wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
My dad sent me a picture of a Sweet-N-Low package and I thought he was sending multiple warnings and "doom and gloom" statements, as he normally does; alas, when I first responded to his note, it was as though he was promoting falsified sensationlism. Glad to say that wasn't the case.

Since saccharin was commercialized in the late 1800s (that's 135 years ago -->
saccharin was first discovered in 1878), no one human has ever died from using saccharin. The lab rat/mice tests in the 70s that created the sensationalized cancer scare were from the development of rodent bladder cancer due, a reaction that only occurs in rodents and not in humans. So, in 2000, the warnings were removed.
However, Nutrasweet or Equal in the blue packets (aspartame) is most absolutely a neuro-toxin; it was originally discovered while scientists were inventing a new anti-ulcer drug and has been the subject of many scientific and nutritional studies. There are distinct warnings on the package because people with phenylketonuria (PKU) - it can kill you.  If such a small thing can definitely kill people, I choose not to ingest it as much as possible. Thing is, that crap is everywhere.
Now, Splenda (sucralose) has been around for at least 20 years, but hasn't gone through nearly as many ringers as saccharin or aspartame, yet.  Sucralose is basically bleached sugar; the process of making sucralose removes the nutritive values of sugar and leaves the sweetness.
Erythritol, Lactitol, Isomalt, Mannitol, Maltitol, Sorbitol, and Xylitol are all different non-nutritive sweeteners that have been used in no-sugar, diabetic sweets for years. Collectively, they've been used in products for diabetics for probably 30+ years.
Stevia was deemed only an herbal supplement for years because the non-nutritive sweetener industries lobbied against its promotion as a low-calorie sweetener. Thankfully, those lobbies have finally lost and it's on the market in better forms.
So, if you don't want to use saccharin, please just don't use aspartame. There are LOTS and LOTS of other, better choices. Read up, educate yourself, and don't believe hype.
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Matthew and I were graciously invited by a friend of ours to speak at an LGBT rally against DOMA and Proposition 8 at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, a couple of weeks ago. The timing was perfect, since on the day we spoke (27-Mar-2013), the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) was hearing arguments for an against DOMA that day and had heard arguments for and against California's Prop 8 the day before.

The speeches we wrote were not completely the speeches that came out, but the essences are here.  I spoke first and Matthew spoke second. What an exhilarating experience!  Three of our friends were there in real time and others have seen the initial video taken by one of those friends.  These videos below were done more professionally by a student at the university.  Enjoy, comment, and please forward these speeches to others who will benefit from them.  We are interested in becoming more and more active in these fights and would like many more opportunities to speak out against discrimination.



My original speech (behind the cut)... )
wwcitizen: (NJ - Greetings)


So, it's day three of the aftermath of Sandy hitting NYC & NNJ (where we are). We are healthy and safe and that's the main thing really. It's hard to keep that in mind without electricity, TV, or internet, not to mention hot water.  But Matt and I have truly been making the absolute BEST of a bad situation. And even though we can't have a grill or natural gas in the condo, I am evermore astounded by and thankful for living in a high rise.  We have security, we have regular community updates, we have neighbors close by, and there are local businesses that are open and easy to get to.

 

 

 

Matt & I have also decided that once in a while, we'll eat solely by candlelight again. One, it's like romantical and stuff, and second, it'll -hopefully - keep this experience fresh in our minds. Of course hoping that something like this hurricane doesn't happen again to this degree in the near future, but also to remind us that we should totally unplug from time to time.

wwcitizen: (Rainbow Flag)
"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Glenda called.  So I came out.

As Katy Perry states it plainly, I'm wide awake. It's how I feel about myself. It's how I view the world since I accepted myself years ago and "came out".  I was gay anyway; why waste my energy on being something and someone I'm not?

God loves me as I am and set me completely free.

My coming out was a spiritual rebirth and a veil was tangibly removed. God was no longer boxed in. Within a 20-minute prayer, false theologies and misinterpretations thrust on me and shoved down my throat for 30+ years no longer had strength over my soul.  I was free and began living life honestly.

Everything else has fallen into place, including happiness.  This week marks the 11th anniversary. I've never looked back to wonder whether continuing a life of lies and secrets would have been better. Nope. I'm wide awake.



I'm wide awake (x3)
Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I'm wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong

I'm wide awake
And now it's clear to me
That everything you see
Ain't always what it seems
I'm wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

(Pre-Chorus)
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

(Chorus)
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I'm letting go tonight
(Yeah I'm) Falling from cloud 9

I'm wide awake
Not losing any sleep
I picked up every piece
And landed on my feet
I'm wide awake
Need nothing to complete myself - nooohooo

I'm wide awake
Yeah, I am born again
Outta the lion's den
I don't have to pretend
And it's too late
The story's over now, the end

(Pre-Chorus)
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

(Chorus)
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I'm letting go tonight
I'm Falling from cloud 9

Thunder rumbling
Castles crumbling
I am trying to hold on
God knows that I tried
Seeing the bright side
I'm not blind anymore

(Chorus)
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
(Ya' know) I'm letting go tonight
I'm falling from cloud 9

I'm wide awake (x5)
wwcitizen: (Broadway)
While it wasn't Broadway, a movie, a TV show or a commercial, it will apparently be a short film, festival piece, or festival submission.  This was my first "cold read" ever. I had no copy of the script. When I arrived, there were no copies of the script. When the guy walked out of the room - The Red Room (and, well, it was behind a red door) - and did a double-take at me, THAT's when I got a copy of three pages of the script. And I got to size up my competition right then - about the same build but looked a little doughier, different features, and didn't look quite as professional (IMHO). Not sure if that matters anyway. What does matter is that THAT guy had received the whole script like two days earlier via email. I got an email response for the audition, but no attachment. They had that guy run through the full script - 10 minutes or so - twice.

It was an interesting experience and I look forward to more of these. Matt gets the information from Craigslist and other places and goes. He's got some parts in upcoming festival pieces already!  There was a part that he really wanted to audition for last week, but he was just too sick to go, which was unfortunate. But, there will be more.

I had to read through the ethereal, surreal script twice. It's basically a 3-person script; my part was the support actor to the lead.  One read-through was with the first reader, who looked a lot like Zach Braff.  The second read-through was with the other selected opposite to my role. That guy - long, brown, curly hair, smelled faintly that he'd gone through a day - a little street-worn, yet actually wasn't all that hard on the eyes.  Both of these guys were very thin. The second guy seemed to understand his role better.

The great thing is, during the entire experience, I didn't have time to get nervous at all. My life doesn't depend on any level of acting or gigs. All that sort of weight is lifted off my shoulders already. It felt good to be there going through the process of learning lines off the page enough to emote something. THAT was cool.

Oh, and here's my head shot I'm using (Matt made it slightly more "head shot worthy"):
Steve Head Shot

Edits: Changed "art films" to festival piece and/or festival film, since the directors will be submitting these pieces to festivals. Also, "art films" tend to be code for porn, which these are not.
wwcitizen: (US - Gay Politics)
As if Amendment One wasn't enough, the NC GOP had to take their hatred a step further and deem it appropriate to discriminate against us.

North Carolina GOP Platform Says Government Should Be Able To Discriminate Against Gays

While I understand [livejournal.com profile] dan4behr's concerns about a NC boycott (granted, the Target boycott didn't put any real dent in its bottom line) and the people who live there and are trying to build lives there, it still seems like an every-growing hostile place to live.  Why would we want to subsidize that kind of behavior and discrimination?

And I cannot believe that my family WANTS me to step foot in NC now.  They are hurt that I'm not willing to come to NC??  Are they not seeing what's going on?  Don't they comprehend that NC for Matthew and me is becoming a more and more hostile place for us?  They don't think they can do anything about it, but in my opinion, that's just being complacent.  No apologies.

It would be nice to know that my family is doing something against all this, but we no longer talk politics because they were offended at my campaign against NC Amendment One.  Offended!  They were offended that I was concerned about possibly not returning to NC because of blatant, legal discrimination against me, my partner/family, and us. Concerned enough to plea with them to do more than just vote against Amendment One - encourage their friends and churches and communities to vote against it, too.  I sent the same message to many friends, who understood where I was coming from. Yet, they felt bullied by a campaign letters addressed to them over the course of two days.  As this is my cross to bear, here's a picture:
  • 1st nail in the cross: Amendment One.
  • 2nd nail in the cross: At least two NC ministers - supported by their communities and congregations blindly speaking of killing gays in concentration camps.
  • 3rd nail in the cross: The GOP proclamation-EXPLICITLY STATING-that they SHOULD BE ABLE TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST GAYS
Who'd want to go to a place like that? Who'd want to purchase stuff from there?  The landscape is beautiful and I'll miss visiting.  I'm becoming less and less of a Tarheel at every turn of the newspaper's pages.
wwcitizen: (US - Gay Politics)
Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs | Practikel

What do y'all think about this? Some folks are saying, "Well, it had to start somewhere," or, "Neat!" 

Personally, it has to happen and take place and be seen and covered by the media MUCH more than the one-off at Chicago.  Things like this have happened before - Chicago wasn't the first instance. This might have been the first instance that has gone somewhat viral. 

For as much as churches (not only the Christian churches, but also the Mormon church, Islam, and Judaism religious groups) have stood firmly against the gay community for so long, one or two hugs affecting a small, accepting congregation isn't enough. 

It didn't "have to start" anywhere, actually, but I'm glad this interaction was captured to show it's possible.

Zen Steve

Apr. 3rd, 2012 11:01 am
wwcitizen: (Smell The Flowers)
This last week, Matthew and I have rediscovered incense.  I kept seeing our little vase of incense and a wooden stand awaiting our enjoyment.  I also wanted to pick up some new scents for a pomander I bought at L'Occitane years ago. Needless to say, L'Occitane sold out of and discontinued its incense squares. Undaunted and not wanting to be thwarted by that revelation, we went to Whole Foods to try and devise a new means of using the pomander.  I found a new incense burner for little cones, which sits nicely in my bathroom. 

Burning incense is so calming and the energy in the house has changed slightly for the better. The low-level negative energy came from 1) losing my wallet recently, 2) dealing with law enforcement, and 3) calling the credit card companies. I've also started minor meditation again.

Today, I should be wearing my Zen Mickey Mouse t-shirt. I like the sentiment and it pretty much encapsulates my recent need to center myself again (btw, I do replace "The Mouse" with "self".). 

There's definitely a sense of renewal in my spirit that intensifies in the spring, of course. New life and freshness are evidenced everywhere, much like the blue bonnets in Texas posted by [livejournal.com profile] erstexman and [livejournal.com profile] texwriterbear or the myriad of blossoms at Kew Gardens posted by [livejournal.com profile] changeling72.  The flowers this year seem so much cleaner and crisper (might just be the quality of the cameras, but I like to think it's the flowers doing it all).

I'm loving it.

The primary difference this year from last year in the spring is that we're not hosting Easter dinner this year for Matt's family.  That made us both pretty sad when the rest of the family decided they wanted to go to a country club - again - for Easter lunch/dinner.  Matt and I did SUCH a good job last year with the planning, the food, the decorations, the hosting, the leftovers (yes - everyone got a to-go bag!), the Easter baskets for the kids, the traditions from Matt's mother - down to the bunny cake!  Everyone loved us hosting Easter and appreciated the effort we put into it. I know we're good hosts, dammit!!  Alas, Easter dinner will lack tradition, be plastic, and short-lived.

Having a Spring/Easter dinner party to plan and prepare really inspired us last year. This year, Matt and I are finding new ways to be inspired and discovering other things to do.  This Friday night, for instance, we're getting together with friends to dye eggs and tie-dye t-shirts!!  That'll be lots of fun.

Then, of course, Matt and I are meeting - WOW - [livejournal.com profile] squirreltot, [livejournal.com profile] texwriterbear, and [livejournal.com profile] super_sean for the first time ever along with another Texan friend of theirs, and [livejournal.com profile] allsmilesbear (who - nudge nudge - hasn't posted in like forEVER - 3 years, actually), while they're in NYC on vacation. We're also meeting [info]jimwnyc and [info]tinman11201* for the first time in person, even though they're just down the road from us; our schedules and determination to meet up finally synchronized!  I think I've known some of these guys for 5-6 years at least online.

On Thursday night, whilst Matt is teaching, I meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] devil_cub52, [livejournal.com profile] durabear (wishing that [livejournal.com profile] malorso would make it up here sometime with him!!), [livejournal.com profile] gstorm17, [livejournal.com profile] mat_t, and [livejournal.com profile] perkbear for dinner.  This is going to be one LJ-filled week!! 

I'm very excited.
wwcitizen: (Whatever)
Why are we humans obsessed with our doom, gloom, and damnation? What's in these theories of destruction for us? Yeah, we will all die, eventually, and our natural bodies will return to dust - individually.  I don't believe that we will all as a collective die at once or that there is a specific end of humanity. Why would God set something so wonderful, in his/her/its image, in motion only to stop it eventually? Does that by default mean that God has an end, too?

Terence McKenna (on 'shrooms when he) came up with his end of humanity theory in his book Timewave Zero that on Dec 21, 2012, we reach a "singularity of infinite complexity." This is the moment when all possible probabilities are equally valid; i.e. we're all dead.  He used the Chinese 1 Ching (not solely the Mayan calendar) to plot out periods of "novelty" in human existence, which all pointed to the Dec. 21 Dooms Day.

McKenna is one of 1000s of End of World, End of Earth, Dooms Day theorists. Every year there's a new one or two or 50.  Why not choose, rather, not to stress oneself or others out?  Why not sit back, relax, do your job, make friends, come home, make good food, and breathe?  Find blessing and peace in breathing and being.  If even for a day.  Srsly.
wwcitizen: (BIG SMILE)
1. Life is not easy. – Hard work makes people lucky – it’s the stuff that brings dreams to reality. So start every morning ready to run farther than you did yesterday and fight harder than you ever have before.

2. You will fail sometimes. – The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. So get out there and do something! Either you succeed or you learn a vital lesson. Win – Win.

3. Right now, there’s a lot you don’t know. – The day you stop learning is the day you stop living. Embrace new information, think about it and use it to advance yourself.

4. There may not be a tomorrow. – Not for everyone. Right now, someone on Earth is planning something for tomorrow without realizing they’re going to die today. This is sad but true. So spend your time wisely today and pause long enough to appreciate it.

5. There’s a lot you can’t control. – Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control.

6. Information is not true knowledge. – Knowledge comes from experience. You can discuss a task a hundred times, but these discussions will only give you a philosophical understanding. You must experience a task firsthand to truly know it.

7. You can’t be successful without providing value. – Don’t waste your time trying to be successful, spend your time creating value. When you’re valuable to the world around you, you will be successful.

8. Someone else will always have more than you. – Whether it’s money, friends or magic beans that you’re collecting, there will always be someone who has more than you. But remember, it’s not how many you have, it’s how passionate you are about collecting them. It’s all about the journey.

9. You can’t change the past. – As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” You can’t change what happened, but you can change how you react to it.

10. The only person who can make you happy is you. – The root of your happiness comes from your relationship with yourself. Sure external entities can have fleeting effects on your mood, but in the long run nothing matters more than how you feel about who you are on the inside.

11. There will always be people who don’t like you. – You can’t be everything to everyone. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently. So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right. What others think and say about you isn’t all that important. What is important is how you feel about yourself.

12. You won’t always get what you want. – As Mick Jagger once said, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.” Look around. Appreciate the things you have right now. Many people aren’t so lucky.

13. In life, you get what you put in. – If you want love, give love. If you want friends, be friendly. If you want money, provide value. It really is this simple.

14. Good friends will come and go. – Most of your high school friends won’t be a part of your college life. Most of your college friends won’t be a part of your 20-something professional life. Most of your 20-something friends won’t be there when your spouse and you bring your second child into the world. But some friends will stick. And it’s these friends – the ones who transcend time with you – who matter.

15. Doing the same exact thing every day hinders self growth. – If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Growth happens when you change things – when you try new things – when you stretch beyond your comfort zone.

16. You will never feel 100% ready for something new. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means you won’t feel totally comfortable or ready for it.

Yanked from:
http://www.955klos.com/Article.asp?id=2290261
wwcitizen: (NJ Quarter)

I got an email from my brother last week, which inspired me to respond. Initially, because my knee-jerk responses don't always convey clearly what I mean, I hadn't responded.  But I'm really glad I went ahead and addressed some of his points.  I also inserted support links within this "article".  I have also changed some of my brother's initial questions and/or statements because, well, it just sounds and flows better. My youngest sister also mentioned to me that most of my Facebook posts relate to gay topics and equal rights, which is true. I found this whole exercise beneficial to understanding more thoroughly elements about our current political, economic, social, and legal stance.

Q: Explain why Obama won't make his birth certificate available for review [Many believe that what was published has not been verified - despite what people may believe]?

A: Obama, the State of Hawaii, and the US government have provided a copy of the original birth certificate online.  The US Library of Congress put the copy online simply because they were expending too much time and money on sending out 1000s of copies to people, like my brother, who want to see the "actual" birth certificate.  Interestingly enough, McCain wasn't born actually IN the US, rather in US-controlled territory. BUT, in McCain's case, because his parents were American, he's still an American-born citizen. Same rules apply to Obama; Obama's mother is an American citizen.

How does one verify a birth certificate beyond the notarized copy from the county courthouse. In order to get a US passport or (in most states) a driver's license, the notarized copy of the original is sufficient; shouldn't we trust that the document provided is, in fact, the verified copy? My birth certificate doesn't have my little foot prints on it, and I can get a notarized copy of mine from Raleigh, NC, where I wasn't born.

Q: Why won't he make his Harvard transcript available for review?

A: He graduated Cum Laude from Harvard. 'Nuff said. Not everyone in the Senate or House can say that.  You cannot make that kind of claim without Harvard coming after you to make sure it's correctly represented.

Q: Why can’t we see his school records from Indonesia?

A: Matthew (my partner) can't get property records of property he owns from Italy! You try getting school records from Indonesia. However, in order for Obama to have been admitted to any US college, he would have had to provide those records to the school for admission. <a href=" http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/admissions/applications/transfer_admin-finaid.php " target="_blank">Columbia requires each transfer student</a> to provide more than you're demanding our president provide you. That should really and truly be end of story.

Q: One does not have to be an American-born person to run for any office except President!

A: Exactly; i.e. Barack Obama is an American-born president. Do [the birthers] seriously think that Dick Cheney (let alone Bush) would have allowed Obama to even run for president if Obama didn't have his papers in order? Seriously?  Also, as pointed out before, whether the birthers like it or not, his mother is a US Citizen; therefore, he's a US-born citizen.

It is not my job (even as an American) to pull all this stuff together, but links I listed above should suffice. I've never seen other presidents' school records made as public as folks expect this president to do. I find it interesting that a Wall Street Journal article in 2008 says about his time at Columbia, "Maybe that's what most pains a young memoirist and an ambitious politician who strains to make his life anything but unremarkable."

Thing is, Barack Hussein Obama is our president. And that's that. There's no going back.

Q: This individual who is occupying the White House is the most incompetent, poorly prepared, inadequately equipped, narcissistic fraud that has been so unfortunately elected to the office.  The only good thing about this socialist being there is that now Jimmy Carter is no longer the country’s worst president.

A: I happen to believe that Jimmy Carter (in my limited memory of his "reign of terror on the nation" - also a Nobel Peace Prize Winner - I was 10 years old when he was in power) was a good president. He was a strong supporter of human rights, created the Departments of Energy and Education, and established a national energy policy. That energy policy included conservation, price control, and new technology. He also returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama, which is still lauded as a massive accomplishment.

I find it interesting that you call Obama a socialist because on the books and publicly, he's a member of the Democratic Party.  I suppose you chose "socialist" because he has been presented as advocating state ownership of industry, which is totally untrue.

Our president (and his people) bailed out the auto industry (yes, financially) when they needed it, but it was in no way meant to make the auto industry state-owned.  The auto industry is paying back the loans given to them.  If Obama had NOT bailed them out financially, the auto industry would have collapsed. That would have had a major ripple effect throughout the US economy and industries, one which we cannot even begin to imagine. Obama in that regard staved off a worse economic depression than Dad lived through.

If one deems Obama a socialist because he supports social and economic equality (so that more than the current 2% of our population hold the wealth in the country and so that we have a stronger middle class - as in the 50s), and because he supports bi-partisan involvement in decision making (i.e. collective decision-making), then maybe you're onto something! But, don't forget to point out in the same breath that Republicans during the Bush era were becoming more and more tyrannical, and
dominionist in their workings. Bush made sure (via the US PATRIOT Act of 2001) that law enforcement agencies were able to invade US citizens' privacy (phone tapping without announcement made legal - VERY Big Brother and Big Government), for which there is no evidence that I can find these expansions have proven successful in bringing a terrorist to justice in our country. More and more, Republicans and Tea Partiers (becoming more dominionist) are stating falsely that our forefathers founded this nation upon Christian principles. This country was formed from the colonists because of high, exorbitant taxation from England. The colonists were tired of paying the high taxes - hence, the Tea Party in Boston Harbor, which destroyed highly taxed tea. Columbus in 1492 was hoping to find trade routes to India that went quicker (business prospect) than going across the continent of Asia; he wasn't expecting to find a place to start a Christian nation! 

Q: Any black person who voted for him solely because he appears to be black, cast a racist, uneducated vote. Any [other] person who voted for him should be ashamed and many are becoming more and more ashamed as time progresses and they see what he really is.

A: I agree that black voters of Obama basing their vote solely on his heritage and not educating themselves are myopic. In fact, no one should vote for any candidate solely based on their party affiliation, race, creed, or heritage. People casting a vote in this nation should educate themselves and know who and why they're voting for whom they're voting. Once that vote is cast, shame shouldn't be carried solely on who a person voted as president because a president isn't alone in his job; there are thousands of people who make the presidency, policies, our economy, and our nation what it is. A perspective that the president is the end-all-be-all of our nation's direction is myopic and uneducated, too.

Q: I can’t wait until he is sent back to the political cesspool that is Chicago and his absurd health care plan and his exorbitant, spend my money as fast as he can attitude are out of Washington.  He is costing seniors millions in Medicare that he stole to pay for bail outs. Obama promised to end entitlements but instead, allowed them to increase!

A: Right now, I was secured health insurance because of Obama's new health care program; I was informed by the health insurance company that my policy would not be canceled if I have (thank goodness I don't) any pre-existing conditions.  In 4 short years, anyone can have insurance.  Right now, your son can stay on your health insurance policy till he's 26, which will ultimately help him get on his feet before having to take care of himself fully at 18.  I think part of your anger about the health care bill is that you (and I) don't know fully what's in it, and I'm educating myself about it more and more. 

After today, Sep. 23, US females will be able to get breast cancer screenings and everyone cholesterol tests without paying deductibles or co-payments.
"In addition, patients will be able to see obstetricians and pediatricians without getting prior authorizations. Recommended immunizations also must be provided at no cost." To learn more about the health care bill and the new laws around health insurance, check out the following video:

Q: Obama has no clue how to get people working and more people are on the government dole than at any other time in history and he still wants to raise taxes and now he’s wanting to go after people’s 401k programs.

A: The unemployment rates we're now faced with started at the end of Bush's era.  Also, for the most part, the unemployed people have been tapping money they invested. Everyone has money extracted from their monthly paycheck in order to cover Unemployment Insurance!  Why criticize people for taking advantage of something that they paid for?

Obama saved our auto industry from failure (saving jobs).  As a result of the loan to the auto industry, previously closed auto plants are reopening and "
last week, GM announced that it would rehire 483 workers"; i.e. (re)creation of jobs.  A Republican Congressman in TN had the audacity to attend a ceremony at an auto plant and take credit for Obama's financial bail out assistance!  Republicans (without ethics, integrity, or scruples) take credit on a regular basis for things that Obama does right that they did not support.

Baby Boomers (my brother included when he retires) will potentially and most likely bankrupt the Social Security funds, not Obama.  By the sheer numbers of BBs, Social Security will not be able to handle the money that will be gushing from its vaults.  Before my nephew (who is 3 yrs old) is of retirement age, he will most likely see the end of Social Security as we know it.  In fact, there will probably eventually be something much better conceived and implemented by the time Nathaniel retires (thank goodness!). 

Q: Democrats have looked into the backgrounds of Republicans and were not chastised.  Clinton pulled almost 1000 FBI files of political opponents before he was nabbed at it.

A: You're probably right that Democrats were not chastised about peering into current presidents' backgrounds.  The Republicans, in contrast to Democrats, run away from controversy and "bad lighting".  Sharron Angle (R-NV), Jan Brewer (R-AZ "Gov"), Joe Miller (R-AK), Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) are really good examples of this. They ignore the liberal media.  They ignore questions that they don't want to answer.  Jan Brewer to reporters is seen in videos as saying, "OK, thank you for coming everyone!" on the heels of hearing, "What did you mean about the headless bodies in the desert?"  Even though she's a liar and lied to her state for months about "headless bodies in the desert" to substantiate her state's need for immigration restrictions, she turned and walked away instead of addressing her state's concerns.  Sharron Angle actually jogged away from reporters who were from news agencies decidedly not Republican or Tea Party backers.

Q: Don’t get me started on Obama's lack of military understanding.  When it comes to the military, he’s a joke.

No president (even GW Bush) has as extensive knowledge of the military to be able to command the military the way a military leader would. That's why each president has advisers.  Obama has appointed and has relied upon the right people for their jobs to provide him excellent military advice.  If you're talking about the court-martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Any US military personnel who disobeys an order can be legally court-marshaled

I sincerely didn't like Bush.  I hate that Bush and Cheney started wars that helped deplete the surplus that Clinton's era gave us (in FY 2000 was $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever!!) and drove us into multiple trillion-dollar debt.  "
Under the Clinton-Gore budget, we were on track to pay off the entire publicly held debt ... by 2009."  On the flip side, the national debt grew by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush's presidencyUnder Presidents Reagan and Bush, the debt held by the public quadrupled.  Then Clinton fixed it.

Having those feelings toward a bad president doesn't make me less of an American or hate my country.  Hopefully, this post sheds some light on my perspectives as much as your email enlightened - and inspired - me!  I'm really glad I went through this and hopefully someone else will find my work here useful.

wwcitizen: (Birthday Bear With Hat)
Copenhagen was a lot of fun for both of us. We had two very informative and not terribly overlapping tours of the city; one of them had a cool boat & harbor component. I fell in love with Copenhagen and the time we had there was perfect. When we had reached and gone through Tallinn, I had thought I wouldn't be able to find yet another city interesting - especially one I had visited already years ago with my brother.

However, the city proved me wrong. I got a new spring in my step. Maybe because I was officially going to be in my 40s whilst seeing the sights. Not sure. But I found myself walking and walking and walking and not wanting to be done taking in the city - even when we were leaving.

One interesting thing that happened to me in Copenhagen was while walking around town taking pictures on my birthday, August 5th. I was minding my own business looking at all the buildings and people, alone, not thinking of anything in particular when I passed this "guru", we'll call him. Well, he wore a turban, looked Hindu, and had a very Indian/Sri Lankan accent.

He spoke to me in English and said, "You have a very happy aura about you - a very happy and positive aura, but your focus right now is fully on someone else and not yourself. You are always thinking about this other person to make sure that their needs are met before yours; that's very selfless and good. In the next two months - by October - you will experience something new and different and your life will change. Can I read your palm? I would very much like to read your palm."

I've run into many fortune-tellers, soothsayers, and gurus (or clairvoyants) in my day, but none had ever been this forceful or approachable. Many of them want to read my palm - even for free - and you know they all want money for their information somehow. Didn't know where this was leading and when I'm alone in a big city I'm always wary about my surroundings (learned this in Vienna, Austria, of all places). If a stranger - like this - starts talking to me, I start looking (inconspicuously) around to see who might become my pickpocket.

Nothing happened and I thanked the guy. But of course those kinds of instances make an impression. Things he said were true. I am a happy person. I am a positive person. How'd he know that my focus was on someone else - my dad? I felt my "self" being selfless the entire trip with my dad - how does that feeling or exertion translate to facial or bodily expression when you see someone on the street? Maybe because I was looking around him to see who was with him. Dunno. It was all very interesting.
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
This weekend, I made my first foray into returning junk mail in its own envelopes!!

Ref: http://wwcitizen.livejournal.com/219502.html

It felt good...
wwcitizen: (Long Road Ahead)
It's gonna be a long road - not necessarily an arduous one, but a long one nonetheless - to reinvent Stephen. I went to visit some previous colleagues for lunch today and it was enlightening how much I didn't miss my job, the office, the building and the faces that much. Granted, there are a few people and their auras that I miss, but in general, I'm happy to be home and doing whatever the hell I want to do - for now. It's conceivable that this feeling of freedom and laissez-faire (que sera sera) attitude will grow tiresome and I'll "need to be out amongst the people" again (as my father used to say). But I'm content to let that take as long as it takes.

Lunch was good, the martini was pleasant, the conversation (as mentioned) enlightening, and the strolls up to and after lunch were great. It was a beautiful day today. There were hardly any clouds. Many interesting, attractive people were about. Our favorite neighborhood cafe (The Factory Cafe) is closed; they couldn't pay the $30K rent hike, so were forced to leave. Now the gorgeous space is being renovated to house an upscale clothing store. Ugh. That's not what the Village and/or Christopher Street need. But, still, I'm a firm believer that change is good.

So, off to finish watching "Under the Tuscan Sun", a couple of episodes of Oz (catching up on what I missed years ago), playing some Xbox, perhaps, or whatever the hell I want to do - like cuddle with my husband.

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Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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