Thursday, January 29, 2009

Puppy Cloning

So, this Florida couple's dog was dying from cancer. They had some of his DNA frozen and when he eventually died, they paid $155,000 to have the dog cloned. Woo-hoo for them!

Now, I don't mean to sound snarky (well, maybe I do), but the cloned dog is not the dog that died. The FL couple may think it is the dog that died . . . but really, it's not. The DNA is the same, but is the dog the same? Personally, I don't think so. DNA is only part of an animal/person, but it is not the animal/person. Environment (how an animal/person is raised) plays a big part in who/what the animal/person becomes. Can the couple duplicate exactly the environment their recently departed dog existed in from day one of it's life? Highly unlikely. So, without the exact same environment, how can the clone dog be the same as the recently deceased dog? It can't. The cloned dog can only be a pale imitation of the DNA donor.

So, what happens when the cloned dog doesn't leave up to its owners' expectations? Will they love the dog less? Will they get rid of the dog because it is too painful to see the face of their beloved pet in a pale imitation? I have no clue. I just hope the best for the cloned puppy.

Now, why in the heck would you have your dog/cat/whatever cloned? I loved my cat Jordy. I miss him terribly. But Jordy was Jordy and no other cat will ever be the same, not even had I decided to play God and Jordy cloned. I don't want to replace Jordy. I might get another cat one day, but that cat will be unique in his/her own way.

Why do people have this insane idea to clone animals/people? What is wrong with individuality? Are people so narrow in their love that they cannot open their hearts to a new animal/person? I have no clue. I only know what choice - at this point in my life - I would make, which is not to clone.

My partner and I have lost three animals - Arthur and Spanky (our dogs) and Jordy (our cat) - in the almost fifteen years we have been together. Since Spanky died, we have adopted two new dogs (last April). They are unique in their own, special way . . . and that's just how we like it. Spanky and Arthur, Jordy as well, were unique in their own way. We have enough love in our hearts to love the dogs and cats we have, as well as the dogs and cats we had. Why doesn't everybody have that kind of love? I'm just wondering . . .


p.s. $155,000?? I mean, really!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Lies We Tell Ourselves . . .

. . . in the dark of the night or the light of the day. Do they make us happy? Do we believe them? Are they (the lies) really worth telling?

Okay, I'm not really going in depth about the lies (what I said really wasn't that bad, what they don't know won't hurt me, etc., etc., etc.,) we tell ourselves in the dark of the night or the light of the day. What I am going to talk - well, write - about is the lies New Life Church in Colorado continue to tell. If you've been following this blog, then you might recall the post I did about Ted Haggard, the founder of New Life Church, when it was revealed that he - an anti-gay person who preached his anti-gay verbal spam from the pulpit - had an affair with another man and then, after brainwashing, declared himself cured. Search through the old posts, because I really don't feel like rehashing my opinions about the alleged curing of homosexuality.

So, now, three years later, in the wake of another sex scandal involving Ted Haggard and New Life Church, the current pastor has revealed that Ted Haggard had more than one affair - No, Seriously, WTF - with a man. In fact, the church went so far to "pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship". No??? What is the world coming to? A church paying a man - wait, is that what they call blood money, the same reason Judas Iscariot committed suicide??? - to keep silent about a scandal? Has that been done before? Oh, wait, in a way - yes - I believe that would be the Catholic Church . . . but, like Sophia Petrillo, I digress. New Life Church "provided the man (in question) the money to pay his college tuition, moving expenses and counseling" Why counseling? Well, according to the folks at New Life Church, homosexuality can be cured. Excuse me, I laughed so hard my tiara fell off!

Let me discuss the 'blood money' aspect of all of this. According to current Pastor Boyd, the money was "compassionate assistance" to help the man "move forward, not a settlement to keep him quiet". Dang, there goes the tiara again. I've got to quit laughing so hard. I mean, does the Pastor actually believe the crap he's spewing forth? Is he so befuddled by his religion that he cannot recognize the truth?? New Life Church did not want to silence the man. First lie.

Why is that statement a lie? Well, Pastor Boyd - open mouth, insert foot, and hope no one notices - later goes on to say that the man (btw, the man has agreed to interviews, which New Life Church found out about, thus their sudden defensive posture) is "in violation of the agreement we signed with (him)". What does it matter? If the agreement wasn't to keep him quiet, then why would New Life Church care that the man was finally speaking out? Oh wait, because New Life Church allegedly lied. The agreement was all about silence to protect the battered image of the church.

Okay, obviously I'm sort of pissed about the whole thing. How many lies must churches hide behind to protect their ignorance . . . of life, of humanity, of homosexuality? How can a Pastor, an alleged man of God, spew forth such drivel and not see the lies dancing right in front of him? In my opinion, lofty and arrogant as it might be at times, this behavior is inexcusable from an alleged man of God! A lie is a lie, no matter how a person sugar coats the lie! New Life Church paid off a twenty year old man so their organization would not be rocked by another homosexual sex scandal. The only reason Pastor Boyd is even speaking out now is that the scandal was about to break. Otherwise, Pastor Boyd would have been content with the silence of the lies, the blood money.


Lastly, Pastor Boyd made the following statement: "We had a leader with flawed character and we're trying to clean up from the residue of the past. This will not always define us. I can promise you that in the days ahead, we won't be identified with scandal, but helping the widows and orphans."

Oh, yes he did play the widows/orphans card!! I believe that is one of the classic actions of denial. "Oh, but we do so much good for the widows and orphans, so what if we bought a man's silence rather than stepping up to the plate and dealing with a situation honestly. We are a church after all. Why should honesty count?"

Okay, so he didn't say that, but his actions - in my opinion - say all that and more. How many times will a church tell blatant - or not so blatant - lies, and not feel the slightest guilt about those lies? What harm was done to the 20 year old? Yes, I know, his education was paid for, he received counseling, and what happened between him and Ted Haggard was swept under the expensive carpets of New Life Church. In the end, however, the man pays the greater price and New Life Church hides behind the lies they so eagerly spew to protect their image so they can do good for the widows/orphans of the world.

I'm sorry, but that is the lamest excuse in the world. The Catholic Church hid behind their power for decades while priests were transferred from parish to parish to continue their molestations of trusting parishioners. Time and again, the priests were giving new positions in the church, while their victims suffered in silence. Only now is the Catholic Church paying retribution to the victims of their convenient lies. Shouldn't New Life Church be required to pay retribution as well? How many more men (20 years old, older than that, younger than that) did Ted Haggard have sex with? How many more college educations and counseling sessions has New Life Church paid for so that they can help out widows and orphans?

A lie is a lie, Pastor Boyd, and you're allegedly spewing them out left and right to protect (at least in my opinion) not the victims involved, but rather the financial livelihood of New Life Church. Now, isn't that something to be proud of???


Happiness is . . .

. . . a journey, not a destination (see full text below) - Father Alfred D'Souza

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin -- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first,some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

The above has become my new motto in this life. The above are the words I see whenever I drink out of my coffee cup at home. The words, at least to me, make perfect sense. Everybody, again, at least to me, seems to be searching for happily ever after . . . as if it's a place (i.e., a destination). Well, as the above states, and that's only one man's opinion, happiness is not a destination, but rather a journey, rather . . . LIFE.

Happiness can be found in so many ways. I just wonder how many people overlook happiness. I'm happy with a cup of coffee in hand, sitting out on the patio, and watching the cardinals flock to the bird feeders and fountain in the backyard. I'm happy walking around the house admiring the beautiful day lilies in the late Spring. I'm happy curled up on the couch with a good book in my hand and a glass of wine on the coffee table next to me. Yet all my happys are not places, but moments. I did not have to get in the car - well, unless the trip to the wine store and book store count - to find happy. Happy was right there, all around me, all the time . . . I just could not see the happy.

Now, did the above quote just change my life in a moment of epiphany? No. Did it make me gaily - well, every thing I do is done gaily . . . I'm just saying . . . - dance down the street? No. The above text just sort of put things in perspective . . . for me. The above text might not have any meaning for any body else in the Universe. It does not matter. What matters is that the words had meaning for me.

So, I raise my coffee cup to you, the few readers of this blog, and use the words of that late 80s song . . . don't worry, be happy!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Different Invocation

Since this invocation did not get all the hoopla or media attention of Rev. Warren's invocation . . .

A Prayer for the Nationand Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural EventLincoln Memorial,
Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


Today is . . .

. . . a defining moment in history as the first African American President takes office. Today is also a day where the same political decisiveness that has defined this country for generations rears its ugly head. WTF???

A friend of mine is a principal and has asked that all teachers allow Internet and/or television access for the students to view the Inauguration. A simple request, really? A moment in history should be viewed by all . . . right? Well, this is where the lovely political bias that I absolutely hate comes into play. According to my friend he has "Republican teachers who don't want to watch the inauguration in their classes".

My response . . . I'd tell the Republican teachers that their political opinions have no place in school, and that their students have yet to take silly, childhood political sides, and should be allowed to watch a moment of history unfold, whether their teachers are ignorant or not. I'm sorry, but there is no place for political bias when you are a teacher. The bias needs to stay out of the classroom. I'm just saying . . .

Now I understand that people have political beliefs, religious beliefs, and so many other beliefs that weigh them down on a daily basis and - sometimes - make them insufferable to be around. I just don't feel that those beliefs should take precedent in school. Children go to school to learn, not to have a teacher's personal beliefs/opinions thrust on them. I feel the same way about pharmacists who don't want to hand out birth control or the morning after pill because of their religious beliefs. If a person is so rigid in their beliefs, that is fine and good, but perhaps said person needs to find a different job if they cannot remove themselves from their beliefs. I'm just saying . . .


Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Early this past Saturday morning, my friend/co-worker Frances lost her valiant battle with breast cancer that had metastasized to the bone. She fought long and hard for more than 3 1/2 years. She defied the odds.

In October 2007 the doctors gave Frances 3 to 6 months. One year later and she was still battling the oppressive cancer that was eating its way through her body. She could no longer live by herself and reluctantly agreed to go into hospice. The hospice center gave her 1 to 3 weeks. Well, she beat those odds as well.

On December 31, 2008 we received a call that Frances probably would not make it through the day. A few of us made the trip to hospice to say our good-byes to Frances. While there, the hospice nurse came in and said that Frances probably had 1 to 2 days left. Frances was a wonderful, stubborn woman. When did she ever listen to anybody who was trying to put a timeframe on her life? She made it for more than a week, but finally - in the very early hours of Saturday morning - passed from this world.

I don't think I can - even as a writer - truly describe Frances. She was one of the most wonderful people I have ever met in my life and had a vibrant, almost effervescent - those are the sparkly, fizzy things in 7-Up - personality. She greeted each day with joy. Nobody, not nobody, could say 'good morning' like Frances. No matter what my mood might be when I came into work, a good morning from her cheered me up. When the cancer began to take its toll, and the pain as well, she stopped saying good morning. Still, on the rare days that she did say good morning, we knew it was a good day for her, even if her good mornings were not as exuberant as before. I picture her now, in Heaven, strolling around and giving her most exuberant, vivacious, and vibrant good morning to every soul up there. She was just that kind of woman. It might take her centuries to get all her good mornings taken care of, and then she'll have to start with the new entrants, but she'll keep on saying good morning.

We lost a part of ourselves at my workplace when Frances left us. We're a small company, more a family than a group of co-workers. Her absence has been felt everyday since October 2007 when the cancer became too much for her and she could no longer come in to work everyday. Frances loved coming in to work. The loss is even greater now because we know she is not a phone call, visit, or email away from us. Still, we were lucky to have her as part of our lives.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not Afraid

Read this article.

In a surprising show of support, gay bars in Seattle, Washington did a booming business this past weekend after receiving terrorist - i.e., someone threatened to poison patrons with ricin - threats. Did my people run and hide? No, my people (GLBT in case any one is wondering) came out in full force with the following attitude: 'Come on out. If you don't drink, a terrorist wins'. The terrorist did not win this past weekend. The gay community won. I'm just saying . . .

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Adam Herman went missing . . .

. . . in 1999. His adoptive parents never reported him missing. They "really rue the fact that" they didn't report him missing. Ya think? I mean, seriously, how do you not report that your 10 year old adoptive son - someone you've had custody of since he was 2 - went missing. Their excuse - well he ran away a lot and we just figured he was either with his biological parents or homeless. Okay, that statement is wrong on so many levels. What possible excuse could they have for not contacting the police or biological parents?

Is Adam alive or dead? Nobody knows at this point. Did his adoptive parents allegedly harm him? Nobody knows at this point. If he did run away, why not call the police or somebody? Why not do something to save a child?

I just don't understand a good portion of humanity any longer. It seems with each passing year a small portion of humanity moves further and further away from anything human-like. Adam went missing and nobody reported him missing. Elvira sits alone at dinner and no one seems to care. Hedviga Golik is dead. Three different posts on this blog about the inhumanity of humanity. Does anybody care any longer? Has society become so desensitized that the disappearance of a child - the fact that an elderly woman sits alone for dinner every night, the fact that a woman (Hedviga) was dead for 23 years before anyone figured it out - doesn't cause any concern at all? If the answer to that questions is a resounding "yes", then . . . well, I don't know what. I just know that no matter what Adam was like - horrible child, didn't listen to his adoptive parents, didn't make his bed - he deserved to be reported missing. If he is dead, didn't he deserve a chance to live a little bit longer than 10 years? Maybe, on the chance that he is dead, if his adoptive parents reported him missing, he might have had a longer chance at life. I'm just saying . . .

Senator Burris

Here's my thoughts on the current ordeal with Senator Burris. Let the man in already!

Okay, so those aren't my total thoughts on the subject. In case you've been living under a rock, Senator Burris is the junior senator from IL selected by the allegedly corrupt Governor of IL to replace Barack Obama in the United States Senate. The issue at hand: the Senate doesn't want to recognize Burris because the selection does not have the seal of the IL Secretary of State - a perfectly legitimate legal requirement set forth in the Senate by-laws. The IL Secretary of State refuses to put their signature on the necessary legal document because of the corruption charges facing the current IL Governor. Senator Burris feels he has every right to step into Barack Obama's senate shoes. The Senate feels otherwise. The Senate feels that a nomination by an allegedly corrupt Governor corrupts the nomination/selection. I agree to some extent. I'm just not sure I agree in keeping the man out of the Senate. Find some concessions, people, some type of agreement that Burris can temporarily assume the senate seat; however, if the IL Governor is found guilty, then Burris must step down.

Is that a fair solution? Well, probably not, but it's the best I can come up with on short notice. Personally, if it was me, I would have declined the Governor's selection, knowing that the selection is without merit and - for the most part - tainted. Why tainted? Well, the Governor is under investigation for corruption, and for attempting to sell Barack Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder. In the face of everything, the Governor has maintained - the American right, and all that jazz - innocence and continually cast blame at everyone except himself. Isn't that the defense of an allegedly guilty man? I'm just asking . . . So, any nomination/selection (or whatever the heck the appropriate word might be) by said allegedly corrupt Governor takes on a hint of corruption as well.

Yes, this is all just my vaulted opinion that's really not worth anything to anyone except myself. I just think too much time is being spent arguing this back and forth (yeah, I'm guilty as well on that count), threatening lawsuits, and everything else. There are more important problems in our country right now (recession, economic crisis, unemployment, businesses shutting down, an increasing deficit, etc.) that we should be focusing on, rather than this issue. Reach a compromise, people of the Senate, and get on with the business at hand. I'm just saying . . .