Archive | April, 2012

What about Garfield and McKinley?

29 Apr

We all have heard plenty about Lincoln’s and JFK’s assassinations. But what about the assassinations of our 20th president, Garfield and our  25th president, McKinley?

Before I start on the lesser known assassinations, Jimmy Kimmel, a comedian did a stint last night in D.C. for the Press and Obama. He joked that he now knows who really killed Lincoln. It wasn’t John Wilkes Booth, it was Lincoln himself. Kimmel joked that Lincoln killed himself 150 years ago because he knew what would come of the Republican party.

Both Garfield and McKinley were from Ohio. McKinley’s tomb is located in Canton, OH just down the street from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Did you know that the Secret Service (you know those guys who hire hookers in Columbia) actually went into action the day after Lincoln died. Not to protect the next president, but to protect U.S. currency which at the time was being counterfeited like crazy. It wasn’t until after McKinley’s murder that the Secret Service was ordered to protect the president. Can you believe it? It took the federal government 36 years after one of our greatest presidents was killed to start protecting the President of the United States. Mind boggling, indeed.

Did you also know that before 2007, the Secret Service protected former presidents for life but now only protect them for 10 years after leaving office. Our 42nd president, Clinton is the last former president who gets lifetime protection. Sorry Bush Sr. and Bush Jr., hey don’t feel bad though they have Dick Cheney to protect them as long as he is not in the hospital for heart surgery.

So back to Garfield who served nine consecutive terms as a U.S. House Representative before he was elected in 1881 as our 20th president. If you are Oklahoma City Thunder fan, Garfield had a James Harden type beard. Garfield officially served as president for 200 days but really only served for 120 days since he lay dying for 80 days after he was shot twice on 7/2/1881. Making Garfield’s presidency the 2nd shortest behind William Harrison’s who only served for 20 days (kinda of like my last job, oh yea that was only 10 days).

What’s funny about Garfield is that he didn’t even want to be president. Can you believe it? Yea, Garfield was picked by the convention to be the Republican nominee, beating out former President Grant for the nod. Garfield actually only won the “popular” election by 7,000 votes over Winfield Hancock. Thank God the Supreme Court didn’t have to “select” Garfield over Hancock like they did with Bush Jr. over Gore in 2000.

One of the 2012 election’s issues (after birth control and the war on women) is immigration reform. The Republicans are afraid that too many Hispanics will make the country less white so they are trying to stop Hispanics from immigrating to our country. Back in the 1880 election, Chinese Immigration was the hot potato issue. The Chinese were “invading” California and Americans (Republicans were concerned).

So Garfield was unprotected as he was preparing to take a train from D.C. to give a speech at his former college. In this party, along with others was Secretary of War, Robert Todd Lincoln (yes, Abe’s son) when he was shot twice by a “deranged political officer seeker” (no Newt wasn’t born yet) Charles Guiteau, a Republican who just wanted to work for Garfield. The president would wait for the grim reaper for 80 days after the shooting. Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone, not cell phone) invented a metal detector to attempt to find the second bullet that was hiding somewhere in Garfield’s body. The bullet was never found but thank God we have metal detectors, they didn’t quite work on 9/11. The first air conditioner unit was also used while attempting to keep Garfield comfortable. They rigged up six tons of ice  with an air blower and some duct work. Amazing! Unfortunately for Garfield, back then the doctors didn’t sterilize their hands and the prez probably died from an infection from those unsterilized fingers. Yuck!

Guiteau was found guilty on 1/5/1882 and was executed on 6/30/1882. I think the following quote from Garfield says it all about the importance of equality (in all areas of life), “Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of a virtuous citizen.” Another parallel between 1881 and now, is that Garfield sought to reform the Post Office and the civil service servants (government workers).

Now that Garfield was put to rest, let’s talk about our 25th president, Mr. McKinley. McKinley had a very successful first term as president winning the Spanish-American War which gave us Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines, and Hawaii. It also gave Cuba its independence from Spain. Can you believe it, we actually fought for Cuba? The president was also big on tariffs to protect our companies from foreign competition. So much for protection in today’s global economy, eh?

McKinley needed another vice president since his first one died in 1899. He couldn’t decide and let the convention decide on Teddy Roosevelt to be his running mate in 1900. The Prez had just visited Niagara Falls and was making a stop in Buffalo when an anarchist by the name of Leon Czolgosz walked up to shake his hand with a gun under a handkerchief and shot him twice. Garfield died nine days later and Czolgosz was put on trial nine days after that. Leon sat down for the last time before Halloween in the electric chair.

 

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Gas Prices

28 Apr

Since last December, gas and oil prices have been going up and up and up as everyone knows and feels in their pocketbooks. Most people want to know why the prices keep going up. Of course, we have heard many theories but the truth of the matter has been debated and discussed by our Congress and the following letter states the real reason for higher gas and oil prices:

Dear Attorney General Holder:

We write in support of President Obama’s recent announcement that the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group has been reconstituted and strongly encourage you to use the Working Group to prosecute a vigorous inquiry into the extent to which excessive speculation or outright manipulation are driving up the prices in today’s oil and gas markets.

The answer to this question is not academic. Artificially high prices due to excessive speculation or market manipulation function as a hidden tax on American consumers and can impede our ongoing economic recovery. In response to the recent run up in oil and gas prices (since 12/11) credible sources including CFTC Commissioner Bert Chilton and Forbes magazine have both estimated that the current price of a gallon of gasoline includes a speculative premium of over 50 cents.

Rather than risking a repeat of 2008-where speculators ran the price of a barrel of oil up to $147 and market manipulations were only identified and charged after the fact-the time to act is now. We urge you to use every investigatory and law enforcement tool at your disposal to ensure the proper functioning of our oil and gas markets.

Sincerely,

Representative Sander Levin and other U.S. Representatives

Back to my stuff: We can do our part too and call or email our Congressmen/women about his vital issue. Do you want to keep paying higher prices at the pump? I don’t think so.

Weed

23 Apr

I didn’t keep my promise for a post about Weed on 420 on April 20th since I was on a road trip. 420 is the “secret” national holiday for marijuana users.

There are about 3-5 million cannabis users in this country alone, making it the most used illicit substance out there.The use of Mary Jane was actually legal until the mid-20th century, getting its biggest pop in users during alcohol prohibition. Today, “medical” cannabis is prescribed in some states like California, making it legal again.

Marijuana of the 60’s is not same as Mary Jane of today. Back then, THC (the main active ingredient in Weed) was at 1-5% strength. Today, the strength has blossomed to 10-18% THC. Meaning it takes a lot less cannabis to get high today than it did 50 years ago. One marijuana joint has the effect of 15 tobacco cigarettes on the respiratory system. Pot has at least 50% more tar and carcinogenic materials than cigs.

Heavy use of Weed (three joints per week) can lead to lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema (lung tissue breakdown). THC shuts down the marijuana receptor (anandamine) which results in slowing brain cells down. Did you know that our brain cells are 99% fat and cannabis thickens those brain cells to 400 times their normal size which results in the breakdown of communication between the cells.

Not only does it affect the communication between cells, it also impairs short/long term memory which, of course affects learning. My favorite is the amotivational syndrome which leads the user to only be interested in immediate gratification and causes a lack of ambition.

Although cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol and tobacco (which I don’t recommend using either), it is still as you can read not so good for you. So next time 420 rolls around, doing something good for your mind and body, instead of the opposite.

Eat more Blueberries and Less Sausage

22 Apr

This post is a response I made to an article from yahoo.com about the oldest living man, Jiroemon Kimura of Kyoto:

I appreciate everyone’s thoughts on this old bugger. We all know what it takes to live a long life. It is not a secret. But many of us choose not to live that way. We live for the moment. We don’t live like we want to make it to 115.

I don’t believe that God decides when our lives are over. There are diseases, deformities, natural disasters, accidents, mechanical failure, violent people, not taking care of ourselves emotionally and physically, etc. That is what causes death, not God.

I attended a funeral for a nice guy who was 49 recently. The preacher said that, God decided to take him home. BS. He died then because he wasn’t taking care of his body. He was very overweight and he died of a heart attack. Simple as that.

My grandpa is 92. He is very active and he takes care of himself.

Take care and be better to each other. We share this planet. Let’s take care of it, ourselves and each other better. Ok?

Anniversary Time for Massacres

16 Apr

I attended a play entitled, “Columbinus” yesterday at Northern Oklahoma College. The play, portrayed brilliantly by eight very young and talented students (one a freshman at Ponca City HS) told the story of a typical day in the life of a teenager back in 1999. It then went on to tell the story of Eric and Dylan and how they escalated to killing 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves on 4/20/99. Oh, how lovely the same date for cannabis lovers. I will be doing a cannabis post very soon, maybe on 4/20.

Today, as I was surfing the web, found that today is the anniversary of the “Virginia Tech” massacre at the hands of South Korean born Seung-Hui Cho on 4/16/07.

I looked a little deeper into each of these massacres and found that both of them could have been prevented. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Ben Franklin said.

I wanted to jump on the evil guns first since they were the weapons of choice. In both massacres, 9mm guns were used, they carry a lot bullets and can be re-loaded quickly. Mr. Cho unloaded 170 bullets while he was on his rampage. Why would a responsible gun owner need that much ammunition? You got me!

Dylan and Eric bought their guns at a gun show with the help of an older person since you have to be 18 years old to buy a gun. Since they bought their guns from an unlicensed seller, background checks were not needed. Mr. Cho purchased his guns over the web. He failed to mention in his application for guns that he was court ordered to receive psychiatric treatment after he was busted for stalking a female 12/06.

But hey, as I learned from online chat, even with background checks criminals or would-be criminals will find a way to get the gun they need. Of course, I don’t believe in banning all guns so I have to leave the gun argument out of these massacres.

The parents. I know this is the 21st century and nobody can blame their parents anymore for how they turn out. However, in these very vital incidents, the parents are to blame. In Eric’s case, he had a closet full of pipe bombs in his bedroom (for months). His parents said, we had no idea they would do this. You would have known something was up if you would have bothered to talk to and listen to your kids. All three killers suffered from mental illness before their killing days. Eric received some help for his disorder but it wasn’t adequate. Dylan’s disorder was untreated. Mr. Cho was court ordered to receive psychiatric treatment and he didn’t go. However, he had been mentally disturbed since he was a young child.

Parents, wake up! You are responsible for your children. You are responsible to get them the help they need. If you don’t want to do it, then let the state do it for you. Teachers, wake up as well! In Dylan’s case, he wrote about killing people in one of his “creative” writing classes. Mr. Cho was kicked out of one his classes for strange behavior, again referred for psychiatric treatment that he never received.

Don’t get me wrong, please! Eric, Dylan and Seung-Hui are all totally responsible for their actions. But…they could have been stopped and these tragedies could have been averted if those in their circles would have paid a little more attention to each one of them and made sure they got the help they desperately needed.

What if you weren’t allowed to see your kid?

12 Apr

It has been over two weeks now since I have seen my nine year old daughter, YungHe. In those two weeks, I have personally visited my state capitol to visit my state representatives. I spoke with two reps for about an hour after being passed around by other well intentioned people. I stated my situation about YungHe and they promised me that they would at least take the next week to check with their colleagues and judges to see what can be done.

While I was talking to these reps, Larry and Wade informed me that my idea for a bill to ensure “at least” visitation for non bio/adoptive/step parents would not be popular with the Republicans because they are all about “family”. Of course, I didn’t want to hear their negativism but it goes with the territory as I found out. By the way, Republicans my daughter is “my” family.

Well, over two weeks have passed and I have yet to hear from Larry or Wade as promised. Yes, I have attempted to contact them via phone and email. A few days after I visited the capitol, I sent out a group email to all of the House Democrat reps asking for help for my situation. Believe or not, I received one reply. And she of course, did what politicians do, passed the buck. But at least she replied to my email. That was some effort. A few days after that, I sent a group email to all of the Democrat Senators and to this day, not one reply. As of today, I sent an email to Governor Mary Fallin asking for her help.

So, here I sit and wonder why no one understands the gravity of this situation. I have just had my nine year old daughter who I have raised for the last 8 years because her bio-father split as soon as he found out her mom was pregnant, ripped from me. I am not allowed to even see her for a minute. Why you ask, because her mom is a jealous and vindictive. I have done nothing wrong except love and care for YungHe as “my own”. Imagine for a minute, if someone came to your door today and said you can’t see your kid anymore. And there was nothing you could do about it. How would you feel? How would your kid feel? Yea, you are starting to see what I am feeling.

Do you know how many families are “blended” today in this country? Tons. And how many of those blended families break-up? Lots. So what happens? The bio mom or dad takes “their” kids and goes on their way while the non-bio parents are cut off from the kids they have been raising and investing in as their own. This isn’t right on so many levels! Kids need as many caring and loving adults in their lives as possible. Period! Why do think their is so much crime in this country? Kids shooting other kids. Kids on drugs. Kids dropping out of school. Kids ending up in the “system”. I have worked in the system for many years and have seen these kids. So when a loving and caring adult wants to be part of a kid’s life, what do we do, we say no. That is dead wrong!

I am not giving up. My daughter is too important to me and know that I am important to her. She probably has no idea what her mom has done to us. I have asked two churches to pray for my situation. I have asked family and friends to pray. I will be meeting with an attorney tomorrow and will be contacting an activist organization today to hopefully get some help. I ask that you pray for me and YungHe today and also ask that you value your kid a little more today than you did yesterday. You probably don’t know how good you really have it. But maybe you do. Good for you and your kid!

11 Apr

Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Alumni of Bob Jones University

Yesterday, we were moved by Harvard student Matthew Vines’s careful, well-reasoned, thoughtful video presentation and article on the Huffington Post about the Bible and homosexuality. We are re-posting it here. Matthew speaks from a uniquely conservative and Christian perspective. He has done meticulous research into the theological, linguistic, and cultural issues incumbent upon any serious student of the scriptures and he speaks passionately, persuasively from the viewpoint of a beloved child of God.

I love God. I also happen to be gay. In a better world, this would be no more interesting or noteworthy to people than loving God and happening to love, say, cheesecake. But of course, we all know that that isn’t the world we live in. And for some reason, a lot of people have a big problem with anyone who believes in God and is gay.  — Matthew Vines

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