If You Don't Already Love Senator Elizabeth Warren, You Will After You Watch Her Tackle the Government Shutdown In This Video
Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke last night on the government shutdown, and broke it down so simply that anyone could understand that the whole thing is ludicrous. Denying women birth control coverage? Seriously? I personally believe that pads, tampons, birth control, pregnancy tests, prenatal and postnatal care, mammograms, and any medical procedure dealing with the female reproductive system should be totally covered by insurance. Why should women have to pay for certain things just because they're a woman? Viagra is covered. Why shouldn't birth control be covered? Watch this short video of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts giving a speech on the subject on C-Span 2.
> New York Times Article "New Jersey Judge Rules State Must Allow Gay Marriage"
> Official Ruling/Decision Summary from the State of New Jersey (PDF file)
> The Garden State Equality Organization Website
I don't see myself getting married in the foreseeable future, but I do eventually want to get married. Hopefully that doesn't scare my boyfriend Corey off. Haha! Great news, though, from the courts in New Jersey. On Friday, September 27, 2013, a New Jersey judge ruled that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry. Refusal to do so would be a defiance of the United States Supreme Court's June ruling guaranteeing the rights of same-sex couples across the country. Finally, a state close enough to Pennsylvania is allowing me to marry whomever I choose. Don't you think it's about time Pennsylvania started allowing same-sex marriages too? I do. And while we're at it, let's legalize marijuana. It's bound to happen sooner or later. Let's just get it all over with. Pennsylvania needs to modernize. We're stuck in the dark ages. What do you think? Leave comments below, like and share on Facebook and Twitter, or send me an e-mail.
I was talking with my dad this afternoon about Obama Care, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, and in talking, we both realized we know little to nothing about how this HUGE reform is going to affect us. I was really curious so I began researching and came across this cute little cartoon that very simply explains how everything in the Act pertains to each person in American society: the employee, the retiree, the rich, the poor, and everyone in between. It's very straight forward, and very effective in explaining the Affordable Care Act so that anyone can understand it.
Here is the link to the official HealthCare.gov website, and you can go here to see how and when changes will take effect in your home state. I understand it's an issue that's in hot debate, but if we don't get ready for it, as they say in the video, we'll be left out in the cold. I hope this helps. Here's the video:
A struggling mother of twins asked her kids to write their Christmas lists early so she could scrimp and save enough money to buy them what they really wanted. She was shocked and touched by the letter her 8-year-old son Ryan wrote to Santa Claus.
He told Santa that he had wanted a few toys and electronics, but that he had changed his mind. His twin sister, Amber, had been the target of bullying for some time now. Attacks on her weight, appearance, and disabilities were too much for her to bear, and she told her mom that she wished she would die to escape the torment. As her twin, Ryan shared Amber's distress in a way that only twins can.
I've included the video here for you to watch, so I won't spoil it for you by commenting further. Just know that it is truly inspiring, touching, and worth spending 6 minutes on. Enjoy.
Pope Francis Says Church is Obsessed with Gays, Abortion, and Birth Control and Wants to Make it a "Home for All"
Pope Francis, the coolest Pope ever in my opinion, blasted the Catholic Church by saying it is "obsessed with gays, abortion, and birth control." More sensible words were never spoken. He went on to say he refused to discuss these issues, and wants to focus on making the church a '"home for all' and not a 'small chapel' focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings." Read the full New York Times article here.
BuzzFeed published a few strings of tweets, and I have to warn you: they're shocking. People are outraged that an Indian-American woman, Nina Davuluri of New York, would be crowned Miss America, especially so close to 9/11.
I don't see what being Indian-American has to do with anything. She is a beautiful girl, she's intelligent, and she deserved to win. Now there are race wars being fought through 140 character tweets. White people are saying, "But, this is America!" And people of Indian descent are calling white people "inbreds."
It's shocking to me that a fight would go on like this over the ethnicity of the newly crowned Miss America. I thought we were passed that, but with a contender like Miss Kansas, Miss New York never had a chance in the minds of Americans. People are just mad Kansas lost.
A Harrisburg, PA judge is stopping a Montgomery County official from issuing marriage licenses for gay couples. It was only a matter of time because gay marriage is not yet legal in PA. There have been a couple of controversies surrounding the issuance of the licenses and finding an officiant, so this official was bound to be stopped. I'm just surprised it took this long.
Bruce Hanes, the Register of Wills for Montgomery County, has issued 174 marriage licenses for same sex couples this year. The Commonwealth Court judge Dan Pellegrini said that Hanes did not have the power to issue such licenses, and their issuance defies Pennsylvania state constitution.
Earlier this year, however, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and state Attorney General Kathleen Kane called the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
It's only a matter of time before Pennsylvania legalizes same sex marriage. I have faith that my home state will follow the trend set by several other states that have already legalized it. Voters, especially those in the city of Philadelphia, will ensure the marriage equality bill is passed. I'm certain of it. It's only a matter of time.
Read the blog about the New Hope, PA mayor who refused to officiate a gay marriage ceremony.
I find this video shocking. I would honestly think Syrian citizens would be afraid of a strike, but here they are begging for one against Assad. If the US can pinpoint Assad's location so as not to harm innocent people, I'm for it. This video swayed my opinion. I just don't want the US to become embroiled in the civil war there. What do you think?
> Bakery owners speak out after being shut down.
> Daily Mail article covering the story with photos.
Two lesbians walk into a bakery... Let's try that again... In January, two lesbians entered a bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa, and placed an order for a wedding cake. Simple enough, but once the Christian owners realized that they'd be making a cake to celebrate the marriage of two women, they refused the order citing their strong Christian belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
Shortly thereafter, the lesbian couple reported the discrimination to Oregon's bureau of Labor and Industry. They're still reviewing the case and deciding whether a suit should be filed against the bakery. It seems cut and dry to me, so I assume a suit will be filed soon enough.
An interesting thing happened while the investigation was taking place. The people of Oregon began to protest the bakery, sending hate mail and death threats to its owners. The protests barred the bakery from obtaining lucrative accounts in the special events industry, which is any bakery's lifeline. If you're not making birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, and wedding cakes, you're not going to be able to pay the rent and overhead that comes standard with operating a bakery in a storefront.
Unfortunately for the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Oregon passed the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people in employment, housing and public accommodations. Had they known that, they would have known they could be sued for declining the two women's order for a wedding cake.
If you own and operate a business that serves the public, common sense tells you not to decline ANY order. It's bad for business. I think it's amazing how this town in Oregon banded together to put a bigoted bakery out of business. I think it's even more amazing that there are laws in place to protect us from things like this happening. When they do happen, there are consequences. Sweet Cakes by Melissa is feeling them. For the GLBT community, this revenge is so sweet!
For whatever reason, I love Macklemore. He's got a different style, and I think he's sexy. I like his music to a certain extent. It does for me what I think it's meant to do: make you smile. I'm all for happy music, especially if it's supporting the gays. I'm a gay, and while I love the message in "One Love", I don't totally love it as a song. I like an uptempo song, myself. Kudos for standing up for us if you're not gay. That takes balls.
This is a funny clip from Chelsea Lately about how everyone thinks Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are gay. It's true, as he says in the clip, the second thing that comes up in the Google recommendations when you type "Macklemore" is "Macklemore gay". Poor guy. He takes it well, though, and even jokes about it. Watch the clip, it's a good laugh.
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New York Times/NPR articles that I wrote about:
> Read the "Facebook Inquiry" article
> Read the "Android Security" article
> Read the "How to Disappear" article
> Read the "White Supremacist" article
> Read the "Gay Marriage Tax" article
Well, the news is all about Syria, as it should be, and Britain not wanting to be a part of it. That's fine, and I care that it's going on, but I like to leave war politics to politicians. The first thing I want to talk about has nothing to do with Syria, but is definitely a war of sorts. It's the digital information war. The war that government is fighting against our privacy.
I'm one of those people who has nothing to hide from the government, but I support freedom of speech and a right to one's privacy. That being said, I was disgusted to see that Facebook released a report the other day, according to this New York Times article, outlining the government's requests for information on specific Facebook accounts linked to specific people. It doesn't list names, obviously, but I couldn't help wondering if I was one of the 37,954 people the requests pertained to. I'm clearly no threat, but what if something I said on Facebook used one or more of the keywords that the National Security Agency is looking for? I sure hope not.
Facebook said it didn't honor all of the requests, but didn't specify the criteria it used to approve and deny requests. How do you say no to the government? I guess when you're as big as Facebook, and everyone in the world has an account, you can do pretty much whatever you want. I don't think the agency is poking around in innocent people's information, I think they're looking for very specific people who have committed crimes, or conspired to commit crimes that were terrorist related. Still, what should be off limits, and what is fair game? After Facebook released their report, Microsoft and Google came forward and issued similar reports. I don't want the government accessing private information without my consent. I hope these three companies inform the people whose information is being requested. Otherwise, it would be like Big Brother watching us and tracking our every click. Maybe they're already doing it. Who knows? Meanwhile, the government issued a statement warning against security threats on Android phones. Gee, thanks. NPR just published a humorous article called "How to Disappear if Someone is Spying on You" which is appropriate to mention here.
> Read the article from 08/27/13
> Read the article from 08/28/13
> Read "Is Facebook Making Students Terrible Writers?" (Unrelated)
There was an article on a local news website yesterday that caught my attention. The mayor of New Hope, a small, very gay friendly town that hosts a gay pride parade on its main street every year, refused to marry a same sex couple. The couple had obtained a marriage license in neighboring Montgomery County, despite the fact that it is illegal to do so. They then brought the license to New Hope's mayor, Larry Keller, who refused to officiate, citing the the definition of marriage in Pennsylvania being the union of a man and a woman.
He defended himself stating, "“If it was legal, I’d be happy to do it. But, it’s not the law yet.” I agree with Keller. How can the mayor of a borough defy the law and marry a same sex couple? If he broke the law and got a DUI, there would be an uproar. I don't see why this situation should be any different. Keller is a public figure who, when sworn into office, took an oath to obey and uphold the law.
I had an interesting conversation on Facebook with my friend Brandy after I had posted a link to the article on my timeline. I'm going to re-post it here. I hope she doesn't mind. Here's what was said, including all the bad punctuation, grammar, and syntax that comes with the way everyone writes on Facebook. That's a conversation for another blog. Full conversation after the jump... Click "Read More".
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My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.