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There are some things bothering me.  Maybe it’s just that I’m tired and a bit worn out and feeling a bit cranky, but I’m bothered nonetheless.  So, I’m on my soapbox.

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First, a sort of Public Service Announcement:

Blockbuster Rewards do anything BUT reward you.  You pay $9.95 per year for the program and you’re supposed to get a free rental every month.  Now, we’ve pretty much dropped out of the Blockbuster scene because it’s such an ass-ache and, when I can order a Pay-Per-View, DVR it, and watch it at my leisure, for less money than I can rent a movie at Blockbuster AND I don’t have to worry about getting it back on time, why the hell would I want to go to Blockbuster?

Well, I went to Blockbuster over the weekend because I wanted to see if the new National Treasure movie was out yet.  Our store has all the new releases along the outer edges of the store, along the walls.  Or, at least they DID.  I found it difficult to find any new releases because so many OLD movies were along the wall — it seemed chaotic and completely disorganized.  I saw the original National Treasure movie along the wall, but not the new one.  So, after a sweep of the store, I figured I’d ask.

I waited in the queue line while the sales clerk explained the Rewards program to an older woman, who seemed quite unsure to start with.  I heard her tell the woman that the free movie each month is for movies that are “…in the middle of the store, not along the wall.  In other words, any movie that’s more than a year old.”  So, me being the asshole that I am piped up and said “Wait, did you say any movie that’s more than a year old is in the center but the ones along the wall don’t qualify for the free monthly selection?”  She sort of shot me a look with a “tone” and said, “Yes, that’s right.”  So, I asked “Then why is National Treasure on the wall?  It’s AT LEAST a couple of years old.”  She was clearly backed against the wall now and she said “Well, that’s because of the release of the new movie in May.” 

“What about the other OLD movies I see along the wall?” I asked.

“They’re staff picks,” she said.

“In other words, they’re movies that are still popular, you’re still making money off them, and you don’t want to give them out for free yet, right?”

The older lady gave the application back to the sales clerk, looked at me, and nodded her head in what seemed to be thanks.

Staff picks?  “Old” movies being moved to the new release section because their sequels are coming out?  Where, exactly, are the rewards?  And why, exactly, would I want to partake of OLD movies that I’ve already seen a number of times (most likely) when I come to Blockbuster to get NEW movies?

Reward yourself.  Don’t sign up for Blockbuster Rewards.  There aren’t any.

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Not even one day into his new position as governor of NY State, David Patterson admitted publicly that he AND his wife both had extramarital affairs a few years back.  Apparently she did first and, as he admits, he was angry and hurt, and went out looking for his own.  Later they sought help and put the marriage back together.

I don’t condone extramarital affairs but I understand how they happen — believe me, I know.  (I had an affair with a married woman a few years back before Lisa came into my life — biggest, stupidest mistake I ever made.)

I have a lot of respect for the Pattersons, in going public with it, being up front and honest about it and, now that it’s out, it’s behind them (and should be behind US), and we can all move forward.

So, this morning on the radio station I listen to, they were asking “What’s worse, in a marriage, a prostitute or a mistress?”  Most people agreed that a mistress would be worse, because of the emotional attachment that comes with a mistress.

But one guy called in and said “If things are being taken care of at home, you wouldn’t need to go find a prostitute.”

That is such BULLSHIT and is so indicative of American society today — no personal accountability.

Sex is not love.  Sex is not marriage.  It’s part of love and marriage, but isn’t all of it.  If things aren’t being taken care of at home, there’s probably a reason for it and, rather than go out looking to have “things taken care of” by someone else, the responsible adult will stay home and try to discover the reason behind why “things aren’t being taken care of” and work on making it work.

I know firsthand why things don’t get taken care of at home sometimes.  The only time my ex EVER said he loved me was when he was pumping away.  He could never hug me or be near me without PAWING me.  He didn’t cuddle at night and, if he got near me at all, it was to “take care of things” so he could roll over and go to sleep.  After enough years of this, I began to feel like nothing more than a vessel for him to “take care of things” with and then discard afterward.  He repulsed me.  He made me feel dirty and used.  He made me feel like anything BUT a wife that he promised to love ’til death do us part.

I can’t tell you how many times I complained about this very thing to him, hoping to help him (us) work through it.  But he couldn’t get it through his thick skull.

If “things aren’t being taken care of at home,” does going to a prostitute help the situation?  This is such a bullshit argument…

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ZERO TOLERANCE = ZERO INTELLIGENCE

In Florida, a sixth grader asked permission to use the bathroom and was told by his teacher that he had two choices — pee in his pants or pee in a lunch box.  He chose the lunch box.

I don’t care WHAT the excuse is — bad kids roaming the halls, abuse of bathroom privileges, etc., this kind of bullshit has got to stop. If the school is so incapable of keeping order in the school that they have to make a child piss in a lunchbox, they have a huge problem and it’s not the kids.  It’s a lack of leadership.

My own kids had problems with teachers denying them bathroom privileges and I told them early on that if they REALLY have to go and know they can’t wait, they’re to get up and go, then report to the principal’s office, and have them call me if they feel they need to discipline them for having to take a whiz. 

My younger daughter was cursed with a small, weak bladder and was prone to bladder infections constantly.  She almost always had to run from class to class, because she had to stop at the bathroom in between classes to go to the bathroom.  She did the best she could but sometimes couldn’t always get into a stall to go before she had to be in class.  Being late for class carried much more dire consequences than leaving class after she got there, so this was always her choice.

One year, when she was in 8th grade, she asked a teacher to be excused to use the restroom and was told that she had already gone once that semester and would not be allowed to go again that semester!  When I called the principal the next day, I asked her what the hell was wrong with this teacher that she thought she could dictate bodily functions.  I told the principal that I could withhold fluids from my daughter at breakfast, and that she would have to be responsible for withholding fluids from her at lunch, if she didn’t want my daughter to be excused to use the restroom during the course of the school day.  She agreed that the “once per semester” policy was out of line and promised to talk to the teacher. 

We provided a note from the doctor to the school, so that my daughter wouldn’t have to be embarassed like that again, but the following year, another similar situation arose.

Now, I understand that there are some kids who abuse these types of privileges but refusing to allow kids to use the facilities, reasoning that they have time between classes or that they can go during another class is just pure stupidity.  And this teacher in Florida epitomized that stupidity.

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A local man is still in the hospital recovering from a fractured skull and other injuries, sustained in an assault launched against him simply because he is gay.

The man accused of assaulting him came up to him around 1:00 at the bar they were all at, and asked to shake his hand because he’d never shaken the hand of a gay man before.  Having been subjected to verbal abuse by this asshole all night, the gay man refused and was beaten for that.

According to the police officer working the case, they’re seeing more and more gay bashings — as many gay bashings as domestic abuse cases.

When politicians such as Rep. Sally Kern (R)-OK spew hate-filled comments or make inflammatory statements such as those made by our own County Executive Maggie Brooks against the GLBTQ community, they incite people.  Add religious leaders to that list, too — like the Right Rev. Joseph Devine, Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell, Scotland.

And doesn’t it make you wonder if someone who is already on the boiling point hears that kind of hate speech, does it push them over and cause them to act violently?

Now, add to this story the comments made following the article about homosexuals.  That “…Africa is a hotbed of homosexuality” and that AIDS began from humans having sex with monkeys.  Then, instead of addressing the issue these people go off on how wrong homosexuality is but NEVER ADDRESS THE VIOLENCE.  Often, it’s not in what’s said but what is NOT said so the inference can be taken that the violence against homosexuals is justified because homosexuality is “wrong.”

While I realize that the passage of “hate speech” laws is a very slippery slope, I also believe that once a public figure partakes in hate speech, all bets should be off and they should be immediately removed from their post as a danger to the group of people they spoke against.  Public officials, after all, are seen as leaders and as people who set the tone for an area or government.  And, to have the likes of Rep. Kern in public office, or “Christian” leaders like Bishop Devine spewing lies, instilling fear, and inciting hatred, is dangerous.  VERY dangerous.

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