Monthly Archives: October 2010

Commentary: Stop Being Cool

This is my 100th post. It just seems fitting that I have another Soapbox Moment…

I was in a meeting this morning where I was suddenly overcome with a moment of rage. Everyone gathered ’round kept saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we did…., Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could make this happen?” I replied, finally.

“at what point do we stop being cool long enough for us to do what we’re good at?”

So I pose this to you, dear readers, because I see this every day, not only in my industry, but also in a lot of other industries:

Are you focused too much on being Innovative or Trendsetting that you’re losing site of what your core competency is? It’s never about how much you can accomplish in this life, it should always be about doing something well.

TADAO ANDO langen foundation (Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: By Hector Guerra)

Here’s my thought for the day: “Let’s stop being ‘cool’ and start being ‘solid'”

RAZ rocks! (Used under Creative Commons Licensing. By: StoryMary)

Let’s start by doing that “one thing” that we’re responsible for. Then, let’s start doing that “one thing” well. Let’s be solid when we’re called upon. Let’s innovate our core. Let’s be smart when it’s called for. Let’s be reliable. Let’s be honest and forthcoming. First. Then we can focus on the glittery stuff.

Thank you for listening.

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Speech: Media Review/ Analysis – The West Wing

Here’s a new speech for those who are interested.

The assignment was to take a piece of Multimedia (Music, Art, Poetry, Television, Movie etc) and tell the class about it. It had to be 6-8 minutes long, so this video is LONG.

The clip that I played for the class is found here:  if you’d like to watch it.

Here’s the speech:

Dan Savage: You Do Not Speak For Me

Hello, My name is Nick and I’m fired up. Please hold while I get my Soapbox….

Thank you.

A friend posted the following to his wall on Facebook as something he “Liked” as I continued to read, my blood started boiling, I started getting worked up and I was ready to spit fire, I’ve given myself a day to think about it. I’m still steamed.

The following is a letter from “LR” to Dan Savage after an interview regarding the “It Gets Better” campaign, of which I’ve even posted a message, you can read that message here. (You can see the back and forth between Dan Savage and the Letter Writer, here. Or below)

This letter and response is titled “Your Image”

I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bullying. As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage, I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man who took his own life.

If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man.

To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people.

Please consider your viewpoint, and please be more careful with your words in the future.

L.R.

And Dan Savage’s Response:

I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.

No, wait. I’m not. Gay kids are dying. So let’s try to keep things in perspective: Fuck your feelings.

A question: Do you “support” atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there’s no “Christian” movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?

Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it’s clear that you do believe that some people—straight people—are “better or more worthy” than others.

And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.

Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not “sinners.” Gay and lesbian children.

Try to keep up: The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of “faithful Christians,” and the lies about us that vomit out from the pulpits of churches that “faithful Christians” drag their kids to on Sundays, give your children license to verbally abuse, humiliate, and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your children—having listened to Mom and Dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry—feel justified in physically abusing the LGBT children they encounter in their schools. You don’t have to explicitly “encourage [your] children to mock, hurt, or intimidate” queer kids. Your encouragement—along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It’s here, it’s clear, and we’re seeing the fruits of it: dead children.

Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words?

Did that hurt to hear? Good. But it couldn’t have hurt nearly as much as what was said and done to Asher Brown and Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and Cody Barker and Seth Walsh—day in, day out for years—at schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God, but in the image of the hateful and false “followers of Christ” they call Mom and Dad.

 

I know that’s a lot to read and If your face is a little red with anger, I’m sorry. I apologize for this crackpot’s words.

First of all. CHILDREN ARE DYING. Gay, Straight, Black, White, Christian, Atheist. Children ARE dying.

While I agree the It Get’s Better Campaign is one of the best things to come out in a long time. I disagree there is any comparison to a person’s faith (or lack thereof) when it comes to bullying. From my experience, it’s not the followers who have given me the most grief in my life, it’s those who have hate in their heart.

I understand people who have issues with religion, and those who are followers. I myself struggle with religion and faith. I wouldn’t say I’m lost. I just don’t know what I’m looking for. What I do know, is regardless of my beliefs and regardless of my friend’s beliefs, they believe in me, and I likewise believe in them.

Mr. Savage, you’ve taken this discussion to a whole separate level. Gay Marriage has nothing to do with children dying. Chew on this for a moment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2007…

In 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Of every 100,000 young people in each age group, the following number died by suicide:

  • Children ages 10 to 14 — 0.9 per 100,000
  • Adolescents ages 15 to 19 — 6.9 per 100,000
  • Young adults ages 20 to 24 — 12.7 per 100,00

I REPEAT: Children are dying

Mr. Savage, you include in your response the phrase, “Fuck your feelings”. This leads me to believe, you weren’t hoping to make things better for everyone, you didn’t learn anything from your “It Gets Better” program, you used it for it’s instant popularity. I believe many kids and adults are getting stronger because of it, but you chose to erase all your good will for ANOTHER single moment of stupidity. It pains me to think you have any credibility as a speaker for the Gay Community.

To the people of faith out there, I still consider you my allies. It’s fairly certain you and I will not agree on all things, however, I believe the greater cause here will encourage all of us to think about our words, what we teach each other, what we will allow our friends to get away with and will also cause us to examine what we teach our children.

While I know there is a deep fissure between “organized religion” and the “gay community” there are strong people on both sides working towards the middle, extending hands to shake and closing that gap. Lets keep that in mind when we speak or when we generalize.

I’m sorry for the super long blog post, but I have always thought, when you see something, say something. I’m putting away the soapbox. Thanks for listening.

A side note to “LR”: I care about your feelings. I know from reading your letter you were deeply affected by the suicides of these children, as we all are. I hope we can move past the hateful message of Mr. Savage and I hope we can continue to work together towards the goal of better lives for all people and someday we’ll all move past the hurt feelings of the past and save some lives.

Can a Supreme Court Justice be Impeached?

This comes to you from the “Learn Something New Everyday” file. (and from Wikianswers)

Yes.

Under normal circumstances, a Supreme Court justice is awarded a lifetime commission.

A Supreme Court Justice may be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office if convicted in a Senate trial, but only for the same types of offenses that would trigger impeachment proceedings for any other government official under Articles I and II of the Constitution.

Article III, Section 1 states that judges of Article III courts shall hold their offices “during good behavior.” “The phrase “good behavior” has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness ‘high crimes and misdemeanors” encompasses.

In addition, any federal judge may prosecuted in the criminal courts for criminal activity. If found guilty of a crime in a federal district court, the justice would face the same type of sentencing any other criminal defendant would. The district court could not remove him/her from the Bench. However, any justice found guilty in the criminal courts of any felony would certainly be impeached and, if found guilty, removed from office.

In the United States, impeachment is most often used to remove corrupt lower-court federal judges from office, but it’s not unusual to find disgruntled special interest groups circulating petitions on the internet calling for the impeachment of one or all members of the High Court.

The Impeachment Process

Impeachment is a two-step process; the impeachment phase is similar to a Grand Jury hearing, where charges (called “articles of impeachment”) are presented and the House of Representatives determines whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant a trial. If the House vote passes by a simple majority, the defendant is “impeached,” and proceeds to trial in the Senate.

The House of Representatives indicts the accused on articles of impeachment, and, if impeached, the Senate conducts a trial to determine the party’s guilt or innocence.

The Senate trial, while analogous to a criminal trial, only convenes for the purpose of determining whether a Justice, the President (or another officeholder) should be removed from office on the basis of the evidence presented at impeachment.

At the trial a committee from the House of Representatives, called “Managers,” act as the prosecutors. Per constitutional mandate (Article I, Section 3), the Chief Justice of the United States (Supreme Court) must preside over the Senate trial of the President. If any other official is on trial, an “Impeachment Trial Committee” of Senators act as the presiding judges to hear testimony and evidence against the accused, which is then presented as a report to the remained of the Senate. The full Senate no longer participates in the hearing phase of the removal trial. This procedure came into practice in 1986 when the Senate amended its rules and procedures for impeachment and has been contested by several federal court judges, but the Supreme Court has declined to interfere in the process, calling the issue a political, not legal, matter.

At the conclusion of the trial, the full Senate votes and must return a two-thirds Super Majority for conviction. Convicted officials are removed from office immediately and barred from holding future office. The Senate trial, while analogous to a criminal trial, only convenes for the purpose of determining whether a Justice, the President (or another officeholder) should be removed from office on the basis of the evidence presented at impeachment.

Impeachment and Near Impeachment

Only one Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Chase (one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence), has ever been impeached. The House of Representatives accused Chase of letting his Federalist political leanings affect his rulings, and served him with eight articles of impeachment in late 1804. The Senate acquitted him of all charges in 1805, establishing the right of the judiciary to independent opinion. Chase continued on the Court until his death in June 1811.

In 1957, at the height of McCarthyism, the Georgia General Assembly passed a joint resolution calling for “The Impeachment of Certain U.S. Supreme Court Justices” believed to be enabling Communism with their decisions. The resolution targeted Chief Justice Earl Warren and Associate Justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Tom Campbell Clark, Felix Frankfurter, and Stanley Forman Reed (as well as several unnamed deceased Justices) for “…[usurping] the congressional power to make law in violation of Article I, Sections I and 8, and violated Sections 3 and 5 of the 14th Amendment and nullified the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.

 

Oops. I missed it.

It seems I started my blog over a year ago.

That date came and went without so much as a peep. Oops.

September 22, 2009 – September 22, 2010 – My One Year Blogoversary.

Some stats: 3,300 views all-time

views today: 5
Busiest day: 98 views on Monday, July 5, 2010

Posts: 95

Comments: 253

Categories: 9

Tags: 0

 

My First Post was this:

What the heck am I doing here?

I’m seriously not sure. I’m sitting here trying to make sure I’ve set this thing up the way I want it to, but right now I feel like a dog randomly chasing his tail hoping that I’ll miraculously catch it.

At least I have a first post. I’m not sure how long until the next one; we’ll just have to see together, eh?

Running: A Mea Culpa

Ok, This is where I have to backtrack a little. Maybe eat a little crow.

For a long time, I said I would never run (I believe I employed the phrase, only if being chased by someone with a chainsaw), that runners were crazy (I still maintain that runners are crazy), and that I don’t “get” people who run for fun,(It’s true, I don’t).

I also said that as I chain-smoked my way through a pack-a-day cigarette habit. Which explains why I never thought about running, let alone any form of exercise.

In high school we were forced to run, once a quarter, a full mile! A Whole MILE! And we were graded on it as well, by time. Most times I finished in the 17-18 minute mile range. Once I ran it in 12:55 and I wanted to die. Seriously wanted to die; instead, I had a cigarette and everything was better.

For the better part of my life, I’ve made fun of runners, in fact, It used to be once of my favorite past-times. Runners were easy targets, running down the street, for impossible distances, some getting up at 4 in the morning to eat a large meal before subjecting themselves to 26.2 miles in the driving rain?

Who does that?

What I’ve been getting at, is this: Ever since I started running in August, I’ve never felt better, not only physically, also in terms of general well being. Sure, my muscles ache, my feet are sometimes sore and my lungs feel like they want to jump out of my chest and slap me repeatedly, but in the short time I’ve been running, which I’ve done consistently, I have managed to shed off about 35 pounds and I’m in clothes that I had given up on.

Just a moment of comparison; This was me in 2007:

pw6

And here’s me from two weeks ago:

Cupcake

The best part of running is that I get to eat cupcakes and not feel guilty. There is also a total sense of accomplishment when you complete a run at this distance:

4.09 Miles

So there, that’s what I get for being so Anti-running. Even though I have a long way to go, I get why people do it, I still think they’re crazy and yes, that is my running shoe in my mouth.

Recap: Sarah & Wendy

I can’t believe I haven’t written my post about this.

At the beginning of the month, I mentioned that my friends @SarahMSalter and @WeightWhat (Wait? What?) were coming to town. I can’t believe I haven’t recapped that for Y’all (That’s for you Sarah).

First. It was a blast. I haven’t laughed that hard or that genuinely for a while now. It was good to have some hard-rolling-belly-laughing. Except, when they had to leave.

Sarah actually got to try Whiffies Fried Pies! (And Koifusion tacos!)

As you can imagine, I took some pictures while they were here. Much to their dismay.
Me and Sarah

I also remember Sarah mentioning they would take and hide my camera. When I told her I had a couple of them, I think she gave up.

More Sarah

Sarah had gotten a pedicure, just for us, so I couldn’t resist; although feet are icky!

Sarahs Foot

Wendy wouldn’t let me take her picture. I was certain she was going to break my nose, so I behaved. I did have to get proof that she was here. So here it is.

Wendy

Nothing provided more laughter than the following video, so I can’t help but end this post with it. I hope it provides some laughter for you. I know it did for us.