Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pets on the CTA and Other things that Urk Me

I like animals. I love people. Animals should not be made to feel like they are human beings with the same rights that we have. By the same token, humans should not put themselves on the same level with animals.

I understand having to share the great outdoors with animals and bugs. I don't trip about that.
I don't want to ride in closed quarters with an animal that is not a seeing eye dog--Whether the animal is caged or not. This urks me immensely.
I once stayed in New York in a hotel that was over $250 per night. I stayed there countless times and really enjoyed myself. The last time I stayed there would be the last time I stayed there. I abruptly cut my trip short because contestants from the dog beauty pageant aka the American Kennel Show were also staying in the hotel. Everytime I got into the elevator several dogs were also riding with me--in a luxury hotel!
The worst part was when I complained to management about the presence of the dogs I was told that the dogs were paying more per night than I was! I immediately checked out and into a much more expensive hotel with a "no pets" policy.
CTA should not allow animals to ride on its buses and trains--allowing this practice would urk me and make me pissed off during my entire commute.

"45 years later--I Have a Dream, Too"

One thing I've noticed about turning 50 is that I have a tendency to vividly recall historical things I remember hearing and seeing either in-person or on television. I started kindergarten in September 1963--I was five years old. I recall the full year prior to turning five years old because I wanted to be five so badly so I could go to school.

For my fifth birthday I received the present of my dreams--a 26-volume set of Britannica Junior Encyclopedias. The irony is that I wanted these books so badly but I couldn't even read yet. I was fortunate that my parents were young enough o envision a day when I would be an avid reader and to this day I am.

Three days after my 5th birthday, my brother Mark who was about 3 years old and I sat with our mother and watched the March on Washington on television. I didnt really understand why they were marching but I do recall noting there was a huge crowd of what could have easily been over 50 people! I would later learn that there were over 200 thousand people. I recall seeing the Lincoln Memorial and the fountain where people were standing around it.

Dr. Martin Luther King spoke to the crowd and the people became excited at his words. I just recall the last words, "Free at last, free at last--Thank God Almighty we're free at last!"

I would later learn that the "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. It was the culmination of the Civil Rights "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom". This single event was considered a defining moment in Civil Rights history.

Dr. King spoke of the desire for a future where blacks and whites would coexist harmoniously as equals. The March on Washington put pressure on the Kennedy Administration to advance Civil Rights legislation in Congress.

Dr. King was named Time Magazine's 'Man of the Year' for 1963 & 1964. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize--the youngest person in history to ever receive the award.

45 years later, Senator Barack Obama is poised to become the first African American to be elected to the office of President of the United States of America.

I have a dream that together, Americans from all walks of life will come together in November 2008 to make this happen.

Today is a great day in American history as Senator Obama accepts the Democratic Party nomination tonight on the anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech. He is standing on the shoulders of a giant.

Rest in Peace Dr. King.

President Clinton Is 'Cool' & Still Aw'iight With Me...

According to his official White House biography, during the administration of President William "Bill" Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001), the 42nd President, the United States enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history. He was the first Democratic President who was re-eleceted since President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The bio goes on to list a dozen other great accomplishments but that's not why I liked him. I like him because he was "cool."

I voted for him not once--but two times to be my President. Not only was he impressively educated, but he was an Arkansas native. My Granny, Papa and Daddy were born in Arkansas and they were fantastic folks so I expected him to be as well.

He did normal things like jog and eat at McDonald's. He was young and seemed to enjoy his life--he wasn't old and bitter and quick to get his "boys" to kick ass in somebody else's smaller country just to prove who we are as a nation. He laughed a lot and had the good sense to marry a young educated woman from Illinois--the most fantastic state in the union. He admitted he smoked pot but didn't inhale it. You have to be cool not to inhale pot because inhaling is something pot-smokers naturally do.

I never felt Bill Clinton was 'black', acted 'black' or thought he was 'black'--although he appeared to be very comfortable in the midst of Black people. He is a musician and plays a cool, 'sexy' sounding instrument--the saxophone.
I've always thought Bill Clinton tried to be fair to everyone who lives in the United States; both natural born and immigrants.
Which brings me to his DNC speech. I am happy that he asked for the vote outright from the supporters. No beating around the bush.
I'm happy he demonstrated party unity rather than personalities.
He is a stand-up type guy and I still have much-love for him and his wife.
Here's a sampling of what he spoke last night.
• "Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she'll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us. Actually that makes 18 million of us -- because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November."
• "Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States."
• "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."