MD politics


Today, me and my man went to vote. We stood in line for an hour.

You see, stakes are high here in Maryland. There are several referendum questions. One of which is to allow or not allow gay marriage.

Both of us voted to allow gay marriage.

You may be shocked at this revelation. You might even be appalled.

But here are our explanations, which may very well change your mind, or not….

*People like to claim that marriage is a religious institution. If this were true, people couldnt get married at the courthouse. If this were true, people would not have to go to the courthouse to even obtain a marriage license. This process, if religious in nature, would only be allowed thru a religious institution.

*Opponents want to make you think that pastors wouldnt be able to refuse to perform a marriage between two members of the same sex. For one, the language in this bill states otherwise. And, lets not forget that a pastor can refuse two members of the opposite sex from getting married as well.

*People like to claim that gay marriage would take the sanctity out of marriage. Have we forgotten all about the short term marriages of  certain celebrities?

Kardasian/Humphreys http://www.idiotbrain.com/the-kardashianhumphries-wedding-72-hours-of-marriage-with-kim-kardashian-and-kris-humphries/2011-11-22 This one lasted an entire 72 days.

Lets not forget the Britney Spears 55 hour marriage http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/britney-spears-jason-alexander-reflects-55-hour-marriage/story?id=15506535

I could list many, many more instances of heterosexual marriages that are treated like a joke.

**

Just a few months ago a local Senator decided to be very vocal about his anti-gay stance.

QUOTE: Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo expressed his support for Maryland’s upcoming ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage, Burns wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti that basically said football players who disagree with Burns should know their place and keep quiet ENDQUOTE

http://deadspin.com/5941865/thanks-to-chris-kluwe-gay+baiting-maryland-legislator-decides-nfl-players-have-a-right-to-say-what-they-think-after-all

I dont care who supports or doesnt support this initiative but I do find it offensive that Sen Burns used his office stationary to do it.

http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/skitched-20120907-161652.jpg

Minnestota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe probably said it best in his response to Emmitt Burns. Im not real fond of the language he used, but it certainly got his point across.

http://deadspin.com/5941348/they-wont-magically-turn-you-into-a-lustful-cockmonster-chris-kluwe-explains-gay-marriage-to-the-politician-who-is-offended-by-an-nfl-player-supporting-it

**

I certainly agree that allowing gay people to marriage would have ZERO effect on your lives. (unless you happen to be gay and want to get married.)

And lets not forget the financial arguments Ive heard. Theres no way that our state is gonna make money off of gay marriage. If Im not mistaken, its $35 for a marriage license. No one ‘renews’ them.

If the state REALLY wanted to make money off marriages, gay or not, they would make people renew their licenses every year to remain married. You dont renew, guess what? You arent married anymore.

(Remember you heard that one here first folks)

******

But the most important reason I voted FOR gay marriage is the argument that many of my conservative friends made……

‘People who are gay are living against God’

First, if you co-habitate with someone OR even have sex prior to marriage, you are already ‘living against God’

This argument pretty much offends homosexuals and heterosexuals who live with someone….or gasp! those who have sex outside of marriage.

OR, how about those of us heterosexuals whove been marriage and are divorced or separated?

Yea, were all lumped into the conservative-religious argument against gay marriage.

And that argument scares the bejeezus outta me.

******

We are supposed to have a separation of church and state in our country. This separation is not apparent in many areas. (google evolution and intelligent design to get a clear view on this statement)

You CANNOT make a religious argument about laws passed. Not everyone in our country is religious and not everyone who is in our country has the same religious views as some of these openly religious legislators.

******

So yea, we voted to allow gay marriage.

Because in the end, why do you care what other people do with their lives. These people who are gay and want to marry just want the same rights as straight married folks do.

Are you THAT afraid of them and their rights?

 

 

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I recently wrote 2 blog posts for which Ive spent several hours clarifying thru twitter replies.

(See: https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/occupy-baltimore-doesnt-care-about-cancer-victims/ and https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/the-occupy-movement-and-respect-ha/ )

I was ‘invited’ to the Occupy Baltimore in hopes that my one suggestion will be taken seriously as well as not flamed.

I believe that I may have titled my blog wrong. And I do apologize for that. I was angry after hearing a news story about the pancreatic cancer victims vigil being moved after that group had been issued a permit 6 months ago for the use of McKeldin Square.

Let me again, clarify…..If a group prior to your group was issued a permit to use the space you are using, I think you should vacate the area for that group.

Ive been told by a couple Occupy supporters that you werent aware that another group was issued this permit until afterwards. However, SOMEONE -whether it be the police, or a leader of your group, should be on top of making this fact known.

I have also been told that a charity run shared the space you are using without incident. And while Im glad that this sharing of space was peaceful, I dont believe that a respectful vigil and Occupy Baltimore can do the same. A vigil for victims is not the same.

Now – for my suggestion which Ive alluded to in this post –
Someone from Occupy Baltimore NEEDS to contact someone in the permits office to acquire the dates for when McKeldin has already issued permits to other groups. MAYBE even contact the other group for a solution to either share the area when feasible, or give up the area until the other permitted group is done.

This would alleviate many issues. It would also show that your group DOES care about other groups rights.

Earlier today I wrote a post after I heard about Occupy Baltimore and the Pancreatic Cancer Vigil that was relocated. (https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/occupy-baltimore-doesnt-care-about-cancer-victims/)

This evening I started getting responses from someone thru twitter

I mean, how one-sided can someone be?

Cant these people see that they are hurting people who struggle just as much as they claim to be?

The one response claiming that Occupy Baltimore got their permit 6 weeks ago is moot. The organizers of the pancreatic cancer victims vigil got theirs 6 MONTHS ago. MONTHS!

This person says she doesnt respect me for writing my blog, and I say…..Who cares? I dont write my blog to gain anyones respect. I write my blog for me. This is a place where I gather MY thoughts about stuff that I see, about stuff I go thru.

And quite honestly, how can I respect someone who thinks camping out on our city streets will mean ANYTHING?

Id much rather respect someone who works (even at McDs) and struggles everyday like I do.

You know whos respect I DO value? Those who see that I could go on disability due to my illness, but instead, choose to drive myself to Baltimore everyday to be a productive member of society.

 

So far, Ive been pretty much ‘on the fence’ about the whole Occupy movement. I initially did understand their gripes and frustrations.

But not any longer. Sure, Im upset about the cop that pepper sprayed those peacefully protesting, but when a group who hasnt gotten the required permits forces another group to another area who has the required permits out…..that is a whole different story.

Last night, as I was getting ready to go to bed, this came on the news:  http://foxbaltimore.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wbff_vid_10590.shtml

So, those who planned to have a vigil for victims of pancreatic cancer (and got permits) were basically made to walk to another area in order to hold their event. You might say that they decided to use another area on their own, but quite honestly how could they hold their vigil in an area with all this disruption?

The squatters that make up the Occupy movement have invaded our city…..without the necessary permits. They used tax payer electricity (until they were caught by local media). And now, they have forced a group who planned enough in advance to another area. Why arent our police doing anything about this? Why is the Mayor of Baltimore not doing anything about this?

I wasnt part of this vigil, but Im pretty mad that pancreatic cancer victims and their supporters could not hold the vigil that they planned, in the area that it was planned to be in. What about their rights? Will the city refund the money that was collected from the permit that was issued?

 

 

 

 

 

I am once again, frustrated by the ‘system’ that exists within our educational system.

Back in August, my son received his schedule for high school. And it was wrong.

My son was supposed to take Financial Literacy (a graduation requirement) and it was taken from him. In its place – Team Sports and Remedial English. We were told this was because he had failed his English HSA by NINE points.

The State of MD requires that students pass all 3 HSA exams (Biology, English, and Algbra) OR have a combined score of 1208 (composite score) to fulfill the graduation requirement. (See:  http://hsaexam.org/img/HSA_Top_10_July2011.pdf )

My son’s high school apparently has ‘higher standards’ and they insist on my son retaking the HSA. Back in Aug/Sept my son argued that he needed to take the Financial Literacy class and not have this ridiculousness on his schedule. They begrudgingly agreed to put him back into the FL class.

That was…..until the last day of the first quarter when he was asked to come down to the Guidance Dept. They told him that he would be put back into remediation. This meant that the entire first quarter’s grades from the FL class would not count (and he has a 95%).

My son insisted that I be called.

After a day of phone calls, I got a call from the principal that he would place my son back into the FL class and to meet with him and the remediation instructor that afternoon.

So, I meet with them and we are then told, that since my son did not retake the HSA, he would be pulled from Vo-Tech. My son and I are flabbergasted because this means he would have to fit in another math, science as well as two semesters of spanish (which my son has had trouble passing prior). Suffice it to say, we left that meeting pretty angry.

We discussed all aspects of this later that evening and decided that without Vo-Tech, there was no use of sending him the last year of school. We would withdraw him.

So, Friday I kept him home from school. I called the registrars office to make the appointment.

I picked up my son and headed for the school. We met with the guidance counselor and his PPW. My son informed him of the reasons he wanted to drop out of school. We were told less than 5 minutes later, that the principal FINALLY agreed to my sons refusal to retake a test, he did not need to retake, based on the composite score.

I, on one hand, think that this is a HUGE win for my son. BUT, on the other hand, think that the administration puts too much emphasis on test scores. We were made to feel that my son couldnt read or write based on failing a test by NINE points. My son should not have had to hear the administrators put him down like this. His actual teachers could not do anything for him – their hands were tied because of an administration that focuses primarily on test score results.

And the most crazy part of it all? The principal didnt care about the State of MD composite or my son knowing that it existed, UNTIL we went in to withdraw him from the school –  DESPITE our informing him since August.

You wonder whats wrong with kids today? School administrators who have no hand in our childrens education EXCEPT to make them feel like their stupid.

So parents, make sure your children know their rights. And dont let anyone take those rights away from them.

If you recall, back in August of 2008, the PG County Mayor’s house was raided after an insane mix-up of sorts (See my original posts here: https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/pg-county-mayor-raided-and-dogs-killed/ and here: https://sheilafaulstich.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/update-pg-county-mayor-cleared-still-no-apology/)

As stories like this go, a few years go by and the story is seemingly forgotten about. However, today I saw this article online: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/maryland/2011/01/md-mayor-settling-suit-after-swat-shoots-his-dogs

Im glad that the case was settled, even though it is the taxpayers that will eventually be paying this settlement since he filed suit against Prince George’s County, MD. I am also pleased to hear that part of this settlement will go to reforming SWAT teams and their practices. Hopefully a program of this nature will be put into action all across the country and we will stop hearing about cases like this.

There is an executive order standing in the way of my daughters 21st birthday.

Here is a link to the Executive Order that was signed by MDs Governor:

http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/employees/Documents/FurloughExecutiveOrder0101201011.pdf

What this means for me is that on Thursday, December 30th the MVA is closed. What this also means is that my daughter, who turns 21 on Thursday, cannot get her identification changed.

The MVA doesnt reopen until Monday, January 3rd. This means her 21st birthday cannot be celebrated accordingly, as well as her New Years Eve plans may fall thru because her photo is obviously still a profile, and I cant blame any establishment for not wanting to take a chance.

Granted, someone wanting to go out for their big birthday or for New Years Eve might not sound all that important to you. But its still a rite of passage for most, even if they dont drink. BUT that isnt the point….

My daughter asked if she could get her 21st id right then and they refused to do so, stating their computers wouldnt let them do this.

So now, I ask these questions

  • What if you had tags that were going to expire on the 31st, and decided -hey, Ill go Thursday to get my tags.
  • What if you had a license that was going to expire on the 31st and decided -hey, Ill go Thursday to get it renewed.

Ive been informed that there are built in exemptions that somehow allow for the two examples Ive provided. But there is no exemption for someone who wants to celebrate with friends or family for their 21st birthday and New Years Eve?

Seriously?

(Note: my daughter has called a few places who claim she can bring her id and birth certificate and she will be let in. First-I dont want to bring that document to the MVA let alone out amongst the public. Second-Ill have to update you on her success. Shes beautiful, so thats a bonus)

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