Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ice cream

Religion is like flavored ice cream - there is a large variety, but they are all bad for you... really.  Even in moderation.  :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It Is A Step In The Right Direction

I felt a certain joy rising within me when the CNN breaking news icon popped up on my Facebook page announcing that DADT will soon be a thing of the past.  After reading other related news stories, I came upon this piece AP - Obama to sign law ending gay military ban.

Many, including myself, appreciated the support from the Republicans that went against party lines and voted with the majority to repeal DADT. When the Senate advanced the bill to overturn it, a familiar dissenting voice opposed it. It was said that Senator John McCain blamed elite liberals with no military experience for pushing their social agenda on troops during wartime. McCain said of service members “They will do what is asked of them. But don't think there won't be a great cost."

McCain seemed to suggest that the gay men and women in the military, previously closeted, would somehow render every heterosexual enlisted person incapable of performing their duties when the DADT repeal went into effect, and he insinuated that a backlash from all the enlisted would occur because they would have to serve with someone who was openly gay. The possibility certainly exists that some of the enlisted personnel could engage in isolated instances and act out in an immature, emotional and possibly, criminal fashion to those that are finally able to admit being openly homosexual. However, the likelihood of a backlash will presumably be even more minimal than the percentage who are against the repeal. According to a Gallup Poll done in December, 2010, 67% of the public favors the repeal of DADT. Should such a backlash occur, the responsibility will reside with the leaders of the armed forces to ensure that their enlisted remain calm and level-headed during and after the transition.

One real cost associated with DADT being in effect since 1993 has been that over 13,000 servicemen and women lost the right to serve in the armed forces and be gain-fully employed in the branch of their choice. The approximate $364 million spent in keeping this law in effect has been monetarily exorbitant, as well as wasting many valuable manpower hours in filling those positions the qualified personnel once held. The financial cost and the incredible loss of all that experience (highly decorated, in some cases), intelligence, and bravery is truly much higher than the imagined cost McCain refers to that will occur if this country dares to overturn DADT. In reality, the only real cost is that we have had to deal with a monumental waste of good and talented individuals that were lost in the process of upholding this antiquated law.

In addition, the extent of the real psychological cost experienced by the closeted service personnel will never be fully understood. Maintaining their secret to keep their jobs took precedence over what they allowed themselves to feel comfortable in revealing. The fear of being found out weighing heavily on a consistent basis, contributing costs in ways that can never be measured now.

The repeal of DADT took only 17 years. Historically, America has shown itself to take much longer in regards to righting the injustices' that it had a hand in. Past social turning points such as giving women the right to vote, passing Roe V. Wade giving women the right to choose an abortion and seeing to it that slavery ended; those took many more years to become law in this country.

Current support for the LGBT youth campaign 'It Gets Better Project' is just one more indication of public opinion that eliminating the pervasive hate and bigotry in this country is of utmost importance; the repeal of DADT just adds more conviction to the notion that our stance should be one of acceptance and understanding of a segment of our population that has been silenced and oppressed for too long.

It is at last, officially, a step in the right direction.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We've Failed the Children

Today, I read an article that got my blood boiling, once again.  This is an issue that has been in the news for a VERY LONG time... Massive child sex cover up in German catholic church implicates the pope.  Ray Garton seems to hold the same views as I do that this has been going on way too long and with very little justice happening.  Until I see some accountability, this is one issue that I will never get off my self-made podium about.

The acts committed against children by leaders of the catholic church are a cruel reminder how power believes that it has the right to take away innocence, all in the guise of doing it with the blessing of god.  Those who perpetrate these crimes are monsters... vile, despicable, evil monsters. Especially despicable are those, like Ratzinger (head hypocrite) who sees the evil and doesn't feel the need to defend the innocent.  His priority lies with his church and not the victims.  He pontificates - no pun intended, but lol anyway... that there is a moral standard he has the right to spout on and on about to his catholic sheeple and the rest of the world. Because he is allegedly second in line to the highest moral authority he has that right to, but yet, amoral behavior of the most vile kind is condoned within their cult.  The majority of sex crimes were committed on church properties and still NO SHAME!  Until this became more public and information about the cover-ups, transfers and payoffs were brought to the attention of people outside of catholic world, this seemed to be standard protocol.  The people who committed these acts and those who had direct knowledge of those crimes being committed and chose to look the other way or only protect their bottom line, were doing everything in their power to let it continue.  With the actions or rather, in-actions, it really seemed like they were saying to themselves "Oh yeah, it's just normal and okay to do this kind of thing".  WHAT??  These are punishable crimes in our society or am I missing something?  Children were sexually violated and forever changed in a way that is unacceptable to me.  There are many people who feel the same way and will continue to shake their heads in disgust at the unimaginable things done to these children and the inability and unwillingness of the catholic church to see that justice is served.

Publicity and direct scrutiny has hopefully stopped those in the church, who have a predilection for small children, but I'm guessing that I'd be dreaming.  The catholic church needs to do something besides just try to lick its own wounds and sweep the scandal under the rug.  They need take ownership of their deceit and mishandling of most of the priests and bring criminal action against those who destroyed these children’s lives, not just wish that everyone would just shut up about it and move on.

I hope that sometime soon I'll be able to see that justice is doled out, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Rejoice... for I have seen the light! I am no longer an atheist. I BELIEVE!!!

For all my friends, who know me, THAT is unbelievable! They would actually still be correct in their thinking of me.  I really don't believe in a god or any religion. However, I do proclaim that I most certainly BELIEVE IN ME!

In my lifetime, I've had the opportunity to speak to many different people about what it means to "believe in yourself" and also, not necessarily speak to others, but rather observe how they lived their lives.  Coming at this from different backgrounds and religious viewpoints gave me interesting insights into how people choose to approach this thing we call life.  What are their lives like when they do believe in themselves?

Having that sense of personal power is, to me, THE reason for achieving or fulfilling dreams and getting wants or needs met. For me, my own personal power is what guided the decisions I've made in my life and ultimately, the situations I've generally tended to find myself in. You might be sitting there saying.... well, duh... doesn't it generally happen that way?  Granted I haven't talked to each and every person on the planet, but so many that I have met, especially here in Kansas, that doesn't seem to be the case. These people of which I speak, give their personal power away to some creation who is supposed to direct them or who has power over them.  These people tend to wait for things to happen, rather than making things happen.

Now you might say, what about all those mega-churches with go-getter leaders "living the dream"?  They seem to be blessed by the almighty god... well, I personally believe that's not completely accurate. The charismatic ways that the leaders are able to get the flock to part ways with their money is the biggest reason they are where they are, but that's another blog.  They would still say it's all god giving it to them, but I would contend that the leaders ARE self-led and then telling the flock it's only because of god that any of their success has been achieved.  It keeps the nonsense alive for the believers who prefer to be led rather than think for themselves.  They continue to just wait for theirs while the leaders, on their power trips, are leading the masses.  

Some believers not only seem to do this so easily, but they are completely happy to do so. Can someone be truly happy not trying to reach for the things they want or need?  Being a self-led person, that scenario would not make me very happy.  Time on this earth is waaaaay too short to just sit on my butt and wait for things to happen.  I do enough of that when I sit in front of the tv. The cost to me personally would be enormous.  And think of all the interesting people I would miss out on meeting!  My personal growth would be severely comprised and stagnant.   How can anyone move forward in their lives, when the choices they will continue to make are without that sense of their own personal power? 

What is that?  I hear the other side saying they HAVE so much more personal power when they believe in a deity.  The "he gives me strength" crowd proudly shouts it to the rafters.  I see that over and over again, but truly find it hard to swallow when I see those same people are, once again, making more of the same stupid choices in their lives and stay stuck right where they were to begin with.  I will say that I have seen some believers who are just finally fed up with their circumstances, reach way deep down inside of themselves when they just couldn't stand their situation (whatever it may be) anymore and make some deeply defined self-led choices.  Their situations changed for the better.  Good for them!  ** Personal stories will not be shared to protect the innocent... plus it's really none of your business.**   But then... those same people... they'll turn around and say it was heavenly father who got me there and thank him.  That's something else I will never understand.  They did all the hard work, but the guy in the sky gets all the kudos.

So, I'll say it again... I believe in Me. I'm the one who puts one foot in front of the other and I'm the one who is deciding what I want my future to look like and go in that direction.  Not saying that the decisions I make will always result in what I want for myself.  Life is like that sometimes, it takes a big ass bite out of what you want and doesn't want to give it to you.  But I will continue and eventually, I'll get there.... or not.  And if not, believe me, it won't be from lack of trying.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Conflict and the Newbie Blogger

Drum, drum, drumming my fingers on the keyboard trying to decide what to type. It’s always been important for me to express myself and do it well. Here now, I have an opportunity to let it all come out and be. The main objective, of course, is to just put my thoughts down on paper.. er, blog, to make sense of it all. So many things stuck in there, coherent only to my synapses, at the moment, but hopefully, expressed well enough that the viewers of my writings will be able to determine the intent of my content when it hits the pages of my own construction. This will be my therapy… and it starts now.

My normal stance in life is usually one of prepared anticipation of some sort of conflict. I’m not referring to the kind of conflict that immediately comes to mind - battling egos that create destruction, disharmony, angry voices and arguments. No, conflict to me is defined as something that will engage me to thoroughly understand what my position is and then beg me to defend it or concede to the opposing view. I generally relish it. I don’t know all the reasons why but partly because there’s always been a deep need to get at the absolute truth of everything. Success isn’t always guaranteed during that search for the truth, but I will definitely try.

I think this blog is a way for me to get at the underlying truth in subjects and facets of life that strike a chord within me at that moment. Having the outside world take a look at my ramblings might help that quest … comments on the validity or error of them, would be most welcome. I’d appreciate the opportunity to learn something in this process. Being in a small community currently, there generally are only a handful of people who enjoy “conflict” the way I do. Most tend to think that it will create disharmony and tend to shy away from any earnest conversation, when in reality, conflict is possibly the only way to keep moving forward. When you have the opportunity to confront issues, no matter what situation you’re in… work, school, family, friends, life…it gives way to solving whatever those problems/troubles/concerns may be.

So, welcome to my blog! I’d like to throw out an invite to anyone who would like to suggest a topic or two. Don't be shy! I, myself, will write whenever it moves me to write about something that has elicited an emotion within me. Looking forward to the conflict….