April 13, 2005
My Favorite First Lady!
In response to my previous entry, “ What Political Stereotype Are You?” my pal Wes, who is in law school at St. Thomas, commented that his results also came back as Franklin Roosevelt. Wes informed me that instead of paying attention during law school he chooses to read my blog! Wes, if you plan on becoming my malpractice attorney you better start paying attention in class! He also pointed out that our “wife”, Anna Eleanor, derived from the results, was very ugly. I agree; however, she was a very influential figure that promoted freedom & equality, more than any other First lady. My Favorite First Lady!
Eleanor paved the way for future activists who promoted equality, specifically Women’s Rights. In the mid 1940’s, she served as the chairwoman of the UN’s Human Rights Commission. She also helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I strongly believe Franklin & Eleanor (who were distant cousins) were one of the finest-coordinated teams to ever hold office as President & First Lady.
April 12, 2005
Which Political Stereotype Are You?
I was looking through blog content and found this great quiz! Take it yourself and leave me a comment!
Surprise! Surprise! I'm a Democrat! Furthermore, I'm Roosevelt!
Democrat - You believe that there should be a free
market which is reigned in by a modest state
beaurocracy. You think that capitalism has
some good things, but that those it helps
should be obliged to help out their fellow man
a little. Your historical role model is
Which political sterotype are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
No Standing Ovation, Please!
As I was reading through the news, I came across a very interesting, humorous story! This is probably one of the most intriguing stories I’ve ever read in the news! This news headline makes me wonder why they are holding “Ms. Wheelchair” pageants, further defining someone’s disability. I speculate “Ms. Wheelchair” pageants will cause a plethora of new competitions such as “ Ms. Cripple”, “Ms. Quadriplegic”, “Ms. Electric Wheelchair”. Taking someone’s crown away that actually has a condition that restricts the individual to a wheelchair is like taking a medal away from a Special Olympics participant for scoring 2 points over the minimal IQ Test requirement! Enjoy!
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A new Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been crowned after pageant leaders stripped the original winner of the title when she appeared in a newspaper photograph standing up.
The announcement of the new winner Tuesday came amid a storm of protest over pageant officials' decision last week to take the crown away from Janeal Lee, a high school teacher and muscular dystrophy sufferer who uses a scooter as her main way to move around but said she can walk up to 15 meters on a good day and stand while teaching.
During the furore, the runner-up refused to accept the crown out of protest. Lee's sister, who also has muscular dystrophy and was named Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota, dropped out of the competition in that state. And the co-ordinator for the organization's Minnesota program stepped down from her job to "stand up for Janeal Lee."
"I no longer feel comfortable supporting an organization that instead of working towards creating a positive change, chooses to perpetuate stereotypes and requests its participants to hide their abilities while in public," said the sister, 26-year-old Sharon Spring of Rochester, Minn.
Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin officials stripped Lee of the crown after the 30-year-old was shown standing in her classroom in a photograph carried in a supplement to the Post-Crescent newspaper of Appleton, Wis.
The organization said candidates for the crown have to "mostly be seen in the public using their wheelchairs or scooters."
The eventual winner was second runner-up Kim Jerman of Waukesha. She did not immediately return a call Tuesday.
Pat O'Bryant, the national program's executive director, confirmed Jerman had accepted the Wisconsin crown but refused additional comment.
"We are not getting into a he-said, she-said, situation. I think we've said enough," she said.
"I'm very sorry all of this is happening."
The crown went to Jerman after first runner-up Michelle Kearney of West Allis refused to accept it.
"Who is to say who is more disabled and less disabled than another person?" Kearney told the Post-Crescent.
"Had I accepted, it's as if I had been saying I'm OK with the decision. I thought they educated and advocated about disabilities."
The co-ordinator for the group's Minnesota program, Jen Onsum, also quit her job in protest.
"I feel I must now stand up for Janeal Lee and against an organization that has discriminated against the very people they strive to advocate for," Onsum said, in a statement included in a link on the national program's website.
The winners of state Ms. Wheelchair contests go on to the national competition July 19-24 in Albany, N.Y. The program is designed to spotlight the accomplishments of women who use wheelchairs.
Ms. Wheelchair America: mswheelchairamerica.org
April 8, 2005
JustFair Lobby Day, Optimism Prevails Above Atrocious Tactics
On Thursday I attended the Minnesota Outfront’s JustFair Lobby Day at the MN State Capital with Nick, Lesley, and Laura. This annual event is for GLBT supporters and allies to make a presence on Capital Hill to pronounce their opinion predominately in regards to equality. The daily agenda consisted of speakers, ranging from national gay activists to local homosexual clergy, same-sex families showing their pride, lawmakers talking with their respective GLBT constituents, and of course counter-activism groups protesting GLBT rights. Morale was extremely high amongst supporters, despite various atrocious tactics introduced by GLBT antagonists.
It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded with like-minded individuals, people who share a common social belief, equality. We surround ourselves with vile people everyday, not always by choice. People who choose to ignore diversity and maintain their uneducated beliefs of life. These are the people that open their mouth before they think about opening their mind. It was very empowering and emotional to analyze various groups of people that attended the event. GLBT families, couples that brought their kids out to the event, family members of non-heterosexual individuals, lawmakers, activists, religious groups, and students. The event was very delightful; however, it was very disheartening to see supporters hindering their heartbreaking emotions, struggling just to maintain the few rights they currently have to protest a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, along with other benefits pertaining to non-heterosexuals. Depressing emotions fill my mind watching a minority struggle just to maintain their current discriminatory status within our society, begging not to widen the gap of inequality.
Pathetic, immoral tactics were attempted by Sen. Michele Bachmann, the Stillwater Republican who’s led the push for the ban on same-sex marriage and prohibiting GLBT equality. While activists convened outside on Capital Hill, Bachmann tried forcing a floor vote on the constitutional amendment. The Senate respectively rejected the floor vote. Her shameful behavior is obviously for the interest of her political gain than it is for the benefits of Minnesotans. Michelle, I really hope you understand historically you’ll be located adjacent to every lawmaker that promoted inequality. You’re an enormous threat to the foundation of our nation, freedom. Her uneducated views of sexuality are completely illogical with no supporting evidence to back up her claims.
In conclusion, activism is a very important part of gaining equality for all, not only for non-heterosexuals. The only way to change the views of society is to educate. The only threat to Minnesota is closed-minded, uneducated people who promote inequality, not same-sex marriage. I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from an individual who died for what he believed in, Martin Luther King Jr. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
April 6, 2005
Potential Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment
The news was extremely discouraging to me when the MN House of Reps passed HF6 last Thursday night; however, I’m very optimistic about a similar bill fading quickly after the Senate’s review. This same bill, last year, displayed a stronger favor in the House than this year; however, the DFL-controlled Senate refused to vote on the bill. Optimistically, I truly believe the same result will transpire this year.
The DFL-controlled Senate, Majority Leader Dean Johnson already threatened to introduce several opposition bills such as universal health insurance, environmental protections, and a ban on state-run casinos. I think the majority of Republicans have too much to lose; therefore, they won’t vote on HF6, even though the bill is currently half way to the ballots.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Severson, stated the main point of the bill is to further protect marriage by completely prohibiting any activist judge from issuing same sex marriage rights. This is completely illogical, in my mind, since Minnesota already has a “Defense of Marriage Act.” The only reason I see behind this bill is to discriminate against and further separate non-heterosexuals from equality.
I strongly believe the tactics of the House failed; however, it’s very disheartening that our lawmakers are diverting their attention from critical aspects of society pertaining to healthcare, economic issues, and education to create discriminatory laws. Conservatives need to reanalyze their reasons for representing their constituents; is it to create protection for heterosexual marriage (the only threat to heterosexual marriage is heterosexual divorce), or is it to help society in terms of healthcare, economic growth, or education?