November 26, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving and a thought

I am one of those people that love turkey and stuffing with a nice gravy. This year the Turkey I got was too big for my fridge. I gave it away. So I ended up cooking a pot roast on a crock pot and roasted chicken on the side with Tortellini Alfredo(cheese).
I don't know what you call this, but I call it dinner.
I have an Italian pinot noir with goat cheese as an appetizer. On second thought I should have gone for a California pinot; but this one was a better value(cheaper).
But the food is there and the thought is there to all family and friends, acquaintances on Facebook, twitter,


They found an iceberg nobody knew it existed: A way to melt down DOMA

TIME is reporting a fascinating story today. Turns out, the Obama Administration just got a kick to the behind over the Defense of Marriage Act. How? Well, it took the form of a letter sent by a California Chief Judge in which he ordered an executive branch agency to stop interfering with a court employee's claim for health care coverage for her female spouse. But how does this relate to the Defense of Marriage Act?

Earlier this year, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals determined that the Federal Health Benefits Act, and its definition of the term "spouse", could be interpreted to include lesbian and gay marriage partners after a claimants application for spousal benefits was referred to the Court in January.

This case made very little noise at the time, and that would have been the end of the matter, except that the Office of Personnel Management – an Executive Branch of the Presidential Administration – chose to intervene, and barred the application. It cited the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying that the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages, therefore there can be no spousal benefits.

Judge Kozinski has now challenged that decision, writing them a stern rebuke:

"The Executive Branch, acting through the Office of Personnel Management... directed the insurance carrier not to process Ms. Golinski's form 2809, thwarting the relief I had ordered. I must now decide what further steps are necessary to protect Ms. Golinski and the integrity of the Judiciary's EDR [employee dispute resolution] plans."

Kozinski has given the Office of Personnel Management 30 days to desist its interference and to process the application, saying that it is fundamental that the Court, as a co-equal branch of government, be allowed to define how it deals with judicial employees.

The original decision to allow the claimant her rights to spousal benefits had no power to establish legal precedent, simply finding, instead, that DOMA does not have a blanket effect covering all gay marriage issues. However, speaking to TIME, University of California law professor Rory Little, a former Justice Department prosecutor and chief of appeals, called the order a "bombshell" and said, "This is like exposing the tip of a huge iceberg that nobody knew even existed."

Why? Well, it puts the Obama Administration in a difficult position.

Do they continue to defend their actions and refer to the Defense of Marriage Act, a policy that Obama has consistently said that he is against (even though the Obama Administration has defended the law on several occasions since his taking office), and run the risk of Judge Kuzinski taking further legal action? Or, do they concede that the Office of Personnel Management overstepped its bounds by interfering with the judicial branch, and flirt with conceding too that DOMA itself is overreaching and infringes not just on this one Court's ability to make rulings independently, but a state's right to autonomy, and, as part of that, its right to define marriage by its own constitution as expressly stated as part of the Defense of Marriage Act?

Think that's a bit of a stretch? The state of Massachusetts' Attorney General doesn't.

In June of this year, the Attorney General filed a suit against Section 3 of DOMA, saying (emphasis mine):

“Today, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes an important step toward ensuring equality and fairness for its citizens and maintaining our authority as a sovereign state. DOMA affects residents of Massachusetts in very real and very negative ways by depriving access to important economic safety nets and other protections that couples count on when they marry and that help them to take care of one another and their families. DOMA also directly and fundamentally interferes with Massachusetts’s right as a state sovereign to determine the marital status of its residents.”

November 24, 2009

Update on my experience in a Hate Crime- One down

Im back to blogging, Facebook andTwitter. Being involved in a Hate crime in which I was assaulted and then they try to destroy my car is been taxing on me.
So far I've had a good experience with the anti hate crime org. Will blog latter on this.
Good news: One assailant was arrested last Thursday. One to go.
I will blog more about this as events come to a conclusion.

Who says no one is come back from the dead?

Back From The Dead
56-Year-Old Man Brought Back To Life After 47 Minutes, 4,500 Chest Compressions And 8 Zaps With Defibrillator
Staff At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Pulls Off True Medical Miracle

Joe Tiralosi came back to life after being dead for 47 minutes thanks to a tireless effort from a team of physicians at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Related Slideshows

Celebrities In Playboy Celebs Who Lean To The Right Openly Gay Celebrities 2009 Celebrity Deaths World's Most Useless Facts Jennifer Aniston Best Picture Blunders Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2009 Forbes List Of Most Overpaid Hollywood Stars Celebrities With Swine Flu What happens if your heart stops beating? Is it possible to survive?

CBS 2 HD recently met a Brooklyn man who lived after his heart quit for 47 minutes, and it's all thanks to a team of doctors who refused to give up until they brought him back from the dead.

"These doctors did not stop," Joe Tiralosi said, fighting through tears to find the words to describe his experience. "Without them, and I'm serious when I tell you, I wouldn't be here."

Tiralosi is a medical miracle. He's been to the edge and back, to a place most people don't return from. Now he's at home in Brooklyn, but three months ago he literally died.

"I think miracle best describes it," Tiralosi said.

Tiralosi suffered sudden cardiac arrest. His heart stopped beating for 47 minutes.

"Not a moment goes by that I don't take for granted every second because I know it only takes the blink of an eye to lose your life," he said.

Last week, the 56-year-old father of two returned to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center to thank the medical team who saved his life and share his story with CBS 2 HD.

On Aug. 17, Tiralosi walked into the emergency room feeling sick and disoriented. He collapsed a minute later.

"The doctors themselves were responsible for giving my chance to live again," Tiralosi said.

Doctors Rahul Sharma and Flavio Gaudio led the team who worked on him.

"It's a miracle for which it is difficult to find words," Dr. Gaudio said.

"When Joe came in he was talking. It was his presence when he came in that made us all say we're not going to give up," Dr. Sharma added.

"I felt he had a good pulse with the compressions so part of me thought that we had bought some time," Gaudio said.

It took 4,500 chest compressions and eight shocks from a defibrillator to get Tiralosi stabilized at 11:55 a.m. While his doctors worked frantically to save him he barely remembers anything about that day.

What Are Your Thoughts On This Story? Submit Comments Here!

"I kind of remember going out. I knew I was going out and I heard someone call my name, and I just went out," Tiralosi said.

Tiralosi's doctors said only one out of four people survive sudden cardiac arrest. Most die within 10 minutes of heart failure. And of those who survive 30 percent suffer serious brain damage.

CBS 2 HD: "Was there a time after 47 minutes in the room when someone said 'Guys, enough's enough. Time to end it'?

Dr. Gaudio: "There were whispers of that but I imagined that he was a man with a family, with a family someplace and I didn't want to go out and tell that family that we had lost him. I had to keep going."

A specific procedure helped save Tiralosi's life. Special cooling pads, not available in all emergency rooms, lowered his body temperature to 91 degrees, essential in preventing long-term neurological damage and preserving brain function. Placed in a medically induced coma, incredibly, he began to wake up three days later -- without brain damage.

"For me, I was blessed that day. God was with me and brought me here," Tiralosi said.

Doctors restarted Tiralosi's heart but he said it was his family's support that sustained him. His wife, Janet, still can't talk about it. He said he remembers hearing his son Joey's voice when he was still in the coma.

"There was things he wanted to do with me yet, but we hadn't had the chance to do and that I should hang in there," Tiralosi said.

"I would squeeze my daughter's hand. She'd ask me to be … tell me how strong I was," Joe Tiralosi said.

"I never really looked at him as a miracle during those weeks because I always had hope," Christina Tiralosi added.

The doctors said Joe Tiralosi's case is one for the record books -- one they'll never forget.

"I've never seen this. This is extremely rare. We were all very emotionally involved as well," Dr. Sharma said.

We're happy to report Joe Tiralosi is making steady progress in his recovery.

"I'm not complaining because we know where I've been," he said.

CBS 2 HD: "You're doing pretty well all things considered?"

"I just look forward to getting the chance to live a long normal life, and let people know they shouldn't take for granted ever your life and your family because they can be taken away from you so quickly," Tiralosi said.

Tiralosi is going through cardiac rehab right now. The professional chauffeur is working hard to get his life back to normal. He is taking life one day at a time.

November 16, 2009

Decapitated because he was gay in Puerto Rico


Over the weekend the brutalized body of gay teen George Steven Lopez Mercado was found by the side of a road in Puerto Rico. The police investigator suggested that he deserved what he got because of the "type of lifestyle" he was leading.

According to an iReport by Chrisopher Pagan: "On November 14 the body of a gay 19 year old was found a few miles away from the town in which he was residing in called Caguas. He was a very well known person in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and very loved. He was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey, he was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso. This has caused a huge reaction from the gay community here, but its a difficult situation. Never in the history of Puerto Rico has a murder been classified as a hate crime. Even though we have to follow federal mandates and laws, many of the laws in which are passed in the USA such as Obama’s new bill, do not always directly get practiced in Puerto Rico. The police agent that is handling this case said on a public televised statement that 'people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen'. As If the boy murdered Jorge Steven Lopez was asking to get killed..."

Here's a report on the murder (in Spanish) from Said activist Pedro Julio Serrano: "It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt. We demand condemnation of this investigator and demand that Superintendente Figueroa Sancha replace him with someone capable of investigating this case without prejudice." (my translation, please suggest a better one if you can).


November 12, 2009

He got his, I got mine...they were not able to touch my face, but they tried to destroy my car. No arrests, no action even though is classified as a"

ANOTHER HATE CRIME. I you don't know this person in Ontario, but you know me...then you know somebody who was given the same verbal diatribe and then violence!


Another gay bashing in Ontario, Canada, this one in the city of London, happened less than a week after Jake Raynard was beaten by a gang in Thunder Bay.

Xtra reports:

"Brandon Wright, an event manager and modelling agent, says a man who called himself Alex approached him online via instant messenger. The man told Wright he was an aspiring model looking for work. Wright arranged to meet Alex near a variety store on Kipps Ln near Adelaide St in London. After meeting, Wright told the man that he wouldn’t be able to help him find a modelling job. 'He just didn’t have the looks for it,' says Wright. The man then told Wright that he wanted to show him something in his truck. When Wright climbed into the passenger side he says the man said, 'Because you’re gay you need to be punished. I’m going to fucking kill you and you’re a faggot.' The man then drove off with Wright still in the passenger seat. 'He started hitting me with a big, black, heavy object,' says Wright. 'He kept repeating, 'I’m going to fucking kill you faggot.'' Wright says the attack continued even while the man was driving. Wright jumped out of the moving truck to escape."

Wright says he was helped by bystanders. Police say they have a lead on the subject, who reportedly said he was from Thunder Bay.

Guess what...we are all human..straight couples vs gay couples

Study Shows Similarities Between Same- and Opposite-Sex Couples
November 5, 2009 5:07PM
Michael Cole
This post from HRC Family Project Director Ellen Kahn reflects on the new study showing similarities between same- and opposite-sex couples:
As a teenager, I never imagined my life would resemble that of my parents. No, as a “baby dyke,” marriage was out of the question, and kids… well I certainly did not think gay people ever had chidren. The idyllic life of a house with a picket fence was for other people, not me. And back then, I was perfectly content knowing that my life would indeed be “non-traditional” as long as it meant I could be myself.
My partner, however, recalls a different experience in her early adulthood. Her parents were very happily married (ultimately for 45 years) and she wanted a relationship like theirs, and she wanted to raise children. For her, coming out as a young adult was liberating, but she was deeply saddened to know that she may lose the chance to have what he parents had. For both of us, and for thousands of others who came out in “our generation,” 30 years ago, it was not easy to imagine that we would marry our true love, have children, and blend into a neighborhood of other “straight” couples doing the same thing. Marriage wasn’t for us — raising children wasn’t for us, it was for someone else. And whether we wanted to let go of our own dreams of that seemingly idylllic life or not, it was easier on the psyche to do so.
Fast forward to this moment. Earlier this week, a report released by the Williams Institute shows us a completely different reality, and a very hopeful one for the young people who are coming out now. We can and do “couple” like our parents. We can and do have children, and we see ourselves as “just as married” as other couples even when the laws of our state or jurisdiction do not legally recognize us. You might say that we have changed the definition of marriage simply by claiming it for ourselves and not just sitting back to wait for the “powers that be” to tell us we are married. As someone once said, “if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it’s a duck.” If we commit ourselves to another person and establish a household together, if we are raising children together or choosing not to, and if we are caring for one another and supporting one another through the joys and challenges of life, we are married. It’s that simple.
For me it is heartening to know that couples everywhere, and particulary in some unfriendly territory have made marriage theirs. After all, marriage — or whatever you might prefer to call the experience of being in a long-term committed relationship and sharing a household together — is a lifestyle, or a way of life that many of us want, and we should indeed make it ours.
Clearly not everyone has caught up to us. Tuesday’s outcome in Maine is a real and painful example of that. So while we continue to live our lives openly and strive toward the idyllic life we want for ourselves and our families, the hard truth is that we are not really “just like them.” We are not just like our parents or like John and Mary next door. Because it is still a very radical and threatening notion that two women or two men can “have what they have.” It’s not easy, and sometimes not safe, to hold my partner’s hand in public. It’s often anxiety-producing when we take our children to a new doctor or to meet the parents of a new friend. So while we know in our hearts that our relationships and our families are just as “real” as others, we are still facing legal and social obstacles. We are a brave and determined people, as evidenced by the findings in the report. Let’s continue to name our “spouses, husbands, wives and partners.”
Overall, the recent Census data has given a clearer picture of the diversity and broad geographic distribution of the LGBT community. For instance, one in six same-sex couples live in rural areas and one in four same-sex couples are non-white. It’s imperative that we continue telling our stories and part of that is standing up to be counted in the census. Learn more about the ”Our Families Count” project, a public education campaign (of which The Williams Institute and HRC are both a part) to encourage LGBT people to participate in the 2010 U.S. Census.

November 10, 2009

House Version of Health Bill is Gay inclusive

On Nov. 7, The House of Representatives approved a health care reform bill that would correct many of the problems that afflict health care in America. That bill, now headed for the Senate, contains provisions that would rectify inequities and extend better medical care to GLBT Americans and their families.

The House version included several items that had been lobbied for by GLBT equality advocates, including a change in tax laws that penalize gay and lesbian families who receive partnership benefits through their employers. As reported in the New York Times, the 1996 "Defense of Marriage" Act (DOMA) specifies that same-sex families cannot be recognized under federal law.

Thus, the value of such health benefit packages is taxed as income. This effectively has added an additional financial burden to gay and lesbian families that their heterosexual counterparts do not face.

The article quoted the member of the House who had introduced language to correct the situation, Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat. McDermott said that the provision would "correct a longstanding injustice, end a blatant inequity in the tax code and help make health care coverage more affordable for more Americans."

"I meet people all the time who are gratified they work for companies that offer domestic partner benefits," Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, told the Times. "But they pass on the benefits because they cannot afford the taxes that go with the benefits."

The HRC’s website detailed several legislative provisions included in the bill for which the equality organization had lobbied for years. Among those provisions is language that denotes GLBTs as a "health disparities population" and provides research funds to look into the ways in which sexual orientation and gender identity impact access to health care.

Also, there is a provision in the House version to provide early Medicaid support for mediations to treat HIV early, rather than waiting for the virus to lead to AIDS, in which patients’ immune systems have been so badly ravaged that they are susceptible to infections and opportunistic disease. Early treatment has been shown to be crucial in keeping people living with HIV healthier and able to survive for considerably longer periods of time than when treatment is delayed.

The bill also contains provisions for comprehensive sex education that would teach abstinence but also provide accurate information about how to prevent STD transmission, including HIV.

The issue of medical discrimination against GLBTs is also covered, in a provision that requires health providers to care for GLBT patients with the same level of professionalism and dedication that is shown toward heterosexual patients.

Whether those provisions will be part of any final bill that is sent to President Obama for signing remains to be seen. GOP Senate leaders have denounced the current version of the bill.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham pronounced the bill "dead on arrival," while independent Sen. Joe Lieberman said that he could not endorse the House version of the bill "as a matter of conscience," the Associated Press reported.

House Version of Health Bill is Gay Inclusive
by Kilian Melloy
Monday Nov 9, 2009

November 8, 2009

My Gaydar also goes off..But then we know that some closeted gays have been the ones that persecute us.


Dan Savage: "President Obama is a fierce advocate of gay rights the same way I'm a ladies' man. He isn't, and I'm not."
Posted by John Aravosis (DC) at 1:29 PM
Wow. Dan went on Olbermann last night, and was absolutely amazing. Interestingly, the first part of the segment shows Marc Mutty, the chairman of the anti-gay forces in Maine, who also works for the Catholic church up there. Had I met Mutty as a stranger on the street, I'd have been absolutely positively convinced that he was gay. I'm not saying Mutty is gay at all - I have no idea what his sexual orientation is. I just find it queer that so many of these anti-gay activists, like Mutty and Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council, among others, set off my gaydar to such an extent. It's just interesting.

November 5, 2009

The banks took the $ and the economy, now they take the vaccine first.

Amid shortage, big NYC firms get swine vaccine
Rules allow company docs to request vaccine, distribute to high-risk groups

NEW YORK - Some of New York City's largest employers — including Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and big universities — have started receiving doses of the much-in-demand swine flu vaccine for their at-risk employees.

The government-funded vaccine is being distributed to states, where health departments decide where to send the limited doses. In New York, health officials are allowing businesses with onsite medical staff to apply for the vaccine.

Doctors for large companies can ask for the vaccine along with other doctors but must agree to vaccinate only high-risk employees like pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses, said Jessica Scaperotti, a spokeswoman for New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Last month, the city began offering vaccine to schoolchildren, as well as pediatricians and obstetricians who asked for it. Scaperotti said only half of the pediatricians in New York City have requested vaccine

"As the vaccine became more available we expanded it to adult providers," Scaperotti said. She called the large employers "a great avenue for vaccinating people at risk."

But a critic said Wall Street firms shouldn't have access to the vaccine before less wealthy Americans.

"Wall Street banks have already taken so much from us. They've taken trillions of our tax dollars. They've taken away people's homes who are struggling to pay the bills," union official John VanDeventer wrote on the Service Employees International Union Web site. "But they should not be allowed to take away our health and well-being."

The union has about 2 million members, including health care workers.

Vaccine in short supply
The swine flu vaccine has been in short supply nationwide because of manufacturing delays, resulting in long lines at clinics and patients being turned away at doctor's offices. The vaccine started trickling out in early October, and there are now nearly 36 million doses available.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not review and sign off on the decisions of state and city health departments as to which doctor's offices and businesses will be sent vaccine doses, said spokesman Tom Skinner.

The CDC director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, however, did send a letter Thursday to state and local health departments asking them to review their distribution plans and make sure the vaccine is getting to high-risk groups. Frieden said any decisions that appear to direct vaccine outside priority groups "have the potential to undermine the credibility of the program."

The agency has set guidelines on which patients should be at the front of the line: children and young people through age 24, people caring for infants under 6 months, pregnant women, health care workers and adults with health conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

Swine flu — which scientists call the 2009 H1N1 strain — is widespread throughout the country now, much earlier than seasonal flu usually hits.

Goldman Sachs has received 200 doses and Citigroup has received 1,200, health officials said. So far, 800,000 doses have been delivered to 1,400 health care providers in New York City, including public schools, pediatricians and hospitals.

In statements, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs said the vaccine would only go to those in high-risk groups.

"Goldman Sachs, like other responsible employers, has requested vaccine and will supply it only to employees who qualify," said spokesman Ed Canaday.

Morgan Stanley received 1,000 doses of the vaccine for its New York and suburban offices, but turned over its entire supply to local hospitals when it learned it received shipments before some area hospitals, spokeswoman Jeanmarie McFadden said.

Some New York pediatricians' offices that have gotten vaccine say the supply is not meeting the demand.

Manager Linda O'Hanlon at Uptown Pediatrics in Manhattan, said her office has received 500 doses so far — not enough for a practice with almost 7,000 patients.

"We have about 800 appointments" set up for patients who want to get vaccinated, she said.

Featured Posts

The Food Delivery/Ride Companies Wont Allow Drivers to be Employees But California is Changing That

                               Hamilton Nolan Senior Writer. After a monumental...