Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Tales of a Wannabe Graduate School Dropout ~ Conflicting Issues for Women

June 3, 2009

As much as the whole recent events more than watching the weather tends to bother me, I had to bring up a certain instance that came up this weekend that threw me into such a frenzy that I didn’t quite know what to do.

Dr. George Tiller, a physician performing legal abortions in Wichita KS was killed on Sunday as he was walking into church. He was targeted as one of the few physicians in this country that can legally perform late-term abortions. Have I said the word legal enough? So, here’s what I think and so if you’re ready to flame this blog, be forewarned that I’ll just delete your comment.

Yup, that’s right, I’ll delete it.

So, here goes: Do I agree with women that seek out late-term abortions not because they medically need them but because they want them? No. Do I agree with late term abortions in general? No. But, given the fact that Roe v. Wade is still considered a case that’s over…yes folks, it’s over…
…than I can’t take a choice away from another woman. I don’t believe that my Catholic upbringing makes me obligated to be pro-life. I think my Catholic upbringing says for one thing…it says that I have to open my heart and allow the free will that God gave us needs to be used in an applicable manner.
Like it drives me crazy when people ask me constantly how I can rationalize my biological scientific background and being Catholic. I don’t think they have to be counter intuitive. It’s a hard situation where I can’t really voice. It’s a hard situation. All I know is this: It’s not the Catholic thing to do to MURDER someone while they are on their way to church. MURDER isn’t Catholic. Whether you believe that abortion is murder, that’s fine that’s your choice. But to hell and high water if I think that it’s okay that someone who is out there supporting the rights and privileges of women be killed because of doing that.

Rest in peace Dr. Tiller. Thank you for supporting the rights of women.

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The Inauguration Can Stick It..

January 16, 2009

Yes folks, it’s honestly not that I think that Obama won’t do a good job. He will. But geez of freaking flip already. It’s the Thursday before the inauguration. Signs around the area have already started “Major Delays Expected Around Washington DC be prepared”. Do you honestly give a rat’s ass enough to know how this area will be “prepared”.

We are going to take your money and rob you blind because there are way too many people that are going to be around to rip off and have $600 hotel rooms. Now, for those of you that read this blog that have no concept as to where I’m at…let me show you. Visualize…it’s 39.4 miles according to Google Maps from my house to the White House. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s not.  I have always enjoyed growing up here. However, it’s going to create a logistical nightmare.

No work will be done in DC from now until next Thursday. Why do you ask? GMA will be here, MTV, I mean, I could go on and on.

Do you honestly think that someone can get stuff done in that?

My aggression for just the traffic alone is enough to annoy me.

Randomness in No Particular Order

January 8, 2009

1. It’s fucking cold out. I can’t imagine you suckers out in the midwest dealing with this since the beginning of December. It’s January, the midst of the little weather that I have here in MD, and I want to get off already. I think about bf being out in Chitown, and all I want to do is shiver.

2. There’s nothing nicer than having my parents over for dinner. My dad and I had the nicest time last night. That damn puzzle just won’t finish itself. I don’t get it.

3. I wonder if it’s true sometimes, now that we’ve been living apart for 4 months, if absence does make the heart grow fonder. My bf was here for 2 weeks, and my heart shattered again when he left. It’s odd too. I get mean. Like MEAN when crap like this happens.

4. After 32 years, I’ve realized that Maryland isn’t necessarily the best place in the whole world. I’m not saying that it ain’t great, it is…just saying that sometimes it’s not as blissful when you’re away from the people you care about.

5. Escaping can be a good thing. But, given that I heard on the news the other day that Arizona got snow…I have no where to hide.

6. Good data can make your entire week, bad data the next day can make you suicidal.

7. Turned in my first re-write, here’s moving on to all things alcohol!

8. Perhaps I should just get used to being in the return line. Christmas was wonderful, but those skinny jeans just aren’t my thing anymore. Damn swelling bs leg.

9. Moving on should be the token phrase for 2009.

10. And finally, I know I know, the entire world is in love with Barack Obama. And, as much as I’m excited for the new presidency, this whole BS whistle stop tour is going to immobilize this area for almost a whole week and it’s going to be a MAD HOUSE. Oh, and let me also take this time to give a big FU to Southwest airlines for increasing fares to Chicago because Barack is from there and so people will be flying back and forth. Thanks for NOTHING. Thankfully Ma will not be at work the day before or the day of inauguration. I will happily be watching the chaos from the comfort of my own home.

Like J said, I think 10’s enough for today. Happy New year!

Part II: Living in the Mid-Atlantic

November 8, 2008

You know it’s funny, as of recent, I’ve noticed that the Mid-Atlantic region and the South have somehow gotten themselves a bad rap. Now, the South has had years of oppression that it has needed to fight off, and hopefully with our first African American president-elect that will happen. Meanwhile, those of us that live directly under the Mason Dixon are often left without realizing or knowing our own identity. Here in Maryland, we’re not Southern, but we’re not Yankees, so what are we anyway? We have a crappy baseball team (both of them), we’re actually making a play to have two decent football teams, and then suddenly, something good happens and the country embraces us again.

I’ve got to hand it to Virginia. Make yourself a battle ground state, and the world takes notice. I know people that were waiting up for HOURS on election day for Virginia’s results. “Are they racist?” I heard someone say, “Or are for once they going to act non-Southern?” That kind of threw me for a loop. See, my mother is from the south, I guess to a certain extent my dad is too, although he traveled so much when he was a kid due to Grandpa’s status in the Navy it’s hard to say. He has often talked about feeling like this region (MD/DC/VA/DE) he feels most at home. He has fond memories of going to Washington Senators games, just the other day we were talking about Brooks Robinson. I never saw the man play, but not unlike Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, we’re going to have words if you don’t firmly believe he was the best 3rd baseman to ever play the game.

Mom on the other hand has fond memories of Alabama and northern Florida. She knows Southern cooking, and is proud of it. When I was first having issues with how my bf’s parents were she said, “They’re Yankees Mel, they don’t understand.” It’s interesting as an adult child how you still take everything that your parents take on full face value, regardless. I haven’t carried my parents prejudices towards African Americans into living in a predominantly African American city, nor do I feel like I’m prejudical towards the predominantly Latin, probably illegal population that frequents Fells Point. I think it’s good that you’re exposed to different things, and I think that’s predominantly because I consider myself “different”. Something that is a victim of prejudice, and thoughts that aren’t necessarily what you would consider nice.

I’ve been thinking about that Better than Ezra song, “A Southern Thing”. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not about preaching violence, or anything like that, but I’ve heard that so often. “It’s a Southern thing”. To me, it’s about southern hospitality. More like that song Chicken Fried. It’s hard to say. I just feel like sometimes this area really has a personality complex. Here in Maryland we try so hard to be Yankee, and it’s just not. You can tell even before the first snow fall that we don’t have an ounce of Yankee blood in us. The “redneck” arm of Maryland is very visible in certain areas from the shores down in St. Mary’s County (pronounced saint maa-ry’s) to the hills of Hagerstown.

Then, the anomaly. DC. Man, the nation’s capital has such an identity complex. It’s interesting though. No where else in this world I would think could you find a city where the ENTIRE dynamic changes every 4 years. Regardless. The feel, the emotion, you can see it when you sit at Ben’s Chili Bowl or at any bar from Georgetown to downtown. The attitude, the vibe, the feel…it’s different. The sullen attitude of the recession…people are hoping will soon be changed to the excitement of a new dawn of a new leader. I’m excited that I’m planning on hitting up the inauguration parade this year. I’m bound and determined. Unless it snows.

So, as the dawn of a new weekend emerges, I’m looking forward to see what you guys think, and what the attitudes and cultures of your neck of the woods are…because I think mine are hugely unique. What about you?

An Independent’s Perspective ~ A Real World Look at an Election 2 Weeks Away

October 21, 2008

Excerpt: I know it’s been a while guys, and I need to put up an excerpt about the Dew Tour, including some highlights I got from buds here in Bmore….It’s been busy, but here goes nothing for you election gurus!

At this corner of Douglas Street and Montana Avenue in Northeast Washington, no one expected that a political career would start like this. Darren figured that he fought his way out of the streets of Baltimore, worked his butt off to get off North Avenue, risked drugs, violence to get into Baltimore Polytechnic, didn’t do anything except study to head his way to Howard University.

He hated the thought of being known as “African American” as his family originated in Jamaica. He never felt like he needed to take the charity that he considered the affirmative action, but never felt that his “brothers” were lesser because he knew a lot needed more than he did. He was lucky that his uncle had come into money.

“God bless the Maryland Lottery.” he muttered as he walked up to the “first” client. Darren envisioned himself a lawyer, and often his self-righteous attitude showed it.  However, he didn’t figure that his way to an internship in the White House meant having to walk up to homeless.

“Excuse me sir, are you registered to vote in this years electon?”

The haggard man glanced at Darren with a look of discontent.
“What the fuck you talkin’ about boy? Did you come down here for coke, or did you come down here to tell me some bullshit about an election that no one gives a shit about anymore anyway.”

Darren smiled and thought to himself about how enjoyable this was going to be.
“Alright I’ll bite. I’m not interested in coke,” Darren returned, “I work for the Obama campaign.”

“Are you one of those indignant brothers, or do you actually give a shit about what’s going on?” the man questioned obviously happy for the company that had suddenly emerged.

“I actually give a shit about what’s going on.” Darren responded meekly.

The man cupped Darren’s shoulder and gestured to sit on the stoop. “Well good for you, young man.  But, let me give you some education.”

Darren knew he must be in for the long hall when the man relaxed against a house that wasn’t his.

“I’ve lived in this godforesaken town for close to 30 years, and through a little less than 5 presidencies. Which means I’ve lived through twice as many campaigns. Everyone loves a good campaign, because it gives people something to believe in. Something to care. ”

“So, do you care?” Darren returned, “Are you going to care enough to get to the polls?”
The man that now looked a lot younger than Darren once thought sat down and laughed. “Shit man, where the fuck you from?”
Darren explained that he was from Baltimore, but came down to the district for university studies.

“Ah, you’re one of the lucky ones. Kinda like that Obama kid. He’s one of the lucky ones. You obviously weren’t from one of those rich-bitch neighborhoods like Federal fucking Hill where that slut of a twin is are you or you wouldn’t have had the nerve to sit down here with me.  I’d guess Pennsylvania and Druid Hill.  Projects?”

Darren only answered with a twist of his head back and forth.

“Wow, guess you must have gone to Poly or some shit like that. You aren’t scared boy, despite the gun you know I have. I’m slightly impressed. Look, here’s the reality. No one gives a shit about the feds unless they need more money so that I can get my soup every night on Rhode Island.  Perhaps a warm place to sleep when it dips past 40 at night.  People only gave a shit down here for one reason, that was Len Bias.”

“I’m showing my age, who’s Len Bias?” Darren replied.

“Shit boy, you said you’re from Mary-freakin’-land, and you don’t know who Len Bias was? Shit man, he’s what put coke on the map. 2nd Round draft pick, killed himself on a ringer that was just a bit too fun. What a fuckin’ pansy.”

“What’s your point? Some dead basketball player? Too much coke for a college kid?”

The haggard man lunged at Darren and it startled him. He got up quickly and went for the swiss army knife he had in his back pocket.

“It’s not about that. It’s never been about that. That boy had it all. He had it all except the one bit that the fucking teachers can’t teach. He never knew that he needed help till it was too late. I’ve been smoking weed for close to twenty years. Heroin for 10. It’s destroyed my circulatory, my liver, and god knows what else. I’m an educated man, reduced to talking to some peckerhead on the street hoping he’ll give me $5 for McDonald’s later. It’s not about the fucking god damn election. It’s not. It’s about you and me boy. It’s about the fact that NO ONE helps us. No one. Not Obama, not that old white man. No one.”

Darren had an idea. He said to the man,
“You hungry? Why don’t you come with me.”

At his own personal risk, Darren found himself at a TGIFriday’s on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a couple blocks from the White House.  He instructed the staff to give the man whatever he wanted.  The man ate to his full, and for one night…one night only, he slept in a warm bed.

*Loosely based on a real situation*

What’s my point in writing this? The reason for my disgust in the current election is this.  It’s not about the federal government until money comes into play. Are you out there helping the homeless? Are you out there curing disease? Helping educate? That man ended up in a rehab program.  Not due to the kindness of “Darren” but due to the fact that he worked damn hard.  Who knows. He might still be out on Florida Avenue touting drugs, and ruining his life. It’s hard to say.

The climate in this country is in serious danger. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about the rest of the world. We should.  I’m saying there’s NO EASY ANSWERS. That it goes beyond the name calling, the negativity, the unanswered prayers. It goes well beyond this election to where we want this country to be in the next 4 years. I’m not saying you need to make your decision to vote for Obama.  I don’t know if he’d do the best job. But, saying that doesn’t mean I’m begging you to vote for McCain either.

Make the decision that you need to make. Become informed. You’ve got two weeks left. For a world that goes shortly beyond sound bites, I will say that this situation that a friend of mine found himself in startled me. It brought it back to a whole new realm.  This country as a whole, what makes us great is our right to be selfish. In a capitalistic society, we can be selfish. But, we should be allowed to fail. Outright. It’s cruel, heartless, and sometimes necessary.

From the economy, health care, transportation, and a war a world away, there’s a lot of issues to weigh.   Take a step back from Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright, from George Bush, and realize that you’re hiring a man that will sign the checks that YOU ARE writing in the upcoming years.  Want to cure the health care crisis? It’s gonna take longer than 4 years.  The economy? It’s not gonna be just one foul swoop that’s gonna change things. We need to think ahead and look to what’s being done NOW to ensure the future. 

Getting the Debate out in the Open: The Amethyst Initiative

September 15, 2008

In July 2008, 100 college and university presidents and system chancellors decided to sign a petition to say that although the drinking age is 21, irresponsible drinking continues, and is prevalent on college campuses. That despite having the drinking age of 21, there is developing a dangerous culture of binge drinking on college campuses from Olympia to Miami. These higher education leaders are pushing the initiative to have political leaders look at the current alcohol policies, and weigh the consequences. They are interested in bringing the drinking age down to 18.

I’m not a parent, I’ll admit that. I have seen the effects of binge drinking. Been part of the autopsies of drunk driving victims. I’m an alcohol researcher right now, looking at metabolite levels after consumption. I’m interested in what you think. What would come of us lowering the drinking age to 18? Would it be better or worse? Why? What purpose would it serve?

Would it really combat the binge drinking? Or make it worse? Federal tax dollars are pulled from states that have a lower drinking age, it’s a transportation issue, predominantly. Current studies show that 1 out of 4 current undergraduates at major universities will binge drink at least once in their collegiate career. The smaller universities it could be worse, the study didn’t say.

The Amethyst Initiative

Dear Barack Obama

June 10, 2008

Dear Senator Obama:
I must admit that I was happy Sen. Obama, that you finally got around to winning your party’s nomination. You have broken barriers along with Sen. Clinton, and should be congratulated for the historic campaign that you have already run. But, let’s get down to business shall we?

I’ve read your blog, your supporter’s blogs, and well, to be honest am waiting for the next shoe to fall. I can understand that you did a few things that weren’t “mainstream” I can also understand why people have gone after your church, but at this point…to me…that’s water under the bridge. Kennedy before you was persecuted during his campaign for being Catholic, so I am not convinced that your religion will impede your decision making processes. On your website, you have wonderful plans spelled out for a variety of issues from healthcare, disabilities, and homeland security. As a young person, I’m desperate to understand what you want to do. I will even go as far to say, I would encourage you to increase my taxes if necessary to pay for some of these fantastic programs.I will admit that I’m not as informed as I would like to be, perhaps that’s the reason why I’ve sat down here to write this..but, let’s address the real issue at hand.

Since 9/11/01, my area has lived in a culture of fear because we are worried that after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we’re at risk. We listened to our president tell us that we “have” to go to Iraq, and we went. Willingly. Serving our country wasn’t a question, it was a responsibility. We have come back injured, battered, bruised, broken. Threats not only from the Middle East, but from everywhere aren’t going away anytime soon. I’m all for improving the economy, the environment, and making it easier for the lower middle class, aka me, to get along in this country. I want to believe you Senator. I want to believe that you will keep me safe. That I will never have to experience the alarms that went off on college campuses in DC that they were being locked down. I want to never experience what they experience in the Middle East. I recognize that was our fault. I also recognize that we aren’t going to go on without recourse. I also recognize that some of it is paranoia, but I want to believe that you’re the person to bring us out of that paranoia.

Senator, I am desperate for change, but recognize that nothing in Washington DC moves as quickly as we believe and want to think that it will. The city is old, and the system…antiquated. I will admit I’m asking hard questions. I will admit I’m looking for guarantees that aren’t going to be there. But…

…I want you to make sure that science is funded so the thousands of us out there that are trying to make sure we are prepared when the biological weapon hits, because it will…have jobs.
… I want you to ensure that I won’t go further in debt because you want to nationalize health care, and ensure that those of us that are covered, regardless of how crappy that coverage may be, will not end up with the bottom of the stick.
…I want to make sure that you will keep me, and everyone like me as safe as you can possibly make us. That your diplomacy is so great that the nations out there that we have now made enemies, will progress further towards at least…colleagues.

Senator, please give me a reason to vote for a main party candidate. The past 3 elections I have voted 3rd party candidates due to my sheer disgust on how campaigns have been run, how things have been going, and what people have been doing. I want to believe. Make me believe that you truly are a change that I can believe in.

Sincerely-
Indignant Independent

Dear John McCain

June 10, 2008

Dear Senator McCain ~
First, let me thank you for the service that you have provided to this country in the Vietnam War. I cannot imagine what it felt like to be MIA and a POW. However, with time ticking till this November election, I must admit that I have a couple things that I need to get off my chest before I consider giving you my vote.

As an independent, it does disappoint me that you are rallying with President Bush. Although I do value the service that Bush has given to the country, I must admit that I’m of firm belief that nothing good can come of your continued correspondence and encouragement from him. I recognize that is a party thing. Boys have to stick together, and make peace. I get that. Here’s the thing though. Bush has fostered a culture of fear that…in my opinion is no longer tolerable. I don’t want to be scared that the next terrorist will actually succeed in getting to the White House, the monuments or worse. I am tired of being scared. My brethren went to Iraq out of not just fear, but responsibility, and has come back without Bin Laden, without revenge, battered, bruised, and broken. I should not have to teach a once vibrant 20 year old how to walk on crutches, because he’ll be on them the rest of his life. He offered a service to you, and all those like you, and Senator, you let him down by prepetuating a war that doesn’t need to be fought. But, let’s focus on something else, shall we?

Your opponents (now opponent) have made real strides and broken barriers in both race and gender bias. If you remember correctly, Steele and Cox here in Maryland made history as an African American man, and a blind woman running for two of the most powerful positions in the state. Although they did not succeed, they were Republicans. It’s something to be proud of, and it’s something that as a candidate, my hope is that you will pick someone that is worthy to overcome such standards. I’m just saying that the hope that you will pick the most qualified candidate for your vice president slot should not be tarnished by the taking the “2nd best” because they are white and male.

Meanwhile, I also understand that you have a fine record as it comes to homeland security. I recognize that you will do your best to make sure that we are a safe country to believe in. But, let’s also face facts Senator McCain. You aren’t a spring chicken anymore. I must admit that as often as I criticize Obama for his age, I also will criticize you. He might be a bit young, but you’re aging just as fast as he is. I know you can back things up with experience, and I am grateful, but this isn’t the time to be quiet…and that’s all we’re getting from you.

Not that I blame you, Senator. The long drawn out Democratic primary allowed you to fly under the radar for a while. However, you’re very quick to say we’ll remain in Iraq, we’ll have military forces there, but not quick to talk about the economy. Do you know Senator that I paid $3.89 a gallon for gas? And that’s at the “cheap” place? Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that people around the world are paying a lot more than that, just for a liter, but we’re the United States of America! Things are SUPPOSED to be different here. I guess it’s all about balance. Talk to me about the economy Senator.

Talk to me about how you’re going to make “sure” that tomatoes don’t get sick like they are right now.
Talk to me about how you’re going to ensure that science is funded, and people will remain employed, despite the fact that Bush has continuously dropped NIH funding to fund his so-called “war”.
Talk to me about how you’re going to ensure my safety when the people that we are “fighting” are supposedly not nuclear ready.
TALK TO ME ABOUT CAPTURING OSAMA BIN LADEN.
Talk to me beyond the stump speeches.
Talk to me about how you’re going to take care of your OWN generation, and that we aren’t going to be out in the cold without social security once you, and all the baby boomers like you are gone.
Talk to me, the “working poor” as you’d like to call it. Explain to me how the Republican president offered a economic surplus package to try and boost the economy, but didn’t give it to the poor.
Talk to me about keeping my lights on.

Just keep talking, because I’m ready to listen. I’m ready to FINALLY vote for a candidate that will keep food in my cupboards, money in my pocket, gas in my car, and keep me safe. I’m ready. I want to believe that the status quo in our antiquated town of Washington DC is what we still need. I am desperate to offer a vote to something that “means” something.

Show me what you “mean” Senator. I’ll listen.

Sincerely-
An Idealistic Independent

Playing the blame game: Clemens testifies before Congress

February 14, 2008

What a chaotic place DC has become! Yes yes folks, Clemens showed up on Capitol Hill yesterday with his accuser, Brian McNamee.  He emphatically denied that he used ANY performance enhancing drugs, or HGH.  He did admit that his wife was injected with HGH for a photo shoot in 2003.  His best bud, Andy Pettitte, came out and said that Clemens did tell him he used HGH. Clemens retorted with, “He must have misremembered the situation.”

For someone that has supported Clemens the entire road, it’s getting harder and harder to believe. Elijah Cummings, a democrat from right here in Maryland stated yesterday, “You know, you’re a true hero of mine, and I don’t quite know even with that if I can believe you.”  It disheartens me. It makes me sad. What does he benefit from lying? The Hall of Fame? He’s going there anyway. Unless it comes down that he’s part of the steroid controversy, but let’s be honest, Barry Bonds will likely go into the Hall of Fame, steroids or not.

So, McNamee came out with bloodied gauze and syringes that he says he used on Clemens, and proves that Clemens in lying.  Well, where the heck has this stuff been?? Just sitting in your house waiting for this deposition Brian??? Cmon.  I am interested in the results from that testing, is all I have to say there.

It comes down to a straight he said/he said game. I’m tired of it. Represenative Waxman had it right. Either McNamee is lying and he’s ruined Clemens career, or Clemens is lying, and he joins the ranks of McGwire and Palmeiro who said that they weren’t in front of Congress to talk about the “past”. I think the best quote from yesterday was, “It’s better not to talk about the past than it is to lie about the past.” Ain’t that the truth.

Truth be told, this has smeared the reputation of baseball. It has smeared how players are seen in fans eyes, and for me, I truly think that’s terrible. Not that we have much to root for here in Baltimore with Bedard heading to Seattle, but it makes you not want to watch the game. With so much controversy of cheating, the money, it’s all a bit too much for this baseball fan.

Skating, Cops, and Baltimore City

February 12, 2008

Now, let’s be honest folks. No one wants a 14 year old kid running into them on the Inner Harbor, you’ll start hearing that it’s bad for publicity for the city. Welp, let’s be honest here. Can you skate at the Inner Harbor? No. Can you skate at Camden Yards? No. Can you skate anywhere in this town without having people harass you?? No.  So, Officer Riveri why don’t you get out of your little vehicle on the Inner Harbor and start chasing the drug dealers out of Mt. Vernon??? Hmmm??? Why don’t you stop harassing skaters and start harassing the drug dealers and killers in this town that are giving it the bad reputation? Hmmm???

On a good note, ABC 2 News reported today that the officer was suspended pending an investigation for putting the 14 YEAR OLD in a head lock.  I think sometimes people forget the good sense that god gave them.