standing OUR ground

I didn’t really know much about these “Stand your ground” laws.  And I heard about it while this recent Trayvon Martin case was going on, but I didn’t really research it.  Until now.

Turns out, I live in a state with “stand your ground” (also nicknamed “shoot first”, obviously by a biased group against it).  Not that I’m really for it; just calling a spade a spade.  You know?

Michigan’s stand-your-ground law, MCL 780.972, provides that

“[a]n individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if . . . [t]he individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent” the imminent death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault of himself or another individual.

So, someone is allowed to use deadly force if they honestly & reasonable believe that deadly force is necessary. DEADLY FORCE.

standyourgroundlaws2

DOMA. Prop 8. NBD.

I get that everyone’s all excited about SCOTUS repealing these laws as unconstitutional, but c’mon. Really?

These laws were unconstitutional. Of COURSE they were going to get stuck down. I’m surprised Americans didn’t have more faith in our Supreme Court.

I mean, if I can tell something is unconstitutional, then how could ppl who’ve studied the Constitution should be able to tell.

So, of course it was going to be struck down.

NBD.

Howevers – gentle reminder [ahem, to prod your reps] that it is still legal to fire someone simply because they are lgbt.

Employment-Discrimination-Maps

Fed funding to protect our cities

Ppl complain about how much money our federal govt spends. But so much of it really MUST be spent.

For example, I read an article today about how Boston is one of the most prepared cities for crisis. I think we can all agree now, in retrospect, that the US Govt funneling BILLIONS of dollars into crisis preparedness of major cities was $ well-spent.

You should read the article, b/c it goes into the drills they did.

boston 4-15-2013The drills, which included hostage situations, HazMat incidents and a movie theater shooting, brought together emergency officials from the city, state and federal government, as well as from the Boston Police, SWAT teams, the Fire Department, EMS, local hospitals, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Coast Guard. All in all, there were over 600 participants in the November drill, from over fifty different departments and agencies.

“What the Urban Shield program does is test it all at the same time – bomb squads working, swat teams working, fire, HazMat, search and rescue, command centers activated, all your radio systems, hospitals activated – everyone’s kind of working together,” says Baker, who worked closely with the city to execute the simulation. “That’s where you start to find your gaps – who can’t speak to whom on the radio. You identify the real problems when you get everyone together.”

This is a good use of money. Especially after what we’ve seen happen this past week in Boston. Those ‘boys in blue’ really knew what they were doing, and KUDOS to that whole city!

On a slightly related note, about the whole federal funds thing. Back when Hurricane Sandy happened, so many Senators voted AGAINST giving funds to those affected by the storm. They needed to rebuild, and get back to work, re-open businesses. But Congress didn’t want to give them money. For a natural disaster.

Two of those who voted against giving them money, were the 2 Senators from TX. Well, now those 2 Texas senators are asking for money for what happened when that private business caught on fire & exploded in West, TX. I’m sympathetic for the city. But why, time & time again, are we against something until it hits us personally. Are we that disillusioned that we are no longer able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes? I’m looking forward to finding out what happened there as well. That is, if that private company did not follow federal regulations. I’ve heard that there was at least 1 safety mark against them. Let’s see what we get out of this investigation as well.

west tx

They’re not rapists, they’re football stars!

I usually have CNN on over the weekend. Even if it’s just on in the background as I’m doing things. Same with when I have a day off. If I’m on your twitter feed, you sometimes see my angry tweets at #CNN or #msnbc, b/c it’s my only way to yell at the tv.

Well, I wasn’t really paying too much attention yesterday, but then the Steubenville rape trial came on. They aired a segment with the sentencing. And they showed these 2 young men crying, and were talking about how their college football career was being hurt.

And I was like…. whaaaatttt?!?!!!

Did they just empathize with 2 men who committed a violent crime against a 16-year old girl????!!!

No.

I must have heard them wrong.

No…. they’re saying how now these 2 young men will have to register as Sex Offenders for the rest of their lives, under Ohio law.

Um… yeah. Because they ARE sex offenders. What do you think RAPISTS are?

Rape is a violent crime. A CRIME. They ARE sex offenders, and SHOULD register as such.

What sort of HORRIBLE animal rapes a girl, and pose for pictures for social media. They were laughing, hootin & hollerin in pictures w/ an UNCONSCIOUS, STRIPPED girl!

A rapist.

They weren’t crying in court, after given their sentence, b/c they were sorry for what they did.

It was b/c they were sorry they had to pay a price for what they did.

But these rapists are being sympathized with. Even before CNN aired such a stupid viewpoint piece yesterday. They were sympathized with… when all those young kids at the parties were tweeting, twitpic-ing, instagramming a crime being committed. Then, the town trying to cover it up. Unfortunately, they shot themselves in the foot when those town-folk also raised kids that aired their dirty business out into the twittersphere. Incriminating evidence.

And now, today, Fox News aired the same clip I saw on CNN yesterday. However, Fox didn’t silence out the name of the real rape victim like every other broadcast did. Ugh. I’m hearing this gal’s getting death threats now on social media.

Here’s a Onion story that aired on Comedy Central back in 2011:

152 shots in less than 5 mins.

The Hartford Courant disclosed a new piece of info this wk that we didn’t know before… That Newtown shooting… 152 shots were fired in less than 5 mins. B/c in that Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, were multiple, extended 30-round magazines. His mother would not have been able to purchase this if, in 2004, Congress had not let the Assault Weapons Ban expire.

He wouldn’t have been able to buy a magazine with more than 10 rounds in it if the 2004 law had been renewed. So, he would have had to re-load 14 times. Lag-time where he could have been stopped. The Assault Weapons Ban also banned 30-round magazines.

He’d need to re-load over a dozen times to do what he did in 3-4 reloads, more chance for error (drop a mag, or have something jam, or stumble). If the law had been renewed, he’d still only have had access to a 10-round magazine. Not the 30-round mags that his mama was able to purchase since the law didn’t renew.

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forgive student loans

I’ma put in my 2 cents too.

When you get a student loan, you sign a PROMISSORY NOTE to get that loan. PROMISSORY. You LITERALLY PROMISE to pay that money back.

Teaching impressionable, quick to jump young adults that you can just take money for free is irresponsible. If anything, we need to tackle the issue of rising tuition costs that are out of control. NOT teach our youth that you can sign a promissory note for tens of thousands of dollars & just ask them to be “forgiven”. It’s not like you ate your co-workers piece of cake. It’s TENS of THOUSANDS of dollas! And you signed a paper after “loan counseling” PROMISING to pay it back! Are we teaching STUDENTS, those who are signing up asking to learn, that reneging on your word is the way to start your independent life?!?!?!

For the record, b/c for some reason, my personal experience will be questioned & thought of as relevant — I did take out loans. I was not given a free education. I am the daughter of immigrants. I did work 80-90 hrs a week during my summers from college, & I did take 10 yrs to pay off my loans. But I did pay them off, & I’m glad I did. My student loans taught me to budget, be responsible, & helped me raise my credit score. And if I do say so myself, my credit score is pretty spectacular!

penal farming

I think we all know I’m a genius. I’ve proven it over & over again, w/ my innovative solutions to the worlds problems. Fer example, my ideas to…
stop hurricanes on the Gulf Coast
keep these yung bulls from wearing their pants down past their underpants
get more ppl into protesting

Well, I’ve come up w/ another winner!

Penal Farming. Here’s how & why it works.

How: Those incarcerated in our justice system, go to work on farms in their area. They could get bussed over there, then bussed back at the end of the day.

Why: You know how you get cranky when you’re hungry? & how you are elated when you eat a really good meal?!?! Well, a lot of prisoners prob spent their lives eating crappy fast food. Then, in jail, they eat crappy prison food. If they work on the farms, & get to eat fresh, local, non-hormonal food; it may even their tempers. Also, food fuels your body & brain. They’ll be calmer, happier, well-balanced. More prone to rehabilitation. They’ll be doing something, & seeing the fruits (& veggies… haha!) of their labor.

Also, farmers in America are struggling. This would help alleviate their costs.

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day.

I know many of us have talked about bottled water, & I know I’ve said to some of you (on occasion) to please STOP buying bottled water.

Esp. since clean water has come more to light, w/ the recent earthquakes in Haiti & Chile. Clean water is a commodity, it’s not something that’s even available here in the US. While we don’t really see it, 10% of the US don’t have access to clean water like we do.

Most of us, however, do have clean water readily available to us.

But even if you don’t, please stop buying cases of bottled water. It irks me to no end when I see ppl at the groc store going out w/ cases & cases of it in their carts.

Forget the waste it creates. Obvs, that’s not an issue to these ppl.

Think about that it’s just NOT good for you to drink it.

First of all, it’s not really regulated like it should be. The FDA only has 1 person on staff to make sure that bottled water is safe. Why? Well, from the FDA’s website:

“FDA monitors and inspects bottled water products and processing plants under its general food safety program, not a specific bottled water program. Because FDA’s experience over the years has shown that bottled water has a good safety record, bottled water plants generally are assigned low priority for inspection.”

But mostly, b/c we know that these plastics are made w/ a chemical called Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE). There was a study done at Goethe University in Frankfurt. They found that water was more often contaminated when PET plastic bottles than in glass bottles. They believed that oestrogens leached from the plastic into the water.

I found this on the Environmental Working Group’s website:

“Toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as chloroform, bromodichloromethane, and haloacetic acids, are formed when disinfectants (chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide or chloramine) react with organic matter, urban and agricultural contaminants, bromine, and iodide during the treatment of drinking water (EPA 2008a). While only eleven DBPs are currently regulated in the U.S., up to 600 different chemicals may form as byproducts of disinfection (Richardson 1998, 1999a,b, 2003), including 74 DBPs that are not regulated but that may be associated with either DNA damage or carcinogenicity (Richardson 2007).”

They also listed as contaminants in bottled water:
chloroform – FDA regulates that you must have less than 80 ppb of trihalomethanes (THMs), i.e. chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and chlorodibromomethane. The 80 ppb limit was actually reached as a compromise between public health & treatment costs. “Chloroform is listed as a carcinogen in the California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (also known as Proposition 65), with safety standards for oral ingestion at 10 ppb (OEHHA 2008).

- Haloacetic acids – “Haloacetic acids are genotoxic and carcinogenic; they can also produce significant metabolic disturbances (Robertson 2007).”

- Nitrate – “According to EPA, infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the drinking water standard could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die (EPA 2001b).”

- Ammonia – “Ammonia triggers asthma attacks in some people and at high levels of exposure it is linked to a broader range of health problems (Makarovsky 2008). According to a 2004 government review: “We do not know if exposure to ammonia causes birth defects, or if it can pass to the fetus across the placenta or to infants via breast milk” (ATSDR 2004).”

- Drugs – Acetaminophen & Caffeine

You can read through the article for details on the pollutants above, plus more found. (Arsenic, Radioactivity, Boron are among the ones that stood out to me).

Then, you have the water cooler jugs at offices. The plastic water jugs for the water cooler is made from Bisphenol A (you’ve all heard of BPA, originally developed as a synthetic estrogen). You can easily search the gov’t.’s archive of public medical journal articles & find all sorts of issues w/ BPA.

From one article:

“We are confident that adult exposure to BPA affects the male reproductive tract, and that long-lasting, organizational effects in response to developmental exposure to BPA occur in the brain, the male reproductive system, and metabolic processes. We consider it likely, but requiring further confirmation, that adult exposure to BPA affects the brain, the female reproductive system, and the immune system, and that developmental effects occur in the female reproductive system.”

Just read through a handful of the articles. Links to breast or prostate cancer, reproductive failures. There’s heart disease, diabetes, obesity, & asthma. If that’s not enough, you also have the cognitive and behavioral problems linked to exposure to BPAs.

There was a study a couple years back that said that 93% of Americans had BPA in their urine, & stayed in the body much longer than originally thought.

Anyway, please stop using the water bottles. Or, at least only when necessary, & recycle it after ONE use; don’t attempt to re-use it.

If you want to read more, Steph had once written a post about bottled water, you can read it here. Or, you can read more about the 7 different types of plastics that she had posted about here.

I didn’t realize it was still 1960

So, I already mentioned I’m pretty upset about stupid Prop 8 in Cali going through. I’d love to see someone put up a proposition to ban hetero marriage. No… that’d be preposterous, right?

Seriously, who’s to say that one union is legit simply b/c of the party’s pieces/parts?

“But what about the children?”

Really? So, it’s totally cool if Alex gets a sex change oppo, becomes Alexis, & marries a dude? Trust ppl, you’ll have a much harder time explaining that to your 5-yr old. & the kids don’t care. Every kid I’ve ever met totally understands, if 2 ppl love each other, they get married. They’re so idealistic, they don’t even know about the probs/conflicts a couple face.

It more acceptable to marry you cousin than for a same-sex marriage to take place. Uh…. that’s right ppl, I said marry your cousin. Seriously, though, it’s legal to marry your cousin in 26 states. There’s even a loophole in Vermont’s state government that allows DOGS to marry!

You know how we look back 100 or 200 years & say that it seems unreal that certain civil liberties didn’t exist then (like voting for some ppl)? I can’t help but be embarrassed for what our descendants are going to think of us deny civil liberties in 2008!

On June 2nd, 1958, Richard Loving & Mildred Jeter were married. 5 weeks later, they were arrested & then sentenced to a year in jail. Wanna know why? B/c interracial marriages were prohibited. Of course they appealed it. This idocity went on for 9 years before the US Supreme Court unanimously overturned it.

“… The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival … Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

- Chief Justice Earl Warren, June 12, 1967

gay-interrcl-marriage

How is Prop 8 in Cali (or 102 in Arizona, or 2 in Florida) even really an issue that we are debating today? Hello, 2008, it’s 1960 on the phone for you.

In Arkansas, an LGBT person can’t even adopt a child. I’ve counted 17 states (you can double-check it, I got a headache counting) that don’t even recognize same-sex civil unions!!!

I’m not going to go on any further. B/c I’ll just blow a gasket. (Does anyone say that anymore? No? Just me? Whatev.)

So, I’ll leave y’all w/ a comment I once left to someone else’s comment saying that why can’t “they” just be happy w/ “civil unions”. You know why?

Cause there was never a top-ten hit that went,

♪♫♪♪ Goin to the Chapel, & we’re gonna get Civil-Unioned ♫♪♪”….

It’s still not the same thing. It would be the equivalent of telling “certain ppl” that they can ride on the same bus to the same destination, but they have to sit at the back of the bus.

You might argue: Why would they care? They still get to the same place.

B/c it’s saying that they’re different/lesser, & don’t deserve the idealism that “regular ppl” do.

The reason “regular” is in quotes is b/c I don’t believe that being straight is a “regular” trait. Maybe it’s a dominant trait (like having brown eyes, versus the recessive having blue eyes.). But that 2nd link shows that homosexuality has been around for eons, & they’ve even proven it exists naturally in animals.

Want to do something about it? Try:

wazzup vs. wassup

You know I wasn’t born in this country.  I was born in Gujarat, India.  We moved here when I was 4 years old, so Cleveland’s really where I grew up & learned everything (school & street).

My b-day’s in May, & 1 month after my 18th birthday, my sister & I got naturalized. The only reason we got naturalized was so that we could vote. Seriously, we had no other benefit from it at the time. We just thought that we should have a say in the country that had become our home. And I’ve voted in every election since then & every primary except for one. The very 1st time I voted, I took my (then) 5 yr old brother in w/ me so he could see what the excitement was all about. And I was full of excitement that very 1st time.

I guess this year, I’ve just been so shocked/surprised by how many ppl over 30 have never registered or voted. I’ve heard ppl say that this is the 1st election they will vote in, & they are 40 years old. I was just appalled the 1st few times I heard that.

I really don’t care* who you or anybody votes for, I just think everybody should cast a ballot.

Anyway, enough of my self-righteousness…..

You remember those wazzzzzup commercials? Well, this is for you, then.

*That’s not really true, I do care. I’m not that open-minded. I believe what I believe & would love to make ppl vote the same way I do. But that’s not kosher, & you’re not really supposed to say that outside of your own head.

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