Thursday, August 26, 2004

My Dad was a Marine and served our country proudly. His father was a Sea Bee in the Army, and my grandfather on my Mom's side served as well. In fact, he was pretty severly wounded in WWII. With all of this military history, I was brought up to take great pride in our flag. It's a symbol of the freedom that we all share (and most of us take for granted every day). I also grew up with the understanding that that freedom was won with blood and sacrifice, and is guarded by brave men and woman who risk their lives every day for this country. As a result, I often looked up at the flag as I entered school, a government building, or at a ball game with great pride and silently thanked those that gave their lives for my freedom.

Recently my feelings of pride have changed, however. It began as it became more and more clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We had gone to war under false pretences. Why? How? I had seen Col. Powell's slide show. I had seen the trucks that transported them, the mobile labs, the warehouses. Was our intellegence-gathering capability to blame? More and more I found myself unable to listen to the President's explanations and accept them without question. I started noticing contradictions, and how rare it was that he'd give a definitive answer about anything. Then along came the 911 panel and their investigation. He wanted to get to the bottom of the intelligence failure that lead to the successful terrorist attacks, but he resisted letting every single member of his staff testify. Finally allowing it, but only under severly restricted circumstances (time limits, private hearings, etc.). It started looking shady, and it all started sinking through my layers of Ameican pride, and unwavering support for our Commander in Chief. -He's holding prisoners in Cuba so he's free to disregard the protections that the Constitution provides to the accused. And we're all buying it because of our pride?

Sometimes pride can be a bad thing. Sometimes we need to re-evaluate our positions. We are free to do so... Election time seems as good as any!

See, I've always voted Republican. I voted for George W. Bush four years ago. I grew up in a Republican household. I've been a member of the NRA on and off (as I could afford it) since I was maybe 16? I've campaigned for Republicans, and I still hold onto many of their values. But what it comes down to is that flag...

I don't have the same sense of pride that I used to have when I look up at her. We've let down our long-standing allies. Whatever you think about the UN, we've spat in their face. We are the bully on the playground showing everyone that we can do whatever we want. I feel lied to. I never thought that government was not corrupt, but I guess I've never seen it so blatent. If it was truly a lapse in intelligence, why can't our President stand up and say so? -I want my trust (and admoration for) Colon Powell back. I want my pride in that flag and the country it represents back. That's why I'm voting for Kerry. I'm not a Kerry fan, he's simply the only (real) alternative to what has become, in my opinion, a big embarassment.

The End.

A note to John Kerry: Mr. Kerry, please don't take away my guns.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

DSM Shootout

Last weekend we went to the DSM Shootout in Norwalk, Ohio. It was awesome!!! Besides getting to see a few cars that I've heard about (The Green Machine, the twin engine Talon, etc) my car ran a 13.748 in the quarter-mile beating it's previous best time of 14.102 by 0.354 seconds (a lot in the automotive world). The hotels were crazy -the EconoLodge was one big party, the AmeriHost and Best Western had crowds too, but were much more subdued than the EconoLodge. The car show at Busher's was awesome too. I got to see the twin engine car everyone's been talking about, although it didn't give the performance everyone had hoped for. It looked like he babied it down the track (no launch or anything). I heard he's still having problems getting the transmissions sync'd up and stuff. In between all of that we went Go-Karting. That was a blast as well. All-in-all an awesome way to spend a long weekend. I can't wait to go again next year.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The meaning of life.

I was driving along this morning and all of a sudden it hit me. I mean, I wasn't really thinking about it or anything, but boom! Enlightenment! The meaning of life -it was so simple... I understand now why it's so elusive.

It's right there, look... In the dictionary! The meaning of life! -I know, you probably don't believe me, it sounds so simple, but look! Wait, you're on the internet... It's even easier, pull up (great site) and look for yourself.

Not enough? Okay, I'll break it down for you. The simple answer is this -life is a biological process. That's it. For humans it's a beating heart, the process of breathing... That's all life is. Simple? Boring? It's supposed to be!

Life is the base. The rest is up to you!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Protecting the institution of marriage

Proponents of a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (!?!) banning same-sex marriage say they are doing so in order to "protect the institution of marriage". My reaction to this statement shouldn't be unique. Anyone who gives this issue any thought at all should have the same basic question as I do. ..

Protect marriage against what?
  • It's estimated that 4 million woman are abused by their husbands or live-in boyfriends each year. -Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, U.S. Department of Justice, March, 1998
  • 1/3 of woman will be abused by their husbands or boyfirend at some point in their life. –Commonwealth Fund survey, 1998
  • Where there is domestic violence and children in the home, the children are also abused in 30% to 60% of the cases. – "The overlap between child maltreatment and woman battering." J.L. Edleson, Violence Against Women, February, 1999
  • <>In 1996, among all female murder victims in the U.S., 30% were slain by their husbands or boyfriends. – Uniform Crime Reports of the U.S. 1996, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1996

    Is that what they're protecting? or do they just not like the thought of 2 men having sex? I mean, I really don't get it. I understand that a person's first reaction to the thought of homosexuality is "ew, gross", but how does it go from a general dislike of the idea to wanting to ban it? We're not talking about making everyone choose a same-sex wife/husband. We're talking about equal rights for people who's persuasions may be different from your own. In fact, this strikes me as very similar to the racism that sparked the seperate drinking fountains, etc that we're all pretty embarrased about (or should be) when we look back on it. My advice, save yourself the embarrasment, don't jump on this ban-gay-marriage bandwagon. Who knows, one of your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews is probably gay. Would you really want to deprive them of the ability to make a life-long commitment to their life partner (in the eyes of the law)?

    Oh, and as an FYI: It's not the ring or ceremony that same-sex couples are after, they want the rights that come along with marriage: death benefits, visitation rights in hospitals, insurance benefits/breaks,etc. Why deny this 2 people who love each other? How would their marriage effect yours?

    If I'm missing something, let me know. I just don't get it.