Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Month: May 2009

Has the nation grown a pair?

Well… it might just be a flash in the pan, but this last week has shown an example of what happens when the voters decide to tell the system that they have had enough.

Here in California the voters, in what appears to be a landslide of votes more than the turnout, have shot down Props 1a through 1e.  The average on this was about 66% against to 33% for.  This tells me that in spite of the Liberal and some Conservative, effort to tell the masses that the “Tea Parties” were a waste of time and effort, that may not have been the case.

The key idea behind the Party that I attended was to not let them, Dem or Rep, have what they were asking for.  To say no on all the props and to leave them out in the cold.  We did just that.  We told them that patching up a failing system with loans against money that was not earned yet is not a way to run a state government.  The problem needs to be FIXED not covered up with yet another coat of paint and given a new name.  Crap is still crap, no matter how pretty you dress it up.

Then, yesterday, there was Citizen Obama’s slap across the face in the Senate.  I mean, if the vote had been something like 50 to 46 or something, then I could give him the possibility that he just did not sell the idea of closing Guantanamo to some people.  But when they return a 90 to 6 against closing it.  That is just an outright burn.  Citizen Obama walked out of the Senate chamber with his ass burning after that one.  Maybe walking like he just had a little involuntary “Brokeback Mountain” moment in the Senate chambers.

There is, however, another thought that crosses my mind about that vote, though.  With all the questions about where those prisoners where going to go, is it possible that the “Vote” was a sham, and CBO NEVER planned on closing GITMO in the first place?  Is it possible that that he, CBO, planned this as a “Planned Failure” to cover up the fact that maybe he never planned to close GITMO in the first place, but needed an “OUT”?   Could it be that he knew there was no way that he could close the facility without causing a major uproar with a large group of people, yet by NOT trying, cause another group, HIS voters, to be angry, so he set this up to make it look like he would try but then the mean, bad old Senate would not let him?

If that is true… are we sure that CBO is not actually a Clinton is disguise?

Beyond child abuse…

Warning… this article is based on a issue that has me angry… I may use some strong language!

It is bad enough when a person abuses a child by beating them or mentally torturing them.  These are the common forms of abuse that we are used to, if you can ever truly get used to something like that.  But what has happened here, in my home town, goes beyond sick.

Angel Vidal Mendoza Sr. has been accused of, allegedly, biting his son’s eyes out, leaving him permanently blinded.  He then proceeded to start hacking at his own legs with an axe.  You can follow the story through either of the two links below.

Bakersfield Californian or the Silicon Valley MercuryNews

First off, to be as fair as I possibly can be in a case like this, Mendoza is awaiting trial, where I hope he gets exactly what is coming to him (Unfortunately, in California, that probably will not be much), so all these accusations presented by the legal system, and thusly my dialogue below, are dependent on that verdict.

Now… for my take on this.

What kind of sick bastard, drug induced or not, do you have to be to do something like this to a child?  This is a child that will, more than likely, never see again.  His only chance will be a transplant at some point in the future.  This is a child who will be scarred for life because of what his father, allegedly, did to him.  A person that is supposed to love and nurture the child.  Teach him to be a good person and to live a good life, but whom, allegedly, took away his child’s sight.

If there were EVER a case for someone to cease to exist, it would be this person.  This Mendoza character is a walking poster-boy for why there is such a thing at a death penalty.  The only problem is that the death penalty is too easy of a way out for him.

The REAL punishment should be for him to be cleaned up, become free of the influences of the drugs, and made to look at pictures of his son’s mutilated face for the rest of his life.  Made to see his son learn to live life as a blind citizen and grow up missing all the things that his father took away from him.  Then… after this child has grown to be a man, confront this father with one thing.

Confront his father with forgiveness for his stupidity.

My personal message to Mendoza?  Once you have been proven guilty of what you have done… and once you are cleaned up and off the drugs.  I hope you have nightmares every night of your natural life, of what you have done to this child.  I hope that not a moment passes that something does not remind you of what you have done and who you did it to.  I hope the image of your son’s empty eye sockets are burned into your mind forever.

I am not normally a hateful person, but you… you are, allegedly, the exception to my rule about not “hating” people.

You are, allegedly, a monster and if there is, indeed, a hell, I doubt even they will take you.

Good Day.

Jury Duty…

This last week I had the honor of serving on a Jury.

I say honor and I mean it with all my heart.

Yes… I will also admit that there are parts of jury service that are boring beyond tears. The initial waiting for your panel to be called, then the process of selection where the various lawyers get to find new and exciting reasons that you do not belong on the jury. The silly questions that they ask you during this process that, many times, have nothing to do with the trial at hand.

I will take a moment and explain something to those of you that may not be aware of how jury service, or at least jury service in Kern County (California, USA) works. You see, we have this way of doing it called One day or One Trial.  Where you get your summons, come in and wait.  If through the course of the day you are not selected or called to a panel, you are released from service… you have met your obligation.  More often than not, however, you will be called.  Once that has been done, you will get to go through a selection process and placed on a jury panel, or you will be excused from that panel and sent back to the waiting area where you are placed back in the queue for another chance.  Again, if you are not selected by the end of that day, you are done… having completed your service.

Now…  I have been called many things for saying this, but I really enjoy jury service.  Not only do I see it as one of your, our, obligations as US citizens, but it is fun to see the system work and to actually take part in it as a piece of the machinery.  For that period of time, you are part of the legal system, making the system work.  It is not so much a sense of power or control, but a feeling of purpose.

Short of being a member of the US military or working in the civil service, I do not think that people get to experience anything that makes them part of the “system” the way jury service does.  Yes… I know… I probably sound a little like some demented zealot touting how great the system is.  I will not lie and say that it is perfect, but we are humans, therefore perfection is not even in the equation.

Since 1987 I have been on, counting this latest one, five juries.  Somehow, someway, I have been placed in the system soas to be chosen quite often.  Of those juries, I have been impressed with the judges and many times discovered that the attorneys often live up to their reputation.  But then again, I would have to think that in order for them to do the work they do, they would have to learn to be a little slick or silver-tongued in order to accomplish the things they do.  That being said, I will not condemn them for what they do…  just envy them the money they make for doing it.

While I cannot talk about the trial itself, I will say that the judge was probably the most amusing of all that I have seen.  His name is John Brownlee and to meet him and listen to him, you would immediately think that this was a person meant for the entertainment industry.  If Judge Brownlee happens to stumble upon this article, I hope that he understands that this is meant complementary.  He has the personality of a intelligent, off-duty comedian and a voice that should have been reserved for radio announcing.  His interaction with the jury led me to feel that he saw them as more important than the lawyers or even the defendants.  Something that I was not used to in my trial experience.

The trial lasted for about four days and was interesting.  There were no outbursts from anyone, no lawyers or defendants yelling, “You can’t handle the truth!”, no one threw chairs, punches or spitting… and no aging ex-football stars trying on gloves.  It was, over all, a boring trial.  In fact, Judge Brownlee started this little thing where he would look at the jury pit and give a thumbs up to us all… if we did not respond, he would have the bailiff shoot us with his taser… just kidding… I think he was doing this to make sure we were not falling asleep.

Now it is just a matter of waiting for the next one.  At the present rate, I should see my next summons sometime in August of 2010 or 2011.  To bad the court system does not issue “Frequent Juror Reward Cards”, I might actually have won something by now, but with the state budget the way it is, I would hate to see what the prizes would be.

As always… thanks for reading.

Standing up…

What do you stand up for?  What ideals or principles do you feel so strongly about that you will stand up for them no matter what? Are you willing to sacrifice your career or reputation in the defense of your beliefs, as long as doing so does not cause or create physical harm to others or violate any just laws?

When Carrie Prejean was asked about her opinion on “Gay Marriage”, her response was a testament to her personal stand on that issue.  She could have told the judges a lie and told them what they wanted to hear in an effort to increase her chances to win the Miss America pageant, but she did not.  She had a code that she lives by and stood up for it.  Didn’t Citizen Barack recently espouse the SAME sentiment of what HE though marriage meant?

Regardless of how you feel about the topic, you have to respect the fact that she did not bend her standards in order to increase her chances of winning.  She chose not to take the easy way out.

Now… there is a lot about the pageant that I will not speak to for two reasons… first is that I have always thought that beauty pageants were silly.  Second is that, anymore, they are not about true “beauty”, but about how much beauty you can purchase.  Lastly… I do not care.  Seriously… the only reason this stood out to me is because of the news that it has garnered through all the groups that were offended by her comment.  There is actually a LOT of this that I had to research before writing this piece.

Before this news hit the stand, I had not a clue who Carrie Prejean was and now wish I had never heard the name Perez Hilton and in my reading (and yes… watching his video regarding the pageant), I am mystified why anyone would consider anything that he had to say as important.  People wonder why I choose to steer clear of the television as much as possible.  Either way, this has been a little bit of an education for me.

To be honest, and in my own opinion, I too support Carrie’s take on “Gay Marriage.”  I do not believe in it, but that is my opinion.  I will tell you that if you were to ask me and I am more than willing to debate the issue, standing up for why I believe it is wrong.  But the fact that I am standing up for my beliefs is my point here, I will not bend just because you might be offended.

It is like the old saying goes.  “You have to stand for something, or you will fall for anything.”  The same is true here.  If you start caving in on your beliefs just because they do not make you popular or help you win a show, then when and where does it stop?  You give in on one thing, then another, then another and before you know it, you are a politician.

There… I have said my piece and will leave it at that.  If you disagree with me, more power to you… speak up!  I am always interested in a little friendly debate and I will respect your ability to stand up for your beliefs…  even if I do not agree with them.

Warning…  If you choose to debate, I am game, but I will not tolerate attacks for the sake of attack.  Those will be deleted immediately.

Thank you for your time.

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