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Free Slurpee Day …  

Thursday, July 11, 2013  

small-7e-day-slurpee-cupIt’s almost too bad that when someone says that something is free, they are met with skepticism. For example, today is FREE Slurpee Day at 7/11′s. Pretty straightforward, right. My immediate reaction is … what’s the catch? Do I have to buy something? Is it buy 1 get one FREE or something. I even searched the web to see how this works.

Low and behold, it’s just a free slurpee. You walk in, ask for your slurpee and walk out with a cool, refreshing beverage. No strings attached.

Maybe I’ve just become too used to this world where people don’t give anything away for free. So kudo’s to 7/11 for keeping up a tradition to give away FREE Slurpees on your special day. No strings attached.

Asiana Plane Crash at SFO …  

Monday, July 8, 2013  

image-01-largeThe idea of a huge hunk of metal filled with gasoline and people flying through the air still baffles my mind. And those of us that fly regularly have all had those moments of fear, thinking, “what if this plane crashes?” Luckily, few of us will ever experience this because plane crashes are not a normal occurrence. In fact, the risk of being killed in a plane crash annually is 1 in 11 million. Compare that to the risk of being killed in an automobile crash, which is 1 in 5,000. Pretty good odds.

This weekend it became more of a reality, when I started seeing news tweets appear on my phone regarding a plane crash at SFO. The early reports didn’t provide much detail, other than the fact that a plane crashed at the airport. Later tweets, provided news on the number of passengers, victims, hospitals and conditions. A few days has gone by and now we are learning about the pilot and his lack of experience flying this particular model of plane and conditions at the airport.

The news programs are making their own judgments, coerced by their panel of “experts” and feeding the public consumption that the pilot screwed up. I find it hard to wrap my head around a plane crashing with four pilots aboard. Unless all of them thought that the plane was going to land properly until those final seconds before it was too late. I’m sure we’ll be learning more and hearing directly from those pilots soon.

The biggest part of this story for me was hearing from the cabin manager, Lee Yoon-hye, who was the last person to leave the plane after making sure that everyone on board had been evacuated. She did so with a broken tailbone, unknown to her. In the chaos after the crash, her training immediately went into effect. She says that her body just started going through the motions, without much thought from her brain. She found two of her flight attendants pinned under an air slide that had opened inside the plane and also guided many of the passengers out through various exits. Only when the smoke became too much, did she finally make her way out. Everyone was accounted for.

First responders also did any excellent job of getting everyone off of the plane and then triaging them to four local hospitals based on condition. Without that type of thinking and immediate action, many more would have died. These first responders, while passengers are looking to escape the plane, go right inside and help people out. It’s a courageous act, not knowing if the plane is about to explode.

Unfortunately, two teens died and others are paralyzed. Hopefully we’ll learn more in the days and months ahead as the information is sifted through and things become clearer.

Closer to equality for all …  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013  

The Supreme Court ruled today that Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. This means that the federal government can not ban same-sex marriages, but also means that it’s up to states to define and regulate marriage. The court also dismissed a California case involving a gay marriage ban. All of this broadens the ability for same-sex couples to marry in a number of states.

It’s disappointing to me that its taken so long for California to get on the ball, since we have such a large gay population. Rather than being leaders for gay marriage, we are now following the pack … and that’s disappointing.

Nonetheless, I’m happy that we are getting closer to marriage equality for all people regardless of race, gender or relationship status. My hope is that this ends the back and forth of bias and begins a period where people can love freely and marry freely.

There will still be more conservative states that don’t allow it and that’s fine. At least there will be options for where gay people can live, marry and be accepted. For California, I think a majority of residents have been accepting, but unfortunately, the law didn’t match our beliefs. Now it does.

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The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) …  

Thursday, June 20, 2013  

No news on the Supreme Court judgement regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. It is expected that they will be making a decision this week as to whether same sex couples will be allowed to marry, and more importantly, be able to receive the same types of federal benefits that opposite couples receive.

That said, I can’t believe that in this day and age (or maybe I can), that people are even concerned with this issues. AND, that the Supreme Court has to be involved in making a DECISION on it. It’s the abortion issue all over again, brought on by a bunch of conservative, bible thumping people that want to control what everyone in the “free’ world does with their bodies.

I’ve always felt that abortions are an issue best left to individuals. For whatever reason, a girl gets pregnant and decides that she can’t deal with having a child, she should be able to walk into a doctors office or clinic and resolve the issue. I’ll even give the allowance to put some kind of structure around it and say that the abortion has to happen within the first trimester (three months). After that, sorry Charlie. But to try and force someone who is 15 or worse, that has been raped, to keep a child is crazy. Are these conservatives going to volunteer to raise these kids? Are they going to allow themselves to be taxed more to build orphanages? Where will these kids go? In my opinion, let the bearer of the child decide and move on.

Which brings me to same sex marriage … who does it hurt?

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These two guys have been together for 54 years. How many couples have been together that long? Not many. The truth is that many same sex couples are together for a very long time. And some aren’t. In that way, all relationships tend to be the same. There are cheaters; there are break-ups; there are some that love each other for better and for worse. In the end, who are we to decide whether someone should get married. And to that end, if they are allowed to get married, then they should be able to receive all of the benefits that the law provides. Certainly, it shouldn’t need to be decided by the Supreme Court.

My question is: How is this not a discrimination case? If you look up discrimination, the definition states, “Discrimination is the prejudicial and/or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, ‘in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.’” In my opinion, by not allowing same sex couples to get married, is treating them differently based on their perceived membership in a group or category. It’s made worse because they are losing out on federal benefits that other people are allowed to have.

I realize that the conservative, bible thumpers want to “protect marriage” but in my opinion, I would like to be protected from THEM. Not everyone holds the same beliefs and not everyone wants to become a part of a particular religion. In my experiences, some of the worst violators of their own doctrines are some of these religious folks. Many are hypocritical in their actions and as we’ve heard on the news, those shouting the loudest about gay marriage tend to be those hiding in bathroom stalls getting their poles yanked.

I guess, soon, we’ll hear how the Supreme Court sees it. And that will be that. So much for freedom.