Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
33% of the male homeless population are veterans
47% served during the Vietnam era
17% served post-Vietnam
15% served pre-Vietnam
67% served three or more years
33% were stationed in a war zone
25% have used VA homeless services
85% completed high school/GED, compared to 56% of non-veterans
89% received an honorable discharge
79% reside in central cities
16% reside in suburban areas
5% reside in rural areas
76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems
46% are white males, compared to 34% of non-veterans
46% are age 45 or older, compared to 20% non-veterans
Service needs cited include:
37% in need of help finding housing
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
- According to a study of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, between 2.3 and 3.5 million people experience homelessness.
- According to a 2008 US Department of Housing and Urban Development report, about 671,888 were homeless one night in January 2007.
- The areas that had the highest rates of homelessness in 2007 were: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington state, and Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
here, but in a nutshell, the law makes it okie-dokie for the police (who are supposed to the good guys) to stop anyone whom they feel may be an illegal immigrant and demand proof of their citizenship. You know, kind of like how the Nazis used to pull over people and check their papers to make sure they weren't Jews back in days of the Holocaust. Now, the nice lawmakers in Arizona aren't saying they want to send illegal immigrants to gas chambers or concentration camps (yet), but it's wise to remember that evil acts usually start off with “good intentions.”
Getting back to the boycott, as nice of an idea as it may seem, people need to get some facts straight before encouraging others to boycott things that are not produced, manufactured, or based in Arizona. For example, did you know that the Arizona Iced Tea company is not based in Arizona? It's not even brewed there. Arizona Iced Tea is product of New York. So, if you have an issue with David Patterson, boycott til your mouth turns dry. But if you're angry with Jan Brewer, feel free to pour yourself a tall, cold glass of Arizona Iced Tea and boycott some of the products and industries that actually are based in the state that appears to be the most unfriendly to racial diversity. Also, don't burn the clothes you bought at JC Penney that bear the retailer's private label of Arizona Jean Company. JC Penney is based in Plano, Texas and those clothes are probably made in another country, but I could be wrong. Still, don't boycott JC Penney's clothes. That's just silly.
Now, let's focus on some companies that do call Arizona “home.” Want to register a domain name? Don't go to GoDaddy if you're planning on boycotting Arizona. The domain registrar is based is Scottsdale. Have you ever thought about freezing yourself through cryonics after you die in the hope of being thawed out and brought back to life in the future? If you are nodding your head, please click off of this website and Google the term “psychiatric help in my area” - however, there really is a company out there who wants to freeze you for a later date. The morbidly friendly folks at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation are located in Scottsdale and they are probably the most deserving of a boycott, but for reasons far beyond the new immigration law. Are you lonely, horny, and can't get a date? I'm sorry to break it to you that ClubJenna.com, the internet porn site that was founded by porn superstar Jenna Jameson but currently owed by Playboy, operates out of Glendale. For our friends who live an alternative lifestyle and enjoy good, clean voyeuristic cam fun, I have to break it to you that Fratpad.com (featuring “naked college guys chatting live with you!”) has it's office in Phoenix. On the bright side, boycotting Club Jenna and/or Frat Pad will not only help you to protest the immigration law, but – if you believe what your mother may have told you – it might also prevent you from going blind. Finally, fans of P.F. Chang's China Bistro might be devastated to learn that their favorite restaurant is not based in China, but it is, in fact, headquartered in Scottsdale.
If you can live your life happily without registering domain names, eating crappy Chines food, watching internet porn, and freezing dead people, you too can get in on the Great Arizona Boycott!However, I recommend leaving the boycotting to the heavy hitters like the city of Los Angeles – and that boycott will cost the state of Arizona an estimated $8 million in contracts that will no longer be awarded to business in AZ, but instead will be shopped to companies in the state of California.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Recently Laura Bush did an interview with Larry King while publicizing her new book, Spoken From the Heart. During the interview she stated that she is now supports gay marriage and is pro-choice on abortion, both of which policies her husband opposed during his presidency. I think that it is ironic that she is finally coming out with her different stances now she has a new book, and not while George W. was in office.
I am really questioning whether these are her real viewpoints and instead of statements made only for publicity's sake. With her stance on gay marriage, she said, “I think that we ought to definitely look at it and debate it. I think there are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman, but I also know that when couples are committed to each other and love each other that they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has.”
I feel that this topic has already been debated, has been debated since her husband has been in office, so I am not sure where she has been. My real question is: if she felt this way when W. was in in office, and if she is so passionate about it, why did she not take a stand during the 8 years she was in the White House? I might not particularly agree with Gay Marriage, but I sure do believe that people need to take a stand for what they believe in. She could have dramatically affected people’s lives if she had.
Now with her stance on abortion, I totally understand. I am not pro-choice, and I really haven’t come to terms yet with how I feel about abortions in medical situations when the lives of both mother and child are in danger. Bush said she did not want Roe v. Wade to be overturned -- "and I think it's important that it remain legal, because I think its important for people for medical reasons and other reasons."
Now, I do not know what her “other reasons” might entail. But I do know that there are two parts that came out of Roe v. Wade: That the right to abortion is determined by the stage of pregnancy, and states cannot prohibit it before viability, which is 28 weeks. The second part is where Bush is having her hang-up: the state cannot prohibit the abortion if it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother when used the appropriate medical judgment. Again, I am not sure why Bush couldn’t stand up for this cause when her husband was still in office.
I wonder if she knows how many people actually try to take a stand regarding this issue, and would loved for her to have taken a stand. Why should she feel like she has to sit quietly just so her husband’s policies wouldn’t have been challenged? Does she know that people mocked his decisions frequently?
Even if she did not do it publicly, I am sure she seen him daily, and could have pleaded her case behind closed doors. I just think that it is ironic that she has a point of view now that she has a book to sell.
Links of interest:
Thursday, May 13, 2010
There have been a lot of breaking news stories in the last few weeks, and a lot of it happened on or around the same time. There was an attempted terrorist attack in Times Square, the fallout of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the city of Nashville experienced a flood of Biblical proportions. I'm sure just about everyone has heard about the bomb scare in Times Square, and the news media has covered the oil spill so much that it seems as though they have spent at least one minute of air time devoted to every drop of oil that has spilled. But, what about the story of incredible tragedy and heartbreak in Nashville? It was covered on the news, but not as heavily as the other stories.
I'm not quite sure of the reason the Nashville flood didn't make headlines, but for those who may have heard about it but didn't get all of the details – here are a few bullet points:
* Nashville received 28% of its annual rainfall in two days between May 1st and 2nd.
* The Cumberland River 13 feet above flood stage.
* The estimated damage is at least $1.5 billion dollars (not including bridges and roads)
* 34 people lost their lives as a result of the flood
While local Tennessee television stations went live with wall-to-wall coverage of the disaster, the flood took a backseat on the major American television news programs, as the Times Square bomber and BP's Gulf Coast oil spill took center stage. Just when things started to quiet down about those others stories, coverage of the Nashville flood started to pick up – until the stock market tanked, and that became the story of the day.
Now, I understand that breaking news is urgent, and some stories will take priority over others. However, when human lives are in the balance – and our own neighbors and fellow citizens are suffering – that's when our country should come together to help. The easiest way to come together in this day and age in through information spread through television and the internet. In 2004, a telethon was organized for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami within days of the tragedy. A year later, another telethon was organized within days of Hurricane Katrina's destructive hit to the Gulf Coast. Earlier this year, the same thing happened after the earthquake in Haiti. Those telethons were aired simultaneously on every major television network and cable channel in America. I understand that the flooding in Nashville is not as catastrophic as the tsunami, the earthquake in Haiti, or Hurricane Katrina, but it is nonetheless a devastating American disaster. On May 16, there will be a telethon to aid the victims of the flooding in Nashville. It will air on The Great American Country Television cable channel, a channel I admit I've never heard of and doubt I have access to view. Additionally, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw are doing a concert for flood relief in June.
Will you help our neighbors in Tennessee? You can start by logging into The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's website, Second Harvest, or the American Red Cross and make a donation. Then, ask a friend to do the same.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
It’s ironic that the policy Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan publicly refuted at Harvard will be the same concept that will get her elected to the highest court in the next couple of months. The Kagan nomination from President Obama creates an interesting dilemma. Biden set the tone when he supported Obama’s choice Tuesday while regurgitating the same talking points about Kagan she has during her career. But regarding her sexuality, I think Kagan is simply not telling, because nobody is asking. I think she has been a very strategic lesbian academic with political ambition who didn’t make her sexual orientation known because of its potential to be used against her.
I’m pretty convinced she is a closeted lesbian, but I don’t doubt that she supports the military. It’s the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that had her so fired up at Harvard. I still think that a truly patriotic person wouldn’t sacrifice military recruits just to show her disapproval with “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But hopefully that will be brought up at the hearings.
This leads me to question whether her sexual orientation should continue to be the non-issue it has been. We’re sure she is going to be super supportive of any gay legislation that comes up, but will she ever announce a girlfriend in the years to come? If so, by that time she’ll be on the Supreme Court for life. But will it be worthy of criticism then because of her lack of disclosure during her hearings in 2010? My guess is she’ll skate around that issue by saying, “well, I was never asked so therefore I didn’t lie.” By that time everyone will be too busy touting the historical significance of the first gay judge to sit on the highest court.
Then, I believe we’ll see a true victory for the gay and lesbian movement as democratic politicians reap the benefits from the typically financially well-off homosexual base. I mean geez, in Philadelphia one representative was “outed straight” by the lesbian incumbent who accused the young single guy trying to represent a predominately gay section of the city, of only saying he was a bisexual to win over the gay vote. Should Kagan’s sexual orientation be questioned during her confirmation? Yes. But it would have to be done by a Senator ready to commit political suicide.