Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Do Solemnly Swear

Ah, yes, the Presidential Inauguration. The time is near. Personally, I'm excited. It doesn't seem as though others share my enthusiasm.

While I do think that the group has a valid point {why should everyone be forced to use a semi-religious oath?}, I really don't see the big problem. Atheism is a belief system, just like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism, Zoroastrianism and any other -ism you wanna throw in there. I'm sure that if there was a Buddhist President they would not force her *hint hint* to say "so help me God" on the end of her oath or to have any religious figure there. While the inauguration is viewed by millions in person, on the tele, and over the internet, it is mainly a ritual for the President (elect) to express his feelings for his/her country and newly elected position. If Obama wants to have a priest there as a part of this momentous and special day for him, why not let him? If someone else wanted Tony Robbins or some other motivational speaker, I'm sure that would be allowed. And, weird as it might be for some, if a person wanted the Dalai Lama there, I'm sure there wouldn't be a lot of objection.

Why, then, is the atheist group so obsessed with not allowing a freedom to Mr. Obama?

My thinking is that many people see others expressing their religion as a push for others to believe the same way. Sure, I might not like that my family is all Mormonism, all the time {yes, even more than the BYU channel}, but do I have the right to ask them to refrain from expressing their beliefs when I'm around? Absolutely not. According to the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

While that might only really apply to Congress and the legislative wing of the government, we also have EEOC and other laws allowing people to express their religion without fear of persecution as long as they also respect the beliefs of others. Going along with that, why can't the atheists in this group be okay with Obama's expression of his religion and be fine with the difference from theirs?

Why can't any group in the world be perfectly content in the fact that other people believe in different things and not force those same people to conform to their belief system?

If we could fix that problem, I think we might actually achieve world peace.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Some People's Kids

And some people's fake mothers.

You'd think that after all the hullabaloo over the Caylee Anthony case and that poor child's body someone would not lie about a child missing. But, once again, there has to be someone stupid to prove me wrong. This woman even has the nerve to say that the child was left with a nanny and went missing from there. UGH! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Meagan McCormic was so desperate to get back with an ex-boyfriend that she made up a story about a love child. When said boyfriend showed up, she then said that the nanny had been the last person seen with the child. She even went so far as to download a picture of a random kid in order to give police a proper description.

Poor ex boyfriend. No matter what he did to her, he doesn't deserve this kind of treatment - no one does. On top of that, trying to build off of someone's already ruined life and terrible lies is the worst thing I can imagine somebody doing, short of actually being Casey Anthony.

I really do hope that she feels ashamed for what she's done.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Gift to You

I found the cutest website in the entire world... and it always helps to get into that bedtime mode so you can sleep and wait for a certain someone to show up.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everybody!

While these might be inappropriate for the Santa crowd, I'd like to share my favorite naughty Christmas songs.

Justin Timberlake is amazing. So is The Dan Band.

I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas and some happy holidays! =)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

With the holidays approaching - or already here in some cases - I feel obligated to share some odd news regarding Christmas and Hanukkah.

First off, there's this interesting story about church members dressing like the stereotypical Jesus in order to bring awareness to the 'scandal' of saying "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Now I can understand being upset about that, but we do live in an age where freedom of religion is valued. I enjoy Christmas - for non-religious reasons - but I respect the people who do not. Even at work, I say "Happy holidays" despite the fact that most people who shop there, especially now, celebrate Christmas. While some find it disrespectful, I find it extremely respectful of others' beliefs. In this day and age, we need more of that.

In the monotheistic Holy Land, gold coins depicting Heraclius from the 600s CE were found by a tourist volunteering to help with an archaeological dig. I'm impressed at the number of things that continue to be found in that area of the world. I hope that more will be found to increase our knowledge in ancient history.

Now, I know that many people are upset with the snow and ice, but there are better ways to get rid of it than to try and melt it off your porch. At least it was his own house that he set on fire...

Here's another fun story. This South Salt Lake man tried to steal a fire engine in order to drive home to see his mom for Christmas... in Washington. Hopefully he wasn't in a hurry to play the Wii. He could get hurt doing so, or, even worse, could ruin their game system:

In a Hanukkah-related story, a man in New York won a latke (potato pancake) eating contest. Pete Czerwinski scarfed down 46 of the pancakes, coming in at a whopping seven pounds total. Latkes are extremely tasty, so, while I'm surprised at the sheer quantity Czerwinski was able to eat, I'm not surprised that someone like 'Furious Pete' could nom them down.

And, in the overwhelming spirit of the holiday season, scientists found that people will deliberately torture others if told to do so by people with authority. How disturbing is that? It's interesting, given the history of people during wartime and just plain greedy people as well; other people are always looking to seek approval from their superiors. Sadly, this is how the majority of bad things happen - craving approval, greed, fear. In the future - no matter how overwhelmingly idealistic I am - I hope that people can be more like the religious and political figures they idolize and act like decent human beings, not because they are told to, but because they know it's the right thing to do. And that should be the real message behind the holiday season - being a good person because it's the right thing to do, not because of rewards in this life or the next.

Monday, December 22, 2008

You Gotta Love YouTube

In searching for instrumental versions of songs, I was saddened to see that no one had halfway done versions of duets... until I found mss12000. He has a great voice and has done some amazing duets, just missing the girl part.

Here's the version of Baby It's Cold Outside that I just recorded with him.


EDIT: And here's me singing Santa Baby. Yeah, the video is a little goofy, but I just figured out how to use Windows Movie Maker today, so I think it's pretty good.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ever Heard of "Quit While You're Ahead?"

Apparently these people haven't. Squashing a group's constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness wasn't enough, clearly. No, now they want to revoke/nullify the thousands of homosexual marriages that took place while it was LEGAL.

This guy has a point:

"Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Brown said in a written statement.

According to the Ninth Amendment, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." In non-psycho babble, that means any fundamental rights that are not directly listed in the Constitution are protected as well. Sexual orientation? Not in there originally. And, hey, aren't we all protected from discrimination based on our gender, race, ethnicity, age, and um... sexual orientation?!

I am so tired of all the high school drama BS. Every single group is discriminated against by somebody. It's getting to be too much to handle. I wish everyone could just be tolerant of other people's lifestyles. Seriously, I'm not saying that you should be homosexual by saying that you should support gay marriage - I'm simply saying that we need to all band together in order to get rid of the injustices in our own country. No matter what it takes, this country needs to recognize the basic right of two human beings in love to join together in a partnership that is recognized no matter where the couple goes.

Basically, here's a video I found showing how damn ridiculous this whole thing is. Enjoy.

Here's another great video of Jon Stewart discussing gay marriage with Mike Huckabee. Oh Huckabee, how misguided you are.

Really? We've redefined terms like "man" and "human being" but we can't redefine marriage? That, my friends, is a ridiculous notion.

"Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality." So true. A person doesn't wake up in the morning and decide to be gay for a day/week/30 days/a few years. It's something that we're born with, something that makes up who we really are. Until we all embrace our sexuality - whether that means marrying another girl or being perfectly fine with expressing your sexual nature like someone who truly loves their bodies and sexual lives - no one is going to be happy.

I hope that people can learn to see past their own bigotry and fears in order to embrace people of all backgrounds and lifestyles someday. I am determined to help fight the good fight, to be a soldier in the army of love. Even if this problem isn't solved in my lifetime (which it better be), I am dedicated to the cause. I hope that you'll join me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Surf or Sex?

I might have problems, but I'm wondering exactly who would give up sex for two weeks in order to have the internet in their home? Almost half of women, and less than a third of men apparently would.

I'm guessing either these people aren't in a relationship or don't get jiggy with their partners/friend's partners/random people that often. Now, maybe it's just me, but I fail to see the benefits of this. I mean, sure, a lot of people need the internet for work and such. It's an interestingly sad commentary on our society that people are more interested in their jobs, facebook, and internet porn than spending some love time with their significant other.

On the other hand, intimacy is the important thing, not the sex.

Now, here goes my [not so] wholesome image... and Theron's (sorry hun).

I love Theron with all my heart. We have a wonderful relationship. I'm pretty sure that the internet could never match the intimacy that we share, with or without sex. The sex isn't important, but the intimacy is. Still, I think that picking the internet over Theron is the wrong way to go in any situation.

Maybe it's just because I'm a romantic hippie, or because after almost a year and a half I'm still crazily head over heels for him, but love should be the most important thing in our lives. Can anyone imagine how the world would change if that were the case? If we all actually started practicing the teachings from all the great religious figures {The Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed, etc}? I think we could actually have a good chance at world peace if people stopped looking out for their best interests and started looking out for others.

So if you were asked, what would you do? Pick the person you're supposed to treasure or the internet that seems like it gets in the way enough already?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm A Happy Cow?

How ironic that I moved from the west coast to Wisconsin... and that I love cows...

I do have to say, the cold here is better than that in the Northwest though. The cold there is so wet that it makes it worse really. Here, the cold is dry enough that it's not too bad.

I hope Kirsten wins.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wayne Brady

People like Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Believe in Harvey Dent (Barack Obama)

I bought The Dark Knight yesterday. It was a necessity - I own pretty much every other Heath Ledger movie and every superhero movie. Besides, this movie was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. It's a cinematic masterpiece that will be very hard for the next Batfilm to top.

I've always likened Gotham City to Chicago. Maybe it's because of the few areas of Chicago that've been on the news, or because I think it's worse than Milwaukee... or even because I hate the Cubs. I don't really know. After watching the news coverage of Gov. Blagojevich's poor decisions, I put in my new lovely movie and began to watch.

I realized how much my respect and admiration for Obama was like Gotham City's citizens and their trust in Harvey Dent at the begining. Now, I only equate Obama with the Dent of the first half of the film, so don't think I'm going to start bashing the man that I voted for. The idealism that Obama represents, the ability to rise above the crime and slum and be a role model for people... I am in awe of them.

Obama had not yet spoken out about Gov. Blagojevich when I planned my post, so I wondered how he might react, given his former comment that it would be innappropriate to comment at the time he was asked to. There are so many good speeches and sayings that Dent participates in in the film.

It doesn't really have that much bearing on the situation at hand, but I think it is important these days to remember that the night is darkest just before the dawn, that the hardest parts in life come before things get really good. Obama is the hero that this country deserves right now, the person that we need to help get things fixed. And I think it's pretty cool that my favorite politician and movie kind of line up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Religious Education

What do you think of when you see that headline? Do you think about going to a Catholic high school? What about a Muslim elementary school?

I think of learning about and coming to an understanding of the different religions around the world, from the past and the present. In short, the following story is a great example of what I think of.

Boys in grades 6-8 from Trinity Presbyterian Church and Townsend Street School are learning about the different monotheistic traditions that they may come in contact with in order to eliminate stereotypes, fears, and intolerance. Mark Bedford, the minister who began the program, is considering expanding it to include Hindus and Buddhists as well.

Basically, representatives from the different religions come and speak with the children and answer their questions. One of my favorite people, imam Ziad Hamdan from the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, is also taking part in the program.

This is an amazing program and I wish that more people had access to this opportunity. Eliminating stereotypes and other biases against religions early on will have a far better effect than the same programs later on, but it is important for people of all ages to learn about their misconceptions of others.

I hope this program expands exponentially.