears appears as a Conservative Christian in Will and Grace it will "further denigrate Christianity". You can read the whole story for yourself, but here is my thought -- the American Family Association wants to claim Christianity for itself and only have their one belief system shown to the public.

    They want the public to believe that the right-wing, fundelmentalist christian belief system is the "correct" one. Hey, Will and Grace -- not going to denigrate Christianity -- The Book of Daniel -- not going to denigrate Christianity -- the American Family Association -- definitely denigrating Christianity.

    The truth of the world is:

    Ministers are not perfect.
    There are Christian gays.
    Christians cannot walk on water.

    We are a sinful and imperfect bunch of people. Unfortunately, we all forget that our beliefs are not the only beliefs. Too bad the AFA doesn't feel the same way.

    Blessings

    Hooters Opens Vegas Casino...

    Mixed in with real news stories on the front page of JSOnline, under Top Stories is the headline: Hooters Opens Vegas Casino. Is this really news? Is this really something that should be classified as a top story?

    Ooooh, another casino filled with half-naked women opens in Vegas! Film at Eleven!

    Give me a Break!

    Blessings.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    CNN.com - Man, 18, sought after gun, hatchet attack at gay bar - Feb 2, 2006

    CNN.com - Man, 18, sought after gun, hatchet attack at gay bar - Feb 2, 2006

    With anti-gay legistlation mounting around the country, I'm sure that more attacks such as this one are just around the bend.

    May God have mercy on Jacob Robida's soul.

    Blessings.

    JS Online: Funeral protest measure advances

    JS Online: Funeral protest measure advances

    I'm not sure how I feel about this bill. On one hand, I'm not keen on anything that limits free speech, but on the other hand, protesting at someone's funeral -- be it a military member or a gay person who died of AIDS -- is the samething as yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theatre.

    This bill is mainly aimed at stopping the Westboro Baptist Church led by the so-called Reverend Phelps from protesting at military funerals. The bill is being written to prevent protestors from being within 500 feet of any funeral -- Read it again -- ANY FUNERAL.

    Reverend Phelps -- a Beacon of darkness, hate and the Anti-Christ -- has been protesting at gay funerals for at least the last five years. He holds up signs that state, "God Hates Fags" and yells derogatory things to the family and friends of the decease. I have never been to a funeral when Mr. Phelps has protested and he should thank his lucky stars for that. Because if I ever saw him and his demon followers, I think I would forget about being a Christian and I would fight hate with hate with a wrath similar to what can be found in the Old Testament.

    One last comment -- I wonder why when the protestors were at gay funerals everyone supported it and it took these evil people protesting at military funerals before something was done about it? I guess it is just one more sign of why Gays feel like second class citizens.

    God Bless.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Women I wish I had known...

    In the past year, we lost four African American women who made considerable differences in the lives of African Americans and women of all races. These women stood up (well, one sat) for what they believed in and changed the face of America and, maybe the world, forever.

    Even though it might be a little late to announce their all but one of their deaths, I thought I should mention them, as we enter Black History Month.

    ***


    I really hate to admit this, but before September 15, 2005, I had never heard of Constance Baker Motley and, yet, she made such an impact on both African Americans and women, I just wonder why I had never heard of her.

    In 1966, President Johnson appointed her United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She became the first Africian-American appointed to the Federal Court. But, that wasn't her only first -- she was also the first Africian-American woman to serve in the Federal Senate.


    ***

    On June 11, 1963, a young woman walked into the University of Alabama and registered for class. The news carried her picture and her name, but for me, her name was lost someone in the history books.

    Unfortunately it wasn't until Oct. 13, 2005, that I finally learned her name -- Vivian Malone Jones -- when the first African American graduate of the University of Alabama passed from this world into the next.

    After graduation, MS Jones worked for the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division. She had originally enrolled in the University of Alabama along with James Hood. Unfortunately, Mr. Hood transferred to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan two months later.

    Thirty-three years later, the man who stood at the door of the auditorium and barred MS Jones and Mr. Hood from entering, George Wallace, gave MS Jones the Lurleen B. Wallace Award for Courage and he asked for forgiveness. (FYI, she was the first recipient of the award.)

    I wish I had been able to meet her. But, from now on, when it feels as if my classes are piling up and I just can't take the pressure, I'm going to remember the quiet woman in the pale dress walking up to register and, without crumbling under the pressure, being able to graduate. Anything I do is a cakewalk in comparison.
    ***

    On October 24, 2005, the woman who would not give up her seat -- Rosa Parks -- left our inequitable world to join her Heavenly Father. She was a strong woman in turbulent times. Because of her choice, she lost her job and even had to move out of Montgomery, AL. But, she never gave up.

    Man, I wish I had known her. Think of the things I could've learned. Think of what I could've gained. To have known Rosa Parks must've given one the feeling that they were standing next to greatness.

    ***

    On April 5, 1968, this woman became a widow and she went on to not just follow in her husband's footsteps, but to lead them in a new direction. Coretta Scott King raised herself up from the grief of losing a husband, raised their four children and carried on her husband's stand for civil rights.

    There isn't anything I can write about Mrs. King that you don't all ready know, but I can tell you this -- I've met two of her children and spent time with them. For all her civil rights speeches and stumping to get the word out, she must've been an excellent mother, because both Martin III and Bernice are two of the nicest people -- even if I disagree with Bernice on some issues -- I have ever met.

    I had a close brush with an opportunity to meet Mrs. King fifteen years ago and it has always been and, since we lost her yesterday, shall remain my biggest regret.

    God Bless.