What's running though my mind comes through in my walk / True feelings are shown by the way that I talk. ~MCA Adam Yauch 1964-2012

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bullying is for Losers!

I know this story is a few days old, but this is about Lady Gaga paying tribute to Jayme Rodemeyer at the IheartMusic festival. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/25/jamey-rodemeyer-lady-gaga-bullying_n_980144.html?ir=Parents

On a side note, I also read that even after death, Jayme is still being bullied through the social networks he was on, as well as his sister.  Sad!

Bullying is for losers! 

And it doesn't matter if you are a teenager or an adult doing the bullying....you're still a loser.

Monday, September 26, 2011

More from the Florida GOP Debate....

I call BS...Santorum claims that he didn't hear the boos towards the gay soldier and although Gary Johnson supported the repeal of DADT, he didn't say anything because he said he was afraid of talking out of turn at his first debate. 

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/183683-gop-candidates-distance-selves-from-booing-of-gay-soldier-at-debate

Friday, September 23, 2011

About Rick Santorum's comments about DADT at the Florida GOP Debate (as well as the audience reaction)

So, first it was applause that during Rick Perry's term as governor of Texas, over 200 people on death row have been executed, then there was the audience member that thought that we should let sick people without insurance die, and now, at the Florida GOP debate, a few thought it appropriate to boo a soldier that asked Rick Santorum about what he would do about the repeal of DADT (which I will address later in the post).  Now, I am not going to say that in all these instances that it reflects the thoughts of all Republicans, Conservatives or Tea Partiers, but it does place a dark cloud over the opinion of the candidates when their audience acts as such.  My question is to those that DO agree with the booers....Is that how it works?  Support the troops.....except if they are gay?

Now to address Santorum.  In response to the soldier's questions about DADT, Santorum said this:

"I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. The fact they are making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to, and removing don't ask don’t tell. I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing: to defend our country..."

Let me clue you in, Mr. Santorum....The repeal of DADT does nothing to include a provision to give gay and lesbian soldiers special privileges.  If fact, with the repeal of DADT it gives ALL soldiers equal treatment.  Let me say that again...with the repeal of DADT, sexual orientation is not even included in the equation because it never should have been there IN THE FIRST PLACE.  In fact, in my opinion, when DADT was in effect, it gave special privileges to straight soldiers because they were ALLOWED to be who they are, they were ALLOWED to be welcomed home by the one they love without reprisal, they were ALLOWED to fall in love with who they wanted to without having to be afraid of losing their job, and they were allowed to be in a relationship and still make a career for themselves in the military.

Santorum stated further that if he was President that he would reinstitute DADT because he believes that "sex is not an issue" and that it should be kept to "yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual."  I only agree with Santorum on one point...it should not be an issue if you are heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.  I don't believe, however, that you should have to keep it to yourself.  Now, don't get me wrong here because I know where some of you may go.  I'm not advocating ANY couple, straight, gay, or bi to be having sex in public for all to see.  I don't want to see tongue kissing and heavy petting from ANYONE while I am standing in line at the grocery story, but that seems to be what those against gay marriage or gays in the military think.  What did the Family Research Council say?  Oh yeah, right...that with the repeal of DADT that there will be a rise in homosexual behavior and man rapes. Like now that there is no DADT that soldiers are going to be getting in on in their foxholes.  I'm waiting for the next Conservative to say. "What's next...sex with animals?" 

But I digress.....The problem is this...the Republicans MAKE it an issue.  It shouldn't be an issue if a gay couple wants to marry or adopt a child and it shouldn't be an issue if a gay man or woman wants to serve their country.  The fact is, it shouldn't be an issue if the person is gay at all....the issue should be that they are a person, no different than the next, that just wants to live and love freely.  THAT'S what the issue should be.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Loving Unconditionally....pass it on!

Soldier tells father that his is gay - youtube

I saw a clip of this on the Jon Stewart show last night and wanted to share it.  This soldier goes by the name of AreYouSuprised on Youtube and he had been chronicling his life as a gay man in the military for the last few months.  He did this anonymously, not showing his face, as DADT was still in effect.

Within hours of the repeal of DADT, he finally showed his face to the world and called his father to finally tell him he was gay.  The soldier was scared...he sounded like a little boy when he asked his father if he still loved him.  His father's response is that he loved him....no matter what! 

Loving Unconditionally....pass it on!

Had a very confusing night last night....Death Penalty Thoughts

Last night was a very confusing night for me as I watched some of the news coverage of the Troy Davis case.  I knew that there were some questions of the man's guilt and I knew that a lot of people have spoken out against the execution.  I actually found myself saying to whatever Divine Spirit that is out there to "not let this happen".  I felt that way because there genuinely seems to be some doubt that Troy Davis was actually guilty.  I found myself confused because when Casey Anthony was up for the death penalty, it was the lack of evidence and the fact that a lot of the evidence in her case was circumstantial that kept her from getting the death penalty.  Yet, even with the fact that she lied to police about what happened to her little girl, she pretty much walked, not even a charge of child neglect or anything relating to her baby girl.  She looked guilty as hell, but they couldn't prove it.  In some instances, I am sure that some people think that Troy Davis looked guilty as hell....but did they really prove it without a reasonable doubt?

I say I was confused because while I was worried about whether an innocent man was about to die, word came that Lawrence Russell Brewer was put to death in Texas.  I didn't even bat an eye....I even made a comment of "Buh-bye now!!" 

Why the difference?  Because with Brewer, there was no doubt.  He was actually proud of his part in the death of James Byrd, Jr.  He had no remorse for dragging a man to his death.  In fact, the night before his execution, he was quoted as saying that he had no regrets and he'd do it all over again if he had the chance.  I'm not ashamed to say that I feel no compassion for an individual like this...in fact, I think lethal injection was too good for him.

It was a very though provoking night.  I found myself questioning the death penalty in one case and supporting it the next....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Carl Gibson - Texas Republicans Should Read the Bible

Actually...it wouldn't hurt a lot of Christians to re-read their Bible....

Carl Gibson - Texas Republicans Should Read the Bible

Anderson Cooper 360-Keeping Them Honest - Bullying (Jayme Rodemyer)

This is a long post, so I warn you if you are of little attention span...

Last night I decided to watch Anderson Cooper 360 and I was drawn in by the story of Jayme Rodemeyer.  Jayme was a 14 year old freshman from Buffalo, NY who committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied over his sexual orientation.  It hurt my heart to hear about this child, a boy no older than my youngest son, a child that felt that death was better than putting up with the taunts he had to face every day.

As the segment moved on, I was brought to outrage over comments I heard from Kentucky Republican Mike Harmon.  Now, there was a bill in the Kentucky State House that expanded their already existent antibullying legislation to include bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, national origin, or disability.  It was moving along as expected until Rep. Harmon added an amendment that would not "prohibit any student from expressing their personal religious beliefs as long as that expression does not include physically harming a student or damaging a student's property."  This was then followed by another amendment from Rep. Tom Moore (R-Elizabethtown) that added "that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit or deny the civil expression by any student of religiously based opinions on issues related to sexual orientation." Then Harmon went whole hog when he added an amendment to allow individuals with a concealed deadly weapon licence to be able to carry that weapon without limitation on any publically funded college.  Well, you can well guess that the bill is now stalled in Appropriations. 

Rep. Harmon was quoted as stating, "Someone just in conversation saying, well, you know, I think homosexuality is a sin. Well, we don't want that child to be bullied because they have a certain moral or religious belief. And we don't want -- certainly don't want them to be labeled a bully just because they have that particular belief."

So essentially what Represenatives Harmon and Moore are saying is that if a student calls out a homosexual (or I guess anyone that doesn't live up to their own religious beliefs) that they shouldn't be labeled a bully. 

It's been also suggested that all these anti-bullying laws are a way for homosexuals to push their agenda....

Now I'm getting mad.  I'm just going to say it.  I don't care what your religion is.  If your child is calling someone a faggot in the hallways, then they are a bully.  If your child is calling someone evil or deviant or sinful, then they are a bully.  If your child feels the need to belittle and demean a person because that person is different, then YOUR CHILD IS A BULLY and if you advocate it then YOU ARE A BULLY, TOO!

What else would be allowed if a child is given free reign because of their religious beliefs?  A girl wearing pants (Deuteronomy 22:5)?  A haircut (Leviticus 19:27)? Wearing polyester (Leviticus 19:19)?  Where does it end?  Look, this isn't about the LGBT community trying to push their agenda.  It's about protecting our children.  When I worked as a Youth Advocate for a local independent living center, we were fiercely trying to bring attention to the bullying of children with disabilities.  We were faced with a lot of people who thought that bullying was a right of passage...a thing we all much go through, but I'm going to tell you all something...it's worst now than it was when we were kids.

I was bullied as a kid myself.  I was bullied because of where I lived, I was bullied because of what car my mother drove, I was bullied for being poor, and I was bullied for how I looked.  One day I remember was a day that I didn't bring a lunch because I wanted to lose weight due to being picked on for being chubby.  A boy I had a crush on saw me sitting there and said, "Hey....are you not eating lunch because you're too poor to eat or so fat you want to lose weight?" Double burn...didn't like him anymore, but it hurt, but at least I could see the one that bullied me and after I looked him dead in the eye and told him to f*** himself, I moved on, but not all kids are like I was...not all kids speak out.

The difference between now and then is the advent of technology and our increasing lack of compassion and civility for one another.  A child can be bullied anonymously through Facebook and Formspring.  People can make wild accusations about a child and they cannot even defend themselves.  In this day and age of cell phones, a child can be photographed and that photo sent to hundreds of people within minutes.  Also, in this society, there is too much focus on what we look like and what we have, and children are made fun of and harrassed everyday for not having the latest electronic device or clothing line.  Television shows that broadcast the worst of culture and society (I'm looking at you, Jersey Shore) teach our kids to be douche nozzles to each other. Worst of all, parents are just as bad, pretty much encouraging the behavior.

It needs to stop and all adults need to be concerned with the effects of bullying in society.  ALL children should be protected from bullying.  These same people that think that bullying should be allowed towards a LGBT teen or a pagan kid wearing a triple goddess pendant would be the first ones to cry if their little Johnny was harassed due to the cross around his neck.

One week before Jayme Rodemyer took his own life he posted this online:
"I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen?"

It's time we accepted people for the diverse individuals that they are.  School should be about learning...not a fashion show and not a church.  We need to be better to each other and better examples to our children.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wow...accusations based on heresay....Watertown Mayoral Election turns negative...

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20110915/NEWS03/709159899

Correction...it was quiet and pretty much NOT negative until Graham officially entered the race yesterday.  So, Roxanne Burns (who supports Graham) says that ten years ago Smith said (in a private conversation) that he wanted to close the library and Jeff Graham is using it as a talking point....oh but let Smith bring up the Breen issue and Smith is bringing up old news.  Wow...this feels like a high school student council election.....

"Well, Mary heard that Jennifer's brother told her that Timmy picks his nose, so therefore he shouldn't be Student Council President...."

Mayor Graham announces big for Mayor with some swipes at his opponent. (My rebuttal)

http://newzjunky.com/news/0916graham_smith.htm
Well, it seems like Mayor Graham couldn't announce his bid for re-election without some shots at his opponent, Jeff Smith.

While I don't know where Graham gets his information on how geothermal and solar energy are "failed alternative energy" plans, I can't see where trying to bring the City to a cleaner energy source is a bad thing.

As far as jobs, as a person that has been looking for a permanent, full time job in Watertown for the past two years, I challenge Mayor Graham to show me where these jobs are...unless you count the myriad of restaurants that have popped up here as jobs.

And as far as partisan politics....how can he call out Smith for being introduced by a Democrat but argue that him being introduced by a Republican is acceptable because somehow it's different for him?  I have a personal story to show how non-partisan Jeff Smith can be.  While at the Dunkin' Donuts on Washington Street this morning, I ran into Jeff Smith.  Larry was standing next to him and told him, "Oh, by the way, we are voting for you."  Smith thanked us and when I stated, "Yeah, I never vote Republican but I'm voting for you!" (Yeah, my mouth switch doesn't work sometimes!), Smith reminded me that this was non-partisan.  He didn't thank me for defecting on this election, he didn't spout any retoric, or bash anyone...just was thankful for the support.

Don't even get me started on Graham's questionable support for Govenor and later talking about the questionable sort that attend Tragically Hip and Godsmack concerts....I could be here all day!

Regarding Obama's Jobs Bill and the Dems lack of warm fuzzies over it...

This is really just a cut and paste from a response I made on a thread at the Jefferson County Web Board.  What are your thoughts?


Yes...I read that in the NY Times today.  I know that I will get thrown under the bus for this, but here goes.....

How bout we all quit fighting over WHO should pay taxes and just go back to us ALL paying our fair share?  Yes, put the payroll tax back to where it was, make the big businesses pay their share (none of this GE paying no federal tax BS), and don't single out which industry takes a hit.  And while we are at it, start bringing back those programs where instead of drawing unemployment or welfare, work on the infastructure and other programs that will build this country.

I will GLADLY pay 2% more on my taxes if it will get the country back on track and I believe that a lot of other people would feel the same way if our extra two percent wasn't wasted, but if I...a lowly working class girl, am going to cough up my part, then those in business and in the upper income brackets should damn well do so too.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th - 10 years later

It's funny how is seems like a moment ago, yet a lifetime away. 

I woke up on September 11, 2001, just like any other weekday.  It was a beautiful fall day.  The sky was clear blue and the air was cool and crisp here in Northern NY, just like it was in New York City.  I got ready for my job as a Federal Technician on Fort Drum and got my kids off to school.  My (now ex) husband was off to classes at SUNY-IT in Utica.

We had the radio on at work mostly for background noise when I heard the music interrupt and the announcer state that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  My initial reaction made me think of the aircraft  that hit the Empire State Building in 1945 (actually it's not the only time as another plane hit 40 Wall Street in 1946). Although it had been a while, with the proximity of the airports around the city, it was possible it was an accident.

Then at 9:03am, the second plane hit and I said out loud, "This isn't an accident!"  We were all stunned.  Eventually the television in the break room came on and there were the Towers...black smoke billowing across the beautiful blue sky.  Then 9:37am come the report that the Pentagon was hit and 10:03am, Flight 93 goes down in Shanksville. Sometime during all this, Fort Drum is locked down...I tried to call my husband and we got a few words in but his phone was dying and I was worried about my children, who were at school.  At one time, I went outside to look at the sky, half expecting to see our doom come by way of air here on the post.  I found an empty room in my building and cried.

I remember when the first Tower fell.  The man standing next to me was a volunteer Fire Chief and as we watched numbly and in disbelief, he simply said, "There it goes."

As a member of the National Guard, we were required to sign in and report and were told to go home to await anything new.  I went right to my kids and hugged them with all my heart.  I wasn't sure if I was going to leave them soon or not.  Luckily, we weren't activated (although a part of me really wanted to...that's what I joined the Guard for!)  That night, after the kids went to bed, I cried some more....

I cried for my children because I felt the world I knew...the world with some joy and innocense was gone.

I cried for myself because I had wasted so much time worrying about little shit when the world was generally good and now it had all changed.

But mostly I cried for all those faces I saw and all the voices I heard.  People walking away from those Towers covered in dust, looking dazed.  All of those people (a few with roots in NNY like Richard O'Connor, Watertown Class of 1970, and Shannon Adams, Clifton-Fine Class of 1994) that went to work or boarded a plane and never saw their families again.  All of the family members holding pamphlets and photos begging for someone to please help them find their loved one.

Once word got out that Osama Bin Laden was responsible, for the first time in my life that I remembered, I said, "We should carpet bomb the shit out of that area until it's nothing but glass!"  Of course, that was out of anger and my opinion has changed because killing their innocents doesn't bring ours back.

Ten years later and it still affects us, but in different ways.  We're still at war and our soldiers are coming home broken in mind and body.  Our country is struggling economically and sometimes morally.   The unity we all felt after the Attacks has given way to politcal, religious, and ideological bickering.

This day, ten years later, not only would I like to see us remember those we lost on 9-11, but to also remember that feeling of unity that we felt.  We seemed to have lost it.