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August 12th, 2003

01:13 pm - The college race
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor predicts that in 25 years it should no longer be necessary to factor race into college admissions decisions to achieve diversity. I predict that it is no longer necessary right now. I'm all for diversity in most cases; if you look at the official icon of ouropinionation you can see that it lists several types of people. Everyone should be treated equal, but that isn't the case with the University of Michigan's affirmitive action policy, which favors minorities who apply to its law schools. Diversity is important, but so is equality.

I have long believed that college applications should no longer ask for a student's race; it should also no longer ask for their gender, except when the students will be living on campus. The only thing that should matter in allowing a student into college is their performance in high school. No one should have special rights. It is completely unfair for minorities to receive special considerations; this is discrimination. I am a huge fan of diversity, but more so a fan of equality.

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12:18 am - Doing the right thing
A group of carjackers ordered a group of kids to give them their money, jewelry, and clothes. One of the assailants, who was holding a shotgun, began hitting one of the girls in the head while demanding she give him oral sex. Her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Chris Hanson, intervened; before the carjackers left, one turned and shot Chris. A seventeen year old suspect was arrested Sunday on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, five counts of armed robbery, and murder. Chris Hanson didn't survive.

This fills me with such rage. I hope New Mexico has the death penalty so the piece of shit that killed him can be put to death immediately. There is no excuse for this; I believe in the death penalty, so long as the murderer is 100% guilty. If there's any doubt, I'm against it. There is no doubt in this case. He took the life of a young guy barely starting out, a young guy that showed a tremendous amount of character by defending his girlfriend. It's sad to hear when an innocent dies, especially one so young...especially one that stood up to a man with a gun for somebody he loved.

My thoughts are with the Hanson family and everyone who loved him; I hope he enjoyed the brief amount of life he got to taste.

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August 11th, 2003

11:34 pm - Physical education online?
A few high school students in Florida are exercising this summer by taking PE online.

The course allows students to not have to undergo humiliating situations, such as showering with other students, but still get in their exercise. The course requires the students to provide information such as their heart rate after working out, which is supposed to help ensure that the students are actually exercising and not faking it. I have mixed feelings on this "class."

On the one hand, I think it's great for the kids who actually perform in the course. It's a great way to get into shape if you're committed. I don't know about at most schools, but none of my schools ever had a decent PE class. My coach never bothered to teach us how to do push-ups properly, so I didn't know the proper way to do them for middle school; the coach frowned on me because I did "girl push-ups." Not that push-ups were actually important; there were various "tests" we had to pass or else we'd fail the class, but I never did pass them...still always wound up with an A+. The only time I got less was when the coach realized I wasn't changing, which resulted in me getting an A-. PE was pretty much useless at all of my schools.

On the other hand, I don't think PE should really be mandatory. The more I think about it, I believe the parents should be the ones responsible for making sure their kids stay healthy. School, on the other hand, should be about learning. My ability to perform pull-ups has nothing to do with learning; likewise when my mother attended school you could not graduate without knowing how to swim. Thankfully for her her coach gave her an A despite Mom having never stepped foot in the water, but the fact remains that (at least back then) you couldn't get a diploma without learning how to swim. Again I ask what does this have to do with education.

Referring back to my last entry, I do believe that the health report card is a good idea...but in this case, I believe it's a matter of the parents. Life is too short to allow your kids to get so big that it puts extra pressure on their hearts. If they get big as adults that's fine with me, but I believe parents should try to help make sure their kids are healthy. This should be the parents' responsiblity, not the school's.

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07:14 pm - Were you ever graded on this?
Students in the Boston area are being graded on more than just their English quizzes; they are now being tested for health. It's a new technique that schools have applied to help overcome the amount of obese youths. Some overweight children were uncomfortable with this new type of "report card", but many parents responded positively to this program and have decided to lower their children's weight be it through exercise, dieting, or through medical help. I think if handled in a certain situation, this could be a great program. I don't believe the teacher's themselves should so much be involved; I think it should be between the children, a school nurse, and the parents.

I have no problem with adults who are overweight; as one myself, I am sickened by all the focus on dieting that seems to be everywhere nowadays. I have nothing against diets; I have no problem with the idea of people trying to get into better shape. What I can't stand is the fascination not just with people, but the media. I love Subway, but I can't stand the Joel salespitch. It's ridiculous.

But what's more ridiculous is allowing your child to blow up to monstrous preportions. I am approximately 6'2" and 250 pounds. I have a cousin who is probably around the age of 13 who easily weighs 100 pounds more than me, and has for years. Doctors have never once said his weight comes from heredity; it comes from the bad food his parents allow him to eat and the fact he never exercises. Many in my family have expected him to have some sort of problems; thankfully we've been wrong, but that doesn't mean that he won't. He is still a child and needs to be taken care of properly. Once he reaches adulthood I don't care how big he is; whether he diets or not is of no concern to me. What is a concern is that his parents have allowed him to get so big he physically can't do most exercises.

I would love it if they instituted a program like this in my area, though mostly for children like my cousin. I'm not talking about for pre-teens who are 20-30 pounds overweight; I'm talking about for kids who are twice as big as they should be. I like my cousin's parents, I really do, but they have no idea how to raise him right. I honestly believe he should be taken from them. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to see him; I just think he needs to be placed into a home where he can hopefully get into better shape so he doesn't have a heart attack before he turns 18.

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05:47 pm - Odd and unnatural
Malawi's top Anglican leader is considering severing ties with the U.S. Episcopal Church if it doesn't reverse the confirmation of gay bishop Gene Robinson. A religious organization threatening to blackball another. I'm pretty sure God wants us all to come together, not split each other apart. "We can't support Canon Robinson's election because it is not compatible with our tradition and faith, and if they insist on having him as bishop, we will cut ourselves away from the operation of the U.S. church," says Archbishop Bernard Malango. My suggestion is that you cut yourself from all church ties, because there's not a single one of your bishops who doesn't "sin."

Malango also refers to homosexuals as "odd and unnatural." My question is, how is something that appears in nature unnatural? Dogs in heat will hook up with any other dog, male or female. In a non-sex related argument, look up information on the penguins Wendell and Cass. Penguins typically mate for life, and these two penguins have done exactly that...with each other, despite the fact both are males. Bruce Bagemihl's "Biological Exuberance" talks about 450 species that have "homosexual" relations; some known species that do are "grizzly bears, gorillas, flamingos, owls and several species of salmon."

Someone I said he doesn't by the "it's in nature" argument, because some animals tend to eat their young; he asked me if that meant humans should be free to eat their young because other animals do it. Of course not...that's murder. If you don't like homosexuality, that's fine...but comparing it to murder is completely preposterous.

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04:51 pm - Stop the violence
A little over two months ago Stacy Young was killed while participating in a Toughman Competition. Police have said they will not press charges against the promoter, Art Dore, who violated no state laws with his competition. Prior to the event Stacy had signed a waiver releasing Dore from liability in the even Stacy was injured in the contest.

I agree with this verdict whole-heartedly. Stacy's death is a tragedy, especially for her two kids who are now motherless, but she willingly participated in a contest where she knew punches would be thrown at her head. Personally I feel these competitions (as well as boxing) should be banned, but the fact is they aren't (at least not in all states); a sport where your job is to render your opponent unconscious should in no way be condoned. Even so, intentionally placing yourself in this position can result in any type of accident of injury. That's what the waiver is for, because you're not guaranteed to be safe. There are no guarantees when you're taking God knows how many blows to the head or body.

Unfortunately things like this tend to happen; AOLNews reports at least four people have died in Toughman Competitions in the last year. It's not the owners fault when people get killed; of course you can say that they played a part, but ultimately they didn't force anyone to get into the ring. That doesn't mean that Toughman Competitions should remain legal. People like to blame all the violence they see on TV, but ultimately what does allowing these competitions to remain legal say? That violence is okay? Instead of blaming the TV, why not take responsible by going after these violent events and shutting them down?

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August 10th, 2003

10:58 pm - Homeless rights
Don't fall asleep on a park bench in Cleveland, Ohio, or you might find yourself in for a shock.

Four teenagers were charged with attacking at least six sleeping homeless people with the use of stun guns. Three of the teens (all juveniles) were released to their parents, while the fourth (who was 19) has been charged with assault (the others will face delinquency assault charges). Their attacks were discovered when their car broke down and a motorist stopped to help them, which led to them fleeing the scene. The motorist then talked with one of the homeless men who had been attacked and then flagged a motorcycle police officer and informed him of the crime. It's too bad justice will never be served in this case; the children should find out exactly what it's like to get woke up in such a manner. My very first post was arguing about how one determines the proper punishment; in this case the proper punishment is one that won't be dished out.

It really sickens me the way homeless people are treated. I saw a show the other day about a policewoman. One of the things she had to do was go around waking up homeless people asleep on the sidewalk; this actually pissed me off. I could understand it if the guy was lying in front of a door, but he wasn't; who does it harm for him to sleep there? I doubt the sidewalk is comfortable, so why would you disturb him? You might consider it "unsightly," but so what? As long as the man isn't harassing people, his presence there should be of no one's concern. What is he supposed to do? Stay awake for the rest of his life? Give the guy a break, why don't you?

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10:42 pm - Should pot be legalized?
I'm going to start off with three words that I'm sure you're all familiar with: "Drugs are bad." I believe that and have sworn to never take any drugs that my doctor didn't prescribe me. I think everybody should follow my example, but then again...who am I to determine what others do? While I don't condone taking drugs, that doesn't mean that I believe marijuana should remain illegal.

Marijuana is shown to impair a person's judgment, comprehension, memory, speech, problem-solving ability, and reaction time. Sound like a good reason for keeping marijuana use a crime? Than perhaps we should outlaw alcohol, which has the same effects. How many people are killed every day by drunk drivers? Of course there are people who have been killed by drivers under the influence of pot, but I doubt it's anywhere near as much as drivers under the influence of alcohol. We all know alcohol is addicting; while pot may cause a psychological dependence with consisten long-term use, it has never been proven physically addicting (source: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2002).

Do I believe pot should be legalized? Yes and no. I don't really believe alcohol and cigarettes should be legal, but they are; why isn't pot? You're never going to stop people from smoking it; there's no point in even trying. So instead of spending millions of dollars fighting it, why not make money by legalizing and taxing it?

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07:34 pm - The validation of love
Picture it: a beautiful young woman meets a gorgeous young man. They begin seeing each other and six months later get married. They have a hard time at first, but eventually they pull through it. It looks as though they're going to make it after all when tragedy strikes: the woman is involved in a major car accident. The man sits crying with his wife until her heart monitor starts to beep. She's gone.

Picture it: a successful college graduate moves out on his own into a new apartment building. There he meets a handsome young fireman his own age, and they immediately fall in love. The two move in together, and he brings his lover with him every year when he visits his parents for Christmas. The two men remain in a loving relationship for thirty years before a building collapses around the fireman. He's rushed to the hospital and placed in intensive care. His lover shows up to see him, but the hospital informs him that only the wife or immediate family can go in to see him. The man waits before doctors come out and inform him his lover passed away.

The Constitution says that all men are created equal. Perhaps it should be rectified to say "all heterosexual men are created equal."

The Court's decision to strike down sodomy laws had many talking about the idea of gay marriage. Some are for it; others against it. Both the Pope and Australia's Prime Minister seem to think that gay marriage threatens the survival of the species. What kind of flawed logic is this? If gays were allowed to marry, what would change? Legal recognition. That's pretty much it. It's not as though allowing gay marriage is going to increase the number of homosexuals out there. 90% of the world is still heterosexual. Even if it was 50-50, gays still have children. In no way, shape, and/or form would gay marriage result in the destruction of the human race.

Many people have religious views towards marriage. Originally I argued against this. I said, "God didn't create marriage; man did." Was God married? No, he certainly wasn't. I said that marriage has nothing to do with religion, and thus there is no reason gays can't get married. But then there's the argument that "marriage is designed to create a family" (meaning for a man and woman to have children together). The more I've thought about, I said to myself, "marriage was created by man, who created it to be a union between a man and woman." I've since changed my views on gay marriage.

I don't believe gays should get married; I do believe they should be able to legalize their relationship, though. I don't like the term "civil union." It doesn't really mean anything to me. Instead of having a marriage, we can have "commitment ceremonies." They can go through the whole wedding procedure, but it's not called marriage. Gays and lesbians would be able to join in a union that is no longer considered less important than a heterosexual union. You could also make it where heterosexual couples could have a commitment ceremony as opposed to a marriage. People in their fifties generally don't get married with the intention of having children, do they? I don't think commitment ceremonies should be gay-specific; a commitment ceremony should be between any two people who wish to get committed to each other.

Many people say marriage is about a man and a woman joining together. Why not let a commitment ceremony be about love?

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03:32 pm - A split in the church
Many conservatives are considering leaving the Episcopal Church because of Gene Robinson, a 56-year-old homosexual who was recently elected as a Bishop. Many liberals think the threat of their leaving is like that of the threats in 1976, when many liberals considered walking away after the ordination of women. Whether this walk out will happen or not is yet to be seen, but it's got many people thinking.

My question is, what's the difference? Many consider homosexuality a "sin", but let's not forget that there are many "sins." Do we really believe that the rest of the Bishops are sinless? Hasn't Robins shown a tremendous amount of character by revealing his alledged "sin" to the public? How many bishops come out and say "we're liars?" How many bishops don't on occassion give in to anger, pride, or envy? Why is it the public is so concerned about this one "sin" yet they tend to ignore all others?

A poll on AOL once asked if if Robinson's rise to bishop could cause a split in the church. No, it can't...what can is people's discrimination and their belief that this one "sin" is the worst of all. It's not the gay guy that's causing the split...it's the splitters that cause the split. What will a split really accomplish? While you may be sending out the message that you don't approve of homosexuality, it's almost as though you're saying many of the other "sins" are acceptable. Sure the bishops may not stand up in front of you and lie, but then again I highly doubt Robinson is going to start making out with his boyfriend while preaching to you.

Am I asking anyone to change their views on homosexuality? No, I'm not. If you are dead-set in believing that homosexuality is wrong, than nothing I say can change your opinion. What I am asking is that people use their common sense; I am asking you not to pick on one "sin" while ignoring the others. Quit using the Bible to bash others, yet conveniently ignoring all verses that apply to you.

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