Nov. 29th, 2009 03:55 am
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Nov. 28th, 2009 01:51 pm
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Okay, folks - here's how it goes. The more people that can get people to reply to my postings here (past, present, and future), regardless of content that put your username as their referral in their comments, gets a custom written fanfiction of his/her choice in the fandom of his/her choice (assuming I know the fandom even peripherally), with the pairing of his/her choice. Anything goes, gen, het, slash, threesomes, moresomes, whatever your little heart desires. One caveat - anonymous postings are automatically disqualified. The story is guaranteed to be a minimum of 650 words.

You can skip the posts of my personal bullshit. Frankly, it's pretty boring, but let's try to raise some awareness with the postings I've made that have some actual substance to them, huh?

The deadline is January 1, 2010 at 12AM. Votes will be tallied by me (and someone else, if I can convince them to assist.) A posting must consist of more then five words (that's not the same five words written five times) and CAN include flames. Bring on the heat, if you must. I can take it.

Just, please, try to get people aware of some of these topics. They're important to me. Important enough for me to do this. So, please, please do your part to pitch in.

Desperately seeking people who give a damn,

tonyajot: (Default)
I pondered long and hard before broaching this subject. There are public concerns, however, that I believe outweigh my misgivings. No matter how much you may think you trust a loved one, there are some sensible precautions that you can take. (And yes, just taking some of these steps could indicate a crack in that trust's foundation, but sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry.)

1. Never allow anyone no matter how long-lived the relationship or how deep the trust to EVER take compromising photographs or videos of you. The fact is, that relationships do end, and even if they don't, you have no control over where or in whose hands they end up. If you've already made this mistake, do not be naive enough to believe that the pictures have been deleted or that the video has been erased. These are convenient excuses. If you don't mind that you might end up with an embarrassing photo somewhere you never intended it to be, then you can ignore this warning completely.

2. Technology is outpacing the law so fast that it just can't keep up. When you are talking about spousal or other close relationships, the lines are blurred even further. There are now cameras so small that even the tiniest of pin-pricks make them difficult to detect. Whether you are doing something worth spying on or not, remember that a joint reisdence in particular affords you NO legal protection whatsoever in regards to your rights to privacy. Video from these cameras can be set up to transmit wirelessly to off-site computers or telephones and is often A quality and sometime in living color with audio. Be forewarned. It isn't just Big Brother who is watching you these days.

3. Computer worms are tricky little buggers, some exist that no anti-viral software will pick up, particularly if the person you trust is also the one who helps you with your 'I.T.' issues. Some worms are sophisticated enough to detect every single keystroke you enter on your keyboard, they can track every website visited, every e-mail or diary entry. This doesn't even need to BE a loved one. Absolute strangers can access great quantities of highly personal information, including health records, DVD rentals, etc., using nothing more than your I.P. address. There is little to be done with this phenomenon until the law catches up. What you can do is get a very good anti-viral program and learn how to maintain it yourself. I recommend Trend Micro, formerly known as PC-Cillin. Keep your anti=viral updated regularly and do scans at least once a day, if not more. When downloadng any software, pictures, e-mails, or games, be sure that you don't accidentally agree to change something in your system's registry. This is crucial, because once your system's registry has been corrupted, you have left yourself virtually wide-open for this and many even more malicious attacks.

4. People will tell you that you can't have your phone line tapped. Those people would be wrong. Worse yet, if the person you've trusted lives in the same residence as you, they are perfectly within their legal rights to record any and all incoming and outgoing phone calls from that residence. There are devices on the market that can do this and do it very cheaply. If you suspect your phone is being tapped by someone with access to your interior or exterior phone lines, insist on having a phone company respesentative come out and inspect the entire phone system, from where the wires enter the house to where they meet in the interior junction box.

5. Other people will tell you that it is impossible for someone to remotely redirect outgoing calls from your cordless telephone. This is also patently untrue. While the products that can do this are very much more expensive than those previously mentioned, they do exist. An example would be, if you went to call 911 for assistance, but instead reach a grocery store. You hit redial and reach a bait and tackle shop. To the best of my knowledge there is no way to counter an attack such as this. 6. Spoofing/Static I.P. Addresses - Many households share one static I.P. address. What this means to you, is that your spouse or trusted loved one can do virtually anything in your name and you will have not one scintilla of proof that you were not the one who did it. This can set you up for financial, legal, or emotional hardships in the long run. If anyone out there has figured a way around this, I would be gratified to hear it. As it stands, this is one of the most terrifying bit for many of us. A person could theoretically visit a bunch of kiddie-porn sites, using your computer virtually with your I.P. address and leave you to face the consequences. This is serious stuff, folks.

Warning signs:

1. The person in question mentions casually something you only spoke aloud to yourself while in an empty house.

2. The person in question asks questions about a private telephone conversation that you had when he/she was not present and the conversation has not been brought up by you.

3. The person in question suddenly takes a dislike or insists that you cut communication off with an online friend or group, to which he has never been exposed to or introduced to.

4. The person in question asks leading questions as to how you spent your day and then questions something that you forgot to mention or even intentionally ommitted. For example: "Did you phone for that insurance quote today like I asked you to?" "Yes, I did. I'll get an answer soon."
"You did NOT! They put you on hold and you gave up after only a few minutes!"

5. You suddenly receive a gift that you never mentioned wanting to anyone other than a friend that the other person has little or no knowledge of and upon querying the friend, he/she disavows all knowledge.

Ask yourself, if the person that you have placed your trust in could have come by such knowledge in any other way and if the answer is 'no', please use sensible precautions. At the very best they are violating YOUR trust by such underhanded methods and the very worst they are extremely controlling and potentially violent when crossed. If you do find such intrusive invasions of privacy - do NOT confront him/her about it. Suggest counseling or leave immediately and get to a safe location. There is no telling how someone will react to being caught out like this, for some this invasion of privay is an addiction. ANd this is absolutely crucial - NEVER ingore the situation. It can lead to years of what is tantamount to living in a prison where everything you say or do is monitored at all times and you are never free to do or say aything that may end up on his/her surveillance equipment. We live in a very technological age. As such, we must do better at passing legislation to protect ourselves and our loved ones from such privacy invasions and we must arm ourselves with the knowledge of just what tools are out there that may be being used against us. My two cents.
tonyajot: (Default)
This is a time for giving thanks for the help and support of the politicians in office who DO care about civil liberties. Please take the time to go to the following website:

And remind those politicians that their efforts are appreciated.

We need every ounce of support that we can get to force our country into honoring the rights of all its citizens and these people are in the trenches, working for us all. So, let's let them know that we're aware of the flack they might be getting and that it's worth it to all of us that they continue to fight the good fight.

Also, if you get the chance, explore the site for ways that you can help make a difference and show your support. Those that can afford it, please contribute financially. Those who can't, please get the word out any way that you can.

That's it for now,

tonyajot: (Default)
I sometimes get so worked up about the civil liberties that we, in the United States, fail to apply equally to our own citizens, that I do not want you to believe that things such as gay rights or true health care reform are the only things that we should be focused on.

The fact is, those of us in the so-called 1st world countries are fortunate. Regardless of the homelessness and hopelessness that comes to us, we are still very, very lucky to live in a time and a place that allows for freedom of speach, the right (for most of us) not to live in fear everyday of being shot, raped, or tortured. Most of us have food and clean drinking water. Most of us have education (despite its obvious faults). And, most of us have the luxury of hope. Hope that we, as a people can improve out lot in life. That we can make a difference by speaking out and encouraging others to do so.

The fact of the matter is, there are so very many issues that trouble me that it is little wonder that I get so little sleep.

To see first hand truly horrid and inexcusable attrocities against a people whose only crime is where they were born geographically, I urge you to visit this site:

Our natural resources are under attack globally. Our Polar Ice Caps are melting. Polar Bears are in deadly danger as are seals and other wildlife dependent directly on these climate changes. Governmental interference has declassified the Colorado wolves from being endangered species and the murder of these noble creatures has already begun. Initiatives in our Congress and Senate have repeatedly failed to address issues that affect us directly, such as drinking water that is safe from contamination. I urge you to visit this site:

So-called 'Blood Diamonds' and 'Conflict Diamonds' are still a problem, despite the pressure from the U.N. to prevent their mining and sale. Don't buy your wife or girlfriend a diamond engagment ring, necklace or any other diamond product until such deplorable conditions can be guaranteed NOT to continue in practice. Tell her or him the great 'myth' that diamonds are rare. They aren't. They are actaully quite common. It is only the diamond industry itself which helps to perpetuate the myth, driving prices up and keeping stones that are already in a family out of the marketplace. Is the stone you are wearing, worth a child having a limb severed by a machete? Does this not represent the opposite of the loving gesture such a gift should represent? I urge you to visit this site:

And here I return to medical care. The big four pharmaceutical companies regularly and routinely fail to do their fair share in helping rid the world of everything as 'simple' as a flu academic to AIDS drugs that can prolong and provide a healthier life for their recipients. The WHO, while it has tried long and hard, has been unable to move orgranizations such as the WTO to improve these conditions. Doctors without Borders, among other worthwhile organizations need your immediate assistance and commitment to better health care for EVERY human being. Not just those lucky enough to have been born in a geographically advantageous area of the world. I urge you to visit this site:

In the United States there is a severe shortage of qualified foster parents to help children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or neglected, many of whom suffer from health problems themselves. These children and others who live in single parent households are desperate for positive role models in their lives and people who genuinely care about them. If we don't want to see another generation of brilliant minds lost to a failing system, we need to step up and DO something about this. If you feel you are able, foster a child or children - for the love, not the money. If you have any free time, think about mentoring a child. (These children need better role models than celebrities and sports stars.) I urge you to visit these sites: and

Every day, countless women and children are abused by someone they trusted. Oftentimes, they are forced to flee with little more than the clothes are on their backs. These are frightened women and terrified children with nowhere to go and no resources when they do arrive someplace. Donations to organizations that support survivors of domestic abuse are almost always tax deductible. You know those little sample bottles of shampoo you get at a hotel? The little packets of toothpaste in the mail? A comb? A chapstick? A toy your child no longer needs? Clothing you haven't worn in years? Each and every item can make a huge difference to these people in need. And let's not forget the men in such violent situations either, who may fee emasculated or embarrassed by the abuse they have suffered. I urge you to visit these sites: and

I'm going to request something contrary to the most common suggestions for this time of year. In addressing homelessness and hunger, I'm going to urge you NOT to limit your gifts to the holiday season. Shelters are often inundated with gifts that can spoil more quickly than they can be used this time of year. By all means, give coats, mittens, healthcare products, and toys. These are always welcome. But, rather than a one time gift at the holidays, see if you can afford to make a more regular donation to such facilities. It does little good to gorge oneself on a feast once or twice a year, when the larder is bare the rest of the time. Instead, consider setting aside a small monthly donation or, if you can afford it, a large yearly contribution towards keeping these shelters open and feeding those that need the help. In these difficult economic times, if you are in a position to hire help, please do NOT write these indigent people off as smelly, unshaven, or without a permanent address. Assess them as people, not just as 'homeless'. You might be surprised at how hard they are willing to work, especially if they are trying to support a family. I urge you to visit these sites:,

These are just a very small few of the issues that trouble me. As soon as I get the chance, I'll go into VA Hospitals, Welcoming our Veterans Home, and a whole host of other social issues.

We seem to be making some progress with the bill that would provide eqaulity in the workplace for homosexuals, transgenders, and persons who are straight, but are mislabeled by management. Unfortunately, this bill does little to help in those states who insist on their inalienable right to hire or fire arbitrarily without even needing to give cause. It also does nothing to address the DA/DT issue that is apparently being tied into an appropriations bill to be presented in September of 2010. That's two months before November elections, folks. It's an attempt to shut us up and it isn't even that covert. That doesn't even begin to address the fact that it's almost a YEAR away and even one more day of this discriminatory and prejudicial policy is too much longer to tolerate.

Our politicians aren't going to do anything about any of these issues or any others unless there is something in it for them, so it's up to us, folks. The regular 'Joe's' out there, need to spread the word and do what we can to make the world just a little bit better.

I am now stepping down from my soapbox for the morning. Whatever.



Nov. 11th, 2009 11:38 pm
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Still so short on fundage, it's pitiful. May have to consider roasting one of the local squirrels on spit. And, of course, loading the stupid laundry machine, my glasses flew off my face and a screw went completely missing. (For those in the know, my vision is for crap right now anyway.)

On top of which, I got a letter from my former life insurance company with whom I had a loan that my disability waiver is supposed to cover the payments for. TWO freakings months after it was dated! This is the second time they've tried to screw me over like this. It's hard enough to try and get out to see a psych with the agoraphobia, much less last minute, but to try an meet a deadline which already passed on OCTOBER 22nd!!!! What the hell?! I'm calling them tomorrow and I'm calling FOUL! You can't just date a letter 9/11/09, set a termination date for the waiver for 10/22/09 and then mail the letter to arrive 11/11/09. It's B.S. On top of which, these jack-off's (pardon my gutteral English cursing), require me to see the freaking doctor more often than my damn case-worker. You know? The one that I have to reassure that I'm REALLY disabled. If it's good enough to hold up to the governments standards for disability, where the hell do THEY get off pulling this CRAP.

I have to really gear myself up, but good to leave the house at all and that's when I'm not driving myself, because I have to be medicated to the gills, then I get to mumble and slur my way through personal and humiliating questions with someone I don't know from Adam. That's AFTER braving the traffic, the parking lot, the waiting room, etc. all FILLED with people. People who make me feel like I'm having a heart attack and often cause me to pass out in fear, if they accidentally brush up against me or something. Then, I get the joy of doing the whole thing over in reverse, only by then, the meds are starting to wear off and I don't dare dose myself again to soon. People without agoraphobia or social anxiety disorders have no clue. Then, add in the PTSD and even a harmless accident, like being pushed against a wall and you're suddenly like 'BAM'! Back in 'Nam', man! For example. Mostly I just curl up in a fetal position on the floor, cry, try to breathe and beg whoever the poor witless bystander is to please don't hurt me, I promise I'll be good! Can we spell HUMILIATION, people?!

I don't really need the added stress of this insurance bull-crap hanging over my head or the broken glasses, or the fact that as we speak, my washing machine is making ominous growling noises that never lead to anything good.

Oh, and my pug got into the leftover Halloween candy, so YAY! Super-sugar spaz! Luckily, it was nothing with chocolate in it. Unluckily, I've got what amounts to a toddler on speed doing laps around my living room who will eventually void the noxious substance from her system, at probably the worst possible moment, in the most disgusting and horrific place imaginable! I can't even really blame her. She's too short to reach the cabinet it was on, which means that my lab-shepherd mix has been playing trouble maker yet again. I love her to bits, but two broken screen doors, one dog-crapped ruined comfy chair, one pit set eaten, and a ton of other incidents and I'm about to see if I can find somebody to take her. I'm good with my girls. My Rottie shakes, speaks, counts, opens doors, works ice-makers on refrigerators, lays down, sits, stays, hell - if I could teach her how, SHE'D do the laundry. My pug is a good girl, hyper right now, but generally good. She uses piddle pads, because she doesn't like to go outside, but it's not really inconvenient at all. No more so than a diaper hamper. Sheba is well house-broken and behaves fairly well. She does get jealous and will try to instigate a world war, if I let her. She was also horribly abused and resuced from a puppy mill. I managed to save her from having to have her two rear legs amputated. Getting her to come when called, much less sit or anything else... it's almost as if she's autistic, but I know it's just from all the suffering the poor thing's been through. I'd like to take the jerks that did this to her and lock them in a box too small to even stretch their legs out behind them and ignore and starve them half to death. I'm not violent or vindictive and I'm not some staunch PETA person or anything - but there's right and there's wrong. The pititful thing is these people got a short jail term and a fine. They'll just mosey down the road a bit and start all over again. Makes me want to puke!

Diatribe done for today. For now.

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Happy Veterans' Day! Support your local veterans by helping to get that ridiculous DADT law repealed, so that not only can we hug them in thanks, but os that they may hug each other without fear of reprisal!

Our Servicemen and Women work very hard to ensure the personal freedoms that we enjoy. Please take a moment of silence to thank those that are no longer with us and another moment of silence to send our best wishes to the troops who have yet to come home.

That is all.

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The Crazy, The Poor, and The Sick - The Unspoken Caste System in America Today a social commentary by Tonya Trummer

Preface: Delving into the variety of reasons for my own personal bouts with mental instability, would serve only to detract from the greater message here. There are millions of people like me out there, without a voice, without hope. The many and varied ways that they've reached the ends of their individual tethers aren't what I intend to address here. Instead, I wish to focus on our greatest failings as a Nation. We, the American people stand and state proudly our superiority as a first world country. The sad truth is that most Americans have no idea what is going on under their very noses and the few that do know, couldn't be bothered to effect any kind of lasting change. There simply is no profit margin in helping the disenfranchised. Until people begin to stand up and demand that their rights have equal value, there is little hope for the most hopeless amongst us.

I choose NOT to dedicate this work to an individual, but to the throngs of people throughout our great land who have had no opportunity to have their voices heard.

Chapter One - Who Is Affected?

There are all kinds of wonderful euphemisms and political correct names for craziness these days. People are 'bi-polar' or 'schizophrenic' or just plain mentally ill. The vast array of illness and symptoms range from agoraphobia to social anxiety disorder or attention deficit syndrome or disorder or whatever the latest trend is. The fact remains that literally millions of people in this country have valid mental health issues that require help, from therapy and/or medication. Even more suffer from actual physical ailments. The sad truth is even more suffer from nothing more than the medical profession's pandering to the pharmaceutical industry.

What then, of the valid illnesses? How are they treated? What rights do the mentally ill or physically ill actually have when it comes to their own treatment and in the worst case scenarios, what protection does society have from those who are dangerously ill? The facts may astound you. There are several different classes of mental illness and physical illness and the not-so-hidden truth, is that they are divided primarily monetarily.

The first class of mental illness or even physical illness is formed by the elite. These are the rare top percent of those who do not require any insurance for treatment. They often do not require any actual meeting with a mental health professional at all. They simply phone a doctor 'friend' who prescribes whatever medication the self-diagnosing patient feels they require. It is in this sad state of affairs that we find celebrity overdoses and deaths. Regardless of the utter inanity, I cannot foresee any way that this sad condition will have any substantive change. A great deal of money can purchase just about anything from those greedy enough to sell it. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with being able to afford the best health care money can buy. This particular lass of ill people only suffer in comparison the further down the financial pyramid you fall. It should also be pointed out, that if and when illness strikes, this first class of patient rarely has a genuine job to miss time off from and even if he or she did, there would be no consequences for taking months or even years off to deal with a catastrophic illness.

The second class are those who are relatively well-off financially. These are the CEO's and their families. Contrary to a lot of bad press directed at the upper echelon of companies these days, many are very hard-working concerned people who are working under some pretty tight constraints to keep their budgets under a certain bearable level for their boards. These people who pick and choose the health coverage the others in their companies are forced to live with their decisions. Sometimes they choose wisely, sometimes the bargains that they are dealt are quite Faustian.. They themselves, are covered by insurance to a great extent, but certainly have no trouble meeting out deductibles or paying out of pocket expenses for those items not covered under company plans. They often see the most well-educated and 'elite' physicians in the country. Their conditions are taken quite seriously and exhaustive testing is done to ensure that any other underlying ailments are quickly discovered and treated accordingly. This class of worker often has an almost obscene number of sick days or even indefinite leave to deal with an illness that is not speedily recovered from.

The third class are those who work for those industrious companies and their CEO's. These people may be given token choices between Plan A or Plan B, told they can choose their deductibles to reduce the amounts of their premiums, which can be quite high proportionate to their annual salaries. Often they are informed that they may NOT opt out of company insurance at all, unless they can show coverage under a spouse or parent's policy. Here the terminology of insurance becomes somewhat murky. All of a sudden you have to adjust to seeing an 'approved' physician under the plan. Then there are co-pays, which can sometimes be of great benefit, but at other times, only kick in after a large deductible is met. In effect, you get the lowest bidding physicians providing bulk care to employees for whom the company bottom-line is often 'get them back to work asap' or get them out of our workforce so we can replace them with someone healthy who won't run up a bunch of medical costs. What this equates to, is sub-standard care with the goal NOT the health of the employee, but the productivity of the employee in the workplace. It should be noted that often at a later date, when billing time comes around, the employee is shocked and horrified to discover that many of the items that they believed to be covered under their company's policy have been 'disallowed' and that no amount of arguing can relieve them of the burden of this debt, leaving the worker no option but to work longer and harder hours to try and meet the unexpected expenses. It should also be noted that these workers often have a very minimal number of sick days and can often be 'docked' or even fired for taking time off beyond what their company policies allow. In my personal opinion, this type of insurance and company cooperation smacks a little too closely to the 'company store' of old that held workers as virtual slaves to their places of employment, indebted to them to the point where they see no way out of the void their medical bills have left them swirling in.

The fourth class are those who have lost their insurance for any number of reasons (one of which, is that their health costs have simply been deemed to expensive and the company in question has searched for and found a semi-valid reason to terminate their employ). This disenfranchised person is then offered by law COBRA. Now COBRA is intended as a stop-gap measure ostensibly to prevent people from becoming completely uninsured, especially when they already suffer from a pre-existing health condition. The primary problem with COBRA is that it is so exhorbitantly cost-prohibitive, expecially to those who are now recently unemployed, that there is simply no way for a person to afford this coverage unless they've managed to set aside a substantial nest egg that they can chisel away at to keep their coverage. Once COBRA is either declined or lost due to expense, the pre-existing condition then becomes un-insurable and the former employee then must try to pay for all medical costs out of pocket. Something quite impossible for almost every single American in that situation. I personally find this quite galling. As Americans, we should not and must not allow people to suffer and die because they hae suddenly become un-insurable. This is a travesty, people!

The fifth class of patients fall under the auspices of Medicare. Now a great many people who are on Medicare are also on Social Security. From personal experience, I can tell you that SSI benefits barely cover the necessities of daily life. Add to this, the government then taxes what income you receive from SSI. Even more appalling, they take out a 'premium' from your benefits to cover your Medicare plan. Whichever plan you are on, A, B, or D, there is a cost to be paid. There are deductibles and co-pays. There are specific doctors that will refuse to see you. The doctors who will see you, can and often DO bill you substantially more than your Medicare coverage will allow for, leaving you with a great debt that with a limited income you are quite unable to pay. Worse yet, if you are lucky enough to qualify for Part D, which covers prescriptions, an outrageous number of mental health prescriptions are simply not covered at all, leaving the patient to carry the burden alone or simply go without the necessary medication. All of those so-called crazy homeless people living on the streets, off of their meds and making you scared enough to cross well away from them when you pass? I'll lay odds that a good percentage of them could and SHOULD be helped with proper medical care and prescriptions, but for whatever reason, they have fallen through the cracks. This should shame you. I know it shames me.

The sixth class of patients fall under Medicaid. While I never mentioned the unbelievable amount of hoops necessary to jump through for SSI and Medicare, you can triple it for Medicaid. You are completely subject to whatever your 'case-worker' decides is best for you. Any forward thinking person should be able to make the correlation between the terms 'case-worker' and 'case-load'. These people may start out with the best of intentions, but face it, they have unbelievable amounts of work stacking up everyday and their primary goal is not necessarily the welfare of the person needing their assistance, but clearing their desk for the day. A case-worker can force a loved one to leave their own home with little or no justification for the decision. A case-worker can reject a request for a part-time nurse to help administer meds or assist a disabled person into and out of the bath. A case-worker can INSIST on placing a patient in a care facility, either on a day-care basis or on a full-time live-in basis. This person has almost complete authority over what happens to someone in this sixth class and it's controlled almost entirely by the government. If you don't find this at all disturbing, I worry for you.

Chapter 2 - Practical Solutions

Let's begin with what won't work. President Obama has been heard to call for 'health care reform'. Here is why that will never work as the system stands now. There are four - count them - FOUR major pharmaceutical companies that are basically in charge of every single medication out there today. Pharmaceuticals are BIG business, people and don't let these companies try to fool you into thinking that the high cost of medicine is due to research and development. They spend more then ten times the amount in ADVERTISING than they do on R&D. Ten times. Thanks to the WTO and other organizations like it, these companies have held a stranglehold not only over the United States, but world-wide. Until legislation is brought to bear that forces these companies to act not just fiscally responsibly, but ethically as well, no real change will ever be seen in this arena.

Alongside these BIG pharmaceutical companies, you have the FDA. The FDA is ostensibly a government agency that oversees the safety of the food and drugs that are brought into the marketplace. In the past decade or longer, the FDA has begun to pay little more than lip-service to drug testing, food testing, or quite frankly any preventative measures that are put in place to protect people from being hurt by the things big business puts on our store-shelves. There are far too many examples to list here (and I certainly don't want to get sued), so let me just remind you of the enormous number of bad pharmaceutical recalls in recent history. When and why did our government decide that selling out to big business was the best thing for the American people? And why didn't we get a vote on it?

Then, there are the clinical tests. These so-called blind studies are bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry themselves. Just look at the fine print on the multiple page booklets that accompany any medications brought to market today and you should be shocked and horrified that people are being given these drugs at all. The tests themselves are often stacked with researchers from the big companies and the doctors that oversee them are bought and paid for, perhaps not with actual cash, but with trips and golf-outings, awards, and dinner banquets. There have been documented cases where physicians' names have been attributed to drug studies that they never even were aware existed.

Now, how do we fix something so very, very, broken? First we start with the pharmaceutical companies. We legislate the living heck out of them until they fall into line. No more excuses about lack of funding for R&D. No more exclusive patents. If another company can manufacture a medication for a more reasonable rate, let them.

Then, let's clean up the insurance industry. Put caps on premiums and deductibles. Stop allowing them to disallow pre-existing conditions. Let patients see the doctors that they choose to see without penalties.

Next, the doctors and hospitals. Let's make them accountable for their costs. Allow them a REASONABLE mark-up for inflation and even a bit of profit, but cut them off, if they try to charge more than what the fair market value is for their equipment and services. It's nice to see a doctor driving away in his brand new BMW, but it's even nicer when my mother can afford her chemotherapy treatments.

Clean up Medicare and Medicaid. Privatize it, if necessary. Just because someone is poor, does not mean that they deserve sub-standard care or no care at all and NO ONE should have the right to send someone to a home for the aged, if there is no medical basis for it. NO ONE.

As a side-bar, it's imperative that patients become smarter consumers. Know what your insurance coverage is and how it affects you. Take advantage of free or cheap preventative measures provided. Get a prostate exam or a mammogram. Know your rights as a patient to refuse or question care. Get second or even third opinions whenever possible. ASK QUESTIONS. Find out what medications your doctor is prescribing and how they might interact with other medications that you may already be taking. Find out what happens to your insurance if the worst should happen and you lose your job. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, get to know your case-worker. Don't become such a pest that he or she begins to feel irritated by you, but try to be sociable and ask questions of him or her that keep you HUMAN in his or her mind. Get to know your local pharmacist and try to use only one pharmacy. When you get your prescriptions refilled or filled for the first time, ask questions. Find out if he or she thinks that you may have a drug interaction. Doctors are NOT perfect and it cannot hurt to check before taking any medications. Ask if it would cost less or be less effective to use a generic version of the same medication. If a dosage seems wrong to you, ask about it. Doctor's aren't known for legible handwriting and typos can and do happen. Whatever you do, try to never give up hope. A positive attitude can often do more to aid the treatments you are given than anything else. Don't stop treatment to follow a homeopathic remedy, but don't be afraid to try something new in conjunction with a prescribed treatment, as long as there are no anticipated side-effects.

Remember, I'm nobody. I'm you. Not a doctor, not a pharmacist, or insurance adjuster. Just a human being who has to rely on the same flawed system that you do. The only way we can exact change is together. When the President held is 'Open Forum' simultaneously with online questions being fielded, I watched time and again as anyone who asked a single question that did not serve as a public relations tool was ignored. Not a single question of mine was even acknowledged or addresses other than by other online participants who seemed as frustrated as myself. There seems to be a very large segment of this government who seem more interested in de-railing sources of the truth in favor of political propaganda. This troubles me greatly. I am just a layman with an editorial opinion here. We are allowed to have vastly different opinions on a variety of different topics. That's what makes democracy work. When that debate is refused a forum, we're all in such poor shape, that it will take a miracle for things to improve. A single voice can capture the attention of a few, an entire choir commands the attention of all within listening range. Let's be a choir for change, together.
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I've never considered myself to be particularly naive. Perhaps, that was naive of me. Before delving into the topic below, please be aware that I support all freedom of religion that does not infringe on the rights of others or sublimate the basic human rights of individuals. People can worship giant Chicken-People from the land of Chickendonia for all I care. I also accept that hate speech, such as that espoused by discriminatory and prejudicial groups as a necessary evil, if I am to be assured that my own freedom of speech is not to be curtailed as well. I don't have to like it, listen to it, or support it, but I will stand up for the people's right to say what they will. To paraphrase a great man, who I will stupidly recall the name of later on, free speech is the last bastion of a great democracy.

All this being said, I've never spent much time pondering L. Ron Hubbard or his Church of Scientology other than a few rather ignominious incidents regarding celebrities duking it out (ala Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields). If people want to believe we're all decended from aliens or what have you, no amount of logical, scientific reasoning is going to dispel them from those beliefs. I alternatively believe in the elegant design that only a great Creator could have had a hand in, to agnostism, Paganism, and the ocassional spirl into atheism. The more information I take in, the more evervescent religious concepts become to me. I call myself frequently spiritual and rarely religious. My own personal beliefs tend to lend themselves to the thought that organized religion of any faction or sect have been proven historically to be far more divisive to a population than helpful and have been the tool of politics, used to subjugate specific groups of people, more than to lend a hand to a neighbor in need. If I'm going to be critical, even editorially, about something, I feel it only fair that I share my own potential biases up front.

I am now speaking editorially. That is, it is not my intention to libel, defame, or otherwise legally entangle myself with a group of people with far greater resources and waaaay more followers than I'll ever attain. The following is to be considered my personal opinion and nothing more. I hold the personal belief that The Church of Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard were and are bigots, that their closely held beliefs regarding any number of issues are prejudical and discriminatory and that the 'solutions' that are suggested by their own literature are in theory an assault on human rights that is almost unparalleled in human history.

If, as some have suggested, this organization has managed to infiltrate our financial and political system as deeply as has been proposed, it is little wonder why America the Beautiful cannot seem to make even the slightest of strides forward regarding the topic of 'gay rights'.

I seldom like to refer to outside source material, especially that which has not been carefully vetted by myself and has been verified by at least several outside sources. I am about to provide a link for you to follow. What you read, should you go there, should shock and horrify you. It has me. The material in question has been verified to be from original source material and, while it may or may not be taken out of context, the words themselves are quite damning from a civil rights stand point.

From what I garner, in my opinion, the text clearly labels any homosexuals as perverted deviants who need to be quarantined from society and barring that, they must undergo some kind of 'purification ritual' performed by Scientology members to 'cure' them of their illness. I have a pretty strong constitution and an even bigger voice. This, in what my opinion is worse than tripe, makes me throw up in my mouth more than a little bit.

If you are gay or support gay rights, be warned that what you read here may be upsetting.

Go. Read. Think for yourselves. I'm going for some warm gingerale and some saltines. Blecch!
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There is a decent article on DADT at the site below. Please remember that a single voice doesn't acommplish as much as many voices shouting in unison.
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I've been asked to post some recs for sites, fics, and vids. It's a time consuming process, but I AM working on it. In the meantime, the vid question threw me for a bit of a loop. I don't pay much attention to vids most of the time. I do think that they're a very valid and powerful way for fans to creatively express themselves. Frankly, given the amount of time I spend reading and writing in comparison to less interactive activities, such as television viewing, it's hardly surprising that I don't devote a greater chunk of time to searching out vids. So, I've lost track of a few vids that I think were the absolute end-all-be-all of any fandom.

Now, it just so happens that there are three vids, all in the BtVS and AtS fandoms, that used to be on a site -

These vids were absolutely brilliant. The skill of the vidders was first class, the clips used were chosen with great care, and the transitions from scene to scene were practically flawless. I believe the vidders for these particular fan-vids were either or both Dr. Dawn and Sisabet.

So, I would be grateful if anyone can provide me with details on how to find the following vids:

Spike/Angel - Golden Years performed by David Bowie
Ensemble Cast - Clint Eastwood performed by Gorillaz
Lilah - Without Me performed by Emminem

I realize that many years have passed, since I last viewed these and noone may even remember them, much less have a clue how or where I might be able to find them, so any help or suggestions are welcome.

I'm back to sorting through very old and most often defunct bookmarks in an attempt to compile a rec list. Ta, ta!
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I just finished watching Centigrade, written, directed, and starred in by Colin Cunningham. WOW!

This is a must-see! I'm not usually a great fan of short films, but this one is truly remarkable.

The set design, the wardrobe, the writing, the direction, the acting - all fantastic! On top of which, Mr. Cunningham and his cohorts managed this all on a shoe-string budget. KUDOS!!!

For those of you who are able, download it from iTunes immediately! For those who can't, BUY IT, RENT IT, do anything short of selling your children to see it.

It harkens back to the good old days of non-graphic thrillers. The score adds just the right touch of creepiness to the feel. Plus - we get to see Colin's tongue in action. Okay, so it's not the way you may wish to see it, but still...

At any rate, if you know anyone in casting or investing in film-makers, bring Colin Cunningham to his/her attention. The man can go from playing a regimented Major in Stargate, to a morally ambiguous litigator in Cold Squad, to a dirty cop in Da Vinci's Inquest, to a drunken, potential child-abuser in Centigrade - AND he's BELIEVABLE in each and every role. Versatility in spades. He has a terrific sense of dark humour, plus he's pretty to look at, too - even at his 'sleeziest'. All this, plus he can write and direct...what more could anyone in the performance industry ask for?

I expect great things from his new series 'Shattered', starring Callum Keith Rennie. The two of them together should be dynamite!

So, spread the word, tell your friends - watch and/or purchase 'Centigrade' ASAP. Be sure to spread the word about 'Shattered' as well. Make certain the ratings for his new show let The Powers That Be in the entertainment industry know that he is appreciated.
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Uh-oh. I've been accused of being a bleeding heart liberal. Uh-uh. Not liberal, not conservative. I prefer to think of myself as belonging to the common sense party - not officially recognized as such, of course.

I'm against the government interfering in most instances. That could be considered liberal, I suppose. I'm against big money controlling our political decision makers - that's liberal, too, I suppose.

Personal beliefs - legalize marijuana and prostitution - tax it and regulate it. It will de-criminalize those illicit industries and the tax money can be used to make sure that prostitution doesn't spread disease and that drug users can get help getting off the stuff, if the need or or want to do so. No more drive-by shootings, prostitutes getting raped, murdered, etc. Win-win. So, yeah, kinda liberal there, too.

Insisting that the arts, music, and gym are an important part of our education process and should be supported fully - hell, yes! That's liberal.

Socialized medicine - Nope. Not the way to go. I propose a sliding scale based on income and subsidized by both private and public insurance. NOT LIBERAL.

I believe that illegal immigrants should have to have insurance (and not State Sponsored insurance at that). If an illegal immigrant is brought into an emergency room dying, would you just let him/her die or would the rest of us tax-payers have to foot the entire bill? NOT LIBERAL.

I'm against gun control. If guns were never here in the first place, sure, it's POSSIBLE, if not probable, that it could work. Making firearms illegal at this point, means that the only people with guns are the criminals and the government. The 2nd amendment was put in there specifically to protect citizens from their own government doing things martially that were against the common good. I'm not advocating shooting at our own military - that's just nuts. But, look at the countries who have fallen into socialist or communist regimes and you'll find that they had no real weaponry with which to defend themselves. Gun SAFETY, YES. If you are one of the people that has guns in your home - it is your ABSOLUTE responsibility to ensure that any children know gun safety and to limit their access to weapons. Teaching your children about the sanctity of human life and the importance of freedom for all, is as much - if not more important than worrying about a gun. Plenty of kids go arond stabbing each other, running each other over with cars, or trying to build bombs to blow each other up. There's a core problem here and it's NOT gun control. It's respect and care for your fellow human being. Teach that to your children and treat everyone you meet with that mindset and guns will no longer be an issue. NOT LIBERAL.

Rating systems and the so-called 'V' Chip. It should be up to the individual parent to monitor the media that their children are watching. Television is pervasive in our society. Hell, I think I was 8 years old when I saw 'Porky's' for the first time on cable. I don't believe it warped me in any way. I could be wrong about that, but seriously...the honus here is on parental control, not governmental control. The internet is another animial altogether - if you cannot be in the same room with your child while he/she is surfing the net and monitoring the content that they have access to - they shouldn't be allowed on the internet unless or until you are able to monitor them. I realize that it's difficult to control what your children have access to when at a friend's house, etc. Get INVOLVED. If the parent(s) of a friend are absent or don't follow your same rules, you're going to have to put your foot down and disallow activities with those friends unless your rules are followed. Conversely, if a friend of your child's has stricter rules than your own, it is up to you to step up to the plate and follow the rules that the other parent(s) have laid down. Ultimately - it is not the government's place to patrol your children or censor material in your home - it is yours. LIBERAL.

Abortion - Whoo-boy. This is not going to win me many friends. As a rape survivor, I am NOT pro-life. I believe firmly in a woman's right to choose. That said, I am appalled and think that legislation should be enacted for those who use abortion as their primary form of birth control. Once is an accident. Twice, a misfortune. Anything more than that - and lady, you have no respect for either your body or the potential life of a child. Get some damn condoms or birth control pills or just keep your knees together once and a while. Harsh, I know. So, LIBERAL in that I'm pro-choice. CONSERVATIVE, in that I don't believe abortion should be a way of life.

Welfare/Social Security/Mental Health: Another one that's going to get me hate mail. I can hear the screaming now. These programs are necessary. They provide a life-saving service to people who are in need. Are they abused? Absolutely. People who have children for the sole purpose of increasing their welfare benefits should have some form of punitative reprecussions. As to many others - far too many people are denied claims as their illnesses are not recognized as debillitating or even as illnesses at all. Mental health issues, in particular, are not given enough consideration in our social services system. The benefits themselves are often so small as to make simple survival a day to day challenge for those receiving 'so-called' assistance. Homelessness could be almost completely irradicated by proper diagnoses, adequate government aid, and charitable donations. I am NOT an advocate of INSTITUTIONS. The abuses and disgusting conditions of most of those facilities have proven that form of solution, is no solution at all. I am advocating decent low-income housing in areas that are not crime-laden. I am advocating medical overview and proper pharmaceutical oversight when it is necessary, I am advocating THERAPY over drugs whenever possible, I am advocating vocational rehabilitation and a living wage for those who have trouble caring for themselves. I am advocating ADVOCATES to oversee individual cases, review, and adjust care as needed. Yes, I'm advocating spending tax money. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can stop screaming at me now.) If we can spend over 20 billion dollars to bail out banks that in turn give six figure bonuses to the very people who put those financial institutions in dire straits to begin with - we can treat our fellow human beings who need help with some form of dignity and humanity. Just saying. So....LIBERAL, in as far as spending of money on human beings, yet CONSERVATIVE, in as far as advocating government oversight.

I have more, far more popular and more than likely unpopular opinions, should you choose to read about them. Ask me a question - I promise that I won't hedge, like our politicians and media so frequently do. I'll give you my honest answer. There's just one life to live and I ain't in it for any popularity contests. (As an agoraphobic, that would be kind of pointless, at any rate.)

tonyajot: (Default)
Please go to this link:

Help save our natural resources wherever we can. Remember that you can make a difference, just by speaking out.

Other news, I'm still awaiting beta on some of the fanfic snippets for my obscenely complex and extravagantly long fanfic. Patience is not my forte.

My views on Obama's healthcare reform as broadcast on Facebook last night aren't exactly a secret. Until the corruption of big pharmaceuticals, the FDA, big insurance, and illicit bonuses and gifts to healthcare providers are brought under control, no system of reform will work. JMHO.

Take care.

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Not going into details, just saying that the man is one of the nicest human beings around.

I'm doing my part in paying it forward and would ask that you do the same. The next time you are at the store (green grocers or whatever), please drop a few bucks into whatever charity donation jar is there. Feed the children, save the puppies, buy new soccer uniforms for the local kiddies...and remember that I'll be doing the same.

In harsh economic times, charities are some of the hardest hit financially, so please give what you can. Donate clothing or unused items to your local Goodwill or charity shop (it's tax deductible and they often print more than you would have believed your stuff is worth on the receipt they give you for tax purposes). Donate your time when it's possible.

Tutor or mentor a child. Offer to help an elderly neighbor keep his/her lawn work up or clean their gutters - and DON'T sue, if you should injure yourself while doing so. (We're far too litigious as it is.)

Loan someone a nice outfit for a job interview or offer to sit for their kids while they are out trying to find work.

The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. I would take that a step further and say that it takes a community to make a community. It's a lot harder to steal, injure, or even kill someone, if you know their kids' favorite cartoon characters or their favorite flavor of ice-cream.

So, if someone does something nice for you, please remember to do something nice for someone else. Not in exchange, but in the effort to create a better world for all of us. Many of you may be religious, but how many of you would actually let a destitute stranger stay the night in their home? Or even use your bathroom facilities or telephone for that matter? I'm not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and do something that could put you in harm's way. I'm just suggesting that we all need to practice what we preach a bit more. Give a little bit of yourself and one day, you might find that destitute stranger isn't quite so destitute and not so much a stranger.

We CAN all make a difference, no matter how small our contributions may seem. If everyone performs just one small act of kindness, we can help to prevent crime, war, prejudice, and hatred. One small act can help spin a depressed person into a smile of joy.

I'm feeling joyous now - and though my finances are best described as pitiful, I'm feeling generous thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

In light of that generosity, if you spread the kindness forward and let me know about it, I will endeavor to give what help that I can to you. Tell me what you've done, where, for whom, and how it made you feel and I'll give something of myself in return. It most likely will NOT be a financial gift. Poor here, remember? But, I can write and speak several languages. I can provide tutoring or help you write a resume to find work. I can write a short story or script for you or help you find an answer to a question (if I don't know it, I can help you find it on the internet), and I'm told that I give pretty good advice, too.

So, in short, pay it forward, and I'll try my best to pay it forward again back to you.

Smile, give a little, tell me what you've done, and I'll try to give a bit to you as well.

Go forth and help someone! It really does feel good.

As to Mr. Cunningham, he is a brilliant actor, writer, director, etc. His new series with Callum Keith Rennie, 'Shattered' was just picked up for a full season. So share your warm congratulations to him. (I think CKR is one of the most underestimated actors of our generation, by the way.) When 'Shattered' finally airs, watch it, if it's offered in your location. Look for the widespread release of 'Centigrade' and purchase it when it becomes available - it's won more awards than I could even begin to list here. Catch Colin Cunningham on YouTube in 'The Crusader', he can even make nerdy-crazy look good!

While on the subject of independent films, if you haven't seen 'A Dog's Breakfast' yet, you are missing a dark comedy that has terrific performances by David Hewlett, Katie Hewlett, Paul McGillian, Christopher Judge, and Rachel Luttrell. Oops, can't forget 'Mars', the dog. He steals the show, lol.

I watched the pilot for Warehouse 13 and it looks like it has some promise. Joe Flanigan will be making an appearance in what I believe to be episode 6, but you might want to double check the episode listings to be certain.

I'm still pretty ambivalent about SGU. I may watch the first few episodes just to see some of my favorite characters, but the unofficial title of Stargate 90210 thus far seems pretty apt. After the disastrous and even cruel (to the actors) cast changes made to SGA, I'm not sure I have the heart for it. I actually was a fan of Jewell Staite (as a browncoat to the death), yet after her characterization or the writer's interpretation of her character, she's lost her gloss to me. Her performance always seemed stiff and a bit 'off'. As to whether it was the material that she was given to work with or the writers' attempts to force us to like her, my personal opinion is that she never really fit into the character, thusly the character never really fit into the show. She seemed more of a 'Mary Sue' than many that I've read in fanfiction and that is saying something. Gero's obvious infatuation with her did not hold her in good steed in this particular instance.

I want to see Michael Shanks get a leading role in a series or movie soon. I want to see Teryl Rothery on the small or large screen, since it's unlikely that I'll be able to see her, undoubtedly brilliant, stage work. I want to see Joe Flanigan on a regular basis, as well as Torri Higginson, Paul McGillian, and all of the rest of our favorites.

I've tried to like Sanctuary. Despite knowing that AT comes by her accent honestly, it still seems forced to me and that throws me out of my suspension of disbelief. I just can't enjoy it - and I have tried.

Watching MS as Victor Stecker-Epps in Burn Notice was a treat. Though his arc was short, it was poignant, well written, and well acted. If you haven't seen Burn Notice - go to and watch it. It's worth the time. A bit on the cheesy side sometimes, but what can you expect with Bruce Campbell in the cast? He's terrific in it, too, by the way as the irreverent 'Sam'.

As a fan, a sci-fi fan in particular, it takes a lot to get me invested in a program. Once there, though, I'm completely devoted.

Without spoiling Children of Earth for Torchwood fans, I was bitterly disappointed with the mini-season that they have given us. The only saving grace, IMHO, is the fact that as a sci-fi show, they have pretty much a blank cheque when it comes to retconning any actions taken or not taken. So, while I'm very unhappy, I still have some hope. Plus, John Barrowman - what's not to love? Let's just cross our fingers and hope that RTD has a plan to fix this disaster and give us another season - one worth watching. I certainly would not mind seeing Capt John Hart make another guest appearance. (James Marsters for you Spike fans from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) I still hold the delusion that someone will pick Mr. Marsters up as a main character in a program. I had hopes for The Dresden Files, since he did such a wonderful job with the audio books, but they screwed the pooch with that one. Then, a small arc on Without a Trace led nowhere - though, since the show is now cancelled, perhaps that was for the best. His portrayal in Torchwood, however, was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Here's hoping that we'll get to at least see a bit more of him in future.

Well, enough rambling for now.

To sum up - Colin Cunningham is a truly great person all-around, as a human being, an actor, writer, director, et al.

Give something of yourself, no matter how small.

Root for our favorite actors for the success that they deserve.

Try to watch programs or movies that they are in, even if they aren't really your cup of tea.

Say a few prayers or send a few letters to the Powers that Be to give your favorite performers a bit of a boost, popularity-wise. It can't hurt to have their names thrust to the fore-front when casting time comes around.

Before I forget, contact your Representatives and Senators and tell them to get rid of that out-dated prejudicial DADT law.

I think that covers it all for now.


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I received this e-mail from the SLDN and felt it important to forward. I've called my people (or rather spoke with their assistants) and made my views very clear regarding this issue. Now I'm passing the torch to you. All that is being asked of you, is to make a few simple phone calls. A few minutes of your time. Surely that isn't and unreasonable request to aid in making sure that every single citizen of our nation has equal rights? Regardless of what the framers of the Constitution had in mind, aren't we all truly created equal? And how boring would the world be, if we were all exactly the same? So, please - read below and ACT. Your voice could make the world of difference to a servicemember who is risking his/her life for you.

As you may have heard, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283) has a new leader in the House of Representatives. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), the first Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress, is now quarterbacking the legislation.

With Rep. Murphy as the chief advocate for repeal in the House, we are well on our way to getting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" off the books. In fact, since he took the lead last week, 12 new co-sponsors have signed onto the Military Readiness Enhancement Act!

The time is ripe to win over new supporters.

That's why I'm pleased to announce the launch of the 60/60 Initiative -- 60 additional co-sponsors in the next 60 days. Rep. Murphy is working hard to bring more and more of his colleagues on board, but he can't do it by himself. He needs us to contact our Representatives as well, and we need to match his passion.

Will you help Rep. Murphy gain 60 new co-sponsors in the next 60 days?

The next eight weeks are critical for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" legislation in the House. If we can gain 60 more co-sponsors in the next 60 days, we'll have a real shot at getting a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" vote this year in the House. It won't happen, though, unless each and every one of us does our part.

Sign up to join the 60/60 Initiative now:

Momentum is on our side, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Let's keep it going.

Thank you,

Aubrey Sarvis
Executive Director
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Okay, now you've read the e-mail, just like I did. Now, please - do something about it! We have a real shot here, regardless of the faithless promises that Obama gave during his election campaign - YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Stepping down again from the soap-box.

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Whoopee!!! Mark (the village mayor) came by today and replaced the watermain out in front of my place. With luck, I can shower, instead of just take a bath, for the first time tonight. Plus, the dishwasher might clean more than just the lower rack of dishes. I'm bowing to the holy water pressure gods, as we speak!

Tonya< Still hurting, but wanting a shower in the worst way. :D


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